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Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy and the entire world, with around 9 million people visiting from around the globe each year.
Most people stay for just a few days and try to check off the biggest sights – the things you can’t afford to miss, like the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Pantheon.
But if you’re looking for something beyond the obvious to give your holiday a little something extra, check out these sights and really make the most out of your time in LaCittà Eterna.
The viewpoint at Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi
If you want a great view of the city, walking up to the top of the Janiculum Hill is essential. It can be a bit of a tough walk if you’re already tired from a day of sightseeing, but the views are well worth the effort.
Arrive in the large, open square to see a huge statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi, a key figure in the unification of Italy, astride his horse, looking out across the capital of the country he helped to create.
From here, you can see the whole city – the Colosseum and Roman Forum included – and if you cross over the square, you can watch the sun go down behind the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican.
Get there in the early evening to snag a spot on the wall, grab a takeaway cocktail from one of the kiosks, and settle in.
The Fountain of the Acqua Paola
Just around the corner from the Janiculum Hill’s viewpoint is a huge monumental fountain. Built in 1612, it marks the end of an underground aqueduct originally built by the emperor Trajan.
In the seventeenth century, the aqueduct brought essential drinking water to the Trastevere area of Rome and culminated in this elaborate fountain.
If it looks familiar, it might be because it actually served as the inspiration for the better-known Trevi Fountain, built over 100 years later.
There’s another gorgeous view of the city here, and it tends to be a little quieter than the viewpoint at Piazza Garibaldi as there are no kiosks serving drinks, so you might be in with a better chance of snagging a place to sit.
The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary
Yes, that’s right, a cat sanctuary. If you’re a cat person, you probably won’t need much more convincing, but this sight is worth a visit regardless of your feelings towards our furry friends.
It’s situated among the ruins of four ancient temples, dating from 400–300 BC, and it’s also the site of Julius Caesar’s infamous murder on the Ides of March.
While it’s not possible to walk around the ruins themselves, you can get a good view of them from the street level, so peer over the railings to marvel at the well-preserved columns and slabs of ancient tufa.
Throughout the year, you’ll see the stray cats of Rome who have been taken in by the sanctuary basking in the sunshine or lying in the shade of these once-vast temples.
The sanctuary itself welcomes visitors, so if you need a sightseeing break or are looking to cuddle up with some cats, look no further!
The Borghese Gallery and Museum
If art is more up your street, take a trip to the Galleria Borghese, home to some of Bernini’s most famous sculptures.
Housed within the Villa Borghese and the surrounding park (one of the largest in Rome), the gallery’s upper floor contains paintings by Raphael, Titian, Correggio, and Rubens.
The lower floor displays two of the most jaw-dropping sculptures of the Baroque period: Bernini’s Rape of Persephone and Apollo and Daphne.
Bernini’s Rape of Persephone
Wonder at these marble masterpieces, including neoclassical works by Canova, and gaze at ancient mosaics before taking a stroll around the expansive park – a perfect place for an evening passeggiata (promenade), an Italian tradition.
Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls
This huge basilica is one of four ancient papal basilicas in Rome and is the largest church in the city other than Saint Peter’s in the Vatican.
Situated outside the Aurelian Walls, which traditionally contained the city’s fabled seven hills, it’s often overlooked by tourists, but its rich history and elaborate façade make it a worthwhile visit.
St Paul’s outside the walls
Home to the bones of Saint Paul himself, the church has been repeatedly pillaged throughout history, eventually leading to the construction of a fortified town, Johannispolis, the ruins of which you can still visit today.
Inside the church itself, as well as thirteenth-century mosaics and a fourteenth-century crucifix, look out for the series of mosaic portraits of all the popes.
Legend has it that when there are no spaces left for portraits of new popes, the world will end – there are now only six spaces left, so visit while you still can!
The Isola Tiberina
This island in the middle of the River Tiber is a marvel. To reach the island, just walk across the city’s only intact ancient Roman bridge, the Ponte Fabricio (look out for the four-headed stone gatekeepers as you start to cross).
View from Ponte Fabricio
Once on the island, you’ll find a tenth-century basilica built on the site of an ancient temple, and a restaurant that wafts out gorgeous smells at all times of the day.
The four-headed gatekeeper
Wander around the circumference of the island and sit down at the eastern end to gaze up at another Roman bridge, the Ponte Rotto (‘Broken Bridge’) – the oldest in the city.
This is a wonderful place to sit down and take a breather, and you’ll often spot locals coming to the island to relax with a bottle of beer and something to read. Take a leaf out of their book and wind down.
Enjoy your holiday
There are so many wonderful things to do and see in Rome, whether you want to see the ‘biggies’ or not.
If the ever-present hordes of tourists in the eternal city are off-putting for you, consider visiting these smaller sites instead. While still busy at times (Rome is a capital city, after all), you’ll find that you have more time and space to reflect, relax, and enjoy your trip.
Chloe is a freelance proofreader, copy editor, and writer from the UK who has spent the last year living, working, and traveling through Italy. She’s picked up great tips and tricks to help make your Italian adventure the best it can be. See more of her writing at chloelaywrites.wordpress.com.
The billion-dollar question of this month is where are you going to celebrate your New Year’s Eve? With the second and third waves of Covid19 case spikes and new lockdowns around the globe, many people have already ditched their new year’s plans.
But not all is bad news. The vaccines are already being administered and there are plans put in place to vaccinate most of the developed world by end of 2021 and the entire world by 2024.
Those who are lucky enough to travel next year, we have some great suggestions for you. If not this year, you can always make your plans for 2022. Hey, there is nothing to lose by planning ahead!
Have your pick from the below-mentioned destinations. Whether you want to kiss below the Big Ben or party hard in New York, we have it all laid out for you.
If you think that you cannot stand and enjoy in any busy street of Las Vegas you are wrong. The whole city comes alive with fireworks set from the seven rooftops. Apart from the exciting countdown and dazzling fireworks, the city becomes sans-car.
All the streets host all-night parties, displaying talented bands from around the world. Get caught up in the thrilling excitement of laser shows, wild parties, and over-the-top concerts.
Those who have a bit of refined taste ought to change their option from Las Vegas to London. When the needle strikes twelve, pull your loved one closer and kiss them hard.
The massive tower above you is an epic landmark to start your New Year. Thousands of tourists from around the globe gather for the countdown and witness the 10 minutes light show.
If you want something other than the Big Ben tower, then head to London’s Eye that gives you a spectacular view of the star-studded night sky.
Get ready early so that you get a head start to reach Times Square. It is in hullabaloo during New Year’s Eve. And if you want to make it to Times Square to see the Final Countdown, then you better be prepared to stand in long lines and endure the cold.
The high-tech light shows in Times Square rivals any other show in the country. You cannot miss the pulsating energy emanating from people around you, expecting a grand 12 ball to drop.
Scream, dance, jump and let go of yourself in the busiest New Year’s Eve crowd.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Indulge yourself in some debauchery. And you can get involved with sin this New year in British Virgin Islands. Do not underestimate it for its size. It is one of the hottest party spots for the New Year.
Those who have fat wallets and overflowing bank accounts can head here. There is a 48-hour long party, and it included dirty dancing, drinking, and debauchery.
Spend your time with sexy people this New Year’s Eve on an exotic Caribbean beach!
RIO DE JANEIRO
If you had enough of sin, then offer prayers to Gods to forgive you. Something of the same nature happens in Rio. All the citizens come together in Copacabana Beach and offer prayer to the sea goddess Yemanja. You can participate in the ceremony only if you dress in white.
After offering your prayers, you can throw the flowers in the crashing waves of the beach, which takes the petals to the goddess.
The ceremony is not the end of New Year but the start of an awesome celebration. In the Beach live concerts as well as dance performances take place. Be a part of Rèveillon!
In the city of Edinburgh, New year is not about the new day of the year or the last day of the year. There is a string of events leading to an extraordinary celebration. It starts from 30 December and continues till 1st January Next year.
On the first day of the festivities, there is a light torch procession, on the next day there is a night of outdoor concerts and open-air parties. The culmination of the Celebration is at twelve when a breathtaking explosion lights the sky above Edinburgh Castle followed by tons of Auld Land Syne.
1st January is not for the lazy, take a dip in the chilling water of the Forth.
If you were not a part of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, then this is your chance to jump at. The Bahamas get crazy good during New Year’s Eve and New Year.
A parade replicating the Carnival moves through the streets, displaying glitzy costumes and performances. After the fireworks at midnight, all the crowd gathers at the beach to enjoy the parties.
There are plenty of places where you and your family can celebrate New Year’s in the Bahamas like the Grand Lucayan and Atlantis.
A strange yelping noise echoed up the cliffs to meet me. The noise rose and fell on the wind and sounded much like a crying baby.
I quickened my pace along the dusty path eager to see down into the coves. Another gust of wind brought more plaintive cries to my ears.
I reached the headland and stopped short on a grassy bluff and peered over the crumbling edge. Far below me was a shingle beach that teemed with activity.
Large figures moved in and out of the turquoise waters, their grey bodies dipping into the surf and diving amongst the waves.
Farther up the beach one of these creatures advanced past the tide line and slid ungracefully across the sand into the foaming sea. I couldn’t believe my eyes. A colony of Atlantic grey seals, right here in the UK.
This incredible evening occurred in mid-September whilst I was walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path – a 186-mile National Trails hike located in the south of Wales.
The route crosses 35,000 feet of ascents and descents which is equivalent to the height of Mount Everest!
The path is populated by 14 harbors and some bigger fishing villages such as Tenby, Pembroke, and Fishguard.
It is renowned for its rugged heathland and windswept landscape due to the harsh weather that blows off the Irish Sea. It has 58 beaches and is, for the most part, a relatively untouched area of coastline.
It was this level of wilderness that attracted me to walk the path in its entirety. Following a series of travel restrictions and lockdowns in the UK, I felt an urge to spend some time exploring the local National Parks in my home country rather than planning to jet abroad only for the trip to get canceled.
Prior to this, I’d walked the 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall Path in northern England. This hike stretched from the east to the west coast which amusingly gave me the right to say I’d walked across the UK.
Despite this, I still wanted to step it up. I felt I had more in me and yearned to do something even more adventurous.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path seemed like the perfect challenge I’d been looking for. It gave me that added element of raw nature whilst also allowing me to explore an area of the country I’d never visited before.
Gwlad Hud a Lledrith
In fact, the path is known as “Gwlad Hud a Lledrith” in Welsh, which means “The Land of Mystery and Enchantment”, and it’s this remoteness that makes it the perfect home for a breeding seal population.
During the autumn, adult seals flock to the secluded beaches and hidden coves of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to raise their pups.
Throughout the rest of the year, there’s only a small population in the area and it’s unlikely you’ll see any – let alone up close on the beaches. However, during the 3-4 weeks where their pups can’t swim, the colony remains close to the shore at all times.
Despite knowing this, I still felt strangely aloof about the whole thing. As if it was some myth that could never actually happen. The idea of being on an empty, sweeping beach in the UK watching a colony of seals teach their pups how to swim seemed too good to be true.
Yet there I was, witnessing exactly that. The more I stared, the more the animals seemed to appear from their camouflaged hiding spots amongst the rocks.
I began to recognize small white shapes, about the size of a house cat, flapping at the base of the crumbling cliffs. Those strange noises suddenly had their source.
The fluffy pups lay on their backs in the sun creating quite a racket, clamoring for attention. They moaned and cried out, calling for their mother’s milk.
I dropped my heavy backpack on the floor and sat beside a patch of ferns to watch the amazing natural dynamic unfold below me.
Occasionally the pups would fall asleep and go quiet, or sometimes a tired-looking mother would shuffle over and flop beside her pup for it to have a drink.
I was blessed with crisp blue skies and the cliffs were lit orange by the low Autumnal sun.
Rays of light illuminated the water so clear that I could see the adults diving down and foraging amongst the seaweed, catching fish and collecting crustaceans to eat.
They looked so sleek gliding under the water which only made it more comical seeing them try to move clumsily overland.
Some of the bigger seals rested out to sea glancing about with their whiskered heads bobbing up and down in the water.
From this distance, they looked much like dogs and I had to squint sometimes to convince myself otherwise.
As the sun lowered in the sky the calls and movements of the animals began to dwindle. Growing tired, I pitched my tent right there overlooking the cove.
I set up my cooking equipment and sat staring at the seals, almost in a trance. The wind gently swept through the grass and rippled the canvas of my tent. The blue flame from my stove hissed and the water clicked and rolled in the pan.
I ate a pouch of spicy tomato pasta and sipped at a steaming mug of tea as the sky ran red and the animals fell silent. The shadows lengthened on the beach and the sea turned slate grey as darkness descended.
I put on my hat and gloves and watched my breath rise into the starlit sky. The moon drifted above the ocean and cast a white glimmer onto the tops of the cliffs.
I could see no glow of urban settlements on the horizon nor hear the sound of any human noise. Only the swash of waves and the occasional scuffle of blubber against stone.
I lay in my sleeping bag that night thinking about what I’d set out to achieve on this walk. To have an adventure. To explore my home country. To find some of its untouched pockets of nature, and most of all, to have an experience I’d never forget.
As I drifted to sleep listening to the sound of waves lapping against the beach and a groaning seal roll over in the sand, I felt I’d accomplished exactly that.
My name is Matt (Twitter @MattWalkWild). I’m a 24-year-old Biologist and adventure traveler. I’ve visited 42 countries around the world and particularly love wild and natural landscapes. I write about all things hiking, camping, and walking. I want to encourage others to experience the amazing outdoors and inform them about how to explore it just like I do! Check out my website: mattwalkwild.com
If you’re from the United States, you probably think of it as just “home.” But the US is one of the biggest countries in the world, with incredibly diverse geography, and you could explore it for years without getting bored.
Just as the song says, “from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam…”
Sunrise on South Padre Island, Texas
Many people have the goal of visiting all 50 states, and our family is no exception. In the past two years, our family of six has traveled the US full-time and visited 45 states.
Counting previous trips, we’ve actually been to 49 out of the 50 states (just Alaska left to visit!), so it’s safe to say we are experts on traveling with a family in the United States!
Why Travel the United States
The US contains a vast array of geographical landscapes and cultural experiences. You can enjoy a tropical beach in Florida, explore the deserts of the southwest, visit Hollywood and New York City, see a volcano in Hawaii and a glacier in Montana, ski down a mountain in Colorado, admire the prairie grasslands in Kansas, and so much more.
And it’s all incredibly accessible! When you travel within the continental US, you can reach every area by car or RV. Laws are generally the same from state to state, and you can freely travel across state borders.
When our family decided to move from the southwest US to the east coast, we thought, “Why not take our time getting there?”
Two years later we still haven’t settled down. We are traveling full-time and loving every moment. While we do want to head overseas, the 2020 pandemic delayed those plans, so in the meantime we are just enjoying seeing as much of the beautiful USA as possible.
Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona
How to take a family gap year
We started with the idea that we’d take one year off to work remotely, homeschool our kids, and travel — what’s become known as a family gap year. Now is the perfect time to take a family gap year, as modern technology has made travel more accessible than ever before.
Many full-time traveling families live in an RV, but we don’t. The six of us travel in our minivan and primarily stay in Airbnbs for four weeks at a time. This lets us take advantage of the hefty discounts that Airbnb owners often offer for long stays, enjoy the physical space of a house or apartment, and really experience each location like locals.
1. Sell or rent your house and put your mortgage/rent money toward your lodgings, and
2. Work remotely and homeschool.
If you’re willing to give up the comfort of having a homebase, at least temporarily, and you have a job that you can take on the road, then you have ultimate freedom!
Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico
How to visit all 50 states
Our route to 45 states in two years has been a little…how should I say this? All over the place! We’ve made three loops across the country so far with a fourth coming up soon.
We like to visit the southern states in the winter and the northern states in the summer (for obvious reasons), and we’ve been alternating exploring new places and revisiting old favorites. We often stay for about a month at each location, but sometimes we visit destinations for just a weekend, in between longer stays.
However you decide to travel the US, there’s beauty and fun to be found wherever you go!
Glacier National Park, Montana
Must-Visit USA Destinations for Families
Hopefully the information that follows helps you to plan your ultimate USA travels, whether you hit the road full-time or make separate trips over a number of years. We haven’t been everywhere, but we’ve been a lot of places, and these are our favorites!
We began our travels in the Pacific Northwest, an area of the country that we had never visited before. It was like a magical land, always misty with very tall trees and rocky beaches.
Our Airbnb on Whidbey Island even had a family of deer that liked to relax in the yard.
Must-visit destinations in the Pacific Northwest:
Check out the “disappearing cannons” at Fort Casey
Attend the annual Kite Festival
Fly a kite at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival
Learn about whales at The Whale Museum
Go orca watching at Lime Kiln Point
Go up in the Space Needle
Visit Understory at the Amazon Spheres
Watch the fish throwers at Pike Place Market
Take a boat ride at The Center for Wooden Boats
Ride a wooden boat on Lake Washington
Browse the shelves at Powell’s Books
Get a Voodoo Donut
Visit the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
California is a unique state that deserves a category to itself. Spanning almost the whole Pacific coastline, there is much to see from the northern vineyards and redwood trees to the bustle and beaches of southern California.
Must-visit destinations in California:
Hug a giant redwood tree
Visit a Sonoma vineyard
Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
Visit Fisherman’s Wharf
Have some chocolate at Ghirardelli Square
Drive or walk down Lombard Street
Ride a cable car
Ride a cable car in San Francisco
Drive the Pacific Coast Highway
View from Pacific Coast Highway
Walk the Santa Monica Pier
Hike to the Hollywood sign
Learn about space at the Griffith Observatory
Visit Griffith Park for great views of Los Angeles
We lived in Arizona for 15 years, so we are well-acquainted with the southwest! Growing up in Maine, I never knew the desert could be so beautiful, but the vistas of the southwest are something wonderful to behold.
Just keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and scorpions, all of which we encountered at one time or another!
Must-visit destinations in the Southwest:
Walk the Las Vegas Strip
Drive through colorful Zion National Park
Drive through Zion National Park for gorgeous vistas
Stay at the Wigwam Motel on Route 66 Drive Gate’s Pass in Tucson for gorgeous desert views Watch a gunfight in Tombstone Marvel at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon makes every jaw drop
Attend the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Stand in four states at once!
Another state big enough to have its own category is Texas! As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. There are several major cities with lots to offer, from Austin to Dallas to Houston, and there’s also quite the impressive coastline on the eastern side.
Our favorite Texas cities are San Antonio and South Padre Island.
Must-visit destinations in Texas:
Spray paint the cars at Cadillac Ranch
Add your mark on the cars at Cadillac Ranch
Tour the Alamo
Take a boat ride along the Riverwalk
South Padre Island
Ride the go-karts at Gravity Park
Visit the rescued sea turtles at Sea Turtle Inc.
Take a sandcastle building lesson
Learn how to build the perfect sandcastle on South Padre Island
Florida and the Gulf Coast
We love visiting the Gulf Coast, from the rich history in New Orleans, to the miles of white sandy beaches in southern Mississippi, Alabama, and along the Florida panhandle.
As a family with young kids, we’re no strangers to the theme parks of Orlando, and we love the tropical paradise of Miami and the Keys.
Must-visit destinations in Florida and the Gulf Coast:
Visit the French Quarter
Listen to some jazz music at Preservation Hall
Eat a beignet at Cafe Du Monde and a muffaletta from Central Grocery
Relax on the perfect sandy beach in Gulf Shores
Attend a Mardi Gras parade on Dauphin Island
Visit Disney World
People-watch on South Beach in Miami
Visit the southernmost point in Key West
See the mermaids at Weeki Wachee
These mermaids perform incredible feats underwater!
There’s so much history, culture, and good food to be found in the south! Visit in the fall or spring for weather that’s “just right”. We fell in love with South Carolina when we visited on our travels and now plan to settle down there and live the beach life!
Must-visit destinations in the Southeast:
Walk through the dreamlike UNC botanical gardens in Charlotte
The UNC Botanical Gardens are straight out of a fairytale
Try all the flavors of moonshine at the Kentucky Mist Distillery in Myrtle Beach
Watch the sunrise from Surfside Beach
Take a carriage tour through the streets of Charleston
Make some music at the Musician’s Hall of Fame in Nashville
Try Nashville Hot Chicken (if you dare)
Tour Sun Studios in Memphis
The Mississippi River
Take a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River
See the Spanish Moss in Savannah
Try all the flavors in the World of Coke tasting room in Atlanta
The mid-Atlantic is where our country was born! There are lots of historical sites to visit in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York, gorgeous beaches along the shore, and of course the one-and-only New York City.
Must-visit destinations in the Mid-Atlantic:
Stroll the Virginia Beach boardwalk
Visit Historic Jamestowne
Hike part of the Appalachian Trail
Hike the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia
Tour the three branches of government
Visit the national monuments
Explore the (free!) Smithsonian museums
Watch the pandas at the National Zoo
Say hi to the pandas at the National Zoo
Tour Independence Hall and visit the Liberty Bell
See a Broadway show
Go up to the crown inside the Statue of Liberty
Visit Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Central Park
Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum
Spend a day at Coney Island
Ride the rides or enjoy the beach at Coney Island, New York
New England will always be home to me! I love the beaches and port towns of Maine and New Hampshire and the rich history of Massachusetts. Visit in the summer for beach weather, in the fall to see the gorgeous leaves, or in the winter if you’re brave!
Must-visit destinations in New England:
Walk the Freedom Trail
Take a Duck Tour
Visit Faneuil Hall
Watch the fish at the New England Aquarium
Enjoy the picturesque foliage in fall
There’s nothing like the fall foliage in New England
Go shopping in Kennebunkport
Have the greatest pizza of your life at Pizza by Alex in Biddeford
Eat pier fries in Old Orchard Beach
We spent four weeks in Louisville, Kentucky, and then explored the rest of the midwest on a whirlwind three-week excursion, hitting all the hot spots. Here are some of our recommendations for a trip through the midwest!
Must-visit destinations in the Midwest:
Tour Churchill Downs (attend the Kentucky Derby if you get the chance!)
Watch baseball bats being made at the Louisville Slugger Factory
Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Go duckpin bowling
Drive a racecar with the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program
Sing in Studio A at the Motown Museum
Take the Coney Dog Challenge
Take a reflection picture in the Bean
Visit the Art Institute of Chicago
Put your forehead against the glass at the top of Willis Tower
Eat a Chicago-style hotdog and deep-dish pizza
Visit the Milwaukee Public Market and get something cheesy
St. Louis, Missouri
Go up in the Gateway Arch
Look out on the west from 630 feet high at the Gateway Arch
I wasn’t sure if we’d ever make it to some of the central states, because we tend to take routes that don’t pass through them. But on our mission to visit as many states as possible, we made sure to head that way! What can you see in the middle of the US?
Must-visit destinations in the Central US:
Visit Mount Rushmore
See Chimney Rock (remember it from playing Oregon Trail?)
Chimney Rock: even better than the 8-bit version!
Go 650 feet underground and explore a salt mine
Visit the National Oklahoma City Memorial
The Mountain West region encompasses lots of different terrain, from the Rocky Mountains in mile-high Denver, to Yellowstone’s effervescent springs in Wyoming, and the frozen glaciers in Montana.
Must-visit destinations in the Mountain West:
Eat baked potato ice cream at Westside Drive In
Looks like a potato, tastes like ice cream!
Glacier National Park, Montana
See a glacier
Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road
You’ll never forget the gorgeous views at Glacier National Park
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
See Old Faithful erupt
Marvel at the Grand Prismatic Spring
Yellowstone is a truly unique geographical experience
Stand a mile high on the Denver Capitol Building steps
Tour the haunted Stanley Hotel
Visit Garden of the Gods
Alaska & Hawaii
Alaska is the only state we haven’t visited yet, but it’s in the plans! Hawaii was our honeymoon destination back in 2005, and we hope to visit again someday with the whole family.
Must-visit destinations in Alaska & Hawaii:
See the Northern Lights
Tour a volcano
Watch the surfers at the North Shore
Attend a luau
Walk on a black sand beach
I hope this has given you a ton of great ideas for how you can travel and experience the United States with your family. There is truly so much to see and do, from coast to coast!
Megan Tenney travels full-time with her husband and four children. At Family Gap Year Guide, she teaches regular families how to take life on the road! Grab her free guide on how to afford full-time travel and live your dreams of seeing the world with your family!
I’d dreamed about the Ring of Kerry since I first saw it. I was 19. I’d never been out of the country before, and my first trip was to Ireland.
On that trip, I took a bus ride through the Ring of Kerry. It was the most beautiful place I’d seen thus far in my short life. I promised I’d be back soon.
Hiking the Kerry Way Ireland
Four years later, at 23, I finally kept that promise. But this time, I didn’t take a bus. I walked— 130 miles, for 11 days, with a 30-pound backpack on my back. Alone.
This is the story of how I took my first long-distance solo hike.
Hiking Kerry Way (Ring of Kerry), Ireland
I started out in the city of Killarney. I walked around an entire peninsula before ending back where I started—a full loop, a revolution, a cycle.
The hike started great. I felt empowered, ready to experience nature’s peace, and excited to visit charming towns along the way. I had a lot of thinking to do and I was ready to buckle down and do it.
But there were more challenges than I’d anticipated. I prepared extensively—purchased the right shoes, the perfect pack, researched and plotted everything I would need.
But the fact is that no amount of planning—and I had planned this for years—can prepare you for what you might face along the way. Especially when the toughest obstacle tends to be your own mind.
Killarney National Park
Day 1-3: My Body and Mind Adjust
Let’s go back to the start.
I stepped out of my hostel in Killarney apprehensively. It felt strange, walking through the city like a normal person, albeit with 30 pounds of extra weight on my back.
People were already out and about at 9 am, families laughing, people sipping coffees in cafes. For a moment, I felt like just another tourist visiting Killarney.
Between the Mountains and the Sea
Killarney National Park
I reached Killarney National Park after about an hour of walking along the road. Here, I passed waterfalls and streams and walked amidst massive mountains.
I adjusted to being alone, not having anyone to tell me where to go—only my GPS and the trail markers at every kilometer.
At one point, I nearly got lost in a field of boulders, with no trail marker in sight. But I kept myself calm and continued straight, eventually reaching the next part of the trail.
By the time I got to my first hostel, in an area called Black Valley, I’d lost track of time. My feet hurt bad I’d been limping for a mile, my thighs ached, and my shoulders felt like I’d done a million push-ups. I dropped the bag to the floor and slept like a baby.
According to the map, the next day’s hike was “difficult”. The day before had been labeled “easy,” and I could barely walk by the end. Still, I kept my mood high.
Yesterday’s intense foot pain had mostly subsided, though I felt bruises on my hips from where the pack was strapped tightly to my waist.
Landscape, Kerry Way
I enjoyed the dramatic scenery of the valley covered in towering clouds. Eventually, those clouds released a flurry of rain. I stuffed my hair in my raincoat and hummed to myself and the sheep over the sound of the raindrops.
I stepped through muddy gates in strangers’ farmland and a forest darkened by a lack of sun. When the rain finally stopped, hours later, I was in the most dramatic valley I’d ever seen.
The valley was rolling with green, sheep-dotted farmland. Massive mountains framed me on all sides.
I could see why the trail was marked difficult—it led me up and over one of the distant mountains. As I neared the base, I tightened my straps and steeled my nerves.
The climb was tough. The air thinned with each step up to the next rock, and the weight of my pack tugged me backward. I focused on where my feet would go next and controlled my breath until I got to the top and, panting, was rewarded with a breathtaking view of the valley I’d just walked through.
I felt immense pride when I reached my guest room, in a house on a beautiful lake called Lough Acoose. It was a relaxing place to spend the night and I slept peacefully.
The next day, though, I felt anxiety as I set out. I think the excitement was wearing off and exhaustion was finally hitting me. The terrain was full of small hills that would’ve been much easier if I didn’t have 30 pounds on my back and sore feet.
I counted the hours until I finally limped into Glenbeigh, found the hostel where I’d stay, and threw my pack down. This was the first real town I’d stayed in so far, and I delighted in buying actual shampoo from a general store.
After a hot shower, I rewarded myself with a Guinness at a nearby pub and befriended several of the regulars as I recounted my journey so far.
I felt exhausted but proud I’d completed the first few days of my hike.
Day 4-7: The Real Challenges Begin
On the hike scenery
As I walked out of Glenbeigh on day four, the mountains evened out and I realized I was nearing the coast.
Eventually, I found myself walking along a cliff overlooking the entire bay. It was stunning, and I stopped many times to absorb the view—and to allow my aching feet to rest.
Soon I reached the B&B I’d rented for the night, a farmhouse on the water called Taobh Coille. The owner greeted me energetically and immediately sat me down for homemade soup, tea, and biscuits.
I was starving, as I was subsiding on granola bars and fruit during my hikes (it was lighter). I ate gratefully in a sunroom overlooking the water as she told me about her family, who were grown now and having kids of their own. Her kindness made me feel awake and rejuvenated.
That evening, I took a slow walk down to the shore and watched the sunset over the water, ending a nearly perfect day.
I started the next day in a great mood, and walked along the coast for a while, enjoying the views of the turquoise bay and distant faded mountains. But soon the trail veered inland, cutting across the peninsula to reach the other side.
The views and peaceful sea disappeared as I walked through the dullest terrain yet—plain grass fields. No grand vistas or even uphill climbs to distract me now.
This was when the days started to blur. The terrain was mild, but the pain wouldn’t let me relax. It should’ve been the easiest section, and every step was a challenge.
I focused on anything but the pain to distract myself, finding solace in the sun, sheep, distant mountains, the big blinking eyes of cows. Mostly I thought of reaching my hostel, taking off my shoes, and getting a hot meal.
Day 6: Midpoint of my journey
The 6th day started the same. But while I was expecting that same boring terrain, I had another thing coming.
Soon the trail started ascending uphill. I thought it would only be one hill, and made the walk slowly, taking baby steps. My back and thighs ached.
When I stood at the top feeling victorious, the feeling was short-lived as I saw an entire range of mountaintops ahead of me. One after another, I walked over them, feeling as though they’d never end.
I focused only on the step right in front of me. The weather turned harsh. Freezing rain pelted my face, and the wind blew sideways into my ears. I could barely hear or see, and felt like screaming, crying, stopping.
But I kept going and going and suddenly, there were no more mountains. Only a silent winding valley that took me to my hostel, where I collapsed after the hardest day yet.
The next day, the valley looked new. The sun broke through as I walked and I felt as though nothing could faze me anymore. The day’s hike seemed to go fast. By late afternoon, I’d reached the coast again, and the charming seaside town of Waterville.
Once I checked into my B&B, I forced my feet to make the walk into town for a hot meal and a Guinness. I ate at a cozy pub on the water, staring out the window.
My view—the sea, the dark clouds, the crashing waves—looked like peace in its purest form.
Day 8-11: Learning Who I Am Now
On the hike scenery
It was a treat to start my walk along the coast again. My feet still hurt, but I was better at blocking the pain out now.
I was also becoming adept at entertaining myself with my own mind. Spending 8 hours a day completely alone with nothing to do but walk will do that to you.
After a relaxed and short walk, I ended in Caherdaniel. I had expected a town but found nothing but a small pub and a general store that doubled as a gas station that tripled as somebody’s home.
They didn’t even have an ATM—and I didn’t have cash. I ate dinner in the hostel, making due with what I had left and what I could find in the shared kitchen.
As I set out the next day, it quickly occurred to me I’d finished off the rest of my food the night before. I had nothing to tide me over during the 8-hour hike ahead of me.
My GPS said that there was a general store along the road where I’d be walking. But I was walking through rolling hills and farmland, dirt roads that looked like nobody had used them for months.
I could hear the hum of distant cars but never saw this road, never saw the general store. I ate my last apple as slowly as I could manage. I wondered if I’d ever felt so hungry. My body resisted every movement—my energy was spent.
When I hobbled into the busy, charming town of Sneem I felt plunged into bliss. The main street was nothing but restaurants—I smelled roasted chicken and barbecue, grilling burgers, and fresh bread. I nearly cried tears of joy when I quickly checked into my hostel and finally sat down at a restaurant.
I ordered several things off the menu and a big Guinness to wash it down, and felt more satisfied than I could remember ever feeling.
I was sad to leave Sneem the next day, but I bid farewell to its colorful shops and lovely restaurants and set about the second-to-last day of my hike.
I felt calm and relaxed, resolved like I was every day to ignore whatever pain I felt. No stopping now. There were no surprises in the trail description, just a bit of rain and clouds today which made me feel even more alone than I had before.
Ring of Kerry, Kenmare
I ended up in a town called Kenmare, and went about my usual routine of stopping in a pub for a beer. But I felt too tired to socialize. I slept like a baby, prepared for the final day of my journey.
Today’s final leg of the hike was to be long, but easy. I set about feeling strange—I had gotten so used to the routine of waking up early, eating breakfast, having a coffee and packing my bag for the day’s walk. The idea that it all ended today felt surreal.
After a few hours walking through those same massive mountains, I’d seen the first few days, I reached the part of the trail that led to Killarney.
It was the same as the first day—the booming valley full of waterfalls and streams. I didn’t panic when I reached the boulders. It was the same place I started, but I felt like a different person.
The feeling stayed with me, heady and surreal, as I walked into Killarney that afternoon. The tourists were still there, trotting about, completely oblivious to the limping girl with the giant backpack.
I wondered if I looked as different as I felt. I thought I did—windburn-reddened cheeks, hair bleached from the sun. I could even see the muscles that had grown slightly in my legs.
But, I was still me. The same me who started the hike, the same me who first laid eyes on the Ring of Kerry and vowed to return. Except I had proven to myself that I can keep a promise to myself, that I can follow through.
I hoped that this well-earned knowledge would stay with me for the rest of my life.
The Canadian Prairies (usually referred to as simply the Prairies in Canada) is a region in Western Canada. It includes the Canadian portion of the Great Plains and the Prairie Provinces, namely:
Alberta– a province floating on an underground sea of oil and gas. The Rocky Mountains and foothills on its western flank, two metropolitan cities in the middle, cowboy culture in the south, vast forests to the north, and green farmland in the center and east.
Saskatchewan– Canada’s agricultural breadbasket with wide-open skies, thousands of recreational lakes, huge natural parks, and two compact main cities.
Manitoba– home to more history and heritage, plus several of the continent’s largest lakes. The south is mostly farmland with some woodlands, and in the north, you have vast forest wilderness leading to tundra, polar bears, and beluga whales along the Hudson Bay coast.
These provinces are partially covered by grasslands, plains, and lowlands, mostly in the southern regions.
Though the word “prairie” means grassland, this region also contains mountains, hills, lakes, shoreline, and metropolitan cities.
Viaduct Bridge Valley Railroad, Alberta, Canada
Before You Go
Travel to the Prairies is precisely the opposite of an archetypal British“city break” to Spain, Central Europe, etc., with its cheap short-haul flights and railways, compact historic city centers full of castles and churches, and cheap drinks and accommodations.
Here distances are vast, prices are high, and the architecture is…functional. But what the region does have to offer in spades is the unique freedom that only wide-open space can provide, like a cool climate version of the Australian Outback or American Southwest.
A lightning strike in the Prairies
In fact, the best international equivalents to the Prairies in terms of landscape and climate are the Taiga and Steppes of Russia but here you’ll find a Canadian level of amenities and services, and all in English if you desire.
You can drive for an hour without seeing anyone
How To Get Here
Sunset in Manitoba
International and transcontinental flights go to Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and to a lesser extent, Regina and Saskatoon.
You can enter from the United States at numerous land crossings. Roads through the Rockies include the Trans-Canada Highway, Yellowhead Highway, and Crowsnest Pass Highway.
The Via Rail services from Vancouver and Toronto to Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton run twice a week on The Canadian service. Because the service is limited, the train provides more of a sightseeing service and is not practical for day-to-day traveling.
The best way to travel in the Prairies is by car. The Prairies are served by Highway No 1 and 16 from west to east.
There are also Via Rail services in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton. The Canadian connects these cities twice a week.
Rider Express: Bus service along the Trans-Canada Highway from Vancouver to Calgary, and between Edmonton and Regina via Saskatoon.
Other bus companies provide limited service on some other routes. Transit in the largest cities is good and it is not necessary to have a car, but in other places, it is highly recommended.
Sunset in prairies
The most famous day trip in the region is also a north-south route through the Rockies: the Icefields Parkway, which is considered at “must-do” drive between Jasper and Lake Louise.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
If you’d rather see the Rockies on the horizon but drive through the Foothills where cattle ranches predominate, take the Cowboy Trail (Alberta Highway 22). A further extension north from either the Icefield or Cowboy routes this is the so-called “Scenic Route to Alaska” on Alberta Highway 40 leading to Northern Alberta.
Note: Long-distance travel by bicycle, horse, or on foot on these highways is legal but almost impossible for most people because of the distances involved.Try the Trans Canada Trail, instead, but again be mindful of the vast distances involved.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park – a hilly island surrounded by a sea of grasslands, straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, as well as the famous Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, and the World Heritage dig site at Dinosaur Provincial Park near Brooks.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
The Alberta Rockies, including Banff National Park the oldest and most popular national park in Canada, famed for stunning mountain scenery such as world-renowned Lake Louise, and Jasper National Park a less crowded alternative to Banff for mountains and wildlife.
Cabin life at Lake Louise
Riding Mountain National Park is renowned for its “watchable” wildlife and forms the core of the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wood Buffalo National Park – home to the rare wood bison or “buffalo”, the largest national park in Canada and UNESCO World Heritage Site, mostly inaccessible by road, but great for trekking or canoe camping.
A Bison by the water
Churchill – claimed as the Polar Bear and Beluga Whale Watching Capital of World, this is where the cold Arctic waters of Hudson Bay touch the Prairie provinces. Go here for a cold-weather safari.
Do a canoeing circuit at Lac La Biche, Alberta.
Shop at West Edmonton Mall, North America’s largest which includes an indoor roller coaster and waterside park, cinema, bowling alley, ice rink, shooting rang, go-kart track, and more than 500 shops.
Whether you’re South Carolina is a coastal southern state well known for its delicious food, beautiful beaches, and historic landmarks, making it a perfect choice for your next US-based-trip — and that’s just scratching the surface.
And don’t get us started on all the hidden gems like unique roadside attractions, notable architecture, and roaming wildlife.
We’re certain that as soon as you discover all the wonderful sights, bites, and adventures awaiting you in the Palmetto State (the official nickname for South Carolina referring to the state palmetto tree), you’ll be planning your visit.
Before you book your travel, keep in mind that because of the heat and humidity that states in the Sun Belt Region experience over summer—just like the other southern states—it’s typically recommended that visitors plan their trips in spring (between March and May) or fall (between September and November).
Whether you’re visiting for your annual family trip or are checking out the lay of the land before applying to colleges, you can count on having plenty to do.
Are you thinking of road-tripping through South Carolina? If so, you’re in luck because there is plenty to see, especially off the beaten path.
Depending on your interests, you can create your own adventure as you travel throughout the state, or even through just one city. To help you find the best interest-based travel recommendations, we’ve broken down activities into several groups:
If you’re an avid camper, you’ll want to take advantage of the beauty that awaits you in the great outdoors of South Carolina.
Whether you’re seeking out a water-side venue or a mountain view, one of the 47 State Parks will have what you want. From rustic cabins in Table Rock State Park to lakeside villas at Dreher Island State Park, the unique camping experiences that await will win over any nature-lover’s heart.
You probably know about the many famous museums and widely visited historical sites that Charleston is known for, but why not add a few less-crowded stops to your list.
Make time to visit Fort Fremont (which was abandoned and said to be haunted), the Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum (and other sites that are part of The Green Book Tour), and the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site.
Of course, the Angel Oak is on your must-see list, but there are many other natural wonders to make time for.
The “Tunnel of Trees” on Botany Bay Road is something you have to see if you like to bask in the beauty of nature.
And don’t forget to make your way to the Canyon Lake in Devil’s Fork State Park where plenty of hiking trails, waterfalls, and some of the best South Carolina trout fishing in Lake Jocassee await you.
Next stop by at Boneyard Beach, one of the best secret beaches in South Carolina. It’s located near the northern end of a little known South Carolina island called “Bull Island”.
Lastly, visit the ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries along the Atlantic Coast of the United States.
Driving through South Carolina, you’ll see there are a variety of attractions that will give you an excuse to pull over and stretch your legs. Nostalgic Station will take you back in time with vintage eats, memorabilia, and more.
Looking for more of a thrill? The Alligator Adventure Animal Park in North Myrtle Beach is worthwhile.
If you’re a fan of House of Cards, don’t forget to stop by the Peachoid in Gaffney.
Then there are the quirky roadside stops that you won’t see anywhere else like the:
World’s Smallest Police Station in Ridgeway — roughly the size of a bathroom (in use until 1990)
UFO Welcome Center in Bowman — consists of a 42-foot-wide flying saucer built out of wood, fiberglass, & plastic
Kazoo Museum in Beaufort — one of the largest collections of kazoos in the world
Side view of the UFO Welcome Center
You know when you go to the South, eating is a major part of your trip, and luckily, South Carolina has plenty of variety. From classics like good southern BBQ and fresh seafood to more modern fare like noteworthy vegan cuisine, you can find a delicious meal wherever you end up.
BBQ Charcoal Grill
Good Southern BBQ
If you’re craving some of the best barbeques in the country, you’re heading to the right place. South Carolina boasts countless BBQ establishments (there are hundreds of them) that are sure to please.
Did you know that South Carolina has a reputation for being the only state to offer all four types of barbeque sauces (mustard, vinegar and pepper, light tomato, and heavy tomato)? If you didn’t even know there were four types, then you’re in for a real treat.
While you may have heard of Lewis Barbecue in Charleston or Swig & Swine in Mount Pleasant, there are plenty of other BBQ spots to explore outside of their popular cities. Seek out smaller roadside establishments like Belly’s Southern Pride in Lexington, Big Bill’s Low Country Bar-B-Que in Georgetown (which is known for its buffet), or Cannon’s BBQ & More in Little Mountain.
Like most coastal states, South Carolina also serves up a delicious plate of fresh seafood. From Po’ boys to Shrimp platters, your tastebuds will be delighted pretty much anywhere you decide to go, but if you want to find some little-known spots that have great reputations, start with these restaurants:
Flowers Seafood Co. (Edisto Island)
Lee’s Inlet Kitchen (Murrells Inlet)
Dave’s Carryout (Charleston)
Vegan Cuisine (Greenville)
Fried Shrimp Platter
As you can probably imagine, traveling through the South can be difficult when you have dietary restrictions, so you may have to search a little harder for your food options.
However, if you’re vegan, you’re in luck because we have the scoop on Greenville (also known as G-Vegas) which has become a hot-spot for vegan cuisine. You’re covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Try a refreshing smoothie at Kuka Juice to start your day, some jackfruit tacos at White Duck Taco for lunch, and end the night with delicious vegan pizza at Sidewall Pizza.
Plan Your Trip to the Palmetto State
In recent years, tourism has been breaking records as visitors flock to this beautiful southern state. According to the Courier and Post, over 7.3 million visitors explored South Carolina in 2018 alone.
Hopefully, these tips for seeing South Carolina off the beaten path have inspired you to add the Palmetto State to your travel bucket list and create an itinerary that’s carefully curated to suit your interests (and taste buds).
Sunset in Charleston
However you choose to spend your time in South Carolina, you can expect to find three things to be true, southern hospitality will follow you wherever you go, the food will be some of the best you’ve had, and the experiences you have will stick with you forever.
Alexis Maness has a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and is a contributing editor for 365businesstips.com as well as a marketing expert for Undergrads Moving. Alexis specializes in topics related to business, marketing, finance, and hospitality and tourism.
The visit to a museum has always been an enchanting experience for every visitor since humans started collecting and preserving ancient artifacts and memories of bygone people, wildlife, and cultures.
A visit to a museum always leaves a visitor gawking at the unexplored parts of both the past and the present. That’s why if a museum houses elements from paleontology, geology, archaeology, climatology and various other natural spheres, then the visit to such a museum becomes the greatest source of pleasure and excitement.
The best part about these museum is that you can visit them with kids as well, which makes it a great choice for family travel.
India is blessed with the presence of 8 such natural history museums across its prominent cities. Even though each of these 8 natural history museums is a great place to explore, in today’s blog, we’ll highlight the top 4museums because of their rich collection and beautiful ambiance.
National Museum of Natural History, New Delhi(1972–2016; sadly, it got burned down in 2016)
Ready? Let’s being.
Indian Museum, Kolkata
The Indian Museum in Kolkata is the oldest museum present in India. Not only is the Indian Museum the largest in India and best among all museum in Kolkata, but, it also acquires a significant place in the Asia-Pacific zone. Started out in 1814 by the Asiatic Society, this museum has emerged as the most-stocked museum in India over the years.
As soon as the visitor sets foot on the steps leading to the museum, he or she is greeted by the huge, white pillars structured as per the British architecture. The various halls of the enormous building are tagged as per the different contents stored in them.
While a visitor may get awestruck looking at the weapons and coins of the old era at one hall, another visitor may get scared looking at the giant skeleton as soon as he or she enters the Paleontology section.
However, even though these things are beautiful in their own ancient way, the biggest source of attraction at the Indian Museum is the Egyptian section. The reason why every visitor rushes to the Egyptian section is because of the mummy that is displayed within the glass chambers.
There is a particular sort of chill in the air that automatically makes every tourist keep quiet and pay respect to the Egyptian mummy resting there peacefully.
Apart from the specimens, the architectural bounty of this museum, especially the white-washed walls and the huge pillars surrounding the lush green courtyard, leaves every visitor dreaming of returning to this exceptional place again and again.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai
Started out in the early 1900s as the Prince of Wales Museum, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is known for its massive collection. This museum too has different sections and specializes in the collection of art and culture.
However, a huge natural section is also present at this museum which is a beautiful deviation from the age-old cultural partiality of any museum. Thus, as a whole, the collection of this Indo-Saracenic style architectural museum along with the adjoining lush, green lawn makes the city of Mumbai a proud owner of immense diversity.
The Napier Museum, founded in 1855 in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, is one of the oldest museums in India. Inspired by the Indo-Saracenic architecture, this museum boasts of a wide variety of the specimens of art and culture.
The natural air-conditioning system of this museum makes the visit a pleasant experience even in the hot, summer months.
This museum also has a zoological garden which was established in 1857. This is one of the oldest zoological gardens in India and, thus, has a huge collection in the field of natural history.
Thus, this varied flora and fauna, and, the cultural and natural biodiversity makes the Napier Museum a must visit for every tourist.
Thus, it can be comprehended how beautiful India is in terms of the natural museums. Because of the marvelous collection of natural specimens in each of these aforesaid museums, India boasts of being a proud owner in the field of displaying the untold stories of the past.
Rohit is a curious traveler who takes a keen interest in getting to know the past and comparing it with the present. He takes out time from his busy schedule to unearth true knowledge and share the same with his readers. You can read his stories and experiences at his travel blog Trans India Travels.
Let us face it! It has been our dream since childhood to visit Disney World at least once in our lifetime. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World puts you in good company. It is the flagship of Disney’s worldwide theme park empire and is, by far, the most popular theme park resort in the world.
Year after year, Disney World has been one the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an astounding number of attendants averaging over 50 million tourists annually. The figure speaks volumes about its out-of-proportion popularity.
Disney World at Nighttime
Though many people around the world want to visit this wonderful entertainment complex in the United States of America, very few, know the marvelous rides and attraction sites this place has to offer.
Long story short, going to Disney World will be an exercise in futility if you miss out on the following 10 top best attractions of the place. Mark them in your checklist and be sure to enjoy them right from the get-go.
Magic Kingdom Park
Magic Kingdom aka Cinderella’s Castle
It is a theme park inspired by a fairy tale castle of a movie made in 1950. It represents the classic story of Cinderella rising from being an orphan to a princess. T As the protocol goes, you will get a chance to be a princess or a knight at its very own salon.
Moreover, you can get to experience fine dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is a once in a lifetime thing. But make sure you reserve a seat for yourself, or you might miss this opportunity.
A wedding is unarguably the most important day of an individual’s life. This is one reason why we leave no stone unturned to make it a memorable occurrence. But if there is any place in the world that truly deserves to host your dream wedding, it has to be none other than Disney Wedding Pavilion.
Concerning the wedding ceremony, the Disney Wedding Pavilion is everything you can venture to imagine.
It is based in a dazzling setting, which will charm each one of the guests on your list with spectacular views and romantic archways. In addition to providing aesthetic pleasure, it serves as an ample picture-point for guests. Everything is designed in such a way that they make up for a great background for photography.
Fireworks seen from Disney World Boardwalk
Disney’s boardwalk occupies the area of roughly 90000 square feet. Here, you will witness an endless streak of shops, nightclubs, and restaurants. What could be better than shopping around and munching one of the most delicious foods you will ever have in your life?
Simply put, if you have an appetite for the typical nightlife of a metropolitan, the boardwalk is surely your cup of tea. This attraction is commonly referred to as a village on the water.
As you stroll along, your kids are quite likely to come across street performers. Talking about the most popular sites of this place, they are Atlantic Dance Hall and Jellyrolls.
The park is a special treat for animal-lovers. Whether you are fond of African, Asian, or species that belong to other vast and varied parts of the world, you can watch them all buying a single ticket. The park is also home to several animals that are almost on the verge of extinction. Rest assured, the experience is bound to cast a spell on your mind.
Speaking of formalities, you can explore the animal kingdom from 9 AM to 5 PM. Therefore, be smart to manage your time, or else you will go end up regretting big time.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney World
Are you one of those many people who are the victim of poor work-life balance? If yes, then you would be spending only a fraction of your time with the family, and even taking your kids to a local park might seem like an uphill task.
Attractions like Blizzard Beach Water Park allows you to splash into action and have fun with your family that you have been missing all these days.
Ranging from Summit Plummet to Runoff Rapids, it has tens of innovation water slides that will shock you. However, it would be a mistake to assume that the place is all about water. There are also numerous delicacies in Frostbite Freddy’s Frozen Freshments and Lottawatta Lodge. It is hands down one of the very famous attractions in Disney World.
The American Adventure
The whole point of going on a vacation is taking a much-needed break from hectic life. There is no harm in opting for a vacation spot that educates you and your children in a fun way. That is where Disney’s American Adventure swings into action.
The American Adventure at the Disney World
Once you step into this place, you will fall in love with American history, partly because America has a very proud history and partly because of the way this history is illustrated here.
From great depression to the deceleration of independence, many other historical landmarks are recalled during the projection. Those who have already been through this adventure will assure you that no one can walk off from the theatre without getting a deep sense of American history. Guess what, and you do not have to be time-bound for this show. So if you do not make it in time, you can always wait until the next round begins.
ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex
The ESPN Sports Complex is erected on a massive real estate. If you are into sports, this place will facilitate you to compete in nearly 60 top-tier games, taking the factor of age completely out of the equation.
Of course, not all of us are sports-enthusiasts. But if you are, you can choose to be a spectator and cheer for your team.
Our planet has been going through wear and tear since the dawn of history. However, in the last few decades, our ecosystem has collapsed like anything, and scientists say that the worse is yet to come. Provided unprecedented threats to our planet, it becomes even more important to visit this attraction.
The Awesome Planet film was made in partnership with Disney Conversation Fund to tell the story of our beloved planet and why it is important to take care of it. It calls upon the people to think and pay attention to global emergencies such as climate change and many others. Awesome Planet will do a world of good to you and your family in terms of igniting civic sense.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios at Disney World
If you have been a fan of Disney films, you cannot ask for anything better than Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As it turns out, there is a huge fan-following of Disney films because Hollywood tower remains the busiest place in the entire Disney world throughout the year.
Hollywood Studios owes much of its popularity to the recent openings, namely, Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story.
Since the opening hours of this attraction keeps on fluctuating, staying on top of the time-management will be the key.
American Heritage Gallery
This list surely cannot come to a close without mentioning the name of the American Heritage Gallery. It showcases the heritage of America by displaying authentic artifacts along with some contemporary works as well. It is a major tourist attraction as it represents the richness of American culture.
Main Street, Disney World
Taking a few pictures here and there and getting to know more about the diversity of the American culture would be a great use of your time at Disney.
The Final Verdict
Undauntedly, every part of Disney World is gold. But if you lack time and other resources to explore all of it, then sticking to the places mentioned above will guarantee not only unlimited fun but also the best return of your investment at the same time.
Las Vegas is the kind of place, where you set your foot and your money gets drained. The glitzy clubs, high-end resorts and not to mention the notorious casinos cost copious amount of money.
Many of us walk on a tightrope while traveling. It comes in handy to know some things which can be done freely. That too in Vegas!
BUT FIRST, WHERE TO STAY
We like Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Located adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center and just one block away from the Las Vegas Strip, it offers classic entertainment and some of the largest rooms in Las Vegas. For all the accommodation issues, visit link and they will look after you.
FREE CIRCUS SHOW
Circus-Circus is a place where you can watch the show for free. On the compound, acrobats perform stunts and magicians weave their magic. You can take a seat to your liking and get awed by the sheer perfection at performances.
Every day this world’s largest permanent circus gives away a ten minutes free show. The Cirque de Soleil also offers free tours in months of August from 11 am to 11:30 am. Have fun gawking at the massive production house.
VIEW INCREDIBLE ART
Las Vegas is not only for partying. It has got some brilliant artists. You can stroll the city and come across some artsy campuses where you can discover upcoming talents. The City Center campus sports artwork of famous artists.
Inside the mall, you can see Shards of Color – a masterpiece of James Turrell. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas & P3 studio are places where you can have a tour by yourself, and without the artistic geniuses.
WANDER THE STREETS
On the streets of Vegas Boulevard, you need to have the immense will power to resist the shops. The Grand Bazaar Shops offer you open-air shopping. You can stroll around and do some window shopping.
If hungry, you can dine here as well. From 10 am to 10 pm you can indulge your eyes in drooling over things you want to buy.
If you find something in your budget, you can buy it. There is a multitude of shops to explore in the Strip. You can visit the museum – The Polaroid Fotobar.
There are no entry fees to pay. It has a vast collection of photos from great photographers. Or Click a selfie in front of Swarovski to make your friends jealous!
Hershey’s chocolate world, as well as M&M’s world, are places which are heaven for chocoholics. You can enter here for free.
But be warned the chocolaty delights which will be displayed in front of you are sin incarnate. You will be tempted to buy them.
Note: At this time we strongly recommend against traveling anywhere in the world due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. To fight this pandemic it is important that all of us do our best, so the world can go back to normal with the least amount of human suffering.
That said, and assuming we are over Covid-19 by the end of the summer and your feet are itchy to travel. What should you do? Where should you travel to? What are some of the great deals?
If you are thinking of visiting the USA, how do to apply for a US travel visa or an ESTA? What travel documents would you need The steps and documents required will be determined by your country of citizenship.
Let us explain what is ESTA and how can you apply one.
How to Apply For A USA ESTA VISA
What is ESTA?
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (also known as ESTA) is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It mainly applies to visitors who are coming to the US either by air or sea.
Is ESTA a Guaranteed Entry?
Travel authorization via ESTA does not mean that you are guaranteed entry to the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers determine admissibility upon travelers’ arrival.
The ESTA application collects biographic information and answers to VWP eligibility questions.
When Should I Apply for ESTA?
It is strongly encouraged that ESTA applications be submitted at least 72 hours prior to your travel. But you can apply as soon as you begin preparing your travel plans. The US CBP’s website says that “In most cases, a response is received within seconds of submitting an application.”
Note: Passengers (including babies) without an ESTA will be denied entry into the US at the port of entry. There is a small fee for applying for ESTA application.
Do I need ESTA to visit US Territories?
Yes, ESTA is also needed for visits to territories such as Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Do I need ESTA if I am traveling from Canada or Mexico by car (land)?
No. ESTA is not needed when arriving by land from Canada or Mexico.
Note: The United States is very strict with its immigration policies and if you are caught entering the country illegally, you will be deported and jailed depending on your crime.
Is My Country Eligible?
As of November 2019, there are 39 countries in the US Visa Waiver Program. Visitors may stay for 90 days in the United States which also includes the time spent in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Islands in the Caribbean if the arrival was through the United States.
The ESTA is only required if arriving by air or cruise ship. It is not required if arriving overland or on local ferries such as between British Columbia (Vancouver and Victoria) and Washington State.
ESTA Eligible Countries
How to Check Your ESTA Status?
You must know your ESTA status before you travel to the US by visiting the ESTA website. First, to know if your country is among the Visa waiver program countries (listed above), and second, to check the status of your application.
In case your country is not on the list of VWP countries, then you must apply for a US Travel visa through a US embassy in your country of residence. Please note applying for a US travel visa is a substantially lengthier process that may require an interview with a U.S. Consular Officer.
ESTA vs. US Travel Visa
At times, some people combine the two documents such as ESTA and US Travel Visa as one; forgetting that they are two different documents. If you are eligible for ESTA, then you must check your ESTA status online.
How Long Is ESTA Valid?
Each travel authorization under ESTA can be valid for up to 2 years. However, a Visa Waiver Program traveler must obtain a new ESTA authorization if they are issued a new passport, or change their name, gender or country of citizenship.
Entry under the Visa Waiver Program is only valid for a combined maximum stay in the US and its surrounding countries of 90 days. The admission period cannot be extended under the ESTA program. If a longer stay is intended, a proper US travel visa is required.
Third-Party ESTA Websites
Some websites offer to complete ESTA applications for a fee, often many times more than the required $14 USD fee charged by the US Government. Access and application through the official U.S. Government website are available to any visitors to the U.S. who qualify under the ESTA program.
Even if one of the third-party websites is used, passengers themselves still have to complete the same form.
Exercise caution though (if using a third party website) as concerns have been raised that third-party sites could be used for identity theft, credit card fraud, or the distribution of malware.
Note: Since this is an ongoing situation, we’ll be updating this article every day! Last updated: March 16, 2020.
If you are like me, you must be anxious about when this Coronavirus mess will end and when your life would get back to normal! Well, worry not because like everything in nature, nothing goes on forever and this too shall pass away!
Microscopic photo of Coronavirus. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus resemble a crown thus giving it that name.
At the time of this writing, the virus has spread to over 160 countries and territories. Therefore, for now, we strongly recommend that you maintain social distancing, stay put in your home, save some money, catch up on great books, finish those binge-worthy TV shows, and start that passion project of yours that you always wanted to do!
Note:Do Not Travel Right Now(even if you can, because you may not show any symptoms and therefore can carry the virus with you and infect the otherwise isolated population and other people at higher risk. Please use common sense and exercise patience.)
Let’s say, coronavirus gets under control (maybe even completely gone) and we are all in the clear. Also, let’s say if you have been itching to get out of your town and you are ready to travel, the first thing to check would be any still-remaining effective travel restrictions.
Assuming most of the travel restrictions have now been lifted (let’s say by May 2020), below are our top 10 recommended destinations which are either Covid19 free or with only foreign cases (i.e. no community transmission reported).
We have traveled to 6 continents so far and Antarctica has been on our list for a long time now. Well, keep in mind though if you live in the northern hemisphere (US, Canada, Europe, etc.), your winter month is summer-time in Antarctica.
So, why not visit a place which has no permanent human settlement and no cases of Coronavirus!
Big Island, Hawaii
Although Hawaii (Oahu) has cases of Coronavirus, all of them except one were imported. There are no reported cases of Coronavirus cases in the islands of Kuai, Maui, and Big Island.
The isolated environment, which Madagascar hosts, makes for exotic flora and fauna. The biodiversity that is present here is unique, in comparison to anywhere else in the world.
If you ever visit Madagascar, you will fall in love with the island’s plants and animals, which exist nowhere else in the world.
So far there has been no positive cases of Coronavirus here and therefore makes it a safe destination to visit.
You may have heard of the Galapagos Islands from Charles Darwin’s voyage. It is a remote volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador. It’s considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing.
The isolated terrain of Galapagos makes this island a heavenly shelter for a diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
Just at 134 kilometers, southwest of Mauritius lies the magical destination, Reunion Islands. It abounds in volcanic scenery and the tropical climate makes it a beautiful getaway for travelers.
Furthermore, Reunion’s magnificent volcanic landscape makes it a paradise for hikers. With little to no crowd and the remoteness of this destination, nothing gets safer than this island in the Indian Ocean.
Well, if North Korea has open borders then they would have been severely impacted just like South Korea and since they are a closed border country, they seem to be doing fine at this time of the global pandemic.
But Why am I talking about North Korea! Because it’s not easy to go there and it may not be on your travel bucket list. But, Mongolia might be.
And if it gives you any reassurance then know that just a few weeks after the first coronavirus case was announced in China on December 31, 2019, Mongolia announced they would be closing the borders with China. They were the second country to do so, after North Korea.
They have had Covid19 cases but if it’s among the isolated, less crowded countries in Central Asia and therefore a safer place to visit compared to any other country in that region.
Alaska announced its first case of Coronavirus on March 12 (much after the rest of the US). Furthermore, the case happened to a foreign tourist. So far, Alaska due to its remoteness and harsh winter condition has been safe from Covid19.
Like Alaska, Greenland reported its first case of coronavirus on March 16 with a person with travel history. That said, in the western hemisphere, remote places like Alaska and Greenland are safer destinations as compared to densely populated cities of Europe and North America.
I wish we could say the same about Iceland. We’ll continue to monitor the situation in Iceland and update this blog if it seems to be a safer place to visit in 2020.
Nepal has only reported one case of coronavirus (a student who traveled from Wuhan, China). Since then the student has recovered and there has been no additional cases of coronavirus reported in Nepal.
Given that there are active Covid19 cases in both neighboring India and Pakistan, I would wait a few more weeks to see how the situation progresses in South Asia. Also, note, like Nepal, Bhutan has only reported 1 case and there have been no cases reported from Bangladesh.
Islands of the Caribbean
Most of the tiny island countries in the Caribbean have been either coronavirus-free or with less than 5 cases at maximum. The hot and humid climate definitely helps this region.
However, we recommend flying instead of taking a cruise for now until everything settles down. The point is to minimize human contact. Both flights and cruise have their how risks but flights are shorter. Also, pick one destination instead of a multi-day cruise that visits several islands.
Ask any scouser and they’ll tell you; Liverpool is one of the best cities in the world. From the incredible architecture to the thriving music scene, the roaring nightlife to the iconic fashion; there’s no wonder that people flock from all corners of the globe to get a taste of the Liverpool way of life!
“Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain … In a word, there is no town in England, London excepted, that can equal it for the fineness of the streets, and the beauty of the buildings.” – Daniel Defoe, A tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain (1721–1726)
Context if you are visiting outside of the UK
The Beatles statue in Liverpool
Liverpool is a city in England within the historic county boundaries of Lancashire, famed for its football teams, the Grand National horse race, music (including The Beatles), vibrant nightlife, and its links with the arts and culture.
The city served as one of the leading ports linking Europe to the Americas, expanding to become England’s second most populated city by the mid-19th century.
Liverpool in the 18th century
Before airline travel, many Europeans migrating to the New World passed through the city, particularly the Italians and Irish. To this day the city enjoys a large Irish community, with impressive cathedrals for the Anglican and Roman Catholic faiths.
Hop on hop off to Anfield
24 Hours In Liverpool
If you’re strapped for time but you still want to get the most out of the scouse scene, here are our top tips for spending 24 hours in Liverpool.
“One of the neatest, best towns I have seen in England.” – John Wesley’s Journal (1755)
Liverpool waterfront view
Kick-off the day with breakfast
Make sure you’ve got the energy for a full day of sightseeing with a hearty breakfast. If you’re looking for the works, head to Moose Coffee on Dale Street, or go for somewhere cute and quirky by trying out Love Locks, a hidden gem on Old Haymarket.
Or, if you want to head to a secret breakfast haven that only the locals know about, go to The Hole in the Wall Cafe, which is tucked away on School Lane, and build your own breakfast!
Enjoy the waterfront
As one of the UK’s most famous shipping ports, Liverpool’s waterfront is truly a sight to behold! The Pier Head has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Wander around the pier head for some spectacular views, or take a ferry across the Mersey for the ultimate tourist experience.
Whilst you’re in the area, don’t forget to head to the Albert Dock for an eclectic mix of history and food and drink – you’ll find the Tate Gallery, and the Maritime and Slavery Museums as well as plenty of places to enjoy a cheeky cocktail with a view!
Take in the incredible architecture
One of the most famous landmarks in Liverpool is the Three Graces which includes the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building, and Port of Liverpool Building at the Pier Head. (pictured below)
Sunset view behind the Three Graces
Liverpool is home to not one, but two awe-inspiring cathedrals. Enjoy the gorgeous panoramic stained glass of the Catholic Cathedral (affectionately named ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ by locals).
Next, then take a trip through the Georgian architecture of Hope Street to reach the enormous Anglican Cathedral.
And if you’re feeling particularly spirited, climb the 108 steps to the very top for panoramic views of the whole city.
Or, if your religion is more of the football variety, take a trip to either Anfield or Goodison Park to learn the history of Liverpool’s two rival football clubs!
Museum of Liverpool
Located in the Pier Head on the riverside, the Museum of Liverpool is a large museum that covers all about the city of Liverpool and its history from ancient inhabitants of the area to its modern revival. Entry is FREE for all.
Bold Street, in particular, has a huge range of independent restaurants where you can sample everything from the authentic Indian street food at Mowgli to the delicious food at Slims!
Or, if your taste is a little more indie, why not head to the famous Baltic Triangle where you can enjoy a range of bites amongst some of Liverpool’s most striking street art. (Perfect if you want some snaps for Instagram!)
Some of the best food venues that you must visit during your trip to Liverpool are:
Slims on Bold Street
Duke Street Market
Dale Street Eatery
El Pecado Bold Street
Down the Hatch on Bold Street
Party the night away
Liverpool city at night
For a true tourist experience head to the Cavern on Mathew Street, and sip a cold one in the same place those four lads from Liverpool used to play, or, if you’ve packed your dancing boots enjoy a cocktail in one of the many bars of Seek Street for a club night you won’t forget.
If you’re planning well in advance, try to get tickets for Bongo’s Bingo – the international phenomenon that started its journey in Liverpool, for a night of (quite literally) dancing on the tables!
Get to know the locals
However you decide to spend your 24 hours in Liverpool, make sure you take the time to chat with some locals.
Scousers are renowned worldwide for being some of the funniest, warmest characters on the planet.
Every local you meet will have his or her own secrets to share with you, and we’re never too busy to point you in the right direction!
Samantha (Sam) is a blogger at The Daily Struggle, a Liverpool/UK based women’s lifestyle digital magazine and blog.
It’s wintertime! It’s cold, and we are all looking forward to a way to escape from those freezing blizzards. Just like birds do, it is thus time to head south for warmer temperatures and to take a break from the stress of your workplace.
If you are planning to go for a winter vacation, you are probably thinking of enjoying a cozy fireplace atmosphere while looking outside the window to the snowy mountain.
Well this winter, why not try something a lot different than usual. Have you ever thought of taking a cruise for your winter vacation?
Top Destinations for Winter Cruises
Cruises are the best way possible to explore the world’s most beautiful places. Whether you book a private cruise or choose one of the many itineraries available for families, we have selected the best destinations for winter cruises.
With our recommendations, you can be sure to book only the best winter vacation for you and your loved ones.
A Caribbean Vacation
Are you looking for a luxurious and glamorous experience that will take you from Boston to Miami? Then a Caribbean itinerary is best for you. Beautiful beaches, amazing wildlife and exciting adventures are waiting for you.
Perfectly warm water and equally beautiful beaches are spreading both on easter and western Caribbean routes. Whatever cruise you choose, you’ll enjoy thrilling activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, sunbathing, and many more.
You can also book a private island experience, which features an expansive water park in the Bahamas. However, if you are on a budget, you can also enjoy a 21-night cruise from Miami to San Juan, and maybe head to New York just in time for New Year’s celebrations.
Emperor Penguins in Antarctica
For those that enjoy cold weather here is a cruise idea that will take them to an even colder destination. Yes, this may sound like an odd idea, but many travelers choose Antarctica as their winter destination.
Although this region is now far more accessible than it used to be in the past, there are still only a few vessels that are built for forging through the iceberg-flanked passageways.
Antarctica is one of a kind experience. The snowy white surroundings, blossom ice, silence filled with calming sounds of nature and clear blue skies make the mesmerizing sights of Antarctica.
For a bolder experience, you can book a flight-cruise trip and fly over the breath-taking swells of the Drake Passage. As you can imagine, these cruises are not recommended for families with little children, but couples and solo travelers will definitely love this adventure.
Drake passage on the way to Antarctica
Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia are only some of the gems that Southeast Asia has to offer. This area provides lovely weather in winter, while it would be too hot and humid in the summertime.
Singapore is the central hub for cruise ships and a popular stopover for many travelers, but there are many other cities waiting for you.
If you wish to experience a river cruise, several companies offer itineraries through the Irrawaddy River. This will make you discover the beauty of places like Vietnam and Myanmar.
Sydney Harbor Bridge
If you have ever dreamed of viewing the majestic Sydney Harbor Bridge, then you should definitely book a winter cruise to Australia. January and February are usually the warmer months, but many tourists gather here in December for the New Year’s Eve fire celebrations in Sydney.
With its vibrant coffee shops, posh wines, local jazz music, and unique street art, Australia is the perfect destination to keep you and your fellow travelers warm. Your children will love it since this country is able to accommodate each of your family member’s needs.
Just don’t forget that Australia is our planet’s sixth-largest continent, meaning that you may need to book more than one cruise over your lifetime if you wish to visit every city and enjoy all the Australian landscapes.
A Navy battleship docked in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii is, for many travelers, the quintessential destination for winter vacations. Despite what you may think, it is possible to book an unforgettable cruise and explore this area of the world while still being on a budget.
In other words, you don’t need to invest all your money to spoil yourself. For an unforgettable adventure, you can try a 15-day itinerary which includes a trip to Hawaii from Los Angeles or San Francisco.
The majority of Hawaiian itineraries originates from Vancouver and sometimes cruise ships stop in Mexico on their way to Honolulu. From January to March is usually the best timeframe to visit Hawaii, with some occasional whale spotting in the ocean.
On the other hand, this means that ships may be busier than usual. Consequently, we recommend booking your cruise to Hawaii as soon as possible, ideally in the summertime.
Norway Northern Lights Cruise
Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
Spectacular natural light show. This is how we can describe this natural phenomenon called the northern lights. For those brave enough to face one of the coldest destinations and witness some of the best views in their life, Norway will be an unforgettable winter destination.
The Norwegian cruise from Oslo to the Arctic Circle is a very beautiful experience overall, however, the highlight of this particular cruise makes it special. Seeing the northern hemisphere’s spectacular light show is equally mesmerizing for those that will enjoy it from the deck and those not willing to compromise the worm and cozy cabin or ship’s lounge.
As with each natural phenomenon, it can not be guaranteed to you that you will for sure witness it during your stay there, however, sipping a cocktail or enjoying a hot cup of tea cruising around the Arctic Circle sure makes it possible.
Though the temperatures are very low, this one of a lifetime experience is totally worth it. Moreover, there are many other activities you can enjoy on Norwegian ports such as ice-fishing, husky sledding, snowmobile safari, that will certainly keep you warm.
The Northern Lights cruise is once in a lifetime experience and something every person should see. It truly is a magical journey. As it is Norway, so is every other cruising destination – enjoyable and memorable.
Cruises are pleasant all-year-round and are the best way possible to explore and enjoy our beautiful planet.
Africa marks our 6th continent. Since Kenya is one of the best destinations to go for a Safari, we picked it as our first country to explore in Africa. It has been on our bucket list for so long and at last, we were about to experience a new continent!
We were excited! Moreover, we were going to see the “Big Five” in the wild! We picked Australken Tours and Travel as our safari company and they thoroughly impressed us! In short, we highly recommend them! They are mid-budget-range, locally owned and operated, flexible, and very, very professional!
In Africa, the Big Five game animals are the Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant, and African Buffalo. The term “big five” was coined by big-game hunters in the colonial past, and it refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on “foot” but is now also widely used by safari tour operators.
That said, we were in for a surprise because on our 7 days safari we saw animals which we did not even know exists (such as the ones pictured below)!
Our 7 Days Kenya Safari
We’ll first share what was on our safari itinerary plan which then follows our experiences!
Day 0: Get to Nairobi
We arrived in Kenya late evening. This is the day where you will mostly rest and meet your tour operators and discuss your final safari logistics and trip plan!
Day 1: Nairobi to Amboseli
Trip plan: Depart from Nairobi for Amboseli National Park. Check-in and have lunch at AA Amboseli Lodge. Later proceed for the evening game drive in search of gigantic elephants the park is famous for, with chances of seeing lions, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, hippos, and different species of birds not forgetting the views of Mt. Kilimanjaro on a clear day. Meal plan (Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Jambo, Kenya!
Giraffe and Zebras are everywhere in Kenya! You don’t even have to go to a park!
We woke up early morning (partially because we were jet-lagged and also because we were super excited to begin our safari!) We ate breakfast at our hotel and met Zippy our tour operator. She introduced us to our safari guide/driver, Albanus who has been doing safari tours for the past 29 years!
Since we chose a private safari tour, it was just two of us and our safari driver/guide. After a warm introduction, we were picked from our Nairobi hotel and started our first day of Safari towards the Amboseli National Park.
It was a lovely, sunny day. The warmth of the sun was so energizing. As we started our drive south towards Amboseli, to add to our adventure, our vehicle broke down midway. While we waited for it to be fixed, we saw Giraffe, Zebras, Donkeys, and pretty wildflowers by the roadsides.
Our safari van was fixed in 2 hours and we took some cool photos and stretched a bit and talked about the culture, tribes, and wildlife in Kenya!
Highway to Mombasa
The drive to Amboseli along the Mombasa highway was spectacular. One thing that really stood out at first was the magnificent landscape of Kenya. Red soil, beautiful landscape, cattle grazing, almost everything along the road was something new and different for our eyes!
During our drive, we crossed multiple small towns. It was very interesting to see life in rural Kenya as we drove through these small towns. Many people waved and smiled as we passed through; such a great welcome.
Not to forget the Acacia tree with birds nest and butterflies humming around, it was truly a moment of bliss. Mid-January is the season for mangoes in Kenya, so we also grabbed a bag of mangoes from the street vendors.
Morning view from our AA Amboseli lodge
Finally, we reached our lodge, quickly grabbed lunch, checked into our super cute tent and in the evening we headed out for our first game drive. We saw tons of Zebra very close to the park.
Next, we entered the park and caught a family of elephants grazing. We were surrounded by elephants and it was just so spectacular.
Amboseli is known for its huge Elephant population
Oh, another fun story, while we were entering Amboseli National Park, a Maasai man came to sell us handicraft. We did not want to buy a souvenir on our first day so he proposed bartering since he loved our The Art of Travel wooden watch. We exchanged our wood watch for a Maasai women wood sculpture.
It was the first time in our travels that we have bartered. This was an amazing experience! He was happy and we were happy! What a day! With all these fond memories our Day one of African safari came to an end. What an adventure!
Day 2: Amboseli National Park
Trip plan: After breakfast, we spend the day exploring the park. We also walked to the observation hill for the scenic view of the park and picnic lunch. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: A spectacular view of Kilimanjaro
Glorious view of Mt. Kilimanjaro
With sounds of rain and thunder, we woke up early morning. The rain had stopped during sunrise and we caught glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro standing tall in all glory. We were very lucky.
After a quick breakfast at the camp, we started our day at the park. During our drive, we saw many new animals.
A Cheetah family
Playful yellow baboon monkeys, a lonely wildebeest, happy family of hippos, family of 3 cheetah all out for their fresh meal hunt, happy flamingo and Pelicans in the swamp, sneaky fox, busy Pumba, cunning hyena, skeptical ostrich, sassy giraffe, curious buffalo, herds of elephants, impala, and gazelle all around the park. Not to forget hundreds of species of birds on the ground as well as flying.
We went to the observation point for lunch where we had 360-view of the park. We ended the day at Masai Mara village where we saw cultural welcome dance and learned how the community functions in the tour through the tiny village.
Maasai tribe of Amboseli
Day 3: Drive to Lake Naivasha
Trip plan: After an early breakfast departs from Amboseli passing via the outskirts of Nairobi en route to the Great Rift Valley where we will have a stopover to admire the escarpment before we proceed Lake Naivasha where we will arrive in time for lunch at West beach camp. Later we will proceed for an hour’s boat ride with chances of seeing hippo and different species of birds. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Everything happens for a reason
Early morning we started towards Lake Naivasha from Amboseli. Our van broke down again (Ugh!). So while our van was getting fixed we had some unforgettable moments interacting with the locals.
Our van broke it in front of a local handicraft store which was perfect for us to buy some souvenirs and check out local handicrafts. The lady at the shop was really sweet and she had some really cute collection. We bought a few souvenirs here (pictured below).
We moved along but the car needed more maintenance. We had to stop by a small town. While we were thinking about how unfortunate it is to have our car broken and possibly miss the activity planned for the day we spotted a beautiful Masai mother feeding her little baby girl.
A Maasai with her baby
I was watching her and the baby who was very friendly. The Maasai woman could not speak much English but she looked at us and smiled. I asked if I could take a picture with her and she was absolutely okay. After the photo and some interactions, she said “little money” and I was happy to give some money to the mother.
Next, we realized that there is a street market across the road selling shoes and all kinds of stuff. I was in much need of shoes since my only shoes broke on day 1 of safari (what a stroke of luck, right) so I bought a pair of safari type boots for 400 Kenyan shillings (i.e. $4 USD). It kind of looked somewhat tarnished but it did serve my desperate need since I was in my flip flops.
Shopping for shoes
It also made me appreciate simple things in life and to be humble. I have nearly 50 pairs of shoes back home but all I needed was one.
Moving on to another mishap we were out of our camera’s SD card capacity in just 2 days. We underestimated how many pictures we would take and we needed an SD card which is really hard to find in small towns. Still, we inquired the guy who sold shoes if we can find an SD card anywhere. He directed us to the cyber cafe nearby.
We went to the cyber cafe but they did not have an SD card for sale. Turns out that the guy working there is a photographer himself. He offered us to loan his SD card but we were not coming back there. We asked if he could sell to us and buy a new one for himself.
He was really sweet (and helpful and honest). He agreed to sell his memory card for the price that is sold in the market rather than asking us for an insane amount since we were in high need of that. (Needless to say, we are friends now! When you travel with an open mind you make friends from all walks of life.)
By the time we did all our necessary shopping our van was ready. We were really happy that we used the time and found what we needed. Just when we hit the highway the van started acting up again. The radiator got so heated that smoke and water was coming out, the car stopped again for the third time absolutely In the middle of nowhere.
We had a deep sigh this time because now we are not only missing the boat ride at Lake Nakuru which was planned for the day but we are stuck absolutely out of nowhere. Our driver was thinking and figuring out what to do, what is the nearest town, etc.
Suddenly an old Maasai man who lived nearby came for help, then another young Maasai shepherd came to help. They all greeted us with a handshake and smile. The old man’s wife also came by and got some clean water for the car. They were curious.
The old man asked Salil to let him see things through the camera lens. He was so happy when he could see things far away up close through the zoom lens. It was a moment of joy.
Then all the men pushed the van if it could work after we put the clean water but it didn’t. Luckily since our van was not functioning as well from day 1 another van was on its way from Nairobi. We waited a while and it finally came to our rescue.
We got on the new van and started to contemplate that if our van did not break maybe we would not have such an authentic local experience and get to know how warm, nice, and helpful Kenyan people really are.
We stared towards Lake Naivasha and stopped by Great Rift Valley which was spectacular. Finally, late in the evening we reached our accommodation near Lake Lake Naivasha and ended the day with some really memorable experience and a delicious dinner.
At this time we were thinking that we have made the best of every situation thrown at us. We made lemonade when life gave us lemons for real.
We ended the day at West Beach Camp by the shores of Lake Naivasha! It was a gorgeous lodge and we were the only guests besides one another couple! Both the sunsets and sunrise in Kenya are spectacular.
Sunrise from West beach camp
Day 4: Lake Nakuru
Trip plan: After breakfast, we will depart from Lake Naivasha for Lake Nakuru National park where we will explore the park with a chance of seeing rhino, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, baboon, monkey, leopard among other wild not forgetting a visit to the baboon cliff for the scenic view of the park. We will also explore the shores of Lake Nakuru with the chances of seeing flamingos. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Something unexpected
Morning view at West Beach Camp, Lake Naivasha
We woke up, ate breakfast and as planned we headed to Lake Nakuru national park which has the salty lake Called Nakuru. On the way there we saw a lot of wildlife!
As we were exploring Nakuru, out of nowhere, we saw a lone male lion. This was the first time we saw a lion. He was a big male taking a nap under a bush. After about 30 minutes of waiting, he did stand up to watch us. He did not seem bothered at all and we felt the thrill of seeing a huge lion so close.
Next, we saw a huge troop of olive baboon monkeys, the zeal of zebras, heads of buffalo running, mommy and baby white rhino chilling, Waterbuck, gazelle, pumbas playing, and dozens of birds.
It was unreal for us to see a lion, we were not even expecting. We had picnic lunch at baboon cliff where we got a good view of the park and salty lake. It was really peaceful up the hill.
The water level is rising at the park and it’s flooding a lot of sections in the park. The view at Lake Nakuru was unreal; the trees were half under the water and dead, making them home for birds to stop by.
It was a lovely day at Nauru. The camp where we stayed had such amazing food we were relaxed and excited for Masai Mara.
A mother and baby Rhino at Nakuru
Day 5: Lake Naivasha and Maasai Mara
Trip plan: After breakfast, we will continue with our safari to the renowned Maasai Mara game reserve which is Kenya’s premier game reserve. It is the home of the “big five” – lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant, as well as cheetah, zebra, giraffe and vast herds of plains antelope and numerous other wildlife. We will arrive in time for lunch at Osero luxury Camp followed by afternoon game drive before you return to Osero luxury camp to wait for dinner followed by overnight. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Hakuna Matata
We woke up early morning and headed to Lake Naivasha for a boat ride. We were supposed to do the boat ride on day 3 but we did manage to squeeze this on day 5.
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake, unlike Lake Nakuru which is a saltwater lake. We had a memorable boat ride where we spotted numerous birds singing, cruising, and sunbathing on the trees.
We also saw a lot of hippos here! They are mighty creatures and the babies look so cute!
The highlights of lake Naivasha were seeing green plants grow on the lake, the fishermen catching fish, hippos with their family and an eagle hunting fish from the water. These are some moments we will always remember.
After Lake Naivasha, we headed towards Masai Mara straight. It was a long drive but we could see so much of the country by land. Finally, after a long drive, we reached Masai Mara.
The moment we reached Masai Mara we could instantly feel how different it is from other parks we have been. Not just the size but the landscape. It was interesting and unique. Vast grassland, meadows, small hills around, different kinds of trees (like the sausage tree and fig trees) and scattered acacia trees it was all adding to its beauty.
It was late afternoon game drive we were spotting new animals we have never seen like Topi, Dik-Dik, and Steenbok.
We were driving and suddenly we spotted three young male lions sleeping and fooling around. They were muscular, strong, and powerful. We watched them take a nap and change bushes. It’s rare to see three male lions all together but we were lucky.
Two teenage lions
As it was about time to exit the park we spotted a family of Cheetah. A mother and 3 cubs chilling. This was the first time we saw cheetah so close. They are so lean and curious. They look adorable too.
With an amazing first game drive at Masai Mara, we headed to our lodge. On our way back just outside the park, we saw so many Pumba running around with their tail up. They are so cute to watch.
There was also a Jackal running across the road. We followed him for a while and it ran away.
Our lodge was deep inside the park in the wooded area. We had dinner at the lodge where Maasai people danced for us. They asked Salil to join and so Salil did participate. We’ll share the Maasai dance video on YouTube.
Maasai welcome dance
At night we could hear Hyena howling. We also heard elephants and we woke up to birds chirping. What an experience!
Day 6: Maasai Mara
Trip plan: We will spend the whole day exploring the expansive Maasai Mara game reserve in search of Elephant, Zebra, Wildebeest, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and other plains game with a visit to the Mara river where we might have a chance to see hippo and crocodile. We will return to Osero luxury camp to wait for dinner followed by overnight. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: A very special moment
It started with pretty heavy rain early morning in Masai Mara but our guide assured us that it will still be a great game drive because animals, unlike humans, are not bothered by the rain.
We were driving towards the park early morning and the rain started to slow down a bit. On our way, we spotted two Masai kids in school uniform trying to cross a stream and go school.
They were small and after the rain, the stream had got to the road. We asked our guide to stop and offer them a ride to school. They were very happy. We dropped them at their school and they smiled and said ‘Asante’ which means ‘Thank you’ in Swahili.
We had just started our game drive in Masai Mara and thankfully the rain had also stopped. As we were watching some game around the park our guide got a call from his friend. After the call, he said, “guys, sit down. I think we’ve got something.”
Usually, the guides have a radio where they share what animals are spotted or they call and let other guides know about any major game around.
Also until the very end of our safari, we realized that guides usually don’t tell you what you’re going to see next or what can be seen. It totally makes sense because until today we were never told what exactly we are seeing, so every time we saw something we were always pleasantly surprised.
We knew there is something coming up but honestly, we did not pay much attention to what it would be. During that drive, we were just admiring the beauty of the park and landscape.
Suddenly we were on a road where few vehicles were stopped. We then knew there’s got to be something here hence so many vehicles. Our guide said “here is a pride of lion sleeping on the road”.
Our jaws opened wide as we saw 13 lions 8 females and 5 cubs having their siesta time. It was such a wonderful surprise. We luckily got a good spot to admire these sleeping lions on the road. Some cubs were curious and looking at us. Some were going back and forth around the female lioness for milk.
We saw them pet each other, cuddle, nap, stretch, stand, and sleep again. It was just magical. Hard to comprehend in words.
An hour felt like a minute. That mother-child bond and love we encountered was one of the most special moments at Maasai Mara. Our heart was filled with joy.
As of the 6th day of our Safari, we have seen 4 of the big 5 and many other interesting and important members of Africa’s beautiful savannas. Now we were on a hunt for the big cat aka Leopard.
Leopards are very shy animals unlike cheetah and the hardest to spot among the big five. Since it rained all night the road was very muddy. We went on a hunt around a lot of places where we could spot leopards like the fig tree, sausage tree, and the famous acacia tree.
We saw a wildebeest leg handing on a tree. Most likely a leopard must have had its meal there. There were no signs of leopard around and in all honesty, we did not feel sad about that. Nature and animals have their own rule and we cannot challenge that.
This was not a zoo where one can always trace an animal. The wildlife here is part of the vast African Savanna where we humans are no one but visitors in their homeland. With that registered in our brain and with much respect for the wildlife we drove towards the Mara River where the great migration from Serengeti of Tanzania to Masai Mara of Kenya happens.
On the border of Tanzania (behind us) and Kenya (in front)
On the way, we stopped at the border of Kenya/Tanzania. Such an interesting place. We were also thinking about how all these animals cross borders and that nature is not bound by any county or borders.
We reached the Mara river and took a short hike around the river with a ranger. This was our first hike experience at the park. It was beautiful and remarkable to set our foot and walk through the land of some deadly predators.
The famous Mara river full of hippos and crocodiles
We spotted some hippos in the river and the guide gave us a lot of information about the wildlife there. After that, we started our way back to our camp. On the way back we spotted two Waterbucks mating putting in a show for everyone. We also saw a lot of African Ostriches.
By sunset, we made it back to our camp to enjoy the evening. We enjoyed our gorgeous tent, had a wonderful conversation with the Masai guard, and a very scrumptious dinner with our guide. It was a day filled with the most pleasant surprise of all.
Day 7: Maasai Mara to Nairobi
Trip plan: Early morning game drive followed by breakfast then we will depart from Maasai Mara as we continue with your journey passing via Narok town then proceed to Nairobi where we will be dropped to catch our homebound flight. Meal plan (Breakfast provided)
Our Experience: Farewell until we meet again
The last day of our Safari. Just the thought of this made me teary and sad. As I was contemplating over my cup of Kenyan tea about this entire Safari trip and all the beautiful encounters with all different species of wildlife.
With Maasai people
The breathtaking views of the African savannah, the gorgeous Acacia trees, the bushes, the insects, the birds, the view of Masai cattle grazing, the smiles of kids waving, the people, the food, the smell of the air, the red land, everything almost everything that we had experienced in these 6 days will be safely treasured as beautiful moments in Africa.
Our Osero luxury camp in Maasai Mara
We checked out from our camp and went for one last quick drive around the park to bid farewell to the beautiful land and then headed towards Nairobi. We reached Nairobi and wanted to meet our Facebook friend from Kenya at the local mall (we
have never met her in person) we were excited.
Our tour operator also came to say goodbye. She got us a beautiful souvenir. She was very apologetic about the vehicle incident but it was all unexpected and we had nothing but good memories out of the trip. We told her that we’ll be back for more!
The terrain inside the park is pretty rough and with rain gets very muddy. We have seen a lot of vehicles break down as well so it comes with the experience. Overall we had an amazing time and actually we did not miss any activities as planned so we were very happy with our overall adventure in Kenya!
With our friend Anita at Nairobi airport
We finally met our friend and ate our last meal in Kenya together. We shared hugs, laugh, and wonderful conversations. Our friend offered to drop us to the airport, and we had more conversations in the car and such an amazing time overall in Kenya.
With all of this in our hearts, it was time to bid farewell to beautiful Kenya. The memories made in the continent of Africa will always be very dear to us. Back from the trip, we feel extremely rejuvenated, fulfilled, and grateful for all the experiences we had along the way.
Ruins photography is a relatively new form of photography that focuses on the aesthetic and artistic value of modern urban decay. It’s increasingly becoming popular and getting notoriety.
In ruin photography, the subjects are typically large industrialized cities (e.g. New York City, Chicago, or Detroit) but can be any landscape, building, or symbolic representation of modern ruin and deindustrialization.
An abandoned factory hall in ruins
Ruins photography aestheticizes the abandonment and decline of the city most of all and has sparked conversations about the role of art in various revitalization and restoration projects from Detroit to Berlin.
San Galgano Abbey Ruins
Popular staples of ruins photography can include abandoned houses, neglected factories left over from the Industrial Revolution or auto industry booms, as well as bridges, abandoned lots, tenant or apartment buildings, or gutted theaters or offices.
Heiligendamm Villa Ruin in Germany
The style relies heavily on lighting, detail close-ups, long shots, and digital imaging.
Ruins photography is different from historical architectural photography in that it does not focus on comparisons between past and present but instead focuses on the state of the subject and how it came to be dilapidated.
Summit Castle, Burgruine in Switzerland in Ruins
Ruins photography as a way of marketing for potential tourism, while yet others have insisted that it can serve as a powerful call to action to do something about the city.
Detroit, Michigan is a major center for ruins photography. Since manufacturing jobs began leaving the city in the 1950s, Detroit has not only seen a decline in population, but also has seen many buildings and homes abandoned, vandalized, and destroyed.
Many other major cities and smaller settlements that once thrived have decayed over periods of time, some even becoming ghost towns due to economic hardship or civil unrest.
The town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, saw its population vanish due to a fire that spread from a nearby cemetery and ended up sparking smoldering flames in extensive abandoned coal mines below the district.
The state of Pennsylvania has blocked roads to the area, but there are about ten vigilant inhabitants that remain. Other examples of urban decay include Gary, Indiana, and Camden, New Jersey.
Hashima Island, Nagasaki, Japan was an empty island that became populated due to its coal deposits. Home to some of Japan’s first concrete high rise buildings, it became a ghost town when petroleum replaced coal.
Another example of a ghost town is Kolmanskop, Namibia, built by Germans into a successful diamond mining community. After the mining stopped and the workers left, the desert repossessed the area.
The Middle East abounds with stunning scenery and glorious history. Plus, the architectural wonders and the vibrant culture, make the Middle East an exotic part of the world.
The rare beauty of the region will likely overwhelm you at first. Since there is an immeasurable amount of destinations that will captivate you, we list just a few places that characterize the Middle East.
You must start somewhere, so why not start with these 5 wonders of the Middle East!
The Dome of Rock, Israel
From amongst the quaint buildings of Jerusalem, the Golden Dome shines. The magnanimous dome radiates from the center of the holy city. Plus, the Golden Dome lies within the larger sacred site, Haram Al-Sharif.
Furthermore, the foundation stone, a highly revered artifact, is kept inside the dome.
This octagonal enigma is built in a splendid Byzantine style. It is befitting that a building with such religious important glows splendidly, truly demonstrating the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East.
Musandam Fjords, Oman
The Norwegian Fjords are acclaimed throughout the world for their unique charm. However, the Middle East has its own share of Fjord glory. In the Strait of Hormuz (Musandam, Oman), the rocky cliffs give way to the bright turquoise blue water.
There are numerous quaint villages perched on the rocky terrain of the Musandam Fjords. You can visit the nearby coastal towns; you can even go scuba diving and experience the diverse underwater wildlife.
Mysterious wonders in Egypt beckon us to visit. When we travel to hot deserts with impressive ruins, we are awed by the history and energized by the sun.
Painted with ancient images, Luxor is a canvas. The ruins of buildings, stunning mosques, and holy temples are just some of the ancient portraits depicted here.
The landscape is an open-air museum that displays the rich past of the country. One of the ancient displays is the Karnak Temple, an intricately carved monument made from sandstone.
You can also visit the tombs of famous kings and queens in the valley. For example, the sheer magnificence of Tutankhamen’s tomb alone creates an unforgettable experience.
Sheik Zayed Mosque, UAE
When we talk about the Middle East we speak of wealth, culture, and religion. Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) ticks all three boxes.
Recently constructed, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. It oozes with the opulence of enormous effort and care.
The gorgeous Persian design, integrated with a modern touch, makes for the incredibly rare beauty. Spectacular pools of water reflect the pearly interiors and glittering chandeliers.
Step into the heart of Islamic culture by visiting the Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
The dry winds whisper into your ears the story of the long-gone city. Maybe we are getting too melodramatic, but Petra will do that to you. Golden pools of sands and a dangerous canyon define the ancient town of Petra.
Tombs and buildings carved into the sandstone predominate the landscape. Ages ago the Nabatean Kingdom inhabited Petra. Now only the “Pink” sandstone cliffs remain.
The rose-colored city overflows with stunning temples, such as Al Khazneh, as well as tombs and buildings. A visit to Petra will turn the pages of time and transport you to an older age in the exotic Middle East.
From the pristine beauty of Alaska to the eye-popping skyscrapers of New York, America is an incredibly diverse nation, which provides an impressive array of entertainment.
We have carefully selected the top iconic destinations that define tourism in America. They range from natural to architectural.
THE GRAND CANYON
“I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.” ~ John McCain
The majestic magnificence of the Grand Canyon is hard to describe in mere words. It would be a futile attempt to do justice to the 1.2 million acres of exotic beauty.
The Colorado River created this unique structure over the course of centuries. From the river to the rim you will find an ecosystem so rare that it is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
Imagine California Condors flying over the clear blue skies, while the Coyotes sing their song.
You may feel like an expert tracker while looking for wolves throughout the valley. However, you will have no difficulty finding tiny fluffy squirrels that are so cute you will want to take them home.
Your muscles will cramp, sweat will pour, but the epic moment of hiking Grand Canyon will be a lifelong memory. If you want to cool off during the hike, try swimming in the pools of the Mountain Valley.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
“In the wilderness, I sense the miracle of life, and behind it, our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” ~ Charles A. Lindbergh
Under the blanket of blue sky, Yellowstone National Park is full of every blessing of nature. It is the only place on Earth where you can view the highest number of colorful hot springs.
The highest lake in North America, Yellowstone Lake, is the namesake of the park.
Valleys scattered around the park are home to diverse wildlife. In these valleys, you can spy on grizzly bears and bison. Furthermore, the park occupies a vast area. Consequently, it is split into eight groups for easier access.
The Giant Prismatic Hot Spring looks like it belongs on Mars. The dark blue center fades into orange splashes along the edge. Plus, the beautiful Bridge Creek winds through the vegetation forming a natural bridge.
Gushing streams, graceful basins, roaring streams, and swelling waterfalls are in every corner of the park.
STATUE OF LIBERTY
“The first time I saw America was from my perch on the mast of a Spanish naval ship, where I could spot Statue of Liberty reaching proudly into the open endless American sky.” ~ Jose Andres
A token of freedom given by France to America stands proudly on Liberty Island. Gustave Eiffel, the man who built the Eiffel Tower, also built the Statue of Liberty.
This 305-feet-high statue depicts the Roman Goddess – Libertas. Piercing the skyline of Manhattan, it best symbolizes the character of America.
You need to take a ferry ride to reach Liberty Island from Jersey City. Once you enter the monument, it is free to look around and explore the American masterpiece.
The stairs wind up from the base of the statue to the crown. You must book a reservation ahead of time to have access to the top. This copper enigma is an emblem of peace and freedom for the entire country.
JOHN F.KENNEDY ASSASSINATION SITE
“Things do not happen; Things are made to happen.” ~ John F. Kennedy
America might be a young nation, but the history still runs deep. The assassination of John F. Kennedy occurred in Dealey Plaza in 1963.
The Sixth Floor Museum now stands on the site of the assassination. The museum displays the planning hub of the sniper, which was redesigned and displayed here.
The general aesthetic of Dallas is super-modern. However, Dealey Plaza is a reminder of that time when Mrs. Kennedy was drenched in red blood and the nation suffered a great tragedy.
HANAUMA BAY BEACH
“So that the monotonous fall of waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts, seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again…” ~ Virginia Woolf
Roads that are often traveled become beaten and boring. Hanauma Bay beach was beaten and boring once, until recently when it was declared a protected area. Every woman envies curves.
The elegant curving shoreline of Hanauma Bay beach in O’ahuHawaii is no exception. Volcanic eruptions formed this ancient caldera, which eventually eroded to form the bay.
The turquoise blue water has a plethora of coral displayed across the ocean floor. If you do not harm marine life, you are allowed to snorkel in the bay.
The beach closes every Tuesday to replenish the ecosystem since it is a maritime natural preserve.
The winter landscape is surreal. The snow-laden mountains and pristine blue sky make beautiful scenery. But I bet you don’t think of India as a winter travel destination.
What if I told you that there are many places in India that will take you on a tour of a winter wonderland. Pack your bags and buckle up to discover the beauty of the chill.
The crystal clear water of Unmgot is the major attraction of Shillong. You can row your boat here and think you are flying. The feeling is sensational. During this time of the year, many festivals are organized.
You can attend them as well as savor the tangy oranges near the Uni got the river. The Pleasant temperature will make your stay more fun.
The freezing temperatures of Leh can make your bones chilled. But what is an adventure without a little risk? You can do ice trekking here in Like trek, Sham trek and much more. The icy blue floor beneath you and the clear blue sky above you.
You will be overpowered by blue. But, you need to ready yourself for the harsh environment also, because it can get a bit dangerous if you are not well insulated.
The unspoiled territory of India, Diu is a gem to be explored. Nagao beach here is the sandy escape of your dreams. In the comfortable temperatures of winter, you can get out and lounge in the winter sun. During the night a bonfire sounds like an exciting idea.
What better way to spend your night singing and dancing around the fire with your close ones? A world-famous festival Festa De Diu is held at the ivory-white beach of Nagoya. Enjoy your new year.
RANN OF KUTCH
The western Indian state of Gujarat has something to surprise you at every turn. Rann of Kutch is a massive area of endless sands sprawled across the barren land. You can pitch your tent at the nearby Dhordo village.
At night you can gaze at blue sands shining under the moonlight. During your stay, Rann Utsav will be in full sway. The ethnicity of festivities will leave you flabbergasted.
Himachal Pradesh is known for its lovely winters. If you want to experience some serious snow, go to Dalhousie. Deodar trees surround the old colonial town.
Snow envelopes the quaint houses and trees, giving the town a Christmassy feeling.
You can do trekking here as a beginner or as an expert. The National Himalayan Winter Trekking Expedition is your opportunity for some adventure.
It is titled as the heaven on earth, and rightly so. Once you behold the vibrant scenery of Kashmir, you will fall in love with it.
The snow-covered landscape makes it an apt place for winter sports like skiing and ice trekking. You can ride a shikara on the jheels (lakes) of Kashmir. Winters enhances the magic of Srinagar.
Caribbean beaches are stretches of soft white sands fringed with colorful coral reefs backed by the lush coastline. A day on the beach is a necessity while you are on a trip.
These Caribbean beaches are relaxing escapes from bustling tourist attractions. You can get sunbath under the tropical sun or dive into the crystal blue waters. Here is our collection of stunning Caribbean beaches.
Eagle Beach is on the most famous beaches in Aruba (and for good reasons). The gorgeous palm trees lining the coast along with Divi-Divi trees make an excellent background.
Ivory white sands sprawl across the beach, fringes of turquoise blue water is in stark contrast to it. It is an irresistibly inviting sight. If you want to get a tan or go jet skiing, you can.
But if you want just to enjoy the warmth of the sun, sit under the thatched roof of palapas made from palm leaves. The beach can be crowded at times. So, you can head to the south of Eagle beach to get your own pleasurable time.
PINK SANDS BEACH
Who doesn’t love the Bahamas? You can’t help but gawk at the pretty unusual pink sand at the shore of Harbor Island, Bahamas.
Do you want to know what gave the naturally white beach sands a unique color? While the beach was in making (naturally), the shells of the coast got crushed. That is the reason you can see a cute pink shade in the soft sands.
It ticks all boxes of being an excellent beach. The shining white sands are soft against the toes, while you want along the crystal clear blue waters of the shore.
There are many creatures that will greet you, once you are underwater. The cute dolphin Jo-Jo frequents the coast.
Generally speaking, everyone here has a good fate of viewing of Stingrays as well. The swanky resorts and Princess Alexandra Marine Park will top off your experience.
The Caribbean is full of beautiful beaches, but Anguilla’s Shoal Bay stands out from the crowd.
Everyone dreams of having a beach to themselves. It is more of a naughty fantasy when you are traveling as a couple. You can roll off the sands while you make love.
Shoal Bay is a place where you can find very few tourists except you. If you are here on a working season, you can have the beach to yourself.
This beach is 3 km (2 miles) long, which makes it huge. Visitors spread throughout the length. You can just watch the sunset over bright blue waters, while you sit under a coconut tree.
A broad range of water sports can be done here as well. Dive into the cold blue water and say hi to coral gardens beneath the watery surface.
HALF MOON BAY
The unspoiled beauty of Caribbean beaches reminds us of the time when we lived in complete harmony with nature. Half Moon Bay in Antigua is one such beach. The wild plantations growing in proximity to the white sandy beach gives you a remote feeling.
The resort which used to be here is just an abandoned shell. You can explore it. The coral reef lining the waters gives fantastic opportunities for surfing and snorkeling. Grab some snacks from the nearby restaurant and be ready to roll.