Browsing Tag

hiking

5 Ways to “Get Away” when you can’t Actually Get Away

September 20, 2016 in Travel Tips / Uncategorized

Sure, buying a plane ticket and escaping to somewhere AMAZING sounds fantastic, but let’s be real – we can’t all do that!  Sometimes we just need to put our day to day routines on pause and find a change of scenery in order to recharge our batteries a little.  If you can’t make a grand escape somewhere exotic, here are a few ways to shake things up a little and get away without actually getting away.


Camping
1.  Go Camping

Camping is a GREAT way to recharge!  One, because chances are, you have campground close by.  Two, it’s an inexpensive way to escape reality and Three, it’s an easy weekend trip.  ReserveAmerica.com is a handy resource to find places to camp.  Just decide what part of the world you would like to camp, and find campgrounds in and around that area.
We did this last minute on labor day weekend.  We found a site in a campground nearby and went for a night.  While it would have been nice to stay longer, it was still a lot of fun and a nice change of pace!

Hiking through Glacier NP - Montana

2.  Take a Hike

Hiking is a fun way to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors.  A quick google search or alltrails.com will help you find a hike nearby (or wherever you prefer to go) that suits your needs.

3.  Explore Towns that Surround You

The internet makes finding cool new places a really simple task.  All you need to do is search!  Find areas that are around you within a reasonable distance that you haven’t been.  Sometimes the best places really are closer than you think.  Make it a day trip!

4.  Discover Unique Shops Nearby

This might sound weird, but I get really excited when I find a really cool coffee shop.  Why?  I just love a good latte.  Maybe you do too.  Or maybe you prefer a neat antique shop.  Take a walk and see what local shops you may have missed.

5.  Utilize TripAdvisor

I’m not getting any sort of compensation for talking about TripAdvisor.  I just plain love utilizing them to find great new places!  Look up the top places in your area.  Or, look up the top places in a town close by.

 

Have any other ideas?  Feel free to comment below!

3 Amazing Places to Check Out in Montana

August 30, 2016 in Trips in Western United States

Montana is by far one of the most stunning places I have ever been.  Full of incredible scenery and wildlife, it really is one of a kind.  While the entire state is postcard-esque, there are a few spots in particular that I highly recommend checking out.


Many Glacier – Glacier National Park

Many Glacier was by far my favorite area of Glacier National Park.  The landscapes were like nothing I had ever seen.  From enormous mountains to crystal clear waters, everywhere you turn is like a dream.   This also happens to be where you find Grinnell Glacier, a spectacular hike that I also like to refer to as the stairway to Heaven!  That being said, Many Glacier is also full of active wildlife.  With wildlife like this, safety measures are HIGHLY recommended.  Bear spray is absolutely essential!  Read my last Montana blog post to see why I am emphasizing this.

Grinnell Glacier Trail - Glacier NP Montana Grinnell Glacier Trail - Glacier National Park, MT


St. Mary & Virginia Falls – Glacier National Park

The hike to St. Mary Falls was relatively easy and beautiful.  We thought those were impressive until we continued up to Virginia Falls, where we were completely blown away!  This hike does not disappoint.  Be prepared to get a little wet when you reach Virginia Falls!
Virginia Falls - Glacier National Park, MT Virginia Falls in Glacier National Park, MT


Plains

Who would have thought that such an open area consisting of almost NOTHING could be something so incredible?  Wide open spaces galore here!  The downside was a lack of cell service.  However, the views were spectacular and allowed for endless photo opportunities.

Rainbow in Montana Plains
Montana Plains

a girl and her travel bug photo

4TH OF JULY WEEKEND IN VERMONT

July 14, 2015 in Trips in Eastern United States

This past 4th of July was especially unique for me because I was able to spend it in Vermont.  In fact, this was my first time experiencing the New England area at all.  My boyfriend and I made the trek after work that Thursday evening and arrived at our destination (Charlotte, VT) around 3:30am the next morning.  By the way, the buggy got me from Westminster, MD all the way to Charlotte on a single tank of gas.  Am I bragging a little?  Maybe…..  😉

Charlotte, VT

Charlotte, VT

I was surprised by how beautiful Vermont actually was.  I’m an avid fan of mountainous terrain and scenic open spaces, probably because they remind me of the time I’ve spent out West.  Vermont had this “West-type” of beauty, in my opinion.  The massive amounts of rain we’ve acquired here on the East coast have also made their way to Vermont, allowing for beautiful lush green mountains and offering a perfect display of scenery for a Vermont newbie.

Charlotte is a very small area.  Then again, from what I’ve been told (and seen), it is a pretty desolate state anyway.  Despite its small size, there were plenty of beautiful surroundings.  There wasn’t much in the area, but there was a cute little market that people seem to frequent.  The Old Brick Store is small but carries the essentials.  My favorite part was that they had a little cafe where sandwiches and various drinks could be purchased.  However, the service was meh and sometimes it felt like I was standing there for an eternity before someone would acknowledge my existence.  When I was finally able to order, however, the drinks were wonderful.  Many of their items were organic, which was a plus in my book, but also quite pricey as many organic items are.

Charlotte, VT

Charlotte, VT

One of the cooler parts is Charlotte’s proximity to the Adirondacks.  As a matter of fact, this small part of Vermont is nestled between the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks, so each way you turn there is a beautiful view in the distance.  The drive in and out is quite scenic and incredibly beautiful.

Charlotte sits close to Vermont’s biggest city (although it isn’t a very big city at all), Burlington.  Our travel time from Charlotte to Burlington was about 20-25 minutes tops.  I have to admit that I loved Burlington!  It was such a vibrant and artsy city with beautiful old architecture.  We walked Church Street, a pedestrian-only road lined with boutique shops and local restaurants with a few chains mixed in.  The best part?  People are not allowed to smoke on Church Street!  Oh, and did I mention L.L. Bean offers free wi-fi for those perusing?  Yeah – pretty cool.

Church Street - Burlington, VT

Church Street – Burlington, VT

During our Church Street experience we checked out Red Onion, a little sandwich shop.  They even make their own bread there.  I opted for the spinach melt, which turned out to be fantastic!  It was probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had – no joke.  I highly recommend it.  Nonetheless, this place was nothing fancy.  Just a small restaurant with outdoor seating for the warmer months, making it perfect for people watching.  We also checked out Lake Champlain chocolates (the store) and Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Tea, inc.  Anyone who knows me well enough will tell you I’m a nerd for lattes, and Uncommon Grounds had one that certainly didn’t disappoint.  Being in Vermont, I had to try their Maple Latte.  It was SO good!  Vermont won extra points that day for all the amazing foods/drinks.

Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory - Vermont

Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory – Vermont

After Church Street we headed over to the Lake Champlain Chocolate factory.  For a broke chocolate addict, this is a way better option than going to the store.  Here you can buy the factory seconds, which are cheaper due to packing errors and such.  Lake Champlain Chocolates aren’t the cheapest in the world so purchasing the factory seconds will help keep a broke traveler from breaking the bank, but still able to indulge in their chocolate addiction.  The factory features a large window showing workers actually making chocolate too.  Unless you end up there on their day off….like me, you’ll get a “tour” of the factory for free.

The fireworks in Burlington were the best I have ever seen.  It was as if the finale was erupting the entire time!  They exploded from a barge on the water with an enormous crowd of viewers spread out all over Waterfront Park.  And people are serious about their fireworks there!  The crowd was far from silent throughout the display.  It was a great time!  Take a look at my video of the fireworks by clicking here and see how amazing they were for yourself.

On our last full day, we all drove to the mountains and hiked a couple of miles from our parking spot to Sterling Pond.  Sterling Pond is the highest trout pond in the state of Vermont and an unexpected reward at the end of a relatively steep hike.  It attracts many people, but it’s a beautiful spot at the top of the mountain.  From here, we hiked over to Smugglers Notch, a ski area with a great view.  It felt like we were entering an old abandoned ski resort, seeing the lifeless lifts and empty buildings.  The view from there was exquisite though, and most definitely made it worth the hike.

Hiking to Sterling Pond

Hiking to Sterling Pond

Sterling Pond, Vt

Sterling Pond, Vt

Our last stop was the Ben & Jerry’s factory, a must for anyone visiting Vermont for the first time.  We didn’t have time to do the tour, but we made sure to hit the shop to grab some ice cream.  I recommend getting the cookie cookie sundae!  It was heavenly!  While I generally try to eat healthy, I have a sweet tooth I can’t deny. We checked out their gift shop, which had some neat items, ate our fattening treats, and called it a day.

We crammed a lot into such a short trip but enjoyed every bit of it!  Hopefully we can make the 9 hour drive again soon and spend even more time there.  Thanks for a great time Vermont, and thanks to my friends Isreal and Julie for hosting us and giving the quick tour!

Smugglers Notch

Smugglers Notch

Us at Sterling Pond

Us at Sterling Pond

THURSDAY INSPIRATION – 2/12/2015

February 12, 2015 in Travel Quotes

I’m a little bit bummed because a lot of financial hardships have occurred lately, limiting my travels for 2015.  Unfortunately, life gets in the some way sometimes I guess.
While I haven’t seen as much of the world that many others have, it doesn’t make me any less passionate about travel.  I hope to have my life “together” enough in the near future so I can see more.  MUCH more.

On that note, here is some Thursday Inspiration for you!

Travel Quote

Pikes Peak - Colorado

PIKES PEAK – THE VIEW FROM ABOVE COLORADO

November 2, 2014 in Trips in Western United States

During my April 2014 trip to Colorado, my cousin and I decided to give Pikes Peak a shot.  For those who aren’t aware, Pikes Peak is a mountain in Cascade, CO that sits 14,110 ft (some sources say 14,115?) above sea level.  If you’re feeling ambitious you can hike it or bike it, and for everyone else, there is the Cog Railway (as you can see in photos below) – or even drive your own vehicle.

My cousin and I chose to drive the mountain in her vehicle.  If you are considering Pikes Peak, be aware that the ride is rather intense for the faint of heart!  If you have a fear of heights, I highly suggest you don’t drive it.  There are plenty of sharp turns and rail-less edges to make your knees weak.  I will admit, my cousin did the driving and I was absolutely terrified as we got higher and higher up.  I have a tremendous fear of heights so there were points when I found myself closing my eyes praying we wouldn’t go off the edge.

We found some interesting things along the way up the mountain, such as the North Pole and my favorite……the bigfoot crossing sign!

Fortunately, we made it to the summit safely (obviously) and the views were well worth it.  Be ready for cold temps as you get to the top!  When we started the trip, the temp was in the 60’s or so.  When we reached the top it dropped to 33 degrees!

What you need to know before going: To drive Pikes Peak, you are looking at fees of $12 per adult, $5 per child, or $40 per carload.  Also, be sure to check the weather before going.  If they are calling for bad weather, they will close the mountain off to visitors.

Because of the high altitude, some folks might have breathing problems.  I personally did not, but be aware that your experience might be different.

Click for More Information about Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak - Colorado

Pikes Peak – Colorado

Pikes Peak - Colorado - Big Foot Crossing

Pikes Peak – Colorado – Big Foot Crossing

Pikes Peak - Colorado North Pole Pikes Peak - Colorado

Pikes Peak - Colorado

Pikes Peak - Colorado

Pikes Peak - Colorado

Pikes Peak - Colorado Pikes Peak - ColoradoPikes Peak - Colorado

Pikes Peak - Colorado

Back to top
%d bloggers like this: