Author: Ed and Jenn

Respect local customs and cultures when traveling abroad Respecting local customs and cultures is an important part of traveling abroad. It can also help minimize the impact of overtourism in many ways. For starters, respecting local customs and cultures encourages travelers to engage with locals, rather than simply consuming attractions like commodities. When you learn about and observe unique aspects of a culture such as religious holidays, traditional dress codes, dietary restrictions, etc., it enables you to connect more deeply with local people, gain insight into the area’s heritage and history, and be more mindful of how their presence could…

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Day 2 – Umm Qais For your first full day in Jordan, you’re heading two hours north of Amman to explore Umm Qais and the ruins of the Decapolis city of Gadara. With four hours of driving ahead of you, make breakfast easy by dining at Colours Restaurant in the Landmark. It’s an all-day buffet that starts at 6:30 am, so you can have a feed-up and get rolling on the road. Umm Qais is located in the far north of Jordan on a ridge 1,240 ft above sea level, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the…

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Day 3 – Ireland East to West – Downpatrick to Glenveagh The shortest route from Newcastle to Glenveagh takes about three hours and immerses you in the heart of the Irish countryside. You travel from the outskirts of Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, into the center of Gaeltacht, the Irish Gaelic-speaking region of Ireland. You can see the transition as soon as you leave the seaside. The farther west you drive, the fewer houses you see. This route takes you by the Ulster American Folk Park, an immersive, interactive living museum that tells the story of Irish immigration to…

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A1A Coastal Route – Mayport to New Smyrna Beach (110 mi total) This A1A coastal Route runs from the Mayport Ferry down to New Smyrna Beach. There is some route finding involved, especially from Mayport to Atlantic Beach, through St. Augustine, and from Ormand Beach to New Smyrna Beach. Of all the rides in this guide, this one will require the most rider experience and judgement. We’ve broken it up sections to make it easier to digest and included pictures along the route. I started with the completed sections of the St. Johns River to Sea Loop and filled in…

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Feynan Ecolodge Wadi Feynan is a significant wadi in southern Jordan and part of the Dana Biosphere Reserve. The biosphere is Jordan’s largest nature reserve and the only one that crosses four bio-geographical zones: Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian, and Sudanian penetration. As much as that excites science nerds, adventurers will love the Feynan Eco Lodge. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) opened the Feynan Ecolodge in 2005 as an ecotourism project. RSCN’s mission of protecting and managing the natural resources of Jordan, for it is responsible for protecting wildlife and wild places and is one of the few…

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Skiing in Mammoth and Adventures in Vegas Jenn was a 20-year ski professional, pro patrolling and teaching at many of the premier resorts in the west. Bad knees (due to bad genetics…lol) forced her down from the mountains to Tucson, Arizona, where we met and started our life 2.0. She hoped to return to skiing after her bilateral knee replacements, but her fast twitch muscles weren’t firing well enough to stabilize her knees in case of impact. She needed a knee brace that would restrict the range of motion under force. We went to Mammoth, where my daughter worked as…

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Every winter, St Augustine’s Historic District comes alive during the Nights of Lights, with over 3 million lights sparkling in the Old City. From Mid-November to the end of January, the boulevards bustle with an energy that takes the beautiful and historic city’s romantic vibe and raises it through the roof. At Coleman Concierge, we’re a travel couple specializing in romance and soft adventure, and we’ll share our six most romantic ways to enjoy the St Augustine Nights of Lights. Read along for our tips and tricks, but be warned, you might be packing your bags before the last holiday…

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Amman Citadel Amman airport is the international gateway to Jordan, with a capacity for more than 12 million passengers annually. Paraphrasing William Faulkner, to understand Jordan, you must first understand a place like Amman. It’s one of the rare national capitals not located on a river or port. The Eastern Mediterranean coast is similar to the Southern California coast. It’s dry, but the coastal climate has high temperatures of 65 in the winter and 85 in the summer, just a little warmer than San Diego but very pleasant. Mountains rise above the coastal plains, and beyond them is hard desert.…

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Our Down Under Dive Shop Review Let’s start our review at the beginning, from inside the Down Under Dive Shop. They’re a full-service shop offering complete scuba gear, rentals, and classes. They even set up dive trips to Florida and liveaboards, including the Aggressor Fleet and one of our favorites, All Star Liveaboards. Their gear store has at least one of anything you might need, emphasizing spearfishing. Their rental gear is older but in decent repair. They also ensure a full rental checkout is completed before you leave the store. There’s a classroom in the back for classes but no…

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10. Picacho Peak State Park Picacho Peak is impossible to miss while driving between Phoenix and Tucson. It towers 1,500 feet above the valley floor and has been used as a landmark for centuries.  This peak is made of eroded volcanic flow. Catch it at the right time in the spring and you may be presented with a stunning array of wildflowers, including the Mexican poppy. Between its rich history, diverse wildlife, and challenging hiking trails, Picacho Peak State Park is a fun and convenient stop while traveling along the I-10. This park also has one of the largest Arizona…

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10. Picacho Peak State Park Picacho Peak is impossible to miss while driving between Phoenix and Tucson. It towers 1,500 feet above the valley floor and has been used as a landmark for centuries.  This peak is made of eroded volcanic flow. Catch it at the right time in the spring and you may be presented with a stunning array of wildflowers, including the Mexican poppy. Between its rich history, diverse wildlife, and challenging hiking trails, Picacho Peak State Park is a fun and convenient stop while traveling along the I-10. This park also has one of the largest Arizona…

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Breaking news – Finnish sauna culture is alive and well! Whodathunkit when there are three million saunas in Finland, for a population of 5.5 million. You know the saying, when in Rome… I guess you roam around the city visiting antiquities. But when in Finland, you sauna. But why sauna ordinary when you can sauna extraordinary? That’s why we’re bringing you the eight most unusual places to sauna in Finland. Oldest Public Sauna in Finland According to UNESCO, the Finish sauna culture is an intangible cultural heritage. The first saunas were pits dug into the ground during the Stone Age.…

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Final Thoughts on Why to Stay at The Lodge at Gulf State Park. We put many superlatives in this article: romantic, environmental, close, and beautiful. We should have also mentioned fun. You’ll have a good time staying at The Lodge at Gulf State Park. If not, it’s on you. We should also mention that it’s a Hilton, which means Hilton Points and rewards. It also means that the property will be up to at least Hilton standards. However, Hilton wants this property, in particular, to be a leader in the Sustainable Tourism movement. As a flagship property, we found that…

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Walking the Burren The Burren is a fascinating karst landscape centered around County Clare, where every rock and blade of grass tells a story. There was always precious little topsoil covering the surface limestone that eroded away completely by the Late Bronze Age due to over farming and environmental changes. One of the largest collections of exposed limestone pavement in Europe is left in its place. You’ll find oddities like Arctic-alpine and Mediterranean Basin plants living side by side and low-impact herding techniques used to fight the expanse of invasive shrubland. It’s home to Neolithic sites, like the Poulnabrone dolmen…

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Guilford Courthouse NMP Loop (2.37 mi ★★★★) Biking the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park Loop is a true “only in Greensboro” riding experience, earning it a four-star rating. It would be five stars if it were just a little longer, and you didn’t have to share the road with cars. Fortunately, the park traffic is one-way, very light, and low speed.  Sorry for the upcoming history lesson, but Guilford Courthouse is where the town’s namesake, Nathanial Greene, fought General Cornwallis in one of the most decisive battles of the Revolutionary War. Don’t worry; even without the history, this is a…

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The Umstead Hotel draws its inspiration from the intersection where art and nature collide. Only, it’s more like they blend together in beautiful harmony. There are surprises around every corner, from their beautiful gardens to their private art collection. What’s not surprising is that they’re North Carolina’s only 5-star property. Their attention to detail shows through in everything they do, from the moment they greet you at the door until they say goodbye. Join us for our detailed Concierge Review of the Umstead Hotel in Raleigh, NC. The Umstead Hotel Location The Umstead Hotel is located between Raleigh and Cary…

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You Never Forget Your First Reindeer You have to dine with a blogger to fully understand the saying “the camera eats first”. Dinner was painfully slow as the creators posed their food for the ‘Gram and clicked wine glasses together for Boomerang. They photographed stemware in every imaginable location – the porch, the bar, by the window… everywhere except in their hand, cleansing their palate between courses. I was good and hungry by the time my reindeer steak arrived. My mouth was literally watering as I held up the remote light so Jenn’s food pictures would be properly illuminated. When…

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After we completed our lists, we went out to the garden to build a fire. If you’ve ever been camping, you know this is harder than it looks. On our first attempt, we put in too much fuel. The flames flashed, but the large pieces of wood didn’t catch. We were almost out of paper, and there was still no fire. So we organized our resources by how fast they would catch and burn and how much fuel they contained. We tried again, putting what remained of our paper lists on the bottom and layering incrementally larger pieces of wood…

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Summer Operations at Lapland Ski Resorts There are 14 ski resorts in Lapland, many of which run summer operations of some kind or another. Two stand out: Levi, the highest-rated resort in Finland, and Ylläs, the highest ski area in the country. Levi operates two gondolas during the summer, one from the town of Levi and one from the Levi Activity Park. The town gondola services the summer slide, the Samiland Exhibition, and part of the Levi Bike Park. The Activity Park gondola services the Santa’s Cabin Disc Golf Course, the hike to Santa’s Cabin, the Peak Trail, a café,…

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Diving in Culebras Culebras is a bucket list diving destination for many for its turtle encounters and massive coral reefs. The Carlos Rosario Reef alone has 4-5 mooring balls. You could spend a week diving in Culebras and still not see it all. No matter how wonderful Culebras seems in theory, it’s financially impossible for any small charter to make the trip profitable. The Fajardo to Culebras boat trip is 20 miles one-way or a 40-mile round trip. The Dragon Fruit is reasonably powered, but with its 12-knot max speed, you’re still looking at a 3-4 hour motor. Not only…

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Hiking up Levi Fell I was just 30 hours removed from a summer of sheltering inside to avoid the Alabama heat, so I wasn’t going to miss hiking with the temperature in the mid-60s while the sun was out. Finland has the cleanest air in the world, with only six micrograms of airborne particles per cubic meter. This far north, I was sure it was even purer. I inhaled a deep breath that tasted like champagne, but the sweltering southern humidity may have disqualified me as a respiratory sommelier. The hiking conditions were ideal, other than the swarms of mosquitoes…

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The Most Romantic Getaway in Central Florida – Crystal Blue Lagoon Bed & Breakfast If you really want to get away from everything, come to Crystal River. Fifty years ago, this was just another backwater town. Scientists noticed a small herd of manatees that came to the springhead in the winter, but locals thought they were nothing more than strange-looking speed bumps. Attitudes changed, and awareness raised. The manatees were embraced and protected, and the population rebounded. Now, the Florida manatees are the only worldwide population to be on the rise. Their numbers are increasing enough to make it off…

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Kayak the Rockfish Creek Paddling Trail Rockfish Creek Paddling Trail is a hidden gem hiding in plain sight. We rented kayaks from Yakalacky Outfitters, which made the logistics super easy. The hardest part was finding a parking space at Hope Mill Lake. After that, they met us at the parking lot with our boats, and we used the easy put-in at the beach. We paddled a half mile across flat water and under the railroad bridge. We saw kids jumping off the bridge like a scene from Stand By Me, and then the lake started getting narrower and narrower. That’s when…

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Biking on Lake Crabtree Loop Trail The 8-mile Lake Crabtree Loop connects the best parts of the Black Creek Greenway with the Crabtree Creek Greenway and Weston Park Greenway for a ‘loop ride’. I put the quotes around ‘loop ride’ because bike loops in Cary and Raleigh all require a little route finding and the use of connector roads.  What makes this trail special is the extended riding along Lake Crabtree, the chance to explore North Cary Park, and the deep, shaded canyons along Black Creek. This ride is also a perfect introduction to bike riding in Raleigh / Cary,…

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More Than ‘just a bed’ Bedroom Don’t get us wrong; we loved, loved, loved our ‘Magi Bed’ that Proximity designed. With a comfortable mattress, plenty of down-like sleeping pillows, Egyptian combed-cotton bedding, and a hypoallergenic, fiberfill blanket, it was everything we’d want in our bed at home, but there was so much more to love.  The room’s oversized windows provided abundant, natural lighting. The HD television synced easily to our devices using Chromecast technology, allowing us to stream our favorite shows and movies. Even the amenities spoke to us with AVEDA bath products, Counter Culture Coffee, and Harney & Sons…

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Mount LeConte (11 miles +) While Clingmans Dome is the highest peak, there’s also a road almost all the way up it. You have no such luxuries at Mt LeConte, the second-highest mountain in the Smokies. Five separate trails lead to the summit: Rainbow Falls, Bull Head, Trillium Gap, Boulevard, and Alum Cave. However, we’ll only consider the two easiest – Alum Cave (11-miles/3000′) and Rainbow Falls (13-miles/4000′). Which is better to summit Mt LeConte, Rainbow Falls, or Alum Cave? It all depends where you’re coming from. We’ve discussed both hikes already, so you know that Rainbow Falls comes off of Roaring Fork…

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Recently we had the fortune to experience a stay at one of Puerto Rico’s premier wellness retreats, Casa Alternavida. The name roughly translates to house of the alternative life because they believe you can balance life, work, and everything about yourself in healthier, alternative ways. Leo Tolstoy’s 1877 novel Anna Karenina begins- “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same is true for balanced, happy lives, and there’s no escaping it because everything is connected if you believe in a holistic philosophy. Believe it or not, the way you brush your teeth…

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Highline Heritage Museum The Highline Heritage Museum tells the stories of the people who immigrated to this area and their contributions to the local culture. Which begs the question, what is the Highline area in the first place? Highline is the geographic area in Southwest King County, Washington, defined by Seattle on the north, 252nd street on the south, Puget Sound on the West, and I-5 on the East. The community of Highline is not a governmental entity but a school district, known locally as ‘401’ or the Highline School District, that covers White Center, Burien, Normandy Park, SeaTac, part…

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Ride Plans for the Tanglefoot Trail There are many ways to slice and dice the Tanglefoot into smaller rides, but we’ll only focus on two – a 37-mile out-and-back from New Albany to Pontotoc or an 87.2-mile out-and-back starting from Houston and covering the entire trail. If you’re only going to ride half the Tanglefoot, there are several reasons to start in New Albany. First off, New Albany is right off of I-22, which makes it the logistically easiest trailhead to reach. Also, it has you biking uphill to Pontotoc initially, so you know your car is waiting at the…

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Ride Plans for the Tanglefoot Trail There are many ways to slice and dice the Tanglefoot into smaller rides, but we’ll only focus on two – a 37-mile out-and-back from New Albany to Pontotoc or an 87.2-mile out-and-back starting from Houston and covering the entire trail. If you’re only going to ride half the Tanglefoot, there are several reasons to start in New Albany. First off, New Albany is right off of I-22, which makes it the logistically easiest trailhead to reach. Also, it has you biking uphill to Pontotoc initially, so you know your car is waiting at the…

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Introduction to Hattiesburg They call Hattiesburg the Hub City because it’s centrally located between New Orleans (biking the French Quarter and Tammany Trace Trail), Natchez, Jackson, Meridian, Mobile, and Gulfport (biking coastal Mississippi). You’re just a short drive away from all of these cities if you’re looking to plan a weekend getaway to Hattiesburg or add it to a bike trip through the South. What makes the town unique is its college feel and large Millennial population (the largest per capita population in the Gulf South!) Instead of sweet tea and rocking chairs, you’ll find craft beer, great restaurants, street…

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We fell in love with the El Conquistador Hotel a decade before setting foot in Puerto Rico. The property’s beauty is undeniable, but the best parts are the romantic and adventurous things to do. While staying at El Conquistador, Puerto Rico, you can experience a vacation where romance meets adventure amid a tropical Caribbean paradise. El Conquistador was our top choice for our destination wedding, but we couldn’t get the family on board. We also could never escape the dream and allure of the property. When we finally were able to visit, the El Conquistador Puerto Rico exceeded all expectations.…

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Enjoy an Urban Afternoon Bellevue is a vibrant, modern city you’ll want to explore after your paddle. Maybe you scouted some hot spots already, or maybe you’ll just want to wander and see where the city takes you. Either way, you’ll see why I think that Bellevue is the Pacific Northwest’s answer to Manhattan. Bellevue Downtown Park is a 21-acre oasis with gardens, a waterfall, and even a beach. The Bellevue Arts Museum echoes the community’s visionary promise of a brighter and inclusive world. If you’re up for a walk, it’s only a mile or so to the Bellevue Botanical…

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Goat Island Lake Martin Goat Island Lake Martin is technically Billy Goat Island. If you look for ‘Goat Island Alabama’ on Google Maps, it will return a point on Lake Mitchell and stories about how there aren’t actually goats on goat island. Have no fear; there are plenty of goats on the Lake Martin Goat Island, at least during the summer months. However, if we want to keep it that way, people need to be responsible. You can bring your kids and even treats for the goats, but leave your dogs at home or at least on the boat. In…

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Take Your Beau to the Hattiesburg Zoo I hope all you LSU fans made that rhyme in the header work… Moving on, the bronze statues at the Hattiesburg Zoo entrance tell the tragic story of Hattie the elephant and her deep friendship with a one-horned goat. In 1974, a flash flood claimed her furry friend. Broken-hearted, she laid down, never to get up again. Hopefully, you find that kind of love at the zoo without all the death stuff. Going to the zoo is an act of service for all their work in the community and beyond. You can purchase a keepsake…

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Play with a Porpoise Yeah, it’s going to be one of those articles😜 and our first entry is taking a dolphin cruise from The Wharf. At any given time, there are 50-70 dolphins in Wolf Bay swimming, playing, eating, and generally being too cute. Everybody knows that excessive cuteness releases a chemical stew into the female brain that science still can’t fully quantify. Don’t believe us? Imagine that awkward first coffee date with 50-70 golden retriever puppies. Yeah, Casanova, that’s what we’re talking about 😉😉; only get your mind out of the gutter and stop thinking about those puppy piles,…

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Accommodations at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa The resort has three types of accommodations: the main lodge, cottages, and the Spa Suite. The lodge has 102 guest rooms, many with balconies, gas fireplaces, or panoramic mountain and golf course views. Google rates the lodge as a 3-star hotel, which could be technically correct per standards, but it’s quite possibly the nicest three-star property we’ve seen. The property isn’t a state park, but it is state-owned, so they aimed for an accessible price point and had ‘value engineering’ restrictions keeping them from entering the high-end luxury market. Long story short, you…

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Fort Morgan Road Ride (42 miles) The Fort Morgan road ride is one of three classic cycling routes in Gulf Shores. You can create the first 52-mile route by simply combining the West Beach Blvd Ride with the Gulf State Park Loop and Perdido Key. We made these routes to connect together, so there’s nothing more to say about that. The third cycling route is coming, so stay tuned, but this section is about the Fort Morgan Road Ride. Two things make this ride special and unique; you’re sheltered from the coastal breezes a bit by the trees along Fort…

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From the world-famous Niagara Falls to the remote and exquisitely beautiful falls in the deserts of Arizona, the USA has some of the most stunning waterfalls on earth.  Located across the country, pristine landscapes and incredible views surround most of the falls. This is a journey of discovery. Sit back and enjoy the ride while I take you to fifteen of the best waterfalls in the USA! Yosemite Falls California The spectacular Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Ten times taller than Niagara, the water drops 2,425 feet, tumbling over three distinct sections. Even the…

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Alabama Point / Shell Beach There was a time when I thought that Perdido Pass separated Alabama Point on the west side and Florida Point on the east, but that would be too easy. So I searched Alabama Point on Google Maps, and it appeared on the west side of the pass, just north of the bridge, which matches the geography well enough, but not any of the beach descriptions. Instead, I’ll defer to the park sign located on the eastern side of the bridge/pass that clearly says – ‘Alabama Point.’ This ‘Alabama Point’ matches the popular descriptions of a…

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Stroll Bellingrath Gardens and Home Mobile is known as the Azalea City because, in the 30s, the garden club actively encouraged planting these colorful flowers to attract visitors. Their idea blossomed, and the Azalea Trail grew to be over 50-miles long and attracted over one hundred thousand visitors every year. Coca-Cola bottlers Walter and Bessie Bellingrath built their namesake mansion and gardens just outside Mobile during the same time frame. They were avid collectors of old south memorabilia, including porcelain, silver, and mature azalea plants. These collectibles were procured from the finest homes and mansions that had fallen into disrepair…

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Cycling Calder Avenue Bike Lanes (8-mile out-and-back) While you’re at the visitor center, you can cycle the Calder Avenue bike lanes. I broke this ride into two sections that I call the Oaks Historic District and the West End. The Oaks Historic District section has bike lanes that start at the visitor center and continue to 11th Street. Along the way, you’ll see about a half dozen murals, the McFaddin-Ward House Historic Museum, and the Chambers House Museum, as well as other historic buildings in the Oaks Historic District. The West End ride starts with a 1/2 break in the…

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Best Cocktail in Huntsville Where do you go for the best cocktails in Huntsville? My general answer is downtown, where the mixology scene is thriving. You’ll find everything from hidden basement Tiki bars (Phat Sammy’s) to a slew of rooftop bars. However, we only get to pick two. So, right or wrong, here we go. For old school, we’re rolling with Catacomb 435. Even though it’s relatively new, their commitment to the speakeasy style earns them street cred. Plus, Matt Ortega is probably the craftiest cocktailier in town. You’ll want (re: need) a reservation, and you’ll want (re: need) to…

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Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are Alabama’s beaches where you’ll find white sugar sand, warm Gulf water, and cool people. Their combined 32-miles of pristine beaches have welcomed visitors for generations enjoying everything from dolphins to diving, sitting to sailing, and anything in between. Astute travelers searching for a home away from home look for beachfront condo rentals. They’ll find everything they’re after and more at the Turquoise Place by Spectrum Resorts, with plush accommodations, unparalleled beach access, and resort-style amenities. Where is Turquoise Place Located?  Turquoise Place is located gulf-front in Orange Beach at 26302 Perdido Beach Blvd. You’ll…

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Kayak Black Canyon Black Canyon National Paddling Trail runs 30-miles from the base of Hoover Dam to Eldorado Canyon. The entire trail is magnificent, offering beaches, caves, coves, hot springs, wilderness, and solitude. However, the ‘money section’ is the first 11-miles above Willow Beach, which you can explore with either a full-day trip or a half-day trip. The full-day trip launches just below Hoover Dam and requires you to obtain a National Park permit and launch with an approved vendor. You’ll access the upper half of Black Canyon, including Gold Strike Hot Springs, Arizona Hot Springs, and Sauna Cave. Both…

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Cabins at Grand Canyon West If you’re looking for lodging at Grand Canyon West, you have two choices: The Cabins at Grand Canyon West and RV parking without hookups. That’s it. There are no hotels near Grand Canyon West, so be sure you have reservations at the cabins before staying overnight there. Also, there are no restaurants near Grand Canyon West outside of the park, so be sure to bring dinner with you and breakfast, too (unless you’re taking our advice about having a burger brunch at the Skyview Restaurant). We also heard that Grand Canyon West was working on…

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The Gym and Pool The Ponte Vedra Inn and Club gym was a gem in every sense of the word. More than 75 exercise stations were spread out in the 8,000 square foot facility, including plenty of cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights for the hard-core guests. It wasn’t only large and spacious, but beautiful too with clean new machines and ocean views. There is also a wide assortment of workout classes to choose from, including reformer pilates, spinning, and beach yoga. Honestly, we were a little disappointed with the pool. For the right visitor, it would be spectacular.…

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Bay St Louis You’ll find the Infinity Science Center and Mississippi Welcome Center turnoff, two miles from the Louisiana state line. Here’s where your Mississippi Gulf Coast road trip begins. Turn off I-10, and 20-minutes later, you arrive in the historically French town of Bay St Louis. From a walkable downtown to an extraordinary food scene, you’ll find an exquisite taste of New Orleans without the debauchery or commercialism. Like much of the area, Hurricane Katrina leveled the town in 2005. They rebuilt with modern infrastructure and a true sense of community, which we learned firsthand from Nikki Moon, the…

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Redstone Arsenal Mountain Biking Trails The Redstone Arsenal mountain bike trails are a true hidden gem in the city. There are 36 trails that cover roughly 36 miles with over 3,600′ of elevation gain. The paved Redstone Gateway Trail is seven miles long, and there are about four miles of gravel roads included in this mileage. Take those out, and you still have 25-miles of true mountain biking to play on. The trails are well marked at the trail junctions, but there’s no map at the trailhead, so you’ll want to check out the map if you want to do…

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Okatoma River Trip Tip #4 – How to Read a River You should expect little or no instructions before getting on the river. If you happen to get some, great, but here are the minimal instructions on how to run a river. First off, load the online map in this section onto your phone before you leave town and keep your phone in a secure place, like a waterproof pouch. That way, all you need to do is pull up the map, and Google will update your position, so you know where you are. Secondly, look for the “V’s” on…

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Northern Historic St. Augustine Bike Loop This Northern Historic St. Augustine Bike loop starts at the iconic Flagler College and takes you by most of the “must-see” highlights of the old city. As you head down King St. past the town square, you will see the Governor’s House, the Basilica de St. Augustine, and the Constitutional Monument. Here’s an interesting fact, this is the only monument to the 1812 Constitution remaining in the world. In 1812, Napoleon was toppling European monarchies with promises of nationalism and liberalism. When King Ferdinand, the king of Spain, abdicated power the 1812 Constitution not…

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Could Ha Ha Tonka State Park be the most beautiful place in Missouri? Conde Nast Travel thinks so! After you see our exciting things to do in Ha Ha Tonka State Park, you might agree. And after a trip to Camdenton, you can see for yourself. This guide takes you from historic castle ruins on the bluff tops to the crystal blue springs at lake level. In between, you’ll find 3,700 acres of exquisite nature, including well-preserved woodlands and distinctive karst features. See the Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins At the top of the list and the top of the…

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Unplug and Enjoy This might come as a surprise to you, but it’s sometimes hard to get cell service when you’re island hopping through remote waters. There are two ways you can look at this. 1) OMG, I miss my email, or 2) Good, nobody will be bothering me. Go for the latter. You don’t need to be glued to your screen. In fact, one of the things we appreciated the most about liveaboard diving was that we broke our habitual checking of emails and social media apps. This might date us a bit, but we remember when phones were…

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For some, camping is a peaceful and relaxing experience. An opportunity to experience nature first hand, to sleep in silence for one in your life, and to not have to worry about the bustle of day to day life. But for others, for the adventurers among us, those of us who like to take things to the extreme, camping can be something completely different. It’s just another opportunity for a brand new adventure. Let’s think about what the term ‘extreme camping’ means in a little bit more depth though. It doesn’t just mean hanging off the side of a cliff…

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The Berlin Wall / Breakthrough How monumental was Churchill’s speech in Fulton? From the museum’s webpage: Forty six years, two months, and two days after Winston Churchill’s monumental speech, Gorbachev had brought Westminster and the world full circle — proclaiming an end to the Cold War and the beginning of a new era holding the promise of peace. Even before Gorbachev’s The River of Time and the Imperative of Action speech proclaimed the end of the Cold War, there were signs of the iron curtain lifting. Four years earlier, the Berlin Wall fell, reuniting one of the ancient capitals of…

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