Do you plan to blaze a new trail in 2020? You might want to consider trekking these trails around the country.
Joshua Tree National Park (CA) – Check out the trees the park is named for while hiking the more than 65 moderate trails in this rugged terrain. The Joshua Tree is characterized by its twisty, bristly limbs and these distinctive trees are just part of the scenery to be seen here. The Arch Rock Trail hike brings you to the namesake of the trail, Arch Rock, which runs 30 feet wide. Get up close and personal (well, maybe not too close or too personal) with the Park’s Cholla Cactus on the relatively easy Cholla Cactus Garden trail.
Lake Kissimmee State Park (FL) – Live oak hammocks provide the perfect cover as you explore the two loop trails in this Florida hiking destination. The Buster Island Trail takes roughly 3 ½ hours to walk this 6.9-mile loop on an island that is surrounded by three lakes. The North Loop Trail is another option that includes Gobbler Ridge, a spur trail that leads to the edge of Lake Kissimmee.
Prospect Mountain (NY) – Imagine 100 miles views of the Adirondacks! This somewhat difficult hike (not suggested for youngsters) is one of the
more popular hikes in the region thanks to the rewarding scenery. The goal is the summit at 2,030 feet, where hikers can experience those magnificent views but also see the remains of the Prospect Mountain Cable Incline Railway. The trailhead begins in the town of Lake George.
Fall Hollow Falls (TN) – The waterfalls are the draw on this trail, not to mention the creeks and wooden bridges. Cross over the two bridges and you’ll find yourself at the observation deck for the falls. The trail to the observation deck is less than a quarter mile. The trailhead for this hike is just off the historic Natchez Trace Parkway.
Thanksgiving is all about gathering friends and family near and being thankful for all your blessings. Why not put a twist on the tradition this year by gathering together to go glamping?
Since it’s the holidays, it makes sense to kick it up a notch by staying in accommodations that are a bit comfier, photogenic, and where you can cook up a great meal with ease. Consider group rentals for all of the adorable tiny homes available at our tiny house villages in Leavenworth (WA), Verde Valley (AZ), Sunshine Key (FL), or Mt. Hood (OR). Another option is adjacent cottages at Tropical Palms (FL) or Palm Springs (CA). Or, be thankful for all that nature has to offer and get adjacent tent or RV sites. Either way, everyone’s all together and, of course, the more the merrier.
Once you’ve settled in, get outside and be thankful for the great outdoors. Take a hike – top fall hikes include Florida’s Seminole-Wekiva Trail outside Orlando, which is a 14-mile, well-marked trail; Araby Trail in Palm Springs is about a 2-hour hike with gorgeous desert views, including a glimpse of Bob Hope’s former home; or Lower Chimney Rock Trail in Sedona, which takes you to Chimney Rock through Arizona’s spectacular Red Rock State Park. Other outdoor activities can include the Sedona Turkey Trot, Orlando’s Turkey Trot in Avalon Park or Portland’s Turkey Trot at the Zoo, which are all set for Thursday, November 28.
After your hike or Turkey Trot, be thankful for the bountiful meal you can enjoy with these simple ideas. Instead of a full-blown turkey dinner with all the trimmings, make up a variety of food boards ranging from veggies and cheese, to meats and breads or delicious dessert offerings. Or, plan the perfect potluck in advance by having each guest pick from a hat and bring whatever food is marked on their pick. The options should include an appetizer, veggie dishes, simple main meal options which can include stuffed peppers or one-pan dinners, easy desserts, and, of course, a seasonal libation. Or, let someone else do the cooking and consider the Thanksgiving Day Dinner at Yosemite National Park, which offers several feast options in their dining rooms and helps keep your yurt guest-free, or enjoy a meal at the historic Timberline Lodge, just a few miles from the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village.
Be thankful for local attractions and explore your surroundings. Check out the schedule for Cannon Beach, Oregon’s Haystack Holidays which include Mimosa Madness, a Holiday Wreath Making Class, Christmas concerts, and holiday light displays. Visit www.cannonbeach.org to see all the fun that’s planned. Tampa’s Busch Gardens will have a Christmas Town from early November to early January that features thousands of twinkling lights, holiday decorations, a sing-along train and a variety of holiday shows (www.buschgardens.com/tampa has all the details).
Visit www.PetiteRetreats.com to book your glamping accommodations and make this a unique Thanksgiving celebration you’ll remember for years to come!
If you’re looking for a spirited adventure this fall but haunted houses and ghost tours aren’t really your thing, consider seeking spirits of a different kind. We’re talking about the kind of spirits you can drink, and you don’t need complicated equipment to find them. Simply check out these distilleries below to find the kinds of spirits that will keep you in good spirits!
Trinity River Distillery, Fort Worth TX: Housed in an historic landmark dating back to 1913, this distillery uses natural rainwater in their distilling process. Tours are just $10 per person and include samples of the distillery’s products which include Silver Star Vodka, Silver Star Whiskey and Silver Star Texas Honey Liquor. After the tour, enjoy some specialty drinks at the bar like the Silver Stargarita, the Texas Honey Mule, or the Toxic Whiskey. www.trinityriverdistillery.com
(Cozy cabins at Bay Landing are less than 50 miles from the distillery)
Cannon Beach Distillery, Cannon Beach, OR: The spirits produced here are about as homegrown as you can get. Every liquor produced is done so on site – from fermentation to bottling. Considered an artisanal distillery, the batches are small and not mass produced so a trip to the tasting room is the only way you are likely to taste what they have to offer. Sadly, they are closing up shop within the year, but they are still open and plan to release four whiskeys before year-end. www.cannonbeachdistillery.com
(Cabins and yurts at Pacific City are about an hour from Cannon Beach)
Sound Spirits Distillery, Seattle, WA: Located under the Ballard Bridge in Seattle, Sound Spirits offers tours of the distillery which produces some unique liquor varieties including aquavit and herbal liqueurs, as well as gin and whiskey. www.drinksoundspirits.com
(Cabins and yurts at Tall Chief is about 35 minutes from the distillery)
Lost Spirits Distillery, Los Angeles, CA: According to reviews, this is more than just a tour and tasting, and is instead akin to an adult version of the tour portrayed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tours are $37 per person and reservations are required, but the experience is well worth it. A mix of science and spirits with a special “ride” to reach the tour are all part of the fun, not to mention the whiskey and rum tastings. www.lostspirits.net
Goleta Red Distilling Company, Goleta, CA: Rum is the spirit of choice here with three different varieties as well as a rum liqueur, but they also have gin and a “Fiesta” Agave Spirit, too! The tasting room is open Wednesdays through Sundays and you can also enjoy cocktails on the patio at this very welcome addition to the fun found in Santa Barbara. www.goletared.com
Florida Distillery Trail, Various Locations: Follow the Florida Distillery Trail which runs across and around the state offering roughly 15 distilleries to visit. These distilleries offer everything from rum to whiskey to moonshine. Florida Cane Distillery, in Tampa, offers not only tours, but also a Distillery After Dark option where you can mix your own signature cocktail or a 3-day Whiskey Workshop that offers insight to whiskey making (www.floridacane.com). In Sarasota, award-winning Siesta Key rum flows at the Drum Circle Distillery where tours are free and the tasting room is open seven days a week (www.siestakeyrum.com). Down in the Keys, enjoy a free tour at Key West First Legal Rum Distillery (keywestlegalrum.com) or visit (by appointment only) Key West Distilling which offers craft distilled rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey (www.keywestdistilling.com).
June 21 is National Selfie Day. Established in 2014, this day, according to NationalCalendar.com, was designed to “encourage people to take creative (appropriate) selfies and share them on social media.” Of course, this may be something you do on a daily basis, so maybe on National Selfie Day you should go all out and make sure your post is amazing! One way to do that is to make sure wherever you’re snapping the perfect pic of yourself offers outstanding scenery. We’ve listed a few of the more iconic locations to provide the perfect selfie backdrop. Also, if you choose to participate, you should post your pic on social media with the tag #NationalSelfieDay. For more information, visit www.nationalselfieday.net.
The Hollywood Sign: Located in Los Angeles (and just an hour fromSoledad Canyon), this American landmark is 352 feet long and spells out the word HOLLYWOOD in 45-foot tall letters. A star is born, for sure!
The Washington Monument: While the monument itself is closed for repairs until August, you can still stand in the forefront and get a great shot with this 555-obelisk built to commemorate George Washington. Conveniently, Harbor View is about 65 miles from Washington D.C.
The Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco’s iconic suspension bridge is a great backdrop for a selfie. Hike up Hawk Hill, located in the Golden Gate Recreation Area, for a perfect shot.
Disneyworld: A perfect selfie would include Cinderella’s Castle in the background as you smile broadly with Mickey and/or Minnie to complete the shot. The colorful cottages at Tropical Palms are just 10 miles away from the Magic Kingdom.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign: A Vegas landmark since 1959, this 25-foot tall neon masterpiece marks the entry to the famous Las Vegas strip. Stay in a cabin at Las Vegas to prep for the perfect pic.
The Bean: Chicago’s Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as The Bean, is a popular selfie backdrop. Located in the city’s Millennium Park, selfie snappers have been known to get very creative when taking pics with this mirrored landmark.
Cheers Bar: Go where everybody knows your name, or at least your social media handle after you post a pic of yourself with the famous Cheers sign in the background. Head to Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood to find this iconic sign. It is located across from Boston’s Public Garden, which provides some great selfie shots, too! The Tuxbury Tiny House Village is located just an hour from downtown Boston.
Hersheypark: Visit Hersheypark and keep your eyes peeled for an opportunity to take a pic with life-sized candy characters, including a Hershey Kiss, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or a Hershey Bar. The cabins at Hershey are less than 30 miles from Hersheypark. These are guaranteed to be some sweet shots.
The Parthenon: You don’t have to travel all the way to Greece to get this shot. Instead, head to Centennial Park in Nashville and snap a shot in front of this full scale replica of the original in Athens. The adorably themed cabins atNatchez Traceare about an hour from downtown Nashville.
Chief Passamaquoddy: Take a picture with a 40-foot Indian chief in the background. To do so, head to Freeport, Maine (which is about 60 miles fromMoody Beach) and you’ll find him standing tall along Route 1. He is also known as the Big F Indian.
Looking for a way to get away this spring? Look no further than Orlando & Kissimmee, Florida! While the Orlando & Kissimmee areas are known for the theme parks, there’s so much more to explore in this area. Here are some of our favorite ways to explore the region in the spring!
Until June 3, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival brings the kind of joy only spring can bring! During the International Flower & Garden Festival, Epcot is positively bursting with all the colors of the rainbow from over “30 million blooms.” While the flowers and garden displays are certainly the main events, this year’s 25th annual festival also features concerts, special programs and demonstrations, new topiaries and gardens, food specials, and more! Admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included in your day pass for Walt Disney World®. Be sure to visit the Epcot website for more information:https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/
Lake Eola Park is a perfect daytime excursion while enjoying spring break in Orlando. Located in downtown Orlando, you’re in the heart of it all with lots of shops, restaurants, and bars to check out. Here, you can rent a swan-shaped paddle boat, see a concert at the Walt Disney Amphitheatre; or just relax amid the flower beds while gazing on the view of Orlando’s skyline! Remember to also check out the sculptures installed around the park by the nonprofit, See Art Orlando. These outdoor public sculptures serve to “enlighten and enrich” the park and the lives of park visitors. For more information about Lake Eola Park, visit orlando.gov.
Take a zip line adventure in Kissimmee! Zip across the treetops at 25 miles an hour at Forever Florida’s Zipline Safari! Thrill seekers of all ages can strap on a helmet and swoosh across the treetops for a sensational activity you won’t soon forget! Forever Florida also offers other outdoor excursions like horseback riding and a trail buggy. For more information and to book an excursion, visit foreverflorida.com.
Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld®
Eat your way around the world when you visit SeaWorld until May 5! Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, visitors can sample over 180 international cuisines and a huge collection of beer, wine, and spirit selections from around the world! This year, the festival has become even bigger and more diverse with new markets like Italian, Vegan, and Caribbean, and a lineup of live performances featuring bands from many genres like Latin, rock, country, and more! Just make sure to purchase a Specialty Dining Pass along with your general admission to SeaWorld® or visit seaworld.com.
Located in Kissimmee, Florida, Tropical Palms RV Resort is a hidden gem set on 69 beautiful sun-kissed acres that are perfect for your Orlando vacation getaway, especially for spring break! Approximately 4 miles from Walt Disney World Resort, 11 miles from the Orange County Convention Center, and within walking distance from Old Town and Fun Spot, Tropical Palms RV Resort is the perfect home base for your spring break adventures.
The colorful and spacious vacation cottages at Tropical Palms are a favorite accommodation option for guests! Complete with private deck, full kitchen, flat-screen TV, sleeper sofa, and available in a variety of floor plans to accommodate any size group! If you want to bring a furry family member, Tropical Palms also has pet-friendly cottages available.
When you choose one of these spacious private cottages or RV sites, you will have access to the Tropical Palms pool, café, shuffleboard, bocce ball, horseshoes, live entertainment, social events, on-site laundry, and much more. Tropical Palms RV Resort makes for the perfect Central Florida spring break getaway!