5 Things to Do on the Oregon Coast

What makes a visit to the Oregon Coast so great is that there’s so much to see and do and it’s pretty easy to see it all on one memorable road trip thanks to the easy coastal route from the tip top of the Beaver State down to southern Oregon.

From a glamping standpoint, there are several stops along the Oregon Coast road trip route that allow you to take the time to drive the coast and stop off for a night or two to explore the quaint towns and great beaches and all there is to see and do there. Pacific City in Cloverdale would be the northern most spot for accommodations, followed by South Jetty, in Florence; Seaside in Seaside; with Whalers Rest in South Beach being the southernmost spot to stay. All are conveniently located to the area highlights and offer a mix of cozy cabins and yurts.  

After settling in to your glamping accommodation, check out these 5 things to do on the Oregon Coast.

Cabin at Pacific City RV & Camping Resort, Cloverdale, OR
Cabin at Pacific City RV & Camping Resort, Cloverdale, OR

Lighthouse Tours: There are 11 remaining lighthouses along the rugged Pacific coastline in Oregon and several allow tours. One great way to see these structures is a drive along the Oregon coast, taking photos when you can and visiting where allowed.  A great map of the lighthouse’s locations can be found at theoregoncoast.info/Lighthouse/Map.html. A click on each pin provides location details and whether the lighthouse is open for visitors.

Cape Perpetua: This scenic area is like a quick primer on all things Oregon. There are the rugged cliffs, the waters of the Pacific, tide pools, and marine life. Don’t miss Thor’s Well, an old collapsed sea cave that is continually thrashing and spewing the ocean waters. Heading about 15 miles south of Cape Perpetua, another must-see is the privately-owned Sea Lion Caves that serves as a wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary. In winter, hundreds of sea lions shelter in the cave and when spring arrives, they move outside to the rock ledges.

Yurts at South Jetty RV Campground
Yurts at South Jetty RV Campground

Three Capes Scenic Route: This route connects three of Oregon’s famed capes, Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda and provides road-trippers an off-the-highway path full of all kinds of delights, including beach views, forestlands and dairy pastures, plus the little towns and sights along the way. In total, it is a 40-mile loop and downtown Tillamook is the best place to start this scenic drive.

Culinary Fun: Seafood is the name of the game here, but there are also opportunities for some cheese and ice cream to fill out the culinary adventures when you’re driving the Oregon coast. The Tillamook Creamery in Tillamook is a great place to start the dairy adventure and is open 7 days a week. Did you know Oregon is the only state to grow marionberries, which are considered the king of blackberries? According to onlyinyourstate.com, one of the best places to enjoy a piece of marionberry pie while in Oregon is in Newport at the Chalet Restaurant and Bakery. From a seafood perspective, oysters, salmon, and crab are just of few of the fresh fish found here. If you’re visiting Cannon Beach, check out Ecola Seafood, which has proudly served up seafood to the community since 1933.

History and Highlights: Starting north in Astoria, there is the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, which commemorates the historic expedition of these two explorers, as well as the Fort Clatsop National Memorial. The Heceta Head Lighthouse, standing since 1894 and Oregon’s most photographed lighthouse, is just north of Florence. The charming town of Seaside has both the Lewis and Clark Memorial statue and the historic Seaside Promenade, which provides a great place to stroll along the ocean and view the town. And Cannon Beach has the iconic Haystack Rock, the photo worthy 235-foot sea stack.

Read More:

8 Great Trails for National Bike Month

Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month was established in 1956 to highlight the benefits of bicycling and to get Americans outdoors and riding high on two wheels. Some of the benefits of bicycling include increased cardiovascular fitness, strengthened bones, improved posture and coordination, and decreased stress levels.

So, while a bike ride is great anytime, May is the designated month to roll out your bicycle and see where it will take you. If you’re lucky enough to be camping anytime this month, check out these trails. Or anytime you’re out and about atop two wheels.

Sedona (AZ)
Ride among the beautiful red rocks of Sedona on the Bell Rock Pathway, an easy 3.7-mile hard dirt trail. The grand prize on this ride is the view of Bell Rock, one of the most photographed spots in the country and also one of Sedona’s natural healing vortexes. Book a stay in a cabin or tiny house at beautiful Verde Valley and bike the Bell Rock Pathway as well as several others in this gorgeous valley.

Santa Barbara (CA)
The Atascadero Creek Trail is a 3.5-mile asphalt trail that begins in Goleta State Beach Park and takes riders to the center of beautiful Santa Barbara. Rent one of the unique accommodations (cabin, cottage, or tipi) at Rancho Oso and enjoy this lovely ride.

Rancho Oso Cabin
Rancho Oso Cabin

Orlando (FL)
The bike ride at Shingle Creek Regional Trail is just as magical as a day spent at the Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Glimpse some of Florida’s wildlife, including river otters, egrets, and Great Blue herons as you ride along this 8-plus-mile nature trail set amid cypress trees. Plan a colorful cottage stay at Tropical Palms and hit this beautiful trail.

Exeter (NH)
Just under 20 miles from the Tuxbury Tiny House Village is Henderson-Swasey Town Forest which offers several mountain-biking trails, with almost all of them designated as “easy” and highly rated by users. Glimpses of wildlife and scenic forest views provide for a beautiful, natural ride! Book a tiny house and enjoy the ride.

Tuxbury Tiny House Village
Tuxbury Tiny House Village

Lake George (NY)
The Warren County Bikeway makes for a lovely paved 9-mile ride through this lovely upstate New York location. Ride among the towering trees and foliage and learn about the history of the area from the historical markers along the way. Plan a stay at Lake George Escape and tool your way around the historic Lake George area.

Bend (OR)
Book a stay in a relaxing yurt at Bend-Sunriver and enjoy one of the trails offered at nearby Shevlin Park. One trail runs along the waters of Tumalo Creek while another 6-mile Loop Trail runs through old growth Ponderosa pine, has a few hills and crosses Tumalo Creek several times.

Leavenworth (WA)
There are plenty of bike trails in and around the Leavenworth area if you’re planning a stay at the Leavenworth Tiny House Village. The Apple Capital Recreation Loop is a 10-mile round trip, paved loop along the both the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. Another fun way to explore Leavenworth atop a bike is to take one of the Bavarian E-Bike tours offered. For more info on this unique adventure, visit chm.ee2.myftpupload.com.

Cabins at Arrowhead RV Campground
Cabins at Arrowhead RV Campground

Mirror Lake State Park (WI)
This picturesque Wisconsin state park with sandstone bluffs offers five different bike trails including Pinecone Pass (0.4 miles); the Turtleville Trail (2.5 miles); and the three-mile Fern Dell Trail. Mirror Lake State Park is just 20 miles from great cabin, cottage, and vacation rentals at Arrowhead RV Campground.

Read More:

Best Photo Op Spots

Sam Abell, a photographer well-known for his amazing photos for National Geographic through the years said, “Essentially what photography is is life lit up.” Light up your life this month and get outdoors and take some amazing pics of your life’s adventures. After all, it is National Photography Month. Back in the day, excellence in photography required all kinds of gear. Now it’s simply using your ever-present smartphone to capture the people and scenery experienced during your travels. Here are a few spots to visit for some guaranteed spectacular shots.

California: The varied landscape of California makes for plenty of great photos (not to mention all kinds of outdoor fun). Consider a stay in a cabin or cottage at Russian River and head to nearby Guerneville to capture the majestic giant redwoods; or book at yurt at Yosemite Lakes and try your luck at photographing a moonbow at Yosemite Falls. Late May and early June are prime time for this opportunity and for specific times and details, check out yosemitemoonbow.com.

Florida: The Sunshine State is full of all kinds of great photo ops, from the crocodiles in the Everglades to the characters of Disney World. But one off the beaten path location that makes for great photos is Kelly Park, home to the amazing Rock Springs. Book a colorful cottage at Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee and spend the day photographing the natural beauty of Kelly Park/Rock Springs.

Maine: According to goxplr.com, there are at least 17 great photo opportunities in Maine’s Acadia National Park. Those include the view from atop the Park’s Cadillac Mountain, Schoodic Point, Jordan Pond, and the Park’s wild gardens. Choose your basecamp from either Mount Desert Narrows or Narrows Too, book a cozy cabin, and see if you can capture all 17. For a complete list, go to www.goxplr.com/maine/guide-to-acadia-national-park.

Photo Captured from Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort
Photo Captured from Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort

Oregon: May is said to be a great time to capture the rushing waters of Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. The melting snows of winter make a May visit to the falls worth the trip. Plus, the budding wildflowers are an added bonus. Book a tiny house at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village and get set to capture plenty of breathtaking images in this area, including majestic Mt. Hood of course.

Pennsylvania: Although the covered bridges found throughout Lancaster County are man-made, they still provide some pretty unique opportunities for great photos if you’re planning to spend some time in this beautiful area of Pennsylvania. With 29 covered bridges sprinkled throughout the County, there are plenty of choices. Some of the most popular include Pine Grove Covered Bridge and Zook’s Mill Covered Bridge. For a list of bridges and covered bridge tour opportunities, visit discoverlancaster.com/things-to-do/covered-bridges. A cottage or yurt rental at Circle M makes for a great stay while snapping the bridges.

Bay Landing • Bridgeport, TX
Bay Landing • Bridgeport, TX

Texas: Are you a fan of Bridgerton? If so, you might want to plan a visit for you and your camera to the Rose Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. The garden rivals anything you might see on the popular Netflix series, and you can make-believe you’re waiting for Lady Whistledown to write you into the story. Book a cabin at nearby Bay Landing and explore the gardens. The months of May and June promise plenty of blooms from the Garden’s jasmines, hydrangeas, dogwoods, and southern magnolias.

Read More:

5 Things to Do in the Russian River Valley

If vacation plans include a trip to California’s wine country, consider exploring the Russian River Valley, which lies in the heart of Sonoma County. So named for the Russian River that winds through this part of California wine country, the Russian River Valley is full of things to do – including taking in the many wineries. Book a cabin or cottage at Russian River and settle in for a getaway that includes beautiful scenery, plenty of outdoor activity and a few other things we found of interest.

  1. Charles Schulz Museum/Peanuts Sculptures: If you’re a fan of Charlie Brown and his friends, the town of Santa Rosa will be of interest. The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center (schulzmuseum.org) is dedicated to the works of Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz. The museum includes a collection of both permanent and traveling exhibits and a re-creation of the studio where Schulz created the beloved Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and friends. For fun photo ops, there are several over-sized statues of the Peanuts characters around downtown Santa Rosa. Visit sonomacounty.com for a location listing.

  2. Outdoor Adventures: There is so much outdoor activity to be had in Sonoma County from biking to hiking to whale watching and, of course, sipping wine in the sun. Check out some of the vineyards as you bicycle by on the Santa Rosa Creek Trail, a 2.14-mile paved trail complete with scenic views. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park offers a hike with a waterfall while Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve features hikes among giant redwoods. Cloverdale River Park is great for water-based activities like canoeing, kayaking, and fishing on the Russian River.

  3. Jack London State Historic Park: If The Call of the Wild is one of your favorite books, or other works by Jack London top the list, head to Jack London State Historic Park, which contains the cottage where London wrote as well as several other historic buildings related to London and his life. Free guided tours are available and the Park also has hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife viewing and picnicking. For details visit jacklondonpark.com.
Sonoma County Winery
Sonoma County Winery
  1. Wineries: Of course, wineries have to be part of an itinerary for a trip to Sonoma County and the Russian River Valley. There are at least 425 in Sonoma County alone and the best way to see them is on a tour. Whether you want a private tour, a walking tour, a group tour, a biking tour, or a trolley tour, they are all offered here. Check out sonomacounty.com to see the various tours available. Reds, whites, bubbly, rose, sustainable, rustic, majestic – the wineries here serve up something for everyone.

  2. Cheese Trail: If you’re not into wine, or just want a little cheese to go with your wine, consider exploring the California Cheese Trail. While the trail stretches from northern California on south to San Diego, there’s plenty of cheese to be found in Sonoma County. Visit cheesetrail.org to find cheese near your cabin at Russian River as well as other Sonoma County locations.
Russian River Cabin
Russian River Cabin

Read More:

3 Recharging Getaways

Nothing better than a getaway when the getaway gets you gone but doesn’t involve numerous “travel” days, long lines, and a big hit to the budget. De-stressing, reconnecting, and recharging are important to a happy and healthy life. Here are a few quick getaways that will hopefully have you happy and stress-free by the time you head home.

LA to Palm Springs: Of course, Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine and beautiful beaches, but if it’s your homebase, a little road trip out of the city is guaranteed to ease stress and help you reconnect to the beauty that is California. Book a colorful cottage at Palm Springs and get ready to unwind. Palm Springs is a great place to reconnect with nature thanks to the proximity to Joshua Tree National Park, an ancient desert which is known for having multiple energy vortices. Hike this magical desert landscape which is loaded with spring wildflowers in April and May. Do you enjoy the feeling of wind in your hair? If so, then plan a windmill tour where you can enjoy a self-guided driving tour through a California wind farm (windmilltours.com). If your astrological element is water, then a hike through Tahquitz Canyon to see the waterfall should be on the agenda. For details on this 1.7-mile loop check out tahquitzcanyon.com. This healing vibes getaway is about an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles.

Phoenix to Sedona: Just under two hours from Phoenix, Sedona, Arizona, can be called other-worldly with mystical powers and healing vortexes that can even bring calm to the A-plusses of Type A personalities. Sedona is a healing place thanks in part due to the red-orange color of the red rocks that surround it which is considered one of the most neuro-stimulating colors. Book a cabin, cottage or tiny house at Verde Valley and you’re on our way to restful retreat. Plan hikes to see the vortexes and soak up their healing energy; take a yoga class in the desert; or enjoy some of the spa services offered at one of the numerous spas in town. Plan ahead and enjoy the Sedona Yoga Festival, scheduled for June 2-5. The Verde River is great for relaxing canoe and kayak trips and a wine tasting at nearby Alcantara Vineyards may be just what you need to take the edge off!

Mt Hood Tiny House Village Tumbleweed
Mt Hood Tiny House Village

Portland to Welches:  A roughly less than one-hour drive is nothing if it means within that short timeframe you can travel from the bustle of the city to the serenity of wooded wilderness. If Portland is where everyday life finds you, you’re lucky the drive to Mt. Hood National Forest is a quick trip. Plan a tiny home adventure at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village and get ready to recharge in the great outdoors. To name a few, outdoor activities here can include hiking, biking, climbing, horseback riding, fishing, birding, and rafting. There is a wine trail and a tap trail (which highlights the region’s breweries, cideries, and distilleries), plus antique shops, galleries, and eateries. If music is your go-to for recharging, make note that the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival is scheduled for May 6-8. If fields of flowers bring you peace, check out the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, set for Sunday May 1, or the Spring Fever Open House, sponsored by the Cascade Nursery Trail, where area nurseries are open for tours, host plant sales, and other flower-themed fun events. Spring Fever Open House is a three-day event scheduled for May 28-30.

Read More:

5 Things to Do in Monterey, California

There’s no dispute that Monterey and the surrounding area contain some of the most picturesque landscape you’ll find in not only California, but also the U.S. Located in Central California on a peninsula, the area offers a lot to see and do, both inside and outdoors. To begin your Monterey adventure, book a stay at Marina Dunes. Located adjacent to the Marina Dunes Preserve with its stunning dunes, Marina Dunes accommodations include your choice of three rental cottages with queen-sized sleeping options, a separate bathroom and fully equipped kitchen or one of the ultra-unique glamping tents.

  1. Visit Big Sur: It’s a little under an hour’s drive from the resort to Big Sur, but we guarantee the ride will be epic in terms of scenery. There’s so much along the way, you’ll be tempted to stop but we think these places are worthy of their own visit, so let’s just get to Big Sur. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Parks offers amazing overlooks and great hiking while Pfeiffer Beach is home to the unique purple sand. Lunch at Nepenthe promises more great views while Bixby Bridge provides perfect photo ops. It was rated the #1 Instagram Worthy Destination in 2019!

  2. Carmel-by-the-Sea: This town is pure charm – and lots of it! There are art galleries, restaurants, shops, scenic views, and the beach. Consider a Carmel food tour or a self-guided historic walking tour which starts at the First Murphy House, which is also the Welcome Center where you can learn more about the walk and the sites you’ll see. There are wine tastings and plenty of special events including the upcoming 27th Annual Carmel Art Festival set for May 13-15 and the 28th Winemaker’s Celebration, scheduled for May 7. 

Sea Otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium
  1. Marine Things: Of course, as a coastal city, there is plenty of focus on all things water here including whale watching excursions and a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium’s exhibits include the underwater Kelp Forest, playful sea otters and ocean-view decks to watch for humpback whales. Speaking of whale watching, check out the Monterey Bay Whale Watch group that offers a variety of excursions to view whales, orcas, and dolphins. For details visit gowhales.com. You can also go tide pooling at McAbee Beach or kayak the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (rentals available at adventuresbythesea.com).

  2. Drive Time: There are several scenic drives (although what wouldn’t be scenic here) and they include the 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. Photo op stops on the 17-Mile Drive include the iconic Lone Cypress, Ghost Trees at Pescadero Point, and Cypress Point Lookout. Another kind of driving is done here too as the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links are here – while it is a public course, tee-time reservations are typically done at least 18 months in advance and a round can be quite pricey, like $575 pricey!  But, you can stop in at the Visitor Center which has several exhibits and enjoy a drink and a snack on the Visitor Center’s patio.

  3. Soak up the beautiful weather with a walk or bike ride along the 18-mile Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Its’ a great way to see the coastal countryside as well as visit some of the attractions along the way like Fisherman’s Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Cannery Row. Plus, at the end of the day, you won’t need to sneak in a workout since that breezy bike ride doubled as your exercise for the day!
Marina Dunes Cottage
Marina Dunes RV Resort Cottage

Read More:

4 Ways to Celebrate National Goof Off Day

March 22 is not a solemn occasion – and yet, there is a recognized national day that falls on March 22; and yes, it should be honored…. but only in the silliest ways you can think of because it’s National Goof Off Day. And we think it falls at the perfect time – winter is officially over as the spring solstice began on March 20 which means more glamping and more outdoor fun.

National Goof Off day has been around since 1976 and as for goofing off – the phrase became popular in the mid-1940s as an armed forces term meaning to waste time or loaf. BTW – goof off can be a noun or verb. So, when March 22 rolls around, here are few ideas for any of you goof offs who want to goof off.

Cabin at Natchez Trace Campground
Lodge at Natchez Trace Campground

Act Like an Animal: Visit one of national zoos and see who can do the best imitations of their favorite animal. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere has more than 339 species to choose from to try your best at “being an animal.” Check out Rowan, the zoo’s two-year old giraffe who came to the zoo in October 2021. Or maybe you and your favorite “kid” want to see what the kangaroos are up to at the zoo’s Kangaroo Kickabout. Book at stay at one of the tiny houses or cabins at Natchez Trace in nearby Hohenwald.

Build the Best Sand Castle: Challenge your camping mates to a sand castle contest. After all, what’s goofier that playing in the sand? Beach worthy glamp options include a tiny house at Sunshine Key Tiny House Village or a cottage at Fiesta Key – both located in the Florida Keys. Sand castle experts recommend using moist sand – if a ball of sand stays together while you roll it around, it’s perfect for castle construction! 

Tropical Palms Cottage
Tropical Palms Cottage

Visit the Goofiest Guy of All: Head to Orlando, Florida, and make a date with Goofy at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Goofy’s full name is Goofy Goof and to find him at the Magic Kingdom visit Pete’s Silly Sideshow tent. Goofy also is known to hang out at Epcot and participates in the Park’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. Of course the Magic Kingdom is by nature a great place to goof off, so visiting with Goofy aside, there’s plenty of things to do here that can be considered good for goofing off.  Head to Tropical Palms in nearby Kissimmee, book a colorful cottage, and get your goofy on! Play Outside: Book a tiny house at Leavenworth’s Tiny House Village and get ready to enjoy the outdoor playground in this great Washington State destination. The wonderful thing about Leavenworth is there are so many ways to play outside here from hiking to biking, fishing to ziplining, and so much more. Consider a guided horseback ride into the Cascades or a carriage ride around the quaint town. There may still be snow fun at Leavenworth Ski Hill or listen to live music, eat some great German food, and loaf the day away in Leavenworth.

Read More:

5 Things to do In…The Florida Panhandle

Florida’s Panhandle, that handle-type stretch of land in the far northwest portion of the state that runs roughly 200 miles, is home to some of the most beautiful white sand beaches, several of which are consistently named to the ranks of America’s best beaches by beach expert, Dr. Beach. If you plan on hitting some of these beaches or checking out the places we’ve named to our 5 Things to Do list, plan a stay at Live Oak Landing. Offering studio and one-bedroom resort cottages as well as RV sites, Live Oak Landing is just 30 minutes from scenic Highway 30A and all that silky sand. The resort sits adjacent to the Choctawhatchee River and has plenty of amenities including a pool, boat ramp, a floating dock, and opportunities for onsite fishing. Cottages are fully furnished with kitchens or kitchenettes (depending on cottage selection), linens and towels, outdoor picnic tables, and TVs. So, make your reservation, pack your sand toys and swimsuits, and get ready to explore the Panhandle.

  1. National Naval Aviation Museum: Of course, you can find this in Pensacola, which is home to Naval Air Station Pensacola, considered the Cradle of Naval Aviation. The Museum will provide thrills for everyone, whether you’re a Navy buff or an aviation buff. MaxFlight 360 Simulators allow visitors to experience air-to-air combat as well as stunt flying missions while the Naval Aviation Memorial Theater provides an unparalleled “am I really flying” kind of screen event. There are also virtual flight deck and cockpit training experiences to be enjoyed. Exhibits include several aircraft galleries as well as a one-quarter scale replica of the USS Nimitz. For information, visit navalaviationmuseum.org.
  2. Shell Island: Shell Island is truly an example of undeveloped space when it comes to things that mar our beautiful beaches. This 7-mile barrier island has no hotels, no restaurants, no buildings, not even a trash can it is said – just sand, water, and natural flora and fauna. It’s a great place to see bottlenose dolphins; in fact, a resident pod is there all year long so as long as the sun is shining, you just might see a dolphin whenever you visit. Snorkeling and shelling are two more activities that make Shell Island a great place to visit.
  3. The Destin History and Fishing Museum: It’s not all about the history of fishing here, there’s also a science exhibit that explains why the sands of Destin are white and several Native American history displays. But yes, there’s fishing history here shown through artifacts, fishing equipment and of course, mounted fish upon fish, all caught locally. Visit destinhistoryandfishingmuseum.org for more details.
Downtown Tallahassee, Florida
Downtown Tallahassee, Florida
  1. Day Trip to Tallahassee: Florida’s capital, Tallahassee is about 130 miles east of Live Oak Landing and is worth a day trip. The Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park bills itself as a “masterpiece of floral architecture” with gardens upon gardens, a reflection pool and plenty of walking trails as well as opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. Peak blooming season runs through April. Other Tallahassee highlights include Railroad Square Art Park, Goodwood Museum and Gardens, the Tallahassee Automobile Museum with its more than 150 vehicles on display, and the Lewis Spring House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
  2. Sculpture with a twist: Who doesn’t love a sculpture park? Florida has a good one located in the Panhandle, except there’s a twist here – it’s underwater! Located about a mile off the sandy shores of Grayton Beach State Park, the Underwater Museum of Art was opened in 2018 with just 7 sculptures. There are now 19 sculptures residing some 50 feet below the surface that have become living reefs for fish and other sea life. To dive to see the sculptures up close you must be certified, but snorkelers can view the “museum” from above the installations. For details visit umafl.org.
Live Oak Landing Cottage Interior
Cottage at Live Oak Landing in Choctawhatchee Bay, FL

Read More:

Top 5 Galentine’s Getaways

If you’re a fan of TV’s Parks & Recreation, you know that we have the character Leslie Knope to thank for making Galentine’s Day a thing. Celebrated on February 13, the day is designated for “ladies recognizing ladies.” Show your gal pals all the love you feel for them this year and enjoy a Galentine’s Getaway to these top spots.

Nashville, Tennessee: Book a glamping stay at Natchez Trace Tiny House Village and get ready to experience Nashville and the surrounding neighborhoods with some of your best gal pals! Head into Nashville to experience the one-of-a-kind honky tonks that line the city’s world famous “Lower Broadway.” More musical fun can be found at the Ryman Auditorium whether you’re taking in a concert or just a guided tour of this historic music venue. What’s a girl’s trip without a few Instagram shots so make sure you check out the murals around town that provide the perfect backdrop for these photo opps (visitmusiccity.com/trip-ideas/nashville-murals). Nashville’s neighborhoods provide another option for interesting things to do – check out The Gulch, SoBro and Capital View for all kinds of fun. Need more space than a tiny house affords? Natchez Trace also features a gorgeous lodge which sleeps up to 15 and a number of cozy cabins!

Miami Everglades RV Resort Cabin
Miami Everglades RV Resort Cabin

Miami, Florida: There’s more than the beaches to enjoy when the gals gather for Galentine’s Day in Miami. Of course, if you’re looking for prime beach time, the best beaches in Miami include Lummus Park (said to have postcard worthy views), the iconic South Beach (SoBe to the locals), and Crandon Park, when you’re really there for the beach. Then there’s Coconut Grove (mark your February calendars for the 19-21 which is the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival) – an historic Miami neighborhood with dining, shopping, and the occasional live peacock strutting your way. Located in Coconut Grove, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark that offers 34 rooms on view at the estate as well as 10 acres of formal gardens, is another must-see when taking in Miami.

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village - Scarlett Tiny House
Scarlett Tiny House at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Portland, Oregon: Portland is for Pittock Mansion, Powell’s City of Books, and plenty of Instagram worthy pics. It’s also a great destination for pals – as in gal pals this Galentine’s Day. The aforementioned Pittock Mansion is a French Renaissance-style chateau built in 1914 as the home of publisher Henry Pittock. Visitors can choose from guided or self-guided tours of the mansion, the Gate Lodge, and the grounds (pittockmansion.org).  A Portland landmark, Powell’s City of Books is billed as the world’s largest new and used bookstore. Plenty of choices for that book group discussion can be found here! As for the photo opps – check out the marquee at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for a very large “Portland” backdrop, the Old Town Portland sign (another historic landmark), and underneath the St. John’s Bridge at Cathedral Park. A great place to stay is in an adorable tiny house at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village, which is about 45 minutes from the city.  

Santa Barbara, California: Pick from cabins, cottages, or the unique tipi or western cabins at Santa Barbara’s Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort to get your sunny Cali Galentine’s Getaway off to a great start. Without even leaving the resort, the fun begins with horseback rides and a look-see at the resort’s Western Village complete with stables, Conestoga wagons and a welcoming stone lodge. Off-site excursions can include a trip into the Danish-style city of Solvang where you can enjoy a trolley ride around town, visit the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, and try some tasty Danish baked goods. Another option is Montecito where must-sees include Butterfly Beach and Casa del Herrero, a 1925 Spanish Colonial Revival estate open for tours. Keep your eyes open when you’re out and about in Montecito as a few well-knowns call Montecito home including Oprah and Harry and Meghan. There are also opportunities for wine tours in Santa Barbara, a visit to the Santa Barbara Zoo, and plenty of shopping, dining, and sunsets to be experienced.

Cabin at Medina Lake RV Campground
Cabin at Medina Lake RV Campground

San Antonio, Texas: A girl’s trip to San Antonio is a perfect trip if you’re looking to combine history, culture, great food, and some fun on the river. Book a cozy cabin at Medina Lake and you’re less than an hour’s drive to San Antonio. For history, there’s the Alamo – there is no admission fee, and you can choose to take a self-guided or guided tour at this historic location where you can learn about the Texas Revolution. The famed River Walk offers all kinds of fun including eating, shopping, and getting your steps in on this 15-mile scenic walk along the San Antonio River. There’s also nightlife options and river cruises here. Viator offers a San Antonio Food Tour as well as a Ghost Walking tour (viator.com).

Read More:

5 Things to Do in the Rio Grande Valley

The Rio Grande Valley in Texas is for the birds, literally. It is home to the World Birding Center, which is a network of nine different birding sites. But there is so much more to this area of South Texas and we’ll give you just five reasons why people flock here come winter. 

1.  The Nature: With winter weather temps averaging daytime highs between 70 and 80 degrees, it makes sense to be outdoors as much as possible. Some outdoor highlights include The Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, which has more than 1500 species of animals in mostly open-air exhibits, or the National Butterfly Center in Mission, which is set on 31-acres and is great for a butterfly experience among the lush plants of the Valley. 

2.  The History: Plenty of museums in the area detail the rich history of the Valley. Check out the Museum of South Texas in Edinburg, with exhibits and collections that detail the history of the land from the prehistoric age to the cattle ranches, or the Heritage Museum in Brownsville. Also in Brownsville is the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, which was the site of the first conflict of the Mexican-American War. Harlingen has the Iowa Jima Monument and Memorial Museum honoring the WWII battle.  

South Padre Island
South Padre Island

3. SPI: If you’re not familiar with SPI, then you will definitely want to check out what South Padre Island, aka SPI, has to offer when you’re visiting South Texas. Hit the beautiful beaches and dip your toes in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Or see how injured sea turtles are rehabbed at Sea Turtle, Inc. Enjoy amazing seafood, or take a sunset dinner cruise. For more ideas on how to enjoy South Padre Island, visit sopadre.com.

4. Outdoor Fun: Take a hike on one of the four hiking trails located in the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, all of which are considered easy treks. This 2008-acre wildlife park is great for glimpsing birds as well as butterflies and other wildlife. Head to South Padre for water sport fun including parasailing, scuba-diving, and fishing. Plenty of top-rated bike trails can be found in the Rio Grande Valley, too. The Bicentennial Hike and Bike Trail in McAllen is one option and the bike trails in Resaca de la Palma in Brownsville are also great option (these trails are part of the World Birding Center).

5. The World Birding Center: We just couldn’t highlight the great things to see and do in the Rio Grande Valley without mentioning the jewel in the crown here, which is of course, the World Birding Center. Within the nine unique birding sites there’s plenty to see and do here. There is a five-story tower for viewing, plenty of walking trails, a 3300-plus foot boardwalk, bird blinds and of course plenty of birds to view including peregrine falcons, hawks, orioles, and warblers. Visit theworldbirdingcenter.com for all the details.

Read More: