5 Things to Do in Lake Tahoe

Want to do a mountain glamping getaway that includes a sparkling alpine lake, sunny beaches and lots of fun indoor and outdoor things to do? First book a glamping cabin or cottage at Tahoe Valley Campground and then check out our list of five things to do when visiting this great destination nestled in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

1. Find Hidden Beach: Considered one of the best beaches in Lake Tahoe, Hidden Beach can be found just south of Incline Village. A newly installed paved trail is great for hiking and biking while the beach is great for swimming, sunning and water-side picnics. Consider stand-up paddling or kayaking the crystal-clear waters here.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe
Kayaking on Lake Tahoe

2. Day Trip to Reno: Less than 70 miles from Lake Tahoe, this city is worth a little day trip. Of course, Reno, Nevada is known for its casinos, but there is a lot more than gambling to do in the “Biggest Little City in the World.” One of the reasons Reno has that moniker is because there is so much to do in such a small area. Two museums of note here are the National Automobile Museum where there are historic cars and cars that belonged to the stars (automuseum.org) and the Nevada Museum of Art (nevadaart.org) whose collections range from landscape to contemporary to art of the Great West. Reno’s Riverwalk District is great for walking the boardwalk, shopping and dining.

3. Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum: While the Donner story is not one of the most pleasant in the history of westward expansion, the tale is still one to be told. The museum documents the story of the ill-fated Donner Party through detailed dioramas as well as other details about the history of the area. Pioneer Monument, located in the State Park, honors all of those who made the trek across the harsh plains to reach California in the 1840s.

Cabin at Tahoe Valley Campground
Cabin at Tahoe Valley Campground

4. Olympic Museum: With the Olympics set for this summer in Paris, it might be interesting to take a look at the history of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games which were held in Squaw Valley. There is a collection of memorabilia, videos and photographs that exhibit the history and highlights of the events. For details and directions, go to palisadestahoe.com/events-and-activities/activity-finder/olympic-museum.

5. Explore a different trail: Yes, there are plenty of trails to walk here in Lake Tahoe, but what about exploring the Craft Beer Trail. For a listing go to visitlaketahoe.com/things-to-do/beer-trail. The Hangar offers 30 rotating taps while Cold Water Brewery & Grill brews their all-grain beer right on site. The annual Lake Tahoe Brewfest is scheduled this year for August 24 and will feature beer, cider, spirits and kombucha brewers!

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

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4 Garden Getaways in Full Bloom

It’s spring, so garden blooms are getting underway and things are greening up around the country. If you’re looking for inspiration for your own garden-to-be, check out some of these great public gardens in the country.

Thousand Trails Rancho Oso Cabin
Thousand Trails Rancho Oso Cabin

Lotusland (Montecito, California): Stay at Thousand Trails Rancho Oso and take the trip into Montecito to visit the 37 acres of lush gardens that were part of Polish opera singer Madame Ganna Walska’s residence. Walska purchased the estate in 1941 and lovingly created and curated the gardens for the next 43 years. The different gardens showcased here are definitely unique and include the Bromeliad Gardens, the Aloe Garden, and the Cactus Garden. The best time to visit Lotusland (lotusland.org) is summer for the lotus flowers and April through June for the roses.

Cabin at Spring Gulch Camping Resort
Cabin at Spring Gulch Camping Resort

Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania): From formal gardens to open, forest meadows, Longwood Gardens would be the choice when planning a stay at Spring Gulch Resort Campground, our Pennsylvania Dutch Country location with great glamping choices that include lodge, chalet or cottage accommodations. Longwood Gardens was originally a Quaker farmstead and later the estate of industrialist Pierre S. du Pont. There are over 1000 acres of outdoor gardens here, plus centuries’ old trees, scenic vistas and the Italian Water Garden designed by du Pont himself. Crocus and tulip blooms welcome visitors in the spring while the Norway maple trees blaze brightly come fall. For information and special event details, visit longwoodgardens.org.

Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden (Key West, Florida): Book a Keys glamping at adventure Encore Fiesta Key or Encore Sunshine Key and head to Key West to take in this 15.2 acre native garden and forest complete with boardwalks and nature trails nestled in the sunny Florida Keys. What makes this native plant botanical garden unique is that it is the only frost-free, subtropical, natural conservation habitat with three fresh-water ponds in the continental United States. Plus, dogs are welcome here! In addition to the “champion trees” found here, the garden is all great for birding as well as butterflies and blooming flowers. There are two butterfly gardens plus a waterfall wall where you can see turtles in their natural habitat.

Cottage at Greys Point Camp in Topping, VA
Greys Point Camp in Topping, VA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (Henrico, Virginia): This beautiful garden in Virginia is celebrating 40 years this year and to recognize that milestone a special program, “Flourish: 40 Years and Growing” will feature events all year long which include concerts and children’s and adult activities. Plan a glamping getaway at Grey’s Point Camp and you are less than 70 miles from the Gardens. Visitors will enjoy a dozen themed gardens plus an historic domed conservatory when exploring Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden that guarantees blooms all year!

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5 Things to Do in San Diego

Weather, water, and wildlife are three big reasons to visit San Diego but that’s just the beginning. The weather in San Diego is never too hot, never too cold with an average daytime temperature of 70 degrees year-round! Water can be found easily since the Pacific Ocean is basically the backyard here; need we say more. And wildlife is a cinch with the world renowned San Diego Zoo, plus with the San Diego Safari Park and SeaWorld San Diego there are plenty of places to hear the call of the wild in San Diego. Book a stay at Thousand Trails Pio Pico and choose from cabin and cottage glamping accommodations and get ready to explore the city that is considered the “birthplace of California.”

Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Campground
Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Campground

1. Day Trip to Dana Point: Wait, we just got here, you say? Well, this roughly 65-mile drive will be worth it, especially if you’re traveling between now and mid-May. Why? Because it’s the best time for whale watching here and after all, Dana Point is considered the “Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World.” There are plenty of excursions to book for a whale watching cruise but it is not uncommon to see them right from the beach. Additionally, the Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area has three miles of public trails and the viewpoints are perfect for catching a glimpse. Other sightings here can include dolphins, harbor seals, and sea lions.


2. Old Town San Diego: In addition to the more than 30 historic sites found here (Old Town is the oldest neighborhood in San Diego), there is also shopping, museums, art galleries, and eateries. Whaley House, which was completed in 1857, not only provides a glimpse into the history of the area but also provides a “spirited” adventure as it is considered one of the most haunted houses in the U.S. Day tours of the home area are available as well as the spookier evening tours (whaleyhousesandiego.com). Old Town also hosts several annual events including Taste of Old Town, Old Town Cinco De Mayo, and a Day of the Dead event (oldtownsandiegoguide.com).

Hotel Del Coronado


3. “Star” Destinations: Big screen and small screen enthusiasts will be delighted to know that there are several areas in and around San Diego that were the backdrop for many a scene or two. For example, Kansas City Barbeque was “the bar” from Top Gun and the piano that saw Goose and Mav belting out Great Balls of Fire is still there (sadly, a fire destroyed most of the original building) along with plenty of other Top Gun memorabilia. The iconic Hotel Del Coronado is almost as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe and was also featured in the classic Some Like it Hot, starring Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis. “Stay Classy San Diego” and check out Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo which were featured in Anchorman, the Will Ferrell funny film. And, small-screen shows like Veronica Mars and Animal Kingdom were actually filmed in Ocean Beach versus the fictional town setting portrayed in these shows.

Thousand Trails Pio Pico
Thousand Trails Pio Pico


4. Anzo Borrego: Springtime in Anzo Borrego Desert State Park is a blooming good time with wildflowers everywhere (note the drought has affected blooms in the past years and there is a Wildflower Hotline to call with questions (760) 767-4684). Hikers can enjoy the many trails here and a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail is within the Park – an easy trail is the 3.5-mile Palm Canyon Trail near the Visitors Center. There are also plenty of canyon and rock formations and the evening sky here is an event in itself.


5. Take a Tour: There are plenty of tours to take to get to know San Diego including the Gaslamp Quarter Food Tour (sidewalkfoodtours.com), the San Diego Highlights Tour (anothersideofsandiegotours.com), or a whale watching cruise (viator.com). If you want to DIY, check out the self-guided tours from GPSmyCity that include tours of Old Town San Diego and Coronado Island (gpsmycity.com/gps-tour-guides/san-diego-1033).

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The Ultimate Guide to Pet Friendly Vacation and Glamping Destinations

Speaking of happy places, if you’re a pet lover, then any place you can travel with your pets has to be a happy place. Here are a few ways you can bring the pup(s) along, glamp, and have the freedom to let them tag along at these dog friendly places.

Cottage at Tall Chief Campground
Cottage at Tall Chief Campground

Seattle, Washington: The pet-friendly cottage at Tall Chief sleeps four humans and is the perfect glamping spot to host a getaway with your pet. Dog-friendly outings when heading into Seattle can include the Washington Arboretum; Gas Works Park, a lovely grassy park built on the site of a former gas works plant that offers paved walking paths and great views of Lake Union; and leashed dogs are welcome to explore the iconic Pike Place Market. Several breweries welcome dogs too including Fremont Brewing and Outer Planet Brewing.

Cabin at Lake George Escape
Cabin at Lake George Escape

Lake George, New York: Our Lake George Escape resort is extremely pet-friendly as all of the glamping accommodations welcome pets. Once you settle in, get ready for an Adirondack adventure with your furry friend. Don’t miss all the opportunities to explore Lake George with your pup in tow – from a brewery (Bolton Landing Brewing Company) or a winery/cidery (Adirondack Winery & Extreme Heights Cidery) to a hike with views of the Hudson River (Hudson River Park) and a sunset cruise on Lake George (Lake George Waterfront Cruises).

Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver Yurt
Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver Yurt

Bend, Oregon: Choose from a pet-friendly cabin, cottage, or yurt at Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver and explore “the outdoor playground of the West” on four legs or two! Most of the Deschutes National Forest is dog-friendly. The North Fork Trail is shady thanks to all the Douglas firs and offers a shorter 4-mile loop as well as a 6.7-mile loop. Of course, you’ll find the Bend Ale Trail here – because Bend is also known as “Beer Town USA” and most of the breweries along the trail welcome pets. If you’re up for shopping for new gear for you and your pet, check out the Patagonia store in Bend which welcomes pets and has some good gear for them (and you), too!

Carmel, California: Carmel is considered one of the most dog-friendly cities in California so it’s no wonder dog-lovers and everyone’s favorite Golden Girl, Betty White, kept a beach house here for over 40 years. Rent the pet-friendly cottage at Marina Dunes and see what makes Carmel so dog-gone pet-friendly. Sip and stroll with your pet and enjoy some of the offerings from the Carmel-By-the-Sea Wine Walk which has plenty of pet-friendly tasting rooms or take to the sugary sand at Carmel Beach, which welcomes dogs. After beach time, check out the Fountain of Woof in Carmel Plaza and let your pet drink from the fountain for good and you can explore the shops here, too! Also, most restaurants that have patio seating welcome dogs as well.

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5 Things to Do in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is, in and of itself, a destination where you don’t really need an agenda other than to see the Park. Most travel guides will say two to four days should be dedicated to your visit here to see all of the magnificent features of the Park. And yes, by all means explore all the soaring highs and valley lows of this jewel in the crown of the U.S. National Park System. What else is there to do in the area? We’ve got a few ideas when you want to take a break from YNP. But, before you plan your trip, make sure you book your glamping accommodation in a cozy cabin or yurt at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes.

1. Hit the Small Towns #1: All around the area in this part of California, you can find many small towns that were established during the Gold Rush. One is Twain Harte – named for authors Mark Twain and Bret Harte, who happened to be favorite authors of the wife of one of the mining camp founders. Today, it is a charming mountain town with shops and eateries dotting the streets. The gourmet chef in your glamping group will enjoy browsing The Harte of the Kitchen for specialty cooking items while those looking for unique jewelry and gifts, essential oils, and crystals will enjoy Earthy Essentials. Those looking for unique Instagram shots should take note of the giant root beer mug next to the Rock of Twain Harte pub. With this as the backdrop, followers will know you’re in the “Heart of the Sierras,” as the giant mug denotes.

2. Hit the Small Towns #2: Considered one of the most picturesque historic towns in Gold Country, Angels Camp was founded in 1849 when George Angel established a mining camp here. Today it is known for its charm and the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee (held the third weekend in May to commemorate the short story that launched Mark Twain’s career – The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County). The Angels Camp Museum and Carriage House has one of the largest collections of carriages and wagons in the U.S. as well as a Mark Twain exhibit. Viator.com has a fun, and inexpensive, way to get to see the sights of the historic mining town – a self-led scavenger hunt using your iPhone as the guide (to download the map, visit viator.com/tours/California/Lets-Roams-Calaveras-County-Scavenger-Hunt-UnFROGettable-Angels-Camp/d272-104204P78).

2 Llamas


3. Love on Some Llamas: A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience can be had with a visit to Llamas of Circle Home where you can meet 31 llamas at this community and “learn all about the llama universe and their way of living.” Please note reservations are required, so go to experiencellamas.com to reserve a time for your visit. Visitors have said that the brushing, feeding, petting, and just being close to these amazing animals allowed them to realize how kind, gentle, and intelligent llamas are.

Aerial view of cabins at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes


4. Moaning Caverns Adventure Park: This attraction in nearby Vallecito is built around the Moaning Caverns, which were discovered by miners back in 1840, but after cave exploration, it is believed the cave existed, and was used, for thousands of years. It is named because of the moaning sound that came from it. Visitors can take the Spiral Tour down into the cavern via a 144-stair spiral staircase that has 7 ½ spiral turns while descending. Other activities here include a half-day Expedition Crawling and Spelunking Tour of the cavern, plus panning for gems and axe throwing. For more information, visit moaningcaverns.com.

Rock formation


5. Out of the Ordinary: A few not the run-of-the-mill experiences here could include Devil’s Postpile National Monument and the Coursegold Tarantula Exhibit. Devil’s Postpile, which was once part of Yosemite National Park, is an unusual rock formation considered one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt. Located in historic Coursegold Village is the Coursegold Tarantula Exhibit which is dedicated to teaching people about the world’s most hairy spider with plenty of creepy displays.

Cabin Interior at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes


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4 Great Small Town, Fall Towns

There’s something about a vacation in fall that is just a bit extra – the crowds are gone, it’s OK to spend some time inside since your summer tan has come and probably gone and the fall colors are an attraction in themselves. Add a bit more to the magic by enjoying some small-town charm when glamping this fall.

Cabin at Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes
Cabin at Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes

Temecula, California: Pick a glamping cabin or cottage at Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes in Menifee and you’re less than 20 miles from Temecula – a tiny town with a chill vibe that has been named one of the most charming small towns in Southern California. Temecula is located in California’s South Coast Wine Region and there are more than 40 wineries here. Check out Briar Rose Winery, where the buildings are replicas of Snow White’s cottage or Longshadow Ranch Vineyards and Winery with a true old west feeling and cozy bonfires every Saturday night through November 18. Old Town Temecula is a perfect mix of old and new with antique stores, boutiques, craft breweries, and plenty of places to enjoy a bite to eat.

California’s Yosemite Area: While this part of California is best known for the magnificent National Park found here – we’re talking about Yosemite National Park – there are also several charming small towns that can serve as side trips when visiting here. First things first, book one of the fantastic glamping accommodations at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes, which include yurts and cabins. Once you’re settled in, take in the beauty of your location during autumn and the charm of the surrounding towns. Sonora, a historic Gold Rush town, is home to the Indigeny Reserve which has the perfect fall offerings of hard apple cider and apple brandy tastings. For a beautiful fall hike, check out the Dragoon Gulch Trail, a 1.2-mile (moderate) loop. Jamestown, another Gold Rush town, is also worth a visit. Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is good for a look at historic steam trains as well as some Hollywood history. And, the town has several wine tasting rooms as well as a craft brewery. You can also pan for gold, shop, and stroll the Walk of Fame to see which Jamestown locations have been featured in movies and television.

Cabins at Thousand Trails Timothy Lake South
Cabins at Thousand Trails Timothy Lake South

Milford, Pennsylvania: The perfect mountain town to visit during fall, Milford is located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Plan a glamping stay in a comfy cottage at Thousand Trails Timothy Lake South and take in this picturesque small town. The Black Bear Film Festival is set for October 13-15 and includes a weekend full of indies and short films. Want to see Pennsylvania’s tallest waterfall? That would be Raymondskill Falls, found in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which is also a great spot for biking and hiking, plus some pretty great leaf-peeping. For some interesting history, visit Grey Towers National Historic Site, which was the home of Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the US Forest Service. Visitors can tour the mansion and the grounds of this estate that was completed in 1886. Milford also offers plenty of shopping and dining opportunities.

Cottage at Greys Point Camp in Topping, VA
Greys Point Camp in Topping, VA

Virginia’s River Realm: Dotted with charming small towns, Virginia’s River Realm is the area where the Rappahannock River meets the Chesapeake Bay. It is all about the simpler life and a trip here in fall promises to be a pleasant glamping getaway. Book a cottage stay at Grey’s Point Camp in Topping and let the fun begin. The Holly Point Art & Seafood Festival is set for October 15 in Deltaville and offers seafood, live music and unique artwork from 60 different vendors and the always-popular annual Urbanna Oyster Festival is scheduled for November 3 and promises all things oyster! Shopping in Kilmarnock is an option with several boutiques and antique stores while Deltaville has a maritime museum and the beautiful Holly Point Nature Park with walking trails and kayaking opportunities. Several towns have regular farmer’s markets, and they include Irvington, Kilmarnock, and Deltaville while Urbanna has a spectacular seafood market. To learn more about the River Realm and its charming towns, check out virginiasriverrealm.com.

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5 Things to Do in Temecula, California

Looking for a glamping destination that includes great rental accommodations, a beautiful setting, and plenty to do in the area? Consider a glamping getaway to the cozy cabins at Wilderness Lakes in Menifee, California, and check out what we found nearby:

  1. Wineries: The Temecula Valley has more than 40 wineries spread among the rolling hills of this scenic Southern California location. There are four separate wine trails to explore and a complimentary winery map can be found at visittemeculavalley.com. Miramonte Winery is known for its beautiful views in addition to the great wines while Somerset Vineyard and Winery specializes in Spanish varietals. For a carefree tour, consider the tours offered through temeculacablecar.com.
  2. Old Town Temecula: Rustic buildings and quaint storefront shops harken back to the old days in charming Old Town Temecula. Modern-day visitors can enjoy several breweries, as well as antique and artisan shops, boutiques, and eateries. Check out the Old Town Sweet Shop, Temecula Olive Oil Company, Temecula Lavender Co., and the unique Temecula House of Jerky. If you spend the day here, stay for the sunset – Town Square Park is a great place to catch it.
  3. Hiking: There is plenty of hiking in the area with outstanding scenery. Consider the Santa Margarita River Trail Preserve which offers the Scenic Trail that runs along the Santa Margarita River, running about 4.9 miles. Lake Skinner offers a 1.5-mile path great for sighting owls, hawks, and herons. Or consider walking through the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve that offers great opportunities for sighting badgers, mule deer, and turtles and is also home to the historic Moreno and Machado Adobes, former cowboy bunkhouses dating back to the mid-1800s.
Wilderness Lakes Campground Cabin
Wilderness Lakes Campground Cabin

  1. Tenaja Falls: Located in Cleveland National Forest, a short hike from the trailhead (about 1.5 miles) will bring you in view of Tenaja Falls, which cascade 150 feet into the canyon below. Spring is the best time to visit to ensure the falls are flowing. Seasoned hikers take note – there is also a longer trail (about a 7.5-mile hike) through Fisherman’s Camp and San Mateo Creek with equally stunning scenery.
Hot Air Balloons rise over California Wine Country, Temecula, California
Hot Air Balloons rise over California Wine Country, Temecula, California

  1. Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival: Plan ahead to attend this three-day event that includes ballooning, wines and wine tastings, live music, and unique events like wine barrel racing. Craft beer tastings and a fair with over 150 vendors and a food court are also part of this annual event, set this year for May 19-21, 2023.

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5 Things to Do in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is an all-seasons destination thanks to the lovely lake and Sierra Nevada mountain range. Each season brings its own special touch to the area and summer is no exception. If Lake Tahoe is your summer getaway of choice, five things to consider are included here. First item to check off, however, is your glamping accommodations. Reserve a cabin or cottage at Tahoe Valley Campground and check out our ideas as well as many more things to do at visitinglaketahoe.com.

1. Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival: There’s more than just performances of Shakespeare to be found here. And yes, while July and August do offer regular performances of the Bard’s classic, “Much Ado About Nothing,” there’s also performances of “Mama Mia,” a variety of musical events featuring the Reno Philharmonic, Shakespeare for kids, and even a performance of the classic ballet, “Swan Lake” by the Sierra Nevada Ballet. This is a gorgeous outdoor venue where you’re surrounded by towering pines and mountain views. Food and drink are also available. Visit laketahoeshakespeare.com for info.

2. Most Beautiful Drive in America: Download the brochure from visitinglaketahoe.com and check out the mapped drive that guides you to the most scenic, historic and not-to-missed places in Lake Tahoe. Spots include Spooner Lake, which is great for fishing; Emerald Bay Lookout, one of the most photographed places and also provides a trail to Vikingsholm, Lake Tahoe’s hidden castle; and Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe
Kayaking on Lake Tahoe

3. Truckee: Truckee is an historic logging town less than 30 miles from Lake Tahoe. The Truckee River Trail is great for strolling, hiking, and biking with great views of wildflowers along the water. Floating and whitewater rafting expeditions can be found in Truckee (check out truckeeriverrafting.com or gowhitewater.com) and West End Beach, located on the Donner River, is a great place for kayak or paddleboard rentals or simply soaking up the sun on the 12-acre beach. Museums include the Truckee Railroad Museum and the museum at the Donner Memorial State Park. Downtown Truckee offers restaurants, shops, and craft brew and wine options. BTW – Truckee derives from the Piaute Indian word “trokay” which means “everything is alright.”

4. The Potholes: Check this out for an unusual way to take a dip in the water when visiting the Lake Tahoe area. Thanks to the way the Silver Fork of the American River flows and the granite fields found here, the water drops off and creates swimming pools, or holes. Experience them from atop a granite boulder perch or dip in and enjoy the cool waters. To find the potholes, you need to hike a bit but they are worth it. Visit aboutlaketahoe.com/hiking/potholes to learn more about them and to find directions.

5. Fun with Food and Drink: Tahoe Tastings (tahoetastings.com) offers a completely different kind of wine tasting experience with cruises around Lake Tahoe while tasting wines from area wineries. Several foodie tours are available (tahoefoodietour.com) while top restaurants include Zephyr Cove Restaurant and Chambers Landing Bar and Grill, which is the oldest bar on the water in Lake Tahoe and offers food and drink, including the famous Chambers Punch.

Pool at Tahoe Valley Campground
Pool at Tahoe Valley Campground

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5 Great July Getaways

According to globalgrasshopper.com (a blog team that consists of “self-confessed travel snobs), the locations listed below are some of the best places to travel to in July. Luckily, the fabulous Petite Retreats glamping accommodations in these locations provide the perfect complement to have one of the best July trips you’ve ever taken!

Citing the idyllic back drop of Frenchman’s Bay, the top-notch eateries and the charm of the downtown area, Bar Harbor, Maine made the list. Make a reservation at either Mt. Desert Narrows or Narrows Too and get set for a New England destination full of food, fun, and outdoor activity. Highlights of a Bar Harbor getaway include Acadia National Park; whale-watching excursions; several history museums and lots of shopping. For something different, consider Diver Ed’s Dive-in Theater (diveintheater.com), which offers a great way to learn about the sea creatures that reside here.

On the other coast – Pacific, that is – the “travel snobs” believe Cannon Beach, Oregon, is a great July pick for a trip due to the stunning scenery and sea life that can be seen here at this time. Toss in the great pics you can take of Haystack Rock with a summer sky backdrop and that’s reason enough. If you need more, there’s the Cannon Beach Farmers Market, which runs every Tuesday; the “BUSKERS in the Park” Thursday night concerts in the City Park, craft brews from Cannon Beach brewpubs, Pelican Brewing Company and Public Coast Brewing, plus outdoor activities that include surfing, fishing, hiking, and plenty of nature walks. Reserve a cabin at Seaside and explore this Pacific Coast gem.

Cabin at Seaside RV Campround
Cabin at Seaside RV Campround

Is there a bad time to visit Monterey, California? We doubt it, but according to globalgrasshopper, Monterey is great in July thanks to the temperature and al fresco dining opportunities. Renting the glamping tent or cottage at Marina Dunes is also perfect in July, so stay with us while you explore July in Monterey. The Monterey Scottish Games and Celtic Festival is set for the weekend of July 16-17 and the 19th Monterey Beer Festival is set for Saturday, July 30. More fun in Monterey includes visits to the charming seaside village of Carmel-by-the-Sea; the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the stunningly scenic 17-Mile-Drive. Oh, and by the way, al fresco dining options can include Abalonetti Bar & Grill and Loulou’s Griddle in the Middle.

Looking to go lakeside? Book a cottage complete with a screened-in porch at Kenisee Lake and head to charming Geneva-on-the-Lake. The lake here is Lake Erie and the quaint town is billed as “Ohio’s First Summer Resort.” The blogging travel snobs like this location because of the numerous lakeside beaches, the zip lines and adventure courses, and the local breweries and wineries. The Vines and Wines Trail has over 30 wineries and vineyards and details can be found at ohiowines.org. The Strip, the town’s version of a boardwalk, is home to shops and restaurants, and other fun attractions like a mini-golf course. Breakwater Beach is great for beach lovers and Geneva State Park will provide a great fix for hiking enthusiasts. Lake Erie Canopy Tours (lakeeriecanopytours.com) receives high praise from users for its patient and professional guides as well as the variety of course options.

Cottage at Kenisee Lake RV Campground
Cottage at Kenisee Lake RV Campground

Historic Boston makes the list and that’s fitting since they really know how to celebrate Independence Day. Aside from the big party on the 4th, Boston is noted for the concerts at the Hatch Shell and Shakespeare on the Common, both free events in July, whale watching and the food and craft beer scene. There are also baseball games at Fenway Park, the historic and very walkable Freedom Trail, harbor cruises, and some of the best Italian dining to be found in the North End (don’t miss the cannoli from Mike’s Pastry)! The Rose Kennedy Greenway is another place where you can always find something going on, including Greenway Food Trucks where over 35 food trucks offer all kinds of specialties from seafood to Korean options daily; a farmer’s market each Tuesday and Thursday and a beer and wine garden. Book a stay at either Sturbridge or Gateway to Cape Cod and head into Boston to discover a great summertime city.

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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.

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