Enjoy Nature’s Paradise at these Outdoor Towns

It’s summer and everyone’s Summer Bucket List likely includes a host of activities to do outside. Why not add a visit to one of these “Best Outdoor Towns” to your list this summer to maximize outdoor fun. These towns were included on the list of thediscoverer.com’s “9 Best Outdoor Towns in the U.S.”

Cabins on the River at Yosemite Lakes
Cabins on the River at Yosemite Lakes

Mammoth Lakes, California: From an outdoor standpoint, isn’t most of California the best outdoor space? According to thediscoverer.com, Mammoth Lakes is one of the best thanks to the breathtaking scenery and the mountain and lake activities to enjoy here. From a biking standpoint, there are paved trails for road biking as well as a bit rougher terrain for the mountain biking enthusiast. Take a dip in Horseshoe Lake if you want to swim or try your hand at stand-up paddling here, a favorite spot for those that enjoy this way to take on the water. Other ways to explore this beautiful portion of the Sierra Nevada Range include horseback riding, rock climbing and hiking. Check out visitmammoth.com for specifics as well as trip planner guides and maps. The Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza is set for August 1-4 featuring blues music and craft breweries.

Book a glamping yurt, bunkhouse, cabin or cottage at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes to explore stunning Mammoth Lakes this summer.

Cabin at Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver
Cabin at Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver

Bend, Oregon: Bend is one of those four-season towns when it comes to the outdoors as there is always something to do outside here from skiing in winter to whitewater rafting in summer. One fun thing to do here in summer is to float the Deschutes River in a colorful innertube, a must for its perfect combination of fun and relaxation. Other fun on the Deschutes can include paddleboarding, kayaking, and the afore-mentioned thrilling whitewater rafting. If you’re looking for something unique, take the drive from Bend to Tamolitch Falls (about an hour) to see the Blue Pool. Once you’re here, it’s about a 2.5-mile easy hike on the Tamolitch Pool Trail to reach the unique turquoise waters. There’s also the Bend Ale Trail (bendaletrail.com) and the Bend Summer Festival, featuring live music, food and artisans, is set for July 13-14, for summer fun outdoors!

Book a cottage, cabin or yurt glamping accommodation at Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver to enjoy Bend in summer.

Leavenworth Tiny House Village
Leavenworth Tiny House Village

Leavenworth, Washington: Another four-season town thanks to the mountains and lakes here, a visit to Leavenworth should always include “outdoor time.” The bonus is that the quaint Bavarian-style town will make you feel like you’re having a European vacation! The Wenatchee River is one of the draws here with opportunities to paddleboard, whitewater raft and fish. Hiking options include Icicle Gorge Trail (4 miles) or the Alpine Lakes Wilderness offering 600 miles of trails. For a unique way to see the scenery, consider Leavenworth Ziplines (leavenworthziplines.com). You might also check out Village Art in the Park, a three-day vibrant outdoor art market held every weekend through mid-October.

Book one of the charming tiny houses at Leavenworth Tiny House Village to explore this beautiful mountain town in summer.

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Where to Glamp to Celebrate International Day of Happiness

What better way to celebrate March’s International Day of Happiness than by spending it doing the thing that makes you happiest – glamping! We’ve got some great locations where the happiness factor is super high. Check them out:

California: You’ll be happy to know that if you book a stay at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes you’re about 15 minutes from the entrance to one of America’s most treasured national parks. More happiness can be found just taking in the sights of Yosemite, which include El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome. Aside from the activities in the park, other happy things to do here include the Madera Wine Trail (themaderawinetrail.com), a scenic ride through the Sierra National Forest on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (ymsprr.com), or just hanging out at Yosemite Lakes and enjoying amenities like horseshoes, swimming and fishing (seasonal), or hiking the on-site trails.

Cabins at Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes
Cabins at Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes

If getting away from it all makes you happy, then Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes is your California glamping destination. There’s plenty to do here but if you don’t feel like fighting tourists, check out the quieter attractions nearby which include The Southern California Railway Museum, the Motte Historical Car Museum, or Western Science Center. Take a hot air balloon ride over the valley or explore the Temecula Wine Country. You choose – whatever makes you happy!

Florida: It’s a proven fact – sunshine equates to happiness by increasing serotonin levels. Spend some happy time in Florida at Encore’s Miami Everglades or Tropical Palms. Each offers fabulous glamping accommodations and proximity to attractions and outdoor fun. Tropical Palms in Kissimmee is near all the happiness that comes with a visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, plus there’s Epcot, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando. The colorful Art Deco architecture of Miami is guaranteed to make you smile and then there’s all the other fun found here from beaches to museums and nighttime fun.

Oregon: The amazing tiny house accommodations at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village are just one reason you’ll be happy you’re here. A few more things that will bring a smile to your face include the amazing views of majestic Mt. Hood, the roughly 1000 miles of trails found here, and the opportunity to spend all day outside in the mountain air fishing, biking, skiing, and taking in the beautiful, seasonal wildflower displays!

Natchez Trace Tiny House Village
Natchez Trace Tiny House Village

Tennessee: Enjoy the southern hospitality during your glamping stay at Natchez Trace Tiny House Village and up your happiness level by taking a drive into Nashville to enjoy some live music. Hearing good melodies is known to release dopamine – aka the feel-good hormone. Another activity known to increase the “feel goods” is connecting with nature. In Nashville, bike or stroll the miles of Nashville’s Greenway or take a scenic drive along the portion of the historic Natchez Trace found near Hohenwald (natcheztracetravel.com).

Washington: We guarantee once you arrive in the beautiful Bavarian-style town of Leavenworth, Washington, you are going to smile – a lot. Book a tiny home glamping accommodation at Leavenworth Tiny House Village and explore the fun of Leavenworth from the Nutcracker Museum to fishing Lake Wenatchee. Outdoor fun can include white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, biking, and river tubing, and indoor fun can be found in the plentiful breweries and distilleries found here, plus the wineries. Shopping rounds out the fun and there are plenty of festivals here every year from Maifest to a very festive Christmas season.

Forward-thinking: Keep that happiness going all year and plan a trip to visit the Tiny House Container Village at Yukon Trails this summer. Studies show that trying something new has an effect on endorphins, so why not try a glamping experience and spend a few nights in a tiny container home, which are the hottest trend of late. Don’t miss out on the beauty of this little piece of Wisconsin which is also home to Devil’s Lake State Park where you can bird, swim, fish, rock climb, and hike. There’s also the Circus World Museum with its memorabilia and exhibits devoted to all things circus – an experience that will bring you back to happy childhood days!

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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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Best Desert Vacations

Plan a trip to the desert or a desert town for your next vacation getaway. There are several located in the western part of the U.S. and typically, the towns are not crazy crowded with tourists and tend to enjoy a quieter lifestyle, while the desert landscape is a sight to see.

Book a stay in a cottage at Palm Springs and you’re in prime desert country. Located in the town of Palm Desert, which is situated in the Coachella Valley, the north-western extension of the Sonoran Desert, trips to nearby Joshua Tree National Park, desert excursions with Red Jeep Tours (red-jeep.com), and a visit to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens are all possibilities when you stay here. Instagram memories can be made with a hike to the Palm Desert Cross via the Cross Trail. Hiking through classic desert terrain, you’ll be rewarded with the view of the 30-foot cross.

Yakima Valley Washington

A desert town in Washington State? Doesn’t sound likely, but in fact Yakima, Washington, presented plenty of tumbling tumbleweeds and sagebrush when early pioneers came upon this area of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, the surrounding Yakima Valley is considered a semi-arid desert. Through ingenuity and hard work, the town was transformed to the city it is today and the area is one of the world’s leading producers of apples and produces a whopping 75% of all the hops grown in the U.S. Not bad for a desert climate! Plan a stay at Leavenworth Tiny House village and take a day trip to Yakima. The Yakima Valley Museum, a hike or bike ride on the Cowiche Canyon Trail, or a tour of the Hop County Craft Beer Trail (putting all the hops to good use) are itinerary options.

Situated in Arizona’s High Desert, part of the Sonoran Desert, Sedona is a great destination any time thanks to its year-round mild climate. Make a tiny house or cabin at Verde Valley your home base as you hike, bike, or horseback ride through the scenic Red Rock State Park. Or maybe take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, which is just over 100 miles from Sedona. Or stay local and visit a spa, enjoy a round of golf, ride the Verde Canyon Railroad, or simply stroll Sedona’s Main Street. Make your friends jealous with your Insta-worth shots from a Boynton Canyon Trail excursion which includes spectacular Subway Cave.

Oddly, an area that is known for its bright lights and late nights is also home to the driest, and smallest, of the four American deserts. Las Vegas is surrounded by the Mojave Desert, which is named after the Mojave Indians. To experience this part of the Mojave, which actually extends through four states, check out Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, home to 4000-year-old petroglyphs, to start. The Petroglyph Trail presents the easiest of the trails to tackle in order to view the petroglyphs. The Valley of Fire is another great spot for petroglyphs and petrified trees dating back some 2000 years. Another Mojave experience could be a visit to Red Rock Canyon, which features a 13-mile, one-way driving option, which can also be enjoyed on bike. Additionally, there are several hiking trails here. Reserve a cozy cabin at Las Vegas RV and you’re all set for a memorable Mohave adventure.

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Black History Month

With the events of this past summer, now more than ever may be not only the time to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of Black Americans throughout our history, but perhaps to also honor their history by taking the time to learn more about the experiences of Black Americans. The month of February has officially been recognized as Black History Month since President Gerald Ford declared it so in 1976. Visit museums and heritage sites, support Black-owned businesses, and read a few books to learn more. And, with some of these locations temporarily closed or operating on shortened hours due to the pandemic, keep in mind our list is not a to-do list for February, but instead a to-do list for all time.

“File:Seattle – Northwest African American Museum from Mount Baker Ridge Viewpoint 01.jpg” by Joe Mabel is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Museums and Heritage Sights

The Northwest African American Museum, Seattle, Washington: If you’re planning a trip to Leavenworth Tiny House Village, a good field trip to consider would be a trip to the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle (about a two-hour drive). The mission of the museum includes presenting and preserving the connections between the Pacific Northwest and people of African descent and is accomplished though exhibits and educational programs. Currently closed due to COVID-19, check out their virtual exhibits at www.naanmw.org. If you plan to visit once the museum reopens, don’t miss the nearby Jimi Hendrix Park, named for the one of the greatest and most innovative African-American guitarists of all time.

California African American Museum (CAAM), Los Angeles, California: Highlighting the important role African Americans have played in the development of the American West through over 4000 pieces that include art, historic objects and printed materials, the Museum was one of the first African American museums fully supported by any US state. CAAM also offers lectures and workshops. (The museum is a little over 100 miles from our colorful cottages in Palm Springs.)

Abyssinian Meeting House, Portland, Maine: Located about 72 miles from the Tuxbury Tiny House Village, the Abyssinian Meeting House is Maine’s oldest African-American church building and the third oldest in the country. Construction began in 1828 and was completed in 1831 and all construction was done by free African Americans. The Abyssinian Meeting House served not only as a house of worship, but also as the center of social and political life for Portland’s African American community. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Milton House in Milton Wisconsin” by royal_broil is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Milton House, Milton, Wisconsin: Milton House served as a stop on the Underground Railroad in part due to its location to the Rock River, a tributary to the Mississippi, which may have served as a route to Canada for escaping slaves. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998 and visitors can take a guided tour of the building, the nearby cabin and the original tunnel used by the freedom seekers. Milton is about 84 miles from the cabins at Arrowhead.

“The Lorraine Motel in Memphis” by Kees Wielemaker (pedaal) is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

National Civil Rights Museum:  The museum, located in Memphis, Tennessee, explores the history of the Civil Rights Movement and houses more than 260 artifacts. Through these artifacts, films, and other multi-media exhibits, visitors can trace the history of the movement beginning with the 17th century. The museum is built around the Lorraine Motel, which was the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memphis is approximately 68 miles from Cherokee Landing.

Books to Read

“Between the World and Me” by CCAC North Library is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson: The stories of the Great Migration of Black citizens fleeing the South for northern and western American cities.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: A New York Times bestseller, this book is written as a letter to the author’s son to explain what it is to be Black in America.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: This historical fiction story details the story of the fight for freedom by two Southern slaves.

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo: An examination of race in America with each chapter addressing an issue about race in our contemporary society.

Black-Owned Outdoor Gear Shop:

Lastly, if you’re looking for some camping and outdoor gear, check out slimpickensoutfitters.com. Recognized as the first Black-owned outdoor gear shop in the country, the business is owned by Jahmicah Dawes, who said in an article with Men’s Journal that his initial experiences with outdoor life through the Boy Scouts was “terrible” but that later in college he learned to love the outdoors. Dawes has said outdoor activities brings people together and believes “change happens around a campfire.” Shop from the website, or if you’re visiting Lake Whitney, the brick-and-mortar store is located in Stephenville, which is about 70 miles from the campground.

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National Beautiful Day

Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA.

Beauty is subjective, thus the saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” What one person sees as beauty may well not be what another person sees in the very same thing. Whatever your idea of beauty may be, make sure you celebrate November 20, which is National Beautiful Day, any way you see fit!

Tiny House Otto at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA.

Beautiful Leavenworth: Without doing much, Leavenworth, Washington, is considered a beautiful town. With its Bavarian-style architecture, mountain backdrop, and quaint downtown it’s quite pretty. Toss in the thousands and thousands of twinkling lights during the holidays and one word comes to mind: beautiful! Plan a stay at the equally beautiful Leavenworth Tiny House Village to enjoy beautiful Leavenworth.

Yurt at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort in Groveland, CA.

Beautiful Yosemite: In a recent poll of its followers, roughguides.com asked them to name the most beautiful locations in the USA. California’s Yosemite National Park topped the list, which also included the Grand Canyon and the entire state of Alaska. Take a trip and see what makes Yosemite a list-maker. For beautiful views, check out El Capitan, Vernal Fall, and Mirror Lake. Stay in a serenely beautiful yurt or cozy cabin at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort while exploring the natural beauty of Yosemite.

Beautiful Crater Lake: Again, a list-maker when it comes to the most beautiful lakes in the US, Oregon’s Crater Lake is known for the beautiful blue color of the lake. The surrounding mountains and towering pines make the views here real stunners! Spend a beautiful day driving the 33-mile Rim Drive which offers breathtaking views of meadows, forests, and the lake.  Book a tranquilly beautiful yurt and stay at Bend-Sunriver RV Campground.

Crater Lake is in Klamath County, OR.

Beautiful Drive: The 17-Mile Drive, which runs along California’s Monterey Peninsula, is a short, but oh so sweet drive of the beautiful kind. With the coast of the Pacific as your companion, the highlights of this drive include Bird Rock (what do you think they are buzzing about?); the Lone Cypress (one of Cali’s most famous landmarks); and Pescadero Point with its fab views of Point Lobos. Check out the unique accommodations at Morgan Hill RV Resort and choose from a cottage, cabin, or safari tent.

Beautiful Sunsets: The Travel Magazine calls them gorgeous sunsets and we all know gorgeous is another word for…beautiful!  Here’s one place to catch the beauty in California, according to the magazine’s list of the 10 best sunsets in the state.  Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara, also called Hendry’s Beach by the locals, offers one beautiful sunset, over and over and over again. On the other side of the country, the sunsets are just as beautiful and some of the most beautiful can be found in Key West, Florida. And Key Westers tend to make it a regular celebration – check out the fun at the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration and catch one of Key West’s spectacular sunsets. For the east coast sunset, consider at stay in a colorful tiny house at Sunshine Key Tiny House Village or colorful cottages at Fiesta Key RV Resort, and for Cali-style sunsets, Rancho Oso has great cabins for rent.

Colorful cottages at Fiesta Key RV Resort in Long Key, FL.

Beautiful S’Mores: True, they are nothing more than some crackers, sugar, and chocolate but who doesn’t think a perfect s’more is a thing of beauty? Some fun ideas to mix it up could include substituting the chocolate for almond butter and banana, switching out the graham crackers for snickerdoodle cookies; or the truly beautiful s’more made with chocolate graham crackers, sliced strawberries, and dark chocolate. Check out some of our favorite gourmet s’mores 1927smores.com.

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Smile for the Holidays

This may be the year that you see an influx of holiday cards, specifically the photo kind, because the friends and family you may see regularly throughout the year, may not have seen you in at least six months! #2020 Those cards will bring a smile to many faces, so make sure that your photo is spectacular. Check out these photo-worthy spots for Holiday 2020 cards!

Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, Washington: While just about everywhere in Leavenworth is worthy of a photo, the opportunity to pose with a real live reindeer just may be the key here. Head to the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm for a holiday pic that will let your friends and family see who the holiday VIPS are! For details check out leavenworthreindeer.com. Another option is to have a traditional holiday character front and center in your photo – Karl, the mascot of Leavenworth’s Nutcracker Museum, stands ready and waiting for any and all photo ops (nutcrackermuseum.com). And sadly, while the annual Christmas Lighting Festival has been cancelled for this year, Leavenworth will still shine. The plans for the installation of more than 50,000 sparkling lights are still a go and what a backdrop for any holiday photo they will make!

Book a tiny house at the Leavenworth Tiny House Village while you create your 2020 holiday masterpiece.

Tiny House Otto at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA

Santa Barbara, California: Let the Chromatic Gate provide the perfect frame for your holiday photo. Take a trip to the city’s Cabrillo Park and this multi-colored art installation by famed artist Herbert Bayer sets up the shot perfectly. Or, wish everyone luck in the new year with a photo of the gang (or just a selfie!) outside the Lucky Penny restaurant – the exterior wall is literally thousands of pennies! While you’re here, enjoy a slice of pizza! One last option that may bring on the figgy pudding comments – check out what is believed to be the largest fig tree in the U.S. The Moreton Bay Fig Tree, located at Chapala and Montecito Streets, has a circumference of 486 inches and is believed to have been planted over 140 years ago.

Prep for your photo ops while staying in one of our unique rentals at Rancho Oso.

Cathedral Rock near Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona: After a crazy year like 2020, you may want to convey healing vibes to friends and family in your holiday message. Choose one of the spectacular rock formations like Bell Rock or Cathedral Rock in Sedona’s Red Rock State Park to send season’s greeting with a healthy dose of good vibrations from these vortexes. Have your pic taken while on horseback and sign up for one of the scenic rides from Wild Western Horseback Adventures (wildwesternhorseback.com) that takes you through the Verde Valley itself. How about an ancient pueblo in the background of your photo? Explore the ruins of a Sinagua pueblo at Tuzigoot National Monument which is part of the National Park Service.

Tuzigoot National Monument near Verde Valley in Cottonwood, AZ.

Relax and recharge while staying in a cozy cabin or tiny house at Verde Valley.

Florida Keys: Send warm wishes of the Florida kind and take a pic with Key West’s iconic landmark, the Southernmost Point Buoy. Add a palm tree to the shot by heading to Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key or send your “deer-est” wishes by snapping some pics while visiting the National Key Deer Refuge National Center, also located on Big Pine Key. As always, the beaches of the Keys are great for building snowmen of the sand variety to appear in your shot and who can’t resist a beautiful sunset or brightly colored tiny house as a backdrop?

Rent a colorful tiny home from Sunshine Key Tiny House Village or a colorful cottage at Fiesta Key while you explore the Keys for the best holiday photo shoot!

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Fall Foliage Hikes

North Falls at Silver Falls State Park near Silverton, Oregon.

This fall, make it your goal to be an active leaf peeper. Yes, you heard that right. Leaf peeper – which by definition is someone who visits wooded areas in autumn to check out the changing colors of the foliage. Most everyone is a leaf peeper in some form or another. Maybe you don’t check websites for peak color dates or plan an annual trip around the changing colors but you most likely revel in the beautiful color show put on by Mother Nature and her children of the leafy kind come fall.

Now, we’re asking you to be an active leaf peeper, but we don’t mean just checking out the leaves. We think tossing in a hike – mild, moderate, strenuous, whatever a good hike means to you – while taking in this free, socially-distanced show is a great idea. These hikes are both good for your body and for your psyche.  We did some research and found some of the most popular fall foliage hikes around.

Silver Falls State Park (Silverton, Oregon): A moderate hike at almost 9 miles is well worth the effort as Silver Falls State Park offers hikers the opportunity to see waterfalls in addition to the gorgeous fall foliage. Ten waterfalls in fact, thus the name of the trail, Trail of Ten Falls, can be seen on this great fall hike.

(Plan a stay at one of the cozy cabins at nearby Pacific City while hiking Silver Falls.)

Washington Park Arboretum (Seattle, Washington): The Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle is possibly one of the best color shows contained in one location that you may find. In fact, according to the Arboretum’s website, fall in the Arboretum’s Woodland Garden section may possibly offer the most stunning display of fall colors in the region thanks to having one of the largest collection of Japanese maples in North America. All this beauty can be experienced on nearly one mile of winding stone pathways. How’s that for one-stop peeping? 

Japanese Garden at Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, Washington.

(A great idea is to book a tiny home at Leavenworth Tiny House Village and drive into Seattle. This is a two-fer since fall in Leavenworth is another spectacular show.)

Franconia Ridge Trail (Lincoln, New Hampshire): Waterfalls, a running stream, fantastic views, and plenty of fall foliage can be found on this New Hampshire trail. At just about eight miles and definitely a “hike,” the scenic rewards are plentiful. It’s no wonder this loop was named one of the 10 best hiking trails by National Geographic in 2017.

Tiny House Murphy at Tuxbury Tiny House Village

(Book a tiny home at nearby Tuxbury Tiny House Village for the perfect complement to your fall getaway.)

Potawatomi State Park (Door County, Wisconsin): Driving into Potawatomi State Park in the fall is almost a color show in itself. The contrast between the deep black of the roadway and the yellows and golds of the branches overhead is pretty cool, but wait there’s more! The trails are a carpet of beautifully colored fallen leaves and the views are some of fall’s best. Check out the portion of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that runs through the Park.

Tranquil Timbers in nearby Sturgeon Bay has the perfect cabin accommodations for your visit to Door County’s color-fall wonderland.

Ocean Path Trail, Acadia National Park (Bar Harbor, Maine): This trail, which stretches along the rugged Maine coastline, is postcard perfect in fall. With the rocky shores of the Atlantic on one side and the Acadia’s beautiful foliage on the other, it’s the perfect mix. Check out the fall leaves at Thunder Hole. Ocean Path is approximately 4.5 miles round trip.

Hiking in Acadia National Park

(Book a cozy cabin at Mt. Desert Narrows or choose from a cozy cottage or colorful cabin at Narrows Too for your fall foliage experience.)

Dog Days of August

Tiny house Riley at Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, NH • IG: nishatnguyen

The Dog Days of Summer typically refer to the weather this time of year, but if you ask your furry companion (yes, they have opinions!), they’ll let you know that to them it sounds more like Dog’s Days of Summer, or, in other words, take me with you wherever it is you’re going!

If you’re planning a trip, and also listening to your dog, here are few spots that are super pet friendly.

Sedona, Arizona

Settle into a pet friendly cabin or cottage at Sedona’s Verde Valley RV Campground and then explore the area with Fido in tow. Several trails in the area, including the Bell Rock Pathway and the Boynton Canyon Trail, allow leashed pets along on a hike. Many of the restaurants welcome pets and Creekside even has a special pet menu featuring items like a cheddar omelet with chicken jerky or steak tartare. More attractions for the pup include Sedona Dog Park, which separates off-leash areas into big and small dog areas, and Whiskers Bakery, which sells a wide variety treats and toys if your dog is into shopping. 

Cabin at Verde Valley RV Campground in Cottonwood, AZ

Key West, Florida

If there’s a place called Island Dogs Bar, whereas the name implies dogs are welcome, this has to be a pet-friendly vacation spot. Another pet-friendly attraction on the island is the Key West Aquarium where your leashed pup can tag along and see all the marine life exhibits. Higgs Beach has a dog park were pets can run off-leash. Plan to stay at Sunshine Key RV Resort where two of the vacation trailer rental accommodations are pet friendly and the resort welcomes pets, as well.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Not only can your pup ride the bus in Bar Harbor, they are also welcome at several area restaurants, including the famous Stewman’s Lobster Pound. To work off that fabulous lobster dinner, take a hike around Acadia National Park which has more than 120 trails and all are dog friendly.

View from North Bubble, in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle has a lot to offer in terms of pets – bus rides are offered and the city allows well behaved dogs to ride the bus (accompanied by their owner, of course!). Seattle also has over 10 off-leash dog parks and plenty of hiking trails that are friendly to pets. Check out Snow Lake Trail to get a short (6.4 miles) hike in with your leashed dog. Dogs are also welcome at the Washington Park Arboretum, a beautiful 230-acre public park (think free admission). Tall Chief RV Campground has a pet friendly cottage accommodation and the campground welcomes pets, as well.

Door County, Wisconsin

Fish Creek and Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin.

Everything that Door County is known for – hiking, beaches, and water sports are available to tourists of the four-legged variety, to some degree, as well. Plus, several restaurants allow your dogs, too. There’s even a list of doggy daycare facilities in case you want some time without your furry friend. Whitefish Dunes allows dogs on the beach and Peninsula State Park has pet friendly hiking trails. Finally, the Skyway Drive-In Movie Theater allows pets to take in a movie, provided they are in the car or on a leash. Tranquil Timbers RV Campground in nearby Sturgeon Bay has two pet friendly cabin accommodations and the campground welcomes pets.

Cozy Cabin at Tranquil Timbers RV Campground in Door County, Wisconsin.

5 Things to Do in… Leavenworth, Washington

Tiny Houses at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA

Even if you choose to do nothing in this quaint little Bavarian-styled village in western Washington, you would still have an enjoyable time. The scenery, with the snowcapped mountains as the backdrop, highlighted by the Bavarian architecture is a visual vacation in itself. However, there are plenty of fun, exciting, and unique things to do here.

Pavilion in town square Leavenworth, Washington
  1. Golfing with Goats: Watch out for Snowball and Hansi, the resident goats at the Enzian Falls Golf Course. This gorgeous 18-hole course, which features beautiful mountain views, a waterfall, and the aforementioned friendly mountain goats, is fun for the whole family.  
  1. Eat: OK, so we realize everyone’s gotta get their three squares a day, but we’re talking about experiencing Leavenworth’s unique offerings one little bite at a time. Stop by the Gingerbread Factory for some delicious gingerbread cookies, plus all the other great cookies made here like gingersnaps and snickerdoodles. A visit to the Leavenworth Sausage Garten will be the wurst experience in a good way when you try the bockwurst, currywurst, bratwurst, and kielbasa, and don’t forget to toss in a side of German potato salad. If you still have room, try a Bavarian pretzel from Munchen Haus.
Traditional Bavarian cuisine featuring bratwurst and pretzels.
  1. Stroll an Organic Garden: The Organic Garden at Sleeping Lady is a two-acre garden planted with herbs, produce, and flowers. Visitors can glimpse wildlife, including hummingbirds and finches, and enjoy the scenery from the beautiful gazebo. 
  1. Walk the Wine Trail: Leavenworth’s local wine trail is unique in the fact that you don’t have to worry about driving while sampling since they are all conveniently located in town and walkable! More than 20 tasting rooms can be found in downtown Leavenworth.
  1. Enjoy the Outdoors: Leavenworth as a vacation destination really appeals to the outdoor lover. There is hiking, biking, mountain biking, white water rafting, and fishing, to start. Waterfront Park has a beautiful trail that runs along the Wenatchee River, which is a great spot for rafting. You can zipline, river tube, horseback ride, climb, and paddleboard in the great outdoors of Leavenworth.
Scenic views from the town of Leavenworth at night.

While exploring all that Leavenworth has to offer, don’t miss your chance to stay at the Leavenworth Tiny House Village. With five adorably named and decorated tiny homes, your Leavenworth experience is sure to feel complete with an accommodation like this.