Diversity and deceptive scenes is what you can expect while exploring the magnificent vistas and trails of Bryce Canyon National Park. The landscape is always changing. It is described as ‘Poetry in Stone’ according to the information brochure that illustrates and explains the history behind this strange and spectacular countryside. You will see all this in my guide to exploring Bryce Canyon National Park in a nutshell.

Guide To Exploring Bryce Canyon
Guide To Exploring Bryce Canyon

Road Trip To Utah

We recently returned to Utah on another fantastic road trip to explore one more bucket list national Park. One we have not yet visited in this beautiful state. The journey alone to Bryce Canyon is a story in itself. Roadway paths gliding through and in between the layered red rock formations and hills. Cruising up and down the elevations with distracting scenery to your right and left makes it difficult to pay attention to the road.

Road Trip To Utah

The drive from Southern California specifically the San Diego area takes about 6 hours to reach St. George, Utah, which is where we stayed. St. George is a beautiful town with all the dining and lodging that you could want. Take a look at our fancy GPS system we use to travel on road trips.

GPS Directions

The drive to reach Bryce takes a little more than 2 hours from St. George and is a pleasant ride. Let’s do this and now its time for the exploration to begin!

Brief Hoodoo History

Exploring Bryce Canyon Hoodoo History

First, let’s dig into a little bit of history about what this magnificent park is all about. The geology of Bryce Canyon is quite extraordinary and almost carries on a life of its own. The most iconic things that stand out in this park are these strangely shaped rock formations called hoodoos.

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Millions of years ago the entire area of Bryce Canyon was covered by water, and up until today, played only a minor role in its story. The combination of the climate conditions such as snow, ice and freezing which expands and cracks the rocks is a common occurrence at Bryce. As well as the heating during the afternoon can create something known as soil creep, which causes the stone material to move downward, then more erosion happens when the thunderstorms dissolve the limestone material further.

Bryce Canyon Primary Features

The windows of Bryce Canyon

The primary features of Bryce are canyon walls or fins, windows and hoodoos. The hoodoos are actually formed from the canyon cliffs and walls as a result of erosion; the thin walls are called fins. The dynamic weather of freezing and frost wedging enlarges cracks in the fins, which then create the windows. As these windows grow larger, they will then collapse of which a column is formed. More erosion and dissolving as a result of rain carving these limestone pillars into what we see today throughout Bryce, the hoodoos.

Journey Begins

Our day began with an early morning rise and a nutritious breakfast with our lunches made and packed, water, and other adventures essentials. We hit the road around 8:30 A.M. and arrived into the Bryce Canyon area about 11:00 A.M. Prior to reaching the front entry gate to the park, you enter Red Canyon. Be sure to stop here and capture a few photos of these exquisite red rock formations and canyons.

Red Canyon drive through tunnel

There are two drive through red rock tunnels and surrounding natural landscape!

Red Canyon

Notes:  There is a free shuttle service to take you through the park during heavy traffic times and runs from April – October.

Bryce Canyon Guide

As you enter the front gate you can stop at the Visitor Center and pick up a guide and brochure to the park. Note: The Visitor Center parking lot is under construction but the other large parking lot is open across the main road. This as of October 2019. You begin this amazing journey by riding along the scenic drive through the park, which is about 18 miles and ends at the parks highest elevations. It is suggested to take this scenic road all the way to the end then start to make your stops at the points of interest. This way all the stops will be on your right side as you return on this drive.

Top Scenic Points of Interest

Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point are the highest elevation points at 9100 feet and offers incredible views back on the grand staircase and other features. Including the uppermost Pink cliffs and red Vermilion cliffs in the canyon.

Agua Canyon

Agua Canyon

Natural Bridge

Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon

Black Birch Canyon

Sunrise and Sunset Point

Bryce Canyon

Hiking Trails

Rim trail is an easy scenic 2.5 mile path that takes you up and over to Inspiration Point where you have a front row seat to Bryce Amphitheater. There are several gorgeous view points all along this trail as you make your way up to Inspiration Point.

Navajo Loop trail is an amazing 1.3-mile loop path through the hoodoos including the infamous Thor’s Hammer and Two Bridges! Although short and well paved, this trail can get your heart pumping especially with the altitude so be prepared. I love this trail as it leads down via switchbacks and tall pine trees.

Sunset to Sunrise walk path is an easy paved portion of the Rim trail and there are views of Bryce Amphitheater.

Other hiking trails to explore:

  • Bristle Cone Loop  1.0 mi.
  • Queen’s Garden 1.8 mi.
  • Tower Bridge  3.0 mi.
  • Hat Shop 4.0 mi.
  • Sheep Creek/Swamp Canyon  4.0 mi.
  • Fairyland Loop  8.0 mi.
  • Peekaboo Loop (Bryce Point)  5.5 mi.        
  • The Figure 8 Combination (Sunrise/Sunset Point) 6,4 mi.
  • Bryce Amphitheater Travers (Bryce Point) 4.7 mi.

Wildlife

In addition to all the outdoor activities, there are also other special features of the park. There is an abundance of wildlife that call Bryce Canyon home. These residents include the Steller’s Jay, Great Basin rattlesnake, golden-mantled ground squirrel, uinta chipmunk, Utah prairie dog, and mountain lions.

More Recreation Fun

There is so much more to see and do in Bryce Canyon including bicycling, back country camping, horseback riding, and of course hiking adventures! Other services include disable and wheelchair accessible and a free access guide at the Visitor Center. Lodging is available at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon from Spring through Fall and the Sunset Motel is open for Winter lodging. You can make reservations at 435-834-8700. There are restaurants and a general store, gift shops, picnic and grill areas, as well as laundry facilities. For more information visit Bryce Canyon Country.

There is a small town community shortly before you reach Bryce Canyon called Bryce Canyon City. Here you will find gas stations, restaurants and lodging as well.

Plan your trip today! For more information
Bryce Canyon National Park
PO Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764
http://www.nps.gov/brca

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Best Fall Events San Diego

The fall season is one of my favorite times of the year! Autumn presents an opportunity to reflect back on the year you’ve had thus far. And it also allows you to get excited about what’s coming. This time of year you might experience a fresh crispness in the air, sweater weather, and special moments with family and friends. Here is a list of some of the best Fall events San Diego that you might wish to take part in, if you are are visiting or live here!

Best Fall Events San Diego

September

GI FILM FESTIVAL SAN DIEGO

Dates: September 24-29, 2019
The GI Film Festival San Diego entails film screenings, panel discussions, a family movie night, and awards while featuring the local military culture in the community.

GASLIGHT STEAMPUNK EXPO

Dates: September 26-29, 2019
Gaslight Steampunk Expo takes you back in time as you revisit Jules Verne’s classic tale of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Explore the Stargate display, Tea Pot Racing, Sands of Time Fashion Show, and so much more fun festivities!

Dowtown San Diego 2019 Best Fall Events
2019 Best Fall Events San Diego

MIRAMAR AIR SHOW

Dates: September 27-29, 2019
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is set to hold another outstanding air show event! This is the largest military Air Show in the country!

Miramar Air Show 2019 Best Fall Events San Diego

CABRILLO FESTIVAL

Dates: September 28-29, 2019
Enjoy learning a part of history and welcome 16th century explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo as he steps ashore on Ballast Point during San Diego’s Cabrillo Festival

Cabrillo National Monument

CRSSD FESTIVAL

Dates: September 28-29, 2019
The San Diego Waterfront Park is home to CRSSD Festival, a two-day electronic music festival. This is an amazing event featuring three stages and 36+ performers. There will be craft beer, mixed drinks, food, and of course, plenty of music.

San Diego Waterfront

POWAY RODEO

Dates: September 27-28, 2019.
A 47-year tradition, the Poway Rodeo is back on at its finest moments! Poway is highlighting its Old West and cowboy heritage once again! Enjoy the best of saddle bronc and bull riding, adults only Rodeo Jam dances, and a special Kids Dollar day promotion.

October

ANNUAL PACIFIC BEACHFEST

Date: October 5, 2019
Pacific BeachFest has something for everyone including a fish taco contest, beach volleyball, craft beer, 5K run, kids activities and music!

ART SAN DIEGO CONTEMPORARY ART SHOW

Dates: October 10-13, 2019
Art San Diego features over 500 leading contemporary artists, museum exhibitions, art labs, events, and much more.

POLISH FESTIVAL

Dates: October 11-13, 2019
Throw yourself into this wonderful cultural celebration in Pacific Beach all about Polish culture, traditions and tasty cuisine.

HARVEST FESTIVAL ORIGINAL ART & CRAFT SHOW

Dates: October 11-13, 2019
This year’s Harvest Festival features hundreds of artisans exhibiting American handmade items, strolling entertainment, festival food and a Kidzone. Another Fall fun themed event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

LA JOLLA ART & WINE FESTIVAL

Dates: October 12-13, 2019
Just steps from the beautiful Pacific Ocean on Girard Avenue, bask in beautiful San Diego sun while meandering through over 150 handpicked artist booths, for a weekend of fine art, along with delectable wines, craft beers, scrumptious food, and live music.

La Jolla

SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Dates: October 15-20, 2019
An event featuring engaging films, the hottest parties, intriguing panels, celebrity sightings, and industry events.

SAN DIEGO ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL

Dates: October 15-27, 2019
The San Diego Italian Film Festival showcases the best of new Italian film with a series of premieres ranging from dramas and comedies to documentaries. 

WITHOUT WALLS WOW FESTIVAL

Dates: October 17-20, 2019
The WoW Festival is an interesting and exhilarating experience where impressive and site-based work designed to go outside the traditional theatre spaces. It’s unique in that you are both participant and performer.

BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL

Dates: October 18-20, 2019
Borrego Days Desert Festival is fun filled event to enjoy inspiring art, entertainment, delicious food and drink, and so much more!

BULLS OF SANT’AGATA CHARGE LITTLE ITALY

Date: October 19, 2019
Friends, start your engines!! This event entails the streets of Little Italy hosting over 40 classic and rare “Italian bulls,” also known as Lamborghinis.

SALTDOG CLASSIC BEACH FESTIVAL

Date: October 20, 2019
This family and pet friendly event at Seaside State Beach in Solana Beach is a perfect October festival to enjoy. You can indulge in this music and art festival that is filled with wonderful music from local artists performing under the bright sunshine while enjoying the tropical drinks to cool down.

ESCONDIDO GRAND AVENUE FESTIVAL

Date: October 20, 2019
The Escondido Grand Avenue Festival is offering you live entertainment, over 400 vendors, kids rides and activities, and food from around the world, since 1989.

WCKD VILLAGE HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL

Date: October 26th 6PM-Midnight
They call this the never ending festival of nightmares as the streets morph into something unimaginable! It’s a terrifyingly dark journey into the WCKD Village where you will experience three stages of top talent, immersive elements, and mind bending dimensions and delusions!

November

FALL CARLSBAD VILLAGE STREET FAIRE

Date: November 3, 2019
Indulge yourself in the beauty of the seaside city while browsing through unique booths, delectable eats and family fun at the Carlsbad Village Faire.

FALLBACK FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY G.Q.H.F.

Date: November 3, 2019
Climb aboard an old-fashioned hayride, pan for gold, check out a Wild West Show, and saddle up on pony rides. Enjoy this free funday Sunday with two stages of live entertainment.

FLEET WEEK SAN DIEGO

Dates: November 4-12, 2019
Fleet Week San Diego honors and celebrates the men and women of the military through events that entertain and alliances that thank and support these heroes. 

CORONADO ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL

Dates: November 8-11, 2019
The Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) cordially invites you and film lovers alike to enjoy this unique historic seaside village. Other activities include contests, kid’s activities, arts and crafts, and demonstrations.

Hotel Del Coronado

SAN DIEGO VETERAN’S DAY PARADE

Dates: November 11, 2019
See over 4,000 Veterans, Active Military, Bands, Floats and Civic Groups celebrate Veterans Day with the San Diego Veteran’s Day Parade.

WONDERFRONT MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

Dates: November 22-24, 2019
New in 2019, the inaugural Wonderfront Music and Arts Festival will celebrate San Diego’s culture and beach lifestyle with yacht parties and live performances held on San Diego Bay.

73RD ANNUAL MOTHER GOOSE PARADE

Date: November 24, 2019
The Mother Goose Parade is San Diego’s East County’s annual holiday kick-off celebration. El Cajon is where you will enjoy whimsical floats, clowns, bands and equestrians. A family fun day to enjoy!

ENCINITAS HOLIDAY STREET FAIR

Date: November 24, 2019
Encinitas Holiday Street Fair is a perfect event to help you get a head start on your holiday shopping, with more than 450 booths, plus dozens of unique downtown retailers.

JAZZ FEST AND SWING EXTRAVAGANZA

Dates: November 27 – December 1, 2019
The 40th San Diego Jazz Fest presents a array of traditional jazz music, from ragtime to hot jazz to swing to rockabilly at the Town & Country Resort and Hotel in Hotel Circle.

JULIAN, Fall Events

THE PUMPKIN PATCH AT JULIAN FARM & ORCHARD
Dates:  September 21-22, 2019 10AM to 5PM

It’s Harvest Season and a chance at some pumpkin patch fun! Choose pumpkins that are priced by a slot board based on .60 a pound. This is 4 acres of pumpkins planted by the farm and are waiting for you to pick off the vine. You can also enjoy Pioneer Field Trips and Pumpkin Patch Field Trips, to learn more about this event, please visit Julian Mining Company.
Julian Farm and Orchard at 4381 California 78 or Julian Road, Wynola   Santa Ysabel, California, United States, 92070

APPLES WITH THE CAMELS

Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019 1PM TO 4PM
at Oasis Camel Dairy

Oasis Camel Dairy Farm

RAMONA, Fall events

TASTE OF RAMONA
Date:  October 12, 2019 11AM to 5PM
Head to the country east of San Diego and enjoy this spectacular annual event of Taste of Ramona!

 

Carlsbad Beach

San Diego is known as America’s Finest City and if you have ever been here, you probably will agree! I can say that things are not always perfect here, but it is pretty darn close. The California lifestyle is in full force around here with surfers galore conquering every wave. Where flip-flops are considered business casual. You will find the laid back lifestyle contagious when you are here. So I compiled a list of  must see spectacular beaches in San Diego that will most certainly make your experience here unforgettable!

Spectacular Beaches In San Diego
Spectacular Beaches In San Diego

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines State Beach 

The community of Torrey Pines is located north of La Jolla and south of Del Mar. Torrey Pines State Beach has it all! There are hiking trails, cliffs, beach, and views! If you visit San Diego, you must see Torrey Pines.

Spectacular Beaches In San Diego

The 2.3-mile loop trail takes you through natural shrub and landscapes. Eventually leading you to a stairway path down to the beach. As you hike the Torrey Pines trail, you will see amazing cliff side and ocean views, birds, and beautiful wildflowers.

Hiking Torrey Pines to see cliff side views, oceans, and birds

There is a parking lot where a fee is collected, however, there is also free parking along the road side which is No. Torrey Pines Road / So. Camino Del Mar if you can find an open spot. Explore the entire area and visit Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.    DIRECTIONS

La Jolla

La Jolla Cove | La Jolla Shores

This quintessential smaller coastal community of La Jolla is located in San Diego County. It might be one of the most beautiful beach towns I’ve ever seen. This small beach community isn’t your typical little beach town.

Beach community of La Jolla

There are numerous things to do and see in La Jolla. You will find art galleries galore, quaint swimsuit boutiques, and collectible shops throughout.

You will also enjoy delicious dining with an ocean view, picnic hot spots in the park, and a lovely afternoon chatting with the seals and sealife up close and personal.

The coastal beach walk is amazing! Now you will see why San Diego calls La Jolla, Jewel By The Sea.     DIRECTIONS 

Beach In Coronado

Coronado Beach

Photo credit Pixabay Coronado Beach Hotel Del Coronado

Known as the Crown City, Coronado features one of the prettiest beaches in town! Also home to the iconic Hotel Del Coronado, of which you can schedule tours and learn more about this historical place. With its sparkling beach sand and cresting waves, Coronado offers endless possibilities for fun! You will soon know why this beach is named one of the top beaches for families by this vacation critic.   DIRECTIONS

Pacific Beach

PB Boardwalk 

Pacific Beach boardwalk

I have many fond memories of when I was hanging out at PB, as the locals call it, during my younger days of fun. I’ve spent many weekends soaking in the sun, playing volleyball, and enjoying a fruity beverage on this beach. It is known for its parties and as a spring break destination. There are, however; many activities to do here outside of the ‘party’ thing. You might be surprised. Here are a few ideas:

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  • Enjoy an early morning treat at Kono’s Surf Club Café; breakfast is served all day.
  • Bike or walk along the Pacific Beach Boardwalk
  • Watch the sunset on Crystal Pier
  • Enjoy a beer at PB Shore Club- yummy sandwiches too!
  • Grab a tasty ice cream treat at Baked Bear. (You’re welcome).
  • Take a short detour over to Mission Beach and enjoy Belmont Park! Take a roller coaster ride, browse the shops, and indulge in some tasty treats! DIRECTIONS 

Beach In Encinitas

 Moonlight State Beach, Encinitas

I love the drive to visit the beach in Encinitas, the gorgeous Moonlight State Beach area. Known as a haven for surfers and at times lingering sea life such as sharks.

You might ask why do they call it Moonlight State Beach? During the days in the early 1900s’ locals would come to the beach area and enjoy a picnic at midnight. You will find the ultimate beach experience here with tons of activities for both adults and kids. From surfing and swimming to volleyball, you will find something to enjoy! DIRECTIONS

Moonlight Beach Encinitas

Beach In Carlsbad

Carlsbad

Carlsbad State Beach

Located about 30 miles north of San Diego, you will find this beautiful beach a favorite to add to your list. If you are looking for a quiet, unique beach setting, look no further. We enjoyed the afternoon here with our parents as we spent the day walking along the beach, sifting through numerous rocks, and watching the seagulls. It is the perfect clean and quiet beach to visit. It’s also great for families and picnics! Popular activities include swimming, surfing, picnicking, and camping.  DIRECTIONS

Must see spectacular beaches in San Diego

Sunset Cliffs | Ocean Beach

Photo credit Pixabay. Sunset Cliffs

One of the most beautiful beach areas to photograph is at Sunset Cliffs. Although not your typical soft sandy beach, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is comprised of 68 acres of unique coastal property. Located south of the Ocean Beach pier, along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. There have been several incidents in the area because the rugged fragile coastal edge, people get too close to these areas and fall. This place is amazing with its panoramic breathtaking views and magnificent sunsets, you won’t want to miss out seeing Sunset Cliffs!

Magnificent sunset at the beach

Summary

These spectacular beaches I have listed above are merely a small part of beautiful San Diego. It’s not called America’s Finest City for nothing. San Diego is the ultimate place for sunshine, adventure and beaches! If you are looking for even more unique fun things to do, you might also enjoy the local hiking trails and a ball game at Petco Park downtown!

I hope you are feeling the California beach vibe! Looking for more So Cal beach inspiration, check out WhereGalsWander!

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They say everything is bigger in Texas! Combined with the gorgeous skies, rolling hills, and cowboy boots; you can add Adventures to that list too! Because they are no doubt as big and fun as they come! My recent trip to the lone star state was overflowing with adventurous amazing things to do in Austin, Texas! We usually make a trip to Austin at least once a year to visit relatives; but this time we added a bit more exciting activity to our trip. Our escapades include exploring a new trail in Colorado Bend State Park, hiking in Austin, and kayaking at Lady Bird Lake (Lake Austin), and much more! Here is my round up of amazing things to do in Austin that you might want to add to your next trip!

Things to do in Austin
Things to do in Austin

Gorman Trail at Colorado Bend State Park

We decide to head out to Hill Country and look to explore out in the Bend, Texas area. This imperfect trail is full of nature, flowers, and wildlife that any outdoor lover would appreciate. There are several loose rocks and cactus along this path so you must be careful.

Colorado Bend State Park entrance

Gorman Trail is a beautiful route that leads you down to amazing cascading waterfalls. These falls rise approximately 65 feet above the river and are a one of a kind geological formation that is alive and always changing.

The mineral rich spring water works to deposit layers of calcite which slowly then forms travertine. Meanwhile, it is also a very fragile Ecosystem and can be destroyed by simply walking on the soft rock, which is why these falls are blocked off to keep people from trampling over it.

Rated as moderate trail and is a 2.6 mile round trip distance. There is a significant steep drop to get to the falls area; a metal railing is connected to the rock steps as you descend to the lower part of the trail. 

Gorman Falls Trail leading down to the falls area

More Hiking Trails Near Austin

You will also find several other trails in the area that either intersect or lead to other enjoining trails. Go out and explore! These include the following:

  • Name                        Distance
  • Gorman Spring Trail    .5 mi
  • Tinaja Trail                   2.8 mi 
  • Tie Slide Trail               2.2 mi
  • Lively Loop                  4.9 mi
  • Windmill Trail               1.6 mi
  • Cedar Chopper Loop   2.3 mi
  • Dogleg Canyon Trail     1.3 mi
  • River Trail                    3.4 mi
  • Lemons Ridge Pass      4.9 mi
  • Spicewood Canyon Trail 3 mi

Camping and backpacking are also available in designated areas throughout the park. If you are looking to explore more of Texas parks, visit texasstateparks.org.

Hiking Trails Downtown Austin | Lake Austin (Lady Bird Lake)

It is not surprising that the trail at Lake Austin receives 4.4 million visits a year as hikers trek through its scenic green lush parks and peaceful shoreline. On the path you will also see an impressive city skyline, neighborhoods, ball fields, and cultural art.

Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue

This trail has it all. The choice to take a 2-mile stroll or a 10-mile excursion through urban Austin is all up to you!

Lake Austin Trail

Of course you may encounter a few turtles, squirrels, and bats along the way. Interestingly, Austin is home to a massive bat colony population. It is the largest urban Mexican free tail colony where the bats hide in the cracks and crevices under the Congress Avenue Bridge. They can emerge in massive groves during the spring and summer every night about 30 minutes after sundown. Check out more information at AustinBats.org.

Kayaking Lake Austin

Although I prefer a quiet, peaceful and serene setting with no people; we decided to get in the middle of it all and kayak at Lake Austin on a gorgeous late afternoon. The scene is exciting with so many kayaks, paddleboards, boats, and rough waves we crawled into our kayaks and joined in.

If you are looking for fun and amazing things to do in Austin, this is perfect! We rented our kayaks from the Texas Rowing Center located along the trail and the banks of the lake just south of the MoPac Expressway Bridge.

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

My husband grew up in Austin and he tells me that Mount Bonnell was a place where kids in high school would go and hang out, make out, and enjoy the views. This historical park is one of Austin’s oldest tourist attractions and it is the highest point within Austin city limits. It played a significant role in the history of the military defense of Austin during 1839.

A staircase of approximately 106 steps to climb an elevation of 775 feet above sea level will take you to a view of the city skyline and Lake Austin. Mount Bonnell I would say is more of a tourist spot versus a hiking trail. It is free to park and no fee to visit here. Mount Bonnell is a great place to watch the sunset too! Location: 3800 Mount Bonnell Road, Austin, Texas 78731  

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Baseball at Dell Diamond

The triple A-minor league baseball team affiliate for the Houston Astros; the Round Rock Express, is the perfect thing to do with the family in the Austin area. Round Rock is the location of Dell Diamond ball field and seeing games here are just about as thrilling as they come. We enjoyed seeing the fireworks the night we were visiting this stadium to watch some baseball.

University of Texas

University of Texas

As an alumnus of UT, my hubby couldn’t resist returning to the school for a trip down memory lane. He gave me a private tour to some of his former classrooms and study areas of which he spent numerous hours of hard work and study time. The library was his favorite place to study here. There are several pieces of street art located throughout the campus of which I found very interesting.

In the Business School, the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) Post. 5 was purchased and preserved in the lower level of the building. The grounds surrounding parts of the campus are beautiful and inviting. I think visiting UT is a great way to spend the afternoon in Austin.

Dining Delights In Austin

You can’t visit Austin without tempting your taste buds at an enjoyable evening of delicious dining. Our days in Austin were full of fun adventure so we were hungry every day for something tasty and delectable. Here are a few eatery options of what Austin has to offer.

Matt’s El Rancho

Matt’s El Rancho Restaurant

Serving the area since 1952, Matt’s El Rancho has a parking lot plum full on a Monday evening as we arrive ready to indulge our palates. The Martinez family brings the highest quality of ingredients and top-notch service to the name. Matt Martinez is known as “The King of Mexican” The restaurant has had its share of politicians and celebrity visitors as well, including Dennis Quaid, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and many more.

P. Terry’s

P. Terry’s

A dining experience like no other, P. Terry’s. offers a more quality rich ingredient menu with impeccable service with a flare for the original burger joints from the 50s and 60s. The décor is amazing and the milk shakes will have you coming back for more!

Hat Creek Burger Company

Hat Creek Restaurant

Opening its doors in 2008, this company was founded by Drew Gressett with a goal to bring a simple menu of fresh, never frozen beef and vegetables for families to enjoy. We make a stop at Hat Creek whenever we visit Austin and I am so happy to know they offer fresh clean options on the menu. The Paleo Burger is especially mouth watering and so delicious! I recommend this fresh hot spot eatery if you live in Austin or are visiting!

The Oasis

Lake Travis Austin

This is the ultimate place to be to enjoy dinner with a sunset view! The Oasis offers spectacular views overlooking Lake Travis while dining! The menu includes a variety of options from Mexican cuisine to burgers and fries. You can also schedule a special event here since it offers such a fabulous location for views and sunsets! We actually held an informal 50 year wedding anniversary celebration for the folks here about 10 years ago.

Finally

Flowers in Austin

The state of Texas is such a beautiful place that is rich in history and big in adventure! There are so many options to choose from to fulfill your day of fun! Our trips to Austin are usually quiet as we spend quality time with mom and dad or helping with chores and other various things around the house. It was a fantastic week to add a little bit of excitement this time. Making fond memories is what we desire to do. From hiking into the hills to see cascading waterfalls or fighting the rough waters in a kayak on Lake Austin, this is what life is all about. In fact, I am naming the subtitle of this post as Big Texas Big Memories!

As I sit here preparing to write about my incredible hiking experience to Half Dome, my mind is drawing a blank. I think I am still going through a hiking hangover. Yosemite National Park is so amazing I don’t even know where to begin. The pure magnificence of this place is astounding and anyone who has visited will know it can leave you speechless. So, I will do the best I can to take you along with me as I recall the moments of this extraordinary journey of hiking to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Half Dome In Yosemite National Park
Half Dome In Yosemite National Park

Planning The Adventure

When planning your hiking adventure to Half Dome there are few things you need to know before you go. There is a permit required to hike the cables on Half Dome, which is the path to the very top. Only 300 hikers are allowed on this trail per day. They have what is called a lottery of which you sign up online at this website. The preseason sign up timeline for this year was March 1- 31, 2019; there is an application to complete as well as a $10 application fee for each person. You can sign up and include up to 5 people in your party. The results of the lottery are usually announced a few months prior to the installation of the cables, and they notify you by email. This year lottery results were announced on April 10, 2019; which is when I learned we would definitely be hiking to Half Dome in June.

Views from Half Dome summit

Lodging and Dining Yosemite

Depending upon which entrance to the park you plan on taking, you can reserve rooms at a nearby hotel or reserve a camping site. If you are coming from San Francisco area, Maricopa might be the best option to find lodging, however if you are driving from Southern California, Oakhurst is probably best choice. You can also stay at various Yosemite National Park lodging located within the park. We made reservations at a Comfort Inn in the small town of Oakhurst, California. Which is about a half hour drive from the south gate entrance. In the town of Oakhurst there are plenty of dining options. Restaurants include Denny’s, several fast food places, and specialty dining such as delicious authentic Mexican and other eateries.

Dining and Shopping in Oakhurst

Now, if you are looking for lodging to have more convenient access to the park, you might consider places like Yosemite Valley Lodge, and formerly known as Majestic Yosemite Hotel; the Ahwahnee Hotel might tickle your fancy. There is also Tenaya Lodge and Cottages and Wawona Hotel as well. If you are looking for more of the bare bones and in nature kind of stay, then you may enjoy Curry Village and White Wolf Lodge. Note: Please stay up to date with Yosemite and know the list of closures before you go.

Preparing and Training for Hike

By now, I realize that we are not just talking about hiking to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park; we are no doubt doing it! So, I immediately began setting goals of which one of them is to keep up with my group, not struggle while climbing on the inclines, and not fall too far behind. Therefore, I created an exercise routine that I think will best prepare me for this hiking challenge. Here is my training schedule that includes a three month plan of preparation:

Training Routine

Three Months Until Hike

  1. Treadmill:  Walking at 3.5 for 45 minutes 3.0 incline. 4-5 days / week.
  2. Nautilus Machine: Arm Pull / Extension 3 sets of 12 each arm
  3. Bicep Curls: 3 sets of 15 each arm

Two Months Until Hike

  1. Stair Master: 30 Minutes
  2. Treadmill: 30 minutes 7.0 Incline
  3. Abs and Arms Strengthening

One Month Until Hike

  1. Treadmill: Run 20-30 Minutes up 4.0 Incline then 30 Minutes walking 15.0 Incline
  2. Bicep Curls: 3 sets of 15 each arm 2 days a week
  3. Ab and Glute work and Yoga 2 days a week
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What To Pack | Hiking Half Dome

Hiking to Half Dome is considered a day hike so you will be on the trail for several hours. I sat down and made a list of all the items I might need. Here is what I had in my Osprey backpack.

View of Half Dome Osprey Backpack
  • Clothing; long sleeve shirt, light jacket and light rain jacket.
  • Full camelback with my Yeti tumbler full of water.
  • Energy protein bars
  • Nuts
  • Turkey and almond butter sandwiches- (2)
  • Beanie hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen-small
  • Lipbalm with sunscreen
  • Whistle
  • Small first-aid kit in a zip lock; band-aids, antiseptic cream, anti itch cream. Small roll of black utility tape.
  • Plastic bag- to use for any trash to take back with me.
  • Kleenix tissues and Toilet paper.

The Journey Begins To Half Dome

Road Trip To Oakhurst

We are ready to go! It’s a Thursday morning and we have all our supplies that include a cooler with food, water, backpacks, hiking shoes, clothes, jackets, cameras, and everything else we thought we needed. It was an awesome road trip going through Los Angeles, heading north through Bakersfield, and then taking Highway 140 towards Coarsegold and Oakhurst. One of the most enjoyable things to do while road tripping is going through very cool small towns, courtesy of my friends at RoarloudTravel.

Oakhurst mural painting on side of building

After cruising through several small towns, we finally arrived into Oakhurst. I have visited Oakhurst and Coursegold while living in Silicon Valley many years ago. I would spend a weekend or two visiting my former boss and his family in Coursegold, who owns a ranch. The annual local Rodeo is held on their property (it was back then anyway). So as you can imagine, I experienced a bit of nostalgia on this hiking adventure.

We check into our hotel and get settled, and then enjoy an early evening dinner so we can get to bed early. Our wake up call is set for 2:15 a.m. and a plan to begin the Half Dome hike is at 4:30 a.m. We are in bed by 7:30 p.m. A friend of ours; Sam, will also be joining us on this exciting hiking journey.

Hiking Yosemite National Park

There is a slight chill in the air as we see our breath in the morning darkness while we gather our backpacks, headlamps, and gloves. We leave the hotel by 3:00 a.m. and make our way to the park. I am a bit nervous knowing that we are about to embark on this iconic hike which overpowers Yosemite Valley by nearly 5000 feet and 8800 above sea level. But I am ready and excited to begin!

Hiking Half Dome Yosemite

Mist Trail

Finally, we pull into the Half Dome Village parking lot and we begin our trek on the trail around 4:40 a.m. Armed with clothing layers, hiking sticks, and other essentials, we proceed to tackle this very diverse trail. Realizing that we will probably end up soak and wet. The rain season was plentiful this year throughout California so there is still snow in several higher elevations throughout the park.

The medley of this trail is amazing. It begins with paved walk paths leading you through the valley of dirt and trees, to then scrambling through forest to encounter the infamous Sub Dome area to climb rock stairs.

Forest areas hiking Half Dome In Yosemite National Park

Vernal Falls

I thought I had come prepared, I regret that I did not bring hiking sandals. Vernal Fall is incredible! The powerful force of the amount of water from the abundant rainy season this year made this climb quite a challenge.

Water was flowing everywhere, dripping from stair to stair to the misty wet vapor in the air blowing like a rainstorm. The scene is gloomy, dark, and eerie as we make our way towards the top inching closer to our destination. I am soaked from head to toe at this point.

Top of Vernal Fall

Nevada Falls

Approaching this part of the trail is not too bad. You can get a very close look at the edge of the falls, which is an extraordinary view watching these massive water flows in full force! I actually enjoy climbing clean rock steps and switchbacks while enjoying a massive waterfall!

Half Dome Trail

Prior to reaching Half Dome trail, there may be a park ranger sitting in the area to check your permit if you are planning to hike to the top of Half Dome using the cables. We arrived in this area at approximately 9:45 a.m. and there was not a park ranger present. However, on our way down, there was someone checking permits.

Hiking Half Dome Yosemite National Park

Rated as extremely strenuous with a 4,800-foot gain, reaching this part of the trail has been so rewarding. But prior to reaching the climb on the cables, you have to get through Sub Dome. Climbing here is not as difficult as it looks, because it can be intimidating.

My goals for this hiking adventure are to take one step at a time, and that is exactly what I did! We made it to the top of Half Dome around 10:45 a.m. The time it took me to climb the cables was about 30 minutes because I made stops to rest as well as let hikers pass by as they were coming down. The views at the top are absolutely incredible! These massive granite cliffs and rock formations challenge both the body and mind. Here’s a perfect description and visionary of the final stretch to Half Dome Summit.

John Muir Hiking Trail

Since we have now experienced the awesome Mist Trail, we decided to take another path down on our return. We take the John Muir Trail which is longer yet not as steep and has several switchbacks. Our hiking adventure would end up totaling approximate 16-17 miles for the day. It’s great to be able to see two different trails on one trip.

John Muir Trail views
JMT
JMT Path

We are completely exhausted upon our return but feeling a sense of accomplishment and still in a daze knowing that we just completed one of the most iconic hiking trails in the world. According to the information pamphlet, a note found in the 1868 Yosemite guidebook stated; “the summit of Half Dome will never be trodden by human foot.”

Me At The Summit of Half Dome

Glacier Point

A point of interest that you cannot miss! An overlook of a superior view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite’s high country. This viewpoint is a must see spot to capture some of your most mind-blowing photos. However, if you arrive here in late morning the wait to get into the parking lot can be hours. We found that Washburn Point, just south of Glacier Point, offers spectacular view points especially those for Vernal and Nevada Falls.

Final Thoughts

There are several areas we have yet to explore in Yosemite. If you are looking for more hiking Yosemite National Park surrounding areas, then you might want to check out the Hetch Hetchy Trail. My gal pal from Where Gals Wander shares her journey through this interesting trail on one of her adventures in Yosemite. I can’t wait to go back! As I continue to return to reality after hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, I am still in a bit of bewilderment. I can’t believe I hiked a trail and climbed to a place that only a set number of people have been. This is one extraordinary feeling and one I will never forget. 

Park Information and Details

Yosemite National Park
PO Box 577 
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Phone: (209) 372-0200
http://www.nps.gov/yose
Highlights:

  • Yosemite Valley
  • Glacier Point / Wawona / Mariposa Grove
  • Yosemite Wild Places
  • Half Dome
  • Hetch Hetchy
  • El Capitan
  • Hiking Yosemite National Park
  • Camping: Reservations are required March through November for Yosemite National Park campgrounds. Some are first-come, first served. For campground reservations, visit recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
Yosemite Park Map
Yosemite National Park Map Click for more info

Living a healthy lifestyle as a travel blogger is not easy. There are several variables involved and sometimes it takes lots of work and planning. One of the key ingredients to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is getting a great night’s sleep. Sleep is essential to efficient body functions, wellness, and feeling in tip top shape. If you are like me, I have a desire to feel at my best all the time. I need to feel good and strong when I go out and take on challenging hiking trails and climb mountains. Which is why I am sharing with you how to sleep like a baby sleep with Ghostbed Luxury Sheets.

GhostBed Luxury Sheets
GhostBed Luxury Sheets

Amazingly Comfortable

One of the secrets on how to get the best night’s sleep is having a great set of bed sheets. I admit it; I am constantly struggling to find a sheet set that is comfortable, cool and durable. Recently, I have had the opportunity to try these new wonderful bed sheets called GhostBed Luxury Sheets. I have one word to describe them; Wow! These sheets are amazing! I love the Supmia cotton and Tencel fiber blend of the GhostBed sheets, as this is what makes them so breathable and lightweight!

Experiencing GhostBed sheets is like the feeling of slipping into bed at a five star luxurious hotel. They feel so good I wanted to do a little more research on Supima cotton.

Supima Cotton

This is superior type of cotton, actually one of the finest cotton grown in the USA. The Supima cotton is a special blend of cotton (superior + cotton) that is twice as strong. It is made with extra long staple fiber that results in a softer and more plush feel. Which makes Supima premium cotton more durable and with each wash, they only get more comfortable! (True story, I have washed mine several times and they get more luxurious every time I get into bed.)

Luxurious Supima Cotton

Overview:

Each GhostBed Luxury Sheet set includes:

  • A unique and luxurious blend of Supima Cotton + Tencel Fibers
  • GhostGrip, so your fitted sheet will stay on securely and never pop off!
  • Free Shipping
  • Industry Leading 3-year warranty.
GhostGrip Fitted Sheet

GhostBed Mattress

Are you someone who is a hot sleeper and sometimes wake up soaked? Well, GhostBed has a another solution for you. You can check out their mattress which GhostBed describes it, as best mattress for hot sleepers. The GhostBed Luxury Sheets is a product of GhostBed by Nature’s Sleep®, which also makes this mattress that Consumer Reports rate as very good or excellent in every category.

Summary

If you are looking to feel great and be at your best, then you need to be getting the best sleep of your life! And one of the best ways to accomplish this is with GhostBed Luxury Sheets. I love these sheets! For someone who is very active and always on an adventure as a travel blogger, I need the best sleep possible. Having cool and the most comfortable sheets is key! It’s a bonus that they are extremely durable too!

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review post and items were provided by sponsors.

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Are you looking for an amazing adventure that includes gorgeous weather, palm trees galore, education, and stunning views that will leave you speechless? Then welcome to Los Angeles in Southern California! The list of things to do in Los Angeles is vast and unique! Since choosing what to do can be difficult, I have compiled a list of spectacular activities to do, amazing places to see, and other special events that it may may just convince you to want to move to Los Angeles!  I call it California Dreaming. Either way, I hope to peek your interest by giving you a few fun suggestions. Here is my adventure guide to Los Angeles or L.A. as we call it.

Adventure Guide To Los Angeles
Adventure Guide To Los Angeles

The Coast

No one can argue about the weather in Southern California! The weather in L.A. is amazing with its picture perfect blue skies together with comfortable temperatures year round averaging 75 degrees, there are no bad days here! You can stroll, bike, or walk along some of the most beautiful beaches. From Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach, this is the perfect way to spend the outdoors, have lunch, and enjoy the coastal views.

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

A must see attraction and one of the most spectacular places to visit! With its rich history and contributions to the community, Santa Monica Pier has become a national icon.

Venice Beach (Muscle Beach)

One of the busiest recreational areas in the area, this iconic beach is full of interesting fun and amazement. Ocean Front Walk (the main drag) is the second most visited destinations in Southern California. Here you will find street vendors and performers as well as numerous activities such as basketball, handball tournaments and bodybuilding at the infamous ‘Muscle Beach’ Venice Gym.

Museums

Getty Center

The Getty Center is the ultimate collection of historical items and architecture like no other. You will see art collections such as Neolithic clay figurines, and other ancient Greek and Roman art. Admission to the museum is free, and taking the tram to the museum is free also. It is closed on Mondays, and you can enjoy lunch with amazing views of the Santa Monica Mountains at The Restaurant. You can enjoy an occasional free outdoor concert as well here.

Getty Center

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory is a wonderful place to learn and discover. This is a great way to spend the day with the family enjoying the planetarium, exhibits, telescope, café and bookstore.

Griffith Observatory

Hiking

Bronson Canyon * Griffith Park

On this trail, you will find several amazing viewpoints of the Hollywood Sign. You will also have the opportunity to check out the tunnel entrance of the infamous 60’s era classic Bat Cave.

Fern Dell Hiking Trail * Griffith Park

This trail offers a vast array of diversity. From the plush vegetation to the wood footbridges it is considered an urban oasis.

Golf

Whether you are playing or watching a round of golf, there is no shortage of birdies! And I don’t mean the chirping kind. This past year I had the opportunity to go to the Genesis PGA Golf Tournament at Riviera Country Club.

Genesis Open PGA Golf Tournament

It was a day of crazy weather starting out warm then ending with a chill. And the golf had the same results with big excitement for Tiger in the beginning, but then he did not make the cut in the end. This is a magnificent course with a clubhouse that offers a museum-like feel. Have you ever experienced watching a PGA Golf Tournament?

Framed Photos of current and past professional golfers

Here is a list of public golf courses recommended by a scratch golfer; my husband, who has played them numerous times and gives them all thumbs up.

Public Golf Courses

Los Verdes Golf Club

This is a beautiful golf course offering the best views in California, in particular views of Catalina Island. Highly regarded by scratch golfers and offers the best golf value anywhere. Los Verdes Golf Club is located at 7000 Los Verdes Dr, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. 

Rancho Park Golf Course

Another course my husband recommends is this championship golf course that has hosted several Los Angeles Opens, in fact 18 of them. The course presents challenge and will bring out the best skills in any player here. You can find Rancho Park golf course at 10460 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

Pacific Palms Resort

Known as L.A.’s hilltop hideaway, enjoy the views of the San Gabriel Valley Mountains as you take in a round of golf. Pacific Palms Resort is a full service luxury golf and conference resort located at One Industry Hills Parkway, City of Industry, CA 91744. 

Unique Attractions and Activities

Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Experience a walk along the most famous sidewalk in the world and learn about all of its honorees. You never know who you might see! Be ready for the chance to see a star or two!

Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

TCL Chinese Theater

The historical Hollywood theater is a movie palace located on the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was formerly named Mann’s’ Chinese Theater in 1973 until 2001. Then in 2013, naming rights were purchased by TCL Corporation, which now is its official name today. With its recent renovation, it has an IMAX theater, which has seating that can hold up to 932 people and is the largest theater in North America (Sourced from Wikipedia).

Los Angeles Zoo

Another wonderful option to consider taking the family for an afternoon full of fun is the Los Angeles Zoo. Take in a day of learning about various animals and conservation. Make sure to stop by and see Hubert the lion. So, when you are finished exploring Griffith Park, you can head over to the zoo since it’s located at the northeast corner of Griffith Park, at 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 90027. See more on what Zoo’s use for mental exercises and more.

Lion

Del Amo Fashion Center

Now if you are looking for the ultimate experience in shopping, look no further than Del Amo Fashion Center. You will find everything from the latest trends in retail boutiques, a movie theater, and dining options to die for! It has also been the filming location for a few Hollywood movies such as Jackie Brown, Valley Girl, and Bad Santa. I’ve got wonderful memories of my visits here including enjoying an ice cream, taking in a movie and having lunch with my sister in the food court. 

Sunsets

You cannot visit or live in L.A. without witnessing the most beautiful sunsets around! Seeing the gorgeous sun as it gently disappears into the horizon behind the mountains, or beyond the ocean is the ultimate food for the soul.

Sunset

Final Thoughts

When I think of L.A., I usually see palm trees, ocean waves, and stunning sunsets. I love the southern California lifestyle and Los Angeles is an amazing place to experience. I hope you will find this guide to fun adventure in Los Angeles helpful. Like I said earlier, you may not only be visiting, you might end up wanting to live in Los Angeles! In the meantime, keep on California Dreaming!

You can find more adventure in L.A. by taking a journey with Adventuring Woman and explore further into downtown Los Angeles, DTLA.

You might also enjoy this overview of Los Angeles video created by my friends Reel Happy Travelers.

Disclaimer: Some photos included in this article are sourced from Pixabay and belong to original owners. This is a sponsored post.

Abu Dhabi Observation Deck at 300

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is known for its cultural attractions. It is rare for someone to consider it as a spot for a romantic holiday. However, if you look a little deeper, there are several amazing things that couples can do in Abu Dhabi. You may be a tourist who wants to enjoy a romantic holiday or honeymoon, or a resident who wants to plan a memorable romantic evening for your partner. Whatever it is, you would easily find the perfect romantic things to do in Abu Dhabi.

Luxury Desert Safari

Abu Dhabi Desert Safari
Abu Dhabi Desert Safari

Spend a romantic evening in the vast desert of Abu Dhabi. Various types of desert safaris are available here, including evening, morning and overnight desert safaris. If you are looking for a romantic desert safari where you and your partner are the only guests, then go for a private luxury desert safari.

Belly Dancing

You can enjoy the beautiful sunset, delicious food, the complete attention of the staff and Arabic hospitality here. Entertainment programs like belly dancing or Tanoura dance would also be arranged for you. You can also choose to stay overnight at the desert in completely air-conditioned Bedouin-style desert tents for a complete desert experience.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Abu Dhabi hot air balloon

Another desert activity is a hot air balloon ride. This is one of the favourite things to do in Abu Dhabi for couples. After all, is there anything more romantic than watching the aerial view of the enormous desert with your loved one in tow? Moreover, the high and low sand dunes are not the only things you see during the hot air balloon ride. On the other hand, keep your eyes open and you may spot gazelles and the Arabian oryx as well. However, the highlight of the hot air balloon ride is the glorious sunrise that you will witness during the one-hour long ride over the desert.

Couple’s Spa

Abu Dhabi Spa

Nothing is more relaxing than a massage during a holiday. Make it a romantic experience by going for a couple’s spa when you are in Abu Dhabi. There is no dearth of spas in Abu Dhabi and most of the premium ones offer special spa services for couples. These spas make an effort to turn the couple’s spa into an extremely romantic experience. Apart from the relaxing massage, you are welcomed with beautifully lit candles, pleasant aroma and dreamy music. You also get to enjoy a glass of champagne or your favourite drink while your body and mind are pampered.

Adventures on Yas Island

Yas Island Abu Dhabi

If you are on a romantic holiday in Abu Dhabi, you may like to take a break from the classic romantic experiences and enjoy something more dynamic and exciting. In this case, drive down to Yas Island, an island built purely for entertainment and fun. Yas Island is home to Ferrari World, the first F1 themed in the Middle East. Here you will find some amazing rides and attractions, including the Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world. Yas Island also has the Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros. World, where you can have a fun time with your partner.

Picnic at Abu Dhabi Corniche

Abu Dhabi Corniche

If you are looking for something simple and not too expensive, head to Abu Dhabi Corniche, 8-km of beautiful waterfront. Complete with walking and jogging pathways, children’s play area, cafes and restaurants. This is the place where families come to rest and relax.

Romantic Corniche Beach

But if you are looking for a romantic time with your partner, visit the Corniche Beach which is endowed with white sand and azure waters. Pack a picnic (or buy food and drinks from one of the cafes or restaurants on the Corniche), lay on the sand watching the blue waves and the gorgeous sunset. It cannot get more romantic or peaceful than this.

High Tea with a Spectacular View

A quiet meal or drink with your loved one is the most romantic date for most people. Added to this, having a spectacular view will surely be a bonus. Treat your partner and yourself with a delicious afternoon tea as well as a beautiful bird’s eye view of the Abu Dhabi Emirate. Then include a visit to the Observation Deck at 300, perched on Level 74 of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.

Observation Deck at 300

While the panoramic views of the city are a pleasure to your eyes, your tummy will love the delicious food and drinks. The high tea menu at the cafe includes freshly blended coffee, variety of tea blends, wine specialties, and delicious salads, sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries. If you want to impress your ladylove, you can never go wrong with a high tea date on the Observation Deck at 300.

Phenomenal Sunset Cruise

Sunset in Abu Dhabi Photo credit: Pixabay

What do you think about enjoying a magical sunset while cruising on the blue waters of Abu Dhabi? Doesn’t that sound romantic to you? If yes, you will find several romantic cruise tours in the capital Emirates of UAE. You can go for an island hopping boat tour, a unique cruise dinner or a luxury private yacht tour. Whichever option you choose, you will enjoy a peaceful evening, with a gorgeous sunset and a champagne flute. Some of the tours also include a full-fledged dinner. For adventurous couples, there are sunset cruises that offer the chance of water adventures like deep sea fishing and scuba diving, etc.

Enjoy a 7-Stars Movie Experience at NOVO Cinema

Nova Cinemas Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi takes the classic date of movie and dinner to the next level by offering the 7-stars NOVO Cinema experience. When you buy tickets to watch a movie with your partner, you do not just have two seats but a private VIP Lounge as well. Sink into your plush recliner seats and get comfortable to watch the movie. Along with the movie experience, you also get a private butler who takes care of all your needs. You can also pick your favourite dishes from the gourmet-dining menu. If you are looking for a romantic experience, can it really get better than this?

Conclusion

These romantic things in Abu Dhabi will ensure that you have a starry-eyed holiday in Abu Dhabi with your partner. Abu Dhabi has all the makings of a city that has numerous romantic experiences. All you have to do is pick one that you like the best. Moreover, if you are planning a holiday with your spouse or partner to Abu Dhabi, make sure that you have the proper UAE visa, so that you have a flawless holiday.

More ideas for romantic travel destinations for couples; Honeymoon Destinations.

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Disclaimer. Guest Post written by Pranitaa. Photos are provided by Pixabay.com and guest blog author. Youtube video content belongs to its original owner.

San Diego certainly has its share of culture, coasts, and city life! But it also has an abundance of beautiful nature, landscapes and waterfalls. Three Sisters Falls Hike in the Cleveland National Forest is icing on the cake when it comes to fun and unique hiking adventure. Here is a recap of our recent excursion into Pine Valley to explore this amazing pathway to gorgeous waterfalls.

Three Sisters Falls Trailhead
Three Sisters Falls Trailhead

Getting There

There are a few different ways to get to Three Sisters Falls Hike Trailhead; I will share the route we used. Coming from San Diego area at 78 E reaching Ramona area:

Passing through Ramona, California:
Left on Olive Street
Right on 7th Street
Left on Main
Continue on 78 East  (20.2 miles)
Right on Pine Hills Road
Right on Eagle Park Road
Left on Boulder Creek Road
Turn Right to stay on Boulder Creek Road
Turn Right to stay on Boulder Creek Road  (Dirt gravel roads)

The Trail

This hiking trail is an interesting path that leads up and down eventually taking you to the triad of cascading waterfalls. It is considered a seasonal hiking trail because parts of the year there is very little water flowing in the falls. However, this year in 2019 there has been lots of rainfall so these falls are full!

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Three Sisters Falls

Although this trail has had its share of injuries, emergencies, and even fatalities; it has its challenges, diversity, and tranquility. Which makes it an incredibly fun trail to hike. This trail has been modified recently and a new path is now open. The old trail lead to a steep decline path where ropes were needed to assist the hiker on the route heading down into the gorge area. Also avoiding tons of poison oak.

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Three Sisters Falls Hike

As you are getting close to the waterfalls, you will scramble over some boulders and trek on a rocky trail section and end up coming out near the middle falls. You can carefully walk down to the lower falls for a few photos, and then climb up to the upper falls area.

What To Expect

As you arrive at the parking area for the Three Sisters Falls Trailhead, it is all dirt roads leading into the parking lot, which is also dirt. Drive carefully. There are a couple bathrooms, which are porta potties. Keep in mind since the trail takes you down, you will be climbing on your return.

Parking Lot Three Sisters Falls Trailhead

The trail is about 4.2 miles and is heavily trafficked both in and out. The return incline is about 1000 feet. The path can be rough in some areas; you will also scramble over a few boulders and pass by a flowing creek bed with plentiful small trees, shrubs, and singing birds.

Creek bed below and trees, shrubs, and singing birds

Tips and Safety

This trail can get heavy traffic and I recommend arriving to begin your hike before 11 a.m.

  • Bring plenty of drinking water. The summer can reach high temperatures.
  • Do not bring your pet.
  • Do not bring alcohol; this will dehydrate you.
  • Bring salty snacks.
  • Bring camera
  • Wear shoes with good grip
  • There are porta potties but no water.
  • Rated Moderate to Strenuous. (But with new trail path, could be rated easy).

Finally, Enjoy Three Sisters Falls!

We hiked this trail in the month of May 2019, so the weather was cooler, and skies were mostly cloudy. But we got lucky and enjoyed the abundance of water flowing in the Three Sisters Falls! Be careful, and be prepared so that you can maximize your experience hiking this beautiful trail.

Maps and Information

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Kayaking On Convict Lake in the Sierra Nevada region near Mammoth Lakes is amazing! The reflection of the mountains off the shimmery lake surface sparkle and glimmer as I stare ahead sitting in my kayak.

The still of the air, the silence of nature, and bright morning sunshine creates the perfect day to explore the area around Convict Lake.

Kayaking on Convict Lake
Convict Lake

Road Trip Finale

After spending the previous two days exploring mountains, hiking trails, and hot springs around Mammoth Lakes; we made a change for this final day of our weekend road trip. Kayaking Convict Lake near Mammoth Lakes is no doubt one of the highlights of our weekend road trip.

Mammoth Lakes

The History of Convict Lake

Surrounded by majestic mountains and pristine skies, Convict Lake is more than a place where the fishermen go. The history of Convict Lake is quite interesting as it relates to being a place where bad things happen. It begins back in the late 1800s during the early settlement days; where a group of prisoners escaped from Nevada and made it to this lake, known as Wit-Sa-Nap by the Paiute.

Convict Lake A Murderous Tale

Morrison Mountain

Fishing at Convict Lake Morrison Mountain

Unfortunately their escape didn’t go as smooth as they might thought it would have as they encounter a Deputy Sheriff George Hightower. In this encounter, Posse member; Robert Morrison ends up killed. The beautiful mountains that surround the lake are named after him; Morrison Mountain. There is another strange incident that happened in the early 1990s as well. A group of teenagers and a couple counselors fell into the water while standing on a thin layer of ice. All except one teenager was able to pull himself out; it is assumed the others had drowned.

Kayaking Convict Lake

Convict Lake Today

Although these tragic events have infiltrated the memory of the community in years past, today it has blossomed into something new full of fun and adventure. It is known as a place for recreational opportunities. The opportunity for fishing, hiking, exploring, and kayaking. Convict Lake in the Sierra Nevada area is one of places that will surprise you. It is sort of a hidden gem believe it or not. 

The activities and things to do in this area of Mono County are endless including hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and backpacking. Trek your way through the Inyo and Humboldt Toiyabe National Forests that includes the John Muir trail, Ansel Adams, and Hoover Wilderness. To offer you a few nature and hiking trails to explore, I have listed a few below:

Hiking Trails

  •   Agnew/Meadow Wildflower Nature Trail          Short Trail        Map
  •   Burt Canyon Trail         Distance: 6.5 miles to Anna Lake           Map
  •  Crystal Lake Trail         Distance: 3 miles                                    Map
  •   Duck Pass Trail            Distance: 1 mile or 5 miles                      Map

You can also enjoy the 3 mile hiking trail around Convict Lake of which this trail connects to the Sierra Crest according to Wikipedia.com.

In Summary

I highly recommend you make a stop by Convict Lake on your visit to the Inyo National Forest or Mammoth Lakes area in California. If you are looking for simple easy adventurous things to do this Summer, then go visit Convict Lake and the Mammoth Lakes area. Directions: Convict Lake is approximately two miles from Highway 395 and about 15 minutes south of Mammoth Lakes.