Traveling Green: Tips for more eco-friendly travel

greentravelThe word ‘green’ used to represent a color, but in recent times society has adopted a new outlook. Nowadays when we are presented with the word ‘Green’ we are inclined to think of the environment. “Going-Green” has gained a lot of notoriety and support because we have learned the value of conserving and preserving natural resources. And the truth is, it does not require more than willingness to incorporate it into your everyday routine. This is why we have chosen to showcase a few easy ways to merge your Green mentality with the act of traveling, so that will have a positive effect on your travel.

Perhaps the first way to set you on the right path to Travel Green is researching lodging that shares in the same values as you. Consider the increasingly popular alternative of a Vacation Rental. Vacation Rentals will allow you to control everything about your stay. Vacation rentals allow you to operate independently and better gauge what types of products you will need, the amount electricity or water used, and when reusing a product is no longer appropriate such as changing of linens. If neither of these options meet the criteria for the area of travel or is not ideal for all those in your company, you can always speak to the front desk or housekeeping attendant at the location of your choice. Most employees will be open to accommodating your ideals and honor your request to reduce turn down service or provide reusable glasses, etc.

Another great idea for the environment is to think of the transportation that you will be using. Some ideas to think about are to invest in non-stop flights, use public transportation, bike or walk, and consider hybrids if a car is absolutely necessary. Aside from the obvious convenience of comfort and price, these options help reduce the amount of carbon emissions which are so harmful to the environment. Not to be confused with a direct flight, non-stop flights allow the plane travel from one airport to another without stopping at any other destination to gather passengers. This act drastically reduces the amount of carbon emission by as much as 50%! Opting for public transportation, biking, or walking will allow the group to visit all areas of interest while conserving the environment. Each method adopts the logic of car pooling and prolongs the existence of the location you are in. Although, most of these options are available there are some occasions where personal transportation is essential. In those times it is best to opt for a hybrid if possible so that the previous reasons discussed remain true.

Biking and walking will leave a minimal carbon footprint, but even more beneficial to you as a traveler, it allows you to experience more of your destination. Take the time to enjoy the natural appeal of your surroundings and collect more direct memories. As you are exploring your destination, perhaps one of the most important pieces to mention is importance of marked trails. Although we all are inclined to “take the road less traveled”, it is important to always rely on the marked land in order to avoid damaging the local environment. Traveling on roads that have been left untouched can results in loss of vegetation, landslides, and other drastic environmental effects.

Aside from the methods of traveling green it is important to consider how you as an individual and group will contribute to the environment and economy that you have chosen as your destination. Choose to eat local, remember to recycle, reuse products such as water bottles, give back to the community, and most importantly treat it as your own. Although many times we start to think of our destinations as just that, it is crucial to notice that these are homes and society that are trying to keep afloat.

Enjoy your trip and remember to conserve it so others may visit as well!

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Best Properties by Budget in the US

Get rid of your winter woes by planning your next vaycay! Below you will find a few ideas to keep on the back burner. No matter your income level or family size, booking a vacation rental has never been more fun (or easier!)

Budget:

1. San Diego

$79/night

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Why choose budget over luxury when you can have the best of both worlds!? The Beautiful 1 Bedroom Suite in La Jolla property starts at $79 per night and sleeps a family of 4! This location is perfect for beaching and is within 15 minutes to the well-known San Diego Zoo & Sea World! If you do not feel like venturing out of the rental, hang out at the community pool, gym or hot tub. This location and property will keep the entire family occupied.

2. Orlando

$65/night

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Located on a lake ideal for boating and fishing, the Awesome House on an Awesome Resort property has a lot to offer! This 8 sleeper has access to basketball and tennis courts, a work out room and a heated spa. You can even rent a car for the day and drive down to Disney or Universal Sea World since they are merely 25-35 miles away! This rental is the perfect weekend getaway for mom, dad, the kids and all the baggage!

Mid-Range:

1. Austin

$200/night

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http://www.vacationhomerentals.com/vacation-rentals/Austin-Texas-vacation-rental-home-proID-67494.html

The Luxury Home Near Downtown is 5 minutes away from everything that is cool in Austin: Zilker Park, Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail, Barton Creek mall and 6th Street! Once you are done exploring, come home to a fully stocked kitchen and enjoy fantastic skyline views of downtown! This property sleeps 8 comfortably and features a sauna, pool and greenhouse. Do not forget to ask about the rental car and airport transportation; the owner is available for anything that you need!

2. Salt Lake City

$135/night

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Calling all snowbirds: this spacious 2 Bedroom with Loft property is located close to skiing with quick access to freeway to head downtown! Since the owners are skiers themselves, ask about special pass discounts (think Alta, Brighton, Solitude) and the surrounding area. After a day on the mountain, relax in the new outdoor hot tub while taking in the mountain views or check out the DVD library of this 6 sleeper. If the kids are upset because you will be traveling during the holidays, the owners provide a decked out Christmas tree which is sure to put smiles on their faces!

Luxe:

1. Maui

$840/night

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Pool, gardens and beach: what else could you possibly need? This spacious Mediterranean-style home can sleep up to 8 with unobstructed ocean views throughout. Located in a safe, residential area, you can kick back and relax in the Jacuzzi spa as your little ones splash around in the pool. Enjoy whale watching from your private lanai or even from the pool. If you feel like venturing out, Hawaii’s famous beaches along with shopping, restaurants and snorkeling are minutes away!

2. Aspen

$1527/night

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Looking to plan a joint family vacation? This 12 sleeper is big enough so you can bring your son’s and your daughter’s best friends as well as your better half’s family! The possibilities in this property are endless: hang out in the media room, by one of the several fireplaces or in the hot tub on the roof deck! If someone in your party is trying to get his/her own space, the 6th bedroom is complete with its very own kitchen! The home comes with passes to the spa and workout facility and sits on the local bus line servicing 4 nearby ski areas!

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Top Outdoor & Adventure Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2015

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Sitting behind your desk right now, or lounging on your couch, there’s a strong chance you desire adventure. Heck, that’s why you’re on a vacation rental travel blog, right? Everyone wants to push their limits, see the world, and expand their horizons. It’s wanderlust. It is in all of us. Financially or otherwise, it is difficult to pull off a wild adventure regularly. So alas, we often live those dreams through others. There is a whole subset of talented bloggers and writers out there creating adventures for themselves every day. In the absence of the ability to do these things ourselves, we can live through them. 

We’ve chosen our favorite group of outdoor and adventure travel bloggers to follow in 2015. See the world through their eyes, base jump off the cliff through their bodies, eat that exotic dish through their taste buds. You won’t regret following along with this group.

 

Appalachian Trials

AppalachianTrials.com is dedicated to shining a spotlight on current hikers’ journeys. We have dozens of current thru-hikers sharing their journeys right here on the site. Whether you want to be entertained, informed, or just live vicariously through the adventures of those who have dropped everything to walk the length of the country, you’ve come to the right place.

Frugal Frolicker

The main impetus for this blog was to keep friends and family updated during her 5 month backpacking trip through Asia, but the long-term intention is to keep sharing her adventures, both local and afar, in hopes of inspiring others to live a life of travel no matter how much money they’ve got.

Global Grasshopper

We are Becky and Gray the UK-based duo behindGlobalGrasshopper – a global magazine and resource for independent travellers.

Go See Write

I took off in December of 2008 to circle the planet with no reservations and without leaving the ground. Sixteen months later, I succeeded. My permanent travels have just continued from there.

Hiking Forward

As a husband and a father of two young girls who also enjoy the outdoors, I hope to use this site to share the funny and interesting stories of our experiences out in the woods.

Meanderthals: A Hiking Blog

Meanderthals: A Hiking Blog is a series of trail reports for many of the best hikes in Western North Carolina. I am fortunate to live in this beautiful environment, this “Land of Waterfalls,” and have the opportunity to day hike nearly every week.

Ordinary Traveler

We believe that travel is for everyone. We’re not trying to preach that you need to be fearless in everything you do or that you even need to call yourself adventurous. We just hope to help people find that fire inside that makes them want to live a meaningful life — one that they feel has purpose and makes them come alive.

So Many Places

In 2012 I quit my job, sold my stuff, and left home to write and travel. This is a blog about discovering the world and fighting like hell for your dreams.

The Planet D

We started The Planet D with the hope of inspiring people to step out of their comfort zone and realize their potential. That is what travel has done for us.

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Mythbusters: The Vacation Rental Edition

Vacation rentals come in all different shapes, sizes, and locations and, while it’s easy to become a bit overwhelmed by the variety of properties online, you shouldn’t let that get in the way of finding the rental of your dreams. Still not convinced? Here, we’ve debunked five of the most common myths plaguing the vacation rental experience.

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Myth #1: Vacation rentals are too expensive for the every-day traveler, and are only available to those who swim in seas of gold like Scrooge McDuck.

The truth: Vacation rentals can be a very affordable option for travelers looking to get the most out of their money. While some rentals do range from super affordable to excessively lavish, that range means there is something available for travelers no matter what their price range. To compete against larger hotel chains, most vacation rental owners/managers offer lower rates, more amenities and no hidden fees that pop up at check-out. A 2014 study by Statista showed that 53% of respondents said that they chose vacation rentals over hotels because they actually ended up offering lower rates than hotels. So, think twice before you rule vacation rentals out based on cost – they can offer a great savings, especially when they replace a group’s need for multiple hotel rooms.

 

Myth #2: That luxury, beachfront villa will turn out to be more like a shoebox with a view of the highway sign pointing in the direction of the beach.

The truth: In reality, it’s only the most negative experiences, which are few and far between, that actually get any press. Although it is very common among travelers to fear that the vacation rental will be “significantly not as described” (SNAD) the majority of travelers who’ve stayed at a vacation rental have positive experiences. According to Phocuswright’s industry study, Vacation Rental Marketplace: Poised for Change, nine in 10 vacation rental guests intend to rent again and would recommend the experience to a family member or friend. Vacation rental owners and managers take great pride in accurately showcasing their properties, and if the rental isn’t measuring up to be quite as picture-perfect as the photos indicate, it will be evident in the reviews for the property.

 

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Myth #3: Locking down a vacation rental requires 10 different email exchanges, 5 phone calls and is overall too difficult.

The truth: With the emergence of safe, online booking platforms like ours, finding and booking a vacation rental has gotten a whole lot easier in recent years. Simply pick your destination, compare properties that pique your interest, and inquire on or book the rental of your dreams. You can even pay directly through the site using a credit/debit card or PayPal, so that your vacation is protected and you don’t have to worry about any SNAD myths coming true. Finding and booking a rental is so simple now, you’ll finally have a reason to use the Easy button gag gift collecting dust on your desk.

 

Myth #4: You need to bring your toolbox on vacation because you’ll be all alone if something goes wrong at the property.

The truth: Most owners/managers take preemptive measures to make sure that their property is in tip-top shape for renters, because no one likes to deal with emergency maintenance issues – even owners/managers. Rentals are typically professionally cleaned before check-in and after check-out and some are even cleaned throughout your stay, so you don’t have to worry about the state of the rental. Whether you’re renting from an individual owner or a property management company, you’ll likely have access to assistance around the clock, in case any issues arise. It could be an on-site property manager or the personal cellphone number of the owner, but either way you’ll be covered when you need help.

 

Myth #5: If your stay is less than 7 nights, don’t bother inquiring because no one rents for less than a weeklong stay.

The truth: As the vacation rental marketplace has expanded enormously, many owners/managers have relaxed minimum night stays making rentals perfect for weekend getaways and short-term stays. The great, unique thing about vacation rentals is that you’re often dealing directly with the property owner and every owner has different policies. Accepting one, two and three night stays is a great way for owners/managers to fill last minute openings and availability during the off season. It never hurts to ask when you find a property you love for a quick retreat from reality.

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Vacation Homes Designed by Famous Architects

Do you have a passion for architecture? Live and breathe in a true architect’s paradise! The listings below are designed by some of America’s most well-known architects. Why not spend your vacation a little more uniquely?

 

  1. Venice Beach, California: Architectural Gem & Guesthouse Near Canals Beach

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Designed by mid-century modernist John Porter, this 4 bed 3 bath property encompasses vaulted wood ceilings and plenty of skylights. The unit is complete with a private deck perfect for al fresco dining overlooking a tropical garden. Rent both the main house and guesthouse or do so separately.

 

  1. Sandpoint, Idaho: The Point at Sandpoint Gorgeous 360’ Waterfront

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This 12 sleeper was designed by well-known architect, Jon Sayler, to reflect the natural beauty of the area, including separate pavilions. Cedar, pine, hickory, granite, slate and large stones throughout resemble the relationship between the Kootenai and Pend Oreille Native Americans. Some of the rental’s key features include the river stone “dry stack” fireplace and the gourmet kitchen consisting of a “u” shaped alder bar and views of the lake.

 

  1. Santa Barbara, California: Ravenscroft Estate Pool, Spa & Tennis Court

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Claimed to be the most well preserved, classically designed Santa Barbara estate still in existence, this George Washington Smith designed marvel has been standing strong since 1922. The 8 bed 8.5 bath property boasts outdoor terraces, iron gates and a 52 foot long living room. Do not miss the secret door and passageway to the wine tasting cellar and tasting room! Renting this estate is like stepping back in time into Santa Barbara’s history.

 

  1. Two Rivers, Wisconsin: Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Usonian Masterpiece

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The home, overlooking the East Twin River, contains red tidewater cypress wood and Cherokee red concrete floors which combine both geometry and art. The natural light streams through the windows creating patterns on the walls inside connecting you to the outdoors. The 1938 property contains 3 fireplaces and several patios and balconies, giving you a glimpse into the wildlife.

  

  1. San Antonio, Texas: Historic Urban Duplex Mansion with Pool Awesome

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George Rodney Willis, a lead draftsman for Frank Lloyd Wright at the turn of the 20th Century, takes the cake for designing this large 1925 duplex. This cozy property gives you the feeling of being in a quaint cottage. Spread out amongst 1900 interior square feet and dine on the outdoor veranda, overlooking the pool and spa. The 2 bed 2 bath sleeps 4 comfortably.

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Top 20 Food Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2015

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Coming home every night thinking up a creative recipe can really be a chore – which is why most of us toss some chicken nuggets in the oven and hope that everyone is happy with the result. Sometimes though you really want to take things to the next level, impress your spouse or your children or both, and you need a little inspiration. Thankfully there are professional and amateur chefs out there documenting their experiences traveling the globe and cooking very carefully, so we can admire from a distance, and try our hands at their masterpieces while also being jealous of their jet setting adventures. 

Based on popularity, creativity, writing style, value and breadth of their dishes – we’ve chosen the top food travel bloggers to follow in 2015. Next time you’re on vacation and staying in a vacation rental, try out some of their recipes and see if you can recreate it as best as possible. 

 

A Global Kitchen

A Global Kitchen originated from the challenges I have encountered as I live, work and travel around the world. As a chef I am always interested in learning more about the variety of local products and cooking techniques where I am living.

Bacon is Magic

The longer I travel the more I see that the culture of a place is found in its food. So you won’t see us hiking many mountains, We’d rather stay at the bottom and meet the farmers, fishermen, winemakers and food producers. 

Eat Cook Explore

I am a Londoner who likes to eat and travel. I am fearless in food choices and will eat almost anything that moves, with and without a dare. 

EatingAsia

A Penang-based food writer + photographer eating/traveling in Asia, Turkey and beyond. 

FEAST: An Edible Road Trip

FEAST: An Edible Road Trip is the result of months of strategic planning, hundreds of cups of tea, and wild visionary indulgence. It is a project dedicated to exploring Canada, highlighting incredible regional food, and meeting and featuring interesting characters and organizations.

Follow Me Foodie

I’m born and raised in Vancouver, BC, but have always let my taste buds guide me across the world and even so far as to dictate my work and life. 

La Tortuga Viajera

What are your impressions of Spanish cuisine? It is unfortunately often very misunderstood. Learn more about the best food to try, as well as Spanish family recipes here.

Lonely Palate

I’ve quit my job, sold all of my belongings and bought a one-way ticket to travel and experience the culinary wonders of this beautiful world. Sacrificing my waist line, I’m committed to fulfilling my role as your global guide to local food, uncovering the best (and up-to-date) foodie haunts, trends and culinary experiences around the world. 

Migrationology

Migrationology.com is where “people who love to eat and travel” come to experience and get a flavor for delicious food from around the world and from across cultures. 

Ms. Adventures in Italy

Ms. Adventures in Italy is my site about cooking, exploring and tasting new specialties, and my travels in Italy as well as around the world.

MW Eats

I am a food photographer who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia USA; roots via the city of Ottawa in the Province of Ontario, Canada. I’ve always favored natural looking food photographs and have been striving to “perfect” this style in my work. Most of what is on this site has been shot on location with little to no equipment, outside the body and lens. 

My Kugelhopf

As a food and travel writer, I combine my two greatest passions in life, always ready for the next adventure or new culinary discovery.

Rambling Spoon

People often ask me how I came to write about food. It wasn’t a “beat” I specifically chose. I didn’t set out to become a food writer, per se. But I’ve always found food to be a great introduction, a perfect connection and entry into people’s lives. Everyone has a food story to tell. It’s common ground for us, as human beings. 

Table for Two

We believe that in order to fully understand the culture of some place, you have to eat your way through it and find out the stories behind it.

Thai Food and Travel

Kasma is a native of Thailand who grew up learning to cook from her mother, a master chef. Thai people love food and are, in general, very knowledgeable about it. To this base, Kasma has added years of passionate experience, experimentation and study. 

The Hungry Australian

The Hungry Australian is where I share my personal stories, recipes and travel experiences. It’s where I get to play, creatively. It’s where I push myself to write the stories that challenge and scare me. It’s where I hope to create stories that resonate, inspire and connect with you. 

The Roaming Kitchen

In the last ten years, I’ve lived in nine separate places. My kitchen roams where I do–it’s where I feel most at home. 

Tiny Urban Kitchen

I also love eating, and am very willing to travel for good food! That’s why this blog also includes my takes on my various eating adventures, whether in Boston or around the world. 

Travel. Style. Food.

You’ll find quite a variety of topics here – everything from travel, beauty, books, lifestyle, reviews…but mostly food. Food and cooking never fail to fascinate me! I have an insatiable passion for anything food and restaurant related. 

Yummy Planet

It’s not a secret: when choosing a travel destination, the culinary heritage of the region is one of our main concerns.

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Don’t Screw the Pooch: Take Your Pets on Vacation to these Destinations

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In need of a vacation but don’t want to leave Fido at home? From mountain hiking to running around on the beach, the one thing that all of these dog friendly properties have in common is that you’ll find plenty of activities to do with your best (furry) friend.

 

1.       Santa Barbara, California

Make sure you mark your calendar for the annual Big Dog Parade! Stay at a comfortable vacation home steps away from the event: the Luxury Queen Ann Victorian property welcomes your four legged friend with open paws! After the parade, let your pup enjoy the outdoors at a nearby off-leash dog beach!

2.       Asheville, North Carolina

The Rainbow Ridge property keeps fido safe with a special fenced in area to let him run wild! Don’t feel like you have to leave your best friend at home: you are a quick drive to al fresco fido friendly restaurants and leash-free dog parks!

3.       Colorado Springs, Colorado

Do you like to pamper your pooch with both shopping and breath taking views? If yes, then Pike’s Peak Retreat []is the spot for you! The shops in this area boast signs that welcome fur balls of all sizes. Retire on one of the two decks complete with panoramic mountain views and lakes.

4.       Austin, Texas

A big backyard, a lake and food: what else could your furry friend possibly need!? The Beautiful Montina Beach property sits upon six acres for your dog to run around on! Let him cool down with a dip at the dogs-only swimming area called Red Bud Isle. Keep your eyes open for Bow-Wow Bones, a mobile food truck to suppress fido’s appetite!

5.       Bar Harbor, Maine

Canine lovers rejoice: Rising Sun Cottage offers a separate bedroom for your pooch complete with doggy furniture and bed linens. Prior to arrival all of the fixtures will be lined with protective covers. The best part: there is no pet fee! The rental is minutes away from dog friendly hiking trails and parks. Don’t forget to book a schooner cruise or whale watch with your four legged friend!

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Best VHR Properties to Rent for Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix

Gotta bunch of pals or family members and no place to go for the big game? Look no further! Below you will find a list of accommodations including everything from spas and grills to tennis courts and outdoor televisions! The big question is which property to rent!?

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  1. Leave your mind at home: No need to think about a thing! This rental is less than 1 mile away from the stadium and famous bars such as Margaritaville and Yard House. Utilities, cleaning service and transportation included. Click here to view property.

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  1. Simply all you need: Fully furnished home including full kitchen to prep for the big game and two televisions! This property is located two miles from the stadium and entertainment district. Click here to view property.

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  1. A haven for the sports enthusiast: This 3-story condo includes a swimming pool and hot tub right outside your door. Hit the state of the art fitness center and take a 7 minute walk to the stadium and Jobing Arena (home of the Coyotes hockey team). Click here to view property.

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  1. Perfect for the grill master: This Super Bowl retreat has a resort style back yard complete with a BBQ gas grill and covered patio for cooking! Relax under the ramada after taking a dip in the pool or above ground spa. Click here to view property.

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  1. Room for the entire family and more: This 16-sleeper contains several large living rooms (just in case someone in the fam does not want to watch the Super Bowl!) Activities galore will keep you more than occupied after the big game including tennis court, sand volleyball and shuffleboard. Click here to view property.

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  1. Ideal for the gamer in your group: Complete with 5 brand new flat screen televisions, this property also contains both outdoor and indoor speakers so you can listen to the game while putting around on the private 3-hole green or taking a ride on the Cruiser bicycle. Click here to view property.

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  1. Do you love the great outdoors? What better way to watch the big game than outside with a big screen television, 4 person grill and bar and a desert landscape!? This 12 sleeper has a private pool and spa with plenty of outdoor seating! Click here to view property.
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The Best Marathon in Every State in the USA

Marathon Runners

Now that the new year is upon us, better get cracking on those resolutions. Did you vow to lose weight this year by running more? You should join the millions of people who not only love running as a hobby, but challenge themselves by completing some of the toughest races available. Don’t just go for a 2 mile run around the neighborhood, really push yourself and aim to take down a 26.2 mile marathon. So whether you are a running novice, or you have more participant bibs than a newborn, there’s surely a race nearby that you can jump into.

We looked at every state in the USA and chose the top marathon worth traveling for. So if you’re a road warrior who is looking for another medal to hang around your neck, or if you just want to figure out how to get off the couch and go running, consider any of these highly reviewed and participated in races from around the country. Some are more difficult than others, some have breathtaking scenery, and others are some of the most fun events you can handle while also getting blisters. Here’s the list:

Alabama (Montgomery): The Montgomery Marathon
Alaska (Skagway): Skagway Marathon
Arizona (Phoenix): Phoenix Marathon
Arkansas (Little Rock): Little Rock Marathon
California (Newport Beach): OC Marathon
Colorado (Denver): Colfax Marathon
Connecticut (Hartford): NU Hartford Marathon
Delaware (Dewey Beach): CoDel Marathon
Florida (Melbourne): Melbourne Music Marathon
Georgia (Fort Oglethorpe): Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon
Hawaii (Waikoloa): Kona Marathon
Idaho (Pocatello): Pocatello Marathon
Illinois (Springfield): Springfield Marathon
Indiana (Indianapolis): Monumental Marathon
Iowa (Cedar Rapids): Marion Rotary Marathon for Shoes
Kansas (Abilene): Eisenhower Marathon
Kentucky (Williamson): Hatfield McCoy Marathon
Louisiana (Lafayette): Zydeco Marathon
Maine (Carrabassett Valley): Sugarloaf Marathon
Maryland (Greenbelt): George Washington’s Birthday Marathon
Massachusetts (Falmouth): Cape Cod Marathon
Michigan (Ann Arbor): Trail Marathon
Minnesota (Walker): Walker North County Marathon
Mississippi (Jackson): Mississippi Blues Marathon
Missouri (Springfield): Run for the Ranch Marathon
Montana (Virginia City): Madison Marathon
Nebraska (Omaha): Omaha Marathon
Nevada (Reno): Downtown River Run Marathon
New Hampshire (Bristol): New Hampshire Marathon
New Jersey (Atlantic City): Atlantic City Marathon
New Mexico (Shiprock): Shiprock Marathon
New York (Corning): Wineglass Marathon
North Carolina (Cary): Tobacco Road Marathon
North Dakota (Fargo): Fargo Marathon
Ohio (Columbus): Columbus Marathon
Oklahoma (Tulsa): Route 66 Marathon
Oregon (Newport): Newport Marathon
Pennsylvania (Scranton): Steamtown Marathon
Rhode Island (Newport): Newport Marathon
South Carolina (Kiawah Island): Kiawah Island Marathon
South Dakota (Sioux Falls): Sioux Falls Marathon
Tennessee (Jackson): Andrew Jackson Marathon
Texas (Fort Worth): Cowtown Marathon
Utah (Huntsville): Huntsville Marathon
Vermont (Waitsfield): Mad Marathon
Virginia (Virginia Beach): Shamrock Marathon
Washington (Port Angeles): North Olympic Discovery Marathon
West Virginia (Huntington): Marshall University Marathon
Wisconsin (Kenosha): Wisconsin Marathon
Wyoming (Jackson Hole): Jackson Hole Marathon

Be sure to read our older posts in this series, featuring Top family attractions and Top Restaurants in each state.

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2015’s Top 5 Family Destinations

About to pull your hair out over a family vacation decision for 2015? Look no farther than the sunshine state, which consistently ranks at the top of the list for tourist destinations! Whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation on the beach or a fun-filled vacation at Disney, Florida has something to offer for every member of the fam!

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  1. Orlando/Disney

This destination speaks for itself: theme parks! Stay at an affordable vacation rental moments away from the infamous Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios and so much more! Not only are there rides for the kiddies but golf for the adults and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to keep the sports-fanatic in your fam occupied! Be sure to save some time for entertainment galore: parades, concerts & pageants! Tip: Multi-day passes are the way to go. This way, you do not have to limit yourself to just one theme park.

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  1. Naples 

Calling all nature lovers! For those who plan to relax underneath the sun, what better way to do so than on the white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico!? Your children can build the day away in one of the nation’s best sandboxes or splash around safely in the calm waters. Enjoy the peacefulness while picnicking, bird watching or fishing. If you are looking to spice up your trip just a little bit, do not miss out on an Everglades adventure! End your day with breath taking sunsets right from the bedroom of your vacation rental, situated directly on the water.

Fort Myers, FL

 

  1. Fort Myers

For the never ending learner: Did you know that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford built their winter estates here? This dates back to 1916 when Ford purchased land next door to Edison. Teach your kids hands on in the then estates which have thus transformed into museums. Let their imaginations run wild as you roam the streets of historic downtown Fort Myers. Here you will find buildings dating back to the early 20th century, vintage style lighting and brick thoroughfares. Don’t forget to check out the beaches, shopping & fishing!

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  1. Kissimmee

Tranquility or thrills? Who says you can’t have both!? This Floridian destination is perfect for the family who can’t stay for too long in one place! Spend half of your vacation at the nearby theme parks, filled with themed dinner theaters, swamp tours and outdoor activities. Spend the other half downtown at the Lakefront Park complete with ice cream, the Monument of States and bass fishing.

Cape Coral, FL

  1. Cape Coral 

Perfect for the fit fam who doesn’t mind the sweat! With over 400 miles of canals, spend the day in the water participating in sports such as boating and fishing. Enjoy Sun Splash Family Waterpark during the day and take in the sights of the Gulf of Mexico. Prefer to run around on land? Check out the abundance of golf courses, tennis courts and athletic clubs. Bike or hike on the Ding Darling preserve with live alligators and birds steps from the trails! Don’t disturb the gators: Better make sure your vacation rental isn’t right on top of these paths!

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