Napa Valley Wine Tours For Beginners

vineyardImagine walking through vineyards with the sun setting peacefully behind you. For miles all you can see are rolling hills carved with perfect rows of vines. As you reach one end you walk peacefully into a large building that holds barrels of exquisite wine. Now you take a moment to breathe in the beauty of it all, and grab a glass of the wine in its freshest form. The taste is pure, delicious, and marked in your mind forever. This is a small taste of what a wine tour can hold for you. The Napa Valley is one of the most popular places in the world to explore the historical culture of wine and its creation. If you plan it right and tackle the best ones, you can experience something not only beautiful but delicious as well.

photo©Chuck Abbe

What is a Wine Tour?

Wine tours are special, and have held a soft spot in my heart for many years. They are a tour of the place that makes the wine and share this information in an elegant fashion. You get to taste the wine, walk or drive through the vineyards, and explore the buildings.

Tips and Tricks for First Timers

When planning your first tour, make sure you do some research on several places. I love to get outside and dive into nature, so exploring the vineyard out of a vehicle is top on my list. You can explore vineyards by car, boat, bus, foot, and even horseback. Time it so you can experience it while the sun sets or while it rises; the coolness of the night air will keep you refreshed, and the sun dusting the surface with its light is stunning. Check what type of wines they serve, cost, and how many tastings you will get to try. Many wineries offer other bonuses like bike rides, cheese, music and appetizers. There are many, many good ones so don’t be afraid to be picky.

The Napa Valley Best Places

The Napa Valley is one of the most prominent places in the world for wine tours. There are dozens of wineries, and people travel across the country to experience this wine region. Choosing the best was a challenge, but I narrowed it down to my favorite three. Each has something unique to bring, and will be a special occasion for any vacation.

Cliff Lede

With 39 vineyard blocks, this winery cleverly named each one after a rock song. The atmosphere is a mix of romance and fun with elegant seating, twinkling lights, and music playing in the background. As you sink into your soft seat, you will get several tastings of fine wine and appetizers. The best is saved for last, and the Rock Blocks red blends will be heaven to your taste buds.

Chappellet

This is definitely my favorite place to explore a winery. The view has everything from mountains, hills, vines, to rivers. The tour is 90 minutes and walks you through the vineyard and buildings; it will be hard to pull your eyes away from the gorgeous landscape. Then you get to sit comfortably as you taste the newest wine releases.

Clif Family

This place offers an entirely different experience than other wineries. You can rent a bike and travel a 24-mile loop around the entire vineyard and landscaping. The ride begins with a cup of espresso and allows you to fully experience life at a vineyard. When you reach your destination, you get to enjoy a relaxing wine tasting. No matter what place you decide to taste, you can’t go wrong in the Napa Valley.

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Colorado, A Hiker’s Paradise

ColoradoHiking on trails is one of the best ways to experience a state’s natural beauty. I love the beaches and hot sun in Florida, but Colorado offers something I don’t get to see every day. When I visit a new place, I always plan to spend at least one day enjoying the scenery. You cannot visit Colorado without the yearning to get outside and see the mountains covered in trees. This place is gorgeous, and the best way to see all that beauty is diving right in it. Here are the best hikes for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

photo©Daniel Boyd

Waterfall Hikes

Boulder Falls

If you are looking for a short and easy hike that offers great rewards, then this hike is one of the best waterfall hikes you can quickly explore. Located just outside Boulder, Colorado, you walk a quick 100 yards to this breathtaking scene. If the hike is not quite long enough, follow the trails surrounding it and explore the trees, rocks, and water.

Bridal Veil Falls Hike

If there is a waterfall nearby where I am staying, then I am going to be there. Hikes are all about exploring, but having a waterfall at the end motivates me throughout the climb, and this waterfall is worth the 6.6 mile hike to get there.

Alberta Falls Hike

Located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, this beautiful 1.2 mile hike is only a 2 hour drive from Denver. You can get to the waterfall in less than a mile, or you can add some length by taking the longer trail. The location is prime for spending an entire day with family and friends exploring the rest of the National Park.

Lake Hikes

Bear Lake Hike

Right in the center of Rocky Mountain National Park is this gorgeous lake that you can walk around and explore. The hike is a little over a half-mile, but there are several trails around the lake you can enjoy with the constant view of the lake.

Echo Lake Trail

Mt. Evans is one of the prettiest places to hike and drive. This easy hike is short enough to bring young kids and eat lunch while enjoying the view. After finishing the walk, drive up to the top of Mt. Evans and take in the stunning view.

Silver Dollar Lake Trail

This moderate hike is 4.8 miles round-trip and is a steady incline upwards. My favorite thing about this trail is the small lake it has along the way. This smaller lake called Naylor Lake is a small taste of the beautiful lake you get to enjoy when you reach the top.

Moderate Hikes

Continental Divide Trail at Berthoud Pass

Located in the little town of Empire, this trail has several length options depending on your skill level. You can do two miles, four miles, and even a 16 mile hike making it one of the best Colorado hikes for all ages. Between the peaks, rivers, and lakes, there is plenty to see along the way.

Chief Mountain Trail

This is one of the most popular hikes in Colorado and located off of Squaw Pass Road. Although the hike is only two miles, it takes you right along the edge of the mountain tops. The views are more than incredible, and truly describe Colorado.

Handicap Accessible

Mt. Evans Summit Hike

Anyone can enjoy nature, and this hike has a road that takes you almost to the summit. The trail is short and can easily be taken by wheelchair, stroller, or on foot. The mountains work as a backdrop to a beautiful lake and should be seen by everyone. There really is no excuse to not get outside and enjoy the fine views of Colorado.

 

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Best Ways To Have Fun In Seattle

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photo©Anupam_ts

When people start planning their vacations, they automatically think of sunny locations and white sandy beaches. While I know how wonderful it is to relax in the sun, there is something about escaping this typical trend and experiencing a city that is completely unique. When I think of cities that stand out among the rest with diverse culture and a distinct atmosphere, I picture Seattle.

If you have never been here, it is worth traveling to experience the assortment of fun things to do. The views are breathtaking with the mixture of cityscape, dotted islands, ocean water, and mountains. It is a city you can visit on a budget, and I can’t help but share how awesome this place is without spending a fortune. Here are five ways you can have fun in Seattle.

Pike Place

You don’t have to spend a dime to explore this farmers market that runs every day of the year. The shops are unique, the food is diverse, entertainers are every few feet, and the fish go flying through the air. Seriously, stop by the fish stand and watch as the workers toss giant fish across the area. The first time I experienced the art of throwing fish, I couldn’t help but wince and make strange faces. I was positive they would drop one of these slippery things, but they didn’t drop a single one. While I didn’t buy anything that day in the market, I still got to enjoy the excitement of people yelling, loud laughter, lively crowds and ongoing entertainment. Don’t forget to hit up the shops across from the main area and visit the original Starbucks.

The Gum Wall

The first time I heard about the Seattle gum wall, I kind of lost my appetite. The thought of hundreds of thousands of strangers placing their germy gum on a wall sounded disgusting. This yucky place, with gum squished in every nook and cranny, was the first place I wanted to see. I guess my curiosity overpowered any germ phobia I might have. While it was gross, it was also beautiful. The mixtures of tiny bubbly colors intertwined together were beyond fascinating. I think I stood there for fifteen minutes just taking it all in. Then, without thinking, I spat my gum into my hand. I walked to the wall and squished my blue piece of gum right next to pink, red, green, and yellow pieces. It was fun, but I felt an inner proudness knowing there was a little piece of me forever in Seattle. This gum wall is just one of the many unique things to see in Seattle.

Art

There is art everywhere in this city. I have traveled around the country many times, but I have never been to a city so drenched in modern art. Stroll from Pike Place to the Space Needle and you will understand what I am talking about. There are fountains, giant red stacked tubes, glass art, talking flowers, sidewalks, and even artists creating work right there on the street. You can even see a troll under the bridge on your drive in the city. Make sure you visit the giant splash park that is a concave dome that shoots out thousands of gallons of water.

The Space Needle

You can’t visit Seattle without a stop to the Space Needle. If you are on a budget, walk around it from below, but if you can make it to the top, wow, you will be amazed. The view is astounding during the day and even more beautiful at night. I have to recommend eating in the restaurant that goes in a slow circle. While the price is fairly expensive, the food is fine dining quality and you get free admission to the top.

The Views

Seattle is in the Puget Sound so you get the smell of ocean water with the view of islands and land surrounding the area. Take a stroll along the docks, ride the Ferris wheel, and go for a daily cruise beside the shore to truly see everything. While people give Seattle a hard time for gray skies, the weather really is the perfect mild temperature to enjoy the city without melting or freezing to death; even the rain is only a light sprinkle. If you want to avoid the clouds, any chance of rain, and get a clear view of the scenery, visit during July and August. Seattle is a blast, and if you haven’t been here yet, you better start planning your next vacation to this lively place.

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Inside The One And Only Exploratorium

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photo©Jeff Gunn

If you are traveling to California or looking for someplace new to visit, there are some pretty spectacular places to see in San Francisco. While I could write pages of attractions you can enjoy in this sunny location, today I am going to focus on one: the Exploratorium. I am pretty excited about this new museum in San Francisco. Actually, excited is an understatement of how I truly feel; I am ready to catch the first flight to California and dash like a crazy woman through their doors at opening. The Exploratorium really is one-of-a-kind and a must on every itinerary.

What is it?

Before I start spilling my enthusiasm all over the place, let me start by explaining what an Exploratorium even is. Looking at the name, you can probably guess it has something to do with “exploring.” The word really gives a small glimpse of what this place really has to explore. This museum is a hands-on place that gets you learning about science, art, human phenomena, and nature.

What types of activities does it have?

The museum has hundreds of exhibits to explore and the activities range from marble machines, shadows, and bubbles, to jumping into a colorless world. The one I am especially looking forward to seeing, or I should say not seeing, is the Tactile Dome. This dome is for anyone 7 and older, and is completely black. As you navigate through the area you will physically crawl, climb, slide, and feel your way through. There is so much to do that an entire day isn’t enough to experience it all.

Who is it for?

This is my favorite part about this museum; it is for people of all ages. With a vast range of exhibits, they have done an incredible job at reaching to all crowds. Some exhibits will be too complicated for children to understand, but adults and teenagers will be open-mouthed at the ingenuity of it. Then there will be areas aimed at younger crowds that have activities that are so much fun and age appropriate, kids won’t realize all the learning they are doing.

What does it cost, and what are the hours?

For an entire day of mind-blowing fun, you can expect to pay $25 for adults, $19 for youth ages 4-17, and nothing for children 3 and under. It is open every day, except Mondays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Thursdays it has special hours for adults from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. There are also five free days spread throughout the year, and might be the times you plan your vacation around. I personally would love to visit on Pi Day or Groundhog Day, but you can get in free Mother’s Day, Engineering Day, and Founder’s Day too.

If you are within driving distance, I would strongly recommend swinging by and exploring the Exploratorium a few times a year. For those of us who live further away – I live clear across the country – planning a trip to visit California is a way to entwine this gem into your vacation. I love a good museum, but this one is on an entirely new level. I am not kidding when I say that it makes learning fun, exciting, and quite addicting. The moment I get through that door I will be exploring, playing, and soaking my mind with information.

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9 Incredible Pieces Of History You Can Only See In Philadelphia

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photo©Chris Brown

Take a moment to think about the history of America. Think about the wars, the Declaration of Independence, and the houses people built to settle and make their home. What city comes to mind first? While most people think of Washington, D.C., when discussing history, Philadelphia is a city that holds some of the most powerful artifacts and pieces of history. So much happened in and around this special place. From wars fought on its land to buildings of significance, Philadelphia played a huge role in the colonization and freedom of America.

1. Eastern State Penitentiary

When I think of a prison, thoughts of pretty architecture are the furthest from my mind. Benjamin Franklin, eager to help instead of punish prisoners, had this stunning penitentiary built. With castle features, stone walls, and isolated cells, this building is a mixture of beautiful and creepy.

2. Independence Hall

When I think about the start of America, my mind automatically thinks of the Declaration of Independence. So you might say that this building is where America all began, when that life-changing piece of paper was signed.

3. Franklin Court

Fall back in history with a stroll down Franklin Court. In the early 1800s, Benjamin Franklin’s house was torn down, but in its place is an outline of his home built with a steel frame. There is an adorable original post office where you can send some mail to loved ones back home.

4. The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is a piece of history that signifies America’s freedom. At the Liberty Bell Center, you can get historical information and see this storied artifact for free.

5. Valley Forge National Historical Park

While pondering our freedom, I am always reminded of the lives lost at war to obtain this luxury. Here on the open fields, you can be reminded of the deadly battle fought at Valley Forge.

6. The Betsy Ross House

This house is really old — I am talking a 250-year-old house. With furniture created for the time period and a Betsy Ross re-enactor, this place gives you a real taste of what life was like back then, along with a remembrance of the first sewn American flag.

7. Elfreth’s Alley

This street is a fun sight to see. It’s the first residential street in America, and you can believe that American history really did begin here. There are original homes and a museum along the road to see and even explore. Some homes even have people living in them. How amazing would it be to live in one of the first homes ever built in the United States? Amazing!

8. Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

Whether you have a soft spot for literature or not, this house, lived in by one of the first American writers, is worth a visit. With red brick and an authentic city feel, this house will charm your heart.

9. Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion and the Grange Estate

With design on my mind, there is nothing more fun than looking at historical mansions. The Victorian era is one of my favorites for architecture, and these homes captures every tiny detail with eloquent touches. Homes like these add to the overall authentic history of Philadelphia.

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14 Fun Foodie Highlights Of Los Angeles

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photo© Terry Robinson

Oh sunny California, I do miss you. Growing up near the beach was magical, and my family always stayed busy with the unlimited sources of entertainment. Los Angeles is the ideal vacation destination for those wanting to enjoy warm weather, tasty food, and big-wave beaches without the annoyance of humidity. One of the things I love about LA is the diversity of cultures that brings in an abundance of yummy cuisines. From comfortable cafes to food trucks, LA is one place you will never go hungry. Here are 14 fun foodie places you have to try while visiting the sunshine.

1. Nickel Diner
This diner basically is the best. I am not lying or exaggerating; it is the best. Trust me. You can eat here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — possibly all three. The price is inexpensive, the portions are heaping, and everything has a yummy homemade flavor. Try the homemade jam or salsa; both are remarkable.

2. Fishing With Dynamite
The wait to get in can be long but is only proof of how good the seafood is. The most famous and praised item is the raw scallops, but getting an entire platter will allow you to taste more of the seafood goodness.

3. Eatalian Café
Located in an industrial area, the appearance of this place might look a little sketchy. It’s a safe area, but more importantly, this huge warehouse restaurant serves the best pizza and pasta around. It is definitely one of the best LA restaurants.

4. Cousins Maine Lobster
Before I dive into how tasty the lobster is on this truck, I have to mention that this truck was on Shark Tank. That right there should get you ordering off of their menu. The food is yummy, affordable, and tender. If you want to be blown away, I would recommend the Connecticut Roll.

5. Apple Pan
This place has a big focus on burgers, and the many loyal customers will argue this is the best burger place around. Try the Hickory Burger and a slice of banana cream pie and you will join the Apple Pan fan club, too.

6. Flying Pig
This Asian restaurant serves tacos, and although it might sound strange mixing the two, it makes the tacos drip with flavor. The Pork Belly Bun is the item customers drool over.

7. The Grilled Cheese Truck
I love comfort foods that bring back memories of being a kid, and this is one of the best trucks roaming LA — it takes a simple food and dresses it up. The truck serves gourmet melts, tomato soup, and sandwiches, and you will be lining up for seconds.

8. Daikokuya
As one of the most famous restaurants in Los Angelos, Daikokuya has served thousands of customers delicious food and a memorable experience. With a focus on ramen, this Japanese restaurant serves bowls of ramen dripping in delectable sauces.

9. Pie ’N Burger
Nothing screams American food more than a perfect, classic, grilled hamburger — well, unless you eat it with a side of pie. The homemade pies can be bought full-size, which is good since you probably won’t be able to stop at one slice.

10. Border Grill Truck
Here is a food truck that takes tender meat and places it in a delicious taco. The citrus chicken taco has a fresh taste that is bursting with flavors.

11. Philippe
Located in Chinatown, this little restaurant makes the best French dip sandwich you will ever live to taste. If you aren’t a sandwich eater, fine; try the chili — it is equally tasty and will also be the best chili you will ever live to taste.

12. Kang Hodong Baekjeong
I love barbeque and Korean, so this busy little restaurant gets double yummy points. The wait can be long, but this Korean barbeque is screaming good!

13. Nozomi
I couldn’t create a list without adding sushi, and this place lives up to sushi-foodie dreams. From the miso soup to the uni don, you will be satisfied with the fresh but powerful flavors.

14. Little Sister
First, you are going to love the setting and atmosphere of this place; the walls, lighting, and music are quite romantic and tranquil. The Asian cuisine is, of course, delicious, as Chef Vuong knows exactly what to add to a dish.

With all of the wonderful restaurants to stop at while visiting LA, you might have to stay an extra few days to enjoy them all!

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Best Beaches Of Cape Cod

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photo© LennyBaker

Choosing a place to spend my vacation is difficult. My bucket list has at least 500 places on it: I am not exaggerating. Some nights I will spend hours browsing through Pinterest and dreaming of beaches, mountains, and historical sights. The world is amazing! I want to see every waterfall, every rock, every beach, and every single thing that is worthy of snapping a photo of. If only I had an endless supply of money….

This brings me to Cape Cod. This place is truly incredible, no matter what time of year you decide to go. It is one of those places in the world that everyone should see. The sunsets, water, and views make you stop and breathe in the moment, and the countless activities keep you entertained. Even history can be found in traces on the sand. Finding the beach for you is the fun part. Here are the five best beaches in Cape Cod that will spark your interest and complete your vacation.

Old Silver Beach

Old Silver Beach is one of the most popular beaches for both locals and tourists. As a very family-friendly environment, it is easy to park, get to the beach, use the clean restrooms, and grab a bite to eat. The sand is that perfect white color and feels so good on the feet. The water is warm and is shallow with a gradual drop-off, making it a safe place for kids to play. Even if you decide to not get in the water, the views are amazing, along with the crash of gentle waves.

Sandwich Town Beach

Take a cute little boardwalk down to the beach, and spend the day enjoying the peaceful sound of ocean waves and searching for pieces of ship wreckage. An adorable town is right there, making it easy to eat, shop, and explore the beach for an entire day. The gorgeous setting of ocean and lights is ideal for walking along the water at night and is why this is one of the best beaches in Cape Cod.

Sandy Neck Beach

This is the longest beach in Cape Cod and captures a variety of scenery. Located on the Cape side in Barnstable, you can enjoy the long beach front, the town, or exploring the trees and brush. I love hiking and checking out new places, but trying the beach out on an ATV is an entirely new experience for adventure-seekers.

Bristol Beach

This beach does not have your typical white sand terrain but instead is made of rocks and crushed shells. That doesn’t take away from the beauty from the creek, ocean, and lush landscape. The small waves make it safe for kids to play in the water and swim safely. I love looking for shells and wildlife hiding beneath the rocks and swimming in the tide pools.

Head of the Meadow Beach

No matter what beach you decide to spend one or several days at, this is a museum beach that must be seen. I can try to explain how cool it is, but you really need to see it for yourself. Hundreds of years ago when ships would sink or crash, the wreckage would wash right onto the shores of this beach. As you walk across the sand, you will see different pieces of the ships. The best time to go is during low tide so more ship remains can be found.

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Traveling with Your Dog

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Got a dog? Well, then you know – while you may be convinced that your furry friend should be welcomed everywhere, the unfortunate truth is that he isn’t. ‘Dogs drool too much!’ ‘Dogs shed too much!’ ‘Dogs smell terrible!’ You could say all the same things about me, but I’m still allowed to roam as I please.

Haters going to hate.

But some cities are surprisingly accepting of your canine companion. Below are the Top 3 Cities to Travel to with Your Hound.

1. Seattle, Washington
The Emerald City appreciates the value of having a dog on board. Seattle has long been considered a premier dog destination; there are plenty of dog parks, dog boutiques and some of the restaurants will even allow you and Rex inside to enjoy your a cup of java together.

Two of my favorite activities in Seattle to share with my lab are the Fremont Sunday Ice Cream Cruise and the Kenmore Air Tour. The Fremont Sunday Ice Cream Cruise involves eating ice cream on a ferry, and dogs are invited – how is this not on the top of every dog owner’s list, right? The Kenmore Air Tour is a flightseeing tour that actually allows dogs to come along for the ride. There’s nothing better than an aerial tour of the city with your best buddy riding shotgun.

2. San Diego, California
San Diego has anointed itself with the nickname, ‘American’s Finest City'; clearly, San Diego may not be the most humble of cities, but it’s a great dog destination, nevertheless. Without a doubt, the coolest place in San Diego to travel to with your canine is The Original Dog Beach. This place is awesome! As the name suggests, The Original Dog Beach is a stretch of beautiful white, sandy beach where dogs are able to work on their tans, splash in the ocean or just sniff each other in uncomfortable positions. It’s a can’t-miss stop.

If you find yourself in SD looking to burn off the calories your 12th burrito blessed you with, take your dog over to ‘SUP PUPS’ for some stand-up-paddleboarding. SUP PUPS actually allows your dog to come out on the water with you – a rare opportunity that you and your mutt will remember forever.

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Santa Fe is a fantastic city, and your dog will think so, too. My four-legged friend happens to be very well-cultured, and as such his favorite attraction in ‘The City Different’ is a trip to the Andrew Smith Gallery. This place is great! The employees of the gallery are top notch, and their Ansel Adams collection is tough to beat.

If Ol’ Ansel doesn’t excite you, then wander over to the Nedra Matteucci Galleries. Your dog won’t be allowed in all sections of this abode de arte, but he is welcome to check out their fantastic sculpture gardens.

If your hound is a bit more of a philistine, well, the world needs ditch diggers, too. Kidding, but if your dog can’t appreciate the strong underlying compositional order of well-balanced photography, then you may want to spend most of your time in Santa Fe at the Frank Ortiz Dog Park. There are a ton of cool trails to get lost on.

Traveling with your dog can be more difficult than it should be. Do yourself a favor, and check out these three great cities to travel to with your dog.

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Newbie’s Guide To The Florida Keys

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photo© Ed Schipul

We all love vacations — who doesn’t like enjoying a break from work to bask in the sunshine while gorging ourselves on delicious food? The hardest part of planning that week or weekend getaway can be choosing where to go. Alright people: It’s time I told you something important and amazing. I thought about keeping it a secret, but I can’t. It’s too good! The answer is this: The Florida Keys are the best place to spend your vacation. They are unique, dotted with sandy beaches, restaurants, stores, parks, and scenery that is just breathtaking. It would take pages to even touch on their beauty, and since you probably aren’t interested in reading how I drool over islands, I will share how you can enjoy the unforgettable experience the Florida Keys offer.

Getting There

Did someone say road trip? That’s right! Whether it is in your car, a rental car, or even a bus, it’s time to pack up those suitcases and drive on over to the islands. Yes, I said drive, and yes, I said islands. Now, I have driven to an island or taken a ferry many times before, but exploring an entire chain of islands is something special. Getting there is one of the best parts, as you go across on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway; it begins near Florida City and stretches 127 miles to mile marker 0 on Key West. Don’t worry about being bored, either; along the highway, you can stop and explore the islands while you cross over 40 bridges and breathe in the ocean air. But if driving is not your cup of tea, you can fly directly into Key West or take a ferry. It all comes down to what you prefer. I love to explore and take my time.

Exploring Along the Way

If you decide to take the road-trip vacation from Key Largo to Key West, there are more places to stop and explore than you can fit in one trip. This is, of course, what I strive for: a few excuses to return multiple times. Starting at Key Largo, I would visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for a chance to swim in the first U.S. undersea park. After having some fun in the water, stop at Islamorada for some tasty food at the Hungry Tarpon while you soak in the view of the beach. Robbies Marina is located next door and is a fun place to explore. The best part is feeding the tarpons for only a few dollars. It is something kids love to do, and of course, us big kids get excited about it, too. At this point, I would call it a day, check in at my accommodations, and spend the rest of the night taking pictures of a stunning sunset while sipping a glass of wine in a comfortable chair. Excuse me while I take a moment to remember it … yep, it’s time to go back. Now, when you are relaxed, you can either linger longer or hit the road to Marathon. You will have to visit the Dolphin Research Center to pet, swim with, and even paint with the dolphins. Big Pine is the next place you can stop to kayak, paddle-board, or even just relax on the beach and enjoy a few of the restaurants.

Key West

You made it! Now that you have traveled across islands and bridges, you have finally reached Key West. Take a moment to snap a picture of mile marker 0, then get settled in for a few days. The Old Town Trolley will guide you through the town to the most popular spots, including the adorable Key West Lighthouse. The harbor is my favorite place to stroll and catch a bite to eat, including the fresh catch of the day. Don’t miss out on the ocean at your fingertips: Rent a bike and ride along the beach paths, go sailing, swim, scuba-dive, and live in the moment of experiencing this tropical paradise.

 

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The Absolute Best Eats In Cape Coral

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photo©Justin Smith

Before we begin, I would advise you to go grab something to eat. It can be anything – crackers, chicken nuggets, peanut butter, butter. It doesn’t matter as long as your stomach is full. You are about to get very hungry, and if your stomach isn’t prepared, who knows what you will eat? Seriously, hunger does strange things to people, and if you aren’t careful you might be chewing on the edge of your computer within minutes after reading this. I am about to share with you the best places to eat in Cape Coral, FL with mouth-watering, flavor-exploding food. It might feel like food is a reoccurring subject on here, but we all have to eat on vacation and preferably somewhere tasty. Cape Coral knows a little thing or two about people; we all are different with diverse tastes and appetites. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy anything fried, vegetarian, or food with a Mexican kick, Cape Coral has it all. It is perfect for food lovers to get out and try a vast array of food, especially the popular Italian and ethnic restaurants. Here are the best places to eat with different cuisines and atmospheres.

A Romantic Feel for the Italian Lover: Ariani Ristorante Italiano

Come inside this cozy place and try authentic Italian food that is bursting with delicious homemade ingredients. The mozzarella is out of this world and made right in the kitchen along with marinara and other sauces. From the friendly service, inspired chef, moist meat, and light sides, critics and locals can’t say enough about this place.

Vegetarian and Vegan Approved Ethnic Food: Loving Hut

Now I am not a vegan, but this place is so healthy and fresh, that even we meat lovers find it hard not to fall in love. The food is filled with natural flavors, and the entrees are yummy and even taste like there is meat in them. To truly enjoy a vacation, eating healthy for most meals is a must. Vegan travelers know how hard it is to find good places to eat, and this adorable and affordable hut makes it possible.

Mexican with just Enough Kick: Iguana Mia

Not all Mexican food is created equal, and I demand extra flavor on my plate. Iguana Mia takes the basics and turns them into something amazing. The food says it all, but the margaritas are a stealer deal. If you happen to be traveling for your birthday, you better drop-in for a free meal. Who doesn’t love to eat for free?

Seafood and Steak and a Waterfront View: Rumrunners

A waterfront experience is unlike any other. If you have done it before, you know what I am talking about. The food is delicious, with fresh seafood and blasting with eloquent flavor. The view is breathtaking, and is the perfect topping to the excellent service and pristine food.

A Hidden Thai Gem that Screams Delicious: Siam Hut

Whenever I travel somewhere new, I make it a point to find a restaurant that disguises a yummy menu with a rough exterior or sneaky location. The Siam Hut is located in a plaza that is often missed. Step inside and get your Thai food as spicy as you want. A delicious place to fit any budget and hit the spot for foodies.

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