5 Tips for Enjoying Antelope Canyon

This trip was as spectacular as it looks. If it’s on your bucket list, keep it on your bucket list!

I have been asked by a few people how much hiking we had to do for the Lower Canyon. Really there is not a lot. You have to get down to the canyon, which is just a few minutes walk away. Then you have to go down the stairs to get into the canyon. After that you go through at a very slow pace. They give each group time to take lots of pictures without having to have others in your photos. They do such a great job of this. Plus [Read more…]

5 Tips to Planning the Perfect Road Trip in Europe and Beyond

5-tips to planning the perfect european road trip

We just did a trip in Italy and Spain in which we discovered and enjoyed some beautiful small charming towns. From Instagram to Facebook all my friends were asking me,  “How did you even find these little towns?” Well I wish I could say I have this great method, but instead it’s just happy accidents. I will show you 5 ways I stumble upon these happy accidents that end up [Read more…]

7 Fun Things To Do In Palm Springs

Palm Springs vacation

Palm Springs vacation

We booked a 9 day trip to Palm Springs and our friends assured us it was way to long and we would get bored. My husband golfs but I do not, so that was not on the agenda for this trip. Truthfully we were just chasing some sunshine and looking for some down time. In the end we did quite a few things and we did not get bored in Palm Springs.

Here are 7 Ways to keep yourself Busy in Palm Springs (Especially if your not a golfer) [Read more…]

Why You Must See Oneonta Gorge

The stunningly beautiful Oneonta Gorge

The stunningly beautiful Oneonta Gorge

Let’s start here. How do you even pronounce it? I say On-ee ANH- tuh, but a hiking site also suggests oh-nee-ANH-tuh. All that to say, I’m pretty close. Either way, people will think you will know what you are talking about.

Here is why you must visit Oneonta Gorge: [Read more…]

5 Great Day Trips Out Of Portland

Sunset at Pacific City

Sunset at Pacific City

There is so much to see and do within Portland, but the best part of Portland is the fact that it’s so dang close to so much you can experience all kinds of adventures.  As summer winds down these are some great places to get to before the school season starts. If you don’t make it before then, don’t worry, September and October are usually good months to take in the last of summer. Enjoy any of these as day trips or weekend getaways while the weather is still great. [Read more…]

Painted Hills in Oregon

Painted Hills Oregon

Painted Hills Oregon

The Painted Hills are considered one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. I had seen so many pictures I finally decided to pack my family in the car and check it out. Now these are not easily accessible and are they are pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, but we made our way there regardless.

The best route to get there from Portland would be to go over Mt. Hood. We were at the Sara Bareilles concert at the Edgefield in Troutdale, so we left the concert that night and made our way to The Dalles to spend the night. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites. Since this is so close to home, normally there is no reason to even look for a place to stay in The Dalles, so I was surprised that we found a hotel that was so nice.  Service was really good, they got us everything we needed to make our stay perfect. I loved the modern look of the place too, and it was just as clean in the rooms as it was in the lobby. Even breakfast was good. Great selection including make your own waffles. It was also nice that we were just a little over 2 hours away from The Painted Hills outside of Mitchell, Oregon. [Read more…]

Taking in the Last of Summer

Some of the beauty you will see out hiking around Pacific City.

Some of the beauty you will see out hiking around Pacific City.

Where has summer gone?  As summer starts to come to a close you have to ask yourself, Did you do it all? Did you get it all in?

If not, it’s not too late to get in a last minute trip or at least do some day trips.  Let’s look at some options.

1.  Camping.  You might find many camp sites full, but there are still quite a few that are first come first serve.  Try and take off a day early and arrive on Thursday if you can instead of Friday.  Although if you can camp in the middle of the week you might find some openings.

2.  Beach House or Hotel at the Beach. Again if weekends are booked you can try and do some midweek stuff.  Have little ones?  Wait an extra week and go once all the older kids have started school.

3. Day Hikes. The great thing about where I live is I can get to the coast, mountains, rivers within an hour in any direction and there is hiking at all those locations.  I know we are super fortunate, but take advantage of what you might have.  Pack a lunch, find a trail with a waterfall and enjoy your day vacation.

4.  Beach day.  Ok, so you don’t live near the ocean.  Do you live near a lake or river that has some sandy beaches?  Take the day and frolic in the water to cool off from the hot summer days.

5.  Go to a local pool or water park.  For some of us that might be a drive making it a full on day trip.  Others can make a vacation out of it because the location might be so far away.

6.  Hit the Amusement park.  Check out planning the perfect roller coaster vacation. In the past we have done Cedar Point because they started school a few weeks before us.  We would go after the locals start and the parks wouldn’t be as crowded.

7.  Go to the local park and play games, sit in the sun and enjoy a picnic.  Better yet, invite others as well and make a party out of it.

8.  Throw a party at your house with cocktails, friends and great food. Taking in the last of the summer nights.

9.  Visit a farmers market and plan on eating at one of the venues.  Nothing says summer like a farmers market.

10.  Take advantage of summer programs your city offers. We have Concerts on the Commons, Third Thursdays or First Thursdays (where they close off streets and have food and goods for sale).

11.  Choose another city to enjoy.  Last summer we did a few days in Seattle and a few days in Vancouver, BC.  It rains often in those cities, so the summer months are great for getting to know them on foot.  Our time in Vancouver was one of our best vacations last year.  Our whole family wants to go back.

12.  Go for a bike ride.  We have a great trail in a neighboring town, that takes you along a river and you end up in a small town.  We found a little place where you could sit down and get ice cream. We then got back on our bikes and rode the path back to our car.

13.  Hit the river.  Grab the canoe, kayak, tube if you have too, one more time and go down the river.

Whatever you choose, just choose it now.  Take in the last of summer and enjoy!!

Don’t let summer pass you by just yet, there are still summer days ahead that need some thrill, enjoyment and excitement.

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday

The Outdoorsy Side of Hood River

Triple Falls Columbia Gorge

I have easily passed through Hood River 100 times.  I kid you not, I have driven back and forth to Eastern Oregon and Portland for nearly 18 years now.  We did discover the quaint downtown and for a while our stop included the Taco del Mar.   I know, why would a foodie stop there??  It was easy and the place was so quaint, it was a fun stop, and always guaranteed fast.  Every time we drove in and back out, I would look around and just want to take my time.  But with 6 hours still ahead or 6 hours behind you, stopping to look was not an option.

Finally last summer I met up with a friend and we stopped in Hood River.  We had the the most amazing meal and I decided the next time we came through we would stop as a family and enjoy.  And we did!!  That was the stop that made me want to come back for a weekend. So here we are 3 months later enjoying Hood River again.  Before we even entered the town we enjoyed hours of hiking and [Read more…]

5 Easy Hikes in the Gorge

columbia-gorge-scenic -highway

Truth is there are more than 5 easy hikes, but these are super easy to get to, and they are all very close together on the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway.  As with most hiking in Oregon you can choose to go farther at nearly every stop.  Got to love Oregon.

Our Day trip started out at Crown Point, this can be easily accessed (if leaving Portland and heading East) by taking the Corbet Exit.

Crown Point has a great view, but be warned it’s very windy up there.  We stopped for a moment just to take in the view.  Luckily the visitor center was open and we were able to look from there. We were then given this nifty map of all the Falls that were to follow. [Read more…]