Hawaii has always been on my travel bucket list. But with a family of five and the long distance from the DC area, there were many reasons to put off the trip. Several months ago, I realized that time for our family vacations together was dwindling, so my husband and I made the decision that this was going to be the summer of Hawaii! As I began searching for accommodations in late March, I quickly realized how popular Maui is during the summer, particularly near the 4th of July. To make it more difficult, many of the more affordable, larger accommodations were already booked. So I was excited when I came across Kihei Sands Condominiums, and now that we have returned from our trip, I have to say that it made for the perfect first vacation to Maui.
September is here, and it’s my favorite time of year! Fall is already in the air, with cooler temperatures in the evenings and some of the leaves already starting to turn. What I really enjoy about fall in this area are all the fun outdoor activities. Every weekend between now and Thanksgiving, there is an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fall weather. Check out these 5 ways to celebrate fall that are within a 3 hour drive from DC.
Nothing captures the true flavor of a city like its food. Can you really travel to Memphis without eating BBQ, or Key West and not have Key Lime Pie? To me, spending time with a local expert on a food tour is one the best ways to truly learn about the rich cultural heritage of a place. Not only do you come to understand how foods become regional favorites, it’s also an opportunity to learn about history and local traditions. Best of all, you enjoy a sampling of foods that take you to the roots of a city, while socializing with fellow travelers. I’ve reached out to family travel bloggers in the USA to round up some of their favorite experiences.
Back in February, I wrote about 10 fun ways to experience DC, with ideas to help you see the city from a different perspective. The nation's capital offers so many opportunities to explore food, art and culture throughout the city, not to mention all the free Smithsonian museums and historic monuments. Even though I’ve spent a lot of time in DC over the years, I’m always excited when I discover a new place to see or activity that I haven’t tried yet. Several weeks ago, my daughter and I went on a food and street art adventure, visiting a few neighborhoods that we previously hadn't spent much time in. Here’s what we discovered, along with a few unique tour ideas for the next time you are visiting DC.
Planning a trip to Hawaii can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first-timers. Researching what island(s) to visit along with must-do activities can be very time consuming. During all my trip research and conversations with friends, Maui kept popping up as the island that offered the perfect mix of activities (several free or low cost) and tropical island beauty for a first time visitor. We ended up staying in Kihei, which turned out to be a central location for all the things we wanted to do during our time on Maui. Here’s my suggestions for 8 activities we enjoyed that I think will give you a true flavor of the beauty that makes Hawaii so special.
We just got back from a relaxing weekend with friends in the mountains in Southwest Virginia. It’s a place where the highway winds through the mountains, the rivers are wide, and the towns are small. Lately I’ve been spending more time in this part of the state, and I’ve come to appreciate many of the special things this quieter part of Virginia has to offer. There are plenty of outdoor options, like hiking, biking and water activities, especially during the warmer months, along with the opportunity to experience small town charm and home grown music. So next time you are heading west on Interstate 81 in Virginia, take some time to check out these 5 cool things along the way.
During our recent Maui family vacation, driving the iconic Road to Hana was at the top of our must do list, and now I understand why it's so highly recommended. Starting in the town of Paia, this popular stretch of highway heads east for 64 miles towards the small town of Hana, and showcases much of the natural beauty of Maui. Along the way you will find numerous waterfalls, a spectacular black sand beach and plenty of scenic vistas. The road is rather narrow in spots, with over 54 bridges, many which only allow for a single lane of traffic to pass, as well as over 600 curves with a minimal shoulder in many spots. You can choose to leave the driving to someone else as part of a tour, but I think it’s best viewed on your own time. Read on for 6 tips to help make the most of your drive, along with a short list of our favorite stops along the spectacular Road to Hana.
When most people think of National Parks, places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Yosemite might come to mind. But with over 417 park units making up the National Park system, you can find parks in all shapes and sizes, from National Memorials to National Seashores. In DC alone, there are currently 25 official National Park units, with another 22 in Virginia. While the National Mall and all the historic memorials should be at the top of your DC to-do list, the 4 places highlighted below are among my favorites, each offering something special. Here’s why you should consider adding one or two of them to your list next time you visit the DC area.
Are you looking for a laid back, small town destination with beaches, wild ponies and one of the 10 best ice cream shops in America? Then head to Chincoteague Island, Virginia, the town where in 1947 Marguerite Henry wrote the popular book Misty of Chincoteague. This small town on Virginia’s Eastern Shore offers plenty to keep families entertained, with easy access to the Virginia portion of Assateague Island. We have only visited during the spring, but one of the items on my USA bucket list is to make it back for the annual Pony Swim (currently in its 92nd year!). It’s a little over 3 hours from the DC area, so perfect for a long weekend. Here’s a few things to know to help plan your trip.
As this post is published, it’s National Park Week, a time to celebrate the spectacular places around the U.S. that belong to all of us. Over the last 10 years, our family has taken several road trips to visit many national parks, including iconic parks like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But one of my favorite road trips was the one we took to the Four Corners region of the Southwest. We spent 13 days exploring, making a loop from Albuquerque, New Mexico, through Colorado, Utah and Arizona and back to New Mexico. The national parks we visited on that trip had some of the most unusual landscapes in the U.S., particularly the Utah parks Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Here are some things to know and tips to help you plan a visit to see these unique parks Utah.
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