On November - 23 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Grand Strand, with its 60 miles of white sand beaches, remains a favorite year-round South Carolina destination. Part of its appeal beyond the beaches and coastal forests are the Myrtle Beach waterfront restaurants. Whether looking for fresh South Carolina seafood or comforting pub fare, these restaurants serve diverse menus and picturesque waterfront views:

Myrtle Beach Waterfront Restaurants

Photo: Alan Sterling

Banditos Restaurant & Cantina

For a classic Mexican meal, check out Banditos. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, you’ll find tacos, burritos, fajitas, and other Central and South American flavors. The signature tacos platter offers five different kinds of tacos, including steak, fish and barbecue pork. Banditos also make homemade empanadas. Visitors praise the fast service and Atlantic Ocean views, as the restaurant is located right on the famous boardwalk. Those who like cocktails should check out the Hornitos tequila shots specials as well.

Capt. Dave’s DockSide

Among the top Myrtle Beach waterfront restaurants is Capt. Dave’s. The coastal blue house-turned-restaurant and scenic trees take you back to mid-century seaside dining. Capt. Dave focuses on freshness, using local seafood for brunch, lunch and dinner. The menus offer a range of artisan flatbreads, seafood, steaks and shrimp and grits, a Southern favorite. This Murrells Inlet restaurant remains a local favorite for wildlife watching. Capt. Dave’s is located on the Marshwalk and overlooks the saltwater tidal inlet, also known as “The Creek”.

Myrtle Beach Waterfront Restaurants

Photo: SachinChitale

Creek Ratz

Also at the Murrells Inlet marina, this seafood hot spot is known for its raw bar serving up local oysters, clams, shrimp and crab legs. Creek Rat is named after the term used to describe the kids who grew up on Murrells Inlet. Diners will find a large selection of American favorites, including burgers, pizza and sandwiches. Another popular option are baskets, ranging from crab cakes to the trio, which has flounder, shrimp and oysters. This family-friendly spot also offers live entertainment and outdoor seating with views of The Creek. Fans also recommend sitting outside with a cold one to relax.

Dead Dog Saloon

Known as Murrells Inlet’s “sassy” restaurant, the Dead Dog Saloon name pays homage to its mythical canine mascot, Dudley. A fun and casual atmosphere welcomes you to join the party. Open for lunch and dinner – with two bars – the saloon also has large TVs for sports fans and live music. Lunch options include baskets and sandwiches. For dinner, choose between BBQ specialties, seafood and steam pots. Outside, you can feel the breeze, and watch boats, jet skiers and people walking on the pier. Dead Dog’s is family-friendly and also serves as a popular place for cocktails with friends.

Myrtle Beach Waterfront Restaurants

Photo: fran.trudeau

Pier House Restaurant

Sit on the 2nd Avenue pier and enjoy panoramic Atlantic Ocean views at Pier House. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves traditional American favorites, and of course, fresh seafood. To begin the day, try the boardwalk biscuits and gravy, or the socastee shrimp and grits. Main courses range from homemade crab cakes to seafood pasta. Large windows greet you indoors, offering views of the adjacent pier and the ocean. The open-air bar features a wrap-around deck, complete with comfy couches and chairs, providing the perfect place to relax or throw a big bash.

Check out Myrtle Beach’s affordable accommodations and restaurants for budget-friendly travels.

Categories: Food

On November - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Healthy holiday eating doesn’t mean dieting or not enjoying your favorite seasonal foods. With all the tasty dishes and fun events and parties, it may seem impossible not to gain 10 pounds. Don’t fret! You can indulge in your feast favorites and maintain your current weight. And once it’s all over, you’ll feel better knowing you practiced healthy habits. Here are five tips to help maintain your weight while enjoying holiday meals:

Healthy Holiday Eating

Photo: Satya Murthy

Don’t Skip Meals

As tempting as it seems to skip meals to leave room for big holidays feasts, this causes overeating. Before going to a holiday gathering, snack on something healthy and filling. Some options include: raw veggies, protein or granola bars, bananas and oranges, whole-grain cereals, or a few slices of low-fat meats, such as chicken. These foods will curb your appetite and keep you from overeating later. Try to also keep it light for other meals. For example, if you have a dinner event, eat a light breakfast and lunch.

Portion Control

Dressings, gravy, casseroles, breads and desserts. As delicious as they all look, portion control is everything. However, you can have it all. Limit portions by serving yourself one spoonful or cutting a serving size in half. Instead of having a whole buttered role, cut it in half. Substitute a heaping spoonful of casserole for a regular size – think a ¼-cup serving. If you insist trying every dessert, cut the servings in half. Another way to limit portions is to pick your favorites first. Once you enjoy your favorites, wait 15 to 20 minutes to digest, then go back for seconds if you’re still hungry. If there’s something you missed, you can also ask for the recipe and make it at home.

Work in Exercise

Exercise helps burn unwanted calories. There are two effective approaches to working in exercise during the holidays. First, if you regularly workout, then stay on routine. To accommodate the holiday schedule, change the time of day or length of the workout. Try working out for 15 minutes twice a day, instead of a straight 30-minute routine. An alternative is to exercise at the event. Take kids outside for a game, such as football or hide-and-seek. It may surprise you how many other adults will join, too. If attending an adult-only event, stand up and walk around for 15 minutes after eating. This speeds up metabolism and helps digestion. Going for a walk around the neighborhood with friends or family is another good option for light exercise after meals.

Limit Sugar Intake

We all know desserts are delicious. While they may tempt you the most, it’s important to limit sugar intake, which equals unnecessary calories. While sugar seems to boost energy, studies show the crash afterwards is much worse. Too much sugar will leave you feeling tired, affect blood-sugar levels, and make you pack on weight. For desserts, either limit the amount you have or bring a small container with you and take them home for later – preferably the next day. Those who love cocktails and wine should limit to two drinks or glasses, and if available use skinny glasses. Soda, punch and juice drinkers should drink from mini cans or bottles, or pour the liquid into a glass full of ice.

Reduce Stress

Many people eat out of stress, so eliminating it will help you eat healthier and avoid binge-eating. While out shopping, carry or buy a healthy snack instead of grabbing a slice of pizza or giant cookie. To reduce stress at home, try deep-breathing exercises, reconnecting with a relative or friend, watching a holiday movie or meditation. Avoid substances that increase your heart-rate, such as caffeine, sugar and nicotine. Work also plays a big factor in stress. A few work tips include delegating work, using good time management practices and taking regular five-minute mental breaks. At the end of the day, you will feel accomplished and less stressed, allowing you to make healthier decisions.

Read our tips for safe traveling during the holidays.

Categories: Travel Tips

On November - 21 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of year for travel. Whether visiting friends and family or getting away for a few days, it’s important to take certain precautions when traveling during the holidays. From trip prep ideas to ways to keep your identity safe, we’ve rounded up some ideas for safe holiday travel. These six tips will help keep you safe – and less stressed – this holiday season:

Safe Holiday Travel

Photo: Nick Harris

Prepare for Your Trip

Trip preparation can save you time, money and energy. If traveling to a new area, research beforehand to know how best to get around and learn about the area. Check for construction and weather delays that could cost you hours in the airport or on the road. If you expect bad weather, consider booking an early flight or leaving early. When driving, print out directions – including alternate routes – in case your phone battery or car dies. Also tell a trusted friend or relative where you are traveling and regularly check in with them, especially if traveling alone.

Leave Early

Obstacles always come up, so leaving early helps you arrive on time and avoids costly delays. Those flying should book in advance. This also saves on airfare costs. Many airport procedures differ, so quickly getting through security checks leads to easy boarding and not running through airports to make flights. Drivers should leave at least 30 minutes early for longer drives and plan for stops every couple of hours. Doing these will also reduce stress, allow more time with friends and family, and offer opportunities for last-minute shopping.

Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health and safety issues. The night before your departure, get plenty of sleep and eat well. This not only helps energy levels and alertness, but it also improves your mood. Long trips cause fatigue, so a full night’s sleep beforehand keeps you – and other drivers – safe on the road. Drivers should not drive if they feel drowsy, and carpooling alleviates fatigue and serves as an eco-friendly way to travel. Rest also helps those flying better handle airport procedures and other passengers. After all, no one wants to sit next to a grumpy passenger.

Service Your Vehicle

Whether driving two hours or a half-day, car maintenance should be a top priority. Cold weather and harsh driving conditions can affect your vehicle and leave you stranded. A couple days before your trip, inflate your tires – including the spare – and check the oil. Pack a couple of quarts of oil, jumper cables, tools to change a flat tire and a safety kit in the car. If you have roadside assistance, carry the card with you and put the phone number in your phone. Those driving in cold weather should also pack blankets and winter weather gear to keep you warm in case you have to park awhile.

Carry Some Cash

Cards are convenient, but they can also get stolen and leave thieves your identity information. Carrying cash in small bills is an ideal way to keep your identity and accounts safe. It also forces you to stick to a spending budget. Plan for your expenses, and keep only small amounts on you. (However, don’t keep them in your back pocket.) If you prefer not to travel with cash, then find your branch ATM in your location and withdraw what you need when you arrive. In the event of not being able to use a card, such as if systems are down, cash allows you to still get what you need.

Pack Light

There are a few ways to pack light, which saves you luggage fees and hauls. Stick to carry-on luggage, and plan doing laundry on longer trips. Having a carry-on ensures you stay with your luggage and avoid spending unnecessary money on baggage fees. Also mail presents and packages to destinations before the holiday, or wrap gifts once you arrive. This prevents you from carrying too much on a flight or packing up the car to the point where you don’t have room for essentials. If possible, shop at your destination instead of packing a week’s worth of food and toiletries.

Looking for healthy holiday eating tips? These tips will help you maintain your weight while enjoying your holiday favorites.

Categories: Travel Tips

On November - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Keystone is known as one of Colorado’s most family-friendly ski resort towns. Among the many reasons to love this town, the variety of Keystone restaurants contributes to what makes it a popular place for vacation. You will find something to suit everyone’s tastes both on and off the mountain. Keystone is a casual spot, so don’t worry about dressing up; just come as you are.

Whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, a quick bite mid-ski or a fancy dinner, find it all among these Keystone restaurants. To help you plan, we’ve rounded up four of the best for a day of dining:

Keystone Restaurants

Photo: Vox Efx

Breakfast in Keystone: Butterhorn Bakery

Start the day off right with the most important meal of the day at Butterhorn Bakery & Cafe on Main St. in nearby Frisco. Serving your favorite homemade breakfast treats – from delicious egg dishes to flavorful baked goods – Butterhorn will fill you up. Whether you like a frothy latté in the morning or a strong bloody Mary, this is a top local spot for both.

An extensive breakfast menu includes traditional favorites, such as frittatas, griddles and breakfast burritos. If you’re on the run, pick something up at the counter. Visitors and locals rave about Butterhorn’s quick service, pricing, fresh food and friendly faces. Don’t forget to try the bread; it’s baked fresh every day.

Lunch in Keystone: Boatyard American Grill

Known for a cozy atmosphere and great food, Boatyard American Grill is a family-owned lunch and dinner hot spot serving both Italian fare as well as sandwiches, burgers and steaks.

Also located on Main St. in neighboring, Frisco, CO, lunch starts at 11 a.m. Those who prefer the lighter side should try the homemade soup of the day paired with a fresh salad, complete with homemade dressing. For hearty appetites, the menu offers several burgers, pizzas, wraps and large entrees, such as homemade meat lasagna or a 10-ounce New York steak. Pair the meal with a tasty house margarita or the award-winning bloody Mary.

Keystone Restaurants View

Photo: justinknabb

Dinner With a View: Alpenglow Stube

Make unforgettable dinner memories when you hop on a gondola and ride to the top of North Peak to Alpenglow Stube. This restaurant sits nearly 11,500 feet high and features contemporary cuisine with a Bavarian twist. Diners can order one plate at a time or build their own four-course meal.

For a starter, try the porcini dusted elk loin or fresh baby spinach and feta salad. Main entrees include duck breast, lamb rack, seafood and Angus beef filets. Due to availability of items, the menu may change seasonally. To sweeten the experience, share a slice of Oreo dream cheesecake or molten chocolate lava cake. The trained staff is also happy to help you pair the meal with one of 600 bottles of wine available from all over the world.

Keystone Late Night: Breckenridge Pub and Brewery

A pastime as familiar as skiing in Keystone is drinking fine craft beers. To get a taste of the local brews, head to Breckenridge Pub and Brewery where you’ll find the best in Colorado beer. Breckenridge Brewery crafts more than 62,000 barrels of fresh beer annually, and operates five breweries and ale houses in Colorado.

For a late-night snack, order the brewery wings or Rocky Mountain nachos. Late dinner options include make-your-own sandwiches, beer-battered fish and chips, and brewhouse and elk burgers. Breckenridge Pub and Brewery does not make reservations, so just walk on in and get ready to relax.

Find affordable vacation rentals in Keystone, CO for your trip.

Categories: Food

On November - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Located in the Caloosahatchee River delta, Fort Myers boat tours offer many opportunities for different ways to see the area. Explore the waters aboard a safe charter any time of day, whether you want to see the sun rise or set, or want to witness majestic manatees. Fort Myers boat tours are a popular pastime in the area, and they offer a fun recreational activity for all ages and group sizes. Here are five top-rated tours and cruises, so you can plan your adventure:

Top Fort Myers Boat Tours

Pure Fort Myers

Leaving multiple times a day from the Edison Ford Marina, a Pure Fort Myers boat tour offers dolphin, sightseeing and sunset cruises. Most excursions promise wildlife viewings of everything from dolphins and bald eagles to manatees. The dolphin watch tour runs three hours and includes stops for walking the shore and collecting shells. A 1.5-hour sightseeing tour doesn’t promise dolphins, but you will learn about the area’s history and pass by huge mansions located on the bay. If you’re in town for a holiday, consider booking one of their specialty cruises to watch fireworks or treat loved ones to a special evening.

J.C. Cruises

Capt. J.P. is the area’s famous triple-deck paddlewheel boat, which departs daily from the downtown Fort Myers yacht basin. This tour takes you from the Caloosahatchee River to the Intercoastal Waterway, and eventually travels into the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond the many wildlife sightings, you will also ride past the Edison and Ford Estates while enjoying narration on the area’s history. The third deck serves food and drink during mealtimes, and holiday cruises are available as well. Couples should make a date and take the three-hour dinner dance cruise on Friday and Saturday nights.

Top Fort Myers Boat Tours

Photo: dan erickson

Manatee World and Park

Among the top Fort Myers boat tours is Manatee World. Home to the world’s largest known concentration of manatees, open-air boat tours are available, where you may see these amazing endangered creatures up close. Those who have visited recommend taking the tour when the weather is cooler – late fall and winter – in order to see the most manatees. On this tour, you’ll also see native birds, plants and other animals. Manatee World works to preserve and protect manatees and also features a park with walking trails on which you can explore marshes.

Fort Myers Princess

Known for dolphin and sightseeing tours of the area, the Fort Myers Princess is another great vessel to see Fort Myers. A two-hour dolphin tour takes guests through Matanzas Pass into the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This boat also has a full-service bar and music, providing added fun and entertainment. Fort Myers Princess is also available for private parties – including work retreats, weddings and family reunions – and guests can even bring their own CDs if you prefer to choose your music selection.

Top Fort Myers Boat Tours

Photo: dfbphotos

Estero Bay Express II

Climb aboard the 40-foot Sunseeker tour boat for a dolphin or sunset cruise with Estero Bay Express. The dolphin tour is a 1.5-hour narrated cruise that travels the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve. There’s more than dolphins, though! You’ll also see ospreys, pelicans, manatees and maybe even a roseate spoonbill, a wading bird species in the area. The 1.5-hour sunset cruise provides breathtaking views, and adults are welcome to bring their favorite cocktails or bottle of wine. The boat accommodates groups up to 30, and offers private rentals for events as well.

Learn more about the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas in Florida.

Categories: Sightseeing

On November - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Many consider Maui paradise – whether you have visited or simply dream about it. Between the breathtaking views, friendly locals and a tourist-driven economy, Maui greets guests with lots to see and do. To help you decide the right time to visit and make the most of your trip, we compiled a quick Maui vacation guide with a few tips and tricks. Keep in mind, this is only the beginning of all Maui offers.

A Quick Maui Vacation Guide

Maui Vacation Guide

Tip: The Shoulder Season

Maui is a top destination year-round, however it also serves as a ideal fall break spot or place to recharge before the holiday season. Many suggest the best time to visit Maui is during the quieter months between Labor Day and Thanksgiving (September-November) when rains are few and far between, rates are lower, and the visitors more sparse. Peak season runs December through March, at which time airline tickets go up, as do the crowds.

Tip: What About the Rainy Season?

The rainy season in Maui runs November through March, but don’t let the rains deter you. It rarely rains for more than a few days at a time, and there are several spots that offer unique hikes in rainy weather. In fact, the Ioa Valley State Park features a rainforest walk, which will keep hikers in awe of the natural surroundings. Find more great hikes in Maui.

Maui Vacation Guide

Photo: Ted

Attraction: Iao Valley State Park

This stream-carved valley in central Maui is covered in dense rain forest, and the state park measures 4,000 acres. Home to the Iao Needle, where one of Hawaii’s kings is buried, this is a popular option for an easy hike. A well-marked and paved trail takes guests from the parking lot to the Iao Needle and the ridge-top, also providing incredible views of the valley.

Culture: The Road to Hana

This famous highway runs along Maui’s shore and stretches from Lahaina to the little village of Hana. While the winding drive is about three hours long, plan a full day of exploring along the way. Visitors can either drive the road or take a tour, and its best to read up on the history and traditions before visiting Hana. To make the most of the drive, locals recommend taking the time to enjoy the sights, culture and history.

Recreation: Kaihalulu and the Red Sand

The secluded crescent-shaped Kaihalulu beach – also known as Red Sand Beach – has grown popular due to its rare red sand. Like many Hawaiian beaches, it is surrounded by cliffs and lava rock, and is a more challenging feat to get to the shore. Once you’re there, you can take unforgettable pictures and relax on the shore. Swimming and snorkeling are not recommended due to the water’s strong currents. Fun fact: Kaihalului means “roaring sea” in the native Hawaiian language.

Maui Vacation Guide

Photo: David Gibbs

Water Recreation: Pride of Maui

One of the top tour companies on the island, Pride of Maui offers snorkeling and whale watching that will have you exploring Hawaii’s deep waters. In the morning, visit Molokini, which includes the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town. Or dive deep down under on an afternoon turtle snorkel tour, providing a more personal experience. Those who prefer to stay above the water can take a sunset cruise with cocktails, or rent a private boat for a romantic evening out.

Accommodations: Maui Vacation Rentals

Booking a vacation rental in Maui is both affordable and economical. From your own property on the island, you’ll have the freedom of feeling at home in this Hawaiian paradise. Save money on meals by cooking in your own kitchen, or sit outside and enjoy private views of the water and natural surroundings. Read more to find vacation homes in Maui.

Want to learn more? Check out these six interesting facts about Maui.

Categories: Travel Tips

On November - 17 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Christmas in San Diego proves you don’t have to have snow and cold temperatures to enjoy the holiday season. From free things to do to festive shows and shopping, San Diego offers a warm-weather retreat chock full of vibrant holiday festivities. If spending Christmas in San Diego or just visiting during the holiday season, check out the best things to do:

Christmas in San Diego

Photo: Port of San Diego

Free Events in San Diego

The city offers more than 25 free ways to enjoy the holidays. One popular event is the Surfin’ Santa Arrival, where Santa arrives via a surfboard and 6-foot wave. Held annually at the end of November, this one-day festival also features a boardwalk parade, kids’ activities, live entertainment and delicious dining options. Another favorite is Balboa Park’s December Nights, a two-day holiday celebration. During this event, guests can hear live carolers and music, tour light displays, and try foods from all over the world. Read about all the free events in San Diego.

Hit the Major Attractions

From the botanical garden to Legoland and the San Diego Zoo, the area’s top attractions host holiday events for all ages. See more than 100,000 lights at the Gardens of Lights, or take the Santa Train and sip hot cocoa to Christmas stories before stopping at Santa’s Workshop. You can also visit Legoland’s 30-foot Christmas tree made entirely out of Legos. It’s even decorated with Lego ornaments! The San Diego Zoo hosts the annual Jungle Bells, which has large light displays and showcases many entertaining animals.

Christmas in San Diego

Photo: Bring Back Words

Join the Parades

More than 10 parades in the San Diego area celebrate the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Don’t miss the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights where more than 100 private boats deck the halls and sail along the bay. Afterwards, enjoy a fireworks show over the water. In downtown La Jolla, check out the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival. The event features marching bands, floats, Santa and much more. Other areas, such as Coronado, North County and East County, also host fun parades and shows.

Enjoy the Warm Weather

San Diego’s mild climate and 70-degree winter days provide the ideal environment for getting outdoors. Three ice skating rinks in the San Diego area welcome guests to grab their skates and hit the ice. College football fans can cheer for their favorite team at two bowl games, which offer post-season football action. Those wanting to achieve personal fitness goals can sign up for a marathon. The area hosts 5 and 10Ks, half marathons and a special kids’ Kandy Kane race.

Christmas in San Diego CA

Photo: jc.winkler

See A Show

During Christmas in San Diego, there’s no shortage of shows for the entire family, ranging from ballet to theater. Held at Old Globe theater in Balboa Park, see the long-running How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In downtown San Diego, the California Ballet Company performs the elegant and classic The Nutcracker. The San Diego Symphony hosts another can’t-miss show: the Festival of Christmas performed by the Lamb’s Players Theater in Coronado, which has delighted audiences for more than 30 years. These are just a few of the shows and live entertainment, so check the schedule to learn more.

Don’t Miss the Sales

What’s the holiday season without shopping? Lots of shops – including big box and boutiques – make shopping in San Diego a breeze. Find big-name designers at Fashion Valley Mall, an outdoor shopping mecca for fashion. Westfield UTC features dining and anchor stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom. In La Jolla, browse upscale boutiques and smaller shops. If you’re looking for a deal, check out three outlet malls located just outside San Diego. Shoppers will find discounts at Viejas Outlet Center in the East County, Carlsbad Premium Outlets in North County Coastal and La America’s Premium Outlets in San Diego’s South Bay. Remember, you can buy yourself a little something special, too.

Find delicious waterfront restaurants in San Diego.


Categories: Events

On November - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Located in California, Palm Springs tours combine fun and adventure, while showcasing the best of the desert. Full of ups and downs, little nooks, and big drops, many touring companies welcome guests to explore the area’s history and diverse ecosystems. These tours not only provide an exciting way to learn about the area; they also support eco-travel and natural attractions. Whether you want a rocky adventure or prefer cruising or walking around, here are a few of the best Palm Springs tours:

Palm Springs Tours CA

Photo: docentjoyce

The Earthquake Canyon Bike Express (Biking)

This 20-mile bike tour begins in the San Andreas Fault, located between the Colorado and Mojave deserts. Adventurers can enjoy an easy-to-moderate bike ride on a paved trail that winds through canyon walls. You’ll also have the opportunity to see natural attractions, including Salton Sea, Mount San Jacinto, the All-American Canal and Coachella Valley. The tour comes complete with a guide, bike, helmet, water and snacks.

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour (4×4)

Perfect for visitors of all ages, this 4×4 tour offers a professional guide who drives a Jeep through canyons and geographical cuts. While riding, enjoy stories about the California desert, and learn about the area’s plants, animals, geology and history. There are also opportunities to hop out and walk between canyons and explore a natural palm oasis. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes, walking shoes, and a jacket for cooler months, such as November through March.

Palm Springs Tours CA

Photo: Ken Bosma

Joshua Tree National Park Tour (Walking)

Take a three-hour walking tour and explore the famous Joshua Tree area, which features two distinct ecosystems. The Joshua Tree National Park is where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet, creating a mix of history, plants, animals and more. This tour takes you sightseeing through the area, and you’ll hear about the area’s history and green-energy usage. Walkers will want to wear weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. This tour also includes a picnic lunch.

Colorado Desert of California Tour (ATV)

ATV Experience welcomes riders of all skill levels to explore the desert terrain on an ATV. The eco-tour company has instructors and guides ready to provide action-packed fun, and tours run two to four hours. Beginners should try the Hotel California trail, which explores the Orocopia Mountains. The Red Canyon and Lost Arches trails cater to moderately experienced hikers and riders. The longest tour is Meccacopia Trail/Little Box Canyon, and special appointments are required.

Luxury Sightseeing Tours (Hummer)

Adventure Hummer Tours offers several luxury Palm Springs tours. Favorites include the Palm to Vines Tour, where guests taste nearly 20 blends of wines and have lunch at Cougar Vineyard. Their Best of Palm Springs tour showcases celebrity houses and historic cultural centers. Guests can add a dinner tour onto their tour, which includes dining in a top restaurant and a ride on the world’s largest rotating tram.

Learn more about the La Quinta and Palm Springs area, and find places to stay for your trip!

Categories: Recreation

On November - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Rated the No. 1 Ski Resort by Ski Magazine in 2015, Whistler knows skiing and winter recreation. There’s much more than skiing in this Canadian town, though. With an annual snowfall of about 700 inches, visitors find plenty of fun winter activities to enjoy solo or with friends and family. Whistler is home to two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – that combine to offer 8,000 acres of explorable terrain. We’ve rounded up some other winter activities to try when the skis come off:

Whistler Winter Activities

Photo: Ruth Hartnup

Enjoy a Free Mountain Tour

Are you new to Whistler? No problem. The Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Host program provides free orientation tours for skiing, snowboarding and sightseeing. These free tours are a helpful way to learn about the mountains, the terrain and find more things to do. The two-hour sightseeing tour reaches the tops of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and includes a trip across the Peak 2 Peak gondola.

Tube at Coca Cola Tube Park

Hop in a tube and ride 1,000-foot lanes at the Coca Cola Tub Park. The park offers multiple lanes and caters to riders of all ages and thrill-seeking levels. There is no equipment or skill level needed; just get ready to have an exciting ride! Snowtubing the park’s lanes ranks as a top family favorite activity as well.

Whistler Winter Activites

Photo: Sarah Sampsel

Zipline in Whistler

You’ll find three guided zipline tours with Ziptrek in Whistler. For true daredevils, they offer a Ziptrek Ecotour that combines ziplining and high-wire adventures. Families will enjoy the Treetek Tour, which focuses on traditional ziplining and navigating suspension bridges.

Take a Snowmobile Tour

Whistler’s snowmobile tours offer something for every family member. Whether it’s a solo or dual ride, guided snowmobile tours provide a fun way to tour the area. Canadian Winter Adventures takes riders through old-growth forests to see snowy mountain views. The Adventure Group also provides tours for all ages, from gentle cruising to power riding.

Whistler winter activities

Photo: profernity

Go Dog Sledding

On a dog-sledding adventure, guests will tour the area, hear about Whistler’s history, and learn how to control and handle a dog sled. The team travels through the old growth forest of the Callaghan Valley, and couples want to try this as an easy way to snuggle while enjoying the action-packed ride.

Watch Bobsledders

Running from December to March, bobsled and skeleton programs provide fast-paced winter activities throughout the entire season. Bobsleigh allows you to ride in a bobsled – no matter the weather – and coast through 10 twists and turns, and feel accelerations up to 4 G-force. Skeleton also operates in all weather, and places you on your stomach for a head-first ride. Both activities have safety orientation and procedures.

See Whistler on a Helicopter Tour

Join Blackcomb Aviation and view Whistler Resort, Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, and Garabaldi Park on a helicopter sightseeing tour. Several packages are available, including private and tours, heli-skiing, and snowboarding adventures. Sightseeing tours typically last 15 to 20 minutes, with one including Cheakamus Glacier and the other Black Tusk, a stratovolcano in British Columbia.

If you do plan to ski, check out our tips on how to say money on Whistler lift tickets.

Categories: Recreation

On November - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Florida Keys is a tropical island paradise welcoming adventurers much above and under the water. Just 15 miles south of Miami, Key Largo is the largest of the Florida Keys, an arc of coral cays extending off the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula. A single highway, U.S. 1, connects the string of sandy islands, passing through colorful fishing villages and miles of pristine beaches. If you are planning a trip to the Florida Keys, don’t miss these popular water attractions:

Florida Keys Water Fun

Snorkel at a Coral Reef State Park

The John Pennekamp Park is America’s first underwater park. Measuring 70 nautical square miles, you can dive, scuba, and snorkel your way through coral reefs and marine life. Those who prefer to stay above the water can take a guided glass-bottom boat tour, or kayak and canoe the area. There are also hiking trails, picnic areas, and fishing is permitted in designated areas.

Tour Biscayne National Underwater Park

Hop on an airboat or take a scuba cruise to explore the underwater wilderness. On this private 1.5-hour tour, you’ll see alligators, birds, otters and much more. Riders will also see the Everglades and wetland areas, along with learning about southern Florida’s history and culture.

Experience Theater of the Sea

Swim with dolphins, sea lions and stingrays, or observe the marine wildlife on a glass-bottom boat tour. A 30-minute dolphin swim provides visitors with trained behaviors, including dorsal tows, hugs and kisses. Theater of the Sea is one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world, and has been family owned and operated since opening in 1946.

Florida Keys Water Fun

Take a Romantic Sunset Cruise

Either join the party or take a private tour to see gorgeous sunsets in Key Largo. On Friday and Saturday nights, Island Time Cruises features dancing, two full bars and a live DJ. Calypso Watersports offers a two-hour sunset tour on the Pirates Choice, a custom 52-foot ketch sailing vessel. Calypso also provides canal tours via African Queen, an iconic steamboat.

Support the Dolphin Research Center

Learn about and swim with the dolphins at this research facility, which focuses on peaceful coexistence between marine animals and humans, with the animal’s well-being taking precedence. Visitors can swim and play with dolphins, or simply tour the facility. Researchers and trainers can also participate in teaching programs.

Florida Keys Water Fun

Embark on a Deep Sea Fishing Adventure

One of the most popular fishing charters in Key Largo is Round Up, which offers reef fishing tours. Grab a pole and get ready to catch snapper, grouper, kingfish, and much more. Guests can choose between two boats. The Round Up measures 34 feet and holds up to six people. The Keys Cowboy is a 25-foot Privateer open fisherman and holds up to four.

Visit the Wild Bird Rehab Center

The Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary provides a natural habitat to wildlife no longer able to survive in the wilderness. See permanent residents and wild birds while touring the facility and boardwalk. Located on the property, you’ll also find one of the only known saltwater tidal ponds in Monroe County and native plants and flowers.

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Categories: Sightseeing