Joshua Tree Day Trip – 2TravelDads

Author: , July 11th, 2019

Joshua Tree Day Trip - 2TravelDads

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is a great addition to a vacation to Palm Springs or Southern California in general. It’s a very unique National Park and visiting is a very different experience compared with Yellowstone or Yosemite. I’d sooner relate it to visiting the Everglades than any other Park. There are tons of things to do on a Joshua Tree day trip, but you need to know what to do before you just show up.

Before arriving at Joshua Tree we’d done some research around hiking and unique features of the park. We didn’t fully understand the layout though and had to adjust our plans to be able to experience the best of a Joshua Tree day trip. The following guide should help you plan, prep and have an awesome time exploring this fascinating place.

WHAT IS A JOSHUA TREE?

So glad you asked. A Joshua Tree is a member of the yucca or lily tree family. It’s like a giant succulent that grows only in hot, arid climates. They are very rare outside of the deserts of the American Southwest (there’s a small grove in Mexico), but their yucca cousins can be found in deserts all around the world.

The Joshua tree is a rough, pokey plant. It doesn’t get very big, unlike the Sequoias or Redwoods, and it’s rarely grows straight up. Joshua Trees are shaped like Dr. Seuss trees and look a lot like the silhouette of a person jumping out to scare you. They really cool. They don’t bloom every year, but when they do it is amazing and since it’s so rare, if you get the chance to visit when they’re blooming, you’ll be one of the few people on Earth that experience it.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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Exploring the Dutch Tulip Fields in a VW Bus – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , July 8th, 2019

Exploring the Tulip Fields in a VW Bus - Once Upon a JourneyM

Can you believe we never visited the tulip fields in the Netherlands?! As a Dutchie, that’s pretty weird since the tulip fields are becoming increasingly popular every year, especially because of Instagram. We decide to go on a little trip in style: with an old VW bus named Miss Peach. Miss Peach can be rented from Oldtimer huren for a fun day trip or for a special event: a wedding for example! Talking about weddings, during our little trip to the tulip fields we do a special shoot with some gorgeous dresses…

Tulips are for old people?!

When we were younger our moms and grandmas visited the tulip fields. So in our minds, it was something old people did (equals boring). Instagram has definitely changed our minds, because wow, these fields are far from boring: colours everywhere! Last year we were sad to miss tulip season so we promised each other 2019 would be the year. And we’re sharing the fun: my sister Denise joins us on our day trip. Denise is a beautician so she can help us look extra pretty. Usually, we never wear any make-up, but this is a special occasion…

Hit the Road with a Volkswagen Bus!

We pick-up Miss Peach in Nieuwegein at the garage. Before we hit the road I need to get the hang of driving an oldtimer. VW buses are old and therefore drive very differently than modern cars. Luckily it doesn’t take too long before I can enjoy riding this beautiful bus. So funny to see so many people looking at you while driving such a beauty!

By Maartje and Roxanne – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

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Go Girlfriend’s Arizona Getaway List – Lesbian Sedona

Author: , July 5th, 2019

Lesbian Sedona - Scott

Thinking on the destination of lesbian Sedona, Az, my mind floats to a small-town, new-age artsy community nestled as a cross-roads between the dry flats of the hot desert and the stunning red rock mountainsides that surround it. It is a charming long-weekend getaway destination to get you out of the city and surrounded by an unprecedented natural beauty – think girls getaway relaxing with wine on the patio as the sun sets on the mountainsides that just pop deep shades of reds and greys, or a more adventurous let’s-get-out-and-hike-these-mountains-and-see-the-views kinda weekend. Either way, Sedona has got to be on your getaway list!!

Whether you arrive in from Phoenix in the south (2 hours) and drive through the Sonoran desert into the Tonto National Forest area before encountering the rim of red rocks around Oak Creek, or you arrive to Sedona from Flagstaff (1 hour) in the north via the canyonous Highway 89, the drive will make you “ooo and aaah” at the spectacular sights.

Whether you arrive in from Phoenix in the south (2 hours) and drive through the Sonoran desert into the Tonto National Forest area before encountering the rim of red rocks around Oak Creek, or you arrive to Sedona from Flagstaff (1 hour) in the north via the canyonous Highway 89, the drive will make you “ooo and aaah” at the spectacular sights.

What makes the red rocks of Sedona so unique?

The Sedona area was the bottom of an ocean 300+ million years ago. Natural iron oxide infused the limestone base that was created as the waters receded. The picturesque sandstone formations were created from the layering of ancient dunes in such amazing geology and landscape the area that with continued water and wind erosion over the millennia sculpted the harder formations into some of the most fascinating and locally iconic landmarks we know today – Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Butte.

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

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California Agritourism in the Santa Maria Valley – 2TravelDads

Author: , May 27th, 2019

CALIFORNIA AGRITOURISM IN THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY

We’ve loved visiting the Santa Maria Valley of California for years, ever since our first visit in 2017. We wanted to take a different approach to visiting on our most recent trip, so went with the theme of agritourism. Of course we still enjoyed the beach and nature of the Central Coast, but California agritourism with kids was a hit in more ways than just a fun vacation.

Why the Santa Maria Valley for California agritourism? For three reasons: diversity of farm experiences; wonderful, welcoming people; and it’s gorgeous. Just keep reading…

WHAT IS AGRITOURISM?

We love agritourism because it’s a very different way to explore and learn. If you’re not familiar, agritourism is the approach of tourism through the lens of farming and agriculture. It’s visiting and interacting with farmers and experiencing both the work and the joy of farming. One of the biggest benefits of agritourism with kids is helping them see and understand where their food comes from.

Tip: a good conversation to have with kids is regarding sustainability and organic farming and labeling. When you start visiting farms and vineyards, you’ll see signs and you’ll hear farmers talking about what they do to ensure they’re growing the best produce possible, so it’s nice to lay some groundwork.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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Views From Vancouver’s Quarry Rock Trail – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 27th, 2019

Views From Vancouver's Quarry Rock Trail - Keep Calm and Wander

I did the Quarry Rock Hiking Trail yesterday for the first time. It was a beautiful day – and it’s a weekend, too! That means that hiking trails near Vancouver (reachable via public transport) were, as expected, crowded.

And I survived. Halelu!

Directions: Vancouver to Deep Cove by Bus

Start from the Waterfront Metro Station. Find the way to the water taxi / ferry that will take you to Lonsdale Quay. There’s a ferry every less than fifteen minutes, so you don’t have to wait long. When you get off at Lonsdale Quay, take the 239 bus that goes to Phibbs Exchange bus loop or Capilano University. Get off at Phibbs Exchange bus loop and transfer to bus 211 or 212. The last stop is at Deep Cove. Once you arrive, follow most of the crowd or find a sign that points you to the Quarry Rock trail. This trip should take around 40-50 minutes.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Hiking With Kids at Zion National Park – 2TravelDads

Author: , May 23rd, 2019

Hiking With Kids at Zion National Park - 2TravelDads

Zion National Park is known for its epic hikes and canyoning routes, but it’s also full of fun hiking trails that are great with kids too! By now you’ve seen that we really love Zion; we found that the scenery paired with the activities make for a perfect family vacation destination. And that’s what we’re talking about here: best kid friendly hiking in Zion National Park.

If you are looking for epic views or easy strolls, there are plenty of kid friendly hiking options in Zion. You truly don’t have to over-exert yourself (or your kids) to experience and appreciate the best of what Zion has to offer. These are our top picks for families and safety tips for some kid friendly hiking in Zion National Park.

HIKING SAFETY IN ZION

We always start here because it’s easy to get right into the hike info. Here’s what you need to know to be prepared for hiking in Zion National Park:

  • Know the details of your hike – distance, elevation gain, estimated time
  • Bring more water than you think you’ll need – we do 1.5 refillable bottles per person
  • Bring enough snacks to equate to a meal
  • Don’t rush kids on rocky trails

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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Bryce Canyon National Park in the Off Season – 2TravelDads

Author: , May 13th, 2019

Bryce Canyon National Park in the Off Season - 2TravelDads

Bryce Canyon National Park is exceptional when it comes to unique geology and sights. It’s a place for hiking and appreciating nature’s fascinating processes and diversity. It also gets tons of snow in the winter and spring, so visiting Bryce Canyon in the off season is tricky but totally doable and beautiful. We paired it with a trip to Zion National Park and loved the combo and its varied experiences.

This is our guide for sights, hiking and accommodations at Bryce Canyon National Park, good for any time if year, but especially the off season. That’s actually the best time to go! Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in the off season ensures smaller crowds and lower costs, so it’s a great budget friendly option.

The most popular time for visiting Bryce Canyon is for sure the summer, and why not? It’s gorgeous and sunny; thunderstorms show up out of nowhere; hiking trails are sure to be open; it’s great! Here’s a huge tip though: visitors taper off in early fall and the weather is still awesome. In winter and early spring you’re guaranteed minimal crowds and perfectly snow-capped hoodoos. Spring brings the snow melt and prairie dogs. You’ll love it, no doubt.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2traveldads

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Complete Family Guide to Zion National Park – 2TravelDads

Author: , May 9th, 2019

Zion National Park - 2TravelDads

Yes, you can totally get a good sense of Zion National Park in just one day, but believe me when I say that you’ll leave wanting more. Between the unique, red and yellow and white canyon walls to the waterfalls that appear out of nowhere, it’s remarkable. This is our complete family guide to Zion National Park, basically giving a high level overview and drilling down into our more detailed posts. We’ve written a ton about Zion because it’s awesome and we love it, so get all the goods.

The first time I planned a trip to Zion National Park as an adult I didn’t even know where to begin. I had visited as a kid and remembered everything we did… including hikes that I’d never take my four year old on. I ended up spending hours Googling hiking guides, travel blogs about Zion with kids, the National Park website itself and couldn’t find all of the information I needed in one place, so I decided then and there that following our trip I would make something super easy that was exactly what I needed. And that’s what this is: your one stop shop resource for all things family-friendly at Zion National Park.

When to visit Zion National Park

If you’re in Southern Utah, you should visit Zion National Park, no matter the time of year, but just know that it won’t all be accessible. The absolute best time to visit Zion is early to mid Spring or early Fall. Being such a popular National Park, Zion is very busy and trails can be exceptionally crowded in the summer. Whatever season you choose to visit, you always need to be prepared. The weather can change in a heartbeat, although the summer months are pretty consistent with hot days and random cloud bursts.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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Zion National Park for Families – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 20th, 2019

Zion National Park - 2TravelDads

One of the most popular National Parks in the United States is Zion National Park. Even though Yellowstone and Glacier hold our hearts, we may have just left another piece of them at Zion. Planning for and visiting Zion National Park with kids is really wonderful. There are boundless options for hiking and relaxing, and getting around the park is an adventure in itself. Here’s how you can make visiting Zion National Park easy and stress free… cuz that’s most important when there’s nature to be a part of.This is our guide to planning a Zion National Park visit. Below you’ll find tips for navigating the park experience, great ways to help kids (and adults) learn with National Park programs, and tips for transportation all around. If you have questions we don’t answer, leave us a comment or send us a note!

As adults, when we visit National Parks we stop into the ranger station or Visitor Center and pick our hikes and go. When you visit with kids there is more to consider, including educational opportunities and things you had no idea would be fascinating to them. Even though Zion might not be on a kid’s bucket list, they will want to enjoy themselves just as much as the adults do.

Visitors Centers and Ranger Programs

The first stop you need to make what you visit Zion National Park with kids is the Visitor Center. Located just inside the main entrance from Springdale, UT, it’s the one stop shop for trail information, ranger-led programs, and Zion NPS gear. This is always where you can register for more intense trails and canyoning and get your back country permits. The main Visitors Center is mostly a stop for info and swag.

For the traditional Visitor Center history and science information, you actually need to swing into the Zion Human History Museum. Here you’ll learn about early inhabitants of the park, how people have interacted with the land and nature, and there are more rangers available for conversation and to answer many of the non-technical questions. It’s a great place to visit if you’re doing Zion with kids so they can gain some understanding and connection with the area.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

Utah Gay Travel Resources

 

Road Trip From Vegas to Bryce Canyon – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 4th, 2019

Bryce Canyon - 2TravelDads

We’ve been looking forward to this road trip for a LONG TIME. Like, I can’t even tell you how long. We are finally exploring more of the Southwest with the kids: Las Vegas and the Utah National Parks. Being from the Pacific Northwest, we’re used to cold, wet climates with lush rainforests and snow capped mountains. And saltwater on all sides of us. Our road trip from Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon National Park is going to be such a contrast to our daily life.

We’ve partnered with Best Western Hotels & Resorts to come up with an awesome spring break travel plan that includes fun, nature and family-friendly hotels in the Southwest. Our southwest road trip is all about exploring the unique nature of Utah while getting plenty of time relaxing together and recharging, you know, like you’re supposed to do on vacation. Yes, our itinerary will keep us busy, but we know how to strike a good balance of fun and calm. A road trip from Vegas to Bryce Canyon National Park will be just that: balanced and beautiful.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

Utah Gay Travel Resources