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

 

Las Vegas Day Trip to Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon Skywalk – Go Girlfriend

Author: , March 21st, 2019

Hoover Dam - pixabay

From the original Las Vegas Fremont Street to the newer Strip, Las Vegas is big, it’s bold, it’s loud and it’s game-y – but oh, so entertaining! Like heading to Orlando and never getting out to see the Atlantic or Gulf Coast beaches, so too are the exploring opportunities when you’re visiting Las Vegas.

Day trip possibilities can take you in any direction – north, south, east or west. Spend your time within Vegas but rent a convertible and explore the bigger “wild west” of Nevada.

Not many of us live close to grand canyons and wild untamed rivers. As urbanites, we live in geographically mundane surroundings day-to-day and have to take a road trip to explore those mountains, national parks or beaches that seem so close, but are oh so far away.

Within a day trip opportunity east of Las Vegas are the grandest of canyons (epic truly!), and the super-truly, awe-inspiring Hoover Dam of magnificent proportions. Both are linked to the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam holding back and harnessing the power of the Colorado River, and the Grand Canyon being etched over millennia by the Colorado River. I recommend you get out and explore these two wonders.

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

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British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Gondola Ride – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , March 14th, 2019

Sea to Sky Gondola - Keep Calm and Wander

It’s a blessing when you have a friend who knows how to drive. As someone who doesn’t know how to maneuver a vehicle, my movements are limited within the city of Vancouver and its neighboring areas that are accessible to public transport. Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I drove to Squamish to ride on the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Since both of us are first timers in the area, we really didn’t know what to expect at the summit. For sure, there will be views but we were not prepared for a jaw-dropping scenery. We were both stunned and sighed every time we see saw something really spectacular. If getting close to a glacier is in your bucket list, then, this place would never disappoint you.

The Sea to Sky Gondola is just 45 minutes drive from Vancouver. It’s the same highway that you take going to Whistler. The panoramic drive is an experience in itself. If you’re just visiting the city, it’s worth renting a car (we had Evo) for an afternoon or morning trip. But, of course, you can stay in hotels in the town of Squamish if you want to stay overnight – after a long day hike.

By AUTHOR – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Bangkok by Bicycle – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , March 2nd, 2019

Bangkok by Bicycle - Once Upon a Journey

Bangkok is one of our favourite places in Asia. There’s so much to see and do in the city! And one of the best ways to explore Bangkok is by bike and boat. This way you can explore off the beaten path and get to know the different faces of the city. From busy markets in China Town to green palm plantations in the outskirts to the fresh breeze on one of the canals. Sounds amazing right? Ready to hop on that bicycle and explore? We will tell you all about our adventures during our bicycle tour through Bangkok.

Bangkok Bicycle Tour

It’s no secret us Dutchies like to bike! We don’t just bike in the Netherlands, we bike all over the world. So no surprise, 30 years ago a Dutchman named Co van Kessel started to show tourists around Bangkok by bicycle. His company never stopped doing just that! It’s a unique way to see a city.

At Co van Kessel, there are multiple bicycle tours you can do, varying from 3 to 9 hours. We hop on the bicycle for 5 hours, or well, we also go on the water by boat. With our bicycles, how fun! Make sure to book a tour in the morning for better temperatures.

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

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The Georgia Waterfall Trail – 2TravelDads

Author: , February 27th, 2019

The Georgia Waterfall Trail - 2TravelDads

Okay, we made this name up, but it’s a thing now. There are so many breathtaking waterfalls in North Georgia, we need to share how you can easily visit as many waterfalls as fit into your travel schedule. We’ll start in the east and head west as we go, but you can plan your adventure however you like.

We stayed in Clarksville, Georgia for our most recent trip around North Georgia. It’s a cute town right at the edge of the Appalachians and is perfect for a homebase for a North Georgia outdoors adventure.

The first of the Georgia waterfall trail that we’re directing you to is Toccoa Falls. About twenty minutes from Clarksville, the town is small, but cute. Toccoa Falls itself is actually located on the campus of an evangelical Christian college, but all are welcome to visit the falls. There is an entry fee for non-students and non-alumni, but it’s only a few dollars and to get to do a nice, short hike and enjoy the falls, it’s worth it.

By AUTHOR – Full Story at SOURCE

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Eco-Friendly Costa Rica is Gay Friendly Too

Author: , February 9th, 2019

eco-friendly costa rica - advocate

If there’s one thing Costa Ricans value above all else, it’s community. Pura vida is more than a friendly motto written on hats or T-shirts for tourists to buy at souvenir shops. Directly translated as “pure life,” it is closer to American ideas of the “simple life.” And in Costa Rica, the concept is part of their heritage and runs deep in the soil. The phrase is a reminder to not sweat the small stuff and instead focus on things that matter: friends, family, and most importantly, love.

In a country that’s home to five million people and nearly a thousand species of birds—including two of my favorites, the keelbilled toucan and the scarlet macaw — pura vida permeates through every experience you have. Whether you’re staying at a fancy resort or hiking on a crowded trail, you’ll find pura vida is a shared human language that transcends differences and unites those who embrace it.

For many LGBTQ people living in Costa Rica, social norms have noticeably shifted in recent years, thanks to wider visibility in smaller communities. While the country is widely known for its environmental efforts (embracing eco-tourism early) and lack of an army (the nation instead chooses to invest its money in agriculture) and Catholic traditions, citizens are still hungry for social progress.

By David Artavia – Full Story at the Advocate

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Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , February 8th, 2019

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument - Free Wheel Drive

The Grand Staircase Escalante is huge! It’s bigger than the Great Salt Lake. The largest lake in the U.S. that’s not a great lake.

A short 45 minute drive from Bryce Canyon is the enormous Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It spans from the eastern boundaries of Bryce Canyon to Lake Powell Recreation Area.

To be honest we knew very little about what to do at the monument. Luckily we passed by an open visitor center on the way and a friendly staff member gave us more than enough information to keep us busy for weeks. We planned for about 4 full days including a day to sit at our campsite and rest. With our time we were only able to explore a section of the far Northwest corner and the far Northeast corner.

This vast land is made of canyons, plateaus, dessert life, rivers, waterfalls, ancient ruins, and dinosaur bones.

GSENM is apart of the Grand Staircase, duh. A vast area of land that stretches South from Bryce Canyon to Zion to The Grand Canyon forming a sort of sequence of steps. GSENM encompasses several of these “steps” aka layers of sedimentary rock. Refer to the photo below for a visual or our last post.

By Laura and Camrin – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Utah Gay Travel Resources

 

Zion National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , December 13th, 2018

Zion National Park - Free Wheel Drive

Starting our Southern Utah tour with the famous Zion National Park. We spent three full days hiking into deep canyons and up the steepest scariest trails we have ever been on. Zion is most well known for its namesake canyon, Zion Canyon. The canyon is 15 miles long and up to 2,640 ft deep! Walls of the canyon are a beautiful reddish color from the layers of Navajo Sandstone. A shuttle system takes visitors up and down the Virgin River/Canyon to several trailheads, museums, and a hotel.

The canyon area was very busy with tourists during our visit, but we found that getting to the park early and hopping on the shuttle right away helped cut down on time spent waiting in line. Once in the heart of the canyon, we never had to wait more than five minutes for a shuttle. Shuttles were implemented in the 1970s as a way to reduce traffic, smog, and noise pollution. Because of the reduced car traffic, wildlife has been able to return to the canyon floor.

A Very Brief History

Zion has a long history of Native Americans thriving along the Virgin River and exploring the nearby slot canyons further up the river. It is estimated that people lived in the area as long as 8,000 years ago. It was the Mormons who were the first white people to settle the area. Mormons petitioned the National Park Service to change the park’s name to Zion. The Latter Day Saints refer to Zion as a utopia for the righteous. Seeing how beautiful the landscape is here, it’s easy to see why people thought it could be a utopia. President Woodrow Wilson made Zion an official national park in 1919.

By Laura and Camrin – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Utah Lesbian Travel Resources

 

Hiking the Vermilion Cliffs – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , November 28th, 2018

Vermilion Cliffs - Free Wheel Drive

This area of Arizona and Utah is a hot spot for Slot Canyons. What is a Slot Canyon? Slot Canyons are narrow passages formed by rivers that are now mostly dried up. Slot canyons are significantly deeper than they are wide. Hikers can follow the dried river beds that pass through the canyons. Sometimes the canyons can be very narrow, filled with debris, or can fill with water in a flash flood. Meaning they can be dangerous and hikers must be prepared and not go solo.

The tragic movie 127 Hours was about a solo hiker exploring slot canyons in this area of the country. The most famous slot canyon right now is Antelope Canyon near Page, AZ. Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo Reservation and access to this slot canyon is run by people who live on the reservation.

Unfortunately, because this canyon has become so popular on Instagram the demand to see it has skyrocketed and the reservation charges a lot of money to see it. We’re not saying we’re mad at the people who run the sight, it’s not public land and they have every right to make money off of tourists. It’s just for the moment seeing Antelope Canyon was out of our price range. So, what are we to do?

Good thing this area of the country is packed full of similar if not equally as beautiful other slot canyons. This is how we became introduced to Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. This National Monument is huge! It’s also very different from any other National Monument we have been to yet.

By Laura and Camrin – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Northern Arizona Gay Travel Resources