Eating Out Buena Park – 2TravelDads

Author: , July 20th, 2019

Eating Out Buena Park - 2TravelDads

Buena Park is known for being the home of Knott’s Berry Farm, but it’s so much more than that! It’s actually full of restaurants and culture that make visiting and hanging around BP really fun for the whole family. If you want some guaranteed good food experiences, here’s your guide to where to eat in Buena Park. We’re all about being family friendly and unique, so that’s what we’ve included here.

True, we like to use Buena Park as a home base for exploring more of the OC, but if you want to stick close to your hotel and the attractions on your itinerary, might as well enjoy some great Buena Park dining too. We were surprised by some of the establishments we visited, and we know you will be too!

THE SOURCE OC: GO-TO SPOT FOR FUN AND FOOD

Who knew that we’d find a new favorite hangout in Buena Park? A little back story: we used to live an work in Buena Park long before the kids were born, so it’s always been a bit of a second home for us. The Source OC is a new and awesome spot that I wish was around when we lived there. It’s full of restaurants, sure, but it also has some really fun murals and shops. If you need something K-Pop they’ve got you covered. If you are too hot and need to escape with kids for an hour or two, there’s an amazing indoor play space: Play Pie.

Full Story at 2TravelDads

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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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Things to Do In Buena Park, California – 2TravelDads

Author: , June 15th, 2019

Things to Do In Buena Park, California - 2TravelDads

If I say “Orange County” you most likely think of the beaches or Disneyland, and that makes sense, but did you know there in another really fun destination in Orange County? There are so many things to do in Buena Park, just to the north of Anaheim, that it’s both a great home base for Orange County and a wonderful destination in itself.

Here’s a fun fact: we used to live in Buena Park! When we lived just off Knott in the mid 2000s the neighborhood was nothing exciting. Today, Buena Park has become a bustling, colorful city that’s the entertainment capital of Orange County. We had three days and enjoyed tons of things to do in Buena Park.

Why Choose Buena Park?

Buena Park is located in northern Orange County, bordering Anaheim and Cerritos. A large part of the city is residential, but then the rest is all about the fun. The city has become a hub for really good food in addition to fun and activities.

Buena Park is ideal for both hanging out and being a home base for all things SoCal. If you’re staying in Buena Park, it’s an easy hop onto the 91 to LAX, the 5 to SNA or Beach Blvd down to Huntington Beach. Also super close is Disneyland: just a quick zigzag down into Anaheim. Really, anywhere you may want to go in SoCal is easy to access from Buena Park because it’s situated between so many highways.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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Instagramable Guadalupe, California – 2TravelDads

Author: , May 30th, 2019

Instagramable Guadalupe, California - 2TravelDads

I hate to be that guy but I’m going to share with you the best secret spot in California for Instagram worthy pictures. I know, you’ve seen it a thousand times but this you want to check out for sure. Guadalupe is the best surprise of a town and it’s the most Instagramable town in California, or at least the Central Coast.

There are some places that have been ruined by Instagram and people over running things in an effort to get a cute picture or something. That’s not the case here. Instagramable Guadalupe, CA is cool and would only benefit from people sharing its awesomeness.

A party of the Santa Maria Valley, Guadalupe is nestled between wine country, artichoke fields, and the sand dunes of the Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Preserve. It’s about three hours north of Los Angeles and 40 minutes south of San Luis Obispo. It’s a short jaunt off the 101 and totally easy to add to a California Coast road trip. It’s one of the less visited towns off the 101 and is absolutely worth your stop.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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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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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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Southern Oregon Road Trip – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 25th, 2019

Southern Oregon - 2TravelDads

We love our road trips, you know that, and living in the Pacific Northwest, we’re at the gateway to some of the best road trips in the United States. Oregon is our neighbor and we visit it a lot, but it’s rare that we really explore the south part of the state. This is our (future) award winning southern Oregon road trip that takes the best of the Cascades and pairs it with the Oregon Coast. This road trip itinerary is ideal in Spring and Summer and is great with kids!

When we found out we were heading to Southern Oregon we knew two things: the Umpqua National Forest and the southern coast are going to be fun and drastically different. The Cascade Mountains run from British Columbia to Northern California. They’re dotted with snowy peaks and dense forests, which when put together make for an epic collection of waterfalls. Doing a road trip with kids, we knew that we needed to pack in some big wow items, and waterfalls always do the trick.

For fun along the coast, we make it a habit to fly kites when possible, but when the weather doesn’t permit we do the next best thing: beach combing. Even in rainy weather the kids love searching for beach glass and interesting shells, so getting some time on the coast is perfect for us. In addition to the beach, there are lots of unique coastal experiences that are great for families. We made time to do fun activities we can’t do at home, including experiencing some of the natural phenomena of the Oregon Coast (see below).

If you’ve done a road trip with small to medium age kids, you know that being in the car is a bummer. We try to break up longer drive times with fun. Here are our top tips for ensuring every part of the road trip experience is awesome.

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

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Gay Rochester, New York – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 15th, 2019

gay Rochester

I had genuinely no idea what to expect when I heard that I was going to be taking a trip to Rochester, New York for a few days. I knew that it’s one of the largest cities in New York State and that was it. After spending three days visiting Rochester and the surrounding towns, I accidentally fell in love with it: a totally surprising New York destination. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed every moment (seriously, I loved it), these are the best things to do in Rochester for your own visit.

Rochester, New York actually has its own airport, ROC, as it’s much larger of a city than you might think. Direct flights from most east coast and several midwest cities make it easy to get to. If you’re planning a road trip around New York State, Rochester is located just north of the Finger Lakes Wine Region, so it’s the perfect compliment to an Upstate adventure.

Every city has a museum or two that really characterizes the history or culture that makes that city what it is. Rochester is full of really wonderful, fascinating, unique museum experiences. I know, “why start with museums?” I start here because the museums really are some of the best things to do in Rochester. They are unlike any I’ve visited in any other city.

Eastman Museum

As a photographer and art lover, the Eastman Museum was a highlight for me. Built on the property of George Eastman’s estate, the founder of Eastman Kodak, it’s an epic collection of photography equipment, a catalog of the history of photography, and the most interesting photographic art museum I’ve ever experienced. In addition to museum exhibits, Eastman’s actually home, a gorgeous mansion, is a part of the full Eastman Museum experience.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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