Before we visited the Valley of Fire with kids it just looked like an Instagram heaven. That’s all that we knew about it, all from photos that people had taken and posted to Instagram. And then we visited and hiked and had up close wildlife encounters and fell in love. Valley of Fire State Park is the best Las Vegas day trip you didn’t know you need to do.
Utah’s National Parks get all the attention, but there are some remarkable Utah state parks and national monuments that give the National Parks a run for their money. We have some great southern Utah state parks and protected areas that are breathtaking and totally worth your time on a Utah road trip.
Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve always been familiar with the history of the area and some key figures in its settlement, including Lewis and Clark, the famous 19th century explorers. In southwestern Washington and part of the Oregon Coast, there is Lewis and Clark National Park. We’re going to tell you all about this little known National Park and give you some great ways to experience it all.
We have had our first Kampgrounds of America (KOA) camping experience and are thrilled to share it with you. Before this trip we didn’t really know what to expect at a KOA, even though we’d reviewed the website and seen many campgrounds. You just don’t know what the feel of a place is going to be and how it’ll fit with your travel style until you’re actually there. I’ll tell you it was great. When it comes to Oregon Coast camping, the Astoria / Warrenton / Seaside KOA Resort was perfect for us.
LOCALE OF THE ASTORIA / WARRENTON / SEASIDE KOA
We spend a lot of time in Oregon, and particularly on the Oregon Coast. At least once a year, this year it’s been twice already, we do an Oregon Coast road trip, either from tip to tip or just one part of the Oregon Coast. If you’re coming from Washington State or the Portland area, the practical first stop for you coastal getaway is Astoria, Oregon. About two hours from Portland and 3.5 hours from Eugene or Seattle, WA, Astoria or Seaside are totally doable for an easy weekend escape.
You do have to either drive along the Columbia River for a good portion of the trip or you’ll cross the Coastal Range. Either way, the drive is beautiful and there are plenty of stops you can make along the way, from hiking in the hills to visiting small towns full of wineries. If you’re coming from Washington, you can add a little side trip to Cape Disappointment State Park either on your way to or from the KOA Astoria to get your lighthouse fix, because there are two just off the Columbia River. However you get to your Oregon Coast camping destination, you’ll enjoy the full travel experience.
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.
As you know, we get to serve as Chief Travel Guides for Alamo Rent A Car and share our ideas for exploring the Scenic Route. We recently completed a grand tour of the Island of Oahu and came up with the four key ways to experience this incredible island. Here are a few hints about what makes Oahu with kids so much fun, and particularly what makes the Scenic Route around Oahu so unforgettable…
Oahu’s Kid Friendly Beaches
An island full of beach is sure to have lots of great spots to relax, right? Well, yes and no. We’ve made our recommendations for some of Oahu’s kids friendly beaches and what to plan for. Our kids LOVED the beaches of Oahu!
Snorkeling the Scenic Route Around Oahu
Just because there’s a beach doesn’t mean that the snorkeling is going to be amazing. What makes Oahu so great for snorkeling in certain spots are the ancient lava rocks and coral reefs that make for calm, clear waters. Care to know where along the Scenic Route you’ll find some of these great spots?
Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.
Pet Friendly in Hocking Hills, OH: The Lodge at Lane’s End is a luxury retreat with an atmosphere that gives you the sense of having your very own personal vacation home. The Lodge was designed to be an intimate setting for couples, families, and friends to relax, interact, and reconnect.