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Road Trips Best Done by Bike

Three U.S. Road Trips Best Done by Bike

Most people dread the driving aspect of a road trip, especially if you’re riding solo. But that completely changes when you’re taking the road via motorcycle. The adventure hones in on the ride itself, and the destination becomes an afterthought.

We’re reminded of this fantastic quote in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, one of our favorite books about travel and philosophy:

“In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.  On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

Here are three road trips best done by bike:

Tail of the Dragon

Some of the greatest adventures on the open road can be found in the United States. First and foremost, we must talk about the Tail of the Dragon. The name in itself is enough to offer a great deal of excitement and anticipation. This road is more than an enticing name, though. The Tail of the Dragon offers 318 curves over 11 miles of Robbinsville, North Carolina. While this road is a great sight and perfectly suited for an adventure on the back of your bike, it is not for the faint of heart. Even advanced riders should prepare themselves with reliable motorcycle gear and accessories. That being said, If you’re up for a challenge, then this is the route for you.

San Juan Mountain Skyway

Next up we head to Colorado, specifically the San Juan Mountain Skyway. One of the most interesting things about this route is that it is a loop. This is a road equipped perfectly for the biker seeking to take in beautiful scenery and simply enjoy the ride. Because of the loop shape, you can technically hop onto this route anywhere, head either direction, and end up where you started again! Of course, it wouldn’t be Colorado if you didn’t spot some of the nation’s most breathtaking mountains throughout this amazing 225 mile ride.

Highway 1

Lastly, we go back to the beach. The world-renowned Pacific Coast Highway nestled in beautiful and sunny California. The beauty of the Pacific Coast Cruise is not only in its physical scenery and views, but also in its simplicity. It is one road that stretches all the way up and down the coast and overlooks beautiful oceans from southern to northern California.  It stretches from the beautiful beaches of Malibu to the foggy hills of Big Sur to the spectacular Redwoods of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. What a phenomenal way to spend a summer day!

These road trips all provide bucket-list views that prove the adventure is in the journey itself. If you’ve been inspired to hop on the back of a bike, we’d love to hear about your adventures and tips you may have for other riders.

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Baseball Fenway Roadtrip

JustFly Chronicles The Best Places To Check Out America’s Pastime

As North America gets closer to escaping the last grasps of Winter, the boys of Summer are getting ready to play ball. Baseball season is about to enter full swing which means sitting in the sun, enjoying a drink, and taking in some live baseball if you find yourself in the United States or Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While baseball gets a bit of a rep as a boring game, it is something you should definitely take the time out of your trip to see according to JustFly. JustFly is an online travel agency based out of North America that knows how to have fun from coast to coast. We asked them to identify some of baseballs best ball parks. They were happy to provide us with a list of the game’s best and most historic venues.

Camden Yards – Baltimore, Maryland

The first stop according to JustFly’s review is Baltimore to visit Camden Yards and the Baltimore Orioles. Opened in 1992, Camden Yards is easily the newest field on this list. But, what it lacks in age it makes up for in modern baseball beauty and one of the best spectator experiences in all of baseball. Designed to have a “retro” look and feel, Camden Yards receives high marks from fans and players across the league who appreciate its respect for baseball’s treasured history in the United States.

Baseball Roadtrip to Wrigley Field

Baseball Roadtrip to Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field – Chicago, Illinois

Built originally in 1914, Wrigley Field is as much a museum as it is a baseball field. Long revered for its ivy covered outfield walls, Wrigley Field is famous for a curse that has contributed, potentially, to a famous championship losing streak. In a story that is simply outrageous, the curse goes that the team will not win a World Series thanks to team staff removing a goat from the field. The owner then declared the team would never win again. Amazingly, the team has not made it to the World Series since 1945, the year the goat was removed from the stadium. The team hasn’t actually won a World Series since 1902.

Fenway Park – Boston, Massachusetts

The oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, Fenway Park is famous for being home to the Green Monster. While you may think this has something to do with Boston’s heavy Irish heritage, it’s actually in reference to the massive wall that occupies left field. While the wall has swallowed up many would home run balls over its time, the fields awkward dimensions has have been both a burden and a benefit for the players who have had the fortune to play at Fenway since its opening in 1912.  No visitor would go wrong taking in a classic battle between the Red Sox and their famous rivals from New York.

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Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Alternate Black Friday Activities

Ahhh, Thanksgiving. It can be such a bittersweet time of year. Namely because it signals a number of things, including the start of the holidays and the end of the year, which are both exciting and, let’s face it, a little bit scary. The day before the holiday itself has long been dubbed the busiest travel day of the year. So before you ever get to cut into a slice of dark meat, you have to brave crowded airports and hour-long traffic delays – yikes!

Then, once the pie has been served, gears begin their not-so-subtle shift into Christmastime. Black Friday shoppers line up one after another, waiting for doors to open like kids on Christmas morning. Meanwhile, I personally do my best to avoid any semblance of shopping despite the overwhelming draw to every sale sign.

Here’s how you can skip the shopping this holiday:

Luckily, some companies are supporting my protest this year by offering alternate Black Friday activities and making it easier to travel somewhere slightly more fun than the local shopping mall. REI, for example, is encouraging its customers, like always, to Opt Outside. The retailer is giving their employees a paid day off and closing all brick and mortar locations so that everyone remotely related to REI can spend an extended Thanksgiving holiday with their families outdoors.

I, for one, love this idea. It brings back the connectedness to the holiday – plus, I could certainly stand a little outdoor activity following the self-induced food coma from Thursday. As if this initiative wasn’t exciting enough all on its own, several state park services have since joined in, offering free admission and waiving camp fees on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

State Parks throughout California, Minnesota, Missouri and Oregon have all opted in. Or out, depending on your perspective. Even if your home state hasn’t followed suit, don’t be discouraged! Day-use park fees are often only a handful of dollars, and the prices pale in comparison to the value of spending quality time with your favorite folks.

Whatever way you choose to spend it, we hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

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colorado family travel guide

Colorado Family Travel Guide

My family is lucky to call Colorado home. This state is beautiful, the people are interesting, well educated, healthy, and there is so much to do here.

Most travelers arrive via Denver, either by car or flight. Summit County, Colorado is the first stop up and over the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains, and is packed with plenty to do in the summer and in the winter.

colorado map

Exploring Colorado’s mountains should be on every family’s bucket list.

Top Things to See and Do in Colorado

Skiing is a great sport. It’s one of the few sports that almost anyone of any age can enjoy. But not all ski hills are created equal. If you’re looking for a family getaway to the mountains this winter, it’s important to find a hill that offers family-friendly accommodations, is easy to navigate, offers a range of terrain and some fun apres-ski activities. Too much to ask? Nope! Colorado has some of the best family-friendly ski resorts in America.

For example, Copper Mountain, a laid-back ski resort located about 75 miles from Denver, is an experience built for true lovers of the mountains. We had an excellent experience at the Copper Mountain Ski and Ride School. Especially with their early season ski school deals, it’s a great opportunity to get the kids into a lesson so you can spend the day exploring all the terrain of this fabulous ski resort! And while you’re there, don’t miss spending a few hours at Woodward, where kids of all ages can learn the basics of free-skiing via trampolines, foam pits and jumps!

For many Colorado ski families, Frisco is often the place for an emergency potty break after a long and slow car journey stuck in skier traffic up I-70 or over Vail pass. But this cute little mountain town is much more than just a highway rest stop. If you stop here be sure to grab a meal at The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant!

And if you’re heading through Frisco, Colorado why not try out the tubing park! Tubing in Frisco Colorado is a great way to spend a morning if you’re looking for something else to do in the mountains this winter besides ski. And we love downtown Frisco, which is full of great restaurants and shopping too.

If you are planning a family ski vacation at Keystone Mountain, don’t miss the ice castle at the top of the hill and ice skating at the bottom.

Nordic, or cross country, skiing is a community of passionate athletes eager to share this sport with newbies. I recently learned how to enjoy cross-country skiing thanks to the wonderful staff at the Breckenridge Nordic Ski Center, I’m a convert for life! Here’s why.

Don’t miss the Keystone Sleigh Rider Dinner where you can explore an untouched side of the mountain and enjoy a cozy meal in an 1800’s log cabin. I can’t think of a better way to end a fabulous family day at Keystone Resort Colorado.

And while Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are well known for their epic skiing and cozy mountain towns during the winter, Summit County Colorado is also a magical place to bring the family for a fun summer weekend. Here are the best things to do in Summit County Colorado in the summer.

Mesa Verde is perhaps the most inspiring and educational of all the Native American ancient dwellings. In fact, this archaeological area is one of the best preserved in the world. People lived here between 1,400 and 700 years ago. Today, Mesa Verde National Park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including a staggering 600 cliff dwellings, and most these are open for viewing and exploring by the public. Here’s what you need to know about exploring Mesa Verde with kids.

Colorado Family Travel Tips

If you’re lucky enough to live here in Colorado, or if you’re looking to book a Colorado family travel ski vacation this year, here are nine tried-and-true tips that will save you a TON of stress as you head up into the mountains with your family this year.

Most out-of-state travelers fly in and out of Denver International Airport (DIA) for their Colorado ski vacation. If you are planning on getting as much time as possible in on the slopes, you will not need a rental car. So go ahead and book a shuttle from Denver to Vail or other Colorado ski areas to start your ski trip quickly and safely!

Where to Stay in Colorado

Whether you ski or not, a weekend away at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, part of the Vail-owned Beaver Creek ski resort, is an absolutely divine getaway.

And for an affordable family ski vacation, consider Copper Mountain. Combining a big Rocky Mountain ski adventure with accessible terrain for skiers and riders of all levels, Copper Mountain is ideal for families. Here are just a few reasons why your family should consider a ski getaway at Copper Mountain this year.

Family ski trips are about eating, and finding a great place to spend the night, and having fun things to do when the sun goes down, and a great ski school, and delicious food and amazing mountain views. And yes, skiing too. See for yourself why Keystone Resort is the best family ski resort in Colorado.

Want to explore more of the USA as a family? Check out my Arizona Family Travel Guide here. 

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family travel in arizona

Arizona Family Travel Guide

“Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated.”

I love this quote by Terry Prachett about the desert. Growing up in the midwestern United States, humid and speckled with lakes, the dry, seemingly dead desert landscape always fascinated me.

Over the years we’ve had the chance to explore Arizona as a family. I quickly learned that this landscape isn’t dead at all. The desert is very much alive, and beautiful. I’ve come to love the silhouette of the saguaro cactus, the colors produced by the rising and setting of the sun, and the benefits of this healthy, dry climate.

map of arizona

Arizona is a great destination for family travel. Whether you want to escape the chill of winter, explore ancient civilizations or learn about the magical desert, there is plenty to do for families in Arizona. Read on to learn more in this Arizona family travel guide.

Top Things to See and Do Arizona

Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has consistently dry, warm weather and plenty of easy access options, making this city an ideal destination for your family to warm up this winter. Plus there are plenty of things to do in Phoenix with kids. Here are a few tips to ensure you plan the best Phoenix vacation ever for your family.

The quiet desert under the mid-day sun comes to life in the early evening. Hawks soar overhead. The sun turns they sky pink and reflects off the red rocky hills. And the saguaro cactus tower over everything. The desert is certainly one of my favorite attractions in Phoenix.

Phoenix is well-known for its magnificent desert landscape, but few people outside the area know that there are many scenic lakes within a 40-mile drive from Phoenix. Here are a few of my favorite desert lakes to explore near Phoenix.

Arizona Family Travel Tips

While most people stay away from Phoenix during this time of the year, when temperatures can exceed 110 degrees F, summer can actually be a good time to visit this part of the southwestern United States. You might actually want to consider traveling to Phoenix in the Summer. Simply follow the lead of locals to plan a fun summer getaway in Phoenix.

While there are several dining options in Scottsdale, perhaps none are more family friendly than Proof at the Four Seasons at Troon North. Don’t miss the resort’s casual and family friendly restaurant if you will be traveling in Scottsdale with kids. 

Where to Stay in Arizona

The Four Seasons Resorts Scottsdale at Troon North is a perfect family-friendly getaway.

And if you’re lucky enough to get away with your girlfriends for a weekend in Arizona, I’ve put together the perfect weekend itinerary for a girls weekend in Phoenix. Doesn’t this plan make you want to grab your girlfriends and jump on a plane today?

 

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