The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an immensely popular attraction in California and is frequently named one of the best aquariums in the country. My husband and I had been there two or three other times, but before we had kids, so we very much looked forward to going back there with the kids. Our first impression when we got there was, “Wow, this is CROWDED!” So my first tip is to consider the timing of your visit. If you have preschool aged or younger children, I would highly recommend planning your visit during the school year.
The first exhibit we [...]
You may have read in my bio that I am one of the authors of a book titled Adventures Around Cincinnati: A Parent’s Guide to Unique and Memorable Places to Explore with your Kids. I am very excited to announce that my co-author, Laura Hoevener, and I have just released a second edition. I’d like to tell you more about it.
The book has three parts. In Part One, Laura and I discuss creating memories with your family. For us, this isn’t about promoting tourism or entertaining kids. We strongly believe that our travel experiences with our kids are [...]
Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world, is located in Southwest Kentucky’s Cave Country. It has over 400 miles of surveyed passageways! That distinction definitely makes it worth a visit.
As with most national parks, the place to start is the Visitor Center. Inside you can watch an orientation film and explore exhibits that educate visitors about the geology of the area, types of cave passages, and animals found within the caves. I really liked the 3D model of the cave passages.
The Visitor Center is also the starting point for cave tours. I strongly [...]
Have you ever picked a vacation destination using Pinterest? I believe that Sand Harbor State Park on Lake Tahoe might be the first place I’ve visited after discovering it on Pinterest. It was this sunset photo by Joshua Cripps that made me want to go there. What I didn’t realize at the time was that this photo was taken in January. After visiting there last summer I discovered that there is no way Joshua Cripps could have taken this photo in the summer because there would be too many people in the way! As with many of our country’s awe-inspiring [...]
If a high-rise hotel on the beach is your ideal vacation, then bypass Carmel-by-the-Sea. But if a relaxing getaway in a quiet and quaint little village that feels like it belongs in Europe is more your style, then Carmel-by-the-Sea is a terrific choice. We learned some interesting tidbits about Carmel-by-the-Sea during our visit. Ladies, leave your high heels at home–a city ordinance prohibits them. Also prohibited is walking around town with ice cream cones. Yes, these are real ordinances on the books. You won’t see any neon signs, mailboxes, or street numbers either. All residents go to the Post Office [...]
During our West Coast trip last summer, we spent one night in the Monterey/Carmel area of California. We stayed at the Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea (more about that next time). Sometimes my job has some really nice perks and this was one of those times. The Hofsas House gave us some complimentary extras: a Beach Bonfire Bundle along with some wine and cheese. What I really love about the Bonfire Beach Bundle is that on our own we would not have come up with the idea to spend the evening sitting around a bonfire on the beach. It was [...]
This article is different from my usual post. As I was planning what to write about our Traverse City trip, I came across these photos of a beautiful sunset that really didn’t fit it with any of the other articles, but the sunset was so pretty that I wanted to share the photos. So, as an extra bonus this week, and as my final post about Traverse City, I’m sharing my favorite photos from that evening. These were taken on a beach on the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. I think it’s best to just let the photos speak [...]
While in Traverse City, we had the opportunity to explore the Old Mission Peninsula with a personal tour guide, Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager of Traverse City Tourism. Normally I don’t write about experiences that my readers can’t do themselves, and while you may not be able to have a personalized tour with Mike, you can certainly take a self-guided tour. This 16-mile-long finger of land protrudes into Grand Traverse Bay, dividing it into a West Arm and an East Arm. The peninsula is named for a Christian mission to the Native Americans founded in May 1839 by Rev. Peter [...]
One of my priorities for our trip to Traverse City, Michigan, was to get out on the water. When I saw that the Traverse Tall Ship Company offered sightseeing cruises on a replica of an 1800′s cargo schooner, I got excited and asked Traverse City Tourism if they could arrange a cruise. I am very grateful to Traverse City Tourism and the Tall Ship Manitou for offering me and my kids a complimentary cruise so that I could write this article.
Sails are offered three times daily. We took the 2-hour Moomers Ice Cream Sail which is an afternoon [...]
I think I will remember 2013 as the summer of animal encounters. By the time we visited Northern Indiana’s Amish Country, we had already been licked by wolves and fed a bear cub in other places, so when we were asked by the visitors bureau if we’d like a close encounter with bison, we jumped at the chance. The visitors bureau arranged a complimentary tour of Cook’s Bison Ranch for us. This 83-acre farm is located in Wolcottville, Indiana, and raises bison to sell the meat, a healthy alternative to beef. Tours start in the gift shop where you can [...]