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Visiting Central Colorado

When I first visited Colorado, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Landing in Denver, I didn’t expect this area of CO to be so abundant in wildlife and adventure. To anyone who plans to visit, even for a small time such as an overnight layover, there is much to see in this area of the state. None of which have any park fees (that as a Washingtonian, I was very used to.)

Here are the ones that I experienced and that I highly recommend. Though I shall caution you to not overdo yourself, as you can get easily winded due to the high elevation gain in the mile high city.

1. Red Rock Park + Amphitheater

This park is a short 30 minutes from Denver and an easy, yet beautiful exploration for a long layover that will not disappoint. There are a few different ways to explore this park, you can head up to the amphitheater and get a view of the whole park or you can use the loop trail that is about 1.5 miles roundtrip and mostly flat.

I recommend you try both to get the best experience, as it is not very difficult. Through the loop, you are walking through all the rock formations and also get some history along the way.

I was fortunate enough to see mule deer, plenty of birds in the brush and also a bobcat!

2. Garden of the Gods

This beautiful park is highly popular, so expect large crowds… but it’s for good reason that you must see for yourself. This park is located in west Colorado Springs, about an hour and 20 minutes from Denver. Simply driving into this park is nothing short of magnificent.

There are several parking areas here, so don’t feel pressured to wait around for parking at the first entrance, as this is the busiest. All parking areas allow access to all the trails. Take your time to soak in all the enormous rock formations and I recommend strolling down every trail, as they all have different things to see and other angles. Once you part from the beginning of the trail, you’ll find much less people on the back trails.

If you here during any season besides winter, beware of rattle snakes (at any park in Colorado). You can also spot prairie hawks at the tops of the rocks here. The hike itself is very easy, almost the entire loop is a wide paved walkway, although I recommend climbing up towards the tops as well.

Don’t forget to drive around the entire park! On the opposite side of the main lot is a beautiful view of all the rock formations and allows you to see them all at a new angle.

3. Rock Rock Canyon Open Space

I didn’t expect much from this place, but it over delivered by far! This area is way less touristy and truly is open wilderness. You can choose to stay on the path or crawl up into the rocks in a way that allows you to experience the rocks of Colorado in the best way you can.

This is located in west Colorado Springs as well and can be easily missed if you don’t pay attention.

There is a loop trail that allows you to see a lake in the middle that unfortunately I didn’t get to do but I highly recommend. I was able to see mule deer here as well as owls and a tremendous view of the Garden of the Gods from afar.

4. Palmer Park

My friend showed me this place to watch the sunrise and I highly recommend you do the same, as this area can have crowds during the day and it supplies the best views without the direct sunlight. Palmer Park is in Colorado Springs as well.

There are many ways to explore this area, you can go straight to the top and wander around or find a trail somewhere and experience as much of the area as you’d like.

This area has a variety of rock formations that are mostly grey with some red as well and has a great view of the city of Colorado Springs. Great place for bird watching, morning meditations and of course… watching the sun rise.

5. Pikes Peak

Now, I did not get to experience this hike, as it is for the advanced locals that are already acclimated to the high altitude. But you can see the peak of this mountain everywhere in Colorado Springs, there is apparently many ways to experience it, but the elevation gain is about 7400 feet! Depending on how you decide to hike this trail, it’s about 5 miles each way. You can also drive it or take a railway!

6. Devil’s Head Lookout

Unfortunately it was far too snowy for us to hike this area, but Devil’s Head is a Colorado staple. About an hour from Denver, this hike goes through tree lines on a simple 3 mile round trip hike. At the end, you climb up some stairs to the lookout house, where you can see amazing views of Denver and rock formations.

This hike does close on account of snow sometimes in the winter, so be sure to check if it’s open.

I now can see why so many love Colorado. There is such beauty to experience all around you while also being within a big city that has it all. All these trails were remarkably clean and the city reminded me of the PNW in it’s design and it’s people. I hope you visit soon and give these trails a try. 🙂

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Snow Lake and Mason Lake, WA

Each state in the PNW has it’s very special places to explore and although I did consider Oregon to be my favorite, there are things Washington has that Oregon doesn’t and vice versa. The windy, moody beaches and … the many lakes in the center of mountain tops, such as the Alpine Lakes along the Snoqualmie pass.

There are many hikes in this area, but today we are going to talk about Snow Lake and Mason Lake. You do not have to travel to Alberta, Canada to see Insta famous prestine blue lake waters amonst snow filled mountains. You can find them right here in Washington, as well many other locations in Washington state.

The first time I went to hike Snow Lake, it was closed off due to snowfall (isn’t that ironic). So instead, we ventured over to Mason Lake, I say this because if you plan to hike Snow Lake, I would say the end of Octobor may be the last time before the snow hits and it closes for the winter until the snow melts, as it can be a treturous trail.

MASON LAKE, WA FACTS

Dog friendly – Yes

Distance – 6.5 miles roundtrip

Elevation Gain – 2420 ft.

Mason Lake, also called the Ira Spring Trail, is right off I-90 on Snoqualmie pass. It is a 6.5 round trip hike with an impressive 2420 ft. elevation gain, highest point being 4320 ft. This trail is dog friendly and leads to the beautiful Mason Lake, which is not nearly as large as snow lake, but still beautiful and easy to find yourself a little nook that you can have lunch before heading back down.

It was full of grey jays when we went that LOVED our granola and ate it right out of our hands, which was one of my favorite parts of this hike, honestly. Of course, this lake is crystal clear and prestine, well worth the hike. Even our chihuahua, almost made it all the way up on his own!

SNOW LAKE, WA FACTS

Dog Friendly – Yes

Distance – 7 miles roundtrip

Elevation Gain 1800ft

We did make our way to Snow Lake later that year and it was well worth the wait. This hike is a little further, about 7 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 1800 ft., yet the highest point was about 4400 ft. You will take the West Summit exit, at the top of Snoqualmie, this hike takes you high into the mountain.

The hike starts off very steep but goes away quickly and stays pretty moderate the rest of the way, making it not very difficult, although much of it is on slick granite stone and can be challenging to not twist your ankle… not sure if I’d recommend it for kids. It is also dog friendly and our dog loved seeing snow, which wasn’t anywhere else on Snoqualmie but we started to see some half way through the hike.

If you go when the snow is melting, which we did, you will be hiking along water most of the way which is quite beautiful. You also will hike across a few small waterfalls, really making you feel connected to nature.

When you reach the top, you can see the lake from above, then you can hike all the way down to the lake itself, crossing some meadows and other small waterfalls. The views are incredible, you are in this bowl of snow covered mountains and crystal clear waters. When we went it was overcast and lovely, but I’m sure if you go with the sun out that the water shows it’s blue beauty.

We brought a fly rod because there are rainbow trout in this lake, but if you want to fish here, be sure to bring waders, as you would have to wade about 20 feet to throw a good cast.

I highly recommend this hike before the winter or beginning of spring, so you can see some of the beautiful snow top mountains reflecting on the water. You will not be disappointed.

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Exploring Glacier National Park

Glacier has become quiet a popular and Instagrammable area! And guys, it’s with good reason! This spot gets packed by like 11AM every single day and it was worth waiting around 4 hours to get inside.

Glacier National Park is also known as the ‘Crown of the Continent’, located in beautiful Montana at the top of the U. S and on into Canada. This area is also the second most populated area for grizzly bears, right after Alaska!

It is known for it’s mountains, glaciers, amazing hikes and incredibly blue water. The most popular attraction here is the ‘Going To The Sun Road.’ This road goes WAY UP into the mountain tops, a road that seems impossible to even exist and brings you to insane scenic views of valleys, glaciers, mountains and wildlife.

Going To The Sun Road

You can spot bighorn sheep, grizzly’s and mountain goats, amongst other animals of course, in this area. We were fortunate enough to see a grizzly, just 80 yards or so from us, right off of a short trail located near the summit of the ‘Going To The Sun Road!’

Lake McDonald is one of Glacier’s most Instagrammed locations and is one of the first beautiful sites right inside the west entrance to the park. It is known for it’s bright blue waters and colorful rocks. You can also kayak in this lake!

Lake McDonald
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If you plan on heading here, I would highly recommend planning ahead for hiking. Many of the hikes are very long, including several backpacking trips to see some amazing locations, such as Iceberg Lake. Many hikes lead to the iconic blue waters tucked in a valley of mountains.

There are some shorter hikes as well. I highly recommend Avalanche Lake, this leads to the same iconic view of Glacier, with only a 5 mile round trip hike. Avalanche Lake is absolutely breath taking and being in the middle of massive mountains, with giant waterfalls running through them is a feeling you have to experience.

Avalanche Lake

Glacier has a few easy turn offs as well, such as a few waterfalls, scenic viewpoints, blue pools and wild life viewing areas. But anywhere you can marvel at it’s massive mountains, it just makes you feel so expansive!

As I said before, plan ahead. This park is open 24/7, but camp grounds and hotels nearby sell out FAST. I recommend getting into the park no later than 9AM. To keep nature thriving, there is minimal parking in this incredible place, and entrances after McDonald Lodge often get shut down sooner due to parking.

Glacier is definitely all it’s worked up to be, so get there and get there soon!! 🙂

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Exploring Bali – What To See and Do

Monkey Sanctuary, Ubud

You can’t come to Bali and not go to the Monkey Sanctuary! This place is located in Ubud, the center of the island and is COVERED with monkeys. These monkeys do not seem to care how close you get to them and will come right up on you even. They are very laid back animals, even in other places of the island.

They are quiet adorable and fun to go see up close. Be careful to not bring any plastic bags, as they will FOR SURE, go for them. They went for mine and tore my bag.

Also, do not look at a monkey directly in the eye, as it is a sign of aggression. I made that mistake before I knew of this and a monkey chased after me relentlessly, and it was quiet scary. They have large teeth, though they are not usually aggressive to humans unless bothered.

Waterfalls

Bali is abundant in waterfalls. The most popular being Sekumpul, NungNung, Banyumala Twin, Tegenungan, Air Terjun Tibumana and SingSing. I saw two of these…. Now that I think of that alone, all of them are so beautiful I MUST come back! 🙂 They are very scattered throughout the island. These are Air Terjun Tibumana and SingSing.

Rice Terraces

Most of the large, beautiful rice terraces are located near Ubud, in the center of the island. Though, don’t be fooled. You can find some pretty amazing rice terraces literally right off the streets of Bali! There can be an open field somewhere off the road and you’ll find one, or one between a gas station and a food mart. They are quiet unexpected.

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Temples

The temples in Bali are stunning and you do not have to travel far to see them. Though the most popular are Uluwatu Temple, Tirta Empul, Tanah Lot Temple, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Taman Ayun Temple and Goa Lawah Temple.

Unfortunately, I did not see any of these temples (gives me a reason to come back!) I did see a few that I do not remember the names of. But in Bali, you will find temples everywhere!
It is a Bali law that if you build a home, farm or anything in between, you must build a temple for it as well, to pray for and bless the place.

For this reason you will see them right off the streets and they are all beautiful, though private. There are plenty of large temples that are public as well.

To enter a temple, you must wear a sarong and women that are on their periods are unable to enter. There are usually a place where you can use a sarong to enter the temple nearby, but not always.

Nusa Penida

This is an island off the coast of Bali, but still considered Bali. The roads are still undeveloped at this point and are very, very bumpy, but well worth the view points that they lead to! They are in the process of making new roads. There are also hardly any shops and restaurants, unlike the main island. But you can still find a place to eat during your visit.

You have to pay to use the bathroom at most places, unless your in a restaurant, and the bathrooms are NOT CLEANLY!

But above all else, you can see some spectacular view points, some monkeys and beautiful blue waters here. If you go to Bali, you must visit here!

Bali Healing Ritual

We went to Ubud for a Bali healing ritual and it was incredible, truly an experience I will never forget.

A healer will meet with you to do a palm reading then a ceremony with holy water and flowers to cleanse your spirit of negative energies and bring power.

After wards you will learn the prayers that the Hindu participate in every morning and in the temples to bring balance and harmony to your life. To read all about it and see more photos, I have a whole blog dedicated to the amazing experience here.

Coffee Plantation

Bali is home to the best coffee in the world, made when an animal called a Luwak, poops out the best coffee beans that it ate. They are then cleaned thoroughly and roasted to make the world’s best coffee. The Luwak only eats the best coffee beans and it’s digestive tract make the coffee beans germinate.

This is the most expensive coffee in the world, so it is a must see! When you go to the coffee plantation, you can walk the grounds where the coffee beans and other plants are grown. See the luwaks and get the whole explanation of the process.

You then can taste Bali coffee, a number of other coffee’s and teas made from the farm and try the luwak coffee as well. All while being in the quiet jungle with an incredible view. It was one of my favorite spots.

This coffee is hardly exported, as they do not have enough to supply high demand.

Bali is full of so much beautiful destinations and culture, I can’t wait to go back and experience more and tell you all about it. 🙂

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Quintana Roo, Mexico

A few months ago I traveled to Cancun Mexico, a place that I think gets highly misunderstood as only a college spring break location.

Though I’m not arguing the fact that it is very popular in the spring time to college spring breakers and has a strip that is like a Mexican Vegas, Cancun has so much more to offer.

Cancun has a lot of history, in fact, Cancun, I’ve learned actually means the snake nest in Mayan. The snake was a god to the Mayans and all the most popular Mayan ruins are along that area, but there are even small ruins that can be found on the beaches of Cancun if you go out and find them.

There are tons of beautiful cenotes (underground rivers), ruins and jungles within this area and though this is the most expensive region in Mexico, compared to the US dollar, it is still relatively inexpensive.

Just be sure to learn your currency transfer well, because locals will try to make you pay more if they think they can. Keep in mind, you will pay more in more touristy areas rather than local areas. I prefer the local areas, not only because it’s cheaper, but because you can get more authentic food and a more authentic experience.

And no, not every part in Cancun is touristy, though it is still better off than other places in Mexico.

Cheap Flights

We stayed in a private room at a hotel downtown called The Selina, which I highly recommend. It has tons of art and is also a hostel, so you find yourself meeting lots of young travelers. They also have an awesome nightlife open to the public with a pool with events going on every night and yoga every evening on the top level during sunset.

We stayed for 6 nights and only paid $140! The room was small but had it’s own bathroom, air-conditioning and a chiche style to it.

We booked most of our tours through Expedia, which we wanted to book them online because we weren’t sure if we should feel 100% safe booking them through all the thousands of booths trying to sell adventures on the street.

The first place we went to see was one of the famous seven wonders of the world, Chichen Itza in the Yucatan.

We booked an extra early tour, we woke up at 4am and left our meeting point around 4:30. By the time we were there and settled in, it was perfect temperature. Let me tell you, if you want to tour this place, you MUST book an early access if you don’t want to be extreme heat.

Chichen Itza, Yucatan

This place has some incredible history, so although you get here without booking a tour, I would recommend a tour guide to give you the low down on the deep history that goes into this area because it is amazing.

We booked with Amigo tours and they were phenomenal!

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We drove by some villages in the Yucatan that gave you some perspective on the poverty in Mexico that can go unseen to tourists and it was baffling but we were happy to have experienced it.

We also stopped by a local shaman and traditional Mayan shop, where the locals made everything by hand at the the shop. We were told, places like this is where you want to spend your money, to really support what is made locally.

The next place we visited was Isle De Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun. We took a caravan with all inclusive drinks and snorkeling, it was spectacular. These are the bright blue waters you see all over Instagram.

This is the perfect way to capture the beauty of the Caribbean while in Cancun and is incredibly relaxing 🙂

The island was full of restaurants and shops and a plentiful variety of delicious tequila tastings! They take tequila tastings serious in Mexico, and they truly taste better than anything I’ve had in the U. S!

I definitely recommend it.

The last tour we booked was the the Mayan Ruins in Tulum, these ruins are right on the beach and are absolutely incredible, not as massive as Chichen Itza, but it is the perfect thing to see to continue the history of the Mayans.

This place is also extremely hot and has very little shade, I would recommend doing an early morning tour if possible to this place!

Before entering the area of the ruins, I had the chance to hold a spider monkey! These monkeys normally come out in this area in early morning, but he was so freaking cute! His name was Ricky!

We did visit one cenote while traveling back from these ruins, it was Cenote Jaguar. Though I wish we would have came back and visited many more, it gives a good excuse to go back, as there are so many!

Cheap Flights
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Umpqua Hot Springs

The Umpqua National Forest is full of beauty, it’s much like a smaller Columbia River Gorge in my opinion.

While taking Highway 138, to or from Crater Lake, it runs along the spectacularly turquoise North Umpqua River.

There are plenty of natural wonders along this highway, but the Umpqua Hot Springs is one to be recognized above all else.

It is fairly simple to find, if your heading east on highway 138 from Roseburg, it’s just past mile marker 59, follow signs to Toketee Falls.

Toketee Falls

The hike to Toketee falls is about a two mile, fairly easy hike. There are plenty of viewpoints, but you do have to use a rope to get down to the bottom to get the best views.

There will be warning signs telling you not to go down the rope, so whether you do so or not is up to you.

To get to the hot springs, you will continue straight on this road for another two miles, it will break off at one point, stay to the right. You will continue down that road for another two miles and the parking lot for the trail head will be on the left. The trail can get fairly steep, there are rails to help you up the steepest points.

Hiking Bag

It is possible the road will be blocked off, it was when we went! If there is significant snow, you will have to park at the closed gate and hike the two miles to the trail head.

I personally think that the snow made the hot springs even more beautiful.

Even in the snow, these hot springs were still plenty hot, there is about a total of seven or eight pools, they get colder as you go down.

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Grifford Pinchot National Forest

This is among the most beautiful places to explore nature in Washington. Filled with gorgeous mountains, inactive volcanoes and luscious forests. This place is worth a long camping trip in the summer, or even the long drive to see some of it’s wonders in a day trip. The hikes and waterfalls in this area are endless because of all the mountains in the area.

Here are some of this forests best sites.

Mount Saint Helens Area

This inactive volcano is famous for it’s incredible destruction in 1980, you can see incredible views of this volcano and the effects of it’s eruption and learn more about it. It’s pretty amazing.

Ape Caves

The ape caves are truly unique, make sure to bring a flash light and warm clothing, because it is pitch dark! It’s quiet the adventure to work you way through this two and half mile lava tube, the longest continuous cave in the U. S!

Lava Canyon

This is a round trip, five mile hike, so not too bad. It leads to some spectacular views and Lava Falls.

Windy Ridge Viewpoint

This is the easiest viewpoint to see Mount St. Helens, it’s a stunning view where you can also see Spirit Lake. There is also a hike along Windy Ridge called Loowit trail, a 28 mile round-trip hike that has gorgeous waterfall along the way. Make sure to research required permits for hikes such as this in the area.

Mt. Adams Area

This area is particularly known for climbing Mt. Adams, it is a a 10 mile, round trip hike with a 4500 ft elevation gain, and leads to some amazing views!

Waterfalls

With the Columbia River Gorge being on the opposite site of this area, it has no shortage of gorgeous waterfalls, some of my favorite in the state are in this area!

Lower Lewis Falls

I believe this to be the most beautiful waterfall in Washington, it flows so perfectly and is wide, and it is easy to get to the bottom of the falls for amazing views and a swim 🙂 The long drive is beautiful and it is a short quarter mile hike that allows every viewpoint.

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Panther Creek Falls

This waterfall is simply magical, it trickles down a long wall of rock and you can even explore the river before it falls as well. There is access to the bottom of the falls as well.

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Spirit Falls

This waterfall is a gem, bright blue with a tremendous fall. It’s a little hike, about a mile and can be quiet muddy. All the more of an amazing nature experience!

Falls Creek Falls

There are plenty of views during the 4 mile round trip hike to this waterfall, including a suspension bridge and a partial hike along the river.

This forest is one of Washington’s best, so if you’re looking for a place to explore within the state, you can get the best of both world’s in this green forest between three mountains.

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Top Ten 101 Destination Stops

If you’re planning a 101 coastal road trip, I deeply recommend doing it right. That means starting from the 101 no one thinks about, right off the coastal road.

I’ve done this 101 road trip, and took my sweet time along the process. Not only this but I quiet literally live right off highway 101 in southern Washington, so I know the famous highway well!

Here are the must stop visits while traveling this amazing highway, from north Washington to California.

Hood Canal

This area often goes overlooked, it is not the 101 right next to the ocean, though it is close, this area is beautiful! It is right next to the Olympic Rainforest and some small towns by the bay. The famous Vance Creek Bridge is hidden in this area. A partial amount of this bridge has been torn down now but if your feeling reckless, you may still be able to explore part of it.

This area also is covered with amazing hikes and waterfalls and is one of the only places on the coast where you can harvest your own oysters! Stop at Hama Hama to get the beginning of your seafood experience and enjoy some wine and music by the bay in Hoodsport.

Some of my favorite waterfalls include Rocky Brook Falls, Murhut Falls, Hama Hama Falls and Vincent Creek Falls (High Steel Bridge). Read all about this area here.

Cape Flattery

This area is the northern tip of the U. S but not very popular, which is good for us! The trail is well maintained and the views are gorgeous. Read more about it here.

Ruby Beach

This is the most stunning beach in Washington, right off 101, the drive to this place is covered with spectacular beaches, but this is the one you’ll want to stop at. There’s tide pools to explore and the beach goes on forever. This beach is most famous for it’s large rock on the beach with a hole in the middle that I didn’t manage to get a picture of. You can read more about it in the link above as well.

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Quinault

Quinault is a special, quaint place where you can experience the world’s only temperate rainforest that is completely untouched. There are many nature trails in the area from quarter mile hikes to backpacking trips and waterfalls right along side them. There is also the world’s largest Spruce Tree here as well and the Hoh Rainforest is also close by if you can’t get enough of the luscious greenery.

Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens is located right outside of the beautiful small city of Astoria, OR, most famous for the movie The Goonies. What makes this park so special is the ship wreck of Peter Iredale, where you can see the iron remains of this ancient ship right on the beach, accessible to the public. It’s quiet the site, see more about it here

Canon Beach

I think when people are planning 101 trips, their first destination is Canon Beach, so I hope all the posts above have caught your interest to see before northern Oregon. Canon beach is a small beach town with an open bottle policy, meaning you can drink beer wherever you’d please. Most famous for Haystack rock on it’s beach, where you can climb around it and view the tide pools. It also has a lot of puffins at the top of the rock.

It’s a popular destination spot, but also not incredibly crowded.

Cape Kiwanda

This place was one of my favorite experiences along our 101 travels. Located in the middle of Oregon in the town of Pacific City, Cape Kiwanda is what it means to travel 101. You show up at this beach, to a Haystack Rock way in the distance, you are able to climb a sand hill to your right which leads you to Cape Kiwanda. You can walk all along this Cape and experience amazing views. There are some dangerous areas but they will give you the best Instagram shot! Many wander past the warning signs to get the best photo, but because of the Oregon Beach Bill, I do not believe you can get fined for it.

You can also take the Three Capes Scenic Route before Cape Kiwanda to experience even better views, but we missed the turn, so keep a look out! Devil’s Punchbowl is nearby as well, though we didn’t go there. More on Cape Kiwanda here.

Samuel H. Boardman’s State Scenic Cooridor

This is located in southern Oregon in a small city called Brookings, right before you hit California. It is several different stops off the side of the Highway, all absolutely gorgeous. They meet up with the Oregon Coast Trail, the scenic points that I thought were most amazing was Natural Bridges, where you can hike your way to the top of these magnificent arches and Arch Rock Point.

The Redwood Forest

Of course, the Redwood Forest is a must-see along 101. It is located in northern California and is quiet the enchanting adventure. There is so much to see here, there are several different areas to go, we went to the Jedidiah Forest, which was amazing, but simply driving through these areas is worth the drive.

Big Sur

Unfortunately, we were not able to experience Big Sur, California, as when we went they had an enormous landslide right before Big Sur on Highway 101, but it is still on my bucket list! I recommend stopping at Pfieffer Beach. I’ve heard that the sand turns purple on some sunsets and it is quiet magical!

Simply driving down this highway is spectacular! There are views of the ocean right on the side of the road so pull over as much as you can and enjoy the views! There are of course many more places of interest, but these are my top ten. So pull over as much as you can and maybe spot some whales in Oregon!

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Best Waterfalls in Washington

Panther Creek Falls

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I love the location of this waterfall, I saw it in the middle of winter. It was snowing and everything was covered in white as this waterfall trickles down a rock wall high up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This waterfall is located near the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and the whole area is gorgeous!

You can also hike to the bottom of this, it’s not difficult, it was just too slippery for us at that time but I recommend it!

Snoqualmie Falls

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Snoqualmie Falls in located in the small city of Snoqualmie, clearly, but it is quiet the sight. I’ve heard there are ways to get to the bottom, which would be amazing.

Rocky Brook Falls

This is my second favorite waterfall in Washington. Located on the Hood Canal near the Olympic National Forest, an area full of beautiful waterfalls, but this one is well hidden and contains only a small sign you couldn’t see from the road. It’s about a quarter mile, easy hike to the waterfall and you can get right up to it and even climb up it a bit!

There is also a small pool at the bottom that we were pleased to jump off rocks into 🙂

Marymere Falls

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The area of which this waterfall is, is spectacular. Near the Olympic National Forest and the ever-so-blue Lake Crecent, you’ll find a short half-mile hike to find this waterfall. I think it’s the location that makes this waterfall stand out to me

Lower Lewis Falls

This is my favorite waterfall I’ve seen in Washington! This spectacular waterfall is one of the many waterfalls in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, it is not a waterfall that is right off the side of the road by any means, it is deep into this forest, a long drive up towards Ape Caves in the Mt. St. Helens region. The hike once you hit the parking lot is only a quarter mile and there are many viewpoints and even access to get to the bottom of the waterfall, where you can swim or walk on the shallow grounds! You can also access the top of the waterfall and find some swimming holes or cliff jump into the deeper parts of bottom of the waterfall.

Palouse Falls

This waterfall is massive! The biggest in Washington I’m pretty damn sure! You can see the waterfall from the parking lot, it pours into a giant crater so perfectly. You are able to hike along the rock sides and where the river flows before it leaves down the waterfall. You can even climb dangerously along the rocks where the waterfall falls off the giant ledge. There is also a small path to get down to the bottom, it looks a little sketchy, we didn’t do it but it would be an amazing view!

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Kauai – The Garden Island (Six must visit places in Kauai)

Wailua River

The Wailua River is a wide river very popular for kayaking and paddle boarding. It takes about three hours round trip to paddle board and it is full of luscious rainforest and stunning views every where you turn. From it, you can paddle to Secret Falls, located in a small village about half way through your trip and one other waterfall. We rented our boards from an amazing shop very close to the main entrance for the river, Stand Up Paddle.


O’opaka Falls


O’opaka Falls is easily accessible to view, it is a massive waterfall that you can see from a distance right off the road, in the middle of Kauai’s luscious rain forests.


Wimea Falls


Wimea Falls is a very tall waterfall, also easily accessible. The view point allows you to see from the top down, though you can also climb to the bottom which I highly recommend.


Wimea Canyon State Park

Wimea Canyon State Park is an absolute MUST SEE on the island of Kauai. You can spot gorgeous views throughout the entire park, waterfalls, canyons, forests, red sand areas and several incredible viewpoints.

There are several hiking paths in this park as well that supply spectacular views!

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Na Pali Coast


There are many ways to access the Na Pali Coast, most of which costs you money, such as a boat tour or a helicopter tour. Both of these, we wished to have done, but it was simply too expensive but I do recommend it if you have the money for it.

Queens Bath

There are many other incredible places to see on the island of Kauai, but these were my absolute favorites.

This island is magical, you can even spot the forbidden island of Niihau, from the western part of the island.

It is much more luscious greenery than the other islands.