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6 things to do in the small, beautiful town of Uvita, Costa Rica

uvita, cr

I recently was intuivitely called to visit Costa Rica for an ayahuasca ceremony. But instead of visiting the more touristic side of the Guanacaste province, I decided to check out the small town of Uvita.

Although I didn’t have much time here, it felt safe and right at home very quickly and I would recommend this area to anyone wanting to experience another area of Costa Rica that’s a little more off the beaten path.

  1. Visit the Beach, Marino Ballena National Park

Uvita is located on the south pacific coast and what keeps this particular beach so beautiful is the fact that you must pay a fee to enter. This beach area is also a national park, where you can spot plenty of wildlife on the coastline as well as whales in the ocean! I recommend early in the morning if you want to spot monkeys or sloths, and you may even catch a few crocodiles!

This area is also surrounded by parrots high in the sky and toucans, so keep an eye out!

2. Nauyaca Waterfall

ust outside of Uvita is the epic Nauyaca waterfall. This was my favorite attraction here, as I am a waterfall fanatic! If your not renting a car, you could taxi to this area. It’s about 35 minutes outside of Uvita. You can also catch a bus from Uvita to Dominical and another bus from Dominical to San Isidro and ask for them to drop you off at these waterfalls. This is what I did and it saves a whole lot of money to use the bus system.

There is a fee to enter the park and an option to pay extra to take a car down to the main trail. And believe me, you want the car. Unless you are well prepared, I wouldn’t recommend the walk as it is nearly 4 miles one way in the Costa Rican heat.

You can definitely spot wildlife along the way. I spotted many toucans and I’ve heard if your there in the morning, you can see sloths and monkeys.

The main trail to the waterfall is very short and there is an option for the overview as well as to the bottom of the waterfall. It is a double tiered, wide falls that you can swim at the bottom of or even swim accross to take a picture right under the falls. It is a powerful gust so be careful! There are plenty of rocks to hang out at during your stay and this spot will not disappoint.

3. Corcovado

Unfortunately, my tour fell through to see this area near Uvita. Corcovado is a national park, about a 30 minute boat ride from Uvita. The region is so rugged that it is only accessable by boat and I would highly recommend a tour. This area is known to be amongst the three most diverse ecosystems in the world by National Geographic and perfect for nature and animal lovers.

I would not recommend trying to find tours online, as I did. Instead, walk around the small town and there will be many shops that offer tours.

4. Learn to surf

This area of Costa Rica is well known for surf! You can book a surf lesson in Uvita, Domincalita or Dominical (for the more experienced). I unfortunately did not get to try, but if you have a good amount of time here, I would highly recommend.

5. Slide down Uvita Waterfall

Uvita has many hidden waterfalls, Uvita is one of the more well known ones. You could definitely walk here if you’d like to save money on a cab, but if not, there are plenty of taxis that can take you. You’ll feel like a part of the jungle here. There’s a small fee of 2 mil colones (about 3 dollars usd) to get inside and then a small hike along a beautiful river with many opportunities to go for a swim.

Keep going to the end to see Uvita waterfall. It isn’t very high or wide but it is a simple gem with something special about it. Locals love it! you can actually swim up to the waterfall, climb up a ladder to the top and either jump off or slide down the waterfall into the pool at the bottom!

Of course, I had to try this and be sure to be prepared for how fast the waterfall takes you, but I highly recommend!

You can also feel free to book tours to the hidden waterfalls of Uvita. A taxi driver could probably take you to a few as well. Just tell them to take you to all the local waterfalls!

6. Visit Isle Uvita

A short boat ride from Uvita, you’ll need a tour guide to get here. This area is perfect for those who want a day on the water to snorkle the south Pacific.

If only I had more time here to experience it all… it will for sure call me back. I would say that this area of Costa Rica (Costa Rica in general) is very safe and very quiet. If you would like a more peaceful visit to CR, Uvita is perfect. Dominical for those who want to hit up a few more bars and surf.

I stayed at Casa Morpho for a budget stay while I was here and ate often as a vegetarian at El French Cafe.

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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 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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Full Moon Self Care Ritual

There are plenty of different rituals and beliefs about how to spend your time during a full moon. This is the phase of the moon where you bring in the energy of the Universe to celebrate your achievements for the goals you set for yourself during the new moon, leading all the way up to this time.

For this reason, I take the time of the full moon to reflect and have some serious self-care time for myself. Self care is different for everyone, but I recommend taking it to the next level on the phase of the full moon, doing something a little extra that you don’t normally do.

Self-care is something that we may forget to do in the today’s world, where there are so many distractions that you feel like should have your attention, rather than simply making yourself happy. But you cannot be effective in any of your tasks if you are not aligned with your energy and feeling full.

So here is my self-care ritual that I like to do on a full moon, I feel so peaceful after this ritual and I hope it can help you feel peaceful on this full moon as well. 🙂

The Aura

As you guys may already know, I am huge on creating the perfect aura, every day but especially for rituals. For me, this just keeps me in the zone, keeps me peaceful and makes me feel good about being the space that I’m in.

So first things first, cleanse your space with a sage smudge stick or with palo santo. This gets rid of all the negative energy in your space, cause you don’t have time for that shit tonight.

Light as many candles as you have, light some incense, lay your crystals about (and remember to afterwards put them in the moonlight to be charged).

Meditation

Do a short meditation, just to clear any of the thoughts remaining in your mind from the day and start fresh. Focus on taking deep, long breaths during this meditation and it may be nice to end your meditation by putting some relaxing essential oils, such as lavender or a balancing blend on your wrists and inhaling them in. I will list some of my favorites at the end.

A Flower Mandala

I do not do these often, but every time I do, I feel so aligned and peaceful by the end of it. If you don’t know what a flower mandala is, it’s basically flower petals that you take and create a mandala on your floor, which you can combine with crystals, candles or whatever you wish.

I love doing these because it is so different, but it is incredibly peaceful to do. At first you may overthink it and it may feel awkward and you may second guess yourself, but as soon as you let that go, hours can fly by in what seems like only twenty minutes.

I consider this a form of meditation, because focusing on on some sort of art, really keeps your mind from wandering off elsewhere.

Turn on some slow music or frequencies while you do this or if you prefer silence than do that! And drink some tea, wine or whatever it is you drink to spoil yourself. Take as long as you want to do this!

Here is a quick picture I took of my last flower mandala. I drew this inspiration to partake in these by @sallymustang, I recommend looking up some of her work on Instagram.

Though I feel it’s important to say to not compare yourself to ANYONE else, the point is not how pretty your mandala is, it’s about creating art and creating peace for your mind.

A Bath Ritual

After your mandala, take any extra flower pedals you may have and draw yourself a warm bath, with the flower pedals, essential oils (highly recommended), bubbles, crystals, candles whatever it is you feel would be your best bath!

I put a crystal in the bath water sometimes if I feel the chakra associated with that crystal needs balancing.

During bath rituals I really like to listen to singing bowls, you can find plenty of videos of these on Youtube. I like these because they tend to just echo and vibrate the whole bathroom and of course you can choose a specific vibration that will attract something specific to your life, which for me lately has been abundance.

While in your bath ritual you can read, meditate, do mantras, affirmations, gratefulness practices or even sleep. Do whatever it is you feel your soul needs!

Skin Care Routine

I believe a skin care routine to be a ritual within itself. Today is the day to do your full skin care ritual, your skin has already been being steamed by the bath water, follow it with your face wash, exfoliant, toner, a mask and a finishing moisturizer or skin oil. My favorite skin care brands for things such as this is Aveda, as it’s scents are plant based and smell so lovely.

If you want to put on lotion, do some hair care or whatever, feel free to do so. 🙂

End your night by doing a finishing meditation, this can last much longer as your mind is most likely already cleared. Finish with some mantras for self-care, such as :

I am a goddess, I am abundant and attract abundance, I am loved and attract love, I radiate positive energy and attract positive energy. I am beautiful, I am enough. I am confident and passionate. I am grounded and full of energy. The Universe is in my favor.

You can also partake in some “OM’s” before ending your meditation, I like this as it slows down your mind on a whole other level.

You can end the night by reading a book or journaling, just try to refrain from the tv or your phone before you go to bed tonight. You may find yourself sleeping better and waking up more aligned within yourself. 🙂

Happy Full Moon Loves!

My full moon ritual recommendations :

Full Moon Body Oils: Among The Flowers and Spirit Element

Essential Oils: Aveda Shampure

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Morning Ritual To Raise Your Vibration

singing bowl

Morning rituals are so important to get your day started off right. Setting your alignment with The Universe first thing in the morning, sets you on your path for the day and how are you going to react to the days challenges.

I am by no means a morning person, but I take this time extremely serious and have grown to love my morning ritual; it is a time for self-care before anything else can get your attention.

This is my ideal morning ritual, though sometimes I don’t have time for all of it, there is not one day where I do not do at least half of this ritual.

Wholesome Culture

First things first…

Make sure your alarm is not outrageous! Sure, your alarm is meant to wake you up, but any loud(ish) noise in the morning will wake you up regardless. Set your alarm to something that is relaxing so you don’t start off your morning irritated by your own alarm! And wake up slowly, you don’t need to jump out of bed like it’s a mission, do some in-bed yoga poses, love on your significant other or your animals. Make your morning enjoyable. And PLEASE, try to avoid using your phone.

After waking up, open up some windows or step outside for a minute to be connected with nature for a bit! Sip plenty of water to get you hydrated, infused with cucumber or lemon can give you an extra boost! Listen to the sounds of nature for a bit and allow your mind some time to slowly wake. I find it super relaxing in the morning.

I normally light some incense while I do my morning ritual, I love breathing in relaxing and/or invigorating smells!

Following that, take some time for your skin care, I wash my face and use moisturizer on my face before starting my morning ritual, to allow my moisturizer time to absorb into my skin. I will put my favorites at the end of this blog.

While your skin is soaking in it’s morning nutrients, turn on some relaxing music (recommendations here) for a short morning yoga session to get your body moving.

I do very simple yoga in the morning, sometimes more advanced and lengthy if I have more time, but some simple cat, cows and warrior poses is just fine.

Crystal + Cleansing Kit

Right after yoga, I go from my last child’s pose to a seated position for meditation. I’ll keep the same music going and do some silent meditation to settle my mind, or depending on what I’m currently wanting to focus on, do a guided meditation.

At the end of my meditation with some gratefulness practices, mentioning what I am grateful for, everyone’s gratefulness practices should be different and ever changing, but here are my recent ones :

“I am grateful for this brand new day to breath and to be, I’m grateful for this coffee, for this water, for my job. I’m grateful I have a car, grateful I have support in my life. I am grateful for my health and grateful for the support of The Universe.”

It’s important to not overthink this practice, nor the following one, and to just make it relate able to you. No one is hearing this, it is simply for you and your mind. Don’t worry about making it sound perfect and poetic.

After this, go into some affirmations, these should be ever changing and customize-able to you, but something to align your energy for the day ahead. Here are some that I am currently using.

“My body is rested and my mind is clear, The Universe supports me today, I am full of energy and radiate positive energy. I am confident, I am persistent. I am having fun today, I am inspiring others, I am aligned with my goals today.”

Both of those practices work well to say out loud, write on paper or both. Whichever you prefer.

After this, practice some vibration work. Some simple, OM’s can work wonders to get you aligned with The Universe and wake up your body. If you have a singing bowl, this is also a fantastic morning energy/vibration practice.

Singing Bowl

Be sure to take your time for these practices and not rush through them like they are a chore, or they may lose their meaning.

Let me know how this morning ritual works for you, I have grown to love it. 🙂

Skin Care Recommendations :

Skin Oil
Skin Oil
Exfoliant
Jade Facial Roller

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Face Moisturizer

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Gentle Exfoliant

Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser

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All the tools and tips you need to find the cheapest flights

Tulum mexico

The most intimidating part about travel seems to be the damage the flight costs can do to your wallet. Spending a large chunk of money at once can be scary… it’s honestly the most difficult part for me as well, and this is why I’ve done an extensive amount of research to find every aspect of buying a plane ticket that can cut the cost.

Cheap Flights

Google Flights

The first thing I do to get an idea for what flight costs will be is to go to Google flights. Here, you can find some really good deals, but I use it a lot because it allows you to look at which dates have the best deals in an easy calendar view.

The cheapest dates will be outlined in green, something as simple as leaving a day before you planned can save you hundreds of dollars sometimes, this is great platform to view that.

Another great way to use Google flights is to put in a location and choose flexible dates, it will then provide you with the cheapest dates to go to your location. You can also not choose a location either and they will show you the cheapest dates for all locations.

Sky Scanner

Once I’ve found the place and dates I want, I then plug that information into a number of other sites to find the best possible flight deal. Sky Scanner is one of my favorites!

Of course you will pay way less for a flight that is 40 hours compared to one that is 20 hours. But this provides you with those options, you can get some amazing deals for dealing with a longer flight.

Jet Radar

This flight search engine has become my favorite, though it is not most well known. This is where I plan to buy my upcoming trip tickets from, as it has the cheapest deal for the same flight!

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Momondo

This is another great platform to plug your flight information into, very similar to skyscanner, but you never know if you’ll find a better deal!

Pomelo Travel

Image result for pomelo travel logo

I just recently subscribed to Pomelo and I am already obsessed! Pomelo sends you flight deals to your email, deals you would probably be completely unaware of otherwise.

These deals normally only last a day or two and usually have specific dates, but are incredible deals!

There is a free subscription, but it is completely worth it to pay less than $40 for the premium membership. Within a day I was getting emails like from San Francisco to Singapore, from Singapore to Hong Kong and back to San Fran for $415!!!

Some other subscriptions similar to this that I have found are

Scott’s Cheap Flights, Fare Drop and Dollar Flight Club

BE FLEXIBLE

Some of the best advice for cheap travel is to honestly be very flexible as to where you are going and when. This is another reason I love the Pomelo subscription, there may be an insane deal for a totally different place and date than you expected, but you can save hundreds of dollars and have an amazing spontaneous adventure! 🙂

Another topic that comes into play when it comes to being flexible is which airport you decide to take off and return to.

For me, I am at equal distance between Seattle and Portland, so I always make sure to check costs from departure of both places and even as far as San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Sometimes Los Angeles can have a way better deal that’s $300+ less expensive a ticket. So if you book a ticket from Seattle to L. A for $100 or so, you still save a total of $200 a ticket.

And lastly, if your feeling gutsy. You can score some outrageous tickets but going to an airport and wait listing yourself for a flight. Which basically means if they have an extra seat by the time everyone is on the plane. You can get that ticket for extra cheap!

As you can see, getting a good flight deal goes far beyond searching your dates on some random place on the internet and expect it to be the best deal. You can save yourself hundreds by following these tips! 🙂

Let me know if you have any other tips to share!

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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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AirBnb Eco-Cottage – Portland, OR

Portland is such a unique city. It has the perfect combination of outdoors, great food and shops. It’s close to the coast, to the forests, to the Columbia River Gorge and so many other gorgeous Oregon natural gems.

It can be hard to find the right combination of nature and the city life, so you don’t have to drive thirty minutes to get to downtown during your stay in the Portland area. Which is why I recommend this gorgeous eco-cottage found near the Pearl District of Portland.

This eco-cottage is very different in such a beautiful way. If you like tiny house living, this place is perfect for you!

This is an Airbnb, so you do need to book it here.

The home is very small and simple, it is almost like glamping; all easily connected to the outside with lots of natural lighting. The bathroom is located outside with lots of wood and rock, a very spa retreat-like feel.

The toilet is very different and has specific rules for use, but it used absolutely no water!

There is a hot tub and an outdoor shower in an area that contains plenty of bamboo and wood, it seems like your showering in Thailand. The hot water is fantastic, we were there in November and it wasn’t too cold outside! But there is also a space heater to help keep it warm outside.

This space is behind the owners home, but very private. It has a wooden gate all around, withholding an overgrown, garden oasis. We saw plenty of squirrels and raccoons wandering around.

Though we were in a neighborhood in the city, it was also quiet. There was plenty of nature around us and even a park across the street. Some bikes and a canoe are available to use during your stay as well.

This retreat has no t. v but plenty of interesting books; which I loved. It truly forces you to unwind and experience something different than the traditional hotel.

My stay was pure bliss.

If you don’t already have an AirBnb, use this link to create yours and you will get a $40 credit!

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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!