Homeschooling for Beginners: What You Need to Start

Homeschooling has become more popular these past few years due to the pandemic, so I thought I would share more about our homeschool journey, including the whys and hows of what we do. – in essence homeschooling for beginners! To be honest, I had always considered homeschooling, but I didn’t quite believe I was smart … Read more

Ultimate Guide to Backpacking the Trans Catalina Trail

Backpacking the Trans Catalina Trail is a bucket list trail for many in Southern California. Located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island offers diverse rugged scenery with opportunities for outdoor activities like diving, snorkeling, hiking and spotting wildlife. It is here that the Trans Catalina Trail resides – from sea to land and back to the sea, this 38.5 (or 40+) mile trail traverses the entire island with beachfront camping, beautiful views with a few creature comforts not often found in typical backcountry trails. Think restaurants, picnic benches and firewood deliveries!

One might think this trail would be easy since the highest elevation on the island is only around 2000 feet, but the constant ups and downs, lack of switchbacks with little shade make backpacking on Catalina Island challenging. The Trans Catalina Trail has been on my wishlist for years, but the expense and difficult rating continued to scare me away. However, as we learned during our trip, the beauty of this trail is that it is difficult, but doable and can be modified to fit all skill levels!

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Backpacking In California: 20 Amazing Spots You Must Visit

Our two favorite things to do in the outdoors in California is hike and camp. Why not combine the two with a backpack camping trip? We know camping in Southern California is very popular with families to couples and folks with their dogs, but for the more adventurous, finding cool spots for backpacking in California is even more exciting.

There are some amazing spots for backpacking in California, from the Bay Area of San Francisco to Southern California and everywhere in between. Some favorite places for backpack camping include Joshua Tree, the Lake Tahoe area, Yosemite National Park and the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park areas. Much of these wilderness areas are more ‘hard core backpacking’ for those with experience and the legs to carry themselves further than a couple of mile hike.

For those of you who are new to this outdoor adventure, we share relatively easy, doable backpacking trails here in California to consider for your first (or second or third!) backpacking camping trip with or without kids. As we explore more of the backcountry camping options throughout California, we will update this list.

Don’t miss our top tips and backpacking hacks for beginners!

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Epic Family Weekend in San Luis Obispo County (SLOCAL)

The California Coast is filled with amazing destinations making it difficult to decide just where to go when you are looking for a quick escape. We have found the answer with a weekend in San Luis Obispo County (SLOCAL). Sitting in the middle of the Central Coast, SLOCAL offers tons of adventure, nature and of course some luxury too!

San Luis Obispo County is a fun place to visit for families as there is no shortage of beautiful nature scapes, awesome food, and plenty of family fun that will easily keep you busy for several days. Read on for our recommendations on how to have an epic family weekend getaway in San Luis Obispo County.

ADVENTURE: A California Family Weekend in San Luis Obispo County // NATURE:  Sailing with Captain Mark // CRAZY FUN: Sand Dune Buggies // LUXURY: The Cliffs Spa & Hotel

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The Most Epic Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Itinerary (SF to LA)

Are you researching for an epic Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary? If so, you have come to the right place. This is one of our favorite road trips in the world, especially between California’s most vibrant cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. When we first moved to California we planned to slowly work … Read more

7 Spectacular Places to Play in the Snow Near Los Angeles

Are you looking for the best places to find snow near Los Angeles? So were we! Now we have found all the places to play and share them here with you. The beauty of living in Los Angeles is having access to both the sea and the snow. Have you ever wanted to go from … Read more

15+ Beautiful Things to Do in Lake Tahoe Year Round

Whether you arrive in winter or summer or anytime in between, there are so many amazing things to do in Lake Tahoe that you could easily spend months here without getting bored. Lake Tahoe truly is one of California’s (and Nevada’s) most magical destinations.

Below we share some of the best things to do in Tahoe from summer to winter.  That said, we highly recommend visiting during the shoulder seasons as the crowds are thinned out and you can get the best of both seasons often in a week visit!

Check out SierraSafely for more information on how to experience Lake Tahoe during COVID, including a trail list with various businesses and activities to safely explore on your visit. 

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7 Great Things to Do in Carson Valley with Kids

On our recent road trip up Highway 395, we extended our normal trip right out of California and on into Northern Nevada. This area north of the border and south of the state capital is known as Carson Valley. It’s tagline says it’s “Rugged, Relaxing and Reachable” which we found to be totally true. In addition to stunning snow-capped mountains and majestic horses roaming wild and free, there was an amazing array of restaurants serving up delicious, modern food that would hold its own in any big city in America.  

Read on for our favorite things to do in Carson Valley as well as the best places to eat during your visit.

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This is the Tri-Valley: 15 Exciting Things to Do in Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin & Danville

Are you looking for a weekend getaway in the Bay Area? Consider the Tri-Valley area where there are a ton of great things to do in Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and Danville. I lived in San Francisco for almost a decade while my cousins and aunt lived in the Tri Valley area just across the bridge. … Read more

Introducing Merino Wool Clothing: The Best Travel Fabric

As you guys all know I am obsessed with merino wool clothing. For the past year I have challenged myself to wear some article of merino wool clothing every single day. In this quest, I have ended up becoming quite a fan and aficionado of this natural fiber. In the process of learning more about … Read more

Explore the Suisun Valley: A Vibrant Emerging Family Destination

Suisun Valley is a unique, rustic wine country and farming community located just north of the San Francisco Bay Area in Solano County between San Francisco and Sacramento. In the recent past most visitors made their way up to the area for the Jelly Belly Factory that is located in Fairfield. These days, there are … Read more

Pinnacles National Park: Everything You Need To Know To Visit

Are you planning a trip to Pinnacles National Park in California? Whether you are interested in seeking out California condors, hiking through talus caves or rock climbing, California’s smallest national park packs a lot in for all types of  visitors. Pinnacles is mainly known as a hiking park, with towering rock formations, an abundance of … Read more

Top 10 Magical Things To Do in Carson City Nevada

Are you looking to extend your trip along Hwy 395? If so, we have the perfect place – Carson City, Nevada. Continuing on with the cute Americana theme of Hwy 395, Carson City is a bit bigger than the other towns along this beautiful route, but offers a whole lot more. Read on for our list of great things to do in Carson City for a weekend or extended trip to the area.

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21 Things to Do in Bozeman Montana That You Will Love

Bozeman Montana is often the start and end point for a Montana or Yellowstone vacation. Instead of just passing through, why not make it your base as there are so many great things to do in Bozeman Montana for the whole family. From hikes, to breweries to one of the best dinosaur museums in the country, there is something for everyone. Continue reading for our list of what to do, where to eat and where to stay.

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The Old West Revisited in Philipsburg Montana with Mining, Hiking & More

Montana is known as a nature lovers paradise and the treasure state, but what it also holds dear are traditions of the past. In Philipsburg Montana you can not only experience beautiful scenery, but also life in an old western town now dubbed as a ghost town full of a rich history worth exploring.  If you only have time for one adventure on your Yellowstone or Montana vacation, this is the place to go! 

Here you can go sapphire mining, stroll through an old ghost town mining camp, go fly fishing and so much more. The adorable town lined with antique storefronts and shops make Philipsburg a picturesque start to any adventure in the state.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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16 Beautiful West Coast National Park Road Trip Stops

Ever dreamed of hitting all the big parks on an epic West Coast national park road trip? I know that it’s long been a dream of mine to drive from Seattle down to Los Angeles hitting as many of the national parks as possible. These days we have visited almost all the parks, but no … Read more

7 Reasons to Visit the Bass Lake Yosemite Area

Looking to visit Yosemite but don’t want to stay inside the park? Our favorite place to stay outside the park is in the Bass Lake Yosemite area. The area is cute, quaint, offers a new dimension to your Yosemite visit and is well worth the drive into the park. Read on for our favorite things to do in and around the Bass Lake California as well as where to stay and eat.

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Finding Fall Colors in Bishop, California

Growing up in Texas and spending most of my adult life in places that do not experience fall, I had had enough and wanted to find some cooler air and pretty fall foliage in Southern California! My nature loving sidekick was game as he has been searching for fallen leaves representing all the colors of fall. So off we went.

You may not think of Southern California as a place to see fall colors, and you are right! To really experience it, we had to drive several hours away. After doing our diligent research, the closest place to Los Angeles to see the true turning of the seasons from hot summer days to brisk cool mornings is in the Eastern Sierras, specifically around Bishop, California. 

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13 Epic Things to Do Near Zion National Park

Zion is one of my favorite parks in Utah, but during certain times of the year it is insanely crowded. However you are in luck, there are a multitude of amazing things to do near Zion National Park including river rafting, spectacular Instagram worthy hikes and even private photo sessions.

If you are planning a trip to Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon (or any other Utah National Parks), check out all the other options of things you can do near Zion to avoid the crowds, but still get an amazing vacation.

Of course when you are in the area, you must make time to visit Zion National Park as well for one of the best hikes in the world through the Narrows.

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Zion is one of my favorite parks in Utah, but during certain times of the year it is insanely crowded. However you are in luck, there are a multitude of amazing things to do near Zion National Park including river rafting, spectacular Instagram worthy hikes and even private photo sessions.

If you are planning a trip to Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon (or any other Utah National Parks), check out all the other options of things you can do near Zion to avoid the crowds, but still get an amazing vacation.

Of course when you are in the area, you must make time to visit Zion National Park as well for one of the best hikes in the world through the Narrows.

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13 Spectacular Things to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii

Are you going to the Big Island of Hawaii? If so, you have come to the correct place! Here we share the most spectacular things to do in Hawaii Big Island. It is amazingly diverse with active volcanoes, tropical rainforests, sandy beaches and snow capped peaks. Hawai’i, aka the Big Island is named as such due to the fact that it is bigger than all the other Hawaiian islands combined. Big means lots to do! If you want a typical beach experience, you can get it here, but if that’s all you do, you will miss out on so much more that the island has to offer. Read on for our top 13 things to do on Hawaii’s Big Island that you cannot miss!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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