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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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

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

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

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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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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The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Yosemite with Kids

A family trip to Yosemite National Park is the quintessential American summer holiday. Exploring Yosemite with kids while camping (or glamping as it is for us!), splashing through rivers, and spying out some of the best natural scenes in the US is one of the best trips you can do with your family.

If you are planning a visit to California’s most iconic park, we have laid out all you need to know in order to have the best trip ever in Yosemite with kids. Below are our top picks for things to do in Yosemite National Park with kids as well as options on where to stay and eat. Trust me, seeing this national treasure through your little one’s eyes is a truly magical experience that you will not want to miss.

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5 Things You Must Know for the Zion Narrows Hike

Zion National Park is known for one of it’s most beautiful and distinctive trails, the Zion Narrows hike. It brings visitors of all ages, shapes and forms. What is the Narrows? It is a “trail” through the middle of the Virgin River leading you through 10+ miles of dramatic cliffs, narrow slot canyons and gorgeous scenery. This hike lets you experience, rather than just view, what makes Zion so special.

For most visitors to Zion, the Narrows hike is a lasting favorite no matter how far up river they managed to go. It is one of the most unique hikes with breathtaking scenery and one that cools you down along the way. What more could you ask for on a hike?

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7 Unique Things to Do at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Heading to Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco? If so, you have come to the right place. After years of touring friends and family around SF, I know all the hot spots and best things to do in Fisherman’s Wharf for all ages. 

San Francisco is one of the top destinations in the United States for tourists and is a wonderful city for families to visit. A visit to the magical city of San Francisco is never complete without some time at Fisherman’s Wharf.  Yes, it’s super touristy, but for a reason. There are some great things to do at Fisherman’s Wharf that it has to be on every visitors to do list. Fisherman’s Wharf is roughly considered the area between Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square. It is easily walkable, however there are also vintage streetcars plying up and down the wharf in case you get tired of walking.

After spending so many years living in San Francisco playing tour guide to visitors and now visiting yearly with my son, I have come up with the perfect things to do at Fisherman’s Wharf with or without children.

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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15 Epic Things to Do in San Francisco with Kids

Are you planning a trip to San Francisco? After 9 years of living in this magical city, I share the best things to do in San Francisco with kids from toddlers to teens.

The City by the Bay is one of my favorite cities in the world. The beautiful views, the architecture, the quaint neighborhoods with their own distinct feel, the abundance of amazing restaurants, and the glorious fog.  I first fell in love with San Francisco’s windy cool summer air when I was 10 years old visiting my cousins for summer break. I vowed I would live there someday. And I did, for almost 9 years.

It is during that time that San Francisco cemented itself into my heart and soul. Seeing the city from the air or as I cross the Bay Bridge makes me feel like a kid with a crush, butterflies in my belly with my heart beating faster. No matter how far I go, or how long I stay away, it will always be one of my favorite places in the world.

In the past 9 years, I have been lucky enough to re-discover this fabulous city through my son’s eyes. Through our yearly visits, we continue to rediscover new things so check back again to find out the most epic things to do in San Francisco with kids.

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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27 Amazing Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Are you planning to visit Los Angeles? If so, check out our favorite things to do in Los Angeles with kids.  After living here for 7+ years exploring every nook and cranny with our son, we know all the best things to do in LA with kids big or small!

Since moving here, I have become very aware of the image people have of Los Angeles – obscene traffic, out of control botoxed wanna-be celebrities, gang violence and ugly strip malls. Yep, we have all of that. But we also have so much more.

I will admit that it took me a while to get over my NorCal leanings and really see LA for all it’s amazingness. But now that I do, my goal with visitors is to also show them the real LA, not just reinforce their impressions from the TV and film industry.

After years escorting visitors around, this is our list of the most epic things to do in Los Angeles for kids offering a broad sampling of everything this vast city has to offer.

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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Kings Canyon Camping Advice You Need To Know

Camping in Kings Canyon is one of the best ways to really experience the magic of the Giant Sequoia trees and the rushing rivers found deep within the park.  Kings Canyon National Park is truly one of the most underrated parks in the national park system, with visitors often just skimming the surface, rushing ahead to Yosemite to the north or Sequoia National Park to the south. However for those of you in the know, this is the place to beat the crowds and to experience towering trees, cold snow melt rivers and spy a few bears along the way too.

Below we share all you need to know for planning the best Kings Canyon camping experience- with information on the best sites, which campgrounds to choose and how to book it all.

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