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

11 Spectacular Things to Do in Page AZ

Are you heading to Arizona? If so you must visit the best hidden gem! There are so many things to do in Page Arizona that you will need to plan a few days.

If you are like most people, you probably have no clue what or where Page, AZ is. As I recount our recent road trip through Arizona and Utah all I see are blank stares when I get to our time in Page. Turns out most people have never heard of this adorable little town in Northern Arizona. It’s not too surprising considering Page is a small town (Pop. less than 8,000) sitting on the edge of Navajo Nation and Lake Powell a few miles from the border of Utah. The few travelers who have heard of it, know it as only the place they drive through on their way to/from the Grand Canyon and/or as quick stop over point to view Horseshoe Bend.

I am here to tell you that you are missing out. There is so much on offer in Page, AZ that visitors really should, no scratch that, need to give it a bit more time. This was one of our favorite stops on our road trip through some incredibly beautiful states.

Without further ado, our top things to do in Page, Arizona (with or without 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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17 Spectacular Things to Do in Death Valley

Looking for a spectacular place to visit that feels out of this world? Then, check out our favorite things to do in Death Valley to consider for an out of this planet trip.

What do you think of when you hear Death Valley? Hottest Place on Earth. Yep. Desolate and barren. Yep. Even though Death Valley is synonymous with these images, I think that like most people, I didn’t really have a clear image in my head of what it would look like. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but what I got definitely wasn’t it.

The following is our rundown with our thoughts on the best Death Valley things to do, where to stay and eat and one day itinerary suggestions for those just passing through Death Valley on a day trip.

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20+ Tips for Visiting Sequoia National Park in Winter

If you are looking for a magical getaway, consider visiting Sequoia National Park in winter. The majestic red giants are covered in glistening white snow creating a breathtaking landscape that is hard to beat.

Sequoia National Park is one of our favorite national parks during the busy summer months, but now that we have visited in winter we are even more in love.  Have you been to see the giants of Sequoia National Park in winter? If not, put it on your bucket list and get busy planning your trip with our tips below.

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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12 Spectacular State and National Parks Near Las Vegas

Las Vegas is well known for its casinos and nightlife. However, surprising to most, Las Vegas is also a great hub for exploring some of the west’s most beautiful nature. There are several great state and national parks near Las Vegas, offering visitors a mix of glitz and glamour while also showcasing some of the best natural landscapes in the US.

With cheap flights in and out of Las Vegas and tons of things to do with families, more and more travelers are using this city as the gateway for some of the best outdoor experiences in the West. Below we provide a comprehensive guide to 12 amazing state and national parks near Las Vegas, including national monument and recreation sites.

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8 Awesome Joshua Tree Hikes at Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park in California has become one of our favorite go-to trips – either as a day trip or for a last minute weekend getaway. Through our many visits, we have found a few trails that we return to again and again. Below are the best Joshua Tree hikes for first timers with or without kids. These hikes can be completed by people of almost all fitness levels and are especially great for families as the interpretive trails provide great learning opportunities. Although the trails are family friendly, they are not stroller friendly. Much of the trails throughout Joshua Tree tend to be loose sand, which can be quite deep in areas making it difficult for a stroller to roll.

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10 Must Visit San Francisco National Parks

Do you love National Parks? Are you going to the Bay Area? Then find out 10 must visit San Francisco National Parks to put on your to do list!

During our recent visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, we unexpectedly found ourselves at a national park site that we didn’t even know existed. Researching this a bit more, I was surprised to learn there are 10 national parks near San Francisco. Considering how much we love the national parks and seek them out everywhere we go, you might find it surprising that we didn’t know about these parks. To our defense, there are over 400 sites in the US that the National Park Services manages, many of these being lesser known sites of historical significance.

While images of extraordinary natural landscapes of places like Yosemite and Yellowstone pop to mind when talking of the national parks, there are a great deal of wonderful sites located in busy populated urban areas. Many famous and well visited tourist sites are also classified under the park system (i.e. The National Mall in Washington DC), which most people don’t even realize.

For people visiting (or living!) in the San Francisco area, there are a great deal of parks that are easily accessible no matter where your trips takes you. As with all of the NPS locations throughout the country, these attractions provide an educational and fun adventure for kids and their parents, not to mention the awesome junior ranger badges!

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Year in Review | 2016 Summary

1-photos-for-end-of-year-postThis year for many has been a tumultuous year. With the election and feelings of uncertainty moving throughout the world, 2016 has just felt hard for many of our friends and family. Even though we have had a fantastic year of travel, I have to also admit that it’s been a hard year for us. Between buying our first home, renovating it, my 40th birthday and our beloved Xena kitty’s death, it has been a busy year filled with ups and downs, lots of stress and lots of excitement.

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Visiting Manzanar National Historic Site with Kids

Visiting Manzanar Historic Site with Kids
Photo via Flickr

If you follow us regularly, you know we are national park obsessed. But it’s not just nature parks that we love to go to, we also enjoy visiting many of the monuments and historic sites that are part of the national park system. Through these other parks, we have been able to learn more about the history and culture of this great country.

On our recent visit to see fall colors in Bishop, we passed by Manzanar National Historic Site. As soon as my son saw the NPS badge on the road sign, he was obsessed with stopping to check it out. In researching our trip along Highway 395, I had read about Manzanar, so I wasn’t exactly sure if it was appropriate for my 6 year old. I gave him a brief history of the site and then we decided to see if they had a Junior Ranger program for him to complete. I felt confident that if they had a program, they must feel it is accessible to younger children. However, I admit I was nervous about our visit and wondered how it would impact him.

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Get off the Beaten Path with Joshua Tree Excursions 

Off the Beaten Path in Joshua TreeI have been to Joshua Tree many times, and while there is still a ton to explore on my own, I was excited to get off the beaten path with Joshua Tree Excursions during my last visit. Joshua Tree Excursions is a locally owned company providing privately guided off-trail experiences with the thought that life is about the journey not the destination. It was amazing. Our 5 mile hike was harder than I would normally do on my own, but had the perfect mix of challenge and interesting scenery, combined with a plethora of knowledge shared by our guide Kelly.

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Finding Adventure in Dinosaurland

Last summer we took a 10 day road trip through Arizona and Utah with our family friends from Texas. While researching that trip I came across Dinosaur National Monument in northern Utah and western Colorado. We weren’t planning to be anywhere near that area so I stored it away for any future trips in the … Read more

Family Day Trip to Muir Woods

Family Day Trip to Muir WoodsThe Bay Area is one of my favorite places on earth. Not just because I lived there for almost a decade, but because no matter where you turn you are surrounded by so much beauty. The abundance of beautiful scenery, picturesque streets and my favorite, the fog rolling in each day can’t be beat.

There is so much to do in San Francisco itself, that many visitors find it difficult to even leave the city. However, there are some great day trips that are worth taking time to explore. One of our favorites is spending the day across the Golden Gate Bridge, checking out the view points and exploring the wilderness in the Golden Gate Recreation Area as well as Muir Woods in Mill Valley.

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Best Urban National Parks for Families

Many famous and well visited tourist sites in the US are classified under the national park system, however, most visitors don’t even realize it. Monuments, places of historical significance and battlefields are just some of the types of places you will find within the NPS.  Many times, the most famous of the national park system’s … Read more

Get off the Beaten Path: Best National Parks for Families 

In celebration of the 100th year of the National Park Service, I will post at least once a month in some way relating to our wonderful national park system to help bring awareness to an awesome part of our country that is so often under utilized.

Most families know of the major national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. But unbeknownst to so many Americans are the other almost 400 national parks, battlefields and monuments that are also part of the National Park System.

In this month’s national park post, top family travel bloggers have shared their favorite off the beaten path national parks that all families should make time to visit.

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National Parks with Kids: A How To Guide

America’s national park system is one of the greatest assets we have in this country, and is often the most underutilized. Growing up I never stepped foot in a national park. I didn’t even know anything about them until I fell in love with Ansel Adam’s photography in high school. But even then it seemed … Read more