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33 things I love about New York City

new york city skyline

On the east coast of the United States there is place called New York City…oh, you’ve heard of it, have you?

If you’ve never been, you need to go at least once. If you have been, you know you need to go back. What started for me as a little crush turned into such an intense love that I ended up moving to New York City! Your list might look entirely different than mine, but in line with my Things I Love About… series I wanted to share 33 random things I love about New York City.

1. The vibrant energy of Midtown Manhattan. There’s a busy energy in the city that we have never felt in any other city we’ve visited on our travels to over 70 countries. There’s so much life in Manhattan, and there’s so much going on at all times. It’s electrifying and it is infectious.

2. The innovative parking spaces.

nyc parking3. And the ways NYC tells you where not to park.

parking sign new york city
4.
Watching the neighborhoods change as we walk Broadway all the way from the Financial District to Harlem.

5. Laying in the sun chairs on the rails of Highline Park – New York’s most exciting urban renewal project.

Highline Park New York City6. Running straight into a mid-morning model photo-shoot in the Meatpacking district.

7. Union Square
Especially the buzz and bustle here from right after the sun goes down until way late into the night.

8. The sheer endless amount of mouthwateringly delicious pizza slices. Our hunt for the best pizza in NYC seems to have turned into a lifelong quest.

Pizza

9. Reading the paper or people watch in Bryant Park

10. Ordering coffee off a Russian menu at Starbucks in Brighton Beach, near Coney Island, while listening to the Russian chatter around you, and realizing that even though you’re in an English-speaking country, you’ve just entered a completely different world and you have no idea what is going on.

russian starbucks in brighton beach new york11. Standing in Grand Central station and imagining where everyone is going to and coming from in such a hurry.

12. The anonymity
On any given day, celebrities and world leaders join millions of locals and tourists, rich and poor, going about daily life on the streets of New York. Unlike in any other U.S. city, in New York City you, or the person next to you, could be just about anybody in the world.

13. The walk over the Brooklyn Bridge

thing I love about New York City

14. Brooklyn Pride
Black, white, old, young, American or ex-pat, residents of Brooklyn, better known as Brooklynites, are proud in a way unlike any other New Yorker.

15. The Street Art – especially in Bushwick.

things I love about NYC

16. The food. I don’t think there’s a cuisine that you CAN’T get in NYC, and the amount of amazing restaurants is unrivaled anywhere in the world. This city is a food lover’s paradise.

17. World class art museums. Not only does New York City have an unparalleled food scene, but also the art scene is one-of-a-kind, spanning from major world-class art museums such as the MoMA or the MET to small galleries in Chelsea and cutting-edge contemporary art in art spaces such as the MoMA PS1. Not to mention the open studio days throughout he different neighborhoods where artists open their workspaces to the public and let strangers peek over their shoulders while they’re creating.

things I love about NYC

18. The changing cultures in Central Park throughout the day
The pet-owners and joggers in the morning, before the nannies and professional dog-walkers invade in the afternoon.

19. Looking back at the skyscrapers of Battery Park from the Staten Island Ferry.

Manhattan Skyscrapers from Ellis Island

20. The gravity-defying break dancers in Times Square Subway Station, and the eclectic “It’s Showtime!” dancers on the subway.

21. Observing locals fishing in possibly polluted waters of the East River, or off the Coney Island pier.

coney island fishermen

22. The many green spaces throughout the “Concrete Jungle”, which range from giant parks such as Van Cortlandt Park and Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx to tiny oasis like the Elevated Acre or Greenacre Park in Manhattan.

23. Observing the Orthodox Hasidic Jewish families in South Williamsburg or Crown Heights.

orthodox jews staten island nyc

24. The ever-changing skyline of the city, with skyscrapers trying to outdo each other in terms of height and interesting architectural features.

25. The love New Yorkers have for their city.

❤️LO💛V💚E💙

26. Exploring the unique architecture of the Cast Iron district

cast iron district nyc

27. The hot dog vendors, and the street food culture in general. This includes the breakfast & coffee carts in Midtown Manhattan, the pretzel guys in Central Park, the Latin American street food carts in Queens, and the Mexican tamales ladies in Brooklyn.things i love about New York City

28. The pictures plastered on the walls at the uber-kitsch restaurants in Little Italy.
So many restaurants here have pictures of either well-known celebrities who ate there, or loads of ‘regular joe’ diners from throughout the years. As cheesy, faded and curled up around the edges as some of the pics can be, it still gives that feeling of ‘When you’re here, you’re family’. What else would you expect in Little Italy!

29. The opportunities for perspective
The views from the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building let you get such a good feeling for this dense city. If you’re interested in seeing New York City from a bird’s eye view, I compared the best observation decks in New York City.

manhattan skyscrapers from top of the rock

30. Spotting film crews and trailers on location filming the next great NYC movie or TV show.

31. Contemplating what constitutes a New Yorker
Contrasting people who live out near Coney Island to those on the Upper East Side, and marveling at the fact that no matter their differences, they are all still New Yorkers.

32. Mariachi bands on the subway

mariachi band subway new york city

33. New York is within everyone’s budget
With the exception of accommodation, hanging out in New York City can be cheap as chips and exhilarating at the same time. It might be testing out a highly-recommended hole in the wall and people watching in the park rather than Michelin-starred dining and a Broadway show, but no matter your budget, you will have a distinctly authentic New York time.things i love about New York City

 

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Empire State vs Top Of The Rock vs One World Observatory: What’s the best view of New York City?

empire state building view

One thing I do in every place I visit: I get a bird’s eye view of the city. If there is a high point in town, a high building, or even better, an observation deck, I head to the top. New York City is especially mesmerizing to see from above, thanks to its unique architecture and island layout, which is why the observation decks are on the list of the ten best New York attractions. But what’s the best observation deck in New York City? Do you even need to go up to an observatory or will a rooftop bar suffice for the best view of New York City? NYC is lucky enough to have not only one, but FOUR observation decks – the newest one, The Edge, opened in March 2020, but Summit One Vanderbilt is about to become a serious competition (and reason for me to update this article!).

 

Seeing the city from the unique vantage point of the best observatory in New York City helps you to better understand the city’s layout, helps you to understand how New York is set up, where the other boroughs are, and see how close New Jersey actually is. But not just that: it’s a truly memorable experience and it will make you appreciate the grandeur of the Big Apple even more.

best view over NYC

As for rooftop bars – there are over 50 rooftop bars in New York, and while they are fantastic in their own way and make for a spectacular backdrop for sunset drinks, they can’t quite replace the observation decks, simply because they aren’t as high and can’t provide the same far-reaching panoramic views. (More info on rooftop bars at the end of this article). By the way, you don’t have to go high up for a great skyline view – here are five places with amazing views of Manhattan – and all of them are free.

Which one is the best observation deck in New York City?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been atop all three iconic observation decks in Manhattan: The Empire State Building, the Top Of The Rock, and the newest one, One World Observatory, which opened in 2015 – some of them I’ve visited several times. So which one is the best observation deck in New York City? Read on to find out what I think are each observatory’s advantages, disadvantages, unique features and things to know before you visit.

Empire State Building: The Iconic One

Overview

Long gone are the times when the Empire State Building held the title of the highest building in the world – it was in fact the first building in the world to top 100 floors – but it is still the most iconic skyscraper in New York City, and the oldest observation deck. Today, the Empire State Building is still the 5th tallest skyscraper in the U.S. and the 28th highest building in the world. The Empire State Building’s observatory has been featured in dozens of movies and TV shows, and for most people this is the best observation deck in New York City simply because it is the most famous one.

The main observation deck is located on the 86th floor, and there is an additional observation deck on the 102nd floor, which you have to pay extra for. I personally wasn’t too fussed about the 102nd floor deck – you can barely call it that because in reality, it is a tiny space around the spire. Here you don’t have open-air vistas, as there are glass windows. While I thought it was unnecessary to go up there (and pay an additional $20 for it), my friend loved it. So, up to you if you want to spend $38 or $58 for the experience, I didn’t think the views from the 102nd floor were better than the ones from 86th floor, and the glass windows made it difficult to get pictures without glare / reflections.best observation deck in New York City

Height: 1,250 feet (381 meters); 1,454 feet (443.2 meters) including its antenna

The actual observation decks are at a height of 1,050 feet / 320 meters (86th floor) and 1,224 feet / 373.1 meters (102nd floor) respectively.

Floor(s): Indoor and outdoor deck on the 86th floor, which is the highest floor in the actual tower. There is an additional observatory on the 102nd floor (see below for details of closure). The 16 floors between 86th and 102nd floor are empty (part of the prominent Art Deco spire, which is hollow).

Advantages: You have great views over Midtown Manhattan from here, and the viewing platforms are outdoors. That means you don’t have any windows to deal with, and no glare in your photos.

Disadvantages: The downside of the Empire State Building is that taking your photos atop this unique structure, it won’t feature in any of your photos.best observation deck in new york city

Details

Admission: 86th floor observation deck: $38 general admission; $65 express ‘skip all lines’ pass; $55 for double admission, once in the AM and once in the PM (ideal to experience both the day and the night view); sunrise experience $125 (limited to 100 people per day)

If you want to go up to the 102nd floor, it’s an additional $20.

Address: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001. The main entrance is on Fifth Avenue.

Closest subway stations: 33rd Street (4, 5, 6 lines) 5 min walk; 28 St Broadway (R, W lines) 7 min walk; 34Street – Penn Station (1, 2, 3 lines) 7 min walk; 34 Street – Penn Station (A, C, E lines) 10 min walk. Times Square – 10 min walk. Grand Central Terminal – 15 min walk.

Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 2am. Additional hours at sunrise for a special sunrise experience (times vary depending on time of year).

Website: Empire State Building

One World Observatory: The New Kid On The Block

Overview

One World Observatory is located in the top three floors of One World Trade Center in NYC’s financial district, near the southern tip of Manhattan. The observatory was opened in May 2015, a few months after the skyscraper, which was built to replace the Twin Towers, was finished after nine years of construction.

One World Observatory is currently the 13th highest observation deck in the world. The elevator experience alone is worth checking out this observation deck: In only 60 seconds, you’re zoomed all the way up to 102 floor, and during the ride, you are entertained with visuals of the development of the New York skyline from the 1600s to today. Fun fact: Even though the building officially has 104 floors, the number of actual stories is 94. The two floors above the Skydeck, floors 103 and 104, as well as floors 91 to 99, are mechanical floors.

I wouldn’t say that this is the best observation deck in New York City, but if you’ve already done the other observatories and you want to get a different vantage point of the city, this one is for you.best observation deck in new york city

Height: 1,776 feet (541.3 meters) – a symbolic height with a nod to the year 1776, in which the Declaration of Independence was written. The height includes the 408-foot spire, so the height of the actual observation deck is 1268.4 feet (386.6 meters).

Floor(s): 100 to 102nd floors

Advantages: This is the highest observation deck in New York City, considerably higher than the Empire State Building. That alone makes it the best observatory in New York City for many people. It also offers a different vantage point of the city: instead of being in the middle of the Midtown skyscrapers, you are surrounded by the higher buildings of the Financial District. On clear days, you have a great view of the entirety of Brooklyn, all the way down to Coney Island and the Rockaway Islands. From no other building in the city, you have such a fantastic view over the Bay Of New York, including Governors Island.

One World Observatory also offers views of the Brooklyn and the Manhattan Bridge as well as the Statue Of Liberty. This is something you cannot get on any of the other observation decks.

You can enjoy a glass of wine or prosecco with your view. There are a couple of concession stands inside the actual observatory where you can buy alcoholic beverages (and soft drinks).

Disadvantages: The observation deck is indoors, and while you have large floor to ceiling glass walls on all sides, it can be difficult to get photos without glare (especially if you want to be in the photos).

You have to buy your ticket for a specific time slot – so head to the tower with ample time to make your selected time slot. Only the entering time is set, by the way. Once you’re inside the observation deck, you can stay for as long as you want.best observation deck in new york city

In this photo, you can see the glare I mention, caused by the window reflection

Details

Admission: $34 general admission; $44 admission with priority line; $54 with priority line and flexible arrival time.

Note that if you choose general admission, you have to select a specific time slot for your visit.

Address: One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton Street, New York 10007

The entrance is on West Street.

Closest subway stations:World Trade Center (E train) 6 min walk; Park Place (2, 3 lines) 7 min walk; WTC Cortlandt Street (1 train) 2 min walk; Cortlandt Street (R, W) 6 min walk; Fulton Street (4,5,A, C, J, Z, 2, 3) 8 min walk.

Opening Times:

  • Sept. 5 – Dec. 20: 9:00am – 9:00pm (last ticket sold at 8:15pm)
  • Dec. 21 – Jan. 3: 8:00am – 8:00pm (be aware of special holiday hours)
  • Jan. 4 – April 30: 9:00am – 9:00pm (last ticket sold at 8:15pm)
  • May 1 – Sept. 4: 8:00am – 9:00pm (last ticket sold at 8:45pm)

Please note that there are adjusted Holiday hours on all major Holidays, such as Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas – check the website if your visit falls on a Holiday.

Website: One World Observatorybest observation deck in new york city

Top Of The Rock: The One That Has It All

Overview

The Top Of The Rock is the observatory atop the Comcast Building. Not a lot of people know the building by this name – by most it is referred to simply as 30 Rock, short for its address 30 Rockefeller Plaza. From 1933 to 1988, the building was known as the CA Building, from 1988 to 2015 as the GE Building, and ever since as the Comcast Building. Many people know the building as the home of NBC Studios, and it is here where popular TV shows such as Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Seth Myers and the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are taped.

The 66-story building is only the 22nd tallest building in New York City and 400 feet (122 meters) shorter than the Empire State Building – the observation deck is 200 feet (61 m) lower than that of the ESB. And yet it is my personal favorite of all the observation decks. And that’s simply for two reasons: It’s the only observation deck in New York City that offers a view of Central Park, and you also have the Empire State Building featured in your panorama pictures, which you obviously don’t have when you’re standing on top of the ESB. Since that one is the most iconic skyscraper in NYC though, I like having it featured in my photos.best observation deck in New York CityIf you prefer a dinner or a cocktail 65 floors above the streets of Manhattan, you can also opt for one of two restaurants inside the Rockefeller Center: The Rainbow Room, which reopened in 2014 after extensive renovations, and bar SixtyFive, which is part of the restaurant. It’s worthwhile to splurge on a pricey drink (expect to pay around $20 for a cocktail) instead of paying for the observation deck, especially if you decide to check out one of the other observatories..

***Note that both the Rainbow Room and SixtyFive are only open from 5pm to midnight, and CLOSED on Saturdays, and sometimes closed for private events, so definitely check your preferred date. It’s also recommended to make a reservation. Also note that there is a strict dress code.***

Height: 872 feet (266 meters)

Floor(s): The three-level observation deck spreads out over three floors: 67th, 69th and 70th.

Advantages: As stated above: you have the Empire State Building in your photos, and you can see almost the entire Central Park. Plus, you’re right above Midtown, which is the part of Manhattan with the largest number of skyscrapers and tall buildings, making for an interesting vantage point. Part of the observation deck is outside, which means you get great photos without any glare.

Disadvantages: The observation deck is located at a lower height than the Empire State Building and One World Observatory.

Details

Admission: $36 general admission; $54 special Sun & Stars tickets which allows you to visit twice within 24 hours, once during the day and once at night. $92 VIP Access (skip the line, no set time).

Note: You have to choose an exact time slot for your visit, unless you purchase the VIP ticket (for which you have to select the date, but not an exact time).

I recommend the ‘Flexible Date Ticket’ because if it rains or if it’s cloudy on the day you chose for your visit, your screwed. With the flexible date ticket you can visit the Observatory whenever the weather is best.

Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY 10112. You can access the building from 5th and 6th Ave. The entrance is on 50th Street.

Nearest subway stations: The subway station 47-50 Streets Rockefeller Center on the B, D, F, M lines is literally right underneath the building.

Other subway stations are: 5 Avenue / 53 St (E & M) 7 min walk; 49 Street (N, Q, R, W) 4 min walk; Times Square is a 10-min walk away; Grand Central Terminal is about 12 mins away.  

Opening Hours: Daily from 8am – midnight. Last elevator up at 11:00pm.

Website: Top Of The Rock Observation Deckbest observation deck in New York City

Rooftop bars vs observatories

As I mentioned above, NYC also has plenty of rooftop bars, and particularly those in Manhattan offer excellent views of New York City. None of the rooftop bars are as high as the observatories, however, which means you don’t get the same vantage point. You also don’t get a full panoramic view, because most of the bars are located on one side of building, rather than covering the entire rooftop.

If you want to check out some of the best rooftop bars, here are some recommendations:

  • Bar 54 (54th floor, on top of the Hyatt Hotel Times Square); 135 W 45th St, NY 10036
  • Monarch rooftop (18th floor, great Empire State Building views); 71 W 35th St, NY 10018,
  • Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel (30th floor); 145 E 50th Street, NY 10022
  • The Skylark (30th floor, Mondays – Fridays only); 200 W 39th St, NY 10018
  • The Crown (21st floor, on top of 50 Bowery Hotel); 50 Bowery Street, NY 10013
  • The Heights (31st floor, on top of the Arlo Hotel, this one has a glass bottom); 11 E 31st St, NY 10016
  • Rooftop bar on top of Pod39 Hotel (17th floor); 145 E 39th St, NY 10016
  • PHD Lounge (15th floor, atop the Dream Hotel Downtown); 355 W 16th St, NY 10011

Also check out this comprehensive list of 41 New York rooftop bars; or the 17 best New York rooftop bars as chosen by Conde Nast Traveler.

Have you visited any of the rooftop bars or observation decks in New York City? Which one is your favorite?

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Polaroid of the week: Sunset in Greenwood Cemetery, Brookyn

polaroidoftheweekphoto11

polaroid of the week usa new york city brooklyn greenwood cemeteryOne thing I love about New York is that I never run out of things to do there. In fact, I keep a list in my Google Drive to which I constantly add places I’d like to check out – anything from beaches, parks, hidden plazas, neighborhoods I have yet to visit (and there are so many!), restaurants, coffee shops, pizza places, galleries, bars… and even though I keep ticking off places off that list, it keeps getting longer. So I was happy that during this visit to NYC, I got to tick off a few more things (even though I ended up adding more places!) before I left. And one thing I’d been wanting to do all summer was photographing the famous Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

I had only been there once before on a run through Brooklyn, but I only had my iPod camera with me. I returned on a sunny day last week equipped with my DSLR camera and my newly repaired lens. I was kind of happy that I didn’t make it there during the summer because the leaves on the ground and the trees with their colorful fall foliage added a special aura to the cemetery.

Greenwood Cemetery is one of the most famous burial grounds in all of the U.S., and it is easy to see why when you walk through the naturalistic, hilly landscape dotted with ponds and century-old mighty trees, and with its seemingly random alignment of graves, tombstones, obelisks and mausoleums.

The massive cemetery, set on Greenwood Hill (which offers beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, by the way) has over 600,000 graves spread out over 478 acres (1.9 km²), and in many of those, New York’s elite industrialists, artists, politicians and other important public figures are buried. The significance of Greenwood comes across in the famous quote ‘It is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in Central Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood’.

My afternoon amongst the dead ended sooner than expected since it got dark at 4.45pm! And while I was a bit disappointed at first that there wouldn’t be enough time to see all of it, I think that my cemetery stroll in the twilight ended up being much more breathtaking – the warm colors of the setting sun were incredible, adding a vibrancy to the red and yellow leaves that was simply stunning. I shared some more pictures I took in Greenwood on my Facebook Page – and I swear these colors are not edited! You can take a look at those pictures here.

Do you visit cemeteries when you travel?

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Welcome to Colorful Colorado: What to Do in Colorado Springs

hiking

Traveling the globe for years, we’ve seen some incredible places. But at the base of America’s mountain, Pikes Peak, is a great little city called Colorado Springs. While most people think of Denver and Vail first when they think of Colorado, this sprawling city is vibrant and filled with fun things to do indoors and out. Fall is a great time to visit, too, especially with the colorful fall foliage and moderate temperatures. Whether you’re traveling solo or with friends or family, here are some of the top things to see and do in Colorado Springs.

Olympic Training Center

Many Olympians train in Colorado Springs. The higher altitude helps prepare them for competitions all over the world. Swimmers, gymnasts, skiers, and more have all been through Colorado Springs at some point in their training. You can walk by the outside of their facility and, when they have open hours, there are also free tours available of some of the buildings.

Pikes Peak

This beauty towers over the city. In the winter, it’s topped with a snowy white cap, but the autumn season means it’s dotted with brilliant yellows because of the aspen trees changing colors. You can hike, drive, or take a train to the top of this majestic 14er. You’ll find very little oxygen, a small store, and the most incredible views when you get to the summit of Pikes Peak. No doubt, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world with the panoramic views of everything around you.hikes in Colorado Springs

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

For animal lovers, Colorado Springs has a unique zoo experience to offer. You can feed the giraffes and elephants, see the lions, check out the roaring tiger, and so much more. This location is so unique because of the terrain. It’s built into the side of a mountain, which means you’ll be hiking a lot. There are trolleys and sky rides to help you get to the top if climbing steep hills is not your thing. And most importantly, many of the habitats were designed to be more natural and also improve the quality of life for the animals in their care.

The Manitou Springs Incline

Hidden on the side of the mountain is a 0.88-mile hike, with a 2,000 foot gain in elevation. This means it feels almost straight up. This hike is built on top of an old railroad line and uses railroad ties as steps to help you get to the top. You can either hike back down the steep path or take a longer, but more level, and winding path back to your car. The altitude at the top is over 8,000 feet, so this hike isn’t for beginners or people who aren’t already used to the elevation.

Garden of the Gods

Take a walk through history at the Garden of the Gods. These red rock formations are famous because of their splendor. This free park has paved paths through the main portion of the rocks. There are other trails along the outskirts where you can hike up and get the perfect panoramic view. Bring your camera for this one, because you’ll definitely want to take pictures.hikes in Colorado Springs

Great Wolf Lodge

For some fun, rest, and relaxation, check out Colorado Springs’s Great Wolf Lodge. There are activities for adults and kids and with the largest local indoor waterpark, you’re bound to have a ton of fun. In addition to the well-known kids’ activities, you’ll find tasty food, comfortable rooms with entertainment, and for the adults? Spa time, wine, and more.

Hike to the Paint Mines

Just outside of Colorado Springs, you’ll find this unique and interesting 3.4-mile hike – one of the most beautiful hikes in Colorado Springs! It’s a geological and archaeological marvel that locals love. Walk around these interesting rock formations with brilliant colors and you get a brief walk through history. Native Americans once used these grounds, and early settlers would extract clay from the mines for pottery. It’s a one-of-a-kind location and a relatively easy hike.

Other Things to Do in Colorado Springs

You’ll find many more interesting local sites like the Cave of the Winds, axe throwing, bumper cars, and countless hiking and biking trails. Pack your garment bag and stay at the luxurious Broadmoor Hotel. The beauty of the mountains, easy access to skiing locations, and more make this an appealing place to visit. The fall colors make it especially stunning, but with more than 300 days of sunlight a year, there is always something to do, both indoors and out.red rock colorado

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The Best Beaches in San Diego You Should Visit

redondo beach california

If San Diego is known for one thing, it’s the beaches. The weather in the city is ideal for great beach days and nights sitting in the sand after a few drinks. Whether you’re looking for an eclectic social vibe or a secluded place to think, San Diego has a diversity of beaches to visit for different reasons. This amazing city has it all. With great weather, plenty of sunshine, and a lot of coastline, missing the beaches in San Diego is to miss it all.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is a bohemian neighborhood with a lot of open beaches to enjoy. While you can dip into town, grab a burger at Hodad’s, and drink a beer looking at the ocean, there is plenty of space where you can enjoy the water and shoreline. It is kind of akin to Venice Beach, but more laid-back and cleaner. If you’re looking for an all-encompassing beach day, try Ocean Beach for a great atmosphere, swimming, food nearby, and more.
southern california

Torrey Pines

If you are looking for hiking trails, stunning cliffs, amazing beach views, and a lot of open coastline to spend time alone, Torrey Pines is where you want to be. Just a half an hour away from downtown San Diego, Torrey Pines is 1,750-acres of oceanfront reserve and is a great place to hike and cool off in the water after you get sweaty. While it is a popular area to spend some time outside, there is plenty of space to stay away from the other people. It is worth a stop if you are taking a road trip to San Diego.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach is almost cliché in how Californian it is. With a boardwalk, an amusement park, and a mix of locals and tourists, Mission Beach has surf rentals near the beach and bikes that you can ride on the boardwalk. It is another area surrounded by people, restaurants, and bars. Its amusement park, which is called Belmont, has a roller coaster built in 1925. If you are coming to California and want an earnest experience of the state, look no further than Mission Beach.

best beaches in San Diego

Coronado

One of the most popular beaches in San Diego is on Coronado Island. With soft shite sand, fancy restaurants, and beautiful views of the San Diego skyline, Coronado is a great place to spend a vacation or take a break from your day-to-day life. There is a dog beach and plenty of spots where you can take a swim, drink at a bar near the sand, or partake in some watersports. Coronado is gorgeous, attracting the money class from around the world. To stay here, you might want to look up some loans in San Diego. Living in San Diego certainly isn’t cheap.

La Jolla Shores & Coves

La Jolla Shoes draws people from all walks of life to explore the coves, look at the seals, swim, and take a kayak through the caves. Scuba diving is popular in this area. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes in La Jolla when you want a beach treat or to do some shopping. There are parks and playgrounds. With mellow waves and many things to do, La Jolla also has one of the most beautiful shores in the world.

Cardiff State Beach

Cardiff is a protected beach that is famous for some of the best surfing in San Diego. Cultivating a laid-back crowd, you can enjoy the tide pools and bring the kids to look at hermit crabs and sea snails. There is Pacific Coast Grill not too far from the beach, providing fish tacos to hungry surfers. Cardiff is a beautiful beach to take in when you want to find a sense of peace.best beaches in san diego With so many beaches in San Diego, it is difficult to cover them all. The above beaches have their own character and different things to offer. Whether you’re looking for a secluded beach for introspection, the perfect place to surf, or a vibrant beach town that has restaurants and eclectic characters, you will be able to find it in San Diego. Not only does the city have nearly perfect weather, the sun shines most days of the year—making the beach enticing when you’re visiting San Diego. 

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The 10 best things to do in Las Vegas: Non-Gambling & almost free!

Las Vegas Strip

We never meant to start our globetrotting adventure in Nevada. Instead a series of random circumstances led us to start in Sin City, but after three and a half cold & rainy years in England, the sweltering and sunny Nevada desert seemed the perfect kick-off for our around-the-world journey. Neither of us are any good at gambling, and with no desire to lose all our savings to slots and booze, we set out to explore how to enjoy the city of Vegas beyond the sin. And since we were on a tight budget, we tried to spend as little money as possible, so most of the activities on this list are free things to do in Las Vegas.

best things to do in Las Vegas

Here are our Top 10 Non-Gambling Best Things To Do in Las Vegas:

1. Stroll up and down the Strip

The 4.5 miles between the Mandalay Bay Hotel in the south and the Stratosphere hotel in the north offer nearly infinite people-watching pleasure. Either belly up at an outdoor bar/restaurant like the tequila and taco treasure – Planet Hollywood’s Cabo Wabo, the silly slots and parrots outside the Flamingo’s Margaritaville bar, or for an Ocean’s 11 replay, score a spot at the fountain in front of the beautiful Bellagio hotel. If it’s not too hot, definitely go for a walk – there are so many things going on along the Strip, you’ll miss them if you take taxis every time you want to go somewhere.

free things to do in Las VegasPeople-watching throughout Las Vegas, you are almost certain to see at least one, but probably more of the following: the heaviest (or even thinnest) person you’ve seen in your life, too many tattoos, people from countless countries, the most eccentric, or eclectic groups of rich or poor, lucky or un-lucky bunch of average Joes or crazy Susans and other interesting creatures than you’ve ever seen in your life. Lean back, sip your margarita and enjoy.

The best free things to do in Las Vegas, right on the Strip, are:

  • The Water Show at the fountains in front of the Bellagio Hotel (every 30 minutes from 3pm to 8pm and every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight on weekdays, every 30 minutes from 12pm to 8pm and every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight on Saturdays and Holidays, every 30 minutes from 11am to 7pm and every 15 minutes from 7pm to midnight on Sundays)
  • The Light Show at the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel (every 30 minutes on the full hour and half hour from sunset to midnight)
  • The Volcano Eruption at the Mirage Hotel (every full hour from 7pm to midnight)
 

2. See Vegas from above on the Eiffel Tower

best things to do in Las VegasThe Las Vegas Eiffel Tower Observation Deck (120m/460ft) doesn’t come anywhere near the height of the true blue Parisian version (324 m/ 1,063 ft) but it offers fantastic views over the Strip, Las Vegas and the desert beyond.

Tickets are $20 per person ($11 per child) – pick up one of the free Vegas brochures that are available up and down the Strip for a 2-for-1 discount. There is also a $50 family ticket (2 adults and 2 children).

Don’t want to risk waiting in line? Buy a Skip-The-Line ticket – they start at only $22. I’d recommend this if you’re visiting on a busy Holiday weekend.

things to do in Las VegasIf you want to see the bright lights of Las Vegas at night, be aware that the night time tickets for the Eiffel Tower are a bit more expensive, and lines tend to be longer. A night time ticket (after 5pm tickets are $24 / $21 for children).

3. Fremont Street Experience –  ‘Old’ Vegas

A trip to the Fremont Street Experience inspires the nostalgic, classic Las Vegas of the early 20th century before Sin City became the epitome for bigger, better, more.

free things to do in Las VegasMany of the famous hotels and casinos such as the Golden Nugget are still operating and you can feel the special flair that Vegas must have had in the 1950s.

best things to do in Las VegasIn the 1990s, a roof was built over Fremont Street and area of Old Vegas was repackaged as the Fremont Street Experience in an attempt to draw visitors back after numbers sunk thanks to the explosion happening over on ‘The Strip’. We could give or take that darned roof overhead, but the casinos are more fun, there is more free entertainment, the staff is more friendly and apparently the odds are even better.

Tip: If you are visiting the Freemont Street Experience, make sure to stick around until the evening which is when the incredible Viva Vision light show begin to run every hour. The schedule varies depending on the season, but start times range between 6pm and 8pm – check the schedule before you head there.

4. Explore the magnificent hotels (and free shows they put on!)

Competition among the hotels on the Strip is fierce, and Las Vegas is one place where the concept of ‘Less is more’ has gone completely lost.

Every hotel is an adventure in itself! Circus Circus has a big top, New York New York has its Statue of Liberty & Brooklyn Bridge replicas and even a roller coaster. Paris has its own Eiffel Tower, and at the Venetian you can take a gondola ride on a canal without the long flight to Italy.

best things to do in Las VegasThe Bellagio has its famous fountain show and Italy-inspired design (one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas!), while the Mirage is home to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, where you can see Bottlenose Dolphins, White Tigers, White Lions and Leopards – something that especially kids will love. And not to mention daily volcano eruptions, which is one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas. The eruptions, which come with explosions, fireballs and lava, will not only wow kids. (They take place every day at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm and 11pm). free things to do in Las VegasIn Vegas you can walk by the Egyptian pyramids at Luxor, there is a replica of the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, a pirate battleship at  Treasure Island and and and… who knows what they will come up with next.

5. Take a ride in Las Vegas

Several hotels in Vegas have added an adventure ride to their premises, but the most spectacular rides can be found on top of the Stratosphere tower:

Three extreme rides on top of the 350m (1,149 feet) tower – Insanity, which dangles you over the edge of the tower, Big Shot and X-Scream. If that’s not enough of an adrenaline rush, you can now also jump off the tower with the Stratosphere’s latest thrill: the Vegas Skyjump ($129 per jump).

If you’re heading to the Stratosphere Hotel and plan to go on one of the rides – it’s worth buying one of their packages:

  • one Thrill Ride + SkyPod admission are $29.00*
  • two thrill rides + SkyPod admission are $34.00*
  • three thrill rides + SkyPod admission are $39.00*

Admission to just the Skypod obversation deck for the views over Vegas is $20* – so adding a thrill ride isn’t actually that much more expensive.

*2020 prices

For less of a thrill ride, but the most spectacular views, you can’t miss the High Roller Observation Wheel at the LINQ Hotel. This giant 550-foot tall Ferris wheel (the tallest Ferris wheel in the entire world!) opened in 2014 and has been a huge hit with Vegas visitors ever since. The 360-degree panoramic views of the Las Vegas Valley and the Strip are breathtaking.

Tip: Don’t want to waste time waiting in line? Buy skip-the-line tickets from only $32 here.

things to do in Las VegasOther rides in Las Vegas include:

  • The roller coaster at New York New York ($14 for one ride, $30 for an all-day pass)
  • The LINQ Zipline: 10 side-by-side zip lines from the top of the 114-foot-tall launch tower at The LINQ Hotel, traveling 1,121 feet above the entire length of The LINQ Promenade to the base near the High Roller Ferris wheel ($25 for a seated flight, $35 for a superman flight). Booking online will save you at least $5, and you can often find Groupons and other promotions online
  • The Las Vegas Cyber Speedway racetrack at Sahara
  • Various rides in the Circus Circus Adventuredome (an all-day ride pass is $39.95, a junior pass – $19.95 (under 48 inches tall)
  • The SlotZilla Zipline at Fremont Experience ($29 for the shorter version:7 stories high, 2 blocks long; $49 for the ultimate experience: 11 stories high, 5 blocks long, flying superman style)

6. See a show in Las Vegas

Vegas has always drawn the biggest stars of entertainment to have their own permanent show – there is something for everyone: comedy, cabaret, circus, burlesque, hypnosis, musicals… The biggest thing at the moment seems to be Cirque du Soleil, with currently 7 (!) different productions in Vegas.

best things to do in Las Vegas

Here are some of 2021’s top shows:

  • “Le Rêve: The Dream” (aquatic show with incredible underwater performances)
  • “O” (most of the performance takes place in a water stage)
  • Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson’s musical spectacle “One”
  • Absinthe (a mix of circus and burlesque)
  • Blue Man Group (music & visually stunning act – family-friendly)
  • “Mystére” by Cirque Du Soleil (acrobatics meet circus – most family-friendly Cirque du Soleil show)
  • Mat Franco’s magic show
  • Penn & Teller – another longtime Vegas classic

7. Shop ‘til you drop

Las Vegas offers some great shopping opportunities for shopaholics: Not only do most hotels have ‘shopping streets’ under their roof (Via Bellagio,the Wynn Esplanade, Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, Mandalay Place), there are also a couple of malls on the Strip:

I. The Fashion Show Mall

Located opposite the Wynn hotel, the Fashion Show Mall has more than 250 shops and restaurants – clothes, shoes, accessories, technology, books, etc – incl. stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Sketchers, Abercrombie & Fitch, Mango, Apple, Levi’s, Nordstrom, Bath & Body Works.

best things to do in Las Vegas

II. Crystals at Las Vegas CityCenter

The more up-scale shoppers will find satisfaction in the long awaited newly-opened CityCenter which includes shops like Prada, Christian Dior, Bulgari, Carolina Herrera, Hermes, Roberto Cavalli, Cartier, Versace, Tom Ford, Miu Miu, Paul Smith and Porsche Design.

8. Wildlife in Las Vegas

Even animal lovers get their money’s worth in Vegas – with several hotels having some fantastic animal habitats:

  • Shark Reef (not only aquarium, Shark Reef also displays reptiles, such as golden crocodiles, and turtles at the Mandalay Bay ($20)
  • Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel (with Chilean Flamingos, African Penguins, exotic birds, fish and turtles, ducks and swans – in a beautiful lush environment with waterfalls – FREE OF CHARGE!)
  • Secret Garden (including white tigers, white lions, snow leopards, and black panthers) and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage ($22)

free things to do in Las Vegas9. Get outta town

Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon – check out our Best Day Trips from Las Vegas article for more things to do outside of Sin City.

free things to do in Las Vegas

10. Vegas Challenge: The Buffet of Buffets

Success in Las Vegas comes from rising to the challenge. As we mentioned above, the gambling girls we are not. Our challenge, our Everest if you will, was food-based. It was the Buffet of Buffets – a 24-hour pass to seven of the biggest and best gut-busting buffet in Vegas:

  • Caesars Palace: Bacchanal Buffet*
  • Paris Las Vegas: Le Village Buffet
  • Harrah’s Las Vegas: Flavors, The Buffet
  • Rio: Carnival World Buffet
  • Flamingo Las Vegas: Paradise Garden Buffet
  • Planet Hollywood: Spice Market Buffet

The Buffet of Buffets pass is $69.99 on weekdays and $79.99 on weekends. Weekend Pricing begins at 8pm on Thursday evening. Weekday pricing begins on Sundays at 8pm. On Holidays you have to fork out $99.99 for the pass. If you want to include the Bacchanal buffet at Caesar’s Palace, you pay an additional $25 for a brunch/lunch visit and an additional $35 for a dinner visit. If you have a Caesars Rewards card, you get a $10 discount.

While we may have taken the challenge very literally, (the Globetrotter Girls can proudly boast hitting 6 out of 7 buffets within 24 hours!), instead of testing all 7 it might make more sense to try out 3 or 4 in the better hotels. While the price for the pass has more than doubled in the past ten years, the Buffet of the Buffets is still cheaper than even two buffets would cost separately in most of the hotels. Our favorite was the Le Village buffet at the Paris hotel, and I’d skip the Paradise Garden buffet at the Flamingo Hotel if I was going to do it again.

Pro Tip: The Las Vegas Explorer Pass

Depending on how many attractions you’re planning to visit during your time in Las Vegas, it might be worth checking out the Las Vegas Explorer Pass. This pass covers dozens of Las Vegas attractions and will save you lots of money if you want to check out a bunch of things that I mentioned in this article. The Explorer Pass includes things like the High Roller Ferris Wheel, the Hop-on Hop-Off bus tour, the Stratosphere Observation Deck plus the Stratosphere thrill rides, the Eiffel Tower Observation Deck, Shark Reef Aquarium, Madame Tussaud’s,

Additional perks are a meal at Planet Hollywood and a one-hour open bar at Senor Frogs, a 2-day pass for the Monorail, admission to a comedy show and a variety show, an Escape Room, several museums and exhibitions, a Hoover Dam Tour and more.

You can find out more information about the Las Vegas Explorer Pass here.

 

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Polaroid of the week: Fall foliage in Upstate New York

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polaroid of the week usa new york fall foliage upstateIf you’ve read my October round-up, you already know that I am back in New York City! Upon returning to New York last week I felt something I hadn’t felt in months: an inner calm and peace of mind, knowing that I’d be able to finally unpack my bags for a while. But before making myself at home, I left the city to catch the fall foliage in Upstate New York. I knew there wasn’t much time left to see the fall colors – the trees were about to drop their leaves, so I decided to go on a little road trip right away.

Last year, I went on a short road trip to the Seven Lakes region in late October which I enjoyed tremendously, which is why I was beyond excited to spend not just one, but several days in the Hudson Valley, the Peekskills and the Catskill Mountains. And so I headed upstate after the fastest and most painless car rental process (I tried the new Silvercar app), and was lucky enough to still catch the colorful fall foliage along the Palisades Parkway and around Bear Mountain, which we climbed on a day hike.

Further north we took in the fall colors around Poughkeepsie, where we stopped to cross the Hudson River on foot via the Walkway Over The Hudson, the longest pedestrian footbridge in the world, and later discovered that in the Catskills Mountains, the trees were already pretty much stripped of their leaves. But: The leaves-covered grounds (like in the Polaroid) made for fabulous photo ops, don’t you think? I’ll be sharing more about my fall colors road trip shortly – stay tuned for more fall photos from New York!

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Polaroid Of The Week: A warm welcome to New York City

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polaroid of the week USA new york city east river sunsetI couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome to New York. My first full week back in NYC went so much better than I could’ve ever dreamed of – and I didn’t think anything would be able to top last week’s beautiful fall road trip, but now I’ve got quite a few things coming up later in November that might be even more awesome… we’ll see.

The week started with winning two round-flight tickets from New York to Singapore on Singapore Airlines (I still can’t believe it!!) on Monday, scoring a new travel writing gig on Tuesday, being selected for an amazing housesit on Wednesday, getting an early birthday present on Thursday (in the form of tickets for a hip hop concert next week that I’m ridiculously exited about) and a perfect day in Williamsburg yesterday, which came with a picture-perfect sunset (during which I snapped the pic above). And there are still two days left in this week! I’ve got an action-packed weekend ahead of me, and the weather couldn’t be more perfect for some outdoors activities. I’ll get into more detail about all the great things that have happened (so far!) in my monthly round-up, but for now I just want to say tat I am super happy to be back in New York and that I’m on a lucky streak again after some hurdles at the beginning of the month.

How is your week going?

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Places You Need to Visit on Your Dallas Trip

dallas

Dallas is a major hub in the state of Texas, and it offers visitors a wide range of fun places to visit. From museums with interactive exhibits to family-friendly activities such as Six Flags and the Dallas Zoo, there’s something for everybody! Dallas is well-known for being home to one of America’s largest airports – DFW International Airport – which welcomes more than 73 million passengers each year. In addition, Dallas has many other attractions that make it an excellent destination for your next trip. Plus, because the city is so centrally located in North America, you can fly from Dallas and reach most destinations within just a few hours. The city also provides affordable accommodations at hotels near all main attractions, as well as food options ranging from casual dining to upscale cuisine. In this article, you will find a list of the most popular attractions in Dallas, but be sure to do your own research when planning your trip, so you can make the most out of your time! 

1. Why you should visit Dallas on your next trip to the States

There are so many reasons to visit Dallas. First of all, it’s centrally located, meaning you can get anywhere in the US within just a few hours, so according to the folks at RV ezy, it might be a good idea to rent an RV to have a real adventure either with your family or your friends! If this idea seems interesting to you, you might want to see the options available in the Dallas area. Further, it has affordable accommodation and some of the best Tex-Mex food in the US. And for those who enjoy sunsets on the beach at night, you’re not too far away from Galveston right on the Gulf Of Mexico. The people are friendly, they’ll give you directions or even invite you over for dinner.

When you’re planning your trip to Dallas, be sure to check the weather forecasts, so you’ll know what clothes to pack. The winters can be extremely cold with temperatures plummeting below zero degrees Celsius at night, while the summers are hot and humid with temperatures commonly reaching 35 degrees Celsius. With all of this in mind, remember to take a break every once in a while and enjoy the wonderful cuisine that Dallas has to offer!places to visit in Dallas

2. The Major Attractions in Dallas

The most popular attractions in Dallas are Fair Park, Six Flags, Arlington, Deep Ellum, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, and many more, depending on your preferences!

  • Six Flags: Located in Arlington, Six Flags is one of the most popular amusement parks in America and offers a wide range of roller coasters and other rides for thrill-seekers. You can also check out Six Flags’ newest attraction, Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth (or WLOT). If you’re looking for something more relaxing, take a spin on the Star Flyer!
  • Arlington: This city is home to several museums such as the Frontiers of Flight Museum and the Texas Air & Space Museum. For those who enjoy the local culture, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Will Rogers Memorial Center are also fantastic choices when in the city.
  • Deep Ellum: This is where you can find bars, live music venues, and restaurants located in historic warehouses. Don’t miss out on popular events such as the Deep Ellum Arts Festival or Dallas Pride! There are plenty of unique things to see which you might regret not seeing, so don’t hesitate to give it a visit!
  • If you’re looking to explore nature, then be sure to visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This popular attraction features a Japanese Garden, Spanish Courtyard, Children’s Adventure Garden, and much more. 

places to visit in Dallas

3. Places you need to visit on your Dallas trip 

Dallas is home to the 10th largest museum complex in the country, Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) and Dallas Children’s Museums (DMC). The latter is composed of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which has over 165 hands-on exhibits spread across four floors, and the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. There are also plenty of other free attractions including public art displays around the downtown area, parks with beautiful views, and museums in nearby cities.

  • Take a family trip to the Dallas Zoo for some fun at this spacious zoo – it’s one of the largest in the nation! Aside from living animal exhibits, there are also rides spread out across 100 acres of land, including a Children’s Park with its carousel and miniature train rides. For food, there’s the popular Gladys Porter Zoo Café, which serves local and international cuisine.
  • For something completely different, how about a trip to Six Flags Over Texas? With 12 roller coasters and numerous other rides, this is one of the most exciting amusement parks in the country. For those with less thrill-seeking appetites, there’s Splashtown which has plenty of water slides and other attractions.
  • If you’re into shopping, the upscale Northpark Center offers high-end fashion brands in an outdoor setting with views of the Dallas skyline – it even features gallery space for local artists! For more reasonably priced items, head to West Village where there are over 100 retailers including The Gap, Nordstrom Rack, and Anthropologie.
  • Go for a relaxing day out in the Arboretum at Rowlett Creek – this nature reserve has several gardens to visit including the Japanese Garden which is modeled after famous landmarks in Japan. There’s also an aviary filled with over 200 different species of birds! Not far away is the shopping destination, West Village, where you can get a bite to eat and shop for some souvenirs.

what to do in Dallas

  • For a small-town feel, go to Downtown Garland which features several quaint shops housed in Victorian-style buildings from the 1800s! If you’re feeling hungry, stop by Old Downtown Mesquite – it’s just 20 minutes from Dallas and has lots of eateries to choose from.

CityPASS has discounted tickets to several attractions including the Dallas Zoo, Six Flags Over Texas, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. This is a great way to save money when planning your trip!

4. Where to stay in Dallas

Dallas offers affordable accommodations at hotels near all main attractions, as well as food options ranging from casual dining to upscale cuisine. Some of the most popular hotels in Dallas include the Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Market Center, Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas, and Four Seasons Resort & Club. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, there are also lots of motels in the city, such as Best Western Park Central Hotel and Rodeway Inn near Six Flags. In addition to these, you can also find several affordable hotels located near the airport, such as Wingate by Wyndham DFW Airport and Homewood Suites by Hilton DFW Airport North.what to do in Dallas

Dallas is a great destination for your next trip due to its affordability and close proximity to other locations throughout North America. Crowds and prices go up during holidays and special events such as Dallas Pride and the State Fair of Texas, so plan accordingly! Be sure to visit all the major attractions in Dallas, as well as experience local dining and nightlife. Have fun on your trip to Dallas!

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Visiting Mammoth For A Getaway

Lake

If you live in San Diego, L.A, or pretty much anywhere in southern California, then you have your choice of many gorgeous destinations that are less than an 8-hour drive away. One of those places is none other than Mammoth. Although Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead are also popular destinations in the region, Mammoth offers something unique and special to Southern Californians. You can tell from the name alone that Mammoth offers an expansive adventure land for all activity types. Not only that, but there are plenty of things to do each season of the year. Follow along for tips and what to do in Mammoth if you choose to go! 

Preparing For Mammoth

Like any vacation, you should be financially prepared to go without having to worry about spending a lot of money while you’re there. After all, who likes having to worry about their finances on a vacation? If you are struggling with your debt, you should consider debt consolidation in San Diego. You may also want to think about planning your trip a couple of months in advance. That way, you can save money and book excursions for cheaper rates before it becomes too close to the time you’re going. Having a great vacation means planning enough beforehand, while still also keeping some things spontaneous. 

Another thing to consider is the drive to Mammoth. If you choose to drive there, you will want a designated driver to help you commit to the route. Whether it’s you, one of your friends, or family members, they should be comfortable driving for a longer period of time. You can always rotate halfway through the trip if it becomes too strenuous. Plan for a time when there’s no traffic, so you can get there as soon as possible. Although driving at night or early morning might sound like a challenge to some, you may encounter the least amount of traffic during those times. 

Summer In Mammoth 

With the amazing combination of mountain lakes and ranges in Mammoth, you will find the largest selection of things to do here during the summer. If you prefer water sports, you can kayak, fish, swim, or boat on the lake. The summer is also a great time to go camping, where many of them are located near alpine lakes and forested streamside settings. A perfect way to enjoy the beauty of nature while adding in some adventure. Some other great activities for the summer include hiking, mountaineering, biking, and golf — not to mention simply sightseeing while also grounding yourself in nature!

Mammoth Lakes USA

Spring In Mammoth

Spring skiing in Mammoth is what California is all about. The cold nights keep the snow frozen while the sun during the day warms it up just right so it’s still comfortable and not too chilly. Mountain biking when the snow begins to thaw is also a perfect spring activity. Springtime also offers just enough warmth, but not too much like the summer, so you can take on the more ambitious routes without worrying about overheating. During the spring, we also recommend going fishing. Mono County fishing season opens on the last Saturday of April each year! 

Winter In Mammoth

Mammoth Mountain is California’s highest chair-lift serviced peak, making it the perfect place for snow sports. In fact, unlike Big Bear, you can count on Mammoth getting substantial snowfall because it is located higher North. Whether you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or just a good old snowball fight — Mammoth is your place! Mammoth also offers snowmobiling, which is something not everyone has tried. If you decide to lodge in Mammoth, you can head back to the Jacuzzi after a long (cold!) day of snowboarding and warm up with a glass of hot cocoa. 

Fall In Mammoth

Fall may be arguably the most stunning time to visit Mammoth. With the Eastern Sierra painted Gold and Orange, it will take your breath away. You can horseback ride or hike to reach some stunning views. Additionally, it’s the perfect time to visit the natural thermal baths just outside of Mammoths, which is nature’s own hot tub! You won’t be freezing when you get out though, compared to Winter. Overall, if you’re an avid photographer or love fall, Mammoth is the best place to check off your bucket list. 

Autumn Reflections, Lake George, CA 9-16

Photo Credit: Images used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Mammoth Lakes by Airwolfhound; (2) Autumn Reflections on Lake George by Don Graham

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