Best Places to Visit in California

Summer trips to any one of the five oceans is a must.  Summer is all about relaxing and playing in the best of nature, and California’s beaches and the Pacific coastal region are a favorite.   I’ve compiled some of the best places to visit in California after a recent family summer trip to several seaside resorts and towns in Newport Beach, all the way down through Laguna Beach.image

Let’s start with dining in Dana Point.  This beautiful seaside town is surrounded by coastal bluffs and rolling lush hills.  You’ll find some of the most beautiful waterfront dining venues for taking in the Pacific Ocean at Dana Point.  We elected to eat at Cannon’s Seafood Restaurant because I wanted some spectacular views of Dana Point Marina, and this picture was worth every penny.  The Chart House was a neighboring restaurant that also faced Dana Point Marina.  Both of these restaurants are perched high on the hillside and provide best sunset views in Dana Point, but there’s also plenty of dining options closer to Dana Point Marina if water proximity is more important than expansive sunset views.  This area offers beautiful dining options and is one of the best places to visit in California.image

Next recommedation for best places to visit in California is the Montage Laguna Beach.  The Montage Laguna Beach Experience is a travel vacation experience you’ll want to have at least once in a lifetime.  Not only is this five-star waterfront resort perched high above the coastal bluffs to offer some of the best Pacific views, but it also neighbors in backdoor proximity to some of the best beaches that California has to offer.  One of these backyard beaches is Treasure Island.  We loved the sea caves and coves especially.image

 Laguna’s prestigious Montage Laguna Beach is one of the best places to visit in California because of the natural wonders that can be found around Thousand-Step BeachCrescent BayCrystal State Cove Park and Treasure Island.seacaves California’s National Park issues warnings and safety precautions for not only kayakers, but for any visitors that are exploring the sea caves.  Weather and water conditions can change quickly, so be sure to check out California’s changing forecast before you go.image

Thousand Steps Beach is one place everyone loves, no matter what age, this place is amazing.balboa3Thousand Steps Beach as you can guess, is famous for the long staircase you’ll take from town to reach this beautiful pristine ocean that is busy with surfers, body surfers and sun gazers and worshippers.  The steps down were easy breezy.  The climb back up was a slightly different experience.  Totally manageable but just take your time.  It’s not a marathon – this was my motto.

Thousand Step Beach is truly one of the most scenic areas in and around Laguna Beach and so it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in California.image

Another stop you’ll need to make in California is the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.  This luxurious oceanfront resort is a favorite, especially because of the Ritz Kids programs offered and the child-friendly resort focus.  We loved our visit and enjoyed some of the best oceanfront dining at Raya, one of the dining venues at Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.  I especially was impressed by the child-friendly menu, dining options and activities for children.balboa4  Anytime I visit a Ritz Carlton with my kiddos, I’m always impressed with the special accommodations and considerations for children during travel.  I love that about the Ritz Carlton.ritzbluAnother great waterfront dining venue in Laguna Niguel is the Ritz 180Blu.  This is a great place to take in the sunset, have a cocktail and just relax.  It’s ideal for adults, and a great place to spend time with friends.  There’s usually a band or individual musician that keeps the atmosphere lively in the evening.  This was one of my very favorite places to visit for sunset gazing.ritzcarlton

I also loved the amazing backyard beach accessibility of the Ritz.image  The walk to the beach from the resort was easy, and the beaches are well maintained and perfect for surfing, body surfing or relaxing.  For these oceanfront Laguna Beach dining venues, close proximity to some of Laguna’s best beaches and the exceptional child-friendly focus and accommodations at Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, this is one of the best places to visit in California.image

Heading up North, you’ll want to visit Balboa Island, in Newport Beach.  Be sure to check out all the adventures on the island, including kayaking, fishing, surfing and shopping.  Shopping on Balboa Island was one of my favorite parts about the island.  My daughter and I could have spent HOURS at these shops.balboa2   Also, you’ll want to be sure and stop at Dad’s Original Frozen Banana.  These frozen bananas are a five-star treat and solely a good enough reason to visit Balboa Island.balboa1However, the sunsets are pretty amazing here as well.  So I guess for the views, sunsets and frozen banana treats – Balboa Island is another top choice for one of the best places to visit in Calfornia.   image

Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the Pacific California Coast is also one of the best places to visit in California.  There’s so much to do on this island.  Read all about what to do on Catalina Island, whether you plan to make a day trip or stay longer.image

This island has something for all ages and will keep you plenty busy.  It’s location and unique Mediterranean landscape feel is what makes this destination one of the best places to visit in California.

There’s so many places in California, and it’s hard to narrow down my top picks.  For now, this coastal region is my top pick for summer vacation and coastal travel.  So much to do, so little time.

** Some pictures courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Santa Catalina Island

I’ve always wanted to visit Catalina Island, which is a beautiful island just 22 miles off the coast of California.  image

First, I wanted to explore the ways of arriving to the island.  I learned there is transportation by sea in many forms to Catalina Isand, and we ultimately secured our transportation with the Catalina Flyer.  This large three story ferry left from Newport Beach in the early morning and we arrived to Catalina Island by 10:30a.  The other modes of transportation include but are not limited to Sea Planes and Helicopter.image

Our experience on the Catalina Flyer was great.  The crew was efficient and helpful from the time of boarding this vessel.  They explained that the ride to Catalina Island could be a rough ocean ride, and what to do if passengers were prone to motion sickness. They even sold Dramamine on board!  It was a perfectly beautiful and clear morning the day we visited Catalina Island.  This 22-mile ride across the Pacific Ocean is what you might expect in terms of motion, so come prepared and don’t forget to look at the constant horizon – a life saver!!  The best part about the trip was the dolphin sightings – they were on all sides of the ferry throughout most of the ride.image

Upon arriving to Avalon Island, you’ll want to decide your mode of transportation for getting around the island.  Will you be staying for just one day at Catalina Island or longer?  There are several places to rent a four or six seater golf cart to take a tour of this island, or to just get around if you’re staying for a few days.  You don’t even have to know what to do in Catalina Island – just rent a cart and figure it out.image

There is a beautiful scenic tour of Catalina Island, and it last for roughly an hour using a golf cart.  There are other parts of the island that are not accessible outside of this scenic tour, and no one is allowed to those other parts of the island except guided tours, etc…  So remember that you don’t have 100% access to the entire island when you rent a golf cart, but, it is the mode of transportation around Catalina, especially for a one-day trip it’s nice.  But if you’re wondering what to do in Catalina Island – rent a golf cart and take the island tour.  It’s beautiful.image

So wondering what to do besides the one hour scenic tour in Catalina Island?  Try some Snorkeling or scuba diving, it’s a popular activity around Catalina Island.  With the waters being so transparent, its totally inviting.  You can bring your own equipment and/or get hooked up with a professional guided snorkel or scuba tour.catalina2  Playing and relaxing in this beautiful transparent water is a common interest among the many visitors, both at Descano Beach Club and at the beach at Avalon Island.  You can rent water toys at the beach at Avalon, or bring your own.  It’s a great place for children to play.catalina3Shopping.  It’s what you can do in Catalina Island.  There’s a very nice selection of stores in Avalon that can provide some wonderful retail therapy and fun.catalina1Dining.  It’s what to do in Catalina Island.  Buffalo Nickel was great!  Try the fish tacos and a margarita, you won’t be disappointed.image

Explore and Play – it’s what you can do on Catalina Island and you’ll never grow weary of these beautiful pristine waters.

Snow Mountain Ranch

There are so many family attractions in Colorado during the summer.  And there’s a special place in one of the best Colorado mountain towns that offers so many great family experiences and attractions for kids at Snow Mountain Ranch!  This mountain and wildnerness adventure camp in Granby, Colorado is one for the entire family and all ages.  It’s conveniently located less than two hours from Denver.
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Upon arrival at Snow Mountain Ranch & YMCA of the Rockies, you’ll soon learn about the endless activities available for children and adults.  These activities are outlined according to day, time and fee, if one is assigned.  Many of the activities are free, and are spread throughout the day.  We were so excited to explore the options.  We began with a guided horse tour with Sombrero Stables.image

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This trail ride with Sombrero Stables was a favorite for my daughter and I.  The guide was knowledgeable and friendly, and especially good with helping ease any anxiety with riding.  She led us on a trail, back into the Rocky Mountains where the Aspen and Pine trees were plain beautiful.  We finally looped back around to the stables.  Perfect.

The next activity was a favorite of both children and adults.  If you’re looking in the Granby area or checking out Winter Park summer activities, you’ll definitely want to check out this tubing in Colorado, at the Summer Tubing Hill at Snow Mountain Ranch.

I love tubing in Colorado, whether it’s in a river or during winter down a hill.  But I had never heard of tubing in Colorado during the summer down a hill.  I learned this summer downhill tubing in Colorado at Snow Mountain Ranch is one of only three that exist in the United States and is the very first in Colorado!

With a turn of the tube and a little water’s help, you’re flying down this hill.  And before you know it, you’re all the way down.  And then step over, and take a ride to the top.  Get your tube ready, turn and spin, go down, repeat.  We repeated much, it was so much fun!image

So if you’re looking for some great family attractions in Colorado during the summer, and especially attractions for kids, this tubing in Colorado is a first of its kind and one you’ve got to try!

The next day we were back at exploring more wilderness adventures in one of the best mountain towns of Granby, Colorado.  It was time to trout fish, but more than that, for the little people to get fishing tips from the fisherman.image

And obviously, the Snow Mountain Ranch’s fisherman gave some great fishing tips.  This catch is about the average size of most, and everything here is catch/release.image

We also tried out some ziplining at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado.

This ziplining tour was great.  It may not be the longest zip line, but it sure felt like it.  The guides were extremely helpful with directions and helping anyone who needed assistance.  My children although young, were thrilled to indulge in this ziplining.image

 In terms of lodging and accommodations, where do I start.  You have so many options to choose from starting with cabins, lodges, yurts and campgrounds at Snow Mountain Ranch.  image

I was pretty much smitten with the Village of Yurts at Snow Mountain Ranch.  These Yurts, also coined a Mongolian House, are a comfortable yet intimate experience with the outdoors.image

Each yurt provides comfortable beds and all the essentials you would come to expect in a lodge or cabin.  There is no electricity and/or plumbing in a yurt, but there is a bath house just steps away that offers all these.  This Yurt park in Granby, Colorado is one of the best I’ve seen.  Perched high on the hillside, each Yurt offers beautiful and expansive views of the area.image

Speaking of the area, there’s a good amount of trail biking around Snow Mountain Ranch.  You can rent the bikes for the day, or halfday, and explore the trails in the area that are divided by skill level and color.  image

We also enjoyed the arts and crafts store.  There is a plethora of activities to choose from, as well as some to buy if you choose.  We love painting!image

And the indoor swimming pool, let me not forget.  It’s a great place for the kiddos to release some energy.  Children must pass a swimming test to swim alone in the pool, but once they’re in, they are climbing the walls and playing with all the other great features.image

And when you’re at the beautiful Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado, don’t forget to stop and breathe, take in the fresh air and smell the flowers.  It’s a very spiritual place in the mountains with the splendor of nature surrounding the camp.  It’s a reminder of the great Creator.  And a wonderful place to make special family memories.

Sand Dunes National Park

The Great Sand Dunes National Park has the tallest dunes in the United States, and is a natural wonder of sand hills that you and the entire family will enjoy.  Located in the Sangre Di Cristo Range and town of Mosca, these sand dunes are a popular Colorado family vacation destination for those wanting a unique experience of nature.  image

Many visitors enjoy hiking the dunes, sand boarding, sand sledding and wading around the waters of Medano Creek.  This creek keeps the sand base cool during the late Spring and early summer.  Be sure and check the Great Sand Dunes National Park weather before you come, to plan accordingly for activities and adventures in the sand!
IMG_9243Outside of the Park, companies such as Zapata Ranch just down the road from the Great Sand Dunes, offer horseback riding tours in the park, as well as photography trips, etc..  Find out places to rent and learn about sand surfing and sand sledding in the Great Sand Dunes.  We tried some sand surfing and sledding and it was just as fun as it sounds!  And it’s an activity for all ages.  And with a backdrop of the Sangre di Cristo Mountain Range, it doesn’t get much better.IMG_9244Close to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, is the City of Alamosa where you can find hotels, motels, ranches and cabin accommodations.  We elected to stick with the “nature theme” and found a rustic cabin that was close to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Some very close places to the Dunes are Zapata RanchGreat Sand Dunes Lodge and Great Sand Dunes Oasis. image  Also close to Alamosa in the town of Mosca is the Colorado Gators Reptile Park.  This is a must visit, especially if you’re bringing the children as they’ll love the large assortment of alligators and reptiles.image

And when you’re done with the alligators and playing around at the Sand Dunes, head back to Alamosa for a good meal.  There’s plenty to choose from but we loved a very good burger at San Luis Brewery, located right on Main Street.  

Solage Calistoga Spa and Resort

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Are you wondering when is the best time to visit Napa Valley California?  Let me tell you, about RIGHT THIS MINUTE is the best time to visit Napa Valley.

Really, there’s so much to do in the valley around this time of year and into Fall.  This year, I’m excited once again to visit one of my favorites, a Napa Valley Spa in Calistoga California, the amazing Spa Solage Calistoga.image

With so many luxury Napa resorts and hotels and luxury Napa spas in wine country, it’s hard to know which one to visit, or to know what is the best Napa Valley spa experience.  In addition to touring all the beautiful Napa vineyards, it’s also good to add in some down time, and much needed R&R from the wine tours.  As much as I love trying the best California wines, learning the history of wine, wine values, attempting to pronunciate vintage wine names, smelling and tasting the many incredible flavors of wine country, I also love REST.  And the Napa Valley Spa you’ll want to visit for REST, cleanliness and a luxury Napa mud experience is Spa Solage Calistoga. This luxury Napa Valley resort and spa is exemplary and sets itself apart with incredible mud treatments.  No rules here, just your relaxation and comfort level with the entire Napa mud experience.image

If you’re looking for Napa luxury spas for massage, bath massage and mud bath, Calistoga offers many different options and experiences.  Many travelers seek comfort and solace, knowing that a spa and massage is just on the other side of day of touring wine country.  I for one always try to plan the best Solage Calistoga Mud experience in a Napa Valley Spa.image

So arrive to Solage Calistoga, and pick out your essential oil.  Next get ready to apply this mineral rich mud mixed with your essential oil of choice.  This is the perfect American getaway, especially for girlfriends.  This American getaway is perfect the perfect luxury venue for a bachelorette party and/or a best friend getaway.  Or just bring 12 girls, your girlpack, or just four, as we did for our last trip.  Btw, we wore our suits, but you can do whatever you want.  Next, prepare your skin for an exemplary Calistoga mud treatment.image
imageAnd just when you think this Calistoga mud treatment is as good as it gets with mineral rich dried mud into your skin, it’s then time to rinse in the bathhouse.

It’s at this point when your skin truly comes alive and the therapeutic relief is experienced.  And to complete this rinsing process, you’re moved to a bath, prepared with minerals and spring water, right from Solage.  This Calistoga mud treatment is exemplary.  You’ll not want to miss this incredible experience that ends in a sound/vibration chair.  REST & Rejuvination is what happens at Solage Calistoga with an incredible mudslide experience.  image

 

Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa

If you’re researching some great places to go with kids, and are looking for best places to vacation in the US, Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa is a great destination in Moab Utah.  This Dude Ranch Resort offers guests with a luxurious experience and wild west adventure, including but not limited to horseback riding, guided hikes, national park tours, a petting zoo and so much more.  This Moab Utah Dude Ranch provides luxurious accommodations for families, couples and individuals.image

Sorrel Ranch is perhaps one of the best places to vacation in the US because it has something for everyone in the family, whether you’re an equestrian, photographer, painter or simply seeking solitude and rest.  A Moab Utah family resort like Sorrel has so many  options for activities during your stay.  My daughter was so excited to explore one of her passions, riding.  There are so many horse breeds at this Moab Utah dude ranch too, and she loved meeting each horse and hearing their story. Sorrel Resort in Moab Utah offers free pony rides for all children, and group rides that leave in the early morning on trails that wind through Ida Gulch up and over the foothills below Parriot Mesa.  You can schedule all these trips upon arrival at Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa.  Obviously having outdoor adventures for everyone in the family, combined with luxurious accommodations and the surrounding beautiful landscape, this Moab Utah Dude Ranch is one amazing place to go with kids.

imageSorrel Ranch Resort & Spa is also a great place for the entire “family”, being a Moab Utah pet friendly resort.  Many resorts in the region are not pet friendly – so this is a real plus!  Don’t leave your pooch at home, they’re welcome here and so we brought ours along. There’s also so much room at this Moab Utah Dude Ranch for your leashed pet to walk around and explore as well.  image

These cabins and suites that face the river makes this one of the best places to vacation in the US.  Waking up, talking a stroll with our dog and finally winding up in one of these chairs for my morning coffee pretty much sealed the deal for me.  The family loved it.image

Speaking of animals, this Dude Ranch not only has a ton of equestrian options for guests, but also a petting zoo that’s a real hit with the kiddos (and their mom).  These small pot baby belly pigs won my heart.  They’re tame as are the other animals that appear so happy for all the visitors and pets! :)

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The stable is organized and well maintained.  The daily activities on the ranch are organized and the staff are so friendly.  They were very good with my children and facilitating everything with the ranch animals.image

Speaking of places to go with kids, Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa is such a great place for children but also their parents.  I enjoyed dabbling around Sorrel’s Spa and learned about regular daily yoga routines and yoga workouts available for guests at the bank of the Colorado River each morning.  Sold.  This again, is why Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa is one of the best places to vacation in the US.image

I enjoy a luxury dude ranch that provided services and ammenities for every age and every interest.  Another beautiful part of this Dude Ranch is the pool area adjacent to the Colorado River.image

There’s something about the tranquility at Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa that is unmatched.  The suites on the river and cabins riverside are luxurious.image

We enjoyed the views, the breeze and the comforts of a luxurious Moab Utah resort suite on the river.image

We also enjoyed the views that came from River Grill Restuarant.  imageAnd in the morning inside, the views were just the same.image

This luxury Moab resort offers healthy food and meals to accommodate any diet or nutritional restrictions.  While I enjoyed my fresh fruit, yogart and coffee, I was really more mesmorized by the view.  Once again.image

So if you’re looking for places to go with kids and best places to vacation in the US, a dude ranch is calling your name.  And especially a luxurious dude ranch like Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa in Moab Utah.  When you’re not at this guest ranch, you can explore all there is to do in Moab Utah in the surrounding area.

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Moab Utah

There’s so much to do in Moab Utah whether you make a trip for this beautiful landscape by yourself, as a couple or for a family vacation.  This fun town is surrounded by red rock canyons and parks, such as Arches National ParkDead Horse State ParkCanyonLands National Park and the Colorado River.  Any which direction you face, you’re looking at incredible landscape.image

Here’s my top picks for adventure trips and activities in Moab Utah:

1.  Visit at least one of the beautiful National Parks in Moab Utah.  Take the tour via car, on foot or via bike on this trip.  This Moab Utah park trip is CHEAP.  Entrance to the parks is usually $10.  The trails and climbing opportunities are endless, either by yourself or with a guide, depending on the technicality levels. You can find information about the parks and more specifically, tours here.canyonlands3

Although we ran out of time, I would have LOVED to do the Fiery Furnace Tour, which goes deep into these canyons in Moab Utah at Arches National Park.  These tours are also good for children, if it’s a Ranger Led Tour. There’s plenty of self-guided tours and maps and trails to hike around on.

These loops in these beautiful Moab Utah parks can take hours or however much time you set aside to check out each place.  It’s truly a playground for photographers, as well as a hikers, bikers and outdoor enthusiasts.canyonlands2

And although there’s no Moab camping spots in these parks, not to worry. Just outside the parks you’ll find lodging and a plethora of places to camp. Also, Moab Utah weather is pretty much perfect in March – April, so plan for your trip accordingly.

2.  Next in line for Moab Utah adventure is one of the most authentic, spiritual and natural experiences in the heart of this beautiful terrain.canyon

2.  Take a Canyon Lands by Night tour with Canyon Lands by Day and Night in Moab Utah.  This Dinner & Boat Show – Sound & Light Show on the Colorado River in Moab Utah is AMAZING and should be included in any Moab Utah trip. The evening begins with a home cooked cowboy-style meal.  Yum.  Next, you’ll head to the flat-bedded boat before sunset.  This is a very smooth and guided boat tour.  You’ll learn so many things about Moab Utah and the history of the Canyons and early settlers. It’s rather fascinating.  The boat tour uses 40,000 watts of natural light to illuminate the canyon walls.  This Moab Utah guided tour uses music and light on the canyons, as well as narration at times.  It’s quite a spiritual experience.  I was left in awwwwweee! There’s also warm heavy blankets for everyone.  The hospitality and service is great.IMG_7134

3.  If you’re an extreme adventures traveler, Moab Utah DELIVERS!!  We took a Razor Sunset Tour with Moab Tour Company.  And can I just say how thankful I was for the experienced Woodreaux Bascombe, “Woody, who was our fearless guide.  These tour guides in Moab Utah know their terrain.  And thank goodness because once inside the canyons, it’s a total maze, or so it seems.

This sunset tour takes you in Monitor Merrimac, a beautiful trail that bikers, jeeps and off-road vehicles use to experience diverse Moab Utah landscape.

There were a few technical places on the tour, and we loved the thrill of it.  The time of day – SUNSET – this is the tour to do.  It’s hard to describe just how beautiful the canyons are when light permeates all around.  AMAZING!!!  I took my two children, under ten, and they did just fine. They loved exploring all the rocks and places to run.  These canyons are endless.image There’s plenty of time for stopping, taking pictures and of course, taking in this beautiful Moab Utah landscape.

Again, I was grateful for our time with “Woody” because he’s an expert.  He knows the terrain well and navigated with responsible caution when necessary.  He’s great with children too! :) image

Will definitely do this tour again next time in Moab Utah.

4.  Sand Hill.  This is FREE, for starters.  And it’s a great way to exercise, or watch others exercise in my case! :)  It’s a steep hillside of sand.  And while it looks fun, it’s truly a great workout in Moab Utah. image

It’s roughly 100 feet high and 100 feet wide — and it’s all sand.  Best wishes.image

5.  Hiking.  There’s soooo many great places to hike around Moab. image In addition to some time in the National Parks, we visited Negro Bill Canyon Trailhead. IMG_7347

These hikes are great for kids, but also pet-friendly.  That’s something to consider, because some of the National Parks do not allow dogs or pets.  Talk about beautiful.image

5.  Biking in Moab Utah is awesome, no matter your style or desire of terrain. imageThere’s off-road mountain and dirt biking, road biking and leisurely rides. There’s different trails for every form of biking in Moab Utah. And just when you need to cool off from a long bike ride, again, Moab Utah DELIVERS.

6.  Head on over to Take Out Beach in Moab Utah.   This is a FREE activity also.image

This is an extremely calm location of the Colorado River where banks of warm sand and cool water await Moabites and/or travelers.

 

Moab Utah Glamping

imageGlamping is luxurious camping.  Recently I had the opportunity to glamp at Moab Under Canvas in the desert with my children. Camping in Moab, that’s how I initially explain this trip.  Then suddenly I’m giddy and oozing over the details, explaining WHAT IS GLAMPING, and can’t keep from repeating the little luxurious details of this trip. Glamping is a bit of everything. It’s a bit of luxury, a bit of dirt, the outdoors.  Or another way it might be said is a bit of rough luxury.  It’s all happening at the same time.  For me, it’s a perfect trip.

What is Glamping?  How does it work?

1.  All the work is ALREADY finished.  JUST ARRIVE.  You don’t have to know how to set up a tent because you don’t set up a tent on this glamping trip with Moab Under Canvas.  WHEW.  Not saying I haven’t set up a tent before, but maybe and quite possibly I’m rusty. I haven’t set up a tent for YEARS and would need a refresher course.  Or maybe tipis this trip?  In most luxurious tent glamping resorts, including Moab Under Canvas, you’ll be given the choice for Tipis or a Glamping Tent..  And remember, you don’t have to know how to set up a tent. JUST ARRIVE to receive all kinds of luxurious accommodations at this glorious glamping site in Moab, Utah.

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2.  OBSERVE but BREATHE/RELAX.  Become familiar with your surroundings. I’ll be honest, I’m not too interested in snake discussion. No offense to snake lovers.  But for Moab Utah Glamping at Moab Under Canvas, it’s important to know what kind of animals live in the same proximity of your tent.  The bottom line here is – don’t freak out about a potential list of reptiles lurking around when you’re not looking on this trip.  Enjoy the scenery, but know, quite possibly that other animals are too.  And keep your dog on a leash.  What is glamping?  Glamping is knowing you’re in the outdoors but equally aware of how high your tent sits in comparison to potential reptiles on the ground! :)

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3.  Expect to be spoiled on a Glamping Trip, like the one at Moab Under Canvas.  Since Glamping is fancy camping, put on your special cozy socks, and enjoy.  Don’t spare the necessary items to stay warm, but here in Moab Utah at Moab Under Canvas, the floors are sturdy wood.  And they are all sorts of lovely clean.  What is glamping?  It’s clean floors.  I repeat, clean.  So bring your fuzzy socks/blanket, a book or whatever floats your boat.  This glamping tent is your new home.  At least for this trip.  There’s also a large dresser that sits directly in front of the California King Bed.  What is glamping?  Glamping is CLEAN SPACE, two of my faves.

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4.  This girl recalled childhood lessons of building fires on this glamping trip. When night drew, I used the kindle and fire starter stix to activate a motherload fire of all fires.  I was SO PROUD of my abilities, even if all I merely did was light a match.  But no worries if this isn’t your thing.  If you don’t want to make your own fire this trip, not to worry.  Building fires is what these people at Moab Under Canvas will do for their guests.  Or, upon checking in they will can show you how to make your own if you don’t want them in your fancy tent after hours. What is glamping?  Glamping is not flipping a mere electrical switch at home to activate heat and fire. Glamping is starting fires. Glamping is feeling proud about even lighting a fire stix.  Glamping is being removed from the ease of suburbia living and challenging yourself, if even for only one second.

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5.  Glamping is sleeping in a luxurious spacious tent on this California King Bed.  When in Moab Utah, be sure and check out these accommodations at Moab Under Canvas.  Even with Moab weather changing at nights, with sometimes temperature drops, be prepared to stay warm from the motherload fire you built and the many cozy blankets and duvet provided in this luxurious camping tent.  What is glamping?  It is sleeping sound like a baby in a big luxurious tent and cozy bed.

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6.  On this trip, take a shower because it might be the one and only time in your life to shower in a tent.  I loved our clean shower and the bathroom was totally accessible, perhaps only three feet away from our bed.  The bathroom can be sectioned off from the main room with use of curtains.  What is glamping, in Moab Utah at Moab Under Canvas?  Glamping is luxury tent camping that allows for the opportunity to shower and use the facilities, right in the heart of your luxury tent.

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7.  Wake up and enjoy the scenery and outdoors.  The Moab weather was spectacular when we visited.  I hear the month of April is one of the best times of the year to visit, and so we did.  Glamping may be a different experience if the weather is uncooperative but for the time we spent in Moab Utah at Moab Under Canvas, what a treat!  The skies were blue and outdoors vibrant with color.  What is glamping?  Glamping is relaxing in the outdoors and soaking up luxury at the same time.

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Alabama Spring Break Luxury

imageWhen in Alabama, especially in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and/or Orange Beach Alabama – be prepared to experience beautiful white soft sand in your toes, a calm beach atmosphere and soaring Southern hospitality. Did I mention the pristine turquoise waters too?  I had to check this place out.

imageWhen I was researching the Gulf Coast and Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama for an oceanfront property and a family beach vacation, everything pointed to the luxurious Turquoise Place, part of Spectrum Resorts in Alabama.  This section of the Gulf Coast is primarily condominuims all along the coast.  You’ll find so many VRBO rentals, luxurious oceanfront condominium rentals, and/or can rent from Turquoise Place, as well as be guaranteed of a CLEAN BED GUARANTEE.

imageThat’s right, every Spectrum Resort Guest at Turquoise Place in Orange Beach Alabama receives a Clean promise that each guest bed receives a cleaned duvet and linens prior to arrival.

When you’re shopping around Gulf Coast Alabama for a luxury family beach vacation location, you’ll want assurance like this, as you would renting any condominium at any location.  These condos are large, with vaulted ceilings, every updated appliance and luxury in this great family beach Alabama location!  When traveling with children, you know that having a spacious yet luxurious and clean place to stay is a HUGE plus!

imageSpeaking of clean, huge and perfect Southern hospitality in every room, these Alabama oceanfront rooms are amazing.  I especially enjoyed the sounds of crashing waves at night outside our oceanfront suite.  And the Jacuzzi right out the door, this also was another huge plus at Turquoise Place.  The children enjoyed this feature equally!  Something pretty amazing about sitting up high, relaxing in a heated Jacuzzi and taking in spectacular Alabama Gulf Coast views.   And when we weren’t in the Jacuzzi, we were just literally taking it all in.  These Orange Beach Alabama ocean views are just plain exquisite.

imageAnd these beautiful turquoise oceans views captivate the crowds and outdoor enthusiasts too.

There’s always someone parasailing, from sunrise through sunset.  There’s so many great outdoor watersports, conveniently located just a few hundred feet outside of Turquoise Place.

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Or, if you’d rather bask in the sun while sipping on a fruity drink, you’re covered. Turquoise has so many pools I can’t keep count. They also have have a poolside grill, offering everything you’d want and need for the entire family at a truly reasonable price.

These Alabama resorts offer some of the best hospitality – anticapting and delivering for every possible need a traveler might have.  There’s a resort calendar at Turquoise Place, which outlines family activities throughout the month.  Great resources for planning a family friendly trip to Orange Beach Alabama.  

imageAnother favorite of both children AND adults at Turquoise Place in Alabama is the HEATED lazy river. Grab your book and float around or come out at night and watch the sunset in your tube.  It’s pretty much Alabama perfection.

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Rain or shine, this luxurious Alabama resort has plenty to do, including an indoor pool, hot tubs, work-out facility and so much more. Let me not forget a favorite, especially for the men.

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Another favorite is the GRILL on this fabulous deck.  Alabama just knows how to create an unforgettable travel experience.   These added features included in our suite made for some great bbq’s over Gulf Coast sunsets.  Amazing.

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The large kitchen and seating area, as well as the living room and additional rooms and bathrooms makes this place perfect for a family beach vacation, especially during Spring Break when everyone just wants to forget about school, work, etc..

imageEverything about this luxury Alabama resort is beautiful and clean.  That’s what I especially loved about Turquoise Place.  It’s clean and it’s secure.  Security patrols the grounds throughout the day and night.
And of course, everyday I couldn’t wait to put my toes in the Alabama white soft sand.  Directly in front of Turquoise Place you’ll find a very well-manicured beach that truly is a family beach.  Alabama beach tourism is diverse.  Even during Spring Break the family travel is significant, more than other populations.  This of course makes it nice and calm.image

I’m sure there’s plenty of luxury Alabama resorts and destinations.  This is definitely one of my favorite. If white soft sand, turqouise water and family beach atmosphere is what you’re wanting, this is your place.  And don’t forget about ALL THE GREAT FOOD in this family beach location either, Alabama makes some incredibly yummy seafood and more.

imageFor some of the best seafood around town, and voted one of the best seafood restaurants in ALL of Alabama, Cobalt Restaurant is a superb choice.  image

We enjoyed sitting next to the water and trying their happy-hour delicacies.  So many oceanfront dining options in Alabama.  If dining on a budget is a consideration for you while staying in Alabama, this happy hour offers plenty for children and adults.  And although we did not go, we heard there is a pretty good Sunday Brunch.

imageAnother favorite, in fact, this place was simply divine – Shipp’s Harbour Grill.  If there’s one place I will revisit next time in Alabama, it is Shipp’s.  If you can get away with the adults, come around sunrise for some spectacular Alabama bay views.  Next, prepare yourself for some of the best fresh seafood in Orange Beach Alabama, in my opinion that is!

Everyone had told me, when in Alabama, try some Royal Reds.image  Shipp’s menu offers plenty, but after trying these Alabama Royal Reds, I’m pretty sure these take the cake.  This shrimp was so scrumptous, it’s a delicious twist that made me to believe I was having crab.  #seafoodconfusion.  These Royal Reds aren’t found in many places but around here, so Alabama scores yet again.

imageAlso, the views around Sportsman Marina, where Shipp’s is located are the perfect ambiance in this bayfront open restaurant.

Another great family friendly dining option is Lulu’s Buffett in Gulf Shores Alabama.  And yes, Lulu Buffett is the brother of Jimmy Buffett in Margaritaville.  This place is no ordinary dining experience.  Not in Alabama, nor in any place I’ve been.image

You’ll start the day or evening at this GIANT ropes course if you dare.  It’s even slighty daring for adults.  There is a small fee for this feature on the permises of the restaurant but it is just worth it.  Or, you can sit back, put your feet in the sand and watch everyone else attempt this challenge.  It’s a great Alabama family friendly place to visit!image

Next, either play in their mammoth sand pit or try your hand at a few other games.  Or, take in the sunset.  Love all the boats, water and back channel routes that lead to these incredible Alabama restaurants.  Or be boring and drive like we did! :) The atmosphere here is totally lively with a nightly band, and the restaurant is open so the bay breeze makes it very comfortable.  And finally, the food is great, so is the service. This place is one where you could spend more than a few hours hanging out.

And finally, you MUST visit Tacky Jacks in Orange Beach Alabama!   imageIn addition to this restaurant being bayfront, they serve some killer crab claws.  This was a real Alabama authentic culinary experience for me, have to say. Amazing! So much to do in Alabama, so little time.  These are some of my favorites.