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.

Colorado’s Beautiful Mountain Town

estes2Estes Park, Colorado is one of my favorite Colorado mountain towns! It’s a beautiful town with so much to do!  This is also a great place for a Colorado family vacation.  With so many great resorts, hotels, cabins, camps and accommodations to choose from, you’ll find the choices are endless.  

For a Colorado family vacation, there’s a couple places that are my top pick!stanley7  For starters, the most famous Stanley Hotel is located in Estes Park Colorado. This hotel is notorious for providing location for the very scary movie, “The Shining.  It’s also a great place for a ghost tour or for a great romantic getaway or family fun!  I had the chance to visit and there’s so much fun to have at the Stanley Hotel!

For a Colorado family vacation spot, you’ll want to check out the YMCA of the Rockies.  Why?  Because this place is family-friendly, pet-friendly and offers an array of indoor and outdoor activities for families year round.estes4

We recently visited and LOVED the ice rink.  This Colorado family vacation spot is one that where outdoor and indoor activities are endless, and this ice rink is one that makes this place exemplary – and for Colorado family vacations!

Another feature of this Colorado family friendly resort is the closeness to wildlife.  It’s not uncommon to look outside to find a herd of deer or elk out your door.  We visited during the winter and the deer were everywhere, and totally tame!  It was an educational experience for my children of a lifetime!  It’s not often that they can stand a few feet away from wildlife!  This Colorado family vacation spot is awesome!

A favorite of mine was the view opportunities at every turn in this Rocky Mountain resort.  With balconies and porch views like this, I’d find myself sitting with my coffee to just take it all in!

estes1This Colorado family vacation location is also pet-friendly.  Our little guy loved running around and hanging out with us.  Many of the cabins are pet friendly and it makes it easy to bring everyone in the family along!

Snow.  There’s plenty of snow during the winter usually to go snow shoeing or cross country skiing at this Colorado family vacation resort.  There’s a recreation center building that rents out these items or you can just bring your own.

imageEstes Park Colorado has many snow shoeing trails as well, just like the trails at Lily Lake.  So many choices and so many places to go have fun with outdoor activities!

And during the summer, the YMCA of the Rockies is also a great Colorado family vacation location with many outdoor activities, one of which I love is their zipline that I’ve done more than a few times!  Colorado is one of the best family friendly vacation locations to visit!  With indoor and outdoor activities year round, you’ll want to put this Colorado mountain town, Estes Park, on your calendar!

A Key West Florida Oceanfront Hotel

imageIf there’s one Florida oceanfront hotel you’ll want to visit, it’s Southernmost on the Beach Hotel, a one-of-a-kind Key West Florida unforgettable hospitality experience.

imageFrom the time you arrive to this Florida oceanfront resort, you’ll be mesmerized by the experiences of nature that surround every inch and view of this location.  At Southernmost Hotel on the Beach in Key West, there’s hammocks at every corner that simply invite the best of rest while taking in the astounding ocean views from every angle.  And if hammocks don’t do the trick, you’ll have to venture out to the private pier at the this hotel.  With waves crashing all around, we found it to be one of the most relaxing experiences of all our time on Key West, Florida.  It’s a luxury spa experience right on the pier, but it’s an included free experience for resort guests at the http://www.southernmostresorts.com/.image

I’ve got to admit, this private sun-bathing or star-gazing Gulf Coast Pier is one of the most unique experience of any tropical resort I’ve experienced.  It’s one that you’ll want to have during your lifetime, something to add to your bucket list.image

We’d go at night, in the morning and to take a power nap.  It’s a five star luxury resort experience right here on this incredible pier.  There’s also great views to take in from this Pier.  But let’s not forget about all the other great spots on this Key West oceanfront hotel for taking in views.image

There’s lounging opportunities at just about every turn.  The Southermost Hotel offers hospitality in hammocks, chairs, Piers and even the oceanfront pool.  Yep, another favorite of ours.image

We’d spend time in the pool at the Beach Cafe and indulge in their incredible food, especially the bacon macaroni and cheese, and just sit back and take in more Gulf Coast views off Key West.

The services is exceptional at the resort as well as the food, let me not forget to mention that.  And when we wanted a different experience, we’d move just a few steps outside the pool next to the beach.image

Let me tell you about this beach. Seriously, this beach is perfection and sits RIGHT NEXT TO the Southernmost Beach Hotel.  The views are great and the water warm, and these just happen to be two of my favorite things!  Well maintained, this spot is supreme for the ultimate Key West Hotel experience!  Additionally, this oceanfront experience is complimented by another part of the Southernmost Beach Cafe.image

You’ll definitely want to visit this Key West oceanfront dining restaurant.  The food is great as is the service.  We enjoyed a delightful mimosa and incredible views of the Gulf Coast one morning, in addition to spending time on the beach and walking around this Key West oceanfront resort.

This hotel really invites the “experience”.  Just come, rest, take in the views and all at the Southernmost on the Beach Hotel.

The name implies exactly what Southernmost on the Beach Hotel IS.  It truly IS the Southernmost Beach Hotel in the USA.  You’ll experience just that, when you stand on the Pier and can see afar for miles, in all directions.  It’s truly, an exemplary Key West resort experience!image

And when you’ve have too much fun outside and need to retire indoors, you’ll first be tempted to relax just one more time and take in the views in these lounging areas.image

Or, if you just can’t take this tropical beauty any longer and truly do need shut eye, you can retire to this classic Key-West oceanfront resort suite.

These accommodations are clean, five star and luxurious.  Did I mention the incredible ocean view balcony we stayed in?  You can also request an ocean facing suite that is unbeatable.

Truly, this is a five star Key West luxury hotel experience.  And right on the beach!  The architecture is everything you’d hope for – Classic Key West Beach Cottage Design.kwhome

Every bit of tropical and Carribean oceanfront resort experience you could dream of sits right here at Southernmost Beach Hotel.  And you don’t have to travel outside the US to have this experience either!keywest

You can fly into Miami International Airport and have a nice drive down the Keys to Key West or fly right into Key West Airport.  Either way, there’s so much hospitality that happens in Key West and at this beachfront hotel.  So glad we had the opportunity to check out this place, we’ll definitely return!

 

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Key West Florida Entertainment

imageThere is SO MUCH TO DO in Key West Florida.  Who would’ve known that at the very southern tip of Florida sits a most spectacular playground, for young and old alike.  There’s so much to do in Key West for all ages and we recently had the opportunity to indulge ourselves in this place, both on land and sea.image

First of all, so many great Key West resorts, both oceanfront and much more inland.  We opted to stay at  Southernmost Beach Hotel in Key West, a hotel that sits right in front of the Gulf Coast. Amazingness!

imageThis hotel features a private pier for hotel guests, where you can sunbathe or stargaze, your pick.  Along with many other amazing features, we enjoyed staying right on the water.  Please check out our time at the The Southernmost Beach Hotel and Resort.

Or, if you’d prefer to stay just a five minute boat ride away from Key West, you’ll want to check out Sunset Key Cottages, A Westin Resort.  This amazingly tropical and beautiful resort sits on Sunset Key Island, a “a secluded 27-acre island in Key West, voted by Conde Nast as one of the Top 10 friendliest cities in the U.S.”image

If Sunset Key Cottages, A Westin Resort is included among Conde Nast Travel, you know this place is one you need to visit.image

 

 

 

We had the opportunity to experience Sunset Key Cottages, a Westin Resort, and understand why this location is exemplary.  First, because  Sunset Key Cottages, a Westin Resort sits on seven acres of Sunset Key Island, the experience is truly private.  The experience is calm, luxurious and for the sophistacted traveler.image

Westin Sunset Key Cottages, a Westin Resort features One to Four Bedroom Cottages, fully equipped with luxury and updated accommodations.  The Sunset Cottages are the ultimate accommodations for individuals, couples or families seeking a comfortable and luxurious place to stay in Key West Florida.image

Additionally the private beach is one you’ll want to stay and play at all day long. We had difficulty leaving this spot at the end of the day.  It was heaven, secluded and saturated with natural beauty and unbeatable Gulf Coast views!

Additionally, Westin Sunset Key Cottages features The Spa at Sunset Keys, a luxury spa located within this luxury spa resort.  Palm trees, seclusion and ocean sounds surround this five-star luxury spa experience.  I hope for the opportunity to indulge in this kind of pampering in the near future!

imageAnother exemplary feature of Westin Sunset Key Cottages is Latitudes, an incredible Key West and Sunset Key Island dining experience.image  With oceanfront dining and culinary cuisine, it appears that everyone leaves happy from this experience.

And when you’re done with dining and just need to relax by the pool, you’ll be delighted with the tranquil setting awaiting.  The calming environment of this island is one experience you’ll savor.image

There’s so many other great Key West hotels and resorts to choose from, so be sure and do your research before you come.  There’s so many online resources to offer free advice, reviews and deals for Key West.

imageSome of the other great experiences we had during our Key West vacation included some Gulf Coast cruises.

Our first Key West Sunset Dinner Cruise was with Sunset Water Sports.  What a wonderful and lively experience!KWcruise

The service, food and drink was great.  We enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere aboard this state of the art catamaran. With tons of room to move about this vessel, we captured views during dinner on the lower level and then could even visit with the captain on the upper level.image

They also had a DJ and many aboard danced.  This was a great experience I’d repeat next time in Key West!

imageAnother great Key West sunset cruise was with Fury Water Adventures Key West.  We enjoyed live music with a great band and an overall beautiful time aboard this cruise.  Appetizers and champagne only added to this time aboard this luxury yacht.  I was able to capture some of my favorite sunset pictures on this sunset cruise, so I’m eternally grateful!

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The staff was very friendly and included guests with dancing and other activities like lifting the sail. Everyone had a great time!sea

We also checked out some great spots in town.  One day at Key West the weather was misbehaving so we walked around town and located the Key West Acquariam.  At first we decided to peruse ourselves until we fell upon a tour that was happening, which was actually quite entertaining and educational for children and adults alike.image

Additionally, we were able to hold and touch some of the creatures including but not limited to shark feedings and getting up close and personal in the touch tank.  You’ll find live conchs, horeshoe crabs, urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers and giant crabs in this tank.  If you’ve never seen a live conch up close and personal – put this on your bucketlist.  These guys are all kinds of amazingness!

We enjoyed a few local stops on Duval Street.  Not sure what Duval Street is?  Well CHECK IT OUT at Live Duval Street!image

This street is lively, and we found a place to rest at Margaritaville Key West where we of course had to try their famous margarita, which lived up to it’s hype!  Another favorite place we visited was Rum Barrel Key West.  In fact, we had to visit twice to indulge in their amazing nachos appetizers! For vegeterians, this place is perfect.  That’s right – food for Key West vegetarians!image

Finally, another great place YOU MUST VISIT in Key West is Fort Zachary State Park.  This place is HEAVEN, to say the least.  We were blown away by the views and the clear, clear aqua blue waters! There’s much to do here so be sure and plan accordingly.image

You can also rent beach chairs, etc…  This was one our highlights – great place for photography as well so come prepared to capture the very best of Key West beach, right here, at this park, starting from the beautiful path that leads to the Gulf Coast!

Also, plan to stay here for a long day.  This section of Key West is pretty secluded and you’ll feel on a beach of your own.  The water is warm and the sunsets are beautiful here.  You’ll definitely want to visit this park!

sunsetAnd how could I conclude my favorite Key West adventures, entertainment and cuisine without discussing the AMAZING sunsets that everyone comes to see nightly.  Be sure to have your camera and come to The Sunset Pier at night.  You can grab a bite to eat or drink or just come wait with the hundreds of others that flock to view this majestic sight!image

 

 

 

 

In addition to the sunset, there’s tons of entertainment and merchants selling art, jewelry and all kinds of unique products!  Come prepared to enjoy a good evening on and around the Sunset Pier at Key West!

Futhermore, just come prepared to have a great time in all of Key West Florida!

 

 

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Colorado Mountain Lodging Getaway

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The Outlook Lodge in Green Mountain Falls offers a beautiful and intimate Colorado retreat experience.

Tucked away in this small mountain town just a short drive from Colorado Springs, The Outlook Lodge is the perfect location and destination to unwind and recharge from the toll of everyday life demands and distractions.

Green Mountain Falls has an estimated population of 965 residents, year-round, and The Outlook Lodge offers that same personal “feel” for guests by the many gestures and guests considerations evident throughout your stay.

imagePrior to our recent stay at The Outlook Lodge, we received notification via email with arrival instructions.

The Outlook Lodge is unique in that the staff is very “hands-off” from the time you arrive on property. There is no place to check-in and only a few rooms are available to reserve at the lodge.  Both these features offer a very relaxed and “go at your own pace” feel to The Outlook Lodge. However – staff are available to speak if you should need anything.

imageFrom the time we arrived to The Outlook Lodge, we noticed the historic charm that permeates throughout the interior and exterior architecture and neatly manicured grounds.

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Originating in 1889, the lodge maintains a Victorian charm that meets Urban and Traditional design. With places that invite rest inside and out taken from all design eras, this lodge truly offers a historic, thoughtful retreat from everyday life.

I really enjoyed the wrap-around porch that provided expansive Colorado wilderness views.  This great fire pit was another favorite, for myself and the children.  Marshmallows, chocolate and crackers were happening at this place daily.

It was yet another extension of great hospitality, even without the staff present.  The star gazing opportunities out here at night are fabulous, as were the many opportunities to experience the richness of the outdoors in a way that we don’t typically in the city.  Both adults and children had a great experience here, with all the many thoughtful extras for all ages to enjoy.

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The family-friendly accommodations of The Outlook Lodge were exceptional.  For children, it really doesn’t better than bunk beds with televisions.

imageOur girls were giddy, enthralled by the accommodations that were so age-considerate, not to mention making s’mores nightly and having plenty of places to explore around the lodge.  We stayed in the Family Suite and really couldn’t have experienced a more spacious and comfortable area.

The Family Suite is complete with two bathrooms, an AMAZING sun room, a gathering room, two rooms offering bunk beds and one room that sleeps two.

This suite is perfect for a family reunion or friends getting together with their daughters, as was our case.  The area is spacious and the sun room has french doors that offer additional privacy to the Family Suite.  The rustic/urban/modern charm is cozy throughout this Lodge.

imageAnother favorite of ours was this big gourmet kitchen.  It was a very nice feature of this Colorado lodge as we could prepare all our meals and save a chunk of money by not eating out.

imageOne of us loves to cook and found her love in this awesome kitchen that is fully stocked with anything you could need to make any meal.  We indulged on good food the entire time, thanks to the gourmet kitchen that allowed a good friend to serve up this shrimp boil.

imageThe other part of our stay that I loved was the inside fireplace.  It’s a great feature to the common area and just invites you to sit and do nothing but rest.  Loved it.

imageThe common area is where guests can congregate in the Main Lodge, which is next to the kitchen, laundry room and a first-floor sun room.  During the daytime, the sunlight that beams in through the room is magical, really. And with wilderness mountain views at every turn, this retreat space is truly spiritual.

Pretty much everything about this historic modern Lodge is amazing and left us a bit sad upon leaving.

imageIf you’re looking for a great Colorado Lodge experience and want a peaceful, small-town inviting experience, The Outlook Lodge is for you.  It’s convenient and close to Colorado Springs and an hour’s drive from Denver.  It’s one place you’ll want to be sure and retreat to.