Winter Activities in Lake Tahoe

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and there’s a chill in the air. There may even be some snow on the ground already! So what better time to bust out some awesome winter activities in Lake Tahoe with family or friends!

You may be feeling like now is the perfect time to snuggle into some warm slippers and sit back with a hot chocolate in front of an open fire. Well, I’m here to convince you that yes that is in fact a great idea – BUT – you don’t have to close your eyes in hibernation and wait until the snow melts. There are plenty super fun outdoor adventures to be had through winter.

Where better to explore the winter wonderland than Lake Tahoe. Our friends from invited us to share some hot tips for cold trips, so here it is! Your hot chocolate will taste all the more sweeter when enjoyed after a great day out. Along with some fun winter activities you’ll also find plenty of great places to stay at Lake Tahoe and around the area.


Skiing and Snowboarding in Lake Tahoe 

There is absolutely no shortage of options when it comes to skiing around the Lake Tahoe area. It is actually one of the main draws for the winter adventure enthusiasts and a reason many people stick around to call this place home. 

Towards the top end you’ll find some of the bigger mountain names such as Squaw Valley and Northstar for world class skiing. Towards the south has Heavenly and Kirkwood mountain resorts. But it doesn’t end there. There are even more smaller resorts dotted around Lake Tahoe, which really give something for everyone. Whether you are looking to escape the crowds for some peace and quiet, or if a busier town with a party atmosphere is your kind of thing. 

San Francisco’s proximity to Lake Tahoe is really quite incredible. Sierra At Tahoe is only three hours away and the easiest to get to if you’re looking for some fun on the slopes. If you want some turns and don’t have time to spare – that’ll be a safe bet! 

I’m not going to sit here and convince you of why you need to give skiing a try – the sheer number of people that go year on year should be enough to show you that! And if skiing isn’t quite your thing? Well read on, there’s plenty of other adventure around Lake Tahoe to be had.



Lake Tahoe Snow Shoeing 

If you can walk, you can snowshoe! Snowshoeing has become increasingly popular over the years and I believe the reason is as simple as that. All you have to do is strap on a pair and get going. There really is nothing as magical as a snow capped forest. With the thick snow pack absorbing sound, you’ll never experience a quiet surrounding quite like it.

One of the most popular spots to enjoy snowshoeing around Lake Tahoe is at Camp Richardson. You’ll be treated with fantastic lake views from the south side, as you make your way along 10km of marked trails. You have the option of renting and trailblazing by yourself.

Alternatively, you can book a guide / instructor who will show you the ropes and take you on a magical journey. Once you’ve looped back round to the Mountain Center, pop in to the Beacon Bar & Grill and treat yourself the their signature Rum Runner cocktail – you’ve deserved it!

If you’re packing your own set of snowshoes and want to explore a little deeper into the backcountry, then check out Chickadee Ridge. This spot is located to the west of Tahoe Meadows. In a short distance you’ll come across amazing views of the lake. And if you stick a hopeful hand in the air, you may just get a chickadee swoop down and land on it.



Cross Country Skiing in Lake Tahoe 

Cross country skiing has been happening around Tahoe since the 1800s. Legendary mailman ‘Snowshoe Thompson’, was a Norwegian-America who would ski around the area delivering mail. He is hailed as the greatest mountaineer to ever set foot in Tahoe. So what better way to honor him than to go cross country skiing!

This is a slightly faster paced version of snowshoeing and allows you to cover more ground quicker. It can also help you build up a sweat and fight off the chilling winter in Lake Tahoe conditions. The top spot to try out this snow activity is Tahoe XC. This nonprofit organization offers rentals, ski passes, lessons and clinics. They are all about cross country skiing and there is no better place to give it a shot. There is 62km of world class tracks, with a variety of terrains and difficulties. 



Snowmobiling Around Lake Tahoe

You got a need for speed? A craving for some high octane, adrenaline fueled frolicking around a snowy white wonderland? Snowmobiling may just be the outdoor activity in Lake Tahoe for you! A guided snowmobile tour will have you eating up that champagne powder with no need for skiing or snowboarding. All you’ll need is a drivers’ license and a thirst for good times.

Lake Tahoe Adventures know the terrain better than anybody. They offer tours for all ability lessons. For the first timers looking for a pleasant and scenic drive around the high country, they’ll take you out in a small group and promise to bring you back smiling. And if it’s not your first time? Check out their ‘Ultimate Ride’ package. You’ll go deep into the Sierra Nevada above Hope Valley. Your expert guide will get you up to speed with some safety chat and some warmup laps before embarking on a journey like no other. A mix of all terrains: bowls, meadows, rivers and alpine lakes. There’s miles and miles of space to explore – with no two tours being the same. 



Lake Tahoe Ice Skating 

Is it even possible to get any more wintery than ice skating? Throw on a Santa hat then the answer is no. No it can not. 

If you’re looking for something to do in Lake Tahoe or where to go, the Heavenly Village skating rink is the ideal location. It could not get anymore picturesque. There are holiday lights and decorations, music playing and festive spirit in full flow. This is a wonderful family adventure as well as a great date activity (you’re welcome). And if you’re reaaaaally into ice skating? You can even buy a seasons pass. 



Grab a Drink and Relax by the Fire

One of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe in winter is to wrap up in your coziest winter clothes and relax. I’m talking mittens, scarf and the wooliest of wooly hats. Grab a hot chocolate (top that bad boy off with some whiskey or Baileys) and find yourself a nice open fire to slowly slide into a slumber. Doesn’t that sounds wonderful?!

If you’re looking for a little more action there are also a number of bars and restaurants that can liven up the scene. Beacons Bar & Grill is one to check out, with a wonderful lakeside eatery and weekly live music. Sonney’s BBQ Shack Bar & Grill is also recommended for those wanting a bit more of a lively evening. They offer comfort pub grub, BBQ food (of course) and live music also.

If you really want to amp it up then try out Whiskey Dicks (and no I’m not just including them because the name makes me laugh). As well as having a damn good chuckle every time your eyes catch a glimpse of the sign – they are Tahoe’s leading live music venue and draw in bands of almost every genre.

Where to Eat in Carmel by the Sea

The adorable town of Carmel by the Sea is the perfect stop on any California road trip itinerary. The one square mile village (yes, it’s that tiny!), is known for its fairy book houses, hidden courtyards and, of course, the stunning beach. But one of the lesser known reasons to visit Carmel is the town’s incredible culinary scene.

From the adorable coffee shops that have been in Carmel forever, to the newer trendy spots sporting cuisine from around the world, there’s so many incredible places to eat in Carmel. To help you out with your choices, we did some research for you (you’re welcome!). So without further ado, here’s your guide for where to eat in Carmel by the Sea:


Best Breakfast in Carmel by the Sea

You may have a complimentary breakfast at your hotel (we had a legit pastry spread at Hofsas House!), but it’s still worth venturing into town for a yummy breakfast. These are the best Carmel restaurants for breakfast:



Stationæry is one of those Carmel cafes that you probably wouldn’t find unless you were looking for it, or stumbled upon it while lost. Tucked back into one of the town’s tiny alleyways, this cute little cafe is perfect for a meal or a quick cuppa. Stationæry is popular with locals who come and sit with their dogs, chatting with neighbors who pass by. 

The food is upscale (let’s be real, it’s not cheap), but the extra little touches and quality ingredients will make paying $14 for avocado toast worth the splurge. Their espresso drinks are delicious and served in adorable ceramic mugs.



The Tuck Box

The Tuck Box is a Carmel institution located in one of the historic Comstock cottages dating back to 1927. The restaurant was opened in the early 1940’s by two sisters from England and it still has an English feel to this day. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, from 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The prices are super reasonable, and they have all the classics on the menu including the Tuck Box Benedict, waffle and omelettes. The Tuck Box also has a gift shop in the back where you can take a little souvenir to your friends back home.


Best Lunch in Carmel by the Sea

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite before exploring or you want to take a load off and enjoy a long meal, here are the best places to eat in Carmel for lunch. 


5th Avenue Deli

If you’re looking for a quick bite to take with you on a beach picnic, 5th Avenue Deli is perfect. They have a full deli (well, duh), along with hot food like soup and a taco bar! They have all the little snacks you’d want with a picnic lunch (Kettle Salt & Vinegar please!), and a full range of beverages to take with you on the road.



They also have some tempting desserts if you’re craving a sweet. We got some sandwiches and potato salad to go (there’s no seating inside), and went around the corner to Devendorf Park. We enjoyed our sandwiches so much we came back the next day to grab a picnic for the beach! 


Little Napoli/ Vino Napoli

We found sister restaurants Little Napoli & Vino Napoli while doing some research online. They’re right next to each other and both came highly recommended by locals and tourists alike! Little Napoli is more of a sit down spot and Vino Napoli more of a bar/restaurant. In the summer, you can sit in the patio between the two and enjoy a glass of cold white wine and a caesar salad. And in the winter we suggest sitting inside Little Napoli in front of their fireplace with a glass of red and one of their delicious pizzas. Or you can take advantage of the happy hour at Vino Napoli (3:30-6pm), with discounted drinks and pizza. Wherever you choose, don’t miss out on the famous garlic bread! It’s insanely delicious!



Brophy’s Tavern

This casual pub is the perfect place to cozy up for relaxed lunch in Carmel by the Sea. It’s a bit of an Irish pub meets sports bar, with plenty of televisions to stay updated on all your favorite teams at once. You’ll get your standard bar food here, including tasty fish and chips, yummy burgers and sandwiches. They also have a legit beer selection. Make sure you save room for dessert because their chocolate filled churros with chocolate dipping sauce are too good to miss!


Best Dinner in Carmel by the Sea

You’ll have no shortage of places to eat in Carmel for dinner. Whether you’re looking for one of the town’s classic older spots or one of the new restaurants in Carmel, here are our top spots for dinner.


Cultura Comida y Bebida

You guys – make us a promise now that you will not leave Carmel without visiting Cultura! This unreal restaurant serves Mexican (specifically Oaxacan) cuisine. On weekdays they open at 5:30PM, so this is definitely a dinner spot, but they do have brunch on the weekends. We highly recommend making a reservation, even mid-week, because the word has gotten out that this is one of the best restaurants in Carmel by the Sea.

Our favorite dish was hands down the queso fundido. They mix it at your table and set it on fire right in front of you to create the ooey-gooey melty cheese. They do a taco tuesday and a half-off wine Wednesday. They even do a late night menu until 12am (although who stays out that late in Carmel?!) The have a full bar with a wide selection of beers, cocktails and Mezcal, and of course, margaritas!


Flaherty’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar

You can’t visit the California coast and not have a delicious seafood dinner (unless you’re vegan/vegetarian, of course, then you do you!). And Flaherty’s is a great choice to indulge in some classic seafood dishes with a fun twist. What we loved about this restaurant is that while the food is gourmet, the ambience is relaxed and casual. We spoke with both the owner and the pastry chef, who are both super enthusiastic about their work.



We absolutely loved the lobster bisque and actually enjoyed everything we ordered! From the crab cakes to the crusted Halibut, every bite was delicious. We’re not oyster fans, but for those that are, they have fresh oysters delivered daily and prepare them every way you can think of- BBQ, Oysters Rockefeller and even stewed!



You didn’t think we’d stop with just one Mexican restaurant, did ya? If you know us, you know that we could eat Mexican food everyday. If you’re like us, Pescadero is definitely worth making a stop for lunch or dinner. The chef focuses on Baja cuisine, including Baja style tacos and ceviche, and on Wednesdays his mother comes in to prepare fresh Salvadoran pupusas. Next door the popular Barmel, which often has live music, and serves the full Pescadero menu.



Mission Ranch Restaurant

Carmel is famous for its quirky little facts, with one of the most well known being that Clint Eastwood was once the town’s mayor. This was only for a couple of years, back in the 80’s, but it’s definitely one of Carmel by the Sea’s claims to fame. People also love to visit the Hog’s Breath Inn, which Eastwood once owned. Now, the hip spot to check out is the actor’s new hotel and restaurant, Mission Ranch.

This inn and restaurant is about a mile out of town. If you bike or drive down the Scenic Highway, you’ll pretty much get spit out at the ranch. Inside there’s a piano bar that is often being played by one of Carmel’s musically talented locals. The restaurant is a cozy spot, but can fit quite a few people out on the back deck. If you sit along the railing at sunset, you’ll have a great view of the sun going down over the ranch. This is a real working ranch, so expect some normal ranch smells!



The food is straightforward (think Caesar, cob and wedge salads, as well as steaks, pasta and seafood), but while most dishes are simply, they’re really well done. The wine list has lots of local favorites and at super reasonable prices, considering the location and the famous owner. We definitely recommend a visit to Mission Ranch, at least for a sunset cocktail!


Best Places to Drink in Carmel by the Sea

What would a food guide to Carmel by without throwing in a couple of amazing places to wash down that delicious meal. Whether its a nip of wine or a cold beer, here are a couple of top recommended places to drink in Carmel by the Sea.



Blair’s Estate Wine Room

The Carmel/Monterey area may not be as well known as Napa for wines, but they are just as delicious. Blair’s Estate is a wine room in Carmel Plaza, an intimate wine tasting setting from a family run winery. The people who do the tasting are super knowledgeable about each wine.


Scheid Winery

Scheid Wine tasting room is another great spot if you’re looking for a tasty drop. You’ll like Scheid if you prefer more of a hands off approach to wine tasting. They have printed information about each wine, and the staff is there to answer any questions you may have, rather than walk you through each flavor. They also sell Lula’s Chocolates, a local chocolate maker, which pair beautifully with any red wine (or anything really!). 


Sade’s Bar

Leave it to us to find the only dive bar in Carmel! We’re only half kidding, of course, by any other city’s standards, this is hardly a dive bar. It is a small, hole in the wall bar that fits maybe about 12 people max. Don’t expect any fancy cocktails here, and make sure you bring cash (they have an ATM). The small size of the bar gives it an intimate feel and means you’ll likely start chatting with the people sitting next to you. Sade’s is open until 2am, which makes it your best chance at nightlife in Carmel by the Sea.

5 Best Reno Outdoor Activities

Reno, Nevada. Based just east of the Sierra Nevada – the mountain range between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin; and just 25 miles from Lake Tahoe. And while not always associated with adventure, there are tons of amazing Reno outdoor activities for adventure seekers and outdoorsy travelers.

Reno is known as ‘The Biggest Little City in the World”. That title makes no sense, yet all the sense at the same time… So has asked me to explain how this little city, with big character, is a one stop shop for all things outdoor adventure related. And with plenty of amazing accommodation options in Reno you could stay for a week and tick all these crazy adventures off your list! Here’s our top list for the best Reno outdoor activities:

River Rafting in Reno 

The Truckee River is a 121 mile stretch of drainage from Lake Tahoe, crossing into both California and Nevada. There are numerous ways to enjoy it depending on your paddle skills or laziness. 

Let’s start from the minimal effort end. Get yourself an oversized inner tube and float down! A great afternoon out with some beers and buddies. If you head up towards Tahoe City, at the start of the river, you’ll be able to grab all the supplies you need. For the best float without unnecessary wastage of inner tubes – rent a raft from Truckee River Raft Company. This family owned and operated business has been here since 1973, they most certainly know what they’re doing!



The 5 mile float can take between 2-3 hours. There’s plenty to see on the way: tall pine trees, rocky sections, sandy sections, wildlife and of course fellow boaters. The float ends at River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant, where you can enjoy some refreshments as you watch other boaters hurtle down the final rapid section into the pool. You can then get a shuttle from here back to the beginning and do it all over again! 



Reno Kayaking Adventures

For those looking to up the ante, then how about trying it in a kayak? Sierra Adventures offer intro kayaking experiences for all group types. You’ll be boofing down rapids in no time. They also offer more advanced runs, as well as hotel pickups. This fully guided tour will ensure you don’t miss out on anything along the way. Breathtaking scenery, rapids and diverse flora and fauna. 

In the heart of Reno is the Truckee River Whitewater Park. 11 drops and pools as well as various other features to test your paddle skills. This is one for those with a little more than ‘zero’ paddle experience. A year round waterpark that offers something for everybody, as kayaking is a great spectator sport – particularly if you are around in May to check out the Reno River Festival. This is an action packed weekend of whitewater contests, music and food. This free weekend events draws in over 40,000 people to Reno. The costumed slow bike ride complete with live band is surely a sight to behold. 


Rock Climbing in Reno 

Rock climbing has seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years, with more and more people testing their strength and nerves in this sport. Once reserved for the adrenaline junkies, more people are now reaching to rock climbing as a way to stay in shape and keep up with fitness, as opposed to regular gyms. 

If you’re wondering what to do in Reno, you could check out either of its two bouldering and climbing gyms. Mesa Rim Climbing Center is the newest and largest. They also have a gym and yoga classes.



If you really want to test your vertical limits,  you can check out the worlds tallest artificial climbing wall. A whopping 164ft high, BaseCamp’s wall climbs up the side of a Reno hotel. This is truly a sight to behold and another great Reno attraction. 

For outdoor climbing, fall is generally considered the best time. However, Reno has a number of world class crags that can be explored year round, making it a must-visit destination for climbers near and far. Big Chief, Twin Crags and Lovers Leap offer a range of routes from beginner slabs to long multi pitch ascents. In Stone offer guided climbing trips around Truckee and Lake Tahoe, perfect for any level climber looking to improve. Climbing is a great opportunity to not only improve physical strength, but mental strength, mindfulness, mobility and some good ole fashion family fun!


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Paddle Boards in Reno 

Paddle boarding is the fasted growing water sports activity around the world. Easily accessible and a fantastic way to explore the surrounding waters of Reno. 

During the summer season, almost every lakeside beach will be renting out paddle boards. This will of course be the most convenient place for you to rent, as you don’t need to face the hassle of transporting the SUP (stand up paddle board). Now that’s not to say the other seasons are just as beautiful. In fact, I’d encourage paddle boarding out of the summer seasons just as much. You’ll be able to experience the seasonal colors of the surrounding trees, the calm of nature and of course even less people around.

Any launch point available along Lake Tahoe will set your Reno adventure up for success. But if you wanted a little guidance, the eastern shoreline is a popular spot. Coves, rocky sections and secret beaches aplenty. If you wanted to travel a little further then check out Pyramid Lake. This 125,000 acres lake is one of the largest natural lakes in Nevada. Pyramid Lake is widely proclaimed as North America’s most beautiful desert lake. The land here is part of the Paiute tribe and holds much significance in their history, as well as myths and beliefs. Be sure to swing by the tribe museum as well as the visitors center. 



Reno Scavenger Hunt 

I don’t know if I am held to any sort of recommendation writing moral code where I’m not supposed to have a favorite. In the same way that a parent shouldn’t have a favorite child… Well even if I am, I am throwing it out the window right now to tell you that THIS is the one thing you should be doing, if you could only pick one.

This will really get you out and about, around the heart of this little big city and ticking off some of the major sights along the way. Just some of the stops include: the Eldorado Resort Casino, National Bowling Center and the Truckee Whitewater Park. The main focuses of the hunt are art, culture and history. You’ll be given photo challenges to complete as well as getting your trivia tested. But really, what’s not to love about goofing around a new city with your buddies?

Strap your boots up, grab some pals or bring the family for this wonderful afternoon out taking you around the best Reno attractions. More information can be found over at



Skiing in Reno 

Read that again. Skiing. In. Reno. 

Mt Rose ski hill is just a 25 minute drive away from Reno. It is the nearest and is still in a desert which I find pretty incredible. This local favorite resort sits at 8,260ft, with the summit reaching 9,700ft. A mountain offering something for everyone, from first time snow seekers looking for introductory lessons, to those more experienced looking to drop some chutes or explore the tree runs. And if you’re here in the summer months it’s also a great hike to check out. It is considered intermediate to difficult – so make sure you’re up to the challenge.


One Day in Miami: Travel Itinerary

Limber up, get sufficiently caffeinated and strap yourself in… has asked me to share my ‘One Day in Miami’ itinerary and it’s going to be one hell of a ride. They’ll be ups, downs; some wet and some wild. If you suffer from any preexisting injury, heart disease or pregnancy please proceed with caution. Use handrails and drink water. Or don’t, whatever… Let’s go!

Beach Life

What day in Miami would be complete without soaking up the rays on the beach? I’d recommend heading to South Beach with all the essentials for some quality people watching opportunities. If you don’t have your own chairs or towel, these can be hired on arrival. South Beach is very well kept, clean and has dreamy warm waters. It’s a safe spot to park up for a few hours and watch the sun come up.

The beach is lined with a number of restaurants and food vendors depending on your taste or budget. The white sands run for 2.5 miles, you could easily fill a whole day here with the numerous Miami water sports on offer. 



Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Miami

With just one day to fill your boots with Miami goodness, it’s a smart move to start early and set the day up for success. A stand up paddle board session is just the way to do it. The calm and sparkly clear waters make it a fantastic place for a SUP, whether you are beginner or beyond.

You’ll be able to find SUP rentals on South Beach, as mentioned before, as this is one of the most popular spots. You’ll be joined by other SUPers and kayakers, and maybe the odd manatee or dolphin will pass by. There are a number of rental options here as well as schools offering instruction for the less confident folks out there. 

With paddle boarding being such an accessible sport (you can do it pretty much anywhere), there are options available at near enough any beach you choose to go to. This allows you to get out with an early start and enjoy a moment of peace before the day ahead. 



Miami Sailing and Boat Cruises

A great way to tour the cityscape is from a sailboat. You’ll be taken from bay to bay, taking in the hustle and bustle of the city from a safe and relaxing distance. Sailing Adventures Miami offer 2 hour, 4 hour and full day cruises from Biscayne Bay and around the surrounding area. You can head out during the day or take a romantic sunset cruise on their ship Good Karma. They’ll anchor up at some snorkel sites where you can use the ships swim platform to easily get in and out of the water.

If sailing isn’t fast paced enough for you, then maybe another of Miami’s water activities will take your fancy – speed boats. Thriller Miami is as Miami Vice as it gets. This power catamaran takes you on a 45minute – 3 hour whirlwind adventure, blasting you a distance x3 further than any competing vessels can cover. Perfect for those with just a day to see as much as possible… You’ll come out of warp-speed around the millionaire’s row, where some mega mansions can be oogled over.

Remember the safety warning at the start of this article? Please refer to that when considering this tour. If anything I hope makes you want to do it even more!




Miami Arts Murals

Miami is the cultural, arts and entertainment center of South Florida. Nothing encompasses this more so than the Wynwood Walls. This is an outdoor museum of international street art open to the public, free of charge. It has been spoken of as the best place in the entire world to see pieces from leading street artists, all in one place. 

There are a few different sections, with a large open grass space to chill out and take it all in. A number of galleries can also be found here if you wanted to pick up a piece to take home. 

Wynwood is of course not the only place to view some incredible street art. Pieces can be found all over the city, with Miami Design District being a great place to wander about. By their very nature, street art is constantly moving and ever-changing, so be sure to keep your eyes open whereever you go. You may find some hidden gems. 

The Design District itself is an area dedicated to leading architecture, fashion, design and fine dining. This high end style spot is full of eye candy. Take yourself on a self guided photo tour and treat yourself to a shamancy dinner. A number of events are run here so be sure to check out their website for the calendar.



Museums & Galleries in Miami

Free Miami Museums

Lik Miami is the showcase of fine art photographer Peter Lik. The truly mesmerizing photographs of nature and landscape are best described as soul food. The gallery is that of just one person, so it is of course not huge. It does however update the works regularly and is well worth a walk through for a lesson in light. The gallery can be found on Miami Beach.

If you’re looking for free museums in Miami, The Institute of Contemporary Art is another great spot. Here, you’ll be able to get weird and wonderful by exploring some experimental pieces from the contemporary art world. The gallery holds work from up and comers, local artists and emerging talents. The exhibitions are ever changing and is a unique and free place to spend an hour or two. 

Admission Fee

If you are happy to spend some money on a museum visit, then get ready for a real Miami adventure by visiting the World Erotic Art Museum. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s safe to include any photos here because it is mostly various forms and styles of penises. Big ones. Small ones. Some with glitter on them and some going into things. Some things don’t look like penises but then they actually re penises if you just look from a different angle. You get the idea… Seems like an entertaining evening and has some date night potential if you are looking for cheeky night time inspiration. 

A slightly more PG option is the Perez Art Museum Miami. This is Miami’s flagship art museum and for that reason is well worth the $10-$15 entry price. Most museums have a ‘free day’ once a month, so have a look online for that to see if the dates fall into place for you. PAMM is full of pieces from various styles; contemporary, modern and sculptures. The exhibitions really show off what Miami is about, its mix of cultures and boasts its location as a crossroads of the Americas. 




It is possible to join a free yoga class every single day of the week. Every. Single. Day.

This can be found at Bayfront Park, Biscayne Bay, Kennedy Park and Margaret Pace Park in Downtown, depending on which day you have available. With such a jam packed, busy day in Miami – it’s worth taking a few moments for yourself. A chance to collect your thoughts and remind yourself of how much you have experienced or about to experience on this day!



Ocean Drive 

When I think about Miami, an image conjures up in my head. Fast cars, electric colors, open shirts and that certain style of beach life glamor that you don’t get in any regular beach town. All that can be found on Ocean Drive.

Once the sun’s gone down, put on your party shoes and strut on over. Perch up on a street facing bar with a cocktail and enjoy some of the finest people watching in Miami. Many a movie has been filmed here, so you may get that strange feeling of recognizing a place you’ve never been to before. Some of the trendiest restaurants are found here, the same goes for the bars and clubs. 

There are a number of cool boutique hotels along Ocean Drive. You’ll find all the options right here, as well as a full list of hotels in Miami. 



Perfect Getaway in Carmel by the Sea

Let’s face it, when a town gets put on the map for tourism, it tends to change things. It’s the catch 22 of being a traveler – you want to visit amazing places, but you want everyone else to stay home! That’s why we were amazed that the tiny town of Carmel by the Sea has been able to maintain it’s small town charm, despite being a requisite on every California road trip itinerary. 

It may be the secret courtyards and passageways, or the Comstock cottages akin to Hansel and Gretel that give Carmel by the Sea it’s unmissable fairy tale quality; whatever it is, one thing’s for sure, you’ll never find another place quite like it. And despite its tiny size (one square mile!), there’s so much to see, do and eat in Carmel. If you’re like most visitors and you only have a couple of days in the area before jetting north to San Francisco or south to Santa Barbara and beyond, you’ll want to make the most of your trip. Here are our suggestions for where to stay, eat and what to do in Carmel by the Sea.


Where to Stay in Carmel by the Sea

Tourism is the main industry in Carmel by the Sea, so there’s no shortage of inns and hotels. We hopped on Orbitz to check out which hotel in Carmel would be best for our mid-week stay We always search for hotels using Orbitz because we get 5% back in “Orbucks” using the Orbitz Rewards Program! 1 Orbuck = $1, which you can then use for discounts on over 350,000 hotels! And the more you book, the more you unlock rewards like complimentary breakfasts and free TSA pre-check!



When searching for hotels in Carmel by the Sea, we knew we wanted to stay at local independent inn, and wanted something cozy and unique. Scrolling through Orbitz we found the perfect spot, Hofsas House! Only a few inns are still family run in Carmel, and Hofsas House is one of them! This adorable inn is Bavarian themed, which is perfect for the European flavor in Carmel. 

The women who own and run the inn now are a mother and daughter team, and the inn was opened by the grandmother. The architecture and decor of the building feels like you stumbled out of California into a cute little German town; you half expect someone to walk out of the lobby in lederhosen! They even have a mural of Bavarian dancers on an outside wall that was painted in 1957. 



The 38 rooms are all different, with unique little amenities. We stayed in the Deluxe King. We loved opening our windows in the morning to an ocean view, and curling up in front of the fireplace at night. Yep, we had a wood burning fireplace in our room! It was perfect to keep us warm on the chilly October evenings. Carmel by the Sea really doesn’t have much in the way of nightlife, so you’ll probably find yourself back in your room after dinner. Curling up in front of the fire with a glass of wine and old Doris Day movie (a former resident of Carmel!) is the perfect way to end the day. 

Our room also had a kitchenette with microwave, coffee maker, sink and fridge. Having somewhere to heat up leftovers means you can order an extra dish or two at one of Carmel’s incredible restaurants! 



Besides it’s unique rooms, Hofsas House has one of the only heated pools in all of Carmel by the Sea! This is such a treat because the town can get chilly from the sea breeze. When you’re done with the pool you can duck into the adjacent dry sauna and relax. It was awesome to basically have a day spa inside our hotel! 

One of the best parts of Hofsas House is the continental breakfast they serve every morning, complementary to all guests. Head into the lobby in the morning to grab a mug of coffee and a fresh baked Danish. Take a seat in front of the fire and Carrie, or one of the other staff, will sit down with you and help plan your Carmel itinerary. They have the best insider knowledge about unique places to visit, quirky activities and delicious spots to eat.


Where to Eat in Carmel by the Sea

Whatever your taste or budget, Carmel has got you covered for restaurants. You won’t find any big name restaurants or fast food like McDonald’s. Instead there are scores of restaurants, some large and elegant, others some tiny and casual, tucked away in the hidden alleyways that Carmel is famous for. There are a few that you definitely don’t want to miss. 



Vino Napoli / Little Napoli – When we first arrived in Carmel in the afternoon, we were stuck in that awkward time between lunch and dinner when some places shut down. Luckily for us, Vino Napoli was not only serving food, but it was happy hour! Little Napoli is authentic Italian restaurant and it’s sister bar/restaurant, Vino Napoli, is right next door. Both are super cute. If you’re looking for a dinner spot, we recommend eating at Little Napoli (in front of the fire on a chilly night and on the patio in the summer!), but for our short snack (and our inability to turn down a happy hour deal!) we decided on Vino Napoli. 

Vino Napoli has a great selection of wine, and their food is incredible! We had a pesto pizza and their world famous garlic bread. Do yourself a favor and do not miss this garlic bread. They serve it with a delicious marinara sauce. You will not be disappointed!

And the best thing about Vino Napoli and Little Napoli is that they’re both part of Orbitz Rewards Dining! You know we love a deal, and this is too good to pass up. If you’re not part of the Orbitz Rewards Dining program yet, it’s super easy to set up! You just have to register your credit or debit card (it’s free!), dine out at one of over 10,000 participating restaurants/bars and you’ll get 5% back in Orbucks to redeem on hotels! 



If you love to travel you’d be crazy not to take advantage of this deal. Is there anything better than earning cash back toward your next trip, while eating delicious garlic bread? I don’t think so!

Flaherty’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar – Another Carmel institution that was recommended to us was Flaherty’s Seafood. Ken, Flaherty’s owner, is passionate about seafood, so the restaurant buys their fish fresh daily. The lobster bisque is a must have; it’s so creamy and delicious! We had the crab cakes and crusted halibut with vegetables and gravy. Everything was super tasty and the service was incredibly friendly. 



Flaherty’s also has a great wine list with lots of local drops (I loved my Scheid Sauvignon Blanc) Then we finished off with the Olallieberry Pie (a la mode, of course!) It’s a perfect first dinner in Carmel if you want a casual environment with gourmet food. 



And, of course, Flaherty’s is also on the Orbitz Rewards Dining list! I mean, if you can have your Olallieberry Pie and get 5% rewards back too, why would you go anywhere else?! 


What to Do in Carmel by the Sea

For such a small town, there is actually tons to do in Carmel by the Sea. Here are some of our favorite activities to do in Carmel:

Renting E-bikes

Yes, Carmel is a walking town, but that hill coming back up from the beach can be a struggle at the end of a long day. Renting an electric bike is the perfect way to make sure you can cover enough ground to see everything. We stopped by Mad Dogs and Englishmen to grab a couple of super cute vintage looking cruisers.



Then we set off for the beach and rode along the Scenic Highway. The road hugs the coast and because it’s one way with a 15 mile speed limit, it’s super safe to share with cars. The views are stunning and there’s plenty of places to pull over for photos. 

If you have more time, you can take the bikes all the way to Point Lobos, Pebble Beach or do the 17 mile Highway.


Wine Tasting

Although Carmel by the Sea may not be as famous for wine tasting as nearby Napa or Sonoma, it’s definitely worth doing in the area. The wine from Monterey and Carmel is just as delicious as its more famous neighbors, but the tasting rooms are more intimate and cozy. We popped into the Blair Estate Tasting Room in the Carmel Plaza for a taste. The woman who helped us was super knowledgeable and friendly. It felt like tasting wine with an old friend. Pro tip: The Cheese Shop is right across the way from Blair. We also enjoyed our tasting at Scheid winery just up the street. They’ve converted me into a Pinot Noir drinker!



Whatever you choose to do in Carmel by the Sea, you won’t be disappointed. This scenic little town is beautiful at every time of day, at any time of year and from any angle. You could spend the day doing nothing but wandering around tiny streets and strolling along the coast, and still have the perfect trip.


California Road Trip Planner

Here are some other stops and hotels you may want to consider adding to your California road trip itinerary.

Santa Barbara – If you loved Carmel by the Sea, but want a little more action, head down south to Santa Barbara. It has a similar old school charm to Carmel, but it’s much larger and has way more nightlight.

We recommend a stay at Franciscan Inn & Suites. This gorgeous Spanish mission-style hotel is perfect for a Santa Barbara getaway (another must-do on your California road trip itinerary!). Just a four minute walk from Santa Barbara Harbor, Franciscan Inn & Suites has a pool, free breakfast and big cozy beds! 



San Francisco – If you’re heading north from Carmel by the Sea, San Francisco is only a 2 hour drive away. The City by the Bay has plenty of famous sites to check out, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. But make sure not to miss out on the city’s lesser known hidden gems like the Japanese Tea Gardens, Dolores Park and the Sutro Baths. Hotels are notoriously expensive in SF, but there are some great deals on Orbitz. Hotel Union Square has consistently good discounts and an amazing location just steps from Union Square. 

Calistoga – After San Francisco head north by an hour and a half into wine country. Napa may be closer to SF, but we recommend visiting Calistoga instead. This cute little town has more of a local feel, but the quality of wine tasting and restaurants is as good as any big city. We always recommend staying at Brannan Cottage Inn, the historic inn where we got engaged.

5 Best Cities Near Miami to Visit

Sun, sand and flowery shirts. Miami really is a city to fall in love with. Whether you are from the Miami area, or looking for some fun things to do near Miami for your next vacation. This list should fill you with plenty of inspiration to plan your adventures around. 

Each area is within driving distance if you book a car rental in Miami, making a short visit an ideal supplement to your time in the city.



Cities Close to Miami: Fort Lauderdale 

A breezy 30 minutes away, Fort Lauderdale is known for its beaches and boating canals. The once go-to party place has grown into an oceanfront, wide beached and yacht filled ‘Venice of America’. 

Take a stroll down the publicly accessible 4-mile long stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Filled with swanky shops, cafes and various other tidbits of entertainment along the route. The city used to be a hub for college students looking to cut loose into the night. Now, after multiple billions of dollars of investment, the family friendly promenade is lined with some of the finest oceanfront condominiums and mansions you’d ever lay eyes on. 

Continue to immerse yourself in the lifestyles of the rich and famous by taking a cruise down the canals in which Fort Lauderdale gets its Venice likeness. You’ll see mega yachts, the most high tech of water sports toys and houses big enough to comfortably fit a small nation into. After taking a look down millionaires row, The Jungle Queen will take you to their own tropical island. Here you’ll feast on all-you-can-eat chicken, ribs and all the fixings. There’s entertainment throughout as well as a variety show after dinner. 

If you’re looking for something a little more jazzy, check out the Sun Trust Sunday Jazz Brunch. This truly unique Fort Lauderdale experience takes place right on the ocean front. This is a free music event bringing you the best in local musical talent. There are 4 different stages to choose from, as well as a number of stalls from merchants and food suppliers. This event takes place on the first Sunday of every month and is still in the Miami area, so totally worth checking out even just for a day trip! 



West Palm Beach 

Take a walk down the heart and soul of West Palm Beach by visiting Clematis Street. This is the historical and cultural epicentre, with colorful boutiques, restaurants, live music and nightclubs. 

Thursday night is when things get a little crazy over there, so that’s the day to visit. An event named ‘Clematis by Night’ takes place each week as it has done for the last 20 years. It brings music, food specials, drink deals and the best happy hour beach vibes going. You can check in on the City of West Palm Beach‘s facebook to find the latest on this event, including what bands will be playing. 

The Norton Museum of Art is one of the top rated things to do near Miami, and for good reason. Established in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton and Elizabeth Norton, the museum is international known for its collection of masterpieces from across the globe. The museum includes paintings, sculptures and a collection of Chinese jade and bronze artefacts. The museum offers tours throughout the day, as well as a rolling schedule of collections on show – so be sure to check what’s happening during the dates you are planning on visiting. 

A charming slice of West Palm Beach is what’s known as Antique Row. With roughly 50 individual shops offering a selection of antiques, vintage tat, retro memorabilia and 17th to 20th century swag. You’ll be sure to find all those things you never knew you were looking for but now must own at whatever cost. This is not just a flea market with heftier price tags, this is a high quality antiques district and well worth checking out. Numerous publishings have touted this area as the ‘antique design center’ of Florida and it has even been voted #4 ‘best shopping in the United States‘. 



National Parks Near Miami: Everglades

The Everglades is a tropical wetland region making up the southern tip of Florida. It is one of the must see places near Miami. The ecosystem created from this natural drainage basin is not found anywhere else on earth and comes with its share of equally unique and exciting wildlife. 

Pick up a rental car in Miami and make your way over to Shark Valley, within Everglades National Park. You can aim for the visitors centre. You’ll find plenty of information on the surrounding area and you’ll be able to book onto a tram tour. If you’d rather go it alone, there is a 7 mile paved walkway to either hike or bike. Be sure to bring your camera! There are alligators, wild birds and interesting fish and plants. Unfortunately despite the name Shark Valley, there aren’t any sharks there. 

Looking to get fully immersed in the Everglades? Take Highway 9336 down to Flamingo, quite literally the end of the road. Flamingo is one of the few places where you can see both alligators and crocodiles together in the wild. This is due to the meeting of salt and fresh water.

There are Everglades boat tours available from the marina. If you are lucky, you may also be able to see some manatees from there too! 



Closest City to Miami: Hollywood

If you were looking for cities close to Miami without driving too far, Hollywood may be the best bet. The palm tree lined Hollywood Beach is a great place to bring a picnic and relax. Running parallel is a long boardwalk, with beach shops and cafes, ideal for a lazy afternoon.

The Art and Culture Centre is just a short walk away. The centre rotates through a number of different exhibitions all with a reflective touch on modern society and its concerns.  Being close to the arts school, they put on a number of student exhibitions as well as performing arts shows. 

After spending so long admiring the cool and refreshing waters, you’re probably just about ready to jump on in. A ‘margarita and mangrove’ tour with Waterway Adventures could do the trick. They also offer guided fishing tours, as well as jet powered SUP and kayak rentals. Every adventure they offer comes with a comprehensive lesson on how to use the equipment, and also includes waterproof phone cases and coolers. They are based out of the 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar – a great place to grab food and drinks after your trip. 



Beaches Close to Miami: Daytona Beach 

Take a drive north up Highway 1 for some Atlantic ocean views all the way to Daytona Beach, one of the cities near to Miami. Destination: Bahama House. This oceanfront hotel has an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the beach and ocean, so you can be in water whilst looking at more water! 

Daytona Beach is, of course, famous for its beach, all 23 miles of it. There are even some spots you can drive your car on due to the hard packed sand, or go for a bike ride. It’s easy to spend a few days playing there and the fun continues on water with various boating and parasailing options. 

Daytona touts itself as the ‘festival capital of the world’. This is a big claim, but they do well to back it with festivals running year round. There’s BikeWeek, Biketoberfest, Turkey Run, Halifax Art Festival and of course the festivities of the Daytona Speedway, with 60 smaller festivals happening around that. Check online for what’s happening during your stay before making the drive over from Miami.


This article is a sponsored post collaboration with Viajemos. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never recommend a company that we didn’t fully support or use ourselves.

San Francisco Photo Spots: The Presidio 

Although fairly small in size, San Francisco is one of the most photogenic cities in the United States. With such a variety of diverse neighborhoods, this city has something for every type of photographer. Whether you prefer sweeping vistas of the cityscape, urban photography on the gritty streets or natural landscape shots, SF has ya covered. But the sheer amount of potential photo ops make finding the best San Francisco photo spots somewhat difficult.

Best Places to Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge


If you try to run around and capture every part of the city in one go, you’ll be exhausted. That’s why we recommend you stick to one neighborhood at a time. Once you’ve chosen your ‘hood of choice’, you can start to do your research and find unique and exciting locations to photograph.

Use blogs, Instagram and local forums to find all the best locations, as you compile your list of places to photograph. When you arrive at the location it will help you save time and allow you to have shot ideas already formulating.

Whenever we’re planning a photo day, we always make a list beforehand of places that look interesting in that area. This has saved us so much time in finding beautiful San Francisco photo spots.



This sort of planning was exactly what led us to discovering photo spots in one of the city’s prettiest neighborhoods: the Presidio. The Presidio is located on the city’s northernmost side, where the Golden Gate Bridge connects to SF. It’s a beautiful neighborhood full of pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees that enclose trails leading up to some of the most beautiful views you’ll find in the city. The Presidio was actually a former US military fort and you can still find artillery batteries hidden in the neighborhood that were used in World War II.

Finally, you have the magnificent coastline. All of these gems make the Presidio an amazing San Francisco neighborhood for photography. That’s why we chose to make it the meeting point for our SF photowalk. We had a beautiful day walking around the neighborhood. Here were our favorite Presidio photo spots, including advice on how to shoot at each one.



San Francisco Photo Spot 1: Baker Beach

When you pull up to Baker Beach, you’ll know why this is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. This stunning beach has a beautiful view of the gorgeous houses of Sea Cliff on one side and an epic view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the other. The sand is relatively soft and the water is clean (but super chilly!), making it a lovely spot to relax for the afternoon if Karl the Fog hasn’t rolled in. This is a beautiful beach to photograph, whether it’s a long shot of all the families with their umbrellas posted up on the sand or the white sailboats contrasted against the deep blue water, you’ll definitely find a beautiful shot here.



Word of warning: The section of the beach closest to the rocks is a nudist beach. You’ll find your fair share of naked men there enjoying the sun’s rays to the fullest. That end of the beach also has the best views so you’ll find a mix of clothed and non-clothed people. Feel free to express yourself as you wish, but be respectful when taking photos in this section. 

The rocks on the end of the beach make a beautiful viewpoint for taking photos of the bridge, but it can be a super busy area of tourists waiting for their turn to take a selfie with the famous backdrop. We recommend waiting to take your bridge photos at a different spot, which we’ll reveal shortly. 


SF Photo Spot 2: Tree Clearing Near Trail

From Baker Beach you’ll walk up the trail toward Battery to Bluffs trail. On your way up, there will be an area of land to your left where you can veer off the trail. We normally don’t condone going off trail, but there is no sensitive habitat here, only dirt. From here you’ll be able to see the top of bridge peeking over the green hills.



This may not be one of the “normal” San Francisco photo spots, but it’s good to try something different. Taking photos of iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge can be difficult because so many people take the same photos from the same location and angle. If you want to stand out, you really need to find a different perspective to bring to the shot.

We love the view of the bridge from this spot because you rarely see a photo where this famous site is partially hidden. If you walk all the way down the path to the dirt landing you’ll see a group of trees that provide a beautiful frame for the bridge and green hills. This is definitely a spot people walk right past.



SF Photo Spot 3: Top of the Sand Ladder

If you continue up the path you’ll see another turn off to your left with a sign that says “Land of Abundance” with information on the local plant and wildlife. This is the top of the infamous Baker Beach Sand Ladder, a steep walkway that comes up from Baker Beach. As you admire the view from up here, you’ll notice people huffing and puffing up the Sand Ladder completely out of breath at the top. Our photowalk attendees were very grateful we didn’t take them up the ladder.



Not only is the view of the ocean and coastline stunning from up here, but the walkway leading down makes for an interesting shot. We shoot a lot of portrait photography and always keep an eye out for interesting features that can frame a person. This walkway may not be perfectly symmetrical but it provides for a natural focal point in a photograph. Jules took photos using continuous burst mode of me walking down the path. This allowed for me to walk naturally instead of taking a single shot of myself taking a posed step down. 


SF Photo Spot 4: Battery Crosby

With a little bit of research we were able to find Batteries to Bluffs, a beautiful trail that winds up and down the bluffs with stunning views of the water. To get there, go back on the main path that follows Lincoln Boulevard you’ll keep walking until you see a sign for the Batteries to Bluffs trail on your left. Walk down and you’ll make it to Battery Crosby. This battery was built in 1900 to protect underwater minefields near the Golden Gate. Now, its an abandoned battery but its still a really interesting relic of the time.



It may seem like a visual eyesore compared to the natural beauty of the coast, but it can be fun to challenge yourself to bring out the beauty in “ugly” landscapes. This is the closest you’ll get to urban exploration photography on this walk so you may as well try your hand on shooting the building’s unique architecture. There really is a unique beauty in the overgrown grass carpeting the concrete steps. Recently someone spray painted “Life is beautiful!!” on the side of the battery just under the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It may be vandalism, but it makes for a pretty awesome photo. 


SF Photo Spot 5: Marshall Beach

If you continue walking up the trail to the left of Battery Crosby you’ll walk along the top of the battery and out to the trail leading down the water. This is where you’ll find the best views of the Golden Gate bridge and, in our opinion, one of the best San Francisco photo spots. This trail is part of Batteries to Bluffs and it can get a bit busy, especially on the weekends. But if you have patience you’ll be able to get a perfect shot of the bridge and the stunning coast below. Continue down to the trail and you’ll find a big rock just off the trail where you can take really nice portrait shots. As always, be careful where you walk/stand! Always make sure you’re in a safe, stable place before taking photos. A travel photo is not worth risking an injury or your life!



We ended our photowalk here because you’re not going to find any Presidio photo spots better than this. It’s a truly gorgeous view of the Golden Gate bridge and on a sunny day you can see how it stretches across the bay into Marin. An iconic sight in one of the country’s most photogenic cities!


If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, let us know if you’re interested in an upcoming photo walks in the city! 

Top Things to Do in Orlando for Adults (Other Than Disneyland)

Orlando, Florida you say?! You must be talking Disney, rollercoasters, cotton candy and good ole fashioned, all round family friendly fun! 

No? Doesn’t sound like you? Well, believe it or not there is actually much more to the city than Disney theme parks. In fact, there are plenty of fun things for adults to do in Orlando.



Orlando Food Tours

If you want to really get to the heart of a city, you must start at the belly. And what better way than joining an Orlando Food Tour, lead by locals with snouts stronger than your average bloodhound, and the ability to sniff out the tastiest treats within the community. 

These guys are passionate about good food as well as supporting local businesses. You won’t be taken to any chain restaurants and will really get to find out where the lesser known hangouts are. Visiting local restaurants over chain restaurants is also a great way to support sustainable tourism for local businesses.

Ask your significant other, family members or friends where they want to go for dinner, and if the answer is, “I don’t know”, take them here! You’ll be able to sample food from a number of different places, so why choose just one when you can choose them all? 



Tibet-Butler Preserve 

A welcome escape from the flashing lights and candy color of the city, this nature preserve is quite literally a breath of fresh air. 

Raised walkways and clear signage make for a pleasant stroll amongst the greenery. This scenery really gives you a sense of what Florida is really like. You’ll even catch a glimpse of turtles, crocs and cranes. 

This preserve is absolutely free and is ideal for giving both the mind and the wallet a rest. A list of all Orlando parks can be found right here, however I would recommend Tibet-Butler above all. 



Orlando Brewing 

If you really want to ditch the kids and find something fun to do in Orlando for adults, then a brewery is usually a safe bet. 

Orlando Brewing has set itself apart from the others. Their founders decided that they would only brew what they wanted to drink, and they wanted to drink the best. In order to stay true to this, they brew according to the German Purity Law (1516) that states that beers should only be brewed with 4 ingredients: water, hops, yeast and malted barley. That means no additives and all of their ingredients are organic. 

These guys take this beer making stuff incredibly seriously and their efforts are worthy of you heading down and slinging a few jars back to pay some respects to the purists. 

Orlando Brewing hosts a number of different events, so be sure to plan your visit ahead of time in order to ensure the best experience.

Oh, and did I mention it’s dog friendly?



Bob’s Balloons

Take a flight over Orlando or the surrounding area. Bob offers fully customizable balloon rides and is happy to accommodate a suggestion of route and flight path. This is, of course, ultimately dictated by the wind, but if it can happen, he’ll make it happen! 

Not only that, if you have a large enough garden or space in your area, Bob can depart or land right at your home! If that’s not a baller entrance to a party then I don’t know what’s good in the world. 

A balloon ride is a fantastic way of celebrating an event such as an anniversary, special occasion or a treat for your dogs birthday. And what better way to view the city than to peacefully drift with the wind, above the trees and away from the hustle and bustle. It’s also a chance for wildlife spotting, viewing lakes and the other attractions of Florida. 



Rock Dinner 

The Rock Dinner Show is the highest rated dinner show in all of Orlando which basically means you’d be a fool to miss it! 

The show is a sing-your-heart-out, ballad packed jam-fest with all the most iconic rock and pop bangers, served to you in a high-energy musical journey. Say that sentence three times quickly and you’ll be sufficiently hyped up and ready to rock!

Not only will your evening’s soundtrack be of A* standard, accompanied with stunning visual effects and performers, the 3 course meal served comes with its own collection of awards and accolades. This really is a full package when it comes to a great night out, with every detail covered.


Clear Kayak Tours in Rock Springs

Take advantage of the crystal clear spring waters by paddling about in a see through kayak. The clear boat will break the surface water tension, allowing you to see straight down to the bottom and spot whatever else may be sharing the waters with you.

Not only is kayaking a great way to escape the heat and cool down in the waters, it’s also one of the best modes of transport for wildlife spotting. You’ll be able to silently cruise along the water whilst your knowledgeable guide gives you the low down of the surrounding nature. As well as whatever wildlife you happen to come across. With all wildlife spotting, it is of course a gamble on what you see, but some of the locals in the area include turtles, otters, deer and alligators!

There are numerous scenic photo spots, as well as a rope swing for those feeling a little more adventurous. 

This tour is located at Rock Springs which is a little further outside of the city. There are a few different ways to get over there, but an Orlando car rental would be the easiest and most convenient.

Like kayaking? Check out our Lake Tahoe road trip guide for the top spots to experience kayaking on the lake.


SAK Comedy Lab 

Live improv comedy – a good way to get your sides splitting from laughter. Improv comedy shows are made up throughout the night, with performers branching off from crowd suggestions either in skits, characters, jokes or making up songs. 

The SAK Comedy Lab was the proving ground of many successful comedians including Wayne Brady, as well as writers, actors and producers for shows such as, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, “Saturday Night Live”, “Scrubs”, “The Office’, amongst others. 

By heading down to the comedy show for a beer or glass of wine, you may well be about to witness the next big name to rock the comedy world!



Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Dinner Gala 

So you were looking for something different to do in Orlando, well this is just about as unique as it gets. You can live out all of your Jack and Rose fantasies by joining this Titanic Dinner Gala!

Guests are invited on to the Titanic, given a boarding pass and encouraged to discover your character and learn their story. A tour is given of the ship and of various artifacts, before a cocktail party followed by a 3 course meal. There is an interactive show with actors playing the roles of real life passengers, which you can also join in on. 

Suits, gowns and formal attire is recommended, however you will be fine turning up in casual clothing too.



Fun Things to Do in Orlando Other than Disney 

Well, I think that settles it… there are a TON of fun adult activities to do in Orlando. Comedy shows, breweries, food food food! The surrounding area is teeming with wildlife, you just have to get outside the city limits in order to enjoy. 

Each of the above activities can supplement your high-adrenaline theme park tour, or can make up an entirely new itinerary. And why chose just one? You can experience the best of everything with the convenience of renting a car in Orlando, getting your Disney princess fix and still have time to get out and enjoy the overlooked wonders of the city, such as clear kayaking and hot air balloon rides.

This article is a sponsored post collaboration with Viajemos. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never recommend a company that we didn’t fully support or use ourselves.

5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in LA

You may not have realized it yet, but if you look past the models, movie stars and shiny sequins, there are a whole load of outdoor adventure activities in LA, all conveniently located just a short driving distance away. L.A. is bordered by the ocean on one side and mountains on the other – so it makes sense really! 

I’ve compiled a list of go-to activities and the best places in and around Los Angeles to experience them. 



Outdoor Activities in LA: Hiking 

The Hollywood Sign. Yup. I know, I know, everyone is already aware of the Hollywood Sign. And for good reason. It is the most iconic sight in the entire city and no good LA adventure is complete without that photo.

This is the most obvious of the LA outdoor attractions, so let’s just get this out the way shall we? 

There are a number of different ways that you can enjoy the Hollywood Sign. You can head there via Canyon Drive, making a 9.2km moderate hike. This is one of the most common approaches and will get you that perfect sign photo for the ‘gram. There’s also the Hollyridge Trail to the Hollywood Sign viewpoint. It’s slightly shorter and less of an elevation gain.



If you want to bulk out your hike by adding in some L.A. must dos, then start your hike from Hollywood Boulevard. You’ll make your way down the Walk of Fame, star spotting as you go (watch out for Elmo) and ending at the Griffith Observatory. Once you get there you’ll be treated with a fantastic view of the city, the Hollywood Sign and can enjoy learning about space and the planets. Time your arrival at the observatory to coincide with sunset and thank me later.

You can also park your rental car at the observatory to skip the tourist mob of the Walk of Fame, if that’s not your thing. 

For the more serious hikers, take on Mount San Antonio. Also known as Mount Baldy, due to its lack of foliage at the peak. This 10,000+ft leg burner has two main trails that can be combined to create a loop. This is a serious hike so be sure to know the conditions and what it takes to conquer such a beast. All Trails is a great source for finding routes suited to your own ability, with reviews, recent conditions and photos. Search your location and book a car rental in LA to get to the trailhead. Leaving a vehicle at the trail means you can have it fully stocked with snacks, water and a change of clothes ready for your return – as well as being able to find trails away from the crowds.


Beach Activities in LA: Surfing

There is no shortage of surf spots in L.A., dotted along the city’s beautiful coast. Topanga, Malibu, Venice, Manhattan… each one brings a different crowd of either first timers or hardy locals. It’s L.A. so finding empty waves will always be a challenge. Try going first thing in the morning during sun rise to beat some of the crowds. 

All outdoor activities in Los Angeles, or anywhere for that matter, come with inherent risks. The ocean tends to increase that. If you’re new to surfing then consider a lesson with Learn to Surf LA, who have helped thousands upon thousands of people from around the world safely experience surfing in LA for the first time. They’ll also fill you in on the dos and dont’s of surf culture and etiquette, paramount knowledge in helping you get out of the Venice breaks without a black eye. 

Surfing is also a spectators sport and if you’d rather stay dry, Venice pier is a great spot to sit with a coffee in the morning and enjoy the show. 




Adventure in LA: Climbing 

The surrounding mountains of Los Angeles house a number of outdoor climbing opportunities, with coastal routes, sport, traditional climbing and plenty of bouldering. Pine Mountain, Topanga Canyon and Santa Barbara over to the west are worth a trip. The city itself has numerous bouldering gyms, but this isn’t an article about outdoor activities done indoors, so you’re on your own there!



If you’re looking for an intro climbing lesson or just a guide with some gear and know how, then get yourself over to Joshua Tree National Park. This protected area is characterized by its desert aesthetic, seemingly random placed boulders and of course the Joshua Trees. You can then book an experience appropriate for your skill level with Rock Climb Every Day, who also offer intros to rappelling, sport and lead climbing, as well as multi-day adventure programs. 

Joshua Tree is such an insanely beautiful place to visit that is worth the drive over no matter what activities you are into. Rent a car in LA and enjoy the scenery, the hiking and try your hand at rock climbing whilst you’re at it. 


Paddle Boarding

The (mostly) calm weather days of Los Angeles, and (usually) flat waters make it an ideal spot for paddle boarding. It’s the best way to soak up the rays whilst also enjoying the water, making it one of the most popular and fun activities in LA. 

There are rental companies on just about every stretch of beach, but if you want to increase your chances of seeing seals, dolphins and even WHALES then drive your rental over to Marina del Ray.


Copyright: Yoga Aqua


You can even use your paddle board as a vessel to explore the Venice Canals. The canals are publicly owned, so enjoy your own tour of the quirky, eccentric wonder that is Venice. 

If you were looking to spice up your paddle boarding just a little bit, why not try some SUP yoga? A real test of balance. You’ll be able to harness the tranquility of the ocean whilst discovering peace within your body, as you are taken through Vinyasa flow at a comfortable pace. This is a fun activity for adults in LA, and is open to all ability levels. A great test of mind, body and balance, your lesson begins with a 30min float and paddle, a good chance to understand how the board operates. YOGAqua offers private, group and instructor training lessons at a number of different locations.



How could this even be considered a list of outdoor activities in LA without including rollerblading?! Put your headphones in, press play on your favorite 80’s disco track and let the good times roooooooll.



This activity is best enjoyed at Venice Beach, where there are plenty of fantastic people watching opportunities as the world slides by. From Venice you can head all the way to Santa Monica stopping at Muscle beach, the skate park and the board walk stalls to break up the journey. Once in Santa Monica, you can cruise through Dogtown, famed for its key role in skateboarding history. The Zephyr surf shop still exists, although it now homes Dogtown Coffee, which is worth pulling into.

If you are just too damn cool to get your roller skate on, then there are also a number of bike rental options where you can carry out this activity but have approx. 25% less fun than if you were on skates. Leave your car at the Venice pier parking lot and spend the day exploring the beach and boardwalk.

This post has been a sponsored collaboration with Viajemos. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never endorse a product or service we didn’t fully support or use.

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