Archive for ‘Travel Guides’

Saguaro National Park Visitor Guide

Saguaro National Park Visitor Guide

Imagine a place where cactuses grow to be as big as telephone poles, the sunsets look like they came right out of a postcard, and the roadrunner you grew up watching on cartoons really does scurry around the landscape.  If that sounds intriguing to you, then you will absolutely love Saguaro National Park in Arizona.

This beautiful desert park also includes over 100 miles of great hiking trails and a number of paved roads that assist visitors in seeing the park.  Visitors to the park are able to hike, camp, bird and animal watch, go star gazing at night, or just relax and enjoy the serenity of the desert.  One thing this park is never in short supply of is peacefulness.

Visitor’s Guide to Lucerne, Switzerland

Visitor’s Guide to Lucerne, Switzerland

Switzerland is an absolutely beautiful country.  Situated in the heart of the European Alps, Switzerland has some of the most stunning mountain landscapes in all of Europe.  However, because Switzerland is the most mountainous country in Europe, people tend to overlook the fact that Switzerland’s beautiful landscapes consist of more than just mountains.  Some of the most beautiful lakes, valleys, and cities that I have seen in my travels I saw while visiting Switzerland.

Perhaps no other city in Switzerland combines the mountains, a beautiful lake, and a charming city into one package like the city of Lucerne.  Just a short lift ride from being in the thick of the Swiss Alps, and sitting on the coast of one of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakes, Lucerne really does have it all.  Not many other places can you go sailing in the morning and then take a trip up into the mountains in the afternoon.

Visitor’s Guide to Ghent, Belgium

Visitor’s Guide to Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is an absolutely stunning city that sits at the confluence of the Scheldt and Leie Rivers.  In fact, much of the city is built up around these rivers, which intersect the city and give it the charm that has made it such a popular tourist destination.  In addition to its stunning city landscape, the city of Ghent is also well known for its cuisine and its beer.

In fact, according to the local tourism industry, there are roughly 653 restaurants, 620 cafes, and 250 kinds of beer available in Ghent.  And that doesn’t even include the amazing chocolate that is found in chocolate stores scattered about the city and the amazing Belgian style waffles that you can buy from street vendors.  In short, Ghent is a foodie’s dream come true.

In this guide, I am going to give you all of the information that you need to make your visit to Ghent an absolute success.  I will outline the best ways to get to the city, talk about when the best times to visit are throughout the year, give you some recommendations on where to stay and where to eat, and finally I will talk about the top things I would recommend seeing and doing while you are there.

Ultimate Guide to Viewing Northern Elephant Seals in California

Ultimate Guide to Viewing Northern Elephant Seals in California

If you like wildlife, especially marine wildlife, the state of California in the United States has some absolutely wonderful wildlife viewing experiences available to visitors.  One of my favorite of these experiences is seeing the large Northern Elephant Seals along the coast of the state.  It really is impossible to appreciate how large and powerful these seals are until you see them on a beach with your own eyes.

Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Guide

Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Guide

With a countless number of breathtaking vistas, some of the most unique and beautiful trees in the country scattering its landscape, and some of the best rock climbing scrambles in North America within its borders, Joshua Tree National Park may just be one of the most underrated national parks in the US National Parks system.

Joshua Tree may not get all of the press that its sister parks in California get, as parks such as Yosemite, Death Valley, and Redwood are well known around the world.  However, that doesn’t mean Joshua Tree National Park isn’t every bit as beautiful or exciting.  If you ask any national parks enthusiast who is well versed in all of the national parks in the United States and they will tell you that Joshua Tree National Park is one of the premier national parks in the country.

Visitor’s Guide to Zermatt, Switzerland

Visitor’s Guide to Zermatt, Switzerland

If you are into outdoor adventure, then the beautiful city of Zermatt in Southern Switzerland should be near the top of your destinations list.  World renown for its skiing, mountaineering, and hiking trails, Zermatt is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground.  Every year, people from around the world visit Zermatt to ski on its amazing slopes, hike on the many miles of beautiful alpine hiking trails, and to view and even climb the neighboring mountain peaks.

Zermatt is home to the Matterhorn, which may be one of this world’s most beautiful and enchanting mountains.  With its jagged peak, which is often made more alluring by cloud cover, the Matterhorn looks like it could have been conjured up on a Hollywood movie set.  It is only the 10th highest mountain in Switzerland, but it may be the most famous because of its sheer beauty.  But as beautiful as the mountain is, it can also be deadly.  Since 1865, roughly 500 people have died on the mountain.  This is an average of roughly 3 or 4 people a year.  So if you are going to try and climb the mountain, make sure you know what you are getting into before you set off.

Visitor’s Guide to Ronda, Spain

Visitor’s Guide to Ronda, Spain

If you are looking for that quintessential Spanish fairytale experience, then look no further than the city of Ronda in Spain’s Malaga province. This mountaintop city, which is built-up on the precipice of a deep gorge, looks like it was conjured up from the mind of one of this world’s greatest storytellers. It really is that beautiful and unique.

While this fabulous city may not have been imagined up by a great storyteller, it has attracted some of this world’s most creative minds. In fact, both Olson Wells and Ernest Hemingway spent some significant time in this city of dreams throughout their lives. According to Hemingway, “Ronda is the place where to go, if you are planning to travel to Spain for a honeymoon or for being with a girlfriend. The whole city and its surroundings are a romantic set.”

Big Bend National Park Visitor Guide

Big Bend National Park Visitor Guide

Everything in Texas tends to be big, and the national parks that reside within the state are no exception.  Big Bend National Park even has the word “big” in its name.  With a total size of 801,163 acres, Big Bend ranks as the fourteenth largest national park in the United States and the seventh largest park in the continental United States.  Not only is the size of the park big, but the vistas are large, the hikes are large, and the hearts of the people in this part of the country are large as well.

The Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail

The Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is one of this world’s greatest hikes for explorers and adventurers.  Since the world became reacquainted with Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail following its rediscovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911, adventurers, academics, and world explorers have been flocking to Peru to hike the trail each year.  Machu Picchu was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, and then declared one of the world’s New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.  This has only increased the popularity of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail.  This has led to an increase in the number of visitors to the area from in the low 100,000’s in the 1980s to over 1.2 million visitors a year today.