Category Archives: Outdoor Activities

Mini Hike To Adams Falls

When I go to Colorado, or really on any nature based vacation, my favorite hikes are those that take me to see a waterfall. I am definitely one of those hikers who enjoys a nice view that I can photograph from a million different angles and show to my friends and family when I return from my adventure. If you are not into long hikes, but you enjoy the great views at the end, I highly recommend a visit to Adams Falls.

Adams Falls is located near Grand Lake, so it wasn’t too far from Winter Park, which is where my family was vacationing. This particular trail is a loop and only .8 miles long. It is part of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are in the area, you should definitely stop because the views are too good to pass up on this mini hike. The elevation at Adams Falls is 8,474 feet. The trail is accommodating to all skill levels of hiker.

Once you get to the waterfall, you can view it from a couple of different points. If you are like my step-son and you require a little more hiking activity, there are plenty of rocks to climb. A person could spend quite a bit of time here if they were to explore the area further or just sit back and relax while taking in the scenery. This could be a great place for picnic.

For more information on Adams Falls, please visit: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/adams-falls-trail

Vacationing The Summer Away In Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Summer is in full bloom and vacations are upon us. Living in the Midwest you never know what the weather is going to be. It could be hotter than Hades, or it could be cold and rainy. You might have humidity that makes you want to cry, or you could end up with a day that feels like fall is moving in. Take heart in knowing that you can escape the madness by adventuring to either coast, or leaving the country completely.

If you are looking for a great summer destination with beautiful weather and great scenery, in the month of July, allow me to recommend Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat is a great location for your summer vacay, because this city has a little bit of everything. You will be surrounded by great hiking territory and a quaint downtown area that has lots of great food options as well as shops.

There are tons of lodging options in Steamboat. You can choose a hotel, a condo, or look to VRBO, which is what my family did on our vacation. We managed to rent a five bedroom home overlooking the mountains, on the outskirts of town. This particular location was beautiful and felt like home away from home. We had a hot tub, a horseshoe pit, a grill, and large open living spaces. Check out VRBO.com, sometimes they give last minute deals to fill their rentals.

If you plan a trip to Steamboat, and you like rodeos, you should check out their Pro Rodeo Series. They host a special rodeo event on the 4th of July. My family had a blast, and it was a fairly inexpensive and entertaining way to spend an evening.

Other fun things to do while in Steamboat are as follows: The alpine slide, gondola rides, bike trails, fishing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing, climbing, zip lining, the water park, and the hot springs. If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do in and around this town; there are many more options than what I named above.

While we were out hiking in July we did see quite a few wild flowers. There are nearby hikes that include waterfall destinations. If you don’t feel like hiking, there are also some scenic drives that will provide you with some great views and photographs.

While I have only visited Steamboat once, just thinking back to our last trip there makes me want to return. The feel of the town is small, but also clean and crisp. You can breathe in that mountain air and enjoy the river running along the edge of town. The feeling is serene.

For more information on Steamboat Springs, please visit: http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat

http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat/western/rodeo

 

A Look At Stillwater, Minnesota

Minnesota is a beautiful state, full of wonderful things to do during any season. One of my favorite towns to visit, especially during the summer, is Stillwater. This city is located right on the St. Croix River and really is a great place to visit any time of year. I prefer summer months because of the river and being able to sit out on patios while enjoying a glass of wine or a meal.

Stillwater has a ton of options for staying. There are many Bed & Breakfasts to choose from as well as hotels. One particular place I love to stay at is the Water Street Inn. I have stayed at this Inn on three different occasions and every single experience I have had was memorable and fun. The Water Street Inn features fireplaces and whirlpools in each room. You also have a community patio that faces out toward the river. You won’t be staying on the water at any of the other Inn’s in town. They also have their own restaurant and bar and they are located right in the middle of downtown. Location, location, location; it doesn’t get much better than that.

If you prefer something more secluded for your stay in Stillwater and you don’t mind driving, you could definitely choose any of the other B&B locations around town. I have previously stayed at the Outing Lodge at Pine Point. Not all rooms have a whirlpool, but this Inn has great food and a bar in the basement that showcases live music at times. It is set back in the woods and has a very nice romantic feel to it. This makes a great place for staying in the winter; you can easily go snowshoeing or skiing on the trails nearby. The owners make your stay very homey, at one point they brought around fresh made chocolate chip cookies, talk about winning some points there.

For those who are into good food and wine, downtown has a lot to offer. Northern Vineyards is a great place to go and take part in some wine tasting, they also have a balcony in the back where you can sit and drink wine while looking out at the river. If you are looking for great food and a view of the river, The Freight House is a wonderful experience, though on the pricier side. To enjoy some tasty Italian, Buona Sera features some great food, which I very much enjoyed; reservations are recommended. For a more low-key outing away from the high end food, there is also any number of pubs on Main Street to choose from, some of which have music on weekends.

During daylight hours you can easily wander Main Street and find plenty to do. There are quite a few antique shops, bookstores, and art stores to keep you busy. Stillwater frequently is the place to be for outdoor craft fairs as well. If you would like to spend some time on the water you can take a trip over to the St. Croix Boat & Packet Co., and sign up for one of their scenic river boat cruises. Whatever you do, be sure to end your day watching the sunset. You won’t regret this beautiful view over the St. Croix River.

For more information on Stillwater, please visit the following sites: http://www.discoverstillwater.com/

http://waterstreetinn.us/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=GMB

http://outinglodge.com/

http://www.stillwaterriverboats.com/

http://northernvineyards.com/

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Activities To Add To Your Mountain Adventures

Sometimes when on vacation in the mountains I get a craving for something more than just a hike or off-roading. Perhaps I want to relax while still doing something fun and enjoying the scenery. There are so many activities that provide excitement and views without a ton of exertion on your whole body. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a ton of other activities that still provide great views, are different than the norm, and give you a great workout.

A few of the things I have looked into have been gondola rides, horseback riding, alpine coasters, and boat rentals. Most often if you are in mountain territory during the summer, you will be able to locate some or even all of these activities. If you want something more exciting and strenuous though, I would look into white water rafting, mountain biking, or zip-lining.

While visiting the ski towns, you can often get free gondola rides at some locations, on certain days of the week. Keystone and Breckenridge, Colorado have previously offered a day when you can ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for free. When you get to the top in Keystone you have the chance to do all kinds of fun outdoor games, have some drinks, sit and enjoy the views, or eat a meal at the restaurant. You could spend hours up there just wandering around.

While visiting Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, my husband and I, took time to do lots of different outdoor activities. We rented a pontoon and spent the day on the river. It was beautiful and we were able to enjoy some swimming as well. On the other end of the spectrum, we also went whitewater rafting, which was a blast. We rode two different alpine coasters, which are like roller coasters, but you have your own car and you control how fast you go. We tried out Goat’s On the Roof Alpine Coaster and the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. I enjoyed both but I think the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster was my favorite, though you were able to feed goats at Goat’s On the Roof, so that makes both totally worth it in my book.

On two different trips to Colorado I went horseback riding on the mountainside. The ride was great because you have a chance to see all types of wildlife as well as get some great photo views. I recommend riding earlier in the day because there is something serene about the earlier hours meandering through the mountains.

I can’t forget to mention taking a trip to the hot springs. While in Steamboat my family decided we would spend an afternoon relaxing at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. This particular park is very family friendly and has a more natural look to it. There are several different pools all at varying temperatures. We had a great time though the place was most definitely on the packed side.

When you travel, don’t forget about all of the other amazing outdoor adventures you can partake in. There is way more to the mountains than just hiking and off-roading, although hiking and off-roading are pretty great. Try something new; you never know you may find a new activity that you just can’t resist doing over and over again in the future. To you and yours, happy hiking and exploring!

For a little extra information, please visit: http://strawberryhotsprings.com/facilities/

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/sports/outdoors/2015/01/14/visit-one-family-friendly-hot-springs/21767959/

http://www.smokymountainalpinecoaster.com/

http://thecoastertn.com/

http://www.keystoneresort.com/activities/summer-activities.aspx?page=viewall&CMPID=PPC_DEST_KEYSTONE

http://breckstables.com/

http://www.horsebackestespark.com/