The Black Bear Manor In Ouray

My husband and I have visited Ouray twice; once before we got married, in 2012, and once this past year in 2016. I would like to say that I have been completely won over by the Black Bear Manor. We stayed at the Black Bear both times we visited, and in the same room.

Since our first visit, the inn did change management. Our stay was not at all impacted by this change. We still received the great service that we knew and loved, and we will definitely come back again.

What’s to love? First, the inn is clean and well kept. It has a beautiful big deck with tables and a bench swing, where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine, or your breakfast in the morning. There is this beautiful room at the top of the house, with huge windows, where you can sit and look out at the mountains. During our last visit there was a thunderstorm and my husband and I just sat in the dark with a glass of wine and watched the lightening. It was a neat experience.

The whole house is surrounded by decks and balconies. You can take time to rejuvenate your body after a long hike, with a soak in the hot tub. If you are looking for a more private and luxurious experience, the inn does have a room called the Royal Suite, which has a steam shower and private in room hot tub. I have not stayed in this room, but if it’s as nice as the rest of Black Bear, I am sure it is wonderful.

Breakfast is at two different times, one of which is buffet style. The food is amazing and I have no complaints. There were so many great options. The chef is willing to take into consideration any food allergies, or intolerance, etc.

Black Bear is romantic, and relaxing. It’s located in a beautiful city with tons of activities. The owners are great people who take wonderful care of all their occupants. I would highly recommend this experience if you are looking to get away from the craziness of your everyday life.

For more information or to book your stay at the Black Bear Manor, please visit: http://www.blackbearmanor.com/

 

 

Ouray Is The Place To Be

Yesterday I took the time to write about my experience with Box Canyon Falls. Box Canyon isn’t the only great thing about visiting Ouray, Colorado. Ouray is a beautiful, small town, surrounded by mountains. The city has a certain charm that just invites you to stay. It is notably called “Switzerland of America,” because of how it resembles Switzerland. There are many things to do during your visit to make it worth your time, even if you are more of a city person.

The downtown area has lots of quaint little shops to wander through. You can find most of the tourist items one would search for while on vacation such as: chocolates, magnets, apparel, a nice bottle of wine, etc. There are a decent number of restaurants to choose from as well. My husband and I have eaten at a few of them and so far everything has been great.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are several waterfalls to visit in, and near Ouray. Box Canyon Falls is my favorite. I do, however, believe that the other falls are also well worth your time. You can easily visit Cascade Falls Park; the trail is short, but steep. Another waterfall that is right in the open is Bear Creek Falls. This is right off Hwy 550 and it’s pretty impressive. No need to hike to this waterfall; it comes right out of the rocks on the side of the road.

If you are looking to stay in Ouray for a few nights, there is plenty of lodging, but you must book in advance. You can find some great hotels or old mansions turned bed and breakfast. My husband and I have stayed at Black Bear Manor both times we have visited. The experience was so exceptional that we considered getting married there after our first visit.

Other things to do in Ouray include visiting the hot springs, hiking, and off-roading. There are tons of off-roading trails in and near town. We took time to explore several of these trails on our last trip. We lost our 4-wheel drive in the process, but we will definitely go back again for more.

Just up the road you will find several old mining camps. There is one particular ghost town that is fun to explore. There are lots of old buildings. You can come away with some great pictures.

Ouray is a place that I would recommend anyone to visit at least once. This romantic town will surely win you over. With so many great activities, how could you go wrong?

For more information on Ouray, Colorado, please visit the following websites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd4tmAxx2Y4

http://www.ouraycolorado.com/

 

In Love With Box Canyon Falls

If you find that you love waterfalls as much as I do, and you are taking a trip to Colorado, I highly recommend a visit to Ouray. Ouray is home to several different waterfalls. While each of these waterfalls has its own unique characteristics, the most impressive by far, is Box Canyon. On a side note, if you choose to visit all of the waterfalls in the area, they are all quite easy to get at and require minimal, or no hiking.

Box Canyon is impressive because the waterfall is completely surrounded by rock walls. You can view this marvel from above, or on a more up close and personal level, from below. The experience is a bit noisy, but completely exhilarating.

To get to the top, you will have to climb stairs, and some bumpy terrain. Once up there you will stand on a bridge overlooking the falls and the creek. You can proceed on, after your viewing, to hike the surrounding area, or go back the way you came and head down the stairs to the lower part of the falls. I recommend both views, but the more impressive is definitely the lower.

Box Canyon is a great place to view wildlife. You may possibly see the most chipmunks you have ever witnessed in one area. These little creatures are quite daring and will run all over the place, right in front of you. While I visited the canyon, I was lucky enough to see a Black Swift in a nest on one of the rock walls.

This wonder of nature is a place that I have visited more than once, and I will continue to come back. I love the sound of the thousands of gallons of water just rushing into the creek below. It’s one of my all-time favorite waterfalls.

For more information on Box Canyon Falls, please visit the following sites: http://www.ouraycolorado.com/directory/outdoor-activities/parks/54-box-canyon-waterfall-park

https://www.boxcanyonouray.com/activities/summer-activities/box-canon-falls/

 

A Taste of Bryce Canyon

This past October, my husband’s aunt and uncle took us for a drive to Bryce Canyon, from Las Vegas. If you are okay with a 4 hour car drive, perhaps you would like to take this scenic drive as well. Bryce is definitely a trip you want to make when you have a full day, or more.

We chose to take this drive in October, because we were hoping to see some of the fall colors. While the colors were not as plentiful as that of the Midwest, it was still a pretty drive. Had we chosen to go a little earlier in the season, I think there would have been more to see, since the trees had already dropped quite a few leaves. The varying colors of the rock in the canyon, and the changing light as we went from midday to evening, gave us plenty of colors to look at aside from the foliage.

Upon reaching Bryce Canyon, we did a driving tour and stopped at many of the lookout points. The Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon are definitely a beautiful and impressive sight. We saw quite a variety of rock formations throughout the canyon, and of course, we took lots of photographs.

My husband and I only went down one hiking trail, but had we arrived with more time to burn, we would have spent a great deal more of our visit hiking. Even with the long drive there and back, Bryce was totally worth seeing. I will definitely come back again sometime and stay somewhere nearby overnight. I would like to hike and evaluate some of the trails and get even more photographs of the impressive rock formations. Definitely look for more information on Bryce Canyon in the future; this trip did not quite fulfill my desire to explore.

For more information on Bryce Canyon, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm

A View From The Eiffel Tower In Las Vegas

The Eiffel Tower has long been a favorite destination for overseas travelers to Paris. If you happen to be vacationing in Las Vegas, you may very well be staying at Paris, in which case, I would highly suggest checking out the Las Vegas version of the Eiffel Tower. This is yet another destination that provides great views of the Strip.

The Las Vegas Eiffel Tower is only half the size of the real Eiffel Tower, but it’s still quite impressive. Atop the 46 story high building, you will be able to see for miles. This is a great destination for creating memories as well as taking in the night lights of the Strip.

To get tickets you must go to the Eiffel Tower Box Office and most likely wait in line to make your purchase. You may buy tickets ahead if you purchase them online. You might even be able to find a Groupon or Living Social for a discounted price.

My husband and I went to the Eiffel Tower this past October. The line to redeem our voucher for tickets went fairly fast. We got in line for the elevator ride to the top, and suddenly, despite the line being fairly short, things slowed quite a bit. We waited about a half an hour. Only so many people can fit in the glass elevators, so the process was a little slow.

Once we made it to the top, we were glad we had bought the tickets. We went in the evening and it was dark outside. We were able to get great photos of the Strip, as well as the High Roller, which is one of my other favorite Las Vegas attractions.

After we’d had our fill of the cool night air, we were able to easily depart via glass elevator. The ride back down was almost instantaneous. I don’t know if I would spend thirty minutes waiting in line to do this a second time, but it was well worth the experience to go at least once.

For more information, or to book tickets for the Eiffel Tower Experience, please visit: https://www.caesars.com/paris-las-vegas/things-to-do/eiffel-tower#.WOVo52e1thE

 

Clingmans Dome: An Exceptional View

If you are planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains, Clingmans Dome is a must see. This particular mountain is the highest spot you can hike to in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. You can drive to the path that leads to the observation tower and then hike a half mile up to the tower. The path leading to the tower is completely paved.

Now this may seem simple, but I kid you not, even being in the best shape I had been in years, this was a tiring walk. It is a half mile walking at a consistent incline. There are several benches along the way and I used almost every one of them. Of all the hikes we did on our honeymoon, this one was the shortest and the most hard on breathing.

Not to worry, the view from the lookout is exceptional. I would do this walk again just to see that particular view. My husband and I took a nice long break just taking in our surroundings and photographing everything. The walk back down was quick and easy.

To find more information on Clingmans Dome, please visit: http://www.clingmansdome.com/

Zipping In Sevierville

Over the past few years I have found a new thrill that I greatly enjoy. If you happen to be passing through Sevierville, Tennessee and you are looking for something new and exciting, I have just the thing for you. Even as a person who is terrified of heights, I had a blast on the Wahoo Ziplines.

Since my experience with Wahoo Ziplines, I have also tried out Canopy Zip, in Idaho Springs, Colorado. These were two very different experiences. While I greatly enjoyed both, Canopy Zip definitely required more work on my part. The employees at Wahoo Ziplines actually catch and pull you in as you reach the next platform, whereas at Canopy Zip, you have to use your own hands to actually slow and stop yourself. For a newbie to zipping, this could be a little nerve racking.

Wahoo Ziplines is a great experience, because, while it is right on the edge of town, the course makes you feel like you are in the middle of a mountain forest, far from civilization. The views are wonderful and the experience has a certain freedom and tranquility to it. You feel like you are one with nature as you soar over the foliage. Each zipline is just as exciting as the previous.

All of the employees at Wahoo were very nice and attentive. Once I got myself to jump off the first platform, with some encouragement from the staff, I felt completely safe and couldn’t wait to leap from the next. The group my husband and I toured with was all pretty laid back; we had a blast and actually we would have thought about going for a second round, if it weren’t for all of the other activities we had planned.

The only downside to zipping with Wahoo had nothing to do with the actual company. I got off the course and found out I had some pretty big bruises on one of my shoulder blades. I may have given myself too much of a jolt jumping from one of the platforms. That’s just one of the hazards of zipping, but it sure didn’t stop me from doing it a second time in Idaho Springs. If I were to find myself back in Sevierville, I would definitely visit Wahoo again.

For more information on Wahoo Ziplines, or to book your own zipping adventure, please visit: http://wahooziplines.com/

Adventure is wherever the desire takes us.