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Wanderlust on a Budget – 6 Stunning Global Destinations That Won’t Break the Bank

Travel doesn’t have to be a distant dream when you are working on a tight budget. Everyone deserves that little getaway break every now and then.

Here are six stunning destinations that won’t break the piggy bank.

1. Budapest HungaryBudapest Hungary

As far as holiday destinations go Hungary is often underrated. Budapest has some of the cheapest holidays available, and you are guaranteed to get more from those pennies than you expected. Budapest boasts some of the most extraordinary architecture and scenery, best observed from a boat tour along the Danube River, as well as some fantastic patisseries to keep your belly happy as you stroll through the city; you are definitely in for a sweet treat. To top it off you can visit their popular coffee houses for a cup of Joe that you will never forget. For £1 beers, you’ll never want to leave!

2. GreeceGreece

Currently recovering from the recent financial crisis gorgeous Greece is a budget holiday heaven. Holiday accommodation is typically inexpensive in the less cosmopolitan side of town, while the popular island of Mykonos is still quite pricey. If you are looking for a cheaper island alternative, you can opt for the quiet island of Pyros for the relaxation and tranquility you deserve on a Grecian holiday.

If your Greek holiday sounds more like dancing all night while putting back some cheap and tasty shooters then head over to the island of los for all-nighters abound. Take advantage of this while you can, and enjoy a breath-taking holiday.

3. Sri LankaSri Lanka

For that paradise getaway you would never expect, find it in Sri Lanka. Not only known for their world-renowned cricket teams, their pristine white beaches and gorgeous mountain ranges are sure to impress even the seasoned traveler.

For less than £30 a day you can have the luxury holiday abroad you have been dreaming of. There is the option of both beachside Hotels and hidden cottages on the mountainside. Known for their Buddhist culture you can explore temples and monasteries and dine on the best fish curries you have ever tasted.

4. CubaCuba

If you are looking spicy salsa and exhilarating carnivals then Havana, Cuba, is definitely your travel on a budget go-to destination.

Known for its fascinating history and diverse cityscape, scintillating Cuba is an exciting holiday location. For a holiday that won’t bankrupt, you definitely need to visit this Caribbean island.

 

5. Istanbul Turkey

Istanbul Turkey

For a relaxing and quiet holiday, this is the place you want to be. Visit the historical landmarks, take a traditional Istanbul passenger ferryboat through the city or bask on a street side terrace sampling the country’s finest food, this is one place you can go to hide away from all the worries life throws at you.  Plan your budget and you can make this an unforgettable adventure.

6.EgyptEgypt

Ever wanted to roam the valley of kings or see a mummy in its tomb? Though you may not see Brendan Frasier battling a swarm of reanimated mummies, Egypt is every young at heart’s favorite adventure come true. For a surprisingly affordable adventure, you can visit the pyramids and the absorb the rich history this ancient country has to offer, combined with a visit to the Nile or some amazing desert feasts you will leave Egypt feeling like modern day pharaoh.

Top 5 Destinations For an Icy Cold Trip

Somewhere in the world it is cold. Just the word “cold” turns people off the idea of visiting a place but let’s be honest; we have all seen some amazing snowy photos in our time. People should try to embrace it. Trips are most certainly not all about going to warm places and sitting on a beach- well, not every time. Sometimes, the most beautiful destinations are caked in the white stuff. Some of the coolest photos show a glaze of icicles and huge glaciers.

In this article, Agness and Cez of eTramping travel blog will showcase to you their TOP FIVE places to visit to experience what any others will miss out on; visiting the most beautiful icy cold destinations the human eyes will ever see. They personally love to travel in winter, so you might beware plenty of enthusiasm!

1. Svalbard, Norway

With a name that sounds like it came straight out of a Lord Of The Rings novel, Svalbard is a collection of islands situated north of Norway, tucked in between the Arctic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea. Largely unpopulated across all islands, some have “nature reserve” status and offer so much potential for the more adventurous traveller. The higher mountain tops are permanently under snow and there are plenty of cool glaciers to check out for those who love an upward trek. If you time it right, you may catch a midnight sun (April to August) or a polar night (October to February) in your Svalbard trip. They will certainly add character to your trip!

Svalbard, Norway

There are plenty of ways of getting around each of the islands, but the postal service boat trips or Svalbard Cruises are the best ways. Most people there speak English very well, so communication will not be an issue. The best part of these trips can include a possibility of seeing a Polar Bear family finding its way through the craggy mountains. Not only that, there may also be an abundance of other remarkable wildlife in their natural habitat. Be sure to keep an eye out for Puffins, Humpback Whales, Orcas, polar foxes and many more.
One other interesting fact: any human artifacts left lying around from before 1946 must be left alone, as the law states. You may stumble across an old mining entrance, or a random spade on your travels.  It is best to not touch them!

2. Harbin, China

Harbin is home to the Ice and Snow Festival, where the most incredible ice sculptures are showcased to those that visit. Popular throughout January, Harbin is the perfect icy getaway for those wanting to numb their New Year Blues. This expedition is becoming more and more popular every year as competition grows from participants around the world. There is no doubt you will wowed by the high quality of these sculptures and their intricate and accurate cuts, not to mention the sizes! It has been known that an Ice Castle was showcased here once, standing at a whopping forty-eight metres high! There are smaller, less hectic shows on Sun Island, although the name doesn’t reflect the temperatures. Be sure to pack strategically, as it can get super cold here during this time of the year.

Harbin, China

There is plenty to keep you occupied other than the ice sculptures. Ice-skating and sight-seeing are two very popular things to do, as the architecture here is a mixture of Russian influence and neo-classical streets, which makes for an interesting mixture of styles. Plenty of history to be learned!

3. Barrow, Alaska

This part of the US is unique because it stretches far north of the Arctic Circle. Not only that but it is surprisingly diverse with culture. You will probably hear several languages spoken around you in any given day. Nevertheless, the majority of the population are of Eskimo heritage and the locals have gone to great lengths to preserve their natural way of life. Therefore you will find plenty of points of interest, where you will learn of the evolution and hardships of a very unique group of people.  In fact, the more interest you show, the more welcome you will feel. Barrow Beach is a very photogenic area, with the added possibility of sighting some polar bears in their natural habitat. You may even see them in the middle of a seal hunt! It is best to keep a whole day free for this part of the trip, as you will have a chance to relax and take in your surroundings.

Barrow, Alaska

Temperatures in Barrow can get frightfully cold (lows of -50 degrees Celsius) but there is plenty of landscape to explore.

4. Patagonia, South America

This is quite simply a matchless part of the world, because of its incredible exploration opportunities. Shared by Chile and Argentina, the western part mixes with the Andes and give you awe-inspiring trek routes and the most beautiful nature experiences you may ever have.  The Moreno Glacier is certainly worth a visit due to its vastness and photo opportunities. The eastern stretches of Patagonia have cool views of the Atlantic Ocean. The north collides with dry and humid desert land and Pampas lowlands. It has everything! It is such a huge, desolate area, a playground for trekkers and adventure seekers to enjoy.

Patagonia, South America

What is even more distinctive is the local dialect. Welsh, you may wonder? Yes, one of the larger settlements in these parts are Welsh Argentinian. You will meet the kindest, most humble people on your trip here, people will drop everything to help you along your way.

Patagonia is actually proudly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will most likely mix with some fantastic wildlife, such as sea lions, dolphins and penguins on the coast, and witness endangered Pumas and other such animals in the mountains.

5. Swiss Alps

You know where this is going- get your skis ready! Aside from the amazing skiing experiences (if skiing takes your fancy- or snowboarding, for that matter), there are plenty of quaint, fairytale-like villages to explore, such as Saas Fee and Wengen.

Swiss Alps

They offer sweet, alpine views, amazing hot meals, and are great places to base yourself as you explore the local skiing culture. Stay warm with some local Fondue, and mix with families and lone-travellers from all around the world. Make sure you bring a GoPro or something similar, for those winding alpine slopes!

There are also some fantastic mountaineering climbs on offer across the region. Plenty of choices include Matterhorn, Breithorn and Castor. If you enjoy challenging yourself to adventurous treks, you are in for a treat! The views are breath-taking, the glaciers are looming.  Further down the mountains you will find wondrous gorges and national parks to gaze upon, so take a spare memory card for your camera!

The 10 Travel Destinations you Need To Put on Your Bucket List

It’s a great big, beautiful world out there, with so many choices of stunning travel destinations that it’s not easy deciding where to set your sights when seeking the adventure of a lifetime. Not everyone has the luxury of regular travel to glamorous destinations, so for those of us who aim to see at least one magical place before it’s too late, narrowing your options down to just one or two choices can be quite tough. If indecision is standing in the way of your dreams then let’s simplify the choice for you; we’ve handpicked 10 breathtaking destinations which you absolutely must see in your lifetime.

1. Touring Through the Alhambra in Granada, SpainAlhambra in Granada, Spain

The Alhambra is a palace in Granada which dates as far back as 889 AD. The Moors gave it a renovation in the 11th Century, making it a rich historical and cultural experience. This historical monument’s architecture is beautifully intricate and lavishly decorated, guaranteed to both fascinate and inspire.

2. Sledding or Snowboarding down an Active Volcano in NicaraguaVolcano Boarding

Are you a sledding or snowboarding enthusiast? Well, you haven’t lived until you have tried your hand at volcano boarding at Cerro Negro, an active volcano located just outside of León in Nicaragua. The volcano requires a 2388 foot hike up loose, penny-sized volcanic rock, which you then sled or snowboard downhill at a thrilling 30 mph!

3. Go Swimming In Iceland, in the Blue LagoonBlue Lagoon

In a lava field in Southwest Iceland found approximately an hour away from the capital Reyjavík is a geothermal 100°F spa known as the Blue Lagoon. The man-made lagoon appears blue when the sunlight hits it due to its rich silica content, and it also contains algae and mineral contents which are purported to have many healing properties. It is fed by geothermal seawater. 279

4. Releasing a Candle in Thailand during the Yi Peng FestivalYi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

The Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand is a religious ceremony celebrated by the Thai people in which they release glowing lanterns into the sky and make a wish as they pay homage to the Buddha. A week later a second lantern release festival is hosted to give the foreigners a turn to participate, along with fireworks and colorful parades running through the city all through the weekend.

5. Diving with Crocodiles in Wild AfricaDiving with Crocodiles in Wild Africa

If you’re looking for a destination that offers you the chance to be really brave, then travel down to South Africa and meet one of the most terrifying ancient creatures on earth. Crocs have 4 times the bite pressure of the great white shark, getting up close and personal will be the most intense things you will ever experience. You can dive with Nile crocodiles in a bite-proof cage at the Cango Wildlife ranch in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.

6. Exploring the Wildlife of the Galápagos IslandsGalapagos Iceland

The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Island. Charles Darwin, the evolutionary theorist, spent many years in Ecuador studying the Islands’ vast number of species which are totally unique to the island. See creatures you won’t find anywhere else, like giant tortoises, tiny penguins, and blue-footed boobies.

7. Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, TurkeyHot Air Ballooning

How better to enjoy Turkeys panoramic vistas, the charming hoodoos, and the balmy weather than in a hot-air balloon floating in the sky? In Cappadocia the sky is littered with them.

8. Wondering Through Japan’s Sagano Bamboo ForestSagano Bamboo Forest

Japan’s Sagano Bamboo Forest sits just outside of Kyoto. Take a walk through a magical world of the bamboo stalks towering abundantly and majestically above you, creaking spookily in the wind.

9. Swinging in Ecuador at the End Of The WorldSwinging in Ecuador

The ‘end of the world’ refers to La Casa del Arbol in Baños, Ecuador. Here you’ll find a tree house, which is actually a seismic monitoring station, with a non-acrophobes swing which hangs over the crater of an active stratovolcana called Mount Tungarahua.

10. Cruising through Vietnam’s Hạ Long BayCruising through Vietnam’s Hạ Long Bay

Picture a bay of emerald green waters dotted with towering limestone rainforest islands. The Gulf of Tonkin’s Hạ Long Bay features over 1600 generally uninhabited islets and islands, making it an ideal tourist destination for outdoor appreciators such as hikers, rock climbers, and scuba divers.

The 10 Best Getaway Beach Resorts around the World

Everyone fantasizes about the ultimate beach holiday; the stuff dreams are made of. The perfect pearly white sands, crystal clear blue waters, the scenery set with perfect palm trees blowing in the wind near rustic beach huts.

We have compiled a list of some of the most inviting beach resorts that have caught the eye of many a dreamer.

Rosalie Bay Resort, DominicaRosalie Bay Resort, Dominica

Perfect surroundings from gardens to mountains and miles of coastline – it doesn’t get any better. Here you can hike to the second largest volcanic heated body of water, enjoy a relaxing spa treatment and take sunset walks along the shore. This is one of the most spectacular beachside resorts on the Atlantic Ocean.

Peter Island, British Virgin IslandsPeter Island Resort

Peter Island Resort is the only one on the entire island, if you are looking for a break from anything remotely resembling city living then this is definitely the place to for you. The resort boasts a one of a kind spa for those looking for a relaxing massage, cleansing, and some aromatherapy as well as private plunge pools when you are looking to cool off.

Costa Alegre, MexicoCosta Alegre

It is no coincidence that the name translates to “cheerful coast.” This getaway at El Tamarindo resort is breathtaking. Few places can compete with the pristine green lawns, brilliant blue waters, and pure white sand. This stunning resort boasts a purifying treatment spa as well as some of the best seafood available to tantalize your taste buds.

Gold Coast, BarbadosSandy Lane Resort

Lavish resorts don’t come close to the Sandy Lane Resort on the Gold Coast of Barbados. Here there are stretches of beachfront as far as the eye can see, water as clear as glass and luxuries as you have never experienced before. They even have their own full golf course carved out a limestone quarry. Need we say more?

Four Seasons Resort, BaliFour Seasons Resort

What would a holiday be without the Four Seasons Group? Boasting Infinity Jacuzzis and their own cooking school you can have your cake and eat it, on the holiday, in Bali. How perfect could it get?

Rayavadee Krabi, ThailandRayavadee Krabi, Thailand

Who would have thought that your beach holiday could include elephant rides? Well here is one resort that can make that dream come true. Aside from that, you can climb 1000 steps to the temple at Tiger Cave or just simply drink in the sunshine while lying on the sandy white beaches enjoying the scenery of the mangrove forest engulfing the island.

Letaha Island and Resort, Raiatea, French PolynesiaLetaha Island and Resort

Enjoy spending time in the luxury cabins that are built over the turquoise ocean waters. Submerge your life in the ocean lifestyle and explore incredible pearl farms and snorkel through coral forests; this is the full package, you won’t find anywhere closer to the sea!

Hacienda Encantada Resort and Spa, Cabo, San LucasHacienda Encantada Resort and Spa

This stunning resort boasts a lost city feel with gorgeous stone-faced buildings, perfect dipping pools, and awe-inspiring scenery. The resort has five unique on-site restaurants so you will never feel the need to leave the comfort of the resort in this all intoxicating paradise, though Cabo does have some amazing experiences awaiting the wander lusting traveler.

Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa, PhilippinesShangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa

This optimizes all that a beach resort holiday should be. Only accessible by sea and the only resort on the island with everything you could possibly need, sun beds, seashells, day spas and absolutely delicious food. Who said perfect wasn’t possible?

Couples Swept Away Resort, Negril JamaicaCouples Swept Away Resort, Negril Jamaica

With everything aimed at sun and water this resort has it covered. Their incredible pool scenery is something out of a fairytale. You won’t believe it with your own eyes. Gorgeous! There is just no other word to describe it.

7 of the Best Shopping Vacation Spots you can Visit

Very few things in life are as satisfying as a vacation. Well deserved (or not), nothing quite beats packing your bags and being on your way to your holiday destination. The only thing that tops going on vacation, is shopping while on vacation. So if you always leave extra room in your luggage or are blessed enough to come back home with an extra bag- then here is a quick guide to the world’s seven best shopping vacation spots you can visit.

5 Winter Sports Destinations to Die For

It’s never too early (nor too late) to start planning your next winter break, and lovers of all things white and wonderful are in for a treat when they visit any of these top worldwide winter sports destinations.

North America
Park City Mountain ResortPark City Mountain Resort

According to ZRankings, the authority on such things in the United States, Park City Mountain Resort in Utah topped the list of desirable ski destinations for 2016. This winter favorite is nestled in 7300 acres of prime snow-sports real estate with opportunities for both slope and cross-country skiing. Add to this, wonderful scenic beauty, easy accessibility from Salt Lake City International airport and thrilling off-piste activities and you have a winning formula for your next winter vacation.

Apart from skiing, activities include a unique zip line, sleigh rides, cross-country snowshoe trails and thrilling coaster rides through the snow.

RevelstokeRevelstoke

Across the border in Canada, you can’t go wrong at rustic Revelstoke, where steep and open powder faces beckon to the skiing enthusiast. The pistes are long and well maintained and you can even try out over 500 000 acres of pristine heli-skiing terrain, or some awesome tree skiing.

Revelstoke town is a laid-back place to relax after a thrilling day on the slopes where you can choose from a small selection of friendly bars and restaurants to while away the evenings.

This resort is remote and exclusive, perfect for those who dislike queues and crowds.

Europe

This chilly continent is well known for winter-sports destinations par excellence, and it is difficult to choose just a few from the many wonderful Meribel ski resorts available.

Meribel, FranceMeribel

Located in the famous Three Valleys ski domain, this area is a delight for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, with a fantastic range of terrain, and great opportunities for après-ski adventures.

Several bars and restaurants dotted along the slopes offer refreshment and amusement for those who want to tag along on foot, or by means of the gondolas, with their skiing-buddies. Nearby, the Olympic district of Chaudanne also offers a full-size ice rink, spa, indoor climbing wall and swimming pool for non-skiing days. You will find no shortage of places to sample fine French cuisine or enjoy a night on the town here either.

Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt, Switzerland

What better way to spend your winter vacation than in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn, which lends its silhouette to Toblerone chocolates? Zermatt is awash with winter sporting adventures from advanced skiing to sightseeing from thrilling lookout points high up on the slopes.

Staying at this exclusive ski-resort can be expensive, but it is well worth saving your pennies to partake in the ultra-luxurious in-house facilities such as shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, spas, swimming pools, squash, indoor tennis courts, ice rinks, bowling alleys, and gyms.

St Anton, AustriaSt Anton, Austria

St Anton is famous as a party paradise for winter-sports lovers. Here you can let your hair down to the tune of local oompah bands, DJ’s and live acts, dine in jovial restaurants and shop until you drop in quaint tourist stores.

When you take to the slopes however, this resort means business. Try out the challenging routes on the slopes of the well-known Gampen and Kapall Mountains or the notorious peaks of Galzig and the Valluga for some of the world’s most exciting skiing challenges.

These are just a few of our best options for a winter vacation beyond compare, what are your favorites?

Why Key Largo is better than Key West for Scuba Diving

Key Largo, Florida is the first of the many Florida Keys and often overlooked by tourists. Perhaps it is because of the news media and Hollywood productions that highlight Key West more than Key Largo, but everyone thinks that Key West is the place to go for diving. There are certainly lots of reasons to visit Key West.

    • Ernest Hemingway
    • Wyland Gallery
    • The few Florida Keys beaches
    • 20 annual events
    • Old Town architecture
    • Diving
Key West Scuba Diving

Key West Scuba Diving

Key West is also full of various bars, restaurants, and an accepting population of all people. Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West Lighthouse, and West Martello Tower are just a few of the attractions.

For scuba diving, you need to know your stuff. The reefs in Key West are on walls, which can be over 200 feet deep. As a diver, you need to be able to keep your wits about you, pay attention to your depth and enjoy the beauty. While beautiful, Key West is also over populated with divers. For decades, everyone traveled to the reefs as the only Florida Keys dive place to truly go. Now, you have hundreds of visitors a year, some damaged areas of the reef walls, and most wreck dives are below 80 feet.

If you want to scuba dive with nothing in mind, but the beauty, then it has to be Key Largo. Sure, you are going to check your gauges to determine if you are going the proper direction, have plenty of air, and dive safe. But, with diving in Key Largo, you have more time underwater. Many of the dive locations are 20 to 30 feet down to the bottom when you want to dive reefs or wrecks.

You can choose the USS Spiegel Grove or USS Duane for deep dives, but Eagle Ray Alley, Benwood Wreck, Christ of the Abyss, and City of Washington are all within 20 to 30 feet depths.

The water is so clear in Key Largo, on most days that you can see the dive boat without having to go to the surface, in the event you get a little disoriented in the alleys or along the wrecks’.

There have been days, when the head of the Christ Statute is almost above the surface, as well as some of the reefs.

Since everyone tends to overlook Key Largo for diving and heads straight to Key West, you can expect plenty of days when you can dive with 10 to 20 people on your tour boat, and maybe 100 in the water versus triple that number in Key West.

Besides the scuba diving, Key Largo has its own charm. As a beautiful town, where the highway is often surrounded by water and mangroves on both sides, you can truly see the ocean, gulf, and the beauty of living on a strip of land. There are plenty of equally great restaurants for dining that are more affordable than Key West, ensuring you can fulfill your craving for seafood and fish after your morning and afternoon dives. You can even throw in a night dive because you know you will have the dive time left over after the shallow 30 foot dive you do earlier in the day.

Visiting San Antonio – You Can See More Than The Alamo

San Antonio, Texas is known first and foremost for the Alamo. The Battle of the Alamo, which occurred in 1836, was an important event in Texas history. In fact, the Texas army was able to defeat the Mexican army due to the Battle of the Alamo. It was a fight that ended in Crockett, Bowie, and Travis dying and perhaps becoming three of the most famous men in this period of history. Bowie is known for the knives named after him and Crockett was known as a folk hero and adventurer.

The Alamo has since been repaired after the fight left it nearly decimated. You can take tours of the inside and outside landscape, enjoying the history as told by Texans. But, there is much more than just the Alamo to see while you are in San Antonio.

Here are the top three places you will also want to go:

  1. Fiesta Texas

    Fiesta Texas Park

    Fiesta Texas Park

    This is an adventure park and part of the Six Flags brand name. Fiesta Texas has had a reputation as one of the best parks in the United States for roller coasters and they have not lost this deserved praise. In 1992 the Rattler was opened as the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the entire world. It stood 179 feet tall at the highest point, with a first drop of 166 feet, and a speed of 73 miles per hour. In just two years, it had to be reduced to 124 feet for the drop, to lessen the speed to 65 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the wooden coaster is no longer, having been replaced by the Iron Rattler. Today it has a 171 foot drop, returning it to its former glory, as well as 70 miles per hour. It is safer, but still an amazing ride. Besides the numerous roller coasters, there are water rides, and special Texan based entertainments like 1800s style restaurants.

  2. Sea World

    SeaWorld San Antonio

    SeaWorld San Antonio

    for those who want to learn about the ocean and its many creatures, there is Sea World. Here, the folks take care of their animals and love what they do. San Antonio has been the top go to park for Sea World Camps for young want to be biologists, as well as hundreds of visitors wishing to know more about sea life.

  3. The Riverwalk

    The Riverwalk san antonio

    The Riverwalk san antonio

    Downtown San Antonio is home to the Riverwalk, where you can find numerous restaurants, shops, and an unrivaled ambiance. The city offers canal tours of the river, which runs through and under the Riverwalk Mall. Along the river is the Aztec on the River, International Center, Arneson River Theater, and Torch of Friendship. You can also enjoy a stop at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum Texas Ranger Museum, which is just one block from the river on the corner of College and North Presa.

San Antonio has a different charm than other Texan cities. It has a sophistication that rivals Charleston, South Carolina, and Savanah, Georgia.

Touring the US to See Wyland Whaling Walls

For years Wyland has been a well-known name in the USA, with regards to ocean inspired art. Wyland is an environmentalist, and scuba diver. Before he began his artistic endeavors, Wyland spent 14 years diving around the world. He has brought these images to life in sculptures, paintings, prints, and his whaling walls.

Wyland Whaling Walls

Wyland Whaling Walls

Wyland was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1956 and first started making paintings of dinosaurs when he was four. On a visit to California in 1970, he saw his first gray whale migration. Two years later he started painting dolphins and whales. In 1974, he painted his first mural called Alps Mountain in Royal Oak Michigan.

Since 1977, Wyland has toured the world painting what are known as his “whaling walls.” Several of his walls are in California. Depending on your desires, you could start at his first mural in Michigan or travel to California to see the dozens of walls he has painted in the state before traversing other areas of the USA.

The “Whaling Wall” concept was started because Wyland wanted a larger canvas for his work. He finished the first official Whaling Wall in 1981 in Laguna Beach, California. It is 140 feet wide and 14 feet high.

His next wall was completed in Dana Point, California. One of the easiest to see is at Sea World in San Diego California. It is called One Man Show.

In 1984, he unveiled four new whaling walls. The first was Walling Wall III in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Two were completed in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. His fourth for the year was completed as Whaling Wall V and is located in Seattle Washington.

For a tour of his whaling walls, you might start in California, drive up through Oregon, stop in Tacoma to see his XXI whaling wall and visit Seattle to see the 1984 wall, before crossing the border into Canada.

For some of Wyland’s walls you will need to travel to Hawaii. If you have a desire to see Hawaii and need another excuse to plan the holiday, then make certain you stop in Honolulu, as well as two other locations on Oahu, Hawaii.

For a southern vacation, traverse various cities of Florida. There are two whaling walls in Orlando, as well as one in Sarasota on the Mote Marine Laboratories building, which is a local aquarium dedicated to preserving the oceans and the lives that depend on it. To finish your tour of Florida, head to Marathon Keys, and Key West.

If you wish to broaden your trip to see Wyland whaling walls, you’ll have to expand your trip out of North America. Wyland has also produced work in Japan and Australia. A tour of Wyland’s work in Japan would take you to Funabashi and Osaka. He produced two walls in Australia located in Bundaburg and Sydney. There is also a wall in Nice, France.

His art truly takes you below the ocean waves, as well as on the surface, where the whales come up to breathe. It is work that makes you feel a part of the scene because of the detail and near 3D quality of the images.

Touring North Carolina’s Coast – Looking for Pirate History

North Carolina is known for its pirate lore and history. The coast was perfect for treacherous pirates to do their work during the height of the pirate period. Although, at the same time the coast was extremely dangerous for those who didn’t know where the dangerous rocks resided. North Carolina is known for its “Graveyard of the Atlantic” where many ships fell, not because of war, but because of the dangerous rocks barely covered by the ocean. Those who charted the area could slip in during the dark hours and bring their stolen loot onto the shore.

Blackbeard

Blackbeard

North Carolina was home to Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, one of the most feared pirates. But, he was not the only one to leave his mark on the Outerbanks and areas such as Bath. Plenty of pirates learned the treacherous pathway to make it ashore and protect, even sell the items they stole from the East and West India companies, as well as other ships sailing from Europe, South America, and the world.

Blackbeard

Blackbeard is the most famous pirate, perhaps because he has a movie about him, as well as plenty of books and other media. North Carolina does its part to bring forth his history to anyone who will listen and travel to Beaufort, Bath, and Ocracoke.

Edward Teach began his career aboard the Queen Anne’s War, joining the pirate crew and eventually taking over a French ship. He renamed the ship Queen Anne’s Revenge, and began his infamous captaining as a buccaneer. He ran a blockade in front of Charleston, South Carolina’s harbor. He also ran his ship aground in Beautfort Inlet to take his treasure to a safe place. However, his actual home was in Bath. Captain Robert Maynard was responsible for Teach’s end, when Maynard drew him onto his ship and laid in wait to kill Teach and his crew.

Stede Bonnet

Bonnet was almost as notorious as Edward Teach. He was known as “The Gentleman Pirate” because he was born to wealth. He also owned a plantation on Barbados prior to becoming a pirate. In 1717, bonnet joined Blackbeard’s fleet naming his ship Revenge. Bonnet did not last long with Teach, as Blackbeard turned against him in the Beaufort Inlet incident. Bonnet was able to get a pardon in Bath, get a new ship, and started sailing with revenge in mind, under the name Captain Thomas. He was only a pirate for a year before he was hanged for his buccaneer ways.

Charles Vane

Vane spent most of his time in Ocracoke. He was notorious as a cunning, cruel captain, who would cheat his men of their part of the treasure. He would run ships to ground, seize their goods and often capture their crew. He also took the port of Nassau, rejected a royal pardon, and shot the new governor. Unfortunately, his career came to an end when a hurricane marooned him on an island and the only rescue came from a ship that recognized him as a pirate.

On a tour of the Outerbanks, you can enjoy more of this history by visiting Ocracoke, Money Island, Beaufort, and traveling inland to Bath.

Tour the US National Parks

The 100th anniversary of national parks is on most US residents’ minds, if they live near a national park or traveled for summer 2016. These beautiful places were established because of a few men’s belief that the landscape should be protected and preserved for future generations. But, which National Parks should you make time to see on your holiday or vacation? Is there a way to tour more than one national park, while you have a week or two weeks off from work? Discover some of the best national parks to tour, when you have two weeks.

 Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Most of the US National Parks are in the western states. A start in Yellowstone can bring you two weeks of amazing views, stunning natural geysers, and wildlife. Bison, moose, elk, deer, and small mammals can be spotted with a trip through Yellowstone. You have four entrances to choose from, depending on where you are driving from or flying into. Yellowstone is a great two-week tour on its own, or you can take a week there and head south through Utah. Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and the Arches are all on the southern border of Utah, near Colorado, which is close to four National Parks.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and the Arches are in the desert of Utah. Here you are going to see striking rock formations like the Chimney Rock pillar, Hickman Bridge, and the white sandstone domes. Capitol Reef is sixty miles of park land from the north to the south. Canyonlands National Park is known for its flat-topped mesas and Horseshoe Canyon, which has a Native American rock painting on it. Canyonlands has a total area of 527 square miles, but you can enjoy the main road in a day, depending on whether you wish to stop and hike any of the trails. The Arches are also in the desert of Utah and known for their red sand formations. With three days in this area, you would still have time to see the four parks in and around Colorado.

Gunnison National Park

Gunnison National Park

You will want to start with Black Canyon of the Gunnison. You will be taken from the desert landscape to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, which stretch from Mexico up to Canada. The Black Canyon is named for the black cliff walls, the river that runs through the canyon and the beautiful waterfalls. Roads and trails will take you through the north and south rims of the canyon where you can see Precambrian rock and the Painted Wall cliff. Golden eagles, elk, deer, and other birds are often spotted in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde, which is further south, is the home to an ancient Anasazi site. It will leave you speechless and be the perfect way for you to turn northeast towards the Great Sand Dunes, before you head up to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is home to a plethora of wildlife from bears and moose to coyotes and mountain lions. In this park you can take one of the highest trails in the mountains over the top from Estes Park to Grand Lake.

The Grand Tour Of The US – What Spots You Should Really See

One might argue that there are too many places in the United States to see. In fact, depending on who you ask, you are going to receive at least ten different answers. Sure, this list could begin with things like Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but really? It’s that a known answer, if you have kids. Rather than go with the spots everyone wants to see, this list is going to tell you about the spots you should really see because of the beauty or wonder they impart. It is not about the most popular tourist destinations like Niagara Falls, NY and Canada. It is about the locations you might not think about.

1. Mendenhall Glacier and Caves, Juneau, AK

Mendenhall Glacier and Caves, Juneau, AK

Mendenhall Glacier and Caves, Juneau, AK

Mendenhall Glacier has changed in the last 12 years. Global warming has taken a lot of the glacier away, but the glacier is still there and so are the ice caves, which are more reachable now. In the Mendenhall Valley of Juneau, Alaska you can see the 12-mile glacier that allows you to see inside of it. Walk the West Glacier Trail and with safety in mind, you can get inside the caves without any climbing equipment or dangerous maneuvers.

2. Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona

Going from the extreme Alaskan ice to one of the hottest places in the USA, you can find Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. The canyon is beautiful in its reddish brown colors. Here you can walk through tall canyon walls, which used to be underwater. The rocks have strata that help you determine the time frame of when they were underwater, as well as how long ago they were formed. You may want to book a stay in a Lake Powell campground and drive a few miles to Page to see these red-orange canyon walls.

3. Maroon Bells, Snowmass Wilderness, Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells, Snowmass Wilderness, Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells, Snowmass Wilderness, Aspen, Colorado

Snowmass Wilderness is certainly a popular location, with its proximity to Aspen. However, the Maroon Bells are big enough for you to lose yourself in the beauty of Colorado. It is 181,000 plus acres of wilderness land that is part of the Gunnison and White River National Forests. The aspens provide a beautiful ambiance in the fall months, with the changing of the leaves, as well as the snowcapped mountain in the background.

4. Oneonta Gorge, Bridal Veil, Oregon

Oneonta Gorge, Bridal Veil, Oregon

Oneonta Gorge, Bridal Veil, Oregon

Perhaps your holiday will take you from the wilderness of Colorado to Oregon for a quick stop at Oneonta before heading to Alaska. No matter, how you plan your trips around the US, you do not want to miss Oneonta Gorge in Bridal Veil, Oregon. Multnomah Falls is often a busier location in this region, so Oneonta trails are typically overlooked. The trails will take you through a creek bed, waterfall areas, caverns, and close to the Oneonta Gorge scenic area.

Consider, going from Arizona, to Colorado, up to Oregon, through Washington’s Snoqualmie Falls, and up to Bellingham for a ferry trip up to Alaska. Your Grand Tour can also take you east for stops at Whitaker Point in Arkansas, the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and up to Watkins Glen State Park in New York.

The 1,000 Lakes of Minnesota – Which Lakes Should be on Your List

Minnesota has 1,000 lakes, and yet not all of these beautiful lakes is equally worth visiting. Many of the lakes are small, offering little recreation, or off the beaten path in the protected forest land. The lakes that make the list are definitely places you can go and enjoy, without breaking laws by going into restricted areas or being bored because there is nothing to do in or on the lake.

  1. Rainy Lake:
    Rainy Lake

    Rainy Lake

    The party potential of this lake is low, offering you a quiet place to fish and take out your boat. It is one of the best lakes for canoeing. Anglers are going to find the bass are superb.

  2. Lake of the Isles:
    Lake of the Isles

    Lake of the Isles

    Quiet is also the name of the game here. You won’t find people partying late on this lake, but more likely fishing and paddle boarding in summer. Lake of the Isles is known for its stately houses surrounding it and the least busy lake in the chain since there are no beaches.

  3. Deer Lake:
    Deer Lake

    Deer Lake

    Located in Itasca County, Deer Lake is known for its boat access, fishing, canoe, and kayak options. The lake is mineral based ensuring it is a magnificent turquoise shade. There are a few country bars in the area, but the party level is also low.

  4. Lake Winnibigoshish:
    Lake Winnibigoshish

    Lake Winnibigoshish

    Here you are going to find an increase in the party level, meaning it is moderate. There are fishing lodges, resorts, and campgrounds , so there are nightly entertainments the other three lakes mentioned do not have. You are going to be near Chippewa National Forest for hiking. There is a perfect balance of wilderness and lake in this north-central lake. You might know this lake better as Lake Winnie. Bemidji is also close by for more civilization if you need it.

  5. Lake of the Woods:
    Lake of the Woods

    Lake of the Woods

    Another moderate party lake, Lake of the Woods, provides canoeing, kayaking , paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, and boating. This country lake is a “self-declared walleye capital of the world.” It certainly provides a high number of walleye for you to fish, if that is your favorite thing. Besides fishing, you can take out an ATV, sled, or 4×4 to explore the country landscape. You might wish to be careful or you could wind up in Canada!

In terms of beauty all five of these lakes deliver. They also offer a different level of business, entertainments, and good ole’ fashioned relaxation. Yes, Minnesota has 1,000 lakes, but if you can find what you love with a few, without damaging the scenery, then why not take a minute to add these five lakes to your tour around Minnesota.

For those who are looking for a higher party potential, you can also find plenty of options throughout the state. Pokegama Lake is one of the busiest and most party central lake in the state. Swimming, fishing, and boating are the top three activities, but you also have rental cabins, giant homes to view, and party pontoons to rent.

Exploring Tiny House Communities – See if the Lifestyle Fits You

Are you interested in a tiny house? Do you know if the lifestyle is going to fit for you? Is there even a place you can park, when you are out traveling? Loads of questions are being asked by people considering going tiny, with plenty of confusing answers and sometimes myths.

If you want to see if the lifestyle fits you and your family—check out one of the eleven Tiny House Communities. Hey, why not check out all eleven, while you are at it. Many of the communities offer full time homeowners a place to park, as well as vacation rentals. Lyons, Colorado is just one community where you can rent a tiny home, determine if you will love it, and start your tiny living.

Opportunity Village and Emerald Village – Eugene, Oregon

Emerald Village

Emerald Village Eugene, Oregon

Oregon has offered a collaboration of housed and unhoused options for a self-managed, self- governed tiny house village. Safe housing is provided for those in transition, as well as more permanent living options. Emerald Village is meant to be a model for affordable, long-term tiny house living.

Quixote Village – Olympia, Washington

Quixote Village

Quixote Village Olympia, Washington

This location was once a tent camp location for homeless individuals. Today there are 30 tiny houses, common space with showers, and a community garden.

Washington D.C. Boneyard Studios

Washington D.C. Boneyard Studios

Washington D.C. Boneyard Studios

You probably didn’t think the capitol was actually on board with tiny house living. However, Boneyard Studios will certainly change your mind about that. This tiny house village is a demonstration of how urban living can be tiny in size, but perfect for your needs. The community will support tiny house builders, the benefits of tiny house living, and help model what tiny house communities can become in the near future.

Community First Village – Austin, Texas

Community First Village

Community First Village  – Austin, Texas

The village is still in its inception, but already 27 acres have been provided for a tiny house community. Tiny houses, RVs, mobile homes, and other tiny living options will be available in this community at an affordable, sustainable price. The focus is on helping disabled and homeless individuals in Austin and nearby areas, find a place to live.

Tiny House Village – Sonoma, California

Tiny House Village:

Tiny House Village – Sonoma, California

Sonoma’s tiny village is also still in the planning stages, according to the main website, but there are plenty behind the movement. Jay Shafer, who founded Four Lights Tiny House Company, is working to zone a village as an RV park, but also a Coop location, where there will be a community garden, water, and other shared common spaces. Spaces will rent for at least $425 per month.

Tiny House Village – San Francisco, California

Tiny House Village, San Francisco

Tiny House Village, San Francisco

Chelsea Rustrum is behind the creation of the San Francisco location. While, it is still in the planning stages, the village is meant to offer Wi-Fi for those who wish to be connected, as well as a place to be in the tiny house loop, with a community of other tiny house enthusiasts.

Micro Communities – Portland, Oregon

Micro Communities - Portland, Oregon

Micro Communities – Portland, Oregon

TechDwell is a part of the Micro Communities planning. Portland has approved of the plan to offer affordable housing to the workable poor. Other locations include Dignity Village in Portland, Second Wind in Ithaca NY, and Occupy Madison in Madison WI.

Get To Know The Best All Inclusive Mexico Resorts

Beautiful sandy beaches, endless sunshine and a spectacular scenery are some of the amazing gifts of nature the colorful nation of Mexico has to offer. The country has a wealth of history, cuisine, traditions and jaw- dropping architecture that was left behind by ancient civilizations.
Mexico also prides in having great resorts especially those at the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. They have the perfect setting for weddings, honeymoons, family vacations and singles rejuvenation retreat.
The all-inclusive Mexico vacations vary by resort. The package can have all meals, entertainment, sports, accommodations and airfare included in one price. Tourists therefore need to check the amenities in the all-inclusive list. This helps a traveler know what their vacation will cost beforehand.
The following is a list of the best all-inclusive resorts in Mexico you should know about;

Barceló Puerto Vallarta

Barceló Puerto Vallarta

Barceló Puerto Vallarta

This beach resort makes the most of nature as it is surrounded by the sea, the mountains and the jungle. There are numerous excursions that an avid traveler can take part in such as; horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, deep-sea fishing and snorkeling. The resort is family friendly due to the activities that are suitable for children. There are three pools that guests can have a fun dip in, a spa treatment center to release the tensions and a court for playing tennis. Their all-inclusive package includes all meals, minibar access, non-motorized water sports, the gym, tennis courts and games room access for ping pong, billiards, air hockey table and 2 poker tables.

El Cozumeleno

El Cozumeleno

El Cozumeleno

Situated on Cozumel Island in the Caribbean Sea, El Cozumeleno is on a white sand beach and is ideal for both adults and families into water sports. Guests can be taught how to scuba dive and snorkel. They can also go kayaking, parasailing or ride a wave runner. For its fine dining restaurant, the resort has a dress code but casual wear is accepted in its other eateries. Their all-inclusive package includes all meals and beverages excluding bottled wine, aerobics, water fitness and dancing are also included. For the children, supervised activities for those aged between 5 and 12 years is included but child care, laundry, motorized sports are not in this package.

Melia Cabo Real Beach Resort

Melia Cabo Real Beach Resort

Melia Cabo Real Beach Resort

It is located 20 minutes from Cabo San Lucas and has 306 luxury rooms all decorated by a Mayan theme. It offers scenes of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez on one side and a desert scenery on the other. It is considered to be among the best family all-inclusive resorts in Mexico because of having the only swimming beach that is safe in the area. The reason for this is because it is in a secluded location. For parents with children who like swimming in the ocean, this feature is very important.

The Royal Resort Playa del Carmen

The Royal Resort Playa del Carmen

The Royal Resort Playa del Carmen

This Riviera Maya resort allows guests to check in within 48 hours in order to select available suites online. The resort caters to adults and it has 513 luxury suites. The amenities included in the all-inclusive package is really long. Some of the offers provided include; a pillow menu, tequila tastings, wait service on the beach, a fully stocked premium bar among others.

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Resort

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Resort

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Resort

It is among the top all-inclusive resorts in Mexico as it has been awarded the AAA 5-diamond rating for seven years in a row. The resort is on top of its game in terms of offering the best accommodation and service. It is situated at Cancun with 602 suites which have views of the ocean and the sand at each turn. Some of the activities to look forward to are swimming, jet skiing and snorkeling. It also has a variety of activities for children such as hunting for sea shells, building sand castles at the beachfront and other interactive games.