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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!

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.

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.

Spending The Summer Vacations by Exploring Florida Attractions

Florida is a very vibrant American state that provides the perfect summer vacation for people of all ages. It houses the Walt Disney World, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, the Kennedy Space Centre at Titusville, Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory in Key West, Miami among other Florida vacation spots.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

The city of Orlando is known for its theme parks that are an epic fun for kids. Walt Disney World leads with four parks that include the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and the Hollywood Studios along with some water parks. Magic Kingdom has beautiful fireworks and a one on one with the renowned Disney characters and a cruise down the jungle river. Epcot where you get to enjoy a world show case of the culture and cuisine of 11 countries and also get knowledgeable in technological innovations. In Animal Kingdom, the night time experiences are thrilling, you get to see exotic animals and 6 lands. At the Hollywood Studios, you marvel at the attractions based on Blockbuster movies and top TV shows. The Universal Studio has 2 theme parks namely; Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, a movie based theme park and also the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

The Disney holiday in Florida Keys has become the preferred summer destination for Americans who would like to have a tropical trip without leaving the country or even international tourists wanting to discover this American Caribbean. The Florida Keys provides numerous activities that people can engage in including; snorkeling, fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, boating and also eco tours. Its Islands run south west from Miami and they are; Key Largo which has the best snorkeling and diving experiences. While here, be sure to see the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Kamp and Italian sculptor, Guido Galletti’s Statue of Christ of the Abyss. Islamorada that offers world class  bone fishing and offshore fishing as well as kayaking, jet skis, parasailing and sunset cruises., Marathon that has awesome Islands such as; Long Key, Duck Key, Conch Keys, Grassy Key, Boot Key, Crawl Key and Pigeon Key. Big Pine for boating and Key West for a walk at the beach while enjoying the lovely sunset.

Islamorada

Islamorada

Florida Keys Resorts are of unmatched beauty and serenity. The Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort which is 1.2 miles from the Marathon Community Park is the perfect place to stay if you have kids, the Pier House Resort that is 3 minutes away from Key West Aquarium has a private beach and also a heated outdoor pool. The Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort found along Overseas Highway is a place you will definitely hate to leave for they have rooms that have balconies and bay views and superb amenities such as; an outdoor pool, poolside lounge, a Tiki bar that plays live music, a spa and fitness centre and a seafood eatery along with a free glass of champagne when you check in. to add on this, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is only a walking distance.

Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort

Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort

Here’s Why You Should Visit Lincoln Square This Holiday Season!

Lincoln Square in Manhattan offers visitors an array of entertainment from world class concerts and operas to dining at top-notch restaurants  This neighborhood is a great destination to explore when staying in New York. The area is great for walking around and transportation services are easy to access to get you anywhere you want to go

This comfortable, clean, and safe area is largely populated by young families and singles. A major reason why people get drawn to this locality is because of the affordable Vacation places around Lincoln Square. You get to see many housing options to fit every budget and help you experience the city like a real New Yorker

Although this neighborhood is not classified as a very affluent one in New York it has good schools lovely parks excellent shopping and great food and is considered a very desirable neighborhood to live in .

Some of the following sights in Lincoln Square are important destinations to visit during your stay.

The Lincoln Center

The Lincoln Center

The Lincoln Center

One of the countrys prime cultural hubs,Lincoln Center is one of the oldest dedicated urban centers for the performing arts and culture,with 29 interconnected and stand alone buildings.

Dance,Theater and music events are often staged here by famous performers who come from all over the globe.If you love Opera you will love the Metropolitan Opera House.Apart from staging extraordinary performances it is a spectacular example of architecture.

The building has arched windows from the ground all the way to the rooftop and capacity to seat over 1500 visitors at once

The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School

If you are interested in emerging talent then you can easily catch diverse diverse performances at this famous school located in  Lincoln Square Julliard is a leading music academy which has produced and continues to train some of the best young talent in the world and on a regular basis these talented young artists showcase their skills in jazz,classical,rock,blues and pop for audiences in both open and private venues

Best Dining Places You Can Visit

Best Dining Places You Can Visit

Finding a good place to dine at in Lincoln Square is not difficult at all. After watching a performance or  shopping all through the day you can head over to any street and surely you will come across many bars, restaurants, and cafes, all of which have a different twist of spices and flavors. Top chefs work in all the restaurants in the area for the most part and they ensure that they serve the best quality meals to visitors.

Things To Do And Eye Catching Places In Chicago

While travelling, everyone looks for the fun things to do. Among the many tourist attractions in Chicago (which is a famous city of Illinois), there are few that are a must for all those visiting the city. So, if you are about to take off for Chicago this is your best travel guide.

Willis Tower

Willis Tower

Willis Tower

First and the foremost place that you need to visit is the “Willis Tower”. This skyscraper is the tallest one of the Western hemisphere. It has been included in the ‘Seven Wonders of Chicago’.  Formerly called Sears Tower, this tower offers a 360-degree panoramic view. You can view the four states from a height of 1,353 feet. Get to the top of this tower and witness the marvelous view of the beautiful city.

Baha’i House of Worship

Baha’i House of Worship

Baha’i House of Worship

This temple is the largest and oldest that exists. There are only seven temples all around the world and this one is the only one present in North America. It is situated at the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only is its location and scenery worth seeing but also the architecture and design of it walls is what adds to the beauty of this temple. And if this is not enough then what will definitely attract you are the beautiful gardens and fountains around the structure of this temple.

The Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium

Lake Michigan has yet another beautiful tourist spot that attracts all ages. This aquarium is home to the underwater world.  Visit to get up close and personal with the life underwater. This aquarium houses around 32,500 animals and 80 different habitats. Not only this, your children can also enjoy in the joyous polar play area.

The Navy Peir

The Navy Peir

The Navy Peir

This 50-acre wonderland is a complete entertainment package for the whole family!  The main attractions include a 15-story Ferris wheel, shopping, eating, IMAX Theater to get the ultimate movie experience and thrill riding than you could possibly fit into a day. However this is not open throughout the year so do check if it is open when you have to visit.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

The next place on your list should be this huge park in the city with an ice skating ring, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and to air outdoor movies. It has large display of art to the public.  The cloud gate is one of the main attractions of the park. It is also known as “the bean” is a highly polished steel sculpture, which makes it a very amusing piece of art.  Jay Pritzker Pavilion holds performing arts events. Curve plates of stainless steel frame its stage. Get mesmerized by visiting this lovely and artistic park.

Other than these you should also visit places like Adler planetarium, the Chicago theatre. The city is has various museums like Smith museum of stained glass, Chicago children’s museum and many more. So, if you are an admirer of art and historic items, you will definitely love these.

The Must-Visit Attractions of Miami

It’s one of the world’s most electric cities, but the many exciting facets of Miami’s neon-hued menu of entertainment can prove overwhelming for first time visitors. Beneath the glamour of places like South Beach there’s a unique cultural heartbeat thumping away. Be prepared to eat dinner late, be spoken to in Spanish at least once and go with the flow in this laid-back playground city. Strong Hispanic influences, a tantalising, melting-pot cuisine and a prevailing eccentricity reside at the core of Miami, the Gateway to the Americas.. Here are some of Miami’s most iconic attractions guaranteed to give you a flavour of this decadent destination.

Jungle Island

Jungle Island

Jungle Island

Established in 1936, the zoological park of Jungle Island in Miami specialised in tropical parrots and bird shows. Nearly eighty years on, and the jungle has expanded, now a habitat for such marvellous and rare animals as its white lion, a snow tiger and the crossbreed liger. Plan your trip and leave plenty of time to take in an animal show during your visit, whether it’s Pinky, the bicycle-riding cockatoo or the feeding of the big cats, little ones will go wild for the informative demonstrations.

Coral Castle

Coral Castle

Coral Castle

A true labour of love, this stone sculpture garden was created over 28 year period by one man. Part of the beauty of this attraction is in its many mysteries; no-one is quite sure what motivated Latvian-American Ed Leedskalnin to devote himself to such a taxing project. He never allowed anyone to watch him when he was building, so it’s unclear how he moved the heavy stones into position or carved their designs with household tools. Whatever the secret, it’s an eccentric oddity unlike anything else in the world, and well worth a visit.

Art Deco District

Art Deco District

Art Deco District

The parade of candybox facades that characterise Miami’s famous Art Deco District exudes the faded glamour of the 1920s and 30s in around 800 buildings. Admire the bright condos, quirky portholes and marshmallow colours of Ocean Drive by day, then return at night to see these iconic facades buzz neon against the night sky for a snapshot worthy of an album cover.

Vizcaya Museum

Vizcaya Museum

An elegant, European-inspired residence, the Vizcaya Mansion will delight anyone with a love of beautiful things. Take a stroll through its extensive, cultivated gardens and admire the geometric hedges, get lost in its maze or snap a few pictures of its blushing tropical orchids. Then, venture indoors to be immersed in a vision of 18thcentury Italian grandeur. Baroque features, Venetian flair and Milanese influences come together to create an unforgettable experience for visitors.

So what are you waiting for? Check out this fantastic city and create your own list of must-see attractions!

 

Top places to stay in San Francisco

City and County of San Francisco is the cultural, commercial and financial center of Northern California.  It is a famous traveler attraction because of it’s fresh summers, fog, sharp rolling hills, diverse blend of architecture, and landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, the former penitentiary on Alcatraz Island, and the Chinatown area.

Top Places to stay in San Francisco:

San Francisco is the source of the fancy hotels. There are a number of standard chains with affordable rates, four-stars with high-class facilities, and some lavish five-stars with top luxuries. At these comfortable accommodations, you’ll find plush rooms, stunning views, and stellar service.

St. Regis Hotel

St. Regis Hotel

St. Regis Hotel

Situated right next to San Francisco Museum of Modern art, St. Regis is apart from other luxury hotels of the city. Also the hotel has a sleek and contemporary feel. With remarkable views, luxurious spa and the highly praised Ame restaurant, this hotel is one of the top hotels of the city. The hotel has a very helpful, personalized service; the rooms and suites also match the standards of city’s best hotels for services and luxuries.

The Fairmont San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco

This luxury and massive hotel is located in Nob hill. The interior of the hotel is practically of early 1900s. The amenities of the hotel include a full-service spa, a night club and a health club. The rooms and suites are very comfortable with frette Italian sheets and flat-screen televisions. These are some of the reasons why the hotel has been visited by almost every U.S. president.

Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental

The Mandarin Oriental is located on the top 11 floors of city’s third tallest building. The hotel provides Bushnell binoculars to the guests to discover the city below. The view from the hotel is so stunning that one can hardly tear their eyes away. Rooms are decorated in subtle Asian style, with shades of cream and blue; luxurious beds have the hotel’s signature Egyptian linens and large marble bathrooms. Complimentary tea with cookies is also presented on the arrival of the guests.

Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton

This grand century-old building on Nob Hill is the personification of restrained sophistication, with museum quality oil paintings, fresh orchids, marble flooring everywhere, and crystal chandeliers. Ritz-Carlton is just two blocks away from the mountain of Nob Hill. The rooms have featherbeds and Frette linens. The acclaimed Dining Room of the hotel is also one of the city’s best. Conventional afternoon tea service and a weekend jazz brunch on the terrace draw both locals and visitors. Finally, there is a luxury spa, an attractive indoor pool and Jacuzzi.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons

Four Seasons

Located in the SoMa skyscraper, the lavish Four Seasons have chic and well-furnished rooms with marble bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Yerba Buena Gardens and 42ninch flat screen televisions. Guests can also use the outstanding Sports Club present in the hotel for free. While the Seasons Restaurant is a first class dining room with California cuisine mostly. The services offered are also among the city’s best, with 24-hour room service, 24-hour janitor and two times a day housekeeping.

W San Francisco

W San Francisco

W San Francisco

This stylish hotel; situated right next to the Museum of Modern Art, is always bustling. The lobby, bar and lounge is the most desired spot for both visitors and locals. Rooms have comfy pillow top mattresses and comforters. The signature restaurant draws a huge crowd. The Bliss Spa located next to the glass roof pool, is also well renowned.