The Best Whale Watching in New England

Imagine watching from the bow of your boat as a pod of whales leap through the water, the majestic mammals jumping alongside as if racing you to the horizon. For many, it’s one of the most memorable and evocative experiences of any North American vacation, with some of the world’s best whale watching found in New England.

The waters off New England offer endless possibilities to see many species of whales in their natural habitat, from Humpback whales to Finback, Right, and Minke whales. The whales migrate to the rich feeding grounds in the waters off the east Coast of America in the summertime, feasting on the multitude of mackerel, herring and other fish that live in the Atlantic Ocean.

One particular honeypot for whales is the Stellwagen Bank, a giant underwater plateau bursting with marine life which lies under the water 35 kilometers east of Boston. This plateau has been a constant feeding ground for whales, and is the reason why in the 18th and 19th century the lucrative whaling business was centred around the New England towns of Nantucket, Provincetown and New Bedford. Whale hunting used to be a huge business, with the mighty animals being killed to provide oil for lighting, whilst their bones were also used for everyday objects like corsets and umbrellas. Thankfully, the practice was banned in America in 1973.

Where and when to head for the best whale watching in New England

The best whale watching in New England takes place between April and October, and can be found anywhere along the east coast from Rhode Island in the south to Maine in the north. There are numerous tour operators that offer trips on large boats; however, the best way to get up close to these magnificent animals – if you can afford it – is on a luxury yacht charter around the best New England destinations with your own specialist on board.

Top three spots for best whale watching in New England

Newport

Newport is a great place to catch a glimpse of some of the biggest mammals on the planet, with Finback whales of up to 70 feet having been spotted off the coast of Rhode Island, as well as Humpback and Right whales. A word of warning however: Rhode Island’s whale watching season tends to be slightly later than other areas in New England, as whales can be spotted here as they migrate southwards to the Caribbean, where they spend the winter.

Cape Cod

Another spot to head to for the best whale watching in New England is Cape Cod in Massachusetts; its famous ‘arm’ shape peninsula stretches out into the ocean, with pods in Cape Cod Bay never being too far away. The very tip of this peninsula is called Race Point Beach, which has become one of the best locations to see seals up close, as well as the occasional humpback whale frolicking in the waters beyond. Further south in Massachusetts, a number of tours leave from the island of Nantucket, also home to the Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum.

Portland

Further up the New England coastline takes you to Maine, and the town of Portland. Whale watching notwithstanding, this particular area of New England is a delight to visit with stunning shorelines, lighthouses galore and rich maritime history. But if you are looking for the best whale watching in New England you won’t be disappointed, with pods of Humpbacks, Finbacks and Minkes all having been spotted off the coasts in recent months. Visitors will also get the chance to see other wonderful creatures such as North Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins, Harbor Porpoises, Basking sharks, Ocean Sunfish and Sea Turtles.

7 Things You Can Strike Off Your Bucket List By Visiting Branson, MO

Image by mh040734 from Pixabay

Despite being a small city, Branson boasts many world-class attractions. Whether you want to explore the wilderness, treat your family to an unforgettable day in the 1880s, become a passenger aboard the Titanic, or catch your dinner in a lake, Branson has got you covered.

#1. Hunt for treasure, or maybe just hike, in the countryside

The area around Branson offers over 200 miles of trails, many found within state parks or conservation areas. For example, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park features several trails through some of the Ozarks most beautiful scenery. These include a paved, 6½mile trail that overlooks rock bluffs and waterfalls.

Table Rock State Park boasts trails for hikers of all ages and abilities. Families with young children can enjoy the 1½mile Chinquapin Trail or the 2¼mile Lakeshore Trail. More adventurous hikers might want to explore all 11¾ miles of the White River Valley Trail System. Ensure you take along a good-nature photography camera to capture the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife you see along the way.

But the most interesting trail is the Murder Rock Road Trail. This trail follows the path of an old pioneer trail where during the mid-19th century an outlaw gang hid behind boulders to rob and murder travelers.

After Alf Bolin, the leader of the gang, was killed by the Union Army, several members of his gang insisted that his treasure was hidden somewhere close to a cave that was the gang’s bolt hole. Treasure hunters have sought Bolin’s treasure for over 150 years, and it hasn’t been found yet!

#2. Enjoy kayaking

Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake are excellent destinations for water sports. Whether you want to paddle around in a kayak or take a paddleboard class, you’ll find local hire companies who are delighted to provide everything you need. Table Rock is wonderful for beginners because of its tranquil water, while Lake Taneycomo has currents that you can fight or use to push your kayak along.

Table Rock Lake is a complex maze of passages with many islands available for curious explorers. Whether you want to kayak for fun, to enjoy nature, or for fishing, you’ll enjoy your paddle around the lake. And if you want to try something a little different, why not explore the lake in a pedal powered kayak?

#3. Survive a famous shipwreck

In 1987, John Joslyn headed an underwater expedition to uncover the secrets of the RMS Titanic.

After successfully recovering many historic artifacts from the undersea wreck, he divided these treasures between 2 museums, one of which is located in Branson.

The Titanic Museum in Branson is designed to resemble the front half of the RMS Titanic, complete with 2 of its 4 funnels. You enter the museum through an artificial iceberg and are handed a passenger boarding ticket in the name of one of RMS Titanic’s passengers. Inside the museum, you’ll learn the detailed story of a selection of passengers. Just as you are about to disembark, you’ll discover the fate of your passenger…whether they went down with the ship or survived.

#4. Travel back in time to the 1880s

If you enjoyed Back to the Future III, you’ll love the fantastic Silver Dollar City theme park. It’s one of the largest family-friendly theme parks in America and is an 1880s-themed experience.

Within the park, you can attend a 19th-century schoolhouse, worship in the Wilderness Church, visit a genuine 1843 homestead log cabin, see displays about pioneer life, take your kids to pet the farm animals in a homestead barnyard, and learn how to milk a cow.

As well as the 1880s style attractions, Silver Dollar City boasts live concerts and shows, 40 attractions and thrilling rides, 60 unique shops, 18 restaurants, and 100 resident craftsmen demonstrating the American crafts you would have seen in the late 19th century.

#5. Catch big fish that don’t get away

The Ozarks are rich with fantastic fishing spots. Lakes such as Taneycomo, Table Rock, and Bull Shoals feature large fish just waiting for you to come along. The cool water of Taneycomo is stocked with rainbow and brown trout you can catch from public fishing docks, the shore, or aboard a boat or fishing kayak. Fish often like to congregate in the still waters of Turkey Creek, an offshoot of Taneycomo Lake.

Table Rock Lake is surrounded by sycamore, oak, and hickory trees that provide shade and the occasional submerged fallen trunk. Such locations make perfect natural fish habitats where fish hide in the shadows or beneath the underwater branches.

Table Rock’s relatively warm water is great for bream, channel cat, crappie, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and white bass. There are plenty of hiking trails you can follow around the lake to reach the more remote fishing spots where you’re more likely to find those larger fish.

Bull Shoals Lake features a broad variety of warm-water fish, including bream, channel cat, crappie, largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, stripers, and walleye. The upper end of the lake features cooler water where you’ll encounter both brown and rainbow trout.

#6. Take in a show aboard a boat

Table Lake is a great destination for more than watersports and fishing. It also boasts a popular showboat. Aboard the Showboat Branson Belle, you can enjoy dinner and a show on the lake! The Branson Belle is the largest ship on a landlocked lake in the United States and is operated by the same corporation as Silver Dollar City.

If boats aren’t your thing but you still want dinner and a show, no problem. Branson boasts a theater district with a wide range of shows. For example, Dolly Parton’s Stampede is a celebration of great American food and entertainment. You’ll be amazed by the pyrotechnics, trick riders, and beautiful singing. And the whole family can enjoy the Sight and Sound Theater where popular Bible Stories such as Noah’s Ark are brought to life on stage using live animals and talented performers.

#7. Enjoy a monkey’s eye view of the world

What better way to explore the forest canopy than on a zipline tour? Head over to Wolfe Mountain where you can enjoy a thrilling descent along a series of 7 ziplines and 10 suspension bridges. The highlight of the adventure is an adrenaline-pumping 40-foot freefall called Dynamite Drop. Hold on to your hat and everything else as you plunge through the air in freefall!

Tips On Getting a New Mattress

So you have decided that your old mattress has been through many miles. Your back aches and you are not getting the proper sleep that you deserve. You toss and turn all night long and wake up even more tired than before.

You may consider getting a new mattress. You decide to do some research and go online and you look at many websites and read many reviews. There are many questions you may have, such as what type of mattress should I get? What size of mattress will fit my room?

When you are looking for a new mattress, you need to get the right size for your room. There are so many models, makes and sizes, such as a queen mattress, a king, double and twin. In fact, it is like buying a brand new car. In a way, it is very similar. You test drive a car and you must “test drive” a new mattress to see if it will fit you like a glove.

It is not an easy choice, but it can be made. Every person has their individual needs and know what they prefer for comfort. Some may prefer a soft mattress, and others may prefer a firm mattress. Some need an orthopedic option, an adjustable bed or a pillow top. These are great options but, again, you must treat this like buying a new car. You have the key to start the ignition. Your body will let you know if a pillow top or firm model is the way to go.

How do you know when it is time to get a new mattress? Do you wait until the warranty has expired? Do you change your mattress every 5 years like you would getting a new car every few years? Are you going to wait for that first backache that will soon turn into an expensive trip to the chiropractor? No! You can avoid all of that. The following are some key signals to look out for when it’s time to replace your mattress.

It’s time to get a new mattress when:

  • Your mattress is over 8 years old
  • You are restless all night
  • You wake up tired
  • You have neck and backaches
  • Squeaking mattress
  • Sagging due to loose springs
  • You have severe dust allergies

There are several other reasons to get a new mattress. The number one reason is your health.

Benefits of a good night’s sleep

Studies have shown that a proper night’s sleep will not only improve your overall health, it will benefit your heart, lower stress and improve your cognitive abilities. There is no doubt that a good night’s sleep is the secret to a productive and much more positive lifestyle. We all want to be healthy. Even though it is important to start with good dietary habits, such as reducing cholesterol and sodium intake, sleep is essential to maintain a good level of metabolism and a sharp mind.

Our bedroom is our oasis. It is our final destination at the end of the day. It is where we can release the worries of our day and fall into a relaxing dream taking us away. Changing your room and making it more into your own personal state of pure bliss does not have to be overwhelmingly expensive.

Renovate for relaxation

Let’s face it, sleep is essential to have a healthy and productive day. Make some simple and inexpensive renovations to your room. For instance, you can get some tropical plants, paint your room, get new lighting, get new curtains or blinds, or simply get some aromatic scents like lavender to give your bedroom that calm relaxing moment you need to escape from the daily grind. However, your focal point is your bed and your mattress. A good mattress is key to a wonderful sleep experience. When you invest in a good mattress, not only do you save years of your life, your health will improve.

Speaking of health, if you really want to understand how hard or soft surfaces directly impact your physical health, it may be worth your while to get examined by a professional. An orthopedic professional generally specializes in bone, muscle, and nerve issues; all of which can be affected by a bad sleeping situation. Mattresses too hard or soft have their associated impact, and you may need to get examined by an orthopedic surgeon in Brick, NJ or wherever you happen to be as a means of determining just what sort of sleeping arrangements best fit you. Poor sleep affects you not just psychologically, but physically. You feel tired because your body is repairing itself from your lackluster rest in the night; and then before your body can regain equilibrium, you’re in that bad bed again. Too hard or too soft, different bodies have different needs. Know what your needs are.

So the question remains:

Is it an easy choice to find the perfect mattress?

So the choice is yours. Would you rather dive into a bed that squeaks or gives you a restless night waking up in aches and pains? Or would it make more sense to invest in a good mattress that will save years on your life and make you feel human again?

How to Decide If Cosmetic Surgery Is For You

Source

A couple of weeks ago I went for my first ever cosmetic treatment, I had been wanting some liposuction for some time and managed to find a clinic called Sono Bello who offered a great deal on laser liposuction. I didn’t like the idea of an invasive procedure so this was perfect for me, if you’re interested, check out the Sono Bello reviews to see of yourself what others thought of the procedure.

My reasons for having this surgery were that I have been on a successful weight loss plan since the new year and I have some unsightly fat on my thighs which I just couldn’t shift and this liposuction did just the trick for me. Whilst I was in the clinic I saw a lot of young girls going in for treatment and so I was chatting to my nurse about this popularity of treatments amongst young girls. The nurse told me how many people go for treatments and then years later regret them and it got me thinking about the decision to have cosmetic treatment and the things which I think that you ought to think about before opting for one.

Where Does The Problem Lie?

It is important if you are considering surgery or a cosmetic treatment that you think about what the real problem is and why you want to change. The reason I say this is because upon speaking to the nurse and doing some research, many young girls in particular have body image issues which are in their heads. When this happens, there is no amount of surgery or treatments which can help you and you could be on a slippery slope of treatment after treatment with no positive effects. I you think that you may have a mental issue wither body then speak to a counsellor before you speak to a surgeon.

Can You Afford It?

I have read plenty of worrying reports about many young people racking up an incredible amount of debt in order to get their treatments. For this reason it is really important that you consider whether you can actually afford your treatments before you sign on the dotted line. Taking out a finance deal for a surgery is not necessarily bad, but if you aren’t going toe able to afford the repayments then what is the point of looking beautiful if you have no money to do anything.

Why Do You Want It?

Aside from those with body image issues in their mind, there are a worrying number of people who are opting for surgery for no other reason than keeping up with fashion or trying to impress friends. If you want a treatment or some surgery then you need to seriously ask yourself what your true reasons for wanting this treatment are and what long term effects will be. Fashions change and friends come and go, think about that before deciding that surgery is for you.

All fashion considerations aside, many choose cosmetic surgery because it is right for them owing to reasons that have nothing to do with trends. Those who were born with a deviated septum or a cleft palate can benefit in terms of health from plastic surgery. Those who have been injured, or who were born with congenital defects may additionally find solace in cosmetic augmentation. Thought directs physicality; as you feel about yourself, you’ll be. When you feel good, you’ll look good. When you have some sort of self-esteem problem, this will collaterally affect how you act.

So there are many reasons beyond fashion and trends why cosmetic surgery could be quite appropriate. Oftentimes people travel to vetted cosmetic surgery professionals, like this facial plastic surgeon in Dallas. You might want to use the link as a guide in searching out the right cosmetic surgeon for you. The bottom line is, take your time, and do your homework before making such decisions.

How to get around in Cancun: airport transfers tips

Once you have enjoyed yourself to the fullest in Cancun, you can’t miss the opportunity to travel from Cancun to Tulum to complete an experience in one of the most popular tourist areas in the Yucatan region. Below we provide you with the best transportation options to make this trip as comfortable as possible.

On board ADO buses

The most economical option of all is to choose this bus route. You can take them at the terminal located in the Cancun Hotel Zone, where you can take the bus that best suits your schedule, and travel (for an hour and a half or two hours) in a comfortable and spacious bus with air conditioning service until you reach your destination.

The ADO company offers you exclusive amenities unique to a company with so many years and so much recognition; among the most outstanding is the fact that they have a service to choose your travel companion, this being another woman in case you are traveling alone. As well as the overweight luggage service without extra charges, which is excellent for travelers who want to save as much as possible. There is also a cell phone recharge service in all available phones, so you can always stay in touch with your loved ones throughout your trip.

Finally, it is recommended in this section to make sure that the destination is the town of Tulum, and not the Archaeological Zone, because this would mean having to make an additional transfer that represents more time and money than you had planned to spend.

However, it contrasts with private transportation, as this is much more comfortable when moving between destinations, you can easily move to any destination in the city in a matter of minutes, the comfort is not compared with any other transfer service, especially the Cancun to Tulum Shuttle service, undoubtedly an experience to be lived sometime in life.

Iconic Sculpture of Playa del Carmen

You can make a trip through the mentioned ADO buses until you reach the terminal in Playa del Carmen, where you can board buses to get to Tulum in an economic way, the advantage is the saving of the ticket and being able to know more about the locations; however, the disadvantage of making this stop, is that you could have to walk some blocks, not to mention that the whole trip between waiting, transfer and transfers can take approximately 3 hours.

Because it represents so much mobilization, it is not recommended to take this stopover if you are traveling in large groups, as it could present difficulties, however, for lonely travelers or small groups of backpackers it would represent an option full of adventure and quite economical that allows the journey through Playa del Carmen additionally.

Transportation through private transportation

One of the most requested services by tourists who come to Cancun looking to try new experiences, because it is very comfortable, especially if you are going to spend a lot of time in a destination and do not want to carry the responsibility of a car, simply take you to your destination without problems and then pick you up when you leave again at the airport, to go to Tulum take a transfer from Cancun to Tulum is the easiest thing you can do.

The option that is never discarded is to rent a taxi for the one and a half hour transfer to Tulum. We recommend taking them at the main terminals, at the Cancun airport or from a reliable taxi line to travel with maximum security. Remember to agree on the fare with the driver before boarding, and do not forget that it is possible to lower the cost of the service by sharing the taxi of at least 4 seats with another person who also has the beautiful city of Tulum as his destination.

This is a good option since you avoid stopovers, travel privately with close proximity to your luggage and with great comfort (although this also represents a higher fare than all the options above).

With all these options you can’t miss a trip from Cancun to Tulum and get to know the beauties of a place full of history rich in the Mayan past. Dare to take the tour from Cancun to Tulum, and cross out a new place in your list of paradisiacal destinations along the Riviera Maya!

Top 5 must-do things at New Mexico

Booking your tickets to New Mexico but don’t know where to go? You didn’t find anything you would like to do there on the internet? Are you even thinking of changing the destination of your trip? Don’t worry! We will help you make your trip worthwhile by sharing the 5 things you definitely should do when you go there.

1. Visit Santa Fe Opera House

Located seven miles north of Santa Fe and looking directly at the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Rockies is the Santa Fe opera house. This opera house was built in 1956 and has since been a tourist attraction. If you are looking for a place to dine while watching the sunset and watching the open-air theatre, this is your ideal spot. Add this to your checklist of things to see and you won’t be disappointed.

2. Visit the museums there

Mexico City is filled with museums, from folk art to history and nuclear science you will find it all there. If you are a lover of dinosaurs and big bang theory and other historical things then visit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque. If you are a fan of folk art and visiting Santa Fe then Museum of International Folk Art is your place to be. With pieces of art from many countries, this museum will become your best-visited place on this trip.

3. Go horse riding at the Ghost Ranch

We are not sending to you a haunted ranch. Ghost ranch got its name from rumours that were spread by cattle thieves to keep people away from their things. It’s a beautiful, vast, natural place, formed by miles of desert, cottonwood trees, and mountains. You can satisfy your craving for hiking and horse riding there. If you are out with your brushes and paint and looking for scenery to paint, go there and you will be amazed.

4. Don’t forget to visit Red River

Are you sitting in your hotel room getting bored out of your mind? Want to do some outdoor activity? Pack your gear and get on a bus to the town of Red River. This small town located in Taos County with its Red River Ski & Summer Area has been a great getaway destination since the 1950s.  With outdoor activities like fishing, warm weather skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, hiking, biking, and horseback riding this can be an ideal spot for you.

5. Try out a glass blowing class

Want to do something different, something new? Get yourself enrolled in a glass blowing class of Elodie Holmes where you will learn to hand-sculpt pieces by using the traditional glass-blowing method.

New Mexico has lots to offer to anyone who’s willing to leave homes to come to visit its beautiful museums, deserts, resorts, and its wide blue sky. We discussed five of the best things to do but we are sure no matter what you like to do there, you will find to do.

Picturesque photos that will compel your Galapagos travel bug

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, for the Galapagos – they can reach a million. The beauty of the Galapagos is one that’s unparalleled and inexhaustible. If you’re still on the fence on whether you should take a trip down there, the Galapagos Islands photos will be the final push that’ll definitely make you board the next plane to this quaint ecosystem.

Sea lions

As you stroll along the beaches of the Galapagos, one cute sight you’ll come across is that of basking sea lions. Adorable can’t fully explain the sensation tourists get when they encounter one of these charming chubby animals. Be advised. You might get the temptation of rubbing their belly.

Giant tortoises

The Galapagos is home to some of the biggest and oldest tortoises in the world. One of the splendors that have attracted a lot of tourists around these islands is the giant tortoises including the Pinta Island tortoises and the Galapagos giant tortoise. If you’re lucky enough to catch them while eating, you’ll get some nice photo shots.

Penguins

If chilly weather has been putting you off from seeing these remarkable creatures, don’t worry because the islands of Galapagos have you sorted. The penguins on these islands are the only group found in the northern hemisphere. You can find the white-torsoed animals in several islands including Isabela, Santiago, Fernandino, Bartolome, and Floreana islands.

Marine Iguana

Now, the marine iguanas are not very attractive to many people; however, it’s amazing how these creatures have still managed to attract scores of tourists to the islands. Beneath the rugged body and the obnoxious demeanor are calm and gentle animals. During breeding, the scales of the male change color to red and green, making their appearance conspicuous.

Hammerhead Sharks

The underwater world in this archipelago features some of the most beautiful and colorful fish species. The waters in this area also attract a large school of hammerhead sharks. You’ll enjoy a thrilling rush as you swim close-by the countless sharks.

Turtles

Closely related to tortoises, turtles are poised both on land and in the sea. Seeing these creatures swim rhythmically in the crystal deep-sea waters is utterly spectacular. In the hatching season, you’ll get a rare opportunity to witness countless young turtles heading for the ocean.

Frigatebirds

Don’t be shocked to see some black colored birds blowing a red balloon. Actually, these are frigatebirds. The males engage in a battle of ego to woo the female counterparts to their nests by inflating their red throat pouch.

Sunrises and sunsets

Every morning and evening, the skies and horizons collaborate to treat tourists and the inhabitants with jaw-dropping amber sky panorama. These are some of the best times for tourists as they capture lasting fond memories.

Snorkeling

One of the most fascinating activities in these islands is snorkeling in the extensive coral reefs. If you’ve been thinking about an activity that’ll leave you and your team greatly fulfilled, head into the deep waters with your snorkels.

Pelicans

With a plethora of bird species in the islands, some interesting flight creatures you’re bound to come across are Pelicans. You’ll either see some flying freely or others on the ground enjoying a breeze. Catching a glimpse of these birds flying is simply astonishing as you’ll get to see their long beaks and magnificent wingspan in action.

Pink flamingos

Only one word can successfully describe these birds, irresistible. You can’t help but photograph a bunch of these lean, graceful, and curvy-necked birds.

Land Iguana

These are just as mean looking as their cousins, the marine iguana. They’ve also got some serious claws for doing their hunting business.

Gardner Bay

The beaches here are some of the most ravishing waters on these islands. The splashing sounds of waves pounding the shores are impressively refreshing. You’ll get a chance to see stingrays, fur seals, numerous sally lightfoot crabs, and red lava lizards enjoying the white sand and the cerulean waters.

Tortuga Bay

It’s certain that every place in the Galapagos is beautiful and unique in its own way. However, some places are just a must-see. Known for the numerous turtles that flock the bay, Tortuga is also a haven for many other incredible species. Kayaking is one of the most favorite activities in this bay as tourists get to explore the land around.

These are some of the few reasons why the Galapagos tops the lists as a travel destination.

Author:

I’m Jaylin: SEO Expert of Leelija Web Solutions. And full time blogger. Favorite things include my camera, travelling, caring my fitness, food and my fashion. Email id: editor@leelija.com. You can follow me on my blog: travelforu.info

Arizona Itinerary: A Perfect Trip to the Grand Canyon State

Are you dreaming of a not-so-white Christmas? Are you planning a summer vacation around sunshine, heat and gorgeous scenery? Then Arizona has you covered.

The Grand Canyon State is a perfect blend of dramatic landscapes, bustling cities, comfort food and exciting activities. But you need to know how to do it right. If you go to Arizona without a varied itinerary, you can end up missing a lot of what makes the state special.

In this article, let’s dive into all that Arizona has to offer. The five stops that follow make up the perfect itinerary, whatever time of year you plan on going.

Hike the Grand Canyon

You can’t go to the Grand Canyon State and miss its titular attraction, nor would you want to. The best way to experience this American treasure, though, is to get out of your car and walk around.

There are numerous hikes to be experienced in the Grand Canyon, but the most celebrated are the South Rim Trail and the Bright Angel trail, both near the South Rim. If you’re afraid of heights, this might just be the tonic your brain needs – the sweeping, descending rim offers a bird’s eye view of some of the most beautiful formations in the Canyon.

Learn History at the Heard Museum

American Indian culture is on impressive display at this must-see Phoenix museum, located conveniently on North Central Avenue.

For a modest $15 admission, you get an engrossing tour of the native art, craft and history. There are always new exhibits cycling through the museum, so if something on the website piques your interest, consider planning your Phoenix trip around current exhibit dates.

Go Axe Throwing in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, just east of Phoenix, is a gem in its own right, but the real highlight here is the plethora of activities, chief of which is axe throwing. Before you head out for a night on the town, go axe throwing in Scottsdale and get the true frontier experience.

Drop-ins are welcome, but in order to secure a spot at an axe throwing facility, it’s best to book ahead. Whether you go axe throwing with friends, as part of an axe throwing bachelorette party, or just solo, this is can’t-miss Arizona experience.

Soak in Tucson’s 4th Avenue Hipness

The hippest street in all of Arizona (a claim that many Arizonans might argue) is 4th Avenue in Tucson.

Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes, grab a drink at one of the many (hip) dive bars, and take in the Avenue’s art. Close to the University of Arizona, the Avenue skews young, but it’s inclusive of all walks of life.

Take Pictures at Monument Valley

Why buy a postcard when you can just take a picture at the source. Monument Valley, one of the most iconic landmarks in the Southwest (if not the entirety of America) is beautiful any time of year.

Whether you’re looking to create the perfect Instagram post, or you just want stunning pictures for your personal collection, the mesas and rock buttes of Monument Valley deliver in spades.

If there’s one takeaway from this post, it’s this: visit Arizona. The heady mix of natural beauty, culture and exciting activities makes the Grand Canyon State mandatory visiting for anyone interested in the American Southwest.

4 of Jamaica’s most beautiful best-kept secrets

Source: Unsplash | Sébastien Jermer

Jamaica’s sublime sun, sea and sand pigeonhole it as a typical tropical tourist getaway.

But add wild waterfalls, majestic mountains, rebellious history, reggae culture and feisty locals into the mix, and you might begin to understand why the land of wood and water is truly unique.

Take a package tour to Jamaica where you seldom venture far from the high walls of your compound resort and the closest you’ll get to experiencing The Rock in true living colour is returning home with a tan and a few tacky tourist trinkets.

However, provided you plan ahead, there are plenty of ways to experience this idyllic and inspirational island nation in a much more immersive and enriching manner.

So without further ado, here are four of Jamaica’s most beautiful best-kept secrets.

1. Reach Falls

Fancy splashing around in the same sumptuous waterfall where Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Shue filmed 80s classic Cocktail?

Then take a few minutes to watch this Knotty Maria Reach Falls video and you’ll understand why a trip to these romantic waterfalls in the John Crow Mountains is a must-do.

Clamber up the natural stone staircase to the main falls, slide into the rabbit hole at the top of the porous bread loaf rock and then chill out in the pool below – brilliant!

2. Trident Port Antonio

When he first sailed into Port Antonio, the late lothario Errol Flynn declared that it was more beautiful than any woman he had ever seen.

And perhaps the best way to relax in rarified luxury near the capital of Jamaica’s stunning Portland parish is by booking into Trident Port Antonio – an elegant white castle complex that perches on a promontory overlooking the cool Caribbean sea. Reserve your exclusive villa at thetridenthotel.com.

3. Firefly

After enjoying huge success on stage and screen, English polymath Sir Noel Coward liked nothing better than entertaining Hollywood Royalty at his house at Blue Harbour in St Mary parish.

However, check out this film of his second home at Firefly and you’ll understand why he kept this nearby private pad spot largely to himself.

Gaze out across islets in the the Spanish Main from the hillside spot where Sir Noel took his postprandial stroll and it’s obvious why this is one of Jamaica’s most desirable wedding locations.

 

4. Accompong

In the 18th Century, a group of rebel runaway slaves called the Maroons fought a series of (largely successful) guerilla wars against the British Empire, with the results that some of their descendants still live in autonomous communities deep in Jamaica’s interior.

One such settlement is Accompong in Cockpit Country and it’s well worth a visit if you want to learn about the proud traditions of a great underdog people who took on an empire and, thanks to guts, guile and guerilla tactics, won against overwhelming odds. Find a tour at undiscovered-destinations.com.

Getting there

Find direct flights to Jamaica from main London airports at kayak.com and if you’re getting there in your own vehicle, book airport parking at Looking4.com for Heathrow, Gatwick and elsewhere.

That’s our list! Share your own Jamaican travel tips in the comments section.

Why Adults Can Enjoy Disney World Just As Much as Kids

The large majority of visitors to Disney World resorts are families with young kids who bring their children to live out their dreams and fantasies of their favorite Disney movies. With this being said however there is absolutely nothing stooping adults from enjoying these theme parks even if they do not have children and it is a truly special place where people of all ages can enjoy themselves. If you are not sure whether or not you are too old for Disney then the answer is absolutely not, and here is exactly why.

We Are All Kids

No matter how old you are, whether or not you own your own house and have a day job, this does not mean that you have lost that child inside you. In fact we all have that kid in us, the kid who wonders, the kid who believes in things that aren’t real and the kid that believes that anything is possible. Disney is a place which taps into all of these feelings of awe and wonder and if you allow yourself to get carried away with it you are going to have the time of your life at the theme park. The movies which Disney makes are for all ages, and so too are their theme parks.

Pricing

Taking a family to Disney can be pricey but if you are heading there with a group of friends or in a couple then you can enjoy this experience at a fraction of the cost that a family would pay. You can find the best deals on Disney World tickets if you look online and you’ll see for yourself just how reasonably priced it is when you only have yourself to pay for.

Never Too Old To Ride

Some of the rides at the Disney theme parks are extreme and adrenalin fueled which are designed for teenagers and adults. The biggest difference with the age is that when you are a teenager you are not scared of anything, especially when it comes to theme park rides. As an adult we get more fear than the kids do and that results in rides which give you even more satisfaction. The more scared that you are by a ride, the more fun which you are going to have.

Acceptable

Don’t feel as though you are going to stick out like a sore thumb if you are at Disney without kids, this is not the case at all. In fact it is completely acceptable for groups of adults to go to the theme park and there is nothing odd or different about it at all. You will spot other groups of adults who are having just as good a time as you, without the worry of what the kids are up to or what they want to do next.

Kids or not, this is the greatest place on Earth and you should certainly go and enjoy it.