5 Ways to “Find Yourself” By Travelling The Globe

There are more benefits to travel than just having fun. If you’re trying to get in touch with your inner self, visiting other countries or just going outside of your comfort zone at home in the United States can help you learn about yourself and the world around you. Booking hotels in Sydney and cities around the globe can help you achieve your goal of better self-awareness. Here are four cities that are perfect for finding yourself.

Sydney, Australia

The benefit of finding yourself in Sydney is that you’ll be in an English-speaking country, so there’s no need to worry about any language barriers. Not only can you visit famous sites like the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach, but you can also head out of the city to get in touch with nature at the nearby Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Hotels like the Westin Sydney give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture.

Denali, Alaska

Unspoiled Alaska is full of sprawling views and wildlife that has been untouched by humans. If you’re the kind of person who needs peace, quiet and nature to truly find yourself, the Denali National Park and Preserve is an ideal destination. Located on a mind-boggling six million acres of land, Denali features Mount McKinley, the highest point on the North American continent. When you want to get away from civilization to give yourself a better opportunity to listen to your inner voice, Alaska’s wilderness is the place to do it.

Samara, Costa Rica

When finding yourself means trying out adventurous activities that you never thought you would actually get to do, Samara is the place to go. Ziplining, hiking and kayaking are all challenging, active options in the beautiful scenery of this beach town. As the safest country in Central America, Costa Rica draws in travelers from around the world to enjoy a peaceful, tropical setting.

Napa Valley, California

You don’t have to leave the continental U.S. to find yourself. Enjoy the simple things in life by sampling local wines and farm-fresh foods in Napa Valley. This area of California is a destination for soul-searchers thanks to the farm-to-table movement and a hopping art scene that can be explored at galleries like di Rosa and the Jessel Gallery. High-end hotels like the Meritage Resort and Spa let you unwind after a long day of meditative self-exploration.

Traveling the globe gives you the opportunity to learn about other cultures first-hand while searching for your own inner understanding. Whether you are one with nature or more at home in an urban setting, visiting one of the destinations above can help you find yourself through travel.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 18, 2015.

A Bookworm’s Tour Through Tennessee’s Best Bookstores

A recent survey examining the U.S. states with the most bookstores had a few notable surprises. While large states like California and Texas have the largest total number of stores, when it comes to bookstore per capita, those two states were nowhere to be found! For travelers wishing to explore more of the U.S.’s literary heritage, a glance at the list should be the first step in planning your next vacation. Rounding out the top five (with Montana coming in first) is Tennessee, which boasts 369 bookstores for about 6.5 million residents.

It’s safe to say bookstores and literary pursuits are not the first things that come to mind when thinking of the Volunteer State, so nicknamed due to the large number of Tennesseans volunteering as soldiers during the War of 1812. Instead, visitors flock to Tennessee every year for reasons musical (Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and museum and Nashville’s many country music venues), nature-related (the Smoky Mountains) and an all-around good time (touring the Jack Daniels Distillery). While it may not seem the obvious choice for more reserved bookworms, the following stops show that for book-loving travelers there is a quieter, more literary side to the state that’s well-worth exploring!

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The third-largest city in the state, and the homebase of the University of Tennessee’s legendary Vols, Knoxville boasts a locally-owned, independent gem of a store called Union Ave Books. Located in the heart of downtown, Union Ave Books offers a wide selection of fiction, non-fiction, young adult and children’s books. The store owners aim to please, going so far as to order books you might want that are not available in-store. The store also hosts a variety of local and nationally known authors for readings and book signings so be sure to check their event schedule before planning your visit. For those wishing to stay nearby and explore more of what Knoxville has to offer, the affordable and comfortable Crowne Plaza Hotel is just blocks from the store, and the bustling downtown area.

Nashville, a.k.a. Music City, almost had no independent bookstores left after the 2010 closing of independent store Davis-Kidd and the 2011 closing of a Borders located near Vanderbilt University. Thankfully for book lovers in the country music capital of the world, bestselling author Ann Patchett and veteran publisher Karen Hayes stepped in to save the day by opening Parnassus Books, an “independent book store for independent people.” Named for Mount Parnassus, the home of literature, learning, and music in Greek mythology, the store aims to provide a “refuge for Nashvillians of all ages,” with Patchett and Hayes declaring Music City to be the “Athens of the South.” With a well-stocked collection of literature, non-fiction, children, and art books as well as author events and book clubs, Parnassus Books is a must-visit for any book lover. Visitors to the area looking for affordable lodgings can check out the Holiday Inn Nashville or the Hutton Hotel, both just a 10 minute drive from the store.

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If driving away from Nashville and towards Memphis, be sure to stop by Madison’s Book Attic, a beloved local establishment specializing in used and out of print paperbacks, hardbacks, and audio books. Operating since 1987, Book Attic’s staff pride themselves on having the knowledge and experience to track down any book that its customers might desire. Anyone looking to settle down nearby for the night should consider the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, located in Goodlettsville, and just a 5 minute drive from Book Attic.

A trip to Tennessee is incomplete without visiting Memphis, one of the early homes of blues and rock and roll. A trip to Memphis is likewise incomplete without a stop by Burke’s Book Store, founded in 1875. Its current owners boast that the store today encompasses “the best of the old, the latest of the new, and hard to find collectibles.” Its kind and knowledgeable staff includes an expert devoted solely to locating out-of-print works. For out-of-towners looking to stay in the heart of the action downtown, a booking at the hip, boutique Madison Hotel (just a 15 minute drive from Burke’s) is a must.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on September 1, 2015.

Reminders of Nazi Germany in Berlin

Berlin, the capital of Germany, holds a unique and sad chapter in the world history books. While the modern city is home to a plethora of cultural and educational institutions, Berlin during World War II was a significantly different place. When Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, the republic that had been known for housing the German expressionist movement became the headquarters of a movement that devastated a people and a planet. Hitler’s Germany may be gone, but it is not forgotten. Here are four historical landmarks in the city of Berlin that hold somber reminders of a time not long ago.

Bebelplatz

Historically, Berlin prided itself on being a place that valued learning, a city of rich culture that is the proud home of the Deutsche Oper Berlin opera house and Humboldt University. Steps from these impressive structures, however, is Bebelplatz: a simple town square where free speech was symbolically eradicated on May 10, 1933. It was there the Nazis held their first book burning, destroying the works of authors they felt were against their cause. Moments from the Gendarm Nouveau Hotel, visitors can see a monument to this historic event under the square–a display of empty white shelves below the earth.

The Reichstag Building

This historical building housed the German parliament, or Reichstag, until it caught fire in February 1933. Because of the mysterious circumstances around this fire, the Nazi Party suspended many rights in an attempt to weed out those who stood against them. Ultimately, the German reunification ceremony was held at the Reichstag building in 1990, and the building was then gutted and reconstructed. However, many remnants of its history remain, most notably Soviet graffiti from the final battle for Berlin.

The Führerbunker

Although the building itself has been destroyed, visitors still flock from the nearby Winters Hotel to the site of Hitler’s bunker, next to the Reich Chancellery. This locale holds special significance to the life of the dictator, as it is the site of both his wedding and his suicide. Hitler spent the last six weeks of his life in this bunker, and it was here where he finally admitted the war was lost. On April 30, 1945, it is believed he took cyanide and ultimately died of a self-inflicted gunshot.

The Holocaust Memorial

One tourist spot that grew out of the ashes of Nazi Germany is the Monument to the Murdered Jews in Europe, located near the Brandenburg Gate (Berlin’s most famous landmark, visible from the Hotel Adlon). This memorial was created by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold between 2003 and 2004, and it consists of undulating paths nestled between tall concrete blocks of various sizes. Underneath the memorial is a simple yet powerful museum holding the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims.

Although it is a dark hole in humanity’s past, remnants of Nazi Germany can still be found in Berlin. Pockets of this sad history rest between the tourist attractions, renowned restaurants and hotels in Berlin, visible beneath a repaired exterior. If you are planning a trip to Germany’s capital city, be sure to take some time to leave your Berlin hotel and explore the education and historical significance the town has to offer.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on September 8, 2015.

How to Brave the Cold at an Ice Hotel (And the 4 Best to Try This Year)

Throughout history, hotels have continually pushed the bounds of what constitutes an exceptional night’s stay. Modern travelers’ desires for unique, authentic, and Instagram-worthy adventures have driven hotels to market themselves as destinations for unusual trips and immersive experiences. Perhaps no trend better encapsulates this movement than the rise of the ice hotel.

The original ice hotel—appropriately named ICEHOTEL and included on this list—was created in Sweden in 1989. Simultaneously an art exhibition and a guesthouse, the hotel is built out of natural ice and snow harvested from a nearby river. Newer iterations on the concept include igloo villages, art museums made entirely of ice, and a wide range of amenities. Here are four variations you won’t want to miss (just remember to pack the parka).

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1. Hotel de Glace, Quebec

The only hotel in North America made completely of ice, Hotel de Glace is open in the winter of each year—and then it melts away. As with the other entries on this list, each room in the hotel is carved from ice, meaning temperatures need to remain below freezing lest the rooms melt while guests are sleeping. But don’t worry about staying warm: The hotel provides beds and thermal sleeping bags rated for freezing conditions, as well as several outdoor hot tubs. Guests enjoy lounging on chairs made from ice, sipping on winter-themed cocktails from the hotel bar, and scoping out the ice carvings and mountain views.

2. ICEHOTEL, Sweden

Located just over a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle and near Sweden’s Torne River, the original ICEHOTEL welcomes adventurous guests from all over the world. Hotel guides lead guests across icy terrain atop horses, dog sleds, skimobiles, and even MINI Coopers. Food and drink is often served from plates and cups made of ice, and the hotel bar is to die for. The guestrooms are as varied as the hotel’s visitors—some are custom-designed while others include both ice and snow. In the winter, guests can enjoy an unobstructed view of the northern lights.

3. Eskimska Vas, Slovenia

While Slovenia makes for an amazing summer getaway, it’s worth coming back for the opening of the country’s Eskimo Village in December. Guests access the village by riding cable cars up the mountain, then hiking in on snowshoes (so it’s probably best to pack light). Anyone who isn’t exhausted from the trek can enjoy daily outdoor activities like snowbiking, snowtubing, and sledding. Tired visitors unwind at the village’s bar or Igloo restaurant, then hit the (snowy) sack in an individual igloo equipped with sheepskin to keep folks warm.

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4. Snowhotel, Finland

Easily accessible from the buzzing hub of Helsinki airport, the Snowhotel promises a quiet respite from Finland’s larger cities and the hum of modern life. Boasting “tranquil silence” and “beautifully illuminated ice art,” the hotel is designed to simultaneously delight and soothe the senses. At night, guests bundle up in thermal sleeping bags atop beds carved entirely from ice. Overnight stays include room wake-up with hot berry juice, buffet breakfast in a the warm “log restaurant,” and guided tours of the surrounding Snow Village, which features an Ice Restaurant, Ice Cocktail Bar, chapel, slide, and a network of corridors decked out in snow and ice art.

Tips for Staying in An Ice Hotel

Do

  • Learn how to properly use a sleeping bag. If you’ve never slept in a thermal bag before, consult hotel staff to learn how a few small tweaks can keep you warm for the night.
  • Participate in physical activities during the day. This will keep your circulation pumping (and physical tiredness will make it easier to sleep at night). It’s also a great opportunity to try something new.Snowbiking, anyone?
  • Hit the restroom before going to bed. Most rooms in ice hotels do not come equipped with private bathrooms; instead, communal restroom facilities are located around the hotel. No one wants to crawl out of their warm sleeping bag to walk the freezing halls at 3 in the morning!
  • Have a backup plan. Some folks can’t get enough of ice hotels; others decide they’re fans of slightly less adventurous overnights. If it’s your first time, consider booking one night at a time to gauge your affinity for wintry nights. Many ice hotels also offer more traditional (i.e. warm) lodgings nearby, so inquire about your options while booking.

Don’t

  • Expect a normal hotel stay. Ice hotels are different (that’s the whole point). You’re unlikely to find standard hotel-room amenities such as TV, minibars, or any furniture beyond the bed. You will be in a room made of ice, and that’s pretty much it. Try to embrace the tranquility this affords.
  • Wear cotton clothing. Because cotton traps moisture, breaking a sweat will result in serious chills not long after. Stick to breathable fabrics like wool. Also be sure to follow any other hotel guidelines for apparel.
  • Drink a lot of alcohol. While ice bars may be tempting, consuming too much alcohol before bed promotes heat loss and can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s
Tailwind blog on August 12, 2015.

5 Ways to Avoid being an Annoying Tourist in France

France — and especially Paris — has a love/hate relationship with tourists. Tourism is an important industry, but if you’re not careful, you can make a nuisance of yourself with locals. Here are five ways you can avoid being that tourist:

  1. Realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. The customs are different. While you’re in France, it’s best to learn to do what the French do, and refrain from doing what they don’t do. People expect tourists to make the occasional cultural faux pas. What they don’t expect is an earful about what’s “wrong” with the way they do things.
  2. Realize that some French people don’t speak English. Most French speak at least some English, especially in the larger cities, and the vast majority of those who work for hotels in Paris or other tourism-related industries speak English relatively well. However, you are in France, and you can’t expect everyone to speak your language. Many who do speak it, don’t speak it well, and some who speak perfectly good English refuse to do so. After all, vous êtes en France. Pick up a French phrase book (or, hey, it’s 2015, download a French app to your smartphone. You’ll find that French people speak much better English after you’ve at least made an attempt to communicate in French. Most importantly, if someone doesn’t appear to understand you, don’t repeat yourself louder and slower. If they speak English, you’ll offend them. If they don’t, volume won’t help.
  3. Refrain from asking where to find the nearest McDonald’s, Starbucks and so on. You’re in France! Enjoy the local cuisine. If you absolutely must have Chicken McNuggets, at least don’t announce it. If you have to ask, quietly ask the concierge at your hotel. It really does irritate the French when tourists ask for American chain restaurants.
  4. Follow the protocol on the Metro. This one’s pretty simple. You let everyone exiting the train get out before you go in. When you’re in, if the train is crowded, stand up. Only sit if there’s a clear place to do so.
  5. Don’t tip. Seriously. It’s not part of the French culture. Many of the people we typically tip in America, such as wait staff, are paid considerably better in France, and your attempt to tip can be interpreted as an insult.

Remember, to the French, France isn’t a tourist destination, it’s home. You’re the guest and the one who has to adapt, not them. Try to fit in, and you’re sure to have a great time.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s
Tailwind blog on August 19, 2015.

Takin’ it Off in Texas: Beaches Where You Can Sunbathe in the Buff

Texas may be known as the epicenter of the conservative movement, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sunbathe in the buff. While Texas law doesn’t prohibit toplessness on any beach, you need to know precisely what the rules are and where to head to avoid getting arrested for indecent exposure, public lewdness or disorderly conduct.

Officially Sanctioned Nudity

There’s only one official nudist beach in the state. Hippie Hollow at Lake Travis in Austin boasts slabs of rock for soaking up the sun and sliding into the lake for a swim. This site has restrooms, garbage bins and drinking water conveniently located near the lake.

Need to Know: The clothes-free option doesn’t extend to the parking lot, so keep yourself under wraps until you enter the park. You must pay an entrance fee to use the facility.

Stay Nearby: Stay downtown at an Austin hotel to be within a 30-minute drive of Hippie Hollow Park. Sheraton, Hyatt, Hilton and Radisson are just a few of the national chains you can choose from. If golf is your game,Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa has four 18-hole courses just 16 miles southwest of the lake.

Most Popular Nude Beach

Join the party on UFO Beach on South Padre Island — the area got its moniker when an emergency evacuation pod that looked like a UFO washed onshore. The sandy beach is the state’s most popular unofficial nudist beach, especially during spring break. The beach lies 10 to 12 miles north of Beach Access No. 6. Since you’ll be driving on wet sand, access the site in a street-legal four-wheel drive vehicle. ATVs not licensed for street use aren’t allowed.

Need to Know: The last chance for a porta-potty is at Beach Access No. 5, 3 miles south of Beach Access 6. There is a fee to access the beach.

Stay Nearby: South Padre Island is a four-hour drive from hotels in Houston, or you can stay closer to the beach on South Padre Island. TheHilton Garden Inn South Padre is less than a 10-minute drive from Beach Access No. 6. The hotel has rooms with ocean views, refrigerators and microwaves. You have direct access to a clothing-required public beach and can enjoy amenities such as a beach-side pool and whirlpool tubs.

Away From It All

Explore 60 miles of remote shoreline along Padre Island National Seashore. To access the beach, drive south from the Malaquite Visitor’s Center until you run out of pavement. While nude sunbathing isn’t officially permitted, it’s practiced discreetly. The remote and open nature of the shoreline lets you see a vehicle approaching long before it’s close enough to notice whether you’re naked.

Need to Know: Texas nudity law specifies illegal nudity as intentionally exposing your anus or genitals without regard for whether someone present will be alarmed or offended. Throwing a towel around your lower half while people are within viewing distance is sufficient to comply with the law.

Stay Nearby: Corpus Christi hotels put you within a 30-minute drive from the Malaquite Visitor’s Center. You can find national chains such as Best Western Fairfield Inn, Embassy Suites and Courtyard by Marriott in the area. Stay on the edge of Corpus Christi Bay at Hotel Corpus Christ Bayfront, a hotel with views of the marina and within walking distance of restaurants and city nightlife.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 26, 2015.

Top 5 Jackson, WY Independent Hotels

Jackson is a heaven for active travelers who enjoy year round vacations. Summer time brings hiking and camping galore. Winter time brings snow activities to keep even the most picky of travelers busy. When choosing a hotel, it can be hard to find an independent hotel that isn’t a roadside motel. We have gathered together a list of the top five independent hotels in Jackson to make your trip planning all that much easier.

Anglers Inn

If you want a home away from home, Anglers Inn should be your first choice. The log beds and cabins will make you feel like never leaving. The high-speed internet, free television and basic kitchen amenities mean you’ll never have to. Those on a budget will especially appreciate the cheap nightly prices offered at Anglers Inn. The free parking here is just the icing on the cake.

There are many good hotels in Jackson and the area around Anglers Inn is a smart place to start your accommodations search.

Antler Inn

A perfect winter choice, the Antler Inn offers fireplaces in a few of their rooms which means you’ll be able to enjoy a crackling fire when the snow starts to fall. The rooms offer many homey comforts, including refrigerators, coffee makers, free Wi-Fi and complimentary television. You’ll be able to make friends if you take a dip in the 25 person hot tub the Antler Inn boasts. The fitness center and laundry facility means you’ll never have to go home, if you end up falling in love with Jackson like most people do.

The complimentary shuttle to the ski slopes makes this the perfect choice for your skiing vacation hotel.

Anvil Motel

A one stop shop is what you’ll find at the Anvil Motel, with its western decor and modern amenities. Those on a budget will appreciate the cheaper prices while the great views and easy access to downtown make life a lot better. The Anvil Motel staff can help you set up your exploration of the surrounding parks, including a safari in Grand Teton or floating on the Snake River. Don’t forget to ask them about a horse-drawn sleigh ride for a truly magical winter experience.

Cache Creek Lodge

It doesn’t matter what time of the year you decide to book a stay at Cache Creek Lodge, you’re going to find it the perfect fit for your stay. The guestrooms offer kitchenettes and laundry facilities so you’ll never have to worry about getting something to eat or having clean clothes for your next adventure in Jackson. The onsite ski storage makes your winter shenanigans all that much easier to enjoy. Families and groups will appreciate the accommodating service the lodge is set up for.

Cowboy Village Resort

The studio style cabins, with their western decor, will remind you of centuries past when you stay at the Cowboy Village Resort. There are large family suites available if you are wanting to have a family vacation in Jackson. The dog friendly policies means you’ll even be able to bring man’s best friend along too. The fitness center is available for those times when it’s a bit too cold outside to go for a run while the continental breakfasts ensure you’ll have energy to get your day started on the right foot.

Things You Should Do Before Landing at the Airport in a New Country

Crowds at baggage claim, long lines through customs, signs in foreign languages and different cultural norms–arriving at the airport in a new country can be stressful, even for the most seasoned jetsetters.

Even after making it through customs, tackling unfamiliar currency exchanges and arranging ground transportation can put a jet-lagged traveler over the edge. Give yourself a break by prepping ahead of time for the smoothest landing possible with these travel tips.

Write Down Your Address on Paper

This may sound like a no-brainer, but these days, it’s easy to forget to write things down when you can just save info in your email or on the notes app in your phone.

Depending on which country you are visiting, you may be asked to provide the address of your accommodations when you fill out a customs form before landing. Don’t get caught with your address in your email inbox while you’re without service, or when you’re on the plane or standing in line at customs with only three percent battery life left.

Practice Phrases That Are Useful

We’ve all heard it before: “Just make sure you know the words for bathroom and beer, and you’ll be fine.” While a cold beer upon arrival does sound pretty nice, learning key phrases about transportation, accommodations and other navigation-related topics can be much more helpful when you’re trying to navigate from the airport to your hotel.

Know the Value of a Dollar

Yes, we live in a world where credit cards are a widely accepted form of payment. That being said, there is nothing worse than having absolutely zero cash and realizing a business doesn’t take plastic.

The ATM or currency exchange should be your first stop after making it through customs. But standing in front of an ATM before heading to yourhotel in Istanbul and suddenly realizing you have no idea how much a Turkish Lira is worth can be daunting.

Skip the frantic Google search while standing next to an ATM by scoping out the currency situation before you arrive at the airport. Research exchange rates, the average price for a meal and typical cab fares to get an idea of how far the currency can take you. Then you’ll have a plan when it comes time to withdraw cash.

Check out transportation options

Speaking of typical cab fare, you should also research transportation options before you land. If you decide to take public transportation, most tourism boards offer information about public transportation so you can determine the nearest bus or metro stop to your hotel, and the lines you’ll need to take to get there. You’ll thank us when you’re navigating your way through the Tube to your London hotel like a pro, instead of standing in front of a transit system map for way longer than you might care to admit.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 3, 2015.

The Best Attractions in Calgary

Calgary is one of those places where not many people visit, but once they do, they never want to leave this beautiful Canadian city. There is much see and do to keep you active while wandering around the city. From the stellar view from the Calgary Tower, to learning about the city’s past at Fort Calgary, to playing with the locals at the annual Calgary Stampede, you’ll be hard pressed to get bored while in Calgary. Here is a list of the top attractions to make planning your vacation a bit easier.

The Calgary Tower

If you’ve never been to the city, an overview is what you need. Literally. The tower boasts the best bird’s-eye view and one of the best restaurants in town, if you fancy catching a nice bite to eat at the top. The Calgary Tower has a long history, which is always fun to learn about, but current day happenings are what most people are interested in. If you are an early riser, you’ll enjoy the light show the tower puts on before sunrise. Night owls can catch a show from dusk to midnight, too.

Explore Fort Calgary

Established 140 years ago, Fort Calgary sits on the site where the city was originally established. The vantage point from the fort gives visitors a good idea of how the city became the bustling space it is today. Visitors can view the history of the city through an authentic lens and get a better understanding of the character and values of the city, past, and present. History lovers will truly enjoy their time spent in this time capsule of the 19th century.

Fort Calgary is a good place to start your search for a hotel in Calgary. All you need while on vacation is within an easy transportation distance.

Visit the Calgary Stampede

Timing is everything with the stampede, and if you can manage to time your trip for when this annual event is held, you’ll want to come back year after year to experience it again and again. During the day, you have exhibitions to explore, bucking broncos and bulls to see, and various fair-style food to try. But don’t worry, there are nightly shows to keep you entertained after the sun goes down, too. It will be a ropin’ good time, no matter what you decide to do.

Devonian Gardens

If you’ve never been to an indoor park and botanical garden, you are in for a treat when you visit the Devonian Gardens. Be ready to have your senses overwhelmed as you explore the flora of the botanical garden. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit confused whether you are inside or outside as you wander through the waterfalls, bridges, koi ponds, and all that the gardens hold. After a leisurely walk through the gardens, you can head downstairs to do some shopping at the Core Shopping Center and pick up a souvenir or two. 

Olympic Valley All Year Round

Many think of Olympic Valley as a winter-only destination, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While the world-class ski slopes are absolutely spectacular and perfect for every level of skier, the summer activities will keep even the most adrenaline seeking junkie happy. If you are looking for a more relaxing vacation, you can find that here as well, with a trip to the spa. With so many activities, it is hard to plan your trip. We’ve compiled a list of different activities depending on the season to help speed up the process.

Snow Sports: Winter Time

If there is snow on the ground, you’re in heaven in Olympic Valley. This ski in, ski out place is a place you can go to get away from it all. From skiing, to snowboarding, to sledding, to making snowmen and more, there is something for everyone in this family friendly mountain lodge. Even if you’ve never been on the snow before, no fear. You’ll be able to take some classes to help you get the most out of your experience. Maybe this will become your new yearly winter vacation destination.

Since this is such a small area, it is easy to find some good hotels in Olympic Valley. Booking a resort will make your stay all that much more comfortable.

Hit the Range: Spring Time

When the grass is just coming up, make sure to book yourself a tee time at the local course. Grab a partner and be ready for a challenge as it is considered an extremely difficult course, which means you’ll really have to be on top of your game. The course is environmentally friendly so you won’t have to worry about ruining the beautiful mountain you’re staying on. 

Adventure Center Fun: Summer Time

If you want a physical challenge, head to the local Adventure Center for a few hours of activity to get your blood pumping. These outdoor activities are centered around enhancing personal and group awareness along with family and group bonds. This mean you’ll not just be getting a good physical workout in but also spending some quality time with those you choose to bring with you. If you find inner peace or create enhance your group dynamics, you can thank us later. 

Mountain Trekking: Fall Time

Just because there is no snow, that doesn’t mean the mountain is out. Granite Chief is the perfect place to spend a day, if you fancy a nine mile trek. Make sure you take some snacks and a camera, because you’ll need energy to capture photos of all the beautiful vistas you’ll see. 

Spa Relaxation Time: All Year Round

There are a few spas available in the area and you should take advantage of them. After a day of playing on the mountain, you are bound to be a bit sore. Let the stress of your normal life along with the sore muscles leave your mind as you soak in hot water and get a nice massage. During the winter, it’s a unique experience to be swimming in a heated pool while there is snow surrounding you but we think you are up to the challenge.

Don’t forget you aren’t stuck on the mountain. If you want to head to Sacramento to take a tour or catch a game, it’s only a day trip away.