America. Land of the brave, home of the free. And let’s not forget that it’s also home to a myriad of cities, landscapes and places-to-be, that you can’t afford to miss out on.
If you’ve ever felt like you were stuck in a rut and your 9 to 5 job has got you down, then maybe it’s about time that you whipped out your travel bag and packed it up. The list of cities that we’ve compiled for you down below, will provide you with the opportunity to have the outdoor adventure of a lifetime.
Their cultures, histories and sceneries are rich. After having visited these cities, you’ll feel like reborn, guaranteed!
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, then Chattanooga should be pretty high on your list of cities to visit before you die. There are many outdoor activities to be undertaken here, such as road biking, white water rafting, horseback riding, rock climbing and hang gliding. If you’re the old fashioned type, then you can also just go on a regular hike at the Julia Falls Overlook.
Chattanooga has a rich history. There’s a camping ground near the Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, which is considered to be historic. This is close to land that was lived on by Native American tribes, up to 2,000 years ago. In more recent history, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics white water rafting events were held here. If you want to attempt some white water rafting of your very own, then you can give it a shot on the Ocoee River.
Brevard, North Carolina
If you’re into green, then Brevard might very well be the place to be for you. This city is home to one of the best outdoor adventures you can imagine: the Cove Creek Trail, which takes you through a lush forest, across a number of very old, forest roads, where you can just smell the history if you’re open to it. Be aware that this trail features a bit of climb, though. But on the other hand, there’s also a downhill part.
Speaking of climbing, Brevard also allows you to go rock climbing at Looking Glass Rock. It’s considered to be one of the best rock climbing destinations down south. If climbing rocks isn’t your thing, you can also do mountain biking here. There’s no less than 400 miles worth of trails to be found in Brevard, so there’s plenty of space to go around for various people of various outdoor activity interests.
In case you are a western movie aficionado, you may want to have a close look at Fruita, Colorado. Its gorgeous rock formations an myriad of slick rock trails, are going to make you feel like a cowboy soon enough. You can hike, bike, camp, backpack and raft in Fruita. You can visit the Colorado River, which lies just to the south of Fruita. The Kokopelli trail alone is 142 miles of forests and canyons. This trail ends in Moab, Utah, which itself is also a really nice city for an outdoor adventure, although it didn’t make this particular list!
Fruita has a very rich history. In the late 19th century, early settlers came to this place and settled here. They were mostly fruit farmers, hence the name of this city. Many of the town buildings they have erected, still exist today in a very well preserved state. It’s a sight for sore eyes. One that you should go and see if you’re looking to get some rest from all the activities you’ll be undertaking here. And you’re actually very likely to need some rest, since this is one of the sunniest places in the US. It gets more sunny days than most other places, which makes it suitable for all you outdoor fans out there that like to be warm.
North Conway, New Hampshire
For those of you who enjoy all things rural & rustic, North Conway, New Hampshire is going to be to your likes. It has no less of 700,000 acres of land. You can find the White Mountains here. No matter what season it is, you’ll always be able to find something fun to do out here. During winter, you can hit the skis, the snowmobile or the snowboard. During summer, you can go hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, or a combination thereof if this is what you prefer. Bass fishers are very fond of this location.
If you like mountain biking, then you’re going to love North Conway. It’s got no less than 27 downhill trails, where you will be able to go fast without much effort. Make sure not to go too fast, though. You don’t want to miss out on all the beautiful scenery that this place has to offer. Speaking of scenery, the Great Glen Outdoor Center offers some of the most impressive scenic views in all of North Conway. You can’t visit this place and not go to Great Glen. No bike, no problem. You can rent’em here!
In Bend Oregon, you can enjoy yourself with a great variety of outdoor activities no matter what season it is. Bend is known for having cool and dry winters. This makes it an excellent location for biking and hiking all year long. During the summer, it’s possible to hit the Deschutes River for some white water rafting. As a matter of fact, Bend is so dedicated to its white water rafting opportunity, that it created a planned rafting adventure and gave it the not-so-subtle name Big Eddy Thriller. When you’re done fighting the water, you can set up camp right next to the Deschutes.
At Mount Bachelor, there is a skiing opportunity that is free for children ages 12 and under. This makes Bend, Oregon also somewhat of a family friendly trip. And should you and your kids feel like taking a rest from the hundreds of miles of biking trails, then you can go have a look at the Tumalo Falls, which are nothing short of majestic at 100 foot tall. If you ever feel the need to wash down your many outdoor adventures with a good drink, then you came to the right place. Bend, Oregon has 15 award winning breweries, which would love for you to try out some of their finest beers.
Headed To Walter Reade With Camp4Heroes To Bring Christmas To Our Vets: First Stop Annapolis
My friends and I were headed to Bethesda, Maryland to Walter Reade with Camp4Heroes to bring Christmas To Our Vets.
Our driver decided to take us to the historic charm of Annapolis since two of us had never been there. Along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay is nestled just 32 miles from Washington, DC and 26 miles from Baltimore.
This bustling port town formed in the 18th century, is a National Historic Landmark, America’s Sailing Capital and one of the top waterfront destinations in the United States.
The US Naval Academy has been training officers for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps since 1845.
If you love the water there are several water taxi’s available.
The town was adorably set up for Christmas.
Famous for its fresh-from-the-bay seafood. The food is sublime. We went to the Iron Rooster and will definitely be coming back.
Called a Museum Without Walls, Annapolis has more 18th-century brick buildings than any other city of comparable size in the nation including the homes of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The Maryland State House is the oldest in continuous legislative use. The Banneker-Douglass Museum documents Maryland’s African American history from the 1600s to the present day. Housed in an old oyster packing plant, the newly redesigned Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park chronicles life on the Chesapeake Bay then and now.
Show-Stopping Entertainment to Debut on Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International is pulling back the curtain and revealing the entertainment taking center stage on the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas. In January 2024, the first-of-its-kind vacation is set to debut a bold, new lineup of full-scale shows across the cruise line’s four signature “stages” – air, ice, water and theater – and more live music and comedy than ever before. From the first rendition of “The Wizard of Oz” at sea and a live showband extravaganza to the debut cast of robots, skateboarders and more, the playbill of entertainment on Icon is made for every type of family and vacationer.
Developed in-house by Royal Caribbean, the largest producer of live entertainment in the world, the variety of productions and performances will come to life across Icon day and night. More than 75 world-class performers will be under the spotlight at the all-new AquaDome and its next-level AquaTheater, the Royal Theater and the Absolute Zero ice arena, which showcase state-of-the-art technology like 3D flying systems and robot arms that act as diving boards for high divers (and more). When it comes to entertainment beyond the stage, 50 live musicians and comedians will set the tone throughout Icon and in more venues, including the new Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues and Dueling Pianos, and all-time favorites with a twist such as Schooner Bar and the Point & Feather English pub.
“At the heart of so many of the memories made on Royal Caribbean vacations is a combination of live entertainment that’s unmatched in the vacation industry, and we’re taking it to the next level on Icon of the Seas,” said Nick Weir, senior vice president, entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “If you’re a fan of full-scale productions on Broadway and the West End or live music and comedy in hot spots like Las Vegas, Icon has it all for every mood and style in one vacation – alongside never-before-seen twists only found on Royal Caribbean.”
Vacationers can go behind the scenes on how all the entertainment is coming to life in the newest episode of Royal Caribbean’s monthly video series, “Making an Icon: Creating Show-Stopping Entertainment.”
From setting the stage to setting records, the first-of-its-kind combination of the best of every vacation – from the resort getaway to the beach escape and the theme park adventure – is where everyone can make memories together and on their own terms. Highlights of the game-changing experiences in store include six record-breaking waterslides, seven pools – one for every day of the week – a stay-all-day neighborhood designed for young families, entertainment across air, ice, water and stage; 40-plus ways to dine and drink; and more across eight neighborhoods that are destinations in and of themselves.
In between the thrills and ways to chill on Icon‘s 7-night vacations, adventurers can explore the islands of the eastern and western Caribbean and The Bahamas, including Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Roatan, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; and Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay and its new adults-only Hideaway Beach (opening January 2024). More details about Icon are available at www.RoyalCaribbean.com/Icon
Travel: Mount Athos By The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos
We have showed you insight to Mount Athos, in several articles thanks to The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos. He also sent us Mount Athos in winter.
In these video’s Mount Athos weather’s a storm, showing God and his infinite glory.
The Abbot was suppose to visit New York in late October, but was ill and will now hopefully be here in April of 2024.
What makes coving Mount Athos so. special is that Mount Athos has never been inhabited by women and now the head of the island is personally showing his photo’s and video’s to our readers.
Mount Athos for those who do not know is a mountain on the Athos peninsula in northeastern Greece. It is an important center of the Eastern Orthodox religion.
Mount Athos has been inhabited since ancient times and is known for its long Christian presence, which date back to at least 800 AD during the Byzantine era. Because of its long history of religious importance, the Monastic community of Mount Athos was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.
Walking the Camino Santiago – Thoughts and Photos
Bon Camino! Buen Camino! Bien Camino! I must have heard or said some version of “Good road” fifty times a day for 35 days but never tired of hearing it. That is over 1,750 wishes of good traveling from and to people that honestly meant it – not the oft said Have a Nice Day people say without expecting a response back. Those heartfelt greetings were heard as I walked across Northern Spain from France on the east to Santiago just miles from the Atlantic Ocean on the west.
The Camino Santiago is what they call a pilgrimage and people have been walking these routes since the middle of the 11th Century; some of those cobblestone roads are still in existence today. Many people take this journey for religious or spiritual reasons. Others walk the hundreds of miles to clear their heads – eight to twelve hours a day of walking provides a lot of silent time to think. It can be a social experience – allowing people from all over the world to meet, walk, talk, eat and sometime share rooms together. Many of the hikers, or pilgrims, stay in accommodations called alburques where for a small price people sleep in shared rooms with bunkbeds – I did that twice and, fortunately, got the bottom bunk. In these alburques, those staying there share their stories over evening meals- as best they can as English is not always a traveler’s native language. Most are up early to start their next day’s trek. What people may not comprehend is that there are no maps; I had no guide or GPS; all that we needed to go from place to place were arrows; painted on walls, posts, the ground or made of stones and twigs.
Prior to the pandemic, in 2019 close to 350,000 people took to the road; pent up demand over the next three years elevated the number to near 440,000 travelers in 2022; over 500,000 are expected to journey this year. Along the route in May and June, when I walked the trail, people were amazed at how crowded the roads and towns were; but I found that amazing as I compared some of these villages to old western ghost towns and sang to myself the song Long and Winding Road many times.
Longer articles may follow but right now I want to share photos of my journey along the way.
The Camino starts in a small town in France called St Jean Pied de Port. Here I am enthusiastic and ready to begin.
The scallop shell is the symbol of the Camino. It represents the different routes to Santiago as the ribs of the shell all lead to one spot. It was also carried by the pilgrims as a cup for water and as other utensils that may be needed along the way. My companion’s and my feet are at the first marker of this route. Every long journey begins with one step.
The archway includes a statue of St James who is supposed to have walked this route spreading the gospels. You can see other pilgrims starting their trek with their backpacks. We had heavier loads to carry so we opted for the daily transport service that took our bags from one night stay to the next.
Just steps passed the archway is a beautiful sky and river flowing. Love the reflection of the sky on the still waters.
As we travel from France to Spain our greetings changed from Bon Camino to Buen Camino but all languages are spoken along this journey. We met people from Brazil, Korea, Germany, Japan and every continent except Antarctica.
The camino has been traversed for hundreds of years and some of the original cobblestone roads still exist (barely). Foot travel and rain water have eroded and moved these stones over the decades making them far more treacherous to walk than if they were no longer there.
It is amazing that people say that the trail is crowed this year. Have they never been to Grand Central Station at rush hour?
8 Authentic Emirati Dishes to Enjoy in Dubai
The city of Dubai is a commercial hub in the Middle East. Its skyscrapers are world-famous, but out of the many, the Burj Khalifa stands out. Its spice souk and gold market are visited daily by hundreds, and likewise, its gold souk is quite popular as its shops feature some really exquisite designs.
Dubai is a shopper’s paradise due to its large number of shopping malls, which feature goods from all over the world. This city attracts hundreds of tourists every year because it is an exciting place to vacation. Fly Dubai Flights offers a low-cost means of arriving in this city with your family.
A Look at Eight Traditional Emirati Dishes That You Must Experience
While touring it, you will be visiting restaurants to have various meals of the day according to your preference. However, eating the food you like regularly is not exciting, so you need to try out popular local dishes that are spicy and aromatic. Here is a look at some traditional Emirati dishes that are a must to enjoy while vacationing in Dubai.
- Rigag is a very simple dish, usually enjoyed at breakfast. It is a very thin flatbread that can be enjoyed with many accompaniments, such as honey, jam, cheese, and eggs. It can also be infused as such into meat dishes to give them more volume and taste. Made from just flour, water, and salt, it can be prepared quickly and enjoyed whenever you feel hungry.
- Try the Shakshuka, which is a dish made using tomatoes and eggs. Making it is quite simple, as it involves sautéing various vegetables in olive oil, to which tomato puree is added along with honey. Once this has come to a boil, the eggs are broken onto its surface, which is lightly mixed into the broth, while the yolk is left undisturbed to become perfectly poached.
- When you want something heavy and flavorful to make you full, you need to enjoy the Marooga. It is a dish that is an interesting mix of various species, soaked Arabic bread, different kinds of veggies, and tasty meat. It is best paired with rice, as it is in the form of a thick broth. It’s a dish that you can enjoy on different occasions as well.
- If you love pancakes, then you would surely not want to miss out on the chebab. It is a fabulous cake dish that is made in the traditional way of making pancakes in this part of the world, which is by using yeast. However, it is not a plain dish, as it has saffron and cardamom sprinkled into it. Topped with honey, it is a delicious snack, a breakfast dish, or something that you would take with you to the office for a small lunch or a picnic.
- Majboos is a very Emirati dish that is traditional to the core and quite filling as well. It is a rice dish that is loaded with veggies, meats, and nuts. As it has the most exotic spice mix, it is quite aromatic. It can be prepared quickly, and it is usually accompanied with a salad to make it a satisfying meal that the entire family can enjoy. Instead of using white rice, it can be made with red rice, lime juice can be added, and meat can be fried brown before being added.
- Try balaleet, which is the Middle Eastern way of making noodles, and it is usually served at breakfast with an omelette on top. This dish makes use of vermicelli noodles, which are sautéed and then cooked in water till they are soft. Sugar is then added to make it sweet, and rose essence as well as cardamom and turmeric are added, which give it a lovely taste and aroma.
- If you like sweet cakes, try out the Khanfaroosh, which is a lovely doughnut dessert that can be enjoyed in the evenings with tea. It is made using wheat flour, sugar, rosewater, saffron, cardamom, baking powder, and eggs. The dough is shaped into small round cakes, baked, and turned into soft, spongy cakes.
- Robeyann Nashif is a lovely dish made from shrimp, which is a must-try for those who love fish food. This one is easy to make as the juicy shrimp is cooked slowly with loads of spices, making it very relishing. It is spruced with loomi, curry leaf and bezar, and enjoyed with rice.
Reach lovely Dubai to take a break from your hectic work-life by booking tickets on low-cost Fly Dubai Flights. Enjoy these delicious dishes during your stay, which are tasty, healthy, and filling. A fun-filled family vacation is incomplete without trying out these wonderful food items at traditional restaurants with your family.
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