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If you’re into amazing national parks, eventually you’ll find yourself in the Redwood National and State Parks in northern California. We really only spent about 24 hours among these magnificent old trees, but any time you can make for one of the most awesome places on earth is totally worth it. One of our first experiences in the redwoods was taking a hike in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We’d stayed the night in a cabin at the KOA in Crescent City, California, the night before. Besides sleeping among these enormous trees, we hadn’t had any redwoods experiences yet. Since we drove down from the north, our first experiences were with the Redwood National and State Parks. Unlike most national parks, this national park merges with three California state parks to preserve and maintain the area. This is a rather recent development; the merge happened in 1994. Farther south, the…

If you’re a part of Generation X, your childhood probably included viewing the movie The Goonies. And if you were lucky like I was, you got to see the movie as a first-run film in a movie theater. I was ten years old when the movie hit theaters. My dad had the opportunity to see the movie before the rest of my family, and he liked it so much, he eagerly took my mom and me as soon as he could. (My one-year-old sister sat this one out.) I’ll never forget that night; I left the theater with a the sense of adventure and a feeling that anything was possible. That is the magic of going to the movies. A great story has a lasting impression, and The Goonies certainly is a perfect example of one of those great stories. Later as an adult, I realized that Astoria, Oregon, is…

Colorado is such a beautiful state, and Estes Park and the surrounding area has some of the most gorgeous scenery you’ll find anywhere. The last major destination of our 2020 road trip ended with a couple of days in this adorable town to check out Rocky Mountain National Park. We fell in love with the area, and we hope to make it back one day soon. If you haven’t been to this area, I certainly hope it’s on your list. Estes Park is right outside the Beaver Meadows entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This entrance is on the east side of the park and grants access to Trail Ridge Road, the main scenic thoroughfare from one side of the park to other. This road also takes you past the Alpine Visitor Center, the visitor center at the highest elevation of any visitor center in the United States. We also…

If you’re looking for a trip that combines adventure with beautiful scenery, look no further than the charming town of Moab, Utah. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for desert fun including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. When you’re not out exploring, Moab is a nice place to call your home base when you’re ready to shop or unwind in the pool. If you’re wondering what to do while you’re in the area, take a look at what our family did during our three nights and two full days in Moab. For this post, I’ll only be sharing the activities we actually participated in, though we only scratched the surface. There is plenty more fun that we didn’t have time for on this visit to Moab, which happened to be our first! We had such a great time, we hope to return one day.…

One of the great things about taking a family road trip is finding those quirky roadside attractions so you can stop and stretch you legs. Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, is one of those fun stops. I mean, who can resist a replica of Stonehenge created from old cars? We certainly couldn’t. Getting to Carhenge Carhenge became a possibility to us as we traveled from Joplin, Missouri, to the Yellowstone area. For our first night, we stayed along I-80 at North Platte. When we realized that it wouldn’t be out-of-the-way to stop by, we knew we wanted the Carhenge experience to be part of our road trip memories. Incidentally, we also made stops at Scotts Bluff, Chimney Rock, and Fort Laramie. The History Behind Carhenge In 1987, Jim Reinders created this replica–even true to scale–on farmland owned by his father. Reinders had previously spent some time in England where he learned…

If you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park, be sure to put Going-to-the-Sun Road on your list of must-dos. We absolutely loved the area, and we can’t wait to return and explore more of the park. Though reservations to this part of the park can be a bit nerve-wracking, it’s worth the effort if you can snag one of these tickets. One thing that makes the crowds converge at once–snow. The road isn’t fully open until summer, sometimes not fully opening until the first week of July. There’s only a window of a few months before snowfall closes the road again, usually in October. Since traffic in the area has continued to increase, a reservation system separate from the park admission is now in place. If you’re lucky enough to get lodging reservations in the park or to reserve a tour, you won’t be required to get the $2 reservation…

One of the most popular activities in Grand Teton National Park is to experience the area around Jenny Lake. You can either hike around the lake, or you can take one of the ferries to the other side. We even saw people swimming in the chilly water in June! No matter how you choose to experience the area, you’re in for a treat. Jenny Lake is one of the prettiest places inside the park and not to be missed! Jenny Lake: What to Do Jenny Lake was named after Jenny Leigh, the Shoshone wife of trapper Richard Leigh. Both Jenny and Richard, also known as Beaver Dick, helped guide the Ferdinand Hayden Expedition of 1872.  Sadly, Jenny and their six children all died of small pox within a two-week span in December of 1876. The Jenny Lake area is popular in Grand Teton National Park for many reasons. The lake…

If you’re looking for something fun to do in January in Missouri, why not take a trip to see the bald eagles in Stella, Missouri? Since we live about 40 miles away, we’ve been a few times. Pre-Covid, Stella hosted an Eagle Days event around the third weekend in January each year. I couldn’t find any information for this year, but like our visit last year, you can drive to Stella to see the eagles without the hosted event by the Chert Glades Missouri Master Naturalists, the Missouri of Department of Conservation and the City of Stella. The eagles show up whether there is a festival or not. Remembering Our Visit to Stella’s Eagle Days Veteran’s Memorial Park Again, last year they didn’t have the festival, and I haven’t seen any information for this year. Still, I hope the festival returns one day in the future. In Veteran’s Memorial Park,…

While many would probably disagree with me, T-Rex Café in Disney Springs is a great place for families, especially if your family has some eaters on the picky side who would love to have some food options that are familiar. While it is part of the Landry’s family of restaurants, T-Rex Café is now one-of-a-kind since the closure of the Kansas City location. And while you can find similar food options at either of the Rainforest Cafés or Yak and Yeti on Disney property, T-Rex Café is the only place where you can dine near animatronic dinosaurs. How cool is that? Now that I’ve explained the coolness of T-Rex Café, I’ll tell you why this place should be one of your family’s Walt Disney World must-dos! It’s in Disney Springs If you’re planning to take some time away from the parks or your resort, Disney Springs is a great place…

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