#55 Visit Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is my suggested “must stop” for people traveling down the coast and looking for the quintessential “American Southern town”. It has everything that makes for a fabulous vacation or a place to just stop and stay awhile. The city itself is vibrant and exciting. It’s got a great art scene, fabulous food, lots of history and fabulous shopping. Walk the streets and you’ll find something new every time you go. Be sure to visit the Historic City. Take a ghost tour and or a carriage ride along the battery to learn about the city’s history.
There are plenty of water sports to be had. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing is everywhere. You can get up close with manatee,dolphin, gators and other wildlife. Catch shark or big game fish. (Catch and release)
Nothing beats Charleston South Carolina for some great food. From classic Southern dishes like fried chicken to She Crab soup and other coastal favorites Charleston has amazing restaurants and local haunts that makes dining a delight. The best part is there are plenty of places that are perfect for families and won’t break the bank.
Travelers going to burning man or just interested in a very cool art project check out “Love Letter to The World” by artists Kurt and Kremena of Lexington, Kentucky. Following the huge success of the Lexington Tattoo Project, Love Letter to the world is a “video artwork that combines poetry, tattoos, music, photography, spoken word, storytelling, and global connections.”
Check it out or become part of it.
Our family just returned from a huge family reunion at the beach planned by our 93 year old Grandmother. There is no better place to spend a weeks vacation with that many kinfolk than Isle of Palms, South Carolina. The Wild Dunes beach resort has homes right along the beach and boardwalk so families can easily walk to each other’s houses, kids can meet at the beach to surf or play in the pools, everyone can walk down to the bar and meet for drinks and music or gather at ones house for games.
We played croquet and cornhole. Took drives to Charleston and Sullivan Island to eat. Had a wonderful sunset boat tour and low country boil. We even had opportunities to kayak with dolphin and manatee.
There is something for everyone at the beach and our group aged 2-93. This was an opportunity of a lifetime to spend a week all together. A true gift. It Probably could have been anywhere but Isle of Palms was perfect!
One of the most amazing experiences I have ever had was in the Galapagos Islands. The Marine iguana is truly one of the strangest animals. Seeing these cold blooded creatures come in at the end of the day swimming into shore and piling onto the rocks is something I will never forget. Seeing one swim by me was such a shock. It’s hard to believe these animals can swim. I even watched them leap from a cliff into the ocean. Everything about the Galapagos Islands makes for an amazing family experience but be sure to add meeting these marine iguanas to your bucket list!
If you are in North America and just can’t get over to Europe but want to get a feel for the English experience head on up to Ottawa, Canada. Although Canada has been an independent country from England for many years the ties to England are strong and some of beauty of heritage can be seen in it’s traditions and architecture in Ottawa. Be sure to head to Parliament Hill, considered to be the most beautiful centers of government in the world for the daily changing of the Royal Guard. It’s a spectacular experience complete with bagpipes.
Be sure to grab some fish and chips, poutine and maple sugar candy at the local market. Head just across the bridge and your in Quebec. Located on the Rideau river, Ottawa is stunningly beautiful and a tour of it’s amazing embassies, museums and historic buildings will keep your family thrilled. Not to mention many of the tours go on land and into the water.
FAST FACTS (From the Ottawa Tourism Visitors Page)
The ceremony begins on Parliament Hill at 10 am sharp each morning following a march by the Guard from its Cartier Square Drill Hall just south of Parliament Hill and up Elgin Street.
The Ceremonial Guard is assembled from two regiments – the Governor General’s Footguards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards – and also has its own regimental band and pipers who perform in the ceremony.
Most of the Ceremonial Guardsmen taking part in the ceremony are university and college students; all are primary reservists in the Canadian Forces.
Performances are free of charge; for best viewing, arrive on Parliament Hill at 9:45 a.m.
I grew up around manatees and have watched when there was little regulation to a fantastic preservation program. Getting up close and personal to these beautiful and and bizarre animals while still maintaining their personal space is a spectacular experience one won’t soon forget. In the Crystal River you can see lots of West Indian Manatees congregate in it’s warm waters. Get in and snorkel with them. You can’t touch or feed them but you will enjoy the wild animals grace in the water and wonder how they were ever mistaken for mermaids. Manatee season at Crystal River is November to March. The rest of the year they can be found wandering the intercoastals trying to avoid boats.
I wish they were thriving and could exist without tourism but manatees need our help to survive in South Florida. Awareness about these majestic animals is important.
Forecastle Festival: Louisville, Ky
One of my very favorite music festivals. Friendly, great line ups, lots of Kentucky Bourbon and very artist friendly.
You know those places that you just happen upon and they end up being one of the best places ever….that happened when we drove past the weird and wacky signs of puzzling world and just had to stop. We ended up staying the better part of the day there and it was such fun. Life-size optical illusions, giant wooden mazes, and all sorts of puzzles to tease your brain await inside this fun museum/fun house. It’s fun for the whole family and even worth taking time away from New Zealand’s gorgeous scenery to just play.
If you like Monkeys then a trip to the Sacred Monkey forest in Ubud, Bali is for you. Long-tailed macaques roam freely throughout the area and wayward tourists mingle amongst them. Be forewarned, you should not buy the food or try to feed them. You will get bitten. There are some beautiful temples within the forest and it is important to remember that this area is still a worship center for many of Balinese who live here and is sacred and should be treated respectfully. It’s hard not to fall in love with Bali.
The Petronas Towers are an amazing site. They are an impressive 452 meters high and once held the tallest building record for six years. We really enjoyed visiting downtown Kuala Lumpur. The food was delicious, the shopping was amazing and there was a fabulous discovery museum by Petronas inside the towers that the kids loved. They are absolutely worth a visit!