Spend quality time at Lake Tahoe amidst nature

Lake Tahoe is named as the largest alpine lake in North America.

This large freshwater lake is sprawled at 6,225 ft across two states of the United States, California, and Nevada.

Even though it is one big lake, it is still divided into two sides, North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe. While the north side of the lake is much quieter, the south side of the lake witness more hustle-bustle of people.

North Lake Tahoe is ideal for hiking, rock climbing, mountain climbing and all sorts of adventure sports. The nightlife of the north side is not as vibrant as compared to the south, however, some casinos do organize indoor live music.  

South Lake Tahoe is the stark opposite to the North part of it. It is boisterous, with lively nightlife, casinos, and adventure sports ready to give the vacationers a good to remember throughout their lifetime. The southside attracts organizers to organize festivals, parties, and various summer and winter activities every year.

If a visitor wishes for some quiet time amidst nature, North Lake is the best place to visit. However, if some wild time with late-night parties is what they need, South Lake is where they should go.

History of Lake Tahoe

The Lake Tahoe was formed as part of Lake Tahoe basin, about two million years ago. It is famous for its clear water and wonderful panorama view of the landscape surrounding the whole region. On the south side of the lake, the Sierra Nevada mountain range covers a stupendous amount of area whereas the north side of the lake has wide-reaching pristine beaches, hiking trails, and insanely clear water. Lake Tahoe is United States’ second deepest lake with its depth noted at 1,645 ft.  

With a substantial amount of various activities that are available to experience all-time around, many businesses have sprung around the lake on both sides with time. It is ready to welcome vacationers in summer and winter season. 

Attraction to tourists and visitors.

With dozens of beaches surrounding the lake, the area is perfect for a weekend outing for kids with parents. There are lots of diners and restaurants surrounding the areas, which makes it easier for adults who go hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Lake Tahoe proudly showcases its colorful granite cliffs covered in enormous trees both in numbers and sizes. Rock climbers and hikers when reaching the top of the cliffs they could get a bird’s eye view of the blue lake beneath it.

The Emerald Bay State Park is a marvelous place for both children and adults to do some fun activities. The view of the sunset from this park is something that everyone talks about when they experience. 

The Squaw Valley with a 4000-acre ski-terrain is named as one of the world’s finest ski resort. This resort even hosted the 1960’s Winter Olympics. During winter the whole ski valley is covered in snow making it suitable for skiing. While in summer, the resort’s championship golf resort welcomes hundreds of visitors for a relaxing weekend.

Restaurants and Eateries

Lake Tahoe receives millions of visitors throughout the year, making the businesses around the lake successful. Visitors have numerous four-star diners, delis, and restaurants to choose. Along with providing local dishes, some of these are also competent in international cuisines. The casinos and clubs host music events from time to time, while people could also opt to visit during the music festivals. 

This lake has become the first choice for picnics and outings or a weekend away from the city’s busy life to rejuvenate to many people. Not only that, but it also allows visitors to spend quality time without being interrupted. Lake Tahoe welcomes everyone with benevolence. 

The Captivating Blues of Mendenhall Glacier

The sight of Mendenhall Glacier to the mere human eye appears as a blue carpet, spread out in all directions,

and is nothing short of enchanting. This famous blue ice sheet is about 13.6 miles long, located in the Mendenhall Valley, spanning one of the snowy corners of Juneau, Alaska. Both the glacier and the landscape surrounding it are maintained as part of the 5,815 acres Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, belonging to the federal territory of Tongass National Forest. 

and is nothing short of enchanting. This famous blue ice sheet is about 13.6 miles long, located in the Mendenhall Valley, spanning one of the snowy corners of Juneau, Alaska. Both the glacier and the landscape surrounding it are maintained as part of the 5,815 acres Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, belonging to the federal territory of Tongass National Forest. 

Unique Attractions 

It’s no wonder that Juneau’s hottest attractions are some of the coolest spots around, one being Mendenhall Glacier. What makes the glacier an instant favorite is that one can easily access it, unlike the rest of the 37 major glaciers that flow from the Juneau Icefield. Mendenhall Glacier is 13 miles away from downtown Juneau and is quite close to the airport. Half a mile off the face of the Mendenhall Glacier stands the visitors’ center, overlooking the glacier and the Mendenhall Lake. Here, one can make use of the aerial map viewing feature and watch the informational videos offered at minimal rates. 

Brief History

The glacier was formerly known as Sitaantaago, meaning, “the Glacier Behind the Town”. It was called Auke Glacier by naturalist John Muir, and in 1891 renamed as a tribute to Thomas Corwin Mendenhall. 

The Mendenhall Glacier gets its life source from an icefield peaked high above Juneau. The glacier is a dynamic flowing force, crushing and enveloping everything in its path, leaving out nothing, as it merges with the sea below. The “river of ice” took birth in Southeast Alaska during the Little Ice Age, dating back to almost 3,000 years. 

Attractions for the Youth

The Tongass National Forest runs two Junior Ranger Programs. One is specifically for Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and the other for the entire Tongass National Forest. Apart from these, kids can engage themselves in entertaining activities hosted in the visitor center like movies every 20 minutes, interactive exhibits, telescope-gazing, and ranger talks. Moreover, it also provides spectacular views of Mendenhall Glacier and icebergs floating in the Mendenhall Lake.  

Tours Available at Mendenhall Glacier

Whichever trail you choose to celebrate your trip to the Mendenhall Glacier, for what it is worth, rest assured you will never be disappointed. Following the almost-7-mile West Glacier Trail will bring you to the glacier’s face, or trudge upward for a good viewing platform only a quarter-mile away. If you are feeling adventurous, try tagging along the Nugget Falls trail, ending at a five-story-high waterfall adjacent to the glacier. Then there is the infamous Trail of Time, a half-mile smooth interpretive walk, beholding signs marking the glacier’s recession. For a bird’s eye view of the ice, taking the East Glacier Trail would prove to be beneficial, as it is a 3.5-mile loop with 500 feet of elevation gain. 

The ice caves at the Mendenhall Glacier have received flattering attention from the tourists lately. The glacier has been receding, thereby providing access to its curious visitors unlike before. Although there are no visible trails to the Mendenhall Glacier ice caves, a professional guide is always on the go, coming to the aid of the sightseers. 

Restaurants and local food spots

Some of the best restaurants in Juneau close to Mendenhall Lake include Twisted Fish Company Alaskan Grill and Deckhand Dave’s, popular for their seafood. Sandpiper Cafe, only a few kilometers away from Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most charming cafes in Juneau and a must-visit for every tourist. 

In all of Southeast Alaska, Mendenhall Glacier might be the only glacier accessible by road. It certainly stands up to its good name and fame, as proven by the 400,000 or so visitors traveling here each year. The captivating blues of Mendenhall Glacier never cease to evoke the nature lover in every visitor, continuing to bring in a barrage of folks from all over the world. 

All you need to know about Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is a city situated in the U.S, in the state of Georgia. It is the oldest city in Georgia.

The town lies on the banks of the Savannah River. This river separates Savannah from South Carolina. Every year, scores of people visit the city for its uncluttered streets, bewitching parks, and magnificent historic buildings. It is the third-largest city in terms of area in the state of Georgia. The city offers the best of history and is known for its splendid landmarks.  

The best things to do in Savannah

The city has numerous exciting and unique attractions. Make sure you visit all these places when in town.

1. Forsyth Park 

Forsyth Park is not your usual park that has a few trees, swings, and some benches. This park is over 30 acres in size, and a walk through its length will surely rejuvenate your soul. Every Saturday, the local farmers set their stalls, and you can buy fresh and local produce. This park is an immense favorite of both locals and tourists.

2.  Telfair Museum of Art

It is the oldest art museum. The museum is a house to artifacts, furniture, silver, paintings and many things from history. The museum has a touch of German, American, and French culture. More than 80 paintings done by Kahlil Gibran are on display. If you fancy art and history, this place is your heaven!

3. The Savannah Waterfront

If you are looking for eateries, shops, beverages, or art galleries, this place is a one-stop solution for all your needs.  

There are numerous other attractions which one must visit during his (or her) visit to the city. Make sure you add the city market, The Cathedral of St. John, Historic Savannah Theatre, Wormsloe, Bonaventure cemetery, and fort Pulaski to your travel list. 

History of this city

The city was founded by General James Oglethorpe in the year 1733, on the 12th of February. In 1751, Savannah became the capital of Georgia. Georgia grew into a royal colony in that year. The British took control of Savannah and stayed in the city from 1778 to 1782. The capital of Georgia was changed from Savannah to Milledgeville in 1864. The authorities of Savannah peacefully surrendered to save the city.  

Main attractions for kids and adults

Both kids and adults like parks. Adults love it because it offers much-needed peace and relaxation. Kids love it as they can play around and make noise. Forsyth and Skidaway Island state parks are ideal for both kids and adults. The city market, Belles ferry, Theatre, and Riverfront plaza are appealing to both adults and children. Make sure to visit all the 22 squares! 

Tours available

Old Savannah trolley tours are one of the best tours and a good option if you are on a short trip but want to make the most of it. This tour covers all the 22 squares and main attractions like Mansion of Forsyth park, St. Cathedral, Mulberry Inn. There are 15 stops in total. You can explore a particular place and then use this transport to go to the next location. The buses come at an interval of 15 to 20 minutes.

You can also choose from numerous available tour options. The tourists also prefer a historic walking tour, Cruise tour, culinary and cultural tour.

Restaurants, cafes, and local cuisine of this city

Savannah offers delicious and mouth-watering food of all types of cuisines. If you are a vegan, you would still get plenty of options to choose from the variety of dishes they have got to serve. Some incredible eateries are The Olde Pink House, Full, Cotton & Rye, Zunzi’s.   

Savanna is a beautiful city with a charm that will leave mesmerized and a must addition to your places-to-visit-in-USA list.

Aloha from the Heavens

Unique Attractions

Located in the northwest of Kauai Island, Hawaii, Nāpali Coast State Park is known for its steep sea cliffs,

dotted by narrow valleys and cascading waterfalls. From Polihale State Park on the west to Ke’e Beach on the north shore, sea cliffs soar to great heights. Hence, the state park got its name, from the Hawaiian word ‘napali,’ meaning many cliffs.

The state park, one of the most stunning places on Earth, also contains ruins of ancient Hawaiian graves, temples, houses and terraced fields. 

Even today, people from all over the world hike to Kalalau Valley, but they are only allowed to stay for five nights. 

About NāPali Coast State Park

In 1983, the state park was formed to protect the Kalalau Valley and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Since there was no physical evidence of the Hawaiian history, no written records of the population in the Na Pali before the western association are available. Historians believe that by the time western people migrated to the island, more than a thousand native flowering plant species were thriving. However, today, approximately more than 80% of Kauai’s rare native species are endangered.

In 2008, Backpacker Magazine listed this adventurous location (Kalalau trail) as one of America’s 10 Most Dangerous Hikes.

Attractions for the younger crowd 

The reason this place is in the top 10 dangerous hikes is that the state park is quite steep and slippery in a lot of places. Especially during rains, the journey becomes difficult for the younger ones. 

However, a lot of children-friendly sites and activities make up for the difficulty:

  • Poʻipu Beach Park
  • Na ʻAina Kai Botanical Gardens
  • Kalapaki Beach Park
  • Boat Tours

Tour sites around the state park

With no routes available for the on-road journey, one can access this coast only by hiking, helicopter rides, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. Charter tours are also available on inflatable boats, originating from Port Allen and Hanalei Bay.

Further, camping in Nā Pali Coast State Park is only allowed with a valid permit. Also, during the summer season, i.e., May 15 to September 7, access from the ocean is only permitted with a valid license for camping. 

Irrespective of the restrictions, the Na Pali side of the island of Kauai is home to many scenic beauties:

  • Hanakapiai Falls
  • Kalalau Trail
  • Kalalau Lookout
  • Kōkeʻe State Park
  • Pihea Trail
  • Hanakoa Falls
  • Hanakapiai Beach
  • Limahuli Garden & Preserve

Local food spots

With the closest eateries located at a minimum distance of 10 km, there are more than a few places to visit. Below are the other options:

  • Pink’s Creamery
  • Trucking Delicious
  • Hanalei Bay Pizzeria
  • Fresh Bite Kauai

However, Sushi Girl Kauai, located only 5.9 kilometers away from the state park, is an exception to this minor food-obstacle.

Advisory

  • The first piece of advice is that only experienced hikers with proper gear should venture further along the Kalalau Trail, i.e., past the initial 3.2km path to Hanakapiai Beach.
  • One needs Camping Permits for traversing along Hanakoa and Kalalau.
  • A halfway stopover is counted as a one-night, reducing the total number of camp nights permitted to four.
  • There is no trash service, drinking water, or cell phone service in Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park but only in Hā‘ena State Park. 
  • It would be for the best for campers to travel light but to remain prepared for adverse weather conditions.  
  • Commercial operations including guided hikes/overnight trips, boat drop-off & pick-up aren’t allowed within State Parks.
  • There is a reason Nāpali Coast State Park is called ‘heaven on earth.’ To find out, gear up right away!

A Natural Wonder of Sandstone

The Wave is sandstone rock formation in Arizona, situated near the northern border of the United States with Utah.

The undulating forms of the sandstone spread across 5.2 miles, making it a wonder that fascinates the crowd. A cross-bedded eolian sandstone structure can be seen, with rhythmic and cyclic alternating grain flow and wind ripple laminae. On a day, only 20 people chosen based on a lottery are allowed to enter the attraction for two to four hours at most. 

Unique attractions

Coral pink dunes state park is an excellent place to extend your sightseeing options; it also has coral-hued dunes. It was formed due to the erosion of pink-colored Navajo sandstone. These parks allow camping, hiking, off-road vehicle driving, and photography.  The Wave consists of several U-shaped troughs that are 19 meters wide and 36 meters long.

The history

This beautiful landscape came into existence during the Jurassic period, almost 190 million years ago, when the dust storms pushed the desert dunes over the sandstone. It eventually led to the etching of the sandstone. This geological marvel has gone through millions of years of erosion due to wind and water. All of this made it the world’s most unique rock formation. These giant dunes are compact and solidify into the Navajo sandstone. Eventually, rainwater flow started to erode the sandstone along its joints, and this led to the deposition of various minerals in it, like iron oxide, manganese, and calcium. It makes the sandstone reflect several beautiful hues of purple, yellow, orange, pink, and red. The striations seen are a result of wind patterns. 

Areas attractive to the younger crowd:

The Wave is a wonder on its own and is extremely attractive for people exploring the world. Kids and the younger crowd will mostly be amused by the changing color of the dunes and the sandstone. The coral dunes park is one of the best places to visit with children; it gives them insight into the geology and feeds their curiosity as well. 

Nearby parks and tours available there 

  • Hitch N Post RV Park is one among the many parks available near The Wave. Locating the place will not be much of a hassle, since it is in Kanab, and they provide tour guides as well.
  • Jacob Hamblin Park is one of the most exceptional options to choose from, for the entertainment of kids. Also located in Kanab, it includes a playground and a special picnic Pavillion. The water playground is fun and hygienic, and you can grab some food from there. 
  • Ranchos Park also attracts several tourists, as it is one of the cleanest parks in Kanab. There are excellent and large baseball diamonds in the park, and the grass is perfect for walking barefoot. 

Restaurants and local food spots

This breath-taking beauty has a lot of food spots for visitors to refuel themselves, after the strenuous trek and the heat of the desert. A restaurant named Kanab creek bakery is one of the many places you should try. It will provide you with the best breakfast, and has vegan and gluten-free options as well. Juniper Ridge is an excellent place to go if you like to party. It has delicious food at reasonable prices and offers excellent service. The cuisine ranges from American to French. Drinks are also provided to visitors here. For a lower price, Lotsa Motsa Pizza is a great restaurant to visit. They offer excellent and fulfilling lunch and dinner, and vegetarian options are also available. For seafood, check the Sego restaurant. Since all these places are around Kanab, it is not difficult to locate them.

Visit the Majestic Palouse Falls in Washington

Palouse Falls, located in the city of Washington, is 4miles away from the junction of the Palouse River and Snake River.

The Falls is in the southeast of Washington, and its height comes around to 198ft. Hordes of people visit this place to learn first-hand about the Falls’ unique history and remarkable geology.      

Unique Attractions

The unique attractions of Palouse falls include the magnificent 200 ft waterfall and 94 acres of the lush, green garden. Apart from these, tourists can enjoy the day by camping, hiking, or fishing. Windows are placed, which will give you a great view of under-water. A Science center is present which explains interesting facts. The colorful fountain is a treat to the eyes.    

A brief history of the place

The Falls was formerly known as “Aput Aput” (falling water). Later, the name changed to Palouse Falls. Glacial floods flew through the city of Washington during the Ice Age. Palouse Falls is one of the remains of this glacial flood and is more than a thousand years old. Washington’s Palouse Falls State Park was opened on 3rd June 1951, inside which the Falls is present. But people protested against it, saying, it would spoil the aura and beauty of the Falls. Finally, on 12th February 2014, Palouse Falls came to be known as the Official State Waterfall of Washington.     

Best attractions for kids and adults

A trip to Washington’s Palouse Falls State Park will surely make you fresh and energized. Both adults and kid can take a dip in the refreshing and invigorating water near the Falls. There is a picnic place nearby, where people can eat, sit, or lay down and enjoy the serenity. Tourists can also take a kayak ride and explore the Palouse River. The experience will offer great views and prove to be a thrilling and adventurous one. There are some grand villas and resorts near the park, where you can check-in, and enjoy a peaceful holiday.

Tours available at the park

1. Camping: There are plenty of camping spots in the park where you can set up your tent and feel nature at its purest and spend more time with it. Depending on the camping site, the cost varies. A primitive camping site costs around $12 whereas a location with all the amenities costs around $30 to $45. Washroom facilities and drinking water are also available. 

2. Hiking: The park envelops an area of 100 acres. Hiking is one of the best and viable options to explore the untrodden parts of the park. One can also trek to the top of the mountain to get a fantastic view of the Falls.

3. Boat ride: If you want to experience the best of Palouse Falls and River, take a trip on Kayak for a fun-filled ride offering a stunning and picturesque view.

A State Discover Pass is necessary to visit the Palouse Falls and Park. Make sure to get one and display it on the dashboard of your vehicle. 

Best food-joints and restaurants

This place is known for its palatable food and gorgeous eateries. Some exceptional eateries are:

1. Sonny’s Tavern of Washtucna: Quality and delicious food at pocket-friendly prices on lunch and dinner. It has a bar and pub attached to it.

2. Snake River Grill: Known for their tasty barbecue and American cuisine. They serve a great lunch.

3. Java Bloom: Great place for smoothies, coffee, and other beverages.

These restaurants are close to Palouse Falls, and you must visit the places at any cost! Apart from these, many local eateries have been set up near the park. While you are at it, try some of the local delicacies as well.  

Wrapping up

If you are planning a trip to the United States, make sure to add Washington on your tour list. The Palouse Falls and the park is a must-visit if you go to Washington. The waterfall will be a feast to your eyes. The clean, peaceful, and lush-green garden will rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. The remarkable food and peaceful stay will leave you craving for more.  

The Well that Swallows the Pacific Ocean

Formed due to the waves crashing into the same site over the years, this unique wonder of nature seems like a gaping hole in the Pacific.

Although this one-of-a-kind Well is not bottomless, the twenty feet deep well appears to be swallowing the entire Pacific Ocean inside. During the high tide, it is not a sight for the faint-hearted. However, it is a treat for the eyes and comes under the must-visit places in Oregon, USA. It is stunning to look at and makes spectators stare in awe at the breathtaking feature.

Unique Attractions

The Thor’s Well, in reality, is a hole in a rock formation which is about twenty feet deep. During the high tide, it looks like the Pacific Ocean is draining into a circular hole located in the middle of Cape Perpetua, south of Yachats, Oregon. The seemingly bottomless hole is also known as the “gate to hell” or “the drainpipe of the Pacific.” When the hole is full, the water creates a violent spray that bubbles all over the rocks. However, during the low tide, it is a more peaceful sight to witness. The sheer beauty of this place encourages tourists, nature lovers, photography enthusiasts, young adults, and kids to visit this wonder in Oregon.

Another major attraction is the Devil’s Churn located in Cape Perpetua. It is an inlet that has been carved into the rocks throughout thousands of years. As it is a rock structure that collapsed on itself, it can spray water up to hundreds of feet during the high tide.

The “Sprouting Horn” is another major attraction in this area. This cave that developed along the coast was formed over a long time. The water and air get funneled in the open space, which in turn leads to the formation of pressure inside the cave. When the pressure exceeds the normal limits, the water spurts out, thereby creating an ocean geyser. It is a mesmerizing sight to watch.

The Oregon coast has so many of such ocean attractions that it has come to be included in the “Seven Wonders of Oregon.” The Thor’s Well attracts thousands of tourists every year who come to witness the grandeur and beauty of the oceans and the marvels of these unique attractions. These wonders of nature make up for the perfect tourist spot for young adults and curious kids as well.

Brief History

Structures like Thor’s Well are formed over long periods geologically. They begin as a sea cave and with time, the top of the cave collapses. An opening is created where the tides from below shoot water upwards with dramatic force. The main reason behind the creation of Thor’s Well was the crashing of the waves of the Pacific Ocean on the same area, over a very long period. 

Restaurants and Local food spots

Being located on the Oregon coast, this place is famous for its variety of seafood. The spectacular beauty of nature coupled with lip-smacking delicacies attracts young travelers and kids too. Some of the most well-known restaurants in this area include The Luna Sea Fish House, The Drift Inn Hotel and Restaurant, Ona Restaurant & Lounge, Yachats Brewing + Farmstore, Adobe Restaurant and Lounge, LeRoy’s Blue Whale, The Sea Note Restaurant & Lounge and the like. 

Thor’s Well is one of the most visited tourist spots on the Oregon Coast owing to the spectacular and exciting natural beauty that can pique anyone’s interest. It is a must-see if you are traveling to Oregon, USA, and one of the best places for amateur and professional photographers to click some fascinating nature pictures.

A Horseshoe-Shaped Rock Art

The “Horseshoe Bend” near Page, Arizona, United States is an incised meander of the Colorado River in the shape of a horseshoe.

It is located about 4 miles southwest of Page, within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA), and one of the few unique attractions in the Arizona state. 

Brief History

The shape of this most famous tourist attraction is horseshoe-shaped, and hence, the name “Horseshoe Bend.” River Colorado flows around this dramatic landform. Geologists believe that as the river was headed south toward the sea, it went down the steepest slope. Meanders and circles were made by the river in this process and caused the river to cut through the layers of sandstone creating the bend. 

Unique Attractions

If you are a person with crazy wanderlust, then this should make the top of your must-see destination list for the following unique reasons. 

  • Different layers of stone and their beauty can stun you in awe as you reach the rim of Horseshoe Bend. Sandstone, mudstone, and sedimentary rocks have taken millions of years to form layers and accumulate atop one another. Among these, one of the most exciting layers is the one contacting the “Navajo Sandstone.” What makes it so unique is that the Navajo Sandstone is made up of a 200 million-year-old sand sea’s cemented sand. Horseshoe Bend is also possibly the most extensive dune system in North America. 
  • Native Anasazi and Ancestral Puebloans have been believed to have left behind “petroglyphs,” which is the scientific term for “rock art.” 
  • The Glen Canyon National Recreational Area which surrounds Horseshoe bend is also home to a significant number of species of ‘flora and fauna.’
  • The area has near 900 species of plants, mammals, carnivores, 27 species of lizards, and seven types of amphibians.
  • The Colorado River is also home for numerous fish and birds and some notable avian species.

Attractions for adults, young adults, and children

The Horseshoe bend is an ideal destination for a complete family tour. People of all ages will find this place mesmerizing and fascinating. 

  • For adults, this landform has terrific hiking destinations to challenge themselves. You will have to make a 0.75-mile hike to reach the rim of the Horseshoe bend, and you are guaranteed to stand in awe, looking at the different layers of stone. You can also plan a romantic sunset event. 
  • The boat tour can excite kids around this humongous landform structure. Also, visiting the GCNRA can give the kids as they host some of the vulnerable and endangered species. 

Tours 

As this is a place which is usually teeming with tourists and visitors, there are a lot of tours made available and parks created in specific regions. The upper and the lower antelope canyon are the regions of the landform. While some want to hike through these canyons, others might want to take a circling boat tour around the landform. 

Food 

There are several eateries near the Horseshoe Bend spanning across two to six kilometers from the attraction. The cuisine prevalent in the area is eclectic with dishes like waffles, steak, Texas barbeque, and Pizza making regular appearances. Here is a list of few restaurants you could visit on your way to or back from Horseshoe Bend:

  • BirdHouse
  • Into the Grand
  • Big John’s Texas BBQ
  • Fiesta Mexicana
  • Ranch House Grille
  • Slackers

ConclusionThis unusual rock formation has over a million visitors every year. Although the Horseshoe Bend is a fantastic choice to go on a holiday. Your tour can be made more memorable and meaningful in every way if you have someone to guide you and take you to the right places.

The accidental discovery of nature’s trove

A gorgeous jade green pool with a fifty-foot waterfall would be the last thing people associate with Texas,

but the locals of Austin have known about this sweet spot for years. Many locals would drive 45 minutes from Austin for a refreshing jaunt in the pool on those sweltering hot days. And you can visit this gem of place too.

Unique Attractions

Hamilton Pool Preserve is a naturally-formed pool in Texas, United States of America. It is located 37 miles west of Austin, Texas. The Hamilton Pool Preserve is 232 acres of protected natural habitat. The pool has jade green water and is surrounded by large slabs of limestone. Stalactites grow from the ceiling of the cliffs of limestone. The water can reach a temperature of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. The Hamilton Creek flows over the limestone and into the pool, creating a fifty-foot waterfall. Curiously, even during dry weather, there is still a trickle of water into the pool, and the level of water remains constant.

The Hamilton Pool Preserve is home to a lot of birds, fish, animals, and plants. It was declared a protected habitat in 1980 and is now a recovering ecosystem. The chatterbox orchid, the eastern red bay, and the bald cypress are among some of the flora that grows in this region.

Brief History

 The pool was formed by the collapse of an underground river due to soil erosion. However, worry not because the collapse occurred thousands of years ago and the area is quite stable now. In the 1860s, Morgan C. Hamilton owned the property. In the 1880s, the Reimers’ family bought the property, and it said that the eight-year-old son was the one who discovered this pool. As soon as the family realized the recreational value of the grotto, they opened it up for public use.

In 1985, the Travis County bought the property off of the Reimer family to start restoration practices. The ecosystem was becoming unbalanced due to the unchecked flow of people visiting the pool. Now the ecosystem is in the process of restoration due to the work of wildlife officials.

What you need to know about Hamilton Pool

  • The entry of a vehicle is $15. There is a senior citizen discount available. The reservation fee is $11 and non-refundable. Only cash is accepted. You could pay with a check, but there is no guarantee that it will be accepted.
  • A reservation is required for entry from March 1st to October 31st and at the weekends in November and December.
  • The preserve is open from 9 am to 6 pm, and no entry is allowed after 5:30 pm.
  • You have to hike for 20 minutes to get from the parking lot to the preserve. So be prepared for steep slopes.
  • There are picnic tables, hiking trails, and restrooms but no amenities for drinking water so you will need to bring water. Glass bottles and alcohol cannot be taken into the preserve. But there are several restaurants on the highway leading to the preserve, most of them famous for barbeques in pure Texan form.
  • At times of high bacteria levels, visitors are not allowed to swim. Life jackets will be provided, but there are no lifeguards.

Attractions for all ages

Being a natural swimming hole, kids and young adults would love Hamilton Pool for they can swim in the water whenever there are no restrictions. Other attractions near the preserve that individuals of all ages would enjoy are Poodies Hilltop Roadhouse, Barton Creek Greenbelt, among others. 

Visit the Hamilton Pool Reserve for a refreshing break, much like an oasis in the desert.

Discover New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Perhaps one of New Mexico’s most notable attractions, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a haven for outdoor lovers, photography buffs, and cave fanatics of every kind. The vast and wild terrain carved out by ancient sea ledges, displays an expansive landscape in the Chihuahuan Desert with more than 100 underground caves and dozens of rock formations.

Unique Caves Attractions & Rock Formations

Among the most notable sites within Carlsbad Caverns National Park are numerous caves and stalagmites first discovered by Park Ranger, Jim White, when he was just a teenager. Favorites, named by White himself include the Big Room (a 4000 sq foot chamber, known to be the 5th largest chamber in North America), the Queen’s Chamber (a scenic cave with impressive stalagmite formations including a 40-foot tall drapery column), the King’s Palace (known for castle-like formations and the Bashful Elephant), Bottomless Pit (140 foot deep hole), and Green Lake Room (a cave with a bright green lake tinted by copper minerals).

Junior Ranger Programs & Kid-Focused Activities

Although the caves were once difficult to explore for the young of heart, these days elevator access, a Junior Ranger program, and exciting tours make The Carlsbad Caverns National Park a favorite place for explorers of any age.

The park offers a speleothem, matching activity, providing entertainment and educational value for kids and adults alike. The activity helps participants to identify 10 varieties of speleothem, which is a broader term for stalactites and stalagmites formation found in limestone caves. Some fascinating features include formation with funky names like soda straws, cave pearls, boneyards, and popcorn.

Many visitors also enjoy special presentations in the Bat Cave, when evening rangers put a special focus on the Brazilian free-tailed bats who emerge from the Carlsbad Caverns just after sunset. In addition, the after-dark The Bat Flight Program happens at 8pm every night from May through October.

Independent & Ranger-Guided Tours

The Carlsbad Caverns National Park can be explored independently with two main trails, the Big Room Trail (1.25-mile trail that takes about 1.5 hours to walk) and the Natural Entrance Trail (a challenging, steep 1.25 mile which takes about an hour). Or, Park Ranger guided trails (suitable for kids ages 4 and up) include tours to King’s Palace, Slaughter Canyon Cave, Spider Cave, Lower Cave, Hall of the White Giant, and Left Hand Tunnel.

Things to Know Before Visiting

There are a few important things to know, to prepare for a day at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a sweater, as visiting the park involves a lot of walking and cool temperatures (56º F) inside the caves. Do not bring a stroller or food inside, but do bring plain water, flashlights if desired (caves are dimly lit), and cameras (flash is permitted, tripods are not allowed on guided tours).

On-site Food Spots

Extensive exploring and excitement will inevitably lead to hungry bellies! Eating and drinking (except for plain water) is not allowed inside the cave network, except in designated areas. There are two places to eat inside the park, Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company and the Underground Rest Area. There are many food options within including sandwiches, salad, yogurt, snacks, and made-to-order hot and cold meals. In addition, there is a picnic area at Rattlesnake Springs, about 15 miles from the park’s visitor center. 

Nearby Restaurants

 For those who would like to dine off-site, the nearest options are in White’s City at Cactus Cafe, about 7 miles away. Otherwise, Carlsbad (a 30-minute drive) has many choices including Chili’s Grill & Bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, numerous pizza and drive through spots, plus ample Mexican food restaurants and barbecue places.

For more travel inspiration, check out Scout My Planet to learn about the most beautiful places in the world!