6 Reasons Vacation Rentals Are Better Than Hotels


Tracking PixelWhen my family and I were planning our annual Spring Break trip, I had the chore of choosing where we would be staying. A friend recommended we chose a vacation rental instead of a hotel. Because we always stay in a hotel, I had no idea about what a vacation rental was or how it worked. It turns out, a vacation rental is almost as good as staying in your own home. I know a hotel is more like staying in your grandmother’s house where you are afraid to touch anything! This post sharing reasons vacation rentals are better than hotels is brought to you by our friends at HomeAway. Opinions are my own.

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Here are just 5 of the many reasons vacation rentals are better than hotels:

Money: Many times a vacation rental is less expensive than a hotel. When you break down the weekly stay at the rental versus the nightly expense of a hotel, you often come out ahead with the vacation rental.

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Space: The average vacation rental is more than 1,000 square feet versus the 325 square feet of a hotel room. Need I say more?

Pets: Although more and more hotels welcome pets, there are still many who do not. If you like to travel with your pet, more vacation rentals accept pets than a hotel. It’s not always easy to leave our furry friends at home when we travel!

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Fees: You know how everything in a hotel will cost you extra? Like the mini bar, the food, internet or movies are all going to run you more. With a vacation rental, all of that (if available) will be included….and you’ll know ahead of time what you need to bring with you.

Comfort: Forget being tied to the schedule of your hotel. With a vacation rental, you can use the amenities provided at your convenience, not theirs! You also get all the comforts of home like full sized appliances, cookware, laundry facilities and so much more!

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Kids: Many hotels are not as kid friendly as they would like you to think. With a vacation rental, kids are not only welcome, but are often a big focus of your decision. The last time we stayed in a hotel, I felt like the staff was looking at a cross eyed because the kids were being kids! They were excited and probably talking a bit loudly and I felt like I should tell them to hush. You are on vacation, so why make the kids feel like they don’t belong, right?  Find out what Kids Want on Vacation

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With HomeAway, you get a rental from the world’s largest vacation rental marketplace. HomeAway is the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace with more than one million listings in 190 countries. When you plan a vacation with a property secured through Homeaway.com or one of its partners (VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com), you are made to feel like it is your home away from home, with HomeAway, kids are more than welcome.

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HomeAway is a free resource for travelers, so the whole family can rent the whole home, for a whole vacation. Oh and do not let those hotels fool you because size matters! Because the HomeAway vacation rentals offer twice the space at half the price of a hotel room, they are perfect for families and groups. Whether you are looking for a condo or a castle, there is something for everyone and every budget. Today’s family is redefining the family vacation when they opt for a vacation rental over a hotel. You can find out more here: http://www.homeaway.com/info/media-center/press-releases/2015/10thAnniversary

Win a $5,000 Stay with the HomeAway Kidfluencers Contest

This summer, HomeAway is empowering kidfluencers by giving them even more control over their family’s travel plans with a chance to win a $5,000 vacation rental stay to anywhere in the United States in 2015. To enter, travelers just need to create a 15 to 60-second video of their kids describing why their family should win a vacation from HomeAway. Upload the video to Instagram, YouTube or Vimeo, using the hashtag #HomeAwayVacation and complete the entry form at http://bit.ly/1c0IN33 before May 29, 2015.  HomeAway will select 10 finalists that will be voted on by the public from June 8 to 12 to determine the winner. For more details on the contest, visit http://bit.ly/1c0IN33.

Where will your family travel this summer?

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HomeAway.

Where to Camp in Alaska

Alaska has an amazing network of camping options for the outdoor enthusiast. Whether you are tent camping or RVing it through this incredibly beautiful state, Alaska’s campground don’t disappoint. Alaska is an ideal location for campers, as they tend to have camping options right on the water or in the middle of a forest. Most campgrounds have electrical, water, and dump stations as well as showers and covered kitchen areas. You might be trying to decide where to camp in Alaska, and here are a few great ideas to help you decide.

Where to Camp in Alaska

 

Where to Camp in Alaska

 

Alaska Highways

All along each Alaskan Highway are numerous places to pull off and camp. Quite a few areas are free and require no reservations. Many of the roads that lead to glaciers cross through both state and federal land. They will have places to pull over and set up camp for a couple days. They want you to enjoy the area and see what Alaska is about. A couple of great places can be found along the Sterling Highway towards Homer where you can park next to the infamous Kenai River where fishermen are trying to snag salmon in the summer months. When traveling on the AlCan, there are campgrounds about every 45 miles. Always check with The Milepost to see which ones are open at what time of the season. With Alaska’s harsh winters, some campgrounds are not open year round.

Seward and Homer, Alaska

Seward is down Highway 1 and overlooks Resurrection Bay. All along the bay are numerous campgrounds. You can salmon fish right from the shore and have beachfront views from your RV or tent. There is a specific area for tent only campers, but if you wanted a site with water and electric, you could get it. Most of these are not on a reservation system, but rather first-come first-served. If you head two miles south of Seward to Lowell Point, you can camp at Miller’s Landing where they do take reservations and can sometimes be found on Groupon. In Homer, you can camp right on the spit in the bay. It is very windy here but the views are nothing short of spectacular!

Denali National Park

North of Anchorage is Denali National Park, home of Mount McKinley the highest mountain on the North American continent. You can camp there at federal campgrounds that charge less than $15 per day to camp. You can bring your RV or tent camp at Denali.

 

6 things to do in Puerto Rico

This post brought to you by Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. The content and opinions expressed below are that of this mama loves.

Puerto Rico is a 5-star vacation destination filled with world-class attractions. Whether you’re a golfer, foodie, the adventure type, or a beach (rum) bum, Puerto Rico has everything that you want in a nice relaxing vacation. Just hop on a plane and go!  Even from our little airport here in Hartford, we can pop on the plane and be in paradise in a few short hours.  After the winter we’ve had… I could be ready to leave in 20 minutes I think… especially since we don’t need a passport nor foreign currency to get there.

Puerto Rico Tourism recently partnered with popular travel review site Trip Advisor to transform real traveler 5-star reviews into stunningly beautiful short films narrated by Puerto Rican stars. Puerto Rico is filled with world-class attractions that will turn any trip into a 5-star vacation story. (If anyone is watching…I’m game to experience this in real time!!)

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My must-see and experience list for Puerto Rico?

Beach time. Lots and lots of beach time.  Did you know there’s over 270 miles of coastline? That’s a lot of sandy beauty. A definite stop would be Flamenco Beach in Culebra- featured in the Top 10 beaches from Travel Channel. I just need to find a few books to pack for beach reading. Doing some horseback riding on the beaches would be pretty amazing as well.

puerto rico beach

Credit: SeePuertoRico.com

Hike a rainforest in a US national park. El Yunque is the only rainforest under US nat’l park service, and who doesn’t want to climb to the clouds?

Explore the Camuy caverns for a day.  Enjoy the wonder of the subterranean world for a time.

Swim the Bioluminescent bays and glow- we’ll be like human glow sticks.  I didn’t know you could swim in a place that makes you glowy.

History Buffs can enjoy old world charm of San Juan. I’m pretty new to being a history buff, but walking through streets and buildings and walking where people walked hundreds of years ago is just something we should all experience as often as possible.  Exploring San Juan’s buildings and culture, shops and restaurants would be such a fun way to spend some vacation time!

historical places to see in puerto rico

Credit: SeePuertoRico.com

Speaking of shops…. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention shopping…and restaurants… because if you are going someplace new, you want to experience the food and all that there is to delight your belly.  Maybe even some rum, if you partake. I can just imagine sitting at a little table outside enjoying some amazing local delicacies sipping on a (weak) rum drink. Sounds like a marvelous plan to me!

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Check out how to Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico. and tell me why you want to check out Puerto Rico!

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Take a Road Trip from NYC

Sometimes you just need to get out of the city, even if that city is as awesome as New York City. Living under the lights of skyscrapers and hearing the ever-present sound of sirens and walking down busy streets is second nature in NYC. But where do you go when you need to disconnect from city life and be grounded by a good drive? It is easy to take a road trip from NYC and leave city-life behind in as quickly as an hour. If you have more time, consider taking a one or two-day road trip and reconnect with yourself along the way.

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Take a Road Trip from NYC

Hudson Valley, NY

Hudson Valley can be anywhere from a 1-3 hour road trip out of the city. On the west bank of the Hudson River you have Bear Mountain State park that is the perfect place to have a midday picnic. During the summer you can go swimming or head over to the Trailside Museum and zoo. If you want to stretch your legs, hike the Shawangunk Ridge Trail and really see a different side to New York.

Litchfield Hills, CT

Who knew that just two hours outside of the city you could be wine tasting? A short 2-hour drive over to Connecticut and you can sip the afternoon away at Hopkins Winery and Haight-Brown Vineyard and Winery. These are not country wineries, but growing award-winning grapes for refreshing whites and sultry reds. The wineries have vineyard tours and some pretty awesome chocolate and cheese pairings. No need to head to Napa or Sonoma when you have these two little gems so close to home.

Bucks County, PA

Less than two hours outside of Manhattan, you could be soaking up a bit of history in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. If you like to drive and see covered bridges, Bucks County has you covered with 13 all along scenic back roads through the country. Stop in at The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works where you can watch local artisans at work in a living history museum. If you are an American Impressionist art fan, you have to stop in at the James A .Michener Art Museum which has one of the best collections found in the US. This area is so lush and beautiful as it is accented by the picturesque Delaware River.

 

Check out places to pitch a tent in New York

Double Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe

It’s finally here. Well, live.  The recipe that we made that is our closest approximation at home of the fabulous and amazing Chocolate Tiramisu at Sabatini’s Restaurant on the Caribbean Princess cruise ship. This chocolate tiramisu recipe has the same flavors, but it’s in a mini trifle form, because trifles are fun and mini trifles are even more fun.  I think I could spend a month trying to recreate all of the fabulous and delightful foods we enjoyed aboard that ship this fall! chocolate-tiramisu

Double Chocolate Tiramisu Mini Trifles –

Ingredients

1 package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ C. hot water

½ C. semi-sweet chocolate (I use chocolate chips for this recipe)

1 ½ C. heavy cream

¾ C. sugar

1 24 ct package of lady fingers, any brand (I hunt for these as I’d never bought them before – ask the bakery section at your local grocer and save yourself some time! :) )

4-5 mini trifle dishes

Directions –

#1. Heat the 1 ½ C. of water in a glass dish in the microwave. Once it is heated through, add the cocoa powder to the hot water and mix well. Set aside.

 chocolate-tiramisu-ingredients

#2. In a small microwavable dish, melt the chocolate chips and ¼ C. of the cream. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

#3. Next, combine the melted chocolate & cream, sugar and cream cheese – beat using a hand mixer for several minutes until fluffy – it will take on a ‘pudding-like’ consistency.

 chocolate-tiramisu-progress

#4. Time to start layering the mini trifles! Add about 1-2cm of the chocolate mixture to the bottom of each mini trifle dish

Dip the ladyfingers 1-2 at a time in the cocoa/hot water mixture (quickly as they dissolve fast!) and then lay them on top of the chocolate mixture. I found that 2 lady fingers dipped in the chocolate mixture with a size for the mini trifle dish (see photo).

Next, cover with some chocolate mixture.

 chocolate-tiramisu-layer

Add 2 more lady fingers dipped in the chocolate/water mixture and then top with more chocolate mixture.

Garnish with a few extra lady fingers on top and some cocoa powder. Yum!!

Set in the fridge for several hours – overnight even, to set up completely.

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*Makes approximately 4-5 mini trifles. You can also make one large trifle if you would prefer using the same amount of ingredients.

Princess Cruise Lines have partnered with Master Chocolatier Norman Love to offer Chocolate Journeys℠, an industry-first, premium chocolate experience onboard its fleet of 18 ships. The program will offer guests a variety of opportunities to taste the inspired creations crafted by Love. It will be on all Princess ships by January 1, 2015. Chocolate isn’t just about dessert anymore…although in this case, it’s totally about dessert. YUM.

Thanks to Princess Cruises for inviting me and a guest to enjoy a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess ship.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Double Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ C. hot water
  • ½ C. semi-sweet chocolate (I use chocolate chips for this recipe)
  • 1 ½ C. heavy cream
  • ¾ C. sugar
  • 1 24 ct package of lady fingers, any brand (I hunt for these as I'd never bought them before – ask the bakery section at your local grocer and save yourself some time! :) )
  • 4-5 mini trifle dishes
Instructions
  1. #1. Heat the 1 ½ C. of water in a glass dish in the microwave. Once it is heated through, add the cocoa powder to the hot water and mix well. Set aside.
  2. #2. In a small microwavable dish, melt the chocolate chips and ¼ C. of the cream. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
  3. #3. Next, combine the melted chocolate & cream, sugar and cream cheese – beat using a hand mixer for several minutes until fluffy – it will take on a 'pudding-like' consistency.
  4. #4. Time to start layering the mini trifles! Add about 1-2cm of the chocolate mixture to the bottom of each mini trifle dish
  5. Dip the ladyfingers 1-2 at a time in the cocoa/hot water mixture (quickly as they dissolve fast!) and then lay them on top of the chocolate mixture. I found that 2 lady fingers dipped in the chocolate mixture with a size for the mini trifle dish (see photo).
  6. Next, cover with some chocolate mixture.
  7. Add 2 more lady fingers dipped in the chocolate/water mixture and then top with more chocolate mixture.
  8. Garnish with a few extra lady fingers on top and some cocoa powder. Yum!!
  9. Set in the fridge for several hours – overnight even, to set up completely.
  10. *Makes approximately 4-5 mini trifles. You can also make one large trifle if you would prefer using the same amount of ingredients.

Happier Holidays (and nights) #HappierHolidaysSweeps

It’s December.  Life is HECTIC for almost everyone.  Regular life activities, but also? Holiday shopping, baking, wrapping, gifting, visiting and celebrating on top of day to day activities.  It’s fun and it’s wonderful but it can also be oh so very stressful. Even finding places for friends and family to sleep when they come over the river and through the woods- what if Grandmother’s house doesn’t have enough beds?Thanks to Country Inns & Suites for sponsoring this post.  Horribly corny revisions of the beloved Christmas poem are my own.

christmas tree

The horse may know the way to carry the sleigh but if there aren’t beds to sleep in, Grandmother’s house may not be the best place to get a good night’s rest. That’s where Country Inns & Suites come in.  They want all of us to have Happier Holidays & Nights and they are offering a 4-night stay PLUS a $300 gift card to a lucky person who uses the #HappierHolidaySweeps on Instagram or Twitter. Actually, it’s to 25 lucky Grand Prize winners, but who’s counting? :) Thanks to Country Inns & Suites for sponsoring today’s post.

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Listen, we all want to have the ideal holiday memories. Life isn’t like the movies, and there aren’t always perfect arrangements.  When there aren’t- at least you have places like Country Inns & Suites to head to…unless you want Clement Clarke Moore’s works to be rewritten as follows:

The relatives were not quite nestled all snug in their beds

While visions of Sugarplums danced in their heads
And ‘Ma in (ust) her kerchief and I in (just) my cap
knew without help there’d be not a soul to nap…

christmas vacation

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
it was Aunt Bev yelling at John to pitch that tent flatter
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, in time to stop the crash…

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature Cabriolet and eight tiny horsepower-deer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his relatives they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

“Now David! Now Dana!
Now, Parker and Vincent!
On, Carla! On, Cupid!
On, Donny and Franklin!
Don’t sleep on our porch!
Or lean against the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!”

clark griswold

As dry leaves that before the wild toddlers do fly,
when they meet with an argument, threw that last pie
so up to the Country Inns & Suites the relatives they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

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Don’t have unhappy holidays.  Book rooms at Country Inns & Suites and leave ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas the way it should be. If you and Grama don’t have room for people who come over the river and through the woods, book them at Country Inns & Suites.  Better still, enter to win the #HappierHolidaysSweeps and WIN that stay!

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How do you enter? Official stuff below

  • By posting #happierholidayssweeps hashtag on Twitter or Instagram- or via registration form– entrants will be entered for a chance to win. (Or all 3, each day, one per entry method (Reg. form, Instagram and Twitter)
  • Registration in specific states and/or countries: is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least twenty-one (21) years old at the time of entry.
  • Program Period: 12/1/2014 @ 12:00:00 P.M. CT – 12/22/14 @ 11:59:59 A.M. CT
  • Prize(s) and Values: There will be 25 Grand Prize Winners for the entire program period. Each Grand Prize Winner will four (4) free nights at a Country Inns & Suites location, and a $300 gift card.

 

Facebook.com/countryinns

Twitter.com/countryinns

 

 

 

5 Things First Time Cruisers Should Know

Taking a cruise for the first time can be a very exciting experience! It’s a vacation option like no other, and you’ll likely want to make the most of your time. Read on to find out what first time cruisers should know so their first travels aboard a ship are enjoyable!

5 Things First Time Cruisers Should Know

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Travel agents aren’t required, but they can be helpful.

 

When researching for your first cruise, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choices. There are so many cruise lines, ships, and destinations to choose from! Plus, prices for your travel can vary greatly depending on the company, location, and travel time.

 

If you don’t want to spend the time trying to make the best decisions for you, let a travel agent assist you. With their experience, they can help you book the right cruise for the most enjoyable trip possible!

Consider your destination and its weather when packing.

 

Think about where you are headed when you start filling your luggage. For the cruise to a warm locale, pack a couple bathing suits, flip flops, and a cover up. Make sure you have weather appropriate, comfortable attire for the days the ship docks. The last thing you want to do is be too cold or too hot while trying to explore your destinations. If you are going to be taking a hiking excursion, be sure to pack appropriate footwear. I was shocked to see how many people were trying to participate in activities with adorable and very impractical sandals on!

Also, check to see what comes in your stateroom before packing.  You may find that you don’t really need to pack quite as many toiletries as you would expect.

bathroom-cruise-ship

Don’t overdo it with activities the moment you board.

 

With so many forms of entertainment on a cruise ship, like pools, shows, and karaoke, you may feel you need to participate in everything on Day One. However, that will likely lead you to exhaustion or burnout. Spread out your activities so you have new things to explore and enjoy every day of your cruise. Take some time to unpack, get your bearings, and explore the ship a bit.  There’s plenty of time to partake in other activities later! You can also call and schedule spa appointments and dining reservations if you are planning to make any on day 1.  Some things book up fast!

explore-cruise-ship

 

Take part in many fun activities aboard the ship.

 

While you don’t want to do it all when you first get on the ship, spending too much time in your cabin is a waste of money. Check out what’s available on the cruise before you board. Then, give yourself time to explore and find activities that interest you. The trip will be more valuable and fun to you if yocaribbean-princess-middecku let yourself enjoy as much as you can!

Find out what the pricing includes before you book.

 

Avoid overspending on your first cruise by researching what your booking fees cover. For most lines, the cabin, food, and coffee, tea and water are included. Luxury cruises lines may also include other beverages and alcohol, but it’s likely you will have to foot the bill for that. Many cruise lines also offer fine dining experiences for an additional (not outrageous) fee.  I absolutely would take advantage of this at least one of the nights  you are aboard your ship- I had the most amazing steak at a fine dining restaurant at the Crown Grill aboard the Caribbean Princess last month, and it was followed by the most heavenly chocolate cake ever.  It was $25 extra when we went, and absolutely worth every penny. We also enjoyed the Chef’s Table one night, which is a bit more pricey, but if you are a foodie, definitely something to look into. You’ll enjoy dining on foods that are prepared just for your group- ours was 7 courses of amazing dishes!

chefs-table-caribbean-princess

 

 

Additional activities, such as internet, casinos, and shopping will need to be considered into your budget for your cruise as well. The Sanctuary on Caribbean Princess was my oasis on this trip, we were there for a full day and a half.  It was simply wonderful to sit back and relax!

relax-cruise

Have you been on a cruise? What are your tips for first time cruisers?

 

 

Many, many thanks to the folks at Princess Cruises for inviting me with a guest to enjoy a 5 day cruise to the Western Caribbean.  This post is inspired by that trip, and I hope it offers some helpful tips for other first timers!!

 

Things to do before you travel #LifeLockSafety

Being prepared for a vacation can make or break the entire experience. If you’re anything like me, you spend countless hours preparing to make sure that nothing is forgotten. I make lists. I make lists of my lists. I go over and over the luggage, to be sure that each article of clothing is included. Next, I check that we each have everything we need in our carry on bags, all of our personal hygiene items are packed, we’ve got cash, cards, itinerary’s, tickets, hotel reservations, etc.   Once I’m satisfied that we’ve packed each and everything we need, I inevitably spend the entire ride to the airport wondering whether we’ve remembered to close the garage door, shut off the iron, and lock all the doors.

One thing I never thought about, however, was that traveling actually leaves you even more open to another kind of threat. Identity theft. Advertisement Luckily, I have peace of mind against identity theft. I have LifeLock! LifeLock is at the forefront of identity theft protection.

things-to-do-before-you-travel

In fact, a recent article on their website gives some awesome tips to help protect you against identity theft during the summer travel season.   Here are a few of the my favorites things to do before you travel from the LifeLock list:

Stop mail: Call your local post office and have your mail stopped while on vacation. Letting it pile up, or even having a neighbor deliver it, is an indicator to predators that you are not home.  

Call your bank and credit card companies: Be sure to alert them that you will be traveling. Alerting them to when and where you will be traveling will help them to monitor your accounts right along with you.

Don’t tell the world you’re traveling: Save your travel photos until you return home, when possible, and be careful sharing on social networks that you will be traveling.

stolen-identity-book

These are just a few of the many great tips provided by LifeLock. Be sure to read the full list here. LifeLock also has a new book out called  “Stolen Identity: What Anyone with a Name, Birthdate and Social Security Number Needs to Know Now.” Identity theft is one of the most widespread and fast-evolving crimes, but many people don’t realize that it goes far beyond having a credit card number stolen. It can jeopardize your healthcare, block you from receiving the tax refund you’re due, interfere with a job or loan, and even run up debt for your children or elderly parents. Learn more about the alarming ways identity in which thieves operate today and what you can do to reduce your chances of having your identity stolen.

I value the peace of mind I get with LifeLock, and would love to share it with all of my readers. Hop on over to the LifeLock.com site and use the promo code “LifeLockSafety” for 10%!

lifelock logo

This post is brought to you by our partnership with LifeLock. Opinions are my own.

One of my readers will win the new LifeLock new book, “Stolen Identity: What Anyone with a Name, Birthdate and Social Security Number Needs to Know Now.”

Where to Camp in Massachusetts

The good thing about Massachusetts is that it is close to some amazing camping spots. (And super close to Connecticut!) When you are ready to walk out of the office and sit next to a campfire making s’mores, Massachusetts’ outdoor playground doesn’t disappoint. Whether you want to camp near the dunes on the Cape or in the forest near a lake, you can find a great camping spot in MA. Where to camp in Massachusetts is as simple as deciding what you want to relax around and drive just a couple hours to get there.

Where to Camp in MA

Nickerson State Park, Brewster

Close to Cape Cod is one of the largest campgrounds at Nickerson State Park. There are over 400 campsites, yurts, and a group campsite is available. This camping mecca sits on 1900 acres of forested land and has eight kettle ponds where you can fish, canoe, or go swimming. One of the best things about the camping spots is that they are very large and have a lot of privacy with all the trees around. There are no hookups here but they do have flush toilets, showers, picnic tables with fire rings and dumping station available.

Wompatuck State Park, Hingham

Just 35 minutes outside of Boston is a great campsite that can accommodate both tents and RVs. Bring your bicycle and hiking boots and have fun on both the paved and hiking trails. You can fish at Cohasset Reservoir and have fun kayaking there too. Bring your water jugs and fill up on the fresh drinking water at Mt. Blue Spring – a true treat to do on a hot summer day. The campsite offers electric hookups, a dumping station, and potable water.

Shawme-Crowell State Park, Sandwich

When you want to camp near the beach out at the Cape, this is the campsite you want to head to. It has 285 sites in a wooded area and it even has yurts to rent. You can bring your horses and ride them on 15 miles of roads and trails. It has full hookups and a dumping station for your RVs.

Can’t stand to fully unplug from social media? Bring along a solar battery pack!

Where do you like to camp?

Best Places to See Nature Outside NYC

Best Places to See Nature Outside NYC

 

 

New York City is filled with the sounds of the city from the honking of taxis, to people talking on their phones, and sirens at all hours of the night. Sometimes though, you just want to escape out into nature and hear the sounds of a stream running or birds chirping. Here are some of the best places to see nature outside NYC.

Best Places to See Nature Outside NYC

In less than a 1.5 hours from NYC is Bear Mountain State Park along the west side of the Hudson River. You can see wildlife like raccoons, wild turkey, deer, foxes, and even black bears. Don’t forget to stop in and check out the Trailside Museum and Zoo while you are there. The lake is the perfect spot for a summertime picnic or lace up your ice skates in the winter as it turns into the picture-perfect skating rink. This park has it all and is a great day trip to escape the city.

Head over to Yonkers, which is just 35 minutes north of NYC, and spend the day at Sprain Ridge Park. If you are a flower and plant lover, you have to check out their arboretum. They also have a lake and two picnic areas for you to enjoy a bite to eat with your family. Bring a blanket and spend some time soaking in the sun’s rays and listening to the calming sounds of nature.

Less than an hour north of the city, you can spend some time seeing bald eagles at George’s Island Park. This waterfront park along the Hudson River has tidal wetlands, boat access, and some great trails for hiking or a trail run. Hard to imagine this little oasis is so close to the city!

These are just a few great places to see nature outside of NYC in just a couple hours. Grab the kids or that someone special and head out for a day filled with bird watching, swimming in a lake, or just relaxing and taking in the scenery.

Where to Pitch a Tent in New York

                       Are you a camper? Find out where to pitch a tent in New York!