I hopped off the plane at LAX. Look to the right and I see the Hollywood Sign.
Okay, okay enough with the Miley Cyrus references, but in all honestly it has always been a dream of mine to visit California. The celebrities, the west coast vibe, and of course the gorgeous coastline - it was all calling my name. So when my sister and I were deciding where we should go for our third annual sister trip (#1 Waco and #2 Nashville) it seemed like a great choice.
We visited in mid-February and the weather most days was mid 60s which was a welcome change from the Michigan winter we were used to and actually felt a lot warmer with the sun out. Most of the areas we went to weren't as busy as I was expecting them to be and this time of year definitely seemed like an off season. In addition to exploring West Hollywood, we also spent time in Santa Monica and Malibu.
When most people think of a trip to L.A., a bustling city with lots of traffic is likely to come to mind. And while that may be the case for downtown Los Angeles, just west of the city is the not so hidden gem of Malibu.
Home to 21 miles of coastline and nearly three dozen beaches it's no wonder countless celebrities call this city home. While on our recent sister trip to California, we made sure to dedicate one whole day to exploring this coastline paradise. Since we were staying in Santa Monica it was only a quick 20 minute drive with lots to see and do. In addition to the activities listed below, you can opt for a more adventurous afternoon with trails that weave through canyons, waterfalls and grasslands in the Santa Monica Mountains.
"The fondest memories are made gathered around the table."
Food has such a special way of bringing people together and helping us to appreciate the land around us. Granor Farm, located in Three Oaks, Michigan, was founded in 2006 with a commitment to creating an environment respectful of the land they cultivate, the products they grow, and the local community they serve. In addition to growing and selling certified organic produce, farm operations also include organic berries, cut flowers, pasture-raised eggs, and grains.
Throughout the year, Granor Farm also hosts Taste of Granor farmhouse dinners designed to connect people to the farm and the food they grow. The dinners are a multi-course, family-style meal featuring produce and grains grown by Granor Farm as well as meats, cheeses, and fruits from other farms in the area. I recently had the opportunity to attend one of the winter farmhouse dinners and it was truly an experience I won't forget.
Disclosure: Granor Farm hosted myself and a guest for the Taste of Granor dinner. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
In the words of Taylor Swift, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake (and stir..). Okay, I may have revised that a bit after attending Round Barn's new Shake and Stir Workshop, but c'mon can you blame me? Round Barn has long been one of my favorite stops along the Lake Michigan Wine Trail offering lively entertainment and delicious wine, beer and spirits on the Estate grounds which is also home to the iconic 1912 Amish Round Barn. In addition to traditional wine tasting, Round Barn has recently added a new hands on experience for visitors. During their Shake and Stir Workshop you'll have the opportunity to shake and stir three different craft cocktails made with Round Barn Spirits and take home some delicious recipes so you can make your own cocktails at home.
Try something new for date night or belly up to the bar with a group of up to 16 people for this 60-minute masterclass. The class is held on Saturdays and Sundays and can be booked online.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Round Barn. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When you step foot on the shores of Mackinac Island, you'll feel like you're stepping back in time. Located in Lake Huron between Michigan's upper and lower peninsula, Mackinac Island is know for it historic charm, gorgeous views, and pristine gardens. But perhaps the most unique part of the island is the fact that no cars are allowed. Instead you'll hear the clip-clop of horse hooves along the pavement and pass people riding bikes and strolling along the streets on foot. Life seems to move slower when everyone isn't in such a rush.
I had only ever visited for the day, but now I can truly say the best way to get the full island experience is by spending the night - or the weekend. We had the pleasure of staying at Mission Point Resort and Hotel - a lakeside retreat on 18 acres of the island's sunrise coast. The resort is home to five unique restaurants, the island's only full-service health and wellness retreat, a marketplace, and two distinct lodging areas, all within walking distance to downtown. Mission Point has a commitment to Great Lakes healthy living and offers a number of ways to stay active during your trip. Find out more about my seven must-have experiences while on the island.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Mission Point Resort. The itinerary was created by me based on personal research and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The best trips I've taken always involve some sort of adventure. Hiking, biking, snorkeling, helicopter tours - I've had the chance to do some pretty memorable activities over the years. So when I learned that South Bend, Indiana offered two adventures I had never tried before (and a few of my favorite pastimes), I was all in! Located only 30 minutes from southwest Michigan, South Bend is most well known as home to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. But who knew the city also offered so many other ways to get your adrenaline racing!
I teamed up with Visit South Bend to put together an adventure seeker's guide to the city. With only one night in the city we didn't waste any time packing in as much excitement and thrill as possible in just 24 hours. Read more to discover four adventures you'll want to add to your bucket list ASAP.
Disclaimer: I partnered with Visit South Bend for this trip. They hosted us for an overnight stay at Hilton Garden Inn and provided complimentary activities. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ohh Charleston..you truly are the definition of southern Charm! I recently traveled to this historic city to meet up with some of my girlfriends from college. We had an amazing weekend packed full of food, fun, and adventure. But we all agreed the activity we enjoyed the most was our pedal boat cruise through the Charleston Harbor with Saltwater Cycle. The only boat of its kind in the Holy City, Saltwater Cycle is so much more than a boat ride..it's an experience!
Similar to the pedal bike taverns that are famous on the streets of cities throughout the U.S., the 30 foot pontoon-style boat holds up to 16 passengers with 10 cycle seats, which power a large paddle-wheel at the back of the boat (don't worry there's a back up motor if needed). If you're not pedaling, the boat also features benched seating at the front of the boat where you can soak up the sun and there is plenty of room for walking around and of course dancing.
Disclaimer: My friends and I were hosted by Saltwater Cycle for our tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Whenever I travel, especially to Hawaii, I always like to book at least one guided tour/excursion. While it's easy to explore much of the islands on your own, guided tours often offer access to areas of the island not open to or easily accessed by the public and the guides always have SO much knowledge about the history and culture that you wouldn't find elsewhere. After much research, the one activity that kept coming up on the "must do" lists for Kauai was mountain tubing - and now I understand why.
Kauai Backcountry Adventures offers the only tubing adventure on the island with exclusive access to the historic irrigation system of the former Lihue Plantation. This ditch and tunnel system was hand-dug in the 1870's and once irrigated hundreds of acres of sugar crops. The tunnels had been unused since sugar was taken out of production in 2000 until Kauai Backcountry Adventures began offering tours in 2003. On the trip you'll tube through the lush interior of the island and traverse through five different tunnels. The total time you spend in the water is around an hour.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I love creating detailed travel guides to ensure you get the most out of your time. On this blog I'll be sharing some of my past trips in hopes that it helps you plan your next adventure. Pack your suitcase you never know where I'll be heading next!
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