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3 Must-See Wonders in Austria

Austria is a juxtaposition of high culture set against some of the most stunning scenery the world has to offer. Here you’ll find aristocratic beginnings, and ever-changing artistry mingled together with a flair for turning the “Land of Mountains” into a playground of both the body and the mind. The spirit of grand ideas made manifest is the guiding principle you’ll find as you explore these three “must see” sights that take you through the history and ingenuity of this boundless country.

1. St. Michael’s Square: Vienna’s Historic City Center

“The streets of Vienna are paved with culture, the streets of other cities with asphalt.” – Austrian writer Karl Kraus
There’s little doubt that Kraus had in mind the inspiring and multifaceted architecture layered upon the streets of old town Vienna when he penned this tribute to his beloved city. There are more than 2,900 structures located within a 1.8 square mile section of middle Vienna. Their histories span across numerous eras, from Roman settlements to modern innovations. Her streets are a living museum, and UNESCO declared  the location a World Heritage site in 2011.
One of the best places to experience both the old and contemporary charm of historic Vienna is at St. Michael’s Square. Here you can walk just a few feet in any direction and find yourself transported to in a different era. Even the individual buildings span centuries. The centerpiece Hofburg Imperial Palace is a great example of this: you’ll find sections dating back to the 1200s alongside wings built across the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The palace’s impressive 165 foot-high dome and Michaelerto gate provide an exquisite entrance to the numerous museums and cultural centers now housed within her walls, including the world-famous Spanish Riding School. Show up on a Sunday and you’ll even be lucky enough to hear the Vienna Boy’s Choir singing in the palace’s original medieval chapel.

St. Michael’s Church

The square’s oldest building is also its namesake: St. Michael’s Church, built in the late Romanesque period between 1220 and 1240. It houses numerous treasures, including recent discovery of 15th-century frescoes and the city’s oldest Baroque organ. It also claims the historical bragging rights to being the first church to play Mozart’s Requiem. True to form, the creation of this national icon traversed hundreds of years, and its many paintings and architectural elements make it a fascinating site to explore.

Mix of Old and New

In the square’s center sit ruins that hark back to the first Roman settlement in the area, a military camp called Vindobona. The camp was constructed between the 1st and 5th centuries A.D. and were excavated from below current street levels. When you walk back to street level, you’ll soon find yourself moving from Roman times to the 20th century as you catch sight of the square’s most modern building, the Looshaus. Established in 1912, it caused serious controversy in its day due to its lack of ornamental flair. Emperor Franz Joseph even lost his usual aristocratic eloquence and called the pared-down design of the building “ugly.” Architect Alfred Loos vehemently disagreed with this assessment, saying a spiritual simplicity drove his new style. Today the building causes much less contention: it houses both a bank and an art gallery in the basement, along with a much grander indoor style that is open for the public to enjoy.

2. The Danube River Vineyards of Wachau

The River Danube runs through the historic streets of Vienna and out into the lush countryside of Wachau Province. Here you’ll encounter some of the most famous vineyards in Europe. The ancient indigenous people of the area called the river “Great Water,” and the grape cultivators who made this region famous have terraced the lush soils surrounding its banks to produce decadent white wines that are celebrated the world over.
Wachau makes the list of must-see destinations because it is a kaleidoscope of culturally enriching activities. Just like the city center, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also home to over 124 vineyards located within a short 12-mile stretch. One of the most fascinating stops is Nikolaihof Estate in Mautern, where you’ll experience firsthand the rich winemaking history of the region which extends back 2,000 years to Roman times. Here you can tour the original Roman food storage cellars. Be sure to taste the strictly organic Grüner Veltliner and Rieslings that make the Wachau region famous. The estate is the oldest continually operating vineyard in Austria. It offers a cozy guesthouse, a locally-sourced tavern, and a stellar wine selection including the much-sought-after vintage Nikolaihof Riesling Vinothek.

Melk village

Another favorite stop on Wachau’s River Danube is Melk village, home of the 1,000-year-old Melk Abbey Founded by Benedictine monks in 1089 A.D. The beautifully ornate castle was a gift to them from military governor Leopold II. Architectural masters of the day were commissioned to create the monastery’s opulent Baroque church. Your eyes will be continuously drawn to the frescoes that adorn the ceilings and walls amidst marble and gold gilding. The abbey is also home to Austria’s world-famous library that houses over 16,000 antique books and historic manuscripts. In Melk’s museum, you’ll learn about its long past, including the monks’ role in building the impermeable dry stone wall terraces that are still utilized on Wachau wine estates today.

3. Grossglockner Alpine High Road: Hohe Tauern National Park

The wonders of the Alps are showcased in the 36-turn Grossglockner Alpine High Road which sits in the heart of Austria’s largest national park, Hohe Tauern. This serpentine pass ascends 8,215 feet to provide you with stunning views of the summit of Austria’s highest peak: Grossglockner Mountain. Grossglockner Mountain stands at 12,460 feet and captures all of the of the spectacular power of the region. The journey upwards towards her summit will take you along 30 miles of pristine scenery. With numerous cultural relics, educational centers, and recreational activities interspersed along the way.
Legend has it that in 914 A.D. a Byzantine general carrying a sacred Christian relic stopped off in the village of Heiligenblut. He met an untimely death when an avalanche hit the village sitting at the base of Grossglockner Mountain. While there, he met an untimely death in an avalanche. The events that followed led the locals to discover that he held a vial which they grew to believe contained the blood of Christ. Thus sprang up a pilgrimage town, and the church of St. Vincent was constructed in 1491 to accommodate the worshipers. The church’s architectural wonders include a Gothic high altar and a refined outer design meant to blend in with the pristine mountain scenery. Today, the details of the Legend of Briccius are still related to travelers who stop in to visit this marvel of the Middle Ages.

Heiligenblut

Along with being pilgrimage site, the city of Heiligenblut is also the central hub for visitors to the Alpine High Road. The road’s construction was completed in the 1930s by a team of innovators who built the original cobblestone pass in just five short years. Today the asphalt update connects Bruck in the state of Salzburg with Heiligenblut. One of the highlights of this place is the Visitor Center at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe. Step into simulation of the largest glacier in the Eastern Alps, the Pasterze. Here, you can learn about the ancient ice formations of the region and more.

Gamsgruben Trail

Once you step outside of the visitor center onto the Gamsgruben Trail, you get to see the real Pasterze. Formed during the last Ice Age, it is approximately five miles long and 390 feet thick. The best views are from the Wasserfallwinkel lookout point located 8,360 feet above sea level. –Continue to the top of Grossglockner Alpine High Road to enjoy the breathtaking sight of the “black” mountain herself, surrounded by over 300 sister peaks all standing at nearly 10,000 feet. You can take in the scenery on the outdoor deck of the aptly named Panoramic Restaurant, where sweet omelets, homemade dumplings with cheese, and succulent smoked sausage are served against the gorgeous Alpine backdrop.
When you come back down from the top, enjoy a day panning for gold in at the historic Alten Pocher gold mining village located in the nearby town of Fleißtal. Here, you can take a ski lift onto one of four Freeride trails covering nearly six square miles of terrain. Or relax in the spa and sauna at the ancestrally historic National Park Lodge Grossglockner. The lodge, the lifts, and St. Vincent Church are all situated just steps away from each other at this beautiful mountain retreat. Come see the places where human-made innovation meet the marvels of Austria’s awe-inspiring landscape.
If you’re looking for a place to go on your next vacation, stop by Austria and experience all the country has to offer.
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4 Historic Haunts in the Hudson Valley, New York

Mohonk Mountain House in New York

But there’s another aspect of the Hudson Valley that’s worthy of intrigue. The colonial activity along the Hudson River valley dates back to the early 1600s; the area is steeped in history. Many original buildings still stand, dotting the Hudson River Valley with locations of intrigue, battle, history, and haunting.
Next time you visit the Big Apple, take the less-than-2-hour trip to the Hudson Valley to immerse yourself in some historic haunts in the Hudson Valley:

1. Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, NY

The small college town of New Paltz, NY, has a laid-back vibe, a prominent arts scene, and one of the earliest colonial streets in America. It’s a strange feeling to leave the hustle and bustle of Main Street and walk a few blocks down to Huguenot Street, where majestic old sycamore and pine trees and old stone houses radiate history.
According to the Huguenot Historical Society, the settlement along this simple street in a small town actually had its roots in the early 1500s. During that time The Protestant Reformation, sparked by Martin Luther’s act of opposition to the Roman Catholic Church, had spread rapidly throughout Europe.
By the 17th century, French Huguenots were being mercilessly killed due to their religious beliefs. When Catholic King Louis XIII took the throne in 1610, the violence escalated. A group of Huguenots (including the Hasbroucks, LeFevres, and Deyos, many of whose descendants still live in New Paltz) decided to strike off to the New World to escape persecution.
By 1678, after a long journey overseas, the Huguenots took up residence along the Wallkill River, where seven of the original stone houses still stand. Every October, tours take place to highlight some of the historical (and reportedly haunted) features of the street. From Maria Deyo’s infamous murder spree to the apparent ghostly sightings of a young Huguenot woman who died of tuberculosis, Huguenot Street is rife with history, myth, and legend.

2. Bannerman’s Island in Beacon, NY

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Bannerman Island Castle

People who take river cruises on the Hudson are often mystified by the crumbling ruins of what appears to be a Scottish Castle on a small, uninhabited island near Beacon, NY. Created by Frank Bannerman in the early 1900s, the building was built as a staggering homage to his cultural origins in Scotland.
Frank Bannerman, a former Union soldier in the American Civil War, was born in Scotland in 1851. When he eventually purchased the property on what’s now known as Bannerman Island, he designed the Scottish-style fortress as a way to store his huge collection of munitions. According to an article in Historic Hudson River Towns, Bannerman worked on the fortress for seventeen years, doing most of the architectural and engineering work himself. He made the fortress incredibly elaborate, which made it all the more tragic when a mysterious fire destroyed the buildings in 1969.
According to Jane Bannerman, the granddaughter-in-law of the fortress’s builder, Bannerman island used to be known as Pollepel Island and was considered haunted by local tribes. Most recently, the fortress was devastated by a fire that has made the historic site inaccessible to visitors except by boat. Seven years before the fire, Frank Bannerman’s grandson Charles issued a prophetic statement:
Time, the elements, and maybe even the goblins of the island will take their toll of some of the turrets and towers, and perhaps eventually the castle itself…
Also, visitors can’t set foot on the grounds, you can take an informative and scenic river cruise to pass by the crumbling Scottish castle on Bannerman Island.

3. Hoffman House, Kingston NY

Before Albany, the Hudson Valley town of Kingston held the distinction of the capital of New York. During the American Revolutionary War, Kingston became the prime target of a British attack, a fact in the biennial Burning of Kingston event.
After capturing New York City in October 1777, the British sailed up the Hudson River to target the prosperous colony at Kingston, landing at Kingston Point. The British marched along the Rondout River, burning houses as they went along. Though some locals fought back, the British quickly set the entire city alight, burning over 300 buildings to the ground.
Incredibly, the resilient city of Kingston soon bounced back and rebuilt. Now, visitors can visit the Stockade District where British soldiers indiscriminately burnt down houses. One of these is the Hoffman House, which along with the rest of the city was severely burnt in 1777.
Built in 1679, the Hoffman House is a typical example of Dutch colonial architecture. When it was restored in 1976, the new owners took care to use traditional materials—even using the house’s old nails in the restoration process. Now, it’s a restored tavern and restaurant where visitors can enjoy a pleasant meal inside one of the oldest houses in the third oldest settlement in New York.

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Mohok Mountain House

4. Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz NY

Fifteen minutes outside of the same town that holds the stone houses of Historical Huguenot Street, the famous Mohonk Mountain House is nestled into the beautiful Shawangunk Ridge. In person, the hotel is incredible and eclectic. Built at different times with different architectural styles, you can feel the history on each floor of the hotel.
Originally built around Stokes Tavern, purchased by Albert K. Smiley in 1869, the Mountain House officially opened in 1870. Since then, it’s seen several rounds of renovation, growing from a ten-room inn on a lakefront to a sprawling—yet isolated—265-room resort in the Shawangunks. With towers, an ice skating rink, a massive pure-blue lake, and all the raw wonder of the surrounding forest and ridge, Mohonk is both a historical and natural retreat. To this day, it remains in the Smiley family through six generations of ownership.
Its age along with the castle-like feel have contributed to speculation that Mohonk is haunted. It is believed by some to be the inspiration for the massively haunted Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s novel The Shining. Mohonk Mountain house does indeed feel like something out of a storybook with its Victorian castle-like appearance, its giant hedge maze, and the now-unused carriage roads that used to bring horse-and-buggy travelers up to the mountain lodge on the lake.
Upstate New York is steeped in history and culture going back hundreds of years. From strange Scottish simulations to giant Victorian mountainside resorts, the gem of the Hudson Valley exists only 90 miles north of NYC. And it’s worth the trip.

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3 Unique Festivals to See in France

When thinking of a journey to France, many travelers daydream of sipping wine under the Eiffel Tower, cruising in a boat along the French Riviera, or maybe touring some of the most enchanting castles in Europe. But there are also plenty of other reasons to set one’s sights on France. Several people visited to experience the riveting collection of festivals each that celebrate many french traditions. From mega art extravaganzas and world-class carnivals to music festivals you’ll have to see to believe, France is loaded with celebrations you will never forget.

Festival d’Avignon

Travelers can have breakfast in Paris, coffee in Lyon, and still be ready to hop right into the fun of Festival d’Avignon by lunchtime. This french festival is less than three hours by rail from Paris and only an hour south of Lyon. The gorgeous medieval city of Avignon is easily one of the best destinations in France. It is especially alive for three weeks in July during one of the oldest and respected arts festivals in the country. Since its birth back in the late-1940s, the festival has blossomed into a sprawling, multifaceted event. It features an astonishing range of different artistic expressions that appeals to several different appetites.

Theater and More

At the center of the festival, visitors turn up for plays and other live shows at the immense stone courtyard of the Palais de Papes. The Palais is the city’s iconic palace. It was the home of the Pope back in the 14th century and remains one of the city’s main attractions. Theater was one of the essential art forms in France during the festival’s conception. Different varieties of shows can be seen at dozens of different venues around Avignon during the festival. You’re likely to find more household names performing at the bigger events at the festival. However, actors from local theaters and independent artists perform on the streets.
Theater is not the only attraction at the festival either. There are plenty of musical and dance performances, art displays and film screenings. Despite its enormous size, however, Festival d’Avignon is actually easy to navigate for visitors. Most festivalgoers can walk to nearly all of the different performances spread around the city’s center. Festival producers also recommend the self-service bikes (vélopops), that will quickly get you from venue to venue. If you need a break from the festival, there are plenty of options to escape for the afternoon. You can take a day trip to the scenic village of Cabrières-d’Avignon to catch the stunning purple fields of lavender just before the close of the season.

Fete de la Musique

There are a handful of great Parisian festivals worth considering, including Paris Quartier d’été, Rock en Seine and Bastille Day. But you’ll also have a hard time topping the Fete de la Musique. This street-music festival that brings about 100,000 patrons to the streets and buildings of Paris on the summer solstice. What started as a small street-based festival in 1982 has grown into a phenomenon. It takes over not only the streets but public gardens, courtyards, and even some museums and churches. In short, there’s simply no containing musical expression, and all styles and genres of music are welcome.
Although the festival is mainly celebrated throughout France, similar events have popped up in other countries as well. However, Paris remains the place to be if you love vivacious music festivals. Designed to be an extremely inclusive experience, Fete de la Musique also encourages musicians of all different experience levels. This makes it a hot spot for undiscovered talent. Amateur musicians will often find a crowd and break out into spontaneous performances. Whether you come to captivate those around you or to be captivated, the Fete de la Musique is a place that inspires musicians and spectators alike.
If you miss the Fete de la Musique but are still hoping for a festival experience, try the Paris Quartier d’été. During the summer, it showcases a terrific range of art forms and is another excellent chance to see Paris from a fresh perspective.

Carnival de Nice

The Nice Carnival has existed since around the 1290s. Each year, the beautiful city of Nice into astonishing displays of extravagant parades. The carnival is a testament to the artistic soul at the heart of the city and an excellent excuse to see one of the gems of the French Riviera. Taking place from mid-February to the early part of March. The carnival includes a renowned flower parade, various light parades, and a very popular parade dedicated to the main theme of the carnival.
Many of the top parades also take place right within the parameters of the Place Masséna. Place Masséna is Nice’s famous city square that hosts a variety of different public events during the year. Jaw-dropping artistry and intricate floats dominate the carnival. Each year the goal is to top the spectacle of the previous year. Throughout the two weeks of the carnival, the city of Nice carries a party atmosphere. There is an influx of both locals and visitors pouring in from all over for the main events.
If you need a breather from the crowds, there are a variety of different beaches to visit and seaside walks like the Promenade des Anglais. Although you won’t see too many brave swimmers in the water in late-February, the city’s temperate climate still make the beaches extremely inviting. With centuries-old traditions and endlessly clever slate of rolling artworks The Nice Carnival is a must see.

Other terrific festivals worth considering

If you want to be entertained, France is sure to have a festival that’s up your alley. World-famous events like the Cannes International Film Festival are well worth the effort and certainly live up to the hype. However, there are many other ways to delve into the festival circuit. Anyone looking to dive headfirst into a terrific French tradition, the Bastille Day celebrations on July 14 are an amazing display of cultural pride. While the summer is full of great festivals throughout France, winter stands out. Winter festivals in France like Lyon’s Festival of Lights in December and a major carnival in Menton in February are also great celebrations to experience.
Choosing the right festival can be the perfect way to upgrade your French vacation and allow you to stray away from the guidebook. The biggest problem you’re likely to have is that you’re going to want to come back again next year.
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Don’t Leave Myrtle Beach Without Visiting These Places

Fun things to in Myrtle Beach

Let’s take a look at some of the places that you definitely do not want to leave Myrtle Beach without first visiting!

Myrtle Beach Family Golf

When you want to go beyond the beach and engage in an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, head over to Myrtle Beach Family Golf for a few hours of great fun. Here, you will find five miniature golf courses in themes that include Jungle Safari, Jurassic Golf, Dragon’s Lair, Shipwreck Island, and Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf. Fun characters add the special effects that are needed for a round of golf like you’ve never experienced before. You can head over to the driving range to fine-tune your golf skills or enjoy some time on any one of the courses.

Myrtle Beach Safari

The Myrtle Beach Safari is something that you won’t find just anywhere. Take the tour and see animals like Ramses the Cheetah, who moved to Myrtle Beach all the way from South Africa, Ahren the African Fish Eagle, who was rescued from Tanzania, Gibbons the Ape, who spent the first years of her life exploring the rainforest of Southeast Asia, and many more. You can even see tigers on your choice of a guided tour or safari. With over 130 animals to see, you can interact with many of them on this interactive experience. Come and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Myrtle Beach Water Sports

If you are feeling a little adventurous during your trip, consider checking out Myrtle Beach Water Sports. Family owned and operated for over 25 years, the owners go above and beyond to give everyone a personalized, memorable experience. You can try out jet skis, pontoon boats, a pirate cruise boat and more. Have some fun on the water while learning an activity that you’ve only dreamed of trying.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Have the time of your life as you stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Here, you will find so many things to do that you may not know where to start. Ride the Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel for a view that you must see to believe. Visit I Love Sugar, a truly unique candy store where you can find things like giant gummy bears and candy sushi. You’ll see fireworks shows, carnivals, and much more. Enjoy year-round festivals, or just sit, relax, and take everything in for a while as you immerse yourself in everything the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk has to offer.

The Asher Theater

Catch a show while you are in town at The Asher Theater in Myrtle Beach. With fun events held all year-round, there is always something spectacular going on there. This quaint theater is inviting for everyone and is truly a warm, one-of-a-kind experience.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

At Ripley’s Aquarium, you can enjoy amazing experiences such as sleeping with sharks, and getting up close and personal with stingrays. There are several can’t miss exhibits including the Rainbow Rock Experience, the Living Gallery, and the Pearl Harbor Experience. You can take a Glass Bottom Boat Adventure and even catch a live show while you are there. Make sure to bring your camera, because photographs are certainly encouraged. You will have the time of your life as you see two levels of aquatic life like frogs and lizards, spotted eagle rays, horseshoe crabs, and many more.

Blueberry’s Grill

When you are on vacation, it is worthwhile to make sure mealtimes are just as fun as the rest of the trip. That is exactly what you will find at Blueberry’s Grill, as you enjoy unique, made to order menu items in a casual, modern environment. Find food that you cannot find anywhere else. The menu has offerings such as Chicken and Waffles with Sugar Pears, Bananas Foster French Toast, the Hey Blueberry Omelet, and much more.

Simply Southern Smokehouse

Eat like a true Southerner when you visit Simply Southern Smokehouse. Make sure you arrive good and hungry because this establishment offers an all you can eat food experience that you don’t want to miss out on. This no-fuss restaurant is known for excellent home cooking, with items that include Southern favorites like Chicken and Dumplings, Sausage and Onions, Pork Chops, and more. Or, you can choose from the Specials Menu, with meals like Baked Spaghetti and Meatloaf and Smoked Ham and Fried Gizards. Save room for dessert, because you’ll find plenty of that as well.

Pier House Restaurant

You’ll definitely want to enjoy some fresh and local seafood while you are in Myrtle Beach, and Pier House Restaurant is the perfect place to do just that. As the name suggests, you will have your meal overlooking the 2nd Avenue Pier and the amazing views. Have a cocktail at the open-air bar, or sit on the patio and take it all in. Choose from a selection of delicious offerings that include Seaside Spinach Dip, a Georgetown Grouper Reuben, a Fried Seafood Platter, and much more.

Daddio’s Ice Cream

When you want to cool off with a sweet treat after a busy day sunbathing or on the go, Daddio’s Ice Cream has just what you need. You’ll find some of the freshest homemade ice cream in town. Have desserts such as sundaes, banana splits, and milkshakes. With over 20 flavors to choose from, you’ll want to come back time and time again so you can sample everything that Daddio’s has to offer.
Be sure to keep in mind that you can go beyond the sand and water when you plan a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There are many activities for everyone, so explore the town and have the vacation of a lifetime!
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Pony Trekking–Tour the English Countryside By Horseback

Pony trek Horseback riding travel in England

In Britain, a “pony trek” is a horseback ride that is undertaken primarily for sight-seeing purposes, at a slow pace. It does not necessarily mean you will be riding a pony (although most of the provided mounts are ponies or cobs – short, stocky horses that can carry larger animals). “Horse riding” or “trail riding” means a faster-paced ride for the fun of riding. Generally, you have to be willing to demonstrate basic riding skills to be allowed to go on a trail ride (unlike in the U.S., where the same term covers both). Pony trekking, however, is open to all, even if you have never sat on a horse before. A “pub trek” is a ride that visits local bars–it is not illegal to ride a horse under the influence in the UK, although drinking in moderation is best.
Most pony treks are one hour, a half day, or a full day. Although multi-day riding holidays are available, most are angled towards people who know how to ride. Here are a few tips:

Fitness

If you are not a rider, then even a one pony trekking ride can leave you saddle sore – that is to say, sore in the various muscles you use only when riding. The worst-hit areas are generally the inner thighs and the lower abs (below the belt). If you are planning a half day or full day ride (and certainly if you are booking a riding vacation), then you may want to work on your fitness some first. These exercises will prevent some of the soreness new riders or those who ride infrequently may experience.

What to Wear

Specialist riding gear is not necessary except for helmets. The center will provide helmets since it is illegal to ride on public trails or roads without a helmet in the UK.

In addition to that, you should wear:

  • Long pants– Riding in shorts is inadvisable. The best thing that’s likely to already be in your wardrobe is straight leg, “boyfriend” cut or boot cut jeans. Well fitting sweat pants can also work. Avoid skinny jeans, as they may interfere with your ability to get on and off the horse. Yoga pants are often too loose and may get caught on something.
  • Closed-toed shoes or boots with a bit of a heel– Boots are better than shoes. Avoid athletic shoes, which are particularly prone to get caught in the stirrups if something goes wrong. Hiking boots are also a bad idea because of the broader soles. Also avoid fashion cowboy boots with a very smooth sole, as you will have no grip.
  • A plain, long-sleeved top–Short sleeves might be tempting, but long sleeves will protect you from sun, wind, and accidents.
  • Gloves– Gloves protect your hands from blisters. Cycling gloves are great. Do not ride in plain wool gloves, as the reins will slip right through your hands, especially if they are wet from rain or horse sweat. Trust me.
  • Wicking cotton socks 
  •  Sports bra–For ladies, or a bra that is particularly comfortable and reduces “jiggle.”
  • Sunglasses–Sunglasses are a good idea, especially if you don’t wear prescription glasses. Some people also prefer to ride with a strap to hold their glasses in place.

Choosing a Place to Go

Keep in mind the following when choosing a place to go pony trekking:

  • You get what you pay for. Typical rates (in 2018) work out to around $30-40 an hour. Anything much less than that should be a red flag.
  • Look for a center that is approved by the ABRS (Association of British Riding Schools) or BHS (British Horse Society). These mean that the center and guides have to meet fairly stringent standards of competence and safety.
  • Check reviews on TripAdvisor and similar to see what other customers are saying.

Some great places to try include Snowdonia Riding Stables in North Wales, Loch Lomond Pony Trekking in Scotland, and Masham Riding & Trekking Centre in Yorkshire. The last mentioned has been around for over twenty-five years to my knowledge (the website claims thirty) and uses almost entirely purebred Highland Ponies, a gorgeous rare breed.

Safety

  • Horseback riding is considered a high-risk activity. As previously mentioned, helmets are required in the UK and are provided. Many centers will also not allow you to ride in unsuitable footwear. However, despite that, accidents on the trail are rare, especially if you take the following precautions:
  • Pay attention to the guide. If English is not your first language or if you have issues which might cause you to have difficulty hearing and understanding, talk to them in advance about the issue.
  • Avoid over consumption of alcohol, including on those “pub treks.” If you are too impaired to drive, you are too impaired to ride.
  • If you have young children, don’t let them wander into stalls or barns.
    Stay one length from the horse in front. For those who don’t ride, you should be able to see the hocks, that is the middle joint of the leg, of the horse in front between your horse’s ears.
  • If wearing a jacket, keep it zipped up. Floppy jackets can startle horses.
    Don’t approach a horse from behind or walk behind a horse. Yes, even if you see the guides and grooms doing it. They know how but you may not.
  • Make sure that you are covered by travel insurance if something does go wrong.

Pony trekking is a great way to see the British countryside. The small horses often used may come from breeds that are rare in Britain and all but unheard of outside (Highland Ponies, Dales Cobs, etc). You can reach areas that would otherwise need a difficult hike to access. It’s worth trying to make time during your British vacation for an hour on horseback.

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Enjoy Mouthwatering Cuisine in Croatia

Feast Through Croatia

While the country as a whole boasts food that will leave you wanting to lick your plate, each region has its own unique tastes and traditions. Despite what region you decide to visit, the Croatian food will not leave you disappointed, the only thing to decide is where to begin.

Try a Taste of Italy in Istria

In northern Croatia lies the heart-shaped peninsula of Istria. The region runs down the northwestern coast of Croatia but also includes parts of Italy and Slovenia. Istria has become a booming culinary hotspot recently, leaving many to proclaim Istria to be similar to Venice but at half the price. This region is best known for its wine and olive oil, the latter prized as the best in the world. The rolling hilltops and the endless sun provide the perfect environment to create intense flavor profiles. Because of its proximity to Venice, you will find many Italian influences. Manestra is a popular bean soup, similar to Italian Minestrone. Pasta and gnocchi are also prominent on many menus as well as a plentiful selection of fresh vegetables.
Like most of Croatia, Istria has a rich selection of flavorful seafood. Octopus salad is a favorite among visitors and locals and a delicious showcase of what the area has to offer. The dish is traditionally prepared with fresh octopus, onions, and herbs and will often include potatoes. A dressing of fresh lemon juice or vinegar adds acidity and perfectly balances the flavors of the salad.
It’s hard to visit Istria without discovering truffles. These pungent mushrooms are in appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Harvested only a few months of the year, you can’t leave without tasting this delicacy. Try this treat shaved over fresh Adriatic fish or frozen in a bowl of black truffle ice cream.
If you are visiting in the fall, be sure to catch the Zigante Truffle Days International Gourmet Expo and don’t forget to visit Zigante Tartufi. The expo’s host offers a variety of dishes throughout the year with the rare white truffle featured in the fall.

Enjoy the Bounties of the Sea in Dalmatia

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Squid Ink Risotto

When it comes to great Croatian food, traveling south is the place to go. In the south you will find the Dalmatian region. Dubrovnik is a seaport village located in the Dalmatian region in Southern Croatia. It is one of Croatia’s top tourist stops and once again a great place to find amazing seafood. While you really can’t go wrong with any seafood offering, the Crni Rizot is the dish you can’t leave Croatia without trying. The first thing you will notice about the dish is its bold, black color. Crni Rizot, also known as squid ink risotto is a creamy rice dish consisting of Arborio rice, squid ink, and typically squid or cuttlefish. The squid ink is what gives this tasty entrée its unique appearance.
The strong flavors of the risotto are best balanced with a nice red wine. The Dingac wine offers an excellent pairing and has deep roots in the region. Just be warned, because of the growing conditions, this wine can have a considerably high alcohol content.
At the north end of Dalmatia sits the island of Pag. This island is known for its salty sheep’s head cheese. The sheep of this island graze on rosemary and other herbs showered with salt deposits from the sea, hence the distinct salty flavor. There is such a salty influence on the island, that you will find a taste of it in many of the local foods. Just south of Pag lies the city of Zadar. Visit Lungo Mare for dinner on the Maestral Bay and enjoy what Alfred Hitchcock revered as the most beautiful sunset in the world.

Other coastal Croatian food specialties include:

Pršut i sir: Simply ham and cheese. The pork leg is salt-dried, seasoned, and air-cured for 12-18 months.
Mali Ston oysters: The town of Mali Ston is about an hour north of Dubrovnik, and their oysters are to die for.
Ispod Peke: Translated to “under the bell,” Ispod peke is a method of cooking in which meats and potatoes are slow-cooked under a terracotta lid, typically over coals.

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Octopus Peke

Meats and Traditional Flavors Provide a Hearty Feast Inland

Travel inland, and you will see a shift in Croatian food with recipes including more tastes from Turkey, Austria, and Hungary. The taste of punjene paprike will transport you to Hungary with the bold flavors of this dish. Fresh bell peppers are stuffed with mincemeat and rice and topped with a savory paprika-infused sauce. Sarma is another staple in Croatia. Though resembling traditional cabbage rolls, your nose (and your mouth) will detect a distinct difference — the cabbage is pickled.
Where coastal Croatia is known for its pršut, continental Croatia brings Kulen, a full-flavored sausage packed with intense spices and given a bold red appearance thanks to the generous infusion of paprika.
Visit the capital city of Zagreb, and you will be greeted by numerous outdoor marketplaces, with the most visited being the Dolac. Here you will find an endless selection of fresh local produce, dairy, meats, and bread. Visit with the locals and discover some of the freshest ingredients.
Zagreb is also the best place to try zagrebački odrezak, a veal schnitzel filled with melted cheese and ham. Try it at Pri Zvoncu.

Finish with Dessert

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Croatian Fritule

No visit to a new country is complete without sampling the desserts of the region, and Croatia has plenty to offer. Whether you are on the pebble beaches of Istria or dining in Krapina, your sweet tooth will have a cornucopia of options. The fritule is the Croatian version of a doughnut. This doughy treat, found on almost every table in Croatia during Christmas, is not often served at restaurants but can be found at local street stalls.
If you are looking for a decadent dessert, Rožata will delight. A Croatian custard, the dessert is infused with a Dubrovnik rose liqueur, giving it a sweet scent. Although it gets its name from the Dubrovnik region, Rožata is common in many restaurants throughout Croatia.
There is certainly no lack of diversity or flavor in Croatia’s food. Whether you are a seafood lover or enjoy a hearty meal of meat and potatoes, the options are limitless in this beauty by the sea.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling to Hungary

From architectural landmarks, neoclassical gems and mineral spas, Hungary is the confluence of Turkish, Roman and European influences. Hungary is a paradise for nature lovers, history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. Here are is your all encompassing travel guide to Hungary.

Top Highlights of Hungary

Throughout its history, Hungary has seen various occupations, rulers and territorial conflicts. This is reflected in the Mosque of Pasha Qasim, one of the most striking examples of Turkish architecture in Hungary. Located in Pécs, this stunning building was constructed in the late 16th century by the Ottomans. It was later converted into a Roman Catholic Church by the Jesuits. Even today, the building is a beautiful fusion of faiths, that of Christian symbolism and Islamic motifs.
Hungary is home to natural treasures such as the Caves of Aggtelek Karst National Park. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cave systems are to this day, a secret and mysterious world. Visitors can admire the various rock formations including some of the largest stalactites in Europe, courtesy the rich mineral content in the region.
Lake Balaton is a popular destination for Hungarian locals. Central Europe’s largest lake, Lake Balaton offers visitors many activities including swimming, fishing, sailing, ice skating, as well as spa services in nearby Hévíz.
When you travel to Hungary, be sure to stroll through the streets of central Budapest at night. Against the backdrop of the night sky and the swiftly flowing Danube, visitors can behold the brightly illuminated spires of the majestic Hungarian Parliament, the towering Buda Castle atop Castle Hill, and the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

Geographical Landscape

Hungary is a landlocked country, that shares its borders with seven nations: Slovakia, Ukraine, Austria, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.
The topography of Hungary is largely a result of the Great Hungarian Plain which lies east of the Danube. Nearly 56 percent of the country’s terrain is flat or rolling plains.
Toward the north, near the Slovakian border, the plains rise up to form hills and small mountains. The highest point in Hungary is Mount Kekes, situated 3,300 feet high in the Matra Hills. Other mountain ranges include the North Hungarian Mountains and the Transdanubian Mountains.
The Danube is one of the major water bodies in Hungary and actually divides the country in half. Other notable rivers are the Drava and Tisza. The lowest point in Hungary at 77.6 meters above sea level sits along the Tisza River near Szeged.
Hungary is home to Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in central Europe, as well as many hot springs and spa towns. The lake measures 78 kilometers long and as an area of 592 square kilometers. Lake Balaton is so large that it is often called the “Hungarian Sea.”

Things To Know Before Visiting

Best Time to Visit

The best times to visit Hungary are from March to May and September through November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and there are far less crowds.

Weather

Hungary has a European continental climate characterized by warm, dry summers and cold winters. Showers occur during the spring and summer months, while heavy snowfall during the winters is rare and limited to the mountains.

Languages Spoken

The official language of Hungary is Hungarian, while English and German are the most common foreign languages spoken here.

Currency

Hungary’s official currency is the Hungarian Forint, though Euros are accepted in many establishments. Restaurants and shops usually display the types of credit cards they accept. It is recommended to always check if your credit card is accepted before making any purchases.

Electricity

The electrical sockets in Hungary are of types C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V, while the standard frequency is 50 Hz. If you are traveling to Hungary from the US, you will need a combined power plug adapter and voltage converter.

Social Conventions

Like every country, Hungary has its own set of social norms and rules. So when traveling around Hungary be mindful of these things:

  • When meeting a Hungarian for the first time, it is customary to shake hands, and use your first and last name.
  • When invited for a meal, guests express their thanks by presenting flowers, chocolates or a bottle of fine wine to their host.
  • When a toast is made during a meal, it is polite to return the gesture.
  • Although prohibited in public buildings and on public transport, smoking is still prevalent in Hungary.

Traveling around

There are two main things to keep in mind when traveling around Hungary. Hungary has a toll system on some of its major roads and highways. All rental cars must have a valid motorway vignette which is usually provided by the rental company. If not, vignettes can be purchased at many gas stations and post offices.
Visitors to Budapest can take advantage of the city’s public transportation network. This includes the metro, buses, trams, and trolleys. Tickets have to be both paid and validated to avoid being fined by ticket inspectors.

Thermal Springs

When you travel to Hungary you must try one of their hot springs. With over 300 thermal springs across the country, Hungarians have been harnessing the healing waters since the time of the Romans. Whether for medicinal, therapeutic or simply recreational purposes, mineral spas continue to draw visitors to Hungary. From traditional bathhouses and art nouveau decor to bubbling pools and body treatments, the spas of Hungary are not to be missed.

Food

You cannot travel to Hungary and not taste a traditional dish. Hungarian cuisine is a blend of simple peasant food from the nomadic tribes, the spices brought by the Ottomans, and the luxurious delicacies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Hearty traditional meals helped to endure the long, cold winters. They include:

  • Gulyás: Chunks of beef and vegetables cooked with paprika. Paprika is especially popular in Hungarian cuisine.
  • Lángos: Deep fried bread topped with sour cream and cheese.
  • Nokedli: Egg noodle dumplings.
  • Halászlé: A favorite at Christmastime, the Fisherman’s Soup is made of river fish, onions, green peppers and red paprika.

In addition, desserts and baked goods are always decadent and indulgent. Local favorites include strudel, pastries, and sponge cakes like Somloi Galuska and Dobos Torta.
Hungary has always been culturally and linguistically distinct from its neighbors. With its diverse historical roots, vibrant folklore, natural beauty, rejuvenating spas, well-preserved castles and stunning architecture, it is no wonder that Hungary has grown to become one of Europe’s most exciting countries and a world-class travel destination. Whether it is hiking up the steep Castle Hill, sailing a boat on Lake Balaton, or savoring piping hot goulash, a lifetime of travel memories awaits you in Hungary. Come and discover for yourself!

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The World’s Top 5 Waterfalls for Adventurers and Romantics

Victoria Falls

Take waterfalls for example. These wonders are pure nature, but can also have the same emotional impact as the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s busiest cities. Depending on the nature surrounding it, they can attract adventurers and romantics alike.
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure or serene natural beauty, here are the world’s top five waterfalls for you to visit.

1) Niagara Falls, Canada

This fall is famous for a reason. As the world’s second largest waterfall by volume, 7,000 cubic meters per second make their way from the top to the bottom. But the reason it ranks top on this list is a different one: sheer accessibility.
The Niagara Falls is right on the border between the United States and Canada. By most measures, the Canadian side is more impressive. But between the two of them, both sides offer a wide range of ways to experience the falling water masses.
Most visitors enjoy a boat trip on the famous Maid of the Mist, right to the bottom of the fall. The U.S. side offers the Cave of the Winds, a way to get close to the water by foot. Finally, a number of walkways on the Canadian side offer almost direct access to the falls that allow you to get close with this spectacular natural wonder.

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Victoria Falls

2) Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Here, we have the only waterfall in the world even more massive than Niagara Falls. It is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Every second, up to 40,000 cubic meters of water fall down a height of more than 300 feet. Even more impressive, the entirety of the fall line is a full mile long. “Impressive” doesn’t even begin to describe this sheer display of natural power.
While the official name comes from a British explorer, its native name The Smoke that Thunders perhaps describes it even better. The gorges are especially beautiful to visit during dusk and dawn when the rising and falling sun shines onto the falling water in gorgeous tones.

3) Sutherland Falls, New Zealand

That New Zealand is widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful countries in terms of nature should come as no surprise. Neither should the fact that it also happens to be home to one of earth’s most famous and beautiful waterfalls.
The Sutherland Falls are nothing like Niagara or Victoria. Only a thin strip of water falls down a large mountain amidst lush vegetation surrounding it. At more than 1,000 feet, it is one of the world’s highest waterfalls.
Make no mistake: Sutherland Falls is not easy to access. It’s a destination for adventurers, rather than romantics. But if you can brace the remote and challenging Milford hiking track, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful waterfalls you can imagine.

4) Angel Falls, Venezuela

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Angel Falls

What can go wrong when visiting a natural attraction named after a heavenly creature? If Angel Falls is any indication, not much. As it turns out, visiting this destination is nothing short of supernatural.
If you thought 1,000 feet was impressive, how do you feel about the 3,200 feet uninterrupted fall in Venezuela? That number makes it the highest waterfall in the world. And the supernatural element doesn’t stop there.
Angel Falls is a waterfall that does not originate from a stream or river, but simply the water accumulated at the plateau of the mystical Auyán-tepui mountain from which it falls. Its local nickname, Mundo Perdido (Lost World), certainly rings true.

5) Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

We end the post with not just one, but a collection of waterfalls that form one of the most stunning lake districts in the world. The Plitvice National Park is home to no less than 16 individual lakes, all connected with waterfalls that are nothing short of gorgeous.
The tallest of the falls is ‘only’ 230 feet tall, and none of the is particularly wide. What makes this area so unique is how all of them work together to form a park that seems like it came straight out of a mystical fantasy novel.
In winter, the waterfalls accomplish a rare feat: they freeze and become even more beautiful. But the same mystical element remains throughout the year, as well. For the fans of nature and romantics among us, Plitvice National Park is a bucket list item to visit.
Each of these waterfalls is well worth a visit, for a variety of reasons. All offer exceptional natural beauty. While some impress through their sheer power, others almost seem delicate. Regardless of which you choose to visit, it will be a journey that you won’t soon forget.

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Take a Danube River Cruise to Picturesque Romania

If you’ve been looking for a way to kick back and enjoy a vacation without all the usual hustle and bustle of shopping, tourist attractions, and bouncing from hotel to hotel, then a river cruise is exactly what the doctor ordered. On a floating mini-resort, you can enjoy all the luxuries of hotel life and the delights of a cruise without ever leaving the shore far behind.
Ready for a magical river cruise? Consider floating down the legendary Danube river. No matter where you start, the beautiful river flows eternally toward the Black sea and your tour is likely to end in the Danube Delta. Here, you’ll find a combination of islands and complex aquatic ecosystems that make Romania the ideal place to end your river tour. In the shadows of the Caucus mountains, you’ll enjoy fine dining, cozy hotels, pastoral vistas, and a rich history.
No matter what you’re looking for, from ancient stories to relaxing spas, you’ll find it at the end of the Danube River in beautiful Romania.

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Danube River in Germany

The Delta is Alive and Ancient

The Danube is one of the oldest rivers in the world. Traveling down it, you are likely to encounter signs both of ancient civilizations and timeless nature. When you reach the Delta, expect to see a strange collection of landmarks. While much of it will be decorated with the familiar reeds and tall river grasses, there will also be several stretches of sand dunes, often surrounded by natural growths of beautiful white lilies. Where there are trees, keep an eye out for the thousand-year-old oaks, most of them more than 90 feet tall. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the river and the surrounding areas.
Swimming in the Delta, you’ll see incredibly numerous and diverse populations of fish as fresh and salt water mix to form a complex and rich aquatic ecosystem. One of the things the delta is known for is its huge (and delicious) sturgeon population. These sturgeon provide caviar and delicious fish-based entrees to numerous local restaurants. If sampling local caviar is something you indulge in on your water-side vacations, you won’t be disappointed.

All the Castles You Can Climb

Romania is an ancient land and has been building beautiful stone architecture for a very long time. There are elegant castles and estates still in use and open for tours. Additionally, there are dozens of ruins around the countryside that have since become historical relics. If you want to explore the legendary castle of the real-life Count Dracula, or Vlad Tepes the Transylvanian war hero, be sure to check out Bran Castle. This beautiful monument of white stone and red roofs are built directly into the surrounding mountain stone. But Romania holds more stories and secrets than Bram Stoker ever dreamed of, so don’t limit yourself to this tourist hot spot.
After your Danube cruise, branch out and explore the variety of impressively fortified churches, impenetrable fortresses, and sweeping gothic castles. The wealth of Romania’s history is available to explore in the form of ruins, castles, and more. Look out for local tours and delight in the ghost stories of the region as you imagine the elegant medieval lives that must have taken place there. Whether you love palaces or ruins, Romania has a wonderful tour that will delight the historian in you.

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Romania

Walking Tours of Picturesque Cities

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful sights and quaint charm of authentic Romania. With a low crime rate and a strong belief in local hospitality, you will find comfort walking around picturesque Romania. With brightly painted homes, flowers in the street, and plenty of local shops, you can quickly immerse yourself in the culture and positive attitude of the Romanian locals. Take a walk along the Danube or go on a walking tour.
Walking tours allow you to leave behind the pressure of finding a rental car or worrying about tourist taxi prices. Instead, pack a good pair of walking shoes and your GPS app and simply take off in a promising-looking direction. Get adventurous and stop in local cafes to try unfamiliar dishes when you get hungry. And don’t be shy about interacting with vendors on the street. You’ll find vendors selling handicrafts and tasty warm snacks, among other typical Romanian items.
Romania is safe enough savvy travel tactics and situational awareness is enough to keep you out of trouble. Even so, you should still be cautious of the usual sprinkling of pick-pockets and scam artists.

Try the Local Cuisine

Something unique about Romania is that it’s not quite like other European countries, which you can tell from the food. Romanians have a strong preference for things served with sour cream, local cheese, pickles and various forms of cabbage. But don’t let this list throw you off. The Romanians know what they’re doing and the local cuisine is absolutely delicious. Traditional dishes include Sarmale (sort of like egg rolls but with cabbage), Michi (long meatballs); and a mix of fried porks and thick bacon dishes. For dessert and sweet snacks there are Papanasi, which every restaurant does differently. Cozonac, which is a delightful form of walnut sweet bread, and “Placinta cu Branza Dulce si Sstafide” which translates to fried sweet-cheese pie with raisins. It is often served warm and sprinkled with sugar.
Taking a river cruise down the Danube is a delightful way to start a vacation and give you the opportunity to end it in beautiful, historic Romania. From tasty treats on street vendor carts to legendary castles, you can find anything you’re looking for.

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An Insider’s Guide to Summertime In Boulder, Colorado

Hiking in Boulder Colorado

From the first significant snowfall, folks begin arriving, from far and near, to enjoy the world-class ski slopes high in the Rocky Mountains. The stunning beauty of the snowy mountains along with the variety of winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice climbing, compels several people to choose Colorado their winter vacation destination.
Colorado can be gorgeous in the summertime also. The little city of Boulder, Colorado—nestled along the eastern “front range” of the Rocky Mountains, at a modest altitude of 5,300 feet—is an absolutely glorious place to be from late-May through September.

Iconic Boulder Summertime Destinations

Walk the Pearl Street Mall

This four-block brick pedestrian mall will delight you with its fountains, street performers, and abundance of gorgeous flowers (tulips of every imaginable color; and other varieties later in the summer). Not to mention all the charming restaurants and small businesses that line it: a discerning shopper’s heaven! But really, simply strolling down the mall on a sunny summer afternoon has persuaded more than a few visitors to become permanent Boulder residents.

Take in a Bands On The Bricks performance

Every Wednesday evening from 7:00-9:00 pm, June through August, you can enjoy a couple hours of free music and dancing, beneath the Colorado sky. Bring a blanket to spread on the courthouse lawn, purchase a microbrew or margarita in the beer garden, and put on your dancing shoes. If you’re not in the mood to dance yourself, you can watch local street dancers do their thing.

Walk or bike the Boulder Creek path

This sweet 5.5-mile paved path is peacefully shared by walkers, bikers, joggers, and skaters. As its name implies, it runs parallel to the Boulder Creek. You can get onto it right downtown (e.g. near the Dushanbe Teahouse) and then travel west toward the mountains (and a bit beyond the Boulder city limit), or to the eastern parts of town. Both directions are beautiful. Additionally, you can raft the river itself—a great option, in particular, for super-hot days.

Enjoy Boulder Open-Space hiking

Much of the western edge of Boulder, Colorado is designated “Open-Space” that are intentionally kept free from commercial development. There are many great hiking trails around these designated areas, just a stone’s throw from central Boulder. Some of the best ones are:

  1. The trails emanating from centrally-located Chautauqua Park (onto Green Mountain or the Flatirons)
  2.  The more northern Mount Sanitas
  3.  The magical Shanahan Ridge trailhead—at the far southern end of the city—which links up with the spectacular Fern Gulch trail, which will take you to the summit of Bear Peak.

Visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

This might be the most beautiful teahouse you’ll ever see and it has a fun and inspiring history as well. It came in the mail, piece by piece, as a gift from Boulder’s sister city, Dushanbe (the capital and largest city of Tajikistan). The hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels were all lovingly crafted by Tajikistan artisans. There’s a fountain in the middle of the teahouse, tables inside and out (with the Boulder Creek running nearby), and a bar counter from which you can order a cup of award-winning homemade chai. Whether you come just for tea, or to share a lunch or dinner with friends, the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a place you cannot miss!

Boulder Restaurants & Colorado Cuisine

Sherpa’s Restaurant

With authentic Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan cuisine, Great momos (Tibetan stuffed dumplings) among other things, and delightful decor, Sherpa’s Restaurant is a must see. It is located just west and a block south of the Pearl Street Mall.

Sushi Zanmai

Visitors can find excellent Japanese food at Sushi Zanmai, with great happy hour prices for lunch (11:30 am – 2:00 pm) and dinner (5:00 pm – 6:30 pm). Right downtown, a block north of the Pearl Street Mall.

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

This is the place in Boulder for awesome, elegant vegan and vegetarian fare, just a half-mile or so east of the Pearl Street Mall.

Boulder Farmer’s Market

For a sampling of authentic Colorado cuisine, check out the farmer’s market on Saturday morning or Wednesday afternoon. It sits in front of the Dushanbe Teahouse and some of the native favorites that you’ll find there include:

  • Palisade peaches, and a variety of melons– The climate is perfect for producing luscious peaches and melons—not to be missed!
  • Trout or striped bass–caught fresh from one of Colorado’s many rivers
  • Roasted green chilis, and various hot sauces–The scent of roasting chilies is something you’ll encounter frequently in summertime Boulder. Elk, venison, bison or wild boar, in the form of steaks, sausage, or burgers. Wild game roam freely in the mountains and plains, and their meat is a Colorado delicacy.
  • Rack of lamb–Colorado is one of the nation’s leading producers of lamb, and it is known to be especially delicious.
  • High-end granola–Boulder is a mecca for endurance athletes as well as outdoor enthusiasts (campers, climbers, hikers, etc.). The high demand for high-quality granola means we have a vast variety to choose from. Yum!

Charming Boulder Bookstores

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe is great for poetry-lovers and literature buffs. This sweet bookstore is “on the hill” in the middle of the University of Colorado campus. It is a great place to have a cup of tea or coffee while reading some new or old favorite poems.

Lighthouse Bookstore

A staircase takes you from the busy Pearl Street Mall down into this basement hideaway, that features a great array of metaphysical and spiritual titles, along with an in-house psychic and tarot readings. Classic Boulder.

What To Do On A Rainy Day In Boulder

Take in a show at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory
If there happens to be a special multimedia show–in the observatory’s circular auditorium–you’re in for a real treat.
Enjoy a performance or art show at The Dairy Arts Center
The movie theater, array of galleries, and performance spaces provide inspiring options for art, dance, and theater lovers.
Music compliments of the Chautauqua Concert Series
Get tickets for a concert at the Chautauqua Auditorium or Community House: beautiful venues nestled at the base of the Flatirons.

Awesome Day Trips From Boulder

Brainard Lake Recreation Area
A 30-40 minute drive from Boulder, this recreation area features jaw-dropping gorgeous alpine lakes and high-mountain forested trails. The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is open to hikers only during the summer months and is well worth the drive.
Nederland’s Carousel of Happiness
A half an hour drive through the stunningly-beautiful Boulder Canyon will place you in the quirky yet charming Nederland, which can easily be explored on foot. The Carousel of Happiness–with its beautiful hand-carved animals–is definitely worth a ride, or two.
Whether you’re just passing through, or enjoying a more extended visit, Boulder, Colorado in the summertime is sure to delight you!