ExtraHyperActive: Best getaways
Showing posts with label Best getaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best getaways. Show all posts

Diving With Sharks At The Florida Aquarium In Tampa Bay

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Florida diving offers something for everyone, from the newbie to the most experienced divers, from coral reef diving to fresh water, wrecks, caverns, 4000 lb statue of Christ of the Abyss to ... diving at the The Florida Aquarium.

I came across this incredible adventure while looking for guided scuba diving trips around Tampa. The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay offers two great diving adventures - Swim with the Fishes and ...Dive with the Sharks !

Diving with the great white sharks near the Neptune islands of southern Australia has been on my Bucket List since I first got my PADI Open Water certificate.

But diving with sharks at The Florida Aquarium was no less thrilling.

Exploring And Hiking In Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA

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As I wrote in my previous post, Tacoma’s waterfront, from Schuster pkwy to Ruston Way is considered to be Tacoma’s version of Seattle’s Alki Beach. This place is very popular among fitness and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy jogging, biking, longboarding, scuba diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, parasailing, boating, or just want to go on a nice sunny motorcycle ride, Tacoma waterfront is the place to go all year round!

Where The River Flows : An All-American Swimming Hole

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Summer heat means travelers will be flocking to beaches and lakefronts in droves. And there's no better place to take a dip than in an all-American swimming hole !

Swimming holes come in many shapes and sizes, but you'll know one when you see it: a refreshing pool under a waterfall, a cool mountain stream, a crisp freshwater spring, a shaded grotto, a desert creek. No matter the locale, there's an intimacy to the experience, fewer distractions, a deeper connection to nature.

One place like that we found on the Green River, not far away from the popular Flaming Geyser Park.

Already popular among tubers, rafters, and kayakers, the Green River flows through a ""Jurassic Park" like narrow moss covered canyon. Winding around overhanging rock cliffs with water falls pouring into the white water rapids, you are immersed in a lost world when floating the Green River.

The combination of scenery and excitement has also made this river popular among regular beach-goers. The River's many swimming holes are "classic local spots" that are little known by outsiders.

Authentic Northwest Experiences with PanEarth Escapes

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For me, nothing says "the Authentic Northwest " quite like these three iconic places in Washington : Mt Rainier, Olympic National Park and San Juan Islands. For every out of town adventurer who wants to enjoy a classic Pacific Northwest getaway filled with hiking, kayaking, cycling, snowshoeing, rock climbing, bird watching, wine tasting - these are THE three Ultimate Adventure Playgrounds to visit.

Sometimes when you are pressed for time, but would still like to see/do as much as possible, it's tough to squeeze all these adventures in one visit...Tough, but possible...

Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle in partnership with EverGreen Escapes Cascadia has developed a program called PanEarth Escapes

This relationship will combine a customized adventure with an authentic Pacific Northwest luxurious lodging experience. PanEarth Escapes will integrate superior eco-friendly first class vehicles, naturalist guides, scrumptious northwest “Cascadian Safari” meals, fine local brews/wines and rare flexibility of itinerary that can traverse the magnificent contrasts of mountains, rainforest, islands, and coastlines of the Pacific Northwest.

PanEarth Escapes will offer full day tours to all three places ( Mt Rainier, Olympic National Park and San Juan Islands ), but if it's too much ( or too "hard core" (?)), you can always opt for a shorter ( or "softer" ) outing, like a half day tour of four of Woodsinville’s most acclaimed boutique wineries, or learn about the beer-brewing craft and the history of Washington breweries on a half day Seattle Brews & Views Tour.

Whether it was the full day of adventure or a half day of drinking, back at the hotel relax the mind and your body at Vida Spa ( I was especially intrigued by ''Swedana'', a west coast cedar steam cabinet customized with herbs based on your dosha ( mind and body type )).

If the selection of tours is not up to your interests, visit EverGreen Escapes web site to find something that might suit you.

I haven't had a chance to explore our state with this company, and even though I'm not a big fan of guided trips, I'd like to learn more about my favorite Washington places from a different perspective.

Snow Tubing At Summit At Snoqualmie

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If you are looking for good old fashioned wintertime fun, you have got to head straight to Summit at Snoqualmie's tubing center ! It's a great place for an epic winter adventure !

Located across from Summit Central, snow tubing is fun-filled, carefree way for family and friends to enjoy the exhilaration of sliding on snow !

3 Best Places To Watch Storms ( And Surf ! ) In Washington State

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MSN.com recently came up with "10 best places to watch storms on the West Coast" list.

Guess what ? 3 beaches in Washington made the list !!!

If you don't want to be just a passive observer, grab a board and go surfing !

 Ocean Shores, La Push, and Long Beach are among the best places in Washington to surf almost all year round !



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Autumn In Leavenworth, Wa

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The City of Leavenworth is one of the greatest tourist destinations in our state. The "Bavarian Village" is perhaps best known for its incredible year-round schedule of outdoor activities and events. No wonder that this town has been chosen by National Geographic as being one of the "50 Next Best Places" to live & play.

Hiking/Backpacking The Enchantments, WA :Take A Vertial Tour

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The Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness includes craggy peaks and ridges, deep glacial valleys, granite walls and forests that are picture perfect and ready to enchant visitors — especially in autumn.

Trips into the Enchantment Wilderness Area can range from overnight to multiple days. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this unique area, all overnight campers must obtain a permit if visiting from June 15 through October 15.

Best Place In Washington To Try Hot Air Ballooning

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In 2010 I put "Fly In A Hot Air Balloon" on my Bucket List.

Since I was a kid, I've been dreaming about floating above Mother Earth with an inexplicable feeling of freedom that an open basket provides. Years later, after having tried skydiving, parasailing, paragliding, and flying a small aircraft, I still hope a hot air balloon flight will be a different and, in its own way, unique experience.

Two years ago when I was searching for information on balloon flights, I came across the Winthrop Balloon Roundup, an annual festival that takes place every March in Winthrop, WA

Skimboarding D6 SurfSkimmer At Dash Point Park

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As I wrote before we came across this cool water toy ( D6 SurfSkimmer ) a while ago, and couldn't wait to give it a try. As soon as we got it, we took it to one of Washington's most popular skimboarding spots - Dash Point State Park in Federal Way/Tacoma.


 Skimboarding is something neither me nor my son have ever tried. But from the D6 SurfSkimmer instructional video it look pretty easy : push, run, jump, ride ! Well, it wasn't that easy :(

First, I'd say that this board would probably work better for kids 8 y.o and up. Skimboarding is a fast paced sport : it requires quite some speed and stamina, something that little kids ( mine is 6 y.o ) just don't have yet.

Being A Tourist In Seattle : Seattle Underground Tour.

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Seattle has tons of famous, unique, and quirky things to see : Space Needle and EMP Museum, Boeing plant and Amazon headquarters, "Sleepless in Seattle" houseboat and Bill Gates mansion, Statue of Lenin and the Fremont Troll, Pike Place Market and Gum Wall,  Bruce Lee and Jimmy Hendrix graves, and etc.

But one attraction plays a very important role in the history, and tourism industry of our beloved city. One place you don't want to miss while in Seattle - Seattle Underground.

The Seattle Underground is a network of underground passageways and basements in downtown Seattle that was ground level at the city's origin in the mid-1800s.

In 1889 the Great Seattle Fire destroyed 25 city blocks. Instead of rebuilding the city as it was before, the city leaders made two strategic decisions: that all new buildings must be of stone or brick, insurance against a similar disaster in the future; and to regrade the streets one to two stories higher than the original street grade. After the streets were elevated these spaces below fell into disuse.

Kiteboarding At Jetty Island In Everett, Wa

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It's been more than 5 years since I took my very first kiteboarding lesson with Urban Surf at Jetty Island ! Unfortunately, so many years later, and I still consider myself to be a beginner.

As I wrote in my previous posts, being a kitebarder in Washington state is not en easy task. Though kiteboarding is growing in popularity every year in our state, it still remains the sport of a very tight and dedicated group of people. The cost of equipment, lessons, unpredictable weather, and limited spots for beginners to learn, make kiteboarding off limits for many people.

Because of the weather conditions, even after taking lessons, and acquiring your own gear, it's hard to make kiteboarding as accessible as , let's say, biking or hiking ( where you can just get up and go ). It requires a lot of patience, time, and dedication. If there is the slightest possibility of wind, one must drop everything and go ! And let's face it, not everybody can afford this luxury.

But when the conditions are right, for beginners and advanced riders, there are no better place to go kiteboarding in Washington state than Jetty Island in Everett ! Jetty Island is a special place! It’s one of the greatest kiteboarding beaches in the country !

Kite Landboarding At Grayland, Wa

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Till recently, wind-powered vehicles ( buggies, land sailboards, mountain boards... ) were perceived as a threat to public safety and important wildlife habitat, and were not allowed on Washington Ocean Beaches. But on March 26, 2015 the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the use of wind-powered vehicles on portions of Parks-managed ocean beaches.

Now wind-powered vehicle enthusiasts can enjoy flying their kites in specific locations on Washington’s beaches.

South Beach area near Grayland is one of these locations.

Rock Climbing, Camping, Water Sports, And Sightseeing At Vantage, WA

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Vantage is a small community in the Columbia River Gorge in the eastern portion of the Washington state. Though, the area is famous for its 25,000 seat concert venue and the annual Sasquatch Music Festival ( The Gorge Amphitheater is just minutes away from the climbing spot ), it's also one of the most popular rock climbing and outdoor destinations in the state of Washington.

The area referred to by its proper name, Frenchman Coulee is better known as Vantage among local climbing community ( due to its proximity to the town of the same name ).

This was my first time climbing and visiting the area, and I was absolutely blown away by its beauty and unusual ( for me ) hot weather !

Since it's not a climbing blog, I won't bore you with the description of climbing routes and levels of difficulty. I'll just say that even if you are a beginner climber, you'll find a route in your 5.6- 5.10 range. If it's your first time, there will be a lot of climbers who will be more than happy to show you where to start, and many guidebooks ( like Rock Climbing Washington) have detailed information about the area, driving directions, descriptions, ratings, route photos, topos, and recommended gear.

Visit The Manitou Cliff Dwellings ( If You Can't Visit Mesa Verde NP )

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The American Southwest contains more than its fair share of natural wonders: Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park are only three of the most famous natural attractions that draw people from all over the world. The region is home to a wonderful and vibrant mix of Anglo, Latino, Hispanic, and American Indian traditions making it one of the more diverse and interesting corners of America with regards to history, landscape and culture.

During my trip to Colorado, I was looking forward to seeing such famous landmarks as the Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mountain National Parks, Mesa Verde, Dinosaur National Monument, and of course, taking an iconic photo at The Four Corners !

I was especially fascinated to learn more about the rich history of Native Americans in this area. Originally, I was planning to visit the famous Mesa Verde National Park, but due to weather conditions, and time travel from Denver ( about 7 hours ), I decided to leave it for my next visit.

Luckily, while visiting Colorado Springs, I heard about the no-less famous Manitou Cliff Dwellings. And I believe was a great substitute for Mesa Verde NP.

Visit Garden Of The Gods In Colorado Springs,CO

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Southwest is a beautiful place for an adventure traveler to explore ! It is one of the most geographically diverse regions in the United States that contains more than its fair share of natural wonders: Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, and Monument Valley are just a few of the most famous natural attractions that draw people from all over the world.

But if you travel around Southwest for long enough, you'll see a lot of similarities : same red rocks, adobe structures, bluffs and mesas, deserts, and flatlands.

At least that's what I saw during my visit to Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs.

Visit Caverns Adventure Park & Historic Fairy Caves In Glenwood Springs, CO

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Named as "The Most Fun Town in America", Glenwood Springs is a great little adventure town that sits right between two most famous ski resorts in USA -Vail and Aspen.

Made famous by it's largest hot springs pool in the world, this little adventure hub offers a lot more than just relaxing in it's hot mineral waters. For over a century, visitors from around the globe have added Glenwood Springs to their travel itineraries.

And there is a reason for that !

Being A Tourist In Denver

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Visiting Colorado state has been on my Bucket List for a long time. For years, tourists have been enticed to Colorado for the mountains, which offer opportunities for recreation, scenery, and a climate conductive to good health. For many outdoorsmen like myself, Colorado has long been associated with great powder skiing and riding.

But for me, Colorado has become more than just ski resorts and the great outdoors. The great outdoors, culture and nature of Colorado go hand in hand. You can also find Colorado in ancient cliff dwellings, historic railroads, ghost towns, museums and scenic byways.

Just like for many tourists, my introduction to Colorado started with visiting its capitol - Denver.

Most visitors only see it on their way to or from the legendary ski resorts in the Colorado Rocky Mountains – if they see it at all. It's too sad, because the "mile high city", as Denver is known, is the beautiful historic and cultural center of a wide area extending over the Great Plains and into the Rockies. But its touristy part is found in the heart of downtown -  the main financial, commercial, and entertainment district.

Snowskating Ski Hill In Leavenworth, WA

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As you might know , Leavenworth is one of best adventure travel destinations in Washington state all year round ! But I'd say that winter time is my all-time favorite to visit this little adventure hub.

While many people flock to this Bavarian theme town to see holiday lights, enjoy beautiful scenery, and try (somewhat ) "authentic" Bavarian food, others come here for outdoor adventures and activities.  And Leavenworth has a lot to offer !

Rafting And Bald Eagle Watching On The Skagit River

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Birdwatching or birding is the observation and study of birds with the naked eye or through a visual enhancement device like binoculars...
WOW ! It even sounds boring ! Makes me fall asleep half way through that sentence.

But, combine something as dull as bird watching with rafting down a scenic river while enjoying the spectacular views of snowpacked mountains in the background ( and of course the eagles !) ...you get yourself an epic adventure !