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Locals Know Best
39 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
33: Leavenworth, Washington, Christmas Town Year-Round
Today, I’ll be speaking with Tom Potter about all of his favorite outdoor adventures in a town you may know as one of the most picturesque Alpine-style villages in the United States, Leavenworth, Washington! I’m very excited for this episode because Leavenworth has always been in the back of my mind as an excellent fit for this podcast, and even more so for one of our holiday episodes. Leavenworth is not only incredibly jam-packed with outdoor activities, it boasts tons of holiday cheer to boot! We will, of course, talk a bit about the holiday season and how it affects and influences this Christmas-loving town. But Tom also does a fantastic job explaining why Leavenworth is so much more than an adorable Bavarian town engulfed in holiday lights! About Tom Potter (Aka: T-Pot) Tom is a local Leavenworth entrepreneur. When he first arrived in the area, he spent several years working in the bars and restaurants throughout the village to fund his recreational habits. During that time, he inadvertently found himself planning vacations for people, so they wouldn't waste a minute of their stay. Eventually, The T-Pot Experience was born, an all-inclusive trip planning service he operates that focuses on bringing you the best of the best of Leavenworth. With this host and concierge service, he helps visitors make the most of their time in the area, specializing in unique experiences based around outdoor recreation, food, wine, and scenery. Learn more about Tom Potter and how to plan Leavenworth excursions with him at thetpotexperience.com. What We Cover in This Episode What makes Leavenworth so picturesque and unique and "the recreation Mecca of Washington." Why people are drawn to Leavenworth for the holidays. A pro tip on the ideal time to see the Leavenworth holiday lights. What time of the year Christmas-town is in full effect. How you can see the Leavenworth lights from your couch. The best and worst times of year to visit Leavenworth. What each season in Leavenworth has to offer visitors. Which part of town is optimal for an Airbnb rental. The best spot in town for coffee and biscuit breakfast sandwiches, and what time you should be there to make sure you get a biscuit. The best spots to ski and snowboard near Leavenworth, and how to fit in a whitewater kayaking adventure on the way back! The best part of the river for a more relaxed inner tube float or standup paddleboarding with incredible views. A fantastic sandwich spot you won’t walk away from hungry. The best sausage garden in town to get a bratwurst. All of the incredible professionally maintained mountain biking trail options available in town and a few of Tom's favorites. A historically prominent ski hill area that hosts bikers in the summer and skiers and tubers in the winter. The nordic skiing that is also available in the area. The "buffet of hiking" offered in Leavenworth. Two of my favorite hikes around this area (and one ends at the view seen in the cover image for this podcast!) The optimal spots in town for beer, dinner, and craft cocktails. The music scene in Leavenworth. The best Instagram spot in town. Two underrated spots in town you should be sure not to miss. Quotables "Come to Leavenworth to enjoy the mountains, enjoy the recreation here, get a little taste of Bavaria. It's a unique gem in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Eastern Washington. As you pull into town, you'll just be amazed by how they've stuck to the Bavarian theme, and the mountain access is about as good as I've ever experienced." Tom Potter Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode How to see the Leavenworth, WA Holiday Lights from Anywhere: Leavenworth Live Webcams Where to Stay in the Leavenworth, WA Area: Airbnb Rental Homes Leavenworth, WA Area Outdoor (& One Indoor) Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Stevens Pass Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort Tumwater Canyon Leavenworth Ski Hill Freund Canyon Mountain Bike Trail Rosy Boa Mountain Bike Trail Ribbed Mountain Bike Trail Colchuck Lake Trailhead Icicle Ridge Trail Snow Lakes Trailhead Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum Leavenworth Reindeer Farm Leavenworth, WA Area Restaurants, Breweries, & Speakeasies Mentioned in this Episode: Argonaut Espresso Bar Parsley's Pantry München Haus Icicle Brewing Company Sulla Vita Wok About Mongolian Grill Pika Provisions Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
41 minutes | Nov 30, 2021
32: Portland, Maine, The Way Life Should Be
Today, I’ll be speaking with Kristan Vermeulen about how to make the most of a day outdoors in Portland, Maine. Join Kristan and me as we visit Portland, Maine, during both the off and on-season, eating tons of tasty treats along the way! Activities we discuss in this episode include hitting the water in multiple vessel options, skiing, dog sledding, oyster shucking, hiking, and more! About Kristan Vermeulen Kristan is originally from Maryland and was a Director of Public Relations for the Department of Defense for six years while living there. However, a full-time job opportunity, as well as her husband, ended up bringing her to the great state of Maine, and she hasn’t looked back since! She now runs her own public relations business and is also the host of a podcast called Makers of Maine, which has recently expanded into Makers of the USA. On her podcast, she interviews various makers and small business owners, including artists, glass blowers, potters, woodworkers, fashion designers, and more. And as a publicist, she has featured her small business clients on national media outlets, including Forbes, Health, Real Simple, Redbook, TODAY, Good Morning America, and FOX Business News. In both roles, she’s had to quickly learn what Maine means to outsiders and locals regarding the attractions and lifestyle it offers, which has swiftly turned her into an authority on both Portland and Maine as a whole. Throughout this episode, you’ll notice that her background in the great outdoors, public relations, and podcasting has uniquely set her up as an expert on why the area’s entrepreneurial spirit goes hand in hand with adventuring in and around Portland. Learn more about Kristan and her podcast Makers of the USA. What We Cover in This Episode Many of the outdoor products created, and small businesses run, in Maine. Maine’s outdoor-focused lifestyle. Maritime life, the sailing scene in Portland, and a nonprofit focused on affordably introducing people to the sport. What makes running a small business in Maine so unique, and why Maine is a great place for aspiring entrepreneurs! The best and worst times of year to visit Portland, Maine. The difference between Maine's on and off-season, and why there’s something to be appreciated in both. Where to ski near Portland. A noteworthy winter dog sledding excursion you don’t find everywhere. A winter festival focused on exposing locals to experiences instead of shopping. A distinctive historical hotel to stay at in Portland. The ultimate spots in town to stroll and watch the ferries. Where to get the finest cup of coffee in the city. What part of town is ideal for scenery, and which part is best for nightlife. The best destinations for breakfast, seafood, drinks, and snacks! Why you should consider enjoying the water via a hands-on historic tall ship tour instead of the typical powerboats. The optimal restaurant in town to have a cocktail and lobster roll by the water. How climate change is affecting the lobster industry and how the industry is pivoting. What wine and oysters have in common. Where to go oyster shucking! The best family and pet-friendly hiking options nearby. Portland's music scene. The most beautiful place for an Instagram picture in Portland. An overrated spot in Portland, and how to avoid it. Quotables The ongoing saying of Maine in general: it’s the way life should be. And I truly believe in that statement, because it is a place where you can go and see everything in terms of environment and outdoors, from, you know the sailing, being on the water, to going and hiking, to canoeing down the Allagash or you know skiing at a ski resort close by, or go dog sledding. It is a way for folks to see life and this world so differently. … Like if you want to go and travel, you could do it right in your backyard. Like, you don’t have to go to Europe. You don’t have to go to the Bahamas. You can come right here to Maine. So I would say that. Come to Maine to experience the way life should be. Kristan Vermeulen Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in the Portland, ME Area: The Press Hotel, Autograph Collection Portland, ME Area Outdoor Businesses, Destinations & Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Resort Sunday River Ski Resort Dog sledding with the Mahoosuc Guide Services Tours and Tickets by Portland Tall Ship Cruise Maine Windjammer Association Maine Maritime Museum Peaks Island Eastern Promenade Trail Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Sea Bags Flagship Store Mere Point Oyster Company Bradbury Mountain State Park Custom House Wharf Portland, ME Area Music Venues Mentioned in the Episode: State Theatre One Longfellow Square Thompson’s Point Portland, ME Area Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Bars & Breweries Mentioned in the Episode: Coffee by Design Commercial Street Bayside American Cafe The Holy Donut Luke’s Lobster Portland Pier The Portland Hunt & Alpine Club Maine Beer Company Eventide Oyster Co. Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
45 minutes | Nov 16, 2021
31: Hiking Above the Clouds in Mount Rainier National Park
Today, I’ll be speaking with Michelle Stelly about how to make the most of a weekend at Mount Rainier National Park! Join Michelle and me as we first discuss Washington’s three beautiful national parks. Then, we’ll backpack, hike, and snowshoe throughout all four seasons in Mount Rainier National Park, as well as touch on a few of the surrounding areas. We’ll be sure to see tons of epic waterfalls, lakes, and fire lookouts along the way, and of course, also have plenty of opportunities to view the incredible Mount Rainier! About Michelle Stelly Michelle runs The Wandering Queen, a travel blog to help fellow women adventurers travel the globe. She’s a Texan-Panamanian who is passionate about adventure travel, as well as an expert on all things hiking, backpacking, and camping. Michelle has been to 23 U.S. National Parks and has a goal in life that is very similar to my own, to inspire and help get people outdoors! Learn more about Michelle Stelly at TheWanderingQueen.com. What We Cover in This Episode All of Michelle’s favorite hikes in Mount Rainier National Park. That it’s possible to get into hiking at any point in life. Two great pro tips for anyone who’s looking to start getting more into backpacking. The allure of the PNW for a Texan-Panamanian, and why she made the move up north. What makes each of Washington’s three national parks (Olympic, Rainier, and North Cascades) unique, and the pros of visiting each one. What it’s like visiting Mount Rainier National Park during each of the seasons throughout the year. How to be aware of avalanche zones in the winter and spring snowshoeing seasons. The hike in Mount Rainier National Park where Barrett and I have gotten some of our most epic photos ever! What breakfast, lunch, and dinner look like for a backpacker. How to best spend day one of our trip in the Paradise area. The best waterfalls to hit up on your drive from Seattle to the Paradise Visitor Center area. The 360-degree Mount Rainier views you can get from the most popular trail in Washington, and what makes this trail so unique when compared to most of the trails in the state. The spot where all the photographers like to shoot sunset photos of Mount Rainier. Cabin, camping, and RV lodging options around the park. Why Packwood is an excellent town to home base from while you’re visiting the park, and where you should eat and drink while in the area. How to best spend day two of our trip in the Sunrise area. Michelle’s favorite hike in the entire park, where you might be lucky enough to experience a cloud inversion! The best trail to hit up during wildflower season and the best one for seeing an alpine lake. What you should do if you’re in the area for one more day. The three best Instagram spots in the park. How to make the most of a day in the park if Mount Rainier is cloud covered, as well as tips on how to avoid visiting on those days. An overrated trail and the nearby underrated trail you should hike instead! Quotables There’s so many epic hikes there. Mount Rainier is just fantastic! It’s my favorite mountain in the world. Even if you don’t go hiking, you can still just enjoy a day in paradise, having a family picnic with these amazing views. The waterfalls there are some of my favorite in the whole state. I feel like this is the perfect outdoorsy getaway with just outstanding views. I’m honestly gonna keep on going to it for years upon years. Michelle Stelly Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in the Mount Rainier National Park Area: Little Owl Cabin Summit Lake Camping Crystal Mountain Resort for RVs Mount Rainier National Park Area Outdoor Activities that are Mentioned in this Episode: Comet Falls Narada Falls Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center Skyline Loop Trail Myrtle Falls Reflection Lakes Pinnacle Peak Trail Wonderland Trail Mount Fremont Lookout Trail Burroughs Mountain Trail Naches Peak Loop Trail Emmons Moraine Trail Grove of the Patriarchs Trail Silver Falls Loop Trail Mount Fremont Fire Lookout Tolmie Peak Trail Bench and Snow Lake Trail Mount Rainier National Park Area Restaurants and Brewery that are Mentioned in this Episode: Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center Packwood Brewing Co. Cliff Droppers Sunrise Day Lodge Spots in Washington's Three National Parks that are Mentioned in this Episode: Olympic Beaches Hoh Rainforest Hurricane Ridge Hurricane Hill Trail Mount Rainier North Cascade Diablo Lake Hidden Lake Lookout Trail Maple Pass Loop Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
43 minutes | Nov 2, 2021
30: Alexandria, Virginia, a Nice Mixture of Old and New
Today, I'll be speaking with Cecilia and Scott Fix about how to spend a fantastic day outdoors in Alexandria, Virginia. Join Cecilia, Scott, and me as we start off our day, waking up in a spooky spot. Then we continue adventuring outdoors via boating the Potomac and geocaching. All while also appreciating old architecture, waterfront parks, art installations, Cherry Blossoms, and all of the best eating and drinking Alexandria has to offer along the way. About Cecilia and Scott Fix Scott and Cecilia are a travel blogging married couple who travel both locally and internationally. They have an insatiable desire for outdoor adventure, not necessarily just in the adrenaline junkie sense of the word, but for anything exciting and new. Cecilia has a background in humanitarian work, a Master's degree in International Development, and has served as a Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in Cape Verde, giving her a keen interest in human relationships and connectedness. Scott has a background in physics and math. His love for travel is driven more by an intense curiosity to discover the history and theories of why things are the way they are. Together Scott and Cecilia have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, scuba-dived in the Philippines, safari'd in Tanzania, and slept in a yurt in the mountains of West Virginia. But it's their love for "micro-adventure" that has led them to many of their new favorite experiences, including geocaching, camping in their backyard, sleeping in treehouses, and exploring haunted and abandoned locations. Learn more about Cecilia and Scott Fix at lovicarious.com or on Instagram. What We Cover in This Episode What makes Alexandria worth a visit for both outdoor explorers and history buffs. What keeps Alexandria feeling small. The best (and worst) times of year to visit Alexandria, VA. Why Alexandria is a great place to visit during Christmas time. A few spots to see the Cherry Blossoms bloom, where you can avoid the crowds. A haunted historical hotel worth staying at in Alexandria. Where the locals eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and go out for drinks in Alexandria. The best ways to spend a day on the Potomac River, including an option sure to be appreciated by your dog! A location that is sure to be an art lover's delight. A few beautiful parks and spots along the waterfront that should be visited. Why geocaching is worth your time in Alexandria, and how to do it! Which local tours are the best, which are overrated, and a way to get a tour of the town for free! The best spots in Alexandria for Instagram photos. Quotables There are very few places in the U.S. that you can go to that genuinely feel old, that you can look around and there's unique architecture. There's something unique about the town. I think a lot of places in the U.S. either tend to look the same or look very modern. Alexandra is someplace that definitely looks historical and it's that way, because it genuinely is. So that history mixed with little bits of Modern cuisine, modern culture, with live performances, and pop up boutiques, it's a nice mixture of old and new. Scott & Cecilia Fix Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in Alexandria, VA: The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection Alexandria, VA Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Old Town Free Trolley Stand, King Street Mount Vernon Georgetown Waterfront Park Old Town Waterfront Park Torpedo Factory Art Center Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge Jones Point Lighthouse Mount Vernon Trail Gravelly Point Be the Change / Butterfly Effect Mural City Cruises Alexandria Water Taxi Green Spring Gardens River Farm Alexandria, VA Restaurants, Pubs & Speakeasies Mentioned in this Episode: Gadsby’s Tavern Table Talk Restaurant Jack’s Place Bob & Edith’s Diner Fish Market Restaurant Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque Chop Shop Taco Le Refuge Restaurant Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Bar Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub Captain Gregory’s Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
56 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
29: Kenai, Alaska, You've Entered the Real Alaska
Today, I’ll be speaking with Jon Taylor about how to make the most of an outdoorsy trip throughout the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. This episode is sure to put you under the spell of the north. Join Jon and me as we enjoy the Kenai peninsula as an adventure-loving local would! Our discussion is chock full of outdoor experiences, including sea kayaking, flying ourselves to epic fishing locations, hiking, and fat tire biking the beach! Also, as you would expect, there’s tons of mountain, glacier, bear, and Alaskan National Park chat along the way! About Jon Taylor Jon is a pilot, traveler, musician, and the Creative Director for the Strategic Marketing Agency known as Divining Point. He started his career as a commercial photographer. During that time, he discovered the camera often unlocked access to some of the most beautiful places. His talents include brand strategy, photography, videography, and graphic design for businesses in multiple industries. He is known for his vision and creative eye, which give him the ability to conceive stunning visuals and rich storytelling that are sure to evoke emotion from the viewers. Also, being a pilot, Jon gets to go where no roads will take you, which, turns out, is actually most of Alaska! He has a lot of passion for hiking, camping, biking, bourbon tasting, and snow machining, and he says he’s married the most beautiful Alaskan that’s ever emerged from the snow. If you’ve ever dreamt of exploring Alaska like a local, don’t miss this episode! He does an incredible job of explaining why Kenai is the perfect place to home base from for all of your future Alaskan adventures! Follow Jon on Instagram and learn more about Kenai, Alaska at ILoveKenai.com. What We Cover in This Episode The draw to Alaska that’s stronger than moose, bears, and mountains. What makes Alaskans “the most independent people in America,” and why it matters. Why Alaska is a great place to start a business. How photography can open doors for creatives. What makes the Kenai peninsula stand out from anywhere else in Alaska! Kenai’s sister cities on the peninsula, and what each one has to offer. How traveling in Alaska compares to how you are probably used to traveling, and what makes it so different. Where to go to see otters, seals, and to sea kayak. Why Kenai is “the perfect place to start your Alaskan adventure.” What it’s like to live in Alaska in the winter. How to book an early morning fishing excursion – the quintessential Alaskan experience – where you also get to fly the plane! The best way to view mountains, glaciers, and bears. How cruising Alaska is different than seeing Alaska via the car or a small plane. What times are better for a car in Alaska, and what times are better for a small plane. The best way, and time of day, to view Denali. A local’s favorite Alaskan national park – with tips – including – why, the best way to get there, and what to do when you arrive. The best place to stay in Kenai, Alaska. The best restaurant to get breakfast in Kenai, Alaska, and what to order. “The most intense one and a half mile hike you have ever done in your life.” A great lunch spot near the above-mentioned intense hike. A few recommended beach activities to take part in back in Kenai. A delicious locally sourced bistro recommended for dinner, and “the only place [Jon] recommend[s] getting a cocktail in Alaska.” Another dinner option, perfect for anyone who wants an excursion combined with their dinner. Why you should be careful going to Alaska in July. Where to get the best Instagram photos in Kenai. What Jon thinks people most miss out on when visiting the Kenai peninsula. A few additional hike recommendations on the Kenai peninsula. How to best prepare for hiking in Alaska. How to protect yourself from Alaskan bears and moose. Quotables The real draw for Alaska wasn’t necessarily the mountains or the bears or the moose or the rivers. It was the people. As a very independent people, they consider themselves the most independent in America, and that’s debatable, but really, I mean, they’re furthest away from everybody else, and there’s certain self reliancy, but with that comes a certain dependence on other people. And so you’ll never be turned down if you need help. Jon Taylor I tell anybody that’s planning to live in Alaska, don’t be afraid to just put yourself out there because everybody’s waiting for you. Jon Taylor So when people are going to be going to Alaska, they’re planning a vacation, a lot of times they’ll send me a quick message. Hey, got any tips, any plans, anything. And I always tell them the same thing. You’re going to land in Anchorage, and as you are starting your descent (flying up from the lower 48) look out the window. It’s absolutely beautiful. And then you land in Anchorage and all those beautiful things you saw when you were landing, that’s all down on the Kenai peninsula. That’s where it’s at. Jon Taylor In Alaska, there is a very high possibility that things won’t go the way you planned. Alaska does want to kill you. So you have to come prepared for that. And don’t just wander off into the wilderness. Stay on the trails, hike with a friend, bring your bear spray. Even if you have a GPS beacon, even for the easy trails, just bring it because I’ve had too many friends that have had very close encounters. So, my suggestion is, play it safe. If you’re going to hike in Alaska, it’s not like hiking in other places. … I think that sometimes there’s an effort to say, you know, come to Alaska it’s for everybody, and it is. But I think it’s also important to say, come to Alaska and please be careful. This isn’t like your normal tour of Carlsbad Caverns, where you’ve got a tour guide, and you’re riding in a Jeep. This is a serious place where serious things can happen. And that’s why you should come here in the first place because you’re actually getting the real experience of nature. Jon Taylor Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Kenai, AK Area Itinerary Destinations Mentioned in the Episode: Miller’s Landing Sea Kayaking – The company Cindy went out with from Seward Tanalian Falls Trailhead Kenai Aviation Alaska West Air Inc. Cooper Landing Skyline Trail Quartz Creek Airport-Jia Kenai Beach Ismailof Island Old Town Kenai Park Holy Assumption Russian Orthodox Church Russian Lakes Trail Upper & Lower – Designated backcountry campsites at Russian River Rendzvous, Barber Cabin Trail, mile 5.7, mile 7.7, Upper Russian Lake (mile 11.9), mile 17, and mile 19.2 (distances from lower end). Russian River Falls Trailhead Kenai, AK Area Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode: Louie’s Steak & Seafood Custom Seafoods Sunrise Inn The Flats Bistro Kenai Joe’s Taphouse Seven Glaciers Restaurant Captain Pattie’s Fish House The Saltry Restaurant Veronica’s Cafe Other Further Away Destinations Mentioned in this Episode: Kenai Fjords National Park Denali National Park and Preserve Wonder Lake Campground – Where Cindy Camped in Denali NP Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
41 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
28: That Cabin Cozy Feel in Flagstaff, Arizona
Today, I'll be speaking with Sam To about how to make the most of an outdoorsy trip to Flagstaff, Arizona. Join Sam and me on a “choose your own level of adventure” summer day! Options range from hiking, biking, and swimming, to car touring and leisurely taking in Flagstaff’s beauty from up in the treetops. About Sam To Sam works on the COVID-19 response team for the state of Arizona in a position that is 100% remote from home, which she has found to be pretty fantastic! She lives with her husband, Will, her daughter, Lucy, and dog Pop. Lucy is 1-year-old and has already joined them on numerous day trips, camping trips, and vacations all over Arizona! She’s even gone paddle boarding with them! While Sam loves to spend time outdoors playing disc golf, hiking, kayaking, and sledding, she also equally enjoys beer tasting, pizza, and vegging on the couch while binging tv! It quite honestly sounds like the epitome of balance to me! In this episode, she does a great job of explaining why Flagstaff is the perfect place for all of those activities and more! Connect with Sam about Flagstaff on Instagram! What We Cover in This Episode What makes Flagstaff an excellent snowbird destination for Arizonans. The landscapes that make Flagstaff so different than the rest of Arizona. Why a Flagstaff winter is different than an east coast winter. The variety of destinations that are located within a couple hours drive of Flagstaff. What makes Flagstaff so incredible for outdoors lovers! The best and worst times of year to visit Flagstaff. Where to stay in Flagstaff – including a haunted hotel and a free spot! How easy it is to get around Flagstaff. The best spots for coffee and breakfast in Flagstaff. A fantastic way to spend your morning outdoors in the area, including long and short hiking options, as well as a driving adventure option. The best spots in the area to see waterfalls, petroglyphs, and wildflowers. Beautiful outdoors destinations that are also historical and educational. A butcher shop with delicious sandwiches. A gondola ride perfect for immersing yourself in nature. The best spots for dinner and happy hour in Flagstaff. All of the local lakes, creeks, and amazing summer water activities in the surrounding area. Alternatives to discover when Slide Rock State Park is packed. The most popular Flagstaff winter activities. A few of the best Instagram spots in the area. The most overrated hike in Flagstaff and where you should be hiking instead. Quotables The smell of the pines, the sound of the wind through the trees. I don’t think that you could experience that anywhere near us. This little gem of a town in the middle of all of these giant forests in Arizona, I think, is the biggest surprise. It’s a nice little treat, in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by desert. Sam To It’s a nice little community that you get to feel a part of when you come to visit. It takes you to a different place, whether you live here or whether you’re just visiting. I think it’s just cozy all around. Sam To Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in Flagstaff, AZ: Hotel Monte Vista Nordic Village Yurts Boondocking Near Flagstaff Flagstaff, AZ Area Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument O’Leary Peak Lockett Meadow Picture Canyon Trailhead Walnut Canyon National Monument Snowbowl Scenic Gondola Humphreys Peak Lake Mary Slide Rock State Park Crescent Moon Picnic Site West Fork Oak Creek Trailhead Kendrick Peak Lava River Cave Elden Mountain Flagstaff, AZ Area Restaurants & Breweries Mentioned in this Episode: Matador Coffee Roasting Company Macy’s European Coffeehouse & Bakery Late For the Train MartAnnes Burrito Palace Proper Meats + Provisions Fat Olives Go Sushi The Annex Cocktail Lounge Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
38 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
27. The Natural Wonders of Western Los Angeles, California
Today, I’ll be speaking with Laura Grier about all of her favorite outdoor adventures throughout Western Los Angeles. We’ll primarily focus on the span along the coast between Marina del Rey and Malibu, including stops in Venice, Santa Monica, Culver City, and Topanga. And then, before wrapping it all up, we’ll also be taking a quick second-day trip over to Catalina Island! Join Laura and me as we paddle, bike, jeep, hike, wine taste, and even take an extra day island adventuring all in West LA! About Laura Grier Laura has lived in Venice Beach and Los Angeles for 20 years. Living abroad from a young age and working for the CIA at age 18, Laura turned her life of travel, adventure, and exploration into a profession as a photojournalist. She has been to all 7 continents through her work, shot weddings in over 15 countries, and has even been called the Indiana Jones of Adventure Travel Photography. Laura was also featured on Discovery Channel UK’s “20 Richest People in the World List,” – highlighting people rich in life experiences. Passionate about mentoring, women’s education, photography, and travel, Laura leads travel workshops and expeditions and serves as an ambassador for sustainable travel brands like Lokal and Impact Travel Alliance. The most satisfying work so far in Laura’s career has been during the last 8 years with Novica, National Geographic’s global artisan catalog that represents artisans from around the world who are practicing “Vanishing Arts.” With NOVICA, Laura has especially fallen in love with the culture and people of Peru. Currently, Laura has joined forces with Pats Krysiak to create Andeana Hats, a sustainable fashion company that sources alpaca wool hats hand-made by Quechua women in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The mission of Andeana Hats is to invest in women’s skills, empowering them to continue their vanishing crafts by connecting them to global marketplaces and supporting their leadership to increase their income and transform their communities. Learn more about Laura Grier (and see more of her beautiful photography) at LauraGrier.com and learn more about Andeana Hats at AndeanaHats.com. What We Cover in This Episode What leads young people living in Los Angeles to move to the beach. What gives the westside more of a “little villages” feeling. What makes the westside of Los Angeles optimal for outdoors lovers. An urban bike path with art that should not be missed. How to get to the best 360-degree view of all of Los Angeles – from downtown to the beach! The best and worst times of year to visit west LA. The must-stay hotels. A new crowd favorite hotel with the most happening rooftop bar and marina views. Which neighborhoods on the west side allow Airbnbs, and which don’t. The best spots for breakfast in west LA. Laura’s favorite activities to do in the morning around the beach. The best area to do a little shopping and grab a bite for lunch in west LA. A hidden hike, 15 minutes from the beach, with incredible rock formations and caves. A spot where you can taste wine and see a wild zebra, all in one visit! Two excellent westside dinner options. A second-day adventure to Catalina Island! Including how to get there and what outdoors lovers can do once they get there, for all budgets. A brief tangent all about Mackinac Island, MI – and the activity missed most often on that island! A few best Instagram spots in the area from a professional photographer! The most overrated tourist spots in western Los Angeles. Quotables And then, as you get older, like 30 plus, usually people sort of migrate west to the beach, which is just a little bit more relaxed, like flip-flop lifestyle. Laura Grier And then the entire hike is just all the way up this red rock road to the top of the mountain with incredible views. And it’s just, it looks like you’re on a different planet, like parts of it. And it doesn’t look like Los Angeles at all, and it’s all wooded and rocky formations, and it’s such a beautiful hike. Laura Grier The greatest part about living on the westside is that we have the best outdoor activity that people come from all over for, which is the beach. And I take it for granted at times because I live literally on the beach. Like I can walk out barefoot and be on the sand and, you can hear people like cheering at sunset for the sunset. Like it’s actually an event that people want to sit and watch. Laura Grier What I love about Los Angeles is that there’s all these hills and canyons. And there’s all these windy mountain roads that are stunning. And there’s hidden forests and canyons and like overlooks and waterfall hikes and all kinds of things that are literally 15 minutes out of the city. So I think that’s the part that people don’t realize. They like want to jam in all the city stuff, and I think you definitely need more time to see the natural wonders. Laura Grier Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in the West Los Angeles, CA Area: Santa Monica Proper Hotel Hotel Erwin Residence Inn by Marriott Marina Del Rey West Los Angeles, CA Area Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Venice Fishing Pier Red Rock Canyon Park Saddle Peak Santa Catalina Island Catalina Express Tuna Canyon Venice Canals Muscle Beach Dockweiler Beach Venice Public Art Walls Abbot Kinney Boulevard Two Harbors Trans Catalina Trail Hermit Gulch Campground Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden West Los Angeles, CA Area Restaurants & Wineries Mentioned in this Episode: The Cow’s End Cafe Zinqué Gjusta Great White Gran Blanco Mercedes Bar & Grille Cabo Cantina Baja Cantina Malibu Wine Safaris Malibu Wine Hikes Moonshadows Malibu Geoffrey’s Wabi on Rose Descanso Beach Club Cafe Intelligentsia The Butcher’s Daughter Gjelina Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
43 minutes | Sep 7, 2021
26. North Umpqua, Oregon, The Gateway to Crater Lake
Today, I’ll be speaking with Sam Starns about all of her favorite outdoor adventures around the North Umpqua area, with notable stops in Roseburg, Oregon, and Crater Lake National Park. Join Sam and me as we wake up and watch the sunrise in Crater Lake National Park. Then, we proceed with a packed day, full of paddling, hiking, exploring countless waterfalls, soaking in hot springs, fishing, and even mushroom foraging. Lastly, we wind down with a glass of wine in the “new Napa Valley” – Roseburg, Oregon. About Sam Starns Sam is an adventure elopement photographer who takes stunningly beautiful photos. She’s also the author of the book “Elope Your Life” and a TEDx speaker. As an elopement expert, she travels the world, empowering others to elope in wild and beautiful places. Sam grew up on a ranch, working in and exploring the great outdoors. She also used to be a park ranger, as well as a naturalist on a whale-watching boat. Currently, she home bases out of her hidden gem hometown — Roseburg, Oregon. Due to its rugged mountains, countless waterfalls, and easy access to Crater Lake, she considers the area one of the most beautiful places the Pacific Northwest has to offer! And she’s not wrong! If you love waterfalls, you’re going to love this episode because this area is chock full of them! I know from experience that the sheer amount of waterfalls that can be seen in this area can be very overwhelming! Sam does an excellent job of divulging which ones are worth your time and which ones are not. Learn more about Sam Starns and her adventure elopements at SamStarns.com, from her Elope Your Life book on Amazon, or from her TEDx talk on YouTube. What We Cover in this Episode Why the North Umpqua area is an excellent add-on to a Crater Lake, Bend, or northern California vacation. The perks of hiring an elopement photographer who also used to be a park ranger! What makes Roseburg, Oregon worth a visit, including a growing food and wine scene. The best (and worst) times of year to visit this part of Oregon. Also, the best time of year to get the best views at Crater Lake National Park. One of the most unique ways to experience Crater Lake National Park. The lodges that are a must-stay when in town. The best drive-thru coffee stands in the area, as well as the best local coffee roasters worth buying grounds from. The most beautiful lakes in the area to kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard on. All of the best waterfall peeping spots along the North Umpqua Highway, including lesser-known options. A bit of Instagram vs. reality chat, including a few instafamous stops along the North Umpqua Highway that may end up disappointing, and where you should go instead. A silver lining activity that resulted from the Archie Creek wildfire. A world-famous fly fishing area. The best burgers and milkshakes in Glide, Oregon. A dirt road worth traveling to avoid the crowds and see many lesser-known waterfalls. A campground that is best kayaked in to. Why Roseburg, Oregon is known as the "new Napa Valley." A winery where you can stomp grapes! The best places for wine, beer, mead, and dinner in Roseburg, Oregon. A few of the area's most beloved summer activities. The best Instagram spots in town. And professional photographer tips on how to get the best picture at each spot! Quotables I really think that Roseburg and the surrounding area is just sort of an untapped potential for outdoor exploration. Sam Starns So there’s this little bit of almost like a vortex in Oregon where people don’t realize that we’re here. … We’re the gateway to Crater Lake, along with Medford. We’re the two main ways from the west to get there. And there’s a whole highway and a whole mountain range that you’re exploring. And not only that, our food scene has grown. We have so many amazing breweries, and we’re constantly growing in that respect. We are the new Napa Valley and the new Willamette Valley. We have award-winning wineries here. And we have the North Umpqua trail, which is known for hiking, known for biking. Famous people, celebrities come up here to bike. And then, we’re two hours away from the Crater Lake rim. And we just have so many things here that people don’t realize that are within easily a day’s drive of each other. So, you can easily spend multiple days here and still not see everything. Sam Starns I would say a decent amount of people come for wine, or they pass through to go to Crater Lake, and they don’t realize how many waterfalls are out there. It’s definitely a stop along the way, or people just tootle on pass it on I-5 going to another destination, and they just don’t realize everything that’s here. Sam Starns I think sunrise at Crater Lake is the absolute coolest thing because you have less people around, and you are seeing the first rays of light on that day. Sam Starns So one of my favorite things to do is to go along the North Umpqua Highway, which is Highway 138, and check out all of the waterfalls. Well, maybe not all, cause there’s a lot of them! But check out a lot of the waterfalls and some you probably have seen on Instagram or in travel magazines. Sam Starns The reason I tell people that the North Umpqua and the Roseburg area, and Crater Lake is a must-see is because, number one, you’re not going to have those crowds like you do at places like Yosemite or very modernized, commercialized places like Bend. It’s beautiful, but now there’s a ton of people. So if you’re wanting to get away from crowds but still see that beauty, this is a relatively undiscovered and untrafficked part of Oregon. And then, on top of that, it’s so rugged and so beautiful. I have never seen a mountain peak aside from like the Matterhorn that looks like Mount Thielsen. And it is just so, so beautiful. We have such an amazing, concentrated selection of waterfalls that you’re bound to find something that you love. And it’s within not even a half a day’s drive of day drinking at a winery. I think that’s really the best of all worlds. Sam Starns Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in The North Umpqua Area: Crater Lake Lodge Steamboat Inn Hemlock Lake Campground North Umpqua, OR Area Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Live Crater Lake Webcams West Rim of Crater Lake Wizard Island Phantom Ship Island Crater Lake Cleetwood Cove Trail Diamond Lake Lemolo Lake Toketee Falls Umpqua Hot Springs Watson Falls Fall Creek Falls Susan Creek Falls Whitehorse Falls Clearwater Falls Lake of the Woods Falls Yakso Falls Hemlock Falls Clover Falls Shadow Falls Cavitt Creek Covered Bridge Music on the Half Shell Roseburg Graffiti Weekend Classic Car Cruise North Umpqua, OR Area Restaurants, Breweries, Wineries & Meaderies Mentioned in this Episode: Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room Steamboat Inn Restaurant Java Run Harvard, JavaRun Stephens, or Java Run Green Gathering Grounds Takelma Roasting Company Colliding Rivers Drive-In Abacela Winery JosephJane Winery Henry Estate Winery Spire Mountain Cellars Oran Mor Artisan Meadery North Forty Beer Company Draper Brewing Backside Brewing Company Two Shy Brewing Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
38 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
25. Livingston, Montana, Where Cowboys and Artists Meet
Today, I’ll be speaking with Mel Harrison about all of her favorite outdoor adventures around Livingston, Montana. Join Mel and me as we spend a winter day cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, and ice skating all around Livingston, Montana. Then, in the end, we’ll also dive into a few summer-weather outdoorsy activities, including fishing, floating, and hiking, that can be enjoyed in the Livingston area! About Mel Harrison Mel is an expert on Montana and Yellowstone outdoor recreation and has spent years exploring both for work and pleasure. She and her family are unschoolers who have shaped their life to include year-long travels, overnight rafting trips, weekly hikes with their homeschool group, backpacking into the wilderness, cross-country skiing, and more. At TravelingMel.com, Mel writes about her family’s adventures in Montana and worldwide. She has also authored two guide books focusing on hiking and skiing in the Greater Yellowstone area. Learn more about Livingston, Montana from Mel’s website: Traveling Mel What We Cover in this Episode What it entails to be considered a Montanan “local.” What makes Livingston, Montana “eccentric” and “quirky.” What makes the wilderness in Montana different than wilderness elsewhere in the world. Why you should be ready to be a bit “self-sufficient” when driving through Montana. The difference between visiting Montana during the winter or summer and why a winter visit should be considered. A historic hotel that’s a must-stay when in town. The best spot to get coffee in Livingston, Montana, where everyone knows your name – and your order. A breakfast destination with no menu items to order from. The best groomed and ungroomed nearby trails for cross-country skiing. How to create a feeling of “hygge” in the winter months in Montana, and why you should. Hiking, snowshoeing, dog sledding, downhill skiing, ice skating, and forest service cabins spots are all worth exploring nearby. The best places for lunch and dinner in Livington, Montana. Two amazing hot springs locations worth exploring in both winter and summer. A local bartender you should visit with and order a drink from. Where to fish and raft in the area. The best bear deterrents to have with you when hiking in Montana. A biking path that will take you from Livingston, Montana, all the way to Yellowstone National Park. The best Instagram spots in town. The difference between what defines a trail as popular and overrated in Livingston for this local, compared to others in more populated areas. Why this iconic cowboy town should be explored. Quotables And as having only lived in Livingston for 20 years, we’re relative newcomers. People would not consider us locals who’ve lived here, you know, generations. Mel Harrison Livingston has a great community. We love the people here. We love… it’s eccentric. There are some quirky folks out there. But that’s really what makes it pretty fun too. Mel Harrison And the other thing that I’ve really realized from traveling all over the world and other places … there aren’t a lot of places that have kind of the wilderness that we have here. Where you can go into the mountains and not see anybody or see any sign of humans other than the trail or a sign for kind of a long time. And I just haven’t found places like that on our travels. So that kind of always… the wildness of it, always brings me back. Mel Harrison That’s a good point, though, that I usually try to bring up is that there are a lot of places where you won’t get cell service. And so you need to download your Google Maps, and you need to come ready to be a little bit self-sufficient. I mean, it’s not the wild west out here, but you can’t always get what you want right away. Mel Harrison And there’s just a really outdoors mindset here … most people who live here, not everybody, gets outside. Because I mean, what else are you going to do? Right. There’s some great restaurants. There’s a couple of small galleries. There’s a great art community here in Livingston, too. But really, if you don’t get outside, you would just go crazy here. Winters are long, and if you weren’t outside enjoying them, that’d be kind of brutal, in my opinion. Mel Harrison So for such a small town of 7,000 people or 8,000 people, it’s pretty foodie, and there’s a lot of artists, you know, they say it’s where Cowboys and artists meet. Mel Harrison And a lot of times, what we’ll do is maybe we’ll ski for a few hours and then come back to the car or somewhere nearby, and we’ll have a fire … and then just kind of hang around the campfire in the snow for another couple hours. Mel Harrison I can’t imagine skiing somewhere that had lift lines. I kind of forget that that’s even a thing, but yeah, no lift lines. Mel Harrison That Pine Creek trail I told you, it is kind of popular, but I think I sometimes forget that what I think is a lot of people on a trail might not seem like a lot of people on a trail if you’re coming from somewhere else. You know, if I see other people on the trail, it seems like too many other people on the trail, which is not, you know, which is crazy. Mel Harrison This historic downtown of Livingston is beautiful. Once you see it, you’ll realize that, oh, I’ve seen this in other ads and commercials and things like that, because it’s so iconic with this western downtown, big mountain in the background, the neon signs, and we just have such a great community. And like I’ve said a couple of times, you know, there’s all these artists and cowboys and writers and foodies, you know, chefs and it’s this combination of all these interesting people, creative people, in this big outdoor setting that inspires it all. Mel Harrison Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in Livingston, MT: The Historic Murray Hotel A Stone’s Throw Bed and Breakfast Livingston, MT Outdoor Activities & Rental Outfitters Mentioned in the Episode: Livingston Depot Center Dan Bailey’s Outdoor Co. Mill Creek Road B Bar Ranch West Boulder Campground Bridger Bowl Ski Area Showdown Mountain Chico Hot Springs Pine Creek Lake Trailhead Yellowstone Hot Springs Mallards Rest Fishing Access Emigrant Peak Livingston, MT Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode: Coffee Crossing Faye’s Cafe Pinky’s Gil’s Goods The Murray Bar Park Place Tavern Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
35 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
24. Northfield, Minnesota, A Quaint Little River Town
Today, I’ll be speaking with Kristen Glazer about how to make the most of a day outdoors in Northfield, Minnesota. Join Kristen and me as we spend a late summer / early fall day hiking, boating, and kayaking. Then, in the end, we’ll cover a few winter-weather outdoorsy activities, including skiing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, that can be enjoyed in the Northfield area as well! About Kristen Glazer Kristen is a Minnesota-based travel writer. She is also the founder of Expedition Kristen, a website that is chock full of thoughtful itineraries to help readers plan their next day trip or overnight stay while in Minnesota. She started the site as a way to share her passion for the state and inspire readers to travel to and appreciate some of the state’s best-hidden gems. Kristen lives a very active lifestyle and constantly explores the great outdoors via hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, cross country skiing, boating, and snowboarding! She also has a Masters of Science in Marketing, along with 10+ years of marketing communications experience. Currently, she lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Nic, and her giant Newfoundland, Ole. Learn more about Minnesota from Kristen's website: Expedition Kristen What We Cover in this Episode What would draw a New Yorker to put down roots in Minnesota. How Minnesotans make the most of winter. The best time of year to visit Northfield, Minnesota. A unique spot to stay in Northfield, Minnesota. A breakfast establishment with “New York bagel snob” approved bagels. What makes the colleges in town worth exploring. The best stops for burgers and brews in Northfield, Minnesota. A must-visit state park, and why you should venture beyond the main attraction. The best places to snap Instagram pictures in Northfield, Minnesota. A local’s favorite destinations for fishing, boating, and kayaking around town. A brewery that works with local farms to create some interesting beet flavors. Yoga & Beer. The town’s Jesse James lore – and how to be part of it. All of the ideal spots to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and sledding in Northfield, Minnesota. Quotables "Northfield is a really special town. Just to start off, I want to brag about Northfield for a minute here cause they've won a lot of awards. So they've won number two for Best Small Town in the Country by Livability. They've won number one best place for a Well-Rounded Retirement by Money. And they've won Top 50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America by Country Living. And I think that that really captures it. It's a very quaint, just adorable, sweet little town on a river, two great colleges, close by state park, super, super affordable. It's super great for young people. There's a lot of huge companies here; Target, Best Buy, General Mills, 3M. Some of which we've actually both worked for. So there's a reason why it's won so many awards, and there's a reason why we lived there because it is really just a wonderful town. It's a great place." Kristen One of the big reasons that I've stayed here is Minnesota as a whole, but also, very specifically, Northfield is super affordable. Plus, I love being outside. I love the amount of outdoor parks here. We do a ton of hiking. We have kayaks, and I do cross country skiing and snowboarding. And it's just really wonderful. Kristen I always thought that it would be really amazing to live and work in New York City and be a young working woman. And I quickly found that it just wasn't exactly right for me. And although I like working in that exciting energy, I really need to get out of it when I'm done with work. And I really need to be in some quiet and some nature on the weekends and evenings. So the balance wasn't quite right for me in New York. So I love how easy it is to be in the Twin Cities, have access to amazing culture, restaurants, museums. And then you can so easily get outside of that and be in nature. Kristen I love to travel. I love to be outside and be active, and it's what I do naturally. So I started this blog, ExpeditionKristen.com, to just really share my love for Minnesota. It's heavily focused on outdoor things that you can do in Minnesota. … So it's a way for me to share my love of Minnesota and to help other people find some of the hidden gems that this, I think, very underrated state has to offer. Kristen I love that Minnesotans just like completely embrace winter, and that's how you get through it. People go ice fishing, and hunting and cross country skiing is really popular. And they'll have tons of different festivals on the frozen lakes. Ice hockey, golf events on frozen lakes, kite festivals. … So it's like, if you just have the right clothing and the right attitude, it's fine. Kristen For such a small little town, there's actually a lot of options for coffee and bakeries and all that kind of stuff. My first choice, though, is this place called Tandem Bagels. And the reason is because of their bagels. So I do have to admit, being a New Yorker, I am a little bit of a bagel snob. And tandem bagels is amazing. Easily they have the best bagels anywhere in Minnesota that I have come across. So I'm an everything bagel kind of girl, and it's like, they do it right. Kristen I keep using the word quaint, but that's exactly what it is. It's an adorable little town on the river with two beautiful colleges. In the summertime, there's farmer's markets. Which, I love going to those. They have live music and a lot of local vendors selling baked goods and crafts and homemade woodwork, and all kinds of really cool things. There's so many wonderful family-owned farms around town where you can pick blueberries or strawberries or pumpkins and apples. And there's a great yoga studio and a couple of breweries. I'm also a knitter, and there's a family-owned yarn store in town and an independent bookstore. There's just so much personality, and on top of all of it, you know, it's only 45 minutes away from Minneapolis, and it's super affordable. And they actually have excellent public schools. So it just is this all-around wonderful place, and it really, it really has it all! Kristen Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in Northfield, MN: Archer House River Inn Contented Cottage B&B Northfield, MN Outdoor Activities & Rental Outfitters Mentioned in the Episode: St. Olaf College Carleton College Cowling Arboretum Cannon River Nerstrand Big Woods State Park Circle Lake Buck Hill Afton Alps The Gear ReSource Outfitters Northfield, MN Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode: Tandem Bagels Froggy Bottoms River Pub & Lily PADio Imminent Brewing The Contented Cow Chapati Tanzenwald Brewing Company Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
36 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
23. Let’s Peace Out and Go Kayaking in Asheville, North Carolina
Today, I’ll be speaking with Samantha Kellgren about how to have a fantastic day outdoors around one of the most admired spots in the United States – Asheville, North Carolina. Join Sam and me as we bike, hike, kayak, and tube all around this part of North Carolina known for delicious beer, stunning nature, and attracting visitors far and wide. About Samantha Kellgren Sam is a wife, mom, business owner, and marathoner. She runs her own health and mindset coaching business called Simply Well Coaching, which helps Type-A women change their life by changing their minds. Learn more about Sam’s coaching business at Simply Well Coaching or check out her Ambitious Women: Less Hustle More Flow Facebook group. What We Cover in this Episode What makes Asheville, NC, worth visiting. The best and worst time of year to visit Asheville, NC. A beautiful outdoorsy lodge deemed the best spot to stay in Asheville. What the Asheville Airbnb scene looks like. A fantastic breakfast destination, known for fresh coffee, homemade donuts, and large servings. The best spot in the area for mountain biking. The most gorgeous waterfall trails in the area. The superior taco spot in Asheville, NC. Some of the most fun shops in Asheville, NC, including one that sells plants, coffee, and used books! Kayaking and tubing options throughout town, and why those are the best ways to arrive at New Belgium Brewery. Which of the many breweries in western North Carolina should not be missed. Where to get excellent burgers and views for dinner. The sense of community in Asheville and why it’s calling to city folk from all around. Two ice cream destinations that should be on your itinerary. The two most picturesque spots in town. An overrated brewery, restaurant, and hike, and recommended alternative destinations. Quotables “We [were] ready for something different. We were ready for mountains. We say we were nature starved. And anytime you say that in Chicago, people will mention like one place, you can go like out in the suburbs. It’s like, no, no, we want like real nature that is accessible. We wanted to be able to get out for a hike whenever we wanted, not to have a drive to do it and make it a big thing.” Sam “I mean, once you come here, we’ve gone on so many, you know, either like a camping trip or something, or we’re just out for a drive, and we’re driving back, and I’m like, this would be our vacation. This is where we would vacation. We would vacation in this area, and we get to… every day like I’m so… I feel so lucky to live here.” Sam “Well, if you like beer, it is definitely a beer city. I don’t remember the like, you know, per capita breweries, but I think there’s over 50 breweries at least at this point. So… you’re always within walking distance. But it’s really a small town, but still a city.” Sam “What does my husband say?… He says it’s the most you will see of drinking in moderation. It’s like, everyone’s drinking, but you don’t witness a lot of like insanity. People are out at breweries, but it’s a real family-oriented event, you know, to like hang out at the brewery or out of the park.” Sam “But I think what a big draw is, is that you can be staying downtown and be hiking in under 20 minutes. And if you want to go real far up the Blue Ridge, you can feel like you’re in a different state, and that’s 45 minutes away. The accessibility of everything, I think, is really a huge draw for here.” Sam “There’s a lot of good food. I think that when, when we first moved, people were like, oh, you’re gonna miss the, you know, Chicago food and drink, like, oh my God, it’s known for it! And I don’t miss it.” Sam “New Belgium is the place to be, I’d say for that post kayak kind of beer and entertainment. … I mean, it’s amazing there. They’ve got this huge lawn. They just reopened it. They were the first to close during COVID, but they’ve just now reopened it, which to me signifies, like, okay, things are okay. Cause it is where you go to meet up with people, hang out on the lawn. “ Sam “It’s community. I mean, all of these, any place by the river, any of these breweries, ends up just being like a fun place to hang out and meet people.” Sam “And I laugh when I say, oh, it’s all drinking in moderation because my husband and I are back home by eight, cause we have a toddler. So I’m like, what do we know? Maybe it does get like debaucherous after eight pm. But it’s not what the town’s known for. It is perfectly fine and acceptable; we had our two-year-old’s birthday party at Asheville Brewing. Like that’s, that’s kind of the vibe here. It’s very family-friendly. It is very much open to just meeting and connecting.” Sam “I feel like it’s this little pocket. It’s not too overrun. There’s, like you said, there’s alternatives for everything. There’s the New Belgium and the Sierra Nevada, which are bigger names, or there’s these smaller breweries that you would not have heard of unless you have someone that lives here, that you would not seek out on its own. There’s plenty to do, a mix of, do you want to walk around downtown or River Arts District, or do you want to go out and not see anyone and go on a hike? So it’s going to be whatever you want to make your trip. You can make it totally downtown and people-friendly, or you can be like, I want a peace out and be by myself and go kayaking where I’m not going to see anyone, and you can do both of those trips.” Sam Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where the Locals Stay: Bent Creek Lodge Airbnbs: Sam’s Asheville Airbnb The Asheville Airbnb Barrett and I stayed in years ago with Pinball Machines Outdoor Destinations Mentioned in this Episode’s “Perfect Day”: Blue Ridge Parkway DuPont State Recreational Forest Ridgeline Trail Hooker Falls Triple Falls Trail High Falls Trail River Arts District Kayaking or Tubing on the French Broad River with French Broad Outfitters Catawba Falls Trail Skinny Dip Falls Trail Get the best deals on outdoor adventure tours in the Asheville area on Viator.com Restaurants & Breweries Mentioned in this Episode: Ivory Road Cafe & Kitchen Taco Billy New Belgium Brewing Wedge Brewing Sierra Nevada Brewery Burial Beer Green Man Brewery Wicked Weed Brewing Hi-Wire Brewing The Funkatorium Smoky Park Supper Club Sunshine Sammies Ultimate Ice Cream Company Shops Mentioned in this Episode: Whist Flora Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: The Biltmore The Omni Grove Park Inn Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
38 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
22. Woodstock, Georgia, It Should Be On Everybody’s List
Today, I’ll be speaking with Kressa Peterson about a perfect day of outdoor adventure in Woodstock, Georgia. Join Kressa and me as we camp, bike, run, kayak, paddleboard, swim in waterfalls, and even jump out of planes in the “all-around beautiful little town” she calls home! Kressa is a wife, mom, grandmother, Spartan Racer, ex-Sporthorse saleswoman, and entrepreneur. Her most recent venture was creating the Shower Toga, a clean-up and changing garment that acts as your very own personal locker room. It provides all the privacy you need to shower anywhere, anytime. And a few years back, Kressa presented the product on Shark Tank and walked away with a deal with/from Mark Cuban! These days, she and her husband can be found traveling the nation in their fifth wheel. Save 15% off any Shower Toga order by clicking here and using the promo code LOCALS15 at checkout. What We Cover in this Episode Why her product, the Shower Toga, is perfect for hikers, tent campers, and runners. How Woodstock, GA, has maintained a small-town feel amid US expansion. Why Woodstock, GA, is worth a visit. A nearby Hallmark-esqe town that’s also worth visiting. The best and worst time of year to visit Woodstock, GA. A local destination you must visit during the winter. The best spots to stay (and camp) in Woodstock, GA. The optimal place in town for breakfast, snacks, and coffee. An unrivaled local area for biking, running, kayaking, and paddleboarding. How to find epic waterfalls in Woodstock, GA. Two of the finest places for lunch, one with a very talented chef and another with epic garlic rolls. A few local lakes and mountain destinations worth a visit. An exhilarating activity worth checking out (and the safest company to book with.) Where to find unsurpassable margarita’s and martini’s in town. The most beautiful Instagram spot in Woodstock, GA. Where you need to go to get a panoramic view of Atlanta. A destination in the area that is not overrated for beauty, but for its ability to provide peace and quiet, and what you should know before visiting. How to watch Kressa’s Shark Tank Episode – Season 10 on Hulu! Quotes "Woodstock, Georgia, still has that small-town feel. They haven’t lost that quaintness that, to me, you only get from small towns, and they haven’t lost that during the time that they’ve been growing and building and expanding. And, I think that’s a hard balance for any town to keep that feel in the midst of so much expansion, which is going on all over the country." "You also have the mom-and-pop stores that haven’t been run out of business because the people in Woodstock are wonderful, and the community supports those small businesses. And I love that. I love knowing that I can go into a dress shop, and it’s owned by another small business entrepreneur, just like myself. And she’s getting enough business in that boutique or dress shop to maintain a wonderful quality of life for her family. And that’s because of the community." "…the area is absolutely beautiful. There are so many places to go and places to hike, and there’s waterfalls out there. And then, within 30 minutes, there’s lots of different places to camp and feel like you are literally hours away from civilization. So, there’s a lot that it has to offer for anyone." "…there are good and bad days to living in RVs for sure. It is a roller coaster ride. But right now, I still love it. I feel free. I don’t feel so tied down." "Woodstock is truly one of those places that, within a 25-mile radius, you can have amazing food, meet amazing people, have access to all of the shopping that you could ever want, go on incredible hikes, do water activities, and go into the mountains. … It’s just an all-around beautiful little town that has so much to offer. And it should be on everybody’s list. It really should be." Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where the Locals Stay: Airbnb Red Top Mountain State Park Outdoor Destinations Mentioned in this Episode’s “Perfect Day”: Red Top Mountain State Park Olde Rope Mill Park Lake Allatoona Kennesaw Mountain Yonah Mountain Spaceland Stone Mountain Lake Lanier Carters Lake Restaurants and Bars Mentioned in this Episode: Copper Coin Century House Ipp’s Pastaria & Bar Ippolito’s Neighborhood Italian El Jinete Mexican Restaurant Roswell ICE Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Olde Rope Mill Park Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
32 minutes | May 25, 2021
21. Earning a Fat Sandwich (or Two) by Hitting the Trails in Northeastern New Jersey
Today, I’ll be speaking with Mike Nicosia from Northeastern New Jersey. We’ll discuss why his hometown area should not be overlooked when thinking about hitting the trails in New England. Join Mike and me as we hike to the best views in Northeastern New Jersey, learn about a haunted spot and a local unsolved mystery, eat some local staple foods, and ultimately discover why the area has "more to offer than people give it credit for!" About Mike Nicosia Mike is the founder of Conquerwild.com, a site that focuses on product reviews, how-to guides, and informational content for campers and hikers. He's also a screenwriter, animal lover, and advocate for eco-friendliness. Learn more about Mike at ConquerWild. What We Cover in this Episode Why New Jersey is not what you initially think it is and why it's worth a stop for outdoors lovers. The best and worst time of year to visit New Jersey. The best spot to stay in Northeastern New Jersey. The fact that New Jersey has more diners than any other state in the country. A place that cannot be missed for breakfast - the number one diner in New Jersey. A mountainous reservation where you can see over 150 species of birds. A beautiful and recommended trail with a spooky ghost story. The second-best diner in the state that you should also be sure not to miss! Disco Fries: A New Jersey staple. A state park complete with a tourable historical Manor and botanical gardens. A family-friendly lake perfect for swimming, paddling, and enjoying ice cream. A trail with climbing, rock scramble, caves, views, wildlife, and a UFO story. A waterfall trail that hits up two states at once with views of NYC. The best spots in Montclair for dinner, fat sandwiches, milkshakes, and ice cream. A reservation with a 9/11 memorial that looks over NYC and is perfect for wrapping up the day. A town in the area that is the self-proclaimed cherry blossom capital of the world. A few New Jersey party zones. A picturesque old building that was used in the film "A Beautiful Mind." The best Instagram spots in northeastern New Jersey. An overrated Instafamous trail in the area, and the trails you should hit up instead. Quotables Well, you know, there's the whole kind of stigma around New Jersey. Everybody knows it's kind of been the butt of a joke to an extent. People hear Jersey... there's the joke about it being "Dirty Jersey." People call it the armpit of the United States. It's terrible. People associate it with the show, The Jersey Shore, which, while that show is extremely entertaining at times, it doesn't really reflect the true culture and beauty of the state. So Northern New Jersey is a whole other aspect of the state that people don't really get to see in media and everything. And we actually have a bit of the Appalachian Trail that runs through it. So there's some really beautiful natural locations, some great hiking spots, and some great history as well that make this part of the state unique. Mike Jersey is known for their diners. I'm pretty sure that we have more than any other state... you go anywhere in New Jersey, there's a diner on every corner. And most of them are definitely worth your time. But Tops Diner has been voted the number one diner in America by Time Out Magazine, and they have some great selections. Mike ...there's also Lambert's Tower along this trail, which is a 70-foot tall tower that was built in 1896. And it's kind of known to be haunted, actually. And I have a bit of a haunting experience there ... Honestly, the one true experience that I have, I can say as a paranormal experience, in my opinion. Mike If you're in New Jersey, you absolutely have to get some Disco Fries. Mike ...I'm a hiking guy. So you always have to hit the trails when you're with me. Mike I like this hike because it kind of has everything you want to hike. There's some good climbing, some rock scramble, a beautiful view of Wanaque Reservoir. You've got some caves along the way, some great wildlife. But the coolest thing to me is the view of the Wanaque Reservoir, which actually has a very interesting UFO story associated with it. Mike ...since we've hiked so much today, I think we've earned a fat sandwich or two. Mike I hate to say it, but I mean, I don't hate to say it because, you know, we all like to have that kind of fun. As much as I want to distance myself and the New Jersey state from like the show, The Jersey Shore, sometimes you gotta have some fun, sometimes that's what you need to do. Mike You know, I have to say with the fact that New Jersey is often the butt of the joke, it's so easy to overlook this area with the amount of things that people say about it, with the amount of negative media around it. But honestly, sometimes it's the hidden gems that bring you the most beauty and the most fun honestly. And in New Jersey, we know how to have a good time. If that could be the moral of the story, that's that. But at the same time, there are places to find peace, there are places to enjoy nature, there are places to Instagram. Overall, I think the state has more to offer than people give it credit for. And, you know, even when people are thinking of New Jersey in a positive light, they usually think of the shore, they think of more Southern Jersey, they think of Seaside Heights, Atlantic City, Wildwood, which are all beautiful places. But honestly, the Northern part of the state, in my opinion, is the most beautiful. You've got the mountains, you've got expansive wildlife, you've got forest, and you've got history. And to me, that's priceless. Mike Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where the Locals Stay: Archer Hotel Florham Park Outdoor Destinations Mentioned in this Episode's "Perfect Day": Garret Mountain Reservation & Barbour Pond Lambert Tower Ringwood State Park Skylands Manor New Jersey Botanical Garden Boat Rentals at Shepard Lake Recreation Area Norvin Green State Forest Hewitt-Butler, Highlands, Roomy Mine and Mine Trail Wanaque Reservoir UFO story Long Path & Shore Loop Trail Eagle Rock Reservation Branch Brook Park Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Stairway To Heaven Trail Diners, Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, and Hot Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Tops Diner Pompton Queen Diner Raymond's CARS: Sandwiches & Shakes Applegate Farm The Whiskey Priest BarCode Hoboken, NJ Area Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Soho Hospital Branch Brook Park Eagle Rock Reservation Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
31 minutes | May 11, 2021
20. Getting Lost in Greenery in Brooklyn, New York
Today, I'll be speaking with NYC native Becca Siegel about how to make the most of a day outdoors in Brooklyn, New York! Join Becca and me as we bike, walk, hike, eat and drink our way, unexpectedly, through one of the largest metropolitan areas on the planet! About Becca Siegel Becca is a traveler, adventurer, content creator, and travel/lifestyle writer who aims to inspire professionals to be adventurous and confident through remote work, travel, and entrepreneurship. She has spent several stints living abroad, starting with her semester in Hong Kong as a college junior, which introduced her to the idea of traveling and exploring the world. She lived in Shanghai, China, for two years as an ex-pat and traveler, and more recently traveled to 5 continents with her husband Dan to work remotely from all different types of environments while running their business. Her background in foreign languages (Spanish & Chinese), teaching, living abroad, and travel helped her create the lifestyle brand @halfhalftravel with her husband, Dan. Her creations have been featured in Cosmopolitan, INSIDER, Lonely Planet, Oprah magazine, and CondeNast Traveller. She loves to inspire travelers to visit NYC and especially Brooklyn! Learn more about Becca at Half Half Travel. What We Cover in this Episode Whether or not getting outside in Brooklyn, NY, is affordable and accessible. What should bring an outdoorsy and adventurous person to Brooklyn, NY. The best way to spend time outside and feel like a tourist in your own city. The best and worst time of year to visit Brooklyn, NY. The best Brooklyn neighborhoods to rent an Airbnb. The best area in Brooklyn, NY, to start your day off with morning coffee and views. An affordable way to bike around Brooklyn and a path through a park that must be taken. A historic neighborhood with beautiful brownstones and tree-lined streets that's worth exploring. The best spots in Fort Greene for lunch and afternoon coffee. Five Brooklyn parks worth visiting. How to find and hike in New York City's only forest and get lost in the biggest city in the United States. A trendy Brooklyn, NY neighborhood best for dinner and drinks. The three best Instagram spots in Brooklyn, NY. Why you don't have to spend a lot of money to eat well in Brooklyn, NY. If you're into the great outdoors, why Brooklyn is worth exploring over the other boroughs. Quotables I actually, I was never a runner before, but in 2020, starting in July, I ran 200 miles. Which is a personal achievement, but it’s also a way that I got out, and I got to learn more about the streets of where I live within a two to three to four-mile radius of where I live … and I got to just really enjoy my city and my borough and the neighboring neighborhoods through running and biking last year. So this has been an amazing way to spend time outside and also kind of like to feel like a tourist in your own city to always be seeing something new. Becca And then, where I’m going to take you is a secret, and this is that Prospect Park has New York city’s largest forest. So, it’s actually New York’s only forest. It’s a proper forest. And in the center of the park, it’s called a forest because it qualifies in some way. There are waterfalls. There are tall trees. And actually, if you look up, you cannot see any other buildings. So this is my secret that I’m bestowing upon you … we’re going hiking in Brooklyn. Becca Honestly, I like going to Prospect Park and trying to get lost, because it’s a big place. And I think the joy of doing something like that in the biggest city in the United States is saying like, I have the opportunity to get lost in greenery right now. Just put your phone in your pocket, try to get lost. Becca You don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy yourself with food and drink in New York. Becca Food in Brooklyn comes at many different types of budgets. If you’re on a waitlist for a restaurant, or if you’re dying to eat at a top 10 type of place, and it’s going to break your daily budget, don’t do it, because you can get a slice of pizza for a dollar and it’s going to be great. And you can get tacos in some neighborhood that might not be the “it” neighborhood, but it’s an authentic neighborhood, and you won’t spend more than $10 just in cash. So for anyone who is daunted by the idea of being in New York and having to spend a lot of money, there are so many ways to eat really well and have a great time and have an authentic experience without even taking more than a 10 out of your wallet. Becca If you don’t come to Brooklyn, you won’t know what you’re missin’. Becca Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where the locals stay in Brooklyn: Airbnb’s in any of the following neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights DUMBO Carroll Gardens Cobble Hill Park Slope Prospect Heights Fort Greene Vinegar Hill Downtown Brooklyn Crown Heights Outdoor Destinations Mentioned in this Episode’s “Perfect Day”: Citi Bikes Brooklyn Heights Promenade Brooklyn Bridge Park Old Pier 1 Cadman Plaza Park Fort Greene Park Prospect Park Hiking Trails Long Meadow Ballfields Brooklyn Bridge Grand Army Plaza Half Half Travel Articles mentioned in the Episode: Brooklyn Heights Guide from halfhalftravel.com (including local secrets!) Feeling adventurous? You can actually avoid tourists in the Brooklyn neighborhood mentioned here. Brooklyn Neighborhoods Visited in this Episode: Brooklyn Heights DUMBO Cobble Hill Boerum Hill Fort Greene Park Slope Brooklyn Restaurants & Bar Mentioned in this Episode: Joe Coffee National Hungry Ghost The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Uncle Barry’s Nacho Macho Taco Brooklyn Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Brooklyn Heights Promenade Brooklyn Bridge Grand Army Plaza Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
25 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
19. Shawnee National Forest, Illinois, Off Most People’s Radar
Today, I’ll be speaking with Carol Hoffman about many of the incredible adventures possible in Shawnee National Forest country in Southern Illinois. Join Carol and me as we zip through the canopy, ride horseback, hike, bike, spend time on the lake, rock climb, rappel and paint with Alpacas, all in Illinois’ only National Forest! About Carol Hoffman Carol is a birdwatcher, hiker, and all-around nature enthusiast. She has been promoting the scenic beauty of Shawnee forest country for 25 years. Learn more about Shawnee National Forest and Giant City State Park at SouthernmostIllinois.com or call their toll-free number for more information at 1-800-SEE-IT-HERE. What We Cover in this Episode What makes the Shawnee National Forest area so different than the rest of the prairie state of Illinois. Why the Giant City State Park area can give you the biggest bang for your buck when visiting this area. The best and worst time of year to visit Shawnee National Forest, Illinois. Why this area is “not an amusement park, where everything is safety checked. This is mother nature.” Where to stay when visiting Shawnee National Forest and Giant City State Park, including an upscale boutique option. The best places for coffee and pastries near Shawnee National Forest and Giant City State Park. The best places to zip around in the canopy, ride horseback, bike, spend time on the lake, rock climb, and rappel. The best meal to order for lunch at the rustic Giant City Lodge. A not-to-be-missed Instagram worth lookout spot. Why the visitor center is worth a stop. The best trails to hike in Giant City State Park. A Mother-Daughter run ranch where you can paint or do yoga with alpacas! The best local wineries to wind down at after a long day outdoors. The best spot for dinner in the Shawnee National Forest area. The best Instagram locations in Shawnee National Forest. Quotes Carol: Within that area, you’ll find a lot of hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, outdoor opportunities… The topography is very different than the rest of the prairie state of Illinois. We have a lot of Rocky Bluffs, scenic overlooks, dense forests, so a lot of the opportunity is very different than the rest of the state. Carol: Giant City [has] a lot of different opportunities very close together that can be easily reached in under 30 minutes. Whether you [want] to be up in the canopy of the trees, or on horseback, or on a lake, or hiking in the forest, it [has] all those opportunities right there together, easily accessible. Giant City State Park is a treasure trove of outdoor recreation, breathtaking views, hiking among plants and animals, fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, swimming, even rock climbing, and rappelling are options in Giant City State Park. Carol: This is not an amusement park where everything is safety checked. This is mother nature. So you do have to take care and caution on your own, out on the trails. Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode: Where to stay when visiting Shawnee National Forest: Carol: It depends… Do you want to stroll right on the trails in the park, or do you want to be in the small town and walk downtown? In Giant City State Park option: Giant City State Park Cabins Carol: Giant City State Park has 34 cabins in the park, three different styles of cabins to choose from. They range from the older, rustic, one-room cabins to a little bit more elite cabins that are out on the bluffs at the park. The cabins are kind of rustic. There are no cooking facilities in them. You can grill out at picnic grounds, of course, in the park, but the lodge is walking distance and a great place to have a nice [breakfast, lunch, or dinner]. In Giant City State Park option: Giant City State Park Lodge Carol: The lodge is a rustic, cabin-feel atmosphere, you know, high beam ceilings and a very rustic, outdoorsy feel. So that’s an experience in and of itself. It has a little gift shop and a lounge and sitting area to enjoy the park. Downtown Anna option: Davie School Inn Carol: If you wanted a more upscale option… in Anna, there is the very unique Davie School Inn that is right at the edge of [Giant City State Park],... and walking distance to downtown. [It’s] a renovated school transformed into a boutique inn. Other Shawnee National Forest Cabin Rentals & Cabins Near Shawnee National Forest: Check out listings for other Shawnee National Forest Cabins options on Airbnb. Giant City State Park Camping: Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina Outdoor Adventures Mentioned in this Episode: Zip through the canopy on a Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour. Take a horseback trail ride from Giant City Stables. Climb the spiral staircase on the Giant City water tower. Hike the Trillium trail or the Giant City Nature Trail in Giant City State Park, or any of the many other Shawnee National Forest hiking trails. Meet alpacas up close at Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch or sign up for Alpaca Yoga Classes or Alpaca Painting Classes. Bike through the park via an eBike from Shawnee Hills eBike Rentals. Kayak, Canoe, Camp, and Fish at Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina. Rock climb and rappel in Giant City State Park. Shawnee National Forest Restaurants & Wineries Mentioned in this Episode: Kiki’s Coffeehouse Davis Pastry Giant City State Park Lodge & Restaurant Blue Sky Vineyard StarView Vineyards Brick House Grill Shawnee National Forest Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Devil’s Stand Table Giant City Water Tower Bald Knob Cross Inspiration Point Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Locals Knows Best Podcast on Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
27 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
18. Raleigh, North Carolina, a Small Town Feel with a Big City Vibe
Today, I'll be speaking with Caroline Makepeace about how to make the most of a day outdoors in Raleigh, North Carolina. Join Caroline and me as we bike, paddle, eat and drink our way through the big city with a small town feel! About Caroline Makepeace Caroline is the co-Founder of y travel blog, along with her husband, Craig. Over the past 10 years, they've been showing people how to travel more and create better memories. And together, they have built y travel blog into one of the biggest travel blogs in the world! She has experienced almost every travel style after traveling (mostly nomadically) for 23 years, including living in 5 different countries and traveling to over 50. She and her husband have also proven travel is possible after kids. They've created a full-time family travel lifestyle with their 2 daughters since 2013. More recently, they were awarded a green card for their extraordinary ability in the art of travel blogging and are now living in their dream home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their new venture, This is Raleigh, showcases the vibrancy of this incredible city. Read more about Caroline's traveling experience at y travel blog or her learn all about Raleigh at This is Raleigh. What We Cover in This Episode What would motivate a family of globetrotting Australians to settle down in Raleigh, North Carolina. The best and worst time of year to visit Raleigh, NC. A local's two favorite hotels to stay at in Raleigh, including one boutique hotel and one hidden secret on a lake. The best spot to get a traditional southern breakfast in Raleigh, NC. A local coffee spot that pours a "perfect cup." A spot in Raleigh where you can hike, bike, kayak, and paddleboat on a lake amongst the pine and oak trees. The best spot for brunch with views of the city. A popular, casual lunch option that caters to everyone and serves up delicious mimosa buckets. An 11-mile bike trail that's great for seeing the area, as well as taking in some culture. A lake an hour outside of the city where there are no crowds, and you can enjoy all of your water activities. The best spot for dinner in Raleigh, North Carolina. The best bars and breweries to wind down at after a long day of adventure. The two best spots to watch the sunset in Raleigh, NC. How to find a popular Instagram spot in the city. An overrated neighborhood in Raleigh, and where you should spend your time instead. Quotes Caroline: It's a wonderful lifestyle. I think it's very outdoorsy, very jovial, fun, vibrant, friendly, welcoming. Very welcoming, Raleigh really is. And it just has a sense of vibrancy here. People are very friendly. People are very happy and very content. When we were going back and forth and moving back to Australia and every time we came back, it just hit me, as soon as I'd arrive. Oh my gosh. Everyone is so friendly here. I mean, I'm from Australia. I find people in Australia to be quite friendly, but it's just so obvious how friendly and welcoming people are. I mean, every person has a sign in their yard, you know, everyone's welcome here, and it really is that in Raleigh. It's very special in that way. It also feels like you live in a forest. It's called the city of Oaks. And I mean, we're just surrounded by trees, and we're immersed in this kind of green lifestyle, which I think really adds to people's sense of happiness and contentment. There's a lot of fun things happening in Raleigh. There's always a festival on. There's always a music event on. And it's really grown a lot over the last couple of years, and the food scene has just exploded. And you know, it's a great location. We're just over an hour to the beach. We're three to four hours to the mountains. And then we're halfway between New York and Florida, which is really important for us because you know, we love to travel so much. So that accessibility to lots of exciting places to visit is important for us in where we choose to live. Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where the locals stay in Raleigh, NC: The Longleaf Hotel The StateView Hotel Outdoor Destinations Mentioned in this Episode's "Perfect Day": Lake Raleigh on Centennial Campus Moore Square Lake Johnson How to Bike the Art to Heart Trail at the North Carolina Museum of Art North Carolina State University Jordan Lake John H. Kerr Reservoir Falls Lake Dorothea Dix Park This is Raleigh Article mentioned in the Episode 34 Reasons we love living in Raleigh, NC Raleigh, North Carolina Neighborhoods & Surrounding Cities Mentioned in this Episode: Warehouse District Boylan Heights Cary Person Street District North Hills Hargett Street Area Historic Oakwood Raleigh, North Carolina Restaurants & Breweries Mentioned in this Episode: Big Ed's City Market Restaurant Heirloom Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing Morgan Street Food Hall Bond Brothers Beer Company Crawford & Son Watts & Ward Raleigh, North Carolina Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Boylan Bridge All Are Welcome Raleigh Mural at Poole'side Pies Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
34 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
17. Central Sierra Nevada, California, You Don’t Come up Here for Fancy
Today, I’ll be speaking with Doug Noll about all of his favorite outdoor activities and places in Central Sierra Nevada, California. Join Doug and me as we adventure through each of the four seasons in the Central Sierra Nevada area of California and explore all of the best local spots for skiing, whitewater rafting, biking, hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, boating, and water skiing. About Doug Noll Doug is a lawyer turned peacemaker, author, trainer, and mentor. He has created online courses in emotional competency, de-escalation, leadership, and decision-making that help people resolve deep and intractable ideological conflicts. He’s also an all-around adventurer! A fully certified ski instructor, former whitewater guide, airplane pilot, helicopter pilot, mountain biker, 2nd-degree black belt, sailor, you get the picture…. if it’s adventurous, he’s probably tried it! Learn more about Doug at DougNoll.com. What We Cover in This Episode What causes the Central Sierra Nevada area to remain undeveloped. Why visitors from Los Angeles and San Francisco should consider the area if they’re tired of the Tahoe and Mammoth crowds. The best time of year to visit the Central Sierra Nevada. The best outdoor activities to be enjoyed in the area during each season. The best local spots for skiing, rafting, biking, hiking, sailing, boating, and water skiing. What makes China Peak Mountain Resort a great place to ski. The best camping areas throughout the Central Sierra Nevada area. A unique inn you have to walk 5 miles into the middle of the wilderness to find. The best locations to rent cabins throughout the Central Sierra Nevada area. What makes checking out “typical cowboy bars in typical small mountain towns” so much fun. The best restaurant to get dinner in the Central Sierra Nevada area. A beautiful Instagram spot that came out of an awful natural disaster in the Central Sierra Nevada area. A few overrated places in Central Sierra Nevada and where you should go instead to get an even better experience. A lake area that you’d never expect attracts Hollywood celebrity visitors. A local’s recommended path to take from Yosemite National Park to Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks, that stays within the mountains. Quotes What’s interesting is the people over on the coast, you know, the Bay area or down in Southern California, San Diego, they sort of look at this region, as there, there be dragons. Nobody ever comes up here because they don’t think about the fact that the vast majority of the state is open space. The crowds are on the coast. When you get inland, it’s not crowded, and we have this natural beauty all around us. Doug Noll If you’re really looking for a different experience, where there’s not a lot of crowds, and you’re looking for real beauty, this is the place to come. It’s out of the way, it’s a bit of a drive for people. But it’s worth it. Doug Noll You could spend a whole summer just in this region, not go more than a hundred miles, and just see some amazing places. Doug Noll If you’re an outdoorsman or an outdoorswoman, and you really like doing active stuff, skiing, biking, sailing, whitewater, paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, water skiing, you’re crazy, it’s crazy not to come here because it’s so beautiful. It’s so accessible. And … the nice thing is that it’s not glitzy and it’s not expensive. Doug Noll Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where the locals stay in Central Sierra Nevada: Forest Service Campgrounds Kaiser Pass Lake Thomas A Edison Florence Lake Campground Muir Trail Ranch (called the “John Muir Inn” on the podcast) Cabins at Shaver Lake, Florence Lake, Edison, and Vermillion Valley Condos in Lakeshore on Airbnb Foothills area on Airbnb Tenaya Lodge Outdoor Central Sierra Nevada Locations & Activities Mentioned in this Episode: North Fork China Peak Mountain Resort San Joaquin River Kings River Kings River Expeditions Ansel Adams Wilderness Area Permits Huntington Lake Shaver Lake Camp Edison Lakeshore Bass Lake Central Sierra Nevada Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode: Stonehouse Tavern & Eatery Buckhorn at China Peak Mountain Resort Don Fernando’s Mexican Restaurant Trading Post Ositos Mexican Pub The Point Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
35 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
16. Las Vegas, Nevada, Look a Little Bit Further
Today, I’ll be speaking with Ashly Ryan about her perfect day beyond the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. And then, at the end of our chat, we talk about a few alternative day trips in the area as well! Join Ashly and me as we make the most of a day outdoors around Las Vegas, Nevada. About Ashly Ryan Ashly is half of Happy Nomad Couple, a duo who loves the travel together on a budget. In 2017, they quit their jobs to backpack around the world. In one year, they visited 22 countries on five continents. As of now, they've traveled to over 30 countries together, and by the end of this year, they'll have seen all seven wonders of the world! They keep track of their spending to create budgets to share with other young couples planning trips. Ashley's past travels have also inspired her to create a reversible travel clothing line called Splice Clothing. Read more about Ashly's traveling experience at Happy Nomad Couple or her reversible travel clothing line at Splice Clothing. What We Cover in This Episode The best and worst time of year to visit Las Vegas, NV. A local's favorite hotel to play and stay. The best spots to get coffee and breakfast in Las Vegas, NV. All of the best sights to see at Valley of Fire State Park. How to get to free hiking trails in Red Rock Canyon that you don't need a reservation to hike. A neighborhood with the best food in the city. A delicious, not to be missed, three-course dessert experience. Tons of other things you can do in the area if you've already been to Red Rock and Valley of Fire. How to hike to Hot Springs in the area. Where you can hike nearby to see epic sunsets and waterfalls. The best local spot for boating. The best Instagram spots in Las Vegas, NV. One overrated attraction in Las Vegas, NV, and where you should go instead to get an even better experience. A few must-visit attractions on the strip. The best of the best of the strip and Fremont, according to a local. Quotes Ashly: "If I were to guess, I would say probably 20% of people actually end up leaving the strip to see what else is out there. I think it's becoming more popular, especially now with having to social distance and things like that. But a lot of people just really stick to the strip. I mean, it's really easy to just stay there because it's kind of its own little world, you know, there's so much to see on the strip. So you definitely could get stuck there, but I think it's kind of a shame because we have so many beautiful outdoor environments around Las Vegas." Ashly: "You'll be pleasantly surprised at how different the landscape is from probably most other places you've seen and how gorgeous it is. So it doesn't have to be your whole itinerary if you're coming to Vegas for a few days. I think one of the things that annoys me the most is when people say, Oh, you can do Vegas in two or three days. That's true if you're just gonna stick to the strip and see shows and restaurants and go to the lobbies. But I would say. You don't want to miss adding an extra day to your stay in Vegas to go outside. Definitely go somewhere outside. There's tons of different things for all different interests. If you've already been to Red Rock, there are other places you can go that will be completely different, and you don't want to miss it because I think you'll have a great time. And if you could either just go see it to take pictures and go for a really nice drive or you can go and do a crazy hike." Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where the locals stay in Las Vegas, NV Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa Outdoor Activities Mentioned in this Episode's "perfect day": Valley of Fire State Park Atlatl Rock Fire Wave Rainbow Vista Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Calico Basin Kraft Mountain Loop Trail Ash Canyon Trail First Creek Trail Oak Creek Trail Extra "Beyond the Strip" Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode Hoover Dam Grand Canyon National Park Arizona Hot Spring Trail Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail Historic Railroad Hiking Trail Death Valley National Park Zion National Park Rhyolite Mount Charleston Lake Mead National Recreation Area Willow Beach Las Vegas, NV Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode: Makers & Finders Red Rock Grand Café The Cracked Egg La Cantine 888 Korean BBQ Nabe Sweets Raku Las Vegas, NV Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Seven Magic Mountains Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck Fountains of Bellagio Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens 10% off an Escape Campervan I know many of you are starting to plan out future adventures, which is super exciting! 🤗 To celebrate that, we have a special gift in this episode! Ashley notes that it would be ideal to have a car, RV, or campervan for this trip. Last Vegas' amazing airport, paired with loads of nearby campgrounds and boondocking spots, makes it a great starting point for a camping adventure. If you find yourself listening to this episode and wanting to experience this trip, I cannot recommend renting an Escape Campervan enough. Barrett and I got to experience an Escape Campervan rental a little over a year ago at Death Valley National Park, and we absolutely loved it!! Save 10% off an Escape Campervan trip here. Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
33 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
15. Branson, Missouri, a Cheesy Yet Charming Hub for Seeing the Ozarks
Today, I’ll be speaking with Ashley Mann about a fun outdoorsy day in the tourist destination of Branson, Missouri. And then the end of our chat, we’re also going to touch on a bunch of the outdoor adventures possible in the greater Ozarks area. Join Ashley and me as we make the most of a day outdoors in Branson, Missouri, and then journey into all of the outdoor adventures provided by the surrounding Ozarks area. About Ashley Mann Ashley is a former full-time RVer. She and her husband lived in an RV for three years, starting in 2016, while they both started their online businesses. In 2019, they decided to return to their hometown of Springfield, Missouri for a few months and ended up falling in love with it so much that they decided to sell their RV and make it their permanent home base. Ashley currently owns and operates a multitude of websites, including RVinspiration.com, a website about RV organization, decor, and renovations, and RenovatedRVsforsale.com, an RV listing website for buying and selling renovated RVs. While RVing, Ashley blogged about their experiences, including why they bought an RV that they never traveled in, how they started out their online businesses, and even ultimately why they decided to end their RV life journey. Read more about Ashley's RVing experience at RVinspiration.com/About or connect with her at AshleyMann.me What We Cover in This Episode What makes Branson, MO, a great hub for visiting the Ozarks. The history behind the development of Branson. What makes Branson both cheesy and charming. The best time of year to visit Branson, MO. Where to stay in Branson, MO, with and without an RV. The best spots to get coffee and juice near Branson, MO. A relaxing outdoorsy spot near Branson, MO that’s not to be missed – complete with streams, lakes, waterfalls, caves, bike rentals, tram tours, segway rentals, and horseback riding. Why historic downtown Branson is worth your time. The most authentic Ozarks Southern dinner spot in Branson, MO, and what to order. A local’s favorite place to play mini-golf in Branson, MO. The most overrated attractions in Branson, MO, and where you should go instead to get the biggest bang for your buck. The best shows, museum, and Instagram spots in Branson, MO. The must-visit destinations throughout the Ozarks, in both Missouri and Arkansas, for paddling, hiking, rock climbing, and swimming. Quotes "There’s so much to see and do here. Branson, it’s a vacation destination for people in the Ozarks, but there’s a lot I think to offer people that are not from the area as well. You know, every part of the U.S. has its own flavor and feel, and I think Branson is a good representation of what the Ozarks have to offer. And … not just Branson, but the Ozarks is where I would travel from across the country to visit." "Branson, I like not because so much of Branson itself, but because it’s kind of centrally located. So if you can spend a week or two in the Ozarks, there is a lot outside of Branson to do, and all of it is within an hour or two of Branson in different directions. So I think it’s really a good hub for seeing the Ozarks. But there is a lot to do in Branson as well." Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in Branson, MO: Airbnb Rentals (If you’re new to Airbnb, you’ll get $65 off your first booking with this link!) 86 Campground Best Western Branson Inn And Conference Center La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Branson What to do in Branson, MO Table Rock Lake Dogwood Canyon Historic Downtown Branson Dick's Oldtime 5 & 10 Branson Landing Lake Taneycomo Branson Ferris Wheel (Formerly Chicago's Navy Pier Ferris Wheel) Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf Silver Dollar City Ralph Foster Museum Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode & What to do Beyond Branson Throughout the Ozarks Jasper, AR - Buffalo River Area Sam's Throne Eureka Springs, AR Bentonville, AR Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Fayetteville, AR Hot Springs, AR Petit Jean State Park Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park Elephant Rocks State Park Branson, MO Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode: Vintage Paris Revive Juice & Coffee Bar Farmhouse Restaurant Branson, MO Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode: Point Lookout Top of the Rock Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
31 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
14. Southern Idaho, Skiing Like it Used to Be
Today, I’ll be speaking with Tony Harrison about a bunch of different outdoor activities in Southern Idaho, but with an emphasis on all of the skiing and snowboarding possibilities. Join Tony and me as we spend a day skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in Southern Idaho and then wrap up the day back in Twin Falls, Idaho! Why visit Southern Idaho? Tony: “Well, for starters, you should definitely pick Idaho over more popular areas to ski like Colorado and California, because we’ve got very short lift lines, very inexpensive lift tickets, and oftentimes people consider Idaho to be the soul of skiing. It’s skiing like it used to be, I mean, it’s unpretentious and it’s just really great snow, tons of terrain and it’s under the radar. Anybody can go ski Vail. How many people come out and ski Soldier Mountain, Pomerelle? You’ll definitely have as much fun, if not more fun than some of those big hills. You’ll definitely spend a lot less time waiting in lift lines, a lot more time on skis. And the people are so unassuming and nice, it is really a breath of fresh air when you come here.” About Tony Harrison Learn more about Idaho at: Ski Idaho, Visit South Idaho & Visit Idaho Tony was born and raised in the spud state. He’s a lifelong skier and the publicist for Ski Idaho. He has personally skied at 12 of Idaho’s 18 ski resorts in the past three years. His love for the great outdoors has left him with a wealth of insider knowledge about all of the area's outdoor recreation options. When Tony's not skiing, he maintains a solo PR practice, working with various clients in the tourism, tech, and agriculture industries. What We Cover in This Episode Tactics to help get nervous skiers back out on the slopes. The importance of a ski resort’s grooming operations. What makes Southern Idaho so awesome. The best time to visit Southern Idaho. What about Southern Idaho’s climate makes warm-weather activities possible year-round. Where to stay in Southern Idaho. The best spots to get breakfast near Twin Falls, Idaho. The three best ski resorts to hit up from Twin Falls, Idaho. A resort where you can snowcat ski in two-thousand acres of backcountry skiing. A resort that is great for those who enjoy glade and tree skiing. A resort with a fantastic cliffs section. Where you can go snow tubing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. The best craft breweries and dining options in Twin Falls, Idaho. The best things to do in Southern Idaho that aren’t skiing and snowboarding. The top attractions in Southern Idaho for rock climbers, mountain bikers, kayakers, paddleboarders, base jumpers, and hot springs seekers! A dairy farm you can visit with some of the best cheese in the country. Why you should pick Idaho over some of the more popular areas to ski in Colorado and California. Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in Southern Idaho: Airbnb Rentals (If you're new to Airbnb, you'll get $65 off your first booking with this link!) Hilton Garden Inn Fairfield Inn & Suites The Almo Inn Idaho Ski Report Blog Mentioned by Tony: Open Snows Idaho Daily Snow Report Where to Ski in Southern Idaho: Pomerelle Mountain Resort Soldier Mountain Ski Area Magic Mountain Ski Resort Things to do in Southern Idaho: Shoshone Falls City of Rocks Perrine Memorial Bridge Centennial Waterfront Park Ritter Island State Park Box Canyon Spring Nature Preserve Hot Springs in Southern Idaho: Banbury Hot Springs Miracle Hot Springs 1000 Springs Resort Southern Idaho Restaurants & Southern Idaho Craft Breweries Mentioned in this Episode: Hilton Garden Inn (Ground Floor Grill that Serves Breakfast to Order) Yellow Brick Cafe The Country Crumb Koto Brewing Milner's Gate Elevation 486 Bearded Axe Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part! If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!! Follow Cinders Travels on Facebook or Instagram for Locals Know Best updates.
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