ALL POSTS TAGGED "[things to do]"

It’s official – summer is finally here (well, this Saturday, to be exact)!  Now you have roughly 13 weeks or 95 days to take advantage of all the best things about summer, from food-fueled road trips to rooftop cocktails to lazy beach days. Don’t have a plan yet? Get inspired to create your own list with our 7 summer must-dos.

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With temperatures dropping, don’t let winter doldrums set in. Bundle up and embrace the cold (albeit the bone-chilling, artic-blasting cold of recent days) with some of our favorite things to do in winter.

1. Sleep in an ice hotel.

If you aren’t afraid of a little cold or a bed made out of ice, spend an unforgettable night in an ice hotel. Chill out in a luxury igloo full of hard-carved ice sculptures and cozy fur hides to keep you warm at night.

2. Toast with a decadent drink.

The ideal cure for a winter chill? A cocktail to warm you up. Toast to shorter days with these 10 cold-weather cocktails, from a traditional hot toddy to an innovative dry-ice-infused concoction.

3. Take an icy plunge.
What better way to plunge into 2014 than with an icy dip! There are still New Year dips taking place throughout January, or head to Finland where ice swimming is a popular custom all winter long.

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Courtesy of Ballpark Boathouse

A week into the government shutdown, tourists and furloughed employees alike in Washington, DC, are asking, “What do we do now?” While we don’t have the answers for when the shutdown will end or what’s going to be the state of our country after, we do have some ideas to take our mind off the shutdown while it’s happening.

So for those who find yourself in DC with some time on your hands, here are a few things to do:

Churchkey

Enjoy Happy Hour … All Day Long
Drink your debt-ceiling worries away at the numerous bars and restaurants in the district that are offering shutdown specials. Nothing like a little comfort food or cocktails to ease stress and put a smile on your face. Check out Washington Post’s growing list of places to eat and drink for less during the shutdown.

See DC From the Water
Tourists and locals should take a chance to see the city from another angle  — from the water.  Ballpark Boathouse, the only public boat rental open during the shutdown, is extending their kayak rental season by staying open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as long as the government shutdown continues (and until the water temperature hits 55 degrees).

Photo by Kathleen Rellihan

Check Out Other Neighborhoods
Tourists might normally stick to the Mall and downtown, but the shutdown of the National Monuments is the perfect excuse to see less tourist-trodden territory. Escape downtown and head to the eclectic U Street neighborhood for a taste of African-American history, indie shopping and inventive restaurants. And on Saturdays, you can check out the new District Flea for some wallet-friendly shopping.

Take Up a New Hobby
Out of work? Put those idle hands to use by learning a new craft. Fibre Space in Old Town, Alexandria, is offering free knitting lessons for federal workers on any day the government is closed. Or perhaps you have always wanted to try yoga, but didn’t have the time. STROGA yoga studio in DC is offering free noon classes to those with a government ID.

Get Snap Happy Outside of DC
While there might not be any photo snapping of national monuments for the time being, tourists and locals can see a different side of the area by taking a photo safari outside of the city. Shoot the barns and bridges in nearby Frederick, MD, or capture the morning light in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, just an hour’s drive away. Or head out on a leaf-peeping adventure outside DC now that fall foliage is starting to peak in the area.

No matter where you are in the US, don’t let the government shut down your vacation.  Here are travel alternatives outside DC during the shutdown.

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photo by Patty Hodapp

San Francisco often sits shrouded in a heavy fog bank — a clash of salty Pacific Ocean air and savory aromas wafting from food trucks. Like most cities, there’s a riot of noise: boat horns blasting in the harbor, buses screeching as they whip around corners, racked surfboards knocking atop cars, tourists talking in several languages. But don’t let it fool you. Despite its concrete-jungle appearance, there are plenty of outdoorsy things to do for the active first-time Bay Area visitor. Here are 4 ideas to get you started:

Bike Along the Embarcadero and Marina Boulevard

Bay Area Bike Share launched at the end of August to increase cycling in San Francisco. 700 bikes placed at docking stations around the peninsula and Bay Area are now available for both city dwellers and tourists to use. Grab one of the new mint green bikes (skip the rental stations that charge a fortune) and cruise west from the Ferry Building along The Embarcadero’s piers. From Marina Boulevard, you can jump on the paved path and bike toward the Golden Gate Bridge. When you’re done, simply return your bike to the nearest docking station. A 24-hour pass costs $9. Heads up, trips longer than 30-minutes incur small overtime fees.

Trail Run in Presidio National Park

The Presidio, located on the northwest tip of the peninsula, is actually a historic military post that was converted into a national park. It now offers quiet trails prime for running that weave through treed bluffs home to 130 bird species. You can climb up to several vista overlooks of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge — my favorite is Inspiration Point, situated above the park’s largest watershed, Tennessee Hollow.

For up-close, postcard-like views of the Golden Gate, follow signs to Crissy Field Overlook. Tuck your phone in your shorts pocket. You won’t want to miss this photo op.

Writer Patty Hodapp hiking through the Redwoods.

Hike Through Redwoods in Mt. Tamalpais State Park

Hikers looking for a workout as they experience California’s legendary Redwoods shouldn’t park at Muir Woods National Monument (what most guidebooks recommend, and what most tourists opt for). Instead, take Mill Valley’s Panoramic Highway a couple miles higher into Mount Tamalpais State Park. Park your car at the wide roadside access point. From here, take Ocean View Trail, which switchbacks down from redwood treetops to the Muir Woods’ forest floor. As you descend, you’ll notice wider trunks, and a pleasant charred, earthy smell. You can still hike around Muir Woods once you get down, but this 5-mile round-trip adds a challenging, less-traveled spin to the Muir boardwalk.

Stand Up Paddleboard in Sausalito

For paddlers not afraid to brave the Bay’s chilly water temps, the best stand-up bet lies in sheltered Sausalito — the oceanfront neighborhood on the north end of Golden Gate Bridge. With Sea Trek, located in Richardson Bay, you can paddle for $20 an hour through yacht harbors next to the seals, or sign up for a SUP fitness class. The group also offers guided tours under the Golden Gate. Time your visit right, and you can snag a spot on the full moon tour to catch the city’s night skyline from the water.

by Patty Hodapp

Patty Hodapp is a freelance writer and solo traveler reporting from the intersection of fitness and adventure. Her slew of expat addresses runs deep — most recently, a tropical Spanish island in the Mediterranean. She covers endurance sports, outdoor gear and adventure travel. Besides Travel Channel, she has written for Outside, Men’s Fitness, Shape and several other publications.


Hello, summer! Today marks the first day of summer and we’re gearing up for a fun-filled few months with our summer to-do list. There’s no excuse for boredom with our list of things to do this summer. So, get up, get out, and go!

1.     Head to the beach.

Nothing says summer more than a lazy day at the beach, soaking up some sunshine. We can dream of lounging on celeb-favorite beaches in places like Rio de Janeiro and St. Barts, but we’ll be just as happy digging our toes in the sand stateside at East Coast beaches like Cape May and the Outer Banks.

2.     Hit the open road.

Road trips are the perfect summer escape and the best way to see this beautiful country of ours. Whether it’s an iconic drive like Route 66 or a road trip through California’s wine country, there’s nothing more American or adventurous than taking a road trip.

3.     Take your workout to the water.

Nobody wants to be in the gym on a beautiful day. There’s no shortage of watersports that burn calories and cool you off — surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and white-water rafting are just some of our favorites. And who wouldn’t want to swim a few laps in these cool pools?

4.     Get some fresh air.

After being cooped up all winter (and possibly spring), this is the time to explore the great outdoors. If you can’t manage one of these bucket list treks around the world, there are national parks in nearly every corner of the US to explore. Take a break from traffic and crowds this summer and get back in tune with nature!

5.     Watch a movie under the stars.

On a nice summer night, there’s nothing better than watching a movie outdoors. From San Francisco’s Film Night in the Park to Washington, DC’s Screen on the Green, there are outdoor movies to take advantage of all over the country this summer. Don’t forget to pack a picnic.

6.     Take your bike for a spin.

It’s time to dust off your bike and leave the car in the garage. For a heart-pounding ride try mountain biking at Whistler or for something more relaxing (and flat) take a bike tour of Charleston’s lowcounty. And if you happen to live in one of these cycling cities, you don’t even need to leave town — your city was made to explore on 2 wheels.

7.     Cool off with a treat.

Did someone say ice cream? Count us in! We’re burning off so many calories outside this summer; we deserve a little indulgence, especially one that’ll cool us off on a hot day. Whether it’s artisan ice cream shops or ice cream trucks, dish us a scoop, please.

Tell Us:  What’s on your Summer To-Do List?

 

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travel pinterest

Lately, we at Travel Channel have been getting hooked on Pinterest. This social network’s pinboard-community format is excellent for finding and sharing travel inspiration and planning vacations. Here’s our Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/travelchannel

If you’ve got a case of wanderlust like we do, Pinterest is great for finding interesting destinations to visit, things to do, fun travel tips and tools, and lots more. To start, we’ve been pinning some of our favorite travel photos, quotes, destinations and travel activities that are on our “bucket list,” ideas for future trips, and we’ve also been repinning travel photos that we love from other Pinterest users. Here are some of our other favorite travelers on Pinterest:

ThriftyTravelMama
STA Travel
Croft Global Travel
Southwest Airlines
Lina Widiasana
Kelly Harmon
Julie Norton

Some of our sister networks are on Pinterest too – you can follow Food Network, Cooking ChannelHGTV, and DIY Network for all kinds of home & food inspiration. We hope you’ll follow us and join in the travel fun on Pinterest!

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • Vintage Summer: National Ice Cream Month #tbt

  • Santorini, Greece

  • Lake Placid, New York

  • Before Selfies