Visiting Wineries and Breweries

Based on our history, you could say our relationship is based on travel and adventure but you know what else it is based on? Fine wine and craft beer! During our travels, Greg and I always try to find a local winery or brewery to visit and have had great luck over the last 8 years… we even got married at a winery! Below we will list where we have visited by state (we started this list late so there may be a few missing). We will continue to add to this list as we travel. Let us know if any of these are familiar to you or if you have been to any.

Connecticut
Cassidy Hill Vineyard
Sharpe Hill Vineyard

Florida
Green Bench Brewing Company
Crooked Thumb Brewery
St. Pete Brewing Company
Pinellas Ale Works
Dunedin Brewery
7venth Sun Brewery
Right Around the Corner Brewery
Soggy Bottom Brewery
Big Storm Brewing Company
Dunedin House of Beer
Caledonia Brewing
Cueni Brewing Co.
Woodright Brewing Company
Grindhaus Brew Lab
Arkane Aleworks
Pair O’ Dice Brewing
Southern Lights Brewing Company
Stilt House Brewery
Palm Harbor Brewery
De Bine Brewing Company
Two Frogs Brewing Co.
Cigar City Brewing
Tampa Bay Brewing Company
Coppertail Brewing Co.
Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.
Hidden Springs Ale Works

Idaho
Grand Teton Brewing Company

Ireland
Irish Whiskey Museum

Maryland
Cooper’s Hawk Winery

Massachusetts
Harpoon Brewery

New Jersey
Cape May Winery & Vineyard
Willow Creek Winery & Farm
Cava Winery & Vineyard
Westfall Winery
Slack Tide Brewing Company
Cricket Hill Brewing Co

New York
Brotherhood Winery
Heartland Brewery
Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery
Thousand Island Winery
Ventosa Vineyard
Rooster Hill Vineyard
Barrington Cellars
Villa Bellangelo
Ravines Wine Cellars
Keuka Spring Winery
Glenora Wine Cellars
Starkey’s Lookout Brewery & Winery
Hermann J Weimer Vineyard
Abandoned Brewery
Seneca Shore Wine Cellars
Casa Larga Vineyard & Winery
Bully Hill Vineyards
Heron Hill Vineyards
McGreggor Vineyard
Pleasant Valley Wine Company
Fruit Yard Winery
White Springs Winery
3 Brothers Winery & Estates
Fulkerson Winery
Magnus Ridge Winery
Lakewood Vineyards
Keuka Brewing Company
Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellar
Wagner Valley Winery & Brewery
Hazlitt Vineyards
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellar
Chateua LaFayette Reneau
Two Goats Brewing Company
Grist Iron Brewing Company
J.R Dill Winery
Damiani Wine Cellar
Rooster Fisher Brewing Company
Finger Lakes Distillery
Bottomless Brewing

North Carolina
D9 Brewery
Free Will Craft & Vine
Bold Missy Brewery
Divine Barrel Brewery
Free Range Brewing
Ass Clown Brewing Company

Pennsylvania
The Vineyard at Grandview
Lancaster Brewing Company
Vynecrest Vineyards
Waltz Vineyard
Troegs Brewing Company
Appalachian Brewing Company

Utah
Zion Brewery

Washington
Redhook Brewlab
JM Cellars
Alexandria Nicole Cellars

Leaving our Wedding Rings at Home

As some of you may know, Greg and I live right off the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida. We spend a lot of our time in or near the water; we try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. As much as we love our wedding rings, we never want to chance them getting lost or stolen while outdoors (my cousin lost his ring the week after his wedding in the ocean). Luckily, Greg and I found an alternative option to not wearing anything on our fingers during these times. We purchased Qalo Rings before we were even married and knew this was a perfect fit for us!

About the company – Qalo offers products other than the rings we love such as- apple watch bands, blankets, baby teething necklaces, dog tags, and more.

Rings- Qalo offers many different styles of rings so you can choose one, or more, to fit your style (stackable, classic, reversible, modern, strata which features 2 layers of contrasting silicon with an engraved pattern, or you can even design your own ring! How cool!). My personal favorite is the scalloped pearl but I have had my eye on the stackable rings as well.  Click HERE to be directed to women’s rings. Click HERE to be directed to men’s rings.

What size do I order? – Click HERE for sizing help. If you get your ring and it does not fit, you can make an even exchange within the first 60 days. (I have had my ring for 2 years and I feel as though the size has remained the same).

When to wear- We find ourselves wearing our Qalo rings for a few reasons: I work in health care and wash my hands 10-15 times a day which ironically makes my wedding rings not look as shiny as they should, we spend a lot of time in the water during the summer and don’t have to worry about our rings slipping off, we were working out before our wedding and the silicon ring was much more comfortable. The silicon bands stretch so if my fingers get swollen during pregnancy, this in another option- I hate the fact of not wearing anything at all on my finger… 1 because of the symbolization of a wedding band and 2 because if you wear a ring every day and for some reason don’t for one day you probably have freak out moments like I do.

Deals- Military men/women and first responders can receive 15% off their order. Just head over to QALO.com and on the bottom of the page beneath Inside QALO you will see the tab for U.S. Military or First Responders Discount. From there, it will ask you to verify your military information. Once all needed information is filled out, you will then be emailed a discount code that you can use at checkout! There will be a box on the right side of the checkout page that says “Discount Code / Store Credit”. Enter in your military code and your discount will apply!

Want $5.00 off? Use our link! http://share.qalo.com/share/megcarroll1006

Overall, Greg and I love our Qalo rings as they fit right into our lifestyle. Let us know if you already have a ring or if this is something you’re interested in.

Our Qalo rings came on our honeymoon as we spent that time hiking 96 miles!

Renting with Cruise America Review

If this is your first time visiting our page, welcome! This post was inspired by our 18-day honeymoon which was spent visiting 6 National Parks while in a Cruise America RV… if you are new, go to our page to read all about our trip. Spending 18 days in an RV, driving just over 2,500 miles, was an amazing experience and we are here to give you all the information you need if you are considering renting with Cruise America. *Cruise Canada is also an option but we are unsure if any of the information below is the same for both.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

As stated on their website- Take the comfort of home with you next time you travel by renting an RV from Cruise America. The stress-free convenience of vacationing with your room on your back affords families and friends the opportunity to travel in comfort and style, while allowing time for a great opportunity to grow closer as you travel to and from your destination. With Cruise America, the journey is a rich part of the reward.

For us– When looking for an RV rental company, Cruise America seemed to offer all the things we were looking for: one-way travel options, easily accessible locations for pick-up and drop off, multiple rental options, friendly staff, and the freedom. Cruise America also offers free insurance and 24-hour service which was a plus.

LOCATIONS

Cruise America has 129 pick-up and drop off locations spanning the United States and Canada. Click HERE and scroll to the very bottom of the page to see a list of their locations.

For us- When picking the start and end destination for our trip, we made sure there was an airport and a pick-up/drop off location relatively close to each other; we used Lyft to get from the airport to the Cruise America location and back (San Jose and Salt Lake City airport). Do your research before, there was another airport just as close in California but the flights were a lot more expensive.

TYPES OF RVs

There are 4 types of RVs you can choose from when completing your booking process (click HERE for an overview of all the RVs and what is included or to look at each one separately/take a 360 video view):

Large RV- 7 passenger

Standard RV- 5 passenger

Compact RV- 3 passenger

Truck Camper- 2-3 passengers

For us: Greg and I kept going back and forth between renting the compact RV and the truck camper. Ultimately, because we booked a one-way trip, the compact RV was what we got “approved” for. In the end, we were very happy with what we had; it was just the right amount of space we needed without feeling like we were bumping into each other the entire time. We slept in the upper bed and store our suitcases under the kitchen table so they were never in the way. One other bonus of the compact RV compared to the truck camper was that I could easily get up and grab a snack/go to the bathroom while Greg was driving- with the truck camper you would have to pull over.

  • The compact RV and truck camper will fit in a regular size parking spot. All others will need to be parked in an RV spot.

BOOKING

After doing your research, you have the option of booking online or on the phone. If you are wanting to reserve a one-way trip, you must call for your reservation.  

For us- The booking process was stressful, frustrating, and difficult. We spent a few weeks deciding on where we wanted to go on our honeymoon, researching fights, and beginning to plan our trip before contacting Cruise America to actually book… when we did, and submitted our reservation, it was declined… again and again! We were told one-way trips are tricky because they must keep specific inventory of their RVs in certain locations. We spent so much time e mailing back and forth offering other pick-up and drop off locations (redoing our trip each time) only for it to be declined. In the end, I stopped e mailing the original staff member we were working with, contacted another member, told him to pick 2 locations for us (we would plan a trip around where he could get approval), and we were able to book that same day (he got us approval to pick up in San Jose/Newark, California and to drop off in Salt Lake City, Utah because he knew we wanted to visit the National Parks)! So, I am not sure if we were paired with the second staff member in the first place if we would have been successful but we will never know… it all worked out in the end. I have no problem sending his contact information if you would like to book with him from the start, he was great.

* You are allowed to cross the boarder of the US and Canada but you cannot pick up in 1 country and drop off in another, we tried as we wanted to visit Banff National Park.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If for any reason you need to cancel your reservation, call 1-800-327-7799 and provide your confirmation number. You may cancel your reservation up to 7 days prior to the pick-up date and you will be refunded your reservation down payment. With less notice and with all one-way reservations, you will forfeit your reservation down payment.

DEALS

Cruise America offers many deals, but unfortunately, as we were looking, none of them applied to us. Examples of their deals that were available during the time this post was written are as followed:

One-way specials: One-way trips happen all the time, just like we did, and the RVs need to get back to their original location somehow. Cruise America has special reservations such as the one below. If this works for you, you can receive a discount… just have the RV to its destination by the return date.

Half Price Miles: Check their website and see what is offered for half-price miles. Bookers can receive 50% off rentals between September 7 and December 31, 2019 using the discount code (FRDM). *Not combinable with any other discount or promotional offer, and applied to new reservations only. Not available on one-way rentals. The offer may be withdrawn at any time.

Enjoying a Free Night: This special offer applies to any size motorhome for rentals of 4 nights or longer from any North America RV Rental Centers departing September 7 to December 31, 2019. To make a reservation call our reservation center or reserve online using the discount code (FRD31). *Maximum of 1 night free. This special offer is applied to new reservations only and is not combinable with any other specials or promotional rates and may be withdrawn at any time. One-way rentals are not available with this special.

Alaska- 300 Miles Free: This special offer applied to any size motorhome from Anchorage AK Rental Center returning by October 15, 2019. Call to make a reservation or book online using the discount code FRD300. *Not combinable with any other discount or promotional offer and applies to new reservations only. Not available for one-way rentals. This offer may be withdrawn at any time.

PRICING

To check specific pricing or obtain a quote, visit their website and put in the appropriate information for your trip. From there, you will be able to select the RV of your choice and select add on options as you desire- click Next and that’s it, you have your quote! If you have questions click the online chat or call their number 24/7.  

For us- As this blog is meant to help others, I have no problem sharing what we spent on the RV.

We chose to add the kitchen kit, we believe this was a good add on for the price (plates, cups, bowls, utensils, pots, pans, strainer, cutting board, broom).

We chose to pass on the other add on options (personal kit for bedding, zero deductible plan), we stopped at Wal-Mart before we began our trip- this ended up saving us money.

We were charged $400.00 for a one-way rental.

We estimated our trip would be 2,800 miles at .35 cents a mile, we only drove 2,500 miles so we were refunded $105.00.

We were refunded our $500.00 security deposit.

Our total cost for the RV was- $3,368.13. A $300.00 deposit is required when you make your reservation and will be applied towards your fees. All other fees are due at the time of pick-up.

AFTER YOU BOOK/BEFORE YOUR TRIP

After you book, a confirmation e mail will be sent with all your information. We recommend you print this out and keep it with you during your trip.

Before your trip, Cruise America will contact you and send you videos you must watch before you pick-up your RV. They were very educational and answered questions we knew we would have. We also referred back to these videos during the trip when we could not figure out how to turn the shower on the first day.

RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST

As stated above, when booking, you have the option of adding on to your rental. Below is a recommended shopping/packing list if you do not choose ANY of the add on options or bring anything from home. We brought some items with us from home but made a stop at Wal-Mart as soon as we picked up the RV and saved a ton of money by doing this.

Plates, cups, bowls, utensils, pots and pans, dish soap, dishwashing sponge, napkins, paper towels, pillows, blankets, fitted sheet, top sheet, memory foam mattress topper (click HERE to see the one we purchased which was great for our 18 days), laundry detergent, bath towels (we bought 3, 2 for us and 1 for the floor as you exit the shower), washcloths, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, matches, phone chargers, car invertor (HERE this was great for nights we did not have electric hookup and could charge our phones and camera- it worked while the RV was not running), camera, and clothes .

You will also need to buy food but don’t buy too much… most places we stopped at had a general store where we could buy additional food as needed. We did have extra unopened food in the end we just gave to a neighbor.

For us- We packed liquids from home such as dish soap, detergent, body wash, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, mouth wash, etc. in THESE so we did not have to buy bigger bottles once we flew out, and it also saved room!

PICKING UP

A few weeks before your trip you will have to call to select your pick-up time slot. Pick-up times are Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Saturday pick-up times vary by locations with some closing as early as 12:00pm. No available pick up times on Sunday so plan accordingly.

For us- Picking up our RV was so much fun because we knew what we were in for the next 18 days. The process took about an hour because they will walk through the RV with you and go over everything including how to dump waste, hook up electric, hook up/refill water, etc. The staff will complete an inspection and write down everything they see so you are not charged upon your return… if you see something, let them know! There was a very small crack on our windshield from a rock we let them know about so we did not get charged for it upon delivery.

Download the Cruise America app before beginning your vacation.

DROPPING OFF

RV return times are between 9:00am and 11:00am, late charges are automatically applied starting after 11:00am.

Additional fees may be added during drop off if you do not refill the propane tank, do not empty your water, or if there is damage to the RV.

For us- Dropping off was a sad moment as it meant out trip of a lifetime was ending. When you drop off, they will walk through your RV and sign off if everything looks how it did when you picked it up. This process took about an hour as well so plan ahead if you have a flight to catch. We arrived at 9:00am and by 10:00am there was a line and people had to wait for their RVs to get inspected.

If you have extra food or items you would like to donate, you can do this at any of their locations for people just beginning their trip.

PURCHASING

Cruise America also sells their used RVs, check out their website for more information.

OUR EXPERIENCE

We had an amazing experience with this company and would definitely book again, if we don’t buy our own RV in the meantime. Cruise America was hands down the most common RV rental company we saw during our 2,800 miles on the road- it was fun waving to others while driving by and even talking to other renters.

If you have any other specific questions that we did not cover don’t hesitate to reach out. We learned a lot while spending 18 days in the RV!

A Memorable Way to Document Your Travels

If you love to travel and want a fun way to document your trips, this post is for you. I came across the Traveller Collective website (HERE) about a year before our wedding (which was September 2018) and was instantly hooked. Because we had always planned on a National Park honeymoon, I knew this would be the best wedding gift for Greg. I ordered a clip for myself and one for Greg but was unable to open and use mine until our wedding… waiting a year was difficult as I was so excited!!

Keep reading to find out more information including: more about the company, other products they offer, how to order, a discount code if you would like to place an for yourself, golden rings (which will give you free travel money!), etc.

ABOUT THE COMPANY, as stated on their website.

PRODUCTS

Traveller Collective not only has the travel rings but a few other products including: necklaces, accessories (hats, totes, and decals), apparel, and gift cards. Check it out!

ORDERING

The first step when ordering is to decide which clip you want. I chose the tan for myself and the brown for Greg.

After you decide what clip you want it is time to order your rings. They have many options to fit your style and budget. Although Greg and I began traveling in high school, before we met, I chose to order rings for only the places we have been together.

Once you complete those two steps it is time to check out… that was super easy right? But first, DISCOUNT CODE!!!

DISCOUNT CODE

Who doesn’t love a discount?! Traveller Collective offers 30% off first time customers using the code TCFAM. Don’t wait, use this and order yours today.

GOLDEN RINGS

Throughout 2019, Traveller Collective will be giving away $7,750.00 worth of free flights to the Collective. They will be randomly selecting orders and placing a golden ring with a special value in with their purchase.

MY HOMEBASE

Create a profile by documenting your travels on their website. It will show a map with shaded areas of where you have visited!

HOW WE SHOWCASE OUR RINGS

Below are some pictures of our rings during our honeymoon, can you recognize where any of these pictures were taken? Let us know below.

Flying Cheap with Allegiant Airline

Destinations are in blue and orange above with the most popular in orange. Visit their interactive route map here- https://www.allegiantair.com/interactive-routemap

You may have read this title and clicked to read because you have never heard of Allegiant Airline, but that’s okay. Allegiant Airline is a smaller airline but is growing and adding new flight routes all the time. They pride themselves on cheap and non-stop only flights. Greg and I have been flying and saving money with them since 2014… but really, July 2019 we got a flight for $8.00 from Florida to Pennsylvania. Continue reading to find out more!

BOOKING A FLIGHT

Booking a flight with Allegiant is super easy! Visit Allegiant.com, put in your destination, dates, round trip vs one way, how many passengers, and hit search.

Your next step is to book with the dates selected or to view the rate calendar, I always recommend this if you can change your dates- it may save you some money!

*** If you book a round-trip flight an automatic $20.00 discount will be applied to your total which is what you see above.

Once you select your dates, hit continue. At this point you will have the option of booking a rental car, reserving a hotel, buying insurance, etc. but if you do not need these options just skip through and purchase!

HOW ARE THEIR FLIGHTS SO CHEAP?

Many people wonder how Allegiant flights are so cheap. Fortunately, they offer an A la carte service so you are only paying for what you need. Don’t need a bag, to pick your seat, or want priority boarding… your flight will be cheaper.

MOBILE APP

Download the Allegiant mobile app for free in the app store. This app saves us so much time at the airport! We usually only travel with a “personal bag” so we can check in beforehand and head right to the security line when getting to the airport, you can do the same while traveling with a carry-on (NOTE- If you are traveling with a checked bag you must go to the ticket counter at the airport).

The app will also pull your boarding pass or passes up for anyone in your party (when booking just use the same e-mail linked to the account) after you check in.

You have the option of booking a flight right from the app but we find it easier to book from a computer or laptop.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Okay, the part you are waiting for. After flying with Allegiant for some time we have learned how to save.

The first and easiest way is to sign up for their Mastercard (information below). Allegiant always has sales but sometimes only for their Mastercard holders- this past Memorial Day they were having $50.00 off which is how I got that $8.00 flight I previously mentioned. Awesome right?!

Another way we save is by flying, yes, you read that right. About 2-3 days after we fly, Allegiant ALWAYS send us a coupon code active for 72 hours only for $20.00 off. Another awesome deal right?! Book your round trip flights separate if you are flying with someone else and turn that $20.00 into $80.00 off.

When booking, you have the option of picking your seats but if you can handle being 1 or 2 rows away from your loved one then skip on this option. Greg and I never pay to sit next to each other and 75% of the time we get seats right next to each other if not 1 row away.

Packing light will pay off! We make long weekend trips back to visit family/friends all the time and pack in a “personal bag” such as a backpack or small duffel bag. My favorite to pack in is the Vera Bradley weekender bag- fits everything I need. When flying Allegiant, there is no charge for a personal bag but there is a charge for carry-on and checked luggage, if you can pack light you will save like us! NOTE- if you do need a carry-on or checked bag make sure to book it when you book your tickets, adding these at the airport will be an extra charge.

Booking online vs over the phone will save you a service charge of $12.00 for each reservation.

Downloading the free mobile app will save $5.00 as you can access your boarding pass and will not have to print it at the airport.

As mentioned above, if your dates are flexible, check the rate calendar as it may save you money.

If you do not have a coupon code, book a round-trip ticket and you will automatically receive $20.00 off. If you are flying with someone, purchase your tickets separate so you both get the $20.00 off deal.

Check out the deals page on the Allegiant website- below is an example of a deal we can get from our home airport.

ALLEGIANT MASTERCARD

So, the Allegiant Mastercard is the main way we get our flights for cheap, there are so many perks. For starters, as you can see above, when you sign up you get a 15,000 bonus when you spend $1,000.00 in the first 90 days which is equal to $150.00 of travel credit; but guess what, if you apply for the card while you’re flying (they make their rounds during every flight), you get 17,500 points which is equal to $175.00 of travel credit after spending $1,000.00 during the first 90 days.

No matter what you use your card on you are building points! Points will be updated on your account after every statement. For example, my statement is the 28th of the month so if I make a large purchase on the 29th, I will have to wait until the following 28th of the month to see the points added.

A low annual fee of $59.00 pays for itself after only a few flights. Add up the price of priority boarding, a free beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and travel credit and it’s like there is no fee to pay. The priority boarding in itself if our favorite part.

To use your points, continue checking out normally. When you go to purchase your flight, you will have the option to use your points or not to in order to save them. I am unable to show a picture of this part as I just used all of my points when I booked a flight last week, I got $93.00 off which brought my flight down to $117.00 after purchasing the front row seat and insurance (perks we usually pass on).

MILITARY DISCOUNT

Allegiant supports U.S. active duty military, military veterans, and members of the National Guard, military reserve, and their dependents by offering select free services.

Free services offered for U.S. active duty or reserve duty and National Guard:

Free services offered for U.S. military veterans and spouses or dependents of U.S. active duty or reserve military, and National Guard:

For all other information regarding Allegiant Airline, visit their website or comment below any questions we may be able to answer- https://www.allegiantair.com/how-allegiant

Bryce Canyon National Park Guide

(This post is part 5/6- make sure to read the others. While you’re reading, click anything blue and you will see I attached links and additional images for more information!)

Our second to last stop on our honeymoon was to Bryce Canyon National Park.

*All times included time spent taking pictures/enjoying the views.

* We visited in the middle of June

Day 1- Tuesday

We left Zion National Park at 8:00am (if you remember, RVs can only travel through the tunnel from 8am to 8pm) and arrived at Bryce National Park around 10:30. The drive was very easy and scenic as you pass through the Red Canyons on your way. Because we could not check into our campground until 12:00pm, we hopped on the shuttle and headed towards the visitor center to pick up our maps and get more information on the park. From the visitor center we headed to complete our first hike, the Wall Street/Queens Garden Loop (with an accidental trip on the Navajo Loop).

Navajo Loop

Distance- .5 miles

Time- 15 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 6 (Sunset Point)

The Navajo loop is longer than what we completed but it was closed at the bridges, we accidently ended up on this loop and went .25 miles down until we saw the “closed” signs and back. The views were incredible though so if you have an extra 15 minutes, hike down.

Wall Street/Queens Garden Loop

Distance- 3.4 miles

Time- 2.5 hours

Shuttle- Stop 6 (Sunset Point)

This loop is recommended to be completed in a clockwise direction because there are steep switchbacks or declines down wall street if you complete it counter clockwise. Greg and I realized we would rather go down a steep decline than up an incline and completed it counter clockwise. Either direction is fine and people were going both ways. This loop has great views of the hoodoos and walls- make sure to look up and around! In order to complete a full loop, we completed part of the Rim Trail from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point (where we started). If you want to complete just this part of the hike without the loop I listed above, you can.  

Rim Trail (Sunrise Point to Sunset Point)

Distance- .5 miles

Time- 15 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 8 (Sunrise Point)

The Rim Trail is a total of 11 miles but you have the option of getting off at various shuttle stops and completing short parts. We found this to be the best option as an 11 mile straight hike was not for us. We still got great views of the canyon and hoodoos!

We took a mid-day break from hiking and went to lunch at Ruby’s Canyon Diner. Unfortunately, we were very unpleased with our meals and did not return. We ordered the 15 inch pizza to share/have leftovers for $25.00 only to realize the 7 inch pizza was $6.50… we could have ordered 4 of the 7 inch pizzas for the price of one. We asked to modify our orders to our preference and it was not respected. I ended up ordering a chicken sandwich because of how the pizza looked and after two bites, I threw it out. I am not writing this to warn everyone not to go there, but this was just our opinion. Feel free to try it out! I am sure if you visit you may have a different experience. After lunch we checked into our campground, Ruby’s Inn and Campground. Ruby’s Inn had full hook up, laundry, general store, and a shuttle stop. After checking in, we took a two hour nap before our last planned hike for the day which was another section of the Rim Trail, Bryce Point to Inspiration Point.

Rim Trail (Bryce Point to Inspiration Point)

Distance- 1.6 miles

Time- 1 hour

Shuttle- Stop 3 (Bryce Point)

Once again, this trail is a section of the 11-mile Rim Trail. We hiked from Bryce Point to Inspiration Point because it was mostly downhill. If you complete it the other way, you will have more of an uphill hike. We took advantage of the lookout points and snapped many pictures- our favorite was the Upper Inspiration Point lookout, to the left of that is the Amphitheater. Everything looks fake and we said we felt like we were on a movie set.

After the hike, we hopped back on the shuttle to get our RV- RV’s are only allowed to park at most places after 8pm. We asked for recommendations on where to see the sunset and ironically were told Upper Inspiration Point. The sunset here was very pretty but we enjoyed turning around and looking over the canyon with the color change. We definitely recommended you hike up here to see the sunset, you will not be disappointed.

Our night ended with us being so tired, we once again did not want to cook dinner. We were told the Cowboy Buffet and Steakhouse was good so we decided to eat there. We both got the buffet for $22.00 (each) and I would say it was worth it- you were able to choose from: chicken, pork, rice, pasta, soup, salad, and dessert.

Day 2- Wednesday

After so many days packed with hiking, our bodies were getting tired. We found ourselves picking shorter hikes rather than longer ones but that was okay, we deserved to relax on this trip too. Well… a little since we were still very determined to hit 100 miles! How do you think we are doing so far? Do you think we will hit our goal? Day two at Bryce Canyon was only filled with two hikes, the Tower Bridge in the morning and the Mossy Cave Trail at night to look at the stars (one of the shuttle drivers recommended it).

Tower Bridge

Distance- 3.2 miles

Time- 2 hours

Shuttle- Stop 8 (Sunrise Point)

The Tower Bridge hike is a part of the Fairyland Loop. If you plan on doing this loop, do not complete the Tower Bridge on a separate day! The Fairyland Loop is a total of 8 miles which is why we decided to just complete the one section. This hike is listed as easy but was far from that. First, you hike 1.6 miles down into the canyon and then when you are tired and hot, you have to hike 1.6 miles out- we were exhausted but took many rest periods and drank lots of water!

Before going out for our evening hike to Mossy Cave, we went to the Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill for a country concert- you have the option of eating dinner at the buffet but it was a little too expensive as neither one of us was super hungry ($30-40 depending on what you want as your main meal). The concert was great so if you have time, check it out! It’s $10 if you are not eating dinner and just want to attend the concert.

Mossy Cave Trail

Distance- .8 miles (total out and back)

Time- 30 minutes

Shuttle- No shuttle stop, this trail is outside the park, about a 10 minute drive

Okay, so here is the thing… this hike was only .8 miles but we didn’t complete it for a few reasons. As we were walking in everything was fine, a couple was leaving and said we were the only ones there and to have fun because we would be all alone. As soon as it got dark, all I could think about was the movie Wrong Turn (if you haven’t seen it, google it, and you’ll know why I was scared)- yes, I know I am a baby. Greg also warned me of the animal life we may run into including mountain lions and coyotes, I wasn’t too concerned about them until we saw a really big snake and I thought “Oh, the animals must all come out at night,” which made me even more scared. Greg agreed to forego the rest of the hike after about .3 miles in and on our way back all we could smell was a skunk- now my fear of being sprayed by a skunk on my honeymoon set in! Overall, this hike looked like it would have been great so we recommend completing it in the daytime or nighttime if you aren’t scared like I was. Let me know if you go at night and how the stars are!

OTHER PARK INFORMATION

SHUTTLE SYSTEM– There is a free shuttle here at Bryce National Park. It takes about 45 minutes to complete the entire loop or you can look for crossover points to shorten your trip. The bus drivers were all great and can help with anything you need.

VISITOR CENTER- Definitely make a stop here, the rangers can provide you with any information or questions you may have, you can buy souvenirs at the gift shop, grab free maps (we lived off of using ours), and get a stamp for your National Park Passport! We added to our National Park patch collection here.  

SERVICE- We had service and WiFi at our campground which was nice for a change, we were immediately able to send pictures to our family. 

FOOD- We packed a lot of snacks for our hikes including trail mix, crackers, etc. Having the RV available after each hike was very convenient for meals as well. There are many restaurants, cafes, and stores in the town of Bryce City and the staff can provide recommendations if you are craving something specific. Our reviews of the restaurants we ate at are above.

LAUNDRY– There was a laundry facility at our campground but we did not need it or know how much it costs.

WEATHER– It was hot! Luckily, there were some shaded parts during our hikes but definitely bring lots of water.   

TRAILS- If you are limited on time, plan out your top trails and do them first; you might be surprised that you have extra time in the day that allows for more adventures.

FIREWOOD- You are not allowed to gather branches for firewood, it must be purchased.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION- Attend a local event- concert, rodeo, etc.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDED HIKE- Views from in the canyon: Wall Street/Queens Garden, Views from on top of the canyon: Bryce Point to Inspiration Point.

Grand Canyon National Park Guide

(This post is part 3/6- make sure to read the others. While you’re reading, click anything blue and you will see I attached links and additional images for more information!)

*All times included time spent taking pictures/enjoying the views.

* We visited in the middle of June

After what seemed like forever in the RV (12.5 hours) we made it to the Grand Canyon from Sequoia National Park. We originally had 2 days planned here, but after talking to some new friends at Yosemite, they said to pack everything into 1 day and explore other areas of Arizona- we ended up rerouting our trip include Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

Prior to arriving at the Grand Canyon entrance, we stopped at a visitor center outside the park.

We then made our way into the park and to Mather Campground. At Mather Campground we paid $18 a night, no hook up but very close to everything. The campsites are very large and have a picnic bench as well as a fire pit. There is a laundry facility by the entrance to the campground. The Grand Canyon village is also very tourist friendly and includes things like: a general store, restaurant, post office, chase bank, clinic, a chapel, and multiple visitor centers. Be on the lookout for elk, they won’t bother you but remember to keep your distance (2 bus lengths).

Day 1- Thursday

Our first planned hike was Ooh Aah point but after talking to one of the rangers he said it was not recommended to hike into the canyon between the hours of 10am- 4pm. At that point, we took the free shuttle to the visitor center in order to get to the Rim Trail.

Rim Trail

Distance- As long or as short as you would like- we hiked a mile and then turned around for a total of 2 miles

Time- As long or as short as you would like- 2 hours

Shuttle- Yes

Handicap Accessible

The Rim Trail allows for views alongside the rim of the Grand Canyon (where it gets its name). There are many lookout points you can walk down into and almost the entire tail is paved. You may think you have seen it all but there are so many different views from one point to another, take your time and enjoy this hike. It can get very crowded during the day.

From the Rim Trail we got in our RV and headed to our first lookout, Yavapai Lookout.

Yavapai Lookout

Distance- .2 miles from the parking lot

Time- As long or as short as you would like

Shuttle- Yes

Handicap Accessible

Attached to this lookout is the Geology Museum and we recommend you check it out, we found it had the best views. Take your time walking around/reading about the history of the canyon. Look for helicopters inside the canyon, let us know if you saw any!

From that lookout point we traveled to Pipe Creek Vista.

Pipe Creek Vista

Distance- Right alongside the road/parking lot

Time- As long or as short as you would like (stay in 1 spot to view)

Shuttle- Yes

Pipe Creek Vista, along with the other lookout points has great views, it is interesting to see the canyon from another viewpoint.

Finally, around 4:30 we got ready and hopped on the shuttle to complete the Ooh Aah Point trail.

Ooh Aah Trail

Distance- 2 miles (total out and back)

Time- 1 hour and 30 minutes

Shuttle- Yes

This hike was amazing but difficult! The entire way to the Ooh Aah point is a downhill zigzag which means the entire way out is an uphill zigzag… Greg and I had to take many rests periods along the way back. For reference, it took us 26 minutes to hike the mile down and 52 minutes to hike the mile up. You do have the option of continuing after Ooh Aah point to 2 other lookouts but we knew we were already going to have trouble from this point so we turned around.

After this hike we went back to the RV for dinner and some rest. Around 9:00pm, Greg mentioned how it would be cool to see the canyon at night so we hopped in the RV and headed towards the visitor center to the Rim Trail and guess what… that was literally the best idea! We basically had the canyon to ourselves and were able to see so many stars above because of minimal light pollution. If you can, definitely do this as you will not be disappointed.  

At the end of our day we were really happy with what we saw. You can definitely see the Grand Canyon in a day.

OTHER PARK INFORMATION

SHUTTLE SYSTEM- The free shuttle system at the Grand Canyon is great but make sure you know what time the last shuttle is. Here, they run very late compared to the other parks we have visited.

VISITOR CENTER- Definitely make a stop here. The rangers can provide you with any information or questions you may have. You can buy souvenirs at the gift shop, grab free maps (we lived off of using ours), and get a stamp for your National Park Passport! We added to our National Park patch collection here.  

SERVICE- We had limited service here but were able to communicate with our family when we got closer to the village.  

FOOD- We packed a lot of snacks for our hikes including trail mix, crackers, etc. Having the RV available after each hike was very convenient for meals as well. There is a restaurant/tavern located nearby in the village that looked very popular.

LAUNDRY- There was a laundry facility but we did not use it- not sure of the price.  

WEATHER- It was hot! Hike early or hike later in the day to prevent heat exhaustion. The rangers do not recommend anyone go into the canyon from 10am- 4pm. We found 5pm was a good time to start.  

TRAILS- If you are limited on time, plan out your top trails and do them first. You might be surprised that you have extra time in the day that allows for more adventures. As stated before, we believe you can see the Grand Canyon in one day.  

FIREWOOD- You are not allowed to gather branches for firewood, it must be purchased. We bought ours from the general store and it did not last long and it put black smoke on our smores.  

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION- Go back to the rim trail after dark- it will not disappoint.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDED HIKE- Ooh Aah Point!

Day 2- Friday

We woke up early and headed towards Page, Arizona in preparation of our guided tour through Antelope Canyon (Ken’s Tours). Our tour was at 1:30pm in the lower antelope canyon. The canyon did not disappoint, every time you make a turn you see another amazing view of the sun shining through. I am so happy we were able to add this to our trip.

-We were told the lower canyon has better views (compared to the upper canyon) and the best time to go is between 10am-2pm because the lighting is the best.

– With Ken’s Tours, adult tickets are $50 and I believe children are $30.

– You must check in 30 minutes prior to your tour.

– You need a reservation to complete the tour, as we were waiting there were so many people that came up to buy tickets and were turned away. Plan in advance.

From Antelope Canyon we drove about 15 minutes to Horseshoe Bend which was another great adventure. In order to get to the rim/overlook you have to walk about a half mile (some uphill/some downhill) but the views are totally worth it! Look down to see boats and how small they are compared to everything; it puts it into perspective.

– $10 to park

Yosemite National Park Guide

(This post is part 1/6- so make sure to read the others! While you’re reading, click anything blue and you will see I attached links or additional images for more information!)

Welcome to this post! If you don’t already know, Greg and I love to travel. Before we were even engaged, we talked about the idea of having a National Park Honeymoon as we have been to Europe a few times, but have not seen most of our own country. Planning for our June honeymoon began in January as something like this takes a long time to plan. We were determined to complete 100 miles on foot between hikes and exploring. Do you think we hit our goal? Continue reading through our posts to find out!

Greg and I were lucky enough to start our honeymoon at Yosemite National Park. Here is a guide for our 2.5-day trip we spent here. We hope you can learn from our experience and we wish you the best of luck if you are planning to travel here!

(We arrived the 2nd week of June and were told there would be more visitors this weekend than Memorial Day weekend due to the weather, so this information below is based off that. Some trails were also closed due to the extreme snowfall they experienced this year- you can find a list of the closed trails on the Yosemite National Park website or by calling.)

*All times included our time spent taking pictures and enjoying the views.

Day 1- Friday

After 19 hours of traveling, we arrived around 8pm at our campground: Indian Flat RV Park– full hookup RV sites are $48 a night, including showers, a restaurant within walking distance, general store, grill, and picnic table (unfortunately no fire pit). There are cheaper RV parks that we found but Indian Flat was only 35 minutes from the entrance of Yosemite (turn right out of the RV park and follow it up, no turns).

We were pretty hungry/tired when we arrived so we went to the local restaurant/bar for dinner which is next door to where we were staying: Canyon Bar and Grill– the food was good, but small, and in my opinion, a little over-priced. I got a grilled chicken sandwich and Greg got a patty melt, for $26.00 (not including tip).

Day 2- Saturday

Bridalveil Falls

Distance- 1 mile (total out and back)

Our Time- 30 minutes

Shuttle- no shuttle stop, there is a parking lot

Handicap Accessible

We woke up around 6:30am to get to Bridalveil Falls early- we were told this parking lot fills up and if there are no spots, you will probably have a far walk for a short hike. I recommend planning to start your day with this hike. After getting ready and driving, we arrived at 7:30am and there were plenty of spots available. We finished the hike around 8:00am and still less than half of the spots were filled. Bridalveil Falls is an easy hike but has a short/steep incline at the top. When we visited it was very wet. Our shoes did not get wet but others said their shoes were soaked which caused their feet to be cold for hours. It was also very cold at the top.

We then drove from Bridalveil Falls to the Yosemite Valley Lodge (this is where RVs must park) in order to catch our first ride on the free shuttle. We took the shuttle from the Lodge (shuttle stop #7) to the Visitor Center/Theater (shuttle stop #9) which opened at 9:00am.

From the Visitor Center we got back on the shuttle and headed to the Mirror Lake Trail.

Mirror Lake Trail

Distance- 1.8 miles (total out and back) or 5 miles (around)

Our Time- 3 hours for a modified 5 mile loop

Shuttle- #17

When hiking this trail you have the option to either hike out to the lake and turn around or to hike all the way around the lake and make a circle. Our original plan was to hike around the lake but along the way, we met people who informed us that the conditions were not the best (1 area required you to take your shoes off to hike through water and the other required you to go off the trail because the path was flooded- not appealing for us). We decided to hike to the very top and once we reached Snow Creek Falls we turned around. This hike was about 5 miles total but was a really good hike with plenty of shade and visits from animal friends!

From the Mirror Lake Trail we got back on the shuttle and headed to The Loft at Degnan’s for lunch (shuttle stop #4). Here, you have 2 options- a deli on the first level with ordering kiosks (pizza, sandwiches, all day breakfast, etc.) or you can go upstairs for a set menu. We decided to go upstairs and the food was great. The portions were also great and the prices were not bad. I ordered a Teriyaki Chicken bowl and Greg ordered a Beef Burrito all for $22 (we expected prices to be higher inside the park).

After lunch we got back on the shuttle and headed to the Lower Yosemite Falls, we were told if you are visiting Yosemite then you must do this hike.

Lower Yosemite Falls  

Distance- .5 miles (total out and back)

Our Time- 30 minutes

Shuttle- #6

Handicap Accessible

The views at this hike were wonderful! You could get so close to the waterfall and there was a nice mist to cool you off. This hike is almost entirely handicap accessible too!

This trail concluded our day so we headed back towards the shuttle stop. We ended up waiting in long line for 35 minutes so we decided we would just walk back to our car. This took us about 15 minutes- probably because we were exhausted from our day!

On the way out of the park we stopped for gas and paid a hefty $4.78!!! Crazy, right!? But we needed gas and this was the only place around. It was a Chevron gas station located 8 minutes from our RV campground. If we wanted to go elsewhere, we would have had to add another 30 minutes to our drive to find another. We recommend filling up if you happen to drive by a place with decent pricing.

Day 3- Sunday

Our alarms went off at 6:15 on day 2 in order to get to the recommended hikes early. (No worries, we were both asleep by 9:00pm the night before. Man were we exhausted!)

On our way to our first hike, we stopped at Tunnel View. We had planned to visit this after our hike, but the parking lot was nearly empty as we drove past (7:30am). The views were great but our pictures were a little washed out as the sun was rising at this time. It was still great to see firsthand with your own eyes though!

From Tunnel View, we continued to drive up the mountain to the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead. I was terrified during the drive up because there are no rails to protect you while you’re 6,000+ feet up! I constantly felt myself leaning while in the passenger seat away from the drop off (lol). So I definitely recommend taking your time and allow others to pass if needed.

Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trail

Distance- 2 miles (total out and back) or 4.5 (loop)

Time- 2.5 hours for the 2 mile trail

Shuttle- no shuttle stop, parking lot located at the trailhead.

We arrived here at 8:00am and we were one of maybe ten cars in the parking lot- just under ½ full at this time. Our original plan was to do the entire loop in a counter- clockwise direction as recommended but after visiting the Visitor Center, we were informed part of the Taft Point loop was under about 5 feet of snow and greatly impacted ability to locate the trail. Instead, we walked from the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead up to the top of Sentinel Dome and back. Towards the end, there is a steep incline, and at the time of our visit, it was covered in snow; made it extra fun to climb! This was hands down the best view we saw during our time at Yosemite. Greg and I kept saying “Is this real? It looks like a fake backdrop.” We 100% recommend this hike if you can only do one during your time here.

From the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead, we traveled to Glacier Point which was only 10 minutes away. Online I read to arrive before 10:30am or after 5:00pm. We arrived at 10:45am and were lucky to find a parking spot (after being told we would not be able to, on our way out someone was leaving!). We spent about an hour here looking at the amazing views, taking pictures, and visiting the gift shop. On our way out was a line of over 50 cars waiting to find a spot in the parking lot. If this happens to you, try to park up the road more and make the extra walk. The hike to the top is very short.

On our way back down the mountain, we made another stop at Tunnel View. We arrived around 1:30, the parking lot was PACKED and people were illegally parked which was annoying and made it difficult to navigate an RV. We ended up finding a spot and were able to get more pictures that weren’t washed out. Overall, I would recommend getting to this location between 8:00-10:00am or later in the day.

As we continued down the mountain, we passed the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead and the Bridalveil Falls Trailhead- both were so packed the streets were lined with cars trying to find any spot they could fit in. This justified our 6:15am alarm which allowed us to enjoy the hikes with minimal people around.

At the end of our day, which was only around 2:00pm, we decided to make one last trip into Yosemite Village. We parked at the Yosemite Lodge and walked 15 minutes to the Visitor Center because we knew waiting for a shuttle at this time would take forever. We continued to be amazed by the views and wildlife that walks around as if no one is there.

If you have been to this park or go for a visit, let me know what your favorite hike is!

OTHER PARK INFORMATION

SHUTTLE SYSTEM- The free shuttle system at Yosemite is great. In the morning from 7:00am-10:00am it is scheduled to come every 30 minutes, from 10:00am-10:00pm it is scheduled to come every 20 minutes. Towards the end of the day you can wait upwards of 40 minutes and in a line of people so check the map to see how far you are from the next stop, it may only be a 5-minute walk!

VISITOR CENTER- Definitely make a stop here. The rangers can provide you with any information or questions you may have. You can buy souvenirs at the gift shop, grab free maps (we lived off of ours), visit the theater, and get a stamp for your National Park Passport! We started our National Park patch collection here- if you are visiting the parks maybe you will enjoy starting a collection of something like us!  

CELL SERVICE- We had absolutely no service at our campsite and limited service once inside the park. I would 100% recommend loading the directions from one place to another on your phone beforehand and taking screenshots- this helped us! We were told to download the app “You Need A Map” for trails, but be aware, it may drain your battery.

FOOD- We packed a lot of snacks for our hikes including trail mix, crackers, etc. Having the RV available after each hike was very convenient for meals as well. I would recommend packing sandwiches for the longer hikes.

WEATHER- The weather here fluctuated. We woke up freezing and even the start of some hikes were cold, but by the end of the day we were hot. Wear layers that you can remove. All of the hikes we started in long sleeves/pants but we had an extra shirt in our bags.

TRAILS- Unfortunately, with the limited time spent here and due to the weather conditions, we were unable to do everything we planned. We did expect this and definitely plan on returning. If you are limited on time, plan out your top trails and do them first; you might be surprised that you have extra time in the day that allows for more adventures.

GAS- As I mentioned above, we paid $4.78 for gas at a Chevron going into the park. We recommend you fill up your tank before you get close to the park, even if you are ¾ full, I promise it will save you money. We found out the hard way but this was our first park and our first time in an RV together.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION- Start your mornings early!!

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDED TRAIL- Sentinel Dome! Starting at Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead and then continuing counter clockwise.

Planning a National Park Honeymoon

Planning a trip to a National Park or planning your honeymoon, I am here to help! I have already done the work and hope you can take something from this. Be aware, this is long but can be helpful!

Greg and I have always loved to travel, especially together- we met in Europe, vacationed in the Bahamas, traveled back to Europe together, and went on many local weekend trips together. While talking about our honeymoon we realized we have seen more of Europe than the USA. We decided our honeymoon would consist of renting an RV and traveling to various National Parks out west.

I am writing this before we go on our honeymoon- this was the planning process and our itinerary, I will write another post after the honeymoon regarding tips, things I wish we knew, what I would do different, etc. (Stay tuned!)

The first part of our planning process was deciding when to visit. We knew we wanted to visit during the warmer season but also had a lot to think about: summers at the National Parks are crowded (people have said they felt like they were at Disney, not appealing to us!), some parks remain closed up until the end of May or beginning of June due to the snow not melting, traveling during a holiday probably isn’t the best idea, and deciding when we could afford to take 3 weeks off work was huge. After much talk, we decided our trip would be June 2019.

Second. We have set the dates, now what? Where do we want to go?… or should I say where can we really go during our 18 days without being on the road every day and being able to relax… I mean this is our honeymoon. We looked at a map and realized in order to get the most out of our days, starting in California will be best.
After researching multiple parks, we decided our trip will include: Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Grand Teton while making a day stop at Horseshoe Bend (20-minute detour while traveling from Grand Canyon -> Zion). Now, if you are reading this thinking “What, why aren’t they going to (INSERT PARK HERE)?!”, listen, if we could, we would literally quit our jobs and visit every park but that is not possible right now… we will visit every park, just give us time; our 2nd trip is already in the works.
Thanks to Google Maps, we were able to see the distance between each park and plan how long we could stay to make the best out of our time. Planned is: 10 days of no driving AT ALL and 8 days that requiring driving (average of 3 hours with 2 days that have a 10-hour drive).

Third. How do we get around? Okay this process was much more stressful than anticipated mainly because we were not planning a “round trip”, we knew we wanted to start in 1 state and end in another. CRUISE AMERICA offered this option but we had to get special permission as they must keep specific inventory at each one of their rental locations (this is much more complicated than “special permission”, it required us to change our trip about 10 times… no lie, before they gave us permission). Their cheapest RV to rent was the 7 passenger RV but that was 1: way too much space for the two of us and 2: way too big of an RV for us “first time RV drivers” to drive. The rental we ended up booking was the 19-foot compact RV that holds up to 3 people (much more expensive than the 7 passenger- around $2,000)- don’t worry, it has a shower, a toilet, and a small kitchen!

Fourth. Yay, the “when and where” is booked, now time to book the flights. Let me tell you, the app SkyScanner is AMAZING. Enter your: From/To locations and your travel dates and the app will do the rest including: tell you when prices are expected to rise/go down, and give a 1-10 point rating based on details such as when you will arrive, if there is a layover, price, etc. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
For our trip, we will be flying from Tampa to San Jose and then Salt Lake City to Tampa (we got our flights for $193 each heading to San Jose and then $177 each heading home to Tampa).
Our flights also were based on where rental locations for Cruise America were located (Newark, CA and Salt Lake City, UT). 

Wait, where are we going to sleep?  Yes, we have the RV but where will we park? The fifth part was booking RV sites. If you are reading this and plan to travel within the next 6 months, book now, Yosemite National Park fills up the day they open reservations!!! For real, call or look on RECREATION.GOV for more information- we found it was way easier to call rather than look on the website (877- 444-6777), you can talk to someone who knows more about the area and they can do a search of multiple campgrounds at once. We booked our trip 6 months out and only got into 2/4 National Park Campgrounds, Lodgepole Campground at Sequoia for $22 a night and Mather Campground at Grand Canyon for $18 a night (they are much cheaper than regular RV parks and campgrounds so we would have liked to get in more- Bryce National Park and Grand Teton are “first come first serve” so we will be heading there… still unsure of where we will sleep if they are full).
** Call the number above even if it says the campground is full, especially if you are staying more than a night. We have to change campsites at one location but we are able to be in the park.
** Make sure you research the rules of the campground ahead of time and plan, most do not let you run an RV generator during the night.

Sixth. The big details are done but now, what are we going to do to fill our days? How are we doing to enjoy the parks in the time we have?
So… I am a planner, I like to do my research, and spend way too much time looking up information but can you blame me? I want to make sure we are making the most out of our time. I wrote down each park name followed by certain information including: best time to visit, average temperature in June so we know what to pack/wear, common attractions, best things to do, where to stay, tips, things to remember, etc. (Greg and I also bought a National Park Adventure Guide off of Amazon that has the “Top 10 Things to Do” in each park, find it here -> NATIONAL PARK GUIDE BOOK).
Here is what we have planned at each park knowing this will not take up our entire time but will allow for free time to explore and get recommendations from locals:

  1. Yosemite National Park- Mirror Lake Trail, Bridalveil Falls, Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Loop, Tunnel View
  2. Sequoia National Park- Moro Rock Trail, Congress Trail, Big Tree Trail, Tunnel Log, Topokah Trail
  3. Grand Canyon National Park- Ooh Aah Point/Cedar Ridge, Bright Angel Trailhead, Mule Barn, Grandview Point Lookout
  4. Horseshoe Bend- Sightseeing
  5. Zion National Park- Narrows Hike, Angels Landing, Emerald Pool Hiking Trail, Canyon Overlook Trail
  6. Bryce National Park- Navajo/Queens Garden Loop, Sunset Point, Tower Bridge Hike
  7. Grand Teton National Park – SNAKE RIVER LUNCH RAFT TRIP, Colter Bay Village Marine kayak/boat rental, 42 Mile Scenic Route.

** Greg and I have done some leisure hikes while we lived in NJ so all of these listed above are at most considered “moderate”, like I said I will be writing another blog about our trip/hikes once we return.
** Some hikes in the park require a permit, do some research before you go… none of these require a permit.

Seventh, packing list. I think this is the worst part, right? Each park has a different average temperature listed in June so I know I am going to over pack, not like anyone ever does. Other than clothes, here are some essentials: backpack (preferably one with a water bag to stay hydrated), hiking shoes, bug spray, flashlight, copy of you license, rain jacket, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, portable battery pack, medication (you don’t want to get a headache or feel sick while you are on a 6 mile hike), National Park annual pass (worth it if you plan on going to 3 or more parks in a 1 year period), snacks, first aid kit., etc.

Eighth. RELAX BECAUSE YOUR TRIP IS PLANNED AND START A COUNTDOWN!

Things to remember: make sure someone has a copy of your exact itinerary, you’ll want to plan on checking in but be aware you may not have service everywhere you plan to go, let them know!