How To Get To Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is without a doubt one of America’s most intriguing and unusual national parks. This park entices visitors with its stunning underwater riches, despite the fact that it lacks dirt pathways and lush trees. In reality, Florida’s beautiful, crystal pure blue water covers 95 percent of this national park. Biscayne National Park is a genuine ocean playground, with its vibrant coral reefs, exciting outdoor hobbies, and shipwrecks.

Furthermore, this 270-square-mile underwater wonderland offers a diversified environment with multi-colored fish and interestingly formed corals. Did we mention the picturesque lighthouses and miles of undulating seagrass and mangrove channels? Check out our comprehensive Biscayne National Park travel guide for a wonderful, sunny, and salty getaway.

Biscayne Bay’s Brief History

Juan Ponce de Leon was the first European to find the Florida Keys in 1513. The Florida region fell under Spanish dominion with the advent of additional Spanish conquistadors and explorers later in the 1500s. Spanish ships sailed by the keys on a regular basis from the 1500s until the twentieth century and were often trapped in major storms. At least two Spanish ships from the eighteenth century were wrecked in the national park’s boundaries.

As contemporary settlements grew, developers searched for new ventures in Key Biscayne’s undeveloped regions in the 1890s. In 1962, a thriving industrial seaport was envisaged for Biscayne Bay’s mainland shoreline. Thankfully, environmentalists were successful in their campaign to save the bay. The bay was declared a national monument in 1968. Biscayne Bay was renamed a national park a few years later, in 1974.

What is the best way to go to Biscayne National Park?

The primary entrance to the national park is the Dante Fascell Visitor Center in Homestead. This gateway may be reached in 90 minutes or less from Downtown Miami. Simply take Exit 6/Speedway Boulevard and turn left onto SW 328th Street.

The only way to get to Biscayne National Park is via boat. There are no boat ramps or marinas at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, despite the fact that it offers a paddleboard, canoe, and kayak launch. Boats may be launched from a variety of adjacent access sites that flow into the bay, including:

The Best Way to Get Around at Boca Chita Key in Biscayne National Park

Because the park is primarily made up of water, the best way to explore it is by boat. You may explore the park on your own if you have your own boat or watercraft. Before entering this magnificent natural marvel, we suggest speaking with a ranger. That way, you’ll know where to go in Biscayne National Park and be confident in your abilities and expertise.

You may also schedule a trip via the Biscayne National Area Institute, which offers a number of tours across the park. We scheduled a full-day sailing tour from the Dante Fascell Visitors Center and were able to explore Boca Chita Key due to great weather and breeze. With just 6 people every trip, the tour is incredibly exclusive.

How Much Does a Trip to Biscayne National Park Cost?

This national park does not charge an entrance fee. Certain activities and trips inside the park, however, are subject to a cost. On Boca Chita Key and Elliott Key, for example, camping costs a few dollars a night for each tent.

A $20 nightly fee will be charged to campers with boats that need to be moored. Group camping is also available for $30 per night. While there is no entry fee to the park, you will need to organize a tour or lease a boat to view the area. As a result, real charges may vary based on your exploration selections.

What to Do at Biscayne National Park’s Best Attractions

In Biscayne National Park, there’s never a boring moment. With an open mind and an adventurous spirit, you may explore a world of water and land experiences at this park.

Go snorkeling

Snorkeling at Biscayne National Park is one of the most popular and popular pastimes. This popular pastime is no surprise given the park’s location near the beginning of the Great Florida Barrier Reef. When you dive into Biscayne Bay’s protected waters, you can expect to encounter healthy coral, a variety of fish species, and a variety of other marine life.

While the reefs here don’t compare to others we’ve seen in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, there’s something unique about seeing the abundant marine life on the world’s only live reef off the coast of the United States.

Drive in the Maritime Heritage Trail

The Maritime Heritage Trail is without a doubt the crown gem of the national park. This underwater wonderland is home to some of Biscayne National Park’s countless shipwrecks, making it ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. This path has five ruins spanning over a century and a diverse variety of vessel types and sizes.

Take a Cruise on the Reef

Lina and David Stock Jr of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog, America’s Adventure Couple, on a sailing vacation to Biscayne National Park in Florida. Our sailing vacation to Biscayne National Park was fantastic. One of the nicest and most exciting ways to explore this national park is on a reef cruise. On this voyage, you’ll see over 320 different species of fish, as well as spiny lobsters, crabs, and shrimp.

You’ll also see a lot of birds on this trip, including cormorants and herons. Boats leave at Convoy Point, and you’ll receive an in-depth introduction to the bay’s unique wildlife and plants before setting sail. A glass-bottom boat excursion is also available, which allows you to see the underwater environment without getting wet.

See the Jones Family Historic District

Want to spice up your visit to Biscayne National Park with a little of history? Then, on the Jones Family Historic District and Lagoon, don’t miss out on a kayaking adventure. The region is on the National Register of Historic Places, which makes it a fantastic destination for history aficionados. Totten Key and Porgy Key are part of the region, where the Jones family farmed key limes and pineapples in the 19th century.

Stop by the Dante Fascell Visitor Center in Biscayne National Park, Florida, to meet America’s Adventure Couple Lina and David Stock Jr of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog.

Spend a few hours at this visitors’ center, where you may see a short video that takes you on a virtual tour of the national park. After that, have a look at the educational displays in the visitors’ center. Stop at Dante Fascell Gallery before leaving the neighborhood to see a range of outstanding modern art.

Boca Chita Key

A tour to Boca Chita should be included on any list of the greatest things to do in Biscayne National Park. This three-hour boat excursion, led by a park ranger, allows you to climb the island’s ancient lighthouse. The stunning skyline of Miami may be seen from this lighthouse on a clear day. This man-made spectacle is still a sight to see, despite the fact that it has never been an operating lighthouse. The knowledgeable park rangers will tell you more about the history of this lighthouse and island.

Go kayaking

Paddlers will have plenty of opportunity to observe and explore the mangrove coastline along the Biscayne mainland. The national park concessioner may loan you a kayak or canoe. Don’t forget to check out the tourist center for route suggestions and weather forecasts.

Kayaking from the mainland to Elliot Key or Boca Chita Key, however, is not recommended. You’ll need to schedule a trip that includes a kayaking option if you want to paddle around these islands.

Take a Stand Up Paddleboard Adventure

If you’ve booked a sailing or yacht excursion to Boca Chita Key or Elliot Key, you’ll almost certainly have the chance to try out a SUP board. This is a fantastic opportunity to observe the reef and get up up and personal with the mangroves in safe seas. We prefer SUP boards over kayaks because they are more intimate, plus you can snorkel from them! Just remember to hold on to the rope while swimming to keep your board from floating away.

The Trails to Hike

Lina Stock on one of Biscayne National Park’s numerous pathways. Make sure you have lots of water while trekking at Biscayne National Park.

Despite its small size, the park does feature a few pathways for individuals who wish to get some exercise. The Jetty Trail, Adams Key Loop, Elliott Key Loop, Spite Highway Trail, and Boca Chita Key Loop are among the park’s hiking paths.

You won’t be putting in substantial miles on any of these trails, so don’t expect it. It is, however, a fantastic way to explore the islands in search of intriguing flora and animals as well as unique viewpoint points.

In Biscayne National Park, where should you stay?

  • Biscayne National Park’s Boco Chita campsite.

The campsites at Biscayne National Park are primitive, with no running water, and are ideal for roughing it on a lonely island. There are a few of great campsites in Biscayne National Park. One is in Boca Chita, a popular day-trip location on the island. The other is on Elliot Key, the park’s biggest island.

Any of the park’s campsites will set you back $25 per night. The cost covers boat docking as well as camping. The first-come, first-served approach applies to both campsites. The campsite on Boca Chita Key provides bathrooms, but no showers or sinks. Furthermore, there is no drinking water on this island. So, pack lots of drinking water with you on your camping vacation.

On the plus side, there are picnic tables and barbecues in the campsite. However, you will be responsible for bringing all of your own food and supplies to the island. Keeping this in mind, be sure to pack out anything you bring in. This includes your trash. Nothing should be left behind. Meanwhile, the campsite on Elliot Key provides a plethora of useful facilities. It also includes cold water showers, barbecues, picnic tables, and bathrooms, in addition to drinking water.

Tips to consider when you are visiting the national park

  • The hot weather in Miami will make you thirsty, so bring at least one gallon of water per person, every day, particularly if you’re visiting Boca Chita Key, which lacks fresh water.
  • You’ll need mosquito repellent regardless of the season; be sure it contains DEET. If you’re going camping, don’t forget to bring mosquito repellant that smells like incense.
  • Bring extra reef-safe sunscreen to reapply every two hours (more if you’re in the water).
  • The park presently does not allow rafting or boats connecting to one another due to COVID-19 safeguards.
  • Take heed, campers: It’s an island, and you won’t have it if you don’t bring it.
  • In Florida, every kind of fishing, whether from the beach or from a boat, needs a license.
  • Paddlers, make sure you have a float plan and that everybody who isn’t paddling with you is aware of it.
  • Pets are only allowed on Elliott Key and at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center.
  • Is there no boat? It’s no issue. SCUBA and other guided trips are available to explore the park on or in the water. The Biscayne National Park Institute offers guided boat and kayak tours, as well as sailing and snorkeling excursions.
  • Make camping, guided tour, and watercraft rental plans in advance, particularly during the colder months.

Final words

Biscayne National Park is without a doubt one of America’s most intriguing and unusual national parks. This park entices visitors with its stunning underwater riches, despite the fact that it lacks dirt pathways and lush trees. In reality, Florida’s beautiful, crystal pure blue water covers 95 percent of this national park. Biscayne National Park is a genuine ocean playground, with its vibrant coral reefs, exciting outdoor hobbies, and shipwrecks. Read this guide and get the most out of time you spend at the park.

16 Fun Things To Do In Cannon Beach In The Winter

Typically, our vision of a vacation to Cannon Beach includes kite flying, ice cream licking, beach walking, and forest trekking — all of which are best enjoyed in the spring and summer when the weather is nicer. But there are plenty of warm, indoor things to enjoy at Cannon Beach throughout the winter months — and, let’s face it, there are less people to deal with.

Let’s look at a few activities to do in Cannon Beach throughout the winter, whether you enjoy drinking a craft beer or walking on the wild side in the middle of a storm, whether you live just down the road or across the state.

1. Attend a Wine Tasting

On a chilly day, curl up at the bar with a glass of red wine, preferably pinot noir, the grape that placed the Willamette Valley on the map for wine enthusiasts all over the world. The Wine Shack, The Wine Bar at Sweet Basil’s Cafe, and Laurel’s Wine Shop are just a few of the town’s charming wine stores and wine bars where you may sample some of the region’s greatest wines.

2. Spend some time at a coffee shop.

Winter is the ideal time to spend an afternoon at a coffee shop with a book or a laptop — or none of the above if you’re meeting a friend or significant other for a coffee date. Sleepy Monk, Sea Level Bakery + Coffee, and Insomnia Coffee are just a few of our favorites among the many charming coffee shops in Cannon Beach. Warm lighting, wood seats, comfortable cushions, and, of course, superb coffee make Sleepy Monk extremely inviting.

3. Take a Whale Watching Trip

Gray whales are the most frequent variety of whale spotted off the coast of Oregon. The best time to observe them is during their twice-yearly journey from Mexico to Alaska. If you saw the whales migrate up to Alaska in March, you’ll see them again in December through mid-January as they make for the warmer seas of Mexico. During this spectacular migration, almost 20,000 whales pass through Cannon Beach. Ecola State Park is one of the greatest spots to view this phenomena!

4. Pay a Visit to a Couple of Art Galleries

Cannon Beach is well-known for its outstanding art galleries and vibrant cultural scene. Check out these 12 Must-See Art Galleries in Cannon Beach, along with an interactive map to help you plan your trip. Bundle up and travel to and from each of these stunning galleries, which each provide a welcome respite from the cold and a wealth of great art to appreciate, most of it made by outstanding local artists!

5. Enjoy the Holidays!

Each year, the community looks forward to Haystack Holidays, which is one of several yearly festivities. WOW! Cannon Beach, Mimosa Madness, the downtown Lamp Lighting Ceremony, photos with Santa, Holiday Foods Around the World, the Winter Holiday Concert, and more will help you kick off the holiday season in November and December.

6. Take a Seat at the Irish Table for Dinner

While Cannon Beach has several excellent restaurants, we can’t conceive of a more quiet, intimate getaway than the Irish Table. The Irish Table is a warm and pleasant cafe with a particular emphasis, tucked beneath the famed Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters. Chef and owner Crystal Corbin’s daily menus include handmade soup, soda bread, and fresh seafood, fusing Pacific Northwest cuisine with Irish taste. This intimate café, which is only open for evening, is decorated with wood paneling, soft lighting, and rustic touches. The Irish Table’s variety of Irish whiskey, beer, and homemade cocktails round out the experience.

7. Visit the Coaster Theatre to see a play

The historic Coaster Theatre, located in the center of Cannon Beach, offers tickets to plays and musicals. The theatre, which was formerly home to a skating rink in the 1920s and beyond, has been a neighborhood fixture for the arts since 1972. Take a peek at the upcoming events calendar to see what’s up. There isn’t a poor seat in the house in our small and intimate theater!

8. Try a Different Brewery

Warm up with a seasonal brew from one of the town’s two breweries, which both launched in 2016. Even on a dark day, Pelican Brewing’s lofty ceilings and wide windows bring in plenty of natural light, creating a cheery atmosphere. Pilsners, light lagers, blonde and pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts, saisons, and more are among the beers produced by this small-batch brewery. Public Coast Brewing Co. is a contemporary and energetic brewery with a fantastic assortment of beers located in the northern part of town. The term alludes to the fact that the whole Oregon coast is still free and available to the public. Similarly, Public Coast creates great and accessible artisan beer. Take a seat at the wrap-around bar and look out the brewery windows to see how beer is brewed.

9. Experience a winter storm

A winter storm in the Pacific is worth seeing – as long as you approach with prudence. There are lots of secure vantage locations, including a few resorts along the coast, where you can take in the strong wind, rain, and waves. Consider arranging a room to have a front-row seat to one of these spectacular storms.

10. Visit the Ecola State Park

Throughout the summer, Roosevelt Elk are few and far between, but during the rest of the year, they are considerably more visible and active – particularly if you know where to look. These magnificent elk are often seen in herds of ten or more, with some reaching ten feet in length and weighing over 1,000 pounds. To see these strong animals, go to Ecola State Park’s meadows, the border of Ecola Creek, City Park, or the Highway 101 Sunset Boulevard Exit, particularly during their most active hours of dawn and twilight.

11. Embrace the cold and go for a stroll on the beach.

Although colder temperatures and less sunlight may not be the most appealing combination for luring you to the beach, it can be a particularly lovely setting if you wrap up in lots of warm clothing. Fall and winter at Cannon Beach are substantially less busy tourist seasons, resulting in significantly less people on the beach. Take a walk to Haystack Rock with a cup of coffee in hand, and watch the massive waves smash on the coast while breathing in the cold fresh air.

12. Visit the Ecola State Park bonus tips

Ecola State Park, just to the right of Cannon Beach, is must-see. The state park’s approach road twists and turns through an old-growth forest before arriving to one of the state’s most famous vistas. The park, which spans for 9 miles down the coast, is ideal for surfing, hiking, animal viewing, tourism, and tidal pool exploration.

From Cannon Beach to Seaside, the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail runs virtually the whole length of the park! It’s about 12 miles long and will take you through a beautiful rainforest, over headlands and rocky outcroppings, and even past “Terrible Tilly” or Tillamook Lighthouse, a lonely, abandoned lighthouse offshore formerly famed for its treacherous commute.

One of the finest things to do in Astoria is visit Ecola State Park, which overlooks Cannon Beach and has a beautiful view of the beach and rock islands. The Clatsop Loop trek is slightly over three miles long and has some of the nicest vistas in the region. Indian Beach is the place to go if you have a surfboard and want to catch a wave. The waves are quite regular and seldom crowded here. Summer is the finest season for surfing in this area.

Look for marine life in the tide pools while you’re at Indian Beach, and keep an eye out for eagles, elk, and even migrating gray whales throughout the winter and spring months.

13. Visit the Hug Point

Hug Point State Recreation Site is a sight to see. Imagine deep-sea tunnels etched into the sandstone, as well as a seasonal cascade cascading down the cliff of this difficult stretch of shore. Despite its tiny size, the region is densely packed with natural beauty.

Hug Point is located between Manzanita and Cannon Beach and was formerly a stagecoach route that traveled down the beach prior to the construction of the freeway. Hug Point offers a misty view of people strolling on a beach in the distance, surrounded by big rocks. One of the nicest things to do near Cannon Beach is to go to Hug Point.

Walking along the beach and admiring the beautiful cliffs is the major pastime here. There are several beautiful marine tunnels and unique rock structures to explore. In the distance, you should be able to see Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. It’s just about a half-mile one way, so it’s not too taxing.

14. Visit the Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park stretches about four miles along the Oregon coast. With miles of paths winding through deep, temperate rainforest, spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean, and quiet sandy beaches, the park has it all.

There are a few day-use picnic spots, and some of the state’s biggest Sitka spruces may be found in the old-growth coastal forest. This huge gem is unquestionably one of Oregon’s most spectacular coastal state parks, and a must-see for visitors visiting Cannon Beach.

Beachgoers, hikers, and surfers flock to the park, which offers a variety of outdoor activities. The Oregon Coast Trail snakes its way through the park for 13 miles, finishing in the town of Manzanita. The park also includes the two big coastline features of Cape Falcon and Neahkahnie Mountain, which provide excellent hiking opportunities.

15. Hike to Cape Falcon

When it comes to activities to do in Cannon Beach, the Cape Falcon trek is probably one of the most gorgeous on the Oregon Coast. The cape is located in Oswald West State Park, and the route starts near the parking lot’ northernmost end, however it may be accessible from anywhere in the park.

At the end of the Cape Falcon walk in Cannon Beach, an aerial picture of a rocky headland with the ocean in the backdrop. One of the nicest things to do in Cannon Beach is hike the Cape Falcon route.

It’s a doable trek, measuring about 2 miles one way and passing through a coastal forest of Sitka spruce with plenty of views of the Pacific Ocean via gaps in the trees. The route is well-kept, and the muddy portions are covered by boardwalks. If you seek out the vista, which will spread out before you across a protected marine reserve, it is difficult to get lost. You may turn around and return the way you came after you’ve taken everything in.

If you choose to continue hiking, you may continue north on a track that will lead you 6.5 miles to Arch Cape Creek after you reach the summit of Cape Falcon.

16. Beach with Short Sand

Short Sand Beach, a popular surfing site in the vicinity, is another spectacular beach in the neighborhood. The beach is located in a secluded cove surrounded by dense woodland and cliffs of volcanic basalt and sandstone.

Despite its location in a cove, this beach is often visited by surfers and boogie boarders. The cove shields it from the worst of the weather, and the waves are quite steady. The waves are clean and break on sandbars all around the beach.

Short Sand Beach in Oregon offers a variety of water activities. Even if surfing isn’t your thing, the beach is still a lovely spot to visit and a fun activity in Cannon Beach. Go skimboarding, boogie boarding, kite flying, or paddle boarding. It’s a short walk through the woods from the main parking area at Oswald West State Park.

Walk down the route, following Short Sand Creek’s twists through the woodland until you reach a picnic place with a view of the ocean. If you’re feeling adventurous, you may access the modest climb to the end of Cape Falcon from the beach.

Final words

Focus on these things and go ahead to get the best experience as you spend your winter at the Cannon Beach. You will fall in love with the overall experience it offers.

Best Time To Visit Mammoth Cave

Touring Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is like visiting the world’s longest cave system. Mammoth Cave is one of North America’s oldest tourist attractions, with over 400 miles of excavated corridors. The Cave is enormous and wonderful to see, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about the Kentucky colossus.

What is the Mammoth Cave?

Mammoth Cave National Park’s major attraction is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The park was founded in 1941 and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Despite the fact that these events occurred in the twentieth century, the cave has been used for thousands of years. Native Americans may have found the cave as early as 4000 years ago, according to leading anthropologists.

Mammoth Cave National Park protects not just the cave system, but also areas of the Green River valley and south central Kentucky’s lovely rolling hills. Even while the cave’s major appeal is what’s under the surface, there are miles of excellent trails in the region that may be explored when visiting Mammoth Cave.

Bats may be seen in the cave, enjoying the darkness. Other areas of Mammoth National Park provide opportunities to see black bears, white-tailed deer, and a variety of Kentucky-based birds.

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The Kentucky Giant’s Mysteries

When the first human visited Mammoth Cave some 4000 years ago, he or she ushered in a new period marked by the discovery of previously undiscovered minerals. The cave would be used by people for roughly 2000 years after that.

However, for some reason, the cave became silent again. People went, and the town was silent until the end of the 18th century. The history of the massive Mammoth Cave was then revealed thanks to the curiosity of European immigrants.

It’s still a mystery why Mammoth Cave was left deserted for almost 2000 years. However, the same curiosity that drew the first person to Mammoth Cave is the same curiosity that keeps us coming back. For many years to come, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky will continue to pique the interest of interested tourists.

Read: Best Mammoth Cave Tours For Families 2022

Learn about the Tour of Discovery

When visiting Mammoth Cave National Park, here’s what to anticipate.

A journey to Mammoth Cave is a realistic representation of the underworld. It’s drizzly, silent, and dimly lit. It’s also large since it’s the Mammoth Cave.

When visiting Mammoth Cave National Park, the immensity of the cave and the atmosphere under the earth’s surface are enough to ground even the most hardened flirt. The cave comprises more than 400 miles (640 kilometers) of investigated corridors, some of which are massive and others of which are small.

The cave system as a whole has yet to be investigated. In reality, since all uncharted tunnels aren’t included in that statistic, it’s extremely possible that the system is considerably longer than 400 miles. Mammoth Cave has so much to see that you may be occupied for days, if not weeks.

If you don’t keep your lights on, Mammoth Cave will become as black as it is large. It is very uncommon for tour operators to switch off the lights in the midst of a tour to allow you to feel true darkness when visiting Mammoth Cave.

The inhabitants of the cave seem unconcerned about what goes on outside. The cave maintains a year-round temperature of 54°F (12°C). As a result, Mammoth Cave National Park is a fantastic year-round pastime.

Go on a tour

When visiting Mammoth Cave, there are a variety of excursions to select from. The excursions cover a variety of topics, each of which is intriguing in its own right. Frozen Niagara Tour, Gothic Avenue Tour, and Wild Cave Tour are three Mammoth Cave excursions of varied complexity.

Tour of the Frozen Niagara Falls. When visiting Mammoth Cave, the Frozen Niagara Trip is a popular basic tour. Other trips are longer, more difficult, and more expensive. And Frozen Niagara takes you on a tour of several of the cave’s stunning features, including stalagmites, in little over an hour.

Tour of Gothic Avenue This two-hour intermediate Mammoth Cave trip allows you to explore further into the cave with a smaller group of people. Gothic Avenue is a section of the cave with remarkable rock formations that mimic Gothic architecture. In the nineteenth century, Gothic Avenue was the site of some of the initial Mammoth Cave tourism.

Cave Tour in the Wild. The most advanced Mammoth Cave excursion is the Wild Cave Tour. You spend around six hours touring farther into the cave than the others. Prepare to squirm in confined areas. The Wild Cave Tour is not for everyone, but if you’re a cave troll, you’ll like it.

The guided Mammoth Cave excursions range anything from one to six hours. The number of passengers on each excursion fluctuates significantly. Before you choose a Mammoth Cave trip, check at the tour limit for each one. During peak season, Mammoth Cave tours often sell out, so make your reservation as soon as possible.

Visiting the Mammoth Cave National Park in summer

The fact that Mammoth Cave maintains a consistent temperature of 54°F (12°C) throughout the year makes it a fantastic destination to visit at any time of year. There is no optimal time to visit Mammoth Cave National Park when it comes to cave temperature. However, each season in the park has its own allure, and the ideal time to visit Mammoth Cave is determined by your own particular tastes.

Visiting the Mammoth Cave National Park in winter

In comparison to the other seasons of the year, Mammoth Cave National Park has much less visitors in the winter. If you want to take a Mammoth Cave trip, this is a huge benefit. You may be more spontaneous and expect to discover intriguing excursions available even if you book later while visiting Mammoth Cave in the winter. If you want to avoid crowds, winter is the ideal season to explore Mammoth Cave National Park.

However, in the winter, the cooler temperatures outdoors may make trekking the paths less enjoyable. Inside the cave, the temperature stays constant at 54°F (12°C). That implies that throughout the winter, the temperature inside the cave is usually warmer than the outside.

In a nutshell, winter is the ideal season to visit Mammoth Cave if you want to see the cave’s interior with less people. On the down side, visiting Mammoth Cave in the winter means chilly temperatures outdoors. If you want to trek the paths above ground, the cooler outdoor temps may be an issue.

Visiting the Mammoth Cave National Park in Spring or October

Visiting Mammoth Cave in the spring or fall is considered shoulder season. The crowds are neither too large nor too tiny in the spring and autumn. It’s not packed, but it’s also not empty. Going Mammoth Cave National Park in March, on the other hand, is often more popular than visiting in November. The tourist numbers for Mammoth Cave increases in March, while the cave goes into hibernation mode in November.

Because the cave maintains a steady temperature, the inner temperature remains constant. However, throughout the spring and fall, the ambient temperatures are pleasant enough to enjoy park activities above ground. It’s neither too chilly in the winter or too hot in the summer, which is ideal for exploring the park’s paths.

The best time to visit Mammoth Cave National Park is said to be during the shoulder seasons. The low crowds and pleasant temperatures make visiting Mammoth Cave in the spring and fall a winner, as well as a perfect time to explore the above-ground portion of the national park.

Visiting the Mammoth Cave National Park in summer

Summer is Mammoth Cave National Park’s busiest season. People have more time to travel at this time of year, and the tourist count is at its peak for the year. When visiting Mammoth Cave in the summer, you can expect more park visitors.

In the summer, entering the cave seems like entering a refrigerator since the outside air is significantly warmer than the cave’s constant temperature of 54°F (12°C). In the summer, it’s not uncommon for the outdoor temperature to reach 90°F (32°C). As a result, it may become quite hot above ground, which is a significant change from the temperature within the cave.

Finally, going to Mammoth Cave National Park in the summer means going at the busiest season of the year. As a result, if you want to avoid the crowds, summer is not the greatest season to explore Mammoth Cave. As a result, Mammoth Cave is a fantastic experience at any time of year, and the internal temperature stays constant.

Visitor’s Guide to Mammoth Cave

Visiting Mammoth Cave is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, there are a few suggestions for making your vacation to Mammoth Cave National Park even more memorable.

Make a reservation for the first or final tour of the day. It’s a unique experience to be the first or final tour of the day. If there are no other groups before or after you, the Mammoth Cave trips seem more private. As a result, booking an early or late tour is an excellent suggestion for visiting Mammoth Cave.

Make your hotel reservations in advance of your cave trips. When you have an early Mammoth Cave tour, staying in or near the park becomes even more crucial. You don’t want to have to travel a great distance the next morning to get to the cave tiered. As a result, if at all feasible, staying near the cave is a smart option.

Dress appropriately for the weather. It’s simple to set to the consistent temperature of 54°F (12°C). Consider this: you already know what the weather will be like in the cave. Bring appropriate clothing for your Mammoth Cave trip, regardless of the outside weather.

When visiting, where should you stay?

Near Mammoth Cave, there are a number of excellent hotels. When visiting Mammoth Cave, you have the choice of staying inside the park or driving a short distance beyond to find additional motels and food alternatives.

The Lodge at Mammoth Park is a great place to stay if you want to remain within the park. Then you’ll be smack in the middle of your Mammoth Cave National Park excursion, with action just outside your door.

Staying outside the park is also a fantastic alternative. Horse Cave, Cave City, and Park City are all popular destinations for visitors to Mammoth Cave. The more crowded Glasgow and Bowling Green are a little farther distant but provide even more alternatives.

Things to do near the park

When visiting the region, you must see the massive Mammoth Cave. It’s difficult to top the cave experience on its own. There are many more fantastic things to do around Mammoth Cave if you want to prolong your visit.

Dinosaur World is a place where you may learn about dinosaurs. Dinosaur World in adjacent Cave City is a handy addition to the Mammoth Cave itinerary. At Dinosaur World, you may stroll a dinosaur path with real-size dinosaurs. When you come, look for the dinosaurs along the walkway and in the trees. Dinosaur World is a popular family attraction near Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo is located in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo is another popular family activity near Mammoth Cave. Many rare creatures, including the famed Australian kangaroo, may be seen in the zoo in the adjacent town of Horse Cave. Who knew Kentucky had an Australian outback?

The National Corvette Museum is located in Detroit, Michigan. The National Corvette Museum is a terrific site for automobile enthusiasts to combine with a visit to Mammoth Cave. The sports car museum is just around 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the cave entrance in Bowling Green. Visitors love the birthplace of America’s sports automobile, and it’s one of the top things to do near Mammoth Cave.

Cave of the Lost River. If you haven’t gotten your fill of caves yet, the Lost River Cave near Bowling Green is a fun experience for all ages. The only underground cave boat excursion in Kentucky is found in the Bowling Green cave. The boat trip is just a few minutes long, but it is a pleasant and unusual way to spend some time at Mammoth Cave National Park.

Final words

Keep these tips in mind and visit the Mammoth Cave National Park. You will fall in love with all the great experiences that would come on your way.

Mt. Moosilauke Winter Hike (What to expect)

Winter hiking on Moosilauke or anyplace else is a very different experience from summer trekking, but with the correct equipment and a little practice, it can be both safe and pleasant. The benefits include the fact that when the weather is clear, it is generally extremely clear indeed, with virtually little summer haze. In the winter, there are less people on the mountain, and the scenery may be quite stunning with snow on the ground. However, there are a few factors to think about:

How is it like to hike in the Mt. Moosilauke?

Cold, severe winds, difficulties to travel quickly (particularly with a load in heavy snow), and the shortness of daylight are all things to consider. Difficult circumstances may linger until the end of the year; it’s not uncommon for there to be no snow in Hanover for weeks and yet there to be hip-deep snow on the mountain in shady areas, with awful muck in others.

In the winter, the ease of choosing a route and traveling varies greatly from day to day and location to place. Even in heavy snow years, if it hasn’t snowed in a few weeks and the weather has been nice, the Glencliff and Gorge Brook Trails may be well-packed roads in late February, when snowshoes aren’t required. At the same time, the Ridge Trail, which is by far the most challenging winter path, may be a big muck of seven-foot drifts and spruce traps, with the blazes buried and the route very impossible to follow.

In reality, following a major storm, similar circumstances may occur everywhere on the mountain. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Always pack snowshoes or skis, and make sure they function before leaving town, unless you are assured of the circumstances.
  • If there has been recent snow or you anticipate there will be more than three feet of snow on the ground, don’t tackle a path you are unfamiliar with. Trails on the Moosilauke, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, are inadequately marked for winter usage and might be difficult to follow if you are breaching the rules.
  • Always pack enough stuff to create a makeshift bivouac (sleeping bag, matches, tarp, extra food). Day hikes are detailed, but a broken snowshoe might necessitate an overnight at any moment. Always have a decent flashlight with you, ideally a headlamp, and fresh batteries (batteries don’t last long in the cold).

Crampons aren’t necessary to reach treelined on any route except Beaver Brook, however the final half-mile of Glencliff before Carriage Road may be a challenge. If you want to venture beyond treelined, you should pack crampons and an ice axe that you are familiar with. They aren’t always essential, but when they are, you’ll be glad you have them.

Before you go, always register your trip with a reputable party. If you run into danger, stick to your predetermined path so you can be located. It is highly suggested that you educate yourself on safety measures and winter preparedness via courses given by the Outdoor Programs Office or the DOC before going out in the winter.

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What is the best way to get there?

The Best Way to Get There: To get to the Lodge, use the usual path. Take Route 10 north from Hanover to Orford, then turn right onto Route 25A. (alternatively, take I-91 North to Exit 15, then cross back into New Hampshire to pick up 25A). Turn left on Route 25/Route 118 as 25A comes to an end in Wentworth. When Route 25 divides from Route 118, drive through Warren and turn right. Drive 5.8 miles along Route 118 before turning left onto Ravine Road. The Ravine Road is gated approximately fifty yards up during the winter.

Read: Mt Moosilauke Camping Guide 2022 (What You Should Know)

Learn about the Less-Traveled Paths

Easy lodge on ravine road winter trek

During the winter, this is the best route to travel to John Rand, or if time allows, up the Ridge Trail. Follow the entrance road after parking on Route 118.

A minimum of two feet of snow is required for this trek, with no crust! Skins will very probably be required for the section above Last Water. If there is six inches or more of snow, an upper-intermediate backcountry skier will enjoy the trip down from Last Water. From John Rand Cabin, take the standard path. Add 3.4 miles and another hour or two to the round-trip length from Route 118. In excellent snow years, playing on the top snow fields is a blast.

Read: 14 Best Hikes In Denali National Park To Try Out 2022

Learn about The Gorge Creek Trail

Moderate al Merrill ski loop winter ski

If there is more than two feet of snow on the ground, this is the traditional winter ski from John Rand Cabin, and it is terrific in both directions (between eight inches hard-packed and two feet, try the loop counter-clockwise as far as Mount Braley, and be prepared for stream crossings low down). The path descends slowly from Mount Braley to the Ridge trail, then more gently to the Baker River (see map and Easy Hike above). Backtrack to the cabin by following the Baker back to the bridge that leads to the parking lot; return all the way to the fork and re-climb.

Read: [9 Best] Kid Friendly Hikes At Mount Hood

Learn about Laurance Lake trail

Moderate hurricane trail

This route needs at least a foot of base snow and enables you to climb pretty high on the mountain while enjoying the Snapper Trail’s switchback descent. Cross the river from the Ravine Lodge and follow the signs to Hurricane Trail, which includes an exhilarating bridge crossing. The track quickly turns into an ancient tote road, which is followed 1.3 miles from the Lodge to Carriage. Carriage is on the right. On a series of switchbacks, climb gently at first, then more sharply.

Snowmobiles should be avoided. Snapper Trail is 3.2 kilometers away from the Lodge. If the weather is nice and you’ve done well thus far, you could consider going for the summit, which is 1.7 miles away; nevertheless, the route narrows and becomes dangerous approximately 0.2 miles beyond Snapper. Otherwise, take a right and enjoy the modest at first, then steady drop. Cross a tributary of Gorge Brook and follow it. Keep an eye out for the last steep descent to Gorge Brook Trail (4.4 miles). Continue down Gorge Brook Trail to Hurricane Trail, which has a sharp final fall.

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Learn about Valley View Overlook Trail

Mount Jim Ridge trail

The last climb to Jim will need the use of skins. If you wander a little, Jim has some good views through the woods. Switchbacks provide for a nice descent. Add 3.4 miles and another hour or two to the round-trip length from Route 118.

This may be done as an out-and-back or by catching a ride from one end to the other. The road stretch at the north end is a great introduction to skiing, and the route itself would be no difficulty for an intermediate skier in ideal conditions, save for some hard stream crossings, especially towards the south end.

To get there, travel I-91 north to Exit 17 in Hanover (Route 302, Wells River). Follow Route 302 through Wells River and Woodsville (pay attention to the signage as the road zigzags), then turn left at the Route 10 intersection and go east toward Littleton. Turn right on Route 112 approximately two miles from the Route 10 intersection, shortly after Route 302 passes over a large hill, and continue it up the Wild Ammoniac River, through a junction where Route 116 enters from the right and exits to the left after about another mile. Continue 0.5 mile on 112 from the second 116 intersection to the well-signed Tunnel Brook Road on the right.

This road is often unplowed beyond the first 0.7 mile in the winter, however it is not fenced. Avoid multiple small forks by sticking to the main stem of this route. Cross Tunnel Brook and bear left about 1.5 miles from Route 112. Even though the road is open, the road is usually gated at this time in the winter, so park here to prevent being trapped in. Continue on this road for about 3.0 miles from Route 112 to a large parking space on the left with a Benton Trail signboard. The road continues for another 0.7 miles to the north end of the Tunnel Brook Trail and a turnaround.

Read: 10 Kid Friendly Hikes In The Red River Gorge Reviewed

Learn about Tom McCall Preserve trail

Ascend the Tunnel Brook Trail

Ascend the Tunnel Brook Trail through the hardwoods to get back to your vehicle, which is approximately 0.7 miles away. The route then begins crossing and re-crossing Tunnel Brook, passing multiple beaver ponds until arriving at Mud Pond at 2.7 miles, with some excellent views of Slide Ravine and Moosilauke’s west slope. The route ascends to a ridge before gently descending to a reservoir at 4.1 kilometers. At 5.1 miles, the route follows Slide Brook, traverses numerous smaller brooks, and emerges onto the North & South Road. Continue 0.2 miles out to Sanitarium Road if you’ve left a second vehicle at the Glencliff Trail parking lot or want to hitch back, otherwise return by the same route.

Read: 10 Best Dog-friendly Hikes In Acadia National Park

Learn about Wonderland Trail – 1.6 mile distance

Glencliff Trail

Take Route 10 north from Hanover to Orford, then turn right onto Route 25A. (alternatively, take I-91 North to Exit 15, then cross back into New Hampshire to pick up 25A). Turn left on Route 25/Route 118 as 25A comes to an end in Wentworth. When Route 118 breaks off to the right, continue straight into Warren. Turn right into Sanitarium Road in Glencliff (look for a sign for the New Hampshire Home for the Elderly). Pass the North & South Road on the left, then park on the right in the parking space (WMNF parking fee required).

Hurricane Trail

Take Route 10 north from Hanover to Orford, then turn right onto Route 25A. (alternatively, take I-91 North to Exit 15, then cross back into New Hampshire to pick up 25A). Turn left on Route 25/Route 118 as 25A comes to an end in Wentworth. When Route 118 breaks off to the right, continue straight into Warren. Turn right into Sanitarium Road in Glencliff (look for a sign for the New Hampshire Home for the Elderly). Pass the North & South Road on the left, then park on the right in the parking space (WMNF parking fee required).

Follow Hurricane Trail from Great Bear. The Carriage Road is 2.9 miles away, while the Ravine Lodge is 4.5 miles away. Upper intermediate backcountry, with skins necessary for a short bit west of the height of land (1.5 miles from Great Bear).

Read: [10 Best] Hikes In Pinnacles National Park

Learn about the Best moderate hikes at the park

Beaver Brook Trail

Because of the ice in the cascades, which is practically hard to avoid in certain portions, this approach will almost certainly need crampons or snowshoes with instep crampons. Snowshoes are required for the top parts, which are the hardest paths to follow in the winter.

To get there, travel I-91 north to Exit 17 in Hanover (Route 302, Wells River). Follow Route 302 through Wells River and Woodsville (pay attention to the signage as the road zigzags), then turn left at the Route 10 intersection and go east toward Littleton.

Turn right on Route 112 approximately two miles from the Route 10 intersection, shortly after Route 302 passes over a large hill, and continue it up the Wild Ammonoosuc River, through a junction where Route 116 enters from the right and exits to the left after about another mile. Continue on Route 112 up the steep, picturesque ascent into Kinsman Notch from the second Route 116 intersection. Pass a pond on the right immediately before the height of land; just beyond the pond, you’ll notice signs for the Appalachian Trail. This is where you should park (WMNF parking fee required). Follow the Beaver Brook Trail signage.

Final words

Now you know how to spend your winter hike at the Mt Moosilauke. Make sure that you plan your visit accordingly before you go. Then you can get the best possible experiences during the time that you are going to spend in here.

Best Time To Visit Silver Falls State Park

Oregon is well-known for its breathtaking natural beauty. Boomer visitors are in for a treat whether it comes to seeing the state’s stunning coastline or fashionable cities, particularly when it comes to waterfalls. Silver Falls State Park should be at the top of your list when it comes to waterfalls, hiking, and history. Based on her sponsored trip to the region, guest author Ann Randall teaches us how to make the most of a Silver Falls State Park visit.

Silver Falls State Park, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, is a waterfall and historical architecture lovers’ paradise. The beautiful Trail of Ten Falls goes across portion of the park’s 9,065 acres and has ten flowing waterfalls.

The route meanders behind four of the falls, giving trekkers a rear perspective of the cascade and mossy grottos produced by the power and heavy spray. The Silver Falls State Park Concession Building Area and Silver Creek Youth Camp are two Historic Districts in the park that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their examples of Rustic Style architecture.

Silver Falls State Park offers a variety of activities.

This renowned Oregon state park offers lots of activities for active boomer visitors. The biggest of Oregon’s 361 state parks, located in Silverton, approximately 20 miles southeast of Salem, Silverton provides 15 miles of hiking trails, including the Trail of Ten Falls, birdwatching, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile cycling route for fitness lovers.

  • Hiking the Silver Falls paths

The modest 8.7-mile Trail of Ten Falls, designated as a National Recreation Trail, meanders through a beautiful forest, and runs along the banks of Silver Creek for the most of its length. The whole trek takes around 3 hours to walk, depending on how long you pause to photograph the 10 waterfalls.

Four of the waterfalls may also be seen from behind the curtain of pouring water. Anyone who does not want to do the trek in its entirety may do it in portions. Waterproof hiking shoes are recommended for this walk. The Trail of Ten Falls may be rainy and slick in spots, and there is considerable elevation gain and loss.

  • Birdwatching

The Oregon Cascades Birding Trail passes through Silver Falls Park, which is ideal for birdwatchers. Five kinds of owls, two types of grouse, and seven other indigenous bird species live in its low-elevation old-growth conifer forest (a section of North America’s last intact temperate rain forest).

  • Interpretation programs

Friends of Silver Falls has a thorough interpretive program that includes hikes and talks about the park’s history, vegetation, and animals, as well as manning the Nature Store. Historic Silver Falls Day and the Christmas Festival are two public events sponsored by the park.

History of the Silver Falls State Park1

Surrounded by forests, a stone home with a shingle roof.

Silver Falls owes its birth to the efforts of a determined local photographer, a US President, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Works Progress Administration’s handicraft talents. The site was originally home to Silver Falls City, an ambitiously called tiny town with a hotel, three businesses, a church, dancehall, tavern, and roughly 200 inhabitants in the late 1800s.

June Drake, a local resident, began a 33-year lobbying campaign in 1900, using his images of the 10 waterfalls to persuade the local chamber of commerce that the area’s unique closeness to the ten falls should be conserved in a park. The site was designated as a state park in 1933. President Franklin D Roosevelt, however, named the area a Recreational Demonstration Area two years later, as part of a programme to demonstrate federal land purchase, development for recreational purposes, and transfer to state governments.

Silver Falls was one of two Recreation Demonstration Areas on the west coast, as well as one of 46 public parks around the country that were extended and improved as part of the government program. Over 200 jobless young men and women were dispatched to Silver Falls in 1935 to build structures, paths, rock walls, and bridges, as well as replace trees, as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration’s back-to-work initiatives. The park was returned to the state of Oregon in 1947, with an additional 5000 acres added to the park’s borders.

Silver Falls has historic architecture

During the time that you spend at Silver Falls State Park, you will be amazed by the beautiful architecture that you see as well. While keeping that in mind, you will need to take a look at the best pieces of architecture that are available for you to explore within the park. Then you can explore them and receive the maximum returns coming on your way.

  • Log cabin in the woods

Rustic Style was an architectural style adopted by the National Park Service in the 1930s for all newly developed parks. The Silver Falls State Park buildings were built during the seven years of CCC and WPA construction. The wide park features over 43 instances of Rustic Architecture constructions that emphasize the use of local materials, handcraft labor, and harmony with the natural environment.

  • Camp silver Creek

Camp Silver Creek, one of two youth camps established during the era, has forty historic buildings. With a recreation center, craft and eating halls, and cabins, the camp now offers group overnight services.

  • South Falls Lodge

The South Falls Lodge, the Nature Store gift store, and the Combination Building, a shelter and kitchen for day use, are among the surviving architectural elements in the park’s historic Concession Building Area.

At Silver Falls State Park, there are many places to stay.

Year-round and seasonal lodgings, as well as day-use and group facilities, are available within the park, ranging from electricity hookups and tent sites to rustic cabins and dorms. At its Howard Creek Horse Camp, it also features rudimentary camping.

It’s a half-hour drive to Silverton, a picturesque town with restaurants, B&Bs, and art galleries, for people who want to take use of the park’s day-use facilities but not the overnight accommodations. Begin your search for Silverton lodging right here.

What is the best way to travel to Silver Falls?

Silver Falls State Park is twenty miles southeast of Salem and roughly 90 minutes south of Portland, on Highway 214. Silver Falls Lodge provides thorough, easy-to-follow travel instructions.

Silver Falls State Park is worth a visit for a variety of reasons.

If you’re like most Oregonians, you’ll probably head to Silver Falls State Park this year. Every year, approximately a million hikers, bikers, trail runners, campers, and horseback riders visit the 9,000-acre park, making it one of Oregon State Parks’ most popular and well-known attractions.

Summer attracts the most visitors, but winter may be the ideal time to go. The temperate rain forest’s trails are less busy than they are in the summer, suitable camping accommodations are simpler to come by, and the park’s famous waterfalls are even more magnificent than normal owing to frequent rainfall. These are just a few of the reasons why the popular park, which is located approximately 25 miles outside of Salem, is a perfect winter retreat for Portlanders looking to reconnect with nature in all her glory. Here are a some of the reasons why you should visit Silver Falls State Park in the winter.

The Ten Falls Trail is a series of ten waterfalls.

Hikers and trail runners may follow the Trail of Ten Falls circle behind the 106-foot Middle North Falls.

The Trail of Ten Falls is the highlight of Silver Falls State Park. The whole circle, which is just under nine miles long, affords close-up views of ten spectacular waterfalls—more than five of which are at least 100 feet tall—as well as the chance to stroll behind four of them. Hikers travel through crystal clear waterways, lovely woodlands, and stunning canyon overlooks along the trip. “It’s still incredibly lush and green, even in the winters,” park manager Kevin Strandberg says.

While the park sees a lot of people during the summer, Strandberg adds that the winter is a great time to go because of the high rains—the park gets 80 inches of rain per year on average, compared to only 40 inches in neighboring Salem. “There may be ten times as much water in the waterfalls in the winter as there is in the summer,” he explains. “This time of year, the falls are raging.”

Winter falls, for example, provide much more than the dribble you’d anticipate in the height of summer. “It’s a booming, full-on sort of waterfall,” Strandberg adds following continuous rainfall throughout the autumn and winter.

There are several biking options available.

Silver Falls State Park is presently working on a seven-mile single-use mountain bike loop, but riders will have plenty of options in the meanwhile.

A four-mile paved cycling circle has some early hills but is mainly a flat trail that is ideal for families. Cyclists pass through 200- and 300-year-old trees along the trip, gaining a profound appreciation for the park’s natural beauty. “When you’re in there, it absolutely seems like you’re in an isolated rain forest,” Strandberg adds.

Mountain cyclists looking for a more difficult ride might attempt any of the park’s 25 miles of multifunctional backcountry tracks.

Silver Falls Lodge offers comfortable camping.

Silver Falls Lodge is a great place to stay if you Photo Atelier. Even the most lenient notion of “roughing it” would be stretched by the park’s 14 cabins. Electricity, heaters, lights, bunk beds, and a futon are all included in each. While the park’s tent sites are closed for the season, the cabins nevertheless serve as a base for hikers and bikers looking to explore.

Wi-Fi is available at the Silver Falls Historic Lodge, which also sells a variety of traditional American food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Keep an eye out for animals along the route while you’re not near the cabins. In the winter, when the park is less crowded, bobcat, cougar, deer, and bear sightings are more likely, according to Strandberg.

Final words

Silver Falls State Park is located 1.5 hours south of Portland, in Silverton, in the Cascade foothills. With ten beautiful waterfalls and 30 miles of temperate rainforest paths, this hidden jewel of a park draws one million people each year.

The famed Trail of Ten Waterfalls loop is not hiked by most people because they lack the time or energy (8.7 miles). Shortcuts to the waterfalls from the three day use locations at South Falls, Winter Falls, and North Falls are a preferable option. See the map for further information.

The breathtaking routes weave along streams, steep cliffs, ravines, and across bridges. Return to a mystical realm filled with maiden hair fern, sword fern, lichen, and moss, as well as a towering canopy of Douglas fir and western hemlock. Silver Falls State Park is worth visiting at any time of year, but the cascades are at their most spectacular in the winter and spring when water flow is at its highest.

At Silver Falls State Park, there’s also overnight accommodation in gorgeous cabins and lodge rooms, as well as lots of campsites. Alternatively, you might stay in Silverton, a beautiful township close.

When you go ahead with hiking adventures in the park, you will come across numerous outstanding attractions. On top of that, you will also be impressed by the excellent recreational opportunities that are available for you to try at the park. The picnic spaces, designated swimming area, and the kids play areas are all outstanding. You will also be able to stay at the South Falls Lodge, which provides you with beverages and snacks that you want. Moreover, there is a campground, giftshop, and a place where you will be able to go ahead with horseback rides to get a perfect overall experience.

Great Basin National Park Stargazing (What To Expect)

Some states are blessed with abundant natural resources, such as national parks and clear night sky. Utah, Arizona, and Colorado are only a few examples. But don’t forget about Nevada, our western neighbor! Nevada has just one national park, Great Basin, which is also a fantastic spot for astronomy.

On a cross-country road trip earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit Great Basin National Park and made sure to go out and appreciate the night sky over the park. Despite the inclement weather, I was able to observe the stars and the inky blackness of an area with little development and light pollution; Great Basin is a fantastic stargazing site!

You’ve come to the perfect spot if you want to arrange a stargazing excursion in Great Basin National Park. You’ll discover where to go stargazing in Great Basin, where to stay after an awesome night under the stars, and what to do in the days between stargazing sessions in this article.

What is the best way to go to Great Basin National Park?

The first step in arranging your Great Basin stargazing vacation is to figure out how to travel to Great Basin National Park. First and foremost, you should be aware that there is no public transit to or inside Great Basin National Park. As a result, you’ll need to drive there.

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There are three distinct entrances to the park:

  • From the east or west, take US Highways 6 and 50 to Baker, Nevada, then head south on Nevada State Highway 487 for five miles. Turn west on Highway 488 in Baker and drive five miles to the park.
  • From the south (Utah), take Utah State Highway 21 north past Milford and Garrison, Utah, to Nevada State Highway 487 as you cross the border. In Baker, take Highway 488 west for five miles to reach the park. Keep in mind that as you cross the Nevada border, you will be entering the Pacific Time Zone.
  • From the south (Nevada), use US Highway 93 north (Great Basin Highway). Drive east to Nevada State Highway 487 and turn south at the intersection of US Highways 6 and 50. Baker, Nevada is five miles away. Turn west on Highway 488 in Baker and drive five miles to the park.

Where in Great Basin National Park Can You Go Stargazing?

Great Basin National Park has some of the greatest black skies in the Lower 48, including Bristlecone beneath the Milky Way. The park was classified as an International Gloomy Sky Place by the International Dark-Sky Association because the sky are so dark. Beautiful stargazing places may be found almost everywhere, but these three are the finest to explore during your Great Basin National Park stargazing excursion.

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive’s Mather Overlook

Mather Overlook is named for Stephen Mather, the first head of the National Park Service, and may be found in most parks. Mather Overlook, located on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, offers stunning views of the night sky. Reaching Mather Overlook is a terrific opportunity to take in the park’s beauty, in addition to stunning night views. With far vistas of Wheeler Peak, Snake Range, and the little Wheeler Peak Glacier, the scenery during the trip are breathtaking. When you get to Mather Overlook, you’ll have plenty of area to park and set up your telescope for a spectacular night of astronomy.

Baker Archaeological Site

Another fantastic place to go stargazing in Great Basin is the Baker Archaeological Site, which is located near the town of Baker. The ruins of a Fremont Indian community, a pre-Columbian archaeological civilization that thrived here from roughly 1220 to 1295 CE, may be seen at this archaeological site. Baker Archaeological Site is a relatively distant, quiet site with an expansive horizon at night. Some say it’s a touch terrifying at night, but if you want full isolation while stargazing, head to Baker Archaeological Site and put up your telescope.

The Ranch Interpretive Site

Another nice site to go stargazing in Great Basin is the Ranch Interpretive Site. If you want to enjoy the Great Basin stars during the winter, most people suggest stargazing at the Ranch Interpretive Site.

The Ranch Interpretive Site is outside the park, on Highway 48, roughly midway between Baker and the Lehman Caves visitor center. A Pavilion with informative signage may be seen on the south side of the road. It has an incredible view since it is located in the valley with no mountains to the west, giving you a wide-open vista of the sky.

The Best Places to Stay in Great Basin National Park

In or around Great Basin National Park, there are several lodging possibilities, particularly for campers. You’ll find all the information you need about hotels and campgrounds around this national park in the sections below.

There are no accommodation options in the park. However, there are a plethora of possibilities in and around Baker. One of the greatest hotels to reserve a stay at is Hidden Canyon Retreat. Hidden Canyon Retreat is located 20 minutes outside of Baker and is approximately a 5-minute drive from Great Basin National Park. If you’re traveling with children, this retreat is an excellent choice since it includes a large courtyard and lots of activities for them to play.

Another wonderful place to stay is the Stargazer Inn. Despite the fact that the rooms are small, the hotel provides all of the conveniences you’ll need to make the most of your stargazing excursion. This lovely boutique motel is located about 5 miles from the Great Basin National Park entrance.

Great Basin National Park campgrounds

Visitors to Great Basin National Park may stay in one of five campsites (some close seasonally due to weather.) All campsites are $20 per night and include vault toilets, picnic tables, tent pads, and campfire grills.

  • Lower Lehman Creek Campground is the only established campground in the area that is open year-round (elevation: 7,300 feet, 11 campsites)
  • Upper Lehman Creek Campground is available from the middle of April until the end of October (elevation: 7,752 feet, 22 campsites)
  • From May through October, Baker Creek Campground is available (elevation: 7,530 feet, 38 campsites)
  • From June through October, Wheeler Peak Campground is available (elevation: 9,886 feet, 37 campsites)
  • Memorial Day through Labor Day, Grey Cliffs Campground is open (elevation: 7,530 feet, 16 sites)
  • To accommodate big parties, Great Basin offers four group campsites. The Grey Cliffs Campground, located at 7,115 feet on Baker Creek Road, has the majority of group campsites. Each campsite provides seclusion for groups and guarantees that campers in the normal campsites are not disturbed.

The rustic campsites in Great Basin National Park are ideal for more daring guests. One free option includes picnic tables, fire rings, and generators, but it does not provide water. Snake Creek Campground is free and accessible year-round; however, it may shut due to snow during the winter months.

Backcountry Camping in the Great Basin and Surrounding Areas

Backcountry camping is permitted in most of the park’s backcountry/wilderness areas. Backcountry camping is not permitted within a quarter-mile of any built site, including the Wheeler Peak and Lexington Arch Day-use areas, Bristlecone Pine groves, the Osceola Ditch route, or within a quarter-mile of any created site. Please verify all backcountry laws in Great Basin National Park and follow them.

What to See and Do at Great Basin During the Day

Visitors to Great Basin National Park can find a plethora of activities in addition to stargazing. Check out all the things you can fit into your schedule if you’re just there for a day or two.

The park has hundreds of paths that lead to beautiful alpine lakes, bristlecone pine forests, and mountain summits. Be aware that, due to the park’s height over 13000 feet, the hiking season is limited to June through September.

The Lehman Caves Tour is the most popular reason for visitors to come to the park. Year-round, you may explore the caverns and participate in one of the Ranger-led excursions.

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive may be combined with your Great Basin stargazing excursion on the same day. Drive along the 12 miles towards sunset, taking in the beautiful landscape as you ascend the mountain. You’ll arrive to Mather Overlook just as the darkness begins.

Walk amid Ancient Bristlecone Pines: Bristlecone pines are one of Great Basin National Park’s most popular attractions. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered another universe with the interesting twisting features and thick wood.

Nevada’s Only Glacier: Nevada does have one glacier, and it’s in Great Basin National Park. You’ll have to travel to Wheeler Peak and climb a little distance, but it’s a unique experience that you won’t find anyplace else in the state!

Fishing is permitted in Great Basin National Park as long as it does not deplete park resources. Popular fishing spots include Lehman Creek and Baker Creek. Before you go fishing, be sure you have a Nevada fishing license.

When is the ideal time to visit Great Basin to go stargazing?

During moonless evenings in Great Basin, the optimum time to go stargazing is. When the Moon is at its brightest, the light from most stars is washed away, leaving just the brightest stars visible. Also, keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid visiting on rainy or overcast evenings.

When stargazing at Great Basin, can you see the Milky Way? When?

Yes, you can see the Milky Way when stargazing in the Great Basin! Summer evenings are the greatest time to observe The Milky Way since it is thicker and hence easier to see.

Are the northern lights visible from Great Basin?

Unfortunately, the Northern Lights are not visible from Great Basin. The Northern Lights may be seen at a number of national parks in the northern section of the continental United States.

Is it possible to visit Great Basin National Park at night?

Yes, Great Basin National Park is available for recreation 24 hours a day! As a result, you may show up at any moment without making any prior arrangements. The Great Basin Visitor Center, like the Lehman Caves Visitor Center, has seasonal hours.

Is it possible to go on a guided night trip in Great Basin?

Yes! Great Basin offers a variety of guided night excursions. For stargazers who desire to explore the night sky, the park rangers at Great Basin provide the Star Train and Astronomy programs. The Nevada Northern Railway’s Great Basin Star Train is a wonderful train excursion with multiple stops. Park rangers put up high-powered telescopes at each site so that stargazers may observe planets and deep space objects while learning about the universe.

Is Great Basin home to a dark sky festival?

Yes! Every September, the Astronomy Festival takes place in Great Basin, with presentations by astronomers, astrophotography workshops, and, of course, amazing stargazing experiences via hundreds of real-deal telescopes. If you can’t make it to the festival, you may participate in one of Great Basin’s year-round ranger-led stargazing activities.

Final words

The namesake Great Basin, an arid and mountainous area between the Sierra Nevada of California and the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, USA, is the focus of Great Basin National Park, which spans 31,230 hectares of US public holdings.

The Park is in one of the least-populated areas of the lower 48 United States, and the Great Basin’s characteristic basin-and-range terrain helps to screen the site from skyglow from nearby towns. As a consequence, we have a genuinely remarkable dark-sky resource that ought to be protected. To that end, the Park has made steps to enhance its own lighting as well as educate Park visitors and people of adjacent towns about the value of black skies in Great Basin and the need to conserve them. While keeping the facts we shared in this article, you will be able to get the best possible experience with stargazing in here.

16 Memorable Things To Do In Two Harbors, Mn In Winter

Two Harbors, Minnesota is a charming, attractive lakeside hamlet nestled along the lovely North Shore of Lake Superior with a rich history. The Split Rock Lighthouse, the most photographed lighthouse in the nation, is one of several historic attractions situated around the city. The village is surrounded by rivers, ponds, streams, waterfalls, and lakes, making it a naturalist’s dream. Certain attractions may be closed temporarily or need reservations in advance. Currently, some eateries only provide pickup. It’s possible that the hours and availability have changed.

1. Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry Falls State Park, established in 1937, is situated on the magnificent Minnesota Highway 61 on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Lower, Middle, and Upper Gooseberry Falls are part of this 1,687-acre park that encircles the mouth of the Gooseberry River. Gooseberry Falls also has 18 miles of hiking trails and eight miles of mountain bike routes, both of which link to the famed Superior Hiking Trail, which stretches for 310 miles. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are popular sports in the park during the winter months. Naturalists will like the park’s visitor center, which has informative displays, interpretive events, and a gift shop. The park also has a few historical sites, notably the original bridge.

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2. Split Rock State Park & Lighthouse

On Lake Superior’s North Shore, the Split Rock Lighthouse & State Park is a 2,200-acre state park. The Split Rock Lighthouse, a historic monument and one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country, is its most visible feature. A trail center, a lakefront picnic area, and a visitor center with a museum shop with marine décor, Lighthouse souvenirs, north woods artwork, clothes, and locally produced products from craftsmen are all available. Along the lakefront and into the northern forest, the park offers 14 miles of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing paths.

3. Two Harbors

The Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is a 310-mile pathway that follows along the rocky ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior. From one end of the route, near Jay Cooke State Park, to the other end, near the Canada-US border near Lake Superior, there are approximately 50 access locations. The route passes through cascading waterfalls, gurgling brooks, and rushing rivers as it winds through pine, aspen, birch, cedar, and fir woods. Hikers will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Sawtooth Mountains and the boreal woodlands. Long-distance hikers will appreciate the SHT’s 93 backcountry campsites, which are spaced every five to eight miles.

4. Lighthouse of Two Harbors

The historic Two Harbors Light Station, which was first illuminated in 1892, is Minnesota’s oldest working lighthouse. It consists of six structures: a fog signal building, a skiff home, a garage, an oil house, the lighthouse tower with connected keeper’s residence, and an assistant keeper’s home, all of which are made completely of red brick. Visitors may see the Lighthouse Tower, which houses the revolving light, as well as the Keeper’s Quarters, which operates as a bed and breakfast and was renovated in the early twentieth century. The Assistant Keeper’s residence is also open to the general public. It has been restored to its 19th century appearance and now serves as a museum with exhibits about the history of Agate Bay and shipwrecks on Lake Superior.

5. Iona’s Beach Natural and Scientific Area

Between Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and Gooseberry Falls State Park, Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area is located in Two Harbors. It’s a clean and unspoiled pebbled beach with pink felsite and rhyolite stones that generate tinkling melodic noises as the waves sweep in and out, a distinctive feature of this region. It is one of Minnesota’s only three Scientific and Natural Areas. Although there are no maintained pathways, people are invited to walk in the area to see wildflowers and native plants as well as animals. They are also allowed to swim in Iona Beach; however it is advised that they wear water shoes.

6. Two Harbors

Palisade Head, also known as Hellacious Overlook, is a North Shore landmark situated near Silver Bay along Highway 61. Visitors must look for the small, lakeside road that arises at milepost 57 to reach the 350-foot-high bluff. To get to the viewpoint, they’ll leave onto this road and drive gently up the steep but safe road to the top of this towering coastal cliff. At the summit, there is a tiny parking spot that necessitates some tight maneuvering. This spectacular cliff formation is made of volcanic rock and overlooks the beautiful Lake Superior.

The Depot Museum is situated in a National Register of Historic Places-listed historic brick structure that was erected in 1907. The structure, which served as the headquarters of the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad, was significant in the development of the iron ore industry in the area and in Minnesota. It remained operational until 1961, supplying both passenger and freight requirements. The structure now functions as a museum, highlighting Lake County’s growth via diverse displays concentrating on three primary industries: lumber, commercial fishing, railroads, and iron mining. It also houses the Lake County Historical Societies’ administrative offices, the Judge William Scott Library, and archive storage.

7. The 3M Museum

The 3M Museum was established to celebrate the founding origins of 3M, a worldwide company that was originally known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. It is housed in the old Dwan Law Office Building. The museum, which is located in Two Harbors, has displays that illustrate how 3M developed the research and development business model, as well as how they grew into a global force that employs approximately 90,000 people globally. A reconstructed office of Attorney John Dwan, a lab, and a detailed history and chronology of the corporation with pictures, papers, and artifacts are among the exhibits. They also feature a variety of technological apps and interactive activities.

The Northwoods Pioneer Gallery & Gifts was founded in 1972 by a group of modest local artisan groups. It was established as a way for elderly and low-income residents of Northeastern Minnesota to sell their products while also providing educational arts and crafts activities to both locals and tourists. Since then, it has been available to all local craftspeople, regardless of their wealth or age. The facility is operated by its members as a cooperative, and they tend to the store and act as sales clerks. Often, the members who are working provide demonstrations of their skill and share their trade practices. Wheat weaving, beading, woodworking, beading, and painting are all examples of this.

9. The Purple Lotus

The Purple Lotus provides a variety of therapeutic massage and bodywork services. Christina, the owner and qualified massage therapist, has created a relaxing environment for her clientele in the center of Two Harbors. The Purple Lotus is an earthy haven with magnificent hardwood flooring, sea foam green walls, a welcoming lounging area, and a private Zen room with a Japanese garden vibe. Customers may pick from a variety of treatments, including pregnancy massage, sports massage, relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, and raindrop massage. The Purple Lotus also provides aromatherapy and head and scalp massages, as well as paraffin wax treatment for the hands and feet.

10. Architectural Antiques on the North Shore

The 10,000-square-foot antique business North Shore Architectural Antiques is situated in the picturesque village of Two Harbors. They specialize on antique building materials from the 1850s through the 1950s, with a focus on the Midwest. Their territory is the western shore of Lake Superior, centered on Duluth, Superior, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and it reflects late-nineteenth-century and early-nineteenth-century architecture. This business has a large selection of Victorian, early Art Deco, and Art & Crafts items. They have items from both residential and commercial structures and appeal to everyone from expert restoration professionals to DIY interior designers.

11. Two Harbors

The Cedar Coffee Company is situated in Two Harbors, a tiny town in the state of Michigan. It is surrounded by magnificent trees and is located off the main road. It is housed in a wood-paneled mountain-style residence with big floor-to-ceiling windows and a spacious garden space with shared picnic tables for the whole family. Its interior has a contemporary style with a rustic touch, with bikes dangling from the ceiling and colorful artworks adorning the walls.

On huge chalkboards, a variety of coffee, espresso, and non-coffee beverages are displayed, and a short menu with breakfast and lunch options is available. The Fign’ Pig, a hot sandwich prepared with bacon, ham, fig jam, and cream cheese on a ciabatta bread, is one example of traditional American meals with a modern twist.

12. Café at the Rustic Inn

The Rustic Inn, housed in a historic 1920s vintage building, is a warm and friendly restaurant with mountain cabin-style décor, including hand-milled cedar walls and birch flooring. For almost thirty years, this second-generation family-owned and run restaurant has been providing traditional American meals with a Two Harbors twist. Tender roast beef, fresh Lake Superior fish, handmade mashed potatoes, sizzling hot breakfast skillets, and inventive omelets are just a few of the delectable meals on the menu. Only their handmade, handcrafted pies, which come in a range of flavors including Cherry Pie, 5 Layer Chocolate, North Shore Berry Crumb, and Lemon Angel, can surpass their savory, comfort meals.

13. Louise’s Residence

Louise’s Place is located in downtown Two Harbors, on the beautiful beaches of Lake Superior. With its wood furniture, handcrafted crafts, and kitschy décor, Louise’s is a quaint, rustic log cabin type building that gives visitors with a cozy ambiance. They provide made-from-scratch daily specialties, breads, and sweet delights every day for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast options include savory cinnamon buns, Swedish pancakes, and a substantial breakfast sandwich prepared with eggs, cheese, and your choice of sausage, ham, or bacon on a toasted English muffin. The lunch menu has a variety of traditional American sandwiches as well as daily specialties including pulled pork, lasagna, and meatloaf.

14. Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors

Betty’s Pies has been a Two Harbors institution for more than sixty years. The property is housed in a large, rustic mountain-style residence with a wood and brick facade. With blue and white checkered carpeting, a breakfast bar with swivel stools, and big blue leather booths, the interior is decorated in a 1950s manner. Betty’s provides conventional American breakfast, lunch, and supper fare, as well as a variety of baked pies. A range of two-egg breakfast combinations, skillets, and sweet griddle delicacies, as well as burgers and sandwiches, are available on the menu. Butterfinger, 5 Layer Chocolate, Toffee Cream, and Apple Crunch are just a few of the over three dozen pies available.

15. Two Harbors

The Vanilla Bean Restaurant is located along Highway 61 in the picturesque village of Two Harbors. The restaurant, which is housed in a charming pastoral style home with a warm mountain-cabin décor, serves an all-day brunch buffet with traditional American dishes. Flavored sweet rolls, small doughnuts, and Norwegian crepes are just a few of their sweet and savory options. The heartier breakfast menu selections include oven-baked omelets, two-egg breakfast classics, a couple benedicts, and a range of Speciality items like their Walleye Cakes & Eggs. Lunch menu items include appetizers such as Border Battle Cheese Curds, soups, salads, and a range of sandwiches and burgers.

16. Castle Danger Brewery

Castle Danger Brewery is a large brewery with a 30 barrel brewing equipment, a canning line, and a taproom overlooking Lake Superior in downtown Two Harbors. Their storied beers are regarded for being well-balanced, clean, and accessible. Visitors are invited to sample their wonderful beers in their modern but rustic taproom, which has an adjoining outdoor terrace. They have a rotating taproom release list that includes Ode IPA, Vienna Lager, and Honey Raspberry Wheat, as well as a range of current signature beers. On Friday and Saturday nights, Castle Danger offers brewery tours that last around thirty minutes and include a free drink.

Final words

These are the best things that you will be able to do in Two Harbors during the winter you spend. Keep these activities in mind and plan your visit accordingly, so that you can receive the best possible experience out of your stay.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Into Cuyahoga Valley National Park?

Despite its youth, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the most popular in the Parks system owing to its accessibility. In Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you may get a lot out of a quick visit, but if you dive deeper, you’ll discover a practically limitless number of things to do.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) is located in northeast Ohio and spans over 33,000 acres. Along the Cuyahoga River, the site is about halfway between Cleveland and Akron. It has continuously been one of the top 10-15 most visited National Parks in the United States due to its near vicinity and easy access to many bigger cities.

What is the history of this National Park?

To begin with, it is Ohio’s only national park! While there are a few National Historic Sites and Monuments in the state, this one stands out. CVNP is mostly recognized as an urban National Park. The park is crisscrossed by roads, and traffic can be heard from the start of numerous hiking paths. Please don’t let this dissuade you from coming.

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What is the cost of a visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park?

The simple answer is yes. Nothing! This National Park does not charge an entry fee. The majority of the hiking routes and important attractions are open to the public for free. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is an exception. You may ride the train in a variety of ways, each with a different price tag, but you must pay for tickets for this activity.

How to Get to and from CVNP?

Both Cleveland and Akron in northeast Ohio have easy access to this National Park. For those of you who are unable to go by car, both of these cities have airports. Once you’ve arrived in the region, you’ll need a vehicle to drive around to many of the park’s attractions.

Despite the fact that bicycle routes and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad can bring you to many crucial places, driving is the best and most efficient mode of transportation. Most of the park’s locations are within a half-hour drive of one other.

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Learn about the General Sherman Tree

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has a lot to offer.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is available to tourists all year. Many of the items on this list are available all year, while a few are only available during certain seasons. We hope you may use this list as a source of inspiration and a jumping-off point when organizing your next CVNP visit.

Here are some of the top activities to do and places to visit without further ado!

  • Start your journey at the Boston Mill Visitor Center.

The Boston Mill Visitor Center is an excellent starting point for a variety of activities in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This visitor’s center may easily serve as the focal point for the majority of your CVNP activities, particularly if you only have one day to spend there. Learn about the park’s history and pick up park merchandise as well as a National Parks passport stamp.

You may start various walks from Boston Mill, see a sight of the Cuyahoga River, select a quest, or ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (more on these later). Here you may also speak with a park ranger about trail conditions and unique activities taking place during your stay.

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  • Visit one or both of the stunning waterfalls.

A boardwalk leads to a viewing platform at Brandywine Falls, which is extremely near to the falls.

Though there are over 100 waterfalls in CVNP, there are two that have designated hiking paths and are particularly appealing. With a height of almost 60 feet, Brandywine Falls is the largest and more well-known of the two. A boardwalk-style promenade leads to different vistas at the falls.

Because this popular destination is quite packed during peak hours, we suggest going early or late in the day, or coming during the off-season if possible. If the parking area is crowded, you may climb to the falls and explore the canyon from the Boston Mill Visitors Center. This trek is around 5 miles round way.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park also has Blue Hen Falls, which is a beautiful waterfall to see. You must now park at the Boston Mill Visitors Center and stroll along the Buckeye Trail to reach these falls. The trek is around 3 kilometers round way.

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  • Take a hike on the Ledges Trail.

The Ledges path, which is part of the Virginia Kendall Unit of the park, is another popular place to visit. This site, also known as Ritchie Ledges, has been a park since the nineteenth century.

The track circles the rock formations for roughly 2 miles, but the trails snaking in and out of the nooks allow you to easily prolong your trek. If you want to expand your hike to other terrain, there are many connections to other nearby trails.

Visiting and exploring the rock formations on the Ledges Trail is one of the top things to do in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Allow plenty of time to see all of these places! Despite the fact that the route is just around 2 miles long, you may easily spend a few hours here.

Ice Box Cave and the Overlook are two unique elements of this walk, in addition to the rock formations itself. Although the overlook location provides a beautiful perspective of the Cuyahoga Valley, it may become fairly crowded. We suggest waiting your time, snapping a few shots, and then moving on.

The Ice Box Cave is not open to the public for exploration since it is home to bats that have been severely afflicted by the fungus that causes White-Nose Syndrome, which was introduced by unwitting tourists. The cave’s entrance may still be seen. Even if you are unable to enter the Ice Box Cave, pay a visit to the entrance. After trekking and exploring the area, there are shelters and picnic tables at the parking lot where you may rest, relax, and have a snack.

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Learn about turtle exploration at Sundial Bridge
  • Visit Beaver Marsh to look for animals.

You will be treated to diverse vistas depending on the time of year you arrive! This marsh restoration area, which was once an auto repair shop and junkyard before being acquired by the national park, offers something for everyone.

You could see the eponymous beavers, as well as other species like muskrats and otters, that call this place home. The beavers do spend most of the winter in their burrows, but they do not hibernate and come out to feed. Beaver Marsh is also a fantastic spot for birding, with everything from ducks to orioles to cardinals can be seen. In the summer, turtles, and snakes like basking in the sun, while frogs may serenade you on sunny nights.

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Learn about the
  • Go to a less-frequented location, such as the Tree Farm Trail.

There are 125 miles of hiking trails in the park to explore if you want to get away from the throng. The Tree Farm route is a pleasant, quick trek that you should check out. Take in the sights of the rows of evergreens that are ripening to be used as Christmas decorations. This 2.75-mile hiking route includes a small side path to Horseshoe Pond. In the winter, cross-country skiing is also accessible.

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  • Go to Hale Farm and Village

Visit the Hale Farm to get a sense of what life was like in the Cuyahoga Valley in the past. It was once a working produce and dairy farm before being donated and converted to a living history museum in the 1930s.

Entry is only possible with a ticket. Adult tickets are $12 for those aged 13 and over. Children’s tickets are available for $6 each. Self-guided tours are popular here, and you may go at your own speed. Glass blowing, pottery, and other crafts demonstrations may be seen around the grounds. Take a stroll around the grounds and take in the scenery!

This settlement now consists of 34 buildings where you may study as well as shop. Handcrafted items such as glass, ceramics, textiles, and candles, as well as local products such as maple syrup, honey, and wine, are sold at the market.

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Learn about Enjoying your meals at Yorke Peninsula’s Watsacowie Brewing
  • Get to Know the Ohio & Erie Canal’s History

Because it was traditionally used to convey commodities between the Ohio River and Lake Erie, the Ohio & Erie Canal is properly called. It is nearly 110 miles long and is one of only 49 recognized National Heritage Areas in the United States. CVNP is traversed by an approximately 20-mile-long section of the canal.

Visit the Canal Exploration Center for a different viewpoint on historical living in the Cuyahoga Valley. With the Center, the park has done an excellent job of replicating life during the Canal’s peak activities. The Canal Exploration Center is a hands-on experience that is suitable for people of all ages. A functional lock is shown in front of the Center for a portion of the year. Appreciate the presentation of functioning history!

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Learn about the Garden of Gods
  • Take a hike or a bike ride along the Towpath Trail.

The Towpath was formerly a canal track where horses or mules would physically pull vessels and barges up the canal. They were critical for carrying products before the development of boat motors and railroads.

The old paths have long since been supplanted by this incredibly sluggish mode of transit. Many of them have been turned into multi-use paths. This one is no different. About 20 miles of the trail’s over 101 kilometers pass within CVNP.

Along the park’s segment of the Towpath Trail, there are 11 trailheads with parking spots, and you may walk as much or as little as you choose. Along the path, interpretive and educational signage explain the history of areas of interest as well as an opportunity to take a break! This path is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One of the many fantastic things to do at Cuyahoga Valley National Park is to bike the Towpath Trail.

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  •  Take a train ride via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers two distinct ways to get on board. Choose the National Park Scenic Journey ticket for a relaxing ride across the Cuyahoga River Valley.

The trip is 2.5 hours from January to April, and it is extended to 3.5 hours during the summer and autumn. Ticket costs for this option vary from $15 to $35 for adults and $10 to $30 for children, depending on seating positions. Another way to see the railroad is to ride it with your bike!

You may buy a one-way “Bike Aboard” ticket for $5 and ride your bicycle along the Towpath Trail the opposite direction. We recommend taking the train to the finish and then bicycling back to avoid having to worry about missing a pickup. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Bike Aboard option is a terrific opportunity to see both sides of the park without seeing the same sights again (either out and back on the train or bike path). It’s also a terrific opportunity to experience the whole Towpath track on a bike without having to commit to a 40-mile ride. Plus, the $5 admission price is an added benefit!

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Learn about the massive Loblolly Pines trees at the park
  • Take a lovely drive along Riverview Road.

Travel Riverview Road if hiking or biking aren’t your thing, or a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad isn’t in your budget. This route passes through National and Metro Parks for around 15 km.

Many areas of interest and trailheads are accessible through Riverview Road. Many of the other things on this list may be done at your leisure.

Final words

Despite being one of the smaller national parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is jam-packed with diversity. Enjoy a relaxing day of history and sightseeing or an action-packed weekend filled with outdoor activities. This list should assist you in planning all of the activities you want to do in Cuyahoga Valley National Park on your next visit.

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How To Get Around Napa Valley On A Budget

Even though Napa Valley has become more associated with elevated (and sometimes expensive) experiences, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the region without breaking the bank. If you’re coming up from San Francisco for the day or flying in for a week, our guide to experiencing Napa Valley on a budget includes some of the most charming destinations and activities for the budget-conscious traveler, so whether you’re coming up for the day or flying in for a week, you can save money without sacrificing fun.

What to Do, Eat, and See in Napa’s Downtown

Downtown Napa, located along the Napa River, is a very walkable area with lots of inexpensive things to do. We recommend taking a leisurely walk about town after perusing the various businesses on First Street Napa (yes, window shopping is OK). While strolling around the streets of Napa, be sure to look at the sculptures along the Art Walk. This (free) public art display in the city showcases the work of a variety of artists from all around the West Coast. Pick up a map at the Napa Valley Welcome Center, where you can also learn about local specials like two-for-one tastings.

The Napa Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour is a must-do for adventurers at heart. It’s a self-guided walking tour and game in which you use your smartphone to follow clues. Along the way, look for clues, see amazing sites, and complete entertaining puzzles and challenges. Use the promo code NAPA10 to get a 10% discount!

When hunger hits, Napa offers a variety of dining alternatives that are both delicious and cost-effective. The Oxbow Public Market in Napa is a mix of artisan restaurants and stores that cater to a wide range of tastes. We appreciate Model Bakery’s breakfast offerings, which are mostly around $10, and a $12 lunch of a cheeseburger and fries from Gott’s is hard to match. C Casa also has a range of excellent tacos around $10, and the Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant have a selection of cheeses to bring for an afternoon picnic in the vineyards.

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Courtesy of Oxbow Public Market, Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant

We wouldn’t blame you if a slice of grilled cheese is screaming your name after a day of wine tasting at one of Napa’s urban tasting rooms (like JaM Cellars or Mayacamas). If that’s the case, head to Melted, a downtown sandwich business that specializes in ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, the majority of which are under $12. Bounty Hunter, a nearby restaurant, provides happy hour discounts Monday through Friday, including a $14 BBQ sampler plate and $7 wines by the glass.

Check out one of Napa’s food trucks if you’re looking for additional budget-friendly options. If you see one while driving around town, your taste buds (and pocketbook) will be grateful.

Attend a Wine Tasting

Locals in the Bay Area and visitors to Napa Valley who come often may want to consider getting a Covet Pass wine tasting pass, which may cost you a little more upfront. You’ll receive free samples at a few Napa wineries (plus tastings in Sonoma County and Lake County!), which is a wonderful value at $150 per pass when you consider that standard wine tasting costs at these wineries range from $30 to $50 per person. It’s a great method to save money as you drink.

Free wine tastings aren’t really a thing in Napa Valley, which isn’t unexpected (without some sort of wine pass, that is). If you know where to search, you might find some reasonably priced wine sampling bargains in Wine Country. Bennett Lane, a Calistoga vineyard noted for its courteous service and well-rated blends, and Dutch Henry, a family-owned winery nestled along the gorgeous Silverado Trail, both offer samples of premium wine for $25 or less per person. Head to Jessup Cellars, a quaint tasting room and art gallery in downtown Yountville, for a taste of three wines for just $20. Trefethen, which is run by a family, is also worth a try. Even though a tasting costs $30 per person, the quality of the event and the estate-grown wines make it seem like you’re getting a lot of bang for your money.

Wine tastings start at $35 per person at the famous Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena, but those just searching for a glass of wine may take advantage of the weekend-only “stroll and sip” experience. This $15 deal enables you to roam about the lovely grounds of this historic 144-year-old estate with a glass of wine in hand, even if you are not seated. Glasses of wine start at $10 and maybe savored al fresco with views of the huge estate and vineyards at Clos Pegase winery in Calistoga.

Get Outside

Napa Valley is a terrific spot to spend some time outdoors, with breathtaking panoramas, lush woods, and rolling hills of vineyards, not to mention pleasant weather all year. Many outdoor activities may be done for little or no cost, which is great news for people on a budget.

Visit Calistoga provided this image of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.

The Napa Valley has many parks with picnic areas and hiking paths, most of which are free to use. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, located outside of St. Helena, has hiking routes that snake through coastal redwoods and madrones, as well as picnic areas beneath towering Douglas Firs. Moore Creek Park, on the opposite side of the valley near Rutherford, has multi-use trails that are suitable for hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian usage. It’s also a fantastic site to see some wildlife since the park has a lot of huge creatures.

Alston Park, located near downtown Napa, is a favorite park for dog owners to wander, owing to an off-leash dog section, but there’s also an easy 2.7-mile trail loop that leads through lovely wildflowers.

Calistoga’s Petrified Grove, a preserved ancient forest of petrified redwood trees, is well worth seeing. Learn more about the excavation of the trees and the petrification process as you walk around the pathways of this unique outdoor museum. The cost of admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children (though kids under 6 are free).

Take advantage of hourly hybrid bike rentals (about $15 per hour or $40–$45 per day) from companies like St. Helena Cyclery or Enjoy Napa Valley for a relaxing outdoor experience on two wheels. Spend the day riding along the Vine Trail, a 12.5-mile car-free bike route that passes through many of Napa’s most renowned wineries, or arrange a trip along the gorgeous Silverado Trail, which passes through many of Napa’s most famous wineries.

Off-Season is a great time to visit.

What’s the greatest way to save money on a vacation to Napa? Save money on flights and hotels by visiting during the off-season. To escape the crowds and save money, avoid going during the peak summer months of June through August. The harvest season, which runs from August to October, is also a costly time to visit. Visit Napa from November to May to receive the greatest rates (and more personalized service at wineries!). You’ll save a little sum even if it’s not the “ideal” time to visit Napa. And for many tourists, it’s well worth the effort.

Consider Your Transportation Options

While private drivers or buses are luxurious, and bike tours or the train are enjoyable, the best cost-effective way to visit Napa Valley is by renting a vehicle. Rent a vehicle to get to and from the airport in an hour and make the most of your rental by driving around the valley. Designate a driver for each day in your party, and you’ll be able to visit the vineyards at the top of your choice.

Are you looking to hire a car? Check out our suggestions for getting the best deal on a rental vehicle. Also, if you haven’t already, have a look at Turo! It’s like Airbnb for automobiles, and it’s a quick and easy method to hire the car you want.

Reduce dining expenses

Napa Valley dining might be pricy, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re staying at a hotel, take advantage of the complimentary breakfasts to get a head start on the day. If not, stop by a grocery shop and stock up on simple breakfast and snack meals for your stay. Make your own charcuterie board to go with your new favorite bottle of wine.

While the eateries around the vineyards might be rather pricey, downtown Napa has several more reasonable alternatives. If you’re looking for a cheap lunch option, I definitely suggest Oxbow Public Market. This open-air market has a wide variety of eateries and stores, so everyone at your party may find something they like.

Where Should You Stay?

In Napa Valley, luxury resorts and well-appointed boutique hotels abound, but they come at a premium. Fortunately, whether you’re traveling in the summer or the off-season, there are a few decent alternatives to consider when you need a pleasant place to stay that won’t take up the majority of your vacation money.

The second-floor rooms of the historic Calistoga Inn, Restaurant, and Brewery in Calistoga are clean and pleasant, with a queen bed and private sink. The Inn’s affordability is aided by the fact that guest rooms share communal toilets and shower facilities across the hall, but the handy location in the center of town more than compensates. You’ll also be only steps away from the Inn’s own restaurant and brewery, which has an enormous terrace and live music regularly.

The Calistoga Inn, Restaurant, and Brewery is located in Calistoga, California. Calistoga Inn Nearby in Calistoga, UpValley Inn & Hot Springs is a great spot to relax and unwind without breaking the bank. You’ll be experiencing the R&R vibes for a lot less than other Calistoga hot springs resorts, with rustic but contemporary design, a sauna, and steam room, as well as its own natural mineral hot springs pool and hot tub.

The Best Western PLUS Inn at the Vines in Napa provides excellent value in a convenient location only five minutes south of downtown. The decor is traditional and inviting, and the hotel offers facilities including an outdoor pool, on-site restaurant, and gym. Check out the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa for something a little more opulent. Despite not being a “cheap” hotel, the resort’s extensive facilities, such as golf, tennis, a spa, and on-site restaurants, make a visit seem like a full vacation, and the resort’s moderately priced rooms make it a more accessible destination than other Wine Country properties.

Other Budget-Friendly Suggestions

It may seem apparent but visiting Napa during the off-season or even mid-week during the peak season may generally save you money. Not only do hotels usually have lower prices, but restaurants are usually less busy, so you’ll have a greater chance of getting a table during happy hour.

It would be a pity to visit Napa Valley and not partake in a superb bottle of wine paired with a delicious lunch. While many restaurants are proud of their excellent wine lists (and rightfully so), we understand that not everyone can afford to spend on wine and meals all at once. Many Napa restaurants will allow you to bring your bottle and pay a corkage charge, which is good news for people on a budget. Corkage costs and rules differ for every restaurant, so be sure to double-check with each one ahead of time.

Finally, many Napa Valley vineyards include picnic areas on-site that may be used during sampling or while purchasing a bottle of wine. While some vineyards provide picnic supplies, others may allow you to bring your own food. Bringing your own lunch may be prohibited due to COVID-19, but it’s absolutely worth investigating since a picnic amid the vines is a fantastic way to see Wine Country.

Final words

While Napa entices with opulent accommodations and high-end activities, you don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy a fantastic time. In Wine Country, there are lots of genuine and budget-friendly activities to be enjoyed, and with a little forethought and ingenuity, a trip to Napa Valley on a budget might be the most memorable vacation ever.

New York Packing List Winter

If you’ve read any of our prior packing lists, you’ll notice that I like to begin at the bottom. Why? Traveling is fundamentally different from being in a location. Even if the weather is bad, you’ll want to spend a lot of time strolling about and soaking in the sights. You don’t spend 8-10 hours a day in a hot office, probably with a more attractive pair of shoes stashed under your desk so you can excuse wearing running shoes for your subway journey.

What should you wear during your stay in New York?

So, as a visitor in New York in the winter, what shoes should you wear? In addition to how much baggage you intend to bring, you’ll need to consider the weather and your comfort. We flew to NYC as a family of four with just one (big) bag, so each of us had to make do with only one pair of shoes. If you choose this way, make sure your one pair of shoes is not only comfortable and weather-appropriate but also adaptable enough to transition from sightseeing to dinner and a play at night. These short boots kept my feet warm and dry and met all of my demands for a week in the city — they performed well in rain, snow, and wind, and were comfortable enough to walk 15,000 steps in. They don’t appear out of place if the weather is dry and clear (but it’s still chilly) since they’re short.

  • Tops

As a native Californian, I’m not a big fan of the cold. For individuals who are used to cold weather, this may be a little much, but I believe it is crucial to carry all of these shirts as layering alternatives, and then depending on the temperature each day, you may choose to wear all, 4 of 5, 3 of 5, and so on. I start with an extremely soft basic tank top beneath my outerwear since it is kind on my skin and typically reduces the amount of static that might occur due to the dryness of the weather and the jacket materials.

After that, I’ll put on a tight but comfortable long sleeve shirt, then a thin sweater that fits over the top. I usually pack a basic sweater for the day and a somewhat trendier sweater for the evening. My fleece jacket is my secret weapon since it is the warmest and coziest material for the winter.

  • Jackets

If you’re shopping for outerwear, make sure you get a jacket that covers your butt! I swear this is an essential addition to your winter packing list! I made the mistake of packing a down coat that only came up to the top of my jeans line one year, and it was terrifying. All of that changed when I received the North Face Metropolis II, a fluffy down coat that reaches to the knees. It was the ideal length. It’s also waterproof, which is necessary for the event of rain or snow. Instead, carry a wool jacket (that also goes down to the knees) for fancy nights out to a Broadway musical, a good supper, or a performance at Lincoln Center.

  • Pants

I usually bring my favorite pair of blue and black jeans to wear with all of my winter ensembles in New York. On the coldest days, I also carry some long thermal underwear and lululemon yoga pants to wear beneath. On top of that, I always wear my lululemon when I travel. The long underwear may also be worn as an extremely comfy pajama bottom thanks to the double layering on the bottoms! If you’re going on a business trip, a pair of black slacks, a professional dress with thick tights, or a pantsuit should all be on your winter packing list.

  • Beanies, gloves, and scarves

Although they are accessories, they are essential for a winter vacation to New York! Make sure the material on your beanies and scarves does not itch since these products will be on your head and neck all day. I’d go for a luxurious cashmere scarf. Also, check out my favorite Amazon beanie; it’s incredibly reasonable and has a very attractive shape for your head. When it comes to gloves, the most significant feature is that they are mobile touch-sensitive. When you become bewildered by the metro system, succumb, and order an Uber, you won’t have to repeatedly draw your hands in and out of your gloves in the bitter weather.

  • Socks

Wool socks are a must-have for your winter wardrobe in New York! Because your feet are the body portion that is furthest distant from your heart, blood circulation to them is more challenging. That’s why wool socks are essential for keeping your toes warm. If you have space in your shoes, you may even double layer them with a thin pair of socks. Speaking about footwear…

  • Shoes

I packed a pair of gorgeous combat boots and bright pink running sneakers to New York the last time I visited. When it began snowing, the issue was that the combat boots were not waterproof and had a worn-out sole with no adequate grip at the bottom, making walking incredibly slippery. With all of my ensembles, I was obliged to wear my bright pink shoes. Winter fashion in New York at its best So, to put it bluntly, I stood out as a tourist. It turns out that the rumors are accurate. New Yorkers are huge fans of the color black. In addition, I seemed silly in all of my photographs.

What should you put in the bottoms of your boots?

Wool socks are the only solution. They keep your feet warm in the winter, cool in the summer, dry in the swamp, and may be worn several times without becoming filthy. REI’s socks are just the right height and weight.

If you have additional room and will be bringing two pairs of shoes to NYC, instead of just the short boots, try bringing one pair of tall boots and one pair of ordinary shoes. Tall boots are the solution if you want to look like a New Yorker in the cold. In case of the dreaded slush puddles, make sure they’re warm and waterproof. As we traveled across NYC in the cold, we spotted a lot of these boots! Just add some thick wool socks underneath and you’ll be ready for even the worst weather New York has to offer. They’re a little on the pricier side, but owing to wool’s anti-stink characteristics, you’ll be able to wear them a few times.

However, if the temperature drops to 50 degrees and the sky clear, those towering boots will seem out of place! As a result, combine your tall winter boots with a pair of normal shoes as a backup. What are the greatest walking shoes to wear in New York City? Depending on your taste and demands, I have two choices to suggest.

What to dress in the winter in New York

Maybe you detected a pattern in the footwear choices above? That’s correct, the whole outfit is black. While the cliché of every New York woman dressed head to toe as if she’s going to an extremely fashionable funeral isn’t quite accurate, black is likely to be at the heart of most winter looks in the city. When it comes to creating a vacation capsule wardrobe, black is the simplest neutral hue to work with (get more details here). Simply add a few neutrals (read: black) and one or two flashes of color, and you’re done.

Fortunately, with proper layering, your winter packing list in New York does not need to be a mile long.

Trying to figure out how to fit it all in? Check out our in-depth evaluations of the top women’s travel bags.

What is the most critical thing on my winter packing list for New York?

Long underwear is a must. I’m not sure whether locals wear them, and I don’t mind — I’m a wimpy Californian, and it’s always below freezing in New York City in the winter, with or without wind chill. I just wish I had purchased both a top and a bottom. Leggings can be worn under ordinary trousers in a hurry, but my experience has been that the leggings I purchase are too thick to be comfortable under another pair of pants.

Merino wool base layers are another excellent alternative. They breathe well while keeping you warm, and the antibacterial wool keeps you from stinking up heated rooms when the temperature rises by 60 degrees in a matter of seconds. I like this one and have only lusted for it multiple times — the mixed material is nice and non-itchy. As a base layer, they also produce matching merino pants.

What do you wear over your long underwear?

You can get away with two pairs of black trousers or jeans (in case one gets wet or filthy) and three sweaters, whether you’re traveling for a long weekend or a whole week. At the very least, one of those sweaters should be toasty! For the coldest days, put a long sleeve t-shirt between your long underwear and a sweater. In comparison to shorter sweaters, I enjoyed my longer sweater since it provided a bit more coverage and warmth. However, if you layer appropriately, you won’t need to carry as many clothes as you may think.

I usually pack a long necklace (or two) to accessorize, and my absolute favorite is the Kendra Scott Rayne, which comes in a rainbow of hues to complement every outfit. I also pack a short necklace, such as this one, to go with low-cut tops.

In the winter, you’ll need the following items on your New York packing list.

What else should you pack for winter in NYC except clothing? The name of the game is “weatherproof.” We had taken a perfectly waterproof bag with us by accident, as luck would have it! That came in useful during our week in New York in January, when it was snowing and pouring rain. While carrying a handbag or tote bag is lovely, when you’re going about the city all day and need to carry a drink, an additional layer, and all the other daily requirements, a beautiful backpack wins for comfort and convenience.

Keep it near to you on public transportation, either on your lap if you’re sitting or on your front, if you’re standing. This one seems to be a good alternative, particularly since the zipper is concealed behind your back; nevertheless, depending on the evaluations, I’d definitely spray it with waterproofing spray just to be cautious.

What are the finest winter clothing options for New York? Long and warm, as with everything else, is the name of the game! Almost every lady we saw (including myself) was dressed in a hooded black puffer coat that was mid-thigh or longer. I chose a cheap packable puffer since I haven’t required a winter coat in a long time and didn’t want to lug about the weight, and it was a Big Mistake. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you about what to wear in New York in January or February, it’s to invest in a very warm coat. I suggest testing out a couple of them ahead of time to pick one that is right for your body, budget, and level of cold sensitivity.

When preparing for a winter vacation, you’ll obviously want to carry a scarf. Another blunder I made was bringing an infinity scarf with me (which was all I had available at the time since everything else was in storage). When the 40mph wind gusts roar across Manhattan, a plain old-fashioned scarf is preferable because you can wrap it over your whole face.

Final words

Now you know what you need to pack when you are planning to stay a winter in New York. Adhere to this guide and you can make your stay more comfortable.