November

Here is your monthly dose of travel inspiration from the month of November. Enjoy!

Horseshoe Bend

Page, Arizona- a quaint town found just south of the border between Arizona and Utah. It’s easy to just glance over this city on a map, but if you actually go and visit, you will quickly see why it is one of our favorite places in the United States.

On the south side of town lies Horseshoe Bend. The park and overlook consists of a parking lot (accessible for small visiting fee depending on the vehicle) and a short trail from the parking lot to the overlook. At the end of that trail is some of the most beautiful landscape we have ever seen. We highly recommend visiting at sunset so you can see what we saw- the red rocky canyon glowing with the light of the setting sun, beautiful clouds lit up by the sunset and hundreds of shades of blue and green swirling in the mighty Colorado river.

Horseshoe bend has become quite popular over the last few years and if you decide to visit at sunset, we highly recommend showing up early for a few reasons:

  1. Parking. If you get here early enough, you will have plenty of space to park. You do have to pay a small fee when you arrive and the lines can get backed up as people have to fish for their wallets and loose change in the car. NOTE– this is NOT a US National park, so national park passes will not be accepted here
  2. Walk. Once you get your vehicle parked, it is a little over a half mile walk to the edge of the canyon where you will get the best views of Horseshoe Bend. Plan to take some time walking there and enjoying the sights on the way. The trail is fairly flat and it is paved, making it a relatively easy walk there- just plan ahead and be prepared for a light hike.
  3. Amazing views. The views here are incredible- especially as the sun begins to set. If you arrive early, you can explore Horseshoe Bend from many different angles and observe how the landscape changes with the changing light. The middle of the bend contains a paved viewing area with a safety fence, but the rest of the bend is unpaved and contains no barriers for the edge of the canyon (about 1,000 feet above the river!). There is much to explore but do so at your own risk.
  4. Busy. As we mentioned earlier, this place is very popular and can get very busy. The earlier you arrive, the easier it will be for you to get some great pictures of the bend without having to edit out other visitors. Remember, Instagram doesn’t always show the truth!

If you do visit Horseshoe Bend, remember to be kind and patient with other visitors and help keep this amazing place beautiful by taking any trash with you when you leave.

Have you ever visited Horseshoe Bend? Let us know what you thought about it! Send us an email or just add a comment below- we love to talk about travel and are always looking for new ideas.

Cheers!

October

I love this month because you never know what you are going to get. You can have those gorgeous crisp, cool sunny days that are perfect for a visit to the pumpkin patch or it can be a moody, misty grey atmospheric day that make you want to curl up with some hot cider and watch a movie.

Either way, this month is beautiful and full of rich colors and great for taking photos. We hope you enjoy the photos we have for October.

5 Fabulous Fall Activities in Minnesota

Once September starts, I am all ready for fall. I love everything about this time of the year- the beautiful fall colors, the weather, the sounds, smells, soups and sweaters. Fall in the Midwest is a beautiful but very short time of year. We always try to make the most of it for the short time we are able to enjoy these few fabulous fall weeks.

We created this list of some of our favorite fall activities/ places to visit in Minnesota throughout September, October and November. If you are feeling inspired to get out and see what this time of year has to offer in the Upper Midwest, this guide is exactly what you need!


1. Drive up the North Shore for scenic views of Lake Superior

The North Shore is the part of Minnesota that is north of Duluth and continues up the coast of Lake Superior all the way to Canada. There are so many scenic views and great biking/ hiking trails to explore along the coastline. Some of the more famous stops along this drive include Duluth itself, Betty’s Pies, Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse. If you continue North, there is a lot more to see and do, so take some time and explore!

We like visiting Duluth because there are so many great choices for food and drink here- Canal Park, Fitgers, and Crank & Dasher Icecream just to name a few! You can also see the famous lift bridge and watch huge shipping boats passing through on their way to the Atlantic.

Once you leave Duluth and continue northwards on Highway 61, make a stop at Betty’s Pies. They are constantly baking new fresh pies and they are available for purchase by the slice or you can get a whole pie! We recommend grabbing a slice to go and taking it with you to the next stop- Gooseberry Falls State Park. This is a beautiful place to stop and have a picnic (or a slice of pie) and walk to the falls, taking in all the beauty surrounding you.

If you continue north from there, you will come across the famous Split Rock Lighthouse. You can get scenic views of the fall foliage and the lighthouse with Lake Superior in the background. There are more hiking trails and picnic areas here as well.

There is a lot more to see and do on Minnesota’s North Shore that we do not have time to write about now, but if you make the trip up here, you will not be disappointed with a plethora of outdoor activities, jaw dropping views and quaint coastal towns.

Let us know what you like to do on Minnesota’s North Shore!

2. Visit an apple orchard/ pumpkin patch

This is one of my most favorite things to do on a sunny, cool, crisp fall day. There are so many great apple orchards and pumpkin patches around the Twin Cities area to visit! One of our favorites is the Luce Line Orchard. They have beautiful gardens, corn mazes, animals, great food and even better caramel apples. You can stop in their shop to get fall decorations or pre picked apples and homemade pies to take with you.

If you want to pick your own apples, there are rows and rows of apple trees here with an amazing variety of fresh, crisp, sweet apples for you to pick and take home with you.

This is a great place for small kids because there are short trails to walk on, lots of cute little animals to visit, playgrounds and lots of space to explore. Dogs are also welcome here and there is a lot of parking available, so you don’t have to worry about driving all the way to Waconia and not finding a place to park (even though the drive is gorgeous and makes the time in the car worth it).

Some other orchards that we like to visit include Sunnybrook Apple Orchard and Applecrest Orchards, but there are so many great ones out there to visit. Let us know what your favorites are!

3. See the pumpkin display at the Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo puts on an amazing display of glowing jack-o-lanterns each year during the month of October. There are over 5,000 carved and lit pumpkins of all sizes and with just about any face (or animal) you can imagine! Tickets are needed for this event and should be purchased in advance. You walk along a paved trail (about a half mile) and can marvel at the sights and sounds of all the glowing pumpkins and the Halloween music playing in the background. Don’t forget to look for Waldo and Carmen SanDiego!

4. Hike the trails along the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

These rivers are beautiful places to explore any time of year, but our favorite time to visit is during the fall when most of the leaves are in their peak color for the year. There are so many great trailheads to start from, so pick one that sounds interesting and enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding you. There are also many orchards, pumpkin patches and small towns to tour along these rivers.

5. See the scarecrows and fall plants at the MN Landscape Arboretum

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a great place to visit. With thousands of plants and trees to look at and miles of trails to walk, bike, or drive through, you can easily spend a whole afternoon here. In the fall, they decorate the gardens with scarecrows made of all sorts of things you can find in a garden or your own backyard.

Down the road from the Arboretum, you will find the AppleHouse. Here you can find bags of delicious apples, baked goods, caramel apples and all kinds of fall decorations available for purchase. There is also usually a truck outside selling apple cider donuts if you want something warm to satisfy your sweet tooth!


We hope you enjoyed this list of our favorite fall activities and you are inspired to go out and try some of these things too! What are your favorite things to do in the fall? Send us an email or leave a comment and let us know what your favorite fall activities are. We are always looking for something new to try!

September

Fall is coming!! It is back to school season, starting new things season, getting ready for sweater season and the weather is still beautiful- or at least it is in the Midwest!

I like September because it is a great month for going outside and exploring. Since a lot of people are back in school or have to go back to work, the busy season at a lot of great vacation destinations is starting to dwindle down. You can usually find a lot of great travel deals in September and the months following.

Here are some great photos that capture the beautiful month of September. Enjoy!

August

Hot, Summer days are here! August makes me think of grilled corn on the cob, state fairs, and the promise of fall. Here are some of my favorite pictures that we took in Augusts past.