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Adventure Travel

Exploring South Florida – Key West, Miami & more

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Advice and tips for exploring Fort Lauderdale, Everglades, Key West and Miami in South Florida. You have probably heard of Miami, and maybe Key West, but you certainly need to consider visiting Fort Lauderdale and the Everglades too!

Miami Surf Club

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is the land of boats, superyachts and a tonne of yachties (people that work on boats). The area is interwoven with water inlets, causing most properties to be on the water with their own private boat mooring.

To do in Fort Lauderdale

  • Las Olas Blvd: There is a free water taxi that runs from near The Cheesecake Factory and up the Tarpon River, or there is a great path called The Riverwalk that I recommend walking/ cycling, plus make sure you stop by Briny Riverfront Irish Pub because the nautical decorations are amazing!
  • Lauderdale-by-the-sea: it has a neat jetty and restaurant area
  • Shopping! If you love a bargain (including Louis Vuitton brands etc), check out TJ Maxx and Ross on 17th Street.
  • I recommend keeping an eye out for concerts. To make up for all the missed Christmas’s and birthday’s, I recently took my parents to Billy Idol at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and we had a great time!

Getting around Fort Lauderdale

  • Uber is very popular
  • Buses are fairly frequent and there is a touristy one called the Sun Trolley which usually costs about $1 per ride
  • Train called the Tri-rail to get from Fort Lauderdale and travel longer distances between Miami and West Palm Beach. Some of the stations have free shuttles which link the stations to the main town centres.

 

Everglades

The Everglades are massive and cover a large area of Florida. I recommend visiting them on your way to Key West. We stayed one night in Homestead, which was our cheapest accommodation the entire trip (but certainly balanced out with the price of accommodation in Key West the following night!). Homestead was the perfect location to wake up and only have a 15 minute drive to an airboat tour ride!

Airboat ride: Everglades Alligator Farm

Alligator and babies at Everglades Alligator Farm

Alligator and babies at Everglades Alligator Farm

 

Key West

It takes 2 ½ hours to drive from Homestead to Key West. But there is no way you will want to do the drive without stopping! Plus, if you can justify the cost, highly recommend staying in Key West. We attempted to stay in Islamorada for two nights, and it was exhausting with the amount of driving.

To do on the drive to Key West

  • The Rain Barrel Artisan Village (just keep an eye out for the giant crayfish)
  • Robbie’s – A restaurant and some shops on the water. It was very entertaining to watch tourists feeding the massive Tarpon!
  • You will drive on the Seven Mile Bridge (Arnold Schwarzenegger fans will know if from the movie True Lies)
  • Bahia Honda State Park is located at mile marker 37. It costs to enter and had a great view of the bridges. It has a less touristy area to the north, but overall it was disappointed – as I was mainly looking for a snorkelling spot.

To do in Key West

  • Mile 0 – There is a shop across the road if you want a souvenir, or most of the shops sell Mile 0 items too.
  • Southernmost Point – There is always a queue for photos, so either be patient, or just don’t bother posing and take one quick photo when people are swapping turns.
  • I recommend having a meal and wandering the shops, plus if the weather is in your favour, make sure you watch the sunset from the water’s edge.
  • If you enjoy maritime history, including finding treasure, then you will enjoy the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum as much as Moss and I did.
Key West Sunset

Key West Sunset

Key Largo

I still have not had the chance, but if you cannot visit the Bahamas during your holiday, then you might as well see the closest thing to it and pay to go on a snorkelling tour at the John Pennekamp State Park. One of the tours goes to an underwater sculpture park similar to Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park.

 

South Beach, Miami

South Beach, Miami is known as the Art Deco District. Once you are there, you will not need a car. Parking buildings cost about $20 per day.

To do in South Beach, Miami

  • Ride bikes along the beach path and walk along the wharf at South Pointe Beach
  • Take photos of the surf clubs, make sure you find the one painted like a USA flag
  • Watch the people working out and flexing their muscles!
  • I recommend looking up sports games, we scored last minute tickets to see the Miami Heat Basketball team at the American Airlines Arena.
  • Join a pub crawl!

Since May 2014, Rebecca has been wearing out her jandals. She loves anything that involves the ocean whether it be scuba diving, wakeboarding, jet skiing or more recently - sailing! Consider following her via RSS Feed, Twitter and Facebook.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Madi @ Restless Worker

    November 5, 2015 at 3:24 AM

    I loved Key West! When I visited I was on a cruise so only had a day there – but my aunt lived there for almost 20 years. Definitely check out Ernest Hemingway’s Key West house if you have a chance, especially if you’re a book lover!

    • Rebecca Barlow

      November 11, 2015 at 10:28 AM

      Hi Madi,
      Thanks for the tip about Ernest Hemingway’s Key West house!
      Cheers,
      Rebecca

  2. Kanchan

    November 9, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    Miami beaches are famous all around the globe. Miami is a perfect place for holiday travel

  3. Valen-Eating The Globe

    November 18, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    My favorites for the scenery and the food are South Beach and Key West. You make me want to go back!

    • Rebecca Barlow

      November 19, 2015 at 12:27 PM

      Glad you enjoyed them! Time to book your next holiday!

  4. Mariah Li

    November 21, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    Key West was awesome. Actually I was fully involved with your trip Ha ha ha! I am planning for my next tour to there positively.

  5. Regis

    December 9, 2015 at 2:53 PM

    I love Miami , a city with many entertainment options , it is a well ariva trip. Thank you for sharing this experience

  6. April Yap

    December 31, 2015 at 1:59 AM

    Key West is one of my favorite places because of their beaches, food and of course the people. 😉 I enjoyed my stay there last year. Hope to revisit that place this year..

  7. Rachel Davey

    February 5, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    We finally made it to Miami Beach last year and loved it! Beautiful place, beautiful beach…We were really surprised to find some incredible restaurants and cafes with great food too. #Winning!

  8. Gracy Williams

    February 16, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    We were in south beach doing a tour of the historical buildings, but couldn’t miss the chance to dip our toes in pure salt water. I was a little concerned about the dresses being dipped along, in the beach. I love to play in water, so got completely drenched and suffered later in drying them. The dried salt crystals was clean, the atmosphere was great, Now I got a Different Idea, anyway thanks for ur blog.

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Adventure Travel

Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, most of us are hit with a bout of wanderlust. Traveling will take us to different places, and these places likely have completely different climates from what we are used to. Nobody wants to have a skin breakout or any other type of skin problem during vacation. To prevent this problem, this article will give you Skin-care rules to always follow when you travel.

Every time you step on a plane, your skin is exposed to a whole different condition. You are plagued by stale, dry, circulated air that can do wonders to your skin (in a bad way, of course). And that is just your flight. Your actual vacation can be a nightmare for your skin. From weird hotel products to bad sunscreen, to stress from forgetting stuff at home or from family members and a host of other problems.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking great despite the challenges of travel.

  1. Drink Water…a lot of water

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated inside and outside is one of the most important skin routine tips at all times, even when you are not on vacation.

The switch from a hot to a cold climate or from a hot to cold climate can cause skin dryness and irritation among other things. Even the air on the plane is dry and can sap all the moisture from your skin. Therefore, make sure your drink a lot of water. That would keep you hydrated inside.

For your skin, you should liberally apply moisturizers to keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

  1. Use Sunscreen

Next to staying hydrated, sun protection is one of the most important routine for your skin type.  While travelling, you should be extra diligent about your sunscreen.

It might sound strange, but you should apply sunscreen even while on the plane. Why? Because you are in a metal container 10,000 feet close to the sun. In fact, you are likely to get a sunburn while in a plane than on the ground. You might want to close the shades, but others might want of view. Hence take precautions and apply the sunscreen.

When you are travelling, it can be easy to forget to use sunscreen, or you might run out of sunscreen. You can go the extra mile by setting a reminder on your phone either to use sunscreen or buying a new one before the current one runs out.

  1. Use Minimal Makeup

During your vacation, leave out heavy foundations and other heavy makeup products. If you are traveling to a location with extreme weather, your makeup will wear off fairly easily. This not only leaves you looking silly, but the heavy makeup can clog the pores of your skin and result in breakouts.

If you choose to use makeup at all, use breathable makeup. Preferably it should be water-resistant and offer protection from hot climates.

  1. Take your facial cleanser and moisturizer along with you

To keep your face looking great even in extreme climates, your facial cleanser and moisturizer are very important. The daily cleanser helps to clean impurities on your face, while the moisturizer will feed your skin with the important nutrients required to keep it healthy during the duration of your trip.

  1. Use trusted products

Trying out new products is fun, but you should be very careful doing this while on vacation. The change in climate is enough stress on your skin. If you add new products to your skin, you might be increasing the stress on it. Invariably, this might lead to skin breakout and other issues.

Therefore, stick to what your skin is familiar with. When you go back home, you can try out new products. To make it easier to keep using your familiar products, you can buy travel-sized versions of your moisturizer, lotion, cleanser and other stuff.

  1. Have a medical emergency kit

This should contain smoothening calamine, aloe vera potion and other things that can be used in case of skin emergencies.

To enjoy your trip, no matter where that might be, follow these skin-care rules. Your skin will thank you for it!

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Adventure Travel

Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.

Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.

If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.

To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.

While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.

With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.

And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.

Taliesin West

As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.

Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.

It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.

Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.

With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?

Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.

Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone

Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer.  Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.

So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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