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Best Places to Relax in Austin, Texas

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Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. You work a busy schedule, you’re bombarded by important tasks, and you just don’t have any time to relax before you have to get up and do it all over again. So, when getting away from the stresses of your everyday life, a city like Austin, Texas might not be first on your mind. It should be, though. There are plenty of great places here that will help you to unwind and relax.

Zilker Botanical Garden

One of the best places in all of Austin to relax is the Zilker Botanical Garden. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy peaceful gardens, the Green Garden (where local designers showcase plants native to the area), and the Taniguchi Oriental Garden. There are ponds covered in lily pads and the serene sounds of waterfalls. You’ll also find the Hartman Prehistoric Garden, which is located right where actual dinosaur tracks were found in 1992.

Zilker Park

While Zilker Park is well-known for its ACL Music Festival and its incredible light show during the holiday season, it’s also a great place to relax. No matter if you just want to lay down in the grass and read a book or set up a blanket and have a picnic lunch, this park is the best place to so. The main field in the park also offers an incredible view of the city skyline while you relax surrounded by nature.

Viva Day Spa

The Viva Day Spa was voted the “Best Spa” by Austin Monthly Magazine several years in a row.  If you are looking to relax this is the place. Their spa packages all include various massages where you can melt away for a few hours. This is a very upscale day spa that also offers pedicures, manicures, facials, and some med spa services.

The Greenbelt

The Greenbelt actually starts at Zilker Park. It offers almost 8 miles of trails on 809 acres of land. There are plenty of ways to relax here, from sitting near the water, to going for a jog, to climbing on the cliffs. You’ll have plenty of natural beauty around you to help you unwind.

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool boasts 68-degree water year-round. It’s refreshing and can be shocking at first, but is often just the thing you need if you’re in Austin in the middle of summer. When you arrive here, you’ll see plenty of others with the same goal in mind, relaxation. A quick look around will show you people doing yoga, drawing, or reading. Bringing your furry friend with you? Check out, Barking Springs. It’s adjacent to Barton Springs, but it’s a pooch-friendly swimming hole that allows you and your four-legged companion to relax together.

McKinney Falls

McKinney Falls is a great place to go if you need to get away from it all, and it allows you to get in a bit of a workout at the same time. Here, you’ll find hiking, biking, swimming areas, and places to go fishing. If you need more than just a few hours of getting away from the stresses of everyday life, you can even camp out here.

Mayfield Park

Mayfield Park opened up to the public in 1971, after the original owners passed away. Now, it’s a nature preserve complete with peacocks wandering around freely. In addition to these beautiful birds, you’ll also find ponds and flowers, giving you an incredible place to relax.

Mozart’s Coffee

For some, relaxing can’t be done without a good cup of coffee. If this sounds like your kind of way to relax, check out Mozart’s Coffee. The delightful coffee place is located right on a lake, giving you a great view. It’s also lit up with light streamers at night. Sure, college finals time can get a little busy, but if you hit it at just the right time, you’ll have peace, quiet, delicious coffee, and a delectable treat.

Austin might not seem like it, but this city has a lot to offer in the way of relaxation. No matter if you’re looking to get away for a weekend, a week, or longer, this city has you covered. You won’t regret having traveled here.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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North America

What to Do on a Day Trip to Niagara Falls

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Millions of people have added a visit to Niagara Falls to their bucket list. While some have the time to spend a whole weekend or even longer in this part of the world, which sits on the Canadian-United States border, others are short of time.

If you can only squeeze in a day trip to the Niagara area, there are ways to make the most of your trip and have a fabulous – if long – day. Whether you’ll be traveling from Toronto, Buffalo, Rochester or elsewhere, there are certain key things to do.

Journey Behind the Falls

Seeing the famous waterfalls is no doubt one of the main reasons why you’re planning a day trip to Niagara Falls. As such, buy a ticket to the Journey Behind the Falls experience. This option will get you up close to the Falls but from behind and below, as the tour takes visitors underground. You’ll travel down approximately 150 feet via an elevator and end up in purpose-built tunnels.

The hundred-year-old tunnels take you to Observation Decks that offer safe cocoons to see and hear the powerful waterfalls as they launch over the cliffs above and thunder down. As you complete the tour, check out the various posters on the tunnel walls. These detail the history of the Falls and the hallways.

Take a Boat Cruise

No trip to Niagara Falls is complete without seeing the waterfalls from the front, from a boat. Take a ride on a vessel operated by Hornblower Niagara Cruises if you’re on the Canadian side of the Falls, or hop on the Maid of the Mist when on the American side.

Both companies take passengers up close to the waterfalls, so you’ll hear the roar of the water and get drenched unless you’re wearing the supplied rain ponchos. The cruise lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes and will ensure you truly witness the wonder of Niagara Falls.

Picnic in the Botanical Gardens

Within the Niagara area, there are many excellent restaurants where you can stop for lunch and digest what you have seen. However, one way to take in more of the region while also refueling and learning something is to have a picnic in the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Take a packed lunch with you and eat it within the 40-hectare site. The only problem is deciding where to set up your picnic.

The rose garden is particularly popular with visitors. There are approximately 2,500 different rose bushes here, which not only look lovely but also provide a delicate floral scent to take in while you relax. After finishing your meal, explore the Butterfly Conservatory. This enclosed space is home to over 2,000 butterflies, hailing from over 45 butterfly species.

If your legs are tired from all the walking during the day, hop on the Gardens’ horse and carriage tour. This way, you can conserve energy while seeing more of the gardens. This tourist attraction is found ten minutes’ drive from the center of Niagara Falls.

Explore Clifton Hill

Next, head to the fun suburb of Clifton Hill. It’s on the Canadian side of the waterfalls, only a block from Horseshoe Falls. Clifton Hill is a happening spot bursting at the seams with entertainment, shops, museums, and other attractions. There is, for example, a 36-hole mini-golf adventure course, a massive bowling alley, Canada’s biggest entertainment complex (it boasts 300-plus interactive games), and a haunted house.

Pick up souvenirs at the Canada Trading Company, and novelty gifts at the Fun Factory. If you need a sugar hit to keep you going, stop by the Fudge Factory for a vast array of sweet treats. When you’re ready for dinner, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Clifton Hill, too. There are dozens of excellent restaurants here, with something to suit every taste.

Ride the Niagara SkyWheel

Also located in Clifton Hill is Canada’s tallest Ferris wheel. Round out your day with another look at the waterfalls from 175 feet in the air. Ride the Niagara SkyWheel once the sun goes down so you can watch the Niagara Falls fireworks and light show. This stunning show lights up the Falls in every color of the rainbow.

The SkyWheel has air-conditioned and heated gondolas for comfort no matter the weather, and each ride includes at least four rotations. You’ll get expansive views of the Falls plus the surrounding region.

While Niagara Falls is famous around the world for the waterfalls that gave the city its name, there is much more to do in this area. Prepare yourself for a full day of activities and you’ll be ticking off items on that bucket list in no time.

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North America

Sights to See in Vegas


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Viva Las Vegas. Nevada’s most famous city has been labeled Sin City, the Entertainment Capital of the World, America’s Playground and the Gambling Capital of the World. All accurate descriptions, indeed. While many people associate the city with the booze-fueled shenanigans seen in The Hangover, the truth is the city has a lot more to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I still recommend gambling (at least a little bit). You are headed to Vegas after all! In fact, make sure you brush up on your gaming skills before arriving. You can practice online by playing the slots at sites like Fruity King casino slots. Really, though, a trip to Las Vegas can provide any sort of vacation you are looking for – the variety is endless. There is lots to see and do. Here are some recommendations.

Bellagio Casino and Fountains

Las Vegas has been, is and always will be known for its casinos, so let’s start there. There’s no better place to play the slots than the Bellagio. A staple on the Las Vegas Strip, this legendary building hosts the World Poker Tour every year. The Bellagio offers a wonderfully elegant atmosphere and a whole host of amenities – we’re talking botanical gardens, night clubs, gift shops, restaurants, a spa, a first-rate hotel and entertainment shows. And of course, there are the legendary fountains. Every 30 minutes, The Fountains of Bellagio offer an amazing show of interspersed water, light and music (classical, Broadway, pop and opera) that dazzles its audiences. No two shows are alike, so the fountain shows are impressive no matter how many times you see them. Did we mention the best part? The fountain shows are free.

Stratosphere’s Thrill Rides

No matter where you stand in Las Vegas, the nearly 1,000-foot-tall Stratosphere Tower is visible. Now get this – there are actually rides atop the tower. Yes, you read that right. You can actually go on rides that are 900 feet above ground! The attractions at the Stratosphere are The Big Shot, Insanity, XScream and SkyJump. The Big Shot is the tamest of the group and can best be described as a hydraulic freefall drop tower. SkyJump is the scariest. Guests put on a harness that is attached to a pully system and jump off a platform over 900 feet off the ground. If you enjoy skydiving or have ever wanted to try it, this is for you. The adrenaline rush is indescribable.

Hoover Dam

Take a break from casinos and skydiving and see a national historic landmark. Named one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century, Hoover Dam is still popular as ever, even 80 years after its construction. Located just outside of Las Vegas in Black Canyon, this awe-inspiring creation is the largest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere (730 feet above the Colorado River).

Vegas truly has it all. Depending how long you are in the city, you may not have time to see everything that makes Sin City great. If that’s the case, make sure you put the Bellagio, Stratosphere and Hoover Dam on your to-do list.

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Is it safe in Fort Lauderdale?

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According to statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the crime rate in Fort Lauderdale dropped 14.8% during the first months of 2018 when compared with the same time period of a year ago. However, this is still not an encouraging statistic, considering the following:

  • The crime rate in Fort Lauderdale is, on average, 110% higher than in the rest of the state.
  • Violent crime in the area is 45% higher than the average rate of crime in Florida.
  • Crime that involves property is 120% higher than in the whole of the state of Florida.

Fort Lauderdale has one of the highest crime rates in the United States. More than 96% of communities in Florida alone have less crime than this city. Many of the crimes that go into these numbers involve property. This includes burglaries, larceny, theft of motor vehicles and arson. If you find yourself the victim of any one of these types of crimes, call an accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to be by your side and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Are There Other Dangers To Be On The Lookout For?

You may call them dangers, you may call them fun, but here is a short list of things to watch out for in Fort Lauderdale:

The Beach

Going to the beach and spending time in the ocean is an integral part of a holiday in Fort Lauderdale. However, sea life in the ocean can sting or bite you. Keep an eye out for jellyfish, needlefish and even grouper fish that likes to nibble. Sharks can also be found in deeper waters. Also, there are undercurrents that can pull you out to sea, particularly during hurricane season.

Young People Enjoying Their Spring Break

Fort Lauderdale has been on the favorite-places-to-go list for spring-breakers for many decades. College students come here because they want to enjoy the nice weather but also partake in fun and excitement that can include drugs, alcohol and irresponsible behavior.

Trains Hitting Cars And Trucks

Surely this doesn’t happen, or does it? Considering we all have to cross rail lines many times a week, if not daily, it should come as no surprise that the Federal Railroad Administration has reported that over 2,100 rail accidents happened in the United States during 2016 alone. In Florida, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has this statistic: in that same year, there were over 200 accidents involving a railway vehicle. Driving over the rails when a train is approaching is not the only way these accidents happen. Train derailments mean that you can run into a train car while simply driving on a road that runs parallel to the tracks.

Reckless Drivers And Plenty Of Car Crashes

Tourists, snow-birds, and spring-breakers add millions to the year-round population of Fort Lauderdale. Not being too familiar with the area, plus being faced with unending construction-related vehicles and traffic, makes this a city where car crashes are a fact of life. If you are involved in a car crash, whether you live here year-round or are just a part-time resident, contact Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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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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