The United States National Park system contains some of the most beautiful landscapes and natural wonders in the world. Though traffic jams, crowds of noisy people and armies of bleeping cell phones and take away from from our outdoor experiences. While the best known parks are well worth visiting, perhaps you will find more serenity at one of these “hidden gem” state parks.
Henderson Beach State Park, Florida
Located in Destin, FL, Henderson Beach offers a variety of landscapes and activities. Camping, hiking, fishing and swimming are common activities. The Gulf Coast shoreline scenery includes pine forest, wildflowers and rolling coastal dunes.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri
Ha Ha Tonka State Park offers a little over seventeen thousand acres to explore-formally traveled by Daniel Boone and son Nathan. The park runs along the arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and offers about fifteen miles of trails on which you’ll find caves, tunnels, natural bridges and sinkholes. A somewhat bizarre feature of the park are the stone ruins of a castle built in the early 20th century by a Kansas City businessman.
Tumalo State Park, Oregon
Tumalo State Park is located very near Bend, Oregon. But once inside the beautiful 330 acre park one would never know civilization is just around the bend! Wildlife viewing, fishing, camping and hiking are some of the parks most popular activities. The hiking trails that run out from the river lead to some beautiful canyons on the park property. One particularly popular activity is tubing in the parks river. The park offers winter activities as well-park visitors can ski and snowboarder on Mt. Bachelor.
Lucky Peak State Park, Idaho
Located just southeast of Boise, Lucky Peak is relaxing state park whose primary features are water activities. Lucky Peak Dam’s beaches are popular with the swimmers. Discovery Park features fishing in the Boise River. The park also includes the full-service Spring Shores Marina.
Goose Island State Park, Texas
Goose Island is a very unique natural destination. While it offers a variety of outdoor activities swimming is not among them; oyster shells, mud flats and marsh grass compose the shoreline making swimming conditions less than ideal. Families can still enjoy birding, nature hikes, boating, fishing and camping while visiting Goose Island. Rangers provide guided nature walks and in the summer kids can borrow Junior Ranger Explorer Packs that include binoculars, a magnifying glass and crayons (among other items) to record what they see.
Last time, Jody Victor‘s crew talked about several personality types and the vacations that would most likely suit them. This week we have another eight types and their best fits from the article from Huffington Post:
The Extreme Traveler:
This is an intensely energetic person who needs to stay active. An adrenaline junkie and sports fanatic. They might like to try heliskiing or shark cage diving in Australia.
The Celebratory Traveler:
These are party animals. They love fun and are outgoing. It is suggested they visit Ibiza.
The Artsy Traveler:
Outgoing and creative, this type loves art, music and writing. They may enjoy a trip to Paris to visit the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay.
The Curious Traveler:
This is an intellectual who is curious and loves a challenge. They might like a hike in a history-rich area such as the Oregon Trail. It extends from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon with over 100 historic sites.
The Traditionalist Traveler:
This person works hard and plays by the rules. They like organization and to be in charge. It is suggested they check out Rosewood Jumby Bay in Antigua – an all-inclusive resort.
The Compassionate Traveler:
The compassionate traveler is sensitive and conscientious and cares about others and the world. They would enjoy an ecotourism vacation such as the Galapagos Islands.
The Daydreaming Traveler:
Daydreamers are idealistic and charismatic, love people, and helping others. They are also romantics and might enjoy a trip to Scotland with loved ones.
The Competitive Traveler:
They are hard-working and competitive. They need serious down-time and to be taken care of to recharge. A trip to Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea would greatly fit the bill.
Last time, Jody suggested some places around Portland, OR. This time we will look at some of the neat and quirky places you will find in Portland to get food.
Voodoo Doughnuts! You can find almost anything on a Voodoo doughnut such as bacon, Cap’n Crunch Cereal, and Oreo cookies. The doughnuts are hand-made. You can expect to wait in line at any given time. You can even have a wedding there – they supply the minister, coffee, and doughnuts. They also do parties. The atmosphere is almost like a party when you actually get in to choose your doughnut. Well worth the wait!
Another place Jody can suggest to try if you like burritos is Laughing Planet Cafe. Their menu items are made from locally sustainable ingredients when they can get them. This little cafe started in Indiana in 1995 and the owner moved to Portland in 2000 and opened his first cafe in Portland. There are now 7 in Portland and 3 others in other cities in OR.
Whether you like classic burgers or something “different”, Dick’s Kitchen is another place to get good food. Certain weeks of the year, they have special “guest burgers” which feature items like lamb, elk, dork, and wild boar. Whoa, back up. What’s a dork burger? It’s a mixture of duck and pork. There are even some vegetarian selections.
Want pizza? Jody suggests you try Apizza Scholls. They open at 5:00 and close when they run out of dough. They make the dough a day before to let it ferment. If they have dough left over, they make it into croutons for their salad. If you don’t get in line in time, you may have a long wait. Once you get to sit down and look at the menu you find some house selections and you can build your own pie. If you build your own, you must follow the rules: No more than 2 meats and no more than three ingredients total. It is very good pizza.
Thanks for the suggestions, Jody!
…Going at the end of the summer sometime in September. The weather is still temperate and rainy season hasn’t started yet.
There are so many things you can do while in the Portland, OR area. If you like to hike, you can go to the Multnomah Falls. It has a spectacular breath-taking view. Jody recommends you take along your camera because you will want to capture this view and remember it always.
If you like the beach, you can visit Cannon Beach. Haystack rock is called that because, well, it looks like a haystack. Just like any beach community, there is plenty of shopping in the area. Not too far south from Cannon Beach is the city of Tillamook, known for its awesome cheese. You may even be able to find it in your local grocery.
Other sites within the city limits to not miss are the International Rose Test Garden. The roses are gorgeous. You can take a group tour or ask for a tour guide brochure to walk you through and learn some of the history behind the various parts of the gardens.
The Oregon Zoo in Portland is a nice clean little zoo you can see in a day.
These are just a few of the sites you can see in and around Portland. Next time, Jody Victor will explore the shopping musts in Portland.