Cabrillo National Monument: the gem of San Diego

San Diego, California is such a popular west coast destination.  We all love to head to SoCal for the nearly guaranteed sunshine and beaches where you can actually swim.  And the coastal vibe is so different, with bare feet everywhere and flowers blooming on the bluffs year round.  Cabrillo National Monument is a great place […]

California Coast Road Trip: west coast road trip part 2

California.  That California life is so awesome with all that nature and sunshine.  What better way to experience it than by doing a California coast road trip?  We’re going to start at the northern border, but reverse our plan and you’ll have just as amazing of a time. So you’ve just crossed the border from […]

Yosemite National Park family travel guide

Yosemite National Park is one of the most visited or dreamed about destinations in the United States.  Can you blame everyone for wanting to explore the valleys and peaks that are the subject of countless Ansel Adams photographs?  Who wouldn’t want to stare up at the incredible granite cliffs from the valley floor. And did […]

Silver Falls, Mt Rainier Nat’l Park: not to be missed

We’re going to do a stereotypical and highly ridiculous thing.  A lot of writers will tell you about the “only sight you need to see in…” or the “absolute most perfect…” and we try not to do that.  Ever.  Tell you what though, we are going to tell you about the best most worthwhile hike […]

Exploring Oregon Caves National Monument w/ kids

Spelunking:  the act of exploring caves and wandering deep into the earth… with kids.  That’s what we got to do at Oregon Caves National Monument.  We had an the best experience, which we were a bit worried about before starting our tour.  We were welcomed by Oregon Caves National Monument for our ranger-led cave hike […]

Rustic heaven at the Chateau at the Oregon Caves

If you know me (Rob, Hi!) you know that I use the word “magical” in 50% of my sentences… and so does Oliver… because he’s my mini-me.  Blame it on working for Disney or just watching a bit too much Harry Potter, but I love the word.  I’m going to use it again:  The Oregon […]

Hunting for gnomes in Redwood National Park

We grew up in a great period in film history, where there were movies like the Land Before Time, Ferngully and, from even before we were born, The Gnome-Mobile.  On our way to California’s North Coast and the Redwoods, the boys got to watch The Gnome Mobile in the car and they loved it!!  If […]

A stop at the Golden Gate Bridge: an American icon

Ooh, we love a good tourist attraction.  Not a tourist trap, but a genuine attraction.  Of all of the classic American icons a few really stand out:  the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge.  In our house, being the family travel folk that we are, we’ve got a lot of maps, […]

The amazing Yosemite Valley tram tour

While we typically just do our own thing and plot out sights we want to see, every now and then we’ll do a tour.  National Parks are so easy to explore on your own, especially when you’re planning on hiking a bunch, but when we were in California, we opted to do the Yosemite Valley […]

Why you must stop at Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park

Everybody seems to have an opinion about overrated sights and places to visit.  Roadside attractions are totally cliched to stop at, but why not stop?  Viewpoints on highways that have pull-outs are usually there because the view is incredible.  Why wouldn’t you want to stop at a vista like that’s “like woah”?  Tunnel View in […]

Family travel to John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park

After a few days of battling the fog and snow in Sequoia National Park we took the short drive to cross the border into Kings Canyon National Park.  Like with Sequoia, we had big plans for hiking in the beautiful, sunny valleys of Kings Canyon and exploring the granite cliffs and meadows.  We were booked […]

Sequoia National Park with Kids

Traveling with kids is always fun…and a challenge.  We love to visit National Parks and typically do so in the summer when the hiking is good and the sun will be shining.   We were invited to California to experience Sequoia National Park with kids and jumped at the chance.  This was a great opportunity for […]

The Wuksachi Lodge

So, we always camp when we go to National Parks.  For our big #2TDgoparks2016 trip we’ve taken a totally different approach:  lodges.  Why lodges?  Two reasons:  we are doing the trip in the spring when the weather is totally unpredictable and we were kindly invited to explore the Parks and lodges.  The Wuksachi Lodge in […]

A day at Kennesaw Mountain: Georgia history and nature

We’ve been to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield a few times now.  It’s one of those places that has both historical significance and modern day appeal.  What?  What sort of appeal is there to a battlefield, particularly with kids?  Well, we’ll tell you. There’s more the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield site than just what the name […]

Where’d Fort Frederica go?

Historical sites rock for family travel.  Well, most of the time. No, all of the time.  Here’s why:  they’re a snapshot of a moment in time that we’ll never experience again.  Sometimes those sites are really well preserved and you can step back in time with little use of the imagination.  Heck, sometimes there are […]

Fort Matanzas:  worth the drive, walk, boat ride and climb

You’ve been in St Augustine all day and are ready to end it on a high note.  The town is wonderful and it’s so calm and relaxed everywhere, but you’ve been walking so much because every narrow street is just taunting you to head that way.  You’re tired.  What can you do to make the […]

Behind the Picture: Watching the Lake in Glacier National Park

The story: One of the things that makes travel with kids more smooth than people would expect is sticking to the schedule.  We’re not talking about the itinerary, but the nap schedule.  If you don’t have kids, you might not be familiar but the concept is this: get and keep the kids on a nap […]

National Parks: what are they and why do we care?

Once upon a time (1872), in a faraway place (Washington, DC), there lived a mediocre looking prince named Ulysses S Grant.  He was the President of the United States.  At this time and a bit before, there was a group of people that had explored the Yellowstone area of Wyoming and convinced congress and the […]

The Best Picnic Spots in Yellowstone National Park

If you’ve got kids or share your life with another adult, you know that getting “hangry” is a very real and present danger.  If you don’t know what “hangry” is, it’s the morph from being hungry to being angry/irritable.  Three of the four in our family suffer from this.  Solution:  picnicking.  Knowing the best picnic […]

The Best Wildlife Viewing in Yellowstone

In addition to geysers, the exciting thing about going to Yellowstone National Park is the wildlife.  There are the standard deer and chipmunks that you’d expect to see, but there is so much more.   The bison were a real hit with our family… but then so were the bears just outside of our car […]