5 awesome San Francisco Bay Area National Parks sites with kids

When you’re traveling a lot for work, chances are that you don’t get to do too much exploring beyond the office. We’re really fortunate in that we get to travel for fun as a part of our work, but sometimes we also tag along when Chris (papa) has his own work trips. We recently got […]

Pinnacles National Park: exploring the high desert and rocky caves

Most of the National Parks we go to are fairly well-known. I mean, there are only 59 of them, so most are familiar to the masses.  We love to return to Glacier National Park and Olympic and such because we’re so familiar and there is so much to do and see.  We just added a […]

10 ways to enjoy fall around Glacier National Park

Montana is one of the largest states in the USA and it’s crazy diverse. It’s Big Sky Country, for sure, but it’s also big mountain country and ridiculously still lake country and ride-a-horse-through-the-woods country. Basically, Montana is everything you could hope for except the beach. Flathead and Glacier Counties of Montana have all of this […]

Our incredible Amtrak travel journal: trek to Glacier National Park

An incredible train ride, amazing colors as the seasons change, wildlife around every bend…. we’re exploring Glacier County, Montana with Amtrak, GlacierMT and the Glacier Guides Lodge.  Follow along on our travel journal!

Family guide to Olympic National Park

One of the most popular places or topics we cover is Olympic National Park.  We’ve created so many articles and shared so much because it’s a dream destination for so many. It’s practically our backyard, so allow us to guide you and help you have an incredible time exploring. What began as Olympus National Monument […]

Hiking Sol Duc Falls and the northern rainforest of Olympic National Park

When you visit the Puget Sound area or more specifically the Olympic Peninsula, you’re bound to want to make a gazillion stops.  We could tell you that every stop is awesome and worth your time, but we like to direct you to just the best stops.  Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park is one […]

The Grove of the Patriarchs: old growth forest hiking in Mt Rainier National Park

We’ve got another great, easy hike with kids to share!  Our favorite hikes take us places with sweeping views and unusual sights, but we also love huge trees.  The Hoh Rainforest is at the top of our list of hikes in the Pacific Northwest with kids, but let’s go ahead and add the Grove of […]

Ruby Beach at Olympic National Park: the prettiest beach in Washington

Does anybody think of Washington State as a beach destination?  Not hardly, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the most beautiful beaches around.  True, totally missing the palm trees, but we make up for it in other ways.  Of all we’ve been to, the most beautiful beach in Washington is for sure Ruby […]

Camping at Kalaloch and exploring Olympic National Park

The Pacific Northwest is a dream destination for so many.  Sure, we have our rain and grey skies, but we also have incredible mountains, beaches and forests.  Olympic National Park is the perfect spot to experience all of those things, and the west side in the Kalaloch area is really an ideal home base.  Camping […]

Exploring the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park

Unless you grew up in the Pacific Northwest you probably think right away of tropical destinations when you hear the term “rainforest.”  We actually have several protected, temperate rainforests here in Washington State.  Exploring the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park is our favorite with the kids and we bring a lot of out-of-town guests […]

Hiking Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park

When we’re not lounging on a Florida beach in the hot sun or gallivanting the globe, we love to hike locally.  Local, to us, is anything within a few hours’ drive of Seattle.  One of our favorite local activities is hiking in Olympic National Park.  It’s such an interesting place, with beaches, lowland rainforests, snow-capped […]

Big Cypress National Preserve: exploring with kids

On the northern border of Everglades National Park there’s a pretty cool Florida landmark.  No, we’re not talking about the Tamiami Trail, even though Highway 41 is fun to drive, but we’re talking about Big Cypress National Preserve.  Big Cypress is a part of the National Parks Service and it’s pretty cool with its swamps […]

Everglades National Park family guide: how to visit Florida’s coolest swamp

Bucket list item:  Everglades National Park.  Done.  Can’t wait to go back.  Must explore more.  The end. Just kidding, we have much more to say.  So, the Everglades is the coolest area and we’ve never been anyplace else like it.  Everglades National Park and the surrounding area will leave you saying wow and itching to […]

Biscayne National Park: an easy Miami day trip or perfect weekend escape

So often we see people asking questions in online forums about how to add a land portion to a cruise they’re going on or what they can do with just a day or two someplace.  We have a thousand answers for those questions.  I mean, if you’re cruising out of San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, or […]

Florida Gulf Coast Road Trip Itinerary: gators, manatees and pristine waters

 Since the first time we visited Florida as a family we’ve wanted to see more and more of the Sunshine State.  Florida offers a variety of family road trip options ranging from beach vacation, island hopping in the Keys, to exploring the one-of-a-kind nature on the Gulf Coast.  We just completed an epic Florida Gulf […]

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 […]

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 […]

West Coast Road Trip Itinerary: lighthouses and National Parks

Growing up in Washington with family in both northern and southern California, the West Coast road trip was guaranteed at least once per year… if not three times.  This meant though that we got to experience everything:  lighthouses and coastlines, hiking in the mountains or rides in Disneyland.  Such an array.  Now, being parents, we […]

West Coast National Park road trip: the mountains

So many ways to approach a West Coast road trip.  Seriously.  You can do the Pacific Coast Highway from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington all of the way to Tijuana, Mexico.  Or you can shoot down the i-5 corridor, making intentional stops within an hour or two off the freeway.  Or you can wing it […]

Hiking Hetch Hetchy: the unknown Yosemite National Park

Going off the beaten path is something so many travelers strive for.  You know that we’re usually traveling with kids, so we try to experience the less-crowded areas of the world when we can so they can see what the earth is actually like.  When you ask somebody if it’s quiet in Yosemite National Park […]

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, […]

Family hiking with the Piggyback Rider

Being a dad is the coolest thing ever.  You get to teach your kids about bugs and cooking and building things and art and hiking and so much more. While our youngest is still in the toddler stage and not about to voluntarily hike on his own, our oldest, Oliver, is quite the trailblazer… 80% […]

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 […]

The Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite National Park: amazing.

Such a variety of accommodations in this world.  We’ve seen them all and stayed in half of them.  On our epic road trip through the National Parks of Northern California, we got to experience some wonderful places.  The Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite National Park is so different from the other spots we stayed. We loved […]

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 […]

The Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park

It was so great to stay in lodges on our #2TDgoparks2016 roadtrip.  After several days of snow chains and foiled hiking plans it was nice to arrive at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite.  We’d stayed in some pretty small lodges within Sequoia and Kings Cayon National Parks for our nights prior to getting to the […]

Kings Canyon National Park in any Season

You know when you’re excited for sweeping views, spring flowers, newborn baby animals and getting your first tan of the year?  That’s where we were at prior to driving into Kings Canyon National Park.  As we drove up into the hills from Fresno, California we felt the temperature drop, but it was still sunny.  We […]

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 […]

Day Hiking in Mt Rainier National Park: trails for any age

Even though we love going to Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park is one of our favorite spots in the state of Washington. One of the things we love about Mount Rainier is that you can enjoy the North or the South Side and have very different experiences.  On the north side there are […]

Waterfalls of Mt Rainier National Park

There are few things that we’re just suckers for:  lighthouses, bathrobes, and waterfalls.  When you’re heading to the mountains to go hiking, you can only count on getting one of those boxes checked off, and it’s waterfalls.  Mt Rainier National Park is an easy day trip or multi-day camping destination for any type of traveler, […]

National Parks Swag: making family travel memorable

So, you know we love our National Parks. One of the most fun things we do when we go to a National Park, and this might sound kind of strange because it’s so small, is to get cancellation stamps in our National Parks Passports and learn a little extra here and there. Do you have […]

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 […]

Strolling Historic St Augustine:  a perfect family day

A town like St Augustine, Florida is great to explore with kids because there are so many sights and fun things to do around every corner.  We didn’t do half of what we could have, but we still did a ton.  Every town or city has its must-see sights.  In NYC you’ve got the Statue […]