24 Hours on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula: Beaches, Ancient Ruins, and Lots of Coffee

In June, I traveled with a group of five to Ireland and Scotland for two weeks. I’ve written all about my travels, including tips on what to do, where to stay, and how to get there, in a series of blog posts

24 hours on Dingle Peninsula what to see and do

Visiting Dingle Peninsula was at the top of our list for places to see in Ireland. National Geographic Travel deemed it “the most beautiful place on earth.” Often described as a less-touristy alternative to the Ring of Kerry, Dingle is known for its unspoiled coastline, friendly locals, and ancient sites. Continue reading

Exploring Craggy Gardens

Favorite stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway: Craggy Gardens

Craggy Gardens is one of my favorite places to explore on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I’ve hiked the trails in the rain, fog, heat, and sunshine. Although it is a popular hike in June when the rhododendrons are in bloom, Craggy Gardens is enjoyable almost anytime of the year. Early spring offers low crowds, during summer the bald (a grassy mountain summit) is covered in wildflowers, and in the fall the trees are a vibrant red. Continue reading

Weekend in Brevard

The perfect weekend in the mountains of North Carolina

Two or three times a year I have to get my mountain fix. To do this, we drive 4-5 hours to the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina. Over the years we have stayed in Asheville, Little Switzerland, or somewhere else close to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The small mountain town of of Brevard was recommended to us by several people, being a favorite weekend destination for a lot of Charlestonians. We had read about the movies that were filmed there (The Hunger Games, The Last of the Mohicans) and were intrigued by the many waterfalls (250!) in Transylvania County. Continue reading

California Road Trip: Marin County

Travel Tips for visiting Northern California

California is my happy place. For several months we were planning our Pacific Coast Highway roadtrip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. A large chunk of our trip was going to be in Big Sur–we booked a few nights at a lodge there (the cheapest we could find was still at $250/night) and we had all of our hikes planned for the state parks in the area. Sadly, the area was devastated by the Soberanes fire in late July that they are still battling two months later. Because of the wildfire and poor air quality, we decided to change our travel plans and go north instead. With just a few weeks to go, we had to find new places to stay and come up with a Northern California itinerary. It was part stressful and part creative problem solving! Continue reading