Summer Travel Guide

July 8, 2022

Travel

6 shares Share Tweet Pin This summer has been so much fun, Mike and I have really enjoyed spending time traveling and exploring new places! We really went all out and wanted to spend time in different types of destinations, so we explored everything from Zion to LA. You know we did lots of hiking, […]

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This summer has been so much fun, Mike and I have really enjoyed spending time traveling and exploring new places! We really went all out and wanted to spend time in different types of destinations, so we explored everything from Zion to LA. You know we did lots of hiking, but we also spent time at the pool, beach, and loved trying out new restaurants, too! I’m back at home now and ready to enjoy my midwest summer, but I’ve been getting a ton of questions about our travels. I shared some of this in my recent monthly newsletter (sign up here if you haven’t already) but there was so much I wanted to add that I couldn’t fit in one email! I decided to put together the ultimate travel guide in this blog with all of the destinations we traveled to, some of my favorite spots, tips, and more! If you’re looking for somewhere to go this summer (or any time), I got you covered. Read on for my ultimate summer travel guide! 

Sequoia National Park

Must-go: 

  • Go see General Sherman Tree off of the Congress Trail.  General Sherman is the largest tree by volume in the world. 
  • Hike the Congress Trail right by General Sherman to get a full experience of the sequoias. It is a 3 mile paved trail and family-friendly.

Highlight of the trip:

  • Standing next to the world’s largest trees! You don’t realize how big they are until you stand next to them! 

Top tip:

  • Go in the afternoon/evening if you don’t like crowds or getting up early!! We went around 6 pm and almost had the Congress Trail to ourselves! As we drove back we watched the sunset in the mountains and it was beautiful! 

Sequoia Must-Haves

Yosemite National Park

Must-go: 

  • Drive through the Valley to see views of El Capitan, Half Dome, and all of the waterfalls including Yosemite Falls.  
  • If you can get the chance, hike Half Dome or Clouds Rest. You must make a reservation to enter if you plan on going in during the hours of 6 am – 4 pm. If you enter the park before or after those hours you do not need to have a pass.
  • Rent kayaks or tubes and float down the river in the valley.
  • Rent bikes and ride along the path in the valley.
  • For dog owners: hike the lower Yosemite falls trail!

Highlight of the trip:

  • Climbing to the top of Half Dome! This has been on my bucket list for a while now! Such an iconic hike!

Top tip:

  • Start your days early to avoid crowds! There are limited options for restaurants and food so try to make a plan! We stayed at Yosemite View Lodge and at was right outside the park and had a kitchen in each room! Grocery store in the lobby and restaurant. I highly recommend it!

Yosemite Must-Haves

Las Vegas

Must-go:

  • Shop at the Forum Shops in Ceasar’s Palace.  
  • See the water show in from of the Bellagio (every 15 minutes at night).
  • Go see a show! We loved Cirque du Soleil!
  • Get drinks at the Cosmopolitan. 
  • Hike in Red Canyon.
  • Go to any of the casinos!

Highlight of the trip:

  • Seeing Cirque du Soleil was amazing!! 

Top tip:

  • We were able to get a good deal on hotels.com for the Bellagio! It was ¼ the cost of what it usually is and we loved how the pool was a little more chill and the location! It is also pet friendly too and we were able to take Denver into all of the shops! (Including the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace! Make sure you make reservations for dinner ahead of time, everything books up!).

Vegas Must-Haves

Los Angeles

Must-go: 

  • Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Hike in Runyon Canyon.
  • Churros on Santa Monica Pier.
  • Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
  • The Grove Farmers Market.
  • Malibu Farm in Malibu.
  • Geoffrey’s for dinner in Malibu.
  • Ribe bikes on the boardwalk between Santa Monica and Venice.  

Highlight of the trip:

  • Dinner at Geoffrey’s. Right on the coast and amazing food! I just loved how less noisy and crowded Malibu was! It was nice to get away! I also loved riding bikes along the boardwalk!

Top tip:

  • Out of all the areas we visited in California, we loved Malibu the most! I loved how it was tucked in the coast. I wouldn’t recommend staying in Venice.

LA Must-Haves

Zion

Must-go: 

  • Hike the Narrows. Even if you are not a hiker you can take the 1-mile paved path down to the narrows to see them! I saw a ton of families with their kids playing in the water!
  • Hike Angel’s Landing (for my adventurous friends).  Must have a permit to climb the top!
  • Hike Observation Point via East Mesa for the best view in Zion. Relatively easy/flat trail but it is longer!
  • Ride electric bikes through the park (these can be rented downtown Springdale).
  • Drive through the mile-long tunnel.
  • Get breakfast and/or dinner at Oscar’s.

Highlight of the trip:

  • Hiking the Narrows and Angel’s Landing.  Both of these hikes were on my bucket list and honestly, I told myself that I would never do Angel’s Landing, but I did it!!

Top tip:

  • Start your days early and pack plenty of water! It can get hot in the park and if you go early you can beat the crowds and the heat.  You must take the free shuttle to get into the popular part of the park. The parking lot for the shuttle is at the Zion Visitor.

Zion Must-Haves

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