The only reason I wanted to come to Florida was to swim with the manatees. This experience was way more than I expected.
We snorkeled in the manatee refuge and got to see at least 30 manatees. Some where swimmming, some where sleeping, some where just chilling. A few babies even came up to me. They kissed my mask, had me rub their bellies, blew air into my face. They were adorable!
The adult manatees were huge and not as curious. However, it was still awesome to swim amongst them.
Remember - don't chase the manatees. Only pet them if they come to you. Respect them because they are soooo gentle and sweet.
We came in the early morning when it was pouring rain. We were determined to find fossil shark teeth. We went during low tide and found the teeth easily when we shifted through the sand.
After 20 minutes, I went back to the car, but my boyfriend powered through under the pouring rain. It was worth it though! We left with a least 8 teeth.
Definitely a very cool national park that needs to be checked out. There are so many different types of parks in California...and this one is by far one of the more unique ones.
Going through the lava tubes was such an exhilarating experience. You can rent flashlights from the visitor center and go through lava tubes that are meant for tourists. However, if you are hardcore, you can basically stay / sleep underground for a week, just going through tubes.
I love this park. It's so unique compared to other National Parks. We went during January when the weather wasn't scorching. In fact, it was kind of a cold, which is great so we didn't get hot climbing the big sand dunes.
Honestly, there isn't that many different things to see except sand dunes and the salt flats...but what other park even offers sand dunes and salt flats?! The sand dunes were so fun to climb and slide down...I still had sand in the pockets of my sweats after many washes and months later. There was also a family with kids that used their snow boards and sleds...which looked dangerous and incredibly fun.
The salt flats are cool to see. Tasted the salt, and yup, it is salt.
The park will be boring if you don't get out and explore/climb so I wouldn't advise going during the summer when it's deathly hot.
This place has a special place in my heart.
I really like this park! Even though it doesn't seem that picturesque when you drive around, it's really quite beautiful once you start hiking and realize that there are different types of beauty (e.g. accepting weird funky cactus looking trees in the desert vs rolling hills of green).
We hiked on some trails, but when I insisted that we take a "short-cut" off the trail we saw rams! The short-cut actually turned out to be a more difficult and tiring way to get to the the top of the mountain, but the rams were worth it!
I've been here a couple of times during the summer season, but I really fell in love with this place during the winter time. We came here while it was snowing so our 4-wheel drive still required chains.
The fresh powdered snow was so beautiful. If you have snow clothes, the entire park is your big play ground. The park is especially nice during the winter because there aren't as many visitors. Most of my pictures are just of snow falling off trees, mountains covered in snow...I like snow. It was so peaceful and beautiful.
We went snow shoe-ing, which is actually pretty hard in fresh snow. It's like walking in snow boots, but leaving a bigger foot print. I would recommend going cross-country skiing if you don't mind making your own trail.
We also went sledding. We even built a hairy snowman - he had pine leaves as a beard and armpit hair. I know, creative.
I think this park is great year round, but if you don't like crowds and love snow, come during Christmas time.
I've never gone cliff diving before...and I don't think I will do it again. It's a popular place for cliff diving. There are even a few platforms set up on top of the 40 foot cliff. Omg. It was a scary experience. It literally took me a minute to jump off of that damn platform.
The bf and I only did it once. However, there was a grandpa, mother and daughter jumping off multiple times. BALLS! It was scary, but a must do.
You have to drive on some unpaved roads to get here (reason to rent a 4-wheel drive), but it's not so bad that you can't do it with a regular car. It's also a bit out of the way, but if you are heading to the Green Sand beach, then you should stop by since they are relatively close to each other.
What a great find! This place is very special. It's basically a fresh + ocean water "pool" that cleans itself. The fresh water is rain water that somehow mixes hot water from the lava flows...not sure exactly how it all works, but a local told us that's where the fresh water is from.
The water level of the "pool" changes with the tide of the ocean...so during the high tides, the pool will be "cleaned" by waves rushing in and out. Basically, the "pool" is pretty clean though a good crowd frequents the place.
I enjoyed the nice, warm water to relax in after a fun-filled day.
Also, people with kids - there is a "kiddie pool" as well. A shallower part was built so that toddlers could enjoy this treat too.
This place was definitely very cool. Try to go on some guided tours if you can because the tour guides know so much and everything becomes a lot more interesting. For example, none of the ginger plants on the Big Island are native, but considered annoyances so the Island tries to control their growth. We want on the Devastation hike with Ranger Ed, who is adorable and funny! He shared a lot about the history of the craters and volcano. Also, he pointed out the plants that were growing through the lava rocks.
We later went on the Kilauea Iki hike and Thurston Lava Tube. I recommend the Kilauea Iki hike because you don't get the chance to walk through craters that often. The Thurston Laval Tube was cool, but not as impressive as the ones at Lassen Volcanic Park in California.
Finally, we did the Kilauea Lava Flow hike at night. The view isn't that nice at the end of the hike so a boat trip might be worth it if you really want to get a close view. However, I was satisfied and enjoyed seeing the smoke and red lava from afar.
Can you say intense? This park is completely for hikers who love the wilderness and want to avoid the crowds. This place is intense because it has no bathrooms, no lodging, no restaurants...nothing. It is the wild. You got to pee behind a tree, you need to bring a tent or sleep outdoors, bring food and water....better yet bring water purification tablets if you are hiking to a lake so you can lighten your load.
We came during the July 4th weekend, which was miserable and rewarding. Miserable because we didn't bring 100% DEET (didn't think we needed anything that powerful), but apparently, the mosquitoes hatched 3 days before we came so the place was SWARMING. I barely took any pictures because I would get 5 bitten on my finger. My bf and I both got 40 mosquitoes EACH after the two day trip.
We hiked to a lake that was 10 mi away in the heat while swatting away the clouds of mosquitoes (wearing a long sleeve shirt DOES not help...). We got to the lake, put up our tent and slept. The bf went fishing in the morning, but I stayed put because of the little blood suckers.
Overall, the trip was fun, just because we felt like we were super hardcore to hike 20 miles, to live in the wild and to fight the mosquitoes. Would go again with 100% DEET.
What a great place to dive! It was amazing and beautiful. There was 100x more fish than in Hawaii.
I saw schools of top smelt, jack mackerel and barracuda. I also saw a lobster, halibut, swell shark and horn shark eggs, black-eyed gobies and garbaldis. My fellow scuba divers also saw an octopus and an electric ray.
The water was freezing (I had on a 7mm wetsuit), but the visibility was great!
On the weekends, this place is super crowded as all the scuba classes are held here. However, it's still worth going.
I saw a mountain lion! I love seeing animals in the wild so I was very excited. However, I went on a Monday so there was no one around so I guess that's why it felt comfortable lounging around. It didn't approach me so I didn't feel threatened.
I parked on the residential road before the entrance area for free. It's a pretty easy walk into the park. I decided to take the Pacific Palisades trail to get a good view of the ocean. The trails are easy to walk on as they are wide, dirt paths. However, it's still pretty hilly and very hot since there isn't much shade.
I wasn't able to make it to the Pacific Palisades (6 mile hike) but the trail was still nice. It had some nice views of the ocean and the mountains. It's not a very interesting trail in terms of varied views though.
|Places to go and places to avoid||Though these places aren't the "hot spots" of Los Angeles, they were the places I had to eat at before I left the city.|
|My Florida vacation||A beautiful city|
|Typical Vegas trip||These places make me happy just knowing they exist|
|Things to do in Louisiana||To feel smarter =), while still having fun!|
|Reviews of the lucky places we graced our presence with||Awesome bookstores in San Francisco that will offer cash or credit to give your literature a new home.|
"Looking for things that aren't overrated"
Philadelphia, PA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
November 2008Dinge, die ich mag
traveling, anything themed, desserts, musicals, living dangerouslyWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm picking flowersWarum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
Because my opinion mattersMeine Henkersmahlzeit
Anything my mom makesErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I wish I was a hippieIch schwärme gerade für