Traveling to Ireland ?

 

Lighthouse, Ireland, Galley Head, View

 

Some advice from Wandershare.com

 

 

Wandershare.com - Traveling Ireland | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I’ll be makin’ that journey one day meself !

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Destination Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles (Photo: Slices of Light via Flickr)

Article from Travelmag

Translating to The City of Angels and also known as The City of Dreams, Los Angeles is a beautiful landscape of both inspiration and aspirations. A winning combination for visitors, the second largest US city has a lot to offer indeed. Cruise the coastline on The Pacific Coast Highway Route 1, or the PCH as it’s known locally, for stunning views of beaches from Long Beach all the way to the rugged hills of Malibu. Stop at Venice Beach to sunbathe and watch the surfers—and the human circus parading down the boardwalk: artists and performers, skateboarders with snakes, chainsaw jugglers, tattooed bikini babes and bodybuilders. See firsthand the lifestyles of the rich and famous by driving through Beverly hills and splurging at the shops on Rodeo Drive. Take advantage of LA’s rich history in the entertainment and music industry, and tour one of the major film and television studios before bar hopping along Sunset Strip. To experience art in a serene setting, don’t miss the Getty Museum with its lush surroundings, modern architecture and incredible landscaping. You, too, will be inspired and invigorated in a city pulsing with creative energy and ambition.

https://www.travelmag.com/destinations/los-angeles/

 

10 Small American Cities to Add to Your 2020 Travel List

Will McGough of Travel Pulse has written a timely article describing 10 U.S. cities that should be on your must-see list this year.  Maybe this year will be the year to scratch that travel itch.  Read on here:

Slide 2 of 11: Idaho's western side gets very little love. Nearly seven hours from Yellowstone on the other side of the state, Boise is extremely isolated and far from any major hubs or widely-recognized National Parks.

As a result, for a long time, Boise remained overlooked, left to itself. The past few years have seen things change. Locals talk freely about the eye test of their developing city, and the research seems to agree. In 2018, Boise was named the fastest-growing city in the country by Forbes.

The Boise Mountains, which you can see from the center of the city as a scenic backdrop, provide year-round recreation for residents and visitors; entrepreneurs are running wild; and the population has become increasingly diverse. Check out our coverage of Boise for an in-depth look at the city. 

Slide 3 of 11: The one thing you notice right away about Wichita is that the people who live here grew up here, and the last few years have seen an uptick in local pride. "Made in Wichita" has become a thing, whether it's beer, clothes or barbecue. 

Ah, yes, beer and barbecue—two other things you'll love about Wichita. It's proximity to Kansas City means you'll find a lot of slow-smoked meat with thick, tomato and/or molasses-based sauce, and you won't have trouble finding a brewery or beer bar to wash it down. The city of 300,000ish people has about a half dozen breweries and more than a handful of beer bars. 

History is also thriving in Wichita. The Chisholm Trail, which famously began in Fort Worth, ended just across the river from Wichita in a small area called Delano, which today is an extension and expansion of the city, filled with locally-owned bars and shops. Back then, in the late 1800s, the town was the end of the road for the cowboys driving the cattle, a place of decompression after months on the trail.

Read more about Wichita and it's charm here. 

Slide 4 of 11: The great thing about Flagstaff is that it bucks everything you've come to think about Arizona. Located just under 7,000 feet, the terrain features sprawling pine forests, high peaks (San Francisco Peaks) and a legitimate winter with enough snow to support a ski area (Snow Bowl). 

Once a hub for the railway, lumber and ranching industries, Flagstaff has diversified itself in modern times. It's home to Northern Arizona University and the Lowell Observatory, the former creating a vibrant downtown with a wide range of restaurants, bars and shops. 

Visitors to Flagstaff come to enjoy the surrounding wilderness. Locally, there's a lot to love in terms of trails and adventures, but traditionally, most people simply use Flagstaff as a hub for the nearby Grand Canyon. 

Slide 5 of 11: The Central Coast of California remains one of the crown jewels of the United States, with pristine coastlines, mountains and vineyards coming together to form the landscape. 

There are many small towns and cities to be found along the infamous Highway 1, but perhaps none as complete as Santa Barbara. A short drive from Santa Ynez wine country, Santa Barbara's waterfront features laid-back boat harbor bars, walking paths and a strong sailing community. A few blocks inland on State Street, collegiate bars mix with high-end sushi and wine-focused restaurants, highlighting the wide variety of offerings in town. 

Blessed with year-round sunshine, views of offshore islands (Channel Islands), multiple universities and the Santa Ynez mountains, the outdoor, ocean and wine-country vibes make Santa Barbara a unique place. 

Slide 6 of 11: This ain't your grandfather's Reno. Sure, the town has a reputation as a mini-Vegas, and you'll still find plenty of that vibe in town, including the recently revamped Row that connects three casinos.  

But, the real draw of Reno here in 2019 is what's been happening behind the scenes, beyond the casinos. Reno is becoming a city of neighborhoods (as supposed to a city with a strip!).

Downtown Reno has welcomed neighborhood-bar style eateries such as Liberty Food and Wine Exchange and the West Street Market. Midtown flashes its community feel with the health-focused Great Full Gardens, featuring local produce and ingredients and a long strip of modern shops and bars. The Riverwalk District makes use of the Truckee River, which flows through the city, with a variety of waterside walking paths, public parks and outdoor dining. Outdoor opportunities are of course abound, including nearby Lake Tahoe. 

You can learn more about Reno's rise in our recent coverage. 

Slide 7 of 11: It's hard to find a more charming Southwestern city than Santa Fe. Its Historic Plaza was built by the Spanish in 1610, and today its architecture is known as "Spanish Pueblo Revival," combining its Spanish roots with the adobe style of the Pueblos, who have inhabited the land around Santa Fe for centuries. 

Surrounded by mountains, Santa Fe is connected to the outdoors, with opportunities for hiking and skiing. Its Native American culture shines through and remains an active part of the lifestyle, captured and explained in a few museums, such as the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. 

One of the biggest draws to Santa Fe is its Southwestern cuisine—specifically, green and red chili. First-time visitors to Santa Fe should make a point to eat at The Shed, a local institution, as well as one of the several chocolatiers to try some "drinking chocolate." 

Slide 8 of 11: Shreveport was created in 1836 when Captain Henry Miller Shreve cleared a large log jam on the Red River, opening up its waters for travel and trade. Many of the buildings in downtown Shreveport are of historic nature, dating back to the mid-1800s. 

For people who have been to New Orleans, Shreveport is a wonderful extension of Louisiana travel, featuring a little bit of everything you might expect: music, food and debauchery. 

The music scene is centered around the historic venue, the Louisiana Hayride, and one would be shrewd to dig in during a visit. Casinos in town host a variety of entertainment options, but above all, Shreveport shines for its southern cooking, with a little bit of Creole, French, Native America and Cajun mixed into one. A good place to start for first-timers is Herby K's for po boys, crawfish etoufee and gumbo.

Slide 9 of 11: Many have fallen in love with North Carolina favorites such as Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks. But few make the time to check out Wilmington, a port city considered the gateway to Cape Fear and the state's barrier islands. 

Check out the charming waterfront area known as the Riverwalk, nice for lunch and an afternoon stroll. Don't miss out on the wonderful seafood scene. Stop by Seaview Crab Company for fresh and local options, and to learn about local sustainable seafood initiatives.

Much of the history in the area surrounds the military and former confederacy. Check out the USS North Carolina Battleship that's docked there, as well as the Cape Fear Museum, the oldest museum in the state. But don't worry—this is no stuffy, uptight town. For proof, check out the Brooklyn Arts District neighborhood.  

Slide 10 of 11: For a city in eastern Washington that goes mostly un-discussed, Spokane has a lot of history and a lot of outdoors. It doesn't have access to the sea like Seattle, but otherwise, Spokane shares a lot of what people love about Emerald City. 

The Spokane River barrels through the middle of downtown, setting the tone for what matters most around here—nature. During the summer, river rafting is one of the main draws, with myriad companies offering day and overnight adventures.

Historically, Spokane carries a mix of pioneer, Native American, and modern appeal. Its Riverfront Park was the site of the 1974 World's Fair, and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture traces the city's roots back to a trading post.

Slide 11 of 11: Most people don't have Wisconsin on the travel brain, but the state does have some hidden gems, such as Door County and its capital, Madison. Located between two lakes, Mendota and Monona, and home to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, despite being a legislative seat, takes on a youthful, active energy that's hard to miss. 

In 2014, Madison was considered a top place to live thanks to its combination of outdoor opportunities, collegiate spirit, bicycle-friendly planning and "green" design, among other things, like a rocking craft beer scene. 

Winter can be tough in Madison, so plan to stop by in summer, when there's a long list of festivals and lake life is in full swing. 

 

Photo credits from Flickr:  Woody Hibbard; Eneko Bidegain; Ty Nigh; John; Prayitno; Patrick Nouhailler; Michele Singer; Ron Reiring; Richard Hurd

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/us-travel/10-small-american-cities-to-add-to-your-2020-travel-list/ss-BBYoq92?ocid=spartanntp

20 Best City Breaks in the World

 

You say you need a break ?  It’s the dead of winter here in Chicago, and, yes I could use a break !  Somewhere far away to a city that’s a treat to the senses.  Fortunately, Travel Den has 20 city destinations for you to consider.

Paris, France

Craving a romantic getaway? Paris is the perfect place. The City of Lights remains one of the most popular destinations on the planet — with millions of international visitors flooding into France each year. With so much to see and do on the banks of the River Seine, it’s no great surprise that tourism continues to boom here.

It can be busy, but with tourists spoiled for choice in this iconic city, it is still possible to beat the crowds and take things at your own pace. The most popular spots include The Louvre — the most visited art museum on Earth — as well Notre Dame (?), the Champs-Elysees and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. But Paris is perhaps best experienced from a quiet café on the Left Bank. Head here for coffee and croissants, before strolling the city’s grand boulevards en route to Montmartre, where the artists await and the bistros beckon.

Venice, Italy

There’s nowhere on Earth quite like Venice. Located in a shimmering lagoon in the attractive Adriatic, and built upon 118 small islands, there’s no question that this Italian gem is a unique place. It’s also popular — the streets teeming with tourists and the major spots often crowded. Planning a visit? It is possible to beat the hustle and the bustle and the cruise ship hordes. Like to see the sights? Take our advice and head out early.

St Mark’s Square — home to the famous Basilica and Campanile — demands a visit, as does the Grand Canal, that serves as the city’s main thoroughfare. Look out for the Rialto Bridge, before retreating to the backwaters as the crowds begin to build. Lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces and abodes, there are some hidden treasures to be discovered just off the beaten track. Interesting, attractive and forever unique, this is a destination that must not be missed.

Well that’s two cities.  Eighteen more to go.  Will your next adventure await your click on the link below ?

https://www.travelden.co.uk/20-best-city-breaks-in-the-world?pp=1

10 of the best Art Deco landmarks in London

Visiting London this year ?  If you are a fan of art deco, these landmarks are a must visit. They don’t build them like this anymore.  A feast for a photographer, or a tourist.  Enjoy !

 

By Andrea Cambaro

Art Deco left visible signs in London’s urban landscape during the 1920s and 1930s. Many landmarks are still scattered across the city, conveying a modernist and exhuberant approach to architecture.

Debuted at the grand Paris exhibition of 1925, the Art Deco movement flourished in Europe and the US until World War II. It was a bold and eclectic wave of decorative styles which influenced both design and architecture, promoting exuberant shapes and geometric motifs, bright colours and Ancient Egyptian revival. In London, that period of modernist enthusiasm is often associated with lidos and cinemas, factories and institutional buildings. Both famous and lesser-known landmarks can be included in an Art Deco tour of the UK capital.

Senate House

This imposing 19-storey building was commissioned in 1932 to provide a new home to the University of London. It remained an unfinished project due to the start of World War II, but even so, it defines the architecture of Bloomsbury to this day. Designed by Charles Holden, its austere exterior style falls somewhere between traditionalism and modernism, while the interiors feature typically Art Deco marble elements and decorations. Senate House inspired George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in his best-known novel ‘1984’.

Senate House, Malet St, WC1E 7HU

Carreras Cigarette Factory

Ancient Egyptian Revival is a recurring theme of Art Deco architecture, and the Carreras Cigarette Factory is one of the most striking examples in London. A bright colonnade, the cat motifs above it, and two black cats guarding the entrance are only some of the Egyptian features found on the facade. The original project also included a solar disc to the Sun-god Ra, covered during the war because of its resemblance to the symbolism of the Third Reich. Turned into offices in 1961, the building lost many of its original details and decorations, some of which were replaced during an extensive renovation in the late 1990s.

Hampstead Rd, NW1 7DF

RIBA

Not far from Regent’s Park, 66 Portland Place is home to the Royal Institute of British Architects. It has served this purpose since opening in 1934, when it was inaugurated by King George V and Queen Mary. The bas-relief figure above the entrance is titled ‘Architectural Aspiration’, while five more figures decorate the facade on Weymouth Street. Architecture is also celebrated by two more sculptures depicting a man and a woman as creative forces. The interiors feature wide floor-to-ceiling windows, bright spaces, marble, carvings and other decorations. To have a look around, the RIBA library and cafe are open to the public.

66 Portland Pl, W1B 1AD

Daimler Car Hire Garage

The Daimler Hire was a company that hired out chauffeur-driven luxury cars. It had its headquarters at 7 Herbrand Street, a four-storey concrete building with a distinctive horizontal motif contrasted only by a narrow tall window in its central section. To the right is the iconic spiralling ramp that best defines this building, and which served as the main entrance. Particularly remarkable are the continuous windows following the shape of the ramp. The Daimler Hire Car Garage was designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, who were also responsible for the Alaska Factory described below.

7 Herbrand St, WC1N 1AF

Alaska Factory

Dating back to 1869, this former sealskin factory is a curious throwback to Bermondsey’s industrial days. All that remains of the original building is a stone arch decorated with a relief of a seal, while the Art Deco tower standing at the back was added during the 1930s. Unlike much of Bermondsey, the factory survived World War II thanks, in part, to an unexploded bomb, but closed in the 1960s due to the declining popularity of fur coats. The building has been converted into apartments, and the elegant red letters ‘Alaska’ on its facade still command attention from passersby on Grange Road.

61 Grange Rd, SE1 3BA

Palladium House

Also known as Ideal House, this seven-storey office block was erected in 1928-29 as the London headquarters of the National Radiator Company. Ancient Egypt-inspired detailing and polished black granite are the first features to be noticed while looking at the facade, but the building wouldn’t look as chic without the gold and green decorations on the upper floors. Palladium House was declared a Grade II-listed building in 1981, and today it hosts private flats as well as a restaurant on the ground floor.

1-4 Argyll St, W1F 7LD

The Daily Express Building

Once home to the British press, Fleet Street is also famous for its iconic buildings and architecture. The most striking of all is n°120, which housed the Daily Express until 1989. Its black facade features vitriolite and chromium panels, and distinctive rounded corners. An oval staircase and a remarkable pendant lamp stand out in the lobby, which is pure Art Deco joy in the form of plaster reliefs and silver decorations. Founded in 1930, the Daily Express Building remains the most futuristic architecture on Fleet Street.

2be, 120 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BE (closed to the public but may open during Open House London every September)

Broadcasting House

This nine-storey building has been the headquarters to the BBC since opening in 1932. The impressive curved facade is its most defining feature, made of Portland stone and topped by a large clock. Above the entrance, a statue depicts ‘Prospero and Ariel’ from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, while ‘Ariel between Wisdom and Gaiety’ is the theme of another bas-relief to the side of the building. The Art Deco interior was designed by Australian-Irish architect Raymond McGrath. Today, Broadcasting House also comprises a glass-panelled wing completed in 2005 as part of an extensive refurbishment.

Portland Place, W1A 1AA

The Coronet

Cheap drinks are the only good reason one needs to visit a Wetherspoons pub. The patterned carpets are soaked in years of passing feet and beer spills, but it wasn’t always that way at The Coronet on Holloway Road. Originally known as the Savoy, this was one of  many cinemas lining this street. But as larger televisions and home cinema units became more affordable, many cinemas, including the Savoy, were forced out of business. It held its last screening in 1983, and briefly turned into a snooker club before falling into disuse. The pub chain restored part of its former glory, making it the booze palace it is today.

338-346 Holloway Rd, N7 6NJ

Brockwell Lido

The 1930s were the golden age of British lidos, and their design was often influenced by the Art Deco aesthetic and modernist architecture. Brockwell Lido is one of the best examples surviving to this day. Its Olympic-sized swimming pool is circled by elegant, horizontal architecture. Located in Herne Hill, South London, the lido opened in 1937 and closed in 1990 due to cost-cutting plans by the council. It re-opened only four years later thanks to a local campaign, and today it’s still a very popular summer spot.

Brockwell Park, Dulwich Rd, SE24 0PA

 

https://www.travelmag.com/articles/art-deco-landmarks-in-london/

Cycling Ayutthaya, A Tale of Two Cities

Article by Paul Stafford for TravelMag

Tourists ride on elephants in front of Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit (Photo: Paul Stafford for TravelMag)

Siam’s former capital city still holds plenty of glimpses of its former spiritual and political glory. But to get those glimpses, it’s necessary to navigate the trappings of modern, urban Thailand.

There are two versions of Ayutthaya, and they couldn’t be more opposed. One is hardly distinguishable from some of the more suburban stretches of Bangkok, the Thai capital two hours by train to the south. Busy roads clamour with traffic; the shrill wails of barge whistles sound out as cargo is pulled along the Chao Phraya river, or one of the many other waterways that circumvent and enclose the main city; and swarms of wires slalom from one overloaded pylon to the next, while daily life somehow finds a way through the sultry heat and smog.

It was this Ayutthaya to which I was introduced outside the city’s train station late one evening. It was this city that kept me awake most of my first night, tossing and turning in sweat-drenched sheets, or startled awake whenever I was fortunate enough to drift off. It was these roads that seemed certain to pose major challenges to me, as I tried in vain to find what I’d been assured was a safe cycle route around the old city the next day. But then, ‘safe’ is a relative term.

As I pedalled along, dodging tuk-tuks packed with tourists, whose very existence seemed proof that it was possible to explore the city without sweating profusely, I caught a glimpse of the other Ayutthaya. Well more accurately, it was an Asian openbill stork that first caught my attention, with its thick beak seeming too cumbersome for its dusty frame. The stork was perched atop a weather-beaten structure that formed a shape somewhat like an upturned ice cream cone, with a much thicker, derelict column behind it, built of red bricks. This was not the chaotic, modern Ayutthaya; it was a glimpse into the past, of the Ayutthaya Kingdom’s (a Siamese empire) former capital city.

Buddha statue at Wat Mahathat (Photo: Paul Stafford for TravelMag)

 

To read more of Paul Stafford’s article, Click on the link below.

https://www.travelmag.com/articles/ayutthaya-a-tale-of-two-cities/

Sanibel Island FL – The World’s Best Shelling Beaches

By Beach Bliss Living

Sanibel Island Shells on the Beach

 

I think it’s safe to say, Sanibel Island, FL, has the world’s best shelling beaches. There are a few other shell beaches that make the top list, such as the one on St. Bart (Caribbean) and at Shark Bay (Australia), but none come close to Sanibel’s variety of shells. So let’s shellebrate Sanibel, a lush shell hunting paradise where waves and currents funnel hundreds of species of shells right onto the beaches!  Photo by Anne McKinnell.

 

 
Sanibel Shell Museum

 

Sanibel island has 15 miles of beaches, 22 miles of bike paths, abundant wildlife and the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the country. So there’s more to Sanibel island than just shells! Well, not technically. The island is actually made of shells.

Sanibel fishing pier and lighthouse beach, is one of the six public beaches on the island. You can bike to this beach on the Periwinkle pathway. Lighthouse beach, along with Blind Pass (between Sanibel and Captiva) are the two top destinations for shelling.

And here are some Sanibel shelling facts and tips you want to know:

  • The east-west torque of Sanibel’s south end acts like a shovel scooping up all the seashells travelling from the Caribbean and other southern seas.
  • The types of shells on the beaches can vary according to the time of year.
  • Seashells are important to the island’s chain of life and it is against the law to collect live shells, same is true for neighboring Captiva island.
  • The best shelling is during the winter, at low tide, preferably after a storm.
  • Up to 30,000 visitors come to Sanibel and its neighbor island Captiva each week at peak season (December to April).
  • While on the hunt for shells, chances are that you will see dolphins and manatees.
  • Sanibel island has an annual Shell Fair and Show that is held every March.
  • Since Sanibel is made out of shells, created by nature over thousands of years, when locals dig in the backyard they often find perfectly intact conchs, whelks, scallops and clam shells.

 

Much, much more to see and read at the author’s web site:

https://beachblissliving.com/sanibel-island-worlds-best-shelling-beaches/

Best Cruise-Line Private Islands in the Caribbean

Looking to REALLY get away.  How about to a private island ?  One catch, you have to take a cruise to get there.  Read about the best islands to cruise to in this article by Lissa Poirot of Far and wide.com  Then start packing your bikini !

 

Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas may be “just” 268 acres, but Norwegian Cruise makes up for its relatively small stature with style.

Forget the barbecue lunches the other islands provide. On Great Stirrup there is a beach grill, taco bar and Caribbean-fare food truck, along with Bacardi, Patron and Bertram’s bars. When not dining, guests enjoy immaculate and groomed white-sand beaches.

Sample review: “WOW, is all I can say about GSC the Norwegian Cruise Line private island. We had a private villa for the day with its own AC, TV, bathroom with shower, butler service and living room. We had a front porch with lounge chairs and lounge chairs on the beach. There was a champagne bar and all the food you could eat. The beach was so beautiful. We can’t wait to go back.” – cathy s

 

I’m just going to show you one of the best.  Fear not.  Click below to see the whole article and the rest of the best.

https://www.farandwide.com/s/best-cruise-private-islands-9c628c6c13d84396

 

 

Best Hikes in New Zealand

Need something to do this holiday period ?  Those living in the Southern Hemisphere have 26 best day and 2 day hikes right in your neighborhood in New Zealand.  Check out this hiking guide from moonhoneytravel.com

 

26 Best Hikes in New Zealand - find out where to hike in the North Island and the South Island

The best way to experience New Zealand is with your own two feet. New Zealand is a hiker’s paradise. During our three months traveling in NZ, we sought out the best trails and hiked as much as possible. We’ve assembled our favorite hiking trails below for both the North and South Islands. You’ll find a range of short and long day hikes as well as 2-day hikes. We’ve also included trails we didn’t experience due to poor weather, or lack of proper equipment (basically our wishlist for our next trip). So, if you’re asking “where should I hike in New Zealand,” or “what are the best backcountry hut hikes,” keep reading because we’ve got you covered.

26 Best Hikes in New Zealand Overview

  1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing, North Island
  2. Mount Ruapehu’s Crater Lake, North Island
  3. Taranaki Falls, North Island
  4. Tama Lakes, North Island
  5. Mangorei Track to Pouakai Range, North Island
  6. Wilkies Pool and Dawson Falls Loop, North Island
  7. Cape Kidnappers Gannet Reserve, North Island
  8. Pinnacles Track, North Island
  9. St. Arnaud Range Track, South Island
  10. Robert Ridge Trail to Angelus Hut, South Island
  11. Sealy Tarns Track, South Island
  12. Mueller Hut, South Island
  13. Hooker Valley, South Island
  14. Roys Peak, South Island
  15. Isthmus Peak, South Island
  16. Ben Lomond, South Island
  17. Tiki Trail to Skyline Complex, South Island
  18. Lake Alta, South Island
  19. Lookout, The Remarkables, South Island
  20. Routeburn Track to Routeburn Falls, South Island
  21. Routeburn Track to Harris Saddle, South Island
  22. Mount Aspiring Hut, South Island
  23. French Ridge Hut, South Island
  24. Rob Roy Glacier, South Island
  25. Key Summit, South Island
  26. Avalanche Peak, South Island

Click on this link to find location and particulars of each hike, and much more.

https://www.moonhoneytravel.com/new-zealand/hiking-guide/

Ice Castles in the U.S.

Yesterday, I posted an article about an Ice Castle being built in Lake Geneva, Wis.  I thought today I would post another article on all 5 USA locations as there could be one near you to visit.  So here there are:

Ice-Castles-in-the-U.S

A company called the Ice Castle Project sets up ice castles all over North America, in places where the climate is suitable for ice.

Sorry, Florida!

As soon as winter approaches, they start a drip system to create the ice castles, which are then carved into magical creations. Lights and music are added, creating a winter wonderland for visitors willing to brave the cold for a unique night out.

ice-castle2

The ice castles usually open after the holidays and continue to grow throughout the season as more ice is added and some daytime melting takes place. In 2018, they had five US locations and one in Edmonton, Canada.

  • Dillon, Colorado – located about 90 minutes from Denver near Dillon Reservoir, this is a great addition to your ski trip in Keystone, Breckenridge or Copper Mountain.
  • Excelsior, Minnesota – this Midwest ice castle is located about 30 minutes west of the Twin Cities, near the Minnetonka Lakes area.
  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – Two hours from Chicago or 90 minutes from Madison, Lake Geneva is all about winter fun. In addition to the Ice Castle, they have an annual Winterfest that includes the US National Snow Sculpting Competition.
  • Lincoln, New Hampshire – nestled in the White Mountains, the New Hampshire Ice Castle is less than 2 ½ hours from Portland, Burlington, and Boston.
  • Midway, Utah – not far from Park City, Deer Valley and Salt Lake City, the Utah ice castle is the perfect add-on for your Wasatch Mountains ski trip.

Amazed-at-the-ice-castle

Photo Credit: AJ Mellor

Tips for Visiting Ice Castles

If you haven’t visited ice castles before, these tips will help you have a good time!

  • Warm Boots are a must. Make sure you have warm snow boots with good traction and warm socks underneath.
  • Insulated gloves will help keep your hands warm, which is key if you want to crawl through some of the tunnels and slides.
  • Wear warm layers that you can easily add and remove. Most ice castles sell hot drinks and many have a fire pit where you can warm up, so having good layers for you and your kids will keep everyone comfortable!
  • Tuck a Hot Hands hand warmers to your gloves or boots to help keep the cold to a minimum.
  • Waterproof pants are best if you plan to be crawling around through tunnels or going down any slides at the castles.
  • Use the toilet before you get all bundled up. Most ice castles are built at temporary, outdoor areas, so you’ll be using a frozen porta-potty if you have to go!
  • Try to arrive before sunset so you can experience the ice castle in daylight and when it is lit up for the evening.
  • Pack a thermos of hot chocolate for the drive home.

walking-inside-an-ice-castle

Photo Credit: AJ Mellor

Article by Tonya Prater

https://travelinspiredliving.com/ice-castles/