United States – Big 7 Travel https://bigseventravel.com Explore with Big 7 Travel Mon, 20 Dec 2021 17:37:54 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 https://bigseventravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cropped-DBAC480E-1159-4EED-A6C6-3E72E36E7159-36x36.png United States – Big 7 Travel https://bigseventravel.com 32 32 7 of the Best Walks in Denver https://bigseventravel.com/best-walks-in-denver/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 17:37:54 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=116230 While Denver may be gaining a reputation for its burgeoning food, nightlife and art scene, it’s still best-known for its Rocky Mountain views and Red Rocks. Looking to burn off some calories after dinner at Tavernetta or drinking your body weight at Williams & Graham? From hidden hot springs to Alpine lakes, here are some […]

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While Denver may be gaining a reputation for its burgeoning food, nightlife and art scene, it’s still best-known for its Rocky Mountain views and Red Rocks. Looking to burn off some calories after dinner at Tavernetta or drinking your body weight at Williams & Graham? From hidden hot springs to Alpine lakes, here are some of the best walks in Denver.

The most scenic walks in Denver

1. Bear Creek Trail

Locals refer to the Bear Creek Trail as ‘a taste of the country in the city’. This roughly eight-mile trail winds from South Platte River to Bear Creek Lake National Park, passing through Denver and Lakewood along the way. It’s an easy and leisurely stroll along a paved multi-purpose trail also used by cyclists and joggers. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of sparkling photo opportunities though; the path means through Cottonwood Park with views of Denver’s skyline to the east and the mountains to the west.

best walks in Denver

2. Red Rocks Trading Post Trail

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is one of the state’s best-known music venues. The all-natural amphitheatre features towering rocks reaching heights of up to 300 ft tall to amplify the sound. It’s hosted concerts and events for over five decades, with everyone from the Beatles to Daft Punk having taken to the stage. Red Rocks isn’t just for music buffs though, with dozens of trails encircling the venue.

The Trading Post Trail is one of the shortest and easiest hikes – a 1.4-mile route through striking rock formations, valleys and natural meadows. The Funicular Trail is just as short but very steep, while the Mt. Vernon Creek Trail offers sweeping views of the amphitheatre itself.

best walks in Denver

3. Deer Creek Canyon Park

For the most dramatic views, you’ll need to head out of the city to the canyons. Deer Creek Canyon is less than 30 miles from the city centre and easily accessible by car and public transport. The 2.7 mile (4.3 km) loop is relatively easy too, with gently undulating slopes and a few rock scrambles. Kids will love it and you can bring oldies along too.

Start the walk on the Meadowlark Trail and then join the Plymouth Creek Trail for the best views.

4. City Park Loop

If you want a good walk without leaving the city, head to City Park. Denver’s largest park encompasses the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Natura and Science and the IMAX, as well as tennis courts, baseball fields and horseshoes. The City Park Perimeter Loop is just shy of four miles (6.1 km) and meanders past two picturesque lakes and at least a dozen-or-so historical monuments. You can bring your dog along for the ride too, but you’ll need to keep them on a leash.

City Park also boasts spectacular views of the city skyline and sunset. Head to the viewing deck for the best Insta opportunities.

best walks in Denver

5. North Table Mountain

It’s only a 25-minute drive from Denver to the aptly-named town of Golden, where this trail begins. In this former gold rush town, you’ll get some of the best views of Colorada, with plenty to explore too including the Coors Brewery and Buffalo Bill’s Grave. When you’ve finished up sightseeing, you’ll hike the North Table Mountain which was formed almost 60 million years ago.

From Golden, you can take the North Table Loop Trail which involved moderately steep climbs for panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. There’s abundant wildlife to see along the way, such as golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and prairie dogs. It’s particularly pretty in the spring and early summer when the wildflowers are out in full force.

6. Eldorado Canyon Trail

Also under 30 minutes drive from the heart of Denver, this 6.5 mile (10.4 km) takes an average of around four hours to complete. The trail slices through the Eldorado Canyon State Park, which is popular with rock climbers thanks to its 500 plus technical climbing routes. You don’t need to be an adrenalin junkie to enjoy hikes here though. There’s an accessible and moderately-easy route from the visitor centre car park that follows spectacular canyon views and a picturesque waterfall en-route. The path intersects with the Walker Ranch Loop Trail, where you can turn back.

7. St. Mary’s Glacier

It’s a short but hellishly steep trail, but it’s worth the thigh burn for those views. Contrary to what its name suggested, there’s isn’t actually a glacier here but there is a semi-permanent snowfield here which is often confused for one. You’ll get to enjoy snow-capped summit views even in the blistering heat of summer. To reach the trail, follow the signposts to St. Mary’s Trail from Fall River Road. St. Mary’s Lake is around half a mile from this point. After stopping in possibly one of the state’s most picturesque picnicking spots, you can continue along the trail to the glacier, then simply turn back around when you’re ready. You can hike the route all year round but the best time to visit is between April and October.

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7 Best Rooftop Restaurants in NYC https://bigseventravel.com/7-best-rooftop-restaurants-in-nyc/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 10:52:13 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=116179 Across the five boroughs of New York City – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island – rooftop spaces have been transformed into sky-high restaurants with delicious food served with breathtaking views. So, if you are looking to enjoy creative cuisine up in the clouds whilst surrounded by skyscrapers and the shimmering skyline, here […]

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Across the five boroughs of New York City – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island – rooftop spaces have been transformed into sky-high restaurants with delicious food served with breathtaking views. So, if you are looking to enjoy creative cuisine up in the clouds whilst surrounded by skyscrapers and the shimmering skyline, here are some of the best rooftop restaurants in NYC.

7 Best Rooftop Restaurants in NYC

1. Luce NYC, Staten Island

Luce NYC is an elegant Italian restaurant three storeys above the South Shore Commons shopping complex in Charleston, Staten Island. It has a gorgeous indoor dining space and heated outdoor terrace with views that take in Outerbridge Crossing and Atlantic Highlands. The rooftop restaurant serves up modern Italian cuisine, for instance, salumi including imported 14-month aged prosciutto di parma. On the menu, you’ll also find fresh seafood, pasta, risotto, polenta and meat dishes. As you would expect, the wine list features an extensive selection of Italian bottles.

best rooftop restaurants NYC

2. Luna Asian Bistro and Japanese Rooftop Restaurant, Queens

Located six floors up on Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, this Japanese fusion restaurant serves up sushi, Asian fusion fare and drinks in its modern dining room or out on the rooftop patio. The city views are lovely and the place has a nice relaxing, casual vibe. The menu at Luna Asian Bistro and Lounge features lots of choices of meats, seafood and vegetables. When you order, you can watch the chef create your dish right before your eyes.

best rooftop restaurants NYC

3. Zona de Cuba, the Bronx

For a slice of Cuba in the Bronx, head to Zona de Cuba rooftop restaurant and bar. It is a lively, colourful place for Cuban-inspired cuisine where you really do feel like you are on holiday, especially when the salsa band starts to play and the dancefloor fills up. Brunch is very popular here and a good time is guaranteed but you can also make reservations for dinner and enjoy the good food as the borough shimmers below through the palm trees on the terrace.

4. Ainslie, Brooklyn

Ainslie on Ainslie Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is located in an old warehouse that dates back all the way to the 1870s. This multi-level Italian restaurant has an expansive sidewalk patio and a 1,000-square-foot rooftop. The Michelin Guide recommended restaurant has a fabulous wood-burning oven that churns out delectable pizzas and baked dishes. Though this rooftop doesn’t have sweeping skyline views of other rooftop spaces, it more than makes up for it with its fantastic food, drinks, atmosphere and beautiful interior design.

best rooftop restaurants NYC

5. Harriet’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge, Brooklyn

Harriet’s Rooftop Bar and Lounge is perched on top of the tenth floor of the uber-cool 1 Hotel Brooklyn. The seasonal open-air restaurant has panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. The menu features dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients from local Brooklyn purveyors as well as farmers from New Jersey, New York and Ohio. Meat and fish are ethically sourced too. Try the Brooklyn Bison Burger or the Lobster Bao and make sure you ask for the Mochidoki. This Japanese-inspired delicacy is made with locally crafted ice cream wrapped in sweet rice dough. It is delicious.

best rooftop restaurants NYC

6. SERRA by Birreria, Manhattan

Perched on the 14th floor above the Italian supermarket Eataly in the Flatiron District, SERRA by Birreria is a picturesque rooftop restaurant where you can enjoy flavoursome Italian cuisine, house-brewed ales and wonderful wines. It feels like you are eating in a blooming greenhouse in the middle of Manhattan. It is stunning! Both the interior design and the menus are seasonal and take inspiration from the Italian countryside, so they change regularly. There will therefore always be something new to eat, drink and admire on each visit. The cocktail menu is also seasonal and bartenders make drinks with plants and flowers and infuse them with botanicals. This is the perfect place to escape to the country without leaving New York City.

7. Cantina Rooftop, Manhattan

You’ll find the Cantina Rooftop restaurant on top of the Stage 48-building in Hell’s Kitchen in Midtown West Manhattan. This all-weather, year-round rooftop is fun and funky and features a menu of authentic Mexican food and speciality drinks with modern twists. The restaurant is open for weekend brunch, which is very popular, as well as dinner. The large, spacious terrace is colourful and full of greenery giving it totally tropical vibes and there is a climate-controlled retractable glass roof. Therefore, this is the perfect rooftop to visit in NYC come rain or come shine.

best rooftop restaurants NYC

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7 Best Hotel Rooftops in Williamsburg https://bigseventravel.com/best-hotel-rooftops-williamsburg/ https://bigseventravel.com/best-hotel-rooftops-williamsburg/#respond Mon, 20 Dec 2021 09:00:22 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=116171 Looking for somewhere to stay in Brooklyn that has a great rooftop space? We’ve got you covered. Our list of the best hotel rooftops in Williamsburg features places with great bars, restaurants and pools with some of the most spectacular views in the whole of New York. 7 Best Hotel Rooftops in Williamsburg 1. William […]

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Looking for somewhere to stay in Brooklyn that has a great rooftop space? We’ve got you covered. Our list of the best hotel rooftops in Williamsburg features places with great bars, restaurants and pools with some of the most spectacular views in the whole of New York.

7 Best Hotel Rooftops in Williamsburg

1. William Vale Hotel

The William Vale Hotel has a unique rooftop bar as well as NYC’s longest outdoor pool – it’s 60 feet long. Perched 22 storeys above ground level, the views are spectacular with sparkling vistas over the East River and almost 360-degree panoramas of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Here for the pool? You can rent a daybed or private poolside cabana and enjoy a delicious range of artisan cocktails from the all-day poolside bar. At night, you can head up to the cool Westlight NYC rooftop bar where you can cosy up on the low-slung sofas, either inside or out and sip some of the creative cocktails on the menu. We love the sound of the refreshing Spring Fling, which they make with cachaça, St. Germain, vodka, and lime. There’s also a wonderful wine list and you can pair drinks with fancy light bites and nibbles, which are fantastically fresh and flavoursome.

westlight NYC

2. The Williamsburg Hotel

The Williamsburg Hotel rooftop has a beautifully set swimming pool as well as a unique bar. The long pool is surrounded by stripy sun loungers, cabanas and sofas, where you can get cosy and spend the day relaxing and topping up your tan and sipping refreshing drinks from the poolside bar. At weekends, live DJs play and set the mood but for those looking to chill out, there are rooftop yoga classes too. Overlooking the pool is the Williamsburg Hotel’s rooftop bar which is housed in a custom made water tower. One of the most unique and exclusive settings for drinks in the whole of Billyburg, as you sip expensive, creative cocktails you can enjoy sweeping views of the Manhatten skyline.

best rooftop bars williamsburg

3. Wythe Hotel

Perched on the top of Wythe Hotel, Bar Blondeauis a sophisticated French bistro-inspired rooftop restaurant and wine bar. It’s all about the natural wines and good food here. Get comfortable in one of the green velvet banquettes and snack on mussel toast and oysters, and take in some great views of the Manhattan skyline. Head outside on to the large terrace to enjoy the sparkling views of the city skyline which are especially lovely at sunset.

best hotel rooftops williamsburg

4. The Hoxton Hotel

The Hoxton Hotel’s rooftop bar is the perfect spot to have a few drinks above NYC all year round. Opening up on the rooftop in early 2022 is an Israeli skewer house brought to you by Chef Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook. This means you can enjoy meat skewers cooked over charcoal flames whilst the uninterrupted views of the Manhattan skyline enthral you. In the cooler months, heaters and blankets keep you warm and toasty so you can stay out longer.

5. McCarren Hotel

The McCarren Hotel is located in Williamsburg overlooking McCarren Park. The rooftop of this hotel has a cool bar and pool. Talk Story is the name of the open-air tropical cocktail bar. It has incredible skyline views and serves up tropical cocktails and island fare. It is an oasis in the city. The drinks menu features reinspired classics and custom creations, for instance, mezcal, mango shrub, ginger, and mint; vodka, pickled peach, and lemon; rum, toasted coconut, pineapple and pandan. The food menu features the vibrant flavours of South East Asia, South America, the Caribbean. As for the pool? Well, this is one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in New York City.

best hotel rooftops williamsburg

6. Hotel Indigo Williamsburg

The Hotel Indigo is located on Metropolitan Avenue. It has a seasonal rooftop with a pool, open-air sun deck and a fully stocked bar and grill. Here you can enjoy poolside appetizers and refreshing cocktails whilst taking in the views, which include Brooklyn and the historic Manhattan skyline across the East River. When the heat of the summer gets too much, you can move inside to the elegant bar and lounge area and cool down with a refreshing drink.

best hotel rooftops williamsburg

7. Top of the Box

Ok, so this hotel rooftop isn’t in Williamsburg, but it is nearby in the vibrant neighbourhood of Greenpoint. The rooftop bar on top of The Box Hotel is designed for any weather thanks to its fully retractable roof. The trendy space has a beautiful wrap-around marble bar. From here, you can order a wide variety of drinks and a selection of small, sharing plates and desserts. The Top of the Box rooftop bar has panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City. You can admire these panoramas through huge windows. This is a great place for weekend brunch. On Friday and Saturday nights top DJs play to get the crowd moving and the party started.

best hotel rooftops williamsburg

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7 Best Rooftop Bars in Times Square https://bigseventravel.com/best-rooftop-bars-times-square/ https://bigseventravel.com/best-rooftop-bars-times-square/#respond Sun, 19 Dec 2021 23:26:54 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=116165 Cool cocktails served with a side order of breathtaking views, that’s exactly what you get when you visit one of the epic rooftop bars in iconic Times Square in Midtown Manhattan in NYC. If you are in the Big Apple and want to sip cocktails in the clouds and do shots amongst the skyscrapers, look […]

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Cool cocktails served with a side order of breathtaking views, that’s exactly what you get when you visit one of the epic rooftop bars in iconic Times Square in Midtown Manhattan in NYC. If you are in the Big Apple and want to sip cocktails in the clouds and do shots amongst the skyscrapers, look no further. Our compilation covers everything from elegant hotel bars to casual lounges. Ready for drinks with altitude? Here are some of the best rooftop bars in Times Square.

7 Best Rooftop Bars in Times Square

1. Castell NYC

Castell NYC is an elegant and sophisticated bar on the rooftop of the AC Hotel in Times Square. The rooftop channels the classic cocktail bars of the olden days and the drink’s menu is big on martinis. Castell feels exclusive and intimate, especially the fireplace lounge with its wonderful abstract artwork. The lush terrace with its breathtaking Midtown Manhattan views really does set the scene for an unforgettable experience. The place is particularly picturesque at nighttime with its ambient lighting and the shimmering skyscrapers surrounding you.

Castell best rooftop bars NYC

2. Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge

Magic Hour is a rooftop cocktail bar on top of the Moxy Hotel Times Square. It is a whimsical venue with an amusement park theme, including mini-golf. It’s a great place for a fun night out with sky-high views of the city. There are two separate outdoor areas: the east side, overlooks the Empire State Building and the west side has a rotating seating area. It’s a great place from where you can soak up the buzz of Times Square from above. Drinks are modern with fun names and ingredients like the “Float My Boat” with caramelized pineapple, tequila and jalapeño. However, if day drinking is more your scene, the weekend brunch is a memorable experience. Apart from brunch, there are bar snacks and party nibbles like fried “carnival potatoes”  and beet deviled eggs.

best rooftop bars manhattan

3. cloudM New York Times Square

cloudM rooftop bar on the 17th floor of the citizenM New York Times Square Hotel is an urban oasis with an indoor and outdoor terrace with jaw-dropping views. Located right in the heart of Times Square in Manhatten, the altitude and the attitude are enough to make anyone giddy. You really do feel like you are drinking in the clouds away from the crowds. The menu features select spirits, beers, wines and mocktails as well as an extensive cocktail list with creative signature drinks. Food is a lovely selection of light bites with playful twists on comforting classics.

best rooftop bars times square

4. Bar 54 at Hyatt Centric Times Square

Perched right above the bright lights of Times Square, Bar 54 is set on top of the Hyatt Centric Hotel. At 54 floors up, this is New York City’s highest open-air hotel rooftop bar. The river-to-river views are just stunning.  There is an indoor bar and lounge and an expansive outdoor terrace, where you can sip creative cocktails, craft beers on draft and a decent selection of wines. You can also order small bites to pair with your drink. The daytime vibe here is very relaxed and at night there is a more lively atmosphere.

best rooftop bars times square

5. St. Cloud Rooftop at Knickerbocker Hotel

Located on top of the five-star Knickerbocker Hotel, the St. Cloud Rooftop has epic views of Times Square. However, in contrast to the chaos of the city below, the rooftop bar is an oasis of calm and a relaxed and comfortable space from where you can enjoy the sights. There is an indoor bar as well as an outside terrace and you can order delicious drinks from the extensive menu including signature cocktails and bottled craft beers. There is also an upscale, seasonally focused small plates menu.

6. Haven Rooftop at Sanctuary Hotel

Situated up in the clouds on top of the Sanctuary Hotel, the Haven Rooftop really does live up to its name. You feel far away from all the hustle and bustle of Times Square below whilst relaxing in the year-round city oasis. The space has lots of different areas and cool cabanas if you are looking for a bit more privacy. This rooftop restaurant and bar feature an innovative cocktail menu, many of which are made with fresh juices and garnishes and there is a French-inspired menu that includes dishes such as the Tuna Tower (sesame dressed tuna tartare with wontons) and Salad Nicoise.

best rooftop bars times square

7. Cloud Social Rooftop Bar

Cloud Social is a fun and welcoming rooftop bar located on top of nyma, The New York Manhattan Hotel in Midtown. Those not exactly in Times Square, it is still close at just 15 minutes walk away. One of the big draws of this Midtown rooftop bar is its casual and friendly atmosphere and its good mix of locals and tourists. Come for happy hour to enjoy great value food and drinks as well as the cityscape views that include the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. The menus feature a hand-crafted list of delicious cocktails and spirits which you can pair with classic bar snacks and great pizza.

cloud social

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The 25 Most Festive Towns in the United States https://bigseventravel.com/festive-towns-usa/ Fri, 17 Dec 2021 17:01:39 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=116133 The most joyful time of the year is around the corner and whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland, complete with snow-capped mountains and quaint town settings, or the exciting buzz of a big metropolis, complete with glistening ice rinks and towering Christmas trees dominating bustling urban plazas, there’s no shortage of spectacular locations across […]

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The most joyful time of the year is around the corner and whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland, complete with snow-capped mountains and quaint town settings, or the exciting buzz of a big metropolis, complete with glistening ice rinks and towering Christmas trees dominating bustling urban plazas, there’s no shortage of spectacular locations across the United States to spend your holidays at. Want spectacular Christmas light displays, holiday decorations, craft fairs, and other festive activities? These places are ideal for families, as well as solo travellers and couples looking for a romantic getaway! So put on your favourite Christmas tunes, wear your fluffiest socks, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and read on to discover the 25 most festive towns in the USA!

Most festive towns in the USA

1st. Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus, Indiana bills itself as “America’s Christmas Hometown”. Although it might seem hard to believe, this is a genuine location that happens to breathe Christmas every day of the year. The local postmaster began promoting the town in the late 1920s, and soon, hundreds of children’s letters to Santa began to flood in from all over the country. A must-see attraction here is Santa’s Land of Lights. It’s an annual Christmas light show that is 1.2 miles long and has a sugar castle offering nostalgic, hard-to-find delicacies.

2nd. Greenville, South Carolina

When it comes to spectacular Christmas attractions, Greenville is hard to beat. Children throng the streets to see Santa’s sleigh (an old Ford Aerostar that’s been turned into a sleigh) as it rides down Main Street every year. The Christmas Essentials Market also allows you to do all of your holiday shopping in one location (and avoid the crowds at the mall!). The streets are lined with twinkling lights and there’s an outdoor small rink on Main Street, a competition called the “Festival of Trees,” tree lighting ceremonies, and more. It’s almost surreal!

3rd. Williamsburg, Virginia

Why not spend your Christmas season in historic Williamsburg, Virginia? Holiday festivities abound, such as the historical exploration of 17th and 18th century Christmas practices, which is known as Christmastide. You may also go to the lighting of the Yorktown tree or visit Busch Gardens, which hosts a number of old-fashioned Christmas customs, such as torchlight carolling, throughout the city. You can also go to the “North Pole” and meet Santa Claus while you’re there. Children and adults alike will be mesmerised by Christmas Town’s eight million lights and peppermint fudge hot chocolate.

4th. Helen, Georgia

A Bavarian village in the Chattahoochee Valley may not be what you expect to find in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but Helen has built itself as an Alpine community. Wreaths and Christmas trees adorned by local artists go up for sale during the Festival of Trees. Children’s activities including Kinderfest, the Christkindlmarkt, and tree lighting take place in the town center in December. Make sure to take part in the Christmas parade. Tourists from all over the world rush to this hamlet to experience the magic of a German Christmas village.

5th. Berlin, Maryland

This quaint small historic town in Maryland has a tonne of Christmas spirit! You’ll fall in love with it right away. Berlin was named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Tourist in 2014 and has commendably preserved its historic architecture and Victorian beauty. One might get the impression that time has stood still while walking through Berlin Main Street. The town comes to life with festive lights and decorations during the Christmas season. There will be free Christmas carriage rides until December 23rd in Berlin at the intersection of Pitts and Main Street, so stop by on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm for a memorable holiday experience.

6th. Woodstock, Vermont

Visit the quaint Vermont village of Woodstock for a New England-style Christmas celebration. As though from a Christmas card, there’s a horse-and-buggy procession around a snow-covered town green. Carollers perform for the town’s residents, who then assemble to see the tree and Yule log be lit. Go for a stroll down the lovely Main Street, view the historic covered bridges on a wagon trip, or check out some exciting Victorian-era celebrations at the Billings Farm. This delightful New England spectacle will have you pinching yourself in amazement!

7th. Vail, Colorado

Going to Vail during the holidays is like having the white Christmas of your fantasies come true. Skiing on new snow. Spending time with friends and family around the fireplace. A fresh snow sleigh ride. And carolling, if the mood strikes. Promising powdery slopes, cobblestone alleys, and quaint hotels, there’s no place like Vail. At Christmastime, the town is decked up in lights, the mountains are beautiful, and the Kris Kringle Market is open for holiday shopping. The town comes alive with lights, noises, festivities, and Christmas enthusiasm, making it the ideal destination for a family celebration.

Image: Jack Affleck / Vail Resorts

8th. Dahlonega, Georgia

It’s like staring into a snow globe that came to life. Dahlonega is a jolly winter wonderland from the outside, with dazzling lights, horse-drawn carriages, and Santa Clauses wherever you look. Dahlonega begins its month-long holiday celebration the day after Thanksgiving, and it does it the only way it knows how… Loudly and proudly, whether it’s the tree lighting, vintage parade, or festive market on Candy Cane Lane. So it’s no surprise that Christmas in Homestead, a Hallmark Channel classic, was shot in Dahlonega a few years ago.

9th. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

This year, you can celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, a hamlet in Pennsylvania. It offers a “Christmas City Stroll” and horse-drawn carriage rides that are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. The Historic Moravian District is decked up in twinkling white lights, and there are special activities to get you in the holiday spirit. There are festive cocktail crawls, Santa’s Haus visits, and even a window decoration contest! You can take a walking tour with historical costumed interpreters who will take you through centuries of Bethlehem’s history, from its creation in 1741 to the city’s quirky Christmas customs.

10th. New York, New York

Even though New York City moves at a mile-a-minute speed throughout the year, things appear to slow down a little over the holidays, giving you a chance to get into the festive spirit. The highlight of the holiday season is Rockefeller Center’s 75-foot-tall Christmas tree, which is delightfully lit up with 30,000 lights. Walk along Fifth Avenue (ideally with a hot chocolate in hand) and take in the Macy’s window decorations to get a true feel for the New York City Christmas season. Ice skating in Central Park is a must-do for individuals with a competitive spirit, while Grand Central Terminal’s vendor craft festivals are fabulous. It’s a no-brainer.

11th. North Pole, Alaska

This little Alaskan hamlet, named after the abode of Father Christmas, more than lives up to its moniker. In fact, they have an event called Christmas in Ice, where ice sculpting artists from all around the globe display their coolest work. Throughout the year the village of North Pole in central Alaska transforms into a Christmas wonderland. It’s complete with Santa Claus House and the World’s Smallest Santa, who is just under 50 feet tall. Take a sleigh ride along Kris Kringle Drive while you’re there and touch some reindeer. Anyone who enjoys the holiday season should make a special trip to this location.

12th. Leavenworth, Washington

This Bavarian community always has an Alpine vacation vibe about it, no matter what time of year it is. During the wintry month of December, however, you’ll be greeted by harp music, exuberant carolling, sledding around the town’s tree, and even the town’s own reindeer farm! The Leavenworth Village of Lights, which features a stunning display of 500,000 twinkling lights, is a popular destination for visitors from out of town. You’ll also love the Christkindlmarkt, a traditional German street market where you can learn all about gluhwein, traditional German food, and handmade gifts.

Leavenworth

13th. Red Wing, Minnesota

Red Wing, Minnesota’s annual Holiday Stroll is a terrific way to get into the Christmas spirit. During the Holiday Stroll, Red Wing residents enjoy parades, cookie baking, a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, as well as reindeer sleigh rides, and a lot of music. People also place bids on some of the most ornate Christmas wreaths ever fashioned at the Festival of Wreaths. Among other festivities are an ice-sculpting display and cookie baking lessons, as well as reindeer-pulled sleigh rides and a real Nativity scene. It’s a town-wide event held on the bluffs above the Mississippi on the Friday following Thanksgiving to kick off the Christmas season.

14th. Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg is a lovely little town that still pays homage to its original German settlers by hosting a Christkindlesmarkt in November, which kicks off the holiday season. The town then hosts a frenzy of Texas-sized events. Think: Christmas parades and tree lightings as well as Nutcracker performances and craft shows. It’s the ideal holiday destination, whether you want to go ice skating, see the town’s 30-foot Christmas tree, or shop along Main Street dressed up for the season. You can also attend a festive wine event and sample local food, or attend one of the numerous special events.

15th. Natchitoches, Louisiana

Since 1927, the town of Natchitoches, named after a Native American tribe, has hosted one of the country’s oldest community-based Christmas festivals. Each year, this sleepy Louisiana village turns into a magical Christmas wonderland with the onset of the Festival of Lights. Over 100 light displays and 300,000 individual lights adorn the Cane River’s banks in celebration of the festival and the town’s Creole roots. During the Christmas season, you may also go on carriage rides, take house tours, and participate in parades. You can also enjoy a fantastic fireworks display, a lively Christmas procession and gala, and Santa Claus’ residence.

festive towns usa

16th. Park City, Utah

During the Christmas season, Park City comes alive with a festive spirit! There’s nothing like shopping on Park City’s Main Street or just strolling around the beautifully lighted and adorned downtown area after November 30th. Take a trip on the Heber Valley Railroad’s North Pole Express for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In all, the voyage lasts 90 minutes, and all passengers get hot chocolate and cookies as well as a present from Santa. At the Canyons Village, you will find live music, artisan sales, and even fireworks. Santa will, of course, be on hand for photographs and conversations with children of all ages.

festive towns usa

17th. Durango, Colorado

For a traditional Christmas experience, visit Durango, a winter wonderland in Colorado. There’s a plethora of places to visit during the festive season, from quaint mountain towns to merry bazaars. It’s famous for being host to the Polar Express. It’s a Cascade Canyon adventure that takes passengers on a 26-mile ride through the San Juan National Forest and the Animas River in heated coaches. After your trek through the snow-covered mountains, do Christmas shopping on Main Ave. or at the historic Strater Hotel, which is tastefully decorated for the holidays and exudes seasonal cheer.

18th. Branson, Missouri

Branson takes great pride in being known as “America’s Christmas Tree City”. Its Christmas celebration,An Old Time Christmas, is complete with live Christmas entertainment, 1,000 beautifully adorned trees, an eight-story Christmas tree, and the Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade. The Ozark Mountain Christmas festival, a month-long spectacle with holiday music, light displays, and lots of parades, takes place every year in this Missouri community. It’s possible to ride the Polar Express Train Ride on the Branson Scenic Railway and pretend you’re in a scene from the iconic film. Make sure you have enough hot chocolate on hand!

festive towns usa

19th. Solvang, California

There are other Bavarian-style towns to visit over the Christmas season, however, this one California town brims with Danish festive cheer instead. Danes developed the town in the early 1900s, and they left behind some beautiful Danish-style buildings. A Nordic winter solstice event with dancers, music and a procession takes place every year in Solvang. Julefest, a month-long Christmas celebration in this hamlet in the heart of California’s wine country, takes place every December. Denmark’s Christmas Market Light Show, Tree-Lighting Ceremony, Julefest Parade, and Candlelight Tours are just a few of the holiday activities on offer during the Danish-style celebration. Also, don’t forget to check out the massive windmill!

festive towns usa

20th. Taos, New Mexico

The modern-day Pueblo Native American communal adobe village of Taos is the perfect place to visit over the holidays if you are interested in both indigenous history and Christmas cheer. You can find tree-lighting ceremonies, music, and artisan fairs, but on December 24, everything changes. Luminarias and rifle salutes are given from the settlement’s roofs, and a parade includes large bonfires to honor Taos Pueblo’s Native American heritage (small paper lanterns). Most of the festivities take place in the town square, which transforms into a bustling center during the month of December.

festive towns usa

21st. Lahaska, Pennsylvania

This charming little hamlet in the Philadelphia area offers everything you could desire in a Christmas winter wonderland. After Thanksgiving, Peddler’s Village in Lahaska comes to life during the holiday season in all its merry splendor. There are more than a million beautiful lights sparkling all around you. Visit the gazebo in the center of the town during the Christmas season to view all the entries for the Gingerbread Decorating Competition, where nearly 100 imaginative creations are displayed. On the weekends, people may participate in an “Elf on the Stealth” outdoor strolling mystery. On this tour, families are guided by Mrs. Claus to explore the town for Shelfie the Elf and solve the riddle.

festive towns usa

22nd. McAdenville, North Carolina

Most of the year, this sleepy village outside of Charlotte hardly makes it onto most people’s radars. But every December, it is transformed into a fabulous Christmastown. Almost all of the houses are decked up for the holidays, so you can enjoy romantic strolls around the neighborhood by candlelight. McAden Mills Bell Tower plays seasonal music nightly and 160 differently adorned residences feature over 250 lit-up Christmas trees. The Yule Log Parade, which has been going on for almost 70 years, and the yearly tree lighting ceremony are also part of the festivities.

festive towns usa

23rd. Frankenmuth, Michigan

This holiday season, go to Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Bavarian-inspired city, to live out your German Christmas fantasies. Often known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, it has a festive atmosphere year-round. This is thanks in part to Christmas Lane, which is home to the world’s biggest Christmas shop – Bronner’s. Here, you can find a cornucopia of Christmas decorations, like 50,000+ ornaments and 300+ adorned trees. The city’s Christmas light show has 100,000 glittering lights, through which you can ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

festive towns usa

24th. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Like Christmas festivities but prefer to do them in a place with milder weather? Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is the place for you. One of the best things about Myrtle Beach is the abundance of Christmas-themed concerts available, from The South’s Grandest Christmas Show at the Alabama Theatre to the Legends in Concert Holiday Show. Another must-visit place during the festive season is Brookgreen Gardens Night of a Thousand Candles event. Here, you can enjoy a romantic stroll around the gardens while they are illuminated by more than 3,500 candles and thousands of glittering lights. For the complete experience, sip on your favourite winter beverage and listen to carollers sing.

festive towns usa

25th. Las Vegas, Nevada

Don’t think of Sin City as a destination to spend a family-friendly Christmas? It might be worth a second look. The city has always presented a festive and vibrant show of holiday happiness. The Bellagio Fountains’ Christmas light show and music, which is open to the public and free, is absolutely stunning! The Bellagio Conservatory, where the South Garden is located, is decked up for the holidays with thousands of lights, poinsettias, and a 40-foot Christmas tree. With Christmas trees, garlands, and window decorations on show throughout the casino and hotel complexes, it sure does get you in a very ‘Christmassy’ spirit!

festive towns usa

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7 Best Rooftop Bars in Williamsburg https://bigseventravel.com/best-rooftop-bars-williamsburg/ https://bigseventravel.com/best-rooftop-bars-williamsburg/#respond Thu, 16 Dec 2021 21:49:28 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=116120 The rooftop bars in Williamsburg have some of the best views in the whole of New York. That’s because you can admire the Manhattan skyline and get a great, postcard-perfect perspective. It’s incredible sipping cocktails whilst looking at some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world. Williamsburg rooftops are thriving spaces full of bars, […]

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The rooftop bars in Williamsburg have some of the best views in the whole of New York. That’s because you can admire the Manhattan skyline and get a great, postcard-perfect perspective. It’s incredible sipping cocktails whilst looking at some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world. Williamsburg rooftops are thriving spaces full of bars, live music venues, beer gardens and restaurants. No space is wasted. Plenty of the rooftops are open all year round too, so whenever you visit, you’ll find some places to enjoy drinks with a side order of breathtaking views. So, whether your vibe is a sexy sky-high hotel bar or a cool, casual dancefloor, here are some of the best rooftop bars in Williamsburg.

7 Best Rooftop Bars in Williamsburg

1. Westlight NYC

Perched on top of the 22nd-floor of The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Westlight rooftop bar has almost 360-degree panoramas of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Cosy up on the low-slung sofas, either inside or out and sip some of the creative cocktails on the menu. We love the sound of the refreshing Spring Fling, which they make with cachaça, St. Germain, vodka, and lime. There’s also a wonderfully lengthy wine list. You can pair drinks with fancy light bites and nibbles, which are fantastically fresh and full of flair.

westlight NYC

2. The Water Tower Bar

The Williamsburg Hotel rooftop bar is in a water tower. This must be the most unique setting for drinks in the whole of Billyburg. As you sip creative cocktails you overlook the cool pool and also have sweeping views of the Manhatten skyline. Drinking in this custom made glass structure costs a pretty penny. But for a special occasion, it is well worth it.

best rooftop bars williamsburg

 

3. Juliette

Juliette is a laidback, French-inspired brasserie located just off Bedford Avenue. The large rooftop space stocks a full bar and mixologists shake and stir Parisian-inspired cocktails, for instance, the ‘Juliette Spritz’ with Pamplemousse Rose and the Cherry Blossom made with Lillet Rose. There is also lots of wonderful wines and refreshing beers on the menu too. The atmosphere conjures up feelings of nostalgia for a time when things were just that bit more sophisticated and stylish.

best rooftop bars williamsburg

4. Ainslie

Ainslie is located in an old warehouse and has a 1,000-square-foot 50-person roof deck and bar. There is an extensive cocktail, wine and beer list, as well as some terrific Italian food, should you get hungry. Though this rooftop doesn’t have the sweeping views of others in the neighbourhood, it makes up for this with its terrific food, drinks and atmosphere as well as beautiful interior design.

best rooftop bars williamsburg

5. Berry Park

The expansive views of Manhattan and McCarren Park and the colourful sunsets from the Berry Park rooftop bar are pretty special and you really ought to check them out for yourself. Berry Park is a laidback, casual sports bar and beer garden with a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. There is a great drinks menu and brunch is a very popular affair here. So too is watching football (soccer for our American readers). The laidback daytime vibe morphs into a high energy party scene at night.

6. Night of Joy Bar

Night of Joy Bar certainly does live up to its name. It is a joyful place. Vintage, charming, playful, eclectic, this is possibly the coolest bar in Williamsburg. Everything is inspired by the classics but still feels so utterly modern. That goes for the cocktails too which are flavourful and made with botanical ingredients and herbal infusions. Make sure you try the fresh lime frozen margaritas in assorted flavours.

7. Our Wicked Lady

Located on Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg, Our Wicked Lady was once an empty warehouse. Now, it has been transformed into a venue with a super cool rooftop terrace bar area. The rooftop bar is all-weather, so, come rain or come shine, you can have a good time high above Williamsburg. Check the website to see who is performing on the night, and bring your energy. You are going to need it. This place is popping. Food is also creative and full of flavour and so too are the drinks on offer.

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7 Best Rooftop Bars in Manhattan https://bigseventravel.com/best-rooftop-bars-manhattan/ https://bigseventravel.com/best-rooftop-bars-manhattan/#respond Thu, 16 Dec 2021 16:11:48 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=116113 Delicious drinks, amazing atmosphere and awesome aspects: our list of the best rooftop bars in Manhattan ticks all those boxes, and a whole lot more. So, if you are in the Big Apple and looking for booze with a side order of breathtaking views, then look no further. Our list covers everything from sky-scraping hotel […]

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Delicious drinks, amazing atmosphere and awesome aspects: our list of the best rooftop bars in Manhattan ticks all those boxes, and a whole lot more. So, if you are in the Big Apple and looking for booze with a side order of breathtaking views, then look no further. Our list covers everything from sky-scraping hotel bars to laidback lounges. So, whether you are in the mood for an all-night party or some downtime with your mates, here are some of the best rooftop bars in Manhattan to suit your mood.

7 Best Rooftop Bars in Manhatten

1. The Crown NYC

If you are looking for one of the best rooftop bars in Manhatten for 360-degree, unobstructed views of both the shimmering Manhattan skyline and brilliant Brooklyn skyline, then hightail it to it to The Crown. Perched above Lower Manhattan’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, you find this slick bar on top of the Hotel 50 Bowery. Once you arrive, you’ll find a large indoor bar and lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows as well as two outdoor terraces. Grab a seat and soak in the views as you sip creative cocktails, craft beers on draft and a decent selection of wines. Hungry? You can order small plates and nibbles to pair with your drink. The daytime vibe here is casual and chilled and as the lights dim the atmosphere picks up.

the crown nyc

2. Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge

On top of the Moxy Hotel Times Square, you’ll find the enchanting The Magic Hour rooftop cocktail bar. This whimsical venue with its changing themes has a mini-golf course and is a great place for a fun night out with sky-high views of the city. There are two separate outdoor areas: the east side, overlooks the Empire State Building and the west side has a rotating seating area. Drinks are modern with fun names and ingredients like the “Float My Boat” with caramelized pineapple, tequila and jalapeño. If day drinking is more your scene, The Magic Hour weekend brunch is a very memorable experience, but there are also bar snacks available and party nibbles like fried “carnival potatoes” and beet deviled eggs.

best rooftop bars manhattan

3. The Press Lounge

Sitting 16 stories above PRINT Restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, The Press Lounge is an all-seasons outdoor and indoor rooftop bar. From up here, you get incredible views of the Manhattan skyline and across the Hudson River. Cocktails are seasonal and are always changing, so there is always something new on the menu to try. If cocktails ain’t your vibe, you can sip some of the lovely local wines which the bartenders pour by the glass and you can pair these small plates, bites and nibbles all made in-house. The atmosphere here is elegant and refined, but somehow, at the same time, very relaxed and comfortable.

best rooftop bars manhattan

4. Salon de Ning

Want to impress a date or celebrate in style? Salon de Ning is the place to go! Perched on top of the five-star Peninsula Hotel on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, Salon de Ning is a chic and sophisticated rooftop bar that oozes style. You are so close to the skyscrapers here that you really do feel like you can reach out and touch them. Salon de Ning has two spacious outdoor terraces and a beautiful, cosy, intimate interior bar. The lounge seating areas feel very exclusive and relaxing – a million miles away from the hectic city pulsating below. Just one look at the menus and you’ll see that the food and beverage offerings are as classy as the surrounding, especially the champagne and caviar selection and the seasonal dishes inspired by the Engadin region of Switzerland.

best rooftop bars manhattan

6. 230 FIFTH Rooftop Bar

Located close to Madison Square Park, 230 FIFTH is New York’s largest outdoor rooftop garden. Once you reach the top, you are treated to sweeping views over Manhattan and the Empire State Building. The rooftop has lots of big umbrellas to offer shade on sunny days. On chilly nights, they bring out the heaters. The weekend brunch buffet is legendary around these parts, and always busy! But it is totally worth it. Apart from brunch, there is a delicious food menu throughout the day featuring bar bites and comforting classics like burgers, sushi and fish & chips. Thirsty? Wet your whistle with well-made cocktails, refreshing beers, and a great selection of wines that are available by the glass, on tap and by the bottle.

best rooftop bars manhattan

 

7. The Roof PUBLIC Hotel

The roof of the PUBLIC hotel on the Lower East Side is one seriously cool hotspot. With jaw-dropping 360-degree views and set amongst the skyscrapers, you really do feel like you are floating in the sky. Candles light the elegant outdoor terrace – there is no harsh lighting –  meaning you can really enjoy the night sky and city lights when the sun goes down. The seating is very comfortable and relaxing, you’ll have no problem whiling away hours and hours here. There’s also an inside area with floor-to-ceiling windows so that you don’t miss those views should you choose to take your drinks indoors. This place has a sexy but sophisticated vibe to it.

Public Hotels The Roof best rooftop bars NYC

 

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7 Best National Parks in Hawaii https://bigseventravel.com/best-national-parks-hawaii/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 18:21:31 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=115983 Hawaii is home to a handful of national parks and 50 state parks protecting the islands’ unique ecology, history and heritage. From the soaring peaks of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to secluded powder white sandy stretches, Hawaii packs a powerful punch when it comes to biodiversity too. If you’re looking to get closer to Hawaii’s […]

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Hawaii is home to a handful of national parks and 50 state parks protecting the islands’ unique ecology, history and heritage. From the soaring peaks of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to secluded powder white sandy stretches, Hawaii packs a powerful punch when it comes to biodiversity too. If you’re looking to get closer to Hawaii’s wild side, here are seven of the best national parks in Hawaii.

7 Best National Parks in Hawaii

1. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaiʻi Island)

The largest national park in the whole of Hawaii, the Volcanoes National Park is the state’s showstopper. It boasts both the world’s largest volcano (Mauna Loa) and the world’s most active volcano (Kilauea) across some 323,431 acres stretching from the sea to the summit of Maunaloa. Located on the Big Island, it closed for over half a year due to Kilauea’s latest eruption but visitors can now set foot here safely. There are over 150 miles of hiking trails through craters, deserts and rainforests. Kilauea is also widely known as ‘the world’s only drive-in volcano’. The best way to explore it is along the Chain of Craters Road. Make sure you stop to peek at steam vents, ancient lava flows and tubes.

You can sleep here too, with two campsites and the Volcano House Hotel, which offers 33 upscale bedrooms at the edge of the volcano.

Best National Parks in Hawaii

2. Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park (Hawai‘i Island)

Also located on the Big Island, this time along the western Kona coast, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is one of the best places to deep dive into Hawaii culture. It protects one of the most sacred archaeological sites on any of the islands, complete with temples, royal fish ponds and reconstructed hale (traditional Hawaiian houses). Pu’uhonua o Honaunau means ‘sanctuary’ or ‘place of refuge’. Once upon a time, the islands were governed by strict laws or kapu and violating them meant punishment by death. But if you managed to make it to the sanctuary, where a priest could absolve you of your crimes, you were free. The 295-metre long site has also been a haven for women, injured warriors and children during wars.

As well as strolling around the ancient ruins, you can also try your hand at Konane –a traditional Hawaiin board game – or pick up some tips at daily artisanal demonstrations on ancient crafts, carving and weaving.

3. Makena State Park (Maui)

To experience the best of Hawaii’s famed white-sand beaches, hotfoot to one of Maui’s biggest beaches. Located on the southern tip of the island, the Makena State Park boasts sweeping views of the Haleakala and Kaho’olawe mountains, as well Molokini and Kahoolawe on clearer days. The sandy stretch actually comprises two beaches – the family-friendly Big Beach and a nudist-friendly Little Beach. Head to the Little Beach on Sunday evenings for celebratory fire dancing, drumming and music. During the daytime, you can swim, sunbathe, bodysurf and fish to your heart’s content.

4. Na’Pali State Park (Kalalau)

Na’Pali State Park is home to one of the most recognisable coastal paths in the world – the Kalalau Trail. The 16-mile clifftop trail clings to the northwest coast of Kaua’i from the remote Polihale Beach in the west to Kee Beach on the northern coast. The route winds across beaches, soaring cliffs and deep hanging valleys squeezed between sea and tropical rainforest. As well as being one of the most beautiful trails in the world, it’s also one of the most dangerous. But despite its slippery conditions and sheer drops, it’s a popular hike. It’s easy enough to get a day or overnight permit, but if you’re considering stretching the trip over two days make sure you book your campsite in advance.

Best national parks in Hawaii

5. Haleakalā National Park (Maui)

A trip to Haleakalā National Park will whisk you high into the clouds to heights of over 10,023 ft (3055 metres). The park protects the Haleakala crater, a huge fissure stretching seven miles across, two miles wide and more than 760 metres deep. It’s the third-largest volcano in Hawaii, with a mass that makes up approximately three-quarters of Maui. It became a national park in 1961 to preserve preservation efforts for future generations. It’s a scenic drive up to the summit but it’s worth sticking until sunset. It also offers some of the world’s best stargazing. Temperatures can reach a comparatively frosty 10 C (50 F) so you’ll need to pack a few layers.

6. Kalaupapa National Historical Park (Molokaʻi)

The serene and secluded Kalaupapa National Historical Park is only accessible by mule, hiking tour or aeroplane from the small commuter Kalaupapa Airport – but it’s well worth the effort. Throughout the 19th century, it served as an isolation settlement for individuals with leprosy (Hansen’s disease). By the 1880s, there were as many as 1,100 living with the disease on the island. The Belgian missionary Saint Damien made it his home in the 1870s to care for residents and died 16 years later of the disease. He was canonized in 2009. Mother Marianne Cope and her Franciscan sisters volunteered to live with the exiled community a few months before Father Damien’s death too. She was canonized Saint Marianne Cope in 2012 and there’s now a bronze statue overlooking the sea in her honour.

best national parks Hawaii

7. Waimea Canyon State Park (Kaua’i)

The Waimea Canyon State Park is in Kaua’i, the oldest of Hawaii’s eight islands. At the centre of the island, Mount Wai’ale’ale is the rainiest place on the planet with more than 11,000 mm. Its canyon is nicknamed the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’, carved 900-metres deep by the Waimea River. At 14 miles long and 1 mile wide, it might not be as big or old as its sister in Arizona, but its myriad of colours is unlike anything else. There are numerous hiking trails suitable for all hiking levels, as well as an excellent campsite called Wiliwili Camp. For the best views, head to Waimea Canyon and Pu’uokila lookouts, just off Route 550.

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7 Famous Movies Filmed in Astoria https://bigseventravel.com/famous-movies-filmed-in-astoria/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 18:08:58 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=115995 Most film buffs will already know that cult classics like the Goonies and Free Willy were shot in Astoria, but that’s not where the city’s relationship with tinsel town ends. Dozens of movies were shot here, from supernatural psychological thrillers to kids classics. There was a real filming boom here in the 1980s and 1990s […]

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Most film buffs will already know that cult classics like the Goonies and Free Willy were shot in Astoria, but that’s not where the city’s relationship with tinsel town ends. Dozens of movies were shot here, from supernatural psychological thrillers to kids classics. There was a real filming boom here in the 1980s and 1990s too. Intrigued? Here are seven famous movies filmed in Astoria.

Seven famous movies filmed in Astoria

1. The Goonies (1985)

Best locations: Oregon Film Museum, 38th Street, Lower Columbia Bowl

The Goonies tells the story of a group of misfits who stumble across an old map and set off on an adventure to find a legendary pirate’s long-lost treasure. The movie stars the likes of Josh Brolin, Sean Astin and Jeff Cohen. The movie was filmed on location in Astoria in 1984. An early working name for the movie was Cauldron Point too, possibly named after the Astoria location of the same name.

Head over to 38th Street and you’ll find Mikey’s house, as well as Data’s house, though we’re not sure whether there’s still a zipline there. You can also visit the County Jail, Lower Columbia Bowl (where Chunk smashes his pizza and milkshake into the window) and Haystack Rock (used to navigate the map). Fans of the movie should make the trip to the Oregon Film Museum, which features a whole section dedicated to The Goonies, complete with film props and original scripts.

famous movies filmed in Astoria

2. Kindergarten Cop (1990)

Best locations: John Jacob Astor School, Downtown Astoria

This 1990 cult classic sees a tough cop, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, pose as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a dangerous criminal’s ex-wife in the hope that she may be able to help put him behind bars. Most of the filming took place on location in Astoria. Director Ivan Reitman allegedly set the film in Astoria because it combined a waterfront location with a working community.

John Jacob Astor School stands in for the elementary school where Kimble goes undercover. There are also countless scenes in downtown Astoria too, most notably Carruthers Building (as the drug store) and 414 Exchange Street (as Joyce’s house).

famous movies filmed in Astoria

3. Short Circuit (1986)

Best locations: Hume Street, Astoria-Meyler Bridge, Bonneville Dam 

Short Circuit tells the story of Number 5, an experimental military robot who is struck by lightning and undergoes a major transformation that sees him develop consciousness and self-awareness. Fearful of being reprogrammed back at the factory, a young woman played by Ally Sheedy helps him escape.

Astoria fills in as the background for quite a few scenes in this movie. You can visit Stephanie’s home at 197 Hume Street, stroll along the Astoria-Meyler Bridge where the car chases Johnny 5 off the bridge and take a peek at Bonneville Dam which stands in for the Nova Laboratories.

famous movies filmed in Astoria

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993)

Best locations: Tongue Point Hangar

The third instalment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise mostly takes place in 17th century Japan. April O’Neil discovers an ancient sceptre with magical powers and accidentally transports back in time. The turtles, in true ninja turtle style, end up in the middle of a rebel samurai war. Queue some serious special effects and stunts.

Surprisingly, Astoria filled in for ancient Japan for most of the movie. Most of the filming took place at Tongue Point Hangar. Golden Harvest Films spent an estimated $300,000 remodelling the hangar into a four-stage studio.

5. Free Willy (1993)

Best locations: Hammond Marin, 14th Street Dock, Harrison Avenue and Ecola State Park. 

This 1990s tear-jerker follows the story of a young orca whale called Willy. Separated from his parents by fishermen, he ends up at an aquarium. When a street kid discovers the aquarium owner’s plans to bump off the beloved orca he does everything he can to free Willy.

Most of Free Willy was shot in Astoria. That classic scene where Willy jumps for his freedom took place at Hammond Marina, just 20-minutes from downtown Astoria. You can also visit the fish market at 14th Street Dock, the Foster Home on Harrison Avenue and the Ecola State Park.

famous movies filmed in Astoria

6. The Ring Two (2005)

Best locations: Marine Drive

This terrifying supernatural sequel to the even more terrifying 2002 original follows high school student Jake and his girlfriend Emily who must deal with the consequences of watching the creepy tape. Queue lots of white noise, an evil ghost child and drain hair.

Filming location highlights include the medical supply store that doubles as Naomi Watts’ newspaper office on Marine Drive.

 

7. Benji the Hunted (1987)

Best locations: Various locations 

This classic children’s film tells the story of show dog Benji. He gets lost at sea and ends up in Organon’s wilderness. Unless you’re a die-hard fan of Astoria – or live here – you’re unlikely to recognise many of the locations. Most of the movie takes place in the woodlands. But it’s helpful to know that those woodlands are in Astoria.

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7 Best National Parks in Montana https://bigseventravel.com/best-national-parks-montana/ Sat, 11 Dec 2021 18:32:34 +0000 https://bigseventravel.com/?p=115958 There are eight National Park Services in the state of Montana. The state has two National Parks – Glacier NP and Yellowstone NP. The rest of the national park services consist of breathtakingly beautiful National Recreation Areas and National Geologic Trails. The state is also home to National Historic Trails and National Historic Sites, as […]

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There are eight National Park Services in the state of Montana. The state has two National Parks – Glacier NP and Yellowstone NP. The rest of the national park services consist of breathtakingly beautiful National Recreation Areas and National Geologic Trails. The state is also home to National Historic Trails and National Historic Sites, as well as National Battlefields and National Monuments. So, whether you are into glaciers or geysers or history, hikes or heritage, Big Sky Country has a national park service to excite and delight whatever your interests. Ready to embrace the state’s wild open spaces? Here’s our list of the best national parks in Montana.

7 Best National Parks in Montana

1. Yellowstone National Park

On 1st March 1872, Yellowstone became the world’s first national park. Famous for its unique hydrothermal and geologic features, within Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres you’ll find vast canyons, rushing rivers, flourishing forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. Yellowstone also offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to observe wildlife in an intact ecosystem, including one of the largest elk herds in North America and the largest free-roaming, wild herd of bison in the United States. You can also observe one of just a few grizzly populations in the contiguous United States as well as rare sightings of wolverine and lynx.

2. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a wilderness area in Montana’s Rocky Mountains. Famous for its glacier-carved peaks and valleys, the park is home to pristine forests, alpine meadows, and spectacular lakes, for instance, Lake McDonald which is both the largest and deepest body of water in the park. Glacier National Park is a paradise for hikers. There are over 700 miles of tracks and trails that cut through the wilderness and lead you to solitude. For those who want to experience the park on two or four wheels, you can cycle or drive the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Whilst in the park, keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats, bighorn sheep and grizzly bears.

3. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area straddles the border between Montana and Wyoming. You can explore the wild landscape on foot, hiking over 17 miles of trails, ranging from short walks to dramatic overlooks. You can also take to the waters and paddle Bighorn Lake and take in awe-inspiring views of the massive canyon walls. When it comes to wildlife watching, keep a lookout for magnificent herds of Pryor Mountain wild horses and the park’s namesake Bighorn sheep.

best national parks montana

4. Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail is the first and only National Geologic Trail in the United States. On this trail, which takes in part of Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, you’ll discover the geologic story of the last Ice Age Floods which happened about 18,000 to 15,000 years ago. This network of scenic trails connects the sites affected by the flooding of the glacial Lake Missoula. The floods changed the lives and landscape of the Pacific Northwest and this trail tells that story.

5. Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail extends for some 4,900 miles (7,900km). It stretches from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. It is the third-longest National Historic Trail after The Trail of Tears in North Carolina and the California Trail. The trail commemorates the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. Lewis and Clarke were American explorers and soldiers who set off to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purchase. You can hike the trail or go by horseback and at some locations, you can even continue the journey by boat.

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6. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

You’ll find the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument near Crow Agency. It is on the site where the Battle of the Little Bighorn took place on 25 and 26 June 1876. During this battle, the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes battled the men of George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry. Also on the battlefield, you’ll find Custer National Cemetery, which is part of the national monument.

7. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

This national historic site commemorates the cattle industry of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire, today, it is a living history ranch. On a visit, you can experience what life was like back in the olden days as a rancher and cowboy. You can tour the ranch and the historic buildings and discover the large collection of horse-drawn vehicles as well as the artefacts in the museum. You can even enjoy a wagon tour and experience the landscape just like they did in the Open Range Era.

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