Top Places to See the Northern Lights

Want a unique vacation spot? Look no further than the Northern Lights. Once discovering this beautiful sight, you also have to find the best place to actually see them. Travel + Leisure recently published an article exploring the best places to see the Northern Lights; read the entire article here.

Northern Lights

Fairbanks, Alaska

Look no further than Fairbanks, Alaska. Chena Hot Springs Resort. This resort has everything you could ask for. Chena Hot Springs Resort even has its own viewing dome to watch the Northern Lights. Or if you prefer to just sit and relax with a fishing pole, the resort has its own Ice Fishing Tour. But probably the best part is the Chena Kennel that offers dog sled and dog cart rides year-round, depending on the weather of course.

The Northern Lights are seen between the hours of 11:30 pm and 3:30 am. The resort offers guests the service of being woken up by a phone call or a knock on their door when the Lights begin to appear.

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

Stay within the states and see the lights from Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania. Hidden away from larger cities around them, this park is a Gold Level International Dark Sky Park. This means the park is a great place to view the Lights and even if you do not get to see them, the stars will be more than visible.

Churchill, Canada

Churchill is often known for the polar bears that roam the area. The Northern Lights can be seen here more than 300 nights out of the year. There is the option to book a vacation that is centered around learning at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. If for some reason you miss the lights, the polar bears will totally make up for it.

Yukon, Canada

Visit the Northern Lights Resort and Spa in Whitehorse to receive the perfect pampering before viewing the green and yellow lights in the sky. Yukon also offers its guest the unique experience to learn about the folklore and science that make up the colors of the lights in Watson Lake ate the Northern Lights Centre. The lights only come around Yukon territory during the months of August to about the middle of April.


Iceland’s viewing season are the months of August through the first few days of May. Located In southern Iceland, the Hotel Rangá is the place to go. The Hotel offers many activities dedicated for the cold weather. Anything you could think of; prefer animals? Check out the dog sledding and whale-watching. Or take the water route and try the freshwater fishing and the glacier tours. The best part? The Hotel has a webcam that has a live stream of the Northern Lights, so you can check it out even before deciding to take the trip.


Mirrie Dancers, that’s what the Scots call the Northern Lights. Start your stay off by checking in as a restored Shetland lighthouse, Sumburgh Head. Sumburgh Head offers its guest a view of a puffin nesting area. During your stay make sure to visit the Callanish Standing Stones, which is a man-made structure that is thought to be built around 5,000 years ago.


What better way to see the lights than in a glass igloo? Kakslauttanen Resort offers its guest this once in a lifetime opportunity. Finland has a view of the Northern Lights about 200 nights out of the year. These are not the only accommodations in Finland; find one that fits your needs.


Interested in taking a trip that offers more than just the Northern Lights? Sweden is the place to be. Stay in the famous Icehotel. This structure, made out of ice, is rebuilt every year. The hotel offers many different options for its guest. Do you enjoy sleeping cold? Check out the cold room suites at the hotel or if you prefer warmer temperature they have warmer options.

Ever thought about taming a reindeer and searching for the Northern Lights? Try out the Lip Lip experience.  Photography tours are perfect for those who also want to capture the lights also while exploring them.


Greenland offers what some would say, the best visibility of the lights in some places due to the low amount of light pollution in the area. The best time to go would  be between the months of September to the first couple of weeks in April.

Still want to experience an igloo? Hotel Arctic offers them. There is even an old U.S. military base, Kangerlussuaq, that is available to tour.

Tromsø, Norway

This area is known for having the most probability for seeing the lights. “The Gateway to the Arctic” is a go-to name for the city. Visitors have the unlimited options of tours available. The amazing views surround the city. Interested in trying reindeer stew? Check out Emma’s Restaurant for authentic, unique food options.

Svalbard, Norway

Norway does not disappoint with options for places to go to view the Northern Lights. Svalbard is a string of islands located in in the Arctic. Starting in mid-November and February, Svalbard experiences perpetual darkness which means even during the day the islands experience darkness. This means double the amount of times you can see the Northern Lights!

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The Top Threes of Shreveport, Louisiana

If you ever find yourself with some extra time in Shreveport, Louisiana, here are some of the top experiences there you wont want to miss out on.

1. R. W. Norton Art Gallery

Named after Richard W. Norton, a discoverer of the Rodessa Oil Field in northern Louisiana, the art gallery began as a fine art collection by his wife and son. In 1946, Mr. Norton’s mother and son created the R.W. Norton Art Foundation, which later became the R.W. Norton Art Gallery.

Surrounding the art gallery is 40 acres of beautiful botanical gardens, described as “one of the South’s favorite spots” by Southern Living Magazine. Indoors, the gallery has an extensive fine art collection including over 400 paintings from over 100 artists. The collection spans at least four millennia. The gallery also takes part in an oral history project. Created in 2003, the project has grown to include stories of World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, Louisiana Musical Pioneers, and more.

2. Louisiana Exhibit Museum

The Louisiana Exhibit Museum was one of the Public Works projects during the New Deal and was completed in 1939. The building holds 23 scale dioramas showing life in 1940s Louisiana. There are regional art collections, Native American Artifacts, and natural history exhibits.

3. Beef Jerky Outlet

Recently ranked by Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500®, Beef Jerky Outlet is a top beef jerky retailer. Being in Louisiana, this is a prime place to go for some alligator jerky. With other jerkies ranging from the traditional beef to kangaroo and even ostrich, Beef Jerky Outlet is a place to visit for an eccentric and out of the ordinary experience.

3 Places to Stay

1. Fairfield Place Bed & Breakfast Inn

Built by a Louisiana Supreme Court Judge, Thomas Thompson, and his wife Mary Eliza, this bed and breakfast was built in the early 1870s and is possibly one of the oldest houses on its street. With beautiful New Orleans style patios and an old-timey feel, Fairfield Place is almost a blast from the past featuring modern amenities such as WiFi, Cable TV, private bedrooms, and more.  Begin each morning with a feeling of Louisiana and a full breakfast.

2. Clarion Inn

With over 200 rooms and suites, the Clarion Inn is the perfect place to stay. With a free continental breakfast, marketplace, fitness center, high-speed internet, and more, it’s the place to stay for a nice and classic getaway. The Clarion is also pet friendly for those traveling with their four-legged friends. It is a perfect stay for group travel and even includes business spaces.

3. Remington Suite Hotel and Spa

The Remington Suite Hotel and Spa may be small, but it’s mighty. It has 22 rooms and one penthouse. The beds and mattresses are custom made. Rooms come equipped with a kitchenette, a jacuzzi, flat screen televisions, iPod docking stations, and more. Hotel amenities include complimentary WiFi, a full service spa, a media room, and an indoor pool.

3 Places to Eat

1. Food Shack

A self-described Southern Experience, Food Shack serves Southern Style food. A locally owned and operated business, Food Shack serves Louisiana classics gumbo, po-boys, and jambalaya.

2. Frank’s Louisiana Kitchen (Cajun/Creole Food)

Frank’s Louisiana Kitchen is on a mission to bring southern Louisiana style cooking to the northern part of the state. Everything here is made from scratch and served in a more upscaled and relaxed, casual setting. There are chef’s specials Thursday through Saturday with live jazz on Sundays. He has recently partnered with Artemis Gourmet Mushrooms to offer gourmet Louisiana-grown and harvested mushrooms in his dishes.

3. Cold Stone Creamery (Sweets)

In case of a sweet tooth, Cold Stone Creamery is the ultimate destination. They offer what they call a “10-Minute Vacation®.. that 10-minute getaway you deserve from the world outside our doors.” They’ve been in business for 25 years and show no signs of slowing down. Each dessert is prepared individually for each customer, providing a truly encompassing experience.

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Top Hotels Around the World in 2019

Is there any more important choice than lodging or Hotels when planning your vacation?  Don’t be the traveler that logs hours of internet research and thousands of dollars only to be miserable in a resort that you thought would be luxury.  Depending on your priorities, there’s the perfect lodging choice no matter where you choose to travel, but these Hotels are so lovely that you may want to choose your travel destination around the Hotel. recently published their list of top hotels to visit in 2019 and we couldn’t be more on board!  From huge, sprawling, popular resorts to under the radar cottages, their list was compiled by seasoned professional travelers, travel writers and hospitality specialists who are all in the know, and now you can be in the know before planning your next big adventure!

1.    Mombo Camp — Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Top Hotels Around the World in 2019

Botswana is the premier safari/wildlife conservation area in the world.  Rated a 90/100 on the conservation scale, they are largely dedicated to conserving the land and wildlife in the area and make sure that any safaris or tours are not impacting the integrity of either.  The camp is powered by solar power and employs teams of specialists, experts and scientists to ensure the safety of all parties: travellers, wild game, the earth, and the locals. Home to a large African elephant population along with zebras and Cape buffalo, the camp is a new lodge on one of the area’s most exclusive slices of land that measures over 96k acres.  See sights and have experiences straight out of the Disney movie Jungle Book at this pristine and unique hotel.

2.    Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island

A true castaways experience, Desroches Island is a coral island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  An authentic paradise, it offers only the best and luxurious accommodations and is the only resort on the island.  Rock slowly in an ocean-side hammock, relax in your private pool, take long naps in your rustic bungalow or cabana, or explore the 9 miles of white sand beaches and trails while feeling the ocean breeze blow on your face and listening to the soft waves crash on the shore.  When you are feeling adventurous you can visit our tortoise sanctuary where hundreds- years-old giant tortoises roam freely. When you want to renew, visit our spa or take a master yoga course. This is truly a vacation that you have on your terms.

3.    Amanyangyun — Shanghai

Boasting a one thousand-year year-old camphor forest transported from an actual village submerged by a reservoir project in Jingxia province by billionaire entrepreneur Ma Dadong, who brought them from his home province of Fuzhou, over 400 miles away, this hotel mixes the ancient and modern in curious ways.  Book one of the contemporary villas with elaborately carved interior beams and delicate tiles that are set next to open-air walkways and ponds. Shanghai itself is a metropolis drawing more and more attention from travelers from all over the world. There you will find the perfect blend of cultures and the modern mixed with the traditional.

4.    Capella Ubud — Bali, Indonesia

Designed by Bill Bensley, who is responsible for some of Southeast Asia’s most glamorous resorts, Capella Ubud takes an unexpected turn toward the natural to reflect Bensley’s love of camping. The result is 23 of the most lavish and fantastical tents ever created, something straight out of an adventure movie.  It includes copper tubs, saltwater pools, and suspension bridges. Each tent has a theme such as the Librarian’s Tent or the Cartographer’s Tent, and is outfitted with antiques from the owner’s collection. Bensley worked hard at preserving the integrity of the natural landscape and didn’t cut down a single tree on the resort’s 10 acres of rainforest and rice terraces.

5.    Skylark Negril Beach Resort — Jamaica

This hip resort is straight out of a design and style magazine. It draws inspiration from the naturally vibrant color palette of Jamaica and incorporates architectural elements such as whitewashed concrete, geometric shapes, and natural wood grains to create the minimalist style with added vivid splashes of color.

The property’s design reflects its natural surroundings- aqua marine guest room doors to symbolize the Caribbean Sea, shades of greens to symbolize the lush native vegetation, and  accent pieces to symbolize the signature ackee fruit’s bright red color. This resort will allow you access to the island’s authentic culture by way of food, music, architecture and design.

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The Best Untapped Destinations in Europe for 2019

It turns out, after years of vacationing to different areas, that some of the best memories come from the hidden and quite locations not many people have heard of before and also happen to be the Best Untapped Destinations.  The empty white, sandy beaches. The cobblestone streets where you are the only tourist.  These experiences truly immerse you in another land and culture without the touristy traps.  Once the general public finds out about an amazing destination, it’s only natural that the large influx of travelers morph that destination in some way.  Menus begin having English captions and suddenly street vendors are selling impostor goods in an attempt to appeal to the American spender.

Thanks to Travel + Leisure, we have compiled a great list of untapped European destinations for you to advantage of before everyone finds out!  Put these Best Untapped Destinations on your bucket list and get ready to have a genuine and authentic travel experience like no other.

Best Untapped Destinations in Europe in 2019

1.    Giornico, Switzerland

The ancient but well preserved village of Italian-speaking Giornico with its stone houses, vineyards and chestnut forests, is located in the Leventina Valley (Canton Ticino) in southern Switzerland. Architecture buffs will enjoy the seven churches, including the beautiful 12th century Romanesque Church of St. Nicholas. To fully appreciate it, drive north 35 miles from the popular lake resort towns of Ascona and Locarno and find the turnoff for Giornico, a stone relic of 14th-century Europe hiding off the main road. Down in the valley and rests a trickling little river crossed by two arching stone bridges. Take a gander at the impressive views of scenic road and rail routes, rock faces and waterfalls. Grotto dei due Ponti, a family-run restaurant serves dishes like spezzatino (meat ragoût) with polenta and overlooks the river.

2.    Kotor, Montenegro

Wedged between mountains and the bay, Kotor is a medieval maze of museums, churches, cafes and Venetian palaces. This is a perfect example of why some of these are some of the Best Untapped Destinations. It’s a delightful marriage of the past and present. Children race down cobblestone roads toward centuries-old school houses. Lines of laundry flap from wrought-iron balconies. At night, Kotor’s spectacularly lit-up walls glow as the streets buzz with live music and castle-top clubbing.  The wealthy British are scrambling to scoop up real estate in Kotor. The locals (dark-haired, green-eyed people of the Black Mountains which is where Montenegro gets its name) have opened restaurants to introduce visitors to the local fare.

Kotor, Montenegro

Ancient poets, fertile countryside, draping Cypress trees, neverending vineyards and olive groves…this truly is the gem of Tuscany.  Bolgheri boasts castles straight out of a Disney tale, like the castle of the Gherardesca Counts of Bolgheri, near Piazza Santa Teresa.   The churches are majestic as they are serene, such as the church of Saints Giacomo and Cristoforo, the oldest in the area. Carducci, author of the famous and timeless Rime Nuove, wrote beautiful poetry about the lines of Cypress trees, now numbering more than 2,500 and the only local vegetation that buffalos won’t eat. Take a bike ride over through the gentle hills of the hinterland and you will see the coast and the sea. In nearby Bibbona only 5 miles away, you’ll find the Relais Sant’Elena, a 15-room estate with canopy beds and pasta-making classes.

4.    Lavenham, England

This medieval wool town has extraordinarily well-preserved Tudor buildings and is unofficially labeled the prettiest town in England.  It’s tiny – the population hasn’t ever exceeded 2,000 – yet it is the 14th-richest town in England. This is thanks to its wool making.  Lavenham has a long history of fabrics. It was at one point exporting its fabrics as far as Russia making its wool merchants so rich that in 1487 Henry VII fined some of them for being ostentatious.

After the war, the area become impoverished for over 300 years, leaving the residents unable to afford architectural upgrades to stone and wood.  After hundreds of years, the architectural style became fashionable again and is a strong draw for tourists as it feels like a step back into time.

Let us know what you think about some of the Best Untapped Destinations in Europe right now. Have you heard of them or visited any of these?

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Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center Now Open

GMarriott recently announced that the newest premier American resort, Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, has had its Grand Opening. This resort, and the Gaylord name, has a long and rich history making them experts in the hospitality industry.

The Gaylord and Dickinson families began the Oklahoma Publishing Company, which would become the Gaylord Entertainment Company, in Oklahoma in 1903, before Oklahoma was even recognized as a state.  There was an increasing demand for news in the area and the families recognized that need and decided to capitalize on it.  Soon, radio would enter the lives of every American. The two families saw potential in this field and added on a broadcasting agency to their business.  It was the 2nd radio station in the United States. As the two entrepreneurial families recognized more and more potential during a time of major industrial growth in the US, they continued to expand their businesses to meet those needs.  The radio venture eventually led them to Nashville, the home of country music. One of their radio announcers, George D. Hay, gave birth to the renowned Grand Ole Opry with his country music radio show.

The business venture that would bring Gaylord the greatest amount of success and would thrust his company into the national spotlight was his 1983 purchase of Nashville-based Grand Ole Opry and the Opryland Hotel.  The Opryland Hotel ballooned in size during the 1980s and early 1990s to almost 2,000 rooms, making it one of the largest and most successful hotels in the world.

The success of the Opryland Hotel was in part a reflection of the ability of its managers.  With newfound success, money to invest, and a top-notch management team, Gaylord Entertainment announced two new hotel-development projects:  a 1,500-room Opryland Hotel in Grapevine, Texas, and a 1,400-room Opryland Hotel in Osceola County, near Orlando, Florida. The Texas and Florida Opryland Hotels were the first of several hotels the company planned to establish in the future. While construction was still underway at the two sites, the company announced plans for the $500 million Opryland Hotel Potomac, a 2,000-room hotel and convention center in National Harbor.

Gaylord Rockies Resort Photo
Marriott recently announced that the newest premier American destination, Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, has had its Grand Opening.

Gaylord’s newest enterprise offers and experience like no other previous Gaylord property.  Offering diverse convention, entertainment and lifestyle experiences, it truly celebrates the geographic heritage of the Rockies with regional themes and attractions designed exclusively for the resort.   The resort’s interior design has everything from waterfalls, boulders, native landscaping and even elevators designed to look like old mine shafts, a nod to Colorado’s gold rush history. Guest rooms boast carpets with Aspens and lumberjack plaid print pillows. In the Convention Center, one will find Colorado-inspired details throughout such as ski tracks and snow drifts. “For the past three years, a dedicated group of more than 1,500 individuals has worked tirelessly to bring this massive project to life.  We couldn’t be more excited to officially open our doors and welcome guests to experience all that’s offered at this magnificent property; a destination experience in its own that authentically captures Colorado’s adventurous spirit,” said Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center General Manager Rick Medwedeff.

The resort features 1,501 guest rooms, including 114 upscale suites, and more than 486,000-square-feet of meeting and convention space. Businesses can bring their conference, convention or meeting to life in one of the property’s new indoor or outdoor event rooms, including the 20,000-square-foot Aurora Patio and the 175,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall. The resort also offers eight dining options, a luxurious spa and salon, indoor and outdoor pools, a communal 75-foot TV, and picture-perfect views of the gorgeous landscape.  

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What to Do in Anaheim, California

Although most people may head to Anaheim just to visit Disneyland park, the area has so much more to offer!  This sunny Southern California town, with its dry, mild climate, is home to family-friendly restaurants, affordable chain hotels and sprawling strip malls. The area is very diverse, hosting rich immigrant communities that add a complex layer of food, culture and fun.  The locals are typically very active and enjoy sporting events and outdoor venues. Here are some of the best things to do if heading toward Orange County based off the New York Times list recently published.

1.    Catch a Sporting Event

The Angel Stadium of Anaheim is home to the Los Angeles Angels. The stadium is the fourth oldest in Major League Baseball and boasts a 230 foot sign that has a halo on top that lights up in honor of every victory.  A home game can attract up to 45,000 screaming fans so if you are looking for an active atmosphere then this is as good a place as any.

If ice hockey is more your taste then just opposite the Angel Stadium is the Honda Center, home to the Anaheim Ducks.  The center hosts a variety of events like football and live concerts.  In fact, when it first opened in June 1993, the first performance ever was a concert by Barry Manilow.  Once there, it may look eerily familiar.  It was also the location that the animated TV series Mighty Ducks.

2.    See Live Music

A lot of things in Anaheim are on a large scale and sometimes it is nice to enjoy some entertainment with a lot less people and a lot more intimacy.  City National Grove of Anaheim is a versatile 1,700-seat facility, located adjacent to Angel Stadium. It is consistently ranked as a “Top 10 Stop” in North America and is known for legendary performances by Prince, Merle Haggard, Lewis Black, Ray Charles and Stevie Nicks, among many others. It boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment and an experienced staff that is ready to create a one-of-a-kind event of any size.  Any day of the week the multipurpose, indoor venue hosts a variety of live concerts, family shows, comedy, community and private events.

3.    Visit a Park

Sitting just outside Anaheim is Ralph B. Clark Regional Park. A great location for those who like the fresh air and outdoors life.  The park has many activities to enjoy with your family and friends such as cycling, fishing, hiking, boating, or even stop for a picnic or barbeque.   Birders love to sit at one of the many picnic tables or under a shade tree with their binoculars and some snacks, as they can enjoy more than 130 varieties of species.  The hiking trails are a magnet for visitors because they are shaded by trees and run along the outer perimeter of the park.

If biking is more your preferred activity, try Canyon Rim Park.  This 6.5-acre park has 56 regular parking spots, as well as 2 spots that accommodate for people with disabilities, restrooms, drinking fountains and trash receptacles. There are a multitude of trail varieties and difficulties so no matter your age or physical restriction, there will be a trail for you. The park is located near the southerly entrance to the Deer Canyon Park Preserve and the trails leading to Oak Canyon Nature Center as well as the Walnut Canyon Reservoir Trail.

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