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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10 Trips to Take In Your 30’s

Looking for some of the best trips to take? More and more 30 somethings are prioritizing travel time amidst the busy family time and career-building. You’re older and wiser. And hopefully more financially secure. Where to travel now that you’ve got your life together? (Relatively-speaking, of course.) Here are 10 trips that deliver the perfect mix of excitement, intrigue, adventure, luxury, and most importantly—fun!—from an off-the-grid getaway in Alaska to a bucket-list safari in Africa.

  1. Costa Rica

    Cheap travel and world-class swells brought you to Costa Rica in your twenties. Now, experience some of the country’s more grown-up pleasures—namely, its jaw-dropping natural scenery, inspired cuisine, and wellness-focused attractions—at the adults-only Oxygen Jungle Villas. The boutique hotel is nestled within a plot of protected Costa Rican rainforest and perched above the Pacific Ocean, so you truly feel like you’re living in the wild. You’ll spend your days lounging in your Balinese-style villa, going on countless outdoor excursions (hiking, whale watching, scuba diving), and exploring the restaurants and storefronts of neighboring town Ojochal.

    2.    Lanserhof Tegernsee, Bavaria

    Vacation days—and we mean real vacation days, sans work and family commitments—are hard to come by in your thirties. Which is why it’s important to truly relax, re-center, and recharge when you do get a few days to yourself. Enter the legendary Lanserhof Tegernsee detox resort in the Bavarian Alps. Here, spa-goers are retaught how to chew and sleep, forced to cut sugar and alcohol from their diets, and if the specialists deem it necessary, subjected to futuristic medical evaluations including sleep assessments. The amenities make up for the rigors of the program: we’re talking an 18-course golf course, a saltwater swimming pool, nightly classical music concerts and a monastically beautiful setting (all glass and stone and embowered by the forest).

 

  1. Stockholm, Sweden

    Your thirties are all about cultivating a distinctive sense of taste and style. And in Stockholm, you’ll have world-class museums, galleries, design stores, and concept boutiques at your fingertips. A few must-stops: Sven Harrys-Art Museum, a slick new art space that houses the private collection of collector Sven-Harry Karlsson; Malmstenbutiken, a storied Swedish brand known for its furniture and textile designs; and hotel At Six, a boutique high-rise with an art collection that includes big names like Sol Le Witt and Jaume Plensa.

 

  1. Amalfi Coast

    You’ve dreamt about Amalfi’s pastel-hued villages, cobbled streets, and cerulean waters for as long as you can remember. Now that you have disposable income to spend and (hopefully) more vacation days, it’s time to make those dreams a reality. Stay in Amalfi at the five-start Hotel Santa Caterina, set in a 19th-century, liberty-style villa above the sea. When you’re not lounging by the private pool or the beach club, explore the town’s charming maze of narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, precipitous steps, and bustling piazza.

 

  1. Sri Lanka

    If you’re celebrating a big anniversary or birthday, there’s no better place to do so than Sri Lanka. The exotic island offers out-of-this-world Indian Ocean coastlines, lush tropical vegetation, elephant-filled national parks, and plenty of luxury resorts like the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, spread across a 21-acre former coconut plantation on the southernmost coast of Sri Lanka. Splurge on a private villa—which comes with a private plunge pool, expansive deck, butler pantry, tiled rainfall shower—and you may never want to leave your guest room. But we’d recommend peeling yourself away for at least a few hours to indulge at an authentic Ayrvedic treatment at the spa, learn the ropes of Sri Lankan cooking at Anatara’s popular Spice Spoons Cooking school, or take part in a traditional high-tea service.

    6.    Chile

    With age comes wisdom—plus, an affinity for the finer things in life. And at Chile’s Viña Vik Hotel, a design-forward retreat and spa located two hours from Santiago, in Chile’s Millahue Valley, you’ll find plenty of amenities that will appeal to your refined tastes. We’re talking an award-winning spa, infinity pool, two restaurants, and high-design guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, original artwork, and curvilinear furniture (an homage to the property’s undulating titanium rooftop). Want to get outside and take in some of that jaw-dropping scenery? There are seven horses on standby that can whisk you around the property’s vineyard.

 

  1. Alaska

    There will come a time in your thirties when you just need to get away from it all (the job, the bills, the responsibilities) with a back-to-nature trip. And for this kind of escapist getaway, we’d recommend Alaska—a land of impenetrable forests, vast tundras, towering glaciers, and some of the world’s most awe-inspiring animals. To see the region’s wildlife up close and personal, hop on a guided glacier or wildlife walk with Salmon Berry Tours, where you might spot Dall sheep, mountain goats, and caribou as you explore the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. Then it’s on to the Kenai Fjords National Park, the smallest national park in Alaska, to see The Harding Icefield (almost 714 square miles of ice up to a mile thick) and Resurrection Bay. Make your home base The Hotel Alyeska, a rustic mountain lodge with direct access to hiking and biking trails.

 

  1. Shanghai, China

    It can be easy to fall into a bit of a vacation rut in your thirties, returning to the same hotels and destinations over and over again. To rediscover your love of travel—and immerse yourself in an intoxicating foreign environment—pack your bags for Shanghai. The cosmopolitan city has it all: sleek skyscrapers, high-end shopping, innovative restaurants, and cultural landmarks, from the French Concession and Nanshi to the riverfront Bund. Check into The Puli Hotel and Spa, a serene urban hideaway with a central address in city’s Jing’An district and Zen vibe.

    9.    Douro Valley, Portugal

    You did Lisbon and Porto in your twenties. Now, it’s time to see a different side of Portugal by spending some time in Douro Valley—a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards the blanket steep mountainsides, with the majestic Douro River as the centerpiece. Visit the historic Six Senses, a 19th-century manor house restored for the 21st century by New York-based firm Clodagh Design. Guests can unwind with treatments in the spa. Take a break from your education in viniculture at the property’s magnificent infinity-edge pool, which looks out over the winding river.

 

  1. Newfoundland

    If you’ve been to Canada, chances are it wasn’t to Newfoundland. The sleepy Atlantic Canadian province doesn’t exactly have the uh, international appeal as cities like Montreal or Toronto. What it does have? Quaint fishing villages, arctic wildlife, jaw-droppingly beautiful national parks, and plenty of Maritime charm—all things you likely have more of an appreciation for now that’s you’re older. Start your adventure in the capital city of St. John’s, a colorful little town with steep streets and clapboard houses.  Then hit the road in the direction of Fogo Island. The tiny, salt-tanged isle offers fewer than a dozen restaurants and cafes, but makes up for it with a burgeoning art scene and plenty of design-forward accommodations—like the 29-room Fogo Island Inn.

 

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Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta

For nine days in October, the New Mexico skies are painted as hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park. Nothing rivals the power of Mass Ascension on crisp early mornings as these graceful giants leave the ground to take their place in the cerulean desert sky. For ballooning fans worldwide, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a pilgrimage. There’s something for everyone to enjoy . . . whimsical special shapes filled with equal parts of hot air and wonder, and Balloon Glows that create a magical night landscape for spectators to wander. No matter who you are, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will leave you awestruck and wanting more.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world-renowned attraction and destination for kids of all ages. For more than three decades, the first week in October brings the smell of roasting chiles and the beautiful, magical moving picture show of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air.

Guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque to celebrate ballooning. Literally hundreds of balloons will be taking flight from the Balloon Fiesta Park this year.

From its modest beginnings in 1972 with 13 balloons launching from a shopping mall parking lot, the Balloon Fiesta has grown to multiple events launching year-round at the custom-designed, 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. Our signature event remains Balloon Fiesta—which, with 700 balloons, is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.

Imagine 54 football fields, all put together. That’s the size of Balloon Fiesta Park’s 78-acre launch field! And at this Park’s “playing field,” there are no losing teams and no viewing stands. Guests walk the field and are part of the action.  The balloons are released in what is called “Mass Ascension.” Mass Ascension has been a feature of Balloon Fiesta since its earliest days and is the most spectacular display of sound and color in all of aviation. During mass ascensions, balloons launch in two waves. Launch directors, also known as zebras because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as traffic cops, coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner. Weather permitting, balloons begin to launch at about 7:00 AM on mass ascension days, led by a balloon flying the American flag to the strains of The Star Spangled Banner.

Hundreds of thousands of smiling, upturned faces, awestruck by the spectacular beauty of hot air balloons filling the big blue New Mexico sky. What you can’t hear until you walk our field at nightfall is the thrilling roar of hundreds of burners simultaneously igniting, turning the Park into a huge lighted Christmas tree of colorful balloons. What you can’t feel until you join us is the massive joy everywhere around you.

 

There are several events to enjoy besides the actual ballooning.  Anyone is eligible to enter a photo contest.  There are 5 categories:

 

Kids at Balloon Fiesta Photo Entry
Dawn Patrol/Balloon Glow Photo Entry
Mass Ascension Photo Entry
Special Shape Rodeo Photo Entry
AfterGlow Fireworks Photo Entry

There will be an amazing fireworks show once the sun goes down (so bring your lawn chairs!).  Along with fireworks, guests can enjoy Chainsaw Carving.  The 2018 AIBF Chainsaw Carving Invitational will feature Professional Chainsaw Carvers from all over the world, competing and producing some of the most amazing sculptures you will ever see. Chainsaw Sculpture is a relatively new art form that has gained enthusiasts all over the world. The delicate ballet the carvers perform with a powerful chainsaw is mesmerizing. Come and see what all the buzz and chips flying is all about!  You will be absolutely amazed to see what these artists can do with a log, a chainsaw and 90 minutes!

Throughout the day and night, live music will be available.  This year there is an all-star lineup!

1:00 p.m. – The Noms

2:30 p.m. – Michael Ray

4:00 p.m. – Old Dominion

 

Along with these special events,  much more is offered. Visit the official event website for a full list of events, times and offerings.

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Best Heritage Hotels of Asia

Many of Asia’s most beautiful heritage hotels emerged during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here, we take a travel through time to explore the top 2 of the region’s most stately places to rest your head:

Raffles Singapore

Originally opened in 1887 by the four brothers, the hotel has welcomed every manner of celebrity and diplomat over the years. It’s so rooted in Singapore history that the government declared the building a protected National Monument in 1987. From gleaming wooden floors to open courtyard gardens, luxurious afternoon tea sets and spacious suites, the hotel has long been associated with old-world comforts. This year, international architecture firm Aedas is leading the ultra-sensitive renovation project. The plan aims to re-imagine the social areas and dining experiences, refresh suites with updated technology and incorporate long overdue amenities — such as soundproof bedroom windows — while retaining the building’s beautiful old bones.

The Peninsula, Hong Kong

If the fleet of custom “Peninsula Green” Rolls-Royces in the driveway and white-capped pageboys standing guard by the door are any indication, The Peninsula has long been a top meeting place for Hong Kong’s upper crust.  It’s also one of the oldest hotels in the territory. The Pen, as it’s nicknamed, opened in 1928, overlooking Victoria Harbour from its prestigious plot in Tsim Sha Tsui. Around the property, Old World charm meets avant-garde atmosphere. The guestrooms have a more modern feel, thanks to a round of renovations completed in 2012. However, certain corners still feel like they’ve been locked in time. The high ceilings and French atmosphere come with grand chandeliers, leisurely lunches and white-gloved service.

Likewise, the ornate Lobby Lounge serves elegant afternoon tea sets soundtracked by a live string quartet, while Spring Moon has been a bastion of Cantonese fine-dining since it opened in 1986.

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Britain’s Best Hidden Paradise: The Scilly Isles

The Scilly Isles are a little cluster of islands off the tip of Cornwall and they are truly astonishing. There are five inhabited islands and they are like little English villages stranded out in the ocean. They’re the kinds of places where everybody knows everybody but it rarely feels claustrophobic. There is plenty of room, the opposite of crowded beaches full of colorful umbrellas and loud boomboxes.  You could hike for miles and not see another person. They boast Britain’s most beautiful white sand beaches, miles of walking trails through gorgeous forest, and best of all, though strange, its own climate. With daytime highs barely reaching 57°F and rarely dipping below 50°F at night in the fall, it’s a welcome escape from Britain’s hot, muggy weather if you’re visiting that time of year. With such a comfortable temperature, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of the many shore-side restaurants and coffee shops.  Take a seat, relax, slow down to the pace of the locals, and watch the waves crash and the ships tug by while partaking in some fresh-caught fish and seafood. At Adam’s Fish & Chips, the only diner, it’s Adam himself who will catch your dinner from the ocean and then prepare it in the kitchen: pollock and lobster tails fresh from the ocean.

Though the islands aren’t easy to reach, even for the Brits, that’s part of the appeal, and the journey is an adventure in itself. From London, you take the sleeper train then transfer by bus to a nearby airport where a twice-daily helicopter and a fleet of tiny planes serve the islands. An added bonus- from the air, the islands are tantalizing.

Slow travel is the name of the game here, as even getting between the islands isn’t as simple as hopping on the next boat. Times and pick-up locations are dictated by the tides.  While the Scilly Isles might be hard to get to, it seems they’re equally hard to leave.

 

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The Easiest Travel Hack

This biggest complaint regarding air travel is the delicate and time-consuming trek through security which is why we want to share this simple travel hack.  It’s stressful and annoying and frankly, seems unfair that something outside of your control could affect your travel so much.  During just one week in March, nearly 6,800 American Airline passengers missed their flights due to these checkpoints alone. We have found the best way to SIGNIFICANTLY cut down the time it takes you to get through.  Anyone can take advantage of this hack but if you are an avid traveler for business or pleasure, you especially need to read on.

We found that the rate of people who are signing up for TSA Precheck by IdentoGO is quickly rising as the word spreads.  With TSA Precheck, trusted travelers can leave their shoes, belts, and jackets on, and keep their liquids and laptops in their bag as it gets scanned. It eliminates the stress, and the hassle and makes the process much faster, too. This past April, 92% of travelers with TSA Precheck waited less than 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES!  That’s a lot less than the regular line and surely prevented several missed flights.

The best part is that TSA Precheck lasts 5 full years, but it only takes about 15 minutes to get signed up. All you have to do is fill out a form online to start your application, and visit an office near you to give your fingerprints. No need to go all the way to the airport—unless you live near one and it’s more convenient for you. It only costs $85 for 5 full years. That’s only $17 a year! And if you have kids under 12, they’re free.  Fast, convenient, and affordable, it’s the easiest travel hack out there yet many don’t take advantage of it. Do yourself a favor and sign up today!

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