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Admiring California’s Super Bloom!

On average, California is gifted with a “Super Bloom” once every 10 years. Miraculously, this 2019 super bloom is the second within the last three years!

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If you’re unaware, a super bloom is not some sort of apocalypse-type-flowering event. Rather, it’s the name of the phenomenon in which there is an outbreak of flowers that greatly exceeds the norm. The only chaos you’re bound to find during this naturally-occurring affair is the thousands of other locals, tourists, and travelers seeking out this nearly once-in-a-decade experience. 

Colors Of The Rainbow

However, that nearly “once-in-a-decade” experience is changing. The last super bloom in Southern California took place in early 2017. Californians only had to wait a mere two years for the mesmerizing bloom to take place again. This year, an abundance of early spring rain and mountain snow have allowed these valleys to show their true colors. The cooler temperatures are also allowing the bloom to last longer than usual. Nonetheless, photographers and Instagrammers alike are capturing fields of desert dandelions, pink sand verbena, purple lupine, and vibrantly energetic poppies. 

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How Far Do I Have To Go?

Those located in California or travel near its borders don’t need to go far to enjoy the state-wide beauty. Traces and patches of the super bloom are visible from areas north of San Francisco all the way down to San Diego – over a 500-mile stretch. We recommend you do all your own research if you plan on making the trip of one the various parks and locations to enjoy the lovely flower but we wanted to include to give you a head start in research. If you’re near Southern California, we suggest you look into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Desert Lily Sanctuary, Mojave Trails National Monument, & Diamond Valley Lake. 

BORREGO SPRINGS, CALIF. - MAR. 13, 2019. Wildflowers bloom near the Mile 31 marker of Highway S-22 i

 

Tips To Make Every Trip Worthwhile

Additionally, we’re providing a few tips to make each planned adventure as organized and fulfilling as possible.

  • Before you bother driving or hiking to these locations, consult with the Theodore Payne Wildflower Hotline. The bloom report is released every Friday.
  • If possible, visit during midweek to avoid traffic congestion on weekends.
  • As parking is not a given at any of these locations, be sure to pack the essentials: water, snacks, sunscreen, hats, and hiking boots.
  • Cellphone coverage may be questionable. Always bring a physical map if you plan to separate yourself from your vehicle. 
  • Many state parks, dogs are simply not allowed on trails & in wildflower fields. You are welcome to walk them in campgrounds and on designated roads. Leashes are a must. 

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Destinations

The Best Beach Cities In Europe

If you’re looking to take a relaxing beach vacation while also experiencing Europe, then look no further than these great European beach cities!

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We don’t always think about beautiful beaches when we think about a European vacation. Usually, we think about Paris or London or Rome. But the beauty of many European countries most certainly extends to their beaches. And while you might have heard of some of the more popular European beaches, there are some smaller beach cities that you may not have heard of.

So if you’re looking to take a relaxing beach vacation while also experiencing Europe, then look no further than these great European beach cities!

BARCELONA, SPAIN

Of course Spain has great beach cities! Are you surprised? Barcelona is one of the world’s great cities and much of this is due to its wonderful beach scene. If you want to be where the cool kids are and take in all the various food and drink vendors, then look no further than it’s most popular beach, Barceloneta. But if you want a more quiet beach experience while in Barcelona, Nova Icaria and Bogatell are the beaches for you.

And, aside from the beaches, Barcelona is still a fascinating and lively city. Incredible architecture can be found throughout the city, and the nightlife is thriving. Not to mention the city is full of great food and plenty of worthwhile galleries and museums.

LISBON, PORTUGAL

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and a great vacation option. And while it’s commonly known for its historic architecture and the lovely tram system that runs through it, it also has some long and lovely beaches along its coastline. If you want a peaceful and relaxing beach experience, look no further than Praia de Carcavelos. And if you consider yourself an experienced surfer, just head a little north to find your brethren.

Lisbon is also known for its numerous independent bookstores. So you’re an avid reader this is a great vacation destination for you.

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN

San Sebastian is most famous for its amazing cuisine. They have one of the highest populations of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. So that alone is a great reason to visit this beautiful city. But we’re here to talk about the beaches! And San Sebastian’s friendly, chilled-out Playa de la Concha is a truly stunning one, to say the least. You’ll enjoy the view of Santa Clara Island just off the shore, and the view of the lush green mountains behind you when you look inland.

And if you’re looking for a more lively beach scene, head on over to nearby Playa de la Zurriola to hang with the surfing and partying crowd.

SPLIT, CROATIA

When it comes to Croatia beaches, it’s all about the Dalmatian Coast. The water is so crystal-clear that you won’t even believe it’s actually an ocean. The only problem is, many of the beaches are rocky and isolated to small coves. Thankfully, that’s not the case in the beautiful city of Split. The beach is perfect for sunbathing and rum drinking, while the city itself still provides many great restaurants and bars. It’s also a city rich in history, so be sure to take in Diocletian’s Palace while you’re there.

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN

Mallorca has become known as a holiday drunk-fest of a beach city, but specifically, Palma de Mallorca provides the perfect blend of relaxed beaches and fun city vibes. The long, sandy beaches provide plenty of great amenities like showers, toilets, lifeguards, and umbrellas and loungers for rent. While the city offers seemingly endless attractions like great restaurants and bars, a historic cathedral, and a beautiful old town.

NICE, FRANCE

Nice, France is one of the most underrated cities in the world. Maybe it’s because St. Tropez gets all the attention when it comes to French beach cities. But Nice is just as… nice (sorry). The beaches go on for miles and are constantly accompanied by a lovely promenade. And while the public beaches and beautiful and fun, you can also pay a little extra and enjoy one of their numerous private beaches for a more secluded beach vacation experience.

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Destinations

The Best Wedding Destinations For The Fall

We talked to our colleagues and compiled a list of our favorite wedding destinations, especially for weddings in the fall.

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Fall weddings are taking over and with the beautiful colors and mild temperatures it’s no wonder why. Getting hitched during this time of year will leave you with stunning photos and fantastic memories. But where are the best places to go when you’re looking for the perfect destination wedding that is unbelievably beautiful in the Fall?

We talked to our colleagues and compiled a list of our favorite wedding destinations that would be perfect to get married at any time of year but especially in the Autumn.

BILTMORE ESTATE

The Biltmore Estate is a French chateau in Asheville, North Carolina. You will be surrounded by tons of trees with leaves that have changed colors. The chateau has 250 rooms and is on 8,000 acres so you don’t have to try and edit down those wedding invitations that much. There is even a winery right in the Biltmore Estates so guests can get drunk before getting crunk on the dance floor.

ARUBA

If Fall foliage isn’t really your thing then head to Aruba for your destination wedding. Aruba is a fantastic spot to unite with the person that you love because the crowds that flock to Aruba in the Summer are gone but the weather is still warm. Now you can get married on a jet ski just like you always dreamed.

OMNI MOUNT WASHINGTON RESORT

A spectacular resort in a spectacular setting is what makes this place so special. If you decide to get married here you will definitely not regret it. There is a rich history of the Omni Mount Washington Resort since it has always been a favorite of many different politicians, writers, and celebrities. This is the type of place you won’t want to leave after the wedding. You can honeymoon right there.

NAPA VALLEY

Nothing spells a good time like a wedding in wine country. Let all your family and friends know you’re down to have a rocking good time amongst the vineyards by heading up to the legendary Napa Valley for your wedding. There are plenty of fantastic wineries that offer on-site weddings and they may even bring you a free bottle or two. Get married Sideways-style by heading to the Napa Valley in the Fall.

ALLEGHENY MOUNTAINS

If the Allegheny Mountains is good enough for 22 American presidents then it’s good enough for your wedding. The Omni Homestead is absolutely stunning in the fall and the hot springs around there guarantee some excellent relaxation before or after your big day.

HUDSON VALLEY

If you’re a New Yorker then you’re probably looking for a beautiful wedding that isn’t surrounded by trash, rats, and a rancid pee smell. Head 90 miles upstate to the Hudson Valley which is a popular place to go check out the leaves changing color. The Catskill Mountains are amazing to marvel at and your wedding guests will be thoroughly entertained, even if your wedding is extremely boring.

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Destinations

Float Through The Most Boat Friendly Cities

We did the research and asked our colleagues and found all the most boat-friendly cities in the world so you can sail away all day.

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Some people live in towns that are stuffed full of traffic. They spend day in and day out commuting to and from work. So when it comes time for vacation the last thing they ever want to see is a car. That’s understandable, but where can you travel to that will be relatively car-free? What other forms of transportation can add some wonder to your trip instead of dread?

Well, boats of course! Boats are relaxing to ride on and add a level of romanticism to wherever you visit. The only problem is most people have no idea what cities to go to if they want to spend more time on boats than in cars. Don’t worry, we did the research and asked our colleagues and found all the most boat-friendly cities in the world so you can sail away all day.

GIETHOORN, NETHERLANDS

Giethoorn was the first place we thought of because you can spend an entire vacation here only on boats. You may not see a car on your entire visit to this beautiful place. The waterways here run all throughout the town instead of roads which means you won’t even hear a dreaded car on your entire visit.

The serene quietness of the town around you will be very noticeable and not in a bad way. You will be able to relax and enjoy the wonderful scenery all while enjoying a utopian level of quietness that will really help you relax.

ANNECY, FRANCE

This town is known as the “Pearl of the French Alps” and when you enter Annecy it is very easy to see why. You will feel like your smack-dab in the middle of a fairy tale when you boat down the two canals that run through this town, just make sure to stop at a cafe or two along the way for a delicious cup of coffee.

The stunning surroundings of the canal will truly make this a trip to remember and you will wonder why more people aren’t talking about the unbelievable beauty that is the “Pearl of the French Alps.”

BANGKOK, THAILAND

Bangkok does have cars and tons of motorcycles, but if you want to get away from all that then hop on a boat in the tons of canals that run all throughout this giant city. The river has always been a great way to get around the city. While they may be a little bit dirty, that shouldn’t deter you. They’re still beautiful windows into the unbelievable past that makes up wonderful Bangkok.

FENGHUANG, CHINA

Head over to China’s Hunan Province to visit Fenghuang and marvel at how green the beautiful water is that this town is centered around. You can sit and stare at the beautiful water and travel it all by boat as well. If you’re feeling a little more daring and boats are starting to get boring then attempt to cross the river by foot as there is a bridge of stones that you can walk across, just make sure you can keep your balance.

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