These made in Montana cocktails showcase exactly why the Montana distillery scene is thriving. Plus: Glacier National Park's best hotels and restaurants where I tried them all!
What does it take to convince me to try the best spirits from the best distilleries in Montana? Admittedly, very little! During my recent trip to Western Montana however, I had a particular motivation behind my quest. I began my trip in the city of Billings, which is famous for its craft beer and walkable beer trail. That's great for Billings, but not so great for me as I'm not particularly keen on beer. But when I found out that Montana was a leading producer of spirits I knew I had found my niche. I'm not sure why it never dawned on me that vodka, gin, rye, and rum would all thrive here. After all, growing grain is one of the things that Montana does best! As I was to discover, they're pretty darn good at processing grain too - and turning it into delicious cocktails.
I soon learned that conducting "research" on the best spirits and cocktails in Western Montana isn't an easy task. There are A LOT of amazing made in Montana distillers, creators, and cocktail shakers! My current list is but a small sampling of the spirits and distilleries Montana has to offer, with my personal thoughts on the tasting rooms, the cocktails I sampled, the restaurants where I ate, and - when those restaurants were in National Park lodges - my notes on some of the best hotels near Glacier National Park.
It's my hope that this rundown of Western Montana's best local flavors will encourage you to visit and have your own "spirited" visit. Like me, I suspect you'll encounter more flavor, fun, and fanciness than you ever imagined.
Eating, touring, exploring, and ... going to the Post Office? Here's what you can do in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, is one of the world's great adventure travel destinations. Vic Falls arguably offers the most scenic and heart pounding zip-lining, bungee jumping, aerial adventures, and white water rafting in the world. For some travelers, this all takes place against a backdrop of incredible luxury - gorgeous, plush resorts, genteel and swanky cocktail bars overlooking the gorge, and elegant restaurants whose service recalls a bygone era of glamour and refinement.
I, however, experienced none of this in Victoria Falls.
I was far too terrified to take part in anything remotely adventurous and far too frugal to indulge in any luxury offerings. The truth is that Victoria Falls activities are a bit tricky for value-minded travelers like myself who are eager for cozy microadventures. There is a fair bit on offer for transcontinental backpackers eager for cheap hostels, beers, and thrills. There's also plenty for indulgent spenders to drop their money on. But when it comes to the modest-spending scaredy-cat (that would be yours truly....) figuring out what you can do in Victoria Falls can be a challenge. These 15 activities are a good place to start. The list includes both things I did personally as well as some that I haven't yet experienced but seem to fit the bill.
Do you dream of walking on the wild side? A rhinoceros safari walk in Zambia is for you!
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When is it good manners to snort, grunt, and guzzle your food with no regard to your company? Only when you're a wild rhinoceros and your guests are part of a walking safari! This walk on the wild side definitely stands out as one of the most unique and exciting things we've ever done.
A walking rhinoceros safari can only be experienced in Livingstone, Zambia, at Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. "Mosi-oa-Tunya" translates to "the smoke which thunders" in reference to the power of Victoria Falls. And during our visit, it wasn't just the water which was thundering. Between our beating hearts and the stomping of feet and hooves, there was a lot going on during our morning with the rhinos.
I should have been on vacation but I couldn't stop thinking about the next big thing to share with you. If you've dreamed about a travel scarf with pockets, you're going to love this post!
What does summer vacation look like for a travel blogger? Probably a lot like it looks for everyone else! First, there are plenty of indulgent snack foods (hello there, poutine, ice cream, and popsicles). Next, there's a lot of laziness and lounging about in the sun, enjoying the breeze and watching the leaves ripple on the trees. There's even a good amount of time hanging out by the shore, collecting feathers and shells, and generally being thrilled to put social media on snooze.
Of course, there's also the unexpected rain - but we'll get to that in a moment!
This year, our summer vacation brought us to Craigleith Provincial Park for four nights of southern Ontario camping. Ryan and I stuffed our car with camping gear, beer, extra beach towels (but no pillows.... not our finest moment), a backpack brimming with books, magazines, and board games - and, of course, our dog, Oliver! Aside from the pillows, just one thing was missing and this one was intentional. My laptop was left at home and I couldn't have been happier!
But while I had officially banished work, I couldn't turn off the blogging side of my brain. Case in point: while camping, I was able to try out an incredible travel scarf with pockets, something I've been enamored with ever since I first heard about it. And I couldn't wait to tell you all about it! An infinity scarf with pocket features has been on my travel wish list for a while now. Originally I had visions of cuddling around the campfire in a chic scarf, looking glamorous while keeping my phone and keys safe, but Mother Nature delivered a heck of a rain storm that really let me put things to the test.
Check out our video showing just how gorgeous Ontario camping at Craigleith Provincial Park really is - on clear days and stormy ones alike! Then read on to learn more about my new favourite travel scarf (and enter to win one for yourself....)
Washington DC sightseeing is budget friendly travel! Here's how we explored Washington DC in 2 days with just $200 on hand.
When I announced my intentions to tackle budget travel in Washington DC in 2 days, people were skeptical. REALLY skeptical. When I further clarified that I was targeting the city for my next $200 Challenge (two people travel for two days and just spend $200), folks were downright incredulous. In fact, one friend warned me that she once had to spend $600 for a "cheap" hotel in the city center! But I wasn't worried. For when it came to Washington DC sightseeing on a budget, I had an ace up my sleeve. After all, I live and work in a capital city. I figured I knew all the secrets to cheap eats and free activities in a political town.
But did I? Planning a 2 day trip to Washington DC was about to test my budgeting chops! With my good friend and fellow blogger Hannah from Eat Sleep Breathe Travel by my side though, I was up for the adventure.
Saguenay is the best place to go kayaking in Quebec - even if there are a few misadventures along the way.
Brimming with confidence and cutting a dashing, athletic figure, I nimbly slid into the stern of my sea kayak, ready to embrace the elements and be one with nature.
Wait a minute.... that's not me! I've never been nimble at anything I do, let alone anything to do with boats! But when I had the opportunity to kayak the Saguenay, Quebec, Fjord - and specifically be in the Saguenay St Lawrence Marine Park, adjacent to Fjord National Park- I WAS truly ready to be one with nature. The chance to navigate a fjord here in Canada was a rare travel experience I couldn't miss.
As for the confidence.... well... let's just say that I was about as confident as I was nimble. But it didn't take me long to hit my stride, with only a few minor mishaps. And it was all worth it to be better acquainted with an absolutely incredible corner of the world. Here's why I think sea kayaking is among the best things to do in Saguenay (even if there were a few awkward wetsuit moments along the way).
Here's how to see the sunrise at Haleakala crater without a tour group and make reservations with ease.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we make a modest commission should you click through and make a purchase.
"It is the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed.'' This was Mark Twain's impression on the Haleakala summit sunrise and millions of travelers since have shared his sense of awe. Sunrise here is unlike anything else on earth. It all starts with some very unique land; Mount Haleakala is a dormant volcano which makes up 75% of the landmass on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Haleakala National Park encompasses a large portion of that volcano and, at Haleakala summit, you can look inside the slopes of the crater or even hike portions of them.
It's a unique and beautiful place at any time of day but a Haleakala sunrise visit is truly sublime. I have no doubt Twain would be thrilled to learn that modern travelers like Ryan and I loved the experience just as much as he did - but logistics have changed a bit over the years. Here are our best tips to see Haleakala sunrise without a tour group.
Visiting Fortress Louisbourg for the first time? Here's our inside tips for food, accommodations, activities.... and footwear.
"Half of you are wearing blue! And the other half have some red! What's going on? I can't tell if you're French or the dreaded English. Maybe I shouldn't let any of you pass."
It's never a great idea to provoke an armed guard, but at Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada, dramatic flair is all part of the experience. Louisbourg has been described as the jewel of all Canadian historic sites - an apt term, considering how precious the fortress was to the French.
In the 1740s, Louisbourg's size, importance, and operating costs were unmatched in North America. As the second most important French settlement in North America (after Quebec City), Louisbourg was quickly transformed from a small fishing settlement to a massive fortified town on the cusp of the Atlantic Ocean. Though remote and built on finicky, low lying grounds, the fortress was a major bargaining chip as France and Great Britain battled for control of Europe and the New World.
By 1758, Louisbourg was firmly under British control - but it saw a different kind of war in the 1960s. Architects, historians, archaeologists, and engineers battled a new enemy - damage, decay, ruin, and erosion - as they undertook North America's largest restoration project. Today, Louisbourg is a Parks Canada National Historic Site and the muskets are fired for demonstration only . But you can still expect plenty of French versus English jokes from the gate guards, along with a host of other historical adventures. Here are our best tips for making the most of your visit.
Porter Airlines now flies to Orlando Melbourne International Airport, Florida - where kayaking and oceanfront adventures await.
Did you know that the trick to not spooking a pelican is to calmly talk to it... almost like it's a dog? I'm not entirely sure this information is completely accurate, but it worked for me as my kayak glided towards a mooring post in the lagoon of Indian River, part of Florida's Sebastian Inlet State Park.
The pelican - much larger and broader than I had imagined while on land - showed no signs of abandoning his perch as the boat drifted closer but he did fuss about nervously. "Good pelican" I purred. "Who's a good bird? You are. Yes you are. You're a good bird and you have very handsome feathers". The cooing and coaxing worked; the pelican settled down and relaxed, and I breathed a sigh of relief that I another travel day had passed free from animal attacks.
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