Wanderlust Wayfarer is the perfect place to find out about luxury travel and trends on a shoestring budget. If you like a five-star experience, but you have a three-star budget, I have good news for you. There are plenty of ways to experience the world on a shoestring budget. And you can look good while doing it! Each blog post features a new itinerary with the best ways to spend an amazing dayâ€”or moreâ€”in some of the most spectacular cities and towns across the globe. Each itinerary focuses on packing the most you can into your day. If youâ€™re like me, you have limited time off from work each year, and you want to make the most of it. This means condensing a lot of action into a little bit of time.
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Guest post by Alice Ross at For Travelista Many travelers have to change aircraft at the airport in Bangkok and end up with some free time in the city. Most flights going through the Bangkok airport have connecting flights scheduled pretty close together, so you don’t need to wait too long for your next […] The post Things to Do in Bangkok During a 24-Hour Layover appeared first on Wanderlust...
Guest post by Alice Ross at For Travelista
Many travelers have to change aircraft at the airport in Bangkok and end up with some free time in the city.
Most flights going through the Bangkok airport have connecting flights scheduled pretty close together, so you don’t need to wait too long for your next flight. But what if your layover is longer than a few hours? Or maybe you’ve got 24 hours to spend in the city before you fly out? You don’t want to wait at the airport for too long! We all know lounges can be expensive and massage chairs are not always enough to keep you comfortable. One of the best ways to use your free time is to explore Thailand’s capital city.
It’s easy to get to the main city of Bangkok from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Not only is the Airport Rail Link fast, but it’s also affordable. For only 150 Baht, you can take the 30-minute ride from the airport to Makkasan Station. As the closest station to the main city, it will be your starting point.
Another option is riding in a taxi. They easily are available from the airport’s ground floor. While not as cheap as taking the train, taxis are a more convenient way to get around. However, you have to know that rush hour and rainy days are not the best times to take a taxi as you might spend hours sitting in it. Also, ask your driver to turn on the meter before hopping in it, unless you want to get ripped off, of course.
So, where should you go? It’s best to make the attraction you want to see first your direct destination from the airport. Note that some places, especially temples, may refuse your entry if you’re not wearing proper clothing. Do not wear flip-flops, sleeveless shirts, or shorts. This strict rule applies to both genders. If you happen to forget to wear the right clothing, there are many shops targeting tourists that will allow you to buy or rent a sarong or shoes.
You can start by soaking up some of the local culture. The Grand Palace is an amazing example of Thai culture and probably the most iconic landmark in Bangkok. This complex is where you will find Wat Phra Kaew that houses the famous 14th-century Emerald Buddha. The small architectural details and Buddhist shrines make the Grand Palace a tourist attraction that no foreign visitors should miss. The city’s cultural heart is a fascinating attraction that offers unique insight into the country’s history.
If the weather and time allow, you may want to take a tour from the River City complex on the Chao Phraya’s riverbank for an opportunity to see quickly see some of the city’s historical monuments. Weaving between the houses along the waterways of Bangkok and passing by the remarkable temples, such as the majestic Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn, you get a feel of authentic life in Bangkok. The tour will bring you up the river by longtail boat, and you’ll get to the calmer rice barge, where you’ll you can try some of the delectable cuisines.
Your trip to Bangkok is not complete if you haven’t experience exploring some of its many shopping markets. Considered as a shopper’s paradise, you can find anything you can think of here. Make sure to bargain for the best price for the products you want to take home with you.
Siam is the ultimate shopping district in Bangkok. Here, you will find rows of mega malls sitting that house some of the biggest brands in fashion. You can spend your whole day walking around the malls and still not see them all. So, if you have limited time in Siam Paragon, you may want to check out Siam Center and Central World first, as they offer the best combination of designers, high street brands, and boutiques. While MBK is infamous among travelers, it is the best place to go if you’re looking for cheap trinkets.
Another place you may want to go is in Platinum Fashion Mall located in Pratunam. Platinum is a one-stop shop for those who are looking wholesale finds that specializes in fashion brands. The many options available might be intimidating for some, but if you’re looking for something special, it is a worthwhile stop.
And of course, you cannot truly experience Bangkok unless you see its nightlife. If you have a low to mid-range budget, you can find a lot of affordable bars that target tourists. Khao San Road is probably the most popular street in Bangkok, if not, in all of Thailand – partly for having the most bars per square foot in the whole country.
Another popular area for lowball partygoers is Silom Soi 4. In this area is where you will find Langsuan, which is popular for its live music. Sukhumvit Road, on the other hand, has a lot of Irish, British, German, and American-style pubs. You can enjoy live DJ music here as well.
If you are looking for bigger, more upscale clubs, then you must check out RCA. You will find six big clubs located close to one another. While many bars don’t have a dress code, you might still want to dress well, just in case.
As the main hub of Thailand, Bangkok offers travelers plenty of opportunities to have a lot of fun even in a short amount of time. If you have a flight connection in this exciting city, be sure to check out the many things to do in Bangkok during a 24-hour layover.
Alice Ross is a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. You can read about her travels at For Travelista.
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June through August each year, the Provence lavender fields come alive. From muted mauves to vibrant violets, the lavender in Provence, France, is a rich array of colorful hues and refreshing scents that tantalize the senses. It was my dream for many years to see the lavender fields in bloom, and when that dream […] The post Take a Day Trip through the Lavender in Provence appeared first on Wanderlust...
June through August each year, the Provence lavender fields come alive.
From muted mauves to vibrant violets, the lavender in Provence, France, is a rich array of colorful hues and refreshing scents that tantalize the senses. It was my dream for many years to see the lavender fields in bloom, and when that dream finally came true, it was one of the loveliest trips I have ever taken. In just one day, you can visit several small provincial towns and villages, stopping along the route to walk among fragrant fields of lavender or gaze at the stunning landscapes.
If you’re in France throughout the summer months, I highly recommend renting a car and heading to Provence for a day or two—I promise you won’t be disappointed. In addition to lavender, you’ll find no shortage of heritage, history, culture, and cuisine.
When to Go
Typically, the lavender begins to bloom in June and is harvested in August. Of course, it’s up to Mother Nature to decide when the fields will be at their fullest, but if you visit sometime between the end of June and late July, you should have a good chance of seeing the lavender in all its glory. I visited at the end of June, and the lavender was at its prime. If I had visited any earlier, I think the blossoms would have been a lot less dense.
Where to Stay
To make the most of your visit, you’ll want to hit the road early, so it’s a good idea to stay overnight in the area. Cavaillon is a small town in the center of the action. Located in Luberon National Park, it’s surrounded by beautiful vistas and quaint provincial towns. While there isn’t much to do in Cavaillon per se, it’s the perfect jumping off point for visiting many nearby attractions. I stayed at the Inter-Hotel Cavaillon Hôtel Du Parc, and I kid you not, it was the most delightful experience.
Situated just off the main road, there is plenty of free parking right outside the hotel, which is ideal since it’s necessary to have a car for your stay if you want to visit the surrounding communities and take a tour through the lavender. Upon entering the adorable inn, we were immediately greeted by the owner. She was eager to show us around and gives us tips on what to see during our stay. She was helpful, friendly, and very knowledgeable. The pride she had for her inn and community were absolutely infectious. And we absorbed every bit of advice she gave us like the good little sponges we are.
The charming decor is exactly what you would expect from a hotel in Provence, with antiques and other adornments filling every empty space. There’s a huge breakfast room where, for about 10 Euros, you can enjoy delicious pastries, teas, and other goodies each morning. The spacious rooms are immaculate, cozy, and offer all the amenities you need for a most amazing stay.
Map Out Your Route
I am all about advance planning, but there are so many possibilities for things to see and do in this region of France that it’s hard to narrow things down. I had a high-level idea of the types of things I wanted to see and do but nothing concrete. I told the innkeeper my ideas, and she quickly went to work highlighting several routes on a map, giving us a variety of options for places to visit. She included the top spots to see the lavender, as well as great places to grab a bite to eat and check out the local culture. All of her suggestions were spot on.
The map shown here details the exact route we took. Click the “More options” link opens up step-by-step driving instructions so you can follow the same route on your visit to the Provence lavender fields.
Morning – Lavender Museum
Start your day with a visit to the Lavender Museum just a 15-minute drive from Cavaillon in the community of Coustellet. Here, you’ll learn all about the history of lavender farms in France and the evolution of the distillation process. You’ll also find out how to tell authentic lavender from synthetic products. The cost is just 7 Euros-ish per person, and it includes a self-guided audio tour.
Plan to spend about 45 minutes exploring the museum, which is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from May through September. Be sure to arrive early to get ahead of the crowds. We got there just after opening, and by the time we left, tour buses were starting to arrive and carloads of people were pulling into the parking lot.
In addition to the exhibits, Le Chateau du Bois boutique sells locally made lavender products. After you’ve picked up a few souvenirs—I grabbed a sachet for my closet—head outside for a first glimpse at the lavender in bloom. There is a small but wonderfully fragrant field where you can snap a few shots. It’s also where we learned from the “Beware of Snakes” signs that vipers like to hide out beneath the lavender bushes, so watch your step when you’re wandering through the fields (or driving the back roads, as I well learned).
Mid-Morning – Sénanque Abbey
Next, make your way to Sénanque Abbey on the fringes of Gordes, a stunning hilltop town. It’s just a 20-minute drive from Coustellet along scenic country roads that wind around Gordes for phenomenal views of the village that is considered one of the most beautiful in all of France. It was about 11 a.m. when we arrived, and it was already packed. We lucked out and quickly got a parking space near the entrance to the entrance, but be prepared to walk a ways or wait a while for a good spot.
The abbey is the quintessential stop for lavender enthusiasts. In fact, when you Google lavender fields, the iconic image that comes up is one of the stone abbey surrounded by fields of purple flowers. It’s every bit as beautiful in person as it is in pictures, though don’t expect to walk through the lavender. At best, you can view it from behind a tall stone wall or from the side.
Founded in 1148 by Cistercian monks, the abbey is home to a small community of monks who make their living growing lavender and tending honey bees. You can purchase some of their products in the abbey boutique, as well as a delightful selection of other lavender-related products. Here, I picked up some homemade honey, a brick of soap, perfume, another sachet, and a tote bag. Expect to spend less than an hour at the abbey.
By now, your stomach will likely be grumbling. Make your way back to Gordes and park in one of the public stalls in the center of town. It costs just a few dollars for the entire day, but you likely won’t spend more than an hour or two. It will take only five or ten minutes to walk into town, which is defined by the white stone buildings that rise from the high above the cliff side and the labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets.
Take some time to explore the local shops, which sell much the same lavender products as the abbey and every other boutique in Provence. Then, grab a bite to eat at one of the many street-side cafes. We opted to grab a Caprese sandwich and a lemon meringue tart from a local bakery, which we ate sitting on a rocky stairwell in the middle of the action and watched the world go by—one of my favorite things to do. After, we wandered around a bit more and enjoyed the beautiful views of the farms below the village before heading back to the car to continue our road trip.
My trip to this part of France was solely inspired by my desire to see the lavender fields in bloom so we continued our road trip north toward Sault. Since the development of synthetic lavender, many farmers have stopped growing the good stuff—it’s a lot of work for not a lot of reward (as we learned at the museum earlier in our trek). However, many farmers between Gordes and Sault still earn a living growing lavender, so it’s a must for anyone who shares my passion to see the fields in bloom. The drive takes about an hour, and there isn’t much to do in Sault once you arrive, but the beautiful vistas en route are worth every mile you put on your rental.
We stopped numerous times along the highway to frolic in lavender fields and take pictures of the purple panoramas beneath the twisting road. I’m not going to lie, there’s a steep drop at times, and there are numerous turns on the impossibly narrow two-way route, but it’s not a long drive by North-American standards. You can take a break when you reach the top. Parking is a bit trickier here—you may need to circle around a few times before you can find a spot on a side street.
Sault itself is a small community. There are a handful of boutiques selling the tried and true lavender staples. Our fun find here was a nougat shop with the most delicious selection of flavors, including lavender, which we just had to try. Simply tell the shopkeeper how much you want, and she’ll chop off a chunk. You pay by weight.
We also went to a nearby lavender distillery on the edge of town called Aroma Plantes. Here, you can take a tour of the facility to see how farmers extract the essence from the lavender. There’s also a small, interactive exhibit and a well-stocked shop filled with everything from lavender-infused essential oils to hair products. Our favorite feature was the on-site cafe serving up lavender-infused beverages of all kinds, as well as a selection of delicious snacks. I had the apple lavender juice and a lavender honey crepe. Both were divine. Plan to spend about a half hour wandering through Sault and an hour or so at the distillery.
I love packing my days as full as I can when I’m on vacation, so we decided to make one last stop before returning to Cavaillon. Located at the base of the Mont de Vaucluse, Roussillon is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s truly a gem. About a 40-minute drive from Sault, the lavender landscape gives way to majestic red cliffs and magnificent ochre quarries. There’s a public parking zone on the edge of the city that costs just a few bucks.
We arrived around 5 p.m., which was early enough for the shops and restaurants to still be open but late enough that the crowds had died down a bit. We grabbed a gelato to tide us over and then made our rounds through the red stone streets. Roussillon looked quite different from the other towns we’d visited during the day, and we thoroughly enjoyed its uniqueness. Hands down, the most spectacular feature of this quaint community is the striking view of the vibrant cliffs jutting up over the towering trees and into the bright blue sky—amazing to behold. We spent about an hour and a half in Roussillon, which was plenty of time to walk through the maze of streets.
The drive back to Cavaillon takes about 30 minutes. If you follow the same route we took and spend about the same amount of time in each location, means you’ll arrive back in Cavaillon around 7 p.m. Like most sleepy provincial towns, just about every restaurant is closed by this time. So I offer a few options to close out your evening with a delicious meal.
Across from the Roman Arch in the center of town, you’ll find a pizza truck. I know, you didn’t go all the way to France to eat pizza from a truck, but it’s good…like really good. They offer a ton of toppings, bake it fresh when you order, and it only costs about 10 Euros for an entire pie. There was a long lineup of people waiting for their orders when we arrived, so we figured it was worth a shot. We sat on the steps of the arch to eat and enjoyed a little more people watching.
Alternatively, make your way to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorge, a small but adorable community about 15 minutes from Cavaillon by car. Most of the restaurants close early, but there are a few who keep their doors open past 7 p.m.
If you want to see the lavender in Provence, follow this jam-packed itinerary, and you can’t go wrong. Driving through Luberon is as easy as pie, so it makes for a peaceful and relaxing journey. If you’d rather let someone else do the driving, there are plenty of great—and affordable—day trips you can take, too. For me, this was a bucket list trip and one of my favorites of all time. Considering I have been to more than 50 countries and hundreds of cities, it takes a lot to impress me, and I would happily do this trip again and again and never get bored.
Did I miss anything? Are there other places to see the lavender in Provence you’d recommend? Leave a comment here to share your ideas!
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A day trip to Windsor Castle from London is a fun and easy way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city for a few hours. Located just 30 miles from London, Windsor is a cozy community steeped in a rich royal history. Home to the largest and oldest inhabited […] The post Plan the Perfect Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London appeared first on Wanderlust...
A day trip to Windsor Castle from London is a fun and easy way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city for a few hours.
Located just 30 miles from London, Windsor is a cozy community steeped in a rich royal history. Home to the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world, as well as a bevy of unique boutiques and bistros, Windsor is the kind of place where you can while away the hours simply strolling the charming city streets or enjoying high tea in the afternoon.
Making your way to Windsor Castle from London couldn’t be any easier. Trains run every 30 minutes from Paddington Station, one of the busiest train stations in the city. You’ll find easy-to-use electronic ticket kiosks inside the doors of the station where you can purchase your ticket to Windsor & Eton Central station. If you need assistance, simply locate one of the many staff members, and they’ll happily lend a hand.
Once you’ve purchased your ticket, look for the departures boards to find out when the next train arrives and which platform to catch it on. Some trains leave later but make more stops, so be sure to look for the fastest overall route. After about 30 minutes onboard, you’ll need to transfer trains at Slough station. It’s a very small station with only four platforms, so it’s pretty easy to get around. Upon arrival, check the departures signs to find out when the next Windsor-bound train arrives and which platform it will be on. They run very often, so if you just miss one, don’t fear. Another one will come soon, and the ride from Slough only to Windsor takes only 5 minutes. The entire trip takes about 40 minutes total, including the transfer.
Pro Tip: If your schedule is flexible, purchase a ticket for off-peak travel. The trains will be less crowded and more affordable. An off-peak return ticket costs only about £12.
Things to Do
With of population of just over 32,000, Windsor has all the charm of a small town, but thanks to its very important royal residents, it’s got no shortage of things to do. Of course, Windsor Castle, best known these days as the site of Prince Harry and Meghan Marke’s nuptials, is the city’s main attraction. As one of the three official homes of the queen, the stately 900-year-old castle is a sight to behold.
When you get off the train, basically all you need to do is walk forward straight out of the station, and you’ll be within steps of the castle gates. Just follow the signs—it’s that easy. Depending on the time of year, the hours of operation change ever so slightly, but you can typically expect to find it open between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. during the peak season.
Though I’m born and raised in Canada, my grandma was from England, so I’m all about the royals, but I opted not to go inside. By 10 a.m., the line to get in was about a block long, and the cost of admission is hefty at more than £21 per ticket. I settled for a long-distance look from outside the castle walls. If you do intend to go inside, expect to spend between 90 minutes and three hours exploring the castle.
Shop Til You Drop
Aside from the castle, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend your hard-earned cash in Windsor. All around the castle, you’ll find sho-lined streets where you can purchase royal-themed souvenirs or one-of-a-kind gifts. The railway station itself is home to Windsor Royal Shopping. Open seven days a week, the shopping center features 40 brand-name retailers and a solid mix of restaurants and cafes.
Be sure to hit up Peascod Street, which is steps away from the train station and runs south-west from the entrance of Windsor Castle. The pedestrian street boasts a number of unique boutiques and eateries. In addition to cute side streets and alleyways, other nearby shopping streets include High Street and Thames Street.
Windsor Yards Shopping Centre is located in King Edward Court, just steps away from the central train station. A variety of well-known retailers, such as Zara and Topshop, have set up shop here.
Before heading back to London, enjoy afternoon tea at one of the many local eateries. I highly recommend pampering yourself with a mouthwatering meal at the luxurious Madame Posh on Peascod Street. I just dare you to walk by the window featuring all of the restaurant’s decadent delicacies without stopping to try one. I can’t even tell you how long it took me to get a picture of the window without a hoard of people ogling all of the desserts inside. While the restaurant does offer a delicious afternoon tea, I was in the mood for a savory crepe, or galette. And I simply couldn’t pass up the lemon meringue tarts. I ate outside at one of the faux-fur-lined tables. Both the atmosphere and the food were to die for. It was the perfect way to top off our day trip to Windsor Castle from London.
Pro Tip: Plan to spend anywhere from four to eight hours roaming the city’s main attractions and another hour for travel time on your day trip to Windsor Castle from London. We left Paddington Station at around 9:30 a.m. and returned at about 4:30 p.m.
Windsor is just one of the many great day trips you can take from Paddington Station in London. For this reason, I recommend staying in the vicinity if you’re planning to get outside the city several times during your stay. The Point A Hotel London Paddington is a budget-friendly hotel that’s only a 5-minute walk from the station. Though it has only a two-star rating by hotel standards, most reviewers give it four or five stars on TripAdvisor. The rooms are spacious, clean, and recently renovated. If you like a little more luxury, I highly recommend Hazlitt’s Hotel. Located in Soho, it’s a bit of a trek to Paddington Station, but you’ll love its haunted history and quirky charms.
Where are your favorite places to visit in Windsor? What places have you traveled to from Paddington Station? Let us know in the comments section!
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Guest post by Janice Jaramillo “I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.” – Sun Bear, Chippewa More distinctly known as the National Capital Regional Region of the Philippines, […] The post 5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila appeared first on Wanderlust...
Guest post by Janice Jaramillo
“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.” – Sun Bear, Chippewa
More distinctly known as the National Capital Regional Region of the Philippines, Metro Manila is widely regarded as a concrete jungle that is densely populated due to its innumerable opportunities for career growth and job offers. Apart from that, the metropolis is also known to be an avenue for entertainment and a business hub of all sorts. In fact, one might say it is a cosmopolitan city of diverse offerings—culture, governance, trade, and economics to name a few. Today, it is the 11th-most populous city in the world.
Metro Manila is characterized by its progressive development. Unfortunately, with every growth comes with its own downfalls. As the main gateway to the rest of the Philippine provinces, many tourists make Metro Manila their main jump-off point in getting to remote areas in the country, and as it is, it has been notably exemplified for its smog, pollution, and onslaughts of traffic. However, do not let these deter you, as Metro Manila still retains some of its subtle charms if you care enough to look.
So, if you ever have the opportunity to visit or are simply looking for new ways to fall in love with this city again, take a gander at this list for some things you can do while there.
Party at the Hottest and Most Exclusive Clubs
There has never been any question that Makati Philippines hosts a series of the country’s best and most happening clubs. Nightlife is never wanting in city centers such as Makati, Eastwood, and Bonifacio Global City, and if you are lucky enough, you might just even spot a local celebrity partying it up in the VIP room. If you have a streak of the wild side in you or simply have a penchant for dancing the night away, visit one of Manila’s most exclusive nightclubs and be prepared to be blown away by the unique party scenes each club has.
Observe Old and Gothic Churches
A former colony of Spain and also a devoutly Catholic country, one can expect to find a myriad of churches in the Philippines. In Cambodia and Thailand, tourists are known to temple hop. In the Philippines, you can church hop. Note the ancient and aesthetic architecture in each of the churches that have been preserved so well and withstood the test of time.
Explore the Chinatown: Binondo Manila
If you have a hankering for authentic Chinese cuisine, you are in luck. Look no further than Manila’s very own Chinese community scene in Binondo where they serve authentic Chinese dishes that would appeal to even the most discriminating palate. Established in the early 1500s, Binondo is the oldest Chinese district not only in the Philippines but the world as well. The district is rather well known for its Chinese New Year celebrations as well as its specialty stores and unique places of worship. Binondo is definitely a place of interest if you are looking to satisfy the foodie in you.
Go Shopping at Divisoria
In these days where prices of goods and commodities are skyrocketing, it would not only be a welcome change but a miracle to find something so cheap. Well, this is the main allure of Divisoria, a shopping district located at the heart of Manila. It is comprised of malls and markets that would sell you basically anything you need for a fraction of what you would pay at the mall. In fact, a $20 bill would go a long way at this shopping district. It is not known for being the bargain hunter’s shopping mecca for nothing after all. If you are looking to stretch your budget or simply doing your Christmas shopping, go for the more affordable alternative in Divisoria.
Let the Manila Bay Sunset Take Your Breath Away
For all the flak Manila has gotten for its unbearable traffic, thick fog, and pollution, it seems like all these things are well compensated for the fact that it has one of the most beautiful sunsets. If you have a rather romantic side to you, take a stroll along the bay walks of Mall of Asia and Roxas Boulevard in a good weather. Just pick any spot and bask in the breathtaking golden sunset. Do not forget to take as many photos as you can while you are at it.
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With a mild climate and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Austin, Texas, is the perfect place for an exciting getaway. Located in the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin grew from a modest frontier town in the 1830s to one of the most populous cities in the United States. Today, nearly 1 million […] The post Things to Do in Austin appeared first on Wanderlust...
With a mild climate and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Austin, Texas, is the perfect place for an exciting getaway.
Located in the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin grew from a modest frontier town in the 1830s to one of the most populous cities in the United States. Today, nearly 1 million people call Austin home, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.
Though best known for its lively music scene, Austin has much more to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and foodies all rave about the amazing range of attractions and activities in Austin. Explore these fun ideas for things to do in Austin. Don’t worry if you find yourself short on time. You can enjoy many of Austin’s best sights in one jam-packed day.
Image via Flickr by Choose_Freewill
As the Live Music Capital of The World, most tourists plan to check out the live entertainment in Austin. Musicians show off their skills all over the city, from the airport to the grocery stores. There is no shortage of music festivals in the city, including the popular Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Stop by any of the more than 250 music venues around Austin, including coffeehouses, bars, and concerts halls, to check out the local talent.
Image via Flickr by enkrates
Venture to Pedernales Falls State Park to take a hike through Hill Country. Juniper Ridge Trail offers 9 miles of picturesque pathways through mesquite forest. For an unparalleled view of Austin, head over to Mount Bonnell. At 775 feet high, it’s the highest point in the city and a top tourist spot.
Nature lovers enjoy hiking the 809 acres of trails at Barton Creek Greenbelt in south-central Austin. The Greenbelt has loads of limestone bluffs for rock climbing and plenty of swimming spots, such as Campbell’s Hole.
Another excellent destination for nature lovers is Zilker Park. Located in the heart of Austin, the 351-acre outdoor area offers plenty of fun activities, from hiking and biking to kayaking and paddle boarding. Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, which boasts a balmy 68 degrees year-round.
Image via Flickr by wwward0
Make a trip to the Texas State Capitol to witness history in action and learn about local legislature. Grab a self-guided tour pamphlet to enjoy the building at your own pace or join one of the free, 30-minute guided tours for an insider look at the site.
In addition to the Texas State Capitol, many Austin museums offer free admission year-round or on certain days of the week, including the Austin Science and Nature Center, the Texas Military Forces Museum, The Contemporary Austin, and the LBJ Presidential Library.
Image via Flickr by Sean Loyless
If you love to eat, Austin is foodie heaven. Join an Austin Eats Food Tour to sample some of the best restaurants in the city. Another fantastic option is to check out the more than 1,000 food trucks in Austin that offer everything from craft meats and lobster rolls to deep-fried Oreo cookies and Tex Mex barbecue.
Looking for the perfect place for a weekend getaway? These are just a few of the fun things to do in Austin, Texas.
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Located more than 7,200 feet high on the southwestern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is a haven for history buffs and artists alike. As the oldest and highest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe dates back to 1610 and is home to just over 80,000 people. But don’t let its small […] The post Things To Do in Santa Fe, New Mexico – Museums to Markets appeared first on Wanderlust...
Located more than 7,200 feet high on the southwestern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is a haven for history buffs and artists alike. As the oldest and highest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe dates back to 1610 and is home to just over 80,000 people. But don’t let its small size fool you. There are plenty of things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lots of budget-friendly hotels to suit every taste.
From Spanish colonial architecture to Native-American arts and crafts, diverse cultures collide to create a vibrant and exciting array of tourist attractions. Nestled in a valley along a tributary of the Rio Grande, Santa Fe is surrounded by 1.5 million acres of national forest. The picturesque mountain town offers loads of outdoor fun as well as hundreds of restaurants, art galleries, and historical sites, all within walking distance.
History and Culture
Image via Flickr by sarahstierch
Steeped in rich history that’s teeming with Spanish influence and Native-American heritage, the Santa Fe Plaza is the cultural hub of the city. Built by the Spaniards at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, the National Historic Site is the perfect place to pick up traditional arts and crafts from local Native-American vendors. The square is always abuzz with activity, including markets, live music, and festivals.
Walking among the ancient buildings that surround the Plaza, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a time when bullfights were common on the streets. In addition to notable structures like San Miguel Mission, La Fonda Hotel, and the Palace of the Governors, check out the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi just a short walk away.
Museums and Galleries
Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell
Art lovers will want to check out the New Mexico Museum of Art in the Plaza before heading east to Canyon Road. Here, you’ll find the largest concentration of art galleries in the city. Walk for a half-mile amid adobe buildings, checking out the more than 100 galleries that feature everything from abstract to contemporary artworks by both up-and-coming artists and famous names like Fernando Botero.
Santa Fe is also home to nearly 20 traditional museums, including Museum Hill, which features four institutions in one convenient location. Other local highlights include the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. For a unique experience, check out Meow Wolf. This is an interactive collection of art installations that showcases the work of more than 100 local artists.
Image via Flickr by Oemar
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the many ski hills and hiking trails found in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. If you’re looking for adventure, head out on the Rio Grande for an exciting whitewater rafting experience. Alternatively, take a stroll through the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, which features 12 acres of beautiful landscapes and mountain views. Tourists with a little extra time on their hands might enjoy a trip to Bandelier National Monument. Located about 40 miles outside the city at the base of Frijoles Canyon, the monument is made up of cave dwellings and stone structures that were once home to the ancestors of the Pueblo peoples.
Whether you’re looking to take in the local culture or spend time in the great outdoors, you’ll find a wide variety of things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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