Category: Destinations to Travel

The 11 Best Cheap Tropical Vacations

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


Are you ready to get out of the house and go somewhere but short on funds?  We’ve scoured travel sites to find some truly inexpensive stunning sunny surf and turf trips that won’t break the bank.  So, without further adieu, here are the 11 best cheap tropical vacations.

1. Cozumel, Mexico

If you like good weather and great prices, the best time to visit is between late March and June. You can spend all day on a Cozumel beach for free.  If you’d rather swim in a pool, buy a day pass at a local luxury resort.  You can use the pool and sun chairs and don’t have to pay to sleep there.  You can pick up a cheap souvenir and a bite to eat at the local mercado – a little market in the local plaza.

2. Dominican Republic

Visit the Dominican Republic from April through June and enjoy warm weather and discounted rates of up to 50 percent on flights and accommodations.   Avoid Punta Cana and Santo Domingo.  Instead, avoid the beaten path and stay in Bahia de las Aguilas or Samana.  In a lot of places, staying at an all-inclusive resort will save you money because there’s a 16 percent government tax and even a 10 percent service charge added to the check at many of the local restaurants.  

3. Palawan, Philippines

June to November is the off-peak/monsoon season.  Which means that some afternoons there are heavy but short downpours.  If you visit before October, you’ll miss the heavier storms.

The hotels and airlines offer discounts as much as 80 percent.  El Nido and Puerto Princesa are right on the coast too.  The bungalows are low on luxury amenities but the beaches are free.  You can also explore the Tabon Caves and swim in the natural pool at the popular Estrella Falls for free too.    

4. Bali, Indonesia

Avoid such southern locations as Seminyak, Ubud, and Kuta.  Stay in the central hills or somewhere up north where you’ll pay much less.  If you visit in the off-season though, you’ll save money wherever you stay.  

While it can be a bit rainy in March and April, you can get great deals on accommodations and airfares from October to April.  Veteran visitors confirm you’ll still have “plenty of sunshine” during your stay.  You can explore the beaches, mountains, palaces, rice paddies, and temples for free.  

5. Luang Prabang, Laos

In Laos, you can grab a quick meal from a street stall for $2.00 or less.  Outside of Vientiane, even four-star accommodations will cost you roughly a third less than what you’d pay in Europe.  Visit from February through November and you’ll find lowers prices and smaller crowds.  

Visit the temples in Luang Prabang for free.  Hike nearby Mount Phu Si.  You can see the national monuments, the Great Stupa Temple, and the garden of Buddha statues in Vientiane for free too.

6. Koh Rong, Cambodia

The ancient temples in Angkor Wat are famous but if you want an inexpensive tropical vacation, head to Koh Rong.  Resort prices here are cheaper than those in nearby Thailand or even Malaysia.  If you want to do more than kick back on the beach, fret not.  For what you’d spend for a night at the movies, here you can take a full-day boat tour, eat lunch in a local restaurant for an entire weekend, or even rent everything needed for a day of snorkeling.

7. Costa Rica

The best time to save money in Costa Rica is from May to mid-December during the rainy “green season.”  The truth is there are still enough sunny days to relax on the beach.  Stay outside of the tourist towns–Arenal and San Jose.  Most of the national parks charge a low entrance fee but you can spend the day hiking at the Volcano Arenal.  Avoid the guided hikes and simply follow the signs.  You can also go canoeing, horseback riding, or relax in the hot springs.  

8. Koh Samui, Thailand

This popular beach destination experiences its low season from October through mid-December.  Avoid rainy afternoons by visiting in early December when it’s drier and sunnier.  You can get great prices on both airline tickets and hotels.  If you want to go scuba diving or snorkeling off the neighboring isle of Koh Tao visit from March to May (the shoulder season) when prices are great, you will avoid the rough seas and still be able to spot whale sharks close to the coast.

9. Hoi An, Vietnam

This private, romantic ancient trading port is perfect for an affordable tropical honeymoon location.  You can explore the entire old town on foot too.  It’s mere minutes away from the white sands and turquoise water of Da Nang too.  The low season here is between September and March (during typhoon season) so expect heavy but short afternoon rains.  You can save 50 percent or more on vacation packages and the beach hotels offer numerous amenities and are especially budget-friendly.

10. Langkawi, Malaysia

This is a 99-isle tropical archipelago in the Andaman Sea.  The accommodations here are quite affordable all year.  If you visit during the rainy months of September or October, you can save 50 percent.  This is actually the best time to go shopping, explore the local caves, check out the stunning seven pools of Telaga Tujuh, stroll the awesome Sky Bridge 660 meters above the verdant rainforest, or hike through the lush mangrove forests of Kilim Geoforest Park all for free.

11. Aruba, Caribbean Sea

The cheapest months to visit this tropical location are September and October when the trade winds are down and the temperature rises.  If you don’t mind sweltering heat and spend a lot of time in the water, you can get discounts of 50 percent or more on rooms.  Bring your own beach towel and stock up on snacks at the local supermarkets to cut down on costs.  Stroll across the California Dunes, explore the famous Balashi ruins, and ride the free tourist trolley through Oranjestad town too.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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The 25 Best Things To Do And See In Ireland

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


Ireland is apparently one of the more popular destinations in Europe. It’s both a historic and contemporary country.  With all the options available there, you could probably use some help with your travel agenda.  Here then, for your perusal, are the 25 best things to do and see in Ireland.

The Best Things To Do In Ireland

1. Enjoy A Cruise On The River Shannon

First up is this relaxing boat cruise on the River Shannon from Cuilcagh Mountain to Limerick City.  Take in the scenery along the 500-kilometer long waterway.  From Limerick to the Lower Lough Erne in Northern Ireland is especially noteworthy.  You can rent boats of all sizes and take the most popular route from Portumna to Carrick.  If you’re a nautical nut, extend your adventure by visiting the lesser-known gems further north.

2. Explore The Irish Castles

Start with Dublin Castle in the capital.  The guided tour also includes the exotic Chapel Royal and the historic State Apartments.  If you want to stay in a castle, register at popular Ashford Castle in County Cong.

There’s also legendary Blarney Castle.  Here you will see the famous Blarney Stone too.  Legend has it that if you bend over to kiss this ancient chunk of rock and you’ll be blessed with the “gift of gab.”

3.  Visit The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Take the eight-kilometer hike to the top of the majestic Moher Cliffs.  Experience the adrenal thrill of standing mere centimeters from the edges where you could slip and fall to your death in the ocean.  The highest point here is awesome O’Brien’s Tower, located not far from the quaint Doolin village.  On a clear day when you can see the impressive Twelve Pins mountain ranges of County Galway in the distance. 

4. Catch Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

Visiting a prison can be an exciting history lesson.  The former prison, Kilmainham Gaol is now a museum.  Thousands of travelers come here annually to learn about the men responsible for the Easter Rising of 1916.  Here you can even stand inside the actual cells where real civil war prisoners spent their final moments prior to their execution.  You can also visit the art gallery where you can see the sculptures and paintings of once-incarcerated prisoners.  

5. See The Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal

The Slieve League Cliffs are not as well-known as the Cliffs of Moheroften ignored by the tourist crowds.  Thus, you can enjoy the natural beauty without having your view obscured by tons of tourists.  Additionally, they are, at some points, three times as high as their more popular competition.  It’s Europe’s sixth-highest sea cliff.  Take in the awesome sight of the mighty waves crashing against the huge rocks 2000 feet below you.

6. Visit The Bend Of The Boyne, County Meath

The megalithic Bend of the Boyne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It actually predates the Egyptian pyramids.  It harkens back to the famous Neolithic period in the 32nd century B.C.

It’s highlighted by numerous chamber tombs, grave passes, henges, and standing stones.  The sophistication of the construction here is amazing since it seems impossible for people back then to have had the knowledge to build this place.  Tours are available.

7. Enjoy Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park is reportedly the only park where you will spot red deer in the wild.  As you hike through the park, past gardens, moorlands, and waterways, you will also see up to 141 bird species.  If you are into fishing, Lough Leane, the glacial Lower Lake, is home to perch, salmon, and trout.  See Torc Waterfall and the Ring of Kerry, too.  Veteran visitors say it includes the best scenery in the country.

8. Shop ‘Til You Drop In Ireland

Ireland may be beautiful but there are plenty of gift shops, local markets, and modern malls for shopaholics too.  If you’re a clotheshorse shop the boutiques of Limerick, Kilkenny, Galway and Cork City.  DO you enjoy antiques? 

Visit Dublin’s Francis Street.  Visit during April and you can catch Dublin’s annual Antiques and Collectables Fair where you can pick up genuine Irish-made goods.  You’ll find something for everyone in Ireland.

9. Drink Up At The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

This popular remodeled fermentation plant features seven stories that surround a gleaming glass atrium in the form of a pint of Guinness beer.  Beyond its unique architecture, you will also learn everything about brewing beer including malting, fermenting, and even barrel making.  Tours here end on the top floor at the great Gravity Bar.  Here you can not only enjoy the panoramic view but suck down some cold, original Guinness.

10. Explore Inishbofin, County Galway

You’ll find the isle of Inishbofin only five miles off the rugged coast of Connemara.  There’s a lot to do here on this lovely island.  This is a great place for hearing traditional Irish music.  Both tourists and locals alike also enjoy birdwatching, fishing, swimming, and even windsurfing here too.  If you’re feeling energetic, hike the rocky coastline.  If you like photographing wildlife there are rare birds and seals that live here as well.

11. Attend A Gaelic Football Or Hurling Game

Gaelic Football and Hurling are Ireland’s most unique sports.   Gaelic Football is a hybrid between rugby and soccer.  Hurling is like fast field hockey with a twist.  Visit in the summer and you can see live matches of both these outdoor sports.  The best time to visit is in the month of September.  The All-Hurling Final is held on the first Sunday of that month and the third Sunday is the All-Ireland Football Final.

12. See The Mourne Mountains, County Down

This resplendent granite mountain range is one of the best places to go hiking in the country.  If you’d rather not explore on foot, you can rent a bicycle.  It will certainly provide you with a unique perspective of the stunning mountain countryside.  If the granite outcrops attract you, by all means, answer the call as the cliffs here are said to be great for rock-climbing as well.    

13. Explore The Dublin Zoo, Dublin

Image courtesy of vanwageningen.net

The Dublin Zoo is fun, educational, and family-friendly.  You can get up close and personal with numerous animals as this zoo is home to a variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles from around the world.  Not only will you see the exotic breeds typical of exceptional zoos but you will also see animals that call Ireland their native home such as the great Galway sheep that have no horns.

14. Visit The Wild Atlantic Way

The well-known Wild Atlantic Way is situated along Ireland’s west coast and is bordered by quaint villages.   Drive along this picturesque panoramic coastline.  You will discover a total of 156 different specially-selected viewpoints where you can stop and see the local sights and culture.  The route is 2400 kilometers in length.  It runs from Kinsale in County Cork to Malin Head in County Donegal.

15. Experience Holy Cross Abbey, Tipperary

Holy Cross Abbey is famous for being a prime wedding destination.  It is found in a classic Cistercian monastery.  Travel experts report it is the ideal location to get married and to seek God’s blessings in general.  Backed by an abundance of greenery, this ancient structure is also full of history.  It harkens back to the 1100s.  If you wish to learn of its spiritual heritage you can tour this monastery.

16. Take In Lough Tay Lake, County Wicklow

Also known as Guinness Lake, you’ll find this scenic body of water south of Dublin between Luggala and the Djouce mountains.  The turquoise water presents a stark contrast to the surrounding green and brown vegetation.  Frequent flyers say this lovely lake is best viewed from one of the nearby mountains.  The surrounding area is actually edged by a span of imported white sand and is owned by the famous Guinness family.

17. Visit The National Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, County Mayo

This shrine is perfect for those seeking a spiritual experience.  It was here that 15 individuals reportedly saw apparitions of St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and the Virgin Mary at the south gable of the famous Knock Parish Church back in 1879.  Since that day in August, this place has been a famous holy pilgrimage destination.  As many as half a million spiritual people come here annually.

18. See The Burren, County Clare

The Burren is unique.  It actually includes a portion of south Galway.  A true Mecca for hardcore hikers, its name was derived from the Gaelic term “Boireann”, which means “rocky place.”  There are roughly 45 kilometers of hiking trails here.  Veteran visitors say the best time to visit is from April to October when you can take in the strange sight of colorful flowers and plants growing straight out of lifeless rocks.

19. Stop By The Dingle Peninsula

Situated at the base of stunning Slievanea Mountain on a harbor, the Dingle Peninsula is not only beautiful but it is also officially the most Western point on the island.  Here you can take dolphin tours or even take a sailboat to see the neighboring  Blasket Islands.  Other attractions include Conor Pass, the Eask Tower, Oceanworld, and Rahinnane Castle.  Be sure to go into town and see the pubs, shops, and restaurants too. 

20. Visit Galway Cathedral, Galway

The Galway Cathedral is one of the most impressive landmarks in the city.  Its architectural designs were influenced by several different sources  It features impressive pillars and a huge octagonal copper dome indicative of its Renaissance style.  The interior is highlighted by fine Irish workmanship such as the wall murals and the cut stone carvings.  You will also be impressed by the mosaics and rose windows that are indicative of traditional Christian art.

21. Escape To Glendalough, County Wicklow

Glendalough is roughly an hour and a half drive from the heart of Dublin.  If you need a brief break from the hub-bub of the city, this glacial valley is quiet and peaceful.  Hermit priest St. Kevin thought this place was perfect for his medieval monastic settlement.  Stroll the tranquil countryside at your own speed and rediscover your inner-self as you explore the local lakes and the interesting ruins too. 

22.  Climb Muckross Head, County Donegal

If you love rock-climbing this is the place to be in Ireland!  You can climb as high as 20 meters here.  Ah, but be aware that the overhanging mudstone and sand crags here can make the climb more strenuous than one would imagine.  If you’re not into scaling the cliffs, head for the nearby beaches.  The tidal and wind conditions here make this a great place for surfing as well.  

23.  See Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

This Instagrammable historic monastery can be found south of Athlone off the beaten track at the crossroads of River Shannon and Esker Way.  Founded by the Celtic Church, it is their most prominent monastery in Ireland.  The ancient ruins here harken back to the 500s.  You will see remnants of not only multiple churches but also a castle.  The highlight here though is the numerous priceless, striking stonework sculptures.

24.  Savor Authentic Irish Cuisine

Dine on hearty Irish food.  Most dishes include cabbage, potatoes, and meat–such as pork and lamb–with fresh local ingredients to boot.  Try  boxty (potato pancakes), colcannon (cabbage and mashed potatoes), seafood pie (fish chunks with mashed potatoes and melted cheese), and, of course, Irish stew (al lamb stew that includes carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes.  Don’t forget to wash the whole thing down with a cold glass of Guinness too.

25. Attend An Real Irish Festival

The best time to catch a festival in Ireland is . . . any time!  Some of the highlights of their social calendar include The Galway Arts Festival.  This annual occurrence occurs every July.  More than 400 different international artists attend this big event.  If you arrive sometime in September or October you enjoy the Dublin Theater Festival.  In June there’s the Kilkenny Cat Laughs comedy festival held during the well-known June Bank Holiday Weekend.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

The 30 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the US

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel

“Chasin’ those waterfalls/Chasin’ waterfalls”–Mary J. Blige, “Rainy Dayz” (2001)

No matter how often we see them (or even write about them), waterfalls are always a favorite.  Maybe it’s the crash of the water as it thunders down from high above or the sight of the falls as in their entirety.  Whatever the case, here are the 30 most beautiful waterfalls in the USA.  

1. The Multnomah Falls, Oregon

waterfalls

You’ll discover the Multnomah Falls, about 30 minutes out of Portland.  It’s the tallest waterfall in the state.  It’s 611 feet high.  

The surrounding area is also Instagrammable.  Magnificent Multnomah Falls are ensconced amidst sprouting maple trees and basalt cliffs.  The falls are spanned by the well-known stone arches of Benson Bridge which was constructed back in 1914.

2.  Mesa Falls, Idaho

Mesa Falls is 115 feet high.  Here, near the city of Ashton, you’ll witness the water washing over the results of an old volcanic eruption at the neighboring Upper Mesa Falls prior to its traveling downriver for a mile to the Lower Mesa Falls.  Watch as the waters of Snake River flow through the solidified ash and lava there.

3.  Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Cumberland Falls are known to some as the “Niagara of the South.”  Take in the sight of the water dropping 125 feet to crash into the gorge.  If you’d like to see a moonbow the best time to visit is during a full moon.  This is one of the only places in the world where you enjoy an actual lunar rainbow.

4.  The McWay Falls, California

Big Sur is one of the best portions of California’s beautiful coastline.  With the redwood and pine-clad cliffs, lovely beaches, and the Pacific Ocean, a waterfall would have to be something special to actually stand out here.  The majestic McWay Falls pours 80+ feet from the rugged bluffs at popular Julia Pfeiffer State Park, before emptying onto the fine, honey-hued sand.

5.  Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan

waterfalls

Tahquamenon Falls consists of a pair of waterfalls, the broad, caramel-colored  Upper Falls, and the comparatively smaller Lower Falls.  They drop down along the river of the same name.  It is located in stunning Tahquamenon Falls State Park, close to famous Lake Superior.  There within the undeveloped, overgrown woodland, you will discover their true charm is in their unique imperfection. 

6.  Burney Falls, California

Burney Falls is ensconced amidst thick, lush ferns and mossy volcanic rock.  Fed by snowmelt and underground springs, President Theodore Roosevelt unofficially deemed these northern California falls to be “the eighth wonder of the world.”  The water here truly seems to rush out of the green, tree-filled ledge and fall hard into a stunning icy-blue-tinged pool.

7.  Grand Falls, Arizona

You’ll find Grand Falls in the striking Painted Desert in Navajo Nation close to Flagstaff.  This waterfall is 181 feet high.  Of course, what is special about it is not its height but its color.  Nicknamed the Chocolate Falls, the water is actually an appetizing and unusual milk chocolate hue.  This isn’t Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory though as the color is caused by sediment.

8.  The Palouse Falls, Washington

The 200-foot tall Palouse Falls are situated in southeastern Washington.  If you look at the falls from the right angle, you might think the water is coming right out of the rocks.  In fact, the water comes from the Palouse River.  Deemed the state’s official waterfall, this cascade was actually created by various floods that occurred back during the Ice Age.

9.  Yosemite Falls, California

This is the continental USA’s tallest waterfall.  It is a favorite tourist stop in popular Yosemite National Park and the water here drops 2,425 feet.  Yosemite Falls features three different sections amidst the meadows and granite cliffs.  Upper Yosemite Fall is reportedly one of the highest on the planet and rushed from a height of 1430 feet above the ground.

10.  St. Mary Falls, Montana

waterfalls
Image courtesy of Oken Lane/Fickr

St. Mary Falls comes complete with multiple tiers.  The falls are found in Montana’s magnificent Glacier National Park and have three individual levels.  The trio of levels actually zig-zag over the gorgeous gorge’s red-tinged rock.  The water empties into an exceptional aquamarine pool.  While the neighboring Virginia Falls is noisier and higher, St. Mary Falls won out for its multiple levels.

11.  Ruby Falls, Tennessee

Ruby Falls is literally a 145-foot tall, sheer waterfall that plummets through a shaft deep within Lookout Mountain into a cave.  The waterfall is lit by LED lights and fed by a comparatively deep subterranean stream. It is also an official part of Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain Caverns complex.  It was discovered by Leo Lambert in 1928.  He named it for his spouse, Ruby.

12.  Ramona Falls, Oregon

See rainbows in the mist around rushing Ramona Falls.  You will have to venture deep into the lovely landscape of mighty  Mt. Hood National Forest.  Here the water runs over velvety green moss-covered rocks and flows a total of 120 feet over basalt rock columns.  Veteran visitors say it’s a beautiful place to be at any time of the year.

13.  Seven Falls, Colorado

This stunning series of seven waterfalls fall 181 feet.  The water winds, weaves, and crashes through the light apricot-colored rock there in Colorado Springs’ South Cheyenne Canyon.  Take in the impressive sight of the perpendicular stairways, different disrupting lookout points, and the towering top platform that looks out over the meadows, prairies, and rough rock formations.

14.  Yellowstone Falls, Wyoming

There are many different beautiful spots in stunning Yellowstone National Park.  You really must not leave the world-famous park without heading for the Instagram-perfect Grand Prismatic Spring.  Here you will discover a trio of connected waterfalls that runs through the apricot and gray pine tree-studded cliffs and eventually flows into the great Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  

15.  ‘Akaka Falls, Hawaii

This 442-foot waterfall on Hawaii’s beautiful Big Island is made even more awesome by it’s lush, verdant natural backdrop.  Located in exotic ‘Akaka Falls State Park, the water here through a lush rainforest complete with ferns, banana trees, and bamboo and empties into a rugged round gorge.  You can see the smaller 100-foot Kahuna Falls here as well. 

16.  Niagara Falls, New York

While it’s not the highest waterfall, or even exactly in the US, Niagara Falls is arguably the most famous in the world.  Situated in New York State near Buffalo, three thunderous, wide cascades of water splash across the border into the country of Canada.  Here you will see the Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls, and Horseshoe Falls.  The water has a distinctive blue-green tint.

17.  Elakala Falls, West Virginia

Elakala Falls is situated within a park that’s named after another waterfall, Blackwater Falls State Park.  While beautiful Blackwater Falls is taller but Elakala Falls makes this list because of its gray, staggered steps.  Its naturally sculpted beauty makes it stand out.  A combination of tannic acid from red spruce and hemlock needles also gives the water here an unusual amber color.

18.  Shoshone Falls, Idaho

While your rovin’ writer tires of the Niagara nicknames, the truth is the Shoshone Falls deserves its moniker. It really is “‘the Niagara of the West.”  This terrific Twin Falls tourist attraction is comparable both audibly and visually.  Witness multiple cascades of rushing water crashing together and then emptying into the green Snake River.  It’s actually 36 feet higher than its East Coast “relative.”

19.  Waimoku Falls, Hawaii

Waimoku Falls is located in Haleakalā National Park on Maui.  This waterfall is 400 feet high.  The steep cascade rushes down a lava rock face into a pellucid pool.  Veteran visitors say that seeing this waterfall is the high point for those hiking the favored Pīpīwai Trail, which leads through a wild bamboo forest past the comparatively smaller 185-foot Makahiku Falls. 

20.  Bridal Veil Falls, Alaska

There are many Bridal Veil Falls in America.  This one is located outside of Valdez, the famed Land of Waterfalls.  The snowmelt cascades down the walls of the Keystone Canyon.  Indeed, dozens of these flows that will freeze in winter and leave a milk-white, thick trail of ice.  This makes it a favorite of ice climbers and fans of winter landscapes too.

21.  Whitewater Falls, North Carolina

Some travel writers say that Whitewater Falls is the most imposing cascade east of the famous Rocky Mountains.  It’s 411 feet high.  What makes it special to some is the way it flows over numerous tiers of protruding rocks.  This fall is bordered by precipitous, tree-covered slopes deep within the well-known Nantahala National Forest found in the southwest area of North Carolina.

22.  Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvania

Beautiful Bushkill Falls in the pretty Poconos Mountains is nicknamed “the Niagara of Pennsylvania” for a reason.  It’s not as dramatic, but those who have been there concluded this waterfall definitely has its own “beguiling beauty.”  This grand group of eight waterfalls has a 300-foot drop.  See the water flow through this diverse landscape of wooden bridges and declivitous rock faces.

23.  Great Falls, Virginia

Located near Washington, DC, what Great Falls lacks in height it makes up for with its stunning beauty.  The cascades are only a little over 20 feet with a total height of only 76 feet in less than one mile.  What is most impressive is the volume and speed of the water as it rushes down the famous Potomac River.  

24.  Potato River Falls, Wisconsin

While the Potato River Falls seems like it should be in the spuds-famous state of Idaho, it is actually situated in Gurney, Wisconsin.  Ensconced within a thick, green forest, It is not all that famous but it is quietly elegant and attractive.  The water plunges for a total of 90+ feet along the lesser-known Potato River.

25.  Bond Falls, Michigan

“The name is Bond” . . . Bond Falls.  The beautiful Bond Falls is no real secret.  You will find it in the state’s Western Upper Peninsula.  With a drop total of only 50 feet, these falls are certainly not the highest.  They are, however, stunning as the water runs through the surrounding pine forest and over sheer rock ledges along the awesome Ontonagon River. 

26.  Lower Calf Creek Falls, Utah

This is perhaps one of the nation’s most unique waterfalls.  You can actually see two falls in Calf Creek, off Scenic Byway 12.  There are the upper and the lower falls.  While they are both attractive, the Lower Calf Creek Falls surges a total of 126 feet down the mineral-stained sandstone into a gorgeous, great, green-tinted swimming hole.

27.  Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

You’ll find Snoqualmie Falls off the bustling I-90 interstate close to Seattle.  The roar of the water is so tumultuous it can reportedly “drown out” the honking hub-bub of the traffic.  Snoqualmie is actually a Salish term for “moon.”  Despite the mighty 268-foot cascade, this has been a spiritual spot for 100s of years.  It was featured in the  television program “Twin Peaks.”

28.  Brandywine Falls, Ohio

The caramel-colored, captivating Brandywine Falls are found in the rambling, thickly forested Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  the water plunges down 60 feet.  If you visit during the drier months you will be able to spot a specific bridal veil pattern upon the rocks.  Stay in the area during the winter, you might notice how it strangely freezes in mid-flow.

29.  Rainbow Falls, New York

Rainbow Falls is perhaps the best of the 19 different falls found in New York’s Watkins Glen State Park.  It is named for the way the afternoon sunlight actually infuses the stunning, shimmering sheet of freshwater with a cornucopia of colors.  Visit in the winter and you’ll see the scintillating sculptures created by the frozen falls.

30.  Havasu Falls, Arizona

Last but not least, is this world-famous Grand Canyon waterfall features a combo of colors that make it a “must-see.”  The pink and orange rocks truly become even more vibrant when seen along with the blue-green water in the pool below it.  It is only one of the five separate waterfalls you can see on the well-known Havasupai Indian Reservation.  

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

The 15 Top Things to Do in Key West

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


Are you heading to Key West in Florida?  Good choice!  There’s a lot to do there from water adventures to the social scene.  Here is a list of the 15 top things to do in Key West.

1.  See The Southernmost Point

The Instagrammable Southernmost Point is found at South and Whitehead Streets. This place is significant because from here you only need to travel 90 miles to reach Cuba.  In 1983 the City of Key West erected a special concrete oversized buoy here.  Ever since then this peculiar landmark has become one of the isle’s most photographed places.    

2.  Take A Tour Of The Hemingway Home

Key West

Key West might be small but there’s a lot of history here.  There are also a lot of museums.  Why not begin your visit with the popular Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.  You’ll find it in Old Town Key West.  Explore the former home of the Nobel Prize winner and pet one of the famous six-toed cats too. 

3.  Walk Down Duval Street

Veteran visitors confirm that Duval Street is the place to be in Key West.  This popular passage runs north and south from thriving Mallory Square to the Southernmost Point.  It features funky boutiques, outdoor cafes, art galleries, restaurants, and some of the nation’s most well-known bars and saloons too.  The American Planning Association declared it an official “Great Street” in 2012.

4.  Enjoy A Paddle Adventure

Try taking a stand-up paddleboard or kayak through the many mangroves and beyond to the sun-kissed crystal clear water.  Then you can go for a little swim with tropical fish, sea turtles and possibly a dolphin.  Take a class in PaddleYoga.  There are even companies that offer private charters and guided tours.  Rentals are as low as $30.00 each.

5.  Visit The Key West Lighthouse

Again, Key West has a lot of history.  Part of that is the Key West Lighthouse & Museum.  It harkens back to the 1800s and is managed by the Key West Art and Historical Society.  So climb those 88 steps up to the top.  Learn about the first lighthouse keeper, Barbara Mabrity, who was one of the only ladies who had the position. 

6.  Hit The Beach

This one’s a no-brainer!  Smathers Beach has everything you need for a day of fun in the sun.  Hit the beach and enjoy yourself!  Swim in the aquamarine water.  

Rent a mini-sailboat.  Play a rousing game of volleyball on the sand or simply relax.  You can rent chairs, rafts, umbrellas, and even more for as little as $10.00 a day.

7.  Set Sail In Sunset

Another well-known natural attraction here in Key West is the stunning sunsets.  Naturally, you really must make time to set sail for an exceptional evening that is both beautiful and traditional.  There are businesses here that specialize in a number of different sunset cruise opportunities.  They range from peppy run and reggae parties to rather romantic champagne-style cruises.  Rates start at $40.00.

8.  Go Barhopping

Not big on water sports?  Key West has plenty to do for partiers too.  It’s home to numerous unique clubs and bars as well.  

Frequent flyers suggest starting at Captain Tony’s Saloon.  Opened in 1851, this pub was originally an icehouse that also served as a morgue.  This historic hot spot once hosted such celebs as  Jimmy Buffett, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and the infamous Captain Tony himself.

9.  Browse The Local Art

key west

Some travelers believe that the local artists are often inspired by the beautiful tropical landscape and the eclectic culture too.  Whatever the case, Key West has many artistic residents.  Browse the numerous art galleries along Duval Street.  The best place to start is at Gallery Uno where you can check out the work of well-known local artist Alberto DeAndrea.

10.  Taste The Key Lime Pie

Foodies and folks with a sweet tooth simply must sample a slice (or more) of the delicious Key lime pie.  Those in the know suggest stopping in at Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe.  It has been a popular place for dessert for decades now.  Be sure to try their citrus salsa, lime mango chutney, and homemade taffy too.

11.  Catch A Great Show

Image courtesy of waterfrontplayhouse.org

Don’t forget!  Key West offers visitors great entertainment choices too.  See a drag queen show at Aqua Key West or take in the nightly celebration held at Mallory Square.  It features many local artisans.  You can even catch one of the popular COAST Projects’ live concerts.  Don’t forget the Waterfront Playhouse or the Red Barn Theatre either.

12.  Go Biking Around Town

Key West
Image courtesy of Pinterest

If you’d like a little exercise, travel the isle via bicycle.  It’s a nice way to enjoy the Key West sunshine and warm tropical breezes.  In fact, several of the hotels in town even rent bicycles to their guests.  It’s an invigorating way to take in the sights and avoid the hassle of hunting for parking spots.

13.  Try Dining al Fresco

Again, Key West has plenty of options for anyone looking to eat his/her way around the isle.  Begin your food run on Duval Street at Caroline’s Café at the Dr. Joseph Y. Porter House.  Try Caroline’s Famous Fish Sandwich or some Key West conch fritters.  Finally, have a tasty handcrafted cocktail at Caroline’s Other Side. 

14.  “Butterfly Kisses”

Visit the popular Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.  It’s a great place to see especially if you like vibrant butterflies and nature in general.  There you will discover not only 50+ species of butterflies but also waterfalls, and gardens as well.  Admission here is as low as $412.00 per adult and only $8.50 for children.

15.  Take The Ferry To The Dry Tortugas

Take a 70-minute Yankee Freedom ferry ride to the Dry Tortugas National Park.  If you like boat rides then charter a boat.  Highlights here include one of the country’s biggest 19-century fortresses.  The Ferry rides are as low as $175.00 per adult and $125.00 per child.  Prices include the entrance fee to the park.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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15 Stunningly Seriously Cool Pools 

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


Image courtesy of travelguideiceland.com

If you’re looking for pools so cool your temperature almost drops simply by looking at them, then this is the place.  We have researched some of the best pools in the world in terms of ancient natural beauty and modern architectural feats.  Here then, are 15 stunningly, seriously cool pools.   

1.  The Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Tanzania

You will find a fantastic free-form infinity pool at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge in the stunning Serengeti National Park in Central Serengeti.  The resort is famous for its excursions.  The truth is its best feature is the pool.  Here you can kick back and take in memorable views of the local wildlife and the national park property.

2.  Gellert Baths, Hungary

You will find the gorgeous Gellert Baths in Budapest.  This beautiful complex consists of swimming pools, thermal pools, wave pools, and the historic baths.  The thermal springs here harken back to the 1400s.  If you’re looking to spend more than a day here then you’re in luck.  In 1918 the locals opened an adjacent resort named the Gellért Thermal Bath and Hotel.

3.  San Alfonso Del Mar, Chile

San Alfonso Del Mar is 3300 feet in length and spans a total of 20 acres.  It’s located right on the water Algarrobo about  60 miles from Santiago.  This private resort’s saltwater pool was once the largest in the world.  It’s the largest man-made lagoon.  This pool so closely hugs the coastline that it’s like another beach. 

4.  Queen’s Bath, USA

Unsurprisingly, you will find the tide pool known as Queen’s Bath ensconced in the town of Princeville on the isle of Kauai.  Veteran visitors confirm that this is the place to see Hawaii in all “its untouched glory.”  If you visit the island then you simply must see Queen’s Bath.  Experience this sinkhole’s clear water amidst the lava rock.  

5.  Marina Bay Sands Resort, Singapore

The 57th-floor Marina Bay Sands Resort is home to the largest rooftop infinity pool on the planet.  Mere minutes away from the ArtScience Museum and the Chinatown Heritage Center.  You’ll find it on the top floor.  It’s a 490-foot (150-meter) infinity pool on the planet’s biggest cantilevered platform which actually hangs 220 feet or 67 meters over the north tower.   

6.  Havasu Falls Natural Pool, USA

Image courtesy of travelthewholeworld.org

The Havasu Falls natural pool can be found in a place very popular with our readers.  It’s one and a half miles out of Supai on the Havasupai Reservation in the famous Grand Canyon in the state of Arizona.  You have to be in decent shape to experience this pool though as it’s a 10-mile hike to reach it.  

7.  The One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

You will find this place roughly 400 miles south of Sri Lanka in the crystal blue Indian Ocean.  The One & Only Reethi Rah radiates real natural elegance.  There are a dozen different pristine beaches here at this noteworthy resort.  This particular pool is perhaps the most convincing reason to avoid every one of them.

8.  Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey

You will find these unique thermal pools in Turkey’s Denizli Province.  The word “Pamukkale” is Turkish for “Cotton Castle.” Folks might associate Turkish baths or even hot springs with this country. Hot springs here are actually rather rare.  It’s also an official UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It features a total of 17 terraces that create individual mineral-rich infinity pools.

9.  The Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Italy

Image © Grand Hotel Tremezzo

The famous Grand Hotel Tremezzo can be found on the shore of lovely Lake Como.  It is reportedly an immaculate, art nouveau resort with all the amenities.  One of the best things here is the wonderful Water-on-the-Water pool floating right there in the center of the lake.  The Garden Pool and T infinity pool are also worth visiting.  

10.  Ik Kil Cave Pool, Mexico

If you’re in Mexico be sure to stop at  Chichén Itzá.  Visit the Ik Kil cave pool.  This ancient cenote or sinkhole was once used for sacrificial offerings by the Mayans.  Today visitors from across the planet stop here.  Water lovers will be happy to learn that this cave pool even comes complete with a convenient carved stairway. 

11.  The Bondi Icebergs Club, Australia

Follow in the footsteps of the famous Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club.  Launched in 1929, its legacy lives on in Sydney at the well-known saltwater pool situated on the edge of popular Bondi Beach.  You can visit any time of the year.  So stop by and experience both the memorable views and a potentially jolting swim. 

12.  The Neptune Pool At Hearst Castle, USA

The striking Neptune Pool at famous Hearst Castle in San Simeone, California is said to have been a true labor of love for William Randolph Hearst.  It went through two renovations.  The pool is named after the Roman god of freshwater.  It features an alcove, gutters, and basin lined with Vermont marble and Italian relief sculptures. 

13.  The To-Sua Ocean Trench, Samona

The “Toe Sua Ocean Trench”.
There were only 3 things to see in Samoa – Lava Tubes, Beaches & Waterfalls. This was a lava tube. Jhei managed to get down that ladder without killing herself OR drowning. This compound was set in a really beautiful garden, as were a lot of places in Samoa

Ensconced in the verdant tropical gardens of Upolu Island, you will discover the To-Sua Ocean Trench.  The name To-Sua means “a giant swimming hole.”  It’s 30 meters (98+ feet) deep.  Whether or not you choose to go for a swim this natural landmark is something wonderful to see.  It’s also great for picnics and small weddings. 

14.  Erawan Falls, Thailand

One of the highlights and natural wonders of  Kanchanaburi Province is Erawan Falls.  The country’s most famous falls are in the Erawan National Park.  Travelers from around the world come to see the jewel-colored pools and stunning seven-tiered falls.  Visitors may even picnic at one of the lower tiers and partake of a meal with a view. 

15.  The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Image courtesy of travelguideiceland.com

The beautiful Blue Lagoon is located near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. National Geographic named this geothermal resort one of the 25 Wonders of the World back in 2012.  This world-class spa is promoted as both an “otherworldly wonder” and a hot spot for “many famous faces”.  It’s about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the airport.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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10 Best Secret Beaches in the US

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


The North Shore is world-famous for its big waves and Waikiki gets the press and the people.  But if you’re a beach lover looking for a little sun, surf and tourist-light relaxation, then keep reading!  Regardless of your personal preferences, the USA has a serene, sun-drenched seaside sanctuary to suit your tastes.  Here then, without further adieu, are the 10 best secret beaches in the US.

1. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

Lanikai Beach can be found in the community of Lanikai, in Kailua.  Many think the name means “heavenly sea” but that is not true.  It is a name created back in the 1920ʻs by Charles Frazier, a developer, who then owned beachfront property in the area that Native Hawaiians call Kaʻōhao.

This neighborhood beach gets a lot less traffic.  In fact, before you go to bask on the beautiful palm tree-bordered white sand, know there is no public parking, no restrooms, and no lifeguards.  Nevertheless, it’s a great spot for a more intimate dip in the ocean.  

2. The Bahia Honda State Park, Florida

Although they are famous, the Florida Keys are not generally promoted for their beaches (beyond that one stretch of state park).  You will find the Bahia Honda State Park on the way to Key West.  Be sure to stop before you hit Big Pine Key.

Here you’ll find an awesome beach complete with coral reefs, balmy breezes, and decidedly stunning sunsets.  The water is bathwater temperature and perfect for both snorkeling and wading.  You might be in the USA, but it will feel like being in the Caribbean.

3. Bahia Súcia, Puerto Rico

It’s been said before but is worth repeating: “Go play at ‘Dirty Bay’.”  Bahia Sucia, also known as Dirty Bay, is on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico along Highway 301.  The name “Dirty Bay” merely refers to the fact that here the seaweed will wash up during a storm.  For the most part, you will find little more than beautiful blue skies, beige sloping sands, and azure water here.  Sure, technically this is part of the US.  Still, this place definitely has what veteran visitors call “a classic Caribbean feel.”

4. Indian Beach, Oregon

If you visit the area on any given summer weekend, you will no doubt see lines of vehicles parked along popular Cannon Beach.  Keep right on going.  Drive north into lovely Ecola State Park. You can hike two miles from the park’s parking lot or continue driving.  

Take in the scenery as you follow the road that winds through the Sitka spruce forest.  Just around the corner, you will find Indian Beach.  It’s a surprisingly secluded crescent beach.  Take a stroll, check out the tide pools, and look for driftwood,  

5. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Seasoned travelers can confirm that  Ocracoke is a little island just off the coast of the state of North Carolina.  Mind you, they also report that nothing about the place is easy.  Still, people like it that way.  Once you reach the Atlantic Ocean you still have to ride the ferry across Pamlico Sound all the way to one of the southernmost of the humble Outer Banks islands.  The best time to visit is any time but winter.  Foodies favor the fresh fish, figs, fig cakes, and annual fig festival.

6. Bound Brook Island, Massachusetts

If you’re heading for Cape Cod you really must experience Bound Brook Island.  Take a sandy little back road in Wellfleet to a quiet corner of the Cape Cod National Seashore.  Make your way to the historic Atwood-Higgins House.  

Less than a mile from there is a little parking lot.  From there it’s another several hundred yards before you reach your destination.  You’ll be rewarded with a cozy beach complete with towering sand dunes and exceptional views of the Atlantic Ocean.  Kick back and enjoy yourself.

7. Montaña de Oro State Park, California

This state park is located two miles south of Los Osos and six miles southwest of popular Morro Bay.  In English, the Spanish name Montaña de Oro means “Mountain of Gold.”  It was inspired by the park’s prevalent golden wildflowers.  The park’s highlights include secluded coves and sweeping bluff views along seven miles of the most incredible coastline in San Luis Obispo’s often overlooked state park.  More recently, they have added a new trail from the park’s southern boundary to the intimate Coon Creek Beach.

8. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Florida

Stunning St. Joseph Peninsula State Park stretches across Cape San Blas’ six-mile tip.  You need not give up beautiful scenery to experience a quiet, secluded beach.  Here you will discover one of the country’s prettiest shorelines.  

The sugar-white sand dunes are nearly empty compared to the beaches in Destin and Panama City.  There are a lot of things to do here along this comparatively remote stretch of the glistening Gulf of Mexico coast.  They even have a boat ramp and marina that can host up to 18 boats at once.

9. Lumahai Beach, Hawaii

You might think that it is impossible to find a span of sand away from the crowds anywhere in Hawaii.  Lovely Lumahai Beach is located in the wet and wild North Shore on Kauai.  It’s off a little bend in the road up from famous Hanalei Bay. 

Take the trail down through all the trees. It ends at a little crescent of fine sand and a huge rock outcropping.  Film fans will find this place familiar.  This is where the “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” scene from the classic motion picture South Pacific was shot.

10. Windansea Beach, California

The city of San Diego is home to 70 miles of great beaches.  Many travel writers consider Windansea Beach one of the country’s best beaches.  Veteran visitors confirm it is a superb “scenic strand” complete with sandstone rocks and plenty of private places to lay out.  It’s got a great location too.  It’s far enough away from the touristy Sea World-spawned hubbub of Mission Bay but only a quick trip from downtown.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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17 Fairytale Destinations In Europe

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


Had enough of the real world? Looking for a taste of something a little different? Check out these 17 fantastic fairytale destinations in Europe.

1. Eltz Castle

Eltz Castle is located in the municipality of Wierschem in Germany. This fabulous medieval castle has actually belonged to a single family since the 1100s. Historians report that this is quite rare in Europe. It is one of the only castles located on the Rhine River that has not ever been destroyed.

2. Mont-Saint-Michel

Nestled within the picturesque island community of Normandy in France, the famous Mont-Saint-Michel survived a century of tumultuous wars. This famous erstwhile abode of Saint Michel’s ancient monastery is surrounded by water and is surrounded by huge walls once used for strategic defense purposes. Take a guided tour of this historic UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Tossa de Mar

Tossa de Mar is a magical municipality found in Catalonia, Spain. Specifically, it is situated on the coast of Costa Brava, roughly 103 kilometers north of the city of Barcelona. It features beautiful beaches complete with fine sand and blue waters. This lovely locale is highlighted by a verdant forest and stolid, medieval walls too.

4. Dark Hedges

Distinctive Dark Hedges is said by some travelers to be fascinating. This exceptionally atmospheric tunnel of sturdy beech trees is situated on Bregagh Road between the villages of Stranocum and Armoy in Ireland’s County Antrim. A great place for nature lovers, it became famous following its use in the hit HBO TV series “Game of Thrones.”

5. Colmar

Known to some as “Little Venice”, Colmar is a fairytale commune and city in France. The best time to visit is debatable. Many travelers come here in winter to experience the charms of its traditional Christmas market. Others prefer to visit in spring to participate in its seasonal celebration and browse the numerous spring markets.

6. Neuschwanstein Castle

The elegant Neuschwanstein Castle is one of Europe’s most visited. It is nestled in Bavaria’s stunning Alps in Germany. Erected in the 1800s, it’s not technically a medieval castle. Still has a majestic, magical appeal. Currently coupled with world-class technology, this popular place presently plays host to more than 1 million travelers every year.

7. Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber

The picture-perfect, postcard destination, Rothenburg ob der Tauber can be found in Germany. This village is ensconced in the Franconia region of Bavaria. You can visit this quaint village almost any time. Frequent flyers favor visiting this spot during the month of December. For it’s only then that you can take in the town’s authentic Christmas market.

8. Bled

Found in Slovenia between the Karavanke and the Julian Alps’ highest peaks, Bled is the country’s most popular resort town. This little fairytale village of approximately 9000 residents. You really must see lovely Lake Bled, and the popular Vintgar Gorge too. Feeling adventurous? Brave the 1893-constructed 5,249-foot wooden walkway that crosses the rushing Radovna River.

9. Riquewihr

Riquewihr can be found about 13 kilometers from Colmar, in Grand Est, France. Having escaped the bombings during WW II, it has not changed much since the 1500s. Thus, this medieval city is quite picturesque. This magical destination is perfect for history buffs. It also includes scenic landscapes and vineyards and noteworthy eateries for foodies.

10. The Castle in Love with the Wind

You’ll discover the famous Castle of Ravadinovo, also known as the “Castle in Love with the Wind”, in the old seaside village of Sozopol in the Republic of Bulgaria. Some claim that it’s “one of the most beautiful castles” in all of Europe. It certainly is one of Bulgaria’s most visited monuments.

11. The Orcus Mouth

The awesome Orcus Mouth is ensconced in the great Gardens of Bomarzo in the Viterbo province in Italy. This attraction may help to remind visitors that sometimes true fairy tales can be frightening. These gardens are the centerpiece of a park created in the 1500s. In the 1950s, artist Salvatore Dali directed a film about it.

12. The Popeye Village

Situated in the beautiful town of Mellieha on the isle of Malta, Popeye Village is both vibrant and ruggedly beautiful. The numerous, small, colorful houses in the village were created especially for shooting the musical Popeye. While the Robin Williams’ movie was not a big hit, the well-preserved village itself has become a popular tourist spot.

13. Prague

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is another famous fairytale destination worth “Czeching” out. It features a unique atmosphere complete with medieval streets and Prague Castle complex too. Visit anytime you can as it’s always inexpensive and, if you’re healthy, it’s walkable too. The food and drink are cheap and hearty as well.

14. Kaysersberg

Kaysersberg is a small, beautiful town and former commune in Alsace in Northeastern France only 12 kilometers from Colmar. In English. Kaysersberg means the emperor’s mountain. History buffs will like the towering fortress that symbolizes both Kayersberg’s warlike past and its strategic importance. Shopaholics should visit during December so as not to miss the famous Christmas market here.

15. Alcázar of Segovia

fairytale

Also known as Segovia Castle, this stone stronghold can be found in the city of Segovia in Spain. This stunning castle-palace is perched high up on a crag close to the neighboring Guadarrama mountains. It’s distinctly shaped like the bow of an old ship. It was one of the structures that inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.

16. Isola Bella

Located in southwestern Italy, Tropea is reportedly a real paradise. Here visitors can enjoy the blue water and pleasant, warm climate. It features fairytale-like narrow streets and an olden atmosphere to boot. Be sure you plan your trip so you can see the Aeolian or Stromboli Islands as well.

17. Sintra

Once the home to Portugal’s numerous monarchs, the town of Sintra is a quick train ride out of Lisbon. See the Castle of the Moors, the National Palace of Pena, and the Palace of Regaleira. Study the historic architecture of the buildings. Take a romantic stroll through the woods and too.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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The 10 Oldest Man-Made Structures On Earth (Still Worth Visiting)

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


The Oldest Man-made Structures

If you look at the Tide pod eaters and condom inhalers of today and lose faith in humanity, fret not. There’s still hope for the human race. In fact, in this piece, we will allay your fears as we demonstrate what thousands of years of true human ingenuity look like. Without further adieu then, here are the 10 oldest man-made structures on earth that are still worth visiting today.

1. Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort, Australia

man-made

There’s little more than a stack of coral and limestone blocks remaining of Australia’s oldest structure. Found on West Wallabi Island, it dates back to 1629. What’s most fascinating is the history here.

It’s a dark, torrid tale of murder, mutiny at sea, and a shattering shipwreck. Spend some time at the popular Museum of Geraldton and learn of this wreck and the bloody battles that ensued. You can also charter a boat and sail to the fort just off the mainland and experience history for yourself.

2. Fortaleza Ozama, Dominican Republic

man-made

Famous explorer Christopher Columbus was once a prisoner here at this fort completed in 1508. It is located at the official entrance to Santo Domingo’s Ciudad Colonial. The fortress overlooks its namesake, the Ozama River.

It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will travel back through the mists of time after the first stone was set in 1502. Explore all the various chambers, dungeons, and tunnels that remain of this Spanish castle-like fort. Thus, it’s officially the very first “permanent military structure” anywhere in the Americas.

3. Acoma Pueblo, USA

man-made

Situated in Albuquerque,  New Mexico and originally thought to have been founded in 1150, this historic pueblo was designated to be the “oldest continuously inhabited community” in the USA. It has, however, been the subject of more recent excavations that lend credence to the possibility it could date back even earlier. Now almost 50 members of the Acoma tribe live in “Sky City.”  It’s thus named because it seems to be precariously perched atop a 367-foot mesa. They have no smartphones, no electricity or running water and live as their ancestors did.

4. Cuicuilco, Mexico

man-made

This ancient ceremonial center and archaeological site is located on the shore of well-known Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico, in famous Mexico City. The moss-covered lava blocks and stones of this temple are in danger of being reclaimed by the earth as the weeds and green grass peeking out between the stones indicates. The Cuicuilco Pyramid harkens back to 2000 BC. (Cuicuilco is Nahuatl for “place of songs.”) The residents of this place were the first to record the sun’s movements, thus initiating the creation of the first calendar.

5. Borchgrevink’s Hut, Antarctica

man-made
Image courtesy of Oceanwide Expeditions

This structure is noteworthy for both its significant place in the exploration of this continent and because it was the very first man-made structure built here. Because of the strong offshore winds and heavy surf Cape Adare is one of the most inhospitable landing sites in Antarctica. It was in 1899 that Norwegian Commander Carsten Borchgrevink erected two huts so that he and his team could be the first expedition to spend the night in Antarctica. Visitors can still see the original huts and their remaining contents there today.

6. Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt

man-made

Also known as the Step Pyramid, this pyramid is located in the ancient Saqqara necropolis, northwest of Memphis. It predates the world-famous Great Pyramid of Giza by several hundred years. It’s also the planet’s “oldest still-standing stone building.”

The man-made pyramid was constructed between 2667 and 2648 BC for the Egyptian pharaoh Djoser who ruled during the nation’s third dynasty. This step pyramid has a total of six layers that have been restored over a period of 14 years. Finally open to the public, travelers can now wander through the pyramid.

7. Caral-Supe, Peru

man-made

The sacred city of Caral-Supe (or simply Caral) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 150-acre plot of homes, plazas, and pyramids is located on an arid desert terrace that overlooks the valley of the Supe River. Archaeologists unearthed a reed carrying bag that dates back to the Late Archaic period which started in 3000 BC.

Therefore, it’s the Americas’ oldest civilization, and one of the oldest on the planet. The previously-mentioned river determines how easily travelers can get to this place according to the country’s wet or dry season.

8. Dholavira, India

This archaeological site is situated at Khadirbet in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District, in Gujarat in India. It’s a man-made Harappan city isolated from modern-day civilization by the well-known salt plains of Rann of Kachchh. It was rediscovered in 1956.

It’s named after a contemporary village only 1 kilometer to the south. Researchers agree this ancient locale was probably occupied from 2650 BC to 1450 BC. The defensive fortifications, grid-like streets, and advanced drainage systems might very well be one of the first examples of early city planning.

9. Göbekli Tepe, Turkey

man-made

Located in Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolia Region, this archaeological site is roughly 12 kilometers or seven miles away from Şanlıurfa. Experts say this is the first man-made temple on the planet. First discovered some time in the 1960s, it was originally dismissed as being little more than a medieval cemetery.  In 1994, a German archaeologist named Klaus Schmidt visited this place and found that it went all the way back to 9500 BC. It actually predated metal tools or pottery. That makes these huge intricate carved stones even more marvelous.

10. Tel es-Sultan, Palestine

man-made

Also known as Ancient Jericho or Tel Jericho, this is the location of biblical and ancient Jericho. Ensconced in the well-known plain of Palestine’s Jordan Valley, it is now a UNESCO-nominated archaeological site. Remains here date back to 9000 BC.

Researchers report it was first inhabited in the 10th millennium BCE. This place, known to some as “the oldest town in the world”, played an important role in Levantine archaeological history. It’s also known to be the longest continuously inhabited city on the planet. You can tour the ruins on foot or via bicycle.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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12 Perfect Private Isolated Islands

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel

Image courtesy of www.roya-belize.com


Have you decided you actually enjoy being alone? Whether you want to rough it like Robinson Crusoe or lose yourself in the pleasures of a pampering private resort, we have the isle for you. Here then, are 12 perfect private islands perfect for self-isolating.

1. Royal Belize, Dangriga, Belize

islands
Image © Muy’Ono Resorts

Feel like royalty at Royal Belize. With a price tag of $11,500 per night, this five-star PADI dive resort is designed for only “one booking at a time.” Your stay includes three villas that accommodate 16 people, an island chef, managed staff, and more. You can go kayaking, paddleboarding, or snorkeling. Sign on for some conch diving. Go on an excursion to spear your own lobster and discover what fresh seafood truly is.

2. Fowl Cay, The Exumas, Bahamas

The Fowl Cay resort features only six villas across its full 50 acres. Each villa includes its own golf cart and a small motorboat (complete with a driving lesson). You can swim with the popular swimming pigs and visit Thunderball Grotto, featured in the classic James Bond movie. Go feed wild stingrays and nurse sharks, then kick back at the well-known Staniel Cay Yacht Club, made famous by frequent celeb visitor singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet.

3. Brother Island, El Nido, Philippines

You can rent this island in El Nido for $350 nightly. Also known as Small Darocotan, the island is surrounded by a natural coral reef. It includes a bamboo forest, preserved jungle, and a beach that reportedly changes its shape each season.  You’ll stay in a building that sleeps 16 people. Since they only handle one booking at a time, the only other humans on the isle are your host, the staff, and a chef.

4. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean

For $102,000 a night you can vacation on the islands like David Beckham, Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon, Oprah Winfrey, and Kate Winslet. Mind you, for that kind of money you get the entire island complete with “Beach Olympics”, fitness classes, a floating sushi bar, four different restaurants, spa treatments, tennis, water adventures, and yoga too. You can check out flamingos, giant tortoises, iguanas, and lemurs too. During “celebration weeks”, you can rent a single individual villa.

5. Båtholmen Island, Hvaler, Norway

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Image © Båtholmen

You can rough it a little here in Norway’s archipelago of Hvaler. This 2.5-acre island has a small red cabin that sleeps five people. There’s no running water (although you can get free water at a nearby grocery store prior to your visit). It does include candles, books, games, and an outdoor playhouse. There’s also little private beaches and a small motorboat for fishing. You can cook your food in the garden’s fire pit and barbecue.

6. Urraca Private Island, Punta Laurel, Panama

Image © Urraca Private Island Eco-Lodge

Off the coast of Panama, this private isle has six stilted solar-powered bungalows made of mangroves. This eco-lodge is near the well-known Zapatilla Cays. Animal lovers will simply go ape at the educational Monkey Island Foundation, a special home for orphaned monkeys. You will be looked after by women from the nearby Ngäbe village, and dine on the seasonal fruits and fresh seafood from Ngäbe farmers and fishermen.

7. Pločica Island, Dalmatia, Croatia

image courtesy of adriasoul.com

You can live out your lonely lighthouse keeper fantasies here off the coast of Croatia. Among the 1,185 islands off the coast only four dozen have lighthouses. Built in 1887, the lighthouse here highlights the low, flat terrain. You can relax or read under the shade of numerous fig trees, go diving, swimming, sport fishing and visit the multiple beaches there. At dusk, you can see the nearby lighthouses shining brightly too.

8. Fregate Island Private, Inner Islands, Seychelles

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This secluded paradise has 16 mahogany villas. Enmities include a spa, butler service, a jacuzzi, personal golf carts, powdery white sand beaches, private infinity pools, and a wine cellar. Here you can visit a sanctuary for the Seychelles Magpie Robin and search for Giant Aldabra tortoises with the resort’s naturalist. You can also sign on to spot dolphins and whale sharks or dive into the Indian Ocean and help the locals cultivate coral.

9. Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

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This is the only resort in Lizard Island National Park. Located on the Great Barrier Reef, it’s beautifully fringed by natural coral and a blue-green lagoon. Explore the two dozen beaches, and go diving. If you’re into nature, go hiking, snorkeling, or go glass-bottom kayaking and see the tropical fish, and giant clam gardens too. Finally, have a spa treatment and relax in one of the 40 villas and suites complete with floor-to-ceiling windows.

10. Song Saa, Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia

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The eco-luxury on-the-water and jungle-ensconced villas here were made by local builders with local materials. They feature thatched roofs, linen-draped canopy beds, repurposed furniture, noteworthy decor, and private pools. So stroll hand-in-hand, pause to take in the romantic sunset view then go to dinner. The overwater eatery and casual bar will serve up some local burrata made at the nearby mainland dairy farm.

11. Petit St. Vincent, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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This 15-acre tropical isle has 22 two-bedroom villas and one-bedroom cottages. There are no telephones, Wi-Fi, or TV. Flags are used to communicate with staff. You can go scuba diving, engage in yoga, and enjoy the Balinese-run luxury spa and wellness center. Dine on the local seafood and award-winning wine at both of the restaurants then have an exotic cocktail at Goatie’s, the beachside bar that comes complete with a memorable view of the pristine waters.

12. Pangkor Laut Resort, Lumut, Perak, Malaysia

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Finally, this luxurious 300-acre island resort is ensconced amidst an olden rainforest and bordered by white sand beaches. Amenities include gardens, jungle trails, swimming pools and romantic little spots to watch the sunset. Much of the island is still raw and undeveloped.

You’ll need to take a four-hour car ride and a 20-minute speedboat ride to reach this spot from the Kuala Lumpur Airport. Famous singer Pavarotti hosted its Spa Village opening in 2002 and you can stay in the suite named for him.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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20 Cheap Vacation Spots In The U.S.

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel


Are you on a budget and not interested in vacationing in some backwater spot? Maybe you’re an American resident afraid to travel because of the coronavirus. Fret not, dear reader. The U.S. has numerous vacation spots and a lot to do at surprisingly reasonable prices. Here are 20 of the best cheap vacation spots in the U.S.

1. Glacier National Park

The lovely lakes and impressive mountains here were created by glaciers. Hence, the name Glacier National Park. Popular with hikers, this park covers over one million acres in Montana and borders Canada.

For but a nominal entrance charge, you can climb, hike, swim and more. There are also some great free, ranger-supervised activities available. You can go on daylong hikes or even go stargazing at popular Logan Pass.

2. Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon in Arizona is not only world-famous but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more affordable place for camping. Additionally, you also get to take in great views from Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep. The canyon is visited by 6 million visitors yearly. If you’re concerned about coronavirus or simply want to avoid crowds, visit in the spring or fall.

3. Olympic National Park

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Olympic National Park is situated in northwest Washington state. It’s the official seventh-most-visited national park in the nation. It provides visitors with almost one million acres to explore.

Additionally, the park also includes active tide pools, the impressive Olympic Mountain range, and the only temperate rainforest in the continental U.S. Visitors can also go fishing, hiking, and stargazing too. If you like warm weather, the best time to visit is between July and August.

4. Gatlinburg

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Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a great place for budget-conscious groups and families. More importantly, this is also the place where you will find three different entrances to the well-known Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Regardless of the weather, visitors can always enjoy the views from the popular Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway or visit one of the local shops and galleries in the Great Smoky Mountains Arts & Crafts Loop and watch artisans making Appalachian crafts.

5. Sequoia National Park

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Found near Visalia, California, Sequoia National Park is the official second-oldest park in the nation. It’s famous for its giant sequoias. You can see five of the 10 largest trees on earth including General Sherman, the largest, which is 275 feet high and 60 feet wide. A modestly-priced park pass will not only permit you to see the park, but it will also allow you to explore Crystal Cave.

6. Anchorage

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You will find 40 percent of Alaska’s population here in Anchorage. Before heading north to explore nature for free, be sure to stop here. Here you will find interesting, unique shops and affordable museums too. Veteran visitors confirm many of the museums are related to the city’s Native American and Russian communities, as well as its pioneer history and gold rush stories.

7. Colorado Springs

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You’ll find Colorado Springs on the border of the Great Plains and the well-known Colorado Rockies. It is reportedly “easily accessible” from almost anywhere around the United States. This Colorado town is said to be home to a number of free attractions. Visit the popular Garden of the Gods and have a picnic between the striking red rocks or go for a little swim in the creek ensconced in popular North Cheyenne Cañon Park.

8. Portland

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The Pacific Northwest’s Portland, Oregon, is known for its boutique shops and countless craft breweries. Still, it’s also a place where you’ll find many budget-friendly things to do, too. If you visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day you can take a free tour of the almost five-acre large International Rose Test Garden. Portland also holds a farmers market and a number of different free outdoor concerts every summer.

9. San Antonio

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San Antonio is famous for the Alamo and the Paseo del Rio or River Walk. Ah, but there’s a lot more to do here. When the weather’s warm you can picnic in popular Brackenridge Park or simply stroll around the historic San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Downtown hotels may charge a mite for their admittedly convenient location, but you’ll still pay less here than in almost any other Texas destination.

10. Williamsburg

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The town of Williamsburg, Virginia is actually both educational and affordable. Along with the neighboring towns of Yorktown and Jamestown comprise the Greater Williamsburg Area. Altogether this area includes 400+ years of American history.

Travel back through the mists of time to the colonial days. You’ll gain a new appreciation for everything you’ll purchase later at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets. Stop here during the spring or fall to avoid any extreme weather.

11. Nags Head

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Nags Head is found in the Outer Banks area of North Carolina. Here you can explore the high sand dunes in stunning Jockey’s Ridge State Park and go fishing somewhere in the Gulf Stream waters. You can also see the iconic lighthouses or try to spot birds and sea turtles at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Avoid the crowds and get good deals by visiting in the fall and spring.

12. Memphis

Music lovers will love Memphis, Tennessee. Here you can tour Elvis Presley‘s Graceland, visit the birthplace of rock at famous Sun Studio and even hear some enjoy live music from cutting-edge indie artists on Beale Street. Learn about the relationship between Memphis and the music industry at such museums as the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame Museum. Admission is $10.00 or less.

13. Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a couple of unique noteworthy events. One is the free monthly ARTScrawl gallery tour. The other is the famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. If you’d rather stay grounded, you can still stop in at the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. Go there on the first Friday of any month or on a Sunday morning and you’ll get in free. During the summer there are more discounted opportunities.

14. Tucson

Gettysburg

Tucson, Arizona has many local landmarks you can see for free, including the University of Arizona and the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac. There’s also the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, which includes miles of good hiking trails and wonderful waterfalls. If you visit the city during the second weekend of the month, you will discover downtown Tucson alive with musicians, food trucks and various vendors as well.

15. Myrtle Beach

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Myrtle Beach in South Carolina has something for everyone. It has great places for deep-sea fishing, surfing, jet skiing and a more intimate place for lounging. After you enjoy the family-friendly beach, stop at Broadway at the Beach. It’s a popular outdoor entertainment area complete with eateries, boutiques, and even live entertainment venues. If you visit in the summer, you can participate in free seasonal activities.

16. Finger Lakes

New York’s Finger Lakes area includes 11 different lakes. Popular free or inexpensive activities available there include hiking by Watkins Glen State Park’s 19 different waterfalls and fishing at Skaneateles Lake. You can take a tour of the attractive Cornell University campus and learn a little about the sport of auto racing at well-known Watkins Glen International. The money you save can be spent at the different wineries in the area.

17. Salt Lake City

The average hotel room price in Salt Lake City is under $150.00. You can save money all year if you take advantage of such free events as block parties and free concerts in Temple Square. You can also visit such free attractions as the Family History Library, Liberty Park, and the Salt Lake Temple. Drive to the Great Salt Lake where you can fish, hike and picnic.

18. St. Augustine

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Florida is more than upscale Miami Beach or Orlando’s theme parks. St. Augustine is America’s oldest city. Here you’ll find historical landmarks, like St. George Street, the Old Jail, and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. If you like to vacation on the beach, St. Augustine Beach is only five miles from the downtown area. There’s a two-mile-long stretch of shoreline complete with a fishing pier and splash pad.

19. Branson

Branson is an Ozark town in Missouri. There’s the Titanic Museum, an impressive, realistic replica of the infamous doomed ship. There’s also the Las Vegas-reminiscent fire and water fountain show at lovely Lake Taneycomo. While White Water Branson and Silver Dollar City can be costly, there are affordable activities. You can feed fish at the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery or go swimming at Table Rock Lake.

20. Gettysburg

Gettysburg is, of course, famous for former President Abraham Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address and the three-day battle in 1863. Thus, this little Pennsylvania town is big with students of history. Nevertheless, Gettysburg offers visitors a lot more than just the well-known historical attractions. Stroll downtown’s main thoroughfare, browse the art galleries and different boutiques. Take a ghost tour and explore the friendly farmer’s markets as well.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.