Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Ghost Town Hunting in Oregon

Hunting for Ghost Towns

I am fascinated by old places. I’ve written about the pioneer camp I attended as a child, and I did my senior honors thesis on the history of abandoned towns in Minnesota. Some of my treasured memories of family trips to Colorado include seeing some amazing abandoned mining villages preserved by the dry climate there.  So when I was driving to California, I made sure to look for ghost towns along the way – and I found an Oregon ghost town called Golden. (I also found an old town that was quite unabandoned but worth a look — more on that here).

History of Golden, Oregon

This city was founded in 1860 as a gold rush town. It was unique because it had two churches and no saloons. Its inhabitants fluctuated as gold was found in other areas nearby. By 1920, the post office closed. Today, you can visit Golden to see a glimpse into a mining town that was built during the gold rush.

Visiting Oregon ghost town Golden

Today, Golden is an Oregon State Heritage Site. There’s a paved road you can drive to get there from Coyote Creek, which makes it much more accessible than many other similar abandoned towns of the west. In Idaho, I attempted to drive to Silver City but the roads were too dangerous at that time of year and I chose (wisely, I think) to turn back. So I was happy to find the town of Golden just a short drive from I-5, near the town of Coyote Creek.

A true Oregon Ghost Town

Even though Golden is on the National Register of Historic Places and it’s so easily accessible, it still feels very much like a ghost town. There’s no other buildings around, and nothing has been restored since 1950 when the church was rebuilt. You can even go inside the church and general store. If dilapidated buildings are more your style, there’s an outhouse and other buildings that are collapsing.

Have you ever visited a ghost town?

Summer in Jacksonville, Oregon

visiting Jacksonville Oregon

Visiting Jacksonville Oregon

On the great Road Trip 2017, the last stop we made before California was visiting Jacksonville Oregon. It’s a small town in the Southern part of the state with cute main street with shops. I actually found Jacksonville on a suggested list of ghost towns to visit in Oregon. It’s far from a ghost town, but it is quaint and full of historical buildings. It’s definitely worth a visit!

visiting Jacksonville Oregon

Where to Eat in Jacksonville Oregon

For lunch, I chose a little cafe called The Cheesemonger’s Wife. They had a cheese plate for only $11 that came well stocked with plenty of cheeses, olives, crackers and jam. The restaurant was gluten free friendly and many of the ingredients were local. They made delightful sandwiches and coffee too.

visiting Jacksonville Oregon

What to wear when visiting Jacksonville Oregon

I found Jacksonville to be an Instagrammer’s paradise. The historical details I mentioned earlier include brick facades, antique murals painted on walls, and pretty flower gardens. So put on your best outfits, bloggers! Shop Lilly Pulitzer dresses like the one in these pics here.

visiting jacksonville oregon

Do you have a favorite small town to visit in the summer? Tell me about it in the comments! I’d love to add more destinations to my travel wishlist.

4 Unique Places to See in South Dakota

This post is sponsored by Hot Springs, South Dakota and the South Dakota Department of Tourism, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This summer I’m planning a pretty big road trip, one that goes through South Dakota. (More on that to come later!) I visited the Black Hills, The Badlands and Mount Rushmore with my parents when I was younger on our way to Colorado. It’s definitely something every American should try to see at least once. There is more to see in the area though, which is why these lesser-known tourist destinations are on my list to check out in Hot Springs, SD:

Wild Horse Sanctuaries

There are two wild horse sanctuaries you can visit and see horses roaming free in their natural habitat. Ever since I read Misty of Chincoteague at age 10, I’ve found it fascinating that even today horses run wild in the United States.

Mineral Water Health Spas

I’ve visited natural hot springs in the Colorado mountains as well as mineral spas in Switzerland and I can easily say that it’s one of my favorite vacation activities. The mineral water spas in Hot Springs, South Dakota are much closer to home and open year round.

Pioneer Museum

The area has a ton of history, so it’s fitting that there’s a pioneer museum. It would be of interest to anyone who liked my Pioneer Park post. While I’ve been to several pioneer museums as a child and for article research, I never tire of them!

 Wind Cave National Park

Here you can tour one of the longest caves in the world as well as hike through a National Park that has buffalo, elk, deer, coyotes, antelope!

If wild horses, mineral spas and pioneer museums aren’t your thing there are way more attractions to check out including a mammoth site and fossil museum. If you’ve been to the Hot Springs area, let me know what you think is the best place to check out.

What to Wear

>Summer road trip advice from a Midwesterner – here’s what you might want to pack.

1. Summer boots – good for adventuring. These come in three colors.

2. An embellished dress for looking good in your Instagram shots 😉 This one will look like it fits right in at the Pioneer Museum.

3. Cat’s eye sunglasses

4. Embellished denim jackets are everywhere now, and they’re so practical for keeping mosquitoes off!

All photos used with permission courtesy of the South Dakota Board of Tourism.

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

What is the Palace of Fine Arts?

This downtown San Francisco destination features a Greco-Roman style rotunda and colonnades on a peaceful pond. It was built in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition and is now used for concerts, events and as a public park.

This place is STUNNING. As soon as I saw a picture of it two years ago, I knew I had to go. Two trips to California went by before I was able to make it, and I’m so happy I finally did. I was in no way prepared for how magnificent it is in person. It was easy to imagine I was in Europe, it so reminded me of things I’d seen in Rome and Greece.

At sunset, the sun setting over the bay illuminated the rosy columns with gold light. The structure sits on the edge of a pond, and a walking path encircles it. Families brought bikes and scooters for the kids. It’s situated near the Golden Gate, Golden Gate Park, and the Disney Family Museum so it’s easy to swing by if you’re visiting the popular tourist destinations in San Francisco.

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts

It’s a perfect place to take a stroll, and it’s free. We even got a free parking spot nearby. We were a little cold and hungry so we stayed for a half hour, long enough to take these pictures and enjoy the sights. Looking back I think we could have stayed longer. If it’s a warm day you could do a picnic here.

How to Take Photos at the Palace of Fine Arts

This is one of the most popular photo shoot destinations in the Bay Area. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, we saw an engagement shoot, another fashion blogger, and a wedding shoot during the half hour we were there! That said, you’ll probably get other people in your frame. The inside of the rotunda is amazing, but make sure to check out the grounds surrounding it too for some other great shots.

What to Wear

Such a magnificent location called for a special outfit. When I found this dress at Nordstrom it instantly reminded me of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, which was perfect because the new movie came out that weekend. I definitely wore this dress to the theater for the premiere.  (The dress also comes in black and a pattern, by the way.) I added a couple layers of tulle over it just for fun, but it also looks elegant without it.

If you saw the movie this weekend, what did you think?

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts

A New Minneapolis Hotel + A Giveaway

I love saving money on travel, but what I don’t love is scouring the internet for hours to find the best deals. I just became a member of a rewards program that offers Members Only Rate Exclusive (MORE) – 10% off the best available price on hotel rooms within the brand. Which means saving more without scouring, thank goodness. Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win 30,000 rewards points of your own!

Club Carlson Perks

This program was ranked one of the top three hotel rewards programs by by U.S. News and World Reports for 2015-2016. One of the reasons is the program’s flexibility. You can use points not only for free hotel stays, but for other travel costs like TSA Pre-Check application fees, airline miles and more.

Radisson Red Opening in Downtown Minneapolis

I’m also excited to share that one of the Carlson hotel brands is opening a new hotel in downtown Minneapolis December 2016. It’s kiddie corner to the Old Spaghetti Factory which was a total staple of my college life, but I’m way more excited to check out the Radisson’s onsite kitchen + bar serving fresh, locally sourced, sustainable food inspired by global street fare. I like the trend of more hotels sourcing food from local farmers.

minneapolis travel itineraryI have some other suggestions for a Minneapolis travel itinerary. This hotel is steps away from the Guthrie Theater, Mill City Museum, and Gold Medal Park which are all right along the river and within walking distance to my favorite destination, the Stone Arch bridge (pictured above). So it’s going to be ideal for Twin Cities vacationers, but it’s also just a short cab ride or from the convention center and the University of Minnesota (pictured below). And if you’re wondering, yes, the hotel is pet friendly!university-of-minnesota-the-pink-paperdoll-blogGiveaway!

Congratulations giveaway winner Tracie Cooper, I hope you enjoy your 30,000 rewards points on a getaway somewhere you’ll love!

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