Amanda's 2018 Destinations
I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions as I find I am not good at keeping them. Why set myself up for disappointment? Instead I like to look at where I am now and where I want to be when 2018 rolls in. For some aspects of life that might be metaphorically speaking, but for travel that means taking a literal look at where I am going this year (and where I wish I was going).
I am heading to Fairbanks, Alaska at the end of January hopefully to check one of the big things off my wish list. The Aurora Borealis is a lifelong dream and one of those events that I feel you need to see in person to really experience. There will be snowshoeing and dog sledding on this trip as well, two new adventures for me as well. If I survive the cold, this is going to be a great trip.
Greenville, South Carolina
A girls weekend is planned in March so I can see what all the fuss is about. Between the food, the bike trail, and a charming downtown, I am looking forward to seeing why everyone keeps raving about Greenville. There are so many restaurants to try here, it is possible I might be eating for 3 days straight. That's where the outdoor activities will come in handy to work some of that off. I am a sucker for a city with a bike trail always and one with a waterfall right downtown seems too good to be true.
This is another place that constantly gets great reviews on travel sites and that I have never visited. I am interested in seeing the design aspects of the city and how they have incorporated New Urbanism into creating a walkable and bikeable place to live. I love to explore a place on a bike--you can cover a lot of ground but you get a better feel for the environment than you do when you are in a car. The proximity to the mountains is another selling point, not only for hiking, but as the backdrop for some amazing photography.
Bryson City, NC
I take an annual trip to this awesome town with friends to spend a weekend kayaking, hiking, and drinking good beer. Several years in and it never gets old, just something I look forward to more and more every year. Between actually running the river and hanging out at the great scene that is the NOC, we can stay all day on the Nantahala River. Eating out in Bryson City, having a brew and a game of Jenga at Nantahala Brewing Company, or hiking in the Smokies are just some of the other fantastic ways to spend time when you are out of your boat. Even my friends who don't kayak, have plenty to do and come every year. There are so many activities to choose from in this town, we wrote an itinerary.
Amanda's Wish List
My mother is from Scotland, and I spent my summers there as a child. As I got older (and no longer had a 2 month summer break!), it has been harder to get back as often as I would like. It has been 3 years since my last visit, and I am itching to return. My dream is to rent a place on the Inner Hebrides (Islay or Jura) and let the kids wander to the beach or do some hill walking. The adults can wander over to several different whisky distilleries. I would love to conquer the Paps of Jura although I am not sure I am up to all the scree scrambling.
I really want to see Buenos Aires and Patagonia. To do both in one trip the way I want to is a huge undertaking, not only time-wise, but also the amount of planning. So, not sure it will happen this year. This trip keeps getting postponed but it stays on the list until I get my wish.
Amy's 2018 Destinations
2018 is shaping up happily in the travel department. My family is looking forward to both new adventures and a replay of some favorite destinations.
Fantastic airfare, a long school spring break, and a bucket list museum (the Anne Frank House) pushed Amsterdam to the top of our list this year. Looking forward to canal cruising, the Van Gogh Museum, and a wonderful science museum, the NEMO. The movie "Fault in Our Stars" was partially filmed here, so my daughter is looking forward to a walking tour. Bonus!
Synchronous Fireflies- Great Smoky Mountain National Park
I was one of the lucky few to book a campsite at Elkmont Campground in the Great Smokies National Park during the annual synchronous firefly display in early June. I've witnessed this natural phenomenon several years ago and can't wait to go back.
Summer Road Trip-Bozeman, MT; Yellowstone; and Grand Tetons National Park
This summer the western states call to us again. We are revisiting our favorite "wish I lived here" town, Bozeman, MT. Here's everything I love about Bozeman. We will stay there for several days before parting south to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Looking forward to quality windshield time between destinations, scenic hikes, lazy floats, and a break from the south's heat and humidity. Maybe some fly fishing this time? I've always wanted to try it....
Weekend Warrior Camping throughout Summer and Fall
My husband and I plan to keep the girls on a fairly regular camping circuit (a sort of/kind of, New Year's resolution). It gets them outside, temporarily unplugged, and hopefully continues to create great family memories. We'll visit campgrounds at Elkmont in the Smokies, Roan Mountain State Park, Indian Boundary Lake, and hopefully try Lake Powatan and Horse Cove Campground in North Carolina.
Wedding Anniversary Trip
It's the big one--25 years! Hoping to take a mommy/daddy trip, destination anywhere! I'd love a foodie tour in Charleston, SC or Portland, ME. But perhaps we may even make it to one of the destinations on my wish list. We'll see...
St. John USVI
Sandy beaches, clear water, snorkling, and a national park covering covering over half of the island. Sold!
Ever since I viewed Amanda's photos of Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, I've been obsessed with going there. Stargazing on a clear moonless night after hiking/photographing beautiful hoodoos and slot canyons is at the top of my bucket list.
I've never visited Oregon. I love food, beer, and nature. Seems like a good match. Would love to tour in an adventure travel trailer.
Where Will You Go in 2018?
No clue? We've got lots of ideas from weekend getaways to overseas adventures. Too exhausted from the holidays to think about spring break or summer vacation? We've already planned your trip for you. Where to stay, where to eat, and where to play. Convinced your kids might never get off their electronic devices? Our itineraries provide tried and true activities that we tested on our own kids and they said were better than Minecraft.
Check out our itineraries and look forward to some family fun this year!