SEDONA, AZ

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Sedona hands down offered some of the most amazing views I've ever seen in my life, and I look in the mirror like 18 times a day so that's saying a lot. It was also one of the most interesting places I think the US has to offer which was the biggest surprise to me. The town is known to have healing powers and beautiful red mountains filled with hidden energy vortexes (trippy, right!?). Everyone in the area seems to have a calm, holistic nature to them and it's certainly addictive.

I even got a psychic reading by this beautiful blonde woman named Melissa who told me I'm destined for greatness and it only costs me $40! (can you really put a price on personal validation from strangers though!?) I will take Mel and her kind soul with me everywhere I go. Check out my must haves for Sedona, Arizona below! 


Travel Guide: Must do's for Sedona, AZ.

  • Go shopping in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village: This is a must for your Sedona visit! This village (which is BEAUTIFUL and looks like a traditional old Mexican town) offers cobblestone streets, lovely tiled stairs, fountains, unique art pieces, cute shops and live music will keep you busy for the day! Enjoy brunch at the Secret Garden Cafe (try the breakfast potatoes, they're DEVINE), check out all of the shops and end your day grabbing some beers at Oak Creek Brewery
     
  • Go Horse Back Riding: I've been obsessed with horses ever since I could remember so this was a must for me. We decided to do an hour and a half tour with a company called A Day in The West. It's located about 20 minutes outside of Sedona in a town called Cottonwood, but the views were just as spectacular. The tour was awesome and the guides are like one big family (no really its like literally owned/operated by this adorable western family). Each person was matched with a horse that matched the riders personality, for some reason they matched me with a horse who they said was the "most sensitive" which I don't understand at all and made it a point to act as unaffected as possible even though I shed 17 private tears and my feelings were hurt for a least 6 days after the fact but w/e. 
     
  • Get a reading from a psychic: You really can't have a full Sedona experience if you don't get a psychic reading. On every corner in this town you'll see a psychic, medium or energy healer just waiting to read your auro or tell you you fate. Sedona as a town is know for its healing powers, so those who have been giving any level of psychic abilities flock there. Even if it's not really your thing, it can still be fun to see what the stars say about you! Pick yourself up some healing crystals to take home with you as well! 
     
  • Take a Pink Jeep Tour: These pink jeeps crawl the town as this experience is a Sedona staple! It is the perfect afternoon excursion for the family and will offer you some awesome views of the town and you may get lucky and do a little off roading! 
     
  • Check out the Hiking Trails: This one is a no brainer AND free which is amaze. There are countless trails around Sedona you can hike since the town is literally surrounded by nothing but mountains and red rocks. We did Bear Mountain Trail which was V hard and exhausting and I thought I was going to die 4 times, but this hike offered some of the most amazing views I've seen to date so it's worth it if you're into pushing yourself mentally, physically and emotionally while on vacation. 
     
  • Treat yourself to a fancy dinner at Cress on Oak Creek and the Lauberge De Sedona Resort: This is definitely a splurge but was hands down the most wonderful meal I've ever had in my entire life with the most spectacular views. This romantic restaurant offers tables directly on Oak Creek surrounded by red mountains, dimly lit trees and soft sounds of the creek rusting by. They offer 3 or 5 course meals of food that literally will melt in your mouth, I've never experienced decadence like that so if you can afford to splurge, this is the place to go.
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Find Your Next Adventure with GlampingHub

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As much as I love paying for overpriced hotel rooms that smell like cigs and wet towels, sharing the "waters" of the hotel pool surrounded by people who call flip flops "thongs" and children who could benefit from a tissue or two, I'd really like to focus my energy more on going to extreme measures to get a good Instagram pic finding more adventurous and diverse lodging experiences and getting out in nature a little bit more.

I've always loved camping and sleeping under the stars, but I'd also like to have that experience while also having a bathroom available instead of just a shovel...Glamping is like a fancy version of camping. You have all of the charm of "camping", with all of the amenities of home.

Fortunately, GlampingHub makes it super easy to find your next glamping adventure. Whether it's a teepee, yurt, treehouse, airstream or tiny home, they've got a ton of beautiful options around the world that you can book and manage easily. The website provides all the booking information you need, available amenities, things to do in the area, contact information for your host and tons of photos of each property so you can find the perfect glamping spot to match your Instagram aesthetic. Think AirBNB but 10x cooler. Check out their glamping options in Cali or your local city here! 

We decided to stay in this adorable teepee in Ramona, CA right next to a winery. (Yea, you read that right, NEXT TO A WINERY) I'm dead. Wait no, I'm just drunk. The teepee was super private and on a TON of land, it even came with a second, smaller teepee in case we wanted to bring some friends!  

Our glamping home also came with a shower, hot water, toilet, grill, stovetop, fireplace and a space heater, AKA everything you'd need to make you feel at home. The best part? We paid LESS than we would have paid for a shitty hotel room, AKA more money to spend on wine at the vineyard we were basically sleeping on. We will 100% be back to this teepee village and next on my list is this sick treehouse! Find your glamping adventure with GlampingHub here!

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JOSHUA TREE, CA

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Our trip to Joshua Tree was completely spontaneous and unplanned. It was a result of post Thanksgiving blues since we couldn't fly back East for the holiday and instead got super drunk together in our apartment and ate a Thanksgiving meal for eight between the two of us. We woke up Friday morning sad and six months pregnant and instead of braving the Black Friday crowds we decided to pack up our camping stuff (which we have a LOT of thanks to the adorable 65 year old REI salesman *shout out to you Bob*) and head out for a weekend road trip under the stars.

Thankfully, we were able to find a campsite for Friday and Saturday night super last minute thanks to Hipcamp. Hipcamp is kind of like the Airbnb of camping. It's got anything from your $20/night camp sites, to airstreams, to tree houses. We spent most of Saturday exploring and hiking and Sunday we treated ourselves to some drinks in Pioneertown which I've outlined below!

Joshua Tree has multiple trails you can choose from to really take the park in, but no matter which you go with, you'll be surrounded by the odd, Dr. Seuss like trees that have flooded the parks and that in itself is a sight you have to see in this lifetime. Peep my tips on perfecting a weekend in Joshua Tree below!

Travel Guide for Joshua Tree

  • Lodging:
    • There are a few campsites within the actual park but these book up VERY far in advance so you will have to plan your stay at least 3-4 months out to snag one of these. They are listed here and you can always call the National Park to check for availability. 
    • If these sites are booked, camping in a tent isn't your thing OR you just want a little more privacy, check out some of the cool options HipCamp offers in Joshua Tree HERE!
    • We stayed at the Copper Mountain Ranch site. It was the perfect sized camp site, offered a large table, a super clean out house, a fire pit and you will wake up literally right next to the couple of horses that inhabit the owners land, there really is no better company to your early morning sunrise and cup of coffee than these black beauties. We will deff be back here!
       
  • Hiking:
    • Hiking is a MUST in Joshua Tree. There are about 8-10 different trails you can choose from. Doug obviously chose the longest/hardest one for us to try: The Lost Palms Oasis. This is a 7 mile round trip hike in and out trail (as opposed to a loop). You hike about 3.5 miles in and will find yourself surrounded by the tallest most beautiful palms in the middle of the desert. Tips: This trail is HARD and requires some climbing. Would not recommend for elderly or children. Pack at LEAST a liter of water per person, wear a hat as there is no shade here at all and lots of sunscreen. This hike took us about three hours but was deff worth it. You may get lucky and come across some desert lizards, or better yet, a desert tortoise. 
    • The second trail we did on Sunday morning was the Hidden Valley Trail. This was MUCH easier and more of a chance to explore, climb some serious boulders, take some sick photos and enjoy some history as there are trail markers with some fun facts along the way. This trail is about a 1.5 mile loop. It's called Hidden Valley because you're surrounded by massive boulders and apparently this place is where the men in the wild west kept their cattle hidden from gangsta lookin' to steal their herd which is f*cked up if you ask me. 
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  • Eating/Drinking:
    • Lunch - Crossroads Cafe. This place is a must for your post hiking cold beer. It's a divey type place right outside the main entrance to the park. It's got a ton of menu options and even some special plates for you Vegans out there, but if you're not a Vegan get the mac and cheese, seriously...get the mac and cheese, don't make me say it a third time (GetTheMacAndCheese).
    • Sunday Funday - Pinoneertown is an ABSOLUTE must if you're visiting Joshua Tree. Seriously, this place is SO cool and an awesome way to spend your Sunday if you're beat from a Saturday of hiking like I was lol. This is a vintage old western town founded by some Hollywood directors where they used to shoot western movies in the 1940's. It offers super cute shops where you can snag some awesome leather pieces, jewelry, soap from goats milk (even the chance to meet the goat that the milk came from!), etc.
    • MOST IMPORTANTLY, while in Pioneertown, you HAVE to have lunch at Pappy and Harriet's. It was voted top 10 restaurants in all of Palms Springs but you'd never know that when you walk through its weathered, wooden doors. Get the brisket or chili dog and you'll never the be same. Additionally, and I truly mean this with all of my heart and soul, this place has the best Bloody Mary I've ever had. It's a simple, no garnishes kinda bloody, but the perfect balance of cocktail, spice, tomato and vodka, in fact, get seven you won't regret it. Enjoy your trip to Joshua Tree and honestly let me know if you end up going I will GLADLY meet you there!
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DESERT VIEW TOWER: In-Ko-Pah Mountains, CA.

The Desert View Tower is a 100 year old structure settled within the In-Ko-Pah Mountains in Imperial County, CA. It's located about 15 miles from the Mexico boarder and is quite possibly the coolest/strangest place I've ever been. As you enter the grounds you're surrounded by abandoned RVs and fake UFOs and actually now that I write that I'm not sure if those are even part of the Desert View Towers asthetic or real UFOs...

Anyway, the owners of the land are super nice and live on the grounds with their 8 dogs that roam the campsite, which is great, but also a distraction cuz I left with 27 videos of dogs on my phone and about 5 clips of the surrounding views #noregrets. I also woke up with an actual pug in my tent one morning who's name is unknown though he was giving me serious Jerry vibes. This place is beautiful, strange, spiritual, and a little trippy but I can guarantee you've never been to a place like it before. Details on our trip below so you can experience the adventure! 


TRAVEL GUIDE TO DESERT VIEW TOWER

  • LODGING: You've got a couple of options when it comes to lodging at the Desert View Tower. The land itself is small and everything is very close so matter which method of lodging you choose you will get to see everything the area has to offer.

    • CAMPING: This is 100% the best way to experience the land and was obvi the option we went with. The ground on the sites is sand and you're surrounded by boulders so you have comfort and privacy. Each lot and could sleep anywhere from 8-10 people and can be booked directly through Hip Camp and run about $40/night. 

    • COZY PRIVATE HOUSE: The owners sleep in the main house on the site, but there's an additional side home that looks like it could sleep anywhere from 4-6 people. Personally, I'd make it a couples thing cuz its SUPER cozy/cute/romantic and (see pic below) comes with it's own bath tub built into the side of the mountain for that late night splash. 

    • SLEEP IN THE TOWER: I didn't know this was an option but seems pretty sweet awesome now that I've been inside the tower. I think you have to bring your own air mattress/sleeping stuff though because the tower is about 4 levels of artifacts and has a concrete ground so you'll wanna bring extra padding. It's also open to the public all day so not a ton of privacy, but still a cool experience if you're only staying one night! Check out Desert View Tower on AirBNB to book.

  • THINGS TO DO: 

    • YOGA: They offer yoga classes for groups or they have a donation yoga class on Sundays (I think it's encouraged to donate around $10) with the owner. She's SUPER sweet and even offered us a group yoga class for free on Saturday but we're degenerates and ended up drinking...early, but I 100% want to go back for this! The entire area has a spiritual, calming vibe to it so yoga is a must while you're there. Check out Yoga at the Desert View Tower here. 

    • HIKING: There's no set trails around here but we still managed to get a good two miles in. As long as you hike to the highest point on the rocks you'll be able to look down on the camp site and find your way back (as long as there is day light!) It's HOT since you're in the desert so bring a lot of water. There's cactuses and plants that could do some serious damage in the hills so be aware of your surroundings (as you can tell from my video we weren't and three out of the four of us came back with minor bloodshed). But the view of the Jacumba Mountains from the top is amazing! 

    • EXPLORE THE TOWER: The Desert View Tower itself is AMAZING and we spent about an hour and a half just exploring all of the cool pieces inside. Anything from artifacts, art, maps, pianos, old music books, etc. and a lot of their pieces are avaliable for purchase. We went home with this awesome native tapestry that's now hanging in our apartment. Make your way to the top of the tower and the views are amazing.

    • EAT & DRINK: Obvi, but pack some coolers of beer and some food to roast over the bonfire at your campsite and you're good to go. There isn't anything for purchase on site so come with everything you need ahead of time.

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BRYCE CANYON, UT

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I'm not kidding when I say this, Bryce Canyon is the most beautiful place I have ever been. You literally feel like you're on a movie set. I'm pretty sure I compared Bryce Canyon to Westworld like seven times while I was there which was almost as bad as the time I said Gothic Quarter in Barcelona reminded me of Busch Gardens....no need to hate me for that, the second it came out of my mouth I hated myself enough for the both of us, but I digress. 

If you come here with your significant other be prepared to make shit awkward cuz there's no way the words "we HAVE to bring our kids here one day" won't come out of your mouth so unless you want him to start *realizin' stuff* while you're hiking five miles from any civilization stuck in a literal rut together, then go with your girlfriends or your dad or something.

Seriously though, I'm not going to begin to describe the beauty this place holds because there is no way I could put the right words together to do this place justice. I havent seen this much orange surrounding me since my college sorority recruitment parties, but this time the orange is natural and f*cking BREATH TAKING. I'll leave the awe and beauty of Bryce for you to discover, but here's a few tips on the logistics: 

TRAVEL GUIDE TO BRYCE CANYON

  • LODGING: We stayed in this adorable TeePee at the main lodging site right next to the canyon called Ruby's. Ruby's offers anything from a teepee, to an rv lot, camp site, or if staying indoors is more your thing (which is dumb) they do have mini cabins you can rent for 6-8 people. This TeePee was HUGE (literally we pitched our tent INSIDE the teepee for added warmth) but you can fit at least 8 people in here and it was like $50 bucks a night.

  • THINGS TO DO:

    • Hike the canyon: This one is a no brainer but here are some tips. There is nothing more beautiful then seeing the sunrise at the top of the Canyon at the Bryce Point Lookout (there's a few different look outs) but this one you can wake up around 5:45, grab a coffee and drive about 2 miles from the campsite to the lookout to watch the sunrise. It's truly breath taking and a MUST have if you're going to REALLY do Bryce. Seriously, wake your ass up and do this. We brought a little breakfast to the top as well and after we watched the sunset we ate, then we hiked about 5 miles. You can hike down from Bryce Point, loop around the canyon and back up to Bryce Point in about three hours. WEAR LAYERS because while it's cold at the top, it gets HOT as you go down. Pack a large bottle of water and wear comfortable shoes, this hike isn't easy but there are clear trails the entire way so if you have legs and water you can make it and it's 1000% worth it.

    • Explore the shops of the Western Town: This is located directly across the street from the Ruby's campground and is your perfect photo op (outside of the ones you will get in the Canyon), a chance to cool down with some freshly scooped ice cream, and have the chance to do some shopping to bring a piece of Bryce home with you. There's an AWESOME rock store where you can sift for your own rocks, or check out some of the one's they've already dug up for you to purchase. 

    • Do something adventurous: Since Bryce was a stop of ours while we moving across the country, we were only there for two nights so we didn't have time to do anything outside of the adventure of hiking (which trust me, is an adventure in itself) but if you have the time I would 100% check out the activities they offer to get a different canyon experience. Anything from horse back riding your way down the canyon, renting an ATV to whip around the desert or grab a beer and check out the local Rodeo. Check out the various activities Bryce offers here.

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PUERTO RICO

When it was time for my man and I to take a baecation (like a vacation...but with bae) we decided to visit Puerto Rico. We were so attracted to the beautiful coastlines of exquisite surfing potential, historical cobblestones aligning Old San Juan and the beauty, wonder and "aw" of the rainforests the island has to offer. JAYKAY!! I'm 12 years old and don't have a passport yet and you don't need one because PR is US Territory ya'll!! 

Anyway, we had an awesome time. I've outlined a few Puerto Rican must haves below outside of the obvious "spend the whole day on the beach" cuz, duh.  

  • GO ON AN ADVENTURE WITH ECOQUEST! We landed on the three hour rainforest hike with EcoQuest Tours where you get to zip line down multiple zip lines, rappel down an 80 foot waterfall and literally have someones abuela make you lunch in the cutest local cottage with 17 chickens running around the yard. The whole experience was a rush of adrenaline for both me and the chickens. The tour for two people is a tad pricey, but we ended up spending more money on this tour than we did for our hostel for 4 nights because it's not about where you stay, it's about what you experience AMIRITE?!
     
  • SPEND A DAY AND NIGHT IN OLD SAN JUAN! OSJ is one of the most beautiful towns I've had the chance to explore. You can easily hop on a bus or take a taxi from San Juan into OSJ for the day but I definitely recommend wearing comfortable shoes since you will spend hours walking the cobblestone streets and exploring the historical landmarks the city has to offer. Spend the day shopping the local vendors and exploring El Morro (a 400 year old fort that used to protect the city) then enjoy a nice dinner near the water as the sun goes down! 
     
  • PARTY WITH THE LOCALS! It's not a true visit to Puerto Rico unless you spend at least one night chugging $2 Medallas and pretending you know how to salsa dance. On Friday or Saturday night, put your drinking boots on and visit La Placita. This place gives Bourbon Street in New Orleans a run for its money. It's packed with authentic Puerto Rican food, open air bars, streets filled with locals dancing to the live bands, and of course, police to make sure things don't get TOOOO rowdy (but definitely rowdy enough) to make this a night you will forget.