A day in Seattle

Start your morning off by grabbing a Starbucks coffee and taking a $4 Uber to Kerry Park. Enjoy an outstanding view of the skyline, Elliot Bay, and possibly mountains depending if the sun is peeking through the Seattle clouds.

Next, take a walk through the bustling streets and alleys of Pikes Place Market. There is so much to see here! You will find fresh seafood, souvenirs, tasty lunch spots, and crafts made from local artists. Grab lunch at Pikes Place Chowder, which has award winning food including “the best clam chowder in the world”! We got both the clam chowder and a lobster sandwich. There is usually a line, so be prepared for that, but trust me it is worth the wait! Walk through Post Alley and checkout the famous gum wall…blow a bubble and add to it if you want!

If you’re interested go to the Space Needle, either just go check it out from below or go all the way to the top for around $30 (cheaper to buy a ticket online than in person). There are also many museums you can checkout, I would recommend the Museum of Pop Culture.

In the afternoon, head over to the water for some great views and tasty beer. Old Stove Brewery and Seattle Beer Company both have great atmospheres and beer, I love getting a flight so I can try a few different kinds!

As the sun begins to set over Elliott Bay watch a beautiful sunset over the water. Either walk along the piers or go on a ferris wheel ride near Pier 57.

After the sun sets go to ZigZag Restaurant for a trendy dinner. It is a dimly-lit cocktail bar with a cool soundtrack and awesome decor. They have delicious appetizers, dinner, and dessert.

As the evening is coming to a close head over to Bathtub Gin & Co. which is a hidden gem in a back alley with big wooden doors. You might need to wait in line for this speakeasy-type bar but again, it’s worth it! Here you will find cozy booths, unique cocktails, and the best bartender in Seattle! Our drinks were $10 but were strong and really carefully made.

Enjoy your time in this seaside city, it’s one of a kind!

Lake Tahoe

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Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place to visit in California. It has incredible blue water and so much to do! Here is what I recommend while here:

1. Stop at Kings Beach where you will find a very large beach, kayaking, swimming, local shops, restaurants, and more!

2. Spend a while at Emerald Bay State Park. You can access it by walking down a long pathway from the parking lot or hike down through the rocks. There is clear blue water, mountain views and waterfalls!

3. Checkout Tahoe City which has lots of shopping including name brand stores and local shops. Eat at Azul which has the best Mexican food and live music right next door! Budget tip: they have a great happy hour so go before 6!

If anyone has been to Lake Tahoe please comment if you have any recommendations on what to do while here!

San Francisco

Where to go

San Francisco, CA….a city like no other.

How to get there

I have both flown and drove. Use Skyscanner to book your flights and spot hero to park your car.

What to see

There is truly so much to do here!

1. Spend at least one day at fisherman’s wharf. My favorite restaurant there is wipeout to go (best seafood & atmosphere).

2. If you are a vegetarian or enjoy a healthier meal go to Greens restaurant…yummy food and a great view of the ocean.

3. Spend a day renting bikes & biking over the Golden Gate Bridge… continue until you get to the town Sausalito (ritzy, cute, unique town).

4. If you want to see Alcatraz there are two options: pay a pretty steep price at any of the vendors or get up at 6am to go wait in line for half the price (this choice depends on who you are with and the time/money you have). I do recommend going whichever you choose, you learn a lot and it was super interesting!

5. Last but not least go to Pier 39 and watch the seals, they are hilarious!

Santa Barbara Weekend Getaway

The world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page. -St. Augustine

Where to go: Santa Barbara, CA

Last summer my boyfriend and I went on a roadtrip to California. We are from Wisconsin, so this was quite the journey for us (you can check out my road trip page to see how we did this.) For 2 days of the trip we went to Santa Barbara and it was my favorite part of the trip. Santa Barbara is a more upscale city, with hundreds of beautiful homes and tiny, cute hotels. The scenery is second to none; with the Pacific breeze blowing in your face and mountains peaks behind your head. It is incredible. Though Santa Barbara is among the most expensive places to live; traveling there does not have to be.

How to get there

If it is possible you definitely should drive there because the flights are very expensive to the Santa Barbara airport from most places. If it is not possible to drive download the app Skyscanner and type in the dates you wish to travel and press “save” it will then send you notifications when prices have gone down so you can then book a flight at that time.

What to see

We stayed in a smaller inn, Mason Beach Inn which was a little pricy because we wanted to be right in town and by the beach. It was by far the most affordable place for the location we were at. The Inn was adorable and it had a free breakfast, pool, and hot tub.

For at least one night I recommend going and getting dinner on the pier. If you like seafood the Shell Fish Company is delicous and has a great atmosphere. You should go around sunset so you can watch the sun go down while sipping on a drink. The sun setting behind the mountains is one of my favorite memories.

I recommend going on a weekend night. There is the Santa Barbara College so all of the college kids come down to this street on the weekends and go out. There are a lot of super cool bars that you can go to and they are very lively. My boyfriend and I met some great people, played some pool, and tried some really good drinks. Our favorite bar we went to was Heroes bar and grill which had pool tables, a chill vibe, and huge barrels of peanuts that you could eat with a cold beer.

I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants a relaxing, gorgeous getaway and willing to spend a little more money. Comment below if you have been to Santa Barbara and have any suggestions or recommendations!

Road Trip: Milwaukee, WI – San Diego, California

San diego.JPG This past summer I went on a road trip with my boyfriend from Wisconsin to California. It was definitely a lot of time on the road and took a decent amount of preparation and planning to make it the most enjoyable & of course affordable! On this trip I booked through homeaway which is a website similar to airbnb. It allows people to rent out their apartment, home, or second home to others that are traveling. It is great because the places almost always have a kitchen and other supplies. This is a money saver because you don’t need to go out to eat all the time and can save money  on little expenses like coffee in the morning or buying water bottles throughout the day.

I learned a lot about driving to travel:

  1. Plan your long car rides for at night. This saves money on getting a place to stay and also allows the other travelers your with to be sleeping so you can switch off
  2. Pack snacks and big jugs of water in the car. This prevents stopping all the time to get food/water, it saves money and precious time you could be out enjoying new places.
  3. PLAN YOUR TRIP OUT BEFORE HAND. I think this is really important when going on a long road trip because driving for an extended amount of time can sometimes lead to travelers becoming unhappy and unable to really take in the sights around them.
  4. Plan out places to park your vehicle prior to your trip. I LOVE the app spothero it finds you really cheap parking (like $5 a day) in major cities. Parking is a part that many forget about and it can really drain your bank account if you aren’t prepared. Most hotels in cities charge you from $30 – $70 to park your car…not worth it!!

Overall, I loved driving through the states you see so much that you would not be able to see when flying. You really get to know your fellow travelers in the car and have great conversations. The best part?! You are FREE & have no restrictions on where you can go.