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Malibu Travel Guide with Mazda USA

Back in December we planned to split our month trip up by stopping in California to see our family and also take Covid Tests before traveling over to Hawaii. We partnered with Mazda USA on this trip to get one of their newest model cars (Mazda CX-5) to drive up the scenic route to Malibu. We have been to Malibu many times and this was the first time we actually were going to stay at Calamigos Guest Ranch! My best friend was supposed to get married at Calamigos almost a year ago, and then well you know that story. We decided to still stay at the resort and highlight the property while in town. I personally think there is no where better to stay in Malibu right now then Calamigos Guest Ranch. The entire area is a private 250 acre ranch with all types of animals and the perfect place to escape city life to feel safer. Below is everything you need to know!

How to get there:
We flew into LAX airport and picked up our Mazda rental. This car was perfect for a family with two car seats in the back and we were able to get 2 large checked bags, and two carry on, plus several backpacks into the trunk. From LAX, Malibu is about 40 minutes up the coast.


Where to stay:
Calamigos Guest Ranch: A luxury private resort in Malibu. We stayed in an Estate Suite, which has its own private pool area. I loved that these rooms fit two kings comfortably! I have never stayed in a room that had two king size beds side by side! I also loved how spread out the resort was and that you could walk to several different pool sections. As a Guest at Calamigos you also have access to their exclusive beach front club.


What to do:

  • Malibu Wine Hikes with Kurt: This is a family friendly easy 2 mile hike around the Malibu property. If your kids are older, look into the safari tour where you can be chauffeured on a vehicle!
  • Bliss Beach Picnic: This was one of my favorite days and set ups on the beach in Santa Monica. They have several locations.
  • Calamigos Beach Club: If you are staying on property at Calamigos Guest Ranch, the resort offers a free shuttle to this private beach area.
  • Malibu Pier: Take the kids down here to walk and explore the area. Make sure to grab breakfast at Malibu Farm Cafe!
  • Horse Back riding: We did this one year and It will always be my favorite a sunset. Several places nearby offer horse back riding!



Where to eat:

  • The Malibu Cafe– on property at Calamigos Guest Ranch. Due to Covid they are allowing you to order takeout and then dine in the grass, enjoy the cornhole and ping pong games with the kids.
  • Malibu Farm Cafe: On the Pier, enjoy the views and frose!
  • Nobu Malibu: Our favorite of all Nobus! Amazing food and views. Book 30 days in advance!

Malibu Cafe Naps
Mazda Rides down PCH

We loved having the Mazda car rental available at all times to scoot around town. My favorite feature of the car was the bluetooth radio and the fact the sunroof went all the way back for fresh air. The ride was so smooth. Thanks Mazda USA for the ride around town and Calamigos Guest Ranch for having us! We can’t wait to schedule another visit soon!

travel

Cabo Travel Guide

One place that is worth the hype is Cabo San Lucas! We had never traveled to that side of Mexico and I am so glad we finally did. It is a short flight from California, but from the east coast it does take a connection and roughly 8 hour travel time depending where you are coming from. With the new announcements from the CDC for international travel during Covid I am providing below the latest up to date info!

The view from El Farralon Restaurant at Waldorf Pedregal

Steps to Getting there:

The CDC just announced new guidelines for international travel, which you can read more here. I am happy to report most luxury accommodations are providing on site testing for Covid at the resort for your return travel to make it as smooth as possible if traveling with family or small children. This is from the CDC site for Mexico: “Before you travel, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Do not travel if you are waiting for test results, test positive, or are sick. Follow all entry requirements for your destination and provide any required or requested health information. Before traveling back to the United States, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before travel. Follow all destination and airline recommendations or requirements.”

Where to Stay:

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos PedregalWaldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal offers guests access to COVID-19 testing through the resort’s medical partners which can be done onsite or at a partner medical facility. As guests have different needs and requirements, the resort’s Personal Concierge team can arrange for the appropriate test based on guest needs. The price of the test varies depending on timing and types of test required but currently an antigen (rapid) test is $158 USD with results expected within 24 hours. Details can be found on resort’s Health & Safety page. Additionally, the Los Cabos Tourism Board is working alongside the public and private sector to ensure all international travelers visiting Los Cabos are able to access and take the viral test ahead of their return to the USA. The Tourism Board is also working with the Los Cabos International Airport and several airlines to streamline this process and provide a pleasant travel experience to all tourists visiting the destination during this time.

  • 5 star Luxury Resort: From the moment we arrived we were whisked away by their drivers into an epic welcoming to something I can only describe as what felt like the Amalfi coast in Mexico. I was blown away by the architecture of the hotel and the fact we were on the side of a cliff. The rooms all have infinity pools and a private little beach area. The chips & Guac + spicy margaritas were the best I’ve ever had in my life!

    Here are some more bullet points straight from the resort I thought highlighted key things:
  • Work From Paradise: Boasting residential-style accommodations such as Multibedroom Casitas, Villas and Private Pedregal Homes, Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal offers the perfect ‘home away from home’ for travelers seeking to get away will staying connected to work and remote learning for an extended period of time. Featuring every amenity found in a luxury residence (including private plunge pools, expansive terraces, separate living and dining rooms, etc.), travelers can “work from paradise” or take advantage of the resort’s new weekly Spanish Baja Cultural Immersion program (sample schedule here), Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal makes it easy to relocate for a week-month with the Escape Longer package which also offers a week free for every month booked. Images of residential-style accommodations and property here.
  • Private Passport to Pedregal — Private Jet Partnership: As privacy continues to be the new luxury in 2021, Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is thrilled to partner with Schubach Aviation, a Southern California based private jet charter and aircraft management service, to offer an exclusive package that includes a roundtrip flight with Schubach Aviation into Cabo San Lucas’ International Airport (MMSL) from anywhere in the U.S., seven-night stay in a Two Bedroom Ocean View Villa, daily breakfast in-residence, and more. Rates starting from $25,896 USD++ taxes and service charge per stay. Images of jet and property here.
  • Beyond The Beach: Curated Exploration Itineraries: Those looking to be outdoors in the fresh air can enjoy any one of the resort’s “Beyond the Beach: Curated Exploration” itineraries which include everything from swimming with whale sharks, 4×4 adventures to Baja’s best kept secret of Xanadu, snorkeling with sea lions in Baja’s Sea of Cortez, hailed as the finest UNESCO conservation effort, and beyond. Custom itineraries here and images here.

Where to eat:

  • El Farralon: Located at the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal Los Cabos. This is one dining experience you don’t want to miss. The restaurant sits on the cliffs of the pacific ocean and the food is amazing.
  • Cocina Del Mar Located at Esperanza Resort. Another amazing cliff side dining experience that is layered seating up the cliff. We did the new moon dining experience which was a 3 course meal.
  • Nobu Los Cabos- You can’t go wrong with any Nobu in my opinion. This is one of favorite luxury restaurant chains, the Nobu Los Cabos one did not disappoint and neither did the views at sunset!
  • Malibu Farm– also located at the Nobu Hotel, best to brunch here! Get the frose drink!
  • Flora Farms: This is a must before heading to the airport! It is a great brunch and lunch spot, they have a playground and ponds on site for the kids to run around as well. Loved stopping here!

What to do:

  • Go on a Boat Tour: Pelican Cabo does private luxury sailing around the island
  • Book multiple tours with Cabo Adventures here: The include swimming with whale sharks, Camel Safari rides, Outdoor ziplining, and luxury sailing tours.
  • Explore the bars and shopping downtown: There were so many areas we wanted to check out including the Office, and bar scene but we had the kids!
  • Relax on the beaches and pools: Cabo is one of those spots that is unsafe to go into the ocean from the beach due to the break of the waves and rocks.
travel

Maui Travel Guide

We just got back from spending the entire month of December in Maui Hawaii and all I can say is I am having withdrawals already :(! Traveling right now is your own independent choice, but we personally never felt safer than in Hawaii due to the fact anyone traveling to the island has to have a Negative Covid test. I work remote, and my kids are virtual learning so it just felt like the right time to make this trip. Also we live in North Carolina since everything is shut down I wanted the kids to be able to be active outside and learn by exploring new areas! Below is everything you need to know about planning a trip to the Island right now (Also giving away a free RT flight to hawaii over on my instagram here if you want to enter, closes Jan 5th!)


How to get there:

  • Fly into OGG airport for Maui. We chose to fly Hawaiian Airlines due to the fact they have their own Covid testing kits they mail to you, and they also just set up drive thru testing for their customers. You can read more on their site here. They also are still blocking middle seats. I did see American and other Airlines are starting to participate in Covid testing as well so just double check the airlines.
  • Hawaii Arrival Process: First step will be each adult needs to create a Safe Traveler profile on Hawaii Travel site here. On the site you will fill out all info on the trip, your info, and also upload your test results once complete. They will provide you with a QR Code that I suggest printing out as well or screenshotting in a folder on your phone for easy access. (Every airport/hotel will ask for this upon arrival).
  • Take a pre-travel test: forego the quarantine by taking a pre-travel test. The test must be from a state-approved testing provider. The test must be administered no more than 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the final leg to Hawaii. For trans-pacific travel, test results must be received prior to flight departure.
  • Types of Tests: Since we flew Hawaiian we paid $90 per person (anyone under age 5 doesn’t have to take a test FYI) for their Vault Virtual testing. This test was a very simple saliva test and once complete you drop off at the nearest UPS. Because I was paranoid, I also opted to pay for the drive thru Nasal testing that was $119 per person with a 24 hour turnaround time on results. More info on both here.
  • Things to note: Best to do layover in a city that has these testing sites for ease of travel. We stopped in LAX. Also print out all documents and upload PDF into safe traveler site within 24 hours of departure. They didn’t check our paperwork till we got to Hawaii, so prepare to wait in the lines and have someone check all your documents upon arrival.

Now that you are in the clear, Where to stay:
Resorts VS Vacation Rentals:

  • Resorts: Wailea is mainly where all the luxury resorts are and this side of the island rarely rains! We had ONE rainy day the entire time, and it maybe lasted an hour? There are also resorts on the West side, Napili area, that are worth checking out if you are going to explore the island and prefer the hotel route. You can see all the ones we checked out and explored on my instagram highlights here & reels.

    Our all time favorite Resort was Four Seasons Maui, it was 5 star all around. Here is what I loved about it:
  • The rooms! We stayed in an Ocean View one bedroom suite. The rooms had two bathrooms, it felt bigger than normal apartments with a huge lanai. The doors also had cameras on them to see anyone knocking (that was a first).
  • The pools: 3 total, very spread out. An adults only with infinity, a family pool with TWO hottubs! and a kids pool with mini slide and waterfalls.
  • The Luxury feel: The service was top notch. The drinks were amazing, as well as all the restaurants and room service. We also saw several celebrities while on site so that is when you know its high class.
  • Kids Camp: It was daily and free! My kids lived there and it was such a relief for me to be able to work and enjoy the resort at the same time while they met other kids.
  • The beach/location: They have their own little beach area with SUP boards and snorkeling gear out front you can sign up to use.
  • Fitness: They have SUP work out classes and Beach Yoga I did one morning, so calming! (plus a gym and game room on site)

Vacation Rentals:

  • If you are staying long term I suggest looking into rentals that are more affordable and hoping around the island. I also loved being able to have a kitchen and do our laundry with small kids. We switched up airbnbs on the West side Napili Area and also rented a few in Paia. I only rent from superhosts because you know the reviews and guests don’t lie!

Where to eat (advanced ressys always, these were our favs!):

  • South Maui/ Wailea Area:
    (Four Seasons Maui)
    Ferraros Bar e Ristorante
    Spagos
    Duo Steak & Seafood
    (Andaz Resort)
    Ka’ana Kitchen
    The Feast at Mokapu Luau
    (Fairmont Kea Lani)
    Nicks Fishmarket
    Ko (sushi)
  • West Maui (Napili/Kanapali area):
    Merrimans- Drinks/sunset great
    AAroots- breakfast/Acai Bowls
    Cliff House at Montage
    Burger Shack-Lunch on the beach at the Ritz Kapalua
    (Lahaina Area)
    Honu Seafood & Pizza
    Leodas Pies
    Ululani’s Shaved Ice
    Oluwalu Juice Truck (fresh coconuts)
  • North Shore Maui (Paia/Haiku)
    Paia Fish Market
    Mamas Fish house
    Jaws- Road to Hana, good smoothies
    Garden of Eden- road to Hana, food truck!

What to do:

  • Sunrise Snorkel Tour: We booked this exact one here with Kai Kanani. I recommend doing this the first couple days of the trip since you are already adjusting to the time change anyways it will be easy to get up at 5am! The breakfast was amazing, you snorkel two spots and see turtles. We also were lucky enough to catch whales!
  • Nakalele Blowhole: West Maui, about 20 minutes from Napili area and a windy road. Hike down the mountain to see the rocks and water shoot through! Wear water shoes.
  • Northshore Zipline: This is in Haiku, North shore Maui. Family Oriented, ages 5+ and this was our kids favorite activity! Took about 2 hours and 7 courses.
  • Road to Hana: Start in Paia, this drive is windy and could take a full day if you make every stop. I paid $7 for this self guided app that was amazing since you loose service. It is called: Gypsy Guide in app store. We only made it to twin falls and Garden of Eden with small kids. I have a complete Road to Hana List Ill put together on another post someone sent to me as well!
  • Helicopter Tour: Book an epic experience with Hawaii VIP
  • The Feast at Mokapu (Andaz Maui)- The perfect luxury outdoor lu’au you can get in Wailea! They serve a 3 course meal and the kids are able to run around and play while you enjoy the show!
  • Haleakala National Park: Drive above the clouds at Sunrise by booking an appointment here or go at sunset no reservations needed!
  • IOA Valley National Park: A fun drive and day hike of exploring.
  • Rent a Cabana for a Pool day with the kids: We loved Fairmont Kea-Lani & The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua for day passes!
  • Relax at the best beaches: For families I loved Baby Beach and Ho’okipa on the North Shore where you can also see turtles.

DM me on Instagram if you have anymore questions for your trip! Have so much fun!

travel

Key West Travel Guide

We just got back from a long weekend in the keys and we had just enough days to explore the tiny island off of Florida. We actually flew into Miami and took a yacht from there to key west (but if you’re sea sick I do not recommend, I was almost the entire time!). It takes about 7 hours via boat, but you can also drive an easy 3 hours to Key west from Miami as well. If you are not into either of those options, there is an airport in Key West you can fly directly into too. We were in town for a friends wedding, so it was a huge group of us that got to enjoy hanging out! Unfortunately Hurricane eta was headed our way on Sunday so we had to hightail it out of key west and fly home a day early. The weather the first couple of days was perfect in the mid 80s and sunny! Below is everything we loved about the island.

Where to Stay:

  • The Perry Key West Hotel: This hotel was the perfect spot right before you go into downtown key west on Stock Island. It is about 3 miles from Duval St (where all the restaurants/bars are) and it sits on a beautiful marina. We chose this location because this is also where all the wedding action was all weekend! You can see a map of the location here.
  • What we loved about the hotel: They have on site bikes, Vespas, and golf carts you can easily rent. There are two pools facing the Marina. The rooms have balconies, and we loved being on the ground floor to walk straight out to the pool. The food is amazing at their main restaurant Matt’s Stock Island!

Where to Eat:

  • Coffee/Croissants: Croissants de France, so good!
  • Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: Banana Cafe, Blue Heaven (heard this place anytime actually), MoonDog Cafe, Two friends patio, Salute on the Beach, Thirsty Mermaid.
  • Snacks: Stop by the Raw Machine for Acai Bowl, or smoothies in coconuts!
  • Dinner: Santiagos, Cafe Sole, Latitudes
  • Dessert: Tip: Get Key lime Pie everywhere you go! Stop by Better than Sex, a dessert bar restaurant and I was told to not even have dinner before this the portions are huge and that good! We drove by it but didn’t have a night free to go. We also stopped by Wicked Lick Ice cream and loved it!
  • Bars: All of Duval St, they are all open till 4am.

What to do:

  • Water Activities: See all the ones the hotel has to offer here. I’d recommend renting a private sailing tour, going snorkeling, or renting jetskis! There are a few restaurants nearby that you can drink and also rent jetskis from as well.
  • Beach: There are several options but we heard Fort Zachary Taylor beach was the easiest to access, and Smathers Beach.
  • Shop/Day Drink: Head to Duval St and plan to walk/bar hop to all the spots!

Hopefully we make it back soon to Key West <3

travel

Playa Del Carmen Travel Guide

Our first trip internationally after 7 months in the US did not disappoint! We headed to Playa Del Carmen Mexico through CheapCaribbean and two of our best friends for a little adults only getaway. We were very impressed with how smooth the process went from booking the trip, to the arrival, transportation, and to the hotel. Below are all the details to make sure your trip is just as smooth and sharing a discount code for travel at the end!

Ocean sunrise in front of Paradisus Resort


How to get there:
We flew into Cancun airport. This is the main airport hub if you are visiting the east coast of Mexico. Playa Del Carmen is about an hour drive from Cancun, and Tulum is 2 hours. Highly recommend having prearranged transport with Amstar prior to arrival so everything is hassle free getting straight to your destination. We booked the Private Deluxe Transfer here! I can’t say enough good things about this experience, from waiting with a sign with our name on it, grabbing our luggage, to beverages waiting for us, and intense cleaning procedures, the team was amazing!

You can see details of their cleaning protocols here as well!

Where to stay: Paradisus Playa Del Carmen All Inclusive Resort!

Paradisus all inclusive resort is the way to go! Paradisus is also a Trip Trust resort which means they are following industry guidelines for cleaning protocols! You can read all about it here! But basically they are taking cleaning to high extremes, every employee was wearing a mask and temperatures were checked before every meal on the property. When you arrive you pre-book all your meals & you don’t have to worry about paying for a thing anymore! It is a huge property with an adults only section and an entire area for families too! We stayed in a one bedroom Master Suite. My favorite part was this outdoor jacuzzi tub overlooking the swimming pools.

Below is info straight from the CheapCaribbean site on the resort so you know the exact things they have to offer:

“This is a Beachfront All-inclusive Resort with 910 lavish suites including 124 Swim-up Suites with direct access to the pool  | 334 The Reserve Suites and four Presidential Suites |  New Concept: THE RESERVE with dedicated areas for Everyone and for Adults Only  | Two Sparkling free-form swimming pool with swim-up bar and pool side grill | Fitness center | YHI Spa ($) | El Zocalo, the heart of Paradisus Playa del Carmen, featuring 14 restaurants including “SAL”-Steak Cave ($) and 11 bars | A wide array of non-motorized land and watersports | Kids Zone with supervised activities for kids up to 12 years, playground with jungle gym and outdoor activities | New Waterpark and splash pad for the kids | Life-enriching Experiences | Pristine white sand beach | Day and night-time entertainment 

Paradisus Playa del Carmen is an all-inclusive  luxury playground catering to adults and children alike. The resort is located along the Riviera Maya’s prestigious Playa del Carmen enclave on Mexico’s eastern shore renowned for pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters, 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport (CUN).Just steps from extraordinary beaches & attractions: Playa del  Carmen’s 5th Avenue, Xcaret, Akumal, Xel-ha, and Xplor. Our extensive features, options and services come with a Guest Experience Manager, or Concierge to help you navigate so you are free to roam and relax.”

The grounds around Paradisus were breathtaking

Where to eat on property: (our favorites below, see entire list here)

  • Breakfast: Papaya Grill, Adults only section recommend for the best experience. Naos for more family environment.
  • Lunch: Enjoy the swim up pool bars and eating area
  • Dinner: Bano (asian), Fuego (latin infused), Vento (italian), Mole (mexican)

What to do:

  • Day trip to Tulum! Highly recommend checking this town out for a day or two! Tulum is another hour drive south from playa del carmen & we were able to get a taxi for 4 people for $80usd from the hotel! See my instagram for tips for that spot :).
  • Visit Cenotes: Popular ones include: Dos Ojos, Gran Cenote, Suyton
  • Go on a Luxury sailing excursion: Book one here.
  • Watch an acrobatic show at the Paradisus family pool in the Reserve section! We watched this show from our balcony one night, very entertaining.
  • Check out all the activities available from Paradisus here!

Thanks to CheapCaribbean and Paradisus Playa Del Carmen for having us! You can use code BECCA100 on their site here:
(Requirements: 6 night package, min double occupancy. Expires: 11/15. Travel window: now-Dec 2021)

travel

Charleston Travel Guide

Charleston was our first trip in over 6 months out of North Carolina since Covid hit! I was very hesitant at first to see what staying in a hotel would be like during a pandemic but the experience felt even safer than before with all the precautions in place.  We actually flew over from Ocean Isle Beach NC with a few friends in a Saratoga plane.  It was such a cool experience and only took 30 minutes!  Otherwise I recommend driving if on the east coast, its just 3 hours from Wilmington NC, or flying into the Charleston Airport.  If you’re traveling with the entire family, make sure to check out my last guide I did on Charleston here!

Here is my run down of things to do in a short weekend!  As always, you can see the behind the scenes of our trip on the “Charleston” Highlight on my Instagram here!

 



Lets get straight to it, because you all know I am turning into a food blogger lately, and most of these places you need advanced reservations at least a few weeks before traveling!



WHERE TO EAT:

Coffee Shops:

Brunch:

Happy Hour:

  • Dewberry (rooftop)
  • Bourbon & Bubbles
  • Hotel Bennett (rooftop) then pop in the Camellia Champagne Bar
  • Thoroughbred Club (inside the Belmond)
  • Felix Bar
  • Halls Chop House

Dinner:

  • Frannie & the Fox (inside Emeline Hotel)- Italian (get everything)
  • Mesu (mexican/asian get the nachos!)
  • Husk
  • Magnolias
  • only all the food in Charleston is amazing you really can’t go wrong.


(Frannie & the Fox, inside Emeline Hotel)


(Millers all day)


(Darling Oyster Bar)

WHAT TO DO:

  • Rainbow Row:  One of the most Iconic photo spots in Downtown Charleston.  Explore the streets, take in all the colorful walls, and hit up all the cute shops.
  • Bike Around- Hotel Emeline provides them complimentary if you are staying on the property, or you can rent nearby easily.
  • Take a Horse Carriage ride around town!
  • Visit all the Plantations/Museums (look into getting the Charleston VIP pass)
  • Take a pedal boat tour!
  • If traveling with children, visit the splash fountain in front of Harbour View Inn on a hot day.
  • Go on a Sailing tour (we did this years ago and it was epic)

 

 

WHERE TO STAY: (now that I have you ready to go!)

  • Hotel Emeline:  The newest boutique hotel on the block in downtown Charleston.  From the moment you walk into the hotel you can smell the aroma of Charleston (not kidding they even sell the scent at the gift shop).  The hotel décor is so chic and very “instagramable”.  The rooms have a vintage vibe and come with your own record player (say what!).  We loved the fact the bikes were complimentary, the proximity to downtown, and the fact the best restaurants were on site!  They also provide the cutest Mini Coopers (seen below) to stroll around the city too!
  • DISCOUNT! For the month of October anyone that stays will get 20% through booking with my exact link! Don’t sleep on this, everyone needs a vacay right now!  




As always, just DM me on instagram if you have any questions!  Enjoy your next trip <3 

lifestyle,styles,travel

Shopbop Workout Gear

This month I wanted to highlight my favorite work out gear that I have in 3 different shades!  You can find all shades currently in stock at shopbop here, so make sure to grab them while you can.  I love wearing these outfits when traveling anywhere because it is so light weight and easy to throw pieces on or take them off if traveling to warmer weather 🙂

 

 

My workout shoes are APL, also from shopbop here!


Shop all three colors of workout gear here!

Happy sweat babes <3
travel

Scottsdale Bachelorette Travel Guide

March 9th weekend feels like a century ago now when I try to recap my thoughts on my best friends Bachelorette party in Scottsdale, AZ.  It was the weekend before the world went into pandemic mode.  With everything going on in the world right now with COVID-19 virus, traveling in the future just doesn’t seem attainable.  It is all temporary, so when we do get back to traveling regularly put this on your saved travel list! I would love to take you all back to sunny days when time stopped still for Nikki Sweeney, soon to be Nikki Cosden!  Read below for everything you need to know to plan the perfect Bachelorette in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (You can also read another recap of our trip over on Stag & Hen’s blog here!)

Best time to Visit:  Spring time- Late February- April.  Scottsdale has desert heat, so the summer time can get way too hot.  Also March is spring training for baseball teams, so its the ideal time for bars/restaurants to be packed with fun.  We went the first weekend in March and the weather is mid 80s!

How to get there:  We flew into PHX airport, which takes about 20 minutes to drive into Scottsdale, AZ.  I did see there was a smaller airport in Scottsdale you could potentially fly into as well.

Where to stay:  What I loved about Scottsdale when researching was that the area is very affordable for bachelorette parties!  We found many mansion style houses all around the area for pretty cheap prices!  We chose to stay in Old Town area due to being close to all the bars and restaurants.  We also wanted to stay at a property that came with full service concierge team and we found that with The Platinum Experience! We booked this exact house, it has 5 bedrooms, a pool + hot tub and fit 11 of us perfectly!  The Platinum experience organized grocery delivery for us, early check in, a private chef, and answered any questions we had at all times.  I would highly recommend booking a place in Scottsdale with a full team available to help with all necessities to take stress off the planning!  Use code BOOKDIRECT10 to receive 10% the nightly rate on any of their properties here.

Our perfect Itinerary:  I created this printable itinerary from a downloadable link from this etsy shop!

*Activities mentioned above: We absolutely loved booking the Pedal Bike tour with Arizona Party Bikes!  We chose to do a sunset tour and it was the perfect amount of time to hit up all the happy hour spots in Old Town Scottsdale.  You can easily book any time on their site, we chose to do a private tour since we had over 10+ people.  I would suggest booking at least a month+ out for weekend pedal tours because it is Arizona’s top rated tour for parties!  The driver played amazing music & it was BYOB! I can’t recommend this tour enough :).  Thank you Arizona Party Bikes for kicking our weekend off right!



What to buy for the trip:

 

life,lifestyle,north carolina,travel

Wrightsville Beach Travel Guide

This Wrightsville Beach guide is a long time coming!  When I say a long time, I mean this was the first beach I ever went to with my family when I was a baby  and continued to vacation for 30 years :).  Being born and raised in North Carolina you come to love Wrightsville beach and Wilmington NC area because it is the closest beach right off highway 40 when you head to the coast.  Not only is it super convenient, it also has always been the most developed North Carolina Beach town with some of the best restaurants and shops to me. This post is also going to be hard for me to write because there are SO MANY good places to go, visit, and eat.  For that simple reason, I am going to do two blog posts.  This first one I am going to highlight options to stay and things to do with the kids.  The next one will showcase where to eat around town, so stay tuned for that too!!  So without further ado, below is some info on WB!

How to get there:

You can fly into ILM airport and easily be at the beach in 20 minutes depending if summer/traffic etc.  If you are driving, you head straight down 40 East till you arrive in Wilmington.  North Carolina is not complicated to figure out 🙂  The best weather in NC typically runs from April-October.  The hottest time of the year is typically July-August, with highs touching the 90s.


(pictured here is the Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach)

Where to stay:

  • We always book all our rentals through this Wilmington and Beaches site! From hotels, B&B’s to vacation rentals, they have several options!
  • If you want to stay on the beach, any area over the bridges is an easy walk to the ocean.
  • If you want to stay near restaurants/bars, choose the streets right off of Lumina, or anywhere behind the beach bars (located by Jerry Allens, or Tower 7)
  • The Southend of Wrightsville is more quiet and secluded in my opinion.
  • The North end (shell island) has more larger house rentals/full time residents and two hotels on that end.
  • If you have a boat, look at renting docks by the north end/”lollipop area”
  • We recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach.  I loved this hotel because they have so many amenities on site for kids:  Playground, indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub, onsite kids camp/playroom, and an arcade room open 24/7.  The rooms also have a balcony over looking the pool & ocean!
  • We have also stayed at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, which is on the south-end of the island.  They recently renovated the hotel & the entire outside area is gorgeous.

What to do:

  • Rent a Boat/Car from Bluewater Transport Charters:  One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go out on a boat to some of the neighborhood islands.  The closest one is Mason’s inlet, which has small tide pools for kids to play in.  On the islands you can bring your own coolers, dogs, and tents year round & spend an entire day out there!  You can rent a boat for the day, do a sunrise tour, and even arrange luxury car transfers if a special occasion.
  • Visit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History:  Located at 303 W. Salisbury, find this museum in the middle of the Historic Square of houses all built in the early 1900s.  The homes that make up the Historic Square are some of the last survivors of the Great Fire, which roared through
    the island in 1934 including the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History.  The Wrightsville Beach Park is right behind the Museum, so take the kids right after the blow off some energy! Wrightsville Beach Park has a new all-inclusive playground geared towards children with disabilities as well as two outdoor basketball courts, four tennis courts, three sand volleyball pits, one softball field and anopen area for soccer/flag football.
  • Explore the Shops on Wrightsville beach: My favorite local beach shops are Sweetwater Surf Shop & Hallelu!
  • Explore Airlie Gardens: “Encompasses 67 acres of beautiful Gilded Age gardens and lakes. Admire the azaleas,gaze at the camellias, stand in the shade of the 450-year-old Airlie Oak, experience nature’s most delicate and ephemeral creatures – butterflies – in the region’s first
    permanent butterfly house.”  Airlie Gardens has special events year round, including the famous “Garden Party” which is hosted Azalea festival weekend on that Friday.  They also do “Enchanted Airlie” during the holidays where you can pay for a car full to drive and see all the lights!
  • Book a Cave room with Native Salt Caves & Wellness: This was a really cool experience to take the kids to detoxify your body!  From the site, since they can explain their process better:  “Providing Himalayan salt caves for halotherapy, Native Salt Cave and Wellness offers the choice of two caves: one for a massage treatment room or children’s cave, and the other for adults to sit and relax enjoying the benefits of breathing the salt-infused air surrounded by Himalayan Salt. The salt used in the halogenerators, found in both caves, is pharmaceutical-grade 99.99% sodium chloride, the same that is used in medical saline solutions. The main Salt Cave holds tweleve. Inhaling dry salt air for a period of time has been a traditional wellness practice. Signature events: Classes, or group sessions, held in the main cave combining massage, light and sound techniques to enhance the salt cave experience.”
  • Visit the Famous Wrightsville Beach Mailbox:  Before you leave, head to the North end on the beach, known as on shell island, Beach Access 1, and walk to the beach to put a note in the mailbox!

We loved working with Wilmington and Beaches to showcase an area that means so much to us!  Stay tuned for my next guide on “Where to eat in Wrightsville Beach” coming soon!