Grand Canyon Roadtrip US

In collaboration with HopBucket

If you happen to have a month off and fancy seeing a bit more of the US, check out out the four weeks US trip that I did :) I know, when do you ever have four weeks off?! No probs, just cut down on the first few days in LA or skip the long weekend in New York at the end of the trip.

Four Weeks US Road Trip

Before I headed into our US road trip adventure I had only been to New York, Miami and Chicago. I had already wanted to see a bit more of the US for quite while but given the states are not really that close to Europe there was a bit more planning involved. Whilst it’s easy to head over for a week of holiday to LA or for a long weekend to New York, you don’t really ‘use up’ your vacation days to visit Austin or Sedona only, right? But as part of a bigger road trip, driving a few extra miles gives you the chance to see so much more without taking a lot more days off your annual leave.

I had so many places in mind that it was such a challenge to find the perfect balance of packing your road trip full of destinations and still have a relaxed time off. That said, staying just for the night in one place and then continue the next day driving for hours and hours did NOT seem like a relaxed trip. So we made sure that we generally had at least a couple of nights or even 3 nights per stop :) And this is our itinerary:

Day 1 -4: Los Angeles

I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate much on LA, do I? Just think Hollywood, Disneyland, Malibu & Venice Beach, amazing restaurants, clubs, bars, shopping… you get the idea :) Time to sunbathe and mentally prepare for your three weeks of road trip adventure!

Day 5 – 7: San Francisco

San Francisco is such a beautiful city with gorgeous architecture, great restaurants and coffee shops, the world famous cable car and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. Make sure you drive over the bridge as you will have an amazing view from the other side of it.

Day: 8 – 11: Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes is the perfect playground for nature lovers! There are literally hikes for everyone from short and easy hikes to much more challenging ones. And each of them goes through the breathtaking beauty of nature.

Day 11 -12: Yosemite National Park

If you liked Mammoth Lakes, you will be in for a treat! Yosemite National Park has its own stunning nature and landscapes that will make you want to stop every few minutes to enjoy the view! If you are short on time you could head to Yosemite in the morning and continue your journey to Las Vegas in the late afternoon – this is what we did. Make sure to have lots of coffee as you don’t want to head to bed immediately after arriving in Vegas.

Day 12 – 15: Las Vegas

Arrive before 11 pm and get changed to head out in time for a night out :) Save the next day for lying on the pool and watching a show at night. On the last day have a last dip into the pool and leave Las Vegas to arrive at Grand Canyon a couple of hours before sunset.

Day 15: Grand Canyon

A great stop to pass by without a sleepover. Do stay until sunset though as it is incredibly beautiful to watch! They also have a stargazing programme. Check their website here to find out when it’s on.

Day 15 – 18: Sedona

Spend a day hiking and book a tour with a shaman to learn about vortex energy. If you leave early enough in the morning you might want to pass by Mesa Verde on your way to Pagosa Springs.

Day 18 – 20: Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs a lovely little town with hot springs. It’s a great stop to relax after hiking in Sedona. You might want to head out and visit the Mesa Verde National Park for a day trip if you haven’t stopped there on the way from Sedona to Pagosa Springs.

Day 20: Albuquerque

Albuquerque makes a great stop while driving from Pagosa Springs to Austin. Have some coffee and a snack, switch drivers and continue the road trip adventure :)

Day 21 – 22: Austin

Austin is the city of live music and it’s easy to see why. When you are walking along the various bars you will hear live music from literally every one of them. Take your pick :) Before you head out for the night, go and watch the bats waking up around sunset. I have never seen that many bats in my life!

Day 23 – 25: New Orleans

New Orleans has a famous old quarter, the French Quarter. Here you will find stunning architecture, amazing drinks & live music, haunted bars and lots of voodoo shops. No surprise that there are lots of spooky walking tours. And once you are back from your tour you might be just in time to join in for some live music in the street and people dancing to it.

Day 26 – 30: New York

Fly out to New York! New York is one of my favourite cities in the world :) There will be plenty of cultural activities, amazing restaurants, hidden cocktail bars, quaint coffee shops, impressive architecture and LOADS of shopping waiting for you!

 

Click through my HopBucket gallery above to see the highlights of the road trip :)

HopBucket

Have you tried HopBucket? It’s a free travel app that let’s you create photo travel stories within minutes. You can share your story with fellow travelers using a simple link. You can also share it with your readers by embedding your gallery on your blog (like mine above). What I love most about HopBucket is that it creates a location map from your photos it so much easier for people to visualise your trip :) Try HopBucket yourself here.

 

Have you done a road trip in the US? Let me know in the comments :)

 

One Month Itinerary - Road Trip Through the US

 

 

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Sayulita Hippie Town Mexico

Have you ever wanted to live in a cute little hippie beach town, go surfing during sunrise and do yoga during sunset?

Just head over to Sayulita in Mexico!

Sayulita: Hippie, yoga addict & surfer paradise

Sayulita is located around an hour by car from Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific side of Mexico. A Mexican friend of mine (whose wedding we attended in Puerto Vallarta) recommended that town and OMG, thank you, SOFIA! The moment we arrived in Sayulita I instantly fell in love with the place and was wondering why on earth would my friend (born in Puero Vallarta) trade paradise for London?!

Sayulita Hippie Town in Mexico

Sayulita Surfer Beach

Hidden surf spots around Sayulita

We were so lucky with the AirBnB that we rented which was located just 15 mins walk from the bech and came with two cute dogs. The landlord was quite a hippe and went surfing every morning for sunrise :) And that doesn’t mean that he got up at sunrise. No, he got up BEFORE sunrise so that he would be sitting on his board waiting for the perfect line up while the sun was rising. On top of that he went to a hidden surf spot in Punta Mita rather than to surf in Sayulita, so he would only see a handful of other surfers in the water :)

The perfect sunrise surf in Punta Mita..

When I joined him one morning and was lying down on my board soaking in the beautiful ambiance, I saw huge turtles coming by to say hi, birds flying in super close distance not even taking notice of me… and then the sunrise. It was so so so beautiful. There was this huge red ball at the horizon, slowly rising up from the water. I don’t even have words to desribe how gorgeous everything was.I was so happy I could have cried. The moment was just so perfect. I felt entirely calm and at peace surrounded by incredibly beautiful nature.

So, yes, make sure you get in a few sunrise surfing sessions :) Literally just ask around ‘in the water’ in Sayulita to get to know the best and hidden spots. Someone will eventually tell you if you are nice :) The locals were super friendly and quite fun. Sayulita is such a small town that at the weekend at night you will bump into a number of surfers that you have met while surfing during the day.

Sayulita Hippie Town in Mexico

 

Hippie Life & Surfing in Sayulita – Holiday Schedule:

5 am/6 am

Early rise (mostly because of the rooster living next doors) and go surfing (either for sunrise at that hidden surf spot or around 8 am in Sayulita)

Surfing in Sayulita & Punta Mita

11.00 am /12.00 pm

Come home and have lunch, take a shower and have a little nap

1 pm / 2 pm

Head to town for cappuccino with my kindle // or go to the SPA or the beach for a massage // or take the dogs out and hang out with them on the beach.

Cafe / Coffee Shop Sayulita Mexico

4 pm / 5 pm

Go out for another surfing session or, if waves aren’t good, have a Margarita in one of the beach bars. Watch the sunset on the beach :)

Margarita Sayulita Beach

Sunset Sayulita Beach Mexico

7 pm

Head home to get changed and walk back into town for dinner :) We mostly had fajitas and tacos in one of the restaurants near the plaza de armas.

This was the schedule for almost three weeks. I totally loved it :) So if you guys are searching for a good surfer town in Mexico, Sayulita may just be the one you are looking for! The surf is quite good in Punta Mita as well as on the beach in Sayulita – you have to go in when its not super packed. That’s quite easy though: Just relax on the beach and as soon as it’s a bit less crowded, walk over to one of the various surfboard rental places on the beach, get your board and paddle out :) :)

 

And here are more photos of Sayulita so you know exactly what to expect :)

Things to Do Sayulita Mexico

Sayulita Town Mexico Surfing Spots

Things to Do Sayulita Downtown Mexico

Sayulita Espresso Coffee Place

Sayulita Town Centre Mexico

Sayulita Town Mexico Puerto Vallarta

And last but not least, the cutest dogs ever: Mexican Xoloitzcuintli :)

The Cutest Dogs Ever

Mexican Dogs - Cuteness!

The perfect honeymoon in Mexico

For the honeymoon people wanting to stay around the area, check out this amazing hotel where some friends of mine stayed. It’s literally paradise on earth – the below photo shows your own private beach… :)

Punta Mita Luxury Honeymoon Resort Mexico

 

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Ireland Kenmare

Ireland had been on my travel bucket list for ages. A few weeks ago, we finally made it over there for a wedding in Kenmare. I was told that Ireland looks like a mini New Zealand in terms of nature and stunning scenery – and yup, that seems about right! At least for the area around Kenmare I can say that it is extremely beautiful :)

We flew in to Cork where we picked up the rental car to drive up to Kenmare. This was the first time I drove on the left lane – ever! The way from Cork to Kenmare was super straightforward indeed with mostly highways for miles. The ‘fun’ started the next day when we decided to drive along the Ring of Berra with its super narrow, tiny little, non-paved roads around the mountains (more on that later).

We took an early morning flight from London and arrived in our lovely bed & breakfast cottage around noon and then had a couple of hours to relax before heading to the wedding. The landlady of the cottage was so sweet, she even drove us to the wedding venue herself. In fact every single Irish person we met was super friendly. And I don’t mean fake-friendly. They seemed genuinely extremely lovely and welcoming :)

Ireland Kenmare View from the cottage

The view from our cottage was amazing (photo above) and everything looks just so idyllic. Love it!

The wedding was lots of fun! The first day was a rather traditional Irish wedding and the second day was Indian themed (Irish & Indian wedding). The official photos are not out yet so here a little preview of my Saree :)

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

The Indian themed wedding celebration started in the evening on the second day so we had around 5 hours of sightseeing before the party. While the other guests were still sleeping off their hangover we were already on the road, more specifically on the tiny little narrow roads which are just so lovely for someone who is NOT used to drive on the left lane!

Ring of Beara Kenmare

But the trip was definitely worth it. Unbelievable how the landscape kept on changing during our little round trip along the Ring of Beara. We started in Kenmare and then went past Tuosist, Lauragh, Eyeries, Castletown-Bearhaven and then back again to Kenmare to get ready for wedding day number 2.

Ring of Beara Kenmare

If I remember correctly, the round trip took us around 4 hours. We were not the slowest drivers (I grew up in Germany after all…) and only had little breaks here and there for taking photos and having coffee.

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

There are lots more things to do along the Ring of Beara and I think it would also be lovely to stay somewhere in a Bed & Breakfast along the way. So if you are planning to do the Ring the Beara, also consider these stops that we didn’t get the chance to explore: Allihies & Dursey Island, Adrigole & Glengarriff, The Sheen Valley. Check out this Ring of Beara website to plan your trip and read this fun post from Shannon who did the trip a while back.

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

Ring of Beara Kenmare Ireland Roadtrip

Last but not least, do bring clothes for rainy weather and also bring a jacket. It may look super lovely, warm and sunny in the morning and bang, rain and chilly in the afternoon. Always be prepared :)

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