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Monday, October 31, 2016

Garvan Woodland Gardens (Fall ) Hot Springs, Arkansas

Garvan Woodland Gardens is a 210-acre botanical garden nestled in the Ouachita Mountains of Southwest Arkansas. It is located along the shoreline of the beautiful Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs.

Every season brings something new to see at the garden. Right now, Autumn in the Woodlands and the Mum Fest are in full swing with thousands of chrysanthemum blooming throughout the gardens.

There are surprises around every corner.

The Fall season is from September 1- November 18 for this year.

 Paved paths will lead you over several unique bridges, around waterfalls, and along ponds filled with large coy fish.

The Christmas season starts in the middle of November, so you can see where they have already started stringing the lights and getting ready for it. Christmas at the gardens is amazing!

Location is:

550 Arkridge Rd, 
Hot Springs, AR 71913

Hours are:

Open Every Day:
February 1 through November 18, 2016
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Last admission sold at 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Hours: November 19 through December 31, 2016
Noon - 9 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.

Admission Fees:
Adults (age 13 and up)   $15.00  
Children 6-12     $5.00    
Children to age 5    Free

Happy Travels! 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lake Lure (Blue Ridge Mountains) North Carolina

Lake Lure is a small area located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.

We stumbled upon Lake Lure by accident. We were headed to Chimney Rock and decide not to go when we got the entrance. Three tour buses were pulling in ahead of us! It was early morning and we had about an 8 hour drive ahead of us that day. 

We looked around Chimney Rock Village. Everything was closed because of it being so early, but it was very charming. The town became popular in the 20’s and 30’s which is when most of the buildings were constructed.

We walked over bridges and explored along the river running behind the shops on Main Street.

A little ways down the road is where is found Lake Lure.

The area was so pretty, especially the lake in the early morning light!

The lake is located in the Hickory Nut Gorge and is surrounded by granite cliffs and tree covered mountains.

I didn't find out until later that the Lake Lure area has been the filming location for many movie scenes. Some of the movies include:  Dirty Dancing, Forrest Gump, The Last of the Mohicans, A Breed Apart, Thunder Road, and Firestarter. They even have a Dirty Dancing Festival there! How cool is that!

The large sandy beach at the swimming area would be a perfect spot for relaxing in the sun on a summer day. This is a place that I would love to return to when the weather is warmer!

Happy Travels! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bald Rock (South Carolina)

Bald Rock is a heritage preserve in Cleveland, South Carolina

It is located on the left going up the mountain towards Caesars Head State Park. It is a large area of exposed granite with views of the valley below.

The Rock face has accumulated great amounts of graffiti over the years, which takes away some of the natural beauty of the area.

Bald Rock is a nice place to visit if you are in the area.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Caesars Head State Park - South Carolina

Caesars Head State Park is located in Cleveland, South Carolina. The Park gets its name from a rock outcropping on top of the Blue Ridge cliff.

We visited this park towards the end of a long trip through the mountains of North Carolina. We were so glad to find a place with amazing views that didn’t require a 3 mile hike up steep terrain! :)

To get to the Caesars Head overlook does not require any hiking. It is only a few hundred feet from the parking area.

The overlook provides a great view of Table Rock Lake.

If you are up for a hike, the Raven Cliff Falls trail leads to 420-foot waterfall. A suspension bridge allows access to two overlooks to the falls. The trail is about 4 miles round trip. Maybe next time we will be up for the hike.

This park is a great place to visit, especially in the Fall. The views and fall foliage are beautiful! 

Happy Travels! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Dallas Arboretum (Pumpkin Houses) - Dallas, Texas

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a 66-acre botanical garden located on the shores of White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas.

The Nationally Acclaimed Pumpkin Village is the biggest autumn attraction at the Arboretum. It is one-acre filled with 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, squash, bales of hay and cornstalks skillfully arranged into houses, walkways, and other fun structures.

The village has been featured in magazines such as SouthernLiving and House Beautiful.

The Village was very cute and the Gardens are beautiful, but there were two things that I didn’t like.

We went at 9am on a Sunday morning thinking that it would be the least crowded time. This was defiantly not the case. There were so many people that it was hard to even walk without getting bumped in to!  I asked the lady at the information desk if there would be a better time to come back that it would not be so crowded. She informed me that it was like that all the time and that there was not a good time. She said that they even have to close the parking lot at times. So, keep that in mind!

The other thing that I didn’t like was that in addition to paying $15 a person to get in, you have to pay $15 to park. That probably would not have bothered me so much if we would not have had such a long walk from the parking lot to the entry and if it would not have been so crowded.

The majority of the crowding was around the pumpkin village, so the other areas of the garden were more relaxing.

8617 Garland Road

 Dallas, Texas 75218

Admission Fees:

Adult general garden admission (13-64): $15
Seniors general garden admission (65 & over): $12
Children general garden admission (3-12): $10
Children general garden admission (2 & under): Free

On-site self parking or parking garage: $15

The gardens are beautiful and the Pumpkin Village was fun. Hopefully your visit will be less crowded and relaxing!   

Happy Travels! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mysterious Lighthouse - Biloxi, Mississippi

Isn’t it amazing how finding out the story behind a place makes you look at it totally differently! I have been to this lighthouse several times over the years and have just thought of it as a rundown area and nothing else. I’ve always been fascinated with the lighthouse, but the area around it had a lot to be desired. After my most recent trip, I started to wonder why it was there. I found out that it was part of the President Casino Broadwater Resort. The resort was opened in 1939 as the Broadwater Beach Hotel and closed shortly before it was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Now I can see it as a beautiful piece of history! :)

The sunsets from there are beautiful!

It's also a great place to visit with some of the locals. We meet a family that were catching blue crabs. They showed us how the traps worked and  invited us to their crab boil. That just goes to show how friendly the people are in the Biloxi area.


2110 Beach Blvd
Biloxi, Mississippi 39531

Happy Travels! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Largest Butterfly Park in the World (Butterfly World) Coconut Creek, Florida

Butterfly World, located in southern Florida, resulted out of a man’s love for butterflies. It is the world’s largest butterfly park and the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Over 20,000 butterflies from around the world from up to fifty species can be seen in the aviary. Be prepared to be bombarded by butterflies when entering! The will land on you! 

Hand feed the small colorful birds in the Lorikeet Encounter!

Butterfly World is located at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek. It is about 40 Miles south of Miami and around a 100 miles north of the Florida Keys. It is also less than a 2 hour drive from Naples, if you are interested in a day trip from there.


3600 W Sample Rd, Coconut Creek, FL 33073

Hours: Open 7 days a week

9am -5pm Monday - Saturday
11am - 5pm Sunday

Happy Travels!