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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Hamilton Pool Preserve in Texas

Hamilton Pool is one of those places that deserves a spot at the top of your Bucket List! It's hard to believe you are in Texas when you are standing in front off the massive Grotto and pool!

The hike to the pool is 1/4 mile. Areas of the trail are steep and rocky. We did not find it to be a difficult hike though.

 The natural pool is the result of a collapsed cave due to erosion thousands of years ago.

A natural stream of water flowing over a limestone outcropping creates a 50 foot waterfall, which continually adds fresh water to the pool. During dry times, water flow decreases and the waterfall is at a trickle.

The pool water is constantly monitored and will be closed for swimming if the bacteria count is too high. There is currently no swimming at Hamilton Pool due to some swimming related accidents.

Admission Fee:

$15 per vehicle
add $11 if you reserve online

Hours : 9am - 6pm daily


24300 Hamilton Pool Rd.
Dripping Springs, TX  78620

I have been to Hamilton Pool three times now and continue to be impressed each time. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy Travels! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Honeymoon Island State Park: A Hidden Gem in Florida

Formally known as Hog Island, Honeymoon Island acquired its current name when a New Yorker purchased the island in 1939 and built bungalows for honeymooners.

The island is a barrier island on the gulf coast of Florida and is home to Honeymoon Island State Park. The beautiful undeveloped beaches make it a favorite place for both visitors and locals.

My favorite shells to collect are the turban shells. I have never seen them on any other beach in Florida, or any beach anywhere. I'm sure they other places, I just haven't seen them.

The main beach area is great for swimming and beach activities. The sand is soft with very few rocks in that area. That is also where the restrooms are located.

The pet beach is on the south end of the island. It is a good distance from the parking area to the beach and we had to walk around several puddles of water to get there. The beach is nothing spectacular to look at, but the fur babies will love it. Unfortunately, I do not have the photos that I took of the pet beach. They were on my brand new phone that I dropped in a pool right after we left the park....😭

A fun thing to do is to catch the ferry to Caladesi Island. You can read about our trip here.


#1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, FL 34698


The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.

Admission Fee:

$8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.

$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

$4.00 per vehicle: sunset fee, starting one hour prior to sunset.

Happy Travels! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Exploring Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys

Bahia Honda State Park, one of Florida's southernmost state parks, is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Florida Keys! It also has the best beaches anywhere in the Keys.

The most iconic photo of the park is the old Bahia Honda railroad bridge. The bridge was originally built by Henry Flagler as part of the Overseas Railroad in 1912.

The park has three beautiful white sandy beaches . Calusa ,located on the bay side of the island, is a small beach with a great view of the old bridge. It's great for swimming, but there is a strong current as you get close to the channel.

Loggerhead beach, located on the south side of the island, is the shallowest beach. It is popular for the large shallow sand bar just off the shore. It is calm and great for children.

Sandspur ,located on the southeast end of the island, is the largest beach. This is usually the least crowded. This is one of the few beaches in the Keys that you can find sea shells and sponges. I was really excited to find several basket sponges on our last visit!

Snorkeling tours to Looe Key are available through the park concession.

 Daily departures are 9:30am, 1:30pm and 4:45pm.


Adult $29.95
Children (under 18)   $24.95


Camping and lodging are available at the park.



36850 Overseas Highway
Big Pine Key, FL 33043


The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.

Admission Fees:

$8* per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$2* Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
$4* Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle.

Happy Travels! 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Discovering the Hidden Paradise of Cayo Costa Island in Florida

Cayo Costa is an underdeveloped barrier island, just north of North Captiva Island, on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The whole island is seven miles long and about a mile wide.

The island is surrounded by beautiful turquoise/blue water and has nearly 9.5 miles of pristine beaches, which are perfect for shelling, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing, and sunbathing.

The 2,426 acre Cayo Costa State Park occupies most of the island and has great trails for hiking.

The park is only accessible by private boat or ferry.

Ferry services:

Captiva Cruises - from  locations on Captiva Island, Punta Gorda, Boca Grande and Pine Island (This is the one we used. Very friendly crew, great trip!)

Tropic Star - from Bokeelia – Pine Island

Lodging on the island consists of rustic cabins or tent sites. These can be reserved through the park. Reserve here.

There is a private home on the island, not owned by the park, for vacation rental

For something a little different, try the i Love Shelling shelling cruise to the island with Pam Rambo. I have not been on one yet, but it on my bucket list. I think it would be so much fun!

We loved our trip to this beautiful Island.We were on the short cruise that only allowed us on the island for 2 hours. I would recommend the full day cruise. Be sure and take a snorkel and a shell bag!

Happy Travels! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Unveiling the Charm of Lovers Key State Park in Fort Myers Beach, Florida

 One of the most beautiful beaches in Southern Florida is located within Loves Key Sates Park

 The 2.5 miles of sugar white sand and beautiful turquoise water are simply a paradise. The park is located about 18 miles south of Sanibel Island and just 7 miles from Fort Myers Beach.

The south end is about a quarter of a mile walk to the sand or you can take the tram if you wish. I would recommend taking the tram if you have a lot of beach gear.

The north beach is accessible through the gate at Big Carlos Pass. I would advise getting a map as you go into the park. We were still kind of lost with the map. Lol


It’s a great place for finding sand dollars, shelling, and bird watching.


The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.


$8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle and Motorcycles.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Hope you enjoy this beach as much as we did!

Happy Travels!