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Adventure: That’s The Real Reason Idaho Is Called The Gem State

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We have a fascination with the nicknames given to the US states; so much so, we recently took off to Idaho simply because of its moniker. We just did it. We packed the car and went on a backpacking whim. It wasn’t until we got there that we found out different people believe different things. Some say it was a translation that means Gem of the Mountain, others say it is to do with the native gemstone garnet, and some say it is simply because this state is spoiled with natural beauty. We couldn’t argue with any of them.

But whatever the origins of its name, one thing we realized very quickly was, wow, does that place deserve its name. Summertime in Idaho is amazing. There are just so many adventures to be had in Idaho, and here are the best of the bunch:

Jump Creek Hike

When we get to a place, we love to ask the locals what they recommend. Forget Tripadvisor or seeing what a place looks like first, we just love asking locals for their number one must-do Idaho activity, and so many people said hike Jump Creek in Marsing. We don’t want to give too much away, but there is a secluded waterfall and it is beautiful. That’s all we’ll say, though.

Payette River Adventure

Everyone has a little streak of adventure in them, somewhere, and what better way to let that beast out then to get wet and wild on the Payette River. The whitewater rafting here is immense. It’s so exciting. The adrenaline rush, the sun, the splashes of cool water, the banks and banks of pine trees and mountain views. Yeah, it’s an absolute must do.

Swim At Sandy Point

It’s summer. Nothing beats hanging out by the water with your friends and family in the summer, and that is what makes the Sandpoint City Beach Park one of the most awesome places anywhere. You step out of the Best Western Edgewater Resort and bam! you’re hit with these magnificent views down Lake Pend Oreille. Swimming, boating, volleyball, lounging in the sun, tennis, a stroll downtown; it’s all at your fingertips.

Shoshone Falls

We mentioned it earlier, how the Gem State got its name from its natural beauty. Well, the Shoshone Falls give credence to that myth. It’s almost 50 feet higher than Niagara Falls and it is breathtaking. It’s that tonic for tired eyes that everyone needs to see. The sounds of the crashing water, the rock formations, the sheer size. If this sounds like your thing, then you need to get to Twin Falls this summer.

A Fair Like No Other

Apparently, in Idaho, the Western Idaho Fair is like the last hurrah of the summer that everyone gets involved with. It’s that last bit of fun before school starts again. However, when we say fair, what we mean is a party like no other. It’s as if the 1950s has returned, bringing all the fairground rides and rock n’ roll spirit along with it. You won’t believe it until you see it with your own two eyes, stamp along with the music all night and wake up the next day still smiling.



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Must-See Stops For Your Oklahoma Road Trip

Posted in destinations, Oklahoma, places of interest, road trip, travel tip, USA
on August 11, 2016
Seen as you’re on this blog, you probably have a keen understanding of the magic of the American road trip. There’s something uniquely wonderful about having no schedule to stick to, and miles of open road stretched out in front of you. No matter where you are in the states, there’s always incredible things to see and do, but one particularly “road-trippy” state is Oklahoma. Here are a few great attractions you should try to hit on your Oklahoma road trip.

Credit: Wikimedia

You can’t have a road trip across Oklahoma without seeing the iconic Route 66. The entire stretch of road can take you from Chicago all the way to LA, passing through all kinds of beautiful rural areas. However, the longest stretch of miles goes right through Oklahoma. Starting at the north east corner, you can see the whole of Tulsa and Oklahoma City before hitting the border into Texas. There are several roadside attractions and camping spots where you can park up your travel trailer along the way. See the route 66 museum in Clinton, the Elk City transportation museum, and get a priceless selfie in front of the Catoosa Blue Whale.

Credit: Wikimedia

While you’re in Oklahoma City, the one stop you simply have to make is the Oklahoma City Zoo. We’ve all been to a zoo before, but this one is something very special. Furthermore, it will give your kids something to look forward to past another long stretch of highway! Here, long, sweeping pathways take you through several different biomes, ranging from the plains of Africa to the rainforests of South America. This fascinating place was first opened over 100 years ago, and have cared for over 500 species. While the zoo gets pretty packed on the weekends, this is when you’ll get the best displays, demonstrations and educational exhibits. Some of the highlights include a stingray touch tank, a train ride around the whole zoo, and taking a boat out on the zoo’s lake.

Credit: Wikimedia

Finally, be sure to stop at the Cherokee heritage centre in Tahlequah. This settlement has been the capital of the Cherokee nation since the 1800s, but this incredible heritage centre takes you back to far earlier history. Head down to Diligwa, and you’ll find a brilliant recreation of a 1710 Cherokee village. Here you’ll be able to learn all about the period when the country had just started to be settled, and the various challenges that were part of everyday life in the early 18th century. Then, head over to the Adams Corner Rural Village, which shows the ins and outs of Cherokee life over a hundred years later. Everywhere you look you’ll be able to find fascinating exhibits and beautiful craftwork to enjoy. Both of these attractions are well off the beaten track, so once you’ve had your fill you can wind down by having a nice, relaxed walk around some rural beauty spots.
While planning your road trip across Oklahoma, be sure to include these three attractions in your stops. Remember though; they’re only the tip of an incredible iceberg!  

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