Road tripping around Southwest America is like taking the scenic route to everywhere. The beautiful surrounding area makes it hard not to find a pretty picturesque road stop. I live on the East Coast, so it’s always a marvel to see these vast rock formations and mountains in the desert. I think sometimes living in the city makes me forget how gorgeous the simple things in life are. Everything is so much slower paced here, plus if you are a nature lover – there are a ton of breathtaking state and national parks to choose from! ~b
Hi all! Thrill to be finally sharing my photos from my visit to the Valley of Fire State Park! Who knew a pile of rocks could look this pretty, right? Ha!
Situated just an hour outside of glitzy Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire is an escape haven from the flashy neon signs and boisterous rowdy crowd of the city. A drive out to the state park is well worth the adventure! Although it is just a region of rocky terrain, don’t let the roughness of the rugged landscape fool ya. This place can put on quite a dazzling show. Be here around dusk or dawn, and the sun will illuminate the valley, painting a striking image of the Aztec red rocks. Their brilliant colors ( when bathed in sunlight ) will burst into warm tones and vibrant hues – bringing fiery life to the canyon. ~b
Hue, Vietnam was the capital of the Vietnamese empire during the Nguyen Dynasty. Today the city still honors its rich past by preserving the beautiful ancient architecture. One of my favorite tourist attractions located in Hue was the vibrant ‘Imperial City‘. This exquisite site is home to numerous temples, monuments, and tombs. Walking into the sprawling grounds you can just feel the royal history of the palace. Even if you are not a history fanatic, there’s just something so astonishing about the ornate colorful architecture. The intricate detailing was something I found so striking because it was so meticulously crafted. From the well-kept gardens to the lavish historic buildings, this is an absolutely amazing place to spend an afternoon stroll! ~b
P.S. This is a throwback post…these pictures were taken about 3 years ago!
Haleakala’s summit is easily one of the most spectacular places to watch a sunrise. With an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level, it’s a pretty incredible view. Around dawn, on a good day, you will be able to witness the sun ascending above a sea of fluffy white clouds.
To experience this breathtaking sunrise, wake up super early to get to Haleakala National Park. Once you arrive at the visitor area, you will want to get away from the huge tourist crowds ASAP. I highly recommend taking the Pa Ka’oao White Hill trail. Not a lot of people are up for a mini-hike in the early morning so this spot is not as packed (offering better photograph opportunities). I honestly think it’s one of the best viewpoints!
From the top outlook, you will be able to see the clouds drifting and gliding across the mountain slopes. It’s a mesmerizing sight! However, your attention will soon be shifted to the beaming sun rays peeking through the horizon. As the sun slowly rises to the top, it illuminates the sky with the most beautiful colors. From warm tangerine to soft yellow – the pastel hues cast the perfect glow to mark the beginning of a new day. It’s a moment to take in and feel appreciative of being awake and alive. The Haleakala sunrise is truly a worthwhile experience on Maui. ~b
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend two amazing weeks in Hawaii this past year. Since I was there for a good amount of time, I also visited Honolulu for a couple of days. One of my favorite activities I did there was the Lanikia Pillbox hike. It was a little bit unplanned (hence why I am wearing flip-flops in these pictures), but still a fun memory to look back on. The climb was not too intensive and offered a rewarding view of Mokulua islands, Lanikia beach, and the surrounding residential neighborhood. I included a few of my favorite snapshots from the hike in this post! ~b
Nakalele Blowhole is another cool attraction that you can do on Maui. It’s located on the northwestern part of the island. This is home to the more underdeveloped rural areas so the road conditions can be pretty bad getting there. However, you will definitely be able to see some really stunning views along the way (see pics below)!
Once you reached the site, you will have to do a short hike to the bottom. The blowhole is easy to spot because it is always active and forms geyser-like eruptions every few minutes. Though a pretty interesting sight to see, it’s important to note that it can also be extremely dangerous. I would not recommend getting anywhere near it or walking on the wet rocks. There have been a few serious accidents here which ultimately ended in deaths. It’s a scary thought to process but as long as you are careful, this area is a beautiful place to explore! ~b
Wherever I travel, I often find myself gravitating towards beautiful architecture. Perhaps it’s the impeccable craftsmanship or the rich history but I am always captivated by these places. I believe these old regal buildings are the heart and soul of a city and within their walls lies stories of the past. Iolani Palace was the royal residence for the Hawaiian monarchy. Today, it stands proudly as a national historic landmark on the island of Honolulu. It’s a marvel of opulence and innovation, definitely worth a visit! ~b