Travel With Sara

An Adventure Around Every Corner

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Family Fun Zip Line Adventure With Gravity Trails, LLC In Door County

Gravity Trails, LLC in Door County, Wisconsin offers a fun adventure with their zip line tour in Door County. I recently had the opportunity to check it out with three other people. Two of us had zip lined before and it was the first time for two people in our group.

Four Zip Liners

What I personally loved about this zip lining course was the fact that it was much more challenging than it appeared. There were four zip lines, yet this course offered some uniqueness that other zip lining courses do not have. To get to the top of the first tower, you need to climb a 20 foot tower. This is where you learn that you can get to the top and welcome the challenge that lies ahead.

Our group was made up of four people, which in my opinion, was the perfect size. Our two guides, Justin and Ben, may think otherwise;  but it really made for a perfect experience. These two young men were obviously trained in working with people of all levels, as we had two beginners and two that had zip lined before. They were patient and brought a lot of enthusiasm to the experience.

Sara Zip Lining

 

Gravity Trails, LLC Zip Lining Adventure is located in Egg Harbor Fun Park in Door County. I would highly recommend that you make your reservation to zip line and plan a day of family fun at this fun park. Zip lining is very popular and to not leave you disappointed, book your adventure ahead of time. Kids of all ages can zip line. It’s important to note that kids need to have a waist that is large enough to hold the belt up.

A couple things to know before you go. This zip lining adventure only costs $39.00. This is a very affordable, fun family experience. Be sure you have some cash on hand, as you will want to tip your tour guides. The guides at Gravity Trails, LLC Zip Line Tours were outstanding.

*Thank you to Gravity Trails, LLC for hosting our group.

 

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July MidWest Travel Chat Featuring Racine, Wisconsin

July 1, 2015 is our next MidWest travel chat on Twitter and we would love to have you join us. The Walking Tourists and myself have partnered with Racine, Wisconsin to bring you information about this amazing MidWest destination. Set on the shores of Lake Michigan, you will always have something to do or somewhere to explore at your fingertips.

Racine County- North Beach

We will be introducing you to the travel team from Real Racine and they look forward to sharing information about this great getaway located between Chicago and Milwaukee.

The chat will kick off at 11 am (CST) and run through Noon. Here’s how to participate:

If you are new to twitter, here is a step by step guide to follow to participate.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 11 am- Noon (CST)

WHO: Hosts: @travelwithsara@walkingtourists and @RealRacine (Follow these hosts on Twitter)

WHAT: Monthly #MWTravel Chat Featuring Racine, Wisconsin

HOW TO JOIN: Follow the hashtag #MWTravel, and check out the prizes that you have the opportunity to win, just by hopping on Twitter and having a conversation with us.

  • An authentic Kringle (Wisconsin’s Official State Pastry)

Racine County Kringle

 

  • A pair of passes to a 2015 Tower Climb at the Wind Point Lighthouse (the oldest and tallest working lighthouse on Lake Michigan.)  The tower climbs are available the first Sundays of July, August, September and October.
  • A numbered, limited edition Wind Point Lighthouse print.
  • Passes to the Racine Zoo — 32-acre lakefront setting with more than 100 species of animals, including lions, giraffes, rhinos, camels and monkeys.
  • Passes to the Racine Art Museum — home of the country’s largest collection of contemporary crafts.  Current major exhibition is “A Whole Other World:  Sub-Culture Craft” that features science fiction and fantasy themes.

 

  • $25 in Downtown Racine cash — good at 50+ shops, galleries and restaurants

We hope to see you on Twitter on July 1st! Our MidWest Travel Chat has been quite a success since we kicked it off on January 1, 2015 featuring Clear Lake, Iowa. The chat gets bigger and better every single month. Thanks for participating and we look forward to hearing about your MidWest travel adventures.

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Gordon Lodge In Door County Offers Family Friendly Lodging

Gordon Lodge Cottage

 

Gordon Lodge offers family friendly lodging in Door County, WIsconsin. If you and your family want to explore nature and have an experience that’s a little off of the beaten path, Gordon Lodge is for you. With several miles of biking/hiking trails the nature enthusiast will be in paradise! I was delighted that Gordon Lodge had invited me to stay with them, as their property went way above my expectations.

An outdoor heated pool and hot tub are located adjacent to the main lodge, which overlooks the waters of North Bay. Weather and season permitting, the hours are 8 am until dusk. The fitness center also overlooks the beach and bay, which features an elliptical machine, stationary bike, treadmill and a weight rack. Tennis and basketball courts are also available for guests, which are nestled in the shade of the beautiful trees that surround Gordon Lodge. You will have no excuses when it comes to swaying from your regular fitness routine while staying at Gordon Lodge.

Water lovers will appreciate the private sandy beach, kayaks, boating, and guided paddle boarding and kayak tours that Gravity Trails offers.

Our premier lakeview two bedroom cottage offered a king bed with two double beds, flat screen tv, microwave, fireplace, a double sofa sleeper, king bed, two double beds and two bathrooms.

Fireplace Gordon Lodge

The view of the lake was stunning and the cottage was well maintained.  If you enjoy lake views and a desire to slow down a little, Gordon Lodge is for you!

During our stay Mother Nature decided that fog needed to appear each morning, so sunrise eluded us. But I can tell you, that if the skies were clear, sunrise would have been gorgeous here!

View From Cottage at Gordon Lodge

Due to the fact that Gordon Lodge is on a peninsula, you can experience sunrise and sunset! Now sunset was another story! How’s this for a view at sunset?

Flag and sunset at Gordon Lodge

Several different types of accommodations are available at Gordon Lodge, which feature, standard two bedroom cottages, basic lake view one bedroom cottages, lake view studios, lodge rooms to a house. Personally, I think the White Birch House would be ideal for families wanting to get together for a family reunion. The White Birch House has five bedrooms and offers a pristine setting for family gatherings.

Keep in mind that there are no fast food restaurants nearby or high rise lodging experiences, it’s all about the nature at Gordon Lodge, just the way nature intended things to be.

* A huge thank you to Gordon Lodge for hosting me. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post and as always, the opinions here are mine and nobody else’s.

 

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Going Off The Map Expeditions In Gulf County Florida

Trees at Dead Lakes

 

My visit to Gulf County, Florida was an amazing experience. From the horseback riding on the beach to the people, there was something for someone around every corner. The outdoor enthusiast will fall in love with the Dead Lakes. I knew that we were scheduled to go on a pontoon boat tour, but I had no idea how beautiful and remote the experience would be.

The Dead Lakes are located near the tiny town of Wewahitchka, in Northern Gulf County Florida. This 6,700 acre body of water is part swamp, part river, part lake , and a stunning Florida wilderness. Upon boarding the pontoon boat, my mind began to race. Would we see alligators, fish, or osprey? I really had no idea what to expect! The beauty of the Dead Lakes surprised me the most. After all, who would think that a lake with the name Dead would be beautiful, right? Well, I was quickly proved wrong.

Matt was our guide and is the owner of Off The Map Expeditions.

Matt at Off The Map Expeditions

Matt knew the Dead Lakes area like the back of his hand. He recognized trees that were miles from anything, but a body of water. Due to the recent rains, the trees were under water in places that were usually covered in sand. And due to all the rain, we figure that is why the alligators eluded us on the day of our tour of the Dead Lakes in North Gulf County Florida.

If you love adventuring into the back country, you will love the tours that Off The Map Expeditions offers in Gulf County Florida. From kayaking, pontoon boat tours or a photographer guide, this is your resource! For visits during busy travel times such as Spring Break and summer, reserve your spot ahead of time. Contact Off The Map Expeditions through this form or give Matt a call at 1-850-819-3053.

Enjoy the following slide show- the Dead Lakes were anything but dead! I cannot wait to return to Gulf County Florida, as I am a nature lover and Gulf County did not disappoint.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*Thank you to Gulf County Florida for hosting me and providing me with this awesome experience. The opinions in this post are mine and nobody else’s.

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Time To Ride The Go-Karts At Eggharbor Fun Park In Door County

I recently had the opportunity to explore Door County in Wisconsin and found a variety of things to do. From lighthouse hunting to a family fun park, there was literally something for everyone in your family to do while visiting Door County. I have a lot to share with all of you and thought I would start by introducing you to one of the most family friendly places to explore in Door County. The Family Fun Park in Egg Harbor was a great place to play! Kids of all ages (adults included) can have a blast here.

The highlight of my visit to the Eggharbor Fun Park was riding the go-karts! I had ridden them once before in North Platte, Nebraska and I had really enjoyed the experience. I was a little cautious getting into the car, as the go-karts I had been in before were cramped for my legs. Now these go-karts at the Egg Harbor Fun Park were perfect!

Sara go kart

I had a super fun time zipping around the track in this beautiful blue go-kart and I can tell you that I would do it again in a heartbeat. It’s important to note that passengers need to be a minimum of 54″tall and a minimum of 10 years old to drive the go-karts.

After our group was done tearing around the track we walked over to the paint ball guns. Here the other three from my group, aimed at the targets and let the paint fly. I did not shoot the paint ball guns, but I can tell you, my friends had fun! Laura of Cat Tales With Laura, Donna of Donnahup.com and Leslie of The Gym Mom had a ball, literally!

Paint Ball Guns

In case Mother Nature decides to not cooperate, you can always head indoors. The arcade here is large, clean and family friendly. There is also a nice selection of foods that families love, such as pizza! Who doesn’t love pizza? There’s a nice amount of seating and it’s all in a fun, bright atmosphere.

Egg Harbor Fun park Arcade

 

From package deals to individual pricing, the Egg Harbor Fun Park is an affordable place to take your family in Door County, Wisconsin. Stay tuned… I have much more to share. I have a zip lining adventure to share, as well as all the natural beauty that Door County has to offer.

* A huge thank you to the Egg Harbor Fun Park for hosting me.

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Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells: Affordable Lodging For Your Family

Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells, WI

Photo Courtesy : Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells

I recently spent one night in the Wisconsin Dells in Wisconsin. In case you are not familiar with the Wisconsin Dells, it is simply an area of the U.S. that is often referred to as The Waterpark Capital of the World®. With more than 200 water slides and several indoor and outdoor water parks, Wisconsin Dells has earned their claim to fame.  Water parks are popular in the Wisconsin Dells, but also remember this is a nature lover’s paradise. The world famous Duck Boat Tours are also located in the Wisconsin Dells.

The Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells is located off of Exit 92 from the I-90/94 Exit. Upon arriving, I was greeted with a smile and found the inside of the Ramada Inn in the Wisconsin Dells to be top notch in appearance. I learned from one of the friendly employees that this particular property had went through a recent major renovation and it showed! As with any hotel, you can always find wear and tear, but this one- you had to look hard. My room was clean, the entryway was clean and the staff was very friendly. Anytime the staff is friendly to everyone while out and about, that says that the owners and employees care about their property.

As many of you know, one of the first things I visit after checking into a hotel is the business center.

Business Center Ramada

Photo Courtesy: Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells

 

The Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells offered a nice clean business center that was not crammed into a small area. There was also a nice selection of travel brochures within this area. I’d highly recommend checking them out, as there were discount coupons to many local attractions within this display.

The Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells does have a nice indoor swimming pool with a hot tub.

Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells Pool

Photo Courtesy: Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells

The Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells does offer packages that do include passes to one of the water parks in the area. If you are traveling on a tight budget, I would highly recommend staying at the Ramada Inn in the Wisconsin Dells. You can save money, stay in a convenient location and enjoy quiet lodging while exploring the Wisconsin Dells.

All of the fun of the Wisconsin Dells is no more than a mile or two down the road. Several restaurants are nearby and as with many hotels in today’s world, a hot breakfast featuring waffles is included in your stay. The Wisconsin Dells is a fun travel destination for families all across the United States. If you have been, I’d love to hear about your experience. There was something to do around every corner, everywhere I went.

* A special thank you to the Ramada Inn Wisconsin Dells for hosting me for one night and an thank you to the Wisconsin Dells Visitors Bureau for assisting with the arrangements.

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A Book Store And A Petoskey Stone Will Make Your Visit To The Petoskey Area Awesome

I recently spent some time in an area of Michigan that I had not explored, The Petoskey Area. I had spent some time in the UP (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan about 10 years ago, but had not ventured to the Petoskey Area. If you are looking for a cozy, fall in love with American type of town, Petoskey is for you! The Petoskey Area offers several communities, such as Petoskey, Boyne City, Boyne Falls and several others.

Petoskey Gas Light District

I fell in love with a book store on the main drag in Petoskey, Mclean and Eakin Booksellers, located in the Gaslight District.This bookstore is nationally well respected as they have won several national awards, including The Haslem Award For Excellence in Bookselling. Upon entering this store, I felt a surge of energy. When is the last time you entered a book store that had energy? The store owners were chatting with customers, answering questions and making reading fun! It’s no secret that I am a lover of social media, but I do love to hold a good book in my hand. Even if you don’t have an interest in finding a new book to read, do stop into this bookstore, you will be pleasantly surprised at what this hidden gem has to offer in Petoskey, Michigan.

I had heard of Petoskey stones before, but I quite honestly had no clue what one actually looked like. Thanks to the good folks of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, I was introduced to them. Did you know that Petoskey stones can be polished and worn as beautiful jewelry. Curious as to what one actually looks like? Here ya go!

Petoskey Stone

I did not have to walk very far out in the water to find this gem. Tip: Look for Petoskey stones early in the morning before others have searched the beach/waterfront area.

Picking up Petoskey Stones

I loved my visit to the Petoskey Area in Michigan and I know you would also find yourself pulled in, as I was. Stay tuned… I have much more to share about this beautiful area of the great state of Michigan.

 

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June #MWTravel Chat: Talking Chicago on June 3, 2015 11 am -Noon (CST)

The Walking Tourists and I have been hosting the #MWTravel Chat since January of 2015 and each time it gets bigger and better. Our destination for June is Chicago! Yes, The Windy City. Many of you that follow me know that I recently returned from a whirlwind visit to Chicago and you learned that Chicago has a lot to offer!

Sara at Bean in Chicago

 

During this hour we will be talking all about deep dish pizza, the fascinating architecture that Chicago offers and why you need to plan a visit NOW! I absolutely loved my stay in Chicago and I know you will too.

If you are new to twitter, here is a step by step guide to participate.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 11 am- Noon (CST) Noon- 1 pm (EST)

WHO: Hosts: @walkingtourists @travelwithsara @ChooseChicago (Follow these hosts on Twitter)

WHAT: Monthly #MWTravel Chat Featuring Chicago, IL

HOW TO JOIN: Follow the hashtags #MWTravel and #ChicagoEpic

And check out the prizes that you have the opportunity to win, just by hopping on Twitter and having a conversation with us.

PRIZES:

(1)- One $100 gift card to Trenchermen Restaurant

(2) – One $100 gift card to Table, Donkey, and Stick Restaurant

(3) – One $100 gift card to Bub City Restaurant

(4)-  Two Seadog Lake & River Architectural Tour vouchers

(5) – Two Caffeine Crawl vouchers

In order to win the prizes, you need to have at least one tweet in the Twitter Chat from 11 am- Noon (CST) Noon – 1 pm (EST). on June 3, 2015.

Trump Chicago

 

I absolutely adore Chicago and it just so happens that where I call home in North Central Iowa, we now have direct air service to Chicago. It’s super easy to hop on a plane early in the morning and return home late in the day while exploring Chicago! See you on Twitter on June 3rd and be sure to use the Hashtag #MWTravel. We love sharing the Midwest with all of you and look forward to exploring more in the near future!

A shout out to Choose Chicago for partnering with us, Thank you Choose Chicago! And stay tuned for July’s destination, you never know where we will be going next.

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Chicago Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tours Offer A New Appreciation of Chicago Architecture

Chicago is a city filled with shopping, history, culture, deep dish pizza and architecture that will blow you away. The North Iowa Bloggers and I recently ventured to Chicago for a day of fun and we were delighted to be invited on a Chicago Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture Boat Tour. This 75 minute boat tour is a fantastic way to learn about the history of Chicago and all of the amazing architecture that lines the skyway.

I have been in Chicago several times, but never during the month of May. You know what surprised me the most? The tulips!

Tulips in Chicago

There were tulips everywhere and they were absolutely gorgeous. Pair tulips, a scenic boat ride, beautiful architecture and you have an experience to talk about for years to come.

Some of the buildings featured on the Chicago Shoreline Sightseeing Architectural Tour were the Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Chicago Sheraton Hotel, Trump Tower and more than 40 well known landmarks.

Trump Chicago

The Willis Tower is a little off the river, but it was still very much in plain view on this historical river tour through Chicago.

Willis Tower

The summer travel season brings more daily sightseeing architecture boat tours, as scheduling allows. Most boats offer a cash bar, but be sure to check with your Captain, to confirm your boat has a cash bar onboard. It’s also important to arrive at the boarding area 15 minutes before your scheduled departure.

Captain

The boarding process is rather quick, but if you have a full boat, it can take some time to get everyone situated.

Having walked several miles through Chicago over the years, I can tell you that an architectural boat tour on the river will give you a new perspective; as well as a new appreciation of what Chicago has to offer. During the thick of summer travel season, you can even schedule a Shoreline Sightseeing Architectural Tour with fireworks. I would also plan to spend some time visiting Chicago’s world famous Navy Pier before or after your river boat tour.

Chicago offers fun for your whole family, so take it all in while you are there. As always, the opinions in this article are mine. A special shout out to the folks of Chicago Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours for hosting our group, as we had a great time learning about the architecture that we all take for granted.

 

 

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Lou Malnati’s Chicago Pizzeria Offers Deep Dish Pizza And More

Lou Malnati's

Our North Iowa Blogger trip to Chicago would not have been complete with out a stop at Lou Malnati’s. Lou Malnati’s provided our group with a gift certificate to cover a portion of our meal. I’d also like to give a special Thank You to the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce for making this Chicago trip possible.This was my first visit to this well known pizzeria and I can tell you that I’m ready to go back. The deep dish pizza that we had was simply out of this world!

Pizza at Lou's

We were greeted with a smiling face and an enthusiasm of the Windy City, Chicago , through our waiter Jason. It was quite evident that Jason had a passion for Chicago and Lou Malnati’s, as he knew the menu like the back of his hand. The menu here is very large and can be overwhelming, so it was perfect that Jason knew exactly where to direct our group.

We had salads and appetizers to kick off our meal and then our pizza arrived!

Salads at Lous

I will add that I am not a huge lover of a deep dish pizza, but I can tell you that the deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s is something I will definitely go back for. And you know what? If I don’t get back to Chicago soon through Air Choice One, I may find myself ordering Lou’s pizza online. Did you know you can do that? Now you do!

Sure, it’s all about the pizza and the food, but it’s also about the atmosphere. You will not find another restaurant with the style and design that you will find here.

Inside Lou Malnati's

With outdoor seating and several different places to dine indoors, there’s an experience calling your name at Lou Malnati’s in Chicago.

And then there was dessert!

Ice Cream at Lou's

Yes, you can even order dessert at Lou Malnati’s. With several locations throughout the Chicago area, be sure to check out if the location you are wanting to dine at offers full restaurant services. Some locations offer carryout and delivery only. Depending on the type of meal you are wanting, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria has you covered!