Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Albuquerque, NM Summer FUN Heats Up!

Escape your everyday - plan your visit to Albuquerque today 

Sign up to win a customized vacation to Albuquerque©Michael Barley
Four people will win a three-night customized vacation to Albuquerque. Immerse yourself in all that Albuquerque has to offer with the help of a local Albuquerque expert to make your trip even more memorable.

Plan your summer getaway to Albuquerque
Albuquerque is blessed with a mild, dry climate, which makes summertime very comfortable. Enjoy an array of summer concerts, festivals and ©Michael Barleymarkets. Save with our lodging specials.

Southwest Airlines New Mexico Specials: June 8 - 14
Albuquerque is Southwest Airline's Featured Destination. Get great deals this week on Southwest Airlines flights, hotels and packages. See the link on or visit

Upcoming Events:Turner to Cezanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection, National Museum of Wales Now - August 8Features approximately 55 paintings and five important Impressionist works at the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History. Organized by the American Federation of Arts and The National Museum of Wales.
Summer Fun Now - September
Summertime offers an array of concerts, festivals, markets and fun. Experience Albuquerque's diverse and unique music scene on almost any given night of the week with: Zoo Music, Salsa, Jazz and Blues Under the Stars, Summerfest, Concert Band Summer series, Summer Nights concert series and much more.
Featuring the world's finest and most accomplished mariachi musicians.
Salsa music and dance, a salsa tasting competition, and live entertainment throughout Old Town.
Celebrating writers, filmmakers, musicians and artists from around the globe whose unique visions break rules and startle the imagination. 

New Mexico Wine Festival
 September 4 - 6
Wine tastings, live entertainment, food, and arts and crafts in Bernalillo.
A celebration that includes international performers, local artists, food and crafts from around the world, and more.
Over 250 fine artists and craftsmen, entertaiment, artist demonstrations, food and fun.
Fall Indian Art Market October 2 - 3
Buy direct from Native American artists at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
More than 600 balloons participate in Mass Ascensions, eveningBalloon Glows, a Special Shape Rodeo and more.  
Taste of New Mexico October 7 - 9
20-50 booths offering food in taste portion size, live performances, a wine and brew gallery, New Mexico cigars, New Mexico chile and desserts! 

Georgia State Park July Calendar of Events

Below is the July 2010 Calendar from Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites.  More information on events, including accommodations and facilities, can be found at or 1-800-864-7275.  For an online calendar listing,  You can also become a fan on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter. Thank you for helping promote Georgia’s natural and historic resources!
July 2010 Events – Divided By Region

Independence Day Celebration
Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge – Dawsonville
A weekend of family fun to celebrate the nation’s independence! Join us for relay races, patriotic crafts, and the famous watermelon seed-spitting contest! $5 parking. (706) 265-1969.

July 4th Mountain Style
Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
The weekend will include fun such as a watermelon eatin’ seed spittin contest, sack races, music concert, hoedown, and fun for the entire family. This event starts at 8 PM on Friday and ends at 9 PM on Sunday. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Appalachian Jam
Saturdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2 p.m.  – 5 p.m.
Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site – Dahlonega
Every Saturday starting April 17 until October 9, come listen to the sounds and songs of yesteryear. North Georgia's mountain music singers and pickers will appear on the grounds of the historic Dahlonega Gold Museum. Enjoy acoustic and old-time strings as the sounds of yesterday fill the air. (706) 864-3513.

Holiday Gorge Floor Hike
Saturday, July 3 through Monday, July 5, 10:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
This guided hike will take you from rim to river while learning about the gorge's unique environments. Be sure to wear proper footwear (no flip-flops or crocs). This hike is strenuous and will involve rock hopping and getting wet. Bring a lunch and lots of water. For ages 10 and older. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration
Saturday, July 3
Tugaloo State Park - Lavonia
Events will begin with our 10 a.m. bicycle parade.  Old-time games on the ballfield at 1 p.m. include sack races, three-legged races, relays, egg and water balloon tosses, and other events.  At 3 p.m. we will hold our annual putt-putt torunament for ages 12 and younger.  $3 for putt-putt tournament, plus $5 parking.  (706) 356-4362.

Visiting Artist Series at Unicoi
Saturdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sundays, July 4, 11, 18 and 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
The program lasts each weekend from Memorial Day through mid-November. Several talented artists and craftspeople from Georgia and surrounding states will demonstrate and have samples of their work for sale. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Saturday Evening Concert Series
Saturdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Every Saturday from Memorial Day through mid-November. Some of the best musicians in the area perform a variety of music, from Appalachian Mountain to bluegrass to Southern gospel. "Pass-the-hat" donations. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Independence Day at Vogel
Sunday, July 4, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville
Come to Vogel as we celebrate our independence with a special flag-raising ceremony. Also there will be a bicycle parade, pedal boat races, and sandcastle building competition, watermelon eating, sack races, egg tosses and greased pole climbing. $5 parking. (706) 745-2628.

Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
Saturday, July 17, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Smithgall Woods Conservation Park – Helen
Children and their special "big person" can fish in a lake stocked with catfish, bass, and bream. Fish caught can be kept. Bring your own bait and rods. Some rods are available for loan. Call for directions to "Buck Shoals." $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Witch’s Head Excursion
Saturday, July 17, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
This guided hike will take you to the bottom of the dam to view the witch's head rock and enjoy a relaxing lunch. Bring lots of water, lunch and proper foot wear. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

Snakes Alive
Saturday, July 17, 8 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park - Lavonia
This reptile program includes live snakes to view up close and personal.  Meet at the amphitheater to learn about venomous and non-venomous snakes found in north Georgia.  $5 parking.  (706) 356-4362.

Chief Vann House Days
Saturday, July 24, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Chief Vann House Historic Site – Chatsworth
Watch 1800s crafts demonstrations at the 1804 mansion of Cherokee Indian plantation owner James Vann. Cherokee tribal members along with local demonstrators show the art of blacksmithing, soap making, weaving, spinning, quilting, doll making, chair and basket weaving, pottery, and much more. $3.50–$5. (706) 695-2598.

A Tribute To Georgia Authors
Saturday, July 24, 9 a.m.  – 4:45 p.m.
Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site – Dahlonega
Meet local and national authors who will bring their newest releases and older favorites. They will be glad to sign copies and add personal notes. $3.50- $5. (706) 864-2257.

Introduction to Nature Journaling
Saturday, July 24, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Smithgall Woods Conservation Park – Helen
Make a simple saddle-stitched booklet and learn techniques for recording your close encounters with nature. Artist Linda Lindeborg will help participants explore ideas for themed journals, learn basic drawing techniques, and investigate nature prints and rubbings. Then take a walk in the woods and do some sketching. Register by July 16. $25 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Bat Blitz
Sunday, July 25, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Fort Mountain State Park - Chatsworth
Kids of all ages can learn about these aerobatic mammals that eat mosquitoes and other insects.  Watch biologists as they net bats and teach about their fascinating wings and ears.  Browse bat displays and make bat crafts.  $5 parking.  (770) 918-6792.

Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike
Sunday, July 25, 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Monday, July 26, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
Join Tallulah Rangers on a moonlit hike down into the gorge. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

Folk Life Traditions
Friday, July 30, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Watch demonstrations of everything from spinning to candle dipping, to butter churning. Concerts will feature traditional Appalachian and old-time mountain music. Festivities will include mountain skills displays, concerts, and Appalachian-style community dancing. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305. 

Birds of Prey
Saturday, July 31, 8 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park - Lavonia
Meet at the amphitheater to learn about Georgia's owls, hawks and other birds of prey.  $5 parking. (706) 356-4362.


Cannons Across the Marsh
Saturday, July 3, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site - Darien
Join the garrison for a day of artillery drills, musket firings and soldier's life activities to honor Independence Day. Free watermelon and lemonade will be served. $3.50-$5. (912) 437-4770.

Independence Day Colonial Faire
Saturday, July 3, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway
Celebrate the 4th with colonial games, contests of skill, colonial music, musket firings, cannon firings and activities. Prizes will be awarded to all participants. Sponsored by the City of Flemington, Ga. (912) 884-5999.

Independence Day Celebration
Saturday, July 3 through Sunday, July 4
Skidaway Island State Park – Savannah
Celebrate good times with a patriotic decorating contest (pets, yourself, your bikes, etc), hayrides, crafts, a greased pole climb and other challanges, and join in a campfire! $5 parking. (912) 598-2300.

Kayak the Salt Marsh
Sunday, July 4, 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Crooked River State Park - St. Mary's
Kayaking the marshes around Crooked River offers opportunities to look for birds and learn about the importance of the marsh ecosystem.  Reservations are required and space is limited.  $35 single, $45 tandem.  Call for family rates of 3 or more.  $5 parking.  (912) 882-5256.

July Fourth Celebration at Fort McAllister
Sunday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond Hill
Come and celebrate our nation's birthday with Civil War troops as they fire special salutes for those who have died so we may be free. Also join us for period games and a cool slice of melon. Pack a lunch and enjoy the day. $3.50 - $5. (912) 727-2339.


July 4th Celebration
Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Florence Marina State Park – Omaha
Celebrate the Fourth with games, watermelon eating contest, and educational boat tours. $4 plus $5 parking. (229) 838-4706.

Ol’ Time 4th at Jarrell Plantation
Saturday, July 3, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site – Juliette
Demonstrations of traditional crafts and skills. Competitions in 3-legged race, sack race, egg toss and tug-of-war. A reading of the Declaration of Independence will be at noon. $3.50-$5.00 (478) 986-5172.

200th Birthday of Robert Augustus Toombs
Saturday, July 3, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Robert Toombs House Historic Site - Washington
This living-history event will honor Rober Toombs' life from acts: Act 1 "The Formative Years," Act ll "Baron of Wilkes County," Act lll "Premier of the Confederacy," Act lV "A Man Without a Country."  Refreshments will be served.  Free. (706) 678-2226.

Fireworks on the Flint
Sunday, July 4, 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Georgia Veterans State Park – Cordele
A spectacular display of fireworks highlights the Fourth of July. $5 parking. (229) 276-2371.

Thunder Over Thurmond
Saturday, July 10
Elijah Clark State Park - Lincolnton
Bring chairs, a blanket and the whole family for a picnic and swimming before the annual fireworks show, which is sponsored by Lincoln and McCormick counties.  Fireworks begin at dark. $5 parking.  (706) 359-3458.

Geology Hike
Saturday, July 17, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Providence Canyon State Park - Lumpkin
Join Professor Rich McWilliams of Thomas University from Thomasville, Georgia as he conducts a hike into the canyons so visitors will see one of the geologic wonders of the southeastern United States. Pre-registration is required due to limitations on group size.  $5 parking.  (229) 838-4706.

Ice Cream Social
Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls
Celebrate summer with boat races, ice cream social, old-fashioned kids games and more. $5-$6 plus $5 parking. (912) 384-7082.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Touring the Everglades

A visit to the Everglades in Florida, is a must for everyone. At least, just once; come see what the Everglades is all about. It's a mosaic of sawgrass marshes, pine rockland forests, tropical hardwoood hammocks, mangrove swamps and coastal estuaries, unlike anywhere else on Earth. Unfortunately only about half of the original Everglades ecosystem remains. You can drive around part of the Everglades and there is even a driving map with highlights, the Everglades Trail. You can view a list of the sites (20 in all) here and download a map to print and take with you (
The headwaters of the Everglades actually begins in Orlando (near Shingle Creek) and meanders a slow, stream downward to the Gulf and the Keys. This area is known to the west as 10,000 Islands. There are actually several state and National parks that encompass parts of the Everglades; The Everglades National Park, Collier-Seminole State Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Biscayne National Park.
Throughout this wonderful vast ecosystem you will find some trails for hiking and biking, as well as camping and of course, paddling. You can enjoy fishing, birding, photography and learning about the more than 300 birds that call the Everglades home. These places are great for visiting again and again for a long weekend, or a week at a time.
Accommodations come in the form of primitive camping, to campsites, hostels and of course, regular hotel rooms and other lodging. There are several places where you can get guided tours, in relation to paddling and fishing, or nature tours.
My personal favorite happens to be with Captain Charles Wright with Everglades Area Tours, you can find them via website and also on Facebook. or 239-695-3633. They are a wealth of information and offer a variety of excursions from; eco tours, bicycling, hiking, sea kayak tours, day trips, overnight camping, sunset tours and guided fishing trips. Please tell them Loretta Lynn sent you and says Hi! they are located south of Naples & Marco Island in Everglade City.
Although you might be hard pressed to find any guide during the summer for regular kayaking as the mosquitoes will carry you off, boat and all!
Be sure and spend some time just walking around the area to really get a sense of what a jewel we have here. Don't speed down Alligator Ally at 60 miles per hour, or you will miss what the Everglades is all about.

National Trails Day June 5th

This Saturday, June 5th, is National Trails Day, with hundreds of events being held throughout the United States and here in Florida. Sandra Friend of Florida Hikes, offers some great guided hikes with maps and photos of trails in and around Florida. You can find more here and sign up for her blog, or ezine to keep you apprized of great hikes, Find more info here and events near you,
For example, Florida Trail Association/Choctawhatchee Chapter is hosting the Highest Point in Florida & lake Jackson Hikes, in Lakeview, FL, on June 5th from 8 am until 1:30 pm. This will be a guided hike/walk about four miles. The highest hikes in Florida are the short loop trails on Britton Hill (less than one mile) in North Walton County. At 345 feet Britton is Florida "NOSE BLEED" country. Later hike the Lake Jackson Loop Trail (four miles) in Florala, Alabama and then do lunch at a local restaurant.
Photo above is from the American Hiking Society website, from the First Annual Hike on the National mall. 
Also, visit our website for more info on hikes,

See Sea Turtles, Ft. Lauderdale

Every year thousands of sea turtles make their way onto the beaches at night and lay their eggs deep in the sand. Weeks later , tiny hatchling turtles dig their way out and crawl to the sea. It is estimated there 1,900 nests and 150,000 hatchlings in the area of Ft. Lauderdale, just over 20 miles north of Miami.
There are guided trips visitors can go on in hopes of witnessing the awesome sight of a giant sea turtle making her nest. These trips fill up fast and only so many people can go due to protection of the sea turtles. There are no guarantees of sightings, but you can be pretty sure to see turtles during June, July and August. One tour lets visitors watch a hatchling release.
I have been to Ft. Lauderdale in the summer with my niece and we tried to get on one of the tours, but the week we were there, they were filled up. If you're planning to go, call ahead. Guided tours minimize disruption for the sea turtles and you can learn a lot.
With the moonlight you might get to see a 400-pound Loggerhead sea turtle emerge from the ocean and lay her eggs. The Museum of Discovery & Science offers a program about sea turtles on a guided tour. The museum has a resident female Loggerhead, Dulce. The program starts at the museum at 9 p.m. and ends at approximately 1 a.m. There is a fee, r.s.v.p is required. Learn more here:
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island offers rehabilitation for sea turtles and non-sea turtles. They have a wonderful education center and also have guided walking tours of nesting turtles. Visit them at
For more information about sea turtles and guided tours, visit our website;

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Canyoning & Biking Quebec Adventures!

Thrill-seekers in search of adventure are sure to love the two spectacular new sites offered by Canyoning Qu├ębec in Bras-du-Nord Valley, a stunning natural gem in Saint-Raymond. One site features a one-and-a-half day package with meals and an overnight stay in a shelter. All sites in the valley are operated by a dynamic tourism co-operative.

Portneuf is becoming an increasingly popular biking destination, thanks to the new 87-km (52.2-mi.) long bike path winding through the western part of the region. The Auberge du Couventde Saint-Casimir gives its guests the opportunity to explore the region safely by following personalized bike routes. Upon making a reservation at this inn, you will receive a personalized bike route by e-mail. Over 500 tourists have visited Western Portneuf by bicycle.

For more info, visit their website: