6 Things to Know Before Visiting Miami

Miami is an awesome city to visit! But, there are things I wish I’d known before I went so I was better prepared and faced less frustrations on my trip! I’m hoping the followng six pieces of advice will help you:

  1. There are Beggers: I am not referring to homeless people here…instead I am talking about the restaurants. We noticed specifically in Miami Beach while walking up and down the streets restaurant employees would nearly be begging you to come into their restaurant for lunch or dinner. I thought this was strange as I’d never seen this anywhere else in the country before.
  2. A Trip to Miami Makes for a Pricey Vacation: This is an expensive city to visit! It’s so worth the cash you’ll be dropping here, but just letting you know so you can plan and budget accordingly.
  3. Forecasted rain=no rain: We visited Miami in October which is their ‘shoulder season’. Heavy rain is expected in Summer, while little rain is present in the Winter here. However, if you see on the forecast that it will rain every day on a Fall trip, don’t listen! It was supposed to rain our whole time here and we didn’t get one drop-at least not during the day while out and about.
  4. It’s HOT: Miami gets extremely warm-even at night! I don’t think this place ever cools off. You’ll be sweating in pants for sure so dress for hot weather!
  5. Street parking is a pain: We rented a car for our Miami trip and drove all over town to different sites. If you can find a free spot, it may take you a while to figure out how to actually pay for it! And you definitely want to pay, because you will totally get towed or ticketed. Several times we went to pay at a machine and it would be out of order and/or wouldn’t take card or cash. The best thing to do is park then pay through their app Park Mobile. It will prompt you for your zone number (listed on a sidewalk sign) and then you can enter in your card info to pay.
  6. Opt for a land animal: If you’re like me you’re thinking ‘Oh, great we’re in Miami so I’m going to stuff my face with all the seafood!’ Yeah, I don’t advise that. I tried a few fish plates at various restaurants thinking they’re going to be amazing because we’re right on the ocean and all and was disappointed every time. It wasn’t until I switched to beef and chicken plates until I truly had a delicious meal in Miami.

I wish for none of the above to deter you from your Miami excursion. It’s a wonderful place to visit! Check out my other posts on Miami to read more about this oceanside paradise: Where to Eat in Miami that Won’t Break the Bank and What to do in Miami.

What to do in Atlanta

Atlanta! ATL. Hotlanta. This city goes by many names and is a well known spot in the southern US. It’s been on the bucket list for a WHILE and I am so glad I finally got to live it up for a few days here! Here’s what all we got into:

  1. Tiny Doors ATL: This is definitely one of the most quirky activities I’ve ever seen/done in a city. There’s these really small fairy-sized doors painted on walls or columns in several different places around town. We found ours at Center for Puppetry Arts.
teeny weeny

2. Center for Puppetry Arts: What’s the Center for Puppetry Arts, you ask? Also quirky-they perform shows here but there’s basically a shrine devoted to history of puppetry in a different area of the building. It is so cool! There’s puppets from all over the world and different eras on one side, and then all kinds of history and memorabilia on anything Jim Henson-related on the other side. They’ve got puppets from Sesame Street, The Labrynth, Muppets, and Dark Crystal! I am a huge Jim Henson fan so I was totally in awe!

Dark Crystal, anyone?

3. Chick Fil A Dwarf House: This was such a cute place! It is a regularly functioning Chick Fil A restaurant, but they’ve got a dwarf-sized door in the front that you can go in and out of! Not being a big fan of this fast food chain myself, they do have special menu items here that they don’t carry at any other location so it’s worth checking out for sure.

S’cute!

4. Find the Murals: We saw these littered pretty much everywhere around the city. Just find one and get yo’ pic!

I ❤ tie-dye

5. Atlanta Beltline: This was such a sweet spot! This is a paved trail with all kinds of stuff along the way from a skatepark, murals, a tiny door, apartments, and restaurants as well. Lots of people are either trying to get from one spot to the other or simply taking a stroll or jog. You can hop on the line at a few different spots in town but we got on at the Ponce City Market.

metal flower leaf things

6. Ponce City Market: A cool indoor/outdoor public market in Atlanta, they’ve got all sorts of shops and restaurants inside. It’s a great place to walk around and grab a bite to eat.

They ain’t ready

7. Skyline Park: What I liked most about Ponce City Market was the awesome game area they’ve got above it on the roof of the building! It is mostly outside but it’s so pretty at night with the lights and you can get a great view of the city, too! They have carnival style games such as mini golf, skee ball, and big slides. You’ll find both kids and adults in line to play. It’s a haven for fun-loving folks.

One, Two, Three!

8. Grab a Milkshake: Not just a milkshake, it’s a milshake from out of this world, like the NEXT LEVEL of milkshakes, ok?! The Yard Milkshake Bar has a location in Atlanta as well a few other places in the US. They make the most ridiculously delicious milkshake concoctions you will ever lay your eyes on.

My milkshake brings all the travel bloggers to the yard…

9. World of Coca Cola: We couldn’t not visit Atlanta without taking a tour or the Coca Cola headquarters, and neither can you! I’ve been eying this place for a long time because I love Coke, of course. They have a tasting area, a sniffing spot, and all the history of Coke! I highly recommend.

Coke or Pepsi?

10. Georgia Aquarium: This is the best aquarium I’ve ever been to and I’ve been to quite a few. It’s pretty big with lots to explore but the biggest attraction here is the huge, endless fish tank.

whoa

11. Krog Street Tunnel: I don’t know about you but I get a little uneasy walking in a dark tunnel, and it was no different with this one. But there’s people walking around and running through and it also stays busy with car traffic. It’s such a cool spot with a TON of graffiti covering every square inch of the walls.

tunnel vision

Atlanta isn’t a major city but definitely is a decent size with so much to offer with all the activities and sights to see! You MUST add this city to your list. I’m glad I could finally mark it off of mine!

Nashville: What to See, What to Do

This Thanksgiving week, we headed down south yet again to visit Nashville, TN for the first time. I have to admit it wasn’t high on my list to visit, but I liked this city more than I thought I would! There was actually a lot of cool stuff to see and do. Check out what all we got into:

  1. Country Music Hall of Fame: This place was a little pricey to get in but SO worth it! They had all kinds of history to check out in this place, from gold records, to famous outfits stars wore on stage, and even Elvis’s huge cars!
It feels so wrong not to be wearing cowboy boots rn

2. JS Pedestrian Bridge: Another awesome spot to hit up in Nashville. No cars are allowed on this massive bridge so there’s just hella pedestrians (get it) walking around enjoying the beautiful scenery of downtown and the Cumberland River.

somewhere over the JS Pedestrian Bridge

3. Find all the Murals: Ok so we didn’t find them all but we found a good number of them. There are some in every neighborhood you go to pretty much so it won’t be hard to stumble upon one!

They misspelled ‘Ashley’ wrong

4. Hit up Broadway: What’s a trip to Nashville without hitting up the bars?! This street of honky tonky bars had a big ‘Las Vegas’ vibe to it, hence the name ‘Nashvegas’. There’s no cover anywhere but it stays quite packed and busy. There’s so much action everywhere you look; it’s like a huge block party right in downtown Nashville!

had to get a quick pic with Alan

5. Find the Stix Sculpture: This is nestled right in downtown Nashville and is made up of large, multi colored sticks in a big patch of grass. It’s unique and worthy of your awe.

56 pick up sticks

6. Snag Some Grub at a Food Truck: Nashville had so many trucks to choose from it was hard to decide! Just pick one and experience it, man.

Weenies

Nashville is a pretty sweet city to hit up. Whether you’re passing through or plan on staying there for a few days, add it to the ole travel bucket list. I know you’ve got one!

Where to Eat in Miami that Won’t Break the Bank

Miami is a beautiful and fun ocean side city to visit. But cheap and budget friendly? Yeah, no. We especially noticed the high prices when it came to dining out. However there were a handful of places that we snagged some grub at that were inexpensive and still delicious and amazing! Here is my list of cheap eats in Miami:

  1. Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita: A really awesome spot nestled in downtown Miami. When you walk on to their patio you’re thinking okay WOW ambience…but also what’s this bill going to look like? But it’s actually a very inexpensive place to dine at.
  2. Azucar Ice Cream: This cute ice cream shop is located in Little Havana. They have a chalk wall of all kinds of different flavors to choose from and it’s so yummy!
  3. La Sandwicherie: This is an awesome spot to grab subs before you hit the beach! They have lots of other food options here, too, but we opted for some sammies and what was brought out to us were two huge sandwiches piled with meat and lots of fresh veggies-it will definitely fill you up without busting your budget.
  4. Juanchi’s: This place has some of the best burgers I have ever tasted in my friggin life!!! It is an inexpensive spot and man are the burgers to die for. It’s a must if you’re in Miami!
  5. Mama Tried: Ok, so this is actually a bar in downtown Miami. BUT I felt like it deserved a spot on my list here because the ambience was incredible, they serve legit cocktails, and for $10 or less. That’s a steal in Miami!

Don’t let Miami’s prices deter you from visiting this awesome city. It’s like no other-you may just have to scope out a littler harder the cheap spots to hit up for a meal, and I’m hoping this helps!

9 Tips for Visiting Las Vegas

Have you ever been to Las Vegas?? If you haven’t, you must go because it’s incredible and an experience you won’t forget! We went for the first time a couple years ago for my golden birthday and our 2 year anniversary and had an amazing time. BUT, we learned so much of what not to do and what to prepare for when we go next time! Read below for my 10 tips to help you out on your visit to The Entertainment Capital of the World.

Tip #1 Say yes to being part of the show: We went to see Blue Man Group (eek!) and they put on such an incredible show! When we walked in to take our seats, we were asked by one the employees if we wanted to be part of the show, though we didn’t get much details beyond that. I was hesitant but Nate was all for it so we agreed. About 30 minutes in, they came and grabbed us where they put us way in the back, and gave us much better seats closer to the stage. We were pretending to be ‘late’ to the show so everyone could boo us but we got spotlighted and all these ridiculous alarms went off-it was really fun and I’m glad we got to be part of the experience!

Tip #2 Rent a car only to explore outside the city: If you plan on leaving the strip for a day or even two, then definitely arrange a rental car to head outta town. But, if you’re wanting to stay put right on the strip for the duration of your trip then Uber, Monorail, or walking is the way to go. The strip is very long and high traffic so you’ll be waiting at light after light forever to get to your destination.

Tip #3 Your excursion out of town will likely be packed with people: We went to Zion National Park for a day and it was so busy with people. Of course, all the national parks that are a day’s drive from Las Vegas are all the really popular ones whether you’re going to Arizona, California, or Utah to hit up a park. Just don’t be disappointed if your intention was to get away from the crowds in Vegas only to run into more large groups of people again.

Tip #4 Expect to shell out the big bucks: Las Vegas is so not a budget destination in the US. Expect to pay top dollar for all that you do. I’m not saying that all that you’ll see and do isn’t worth the money you’ll be spending, just don’t fret about the cash you’re dropping. It’s wise to cap your spending at some amount, of course, but I would say focus more on having a good time.

Tip #5 Huge Crowds: As I mentioned in #3 above, there are huge crowds all over the strip. We traveled here in October which is considered the shoulder season and STILL there were so many people everywhere you went. This didn’t bother us, but if you’re someone who simply can’t stand the crowds then I would say visit during a very slow month.

Tip #6 Bring cash with you: This is a good rule of thumb for traveling anywhere, but I specifically remember in Vegas always needing more cash than we had on hand at some places we went.

Tip #7 Wear comfortable shoes: I know literally everyone and your grandma will warn you of this before visiting Las Vegas, but wear comfortable shoes!! I mean it! And I don’t mean sandals, either. Bring some sort of tinnie shoe to wear for walking up and down the strip, or your feet will pay the price.

Tip #8 Don’t be coerced into paying a higher tip amount than your comfy with: Some of the employees who make their living off tips may try to persuade you into paying a higher gratuity amount than necessary. Don’t give in to them! Simply say no and walk away. It’ll put a bad taste in your mouth if you succumb, plus you’ll already be dropping a lot of dough on this vacation as it is. Stick to what you think is fair for a tip and leave it at that.

Tip #9 Try not to be offended by what you see on the strip: While visiting Las Vegas, you’ll see everything from little to no clothing donning some people, to homeless people going through withdrawals, and even shocking public performances, as well as advertisements for female company. Hey, it’s Vegas baby, so try not to let any of those things take away from enjoying yourself while you’re here.

I hope this list helps you when planning your trip to Las Vegas! We had such an incredible time here, we can’t wait to go again soon with all that we learned from our first visit.

Why Traveling by Car is WAY Better than by Plane

Alright, so hear me out. Traveling by car is soooo much better than traveling by plane. I might be biased ’cause I REALLY hate traveling by plane, but there are actually several benefits to choosing a road trip rather than hitting up the airport to get you where you need to go. Let me explain…

REASON #1You’ll save money: I’ll start with the obvious here. Overall, it is cheaper to drive than it is to fly. Especially if you’re traveling with at least one other person because you can split the gas bill. Sure, there may be times when you can find an uber cheap plane ticket, but most of the time those puppies will break the bank. Flying over the holidays? Forget about it. Airlines jack their prices up when they know everyone is trying to get to and fro for events and family gatherings. Just drive!

Reason #2-In some cases you will save time: So let’s say it’s a good rule of thumb to show up at a major airport (O’Hare, LAX) around 2 hours early. And tack on anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and a half to get to the airport. Then, once you’ve boarded your plane, you’ll wait another 15-45 minutes to lift off. Finally, depending on where you’re going, you could be in the air for several hours. That’s a whole day of getting to your destination- so why not drive? I’d rather spend all day in a car rather than all day in my car, THEN at the airport, then in the air, then getting a lift to my hotel.

Reason #3-You can make fun stops along the way: Next exit- largest ball of yarn, anyone? Whatever you see along the way that fancies you, you can actually stop and get outta your car to see it. Antique shops, photo ops by the ‘Welcome to…’ sign, fast food chains that don’t exist in your state, whatever it may be it’s always nice to have the luxury of being able to hop outta the car to see or experience something cool. You can’t do that on a plane.

Reason #4- Planes are scary: I am sure we’ve all read the statistic about how in general planes are safer than cars. They’re still scary. Ugh, the liftoff and touch down always makes me nervous, I have to squeeze Nate’s hand every time. Sometimes it takes me a while to get used to being in the air as well. I always remain calm and am able to distract myself, but not gonna lie-I feel way better in a car.

Reason#5-You can hit up multiple destinations in one vacation: I always want to try to cram in as much as possible on our trips and hit up different sceneries and destinations. I’m not getting any younger here and I want to see it all dammit! When you’re traveling by car it’s all too easy to head to the next spot in a neighboring state or within the same one.

Reason #6-You will have your vehicle with you at all times on your vacation: Rental cars? Yeah, no. I want the car that I know and love, thank you. When you travel by car, you’ll have the peace of mind of always having your car with you everywhere you go. No waiting for an Uber driver, or making a stop at the rental car place only to wait in line or be informed that they don’t have your reservation down at all, actually.

Reason #7-More resources exist for road trippers: In this day and age there are hella apps (and blogs!) out there to assist with whatever you need help with as far as traveling by car goes. There are apps to help you find cheap gas, available hotel rooms, food at the next exit, etc. I always feel so much more lost at the airport, it feels good knowing I can whip out my phone to find out where we can snag dinner somewhere close by or whatever it may be.

Reason #8-Start and stop whenever YOU want to: There always seems to be so much waiting at an airport, and someone else is dictating your schedule for you- deciding when you get to leave, and even when you get to use the bathroom. There is SO much more freedom when driving. Potty breaks, lunchtime, and when to stop driving for the day are all decided by you/your travel company and no one else.

Reason #9- More privacy: Whether you’re traveling by car alone or with other people, you will get all the privacy you want. I always hate when other people can hear my conversation with Nate on the plane. In the car, we get to talk to each other (and bond) the whole way and we get our car all to ourselves.

Reason #10- Traveling by car is cleaner: I’m not a germaphobe by any means, but airports and planes really are gross! Lots of people get sick from riding in planes and so many people are coming and going in airports all day long. Germies. Ew.

Reason #11- Comfort: They really pack you in like sardines on planes, with little leg room and reclining room. You can move the car chair back as much as your heart desires and even nap without waking up with a serious crick in your neck if there’s someone else with you who can take over driving.

Reason #12- You can bring so much more luggage and extras of anything: I hate being forced to decide what outfits I’m going to wear throughout my trip, so that’s why it’s awesome having room in the car to pack a few different options of tops, shoes, and jewelry. Plus, if you’re the outdoorsy type, you can pack bikes, kayaks, and pretty much anything else you want in or on the car for your trip.

Reason #13- You can bring your pets: The fur babies can come along with you in the car much easier than on a plane. With a car, they’ll be with you the whole time and you can let them out whenever they need a break.

Reason #14- Experience different topography: You get to see all the different topography and climates when driving state to state. The temp, weather, vegetation, and altitude can change in a matter of hours and you can see so much all in one trip!

Reason #15- You know you’ll get to your destination: All you need to do is drive and when you’ll get there depends on how fast you drive. Airlines overbook flights and planes will take off without you, best believe it.

We LOVE taking our vehicle when traveling. We find it so much easier, cheaper, and a much better experience overall as opposed to flying. Of course, there are instances where flying make more sense but we drive unless it’s absolutely not possible!

What to do in Miami

For my 30th birthday, it was my heart’s desire to visit Miami for the first time. This was also my first time ever to visit the state of Florida. It was an awesome trip! we spent three whole days in this southern FL paradise and here’s all the fun things we got into:

  1. Miami Beach: We hit the beach our first day there and it was amazing. The water was a pretty turquoise and a decent temp in mid October. We started on Miami Beach which you could say is the ‘mid beach’. You can walk along the shore line either way to hit both North and South Beaches.
Miami Mami

2. Visit the Everglades: If you head south from Miami, you’ll hit Everglades National Park in about 30 minutes. We stopped at Gator Park to take an airboat ride in the Everglades and it was awesome! The boat glides so fast on the water in every which way. We got to see wildlife and, yep, even an alligator!

No touchey

3. Barnacle Historic State Park: This is a cool spot in the Coconut Grove neighborhood. It’s a pretty little oasis on several acres of land. You can tour all the property including the house, grounds, and boathouse.

Idc how basic it is to love palm trees

4. Explore Wynwood neighborhood: This was by far my favorite neighborhood we explored. There are murals literally EVERYWHERE. It was so fun just walking around snapping shots of all the beautiful local art.

Gimme my money

5. South Beach Pier: Head to the end of the shoreline and find a pretty pier in South Beach. You’ll see lots of fishies in the clear water and can see the whole expanse of the beach and ocean.

Wish I would have brought my fishing pole!

6. Explore the Art Deco District: This neighborhood is right next to the beach. It’s so cool to see the all old style buildings! You’ll feel like you stepped right out of the Great Gatsby novel. You can walk for miles and miles to see all kinds of old architecture from this era.

Call me Daisy

7. Little Havana: This is another sweet area to explore. There’s a cigar shop on every corner along with all other kinds of Cuban style merch and restaurants.

Where’s my droptop caddy at?

Miami was so amazing to visit. I’ve never seen a tropical area like this before, I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the state of Florida!

8 Stops to Add to Your West Virginia Road Trip

Wild, wonderful, West Virginia has so many cool places to see! On our five day road trip through the mountainous state we managed to fit in 8 different sites and attractions. There’s not one spot that I would discourage visiting-they were all worth seeing!

  1. New River Gorge National River: We only had a day to visit here so we stuck to hiking but if it’s anything like the Buffalo National River, it’ll be a sweet spot for canoeing and kayaking too.
I ain’t stepping any closer to the edge than this right here

2. The Greenbrier: The Greenbrier Hotel is a very classy and fancy resort, overnight stays being only for the creme de la creme. But any average Joe or Josephine can explore all the different floors. What I mean by different is that they are all decorated differently from the tile, to the drapes, the walls, and chandeliers. Yup, they have beautiful chandeliers all throughout to the hotel, too. It’s Instagram heaven, y’all. Nate and I did their bunker tour there as well. We got to go ‘underground’ where they built a hide out for government officials if the US was to ever get bombed.

Call me Josephine

3. Greenbrier River Trail: Y’all really thought we would drive all the way to West Virginia and not bring our bikes? Well, we sure did and we took them on this river trail. It was so beautiful and lush and we got a beautiful view of the river the whole ride.

Peddling my way to my next adventure

4. Watoga State Park: We tent-camped here a couple nights while seeing the sites in the area but we managed to get some hiking in at the park. VERY strenuous hiking but worth the view. Oh and I saw a snake by the bathhouse…and ran away like a little girl. It was huge, ok (my hands get wider and wider apart every time I mention it).

Beautiful views alongside my beautiful person

5. Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum: This place was awesome! It reminded me a lot of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, except it’s not in use anymore and most of the property isn’t kept up. We went on a guided paranormal tour but they also have a museum section where you can look at all sorts of history of the asylum.

Creeped me the hell out

6. Canaan Valley State Park: We camped at this state park as well to do some more hiking, and see some more amazing views.

Taking it all in

7. Blackwater Falls State Park: The last but not the least West Virginia state park we explored was Blackwater Falls. There are some awesome hikes here but my favorite was the waterfall, of course.

Warerfallin’ for West Virginia

8. West Virginia Penitentiary: Another amazing tour we went on is the old prison. It’s no longer in use so they give history and paranormal tours here. We opted for the history tour and it was so cool! We learned so much about the daily lives of inmates and about some of the scandals that went down.

I’m here for the fried catfish

When you think of totally rad places to visit in the US, West Virginia isn’t usually the first place to pop up in everyone’s minds but it truly is a beautiful, fun, and adventuresome state to add to your travel list!

Great Smoky Mountain National Park- What to Know Before You Go

Our trip to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was awesome! Very tiring, but awesome! We spent only the weekend here but managed to get some sweet hikes in. As this was our first time ever visiting this park, we learned a lot of what to do and what not to do for our next trip someday. Here’s what I’d like to share with you:

  1. The park is HUGE: This is a gigantic national park, the largest I’ve ever visited. It spans across two states-Tennessee and North Carolina. Because it’s so expansive, expect to drive from site to site for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 or 3 hours! I know, right. This was unusual to me but, like I said it is huge. Just don’t be disappointed if you only have time to make it to 2 or 3 sites/trails a day.
Nate and I at the Chimney Tops Trail

2. You’ll be driving through mountains, so plan accordingly: Hairpin turns resulting in nausea, anyone? Oh yea GSMNP has got ’em. I’ve experienced worse-but if you’re one to get car sick easily I would take some nausea medication before starting your day. Also-make sure you’ve got a good and reliable car to get you up and down all those mountain roads. They’ll take a toll on the transmission and brakes for sure!

Behind Laurel Falls

3. No Internet service: Because you’re in the mountains, expect to get zero internet service. No internet service means you can’t just whip out your phone to look up a trail and how to get there. Grab a map at the visitor center, and be sure to look up as much as you can online before hitting up the park for where all you want to go and how to get there.

So lush

4. Avoid a holiday weekend in the summer at all costs: Nate and I went to the most visited national park on Labor Day weekend. Don’t be like Nate and I. It was PACKED. The visitor center, the roads, the parking spaces, the more well-known trails were totally crowded. Try going during shoulder season on a non-holiday weekend or during the week.

Cooling off in the crick

5. There is no shuttle service: Some parks offer a shuttle service but this park was not one of them. This results in the parking spaces being taken up quickly so either avoid the popular trails and sights, or get there early people!

Sunshine makes me happy

7. Carve out a few days to visit the area: Not only is the park huge with so many appealing trails to go on, but the tourist towns surrounding it -Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg- are filled with sooo many attractions. It was overwhelming even to me and I don’t get overwhelmed easily. I’ve been to touristy spots like Las Vegas and Branson, MO but this place takes the cake with being just riddled with retail shops, attractions, amusement parks, restaurants, and countless other activities to take part in. You could easily spend a week or two in the park as well as these two towns experiencing all the fun.

Nice view ❤

7. Beware of the bears: We didn’t see any bears on our visit but they DO live here. I don’t want to scare you, but I personally wouldn’t go on any trails alone here. On the plus side, there are little to no bugs here. I would still advise wearing bug spray for ticks, though.

So serene

8. Strenuous trails are not for the weak: At GSMNP, when they say strenuous-they mean it, y’all! I like to think Nate and I are in pretty good shape but a couple of these trails completely wiped us out and we were drenched in sweat pretty much the whole weekend of hiking! If you’re up for the challenge, then go for it but avoid anything labeled strenuous if you’re not regularly working out.

Rainbow falls with the love of my life

We had a great time at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We learned so much and we will definitely be back another time!

All the Amazing Things to Do In and Around Devil’s Lake State Park

Wisconsin is known for some awesome and legit state parks but Devil’s Lake is at the top of most Wisconsinites’ lists. There is so much to do here and in the area for people of all ages. The biggest attraction being in it’s name-the lake. It’s a perfect swimming lake as no motors are allowed on the water. My fiance’s family comes here every summer and has for many years, staying here a few days at a time making a mini vacay out of it. See below for all the adventures you can get into at Devil’s Lake!

  1. Rock Jumping There’s a perfect-for-jumping-off-and-having-a-mini-heart-attack rock located on the West Bluff. You’ll see kids, teenagers, and adults jumping off this thing right into the lake. It’s a little scary but after you jump, your fear grows so much you think you’ll lose your shit, and you hit the refreshing water.
Jesus take the wheel

2. Swimming As mentioned earlier, Devil’s Lake is a great lake to swim in. It’s shallow in a lot of spots so it’s not very cold and the water is also really clear in most areas. You don’t have to worry about any boaters or motor oil as motors are not allowed in this lake. Maybe a fishing lure but no boats…Some people even use the lake for exercise and do laps from the north shore to the south shore.

3. Kayaking/Canoeing The lake is so serene and calm it’s also perfect for taking out a kayak or canoe. The sunsets here are so beautiful, take the ‘yak out and paddle into the middle of the lake to catch the rays.

4. Find Devil’s Doorway Hiking at this park is probably the best year-round activity to do. You’ll really get a workout in no matter what trail you take. There are rock formations in some areas and my favorite is Devil’s Doorway. There is a trail called as such on the map. You will be close to the edge so walk carefully!

Every single one of us, the devil insideeee

5. Find Elephant Rock Another Rock Formation on the East Bluff is called Elephant’s Rock. It looks like a, uh, big rock elephant. Take that creative writing!

6. Find Balanced Rock Balanced Rock (East Bluff, too) is large at the top and thins out more toward the bottom so that it looks like a rock balancing on a base.

7. Climb a Rock Hill You will find these on the West Bluff, but I prefer the ones by the South Beach. It’s basically a wall of light gray rocks ranging from small to gigantic and you can go up real high or stay lower to the ground, whatever your rock-loving heart desires.

Amongst the boulders is where I’m happiest at DLSP

8. Chill at the Beach There are two beaches at DLSP-North Beach and South Beach. South Beach is smaller , whereas the North Beach is much larger, with a concession area, bike rack, canoe launch, doggy beach, etc. It’s a great place to relax, dip into the lake, or play some frisbee.

9. Sauk County Fair This fair usually rolls into town the same time of year we are visiting the park. it’s a fun little fair-not too crowded but with all the activities we all love at the fair!

10. Take a Photo by the Sign Find the Devil’s Lake State Park sign at the entrance of the park for sweet pic!

DLSP ❤

11. Go Fishing Grab your poles and lures and find a spot that calls to you for some peaceful fishing.

If only this were catfish 😦

12. Find the Big Chair Just a little ways outside the park is an over-sized, purple chair perfect for a photo-op.

Oversized chair FTW

13. Find the ‘Pig’ Car Next to the oversized purple chair is a VW Bug dressed up like a pig. I mean it, ears and all.

Oink 1

14. Nature Center Ok, so it may sound lame, but it’s actually a cool little spot. They’ve got stuffed wild animals as well as live ones in terrariums and small cages. They have info on the park, it’s history, and the species that live there-go check it out!

15. Parfrey’s Glen This is the BEST little hidden gem in the Baraboo area. It’s in Merrimac, WI so load up the car and head just down the road. It’s a little oasis of a hiking spot with big mossy trees and rocks with little streams running to and fro. It’s truly awesome, beautful, and perfect for those who have wanderlust seeping from their pores like I do day in and day out.

This photo just doesn’t do this place justice!

16. Rappelling Caution-uber scary! With all the huge rocks everywhere, it’s common to see people rock climbing or rappelling at DLSP. The big difference between the two is with rock climbing you go up, and rappelling you go down. I’d much rather lessen the space between me and the ground rather than increase it, thank you. That first step off the comforting rock is hard, but after that you’re just sliding down the rope and it’s a lot of fun!

The outdoorsy type

I know I threw a lot at you but there’s just so much to explore in this area! It’s a great summer destination with all kinds of stuff to do, you could easily spend a week here and never get bored with all the adventures DLSP has to offer.