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beach Photography Travel Traveler Uncategorized

Bucket List Adventures- Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Explore & Discover:

Gulf Shores

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Greetings from Gulf Shores! I’ve been beachin’ it all across the Gulf of Mexico Coast, and I am sharing all of my favorite shores and stops along the way! My all-time favorite vacation spots include any and everything that’s tropical and beachy! I have always loved exploring beaches and immersing myself in the laid-back atmosphere.

 

Beach

Gulf Shores Beach is very popular among locals and is also tourist central. The beach access is free, and you pay for parking. Gulf Shores Beach is a hub for Spring Break activities namely with the college crowd. The water at Gulf Shores is warm and inviting, and the sand is sugar white and sun-kissed.

Gulf Shores Beach is excellent for discovering seashells and sand dollars. It’s incredible to see how many special creatures you are sharing the beach with. At any given time you may see any of the classes of animals including mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

The beach and surrounding areas are home and safe havens to many walks of life so we must always remember to respect that. Also, still pick up after yourself and be mindful of nesting or preservation areas. Remember, leave only your footprints.

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State Park

Gulf State Park offers campsites and campgrounds, a fishing pier, beach access, and outdoor water sports. Other activities include beach volleyball, parasailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

Pier

The Gulf State Park Pier is populated with avid fishermen eagerly casting their rods into the vast salt-water of The Gulf of Mexico. The pier itself is vast measuring 1,540 ft. Long and 20 ft. Wide. I appreciated the informational signs detailing the local sea life, native plants, and organisms.

Boardwalk

The Gulf State Park Beach Pavillion Boardwalk extends out to the beautiful beach. There are a couple of concession stands located here at the park. I just had to get a cup of gelato to beat the heat. I love sweet beach treats to go with a wonderfully hot day!

 

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Hangout Fest

The Hangout is located directly on Gulf Shores Beach. Beachgoers can easily access the beach and the festive courtyard area. The Hangout Festival is the music festival to attend in Gulf Shores. The Hangout Fest is widely famous for bringing together music lovers and beachgoers for an incredible three day weekend.

Year round visitors and locals can pop in at The Hangout for sand and surf gear, bites and sips and live music. The Hangout has a mermaid bar, outdoor games, sandpit and more. There are also several stands for novelties and souvenirs. The amusements are plentiful with bright, fun spots for photo ops and party central beach vibes.

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Gulf Shores offers everything whether you’re looking for excitement, relaxation, or adventure. Gulf Shores Beach offers festivities, attractions, and entertainment. Gulf Shores State Park provides education, events, and activities.

Gulf Shores is perfect for getting up close with marine life, crustaceans, and shorebirds. Gulf Shores is also ideal for swimming, boating, bird-watching and more! The views of the glistening water of the vast Gulf of Mexico sprawled out before you are tremendous!

 

Explore & Discover:

Orange Beach

Beach

Orange Beach offers sugar white sand, seagulls, and seashells! You can take part in dolphin and sunset cruises, kayaking and paddle boarding, boating and jet skiing and so much more. Whether you’re up for outdoor water play or relaxing on the beach there is something for everyone.

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Hiking Trail

Orange Beach has several hiking trails for the outdoor lover and adventurer in us all. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Hiking Trail offers several wooded and marsh trails. There is also a butterfly garden. The pathways are utilized primarily for biking and hiking.

The Backcountry Hiking Trails is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts to explore natural vegetation and possible wild animals in their natural element.

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The Wharf

The Wharf is the premier shopping and entertainment district in Orange Beach. The Wharf overlooks the beautiful boats at the marina. The Wharf at Orange Beach provides guests with a Ferris wheel, movie theater, arcade games, zip lining, shopping, dining and more. Mostly, The Wharf is excellent for those who love walking, eating and shopping.

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Alabama Pass Point State Park Beach

Alabama Point East A Gulf State Park is located near the Perdido Pass Bridge. The Alabama Point Gulf State Beach park is en route from Orange Beach to Pensacola. The parking and beach access is free here. Upon arrival, there is a long walk across a long wooden bridge that stretches out to the beach. There is also a toy box located on the beach to swap and share toys!

The Alabama East Point offers a beautiful sandy beach area with massive boulder rocks and a multitude of flocks of seabirds. This route will then take you through to beautiful Perdido Key, Fl and ending in Pensacola Beach.

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And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

 

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“Leaving. Doesn’t mean that you’ve left.” – Nayyirah Waheed

 

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Photography Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Hot Springs

Arkansas: The Natural State

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Hot Springs, I am in you.  I am here for your national parks, mountains, natural hot springs and healing waters, iconic bathhouses, historic districts and so much more!

History:

Past- 3,000 years ago, between the years 1,000- 1,800 A.D., the Caddo Indian tribe, migrated to Hot Springs. 200 years ago, in the 1800’s, the Quapaw Indians settled in Hot Springs. The hot springs were regarded as life waters amongst the Native American’s. Native American legends tell us that they communed with the Great Spirit, and the hot springs were sacred, healing grounds.

Present- In the 1800’s-1900’s grand bathhouses were being constructed to offer visitors and locals a place to fully immerse in history and culture. Interestingly the geothermal heat coming up from the earth heats the water at the surface to 143 degrees! Today, there are eight bathhouses in pristine condition showcased on the esteemed Bathhouse Row.

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Hot Springs National Park:

Hot Springs National Park offers for the best views of the Ouachita Mountains. Since I was adventuring, I knew I had to visit the Hot Springs Mountain Park and Hot Springs Mountain Tower. We were not sure what to expect on the drive up, but it was an exciting experience. We drove up the winding path around the mountain leading to the Hot Springs National Park Mountain Tower. Enjoy the drive up the hill because they do have some visible wildlife.

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The Hot Springs Mountain Tower:

Inside the Mountain Tower on the floor level, there is a gift shop on the first floor with everything from crystals and handmade soaps to memorabilia about the Bathhouses. The gift shop beneath the mountain tower is a nice touch not only offering souvenirs and such but much valuable information on the Hot Springs Mountains and the history of the Bathhouse Row. Hot Springs is known as The American Spa and has the most well-preserved and operational bathhouses in the nation.

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The Hot Springs Mountain tower is the way to go for a panoramic and scenic view of Hot Springs and surrounding areas. The mountain tower offers a birds-eye view of the lush Ouachita mountains. Hot Springs National Park, formally called Hot Springs Reservation, is a Federal Reserve. Hot Springs National Park are as the oldest and smallest national park.

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The mountain tower affords scenic views of all of the surrounding significant mountains, including sights of the city of Hot Springs. The Hot Springs National Park is home to 40 springs and is the oldest national park in the nation! There were many mountains to view that collectively makes up the Hot Springs Mountain region. All of the massive mountains were tremendous and breathtaking.

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After studying the history of Hot Springs National Park and Bathhouse row we took the glass elevator going skyward. I was surprised that the elevator was glass, and on the way up you could see beautiful surroundings, but admittedly I was a tad bit nervous, too. The second floor was where we stopped and I spent some time here reading up on the history of all of the iconic Bathhouses, the medicinal healing waters of the Hot Springs, the Quapaw Native American Indian tribe, and the mountainous regions in Arkansas. There was a good deal of information, and I appreciated learning many things I didn’t formerly know.

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When we were ready, we went up to the third floor via the stairs, and it opens up unto the verandah. The views were quite lovely. There were many visible mountains and peaks, you can view. I knew while I was on this trip I wanted to see plenty of mountains and I did get to see the Ouachita, Ozark, Indian, North, West, Sugarloaf, and Music mountains. You can see creeks and forests and even the city.

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You can pretty well see the city side of Hot Springs on one side and the nature side of The Natural State from the other side. I was really overjoyed with our visit and the aerial views Ouachita and Hot Springs Mountain all while 1200 +ft above the ground!

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Downtown Hot Springs:

Historic Bathhouse Row-

Bathhouse Row is a lively and bustling district in the historic downtown Hot Springs. The bath houses are lined up and located off Central Avenue. The grand architecture of the bathhouses is tremendous. The National Park Service ensures the integrity and the history of the Bathhouse Row lives on.

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Bathhouse Row is listed as a National Historic Landmark. There are eight bathhouses off Central Avenue. The area is lovely and consists of many antique stores, boutique shops, and restaurants. Down the way is The Grand Promenade walkway. I loved the Quapaw, Ozark, Lamar, Buckstaff, and Fordyce Bathhouses. The architecture and the history of the famous Bathhouse Row is to be preserved and appreciated.

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Grand Promenade:

The Grand Promenade is listed as a National Historic Landmark site. The Grand Promenade offers a scenic walkway with hot springs, gardens, and trails. Here you can visit and take in all of the views of Arlington Lawn, The Hot Springs Cascades, Hot Springs Historic District Bathhouse Row, and Hot Springs Mountain. It’s a beautiful stroll down the brick walkway to steal a few moments of complete serenity.

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Visitors seeking the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the healing waters have been visiting Hot springs for 200+ years! Hot Springs is known as The American Spa and has the most well-preserved and operational bathhouses in the nation. In the renowned Hot Springs Central Avenue, you can walk the strip of the downtown area to The Promenade and Bathhouse Row; it’s all so very vintage– I love!

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Hot Springs, AR has everything from revered Hot Springs at the famed Bathhouse row to the picturesque Ouachita Mountains. You can take a bath in the mineral water to soak up the natural healing properties. In Hot Springs you can visit national parks, state parks, iconic landmarks, historical districts, trails, rivers and so much more!

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With All My Love,

The Vintage Gypsy

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water.

She belonged to no man and to no city.” -Roman Payne

Categories
Bucketlist Photography Travel Travel Blogger Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Red Rock Canyon

Bucket list dreaming!

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Red Springs, Red Rock

Red Rock Natural Conservation Area is miles and miles of natural beauty, and has the most tremendous views you could ever dream of. If you love the outdoors you’ll definitely want to add Red Rock to your bucket list and itinerary.

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Red Springs, Red Rock

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is definitely top of the bucket list. Red Rock Canyon is located within The Mojave desert and is one of the most scenic and glorious natural conservation areas I have ever witnessed.

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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock
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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock
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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock

Did you know Red Rock dates back 180 million years during the Jurassic era? Red Rock was once covered by the sea that receded over time and turned into sand dunes, and eventually mountains and canyons. At Red Rock, you can immerse yourself in nature, hike canyons and climb cliffs. Red Rock is also a photographers dream. There is so much natural beauty at Red Rock you can explore and discover.

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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock
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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock

Red Rock has many canyons, trails and rock formations. And red Aztec Sandstone and Joshua trees are gorgeous. The canyons are actually swirls of colorful marble rock formations and both pastel and vivid colored sandstone.

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Calico Basin, Red Rock
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Calico Basin, Red Rock

At Red Rock, you will immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Red Rock offers the most incredible panoramic and scenic views of the canyons and desert vegetation. Red Rock is the perfect wanderlust and bucket-list adventure!

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Willow Spring, Red Rock
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Willow Spring, Red Rock

Full-time explorer of all things interesting.

With All My Love,

~The Vintage Gypsy

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” –Susan Sontag