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Virgin Gorda

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Virgin Gorda

Spanish Town

 

A woman was waiting for us when we arrived at the Spanish Town ferry terminal.  She helped us pack our bags and crash pad into the back of her tan SUV and then we climbed in what little space was left for the ride to our villa.  She told us about the island as we drove through Spanish Town, which was in the midst of a Christmas celebration.  Colorful Christmas lights strung on chain link fence lined the perimeter of a market next to the road.  As we passed the action, she rolled down her window to talk to a friend about church, holler at her son’s friend about homework and wave to everyone else.  In between all this, she would sip from the bottle of Guinness in her cupholder.  Welcome to the Caribbean, I thought, welcome to island life indeed.  Turquoise blue waters, a friendly island vibe, granite boulders and a signature cocktail make Virgin Gorda the perfect place to pass a week of vacation.

 

Location: In the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico, one of over 50 islands that make up the British Virgin Islands.  Virgin Gorda is in the northeast of the archipelago.

Coordinates: 18.4939° N, 64.4023° W / 18°48′00″N 64°30′00″W

Population: 3,930

 

 

In between all this, she would sip from the bottle of Guinness in her cupholder. Welcome to the Caribbean, I thought, welcome to island life indeed.

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Where to Eat

Known for their full moon parties, CocoMaya is best enjoyed when you want a modern night out.  Delicious food, impeccable design and an unbeatable location right on a white sandy beach.

Seafood is the specialty at the Rock Cafe, along with tables set among the boulders – hence the name “Rock Cafe”.
Head to Chez Bamboo for strong drinks.  That’s what I remember most.  And that’s enough for me.  Also supposed to have live music, although did not when we visited.

Bitter End Yacht Club.  Fancy schmancy, but you are in the caribbean, so pretend like you own a yacht for the night.

Stop by Top of the Baths for one of the islands signature Painkiller drinks and enjoy views of the ocean and surrounding islands.

What to Do

Rock Climb. Bouldering opportunities abound on the southern part of Virgin Gorda, which is littered with giant boulders.  Spring Bay, Devil’s Bay, Guavaberry and The Baths provide a range of climbing problems for you to solve.  Just don’t forget your climbing shoes (preferably a pair you don’t mind getting wet) – the humidity and salinity make the rocks both sticky and slippery.  While we visited, we were the only people on the rocks.

Relax on the Beach.  The same beaches that are great for bouldering are great for relaxing.  The Baths and Devil’s Bay seem to be the most popular due to the half immersed boulder maze that lies between them.  This is where the cruise liners drop their travelers, also making them the busiest beaches.  If you want to avoid the crowds, go before 9am or after 3pm when everyone is back on their boats.  For this reason, Spring Bay holds a soft spot in my heart.  Not to mention the cliff jumping opportunities.

Snorkel.  The boulder field does not stop in the sand, but continues to roll into the water.  Huge rocks that provide a natural playground for humans on land provide vertical homes to vibrant coral and fish under the sea.  We snorkeled in 30 – 40 feet of water and yet had coral just 7 feet below us due to it’s home on top of a boulder.  The coral has grown on all surfaces of these mammoth rocks providing a unique snorkeling experience.  Huge fronds stuck out perpendicular from the granite, swaying in the waves.  Instead of looking down into the reef, we could dive and look into the reef.  We swam next to the fish as they traveled from one anemone to the other.

Take a break from land and spend a day sailing with Sail Bravura.

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Contributed By


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Kristin O’Connell

Kristin O’Connell is a travel writer and photographer based in San Francisco with her husband and two rabbits.  She is the creator and editor of Beyond Ordinary Guides, a site dedicated to providing gorgeous imagery, locally cherished spots, and accessible stories to inspire your next adventure.

Santorini

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Floating on air

up + up

Fira really is picture perfect. Dressed all in white on top of jagged cliffs, the town is nothing short of a fairy tale and attracts brides to match from all around the globe. The island itself however, is of something much more fierce. Re-born from lava and ash, Santorini’s rocky terrain falls from sky to sea, spilling out into red, white and black sand beaches. Overlooking the Aegean from high above, surrounded by falling clouds and soundless air, you can’t help but think of Mt. Olympus and the gods that once animated the daily lives of those who first called Santorini home.

 

Location: One of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea

Coordinates: 36°25′N 25°26′E

Population: 1857

The island itself however, is of something much more fierce. Re-born from lava and ash, Santorini’s rocky terrain falls from sky to sea, spilling out into red, white and black sand beaches.

Homeric Poems, Santorini

Where to Eat

Overlooking the caldera at La Maison

Vegetarian and vegan fare at El Tranquilo

By the water at The Dolphins

Drink wine during sunset at the Wine Museum and learn how Santorini wine was traditionally made

What To Do

Watch the sun go down < < or come up > > at the lighthouse

Learn about ancient greek instruments and mythology at La Ponta, in a 13th century Venetian Tower 

Take part in a 1940s greek wedding at the White Theater, break plates and dance

Lay on a red beach

Lay on a black beach

Lay on a white beach

Walk from Fira To Oia

Swim to the church on an island at the tip of Oia

Take a boat to the volcano

Do yoga at El Tranquilo

Homeric Poems, Santorini

Homeric Poems, Santorini

Homeric Poems, Santorini

Homeric Poems, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

La Ponta, Santorini

La Ponta, Santorini

Santorini

Santorini

Santorini

Contributed By


Nicole Lindstrom

Nicole Lindstrom

Nicole Lindstrom is a writer and traveler based in New York City. She is the creator and editor of the online travel guide GLDMNE and co-author of Wanderlust, A Modern Yogi’s Guide To Discovering Your Best Self.
Todos Santos

Todos Santos

By | Guides, Mexico Guides | One Comment

Todos Santos

and the surrounding towns

Todos Santos is magical. In every sense of the word. It is one of those places that holds on to it’s tricks and rarely flashes it’s cards. Visitors are kept on their  toes and stumble upon beauty around every corner. Humble and simple, the town unfolds with each passing step. Beauty is captured in the subtleties of the architecture, the flecking of paint, the dust settled on bar stools and the genuinity of the people.

 

Location: Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico. One hour north of Cabo San Lucas on Highway 19, at the base of the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains

Coordinates: 23°26′55″N 110°13′24″W

Population: 5,148

The town’s steady hum is magnetic. The pulse is there and it doesn’t skip a beat.

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The Palm Orchard

The Palm Orchard

The Palm Orchard

Where to Eat

Coffee + chocolate cake + scones + everything at Baja Beans

Fresh produce at the Sunday Market

Peanut energy balls + organic groceries at Pura Vida

Breakfast and Lunch at Bistro Magico, 11:30 a to 3:30 p  T/T/S 

Organic produce + fresh strawberries (when in season) at Agricole

Eggs ranchero style for breakfast at La Esquina

Traditional Mexican food at Manny Y Alma’s

Fish Tacos at Bahia Pescadaria and Tacos Jorge

Burgers and beer at Shut Up Franks

Drinks and sliders at La Copa Cocina in the Todos Santos Inn

Sunset drinks at Hacienda Cerritos, El Mirador and the roof deck at Guaycura

Poolside drinks + dinner at Freesouls 

Organic and healthy dinner at Hierbabuena

Fresh fish dinner at La Casita

Sushi and seafood at Carlito’s

Fancier fare at Cafe Sante Fe

Mezcal beverages at La Gitana 

What to Do

Learn how to make your own medicinal tinctures using local desert plants with Gaia Todos Santos

Feel the beauty of LOVEleigh Designs first hand at Morgan’s design studio in Cerritos

Surf at Cerritos

Rent mountain bikes in Todos Santos and explore the surrounding trails

The Sunday Market in El Pescadaro offers the region’s finest. Grab a coffee at Baja Beans and peruse the local offerings including yoga threads from Uranta and homemade body products + tinctures from Gaia Todos Santos

Try yoga in a tent at 9a with Josh at Aqui Yoga

Bliss out at Baja Zen. Check out their schedule here and keep an eye on their facebook page for special events

Climb the 7,000 foot high Picacho Sierra Madre
Visit an authentic pottery maker in the foothills of the Sierras
Visit Bridget and her beautiful handmade designs at ZII ROPA
There are 100+ artists that create in and around Todos Santos, including painters, wood turners, ceramic sculptors, jewelers, photographers, print makers, writers, actors, poets, musicians and clothing designers. Check out Artists of Todos Santos for information about the schedule of public art events, galleries, studios, workshops and classes.
For the most beautiful handmade blankets, stop into Factory Blanket, located just off Highway 19 near Cerritos beach

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The Palm Orchard

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Todos Santos

Todos Santos

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Todos Santos

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Todos Santos

Todos Santos

The Palm Orchard

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Contributed By


Nicole Lindstrom

Nicole Lindstrom

Nicole Lindstrom is a writer and traveler based in New York City. She is the creator and editor of the online travel guide GLDMNE and co-author of Wanderlust, A Modern Yogi’s Guide To Discovering Your Best Self.

More Baja Gems


Portsmouth

By | Guides, USA Guides | No Comments

Portsmouth

Coastal New Hampshire

Portsmouth is a glorious little time machine. Houses dating back to the 1600’s, brick sidewalks, and shadowy alleyways transport and help slow you down. A small city reminiscent of the more historic corners of Boston (the North End, Charlestown, Cambridgeport) without the hassle of public transportation. Park in a garage and amble around for a while. There are lots of shops to poke your head into and a waterfront park to relax within. Try not to head there with plans – the fun is in discovering something new.

 

Location: 56 Miles North of Boston; accessible by car or bus

Coordinates: 43.0756° N, 70.7606° W

Population: 21,440

Try not to head there with plans – the fun is in discovering something new.

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What to Do

Read and Drink at Book & Bar

Tour historic Strawberry Banke

Windowshop downtown

Listen to live music at Press Room

Get nostalgic at Treehouse Toys

Drink a smoothie at White Heron

Have a picnic in Prescott Park

Where to Stay

Airbnb

Portsmouth, Maine

Portsmouth, Maine

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Contributed By


gale she explores

Gale Straub

Gale Straub is currently traveling North America in a Sprinter Van with her boyfriend.  She loves landscape and doesn’t believe you need to travel the country to see something new every single day. En Route, she started She-Explores, a website for inquisitive women in the outdoors, on the road, and besides.