Hard to believe another year has come and gone. 2022 seemed a blur in a way. Without having weddings to plan and most COVID restrictions gone; I definitely took advantage of the time to get back out and do some wanderings. Things like this blog fell to the side for another year, but at least I have some new adventures to write about in 2023 (and hopefully commit to). If you have been following along on my Instagram, then this list is no surprise. Here is a countdown of my top 12 travel for 2022.
Number 12: Girls Weekend in Gettysburg
Its no secret Gettysburg is one of my favorite towns in to visit and being a little over a 2 hour drive from home, is always a quick getaway for me. This past year my trip involved 3 of my closest female friends for a girls weekend adventure. We went the first weekend of April, and were blessed with decent weather for the time of the year. My favorite part was driving around the battlefields. While listening to the audio tour, we had sunny skies and low crowds. We stopped at many famous monuments and battle landmarks to enjoy being outside, but also to remember the historical moments that took place there.
Number 11: The Springs Eternal Spa at Omni Bedford Springs
Its also no secret I love going to the spa. There is something about a day of rest and relaxation while being pampered, that rejuvenates the mind and body. For my friend Val's birthday, we spent a couple of days visiting the Omni Bedford Springs Resort. While I have some mixed feelings on that resort itself (future blog post), The Springs Eternal Spa, was worth the indulgence The Bedford Bath ritual, the relaxation room, and the treatments themselves were in my top 3 of all time spa experiences.
Number 10: Christmas in Buck's County
For the holidays I took my mom on a girls overnight holiday excursion as her gift. I wanted a location we could see some holidays lights and explore some cute shops. The perfect place for that was Peddler's Village in Buck's County, PA. This adorably styled shopping village, goes all out on the holiday cheer. The little town is all lit up with lights, activities, and a gingerbread house creations on display.
Also on our trip we first stopped by Fonthill Castle. I mean its a castle in America, so I had to check it out. In December it was decked out for the holidays with a unique Christmas tree in every room. The house and tree's alone are worth the price of admission. However, even without the holidays, the history of the home was fascinating. A stop I highly recommend if in the Doylestown area!
Number 9: Jim Thorpe, PA
This was to be a girls weekend trip with Kacy, but got cut short when I got a horrible case of indigestion and came home early. However, even the brief 18 hours I was in the town, made an impression. The beautiful Victorian style home's from the early 1900's that line the streets, felt like stepping into a postcard. Jim Thorpe offers a lot to do from shopping, dining, art and wine; to lots of outdoor recreation adventures. There is something in this small town to appease any type of traveler.
Number 8: Los Angeles
The city of angels has never been high on my list of places to visit. We spent about a day and half there and did enjoy it. We saw the highlights such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We drove around a few places to see the Hollywood sign such as Griffith Observatory. However, our favorite location to view the sign was at Lake Hollywood Park. We drove by the Beverly Hills and took a quick spin down Rodeo Drive. The La Brea Tar Pits provided a fascinating look into history, and we rounded the trip out with a taco at Tito's Taco's.
Number 7: Carlsbad, California
This California coast beach town has all the right vibes. Sitting right on the Pacific ocean its offers what you expect from a beach town; lots of sun, surf, and relaxation. If you are not a beach person there is still a lot to do on the area. Lots of cute stores for shopping, some great breweries, art galleries, and a variety of delicious food. Legoland is nearby and there are plenty of non-ocean outdoor activities in the area. Carlsbad is what a proper beach town should feel like.
Number 6: Phoenix and Scottsdale: Hiking Camelback Mountain
We spent a week with my husbands family in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area. We did some fun things such as exploring old Town Scottsdale, and I want to return to eat breakfast at Butter's again. Hiking is popular in the area and something we tried to do at least every other day. Hiking to the top of the Camelback Mountain is listed as one of the top hikes and things to do in the city. Reaching a height of 2,704 feet, this hike is challenging. It is worth it though to see the view from the top, and you get a huge sense of accomplishment when you hit the top.
Number 5: San Diego Zoo
I have mixed feeling about zoo's. I hate seeing animals in captivity but understand that some cannot survive in the wild for various reasons. I try to support zoo's who focus on helping preserve wildlife but also rehabilitation. San Diego Zoo from what I read, is one of the top zoo's in the world, and one of the good guys. I was impressed by the size of the facility and variety of animals. I was half expecting to see a few displays of some well known creatures, but found area after area of wildlife I didn't anticipate. Such as they have a lot of birds and as someone getting more into bird watching, I was thrilled. A must see if in the San Diego area!
Number 4: Montezuma Castle National Monument
This monument owned by the National Park Service is an oasis in the Arizona dessert. There are stunning trees and water. Maybe that is why Native American's settled here. Though not a big park, it left an impression. Seeing the remains of a society and a dwelling carved into the cliffs that have been around for thousands of years, make you think how short life really is. More information can be found here.
Number 3: Anniversary in NYC and Evening Boat Road
Thanks to our Hilton Vacation Club and the ease of using the train, NYC is becoming a place we frequent more often. This past year we went the end of June for our anniversary with my in-laws (who's anniversary is the day before ours). While we always find new fun things to do, the highlight of this trip was a sunset boat road around the city. We got to watch the city transform from day to night during our journey. Not only was the scenery worth the cost; we had a great tour guide. He kept us entertained with the history of some of those skyscrapers and landmarks.
Number 2: Sedona, Arizona
Our week in Arizona, we took a day trip the Sedona. Everyone I knew who had been there raved about it and told me it was a not to miss town, and they are right. The gorgeous red rocks with the slightly cooler temperatures, made hiking so much fun that day. There are so many wonderful trails to choose from, but we did the Instagram famous hike to devil's bridge. When done we had lunch and explored the downtown area, and finished up stopping by the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Honorable Mention: New Hope, PA or Summer in Buck's County
Before I hit the number 1 spot, I thought New Hope deserved and Honorable Mention. Earlier I put my holiday adventures earlier, but the holiday trip inspiration came from a summer trip I took to New Hope, PA (so you could easily do Peddlers and Fonthill on a joint trip). New Hope is an adorable town that I am surprised Hallmark hasn't used yet. It sits right along the Delaware River on the Pennsylvania border, right across from Lambertville, NJ. Start your day with a nature walk at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve. The afternoon can be spent strolling the streets of New Hope and its variety of boutique shops. For evening, no visit is complete without taking in a performance at the Buck's County Playhouse.
Number 1: Disneyland in Anaheim, California
Who would have thought that only 3 years ago my first trip to Disney World would spring a love of Disney. I understand why some people only vacation there. This year since we were in California, we had to check out Disneyland's parks to compare it to the one in Florida we have grown to love. Disneyland offers only two parks across from each other (easy to get around), and have areas such as Radiator Springs and The Avengers Campus (places non existent at Disney World). Even though I think I overall prefer Disney World, there is still plenty magic to be found in California. Plus I ranked it number 1, so its definitely worth checking out.