For millions of tourists each year, the Algarve in Portugal is a highly sought-after holiday destination. Its capital, Faro, is a city rich in culture and history and is also ideal for those seeking relaxation on the beach.

Faro feels slightly more Portuguese than the other resort towns and is often just passed through by tourists, which is a shame as it has so much to offer to holiday-goers. Here we’ve provided our complete Faro Portugal travel guide to the city to help you organise your well-deserved trip.

Faro Accommodation

One of the more popular destinations to stay for tourists is Downtown Faro. The area is well known for its thriving nightlife scene and abundance of bars, restaurants and cafes. If you get the chance to visit here, you should most definitely try some of the local products, including the freshly made croissants at Pastelaria Gardy.

Cidade Velha, or the Old Town in English, is the historical hub of the city, protected by imperial walls from the 9th Century. The area is host to a number of hostels and hotels, small streets and classic regional houses.

Cidade Velha (Old Town) in Faro

Cidade Velha (Old Town) in Faro

For those wishing to stay close to the local fishermen’s boats or stunning summer yachts on the sea, the Marina de Faro is a beautiful location with plenty of things to do. There are typically lots of free shows and music concerts in the summer and an abundance of ice cream shops and cafes.

Top Attractions in Faro

In Faro, the main sights are all within walking distance of each other, meaning you can pack lots of activities into each day. At the top of the list is the Old Town, a beautiful location with great architecture, ancient cathedrals and delicious food. An ideal starting point is the Jardim Manuel Bivar which is close to the marina. From there, you can visit the Arco da Vila, which is home to the statue of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Patron Saint of Faro.

Not far from the Largo da Sé, the Cathedral of Faro offers breath-taking views of the Ria Formosa and surrounding areas. The cathedral was built in the 13th century and is an iconic piece of architecture in the city. If you can hack the 68 steps to the top, you won’t be disappointed.

Faro Cathedral

Faro Cathedral

Porta Nova is a tiny gate in the city wall that connects the old town to the waterfront, where you can see the boat tours and ferries depart. The oldest part of Faro’s old town, the gate makes for the perfect holiday photo before heading off on a ferry to one of the nearby islands.

Transportation in Faro

Faro airport is relatively small and easy to navigate, with the journey to most resorts usually lasting around 15 minutes. Do note that public transport from the airport can be infrequent, so it is recommended that you pre-book your Faro airport transfers to guarantee you get to your accommodation with ease.

Hiring a car will allow you to reach some of the more isolated and remote parts of the Algarve but is not necessary to make your way around Faro. The city has one bus station and one train station, which are both located in the centre. A lot of the sites here can be accessed easily by foot from either station, therefore getting around is relatively straightforward.

The Best Beaches in Faro

Faro is not typically considered a beach holiday destination but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its fair share of golden coastlines. The best beaches here are on found on the southern side of the three sandbar islands and cannot be accessed via walking.

The Ilha Deserta is an uninhabited island that can only be reached by boat. The beach here, Praia Da Ilha Deserta, stretches over 6km and is widely known for its crystal-clear water and pristine sandy coastline. There is also a wooden boardwalk that runs up the north part of the island, passing through beach shrubs.

Ilha Deserta near Faro in the Algarve

Ilha Deserta near Faro in the Algarve

On the northern side of Ilha da Culatra is a traditional fishing village and its two main beaches, Praia da Ilha da Culatra and Praia da Ilha do Farol. Farol beach is situated close to a spectacular lighthouse and is ideal for a family day trip. There are residents who live here permanently and several holiday homes, meaning it has a slightly higher tourist population than Culatra.

Culatra beach is sparsely developed and is essentially an empty beach, making it a great escape for those seeking a relaxing day out. However, a ferry ride from the mainland is required to reach these beaches, although this is usually only short.

The final beach, the Praia de Faro, is located on the Ilha de Faro and spans 5km of golden sands. It is only a mere five-minute drive from the airport and there is also a direct bus here. The area is home to several relaxed cafes and a few beach bars. This beach is often favoured by visitors due to its easy accessibility, particularly if it is a day trip.

We hope you have enjoyed this travel guide for Faro Portugal and that you enjoy your vacation!

As the largest city in the state of Washington, it makes sense that the beautiful city of Seattle is the home base for many of the most epic trips in the state. From jagged mountain peaks to sparkling ocean water to vast cities, there’s something in the state for everyone. And whether you live here and are looking for an escape or are visiting and have a few spare hours, these great day trips from Seattle are all going to be worth every second of your time. 

Olympic National Park

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 15 minutes/115 miles

Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse places in all of Washington State.

It’s home to temperate rainforests, miles of ocean shoreline, and towering mountain peaks. Although it’s best to have a few days within the national park, you can definitely hit the top attractions in just one day.

Begin your visit with a trip to Sol Duc Falls, make your way over to Hurricane Hill to see the mountain views, and head into the Hoh Rainforest.

Olympic National Park is a huge area, so it’ll be tough to cover the entire thing in one day but do what you can with the day, and you won’t be disappointed.

Bainbridge Island

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour (via ferry)/10 miles

This island is located right across Elliot Bay from the center of downtown Seattle, making it a perfect day trip. To arrive at Bainbridge Island, you can either take the Washington State Ferry, which is about a 1-hour ride, or you can drive around through Tacoma, which is about a 2-hour drive.

During your visit to the island, there are plenty of things to do. Visit the Bainbridge Museum of Art, wander around Main Street, stop at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, walk along the Waterfront Trail, and make a stop at Lytle Beach.

There are a few wineries on the island that make for a great evening date, many places offer delicious seafood, and there are even cafes to grab a cup of coffee.

No matter what you do on this adorable island close to Seattle, you’ll be able to have a fun-filled day.

North Cascades National Park

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours/110 miles

Mount Shuksan at North Cascades National Park

Mount Shuksan at North Cascades National Park

Perhaps the most beautiful place in Washington, North Cascades National Park makes for a fantastic day trip from Seattle to see the mountains.

It’s a phenomenal park, with jagged mountain peaks, sparkling alpine lakes, and breathtaking views.

As one of the least visited national parks in the country, due to its remote location, you’ll be able to enjoy the park with fewer crowds.

During your visit, make a stop at Washington Pass Overlook, Diablo Overlook, and plan to add in a hike or two. The most beautiful hikes are Blue Lake and Maple Pass.

If you don’t mind driving a bit further, make the trek up to Picture Lake and Artist Point, which are both some of the most fantastic views that you will ever see.

Mount Rainier National Park

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours/90 miles

Stunning Mount Rainier

Stunning Mount Rainier

Although this is the last of Washington’s national parks on this list, it most certainly shouldn’t be the last place on your list to visit.

Mount Rainier National Park is home to the tallest mountain in Washington, Mount Rainier, standing at 14,411 feet above sea level. Just seeing the mountain itself is an incredible adventure, and in fact, it can be seen from Seattle!

But getting into the national park is where the real adventure begins, as there are endless miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, alpine lakes, and everything else you can imagine.

Save some time to complete a hike, such as Naches Peak Loop or Mount Fremont Lookout, and then spend some time wandering around the visitor centers at Paradise and Sunrise. If you visit in the winter, consider skiing or snowboarding at Crystal Mountain, which has some of the best views on the slopes.

Leavenworth

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 15 minutes/135 miles

Leavenworth, a Bavarian Town outside of Seattle

Leavenworth, a Bavarian Town outside of Seattle

This small Bavarian village, nestled in the middle of the Cascade Mountain range in Washington is one of the best places for visitors. Whether you spend just one hour or three days in Leavenworth, you’ll understand why it’s so popular.

Enjoy browsing through the small shops and pick up a few souvenirs, eat dinner at one of the many German-inspired restaurants, or just enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains.

If you plan your visit during the holiday season, you’ll get to enjoy seeing the small town decked out in holiday lights and snow. Visit the Nutcracker Museum, enjoy a glass of hot cocoa, and take in all of the holiday festivities.

Tacoma

Distance from Seattle: 35 minutes/35 miles

Tacoma is a nice city, located just over 30 minutes south of Seattle, making for a nice easy day trip to spend some time out of the city.

It’s specifically known for it’s glass art, which you can find at the Tacoma Museum of Glass, featuring some work from the famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. You may have also seen this art at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle.

You can also visit America’s Car Museum, which is home to a variety of old cars. If you have littles, you may also want to visit the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

Other fun activities include visiting the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, walking down the Lincoln District, and taking a tour of the harbor by boat.

Deception Pass State Park

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 20 minutes/80 miles

There’s no doubt that Deception Pass State Park is a beautiful location and worth the visit, because it’s Washington’s most visited state park!

Located not too far from the San Juan Islands, this park is home to absolutely breathtaking cliffs, ocean coves, forests, and views. The park has tens of thousands of miles of both fresh and saltwater shoreline, giving visitors a chance to enjoy the views in many places.

The park is located on two different islands, Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island. The two are connected via a very long and tall bridge that is often seen photographed in images taken by visitors to the park.

During your visit, check out some of the hiking trails, which there are nearly 40 miles of, check out part of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, or try your hand at fishing, whether it be fresh or saltwater.

Visitors can also rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to take out onto the water to explore.

San Juan Islands

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 20 minutes/80 miles

San Juan Islands, a great day trip from Seattle

San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are a collection of 172 named islands located off the coast of Seattle, which are very popular for tourist activities and exploration.

The three most popular islands are Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and San Juan Island. Each of these is served by a ferry and is fairly easy to get to.

On Orcas Island, one of the most popular things to do is hike Mount Constitution in Moran State Park, which gives fantastic views of Mount Baker and the surrounding islands. Other activities include going whale watching, visiting Orcas Island Winery, and enjoying the views at Mountain Lake and Cascade Lake.

Lopez Island is known for having fantastic biking, as well as beautiful views and hiking trails.

Lastly, San Juan Island is most well known for Friday Harbor, where you will dock from the ferry. From here, you can visit small grocery stores and local boutiques. Many people enjoy searching for whales from Lime Kiln Point State Park, or you can take a boat tour to search for whales.

Whichever island you choose to visit will have great activities, and makes for a great short day trip from Seattle.

Snoqualmie Falls

Distance from Seattle: 35 minutes/30 miles

Snoqualmie Falls with Snoqualmie Lodge in the background

Snoqualmie Falls with Snoqualmie Lodge in the background

Although a visit to Snoqualmie Falls may not fill your entire day, it’s a nice way to spend a few hours if you’ve got the time. This beautiful waterfall near Seattle is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to the city.

It drops nearly 270 feet into the Snoqualmie River and there are no questions as to why it’s so popular. It’s a very powerful waterfall, and actually has some interesting history behind it as well. 

Back in the 1800s, this waterfall was turned into an underground hydroelectric plant to provide water to the area. It’s still used to this day! 

There’s a viewing platform at both the top and bottom of the waterfall, so you’re able to take in all the views, and before you leave, grab a bite to eat in the Salish Lodge, located right above the falls.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 30 minutes/150 miles

This iconic location is well known to most people around the country, famous for its 1980 eruption that spread nearly 20 miles away from the volcano.

Today, many people enjoy visiting the active volcano and learning the history of that deadly eruption. 

A visit to Johnston Ridge Observatory will give you the information that you’re hoping to learn. There are also many hiking trails around the area, that are perfect for heading into the blast zone to see the remnants of volcanic ash and debris.

One of the most popular hikes is Harry’s Ridge, and another very popular and unique trail is Ape Cave. This is a lava tube that you are able to climb into and explore.

Victoria, British Columbia

Distance from Seattle: 4 hours 45 minutes/185 miles (via ferry)

If you’ve got a lot of extra time and are okay with waking up early and heading to bed late, then a trip to Victoria, British Columbia might be great for you. Keep in mind that you will need to cross international borders, so you’ll need to have your passport handy.

Once you’ve successfully made it into Canada and down to Victoria, you’ll be ready to explore. Victoria is well known for its gardens, since it has a climate that is great for growing. Butchart Gardens are the most popular place to visit and admire the flowers.

You also may want to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, see the Parliament buildings, or visit Craigdarroch Castle.

Just outside of town, you’ll find Mount Douglas, which offers 360-degree views of the surrounding area. This is a great place to head out for a little hike. If you’re enjoying being outside, also be sure to check out Willows Beach and consider booking a whale-watching tour.

Skagit Valley

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 10 minutes/70 miles

Being well known for its fascinating tulip festival in the spring, you may be familiar with Skagit Valley. Since tulips only bloom seasonally, it’s best to plan your day trip here in the springtime.

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival typically runs through April, has been operating for nearly 40 years, and boasts some of the most beautiful flowers in the state. In fact, you’ll get to witness millions of bright tulips blooming right before your eyes.

Aside from just admiring the beautiful flowers, the festival also hosts several other events including a photo contest, a street fair just down the block, a tulip parade, and a chili and chowder cook-off.

Although you can’t visit the tulips year round (sadly!), this seasonal trip surely makes one for the books, as they typically have visitors from over 85 countries visit each year!

North Bend

Distance from Seattle: 30 minutes/30 miles 

If you’re a hiker looking for somewhere to hit some nice trails that aren’t too far from Seattle for a day trip, then head to North Bend, which is just about 30 minutes away.

The North Bend area is home to some of the most popular hikes in the state, thanks to its close proximity to Seattle and other large cities.

Here you’ll find the popular and busy Rattlesnake Ledge trailhead, as well as Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area. This in itself is a fantastic getaway for the day!

Another popular hike in the area is Mount Si, which is a lengthy but beautiful hike that leads you up and over the mountains.

Other trails include to Twin Falls as well as Franklin Falls. 

Gig Harbor

Distance from Seattle: 45 minutes/45 miles

Gig Harbor is a picturesque town located not too far from Seattle and is one of a few cities in Washington that claims to be the gateway to Olympic National Park.

You can reach the city by crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge over part of Puget Sound.

It’s a fairly walkable town, so one of the best ways to explore this city during your day trip is by just walking around.

Plan a few activities into your day such as seeing the sites at Finholm View, visiting the Harbor History Museum, exploring Kopachuck State Park, riding the Gig Harbor Gondola, and grabbing a drink at 7 Seas Brewing. There are also several local restaurants that make for the perfect place to grab lunch or dinner.

Port Angeles

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 30 minutes/80 miles

Although Gig Harbor claims to be one of the gateways into Olympic National Park, it’s pretty well-known that Port Angeles is the real gateway into the fantastic national park.

It’s the perfect city for those who love the outdoors and for those who enjoy exploring small cities. It’s located on the water near the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Salish Sea.

Nearby you’ll find hundreds of hiking trails in one of the most diverse landscapes in the state. You can also recreate on the water with kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and surfing.

Other activities include shopping in the charming downtown, whale watching, visiting some local museums, and more.

Whidbey Island

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 10 minutes/35 miles (via ferry)

Whidbey Island is just a short distance from Seattle making it a perfect day trip, and is accessible from the city via the Mukilteo Ferry. It’s a popular location for tourists and locals alike, as there’s just a bit of everything on the island.

The island is home to a portion of Deception Pass State Park, while the other half is found on Fidalgo Island to the north.

While visiting the state park is a popular activity on the island and could be a day trip in itself, there are also many other activities that you can enjoy.

Visitors also enjoy making a visit to South Whidbey State Park, which offers beautiful views of old-growth forests.

Check out the Meerkeck Gardens, grab a drink at Whidbey Island Distillery, and explore Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

This beautiful island is a beautiful location and definitely is worth the short trip to arrive there.

Bellevue

Distance from Seattle: 20 minutes/10 miles

A trip to Bellevue is the closest city on this list from Seattle, making for the perfect day trip for those looking to escape the city without having to drive too far.

It’s the fifth largest city in Washington state, and is located just east of Seattle. It sits right between Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington.

During your visit, spend some time wandering around Downtown Park. This 21-acre space in the middle of Downtown Bellevue has gardens, playgrounds for the littles, and walking pathways.

The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a free space to wander around and enjoy the foliage. If you’re interested in doing some shopping, check out the Bellevue Collection, which is a collection of three shopping centers.

Other fun activities include visiting the Bellevue Arts Museum, enjoying dinner at one of the upscale restaurants, and exploring Old Bellevue.

Portland, Oregon

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 45 minutes/175 miles

Portland and Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion

Portland and Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion

As the state of Oregon’s largest city, a visit to Portland makes for a great day trip from Seattle, which is Washington’s largest city.

There is a whole lot of fun to be had in Portland, where the city’s motto is ‘Keep Portland Weird.’ From activities that only locals know about to popular tourist attractions that even the furthest people away have heard of, you’ll surely be kept busy during a trip here.

Be sure to check out Portland’s massive food scene by trying out some of it’s most popular restaurants. Voodoo Doughnuts is a must-see, and there are food trucks all over the city that serve up delicious grub. See the Portland Weird sign, shop at the world’s bookstore, and check out the vintage finds at House of Vintage.

George

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 30 minutes/160 miles

While most people think only of Western Washington when they’re considering where to visit, there are actually a few fantastic places in the eastern half of the state to see!

One of those places is George, found along the Columbia River, as it begins to flow south to make its way to the Pacific Ocean.

George is home to the Gorge Amphitheater, one of the most beautiful concert venues in the country. The amphitheater is positioned right along the river, which ensures that you’ll have an absolutely fantastic view as you watch the artist of your choosing.

Other things to do in the area include going wine tasting at Cave B Estate Winery or Beaumont Cellars, visit the Wild Horses Monument, or go for a hike. You might also consider doing a bit more driving and visiting Steamboat Rock State Park in Electric City.

Palouse Falls

Distance from Seattle: 3 hours 45 minutes/240 miles

Palouse Falls at sunset, Eastern Washington, Washington State a day trip from Seattle

Palouse Falls at sunset, Eastern Washington, Washington State

Although it’s quite the drive from Seattle, a visit to Palouse Falls can make for a day well spent. This 200-foot waterfall is quite different from the other waterfalls that you’ll find in Washington. It’s located in the desert of eastern Washington and is hugely powerful as it flows over the basalt cliffs into the Palouse River.

To actually see the waterfall, you don’t have to walk very far, because it’s close to the parking lot. But there are several trails in the area that you can wander around to get different viewpoints. 

It’s a pretty incredible waterfall to visit, and makes it worth the long drive to reach it!

Cle Elum

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 30 minutes/100 miles

While there isn’t a lot to do in the town of Cle Elum itself, the mountains and absolutely incredible hiking nearby make this trip so worthwhile. These hikes are located in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, although you’ll drive through the Teanaway Community Forest to reach the trailheads.

A few of the best options include Lake Ingalls, Earl Peak, Navaho Peak, and Esmeralda Basin. All of these trails offer some of the most fantastic views of Mount Stuart and the surrounding mountain ranges.

The area that these hikes are in is actually just on the other side of Dragontail Peak and The Enchantments, so it feels very cool to be on the opposite side of this famous thru-hike trail in Washington.

If you’re a hiker, it’s very worthwhile checking out this remote location that is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the state.

Wrap-Up: Day Trips from Seattle

The city of Seattle is a popular home base for those visiting Washington and houses most of the state’s population.

While there is plenty to do in the city, many people enjoy leaving for a quick trip to explore other parts of the state. These many day trips from Seattle will give you a great chance to explore this beautiful state without going too far from the city.

Traveling is one of the best experiences you can have in life. Each travel experience is one to cherish, and travel holds a different meaning for different people. While for some, it is about a change of scenery, to relieve themselves from a bad state of mind, or to relax away from a busy schedule, for others, it has to do with soul-searching and discovering different aspects of life.

Why is travel essential?

We are all familiar with the idea of considering experiences over things because material possessions may wear out or lose their purpose, but experiences last your lifetime. You can buy material things such as gifts and souvenirs, but the memories you gain from travel experiences will last a lifetime and enrich your life and thoughts in more ways than one.

But no matter the reason for travel, everyone wants to make their travel experiences awesome. Here are 6 ways to make your travel experience awesome.

1.    Try solo traveling

Many times, traveling is best experienced by oneself. Solo traveling has its own set of unique advantages that can enrich your experiences in various ways. Traveling solo gives you a lot of time to take in the sights and experiences. It also allows you to form your itinerary as you want and do what you want without considering other opinions. When traveling alone, you can meet and talk to more people and allow yourself to open up more. You also have no one else to pull you in different directions or weigh you down when traveling alone.

Many people even put their travel plans on hold because they do not have someone to share their experiences with. If you are one of those, perhaps it is time to experience a solo trip.

2.    Engage with locals

Engaging with locals and supporting the local economy is one of the best things you can do while traveling. Many small businesses and people rely on the income that comes in through tourists, especially in small or tourism-dependent economies. You can book tours with local guides, visit shops, try local eatery foods and drinks, and shop at the local markets. Not only does it support them, but it also gives you a chance to listen to perspectives from the locals you meet.

3.    Feel the culture

One way to truly elevate your travel experience is to make the best of the local culture at the place you are visiting. Once you start exploring, discovering, and learning, you realize there is no end. You can learn about the place’s history and past, look at the local architecture and unique places to visit, and get to know more interesting things about the place.

You can also relish the local cuisine, talk to the local people, and engage in activities and festivals that may be going on during your stay.

4.    Plan, yet stay unplanned

Ways to have an awesome travel experience

Planning is important as you do not waste time figuring out what to do with your time once you have reached a destination. The task may become even more tedious if you are in a place with a foreign language and a lack of internet connectivity. You can make the most of your experience by planning activities and setting out a little time to explore stuff you are unaware of or try local recommendations. This study shows how traveler behavior is also including a desire for unplanned experiences

5.    Be aware and be passionate

When traveling, the best way to make the most of that experience is to be fully in the present and be aware of your surroundings so that you can take in the most of what is happening around you. Another important reason for being present is staying alert, which also saves you from untoward occurrences. For this, you must forget the past and the future and focus your eyes and ears on what is happening.

6.    Natural substances

We are all familiar with the tiredness and fatigue during travel and the inconvenience of minor bruises and sprains that are part of various activities while traveling. THC is a highly popular herbal substance used to treat various small and big issues. This study outlines various potential benefits and upsides of THC usage.

You can should first look at THC consumption guideline as they are a great choice for improving traveling experiences with their products as they come in handy, especially during long trips. They might help you with mood upliftment, relieving small aches and pains, relieving tiredness and boosting energy, and giving euphoria to enhance your travel experiences.

Final thoughts

Travelling can also be an accomplishment for many, and many people value their experiences because of things like the stuff they learned, new things they discovered, or simply for the new memories. This research on travel behavior explores various motivations for people traveling to different destinations.

Traveling is a great way to open us up to new things, ideas, experiences, and much more. These ways are more than just about making your travel experience better. Using these ways can help you do more and enjoy more while being on a trip and experience something unique while being relaxed and comfortable.

Fall is a fantastic time to go camping and hiking in the Great Lakes State. Summer has come and gone and you’ve had your fill of the state’s beautiful beaches. Now it’s time to enjoy the fall foliage, vibrant colors, and cooler temperatures that will keep everyone cool and comfortable on the trail.

But, what if you want to bring your kids along? Spending more time outside with your children has countless benefits, and it’s a fantastic way to bond as a family.

So, whether the kids have a fall break from school or you just want to go exploring on a long weekend, let this serve as your guide to taking kids backpacking in Michigan, and how you can enjoy every moment by planning, preparing, and staying present.

Why Should You Go Backpacking?

There’s no denying how enjoyable it is to spend time outdoors in the fall. The air is brisk, the colors are beautiful, and you don’t have to worry about as many bugs or other pests bothering you if you’re on the hiking trail. Maybe you already know and appreciate the benefits of being outside when it comes to your personal well-being. However, if you’re on the fence about putting together a camping trip with the kids, consider the many benefits that will come with it.

First, it’s important for kids to spend more time outside. Nowadays, kids tend to spend more time indoors than ever. Unfortunately, that can take a toll on their mental health. Studies have shown that kids who spend more time outdoors are smarter, more attentive, and less anxious.

Nature is a great healer, and will benefit your children’s physical and mental well-being. Some of the biggest benefits of kids spending more time outside include:

  • Better physical health
  • Reduced risk of anxiety and depression
  • Improved sensory skills
  • Greater attention span
  • Greater social/emotional development

In addition to the benefit of spending time outside, camping with your kids helps them build survival skills, boosts self-esteem, and gives them the chance to disconnect from technology for  a while. It’s a wonderful way to reconnect as a family and strengthen your bond.

How to Prepare Your Kids for a Backpacking Trip

Whether you’re a beginner backpacker or you have years of experience, it takes a little extra time and preparation to make sure your kids are ready for a backpacking trip in Michigan.

It starts with having the right gear. You might know what to pack for yourself, but it’s a good rule of thumb to create a checklist so you can ensure every family member has everything they need in their bag, including:

  • Raincover
  • Water bottles
  • Snacks
  • Extra clothes
  • First aid items

It’s also a good idea to pack some kind of bug protection in your backcountry kit. It might be fall, and there will likely be fewer bees, wasps, and mosquitos. However, harmful pests like ticks are still lingering in thick, wooded areas. They love to hide in dry leaves and grass, so keep yourself and your kids protective with the right clothing and repellents. A single tick can cause Lyme disease, which can make children especially sick. If you’re making your backpacking trip a family affair and bringing your dog along, make sure they’re on a flea and tick preventative to reduce the risk of them getting bitten.

In addition to packing the right gear, make sure to educate your children on how to stay safe while backpacking. Consider doing some “roleplaying” in your neighborhood or a local park to give them a better idea of what to expect. Your personal safety plan is up to you, but you might want to consider including things like:

  • Using a buddy system
  • Having your kids carry whistles
  • Making sure they know how to stay on marked trails
  • Teaching them to stay within your view while you’re hiking

By keeping everyone safe, you’ll all be able to enjoy your experience that much more. You’ll also implement better outdoor habits in your children from a young age that they will carry with them into adulthood. They’ll know how to keep themselves safe on the trail while respecting nature at the same time.

The Best Family-Friendly Destinations This Fall

Once everyone knows what to pack and how to stay safe on the trip, it’s time to decide where to go backpacking with your kids. Thankfully, Michigan doesn’t have a shortage of beautiful fall backpacking locations the entire family will enjoy.

If you’re planning on a weekend getaway or an extended trip, one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors is to check out some of the state’s awesome campgrounds. You’ll experience the natural beauty of a Michigan fall and can enjoy some family-friendly activities when you’re not on the trail, including everything from roasting marshmallows over a campfire to telling kid-friendly ghost stories with a cup of warm apple cider in the evenings. If you’re backpacking with your kids, some of the best family-friendly campgrounds Michigan has to offer include:

  • Dunes Harbor Family Camp – Silver Lake
  • H. Day Campground – Glen Arbor
  • Lake Leelanau RV Park – Lake Leelanau
  • Logan Hills Campground – Hale
  • Sandy Pines – Hopkins

If you want to take a longer trip and head outside the Great Lakes State, the midwest is ripe with fall beauty and wonderful hiking trails. Consider visiting some nearby national parks in neighboring states, like Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. In addition to great hiking trails and beautiful colors, the park offers railroad rides. What kid wouldn’t love that?

Chances are, you’re closer to a great backpacking or camping spot than you might think. If you have younger kids, consider looking locally at nearby parks or campgrounds to enjoy the backpacking experience without having to venture too far from home.

Indiana Dunes State Park in Michigan is another great option for backpacking with kids. While it’s typically known for being a “beach park,” it’s not to be missed in the fall. Indiana Dunes has great hiking trails, campgrounds, and serves as a great fishing site if you want to catch your dinner. It’s also a popular geocaching location for locals and tourists alike. If you’re spending a few days there, try going geocaching with the kids almost anywhere in Michigan. It will help them build map-reading and problem-solving skills, and they’ll love being able to look for “treasure”.

While many people consider summer the best time to head out and go exploring with the family, fall might just be the superior season! If you’re looking for something fun, educational, and beneficial to enjoy with the whole family this season, consider taking your kids backpacking in Michigan. You’ll teach them a lot about nature, and enjoy some time together without digital distractions or the stress of everyday life. You might even start an autumn family tradition that you come back to each year.

The USA is home to such a variety of ecosystems, but some of the best national parks, like Death Valley, are near-impossible to visit during the summer due to the extreme climate. The good news is, there are some US National Parks that are even more stunning during the winter! On top of that, by visiting these US National Parks in winter, you’ll be avoiding the crowds. Read on to see the best National Parks in the US to visit during the winter.

1. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Visit Joshua Tree National Park in Winter

Beat the heat by visiting Joshua National Park in winter

Joshua Tree National Park in the winter is perhaps the best time of year to go to get the most out of your trip. For one, you can hike for longer since you won’t have to deal with the sweltering heat. However, keep in mind that you should bring plenty of water with you even in winter, since there is a serious lack of shade in Joshua Tree National Park. Plus, even during the winter with cooler temperatures, there is still a risk of sun exposure and dehydration. While the most popular time to visit Joshua Tree National Park is from March to May, or from October to November, we suggest visiting in winter for a unique experience.

2. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion is one of the most popular US National Parks, but with great popularity comes great hordes of crowds. If you want more solitude in this stunning national park, it’s a good idea to visit Zion National Park during the winter. It can get cold, but having more peace and quiet is a fair trade-off.

As long as you have the proper gear and clothing, you can still get the most out of Zion National Park in the winter months. Just be sure to check the weather forecast before planning your trip. From November until February, the weather can range from clear sunny days to full-on winter storms, dumping a couple of feet of snow, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the weather and stay flexible.

Also, be sure to pay attention to posted signs, since some trails like Angel’s Landing might be closed due to icy conditions.

3. Death Valley National Park, California

As the world record-holder for the hottest place on earth, it’s a no-brainer that you should avoid visiting Death Valley during the summer months. But in the winter you’ll have more freedom to explore this stunning National Park.

Death Valley is famous for its other-worldly landscape devoid of all life, which will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Mars. Pro-tip, don’t miss sunrise at Dante’s View if you visit Death Valley National Park during the winter.

4. Yosemite National Park, California

Winter is our favorite time to visit Yosemite for so many reasons

Winter is our favorite time to visit Yosemite for so many reasons

Who are we to judge the crowds of tourists who flock to some of the most beautiful places on earth? Yosemite is one of those places that sits at the top of the US National Park for visitors from far and wide. Sadly, that means that Yosemite can feel more like a theme park than a National Park during peak visiting months. Year-round, tour buses are driving in and out of the park, and it has all gotten a bit commercialized.

Nevertheless, with its unique rock faces, stunning waterfalls, and multiple networks of trails, Yosemite National Park still holds a special place in our hearts. To avoid the peak crowds and to connect more with nature, we highly suggest visiting Yosemite National Park in the Winter.

The climate of Yosemite Valley means that you might get snow if you visit during the winter months, but it’s relatively moderate winter weather. And seeing the valley walls dusted in the snow is a good look for Yosemite. You might even get lucky and score a camping spot right in the Valley of the National Park, but even in winter, you’ll have to battle with the waitlist and lottery system.

5. Arches National Park, Utah

Experience Arches National Park during the winter months

Experience Arches National Park during the winter months

Winter is the best time to visit Arches National Park for a variety of reasons. With a climate that is normally scorching, the winter weather makes it possible to enjoy hiking and overnight camping in this stunning National Park.

Plus, you might be able to see the famous arches dusted in a thin layer of snow. Simply stunning.


Don’t let the colder temperatures deter you from experiencing some of the greatest National Parks in the winter. In fact, we hope that you will agree that some of these National Parks are even better during the colder season! If you’re feeling even more ambitious, check out our summary of the best places in the USA for a multi-day backpacking trip in the winter. Wherever your journey take you, we hope you enjoy!