Known as the oasis of sun, sea and sand, Montego Bay, Jamaica is sure to please any vacationer looking for a relaxing yet memorable getaway. With everything that this tropical hot spot has to offer, here are some tips and recommendations to ensure you make the most out of your Jamaican vacation.
1. There is no need to exchange currencies. U.S. dollars are gladly accepted there.
2. Horseback riding along the beach in Montego Bay is unforgettable.
3. Invest in a beachfront room category, trust me, it’s worth it!
4. Take the snorkel cruise from Montego Bay. It’s a three-hour sailing tour with snorkeling along the Jamaican coast from Montego Bay. Enjoy terrific snorkeling at Montego Bay Marine Park, a protected reef area home to a diverse array of tropical fish. Snorkeling gear and instruction, pickup and drop-off from Montego Bay hotels is included.
5. Careen down water slides or jump on a trampoline at Margaritaville, depending on the weather. Sip rum punch or other drinks from an open bar of selected drinks on board. Listen to Caribbean beats and learn some local dance moves from the crew. Margaritaville is in walking distance to restaurants, shopping, ships stop over and clubs.
6. Pick a resort that has 24-hour room service, because there’s always something to do and you will get hungry late at night.
7. Be sure to check out Dunn’s River Falls. This is a must see while in Montego Bay!
8. It is not a good idea to venture out on your own as it can be dangerous. If you are not going out as part of a tour you can have the resort call you a driver who can take you where you need to go. If you're booking a taxi or shuttle, be sure to reserve one with a red plate. These are the licensed and insured drivers. If anything happens, you're covered.
9. The sun is very strong in Montego Bay. Be sure to apply sunscreen often and drink plenty of water.
10. Montego Bay is home to some of the best golf courses. If you love golf make sure to make time to check some of them out during your stay.
11. Montego Bay is characterized by a wet season from May to November, which coincides with the hurricane season, and a dry season from December to April. Plan your trip accordingly.
12. Be sure to check out the famous Chillin Games Room. If you’re into snowboarding, bring yours along as they offer all kinds of activities where you can hit their artificial snow slopes.
Have you been to Montego Bay? Do you have any other tips to add? Comment below!
Until next time!
This beautiful chain of islands in the South Pacific has been on my bucket list for a long time. Tahiti is composed of 118 islands and is an ideal vacation destination if you are seeking true paradise. The main island has two volcanic mountain ranges, and it is known for its black sand beaches and surrounding coral reefs.
You can embrace the island life by staying in an over water bungalow, a popular choice among those seeking total relaxation. Waters in the lagoons average 84 degrees in the summer (November through April) and 79 degrees in the winter (May through October), making them perfect for snorkeling and diving. The marine life in the lagoons is breathtaking with over one thousand species of fish of every color, size and shape.
Bora Bora is considered the most romantic island in the world, and it is famous for its luxury resorts. The island is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef, and the remnants of an extinct volcano rise from the center of the island into two peaks: Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. The incredible landscape and lush island environment make Bora Bora a popular honeymoon spot, and it's just a one-hour flight from the main island of Tahiti.
Bora Bora is known for its over water bungalows, which epitomize the luxurious island experience. You can stay in an overwater bungalow with glass floors and sneak a peek at the lagoon life below. Can you imagine waking up to that beautiful landscape?
You can keep your vacation as relaxing or as active as you choose. You can snorkel right outside your bungalow in the lagoon’s clear and shallow water. You can also go sailing, feed sharks and rays, go on a 4x4 excursion or scuba dive. Over water bungalows take room service to a whole new level with the option of having your daily breakfast delivered to your bungalow via canoe. Where do I sign up?
Moorea is just 10 miles, or a 30-minute ferry boat ride, from the main island of Tahiti. A wide, translucent lagoon surrounds Moorea’s mountainous landscape made of waterfalls that cut through lush green cliffs.
The island’s unique landscape makes it one of the best Tahitian islands for adventure and activities. The shallow lagoon makes for incredible snorkeling, paddle boarding, cruising and fishing. Whale watching is also a popular activity, attracting the most visitors during the whales’ mating season of August to October. You can also visit the Moorea Dolphin Center, where you can swim side-by-side with dolphins, and kids can wade with them in more shallow water. That would be an unforgettable experience!
Moorea offers many opportunities for adventure, but it is also well-known as a romantic honeymoon destination. It has several romantic resorts to choose from, many of which have over water bungalows and extraordinary spas. If you honeymoon there you can visit hibiscus gardens, pineapple plantations, or just relax on a pristine white sand beach.
Papeete is the main port of call for the island, and it is home to a bustling harbor as well as the International Airport. Here you can find Le Marché, a two-story market located downtown where you can purchase many Tahitian products such as vanilla beans, monoi oil and colorful pareos. You can easily find something special to bring home. Sundays are the best time to visit the market, as it is busy with locals stocking up for a day of family gatherings and meals.
Papeete also has the Robert Wan Pearl Museum, the only museum in the world devoted entirely to pearls. You can purchase black pearls or simply learn about the history and practice of cultivating pearls. The museum also has exhibits that demonstrate the importance of pearls in art, history, mythology and religion.
Vai'ete Square is the place to be after dark. The lively boardwalk is a unique place to have an informal dinner or after-dinner dessert from one of the many roulottes, or food trucks, that gather there to serve a variety of cuisine and desserts. You can choose from many affordable treats, from French crepes to fresh fish and pizza.
The allure of Papeete is undeniable. Its vibrant city atmosphere itself can satisfy a traveler's wanderlust. Yet it's so close to amazing outdoor adventures, such as hiking, diving and horseback riding. It's a different kind of Tahitian experience, which might just be what you are looking for.
Is Tahiti on your bucket list? I know I can't be the only one! If you have been there what did you like most? Comment below:)
Until next time!
We recently went on vacation to Colorado and had an amazing time. I have been to so many places in the US and internationally, but I had never been to Colorado before. We stayed in Boulder which is about 40 minutes from Denver. I loved the location because we still had plenty of city activities, but we also got some of the best mountain views around. This blog post is not about how beautiful Colorado is, although I could definitely write about that. Instead, I am focusing on the amazing culinary journey that we took while vacationing there.
I am now convinced that Colorado is a foodie paradise. We did not have one single bad food experience. Little side note here, I’ve never really used Yelp to look for places to eat before, but that is what we used while we were in Colorado and it did not disappoint. Yelp is not paying me for this so you can be sure this is 100% my own opinion. In fact, no one is paying me for this, so all these reviews are just based on my own opinion and experiences. Alright enough of that let’s get started. The places below are not listed in any particular order. They are all awesome. I’m hungry just writing this….someone make me a sandwich!
Early Bird Restaurant
We came here for breakfast, and it was so delicious! I love breakfast food, but everything was cooked perfectly and tasted so fresh. Good coffee is important to me, and you could tell their coffee was brewed with care. Our server, Tomas, was very good and friendly as well. He even took a selfie with us! I got the East Boulder which is a puffed omelette with goat cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. It is topped with a fresh arugula salad and served with perfect crispy potatoes and homemade toast. They bring you a side of amazing berry jam if you ask. David went all in with a breakfast burrito that was bigger than his head! One of our friends had the breakfast tacos which were delicious as well. As always I think pictures speak louder than words.
Hickory & Ash
We liked this place so much that we came back for brunch after having dinner here. This is a fairly new restaurant opened by father and son duo Kevin and Ryan Taylor. Kevin Taylor is a well known chef in the Denver restaurant scene. This is not a super fancy place, but it is a little pricier than your average neighborhood restaurant. The food is plated with a rustic feel which I really like. Our server, Greg, was great and had really good food suggestions for us throughout our meal. My favorite thing by far was the braised meatballs appetizer. The meatballs were so tender and served with the most amazing tomato ragu over a comforting bowl of polenta. Comfort food at its best! I’m pretty sure I could eat that for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. A close second was the pastrami appetizer served with whole grain mustard and roasted brussel sprouts.
Since this is a steakhouse, I feel that I should mention the steak was very good, and the barrel aged whiskey steak sauce that they serve with it is out of this world. They make the sauce in house which is pretty impressive. I wanted to bottle it up and bring it home with me. The other dinner standouts were the braised beef short ribs and twice baked mac and cheese.
For dessert we tried the mascarpone cheesecake, the butterscotch pudding, and the pb&j candy bar. They were all good, but nothing I would come back for. The savory side definitely wins this one. If you find yourself in Broomfield you need to give this place a try. Order the meatballs...you can thank me later.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this might be the best sushi I have ever had. The crazy thing is we never would have looked at this place twice if it weren’t for Yelp. It is in the most unassuming location at a strip mall, and you could easily miss it if you weren’t looking for it. I hope more people are aware that this gem exists so it is still in business next time I visit. Not only is the sushi delicious, but it is also served with the most impressive ice sculptures. The attention to detail in this place makes the experience so worth it. The servers could not have been more friendly, and everything we ate was just exceptional. We had the fried calamari, gyoza, edamame, and a seaweed salad as an appetizer. The calamari was light and tender. The gyoza had great flavor as well and were cooked perfectly. Our selection of rolls included tuna, shrimp, clam, toro, scallop, smoked salmon, and other amazing house roll combinations. We ate and drank sake to our hearts content, and if our trip had been longer we would have definitely been back. Oh well...next time!
Taqueria el Rodeo
This was a wonderful find after a full day of exploring. We were tired and ready for some good food. The lady behind the counter was welcoming and friendly, and we could tell the place had an authentic Mexican vibe right when we walked in. Of course I had to use my Spanish to order our meal! The decor is very colorful and bright with fun painted chairs in the small dining area. We ordered way too much food, but enjoyed every bite. We tried the nachos, different tacos, quesadillas, rice, and refried beans. They had several homemade sauces that ranged from mild to super spicy. The al pastor tacos were my favorite, although I did try the chorizo tacos and they were really good as well. The glass bottle coke and fanta were a perfect pairing for this meal. I mean just look at us...don’t we look so happy eating here?
Yellow Mountain Tea House
We came to this tea house after a full day of adventuring at seven falls near the Broadmoor Hotel. You have to climb 224 very steep metal steps to get to the top of the falls, so we were very tired and hungry by the time we arrived. Disclaimer- if you want to go somewhere and eat really quickly and leave then this is not the place for you. This little tea house offers you more than great tea and delicious dim sum. It offers you a glimpse into the forgotten art of just sitting together and enjoying each other’s company. In the United States this is a rare find.
From the moment we walked into this magical tea store I knew we had found something special. They have a million varieties of teas in glass jars lining their shelves all around the store. When you walk in you are greeted by a quiet girl who runs the store. She sells tea, performs tea ceremonies, and serves you dim sum on request. They have a lady who makes all of their dim sum with organic ingredients and they keep it in the freezer at the store. I wasn’t sure how everything was going to taste, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
We were instructed to pick out three different varieties of tea to bring to our table. We ended up with a coconut blend, a honeysuckle blend, and a blend for sore muscles. My favorite tea was the coconut blend. I regret not bringing some home with me. As our hostess performed the tea ceremony she gave us all some chinese blackberry leaves to try. They were so sweet! We decided to try some of the tea with the blackberry leaves in it as a natural sweetener. They keep a giant bag of the blackberry leaves at the front of the store, so of course I took a picture of it.
The dim sum was incredibly delicious and authentic tasting. Our first dish was xiaolongbao which is a delicious dumpling served over a tiny bowl of soup. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing these little dumplings were! I wanted to eat all of them. We ordered several more dishes including traditional steamed buns and dumplings. The vegetable steamed buns were fluffy and perfectly seasoned. This is one of those places that will stick with me for a long time, and I will definitely be back next time I am in Colorado Springs.
If you love beer, then this is the place for you! This brewery has many varieties of beer and you can do several flight tastings. They just offer snack type food, but it is all very tasty. The soft pretzels are made in house and are delicious and chewy, served with whole grain mustard...yum! Soft pretzels and beer are a wonderful combination. We also had the flatbread margarita pizza and frites (french fries) with spicy ketchup and garlic aioli. Our original plan was to eat a snack there and go somewhere else for dinner, but the snacks were so good we ordered more and decided to skip dinner. Our server was super nice, and we found out she was planning to move to North Carolina! What a small world right?
Are you ready to embark on your own Colorado culinary journey? Now...where’s my sandwich? :)
Until next time!
If you have done any research on travelling to Thailand, chances are that you have heard of Phuket. Phuket is a beautiful island surrounded by the amazing blue and emerald waters of the Adaman Sea. It’s economy thrives on tourism so needless to say you will see people from all over the world if you choose to visit. Here are five tips on making Phuket your next romantic destination.
1. Choose the right hotel
Pick a hotel that has beach access. You would be surprised to find out that not all hotels in Phuket do. Along with this make sure you pick a hotel room with ocean views. There is nothing more romantic than waking up in the morning to a view of Phuket’s magnificent ocean. If your budget allows it, pick a hotel room with a private balcony or even a private plunge pool. You will feel like you are living in a luxury dream, trust me.
Make sure your hotel offers a good variety on room service. After a full day of sightseeing and activities you might not really want to make the effort to get dressed for dinner. Share a delicious meal right in the comfort of your own room while enjoying those amazing views.
If you don’t pick an adults only hotel, then make sure that your hotel offers an adults only zone. If you travel on popular dates and you don’t want the kiddos splashing you at the pool this might be something to consider. Our hotel was family friendly, but it had an adults only pool area with a bar and snacks.
2. Rent a Scooter
It’s so cheap! We rented a scooter in downtown Phuket for $10 for the WHOLE day. What???!!! Word of caution...traffic can get pretty hectic and they drive on the other side of the road so you really have to be careful if you decide to do this. My husband grew up in the Philippines riding dirt bikes in crazy traffic so I felt totally comfortable riding with him. Having the scooter gave us so much freedom to explore on our own. We visited the Big Buddha and even stopped at a local place to eat in a neighboring town. It was so nice to just ride the streets and stop wherever we wanted. We went to the fruit stand pretty much every day for a mango smoothie. The mangoes in Thailand are much sweeter than what we are used to in the United States. Having our own adventures on that scooter was one of my favorite things about our trip!
3. Get a massage
I think this is one of those things you should probably cross off the list, but if I’m honest I was not a big fan of the traditional Thai massage. It hurts! That being said you can get an hour massage for super cheap so maybe it’s worth it. We did end up at a massage place on our last day where they gave us more of a relaxing massage and I did enjoy that. There are several places that will also give you just a foot massage which is great after a day of walking around sightseeing. Most of the nicer resorts have their own spas as well, but the price will probably be more steep than heading into town.
4. Take the Phang Nga Bay and Phi Phi Island tours
These two experiences are completely different, but both have a lot to offer and are great for couples. We used Simba Sea Trips and I highly recommend them. Everything was very well planned out and we had an amazing time. Your tour includes food, soft drinks, and water so you just have to pack a towel, sunscreen, and your camera. Exploring the caves and mangroves channels as well as seeing these huge islands that just tower over the emerald waters is something I will never forget!
Phi Phi tour is totally different, but just as magical with it’s clear blue waters and magnificent snorkeling! You will also be given time to relax on a beautiful beach if that is more your style. These tours are very popular so make sure you reserve your spot well before your travel dates.
5. Watch the sunset together
This might seem a little too simple, but sunsets in Thailand are out of this world! Few things are more romantic than holding your lover while watching a beautiful sunset. This is one of the things that we always made time for. We sat in the lounge chairs at the adults only pool, and because the pool was at a higher vantage point it gave us beautiful panoramic views of that amazing Thai sunset. The pool bar served the best cappuccinos, and we would sit and sip our coffees while enjoying the view.
So there you have it. Obviously there are a million of romantic things to do in Phuket, but hopefully this gives you an idea of where to start if you are planning a trip there. Have you been to Phuket or are you planning a trip? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Until next time!