Since moving to the USA, I’ve had to rely on visiting small towns to get my travel fix. I’m 3 and a half hours away from the nearest two large cities (Chicago and Des Moines), which make just trying to get to the airport a chore. In the UK I was spoilt living 20 minutes from one of London’s airports, I could get from my front door and to a major city IN ANOTHER COUNTRY within 3 and a half hours. I can’t even drive across a state in that time! So if I want to get away for a quick weekend break, I’ve had to train myself to view anywhere and everywhere as a tourist destination, no matter how big or how small.
Latvia is a country that surprised me and I quickly fell in love with it. Originally I landed at Riga airport, jumped straight on a train and headed for Sigulda and the bobsled track. On the way home, I had some spare time to kill before my flight home so used it to check out the Riga Christmas Markets. They aren’t huge but they definitely make up for it in personality and setting!
As a Brit, pumpkin patches are a bit of a new concept for me. We have corn mazes back home but pumpkin patches are certainly not something that I grew up ‘around’ as such. Since living in America, I have been to 2 pumpkin patches in Iowa, both completely different from each other. For the readers that may not have been to one before, imagine a farm shop selling pumpkins and other homemade goods such as jam/jelly with the addition of a farm style type ‘theme park’, and you won’t be far off!
I still find it hard to believe that a lake has beaches…and waves! Growing up by the English coast, it’s a given that the sea comes with sand and a tide, lakes are usually surrounded by mud and grass, but not Lake Michigan! The sheer size of it is crazy, it’s 307 miles long and 118 miles wide, it has a total shoreline of 1640 MILES. Putting this into perspective, the whole coastline of the UK is 7723 miles! Lake Michigan borders 4 US states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan and each state is home to various Lake Michigan beaches and beach towns that you should visit!
My sand dune state park obsession continues! The latest park added to my list, is Indiana Dunes State Park located in Chesterton, Indiana, just a one hour drive away from Downtown Chicago! A small section of Indiana state borders Lake Michigan, but it’s a section that’s well worth a stop! Here are some of my favourite Indiana Dunes things to do!
Wisconsin – The birth place of the Harley Davidson motorcycle, a company that’s now well over 100 years old and still going strong. As part of my trip to the Women in Travel Summit, the Milwaukee Harley Davidson Museum opened its door, after hours for the attendees to explore. I went, knowing I was seeing it for my Grandad, he’ll never be able to make the trip to see it for himself. He’s nearly 80 years old and still rides around on a Harley.
I keep it no secret that I’ve fallen in love with Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan…to the point where I even looked at house prices because I wanted to move there…! I recently returned from my 2nd visit to Mears and was able to explore more of this little Midwest town. I’m now here to share with you my favourite things to do!
If you’re looking for a fun, adventurous getaway in Iowa, the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area should be on your radar! Waterloo is predominantly known for its connection to John Deere, the iconic green and yellow tractors have been manufactured in Waterloo for 100 years! But did you know there are some great outdoor adventures to be had in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo area?!