The Five Best Self-Led Bike Tours in NYC

New York City is the largest city in North America in terms of both population and land area. As such, it’s no wonder that tourists rarely get a chance to see everything on their wish list during their stay in the Big Apple. Most citizens have yet to see it all.

 

Taking a self-led bike tour allows tourists to see the city on their own time while avoiding the often confusing subway routes and expensive cab fares. So reserve an affordable rental bike from Blazing Saddles, grab a map, and check out these five iconic areas for a self-led tour.

 

Brooklyn Bridge

 

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in the world. It’s unique Gothic architecture, and hybrid design of cable-stayed and suspension style bridges make it wondrous to behold before you consider the view from the East River. Crossing the 1,500-foot bridge by bicycle gives you a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Cycling across the bridge at sunset will only enhance the view but is also, unfortunately, the busiest time for tourists.

 

The Hudson River Greenway

 

If you like the idea of seeing the city while avoiding the infamous traffic jams and honking yellow cabs, the Hudson River Greenway offers an enjoyable way to do so. Along this path, you can see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial site, Battery Park, the Hudson River, and the Intrepid Air and Space Museum.

 

This option is perfect for those who wish to see the various tourist attractions without diving too deep into each experience. If you choose to take a separate tour through one of the sites, be sure to secure your bike accordingly.
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5 Reasons why you should stay in a farmhouse on your next vacation

It’s very rare to hear of people renting or staying in farmhouses for their vacations. Resorts and hotels are most preferable but after reading this, you might change your mind.

  1. New experience

Beaches, mountains, and resorts are the common go to when planning your vacation but too much of something is poisonous. In an attempt to avoid that monotony, plan a vacation in a farmhouse where you will be surrounded by the peaceful nature. This experience kills two birds with one stone where they will also learn how to work on a farm

  1. The domesticated animals

In a farmhouse, you find a variety of animals from cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, and horses. Are you rarely exposed to these animals as you are used to game drives looking at wildlife from a distance? In a farm for example in a family setting, your child will be able to come into contact with the animals; touching them and helping feed them.

It is also more peaceful as compared to the normal go-to spots such as an arcade where you cannot even hear yourself due to the norm of accepting the noise as part of the experience.
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In a New York State of Mind

Looking to spend some time in The Big Apple with the family? Here are some great places to visit while you are there.

LEGO’s are fun for kids of all ages, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in NY is a great place to spend the day for LEGO lovers of all ages.  The adventure begins by learning how Lego bricks are made and a kiddie-version of the history of  little plastic bricks. After this interesting introduction, its time to ride some rides and visit some attractions. The first ride (one that brings you into the main area) is a sit down guided laser shooting tour, where you save the castle by defeating tons of baddies. After your victory, you head into a mini-brick version of New York City and the LEGOLAND area. Push buttons for lights and sounds, and well as mini-animations. The details are pretty amazing, and the spoofs will keep everyone giggling. Fans will find quite a few “Easter Eggs” as they walk around the town.

There are also a bunch of other attractions to check out, like the racing course where you build your own racecar to pit against everyone else- there are several tracks to choose from. There is also a magic couch ride where you jaunt around on a flying couch. Really.  You move it up and down by pedaling, and it goes around in a circle. Make sure you check out the 4D movie, a must for all LEGO Movie fans. Of course, there are tons of LEGO to build, Masterclasses to take (and you can take your creations with you for a fee), and obstacle courses to try out. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is located at 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710
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Visit Antlers at Vail Colorado

The Perfect Hotel for Your Trip to Vail

Whether you are planning a ski trip or a visit in summer to beautiful Colorado you could not pick a better destination than Vail and you could not find a better place to stay than Antlers Hotel.

sculpture at antlers at vail coloradoThe list of benefits for staying at Antlers at Vail is long. The rooms/condos are equipped with full stocked kitchens, lovely decor, and balcony views of Gore Creek, which runs behind the hotel and the picturesque Lionshead section of town. In winter they offer on-site ski rentals and  ski valet complimentary. Located just a short walk from Vail’s Lionshead Gondola it is easy to hit the slopes and get right up on the mountain.

Iceskating rink near Antlers at VailYear round there is plenty to do right outside Antlers at Vail. I honestly loved Lionshead more than Vail town center, with its cute shops and quaint ice skating rink. When you do want to travel around town there is a free shuttle that leaves from directly across from the hotel. This can take you anywhere you want to go in town and saves you from paying for parking! Check out the galleries or grab something to eat nearby at any of the restaurants. We chose to cook so hit the nearby grocery store then loaded up the full size fridge.
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Copper Mountain, Ski Colorado

Hit the Slopes Here on Your Next Vacation

Whether you slip your boots into skis or a snowboard the important part is where you get to ride. When in Colorado and the Rockies a top choice is Copper Mountain Resort for lodging, entertainment, dining, and of course the trails. The views from the top of Copper Mountain are absolutely stunning. I could have spent all day at the top if it wasn’t so fun going back down!

View from the Top of Copper Mountain skiing in ColoradoCopper Mountain is just 75 miles from Denver and a great balance of size, navigability, and easy travel. With three central locations or villages there are plenty of options to approach the mountain. They have more than 140 marked trails to keep everyone in your family occupied.

East Village Lodge at Copper Mountain ColoradoThe trails breakdown as 21% beginner, 25% intermediate, 36% advanced, 18% expert. Keep in mind certain levels leave from one village or another so be prepared to keep track of everyone, but there are buses to take you anywhere you need to get on the ski resort. If you are looking for multiple days of skiing and snowboarding fun this is the place. The shear size of the resort and number of trails means there is always a new path to master.

Copper Mountain Tubing Hill ColoradoThere are so many more activities than just skiing to offer during your visit to Copper Mountain Resort. Some are snow going like the tubing hill, or the outdoor Rocky Mountain Coaster, and the iceskating pond. When you are ready to get out of the cold, but still want some thrills it is time to hit Woodward Copper. Their Woodward Barn is designed as an action sports training ground! Indoor ski and snowboard training, trampolines and foam pits, skateboards, scooters, and bikes are all options for private lessons with their amazing instructors or just take the intro, then sign up for free time. You can find out all about it in our post HERE.
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Toast & Co. at Copper Mountain

A Must Stop when Skiing Copper Mountain Colorado

Toast & Co logo at Copper Mountain ColoradoWhen every item on the menu looks so good you can’t chose, you know you are in the right spot. Toast & Co. at the Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado is the dining destination not to be missed. Located just outside the main square in picturesque Center Village you can walk right over from the slopes then hop right back on a lift and keep riding. They only serve breakfast and lunch so don’t wait too long or you might miss out for that day.

All of the options we tried at Toast & Co were amazing and trust me we were repeat visitors. French toast, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, steak and eggs… how can you pick between pumpkin ginger cakes and caramelized pineapple pancakes? Or between the BBA sandwich, thick cut bacon cherry wood smoked, fried egg, bacon aioli, greens, roasted tomatoes, avocado on a telera roll, or the Chuck’s sandwich, a toasted pretzel roll, crispy prosciutto, scrambled eggs, Swiss cheese and a Beemster Gouda sauce? Come on!

French Toast at Toast & Co at Copper Mountain ColoradoI know you are dying to hear what we did finally pick. (PS. we took both of the above mentioned sandwiches to go and thoroughly enjoyed each, but since I am partial to avocado I would say the BBA was my top pick.) Alright enough suspense. I sat down to the Amaretto French Toast which sounds amazing right off the bat and just gets better. Made from slices of moist fresh banana bread this french toast is then dipped in an Amaretto custard to deepen the flavors. A soft mountain of Chai spiced whipped mascarpone is a decadent addition. Perhaps my favorite detail is the candied pecans for that final sweet crunch.
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White Mountain Snowmobile Tours Colorado

Sail over the Snow in this Mountain Adventure!

If you love speed and beautiful sights White Mountain Snowmobile Tours is a perfect activity for your next visit to Colorado. Whether you are a rider, a driver, or the tour you choose this is an experience not to be missed when visiting the Leadville area. It maybe a noisier way to get up in the mountains than its skiing/snowboarding counterpart, but also one of the funnest!

Snowmobiling at White Mountain Snowmobile Tours ColoradoWhite Mountain Snowmobile Tours is a year round operation that offers a variety of their namesake snowmobile tours as well as zip lining (which is the year round part). You can go for the Family Prospector Tour which is a laid back 2 hour ride perfect for couples looking to ride double or those with kids. There is even a break for kids up to 70lbs to ride their own mini snowmobile, which they will LOVE.

The next step up is the Performance Tour, taking you higher into the mountain and for solo riders only. You want to push your limits and are already an experienced rider you can graduate the the Extreme Tour and really tear across the countryside. Any level of experience is welcome and there are options for everyone of all ages.
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Ski Monarch Mountain Colorado

Ski Independent, Embrace Family Fun

See what real Colorado skiing and snowboarding is like outside of the resorts and take a trip up to Monarch Mountain.

Colorado's Monarch Mountain Ski Resort LodgeWhether you are local or traveling in to get your share of winter fun, skiing/snowboarding is a great adventure for all ages and skill levels. There are a lot of things to consider when looking for the perfect destination and Monarch Mountain is a great match for the top items on my list. Plenty of varied levels of ski terrain, natural snow (Monarch receives more than 350” of natural snow each year), one lodge (makes it easy to keep track of all the members of your group), short wait times, affordable prices, and quality food make an ideal mix of family friendly fun.

Ski and Ride school at Monarch Mountain colorado.

For the newbie skier like myself there are great class options offered at Monarch’s Ski + Ride School, whether you want to separate or even take a family lesson. Parents might consider sending the little ones off to learn while they get some runs in or brush up on technique with expert help. The covered magic carpet and learning area was great, with plenty of room for classes while still being accessible for independent riders. This section was ideal for those working their way up to the lift.

Ski + Ride School at Monarch Mountain ColoradoYour littlest ones even have their own section to get the hang of things. Starting as young as 3 your munchkin can begin to get their ski or board legs under them. Monarch Mountain has group lessons that are kids only, grouped by age and experience or if you are looking to be hands on try the Mini & Me program that introduces children, ages 3-6, to skiing, while the grown up gets tips from an expert. There is also a children’s center with indoor activities to take breaks in.

Monarch at the top of monarch mountain coloradoOnce you hit the mountain the action is non-stop. There are long runs at all levels from all over Monarch, but a highlight is getting to the top of the mountain and straddling the continental divide while looking out over the San Isabel National Forest. You can go up and visit the metal Monarch, or Peak Locator for a breathtaking destination. Turn this little butterfly and she will let you know exactly where you stand and the local landmarks you are looking out over. From there coming down the mountain is a choose your own adventure of green, blue, or black to get back to the base.
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