Tag Archives: key west

Pick 5: Best Spots to Forget Your Excess Baggage & Watch the Sunset

Sunsets are romantic and awe-inspiring. If you’ve ever vacationed at the beach or the mountains, chances are you made time at the end of the day to stand still and watch the sun make its way toward the horizon, illuminating the sky with orange, yellow, purple, red and pink. Where are the best sunset-watching spots? We pick five of the best places to watch the sunset in America – and all are guaranteed to help you forget your excess baggage – and to take your breath away.

1. Relaxing on the Oregon Coast

Oregon’s Pacific coastline boasts 363 miles of shoreline and several national and state parks and recreational areas. Bandon, pictured below, is home to Bandon Dunes, ranked one of the top golf courses in the country.

Forget your excess baggage when you watch the sunset in Bandon, Oregon.

Bandon, Oregon sunset. Image courtesy Flickr user James MacIndoe.

2. Worry-free in Key West

Key West, Florida, marks the southernmost part of the continental U.S. It may be known for its quirky, laid-back vibe, but they take their sunsets very seriously. Watch one from Mallory Square at the end of Duval Street and you’ll see why.

Forget your excess baggage when you watch the sunset in Key West, Florida.

Sunset in the Florida Keys. Image courtesy Flickr user Cayobo.

3. In Sleepy Michigan Beach Towns

The quaint, sleepy beach towns along Michigan’s Great Lake shoreline come alive with visitors every summer. From Pentwater to St. Joseph, sunsets cast against the shore’s iconic lighthouses light up the skies every evening.

Forget your excess baggage when you watch the sunset on Michigan's Lake Michigan shoreline.

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, including this one in Holland. Image courtesy Flickr user Ladydragonflycc.

4. Up in the Peaks of the Sandia Mountains

The mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, are the ideal location to watch the sunset. A tram takes visitors to a 10,000-foot high observation deck affording 360 degree views.

Forget your excess baggage when you watch the sunset over Albuquerque from the Sandia Mountains.

Sunset over Albuquerque from Sandia Peak. Image courtesy Flickr user Jeremy Taylor.

Forget your excess baggage when you watch the sunset on Michigan’s Lake Michigan shoreline.

5. Free of Excess Baggage in the Outer Banks

North Carolina’s Outer Banks stretches 200 miles along most of the state’s coastline. While the eastern side faces the Atlantic Ocean, the western edge offers beautiful sunsets over Currituck, Albemarle, and Pamlico Sounds.

Forget your excess baggage when you watch the sunset over the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

The sun sets over the western shores of the Outer Banks. Image courtesy Flickr user bumeister1.

Forget your excess baggage when you watch the sunset over Albuquerque from the Sandia Mountains.

If the sunset alone doesn’t inspire you to start planning a visit, we offer our Bags VIP luggage delivery service at every major airport nearby. So there’s no need to haul around that excess baggage. Skip baggage claim and we’ll deliver your bags for you, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the view.

Pick 5 | Scenic Convertible Drives

Scenic Convertible DrivesIt’s cold out there! Since more than half the country is stuck under a blanket of snow and ice, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up to your computer and start planning a warm-weather vacation. Nothing says sunny weather like renting a convertible and exploring local towns on a mini-road trip. Here are our five picks that will thaw out your toes and get you dreaming.

1. Miami, FL → Key West, FL
161 miles
There’s a reason the trip from Miami to Key West is on many a bucket list. The trip takes more than three hours because of the small towns you’ll pass along the way, but that’s part of the fun. The highlight is Seven Mile Bridge connecting Marathon to Little Duck Key.

The route from Miami to Key West.

The route from Miami to Key West.

Image courtesy Flickr user Serge Mashtakoff.

Image courtesy Flickr user Serge Mashtakoff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Wickenburg, AZ → Sedona, AZ
127 miles
Wickenburg was once considered the Dude Ranch Capital of the World and some remain open to this day. The historic town with its well-preserved downtown is a great start to your mountainous trip to Sedona. The drive passes through Prescott National Forest, 1.25 million acres of camping, hiking, fishing, and gorgeous vistas. End your drive at Sedona’s red sandstone formations that seemingly glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the sun.

The route from Wickenburg to Sedona, Arizona.

The route from Wickenburg to Sedona.

Image courtesy Flickr user Anita Ritenour.

Image courtesy Flickr user Anita Ritenour.

Image courtesy Flickr user psyberartist.

Image courtesy Flickr user psyberartist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. San Diego, CA → Oceanside, CA
54 miles
Start your tour at Cabrillo National Monument, which provides great views of the ocean to the west and the San Diego skyline to the east. Heading north, you’ll eventually end up on Coast Highway, passing through hilly beachside towns La Jolla, Del Mar, Cardiff and Oceanside. Torrey Pines State Reserve provides a leafy change of scenery, but still offers miles and miles of sandy shoreline and the blue Pacific. Once you get to Camp Pendleton, venture west on San Luis Rey Mission Expressway toward the historic landmark, established in 1798, that inspired its name.

The route from San Diego to Oceanside.

The route from San Diego to Oceanside.

Image courtesy Flickr user Andrew Magill.

Image courtesy Flickr user Andrew Magill.

Image courtesy Flickr user Dayna Sigl.

Image courtesy Flickr user Dayna Sigl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Terra Ceia, FL → Clearwater Beach, FL
39 miles
Terra Ceia is a small, unincorporated island where I-75 meets I-275 South of Tampa. It is also the starting point of the Sunshine Skyway, a 4.1-mile bridge to St. Petersburg. Once across, head west on Pinellas Bayway past the exquisite pink façade of Loews Don CeSar Resort. Drive through sleepy coastal communities St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, and Indian Beach, and cross over John’s Pass. Stop in peaceful Sand Key Park before heading over the bridge to Clearwater Beach, where you’ll find public beaches, outdoor restaurants and souvenir shops.

Exploring Florida's Gulf Coast.

Exploring Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Image courtesy Flickr user Robert Neff.

Image courtesy Flickr user Robert Neff.

Image courtesy Flickr user Robert Neff.

Image courtesy Flickr user Robert Neff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Kahului, Hawaii → Hāna, Hawaii
62 miles
The Hāna Highway is arguably Hawaii’s most scenic drive, stretching from Kahului through Hāna and on to Kīpahulu on the island of Maui. Along the way, you’ll drive over 59 bridges, more than half of which are one lane, and many of which were built over a century ago. The road twists, turns and bends through the rainforest, providing breathtaking views. The highway, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, ends near Haleakala National Park, home to Oheo Gulch, a series of tiered pools fed by waterfalls and perfect for swimming.

Maui's Hāna Highway.

Maui’s Hāna Highway.

Image courtesy Flickr user Josh Berglund.

Image courtesy Flickr user Josh Berglund.

Image courtesy Flickr user Eric Chan.

Image courtesy Flickr user Eric Chan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get out the sunscreen and put the top down. There are spots out there that are warm and sunny…what are you waiting for? Tell us what memorable drives have you taken!

Pick 5 | Places to Ring in the New Year

ring in new year pinterestFor auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Another year has come and gone. If you’re ready to ring in 2014 in style, consider traveling to one of these destinations that celebrate New Year’s Eve right.

Las Vegas Strip. Image courtesy Marco Verch via Flickr.

Las Vegas Strip. Image courtesy Marco Verch via Flickr.

Las Vegas
Virtually every club in Vegas has special New Year’s Eve parties. The Strip is closed to automobile traffic. And fireworks light up the sky. From an outdoor concert on Fremont Street to a VIP party at Stratosphere Tower to exclusive fireworks viewing atop Paris Las Vegas’s Eiffel Tower Experience, there are plenty of opportunities to party up to and after midnight. And what happens there, well, you know. >> More

Key West
Key West’s New Year’s Eve festivities include a conch shell drop, high-heeled shoe drop, pirate wench drop, and a key lime wedge drop! There are parties with live music and dancing throughout the island, many of which spill onto Duval Street and down to the waterfront. >> More

New Year's Eve in New Orleans. Image courtesy Bart Everson via Flickr.

New Year’s Eve in New Orleans. Image courtesy Bart Everson via Flickr.

Los Angeles
Like Las Vegas, L.A.’s hotspots have ticketed parties featuring everything from full dinners to black-and-white-only attire. Want to try multiple locations? Pub crawls let you visit up to half a dozen parties. Check out fireworks at Disneyland, Universal CityWalk, and Long Beach. >> More

New Orleans
The Big Easy boasts an annual fleur-de-lis drop, breathtaking fireworks over the Mississippi River, and live entertainment in Jackson Square on New Year’s Eve. Many Bourbon Street clubs offer ticketed parties. Or take a river cruise on a paddle wheeler with entertainment, food and beverages, and great views of the fireworks. >> More

Times Square New Year's Celebrations. Image courtesy Anthony Quintano via Flickr.

Times Square New Year’s celebrations. Image courtesy Anthony Quintano via Flickr.

New York City
The world’s most famous New Year’s countdown takes place in Times Square. Many parties and pub crawls culminate near the ball drop. From Billy Joel in Brooklyn to a midnight run in Central Park, there is no shortage of ways to ring in 2014 in the Big Apple. >> More

5-4-3-2…what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Where will you be at midnight?