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Posted by missmagpie on 7th October 2015

6 Reasons to Stay at the Hilton Burlington

If you are going to visit a city located on a lake, wouldn’t it be nice to stay in a lakefront property? The beautifully renovated Hilton Burlington is situated right on the shores of Lake Champlain. Guests will enjoy the all new Mounted Cat bar and restaurant featuring Vermont farm fresh cuisine and a well-designed lakeside patio where you can gather and take in the views. HHonors Gold and Diamond members will appreciate the refreshed Executive Lounge serving complimentary breakfast and light snacks throughout the day. Combine this with the Hilton’s proximity to so many of Burlington’s major attractions, it makes this a great choice for families planning a visit to Vermont.

Guest Room Views

Many of the Hilton’s 258 guest rooms and suites offer the best views in Burlington. I took this photo through the window of my Lakeside Room. Don’t you want to wake up and see this? The view of the lake overlooking the Adirondack Mountains is absolutely magnificent. Try to a reserve a room on the highest floor possible. You will also get a killer sunset if you happen to be in your room in the evening.

Upscale amenities

It is okay to admit that you head straight to the bathroom to check out the toiletries after you drop your bags in your room. I know I do and I appreciate seeing seeing little bottles filled with luxury lotions and creams versus a bargain brand. Once I got past the Peter Thomas Roth products, I was able to take in the rest of the room’s niceties. You will find a large flat screen TV, a coffee maker with Italian Lavazza® coffee, a spacious work desk and a super comfortable Serta Suite Dreams bed!

Complimentary Bikes

The Hilton Burlington has a fleet of 25 loaner bicycles for guests to borrow. Grab one and you can hop right on the Burlington Bike Path which is located steps from the hotel. This scenic 12-mile trail will take you through Burlington’s Waterfront and straight out to the Colchester Causeway.

Indoor Pool

Pools are a great amenity to have when you are traveling with your family. They provide a place to unwind and relax after a long day of sight seeing. Not too many hotels in downtown Burlington offer a large indoor pool like the one at the Hilton Burlington. Instead of being located in the basement, this pool is on the second floor of the hotel. Oversized windows allow plenty of sunlight to pour in. What makes this pool unique are the six guest rooms that open right into the pool area. If you stay here make it a point to check out this little oasis.

Outdoor Fire Pit

Located just outside the Mounted Cat Restaurant and over looking Lake Champlain, this patio is the perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee or to lounge with a late night beverage. We intended to only have only one drink here after dinner but ended up sitting around the communal fire pit for several hours talking with other guests about their travels. It is definitely a cozy spot to warm up on a fall evening.

Proximity to Everything

Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian shopping walk, is just a few blocks from the hotel. Here you will find lots of restaurants and shops. Some of our favorite places to eat include Pizzeria Verita, Pascolo Ristorante, and August First. Throughout the year you might spot street performers and musicians, see a free concert, or partake in a family friendly event. The Hilton Burlington is also located with in walking distance of ECHO Lake Aquarium, parks and beaches.

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure the Hilton Burlington will not disappoint.

Disclosure: Complimentary accommodations and some meals were provided by the Hilton Burlington. No other compensation was received for this review. This post reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.

Posted by missmagpie on 6th July 2015

Why Families Love Montreal

It is not hard to find things to do in Montreal. With a booming downtown and tons of unique neighborhoods, families could spend weeks here exploring. The city is full of attractions, activities and experiences that will entertain young children and teenagers alike.


Located in downtown Montreal Le Centre Sheraton is ideally located for families who plan to tour the city. If possible book a club level guest room with upgraded amenities such as free wi-fi, free water and access to the lounge on the 37th floor. There you will enjoy a full complimentary breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. A double room, like the one we stayed in, can easily accommodate a family of four.

Just a few blocks away from the hotel is the Bell Centre which is perfect if you are in town for hockey game or a show. It is also home to the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Hall of Fame, a must-do for all hockey fans!


Navigating such a large city is easier than you might think. With only four lines, Montreal’s Metro is really easy to use. Not only that, it is beautiful. In most stations there are murals, sculptures and stained glass windows making if feel as though you are traveling through an art gallery. If you prefer to stay above ground, rent a bike from BIXI-Montreal, the city’s bike sharing system. Choose a 24-hour or 72-hour pass that gives you unlimited access to the bikes.


One of our favorite areas to visit is the Old Port. Time and again we find ourselves back at the Montreal Science Center. They have great IMAX movies, temporary and permanent exhibits. We recently spent some time at the current Game On exhibition. Honestly it was a little hard to leave. There are over 100 video games to play. You can show your children that old Atari you used a million years ago or challenge them to a game of Donkey Kong. Also currently on exhibit is Fabrik – a creative hands-on workshop which challenges kids to build inventions from different odds and ends.

They were just putting the finishing touches on the new Voiles en Voiles the weekend we were in town. This challenge course looks like so much fun. It is anchored by a 3-story Pirate Ship and a Royal Boat. Kids ages 3-3333 can cross nets, bridges, ropes, hanging beams and more. We are looking forward to going back and trying it out!


Segway tours are an easy way to cover a lot of ground along the waterfront (you must be 14 with an adult). After a quick training session, a knowledgeable guide goes with you and points out historic spots along the way. If a segway isn’t an option for your family, Eco Recreo also rents quadracyles, electric bikes and paddle boats.


For those with no fear of heights, soar across Old Town on the new Montreal Zipline. It offers breath taking views of the city and the St. Laurent river. Kids as young as 7 can try it! They are open 7 days a week though October 31st and located next to the Clock Tower Dock in the Old Port.


I highly suggest visiting some of the other neighborhoods in Montreal like Mont Royal, The Plateau, The Golden Mile. We love Boulevard St. Laurent which is renowned for boutiques shops and fantastic restaurants. During our weekend stay, we had a delicious dinner at Buonanotte and then popped into Juliette and Chocolate for dessert.  The boulevard is also home to the Mural Fest. Take a look at some of these beautiful works of art as you stroll around.

Money Saving Tip & Giveaway

A great way to explore Montreal and save money is to purchase a Family Pass. It offers visitors 2 free tickets for children 12 and under, with the purchase of 1 adult ticket. The pass gives you access to 10 top attractions including the Biodome, Olympic Park, Botanical Gardens, the Planetarium, the Montreal Science center and more!

We benefited from using the Family Pass while we were in town and now we are giving one lucky family a chance to win one.

Please enter to win below a family pass below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you enjoyed this, you may like some of our other posts on Montreal here.

Disclosure: Complimentary accommodations, some meals and attraction fees were provided by Tourism Montreal. No other compensation was received for this review. This post reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.  A huge thank you to Tourism Montreal for also providing the giveaway prize.

Posted by missmagpie on 29th June 2015

Welcome to Stowe, Vermont


Stowe, Vermont is the place I can truly call home. Although I left Stowe for 13 years, I grew up here and re-settled in Stowe in 2011 with my family. Since returning I am not only rediscovering all that it has to offer but gaining a new appreciation for this historic town. Stowe, Vermont is a mecca for outdoor activities of any season. It has a booming restaurant community and over the years, Stowe has also quietly grown into an arts and cultural hot spot.

Best Meal

Drive, ride, walk or catch their very own free shuttle to Sushi Yoshi. This Asian fusion restaurant has everything from sushi to chicken pad thai. Our kids love the chicken fried rice, but for kids who are less adventurous eaters they also have chicken fingers on the menu. We crave the seared salmon sushi roll. We love this restaurant because we can keep the whole family sitting at one of their three tatami tables. Other great family friendly features at Sushi Yoshi include Hibachi, an outdoor patio (kids can run in the grass outside), a baby changing station in the women’s room, as well as regular specials and events throughout the year.

Best Outdoor Activity

You can’t talk about Stowe without giving credit to its phenomenal skiing! Take advantage of free tickets for your children 5 and under (with adult ticket) for as long as possible! Stowe Mountain Resort has a fantastic ski school program. Consider participating in the Stowe ByPass program that gives you access to discounted tickets and direct lift access.

Best Indoor Activity

If the weather is not cooperating, check out the Stowe Ice Skating Arena that was built in 2013. They have public skating in both winter and summer. You can also rent out the community room for birthday parties.

We also just tried out the Stowe Art Store’s Sunday Funday program for kids. Each Sunday in the summer from 1-3pm kids can make free art based on that week’s theme! This You-Make, Take-It studio is open every day. You pay for the weight of the materials used.

Best Money Saving Tip

Stowe Vibrancy is hosting 5 free Friday Night Flix on the village green downtown. Movies begin at dusk. Bring a blanket or chairs and they will provide the popcorn!

Secret Spots & Little Known Gems

One of my best memories as a child is riding my bike on the Stowe Recreation Path and stopping on a hot summer day at a swimming hole. There are several along the path. The best swimming spots are located near or under the bridges. Usually there is a sand and rocky beach where you can relax with the family.

About the Author

Rachel VandenbergRACHELbio-01 is a Stowe native with roots in the Netherlands where she lived for 9 years. Rachel has three children, Noah and Evangeline (age 5) and Reagan (age 2). She returned to Stowe, Vermont in 2011 to take over the family business – The Sun & Ski Inn and Suites and Stowe Golf Park. Her family is expanding the hotel with new rooms and an 8 lane bowling lounge, Stowe Bowl, set to open in early 2016.

This post is part of our Hometown Expert Series: We invite FindandGoSeek users to share their insider tips about visiting their town. If you think you’ve got the inside scoop on where you live in Vermont and want to write about it, please contact us.

Posted by missmagpie on 22nd June 2015

Welcome to Manchester, Vermont

manchester-01Nestled among the Battenkill River and Mt. Equinox, Manchester is well known for outlet shopping, fine dining options and other attractions. It is a short drive to the Stratton, Bromley, and Magic Mountain Ski Areas. The town of Dorset, right next door, is uniquely historic and quaint. You will find numerous white houses with green shutters. The entire area boasts visual and performing arts and celebrates writing, reading and the great outdoors.

Best Meal

For a step back in time, go to Bob’s Diner of Rt. 11 & 30, just east of Manchester. It is a totally retro diner complete with juke box and counter with stools. The menu includes kids options with fair prices.

Another amazing options for good eats is the area historic country stores and their respective delis. In Dorset, you will find the H.N. Williams Store with a few tables indoors and many meals offered for take-out. A big order of really yummy chicken strips and fries is only $6. If you are looking for fresh Vermont produce the Dorset Farmer’s Market is held at the store every Sunday from 10:00-2:00 during the summer months.

Best Outdoor Activity

If you’re looking for a place for the kids to run off some steam, check out Manchester’s Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park, also known as the Rec. Park by local residents. It includes a one-mile flat, gravel track for walking, running and biking. There is also an in-ground pool (only open in the summer), basketball courts, baseball diamonds, fenced-in dog park, playground, skate board park and tennis courts.

Wildwood Berry Farm, located in East Dorset, has blueberry picking that usually begins in July. Their tall bushes make picking easy for kids and adults. Buckets are available. They make the best homemade popsicles, a great reward after picking. You’ll want to try one of each flavor!

If you’d like to explore the area a bit by hiking try the Equinox Preservation Trust Trails. There are wonderful trails to the top of Mt. Equinox and everywhere in between. The Pond Loop (1.2km) is relatively flat with an amazing view of Mt. Equinox and little creeks along the way. It is perfect for younger kids. For those not interested in hiking, or unable to hike, there is also a road to get to the summit of Mt. Equinox for a fee by car and by passenger. This is located south of Manchester on 7A.

Best Indoor Activity

Manchester has a fabulous, brand-new library with events, programs and music. It has a huge children’s section, complete with a play area and sound-proof doors so kids can be themselves without disturbing anyone in other areas. There is also an amazing teen section (wee ones not allowed) complete with chess and computers for gaming. This is a great option on that rainy or snowy cold day.

Northshire Bookstore is the gem of our area. It’s located just off the roundabouts in Manchester. Be ready to get lost for hours and have everyone leave happy, guaranteed. This is the place with something for babies, children, teens and adults. Authors, often most notable in the field, are on location throughout the week, year-round for readings and special events as well as book clubs. The Spiral Press Cafe is located in the store is a great place to grab a bite to eat.

Just a short trip from the Manchester area is Weston, home of the Weston Playhouse with a performance for every one. This summer kids will love Junie B. Jones and Peter and the Starcatcher. Weston is also home to the famed original Vermont Country Store, a place where you can find everything from yesterday and today. It’s like a museum that you can taste, try and buy. There are vintage toys, products, home goods, quality clothing, foods and so, so much more. Kids will love the free tasting samples and penny candy. There is a restaurant is on site and open year-round. A snack bar is open summer months. Definitely worth a trip with or without kids!

Best Money Saving Tip

Manchester has a two-screen movie theater, Village Picture Shows. Go on Monday when tickets offered at a reduced cost to Vermont residents. Tuesday nights during the summer enjoy free Concerts on the Green. Join them each week from 6-8 pm in Manchester.

Secret Spots & Little Known Gems

No trip to the area is complete without attending a fair or festival. These are some of our favorites:

About the Author

amy-01Amy Miller-Bremel is in her fourth year in the area after moving from Wisconsin. She is having a blast exploring and “playing tourist” in her new surroundings with her husband, Paul and three kids, London, McKinley and Meridian. They are busy taking in the many festivals, concerts, plays and are regulars at the farmers markets. They are usually found swimming all summer long and on the mountain snowboarding and skiing during the winter.

This post is part of our Hometown Expert Series: We invite FindandGoSeek users to share their insider tips about visiting their town. If you think you’ve got the inside scoop on where you live in Vermont and want to write about it, please contact us.

Posted by missmagpie on 8th June 2015

Welcome to Montpelier, Vermont


Welcome to Montpelier, Vermont’s beautiful capitol city. I grew up in Lyndonville and thought that I would raise my family closer to the Burlington area. I am so happy that our plans changed and that we now call Montpelier our home. This city is perfect for families with children of any ages. My own children, ages 7 and 4, love where we live and as you’ll read below they have many favorite places to share. I love that my children can call this special place “home”. We hope that you enjoy a visit to Montpelier!

Best Meal

Without question my children’s favorite place to eat out in Montpelier is Julio’s. My husband and I are happy to tag along and together we always walk away full and satisfied! Julio’s is loud and colorful and perfect for loud and colorful toddlers. The menu is long and we’ve always been happy with every new menu choice we’ve made. Kids are happy to snack on chips and salsa while waiting for their cheesy quesadilla. Mom & Dad sit back and enjoy a cold Pacifico or margarita.

Just a few doors down on State Street you’ll find Vermont’s best gelato at Chill. Their flavors are unique: Fig and Goat Cheese, Vermont Mud Season, Orange Chocolate, Olive Oil, Irish Cream, Chai, Marshmallow; and they have a few classics too like Strawberry, Belgian Chocolate, and Vanilla Bean. You can eat in, eat outside, or take a pint home with you.

Best Outdoor Activity

Do your kids have energy to burn? Take them hiking at Hubbard Park. Even little hikers can trek to the lookout tower which is a bit mesmerizing! Share the history of the tower with your kids and enjoy the 360 degree view from the top.

Best Indoor Activity

Montpelier’s children’s room at the Kellogg Hubbard Library has so much more for young children than just books (though they have plenty of those too!). They have two train tables, a doll house, stuffed animals, and a whole wall of board games. Each week the library hosts two free story times and they have dozens of special events happening all summer.

After your visit to the library your nose might lead you to Manghi’s Bread Bakery next door. It’s a bit hidden… just walk in the front door of the yellow Victorian house and you’ll find $0.05 cent rolls for the kids and a variety of breads and treats to bring home. I suggest picking up a Cheese Twist, our favorite!

Best Money Saving Tip

Visit the Brown Bag Free Concert Series on Thursdays at noon in front of the Christ Church. Bring a picnic lunch and sit on the church green, or grab a slice to go at Positive Pie. Maybe the Birchgrove Cookie Cart will drive by and you can grab an easy dessert!

Our family has already made great memories at the Vermont Mountaineers baseball games, and we look forward to many more games! Mountaineer games are inexpensive: just $6 Adult, $4 Students or $12 Family (4 tickets – max. 2 adults). At each game you will enjoy high quality baseball and be entertained by Skip the mascot! There are concessions and even chances for kids to go play on the field.

Secret Spots & Little Known Gems

Before you leave Vermont’s capital city visit our beautiful state house lawn. This is a regular meeting place for friends. We bring a picnic, kites, frisbees. The kids love going up and down the outside steps more than anything.

About the Author

Honi Bean Barrett is blessed to be the mother of two young children, ages 4 & 7. She will tell you that 99% of her day revolves around the kids and during the other 1% she enjoys reading, photography, running, and baking. Honi was born and raised in Vermont and knew that she would raise her children here, though she never knew that she could end up just outside Montpelier. Now she plans to stay there forever. Find Honi giving away Vermont products and services on her blog: Try Vermont First.

This post is part of our Hometown Expert Series: We invite FindandGoSeek users to share their insider tips about visiting their town. If you think you’ve got the inside scoop on where you live in Vermont and want to write about it, please contact us.

Posted by missmagpie on 2nd June 2015

Welcome to St. Albans, Vermont

Known for its maple farms, rolling pastures, and views of Jay Peak and Mt. Mansfield, Fairfield is a picturesque town bordering St. Albans and Fairfax. These two larger towns offer family friendly activities for those visiting the area or who live there.

Best Meal

Hoss’s Dog House in St. Albans is the place to go for creemees. Hoss’s is open late-spring through early-fall. Their creemees are made from St. Albans’ Co-op Creamery milk. It is great to support a local business while enjoying a delicious cone.

Mimmo’s Pizza on Main Street in St. Albans provides children with pizza dough to play with while they wait for their meal. Try Mimmo’s Balsamic Chicken Salad, which features warm balsamic dressing over pasta and chicken on top of a Greek salad, also served with garlic bread. There is outdoor and indoor seating.

Best Outdoor Activity

Rarely crowded, Kill Kare State Park on St. Albans’ Point is the place in Franklin County for views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Kill Kare’s Rocky Point House has newly-renovated facilities and rocking chairs, which are a reprieve from the park’s stone-covered beach. There are picnic tables (with and without shelter), grill stations, and boat-launch access. Children will enjoy the swing set and large lawn to play on. If families are looking to camp, they can take the ferry from Kill Kare over to Burton Island State Park.

Best Indoor Activity

Bent Northrop Memorial Library, which was formerly housed  in the Fairfield Center School, now occupies its own newly-constructed little yellow house. Inside is a large play space with toys and books at kids’ eye-levels, a computer room, and a reading loft. There is also the “Vermont Reading Room,” which looks out at Mt. Mansfield and holds books and magazines by Vermont authors. The library is a clean and homey space for my daughter, who enjoys sifting through their books and toys, while I get to relax in one of their rocking chairs. Summer play group begins Wednesday, July 8th from 10-11:30.

Best Money Saving Tip

Would you like to Nordic Ski, snowboard, and/or snowshoe for free? Want somewhere for your family to safely sled fast and far? Want a dog park, too? Then Hard’ack Recreation Area is your place!

Secret Spots & Little Known Gems

Collins Perley Sports and Fitness Center, right off exit 19 in St. Albans, is a large sports facility used by St. Albans’ schools and community members. There is a paved path that runs around the building, track and playing fields. This is a great place to push the stroller and walk the dog. No fee to walk here, plus during the school year you can often watch a few games in the process. There are bathrooms and water fountains inside as well. During the winter, stop by for family skate (for a small fee).

About the Author

Larissa Hebert is an English teacher at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, VT and lives in Fairfield with her husband, Thomas, and their three-year-old daughter, Ella. In her free time, Larissa likes to explore the local area with her daughter, who is always up for a road trip! You can find Larissa here.

This post is part of our Hometown Expert Series: We invite FindandGoSeek users to share their insider tips about visiting their town. If you think you’ve got the inside scoop on where you live in Vermont and want to write about it, please contact us.


Posted by missmagpie on 29th May 2015

Welcome to Winooski, Vermont

Winooski is quickly becoming known as the Brooklyn of Burlington. With just over one square mile of land, Winooski packs a punch with its hip dining and drinking options. Though known to outsiders for its busy rotary, surrounded by popular restaurants and bars, Winooski is a diverse city with a rich history and plenty to do.

Best Meal

For over ten years, Sneakers has been my go-to for delicious breakfast. Not only is their food delicious and their waitstaff prompt and pleasant, but their menu caters to all appetites and is wallet-friendly to boot. Sneakers is bustling enough to make it suitable for kids but never feels too chaotic or loud. What’s more, even though you’re pretty much guaranteed a wait on a weekend morning, Sneakers will send you next door to Monkey House where you can grab a cup of coffee for yourself and entertain the family with board games or a round of pool while you wait for your table.

Best Outdoor Activity

When the kids need to just play, stop by the elementary school, as their playground is fantastic. But if you’re in the mood for activities for the whole family, stroll along the Winooski River Walk and the Winooski Nature Trail. The River Walk is very family friendly and gives kids an up-close view of the falls. For a little more adventure, continue onto the Winooski Nature Trail. This scenic route takes you along the river to the falls. Just over a mile in length, it’s well-maintained and manageable for active kids. Just be aware of the steep cliffs by the gorge.

Best Indoor Activity

Libraries are always special places, but they are especially so when graced with enthusiastic children’s librarians. Winooski Memorial Library may be small, but the energy of the librarians makes it larger than life. And though Winooski is packed with dining and drinking options, indoor activities are somewhat limited. When caught on a dreary day, the library is the perfect place to wait out the rain.

Best Money Saving Tip

On Sundays throughout the summer and early fall, the Winooski Farmers Market offers local produce and products for sale, as well as free live entertainment and activities for kids. Kids can join the POP (Power of Produce) Club for discounts and special offers, but even those who aren’t members are invited to enjoy the vegetable, farming and nutrition-related activities.

Secret Spots & Little Known Gems

For an afternoon of fun away from the bustle of the rotary, stroll up to Landry Park. After a pleasant walk from downtown through one of Winooski’s quaint neighborhoods, you’ll stumble upon this gem – great for a picnic or quiet walk. Let the kids explore the playground, watch the skate park, take in a baseball game, swim in the pool, or play tennis. In the winter, the sledding hill gets a lot of attention, as does the outdoor skating rink.

About the Author

Gretchen Stern is the mother of an active four-year-old boy. She spends her weekdays as the Organizational Development Manager at the Children’s Literacy Foundation, freelance writing for Parent Express, RootsRated, KidsVT and dancing to stay healthy (and sane). On the weekends, she enjoys exploring Vermont’s food, libations, rivers, and mountains. You can find her here.

This post is part of our Hometown Expert Series: We invited FindandGoSeek users to share their insider tips about visiting their town. If you think you’ve got the inside scoop on where you live in Vermont and want to write about it, please contact us.


Posted by missmagpie on 21st May 2015

Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort – Lake Placid

The village of Lake Placid is located on the shores of Mirror Lake. Main Street is lined with gift shops, art galleries and restaurants. The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort is a perfect choice for families looking to stay in a lakefront property and still be close to town. The Golden Arrow is a family-owned and 3rd generation operated resort. Boasting multiple awards for being a leader in green and eco-friendly hotels, they are committed to protecting the beauty of the Adirondacks and Lake Placid region.

With so many accommodation choices at the Golden Arrow there is a room to fit every family. A two-room family suite was perfect for our family of four. We stayed in the Panther Suite which is located on the fifth floor. It had a master bedroom with a king-sized bed and wood-burning fireplace plus a separate room for the kids that had two queen-sized beds. Both rooms had balconies overlooking the lake. The foyer area had a small dinning table, a mini fridge, Keurig coffee maker and microwave. If you are looking for a full kitchen take a look at the Table Top or WolfJaw suites.

Lake Placid

The village of Lake Placid is well known for hosting the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games. The Golden Arrow Resort is less than a 5-minute walk to many of the famous Olympic venues. Just across the street from the hotel you will find yourselves on the footsteps of the Olympic Museum, the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, and site of the “Miracle on Ice.”

The resort is also located close too many outdoor recreational activities. Go boating, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding on the lake. Bike the panoramic mountain loop or go hiking like we did. There are so many great trails in the area for all abilities. We chose Cobble Hill, a short hike that pays off with spectacular views of Lake Placid and the surrounding mountains. Our family picked the steeper of the two trails to get to the summit. If you are not into pulling yourself up a sheer rock slab, I would suggest taking the 1.6 mile route that gradually winds it’s way to the top.

Golden Arrow Travel Planning Tips

  • Choose a room with a lake view on a high floor. They are quieter and have the best view.
  • Pets are allowed in specific rooms.
  • The Alpine Village Shoppes are connected directly to the hotel. You never have to go outside to grab a cup of coffee or snacks.
  • Bring bug spray in the warmer months.
  • With so many places to eat, know your dining options before you go.
  • If you purchase an Olympic Passport check the weekly events calendar as activity times and availability vary.

Disclosure: While my accommodations and some meals were provided by The Golden Arrow Resort, as always my review reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.

Posted by missmagpie on 18th May 2015

Where to Eat in Lake Placid

On a recent weekend visit to Lake Placid, we quickly found out that 48 hours was not nearly enough time to sample all of the area restaurants that we would have liked. However the ones we did try, we can recommend.

Start off with a hearty breakfast at the Golden Arrow’s Generations Tap & Grill. It is the perfect place to fuel up for the day if you plan to spend it exploring Lake Placid. We sampled their Belgium Waffles, Adirondack Buttermilk Flapjacks, Whiteface Oatmeal and a whole host of sides like home fries, bacon and fruit. I’d suggest eating on their outdoor deck. The view of Mirror Lake and the Adirondack Mountains is fantastic. This terrace also overlooks their ‘green roof’ which produces fresh herbs for the restaurant.

Dinner choices are plentiful in Lake Placid. If you like BBQ, you will definitely want to try Smoke Signals. If possible ask for a table in the back. There are large floor to ceiling windows that open up right on to the lake. Families might appreciate sitting in the oversized booths where there is plenty of space to spread out. Although I am not usually a fan of wings, the server convinced me that I should try them “they are the best around”. He was right. These finger-lickin’, smoked chicken wings had the most tender meat, it practically fell off the bone. I loved their homemade BBQ and the Adirondack BBQ Tacos were flavorful as well.

A few years ago when we visited Lake Placid we sampled all three restaurants at the Mirror Lake Inn. We can also recommend The Cottage, The View and Taste Bistro for lunch or dinner.

Ice Cream is good anytime right? You can have it after dinner, after lunch or for an afternoon snack. Our kids liked Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery so much we went twice! Emma’s claims they have the best milkshakes in town. We’d have to agree. Their soft serve ice cream is pretty tasty too. It is easy to get sidetracked when ordering here. There are specialty sundaes, tons of toppings, fantastic flavor choices that change weekly, snow cones and more. I’ll admit I wanted to try the frozen cheese cake on a stick but that would have required a 3rd visit.

On our way out of town, we drove through Keene, NY and immediately did a u-turn when we saw the sign for fresh donuts outside of the A.D.K. Market. These little fried morsels pretty much melt in your mouth. The display case is so tempting that in addition to taking a dozen donuts home, we bought an apple pie, apple dumplings and brownies. A quick pitstop in here might cost you 5,000 calories but they are totally worth it.

These are a few other restaurants you might add to your list to try. We’d didn’t get to them, but have it on good authority that they are worthy of a stop.

  • Chair 6 – Eat here for breakfast and try the sweet potato pancakes.
  • Lisa G’s – Family Friendly dinning with the locals.
  • Liquids & Solids – A gastropub with an unique twist.
  • Big Mountain Deli & Creperie – Choose from 46 different sandwiches that have each been named after of the Adirondack’s High Peaks.

Disclosure: While I was invited to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort and received a complimentary meal at Generations, my review reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.

Posted by missmagpie on 16th March 2015

Yoga in Tulum

While Tulum is known for weeklong yoga retreats, you may not want to spend your entire vacation bound by scheduled workshops and yoga sessions. I don’t blame you. If you are like me, your daily dose of zen can come from simply relaxing on one of the world’s best beaches.

But say you do want to incorporate a few yoga classes into your holiday, it doesn’t have to come at the steep price a glamorous Wellness Center stay. The beautiful Las Ranitas Eco-Boutique Hotel offers daily yoga classes for guests and visitors. You can explore your practice for just $15/USD while sunlight streams through floor-to-ceiling windows in this stunning studio.

Located at the far end of the hotel zone and tucked into the jungle, you will find this impressive yoga studio. Yogis of all levels meet at 10:30am daily for a hatha and vinyasa flow class. Don’t worry if you forgot to bring your own mat, they have plenty. There are also blocks, straps and a water cooler to refill your bottle. You just need to show up ready to meditate and then get down to business.

Victor Varana begins each class with percussion drumming, a mantra, chanting and singing. After you come out of that transformative state, he will guide you through 90-minutes of beginner to advanced yoga poses. While you are in downward dog, Victor doesn’t hesitate to walk over and readjust your hips so that you get the most out of the stretch. If you find a certain sequence of poses to difficult, as I did, don’t be overwhelmed just do what you can and make the class what you want it to be. You will leave this class feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to enjoy the rest of your trip.

Note: Las Ranitas is undergoing a major renovation and will re-open in early 2016. In the meantime you can find classes with Victor Varana here.

You can find more about vacationing in Tulum, Mexico here.