Top 10 Most Beautiful Colleges in the United States

When picking a university one should go for a good mixture of setting and study. Consider the layout of the buildings and the aesthetic of the quad. Can yourself studying here for the next four years? Do you want to go somewhere with ornamented footpaths? Or architecture that will make your heart melt? It’s important to consider these things and to know where to find them so we’ve completed a list just of the 10 most beautiful colleges in the country.

10. Pepperdine University in California
You wouldn’t be alone if you confused this Malibu campus for indulgent resort on the coast. This specific campus was built in 1972 so students could catch a glimpse of the layered landscape that meets the Pacific Ocean on their way to class. Definitely a place to consider applying.

9. University of Hawaii at M?noa
What’s not to love about a college in Hawaii? Hawaii is easily one of the most beautiful states in the country so it should be no surprise that it is home to one of the most beautiful colleges as well. The statue university in M?noa stands out for it’s beachside campus and its views of nearby volcanoes (something you won’t see at any other college in the states).

8. University of Chicago in Illinois
There are many lovable colleges in the prairie state, but none stood out as much as the University of Chicago. In Hyde Park rests this architectural salute to the Gothic era. This stand out university even played home to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

7. Tulane University in Louisiana
This college offers a beautiful mix of palm trees and evergreens. At Tulane you will get an unwavering New Orleans vibe which makes it a college worth considering.

6. College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts
This university is in one of the smallest states in the United States but it is one of the most vied for. Massachusetts is home to some of the most beautiful colleges around like Harvard and Williams. But it’s the College of Holy Cross that stands out above the rest. This breathtaking campus is suspended on a hill overlooking Worcester and is known as one of the best landscaped schools in the country.

5. St. John’s Santa Fe in New Mexico
This Southwestern campus is a satellite campus of Maryland’s St John’s College. It resides near the base of Monte Luna and serves up students a mountain view that is unmatched.

4. Kenyon College in Ohio
Ohio is known for it’s small liberal arts schools. But Kenyon is known for being beautiful. Regal masonry populates the dorms and administration buildings next to a sprawling rural setting at this university.

3. Lewis & Clark in Oregon
This university is named for the famous explores that cross the country on foot, Lewis and Clark. It resides in a quaint Portland neighborhood that encases it with plunging hills and Douglas Firs.

2. Southern Methodist University in Texas
The splendid entrance of Southern Methodist University is lined with greenery and trees. It offers visitors a hint of what’s inside without giving away what lies ahead–fresh cut lawns, stone buildings, and Wes Anderson-like symmetry.

1. Colgate University in New York
There are so many universities in New York that it’s hard to decide which exemplifies the state the most. From the buzzing and urban Columbia University to the sprawling landscapes of Cornell, it offers a bit of everything. But Colgate offers a bit more than all the rest with it’s rustic look. The campus rests in the middle of untouched forests, hill, and lakes.


Top 10 Best Hikes in America

There’s nothing like a long hike through America’s most beautiful national parks, and with so many to choose from, it may be hard to settle on one. We’ve compiled a thorough list of what we think are the top 10 hiking trails in the United States based not only their popularity, but on how much of a pure hiking spot they are.

10. Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY

Head to Prospect Park in Brooklyn if you’d like to partake in a bunch of different activities — everything from hiking to tennis to bird-watching. There’s also miles of roadways and paths, including a running lane along Park Drive that stretches for more than 3 miles.

9. Shenandoah National Park, VA

Virginia’s most notable park is just 75 miles from the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. It is spread over 200,000 acres of protected lands, which is home to deer, birds, and even bears. It also features 500 miles of hiking trails, including a 101-mile stretch of the famous Appalachian Trail.

8. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN & NC

The towering mountains in this park essentially serves as the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina. It is well known for its animal life and awesome hiking trails, with a “Hike the Smokes” challenge that rewards hikers who have explored at least 100 miles of the park with a special mileage pin.

7. Central Park, NY

The crown jewel of Manhattan is Central Park, and more than just being an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s a great place to hike. Harlett Nature Sanctuary near Wollman Rink is a particularly great place to do your hiking, as it was just reopened in May of 2016.

6. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

The Grand Canyon is arguably America’s most iconic park, and it’s also an excellent place to go hiking. There are all sorts of trails running through the park, some for beginners and others should only be attempted by experienced hikers with plenty of gear. You don’t have to hike far to get a spectacular view.

5. Glacier National Park, MT

Montana’s Glacier National Park serves as headwaters for streams that eventually make their way to the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Hudson’s Bay, so it’s quite an important source of water in America. It has several trails for hiking, ranging from easy to very difficult around Many Glacier. It has many cool critters too, like the pygmy shrew or the majestic elk, and a variety of birds and reptiles.

4. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

The Grand Canyon may get all the attention when it comes to canyons, but Bryce Canyon in Utah is pretty underrated as a hiking spot. The canyon looks very different from its bigger cousin, with “hoodoos” — bizarre pillars of rocks that are the result of erosion — offering a spectacular site along the trail.

3. Multnomah Falls, OR

Mulnomah Falls is one of the lesser known spots on this list, but it is no less spectacular. Its waterfall is more than 600 feet high, and you can reach it after hiking for just 5 to 10 minutes. Of course, it’s not unknown to locals, so you’ll need to get to the falls early if you want to get there without a whole bunch of crowds.

2. Zion National Park, UT

Utah’s first national park is famous for its beautiful sandstone cliffs, natural stone arches, and, of course, lots of hiking trails for every experience level. It’s best to head out at sunrise in order to catch the park in all its glory, and the Upper Emerald Pool trail is not to be missed.

1. Yosemite National Park, CA

There’s probably no matching the pristine natural beauty of Yosemite, and to us, there’s no better place to hike in the United States. Its trails will keep you busy, with one trail that is a 16-mile round trip. However, that trail is for experienced hikers due in large part to the high elevation, and the fact that it takes up to 12 hours to complete.


Places in the U.S. to Try Bug-Based Delicacies

Insect eats aren’t just for intrepid world travelers; some of the best (think Oaxacan grasshoppers, sashimi-grade water bugs and even delicate ant-powder desserts) can be found right here in the States.

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium – New Orleans

Don Bugito – San Francisco

Don Bugito – San Francisco

Linger – Denver

Caracol – Houston

Nue – Seattle

Oyamel – Washington, D.C.

Poquitos – Seattle

Talavera – Miami

Toloache – New York City

Taqueria Feliz – Philadelphia


Top 10 Sights to See While Driving

If you love driving and want to be part of the most beautiful and iconic strips of highway in the nation, this one is for you!

10.  Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina

Almost 500 miles of scenic forests and meadows atop the Appalachian Mountains from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. The parkway is a leisurely cruise rather than a roller coaster, except for the Linn Cove Viaduct, which skims the treetops winding its way around the road’s highest peak.

9.  Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

A breathtaking 50-mile trip intended to draw us to the beauty of our national parks, this drive will take you to the Glacier National Park that lies between two alpine lakes of dark blue color. It closes in winter due to the snowy weather that can reach 80 feet deep. Be sure to stop at Logan Pass, a 6,646-high wild mountain goat herd home in wildflower meadows.

8.  Hill Country Highways, Texas

Nearly in the center of the Lone Star state, Hill Country offers deep canyons and fast flowing rivers. In Utopia, a tranquil hamlet, you will find a chain of winding roads that give you the full flavor of the countryside. Highways 335, 336 and 337 are a roller coaster ride by rocky jutted walls. Heads up adrenaline junkies!  Be sure to stop at the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum just outside of Vanderpool and dine at the famous Ace Café.

7.  Columbia River Scenic Highway, Oregon

This road is concrete proof that we can improve on Mother Nature, sometimes. Designed and constructed in the early days of the automobile, the route winds past a chain of beautiful waterfalls while taking in the best sights of the Columbia Gorge, just east of Portland. 700 feet over the Columbia River, be sure to visit Vista House, a rest stop and tribute to the Oregon Trail pioneers.

6.  Kancamagus National Scenic Byway, New Hampshire

New England offers several great driving trips, but you can’t miss “The Kanc.” It runs on Route 112 for about 25 miles between Lincoln and Conway and is the best autumn color drive in the United States.  Pass under covered bridges, remote farmhouses, and miles of hardwood and evergreen forest. And it’s totally commerce free. For a short 15-minute sachet, plan a picnic by the cascades just south of the highway.

5.  Bayou Cruise, Louisiana

The flat lands of the lower Mississippi River just west of New Orleans are known for quiet country lanes winding past lazy bayous filled with dangling Spanish moss. Majestic oaks and cypress trees, gators and herons hanging out in the swampy lagoons, may catch your eye. Take Highway 31 to enjoy the Breaux Bridge and get your Cajun on at the crawfish capital of the world. If you pass through on Saturday morning, the Café des Amis offers music.

4.  Route 66, Illinois to California

Yes, it’s the ever-famous Route 66, but this 2,000-mile cruise has justifiably become woven into the American fabric. For pure driving pleasure, the best stretch must be the mountains that run west from the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River, climbing their way from a desert flatland and twister moves through the old Black Mountain gold mines. When you hit Kingman, Arizona, check out the small museum, Cool Spring Station, a restored rest stop.

3.  Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana

Small-town charm along “Ole Man,” Mississippi River is what you will find here, but you will also find the rocky “Driftless Region” on the road’s northern stretches. It’s an area that wasn’t flattened by the Ice Age glaciers so that you can zip along steep canyons in Iowa, roller coaster hills in Dubuque all the way to the Prehistoric Effigy Mounds. The best small town along the way is Galena, Illinois, stop by for a visit, please!

2.  Highway 12, Utah

Nestled between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park, Highway 12 was a four-wheel drive challenge until 1985, when pavement finally found its way to Boulder Mountain.  Harsh iron-tinged rust of sedimentary sandstone cliffs is softened by a forest of dark green junipers. Hell’s Backbone Grill has its own organic farm so don’t miss that tasty stop.

1.  Tioga Pass Scenic Byway, California

Crazy vertical drops, the high country at Yosemite National Park and tufa sculptures on the shores of Mono Lake will be waiting for you as you head east on Highway 120. At the bottom of the pass, a little ole gas station, Whoa Nellie Deli, is nationally known for its fish tacos, yummy steaks, pizzas and Angus beef burgers. Don’t blink; you might fly right by this treasure.


Top 10 Things to Do In San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful places on Earth with painted cityscapes, rolling hills, and parks that are to die for. It’s hard to even see it as a city with the organic feel of its streets and places. When traveling to this urban paradise there is no shortage of things to do. From the the art galleries to the out door markets, this hilly city buzzes with high energy excitement. It’s tough to not become overwhelmed with the pure drive of it.

Since there are so many things to do in this city by the bay, we’ve made a list of 10 things that you have to do when you get there.

1. Golden Gate Bridge

This is the first stop any visitor should make when in San Francisco. Take in a bike tour and ride across the bridge all the way to Sausalito and sit at the dock of the bay. If you really want to make it worth it, take the ferry back and see the notorious Alcatraz Prison.

2. Ocean Beach

Drive up the 101 highway on the western coast of San Francisco to get to this awesome beach. The sand stretches out to the breezy Pacific Ocean where you can get surfers in wetsuits catching gnarly waves. We don’t recommend going in the water though, the temperature is almost freezing!

3. The Ferry Building Farmer’s Market

Be sure to check out San Francisco’s luscious harvest and flowers at this must see local stop. It takes place at Ferry Plaza on Saturday mornings and you won’t want to miss it. Bring some friends and an empty stomach to enjoy all the free samples of cheese and organic vegetables.

4. Dolores Park

This is the mother of all parks in San Francisco. Here you’ll find San Franciscans and tourists alike taking in the warm sun and having picnics. There are vendors that stroll through the park and a playground in the center for kids the play. Check it out after a long day of trekking the city’s long hills and take a rest.

5. Golden Gate Park

This is a historical landmark that stretches over 1000 acres. That’s a large chunk of this tiny city! It’s full of hidden places and things to find. It’s covered in trees and gardens and is a wonderful place to take a stroll. Be sure to check out the bison paddocks to see urban buffalo strolling alongside you.

6. Castro Theatre

Check out this historical theater in the fantastic Castro District. In a two-tiered historical building, this theater features a live organ player and shows rare films regularly. Take in a sing a long or a double feature at this legendary theater.

7. Alcatraz Island

The home of the notorious Alcatraz Prison. The island is a picture of its former self. It’s basically remained unchanged since the early 70s and is a must see for any visitor to the Bay Area. Take one of the world-famous prison tours and get a look inside the prison. Make a reservation early because spots fill up quickly. If you’re feeling extra brave, make one at night!

8. Maritime Park

Check out the waters of Black Point Cove. They’re right by Fisherman’s Wharf and worth a visit. The park is dedicated to the maritime history of the city. You can see authentic chips and an aquatic bathhouse. If you’re interested in maritime history you’re going to love maritime park!

9. The Palace Hotel

This historical hotel has been standing since 1875. Go ahead and see it’s majestic chandeliers and glass domes. It’s what royalty looks like!

10. Foggy Bridge Winery

After a long day of exploring the majestic city by the bay stop in and enjoy a glass of local wine. San Francisco is known for it’s vino and you won’t want to miss out!


9 Awesome Activities in Illinois

Illinois became our 21st state in 1818 and is also known as the “Land of Lincoln.” Chicago is the capital and largest city in the state. Here you will find both big city and small-town characteristics, as well as they nine fantastic activities.

9. Walk Through the Garden of the Gods, Herod
Also known as “Little Egypt” this is a lovely place to hike. Filled with natural rock formations inside Shawnee National Forest. The observation trail offers forestry, sandstone pillars, and scenic bluffs. You can stay at Timber Ridge Outpost, four acres of beauty and a hot tub will be waiting for you after your hike.

8. Don’t Just Travel, Time Travel, Springfield
You see plenty of license plates as you drive down iconic Route 66 to see Lincoln’s adopted home, the historical haven of Springfield. Pay Honest Abe his due dose of respect when you visit him during History Comes Alive. He guides a tour through the Senate chambers, Civil War encampments, and his final resting place.

7. Get the Best View Imaginable of a Rare Solar Eclipse, Makanda
August 21st is the first full solar eclipse to pass Illinois since 1869. Makanda is the closest city to the eclipse’s point of greatest duration where it will be visible for nearly three minutes. Southern Illinois University will have you prepared with an eclipse tailgate including special solar telescopes available to the public. Be sure to grab a post-tailgate beer near campus at The Cellar, hit neighboring Murphysboro for 17th Street Barbecue from champion pitmaster Mike Mills, or pick up tickets to the Ozzy Osbourne Moonstock Concert at Walker’s Bluff.

6. Sample the Midwest’s Best Craft Beers, Chicago
Grant Park is host to the 7th largest gathering of people in recorded history thanks to a Cub World Series championship and the Chicago Ale Fest offers almost 200 different beers on tap. Work micro(brew) to macro, with hometown beers from Begyle, Metropolitan, Vice District Brewing Co. and Pipeworks before tasting the rest of the varied roster. Consider lunch at the newly opened Revival Food Hall, featuring fast casual pan pizza, BBQ, and ramen.

5. Taste America’s Top BBQ, Chicago
For a July barbecue, be in the Windy City Smokeout along with the top national pit masters along the Chicago River. It’s three days of fun, smoked meats, craft beers, and country music. You can taste pulled pork BBQ from Hall of Famer Myron Mixon or try the brisket from Texas Salt Lick BBQ, and pork ribs from Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis. No manning the grill for you and all of the food is within a few feet of each other. You’ll need napkins!

4. Get Up at the Crack of Dawn for a Balloon Race, Galena
On June 14-16, you will want to be in Galena to take part in the Great Balloon Race. Hot air balloons will be floating midair, and you can enjoy wine trips as well. There’s also live music and the collector’s car show. Also in June, there’s the annual Cemetery Walk and the Corkless festival for wine connoisseurs.

3. Wander the Waterfalls of Matthiessen State Park, Oglesby
A terrific little state for day hikes at Starved Rock, or the Cascade Falls in Matthiessen State Park. You can also opt to travel along the log bridges and follow the riverbed to end up at a private waterfall for a swim. Stay the night at Starved Rock Lodge or head on over to Ottawa for shopping, the Tangled Roots Brewing Company, and several cafes.

2. Revel in Wellness Activities, Galena
The Eagle Ridge Golf Resort & Spa is great, not only for the golfing but be sure to try out the spa after your game. For a fresh, yummy breakfast, The Inn at Irish Hollow is a charming B & B serving breakfasts of eggs, veggies, fruits, pastry and bacon. Follow that up with their seven-course dinner and later, enjoy complimentary cookies in your room. For a refreshing afternoon, visit the Blaum Brothers Distillery for a tour and tasting of gin. And for your educational dose, Ulysses S. Grant was a native of Galena, so check the Galena Historical Society for all the details.

1. Eat an Illinois Delicacy at a Mom & Pop Diner, Springfield
The signature dish of the state is The Horseshoe. Please don’t get caught calling it a sandwich. Take two pieces of bread (Texas toast is suggested), two meat servings, French fries, cheese, and chili. Charlie Parker’s Diner and D’arcy’s are both great stops for this tasty treat.


Top 10 Totally Free Things to Do In Las Vegas

Everyone wants to do things for free. Especially in a city engineered to make money like Vegas. From the slot machines in the Airport to the hotel bars, everything there is strategically placed to get you gambling and spending your hard earned cash. Luckily for you though, there a few awesome things in Vegas to do for free. Here are 10 of them:

1. Cirque du Soleil

This renowned circus has 8 astonishing shows on the Las Vegas Strip that will make your head spin. If you’re willing to part with your cash you can see them up close and personal, but if you want to see something a little cooler go in August. Every Tuesday in August, the KA Theatre in the MGM Grand open their doors for a FREE look backstage. There you can go and check out the mechanics and secrets behind the most mind-bending show on Earth.

2.Hershey’s Chocolate World

Hershey’s Chocolate World is a two-story cathedral of chocolate. Just try and go in without indulging in some of their mouth watering treats. This two story flagship store even has chocolate Statue of Liberty that weighs in at 800 pounds.

3. Art in City Center Campus

Why pay to go to an art museum when you can check out incredible works of art from artists like Nancy Rubin, Coosje van Burggen, and many others for free? Here you’ll also find amazing light installations, shades of color, and geometric shapes in neon. To get in make an appointment through Louis Vuitton.

4. Drink for free

Everyone knows that drinks are complimentary on Casino floors but of course those do come at price. Slots cost a pretty penny and so do the tables. Depending on how well you’re doing you might be paying for someone else’s drink alongside your own but if you want to get a drink that seriously on the cheap check out some of the older casinos on the trip. There the price to play is cheaper and your chances of winning far likelier. So go on and test your luck!

5. Eat More Chocolate

Within Las Vegas’s ornate botanical cactus garden lies local chocolatier, Ethel M. You can check out the factory and get free samples of the chocolate after a visit to the gardens.

6. Check out your favorite Pawn Stars

Who doesn’t go crazy for the hit show Pawn Stars? It’s a guilty pleasure for tons and only in Vegas can you indulge in your obsession by actually checking out the real Gold and Silver Pawn Shop for FREE. Located in Downtown Las Vegas, this tourist stop fills up fast, so be sure to get in line early.

7. Complementary Pancakes with your Wedding

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly free. But if you are planning to get hitched, take advantage of this free perk at Denny’s on Freemont! That’s right, you can get married at the pancake house, Denny’s.They’ve installed a wedding chapel and offer weddings for $95. A cake made of pancakes comes free!

8. Popeye Sculpture

Keep your eye out for a 7 foot tall Popeye statue, hand sculpted by Jeff Koons at Wynn Las Vegas. It sits right outside on the strip and weight over 2000 pounds. You can’t miss it!

9. Check out the Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is legendary. Here you can take in all the glam glitz that Vegas has to offer. There’s the Polaroid Fotobar, the Volcano outside of the Mirage, and of course the Welcome To Las Vegas sign. Keep your cameras out while indulging in this totally free experience.

10. Stroll Downtown

Las Vegas is much more than Casinos and the strip, it’s a whole city! Check out downtown to take in some of Vegas’s local culture and night life.