Categories
World's Best

40 Incredible Places to Visit in Kentucky

To be honest, Kentucky wasn’t always on my travel radar. Like many people unfamiliar with the Bluegrass State, I previously had a lot of assumptions about it. However, the state is much more than meets the eye, and it is home to some incredible destinations. This list breaks down the best, including wonderful cities, neat towns, beautiful parks, unique stops, and more:

Cities & Towns

40. Louisville

As Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville is a hub for nearly everything that makes this state special. You’ll find countless venues to see live bluegrass shows, race tracks with the country’s most impressive horses, and some amazing Southern cooking. Not only that, but Louisville is bursting with culture and has a thriving art community.

Here are a few must-visit spots in this vibrant city:

39. Frankfort Avenue

As far as places to go in Louisville, this is one of the best to check out as soon as you get into town. Frankfort Avenue, aka “The Avenue,” is a long corridor that connects the city’s most hip and happening neighborhoods. Along it, you’ll see local businesses galore, from boutiques to galleries to mom ‘n’ pop restaurants.

38. Fairmount Falls Park

On the outskirts of Louisville is Fairmount Falls, one of the city’s hidden natural gems. Visiting feels like discovering a Louisville secret that not many other tourists get to experience. The waterfall is tucked away in the forest, about a mile’s hike from the trail entrance.

To get to this gorgeous waterfall, you can make a reservation to access the park at Jefferson Memorial Forest Welcome Center. Since only three cars are allowed in the park per day, a reservation nearly guarantees you’ll have the falls almost all to yourself.

37. Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs is as famous as it gets when it comes to Louisville institutions. The two longest continuously running sporting events in the US are held at Churchill Downs: the Kentucky Derby and the all-female Kentucky Oaks races. Even if you aren’t in town during one of those, check the events calendar to see what else is going on at the race track during you visit.

36. Muhammad Ali Center

The famous boxer-turned-philanthropist Muhammad Ali is a Louisville native and certainly engenders a generous amount of hometown pride. Opened in 2005, the Muhammad Ali Center is a nonprofit museum that serves to demonstrate Ali’s six core principles: confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality. It’s one of the most inspirational museums in Kentucky. Find more information here.

35. Louisville Mega Cavern

Adventure seekers will not want to miss out on a visit to the Louisville Mega Cavern, the world’s only underground aerial ropes course. This former 1930s mine site has 17 miles of corridors that you can explore via Historic Tram Tour or walking tour, on which you can learn about the history and geology of the caverns. This is one of the top places to see in all of Kentucky, let alone Louisville!

34. Cherokee Park

Did you know that Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed NYC’s Central Park, also designed Cherokee Park in Louisville? It’s true! His eye for design is evident in the Park, which features quaint woodlands, open meadows, rolling hills, and trickling streams. That’s right, you can enjoy all of that natural beauty without having to leave Louisville’s city limits.

33. Lexington

Photo Credit: Blue Pedaler

Lexington is Kentucky’s second largest city and is spilling over with history, Southern charm, and unique places to visit. As the country’s horse capital, you’ll find loads of opportunities to learn about the city’s horse racing and breeding legacy. Not only that but Lexington is in the heart of bluegrass country and packs a big punch with its rich bourbon culture.

Here are some of the best places to visit in or near Lexington:

32. Keeneland Race Track

Keeneland is an internationally renowned racecourse committed to preserving the tradition of thoroughbred horse racing. The track is open to the public, so you don’t have to attend an actual race to take in its beautifully landscaped gardens and pristine grandstand. The place captures the essence of horse racing culture and prestige. This tour includes a stop at Keeneland with an expert guide.

31. Ashland: Henry Clay Estate

As far as historic places in Kentucky, this is easily one of the most famous. Henry Clay was one of Kentucky’s most well-known statesmen, and Ashland was his home during the height of his career. The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation has an interesting way of telling the stories of people who lived, worked, and were enslaved at the Ashland estate. This guided tour is a great way to get the most out of your visit.

30. Kentucky Horse Park

If you can’t get enough of horse-related attractions, Kentucky Horse Park is the ultimate destination. Not only does the park have a fully operational horse farm, but it also houses the Smithsonian International Museum of the Horse. You could easily spend a day visiting this equine treasure in Lexington.

29. Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

This pristinely preserved nature sanctuary in Lexington is the ultimate nature lover’s paradise. Across 734 acres, there are over 10 miles of trails to enjoy. Spend a warm summer afternoon hiking, biking, or picnicking here. Visiting in fall? The autumn colors in Raven Run Nature Sanctuary are gorgeous!

28. Jacobson Park

On 216 acres of land, Jacobson Park includes a large reservoir perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, or just hanging out on the grass near the shore. The park also has volleyball courts, a disc golf course, and more. Of all the green spaces in Lexington, this one is one of the best for a quiet afternoon in nature.

27. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Just 45 minutes outside of Lexington is Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Travelers from all over the world visit Shaker Village each year to get a glimpse into the past of a society that was able to thrive off the land.The Shakers were a religious community that was active in Pleasant Hill from 1805 to 1910.

This 3,000-acre landmark is one of the most well-preserved sites of Shaker history. The nonprofit organization Shaker Village has worked hard to maintain the 34 original historic structures, a nature preserve, and conserved farmland on the site. You can even stay in Shaker Village’s inn!

26. Bardstown

As the home of nine famous bourbon distilleries, Bardstown is one of Kentucky’s most notable bourbon destinations. Not only that, but the town also has the Bardstown Civil War Museum, the fourth-largest such museum in the country. It is also home to Kentucky’s “official outdoor drama” (“The Stephen Foster Story”) and even has an entire exhibit dedicated to women’s roles in the war.

Bardstown has a picturesque town square and is overall a beautiful little town to visit. You can book an entire weekend getaway there, complete with plenty of bourbon-filled experiences, here.

25. Frankfort

Known to have one of the most beautiful capitol buildings in the country, this small capital city deserves a spot on your Kentucky bucket list. Located along the Kentucky River between Louisville and Lexington, Frankfort is perfectly tucked into the green hills and is surrounded by nature. Here you’ll find outdoor adventure, historical relics, and, of course, plenty of bourbon.

24. Bowling Green

As one of Kentucky’s many bustling college towns, Bowling Green has a unique mix of new and old, historic and innovative. You’ll find venerable neighborhoods complete with colonial architecture and manicured lawns, as well as some of Kentucky’s best museums. One of them is the National Corvette Museum, which takes visitors on a journey through the iconic history of America’s sports car.

Bowling Green is also the perfect launching point for Mammoth Cave National Park (more on that later!), so consider staying here a night or two during your Kentucky adventure to make the most of this attraction-filled area.

23. Newport

If you are an American history enthusiast, you won’t want to miss out on a visit to Newport. This quaint riverside community was once set to become what is now Las Vegas. In fact, the town was once home to many casinos and was frequented by none other than Frank Sinatra, who performed there. Even Las Vegas’s nickname, “Sin City,” was first applied to Newport before it was given to Las Vegas.

Since Newport is so close to Cincinnati, Ohio, you can take a sunset cruise to see the Cincinnati skyline from Newport.

22. London

This one is for all the cyclists out there! London is one of Kentucky’s designated “trail towns,” because of its access to road cycling, mountain biking, and hiking trails. It’s next to Daniel Boone National Forest, so nature lovers find London the perfect place to stay while they explore nearby parks, trails, and forests.

21. Paducah

Known as “The Quilt City,” Paducah is America’s quilt-making capital. In fact, UNESCO dubbed Paducah a City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2013. You can learn about this legacy at the National Quilt Museum.

As soon as you arrive in Paducah, you’ll realize that this small town is anything but ordinary. The visitor’s center is housed in a restored 1860s mansion, which truly sets the stage for a historic adventure. Enjoy the town’s peace and quiet with a walk along the river and a stroll through town to see the historic buildings.

20. Owensboro

Owensboro is a small city packed full of all the things that make Kentucky great. It has some of the state’s best barbecue joints, bluegrass music venues, and art museums.

Check out the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, where you’ll find a sculpture park and folk art dating back to the 15th century.

Owensboro is famous for its mutton barbeque, so if you’re a meat eater you shouldn’t leave town without trying it at either Old Hickory Bar-B-Que or Ole South Bar-B-Q.

19. International Bluegrass Music Museum

No trip to Owensboro is complete without a stop at the International Bluegrass Music Museum. We are listing this place all on its own because it’s easily one of the top attractions in the state. Even if you’re new to bluegrass music, this museum is sure to keep you entertained all day long with its interactive exhibits and nuggets of history throughout. You’ll see a variety of neat vintage instruments, learn about the genre’s most influential musicians, and see the evolution of the genre over the years.

Get your tickets here.

18. Stanton

This is the ultimate destination for adventure seekers in Kentucky. Stanton is the perfect launching point for hiking and biking trails, with direct access to the Red River Gorge Byway. The Red River Gorge has over a hundred stone arches and several waterfalls, along with the picturesque Nada Tunnel. It also has a unique landscape that is waiting to be explored.

National Parks, State Parks, and More

17. Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most beloved places in Kentucky. This amazing natural wonder is home to the longest recorded cave system in the world, at over 400 miles explored and mapped. Cave tours are an excellent way to get familiar with some of the park’s most notable caves.

Not only is the park adored for its natural beauty, but it also holds many stories from the people who used to reside there, from the original settlements of Native Americans to colonial settlers to the African Americans who were the most important guides and explorers of the caves in the 19th and 20th centuries.

16. Daniel Boone National Forest

You may recognize the name Daniel Boone if you’re into outdoorsman history. This massive forest spans more than two million acres and offers over 600 miles of trails to explore. Sandstone cliffs are perfect for rock climbing, and the abundance of rivers and lakes creates the perfect environment for those who enjoy getting out on the water. Although many of the trails were originally intended only for hiking, mountain biking is possible in many locations. Backpackers and other campers will enjoy the many forest campgrounds.

15. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

The mountainous scenery at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is just one of the many reasons to pay a visit. Beyond the stunning views from hidden overlooks, you’ll find epic sandstone formations, abundant underground caverns, and plenty of plant and animal life everywhere.

There’s a wealth of history to uncover here. This amazing national historical park is home to the Hensley Settlement, which gives visitors a time-warping look at a 20th century mountain community settlement. The Wilderness Road Trail will take you on an equally exciting journey in the footsteps of Native Americans, early settlers, and Civil War soldiers.

14. Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

As one of the largest areas of undeveloped forest in the United States, the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is about as rugged as it gets. Stretching over 170,000 acres of forests and wetlands, there’s plenty of nature to admire here. There are 300 miles of natural shoreline, offering opportunities to camp, picnic, hike, and bike.

In addition to 500 miles of trails throughout the park to enjoy, you can visit the Woodlands Nature Station, Elk & Bison Prairie, Homeplace 1850s Working Farm, or Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory for authentic educational experiences.

Land Between the Lakes is also the ideal place for a road trip, with incredible scenic drives and walks.

13. Cumberland Falls State Park

If you want to see something nearly as majestic as Niagara Falls without leaving the South, make sure to add Cumberland Falls State Park to your Kentucky itinerary. It gets its nickname, “the Niagara of the South,” due to the 68-foot tall and 125-foot wide waterfall. One of the coolest things about this waterfall, besides its immense size, is that it’s one of the few places in the world where you can see a moonbow, aka a lunar rainbow. If the sky is clear on the night of a full moon, you might be able to see one in all of its magnificent glory.

In addition to the obvious visit to the falls, Cumberland Falls State Park is overflowing with adventurous things to do (see what I did there?). Go birding in the park, rafting on the Cumberland River, camping at one of the 50 campsites, or hiking on 17 miles of trails. You can even try your hand at gem mining.

12. Breaks Interstate Park

Located right on the Kentucky-Virginia state border is the severely underrated Breaks Interstate Park. Spanning 3,500 acres of greenwood lands full of mountainous scenery, this is one of only two interstate parks in the country. This gorgeous natural area has the largest canyon east of the Mississippi River, which spans five miles and is 1,650 feet deep, earning its nickname “the Grand Canyon of the South.”

Breaks Interstate Park is a haven for rock climbers, campers, and hikers alike. No matter how you choose to enjoy the park, you’re certainly in for a treat.

11. Big South Fork National River

Big South Fork National River is often referred to as a giant outdoor playground, and for good reason. This 125,000-acre recreation area features rugged gorges and pristine forests, along with numerous streams and, of course, the thunderous Big South Fork of the Cumberland River.

Outdoor activities at the Big South Fork National River include hiking through forests and gorges, horseback riding, rock climbing sandstone cliffs, and paddling and swimming in crystal-clear waters. This recreation area is also an ideal place to camp and backpack.

10. The Pinnacles of Berea

In 2019, Outside Magazine named the Pinnacles of Berea hike the #1 hike in Kentucky. If that isn’t enough to spark your curiosity, visitors who enjoy peace and quiet love this hike because of its sparse crowds and incredible views of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

This stellar hike is easy to get to from Berea, Kentucky, and is even a great spot to stay while you visit Red River Gorge and other big nearby attractions. Having such an awesome hike like the Pinnacles Hike is just the cherry on top.

9. My Old Kentucky Home State Park

This is a state park unlike any other. You probably associate state parks with hiking trails and the great outdoors, but some of this park’s best feature are actually indoors. It’s home to the estate of US Sen. John Rowan, which holds two hundred years of stories, from duels to horse racing to family fortunes and everything in between. You can tour the mansion and hear guides sing a special song on every tour.

Horse Farms

8. Sun Valley Horse Farm

This classic horse farm’s slogan is “At the Crossroad of Bourbon & Horses.” It makes a neat connection between horses and bourbon through its ties to bourbon pioneer Elijah Pepper. The best way to experience Sun Valley is on a guided tour, which leads guests through the farm to witness the inner workings of an award-winning thoroughbred horse farm nursery.

7. Hermitage Farm

Hermitage Farm is more than just a horse farm and nursery. Beyond running a renowned thoroughbred operation, the farm also prides itself on its sustainable and organic agriculture. You can even get a taste of Heritage Farm’s farm-fresh produce at its Barn8 Farm Restaurant.

In the mood for some bourbon? You can do a bourbon tasting featuring products from any of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon trail.

This farm offers a truly well-rounded view of Kentucky’s rich agricultural culture and history. Choose from a number of tours and tastings at Hermitage Farm to get the most out of your visit.

6. Claiborne Farm

This one is for the history buffs out there. Claiborne Farm is one of the most iconic thoroughbred horse farms in Kentucky, best known for being the final resting place of one of the most famous horses in history, Secretariat.

Claiborne Farm offers historic tours of the on-site facilities, taking guests on a journey through the farm’s origin story up until present day with a look at how the working farm takes care of the stunning beauties that live there.

Unique Stops

5. The Pete Treehouse

This completely off-grid treehouse was part of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters and is now one of the coolest Airbnbs you’ll find in Kentucky. Pete Nelson is the mastermind behind the construction of the treehouse, which is tucked away in nature about 1.5 hours from Lexington. The place is full of thoughtful touches, including a fire pit and balcony.

After watching Kristin’s treehouse adventure, you’re probably getting excited about staying in a treehouse, so don’t miss out on this one when you visit Kentucky!

4. Harland Sanders Café and Museum

Nowadays, you can find a KFC in just about any country in the world. Have you wondered about how it all started, though? At the Harland Sanders Café and Museum in Corbin, you’ll be able to see the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken at Colonel Sanders’ original restaurant.

Not only can you actually dine at the Harland Sanders Café and Museum, but you can then tour the building and see all kinds of artifacts and memorabilia from the famous restaurateur’s legacy.

3. Vent Haven Museum

In the small town of Fort Mitchell is the world’s only museum dedicated to ventriloquism: the Vent Haven Museum. This is by far one of the strangest places I’ve ever seen while researching a destination, and now it has been bumped up pretty high on my bucket list.

The museum has over 700 dolls, featuring some that have been on TV and in movies, all from the personal collection of William Shakespeare Berger. If you’re a fan of weird museums and happen to be driving through Fort Mitchell, you’ll definitely want to make a pit stop here.

2. Historic Diamond Caverns

Located right next to Mammoth Cave National Park, this unique attraction is a must-visit while you’re in the area. Its cathedral-like caverns feature cascades of naturally colorful calcite and other mind-blowing formations. Guided tours are available and are the perfect way to see the gorgeous caverns and learn about their interesting history.

1. Kentucky Kingdom

I’m a big fan of roller coasters, so I can’t skip out on adding Kentucky Kingdom to this list. This theme park may be small compared to megaparks like Six Flags and Disney World, but it’s a charming homegrown spot that locals adore. There are five roller coasters, a 5-D cinema, and plenty of other fun attractions to enjoy.

***

As you can see, Kentucky is full of quirky surprises and abundant natural beauty. There are plenty of amazing places just waiting to be discovered by travelers who are new to the state and also by locals looking to learn more about what there is to do near them!

Are you a Kentucky native? Which places did we miss this time? Let us know where your secret spots are!

Click to read more posts about

Categories
Top Beaches

October Fishing Report

Happy fall pattern! It’s the time of the year when the heat finally starts to give way to cool morning breezes and the fish chew all day long.

Despite heavy rainfall over the past few months, the fishing has been fantastic. The water in most parts of the bay is quite dirty but the trout and redfish have been thick and willing to eat all sorts of artificial lures. Of course, topwater lures are always a fan favorite and who doesn’t get turned on by redfish chasing down a plug or explosive speckled trout surface strikes? Just the thought of it makes me want to hit the water right now! On high tides, look for redfish to be laying up or cruising along the shoreline and in flooded reed beds, tidal creeks and throughout the shallows. As the tide drops out I begin looking for redfish in holes on the flats as well as docks and other medium-depth structures.

Big speckled trout can often be found in the same environment as redfish and can be caught using similar tactics. Most of the trout I’ve been catching have been on broken bottom or grass flats in about 2-4 feet of water using jigs and shrimp patterns. Depressions carved out from current running over points is another great spot to look for schools of trout stacking up.  Keep in mind that trout usually hang out in small groups so, if you catch one, there are likely more in the area.

The flats are not the only place to find a great bite right now. In open water throughout the bays, Spanish mackerel are demolishing baitfish schools.  To find them, simply cruise around looking for dive bombing birds or fish breaching the surface. If this doesn’t work, you can always troll around a little using your electronics to locate schools of fish that are down deep. Spanish mackerel will eat a variety of small, shiny, erratic action baits such as spoons, plugs and small trolling setups.

There’s are a variety of different species of fish that you can catch on structure in the bays right now. Monster mangrove snappers, redfish, sheepshead, black drum, flounder… the list goes on.  When and how you fish a particular structure will determine how many of those species you actually catch. For instance, if you pass through an area while fishing a jig or a live minnow, then you probably won’t catch a sheepshead or black drum. But if you toss a live shrimp into the mix, then you could get a bite from any fish in that group.

Along the beaches, look for pompano to start running along the shore in the surf as temperatures cool off. Walking the beach with a jig is a good way to get some exercise and catch dinner at the same time. Or, you can set up a chair, chunk out a couple of rods rigged with sand fleas, drink a cold one and wait for the pompano to swim by. Both tactics are effective and enjoyable.

As always, if you have questions about what’s biting, how to catch them or want to book a trip, give me a call or shoot me an email. Tight lines!

Categories
Top Scenery Views

I Eat Fish, Am I Eating Microplastics?

Written by Hayley McIlwraith, Research Assistant in the Rochman Lab and Chelsea Rochman, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, co-founder of the University of Toronto Trash Team and Scientific Advisor to Ocean Conservancy.

Plastic is everywhere.

 It’s in the laptop I’m using to write this blog, in the clothes I’m wearing as I sit at my desk and in the packaging protecting the food that I’m snacking on in between sentences. It’s easy to see how much we rely on plastic. But what we don’t see is that this widespread dependence on plastics has led to widespread contamination of microplastics—tiny pieces of plastic (less than 5mm in size) that float in the air around us and lurk in the food we eat and water we drink.

<!– –>

We are trying to understand how much microplastic fish eat and whether these particles are also present in the fillets we eat. Recently, researchers in the Rochman Lab and collaborators at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks sampled seven species of sportfish from Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada. We looked for microplastics in the stomach, fillet and liver of each fish.

Our study revealed that microplastics were present in the stomachs of nearly all of the fish sampled.

This did not come as a surprise, given a recent study where we demonstrated relatively high concentrations of microplastics in several species of fish from Lake Ontario and Lake Superior.

However, we also found microplastics were widespread in the fillets and livers of all seven species. This means that plastics are not just being excreted after being ingested (i.e., via poop), but they’re also traveling to other parts of the body—including the parts we eat.

A woman looking at a sample of micro plasticsA woman looking at a sample of micro plastics
Lead author, Hayley McIlwraith, looking at the microplastics found in the tissues of fish from Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada. © Courtesy of Rochman Lab

Previous research has suggested that microplastics can transfer from a gut to a fillet, but here we show widespread occurrence in wild fish. Around 74% of fillets and 63% of livers had at least one microplastic present, while 99% of fish had at least one particle present in any of the three studied tissues.

We found something else that was really interesting. For seafood, we are generally told to eat fewer top predators or long-lived fish, because these fish tend to have higher levels of toxins like mercury. In this study, our data suggests the opposite may be true for microplastics. We found that while larger fish contained a higher number of microplastics overall, it was the smallest fish that contained more microplastics per gram of tissue. So, if you cut a piece of fillet of the exact same size from the largest fish and from the smallest fish, the fillet from the small fish would have more pieces of plastic inside it. These results highlight the uniqueness of microplastics as a contaminant—because they are physical particles rather than dissolved organic chemicals, they may behave differently than chemical contaminants. These unique properties are important, especially when considering their risks and effects in the environment.

Now before raising the alarm bells and cutting fish out of your diet,

keep in mind the levels we found were low relative to other sources of microplastics we may be exposed to.

In our study, we calculated the yearly intake of microplastics based on a diet of eating half a pound of fish twice per week. For most of the fish species in our study, average consumption would be less than 1000 microplastics a year.

Yearly intake of microplastics bar graphYearly intake of microplastics bar graph
A graph showing the annual intake of microplastics by humans based on a diet of 0.5 lbs of fish twice per week. This is based on data from our study. © Courtesy of Rochman Lab

In comparison, another study estimated that 35,000—62,000 microplastics are inhaled annually by the average adult. These other exposure routes include drinking water, beer, salt and even honey. All of this raises questions about the many routes of exposure, and how microplastic contamination relates to risk for humans.

Bar graph of plastics consumed Bar graph of plastics consumed
Average number of microplastics humans are exposed to from multiple sources. © Courtesy of Rochman Lab

Nonetheless, the uniqueness of our results opens up new avenues of research relevant to the fate and risks of microplastics in food webs. Don’t worry, members from our lab are already on it! A current project is looking at fish fillets from Lake Ontario, where we already know fish have lots of microplastics in their guts—some up to 900 particles!

In the meantime, we need to reduce our plastic waste, reuse as much as possible and recycle when we can.

Each of these actions will reduce plastic emissions to the environment and reduce plastic exposure for us.

The post I Eat Fish, Am I Eating Microplastics? appeared first on Ocean Conservancy.

Categories
Top Beaches

Myrtle Beach Invitational is a Slam Dunk

Myrtle Beach is bustling with sports teams this time of year – and we are excited to welcome ESPN back to The Beach for the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Nov. 18, 19, and 21 (there will be no games played on Nov. 20). This basketball tournament brings Division 1 teams from various conferences for a weekend of action. The Myrtle Beach Invitational showcases these 2021 post-season participants:

  • Davidson (Atlantic 10)
  • Oklahoma (Big 12)
  • Utah State (Mountain West)
  • East Carolina (The American)
  • Indiana State (Missouri Valley)
  • New Mexico State (Western Athletic)
  • Old Dominion (Conference USA)
  • Penn (Ivy).  

 

These competitive matchups will be played at the HTC Center at Coastal Carolina University down the road from Myrtle Beach in Conway, SC. During a break in the games, explore all the thrilling attractions, coastal style restaurants, fabulous shopping, and the beach, of course. The fall really is the best time to visit The Beach, with cooler temperatures and less crowds, still with plenty of Carolina sunshine. As we like to say, everyone belongs at The Beach – and that includes sports fans!

For more information on the matchups and tickets to the Myrtle Beach Invitational, please visit the Myrtle Beach Invitational website.

The sporting events don’t stop with the Invitational. In December, the Myrtle Beach Bowl Game, an ESPN post-season bowl game, and the Beach Ball Classic and United Bank Holiday Invitational, a matchup of dozens of high school and prep basketball teams, are returning for several days of non-stop sports.

Find hotels, beach house rentals, and more on our STAY page, or book a reservation at one of the many restaurants in the Grand Strand. 

Categories
Food & Drink

15 Pros and Cons of Living in Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado, is a true mountainside paradise and is just at the foothills of outdoor adventures galore, with the Rocky Mountains only a 30-minute drive away. However, there are pros and cons of living in Denver that you may not have realized.

I’ve lived in Denver for a year so far and I have loved every minute of it. Since moving here, I’ve found many good things about living in Denver, but there are also a few downsides to living in the city that I’ve unfortunately come across.

This post will cover everything from the good to the bad, but don’t worry; the good definitely outweighs the bad.

Here are the pros and cons of living in Denver.

Pros of Living in Denver

Here are the best things about living in Denver, Colorado.

1. Accessibility to Nature

Arguably the best upside to living in Denver is its close proximity to the outdoors. This list of pros and cons of living in Denver has to include this point!

It only takes about 15-minutes by car or bus, and you’ll be right at the start of the epic and beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Most people move to Denver just to experience the great outdoors in Colorado because it’s literally a perfect home base to explore the state’s best outdoor attractions.

So many great natural places to explore are only a short ride away. Some beautiful locations nearby include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Flatirons in Boulder, and Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

There are even outdoor destinations right within the city of Denver, so you won’t have to go that far if you don’t want to. Denver is home to more than 200 parks throughout the city, and some of them even have lakes with kayak rentals for you to have some fun.

2. Amazing Restaurants

This list of pros and cons of living in Denver would not be complete without mentioning the fantastic food in the city. If you love trying new and innovative foods, then you’re going to fall in love with Denver.

One of the best foodie cities in the western part of the United States is Denver. While it’s known for its outstanding Mexican dishes, it’s also home to traditional foods like Rocky Mountain Oysters, which are not, in fact, actually oysters.

Another remarkable delicacy that locals love is green chilli. This sauce is put on almost everything, from burritos to nachos. Plus, many locals even eat it plain on its own. This can be found at nearly every local restaurant.

If Mexican food is not your thing, don’t worry because almost every type of restaurant imaginable is in Denver.

For a real foodie paradise, visit during Denver Restaurant Week. This week-long festival includes tons of restaurants taking part who pick three dishes to serve as a three-course meal for less than $50 USD.

3. Great Nightlife

Another one of the good things about living in Denver is the fantastic nightlife. Many visitors are always shocked at how great the nightlife in Denver is because it’s not a huge city compared to Los Angeles or New York City.

Arguably the best spot for nightlife in Denver is Lower Downtown or LoDo. There are tons of great pubs, bars, clubs, and more in this area, and they’re pretty much around every corner, so they’re not that hard to find. 

pros and cons of living in Denver CO

A few of the best places for nightlife include Coyote Ugly in the Denver Pavilions, Milk Bar on Broadway, and The Shag Lounge on 15th Street.

If bar-hopping for nightlife is more your thing, then don’t worry; Denver is filled with great bars. Some of the best ones in the city include Gaslamp, The Refinery, and The Ginn Mill.

4. Affordable Accommodation Pricing (compared to other cities)

In my opinion, Denver has relatively affordable pricing compared to other cities in the United States. Denver actually isn’t that overpriced for its location, and living in the middle of the city won’t necessarily break the bank if you have a roommate.

My apartment in Lower Downtown only costs about $1400 USD a month, and I split that price with a roommate. This is significantly less than what I’d pay for an apartment of the same size in a city like Boston or New York City.

Of course, this could vary depending on where in the city you’re looking for accommodation. Living in a neighbourhood like Cherry Creek will be significantly higher pricing versus living in Highlands or Five Points, so you definitely have to shop around.

Pricing for hotels in the city centre is also pretty cheap compared to hotels in other cities. You can get a room with two double beds for around $90 USD at a three-star hotel in LoDo right in the centre of all the action.

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 Best Coworking Spaces in Denver 

5. Sports Culture

The sports culture is easily an upside to living in Denver. Everyone here absolutely loves sports, and there are so many different local teams to support and get involved more with the locals.

Arguably the most popular sports team in Denver is the Denver Broncos, the city’s football team. They play at Empower Field at Mile High, which is right in the city and play mainly during the fall and through the winter.

sports culture in Denver

For America’s favourite pastime, you can head to Coors Field to catch a Rockies game. Plus, you can try to take a photo with the team’s mascot, Dinger, who’s a purple dinosaur. 

The last great team to see while in Denver is the Denver Nuggets, the basketball team. They’re a lot of fun to watch and play right in the city.

If major league sports aren’t your thing, don’t worry. There are a few state universities right in the city, so you can catch their games for a lot cheaper price too.

6. Lots of Things to Do

You’ll never run out of things to do while in Denver, which deserves a spot on this list of the pros and cons of living in Denver. This is definitely one of the perks about living here.

No matter your interests and hobbies, you’ll be able to find something to do and other people to connect with. Denver is filled with tons of activities for all ages, types of weather, and even budget points.

In case you’re wondering what some of the best things to do in Denver are, here are some of my personal favourites:

  • Relaxing in Confluence Park and having a picnic there
  • Taking in the view from Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre and walking around the trails
  • Checking out the beautiful masterpieces at the Denver Art Museum
  • Marveling at the plants in the Denver Botanic Garde
  • Shopping on 16th Street Mall

But, that’s only the start of it. There are numerous things to see and do in Denver to keep you busy.

7. Easy Access to Traveling

If you live in Denver, you easily have the rest of the United States and the world at your fingertips.

A quick 37-minute train ride from Denver Union Station will bring you to Denver International Airport (DIA), the biggest airport in the USA by square footage.

From Denver’s airport, you can get anywhere, and often the prices are pretty affordable thanks to Colorado having its own budget airline called Frontier.

Seriously, there are often flights for less than $20 USD round trip to must-visit destinations like Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Seattle!

easy access to traveling in Denver

Plus, because it’s an international airport, it’s really easy to get anywhere in the world from the city. Be sure to use online sites like Skyscanner or Expedia to try to snag deals when they’re the lowest to save yourself some money on your travels.

8. Focus on Shopping Local

One of the best parts about Denver is that there’s a significant emphasis on shopping local and regional instead of from huge, commercial stores.

Even the majority of 16th Street Mall is filled with more local shops, though there are some commercial grocery stores sprinkled in.

The city hosts farmer’s markets, too, often right in LoDo near Denver Union Station. During these farmer’s markets, you can support local farmers and other local businesses by purchasing their great items.

Denver has also hosted quite a few “shop local” promotional events where it helps to advertise the local businesses so that they can help get the success they deserve. Denverites (and Coloradans) love shopping local when they can, so join in on the fun.

This is a great way to keep the cash flow within the community, and it’s honestly a win-win for everyone who lives in Denver and the surrounding suburban areas.

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 Cheapest Cities in The USA for Digital Nomads 

9. Perfect Weather

No list of living in Denver pros and cons would be complete without at least talking about the weather. It definitely deserves its own point because of how much it draws other people into the community.

The weather in Denver is almost always perfect.

I say almost because it does get its rainy days and winter snowstorms that can add up to a few feet, but bad weather days are few and far between.

best time to travel in Denver

The great thing about when it’s sunny, even in the summer, is that it’s never really humid like it is in other parts of the United States.

Sure, the sun can feel scorching on your skin, but you’re never profusely sweating, thanks to the lack of humidity at this elevation.

10. Tons of Public Events + Festivals

This point kind of goes hand in hand with the emphasis on shopping local, but the city hosts tons of events which adds to the significant tourism factor in Denver.

Each week, there’s bound to be some sort of event or festival that you can attend.

The most popular place to attend events is at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre right outside of Denver. This is the primary concert location in the city, and it’s a vast outdoor arena surrounded by red rocks.

visiting the red rocks is one of the best denver attractions

Red Rocks Park also hosts lots of fun outdoor events like morning yoga classes, fitness workouts, and sometimes even food festivals.

Arguably the best event that’s held in Denver every year is Denver Beer Week. This event offers an entire week dedicated to the local breweries in the area, and every event will be beer-related.

Other significant events in Denver include LeakyCon (a Harry Potter convention), Winter Brew Fest, the Five Points Jazz Festival, and Denver PrideFest.

Cons of Living in Denver

As with everywhere, there are some cons to living in Denver, Colorado.

1. Bad Traffic

Weirdly enough, if you’re travelling within the city, the traffic is not that bad. Even right downtown in LoDo, there are hardly ever any cars because everyone rides their bikes or takes public transportation to get around the city.

However, if you’re travelling in or out of the city, the traffic can be so bad that you could be stuck in the same spot for an hour or longer.

This tends to happen every day of the week during rush hour, so if you’re trying to travel in or out of the city, definitely plan wisely.

With that being said, you can utilize the express lanes or carpool lanes if there are three or more people in your car. So if you’re travelling with a larger group of people rather than just you and someone else, then the traffic most likely won’t even affect you during your visit.

2. The Elevation

One of the downsides to living in Denver is easily the elevation. Because the city is 5,280 feet (1,600 meters) above sea level, the air here is so dry, and it’s very easy to get dehydrated without even realizing it.

In addition to becoming dehydrated, you’re much more likely to get a scabby or stuffy nose too, which is unfortunate.

However, there’s definitely a way around this so that it doesn’t happen to you. Invest in a humidifier and always keep a water bottle on you at all times to force yourself to drink water. Try to curb the dehydration before it even starts.

cons of living in Denver

At this elevation, getting out of breath also happens a lot easier than you think. You may find yourself just walking one block to get somewhere only to be completely panting after walking at your average pace.

So, just be wary of your walking speed and breathing to make sure that you don’t overexert yourself.

The elevation is both a pro and con of living in Denver because the elevation is also why the city gets so much sun.

3. The City is Landlocked

Denver is entirely landlocked, meaning that there isn’t an ocean or huge body of water anywhere near it.

The closest place to get to the ocean here is to take a plane out to the coast of California, which honestly isn’t that expensive if you can travel flexibly. However, this means that there aren’t a whole lot of water sports here.

With that being said, there are still lots of lakes and rivers throughout Denver and the surrounding areas, a lot of which go right near the Rocky Mountains. So, you can still do fun activities like kayaking, canoeing, and even river-tubing.

Plus, after seeing the Rocky Mountains for yourself, you won’t mind trading the ocean for this mountainous paradise.

4. Hard to Get Anywhere Without a Car

After living here for a year, I can easily say that one of the most significant downsides to living in Denver is that it’s nearly impossible to get anywhere without a car. 

I use just public transportation and walking to get around, but if I want to travel anywhere fun, I have to rent a car, and those costs add up.

So, if you want to move here or you are planning on visiting, renting a car is definitely an expense you’ll have to factor in.

You can get anywhere in just a short drive, like Colorado Springs, Rocky Mountain National Park, or a cute mountainside town like Golden.

5. Streets/Sidewalks Aren’t Plowed

This is one of the cons of living in Denver that most people probably don’t know about if they aren’t already living here. The roads and sidewalks are rarely plowed when it snows.

So, if you’re planning on leaving the city on a day that it snows, you most likely won’t be able to. They don’t even plow the highways here, and often they are just shut down completely when the snow is too bad.

travelling in Denver

It’s tough to walk anywhere in the snow because the sidewalks are just piled up with tons of white stuff, which is something to keep in mind.

The only good thing is that the snow never really lasts very long here. We’ve had countless snowstorms where we had a few feet of snow, and it was almost completely gone within a day or two.

Just be wary if you are visiting the Denver area in the winter. You’ll have to be flexible and be prepared for any possible situation!

Conclusion

Now you know all about the pros and cons of living in Denver. Luckily, a lot of Denver’s cons can easily be curbed with careful preparation, so just try to be ahead of the game and you’ll be just fine.

Have you been to Denver before? What was your favourite thing about it?

Disclaimer:Goats On The Road is an Amazon Associate and also an affiliate for some other retailers. This means we earn commissions if you click links on our blog and purchase from those retailers.

Categories
World's Best

30 Powerful Affirmations for Success + Free Wallpapers

Affirmations are one of my favorite things to include in my morning routine. Whether it’s writing, saying, or even meditating on them, they help me start the day on a positive note. If you are new to practicing affirmations, the idea may sound a bit silly at first, but after practicing it for a few years, I can attest that they have become an essential tool for self-care, self-love, and self-confidence.

Today I am sharing 30 powerful affirmations that will help you manifest success in all aspects – professional career, interpersonal relationships, and your connection with the world within you. As an entrepreneur, I find these affirmations helpful in decision-making and keeping a positive attitude, and I am certainly not the only one! Research has found that affirmations “activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation”, which help people maintain a positive view. Ready to get started? Let’s go:

Affirmations for Success in Your Career:

  1. I am worthy of success.
  2. I am focused on my goals.
  3. I am able to achieve a work-life balance.
  4. My actions take me closer to my greater purpose.
  5. I am persistent in chasing my dreams.
  6. I am working in the right direction.
  7. There are no limits to what I can achieve.
  8. I will create the life I want.
  9. I am grateful for the ability that I have to give.
  10. I am open and ready to attract abundance into my life.

Use these wallpapers to set a daily reminder of your well-deserved success:

Categories
Top Beaches

Go Green This Fall in Newport Beach!

Ready to book a much-needed vacay in Newport Beach? In the age of climate anxiety, you may be interested in keeping your escape as eco-friendly as possible. There are ways to lower your carbon footprint while still having fun. Simple swaps like riding a bike instead of driving or opting for a plant-based meal instead of indulging in a steak can make a big difference in how your travel time affects the environment. Here are six ways to go green this fall in Newport Beach!

1 | Hop on a Bike

While driving may be the easy option, parking in Newport can be tricky. Instead, swap out your car keys for an electric bike from Pedego Electric Bikes! This five-star rental company on the Balboa Peninsula has a large selection of premium electric bikes for you to choose from. The best part? You can easily zip from place to place while getting an up-close and personal look at all the city’s scenery and attractions. To experience Newport Beach like a local, book a VIP private or group tour and let a guide show you around!

2 | Be the Change

Most vacationers want to kick back, relax and sip a cocktail by the pool, and we don’t blame them! After all, good drinks and R&R are what vacations are all about! However, if you’re passionate about sustainability and find yourself with some free time, look into participating in a beach clean-up! This month, at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, the Coastal Cleanup at Day at Upper Newport Bay will take place on the 18th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Come be a part of the solution and help keep Newport’s beaches clean. For more info on this event, click here.

3 | Vegan Eats

A little indulgence on vacation is a given, but if you’re trying to keep your health (and the environment) a priority, opt for a fresh vegan meal at Gracias Madre! This charming restaurant features a chic and airy interior and offers plant-based fare and an impressive spirits menu.

4 | Refill, Please!

The beauty industry produces tons of plastic waste each year, and unfortunately, has no plans of cutting back. Little Shop by the Sea on the Balboa Peninsula boasts an assortment of organic home goods, natural skincare products and eco-friendly gifts! Each product sold is plastic-free, making this quaint store a leader in sustainability. The shop will even refill your empty containers with their selection of organic bath and beauty products! Just bring your containers in, fill them up, and a store associate will weigh them to determine the price.

5 | Thrift Shopping

Fast fashion may be tempting, as it’s easy, accessible and pretty much everywhere we look. However, if you’re on the hunt for a few fall wardrobe items, skip the shopping malls and pop into one of Newport Beach’s thrift stores. Swellegant Vintage Clothing on Newport Boulevard features a stellar selection of retro finds, including sweaters, dresses, bags and accessories. Recycled Rags in Corona del Mar is also a great brick and mortar store for authentic vintage and designer items.

6 | Anchor’s Away!

While boating is no doubt a popular activity in Newport Beach, we encourage you to try a new skill like sailing! Newport Beach Sailing Charters specializes in private skipper-lead sailing charters, which will save you tons of money in gas compared to your typical boat rental. Each one of the company’s captains is also a sailing instructor, so they can show you the ropes. Hop aboard and experience one of the city’s oldest recreational activities while also putting the environment first.

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger

Categories
Food & Drink

7 Best Places to Live in Thailand for Digital Nomads

Working remotely in Thailand is what dreams are made of. This article will list the best places to live in Thailand for digital nomads.

Imagine working beside a swimming pool or beautiful beach and taking breaks to eat pad Thai while soaking up cool, cosmopolitan cities or amazing nature — all of this is possible in Thailand.

There are plenty of vibrant digital nomad cities in Thailand, as well as some fantastic islands for livin’ la vida nomad!

Another fantastic thing about being a digital nomad in Thailand is the prices. It’s one of the world’s most affordable regions for living and working remotely.

While living in Thailand in 2016 and again in 2018 and again in 2019 (you get the idea – I can’t stay away!), I lived comfortably on $1,000 a month and never had a bad meal.

So far, I’ve worked remotely from all the places in this guide and travelled around so many diverse destinations in Thailand. I never get tired of this warm, friendly country and can’t wait to get back.

In this article, I’ll cover the best places to live in Thailand as well as the pros and cons of living in the country.

1. Bangkok

The capital is one of the best cities in Thailand whether you’re a tourist or a nomad. 

Why Bangkok is a top city for digital nomads    

It might be better to ask why Bangkok ISN’T a great digital nomad city in Thailand! It has fast Wi-Fi, plenty of co-working spaces, a fantastic third-wave coffee scene, and endless expat communities you can tap into. 

From podcasts to Facebook groups, it’s easy to find resources and inspiration. Plus, the locals are a friendly bunch, too. 

Although travelers tend to spend 2 days in Bangkok, you could spend years getting immersed into the culture, activities, and hidden gems without ever having a dull weekend. 

Bangkok co-working spaces

To work remotely in Thailand, you have tons of options in Bangkok. Just Co. is one of your best options spread across two floors of the AIA Sathorn Tower. It has a hipster feel with exposed brick walls and motivational quotes in neon lights.

There’s super speedy Wi-Fi and a range of packages to choose from depending on whether you need full-time access and your own desk.

A cheaper option is Common Ground CentralWorld with office space from B4,000/month. 

WiFi speeds

An average of 122 Mbps download and 101 Mbps upload speeds.

Finding apartments in Bangkok

Unlike some cities where there’s a clear expat area, you have plenty of options in Bangkok. 

As one of the best digital nomad cities in Thailand, there are a few areas to earmark for renting an apartment.

Ekkamai has a hipster vibe and plenty of bars and restaurants. You may also want to check out Phrom Phong, a pleasant, relaxed area of town with a large park and lots of coffee shops. 

To find an apartment in Bangkok, you can use a real estate agent or use websites including DDproperty, Hipflat and Baht&Sold. Craigslist can also be useful, or otherwise you can start with monthly Airbnb rentals until you find somewhere more permanent. 

Cost of living in Bangkok

Depending on which neighborhood you choose to live in, the rough cost of living for one person in Bangkok is 40,000 baht, around $1,000 USD.

The main way to keep your living costs low is to eat street food instead of restaurant meals. It’s hardly a chore: the Bangkok street food is some of the best on Planet Earth!

From pad Thai to som tam (papaya salad) and Kuay Teow Reua (boat noodles), dishes cost as little as $1. You can also shop for fresh ingredients at local markets rather than pay close to Western prices in Thai supermarkets.

Although Uber is affordable, you can save money by using Grab scooters instead. It’s the same principle, call one and a driver will arrive, hand you a helmet and let you hop on the back. 

Pros & cons of living in Bangkok

The obvious pros are the relatively low cost of living, the excellent co-working spaces and the abundance of amazing Thai food everywhere you look.

The main downside of living in Bangkok is the traffic, especially during Thai holidays. It’s a real chore. Another downside is that Bangkok gets HOT and can also be polluted and smoggy.

Things to do in Bangkok

There’s so much to do in Bangkok from palaces to temples (don’t miss Wat Arun at sunset), shopping at Chatuchak Market, visiting galleries & museums, walking or running in Lumphini Park, and eating amazing street food.

2. Chiang Mai

The beautiful city of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand is another of the best places to live in Thailand for digital nomads. It’s totally different from Bangkok so it depends on what type of city vibe you enjoy.

places to live in Thailand

If you prefer a more relaxed pace of life, then you need to research digital nomad cities in Thailand no further. Chiang Mai is for you.

Why Chiang Mai is a top city for digital nomads?

There’s incredible food, not too much traffic, beautiful nature, lots of other nomads to meet. Basically, Chiang Mai is one of the best cities to live in Thailand. It has everything you need as a digital nomad base.

Better yet, it’s one of the cheapest places to live in Thailand for digital nomads. Prices are notably lower than the islands and Bangkok.

Chiang Mai co-working spaces

There aren’t as many co-working spaces in Chiang Mai as there are in Bangkok but luckily, you don’t need that many. Chiang Mai has a few options whether you want a social co-working space or somewhere quieter to get your head down.

Your best bet is Punspace, Chiang Mai’s original co-working space which has been open for nearly a decade.

There are two branches, one in Nimman with a gorgeous, large garden area when you need to take a break. However, this branch gets a little crowded so you might prefer the Tha Pae location inside a spacious warehouse-style building. 

WiFi speeds

An average of 93 Mbps download and 88 Mbps upload speeds.

How to find apartments in Chiang Mai

To find a rental, check out Perfect Homes or keep an eye on the Expat Facebook groups. Another option is long-term Airbnb stays. You get a decent discount when you opt to stay a month or longer.

The best neighborhood for digital nomads is Nimman. This expat hub is a 5-minute drive (or 20-minute walk) from the Old City. You’ll find coffee shops, Western restaurants, experimental Thai cuisine. You name it, Nimman’s got it!

Cost of living in Chiang Mai 

You can easily live for under $1,000 a month in Chiang Mai.

Expect to pay around $600 a month for a 1-bedroom apartment although this varies depending on the neighborhood and how long you’re staying (generally, it’s cheaper the longer you sign for).

You can pay less than $500 for your monthly food and transport in Chiang Mai. Street food is as little as $1 a meal and there are so many food markets to choose from. For a 3-course meal and drinks in a Western-style restaurant, you’re not looking at more than $20.

Hiring a scooter costs as little as $70 a month. You can also rely on Uber and Grab to get around. There are always plenty of vehicles around and it’s inexpensive. Around the Old City, it’s easy to get everywhere by foot, but prepare for it to be hot at certain times of the year. 

Pros & cons of living in Chiang Mai

The major downside of living in Chiang Mai is the burning season that runs from February to March.

This is when local farmers burn the leftovers of their harvest. You don’t want to be in Chiang Mai for this: the air quality is hazardous at best, and the sky is an ominous grey.

Many digital nomads in Chiang Mai choose to skip town for this period and return when it’s over.

Things to do in Chiang Mai

With more than 300 temples, you could temple-hop every weekend and still not get through them all. Hike through the jungle on the ‘Pilgrim’s Path’, take a day trip to the Sticky Waterfalls, or take a trip to Northern Thailand’s very own grand canyon.

There are numerous things to do in Chiang Mai to keep you busy.

3. Koh Phangan

Although it used to be solely on the map as a place for party goers wanting to experience the infamous full moon party, Koh Phangan now has a reputation as one of the best places in Thailand for digital nomads. 

best places in Thailand for digital nomads

There are plenty of co-working spaces and cafes where you can pitch up for the afternoon with no one moving you on. Yup, digital nomads rule the roost in KP!

Why Koh Phangan is great for digital nomads?

There’s a great community. If you want to meet like-minded remote workers, practice yoga, and enjoy the beach life, this is easily one of the best places to live in Thailand. The only downside is the risk of sand in your laptop.

Koh Phangan coworking spaces

Koh Space on the south of the island and Beachub on the North of the Island are both great options with fast Wi-Fi and plenty of desk space.

Casa Tropicana by Remote&Digital is a hotel, restaurant, and co-working space with beautiful views. You can book your accommodation and co-working space in one package if you’re keen for a boujee, holiday vibe!

WiFi speeds

Decent. Make sure to use Wi-Fi at dedicated co-working spaces rather than the touristic beach cafes; some are pretty slow.

How to find an apartment on Koh Phangan

Check out Koh Phangan Rentals, Facebook groups, and monthly deals on Airbnbs. 

Cost of living in Koh Phangan

Outside of the high season, $1,000 per person per month is a good amount to budget.

Although there are a few markets like Phantip Market in Thong Sala, you won’t find the same abundance of street food as you will in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The restaurants are also more expensive. 

Budget $70 for a scooter and a little more for gas; it’s basically the only way to get around the island. 

Pros & cons of living in Koh Phangan

It can get expensive during the high season. This runs from December to February. During this time, it’s far from the cheapest place to live in Thailand.

Things to do in Koh Phangan

Hire a scooter and explore the island or why not kayak around it? Try diving at Sail Rock or trek to Bottle Beach, one of the most beautiful on the island. 

4. Koh Lanta

Another one of the best places in Thailand for digital nomads is Koh Lanta, a beautiful island off the coast of Krabi. It’s a small island that can be explored by scooter with beautiful beaches and plenty of decent co-working spaces and cafes.

Koh Lanta coworking spaces

Kohub is the main co-working space on Koh Lanta, and part of the reason the island became known as one of the places to live in Thailand for digital nomads. 

Wi-Fi speeds

Usually ok but check your accommodation’s Wi-Fi speeds before booking to avoid disappointment. 

How to find an apartment on Koh Lanta?

There are plenty of websites you’ll find through Google that have apartments for rent. Renting monthly Airbnbs is also a good option, or you can live at Kohhub. Accommodation and co-working packages including breakfast start at $600 a month. 

Cost of living on Koh Lanta 

Although Koh Lanta is easily one of the best places in Thailand for digital nomads, it’s not the cheapest. In the same way as Koh Phangan, you’ll find more tourist prices and it’s harder to get a bargain than in a city.

However, you can still get by on $1,000 a month if you get a good rate on accommodation and seek out lower-priced restaurants. 

Pros and cons of living in Koh Lanta

It’s quite a small island so most nomads only stay 1-2 months meaning it’s harder to find a long term community. 

Things to do on Koh Lanta

There are opportunities for diving and snorkeling, as well as yoga studios and gyms. It’s a great place to stay active. Then, relax on the beach later with a cocktail! You can also volunteer for the day or longer at Lanta Animal Welfare.

5. Krabi Town

In the south of Thailand near Koh Lanta island, the region of Krabi is ripe for adventure. Krabi Town is the urban hub at the heart of it all. 

places in Thailand for digital nomads

Why Krabi is a top destination for digital nomads?

Krabi has all the benefits of the islands, such as beautiful beaches and diving opportunities, but access to mainland comforts.

With miles of coastline and inland attractions to explore, it’s one of the best places to live in Thailand for those who’ll get bored of life on a tiny island.

WiFi speeds

Around 25 mbps; not the best nor the worst.

Krabi Town co-working spaces 

Krabi Town has plenty of decent cafes where you can grab a coffee and work but your best bet for a dedicated co-working space is Phansa.Space, a short drive from Krabi Town near Ao Nang Beach.

Another laptop-friendly option is Lekker Cafe and Restaurant where you can buy reasonably priced food and drink and stay for several hours. The Wi-Fi is speedy, plus it’s spacious and usually quiet. 

How to find an apartment in Krabi Town?

Check the real estate website or YourKrabi.com for medium-long stay options. As ever, Airbnb is a good option to bag a monthly discount.

Cost of living in Krabi 

Krabi is one of the cheapest places to live in Thailand because there’s an abundance of accommodation and you won’t be affected by inflated island prices in peak seasons. 

You’ll easily get by on $1,000 a month. There’s plenty of street food as well as local markets and supermarkets where you can pick up affordable ingredients and prepare your own meals. 

Pros and cons of living in Krabi

Krabi has more of a reputation with backpackers than digital nomads so you can find the community transient as people journey between Thailand and Koh Lanta for digital nomad life. 

Things to do in Krabi Town

Explore the Krabi beaches like Ao Nang and Railay. From here, you can kayak and go hiking and rock climbing.

Thung Teao Forest Natural Park is a paradise for hikers with rare wildlife and the idyllic Crystal Pool where you cool off after a day hiking. Basically, Krabi is a mecca for outdoor adventurers.

6. Phuket 

Phuket is an island in southern Thailand connected to the mainland by road. For many years, it’s been a hub for tourists and due to being one of the few places open for foreign tourists in 2021, it’s become a nomad hub.

cheapest place to live in thailand

Why Phuket is a great place for digital nomads in Thailand?

Phuket has been voted not just one of the best places in Thailand for digital nomads but the best in the whole world! It’s safe and cheap with plenty to do and lots of places to work.

Coworking spaces in Phuket 

Hatch is one of the best places to work in town with ergonomic chairs and speedy Wi-Fi. It’s 100 baht for 2 hours or you can splash out on a full month pass for 5,700 baht. 

Other good working spots include Garage Society in Patong Beach and Phuket Stash in Koh Kaew.

Wi-Fi speeds

Very fast! You’ll have no trouble finding good Wi-Fi in Phuket. You don’t think it would have earned the status of the world’s best digital nomad destination without it, do you?

How to find an apartment in Phuket?

Use real estate websites, Airbnb or book a room at Phuket Stash. Phuket Town is the best place to stay as it’s nearby to co-working spaces and away from Pattaya which can be quite touristy and loud.

Things to do in Phuket 

Head to Phang Nga bay, visit the Phi Phi islands, hike to the Big Buddha statue and admire Chalong Temple, a 60-meter Buddhist pilgrimage site. 

Cost of living in Phuket 

Despite its popularity, it’s not hard to live cheaply in Phuket providing you avoid touristy areas which I suspect if you’re a digital nomad in Thailand, you’re keen to anyway. $1,000 a month is reasonable providing you visit local restaurants and shop at local markets.

Pros and Cons of Living in Phuket 

Although it has all the facilities to be a great digital nomad destination, it’s not quite as beautiful as the islands, not quite as pleasant as Chiang Mai and not quite as cosmopolitan as Bangkok. It does the job but you may not fall in love…

7. Koh Samui

The larger neighbor of Koh Phangan is Koh Samui. Although it traditionally had a reputation for resorts, it’s recently become known as a place to work remotely in Thailand, possibly as an overspill from Phangan.

best places to work in thailand

Why Koh Samui is a great digital nomad destination?

It’s beautiful, has plenty to do, lots of cafes (including co-working ones) and restaurants. Although there are slightly fewer digital nomads than in Koh Phangan, you may like the more relaxed vibe. 

Wi-Fi speeds 

You won’t have any problems at co-working spaces or hotels, plus you will also find affordable 4G SIM cards for purchase.

Co-working spaces on Koh Samui

Mantra Work Lounge is a beautiful place to work resembling a luxurious apartment. The views from the terrace when you need a break are equally stunning. 

You may also want to check out WYSIWYG Coworking Space & Cafe which has two floors of co-working space and fast Wi-Fi.

How to find an apartment on Koh Samui?

Use a rental agency such as Samui Renting or Airbnb and Facebook groups to find affordable medium to long term rentals. 

Lamai and Chaweng areas have the most on offer in terms of infrastructure, restaurants, and nice apartments but prepare for them to be busy and noisy if you stay too close to the centre. 

Cost of living in Koh Samui

Costs of living on Koh Samui are slightly higher than the mainland. You may want to budget between $1,000 and $1,500 a month but you can do it on the lower end if you eat local food rather than Western and avoid lavish nights out. 

Things to do on Koh Samui

Soak up the beaches including Chaweng Beach, Chaweng Noi and hidden gem, Laem Setbeach. Take a tour or hire a boat to Ang Thong National Marine Park for snorkeling with colorful sea life. Experienced divers can look out for whale sharks and black coral at Sail Rock.

For a quirky excursion, find Secret Buddha Garden at the top of Pom Mountain.

Pros and cons of living in Koh Samui

Aside from the fact the nomad community is more active in other digital nomad cities in Thailand, there are no huge drawbacks of living in Koh Samui.

Having said that, islands aren’t as fun in bad weather, plus you may need to make occasional trips to the mainland to buy things the Samui stores have run out of.

Living in Thailand Pros and Cons

Working remotely in Thailand is always a good idea but there can be pros and cons. As we’ve covered, the pros are the prices, the beaches, and the nomad communities.

However, there are a few downsides, the main one being the visas. You only get a 30-day visa on entry although you can apply for a 2 or 6 month one at the Thai Embassy. 

The culture of ‘saving face’ can be also confusing around Thailand and may baffle you when you ask for directions.

Basically, if people don’t know the answer to your question, they may make up incorrect directions to appear friendly and helpful. While the intention is pure, you may spend a lot of time lost in Bangkok!

Traffic in the cities and the odd tourist scam can also be an annoyance but you’ll soon get the hang of staying savvy!

Conclusion 

To summarise, there are countless places to be a digital nomad in Thailand. Bangkok is the clear winner if you want a cosmopolitan city while Chiang Mai is the best place if you like your city amenities without the traffic and big city rush. 

Koh Phangan has the best island nomad community, but Koh Lanta and Koh Samui are great options if you want to relax and work somewhere quieter.

Krabi and Phuket sit somewhere between island and city life making them decent options if you want modern amenities with beaches nearby. You really can’t go wrong! Thailand is digital nomad heaven. 

Disclaimer:Goats On The Road is an Amazon Associate and also an affiliate for some other retailers. This means we earn commissions if you click links on our blog and purchase from those retailers.

Categories
Top Beaches

Cajun on the Coast in Panama City Beach

There’s a certain charm at work in the cuisine classic to Louisiana, a rich roux of heart and soul whose recipes have been passed down from generation to generation. And it’s that undeniably special blend of magic that seems to cast its spell with just one bite, a deft layering of herbs and spices that unlocks the mystic complexity of even the most humble ingredients to make them a celebration of flavors that parade across the tongue. And while a trip to the Big Easy might not be in your plans for the day, getting a bite of the bayou won’t require leaving the shores of Panama City Beach, where Creole soul is jazzing up the culinary scene to bring a little bit of the French Quarter to the Emerald Coast.

Since opening in 1999, Bayou on the Beach Café and Oyster Bar has been a family endeavor, first owned by a couple from Lafayette, Louisiana, with Cajun spices running through their veins. And that legacy was passed on to their son and daughter-in-law, Jordan and Maria Buxton, who now own the restaurant and keep the Creole soul going strong in this down-home jambalaya joint where every bite is a tasty trip back to the bayou. Among their top tempters are the Who Dat Shrimp; Boiled Royal Red Shrimp; the Seafood Muffaletta; boiled mudbugs; and oysters served raw, baked or chargrilled to perfection. Based on Mama Buxton’s recipes, everything from the sauces to the boudin balls is made fresh from scratch. From the gumbo to the beignets, this is one bayou you’ll want to get down to.

Starting with appetizers like fried Boudin Balls and Gator Bites, the menu at Dat Cajun Place is like a second line through the Quarter, jazzing things up even more with Cajun specialties like po’boys, red beans and rice, and their very own variation on the mufalletta. And when owners Jan and Trudy White left their home in the bayou country to rebuild a post-Katrina life here on the Emerald Coast, the restaurant they opened in 2012 definitely did their home state proud, showing Creole cooking off at its finest with an award-winning Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo so addictive you’ll swear there’s voodoo in the roux. Letting the good times roll on with an oyster bar shuck-full of delicious variations as well as entrées like Crawfish Étouffée and Chicken Orleans, dat’s definitely one Cajun place you’ll want in your flavor parade.

Building on more than 40 years of experience running a successful donut shop and diner, owner Mike Thomas expanded his repertoire to open Mike’s Café & Oyster Bar in 2011, bolstering his menu to offer new dishes that perfectly showcased the fantastic seafood and fish at his fingertips and spicing things up with a few Creole-style favorites like rich gumbo packed with seafood, okra and Andouille sausage; po’boys piled high with fried shrimp and oysters; and red fish étouffée. And while a bulk of their focus might often go to the mollusks on the menu, the bayou bites at Mike’s just might make you come out of your shell.

Taking a decided lack of Cajun restaurants in the area as reason enough to open one for themselves, husband and wife team Dee and Brenda Brown started Dee’s Hangout in 2008 to create a place that would blend Southern coastal fare with Cajun classics, loading their menu with fresh seafood straight from the Gulf and dishes that make hanging out and digging in a truly tasty way to spend the day. And they do things right, with three kinds of étouffée bursting with chicken, shrimp or crawfish; two jammin’ jambalayas; po’boys; spicy red beans and rice; chicken or seafood gumbo; and even a Cajun Platter that’s a triple feature of étouffée, gumbo and crispy fried catfish served with a mound of creamy coleslaw. Sweetening up the deal, Dee’s has New Orleans-style bread pudding soaked in butter rum sauce that’s definitely worth getting jazzed over.

While their award-winning Jack Daniel’s barbecue ribs may have made them “World Famous” ever since owner Bill Buskell opened this family-friendly joint overlooking the Gulf in the mid-80s, Pineapple Willy’s blends island inspired cuisine with the perfect kick of Cajun flavor to get some bayou boogie in on the mix. And with four variations on Nawlins-style po’boys piled high with your choice of juicy chicken; golden-fried shrimp; tender, flaky fish; or fried oysters topped with lettuce and tomato, they prove their po’boys are rich in tasty fixins. For something to get saucy over, order up the Nawlins Roast Beef & Debris Po’ Boy, a hefty specimen made with slow-roasted beef smothered in scratch-made gravy and topped with a scatter of lettuce and tomato. A slice of downtown NOLA is their “French Quarter” Dip layered up with freshly sliced roast beef and Swiss cheese and served with a side of au jus. But no trip to Cajun country would be complete without jambalaya, and Pineapple Willy’s does the dish with great panache, loading theirs with chicken, spicy sausage and five grilled shrimp. One bite of the food, and you might just think that Pineapple Willy’s has some “Who Dat” running through its veins.

Opening her own beachside shanty full of fresh seafood and a tidal wave of coastal cuisine in 2010, owner Christine McLaughlin decided her menu could do with a little bit of bayou flavor and added a few Nawlins classics like shrimp po’boys and gumbo so authentic you know from the first bite that she’s got a red-blooded Cajun in her kitchen. Using a classic dark roux, their scratch-made gumbo is full of fresh seafood, spicy sausage, chicken and veggies kicked up with a special blend of spices, all served over rice with toasted baguettes to sop up all that saucy goodness. No matter what’s on order, Hook’d will get you hooked and coming back for more.

After a fire destroyed their first restaurant in 2007, the Knowles family hit the refresh button to open Salty Sue’s in 2008, serving some of the best seafood, steaks and barbecue on the beach. And, when it comes to adding some Creole spice to the mix, this is one local joint that knows how to give roux its due. Offering scratch-made gumbo packed with shrimp, smoked chicken and Andouille sausage topped off with golden fried okra and served over rice, the menu dishes up some low country love; and their creamy, cheesy Cajun-Style Shrimp & Grits are a mouthful of mystic flavors that’ll definitely put you under their spell. From first bite to last, Salty Sue’s gets down to the bayou without ever having to leave the beach.

Categories
Top Beaches

Family-Friendly Halloween Events in Myrtle Beach 2021

It’s no secret October is my favorite month here along the Grand Strand. The high summer temps have started to drop—making long days outdoors with small children more enjoyable—and the month is packed full of fun fall activities, including many Halloween events! Costumed little ones and trick-or-treating make Halloween oh-so-fun, but it can sometimes be tricky for those with children who scare easily. We have celebrated many Halloweens here in Myrtle Beach and rounded up a list of our favorite ‘fright-free’ events for kiddos who want to skip the scary. From costume contests to farm celebrations, here are our picks for a family-friendly Halloween in the Myrtle Beach area:

1. Ripley’s Aquarium Spook-Quarium Splash 

Saturday, October 30

This kid-friendly Halloween soiree is packed with fun for children of all ages. Not only do attendees gain aquarium admission with the purchase of an event ticket, they’ll also be able to enjoy a live monster-mash DJ bash and dancing, Halloween arts and crafts, a costume contest and plenty of treats! It’s also a plus that this event falls conveniently after nap time and pre-bedtime, lasting from 3 to 5 p.m., a perfect schedule for small children. Ticket cost for adults is $36.99, children ages 6 to 11 is $24.99, and children ages 3 to 5 is $12.99. Children 2 and under are free. More information on Ripley’s Aquarium or purchase tickets

2. Halloween Helicopter Treat Drop at Thompson Farm and Nursery at Brickyard Plantation

Saturday, October 30

In addition to the regular ‘Fall into Farm Fun’ Saturdays taking place this month at Thompson Farms, they are celebrating Halloween weekend with a special Halloween Helicopter Treat Drop. As an addition to all their fun fall activities—a 6-acre play area, 6.5-acre corn maze, hay rides and petting zoo—a helicopter will begin dropping bags of treats and goodies in the form of over 10,000 ‘pumpkin seeds’ at 4 p.m. for kids of all ages to enjoy. To ensure little ones get a fair shot at collecting treats, there will be designated age groups, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own trick-or-treat bag. Admission is only $10 per person, and children ages 2 and under are free. I can confidently say my children love visiting Thompson Farms this time of year, and we make it a point to go each October. Purchase tickets or find more information on the Halloween Helicopter Treat Drop and other fall activities at Thompson Farms.

3. Children’s Imagination Walk at Brookgreen Gardens 

Saturday, October 30

Any chance to visit Brookgreen Gardens with my children is a treat, but the Children’s Imagination Walk is doubly so! This Halloween-themed event is catered towards children ages 3 to 12 and entails an exciting ‘imagination walk’ through the gardens anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Kids (and adults) are encouraged to wear costumes. Along the way, children will enjoy both tricks and treats, the latter in the form of individually packaged sweets offered at several stations along the walk. Participation in the Imagination Walk is free with general admission to Brookgreen Gardens, and a scavenger hunt map may be picked up next to the museum shop, Keepsakes, where the walk begins. More information on the Children’s Imagination Walk or to purchase tickets to Brookgreen Gardens.

4. BooFest! at Barefoot Landing 

Saturday, October 30

The month of October brings all sorts of fun to Barefoot Landing, and their annual BooFest! is a perfect place to celebrate Halloween with little ones. From noon to 4 p.m. families will find all sorts of games and entertainment, from stilt walkers to balloon artists and more, all free of charge! BooFest! is also hosting a kids costume contest and a pet costume contest, with first, second and third place prizes for winning children in different age groups. Registration for the costume contest begins at 11 a.m. And to round out a fun family day, Barefoot Landing is offering a free showing of the Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus, on the lawn in front of Dockside Village at 7 p.m. Overall BooFest! is more treat than trick, and while we’ve never participated in the contest, we’ve enjoyed seeing the creativity of attendees in years past. The close proximity to a number of family-friendly dinner spots is a plus, as well! More information on BooFest! at Barefoot Landing.

5. Howl-O-Scream at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex

Saturday, October 30

Despite its name, the Howl-O-Scream event in North Myrtle Beach has a lot to offer families with young children looking for less fright. Every year, the city of North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation Department, in collaboration with Coastal Carolina’s Recreation and Sports Management class, transforms the NMB Park and Sports Complex into a spooky site for Halloween fun. Activities like marshmallow roasting, games, inflatables, trick-or-treating and more will go over well with scare-mindful children. They even offer a scare-free hayride in addition to a haunted hayride so all attendees can enjoy, with or without fear. The Howl-O-Scream event is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Entry for ages 15 and up is $2, ages 5 to 14 is $1 and children 4 and under are free. Concessions are also available for purchase on-site. More information on Howl-O-Scream

For more Halloween and fall-themed events, please visit our Events Calendar. And if you are looking for other things to do around the Grand Strand, our TO DO page is the best place to start!