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Six Things to Do When You Visit Maui

Maui is a traveler’s paradise. The second largest island in Hawaii, Maui is packed with stunning views and beautiful landscapes. The island is visited by over two million visitors a year, who come for the mildly temperate year-round weather. With the climate and the scenery, Maui is a perfect spot for travelers to visit any time of year.

visit Maui

LeafCanoer, sociakathy, recently visited Maui, and shared her experiences visiting the island in her leaf entitled, “Maui’s Must See List.” Taking a cue from sociokathy’s leaf, here are six things you must do when you visit Maui.

Buy Local
Hawaiian culture is very different from the culture of the mainland, and nowhere can you see it more than in the local arts and foods. Maui is a great place to buy local Hawaiian crafts and goods. Small towns, like Paia, have a number of boutiques and shops selling local artisan goods, and are a great place to experience local arts scene.

visit Maui

Take in a Sunrise
Being an island, Maui has several great places to take in a sunrise. A popular place to observe the sunrise is Haleakala Crater. At its peak, there is an enclosed gazebo that offers a stunning view of the sunrise. There are plenty of options to get to the peak: whether on foot, by car, or by bike. Any way you choose, the outcome is something that is both breathtaking and memorable.

visit Maui

Ride the Waves
Maui, like the rest of Hawaii, is known for its surfing. There are plenty excellent surf spots around the island. One of which is near the small town of Haiku, which boasts some amazing surfing, as well as great beaches to hang out at. If you’re more interested in observing surfing, rather than engaging in it, you can go to Honolua Bay, one of the more popular surf spots on the island, to check out local and visiting surfers in action.

visit Maui

Explore the Local Flora
Hawaii is home to a diverse array of local plants and flowers. A common place to observe local flora is to visit the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Situated in the uplands of Maui, the Lavender Farm offers a hidden gem, an oasis of flowers and plants. If you’re in the mood for exploration, and interested in learning more about the local environment, this is a great place to start.

visit Maui

Go on a Hike
The great thing about Hawaii is its abundance of outdoor activities. There are a number of national and state parks in Maui that offers plenty of trails for hiking. One of the most popular parks in Hawaii for hiking is ‘Iao State Park. Another popular trail for hiking is Twin Falls, which offers views of waterfalls, as well as several swimming holes. Leafcanoer, sociokathy, recommends Haleakala National Park, which includes a peaceful and secluded bamboo forest.

visit Maui

Take a Scenic Drive
Maui doesn’t have many major roads, but the roads that are there offer some fantastic views of the ocean and the scenery. A popular scenic drive is along Hana Highway, which winds past waterfalls, beaches, ocean views, and panoramic vistas. Another popular drive is along Kahekili Highway. This road takes you along hairpin turns, past roadside fruit stalls and along awe-inspiring vistas. It’s worth taking a day to drive along one of these roads to enjoy the scenery.

visit Maui

Maui is a wonderful place to visit, with its beautiful natural landscape and abundance of outdoor activities. For the nature enthusiast, Maui is a virtual playground of things to do. Or even if you just enjoy relaxing on the beach, Maui offers plenty of relaxing beaches and surf spots. This list is just a start for your next visit to Maui.

For more ideas of what to do when you visit Maui, check out more of sociokathy’s leaf. Or you can download the LeafCanoe app to explore other places to visit around the world.

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Why You Need to Visit the Canadian Rockies

Experiencing the great outdoors is something that can be enjoyed any time of year. In spite of the cold winter months, a visit to a place like the Canadian Rockies can be jam-packed with outdoor activities. LeafCanoer, sociokathy’s leaf, “Canadian Rockies Summer Guide,” talks about the many things visitors can do when visiting the Canadian Rockies in the summer. But even in the dead of winter, there are plenty of other reasons to visit the Canadian Rockies.

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Natural Wonders
Majestic snow-peaked mountains dominate the scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Accentuated by bright blue lakes and lush evergreens, this mountain range, running from the Canadian prairies to the Pacific Coast, boasts stunning scenery all year round. The Canadian Rockies’ mountains impress all those who come to visit. From high peaks like Mount Robson and Mount Columbia, to smaller ones like the Snow Dome, these mountains certainly stand tall along the Canadian Rockies’ skyline. Aside from mountains, the Canadian Rockies also serves as the source of many rivers including the Fraser, the Columbia, The North Saskatchewan, the Bow, and the Athabasca Rivers.

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National Parks
The Canadian Rockies consist of five national parks: Jasper, Banff, Kootenay, Yoho, and Waterton. All five of these parks were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984 due to its mountain landscapes. Additionally, they all offer a wide range of activities year-round for visitors of all types.

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Outdoor Activities
For the outdoor enthusiast, the Canadian Rockies is a dream come true. In the summer months, visitors can raft the white water rapids of rivers like the Sunwapta and Athabasca Rivers. Alternatively, visitors can stick to dry land activities like rock climbing or hiking. In the winter months, places like Banff National Park offers back country skiing. And if you are of the more adventurous sort, you can try your hand at mountaineering, or even ice climbing.

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Festivals Galore
An abundance of events and festivals fill the calendar for the Canadian Rockies. Winterstart Festival kicks off the season with events in Banff and Lake Louise, running from mid-November to mid-December. Other winter festivals in the Canadian Rockies include Jasper in January, happening in mid to late January in Jasper, and the Winter Magic Festival, happening in the town of Hinton, Alberta in the month of February. The highlight of the spring season is the Canmore Uncorked Food and Drink Festival, a new culinary festival in the town of Canmore. The summer months, on the other hand, are packed with events and festivals, including Performance in the Park at Banff, the Wild Mountain Music Festival in Hinton, and the Canadian Death Race, a challenging adventure race taking place in August in Grande Cache, Alberta.

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Retreat from Urban Living
City life has its perks, but sometimes you need to get away and disconnect. For those who visit the Canadian Rockies, it’s more than just an opportunity to be close to nature, it’s also a retreat from the pressures of urban living. A peaceful hike among the trees, or soaking in the beauty of nature on the banks of Lake Louise can help bring you more perspective on what’s important in life.

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Fulfilling A Challenge
For many who come to the Canadian Rockies, a visit there is also a chance to fulfill a challenge. Whether it involves climbing some of the highest peaks, like Mount Robson, tackling the rapids on the Kicking Horse River, or backcountry camping at Banff National Park, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to challenge themselves and test their limits.

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From hiking to mountain biking, skiing to whitewater rafting, there is always something to do when you visit the Canadian Rockies, no matter what time of year. For more ideas on travel to Canada and to other destinations, download the LeafCanoe app.

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Out of the Box Travels: Explore Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu looms above the Sacred Valley in Peru, a sprawling collection of stone structures, shrouded by mist, and blending harmoniously with the surrounding mountain ridge. Frequently, though inaccurately, described as “The Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu is a favorite among travelers to Peru. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the country just to explore Machu Picchu. LeafCanoer, daijie, recently shared her travels to Machu Picchu in her leaf, “Visit Machu Picchu.” Like many travelers before, daijie spent her time exploring the various areas of this ancient and unique Inca site.

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The citadel of Machu Picchu was built in 1450, presumably as an estate for the Inca emperor, Pachacuti. Using classical Inca style architecture, Machu Picchu consists of structures and buildings made with polished dry-stone walls. The grounds, which sits over 8,000 feet above sea level, is divided into an agricultural area, comprised of terraces, and the urban section, used for administrative purposes. The structures were linked to the rest of the Inca Empire via a road called Qhapaq Nan.

Long overlooked (or unknown) by non-Peruvians, Machu Picchu gained prominence in the early 1900’s through the works of American historian, Hiram Bingham. By 1981, Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary, and in 1983, it joined the ranks of The Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, and the Acropolis of Athens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the outer buildings of Machu Picchu have been reconstructed, with over 30% of the buildings having received some form of restoration prior to it being accepted as a World Heritage Site.

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These days, Machu Picchu is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. It is now one of Peru’s major revenue generators, though it still has managed to retain a certain level of adventure and a rustic feel. For those considering paying a visit to Machu Picchu, here are highlights of places to visit, to get you on your way to explore Machu Picchu:

Visit the Sun Gate
In Inca times, the Sun Gate was used to mark the entrance to Machu Picchu. These days, it serves as a starting off point for exploring the ancient citadel.

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Walk through the Sacred Plaza
One of the most famous parts of Machu Picchu, and undoubtedly one of the most photographed, the Sacred Plaza comprises of three buildings: the Main Temple, the Temple of Three Windows, and the Priest’s House.

Explore the Royal Tomb
Thought to be the final resting place of many Inca leaders, the Royal Tomb boasts some of the best masonry in Machu Picchu.

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Marvel at the Temple of the Sun
The Temple of the Sun is a semi-circular building, the only one of its kind at Machu Picchu, that consists of a large stone altar used for spiritual worship and sacrifice.

Hike along the lower or upper routes
Hiking is by far one of the most popular activities to do at Machu Picchu. There are two main trails to choose from, the lower route and the upper route, and both offer you a nice challenge while you explore Machu Picchu at your own pace.

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Cross the Inca Bridge
Located just 15 minutes away from Machu Picchu is the Inca Draw Bridge, which goes along the original Inca Trail. Though the structure itself is fairly simple and uninteresting, the best part about visiting the draw bridge is the fantastic view of the Andean mountains.

Take in the views at the Guardhouse
Another great place to take in views is at the Guardhouse, which offers panoramic views of all of Machu Picchu.

Whether you are visiting Machu Picchu for one day, or returning for multiple days of excursions, there is just so much to see at Machu Picchu for visitors of all styles and interests. For those of you ready to explore Machu Picchu, check out more of daijie’s leaf on LeafCanoe.

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You can also check out the other leaves on LeafCanoe by downloading the LeafCanoe app.

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Tips for a Great Trip to Glacier National Park

The summer months are coming to an end, but it’s still not to late to go out and explore the outdoors. One of the best national parks to explore the outdoors is Glacier National Park. Leafcanoer, searchingforyourzen, recently posted information about their trip to Glacier National Park in their leaf titled, “Jaw Dropping Scenery at Glacier National Park.” If you’re inspired to do your own trip to Glacier National Park, here are six tips to help you have a great trip to the park:

St. Mary

Dress in layers
The weather at Glacier National Park can be extremely fickle. Temperatures on a summer day can go from extremely hot to extremely cold. Additionally, wind and rain is a big part of the climate in the area, so it’s best to be prepared when planning a trip. Even for a day trip, be sure to dress in layers and bring a day pack. When it gets hot, store your layers in your day pack, and when it gets cold, put on those extra layers.

Going to the Sun Road

Let someone know where you’re going
Countless stories have been told of hikers getting lost at Glacier National Park. One of the simplest things you can do before heading out on your trip is to let someone know where you’re going, as well as give them an expected return date. Most smart phones these days have GPS tracking technology, so it wouldn’t be hard to set that up ahead of time with someone you know. But in case you’re in an area where that technology won’t work, it’s good to use the old fashioned method of telling someone where you will be.

Hungry Horse Dam

Plan your route
There are more than 700 miles of trails at Glacier National Park that you can discover and explore. If you only have a limited amount of time, it’s helpful to plan your route ahead of time. On a similar note, with over 150 mountain peaks at the park, elevation can fluctuate dramatically. Pace yourself, and take plenty of breaks so that you don’t get too exhausted too early in your trip.

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Learn before you go
Part of planning involves doing a bit of research ahead of time. Before your trip to Glacier National Park, learn about some of the flora and fauna that you might see there. The National Park Service website has a page dedicted to Glacier National Park that has a lot of useful information including activities that the park is offering, the history and culture of the park, and facts about the animals and plants that inhabit the park. The NPS website also posts park alerts, so it’s helpful to check the site before your trip to stay up to date with what is going on at the park.

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Stay hydrated and energized
With all the hiking and exploring that you’ll be doing at Glacier National Park, it’s important to stay hydrated, and bring snacks to keep you energized. Dried fruit and nuts are always a staple in every hiker’s snack list, but also consider bringing some fresh fruit. This can be a refreshing treat on a hot day.

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Bring your camera
Glacier National Park has an abundance of breathtaking views, it would be a pity not to be able to share it with others when you get back from your trip. If you can manage it, bring along a camera on your trip. A good DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera can help you capture some of the beauty of the park, but even a phone with a decent camera can suffice, though you won’t get the same quality photo as with a good camera.

Glacier National Park

Hiking in the outdoors is one of the best ways to enjoy the last months of summer. For more ideas of places to enjoy the outdoors, download the Leafcanoe app.

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Back to Nature in the Rockies

When people think of the Rockies, most automatically think of Colorado or Montana. But the region that encompasses the Rocky Mountains actually stretches as far North as Canada, and as far South as New Mexico. The Rocky Mountain region is known for its natural beauty, and is an excellent place to get in touch with the great outdoors.

Leafcanoer, cmlenny, recently shared highlights of a trip to the Rockies in the leaf, “Eastern Idaho/Yellowstone National Park – adventure awaits!” From rivers to sand dunes, geysers to wild animals, the Rockies has no shortage of sights and activities. For those needing a break from everyday life, here are five ways to get back to nature in the Rockies.

Explore the Snake River
The Snake River is considered the largest tributary of the Columbia River, and winds through Wyoming, Idaho, and into Washington state. The river is approximately 1,078 miles long, and forms parts of the historic Oregon Trail. Since the 1890’s, the river has been used to generate hydroelectricity, and is also used to provide water to surrounding farmlands. The Snake River cuts through North America’s deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon. Popular activities to do along the Snake River include fishing, hiking, and boating. The largest white water rapids can also be found along the Snake River, in Idaho.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Snake River

Visit Mesa Falls
A must-do while exploring the Snake River is a visit to Mesa Falls. There are actually two sets of waterfalls: Upper Mesa Falls and Lower Mesa Falls. These two waterfalls are known to be the last two prominent waterfalls untouched by human control. Upper Mesa Falls stands almost as tall as a 10-story building, and Lower Mesa Falls is not that far behind in height. The views surrounding the falls are breath-taking, and an excellent reminder of the beauty and power of nature. Mesa Falls is located in Eastern Idaho, in the Targhee National Forest.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Upper Mesa Falls

Camp Out at St. Anthony Sand Dunes
Also in Idaho is St. Anthony sand dunes, which comprises of 11,000 acres of white quartz sand. The dunes are constantly shifting. Some of them reach up to 400 feet high and can move up to 8 feet each year. The sand dunes, located near St. Anthony, Idaho, are a great place to go camping. There are campsites along the east end of the dunes, and also in the south-central portion. Another popular activity to do at St. Anthony Sand Dunes is to go off-roading. Visitors have also explored the sand dunes on horseback.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - St. Anthony Sand Dunes

Observe Animals in their Natural Habitat    
The Rocky Mountains are home to a wide variety of animals. These include elk, moose, mule deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and coyotes. In Yellowstone National Park, you can also find bison, lynx, mountain lions, and bobcats. The best way time to see animals are in the early mornings and the evening hours, when they are most likely to be feeding. And many visitors opt to camp out in the park, to increase their chances of seeing animals and to be more immersed in nature. However, there are a number of safety considerations to keep in mind when visiting Yellowstone, mainly that since these are wild animals, it’s wise to maintain a safe distance from them to avoid getting injured.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Bears

Witness Geysers at Yellowstone National Park
Another draw to Yellowstone National Park are the geysers, which are periodically erupting hot springs. The most famous geyser at Yellowstone National Park is Old Faithful, aptly named due to its almost routine eruption every 63 minutes. According to the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park has almost half of the world’s geysers. Besides Old Faithful, there are a number of other geysers throughout the park, each with its own unique feature that is worth visiting.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Old Faithful

For many of us, everyday life can get tiresome and tedious. But now that it’s summer, it’s the perfect time to visit the Rocky Mountains and witness nature at its best. For more ideas about how to get back to nature in the Rockies, check out the “Eastern Idaho/Yellowstone National Park – adventure awaits!” leaf and more like it by downloading the LeafCanoe app.

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Summertime At Bryce Canyon

Summer is upon us! As the days heat up, and the summer sunshine inspires countless hours of energy and enthusiasm, our minds instantly turn to spending time in the great outdoors. Leafcanoer, Daijie, has some excellent ideas of how to spend a day in the outdoors, one of which includes visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. In her leaf title, “Bryce Canyon National Park“, Daijie provides highlights of activities that families and travelers can do on their visit to Bryce Canyon.

The United States is lucky to be blessed with 58 national parks. These parks attract over 200 million visitors each year. Created by Theodore Roosevelt as a means to preserve the rich natural landscape of the country, the national park system is now something to be admired. A visit to a national park brings with it breath-taking views and a number of outdoor activities. At Bryce Canyon, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Here are five that you can do on your next visit.

Take in the scenic views
Bryce Canyon has an abundance of beautiful scenic views. From Sunrise Point to Sunset Point, Inspiration Point to Bryce Point, visitors to the national park can take in the best of what the West has to offer at any spot in the park. One of the things that makes Bryce Canyon so unique are the unusual rock formations, called hoodoos, which were created by millions of years of erosion.

Ride a horse
Horseback riding is a popular activity to do at Bryce Canyon. Not only does it provide you with a scenic view of the surrounding area, but it also gives you a glimpse of how early explorers and settlers might have experienced the area many years ago. Canyon Trail Rides, which offers horse and mule rides throughout the park, is a popular company among visitors to Bryce Canyon. Ruby’s Inn also offers horseback rides around the national park.

Hike the trails
If riding horses are not really your thing, you can explore the park on foot by hiking the many nature trails throughout the national park. Popular trails among visitors to Bryce Canyon are the Navajo Trail, the Fairyland Loop, the Peek-a-Boo Loop, and the Queen’s Garden Trail. At the Peek-a-Boo Loop, and also throughout the park, hoodoos jut out across the landscape, giving the park its unique look. Another popular hike is the full moon hike, which is offered once a month for a limited number of visitors. There are also snowshoe hikes available during the winter months.

Camp out at the park
Many visitors to Bryce Canyon end up spending more than a day in the area, because there is just so much to explore. The park has two campgrounds, one in the North and one in the South. For those wanting less rustic accommodations, there are plenty of lodging options around the park.

Learn about geology
One of the biggest draws to Bryce Canyon, is the landscape. The park’s many rock formations make for interesting photo opportunities. For those visitors interested in learning more about the geology of Bryce Canyon, they can join the geology talks offered by the National Parks Service on a daily basis at Sunset Point. Another opportunity to learn about Bryce Canyon’s geology is through the Annual Geology Fest, held every summer. The festival features guided hikes, children’s educational activities, exhibits, and talks, teaching visitors about the geology of the area.

Of the many national parks in the United States, Bryce Canyon is both unique and enchanting. It’s the perfect spot to explore the great outdoors, and the perfect place to spend the summer.

Looking for more places to visit this summer? Check out other leaves on LeafCanoe by downloading the LeafCanoe app.

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Five Must-Do Activities in Taiwan

Known for its year-round spring time weather, Taiwan is a place that is rich in culture and history. Visited by millions of tourists each year, Taiwan is fast becoming a popular tourist destination. The country has a number of natural and man-made attractions that draw visitors to the island each year. LeafCanoer, Crooked Flight, recently posted a leaf highlighting Taiwan’s landscapes and culinary delights.  For those interested in visiting Taiwan, here is a more in depth look at five of Crooked Flight’s activities in Taiwan.

View the city from Taipei 101
Taipei 101 is known as the world’s second tallest building. Formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, Taipei 101 stands 1,671 feet tall, with 101 floors and a design that can withstand earthquakes and typhoons. First opened in December 2004, Taipei 101 has both an indoor and outdoor observation deck that visitors can go to get 360 degree views of Taipei. Access to the observation deck is available year round from 9 am to 10 pm via a high-speed elevator.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 Building (photo credit: Eileen Cotter)

Indulge in a traditional foot massage
The practice of reflexology, or traditional foot massage, has gained in popularity across Asia. Made famous by a Swiss priest named Josef Eugster, this traditional Chinese and Egyptian therapeutic practice has taken hold in Taiwan. Taipei’s Minchuan East Road and Linsen North Road are lined with many foot massage parlors, and you can generally get a good price for a foot massage. After a long day of sight-seeing, it’s well worth the cost!

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Traditional foot massage (photo credit: Eileen Cotter)

Stay the night in the Hello Kitty room
There is something oddly appealing about Hello Kitty. Created in Japan in 1974, the Hello Kitty brand has gained international popularity over the years among kids and adults, and the company is worth more than $5 billion a year. Hello Kitty holds a special place in Taiwan, where you can find a castle, maternity hospital, and restaurant all featuring the Hello Kitty theme. For any Hello Kitty lover, a stay at the Hello Kitty room in the Hi-Lai Plaza Hotel in Kaohsiung is a must. Decked out in Hello Kitty decor, a stay in the room includes breakfast with a real live Hello Kitty, and the opportunity to ride around town in a Hello Kitty car or bicycle.

Hello Kitty Room

The Hello Kitty Room at the Hi-Lai Plaza Hotel (photo credit: Eileen Cotter)

Experience traditional culture at Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park, located in the northeastern part of Taiwan, is one of nine national parks in the country. Established in 1986, the park was named after the Taroko Gorge. Taroko National Park is a popular place for biking or hiking. The park has a number of must-see spots such as the Eternal Spring Shrine, the Swallow Grotto, and the Water Sheet Cave. Taroko National Park is also a place to experience Taiwan’s traditional culture. Visitors have the opportunity to experience music of regional indigenous tribes several times during the year. And within the national park is a restaurant that serves up cuisine from the indigenous tribe of the region, the Truku.

Aboriginal Meal

Aboriginal cuisine (photo credit: Eileen Cotter)

Enjoy nature at Sun Moon Lake
With the distinction of being the largest body of water in Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is a popular spot for tourists and locals to catch views of the sunrise and sunset. Visitors to Sun Moon Lake can arrange boat tours to experience the beauty of the lake from the water. In addition to enjoying nature, tourists can also learn about Taiwan’s traditional culture through dance and singing performances by the Thao tribe, the local indigenous tribe. These performances are incorporated into many of the boat tours.

Sun Moon Lake

Boats at Sun Moon Lake (photo credit: Eileen Cotter)

With so many activities in Taiwan for you to enjoy, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re only staying for a few days or planning a more long-term visit, these five activities are a great starting off point for your Taiwan exploration.

For more travel inspiration and ideas, download the Leaf Canoe app.

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Five Excellent Hikes Near Seattle

One of the wonderful things about the Pacific Northwest is its close proximity to the outdoors. Whether it’s lakes, beaches, mountains, or forests, the Pacific Northwest has it all, and many of these outdoor spots are relatively close to Seattle. If you’re into hiking and the outdoors, here are five hikes near Seattle that you need to check out.

Hoh Rainforest at Olympic National Park
The Hoh Rainforest is unique as it is one of only a few temperate zone rain forests in the world. While you won’t find any monkeys or elephants here, you will find an abundance of lush evergreens, as well as deer and elk that call the rainforest their home. The park is accessible by way of Port Angeles, and there are several drive up camping locations for those interested in a relatively easy camping experience. If you’d rather opt for a more rugged experience, you can hike further into the park and do some back-country camping.

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Hiking trail at the Hoh Rainforest

 

Whidbey Island
The Puget Sound is home to a number of islands off the coast of Seattle. Whidbey Island, just west of Seattle, has several state parks that visitors can enjoy, including Deception Pass State Park, Fort Ebey State Park, and South Whidbey Island State Park. These parks offer stunning beaches and views of the Puget Sound. Additionally, Penn Cove, which is located in the northern part of the island, is known for its seafood, particularly mussels. Whidbey Island is accessible by ferry ride from downtown Seattle. However, if you’re wanting a more scenic route, you can head north of Seattle and then west towards Deception Pass. Going this route will take you through some quaint towns, including La Connor, a small yet historic seaside town in western Washington.

Snoqualmie Falls
For a more well-trodden yet breathtakingly beautiful hike, head east of Seattle along I-90 towards Snoqualmie Falls. The falls is a favorite among locals and visitors. The hike towards Snoqualmie Falls is relatively easy, and once there, you can dip your feet in the water and enjoy the spray from the 269 feet high waterfalls. This is a popular hike for kids and families.

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At the base of Snoqualmie Falls

 

Leavenworth
Also east of Seattle, along Highway 2, is the town of Leavenworth. Set within the mountains of the Cascades, and known by tourists as a Bavarian village, the locals know it as a great starting point for nature hikes. There are plenty of hiking trails to choose from. Visitors can go along the Hidden Lake route, or follow the old trail of the Great Northern Railroad. For a more challenging hike, follow the Icicle Ridge trail, which increases in elevation to give you aerial views of the town and its surroundings.

Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park
One of the most beautiful hikes in the Pacific Northwest is the area known as Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park. Paradise is located on the south side of Mount Rainier, at about 5,000 feet, and is accessible by car. The area is known for its stunning views of Mount Rainier peak, as well as its peaceful alpine meadows. Several trails heading up and around the mountain begin at the Paradise Jackson Visitors Center. From the visitors center, hikers can choose to hike to Pinnacle Peak, where they can get better views of Mount Rainier or Mount Adams. Or if they want something a little easier, they can hike laterally towards the nearby Myrtle Falls.

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A gorgeous view of Mount Rainier peak

 

The Pacific Northwest is a great place to experience the outdoors, and one popular outdoor activity is hiking the many parks in the area. With so many national parks and state parks to choose from, finding great hikes near Seattle is an easy task to accomplish.

Looking for more ideas for outdoor and travel activities? Check out and download the LeafCanoe App.

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