The best winter experiences, trips, adventures in California


Out of water, the northern elephant seal is as ungainly as a creature can get — thousands of pounds of blubbery, damp, stinky flesh, caked with beach sand, prone to molting, belly flops and mating frenzies.

So, of course, you want to see them. And winter is prime time.

This will make more sense once you’ve arrived at Piedras Blancas, where hundreds of these seals at a time bask, spar, give birth and mate on a ridiculously beautiful stretch of state-controlled undeveloped coastline seven miles north of San Simeon.

It’s free and open every day. There’s a parking lot and boardwalk (wheelchair accessible), usually patrolled by a few volunteer docents in blue windbreakers. You watch and listen, walk the pathway and (as the National Park Service urges) stay at least 25 feet away from the hulking beasts. Keep dogs and drones away altogether.

They’re called elephant seals because of the large proboscis grown by the adult males (which get up to 18 feet long and 5,000 pounds).

In November, thousands of the males begin showing up after months in the open ocean, to skirmish over dominance. In December, pregnant females start gathering in “harems” around dominant males. In January and February they typically give birth, followed by the resumption of mating a few weeks later.

In March, the adult males are the first to leave, having lost up to 40% of their body weight in fasting, fighting and fornicating. Females and weanlings leave later, but the animals come back to molt in spring and summer.

Pro tip: Nineteenth-century fishermen nearly wiped out these creatures, using their blubber for lamp oil and lubrication. But the tide turned in 1922, when Mexico gave the animals protected status. The U.S. soon followed.

As numbers grew, a colony showed up at Piedras Blancas in the early 1990s and has been growing ever since. Elephant seals also are common at Año Nuevo State Park in Santa Cruz County and Point Reyes in Marin County.





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Paralympic gold medallist and I’m A Celebrity contestant Kadeena Cox recalls her travel adventures


Paralympic gold medallist and I’m A Celebrity contestant Kadeena Cox on why Tokyo is her favourite Olympic city and how she can’t travel without her laptop (to watch Love Island on)










Kadeena Cox checks in to our travel Q&A

Kadeena Cox checks in to our travel Q&A

This week Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox checks in to our travel Q&A.

She shares the highlight of her Tokyo trip this summer, and more… 

Earliest holiday memory?

Having to share a tent with my sisters at a holiday camp in Scarborough — I’m one of seven — and we argued every night. I’m not a big swimmer though, so was scared of going in the sea.

First trip abroad?

Going to Jamaica in my early teens with my family. My mum comes from the Jamaican bush, which is very rural, and we cooked food on an outdoor stove. I also met my grandad for the first time.

Favourite Olympic city?

Probably Tokyo because I got to see both a traditional village, with its beautiful houses, on the edge of town, and the big city where it was ‘Lights, camera, action!’ It really wowed me.

Highlight of your Tokyo trip? 

Besides winning my gold medals, watching the sun set over Mount Fuji. That was pretty amazing.

And what about Rio in 2016?

My family, who accompanied me, visited Copacabana Beach, Sugarloaf Mountain and the Christ the Redeemer statue — but I was competing until the final day of the Paralympics so didn’t have a chance to do any sightseeing. But I had a few caipirinhas before flying home.

Are you a good flyer?

I don’t like flying, but try to get some shut-eye. Luckily, I can sleep anywhere.

Kadeena recalls watching the sun set over Mount Fuji when she visited Tokyo for the Paralympics

Kadeena recalls watching the sun set over Mount Fuji when she visited Tokyo for the Paralympics

Top travel beauty tip?

I always carry powder and eyeliner to put on my face in case I’m looking sleepy at the end of a flight.

Favourite hotel?

The Royalton White Sands Resort in Jamaica. It’s got a beautiful beach by the sea, the rooms are huge and there is a fantastic gym.

Can’t travel without?

My laptop so I can watch some trash TV, be it Love Island or Married At First Sight UK. I also need my training kit, so I can do my daily gym session.

Kadeena reveals her dream destination is Machu Picchu, the famous archeological site in Peru

Kadeena reveals her dream destination is Machu Picchu, the famous archeological site in Peru

Where next?

I’m going to St Lucia next year. What will I do there? Lie by a pool and chill out!

Dream destination?

I was hoping to visit Machu Picchu for my 30th birthday last year, but it didn’t happen due to Covid. Hopefully, I’ll make it out there someday soon … 

  • Kadeena Cox supports Citi’s Paralympics campaign, which aims to change perceptions of people with disabilities. See citi.com/ipc.

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Travel news: Wind-powered Caribbean sailing, a Wes Anderson rail ride, stateside adventures – Orangeville Banner



Travel news: Wind-powered Caribbean sailing, a Wes Anderson rail ride, stateside adventures  Orangeville Banner



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Travel news: Wind-powered Caribbean sailing, a Wes Anderson rail ride, stateside adventures – GuelphMercury.com



Travel news: Wind-powered Caribbean sailing, a Wes Anderson rail ride, stateside adventures  GuelphMercury.com



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Travel news: Wind-powered Caribbean sailing, a Wes Anderson rail ride, stateside adventures – Cambridge Times



Travel news: Wind-powered Caribbean sailing, a Wes Anderson rail ride, stateside adventures  Cambridge Times



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Travel news: Wind-powered Caribbean sailing, a Wes Anderson rail ride, stateside adventures


Wind beneath their sails

U.K. start-up Tradewind Voyages will launch their first ever Caribbean voyages beginning November, and these aren’t your average cruises. The 140-cabin vessel, Golden Horizon, claims the title of world’s largest tall ship, and the design is a dupe of France II, a cargo windjammer built in 1913. While the look may be old-world, the ambition is forward-thinking: in a bid to be more sustainable, the company plans to power the ship with wind whenever possible, with the goal of sailing — without using propulsion — for around 70 per cent of each season.

Trip back in time

The Belmond British Pullman, a restored 1920s train known for whimsical interiors and luxury rail trips through the English countryside, enlisted Wes Anderson for their latest design collaboration: a makeover of the Cygnus carriage. Expect bold pattern play, statement colours (pink ceiling, green upholstery!) and his signature symmetry, plus vintage-y touches like handcrafted marquetry. Anderson is no stranger to inventing train compartments with cinematic flair, of course. (No word from the filmmaker on bringing a dreamy grand hotel to real life — yet.)

Over the border

Toronto-based G Adventures has added 13 new small-group tours to their “United States of Adventure” collection, with departures starting in spring 2022. The itineraries focus on the American West and include some experiences that are increasingly popular (and so, harder to book). The seven-day “Best of Utah and Arizona National Parks” trip, for example, takes a visit to sought-after Antelope Canyon — nature’s sandstone sculpture, located on Navajo Nation land — with a local Indigenous guide.

West Coast cuisine

If you can’t make it to Ucluelet to dine at the award-winning Pluvio, you can try your hand at their truffle tuna tartare and made-from-scratch gourmet granola — both are detailed in “Island Eats.” The new cookbook is a tribute to the culinary community and talents on Vancouver Island and the neighbouring Gulf Islands, pulling together more than 80 favourite recipes from local chefs.

Bookmark this

To help travellers make sense of the patchwork of public health rules across the country, Destination Canada updates a “What can you do?” list (travel.destinationcanada.com/#whatcanyoudo). There’s one for each province and territory, and it breaks down the details into four key categories — travel measures (like COVID testing requirements), hotels/accommodations, restaurants/dining and activities/attractions — for quick reference.

Sign up at thestar.com/newsletters to get our weekly Travel Headlines newsletter in your inbox. Travellers are reminded to check on public health restrictions that could affect their plans.





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G Adventures Special Agent G Wraps Up With Bruce Poon Tip Chat


The pandemic has been the worst of times for travel agents. But there also are opportunities.

G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip held a 75-minute chat and question-and-answer session with agents on Thursday as the company’s Special Agent G program wrapped up its two-day program. It was their first-ever virtual program and their biggest ever and featured everything from webinars to cooking classes and more.

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“In the short term you have an opportunity to be a source of information and transcend your product,” Poon Tip told advisors. “When you’re selling things to people all the time, that’s not a meaningful relationship. You’re just selling them stuff. So you should be constantly looking for ways to engage your customers or your clients and transcend what you do.

“This pandemic has allowed travel professionals to actually offer a professional service, because travellers are nervous, travellers need to be convinced to come back to travel, they need to feel safe,” he said. “All this complaining the travel industry has done for so long about OTA’s stealing business or people buying direct, this is the perfect opportunity for them to engage customers with information, and create a conversation that transcends your product and selling them stuff; starting to research what’s happening with vaccines and vaccine rollouts, what people are doing on the ground … destinations that are opening faster. You become an authority and you give people that confidence.”

Poon Tip said he and other travel executives have been making their case with Ottawa.

“The government seems to have no urgency, and I think that’s our biggest problem. I think we actually stand fairly well as a country. Everyone wants to come to Canada, that’s one thing for sure. I hear from people every day asking, ‘When’s Canada opening?'”

The way things stand, Poon Tip said he doesn’t see a full recovery for a year or a year and-a-half.

Poon Tip also touched on some personal issues and career highlights, including the introduction of their non-profit Planeterra program In 2003, his first book, which became a New York Times bestseller, and, just this week, receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, which was done virtually and allowed his mom and other family members to watch.

That’s pretty good for an immigrant from Trinidad who thought he would go into the music business before deciding to open G (then Gap) Adventures in 1990; back before laptops or cell phones or even fax machines existed.

Poon Tip teased agents by saying G Adventures is working on some “very, very big, industry changing and G Adventures changing projects” that he won’t be able to talk about until later this year or early in 2022.

He told advisors it’s a great time to book a trip as there are “deals, deals, deals,” as well as unprecedented flexibility from airlines and tour operators. Space is limited, however, and prices will start to go up once the travel floodgates open.

Poon Tip said one trend he sees on the horizon is longer, slower travel in which people really relax and take a deep dive into the destination they’re visiting.

There’s also a growing number of people who want to book meaningful travel and not just be sold a package of amenities, he said.

David Green, G Adventures’ VP Commercial, finished the two-day event in a purple tuxedo, thanking TravelPulse Canada for providing the virtual platform for the event and thanking loyal agents for supporting the company over the years.

The Japan National Tourism Organization, the Jordan Tourism Board and PROMPERú acted as lead sponsors.





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Here are some of the best deals on Alaska airfares, lodging, cruises and adventures this summer


There’s a pile of good news on the travel front, with the promise of more cruises and international travel at the very top of the heap.

Details are scarce, but the European Union wants more Americans to visit this summer, as long as they’re vaccinated. Some countries, including Greece and Croatia, already are open to Americans willing to get a COVID-19 test prior to travel. Delta and United are adding flights to Athens and Dubrovnik.

Within the state, travel bargains are popping up all over. Airfares, lodges, cruises and adventures are on sale.

If you’re looking for a good deal on an airline ticket, look north to Fairbanks. The Golden Heart City still boasts the best deals for out-of-state tickets. From Fairbanks to Seattle or Salt Lake City, it’s $59 one-way on Delta. From Fairbanks to Fort Myers, Florida, it’s $107 one-way on Delta. From Fairbanks to almost anywhere, it’s super-cheap right now.

If you live in Anchorage, it’s a long drive to the Fairbanks airport. Or, you can fly up for as little as $39 one-way on United. On Alaska Airlines, it’s a little more: $49 one-way. The cheap fares to Fairbanks start on June 3, when United starts daily flights. Up until then, Alaska Airlines charges $158 one-way.

Alaska Airlines, though, is trying to get you to see the state. Through its Club 49 program, the airline is giving away a couple of adventures each week. This week, it’s offering a package to both Haines and King Salmon. Last week, Alaska Air awarded a trip for two to the Kodiak Brown Bear Center and Lodge, plus a fishing and sightseeing package to Petersburg. Next week, entrants could win trips to either Juneau or Sitka.

The city of Kodiak, photographed on Jan. 24, 2019. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Speaking of Kodiak, the Kodiak Brown Bear Center and Lodge, located in the southwestern part of Kodiak Island, is offering a 20% discount for those who book directly with the lodge. The lodge only accepts eight guests at a time for bear viewing, kayaking and hiking adventures.

Ravn Alaska is having an early-summer sale to all of its destinations from Anchorage, including Homer, Kodiak, Valdez, Sand Point, Cold Bay, King Salmon and Dillingham. Tickets to Homer are $109 each way, or $199 each way to either King Salmon or Dillingham. Travel must be completed by June 23.

If you want to go to Cordova later this month, the Alaska Marine Highway is offering a 20% discount (passengers and vehicles) from Whittier on two sailings: May 27 and May 30. Also, kids under age 12 sail free. According to the ferry’s website, there will be special fares all summer long to select destinations.

In Fairbanks, sail on the Chena River aboard the Riverboat Discovery. For Alaska residents, there’s a 40% discount on cruises, and you can pick your date later on. After leaving the dock on the Chena River, you’ll sail to the Chena Indian Village Living Museum for a walking tour of an Athabascan village. There’s also a bush pilot demonstration and a visit to the Trail Breaker Kennel.

Catch gold fever in Fairbanks at Gold Dredge 8. Located in the Goldstream Valley, this giant dredge operated for more than 30 years shoveling giant buckets of “paydirt” onto the belts and sifters of the dredge. In addition to the dredge itself, there’s a mining museum and a narrow gauge railroad that goes around the complex. Plus, you get to pan for gold. Tickets for Alaska residents are 40% off online. (Disclosure: The Riverboat Discovery and Gold Dredge 8 are owned by the Binkley family, which also owns the Anchorage Daily News.)

Get an up-close look at Alaska’s many Indigenous cultures. The Alaska Native Heritage Center is offering a 50% discount to Alaska residents. Explore the unique art exhibits in the Hall of Cultures. The village sites, though, are my favorite part of a visit to the Heritage Center: Right outside the main building, you’ll see Lake Tiulana, and around the lake are life-sized dwellings representing specific cultures from around the state.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center. (Sarah Bell / ADN archive)

For a longer cruise, Sitka-based Alaska Dream Cruises is offering a last-minute discount on its May 30 “Glacier Bay and Island Adventure” sailing. Everything’s included (room, meals, adventures) on this cruise through Southeast Alaska, including Glacier Bay. This eight-day/seven-night small ship cruise itinerary usually costs $5,195 per person. For Alaska residents, the May 30 sailing starts at $1,595 per person. You cannot book this trip online. Call 855-747-8100 for reservations. Tip: Use your Alaska Airlines miles for the last-minute flight to Sitka.

Up near Denali National Park and Preserve, the Crow’s Nest Cabins are offering three nights for the price of two. On the dates I checked, the cabins were listed at about $208 per night (for up to four people). Use the code “STAY3” when you call 907-683-2723. The code doesn’t work for online bookings.

Not every attraction, lodge or activity is on sale. But there are quite a few outfits offering special deals. After all, without the big cruise ships, there are more than 1 million visitors who won’t make it this year — and that means there’s more room for Alaskans to explore.



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Seven of the best coastal family adventures in the British Isles


1. Best for climbing: County Donegal

The inky waters that pound Donegal’s coast have shaped the region’s distinctive sea stacks over thousands of years, and you can conquer the dramatic formations for yourself on a trip with Unique Ascent. Led by climber and mountain instructor Iain Miller, steely seafarers will be guided to the summit of one of these rugged, rocky outcrops after kayaking from the coast; keep your eyes peeled for seals and basking sharks. The team welcomes kids, too, having climbed with children as young as five. 

Alternative: Scaling the cliffs on the Isle of Portland, Dorset — suitable for climber of all abilities.

2. Best for culture: Kent

The result of a collaboration between the Turner Contemporary art gallery and Visit Kent, England’s Creative Coast has finally landed after a Covid-induced delay. Tying together 870 miles of coastline across Essex, Kent and Sussex, the programme incorporates seven new site-specific artworks by seven international artists. Adding an element of discovery for kids, there’s an associated GeoTour, where participants set out on a treasure-hunting-type mission to find hidden ‘caches’ at sites marked on the Creative Coast app. 

Alternative: Try geocaching along the South West Coast Path, with trails in both North and South Devon.

3. Best for camping: Outer Hebrides

For swashbuckling adventures, head to Lewis and Harris for white sands and seas as clear as the Caribbean. As for where to stay, the Wildlife Trust-affiliated Big Wild camp-out is taking place on 19 June. This initiative aims to encourage more of us to sleep out beneath the stars. This year, the focus is on camping in your back garden, but the good thing about Scotland is that wild camping is legal, and you can pitch a tent almost anywhere. Just remember to pack the hot chocolate for when darkness falls. 

Alternative: There’s very little scope to go wild camping legally in England and Wales. Head instead to a beachside campsite, such as Beryl’s Campsite, a secluded spot in Kingsbridge, Devon, where winding paths lead to Start Bay in Salcombe.

4. Best for beaches: Formby

If you have little ones to entertain, the sweeping sands of Formby, on Merseyside, are perfect for bucket-and-spade family escapes. Given this beauty spot falls under the care of the National Trust, it’s a very natural beach experience on offer here. Instead of souvenir shops, expect climbing and sliding down milky-white dunes and games of hide and seek in the marram grass. You might even spot red squirrels scuttling through the woods that unfold beyond the sands.

Alternative: Camber Sands, just south of Rye in East Sussex, for its dreamy dunes.

5. Best for surfing: Abersoch

This lively seaside resort on the southern tip of North Wales’ Llŷn Peninsula draws the crowds with its thriving water sports scene, which has salty-haired surfers and families alike revelling in its balmy climate. If you’re visiting in high summer, grab a board and cool off with a surf at the wild beach of Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth) — a vast stretch of coastline with churning waves that are perfect for surfers and kayakers. If the pounding waves put you off, try a spot of body boarding in the shallows.

Alternative: Look to Saltburn, in Yorkshire, dubbed the ‘surf capital of the North’, where wave-seekers round off a day on the water with fish and chips.

6. Best for standup paddleboarding: Isle of Man

A short hop across the Irish Sea, this bucolic island has quietly established itself as a hub of outdoorsy action. That’s in no small part due to its rugged coastline, marked with hidden coves, caves and towering cliffs where seabirds come to nest. To capture the entire scene from the water, try standup paddleboarding (SUP) along the shoreline. Saltworks SUP offers a range of sessions for adults and children aged 11 and over. It even provides SUP Glo paddles after nightfall and SUP safaris, allowing you to glide close to seals in the flinty swells. 

Alternative: For a more strenuous workout, try surf SUP on the waves at Polzeath in Cornwall. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a dolphin breezing past.

7. Best for coasteering: Northumberland

The unspoilt beaches and rugged coastline of England’s North East rarely see the same heaving crowds as the South West, yet the scenery is just as beautiful. For action-packed thrills, try coasteering — a blend of cliff jumping, rock climbing and cave exploration — with local outfit Adventure Northumberland. Suitable for anyone over the age of eight, each two-hour stint will have you staggering over rocks and throwing yourself into the foamy swells. The team also runs more sedate kayaking trips around Coquet Island, an RSPB seabird sanctuary a mile from the mainland. 

Alternative: Head to St David’s in Pembrokeshire, where coasteering was invented in 1986.



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7 Best Outdoor Adventures In Independence, MO


Our top getaway places need to have it all: rich history, culture and art, a good vibe, great places to grab a bite to eat, and, of course, plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventure!

The city of Independence, Missouri, has you covered in all of these areas, especially when it comes to getting out and about. From excellent hiking and biking to birdwatching and even practicing your putting, there’s a lot here for any outdoor enthusiast to enjoy and explore. Here are a few of our favorite ways to spend some active time outside while visiting Independence.

family on wagon in Independence, MO
VisitIndependence.com

1. Hit The Little Blue Trace

Hands down, one of the best places to get a breath of fresh air while checking out the city of Independence is the Little Blue Trace Walking & Biking Trail. The 15-mile crushed rock and asphalt trail located just east of town is beloved by bicyclists, joggers, and walkers, and once you experience it for yourself, you’ll quickly understand why! First things first: It’s got great amenities, including restrooms, shelters, picnic areas, and several emergency call buttons along the trail. While portions of the Little Blue Trace feel downright rural with its rolling meadows and fields, keep in mind that it winds through a suburban area. You likely won’t find yourself completely alone, which ultimately boosts the trail’s safety factor and gives us some peace of mind. Parking is a snap at the Hartman Heritage Center in Independence. Additional parking is available at several points along the trail, making access super convenient. 

Then, there are the views. As its name would suggest, the trail hugs the Little Blue River, making for a scenic trek no matter your distance. In the summer, much of the surrounding area is filled with blooming wildflowers, and there are some other neat points of interest, including several old train trestles you’ll pass under. Be sure to also keep an eye out for wildlife, including deer, wild turkeys, geese, and even snapping turtles! Whether you pack a picnic and bring it along for a leisurely all-day, out-and-back activity or are just looking to get a few quick miles in before breakfast, this memorable trail has you covered. And four-legged friends are also welcome, as long as they are leashed. (Make sure you bring clean-up supplies for them as well; your fellow trail users will thank you!)

2. Unplug And Unwind At George Owens Nature Park

Another terrific opportunity to get up close and personal with nature awaits you at Independence’s George Owens Nature Park. Here — just a few minutes away from the city center — you’ll find a suburban haven that includes more than 80 acres of wooded forest, rain gardens, and hiking trails. If you’re lucky during your visit, you’ll also spot plenty of critters who call the park home — including the gorgeous residents of the park’s butterfly garden. Adding to the fun, there are two well-stocked fishing lakes, a family picnic area, and an on-site learning center that houses several aquariums and rotating exhibits that focus on natural wonders.

This park is the perfect one-stop place to unplug, relax, and find peace in reconnecting with nature. It will provide just the break you need if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.

VisitIndependence.com

3. Go Golfing!

If you’re ready to hit the links, Independence has you covered as well. There are a number of excellent public courses with tons of tee times available both in and around the city. No matter if you’re a novice or an expert, you’ll want to make the time to work in a round (or two!).

Drumm Farm Golf Course, nestled in Independence’s rolling hills, offers golfers two choices for their day on the links. The par-72 Champion Course is designed for experienced golfers, and the Executive Course is the ideal place to brush up on or further refine your golfing skill and technique.

WinterStone Golf Course, which opened to the public in 2003, has an intriguing backstory. It’s part of a development project that actually began with a limestone mine. While the mine is still there, WinterStone was added to the property, and what an addition it is! Its wooded setting includes elevation changes, towering trees, lakes, and creeks, all of which add to the aesthetic experience of the quintessential golf outing. Lessons and senior rates are also available at this challenging course.

The Greg Norman-designed Stone Canyon Golf Course, with its consistent accolades and appearances on “best of” lists and rankings, is just southeast of town and is a favorite of both local and visiting golf enthusiasts. The landscape, which incorporates large stone outcrops, is stunning, as are the views of downtown Kansas City from the fairway.

Bottom line: There’s no shortage of great greens where you can get your golf fix in while you’re visiting Independence!

4. Fish Near The Waterfall

Waterfall Park, located in the heart of Independence, features a paved mile-long walking and bike trail that loops by a man-made waterfall, making it the perfect selfie spot. Also tucked away within its confines is an excellent playground that’s a favorite with young locals and visitors alike, and anglers should take note: The park’s 18-acre lake is a terrific fishing spot. If you want to combine your love of the outdoors with some retail therapy (or you need any essentials for enjoying the great outdoors), a Bass Pro Shop location is adjacent to the park. There you’ll find all the gear you could ever need for your next outdoor adventure!

5. Visit A Birders’ Paradise

Serious birders know that Independence has a hidden gem when it comes to observing many different types of fine feathered friends. The Missouri Department of Conservation acquired the 34 acres that comprise the Lipton Conservation Area in 1997, and the area adjoins Independence Parks and Recreation’s Santa Fe Trail Park. While this area is small, with a short half-mile hiking trail, it passes its way through thick brush, making it a great place for prime birding! Summer will feature the usual suspects, but it’s during the migration season that you’ll spy a greater variety of birds, including warblers, vireos, sparrows, and thrushes. This spot has even earned a place on the Great Missouri Birding Trail, so bring your binoculars and plan to spend a bit of time scouting the different species that make Lipton either their permanent home or temporary stopover spot.

VisitIndependence.com

6. Peruse The Farmers Market

While you won’t necessarily be communing with nature per se, Independence’s open-air Uptown Market is definitely worth a visit. Here, you’ll find a wide (and delicious!) selection of locally farmed produce, meat, and eggs just steps from Historic Independence Square. The farmers market is housed in a newer building with large doors that are kept wide open when the weather is nice. The market is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays starting in May, and June through September it is open Wednesdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., too. In addition to produce, you’ll also find homemade jams and jellies, honey, and arts and crafts. More than five dozen vendors offer their wares for sale at Uptown, and a stop here is a great way to enjoy the fresh air — not to mention the equally fresh fruits and veggies!

VisitIndependence.com

7. Get Your Steps In

What if getting out into the woods isn’t your cup of tea, but you still want to enjoy some outdoor time during your visit to Independence? No worries — just head to the Square! Historic Independence Square is the perfect place to explore, and it definitely makes for an adventure all its own. This is the city’s true heart and has been for generations. The Square was a meeting point for pioneers coming through on their way out west back in the 1800s, and today, anchored by the Historic Truman Courthouse, it remains the city’s best-known and most beloved gathering place. In and just off the Square, there’s a whole host of restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and shops, many housed in historic buildings. You’ll have no trouble getting your steps in on the Square! It’s also a romantic spot for a cozy date night.

There’s another option for power walkers in Independence: one that seamlessly blends outdoor time with an interesting dose of history. Former President Harry S. Truman loved to walk throughout his hometown of Independence and kept a famously brisk pace. To follow along in the footsteps of our nation’s 33rd president, consider taking the Truman Historic Walking Trail. Set your own pace along the 2.7-mile-long tour, which includes 44 sites that highlight important places in Truman’s life. Each is marked with a plaque; learn more and download a brochure here

To learn much more about all of the fantastic things — outdoors and otherwise — to see, do, and experience in Independence, Missouri, check out the city’s online visitors guide or visit our Independence content here.

Visit Missouri Tourism

Missouri Division of Tourism



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