New York's Central Park is known from the umpteen number of movies it has featured in. One of the most frequently visited and protected open spaces in New York, the Central Park has been declared a National Historic Landmark. Whether it's walking, biking, rollerblading, ice-skating during the winter, taking a boat ride during the summer, or bouncing from play ground to play ground this perfect outdoor sanctuary offers fun for children and adults. Don't forget to visit Central Park Wildlife Center and Children's Zoo
Bryant park next to the New York Public Library is like an oasis surrounded by tall skyscrapers was the perfect place to relax and rest our tired feet. The park has a big grassy lawn in the middle surrounded by trees with chairs and tables to sit under the shade. The grassy patch was alternatively being used for sunbathing and activities like yoga lessons, a game of chess and even some live music.
Golden Gate Park
Rent a bike from Golden Gate Park with ParkWide and you get the option to drop it off at a different location, which is awe-some. I don’t remember the rate but I think it was a 3h ride. They have a map with best routes to go and get back depending on the uphill or downhill.
The High Line
Highline which is an elevated railroad re-purposed into a park is quite a brilliant idea. Surrounded by greenery you can explore the avenues of New York and get a different perspective of the skyscraper city from a height. Parts of the Highline curves out towards the Hudson so you can get river views along with modern skyscrapers and old lofty warehouses. There were also sculptures and plenty of artwork from local artists on the way to take a peek at. Loads of nooks and crannies to stop and rest – the occasional sun loungers to laze around in while eating popsicles, benches with street views and beer gardens as well. We went on a Wednesday and it was nice sunny day with a lovely breeze so we had a good time strolling and soaking in the serenity in the middle of the bustling concrete jungle which I thought was pretty cool! Be warned though I have been told it gets busy over the weekends.Murals and cool billboards as you walk along the Highline. I particularly loved this technicolor version of the famous WWII sailor kissing the nurse photograph!
Back to MIAWalked around South Beach before heading to the airport.I didn’t enjoy Miami like I thought I would. I guess the weather not being nice was a turn off. I had the opportunity to go to Daytona Beach last year as well as Captiva Island and it was beautiful and nice tropical vacation. Probably won't go back to Miami but I'm glad I crossed it off the list.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
The second day was spent in the Animal Kingdom park! This was loads of fun. It's like a zoo with rides. Being animal lovers, we really enjoyed our time here. Almost every ride was worth the wait and we were constantly surprised by interesting animals or beautiful birds.Must-Dos: Wildlife express, Everest expedition, Awakening of the tree of life (show), Bird show, Riverboat ride.Tip: Walk to all the animal viewing areas to see everything from river otters to tigers.Eat At: Yak and YetiRank amongst 4 parks: 2nd
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods – FREEThis place should be a National Monument, but there's a reason why it's not. The land was donated to the city with the contractual understanding that it would be designated as a city park and an entrance fee would never be charged. You can drive around the loop and choose to hike as many trails as you wish, if you can find a parking space. It is free, that is true, but if you go to the visitor center, you will be charged to watch their 15-minute film, eat at their café, or buy something from the gift shop. I'm just waiting for them to start charging for parking.
Florida - The Sunshine State in the United States is the land of sun, sand and sea. It has few of the world's best beaches encompassing from Atlantic Ocean in its east coast to the Gulf of Mexico in the west coast, no wonder this part of the world is a beach lovers paradise. Whether you love isolated beaches or family-friendly one with live entertainments and exotic beach parties, Florida has everything to offer you. But my favorite is Siesta beach, located on southwest coast of Siesta Key island, Florida. It is blessed with the world's finest, whitest sand as well as exotic flowers, magnificent banyan trees and preserved mangrove shores where ibis, snowy egrets and herons claim refuge for their young. And yeah, the breathtaking sunset which is every photographers dream to capture! Do share your favorite beach in the comments below? P.S.- This post also got published in Huff Post, US. You can find it here.
Boasting more than 4 million visitors a year from all over the world, the Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the must visit tourist attraction favored by both international and local tourists. It has some of the best gardens and play areas in the city which includes BP Footbridge, Cloud Gate, Lurie Garden and the Crown Fountain. Its ideal atmosphere and children loving environment makes it a must visit place in Chicago. The park also features The Grant Park Music Festival every year which is a musical concert series held for around a week and is known all around the United States.
One of the best places I have ever seen where there is scrumptous food, culture, architecture all thrown in together. A canal runs in the midst of the city and malls and restaurants run parallel to this canal. You find ducks randomly roaming around among the crowd. There is so much energy in the place that it automatically charges you. Visit this place preferably after dusk.
Pastel Colored structures welcoming us to the IslandsWe decided to splurge a little and encash our travel points with the Mariott Group and had booked the Mariott Beachside Resort at Key West and it was truly worth it! The view was mesmerising. To wake up in the morning to the expanse of those blue waters and sails parked all around and the gradual tint in those skies as the sun comes up is enchanting. It was like a picture waiting to be painted, Alas, we all have our shortcomings, I had to make peace with capturing it on a mobile camera and Instagram it.
Gleaming as one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one of the best man made wonders housing more than 8,000 species of aquatic animals like sea lions, dolphins and sea turtles making it one of the must visit places in Chicago. Also surrounding it is the famous Museum Campus Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Adler Planetarium. Online purchasing of tickets are available at http://www.sheddaquarium.org/.
Such a simple incident could have so much impact on us... It had so much impact on me... their simple conversation had made me think about so much.. And made the long walk so easy.And when I saw the time I was still far and I had 10 minutes left for my booking at the Alcatraz, I rushed my tired feet as hard as I could and reached just in time. As I serpented my way through to the big boat which was going to take me to the notorious Alcatraz, the island stood right in-front of me in complete isolation in the never ending sea with a promise of so many stories to be told. I recommend good walking shoes for Alcatraz, if you want to see all the parts and are curious to know of all the stories of the worst criminals and the escape attempts. What took me by surprise was that San Francisco looked glorious from the prison and I couldn't help but think... that for the criminals it must have been such a sore sight.. I mean.. the good life was right infront of them at all times.. almost within their reach except for no way to escape and a freezing sea between them and the straight lanes and lives of the good people. They even had a section for dogs who were trained to attack when told. Inside the prison walls and the individual prisons.. the likes of me.. 'tourists' were getting their pictures clicked behind bars with smiles... but when I asked someone to take a picture of me.. I couldn't help myself and feel ... ummmm .. BAD and BUCK... so I made the 'Criminal faces' and soon enough like a fad.. everyone was clicking pics behind bars with the appropriate expressions... hahahah... On my arrival back to land; my friend was already waiting to pick me up with his wonderful wife and son. Tushar is an IT professional and had lived here for over a decade. And even though we hadn't met in over 15 years.... Was kind enough to take me around and later even insist I stay over in his posh home with the cream carpets and a pool in the backyard. I did have a rough plan for that day but was meeting him after so long that I didn't feel comfortable making demands so I let him plan my day. It's good to let go and throw away the oars sometimes, I say. He drove me all around SF and showed me the much famed and beautiful crooked road... which was such a pretty sight with the flowers all along it and then took me for a long drive, over the Golden Gate Bridge to the 17 mile road. Again, I was meeting him after about 15 years, and he was a friend of my brother in law and we had met at my sister's wedding and yet he and his wife; also an IT professional went out of their way with their son who wasn't too well to show me the city. Now the 17 mile drive, I don't know if this place features in any lists of To-Sees but I sure loved it... Twas long and winding and had mountains on one side and sea on the other.. We drove through trees and multiple picturesque spots and then came across a spot where the trees had the weirdest shapes... One was called the Ghost Tree and I swear it did look like a ghost.When they had asked me what I wanted to eat I had requested Sambar rice, I was craving home cooked simple meals. But, we got home very late that night. The next morning; she had made it for me. I sat in the sunny backyard to soak up the sun and ate over two servings of rice before they dropped me to the airport and we exchanged promises to be in touch.San Francisco had been absolutely wonderful with amazing weather and so many gorgeous places to see... But I was going to the airport with thoughts of Mary and smiling about the kindness of Tushar and his family. And reminding myself of the lessons I had learnt and praying I would remember them when I became a mother.This trip was originally published on Travelling Boots.