This is my fourth year as a travel blogger and my third year doing a end of year wrap up. It’s also the first year I’ve been traveling “full time, ” so I’m at a bit of a loss at how to format this. How do you chronicle your trips when your whole existence is foreign now?

You see, in March, I bought a one-way ticket to Australia. In May, I got on the plane and haven’t looked back.

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

I had a lot of fun in the three years between my university graduation and my move here, but I didn’t realize how stuck and unhappy I’d been at home in Texas until I realized just how happy being here made me feel.

2018 was the year of doing the hard thing. I learned how to let go of tense, temporary comfort in exchange for something better down the line, even if in the moment, letting go made me feel like I was literally going to die.

States visited: Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado

Countries visited: USA, Australia

See also: 

Met up with Pals in Austin

I love Austin. It’s a blue island in an otherwise deep red state that lives by the mantra “keep Austin weird.” It’s only 2 1/2 hours from home, but I hardly ever visit. I only went twice in 2017 and that wasn’t enough, so I tried to start 2018 off on a better note.

When one of my great friends from university said she was coming to visit, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see her and play tourist for the day.  The only downside: I was on day 28 of my Whole30 at the time and there was no way I was giving up that late in the game. So, I had to forfeit the cactus lemonade at Taco Deli and the kolaches at Hruska’s on the drive up. It was hard y’all. Real hard.

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Rode a Longhorn in Fort Worth

I do my best to put crazy Texan stereotypes to rest…but I did really ride a longhorn when my mom and I went to Fort Worth to visit the famous stockyards in early January. His name was Jake and I think about him all the time. Miss you, Jake.

Basically Went to Mexico

My mom works as a children’s pastor, so for spring break, we visited a town right on the border with Mexico to meet with a church there and see about sending a team to help out in the area with various projects. I had a lot of fun on this mini road trip that almost took us south of the border with my parents and my mom’s best friend.

We ate a LOT of good food, I got to pet a few dogs, and I learned that my dad always carries a metal spoon in his briefcase so he can eat ice cream in grocery store parking lots between sales calls. Talk about a life tip.

Went Peak Texas in Corpus Christi

Selena Memorial Corpus Christi

I knew I wasn’t going to be seeing much of my family in the next few years, so before my big move to Australia I wanted to carve out some time to spend with my sister and brother in law, who live about three hours south of the rest of our family.

They live right on the beach, which unless you’re on South Padre Island isn’t much in Texas. However, they do live near enough to the famous Selenas memorial and the two-story Whataburger that I still managed to have a nice time. And yeah, yeah. Spending time with them before moving to the literal other side of the planet was nice too, I guess.

Celebrated Julia Roberts and my Uni Bestie in Mystic

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

I’ve always been one to make time for the people that I care about. So, I went up to Massachusetts to celebrate another friend from university’s birthday. I knew I wasn’t going to see her for a while since I had my move to Australia planned already, so the trip was very important to me.

I’m also one who very much enjoys eating pizza where Julia Roberts has once eaten pizza (#tbt to going to Naples, Italy and eating where she did in Eat, Pray, Love). So, after we spent the morning exploring the Mystic Aquarium in coastal Connecticut, we had to stop into Mystic Pizza for a slice…since Mystic Pizza is a cult masterpiece and also one of my favorite movies.

Tried Skiing for the First Time in Lake Placid

Do one thing every day that scares you. Okay sure. A great mantra to live by. But not when you’re sliding down a mountain on tiny strips of metal with absolutely no control over your likely impending death.

I’m not a sporty girl by any means. But, when I visited my friend from uni in Lake Placid (a resort town in Upstate New York that has hosted the winter olympics TWICE) I knew I HAD to try skiing. Especially because she works at the Whiteface ski resort.

So, I borrowed some snow pants, rented some gear, booked myself a lesson, and was good to go. Or so I thought.

My friend and I started off on the extreme bunny slope before her shift started for the day. We practiced turning and stopping. I was doing great. We even practiced falling and getting up (which we had also practiced the night before in her living room — I was SO serious about being good at this guys).

When she started her shift and I went off for my lesson, I headed off to the actual bunny slope with sky high confidence. I was doing better than the only other student in my group (a very kind woman from Belgium who kept grabbing my sleeve to steady herself), so I thought, “I’m basically an Olympian at this point.” But then I fell. It was our second time down the green circle run and I just lost control.

Somehow, my hip rotated 360 degrees, one ski got flung 20 feet across the run from me, I was upside down, and my hands were bleeding from the ice.

So I was done for the day. I went and sat in the lodge and tried to shake off the pit in my stomach, but even thinking about getting back on the lift made me feel like crying. But when she finished her shift, she convinced me to give it one more go.

“Why not?” she said.

I have to give her the biggest shout out for her patience with me because I was a WRECK. The run was only one step up from the bunny slope and she could’ve gotten down to the bottom in two minutes, but it took us over 30. The entire time, I was cursing, crying, and stopping before I even started. But I did it! She made sure of that. She even took some sick GoPro footage of me while she skied backwards down the mountain.

That’ll never see the light of day because my mom follows me and I don’t want anyone to ever see how uncool I looked in that moment. BUT, as a personal victory, I see getting down that mountain as one of the proudest moments of my life.

Had a Girl Gang Reunion at Mount Holyoke

This year got off to a really rough start for my best friend Brittney. On New Years Day, my sister and I were driving from Corpus Christi to Houston. It was raining and I was napping on and off, seriously neglecting the navigation and DJ-in-chief duties that come with riding shotgun. I got a text from Brittney that said she was having some stomach pain and was in the emergency room.

Ah, that sucks, I thought. What a way to start the year! But, I didn’t think much about it. The next day, Britt let us know that there was a mass and she was getting a surgery scheduled. I immediately made up my mind that it was a cyst and that she’d be back on the plane to London (where she was getting her masters degree) in no time. I mean, I had just seen her in October. We traveled in London and Zurich together. She was fine! How could anything be different now?

I mentioned this to my friend Lauren a few days later, still treating the situation like a minor annoyance, and immediately got the “Can I call you?” text. I knew what that meant. My heart hit my heels. I wanted to puke.

It’s very unsettling to be so far away when someone who you love so dearly is experiencing such a life changing event. I was helpless. I was also in serious denial. But Brittney wasn’t.

mount holyoke college 2 year reunion

from our second reunion in May 2017

If you ever are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances or are wondering why you’ve been dealt a certain hand in life, I want to encourage you to watch this interview Brittney did. Sometimes, you have to be okay knowing your situation sucks. Sometimes, you just have to accept that you aren’t able to be strong today, because you need your strength for tomorrow. And sometimes, you have to allow yourself to cry into your bread bowl at Panera because you’re scared about what’s going to happen and it’s not even happening to you.

My core group of uni friends reuniting under such dire circumstances was overwhelming. But it gave us all a very important reminder: never, ever take the people you love for granted. If you truly care about someone, you have to make an effort to keep in touch because if you let time slip away, you never know when you might run out of it.

But enough of the sad stuff. Brittney’s been given a clean bill of health and will soon be back in London. I’m making the trip from Australia to see her in May and am counting down the days!

Took #MammaKamm on a Great Southwest Road Trip

I get my love of travel from my mom. She works so hard and doesn’t get nearly enough vacation time from a job that requires a lot of emotional energy. So it was the least I could do to to take her to see something she’s only dreamed of since she was a little girl: the Grand Canyon.

Las Vegas

I know most people don’t set out to visit Las Vegas with their sober mother, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Vegas is like that cool girl at school that your parents tell you to stay away from she’s a bad influence, but then when you meet her, she’s actually really nice. The only downside: I paid $32 for a drink at the Sugar Factory. And it didn’t even have any alcohol in it.

Grand Canyon

Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

The Grand Canyon looks fake in person. Also, I saw like four people almost fall to their deaths trying to get Instagram photos. Not very street smart of them.

Hoover Dam

Mom and I had a DAM good time here. We  spent FIVE HOURS exploring the Hoover Dam National Monument today. I was in awe of the modern engineering marvel and its Art Deco interior.

As mom took this photo of me, there was a family to my left also trying to get a picture. One of the little boys (five or six years old?) was not having a good day. “I’M SO BORED! THIS IS STUPID!” he screeched, nearly throwing himself onto the ground. He was so adamant that Hoover Dam was the worst and I nearly spent all day there.

Antelope Canyon + Horseshoe Bend 

If I told you I went to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend for anything other than getting absolutely banging Instagram shots, I would be lying to you. And I achieved this goal, thank you very much. Mostly because Debbie went peak mom and wouldn’t let me anywhere near the edge of the canyon. Always looking out for me.

Monument Valley

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

I only wanted to go to Monument Valley so I could yell “Run Forrest, Run” at as many people as I could. I’m proud to report that I got to yell it at AT LEAST eight people and only almost got hit by a car while trying to take a photo like Tom Hanks once.

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Four Corners

I visited the Four Corners when I was 14, but our hard drive crashed a few years later, so unfortunately the world will never get to see the photos of short-haired, buck-toothed baby Emily experiencing it for the first time. Oh well! Mom and I stopped in again on our way from Monument Valley to my grandparents’ house in southern Colorado. Not much has changed in the past 10 years. It’s still kitschy. But still oh so fun.

Moved to Australia

This is a big one and it takes up most of my year. I don’t even know how to quantify the stupidest, scariest, bravest, most amazing thing I’ve ever done. So maybe, for now, I’ll just hit a few of the highlights:

Fell in Love in Sydney

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

There’s only been a few cities that have knocked the breath out of me. London. Istanbul. And now Sydney…but not at first. I think it’s because when I first got here, I sat alone at Opera Bar and, while watching the sunset behind the Harbour Bridge, the permanency of my decision hit me in the face.

“Oh right…you just moved to the other side of the world alone with no actual plans. Cool cool. Great choice, Em.”

But then, day by day, the easier it got. The more familiar everything became. But even so, as I settled into my new reality, coming through Circular Quay on the train and catching sight of the Harbour or the Opera House still hyped me up and made me feel just like Mary Kate and Ashley, no matter how many times I passed through.

Sydney is still a hard place to pin down.

In the CBD, it’s easy to get shoulder checked by a suit rushing off to an investment meeting while yelling about someone named Cheryl into his cellphone. But then, a mere stones throw away in Bondi, you’ll find that time seems to not exist and there is an endless supply of sunshine. It’s like New York and Los Angeles had a baby, but it has a weird accent and is much more expensive.

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Met My Family for the First Time in Brisbane

My mom has two half brothers who we were recently able to connect with on social media. We got to meet the youngest and his family last Christmas, but my older uncle lives with his family in Brisbane, so we weren’t sure when we would be able to connect. When I decided to move to Australia, one of my very first priorities was to connect with my family. I was so excited to meet them in person after a lifetime of hearing about them and years of Facebook updates.

Getting to spend two weeks together in August was one of the best parts of my whole time in this country. My aunt made tacos on my first night with them because she knew that I missed Mexican food. My little cousins never ceased to amaze me with their intelligence and cuteness. And my uncle introduced me to his “pet” kookaburra named Fluffy who basically lives in their backyard. I can’t wait to visit again.

Celebrated my Birthday on Fraser Island 

My birthday is my favorite holiday. I call it Emilypalooza and every year, my family goes all out to make sure that my day is really special. Some staples of  the celebrations throughout the years have been mani/pedis, ice cream, movies, and dinner at Outback Steakhouse…coupled with however many other activities I can cram into 24 hours.

I turned 25 this year and as a summer baby, it was my first time celebrating not only away from my family, but away from anyone that I knew. Even during university, I was always home for my birthday.  As I wrapped up my time in Brisbane, it worked out that I would spend my birthday on Fraser Island. I didn’t even really know if I wanted to go to Fraser, but it’s what all the other backpackers did, so I booked in.

The 25th Emilypalooza was the best one yet. If I turn 26 or 27 back in the States just watching a movie and eating ice cream, I will be sorely disappointed. Nothing can top dancing in under the Milky Way, fighting off dingos, swimming in champagne pools, and going out with the kindest bunch of people, one of whom (shout out to Caitlin!) even went out of her way to buy me a birthday cake once we got back to the mainland.

Met My Soulmates in Whitsundays 

Never have I ever met a group of such perfect people. You’re never truly aware of when you’re living through a life-changing moment, but while lying in the sunshine on a sailboat in the South Coral Sea, I kind of had a hunch.

I was nervous about boarding Avatar. I shouldn’t have been, since  I knew a few of the passengers from my Fraser Trip, but when you’re traveling solo, the transition into suddenly being social again always gives you jitters. Or it always gives me jitters, at least…especially when I knew I was going to be stuck on a small boat with strangers for the next 72 hours.

But, just like summer camp, after the first hour, none of us were strangers anymore. And we never will be again.  It was such little things that tipped me off to how things were going to be. The fact that two of the girls were celebrating their birthdays as we boarded and one gave me the second half of her sandwich when I said it looked tasty…even though we’d only known each other for 20 minutes.

That us girls were literally braiding each other’s hair after knowing each other for less than two hours (snorkeling, sun, wind, and no shower on board will do a number on you…I was ready to shave my head tbh). Or that no one was stingy with their alcohol and on the second night, your goon was my goon and mine was yours.

It was just the right amount of party and playfulness, of friendly and feisty, and a perfect reminder that random people can easily become very important to you if you just take a moment to get to know them….even if they suck at math.

Earned My Second Year Visa in Cairns 

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I wanted to stay in Australia a second year. When I say I’m in love with it here, I’m telling the truth. But I hesitate to say that I want to stay forever. I’ve been asked that many times, “What are you doing after your second year?” And the truth is, at this point, it’s likely that I’ll be on to my next adventure. Immigration isn’t something you should start the process of unless you’re completely sure. And I’m not.

I felt so stuck that I was suffocating in Texas. There was nothing for me there in this season of my life. And, I think, that if I stay in one place too long here, that it’ll start to feel the same way.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. In order to stay in Australia for a second year, most working holiday makers have to work on a farm for 88 days. But Americans are lucky. We, along with a kind of random group of countries like Spain, Slovakia, China, etc., can work in tourism and hospitality instead. But only in certain areas.

So, after I finished traveling up the East Coast, I got off in the bus Cairns and thought, “Okay. This is it. I live here now. I gotta find a job.”

And that I did. I was worried that I wasn’t going to have any friends in Cairns. After meeting such amazing people in Fraser and Whitsundays, I felt a little bit overwhelmed by the prospect of having to meet new people all over again. But, I was blessed to work at a Tour Booking Centre where the staff treated me like family from day one. The perks of the job are unbelievable. I’ve never worked in tourism before, so getting “FOC” agent trips was a new and exciting adventure.

I’ll be sad to leave.

But, it’s almost 2019 and time for a new adventure.

My 2018 in review was full of great adventures! Here’s what is in store for 2019:

  • February 

A road trip down the East Coast of Australia to see what I missed on the way up.

  • April 

Two weeks in Melbourne for the Comedy Festival, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and whatever else I can squeeze in.

  • April / May

A trip to Europe to visit friends from university, my brother in law’s family, and friends I’ve made while traveling.

  • July / August

Back to Australia to start round two of my working holiday adventure.



Forrest Gump Monument Valley filming locations. The main reason most people come to southern Utah!

At least, finding the Forrest Gump filming locations was one of the main reasons I went to southern Utah.

My mom and I had just finished up in Page, Arizona and needed to head to Mancos, Colorado, so when I found out that the exact location Forrest gave up on his cross country run and decided to go home was on our way, I was ecstatic.

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is a sacred (and gorgeous!) place that deserves a visit on any southwest road trip, so even if you think you’d just like to stop by Forrest Gump Point, try to budget an extra two or three hours to take it all in.

Here’s all you need to know about the movie magic in the area:

The Forrest Gump Monument Valley Filming Locations

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

Finding the Forrest Gump filming locations in Monument Valley is actually really easy. While the buttes look amazing up close, to find the perspective that’s in the movie, you want to be heading North on Highway 163 towards Mexican Hat, Utah.

If you type “Forrest Gump Point” into Google Maps, it will lead you to a spot on the highway that has a small dirt turnaround off the right side of the road (when facing North) so you can park your car.

There is usually a small crowd of people there, so as you approach the area make sure to drive slowly!

For some reason, Apple Maps and Waze were both not able to locate “Forrest Gump Point,” so make sure to have Google Maps downloaded before you head out.

Staying Safe at Forrest Gump Point

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

Much like Abbey Road in London (where the iconic photo of the Beatles was taken), Highway 163 is very much a real road and tourists have to kind of risk their lives to recreate an iconic shot. So be careful!

The speed limit on the highway is about 60MPH and the photo point in on the top of a small crest.

Because of this, you can see the cars coming from far enough away to safely clear the road for them, but it’s still a good ideas to have a dedicated lookout person, just in case.

Top Tips for Forrest Gump Monument Valley Locations

  • Time of Day

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

I’ve heard that early in the morning is the best time to go for photos because of the light in the area, but I went in the middle of the afternoon (and it was actually kind of cloudy out as well) and my photos turned out fine, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

Just arrive when it’s convenient for you (but obviously before dark lols).

  • Crowds

For such a remote location, the Forrest Gump Monument Valley locations are actually quite popular. There were probably about 15 – 20 other people there wanting to take photos when I visited, but the nice thing is that there are plenty of different angels and perspectives to choose from, so it’s quite easy to get a shot without anyone else in it.

The group of tourists there were also very willing to wait patiently for their turn for the perfect photo, so if you have a particular vision in mind,  just be kind and you’ll have your turn.

  • The Forrest Gump Sign 

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

If you would like to take a photo with the Forrest Gump Sign as well, stand with your back to the buttes at Forrest Gump Point. About 500 feet up on your left you will see a small structure that local Navajo tradesmen sometimes use to sell their work. It may or may not be occupied, but the sign is right in front of it.

With your back to the buttes, you can’t see the engraving on it and it kind of just looked like a blank piece of wood, but once you get over to it, you’ll see the inscription.

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

  • Run, Forrest! Run!

What’s the point of even going if you don’t yell this to the other people there at least once?

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forrest gump monument valley filming locations



Looking for short day trips from Boston? You’re in the right place.

Boston is the London of America: it’s politically important and culturally significant with an academic vibe that borders on artsy.

Whether you’re moving to the area, or have an extra day in the city, everything in New England is so close together it’s possible to take some really great adventures out of Boston.

Here are my favorites from when I lived in New England during college.

10 Short Day Trips from Boston

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Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: Lexington 15, Concord 20

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Both towns are significant to American political history in that many key events during our fight to secure independence from Great Britain occurred in these once sleepy little towns.

Lexington even has the honor of being the “official” birthplace of the Revolutionary War, as the famous shot heard ’round the world was allegedly fired on Lexington Green…although there’s some fun debate as to whether or not that’s true.

You’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!

Salem, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 25 

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Salem is spooky all year round! While most people choose to visit Salem during October, the history of the Witch Trials, as well as the maritime history, is worth a visit no matter the season.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how quaint and relaxing this seaside town is.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 70ish, depending on the town you visit.

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Cape Cod (locally pronounced as Cape Cahd) is a great place to go for the seaside, quaint cabins in the woods, and cranberry bogs. It’s also where the Kennedy family compound is, so if you’re one of the brave souls who is willing to socialize with them, see if you can score an invite to one of their bonfires.

My friends and I stopped by a nearby beach to get a look at the house, but when I called my mom about it, she about came through the phone to set me straight. “Don’t you ever get into any sort of transportation with a Kennedy boy, Emily. It’ll be the last thing you do.”

Moms. Always looking out for you.

Western Mass

Miles from Boston: 90ish, depending on the town you visit.

Things to do in Western Mass Mount Holyoke

Mount Holyoke College

Step aside Boston, Western Mass is the true educational hub of Massachusetts.

Yes, it’s where I went to college, so I am extremely biased, but the number of things to do in the area still make it worth the trip. Emily Dickinson grew up in Amherst, so you can visit her house, and if you like to relive the simpler days of your childhood, the Eric Carle Museum is for you.

The five colleges in the area (Mount Holyoke, Smith, Amherst, Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) also usually have a full calendar of academic and cultural events to choose from.

See also: 

Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 60

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

I’m a sucker for historic houses. When studying history, we learn so much about politics, war, geography, and the like that it’s just so refreshing for me to just be in a home.

I LOVE seeing how people’s day to day lives were. How they ate. What they wore. How they did their laundry. What kinds of toys the kids had. I feel like visiting historic houses humanizes the past, so Sturbridge Village was a dream come true for me because as the name suggests, it’s not just a historic house, but an entire village dedicated to 1830’s New England.

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 40

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Seeing Plymouth Rock is actually anticlimactic AF, givin that’s tiny and I’m pretty sure the rock on display isn’t actually the rock the pilgrims landed on, nor in the same vicinity at all, but oh well.

It’s still cool to see the town of Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum where you can learn about the early days of American Colonialism and the Native Americans who lived in the area before the English arrived.

Newport, Rhode Island

Miles from Boston: 72

Rhode Island Day Trips: Which Newport Mansion Should I Visit

Newport is one of the best short day trips from Boston to take because of its famous Gilded Age mansions. Early buisness magnates like the Vanderbilts vanderbuilt (lols) palatial homes on the Atlantic seashore that are the ultimate #HouseHunterGoals.

It’s easy to spend a day exploring and envisioning yourself as a member of the elite.

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Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Miles from Boston: 98

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

While the Robber Barons hid out in Newport, Watch Hill, Rhode Island is where the modern day rich and famous go for a little seaside fun. Most notably, this quaint seaside village is home to country superstar Taylor Swift’s summer cottage.

And by cottage, I mean multi-million dollar mansion. It’s where she hosts her annual star-studded 4th of July party, so if you’re keen to meet a celebrity, that’s a good time to pop down.

See also:

Portland and Freeport, Maine

Miles from Boston: Portland 112 / Freeport 123

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Quintessential Maine: LL Bean Boots, lobster, and lighthouses. All things that are very easy to come by in Portland and Freeport.

Maine is one of the best short day trips from Boston to take because where else can you pose with a giant boot AND eat fresh lobster all in the same day? As you’re sitting on the waterfront with new Bean Boots on your feet, and lobster butter on your fingers, the state’s tourism slogan will never feel truer.

Maine: the way life should be.

Mystic, Connecticut

Miles from Boston: 100

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

I tend to travel to places because Julia Roberts once ate pizza there.

For example, I ate at the Pizzeria di Michele in Naples, Italy because of Eat, Pray, Love and Mystic Pizza in Mystic, Connecticut…for the movie, you guessed it, Mystic Pizza.

Be sure to watch the 1988 coming-of-age classic before heading down for your day of fun. The Mystic Aquarium even has Beluga Whales — making it one of the best short day trips from Boston.

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Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget


When my sister Kerry asked me to be her maid of honor, I knew I had to throw the most bangin bachelorette party of all time.

But, since she doesn’t really drink, the typical Vegas girls trip was not going to work. So I started looking for fun bachelorette party ideas for non-drinkers. The key to a great dry bachelorette party isn’t necessarily a city that doesn’t have any nightlife, just a city that has plenty to do during the day.

7 Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

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You have to find your bridal party’s niche: culture, nature, or classic. It’s also worth it to consider flight time from your bride’s base location.

Because of this, I’ve picked cities all over the USA, so you have plenty to choose from.

“Nature” Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

My sister and I at Mount Rushmore. She’s rockin her “bride to be” sash.

I took my sister to Mount Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills attractions for her bachelorette party in 2016. We LOVED it. There’s so much to do, from pretending to pick the noses of the presidents on the mountain, trying not to get attacked by rogue billy goats, and hikes — hikes galore.

If your bride (or bridesmaids!) like hikes, animals, National Treasure, or American history, a trip to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills should be perfect.

See also:

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

If anyone in your bridal party likes hiking, or taking selfies in wide brim hats next to a natural wonder of the world, then a road trip to the Grand Canyon is a great idea for your group. It’s also about a four hour drive from Vegas, so if your group is a partier / non-partier mix, it’s possible to appease both types of people within one trip.

“Culture” Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Washington, DC

New Location Hungarian Embassy DC

With some girlfriends at the Hungarian Embassy in DC.

Washington, DC has the best museums in the USA, if not the world. The National Gallery of Art, the Air and Space Museum, the Ford Theater (where Lincoln was assassinated), Newseum, and more.

If your bride likes to make art history Snapchats, learn about Spaceships, or even just stroll along the National Mall with an eye out for Captain America, Washington DC is the perfect place for your party.

See also:

Boston, Massachusetts

MFA Boston Snow

Snow Day at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

I’m partial to Boston because I went to school in Western Mass and spent a lot of town in the city.

Boston is America’s London:  politically important and culturally significant. It’s perfect for a sober girls trip because you can spend the day wandering the Freedom Trail, chowing down on Clam Chowder, or taking in a game at Fenway.

See also:

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis or Nashville? How To Plan Your Tennesse Vacation

Memphis is the first place I ever went on a solo trip, so it has a special place in my heart. It’s also a good dry alternative to the “Nashvegas” bachelorette parties which seem to be becoming more and more popular. Memphis is more about the soul of rock n’ roll: how it came to be and the legend it left behind.

See also: 

“Classic” Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Orlando, Florida

Harry Potter Photo Op

Orlando is the ultimate classic girls trip!

Whether your bride is more interested in posing with Cinderella’s Castle or riding the Hulk at Universal Island of Adventure, Orlando has everything you could need for a dry bachelorette party. The adrenaline rush from your first ride on the Dueling Dragons at Harry Potter World will stay with you all day!

New York City

Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

New York City is the perfect trip for anyone! Whether your bridal party is into museums or manicures, parks or pub crawls, NYC has something at you all can do. You can divide an conquer or alternate the kinds of activities you do each day. It almost feels like a cop out to include NYC on this list of fun bachelorette party ideas for non-drinkers, because it’s such a given, but I had to put it forward, just in case.

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Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers


Looking for things to do in Watch Hill RI?

This idyllic ocean-front village is only about a two hour drive from Boston and a three hour drive from New York City (depending on traffic), making it the ideal place for a summer getaway.

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Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Napatree Point

The soft sand and the warm sun also make it a favorite destination for celebrity spottings…which is the reason I went. I wanted to meet Taylor Swift. It didn’t happen, but that’s okay, because she’s not the only cool thing about the town!

Here are a few of my favorite things to do:

Top 3 Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Napatree Point

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Swimming & Sunning

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

One of the best things to do in Watch Hill RI is simply to enjoy the beach all day. The sand on Watch Hill’s Napatree Point is one of the softest, whitest beaches on the planet and the grassy dunes leading up to the water look straight out of a Nicholas Sparks movie.

It’s easy to see why the area is a favorite getaway for the rich and famous, but luckily you don’t have to pay millions of dollars for an ocean-front home to enjoy it…just for parking.

The water is calm, clear and shark-free (for the most part). While coastal Rhode Island does have its fair share of sharks, they tend to congregate far offshore, in deeper waters, making them the constant companion of fishermen, not swimmers. Don’t believe me? Here you go.

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Visit Taylor Swift

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Taylor didn’t want any visitors when we drove past..

Taylor Swift’s home in Watch Hill RI is the location of her famous 4th of July parties, so if you’d like to totally and completely, 100% accidentally run into a celebrity, that’s a good time to be in the area.

When Taylor was dating Tom Hiddleston, her Watch Hill estate was also where THIS notorious photo was taken of the couple…the photo that sparked 1,000 memes.

So, if you are looking for things to do in Watch Hill RI, especially during the summer, keep your eyes peeled for Taylor and her friends, including Blake Lively, the Hadid sisters, Ruby Rose, and more.

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Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

The boat I’d buy if I live in Watch Hill.

Whether you’re looking for an ice cream cone to beat the summer heat, a new Alex and Ani bracelet, or some salmon shorts (but only if your dad’s a lawyer) there are cute stores on Watch Hill’s historic main street with exactly what you’re looking for.

There’s even a vintage carousel available for rides. When I visited, there were groups of young adults riding it, the glee evident on their sunburned faces, so don’t feel like you need to borrow your little cousin so it looks like you have a reason to ride. Just go for it!

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Things To Do in Watch Hill RI