There are many hiking trails in the area as well as access to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail which is popular with backpacking enthusiasts.
You can see gold mining and logging exhibits and Victorian era artifacts at the Downieville Fundry Museum and the Downieville Museum.
Take a tour of the Sixteen-To-One Mine which is a working productive gold mine.
The castle is amazing and a definite must-see. But it was after we left the castle that my son and I had our real adventure and created great memories to share.
We had read that a small trail starts behind the castle and goes down through a ravine and into the woods.
This trail is barely marked and not well known -- which was just what we were looking for! We started out on the trail and, as we went, it got steeper and narrower and more deserted.
The one place where we met up with some other hikers was at a very narrow part of the trail. It was right along a rock wall and there was a raging river rapids on the other side. What a place to try to squeeze by each other! We kept walking, through the forest and then out of it into an open area where we had a great view of Neuschwanstein from afar. Then we came to sort of an amusement area.
There was a winding metal track laid down the mountain and you could ride down it on a small sled that you couldn't really steer but could control with a hand break. My teenage son wasn't too keen on using the handbrake and his speed was much to the dismay of the attendants, who tried to tell him (in German) to slow down.
While my son sped downhill, I managed to order hot chocolate -- which came in a real china cup and saucer that I needed to give a security deposit to use. After a good afternoon of play, we started walking back into town and finished our trip back on a local bus.
For me, one of the joys of travel is getting away from the usual tourist places and doing things that the locals do. I wanted to share that with my son and, on this afternoon, we had managed to do just that!
It's about 40 miles west of Phoenix on Route 10. This is a very remote part and sparsely settled part of the western U.S. No chain hotels here. We had heard about a place that rented rooms and offered mineral water soaks from a hot springs, so we decided to try it.
Turning off the highway we could see that Tonapah is largely a truck stop, though we could tell there were cattle somewhere nearby. The first place we came to on the main street was a classic diner with big burgers, a salad bar, and the warm, friendly professional service you get in first-rate diners.
The El Dorado Hot Springs was a short way down the street. The proprietors were helpful, very welcoming. Made us feel right at home. We checked in to our cabin, which was the old Tonopah post office now converted to a rustic lodging with a huge old tub (maybe an old trough?) for soaking. The mineral water was wonderfully soothing and great for the skin.
Woke up early next morning to catch sunrise over the beautiful Arizona desert and saw a jackrabbit in the cabin's front yard. After a hearty Western breakfast at the diner, we were on our way.
If you like rustic, out of the way places with warm, friendly people, you can't beat the El Dorado Hot Springs in Tonopah, Arizona.
The country is developed, has a high level of hygiene and English is widely spoken. While the name 'Iceland' may not be appealing for people who dislike the cold, the country’s climate is warmer than expected as it is tempered by the Gulf Stream.
Iceland can be described as an arctic Yellowstone National Park. Because Iceland is located on the mid-Atlantic Ridge, the country has significant geothermal activity. Outside of the capital, Reykjavik, there are geysers.
Also near the capital is the Blue Lagoon, an outdoor geothermal pool that offers swimming year round. In the wintertime, the northern lights are visible. Fault lines are also visible outside of Reykjavik.
There are portions of Iceland where an individual can stand on both the North American continental plate and the Eurasian plate. Popular foods in Iceland include lamb and seafood.
In fact, Iceland is one of the few countries in the world that offer whale. For the non-adventurous, typical European foods are available. Iceland is off the beaten path. However, the country provides unique scenery and foods while offering a safe environment.
There are only two ways to get there. It’s a short hop by seaplane or you can take a boat, which takes a couple of hours. For pleasure, check into Rock Harbor Lodge upon arrival. The hotel has a beautiful view of Lake Superior. The meals are wonderful. After a day of fresh air, try freshly caught Whitefish for dinner. For exercise, you can rent a boat to take you to a different part of the island, after which you can hike back to the hotel.
If you are adventurous, you can also backpack from one end of the park to the other. When walking along the trails, you are bound to come across a moose, a wolf pack, or a fox.
You can also try your hand at fishing. Or just relax and watch the ships go by. Whatever you decide to do, you can never go wrong choosing Isle Royale for your next idea for an unknown vacation spot.
The Maldive Islands are a chain of twenty-six atolls in the Indian Ocean. The Banyan Tree Madivaru is a luxury resort in the Maldives and is the perfect vacation idea for a honeymoon. It’s located on Madivaru Island which is considered to be the most beautiful of all the islands in the group. The beaches are pristine.
There’s a beautiful shallow lagoon where you can swim and snorkel. And explore the incredible underwater reefs. You can enjoy Banyan Tree Spa massages and facials. Banyan Tree Madivaru is a five-star hotel and offers unique and romantic accommodations with their Tented Pool Villas.
Each villa is actually made up of three spacious tents with living, sleeping, and bath areas. A special feature offered is the Sandbank Dining where you are escorted to a private deserted sandbank where your island host and a chef serve you an exquisite romantic meal.