• Adventurous Roadtrips

  • Sensational Beaches

  • Awe Inspiring Natural Beauty

  • Magnificent Monuments

  • Hot Destinations

  • Incredible Adventures

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Best Beaches on East Coast USA - Ocean City Maryland

From My Diary






So according to you which is the best thing to do in Summers?
- Hike at the top of a mountain to witness those breathtaking scenic views.
- Camping in the middle of a forest.
- Water sports.
- Lazing out on a beach, watching the sunset and enjoying your favorite beer.


If you are a beach person like me and love water sports, here is another great place to visit this summers – Ocean City, Maryland.
Ocean City, MA is listed among the top 10 beaches on the East Coast of USA and has a lot of activities to do whole day round.

The main attractions of Ocean City include -:
- Boardwalk
- Beach Volleyball
- Amusement Park
- Arcade games centers
- Pier
- Movies on the beach
- Fireworks
- Beach Lightshow
- Water Sports


Ocean City boardwalk is considered as America's best by Travel Channel. National Geographic has named it one of the top 10 in the U.S. And USA Today named it one of the nation's best boardwalks for food.


The 3 mile boardwalk has something for everyone. There are food junctions, shops, arcade game centers, amusement park, sand sculptures and a scenic ocean view.


At night, the boardwalk fills with music and fun. There are lot of free activities that can done, the top ones are, movies on the beach, concerts, fireworks and lightshows.
Please visit the official site to check the exact schedule.


Along the boardwalk, near to the Pier is the Amusements Park which has a lot of rides for the children. The top attraction is Ferris Wheel which provides spectacular view of the ocean from the top.


For those interested in fishing, you can always go to the Pier and enjoy the spectacular view of the ocean while trying your luck on getting some fishes hooked. The Pier ticket is just 50 cents per person.

If you love water activities, there are a lot of players who provide water sports and tour packages which includes boat tours, parasailing, jet skis, helicopter tours, kayaking, cannoning etc.

Apart from the above activities there are some other recreational activities that you can enjoy like Golf, Horse Riding and Biking.

Tickets & Fees
There is no ticket for boardwalk. For Pier it is 50 cents/person and for amusement park you can take a package for the whole park which includes all the rides, the cost per person is around $30.


Connectivity
The beach is easily accessible and connected.
There are a lot of pay to park options available near to the beach.


Food
There are so many options available on the boardwalk that you can spend the complete day treating your taste buds.


Stay
There are a lot of hotels on the boardwalk itself which provide stunning views of the ocean from the balcony.


Now time for some gyan from Explorer Lens
1. Spend complete day here as there are lot of activities all the day round, especially during the night.
2. If you are ok not to have an ocean view from your balcony, prefer to stay in an Airbnb location
    which is light on the budget.
3. There are more than 50 free activities to do in Ocean City, so keep checking the schedule on the
    official site so that you don’t miss out on any of them like fireworks, lightshows and movie on the
    beach etc. 

Here are some more pics from my visit to this amazing place -

















Sunday, July 1, 2018

Places to visit in New Jersey - Asbury Park

From My Diary






With summer in its full form and heat at its peak, getting into the water is definitely one of the most relaxing, pleasant and desirable activity of people across the globe. And that is one of the reason why beaches and waterparks are the busiest destinations during this time.

When it comes to New Jersey we have around 40 beaches in the state, the most popular and hyped of them are Cape May, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City and Wildwood.
Though these beaches are nice and have a great vibe but they are also over-crowded making it difficult, A - to find a parking and B – to find a good spot on the beach to relax and swim.


Having said that, if you are looking for a beach which is peaceful, has a nice boardwalk and also decent parking, Asbury Park is the place for you.


Asbury Park is a city in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, located on the Jersey Shore.
It features one of the trendiest beaches in New Jersey and has an equally supercool boardwalk.
Boardwalk is home to restaurants, shops, mini golf, music, playgrounds, amazing graffiti, Silverball Pinball Museum and much more..!!


Tickets & Fees
There is not ticket for entering the beach.

Connectivity
The beach is easily accessible and has a good connectivity.

Food
There are a lot of restaurants and cafes on the boardwalk and also in the city so finding good food won’t be a problem.

Stay
There are some decent hotels around the beach area but as always I will suggest to go for Airbnb.

Now time for some gyan from Explorer Lens
1. There are a lot of pay to park, parking options available in the radar of 1-2 mile from the beach.
     But I would suggest to park at at least 2 miles from the beach so that you can have a close look at
     the beauty and vibes of the city.
2. The boardwalk has some cool graffiti artwork which provides some great picture opportunities.
3. There are a lot of good events at the Convention Center so you can schedule your visit accordingly
     as per the schedule of the events.

 Here are some pics of the place




















Sunday, June 24, 2018

Statue of Liberty - Crown Visit

From My Diary




Statue of liberty is the national monument of USA.
Among all the tourist destinations, Statue of Liberty is one of the top visited places in New York and also USA as a whole.
The tour of New York or I must say of USA is incomplete without paying a visit to this Lady.

I had already paid homage to the Goddess of Liberty before but this time it was the visit to it's Crown.

To visit the Crown you have to make prior booking atleast 3-4 months in advance.
The cost of "Reserve with Crown Ticket" is around $29 for an adult and includes ferry access to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty, plus the Ellis Island Immigration Museum on Ellis Island.
It also includes an audio tour of the Liberty and Ellis Island.

The staircase from the Pedestal to the Crown is a bit narrow and is not suitable for people who are a bit fat. Also it it advised to climb those stairs when you are 100% fit and healthy because the steps are a bit steep and the climb is on a lower difficulty level.

Here are some pics of my visit to the symbol of friendship..!!


























Saturday, June 23, 2018

Nature Trails - Durshet Forest Lodge - Best Weekend Getaway near Mumbai

KUNAL KJ







Do pal ke jeeven se..Ek umra churaani hai..
Zindagi aur kuch bhi nahi..teri meri kahani hai..

This iconic song summarises our day to day life in a nutshell. We live in a competitive world, where we are running in a never ending race, a race of success, a race of money and a race of winning lot many other things. But like any other athlete, every one of us needs a getaway every now and then to rejuvenate and to recharge ourselves for the next lap of the race.

We all need “Me” and “We” time:
Yes , in spite of all the happenings in life , we all  need to find time , or I should say we need to snatch time for ourselves and also for our loved ones and what’s better than getting those moments in form of holiday trips.
But the main challenge in today’s world is that we hardly get time to plan long trips , that’s when weekend getaways have gained popularity , where you can enjoy nature , take a well deserved break and at the same time join the professional tussle the next Monday.

Searching for weekend getaways from Mumbai ? here is your answer :
If you happen to be in Maharashtra and you are exploring  for Resorts near Mumbai or Resorts near Pune , then your search will end at Durshet forest lodge.A 2-3 hour journey can easily take you to this amazing lap of nature , where not only get close to nature , but also you get close to yourself and close to your life.

Excited to know more about it ?! lets get going :
Durshet Forest Lodge, is a perfectly spotted destination amidst the Sahyadri mountains and is hardly some distance away from  Khopoli-Pali road. The lodge includes is a visual treat of 35 acre natural forest with a wide variety of plantation and is a nature lover’s delight.
















With 16 AC Cocoon rooms, 7 large & 4 small Cottage rooms, 5 large dormitories, a well-equipped conference hall, a full-fledged kitchen and dining hall, Durshet makes an ideal vacation stay. 


Okay , but is it only about a good stay or is there anything else as well ?

Yes , my friend , what we told till now is just a trailer of the entire treat this resort has to offer. If we try to summarise the main acvities that the venue offers , these are the following :



·         Rappelling
·         Kayaking
·         Zipline
·         Burma Bridge
·         Tarzan swing
·         Jungle cooking
·         Team games
·         Swimming pool
·         TT, Carom
·         Wall climbing
·         Archery
·         Ladder climbing
·         Net climbing


Here are some of the snaps that we took on our visit to the place :

Our experience:

We spent a weekend there and for sure had one of the best weekends.
Nature surrounding you and you get all the modern amenities to enjoy like deluxe stay , swimming pool to rejuvenate , good food in all the meals offered at the resort , tell me what else will you expect ?

And the adventure activities can be summarised in one word : “Wowwwww !!”

A zip lining down more than 100 meters is enough to give you the boost of adventure.
A fun filled Burma Bridge and equally amazing Rappelling gives you the recharge of mood that you thrive for.  

And this all becomes another level of fun when the weather adds the cherry on the cake. For us , it was a pleasant rain that made experiencing nature even more fun.

If you feel like “this is it !” , wait for the ultimate surprise that nature has to offer very near to this place .

What is that ? Here is all about it :

Hardly an hour journey from the resort can take you to Kolad !
Yes , It is an ideal stop-over point for Kundalika river rafting, an adrenaline boosting activity offered all year round at the Kolad Camp-site by Nature Trails. A never-to-forget experience awaits you , where are you ?



An FAQ that many of you might have is : 
How to reach this heavenly place called Nature trails? , so here is a path guide for you all :


Nearest Airport -Mumbai (100kms), Pune (100kms)
Nearest Railway Station –Khopoli(15kms), Nagothane(30kms), Khandala(30kms)

If you are coming from Mumbai:

Take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway upto Khalapur Toll Plaza. After paying the toll for Khopoli go for ~ 1 km and take the Khopoli exit on your left. After exiting the expressway, take the flyover to your right, immediately after flyover, take left turn on Pali road and drive for 12 kms till you reach Durshet. 8 kms after Adlab Imagica.

If you are coming from Pune:

Take the Mumbai Pune Expressway upto the Khalapur Toll plaza. Take left immediately after paying Khalapur toll. Go 2 kms take left on Pen road, go to Pali phata, take right after Adlabs Imagica. Resort is just 8 kms ahead.


Words can never explain the joy and memories this place can give to you , do visit that once and experience yourself !



Places to visit in Virginia - Luray Caverns

From My Diary





Does exploring caves excites you?
Are you interested in knowing what lies beneath the earth?
Do you love structures which are evolving from past millions of years?

Even if your answer to all of the above questions is No, I am sure this nature’s wonder will definitely excite, thrill and will make you fall in love with it.

Luray Caverns is the largest and most popular caverns in Eastern America, situated deep beneath Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

It was discovered in 1878 and from then it has been visited by millions of tourists across the globe.




Main attractions
The main attractions here are -:
1. Luray Caverns
2. Car and Carriage Caravan Museum
3. Luray Valley Museum
4. The Garden Maze
5. Rope Adventure Park

My Experience
I took the general admission ticket which included Luray Caverns tour, a self-guided tour of the Car and Carriage Caravan and access to the Luray Valley Museum.
If you want to visit “The Garden Maze” and “Rope Adventure Park”, you will have to pay separately for them.

Coming back to Luray Caverns, I was excited to see what lies inside and here is what I saw.
Have you seen or read about limestone, marble or gypsum rocks or structures hanging down from the roof or towering up from the floor ? If yes, then imagine 4-5 times the size of them in real, infront of your eyes.


There will be structures from size of your hand to 10 stories high.
You will come across big cathedral sized rooms filled with countless massive crystalline cascades, towering stone columns and shimmering draperies.


Along with these magnificent structures, there are also crystal clear pools which provides a stunning reflection of these stalactites which is just magical. You won’t be able to believe that it is actually a reflection or not in real.





Finally “The Great Stalacpipe organ”, which is also one of the largest musical instruments in the world. The Great Stalacpipe Organ appears at first to be a normal organ, but instead of using pipes, the organ is wired to soft rubber mallets poised to gently strike stalactites of varying lengths and thicknesses.

Last but not the least, the wishing well. Wishing well are always considered as magical, bringing luck and good fortune. The 6 foot deep pool at Luray Caverns is no less. More than 1 million dollars have been donated to charities till date and the funds are ever increasing. I also dropped a dollar and waiting for some magic to happen ;)



Tickets & Fees
The general admission ticket is $28 for an adult which includes Luray Caverns tour, a self-guided tour of the Car and Carriage Caravan and access to the Luray Valley Museum.


Connectivity
The Luray Caverns is very well connected and easily accessible.
Also there is lot of parking space available.


Food
There are couple of cafés inside the campus so you can have a meal there.


Stay
Luray Caverns is just 25 miles from the town of Front Royal where there are a lot of decent motels available.


Now time for some gyan from Explorer Lens
1. Trying going a bit early so that you can take good pictures of the magnificent structures, otherwise
    there will be always people popping in.
2. If you are using a DSLR, trying using an external flash to get better pics of the stalactites.
3. You can cover both Skyline drive of Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns on a single day
    and avoid paying for an extra day of your stay.



 Here are some funny and unique structures that I found here -:

Do you think its a dog ?

Do you see a face here, probably some babaji ?


How would these two work as the front pillars of your house ?


Would you mind having them as the chandeliers in your house ? 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Places to visit in Virginia - Shenandoah National Park

From My Diary

In my last post, I talked about my visit to Virginia Safari Park, which is one of the top attractions in Virginia. If you have missed it, please check out that post here.

So after a successful, memorable and fun trip of the Safari Park, it was time to visit the top natural destination of Virginia, “Shenandoah National Park”.



Shenandoah National Park lies along the Blue Ridge Mountains in north-central Virginia.
The park stretches for 105 miles along the scenic Skyline Drive from near the town of Front Royal in the northeast to near the city of Waynesboro in the southwest.

Main Attractions
The main attractions of the park are -:
1. Skyline Drive
2. Hiking
3. Camping
4. Waterfalls
5. Wildlife, which includes deer, black bears, foxes, birds and other animals.




My experience
I started the scenic drive from the northern entry point of the Park, which is situated near the town of Front Royal.
The entry fee is $25 per vehicle and is valid for a week from the start date.

We got a map which had the information about different scenic points where you can stop your vehicle and enjoy the endless natural beauty of the lush green mountains

As it was sunset time so I was very excited to get some stunning view of the Park and I was not at all disappointed. The sky was covered with layers of orange, blue and white, and the sun rays falling on the mountains covered in the blanket of green, made the whole view breathtaking.

We drove for around 20 miles and experienced the stunning views but now it was time for something else, the “FOG”.
Yes, as we drove ahead the endless fog welcomes us and the visibility at some points became just nil.
Driving through the fog was like sailing through a cloud, a lifetime experience indeed.

We took a U turn from 30 miles as it was getting dark and too much foggy.




And last but not the least, we were fortunate to see the wildlife too.
There were two instances of spotting a black bear, one when an adult black bear was crossing the road and the second was of a young one ambling on the sides of the road.
We also saw a deer and a different species of bird which was of a size of a vulture.

It was definitely a successful, super thrilling, adventurous, beautiful and memorable visit to “Shenandoah National Park”.


Tickets & Fees
The entry fee for the park is $25 for a car for 7 days.

Connectivity
The Skyline has two entry points, one near the town of Front Royal in the northeast and other one near the city of Waynesboro in the southwest.

Food
There are no food junctions, cafes, restaurants or any facility where you can get food.

Stay
I was staying in the town of Front Royal where there are a lot of decent motels available. Also there are lodges along the skyline drive.

Now time for some gyan from Explorer Lens
1. Visit the park during either sunset or sunrise to experience those amazing views.
2. It gets foggy in the evening so plan your visit accordingly.
3. Don’t plan for the complete 105 miles stretch of the Skyline, until you are not short of time.
    As the speed limit is only 35 miles/hr so it will easily take you 5 hours to cover the complete
    stretch.
4. There are black bears all over the park, so if you are planning for camping or hiking, do take all the
    safety measures beforehand.



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