Glenwood Springs: a magical, must-see destination in Colorado for all good reasons.
It seems this place was made for a perfect weekend getaway. With the most beautiful hike to Hanging Lake, a quaint town with cute shops and restaurants, and a relaxing hot springs to soak after a long day spent in the mountains, it has everything you need to get your mountain fix.
While the drive from Denver may seem far (about three hours), the views the entire way there were completely worth it. Plus, the incredible 70 degree weather didn’t hurt.
If you’re in town, I highly recommend Deja Brew, a charming, local coffee shop with incredible coffee, tasty breakfast burritos (we got the veggie bean – so good!), and the most delicious zucchini bread (we almost drove back for more).
Hiking to Hanging Lake
The hike to Hanging Lake was about 2.4 miles round trip. Since there was still snow and ice in areas, it made it more difficult to hike in parts. You literally see everyone slipping, sliding, and falling at times (myself included), and quite frankly, it’s the most hilarious thing to watch. It’s like an olympic event, watching how each person comes down the trail, what tricks they add, deducting points for falls, and scoring on how graceful they are lol.
But seriously, look at how unreal this place is…
This place never gets old. Each new season brings out a beauty of its own. Can’t wait to visit again for another mountain escape.
It was so lovely revisiting Los Angeles for the first time in four years. Not just landing in LAX for a transfer, but being able to step outside and feel those LA vibes.
Fortunately, it worked out that all of my cousins from my dad’s side were also in town, which made for a rare and special reunion. It was so great seeing family and catching up in person.
While my Friday and Saturday were mainly busy with family events (and lots of very, very good food), I was able to explore quite a bit on Sunday. The day started with a visit to UCLA (my cousin is starting school there), then a trip to the Getty Center, and a final stop at Venice Beach.
It always amazes me how much you can do in just a day!
I was shocked at how large the UCLA campus is. It is likely double the size of where I went. The sheer size of the campus calls for a lot of walking, but the unique architecture, tall trees, and beautiful flowers make it enjoyable.
THE GETTY CENTER
I absolutely love visiting art museums of all kinds, especially ones in big cities (since they usually host a wide variety of the best pieces). The Getty mainly showcases American and European art, ranging from classical to impressionistic. I was hoping to also see modern and contemporary art, but the Getty did not have this style.
The Getty has stunning architectural features, an incredible cactus garden, and outstanding views of downtown LA. The views are worth visiting alone. Plus, there’s no admission fee, just a $15 parking fee.
I’ve always visited Santa Monica but never Venice beach. Venice has a completely different feel – it’s more grungy, edgy, quirky, and off beat. The beach walk is weird in its own unique way, creating an identity of its own from the more proper Santa Monica.
I’m a sucker for long walks on the beach, and this was one long walk. The beach stretches a good two miles along the ocean. The water was quite chilly at this time of year though; so it wasn’t great for swimming, just enjoying the view.
LA has so much to see and do and so much great food to try. Every time I visit, even if the trip is short, I love trying new things and exploring new places! I can’t wait to come back and see more.
Fortunately, SLC is a short one hour flight from Denver. Thanks to Frontier for making travel cheap, I got a roundtrip ticket for $70 (score)! So naturally, I visited my best friend for a girls weekend getaway.
With just 48 hours, here’s all we managed to see and do.
SLC FARMERS MARKET // PIONEER PARK
I forgot to take pictures of the farmers market…but the SLC farmers market was our absolute favorite when I used to live in SLC. It’s located at the downtown Pioneer Park and runs from June to October. There’s something so fun and relaxing about walking outside, while drinking fresh squeezed limeade and exploring all of the various vendors (i.e. fresh produce, bakeries, jewelry, crafts, food stands, etc.).
Hyunah recommended Laziz Kitchen, a Lebanese/Mediterranean eatery that serves brunch and lunch. Not only was the place incredibly charming with some of the most beautiful interior, but the food was fresh, delicious, and light!
Hyunah ordered the Shish Tawook, a grilled chicken platter that comes with rice, tabouleh salad, pita, and pickles, while I ordered the Shakshouka, an egg, tomato, onion, and pepper based skillet served with pita and a creamy goat cheese.
Bodega is one of my favorite bars in SLC for its cozy atmosphere and, of course, for its incredible speakeasy. While the top just appears to be a small bar, there’s also a speakeasy restaurant hidden below where you can order food and additional cocktails.
In order to be seated at the speakeasy though, it’s highly recommended that you make reservations since it fills quickly. Overall, this place is totally worth a visit just for its unique interior.
Lake Effect is definitely a classy, high-end bar with the most beautiful seating and bathrooms. Their cocktail menu is a book there’s so many choices, and they also serve delicious food. They also have live music – we got lucky with an amazing jazz band!
I got a Moscow Mule and we shared their fingerling potatoes and calamari (so good). Prices run a bit high here, but it’s great for indulging once in a while.
Ladies: the bathroom is an absolute dream. Be ready to take pictures because it’s just the perfect backdrop.
Publik Coffee is easily one of my favorite coffee shops in SLC. I love the urban, rustic atmosphere and the detailed craftsmanship put into the drinks and food. Whenever I come here, I usually order a latte (hot or iced) or americano and either an avocado or lox toast!
Straw Market is tucked away in the Avenues neighborhood. This local secret is famous for its homemade, $1 cinnamon rolls that are to die for. They also serve bomb breakfast burritos for just $3.50, an assortment of crepes, omelettes, and more.
Unfortunately, I also forgot to take pictures here…so you’ll just have to be sure to try it yourself!
BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON
A short 30 minute drive from downtown SLC, and you’re lost in the mountains of Big Cottonwood Canyon. There are so many great hikes and rock climbing spots here for all your outdoor adventure needs.
Some beautiful hikes I recommend are Lake Blanche, Donut Falls, Dog Lake, Desolation Lake, Lake Mary, and Lake Catherine.
Since we barely got much sleep after a long night out, we opted for Lake Mary. It offers stunning lake and mountain views at the top and isn’t too difficult or long to hike.
We were feeling Italian on my last night…first delicious Carbonara and Pomodoro pasta at Trio, followed by stracciatella and almond gelato at Sweetaly.