Gadlinks for Monday 8.17.09


Another week of summer has come and gone, and we’re just hanging on to those last few certain days of warmth before fall kicks in! Last week we had some great travel reads, and this week will likely be no different. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to catch our normal Gadlinks, for today’s links are in keeping with the “scenic” theme we have going here on Gadling today. Check these out for some scenic inspiration:

‘Til tomorrow, have a great evening!

More Gadlinks HERE.

The scenic Monterey coastline


If you haven’t heard of the 17 Mile Drive, now you have, and now’s the time to enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. Minutes from downtown Monterey, California, the 17 Mile Drive winds through the prestigious gated community of Pebble Beach in Carmel, past the Del Monte Forest, and along gorgeous stretches of secluded coves, pristine beaches, and oceanfront mansions.

There are hundreds of attractions along this scenic coastal road that makes traffic sometimes unbearable during the summer. You can avoid crowds by entering at the Spanish Bay gate, or it may be worthwhile to enjoy this route by bike or during the off-season, though it may be colder, foggier, and less sunny.

Aside from passing three lovely golf courses (Poppy Hills, Spyglass Hill, and Pebble Beach), this scenic road boasts natural attractions such as Fanshell Beach, Seal Rock, and the Lone Cypress tree. There’s even a new big wave surf spot called “Ghost Tree” that’s a spectacle in itself when the swell is just right.

There’s a helpful brochure that you should pick up at the entry gate in Pebble Beach that outlines the “21 Points of Interest” along the 17-Mile Drive. All you have to do is follow the marked route and enjoy the sights along the way.

If the drive is not enough, and you’re not so into golf courses and coastal vistas, there are plenty of fine dining establishments and quaint bed and breakfasts along the route.

Name that mountain range!

Which mountains are these?
I love looking through my friends’ beautiful photos of where they’ve been — especially mountain ranges. The fact is, though, having never lived or spent an extended period of time in the mountains, I have trouble telling the Rockies from the Sierra Nevadas, and so on.

Can you do it? Check out these five photos of American mountain ranges. Note which letter is over each picture (they’re jumbled) and click Read More for the key — bonus points if you know which state the photo depicts! Many thanks to UOregon.edu for setting me straight.

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Key:
A. The Klamath Mountains – Oregon
B. The Rocky Mountains – Colorado
C. The Sierra Nevada Mountains – California
D. The Appalachian Mountains – Maine
E. The Cascades – Washington

Test your friends!

New website helps visitors explore the waterfalls of the Olympic Peninsula

The heavily-forested Olympic Peninsula, a slice of land that juts out into the Pacific in the far northwest of Washington state, is home to 24 major waterfalls. In an effort to make it easier for visitors to find and explore the different falls, Grays Harbor Tourism, Jefferson County Tourism Coordinating Council, and Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau have joined forces to launch a new website, OlympicPeninsulaWaterfallTrail.com.

While the waterfalls and the hiking and biking paths that surround many of the them have been around for years, the website and its handy guide map are new.

The 24 falls and their surroundings vary widely. There are the beautiful Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park , the tiered falls of Gatton Creek near Lake Quinault, and the Wynoochee Falls that form a pristine swimming hole, among others. There are cascades that thunder and others that barely trickle. You can hike, bike or drive to most, while a few are only accessible by boat. Some gush all year-round and others ebb and flow with the seasons. Some are easy to get to and others should only be visited by the more physically fit.

The website helps classify these various falls and makes visiting them easy. It’ll show you pictures of each waterfall, explain how to get there, and warn you of any hazards you’ll face along the way.

Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (5.29.09)

Gather round dear readers, it’s Friday and that means it’s time for our weekly roundup of links from our friends at BootsnAll. Think of it like a travel website “cage match:” hundreds of travel stories go into the ring, only five of the best come out alive. Got it? Then to the winner the spoils! Here’s what we found this week:

  • Calm Those Flying Fears – I have a secret confession. Despite the fact I write for a travel website, I’m quite a nervous flyer. The fact is, I doubt I’m alone in my fear. Thankfully our BootsnAll friend Katie Hammel is here to help, offering up some great tips on How to Control a Fear of Flying. I’m feeling more relieved already. You can too – check out Katie’s tips.
  • South of France Secrets – travelers have long been drawn to France’s beautiful southern regions, flocking by the planeful to hotspots like Cannes and Aix-en-Provence to experience the pastoral landscapes and wonderful climate. If you’ve ever wanted to visit, make sure to read Christine Cantera’s Seven Secrets About the South of France, offering some insider tips for this highly trafficked region.
  • Scenic European Driving – the image of the European railpass traveler, backpack over shoulder and Eurail in hand, has become such a cliche that it’s easy to forget Europe also has an extensive network of highways Have you ever considered renting a car and taking a scenic drive though mountainous valleys and coastal vistas? Christina Dima has the scoop on Nine of Europe’s Best Drives. Take a look before you buy that Eurail.
  • Use the Crisis: Volunteer! – there’s been much made in recent months of the current economic crisis. Many have lost their jobs and others are struggling just to get by. But instead of bemoaning our bad luck, what if we were to consider the crisis as a hidden opportunity to try something new? Alix Farr has Five Reasons why right now is the perfect opportunity to switch things up and volunteer abroad. Not only can it be personally rewarding, travel can offer surprising cost savings.
  • Amazing Iguazu – along the northern border of Argentina with its neighbor Brazil is one of the world’s great natural wonders, Iguazu Falls. Consisting of a system of over 200 different waterfalls, some rising over 200 feet in height, it’s a must see for any South American traveler. Keivin Lim recently put together a photo tour of the famous falls. Even if you can’t make it to South America any time soon, take a visit with your eyes through his great photo roundup.

This marks the end of yet another week of Gadling + BootsnAll Picks of the Week. Hungry for more travel picks? Check back next Friday for another round of links.