Nothing compares to a local’s perspective, and that’s precisely what Cindy Scott from CindersTravels.com wants to show you in this upcoming podcast series, Locals Know Best.
Cindy’s guests share the places and outdoor travel adventures they love most in their own backyard. Topics include unique lodging, favorite dining spots, treasured outdoor activities, and a breakdown of whether the instafamous and possibly overrated spots in town are worth checking out.
For more than fifteen years, Cindy has worked in the media industry in many roles across the United States. During the last two years, she has worked out of her RV as a location independent digital nomad.
Cindy’s years of travel and relocation have taught her one fundamental lesson: Locals always know best! Subscribe now for bi-weekly episodes all about the next place you didn’t even know you needed to visit!
Leavenworth, Washington, Christmas Town Year-Round
Today, I’ll be speaking with Tom Potter about all of his favorite outdoor adventures in a town you may know as one of the most picturesque Alpine-style villages in the United States, Leavenworth, Washington!
I’m very excited for this episode because Leavenworth has always been in the back of my mind as an excellent fit for this podcast, and even more so for one of our holiday episodes.
Leavenworth is not only incredibly jam-packed with outdoor activities, it boasts tons of holiday cheer to boot!
We will, of course, talk a bit about the holiday season and how it affects and influences this Christmas-loving town. But Tom also does a fantastic job explaining why Leavenworth is so much more than an adorable Bavarian town engulfed in holiday lights!
About Tom Potter (Aka: T-Pot)
Tom is a local Leavenworth entrepreneur.
When he first arrived in the area, he spent several years working in the bars and restaurants throughout the village to fund his recreational habits.
During that time, he inadvertently found himself planning vacations for people, so they wouldn't waste a minute of their stay.
Eventually, The T-Pot Experience was born, an all-inclusive trip planning service he operates that focuses on bringing you the best of the best of Leavenworth.
With this host and concierge service, he helps visitors make the most of their time in the area, specializing in unique experiences based around outdoor recreation, food, wine, and scenery.
Learn more about Tom Potter and how to plan Leavenworth excursions with him at thetpotexperience.com.
What We Cover in This Episode What makes Leavenworth so picturesque and unique and "the recreation Mecca of Washington." Why people are drawn to Leavenworth for the holidays. A pro tip on the ideal time to see the Leavenworth holiday lights. What time of the year Christmas-town is in full effect. How you can see the Leavenworth lights from your couch. The best and worst times of year to visit Leavenworth. What each season in Leavenworth has to offer visitors. Which part of town is optimal for an Airbnb rental. The best spot in town for coffee and biscuit breakfast sandwiches, and what time you should be there to make sure you get a biscuit. The best spots to ski and snowboard near Leavenworth, and how to fit in a whitewater kayaking adventure on the way back! The best part of the river for a more relaxed inner tube float or standup paddleboarding with incredible views. A fantastic sandwich spot you won’t walk away from hungry. The best sausage garden in town to get a bratwurst. All of the incredible professionally maintained mountain biking trail options available in town and a few of Tom's favorites. A historically prominent ski hill area that hosts bikers in the summer and skiers and tubers in the winter. The nordic skiing that is also available in the area. The "buffet of hiking" offered in Leavenworth. Two of my favorite hikes around this area (and one ends at the view seen in the cover image for this podcast!) The optimal spots in town for beer, dinner, and craft cocktails. The music scene in Leavenworth. The best Instagram spot in town. Two underrated spots in town you should be sure not to miss. Quotables "Come to Leavenworth to enjoy the mountains, enjoy the recreation here, get a little taste of Bavaria. It's a unique gem in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Eastern Washington. As you pull into town, you'll just be amazed by how they've stuck to the Bavarian theme, and the mountain access is about as good as I've ever experienced."
Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode How to see the Leavenworth, WA Holiday Lights from Anywhere: Leavenworth Live Webcams Where to Stay in the Leavenworth, WA Area: Airbnb Rental Homes Leavenworth, WA Area Outdoor (& One Indoor) Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Stevens Pass Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort Tumwater Canyon Leavenworth Ski Hill Freund Canyon Moun
Portland, Maine, The Way Life Should Be
Today, I’ll be speaking with Kristan Vermeulen about how to make the most of a day outdoors in Portland, Maine.
Join Kristan and me as we visit Portland, Maine, during both the off and on-season, eating tons of tasty treats along the way! Activities we discuss in this episode include hitting the water in multiple vessel options, skiing, dog sledding, oyster shucking, hiking, and more!
About Kristan Vermeulen
Kristan is originally from Maryland and was a Director of Public Relations for the Department of Defense for six years while living there.
However, a full-time job opportunity, as well as her husband, ended up bringing her to the great state of Maine, and she hasn’t looked back since!
She now runs her own public relations business and is also the host of a podcast called Makers of Maine, which has recently expanded into Makers of the USA.
On her podcast, she interviews various makers and small business owners, including artists, glass blowers, potters, woodworkers, fashion designers, and more.
And as a publicist, she has featured her small business clients on national media outlets, including Forbes, Health, Real Simple, Redbook, TODAY, Good Morning America, and FOX Business News.
In both roles, she’s had to quickly learn what Maine means to outsiders and locals regarding the attractions and lifestyle it offers, which has swiftly turned her into an authority on both Portland and Maine as a whole.
Throughout this episode, you’ll notice that her background in the great outdoors, public relations, and podcasting has uniquely set her up as an expert on why the area’s entrepreneurial spirit goes hand in hand with adventuring in and around Portland.
Learn more about Kristan and her podcast Makers of the USA.
What We Cover in This Episode Many of the outdoor products created, and small businesses run, in Maine. Maine’s outdoor-focused lifestyle. Maritime life, the sailing scene in Portland, and a nonprofit focused on affordably introducing people to the sport. What makes running a small business in Maine so unique, and why Maine is a great place for aspiring entrepreneurs! The best and worst times of year to visit Portland, Maine. The difference between Maine's on and off-season, and why there’s something to be appreciated in both. Where to ski near Portland. A noteworthy winter dog sledding excursion you don’t find everywhere. A winter festival focused on exposing locals to experiences instead of shopping. A distinctive historical hotel to stay at in Portland. The ultimate spots in town to stroll and watch the ferries. Where to get the finest cup of coffee in the city. What part of town is ideal for scenery, and which part is best for nightlife. The best destinations for breakfast, seafood, drinks, and snacks! Why you should consider enjoying the water via a hands-on historic tall ship tour instead of the typical powerboats. The optimal restaurant in town to have a cocktail and lobster roll by the water. How climate change is affecting the lobster industry and how the industry is pivoting. What wine and oysters have in common. Where to go oyster shucking! The best family and pet-friendly hiking options nearby. Portland's music scene. The most beautiful place for an Instagram picture in Portland. An overrated spot in Portland, and how to avoid it. Quotables The ongoing saying of Maine in general: it’s the way life should be. And I truly believe in that statement, because it is a place where you can go and see everything in terms of environment and outdoors, from, you know the sailing, being on the water, to going and hiking, to canoeing down the Allagash or you know skiing at a ski resort close by, or go dog sledding. It is a way for folks to see life and this world so differently. … Like if you want to go and travel, you could do it right in your backyard. Like, you don’t have to go to Europe. You don’t have to go to the Bahamas. You can come right here to Maine. So I would s
Hiking Above the Clouds in Mount Rainier National Park
Today, I’ll be speaking with Michelle Stelly about how to make the most of a weekend at Mount Rainier National Park!
Join Michelle and me as we first discuss Washington’s three beautiful national parks. Then, we’ll backpack, hike, and snowshoe throughout all four seasons in Mount Rainier National Park, as well as touch on a few of the surrounding areas.
We’ll be sure to see tons of epic waterfalls, lakes, and fire lookouts along the way, and of course, also have plenty of opportunities to view the incredible Mount Rainier!
About Michelle Stelly Michelle runs The Wandering Queen, a travel blog to help fellow women adventurers travel the globe.
She’s a Texan-Panamanian who is passionate about adventure travel, as well as an expert on all things hiking, backpacking, and camping.
Michelle has been to 23 U.S. National Parks and has a goal in life that is very similar to my own, to inspire and help get people outdoors!
Learn more about Michelle Stelly at TheWanderingQueen.com.
What We Cover in This Episode All of Michelle’s favorite hikes in Mount Rainier National Park. That it’s possible to get into hiking at any point in life. Two great pro tips for anyone who’s looking to start getting more into backpacking. The allure of the PNW for a Texan-Panamanian, and why she made the move up north. What makes each of Washington’s three national parks (Olympic, Rainier, and North Cascades) unique, and the pros of visiting each one. What it’s like visiting Mount Rainier National Park during each of the seasons throughout the year. How to be aware of avalanche zones in the winter and spring snowshoeing seasons. The hike in Mount Rainier National Park where Barrett and I have gotten some of our most epic photos ever! What breakfast, lunch, and dinner look like for a backpacker. How to best spend day one of our trip in the Paradise area. The best waterfalls to hit up on your drive from Seattle to the Paradise Visitor Center area. The 360-degree Mount Rainier views you can get from the most popular trail in Washington, and what makes this trail so unique when compared to most of the trails in the state. The spot where all the photographers like to shoot sunset photos of Mount Rainier. Cabin, camping, and RV lodging options around the park. Why Packwood is an excellent town to home base from while you’re visiting the park, and where you should eat and drink while in the area. How to best spend day two of our trip in the Sunrise area. Michelle’s favorite hike in the entire park, where you might be lucky enough to experience a cloud inversion! The best trail to hit up during wildflower season and the best one for seeing an alpine lake. What you should do if you’re in the area for one more day. The three best Instagram spots in the park. How to make the most of a day in the park if Mount Rainier is cloud covered, as well as tips on how to avoid visiting on those days. An overrated trail and the nearby underrated trail you should hike instead! Quotables There’s so many epic hikes there. Mount Rainier is just fantastic! It’s my favorite mountain in the world. Even if you don’t go hiking, you can still just enjoy a day in paradise, having a family picnic with these amazing views. The waterfalls there are some of my favorite in the whole state. I feel like this is the perfect outdoorsy getaway with just outstanding views. I’m honestly gonna keep on going to it for years upon years.
Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in the Mount Rainier National Park Area: Little Owl Cabin Summit Lake Camping Crystal Mountain Resort for RVs Mount Rainier National Park Area Outdoor Activities that are Mentioned in this Episode: Comet Falls Narada Falls Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center Skyline Loop Trail Myrtle Falls Reflection Lakes Pinnacle Peak Trail Wonderland Trail Mount Fremont Lookout Trail Burroughs Mountain Trail Naches Peak Loop Trail Emmons Moraine Trail Grove
Alexandria, Virginia, a Nice Mixture of Old and New
Today, I'll be speaking with Cecilia and Scott Fix about how to spend a fantastic day outdoors in Alexandria, Virginia.
Join Cecilia, Scott, and me as we start off our day, waking up in a spooky spot. Then we continue adventuring outdoors via boating the Potomac and geocaching. All while also appreciating old architecture, waterfront parks, art installations, Cherry Blossoms, and all of the best eating and drinking Alexandria has to offer along the way.
About Cecilia and Scott Fix Scott and Cecilia are a travel blogging married couple who travel both locally and internationally.
They have an insatiable desire for outdoor adventure, not necessarily just in the adrenaline junkie sense of the word, but for anything exciting and new.
Cecilia has a background in humanitarian work, a Master's degree in International Development, and has served as a Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in Cape Verde, giving her a keen interest in human relationships and connectedness.
Scott has a background in physics and math. His love for travel is driven more by an intense curiosity to discover the history and theories of why things are the way they are.
Together Scott and Cecilia have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, scuba-dived in the Philippines, safari'd in Tanzania, and slept in a yurt in the mountains of West Virginia.
But it's their love for "micro-adventure" that has led them to many of their new favorite experiences, including geocaching, camping in their backyard, sleeping in treehouses, and exploring haunted and abandoned locations.
Learn more about Cecilia and Scott Fix at lovicarious.com or on Instagram.
What We Cover in This Episode What makes Alexandria worth a visit for both outdoor explorers and history buffs. What keeps Alexandria feeling small. The best (and worst) times of year to visit Alexandria, VA. Why Alexandria is a great place to visit during Christmas time. A few spots to see the Cherry Blossoms bloom, where you can avoid the crowds. A haunted historical hotel worth staying at in Alexandria. Where the locals eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and go out for drinks in Alexandria. The best ways to spend a day on the Potomac River, including an option sure to be appreciated by your dog! A location that is sure to be an art lover's delight. A few beautiful parks and spots along the waterfront that should be visited. Why geocaching is worth your time in Alexandria, and how to do it! Which local tours are the best, which are overrated, and a way to get a tour of the town for free! The best spots in Alexandria for Instagram photos. Quotables There are very few places in the U.S. that you can go to that genuinely feel old, that you can look around and there's unique architecture. There's something unique about the town. I think a lot of places in the U.S. either tend to look the same or look very modern. Alexandra is someplace that definitely looks historical and it's that way, because it genuinely is.
So that history mixed with little bits of Modern cuisine, modern culture, with live performances, and pop up boutiques, it's a nice mixture of old and new.
Scott & Cecilia Fix Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode Where to Stay in Alexandria, VA: The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection Alexandria, VA Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Old Town Free Trolley Stand, King Street Mount Vernon Georgetown Waterfront Park Old Town Waterfront Park Torpedo Factory Art Center Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge Jones Point Lighthouse Mount Vernon Trail Gravelly Point Be the Change / Butterfly Effect Mural City Cruises Alexandria Water Taxi Green Spring Gardens River Farm Alexandria, VA Restaurants, Pubs & Speakeasies Mentioned in this Episode: Gadsby’s Tavern Table Talk Restaurant Jack’s Place Bob & Edith’s Diner Fish Market Restaurant Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque Chop Shop Taco Le Refuge Restaurant Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Bar Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub Capta
Kenai, Alaska, You've Entered the Real Alaska
Today, I’ll be speaking with Jon Taylor about how to make the most of an outdoorsy trip throughout the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.
This episode is sure to put you under the spell of the north. Join Jon and me as we enjoy the Kenai peninsula as an adventure-loving local would!
Our discussion is chock full of outdoor experiences, including sea kayaking, flying ourselves to epic fishing locations, hiking, and fat tire biking the beach! Also, as you would expect, there’s tons of mountain, glacier, bear, and Alaskan National Park chat along the way!
About Jon Taylor Jon is a pilot, traveler, musician, and the Creative Director for the Strategic Marketing Agency known as Divining Point.
He started his career as a commercial photographer. During that time, he discovered the camera often unlocked access to some of the most beautiful places.
His talents include brand strategy, photography, videography, and graphic design for businesses in multiple industries.
He is known for his vision and creative eye, which give him the ability to conceive stunning visuals and rich storytelling that are sure to evoke emotion from the viewers.
Also, being a pilot, Jon gets to go where no roads will take you, which, turns out, is actually most of Alaska!
He has a lot of passion for hiking, camping, biking, bourbon tasting, and snow machining, and he says he’s married the most beautiful Alaskan that’s ever emerged from the snow.
If you’ve ever dreamt of exploring Alaska like a local, don’t miss this episode! He does an incredible job of explaining why Kenai is the perfect place to home base from for all of your future Alaskan adventures!
Follow Jon on Instagram and learn more about Kenai, Alaska at ILoveKenai.com.
What We Cover in This Episode The draw to Alaska that’s stronger than moose, bears, and mountains. What makes Alaskans “the most independent people in America,” and why it matters. Why Alaska is a great place to start a business. How photography can open doors for creatives. What makes the Kenai peninsula stand out from anywhere else in Alaska! Kenai’s sister cities on the peninsula, and what each one has to offer. How traveling in Alaska compares to how you are probably used to traveling, and what makes it so different. Where to go to see otters, seals, and to sea kayak. Why Kenai is “the perfect place to start your Alaskan adventure.” What it’s like to live in Alaska in the winter. How to book an early morning fishing excursion – the quintessential Alaskan experience – where you also get to fly the plane! The best way to view mountains, glaciers, and bears. How cruising Alaska is different than seeing Alaska via the car or a small plane. What times are better for a car in Alaska, and what times are better for a small plane. The best way, and time of day, to view Denali. A local’s favorite Alaskan national park – with tips – including – why, the best way to get there, and what to do when you arrive. The best place to stay in Kenai, Alaska. The best restaurant to get breakfast in Kenai, Alaska, and what to order. “The most intense one and a half mile hike you have ever done in your life.” A great lunch spot near the above-mentioned intense hike. A few recommended beach activities to take part in back in Kenai. A delicious locally sourced bistro recommended for dinner, and “the only place [Jon] recommend[s] getting a cocktail in Alaska.” Another dinner option, perfect for anyone who wants an excursion combined with their dinner. Why you should be careful going to Alaska in July. Where to get the best Instagram photos in Kenai. What Jon thinks people most miss out on when visiting the Kenai peninsula. A few additional hike recommendations on the Kenai peninsula. How to best prepare for hiking in Alaska. How to protect yourself from Alaskan bears and moose. Quotables The real draw for Alaska wasn’t necessarily the mountains or the bears or the moose or the rivers. It was the
That Cabin Cozy Feel in Flagstaff, Arizona
Today, I'll be speaking with Sam To about how to make the most of an outdoorsy trip to Flagstaff, Arizona.
Join Sam and me on a “choose your own level of adventure” summer day! Options range from hiking, biking, and swimming, to car touring and leisurely taking in Flagstaff’s beauty from up in the treetops.
About Sam To Sam works on the COVID-19 response team for the state of Arizona in a position that is 100% remote from home, which she has found to be pretty fantastic!
She lives with her husband, Will, her daughter, Lucy, and dog Pop.
Lucy is 1-year-old and has already joined them on numerous day trips, camping trips, and vacations all over Arizona! She’s even gone paddle boarding with them!
While Sam loves to spend time outdoors playing disc golf, hiking, kayaking, and sledding, she also equally enjoys beer tasting, pizza, and vegging on the couch while binging tv!
It quite honestly sounds like the epitome of balance to me!
In this episode, she does a great job of explaining why Flagstaff is the perfect place for all of those activities and more!
Connect with Sam about Flagstaff on Instagram!
What We Cover in This Episode What makes Flagstaff an excellent snowbird destination for Arizonans. The landscapes that make Flagstaff so different than the rest of Arizona. Why a Flagstaff winter is different than an east coast winter. The variety of destinations that are located within a couple hours drive of Flagstaff. What makes Flagstaff so incredible for outdoors lovers! The best and worst times of year to visit Flagstaff. Where to stay in Flagstaff – including a haunted hotel and a free spot! How easy it is to get around Flagstaff. The best spots for coffee and breakfast in Flagstaff. A fantastic way to spend your morning outdoors in the area, including long and short hiking options, as well as a driving adventure option. The best spots in the area to see waterfalls, petroglyphs, and wildflowers. Beautiful outdoors destinations that are also historical and educational. A butcher shop with delicious sandwiches. A gondola ride perfect for immersing yourself in nature. The best spots for dinner and happy hour in Flagstaff. All of the local lakes, creeks, and amazing summer water activities in the surrounding area. Alternatives to discover when Slide Rock State Park is packed. The most popular Flagstaff winter activities. A few of the best Instagram spots in the area. The most overrated hike in Flagstaff and where you should be hiking instead. Quotables The smell of the pines, the sound of the wind through the trees. I don’t think that you could experience that anywhere near us. This little gem of a town in the middle of all of these giant forests in Arizona, I think, is the biggest surprise. It’s a nice little treat, in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by desert.
Sam To It’s a nice little community that you get to feel a part of when you come to visit. It takes you to a different place, whether you live here or whether you’re just visiting. I think it’s just cozy all around.
Sam To Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode
Where to Stay in Flagstaff, AZ:
Hotel Monte Vista Nordic Village Yurts Boondocking Near Flagstaff Flagstaff, AZ Area Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode: Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument O’Leary Peak Lockett Meadow Picture Canyon Trailhead Walnut Canyon National Monument Snowbowl Scenic Gondola Humphreys Peak Lake Mary Slide Rock State Park Crescent Moon Picnic Site West Fork Oak Creek Trailhead Kendrick Peak Lava River Cave Elden Mountain Flagstaff, AZ Area Restaurants & Breweries Mentioned in this Episode: Matador Coffee Roasting Company Macy’s European Coffeehouse & Bakery Late For the Train MartAnnes Burrito Palace Proper Meats + Provisions Fat Olives Go Sushi The Annex Cocktail Lounge Thanks for Listening! We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite pa
This is a fantastic podcast for getting the inside scoop on amazing destinations from those who know best - locals who often work in the hospitality, tourism, and restaurant industries. My first listen was an episode about an area with which I’m quite familiar (Fayetteville, WV and the New River Gorge). I found the podcast to be entertaining, comprehensive, and informative. I even learned a thing or two about my own home state. If a native can learn some new info, image how helpful this podcast can be to the traveler!
I want to travel to so many places now
This podcast is perfect for teaching me about places I might not find or have thought of :)
My bucket travel list grows with each episode.
A must listen for travel and nature enthusiasts
I love this podcast. Especially, during a time when most of us have been stuck at home, it allows me to travel throughout the country, without even leaving my home. I get great and new insight from guests about places that I’ve been to before and other spots I’ve never heard of, that are now officially added to my travel bucket list. I really enjoy the food parts of the show! There are so many breweries scattered throughout the US. Who knew?! I find the host, Cindy, thoroughly entertaining and can’t wait to see what parts of the country this show covers next. I know, I’ll be tuning in. This podcast is a must listen for anyone who likes to travel and explore the outdoors around this beautiful country of ours!