Posts Tagged ‘dunes’

Cape Cod, wild beaches and charming lighthouses

Cape Cod, wild beaches and charming lighthouses

Described by Thoreau as “The great Outer Beach” in 1800s, the Cape Cod is a peninsula with 15 towns and more than 40 miles in the outer cop of spectacular scenary, beautiful wild beaches, dunes, ponds and charming lighthouses. A big part of the code is federally protected by the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Those I consider to be the best places in Cape Cod are:

  • Cape Cod National Seashore Park (view map): this is the real Cape Cod, definitely a must see. I’d suggest to begin the journey early in the morning at one of the visitor centers (Salt Pond or Province Land) so you can provide yourself with information for your visit. At Salt Pond buy a day parking pass for 15$ that allows you to park at all 6 National Seashore. You can visit Truro (a town with an impressive lighthouse and a nice beach called Meadow beach). At the tip of the cape you will find the Race Point, with great biking and walking trails, amazing wild beaches, the beautiful Race Point Lighthouse and the magical 1898 Old Harbor Life-Saving Station (one of the few unaltered left in the country). Other places to visit are the Coast Guard Station and beach in Eastham, that offer super-scenic views.
  • Provincetown, located at the very tip, is Cape Cod’s most popular vacation destination, specially for gay men and lesbians (it has the highest concentration of same-sex couple households of any zip code in the US). It was the first landing place of the Mayflower Pilgrims almost 400 years ago and is the oldest continuous art colony in America and the birthplace of the Modern American Theater. Almost three-quarters is preserved in its wilderness state as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park
  • Sandwich, the Cape’s oldest town, is full of weathered shingles and whaling captains’ mansions and fully involved with American glass production
  • Sunset at Eastham: Later afternoon is the best time to really explore the beaches with not many people around. Sunset over First Encounter Beach in Eastham is very recommended as well as full moon beach walks
  • Drive-in Theater: if you still have any energy left, there’s a drive-in theater in Wellfleet. Perfect activity for couples and kids (website)

To learn more about the best places in New England, please also read Best Places in Boston and Newport, a yachting capital and a coastal crown.

View Best places in Cape Cod in a bigger map

Finally, i’d just like to say hi to my good friends Diegol, MarkyMark, Moñi and Juanito. What a funny and amazing weekend we spent back in the summer of 1997 🙂
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Best things to do in Death Valley

Death Valley. Photo: Pedro Sagüés

Best things to do in Death Valley

Death Valley is a National Park 2 hours away from Las Vegas that features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. For such reason, people recommend visiting the park during the coolest season (December and January). In my opinion, Death Valley is worth a visit especially during the hottest season (from June to August), when temperatures reach up to 134ºF (56ºC). Both days I spent there, temperatures reached 127ºF (53ºC). Few places in the world offer you the chance of experiencing such a high temperature. It makes you feel like you’re risking your life just by standing outside of your car for less than an hour without any water.

At night, the temperature drop to 100ºF (37ºC), so it’s more comfortable to sleep in a hotel with air conditioning (we decided not to sleep in our RV). I recommend going to Furnace Creek, a resort situated in an oasis in the middle of the desert with four restaurants, a saloon, spring-fed swimming pools and an 18-hole golf course (the world’s lowest course at 214 feet below sea level). I stayed at the “Ranch” and woke up at 7am to play golf. It costs $30 (water, balls, clubs and golf cart included) and you can take your time because you’ll be the only one out there. I loved it!

Things to do in Death Valley

There are many interesting places. I asked the locals for the coolest things to do in Death Valley in one day. Their answer was:

  • Zabriskie Point, an amazingly varied landscape, with multiple colors and textures. Go early in the morning or before sunset to get the best light for taking great pictures.
  • Badwater Basin, the lowest point in Death Valley (282ft / 86m under the sea level), is probably the best known and most visited place in the park. It’s a salt flat with small spring-fed pools of undrinkable water. I recommend walking onto the salt flats and standing for a while in the suffocating heat. What an experience! On your way back to the resort, you can visit “Devil’s Golf Course” (so-named because it’s so rough that only Satan himself could play golf there). It’s worth a quick stop just to see the unique rock and salt formations.
  • Stovepipe Sand Dunes are just a short drive from the ranch. Scramble to the top of a dune and enjoy the sunset. Be sure to bring enough water with you.

People also recommend visiting “Titus Canyon“, “Ubehebe crater“, the “Racetrack” and enjoying the magnificence of the valley from “Dante’s View“. I haven’t been there so I can’t recommend it.

I visited Death Valley on my way to the Burning Man 2010.

More information about Death Valley: Official website, map download,

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Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés