Page, Arizona (a photographer’s dream date)

Antelope Canyon:

Antelope Canyon is a magnificent slot canyon located in Page, Arizona. Stepping inside this canyon, is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s a photographer’s dream with its beautiful ambient lighting, colors, and depth.

The only way you can get into Antelope Canyon, is by tour because it is located on Navajo Nation Land. You will have to buy a permit to enter Navajo Territory as well as an additional fee for the tour, prices vary. Do like we did, and go straight to Upper Antelope Canyon’s access point. There you will find a couple tour buildings where you can pay and then leave for the tour directly from there. You can sign up for a group tour (this is what we did) or if you have the money and the right camera equipment, you can buy a photographer’s pass. With that pass, you can go on a private tour with your tour guide so you won’t have to deal with a big group of people. In our group tour, we had a wonderful Navajo tour guide who knew every nook and cranny in that canyon. He even helped people with their cameras to get the best possible lighting for the best photograph.

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Upper Antelope Canyon is where most tour guides will take you because of it’s easier terrain. There is still some climbing up and down steps and some rocky terrain as well as narrow areas of the canyon that you have to walk through. Once inside the canyon, temperatures drop about 20 degrees, so keep that in mind and choose your clothes wisely. Lower Antelope Canyon is more difficult and a little more dangerous. This is the canyon where 11 people died in 1997 due to a flash flood which may be the reason why you are required to have a guide at all times now. Keep in mind, if you and your date are looking for adventure, this may not be the place. It isn’t very private due to having to go in groups with a tour guide, but it is certainly a magical place to see together.

the exit

Horseshoe Bend:

Horseshoe Bend was a Pinterest find I wanted to see that was also located in Page, AZ and I am so glad I did! Not only is Antelope Canyon an incredible place to see, this was just as beautiful. Horseshoe Bend is a breathtaking canyon, part of the Colorado River featuring an array of colors.

It is accessible by a strenuous walk/hike up and down a hill from a designated parking area so be sure to bring plenty of water. The lookout area is on top of a steep cliff, as you can see, but it is the perfect place for photographs.

 

Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoy your perfect photography date in Page, Arizona. Post your experience below in the comments!

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Midtown/Uptown Minneapolis Date

As fun and unique as downtown Minneapolis may be, I’d like to bring you to Midtown and Uptown.

Powderhorn Park:

   

Looking for a local park to have a nice picnic and get some exercise in around a pond? Stop by Powderhorn Park (where my old apartment used to be)! If you are an exercise junkie, they have plenty of equipment along the paved trails as checkpoints to do pull ups, leg presses, and more! There is plenty of grass and private areas to have a romantic picnic and if you are touring around May Day, they have a cool May Day festival with vendors and music. At night, you can view a portion of the Minneapolis skyline.

Midtown Global Market:

The Midtown Global Market is a great place to stop in and walk around for a little while. It is actually the second largest leasable sized building compared to Mall of America in the city. Inside this building, you will find a portion of it is filled with international food stands and craft vendors.

Calhoun Square/Uptown:

Uptown is a hip neighborhood in Minneapolis that has plenty of rooftop restaurants and bars as well as shops. Amore Uptown is a great romantic nighttime rooftop restaurant to take your date. Sadly, my favorite restaurant was Cowboy Slim’s which closed shortly after I moved away, they had the BEST buffalo chicken wraps! Besides rooftop restaurants, record shops and clothing boutique’s flood the streets of uptown. Park, walk, and shop your day away!

Calhoun Lake:

Calhoun Lake- North Beach

Want to spend time at the beach, but can’t get away to the ocean? Minneapolis has tons of lakeside beaches! The best beach in Uptown is Calhoun Lake’s North Beach. If you don’t feel like lounging lakeside, there are plenty of biking and walking trails that go around the entire lake.

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Minneapolis Day Date by Foot

About 5 years ago I had the pleasure of living in this beautiful city, Minneapolis, for about 2 years. I met amazing people and saw beautiful places I will never forget. It was certainly an experience that I’m glad I had. Minneapolis is a beautiful city with a lot of hidden places that only locals would know about and I loved it. Some of those hidden places I’m going to tell you right here in these posts. But shhh, keep it between us.

Guthrie Theatre:

Guthrie Theatre (Ateliers Jean Nouvel Photography)
View from up top (Crystal Rock Photography)

The Guthrie Theatre may look like just a theatre to most people, but this was one of my favorite places to go to in the city to see some beautiful views and get some awesome photos. Once you go in the main entrance, you can go up the elevator and tour the different floors, each one having something else to see. The level that has the café, is one of my favorite floors because you get to walk out onto the part of the building that jets out. This allow you to see a great view like the photo I took above as well as the river. The next floor that I really enjoy is what I like to call, The Yellow Room. All the windows are yellow giving a different perspective of the city.

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Stone Arch Bridge:

  

In behind the Guthrie Theatre, you will see the Stone Arch Bridge. This is a beautifully architectural bridge only made for walking and bikes. If your touring the Guthrie Theatre it’s a nice area allowing you to walk/bike across the river to get to the other side. The other side has some hidden trails for a more private walk-if you can find it that is. (Once you find this trail, see if you can find the gorilla graffiti, take a photo of it and post it in the comments below!)

Nicolette Mall:

You may be thinking, why would we want to go to the mall on a beautiful day in downtown? Psych! It’s not really a mall, its a street full of shops!

Photo by: © Meet Minneapolis

Great place to get some grub and shop in some huge stores! They have a two story Marshalls and a two story Target with an escalator specifically for your shopping carts…how cool is that?!

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Nashville, TN Dates

Living in Nashville for a year, we realized that it’s a great city to visit, but certainly not to live. The city itself is growing at an enormous rate and the interstates and byways just can’t handle it. As a result, in my opinion, there is too much traffic, and people! On top of how many people are currently living in the city, you have tourists. Don’t get me wrong, the city is beautiful. There is always something to do, rain or shine. Many tourists will flock to Broadway (the well known party and bar street in the city), but I have a lot of other places that I prefer to go to with my date. Here are just a few…

The Parthenon:

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In Nashville, there is a full scale replica of the original Parthenon that is in Athens, Greece. Located in West End, in the middle of Centennial Park of Nashville. It was originally built for 1897’s Centennial Exposition. I heard it was supposed to be torn down, but it was such an exact replica and adorned by many, that it was kept standing and now serves as an art museum. It’s free to walk around, and there is a one mile loop behind around a pond.

Nashville Flea Market & Bicentennial Park:

photo taken by: Julianna

Even if you’re not looking to buy something, its a fun place to walk around and take in all the different smells. Food trucks tend to gather here, including The Grilled Cheeserie which is my favorite! There are many restaurants and vendors inside and outside of the building ranging from pizza and baked goods, to yummy organic ice cream and Jamaican foods. Behind the flea market is Bicentennial Park.

You can see a beautiful view of the State Capitol as well as learn and see some of Nashville’s history. Make sure to walk towards the west side of the park and listen to the towers play some bell music every hour on the hour. I bet a beautiful place to propose to someone is right in the middle of the towers as the music plays 😉

Go to a Titans game:

It may not be the most romantic of places, but its a great place to have fun with your loved one and friends. Not only can you watch the game, but there are places throughout the stadium where you can play corn hole, have a drink at the bar, and lounge on couches while the sun sets. Did I mention the stadium food?! YUM!

Walk around 12 South:

12 South is the infamous street where you may see celebrities such as Lady Gaga shopping as well as graffiti wall art. You can do an art crawl, but I will get to explaining that in a later post! There is also some great restaurants such as Bar Taco and Flip Side (great chicken and shakes)!

Tour Gaylord Opryland Resort:

You may be thinking, why would I tour a resort? Well, you must haven’t seen Gaylord Opryland, yet! This resort not only has restaurants and shops, but breathtakingly beautiful conservatories. Orchids, waterfalls, palms, greens and plants of all kinds reside in the resort perfect for picture taking.

Those are just a few of my favorite Nashville dates! Stay tuned for more great ideas in Tennessee!

As always, thank you for reading. You all are amazing.

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A Mt. Shasta Adventure

Before noticing the gorgeous mountain with snow on top towering over the town, I had no idea what Mt. Shasta really was. I heard about the beauty, but I never knew what the area really looked like. Thick forests, small shops, hippies and hillbillies, and small families enjoying a quiet life. Despite all of that, tourists filled the town, but respected their surroundings to let the locals live peacefully. This beauty and uniqueness allowed Mt. Shasta to stand out to me. I had never seen or been to any place like it.

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Mt. Shasta is one of the towns in the US with the cleanest water that has won actual awards. Visit the local park where you can actually taste a sip. The water takes about 50 years to make it down the mountain to the small area in the park where you can drink it. You can drink 50 year old water! It will be the purest and cleanest water you will ever taste.

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The mountain is known to have special Ora that many transients flock to, to do whatever transients do. I’ve never seen so many and it was really unique to see how they live. Shacks decorated with tie die decor, the smell of pot lingering, and seeing those eating plants, while trying to fulfill a pure, clean, natural life. If you’d like, bring a tent and live like them. There are plenty of areas to camp out with plenty of water to drink and apparently, plants to eat!

Nestled deep in the woods is Mt. Shasta Lake. Take a picnic, take a canoe/kayak, and enjoy a day to yourselves. You will most likely be up there alone or only with a couple other people. It is so quiet and serene you will never want to leave.

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Sanibel Island Sunny Day Date

Sanibel Island is a very romantic place where you can get back to your Islander self. If your staying on the island, you may take a drive or a bike ride to Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. You can spend hours there slowly riding through the park, stopping every so often to see the wonderful wildlife Sanibel Island has to offer. There are some trails where you can pull over and take a stroll as well as an overlook tour for those perfect photographs.

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Afterwards, you will probably be hungry! Stop by Blue Giraffe Island Dining restaurant for lunch or dinner. Be sure to try their chicken or a dish with key lime aioli sauce. It’s amazing and I’ve been trying to figure out this recipe to duplicate it for so long now!

On your way back to your place, stop into Jerry’s Grocery Store. This place is worth visiting just for the Key Lime Pie and the couple shops that are connected to the building to get some souvenirs. Be sure to say hello to the birds. Caesar is my favorite!

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A Perfect Afternoon Date in New Orleans

What better way to spend time with your significant other then taking a haunted cemetery tour to learn about New Orleans’ past? Take a lovely walking tour of the St. Louis #1 Cemetery by French Quarter Phantoms Ghost Tours and you will see Marie Laveau’s grave and Nicolas Cage’s future grave and many more. The tour is not only a cool thing to do as a tourist, but it is very educational as well! I loved learning some of the history of the cemetery and the city. Did you know medians used to be called neutral zones back in the day?!

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Marie Laveau, the voodoo priestess of the 19th century, is said to be buried in this cemetery. Some say that even after death, she continues to work her magic from the grave. Many people still leave offerings at her grave and scribble X’s thinking she will grant their wishes. On the tour, just bring a small offering, like a hair brush, lipstick, or something of that nature that is personal to you or someone you love. Just be sure NOT to scribble X’s on her grave as that is against the law of course!

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As mentioned, Nicolas Cage does in fact have a grave there as well. You may be wondering why, when he’s not dead, yet! Some say he is stashing money in his very expensive and gaudy grave, in shape of a pyramid, but he actually says he loves New Orleans so much, that he wanted to make sure this is where he will be laid to rest. When you look at the grave, you will see lipstick kisses all over it. If you feel brave, go ahead and leave a kiss for him as well, just don’t make your loved one jealous!

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After this exciting and educational cemetery tour, you may be exhausted from all the walking, so I suggest you go back to your room and order in some Chinese food while binging on Netflix, like American Horror Story (New Orleans season).

Netflix & Chill and eat Chinese, what could be better than that?

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About

Writing this blog, ‘Dates Around the World’, is an idea that has been in my mind for a long time and that I am finally excited to publish! The one passion in my life is travel, and I want to share my experiences with the world. I want to create content that people will enjoy reading and in turn, will help them learn and discover all these wonderful and beautiful places the world has to offer with someone they love by their side just like I have and to simply live without the box.
Side note: I am a freelance photographer, Crystal Rock Photography, so all of these photos in my posts are taken by yours truly (unless stated otherwise).

Thank you all for reading, namaste.

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