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Expand Your Horizons: Places to Visit this Summer

RWC tutor Jannette Rodriguez gives a list of exciting places to visit over the summer.

Grand Canyon National Park

Located in Arizona, 595.8 miles from Reedley, this 9 hour drive to the Grand Canyon National Park should be on your bucket list this summer. This national park is approximately 1,902 squared miles, and is divided into the South Rim and North Rim. If you plan to visit both rims be prepared to stay for a couple of days to capture the full experience. At the South Rim, there is plenty to do such as hiking, bicyling on Hermit Road, or cruising on Desert View Drive. There’s 3-hour mule trips along the canyon rim or overnight ride, where you stay at the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch; and raft trips on the Colorado river offered as well. At the North Rim, you can go hiking, on scenic drives, and mule rides. However, they only offer 1-hour mule rides and its through the forest instead of the canyon rim or half day trips to Uncle Jim Point on the Ken Patrick Trail. Nevertheless, a trip to Grand Canyon can be enjoyed by all.

Big Sur, California

If you cannot afford to go out of state this summer, luckily for you Big Sur is just round the corner (not really). It is a 5 hour drive, but it is so worth it. Big Sur is a rugged stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon. Bordered to the east by the Santa Lucia Mountains and the west by the Pacific Ocean. It is known for its unique topography, which makes it a great campsite with an oceanview. These coastal redwoods have hike trials

which lead to secret waterfalls and you can spot wildflowers throughout the trials.

There are tour guides for these hikes to get the full Big Sur experience. It is home to one of the world’s single-span concrete arch bridges, the Bixby Bridge, where the endangered California sea otter can be seen playing underneath. There is so much to explore at Big Sur so if you are going to visit plan for a few days.

Holland, Michigan

Most people do not really think of going to Michigan for vacation but the Tulip Time Festival should make you consider visiting this summer. The Tulip Time Festival is from May 4-12 which technically isn’t summer but would make a great attraction to experience this spring. The festival first began in 1929 when 100,000 tulips bloomed in Holland. Since then, the festival has grown, with over 6 million planted all over the city. World-renowned Dutch horticulturist, Ibo Gülse’s floral immersion experience allows people to learn the history of its origins in Turkey, to the Netherlands, and lastly Holland; where he uses 65,000 tulips of different colors to capture the feeling and make the perfect photo backdrop. Tickets for the Immersion Garden are $15 dollars for adults and $2 for children; unfortunately pets are not allowed. Aside from the tulips, the festival will have parades with floats, marching bands, and Dutch dancers; along with on-stage music and entertainment. This year will mark its 95th anniversary so make it your first.

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