10 Ways to Explore the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, CO
On a recent visit to Vail, Colorado, we spent a wonderful morning at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and enjoyed our visit so much, we decided to devote a full post to the gardens. The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is considered the highest (8,200 feet above sea level!) botanical garden in the world. The word alpine means “above treeline” and the gardens are organized by regions, including the Eastern Himalayas, Patagonia, and Scottish Highlands. Vail’s higher evaluation and cool, dry climate make it possible to grow alpine plants from around the world. The complex, located inside the Ford Park, includes 19 gardens with well marked walking paths and plenty of signage to explain the name and origin of each plant, flowers, bush, and tree. Betty Ford, wife of US President Gerald Ford (who is the namesake of the adjacent amphitheater and park) “gave her name” to the center in 1988. Today, the gardens are one of the most popular attractions in Vail Valley and for good reason.
10 Spots Kids Will Love at the Heritage Museums and Gardens on Cape Cod
On a recent trip to Cape Cod, we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon exploring the grounds and museums of the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Located at the “start” of Cape Cod in Sandwich, the 100 acre space includes three indoor gallery spaces; dozens of gardens; over 1,000 varieties of flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs; an outdoor discovery center kids will LOVE; a cafe and gift shop; and even a preschool through grade one school! The property was owned by the Lilly family who vacationed on the Cape during the 1950s and 1960s. J.K. Lilly wanted to showcase his late father’s collection of automobiles and other artifacts. Since 1969, when it first opened, gardens and additional buildings have been added to enhance the beauty of the complex and of Cape Cod. Read more about the property and development of the complex here.
8 Family Friendly Activities in Vail, Colorado with the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa
The town of Avon, Colorado is located at the base of Beaver Creek Village and Beaker Creek Ski Resort, 2.3 miles up the hill. Vail Village and adjacent Lionshead Village are located 10 miles east of Avon, less than 15 aways from Avon. Both Beaker Creek and Vail are known for their world class skiing in the winter and plenty of outdoor fun throughout the entire year.
After researching places to stop between our visits to Utah and South Dakota (we’re on a massive National Parks tour this summer), we decided to spend a few days exploring the beauty of the Vail area. When crowd sourcing places to stay the overwhelming choice of both friends and acquaintances was the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon.
10 Galleries Kids Will Love at the Cloisters in New York City
The term “cloister” refers to an open courtyard, usually found in the center of a religious monastery or convent. Located in Fort Tryon Park in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, the Met Cloisters are an extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that showcases European medieval art and architecture. There are a dozen distinct areas that include 20 galleries and gardens spread throughout the four acre space. The museum was built by architect Charles Collens and opened in 1938. Many of the artifacts and structures, which date back to the 12th through 15th centuries, were saved from various churches, monasteries, and abbeys throughout Europe and recreated throughout the museum complex. There are several stone and wood sculptures, panel paintings and tapestries on display throughout galleries that are meant to recreate the feeling of being in a medieval European monastery. The four cloisters were originally created in France, bought by art dealer and sculpture George Barnard in the early 1900s, and later bought by John D. Rockefeller and donated to the museum.
10 Gardens Kids Will Love at the Berkshire Botanical Garden
On a recent trip to the Berkshires, we made an impromptu stop on our way to the Berkshire Botanical Garden– and we’re so glad we did! It is now one of our favorite spots in the Berkshires and very family friendly. The 20+ acre garden is spread out over both sides of Route 102 and includes over 30 gardens, greenhouses, walks, and buildings for classes, workshops, and family events.
Naumkeag in the Berkshires
The summer home of attorney Joseph Choate, his wife Caroline, and their five children in the late 1800s, Naumkeag is the perfect representation of a country estate of the Gilded Age. The estate is named after the Algonquin word (meaning “good fishing spot”) used for Salem, Massachusetts where the Choat family originally lived.
The original gardens included two terraces, a topiary garden, and an arborvitae alley. A farm, greenhouse, orchards, and vegetable gardens provided much of the food for the family. The family also enjoyed hiking, swimming, and horseback riding on many of the 48 acres of the estate, which is located in Stockbridge in western Massachusetts. The Choate’s daughter, Mabel, inherited the property and spent significant time creating many additional gardens. She deeded it to the Trustees of the Conservation upon her death in 1958 and the 44 room estate was turned into a museum opened to the public in 1960.