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Maryssa Fenwick

Overall, surfing the South Jetty at Oceanside will give you consistent waves to get out on but I don't recommend it for someone just starting out. There are plenty of smaller, more solitary waves to learn on where you won't be surrounded by locals.

Oceanside is home to the classic mile stretch of concrete along the ocean with restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions surrounding you. If you're visiting San Diego I would encourage you to visit at least once.

San Elijo is a beautiful beach with camping overlooking the bluffs. Great spot to learn how to surf, catch a sunset, or walk the beach and clear your thoughts. Forever will be one of my favorite beaches in San Diego.

I always brought my friends and family here when they came to visit me. It's a great spot to view the ocean, San Diego cliffs, and share a fun sport many people don't often see. If you have extra cash, you can pay to hang glide with a professional. Great spot to be introduced to San Diego even if you're just watching.

The sea caves were at one time a jaw-dropping experience but as with many things, people have ruined this opportunity. Too many people have gotten hurt/stuck in the sea caves as the tides change forcing local law enforcement to survey the area often and give out hefty charges if caught.

This spot provides you with a new perspective of downtown San Diego. Two benches are available along the water's edge with grassy spots surrounding them. Expect to have the place to yourself during the week, but weekends, holidays or special occasions others will have the same idea as you. Worth the stop in my opinion.

This used to be a well-kept secret but it is worth sharing with others. The suspension bridge sets you among the trees, swaying gently above the canyon below. Be respectful while visiting, let's not make locals regret sharing this gem :)

Balboa Park is central to an endless number of activities! Spend the day exploring the adjacent museums, zoo, and shops and simply branch off to relax in the park when you need a break. Check the local calendar to find events happening while you're there!

Mount Woodson is a beautiful escape right outside the city. Check out the maps and be sure you know where you're going, if you branch off to find climbing routes it is easy to get turned around. Get out early to beat the heat and the crowds!

Lake Poway has a few unique rules you should be aware of when visiting. Check their website for day-specific rules and early closing hours to ensure you know what to expect. The area provides plenty of space for picnics with a beautiful walking trail around the lake. It's an urban park so know you will be sharing the area with many families, fishermen, and others trying to escape the city and spend some time outdoors.

If you're visiting San Diego La Jolla Cove is a must-stop location. You will find the classic cave views your google search showed you, as well as plenty of fresh, breathtaking views. Shop around the local spots, grab a bite to eat, and end your evening watching the sunset over the hundreds of seals snoozing on the red cliffs.

Nowadays it's rare to find a beach that is accepting of dogs being off-leash and of people doing whatever (in reason) they please but Dog Beach is just that. One of my favorite San Diego beaches to share with my pup. Catch small surf waves, enjoy the sunset, or take a mid-day stroll with your 4-legged buddy. Great spot!

Sunset Cliffs provide a beautiful and romantic setting to enjoy your sunset. Expect to share this beauty with others, but know it doesn't take away from the views at all.

Everyone knows Yellowstone will not disappoint and this holds true for wildlife viewing and photography opportunities in Lamar Valley. Talk to the rangers and they can give you specific day-of directions for the best spots to see the specific animal on your list.

The Presque Isle River Waterfall loop is a great 2.3 mile section of moderate terrain (quite a few stairs) and stellar views. You will be hiking through forested areas, over boardwalks, and along beautiful waterfalls. This is one of many day hikes that are worth doing in the area!

The Horicon Marsh is a beautiful natural area with an abundance of wildlife. I spent many hours here in college doing bird counts and enjoying the scenic views. Check with the visitors center to learn what species of birds will be present while you're there and to learn more about the area. Don't forget your binoculars!

5 stars for the experience and views although it currently has a 1 star for the disrespect the area has been receiving. Pewit's Nest used to be a well-kept secret but that has changed in the last couple of years. I am an advocate for everyone to have access to our natural areas - but if you go please, please clean up any garbage you see, pack out what you pack in, and share this message with people you see who are not respecting the area. It deserves better.

The Eau Claire Dells is a beautiful section of the river that has carved its way through large sections of sandstone. The loop trail is an easy walk with built-in steps along the way and clear markers, eventually linking up with the Ice Age Trail. Many people jump off the rocks (make sure the water levels are high enough) although it is not encouraged. Even if all you do is walk down and check out the view from the outcropping, it's worth it.

I went to college in Stevens Point and Schmeeckle Reserve will forever hold my heart. The hike to Moses Creek through Schmeeckle is an easy, 2 mile hike through managed forest land. You will find yourself walking through the marsh on a well-kept boardwalk - keep an eye out for wildlife like such as deer, waterbirds, and a variety of songbirds. It is a peaceful place. Walk or bike this trail and feel free to bring your hammock when you're ready for a rest. Respect the reserve and you will undoubtedly have a great day :)

The Eau Claire River and the Rib River merge with the WI river to form Lake Wausau. It's a beautiful area perfect for kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Lake Wausau is both scenic and provides you with a diverse range of recreational opportunities. Please pick up any garbage you see in or near the lake - it is becoming a growing issue and every little thing you do helps! :)

The hike is 5 stars without a doubt. Expect to see a lot of other people as Devil's Lake is a hidden gem in WI. Take your time exploring the area and hiking the loop. There are plenty of spots to take a break (rocky areas only - let's all try to stop the damage and erosion off-trail hiking causes) and rocky outlooks to take in the view. There are bathrooms and picnic tables at the beach area/parking lots. Please pack out all that you pack in :)

Devil's Lake as a whole is a beautiful place to spend your day. Cool off in the lake, eat your lunch on the bluffs, or hike the loop around the lake. Climbing at Devil's Lake is a hidden gem in WI. You can find spots to set up a top rope, or choose to boulder on the bluffs. The east side is home to my favorite bouldering spots. Good holds, fun challenges, and safe spots to lay your pads.

Okay..I'm giving it 3 stars because I was very underwhelmed by Old Faithful. Overall, Yellowstone is a staple National Park to check out and I encourage everyone to do so - but expect a large crowd at all times of the year and for the geysers to under impress just a bit. If you have limited time, I recommend finding other hikes and views if you're looking to be amazed! If you're looking for classic views, this is the spot for you :)

Worth the hike! The 6 mile round trip is a steady climb that weaves around a small creek. I hiked this in early May and did find quite a bit of snow left. I would recommend microspikes if you're doing it before mid-June, although it is very doable without, the melting snow just slows you down a bit. There are campsites around the rim of the lake - continue past these and find yourself overlooking the crystal blue mountain lake. Unreal views upon your "summit". Pack in a beer to enjoy on the large boulders down by the lake, enjoy the sun pouring down on you, meet some new friends and then hike down with that empty beer can securely in your pack :)