I love it when my impressions are dispelled. It’s a human characteristic to form opinions ...
Welcome to Mike's Road Trip
Road Trips | Travel Tips | Travel Videos | Restaurant & Product ReviewsMike’s Road Trip is about discovering those hidden gems of the road and sharing them with other adventurous and discerning travelers. You won’t find mediocrity or the ordinary on Mike’s Road Trip; these are the travels that create fond memories. Whether you live vicariously or by example, I’ll do the exploring so you can have an adventure.
Last year I had an opportunity to visit Hangzhou, the capital of the Zhejiang province ...
San Juan Island, Washington
San Juan Island in Washington state is the most popular of the chain of San Juan Islands in the northwesterly part of the state. It is a magical place with stunning beauty around every bend in the road. From historic Roche and Friday harbors, to vineyards, lavender farms to sporting activities, there is a lot to experience on San Juan Island.
Orcas Island, Washington
The natural isolation provided by the Puget Sound gives Orcas Island a sense of peace and relaxation accompanied by pristine natural beauty. Villages and hamlets like Orcas Village, Deer Harbor, Eastsound, West Sound and Olga make Orcas Island a paradise not to be missed.
Vicksburg, Mississippi is a city of history and hospitality. Vicksburg is bursting at the seams with local culture, character, art, entertainment and outdoor adventure. With sweeping views of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions.
Jerome was once a mining camp, but over the past thirty years this hilltop has turned into a hip and eclectic artistic community that attracts tourist from around the world. Jerome is also where photographers go to heaven as there are so many photo opps.
Hines Mansion Bed and Breakfast
The Hines Mansion Bed and Breakfast is located on a tree-lined street in downtown Provo, Utah. The elegant charm of its Victorian style plays a significant role in the heritage of Provo. Shops, restaurants, landmarks, parks, theater and more are but walking distance from the Hines Mansion.
Grand Hotel Marriott Resort Point Clear, Alabama
Located near Fairhope, Alabama in the picturesque beach of Point Clear, the Grand Hotel is a fantastic property rich in history and is as grand as the name suggests.
Vicksburg National Military Park
The Vicksburg National Military Park is the top attraction in Vicksburg and is a must-visit when visiting Mississippi. The battlefield at Vicksburg includes 1,325 historic monuments and markers, 20 miles of reconstructed trenches and earthworks, a 16 mile tour road, antebellum home, 144 emplaced cannon, restored and the Union gunboat-USS Cairo as well as the Vicksburg National Cemetery.
Grapevine is not just a suburb of Dallas, but rather a destination with its own identity. Steeped in history, Grapevine has top-notch resorts, fine wine and many actives to entice the visitor. These photos will give you a glimpse of the history and wonder that awaits in Grapevine.
Fairhope/Point Clear, Alabama
Fairhope/Point Clear is located on the Gulf Coast of Alabama…it has some lovely parks and sweeping panoramic views of Mobile Bay. There is a wonderful downtown area providing shopping and many terrific restaurants. Up the road is Point Clear where the historic and awe-inspiring Marriott Grand Hotel resides.
Santorini, Greece is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. The whitewashed, cubist houses overlook the clear Aegean, and the beaches are made up of black, red and white lava pebbles. Wine is quite popular on Santorini and it is said there is more wine than water, and more donkeys than men.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is the Bohemian capital of the Czech Republic and is nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires.” Prague is known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, as well as the pedestrian Charles Bridge which is lined with saints.
Hotel Valley Ho
Downtown Scottsdale, Arizona is home to the historically hip, Hotel Valley Ho. Originally built in 1956, the Valley Ho quickly became a hideaway for Hollywood stars. In 2005 the hotel was completely renovated, paying tribute to its mid-century design. Today, the hotel is a urban hot-spot, with its contemporary retro feel and hip ambiance, the Hotel Valley Ho is one of the trendiest places in town.
Flagstaff in the Winter
Flagstaff is the official Winter-Wonderland of Arizona. In the winter months folks enjoy a snowy playground. An average of 100 inches of snow falls annually in town, while the surrounding ponderosa forests are blanketed with even more, welcoming winter enthusiasts to partake in winter activities, such as skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and snowbiking.
Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It's known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum.
Venice, Italy (in full color)
Venice, Italy is one of the most unique, romantic and interesting cities in all the world. There are more than 100 islands that make up the northern Veneto region.Its stone palaces seemingly rise out of the water. There are no cars or roadways, just canals and boats. The Grand Canal snakes through the city, which is filled with innumerable narrow, maze-like alleys and small squares. These are my color images, I also have another Venice photo gallery of just my B&W images.
Bordering both Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is one of the most spectacular recreational lakes in the country. These photos were all taken on the Nevada side of the lake, also considered North Tahoe, even though it’s on the eastern side of the lake.
Mikulov, Czech Republic
Mikulov is an enchanting, almost fairytale-like town in the midst of a stunning countryside located in the southern Moravia wine region of the Czech Republic. Vineyards surround the town in all directions with the Baroque Mikulov château as the focal point.
Burano, Italy is one of the over 100 islands that make up Venice. Bruno, which is about an hour’s ferry ride from Venice is probably most well known for it’s vibrant colors and handmade lace. Visitors are intrigued by the many colors that are reflected into the green waters of the channels, and by the tranquility that is embodied by its residents.
Venice, Italy B&W
Venice, Italy is one of the most unique, romantic and interesting cities in all the world. There are more than 100 islands that make up the northern Veneto region.Its stone palaces seemingly rise out of the water. There are no cars or roadways, just canals and boats. The Grand Canal snakes through the city, which is filled with innumerable narrow, maze-like alleys and small squares. This Venice photo gallery are all B&W, see the 'color' album to view the rest of my images from this amazing city.
Aria Hotel in Prague
The Aria is a stunning hotel located in the heart of Prague. The Aria is ensconced within a musical theme that is carried through every aspect of the property. Each floor of the hotel is themed in a different genre of music (jazz, opera, classical and contemporary), with each of its 51 lavish rooms and suites highlighting a different artist within the floors’ musical style.
Paris has long been the most popular tourist city in the world, but recently the luster has tarnished a bit, falling to #3. Regardless, Paris is still one of the most amazing cities in the world. A stroll down one of the many historic streets will make you fall in love. You’ll pass one stunning landmark after another...from the epic Eiffel Tower to the regal Jardin des Tuileries to the petite cafés bursting onto the sidewalks. Beyond the city’s visual appeal, the cultural riches of the French capital are unsurpassed.
Hangzhou is known as being the happiest city in all of China. The body of water in the middle of the city known as West Lake provides an urban oasis, which probably contributes to the level of happiness.
The views, the food, the people and culture are all part of Maine's appeal. Maine Insiders will tell you that the four seasons and the five senses are the best of friends. You can wake up on the coast, scale a mountain in the afternoon, and end your day reveling in Maine’s eclectic dining scene. From the great outdoors to the great indoors, you’ll find there is an amazing amount of originality to discover in Maine.
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire is one of those rare places that exceeds the expectations…it’s a state park located about 80 minutes northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The 44,000 acre geological wonder is full of awe-inspiring and diverse landscape that provides visitors with an endless array of photo opps.
Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic is an outstanding example of a small, central European, medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries. It’s a place that is easy to fall in love with
Bisbee is an old mining town nestled in the mountains of southern Arizona. The town is full of charm and intrigue. There are restored neighborhoods of Victorian and European-style homes perched miraculously along the precarious hillsides. Old town is bustling with shopkeepers, art galleries and cafes. There are a host of annual activities worth exploring. The elevation is over 5000’, so the climate is quite temperate.
Québec City is one of North America’s oldest and most splendid settlements. Its picturesque Old Town is a living museum of 17th and 18th century houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and soaring church spires. The architecture in both the new and old parts of Quebec City is quite remarkable. Overlooking the St. Charles River is the enormous and elegant, Château Frontenac towering above Old Town.
Gourmet Food Porn
If you enjoy quality culinary cuisine, you're going to love this photo album. These are just a handful of dishes I tried over the past couple of years. If you are a restaurant owner looking for quality images, please send me an email.
Located in an affluent area of Brno, Czech Republic is the Villa Tugendhat...a historical building that was one of the pioneering prototypes of modern architecture in Europe. Villa Tugendhat was designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the 1920s.
Toro Restaurant & Rum Bar
The signature experience at Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar is the Sushi/Ceviche/Rum bar, combining Asian and Latin influences. Menu highlights include an array of wok dishes, small plates made for sharing and grilled entrees. With nearly 150 rums, Toro boasts the Valley’s largest selection, along with a collection of Latin wines and innovative cocktails prepared with the finest spirits.
Whether you’re rolling down blacktop, gravel or dust, the Mississippi Delta’s back-roads lead to people, places, events and spur-of-the-moment adventures. Culture, history, southern food & hospitality as well as the Blues run deep in these part. Road trippin' down Highway 61 leads you to the Crossroads, where Jack Johnson is believed to have sold his soul to the devil.
National World War II Museum
The abundance of exhibits and artifacts at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans is quite impressive; one area that certainly stood out for me was the massive B-17 hanging from the rafters in the aviation exhibit hall.
Blue Lake Ranch Bed and Breakfast
Blue Lake Ranch is large bed and breakfast situated on 230 acres with 16 rooms to choose from. The Ranch is located just west of Durango, Colorado and there are a number of rooms, suites, casitas and cabins to choose from, each offering luxurious accommodations in a relaxing setting.
Luke Brasserie New Orleans
Lüke is an authentic French style brasserie paying homage to the Franco-German brasseries of old New Orleans. Upon entering Lüke’s, the first thing I noticed was the extraordinary hardwood floors with a patina only age could bestow, but what I discovered was the floor of over 1m cuts was only a few years old. This level of detail is highlighted throughout the restaurant and flows right into the amazing epicurean creations coming out of the kitchen.
New Orleans is so much more than just Bourbon Street of the French Quarter, it’s incredibly rich in history, steeped in culture, with a distinct identity that few can claim. The energy is contagious. The hospitality is genuine, and the kindness of its residents is inspirational.
Cafe Monarch creates an intimate dining experience surrounded by a candle lit courtyard and two country inspired dining rooms. The menu features fresh, organic, all-natural seasonal inspired ingredients. Charm, romance and warmth surrounds this true foodie destination located in downtown Scottsdale.
Lake Havasu Balloon Festival
Lake Havasu City is a beautiful setting for a balloon festival. This was the fifth year the festival took place and there were more than 70 participating balloons, many of which flew right over the famed London Bridge.
Gertrude’s Restaurant is situated within the spectacular setting of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. The menu showcases local ingredients from artisans and farmers around Arizona and the Southwest.
L’auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles
L'auberge Casino Resort located in Lake Charles, Louisiana is an amazing property with stellar accommodations and a plethora of activities, restaurants and events.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
The charming Southwestern Louisiana town of Lake Charles has a strong Cajun culture and has a lot to offer its visitors; from performing arts, festivals, lush golf courses, glitzy casinos, historic districts, posh resorts, wildlife excursions to authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine.
Sampo Icebreaker Cruise (Kemi, Finland)
The Sampo is the only icebreaker in the world dedicated as a tourist attraction. This mighty icebreaker takes passengers around the northern Gulf of Bothnia (part of the Baltic Sea) out of Finnish Lapland. After serving for thirty years in demanding Arctic waters, the vessel has been given a new task—to provide an unforgettable experience for winter enthusiasts!
Pima Air and Space Museum
Situated on 80 acres, the Pima Air Museum has more than 300 aircrafts, half are outdoor, the other half are in 5 massive climate controlled hangers. This air museum is one of the largest in the country and is really worthwhile if you find yourself in Tucson, Arizona.
Four Seasons Scottsdale
The Four Season Resort in Scottsdale, AZ is nestled into the foothills of Pinnacle Peak–amid towering, multi-armed saguaro cactus. The adobe casitas embody the desert’s magic through thoughtful design and the outstanding talent of regional artists and craftspeople.
Blue Agave Bed and Breakfast
Blue Agave Bed and Breakfast is a fantastic property that I highly recommend. Every aspect of your stay will be a memorable one, including your interaction with the innkeepers, Dana and Peter—both of whom are very personable and attentive, not to mention absolutely fascinating. And, the views from every angle are simply stunning.
The Cozy Cactus Bed and Breakfast in Sedona, Arizona, has one of the best scenic views of any B&B in Sedona - providing unobstructed views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and Castle Rock. Read review and see video at: http://www.mikesroadtrip.com/cozy-cactus/
Located in Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is one of the premier slot canyons of the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land near and includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew. These pictures are of the upper part of the slot.
Grand Canyon North Rim
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon sees only about 10% of the 4.5 million visitors as it is only only approximately four months of the year. I personally enjoy the Canyon with fewer people around, it is however a much longer drive, unless of course you're spending time in Page, AZ, then it's just about 2.5 hours.
Located on picturesque Jackson Square at Le Petit Theatre, Tableau is restauranteur Dickie Brennan’s newest establishment. The cuisine is sophisticated, yet true to tradition, with great depth of flavor. The menu showcases regional ingredients and classic French Creole dishes with a unique twist. Absolutely worth a visit next time you're in New Orleans.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is located just outside of Moab, Utah and is the largest national park in the state. The diversity of the park staggers the imagination and is on par with its cousin, the Grand Canyon. From a number of lofty viewpoints, visitors can often see over 100 miles in any given direction, resulting in panoramic views that encompass thousands of square miles of canyon country.
Mountain Ranch Resort
The Mountain Ranch is located just outside of Williams, Arizona, which is the gateway to the Grand Canyon. The resort is one of those places where guests will be pleasantly surprised by the overall value and will certainly want to stay more than a single night just en route to the Grand Canyon. t
Moab, Utah can rival any place in the country for its copious natural beauty. There are so many outdoor activities that you’ll want to come back again and again to try something new. Regarding beauty, there are two distinctly different, both equally awe-inspiring National Parks…Canyonlands and Arches. As far as activities, you’ll find everything from mountain bike riding, whitewater rafting, ATVing, 4×4 off-roading, hiking, fishing, sightseeing and so much more.
Saranac Lake, New York
Saranac Lake is located near Lake Placid, which hosted the 1934 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Saranac Lake is located within the Adirandack Park and has miles of lakes, mountains, and trails to explore.
Situated just across the Big Bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado Island is most notably known for two famous structures, the historic Hotel del Coronado and the distinctive San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Consistently voted one of the best beaches in the United States, Coronado offers pristine sand, gentle surf and a charming community with a small-town feel.
Page Lake Powell area
Page, Arizona is located in northern Arizona near the Utah border and is home to the extraordinary Lake Powell. This stunning body of water has more coastline than the entire west coast…with finger inlets of turquoise blue water stretching for miles. Page and the surrounding area have so much recreation to explore, than a long weekend is hardly enough time to scratch the surface.
Bodie State Park
Bodie State Park is a well-preserved ghost town that dates back to the mid-1800s. By 1880, Bodie, California was a booming town with a population near 10,000. By 1917, after the railroad shut down and the tracks used for scrap, Bodie began its irrecoverable declension. After years of decline, the last known residents left Bodie in the 1940s and forever encapsulated the town.
Dominique's on Magazine
Dominique’s demonstrates culinary mastery. Nestled within a neighborhood setting among lush foliage is one of New Orleans newer culinary attractions…Dominique’s on Magazine Street. Situated within a centennial building, the space is modest, but with an air of sophistication and elegance. The canvas reminds me of a well-designed ad that refrains from using all the white space [think Apple].
Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is located just outside of Los Alamos, New Mexico and makes for a great day trip when visiting nearby Santa Fe. The indigenous people that lived in the area dating back some 10,000 years, enjoyed the rugged arid landscape due in part to the the flowing streams and beautiful canyons. Many of the ruins in Frijoles Canyon have been excavated, studied and preserved.
Plattsburgh, New York
Plattsburgh is nestled near the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and on the shores of Lake Champlain. The area offers beach and picnic spots, recreation trails, boat launches, great fishing, quaint restaurants and shops, a cool Waterfront Park located in downtown, and, lots of history and museums. The epicurean delights of this small town is also quite impressive.
Desert Botanical Garden - Chihuly Exibit
Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona is one of the city’s most popular and illustrious attractions…the Desert Botanical Garden. No matter when you visit, you’ll be awed by the diversity of the Sonoran Desert. This particular set of images were taken during the sensational Chihuly exhibition.
Top 20 Photos of 2010
2010 was the first year of Mike's Road Trip and here are some of my best photos of the year. From Arizona to Canada and several states in between.
Citizen Public House Restaurant
Citizen Public House: Where comfort meets class - An evening at Citizen Public House cannot be contained within the word “dinner” or even in the phrase “dining out.” It’s a place where comfort meets class. The food and cocktail ingredients are as imaginative, as they are delicious.
Quebec City Summer Music Festival
Quebec City Music Festival (or Festival d’été de Québec) attracts some pretty big names to the event. The 46th annual headliners included; Bruno Mars, Rush, Weezer, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Emylou Harris, Stevie Wonder and the Black Keys just to name a few.
The festival has more than 300 performances, on 10 different stages, over an eleven-day period.
The festival has more than 300 performances, on 10 different stages, over an eleven-day period.
Tucson, Arizona is located in the southern part of the state and provides a truly authentic Southwestern experiences. Famous for its dramatic beauty, the Sonoran Desert covers this region with spectacular cacti - including the giant saguaro, which is the symbol of the American Southwest. Guest ranches, horseback rides, and cattle drives recall Old West roots. Mountain ranges in all directions offer scenic drives, hiking, and even snow skiing.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Winding mountain roads lead you to Eureka Springs, Arkansas…a distinctive town like none other with extraordinary Victorian homes hugging the sides of cliffs. Eureka Springs has block after block of one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, fine art galleries, craft emporiums, spas, museums, restaurants and tons of wonderful B&Bs.
Apache Junction is located east of the Phoenix area and is home to the majestic Superstition Mountains. There are many cool attractions and a lot of great outdoor activities to explore.
Slide Rock in Sedona, Arizona
Slide Rock is a very popular destination in the Oak Creek Canyon area of Sedona, AZ...and, for good reason. Slide Rock provides not only some great views of Oak Creek and the surrounding canyon, but a number of recreational activities.
Lake Placid, New York
Travelers come to Lake Placid from all over the world to experience cozy alpine charm and a variety outdoor Adirondack activities. Lake Placid is probably most well known for hosting the 1934 and 1980 Winter Olympics, which attracts athletes for its training facilities.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
As northeastern Indiana's cultural hub, Fort Wayne is home to 15 museums and art galleries with a wonderful zoo, botanical conservatory and minor league baseball field. Fort Wayne is the second largest city in Indiana, but it still has a small town feel.
Known as the "Windy City," Chicago is a big city full of culture, activities, architecture and culinary delights.
Galena epitomizes what I look for on the road…a place off the beaten path, full of history, charm and intrigue. A place that was once lost to the past, but then rediscovered by those with a vision for what could be. Galena continues to attract visitors for its historical charm, as well as its nature-inspired beauty. For a small community of only 3500, Galena has the attractions and amenities of a town much larger.
Jackson, New Hampshire
Jackson is a very small community...however, what it lacks in population, it makes up for in splendor. Jackson has been welcoming visitors to the White Mountains for more than two hundred years. Its iconic red covered bridge is one of the most photographed sites in the entire region. The waterfalls and natural beauty of the area are simply stunning…especially in the fall.