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This is the Ktcraig design blog. Here I highlight recent projects or releases of new books, give my latest travel ideas, and showcase DIY design ideas and visual inspirations.

Filtering by Tag: vacation ideas

Spring in Provincetown

Katie Craig

Unfortunately our winter did not involve any flights to warm weather getaways, but we had to mark Spring somehow! So we decided to zip down to Provincetown for a couple of nights during the kids April break. I have to say I may prefer Spring in P-town over its Summer-crazed self! It was easy, fun, and not crowded at all.

We met old friends at the Harbor Hotel. I love this hotel because it has a cool design, sits a bit out of the fray, is a lovely beach stroll away from town, and has easy access to the incredible dunes. Plus it doesn't hurt that the place has a is really reasonable and has a beautiful outdoor fire pit with a view of the sea.

I love the courtyard rooms because they open right onto the grass which is a perfect spot for bocci and lounging at the picnic tables. We got a Courtyard suite with an extra cot and it fit us and our 2 kids beautifully with a cool frosted sliding door to separate their room from ours and two small bathrooms.

The Hotel sits just across the street from the bay which is so nice to spend the mornings exploring, searching for fairy size sea glass, or (in our case) giving the kids kite sailing lessons.

We really lucked out on the weather so took full advantage of our time there. If you go, you MUST check out the dunes. It is other-worldly and mind blowing. You literally step off the road and immediately into what feels like a moon scape. Sand as far as the eye can see. If you are up for it, walk straight ahead from the entrance path for about an hour and you will eventually hit the sea. It is a rare thing to be so far out in wilderness without really any effort! Along the way you may see some of the famous and fascinating little beach shacks worthy of plenty of oohs and ahhhs. It is hard to believe people stay in them. One has to wonder how they get food out there but they are so beautiful. To access the dunes take Snail Road til you get to Highway 6 and the entrance is directly across from you. Bring water!

It was a bit early in the year for some of the restaurants but we liked a lot of the spots we found open. Walk into town on the beach for breakfast, or bike in for lunch. Favorite Finds: East End Market for lunch and "supplies". Number one reason? Super nice folks that run it. But they also have excellent sandwiches, tons of options, and really anything you could ask for. The Box Lunch was good for all those needy eaters like gluten free, vegan and so on and had plenty for us just regulah folk too. The kids loved the Juice Bar at 141 Bradford Natural Market. A bit pricey but I loved it for its beautiful design, the delicious bread, and the good coffee. But honestly, they had me with the Juice Bar logo alone! We had a nice dinner at Ciro & Sal's and were really happy for the cozy atmosphere since it got a bit chili and wet at night.

East End Market

East End Market

The Box Lunch on the left

The Box Lunch on the left

141 Bradford Natural Market and Juice Bar.

141 Bradford Natural Market and Juice Bar.

LOVE this logo.

LOVE this logo.

The Juice bar

The Juice bar

Ciro & Sal's (lower image from their website)

Ciro & Sal's (lower image from their website)

Walking about town is nice and it is really worth going up the Pilgrim Tower for the view. Check out: The Shell Shop, Salt Supply PtownWhalers Wharf, and Room 68. And be sure to just pop in and out of as many galleries as you can. There is a LOT of lovely artwork coming out of this town. 

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If you do go in early Spring, pop over to Race Point Beach and look out for Whales. We saw SOOO many it felt like a page from Robert McCloskey's "Burt Dow: Deep-Water Man" (one of our family's favorite children's books). So much so, we decided to go on a whale watch to see more!

If you decide to do the same, it is worth making a reservation. We were lucky and managed to get on board last minute and it was well worth it. Even the "naturalist" leading the tour couldn't hide her amazement at the amount of whales but also at the variety of species. We saw Humpback, Right, Minke, Sei, and even Fin whales! Plus, of course some beautiful dolphins and porpoises.

It was truly magical. And Provincetown did not fail to impress with a painting-worthy sunset spreading over the sea just as we touched the shore to head home.

 

So, if you see a deal like this one
from TravelZoo, don't even think about it—
just Spring for it!

April Vacation Destination: Anna Maria Island, Florida

Katie Craig

Anna Maria Island

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I love warm weather, I love the sea.

I live in New England—inland.

SO, I try to book a vacation every winter. I try to make it as cheap as possible by using a mileage credit card for EVERYTHING in our day to day life to get as many travel points as I can. The points mean our trips are substantially cheaper. This year we went to Anna Maria Island, Florida. The flights on JetBlue direct from Bradley to Tampa were about $180. With our credit card points we paid $22 each—roundtrip. The pretty drive from the airport is just about an hour over lovely bridges with folks fishing on every pull off and some occasional kite surfers to keep you entertained.

Florida is not normally my cup of tea BUT, I have to say we were really pleasantly surprised! Anna Maria is a sweet little island that reminded me a bit of the Bahamas. Granted, it is more congested than that, but the beaches, the water, and the wildlife were truly remarkable and the island has an incredibly welcoming vibe! All the streets end at beautiful little public access paths and walkways to the powder-white sandy beach. There are lovely little benches sprinkled along every road, and many are trolley stops for the free open-air trolley that can take you from one end all the way past the other end of the island. There are pristine public parks that line the beaches. and two fishing piers (the rod & reel and the city pier) scattered with little kids fishing on their own, pelicans keeping watch, and a general laid back vibe. I loved that there are no railings, no signs that say keep away, and that you can get a beer for $1.50. If there are streets posted with no parking signs, just turn the corner and the next street practically says "please, park here!" "be our guest!" with just a little note asking to "keep your tires off the pavement",  ..."please".

I would highly recommend it as a quick getaway. Here's some pics to give you a sense of the place:

The water is really amazing.

The water is really amazing.

The mornings and afternoons are quietest on the beach. We liked Bean Point the best.

The mornings and afternoons are quietest on the beach. We liked Bean Point the best.

We found mid day was so nice if we had umbrellas. No drinking allowed on the beach (and it is enforced) which seems to keep it nice and quite!

We found mid day was so nice if we had umbrellas. No drinking allowed on the beach (and it is enforced) which seems to keep it nice and quite!

The flora and fauna was beautiful. I loved the sound of the breezes blowing through palm fronds. I thought these bluey-silver palms were so pretty! The tropical version of our blue spruce pine trees!

The flora and fauna was beautiful. I loved the sound of the breezes blowing through palm fronds. I thought these bluey-silver palms were so pretty! The tropical version of our blue spruce pine trees!

We rented a boat from Keyes Marina and it was definitely our favorite day! We cruised out to Egmont Island. It was covered with birds, gopher tortoises, a light house, and walking paths The kids explored and discovered remnants of an old village from 1906. We were the only ones there and it felt like a scene from Robinson Crusoe.

It was deserted.

It was deserted.

Manatees are a common sighting and surprisingly big!

Manatees are a common sighting and surprisingly big!

We were lucky enough to have a herd of Manatees float under our boat along the way.

Seafood Shack
Rum Punch

Before heading back we searched for a good happy hour. The Seafood Shack it was. What a great find! The food was excellent, as were the drinks. And turns out, Monday is Rumday!

We rented our house from Island Real Estate. They were super nice and helpful and the house was really clean. The prices listed on their site do not include the fees and taxes so they do cost more than your first impression. But we loved our house, particularly the yard. I highly recommend getting one with a pool especially if you have kids!

The shelling is great.

The shelling is great.

As I said, the wildlife is amazing. These guys are waiting for a friendly manatee that was visiting swimmers to come in closer. At the same time, about 12 dolphins were leaping around  catching fish . Schools of fish and rays were swimming in front of me  and as I turned back to the beach a bald eagle flew by with a huge fish in its talons! I was looking up at him and almost bumped into the ubiquitous large birds (I think they're herons) that stand next to every fisherman. It was almost comical.

As I said, the wildlife is amazing. These guys are waiting for a friendly manatee that was visiting swimmers to come in closer. At the same time, about 12 dolphins were leaping around catching fish. Schools of fish and rays were swimming in front of me  and as I turned back to the beach a bald eagle flew by with a huge fish in its talons! I was looking up at him and almost bumped into the ubiquitous large birds (I think they're herons) that stand next to every fisherman. It was almost comical.

IMG_3049.jpg

Surprisingly there are not many places to eat ON the water. We went to the "Sandbar" the first night because we arrived late. The meal was fine but the location was the reason to go. We went back during the day for a drink and I don't recommend that. I had the worst Pina Colada I've ever had, but I would go for lunch or a light dinner. It's a bit crowded but they don't blast the touristy music, and the people that work there are super nice (I loved our waiter Thaddeus!) and again, the location is what it is all about.

Each night people gather on the beach to watch the sunset. And we were always amongst them. I like this tradition. It's amazing to think we all are looking at the same sun at the end of each day, no matter where we are isn't it?

Each night people gather on the beach to watch the sunset. And we were always amongst them. I like this tradition. It's amazing to think we all are looking at the same sun at the end of each day, no matter where we are isn't it?

Katie Craig is available for travel writing (with kids, girls getaways and romantic escapes)

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