Looking for a sensory overload? I know just where to go. The Antelope Slots near Page, Arizona are mesmerizing beyond belief. They will knock your socks off with their beauty (BTW be sure and wear socks because it is cool in the canyons!) and you will instantly be consumed with photographic possibilities.
In case you make the trip, here are some sage tips. There are two sides where you can tour the canyons; one is referred to as the upper side (south) and the other is the lower side (north). On both sides, you cannot explore the canyons on your own, but rather have to sign up for a tour. I toured both and definitely found one side far superior to the other.
On the upper canyon tour, your journey starts with a five minute drive to the canyon in the back of a pick up truck. Yes you read that correctly, in the back of a pick up truck. It is anything but glamorous, but on the bright side your hair is blowing perfectly in the wind. (However, I'm pretty sure the woman sitting behind me didn't appreciate it, as it was hitting her smack dab in the face!)
When you arrive at the canyon, your hair looks like a scene out of Bridget Jones and there are at least a dozen more tour trucks and DROVES of people. With the volume of people trying to make their way through the canyon it's difficult to get a shot of the slots without inadvertently capturing the top of someones head. As much as I love noggins, this was not the picture I had envisioned or seen when I googled. (They say depending on what time of year you go you might find it less crowded, but I went in November and it was packed like Barney's would be if they were having a 75% off everything sale!) But don't fret, keep reading and I will give away the secret.....
The big reveal...drum roll please....is the lower canyon tours! They have been labeled difficult and hard to navigate, but if you can make it up and down a flight of stairs you will be A-ok. This canyon is not as crowded and lets you enjoy the beauty of the slots without dealing with a gaggle of people. It feels less like a cattle call and more like a unique experience. Eureka!
For this tour, no dramatic hair experience, you just walk about 100 feet to the canyon entrance and take a flight of stairs down into the gorge. Once inside you will get a peaceful glimpse of the jaw dropping orange and purple hued rock formations.
Not for the faint of heart or anyone that hates heights, but if neither of those apply, then just a few minutes away is, the not to be missed Horseshoe Bend. It's only a five minute walk from the uber convenient parking lot and definitely packs a punch (POW@! SHAZAM#$!) with the view. The view is a oversize load which makes it difficult to get the entire waterway in the picture with iPhones or dinosaur cameras, so be sure and bring your big boy camera and most importantly a wide angle lens!
Venice is one part funk, another part hip, and all together lovable. Venice is both electric and eclectic and will steal your heart in just 24 hours. Here's what I like to do in what has been deemed the new "Silicon Valley."
Cup of Joe A day in Venice can't start until you've hit Intelligentsia. The coffee here is bar none the best in the west!
Brunch Only a hop, skip, and jump from Intelligentsia is the fabulous Gjelina. The Chia pudding and ricotta pancakes pack a knockout punch of deliciousness.
Shop till you drop Abbot Kinney has a gazillion boutiques all chalked full of hipster clothing. Two of my favorites are Milkmade and Satine.
Lunch Lemonade is a childhood fantasy and responsible healthy conscience combined. They have every lemonade drink combo you can think of and dozens of healthy salads to pick from, not to mention their vast array of deserts.......yum.
Venice Canals Not to be missed. Makes you ponder...Am I in California or Italy? Sunset High Rooftop Lounge Hello view! Its a panoramic of not only the city, but also the coastline. I like to take it all in with the accompaniment of their "The Summer Crush" libation. Dinner Scopa Delish italian fare. The chopped salad and polenta are my faves. Slumber Party Hotel Erwin There is not a lot of choices in Venice, but when you have the best who needs the rest? Erwin is chic and the perfect crash pad for the night(s).
A perfect sunset from the top of the Erwin .... does it get any more romantic?
A birds eye view of the enchanting Venice Canal community.
There's a sidewalk that runs all around the water that you can use to explore the canals and their picturesque landscape.