Author: Kassie Oglesbee
It’s officially that time of year! The slate gets wiped clean, and we all get to start fresh, as a new year begins. It’s a time of self-reflection and many choose to go into the new year with goals and aspirations for things they’d to look different and better in the upcoming year. In celebration of this, I reached out to the staff here at StayOver to find out which resolutions we’ve put together, coming in to 2022!
Brennah Dycus, Social Media and Guest Services Manager
“My resolution this year would to be developing more of a healthy working from home life. I have just recently purchased a standing desk riser and would like to make a goal of standing/sitting every hour until I can even stand up and work all day! I would also like to hold myself more accountable on taking our allotted breaks. I find myself getting so busy and not even taking breaks during the day. I want to find myself taking those to not only give my eyes a break but take a short walk or maybe even do some yoga. Looking forward to another year of crushing goals!”
Kristen Tucker,Guest Services Coordinator:
“My New Year’s resolution is to limit my caffeine consumption! Mainly soda! I stopped previously for about 6 months and I started back up again so hopefully I can get back on track. I’m also trying to avoid artificial sweeteners, I feel like that could be contributing to my headaches. Wish me luck!”
Rebecca Wasson,Housekeeping Area Supervisor:
“I have 3 so far.
1.) Stop Smoking Cigarettes
2.) Start Journaling again. And be consistent with it.
3.) Start the home buying process and be living in it by Christmas 2022.”
Kassie Oglesbee (me), Guest Services Coordinator:
For me, I actually have a few goals going into the new year. Like my coworker, I’m very much trying to limit my caffeine consumption, as I tend to take it in like it’s going out of style. I’d also like to take some time to get back into some old hobbies I used to really love – namely, reading, puzzles, and yoga. It’s also very important me to prioritize my mental and physical health and plan to make that routine for me, going into the new year.
What are your New Years Resolutions for 2022? Let us know in the comments below!
Author: Kristen Tucker
Christmas is more than a pile of presents under the tree. Christmas is about family and creating memories together that will last a lifetime. I have so many wonderful memories from growing up and celebrating the holidays, it wasn’t always about the presents. My family always made it a fun and magical experience so we weren’t only thinking about the presents we would hopefully find under the Christmas tree on Christmas day. That fun experience doesn’t have to stay behind in your childhood! Continue getting in the Christmas spirit with these fun ideas! This list is a combination of traditions I remember from my own childhood and some new ideas that I intend to try out.
1. Make a gingerbread house.
This is such a family friendly activity that could last for hours! You can get creative, stay realistic, create a story with your design; so many opportunities. A gingerbread house is not only fun to decorate, but fun to eat too!
2. Wear matching family pajamas.
You had to know that this was going to make the list! We’ve all seen the Christmas photos of families in their matching PJs. You can go just the matching pattern route, or even get your own custom set for your family! Whether you love it or hate it, at least you’re comfortable right? Plus, family photos will last a lifetime.
3. Watch your favorite Christmas movies.
Watching Christmas movies has to be one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I don’t care if I’m watching the same movie I’ve seen a thousand times before or a new one that I’ve never seen. It’s an activity the entire family can enjoy! Some of my favorites are Elf, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Or if you’re like my husband and consider Die Hard a Christmas Movie then go for an action pact Christmas movie instead! That’s the great thing about movies, so many different options.
4. Open one special present on Christmas Eve night.
Something I always loved doing on Christmas Eve night growing up was opening one special gift. It’s something that became a tradition in my household and we still look forward to it every year. Sometimes it’s a thoughtful gift or something homemade but it’s always something that I look forward to.
5. Make homemade Christmas ornaments.
I don’t know if I’m just a sentimental person but I really love homemade things. Christmas ornaments are no different. My mom still hangs my Christmas ornaments that I made for her when I was a kid. Don’t just leave it as a ‘school tradition’; bring the fun home to the entire family! The is such a fun activity for the whole family. You don’t have to be super artistic or creative to make it fun! Plus, you can make them into whatever you want. And you’ll have such special ornaments for many more years to come!
6. Go see the Christmas Lights.
Christmas lights are so beautiful to look at! I remember my parents driving me around to look at the Christmas decorations in our neighborhood. Simple but fun! Hopefully you have a neighborhood near you that goes all out, but if not don’t worry! Turn the lights down, get cozy and turn on YouTube! There are tons of videos of drive through Christmas lights so you don’t have to miss out!
7. Bake Christmas cookies.
I definitely have a sweet tooth and eating Christmas cookies is not only for Santa Clause to enjoy! Make different types of cookies, try using some cut outs of holiday themes and decorate them and then simply enjoy your creations. If you aren’t up for doing the Gingerbread House, this is just as fun for the family! Decorate cookies instead!
8. Giving back! Volunteering!
Giving back is always a great thing to do! You can sponsor a child in foster care and buy them Christmas presents, donate to a children’s hospital, send a Christmas letter to children, run a race for a good cause, pay someone’s layaway balance, spend your time in a nursing home with those who don’t have families, take lunches to people who work on the holidays, give blood, or visit your local animal shelter and volunteer to lend a hand! The list goes on and on. There are so many ways to give back this holiday season.
9. Go on a relaxing stay in a cabin
Nothing is better than a relaxing getaway with your family! What’s more picturesque than spending Christmas in a cabin? It’s like a scene from a Hallmark movie. (I probably don’t have to tell you, but I will. Did you know that StayOver has 36 beautiful cabins and homes to stay in during the holiday season?)
10. Go pick out a real Christmas tree
This is a tradition I have never tried! I always see it in the movies, I think it would be quite fun. There are sustainable options now more than ever for getting yourself a real Christmas tree. I understand if you’d rather have your artificial tree (less bugs and mess), it would still be fun to go to a Christmas tree farm. The embracing smell of pine, snow flurries, surrounded by your family – sounds like a memorable time to me!
11. Decorate the Christmas tree together
What’s Christmas without a Christmas tree? As a kid this was probably the most memorable part of Christmas. It’s what I looked forward to every year. Bringing out the ornaments (some I even made in school) and enjoying time with my family. Now, I love coming up with unique ideas on how to decorate a Christmas tree. This year we did a Nightmare Before Christmas Tree and we love it! Go traditional, or get creative. Either way, we know it’ll look beautiful!
12. Singing/Playing Christmas music
Now hear me out, I know this isn’t the most popular tradition. I have never had carolers myself, but would I love to! Opening your door unknowingly being greeted with the sound of Christmas feeling your ears. It sounds absolutely magical! “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” – Buddy the Elf.
13. Make homemade hot chocolate
Really nothing much to say here. Chocolate? Marshmallows? Whipped cream? YES PLEASE!!
14. Have a ugly Christmas sweater party
This is a popular tradition and I think we all know why. Find your the brightest, most glittery, obnoxious sweater you can find and enjoy a good laugh with friends! I know I for one love seeing those pictures on Facebook. And you know what I would love to see even more – voting on Facebook! Post everyone’s picture and let your family and friends vote for the winner! Share the fun with everyone!
15. Go ice skating.
I can’t skate but I would enjoy laughing at myself trying to stay on my feet. And hey, if you need to use the milk crates, I’m not judging. You may even see me using one!
16. Read a holiday book each night of December.
If you have children, this is a great idea! I bet they would look forward to it every night. There are tons of Christmas books out there to enjoy. It could be a family tradition that stays with your children forever. (While it’s not a Christmas book, but I still have a childhood book that I cherish!)
17. Make homemade Christmas cards for the family.
Whether you go all out or keep it simple at home, family Christmas cards are the best! Not only is it a fun activity for the family to enjoy, but your friends and extended family as well! I love receiving cards from my loved ones. They are different every year and really helps me feel like we are celebrating it together!
18. Go to a local Christmas parade
A lot of hometowns have local Christmas parades. They are fun for all ages! If your hometown doesn’t host a Christmas parade, look for one in a neighboring town. (Again, you can find anything on Youtube, get comfy and enjoy larger Christmas parades that are too far to drive!)
19. Host a game night
Let’s be real, game nights are fun to have for any holiday. Have everyone who comes bring a game along with them and a snack of their choice. It gives you the chance to play different games, and even a little ‘pot luck’ for everyone to enjoy!
20. Host a Christmas brunch
The holidays should always revolve around yummy food, in my opinion. Savory or sweet, I’m ready for a feast. There is just something special about the first meal on Christmas!
I know the past couple years it might’ve been hard for some to get into the Christmas spirit. I hope this list inspired you to plan your family’s traditions (and hopefully even add some new ones)! I can’t wait to do them with my family.
The team here at StayOver wishes you and your family the happiest of holidays! We hope they are filled with love and happiness. See yall next year!
Author: Kristen Tucker
Soul Sister is a quaint cabin located in the Creekview Cabins community. It is centrally located and easily accessible (no four wheel drive, no worries). It is the perfect cabin for a couples getaway or even if you have a little one bring them along as well! Right next door is the Red River Rockhouse, an American cuisine restaurant and only a few minutes away is the beautiful Natural Bridge State Park. Do you enjoy hiking? Well guess what – you don’t even need to leave the property! We hiked some of the amazing trails offered and loved that we could enjoy some of the Red River Gorge without all the crowds. That’s just one of the many things that make this specific location so special.
The first thing I noticed when we walked into the cabin was the gorgeous modern décor, which we really appreciated. The home-like feel the cabin has inside made us feel right at home and gave us such a cozy vibe. Our favorite spot at the cabin was definitely the back porch! We loved sitting out there listening to the creek, especially later at night when we could turn the string lights on. It was so peaceful. The back porch has plenty of furniture to sit back and relax, read a good book, enjoy your morning coffee and even a table if you would like to have a meal outside.
Now on to more serious matters: FOOD! My husband and I are huge foodies! We love going to new places and trying all the best spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Gorge did not disappoint in satisfying our taste buds – here are some great gems that I just have to mention. Let’s start with coffee – are you a coffee addict like me? No need to look any further to satisfy your caffeine fix! Daniel Boone Coffee Shop has a great selection of different types of coffee for whatever you like. Frappuccino’s, Iced Coffee, Lattes and so much more. If you aren’t much of a coffee drinker- no problem! Their menu is full of delicious beverages such as hot chocolate, smoothies, and even milkshakes. They also have yummy breakfast sandwiches and the best pumpkin pecan crumb cake!
Chips and salsa anyone? I absolutely love Mexican food! I could probably eat chips and salsa everyday if I wasn’t concerned about my health. La Cabana Mexican Restaurant has so many options for everyone! I could’ve eaten there everyday during our stay so I could try something new each day. I got chicken, cheese, and rice nachos and I was not disappointed! They also have burritos the size of your head so it’s great if you like to save leftovers for later. They have a nice indoor area to eat as well as an outdoor area which is really neat and is dog friendly.
Now onto dinner – we were in the mood for some BBQ and Thatchers came highly recommended. We were so excited to try some local BBQ! Per the owner’s recommendation we both got the brisket- and I’m SO glad we listened because it was absolutely wonderful. They also offer great sides including mac and cheese, hashbrown casserole, baked beans, coleslaw, and cornbread along with much more. The staff was so friendly and they even offered a small outdoor seating area. Thatcher’s is southern BBQ at it’s finest!
Anyone who has been to Red River Gorge will almost always tell you to visit Miguel’s Pizza. Miguel’s pizza is famous here and we can see why! We had such a great experience. The atmosphere was really laid back and the pizza was great! They have so many different options to choose from, especially toppings for your pizza. Some I never even considered putting on a pizza – artichokes, avocado and even broccoli. You can sit inside or enjoy your pizza outdoors along with your furry friend. Now to join everyone else – we would highly recommend Miguel’s Pizza when visiting the Red River Gorge!
Maybe going out to eat during vacation isn’t for you. Nothing beats a fresh homecooked meal! Soul Sister has everything you would need to do whip up a delicious meal. The cabin offers plenty of pots, pans, and utensils. Bring along your own charcoal, seasonings and fire up the grill! Then after you finish cooking, you could sit outside on the lovely covered back porch and enjoy the fabulous meal you created all while listening to the creek right beside you. Sounds picturesque doesn’t it?
When I saw Soul Sister had a fire pit for us to enjoy, I knew I had to roast some marshmallows! It’s kind of a tradition when sitting next to a fire (at least it is for us). Relaxing and soaking up the warmth from the fire is hard to beat. Especially since the colder weather had set in during the nights of our stay. Hearing that beautiful water flowing from the creek next to us was just the cherry on top of an already peaceful evening. It could’ve put me right to sleep.
Now on to hiking! Like I mentioned earlier, you really don’t even have to leave the property to enjoy a good hike. We hiked a trail called Allison’s Trail not too far from our cabin. It was such a serene trail and we loved listening to all the sounds the forest brings. We attempted to hike the Granddaddy Falls Trail but it was getting dark so we decided to head back. I definitely plan on hiking that one next time we visit the area.
We love sight seeking and going on new adventures so we really wanted to check out the Natural Bridge Arch since it is only away from the cabin. It was the best choice we could have made! The hike is considered a moderate hike and please be aware that it is a steep incline all the way up but trust me, it’s worth it once you reach the top! We saw people of all ages going up the trail and they do have plenty of resting points where you can catch your breath if you aren’t used to hiking up a mountain. If you aren’t up for the climb then the Skylift is for you! Natural Bridge State Park offers a Skylift for you to ride up to Natural Bridge and enjoy this monumental arch without even sweating! The arch was breathtaking and the views at the very top were sensational. This is definitely a sight you will want to see when visiting the area!
After hiking that day we needed to go back to the cabin to unwind and rest up a bit before we checked out the next day. When we first got back we decided to play a game of Connect 4. After playing a few games and my husband continually winning (no fun for me) we decided to relax on the comfortable sofa in the living room and watch some tv or find a movie on. We stopped scrolling once we saw Harry Potter was on even though we’ve both seen it trillions of times, it’s one of my favorites. Team Hufflepuff! We turned the faux fireplace on to set a relaxing tone. It was the perfect way to end our amazing stay at the Soul Sister cabin. It really is a great place to unwind and enjoy the beautiful nature of the Red River Gorge. I would recommend this cabin to anyone who is looking for a small cabin in the Red River Gorge!
You can view more of Soul Sister here – stayovernow.com/SoulSister/ and you can always contact StayOver directly via call or text at 606.268.8787. Happy adventuring!
Author: Kassie Oglesbee
SPOOKY SEASON IS HERE! You’ll quickly learn that Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I love the costumes, creativity and of course the spookiness. I knew this months blog was going to be Halloween oriented – then suddenly it occurred to me, what’s a better way to celebrate Halloween than to inspire Red River Gorge themed costumes?! Hold onto your Pumpkin Spice Latte – these costumes are complete show stoppers and will be sure to win you a contest (or two). Now let’s get into it!
Probably the easiest costume to execute you’ll find on this list, dressing as hiker is the best way to honor the Gorge this Halloween season! For this costume, you’ll only need a few items some of which may already be in your closet. First, if you’re feeling like going all out- get the full khaki outfit, or you could go a little simpler and just throw on shorts and t-shirt. Maybe opt for a flannel or vest for the full affect. You’ll definitely need some sturdy boots (don’t forget those long socks)! To add to this costume, consider topping it off with a hat (for the sun protection, of course). For the final touches, add a backpack (snacks and supplies would be a major bonus), and consider bringing along binoculars or a fishing pole! Inspiration below:
Now, hear me out: this could be so easy. Many of us have a tent at home – even a child’s tent. Literally just toss it on your body. Consider cutting a hole in the top for your head to poke out. You’re good to go. (Tired of being social? Just zip/tie your door closed and boom, you are only a tent and nothing more.)
A Bear (or other wildlife native to RRG)
While you may not want to run into a bear in the Gorge yourself, you might enjoy dressing up as one! It’ll also keep you warm and cozy, if Halloween decides to be on the cooler side. The same could be said for lots of the wildlife in the Gorge – deer, snakes, or even a squirrel!
One of the many reasons Halloween is so special is spending time with family and friends crafting an original costume! If you’ve got a hankering to be creative and make your costume yourself, how fun would it be to build an RV costume? There are many different RV/Camper styles so the possibilities are endless here! Original and fun – a great choice for all!
Kayaking and canoeing are Gorge staples, so another more unorthodox costume would be to dress up as a canoe! You could use this as another opportunity to get creative and build your own, or take another approach and wear your own as a costume. This could even be a couple costume, get your partner or bestie in there with you!
Last but certainly not least, the ultimate family fun activity in the Gorge – making s’mores! Take this costume up a notch and make it a couple or group costume – a bar of chocolate, a marshmallow, and a graham cracker! Stand out from the crowd and make your own special S’mores – replace any of the ingredients with strawberry, carmel, whipped cream – there are tons of delicious ways to make S’mores!.
We hope we inspired you to incorporate Red River Gorge in your costumes this year! We would love to see pictures if you decide to use any of our ideas. Send those to us at email@example.com or tag us in your social media using #StayOverRRG. Have an even better idea? Comment below your RRG themed ideas!
Wishing you all a spook-tacular Halloween and a great fall season this year! Happy Haunting!
Posted by Michael Wallace – Sep 10th 2021
Michael Wallace and the crew over at J&H Outdoors loves the outdoors, even more specifically the Red River Gorge! This article will dive deep into the woods of The Red – get a glimpse into some amazing trails recommendations with a location map, the best gear to bring along with you, and some cozy accommodations if you aren’t up to sleeping on the ground!
Photo courtesy of Michael Wallace | Indian Staircase
The Red River Gorge is a fantastic place for outdoor adventures in the heart of Kentucky. There are tons of Geologic features scattered throughout the park; A myriad of sandstone arches, cliff overlooks, backpacking trails, and camping opportunities. The gorge contains hikes ranging in difficulty so everyone, from the seasoned thru-hiker to the person who ‘got dragged here by my outdoorsy friend,’ can enjoy some nature.
If you are like me, my cell service sucks when I get into the park. If there is somewhere in the Gorge I have not been to before, I will geo tag it on google maps and save a local map that works even if cell service does not work. In the map link below, you’ll be able to access all of the Trails and Points of Interest listed below to make a quick trip out to the gorge.
Want to find more hikes and avoid the crowds in RRG? Check out our Kentucky Hiking Article here.
Need trail guides to help with planning and recommendations? Check those out here
Need to gear up for your next trip? Check out what we have in stock in:
Trails and Points of Interest in Red River Gorge
Our Staff Picks for the Best Hikes in Red River Gorge
*Please note, these are rough estimations where the trailheads and points of interest are. Be sure to reference maps, guides, and trail markers for your own safety.
- Eagle Point Buttress VIA The Osbourne Trailhead – Great for day hikes and back country camping.
- Auxier Ridge, Double Arch & Courthouse Rock Via Auxier Ridge Trailhead – Great for backpacking (especially beginners), camping, and day hikes.
- Creation Falls, Rock Bridge & Turtle Back Arch Via Rock Bridge Hike Trailhead – Great for backpacking, camping day hikes, wading, has a waterfall, and hikes with the whole family.
Photo courtesy of Michael Wallace | Cloudsplitter Rock as seen from Sheltowee Trace
Red River Gorge Backpacking Hikes with Arches
- Gray’s Arch Via Gray’s Arch Trailhead – Great for day hiking.
- Princess Arch VIA Princess Arch Trailhead – Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Buzzard’s Roost & Sky Bridge Via Sky Bridge Picnic Area Parking Lot – Great for day hiking.
- Whistling Arch VIA Whistling Arch Trailhead – Great for backpacking, and day hiking.
- Moonshiner’s Arch VIA The Copperas Creek Unofficial Trailhead – Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Hidden Arch VIA Koomer Ridge Backpacking Parking Lot – Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Silvermine Arch VIA Koomer Ridge Backpacking Parking Lot– Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Whittleton Arch Via Whittleton Branch Trail – Great for day hiking, and camping.
- Star Gap Arch VIA Star Gap Arch Trail– Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
Red River Gorge Scenic Hikes with Vistas and Overlooks
- Sheltowee Trace Suspension Bridge & Jump Rock VIA The Red River Gorge Parking Lot
- Chimney Top Rock Overlook Via Chimney Rock Trailhead
- Half Moon Rock Via Chimney Rock Road
- Hanson’s Point VIA Pitch-Em-Tight Trailhead
Photo courtesy of Michael Wallace | Chimney Rock as seen from Halfmoon Rock
Where to Camp in Red River Gorge
Camping On the Trail
The gorge lacks a large amount of official campgrounds, but there are ample areas on the trail to camp. Most trails with have clearly defined areas where the underbrush has been cleared, and there is clear evidence that the campsite has been used. Please Do not camp in the areas the USFS has set aside for regrowth (they will be marked with a sign) and do your part in Leave No Trace Ethics. If you bring it in, take it out. If we do not take care of the Gorge, it will not be around for long.
You can camp in backcountry areas if you follow these rules:
Camping is prohibited…
- Within 300 feet of any developed road.
- Within 300 feet of any Forest Service Trail.
- Within 600 feet of Gray’s Arch.
- In any picnic or parking area.
- Within 100 feet of the base of any cliff, or back of any rock shelter.
The following is also prohibited
- Building, maintaining, attending and using a fire, campfire or stove within 100 feet of the base of any cliff, or the back of a rock shelter.
- All overnight parking in the Daniel Boone National Forest requires a parking permit. These are $3 for a single night, $5 for three nights, and $30 for an annual pass. These can be picked up at the Gladie Visitors Center, our store in Lexington, and various local stores (like the Shell station just off of the Mountain Parkway) throughout the Daniel Boone National Forest.
- Only park in areas with designated parking signs.
Cabins in the Red River Gorge
Is primitive camping not your style? Let us take it from here! At StayOver we have a total of 35 cabins and cottages spread all throughout the Gorge in Campton, Stanton, Pine Ridge, Rogers, and others close to RRG. Our selection contains a variety of cabins ranging from tiny cabins to large luxury family cabins. Our properties include some of the most sought out amenities such as hot tubs, pet friendly options, WiFi, spacious fire pits, exclusive and well maintained hiking trails, climbing areas, and more.
And we will be there every step of the way (if you want us there)! We offer complimentary guest support that includes a team of specialists dedicated to finding our guests the perfect home to stay in and a personal concierge service to assist with details big and small. With features like ours, you may be in the mountains, but you definitely won’t be roughing it!
For more information about cabins in the Red River Gorge Area you can visit www.stayovernow.com or call 606-268-8787 to book your next adventure.
Happy Trails Everyone!
Author: Kassie Oglesbee
I don’t know about you, but cooking is extra daunting for me in the summer. It’s so warm outside and there’s just so many other things to be doing. Sometimes it’s just easier to drive to Dairy Queen and have ice cream for dinner because at least it’s cool and easy. But let’s be real – that’s just not sustainable for every day, as delicious as it may be. Just as the winter brings on hearty, satiating meals, summer has it’s own food vibes, and today we’re going to talk about those.
The most important meal of the day, so they say. It’s especially important in summer – you’re likely being more active (or pretending to be, when really, you’re sitting inside in the A/C) so it’s important to eat something filling and nutritious to set yourself up for whatever crazy shenanigans you’re bound to get into.
Nothing says summer to me quite like ~fruit.~ It’s also a really great way to get your day started on a somewhat healthy note. Why not begin the day with your very own homemade peach scones?
Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Sandwiches
Hearty breakfasts aren’t just for Winter! Especially if you’re planning to go out on a hike or spend the day kayaking, it’s so important to energize and fuel your body. I love a good breakfast sandwich, and starting your day with some healthy fats from egg and avocado is a great way to do that!
Something to boost your energy in that midday slump.
Pasta with Chunky Tomato and Summer Vegetable Sauce
I know what you’re thinking, but pasta doesn’t have to be this big, heavy ordeal. It really can work for an easy summer lunch. With a light tomato sauce and some good summer veggies, it can be delicious and nutritious.
Turkey Ranch Wrap
The best kind of wrap is the one you don’t actually have to cook. Sometimes, you just want to be able to walk into the kitchen and have something tasty with 5 minutes or less. Combining turkey and ranch in this easy wrap package does just that.
Sometimes summer is so warm I don’t even want dinner. But you’ve gotta fuel your body, and to do that, you gotta make something yummy!
Bourbon-spiked BBQ chicken kabobs
The best way to start any summer dinner is by making some kabobs! This is Kentucky after all, so bourbon was necessary as well, of course!
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Cucumber
I’m usually the last person to suggest a salad. It always sounds boring and a little too healthy, if I’m being honest. Not this one though! It’s always nice in the summer just to end the day with something light and easy. I’m also an absolute sucker for feta cheese.
Easiest Ever Grilled Veggie Burgers
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy a good veggie burger! With that being said, any vegetarian will also tell you it’s verrrry hard to find a good veggie burger. So might as well make one yourself, right? I think we can all agree that nothing says summer like a burger, veggie or not. Put that grill to good use and make something delicious!
Food is high on my priority list, no matter the season. As you enjoy these fun summer months, I hope you find that these easy summer recipes come in handy!
Author: Kassie Oglesbee
A vacation in the Gorge is unlike any other. While some vacations require sandals for the beach, things are a little more adventurous in the Gorge! So here it is: your comprehensive list of everything you need to make your Gorge vacation safe, comfortable, and fun!
This should be a staple for your vacation in the Gorge any time of the year, but especially during the summer! If you are headed this way, you’ll most likely be spending quite a bit of your time outdoors. Gotta keep that skin protected! Consider bringing along a hat/clothing that keeps you breezy yet covered as well.
Hiking Boots/sturdy footwear
You definitely don’t want to be hiking the Gorge in flip flops. Probably would not be too comfortable. Comfort aside, the Gorge is home to many snakes, and you will want to protect yourself as best as you can! One wrong step could lead to a defensive strike from a snake, which could easily be harmless if those feet and ankles are covered!
You definitely want to have something with you to store all of your necessities. For me when I hike, I get ravenous, and need an endless supply of granola bars. Your snack of choice may be different, but you will probably still want a backpack full of them, as well as water, and everything else you might need! You certainly don’t want to be out mid-trail without everything you need.
First Aid Kit
Accidents happen – sometimes you need a Band-Aid. While most things probably will not require immediate medical attention (we hope!) it’s always good to have a kit with you, to treat any scrapes or bruises you might run into in your adventure.
A Bathing Suit
Most of our cabins have hot tubs that run 365 days a year. In order to enjoy that highly requested amenity, you’ll definitely want to bring along your favorite swimwear. As well as for any swimming you might want to do anywhere else! Just because you aren’t at the beach doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a good soak.
Supplies for S’mores
Seriously, what is a woodland adventure without s’mores? Plus, you’ll definitely want a sweet treat after hiking all day. Bring on the chocolate!
Always just a particularly good thing to have with you – especially if you are planning to keep hiking until the sun is trying to go to sleep. Or for those early morning hikes to catch the sunrise (which we would highly recommend)!
Pretty much a staple in any adventurer’s pack. You will definitely want those for that campfire. Bonus points if you waterproof ones!
Insects seem to have vendetta against me personally, because I’m always the first to get bit, and about a million times. Especially in those summer months, you will want to have repellent with you, and lots of it. Ticks are thick here in Kentucky, and the last thing you want is to find one of those on you days after your adventure ends. Better to be safe than sorry!
Lastly, you will want to have your favorite travel companion with you!
Vacations are always so much more fun when you have your best pals with you, whether that’s your partner, best friend, family member, or furry friend. Make sure you bring them along with you and create some amazing memories in this beautiful place!
Summers in the Gorge are a beautiful thing. Make sure you bring everything you need to make your summer vacation smooth and safe! What are some of your favorite gear that you bring along with you on your adventures? Let us know the comments below!
Author: Corey Gillman
If you are looking for peace and relaxation- no need to look any further! Pine Point is tucked into the beautiful pine trees only 10 minutes from Natural Bridge State Park. This cabin is a true place of peace not only for you; but your furry friend too! Pine Point is equipped with almost everything you will need to have a wonderful stay. Whether you are staying in to enjoy a couple days away from the real world, or looking to explore all of the area’s popular attractions. We only had to bring charcoal for the grill and purchased firewood locally to enjoy the firepit. We can tell the owner truly cares about the guests’ experience here. Small details such as a cute doggie treat container & panini press, or big details like crazy-fast WiFi makes it noticeably apparent how much time the owner puts into ensuring everyone has a memorable experience.
As we pulled into the cabin’s gated driveway (yes, it is gated!), the first thing I noticed was the massive deck. If you’re like me, this is a major plus if you enjoy sitting outdoors and taking in the view. Every morning was spent sipping coffee and enjoying the world waking up around us. If you’re visiting in the warmer months, avoid those pesky bugs and spend some time out on the screened in back porch. It is completely enclosed and offers very comfortable seating. We found that the table was the perfect size for board games, if you are in the mood for those while enjoying the outdoors. We even completed a couple puzzles while the sun set. It felt absolutely magical!
After we explored the outside, it was finally time to head inside and see our weekend’s abode. The first thing that catches your eye as you walk in is the amazing wooden spiral staircase. It is definitely the centerpiece of this lovely cabin! Directly to your right is the kitchen. The decor throughout the kitchen really made us feel right at home. I know I’ve already mentioned the panini press, but we felt it was worthy of mentioning again. It was such a fun addition to our stay! There are countless kitchen gadgets for the home-cook in your life. Pine Point really has it all!
If you are in the mood to sit back and relax, there is a DVD Player with a collection of DVDs to choose from and a SmartTV. Pine Point also offers Fiber Internet (hands down the best internet you can get in the Gorge). If you aren’t familiar with the DVD player there, the owner was even kind enough to create an instruction video that is posted on StayOver’s YouTube!
Now let’s say staying in just isn’t for you. There are so many things to do within a short driving distance from the cabin. Rock climbing, ziplining, hiking – you name it! The famous Nada Tunnel is only 14 miles away, and is seriously a must see. How amazing would it be to go back home telling your family and friends how you drove through a 12ft wide and 13ft tall tunnel. Also known as the ‘Gateway to the Gorge’, this tunnel is just the beginning of the beautiful sights the Gorge has to offer.
Now, on to the good stuff – FOOD! After all, it’s YOUR vacation, who wants to cook?! In the mood for pizza? The locally famous Miguel’s Pizza is only a short drive from this cabin. If you’ve ever spoken to someone who has visited Red River Gorge, most likely they ate at Miguel’s Pizza. And there is a good reason why! Miguel’s is an amazing atmosphere that let’s nature lovers relax and enjoy a delicious slice of pizza, salad, or even sandwiches! Offering a variety of toppings (some I never even imagined going on a pizza!), it’s safe to say this would be a great choice for dinner anytime of the week. We also stopped in at another restaurant, Red River Rockhouse. Again, this restaurant is close to Pine Point and is well worth a visit! The burgers were fresh and the tacos were delicious! Take one of the many seats outside to enjoy the fresh air, views and some amazing food.
While cooking wasn’t one of our favorite activities (seriously, who wants to cook on vacation?), we decided to do a little shopping at Krogers for some supplies to bring back and test out the lovely kitchen. Personally, I couldn’t wait to fire up the grill for a nice steak dinner! I added some mushrooms and onions for a nice little touch. Siding it with mac and cheese and mashed potatoes – it somehow was even tastier than when I cooked this same meal at home! (Don’t ask me how – maybe it was just the cozy and welcoming atmosphere). As usual, my goal was to take a picture of the feast for the ‘gram’, but ended up devouring half the plate before it crossed my mind again. So unfortunately I don’t have any evidence to show of my fine cooked meal. After enjoying our dinner, a movie night was in order. Pine Point is equipped with a SmartTV, but watching Netflix everyday, we were more drawn to the DVD collection the owners offer. After the movie was over, we headed up the spiral staircase to the amazing loft area. We absolutely loved the basin sink with the half bath being located upstairs. (Makes those late night trips to the bathroom so much easier!) We’d be lying if we didn’t praise the King sized bed. Our Queen sized bed does the job, but that King bed has us rethinking ours at home!
Personally, I loved all the little knick knacks along the upper walls and the lantern shelf the owners decorated the cabin with. Altogether, Pine Point had a very warm and inviting feel. To be honest, before we even left we were planning how soon we could take another trip to Pine Point! I would absolutely recommend Pine Point for anyone who is looking for a cozy cabin while visiting the Red River Gorge.
Because we stayed prior to it’s release, I didn’t get the opportunity to use it – but, Pine Point is now offering a completely exclusive scented soap. ‘Appalachian Pine’ by Jeriko Soap is only available at Pine Point, giving me yet another reason to come back! You can view more of Pine Point here: stayovernow.com/PinePoint.
Have you had a chance to stay at Pine Point yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments!
Author: Kassie Oglesbee
When you think of Red River Gorge, what do you think of? Hiking, probably. And you’re not wrong. But there is more to RRG than just hikes. A lot of really cool, snazzy stuff. So I decided to make deciding what to do on your RRG vacation a whole lot easier, by putting together an RRG Bucket List of the very best things to do, eat, see, and experience. (Please know that some of these restaurants or activities may be closed for the winter season. We are happy to help plan your trip and ensure the activities you want to do will be open!)
Frankly, if you come to the Gorge, you must go to Miguel’s Pizza. There is a reason it’s so popular. Not only do they serve pizza but also breakfast, salad, baked bowls, sandwiches, AND a pizza sandwich, in case you needed more convincing. Miguel’s is so famous, it has been featured on many a list detailing best foods in the U.S., including this video linked below.
La Cabana is also an extremely popular restaurant. It is a traditional Mexican restaurant, and a great option if you’re like me, and eat plant-based! This restaurant is very vegetarian and vegan friendly – and delicious!
‘Soar the Gorge!’ Why not try out your adventurous side and go ziplining? A 2-hour adventure awaits at Red River Gorge Ziplines. Zoom along five different lines ranging from comfortable cruise to high flying thrills. The Gorge is beautiful from below but think of the better views it has to offer way up in the sky!
If you like your feet planted firmly on the ground, The Kentucky Reptile Zoo is the place for you! They have over 75 different species of reptiles, including snakes, turtles, lizards and alligators. Most of their residents are venomous snakes because they provide venom for medical research. They do live venom extraction demonstrations on site, and it is a great option the whole family can enjoy!
The Gorge Underground – the coolest place in the Gorge! The Gorge Underground is a one-of-a-kind experience! Enjoy a guided kayak or boat tour through an underground mine. You will be able to see the Gorge from a whole new perspective! Never been on a kayak? No worries! The tours are designed for inexperienced and staff is there to help every step of the way. The mine stays around 52 degrees year-round – hence the ‘coolest place in the Gorge’! Ages 3 and up are welcome to participate!
Mill Creek Lake is a super popular lake in the area. If your dream vacation is to fish and boat, this is the lake for you. Nature is calling – you better answer!
Is there anything more majestic than seeing wild elk and horses roaming free? We think not. To see views such as these, Southfork Elkview is the place to see. It is a little bit of a drive, but completely worth it.
You cannot say you’ve visited Red River Gorge without seeing Natural Bridge! Balanced Rock Trail leads you up over 600 stairs to the top of Natural Bridge. If you are not up for the strenuous hike (we don’t blame you), the Natural Bridge Skylift is perfect for you! The Skylift takes you on a mile journey through a spectacular mountain scenery and ends within walking distance to Natural Bridge. Open seasonally during the warmer months, this is a must-see trail and experience, with some of the best views you’ll see in the area. Don’t forget to stop at the Gift Shop on your way out!
Auxier Ridge is a favorite amongst travelers to the Red River Gorge due to its lovely views, and for good reason! Views of Double Arch, Haystack Rock, Courthouse Rock, Raven Rock and other views of the Red River Gorge are numerous on this hike. Sheer cliffs extend on both sides of the ridge – exercise extreme caution when hiking this area. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water if hiking in the summer, it can get pretty hot and tiring in the beating sun!
Creation Falls is one of the many waterfalls one can find in the Red River Gorge, and a beautiful scenic view at that! These falls are truly iconic in the Gorge. This trail is a scenic 1.5 mile loop with lush vegetation, an arch that spans the creek, a waterfall, and a rock shelter! Once you are done playing around the falls continue on the trail a short distance to Rock Bridge Arch.
While a great start, this list is only a taste of all the wonder the Gorge has to offer. Whether you like hiking, fishing, eating, adventure, animals – the Gorge has something for you! Give us a call to plan your next Red River Gorge adventure. We currently have 33 cabins and cottages to offer, and are growing every day! We can place you in the perfect cabin and provide you with all the knowledge you will need to experience a memorable trip in the beautiful mountains of Kentucky.
Author: Kassie Oglesbee
2020. What a year. I think we can all agree this year has been different than any year we’ve experienced before. Maybe you’ve spent a lot of this year making bread. Maybe you know all of the TikTok dances. Maybe you’ve finally read all of the books you kept buying but never reading. Or, maybe, you’ve spent this year just holding it together, or not holding it together. All of these things are fine and totally valid. And you did a great job. And the best part is that this year is (finally) coming to an end.
Sure, some might say time means nothing, and that whatever problems we’re having in 2020 will still be there on January 1, 2021. To that I say – yeah…maybe. But still. If there was ever a year to think of the New Year as the start of something new and to start fresh, it’s this one. A time to want to be better, and to set goals for yourself. If nothing else, a time to pretend to have a blank slate and take a breather.
In the spirit of the New Year, I asked my coworkers, my family, my friends, and pretty much anyone that would give me one to name a resolution for the new year. Here’s what they had to say:
Lauren Blankenship, Manager of Human Resources –
“My goals are to volunteer once a quarter, have a successful garden (I totally failed last year), and try to learn something new every day (podcasts, Tedtalks, etc)!”
Hunter Dycus, Operations Manager –
“In 2021, I’d like to focus on personal growth and become a better person for the people in my life.”
Brennah Dycus, Marketing & Guest Services Manager –
“My resolution for this year would be to take my dog, Benelli, hiking more. She absolutely loves the Gorge and hiking is her favorite. We used to hike almost every single day! Unfortunately, this year we’ve just been so busy with work and life, we’ve hardly gone hiking at all. I would love to start taking her out at least once a week, if not more. (And ultimately this is a good resolution for myself, too!)”
Leah Guggenmos, Guest Services Coordinator –
“I resolve to listen to more music! When I got my Spotify year in review last week, it was really sad, and I hardly added any new music to my repertoire this year. I spent a lot of this year listening to Aqua and Cake. Yes, from the 90s. It takes effort to find music that you really love, and I haven’t put in that effort in a while. I hope next year’s Spotify recap is a lot more interesting!”
Oliver (My 1-year-old) –
“Ahhhhh blah blah blah, mama.” (I believe that means “My goal for this year is to finally catch those crazy cats that never let me pet them” but I cannot be sure)
Dustin (My husband) –
“I’d like to stop ignoring my wife when she asks me for help with her blog for work.”
Sam (My best friend) –
“My New Years resolution is better work-life balance. It is every year and I fail every year.” (She’s a teacher, and a great one!)
As for me, my New Years resolution is to prioritize my mental health better, and to find new coping mechanisms for those pesky anxieties that find their way into my brain. I also want to spend more quality time with my husband and child.
From all of us at StayOver, we truly wish you and yours a Happy New Year.
Comment below if you have any New Year’s Resolutions of your own!