Well folks, it’s already May… as of today’s post, I have already submitted the obligatory May social media posts for the 1st and the 4th (Justin Timberlake “It’s Gonna Be May” & “May the 4th Be With You” for those of you not in the know.) However, beyond fooling around with hash tags on Instagram, May is one of my favorite months for finding fun activities to check out here in Santa Barbara. For this post, I’m focusing on my absolute favorite – the Butterflies Alive exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (located at 2559 Puesta Del Sol in Santa Barbara.)
Officially opening May 25th, and going until September 2nd; visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to walk through this live exhibit of about 1,000 butterflies fluttering around you in the new Sprague Butterfly Pavilion that was built last year. There are many different species of butterfly, along with a variety of plants that attract them.
This is an excellent event that the whole family can enjoy together. From those who just want to sit and relax as the butterflies flit about around you, or kids that want to learn about the life cycle of these beautiful insects and see the chrysalis that they emerged from (click here for SBMNH video about it) – everyone will find an aspect to enjoy. As a bonus, this exhibit is included in the museum’s price of admission.
In addition to the Butterflies Alive exhibit, the SB Museum of Natural History, is a thoroughly enjoyable family outing venue. There is plenty of room for the younger kids to explore outside, there are nature trails, and the standing exhibits to peruse for all ages. For those that have visited in recent months and feel that they have seen everything there is to see at the museum, I would highly recommend returning soon to see the butterflies.
I give this Santa Barbara attraction 4/5 🌴🌴🌴🌴 for beauty, interactive learning and observation, and the rarity of this being something you only get to experience once per year.
Travel Tip: The museum opens at 10am every day and closes at 5pm. To avoid what will undoubtedly be summer crowds, plan to either arrive first thing when they open or come after 3pm to avoid the larger crowds.
Last year, shortly after my 36th birthday, I finally took my first international trip. Initially, I was in a bit of a frenzied state trying to settle on where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to head somewhere, but I couldn’t settle on the where part. This indecision was also inhibiting me when it came to trying to find reasonably priced airfare. I didn’t want, or have the disposable income to pay for last minute airfare – and it literally makes me ill if I don’t do a thorough search of the net for the best price on anything.
Well, imagine my joy at happening across a service called Next Vacay. Their whole platform is tailored to busy individuals who want to travel soonish, want to find the best deals, and want to have travel destination options presented to them. They take the pressure off you so you aren’t bogged down with the stress of price comparison across different sites and monitoring fares over a prolonged period of time. They handle all that for you and alert you when there is a super low fare flying out from your nearest major airport.
When I read up on the Next Vacay’s process, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical at first that they could provide what I needed at an affordable price. However, there was a free 30 day trial period so I decided to give it a try anyway. I provided my nearest airport and signed up for the service. Within 10 days I had received several deal alerts to possible travel locations. I had finally narrowed down my ideal travel locations to 3 places in Europe I wanted to go, so I decided that the first city to show up in the alerts was the one I would go with if the price was right. In the second week of the service, I received a deal alert for London (my 1st choice city) for $439 round trip. I was beyond excited to take advantage of such a deal! I immediately went directly to the providing airline’s site and booked my flight that day.
I couldn’t believe how much money and time I was able to save using Next Vacay! They literally did all of the work for me and helped me figure out where I wanted to travel. It’s like having your own personal travel agent who contacts you every few days to tell you about exciting trips you can afford to take. However, unlike a travel agent, they don’t take any commissions or fees so nothing extra is added, giving you the lowest possible fare imaginable and they only charge a $25 annual fee.
I am in the process of planning an extended stay trip back to the UK this Fall, do you want to guess which service I’ll be using to guarantee I get the best deal on my airfare? Ding ding ding, winner winner chicken dinner if you guessed Next Vacay!
Stay tuned for upcoming posts about my travel planning process for tips and hacks to plan an awesome, yet affordable, vacation.