#60DaysOfSummer – Strawberry Picking in Mahabaleshwar

Strawberry picking in mabi

When the perks of going to a hill station include being able to taste strawberries fresh off the bush, you’d be hard pressed to find a reason not to go. Though strawberry harvest season in Mahabaleshwar is in February, you get strawberry goodies and some great weather all year round.

Every Strawberry harvest season in February, you get to walk through strawberry farms and pick your own strawberries. But fresh strawberries are just an added reason to head to Mahabaleshwar – the view of nature from the hill station, the eateries here and the gorgeous Venna Lake all add to the vacation experience here. Because it’s easy to get to Mahabaleshwar from both Mumbai and Pune, the hill station is a perfect getaway for the weekend.

We recommend going over to Mapro Garden for a snack or spending the evening at Sunset Point for a great view of the sunset and a carnival-like experience.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Pune to Mahabaleshwar or a taxi from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar.

#60DaysOfSummer – Birdwatching in Pulicat Bird Sanctuary

Pulicat Bird Sanctuary

How about going on a holiday to a bird sanctuary that’s in the middle of large lake? Does it help that the lake is at the edge of the Bay of Bengal? We thought it might. Head to Pulicat Bird Sanctuary near Chennai for an exquisite bird watching experience.

To get to the tiny island that houses the bird sanctuary, you need to get on the bridge that connects Kudiri village to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. And if that’s not cool enough, you can just drive down to beaches in either Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu depending on the rest of your itinerary.

This salt water lake has a couple of hotels along the bank where you can stay if you choose to stay near the lake a little longer.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Chennai to Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. It’s a day-long trip and you can easily head to Pulicat and back in one day.

 

#60DaysOfSummer – Kids’ Day Out to Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

If you’re looking for a break from the heat and a place where the kids in your family can have fun, look no further. Head to WonderLa near Bangalore to spend an entire day on fun rides, play at the water park and just relax. This is the perfect summer retreat near home.

The amusement park offers a number of restaurants, some great amenities for those worried about safety and even an evening entry ticket if you want to finish your day out at WonderLa. They even have an annual pass if you’re planning to make a trip more than once.

The water park portion of WonderLa has wave pools, a lazy river and rain disco. For younger kids, the park recommends specific rides that are safe for children. There’s a lot to choose from at WonderLa any time of the year, but the water park here is a great way to beat the heat.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Bangalore to Wonderla.

#60DaysOfSummer – Staycation at Samode Palace

If you’re itching to go on a lavish staycation, we can’t think of a better place than Samode Palace near Jaipur, Rajasthan. The large heritage resort has a palace, a traditional haveli and a garden where you can relax away from stress.

About 40km from Jaipur, this upmarket heritage site turned resort is filled with Mughal and Rajput architecture to make your holiday a little more royal. With king sized (literally) rooms and a gorgeous view of the hills outdoors, Samode Palace is your atypical resort getaway.

HOW TO GET THERE

Take a cab from Jaipur to Samode Palace.

#60DaysOfSummer – Jungle Safari in Gir

One of the few places in the world where you can see Asiatic lions in the wild, Gir Forest National Park is a great vacation spot for anyone who’s yearning for the wilderness. Take a jeep safari in Gir to spot majestic lions lounging in their habitat – it’s a breathtaking experience.

The authorities at Gir Forest National Park even offer two-day and weekend packages for travellers who are interested in exploring and observing wildlife. But if staying in the middle of a forest isn’t your thing, you can choose to just do a quick jeep safari while adding other destinations in Gujarat like Somnath and Diu to your itinerary.

And even if you feel like you’ve stepped into the fantasy kingdom of Narnia to meet Aslan, it’s prudent to listen to your guides and forest officials and strictly follow safety measures to protect yourself and others around you.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Rajkot to Sasan Gir or from Ahmedabad to Sasan Gir.

#60DaysOfSummer – Spiritual Journey to McLeodganj

If you’re looking for a quiet, spiritual journey head to McLeodganj near Dharamshala. With gorgeous Buddhist temples and some churches near town, McLeodganj may be the perfect getaway for those of you who are spiritually inclined.

You can head to the Dalai Lama’s temple Tsuglagkhang or to Kalachakra Temple in the main street. There’s also a very old and picturesque Anglican church called St John in the Wilderness that dates back to 1852. And while you’re soaking in the spiritual beauty of the place, there’s a lot of trekking and exploration to be done in this lovely hill station at the foothills of the Himalayas.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from New Delhi to Dharamshala.

#60DaysOfSummer – Yoga in Kodaikanal

Stressed from work and city life? Cut all cords (mostly electronic ones) and head to Kodaikanal for a quiet yoga retreat. Visit the Kodaikanal Yoga Centre, tucked away in the hills to experience solitude and some soul searching.

Kodaikanal Yoga Centre and Karuna Farm are about 12km from Kodaikanal town, and offer a holistic and wholesome living experience. The centre has daily yoga classes as well as art, living and design workshops for guests. While you’re de-stressing with yoga and a natural lifestyle, you can stay at Karuna Farm in a cottage of your choice.

Karuna Farm has a number of cottages with a number of amenities spread out across its property – so choose wisely before you make your booking. The farm doesn’t allow the consumption of alcohol on its premises – they expect all guests to respect this rule.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Bangalore to Kodaikanal or a cab from Chennai to Kodaikanal.

#60DaysOfSummer – Kids’ Day Out at Essel World

Essel World

If you grew up in India in the ’90s, Essel World was probably your first ever introduction to an amusement park. With their catchy television jingles and detailed maps of mazes and the park, Essel World was a must-visit if you were in Mumbai during your holidays. The kids in us still have the whole jingle memorised!

If you’re looking for an amusement park within the city, Essel World is the place to go. From mirror mazes, to crazy cups, to the classics Rainbow and Dodgem (dashing cars), Essel World has all the rides and attractions that’ll remind you of your childhood. There are smaller rides like toy trains, boat rides and a mini version of Dodgem for kids.

And if your day out gets too hot, you can even head to Water Kingdom next door for some fun water rides.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a local cab in Mumbai so you don’t have to drive in Mumbai traffic – you can enjoy your day out with your family.

 

#60DaysOfSummer – Day Trip to Guhantara

Day trip to Guhantara Resort

If you’re looking for a unique resort experience on your staycation, how does spending a day or two underground sound? We’re not kidding. Guhantara is an underground resort outside Bangalore where you can participate in a host of activities, go for a swim and even stay the night!

While you’re at the resort, you can play indoor games, do a rain dance, go zorbing or even cycle at your leisure. There are plenty of things that will help you relax here, including a spa. The day package at the resort includes breakfast, lunch and tea along with access to all the resort’s amenities.

The resort is also very close to Bannerghatta National Park, so you can club going to the park on your way to Guhantara.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Bangalore to Bannerghatta National Park and then drive ahead to Guhantara.

 

#60DaysOfSummer – Ziplining in Mussoorie

Mussoorie has the perfect blend of adventure and the rustic charm of an old hill station. If you plan your trip well, you’ll have plenty of time to relax in the hills, go sightseeing and even go looking for adventure.

The hill station has a few adventure camps and parks where you can go rock climbing, rappelling, ziplining and even try your hand at a skywalk (with the proper safety equipment, of course). Some of the adventure parks here are legally authorised to conduct adventure sports – make sure you’re signing up for these activities at places that are legal. They’re also more likely to have proper safety gear.

The adventure camps are a little distance away from the main town, though, so you might have to schedule your adventure activities accordingly. Too book activities, you can get in touch with Mussoorie Adventure Park or Snow Adventure Zone.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Dehradun to Mussoorie or a taxi from Delhi to Mussoorie.