All posts by Mimi McFadden

Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.

The 30 Best California Breweries to Visit

Figueroa Mountain Brewing - Santa Barbara, California - 30 California Breweries to Visit

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A craft beer journey and road trip through the Golden State – your guide to the best California breweries to visit, from San Diego to Eureka.

With 570 California breweries up and down the state, the Golden State has more craft breweries than any other state in the USA. Born and raised in California, it is also the place where I had my first experience with craft beer – Arrogant Bastard from Stone Brewery to be exact.

California is known for its craft beer culture, specifically in San Diego and San Francisco, but there are so many other breweries within the state that are worth a stop.

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Wrap Up: January 2019

Wrap Up: January 2019 | San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts

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2019 started off at a full sprint. From ringing in my brother’s wedding on NYE, to my first trip of the year to Colorado, and leaning more into my love for all things San Francisco (even with the recent frigid Bay Area temperatures). I already have a good feeling about 2019.

This year has already thrown me a handful of challenges, reminding me to not get too comfortable in my new fixed life because there is still a whole lot of work to do in my business, my relationships, and my personal development. There is always room to grow, which I look forward to continuing to do throughout 2019.

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A Guide to the Best Missoula Breweries

A Guide to the best Missoula breweries

A Guide to the Best Missoula Breweries so you know where to drink (and what to drink) while you’re in town.

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

I had no idea about the craft beer scene that would welcome me when I arrived in Missoula, Montana.

I had heard from a friend living there that craft beer was getting bigger around town, with quite a few recent Missoula breweries opening up, but every person and their mom says their city has the best craft beer scene in America these days.

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Arizona Road Trip Itinerary: One Week in the Grand Canyon State

Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

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A detailed Arizona road trip itinerary to spend the perfect week seeing the highlights of the Grand Canyon State.

If I didn’t have such a love affair with California I would seriously consider moving to Arizona. The state is filled with diverse landscapes, friendly locals, and so many good road trippin’ options. You really can’t go wrong with an Arizona road trip, because every corner of the state is filled with natural desert beauty.

I went back to Arizona for the second time this past November and somehow ended up even more amazed by what the state has to offer. I’m now trying to get my dad and stepmom to move here from Oregon so I can have more excuses to visit.

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14 Stops to Make on an Oregon Coast Road Trip

Port Orford near Battle Rock Park - Oregon coast road trip planner - USA Travel

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips. 

A guide for your next Oregon coast road trip! From south to north, know these small seaside cities and local hangouts for your next adventure.

When thinking about an Oregon coast road trip, images of rugged cliffs, turquoise blue waters, and windswept forests come to mind. The untouched beauty of this stretch of the West Coast is appreciated by many, but it rarely feels overcrowded.

An Oregon road trip is the place to catch the best storms and listen to ghost stories. There’s an eeriness as well as a raw attractiveness that make people come back again.

I especially love the long stretches of the southern Oregon coast that are a lot less developed than the north. You feel disconnected from the rest of the country, winding through the curved roads that look out over breathtaking views.

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Wrap Up: December 2018

Wrap Up: December 2018 | Whistler, Canada

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The last month of 2018 was equally slow and fast. My weeks were filled to the brim with work, content creation, travels, and holidays parties, but I loved soaking up every last minute of one of the best years I’ve had in a long time.

At the end of November, I was contacted by Mazda. MAZDA people!!! A few weeks later, I was ecstatic to head up to Whistler, a new Canadian destination for me, for a few days to work on some sponsored content for them and drive a few new 2019 Mazda models. I even managed to get in an afternoon of snowboarding falling on my ass in the snow.

I also spent about a week down in Santa Cruz this month to have quality family time and enjoy our last Christmas in Santa Cruz.

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A Guide to Getting a Work Visa in Australia for Americans

A Guide to Getting a Work Visa in Australia for Americans - The Atlas Heart

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Getting a work visa in Australia can be as easy as filling out an online form in 15 minutes.

It always surprises me how many Americans don’t know about the working holiday visa in Australia.

To be fair, I was one of those Americans too, until I took my first solo venture to Europe and made friends from a variety of different countries. One of those friends happened to be British, and she told me about the working holiday visa she was planning on doing in Australia, and how she thought it applied to Americans too.

In an instant, the course of my life changed drastically.

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2018, A Year of Finding Home

Arizona hiking Monument Valley

After spending so much of 2017 on my own, I made it a plan in 2018 to build up more of a community in my life again.

I did this in two ways:

  1. Finding a home base so I didn’t have to live out of a backpack anymore.
  2. Planning my trips based on which friends I wanted to see and catch up with the most, above seeing as many new countries as possible.

Because I made community such a big focus of 2018, I felt constantly loved, supported, and surrounded by good energy this year.

It was a wonderful year in so many ways. Another year of growth, of nurturing my oldest and newest friendships, and leaning even more into my independence.

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The Best Things to Do in Mesa, AZ

Best Things to Do in Mesa AZ

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The Best Things to do in Mesa, AZ range from candlelit dinners in the desert to kayaking below sheer bronze-tinged cliffs and cacti. Here’s what you should know about one of Arizona’s most underrated cities.

I visited Arizona for the first time a couple of years ago for a short trip, hitting all the usual spots like Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon.

So, when I was invited by Visit Mesa to explore more of Arizona this fall, I jumped at the chance to see other parts of what the state had on offer for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts (hint: there’s a lot).

I felt this with my first visit, and I’ll write it down here: Arizona is one of the most beautiful US states. Its red rocks, desert vibes, and versatile landscape are all a traveler’s (and photographer’s) dream come true. I can see why so many people choose to retire there these days.

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What to Do With Two Days in Seattle

What to do with Two Days in Seattle

How to have a packed two days in Seattle without overdoing it.

I was ecstatic as I left the city of Portland behind me. I had two days in Seattle and the city was calling me to its shores. I was happy to oblige for a weekend away exploring more of the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle was one of those spur of the moment decisions. It wasn’t until about a week before that I decided I was definitely going to head further north and check out a new city in the Pacific Northwest. The simple joys of having a car again after mostly living abroad without one.

The drive up to the city was three hours in total, and I was surprised to find sunny and, dare I say, warm blue skies welcoming me as I drove toward the skyscrapers in the distance. The nice weather would last throughout my two days in Seattle, clouding up again on the day I left.

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