PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - I’ve now been to Loreto three times! The first time, my husband and I were passing through in our Sprinter van, and we spent the night at the charming Hotel 1697. Then I brought my family back for our holiday week last year. We opted for the all-inclusive Villa Del Palmar. This last trip, I divided my time between two spots around the corner from the town square: Villas del Santo Niño and Posada Del Cortes - both fantastic!

I wanted to go diving but the waters were a little rough, so we kayaked off Isla Coronados instead.

Kayaking off Isla Coronados
Kayaking off Isla Coronados(Tara Hitchcock)

I’m going back in a month to go diving. Stay tuned!

One thing you will do a lot of Loreto is eat!

We had breakfast at Café Olé and Orlandos Restaurante.

I had an incredible lunch at La Mision hotel. The Obamas dined when they came through Loreto a few years ago. Cheers to the chef and the incredible ahi tuna salad I had!

Dinner was at El Zopilote, which is one of our favorite spots in town. We also went to Asadero Super Burro. Three words: Cheese. Flank. Steak.

If you’re looking for an authentic experience, and I always am, try the “chocolata” clams at Hotel Oasis.

I've been to Loreto three times, and have another trip coming up to go diving.
I've been to Loreto three times, and have another trip coming up to go diving.(Tara Hitchcock)

Whale watching in Baja: Get up close and personal with gray whales!

It’s a bucket-list trip for many people -- getting up close and personal with a whale. And I found the perfect place to do it.

Pure Baja Travels is a whale-watching eco-camp run by José Sanchez, and he is fantastic! From Loreto, it’s about a 3.5-hour drive northwest, past the charming small town of San Ignacio. You end up on a dirt road that looks like you’re heading to nowhere!

Finland: A bucket-list trip for sure!

I packed a lot into this three-day trip, and it was amazing! I started with a visit to Samiland, visited a traditional reindeer farm that included a magical sleigh ride, went snowshoeing, experienced a Finnish smoke sauna and ice swimming (Coldest. Water, Ever!), and even tried my hand at ice fishing. It didn’t go well.