have you done america?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

{photo of glacier national park from in the grey print shop:
a must see shop.  the photos are breathtaking.}

i'm interrupting our regularly scheduled programming
(also known as cape may part 2, ya'll!) to ask a few questions of you.

have you done a lot of traveling in america?
have you been to all the national parks 
or some of those out-of-the-way little towns?
(you know, those "i am back in the wild, wild west right now" places.)
have you hiked trails that lead you to unreal places like the one above?  

i'm dying to do it.
(you already know this.  remember this post?)

are you?  or have you done it already? 
now the most important part: TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE PLACES.

i'm going to file them away for another day
when i DO IT UP.


  1. No, I haven't! And that makes me so sad! I've seen more of Europe than I have of my own home country! I know, slap my hands. I blame the Air Force...but as soon as we're back in the states again, I'm making it a point to see more of America. Can you believe I've never been to the West Coast? I know, slap my hands again. I am ashamed.

  2. I have driven across the country twice....from LA to Ohio. Did two routes, one going straight across, and another going down through texas and new mexico. Driving through Utah and colorado was my favorite. Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana...uggghhhh so.many.cornfields. straight road for thousands of miles. almost killed me. the first cornfield is awesome..the 100th..not so awesome anymore. Lots of small ghosts town, which seem cool at first, until you realise they are really scary and the people a litte...off. New Mexico was my least favorite drive. They did have some fun native american type places..but i would never go back. Sun Valley Idaho is one of my fav places. Colerain ohio is another. and i looveee west virginia. Oh and Amish country in PA...SO amazing and surreal..amazing cheese, nice people, quaint places to eat. Steamboat springs colorado is also so incredible and beautiful. I have been to almost every state except a few on the east coast..havent had much time to travel around there: the carolinas, the dakotas, wisconsin, Mass, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Main, Virginia, Delawate, Maryland, Vermont..I think thats its..ive been everywhere else. Oh and i havent been to alaska..and after living in the UK, i dont think be there anytime soon.

  3. when i was 10 years old,
    my parents took me & my 12 yr old sister,
    packed up an old white camper,
    and drive from boston to San Fran and back.

    we took 2 weeks and explored the national parks, went white water rafting, hiked ruins, and explored our country.

    ABSOLUTELY something i plan to do in the future with my fam :)

    xo - heather
    This Life Is Yours Blog

  4. When we lived in Idaho we spent A LOT of time up in the Wood River Valley (the area that includes Sun Valley) because our dog's orthopedic surgeon was up there. It was only 1.5 hours from us, so we'd make a day of it, and we went up for a weekend twice, I think.
    We also went to Yellowstone- drove through for an afternoon once, I went with my mom and niece for a few days, and then my husband and I went back for some more days. And we spent a week in Glacier/Waterton. The National Parks are amazing, but I'm not a fan of the West for living at. all. Hmm.. we've driven all over except the NE; I've counted that our dogs have peed in 29 states I think? We've seen the Badlands (and all that's in between SE Idaho and the Badlands), Calaveras Big Trees National Park (and all that's between SE Idaho and San Francisco). Growing up I saw a lot of the SE, but now that we're back here as adults we're going to try to fill in the holes we each have (husband has more, since he moved CA-GA when he was 10) and re-see stuff through grown eyes.
    I'm DYING to make a road trip from here (NC) to Prince Edward Island, Canada. Sadly, my husband can't take the time this year and I don't want to handle both dogs on my own for 2+ weeks. I just need a teacher friend who has the summer off... and likes dogs!

    Oh- favorite places. Glacier: all over. Seriously, every inch is amazing. Plan to spend a lot more time hiking there, as the roads are much more limited than Yellowstone. Yellowstone: for me, the geysers were a "seen them once, seen them enough" sort of thing, but Artist's Paint Pot (a hot springs/mud fumerole area) is gorgeous in every weather/every time of day and if you want to see the most animals the Lamar Valley is best for that. I'd stay in Mammoth if you can afford it, but otherwise Cooke City is pretty cheap and literally minutes outside of the NE entrance to the park. We stayed there our last trip and it was great. Plan to spend a bit more car-tiem in Yellowstone, but there are plenty of hikes to be had. For me the Badlands were whatever, and I'd rather see the bison in Yellowstone, but I guess it was cool to see it once.

    Oh! There's this little town, not even a town really, on the Idaho/Wyoming border: Driggs. It's in a valley of the Snake RIver (but not in the Snake River Valley...) and it is so gorgeous it seems fake. Lush green fields, cows grazing alongside the river, etc. And when we were in Idaho people were obsessed with McCall (a town North of Boise) but we never went there, since we were in Ketchum/Sun Valley all the time.

    If you want stuff in the South... there's the obvious ones like Savannah and Charleston, Asheville... Chattanooga's GREAT for kids, as there's Rock City and the Aquarium. And a train. Eufalia, Alabama is this insanely gorgeous Southern town on the way to the panhandle from Atlanta (can you tell the drive we made to go to the beach??) with the hanging oaks and Spanish moss and big Georgian mansions. And St. Augustine is my favorite city in Florida. Lots of old people, not many drunk college students. So the beaches are clean and relatively empty and the food is GREAT. Plus there's a fort, and ghost tours. And I can't encourage the barrier islands in GA enough- St. Simon's, Cumberland (!!!!), Jekyll.
    I'm also dying to go to Chincoteague for the swimming of the ponies. The 7 year old girl in my requires this trip to happen!

    Have fun with your planning!

  5. Utah's national parks in southern red rock country are AMAZING. Zion, Arches, and Bryce Canyon are all popular, but Capitol Reef is my personal favorite. Tour Fremont Indian sites, the hiking is amazing, and there are several delicious restaurants nearby. Stop in teeny tiny Bicknell on the way down for some pickle pie at Sunglow Motel-Cafe.

  6. And I agree with Megan, New Mexico gives me the shudders.

  7. @gesci, thank you so much for the recs!! i'm serious when i say i'm compiling a notebook of these for when this magical trip takes place. also, cour d'alene idaho (did i spell that right?) is one of steve's fave places. so we will be def. be putting idaho on the list! also, our fam used to camp at chincoteague but i wasn't born yet - boo hiss.

    @casey, it wasn't until the last 5 yrs that i made it to the west coast, so no slapping of hands necessary :)

  8. @megan + erin bigler, what's with the scary new mexico?! i'm not sure i've heard of this! gimme more!

  9. I have not been all over America, but I must say that I really love Tennessee. Everything about it is amazing. GO TO TENNESSEE! Because you're the only ten-I-see. Get it? I'm so funny.

    I'm going to go drink my coffee now.

  10. @alex, i totally want to do tennessee. it's on the list. and i like your little joke :)

  11. My husband grew up vacationing at the national parks (his dad is a pilot and didn't want to have to fly on vacation). I am hoping to do it with my kids too. There is so much in this country to see!

  12. I wish I could transport myself back to five months ago, to the middle of our road trip! With our 6 month/50 state adventure we found that we didn't have as much time to hike every trail, set up the tripod and wait for great lighting for pics, that sort of thing. But we saw a lot.

    Top cities: Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco (DC, NYC, Philly, and of course Boston are also on that list, but they weren't part of this trip).

    Top National Parks: Yellowstone for the hot springs and wildlife; Glacier for hiking and wildlife (Glacier was prob our favorite); Grand Teton; Bryce Canyon, omg (and, really, all of southern Utah is stunning), Smokey Mountains. Yosemite was far from our favorite - I know that park has a cult following, so we probably just had an off visit.

    Old timey towns - Dubois, WY (near Grand Teton); Bodie, CA(near Yosemite); Pioneer Town (by Joshua Tree)

    Top smaller cities/towns: Bend Oregon (13 breweries and so many outdoor activities right out their front door); San Luis Obispo (small, young wine region and awesome, private outdoor mineral hot tubs, good food scene); Asheville, NC (as hipster and cool as portland and austin, but outsiders haven't gotten the memo yet).

    Top states as a whole: Oregon - they have a great wine region, the coast is beautiful, and there's Portland. Alaska - seriously, just go to Alaska. It's stunning.

    There's so much more that I'm not thinking of, but that's what comes to mind. Sorry for the novel :)

  13. yes! my fiance and i spent 3 months traveling around the US. it was a lot of fun and i had no idea that the US was so beautiful! one of the most beautiful places i saw on our trip was white sands, new mexico :)and the monument to skip? mount rushmore!

  14. Nope! Never been to America and I'm dying to go there someday! I am dreaming about having 2 months or longer road trip, camping in the national parks and seeing the culture while driving through North America :)

  15. @ethaney, i agree on mt. rushmore -- it was cool, but i didn't need to see it! (unfortunately that is one place i HAVE been)

    @amanda, i hear the beeeest things about gnp. that's prob number one on my list right now.

  16. The only place I've been to in the states in Chicago. I've been itching to go back for ages and see New York and get out of the cities and do some of the parks/ go camping...

  17. Amanda, my wife, forgot a few more places we love:

    Sedona, AZ - very cute town with shops and restaurants, good hiking nearby, and a thrilling twisty road to get there.

    Aspen, CO - haven't been there for ski season, but the place is gorgeous in late summer/early fall, when the aspen trees start changing from green to yellow. Great hiking and food scene too.

    Telluride, CO - same as above, plus an unbelievable drive through a ravine with waterfalls to get there.

    Taos, NM - clay buildings everywhere! Best burrito I've ever had. Need I say more.

  18. Hiking in Tennessee (especially Blue Hole Falls), is one of the best things I've ever done. The entire state is beautiful!

  19. Glacier National Park - It's mind blowing. I went for the first time last year and then went back every month to hike a new trail and see a new view. We've also canoe'd around Lake Mcdonald and stayed in the lodge.

  20. Since meeting my Hubby, we've been all over Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. (I grew up in CA, while it's beautiful, a lot of it is overrated and over populated). In AZ you MUST go to the Grand Canyon (obviously, we call it the "Fatty A** Canyon), someone mentioned Sedona, it's a fun drive, but VERY touristy, Flagstaff (Where we live) is a great town - fun beer fest, great hiking, and we have the tallest mountain in the state! In Colorado, you must go to Telluride (that's where we got engaged) and if you have 4X4 capability head up to Alta Lakes, you'll die, it's so serene. In Utah, agreed, taking a road trip through southern Utah as a whole is just phenomenal, can't beat it. Check out Fish Lake, Parowan, Panguitch, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. And if you come to AZ say hello!

  21. + Yosemite.
    + Banff. (I know that's technically Canada, but I dream of Banff daily).
    + Jackson Hole.
    + Asheville

  22. I am filing away this post for the tips in the comments alone!

    I have by no means done all of America, but I think I have done this on a small scale with the mid-atlantic and new england - I feel like I have hit most of the hidden treasures the northern east coast has to offer. (but Acadia national park, martha's vineyard and nantucket are still on my to do list!)

    As for out west, Zion national park in Utah is a must see, and Point Reyes is an overlooked park north of San Fran - it takes a day, so people usually see the redwoods and skip pt. reyes national seashore, but it is SO worth it!

  23. Summer 2011 we did what I called an American History Road Trip. Jamestown, Williamsburg, D.C., Mount Vernon, Monticello, Gettysburg. It was amazing and we happened to do it over the 4th of July which was spectacular. This summer we're renting an RV and heading west to see the Grand Canyon and other fab places on the way.

  24. Come to Boulder, CO!

    and then drive to Crested Butte, CO. As gorgeous as Aspen without the snobbery!

  25. I’m Irish but this summer my boyfriend and I plan on travelling down the west coast (starting with friends in Vancouver), Portland, San Francisco, LA (and maybe a pitstop in NYC on our way home!). I can’t wait for all the trails and little towns and hikes along the way. So, so excited!

  26. for my graduation trip my mother and i drove to asheville, nc. instead of staying at a hojo in town, she drove an hour or two out of the way (score 1 for mama) and didnt stop until she found a quaint mountainside town, which was lake lure, nc. we stayed in a haunted hotel and all the suites were named after actors from the movie "dirty dancing" since they filmed some of the scenes on the lake there. THE BEST TRIP EVER.

  27. I certainly know a lot more about the western part of the country than the eastern. Colorado is one of my absolute favorite places in the US - you can't go wrong with Rocky Mountain State Park. or with a trip to the hot springs. or Garden of the Gods - OHMYGOSH Garden of the Gods. it's glorious. the west is just such a beautiful place - you have such a diversity in geography, what with the coastline and the deserts and the canyons and the mountains and the beginning of the prairie.

    okay, now I'm feeling super nostalgic for my childhood in the Springs. that being said, I've never been to New England (less a trip to Maine when I was, like, 2 years old), and I would love to come see this part of the country. hopefully it'll happen over the next few years.

  28. My family has traveled for years to Yellowstone and I especially love the nearby(ish) towns of Cooke City, Montana (must stop by the General Store), Red Lodge, Montana, and Cody, Wyoming (the Cody museum is awesome).

  29. don't know if you've heard of this or if someone has already mentioned it: http://passport.eparks.com/store/

    i bought one for nine bucks and it's a really great way to keep track of all the NPs you've been to and on which day.

  30. I've done this twice and it was wonderful! Both times in college, with friends. First a southern route from LA, to the grand canyon, through tennessee (Graceland!)and up to Rhode Island where I was in college. Then the next year I lived in Portland for a summer and drove back the very northern route through Idaho, Montana... then down through Michigan and back to Vermont. I'm not always a huge fan of doing the "supposed to" stops, most of my memories are just of how great it was to watch the country go by and discover little places along the way (Mt Rainer in OR, an endless Sunflower field in one of the Dakotas, salt water taffy and looking out on to Lake Huron, little streams and swimming holes, small towns, and restaurants)- that said, I do remember Glacial Ntnl Park being amazing, and the Grand Canyon, of course, really was incredible (especially at sunrise, before lots of people were there!). It's so great just to go, wherever you go!

  31. @kaity, i've actually done some of colorado--including rocky mtn and garden of the gods (and the late--sad--flying w wranglers!) steves parents live in denver area... wahoo!

    telluride is ON THE LIST.

  32. @fran, banff. it's in my dreams too. lake louise. all of it. yesss.

  33. ooh! how fun! here are my recommendations:

    - Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon (basically all of southern Utah is awesome)
    - Mesa Verde, CO
    - Telluride & Ouray, CO
    - Oregon coast! (esp Cannon Beach)
    - Silver Falls, OR is gorgeous with great hiking

  34. @ Gesci - Driggs is named after my family! I'm glad you liked it :)

  35. b, you have some well traveled readers. have been on countless roadtrips west. and when you live in nodak you have to travel lots and lots of miles to get to the coast or anywhere else of note for that matter. we took our boys on a roadtrip thru montana, wyoming, colorado, new mexico, arizona, utah. it was amazing. moab, ut for red rock. aspen/snowmass for mountain and stream.

  36. I'm digging reading all these comments; we are moving from DC to San Francisco this spring so we have to road trip it across the US! people's comments have given me lots of ideas, so thanks for asking the question!

  37. Steve and I have a goal to hot all the national parks. One year, we did 6. I've been as far as Denali (mt. McKinley) in Alaska. Since moving to Texas, I've only been to one (Padre Island National Seashore). But we are the road tripping sort, so I'm sure we'll make a journey to see more soon.

    We started watching the Ken Burns documentary on National Parks this weekend. I thought if be bored out of my mind, but I was totally into it. Only 18 hours to go :)

  38. I feel like johnny cash in the "I've Been Everywhere" song... Too many places in this country to list. My best advice is to just do as much as you can. Because even the small places you've never heard of have something to offer if you go with an open heart/mind.
    But since you mean specifically - drive up HWY 1 in CA, Southern Utah and almost all of Colorado, the Appalachians in the east, the deep south (Louisiana to South Carolina), the Canadian Rockies. At least on this continent ; )

  39. I have traveled a little around the US of A. Mostly the east coast but my husband has gone across country twice and did a whole bunch of sight seeing and hiking. He is trying to convince me to do take another cross country trip with him on his Harley but I told him I would only do it if he got a side car. Anyway I would highly recommend going to Hawaii {even though you can't drive there}. I lived there for 5 years and can't say enough great things about it :)

  40. @rachel, going x-c in a side car would be the COOLEST.

    @madeline, our library has that documentary! i think i'll need to watch it before we take this trip...

  41. I have not done much traveling in the US or anywhere. I wish I could. I would love to go to California and Maine and Texas and all sorts of wonderful places but I just don't have the money. Maybe someday.

    The most trip/touristy thing I've ever done was a missions trip to South Dakota. It was about 22 hour drive there from IN and oh boy it was long. But we stopped at Mount Rushmore on the way home. Do not go there. Haha. I mean it is slightly cool I guess but when you hear about how they actually stole that land from the Indians, land they considered holy, it kind of makes you disgusted. BUT the badlands of south dakota are beautiful.

    And that is the only travel things I have to say haha

  42. We did Yellowstone for Christmas one year. We snowmobiled through the park a few days and were close enough to touch bison (but obviously didn't). All the pools still have the gorgeous colors, and the trees around the pools get covered in snow bottom to top, so they look like something out of a Dr. Seuss Book! It's one of my favorite national park trips and I've been to a lot!

  43. gahhh, i would LOVE to see more of america! i've always lived in virginia..... but i'm planning a drastic move to washington state next year! def wanna check out vermont and maine while i'm still on the east coast, though... they seem so pretty and natural :)

    xx, kara

  44. I plan to retire to West Yellowstone. I love that place so much. Also, Bear Lake in UT/ID. Also, my home state of Florida. I've recently learned to love our country as much as I love the rest of the world.

  45. When I was five, my parents took me and my six siblings in a borrowed camper and drove through 24 states. It took us a month, and even though I was so young, the memories of the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, a thunderstorm in Kentucky, and sitting on my grandpa's lap (in Michigan) are still with me. I have traveled a bit on my own, and definitely want to do more. America is a lovely land.

  46. I'm from the wild, wild west (graduated high school in a class of 27 from a school with 200 people K-12 in a town that to this day does not have a stoplight) and it's definitely something to experience - so quiet and not nearly as commercialized as most unique places in the US have become.

    I love the Pacific Northwest. (So my fiance and I chose it as the site for our upcoming destination wedding.) Hiking Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park and Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island (Moran State Park) were two of my overall favorite experiences in life.

    Really, any place you go in the US is going to have something amazing about it, am I right? And anywhere that someone calls home is special to them - even if it's not on the must-see-America-attraction list.

  47. i read this before i even got out of bed this morning and i've been thinking about it all day! i love stuff like this and look forward to sifting through the comments myself.

    during your redwood / lost coast hwy adventures, i would recommend stopping in ferndale, ca. the last time i was there i was little, but it felt totally magical because it is a little town of victorian homes.

    i can also speak to the loveliness of mccall, id. i have spent most summers at my family's cabin about an hour out of mccall. it is completely breathtaking. forest and an enormous lake, plus mccall brewing company and you also have to stop by 'my father's place' which is a diner of sorts with really wonderful milkshakes.

    i am digging deep, SUPER DEEP! to try to remember the name of this other place i used to go in idaho. my grandpa had a small plane and we used to fly from his cabin to another little cabin in the mountains that had horses and served pancakes. there was literally nothing else there. doesn't that sound completely magical? if i can remember the name, i'll come back with it.

  48. I may be a bit biased since I live here, but you HAVE to come to Colorado! I spent my first three years here living in Estes Park, CO which is the gateway town to Rocky Mtn National Park. If you're looking for a family-friendly trip, there are plenty of easily accessible hikes and picnic spots that are insanely beautiful, and if you're looking for more of an adult trip, there are even more stupidly beautiful places to visit (and even relatively easy mountains to climb!)

    Living near Denver now, my favorite getaway spots are in Utah and Wyoming, only a 6 to 8 hour drive from here. Teton Nat'l Park, just outside of Jackson, WY has the most breathtaking scenery I have ever seen, and this is coming from a girl who used to wake up and see the snowy, high peaks of the rocky mountains from my bedroom window every single day. Teton Nat'l Park is within an hour's drive of the Southern border of Yellowstone Nat'l Park, which I enjoyed just as much for its historic significance and really awesome lodges, as I did for the famous scenery, geysers and wildlife.

    Then there is Utah. Ohhh, Utah!! It is like another world of red desert sandstone and is beautiful in an entirely different, but perfectly "western" way. I happen to love Moab, which is the town near Arches Nat'l Park, because I am a rock climber and there is just so. much. rock. But, no matter whether you want to go hiking, rafting, drive a jeep on some awesome 4 wheeling tracks, or just drink wine and stare at beautiful scenery, the Moab area is awesome.

    My newest Utah love is Zion Nat'l Park. Again, as a rock climber it is a very special destination, but even during our "tourist mode" rest days, I found myself wandering around, head tilted up and mouth agape. A mating pair of California Condors soared past us as we hiked up a trail that hangs on a canyon wall, and we rappelled into canyons with fluted sandstone walls that glowed in beams of filtered sunlight. The entire place just feels like magic.
    Finally, one last word: Yosemite. Just...go.

    Wow, I didn't intend to write a novel, but...there are just so many special places to visit! Happy "someday" travels!

  49. I would like to throw Bend, Oregon into the pot. I haven't bene to tons of places, but I had to travel there for Admissions....tiny and beautiful. Plus the drive from Bend to Portland is gorgeousssss.

  50. Death Valley and Yosemite are two of my favorite places ever. Both in CA. I'm dying to make it to Glacier National Park. Pretty much every National Park out there, I don't think any will disappoint.

  51. I have! Support raising parents and family and friends all over the country = travel.

    So, it seems you're looking for good scenery. Well, Colorado rocks. The rockies are gorgeous. The state parks will give you great views if you get there after a snow. My brother used to live in a tiny mountain town that didn't even have internet.

    Try a vacation home rental site - that's the kind of place that could be out in the middle of nowhere.

    The very best of mountain scenery I've ever seen was Jasper and Banff in Canada, though. The American side of the same type of scenery is Glaciar National Park in Montana. Gorgeous.

  52. Hi! I'm new here but been following your blog for a while. Love it. :) I'm copying all your comments from this post for ideas for our next trip! We have 3 littles a new one baking. You totally got the wanderlust started in me again.

    1. Camp in Yellowstone. Moose will be literally across the meadow. Old Faithful is overrated but the other hotsprings are fab.
    2. Drive through Custer Natl Park. Buffalo and burros come right up to the vehicles.Praire dogs are a hoot.
    3. If you want a truly rustic camp/backpack experience where you will find NO people, hike the Ice Age trail in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine. Lake MI is 20 mi drive away and has a lovely waterfront with shops, lonely sandy beaches, and lots of play areas for kids.
    4. Smokey Mountains. One of the campgrounds has a river running right through it. Handy for washing dishes and fishing. Hiking to the waterfalls is cool and driving through Cades Cove interesting.
    5. Florida panhandle. St. Joseph's Peninsula. 7mi of empty white powder beaches. Local boat rentals for shark fishing. You can either camp or stay in cabins but you have to book a year in advance. Stay in spring (April or May) or you'll either cook or get eaten alive by mosquitoes.
    6. Sturgeon Bay, WI. Pottawatomie State Park. Close to town for quaint shops, winery's, and restaurants. Cool bridge that opens to let BIG ships through. You can walk around the ship building yards. Park has fabulous mountain bike trails and rock beaches with stones perfect for skipping.

  53. We've road tripped across the US a couple of times, and our favorite stops were always in NM. There is just something magical about that place!

    I lived in San Luis Obispo for 6 years and I have to tell you that it is paradise. Ocean, hills, vineyards, cutest downtown you ever saw, located at the bottom of the Big Sur coastline. You have to go, hike around Yosemite for a few days, stop over in SLO, and drive up the coast to the Bay Area. Incredible!

    I also love Oregon- check out Ashland and Bend/Sunriver.

    Finally, now that I'm an East Coaster, we went to Thomas, West Virginia last spring and had an amazing time. Great hiking and an awesome show by a local bluegrass band. WV didn't lie- it really was "Wild and Wonderful" :) Definitely felt like a different country compared to Washington, DC!

  54. Okay I just skimmed all these and I DON'T think these have been mentioned and they are definitely my favorites! All of my best childhood memories are wrapped up in boating. Either 1- at Lake Powell (which stretches in Utah and Arizona), is absolutely the most breathtaking, relaxing place on earth. and 2- the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest (if you can sail island to island that is the best way!). Two completely different climates, atmospheres and experiences, and both absolutely beautiful and to this day my favorite travel spots! Please bump them up on your list:)... and call me before you go so I can meet you there!

  55. We live in Bozeman, Mt. A hop skip and jump from Yellowstone, and a short drive to Glacier. We also have ghost towns, amazingly small towns and wonderful people!
    My favorite National Park is in Washington State. Olympic. The ocean, the trees, the moss, the scent! AH-MAZE-ING! Glacier is pretty too.
    We hike into places remote and removed and gorgeous ALL THE TIME - and no, it never gets old.

  56. 1. the tetons make me weak in the knees. they're likely the most striking backdrop i've ever seen.
    2. i haven't been to glacier in years, but i have fond memories of it.
    3. i think big sur is magic.
    4. yosemite is spectacular, but can get nutty with crowds. i'd plan an off-season trip there.
    5. i live on the central coastside of california, so i'm completely biased in saying this, but there's some spectacular country around here: ocean, cliffs, farms, redwoods, and a windy highway 1 to take you through it all.
    6. i've loved just about every place i've ever been in the pacific northwest.
    7. the canadian rockies are pretty amazing.

    happy dreaming!

  57. If you make it to Oregon you HAVE to go to Hood River! It's about an hour east of Portland, in the scenic Columbia gorge. It's super pretty there and there is a ton of stuff to do (water sports, year round skiing about 45 min away, beaches on the river for the kids, and a ton of AWESOME hikes). Do it do it!!!

  58. oh gosh. National Parks. Just went on a cross-country van adventure last summer and we did this very hike in glacier! one of my favorites. it's called Avalanche Lake. other must-see parks:
    - Olympic National Park, Washington- go to Cape Flattery!
    - Arches National Park, Utah
    - Big Sur, and Redwood State Park, California (I put these two together because they are very close driving distance and both incredibly beautiful
    - Grand Canyon- Plateau point, if you are feeling bold!
    - Sliding Rock State Park, AZ is a wonderful place to take kids
    - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
    also on my list (but have not been yet:)
    - Yosemite, California
    - Acadia National Park, Maine- this one's at the top of my list!
    - Banff, Canada
    - Zion and Canyonlands National Parks, Utah

    I would recommend going to a park or two each summer, if it's possible! Our country is truly beautiful

  59. Yes. I've seen much of this BEAUtiful country where we live freely, and I CRAVE to see more! The Redwood Forest, Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, The Tetons... all beautiful places I just can't get enough of! On my bucket list are more beaches, museums, Washington and Maine. Check out my bloggy for some ideas :)

  60. I've done Yosemite...amazing and by far the most gorgeous place I've ever been (it's my fav place to be!) and I am dying to go to Yellowstone. Tried to get my husband to go there for our honeymoon last year but he wasn't having it. One day we will be there!

  61. Franconia Falls in New Hampshire! Hiking and swimming in freezing cold but crystal clear water [i had many-ous mermaid moments] that place sticks out in my head at the moment - there are so many!

  62. I have lived on opposite ends of the country (Washington state and Florida) and now I am in the middle (Texas), because of this I have driven across country far too many times. On one of our moves my husband and I decided to make a vacation out of it and spent 3 week exploring the national parks along the way...well most of them were sort of along the way. Big Bend, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon...you get the picture. If you have not been to Zion National Park I highly recommend it, it is absolutely beautiful. They were all must see places in my opinion, well apart from Big Bend I could have done with out (it was hills have eyes kinda creepy).


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