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Is it even possible to pick a favorite trip? Like, if someone asked you to name your favorite trip ever, is there an honest answer?
Each one has its own personality, its own quirks, its own discoveries. Maybe the desert was beautiful and awe-inspiring, but then the ocean brought its own mystique.
So I declare it impossible to choose just one.
Yeah, maybe your honeymoon was the greatest trip of your life. Good for you. 🙂 But that’s just kind of … predictable.
So here are five of my favorite U.S. trips. As of now. Subject to change as I cross off more. Please tell me some of yours in the comments below!
1. Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
If I was told I could only take one trip ever again, Arches would be it.
Edward Abbey sums it up quite simply in the first sentence of his classic book, Desert Solitaire: “This is the most beautiful place on earth.”
He qualifies that with a follow-up paragraph about everyone having a place that they can define as such. But for Abbey, the place is Moab, and I agree.
I’ve been there twice, once for a couple of days and once for a week. The shifting colors of the desert landscape, the Colorado River, the sunsets and the cuisine all speak to me. I’ll be back, Moab. I still need to go mountain biking and four-wheeling and golfing and do some more hiking, and sleep out under the stars.
2. Yellowstone National Park
I visited Yellowstone in 2014 while on a trip to “Wydaho” with a good friend.
What? You’ve never heard of Wydaho?
It’s the area on the border of Idaho and Wyoming, naturally! My cousin has a house in a little town in Idaho called Driggs, which places her and her husband within easy travel distance of Jackson Hole, the Tetons, Yellowstone, and more.
So while exploring the Wydaho area in 2014, my friend Jenna and I camped for a couple of nights in Yellowstone. Old Faithful, the views, the bison, the hiking, the bear spray in a holster. Man, what a great trip! I need to return. My cousin biked through it in the springtime before the park was opened to cars. Sign me up!
I breezed through Albuquerque during a road trip about 14 years ago and have marked it on the to-return list ever since.
The people were friendly and the landscape was amazing. There’s so much to explore and I barely did the Cliff’s Notes version on that trip. I hit up Old Town and the Sandia Mountains very briefly. And no, I didn’t see the hot air balloons! Reason enough to head back.
One note to self, however: remember next time that you’re at high altitude and those margaritas will knock you out!
4. Estes Park, Colorado
Two things I remember about Estes Park: thinking I might die on the winding, narrow, guard rail-less drive through the mountains; and how incredibly beautiful it was.
This was another breeze-through-it-during-a-road-trip stop. I stayed in a little cabin at a KOA campground and possibly ate something with rattlesnake in it. (Not really. It was elk.)
Estes Park and the Rocky Mountains are on that return trip list.
5. White Mountains, NH
Not all the cool stuff is out West! We have great places to visit here on the East Coast, from Cape Cod to Boston and New York, Washington D.C., the shoreline, and any number of quaint New England stops. Clam chowdah, anyone?
Put the White Mountains on the list of great destinations. My family owned a house in North Conway, New Hampshire, for five years. We rented it out as a vacation house and we’d go there ourselves several times a year.
The area is great for families and singles alike. There’s hiking, camping, skiing, scenic drives, shopping and fishing. The area has lakes and mountains. You can do everything from hiking Mount Washington to visiting Storyland, an amusement park with a theme of children’s classic literature.
The White Mountains are also just a few hours’ drive from Canada or a few hours’ drive from Boston. So it’s a great location for country or city.
Now it’s your turn. What are some of your top travel destinations?
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