Before we came to Wyoming, I’d never heard of the Cirque of Towers. Or the Wind River. I hope to return to this place again and again in the future.
Land of the free. My adopted country. I’ve driven hundreds of miles of its roads. I’ve hiked hundreds of miles of its trails. I’ve been to 50+ countries and I don’t hesitate to say that the US is the most beautiful country I’ve been to. It has deserts, icebergs, glaciers, tropical forests, mountains, beaches, ancient civilizations, volcanoes… travel this vast country enough and it’ll spoil you for the rest.
There are a lot of things that this country does wrong, but the great thing it’s done right is the creation of public lands. Lands set aside for the enjoyment and recreation of everyone: national parks, national monuments, national forests, etc.
Highlights of United States
Where to begin?
One of my life’s goals is to visit all of the 59 national parks. So far I’ve been to 40+? This has led me to believe that the US has one of the most diverse ecosystems and landscapes in the world.
For the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls:
My favorites include Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Denali, Death Valley, Zion… so many more.
For the unique landscape:
Badlands is gorgeously bizarre. Arches and Bryce for their hoodoos and arches. I also love Wind Cave NP for its unique cave formations.
- That one time I organized a Southwest roadtrip with 2 strangers I met on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum.
- The one year Jack and I spent in our converted Sprinter van.
- My solo roadtrip down to Florida Keys and ended up swimming with wild manatees
- Taking Highway One north of SF is always a great weekend getaway idea.
San Francisco has been our home for the past 8 years. I wrote a short post on what it’s like to live in San Francisco. Learn about San Francisco’s rich history through the ghosts of the pasts: SF Best Ghost Tours.
Winter activity: go skiing in Tahoe.
Mardi Gras, French Quarter, beignets… I liked New Orleans but I didn’t fall in love with New Orleans. I did LOVE my visit to Mardi Gras World where I got to see how the mardi gras floats are being made. So cool!
I think Las Vegas is an ugly city in a beautiful surrounding. Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock are a must visit if you’re looking to escape from the artificial world that is the Vegas Strip. We go to Vegas for the climbing and the shows. Some of our favorite shows are “Ka” (from Cirque du Soleil) and “Absinthe” (so offensive in a good way).
In 2017 I finally made it to Great Basin National Park. I made the trip specifically to visit this remote park and I was so surprised to see that it’s has alpine lakes, snow-capped peaks, and a beautiful cave system
See the mermaid show in Florida. Party in Miami. And of course, you have to take the classic American roadtrip, a roadtrip down the keys to eat some conch and key lime pies. Soon you’ll find yourself weirdly entertaining the idea of moving to live there. Florida, please stay weird.
We briefly entertained the idea of moving to Boulder, we loved the city and the state that much!
If you’re in Telluride, make sure to do the Telluride via ferrata. The exposure! The views!
In general, I’ve been pretty lucky in all of my travels *knock on wood*. I’d never gotten sick. I’ve only been robbed once. And the only drunk ever vomited near me got the person next to me instead.
But every now and then I encounter a string of bad lucks in one particular place that I can’t help but think that, ‘Man, this place just does NOT like me.’
The Via Ferrata in Telluride is just another reason to come visit the Southwest part of Colorado (I think it’s the most gorgeous part of the state.) It’s the most fun you can have scaling a rock wall while safely attached to a cable.
Living in our converted Sprinter van we found our temporary home in the wilderness around Sedona.
Carizzo Plain was an impromptu detour on our way from California to Arizona. This National Monument is located 100 miles north of Los Angeles and had a feeling of being in the middle of nowhere (because it is). We were hoping that we’d be there in time to see the wildflowers.
Where else would you go climbing in the middle of winter in California?
Little known outside climbing community and Oregonians, Smith Rock State Park in Western Oregon had the kind of sceneries that leave you bug-eyed and slack-jawed.
After spending some time in Savannah, I couldn’t come up with a better word to describe the city other than ‘romantic’. In fact, I think Savannah might be one of the most romantic cities I’ve ever set foot in.