If there’s one thing that Northern California is known for, it’s giant redwood trees. With a National Park and numerous State Parks to showcase these beautiful behemoths, you can’t miss the opportunity to get right up next to them.
The ferry system in Alaska is not only a great way to get around, but also one of the most scenic “drives” you’ll ever take. During your trip, you’re likely to see whales and other sea life, old lighthouses, cabins off in the bush, and eagles galore.
The Kenai Peninsula just might be the most scenic area of Alaska, complete with forests, bays, mountains, volcanoes, and more eagles than you’ve seen in your life. Don’t forget to take a Wildlife Cruise.
The Al-Can Highway runs 1400 miles from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, AK. Along the way, it winds through the Canadian Rockies, past lakes, through forests, and gives you the chance to see tons of wildlife. Everyone should take this trip at least once in their lives.
We only spent one night in North Dakota, just long enough to see the capitol in Bismarck before heading west to Montana. The little we saw told us that we need to make a much longer trip to North Dakota a reality in the future.
From Wall Drug to The Badlands and The Corn Palace to The Black Hills, South Dakota was incredible. Who knew the state packed so much beauty into just the southwestern corner, not to mention the rest of the state?
Harney Peak is the highest peak in the US east of the Rocky Mountains. The hike to the top is doable by most, running about 6.5-7 miles and taking 3-5 hours. The views of The Black Hills are ridiculous.
In one of our final “visit family and friends” stops, we headed for Wisconsin to see old cousins and old friends, while seeing some of the quirky roadside attractions of southern Wisconsin. And of course, we ate plenty of cheese.
No drive through northern Indiana is complete without a stop by Scott’s alma mater, The University of Notre Dame. And since we were in the area, going to the huge Amish flea market in Shipshewana sounded like a good idea too.
One of the most beautiful parks we’ve visited, Mesa Verde National Park is the only park created to preserve man-made structures. Deep canyons, great hikes, and cliff dwellings from the Anasazi that called this area home are available to visitors.
The Four Corners Monument is at the convergence of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. While the monument itself isn’t too exciting, there is a nice, short hike and it’s a little neat to stand in four states at once.
While we didn’t have time to stay long, we managed a short detour by the Grand Canyon on a drive through northern AZ. In that short visit, we were lucky enough to see the Grand Canyon with snow on it and get some incredibly colorful pictures. We’re really looking forward to getting back!
We spent two weeks on a small homestead in Gila National Forest. During that time, we learned more about raising chickens and rabbits, learned to milk goats, built raised beds and compost bins, and learned a bit about off-grid living.
Our second great experience on a WWOOF farm was near Houston, TX. From riding horses and building a rabbit hutch to attending an opera and going to a Mardi Gras party, this was truly a great experience.
Drive south to New Orleans. Then keep going. Go as far south as you can until you nearly drive into the Gulf of Mexico. Now you’re at Grand Isle, a beautiful, secluded island in the Mississippi River Delta.
One our way south, we spent a couple days in the city of Blues, BBQs, and Elvis. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go to Graceland (it was closed), but we did see Beale St, catch some live music, and eat some BBQ.
You can’t hike the Everglades with a dog due to the gators and panthers. But that didn’t stop us from seeing what we could from the road, including hundreds of gators, birds, and turtles…but no panthers.
Have you ever seen a chicken in the wild? How about a six-toed cat? In Key West, we saw all of that, plus stood at the Southernmost Point of the Continental US and experienced one of the coolest places we’ve been.