One of my travel goals is to visit all of the National Parks in the US. As I continued my Midwest road trip through Ohio, I was happy to add another stamp in my National Park Passport. My short stop in Cleveland gave me a quick taste of this revitalized city. But most important, the day trip from Cleveland to Cuyahoga Valley National Park let me add another checkmark in the visited column of my National Parks list.
Cool off on a hot day as the wind sprays mist in your face. Feel the raw power reverberate through your body as millions of gallons of water flow by so close that you can practically touch it. Taste award winning wines and beers. Or walk in the footsteps of revolutionary war soldiers or escaping Civil War slaves. Visiting Niagara Falls in New York for a long weekend gave me all these sensory experiences and so much more.
A cruise through southeast Alaska is a convenient way to stop and discover the coastal towns that are not always easy to get to by other means. My recent Alaska cruise offered many Skagway excursions to discover this historic port. Tempting as they were though, this time I chose to take my own road less traveled to Carcross, Yukon in Canada.
Alaska is a popular travel destination. With glaciers, an abundance of wildlife and the tallest mountain in North America, the diversity of things to see and do is as big as the state. But for most people, an Alaska journey usually takes place in the summer months. Not for my husband and I. Always on the lookout for unique travel experiences, we chose to visit Fairbanks in winter.
One of the experiences I enjoyed most during my winter visit to Denali National Park a few years ago, was spending some time with the park’s sled dogs. Since Denali NP is under snow for so many months of the year, the rangers use sleds pulled by Alaska huskies to patrol the park. The day we were there, most of the dogs were out with the rangers, but a few were taking it easy in their little wooden dog houses. We were told that if the dogs come out and get on top of their dog houses, they are willing to be social and get attention. This beautiful pup was quite friendly and happy to have us provide some love. And since we were the only people in the park that day because it was the middle of February, we had the dogs all to ourselves.
The tallest peak in North America can often be difficult to see. But on a visit to Alaska one winter, I was fortunate to see Denali peeking out above the clouds. In fact, the 20,310 foot tall mountain was visible from almost 200 miles away as I was driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks.
Luxury comes in many forms. There is the obvious five star hotel with concierge service and private infinity pool type of luxury. But for me, experiencing the solitude of pristine, unspoiled wilderness is a more important form of luxury. A lodge to lodge Rogue River rafting trip gave me that experience with the added comfort of sleeping in a bed and hot showers at the end of each day, along with hearty home cooked meals and fine local Oregon wines. Now that is five star luxury indeed.
I have been fortunate to be able to visit Yellowstone National Park a number of times. Each trip has been different and each time I learned how to do things better the next time. I am sharing my tips for planning a trip to Yellowstone to help you plan your perfect bucket list itinerary.
I’ve been fortunate to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park twice in the last few years. On my first visit I flew into and out of Jackson and did one big loop through the two parks. This time, as I was planning a Yellowstone road trip focusing primarily on photography, I decided to do a one way Salt Lake to Yellowstone itinerary, which I am sharing here.