United States Content
Below is our list of content for all of our United States travels, organized by State. Select the State you are interested in by clicking that name, and the content that we have available for that State will be displayed city by city or location by location.
Tucson, AZ & Vicinity
A Springbreak trip to enjoy the Tucson area, and to do some western things that you can only find in Arizona, for example; Horse back riding, hiking Sabino Canyon, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona Canyon, incredible Mexican dinner in Sedona, an off-road Jeep drive to the Palatki Heritage Site, Sunset Crater, Verde River Valley and the Biosphere in Oracle, AZ.
San Diego & Surrounding Area
San Diego is home to many conventions and conferences and for good reason, ie; San Diego is a foodie paradise, has idyllic weather and amazing views of the harbor, and a lot to see and do - including one of our bucket list items, Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. A technical Kubernetes conference brought us to town for a few days and in between conference sessions we were able to partake in some of the things San Diego has to offer. Having attended Navy bootcamp and radioman technical school, I was especially interested in passing by the old Naval Training Center to reminisce.
Muir Woods, CA
Muir Woods National Monument is a United States National Monument managed by the National Park Service, named after naturalist John Muir. It is located on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 12 miles (19 km) north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres of which 240 acres are old growth coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco was the starting point for our northern and central California loop tour. We chose to stay in the financial district due to its proximity to Chinatown and Coit tower and walkability to the waterfront areas of town. We had both been to San Francisco in the past so we skipped some things that we’d both done before. This page covers the places we explored and is not meant to be a guide for the entire city.
Bonita Point & Sausalito, CA
This is not a major tourism destination, as it is not on the standard list of things to do & see in the San Francisco area. The Bonita Point Lighthouse is on the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge and west of the 101 Interstate. This area was for a long time, an Army Artillery Post and you can still see the concrete block houses where the guns were positioned. The Army considered the artillery to be the "coastal defense" for San Francisco, as the weapons were intended to guard the western entrance to the Bay from the Pacific Ocean. During the Cold War era (1954), this area contained a Nike Missile Complex and then years later the entire area was turned over to California and became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Santa Rosa, CA
Because of Santa Rosa's central location in Sonoma County, our game plan was to use it as a base of exploration, such that we could visit Muir Woods easily as well as a few of the local vineyards. When we began to research Sonoma County, we found that it stretches from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Mayacamas Mountains in the east. It contains almost 60,000 acres of vineyards and more than 425 wineries.
Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite is certainly high on everyone’s list of top national parks to visit in the United States and for good reason. Within its nearly 1200 square miles you can experience the power of glaciers, the wonder and beauty of waterfalls (best viewed in the springtime), Yosemite Valley with views of El Capitan lurking around almost every corner, sprawling meadows and groves of giant sequoia trees.
Forestiere Underground Gardens Fresno, CA
A series of subterranean structures built by Baldassare Forestiere an immigrant from Sicily, over a period of 40 years from 1906 to his death in 1946. The history of the Underground Garden is interesting, ie; Baldassare Forestiere immigrated to the United States in 1901 and eventually moved to the Fresno area to accumulate enough money to purchase land where he wanted to grow citrus. As someone with limited skills, he worked as a day laborer digging ditches, etc. He accumulated sufficient funds to allow him to purchase 80 acres (one dollar per acre) in 1906 and he worked on his underground complex for the next 40 years until his death in 1946.
Santa Monica, CA
Due to the fires that were taking place in the Sequoia National Park, the opportunity arose for us to spend some time near Santa Monica (and Agoura Hills, CA), I realized that Celeste and I would be able to visit the Santa Monica Pier area, and I could show her some of my old stomping grounds.
Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara sits between the Los Padres National forest and California’s central coast about an hour and a half northwest of Malibu. It’s Spanish roots are apparent throughout the city with an abundance of red tile clay roofed homes and several Spanish style buildings such as the Old Mission and county courthouse.
Pacific Coast Highway, CA
This is a drive that everyone should take at least once in their life - it is a beautiful way to see just how diverse California geography can be! From our hotel in Santa Barbara to our next hotel in Monterey Bay was a distance of 234 miles (see our route map below) - but the twists and turns that this highway goes through on the way to Monterey just have to be seen to be believed! It is also the perfect trip to take with your significant other. Get in your car, pack a picnic lunch or get reservations for a romantic restaurant along the way.
We selected this city as the "next way point" for our coastal route drive north. This decision was based upon Monterey's beauty, it's beautiful bay, the fascinating history of the area, the extraordinary chardonnay and the proximity to other areas we wanted to explore (for example, see our Carmel By The Sea and 17 mile drive page).
I’d heard about Carmel-by-the-Sea from my mother and father when they visited there years ago. My Dad was a golfer and they toured the Pebble Beach area and Carmel-by-the-Sea with my aunt and uncle sometime in the 1990s and came back raving about it. My mother fell in love with the area and it’s picturesque village of storybook homes and dramatic and rocky coastline. After we visited it, I can see why she fell in love. The coastline is reminiscent of the coastline in Maine which my mother loved and the storybook cottages and beautiful shops and stores depict the perfect storybook life.
North & South Carolina
We had decided to relocate from Virginia, but had not yet settled on where we wanted to move to, and since we had read a number of interesting articles about the Carolinas - we decided to combine a trip of investigation, with some R&R and some fun. Since we had never spent any time in either North or South Carolina, we thought that planning to spend time in various locations in both states would be appropriate.
Copper Mountain, Colorado
Copper Mountain is located prior to Vail (south side of I-70), and it is isolated from the other ski resorts like Keystone, Breckenridge, and others. Our goal for this trip was to see if all the good things we had read about Copper Mountain were true - as well as to have our son learn how to snowboard.
We started skiing here in 1991, and have continued to visit just about year since then. We have enjoyed every visit and all of our children learned to ski or snowboard there as well. We like Keystone quite a bit, the trails are diverse, there are a number of lifts and it is not crowded except on weekends.
Can Keystone get crowded? Yes of course, it is close enough to Denver to where the weekenders make weekend snow sports difficult. The reality is that early mornings are not crowded, as visitors tend to get out onto the slopes in the late AM, so you can get a lot of trails in before the crowds show up. The diversity of Keystone and it's 3 mountains, make it easy to get away from the crowds until the crowd level causes the lifts to become excessively packed.
Colorado Springs, CO
This trip was all about a desire to visit some of our family in Colorado Springs and from there to explore Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and everything in between. There is a nicer vibe here than Denver, more laid back, less crowded, etc.
The drive up Pike's Peak was sort of a "bucket list" item for us, having seen videos of the race cars who do it each year. The drive and the scenery, were a fantastic payback for the amount of time it takes to drive to the top.
Glenwood Springs, CO
This was our first stop on our Colorado-Utah Parks exploration trip (1,533 mile loop), and we selected this city because we had never been there and it looked very nice. The game plan for this trip through Colorado, Utah, Arizona and then back to Denver, was all about visiting the "Big Five" National Parks in Utah, including other sites along our route like the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, Goblin Valley State Park, Monument Valley, and anything else that looks interesting along the way.
Telluride was our next destination after we departed Durango. We decided to drive north on route 550 since our motel was already on the north side of Durango on that very same highway. And we knew that route 550 would provide some very scenic mountain views ! For those of you who are familiar with Colorado, the "Million Dollar Highway" runs from Silverton to Ouray - and this is exactly the route that we followed.
Sarasota Florida Restaurants
We like to support local businesses and are always on the lookout for small restaurants that are locally owned. You may not have heard of these restaurants while visiting Sarasota but each one has a unique approach and serves excellent food in our opinion.
Sarasota County Parks
There are a number of beautiful parks in Sarasota County, and the majority allow dogs while on leash. There are as well as a number of "dog friendly" restaurants & hotels. Please be aware that the County leash law states that dogs are only allowed to "run free" inside dog parks that are fenced in. In addition, dogs are not allowed on any beach in the County except for Brohard Paw Beach in Venice.
Miami in 3 Days
Our daughter who is a graphics designer for a large Yacht Company mentioned to us that the 2022 Miami International Boat Show was going to take place in Miami Beach during February 16 - 20th. We’d been hoping to visit Miami again and this would give us a good excuse to have a fun weekend with our daughter and granddaughter.
Oahu & Maui Hawaii
This 2006 trip was to celebrate my wife's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary as well as the wedding of one of my wife's brothers. Joined by a number of our extended family, we spent time on Oahu & Maui and explored both islands extensively. We explored both islands quite a bit, you should take a look at our blog page for the full story.
Oahu & Kauai Hawaii
This was a 2008 Christmas present to ourselves, made simpler through use of United Airlines miles to acquire our family's tickets. And of course, the desire to return to those beautiful Hawaiian Islands at a time when our home in Virginia is cold! Kauai is the least crowded Hawaiian Island, and it has some interesting geography.
Grand Targhee, Idaho
This Ski Resort is a little off the beaten path, but the snow is almost always plentiful and the altitude isn't as high as the Colorado Resorts - makes breathing easier! There are some interesting side trips in this area, including Yellowstone.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that Grand Targhee is less crowded than many resorts we've been to previously, is that it is in a very remote location. The nearest "big" town is Jackson Hole, WY and that is 55 miles away. And of course, the Jackson Hole Resort is better known and thus most people go there instead of Grand Targhee.
Located in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,474 people at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford metropolitan statistical area.
This is a quaint village, some nice shops, some nice restaurants, a nice beach and it is easy to walk about. It is a very popular destination for people from the Boston area, so getting here early is important or you will not be able to find a parking spot!
This trip was all about a desire to visit areas of Maine that none of us had ever visited; Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Portland, etc.
The rugged coastline in this area of Maine is spectacular, couple that with some good hiking, some great seafood and some interesting shops in Bar Harbor and you've got an excellent reason for visiting here.
If you want to see what we saw and enjoyed, click the "Blog Page" button and browse some great images.
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, D.C.
Plymouth Massachusetts & Vicinity
Plymouth (historically also known as Plimouth and Plimoth) is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. The town holds a place of great prominence in American history, folklore, and culture, and is known as "America's Hometown."
We have visited this area often, as one of Celeste's brothers lives there and my sister lives on Cape Cod. The Plymouth area contains a number of historic sites and scenic views, so it is always an interesting place to visit. Come on in and take a look at our Blog Page and you will see for yourself why this area is so fascinating to us.
Big Sky, Montana
This trip was another attempt to avoid the limited Colorado snow that year, but lack of snow was not an issue in Montana! Proximity to Yellowstone National Park was also a plus. We had a good time even though it was super cold!
The overall ambience at Big Sky is sort of a "mom & pop resort", as it is much smaller than the Colorado resorts we are used to, and considerably smaller than it's neighbor Jackson Hole. So you generally do not see large crowds here, ok maybe on weekends but not often during the week. Come on in and view our Blog Page and you will learn more about this little resort.
Yellowstone National Park, Montana
This is one of the most incredible National Parks; 3,500 square miles of wilderness mostly in Wyoming with portions in Montana and Idaho. It is also the world's first National Park which first opened on March 1, 1872. Visitation here is consistently near the four million visitors per year mark, varying slighly down due to the COVID pandemic.
New York City
This was a combined "adventure/research" trip (2009) where our daughter wanted to explore the New York City Fashion Institute of Technology to determine if that was where she would like to apply for college. The adventure portion was because none of us had ever spent any length of time in New York City and we wanted to see all of the sights.
Little Wild Horse Canyon, UT
Little Wild Horse is a classic slot canyon located in south-central Utah, near Goblin Valley, on our way to Capitol Reef. It is a popular hiking spot for families and youth groups. The main attraction is a long stretch of "narrows," where the canyon walls are so close you have to turn sideways to get through. The rock walls are sculpted and very beautiful.
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park is a sprawling reserve (35,835 acres) in southern Utah, and is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. The park's main road leads past the expansive Bryce Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path. It has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point.
Zion National Park, UT
Zion National Park is a southwest Utah nature preserve distinguished by it's steep red cliffs. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive cuts through its main section, leading to forest trails along the Virgin River. The river flows to the Emerald Pools, which have waterfalls and a hanging garden. Also along the river, partly through deep chasms, is the Zion Narrows wading hike.
As our son was a rower for the Sarasota Crew, and as he was nearing the high school graduation stage of life, plus he was interested in possibly rowing for the University of Washington - the motivation for a weekend trip to Seattle was established.
We visited during Thanksgiving week, so we had a limited amount of time to cover all the things we wanted to see and do. Consequently, we started every day early and made certain that we had a good game plan to see everything from the Space Needle to the Boeing Aircraft factory to the Seattle Harbor. Click the "Blog Page" button to see what we saw and did.
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