Touring Carlsbad Caverns is always an exercise in imagination as you try to find shapes in the limestone caves. The main amphitheaters are a little bit psychedelic, a little bit Dr. Seussian, a little bit Grand Canyon-esque. It's fun to journey into the earth and discover a world slowly crafted one drip of sand at a time. There's plenty of guided/self-guided tours and options for those who don't want to travel the beaten-path as well.
Sure, there are going to be crowds of people on the most popular boardwalks to view the best of the best geysers. Driving through you'll eventually be stopped as people begin pulling over to pull out their cameras once there's a wildlife sighting. And people slowly trickle in to the Old Faithful seating area before they come gushing in right before eruption time. But no matter how expected some things are, the smell of sulphur, the prismatic colors, the cacophonous spit of geysers will always fresh and exciting.
Some places are fun to visit, and some places make you long to move. The San Juan Islands were so beautiful and filled with things to do that I immediately wanted to move so I could eat fresh crab every night. Yes, it's easy to go crabbing there or hop in a kayak and paddle from island to island. It's fun to rent a boat and skim across the waves in search of orcas. It's fun to wake up and take a fresh cup of coffee down to the dock--and discover an intertwined ball of sleeping sea otters enjoying the sun. I'll definitely be going back. And then go back again.
Tillamook calls it "The land of cheese, trees, and ocean breeze," and they're definitely on to something. Going kayaking and getting a duck's eye view of the estuaries, wetlands, and bays is the best way to really feel the breeze, get up close to curious otters and harbor seals, and spot the raptors and sea birds that glide above. Water trails are everywhere, too, so there's plenty to explore.
You know the Lake District must be a stunner when Wordsworth, Coleridge, Beatrix Potter, and plenty of other writers with a Romantic bent found their inspiration in the craggy countryside and its lakes. The region's fells may not be the highest peaks around, but you won't mind. The region's history and rich cultural heritage will give each panorama a story.
Lauterbrunnen Valley's 72 waterfalls, including the Trümmelbach Falls, were absolutely stunning. Subterranean waterfalls--crashing down through a mountain's shadowy interior until they plunge into the darkness--will make you rethink your favorite waterfalls.
Arches, Canyonlands, and a never ending sea of sandstone... Any and all outdoor enthusiasts will find something to interest them in Moab. With incredible rock formations in colors sunsets will envy, it's definitely a photo-hungry place and a geologist's heaven.
Some of the best trails are a bit out of the way, and the crowds die down. It's just you and nature--and trails that can get a bit rocky. The climb to the top is always worth the view, and sometimes you have to wait for deer crossing.
History and folklore are everywhere. Loch Ness and Fort William, Culloden and castles, fairy hills and whisky distilleries. The Highlands offers more than just stunning landscapes (though there are plenty of those, too).
Best biking, rafting, kayaking, cruising, wildlife viewing, hiking, multisport adventure travel & adventure vacation in Europe, USA, North America, Central America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Oceania.
Carlsbad Caverns – New Mexico
Fun Family Subterranean Adventure
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone....still faithfully awesome
San Juan Islands, Washington
Made Me Want To Move
Oregon Coast, Tillamook, Oregon
Tillamook...More Than The Land of Cheese
England: The Lake District
Poetry in the Hills-Literally
Amazing Valley of 72 Waterfalls
Utah: Bryce Canyon
Geography Gets Dramatic
Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Trails Have Never Been So Fun
Mystical and Romantic