Almost everyone has a bucket list of some sort whether it’s to try skydiving or learn to speak a foreign language. If your bucket list includes seeing the best this country has to offer, consider taking a “best of” tour that you can personalize to your specific taste.
Best Baseball Stadium
Some people want to catch a game in all the major ballparks. In a “best of” tour, you can choose which stadiums you really want to see. Many people consider the designs of PNC Park in Pittsburgh or AT&T Park in San Francisco to have the best features. You may choose to grab your custom baseball gloves and head to Wrigley Field in Chicago or Fenway Park in Boston if you want to visit the parks with the best traditions.
If you like to walk through soft white sand and dip your toes in the gentle shallows, plan a “best beaches” tour. Start in Pensacola, Florida and snorkel until it’s time to watch the sunset. Next, stop in Orange Beach, Alabama for dolphin watching and sparkly sand. If you like natural beaches, camp at Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, Texas for 70 miles of undeveloped paradise. Add in a west coast island adventure at Coronado Beach off the coast of San Diego. Head across the bridge from the mainland to the charming oceanfront community of Coronado and enjoy shops, restaurants and breweries after your fun in the sun.
Best City Views
To get a great city view, you need a great city to see and a high vantage point. New York City is obviously top of this list (literally) with the best views of Manhattan and beyond from the Empire State Building, One World Observatory or Rockefeller Plaza. If you want to see other cities, there are other amazing options from the Space Needle in Seattle, the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio or the City Hall Tower & Observation Deck in historic Philadelphia.
Best Mountain Hikes
You may have once dreamed of climbing K2 or Mount Everest, but if you’re not willing to train for years, stick to some mountain hikes closer to home and with better accessibility. There are some incredible hikes all across this country. Mauna Kea in Hawaii is about a 4-hour hike, and when you reach the summit, you can claim you’ve (technically) scaled the tallest mountain in the world. Fun sites from above the cloud line are an alpine lake and many cinder cones. Another great hike is Mount Katahdin in Maine which represents the end of the Appalachian Trail. There are a variety of paths to the top to choose from depending on your skill.
Best Nature Walk
If hiking is a bit much, there are some fabulous single-level nature walks. One of the most spectacular is an autumn walk on the 3-mile mostly flat trail of McKittrick Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas. An extra mile will get you to a fossil wall beside a stream in a shade of trees. Loop walks around lakes are the best because you end where you started. The Monarch Lake Loop outside of Winter Park, Colorado is filled with sunshine, columbines, shade trees and a flat trail.
Best Scenic Drive
Scenic drives are a great way to take in the view without breaking a sweat. The Blue Ridge Parkway extends over 450 miles through Virginia and North Carolina and has earned the name “America’s Favorite Drive” because of the awesome scenic overlooks and numerous ridges and plateaus. For a completely different drive, try Route 12 in Utah near Bryce Canyon. You’ll be treated to red rock sites such as the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument and Hogsback with hairpin turns.
There are so many wonders in the world to explore. Start near home by determining what interests you most and making a list of what you want to see. Whether it’s man-made or naturally occurring places that you seek, it will be thrilling to imagine exploring each one.
If there’s one thing should have taught you is that icebergs are freakin’ scary. Sure, they’re known to hide 90 percent of their bulk under the surface, but every now and then they get a little top heavy and literally flip. On a recent expedition into iceberg-strewn waters, explorer Mike Horn and an unknown climbing partner went for a quick afternoon lap with the ice tools on a floating chunk of ice. Out of nowhere, the iceberg flipped with them still on it, tossing them into the frigid
Two Chinese teams on Everest launched their summit bids earlier this week. Pixabay photo. After Nepal and China completely blocked foreign access to Mt. Everest for this climbing season during the COVID-19 pandemic, two Chinese teams were allowed on the mountain. One team is a commercial expedition, while the other is a group of researchers who are there to make the most accurate survey the mountain yet while there is no traffic on the peak. With bad weather keeping teams in Base Camp for