favorite vacation spots

Favorite Vacation Spots

favorite vacation spots

Take a vacation. It’s good for your health! De-stress… good for modern survival.

I’m typing this in the middle of July. It feels like everyone’s on vacation. I’m sure many are!

So why not go off topic here and do a post on favorite vacation spots and get some of your own input. Seems like a good time for it…

Question: If you asked people if they would rather vacation “near the water” or “near the mountains”, I wonder what the percentage would be…

POLL Results:
Would you rather vacation near the mountains or near water?

One’s choice for a vacation spot will surely depend on one’s age, whether a couple (or not), a family with kids, one’s present geographical location, budget, how much vacation time there is, interests, etc..

My own preferences have changed somewhat over the years. When I was very young I would want to go “where the action is” ;) The older I got, the more I would enjoy the peace and quiet!

I have enjoyed many vacations near the water (lakes and ocean) and I also enjoy the mountains (where I currently live).

I haven’t taken any ‘official’ vacation since a year ago Spring. But this summer Mrs.J and I are doing it. In fact next week we’re hitching up the 5th-wheel and heading to a spot we’ve never been before. We’re looking forward to a week+ of new experience and R&R. Hint… it’s way down east Maine. Looking forward to the rocky shoreline and exploration.

When reflecting back on previous vacations, a few favorite vacation spots come to mind…

Cape Cod outer shoreline

Cape Cod

Having grown up in New England, I have many childhood and young adult memories of vacationing on the Cape. Our family would regularly go there. My dad had a small sailboat and we would sail into Cape Cod Bay out of Wellfleet Harbor. Lots of good memories (and fishing, digging for clams, low tide in Eastham where you could walk out for literally a mile into the bay).

Even as I got older I still enjoyed time there. Really enjoyed getting the off-road vehicle beach pass and surf casting for Striped Bass and Blues way up on Race Point among the dunes.

It had been awhile since we vacationed there (we had moved to California for 15 years, then moved to New Hampshire). However Mrs.J and I spent some time there a few summers ago. The place had changed to an extent. How? Lots and lots more people. It had always been a busy place, but it’s a lot more crowded these days. Plus, the Feds closed down much of the off-road beach access due to a little bird called a Piping plover. So my surf casting experiences weren’t as nice as before.

Off season (like most places) would present fewer crowds for sure. Maybe we just went at the wrong time…



National Parks

We have a lot more parks to see on our wish list, but we have really enjoyed visiting a number of national parks around the country. Each of them had their own ‘feel’ and were unique in their own special way.

While visiting a park may only involve a day or two, making a trip to see one or several is an experience you’ll likely never forget. A few of our own experiences come to mind…

The Grand Canyon
I had so many pictures to choose from our trip, but none do it proper justice…

The Grand Canyon

I had been there many years earlier (on a family cross-country trip when I was young). But when Mrs.J saw it for the first time during our own cross country trip last Spring, she teared up in awe as we walked from the parking lot towards where the rim and expanse became visible. It’s an emotional thing to experience…

We walked along the rim trail, even with our little mini-Dachshund for several miles. Words can’t describe it. You just gotta see it.


Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

A brilliantly orange hued colored marvel of nature. It’s another place that words won’t justify. A huge amphitheater with stunningly tall spires extending from the canyon floor. Feels like you’re on a different planet. We stopped by there on our way through Utah.


Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree

During our road trip while visiting a dear friend who lived nearby Joshua Tree – she brought us inside the park to check it out. We really enjoyed the Joshua ‘trees’ dotted through the desert region. They’re unique only to that area (although they look more like some sort of cactus if you ask me…). Just as impressive were the rock formations up there. Felt like being on the Moon or Mars… Incredible.


Glacier Point Overlook at Yosemite

Yosemite Park

We visited Yosemite a number of times while living in California. Absolutely stunning views and hikes. When looking up at El Capitan, you feel like a tiny little gnat. The waterfalls are unforgettable too. My favorite spot up there was the long winding drive up Glacier Point Road to an overlook of Yosemite Village and up and down the canyon. Breathtaking while just looking around at the valley and surrounding peaks.


Kauai Tunnels Beach
No, we didn’t stay at that cottage (I wish ;) )
(just visited the shoreline there)


We will never forget our experience on the little Hawaiian island of Kauai. What a beautiful spot on the planet! The snorkeling, the reefs, the green, the colors, flowers, the shoreline, the turtles, the ‘everything’. We were blown away when we took a boat tour along the Napali Coast (north shore). The cliffs rising up out of the ocean were a sight you’ll not see anywhere else. I got ‘caught’ at the airport trying to smuggle out some sand (they let me keep it).


Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

While living in CA, we also spent some vacation time at Lake Tahoe – majestically nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is spectacular to see with your own eyes. A very deep blue lake bowl (it’s huge) surrounded by towering peaks. I took the picture above from the top of Heavenly ski area.

We also enjoyed one particular vacation while driving the Sierras and exploring the ’49er gold rush trail. Got a bit of gold bug fever!



Your Favorite Vacation Spots

I could go on… like how we enjoyed vacations on the secluded Trinity Lake (northern CA), that night up on Lassen Peak (the most stars I’ve ever seen), our road trips to various places…

It’s fun to reminisce about past favorite vacation spots. But I won’t bore you with the rest at this time ;)

Lets hear from you! What are some of your favorites?


  1. Well I live in a vacation spot, along the west coast of Florida. So most our vacations seem to be to a mountianous are.

    We have been to Ashville and up the Blue ridge parkway. And to areas for the fall leaves.

    Come winter were snug right here at home, we have been all over Florida. And can just have a short drive to enjoy what the normal tourist overlook. And avoid the money sucking theme parks.

    Saint Augastine is probably one of our favorite, and not a destination most tourist seek out.

    Kentucky lake -Lake Barkley, and the land between the lakes we visited last year in the fall. Stayed in Dover , Tennessee. A Small town on the south tip of Lake Barkley. Unlike some of the inland lakes we have been to, it was clean and not over run with crowds.

    Recently in the past month we were at a wedding at the Lake Of the Ozarks. I was really disappointed, the water was actually unsafe to be in.

    And the amount of boats where , well just unsafe. The trash floating around, and laying around was just mind boggling.

    Needless to say the less well known places, seem to have the best experience.

    1. I also live in a vacation spot. The pic of lake Tahoe. That’s a 30 min drive for me. The hwy 49 trip Ken talked about is a weekend regular for me. I tend to go to Monterey for my vacation

  2. Well Ken I would have had to vote twice. I love to boat camp in smaller mountain lakes. Once away from the paved roads and picnic areas it’s pretty and quiet. Very few people powerboat in smaller lakes so my little cabin sharpie can sail quietly or scull as needed. Add a folding bicycle and a basket of goodies life is good.

  3. My all time favorite is driving the Cassier highway (37) up to Alaska. In AK I would probably visit Cordova, but the best part is the drive on the highway up there. Rivers, lakes, mountains, it has it all. But for most of the time we go to Bryce and stay at a campground in Red Canyon. Other than that we go up thru Rocky Mountain National park and stay on the west side. Although the last time we went there a lot of the campers were very rude. Then we go up to Colter Bay in the Tetons in the off, off season. The week or so before the close for the season is the best time, not crowded.

    1. old lady;
      I agree with you Red Canyon Sept 29&30 tis year, the day before it closes :-)
      Have ya stayed at Timber Creek in Rocky Mountain National, late in the season, very late it’s absolutely gorgeous, a little cool, but OMG it’s nice, and few people.

      1. It was so sad when they had to clear cut Timber Creek campground. It became Timberless Creek. It was beautiful before the beetles took over. If they would have allowed them to Take out the trees when it first started most of Colorado ‘s forest would have survived, but of course that wouldn’t have been natural.
        Maybe we ‘ll see you at Red Canyon the 29-30th. Unless old man gets his second knee done then. Site 20 is out favorite – Cambria MH

    1. Camping next to 7 pools out by Hana on Maui. Is one of my favorite memories. Backpacking the Napali coast trail wearing boots and a backpack and nada else is another favorite memory. I do want to go to the seventies. Actually most of 1970 was a real bit-h and I wouldn’t want to repeat that year.

  4. If I was not afraid that CWII could start tomorrow or maybe the next day it would be Alaska. The Little Sue and Talkeetna river are calling me back. I think silver’s are in at this time and have missed the kings. Maybe next year will be calmer and relaxed so we could get back to normal vacation time. Life could be a little simpler if you didn’t have to wonder what you have forgotten to get before the end of the world.

    1. if you go i can tell you a good place to go floating down the river catching g Salmon. No crowds

      1. For years I spent my summers in Alaska and winter’s just north of Seattle Washington. I got all the information on great places to fish from the Mayor of Talkeetna. Most folks don’t know that cats will tell you a lot if you just listen. That’s right his honor is a real live feline and very wise. Just stop by the Talkeetna cafe and his office is up near the post office area and store. The cafe serves a great breakfast with the largest sweet roll in Alaska. After breakfast get a jet boat up the river to the greatest fishing in Alaska.

  5. I would prefer a mountain vacation area today. I’ve been to many Pacific and Caribbean islands over the years. I do prefer to stay away from the gropers at the airports, I think they call them security workers today.Airports mean crowds and I do not like to be around crowds. Driving our car to mountain lakes , rivers , etc .is more restful and enjoyable in today’s atmosphere.

    Some beautiful , restful spots are the island of Taveuni in Fiji, or Phonpei, or Aitutaki , all in the Pacific Ocean.

  6. Sure wish we could post photos HAHAHA

    Perth Australia; think of San Diego, but with “Nice & Friendly” people and ZERO Trash either on land or in the waters. The Karia Forest and the Pinnacles are unmatched. AND the City doesn’t smell.

    Rio Rio de Janeiro Brazil; In the 80s it was the most beautiful Beaches I have ever seen. And yes “The Girls from Ipanema go walking” remember the song?

    Black Bear Pass CO; OMG what a jeep trail heading into Telluride CO (Pucker Factor 5000), camped at the top for two nights, No lights only Stars and a small camp-fire. Billions and Billions of Stars, almost blinding.

    Bangkok Thailand; Open Markets like you have never seen, and I have to admit, the friendliest people I have met in my life. Food like you have never eaten, just don’t ask what it is HAHAHA

    I will agree with Ken on the Grand Canyon; absolutely breath taking, and right down the road, once you have seen it, you’ll know why. The North Rim…. Wow just all out wowwwwww.

    Red Mountain Pass CO; from Silverton to Ouray, make sure the driver is watching the road, but true CO. Mountains.

    Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef off Carin’s, 100 feet down and 300 feet visibility with fish as big as you are. Still want to Dive The Greek Isle and the Red Sea someday soon.

    Could go on for 5 pages but……..

    PS; No Pot-Land is not a favorite place to vacation….. But me mom lives close by, so I go twice a year, after all she’s 96, and ya gata do what ya gata to do. Although they do have some GREAT Brew-Pubs and Wineries

    But ya know for all the Traveling and Vacations, there is nothing like turning the Key to the Front Door of your home when you get back.

    Just remember ya all, Ken’s Place June 20th 2020 2:00. Ken’s cooking Steaks, I’m bringing the Home-Brew. :-)

    1. Well that’s interesting, my comment got stuck in Moderation, and I didn’t even cuss… HAHAHAHA

      1. because the filter caught your “wowwwwww” (thought it was a www. link to something…)

    2. Several years I was at Cedar Point (Hands down the best amusement park on the planet if you like coasters) and went into this 6 or 8 screen movie theater where there was an image what ever direction you looked.

      One of the movies was a plane flying in the desert at what seemed to be 10-foot off the ground. Then all the sudden it flew over the Grand Canyon and it gives you a heart attack at first when the ground just disappeared. It was a neat thing but scary for a few seconds…

      1. Chuck Findlay:
        I did that exact ride in a Chopper. Was expensive, bit worth every penny.
        We landed at the river for lunch, than took a vertical climb stright up the western wall…..wow what a ride to remember 😎

    3. I like the North Rim and since camping is reserved over a year in advance, we bought a forest service map, went near the rim and took off in the forest. Camped right over the rim!

      1. Red mountain from Durango, CO to Silverton, CO in the fall is breathtaking with fall colors

        1. Old Lady,
          Should have lots of reds with the yellows this year due to the drought. Red Mountain great, Lizardhead good too. San Juans just beautiful as a whole in the Fall.

    4. NRP,
      Haha, Black bear pass isn’t that bad lol, there is only one spot that I would rather walk than ride lol. Is one of my fav’s though, We are doing Red mountain and Imagene this weekend with friends that moved here from back east and have never done any of the passes should be fun and interesting haha.

      1. Rancher’s Wife;
        I might suggest a few Prozac’s for your friends before you do that HAHAHAHA
        Remember back “east” they have large “hills” that are all worn off, not to many 1000 foot drops like Red or Imagene.
        And DONT take the F-350 Dully, might not fit… :-)

    5. NPR,
      You already know, I will take Red Mountain, Pagosa Springs or just somewhere the west/back side of To-Hell-You-Ride (Telluride). Say up around Rico. Hell who am I kidding right now I would take Dolores Canyon. My I could just float the Animas from Silverton down your way and get some of that home brew😁.

  7. We love the mountains away from the crowds. Clean air and blue sky makes me happy.

    1. I love the mountains, too. We choose to live in a location that tourists pay to stay at B&Bs for the picturesque location near the Shenandoah Mountains and Skyline Drive. I can “stay-cation” at home in a location far from crowds. For me, “stay-cations” are the best: low cost, familiar environment, and low stress.

  8. We used to like to visit the coast, but now there are way too many people. We live in close proximity to several National Parks, but avoid them for the same reason. We do like to drive through the central and southern Rockies in the Fall, after Labor Day when the tourists are gone. Haven’t had a good vacation in years, need to get a get away planned.

    1. Minerjim;
      I tend to agree, the fewer people the better, hence my vacation spot is my porch :-)

      1. NRP,
        When you have learned to appreciate all that has been given to you, down to the last blade of grass, it can sometimes be hard to get excited about travelling to some exotic place to take in ‘Natural Beauty’. Ol’ Jake and I have walked the perimeter of our farm twice a day for over six years, and everyday I am amazed by new things I see. I thank God each and every day that I can experience what has been set right before me, right here at home. Vacations are nice, but they can also be very over-rated.
        Nuf’ said, time to go clean some stuff with ‘organic parts cleaner’. Cheers.

  9. Ken
    If you make it into the State of Jefferson take 299 west to hwy 3 to the right out of Weaverville to Trinity Alps. Believe you can still drive into the camp ground for “Tangle Blue Lake”, you park about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away from the lake. It is a slight UP hill climb as I recall, it was beautiful lake to fish in, yet it was just a few years ago..lol. Folks would camp there during the summer time when the group was not on a job site working. You have the mountains & water all in one, even if you have to hike a ways for fishing. There was a stream that ran right by the camp ground if it is still all intact.

    1. @Antique Collector, We fell in love with that area. I can close my eyes and still see the many S curves on 299 as you ascend steeply into the region. Spent lots of time in the Trinity Alps Wilderness area. Weaverville was always our last stop at Tops Market grocery store. Always loved the view of the mountains from that parking lot. Spent time up at Trinity Center area too up Rt.3, and at Pinewood Cove campground on the lake. Years ago had fantasized about retiring up there, but had to get out of CA for a number of important reasons. Now I’m in the mountains of northern New Hampshire – very happy here.

      A little off topic, but I’ll never forget one time when we were on a vacation up there and 4-wheeling in our Jeep way off road over in the Lewiston area. We came across a secluded “installation” surrounded by barbed wire fences, helicopter pad, all in the middle of nowhere near the top of a ridge way out off any main road. Whoops… Someone spotted us and they chased us outta there right quick…

  10. Mother mother ocean, I have heard you call. Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was 3 feet tall.

    I guess the ocean is in my veins as I’m just not happy if I’m away from it. I can relate to the plover thing as they won’t let my dog run on the beach because of snowy plovers. We don’t actually have any of them here but they might want to come. My dog could care about birds, he doesn’t find them interesting.

    Went on vacation January a year ago. Took three weeks to do three islands in Hawaii and the wife came down with bronchitis on arrival. Miserable most of the trip. It sure has changed since the seventies.

    Quit our jobs in the fall of 1998 and sailed our little sloop to Mexico. Cruised around in the Sea of Cortez until the summer of 1999. It got too hot and we went back to work to replenish the kitty. Returned to the Sea in the fall of 1999 and watched the new millennium start halfway between La Paz on the Baja peninsula and Mazatlan on the mainland. The GPS crashed at midnight and came back 5 seconds later. Of note was being boarded in the morning of January 1st 2000 by the Mexican Navy for a drug search. We were clean and they were very polite. They said we were the first boat to be inspected in the new year.

    Mexico was very nice and I have a very fond place in my heart for it. It’s a shame what the cartels have done to it and I have no desire to return. NRP got it right when he described the stars. When you are in the middle of the sea you can read by the light of the Milk Way. Makes you feel very small and not very significant when you consider your place in the universe.

    Recent trip to Romania to see my nephew graduate. My brother married a Romanian lady and she wanted her kids to be Romanian as well as American. Both my nephew and niece are good people. Their parents raised them well. Romania was a good trip. It’s beautiful. Lots of small farms and horse drawn wagons. Most people are employed and home ownership is high. Gas costs more but food is a lot cheaper. Meals and hotels were about 2/3 of the price in the states. All in all it was a very good trip.

    We got to do a side trip to Athens and it too was very worthwhile. Hiked up to the Acropolis and it’s a very imposing structure. Seeing the Parthenon has been on my bucket list for a long time. As imposing as the Acropolis is it fell to the Turks when they conquered Athens in the 1400s. They attempted something similar in Romania but encountered this guy called Vlad (Dracula). On their first attempt they failed and he took many prisoners. When they returned they found about 20,000 captives impaled. They decided not to invade.

    Vlad is a folk hero to the Romanians. To me he is the epitome of the potential for cruelty by man.
    Those 20,000 captives were men, women, children and babies. He impaled them all. People like him are the reason people like us need to stay armed.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot. The Romanians had a civil war in 1989 and kicked out the communists. On Christmas day they executed their president and his wife for genocide.

    Romania was a very interesting place! I recommend it.

    Hey, don’t be afraid to travel. Nobody survives life, living long and healthy is the goal but it isn’t worthwhile if it isn’t enjoyed. Time to take the dog for a run on his beach. In his mind he does own it!

    P.S. If you are ever in Waikiki don’t get the Calamari at the Hilton. It was horrible.

    1. P.P.S. Don’t tell the PTB that the dog will be running the beach, He promised not to chase the plovers who aren’t there.

    2. Me:
      Ain’t it the truth about the stars.
      I never saw anything like them till I moved from Diego to tje 4 Corners.
      Actually took up Astronomy for a few years.

      Interesting you mentioned Romania. Had an invite to go a few years back, sounds like I should have gone

    3. Hey you are talking about my relative, old Vlad! Guess that isn’t something to brag about.
      Wanted to say we live in one of the places listed as a dark sky area. I told some astronomers where I lived and they wanted to come visit.

  11. Anywhere north of Franconia Notch and south of the international border.

  12. I vacation about 30-min away. I have a 36-foot trailer on a lot by Lake Erie, nice and quiet and being so close it’s easy to run out there and enjoy the place.

  13. Some of my favorite places are Flagstaff/Williams Arizona. Many years I have hunted elk around there. Also hunted the Hulipai Indian Reservation just west of there. The Havasupai Indian Reservation down in the bottom of the Grand Canyon is a must trip if you haven’t been. It’s a tough hike down and back up or you can take mules, very worth the effort. Really like the area from Datil N.M. to Reserve N.M. also. Really nice wide open country with good hunting and really nice people. Steamboat Springs Colorado is a good ski destination, but TONS of weekend residents. Probably my favorite trip was from Edmonton, Alberta Canada to Fairbanks Alaska and then north to Central and Circle Alaska. The Canadian rockies is truly God’s country. It is the most pristine place I’ve ever been. It’s one of those places you wish you could get lost and stay forever. All the little towns through there had friendly people, good little family places to eat.

      1. Yes I have. Think that’s the name of the place anyway. Is there really anywhere else in Datil to eat? I usually would eat breakfast there after stopping in Sorcorro for the night while heading west. Really good breakfast and coffee by the fireplace. Really friendly people there. My wife and I have seriously talked about buying a place there to retire someday. We would very much like the slower pace and the beautiful countryside the area has to offer.

  14. I’m not going to vote because the answer would be “Both.” But my favorite is a staycation. Right in my own house, barricaded in for a week or more, doing whatever I darn well please. If I could turn off the phone during that period, even better.

    Every time I’ve “gone on vacation” I’ve ended up sitting in my hotel room (or on the beach, or in a tent) writing, so why go anywhere when I can do that at home?

    1. Clap your heals together 3-times and say “There’s no place like home”.

  15. 0homesteader;
    Sounds GREAT, and i agree.
    Thing is I live also in a place others go on vacation. Sitting here sipping on a Komboche petting olg Blue watching the river turn brown fron the rains. Good idea on the fishing, time to get the rod out and drown a worm or 3
    Tea and Chocolates my friend.

  16. The outside temperature is at 110 degrees, my favorite camping spot right now is with the A/C in the house. Whew it miserable outside!!

    1. Antique Collector,

      The two grouchiest people I talked to today were in Chico and Willits. Stay in the AC, ummm AC. It’s better there.. :>)

  17. Agree 110% Old Homesteader,
    Do what ya love, love what ya do…
    Truly blessed

  18. @Old, Yep, I live in a region where tourists come up to the mountains for the summer (mountains and hiking), the fall (leaf peepers), and the winter (skiers and snowmobilers). But even though I live in God’s paradise (as many of us do), I still enjoy getting out and discovering new places on a vacation. It’s good for the soul.

  19. Hi folks! What a great topic, nice and lighthearted! Back in the day… fishing in Cabo San Lucas! Oh my word we caught some monsters down there! Mostly Dorado’s, hooked a Marlin once but he broke the leader and was gone! Dang it! He was a beauty tho when he tail walked the surface! Last few years we go to Las Vegas, nice drive, lots to do and the shows are amazing!

    Just finished a week in Idaho, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned recently. Fell in love with Sandpoint, and once we retire, that will be our staycation spot!

    Cheers everyone! Enjoy your summer travels!

    1. Rob
      Thats a thrill ya dont forget,
      That click and buzz of the line going out then that jump, add the frenzy on the deck cranking in the other lines and squaring everyone away,
      Good memories, then the fresh marlin steaks and smoked marlin afterwards.

    2. Yeah, forgot about Las Vegas, We celebrated DWs birthday there and wow the shows and wow the prices of the shows! It was April and it was already to hot for me. Don’t see how people actually lived there before air conditioning.

      Forgot about the Marlin fish tacos in Baja. Glad you reminded me.

  20. Luckily my parents would take us kids on a one or two week vacation, in different states. Of course that was pleasurable. They did the planning, packing, and paid for everything. Lol
    I just like to make road trips, here in my state. Going nowhere in particular. Different routes. Just looking at the sights. Old farms, so called ghost towns, old buildings.
    Also like to take the horses up north to the ‘second home’ to trail ride. Campfires, stars, peaceful. Camping neighbors if you want them. I would rather not and set up camp far away. Just hit the trails and take it all in what Mother Nature offers.
    Blue Ridge Mountains is my next wanna go outta state vacation……some day.

  21. For shear relaxation, camping anywhere along Padre Island National Seashore.

    The place with most contrasting beauty that you could spend the rest of your life and never fully explore it is Big Bend National Park. Can’t fully appreciate it except on foot. Get a good topographical map. Very easy to “get turned around for a few days” as Davy Crockett once said. Don’t ask me how I know.

  22. I’ve lived near the ocean for 30 years now. The best time of year to vacation near the ocean is in the fall. AFTER hurricane season and the tourists are gone. The water is still warm, fishing is great, air is crisp…

    My favorite vacation is in my back yard now. Thinking about traveling makes my head hurt.

    We now enjoy a small pool in the summer or a fire in the pit in the winter, an icy (or hot) beverage and quiet times with our furry baby dog and sometimes our son, if he comes to visit.

    My most memorable and favorite vacation ever was cross country skiing in Yellowstone. Beautiful.


  23. Love the Golden Age Pass for National Parks. Old man has one of the original ones. We couldn’t afford those parks today

  24. I loved Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Grand Canyon, San Fransisco ( 30 years ago). But as bad as I hate to say it but my backyard is my favorite I love our Mountains, Mesa Verda, Lake Powell we just have so much here to do. Although I really really want to go to Alaska someday and maybe even Ireland.

  25. I really enjoy camping in the Black Hills. Plus only a few hours away.

  26. Tatev, southern Armenia. High up in the mountains, overlooking lush green forests straddling the border with Azerbaijan. It’s an attitude adjustment with a whole new perspective on life. More silent and solemn than rural Montana. Yet an incredible, multi-faceted energy permeates the place.

    1. Old Chevy
      Have you ever been to Shawnee?
      GF said one time she’d like to go there. Told her, I ain’t goin if I can’t be packin……(legally)

        1. OC
          Was not.an open.ended.question.
          Your opinion.of.the.area.,please.

  27. Bears or sharks? I’ll go with bears. Really though, I enjoy I nice grassy place with a good view of the stars.

    1. Sunflowerpri
      I would have to agree with you.
      Swimming with the sharks with a .454 Casull strapped to your side would not be my idea of fun.
      Just kidding.
      Land for me. Sea for thee
      Or something like that.

  28. Well now, it’s a toss up between Maui and St. Thomas. Both beautiful tropical settings, but St. Thomas the atmosphere was more laid back. People didn’t rush to do anything. So relaxing. Today we live in our vacation home, love it here and have no desire to be anywhere else. Although I do have the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone on my bucket list of places to see before I die.

  29. We’ve taken several trips that follow a river road. Down the Mississippi river on the east side and back up on the west side. Several other river trips; a lot of history and variety of cultures along rivers as well as geography. You can hike some challenging bluff trails overlooking rivers.

    Destinations to avoid: where everybody else wants to be, such as festivals, fairs, Wisconsin Dells, cities.

    1. OMG! it’s Friday the 13th! I’m not going anywhere today and will avoid running power tools.

  30. – Always despised going to the Netherlands. Every time ‘Uncle’ would send me (line of duty), I would come up on “random” urine drug screens every week for the next six weeks! Have to agree with how gorgeous the sights are. Personally, I preferred Bavaria.

    Where I live now, NO one goes on vacation. which is just fine with me, although DW is occasionally less than thrilled. Hot, no trees to block the dust storms, salt flats… It’s great!

    – Papa S.

  31. Having worked as a seasonal firefighter/ranger in my 20’s, I got all of my mountain travel out of my system these days. I flew in a lot of helicopters and discovered I am a pretty good medic back then.

    These days, I work in a large AIR CONDITIONED hospital and I refer to floating to other units as “Travel and Adventure – Everything they promised in the slick-paper brochure!” I like coming home at the end of shift to kiss my wife, feed my dog and spin my fat, black cats.

    Whenever I say the Travel and Adventure line at work, the youngsters look at me with flat expressions and shake their heads. ( interpretation: “You really are a crazy old man.”)

    I hike in a large state park on days off that has several waterfalls most every single weekend. I go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. I go hunting Eastern Oregon to visit the Hunters and Ranchers once a year.

    If I miss anything from my old state of Cali, I would have to say 2 things: hunting for feral pigs and catch and release bass fishing along with habitat improvement for trophy fisheries.

    As I retire, I may do the snowbird routine and go hunting for pigs in Texas in winter and go up north during the summer.

    1. Calirefugee,
      Is the bird hunting still good down Jordan Valley and Arock?

  32. Late commenting on this article. For the past ten years or so, we’ve been alternating between Northern Michigan and Northwest Montana. We live in Ohio and both of these destinations are great experiences/getaways. In Michigan, we favor the Leelanau Peninsula, either on the bay side or the lake side – you can’t go wrong.. In Montana, we stay on Flathead Lake just outside of Bigfork. Our family has gotten very comfortable in both places over the years. My wife doesn’t particularly like going back to the same places every year, but we’ve found two great spots to mix it up every other year, when we have the resources to go. She likes the beach and I like the mountains and all points north, and we both like water, so I think we’ve found our happy compromise. Heck the drive to and from Montana is always half the fun. Requires max preparation and planning and multiple checklists to move our family to and from Montana from Ohio for a month without any mishaps. Went to the Adirondacks back in 2009 and stayed on Upper Saranac Lake and also on an island in the middle of Lake Placid. That’s also a cool area.

  33. To Minerjim:

    From what I hear, it is good in Jordan Valley through a coworker that hunts chukar with his visuals. Lots of walking for relatively few birds though.

    I have not hunted upland birds since my mentor passed away. He shot his last limit of dove while on chemo and he passed away the following Spring. Best live wing shot I ever saw. He would be able to drop 3 of 3 pigeons from a passing flock where I would get 1 maybe 2. We were both using Remington 870’s.

    This last Spring there was golden grass when it should have been green. They are in a drought in Eastern OR and I have noticed that game bird populations are heavily dependent upon feed and forage so I would not have high expectations for the upcoming legal bird season in Eastern OR.

  34. Clarification to Minerjim:

    Fella hunts chukars with his Vislas ( dog breed-sight hound that runs a lot.)

  35. The Outer Banks for me. Love the historical sites and fishing. Crashing waves are so relaxing. Sometimes I ride the Appalachain parkway.

    1. That’s one (of many) places that I hope to visit one day (more than just one day!).

  36. Played the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, twice. (Reminiscing because it’s The Open weekend.). I parred the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, (along with a few others) which would have been enough for one golfing lifetime, but Spouse showed me up, eagled the 12th with a 50-foot chip-in. Beautiful place. Scotland is gorgeous. So is Hawaii. And Riviera Maya. And Paris. And the Rhine. And Alaska. Prague is a-ma-zing. We’ve been fortunate to be able to travel to a lot of wonderful places. But we live in a state that’s a tourist area for a reason, because it’s beautiful. Maine.

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