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My Ten Favorite Vacation Spots I've Been To North (And West) Of The Mason-Dixon!

  • Aug 16, 2011

This is my third "Ten Favorites" list.  The first one was of places I've never been to but want to visit and my second list focused on the southern United States.  This list features ten of my favorite places that I've visited that are NOT in the South.  I hope you enjoy it!

Grand Tetons National Park
Sure, the neighboring Yellowstone National Park gets all of the media attention and glory what with its Old Faithful Geysers and mud pots, but for sheer breathtaking beauty, Grand Tetons National Park is one tough cookie to beat.  It is one of the most beautiful places that I've ever been to, and I hope to take my family there in the future.

Pike's Peak
The main thing I remember about my visit to Pike's Peak is that at the foot of the mountain, it was a very comfortable seventy-six degrees Fahrenheit.  After taking the fourteen hundred-plus cog train ride to the top, myself and my family walked into a world that clocked in at zero degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill factor of twenty below zero.....and this was in July!

Mount Rainier National Park

No mountain dominates the local scenery in the United States like Mount Rainier does.  The base of the mountain is located about an hour away from Seattle, WA, but it can be seen for miles and miles before you actually get there.  It features glaciers, beautiful scenery and is a volcano to boot.  Mount Rainier is one of my favorite places in the world, and one day I'm going to visit it again!

Tombstone, AZ
Few cities can boast a history as explosive as Tombstone, AZ.  When silver bullion was discovered in nearby mines, the small town erupted in size and wealth.  This attracted a number of notable people, particularly Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Morgan and Virgil.  Their arrival, as well as that of Wyatt's friend, John "Doc" Holliday, would lead to a feud with a group known as The Cowboys and eventually the bloody events at the O.K. Corral.  The city has since dwindled in size and is now little more than a tourist's spot, but you can still visit the O.K. Corral, purchase a copy of the local newspaper, The Epitaph, and visit the legendary cemetery, Boot Hill.  I love this place!


Loaded with some of the most beautiful views you can find, Grand Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to visit.  The Southern Ridge attracts the most visitors, but I highly recommend checking out the quaint Northern Ridge for a much quieter experience. 

Temecula, CA
Beautiful scenery and plenty of wine were just part of the things I experienced while in Temecula, CA.  I visited Temecula for work, but managed to get in a little bit of travel time as well.  One thing that amazed me about this city:  the friendliness of its citizens.  I do plan on visiting Temecula again, and while I'm there, I hope to take in more of San Diego as well.

Yellowstone National Park
Sure, everyone knows about Old Faithful, but have you heard of the beautiful Mammoth Hot Springs or the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone?  Perhaps wildlife is your thing.  There's tons of it in Yellowstone, and you'll get to see it up close and personal.  I've had the wonderful opportunity to visit Yellowstone (as well as Grand Tetons National Park) on two occasions.  The first time was literally one month before the tragic forest fires of 1988 and the second time was in 1991.  Seeing the drastic changes that took place made me respect the delicate balance of nature even more.

Carlsbad Caverns
Visiting the "Big Room" beneath the planet's surface at Carlsbad Caverns was a wonderful thing.  Even more wonderful was witnessing the thousands of bats that call the caverns home.  This was the first time I ever experienced the use of the word "guano," which is the Spanish word used for the bat droppings that were mined in the caverns.  A truly cool place that I'll never forget, Carlsbad Caverns has a little something for everyone.

Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park will always hold a special place in my heart.  You can literally see geology at work throughout the park.  This is best done from a helicopter, which allows you to see many of the park's glaciers (and tons of mountain goats) as they slowly carve up the mountains and valleys they rest in.  When I visited Glacier, I had the chance to do just that!  My family and I even got to fly into Canadian airspace for about five minutes as we crossed over into Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada).  If you ever get the chance to visit Glacier, I highly suggest you take it!

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August 31, 2011
aahhh....8 and 9 are places I do need to see! Thanks, Kendall!
August 23, 2011
Great list! I am inspired to visit some of these places again.
August 23, 2011
I've never been to any of these places before, but now I want to go, especially to AZ!
August 23, 2011
They are all priceless.
About the list creator
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #5
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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