Vacation Travel Destination Ideas, Reviews and Recommendations

On this website our staff reviews some of our favorite road trips and popular travel destinations across North America. Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway, or a longer vacation, we have travel recommendations for you.

List of popular national parks, with reviews,maps and photographs Scenic roads, byways and highways, with maps, directions and things to do
Popular trips and destinations in America, with maps, travel tips, photographs and lodging options Interactive map of popular travel destinations, scenic byways and cities

Our travel guides include first-hand experiences, personal recommendations, and original photographs from our trips.

We love traveling around North America, and exploring the many exciting places and destinations that the USA and Canada have to offer. We also enjoy being out on the open roads, like cross-country trips on Route 66 The Mother Road.

From the Beartooth Highway to the Blue Ridge Parkway, from Utah Scenic Byway 12 to the Trans Canada Highway, it is always a fun driving adventure.

Recent trips include driving the Going to the Sun Road in Montana, Trail Ridge Road in Colorado, and the Loneliest Road in America in Nevada.

In 2018 we made a return visit to Victoria BC, one of our favorite destinations in Canada, along with stays in Banff and Lake Louise.

This website also features travel information and reviews on the most popular national parks such as  Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other museums and monuments, such as Mount Rushmore.

Hopefully our travel experiences will be of interest and benefit to website viewers as they plan their travel itineraries.

Visit again soon as we share additional destinations and travel tips on this website!

 

National Parks

Yellowstone National Park travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park. It is located mostly in Wyoming, and spans 63 miles north to south, and 54 miles east to west. Geysers, hiking, camping, bison, elk and more!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

The Park spans over 800 square miles in Tennessee and North Carolina, and is one of the most pristine natural areas in the Eastern part of the United States. An endless variety of outdoor activities!

Zion National Park travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

Towering red cliffs, stunning vistas, and outdoor activities make this a popular vacation destination in southwestern Utah, attracting over four million visitors annually.

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

Grand Canyon National Park is located in Arizona, and is centered on a Colorado River canyon that is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep.

Mount Rainier National Park travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

Mount Rainier National Park is located about 85 miles southeast of Seattle, Washington. It offers the visitor magnificent vistas and lakes, camping and hiking.

Yosemite National Park travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

Located in central California, famous sights in the park include the Half Dome, and El Capitan granite monoliths, and Yosemite Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the world

Banff National Park in Canada, travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

West of Calgary, Alberta, is Banff National Park, Lake Louise and Jasper National Park. These areas offer unparralled scenic views year round, plus a vast number of lakes, rivers, forests, and glaciers.

Olympic National Park travel, directions, maps, lodging and things to do

Located in northwestern Washington in the north central part of the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic Park features snow-covered mountains, lush rain forests and the dramatic Pacific Ocean coastline.


Road Trips on Scenic Byways

Historic Route 66 ... The Mother Road ... maps, history, things to see, photographs

"The Mother Road" stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago, heading south through Illinois and Missouri. From there Route 66 turned in a more westward direction through Oklahoma and Texas, with the final stretches in New Mexico and Arizona before ending in Los Angeles.

The famous Blue Ridge Parkway, winding through the mountains of North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Parkway meanders for 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, offering endless outdoor recreational opportunities. It provides a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands.

The Beartooth Highway in Montana and Wyoming, through glacial lakes, forests, valleys and high peaks

The Beartooth Highway, is one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., with views of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, and open high alpine plateaus.

The road features glacial lakes, forests, valleys, waterfalls and a variety of wildlife. It traverses a series of steep switchbacks at the Montana-Wyoming border to the 10,947 ft Beartooth Pass.

Going to the Sun Road, across Glacier National Park in northern Montana

This winding Going to the Sun Road traverses Glacier National Park in Montana from east to west, from St. Mary to Agpar, about 50 miles. Portions of the road remain open all year and provide access to many locations and activities. The opening of the alpine portion varies, based on snowfall and plowing progress.

US 50 across Nevada ... the Loneliest Road in America

US 50 crosses the central portion of Nevada, from the west side of the state near Lake Tahoe to the east side near Great Basin National Park.

The Nevada portion of U.S. 50 was named "The Loneliest Road in America" by Life magazine in July 1986.

 

Utah Scenic Byway 12 ... an All-American Road

Scenic Byway 12 travels 123 miles in southern Utah through the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the USA. It is designed an "All-American Road".

Highway 12 passes through Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and to its end at Torrey near Capitol Reef National Park.

Trail Ridge Road is a paved, 48 mile long scenic highway in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

Trail Ridge Road is a paved, 48 mile long scenic highway in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It connects the park entrances in Grand Lake and Estes Park. The road features switchbacks and hairpin curves, and rises to a height of 12,183 feet above sea level. The road is open seasonally in non-winter months.

The Burr Trail Scenic Backway in Utah

The Burr Trail, which ends (or begins) at Boulder, Utah, is one of our favorite back roads in the country.

It is typically quiet, with little or no traffic. In earlier years the entire length of the road was dirt; today parts are paved. The drive and views are stunning! The switchbacks are breathtaking!


Trending Destinations

Utah is a popular tourist destination, with breathtaking natural landscapes, national parks, national monuments, forests, state parks, ski resorts, museums

Utah is a popular tourist destination, with breathtaking natural landscapes, five national parks, national monuments, forests, state parks, ski resorts, museums and millions of acres of open spaces. From the deserts to high mountains to the salt flats, Utah has something for every visitor!

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota

Located in the southwestern corner of South Dakota is the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, featuring massive 60-foot (18-m) sculptures of four former United States presidents. While not a national park, it has large numbers of visitors and is well known nationwide.

San Diego in Southern California ... popular destination with its year-round mild climate

With its mild year-round climate, varied terrain, beautiful harbor, and abundance of outdoor activities, San Diego is consistently a major, popular tourist destination. Attractions such as Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and the USS Midway draw visitors from around the world.

New Orleans, Louisiana ... The Big Easy with its French Quarter, aquarium and streetcars and Audubon ZOo

New Orleans has long been one of the premier cities in the world to visit. "The Big Easy" is situated on curves on the Mississippi River, and is also called "The Crescent City".

It is the site of the famed French Quarter, or "Vieux Carré", the locale of many world-class hotels, historic buildings and attractions.

Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico, lies about 65 miles northeast of Albuquerque

Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico, lies about 65 miles northeast of Albuquerque at 7,000 feet above sea level.

Located on the Plaza, the epicenter of downtown Santa Fe, is the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied government building in the USA. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a dominant landmark in the downtown area.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located in extreme southeastern Utah, on the northern border of Arizona

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located in extreme southeastern Utah, near Arizona. The valley is host to towering sandstone rock formations that have been sculpted over time and soar 400 to 1,000 feet above the valley floor.

Over the years, Monument Valley has been the locale for the filming of numerous movies starring such film legends as John Wayne.

Death Valley National Park in California, location, directions, maps, things to do, photographs

Death Valley includes low valley floors crusted with barren salt flats, rugged mountains rising as much as 11,000 feet, deep and winding canyons, rolling sand dunes, and spring-fed oases. Death Valley is about 140 miles long Badwater Basin, at 282 feet below sea level, is not only the lowest place in the park, it's the lowest in North America.

Bar Harbor, Maine ... things to do, hotels, maps, directions, photographs

Adjacent to popular Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor contains an assortment of streets, alleys, squares and piers. In addition to unique boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, there is a shore path that begins downtown and continues along the front yards of many of the town’s well-known summer cottages.

 

 

More Travel and Vacation Ideas

 

Vacation Photos from Across America

We have included below a sampling of the original photographs taken by our staff while on vacations around America. We are working to post more photographs and reviews from our vacation archives to this website over time.

On U.S. 163 headed to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Utah
Read more about Monument Valley
On the road to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Montana's Beartooth Highway, overlooking a scenic valley
Read more about the Beartooth Highway
Montana's Beartooth Highway, overlooking a scenic valley

A "must see" stop for visitors to San Diego ... The Zoo!
The San Diego Zoo is a world-famous 100-acre tropical garden that houses 4,000 animals of 800 rare and exotic species. It is conveniently located at Balboa Park.
Read more about San Diego travel and attractions
A "must see" stop for visitors to San Diego ... The Zoo!
View of Silver Lake and Pamlico Sound in Ocracoke, North Carolina, seen from the Anchorage Inn
Read more about Ocracoke and the Outer Banks
View from Destin's East Pass Towers to the Gulf of Mexic
Exterior view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio
Read more about the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Exterior view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Dust storm winds send sand blowing across the road in Death Valley National Park in California
Read more about Death Valley National Park
Dust storm winds send sand blowing across the road in Death Valley National Park



Steep incline along the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park
Read more about Going to the Sun Road

Vista along one of our favorite travel destinations, the Blue Ridge Parkway
Read more about the Blue Ridge Parkway
Vista along the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island, along Bellevue Avenue
The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island, along Bellevue Avenue

Those magical red roads at Zion National Park in southern Utah
Read more about Zion National Park
Those magical red roads at Zion National Park

Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral in the New Orleans French Quarter
Read more about New Orleans travel and attractions
Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral in the New Orleans French Quarter

View of the greater Tucson area from the top of Mount Lemmon
Read more about Tucson travel and attractions
View of the greater Tucson area from the top of Mount Lemmon


 

A "must see" stop for visitors to Utah ... Bryce Canyon National Park,
Read more about Bryce Canyon National Park
A "must see" stop for visitors to Utah ... Bryce Canyon National Park
The magestic red cliffs at Zion National Park ... Read more about Zion National Park
The magestic red cliffs at Zion National Park
North & South Windows ... at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah
Read more about Arches National Park
North & South Windows ... at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah

Scene along the river in Yosemite National Park in California
Read more about Yosemite attractions and lodging
Yosemite River in the National Park in California

Pacific Coast Highway along the Pacific Ocean in California
Pacific Coast Highway along the Pacific Ocean in California

Scene along the Icefield Parkway near Lake Louise, Canada
Read more about Banff and Lake Louise
Scene along the Icefield Parkway near Lake Louise, Canada

Sitgreaves Pass on Route 66, elevation 3,550 feet, between Cool Springs and Oatman, Arizona
Read more about Historic Route 66
Sitgreaves Pass on Route 66, elevation 3,550 feet, between Cool Springs and Oatman, Arizona

 

Road Travel Tips & Inspirations ... from TripAdvisor

What to Do at the Top 5  U.S. Amusement Parks

Where to Get a Great Burger in Every State

Six Family Experiences to Tear the Kids Away from Their Phones

10 Tips for Visiting Our National Parks with Your Kids

Which California Wine Region is Right for You?