My husband and I love to travel. It is probably more accurate to say that Ed loves to travel and he drags me with him. I love telling people that when I was six months pregnant with Emmy, he dragged me up the side of a mountain just to see a waterfall. I may have been a little out of breath, but I made it, and the view was gorgeous. Most of the tourist attractions we visit are outdoors, and we usually have to hike to see them. Since today is National Tourist Attraction Day, here are just some of the places we’ve been.
10. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Ed and I rented a little cabin on the side of a mountain. Lily was two at the time, and we spent a week exploring the Smoky Mountains. It is a beautiful place to visit!
9. Castle Rock State Park, Illinois
This time, instead of hiking while pregnant, I carried Emmy all over the place in her baby carrier. Castle Rock is a beautiful bluff in Illinois that not many people visit. It’s on the Rock River in Northern Illinois.
If you’ve ever wanted to go caving but are a little afraid, this is the place to go. Park Rangers take visitors on guided tours of the cave, and this cave is so big it’s hard to feel claustrophobic. Located in Kentucky, there are also a lot of hiking trails in the forests surrounding the cave entrances. It’s an amazing feeling to be hiking in the woods on a hot summer day, and then feel the cool air coming out of a cave entrance. The caves are always about 67 degrees Fahrenheit, so even if you visit in the summer, bring a jacket to wear in the cave!
7. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
The best way to see Pictured Rocks is by boat. The cliffs tower over the waters of Lake Superior and are pretty spectacular.
6. Rocky Mountains National Park
The mountains of Colorado are also gorgeous, and in a very different way that the Smoky Mountains. The Smoky Mountains are blue, rounded, and yes, smoky. The Rocky Mountains are craggy and sharp, with snow topped peaks.
5. Niagara Falls
Touristy, check. Beautiful, check. Loud and wet, check.
4. Denali National Park, Alaska
Just plain wilderness. I’ve been up to Alaska three times (I have relatives in Anchorage) and each time I’ve visited it has been completely different. The weather, the mountains, the animals…beautiful beyond description!
3. The Grand Canyon, Arizona
One of our best vacations yet!
2. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
A place I’ve wanted to visit ever since I taught about it as a second grade teacher. Seeing the cliff dwellings was amazing! Preserved for centuries, the dwellings were only discovered about 100 years ago by a couple of cowboys.
1. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Seriously, one of the most amazing places in the world that has been forgotten.
Ed, Lily, Emmy and I are looking forward to more adventures next summer…California, here we come!
Click the Tuesday Ten button for more tourist attractions at The Golden Spoons!