- Santa Fe – The old town square captured my heart from the moment I laid eyes on it. It has the best margaritas in America. Pick up a passport at the tourism office and hit The Margarita Trail. It’s Navajo influence make it an iconic place for arts and crafts. Around the city boats great hiking and biking. I suggest a drive or hike when the Aspens are turning colors in the Fall.
- San Francisco – An iconic American city. It has a good beer scene, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Ghiradelli Square and the famous cable cars that still run daily. San Francisco is a destination all by itself but if you’re heading to Napa, considering adding a couple of days to your trip to see the city. I also recommend taking the ferry over to see Oakland and to walk through the campus of California Berkeley.
- Washington DC – It’s home to all sorts of historic markers and world class museums but it also has a lot of green space to walk or bike. Plus, it’s just fun to walk through neighborhoods to take in the history of the city. There is so much international culture here. My favorite neighborhoods include Chinatown, Georgetown, and areas around Dupont Circle (Embassy Row).
- Milwaukee – It’s an under-rated city on almost all accounts. Obviously, I recommend late spring to early fall for the best weather. Rent a bike or electric scooter and take it along the lakeshore. It’s simply beautiful. As you might imagine, it’s a great city for beer, too!
- Newport, RI – Think JFK, Sperrys, and Yacht racing. This seaside town in Rhode Island is a great little college town for walking, seeing gorgeous yachts, eating clam chowder and staying in world class historic hotels. I just love it and Christmas in this place just adds a whole other level of charm! Stop in and shop at Kiel James Patrick while you’re in town. It’s got a classic New England vibe.
- Fort Worth – I love going to the Stock Yard, watching the daily cattle drive down the main street, savoring a steak dinner, and browsing designer boots and hats.
- The Badlands – This is perhaps my favorite park. I can’t describe the beauty. Its easy to drive through the park, but getting out and enjoying it is something altogether different. It’s a great place to see the longhorn sheep up close, too.
- Glacier – Getting to Glacier can be tough, but it’s unlike anything I have ever seen before. Take one of the red bus tours but also get out and enjoy a good hike. This place is one of the most picturesque places I have ever visited!
- Joshua Tree – You can lose yourself in the park. It’s a majestic place that almost has a spiritual draw to it. I can’t wait to go back and experience more of the park.
- Great Smoky Mountains – This one is home to me. I simply can’t exclude it. Seeing a heavy fog in the mountains gives you a true since of the parks namesake. Pictures just don’t do it justice. Its easy to make the one hour drive from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina and take in some gorgeous scenery but be sure to get out and enjoy the park if possible.
- Zion – This park has become so congested lately that it’s getting harder to enjoy. There’s some great hiking here. One of the more famous ones (as of late) is Angel’s Landing. Google it. I did it by myself in the dead of summer. It was a challenge for me but I would do it again in a second!