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Favorites from the Southeast

Favorites from the Southeast

I recently completed a project to upload all of my pictures from previous trips onto Facebook and Pinterest. To recap I will be doing a series of posts highlighting each region of the United States. The first will be the Southeast which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi. Below are my favorite places in the region along with links to the photo albums for each state.

Miami/South Florida

Downtown Miami

While geographically in the Southeastern United States, Miami is not part of "The South." Culturally it is more a mix of the Northeast and Latin America. The unique International vibe, amazing beaches and delicious food are among the many standouts from South Florida. Click here to view my guide to visiting.

South Beach
Little Havana
Everglades National Park
Overseas Highway
Southernmost Point, Key West
Location of Miami
Location of Miami

New Orleans, Louisiana

Jackson Square

New Orleans is a diverse blend of culture, music, and architecture. It is also among the best food cities in the country. Bourbon Street is a great spot for drinking and people watching.

Canal Street Streetcar
French Quarter
Mississippi River
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
St Louis Cathedral
Lafayette Cemetery 1
Location of New Orleans
Location of New Orleans

Orlando, Florida

Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida, Orlando is the theme park capital of the world. While Disney and Universal have properties around the world, their Florida resorts are larger and are usually the first to get new attractions. Another exciting attraction is the Kennedy Space Center, located within an hour of Orlando, where NASA has launched some of the most famous spaceflights in history.

Epcot, Walt Disney World
Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Universal Orlando Resort
Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort
Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort
Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort
Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
Location of Orlando
Location of Orlando

Pensacola Beach, Florida

Gulf Pier, Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach is my favorite beach in the Contiguous United States (Lower 48 States). This is partly because of the white sand and turquoise water which would be more in place in the Caribbean. I have been fortunate enough to go at times when it has not been too crowded which has made it even better.

Pensacola Beach
Pensacola Beach
Location of Pensacola Beach
Location of Pensacola Beach

Savannah, Georgia

Wright Square

Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia. The Savannah Historic District is the largest in the country and preserves the old city which survived the Civil War intact. It is unique for its 22 park-like squares, surrounded by beautiful mansions, churches, monuments and fountains.

Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park
River Street
Cathedral of St John the Baptist
City Hall
Hamilton-Turner House
Location of Savannah
Location of Savannah

SEC College Football

Tiger Stadium, Louisiana State University

When it comes to sports, Southeastern Conference (SEC) College Football is king in The South. With some of the largest stadiums in the country, rabid tailgates, long standing traditions, and passionate fans, it is something every sports fan should experience at least once. I have been to Auburn University, Louisiana State University, and University of Alabama which are pictured below.

Tiger Stadium, Louisiana State University
Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn University
Tiger Walk, Auburn University
Bryant-Denny Stadium, University of Alabama

More Photos:

Here are links to all my photos from the Southeast:

Alabama

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Arkansas

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Pinterest

Georgia

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Florida

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Louisiana

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Pinterest

Mississippi

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Pinterest

My Favorite National Parks…So Far

My Favorite National Parks…So Far

Seeing some of America's National Parks has been a highlight of traveling around the country. There are a total of 60 parks, which protect some of the most naturally beautiful places in the country. While I enjoyed all 38 that I have been to, I managed to narrow my favorites down to six. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Not actually a canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters containing the largest number of geological pillars, known as hoodoos, in the world. While you can enjoy a jaw dropping view from a number of points along the rim, it is worthwhile to hike into Bryce Amphitheater to see the colorful rock formations up close.

Location of Bryce Canyon National Park

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park was formed by the advance and then retreat of glaciers during the last ice age, resulting in stunning mountains, valleys and lakes. The Many Glacier area (pictured above) has multiple hikes to see the wildlife and some of the remaining glaciers. Also worthwhile is a drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road which climbs over the continental divide to connect the west and east sides of the park.

Location of Glacier National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

At over 18 miles wide and 277 miles long the canyon is an incredible site that, while slightly anticlimactic, should still be seen at least once. Like the ocean, the Grand Canyon is a friendly reminder of how small we are.

Location of Grand Canyon

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 

Known for it's many geothermal features, Yellowstone National Park sits on top of one the largest supervolcanoes in the world. While its geysers and hot springs may be what comes to mind, the pinnacle of America's first national park is actually the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (pictured above).

Location of Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park, California

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, Yosemite is characterized by its many granite rocks including the famous Half Dome (pictured above) and El Capitan. The park is also home to impressive waterfalls, clear streams, and giant sequoia groves.

yosemitemap

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion is defined by beautiful sandstone cliffs and some of the best trails in the country. Hikes to the top of Angels Landing and through The Narrows are musts. Weeping Rock, Court of the Patriarchs, and the Emerald Pools are among other notable points of interest.

zionmap

Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are all in close proximity to each other making it easy to visit all three on the same trip. Check out My guide to Southern Utah for more info.

Parks I Have Not Been To

Here are the parks I want to see the most that I have not yet been to:

  • Canyonlands National Park, Utah
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
  • Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Favorite Drives in America

Favorite Drives in America

I've driven thousands of miles crisscrossing the United States. While there are a few drives I never want to do again (looking at you West Texas), I am fortunate to have been on some spectacular stretches of road. Here are my favorites:

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

Running along the crest of the Blue Ridge, the parkway offers stunning views on both sides of the road of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains and Valleys. The Map below shows the portion I have driven on, although the road extends as far south as Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

brp

Carson Pass, California

State Route 88 winds through mountains and alpine lakes of the Sierra Nevada from Jackson, California to Minden, Nevada, offering better scenery than the more traversed Interstate 80 and Highway 50. Parts of the road may be closed during the winter due to snow. Check with Caltrans for current conditions.

carson

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

Spanning the width of Glacier National Park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road runs along the mountainside up and over Logan Pass. The drive features hairpin turns, steep drop offs, and views of one of America's most beautiful parks. Luckily there are plenty of turnouts to stop and take it all  in. The majority of the road is closed from late fall until spring due to snow. Check with the National Park Service for current conditions.

gttsr

Loneliest Road in America, Nevada

Highway 50 passes through mountains, forests, basins and ghost towns, but what makes this trip stand out is the isolation. I stood in the middle of the road for at least five minutes taking the above picture before I saw another car.

lr

Overseas Highway, Florida

State Road A1A connects the Florida Keys with the mainland of South Florida, offering extraordinary views of the Gulf. The end of the road, Key West, is worth at least a short stay. Beaches and parks along the way are a must see as well.

oh

Pacific Coast Highway, California

While the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) runs almost the full length of California, it is the section between Carmel and San Luis Obispo that is the highlight. The narrow road hugs the coastline through forests and rocky cliffs with amazing ocean views.

A section of the highway, destroyed by the Mud Creek landslide, has been closed since May 2017 and will not reopen until Fall 2018. Check with Caltrans for current conditions. I will update with a map once the route is fully open.