Friday, January 2, 2015

Travel Highlights of 2014

Since 2014 is behind us and 2015 is here, I wanted to recap some of the best places I've visited last year. It was my busiest travel year to date.

1. The Pacific Northwest

I know it's far. I know the plane ticket from the East Coast is expensive. Yes, it does rain. But not as much people think. But the Pacific Northwest is gorgeous. I thought all the cloud cover would depress me, but it works with the aesthetic. The clouds seem to melt off those bright green trees that blanket the mountains. Put Seattle and Portland on your lists of places to see. Both cities are fun, hip and just gorgeous. Portland is pretty much the hippest city in the country right now. And Seattle is just full of so many iconic sights. Plus, the Puget Sound does seem to sparkle when viewed from up high. Both towns are nearby stunning outdoor scenery. I could go on, but I'll stop. Just visit and see for yourself. 

The view from the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon. You can get on the PCT from here.

Seattle as seen from the Columbia Tower. The photo doesn't do it justice. 

2. Kentucky

Don't write off Kentucky. I'll say it again, don't write off Kentucky. Every time I go, I'm always blown away by something. Maybe it's the local pride. Maybe it's how everyone who lives there seems to have an inherent knowledge of bourbon. All I'm really sure of is that I like it. Drink some bourbon. Have a hot brown. Check out uber-cool hotel chain 21c and enjoy Kentucky. 

Plan on drinking plenty of bourbon when you're in Kentucky. Go ahead, and have the Old Fashioned.

3. Michigan

The representative from the tourism bureau put it best, "Once you arrive, it sells itself." And it's true. From beautiful blue Lake Michigan to cute small town Petoskey, Michigan is chock full of cute quirks. You'll fall in love with this unpretentious place as soon as you arrive. 

Pretty Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes Park.

4. St. Croix, USVI

Whenever I'm on an island, I always think, "I could live here." And when I spent a week on St. Croix, I was already imagining where I would buy my groceries. Enjoy the ocean views, white sand and greenery. I couldn't get enough of this beach-side view from my The Buccaneer hotel room. 

I woke up every day to this incredible view in St. Croix. Swoon. 

5. Nashville

The food scene. Barista Parlor. The music. The Hermitage Hotel. Nashville lives up to the hype. It's the perfect size town that's just quirky enough. If you don't fall in love with the honky tonk bars on Broadway that are obsessed with late 90s country, you'll probably enjoy the hot chicken and record shops everywhere. I even bought a CD last time I was here. And I haven't done that since the early 2000s. Music City gets in your veins and stays there. Enjoy.

Nashville's Broadway is happening and touristy. 

6. Salt Lake City 

I wasn't expecting much from Salt Lake City, but I ended up loving it. The city has a really vibrant subculture and is just plain beautiful. I always love a mountain town and this is one of the best ones. I mean, just look at that incredible sunset. Be sure to check out nearby Park City if you're in town too. 

The breathtaking view from the Natural History Museum of Utah. 

Here's to more traveling in 2015!

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