Places west of the Rockies that will win you over, without the crowds
Written by Karli Moats | Healthy-Mag.com
When we dream of vacationing we usually envision a miraculous beach, outdoor adventures, and the stunning wonders of the world. And tied to these dreams are some mental roadblocks: flying across the globe will drain the bank, work won’t let you and the kids can’t come. Blast past those roadblocks with these sensational vacation spots west of the Rocky Mountains, seven places in your own country that the whole world should see.
Olympic National Park, WA: Captivating forests, vast ecosystems and a variety of amazing views and experiences make this a destination to dream about. It offers a million acres to explore, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth evergreen rainforests, and incredible coastline.
Three Sisters Wilderness, OR: Western Oregon contains the frontier landscape that give the Western United States its rich, wild, and beautiful reputation. The Three Sisters (North, South, and Middle) all rise above 10,000 feet, and create a breathtaking vista no matter which direction you’re seeing them from. The protected area around them provides more than 250 miles of trail through dense Douglas fir, hemlock, pine, alpine meadows and mountain lakes.
Photo Credit: Coconino National Forest, Flickr
Sedona, AZ: A beautiful town nestled in red rock and surprisingly lush greenery, Sedona is a place easily remembered. Trails surrounding the town wind along streams, and provide a cool and rejuvenating escape. Birds and butterflies abound in certain seasons.
Lake Coeur d’Alene, ID
A natural lake 26 miles long, this pristine water is a perfect way to wash off stress and exhaustion. While it’s amazing for boaters and fishermen, the lake is secluded enough that it’s easy to find a quiet spot on the shores. A charming town sits right beside the lake, and to the north is the Coeur d’Alene National Forest.
Central Coast, CA: Stretching from Ventura County (North of Los Angeles) all the way to Santa Clara County (South of San Francisco) lies 350 miles of coastal beach towns that hug the historic Highway 1. Four major regions including Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey make up this dream vacation. Giving you anything from sun and saltwater to ancient castles to legendary farmers markets, you’ll find plenty to do as you glide the coast.
Crater Lake, Oregon: Want to go deep for this years vacation? Check out Crater Lake located in the south of Oregon. Crater Lake, which stands as the deepest lake in the United States, lures visitors in with her dark blue color and countless activities for the entire family. Scuba diving, boat tours, zip-lining, and hiking are only a few of the adventures you will experience while surrounded with the crisp Oregon air and stately setting. For the optimum trip, visit in the summer months when all facilities, activities, and roads are open.
Park City, UT: Adventure, culture, arts, and relaxation are rare to find all in one place. Park City, Utah however offers it all. Home to three world renown resorts (Park City Mountain, Deer Valley, and Canyons), Park City is one of the best kept secrets in the west. Experience the ride of your life with the historic Alpine Coaster, become an athlete as you bobsled at the Utah Olympic Park, or even enjoy a concert as you attend the Deer Valley Music Festival. So whether it be hot air ballooning or a good game of golf, Park City is waiting to offer you all she has.
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr
Sun Valley, ID: Want the Hollywood ski town without the cost or lines? Enter Sun Valley, ID. The outdoorsy feel in summer will blossom you into biking, rafting, hiking, and eating back all those calories with delicious food. Moving into the winter months will find you strapped to your skis as you glide down the mountains. You won’t miss a moment as you awe at the scenery and spend much needed time getting that fresh air you’ve missed all year.
Lake Powell, UT & AZ: Grab your jet skis and boat as you gear up for a tour through the crystal water and red rock of Lake Powell. Here you will find the perfect getaway for your family as you water ski between some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. Whether it be on a houseboat, or just camping, you will find enough here to fill up your thrill tank for the whole year. (see top picture)
So pack your bags my friends, because with these tantalizing trips you are about to have the vacation of your lifetime. Whether it be that relaxing weekend –or that rushing adventure, the west is calling, and you must go.