I'm going to be making some big changes in my life soon to make more room for travel. I live in Louisiana and am looking to drive around the U.S. with nothing but a camera, an atlas and my travel log to keep me company. I'm looking for a real travel experience, not tourist traps or theme parks. I'd like to stay off the interstates as much as possible and photograph and document small towns, and out-of-the-way places. I plan on visiting indian reservations, museums, historical sites, festivals, as well as back roads, farmlands, state parks and so forth.
I'd welcome any suggestions about places you've visited that have stayed with your soul. It can be anything - a mom-and-pop resataurant you found during a vacation, a small town you stumbled across on your honeymoon, a stretch of road not far from your home, a place where you grew up, a mountain range you love, a forest you cherish, a local festival, a cathedral or church, a city, a state -- ANYTHING. I'm just looking for something real and genuine to experience in my journeys. Any area of the U.S. is within my range.
I hope to one day publish these experiences in a volume of photos and excerpts from my travelogue, but my main movitation is just getting out there and seeing this amazing country.
Thanks for your help and I look forward to your ideas.
I know that most of it is a tourist area But I just love the Rocky
mountains in Colorado. If you stay away from the adventure towns and
tourist places then I think you could do a lot of sould searching up there
and if you want to document small towns as we rove through we found a
few little towns. Other than that my experience is quiet limited.
Hope this helps
Here are a few of my favourites - sorry most of them are 'touristy' but I'm a tourist and tourists are attracted to wonderful places.
Sit with you feet dangling over the edge of the Grand Canyon and watch the sun come up
Deadhorse point state park Utah. Its got to be one of the most stunning views on earth
Crater Lake Oregon - point and click its impossible to take a bad picture
Monument Valley - stay at Gouldings Lodge if you go wake up to a view to die for
Redwood National Park and Sequoia National Parks- difficult to take pictures that can capture these magnificent trees but a wonderfully humbling experience to walk among them.
The Grand Tetons from Jenny Lake
I live in Florida, and while it is thought to be a "tourist mecca", there are many areas of beauty that are like no others in the US. I think there is a lot of variety here (and I'm not being biased!) I now live in south Florida, near the Everglades which has great landscapes, as well as several native american reservations and some great wildlife. An hour away, you can find yourself in miami which has a lot of cultural diversity(hispanic, haitian). Some great cultural shots could be found here that could not be captured other places (other than maybe Texas and California). Nearby are also migrant communties and some towns in central Florida that are about 30 years behind the times. Need more specific info, let me know. I would love to see your work when it comes to fruition, keep us posted!
I am in the midst of a USA trip that has taken 4 months so far. (3.5 weeks in Louisiana). One of the most fabulous places I visited in California is the Mattole highway in northern CA. It is a loop that winds up and over the mountains through beautiful farmland-you rarely pass another car-and finally passes through a tiny town(no services) and runs along the coast for a little bit, before returning by way of another windy mountain route. You can camp on the beach, or this wonderful campground by a river called A.W. way county campground. When I stayed I was one of two people. The tourists are discouraged by the road, which is too steep and windy to allow motorhomes. If traveled North to South the loop will end up in One of California's national redwood forests. When I get ahold of my map I can post the particulars of finding the route. Also I enjoyed Organ pipes National monument in AZ, The northern end of Guadaluape mountains in TX-accessable by a long backroad through New Mexico-which makes for less people than if you take the front hwy entrance in. Also in new Mexico I enjoyed a small state campground-Oliver Lee Memorial Campground-which has interesting history, wonderful trails up the mountain, and is near white sands and also some historical monuments including one(I forgot the name) with 100's of rock paintings. So many other places I can think of to list but I will wait till I have my map, and maybe you can let us know what states you intend to travel in?
Idaho is a place that many do not consider. Traveling with my mother, who is a nutritionist for the WIC progrom in the District 7 Health Department, I have had the opportunity to see some unknown, remote, yet fabulous places. Driving from Idaho Falls to Salmon, Idaho, you can find one of the last existing one-room school houses! Further down and a little off this same road you will find the birthplace of Sacajawea. Part of the Lewis & Clark Trail runs through Salmon, Idaho and the best bed&breakfast I have ever stayed in is there ass well, for your accomodations. The drive there is beautiful all year round and part of it runs along the Salmon River. Do you like fly fishing, horse back riding, or white water rafting? There are several outfitters that provide excellent excursions of different sorts, from adverture tours to relaxing ones. Challis is an old mining town that has a natural hot spring nearby with a homey bead&breakfast that you can enjoy. Idaho has several Native American sites that are worth visiting including the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Sun Valley and Courd Alene are the touristy towns, but their beauty is not worth missing. Part of the Yellowstone National Park resides within Idaho borders where you can see Old Faithful and buffalo! If you like the quiet outdoors, a little American History, and a taste for something different, visit Idaho!
Best of luck!
Check out Gig Harbor, Wa. It's a small Maritime city that envelops a quiet bay in the Puget Sound. It reminds me a little of the area where the television series "Dawson's Creek" is filmed. Lots of boating docks, cute little shops, and flavorful restaurants. A famous one is the Tides Tavern. And if you do come up this way, a drive down the western coast on Highway 101 is absolutely breath taking! God Bless!