Below is the suggestions I have already received, I will be updating this as I receive/find more. This would not all fit into one entry so there are 2.
Collinsville, AL is known for an unusual flea market, not quaintness. I have been told this by friends, and am eager to find out what they mean. They didn't go into detail, but they live near Sand Mountain, GA (ground zero for snake handlers), so I'm guessing different. But then, they don't get out much. More of a nature pick is nearby Fort Payne, AL. It's the gateway to the Little River, a designated state wild and scenic river. Gorp has more info.
You might also want to visit Jerome, which is about an hour north of here, close to Prescott. It used to be a ghost town but it's now filled with artists, musicians, hermits, writers, etc. For more info, visit http://www.azjerome.com/. It's definitely worth it!
Bisbee, AZ? It's a funky old mining town in Southern Arizona. The mine's closed, but lots of artists have moved in. The town is nice to just stroll around, and the surrounding area is beautiful. http://www.discoverbisbee.com/
The Mogollon Rim is nice...up near Payson
oatman, arizona http://www.desertusa.com/oatman/du_oatm
Northern Arizona, Flagstaff area, i always thought it was enchanting.
Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ
Take a visit here to visit a fully restored Titan II Nuclear ICBM silo http://www.pimaair.org/index.php?op
Then a few miles away check out the Airplane Graveyard. http://www.thepepper.com/tucson_airplan
Flagstaff (kind of losing some of its character though, but does have NAU)
Sedona--for the scenery, town is mostly a pit but surrounding scenery is awesome!
Ajo--if you happen to be nearby, it is worth a look, Organ Pipe NP is nearby, and it is on the way to Rocky Point
The most beautiful part of the Grand Canyon is not in the Grand Canyon National Park. You can’t see it from the North Rim or from the more popular South Rim. It’s actually on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, which is just south of the national park, which is a ten-mile hike. However, it’s not as bad as it sounds, except for the first half mile during which we cover about 85% of the 2000 foot drop in elevation; the hike is just a long downward slope.
The trailhead starts at Hualapai Hilltop, only a four hour drive from Flagstaff, Arizona, and offers only a couple of port-a-potties and a large parking area.
It was still pitch black in the canyon as Walter and I prepared ourselves for the hike. At 4 a.m., it may seem early to begin, but we knew that temperatures within the canyon can rise above 110ºF, and we wanted to be at the campgrounds before the heat set in. We had arranged ahead of time for our large packs and food to be carried down to the campsites by pack mules,
and despite the exorbitant cost of $150, it is recommendable for it makes our hike more relaxing and enjoyable.
Havasupai Indian Reservation
The Havasupai Indian Reservation is in a large tributary canyon on the south side of the Colorado River. This land lies outside the boundary and jurisdiction of the National Park Service and is administered by the Havasupai Indian Tribe. The village of Supai is accessible only by foot (an 8-mile hike) or horseback. Hiking is by tribal permit only. Inquiries should be directed to Havasupai Tourist Enterprises, P.O. Box 160, Supai, AZ 86435. (928) 448-2121 or (928) 448-2141 for the tourist office, (928) 448-2111 for lodging.
Hualapai Indian Reservation
Grand Canyon West (located on the south side of the Colorado River) is managed by the Hualapai Tribe. The Hualapai Indian Reservation is located on the south side of the Colorado River. This land lies outside the boundary and jurisdiction of the National Park Service and is administered by the Hualapai Indian Tribe. Inquiries should be directed to Hualapai Tribe, P.O. Box 538, Peach Springs, Arizona, 86434, (928) 769-2216. They can provide you with driving directions, as well as a rate structure for access to their lands along the rim.
Arizona hot springs, take boat/canoe from US93 south of Vegas. Down river outfitters 800-748-3702
Fossil Springs Arizona, camping 928-474-7900
from strawberry go west on fossil creek road. 4.75 miles right to trail #18 parking, 3 mile hike then left .3 mile
Half Moon Bay (claimed)
San Juan Bautista
San Francisco: Anchor Steam Brewery Tour http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us/t
Northern California has the redwoods, largest/tallest trees in the world..
Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, then it makes for a wonderful day.
Camp overnight (must reserve in advance) on Angel Island in the middle of the bay…you take a ferry from the wharf to get there.
The Marin Headlands coastal area is gorgeous hiking for a half day. Last time I was there we played on the driftwood seesaws on the beach for a good hour. Muir Woods is overcrowded, but the huge redwoods are amazing. I love Pt Reyes for a day hike. Head to Tomales Point to see the Tule Elk and albino deer herds. Make sure you have fresh oysters somewhere along the way. You can shuck them yourself at Hog Island Oyster Company. Also, if you find yourself in Pt. Reyes Station, the Red Hawk cheese from Cowgirl Creamery is wonderful. The Coastal town of Bodega Bay is the site of Hitchcock’s film The Birds and has lots of charm. It’s a nice place for horseback riding or kayaking. Winetasting in the Napa Valley or Sonoma: I like the champagne tour at Domain Chandon, the tram ride at Sterling Vineyards, and the Oakville Grocery (good place to shop for picnic fare_. Chateau Montelena has wonderful grounds for picnicking, including two private islands that you must reserve in advance. Stay overnight and get a massage and/or mudbath in Calistoga.
If you are into serious nature and beautiful scenery I would go up to the High Sierra's past Shaver lake on the 196 or 198 (I forget just get a good california map the freeway connects to the I-5 at Fresno or thereabouts and continues to Edison lake). There are hot springs at Mono hot springs (both developed and none developed) and a funky place to stay at lake edison called Vermillion Valley Resort. All accomadations are rustic (resort is really a misnomer this isn't a luxury place) and the place is filled with a lot of John muir trail through hikers. Plenty of interesting and friendly characters, also a great sat night BBQ. From the resort there is access to both day hikes and overnights in truly beautiful country. There is also fishing on the lake.
Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
I agree with #9 about the Sierra Nevadas, including Mono Lake. Most visitors head straight for Yosemite, which is well worth seeing, but there's a lot of pretty scenery in other parts of the Sierras, too. Mono Lake is the second-largest salt lake in the country and has interesting rock formations called tufas... great for photography at sunrise or sunset
definatly hit santa barbara on your way to solvang...the madonna inn in san luis obispo (right off 101)....skip bakersfield....fresno is a shithole....yosemite is awsome.... try mendencino, anything on hwy1....
If you decide to skip the coast and take 101 instead, another good place for interesting hikes is the Pinnacles near Soledad. All the towns around there are small - not sure how they compare to Coober Pedy but quite boring, IMO - but the landscapes at the Pinnacles are beautiful and unique. http://www.nps.gov/pinn/
Maritime Museum of San Diego http://www.sdmaritime.org/ContentPage.a
sequioa national park
The drive-thru redwood tree in northern CA. You'll see signs for it off 101. It's just something you have to do.
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California, Crescent city, near the Oregan border is a rainforest and as beautiful as anywhere on earth.
Treebones Resort - Big Sur, CA This Yurt Village is a unique lodging experience on California's breathtaking Big Sur coast. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with spectacular panoramic views in all directions.
Legion of Honor (San Fran, CA)
Highway 1, going South from SF
A cool drive right near Solvang is Figueroa Mountain right out of Los Olivos, a few miles away. The paved road leads up to the side of Mt. Figueroa, from there a short (but driveable in any car) dirt road takes off to the top, where there is a picknic ground, short paved interpretive trail (thanks to the ADA) and spectacular views of the San Rafeal Wilderness including the very spectacular Hurricane Deck. Also you will have good views of Lake Cachuma, the Santa Ynez valley. If you go in the next few weeks, you may also run in to one of the best wildflower displays anywhere in CA. Huge areas of the mountainside will be covered in purple/blue Lupine and orange poppies. Areas are also forested with pine including the top and the mixture is very cool if you luck out, it only lasts a week or two.
Another interesting place to stop is at the steakhouse that sits in the canyon underneath the huge bridge on CA 154. Its the old highway, but now leads through the trees to a very popular restaurant/bar on the side of the road. Its called Cold Springs Tavern.
If you want great views of the ocean, then drive to the top of San Marcos Pass on CA 154 and take a left on to Camino Cielo. There are great views from nearly anywhere along the road, but after about 10 miles you get to La Cumbre Peak, which is right above downtown Santa Barbara. You can look right down on downtown and harbor. From there you can take a road down the hill right down to Montecito and back in to SB. Its all paved, though there used to be some potholes.
I love Calico Ghost Town in California. It's en route to Vegas or Death Valley. A little touristy, but authentic enough to give you a good idea of what an old mining town was really like. You can explore the old buildings, the cemetery, and even the old mine. You can also camp onsite. A few people do still live there, but only a handful. Yermo, CA. 92398 1-760-254-2122 1-800-TO-CALICO
Leo Carillo State Beach, about 40 miles north of Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway (a/k/a "PCH," Hwy. 1). Great place for a barbecue at sunset. Not well known, hence not often crowded.
Big Sur Area Pfeiffer Beach, which is several miles down a road off of Highway 1 whose only marking is to tell you not to drive on it with a trailer or a big RV. It takes a good 15 minutes to get there. I park and walk to the beach. My first impression is this is nice but not any different than a zillion other Pacific beaches. I keep walking and it opens into a miles-long vista of sand and sea stacks reminiscent of Olympic National Park only warmer and drier. In other words, a beach to die for, a place to have the ashes scattered. There are a few clumps of people and three or four dogs playing in the surf. Travelers, make a special note: This is one of the places to go. It’s not easy to find Pfeiffer Beach, but find it you must.
- Mt. Whitney Restaurant in Lone Pine while you're there (they serve ostrich patties for breakfast among other things!)
- Bishop is a good rest stop, like for lunch, and they built this huge riverside community park
- Mammoth Lakes area is always fun if you are the sporty/outdoorsy type
- If you visit Mono Lake, the South Tufa is an interesting detour
Towards San Francisco
- Grover Hot Springs looked fun when I was coming back from Tahoe but they charge a fee (maybe $5) for hot springs use
- If Ebbetts Pass is open (can be anywhere from April to June) CA Hwy 4 is very scenic and my favorite drive, period. Just watch your lunch when you make the winding climb up towards Lake Alpine, if you know what I mean.
- To reach CA Hwy 4 from U.S. 395, you turn west onto CA Hwy 89 between Colesville and Topaz Lake
On Hwy 4
- Utica Reservoir just beyond Bear Valley/Lake Alpine is a pleasant and remote lake perfect for kayaking/canoeing (if you really want off the beaten path)
- Calaveras Big Trees SP marks the end of the pine forested part. There are some great day hikes if you stay overnight or just visit as a side trip. South Grove is the longer, lesser-visited trail but has some of the largest, most spectacular redwoods in the park.
- The region between Arnold and Angels Camp is mostly wine growing. Murphys is one of the most charming towns in the gold country and it has a historic main street lined with wine tasting shops. If in town, do not miss the park. It is picture-perfect and they hold all sorts of community events on the weekends. Pizza Plus! is a tasty dining option and very cheap.
- Nearby Murphys is Ironstone Vineyards, which is not only a great winery but also houses the world's largest gold nugget.
- The gold country has many cave systems and a group called Underground Adventures operates tours of four caves and one gold mine. All are worth a visit.
- A little-known hike on Parrott's Ferry Road between Angels Camp and New Melones is Natural Bridges (the trailhead is well-posted, though). The hike is just one mile out and one mile back and it visit a spectacular natural arch suspended over the river. Bring a raft if you can to go into the cave and see the stalactites and stalagmites from inside. It is an unforgettable sight.
- Columbia is the gem of the gold country and a unique throwback to the glory days. I return at least once a year. The main-street is car-free and has everything you could imagine from a gold rush town from the saloon and blacksmith's shop to the post office and old school house. Don't miss Nelson's Candy Kitchen; everything is handmade. Also, it wouldn't be a gold rush town without the opportunity for gold panning. There are a couple hotels on the main strip but if you have a tent the Marble Quarry RV Park (named after the nearby marble quarry) is actually nicer than it sounds. All of the RVs occupy the upper area while tent campers get the nicer bottom section. There are rocks to climb and a relaxing trail through oak groves into town. Columbia also has the distinction of having the only airport in the area.
- The road leads through Sonora, where there are plenty of options for refueling before hitting the road again. Pretty much every major chain store is located in town.
- Jamestown has a National Historial Railroad just south of Sonora
From the Sierra Foothills/Gold Country you can easily make it to San Francisco via Modesto. If you can make it through Ebbetts Pass, stay in the Gold Country for a few days. If you can’t make it and you have to go up through Tahoe, hit DL Bliss SP near Emerald Cove or maybe even the Desolation Wilderness en route.
Sierra Nevada Brewery Tour, FREE 1075 East 20th Street, Chico, CA 95928 530.893.3520
Taylor Guitars Factory Tourt 1980 Gillespie Way, El Cajon, CA 92020 (619) 258-1207
Jelly Belly Candy Factory Tour One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA 94533 1-800-953-5592
state park but unbelievably beautiful, Red Rock Canyon in California, just off highway 14
Lassen Volcanic National Forest in Northwest Cali. Showed up in mid-afternoon on a saturday and got a prime campsite. Place has boiling lakes, fumaroles, and other natural oddities. Plus the flora couldn't be more diverse and better placed if it were done by a gardner.
17 mile drive in California, very very beautiful, For cars, there is an entrance fee ($8 per vehicle or per person in a tour bus), but if you bike it is free and on a nice day, it is probably much nicer (you must enter at the Pacific Grove gate). Address: 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
John Muir Trail, CA 221 miles
Half Dome, Yosemite, Ca
Chilnualna Creek, CA
Trek to a classic Yosemite plunge.
A mile up Yosemite National Park's Chilnualna Falls Trail, where the path veers to the left away from the drainage, swimrats who know better hang a right. Less than a quarter-mile upstream you'll find Sierra granite fashioned into perfectly smooth basins and wildly contoured ledges, as if the whole thing were designed by a giant, overcaffeinated Henry Moore. The shelves are perfect for cannonballs, providing a 20-foot drop with which to churn up an all-world splash. Back on trail, it's another 3 miles or so to the falls proper, another mini water park, and stellar views of Wawona Dome, an exposed granite face to the south.
Cognoscenti head to the park's Ahwahnee dining room, where the apple crepe with raspberry syrup is sublime fuel for swimming. (209) 372-1489
From the south entrance on CA 41, go right on Chilnualna Falls Road. Drive 2 miles to the trailhead. www.nps.gov/yose
Mcway cove, Big Sur, CA
Marin Headlands, CA miwok trail 8 mile loop www.nps.gov/goga/mahe
campground on the North Rim Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Victor not far from Cripple creek the scenery is great. High up in the mountains not far from Manitou springs
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Round Trip - Durango to Silverton - May 6 to October 28, 2006 Silverton Summer Excursion The Silverton Excursion is our classic roundtrip run from Durango to Silverton along the scenic and remote Animas River. Accessible only by the train and by air, this excursion will leave you with breathtaking memories for years to come. Train Round Trip: $62 adults and $31 children (ages 5-11).
Premium Motorcoach/Train Combination: $69 adults and $38 children (ages 5-11). 1-877-TRAIN-07
The elk will be bugling, with the best place to experience this undoubtedly Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The elk will be everywhere, even in the downtown of Estes Park, the town next to the national park. When I visited, there were elk in my hotel parking lot.
Mount Elbert, Colorado, Rockies, 11 mile roundtrip Black cloud trail, non-technical Leadville, CO (719) 486-0749
Rocky Mountain National park – sand beach lake loop
Rocky Mountain National Park, Hike from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake
Conundrum hot springs, Colorado, Outside Aspen. North of CO82, left on FR102, left at castle creek road, 5 miles follow signs to trailhead 970-925-3445
www.huts.org colorado’s 10th mountain division huts
White River – Trappers peak loop, Colorado near Buford south fork campground
quandary peak 5.6 mile trail near Breckenridge Colorado
goshen balloon festival
Missed one stand out in CT- the Thimble Islands,in Branford CT. A group of tiny islands big enough for beautiful homes and that is about it. Take a tour - its an amazing and truly unique place.
Kent falls (on route 7 in Kent which is on your list)
Groton Sub base (check to make sure they are open for tours) It is up near Mystic
Foxwoods and/or Mohegan Sun casino (I'm not a gambler, but they're fun to walk through)..also near Mystic
Lime Rock raceway (past Kent)...watch Paul Newman race, or take a driving course
There's a balloon festival in Bristol also..while there checkout Lake Compounce, the oldest theme park in North America
the tax free state! some of the beaches are pretty nice - such as Cape Henlopen State Park. and we always drive to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in the fall to see all the migrating birds - pretty cool.
ft. Desoto park
Rock springs/kelly park
Fernandina beach/amelia island
canaveral National Seashore
Bok Tower Gardens
sanibel and captiva islands
hollywood beach (boardwalk)
St. augustine beach
new smryna beach
flagler beach (red sand)
destin beach (white sand)
tarpon springs a greek town with a sponge industry
Jules' Undersea Lodge - Key Largo, FL For the first time in history an authentic underwater research habitat is open to the average person--sport divers and even those who have never before dived. And although Jules' still functions as a research lab, you will be pleased to know that it has air-contitioning, hot showers, stereo music, VCR's, a fully stocked galley, and unlimited diving for certified divers.
savannah ~ unique, quaint
Stop overnight in St. Mary's (just over the GA border) and take the day boat trip to Cumberland Island.
Jeckyll Island - millionaires's cottages
Tybee Island - lighthouse and fort/museum
Weather is likely to be quite nice by March, but anything from hot sun to cold rain is possible.
A bit of a detour if you have time: go to the Okefenokee Swamp and take the boat ride from the Visitors' Center.
Cohutta, GA used to be a popular area 100 years ago for its springs. UGA has taken over the site; it's a hatchery now. You can contact the Tennessee Aquarium Research Institute for tours, since they lease out ponds and buildings there as well. It's very close to Red Clay State park, and important stop on the Trail of Tears heritage trail. Again, not quaint, but interesting. There are some nice walks. Also, someone concreted in a spring on their property on the way from Cohutta to Red Clay, and for five bucks a day, you can hang out with the locals at the 'farmers pond'
Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia Callaway Gardens is a 14,000-acre nature preserve that encompasses woodlands, gardens, a beach, resort, chapel, and championship golf course. It is located 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta.
Coeur d’ Alene ID—The lakeshore.
For open space and no crowds, visit the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho
tetons - Lake surprise, Ampitheater Lake, Day Hike to Jenny Lake, need a permit,
Moose Junction near tetons, all you can eat dutch oven cooking
Federal Museum, path, campsite
Southern Idaho, city of rocks national reserve
SW Idaho, Hot springs, free mine tour
yellowstone, west entrance, fishing in big springs, Island park, NE Idaho
Driggs Idaho best view of tetons, need mosquito repellant here
The Sawtooths in Idaho are stunning and in the fall they cast a beautiful reflection on Redfish Lake. Salmon have returned to some Idaho rivers (Bear Valley Creek, Pahsimeroi River) to spawn, and you can see these large fish in the rivers. Wildlife everywhere is generally pretty easy to find. Camping is uncrowded; it can be cold in the mountains but it is also cold in June.
Bear Valley Idaho, Frank Church Wilderness, Tree letters carved in, HS head down steep slop to string of rock lined pools, 20 miles northwest of Stanley on ID21, west on FR 82/579 after 8 miles enter fir creek campground 208-879-4101
Hell Roaring Trailhead, off ID 75 walk 6 miles to Imogene Lake, hotspring along Salmon River and ID75 just north of Stanley
Upper North Fork Circle creek trailhead, Idaho 5 to 7 mile hikes camping drive in 7$ sites http://www.nps.gov/ciro/
Rockome Gardens is a rock and flower garden located in the heart of Illinois Amish Country. Rides available are train rides, haunted cave, buggy rides. Petting farm, tree house, outdoor mini railroad, and blacksmith shop. Shops include Grist Mill, Bakery, Candy shop, Rock shop, and many others. Family Style Restaurant located on the grounds.
I suggest Galena , Illinois (historic river town in a hilly area near the Mississsippi River, with a Huck Finn feeling)
Navoo Illinois, along The Great River Road which runs North to South along the Illinois side of the Mississippi river. This town was the original settlement of Mormons who have come back with a vengence to rebuild their temple. Stop and support the local wineries and try some Navoo blue cheese to support those whose livliehoods are ebing threatened by the resurgence of Mormonism in these parts.
Carbondale, IL: not my #1 pick of places to go (especially in August), but with the school it was interesting. Definitely shows more of IL than Chicago.
Starved rock, IL. Eagle watching, 18 sandstone canyons, La Salle Canyon, view eagles at Eagle Cliff
French Lick/West Baden Springs
Nashville, INDIANA (not TN!!). It's sort of an old-fashioned yet bohemian artisan town, and a few miles past it is the Gnaw Bone Trading Post, home to the original breaded tenderloin sandwich. If you happen to be around Nashville in the fall when the leaves are turning, it's gorgeous!
Also, Crawfordsville, which is about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis, is home to the Lew Wallace Study and Museum. Lew Wallace was the author of the book Ben Hur, which was made into a movie with Charleton Heston. You know, the chariot race and all that stuff. It's an interesting museum to visit, Crawfordsville is a quaint, small town.
Finally, there's a really cool state park in the town of Mitchell called Spring Mill. You can go hiking, caving, or you can take a jaunt through the pioneer village there, which really WAS a town where people lived until the town of Mitchell grew up around Spring Mill, taking it over. Several original buildings have been restored, and the biggest attraction is the grist mill itself where they still grind corn (you can buy a bag of freshly ground Indiana corn meal) using the mill which is powered by water.
Bloomington, IN: has the Univ of IN, a pretty town I passed through
Villages of Van Buren County
Iowa City, IA is a fun town, very close to the Amana colonies (you got that on the list already) home to the some of the best pancakes ever.
Amana Colonies; a National Historic Landmark tucked in the rolling hills of eastern Iowa. "Gemütlichkeit" (German for warmth, cheer and friendliness) overflows in our seven quaint villages, founded 150 years ago. http://www.amanacolonies.com/
Pella, reminiscent of the Netherlands with its Dutch architecture, canal, windmills, wooden shoes and tulips, it is a European oasis in the Heartland! Visit us for a day or a weekend...your wooden shoes are waiting! http://www.pella.org/
Britt Iowa holds an annual hobo festival every August, complete with real lives hoboes who still ride the railroad cars and tells stories. You can camp and hang around a campfire with them and eat the world's largest Mulligan stew.
St. Francis, Kansas
you should really go to Lawrence KS the best brewery is there Free State Brewery... awesome and KC has a great micro brew, Boulevard
I have driven through Kentucky and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful scenery, the mountains are beautiful. Check out Blue Ridge Country there.
Daniel Boone National forest, Kentucky AKA Natural Bridge, Red River Gorge (Most Natural Bridges East of the Mississippi... you can pitch a tent on the edge of some amazing 400 foot cliffs... just don't fall off!)
Grand Isle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_
Kittery ME—Maine’s oldest town.
One place I'm fond of is Ogonquit, Maine. There is a very long windy path called the marginal way that wraps around a small inlet of the sea where the waves come crashing over the rocks to the shores more beautifully than any movie I've ever seen. Small quaint coves are tucked along the bay where you can get some of the best Maine lobster which is supposedly the most tender in the world because of the frigid waters. Cape cod is another good 'ol local spot I enjoy. Beautiful beaches, pretty sunsets, big old wooden windmills in the marsh...
I really hope you like ogonquit. What season do you plan to pass by? Summer is always very busy and parking is really tight on day trips, but possible. If you're travelling further along Maine the ride along the coast is very scenic and there are other nice beaches to stop along also. Ogonquit is close to Boston, only 45 minutes or so drive. Will you be cruising through 'ol Beantown along the way too? Let me know if you want any ideas for local stays/places to eat, visit etc.
I think that Boston is more like an hour and 45 minutes from Ogunquit via I95 but still worth the visit if you are that close. A much more interesting trip, but longer is following the coast south. The Maine
coast is rugged, rocky
Mt. Desert Campground 516 Sound Drive Somesville, Mt. Desert, ME 04660 Phone: 207-244-3710 http://www.mountdesertcampground.co
there's a lobster hatchery on the island of Arcadia off of Maine that's really awesome, one of the only ones in the country. Oceanarium & lobster Hatchery
Up-close with marine life; seal program; guided tour of a salt marsh. A working lobster hatchery: see mother lobsters, the hatchery process and baby lobsters. Charge.
Four miles north of Acadia Park Entrance on Route 3
207-288-5005 or 207-244-7330
Open daily except Sunday, Mid-May thru Mid-October
Maine Island Trail www.mita.org www.nationalparkkayak.com
Monson, Maine 20$ bunk Shaw's Boarding House Monson 207-997-3597
Gulf Hagas, maine 9 mile loop
Abol Bridge Campground Millinocket mail only Allagash Gateway Millinocket 207-723-9215 Antler Camp at Sandy Bay Greenville 207-772-9557 Beaver Cove Camps Greenville 800-577-3717 Beaver Cove Waterfront Cottage Greenville 207-695-8953 Beech Ridge Camps Brownville 207-965-8819 The Birches Wilderness Resort Rockwood 800-825-9453 Bowlin Camps Patten 207-528-2022 Buck's Crossing Parkman 207-277-3183 Buckhorn Camps Millinocket 207-745-5023 Campstahcometo Dover-Foxcroft 207-564-7744 Casey's Spencer Bay Camps and Campground Greenville 207-695-2801 Christie's Campground Newport 207-368-4645 Cottage at Twin Hills Greenville 207-695-0223 County Woods Cabin Newport 207-368-1077 Cozy Cottage in Maine Millinocket 207-723-5859 Cozy Moose Lakeside Cabin Rentals Greenville 207-695-0242 Frost Pond Camps and Campground Ripogenus Dam 207-852-4700 Gray Ghost Camps Rockwood 207-534-7362 Hidden Springs Campground Millinocket 207-723-6337 Jo-Mary Lake Campground Millinocket 207-723-8117 Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps Millinocket 207-723-4050 Katahdin Shadows Campground Medway 800-794-5267 Lawrence's Lakeside Cabins and Guide Service Rockwood 207-534-7709 Libby Camps Ashland 207-435-8274 Little Lyford Pond Camps Greenville 207-280-0016 Lunksoos Camps Sherman Mills 207-365-4548 Magic Falls Whitewater Rafting West Forks 800-207-7238 Maine Escapes Rockwood 207-542-1717 Mainly Camp Rentals Milo 207-943-5556 Maine's Professional Vacation Rental Agencies Greenville 207-695-4300 Maine Vacation Home Rental Lincoln 888-539-0703 Matagamon Wilderness Patten 207-528-2448 Mattawamkeag Wilderness Park Campground Mattawamkeag 888-724-2465 Medawisla Greenville 207-695-2690 Moose Point Tavern and Cabins Jackman 207-668-4012 Moosehead Family Campground Greenville 207-695-2210 Moosehead Hills Cabins Greenville 207-695-2514 Moxie Outdoor Adventures The Forks 800-866-6943 Mt. Kineo Cabins Greenville 207-534-7744 Nahmakanta Lake Camps Millinocket 207-723-6501 Nesowadnehunk Lake Richmond 207-737-4772 New England Outdoor Center Millinocket 800-766-7238 Nicatous Lodge and Camps Burlington 207-732-4771 Northern Outdoors Millinocket 800-765-RAFT Northwoods Camp Rental Greenville 207-695-4300 Old Mill Cabins Rockwood 207-534-7333 Palmyra Golf and RV Resort Palmyra 207-938-4947 Paul Bunyon Campground Bangor 207-941-1177 Penobscot Lake Lodge Greenville Jct 207-695-4487 Penobscot Outdoor Center Millinocket 800-825-9453 Pine Grove Campground & Cottages Medway 207-746-5172 Pleasant Hill RV Park & Campground Hermon 207-848-5127 Pushaw Lake Campground Orono 207-866-7600 Red Barn Campground Holden 207-843-6011 Rice Farm Campground Millinocket 800-766-7238 Rockwood Cottages Rockwood 207-534-7725 Searsport Shores Oceanfront Camping Searsport 207-548-6059 Schoodic Lake Four Season
Camp Rental Brownville 207-777-3759 Shin Pond Village Patten 207-528-2900 Skowhegan/Canaan KOA Skowhegan 207-474-2858 Sleeping Bear Camping Lee 207-738-3148 South Branch Lake Camps Seboeis 207-732-3446 Spencer Pond Camps Greenville 207-843-5456 Stetson Shores Campground Stetson 207-296-2041 Tall Pines Campground Hartland 207-938-4589 Tent Village Campground Newport 207-368-5140 The Patrick House Greenville 207-695-8901 The Riverview Rockwood 207-695-0223 Three Bears Cabins Plymouth 207-257-2101 Tomhegan Wilderness Resort Rockwood 207-534-7712 Twin Pine Camps and Cabins Millinocket 800-766-7238 Vainio Cottage Rental Blanchard 207-997-3911 Watson Springs Campground Milo 207-943-2162 Wilson Camp Rentals Guilford 401-295-1425 Wilson Pond Camps Greenville 207-695-2860
Havre de Grace
St. Mary’s City
along the cheasapeake bay - lots of cute little fishing towns and little inlets to go kayaking/fishing/boating. very nice in the summer time. i like Susquehanna State Park.
Maryland has some awesome camping sites. My personal favorite is Pokamoke.
Prince William Forest Park, only 30 minutes south of the city. You can make reservations for one of their cabins or camp in a tent. It's amazing that there are still places like PWFP so close to a major city.
Assateague Island in Maryland is also beautiful if the weather is nice.
The easiest, most convenient, prettiest way will take you from I-95 in DC to route 50 over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (toll: $2.50) and into the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It would be my recommendation that you stay on route 50 all the way to Ocean City, MD...not bc Ocean City is great (I don't really like it), but bc there aren't many main roads leading to Delaware/NJ, etc. Plus, once in Ocean City, you'll be riding alongside the Atlantic Ocean and the further away you get from Ocean City, the prettier the ride is.
You have a couple of choices here. You can go a little big south and head into Assateague National Seashore to see the wild horses/seashore. Or you can go north on the 528 directly into Delaware, which then turns into route 1. There are a bunch of cute seaside towns here which I love. Fenwick Island, DE, Bethany Beach, DE, Dewey Beach, DE and the more famous, Rehoboth Beach, DE..
Slightly north of Rehoboth Beach, is Lewes, DE which has the Cape May-Lewes ferry, which will be your access across the Delaware Bay to NJ. From there, it's north to Atlantic City.
Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Quaint waterfront towns include Rockport, MA, Portsmouth, NH, Newburyport, MA
Ayer, Mass: I was stationed here in the Army and we all 'used' the town to catch the train to Boston. The town seemed to have a Stephen King-type feel.
Quaint town: Concord. Walden Pond is near there, too, but the attraction is the town green. There’s a shop that will sell you a big sheet of rice paper and a hard triangular crayon for "grave rubbing," the means by which you make an impression of a tombstone.
South Shore towns of Hingham, Hull, Cohasset and Scituate are lovely to drive through. Cohasset, in particular, has picture postcard town common and harbor. World’s End nature preserve near Hingham is a magnificent picnic spot.
Plimoth Plantation near Plymouth is a re-creation of a Pilgrim settlement complete with actors playing the roles. I really enjoyed it.
- Provicetown at the tip of the Cape is the best place to go. Significant gay population but also "straight friendly." Place to stay is Land’s End Inn. Make sure to see Cape Cod National Seashore about five miles from town, one of the best beaches anywhere.
- Cape is best seen by car. Take Rte. 6A in at least one direction to get a feel for the towns. Stop in Sandwich, MA for the glass museum and lunch at the (original) Dan’l Webster Inn. You can also use the Plymouth & Brockton bus line, and there is summer ferry service from Boston to Provicetown.
- The Cape is VERY crowded on summer weekends. Epic Friday afternoon traffic jams going there, and Sunday afternoon traffic jams returning. It’s much better in the shoulder and off-seasons.
- Nantucket is reachable by ferry from Hyannis. Don’t bring your car. A good and reasonably priced place to stay is the Jared Coffin House. The island is beautiful and expensive, and somewhat precious and pretentious. Very crowded in summer, and resorts are ruinously priced but gorgeous if you can afford it. Bicycles available for rent.
- Martha’s Vineyard is larger, and you’ll want to take your car. I haven’t been there so you’ll need to get information elsewhere. The general belief is that the Democrats go to M.V. and the Republicans go to Nantucket, but like all generalizations that one is strained.
Martha's Vineyard Hostel - located in West Tisbury in the middle of the island. Good bus service to the towns.
Martha's Vineyard Family Campground - www.campmvfc.com - not far from Vineyard Haven on the road between Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. Requires you to bring a tent!
Boston – Mt Moosilauke
walden pond, concord, MA sleepy hollow
Otherwise, Battleship cove in Fall River, Mass
Olde Sturbridge Village is good for an afternoon Old Sturbridge Village 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road Sturbridge, MA 01566
or even better, The Big E West Springfield, MA
Cape Cod, Mass
As you go North on Interstate 75, take the Grayling exit and visit 'Michigan State of' (Hartwick Pines State Park), where you can see enormous Michigan white pines, including Michigan's tallest/largest tree, The General, along with a nicely-restored logging camp. This State park continues a stand of virgin (never harvested) pines, that are not only beautiful, but also incredibly old. The forest here is just permeated with an air of ancient serenity.
If you go further North, then head West to Beulah, to see 'Cherry Hut Restaurant', where you can get a good meal, a neat resort-type atmosphere, and the best cherry pie, cherry-ade, and cherry jams, preserves, jelly, and conserves in the world. Yum! (look for a dolphin, waving to you from nearby Crystal Lake)
Next, go back to I-75 and head North, over the Mackinac Bridge, and on up to Munising. Leave an entire day for 'Pictured Rocks Cruises Inc', plus there is wonderful camping, hiking, site-seeing (many little waterfalls), swimming (if you don't mind cold water), and kayaking. (look out over Munising Bay, for signs of a leaping dolphin)
Go back South, into the Garden Peninsula, to the Southern tip, to see 'Fayette State Park', with its nice museum and ghost-town. (the bay is excellent water for dolphins)
Finally, go North and West, to see 'Porcupine Mt Wilderness State Park', where there is wonderful hiking, rustic cabins, and the magnificent Lake of the Clouds. (no access for dolphins, sadly)
St. Joseph's, MI
In Detroit, I recommend the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Greektown, some people like the Casinos downtown, the Arabic food is to die for in Dearborn, MI, some of the clubs are ok. Take in a ball game or a show somewhere.
Michigan Upper Pennisula, Porcupine Mountains, Lake superior Trail 16 mile long section. www.northernwaters.com www.keweenawadventure.com
Grand Marais, Minnesota
In the summer, Minnesota's North Shore (along Lake Superior) is beautiful, with a couple of cute little towns right on the lake, and lots of amazing hiking and natural wonders. People seeing it for the first time are surprised at the dramatic scenery -- huge cliffs, lighthouses, beautiful beaches with wave-worn rocks.
St. Paul - Marjorie McNeelyConservatory (651)487-8200 1225 Estabrook Drive Saint Paul, MN 55103
Go see a taping of the Prairie home companion tickets to the Friday night rehearsals are cheaper
Split Rock Lighthouse Historic Site 218-226-6372 $8 adults 3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd. Two Harbors, MN. 55616 May 15 - Oct. 15: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily.
I wouldn't recommend driving all the way to Minnesota just to visit The Spam Museum, but it's free and kitschy and fun. So, if you find yourself driving on I35, south of the Twin Cities near the Iowa border, take the 11 mile detour to Austin. Also, stop by the restaurant across the street and have a "spamburger" for lunch. It won't be the best meal you've ever had, but it's unique. If you've never visited a small company-dominated town, Austin would be a good example of one. 1937 SPAM Boulevard Austin, Minnesota 55912
1-800-LUV-SPAM (1-800-588-7726) May 1 to Labor Day: Mon-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 12 Noon-4 p.m. Free Admission
North Shore area, Two Harbors Minnesota
Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Northern Minnesota. Lake Superior.
Lake Superior National Forest, Northern Minnesota AKA "North Shore", "Boundary Waters" Some of the most breath-taking scenery you can find, and they limit the number of people who can go up there, so you can camp and hike and canoe without seeing other people!
Voyagers national park (and adjacent boundary waters canoe area wilderness) in northern minnesota.
Minneapolis – pike island loop hike 3 miles, Ft. Snellings, where Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet.
Natchez, Mississippi (not a college town but lovely)
Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS! And then just take a day and explore the Delta.
The Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, Missouri is a wonderful place filled with al kinds of beautiful flora "j
It's a happy place, and it only costs 8$ to get in
As much as I love NW Montana, you might stop in to poor little Browning MT, visit the Museum of the Plains Indian on the Blackfeet reservation
The Bear Paw mountains of Montana
the mission mountains. the most gorgeous ones in montana.. and i've always thought glacier nat'l park is way more beautiful than yellowstone.
you can pretty much camp anywhere for free..all the campsites in the nat'l dorests charge a fee..but that's only of they can find you! just remember that montana ranges from huge-as-hell mountains to flat-as-hell prairie! don't go to far eastern montana if you are only interested in seeing mountains and such.
Come to Kalispell -> Whitefish -> Columbia Falls (you'll have to go through C. Falls any way to get to GNP) and Flathead Lake. Beautiful. And let's see ... Saint Mary which is on the way to East Glacier. Ignore Browning though.
bozeman I don't know what your into but 2 good places to stop and grab a bite are 3 bar bbq (awesome just what you'd expect in cowboy country) and Santa Fe Reds (mex). Both of those are on the Main St which is North 7th. Cool bars are Cats Paw..also on the main drag, and a kick ass little bar called the Molly Brown.
Livingston, MT ~ preserved historic town
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Montana/Wyoming 406-666-2412 Bighorn Lake, formed by Yellowtail Dam on the Bighorn River, extends 71 miles, including 55 miles through spectacular Bighorn Canyon (view a park map. 145 K). The Crow Indian Reservation borders a large part of the area. Established by act of Congress Oct. 15, 1966.
Once again, I have to plug the Sip-N--Dip lounge http://www.ohairemotorinn.com/?p=sipand
You can drive to Missoula. It's pretty cool and very outdoor geared. They just built this little rapid in the river where Kayakers(misspelled) can go and "play" on the rivers. It's gotten really popular since they finished. Not to mention all the hiking in town.
You could go up to Polson or Kalispell, anywhere that's right on the lake and you can do either some Flatehead cherry picking, which they taste great BTW, or you can go play on the lake which is always fun. They've got Boat rentals in Polson and the view of the lake is beautiful!
There is also the Lewis & Clark Caverns. I can never remember the location so if someone reads this, please help me out. It's a really cool cavern of stalagtights and stalagmights that are amazing! You really have to hike up to it with a group and there is more walking through the cave. If you can't deal with closed in spaces or bat or moments of extreme darkness I wouldn't suggest it. But it's totally worth it!! You could always visit TravelMt.com for all sorts of information.
The State Fair takes place in Great Falls in the beginning of August. I have always found it fun and interesting. There is a lot of 4H stuff and the rodeo and a usually some good country singers.
Also the Lewis and Clark caverns are located near three forks (more info at http://fwp.mt.gov/lands/site_281895.asp
You absolutely MUST go to Polebridge - you won't regret it - and of course head into the Park too. There's an "inside" road that runs north/south on the interior of the park...it's a rough dirt road, but it leads to some terrific hiking/backpacking trails, and great lake views...Again, not too many people...but lots o' bears... :)
The Yaak is really nice too - nice and remote. Great camping with no people. Around that northwestern part of the state, north of Thompson Falls I believe, is a place called the Ross Creek Giant Cedars. It's just a little state park kind of thing, but the hiking though the giant cedars is just amazing. It's so quiet and beautiful there. Good place for a picnic... Again, off the beaten path...
One last place to check out - just south east of Glacier, is a place called Jewel Basin Hiking Area. Spectacular scenery. The road (high clearance vehicle recommended) gets clear of snow usually by mid-june. Call the local ranger station for more info...
Enjoy! I miss living in Montana so much! Post pictures when you come back...
There is also a State Fair in Billings. I think it usually happens before the State Fair in Great Falls. I've never been to the one in Billings. I'm a Great Falls native....
Also, the Sweet Pea Festival happens the first part of August in Bozeman.
Austin is a little bitty burg in the middle of the state – about 300 people all told. Surprisingly, I wandered around there for a couple of days. The pioneer cemeteries are fascinating, as well as Stokes Castle and all kinds of little mining ruins - don't stand in the doorways, even caved in mines can cave again. You can get a good burger – beef or veggie – down on Main Street, and the turquoise and vintage clothing shops offer some eclectic shopping opportunities. Hotels here are clean and not much more, but you're very close to Bob Scott Summit, so consider camping.
Sand Mountain is just that – a six hundred foot tall mountain of sand. It's pretty amazing, both during the week when it's quiet and on weekends when lunatics on two and four wheels ride straight up and down the sides. If you're an eco-tourist, this place will bother you, because this astounding natural feature is being used (and abused) almost exclusively for motorized sport. If you're a sandboarder, you may be disappointed. There was way too much vehicular traffic there for me to try a run – but I hear there are some quiet times when you can risk it.
Stokes Castle is an interesting ride up a mountain near Austin. This summer palace got used for about 3 months after it was built in 1897 and it's been sitting there since. Keep going up the road past the castle and you'll find some pretty cool mining ruins.
Spencer Hot Springs offers a nice relaxing place to soak away the travel aches. There's no charge, no water management, and very often, no clothes. Look for it about ten miles down a dirt road off of State Road 376 near Highway 50.
Wheeler Peak in the Great Basin State Park is a must see. Drive to the top of the road and then hike further to see the bristlecone pines, which are the oldest known living things on the planet. Wow.
Lehman Caves in Great Basin are also worth a look. The entry to the caverns is through a native funerary chamber, and you're asked to walk in complete silence. Rather eerie. The caves themselves are fantastic and intricate, and even more interesting when you consider that they were used as a speakeasy during prohibition.
Mt. Charleston 45 min NW or Las Vegas Nevada
Calico Basin in Red Rock Canyon, Slick Rock, run off 64 Red Rock
Valley Offine S. P. Nevada
Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Emerald Bay, Viking House, Lake TAhoe, natural fjord, waterfall
virginia city, Nevada
www.bootlegcanyon.com in boulder city Nevada, Mountain Bike Park Bike Stuff, (702) 293-2453
Lake Tahoe: This 5.4-mile out-and-back has it all: 5-star camping, superlative swimming, and picture-postcard scenery along a patchwork of lakes in Tahoe National Forest. TO TRAILHEAD: I-80 W to CA 20 W to FR 18 N (Bowman Rd.) to FR 17 E; follow signs to Carr Lake Campground.
Keene NH—the epitome of small-town New England.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a lovely seaside community with a lot of history, (including Strawbery Banke, a restored village, www.strawberybanke.org), then there are 20 miles of beaches before crossing into Massachusetts and the old seaport of Newburyport. From there, one can pick up I95 or continue down Route 1A through several pretty coastal villages.
www.ogunquit.org/info/ogunquit.cfm It's a beautiful part of New England.
Cape May, New Jersey (not really off the beaten path but lovely) Cape May Point State Park New jersey 609-884-2159
And Ocean City, NJ is a great all-american family beach town
Montainaire, New Mexico.....The Manzano Mountains !
Sante Fe New Mexico is good
Kokopelli's Cave Bed & Breakfast - Farmington, NM This bed & breakfast is a luxury cliff dwelling located north of Farmington, New Mexico near the Mesa Verde National Monument. From the cave and the cliff tops you have an unparalleled view of beautiful southwest sunsets over the four states of the Four Corners area.
Madrid, New Mexico former mining town now a haven for artists'
Taos, New Mexico ~ Taos Pueblo, it's definitely unique! While you're at it...go to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, simply spectacular, take 64 West
In New Mexico some interesting Indian Pueblos. The most interesting is Acoma, west of Albuquerque.
Gila National Forest 3005 E. Camino del Bosque Silver City, NM 88061 (505) 388-8201
Fossil Butte, New Mexico Navajo arizona, anasazi cities
Main Beach, East Hampton, New York
Becco restaraunt NYC
museum of television and radio
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Saugerties Lighthouse - Saugerties, NY This lighthouse was built in 1869. It sits on a massive circular stone base sixty feet in diameter. A sixth-order Fresnel lens was used with kerosene lamps. The foundation for the original lighthouse remains as a small island adjacent to the exisiting lighthouse. There are two second floor bedrooms, each with a double bed. The smaller West room has windows facing both south down the Hudson and west down up the Esopus Creek towards town. The larger East room has two windows looking out on the river and is large enough to accommodate two air mattresses for children.
Also in central upstate NY, around where I went to school (Colgate University), if you go there in the fall, it's a gorgeous drive, the hills are so colorful with the changing leaves. There are a lot of cute little towns. There's one town called Casanovia that's really nice with a pretty lake.
The ideal month I'd say would be October. Nature isn't 100% predictable but I remember in mid-October when the university had parent weekend, driving around with my parents and just being amazed at the beautiful colors. The University itself is in Hamilton in case you wanna drive through, it is said to be one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. And they have a NY pizzaria with awesome pizza, "slices come plain only!" Slices used to be $1 when i was there, and they are generous slices. I miss that pizza!
The town's name is actually Cazenovia, I mispelled it... But I found the restaurant, it's Brae Loch Inn, it's an Inn (obviously) with a restaurant http://www.travelguides.com/home/brae_l
If you don't make it in October, I know August or May are also very nice times to go, the weather is nice and the towns are really alive with farmer's markets and such.
North Creek, NY Siamese Pond Wilderness, Southwest end of NY 78 13th lake road, 6 miles to puffer pond & lean to, ice caves, chimney mtn. camp anywhere 150 feet from water trail or road, permits only required for 3 or more days
There's always the Bronx Zoo or the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in NY
Depending on when you're in the area, hit The Dutchess County Fair Rte 9, Rhinebeck, NY
Posted by Champthom on May 9, 2006 04:22pm
It looks like you'll be passing through Rochester, NY or near there.
Likwise, let me totally know! We can get a garbage plate and you can sleep on my floor!
PART 2 http://steprous.livejournal.com/344