Ten Tourist Attractions

My husband and I love to travel. It is probably more accurate to say that Ed loves to travel and he drags me with him. I love telling people that when I was six months pregnant with Emmy, he dragged me up the side of a mountain just to see a waterfall. I may have been a little out of breath, but I made it, and the view was gorgeous. Most of the tourist attractions we visit are outdoors, and we usually have to hike to see them. Since today is National Tourist Attraction Day, here are just some of the places we’ve been.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

10. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Ed and I rented a little cabin on the side of a mountain. Lily was two at the time, and we spent a week exploring the Smoky Mountains. It is a beautiful place to visit!

9. Castle Rock State Park, Illinois

This time, instead of hiking while pregnant, I carried Emmy all over the place in her baby carrier. Castle Rock is a beautiful bluff in Illinois that not many people visit. It’s on the Rock River in Northern Illinois.

Climbing Castle Rock
Hiking on Castle Rock

8. Mammoth Cave National Park

If you’ve ever wanted to go caving but are a little afraid, this is the place to go. Park Rangers take visitors on guided tours of the cave, and this cave is so big it’s hard to feel claustrophobic. Located in Kentucky, there are also a lot of hiking trails in the forests surrounding the cave entrances. It’s an amazing feeling to be hiking in the woods on a hot summer day, and then feel the cool air coming out of a cave entrance. The caves are always about 67 degrees Fahrenheit, so even if you visit in the summer, bring a jacket to wear in the cave!

Inside Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Inside Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

7. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

The best way to see Pictured Rocks is by boat. The cliffs tower over the waters of Lake Superior and are pretty spectacular.

Pictured Rocks, Michigan

6. Rocky Mountains National Park

The mountains of Colorado are also gorgeous, and in a very different way that the Smoky Mountains. The Smoky Mountains are blue, rounded, and yes, smoky. The Rocky Mountains are craggy and sharp, with snow topped peaks.

Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

5. Niagara Falls

Touristy, check. Beautiful, check. Loud and wet, check.

A view of Niagara Falls from Canada
A view of Niagara Falls from Canada

4. Denali National Park, Alaska

Just plain wilderness. I’ve been up to Alaska three times (I have relatives in Anchorage) and each time I’ve visited it has been completely different. The weather, the mountains, the animals…beautiful beyond description!

Alaskan lake

3. The Grand Canyon, Arizona

One of our best vacations yet!

Lily taking pictures
Lily taking pictures at the South Rim.

2. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

A place I’ve wanted to visit ever since I taught about it as a second grade teacher. Seeing the cliff dwellings was amazing! Preserved for centuries, the dwellings were only discovered about 100 years ago by a couple of cowboys.

Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace

1. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Seriously, one of the most amazing places in the world that has been forgotten.

petrified log
Petrified Forest, Arizona

Ed, Lily, Emmy and I are looking forward to more adventures next summer…California, here we come!

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17 Replies to “Ten Tourist Attractions”

    1. We really are fortunate that we travel so much. I didn’t even include some of the places we’ve been in my list! Without my husband, though, I probably wouldn’t have gone to so many places. He’s the one who really loves to travel.
      Ginny Marie recently posted…Ten Tourist AttractionsMy Profile

    1. The petrified forest was so neat! We were only able to spend the day there, and it rained for most of the time. (Yes, we were in the middle of the Painted Desert and it rained! Bad timing.) You should definitely put it on your list!
      Ginny Marie recently posted…Ten Tourist AttractionsMy Profile

  1. Oh I am envious of all the traveling you’ve done. What wonderful family trips! That’s what we want more of – family trips. We did go out to Yellowstone National Park a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. We’ll definitely be going back. But I’ll put a couple of these places on my list, too. By the way, you were a beautiful preggy mom! 🙂
    Jenny recently posted…Letting Them BeMy Profile

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