Friday, January 17, 2014

Top spots to visit in 2014

So where are the best places to visit in the United States in 2014?

CNN provided suggestions in a recent article, 50 states, 50 places for 2014.

Here are their suggestions for the Pacific Northwest states:

Idaho: Craters of the Moon National Monument
Located in eastern Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Monument is a 750,000-acre preserve filled with dormant volcanoes that last erupted 2,000 years ago after 13,000 years of activity. Early astronauts trained here in preparation for moon walks. I've been here a couple of times, but never crawled inside the caves that dot the landscape.

Montana: Miles City Roundup
The Miles City Roundup celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. There's the usual rodeo events that attract top rodeo cowboys. The Bucking Horse Sale takes place at the same time. It is 64 years old this year.

Oregon: Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America, at some places more than a mile separates the canyon bottom with the area's highest mountains. Hells Canyon offers spectacular scenery (been there, done that) in the eastern part of the state, and is the dividing line between Oregon and Idaho. The canyon is popular with those who like to run river rapids. (The Snake River runs through the canyon.)

Washington: San Juan Islands
It's pretty hard to beat the San Juan Islands when it comes to scenic beauty. CNN suggests taking a ferry ride from Seattle north to the islands, particularly when it's whale-watching time. My preference is to drive to Anacortes and ferry hop between the islands. Ferry hop long enough and you'll end up on Canada's Vancouver Island.

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