Too often forgotten or dismissed as ‘flyover’ country between San Francisco and LA, this fairytale stretch of California coast is packed with wild beaches, misty redwood forests where hot springs hide, and rolling golden hills of fertile vineyards and farm fields. Coastal Hwy 1 pulls out all the stops, scenery-wise.
Orlando & Walt Disney World
Play quidditch with Harry Potter, disappear into the Twilight Zone in a haunted elevator, whip through the air on a sea monster. In Orlando, the Theme Park Capital of the World, it's all about adrenaline-fueled fun wrapped up in the mystique of storytelling and fantasy.
Tampa Bay & Southwest Florida
To drive southwest Florida's Gulf Coast is to enter an impressionistic watercolor painting: first, there is the dazzling white quartz sand of its barrier-island beaches, whose turquoise waters darken to silver-mantled indigo as the fiery sun lowers to the horizon. Later, seen from the causeways, those same islands become a phosphorescent smear beneath the inky black night sky.
The Great Plains
To best comprehend this vast and underappreciated region in the heart of the US, you need to split the name. The first word, 'great,' is easy. Great scenery, great tornadoes, great eats, great people: all apply. The problem is with 'plains.' 'Humdrum' and 'flat' are two words that come to mind. Neither applies.
Vail, Aspen & Central Colorado
If you ask us where you can find the most trillion-dollar sights, where you can run the gnarliest rivers and charge the sickest runs, and to choose one hike that is sure to save your citified soul within a single afternoon, we would take out the map of Colorado, trim the edges and zoom into the center.
Most states have one official state song. Tennessee has seven. And that's not just a random fact – Tennessee has music deep within its soul. Here, the folk music of the Scots-Irish in the eastern mountains combined with the bluesy rhythms of the African Americans in the western Delta to give birth to the modern country music that makes Nashville famous.
New York has its cabbie, Chicago its bluesman and Seattle its coffee-drinking boho. San Diego, meanwhile, has the valet guy in a polo shirt, khaki shorts and crisp new sneakers. With his perfectly tousled hair, great tan and gentle enthusiasm, he looks like he’s on a perennial spring break, and when he wishes you welcome, he really means it.
Dallas & the Panhandle Plains
Dallas and Fort Worth may be next-door neighbors, but they're hardly twins – or even kissing cousins. Long regarded as being divergent as a Beemer-driving sophisticate and a rancher in a Ford pickup truck, these two cities have starkly different facades. Beyond appearances, however, they share a love of high (and low) culture and good old-fashioned Texan fun.
Yosemite & the Sierra Nevada
An outdoor adventurer’s wonderland, the Sierra Nevada is a year-round pageant of snow sports, white-water rafting, hiking, cycling and rock climbing. Skiers and snowboarders blaze through hushed pine-tree slopes, and wilderness seekers come to escape the stresses of modern civilization.
Beautiful Virginia is a state steeped in history. It's the birthplace of America, where English settlers established the first permanent colony in the New World in 1607. From then on, the Commonwealth of Virginia has played a lead role in nearly every major American drama, from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to the Civil Rights movement and the attacks of September 11, 2001.