Welcome to Trekkin' Tuesday, the day where I talk about traveling and travel. For my intial entry, I thought I'd discuss my favorite Out-of-the-Way locations I've encountered in my own personal travelogue.
There are different reasons I like different places, and certainly this is a pretty personal thing...you know? Like...for me, a guy who best loves 2 of the most "in-the-way" places imaginable (Orlando and Las Vegas), there's a whole other draw to these places. Character, kitsch, charm, history, attraction... So anyway, in no particular order, some places that I highly recommend visiting at some point.
Cooperstown, NY. Now, I never said they were unknown. Just less traversed locations. Cooperstown is one of my favorites for a lot of reasons. First, I love baseball...and it's the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I've visited Cooperstown twice, both during their busiest week (Hall of Fame induction weekend), and while it was crowded, I still loved it. For any sports fan, this place has to be on the list. That said, there's a lot of other things to recommend the place... there are all of these little art stores and book stores (where I bought these 3 great antique maps!) and the town actually restricts the building of chain stores and restaurants. It's impossible to get a Big Mac, (even the ball player!) but you can get a hand made plate of barbeque. It's on a lake. It's in Northern New York, which is a beautiful location (near the finger lakes). Just go.
St. Augustine, FL. Okay, so again... not an unknown place, but there aren't a lot of folks making vacation plans to go there either. St. Aug is one of those "Day Trip" places where you go when you're visiting family in Jacksonville or Savannah. That's a shame, because the place is really effing cool. First, it's the oldest city in the United States. The history is evident in almost every building. There are drawbridges. There are castles. It's an old Spanish settlement and the evidence of that history is everywhere. It's also considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., so if that's something that you dig, I highly recommend it. Oh...and there are some pretty amazing beaches.
Wall, SD There's really only one reason to visit Wall, South Dakota, but OH What a reason. Wall Drug. It's hard to express what that is, and that's mostly because it is everything and nothing all at once. It's a town with a drug store. A drug store that has mechanical cowboy bands, and life-sized T-Rex replicas, and free ice water. Well...that's how it all started. When the highway was begun, there wasn't much out there. An industrious drug-store owner put a sign up on the dusty road that the Wall Drugstore was giving away free ice water during the long Summer months, people started to stop where they hadn't before. Now, the place takes up a whole city block (or two) and defies description. In fact that's part of it's charm and mystery. You have to just see it for yourself.
Yellow Springs, OH (Graffiti in Yellow Springs)
There are hippy, art communities all over, but perhaps none as so hippy as Yellow Springs, Ohio. The place is the home of Antioch College...also known as the place that instituted the "Verbal Consent" rule. "Hello... I'd like to hold your hand." "I consent to the hand holding." "I'd like to rub your thigh." "I do not consent to the thigh rubbing." If you're in the market for any of the following, you should plan a visit to Yellow Springs. -- A "tobacco" bong. -- A cool Native American themed tattoo. -- A vintage pulp novel. -- A great slice of pizza. -- A walk in a beautiful, little-known state park. I dig Yellow Springs. It's cool.
Colorado Springs, CO (A panorama I made of pictures I took from the top of Pike's Peak)
I'd actually probably just say "The towns that are NOT Denver, but are within 2 hours drive FROM Denver", but that's not a particularly catchy place name. I love Parker (and it's proximity to my fam). I love Boulder (and the Leanin' Tree museum and Celestial Seasonings Factory and the University of Colorado). I love Colorado Springs (and Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak and the big Air Force chapel.). There're are tons of amazing things to see there. Beauty and art and nature and good Mexican food (who knew?). I could spend a whole post on how great my Colorado experiences have been, and maybe I will. All I can say is... The place is gorgeous and you understand why people went that direction from Kansas. Seriously... Kansas is boring.