Lake Wanaka (NZ)

From Franz Josef, we hopped on another all-day bus ride to Lake Wanaka, a resort area that serves as the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park. With an afternoon arrival, it was all we could do to check in to our hotel (Oakridge Resort Grand Mercure) and walk into town before sunset. It was the... Continue Reading →

Franz Josef Glacier

If you're not a diehard adventurer into extreme sports, one of the most extraordinarily exciting guided trips you can take is to Franz Josef Glacier along the west coast of the South Island. Available in half-day and full-day packages, the hike takes you onto the glacier itself, past crevasses and rivers of melting water pure... Continue Reading →

Hawaii Plantation Village

Hawaii’s Plantation Village showcases the restored living quarters of the sugar cane workers who worked on Oahu’s last sugar mill. Laborers came from all over: China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Portugal and Puerto Rico. Many of the buildings that housed the workers are on display, complete with furniture pieces, articles of everyday living and other... Continue Reading →

Canyon de Chelly National Monument (AZ)

Spider Rock, where Spider Woman taught the Navajos the art of weaving, towers 800 feet above the canyon floor. Many television commercials were filmed here, notably ones with cars precariously parked on top. It’s arguably the most spectacular physical feature of Canyon de Chelly National Monument, one best appreciated by driving to the overlook along... Continue Reading →

Monument Valley Tribal Park (AZ)

These sandstone monuments that tower above the flat, arid desert are almost clichés of Southwest travel. Ever since John Ford popularized Monument Valley in his films, it seems everyone has come to regard this area with its unique sandstone buttes as iconic symbols of the frontier West. Monument Valley is on Navajo reservation land. As... Continue Reading →

Mesa Verde National Park (CO)

You hear a lot about the Southwest's ancient cliff dwellings and wonder what they are about. What possessed the builders to create these permanent and elaborate structures in such inaccessible places? We ventured out to the most famous complex of them all, Mesa Verde National Park, to look at them first hand. To see these... Continue Reading →

Antelope Canyon (Page, AZ)

No trip to the Southwest would be complete without a visit to perhaps the most beautiful (and over-hyped) slot canyon in the world: Antelope Canyon. The breathtaking photographs are everywhere, in travel magazines, on the internet, and virtually anywhere you come across the subject of Southwest travel: narrow sandstone slots flanked by radiant walls of... Continue Reading →

Glen Canyon Dam (Page, AZ)

Fraught with controversy from the beginning, the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam was undertaken to provide a cheap source of hydroelectric power and to regulate the flow of water to downstream areas of the Southwest that needed a more consistent supply during drought years. Even to this day, there are environmental impact studies to... Continue Reading →

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