Let me preface this list by letting you know that we are SCENERY people, not CITY people. So if you fall into that category of traveler, this list is for you.
1) The Wilderness of New Mexico.
Driving from Roswell, NM to Four Corners Monument was one of the most desolate and beautiful drives I have ever been on. I could spend a month exploring New Mexico! The natural scenery, mountains, hills, and plants are so different than they are here in the east. It's also the least populated stretch of land I have ever seen. Put the Land of Enchantment on your must-see list.
2) Gold Bluff's Beach
Hands down the absolute coolest place I have ever been. Drive miles through redwood trees and get deposited onto the beach. Camp right on the sand here, and see tons of wildlife too. There aren't that many spots to camp here, and it is primitive (with a pretty nice bathroom-sink and toilets only), which meant we had the beach to ourselves. The drive, the view, and really everything about this place was magic.
3) Petaluma, CA
A detour around traffic took us through Petaluma, CA and it was such a cool town! There was a great vibe there, as well as local art, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Bank (SO COOL!), and some excellent food trucks!
4) Oregon Welcome Center
You kind of expect welcome centers to be functional, but not necessarily beautiful. The Oregon Welcome Center along the coast coming up from California was such a beautiful and lovely place to rest, stretch our legs, collect some driftwood, and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the continental US. Make sure you stop here if you're driving through the area!
5) Couer d' Alene, ID
We didn't actually stop here, and as far as I can tell, we didn't even get a photo! The drive through Idaho was unbelievably gorgeous--mountains, rivers, streams, trees, and all sorts of natural beauty surrounded us the entire way through. I would love to explore the whole state! I also can't wait to visit the Young Living Farm in St. Maries, ID which is very close to Couer D' Alene.
What places have you been that completely took you by surprise in a good way? Share them with me! I love a good surprise.
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