Where To Explore in 2016

It’s the time of year for grand plans.

We can’t advocate enough that “travel more” should be on the top of your resolutions. Don’t know where to start? No worries. Read on for some our favorite destinations around the US from our travel’s last year.

Watch Grizzly Bears in Katmai National Park

Most known now for its brown bears, Katmai was originally made a national monument for geothermal activity. See both from the air when you take a tour with Alaska Bear Adventures. On the hour-long flight from Homer, Alaska to the beach at Hallo Bay, you’ll see dormant volcanoes, ombre glaciers, craters filled with chalky green water, and brown bears ambling through coastal brush. After landing, your guide lead you to best spot to watch the bears fish, nap and play.

The most popular destination in the park is Brooks Camp, where you ushered onto crowded viewing platforms to watch the bears catch salmon. Avoid being treated like sardines, instead, it’s worth the cost to opt for this guided bear tour.

Trek out to Joshua Tree

Yes, all the photos are real. There is a magical place 1.5 hours from Los Angeles where Seussian Joshua Trees blanket the high desert floor between gigantic rocky slabs. Many of the rental properties have a mid-century meets desert aesthetic, as well as outdoors showers. And, hippie-minded townsfolk makes finding vegan burritos a breeze. You can understand why everyone from rock climbers to the well-dressed set flock here.

See Autumn in the West

The aspens glow gold only a few weeks in October in the Eastern Sierras. Their brilliant show of color coupled with crystal-clear glacial lakes and picturesque peaks make this a world famous destination for photographers. Bookmark California Fall Color to find out when peak color will happen this year.

Fly over Kauai’s Na Pali coast

See the entire island of Kauai in 60 minutes on a helicopter tour. Bonus points if you opt doors off. You’ll fly up, over and through all the best parts of the island – Hanapepe Valley, Waimea Canyon, Na Pali Coast – passing spectualar waterfalls every few minutes. From the air, you’ll see parts of the island only accessible by trail or kayak.

Airboat through Louisianan Swamps

The safest way to get an up close look a Louisana crocodiles is most definitely on an airboat tour. Airboats are the best vessels ever because they glide over water and land. In fact, on our tour, the captain drove our boat up and over a levee to get into the swamp. From there, we cruised through the mossy oaks, fed a 10-foot alligator some raw chicken and zoomed through the pond lilies and water hyacinth while bald eagles and roseate spoonbills flew overhead.

More Adventures:

  • 5 Swimming Holes in Sequoia National Park

    5 Swimming Holes in Sequoia National Park

    Giant sequoias, granite peaks and tons of swimming holes - could Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park get any better. Here are picks for the best places to swim in and around Sequoia National Park.

  • Monterey: A Love Story

    Monterey: A Love Story

    Across the street from the bitter-cold waters in Monterey Bay is the only hotel we've ever stayed at twice. In fact, we've made Lover's Point Inn our home-base for our annual new year's trips for the past 4 years. It's 80 bucks a night, overlooks the ocean and, most importantly, is in one of our favorite places in the world: Monterey, California.

  • 4 Ways to See Louisiana Swampland

    4 Ways to See Louisiana Swampland

    We were no less giddy the third time we took the pontoon out onto the Atchafalaya River. It was after dark. The best view of the milky way was up the river, away from the light of the wedding reception...