Looking up to the sky in Redwood National Park's Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

Pacific Coast Road Trip: Redwood National Park Sights

It’s all about the trees! These top Redwood National Park sights include strolling beneath colossal redwoods and through landscapes peppered with lovely plantlife, long hikes up the coast of endless blue waters, and an incredible canyon with a pre-historic vibe, its walls covered in ferns and streaming water.

The view from Sunset Point. Photo © Judy Jewell.

Planning Your Time in Bryce Canyon National Park

In Bryce Canyon, a geologic fairyland of rock spires rises beneath the high cliffs of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. This intricate maze, eroded from soft limestone, now glows with warm shades of red, orange, pink, yellow, and cream. The best things to do in the park are take in the visitors center exhibits, enjoy the viewpoints along the scenic drive, and spend time hiking.

Springtime at Daffodil Hill. Photo © Brandon Bourdages/123rf.

Visiting Volcano, California

Little Volcano is an often-overlooked town in the Shenandoah Valley. While it has its own share of wineries, the real draws are the stunning Black Chasm Caverns–inspiration for the atmosphere in the film The Matrix–spring on Daffodil Hill, which explodes each March into a profusion of sunny yellow, and hotels with vintage Gold Country charm.

La Iglesia El Calvario in Chinandega. Photo © La Iglesia El Calvario in Chinandega. Photo © Otto Dusbaba/123rf.

Planning Your Time in León and Chinandega, Nicaragua

In León and Chinandega, you can delve into the volcanic half of “the land of lakes and volcanoes.” Explore the Ring of Fire by peering into a crater lake at the top of Cosigüina, catching a glimpse of lava at night from Telica, or sliding down Cerro Negro at high speeds. There’s plenty to do, whether you come for two days or two weeks–exploring the cities, the shore, and places like Las Peñitas, Isla Juan Venado, Padre Ramos, and other points outside León that require more effort to reach but are excellent destinations.

Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco. Photo © jejim/123rf.

Spend a Day in San Francisco Like a Local

Dedicate a day to living like a true San Franciscan by jumping on a bike, pedaling through the hippest neighborhoods, shopping for local designs, and—most importantly—eating and drinking your way through the city.

Downtown Moab, Utah. Photo © WC McRae.

Planning Your Time in Moab

By far the largest town in southeastern Utah, Moab makes an excellent base for exploring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and the surrounding canyon country. How you get around ranges from biking to horseback riding to 4WD jeep exploring to hot-air ballooning. This is also the most hospitable town in this part of Utah, so don’t blow right through. Take time to stop and enjoy its quirky charms.

Glass Beach. Photo © Elizabeth Linhart Veneman.

Sights in Fort Bragg

The village of Mendocino may be where folks savor the scenery, but Fort Bragg is where the work gets done. This blue-collar town is home to lumber mills, fishing boats, and scores of working train tracks. It is rougher around the edges than its gentle cousin down the coast, but it has some great attractions, beautiful scenery, and tons of local color.

A monkey in a tree on Monkey Island. Photo © Paul Schlindwein/123rf.

The Natural Beauty of Nicaragua’s Las Isletas

The 365-island archipelago of Nicaragua formed when Volcán Mombacho erupted some 20,000 years ago, hurling its top half into the nearby lake in giant masses of rock, ash, and lava. The natural beauty of the isletas is spectacular there is plenty for history buffs to enjoy as well. The islanders themselves are interesting and friendly, maintaining a rural lifestyle unique in Nicaragua: Children paddle dugout canoes or rowboats to school from an early age, and their parents get along by fishing and farming or by taking camera-toting tourists for a ride in their boats.

Beach at Cahuita National Park. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Things to See and Do in Laid-Back Cahuita

The offbeat village of Cahuita is an in-vogue destination for backpackers and escapist vacationers who like things simple. What you get are golden- and black-sand beaches backed by coconut palms, an offshore coral reef, and an immersion in Creole culture, including Rastafarians, with their dreadlocks and a lifestyle that revolves around reggae, Rasta, and—discreetly—reefer.