WE’RE A TRAVEL SITE, so we can’t think of any two words more horrifying than “travel ban.” The world, to us, is better when everyone can wander and explore. Countries should by playgrounds, not jails. But recent events in the US have made our country seem like a hostile, unfriendly place towards outsiders. That’s not a country we’re familiar with, but the world seems to have gotten that message: global interest in travel to the US has dropped 17% since the beginning of the year.
America, at its best, is a welcoming place. We literally erected a giant statue at our most common point of entry that said, “welcome, weary travelers!” We sing, “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land,” and we sing it not only to ourselves, but to the entire world.
We’re a diverse country. Our people come from all over, speak every language, and bring the best of their cultures and tie it into ours. Our outdoors are staggering. We’ve got shining seas, amber waves of grain, purple mountain’s majesty, fruited planes, and some pretty grand canyons as well. Our food is delicious. Our drinks are strong. And most of us would rather welcome you through the front door than make you scale a wall.
We dug into our Travelstoke app for some of our favorite US spots we could find. Please, world — come visit us. We need new friends now more than ever. For those of you who have been banned from traveling to our country — we’ll keep fighting that. We promise.
Cape Royal Picnic AreaNorth Rim, United StatesThe North Rim of the Grand Canyon makes for some fun night sky photography looking out over the canyon. This shot was taken from the Cape Royal viewpoint.
Raspberry Mt.Divide, United StatesA relatively easy hike to a high point in the west side of Pikes Peak. Sprawling views of the back side of Pikes Peak and the Sangres and Sawatch ranges to the west. Also a great spot for #coffee. #hiking
It’s easily accessible from both Cherokee/Bryson City, NC and Pigeon Forge, TN and the journey there takes you all through the park.
In the Smoky Mountains it’s hard to predict but try to head up here on a clear day.
Dress in layers because the elevation really cools things off up there.
Leave time in your drive to pull off at the scenic lookouts and explore some of the trails. #hiking #activekids #funforteens #greatsmokymountains #nationalpark #tennesee #northcarolina
Grand ViewYellowstone National Park, United StatesVisiting Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, I now understand why it’s called “Yellowstone”. There are plenty of vantage points to see the Upper Fals and Lower Falls, and they’re all very easily accessible. There are parking lots and small hikes. You can definitely spend an entire day exploring the falls.
Journey Behind the FallsNiagara Falls, CanadaJust outside Journey behind the Falls Is the best view of Niagara Falls. You can stand just above them where the water plunges over the falls and you really feel the power. #hiking #touristspots #scenicviews #scenic #photo #photography #photoop #canada #waterfall #waterfalls #water
(Yes, we know this Travelstoke spot is in Canada, but why not cross the falls and spend a day up north while visiting the US?)
Noland Divide TrailBryson City, United StatesLooking for a day hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Check out Lonesome Pine. This 6.7 mile (round trip) hike is on the more strenuous side but hikers are rewarded with solitude and breathtaking views.
Wear comfortable shoes (and clothes).
Drink plenty of water in advance. Bring more with you and a snack.
Grab a map from a visitor center or download one on your phone.
Don’t expect your phone to work out in the park. Cell towers are few and far between. #hiking #extreme #greatsmokymountains #nationalpark #gsmnp
Shortoff MountainNebo, United StatesShortoff Mountain provides a beautiful view of the Linville Gorge and an amazing camping spot. The full moon rose over the mountain behind us the night we were there, casting a shadow from the mountain into the gorge. #hiking #camping #mountain
Port of Palm Beach PostWest Palm Beach, United StatesI met an amazing Swedish family. They treated me like I’ve known them for years. I spent so all the time I could with them, it was hard to watch them leave but I know I’ll see them in Malmö when I visit them! #waves #friendship
Route 66 ‘end of trail’ SignSanta Monica, United StatesOn the Santa Monica Pier is a sign making the western terminus of the famous cross country car route – Route 66. The sign is in the middle of touristville and there is nealy always someone snapping a selfie, but it really is a cool landmark harkening back to a bygone icon of Americana. #santamonica #beach #history
Xo #NYC #manhattan
Beacon hillBoston, United StatesBeacon Hill is a historic neighborhood in Boston. I loved walking there. The cobblestone streets, historic houses, doors and gas lit lanterns. Such an atmosphere! #history