"the trusted voice of teens who travel"
October 6th, 2009
Other than National Parks. Every single national park I’ve been to was stunning, so it wouldn’t be fair to include them in the running.
5. The Catskill Mountains. I went hiking in the western part of the Catskills this past summer, and the view from the top of each mountain was simply breathtaking. A few particularly awesome spots were Big Pond, Alder Lake, the Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower. Swimming in a lake surrounded by gorgeous green mountains, especially when you’ve been hiking all day, is an awesome experience. The fire tower gives you an incredible view of the Catskills.
4. The Rocky Mountains. I have some cousins who live in Denver, and going to the Rocky Mountains in the winter is dreamlike for those of us who love snow. Even the drive to our resort was beautiful, with spotless ivory mountains just towering over our teensy little car. Skiing is also the perfect opportunity to catch the views. The next time you’re on a ski lift, just turn around and admire everything around you. One can’t see that very often.
3. The Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts. Okay, I know I know. I’m obsessed with mountains! But trust me, in autumn, there is no prettier place to be than The Berkshires. I got to stay in a house on a pond, and the whole scene seemed to have been ripped out a travel brochure and placed before me. The colors, the ripples in the pond, the huge mossy boulders looming in the forest, the lack of any noise except the wispy autumn breeze– if it wasn’t so isolated a spot, I would seriously consider moving there.
2. Akumal, Mexico. The only location on this list that isn’t really mountainous. Akumal is the runner-up most gorgeous place because of its beaches. The water was completely transparent and the color of a child’s turquoise crayon. The sand was white. The palm trees and other foliage were bright splashes of color against the sky, the wildlife was rather exotic. Iguanas and spider monkeys were my two favorites. Watching the sun set on the beach is almost surreal.
1. Divonnes-les-Bains, France and surrounding area. That’s right, I’m still completely in love with France, even though it has been two months since my return! I can still see the dark, inky green Jura looming over the lake I circumnavigated on my bike every afternoon, and on the other side, the incredible kingly Alps that make the Rockies look like sandcastles. There are farms everywhere, even just five minutes from the busier parts of town. And the overall layout of Divonne– the winding streets, the petite and graceful trees, the small houses with slated roofs and the old stony buildings– just makes me want to live there for the rest of my life.
What are your top 5?