TOP TEN LISTS

Top 10 lists are a great way to summarize some of our favourite places.   In truth, we have not been disappointed yet with any destination that we have made a point of visiting.  Narrowing down the list to ten is already hard enough so each list is in chronological order.

Top 10 Places of 2016:

  1. Grey whale watching in Baja, Mexico.
Female Grey whale, upside down

Female Grey Whale, upside down

The two best spots for grey whale encounters are Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio.  I dont know if whale watching could possibly get any better than this.  The guides are very respectful of the whales and if you are lucky you will get a “friendly” approach your boat.  This female came right up to us, flipped over and gently swam, moving our boat.

2. Loreto, Baja Mexico.

Blue whale

Blue Whale

snorkeling with Sea lions

Loreto is not only a lovely town but it is a great place to see a variety of marine wildlife.  We went out first thing in the morning for two days with our guide hoping to see Blue whales, not only did we see Blue whales we also saw Manta rays, dolphins and Fin whales.

3. Death Valley NP, California

Super bloom in Death Valley

Super bloom in Death Valley

There is so much to see in Death Valley but we were particularly lucky in that we were there in a year with a super bloom.

4. Lake Louise, Alberta

Fairview Mountain

Fairview Mountain

We spent several days hiking in Lake Louise but the hike up to the top of Fairview Mountain was our favourite.

5. Glacier NP, British Columbia

Perley Rock hike in Glacier NP, BC

Perley Rock trail

The Canadian Rockies are truly a hikers paradise.

6. Grizzly viewing in Fish Creek Hyder, Alaska

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Grizzlies in the wild, WOW, just wow.  Fish Creek is far and away the best value for “almost” guaranteed grizzly viewing.

7. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

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Sea otters from a scenic boat tour

Tidewater glacier

Tidewater glacier

What is not to love about the Kenai Peninsula; spectacular scenery, some of the most scenic drives in America, great hiking, fantastic marine wildlife viewing and glaciers galore!

8. Denali NP, Alaska

Brown bears in Denali

Brown bears in Denali

Mount McKinley in Denali NP

Mount McKinley in Denali NP

We were very lucky with our visit to Denali NP, not only did we get four nights in our desired campground-without reservations! but we also saw Mount McKinley and several brown bears.

9. Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta

Sunset in Dinosaur PP

Sunset in Dinosaur PP

Dinosaur PP is fantastic, it is a little Grand Canyon full of Dinosaur fossils!

10. Bisti Wilderness Area, New Mexico

Cracked eggs rock formations

Cracked eggs rock formations

Bisti is a little known gem in NE New Mexico aka Bisti Badlands.   Really neat rock formations and petrified logs.

Top 10 Places of 2015:

1.Crystal River, Florida

Snorkeling with Manatees

Snorkeling with Manatees

Crystal River is a pretty area, we have visited twice now and we would happily go back.  Snorkeling with the Manatees is amazing especially if you have an encounter with a friendly one.  It was also nice to see that the volunteers ensure that the animals are not harassed.

2. Big Bend NP, Texas

Chisos Basin campground

Chisos Basin campground

back country camping

back country camping

We fell in love with Big Bend NP.  Chisos basin campground is by far the most beautiful campground we have stayed in and the hiking is fantastic, especially the Window trail & The South Rim trail.  We were blown away with the back country of Big Bend, private campsites in the middle of a stunning landscape and more fantastic hikes.

3. Carlsbad Caverns NP, New Mexico

Natural entrance

The natural entrance at Carlsbad Caverns just left me speechless, WOW.  Sadly we were not there at the right time of year to see the bat flight but that must be incredible.

4. Shenandoah NP, Virginia

fantastic hiking trails

We did a lot of hiking in both Great Smoky Mountains NP and Shenandoah NP but we particularly liked the Cedar Run-White Oak trail and Dark Hollows-Rose River trail in Shenandoah NP.

5. Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton Pennsylvania

A must visit for train lovers

A must visit for train lovers

6. Labrador, Canada

getting up close to icebergs in St.Lewis, incredible!

If you visit Newfoundland we think it is absolutely worth your time to visit Labrador just a 30 minute ferry ride away.  Red Bay and Point Amour are especially pretty and if you time it right there are icebergs everywhere.

7. Newfoundland, Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador alone could fill up my top ten list for 2015 but if I had to narrow it down to four must visit places within Newfoundland they would be; Gros Morne National Park, the whole Avalon Peninsula, Bonavista Peninsula (Elliston) and the South Coast.

Tablelands, the earth’s mantle in Gros Morne NP

Cape St.Mary's Gannet colony, Avalon Peninsula

Cape St.Mary’s Gannet colony, Avalon Peninsula

Puffins in Elliston, Bonavista Peninsula

Puffins in Elliston, Bonavista Peninsula

8. Saranac Lake, New York

Hiking in the Adirondacks in the Fall

Hiking in the Adirondacks in the Fall

Hiking anywhere in the Fall can be spectacular but we particularly enjoyed hiking in Saranac Lake.  We did not complete the Saranac Six, we hiked four of them and each of them had their own beauty.

9. The Field Museum, Chicago

Field Museum

Field Museum

As far as cities go, Chicago is one of our favourites so far.  We really enjoyed our time in The Field Museum, as with most museums it would take several days to see all of it but what we did see was fantastic.

10. Valley of the Gods, Utah

Stunning.

Stunning.

Friends of ours told us about Valley of the Gods and WOW, we could not believe how beautiful it was and that we could camp for free!

2014

We left Ottawa on November 4th and we covered a lot of ground between then and December 31st so I have compiled a top five list for those two months in 2014.

Top 5 Places of 2014:

5. Cape May, New Jersey

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We loved walking around  the town of Cape May, the Christmas decorations were starting to come out which made the already beautiful historic homes (Painted Ladies) that much more spectacular.

4. Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida

dragonweb

When I was a child I really wanted to live in a world with magic, J.K. Rowling has brought that world to life for me and Universal Studios made it 3D and we loved it.

3. North Carolina’s Outer Banks

img_1474web

We really like North Carolina, there is so much to see, from the Great Smoky Mountains NP to the Outer Banks.  We particularly liked Jockey’s Ridge State Park with its impressive sand dunes and the famous lighthouses along the coast.

2. Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia

img_8824web

Gators up close, what can I say?  WOW.

1. Assateague Island National Seashore

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The Assateague Island National Seashore is a beautiful area and we were thrilled to have seen the wild horses.

 

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