Image source: Flickr - Bala Sivakumar
"Go west, young man!" A popular saying that most Americans learn at a very young age, and one that conveys the American spirit and love for exploration. For many Americans, the West holds a stirring appeal that ignites a sense of adventure and curiosity.
The beautiful and unusual landscapes spark an interest almost more ancient than America itself. Even before our nation's birth, people have ventured out into the great unknown to explore the continent's magnificent wonders. Here are five not-to-miss destinations in the west that may ignite a spark and create in you a desire to venture out and see them for yourself.
Yosemite National Park
Imagine for a second countless granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls and gorgeous wilderness vistas and you will have some idea what it is like to visit Yosemite National Park. This national park has become famous for its hiking, picnicking, camping and more.
However, despite its popularity, Yosemite still holds a unique charm for people who want to get off the beaten path and commune with nature. Exploring and enjoying everything Yosemite has to offer will fill you with a silent, if not spiritual, awe as you gaze onto its majestic landscape.
Arches National Park
For generations, people have visited Arches National Park to experience the emerald and red domes and spires that soar high into the sky. Arches National Park has more natural stone arches than any other place in the world.
Numbering well over two thousand, it is easy to lose yourself in exploration of the labyrinths of cliffs, desert valleys and striking arches against the backdrop of an azure blue sky. Arches National Park holds a limitless amount of adventure and splendor.
With a name like Death Valley, you probably are saying to yourself that this is a destination you actually want to miss, but don't count it out just yet. Named because of the extreme climate and lack of water, this desert valley is quite astounding.
From its amazing trees and plant life to the diverse wildlife, its beauty will pleasantly surprise you. The valley is semi-desolate and dry but at the same time wondrous, and most likely will give you the feeling that you have been transported to Mars. It promises an experience like no other.
Famous for its spectacular maze of towering trees, these ancient woods are home to some of the tallest and rarest trees in the entire world. With many trees soaring over an amazing 300 feet above the ground, the park is now even a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Camping, exploring, and hiking in the presence of these giants is not an experience that you will ever forget. However, if you are short on time, just a drive through is well worth the visit and allows you the unique opportunity to drive through one of the towering beauties. This is one of the most unique forests in America, if not the world.
Disneyland, located in Anaheim California, is a dreamland for almost every kid regardless of age. It has more to offer though than just amusements for small children.
In fact, it is a well-known fact that many adults travel to Disney each year just to be transported into the cartoon worlds they grew up with and still hold so dear. Plus, who doesn't look forward to spending a day or maybe two taking pictures with their favorite Disney characters?
With stunning landscapes to amusements that bring out your inner child, the American West calls all of us to come and explore. It will take you in, envelope you, and awe you; and by the time your vacation is over, you will be asking yourself why it took you so long to visit. There is nothing quite like it and once you experience it you will find yourself making plans to quickly return.
What are your favorite not-to-be missed spots in the Western states?