From prismatic geysers, to strange rock formations, to little known lakes, Nevada and the deserts just outside it boast strange places just begging to be put on — and immediately ticked off — the bucket lists of anyone who yearns to travel off the beaten path.
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Sparsely populated Lincoln County comprises old towns, ancient rock art, numerous all-terrain vehicle trails and five outstanding areas preserved as state parks. Visit this autumn and you’ll enjoy seasonal color until the snow flies.
Visitors to Seattle’s Space Needle are treated to a gorgeous view of this waterfront city when skies are clear and the sun is shining.
Visitors to Flagstaff, Ariz., can learn about native cultures at the Museum of Northern Arizona and see glimpses of the region’s fascinating past on scenic side trips to three nearby national monuments.
The Amargosa Hotel was once a hub of activity, filled with workers from the Pacific Coast Borax company. Once the mine shut down, the people left, leaving the U-shaped hotel and the opera house attached to it at the center of what is now considered a ghost town.
Parowan, Utah, occupies a peaceful valley at the floor of a stream-carved canyon just off Interstate 15 north of Cedar City, about 200 miles from Las Vegas.
Hot Springs is a history-lover’s dream. Over the years, visitors to this city of 35,000 in central Arkansas have ranged from baseball stars to notorious gangsters, all drawn by one thing: the naturally occurring warm mineral water that gives the area its name.
One of the perks of living in Las Vegas is that even though it’s tucked away in the desert, a short drive leads to sandy California beaches.
The Frishers are full of information about Kingman and happy to share it. Upon check-in, they gave me a Route 66 pin and a history of the town, which included a map, colored markers and scandalous stories about celebrities who’ve stayed there. (Who knew Clark Gable was married so many times?)
Cerca country welcomes fall with pumpkin patches, corn mazes, community celebrations and plenty of outdoor adventures.
In Southern Nevada, the Spring Mountains in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest provide the closest access to early autumn color viewing.
There is no shortage of good food in this northern New Mexico town, where the many casual and gourmet takes on the state’s trademark chile dishes are almost as big a draw as the city’s art galleries and festivals.
U.S. 89 remains a vital link for Utah residents, for it leads to many of the state’s best-known scenic attractions and serves as Main Street for numerous small towns.
In a west side Salt Lake City neighborhood known for tire shops and taco joints, a pineapple turns on a spit over layers of smoky, marinated pork. The dish is called al pastor, and the place is called Chunga’s.
It is not too soon to plan a leaf-peeping outing, as the show typically begins by the end of September. If you head for the high country first and explore lower elevations later, you can enjoy Utah’s autumn color through mid-November.
Roughly 250 miles southeast of Las Vegas — four hours, mostly by freeway — Flagstaff offers a cool alternative to summer in Southern Nevada. For a city of just 70,000, the famed gateway is itself an attractive destination with more than enough to see, do, eat and drink on any weekend in any season.
Set in a lovely valley between high, forested plateaus, historic Panguitch is central to many scenic and recreational attractions in Southern Utah. A hub for exploring state and national parks, national forests and scenic byways, Panguitch serves tourists and outdoor enthusiasts year-round.
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a great mountain biking location.
Nestled along a creek near the base of the mountains, picturesque Lamoille retains much of its rural flavor, providing visitors with glimpses of the area’s pioneer ranching history.
Eureka has a lot of history behind it but is also a hub for its county’s residents.
Sacramento is an ideal launching point to visit some of California’s most popular destinations. But Sacramento also has plenty to offer for those who want to stick around in the valley. The city even just placed No. 14 on a Forbes list of America’s coolest cities.
The drive to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is easy enough. Get to Flagstaff and it’s only about 90 miles across Arizona’s high country. But why take a car when you can ride a train, especially one like the Grand Canyon Railway?
Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah features deep, vividly colored amphitheaters at the eroded eastern edge of a high, forested plateau, each filled with weirdly carved formations, arches and canyons.