By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
Monique and I are looking forward to saying “Hello” to fellow RVers at the giant show in Quartzsite, Arizona, January 18-26.
I’m going to ask your indulgence for a while. To keep my often too-long RV.net blogs a bit shorter, I want to give you the gist of my articles and suggest that you log onto my website for the rest of the story. Today’s edition is a perfect example. I wrote an article a year ago about the destinations chosen by RV.net readers. Since it vanished somewhere between Point A and Point B, I’ve republished it on my website: http://ontopoftheworld.bz/. And I should add, I’m not trying to sell anything (unless you’re interested in one or more of my photos of North America).
BUSY PLACES: Enough pregame chatter, time to get to the good stuff. Recently I came across two “favorite lists” that I found interesting. The first lists the “Travelers’ Choice 2013” of favorite cities to visit published by TripAdvisor. I’m not sure how the “travelers” made their selections, but the number of attractions in the selected areas probably influences it. For instance, New York, the #1 choice, has dozens of museums, historic sites, entertainment, etc.
So now, the Top 10 American cities, from the Big Apple to the Big Easy: After New York comes San Francisco, then Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando finish out the first five.
My comments: San Francisco is a beautiful, fun town, and if you visit Chicago, we strongly recommend taking the American Institute of Architects boat tour along the Chicago River. I got a whole new impression of the city. Some people avoid Las Vegas thinking it’s SinCity, but it’s so much more than gambling and risqué shows. There’s entertainment galore and lots of interesting desert. Need I comment on Orlando – home of numerous family-oriented attractions?
The only thing I can say about Washington, D.C., No 6 on the list, is that you can’t stay long enough to see it all – a week minimum – and we started out with the Gray Line tour “D.C. After Dark.” The history in Boston is obviously legendary (maybe “legendary” is the wrong word since the courage of our founding fathers is factual). It’s mostly what Boston is all about … plus the Boston Pops Orchestra. Los Angeles is a metropolis that never ends, with museums, entertainment, 20th Century history … whatever you’re looking for, it’s probably there. No. 9 is Honolulu. I’m not sure why, except that the airport is the jumping off point for much of the South Pacific islands. And No. 10 – New Orleans. I’m a bit prejudiced about this one – it’s my hometown. Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, Creole food and nearby Cajun Country are the traditional main attractions, but I strongly recommend the incredible World War II Museum. Just watching the Tom Hanks-narrated video is worth the price of admission.
The next 15 are mentioned on the full OnTopOfTheWorld.bz website: http://ontopoftheworld.bz/busy-places-natural-spaces-part-i/
NATURAL SPACES: This is a list of all 58 U.S. National Parks, arranged by number of visitors in a year. It doesn’t include
monuments, scenic rivers, historic locations and other designated Park Service sites. Three eastern parks made the cut; the rest are out West. Most convenient to a good portion of the U.S. population is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which hosted 9 million visitors last year. It’s also on the “flyway” for snowbirds. The next three are Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone, each with its spectacular scenery. I am surprised that Rocky Mountain National Park is in fifth place, but it’s also very high among the 46 that we’ve visited.
No. 6 is Olympic National Park between the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound in Washington State. Then Zion in Utah and Grand Teton in Wyoming (not far from Yellowstone) and 11th on the list, Glacier, both in Montana. Ohio’s Cuyahoga
Valley National Park is No. 10. At this point I’ll direct you to my website for the standings about national parks. http://ontopoftheworld.bz/busy-places-natural-spaces-part-ii/ I can’t, however, end this without mentioning our personal favorites in each category. My favorite national park is Bryce Canyon in Utah, No. 15 on the visited list. Monique can’t decide on a favorite, and that’s understandable, since there is so much variety in what they have to offer.
We rarely assign major cities as destinations, but we do have favorites. Monique puts Charleston or Savannah at the top of her list. I still have to say I really appreciate the unique culture of New Orleans … and both of us like Washington, D.C., not only for the attractions, but also for the cleanliness and grandeur. Other than the under-5,000 population town where we bought our cabin, we both like visiting Mountain View, Arkansas (population: less than 3,800 and not on the list), where the folk music never stops.
I’ll thank you in advance for checking out the rest of the story. Meanwhile, we remain the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved
Because of the numerous Spam comments on this site, the comments section has been deactivated. Please email us at [email protected] and I will pass along your comments. Learn about Alaska and see travel photos at http://ontopoftheworld.bz/ (and much more to come when time allows).
COMMENTS FROM PAST BLOGS
FROM MARY HANSEN – The description “Vicki” gives doesn’t really clarify (how to make a reservation at Recreation.gov) for me. It’s a very convoluted description. In addition, it didn’t address our situation: we drive a small motorhome (on wheels with cooking and other living accommodations) AND we tow a small car. Is our car a trailer? Which sort of lot would we fit on? Thanks for trying to clarify the situation for us all (love especially your photo mash-up!) but you didn’t include a toad in your pics either!
BARRY’S RESPONSE – You’re right. I reread her reply, and I’m more confused than ever. I followed up with an email to Recreation.gov: “I still don’t understand. Is a travel trailer an RV or a trailer when I make a reservation? I know a travel trailer will fit in a standard site, but should I check off trailer or RV? Since a travel trailer is an RV, why can’t they call a trailer a “utility trailer” and just include travel trailers under “RV.” I have received a lengthy response, which I will publish at RV.net in a day or two (the vagaries of the holidays).
FROM BOB — wife and I are in the planning stage of Alaska in 2014 – when to leave central MI and when to get back are all open. rig will be our 2002 3/4 ton ford diesel in front of our 21ft sunlite 5th wheel. want to boondock mostly (have always camped in the bush and have no problems) contemplating selling the 5th in alaska and taking the state ferry south ? Tell me stuff.
BARRY’S RESPONSE – I’d love to get responses from readers on this. What I can say is it’s all do-able, but it’s not always easy to park along the roads – many places in Canada have restrictions. There are public parks on the way, depending on your route. Make sure you have the guidebook “The Milepost” with you for specific information. I have no reason to believe that your plan to sell the fifth wheel up there won’t work, although I wonder how long it will take to find a willing buyer, unless you’re thinking of dropping it off at a used RV/truck lot. And as for the ferry, we’ve never done it, but we know it offers different and memorable scenery. Again, I hope other readers will weigh in on this [at [email protected]].