Where Are America’s Best Kept Secrets? Think Dakotas!

As the most popular national parks get more crowded, where do you go to escape? In this post, we’ll explore two such parks in the Dakotas. The attraction: Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota (2.4 million visits) The alternative: Badlands National Park, South Dakota (868,000 visitors) Location: About 85 miles east of Mount Rushmore National […]

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Travel Experience Like None Other: Monument Valley & Northeastern Arizona

Head into the vast landscape of northeastern Arizona and it’s as if you’ve entered another world. Highways roll endlessly along plains with not a soul in sight. The land rises imperceptibly, cliffs reveal themselves in the distance. Further exploration uncovers a canyon where ancient people once made their homes—and where some live still. The road leads on […]

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Oasis In The Desert: Borrego Springs

The tiny resort community of Borrego Springs is not a place you just happen on, en route to someplace else. It’s off by itself, surrounded into perpetuity by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Borrego Springs is an ultra-mini Palm Desert, with views of the nearby Santa Rosa Mountains just as beautiful, the weather just as pleasing, but without the […]

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Stunning Stillness & Unforgettable Beauty

The park’s name was derived, in part, from that of an early Spanish explorer, Juan Bautista de Anza, who came through in 1774 in search of a land route from Sonora, Mexico, to Spanish settlements along the California coast. The explorer’s name is combined with “borrego”, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep that live in […]

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Borrego Springs: Stars, Art & Citrus In A Laidback Desert Town

Smack in the middle of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park lies the unpretentious town of Borrego Springs, population 3,429. It’s the only California town that is completely surrounded by a state park, and that’s just one item on its list of bragging rights. It’s also an official International Dark Sky Community—the first in California—dedicated to protecting […]

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Getting Back to Nature in Arizona

As a culture we rely more than ever on electronics to make our lives easier, although the opposite is typically true. By spending time “unplugged” and getting back to nature, your mind—and eyes—will be more open to the world around you. Fortunately, Arizona State Parks and Trails has numerous campgrounds for you to take extended […]

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Badlands, Palm Oases, Canyons & More

This park’s combo name, pairing the name of famed Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza who crossed this desert in 1774, and the Spanish word for sheep (“borrego”)—referring to the region’s native bighorn sheep, this desert preserve—California’s largest state park—protects more than 600,000 acres of badlands, palm oases, slot canyons, and cactus-studded hills. Situated northeast […]

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