There is nothing more exciting or fulfilling to me than exploring somewhere new. 2016 was a year of new places, people, cultures, food, music and art. Last year I visited two continents, five countries, thirteen states and dozens of cities. It was not an easy task, but I’ve recapped my Top Ten Most Amazing Places of 2016:
The Cascade Foothills, Washington State
My first experience hiking and camping in serious snow and ice. It was absolutely stunning. Also not something this southern girl is looking forward to doing again anytime soon. Boy, was it cold!!!
This may have been my favorite city in China. Pictured is the Muslim Quarter and it’s a true paradise for any food lover. I walked through it for hours eating one day (heaven, y’all). Xi’an is also home to the Terracotta Army, often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
The photo really says it all. This is beautiful Colorado in the summertime. I stayed in the lovely town of Telluride, and if you haven’t visited, go! This adorable mountain town stole my heart.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
The ultimate getaway for the person craving relaxation and rejuvenation. Misty morning walks on the beach, hunting for seashells and complete pampering at the Surfsand Resort await you!
Macau is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, just across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong and was a Portuguese territory until 1999. A mix of Asian and Portuguese cultures, this may be the most unique place I’ve visited yet.
The Olympic National Forest, Washington
Words cannot begin to express how lucky I feel to have the Olympic National Park in my backyard. The Olympic Peninsula is just a short ferry ride away from downtown Seattle and I’ve visited easily a dozen times already in the three years I’ve lived here. This is from my most recent visit, November 2016.
Oh, Bermuda. One of the very few places I’ve been that I know I want to go back. (Simply because there are too many places I want to visit.) I have never seen water so blue. Of all the tropical places I’ve been, I consider this the most beautiful. It trumps the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico & Central America for me.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park was absolutely breathtaking in May. After a drunken promise between best friends to camp Glacier in 2016, my bestie and I packed up my little car and made the 8 hour drive from Seattle. As you can see, it was very worth the trip.
The Great Wall of China
My three week trip to China would have been incomplete without a trip to the Great Wall (and let me tell you, getting their via public transit from downtown Beijing when you don’t speak Mandarin was not easy, y’all). I think the coolest thing I did all year was drink a beer on the Great Wall. They sell them there right off the actual wall, so of course I bought a tallboy and drank it on my hike.
The Hood Canal, Washington
Ah, the Hood Canal. The definition of serene. I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s weekend here and I did not want to leave. This is a perfect weekend retreat for a couple or a solo traveler looking to unplug and enjoy the absolute stunning surroundings.