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Mount Rainier National Park is one of the prettiest places we’ve ever visited. Though we only got a taste on our day trip from Seattle, Mount Rainier was certainly a highlight. Whether you have a day or a week, Mount Rainier National Park is certainly worth a visit. A Little History of Mount Rainier A very long, long time ago… According to archeological findings, Mount Rainier has been used in some fashion by native peoples for at least the last 9,000 years. Scientists and historians believe that people came to Mount Rainier to hunt and gather other necessary items for survival. People from the Cowlitz, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Puyallup. Squaxin Island, and Yakama tribes still use the area for worship and other gatherings. In 1792, Captain George Vancouver, an officer in the British Royal Navy, spotted the mountain and named it for his friend, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. Though people of…

The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle may very well be my favorite museum I’ve ever visited. As I researched our road trip that passed through Seattle, I encountered information on this fun museum over and over. The more I read, the more I knew my family would love it. The Museum of Pop Culture, also known as MoPOP, celebrates all things that have become America’s favorite obsessions–movies, stories, video games, and music, especially Seattle’s influential music scene. The museum opened in 2000 as the Experience Music Project. Founded by Microsoft’s Paul Allen, this museum has undergone changes and rebranding over the years, including adding the Science Fiction Museum and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame at one time. The museum became its current incarnation in 2016. Along with viewing great exhibits, visitors can also create music and participate in other interactive activities. The museum also hosts film…

If you’re into amazing national parks, eventually you’ll find yourself in the Redwood National and State Parks in northern California. We really only spent about 24 hours among these magnificent old trees, but any time you can make for one of the most awesome places on earth is totally worth it. One of our first experiences in the redwoods was taking a hike in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We’d stayed the night in a cabin at the KOA in Crescent City, California, the night before. Besides sleeping among these enormous trees, we hadn’t had any redwoods experiences yet. Since we drove down from the north, our first experiences were with the Redwood National and State Parks. Unlike most national parks, this national park merges with three California state parks to preserve and maintain the area. This is a rather recent development; the merge happened in 1994. Farther south, the…

If you’re a part of Generation X, your childhood probably included viewing the movie The Goonies. And if you were lucky like I was, you got to see the movie as a first-run film in a movie theater. I was ten years old when the movie hit theaters. My dad had the opportunity to see the movie before the rest of my family, and he liked it so much, he eagerly took my mom and me as soon as he could. (My one-year-old sister sat this one out.) I’ll never forget that night; I left the theater with a the sense of adventure and a feeling that anything was possible. That is the magic of going to the movies. A great story has a lasting impression, and The Goonies certainly is a perfect example of one of those great stories. Later as an adult, I realized that Astoria, Oregon, is…

Colorado is such a beautiful state, and Estes Park and the surrounding area has some of the most gorgeous scenery you’ll find anywhere. The last major destination of our 2020 road trip ended with a couple of days in this adorable town to check out Rocky Mountain National Park. We fell in love with the area, and we hope to make it back one day soon. If you haven’t been to this area, I certainly hope it’s on your list. Estes Park is right outside the Beaver Meadows entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This entrance is on the east side of the park and grants access to Trail Ridge Road, the main scenic thoroughfare from one side of the park to other. This road also takes you past the Alpine Visitor Center, the visitor center at the highest elevation of any visitor center in the United States. We also…

Two Sisters Café is just one of those fun locally-owned places that have an eccentric vibe with no-frills good food. Known for their fried chicken, Two Sisters Café is a great place to stop while you’re exploring the east side of Glacier National Park. The morning we checked out of Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone, we made our way north to Browning, a smaller town but one with some amenities, like grocery stores and hotels. In fact, Browning is billed as the largest town on the Blackfeet Reservation. We arrived early enough to get in a swim at the hotel, but soon we were itching to see some of Glacier National Park. I’d read about Two Sisters, and it sounded like a great match for my family. So, we headed over to Babb for dinner with plans to check out Many Glacier in Glacier National Park afterwards. We stopped at…

If you’re looking for a trip that combines adventure with beautiful scenery, look no further than the charming town of Moab, Utah. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for desert fun including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. When you’re not out exploring, Moab is a nice place to call your home base when you’re ready to shop or unwind in the pool. If you’re wondering what to do while you’re in the area, take a look at what our family did during our three nights and two full days in Moab. For this post, I’ll only be sharing the activities we actually participated in, though we only scratched the surface. There is plenty more fun that we didn’t have time for on this visit to Moab, which happened to be our first! We had such a great time, we hope to return one day.…

One of the great things about taking a family road trip is finding those quirky roadside attractions so you can stop and stretch you legs. Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, is one of those fun stops. I mean, who can resist a replica of Stonehenge created from old cars? We certainly couldn’t. Getting to Carhenge Carhenge became a possibility to us as we traveled from Joplin, Missouri, to the Yellowstone area. For our first night, we stayed along I-80 at North Platte. When we realized that it wouldn’t be out-of-the-way to stop by, we knew we wanted the Carhenge experience to be part of our road trip memories. Incidentally, we also made stops at Scotts Bluff, Chimney Rock, and Fort Laramie. The History Behind Carhenge In 1987, Jim Reinders created this replica–even true to scale–on farmland owned by his father. Reinders had previously spent some time in England where he learned…

If you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park, be sure to put Going-to-the-Sun Road on your list of must-dos. We absolutely loved the area, and we can’t wait to return and explore more of the park. Though reservations to this part of the park can be a bit nerve-wracking, it’s worth the effort if you can snag one of these tickets. One thing that makes the crowds converge at once–snow. The road isn’t fully open until summer, sometimes not fully opening until the first week of July. There’s only a window of a few months before snowfall closes the road again, usually in October. Since traffic in the area has continued to increase, a reservation system separate from the park admission is now in place. If you’re lucky enough to get lodging reservations in the park or to reserve a tour, you won’t be required to get the $2 reservation…

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