Garden of the Gods (Illinois).

While the better-known Garden of the Gods is located in Colorado, this one is Southern Illinois' main claim to fame. By far the most popular hiking spot in the area, I firmly believe that the Illinois Garden of the Gods is worthy of its name. Beautiful and unique, it's a favorite go-to spot of out-of-towners …

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Walnut Canyon National Monument.

First things first - IT’S INSANELY WINDY. You truly have no idea what’s about to hit you when you park, then walk to the front doors of the visiting center. It's not windy at all up there. However, as soon as you exit the doors to the outside area that begins the long descent down …

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New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.

Brought to Louisiana in the 18th century by African slaves, Louisiana Voodoo, a.k.a. New Orleans Voodoo, has been a practiced religion in the state for centuries. While it's estimated that approximately 60 million people practice voodoo worldwide, in 2014, there were around 2,500 and 3,000 practitioners in New Orleans. However, after Hurricane Katrina, that number …

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Waverly Hills Sanatorium: Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Ok, full disclosure: I believe in ghosts, the paranormal, the supernatural, and all that jazz. I believe our universe is far too complex and massive to be only the things we can physically see, touch, or understand. Combine that with my love of history, and I really enjoy learning about and visiting haunted places. I …

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Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharf (Rhode Island).

Fun fact: Did you know, Rhode Island is only 48 miles North to South, 37 miles East to West, and yet, 1.06 million people live there? To put that into some perspective, just the city of Los Angeles is 44 miles North to South and 29 miles East to West, and almost 4 million people …

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Phoenix Sonoran Preserve: It’s Hot.

Of all the preserves and parks in Phoenix, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve is by far the closest to my house. It’s super accessible and the only problem with getting to explore this vast preserve has been the scorching Phoenix summer heat (and working full time, but that’s a different story). I was able to get …

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Hiking in Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Rainbow Falls Trail. As far as hikes go, hiking within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park was a wonderful and beautiful experience. I didn’t get to hike inside this famous National Park with the famous hazy mountains either time I previously visited, and I certainly wasn’t passing up the opportunity a third time! We researched …

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Etiwanda Falls, Southern California.

Found within the North Etiwanda Preserve in Southern California, near the cities of Fontana, Upland, and Rancho Cucamonga, the preserve is a fantastic place for a day hike. Located at the very tip-top of Etiwanda Avenue, in Rancho Cucamonga, it’s not hard to find (just get on Etiwanda Avenue and follow it up until it …

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Spring Mountains, Nevada: An Escape from Sin City.

This is NOT Mount Charleston behind us; it is Echo Cliff. Only 35 miles and approximately 45 minutes outside the armpit of Nevada known as Las Vegas (Las Vegas: Overpriced & Overrated.), Mount Charleston is perched high above the bland desert, its own little mountainous retreat. Located within the Spring Mountains range in the Humboldt–Toiyabe …

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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Ahhh, Monument Valley (MV). An immense land of beautiful, mesmerizing, untouched desert. A mecca for Southwest lovers and road-tripping aficionados. A magical place locked in time. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has earned every bit of its fame and reputation. For seven years I dreamed of visiting this world-renowned geographical wonder and I finally got …

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