Every Friday in 2013 (and this one Tuesday!), the Let’s Fly Away Across the USA series featured a different state, documenting the things we love about each sate and what you should do or see when you visit.
For Hawaii, Jessika says
Aloha! My name is Jessika, I blog over at Jessclassy. I currently live in Honolulu, HI, but I’m from the island of Kaua’i.
I love the people here, there’s always that one aunty or uncle that will go out of their way to help you (regardless if they know you or not). The “aloha spirit” still lives!
1. Na Pali Coast, Kaua’i. Unlike, O’ahu, you need to catch a boat to see this beauty. The layout of the mountains on a sunny/rainy day is absolutely serene. There is no wonder as to why Kaua’i is nicknamed the “Garden Isle”.
2. The Pali Lookout, O’ahu. A beautiful panoramic view of Kane’ohe Bay and the lush mountains. I love coming here not only because I enjoy the windy/rainy weather, but this place is where King Kamehameha’s last war ended before he united all of the islands.
3. Kaka’ako, O’ahu. This city always has something going on. The people in this community work so hard year-round to fellowship with community members all over the island. Some events to look our for: Art + Flea and Eat The Street.
For bonus points
One common misconception that visitors have is that the islands are exactly like the history books. Don’t fret, we’re all caught up and civilized here, heck, WiFi is the best! It is great that technology is here in the island, but, when you come here, let go of all of your negativity before you step off the plane and soak in all of the beauty. I truly do live in a paradise and the best way to experience that is with an open mind and heart! Aloha!
For Alaska, Adina says
Hello! I’m Adina Marguerite Pease and you can find me sharing my adventures on the road and at home on my blog, Gluten Free Travelette. I’m currently based out of Seattle, WA, but my day-job takes me North to the great State of Alaska on a fairly frequent basis.
For outdoor adventurer types like me, Alaska is simply a wonderland full of possibilities where everything is bigger and strikingly beautiful. Add in some of the friendliest and most welcoming people I’ve ever met – and it makes for a great place be.
1. Matanuska Glacier. If you don’t mind signing a waiver to take responsibility for yourself and paying $20, you can freely walk on and explore the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States. It’s a totally unreal experience to get out there on the ice and explore such a wildly different landscape. For the safety conscious, guided tours are also available.
2. Ketchikan. Among all the stops on the Inside Passage, Ketchikan is my favorite. A thin town sandwiched between the water and the forest – it’s my pick for one of the most picturesque towns. In addition to being the jumping off point for Misty Fiords National Monument, Ketchikan is a great place to see some amazing Totem work, wander along stilted boardwalks, and to set off on some great hikes which pay off with panoramic views of the surrounding islands.
3. Turnagain Arm Drive. Even though it’s only an hour’s drive from Anchorage to the Portage Glacier, you could spend a whole day exploring viewpoints, trails, and historic sights along this beautiful route. I recommend trying to make it to Beluga Point for amazing sunset views and taking the extra time to experience the drive through the Whittier Tunnel.
For bonus points
If you’re inclined towards a more adventurous method of traveling and transportation, I recommend exploring the Alaskan Panhandle by a combination of bicycle and ferry. The roads aren’t heavy with traffic, so it’s an easy place to ride and it will help get you out off the beaten path and away from the cruise ship hoards. For extra points; on the overnight ferry rides, instead of booking a cabin, bring your warmest sleeping bag and spend the night on the covered and heated outdoor deck.
I spend most of my work time in Alaska in Anchorage, so I’ve had ample time to explore the dinner scene, which is surprisingly varied and excellent. To eat where the locals are head to Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria and Glacier Brewhouse. For some alternative eats, try Ginger and Spenard Roadhouse. All four of these eateries and many other restaurants in Anchorage are very gluten free friendly.
And that wraps up the series! Thank you so much for following along, and a huge thank you to all bloggers who participated! If you’re planning travel around the U.S. for 2014, be sure to check out the archives for the state(s) you’re planning to visit and get recommendations from people who live in and love each place.