Pacific Coast Highway 1 California USA

Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast

California’s Highway 1 is probably the 2nd most famous US highway after Route 66. If you have driven the Trail Ridge Road hugging the side of the Rocky Mountains (Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park), you would observed the steep valleys below. Here you will get to drive high above the cliffs with the  the Pacific Ocean below.  It is a drive with gorgeous views at every turn and along the way.

California

Panaromic view of the Pacific Coast from Highway 1 – California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Stunning beauty and raw power of the Pacific Ocean.  You can see white caps as the waves hit the rocks below.

Pacific Coast

Beautiful Flowers Adorn the Pacific Coast Highway

Beautiful flowers grow on the side of the cliffs from the mist of the Pacific Coast Ocean spray. In some places, you can park the car on the side of the road and get off on a trail to the hidden sandy beaches below.

 

Pacific Coast Highway California USA

Pacific Coast Highway California USA

Amazing engineering work done to build bridges connecting one cliff to another. If you are headed south, you will have land on the left and the Pacific Coast Ocean view on the right.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park USA

Great Smoky Mountains National Park USA

Great Smoky Mountains National Park USA

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-see. It is one of the few national parks that you can visit for free, which is a great bonus for a family on a budget.

One feature that is interesting if you go at just the right time of year is an area where the lighting bugs, a.k.a. fireflies, light up in sync with one another. We were not there at the right time when we visited, but our waiter in Pigeon Forge told us about it, and we researched where to go next time. Our future trip will most likely be timed to see those special lighting bugs.

There are a lot of beautiful trees and wooded areas, as well as the distinctive smoky look of the mountains. Friendly park rangers give educational presentations about the history of the area and the wildlife. It is common to see elk and other wildlife.

When visiting the park, you can stay in Pigeon Forge, which has a variety of family-friendly entertainment and lodging options. Or there is Gatlinburg, which is a beautiful family-friendly tourist town.


Rocky Mountain National Park USA

Beautiful Estes Park is the closest town to the Rocky Mountain National Park’s East entrance. You can find affordable lodging and restaurants here.  Even Elk roaming the golf course in the Fall!

Rocky Mountain National Park Bear Lake

Take a gentle hike around this lake and enjoy its beauty. You can see the Rocky Mountains reflecting on the water. Stand or sit (some rocks you can even lay down flat) on any of the  huge rocks on the side Bear Lake’s and soak in the beauty of this place.

 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park – Trail Ridge Road

As you drive on the Trail Ridge Road (closed in the Winter), take some time to stop and take photos at the various stops.  Due to the high altitude, drinking lots of water and taking gentle strides in your walk will help you catch your breath. You can get out of breath easy at this high altitude!

View from Alpine Visitor Center Rocky Mountain National ParkView from Alpine Visitor Center Rocky Mountain National Park

Stop at the Alpine Visitor Center for some food and a break in the trip. Enjoy the view of the valley and melting snow (depending on the time of the year and amount of Winter snow).

Beautiful tundra. You can find beautiful flowers up high in the mountains. Please keep to the trails and try not to damage this fragile ecosystem.


Rocky Mountain Glaciers are melting away. Let the kids run out some steam by hiking and sliding!

Poudre Lake Colorado

Milner Pass  and Poudre Lake ColoradoGet up to the Poudre Lake and Milner Pass and take a photo next to the Continental Divide sign. You have been to the roof of the United States! Water flows either East to the Atlantic Ocean or West to the Pacific Ocean.

 


Golden Gate Bridge California USA

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California USA

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California USA

If you ask most people to list one thing that they know about San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge would be at the top of the list. The problem is that when you drive across it, you really don’t get a great view of it.  You can take photos at the park by the entrance, but that may not be what you are looking for if you want great photos.

Where do you go if you want to get the nice view from the photo above?  Baker Beach is the place.   And as a bonus, you get to hang out at the beach for awhile. We had a wonderful time there, watching the kids enjoy the waves and taking photos. The water was too cold to swim when we were there in June, but it was a great place for a nice walk along the beach.  Watching my kids enjoy playing with the waves coming in, I couldn’t help but think of Frank Sinatra singing “I left my heart in San Francisco”.  The photo below is how I remember that day.  And we also got some good photos of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Family Beach

Baker Beach, San Francisco

 

To give you some idea of the different views of the Golden Gate Bridge, see the photos below.  The first one is the view from the small park right by the bridge. The second shows how much more of the bridge is visible from Baker Beach.

Golden Gate Bridge

View of Golden Gate Bridge from park with Lonely Sailor Statue

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge as viewed from Baker Beach


Puget Sound Seattle Washington USA

Puget Sound Washington USA

Puget Sound Washington USA

A ferry ride on the deep blue waters of Puget Sound is an easy way to view Seattle, Washington and Mount Rainier (in a distance). Get on a ferry to Bainbridge Island, Washington. Park your car on the ferry and enjoy the ride. The Seagulls will join you for the ride as well. Enjoy the sea breeze and watch the scenes around you.


Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island New York USA

Statue of Liberty New York USA

Statue of Liberty New York USA

Get on a ferry to Ellis Island and enjoy the city skyline from the water. The view from the top of the Statue of Liberty is simply amazing.  Visit the Ellis Island National Museum.  You may have an ancestor that first migrated to the United States via Ellis Island.

 

Wall Street New York

Wall Street Bull Manhattan New York. Manhattan is the financial hub of New York City.

Times Square New York

Times Square New York

A busy place with some many cool shops, flashing lights and digital signs. Most people will remember this place from ringing in the New Year on TV. If you love to shop, you can find all sorts of stores here. It is pedestrian friendly.

If you don’t want to walk, get a cab to Broadway and enjoy a good show. It is best to purchase tickets in advance.

The United Nations  Headquarters overlooking the East River is another cool place to visit. It is amazing how many different Nationalities make their home in New York City.

If you have time and want to get away from the busy city streets, take a walk through the Central Park in New York during the daylight hours. A great way to experience New York City.

 


Hong Kong International Airport China

Hong Kong International Airport China

Hong Kong International Airport China

This is a major transportation hub in the Pacific Rim. You can get from pretty much anywhere in Asia to the USA from Hong Kong. We flew Cathay Pacific. You can get all the Western food and tasty Chinese food at the airport. Our kids got their McDonald’s. The bathrooms are clean and the airport is run efficiently. The airport is a huge mall.  It is a great place for a break after the long journey across the Pacific Ocean from the United States.

Hong Kong International Airport China

Hong Kong International Airport China


Sunway Resort Sunway City Malaysia

A hotel with a mall and theme park attached. The food is fabulous and the swimming pools are lovely. You have all you need to rest and enjoy time with your family.  You can get all your Western food for the kids while you conduct your business or do work using the high speed internet access. Kuala Lumpur City and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) are within easy reach of this lovely oasis in the Klang Valley.

Sunway Resort Pool Malaysia

Sunway Resort Pool Malaysia

 

SUNWAY RESORT HOTEL SPA LAGOON

SUNWAY RESORT HOTEL LAGOON