Pacific Coast Vacations

The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on Earth covering more than 30% of the Earth’s surface. Its surface area covers more than 150 million square kilometers. This is bigger than the landmass of all of the continents combined.

Pacific Coast USA
Pacific Coast California USA

California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii are U.S. states that border this massive ocean. There are too many great places to name, but just for example, in California, you need to check out the Pacific Coast Highway 1 which you can find with the previous link. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is one of many places in Oregon next to the ocean you can go to. For Washington, the Olympia National Park is also one of many.

Please click here to read the article for Alaska and Hawaii. If you would like, remember to read some more about the great Pacific on this website.


Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Nice place to stay while exploring the Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel By-The-Sea and Big Sur. Pacific Grove is a good stop with fun things to see and do. We stayed at the Butterfly Grove Inn where the deer roam in the parking lot right outside our room.

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA. It is next to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary and very close to to Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Pebble Beach.

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States of America.

Point Pinos Lighthouse Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Lighthouse Pacific Grove California USA

There are various points around Pacific Grove along on Ocean View Boulevard that is simply stunning.

Lovers Point Park Pacific Grove California USA

Lovers Point Park Pacific Grove California USA

 

Point Pinos Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Pacific Grove California USA


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.


How Numbering Interstates and Highways Works

Some of us like travelling and navigating using the highway numbers and, if on the interstate, exit numbers. You can find out how mile markers work by reading the article “What are Mile Markers?”. Now we will explain how the numbers of the interstates and state highways were determined.

Even and Odd Numbered Roads

In all cases, numbers ending in an odd number nearly always run from north to south. In contrast, numbers ending in an even number run east to west. If a highway or interstate performs a second function for that similar interstate, it will start with a one, two, three, etc. For example, Interstate 435 goes around a city that Interstate 35 is on. If it is a single digit like 5, the second to last digit is a zero. Another way to look at it is that if there is a three-digit interstate, the last two digits would be the number of a main interstate nearby.

In some scenarios, there may be multiple interstates with the same exact number in different states. For example, There is an I-470 that runs around Topeka, KS and a I-470 that goes near Independence, MO. It is true that you can find them in different states, but never in the same state.

Interstate Numbering

It is easier to figure out the pattern for interstates. Going west to east, odd numbers go from 5 to 95, mostly ending with five. Going north to south, even numbers, mostly ending in zero, go from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Of course, not all interstates end in 0 or 5, especially in the eastern US.

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Depending where the last digit is located on the number scale with 5, at least at some point, it will be at the right spot. I say this because interstates and highways like to intersect or cross sometimes. This is something to keep in mind because it may not seem like the pattern works where you are, but the pattern may occur in another state.

National highways

A question that may come to mind is, ”What about the nation’s highways that are not interstates?” This may be trickier to spot. I believe it is the case that with state highways, they are, for the most part, random. For the national highways, however, if you look hard enough, you notice there is a pattern. From east to west, U.S. highways are numbered from 1 by the Atlantic Coast to 101 by the Pacific coast. From north to south, U.S. highways go in order from 2 by the Canadian border to 98 by the Mexican border.

In some states, remember, it may not be perfect because again, highways, especially this kind, like to overlap each other from time to time. They don’t even have to meet. At some point, going in order, earlier digits in the number scale should be more north/south or west/east than the other. That is the trick to spotting the pattern for U.S. highways.

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Top 5 Biggest Cities in America by Population

We are blessed as U.S. citizens to live in this country. The number of activities for fun in this country is a number that is so great that it is hard to imagine.

These are a list of the biggest around:

New York, New York.
With over 8.5 million people, this city is the largest of them all by far. The second largest city is Los Angeles, and its population isn’t even half of what it is here. Central Park, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building are some famous places in the town.

Statue of Liberty New York USA
Statue of Liberty New York USA

Los Angeles, California.
On the western side of the country, this city is the biggest. Just over 4 million people live here. Right off the Pacific Coast, you can do a variety of things. For example, you can visit multiple beaches or even go see DisneyLand.

Newport Beach Los Angeles California
Newport Beach California

Chicago, Illinois.
Found by Lake Michigan, the population exceeds 2.5 million. Since Chicago is by water, you can enjoy being by the water if that is your thing. Many skyscrapers that are some of the tallest around are great sights to see if you care to drive by. You can visit the iconic Sears Tower which is now Willis Tower.

Houston, Texas.
You can find this big city next to the Gulf of Mexico. If you are into space, Houston is famous because of it. The Space Center is where you go if you are interested. The fourth largest city in the country has not quite 2.4 million people.

Sunny Phoenix Arizona USA
Sunny Phoenix Arizona USA

Phoenix, Arizona.
1.7 million people live here. It is one of the hottest places to be any time of year. If you like the desert feeling, this is one of the biggest places you can find in this area. You can climb up Camelback Mountain, or walk through Papago Park, or anything else you can find that is interesting to you.


Atlantic Coast Vacations

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean on Earth (Pacific is the largest) covering about 20% of Earth’s surface. It has a surface area of over 100 million square kilometers. It separates what is called the “Old World” (Africa, Asia, and Europe) and the “New World” (North and South America). 

There are a total of 14 states that border the Atlantic Ocean from north to south: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Traveling to any of these states are places you can go to see the Atlantic Ocean. There is no right or wrong place, it is whatever you desire. I liked going to both North and South Carolina because you can have both mountains and beaches.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA
Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA

Here are some cities you can visit along the shoreline: Miami, Jacksonville, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Virginia Beach, Long Island, Boston, and so much more. I personally liked Myrtle Beach because it is a fun family destination.


Warm Places in the U.S.

If you like the heat or you want to travel to somewhere hot for vacation because you just can’t handle the cold, there are some places in the U.S. that you can go to. They are all down south near Mexico or the Gulf of Mexico. California, Texas, or Florida are just some of all 8 states that border it. California is most likely the warmest of the three, also right next to the Pacific Ocean. 

In California, you can visit cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, etc. In Texas, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Waco, and San Antonio are some places you can visit in Texas. Corpus Christi and Houston to Galveston are some places in Texas by the Gulf. In Florida, very popular cities such as Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Key West, and other cities in Florida are always closer than 80 miles from the Gulf or the Atlantic Ocean, maybe even less depending where you are.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA
Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA @travelexplorerusa


Myrtle Beach Vacation is highly recommended for the entire family. Unlike some beaches, Myrtle Beach location highlighted here is family friendly.


Beautiful Patagonia!

Some of the world’s most beautiful places are located in Patagonia. Explorer Ferdinand Magellan called the Southern region of Chile and Argentina “Patagonia” which means “big feet”. This region is sparsely populated and offers miles and miles of pristine beauty.

Parks to explore
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina
Perito Merino Glacier, Argentina
Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile
Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Chile

How to get explore Patagonia
You can fly into Santiago International Airport, Chile (SCL) or Buenos Aires International Airport, Argentina (EZE) to start your journey to Patagonia. You may wish to fly into one country and fly out of the other. If you can spare the time, fly into Santiago, Chile. Go down to the Valparaiso, Chile on the Pacific Coast of Chile. Enjoy some time on the beach and then get on a Patagonian cruise down to Punta Arenas in the Straits of Magellan (which connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean). If you do not have the time, fly from Santiago,Chile to Punta Arenas, Chile. You can make Punta Arenas, Chile your base in Patagonia. Take your time to to discover the Chilean side of Patagonia. Cross the border over to Rio Gallegos, Argentina and take Ruta 40 that runs along the Andes Mountain Range to explore the breathtaking Patagonian region of Argentina. You can make your way North to Buenos Aires, Argentina if time permits.

Antarctica
Do you know that Chile has its own Chilean Antarctic Territory? Chilean Antarctica is a territory claimed by Chile across from Patagonia. Puerto Willams (Cabo De Hornos), Chile would be your starting point to Antarctica. You can also cross from Puerto Willams, Chile over to Ushuaia, (Tierra Del Fuego) Argentina which many consider the end of the world. You are pretty much in the bottom of the world here! It is an experience of a lifetime! You can fly from Ushuaia, Argentina to Buenos Aires, Argentina to connect to your international destination.


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US Wildflowers

It is amazing that when you visit a place, certain things in nature will grab your attention. Beautiful waterfalls like the ones in Yellowstone National Park will definitely be on the top of the list. But sometimes just a simple delicate flower growing above the tree line (Tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado) or by the side of the road (Pacific Coast Highway California) or wildflowers (in the foreground of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming) will mesmerize you. You just have to stop and take photos and post it on Instagram or Facebook. You just cannot help yourself! It is truly something worth sharing with your friends.

Pacific Coast
Wildflowers Pacific Coast Highway California

Wildflowers Grand Tetons
Wildflowers Grand Tetons

Rocky Mountain National Park Tundra
Tundra Wildflowers Rocky Mountain National Park

Flying KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport  (AMS) is a good place start your trip to Europe or connect to the far corners of the earth. Flying KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from the US to Europe gives you plenty of good flight options. You get good flying times  and good connections.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (merged with Air France) resulting in another major hub in Europe which is Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Delta Airlines (merged with Northwest Airlines)  partners with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to provide most of the US side of the connections to Europe. Major hubs such as Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) and Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport (MSP) makes connections to Europe a breeze.  For an example an easy connection from Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport to either Minneapolis or Atlanta and then non-stop to Amsterdam.

AAmsterdam Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Once you get into Amsterdam, you can connect to pretty much anywhere in the world. There is even a non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL KLIA1 or KLIA2 Malaysia), which then connects you to pretty much anywhere in the Asia Pacific region.

 Amsterdam Schiphol Railway Station

Amsterdam Schiphol Railway Station

Amsterdam Schiphol Train Station is the place to start your train connections. You can even connect to Belgium right from Schiphol Airport Train Station.

Amsterdam Centraal Train Station Netherlands

Amsterdam Centraal Train Station Netherlands

Amsterdam is only like 20 minutes away from Schiphol Airport. Take a train to Amsterdam Centraal Train Station from which you can get on a train to pretty much anywhere in Europe.