Posts in Roadside Attractions
Our Favorite Places in North Carolina

North Carolina is a state of great contrasts. In the west, there are smoky blue mountains and twisting mountain roads. In the central part of the state, you’ll find financial centers and the “Research Triangle.” Along the coast, are white sandy beaches and colorful condos on stilts. There’s a lot to be discovered in this diverse state. Ian and I spent a couple of weeks traveling through North Carolina in February. Here are our favorite spots!

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Strange Trees and Secret Beaches: Cape Meares State Park

While Tilamook might be most famous for its cheese, Cape Meares is also well worth a visit while in the area. Cape Meares like many Oregon Coast state parks has a beautifully preserved historic lighthouse, and just a short walk from the lighthouse is a very oddly shaped tree called the Octopus Tree. Before we left we even saw a pod of gray whales that were feeding and breaching fairly close to shore!

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Stopping to Smell the Roses at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland

Portland might be known for hipsters, coffee, and bicycles, but just up the hill from downtown, there is a formal English rose garden that would surprise any visitor. The International Rose Test Garden is tucked into the sprawling Washington Park and has more than 10,000 rose bushes!

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Wandering through the World’s Tallest Trees: Exploring the Redwood Forest

“We explored Stout Grove on early morning a trail run, but the tall trees in the grove beg you to slow down and truly experience the trees’ majesty. We found ourselves walking through much of the grove. Because the nearby Smith River periodically floods the grove, the only undergrowth is the large sword ferns that blanket the ground. The trees give the grove a cathedral-like feel and people visiting the grove even talk in hushed, reverential tones…”

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Grimes Point Archaeological Site and Sand Mountain

In the middle of the desert near Fallon, Nevada there are two very unexpected sights… and no they are not related to aliens. One is a field of rocks darkened by years of sun with ancient art pecked in their surfaces. The other is a massive natural mountain of sand.  

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The International Car Forest of the Last Church and Palmetto Ghost Town

If you are traveling through the desert of Nevada, you’re not going to want to miss these two strange roadside attractions. One is a ghost town, which was only inhabited for one year, and the other is a somewhat ghostly arrangement of cars buried upright in the ground.

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Three Days in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is a land of contrasts, and it is probably one of the most unique national parks that we have visited. It holds the honor of being the hottest place on Earth. The lowest place in North America, Badwater Basin, is found in the park at 282 below sea level, but the mountains in the park rise to over 11,000 feet in elevation. There are white salt flats, gargoyle-esque formations of salt crystals, massive sand dunes, eroded badlands, and colorful mountains.  

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Experiencing Las Vegas #Vanlife Style

During our time in Las Vegas, we witnessed a shooting fireballs, a street fight, a gallery of only food photography, and so many palm trees. We ate pineapple soft serve, Hawaiian food, and Pina Coladas, after a harrowing encounter with a gunman on our run in Lovell Canyon. What happens in Vegas…

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