The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

~ Marcel Proust

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Visit Niagara Falls. Photo by Linda Aksomitis.

Visit Niagara Falls. Photo by Linda Aksomitis.

It’s time to tear that last page from the 2017 calendar. But before we do, let’s look back at some of the best stories of 2017 on guide2travel.

Adventure Attraction

Whitewater rafting is one of those adventures that can range from the extreme, to the manageable, depending on the destination. However, you don’t usually have any choice in the matter. Once your raft is on the river, it’s either stick to the insides or find yourself tossing and twisting with the current.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Not so with the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Not at all. Instead, your guide can take you through whatever part of the course suits your experience — and your fancy. Be prepared to get hooked on the thrill of the rapids on a hot summer day though! You may find yourself taking on a lot more of the manmade course than you expected.

Best Canadian Attraction

This summer we took a roadtrip North, all the way to Alaska, for the 75th anniversary of the Alaska Highway. And while we’ll be sharing more of those stories in the coming year or two, we’ve already introduced you to some great attractions.

Yukon Transportation Museum

Yukon Transportation Museum

The Yukon Transportation Museum was just one of the places where we saw some fascinating machinery of the past. The Sno Train, above, is a relic from the Cold War, one of the most interesting eras we’ve been exploring these past couple of years.

Most Surprising State

We’ve visited 49 of the 50 states in the United States. Which one are we missing? Hawaii. That said, we’ve enjoyed each and every one of them, but of course, we do have a few favorites. This year, I added one more state to that list.

Hiking Windlass Hill in Nebraska on the Oregon Trail

Hiking Windlass Hill in Nebraska on the Oregon Trail

We’ve driven through Nebraska a number of times, but never stopped to visit. Until this year, that is, when I took a press trip to explore many parts of the Oregon Trail and old West. I had no idea the northwest part of the state had so much history — or so many beautiful hiking trails. Windlass Hill, gateway to the North Platte Valley, was one of my favorite.

European Attraction

For those of us who love historic places, Europe is a number one destination. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my ancestors all came from Europe, so I can always find tastes of home and traditions I recognize.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

Auschwitz-Birkenau

The story of Auschwitz Concentration Camp outside Krakow, Poland, is a sad one, one that took awhile for me to even be able to tell. However, when we started to explore the history of World War II, it was definitely a must-visit destination. Television documentaries, movies, and images can only tell so much of the story — sometimes you just have to be there.

Foodie Story

You can’t travel without trying the local cuisine. And while I’m not a food writer, I do love finding new tastes and discovering old ones that have added twists.

Tin Mill Brewery, Hermann, Missouri.

Tin Mill Brewery, Hermann, Missouri.

And what food is better than pizza, especially with beer? With the ever-increasing popularity of kraft beers, you’ll find all sorts of new tastes across the continent. I shared one I really enjoyed, Tin Mill Brewery, in Hermann, Missouri, for the second ever National Beer & Pizza Day in 2017.

Best of Nature

There are so many amazing natural attractions on the planet that it’s often hard to pick a favorite story about one. This year, though, one destination really stood out: the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

Mendenhall Glacier & Nugget Falls in Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier & Nugget Falls in Juneau, Alaska

With this story, we share the wonder of feeling the cold breeze blowing off of the 13-mile long, icy-blue chunk of thousands of years-old ice. We hiked the trails as well, getting various perspectives of the glacier, as well as the Nugget Falls.

Quirkiest Story

We’re more off, than on, the beaten path kind of travelers. In fact, the more unique the more fascinating we find an attraction.

Carhenge Roadside Stop in Alliance, Nebraska

Carhenge Roadside Stop in Alliance, Nebraska

While I did this one on my own, David couldn’t argue that 38 cars, propped up and painted grey to look like rocks, arranged in the shape of Stonehenge, England, was pretty quirky. In fact, Carhenge is sometimes called one of America’s coolest roadside attractions.

Saskatchewan Story

Saskatchewan is home for us — along with many great stories. While visitors are often surprised at the variety of landscapes we have (Really, we’re more than flat plains, in fact we have 100,000 lakes!), they’ve come to expect friendly faces everywhere they stop. And Winston’s English Pub & Grill in Saskatoon offers that and a lot more.

Winston's English Pub & Grill in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Winston’s English Pub & Grill in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

In addition to some insights on your evening experience at Winston’s, you’ll find some history on English pubs in this article. For instance, did you know that in 1577 the English had one drinking establishment for every 200 people? Saskatchewan doesn’t have quite that many pubs, but you’ll find one in most small towns around the province as well as in our cities.

More Great Stories From Guide2Travel

Check out the slideshow below for more great stories from Linda & David. Stay tuned — if you enjoy our stories, please follow us on Facebook!

Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in Australia

Australia is one of the most popular countries in the world for outdoor adventures and adventure travel. These top 10 #travel adventures take you from historic shipwrecks on the coast to the cage of death, immersed with a crocodile! With many plant and animal species found nowhere else, Australia is an wonderland.

Hike the Pacific Crest Trail – Infographic

Check out this infographic of The Pacific Crest Trail. Running for 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) down the U.S. West Coast, it provides hikers and equestrians with some of North America’s most spectacular scenery and hiking opportunities. Thru hikes take about 5 months to get from the Canadian border to Mexico.

Is Carcross Desert the Smallest Desert in the World?

Tiny Carcross Desert is outside Carcross, Yukon, and covers a mere 260 hectares, or 642 acres. Once the bottom of a large glacial lake, these rolling sand hills are home to vegetation such as lodgepole pines as well as plant species that arrived via Berengia thousands of years ago.

Hiking the Oregon Trail to the top of Windlass Hill

Hiking the Oregon Trail to the top of Windlass Hill provides a panorama of the Nebraska Platte Valley along with wagon ruts made by settlers 175+ years ago.

Hike the Unforgettable Giant Redwood Forest or Ride the Sky Trail

Take an unforgettable hike through California’s giant forest at Trees of Mystery, in Klamath, or an adventure ride on the gondola Sky Trail through the treetops.

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Hiking the Appalachian Trail — Infographic

How many thru-hikers have hiked the Appalachian Trail? This infographic gives this you this fact, plus 25 additional exciting facts you didn’t know about the 14-state-long hike through the Appalachian Mountains.

Fabulous Fall Walks in one of Georgia’s Most Beautiful Historic Places

Berry College is one of Rome, Georgia’s, most popular attractions. And I can guarantee you’ll find fabulous fall walks at its historic places!

Take a Raft or Kayak on a Whitewater Center Rafting Adventure

Whether you want to raft or kayak in whitewater, the Whitewater Rafting Center in Charlotte, NC, has it, along with other amazing outdoor adventures that include everything from sky bridges and rappeling to cargo net climbs and canyon crossing.

See & Walk to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau on Your Alaska Cruise

The Mendenhall Glacier & ice caves and Nugget Falls are situated in Juneau, Alaska, which you can only visit by air, or an Alaska cruise ship or Marine Hwy ferry.

Things to Do in Oregon: Umpqua Lighthouse State Park & Oregon Dunes

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is one of Oregon’s most popular parks. It’s in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which has great hiking and watersports, plus access for motorized vehicles like quads and dirt bikes.

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