In 2016, Travel & Leisure, which has close to 5 million subscribers, suggested that people go to Lanai. It was in 6th place on their list. Lanai is the almost circular, mostly unvisited Hawaiian island with only one town and only 3,000 people living on it. I only know 2 people who have been there, and they both said there was not much to do. Of course, this would be heaven for some visitors. Ruth & I have never been to Lanai so maybe it’s time. In 2021, T&L recommends that its readers go to The Black Hills of South Dakota.
I suspect that many travelers go to The Black Hills for the first time to see Mount Rushmore. Once is enough for an attraction like this for me because you look at it but then what? The last time we went through the Black Hills Ruth & I focused on the nearby Badlands. One time my son and I went to The Black Hills in June and it snowed a lot. As a result, we spent several days exploring the many caves in the area. It was fun, and we were struck by their diversity. No two were alike.
T&L #5 destination in 2016 was Iran. Why? This year it’s Birmingham, AL. While there, anyone can experience the Heaviest Corner on Earth according to tripadvisor or see the relatively new and award-winning Civil Rights Institute.
#4 this year is Montana’s Big Sky Country only 18 miles north of overwhelmingly popular Yellowstone National Park. The #4 in 2016 was Lille, France.
#3 this year for Travel & Leisure is Massachusetts’ Berkshires. These mountains in the far western part of the state hold many wonders. Ruth & my favorite place in The Berkshires is the Clark Art Institute, which is both unusually located and very popular. The Clark almost always has its rare Caravaggio on display. #3 five years ago was one of T&L 3 domestic destinations in its top 10, Richmond, VA, the South’s Confederate capital during the Civil War.
#2 in 2021 is Astoria, OR. This is one of the best destinations for travelers in the United States. Ruth & I have been to Astoria many times but not to visit its many attractions recently. Head for my archives, see Astoria’s waterside maritime museum, go to Fort Stevens, cross the Megler Bridge and experience Lewis and Clark’s first winter choice of locations and now an interpretive center just south of Long Beach, see where they actually spent the winter at Fort Clatsop, and sample the fabulous Oregon Coast. My favorite town is Gearhart. #2 in 2016 for this magazine was Guadalajara, Mexico.
#1 in 2021 for T&L is the Alaska coast. Most people see this scenic wonder from a cruise ship. Will this type of travel return by summer? Doubtful. That leaves the ferry or flying and probably renting a car. Ferries to Alaska from Bellingham, WA to Skagway resume on March 20. Reservations are now available. The ferries are a great way to see Alaska, but boarding one this year will probably be tough. Many people expect to visit a National Park this summer and will be disappointed when they try to book campsites and motels near their park choice. One of the least visited and beautiful is Washington State’s 2-part North Cascades National Park. #1 five years ago was Bocas del Toro, Panama’s 2nd city.