The new year may have just started, but I've been working out my 2017 wanderlust list (wanderlist - see what I did there?) for weeks. Whether I'm setting my sights north of the border for a glimpse at Canada's wilderness or dreaming of a trip just a few hours outside of LA to camp in the desert, I've got high hopes for all of my wanderslist destinations. Here's hoping I'll make to all five!
1. Portland, Oregon - I've never been to the Pacific Northwest, and I thought the wonderfully weird city of Portland would be a great place to start. I cashed in my American Airlines credit card points to book my flight, and will be heading there next weekend with little to no itinerary, and hopes of lots of good eats and gorgeous scenery. Voodoo Donuts and the Pine Street Market are both a must!
2. Banff National Park, Alberta - This year Canada is celebrating their 150th anniversary, so all National Parks entrance fees are waived. With pristine blue lakes and craggy mountainous landscapes, Banff is definitely my top destination to take advantage of the free parks entrance fees offered by our northern neighbors. If time and budget permits, I'll hopefully head north over the summer.
3. Death Valley National Park, California - I was so sad to have missed the superbloom last year, but I know Death Valley is jaw-droppingly beautiful even without miles on miles of wildflowers. The Mars-like landscape with muted colors and dusty hills as far as the eye can see can surprisingly make for a very Instagram-able scene.
4. Virginia Beach, Virginia - Sometimes you choose your destinations based on visiting the people you love. My first and best friend in the entire world is getting married in 2017, so I'll be making the cross-country trip for her wedding. We'll spend some time in Virginia Beach, as well as in the Appalachian foothills of South Carolina - and if the photo she shared of her wedding venue is anything like the rest of the area, that October trip is bound to be filled with mountain views and gorgeous sunsets.
5. Joshua Tree National Park, California - Full disclosure: I've actually been to Joshua tree, but I've never stayed overnight in the park. Many people say half of what's to see is at night, with incredible stargazing and nocturnal wildlife. Joshua Tree has fallen off the back burner for me too many times, so 2017 is definitely my year to go.
Have you been to any of these locations, or do you have any other suggestions? If so, tell me in the comments!