August 21, 2013
August 27, 2013

Every year I try to discover one or two new international destinations. Sprinkled in between are a few shorter trips, sometimes to visit family/friends and other times to explore little known, to me, pockets of the United States.

Earlier this month, to celebrate my birthday, I joined friends at Rainbow Springs State Park in Florida for a weekend of RV camping and kayaking on the Rainbow River. My friend who owns the RV, and lives in Orlando, told me about the Rainbow River earlier this year and I couldn’t get it out of my head—crystal clear 73 degree water flowing at 500 million gallons a day from a multitude of vents for about 6 miles. I had to see it! For two bright-sunny-white-puffy-cloud days (this in itself is unusual weather for Florida in August) our flotilla of nearly a dozen kayaked, snorkeled and lazed the length of the Rainbow River.

There were a lot of people on the river that weekend, probably because it was the last summer hoorah before school started in Florida, but it was hardly rush hour, and it got me thinking. How many folks don’t know of its existence? There are so many little known treasures in the United States (shhh, here are my favorites):

  • Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA. Bike for miles on the beach or through maritime forest, sneak up on wild horses or see the tiny church where JFK Jr. was married.
  • The tiny village of Stonington, ME on Deer Isle. The best lobster rolls, ever.
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, CA. McWay Falls tumbles 80 feet over a granite cliff into the Pacific Ocean, the photos are pretty famous, but it’s something else to see up-close-and-personal.
  • Block Island, RI. The National Wildlife Refuge is located on the very western tip of the island and waves crash into one another from two different directions, straight on.

Rochelle, August 23, 2013