Dear 100 Hour Board,
I plan on taking a trip in mid-january with 1-3 friends, but I haven't the slightest idea of where to go or what to do on this trip. I love the northwest, but have been there twice in the last 3 years, and I went to New Orleans around the same time this last January, and really liked that, but I wouldn't know if I'd want to go back so quick. It would be nice to see an awesome indie band on tour somewhere but don't know of any that peak my interest. Any suggestions on where to go and what to do there?
Part of the difficulty with this is that I have no idea where your home base is, so my thoughts could be on the totally wrong side of the country. Also, it's not exactly the best time of the year for my idea. But maybe it'll spark some other thoughts for you.
The summer after senior year, I took an awesome road trip with 4 of my friends. We called it our "Roller Coaster Tour." We started at [home] and went to Six Flags, Cedar Point (roller coaster Mecca! amazing), and Paramount King's Island over the space of 6 days, riding every single roller coaster at every park. 27 in total, many of them multiple times. It was sweet.
We also did all sorts of fun stuff along with that... rockin' out to great music, going to a movie, going to a concert, bringing a 5 pound tub of Twizzlers to eat in the car, a game of bowling, vehicular shenanigans (making signs to talk to the cars next to us on the road, driving entirely too fast, racing, getting lost, offering Twizzlers to the people around us in traffic, dancing to crazy music to weird out the people around us in traffic, almost dying, etc.) sharing one hotel room between five guys, going to a club and hitting on random girls, buying a lottery ticket in a state where that's actually legal (obviously, we had some non-members with us) and of course keeping a log of hilarious quotes. Those are some things you can do pretty much wherever you go!
Um... actually, maybe you shouldn't do a lot of those things... but have fun!
If you are closer to Utah, here are some places I have enjoyed traveling to around these parts:
1. Park City, Utah. There are dozens of amazing art galleries, really fun historic streets in which to wander around, huge outlet stores, and interesting film festivals. Whenever I go here, I never want to leave.
2. Moab, Utah. There's a reason Arches is such a popular tourist destination. My family went here for Thanksgiving, and it was probably my most enjoyable Thanksgiving ever. Great if you're the outdoorsy type: lots of hiking, rock climbing, and seeing the natural wonders of the world.
3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The best part of Wyoming, in my opinion. Great town, lots to do, beautiful mountains.
4. Yellowstone Park. I went here many times as a child, and I think every American should go at least once.
5. Sun Valley, Idaho. I have a weakness for ski resorts, OK? [Smiles.]
6. San Luis Obispo, California. My love for this little beach town knows no bounds. Take everything that is awesome about California (the atmosphere, weather, beaches), subtract everything that stinks (pollution, huge cities), and you have this charming home of Cal Poly.
7. Monterey Bay, California. So much to do here. Can't miss the aquarium. Some of the best food I've had in my life.
8. Santa Barbara, California. I haven't spent much time here, but I recall a beautiful sunset and interesting architecture. I bet it would be fun with a bunch of college-aged friends.
9. Salt Lake City, Utah. If you're in Provo, this might be more of a weekend day trip, but if you're from further away, it would definitely be worth a visit. Every Mormon has to go to Temple Square, preferably multiple times. There's the Conference Center, the Gateway, Capitol Theatre, Abravanel Hall, lots of museums, good restaurants, and you could definitely catch some sort of concert up there. Unfortunately, January is probably not the ideal time (inversion: yuck)--you might be best holding off on this one till spring or autumn.
Hopefully that gives you some ideas for the Western part of the U.S.
You should go to California! You can never go wrong in California. There's Disneyland, SeaWorld, and San Fransico (with Ghirardelli Square
which is basically Heaven, Alcatraz Island
, and probably a whole bunch of other things that I never got around to seeing during my 24 hour vacation)!