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I'm Terri. I took my kids to all 50 states and I want to help you achieve the same goal. Learn more...

Colorado – Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Many of my friends who have seen my pictures of Great Sand Dunes National Park have the same reaction: “Really?! That’s in Colorado?! Where?”

It’s in south central Colorado. We stopped at Great Sand Dunes for a few hours on our way from Colorado Springs to Mesa Verde National Park. Combined with several hours of driving on both ends, that adds up to a full day. Before you head to the park, plan to stop at the Great Sand Dunes Oasis or in the town of Alamosa where you can rent a sand sled and a sandboard from Kristi […]

South Dakota – Jewel Cave National Monument

Touch the jewels at Jewel Cave

Perhaps Jewel Cave National Monument doesn’t sound very impressive. After all, it’s just a National Monument, not at National Park, right? Wrong. Jewel Cave is the third longest known cave system in the world. And the key word in that sentence is “known.” New passages of Jewel Cave are still being discovered and mapped. Once it’s all mapped, it quite possibly could turn out to be the world’s longest cave. Scientists have estimated the volume of the cave using airflow studies. They measure how much air the caves exhales when the outside pressure drops and vice versa. The parts of […]

California – Lava Beds National Monument

Smaller lava tube at Lava Beds NM

We recently returned from a road trip during which we saw almost a dozen national parks, and you know what? My kids kept talking about one of the parks that we visited almost a year ago, one that I hadn’t yet written about. And, technically, it isn’t a national park–it’s a national monument–but that doesn’t really matter. I’m going to dub Lava Beds National Monument “The Best National Park You’ve Never Heard Of”.

Lava Beds National Monument is located in the far northern part of California, near the Oregon border. It sits on top of the massive Medicine Lake […]