What an amazing year! After moving from Hungary to California in 2014, we knew that 2015 will be full of new experiences – just as 2014 – and so it was.
We’ve never been to the US before and during our 1 year of stay we wanted to explore as much as we can. We think we did a good job: 13 states + the District of Columbia, some of the most well-known cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, New York, Miami, San Diego), 17 national parks and countless state parks, natural reserves, beaches, national monuments and recreation areas.
We’ve completely fallen in love with US parks! And with California.
All of our wonderful US experiences only convinced us that we just couldn’t be ‘done’ with the US. We’ve visited places we were dreaming about a long time ago, but we also got to know places which we haven’t even heard about before. And we added a whole lot of US places to our travel bucket list which are the reasons to return soon.
Then we moved back to Hungary this summer and visited some places nearby. Like Prague what we’ve planned to visit for years, but we never got there – until this year. Or Bratislava what we haven’t really planned, but it was close by, so why not? Or Hungarian castles, because we love castles…
So here comes the list of places what we loved the most this year – in no particular order. (We already feel bad though that we haven’t put all of the US national parks what we’ve visited on the list 😀 – they are all just incredibly amazing!).
Kauai, Hawaii, USA
- helicopter tour above the island
- hiking on Kalalau Trail along Na Pali Coast
- scenic drive through Waimea Canyon State Park
- kayaking on Wailua River to Secret Falls
- snorkeling at Tunnels Beach
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Idaho/Montana, USA
- scenic drive at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
- catching some spectacular geyser eruptions
- Porcelain Basin in Norris Geyser Basin
- West Thumb Geyser Basin at Lake Yellowstone
- Morning Glory Pool
- Grand Prismatic Spring
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- observing wildlife
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
- hiking to all of the waterfalls in Yosemite Valley
- watching a huge rainbow after a spring storm at Tunnel View
- the view from Glacier Point
Read more: Nothing Compares: The Waterfalls Of Yosemite
Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
Best experiences: all of our hikes, but especially Grinnell Glacier Trail and Highline Trail with incredible views and thousands of wildflowers all the way
Read more: Wildflower Bloom In Glacier National Park (photo essay)
Sequoia National Park, California, USA
- hiking Lakes Trail to Pear Lake in fresh snow in May
- the view from Moro Rock
- walking under the biggest trees on Earth (and of course, visiting General Sherman, the greatest of all sequoias :))
Niagara Falls, USA/Canada
- watching fireworks above the Falls
- night cruise to the Falls
- visiting lovely Niagara-on-the-Lake
- hiking in Niagara Falls State Park and in Whirlpool State Park
Read more: Niagara Falls In 2 Wonderful Days
Watkins Glen State Park, New York, USA
Best experience: waterfalls of the Gorge Trail
Read more: The Countless Waterfalls Of Watkins Glen
San Francisco, California, USA
- views of Golden Gate Bridge
- Pacific coast
- those typical streets
- Alcatraz cruise
- planetarium of California Academy of Sciences
- walking on Embarcadero Waterfront
Miami, Florida, USA
- South Beach
- having birthday cocktails in the city center
- trying jet ski for the first (and definitely not for the last!) time
New York, New York, USA
- watching the sunset from Brooklyn Bridge
- walking in Brooklyn Bridge Park and in Central Park
- night view from the top of One World Trade Center
- visiting American Museum of Natural History
- Liberty Island cruise
Read more: Highlights Of New York City
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- strolling on the Strip and going into the famous hotels & casinos (no, we don’t like gambling by the way, but really liked the architecture, the decorations, the lights and colors)
- Bellagio Fountain shows
- Mirage’s Volcano Eruptions
Prague, Czech Republic
- walking on Charles Bridge and in the charming narrow streets of the old city center
- the view from Letenské Park
- visiting St Vitus Cathedral, Jerusalem Synagogue and St Nicholas Church
Our plans for 2016
So what’s next? As we will stay in Hungary for a while now, we plan to visit all the nearby countries next year (from which we’ve only been to a few so far – yepp, our own backyard effect :D), especially Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia – oh yeah, and Hungary, too. 🙂
We’ve been dreaming about visiting Northern Europe for a while and next summer might be the time for it. Or France. Or Portugal.
We want to focus on Europe for next year, that’s for sure. It’s just funny that we’ve seen more of the US than of Europe – though we were grown up here. That should change soon. 🙂
What are your favorite travel experiences this year?
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