I’ve had the good fortune of living in some magical places (and taking the salary cuts that go with that hedonic income). Currently I live in southern Utah.
You know … southern Utah … red rock, canyons, mountains, high desert.
Right now I’m sitting on my exercise bike typing, and I can see the mountains out of my window. My basement window!!!
Anyway, Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution is one of the most influential voices on the planet. He travels a huge amount, and solicits suggestions for his blog.
And one of his recommendations for travel is southern Utah:
If you wish to visit the United States, specialize … most of all southern Utah down to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon, much better than the southern rim but book in advance. That latter part of the country has perhaps the world’s most compelling natural beauty, plus a good look at real American culture along the way. For all its fame, it remains oddly under-visited (thank goodness). Toss in San Francisco for good measure, and then drive through some godforsaken parts for a few days, the worse the better.
I’d agree that we’re under-visited. I never came here before I was offered a job in Salt Lake City. We don’t seem to be under-visited by Europeans or Asians. Just Americans. That probably has something to do with the “real American culture along the way”. Americans are taught pretty well that Mormons are freaky, and yes, I think it keeps people away. It shouldn’t (and that’s written by a non-Mormom who’s now lived half his adult life amongst Mormons).
I also like the recommendation to “drive through some godforsaken parts for a few days, the worse the better”. My wife and I did that with our tour of eastern Nevada in 1998: it’s still one of the vacations we talk about the most. Perhaps that’s why that godforsaken country comes right up to the nature trail that starts across the street from the green grass of our suburban front yard.