Summer is coming.
That means two things. Music festivals and road trips! If you have a camera and a car, here are 12 must hit spots this summer. Even if you only visit one of these amazing locations, that’s cool too. Each spot provides a unique adventure and plenty of photography challenges.
The journey is as important as the destination.
Alaska – United StatesNicknamed ‘the final frontier,’ Alaska is true to its dramatic, diverse terrain. You can truly find almost everything you could want as a photographer from outdoor activities to wildlife to cabin porn. In addition, Alaska is home to Denali National Park, which covers a staggering 6 million acres of protected wilderness land home to grizzly bears, wolves, and moose. You can truly get lost in the state’s endless beauty. Jeff Marsh shows us how to get lost chasing bears with his camera.
Banff National Park – CanadaSporting countless lakes, towering mountain peaks, scenic roads, and a variety of wildlife…Banff is a must for anyone looking to immerse themselves into breathtaking Canadian scenery. The photographic challenges are endless providing opportunities to play with scale, reflections, and breathtaking landscapes. Jon Taylor Sweet recently took a visit and shared some of his favorite spots in Banff.
Paris – FranceThe city of love, the city of light. One of Europe’s largest cities and center of art, fashion, and culture – Paris, France is a world within itself. From the Louvre to the iconic Eiffel Tower there are many architectural beauties to photograph and see. If you are bold enough, driving through the outskirts of the city visiting its small suburbs. Local coffee, people, and endless places to experience the unique flavor of France’s Cuisine.
Yosemite National Park – United StatesSet within California’s massive Sierra Nevada Mountains you’ll find Yosemite National Park. Hikers, climbers, and casual explorers flock all seasons to get a glimpse of it’s towering granite cliffs and iconic vistas. From Half Dome to Glacier Point you will be immersed in the massive feel of the scenery Yosemite has to offer. You can follow the Breakfast Club or head Into The Valley with Sam Graves.
Oregon Coast – United StatesOregon’s scenic coastline stretches 363 miles along the U.S’s west coast. Jagged cliffs, dense forests, bright red rock, and stormy beaches make for a unique look that other coastal state’s don’t offer. If you happen to be around for sunset, you’re truly in for something special. On a nice – sunny day, the Oregon coast lights up with deep golden hues that rival even those of California’s golden coast. Just ask Sam Elkins why he loves the Oregon Coast.
Country – NorwayMassive mountains, deep blue glaciers, and stretches of coastal fjords make Norway unlike any other country. Many Instagrammers now recognize Iceland’s beauty, but few see the endless wonders that Norway offers. Even more appealing, many of Norway’s most scenic locations are best accessed by car. From the dramatic peaks of Lofoten to the towering cliffs of Preikestolen your eyes will continuously be amazed at every new encounter.
New Orleans – United StatesA city of vibrant culture, New Orleans (also known as the “Big Easy”) is a city that is unlike any other. A melting pot of French, African, and American cultures has made the cities cuisine something truly unique and special. The food, architecture, music, and deep history will provide a Southern experience that doesn’t disappoint. New Orleans is definitely not a location to leave off of your road trip list. A few months back we adventured around the city with 18 talented photographers. Camera in hand, they had an experience of a lifetime.
Tucson – United StatesSurrounded by countless mountain ranges within the Sonoran desert lies the city of Tucson, Arizona. The city itself has much to offer but beyond the busy downtown district, you’ll find long, scenic highways that can be cruised, old western ghost towns, and a plethora of hiking and mountain bike trails. The golden blue mountains, hot red sand, and towering cacti will give you something new to shoot at every turn.
Grand Teton National Park – United StatesThe Teton Range is a massive 40 mile long mountain range in the northeastern region of Wyoming. Just 10 Miles south of Yellowstone, the Teton range is a stunning sight, towering over the low grassland valleys that surround. With over 3 million visitors each year to the park, it’s not hard to see why so many make the trek out to Wyoming for a look at these massive peaks. Whether you’re just passing through on a road trip or visiting for a several days, there is much to see and do on your visit. Sam Elkins and Forrest Mankins spent a few days car camping last fall – shooting sunrise, longboarding the scenic stretches of highway, and taking in the beauty of the park.
Country – SwitzerlandFew countries are are more suited for “roadtripping” that Switzerland. From the Swiss Alps, to the tiny mountain towns, to the winding scenic roads – Switzerland does not disappoint. Gareth Pon and his friend Martina once spent two weeks in Switzerland, road tripping in a vintage VW Bus. Check out their story “Swiss Moment’s in a VW Bus” for more inspiration on traveling around Switzerland.
City – Ho Chi Minh, VietnamAdventure is out there, if you’re up for seeking it out. Ho Chi Minh is definitely one place that has a lot of it. From the vibrant markets, to the quaint coffee shops – from kayaking on the bay or cycling through the crowded streets, you’re bound to get immersed into the city’s rich culture.
Mount Rainier – United StatesMount Rainier is considered by many as one of the most beautiful peaks in the entire world. Climbers travel from all over the world for a chance to summit the 14,410 foot summit. The park itself boasts hundreds of hiking trails, lakes, and sweeping views that seem to amaze in any season. Located about 2.5 hours outside of Seattle there are multiple routes into this beautiful, national park. No matter how many times you’ve been to the park, you will always find a new corner to explore and photograph.