Before putting 2013 in the rearview mirror once and for all, I have to recap some of my favorite posts from the past 12 months. Last year was perhaps my most exciting travel year yet, with several trips throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The highlights of ’13 included visits to a recently-abandoned ghost town in Oklahoma, two small towns in Mexico, and one of the coolest little cities in one of the most unexpected places – Canada’s Yukon territory.
These were the most memorable travel moments in Quirky Travel-land.
It’s just what it sounds like – elephants creating paintings at the zoo. You can watch them paint and even take home their masterpiece once they’re finished.
The most eerie travel experience I had in ’13 was visiting a town that went from thriving community to abandoned ghost town in less than ten years.
I’m descended from Amish royalty. Really. A trip to Amish Country in Ohio provided an opportunity to trace my ancestry back hundreds of years and meet some long-lost Amish relatives.
One of the coolest characters I met this year was Sid van der Meer Sr. from Beaver Creek, Yukon, who has a massive collection of bizarre antiques, like a 77-million year old turtle fossil, old Alaska Highway milepost signs, and unopened mail from 1920.
At the tallest classroom building in North America, the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, you can visit classrooms from more than two dozen countries in the span of less than 30 minutes.
I let some of the coolest couples from the travel blogging world offer their advice and memories in this special Valentine’s Day post.
This year, a group of activists bought a house across the street from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church and painted it in the colors of the rainbow flag. I paid a visit to see it for myself.
Wherein I try to give some love to the national parks that see the least traffic year in and year out. Give it a read and consider adding Dry Tortugas, Great Basin, and Isle Royale to your bucket list.
At the conclusion of the Coke factory tour in Atlanta, you can sample Coke flavors from around the world. I sat there and tried all 60. Among my favorites: Smart Apple from China, Fanta Melon Frosty from Thailand, and Bibo Candy Pine Nut from South Africa.
The Newseum in Washington DC is my favorite museum in America. Find out why.
Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame finally started allowing visitors to take pictures, and I put together one of the first photo essays from the place shortly thereafter. Lots of good pics here including artifacts from Michael Jackson, Little Richard, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and dozens more.
There’s a town way up north in Canada’s Yukon territory that reminds me a lot of Key West, Florida due to its quirky, hippie, friendly vibe.
I consumed the infamous Sour Toe Cocktail, a Dawson City drink that includes a real mummified human toe inside the glass.
The colors and the unique remembrances are what stood out most at these small cemeteries in Villa Union, Mexico.
The best photo essay I’ve ever published on the site. Check out 60 unique images from around the Yukon territory.
The Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles are an awesome place to hike, because in addition to the nature, you can spot wildlife, celebrities, and the Hollywood sign.
I had to be honest about the sad state of this Ivy League-affiliated museum.
American Banjo Museum, Oklahoma City, OK
Arnold Schwarzenegger statue, Columbus, OH
Toronto Shoe Museum, Toronto, ON
Pops, home of 600 crazy soda flavors, Arcadia, OK
Mill City Museum, Minneapolis, MN