Best of the Best - Top Ten Travel Photos From Each Continent: North America
When it comes to looking at other people's travel photos, I've found that there are essentially two types of reactions. For those who are less-traveled, they can be a source of wonder and admiration - even inspiration in the right circumstances. For those who've done a bit of traveling themselves, it can be nice in small doses, irritating in large ones, and even subconsciously provoke feelings of competition and/or envy when thinking of their own catalog.
But in the middle of those reactions is a somewhat universal appreciation for a really good shot; whether it's a candid moment of cultural value, the intricacies of architecture, or the majesty of a natural landscape. In an attempt to follow that middle course, this is the first of seven (naturally) posts cataloging my own top ten travel photos from my travels to each continent. For each I will provide the location, year it was taken, and a small explanation, since the only thing more potentially irritating than looking at someone else's travel pictures is having to hear about them.
To start off this series, let's begin with the continent from which I myself begin my own journeys: North America. Included in this general heading are the countries of Central America and the islands of the Caribbean. We'll start from the North and make our way down, taking in some iconic scenes along the way.
Quebec City, Canada
As the only walled city in North America this side of Mexico, a visit to Quebec City is the closest thing around to visiting Europe. Taken in the summer of 2007, the French-inspired architecture is dwarfed by the lovely, though imposing, form of the Chateau Frontenac - an iconic hotel that dominates the Old World skyline.
Grizzly Bear, Denali National Park, Alaska, USA
What had been a rather dreary and uneventful bus ride through Denali National Park suddenly turned thrilling upon sighting a pair of young grizzly bears lounging quite contentedly alongside the one road through the park. Seen here in early June 2008, they were fresh out of hibernation, but perhaps still feeling a little lazy.
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska, USA
A short ride outside of the Alaskan capital, this accessible glacier offers visitors the chance to appreciate the massive scale of the landscape when compared to human constructions of any kind, such as this small watercraft taken in June 2008.
South Rim, Grand Canyon, USA
Given the size and magnitude of this natural wonder of the world, it would seem almost impossible to take a bad picture of the Grand Canyon. But later in the day, the slanted rays of the sun highlight both color and shadow as seen here from the South Rim in April 2017.
White Sands National Park, New Mexico, USA
A taste of the Sahara in the American Southwest, White Sands National Park (formerly a national monument) is a picturesque sea of gypsum dunes offering visiting photographers an ever changing palette of color as the sun goes down, seen here in April 2016.
Once the capital of Spanish Central America, the crumbling colonial ruins of Antigua, Guatemala form a evocative backdrop to this vibrant town surrounded by three giant volcanoes, seen here in March 2010.
Playa Knip, Curacao
On the leeward side of the semi-arid and constantly breezy island nation of Curacao, Playa Knip is a quiet oasis of turquoise water, soft sand and tropical tranquility, seen here in April 2011.
White River, Jamaica
Snaking through the lush forest outside of touristy Ocho Rios, a tube ride down the aquamarine waters of the White River, seen here in March 2010, is a great add on to that other attraction - Dunn's River Falls.
Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Even on an island where the majority of land is reserved as a national park, Trunk Bay is particularly stunning. Seen here in January 2004, it has all the elements of a quintessential (and ideal) Caribbean destination.
Turtle Cove, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
Taken at sunrise in October 2001, this small cove on the sparsely populated island of Providenciales was our harbor for a live-aboard dive trip, and provided spectacular views both above and below the waterline.
I must admit that it was real tough narrowing down the list to just 10 photos, and I'm sure that issue will repeat itself for the other 6 continents. But I hope you've enjoyed this photographic overview of some of North America's loveliest locations, and if you have any suggestions for where I should go next (once I can) please leave a comment below.
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