America the Beautiful

We asked 10 travelers to tell us about places that have touched them. The portraits they paint of a country much changed and often challenged by events may surprise you. Share your memorable destinations.

Minnesota: Kicking back in a lakeside cabin

September 11, 2011

Minnesota: Kicking back in a lakeside cabin

The state has more shoreline than California, Hawaii and Florida combined, and many families traditionally summer on the lake.

Kiawah Island, S.C.: Good, dirty fun

September 11, 2011

Kiawah Island, S.C.: Good, dirty fun

Who knew being up to your knees in mud could be so much fun?

Haleakala, Hawaii: Greeting the dawn from on high

September 11, 2011

Haleakala, Hawaii: Greeting the dawn from on high

On the Maui volcano, sunrise can be an epic event.

New Orleans: Love, in good times and bad

September 11, 2011

New Orleans: Love, in good times and bad

The city's residents showed resilience in the face of Katrina and celebrated a Super Bowl victory last year. Attractions include the French Quarter, Mardi Gras, JazzFest, the Mississippi River and fabulous food and music.

Grand Canyon, Ariz.: Ancient rock, eternal truths

September 11, 2011

Grand Canyon, Ariz.: Ancient rock, eternal truths

It's easy to think big thoughts while cooling your heels in the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon.

Selma, Ala.: Crossing a bridge into civil rights history

September 11, 2011

Selma, Ala.: Crossing a bridge into civil rights history

At Edmund Pettus Bridge, echoing footsteps tell a story of courage during the 1965 Bloody Sunday voting rights march.

Forks of the Kern: A Calif. river's proving ground

September 11, 2011

Forks of the Kern: A Calif. river's proving ground

Deep in the Sierra is one of America's most beautiful — and for boaters, dangerous —backdrops. A father-son rafting trip on the river's white-water rapids is a bonding experience.

New York City: A cab ride on a silent, soulful winter night

September 11, 2011

New York City: A cab ride on a silent, soulful winter night

A snowy Manhattan cab ride in the wee hours reveals an impossibly serene glimpse of the city that has remained pressed in memory all these years later.

San Francisco: Delancey Street Restaurant offers second chances

September 11, 2011

San Francisco: Delancey Street Restaurant offers second chances

The food and the bay views are exceptional at Delancey Street Restaurant, but what's most extraordinary are the people who run it: recovering addicts and ex-convicts.

Puyallup Valley, Wash.: Hope blooms with daffodils

September 11, 2011

Puyallup Valley, Wash.: Hope blooms with daffodils

After days of rain and worry, fields of yellow daffodils and rainbows chase away the blues.

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