Big cities and tiny towns worth visiting in the West

Wanderings: Beaver Creek, Colorado

Winter | Spring 2011       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

A 10-foot-wide photograph of an old mill hugged by golden aspens greets visitors in the Wilderness Wonders Gallery in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Taken by owner and photographer Tony Newlin, the…

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Wanderings: Marfa, Texas

April | May 2015       Written By Isabelle Walker      

If a visit to Marfa, Texas, is to be successful, a traveler must have an appreciation for whimsical things, for enterprises such as the Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late Night…

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Wanderings: Art Escapes in Portland, Oregon

June | July 2016       Written By Marla Cimini      

Offering an artistic odyssey, the city of Portland, Oregon, blends a range of art and architectural styles, dating from thousands of years ago with the tribes of the Pacific Northwest…

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Wanderings: Santa Ynez Valley, California

August | September 2015       Written By Isabelle Walker      

In the 200 years since Spanish missionaries built their 19th California mission in the gold valley that extends north from the Santa Ynez Mountains, vast cattle ranches have given way…

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Wanderings: Tubac, Arizona

October | November 2012       Written By Roger Naylor      

I get a lesson in the laidback style of Tubac, Arizona, at The Country Shop. The quaint adobe sits at the shady edge of the plaza. Dozens of colorful pots are…

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Wanderings: Sedona, Arizona

Fall | Winter 2011       Written By Roger Naylor      

Late afternoon seems to trigger a mass exodus from Sedona. As if by signal, a stream of traffic pulls off main roads and heads for the airport. Yet folks aren’t…

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Wanderings: Fort Worth, Texas

February | March 2012       Written By Myrna Zanetell      

For a taste of the West as it was, and still is, a visit to Fort Worth, Texas, is the perfect choice. Boasting a dichotomous blend of cowboys and culture, no…

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Wanderings: Boulder, Colorado

June | July 2012       Written By Eliza Cross      

It’s hard to imagine that Boulder, Colorado’s vibrant, colorful downtown was ever in danger of extinction, but in the early 1970s the area had started to deteriorate. Stores closed, crime…

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Wanderings: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

April | May 2017       Written By Rosemary Carstens      

It’s not easy to describe what it feels like to arrive in San Miguel de Allende for the first time. There is nothing else like this enchanting town, situated at…

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Wanderings: Southwest Utah

April | May 2016       Written By Steve Phillips      

Southwestern Utah’s landscape is visually intoxicating. With sculptural sandstone cliffs, dramatic canyons and towering rock formations, the scenery near St. George, Utah, is itself artistry. Dubbed Utah’s “Dixie” by locals,…

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Wanderings: San Antonia, Texas

February | March 2014       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Spring. San Antonio’s best-kept secret and the city’s most vibrant season. With comfortable temps in the mid-70s, this is when culture-seeking adventurers toss winter trappings. They arm themselves with GPS devices and…

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Wanderings: Park City, Utah

December 2012 | January 2013       Written By Vanessa Chang      

Even people like me, who have a love-hate relationship with the snowy, steep inclines of the Wasatch Mountains, can find at least three reasons to make the 30-mile journey from…

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Wanderings: Napa Valley, California

August | September 2014       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Crush. The mere mention of the word triggers excitement up and down the backbone of Napa Valley, the undisputed wine capital of America. Seasons orbit around fall crush as trucks rumble…

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Wanderings: Bend, Oregon

August | September 2012       Written By Kim Cooper Findling      

Take a look at arty, sporty, vibrant Bend, Oregon, and it’s hard to believe this place was born a rough and shabby mill town that may have never become more. The…

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Wanderings: Honolulu, Hawaii

February | March 2013       Written By Seabring Davis      

In every travel brochure, tourism ad or episode of “Hawaii Five-0,” Oahu’s Waikiki Beach — white sand, crystal-clear water and stacked with luxurious hotels — is touted as paradise. Indeed, the beach lives…

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Wanderings: Mendocino County, California

August | September 2013       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Up the Northern California coast, where redwoods soar skyward and gray whales migrate by the tens of thousands each winter, beckons a place so magical you’d swear it leapt out of…

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Wanderings: Cody, WY

Summer | Fall 2010       Written By Brian Hurlbut      

If you’re already familiar with the Wyoming town of Cody, chances are it’s because of the town’s historical namesake, Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, one of the wild West’s…

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Wanderings: Beverly Hills, California

December 2014 | January 2015       Written By David M. Brown      

Known as the city of parties — and even better after - parties — Beverly Hills celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014, all year long. Just north of Los Angeles, Beverly…

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Wanderings: Boulder, Colorado

June | July 2015       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

When a community of only 100,000 citizens can support six natural food stores while larger cities can barely sustain one; when farm - to - table food preparation is the norm…

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Wanderings: Telluride, Colorado

June | July 2013       Written By Laurel Delp      

An old Colorado mining town turned ski resort might not be first on the list of obvious spots for a vital art scene, but Telluride is a series of surprises to…

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Wanderings: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

October | November 2016       Written By Marla Cimini      

In Northern California, courtyards, cottages and creative arts combine to form Carmel-by-the-Sea’s subtle and elegant charm. Drawing visitors from across the world, this town of one square mile overflows with…

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Wanderings: Seattle, Washington

Spring | Summer 2011       Written By Stella Fong      

My husband and I thrive on Seattle’s “geeky” individualistic culture. The Emerald City’s desire for its own identity invites creativity in its art, architecture and food, all of which make…

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Wanderings: Las Vegas, Nevada

December 2013 | January 2014       Written By Christine Phillips      

Holidays in Vegas? It kind of sounds like a kitschy Elvis Christmas special. With temperatures that hover around 60 degrees in December, Sin City may be a far cry from…

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Wanderings: Boise, Idaho

February | March 2017       Written By Carrie Scozzaro      

Boise used to be an outpost on the Oregon Trail, but today Idaho’s capitol is a destination unto itself, consistently snagging headlines for economic growth, innovation, quality of life and…

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Wanderings: Healdsburg, California

February | March 2016       Written By Christine Rogel      

Tucked into a riparian valley between Dry Creek and the Russian River, the Healdsburg countryside is how you imagine Northern California wine country: rolling hills, orderly vineyards, pristine beauty. The…

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Wanderings: Vancouver, British Columbia

June | July 2014       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

From the pinnacle of the Vancouver Lookout Tower, the stunning 360-degree panorama says it all. The skyline of light-laced bridges, mountain ranges and high-rise giants speaks of an ever-growing metropolis brimming…

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Wanderings: Albuquerque, New Mexico

December 2015 | January 2016       Written By Christine Rogel      

More than a century ago, Mark Twain famously characterized the largest cities in the American Northeast: “In Boston they ask, ‘How much does he know?’ In New York, ‘How much…

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Wanderings: Santa Barbara, California

April | May 2012       Written By Isabelle Walker      

One can only imagine how the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo felt the day he sailed into a channel along California’s Central Coast and encountered this stretch of land cradled peacefully between the mountains…

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Wanderings: Austin, Texas

April | May 2013       Written By Helen Thompson      

As the self-styled “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin, Texas, marches enthusiastically to the beat of its own drummer. The capital city is famously different from the rest of the swashbuckling state —…

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Wanderings: Flagstaff, Arizona

December 2016 | January 2017       Written By David M. Brown      

Although known for its sweeping desert landscapes dotted with cactus, Arizona has some surprising contrasts. In the northern region of the state, Flagstaff is situated in the world’s largest contiguous…

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Wanderings: Salt Lake City, Utah

October | November 2013       Written By Vanessa Chang      

Salt Lake City has undergone a resurgence in its artistic and culinary sectors. The theme — whether it’s on the canvas, on your plate or in your glass — is decidedly…

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Wanderings: Ventura, California

Fall | Winter 2010       Written By Laurel Delp      

Had the freeway not so dramatically sliced the city of Ventura from its oceanfront, it might have long ago matched better-known, more upscale artsy coastal enclaves Laguna Beach or Carmel-by-the-Sea.…

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Wanderings: Sun Valley, Idaho

October | November 2014       Written By Sabina Dana Plasse      

A visit to Sun Valley, Idaho, is like being transported to another universe. It’s a place to which, once discovered, many return and often settle. “Just another day in paradise”…

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Wanderings: Tucson, Arizona

February | March 2015       Written By JoAnna Haugen      

Once hailed as a “mini Mecca for the arts,” Tucson, Arizona, isn’t chic or polished, but it is flourishing with a style all its own. An arts enthusiast could spend days…

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Wanderings: An Insider’s Guide

August | September 2016       Written By JoAnna Haugen       Photography By Sam Morris, Las Vegas News Bureau      

When most people think of reasons to visit Las Vegas, fine art is not normally one of them. But stand in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard on the famous…

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