Big cities and tiny towns worth visiting in the West

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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Summer | Fall 2011       Written By Dina Mishev      

Jackson’s tourist season used to be determined by a bush. Really. Standing in front of what is now Wyoming Outfitters, on the southeast corner of the elk-antler-arched Town Square, look…

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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: 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: Lake Tahoe

Summer | Fall 2008      

With a 72-mile circumference crossing two states and five counties, Lake Tahoe is not just any average place to wander. Depending upon where you are around the lake, everything from…

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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: 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: 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: 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: Whidbey Island, Washington

Spring | Summer 2010      

Whidbey Island is the embodiment of island life in the Pacific Northwest, shaped as much by the seasonal rhythms of seafaring and farming as its quirky creative communities. The setting…

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Wanderings: Tombstone, Arizona

December 2017 | January 2018       Written By David M. Brown      

Tombstone, Arizona, is full of Western stories, many of which are based in actual history. It was the site of America’s most notorious shoot-out: the gunfight at the O.K. Corral;…

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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: Joseph, Oregon

June | July 2017       Written By JoAnna Haugen      

With a population of less than 2,000 people, it would be easy to pass right through Joseph, Oregon, without giving it a second glance. But travelers who take the time…

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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: Palm Desert, California

August | September 2017       Written By Corinne Garcia      

Imagine living in the shadow of a popular older sibling, the one who has all the fun, gets all the recognition and steals the spotlight. That was once the situation…

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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: Tofino

Spring | Summer 2009      

Sol Maya turns a long steel rod loaded on the far end with a blob of molten glass. When the 2,400-degree furnace temperature transforms the glass into the consistency of…

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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: A Creative Journey

October | November 2017       Written, Photography By Gabriella Marks      

Each October, hundreds of art patrons throng the sidewalks, streets and sculpture gardens of Santa Fe, New Mexico’s historic Canyon Road to celebrate the creative process. Here, about 100 painters,…

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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: Holualoa

Fall | Winter 2008      

In Taos, artists praise the light. In Sausalito, the vibe. In Holualoa on the Big Island of Hawaii, you would expect the resident woodworkers, sculptors, painters and potters to raise…

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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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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: Taos

Premiere Issue       Written By Christene Meyers       Photography By Amy Archer      

His name was Gus. We met only once, but it was magic. My amiable llama guided me on a picturesque trek through wilderness rich with alpine tundra, musky with the…

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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: Ashland, Oregon

Spring | Summer 2008       Written By Christene Meyers      

Seventy-three years ago, a culture-starved Scotsman vowed to bring live theater to the rolling hills of southern Oregon. Driven by his yearning for drama, and a desire to share it…

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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: Phoenix-Scottsdale, Arizona

Winter | Spring 2010       Written By Carleen Milburn      

The rising sun illuminates an earthy palette at the summit of Pinnacle Peak and spotlights the timid and flamboyant blossoms of the desert botanicals. I stretch in tandem with the…

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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: 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: Fredericksburg, Texas

Winter | Spring 2008       Written By Carleen Milburn       Photography By Amy Archer      

There are not enough places on earth like Texas Hill Country. In this peaceful, rural place everything from cuisine to fine art is ratcheted up a creative notch. The culture,…

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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: Denver, Colorado

Fall | Winter 2009       Written By Eliza Cross      

Travelers flying into Denver don’t have to wait long to experience the city’s art; the Public Art Program at Denver International Airport features rotating exhibits and dozens of permanent works…

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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: Laguna Beach

Winter | Spring 2009       Written By Laurel Delp      

Laguna Beach has always been one of California’s most beautiful coastal enclaves, a spectacular ribbon of cliffs and coves framed by a backdrop of mountains, halfway between Los Angeles and…

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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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