Getting the flavor of...
In Canyonlands National Park, “a sense of the primordial pulsates,” said Michael Bailey in The Boston Globe. There are no trees for miles in this part of southern Utah—the landscape is both “extreme and extremely beautiful.” Throughout the park you come upon 360-degree vistas of canyons, mesas, and buttes sculpted from sandstone striped in ochre, peach, and rose. Some visitors hike the park and others tour in 4x4s. But I prefer the mountain-bike trails. From the moment I set off down the Shafer Trail from Island in the Sky, a broad mesa, I feel exhilarated. Descending a steep, zigzagging path with a 1,200-foot drop to the side, I practically wear out my brakes trying to fight gravity (“yeah, this is outrageous fun, in a suborbital-reentry sort of way”). But after a long, rewarding workout, I reach the Colorado River and hop on a jet boat that is waiting to return me to Moab. The 24-mile ride back proves “pure wind-in-your-face joy.”
Pittsburgh’s hippest neighborhood “has arrived at an evolutionary sweet spot,” said Jody Rosen in Travel + Leisure. Though some urban aficionados may prefer up-and-coming East Liberty, home to the city’s new Ace Hotel, nearby Lawrenceville has been gentrifying longer, and today its streets are “infused with energy and novelty but still idiosyncratic, authentic, a touch gritty.” Like other parts of the old steel town that have been rediscovered after decades of population decline, Lawrenceville has “lovely old architectural bones.” Its blocks of fixer-uppers that lie closest to the Allegheny River have become “some of the most coveted in town.” But part of what makes today’s Pittsburgh so appealing is that many longtime residents have so far stayed put while newcomers remake strips like Butler Street with farmto-table cafés and clubs specializing in noisy rock. Lawrenceville offers “both bourgeois-bohemian comforts and plain old bohemianism.”