Nature in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. Art in a deep Polish salt mine. A friendly Wisconsin town. A hike with views of the Tasmanian coast. Readers have spanned the globe and discovered adventure, history and in many places, peace. Here are some of their discoveries.
Mountain province, Philippines
-- Scott Ingram, Camarillo
Green Lake, Wis.
Green Lake is a beautiful community in south-central Wisconsin. The town is a throwback to an earlier, simpler, friendlier time. There is no congestion or pollution. The people are generous and open. The town is picturesque, with quaint shops overlooking beautiful Green Lake. All my stress evaporated there. I could relax and refocus my thoughts on how to simplify my life to improve my family's quality of life.
-- Casey McHugh-O'Brien, Fullerton
Kariye Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is long known as a city endowed with layer upon layer of cultural riches dating from ancient times. But beyond the obvious sites in the Old City, there is a jewel that's rarely seen: the Kariye Museum. It's not easy to do but it is well worth the effort. The interior walls are covered with exquisite Byzantine religious art that has no equal anywhere in the world. Despite earthquake damage in 1894, many spectacular mosaics remain, awesome in their fine detail, displaying subtle shadings and rich colors that are lacking in earlier Byzantine mosaics.
-- Elizabeth Mitchell Munisoglu, Los Angeles
Nice is about two hours northwest of Sacramento on Clear Lake. It is scenic and relaxing, and close enough for Southern Californians to enjoy without spending a fortune getting there. There are pleasant local restaurants, antique shops, wineries and the Lake County Museum in Lakeport, about 15 minutes from Nice. Nice also has beautiful orchards and dozens of bike paths.
-- Hannah Kuhn, Simi Valley
Valley of Fire State Park, Nev.
Valley of Fire has spectacular sandstone formations, pastel rock formations, a hiking trail to an old outlaw hide-out and Native American petroglyphs. It's a wonderful loop day trip from Las Vegas. You reach the park by way of Henderson, up the west side of Lake Mead. Take the winding road through the park back to Interstate 15. Don't go in the summer heat; the park is appropriately named.
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