2017 Travel Adventures Recap

Wow, what an an amazing year for travel 2017 was! To me, a successful year includes lots of exploring, hiking, swimming, kayaking and camping – and I wanted to share a few photos and memories from our awesome 2017 adventures with you. Also, this is making me work on my 2018 resolution to actually edit travel photos instead of letting them just sit on my hard drives. 🙂

San Francisco, California

On our way to Hawaii (more on that), we stopped in Northern California for four days. San Francisco has always been one of my husband’s favorite cities (quite possibly just because of the sourdough bread), but I had never been. After a two hour delay on our first flight, waiting in the Phoenix airport for hours, and then having out second flight completely cancelled, we made it to SF in the wee hours of the morning. But with too many adventures to waste time, we hit the road first thing in the morning to explore Muir Woods. Another first for me – seeing Redwood trees in person!

After an awesome morning of hiking among the Redwoods (and mud puddles), we drove south on Highway 1 to Santa Cruz to check out Shark Fin Cove. I’d been dreaming of visiting the famous Big Sur, but due to mudslides and flooding, the road and parks were closed. Hoping to find an alternative, I “drove” down highway 1 on Google Maps and discovered Shark Fin Cove. We spent the morning enjoying the cliffs (from which we saw a sea otter playing in the surf), the sea air, and the view of the giant “shark fin.” The next day we returned for a beautiful seaside elopement inspiration shoot.

Our last full day in California, we walked all over San Francisco. We hit Ghirardelli Square (overrated in my opinion), Lombard Street (too tired to walk up it), Coit Tower (amazing views!), Baker Beach (where we viewed the Golden Gate Bridge), and hiked Golden Gate Bridge National Park through to Land’s End and the Sutro Baths. I seriously thought I couldn’t walk another step after that day, and we were actually excited about the 5+ hour plane ride the next day.

Oahu, Hawaii

Oh Hawaii, how I love thee! I could write and write and write about our adventures in Hawaii, but for your sake I’ll condense it. We spent a week of snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, (a little of) touristing, and (lots of) eating. The island is an adventurer’s paradise, and we took full advantage of that. Some of our favorite memories were the sunrise hike to view the Mokuluas islands, kayaking to those islands (on a very choppy ocean), hiking in the rainy jungle to Manoa Falls, exploring the ocean in a submarine, and snorkeling all day with the fish at Hanauma Bay.

White Sands National Park, New Mexico

After photographing a wedding in Ruidoso, New Mexico, Anthony and I took an afternoon to explore White Sands National Monument. It’s only a few hours drive south of Albuquerque, but somehow we had never visited before. Although it was crazy hot (imagine 90 degree weather in the desert, with sun reflecting off the sand), we were so in awe of the landscape. We’d love to go back for some camping on the dunes or a night hike under a full moon!

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Silverton, Colorado is one of my favorite places on earth! We spent a rainy August day driving the Million Dollar Highway and stopping off at our favorite scenic spots. The next day the skies cleared and our friends joined us for a jeeping adventure and elopement-style anniversary photo shoot up at Clear Lake. The scenery was beyond amazing, and well worth the cold winds we encountered. On our last day in Colorado we set out in the Jeep again, this time taking Hurricane Pass, California Pass, and other remote roads to the ghost town of Animas Forks.

Colorado Springs, CO

Our last adventure of the year was a New Year’s Eve trip to Colorado Springs (another favorite Colorado spot). Despite temperatures in the single digits, we hiked Garden of the Gods and drove to the top of Pikes Peak. As many times as I’ve been to the peak, it is always different and uniquely beautiful. We were surprised to see very little snow on the drive, but watching the last sunset of the year as we drove back down made up for it.

I hope you enjoyed this recap of my 2017 adventures. Here’s to a new year of travel and all the amazing experiences that come with it!

Hey, friend! I’m Julie – an adventure wedding & elopement photographer who loves the outdoors and traveling! My photography is fun and heartfelt while highlighting the beauty of love and nature. I’m based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but wedding photography takes me throughout the southwest, to national parks, and all over the world! To find out more about destination wedding photography, check out my travel page. And if you want to get some great elopement planning tips, check out planning and advice section of the blog.

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Julie Haider is an adventure elopement photographer + planner based in New Mexico and photographing destination elopements worldwide.


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