Looking for an alternative to the beach for a vacation? Head out west to Yellowstone and discover other worldly sites and stunning views. The place to stay is Marriott Springhill Suites in Island Park Yellowstone. It is about 20 minutes away from the west entrance of Yellowstone. There are some fun authentic dining options near the hotel including the rustic Buffalo Bar where stuffed bison can be viewed leaping over table tops. Another great choice is Bar N Ranch, offering scenic Western views inside and out as well as phenomenal local fare as goat cheese on Huckleberry compote with local honey, and topped with fresh basil, bison burgers with bacon onion jam, Steelhead trout fritters and more.
Suggested itinerary is taking a safari tour through Yellowstone Safari within Lamar Valley. The guides know where to spot wildlife. Of course you never know what you’ll see but it can range from wolves to ruddy ducks which have Pixar like blue bills to lots of bison and much more. After the tour, stop at Mammoth Springs where you will be amazed at the massive white travertine rock formations, which is very distinct from other sites in the park. Day two plan to see the stunning Grand Prismatic, the most photographed hot springs in Yellowstone because of stunning bright blues and contrasting colors. View it from Fairy Falls for the most picturesque aerial view. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is in the same area and another must see. Another spot to visit is the Fountain Paint Pot Trail where you can view all four of the hydrothermal features -mudpots, geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles – from a boardwalk. Of course there is the ever popular Old Faithful geyser which always draws a crowd. Continue ten miles south beyond Yellowstone to get a glimpse of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Along the way, you will see stops for the Continental Divide, where the Mississippi starts before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. Teton is breathtaking as its mountaintops are like daggers in the sky, still sharp as they are newer mountaintops. To top off the trip, perhaps when heading back to the airport in Bozeman, visit Museum of the Rockies. Discover the Dinosaurs Under The Big Sky exhibit located within the Siebel Dinosaur Complex, which offers one of the largest dinosaur exhibits in the world. Fly cheap on Allegiant Air direct from Nashville to Bozeman and definitely rent a car.