I love the lists travel magazines and television shows put together, like the "50 Best Places to Live and Play" or "Top 10 Beach Strolls."
So when I came across the annual top 10 list for fall photo opportunities from the National Park Foundation, I was intrigued.
Here are the results for the national parks and public lands.
1. Historic Streetscape. Historic Jamestown, Virginia.
2. Spectacular Rock Formation. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.
3. Picturesque Forest. Olympic National Forest.
4. Underground Adventure. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota.
5. Dazzling Sunset. Point Reyes National Seashore, California.
6. Fall Foliage. Acadia National Park, Maine.
7. Diverse Wildlife. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia.
8. Prehistoric Wonder. Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska.
9. Volcanic Formation. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho.
10. Family Photo. Hoover Dam, Arizona and Colorado.
After reading the list, I wondered what a Washington version would have on it.
Here are the locations I came up with. You can debate my choices.
1. Historic streetscape. Pike Place Market. There isn't a streetscape that says Northwest more than the market. How many of us have a photo of the public market sign reflecting on the rain-soaked street?
2. Spectacular Rock Formation. Mount Rainier, from Reflection Lake at sunrise. Actually, is there any more spectacular rock formation, from any view point, than Mount Rainier?
3. Picturesque Forest. I recommend the drive up Forest Road 25, north of Hoodsport, in Olympic National Forest.
4. Underground Adventure. Ape Cave on the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. You can walk and climb through a lava tube created 2,000 years ago, and it's kid friendly.
5. Dazzling Sunset. Pick a beach on the Northwest coast. I'm partial to Second Beach outside La Push. The trick is seeing the sun actually set on a typical gray fall evening.
6. Fall Foliage. Olympic National Forest is one option. Closer to home, I like the drive along Skate Creek Road from Ashford to Packwood.
7. Diverse Wildlife. Long Beach Peninsula. You can see deer, waterfowl, bear, shorebirds, elk and more at places like Cape Disappointment State Park and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.
8. Prehistoric Wonder. Just about all of Eastern Washington. Try spots such as Dry Falls and the Columbia River Gorge.
9. Volcanic Formation. This is a no-brainer - Mount St. Helens. A fresh blanket of snow makes the volcano leap out against a backdrop of blue sky.
10. Family Photo. The kids digging for razor clams on one of the coastal beaches. There are smiles aplenty when they're successful, and their grimaces are extremely photogenic when the wind is howling and the rain is pouring down.
Jeffrey P. Mayor is outdoors editor at The News Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.