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  • Writer's pictureJustin Key

10 Possible Photo Excursions for 2020

As a traveling photographer with a travel agent for a wife, there is no shortage of trips in the works. Between my interest in jam-packed road trips and her love for jet setting vacations, the two of us have to make a lot of decisions every year. To give you an idea of what could be in store for the coming year I've made my 10 possible photo excursion list a staple of my 10 lists of 10. As usual, we countdown from least to most likely to occur. So without further ado let's see where the camera could be heading in 2020.

10. Oregon

Misty waves roll onto the Oregon coast at Cannon Beach.

You can never rule out a spontaneous trip to the Pacific Northwest. Sarah has been dying for a return to the Oregon coast so much that we've discussed a month-long vacation. With that on the back burner for another year, a brief refresh of the lush Oregon wilderness may still be in order. When you find a place you love, it's hard to fight the urge to go back.

9. Yellowstone National Park

One of my 10 road trips from last year, Yellowstone is an easy long weekend trip from Denver. With so many amazing locations to photograph within driving distance, I would love to check this behemoth off the list. It's come up in talks recently and could be happening as soon as this spring. There are a lot of moving parts waiting to settle with festivals and other trips looming but Yellowstone is very much in play this year.

8. Maine

A panorama of Portland Head Light on a clear day with foamy waves rolling in the bay.

The first trip Sarah and I ever took together was to Maine. While nothing is set in stone yet, a return trip for our anniversary could be in order this October. It's been mentioned a few times already as a possibility to break up our Caribbean streak. Our first trip helped solidify our young relationship with what we still refer to as the perfect trip. If this becomes official, you can expect a lot of lighthouses and lobsters on social media.

7. Marquette, MI

The frozen coast of Lake Superior under a grey cloud sky.

Always in the back of my mind, I'm always looking for an excuse to return to Marquette. 2,500 miles of blizzards couldn't derail my winter road trip back to my old stomping grounds. For 2020, the trip will likely be a little warmer. I've applied to a number of art festivals in the Midwest throughout the month of June. With any luck, I'll be spending a few weeks at home in Wisconsin this summer. If that happens you can bet I'll be detouring to the banks of Lake Superior for some summer hiking and maybe a bonfire on the beach for old times sake.

6. Crested Butte

Peak fall foliage in Crested Butte, Colorado with a mountain stretching above a blanket of gold aspens.

There's always a chance. My favorite place to photograph the aspens can never be ruled out. When the leaves start changing in Colorado, Crested Butte starts calling. Of course, it doesn't have to take the leaves changing colors to warrant a visit to the quaint mountain town either. There's a location coming later in the list that I'll be making plans with this fall so a summer visit to see the wildflowers in bloom might have to do for this year.

5. Utah

Could this finally be the year I knock off a few of the Utah National Parks? Utah has gradually moved up the list over the past couple of years and as 2019 passed without a trip I find myself longing to visit even more. A majority of the 10 road trips I want to take from last year's 10 lists of 10 involved portions of Utah and it might be time to take one of those drives in 2020. Which parks will we visit? I have no idea but it's time to check at least one off my list.

4. Europe

Some of you know my amazing wife has started working from home, full time, as a travel agent. While her job is planning trips for other people, she's been planning plenty for us to take as well. Last year we were torn by an opportunity involving a Christmas river cruise through Europe. Ultimately we had to pass but the deal remains an option for this winter. Sarah has started planning a group trip for this December so it's likely to occur barring any setbacks before then. There are still spots available so if you would like to join us on the voyage I'd be happy to put you in touch with my agent.

3. Great Sands National Park

Abstract landscape photograph taken at Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park.

You know me enough to expect a trip or two down to the sand dunes every year. Going forward I may omit this from the list as it's just a given. My favorite place to shoot will get its annual leg-burning visit again in 2020. The plan this time will be to spend more than an afternoon walking the dunes before sunset. I've already started prospecting overnight options because I want full immersion. If you aren't sick of seeing my dune photos on Instagram yet, just you wait!

2. Charleston/Savannah

A view from below the live oak canopy of Wormsloe Plantation in Georgia.

Lock it in! Sarah and I are returning to Savannah again this spring. A Florida wedding in April had us traveling south regardless but, as we do, we added some personal stops to the trip. Starting in Charleston, we'll get our first experience of the hip coastal city in South Carolina. After a few days exploring the area, we'll drive to our favorite southern city, Savannah. Our time in Savannah won't last long because I need a day back at Driftwood Beach before we head to the wedding in Florida. This trip will be a good mix of culture, photography and "to go" cups.

1. Telluride, CO

Enough is enough. It's time to start exploring southern Colorado this year. The trip is in the early stages of planning but I can promise it will be happening this fall. It's been high on my list for years and with my 30th birthday occurring around peak foliage, the timing is perfect to head to Telluride for a photography excursion. The trip will explore a wider portion of the San Juans than Telluride but for only the second time in my five years in Colorado, I'll be exploring a region other than Crested Butte this fall.

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