Vacation ideas: Hop a plane to Iceland – For U.S. residents of the East Coast, Reykjavik can be a shorter flight than going to California, and you'll get hot springs, unique food (fermented shark anyone?), interesting culture and live volcanoes. "Interstellar" even filmed some scenes there.
Visit a national park – The National Park Service has 401 areas covering more than 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And most don't require reservations way in advance. Shown here is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is in North Carolina and Tennessee.
Play tourist in your own city – If you live in or near a big city, it's easy to forget there are lots of "things the tourists do." The national Center for Civil and Human Rights (shown here) just opened in Atlanta. On Nov. 15, the Tacoma Art Museum will open the renowned Haub Family Collection of Western American Art. And the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas has an exhibit on "John James Audubon and the Artist as Naturalist." Go get some culture!
Cross the border – If you're in the United States and relatively close to the Canadian or Mexican border, it can be interesting to see how another country lives. Vancouver, shown here, is just a three-hour drive from many parts of Washington state.