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May 25, 2010

Explore the West From Home With Sunset Magazine

sunset.jpgI’ve always dreamed of traveling out West, but as a busy Tennessean I never seem to find the time or money to hop a cross-country flight. So when I sat down recently with an issue of Sunset magazine–a how-to guide to the best things about living in the West–I felt like I got to take a little trip without ever leaving home.

From dazzling desert destinations to majestic mountain retreats to tranquil ocean escapes, the magazine traverses the Western landscape, visiting legendary locations like the Yosemite Valley and Big Sur while also exposing you to the hidden treasures along the way. You’ll vicariously take sunset hikes, soak in natural springs and sit at the table of a Western kitchen, sampling the organic ingredients and eclectic tastes that make cooking in this region so distinctive. You’ll visit gardens and homes, both of which tend to rely on natural elements and green practices to function and enhance the beauty of their surroundings. 

Westerners have a way of communing with nature that people living in other parts of the country could and should take lessons from–as you’ll discover from the trove of first-person stories and snapshots. The more you listen their perspective, the more you’ll long to join their quest for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I took one look at the March 2010 cover, which showcased a rust red tree house overlooking lush vegetation and the sunset along the rocky coast, and nearly ripped open the magazine to read the “10 Amazing Getaways” feature inside. It did not disappoint! (Did you know it was possible to sleep like royalty in a tree house, igloo and a cave?) Here’s a peek at a few of my other favorite features inside: 

• The West at Its Best: A quick guide to the latest and greatest in regional cooking, planting, travel, trends, art and culture
• Northern California Weekend: Day trips you don’t want to miss–and how to make the most of your visit to these quaint coastal towns
• Bargain Escape: Shoestring tips for planning dream trips to ski, mountain and beach resorts

Sunset magazine has been through many incarnations since it launched in 1898. It began as a promotional magazine designed by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company to combat negative “Wild West” stereotypes that discouraged tourism. But today, it no longer has to beg would-be explorers to visit; it beckons.



About the Author

Emily McMackin
Emily McMackin
Emily McMackin is an editor, writer and perpetual storyteller with an incurable addiction to coffee, magazines, Neil Diamond and Caribbean travel. She resides in Music City USA (that's Nashville, Tenn., ya'll!), where you'll find her staking out live music, salsa dancing, scouring town for the best latte and working on her first No. 1 (book that is).