8 Top Photographer Dream Vacation Ideas (survey)

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One of my goals this year is to “take a trip by myself” for photography. The plan is to spend some quality time by myself in a beautiful place, and practice what I’ve learned this year.

This decision is very challenging to me, as I already live in one of the most beautiful and photogenic places in the world – the California wine country! So I need your help in choosing where to go.

I have narrowed down the list to these 8 locations – the only simple criteria being:

  • It has to be a place I’ve never been to
  • It’s not further than a plane ride away from my home in northern California
  • It’s not too scary to go alone

Here are my 8 top photographer dream vacation ideas –

no preference order

1. The Grand Canyon.

As a wanna-be top photographer, this location feels like the biggest no-brainer on the list. I have seen some amazing shots of the canyons at different times of the year, and the images always look so artistic and spiritual. I would also want to spend a day or two exploring the surrounding cities and end up on a photo tour of Hoover Dam.

2. Louisville, Kentucky.

I loved horses when I was a little girl. At 8 years old, declared to my family that wanted to become a veterinarian – until my cat scratched his own eye out and we had to take him in for emergency surgery – and it was then that I changed my dream to “photographer”. I would love to see the farms and racetracks, spend time in the city of Louisville, and of course – tour the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat factory.

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Everyone I know who visits Santa Fe loves it. It sounds like a photographer’s dream place – lots of colors, textures and landscapes. There are a few well-known photographers based there who lead some great field expeditions. I would love to capture sunrises and sunsets on the vast flat lands and through their huge rock formations.

4. Anchorage, Alaska.

Something about Alaska intrigues me – its vast size, the beautiful scenery, wildlife and weather. I would enjoy spending some time in the field practicing and honing my technical skills and the important art of being patient. May be even do a little fishing.

5. Yellowstone National Park.

Just looking at the map overwhelms me. There are so many opportunities there – the wildlife, the geysers, pristine land and lakes. They have an amazing event calendar as well, so I know there would be no shortage of fun things to do.

6. Carmel / Monterey, California.

This is the closest destination to home on the list, and I’m almost embarrassed to suggest this one. I’ve spent my whole life in California, and not one night in this beautiful part of the coast. The ocean is one my favorite places to be, and this area never seems to be a disappointment for photographers.

7. Chicago, Illinois.

Had to put one big city on the list, of course. Friends I know that travel and live in the area constantly suggest that I visit! Lots of historical buildings, cool modern architecture , interesting patterns and people watching would be the fun here. And of course, a piece of pizza pie would be a must.

8. Vancouver, British Columbia.

From the botanical gardens, the many waterways, the downtown area and beautiful countryside, this would be a great destination for location photography practice. Yes, I have a passport, and I’m not afraid to use it.

Voting for this has been closed

Until next photo,


Remy’s dream is to have public showings of her photography.

  • Scott
  • Scott

    Santa Fe, well duh!!
    I think “vast flatlands” is out of the realm unless you want to drive East several hours, but everything from high-plateau desert, Alpine, Canyon lands, the plaza, the Pueblos, Sandia Crest, White Sands (and the Trinity site), the Opera, you name it. Go in the spring for mild weather and lots of green; go in the fall for brisk weather, and pinon fires; go in the winter for all the various churchly celebrations at the St. Francis cathedral, more pinon fires (mmm….) and the occasional thunder-snow. Throw into it lots of really cool places to stay, good shopping if you’re into that kind of thing and the best green chile in the known universe and you’re good to go.

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Scott, truth be told, I thought of you and all of your stories when I added this to the list. Thanks! Right now its in the lead, neck and neck with Alaska! xox Rem

  • Lisa

    Alaska! It is supposed to be amazing! Take me with you! ;)


    p.s. I love photography too and DO understand taking your time to take a shot, and lingering to get it right, and taking loads of shots… I do this and sometimes my travel companions *DO* get a bit impatient with me. ;)

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Lisa, you are always welcome to visit! we could drive them crazy together. xoxo Rem

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  • Mary Keenan

    Wonderful list Remy! My dream spot would be North Beach in San Francisco. I love the idea of photographing the “Little Italy” of the Bay Area! I’ll get there soon. Your article inspired me.

    And yes, with all of the years I lived in Santa Cruz, I’ve been to Carmel and Monterey many many times, and it never fails to inspire!

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Mary, Little Italy sounds fantastic! Let me know when you plan that, I may want to join u! Im glad this inspired you! You are a great photographer. ox Rem

  • Rod

    Santa Fe, New Mexico has my vote.

    I think the the three C’s of Santa Fe (Culture, Color and Cuisine) are a must do.

    • Remy G

      maybe I should have put US VI on there…Dang! Do you think they have mustard in Santa Fe? xxo Rem

      • Rod

        You should have put USVI on the list. No mustard in Santa Fe, think Hot Sauce… :>)

        • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

          well then USVi ill be on the next list. You are too funny. Thank you for your ongoing support and friendship. I feel very blessed. xox Rem

  • Julie Cresswell

    Santa Fe is my all-time favorite American city! My brother lives in Alburquerque and am sure he’d be happy to give you ‘top tips’ for the area. Great idea, by the way!

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Thanks Jul! I wish I could have put London on there…Maybe next year I will do an International list! btw going to spring training in 2 weeks! :) miss you ox Rem

  • This is a FUN game to play! I’ve been to all your dream locations except Alaska and British Columbia so I might choose one of those. But, when I recently played this game on my own I ended up on a roadtrip to Duluth (about a 4 hour drive from my home) which was GREAT — is Carmel driving distance for you? The thing about roadtrips is that you can take photos all along the way, especially when you’re by yourself! Have a BLAST whatever you decide!!

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Carmel is about 5 hours from me…and I love long drives as well. Thanks Linda! Rem

  • Didn’t I answer this? I guess I voted – on Yellowstone, but start at the North gate and travel south, then continue on down to the Grand Tetons, and end at Jackson Hole Wy and go into that famous cowboy bar and sit on a real saddle at the bar. Beautiful country. Many amazing wild animals and ancient sulfur pools . . .

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Thanks Cath! xox Rem

  • Michael Strutz

    Banff, Lake Louise and Banff National Park, see http://www.banfflakelouise.com. Stay in the The Chateau Lake Louise http://www.fairmont.com/lakelouise

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Michael, thank you for the suggestion. Banff – beautiful! We’ll see where the voting goes…but I’ll add it to the ongoing list… Rem

  • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

    Thanks Heather! Hope u are feeling better. xox Rem

  • I’m in for Alaska. My sister was born there and I used to have family in Juno. The vast beauty has always drawn me too. That would be an amazing photography trip!

  • Rayne

    I chose Vancouver because it’s got everything – city, shore, nature, art, cosmopolitan, and a true international flavor. The problem is for some reason Vancouver doesn’t earn a “sexy” label as a getaway, but I really love it. I feel safe there. I feel like there’s so many things to do there. Great list. You’ll have fun wherever you go.

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Thanks Rayne – My Uncle went specifically there for the Gardens and LOVED it. I’m sure I’ll have fun where ever I end up, and thanks for your vote! xox Rem

  • Katie

    Love this! And great list, btw.

    I chose Alaska, even though I cheated on Chicago. Maybe because I won’t be there, but if I was othere, we’d paint the town red! When you go, go in the summer to get the baseball, beach and street-fest vibe on top of it’s already-best-city offerings.

    If you want solidary, beauty and to awe at something for awhile, you really can’t beat Alaska for what it offers and the fact that it is still considered part of “America.” It reminds me so much of New Zealand–no pricey 20+ hour flight required. Not sure how much of a budget trip it would be–I have family in Anchorage if you need a place to crash! Last time I went for the long summer hours. Pretty neat to climb at mountain and watch the sunset at midnight. Maybe you could shoot the iditarod for a sporting event?

    Anyway, good luck with your choice. On a last note, I would go Monterey if you need something that’s perhaps almost as stunning and closer to home.

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Great insights…all of the ones on my list have been on a list for some time…so I will be glad to finally do at least one! thanks for the offer in Chicago – sorry u wont be there – and if Anchorage wins, I may take you up on that offer to at least meet your family up there… would be fun for some local knowledge for stuff. xo Rem