Tag Archives: Travel SkyWest Country

100 Years of National Parks

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

The National Park Service turns 100 this month, marking a century since the agency was first created. With 209 cities currently served, SkyWest conveniently connects travelers to National Parks across the U.S. To celebrate 100 years of National Parks, we’ve put together a list of Parks that are only a SkyWest operated flight away! The National Parks Service will offer free entry to each of the National Parks starting August 25 through August 28, so get out, find your Park and start exploring!

Grand Teton National ParkTetons

Grand Teton National Park is home to over 200 miles of trails and is a popular destination for mountaineering, fishing and back-country hiking. It has been described as tranquil with breathtaking views of a signature group of three mountain peaks that are the Tetons.

To get here:

Fly into Cody, Wyoming from Salt Lake City on Delta or on United from Denver or Chicago and drive two and a half hours to reach the entrance.
Fly into Jackson Hole, Wyoming from Salt Lake City on Delta or from Denver on United. The park’s main gate is only 4 miles away.

 

Theodore Roosevelt National ParkA030,_Theodore_Roosevelt_National_Park,_North_Dakota,_USA,_2001

This park is in honor of our 26 President, Theodore Roosevelt who originally came to this area in the North Dakota badlands to hunt bison. It was during this trip he fell in love with the rugged lifestyle and “perfect freedom” of the West. This National Park features 100 miles of foot and horse trails, wildlife viewing, back-country hiking and camping. Many also come to view the Northern Lights.

To get here:

Fly from Denver to Jamestown, North Dakota on United and drive just over three hours to reach Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Fly to Bismarck, North Dakota from Denver on United or from Minneapolis on Delta and drive two hours west.

 

Mammoth Cave National ParkMammoth Cave

This National Park marks the longest known cave system in the world – home to more than 390 miles of limestone passageways with vast chambers and complex labyrinths. Visitors are able to follow rangers as they explore a variety caves or enjoy the river nearby.

To get here:

Fly to Paducah, Kentucky from Chicago on United and drive two and a half hours east to reach Mammoth Cave.

 

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce is known for its crimson-colored, spire-shaped rock formations called hoodoos, intermixed with pine trees and other greenery. Most visitors opt to take a drive through the park which offers 13 scenic viewpoints and a variety of sights. Other activity options include hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and stargazing. For a different view, visitors can explore Bryce during colder months and snowshoe among the snow-draped hoodoos.

To get here:
Fly to Cedar City, Utah from Salt Lake City on Delta and drive one and a half hours east.

Fly to St. George, Utah from Salt Lake City on Delta or from Denver on United and drive just over two hours to the main gate.

 

Joshua Tree National Park14452499144_d01c5dd8f8_k
Joshua Tree National Park is characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Visitors of the Park can explore miles of trails as they take in the views including the “zig-zaggy” branches of the Joshua Tree from which the Park gets its name.

To get here:

Fly to Ontario, California from San Francisco on United, Salt Lake City on Delta or Portland on Alaska and drive two hours through the desert valley to reach Joshua Tree.
Fly to Palm Springs, California from Los Angeles on United, from Salt Lake City on Delta or Phoenix on American for a short 40 mile drive to the main gate.

 

Congaree National ParkWeather-Photo
This Park remains the largest intact area of old growth bottom-land hardwood forest in the southeastern US. Waters from the Congaree and Watree Rivers sweep through the Park bringing life to the miles of lofty trees. Congaree offers many options from canoeing and fishing to hiking and camping.

To get here:

Fly to Ashville, North Carolina from Chicago on United and drive two and a half hours southeast to Congaree.
Fly to Greenville, South Carolina from Detroit on Delta for a two hour drive.

Hays

Hays: Small-Town Charm and Big-Time Fun!

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Hays, Kansas is known as a place with small-town charm and big-time fun! And the friendliness of those who call Hays home is evident to travelers who are enjoying a family vacation, business trip, sporting event or even just passing through.Hays Kansas Welcome

In town, there is always something exciting and interesting happening throughout the year, including the “Great Planes on the Plains” fly-in, which will be held June 7-12 at Hays Regional Airport. This year, Universal Helicopter, Kansas State University-Salina, the Civil Air Patrol and the Arizona Commemorative Air Force, among others, will be in attendance. The Commemorative Air Force will also be offering tours and rides in a B-25 Mitchell Bomber that flew combat missions in World War II. This yearly event is sure to provide an educational, fun-filled weekend for all those who attend.

Those making their first visit to this historic frontier town will definitely appreciate the many low- or no-cost attractions that are available, including the chance to learn about Hays’ often dangerous early days when the town was filled with railroad workers, desperados and other notorious characters. The city also offers historic downtown tours and shopping, a look into frontier military history, annual festivals and sporting events, art studios and performing art, and much more!

In its early days, Hays developed a reputation for lawlessness and as a tough “end of the tracks” town. During several months in 1869, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok served as an interim sheriff to quell the almost constant homicides, bloodshed and feuds. Visitors can experience some of this history with a trip through time on a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Twenty-five bronze plaques mark the route where some of the most famous and notorious characters lived and walked.Hays House Hays Kansas

The Fort Hays Historic Site offers a glimpse into a soldier’s frontier life in this unique location that was founded to protect settlers from native resistance. Today, visitors can see the original blockhouse, guardhouse and officers’ quarters, and the information center provides exhibits and artifacts about the fort and military history.

 

 

Get started on an historical adventure to Hays aboard one of the two daily SkyWest Airlines flights, operating as United Express from Denver. The best fares can be found at united.com.

smoky-mountains-sunrise-great-smoky-mountains-national-park-dave-allen

Eight National Parks to Visit this Week

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

National parks stretch across the United States, and each has a diverse landscape, incredible history and makes for an unforgettable trip. With so many to choose from, here are eight unique parks that will appeal to almost everyone and can be conveniently accessed with a SkyWest-operated flight!

Yellowstone

yellowstone-fountain-geyser_2018_600x450Yellowstone is America’s first national park (and widely held to be the first in the world)! Since it’s opening in 1872, it has maintained itself as one of the most iconic parks in the U.S. The majority of the world’s geysers can be found in Yellowstone, including Old Faithful, and it’s known for having an abundance of animal life. Visitors can often spot grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk and more. With more than 2,000 campsites throughout the park, it’s a perfect trip for a weekend campout.

Get here:

 

Pinnacles

Pinnacles_National_Park_viewThose looking for something a little newer should definitely head to Pinnacles National Park in California – the country’s newest designated national park (only official since 2013). Known for its breathtaking spires and rock formation, Pinnacles is a favorite among advanced rock climbers due to its abundance of difficult and challenging climbs.There is also an array of wildflowers and spectacular views, with many popular hikes in the area.

Get here:

 

 

Big Bend

14789648805_3e3d38aa08_bIf isolation sounds ideal, head to Big Bend. It is one of only 10 places on the planet that has been certified for dark-sky gazing and has been recognized as having the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 United States. Big Bend is popular with backpackers and hikers alike for its stunning trails and its reputation for wide open space. 

Get here:

 

 

Great Smoky Mountains

smoky-mountains-sunrise-great-smoky-mountains-national-park-dave-allenIf Big Bend is a little too isolated, check out Great Smoky Mountains. This is the most visited national park in the United States, and for good reason too! The park covers the mountain range rising along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. It is world-renowned for the diversity of plant and animal life located in the park, along with popular activities like bicycling, fishing and waterfall walks.

Get here:

 

Isle Royale

AdamJewell_IsleRoyaleNP_3rdPrizeAt more than 45 miles long and nine miles wide, the largest island in Lake Superior is a dream for backpackers, kayakers, canoeists and scuba divers. This park does require visitors to plan ahead because it’s only accessible by boat or seaplane and does close during the winter. Once on the road-less island, enjoy a four- or five-day backpacking hike on the Greenstone Ridge Trail that follows the ridge across the center of the island or one of many other day hikes.

Get here:

 

 

Lassen Volcanic

681x454Sunset Magazine calls Lassen Volcanic, “The West’s most beautiful, least visited wonderland.” Lassen is not only beautiful, but also has the largest plug dome volcano in the world and is home to almost every kind of volcanic formation. Here travelers will be able to hike and camp among the meadows and mountain lakes to sneak a peek at the steaming fumaroles and marvel at the volcanoes that make it a top destination for aspiring geologists.

Get here:

 

Shenandoah

5683D041-155D-451F-673B22ED8CFCBF2EShenandoah encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The park is best known for Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that runs through the park on the ridge on the mountains. This is especially scenic in autumn as the leaves are changing color. There are also fantastic hikes to see waterfalls, vistas and quiet, wooded hollows.

Get here:

 

Zion

Zion-Angels-Landing-slideZion National Park is located in beautiful Southern, Utah. The massive sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons and blue skies are iconic. Popular hikes include climbing up to Angel’s Landing and hiking though the narrows, but simply entering the park will provide spectacular views. Rock climbing and canyoneering are also popular in the park for the more adventurous crowd.

Get here:

 

Cedar Breaks

Cedar City: Southern Utah’s Hidden Gem

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Cedar City is a surprisingly charming town hidden away in Southern Utah. As a vibrant college town, a gateway to multiple national parks, and home to a variety of entertaining festivals, Cedar City holds something for everyone.

Cedar Breaks

Uniquely nestled between some of the most incredible national parks Utah has to offer, Cedar City is a nature lover’s destination. Only 23 miles from town is Cedar Breaks National Monument, a place anciently called “Circle of Painted Cliffs.” This enormous natural amphitheater has cliffs that climb 2,000 feet and is filled with stone spires, arches and intricate canyons that exemplify red rock landscape. The area makes for a great day trip of sightseeing, photography, hiking, picnicking and camping among world-class views.

Also nearby is Kolob Canyon, a lesser known section of Zion National Park. Kolob – which gets its name from early Mormon settlers and means “residence closest to heaven” – is off the beaten trail of Zion’s main park section, but is just as spectacular as the the canyons of main park itself.

Utah Shakespearean Festival

Those visiting Cedar City (aka Festival City USA) during the summer will find a number of opportunities to check out one of the town’s vibrant festivals. Most famously, Cedar City is known for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. This Tony Award winning regional theater puts on events throughout the summer including performances of Shakespeare’s classics in their recreation of the Globe Theater and contemporary plays, as well as seminars, classes, tours and free nightly “Greenshow” performances providing entertainment from the outdoor stage. Six shows run from July 25 to October 31 each summer.

In addition to the Shakespeare Festival, it’s worth checking out other summer favorites like the Groovefest Americana Music Festival, Wildflower Festival and The Utah Midsummer Renaissance Faire.

Brian Head Ski Resort

If winter travel is more appealing, Cedar City still belongs on the destination list. The town is a launching pad for southern Utah’s premiere winter playground – Brian Head Resort. Receiving more than 400 inches of powder annually, it is Utah’s highest base elevation resort at 9,600 feet. With over 650 acres, eight chairlifts and 71 runs, it has something for all skill levels. And during the summer, Brian Head transforms into a mountain biker’s paradise, offering even more adventurous options.

Historic Downtown Cedar

Fly into Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC) on one of the daily Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, from Salt Lake City (SLC) and start enjoying this charming town today. The best fares can be found at delta.com.

MKG1

Enjoy Outdoor Fun in Muskegon, Michigan All Year!

Outdoor Fun in Muskegon

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

A visit to the beautiful shores of Muskegon, Michigan is a great choice any time of the year.  During the winter, extreme sports and unbeatable, snow-related fun abounds, while warmer months provide music festivals, water activities, and 26 miles of sandy beaches! No matter what the calendar says, an outdoor adventure awaits in this Western Michigan town!

The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex provides a place for exciting winter fun. Start by lacing up the skates for some time on the family skating rink, hockey rinks, or quarter-mile ice skating trail. More daring adventurists will love a trip down the luge. The Olympian-designed track allows participants to reach speeds of up to 30 mph! Afterward, spend some time cross country skiing on the longest-lit trail in the Midwest, race down the sledding hill, or snowshoe on one of three tracks, each designed for different experience levels.

Enjoying luge fun in Muskegon

Back in town, visitors can warm up while viewing a world-class collection of visual art at the Muskegon Museum of Art. Special exhibitions are also showcased throughout the year, including the Festival of Trees in the fall.

As the weather gets warmer, the outdoor fun only gets better. Flip upside down on a roller coaster or cool off in the water park at Michigan’s Adventure. The park is the largest amusement park and water park in Michigan with more than 60 rides and attractions. One of the most popular rides is Shivering Timbers, a long, fast, wooden roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 65 mph.

Michigan's Adventure in Muskegon

The summer is also the perfect time to explore the three nearby state parks or to go boating, fishing or swimming on Lake Michigan. For a stunning bird’s eye view of the lake, tour a nearby historical lighthouse.

Beautiful Lighthouses near Muskegon

It’s easy to get to Muskegon with convenient SkyWest Airlines flights, operating as United Express, from Chicago O’Hare. Find the best fares and more travel info at united.com.

Explore Winter Fun in Hibbing, Minnesota!

Hibbing City Hall

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Hibbing is the largest city located within Minnesota’s Iron Range, an informally named area of the Northeastern part of the state known for rich, iron ore deposits. Hibbing itself boomed as a center for mining and was even relocated in its early days when a vein of iron ore was discovered immediately beneath downtown, which carried more value that the town itself! Today, the original streets, street lamps and foundations can still be seen in a park straddling the open-pit mine.

While Hibbing holds its position as an early 20th century economic hot bed, today it is also a center for recreation, especially when it comes to the treasure trove of winter sports available to visitors and residents alike.

Hibbing is home to the largest curling club in Minnesota, and a great place to view and to try this Olympic winter sport, which involves sliding stones along a sheet of ice towards a target area. A great deal of teamwork, skill and strategy go into curling and is why the sport is often referred to as “chess on ice.” The Hibbing Curling Club hosts the largest curling tournament in the United States with more than 120 teams competing annually.

Hibbing Curling

Hibbing is also the perfect epicenter to begin outdoor winter fun with several resorts nearby. Ski Magazine named Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort the number one Minnesota ski resort and is a top five pick in the American Midwest. Located a convenient 45 minute drive from Hibbing’s Range Regional Airport, Giants Ridge offers 35 downhill runs, more than 37 miles of Nordic trails, show shoe trails and a fantastic snow tubing park that’s appropriate for the whole family. Plus, all of this is offered in breathtaking scenery adjacent to the Superior National Forrest.

Giants Ridge Ski

Winter Frolic is an extremely popular scholarship/pageant event for young women that has expanded into an area-wide winter festival spanning two weeks in late January and early February. Activities include a sliding party with the scholarship candidates, a city-wide treasure hunt, an illuminated ski night and fishing contest. All of these activities finally culminate in the crowing of the new Winter Frolic Queen.

Find out first-hand what the area’s winter wonderland is like by booking a convenient SkyWest flight, operating as Delta Connection, with non-stop service between Hibbing and Minneapolis. The best fares can be found at www.Delta.com.

 

Experience First-Class Fun in Wichita, Kansas!

wichita-kansas

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

With approximately four million visitors each year, Wichita, Kansas is a great destination with first-class attractions for everyone in the family! More than 1,000 restaurants representing a wide array of cuisines, including craft beer, wineries and French patisseries dot the city landscape, while eclectic shops, antique stores and open malls offer premium shopping opportunities. Take advantage of cultural exhibits and museums that offer art, Western history, botanical gardens and more. And at night, the city stays alive with in-theater dining, dancing and live music venues.

Wichita Riverfest

Wichita is serious about bringing people together and is home to the largest festival in Kansas! RiverFest began in 1970 in an effort to build community and focus on town pride all while showcasing the natural beauty of the Arkansas River. Early festival-goers participated in antique bathtub races, canoe races, antique auto shows and a moonlight river parade. Modern-day participants enjoy more than nine days of incredible festival fun with everything from a 10k RiverRun to concerts featuring entertainers like Daughtry, Huey Lewis and Nick Lachey. Staying true to its roots of affordability, the festival is only five dollars for more than a week of family fun.

Wichita Center for the Arts

For more than 90 years, the Wichita Center for the Arts has provided comprehensive visual and performing arts experiences. The Center believes in providing artistic education and performances that also engage patrons in interactive cultural experiences. A class like Fine Art for the Wine Heart is a great example of what’s available at this special facility. Participants have the chance to recreate a classic painting with individual flair while relaxing with one’s favorite glass of vino. Everything needed for the class, including the wine glasses, is provided except for one’s favorite bottle and the painting goes home students at the end of the class!

Wichita Old Town Farmers Market

While dining options run the range of international cuisines normally found in much larger cities, the Old Town Farmers Market is a must to visit. The market, located in beautiful Old Town Wichita, not only offers a bountiful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheese, but there is also an exciting array of prepared foods from fresh local ingredients. Delight in farm-produced jams, salsas, honey and handmade craft items. Live music and chef demonstrations make this market a truly unique and entertaining experience.

Enjoy the big city offerings of Wichita by booking a convenient SkyWest Airlines flight, operating as American Eagle, from Chicago. The best fares can always be found on aa.com.

Explore St. Cloud in the Heart of Granite Country!

St-Cloud-Minnesota

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Welcome to St. Cloud, Minnesota in the heart of Granite Country USA! Experience the good life where all four seasons are filled with events, celebrations and family fun. Residents of the area claim a superior quality of live with nearly 100 parks, sparkling lakes, the Mississippi River, recreational and cultural opportunities, distinctive shopping, unique dining and quaint lodging.

Munsinger Gardens

The St. Cloud area is a theater of the seasons. Enjoy a riot of living colors in the spring or the stark, crystalline beauty of the hoarfrost and beautiful snowfalls during the winter months, along with everything in between. These distinct seasons also act as a stunning backdrop to outdoor recreational opportunities of all kinds. Summer offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the dual attractions of Munsinger and Clemens Gardens. Clemens is comprised of six different exhibits and attracts 2,000 to 3,000 people per day from around the world, including amateur gardeners and professional horticulturists. Munsinger is located just below Clemens along the Mississippi River beneath towering hemlock and pine trees. This shade allows for a stunning array of colorful flowers and flora unseen in other locations. Quarry Park is another natural haven for outdoor lovers and offers serene woodlands, open prairie, hiking trails and unquarried bedrock areas just a few miles west of the gardens.

WInter NIghts and Lights2

St. Cloud offers celebrations and events year-round to delight and entertain family members of all ages. Enjoy Granite City Days in the summer with a grand parade, Lemonade Arts Fair, a symphony concert and spectacular fireworks display. Winter offers one of the brightest traditions in the area with the Winter Nights & Lights parade as downtown St. Cloud is transformed into a sparkling scene that would be right at home in a Charles Dickens novel.

granite city food and brewery

All the activity on a visit to St. Cloud is sure to stir the appetite. Don’t miss a visit to Granite City Food & Brewery, a concept launched in St. Cloud that has become so popular it has expanded to 30 locations in 13 states! Enjoy one of the in-house microbrews and the casual American cuisine that is focused on fresh, from-scratch preparation. For an upscale experience, visit locally owned and operated Ciatti’s Restaurant which offers fresh, Italian-inspired dishes. Indulge in this 100 percent from-scratch menu and even register for a four-course, on-site cooking class from Executive Chef Mark Marthaler!

Visit St. Cloud any time of the year for a truly remarkable experience by booking a convenient SkyWest Airlines flight, operating as United Express, from Chicago O’Hare. The lowest fares can be found at united.com.

Duluth: “America’s Best Town”

Duluth Hilltop

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Outdoor Magazine has named Duluth, Minnesota as the Best Town in America for 2014 and it’s no wonder why! Built on a 700 foot hill overlooking Lake Superior, particularly proud citizens call the town “Little San Francisco” thanks to its thriving tourism, antique shops, exceptional restaurants, inviting inns and scenic views. Duluth’s big city feel and seaport flavor make this destination a must for families, outdoor enthusiasts, city sophisticates and everyone in between.

Duluth itself lines the shores of Lake Superior for 26 miles which, as the world’s largest fresh water lake, offers boundless recreational opportunities. Enjoy sailing with experienced charter companies like Carriage House Charters Sailboat Rides or Moon Shadow Sailing that will tailor each voyage to participants’ experience and wishes. Take a Sunday drive along the North Shore, which offers spectacular views of the Superior National Forest on one side and Lake Superior on the other. Cap the lakeside adventure with a visit to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center located in Canal Park or stroll through the Lakewalk, a boardwalk complete with bike paths and a trail for carriage rides.

Duluth Sailing

Historic treasures are located throughout the city’s expanse and offer a glimpse into early 20th century life. One of the highest-rated historical sites in the area is Glensheen. The historic Congdon Estate was home to one of Minnesota’s wealthiest families. A tour of the impressive property includes seven acres of manicured landscapes on Lake Superior with formal gardens, trails and a pier to take in the lakeside views. Visitors are able to continue inside to view the architectural gem that encompasses 39 magnificent rooms in this historic manse.

Glensheen Duluth

Family friendly attractions are also abundant in Duluth. Try a visit to Duluth Children’s Museum which has educated and amazed children for more than 80 years. The fifth oldest such establishment in the United States, the museum strives to spark creativity and curiosity about the world at large and includes exhibits like a Mayan adventure set, nanoscale science and an open area for kids to create. For another educational and inspirational adventure, take a walk on the wild side at the Lake Superior Zoo. With hundreds of exhibits located on 16 acres of sweeping hillsides and beautiful Kingsbury Creek, there is always plenty to do.

Explore the all-season adventurous city of Duluth today by booking a convenient SkyWest flight from Chicago, operating as United Express. Find the best fares today at united.com.