Vacation planning has begun and according to surveys, fewer folks are planning on a road trip due to gas prices. Only 58% are planning such a journey compared to 82% last year. There are reports that gas will be at about $2.95 a gallon on Memorial Day. Actually, we're at that now. Also, the New York Post reports that one in four Americans have yet to visit landmarks in their own cities. So, why not drop the long fuel guzzling trip and instead visit some sights in our own beautiful backyard?

These are obviously not all the places you can go, but they are ideas to get the planning moving forward.

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Right up the road, sort of. 48 miles of scenic highway that is about 11-thousand feet elevation, with its highest peak at 12,183 feet.

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A remarkable historic landmark in the Mesa Verde National Park. The Cliff Palace and Balcony House can only be entered by a ranger-guided tour, but well worth it.

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Amazing vistas, red rock canyons, big-horn sheep, and bald eagles. This place has it all. One of those trips where you'll be posting or sharing photos of your time there.

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This is one of the few mountain secrets we share: hot springs! There are a variety to choose from and all offering a soothing and relaxing trip. There are sites that also have kids activities.

Patrick Leitz

Such a rare and beautiful scene of steep cliffs and towering rock walls with the Gunnison river continuing its carving through the canyon. It's one of the few places where your breath is taken and you relax at the same time.

These are but a few examples of the iconic places you can visit in your own state. Remember, there are a lot of people who travel from all over the world to enjoy what we have in our own backyard. Happy travels!