As a teenager, I lived in a rural town in Southern Utah. (Ok. I still live there.) I read books about faraway places where the city was big or the kingdom was immense. I read pretty widely and thought that to be effective, books had to have really sweeping settings.
I didn't have sweeping settings. What I did have is some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. I didn't realize it at the time, but people come from all around the world to see the red rock canyons of Bryce Canyon and Zions National Park and the Grand Canyon. There's hiking and fishing and camping and skiing and an endless number of things to do outside. All within about two hours of where I live.
I spent so many summers in the mountains to the east of my little city. My grandparents have a family cabin somewhere near the top of Cedar Mountain. Just a short walk from the cabin, you can get lost in a forest of pine and Quakies. Dappled shadows cover the ground. If you walk far enough, you'll find a quiet lake, not much bigger than a pond. It's a fishing spot, but it's out of the way, so a lot of people go to the one by the side of the road instead. There's a little creek that feeds into the lake from one side and a marsh at the other where the water drains away. The sky reflects off the surface in little ripples as the wind dances. It was my favorite spot in the whole world.
I didn't know that years later, as I started a fairy tale story, that it was the places I knew best that would be most inspiring to my work. That little forest inspired the Beast's forest.
So, friends, have you ever been somewhere that you wanted to write about?