I love to travel and see new things. I’m a gypsy at heart.
These are some of my top places to Travel in the United States, not in any particular order. So far, that is. I still have a chunk of the country to see.
Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone. Worth the time to travel here
Old Faithful, named because of its predictability in erupting
Everyone waiting for Old Faithful. People travel from all around the world to see this.
1. Yellowstone National Park. Our first national park (1872) is an amazing experience, whether you are coming for an American safari experience, to see Old Faithful or Morning Glory pool. I saw a grizzly bear, Pronghorn Antelope, Bison, Bald Eagles, Black Bears, a wolf pack hunting Elk, Moose running through our Gros Ventre campground in Grand Teton.
Moose wandered through Gros Ventre campground every day
Zion, home to enormous red sandstone cliffs
We saw a herd of bighorn sheep in Zion National Park
2 and 3. Utah counts as two because Utah is blessed to have five amazing national parks. Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands. Each one is unique. From the orange hoodoos in Bryce to the soaring red sandstone of Zion to the historic Fruita District of Capitol Reef, not one is the same. If you have two weeks you can see them all without rushing. We rush to Europe to see culture; Europeans rush to America to see Utah. You can camp or stay in one of the historic lodges.
Zion National Park is a photographer’s dream
4. Los Angeles, CA. From the museums (Norton Simon, The Huntington Library, the Getty, LACMA, MOMA, La Brea Tar Pits) to the funky neighborhoods (Fairfax Farmers Market, Melrose, UCLA and Westwood, Venice, Santa Monica) to the famous restaurants (Spago Beverly Hills, The Magic Castle, Phillips Barbeque to the first McDonalds in Los Angeles), the famous beaches (Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice), and the iconic places (Hollywood Sign, Sunset Blvd, Griffith park Observatory, Hollywood Bowl) it could take your whole life to see just Los Angeles. I know, I’m a California Native and I still haven’t seen everything in 49 years! I escaped Los Angeles to San Diego and never looked back, but there is a lot to do in Los Angeles!
Oldest McDonalds in Downey By Northwalker (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
LA Museum of Natural History
5. San Francisco, CA. There’s the Golden Gate bridge and Park, Chinatown, North Beach, Alcatraz, hopping on the Trolley, union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and Treasure Island. What’s not to like. Wear layers and your best clothes for this hip city where people spend money on clothes since they don’t use cars!
6. Washington DC. What a city. From the monuments to the public art to the free gardens, all easily accessible from a great Metro system, there’s something for everyone in Washington DC. Go to the monuments at night (The Lincoln Memorial is open until 11 PM!) and beat the summer heat in the museums during the day.
Can’t get to Paris? This is definitely not the same thing but if you squint your eyes and daydream it’s easy to pretend.
7. Las Vegas, NV. I used to hate going to Las Vegas. I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, don’t gamble, and hate the heat. I would always come home sick from the smoke and crowds of people. But Las Vegas has cleaned up it’s act. Air is circulated much better. There are tons of things to see for free (Treasure Island pirates, Ceasar’s palace promenade, the Bellagio’s Conservatory, the Fremont Street Experience, the fountains at the Bellagio, which are synchronized to music, the list goes on! ) and it’s a people-watchers treat. I just learned that there is a 24-hour-a-day Tiki lounge in Vegas. How did I miss that?
8. Hawai’i. There are several islands to choose from. Maui for relaxing and black sand beaches, Kauai for even more relaxing. The Big Island for active volcanos and insane stargazing at night. Oahu for shopping and nightlife and of course Waikiki beach.
Black Sand Beaches are amazing. They are not soft on your feet though!
The view of Waikiki beach from the top of Diamond Head. Take TONS of water. This hike is not for the faint at heart
8. Sanibel Island, Florida. Like seashells? This is your Mecca. You can dig six feet down and still not find sand. There’s even a special name for beachcombing here, “The Sanibel Stoop”. Make sure you stop at the high-kitch Bubble Room for a meal.
The shore is littered with seashells. I took an ENTIRE suitcase home with me. A small one, but still…
The uber-kitchy Bubble Room on Captiva Island
Now it’s Your Turn! What are your favorite places to travel in the United States?