My Ever Growing Bucket List: United States

March 5, 2015

While I love Europe (and hope to maybe live there one day), there are so many places right here in America I want to see as well. Sometimes I forget how big the United States is, I mean for the Ryder Cup in golf... it's one country vs. an entire continent (and don't get me started on the Presidents Cup)! So time to put your passport away and let's road trip across this beautiful country!       

1 | Monument Valley, Utah

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When I think "The Great American Road Trip", the first image I think of is Monument Valley. Maybe I've seen the movie Cars one too many times with my son, but there's something about the wide open spaces and the unique red stone structures scattered throughout the valley. Utah is also home to Zion National Park which is a state park I would love to visit one day.  

2 | Antelope Canyon, Arizona

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Located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona are these amazing slot canyons. They are so picturesque that it would be a crime not to see them with my own eyes! Antelope Canyon includes two separate sections, both equally photogenic.   

3 | Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

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Also near Page, Arizona (two for one!) is Horseshoe Bend, a meander of the Colorado River. It is a short 3/4 mile hike from US Route 89 to the steep cliff overlook (it's a 1,000 feet drop to the river below). That's a pretty short hike to see some wicked views of the Colorado River.   

4 | Yosemite National Park, California

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El Capitan, My Captain! One of my coworkers recently went to a wedding at Yosemite and all the pictures he showed me from that weekend were breathtaking! Not only is Yosemite easy on the eyes, but it has everything from fishing and rock climbing to horseback riding and bird watching.  

5 | Hamilton Pool, Texas

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Goal: Crossing this off my bucket list this summer! Honestly I have no excuse, Hamilton Pool is only about a 2.5 hour drive from my house and about 45 minutes from Austin (which we go to at least twice a summer). Jacob's Well in nearby Wimberley, Texas is also a great swimming hole in Texas. 

6 | Savannah, Georgia

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The quintessential Southern town, Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia. The history and architecture alone attracts me to this southern gem. And who doesn't love Spanish moss on 100+ year old trees?

7 | Oneonta Gorge, Oregon

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This beautiful gorge is located 40 minutes east of Portland, Oregon and is in the Columbia River Gorge. The hike to get there is little over a mile and features moss covered walls and waterfalls! Insert fairy tale here. Expect to get wet cause the creek is your trail and can get somewhat deep at some points (see the above picture)!   
  
8 | Watkins Glen State Park, New York

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I don't know much about this state park except for the incredible pictures floating around like the one above. It's like something out of a Peter Jackson movie. It is located about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Syracuse and Rochester and about 3 hours from Niagara Falls. The next time I'm up east, I'm definitely going to try to make it up there!   


Have you been to any of these places? What is on your USA bucket list? 

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59 comments

  1. Savannah is amazing! I loved it! But I've never been to any of these other places but they look beautiful!

    I did a post like this semi-recently. Seems like I'm more of a city girl, whereas your list is a lot of nature spots! Love it though!

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  2. Love this list!! I have a US bucket list in the works myself :) It's SO big haha!! You don't realise it until you come to Europe!

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  3. Ha! You're right, I guess I do tend to lend more towards nature spots! I would loooove to visit Savannah! When did you go? Is it big enough for a long weekend trip or did you pair it with something else?

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  4. I went like 6 years ago with my family! We actually did a road trip through Georgia and the Carolinas, and Savannah was our first stop! If I remember correctly, we stayed there about 3 days and were able to get the gist of the city! I would've loved to stay longer, though (but then again, I say that about everywhere I go!)

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  5. I bet! Living in Europe, seems like everything is in your backyard! I'm curious to see what is on your bucket list! :) Where did you guys live when you were in Texas?

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  6. I have a draft post that has been sitting there for ages....I will eventually get to it!! We lived in Wichita Falls for a few months when Van was in the AF (it was awful lol) but my mom lives in Dallas :)

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  7. These places... ALL of 'em - amazing!! Pinning this now for whenever I return to the US!


    By the way, I'm not sure if it's intentional, but the load time on your blog is a bit slow. Maybe try uploading images that match the px width of your page because the full sized images tend to slow things down. :D

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  8. I used to go to Wichita Falls every summer for a tennis tournament growing up... oh I know how bad it is! lol The worst part, we drove there! It was a 5.5 hour drive to someplace not fun! lol

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  9. Thanks for the advice Margo!!! A lot of my posts are image heavy so I definitely want to help with load time for readers. Question: Should I go back and re-size all my past posts or just the recent ones and going forward?

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  10. I wouldn't worry about it, just something to think about when moving forward. If you ever switch to WP there's lots of plugins that'll do it automatically for you.


    Have you thought about adding a Pinterest button to your images? I get a lot of traffic from Pinterest, I'd imagine you would too! :)

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  11. What a great list! I'd love to explore the US more when I eventually settle down back home in Canada. I've only really been to the more northern states that are closer to home. But I've always thought a massive summer road trip would be super fun.

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  12. Ahh, I'm guessing blogger doesn't have anything like that? :( I thought about switching to WP (after reading your post!), did you have any issues when you switched over?

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  13. All of these are great!! Savannah is such an amazing city and I highly recommend a visit!

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  14. Those are really amazing! I've only been to Yosemite (one of my favorites) but wouldn't mind any of the others. Hopefully when our kids are older we will be able to do a cross-country summer roadtrip of sorts.


    Where in Germany will you be visiting?

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  15. Indeed the US has so many beautiful places and considering the fact that they are bigger than Europe it's hard to cover all of them! I would like to see the Grand Canyon and all the other canyons in Arizona one day...but for the time being California awaits!!

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  16. I think the US is a fascinating continent! It has so much to offer in the way of nature and natural wonders. A big fat epic road trip - that's where I'd like to be spending my time!

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  17. I'm with you, I would love to take a big road trip across America. I wish it wasn't so big! ha It literally takes an hour to just cross Houston (without any traffic)! It just means more road trip games! lol

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  18. I definitely want to visit Savannah soon! What part of the year did you go? I'm guessing it gets pretty hot in the summertime?

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  19. I'm with you! Our son is getting older now (about to turn 10) and I would love to take him to all these places!


    We will be going to Rothenburg, Munich with day trips to surrounding areas and then heading to Salzburg :)

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  20. Arizona definitely has a whole lot to see! I went to the Grand Canyon when I was younger, would love to go back and take our son! Have fun in California, can't wait to read/see pictures! Still can't believe you guys are still getting pounded with snow! ahhh lol

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  21. Growing up, we would go on road trips all the time. Texas to Grand Canyon, to NYC, Disney... my parents drove us everywhere! lol And it was great, I have so many great memories from it. I'm with you, an epic road trip sounds awesome right about now! :)

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  22. Ok, so after seeing these pictures all of these places are now on my bucket list!

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  23. Great list! I can tell you enjoy the great outdoors. ;) There is sooo much to do in the US it is overwhelming.

    p.s. Our trip to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland was last Spring and it was the PERFECT time! You guys are going to have sooo much fun. :)

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  24. Love the outdoors and parks, maybe because I sit in an office all day lol. We are going in April, when did you go? I need to pick your brain about the trip now! :)

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  25. Yay! I know right, some of these places look made up!

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  26. Stealing your list!! So many of these places I want to go to too! Especially Monument Valley there. Stunning x

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  27. Yay! Monument Valley is like the poster child for America! lol Do you have a list yourself? Curious to see what's on it :)

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  28. Ahh can't wait to go to Oneonto! It's so close to me and so beautiful :)

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  29. I'm in!! ;-) So many beautiful places, I'm sure you'll see them all!! My bucket list includes Maine, I really want to go there!!

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  30. Those are all gorgeous places! I haven't been to any of them, but I'll have to add most of them to my Bucket List as well.

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  31. Zion & Yosemite are fantastic - two places I would like to get back to one day!

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  32. My list would be: New York, Florida Keys, the Hollywood sign in Beverly Hills, the Rocky statue in Philadelphia, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, super touristy I know!

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  33. Great list! Savannah is the only place on that list I've been, but it's definitely a must-see! Charleston, SC, is just as beautiful, too.

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  34. Ohh, sounds nice. I really want to go to Rothenburg with my parents this summer, though I don't know if it's feasible with the logistics of a newborn. Either way, hoping to get there soon. It looks so beautiful. Sounds like you will have a great trip

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  35. Gosh, it must've been like 6 years ago that I went? I definitely think there's enough to do there for a weekend trip. When I went, I was on a road trip and Savannah was our first stop before hitting the Carolinas!

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  36. This is a great list - I am totally bookmarking this for inspiration! I feel the same way - I have traveled a lot of Europe, and am now really looking forward to exploring more of the US. It is so true that the US is pretty huge, with so much diversity!

    Have you been to the Bryce Canyon National Park? I went years ago, and it is very cool! Maybe another to add to the list along with your Utah sights :-)

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  37. I never been to Bryce Canyon National Park but the pictures are amazing! Definitely adding it to my list! Utah is such a pretty state! I wish traveling around the US is as easy as traveling around Europe. I would knock off one of these places once a month if that was the case lol.

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  38. I immediately thought of you when I added Oneonta Gorge to my list! You'll have to visit and let me know how it is. I'm going to live vicariously through you :)

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  39. Touristy or not, all great places! Would love to see the Florida Keys as well, heard it's gorgeous there!

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  40. My brother and his wife were stationed in Charleston for a year and I'm kicking myself for not visiting them when they were there! Maybe I'll hit up both cities at the same time, the ultimate Southern Weekend :)

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  41. Ahhh Maine, lobster rolls! lol I still can't believe I've never been to Hamilton Pool... I'm a horrible Texan ha. Jim's been dying to go there and Jacob's Well!

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  42. Awe jealous! So many beautiful parks in the West... wish I lived closer! What is your favorite US national park?

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  43. You're so right Andrea, it's a never ending list! Hope you make it to the States one day! And get to see one or all of these beautiful places! I'll live vicariously through you when you do :)

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  44. I would loooove to visit one of these places once a year! That's my new goal! My son is old enough now to where he can appreciate these things so I'm excited to travel with him! :)

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  45. I was beginning to think you had only western US destinations on there! For me, the very short list (its really long) for the US is all the rest of the national parks I haven't been to yet + Savannah, Charleston, the Outer Banks, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, NYC, and Philly.

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  46. I was thinking the same thing! Guess I'm into the Wild West lol, I just love how it all seems "untouched". Good to know about Antelope Canyon! I'm going to search your blog now, don't be surprised if I comment on a 2 year old post lol.

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  47. I will go to Savannah with you!

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  48. Me too - a fellow blogger road tripped there last summer and it looked so beautiful. Florida is more than just Disney I guess!

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  49. I have a lot of these on my US wishlist too! It's sad that my own home country is the one I've seen least of. And Arizona is just right next door too. I've never even been to New York! And I want to go to Savannah and the south in general too.

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  50. I hear ya... sometimes you forget what's right in front of you! When we go on vacation, we are always looking to go overseas but I really want to try to see some of these amazing places here in the States in the future!

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  51. Awesome list Christine!

    Antelope Canyon was amazing in person, as was Horseshoe Bend. Well worth the visit. My guide was super helpful and helped me with my camera settings. I got some of the most amazing shots there. Beautiful place.

    V
    Life+1

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  52. Nothing against the Eastern US, but I'm like you, there's so much untouched to see out there. I haven't been to Antelope Canyon, but a local photographer I know went, which is how I found out. Btw, there's travel posts in the archives going back to 2009 for a chunk of the western US (well, OK, TX, CO, NM, MT, and WY mainly + a little from a few others) if you need some inspiration :)

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  53. WOW! That's pretty awesome! Missing Hawaii and Alaska? When we think "vacation", we always go overseas, but I definitely want to see each one of the places one day! Maybe one of these places a year!

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  54. I remember seeing a picture of Horseshoe Bend on your Travel page and thought, I so want to go there! I definitely want to make it out to Arizona in the near future and hit up all those beautiful places. You're my go-to for advice before we go! :)

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  55. Of course! Happy to help if/when you ever need advice. I love talking about travel! :o)

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  56. I went at the end of August and it was pretty warm but it really wasn't that bad :)

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  57. The first four are on my list, and the other ones you mention look absolutely amazing and worth visiting!

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  58. I've done Monument Valley & Horseshoe Bend - and can't believe I missed Antelope Canyon whilst I was there!! (I could probably be forgiven, I was on my very first adventure and had taken an organised tour (Trek America) so I place the blame for missing this squarely at their feet! ;-) Everywhere just looks amazing - Yosemite is definitely on my list, but it may be a while before I'm over in your part of the world again. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  59. Awe bummer you missed Antelope Canyon! But now you have a reason to come back to that area! Yosemite is high on my list! Would love to go hiking there!

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