Denver Colorado · Free · USA Travel · Weekend Getaways

The Ultimate USA Bucket List

When I began this blog just 2 short months ago, I did so with a few goals in mind: adventure more, experience it all and live life to the fullest. According to a Post-it commercial I once saw on TV (obviously a super credible source), you are 42% more likely to make something happen when you write it down. Which is why I’ve decided to create the ultimate USA Bucket List. I hope this list inspires me to visit all 50 U.S. States. Well, except Delaware. Delaware looks totally boring.

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Completed items will be accompanied by a photo. Blog will be updated as I cross items off of my list.

*Indicates that I have done it, but don’t have a photo, so I will be returning to get it documented.

Alabama

Visit Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor from 1954 to 1960

Watch a NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway

Tour the first White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery

Alaska

Attend a crab festival and eat TONS of Alaskan king crab

Go dog sledding

See the northern lights

Soak in the hot springs while the snow falls

Explore the woods by snowshoeing

Hop on a boat and go whale watching

Stay awake all night while the sun is up 24 hours a day

Visit the adorable small town of Sitka

Explore Mendenhall Glacier Cave

Hang out with polar bears at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Arizona

Hike the Grand Canyon

Swim in Havasu Falls

Visit Petrified Forest National Park

Explore Antelope Canyon

Arkansas

Visit the Clinton House in Fayetteville, where Bill and Hillary first lived 

Convinice a friend to get married at the Thorncrown Chapel

California

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Order a clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Tour Alcatraz in San Francisco

Drive down Lombard Street in San Francisco

Take a picture with the Painted Ladies victorian homes in San Francisco

*Stand in a massive tree in the Redwood Forest

Take a Napa Valley Wine Train tour

See the Golden Gate Bridge

See the Tufa Towers of Mono Lake

Hike Bumpass Hell, and see the geothermal hot springs and geysers in CA

Kayak Lake Tahoe

Visit the lavender farms near Mt Shasta and pick my own lavender

Hike to the Mossbrae Falls

Drive through Big Sur

Swim in Mono Hot Springs

Colorado

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Attend an Avalanche hockey game

Attend a Nuggets basketball game

Visit Crested Butte

Try a Yoga on the Rocks class at Red Rocks

Go tubing in Pagosa Springs

Take a trip on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Tour Bishop’s Castle, a man-made castle that is still under construction

Sled the dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park

Hike to Hanging Lake

Connecticut

Buy flowers at the White Flower Farm

Visit the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

See the Glass House in New Canaan

Visit Washington Depot when they transform the town into Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls

Explore Yale University and pose as a super smart student 

Washington D.C.

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*Visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

*Explore the National Air and Space Museum

*Tour the International Spy Museum

See the U.S. National Archives

Witness great American art at The Phillips Collection

Go paddle boating on the Tidal Basin

Delaware

Sit in the human-sized bird’s nest at the Winterthur Museum and Gardens

Florida

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Visit the Florida Keys

Explore the beautiful Anna Maria Island

See manatees at Blue Spring State Park

Climb the Shark Valley tower

Georgia

Shop at The Paris Market and buy an obscure item

Explore the bizarre Rock City where miniature golf was first played

Visit The Tree that Owns Itself

Take a tour of the Lapham-Patterson House, the house designed with no right angles

Eat at The Varsity, the largest drive-in restaurant in the U.S.

Visit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s house on Ashburn Ave.

Go on a Ghost Tour in Savannah

Hawaii

Attend a luau

Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Swim with dolphins

Drink out of a tropical fruit

Hike Diamond Head Summit for the beautiful view

Watch pro surfers on the North Shore

See the waterfalls at Ko’olau Mountain Range

Idaho

Hike Craters of the Moon National Monument and Reserve which is an area filled with lava from ancient volcanoes

Illinois

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Visit the small town of Galena, with a population less than 10,000

Hike Starved Rock State Park

Indiana

Go wine tasting at Oliver Winery in Bloomington

Iowa

Traverse through Maquoketa Caves State Park in Maquoketa

Be Dutch for a day in Pella

Kansas

Explore the thriving art district in Kansas City

Kentucky

Wear a big ol’ hat and adorable dress to the Kentucky Derby

Attend tastings along the Bourbon Trail

Louisiana

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Explore the Longue Vue House and Gardens

See the Bayou Bridges in City Park

Have a drink at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest known bar

Attend an exotic animal race at the fairgrounds

Maine

Attend the annual lobster festival

Watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, where the sun typically is first seen in the U.S. each day

Maryland

Drive on The Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Pick my own fruit at Baugher’s Farm

See Falling Branch Falls

Visit the historic, cobble-stoned waterfront town of Fells Point

Explore the Ladew Topiary Gardens, complete with a Victorian garden, a terrace garden, a water lily garden, a sculpture garden, an herb garden, a cutting garden, a wildflower meadow and a croquet court

Massachusetts

Visit Edgartown, which looks like a town straight out of a storybook

Stay in a quaint B&B in Martha’s Vineyard

See a lighthouse in Cape Cod

Michigan

*Ride a bike around Mackinac Island

Hop on the Holiday Express and meet Santa on the Little River Railroad

Drive across the Mighty Mackinac Bridge

Visit the adorable town of Frankenmuth, “Michigan’s Little Bulgaria”

Minnesota

*Visit the Mall of America in Minnesota

Visit the town of Grand Marais (thank you MigrationoftheMcDaniels for the recommendation)

Mississippi

Sail to Ship Island

Missouri

Visit a winery in Sainte Genevieve

Explore the Ozark Caverns

Montana

Visit the Pictograph Caves

Hike Glacier National Park

Swim in the crystal clear Flathead Lake

Nebraska

Go swimming in Lake McConaughy

Take a stroll through Old Market in Omaha

Visit the Lauritzen Gardens

Nevada

See a magic show in Las Vegas

Order a drink at a saloon in old town Virginia City

Stay in a crazy awesome hotel suite with a bunch of my closest friends

New Hampshire

Meet a local in the tiny town of Dixville Notch, where the population is 12

New Jersey

Go to Storybook Land, an amusement park dedicated to storybooks and fairytales

Order a drink at Rat’s Restaurant in Hamilton, a restaurant inspired by Monet’s paintings

New Mexico

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Sled down the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico

Explore Carlsbad Caverns

*Swim in Lake Abiquiu

Visit Taos

Attend the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival

New York

See the abandoned Glenwood Power Station in New York

Visit the Statue of Liberty

*See Times Square

Take a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park

Walk through Grand Central Station

Visit the 9/11 Memorial

Wear a little black dress and heels and order a dirty martini at King Cole Bar

Stay in a high rise hotel with a view

North Carolina

Attend a UNC basketball game

Tour the Biltmore Estate

North Dakota

Visit the International Peace Garden

See the Knife River Indian Villages where Sakakawea lived before joining Lewis and Clark

Ohio

See Devil’s Bathtub in Hocking Hills State Park

Take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in the fall

Visit the Ohio State Reformatory where Shawshank Redemption was filmed

Oklahoma

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Oregon

Swim in Opal Creek

Hike Oneonta Gorge

See Thor’s Well, where it appears that the ocean is being swallowed

Get lost in Powell’s City of Books, which claims to be the biggest book store in the world

Pennsylvania

Tour Amish countryside and purchase goods at a “mud sale” which I’ve learned is just an odd name for an antique sale

Rhode Island

Take the Cliff Walk, ocean on one side, mansions on the other

South Carolina

Tour Old Sheldon Church of Yemasee

See Angel Oak Tree on John’s Island

Explore Congaree National Park

South Dakota

Take a tour of the Jewel Caves in Custer

Hike through the badlands

See Mount Rushmore, just for like, a quick second, it really doesn’t seem that interesting

Tennessee

Spend a day in Dollywood, even though I know nothing about Dolly Parton

Witness some awesome live music

Texas

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*Visit The Alamo

Buy something cute from Magnolia Farms in Waco, and hopefully meet Chip and Jojo

Eat at The Oasis -Lake Travis in Austin

Jump into Jacob’s Well

Swim in the Hamilton Pool Preserve

Tube the Guadalupe River

Utah

*Hike Bryce Canyon

Visit the Fountain of Youth in Zion

Take photos on The Wave in Utah

Swim in the Underground Pool at the Homestead Resort in Utah

Soak in the Mystic Hot Springs

Ride the authentic 1907 train at the Heber Valley Railroad

Spend a romantic weekend in a cabin in Park City

Vermont

See the leaves changing in fall

Attend a cheese tasting

Tour Magic Hat Brewery

Virginia

Visit Assateague Island, where the beach is filled with feral ponies

Spend a day at Virginia Beach

Tour George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate

*Tour Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

See a $1.99 movie at The Byrd Theater in Carytown where you can still hear live music before a film

Washington

Visit the Skagit Valley in Washington to see the field of tulips

Explore Whidbey Island, which looks like it’s full of character and charm

See Snoqualmie Falls

*Shop Pike Place Market

Attend Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington’s own little Germany

West Virginia

Walk through Bramwell, also called Millionaires Town

Watch a Civil War reenactment in Harpers Ferry

Stroll down Capitol Street in Charleston for a touch of nostalgia

Wisconsin

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Visit the Dells Mill Museum in Augusta, WI

Cliff jump at Pewits Nest

Order cheese curds in Madison

Wyoming

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