Us Travel Bucket List

Updated on June 25, 2015
J.G. asks from Chicago, IL
15 answers

I'm trying to figure out a bucket list of places that are "must sees" in the US. I'm also open to Europe. I'd like to do some road trips with the kids, and then do quick pond hopping trips from Ireland to Europe when we visit family.

As of right now, I want to go to Italy and see the island of capri. I've been to England, but I'd love to take the kids to the Lake District for some hiking. Also on my list is San Juan islands in Washington, doing the four corners -Arizona, Utah, etc. Hawaii is on my list too.

Hubby wants to skip Disney, so I'm trying to figure out what we should do instead.

What are some "must see" places?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Yosemite Park
Yellowstone Park
Key West
Washington DC
See a show on Broadway in NYC

ETA: If you have the time: My family drove across the country. We took the northern route west - stopped at Mt Rushmore, Badlands, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. Then we drove down the CA coast San Francisco to San Diego (Disneyland, San Diego Wild Animal Park, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, an many many beaches), then back across the south, hitting Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, St Louis Arch. Both my parents did the cross country sections of driving. My dad flew back from San Francisco while mom (SAHM) took us down the coast (we took a lot of time for that part to visit family in CA), then he met us again in San Diego and drove back with us. So, in all, he took 2 weeks of vacation, and the rest of us took about a month.

It was amazing. I wish I could do something like that, but neither DH or I get that much time off of work.

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answers from St. Louis on

On mine bucket list

With kids:
One or more eastern states in the Fall (like Maine or NH)
Memphis TN for BBQ/Good music
Washington DC
Cruise of some kind

For just hubby and I:
Airplane Graveyard and Sedona AZ
Burning Man (Utah?)

Figured I'd have more but I guess not?!

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answers from San Francisco on

In Northern California alone, here are a few of my must-see recommendations:

Lake Tahoe
the wine country (Napa/Sonoma/Calistoga, but the Central Coast is pretty fantastic, too)
San Francisco (skip Fisherman's Wharf, but see everything else ;)
Yosemite (the pictures don't do it justice, you almost can't believe how beautiful it is in person)
Sequoia (the largest tree on the planet is there - the General Sherman Sequoia)
Monterey - the Monterey Bay Aquarium is truly worth the drive there, and you can go to Carmel afterwards
Any of the California Missions (San Francisco, Carmel, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara... doesn't matter which, but they're all fairly pivotal in California's history, and they all have museums with really neat artifacts)
Big Sur/Highway 1 in between San Simeon and Carmel
Hearst Castle (words can't even describe... the place is just unbelievably interesting)

I'm sure every state has a similar list of neat things to see, and maybe I'm a little biased, but I think California is a wonderful place to be a tourist! We have a little of everything here!

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answers from Chicago on

San Diego
San Francisco - both the city and surrounding areas -- you can drive to Monterey for the aquarium, or to Santa Cruz for a nice little beach experience
Washington DC area (the Smithsonian museums; Colonial Williamsburg; Arlington National Cemetery; the monuments)
NYC (STILL haven't been there, other than flying into LaGuardia and taking a shuttle to JFK)
The Rocky Mountains
The Everglades
The Grand Canyon
The Black Hills of SD and Mount Rushmore -- so many ways to make it an educational experience--Social Studies right there

Specifically for Midwesterns:
Minnesota--source of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park; Duluth (on Lake Superior); The Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Wisconsin--The Dells (not necessarily the water parks, but those are great perks too); Milwaukee--nice weekend trip--you could even take the Amtrak there from Glenview, and stay in Downtown Mke. There's a ton to do in walking distance.

SW Michigan lake country

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answers from Rochester on

I think one of the best road trips is across South Dakota and even going as far as Yellowstone and Teton Parks. We spent a week in South Dakota a couple of years ago and didn't even come close to doing everything you can do. It's a quirky trip that appeals to all ages.

Yellowstone is maybe a little better for elementary age kids, but we did it with our kids last summer at 5 and 7. Plan far ahead if you want to stay in Yellowstone. Everything books up a year in advance.

The Colorado Rockies are an amazing place to visit. So much to do in the Denver/Colorado Springs area.

Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin is beautiful.

We love Washigton DC. We have also been to San Diego a couple of times and love going there.

I would love to go back to Banff and the Canadian Rockies. One of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

We love Maui and go back about every two years.

We are going to Portland this summer and I'm very excited about that. I've heard so many great things about it.

My ultimate dream is to take my kids to Tanzania. Before I was married my parents and I visited my brother when he was serving in the Peace Corps there. Being in Africa is life changing. I'm hoping we will also be able to go to Niger, Africa while my brother and his family are living there.

Also on my bucket list:
Kentucky (again)
Seattle (again)
Glacier National Park
Philadelphia (again)
Florida-the Gulf side
New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)
Yosemite National Park
Cambodia (where my husband is from)

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answers from Davenport on

We've been incredibly blessed to visit & live in quite a few states over the years. Adored Hawaii (we were there for about 3.5 years), the Rockies are wonderful, Smoky Mountains are fantastic, the panhandle of Florida is lovely, Virginia & D.C. are excellent historic places.
Also, this was floating around on fb a while back about the "Ultimate US Roadtrip" it may give you some good ideas.

Happy Traveling!

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answers from Las Vegas on

My personal favorites of all times...
the Grand Canyon.. not sure how your kids are.. but rafting it is a GREAT adventure. I have done it three times and hiked out once... (that's only if you absolutely love hiking :) hahah
next.. LOVED Portland, Oregon... The people are nice friendly there !!!
of course, I adored Salt Lake City too.....
oh and LOVE Canada.... Richmond, Canada that is.. it's a little suburb outside of Vancouver proper.. and just it was only a 20 min ride on metro into Vancouver... also, it's a bit cheaper to stay there... again, the people were a dream ..
of course, Seattle, Washington.. another wonderful place...

my idea of travel is very family and I go and then walk around all over the town. we take public transportation, eat where the locals eat and enjoy the inner-workings of each place.. I try to steer clear of tourist places and would rather meander into quieter places..

and when in Arizona.. I did love the Smoke Tree Inn.. that was about 5 years ago when we stayed there. I liked the cottage type rooms.. they were nice and very clean and they had a pool... it was a quaint but oh what sweet little oasis...

I have also loved Oaxaca, Mexico City, Central America and Peru...

really... no matter where you go.. it's the simple things that can make a trip wonderful.. a good cup of coffee, lots of laughter and smiles.. I love my family vacations.. they are simple but loaded with fun...

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answers from San Francisco on

This is such a personal thing, my "must sees" may not interest you at all, but I love, love, love to travel so I will list my favorite places:
1) with or without kids
-New York City (must see a Broadway show, being there at Christmas time is magical, and July 4th is awesome too)
-Washington DC
-Hawaii (any island but Maui is best with children)
-Grand Canyon (but only if you are outdoorsy)
-San Diego, LA, San Francisco (Legoland and Disneyland)
2) without kids
-San Francisco & Napa Valley
-London and Paris!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Boston is a fantastic city. There are a lot of great things to do with kids there. New York of course is another fantastic city.

Southern CA has a ton to do, even if you're skipping Disney. Nice beaches, the San Diego Zoo, many other theme parks, Hollywood, etc.

San Francisco is also great. There are also giant sequoias in Northern CA that are amazing to see.

We loved our Alaska cruise.

I've done everything above, though my kids haven't done it all yet so I'll be back to some of those places. The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone are also on my bucket list.

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answers from Philadelphia on

We've done Nice and then four days in Paris. The kids loved it! We didn't have time to do Provence. A friend of ours went to Normandy and part of England (with their kids as well).
Venice was another short trip we took..we were lucky to be able to go during the was the best trip for all of us.
Rome was nice also. It depends on the kids age..ours liked it (they were 9 and 12), but they weren't thrilled with the Vatican....and it's true that it is very busy.
In the US, Oregon is always a nice place to go since we have family there. The beaches in Main are really beautiful and the kids really loved the area since there are all kinds of crabs and birds.
North Carolina Outer Banks is a nice area to see. On the way there, we stopped in Virginia at Jefferson's house and also went to Chimney Rock. Beautiful area!
This year we are probably going to go towards Canada (Montreal), then Quebec City, which is really pretty and come back on the other side. We live close to Philadelphia,

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answers from Phoenix on

There is a great list here:

I have been to a bunch of those and definitely agree! If you do Arizona, I would definitely do Sedona and the Grand Canyon, but if you have, say, a week, I would also hit Tombstone, the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tuscon (best saguaro cactus ever and a room full of hummingbirds that you walk into!!), the painted desert and the Navajo and/or Hopi reservation lands, and a mining town like Bisbee, Clifton/Morenci or Jerome.

Vermont is the best state for fall foliage, hands down.

In Europe- Paris is a place you could explore for a lifetime. My must-sees there are the Rodin museum, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Pantheon, and the Musee D'Orsay. And just walk around and appreciate the city, check out pastry shops and book stores and drink red wine. Berlin is probably one of the most fascinating cities from a recent history perspective. Munich at Octoberfest!!! Switzerland is stunningly beautiful- I particularly enjoyed Bern and Interlaken. Venice for a couple of days. It is a must-see, but I was over it after a weekend. Go see the opera in Italy. Enjoy a little debauchery in Amsterdam, then go to the Anne Frank house. Actually, go to the Anne Frank house first, then process it at one of their epic candy stores before the debauchery.

I love travelling, thanks for the fun question!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I would actually urge you to see Canada. We have so much natural beauty. I would like to drive across Canada some day.

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answers from Los Angeles on

New York City at Christmas
San Francisco, the foggy grey city of love.
Chicago in winter

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answers from Santa Barbara on

San Juan is magical.

I also agree with others about the central coast of California and all of Queenofthecastle's suggestion.

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answers from Salinas on

Our favorite places out West-

Coast of CA/Highway 1
Grand Canyon
Sedona, AZ
Utah-Bryce & Zion
San Francisco

Domestically I would like to spend some real time in NYC, Maine, Boston and Savannah GA.

Internationally just about anywhere but top of my bucket list would be Italy/Greece and Indonesia.

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