April 03, 2014

Top Five Before 35 - Domestic

In a previous post I shared my "Top Five Before 35" list of international destinations.  But my travel bug isn't limited to just foreign or exotic countries; there are many places in the United States that I haven't yet seen!  We are blessed to live in a country that has such a wide variety of people, culture, landscapes, and adventures.  Even without a passport, you can find many travel destinations here in the good ol' U.S. of A!

"Top Five Before 35 - Domestic"

(c) AlaskaCruiseNorthernDream.com
1.  Alaska:  Pristine wilderness.  Untouched forests.  Whale watching, grizzly bear sightings, and wolf spotting.  Dog sledding, igloo building, and marveling at the Aurora Borealis.  I can't decide whether Alaskan winters or Alaskan summers appeal to me more - they both have their appeal, so I suppose I'll have to visit at least twice.  Ideally, I'd rent an RV and camp my way through Alaska in the summer, fitting in some time for a glacier cruise (or two) and some salmon fishing.  In the winter I'd try to get in some skiing, watch dogsled races, and enjoy local festivals.

Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone
(c) SecondGlobe.com
2.  Montana:  Glacier National Park and Yellowstone are calling my name!  I want to feast my eyes on the Montana Rockies, try my hand at fly fishing, do some whitewater rafting, reflect at the memorial to the Battle of Little Bighorn, and visit a few Native American museums.  Perhaps I'll use Montana as a "destination excuse" to finally plan a cross-country road trip. 

3.  Hawaii:  Some places don't need any reason to visit.  Hawaii is one of those places.  Paradise on earth!

4.  National Parks in the Southwestern States:  I concede that this is a cop-out answer since it includes several states!  The Grand Canyon (AZ), Joshua Tree National Park (CA), Mesa Verde (CO - ok, kind of a stretch to call this a "southwestern" state!), Zion National Park (UT), and Aztec Ruins National Monument (AZ) are all on my list of places to see.
From top left clockwise: Grand Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde, Zion National Park, & Joshua Tree National Park
From top left clockwise: (c) TravelTheRockies.com, (c) Wikipedia.org, (c) NationalGeographic.com & (c) GlobeImages.net

5.  Louisiana:  I'm ready for a bayou adventure.  Although frog legs and alligator don't really sound appetizing on paper, I'm willing to try Cajun cuisine when I find myself in New Orleans (when in Rome, right?).  I've never visited the Deep South, but have always been fascinated with the unique culture associated with Louisiana.

With a little digging, I'm sure I could find dozens of other reasons to visit these states, but I'll save that for when I actually am planning a trip there.  Have you been to these places?  What places/states would make your top five in the U.S.?

~ Just a Thrifty Gypsy


  1. I've never been to the USA, but if/when I do, I think my top 5 would be:
    1. San Francisco
    2. New York
    3. Texas
    4. Grand Canyon
    5. Alaska

    1. You should definitely visit! The U.S. has so many different landscapes, cities, and sub-cultures. Texas is very different from New York, and Alaska is almost like their own country! Of the places you've listed, I've only been to Texas once (San Antonio) and New York (but not New York City). So many places to go and so little time! :)


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