My Travel Bucket List: United States

Every time I get asked about my bucket list, of course I always think big; Paris, Mykonos, Moscow, and so on. But then I start thinking about all of the beautiful things in my own country that I haven’t seen yet. Which is silly, because it’s much easierโ€”financially and logisticallyโ€”to see all of those things first.

To make this post a little more interesting, I enlisted the help of a fabulous group of women I’m a part of called “Girls Love Travel.” All the photos you see on this post are courtesy of my fellow GLT girls, who have been lucky enough to see these places.

So here is the list of everything on my bucket list, right here in the USA.


1) Las Vegas – Sometimes I feel like I’m the only 24-year-old who has never been to Vegas. And I KNOW I would love it. The glitz, the glamor, the NEON! I want to do all the touristy things like take the gondola ride through the Venetian, and visit the fake Eiffel Tower. But most of all, I want to see the Neon Boneyard! They have over 200 (working!) neon signs from Vegas history, including Caesars Palace, Binion’s Horseshoe, and the Stardust. It is the epitome of Old Vegas.

Photo by Lindsey Rogers


Photo by Jennifer Schroeder


Photo by Brooke McMullen

2) Nashville – It’s just wrong that I’m a musician, and I’ve never been to one of the top music cities in the U.S. I still need to see the Grand Ole Opry, and Tootsie’s, and the watch the undiscovered singer-songwriters on Broadway St. And you better believe I’m bringing my guitar with me on this trip, because I’m definitely playing an open mic night while I’m there.

Photo by Morgan Longland


Photo by Alyssa Farris


Photo by Alyssa Farris

3) Disneyland, CA – I grew up in a Disney family. Disney World was a huge part of my childhood. So it’s only natural that I am dying to see the California version! I obviously need to compare and contrast the castles, and the rides. Can it really be as good when it doesn’t have Epcot, or Animal Kingdom?! These are all things I have to figure out.

Photo by Maureen Rosey


Photo by Micaela Bassford


4) Hotel Chelsea in New York City – New York City has already been checked off my bucket list, many times actually. But I have never been to the infamous Hotel Chelsea, where all the great creative minds have stayed. Mark Twain, Charles Bukowski, Grateful Dead, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Sid Vicious, and so, so many more were all residents at Hotel Chelsea. What is it about this place that inspired these creative minds?

5) New Orleans – I don’t need Mardi Gras, I just want to walk around the French Quarter with a parasol. Also, I love all things haunted. Although I don’t believe in ghosts, paranormal shows have always been my guilty pleasure. So staying in a haunted hotel would be a must. But at the top of my list is the Carousal Piano Bar, and I have to sit at the spinning bar.

Photo by Maritza Del Real


Photo by Stephanie “NieNie” Vollmer


Photo by Annie Mark

5) Grand Canyon – Everyone needs to see the Grand Canyon at least once in their lifetime, right? There’s just nothing else like it. I don’t think I have the nerve to do the skywalk. Instead, I want to kayak the Colorado River through the canyons. I want to hike to Havasu Falls. Just give me a camel pack and my camera and I’m good to go!

Photo by Kaleigh Allen


Photo by Amanda Rollins


Photo by Lauren Ahlgren

6) Kentucky Derby – I’ve been to Kentucky, and just last July we even took a tour of Churchill Downs. But I have never actually been to the race before. And I love any reason to get ridiculously dressed up! I want the whole nine yards; the over the top hat, the seersucker dress, the white gloves, the parasol. All of it. I want to bet on a horse, even if it’s just a few dollars. And what is the Kentucky Derby without a mint julep?

Photo by Cora Carter


Photo by Roxanne Gentry

7) Hawaii – Hawaii has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the U.S., and I want to hike them all, go cliff jumping, take surfing lessons, and end everyday with a pina colada on the beach. But my ultimate dream would be taking a helicopter ride over the islands.

Photo by Heather Irwin


Photo by Kelly Arbogast

8) Warren’s Occult Museum in Boston – Ed and Lorraine Warren are two of the most famous paranormal investigators in history. They are the couple behind true stories such as the Amityville Horror and Annabelle. They keep all the haunted items they’ve collected, including the Annabelle doll, in a museum in Boston. It’s just too creepy to miss.

9) Yosemite – Oh beautiful Yosemite. The first time I ever saw a picture of Yosemite, I knew I needed to see it one day. What a perfect combination of trees, water, mountains, trails. There’s noting specific I want to do or see in Yosemite. I just want a backpack, a tent, and a few days to explore it.

Photo by Sarah Feiser


Photo by Kaycee Roberts


Photo by Neev Zaiet

Thank you again to all my GLT girls who submitted photos! Someday I hope to have my own photos of all of these places!

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26 Comments

  1. Great list! I’m from the US too and my friends always ask me why I don’t travel in my own country. I really need to add a US destination in my travel plans every now and then, we have so many wonderful places.

    • Thanks! Yeah it’s crazy, a few of these places are just a few hours from me! I could drive to them if I wanted! I’m going to try to get all of these places checked off my list by the end of this year. -Anna

  2. I’ve been to all on your list and must say it’s a great list! New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the US. And I live 20 mins from Disneyland and will say that we are so much better than DW. Come visit!

  3. Ufuoma

    Your US bucket list is similar to mine. Grand Canyon is definitely at the top and yes, you are not alone about Las Vegas. Never been and I am 25. Haha! I should fix up soon. Hawaii looks so beautiful too and I totally want to go really soon. I also want to visit Orlando, Florida for the disney theme parks. Everyone needs to have a Disney experience at least once in their life, right?

    http://www.theufuoma.com
    travel | lifestyle | passion

    • I definitely need to Vegas soon. I keep finding cheap flights! And YOU have to go to Walt Disney World! It’s seriously magical. -Anna

  4. I’ve been to NYC so many times but never checked out Hotel Chelsea! Adding that to my agenda for my next trip to NYC. I’m hoping to go back to the Grand Canyon this year or next since the last time I went was 15 or so years ago, and I didn’t get to hike any of it. Great list!

    • Same! Next time I go to New York, I HAVE to go to Hotel Chelsea. So many of the greats have stayed there. And apparently it’s haunted? Thank you for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚ -Anna

  5. I agree that it is important to think about what to experience in your own country as well, not just go abroad. I try to do a mix of both, but must admit that I mostly end up traveling to other countries. But at least I am trying to be a tourist in my own town when I am home ๐Ÿ™‚ Of the places on your list I have only been to Hawaii, so thanks for the inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Great list! It is my current goal to see all 50 states. I have 46. Because of that, I have been to 6 of the places on your list. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck to you, we have an amazing country!

  7. Sooo many amazing places you need to go! I absolutely loved Hawaii! I’ve been to most of the places on the list and love them all! Yosemite is such a beautiful places to visit as well! Definitely try to check them all off your list! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. This would be a fun list, I have enjoyed a few of these. I had no idea about the neon boneyard in Vegas though! That would be cool to see! I still have to visit the Grand Canyon myself!

  9. There are so many places to explore in the US alone! And I feel like the world is already accessible within the US – Las Vegas reminds me of Venice, Yosemite reminds me of Switzerland, Grand Canyon reminds me of Iceland! It’s so amazing! Your list is spot on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This is definitely a great list! I also have these places on my list…And don’t feel bad. I’m 35 and still haven’t seen Las Vegas(although I did just flew in to the airport there last year when we took our western road trip). The Grand Canyon was on my bucket list too and I just checked it off! It’s absolutely amazing!

  11. Hiya! I love GLT – just discovered your blog on IG ๐Ÿ™‚ I have only been to Miami, US and on a cruize ship around the Bahamas. One day I want to do the famous road trip from the East Coast to the West and obviously all the National Parks looks great!

    Don’t give up on your European bucket list – been to Russia last year for 2 months and I loved it! Visiting it in winter (am I crazy?) is now officially on my bucket list.

  12. This is a wonderful list. I like that it includes specific places like the Occult Museum in Boston. Good luck on checking these off your bucket list!

  13. My list is SO much longer lol. But yeah, definitely Havasu Falls and Grand Canyon! I was blessed to see 47 of the states from a big rig, but you can’t take an 18-wheeler too far off the highways! So driving right by the exits for Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon was REALLY hard.

    • Haha luckily my list is so small because I’ve already seen so much of the United States! These are just all the things I still need to check off my list!

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