While I’m a self proclaimed adrenaline junkie, you would be surprised at the places that I remember while traversing across this big country. This is by no means a perfect list, as there are a few states that I definitely need to explore more of in the future. Enjoy this virtual road trip to my favorites…… so far!
Alabama. I just barely dipped into this state but we really enjoyed exploring the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, followed by fresh seafood at one of the many fish camp restaurants along the water.
Alaska. I loved cruising to be able to experience multiple ports. Most memorable was walking onto the Mendenhall Glacier.
Arizona. Sedona is absolutely stunning and a must visit for everyone in their lifetime. Tons of trails are at your doorstep. My favorites were Fay Canyon, Devils Bridge, Hangover and Cathedral Rock.
Arkansas. The 6 mile dirt/gravel road is a little gnarly but the reward is worth it….. frequently noted as the best trail in the state, the 3 mile trek to Hawksbill Crag (or called Whitaker Point) meanders along cliff sides to a spectacular viewpoint.
California. Considering the possibilities here, you can’t go wrong with Yosemite’s Half Dome, Death Valley, driving the gorgeous coastal cliffs and I love the hidden gem of Pinnacles National Park.
Colorado. This state has so many amazing vistas and hidden gems, but Garden of the Gods is that special place that makes all other destinations pale in beauty.
Connecticut. Just because I love a good Julia Robert’s flick, visit the town of Mystic for some nostalgia and pizza.
Delaware. Growing up I vaguely remember visiting Rehoboth Beach for a quick getaway.
Florida. My home state for the past 24 years is a travelers paradise year round. I love the majestic Florida Keys for all the wildlife, scuba diving/snorkeling, views and just a great beachy vibe.
Georgia. Renting a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a step back in time with a drive in movie theatre, tubing the Toccoa River, hiking and numerous others will keep you entertained. I also love hiking up Stone Mountain for a rush!
Hawaii. Volcanoes National Park was fascinating stumbling along former lava flow paths. Plus the snorkeling in any beach cove was plentiful and if you want a huge rush….. try a night manta ray dive!
Idaho. My dad and I thoroughly enjoyed the Centennial Park Twin Falls and Shoshone Waterfalls in Idaho Falls. You can even walk behind one of them!
Illinois. My mom grew up in Chicago, so we visited numerous times growing up and I’ll never forget how ridiculously afraid I was of going to the top of the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower)!
Indiana. Visiting the iconic Indianapolis Speedway is a big rush and we even had the special pleasure of playing the golf course inside the track!
Iowa. I was pleasantly surprised with the Maquoketa Caves State Park. With over 3 miles of trails to 16 caves, it was a delight to explore this remote nature area.
Kansas. When my niece was a toddler, I really enjoyed the Army town of Leavenworth and visiting the Carousel Museum.
Kentucky. Finally made it to Mammoth Cave National Park, which is the longest cave in the world, and took the Historic Tour!
Louisiana. New Orleans was sensory overload and great to just hit the city by foot and eat/drink to your hearts content, especially the savory bengeits.
Maine. Acadia National Park has a bunch of shorter trails (Beehive & Precipice are both for the adrenaline junkies) and seeing an epic sunrise from Cadillac Mountain is a must!
Maryland. The Inner Harbor is always a favorite to explore including the Baltimore Aquarium.
Massachusetts. I love the history of the Freedom Trail and touring the iconic city of Boston.
Michigan. Mackinaw Island was a blast from the past with all the horse drawn carriages and culture.
Minnesota. Driving the Lake Superior circle was so gorgeous and relaxing. Try to make the full circle loop!
Missouri. In college, our soccer team made a big road trip to the Midwest and I remember visiting the towering St. Louis Arch. It was recently upgraded as a National Park in 2018.
Mississippi. I’ll need to go back to explore more but I did check out the energy of a Mississippi State University football game on a beautiful fall evening.
Montana. Yellowstone has to be high on your bucket list to explore all the geysers and revel in the abundant wildlife.
Nebraska. Seeing an unspoiled sunset over the vast plains of the Scott’s Bluff or Agate Fossil Beds National Monuments is priceless, along with following along on parts of the historic Oregon Trail (who remembers the old school video game of the same name?)
Nevada. Valley of Fire State Park is a hidden gem and a must do. Try the White Domes and Firewave hikes for a great afternoon out exploring slot canyons and stunning rock formations.
New Hampshire. Franconia ridge has a beautiful area called the Basin with a bunch of short trails to some gorgeous waterfalls.
New Jersey. Pick a beach – Ocean City, Cape May, Atlantic City.
New Mexico. There are a ton of options if you are a history seeker but I absolutely loved the 2 mile headland trail at El Morro National Monument (take it counterclockwise).
New York. While I love strolling around the diversity in Central Park, I’m partial to lake living along the shores of Lake Michigan near the incomparable Niagara Falls.
North Carolina. Hiking and camping in the Linville gorge area in the western part of the state is pure serenity, including Grandfather Mountain and the mile high swinging bridge.
North Dakota. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is remote but worth the trip. Bison and wild horses graze everywhere and I especially enjoyed the trails in Wind Canyon.
Ohio. During a business trip to Cleveland, I made a side visit to the Rock & Roll hall of fame. Who doesn’t love some music to brighten up your day?
Oklahoma. My one visit to this state was to benchmark the operations of the NCAA Softball World Series held at a beautiful stadium in Oklahoma City. I also remember a few chuck wagon festival along the way!
Orgeon. Crater Lake National Park was downright stunning in winter with the crystal blue waters beckoning you to explore more.
Pennsylvania. My teenage years were consumed with travel ball up and down the east coast and I loved living in the dorms on the gorgeous Bryn Mawr campus.
Rhode Island. Hop on a ferry and explore the quaint Block Island.
South Carolina. While I love the quaint Hilton Head island immensely, I’m partial to my childhood yearly trips to Surfside Beach (southern portion of Myrtle Beach).
South Dakota. Badlands National Park is a whirlwind. Definitely take 2 small but challenging treks – the notch and saddlepass (southern access point) trails.
Tennessee. Nashville is such a warm & fuzzy city that has a little bit of everything especially getting your live music fix, while Gatlinburg is also my speed when needing an outdoor adventure.
Texas. Guadalupe Mountains National Park has a fun hike called Devils stairs that takes you along a dried out river bed scrambling over massive rocks and culminating at a hairy climb.
Utah. This is probably my favorite state in regards to natural beauty and wonders. Very difficult choice so it’s a tie between Zion (the Narrows & Angels Landing trails) and Arches National Parks (the full Devils Garden loop).
Vermont. I thoroughly enjoyed the 6 mile challenge of trekking up to Camel’s Hump State Park Summit (and if you go a little further you can see a plane wreckage). Plus Stowe is home to Sound of Music Von Trapp Family Lodge & headquarters of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!
Virginia. I was born in Manassas in extreme Northern Virginia, so we grew up around the historic battlefields which are always a treat to explore and learn, plus a bonus of proximity to the national mall (museums & monuments of DC).
Washington. Mt. Ranier was an incredible sight and even more challenging to hike in the snow to stunning peak lookouts.
West Virginia. This state is home to the newest & 63rd National Park with New River Gorge and don’t miss Harper’s Ferry National Monument.
Wisconsin. Take a hike to the cliffside sea caves at Apostle National Lakeshore.
Wyoming. Circling the Devils Tower on a hike is a treat and if you dare…. sign up for a rock climbing excursion from this midwest wonder!