Our family bucket list for USA travel includes national parks, giant trees, waterfalls, beaches, glaciers, volcanoes, massive sculptures, and a couple of iconic cities!
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Does anybody else have the itch to travel even more than usual since our options have become so limited with the Covid-19 pandemic? Being an immuno-compromised travel-lover, I really get discouraged sometimes when I start to think about when I’ll be able to go see some new places. I have to remember that it won’t be this way forever, though, so I decided to make a family bucket list of places we plan to visit someday. I thought a good ole USA road trip would be a great place to start, since that is probably the most feasible travel choice for us in the foreseeable future!
However, when we started talking about our family bucket list for a USA road trip, it quickly became too long for a single blog post! There are so many amazing places to see, and, of course, we want to see them all! I think this will probably turn into a series, but for now, I’ll just share the top 10 places in the USA that my family can’t wait to visit! I can’t call it a road trip, because you can’t get to Hawaii in an RV.
Keep in mind that we’ve already been to a few places, like Washington D.C. and Disney World, that would certainly be on this list if we hadn’t visited already.
So, in no particular order, here is our Family Bucket List-USA:
The Grand Canyon
I went to the Grand Canyon a couple of times as a kid, but no one else in my family has been. I really believe it’s a natural wonder that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. What a magnificent sight!
Of course, the ultimate Grand Canyon trip would include camping, hiking, and a river trip. I honestly don’t know if I’d be physically capable of any of that in such rugged terrain at this point in my life, but what an adventure that would be!
Giant Sequoia Trees
I just really can’t imagine what it must be like to see these ancient giants in real life. Oh, the stories they could tell! I’d certainly like to sit and have a chat with General Sherman. “Excuse me, General. How does it feel to be the largest living organism on the planet?”
I think I could handle one of the shorter hikes under the soaring canopy of the Giant Sequoias, so I’m all in for that!
Yosemite National Park
And while we’re in California, we can’t miss Yosemite National Park! One of the tallest waterfalls in the world, granite that looks like it’s on fire at sunset, and rainbows at night…not missing that!
Oh, Hawaii…wouldn’t that be a dream right now? Close your eyes and go there for just a minute. Can you feel the sand under your feet and the waves lapping up against your toes? Do you hear the sound of a ukulele welcoming you to the evening’s luau under the stars? Go ahead…get up and try a little hula dancing!
Of course, we couldn’t miss out on a little adventure while we’re in Hawaii, so we’ll have to trek through a rainforest, hike up a volcano, and take a surfing lesson, too. Well, maybe just sitting on a surfboard for me. Since the whole brain tumor/surgery incident, I’m quite sure I don’t have enough balance for actual surfing.
The Road to Hana is another must-do on our list. I’m thinking a bus tour might be the best choice for us. That way Henry can go ahead and enjoy all of the sights without me freaking out about him not watching the road! And the Pearl Harbor Memorial…there’s no way we would go to Hawaii and not spend a little time there. We are homeschoolers after all!
So, ultimate Alaska dream…a Disney Alaska cruise! How could you beat combining the magic of Alaska with the magic of Disney? I mean…c’mon. I know Alaska has plenty to offer on its own, and we definitely wouldn’t complain about any means by which we could experience it. We just think a Disney Alaska cruise would be really, really cool! Hey Disney…hint, hint 😉
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is the oldest national park in the USA, and arguably, one of the most fascinating places on earth! As if Old Faithful, the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, and Mud Volcano weren’t reason enough to visit, the sheer beauty of the park is something I want to experience in person.
Besides, where else can you hang out with buffalo, wolves, and bears? Er…well, when I say hang out, I really mean it would be cool to spot them from a distance with bear spray in my hand. Unless, it was Yogi Bear, of course. I think bumping into a cartoon bear in real life would be much less disturbing than coming face to face with a real one. I’m really getting off track here. But, Yellowstone National Park…it’s a must-do.
I’ve always been intrigued by Mt. Rushmore. The creativity, the talent, the time, the work-everything it took to create such a masterpiece on this scale-really amazes me! I admire Mt. Rushmore as a work of art, and it makes me feel super patriotic as well!
I think the picture I chose is actually showing the view from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. But, honestly, folks, if I’m going to Niagara Falls, I want to see it from both sides. We have passports, so we might as well use them. After all, this will most likely be a once in a lifetime visit, so we should experience it fully! I mean, I’m not up for going over the falls in a barrel or anything, but I definitely want to take the boat tour and get soaked!
New York City
New York City is another place I’ve been without my family. I went a couple of times for work when I was pregnant with Symphony. So, I guess, technically, she’s been there, too. But, morning (all day) sickness was in full swing, so I only briefly saw any of the iconic parts of the city walking to and from the Rockefeller Building for work and riding to and from the airport in a taxi. I can’t say that I’ve really experienced New York City.
Seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person would fulfill a childhood dream, for sure, but I really want to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center all lit up! Maybe we could just go stay in New York City from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve one year, and then we can say we’ve done it all!
Last, but not least, as music lovers, Music City definitely had to make our Family Bucket List-USA! I honestly can’t believe we haven’t been there yet. I even lived in Tennessee for about nine months when I was in the first grade, but I’ve never been to Nashville.
It would be pretty awesome to stand on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. I’m not sure how you get to do that, but I know my parents did it when they went, because they have a picture of it. So, we’re doing that.
Of course, we’ll have to get lots of photos with the Nashville murals for Instagram. And, although we aren’t the bar-hopping kind, we’ll have to take a stroll down Honky Tonk Highway and see if we can spot any country music legends.
Number one on the Nashville list, though, would be for my sweet little music-loving crew to get to record a song there. I know it’s not technically any different than recording anywhere else, but it would be pretty cool for my kids to be able to say they recorded in Nashville!
So that’s our Family Bucket List-USA!
Well, we’ve made a big circle and landed back in OKC for now. Like I said in the beginning, this family bucket list is just what we narrowed down from the many places in the USA we’d still love to visit that we haven’t made it to quite yet. I’ve always wished we could just take a year off and see the whole country from an RV. The kids are almost grown now, but I haven’t given up on that dream!