The Great American Bucket List
The folks at Thrillest have come up with a great list of the 50 Things You Must Do in the US Before You Die:
America is big. Life is short. And whether you're the kind of traveler who strays off the beaten path or one who hits the biggest damn tourist trap no matter the number of selfie sticks, you have to admit that some places across this great land of ours absolutely MUST be visited before you die. Even if you're not starring in a buddy movie with Morgan Freeman.
1. Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston MASSACHUSETTS
The Freedom Trail is a red (mostly brick) path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts that leads to 16 significant historic sites. It is a 2.5 mile walk from Boston Common to Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown with simple ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and other buildings, and a historic naval frigate along the way. Most sites are free; three, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, and Paul Revere House, have small admission fees, while others suggest donations.
2. Compare Philly cheesesteaks from old rivals Geno's and Pat's PHILADELPHIA
3. Catch a Broadway Show in New York City NEW YORK
4. Drive Cape Cod to Provincetown in the summer MASSACHUSETTS
5. Eat Buffalo wings in Buffalo NEW YORK
A Buffalo wing, hot wing or wing is a chicken wing section (drumette or flat) that is traditionally deep-fried unbreaded and then coated in sauce. Classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. Buffalo wings are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. Buffalo wings were created in Buffalo, New York. The residents of Buffalo generally refer to them as "wings" or "chicken wings" rather than "Buffalo wings."
6. Bike the National Mall in DC WASHINGTON, D.C.
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C. , the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service (NPS), and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit.
7. Feel the mist of Niagara Falls NEW YORK
Niagara Falls is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 50,193, down from the 55,593 recorded in the 2000 census. It is across the Niagara River from Niagara Falls, Ontario (also a city), both named after the famed Niagara Falls which they share. It is part of both the Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Western New York region.
8. Eat blue crabs on the water in Maryland MARYLAND
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs is an American professional baseball team based in Waldorf, Maryland. They are a member of the Liberty Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent baseball league which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. From the 2008 season to the present, the Blue Crabs have played their home games at Regency Furniture Stadium. They represent the counties of Charles, Calvert, and St.
9. Peep the fall foliage in New England UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
10. See a show at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville TENNESSEE
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee that has presented the biggest stars of the genre since 1925. It is also among the longest-running broadcasts in history since its beginnings as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM-AM. Dedicated to honoring country music and its history, the Opry showcases a mix of legends and contemporary chart-toppers performing country, bluegrass, folk, comedy, and gospel.
11. Drive from Miami to Key West FLORIDA
12. Watch NASCAR at Talladega ALABAMA
Talladega Superspeedway is a motorsports complex located in Talladega, Alabama, United States. It is located on an old abandoned airfield. It was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the location of the start/finish line which is closer to turn one than at Daytona International Speedway.
13. Visit the Alamo in San Antonio TEXAS
The Alamo, originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero, is a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound, site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, and now a museum, in San Antonio, Texas. The compound, which originally comprised a sanctuary and surrounding buildings, was built by the Spanish Empire in the 18th century for the education of local Native Americans after their conversion to Christianity. In 1793, the mission was secularized and soon abandoned.
14. Drink a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby KENTUCKY
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg).
15. Eat a PB & banana toastie at Graceland TENNESSEE
Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and 13.8-acre estate that was home to Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community about 9 miles (14.5 km) from Downtown and less than four miles (6 km) north of the Mississippi border. It currently serves as a museum. It was opened to the public on June 7, 1982.
16. Tailgate at the Grove at Ole Miss MISSISSIPPI
The Grove is the legendary tailgating area located at the center of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) campus. It is approximately 10 acres (4.0 ha) in size and is shaded by oak, elm and magnolia trees hence the grove part of the name.
17. Stroll the French Quarter in New Orleans LOUISIANA
The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans in French) was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré ("Old Square" in French) as it was known then. While the area is still referred to as the Vieux Carré by some, it is more commonly known as the French Quarter today, or simply "The Quarter.
18. Hang out in Austin NOT during SXSW TEXAS
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. Austin has a population of 790,390 (2010 U.S. Census).
19. Spend a day in St. Augustine FLORIDA
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States. St. Augustine lies in a region of Florida known as "The First Coast", which extends from Amelia Island in the north to Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Palm Coast in the south.
20. Catch a game at Wrigley Field ILLINOIS
Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium in Chicago, Illinois, United States that has served as the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs since 1916. It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales. It was called Cubs Park between 1920 and 1926 before being renamed for then Cubs team owner and chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley Jr.. Between 1921 and 1970 it was also the home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League.
21. Canoe the Boundary Waters in Minnesota MINNESOTA
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW or BWCA), is a 1.09 million acre (4,410 km²) wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota under the administration of the U.S. Forest Service. The BWCAW is renowned as a destination for both canoeing and fishing on its many lakes and is the most visited wilderness in the United States.
22. Rock out at Summerfest in Wisconsin WISCONSIN
Summerfest (also known as "The Big Gig") is a yearly music festival held at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The festival lasts for 11 days, is made up of 11 stages with performances from over 700 bands, and since the mid-1970s has run from late June through early July, always including the 4th of July holiday.
23. Ride the Millennium Force at Cedar Point OHIO
Millennium Force is a steel roller coaster built by Intamin at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, United States. It was the fourteenth roller coaster built at the park since the Blue Streak in 1964. When built in 2000, it was the first roller coaster to exceed 300 feet (91 m) in height, and was briefly the tallest closed circuit roller coaster in the world, before being surpassed by Steel Dragon 2000 in August 2000.
24. See a Michigan game at the Big House MICHIGAN
Michigan Stadium, nicknamed "The Big House," is the football stadium for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan Stadium was built in 1927 at a cost of $950,000 and had an original capacity of 72,000. Before playing at this stadium, the Wolverines played football on Ferry Field. Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States with an official capacity of 109,901.
25. Eat "food on a stick" at the Iowa State Fair IOWA
The Iowa State Fair is an annual state fair held in Des Moines, Iowa. The 2011 Iowa State Fair will be August 11-21 and marks 100 years of the butter cow.
26. Swim in a Great Lake UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada–United States border which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes Waterway. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth comprising 21% of the world's surface fresh water.
27. Watch a sunrise in the Upper Peninsula MICHIGAN
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P. , or Upper Michigan. It is also known as the land "above the Bridge" linking the two peninsulas. The peninsula is bounded on the north by Lake Superior, on the east by the St. Mary's River, on the southeast by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the southwest by Wisconsin.
28. Hear the roar of the Indy 500 INDIANA
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, also known as the Indianapolis 500, the Indy 500 or The 500, is an American automobile race, held annually over the Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The event lends its name to the IndyCar class, or formula, of open-wheel race cars that have competed in it. The event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered one of the three most significant motorsports events in the world.
29. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway CALIFORNIA
State Route 1 (SR 1), more often called Highway 1, is a state highway that runs along much of the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California. It is famous for running along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the USA, leading to its designation as an All-American Road. Highway 1 does not run over the entire Pacific coastline of California. It starts at Interstate 5 (I-5) near Dana Point in Orange County and runs north to U.S. Highway 101 (US 101) near Leggett in Mendocino County.
30. Gaze at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park WYOMING
Old Faithful is a cone geyser located in Wyoming, in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Old Faithful was named in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to receive a name. The geyser, as well as the nearby Old Faithful Inn, is part of the Old Faithful Historic District.
31. Ski Aspen Highlands in Colorado COLORADO
Aspen Highlands is a skiing mountain in Aspen, Colorado. It is famous for the Highland Bowl, which provides what some consider some of the most intense skiing in the state. The lift system has recently been redone and provides quick transport around the mountain.
32. Stroll Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles LOS ANGELES
Venice is a beachfront district on the Westside of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is known for its canals, beaches and circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half mile pedestrian-only promenade that features performers, fortune-tellers, artists, and vendors. Venice was home to some of Los Angeles' early beat poets and artists and has served as an important cultural center of the city.
33. Drive into the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater UTAH
Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park located in southwestern Utah in the United States. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon which, despite its name, is not a canyon but a giant natural amphitheater created by erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by wind, water, and ice erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks.
34. Hang out on Cannon Beach OREGON
Cannon Beach is a city in Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,588 as of the 2000 census. The 2007 estimate is 1,680 residents.
35. Take a wine tour in Santa Barbara CALIFORNIA
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city is known as the "American Riviera.
36. Hike through Glacier National Park in Montana MONTANA
Glacier National Park is located in the U.S. state of Montana, bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km) and includes parts of two mountain ranges (sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains), over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals.
37. Take a surf lesson in San Diego CALIFORNIA
38. Stand in Arch Rock in Joshua Tree CALIFORNIA
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U.S. National Park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103-433), it had previously been a U.S. National Monument since 1936. It is named for the Joshua tree forests native to the park. It covers a land area of 789,745 acres (319,598 ha). A large part of the park is designated to wilderness area—some 429,690 acres (173,890 ha).
39. Watch the fish fly at Pike Place Market WASHINGTON
Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street, and remains one of Seattle's most popular tourist destinations.
40. Get lost in Redwood National Park CALIFORNIA
The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park (created 1968) and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined RNSP contain 133,000 acres (540 km).
41. Catch a rodeo in Wyoming WYOMING
42. Visit Mount Rushmore SOUTH DAKOTA
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and later by his son Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (in order from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
43. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge CALIFORNIA
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County.
45. Peruse the shelves at Powell's in Portland OREGON
46. Take the Washington State Ferry to Orcas Island WASHINGTON
Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Islands, which are located in the northwestern corner of Washington state in San Juan County, Washington.
47. Trek the Grand Canyon's North Rim ARIZONA
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
48. Dive into Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bay PUERTO RICO
49. Marvel at the northern lights in Alaska ALASKA
50. See a lava flow in Hawaii HAWAII
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