Bucket Items Worth the Hype – USA

Last post was all about the places abroad you should visit, but not everyone has the budget and/or desire to go abroad. Living in the US gives us the unique opportunity to visit different landscapes, cities, and people within our borders. So here are my top US locations that should be on your Bucket List:

New York City – New York

You cannot think about cities in the US without mentioning New York. I have visited NYC four times: once in 2001, twice in college (2006-2010), and for a week in April 2018. Visiting the MET, exploring Central Park, and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge are all must do. One of the lesser known but great museums is the New York City Fire Museum. With memorabilia from the 1870s to present day, it suits all ages and people. Down the street from the museum is a great Italian placed call “Piccola Cucina.” The restaurant (and its kitchen) are small and spots fill up pretty quickly. The weekday lunch specials are the way to go. Any homemade pasta dish is $14. The pasta is served right on the pan and they are fantastic.

Pig Cheek Pasta and Squid Ink Pasta with Wine at La Piccola Cucuina – New York

Big Sur – California

Even for people not into camping (aka myself), Big Sur is a must see. As a mentioned in my previous post, the Almafi Coast is a Mediterranean version of this coastline. Driving the 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles is a bucket list item for many people and it all revolves around this section. The Bixby Bridge is as iconic as it looks. The rough terrain and wild atmosphere make it a great place to really get away, whether you are camping or staying at one of the $$$ hotels. I visited on a drive from Los Angeles to Monterey and immediately understood why people come here to get away. So much so Jack Kerouac wrote a book about it.

New Orleans, Lousiana

If you want to be in the middle of it all, there is no better place than New Orleans. I’m not a party animal (never was), but New Orleans is more than the booze of Bourbon Street. The food and cocktail culture are legendary. I would venture west of Bourbon and even west of the Garden District for a touch of local flare. We went to the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak St, which is a well known music venue in the area. It was full of college students, old time Orleaners, and in the known tourists. The place was small but rocking. It was great to experience this side of New Orleans along with the tourism of the French Quarter and the elegance of the Garden District.

As a side note, definitely go to the Red Dog Diner on Magazine Street. Some of the best breakfast biscuit sandwiches I have ever had. Yum!!!

French Quarter Architecture

Hawaii

From cold to hot! Hawaii is comprised of 5 main islands that all provide it’s unique identity. Like California and New York, your experience will depend on where you go. I am going to focus on the island of Kauai.

Known as the Garden Isle, Kauai is lush and tropical in the North and West parts of the island and more dry and sunny in the Eastern and Southern parts of the island. It is home to the famous the Na Pali Coast with miles of soaring cliffs and has that great Hawaii laid back attitude. My husband and I stayed in Princeville on the North side of the island. The North Side is the lush and rain heavy side of the isle, but it was perfectly clear when we went in October 2012. Hanalei is a great town with great restaurants and ice cream shops and its famous bay. My husband still talks about the Macadamia Nut ice cream he had there.

If you are looking for a standard resort, head south and enjoy the snorkeling and drier landscapes. From the South you can access the Waimea Canyon State Park. Waimea Canyon is “the Grand Canyon” of Hawaii.

Waimea Canyon

What are your favorite US destinations?!?!

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