The United States is a large country so even those of us that live here have many bucket list places in the US that we have yet to visit. Whether you live in the US and want to explore more of this amazing country or visiting the US for the first time and need help planning your trip, I’ve created this epic guide containing more than 125 incredible things to see and do in the United States which are perfect for any USA Travel Bucket List.
Some of these must see places I have already visited and recommend and the rest are places that look so beautiful or sound so interesting that I have added them to my personal America travel bucket list. So read on if you are looking for inspiration and ideas for your own US travel bucket list.
USA Travel Bucket List
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a booking after clicking on these links, I may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Alaska Bucket List
- Explore Denali National Park.
- See Mendenhall Glacier, a 13-mile long glacier near Juneau.
Arizona Bucket List
- Take photos at Antelope Canyon. This sandstone slot canyon is made up of two sections (Upper and Lower) and is one of the most instagrammable places in the United States. Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo protected land and is only accessible via guided tours. Click here for more information about tours.
- See Horseshoe Bend, the beautiful natural horseshoe-shaped curve in the Colorado River. This picture perfect view only requires an easy short 3/4 mile hike each way.
- Visit the Grand Canyon National Park. The famous Grand Canyon is at the top of most American bucket lists. There are many ways to visit the Grand Canyon including hiking, bike tours, mule rides, by helicopter or by small plane.
- Hike to the Wave. Getting a hiking permit is very difficult since only 20 people are allowed each day. Find out more about how to get a permit and other logistics in this guide to Coyote Buttes North (home to the Wave) here.
- See White Pocket. This lesser known remote natural wonder is a great alternative if you cannot get a permit to the Wave. You need a 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicle or else it is best to book a tour.
- Visit the Arizona desert town of Sedona.
- Visit the city of Flagstaff, surrounded by mountains, desert and pine forests. It is a gateway to the San Francisco Peaks which is home to Arizona’s tallest mountain (Humphreys Peak).
- Visit the Painted Desert, famous for its striking bands of colors.
- Visit the Petrified Forest National Park.
Arkansas Bucket List
- Hunt for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park. This state park is one of the only places in the world where the public can search for real diamonds – anything you find is yours to keep!
California Bucket List
- Explore San Francisco. Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and visiting Alcatraz are at the top of my San Francisco bucket list. Read: 2 Days in San Francisco: The Perfect Itinerary (As Written By a Local!)
- Go wine tasting at Napa Valley and Sonoma in Northern California.
- Visit Los Angeles. There are a lot of bucket list things to do in and around LA including hiking to the Hollywood sign, shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sunset Boulevard, Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Read: 3 Days in Los Angeles: The Perfect Itinerary
- Have fun at Disneyland.
- Explore Joshua Tree National Park.
- Visit Palm Springs.
- Enjoy sunny San Diego.
- Explore Solvang, a charming historic Danish village.
- Explore Yosemite National Park.
- Visit The Sequoia & Kings Canyon national parks. These adjacent parks are home to the world’s largest trees.
- See giant California redwoods at Redwood National Park.
- Visit Lake Tahoe. Read: 2 Days in Lake Tahoe Summer Itinerary
- Explore Death Valley National Park.
- Take a Pacific Coast Highway road trip along the coast of California which is without a doubt one of the best road trips in the USA. In addition to San Francisco and Los Angeles, some of the best stops along the way include Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Simeon, Malibu, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.
Read: California Bucket List: 30 Best Places to Visit in California for more bucket list worthy places to visit in California
Colorado Bucket List
- Visit Denver.
- Explore Rocky Mountain National Park. You can visit on a day trip from Denver.
- Visit the Garden of the Gods, a free park full of red rock formations with great hiking.
- Drive to the top of Pikes Peak.
- See Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Several scenic drives in the park offer great views with relatively easy access.
- Visit the Maroon Bells, a reflective lake and two giant snow-striped mountaintops and most photographed place in Colorado.
- See the highest sand dunes in North America at Great Sand Dunes National Park.
- See Pueblo cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park.
Connecticut Bucket List
- Visit the charming town of Mystic.
Florida Bucket List
- Visit Miami. Highlights include Miami Beach, Wynwood Walls and the Little Havana neighborhood. One of the busiest time to visit other than spring break is during Art Basel in December.
- See wildlife at Everglades National Park, the largest designated sub-tropical wilderness reserve on the North American continent.
- Drive from Miami to the Florida Keys on the scenic Overseas Highway (one of the best American road trips). Read: Weekend in Key West: The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary
- Have fun at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando.
- Swim with manatees in Crystal River. You can visit on a day trip from Orlando.
- Visit St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. Read: Weekend in St. Augustine: Perfect 2 or 3 Day Itinerary
Read: Florida Bucket List
Georgia Bucket List
- Visit Atlanta. Read: 48 Hours in Atlanta: The Perfect 2 Day Itinerary
- Visit the beautiful historic city of Savannah.
Hawaii Bucket List
- Seeing the beautiful Na Pali Coast in Kauai is a must on any Hawaii bucket list. You cannot visit by car. The entire Kalalau Trail is 11 miles long but you can hike the first couple of miles in a day or half a day. If hiking is not your thing, you can also view the Napali coast from helicopter tour or boat tour.
- See the Waimea Canyon in Kauai, a large canyon known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There are hiking trails but you can enjoy great views from two lookout points.
- Hike to the top at Diamond Head State Monument in Oahu for great views of Honolulu. The 1.5-2 hours round trip hike is not too challenging but go as early as possible in the morning because it gets hot!
- Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Honolulu which marks the Japanese attack on the U.S. in World War II.
- Drive the Road to Hana in Maui.
- See a beautiful sunrise or sunset from the top of Haleakala Crater, a dormant volcano and the highest point in Maui. Unless you are visiting on a tour, you will need to make reservations in advance to access the park at sunset.
Read: The Perfect Maui Itinerary: How to Spend 5 Days in Maui (As Written By a Local)
Idaho Bucket List
- See the beautiful Shoshone Falls (which are taller than Niagara Falls).
- Soak in one of the many Idaho hot springs.
Illinois Bucket List
- Explore Chicago. Maybe I’m biased because it is my hometown, but Chicago is one of the best cities to visit in the US. There are a lot of bucket list worthy things to do in Chicago: watch a baseball game at historic Wrigley Field, take a selfie in front of the Bean at Millennium Park, take in the amazing views from The Skydeck at Willis Tower and/or 360 CHICAGO, take an architecture cruise on the Chicago River and more! Read: Best Things to Do in Chicago in the Summer and Most Instagrammable Places in Chicago
- Visit Starved Rock State Park (one of the most popular attractions in Illinois) and the nearby Matthiessen State Park. Both parks have great hikes, stunning sandstone cliffs, canyons and beautiful waterfalls. You can even visit on a day trip from Chicago.
Read: Best Things to Do & Places to Visit in Illinois for more bucket list worthy places to visit in Illinois
Indiana Bucket List
- Visit the the capital city of Indianapolis.
Iowa Bucket List
- See the covered bridges of Madison County.
- Visit the Iowa State Fair. The eleven day fair (August 12-22, 2021) has food, games, rides and competitions, livestock exhibitions, shows, concerts and more.
- Recreate the famous American Gothic painting in front of the original house in Eldon depicted in the painting. Visitors to the American Gothic House are provided with costumes to wear while the staff takes photos in front of the house.
Read: Beautiful Sunflower Fields in Iowa That You Can Visit
Kansas Bucket List
- Eat BBQ at the famous Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City.
Kentucky Bucket List
- Visit Louisville during the Kentucky Derby.
- Journey on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Louisiana Bucket List
- Explore New Orleans. Visit NOLA during Mardi Gras is a bucket list worthy experience.
Maine Bucket List
- Explore Acadia National Park, a great spot to see the fall foliage in New England.
- Visit Portland, a charming coastal city.
Maryland Bucket List
- Visit Baltimore. See the historic waterfront neighborhood of Fells Point and make sure to try Maryland’s famous crab cakes.
Massachusetts Bucket List
- Visit Boston. Some Boston must dos include walking the Freedom Trail, watching a game at Fenway Park and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
- Relax at Cape Cod.
- Learn about the history of the witch trials at Salem.
- Visit Martha’s Vineyard, a tiny island which is a popular summer vacation destination for wealthy East Coast residents.
Michigan Bucket List
- Explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
- Visit historic Mackinac Island. The entire Victorian-themed island is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is car-free so visitors can only explore by foot, bicycle or horse drawn carriage.
Read: Best Places to Visit in the Midwest
Minnesota Bucket List
- Visit Minneapolis-St Paul. Don’t miss the Minnehaha Regional Park (and the stunning Minnehaha Falls).
- Explore the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior.
Mississippi Bucket List
- Explore the Mississippi Blues Trail, nearly 200 trail markers throughout the state including cotton fields, train depots, cemeteries, clubs and churches that tell stories of famous blues artists and significant sites. You can even download an app to help you follow the trail.
Missouri Bucket List
- Enjoy the view from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
- Eat some of the best BBQ in the country and explore the underrated Kansas City. Read: Weekend in Kansas City: The Perfect Itinerary (According to a Local!)
Montana Bucket List
- Explore the beautiful Glacier National Park. One of highlights of the park is driving the famous Going-To-The-Sun Road.
Nebraska Bucket List
- Witness the Annual Sandhill Crane Migration in the spring.
- See Carhedge. This quirky man made attraction built from 38 vintage American cars covered in gray spray paint is a replica of England’s famous Stonehenge.
- Visit Toadstool Geologic Park (referred to as the “badlands of Nebraska”) to see unusual rock formations and fossils.
Read: 7 Cool Things to do in Nebraska
Nevada Bucket List
- Gamble, party, eat and have fun in Las Vegas. Read: Weekend in Las Vegas: The Perfect Itinerary (According to a Local!)
- Visit Hoover Dam, a concrete arch-gravity dam on the border between Arizona and Nevada.
- Photograph the Seven Magic Mountains, a temporary art exhibition located in the desert outside of Las Vegas, featuring thirty to thirty-five-foot high day glow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders.
- Explore the Valley of Fire State Park, full of red rock formations just an hour outside of Vegas. It is also home to the Fire Wave, a smaller version of the famous Wave in Utah/Arizona.
- Admire colorful rock formations at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on several hiking trails or on a 13-mile scenic drive.
New Jersey Bucket List
- Go gambling in Atlantic City, one of the most popular cities in the Jersey Shore.
- Hang out at Liberty State Park and enjoy great views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
New Hampshire Bucket List
- Explore the stunning White Mountains, a mountain range with many hiking spots of all levels.
- Drive Kancamagus Highway, a 34.5 mile scenic drive along Route 112 and one of the best New England drives for fall foliage.
New Mexico Bucket List
- Visit Albuquerque during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest balloon festival in the world.
- Explore Santa Fe.
- Visit Taos.
- Visit White Sands National Monument.
Read: Best Places to Visit in the American Southwest
New York Bucket List
- Explore New York City. Read: Weekend In New York City Itinerary
- See Niagara Falls from the US side.
North Carolina Bucket List
- Visit Asheville. One of the highlights is a visit to the historic Biltmore Estate, the largest house in the United States.
- Explore the Outer Banks islands.
North Dakota Bucket List
Read: 7 Reasons North Dakota Should Be On Your Bucket List
Ohio Bucket List
- Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland.
- Explore Hocking Hills State Park and view the beautiful sandstone formations and waterfalls.
Oregon Bucket List
- Visit Portland, a city that likes to keep it weird.
- Explore the Columbia River Gorge. Don’t miss the beautiful Multnomah Falls just a 30 minute drive outside of Portland.
- See Crater Lake National Park. The highlight is the vivid blue Crater Lake (America’s deepest lake).
Read: Bucket List Places to Visit in the West Coast
Pennsylvania Bucket List
- Visit Philadelphia. Visit Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Eastern State Penitentiary and have a Philly cheesesteak.
Rhode Island Bucket List
- Explore Newport, a beach town known for its lavish mansions from the Gilded Age.
South Carolina Bucket List
- Visit the charming city of Charleston.
South Dakota Bucket List
- Explore Badlands National Park known for its spires and pinnacles.
- See Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore features the heads of four U.S. presidents.
Tennessee Bucket List
- Visit Nashville.
- Visit Memphis. Highlights include Graceland (home of Elvis Presley), Beale Street and the Duck March at the Peabody Hotel.
- Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most visited national park and a UNESCO world heritage site which straddles the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. The Appalachian Trail passes through the Great Smoky Mountains for more than 71 miles.
- Walk across Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the US for beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains.
Texas Bucket List
- Visit Austin. It is especially popular during South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals. Read: Best Things to Do in Austin in One Day
- Visit San Antonio. The Alamo and the River Walk are the top attractions.
- See the bluebonnets in bloom every spring in Texas Hill Country.
- Explore Big Bend National Park.
- Visit the small quirky town of Marfa.
- Stop at Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation of half-buried Cadillacs on Route 66.
Utah Bucket List
- Visit Salt Lake City.
- Explore Bryce Canyon National Park, known for crimson-colored hoodoos (spire-shaped rock formations).
- Explore Zion National Park.
- Explore Arches National Park, home to the highest density of natural arches anywhere in the world.
- Explore Canyonlands National Park.
- Visit Monument Valley.
- Explore Goblin Valley State Park.
- Take fun perspective pictures at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Vermont Bucket List
- Do a fall road trip in Vermont to see the beautiful fall foliage.
- Visit the picturesque town of Stowe.
Virginia Bucket List
- Visit Virginia Beach.
- Drive through Shenandoah National Park. Read: Complete Guide to Shenandoah National Park
Washington State Bucket List
- Visit Seattle.
- Explore Mount Rainier National Park.
- Explore Olympic National Park.
- Explore North Cascades National Park.
Washington, D.C. Bucket List
- Exploring the capital of the United States of America is a must on any USA bucket list. Points of interest include Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and National Mall. The city is especially beautiful (but crowded) during the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring.
Read: Best Places to Visit in the East Coast
West Virginia Bucket List
- See the New River Gorge Bridge. If you are feeling adventurous, you can sign up for bridge walk guided tour where you cross the catwalk under the bridge.
Wisconsin Bucket List
- Visit Milwaukee.
- Relax in Lake Geneva, a lakeside resort city popular with wealthy Chicagoans that built large historic mansions.
- Explore beautiful Door County.
- Explore the Apostle Islands and the sea caves on Lake Superior.
Wyoming Bucket List
- Explore Yellowstone National Park. Full of mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, geysers and wildlife, it is America’s first national park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights include Grand Prismatic Spring (a large hot spring is known for its rainbow effect) and Old Faithful.
- Explore the Grand Tetons.
- Visit Devils Tower National Monument, a 870-foot stone monument and the center of many Indian religious ceremonies.
So there you have it – the ultimate USA travel bucket list. If there is an experience or place I should include let me know in the comments below!
Need more travel inspiration? Check out some of my other travel bucket lists below:
- Europe Bucket List: 100+ Things to Do
- Australian Bucket List: Best Places to Visit in Australia
- Africa Bucket List: 50 Things to Do and Places to Visit
- South America Bucket List: 50+ Things to Do and Places to Visit
- Southeast Asia Bucket List: 100+ Things to Do in SE Asia
- Travel Goals: 100 Things to Do Before You Die
- 10 Hotels That Should Be on Your Bucket List!
Like this post? Pin it!
There are so many places in the USA that I have yet to visit. I love that you put together this list by state, it’s a very easy reference to have. It’s embarrassing that I have been to so many places around the world, but haven’t been to 2 of the 3 places in your Wisconsin list (it is the state I grew up in!).
I love ticking things off bucket lists. US is such a diverse country and going through the places you recommended I have realized I still have so much more to see in this amazing country. So far I checked some in California (L.A., Disneyland and a road trip along the Pacific Coast), Florida (Miami Beach, Florida Keys, Everglades), Louisiana (yes NOLA during Mardi Gras is madness, loved it!!), and New York City! You got me wanting to go again and check out so many other places!
This is a fabulous list! I don’t think we will be venturing too far out of North America and the Caribbean this year, so this post will be very helpful for planning some USA travels. Going to Chicago and Las Vegas later this year so will definitely refer back.
Absolutely shows how much there is in the US of A to explore. I love the national parks there and that all the states have something unique to offer. Love this list – and definitely will come back to it to check a few of those places.
This is such a great list! I don’t think you have missed out on anything at all. I didn’t even know many of these places and now I want to visit them.
Wow, this is an awesome list! So many great options and so fun to see the ones I’ve already seen, like Sedona and the Grand Canyon.
There are so many more I want to visit, I’ll have to keep your list handy!
Gail recently posted…3 Day Sedona Itinerary
I love traveling and my life partner also loves traveling. Recently we got married and planning to visit all over USA. Your List will be more helpful for us and others also.