I love to travel internationally, and sometimes I’m so focused on that that I forget about all of the things in the USA that I want to see, too. In the second half of this year I have a couple of domestic trips that I’m pretty excited about, and the first half of next year I’m hoping to cross off one of the below bucket list items, too. Without further ado…
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon has been my top USA bucket list item for quite a while now. I love to hike, and I love being outside, and it’s one of those places that I really can’t believe I haven’t been to you. In reality, I have never even gotten close. I was in New Mexico visiting family when I was really young (4 maybe?), and I was in Southern Utah on my bike trip two summers ago, but neither of those instances allowed any time to venture over to the Grand Canyon. Luckily, I just finished getting my flights all together for an upcoming trip that includes a stopover in Arizona on the way home for both the F2B Phoenix Sessions and a 2.5 day trip over to the Grand Canyon in July (yes, I know it will be hot hot hot). I believe that tickets for the F2B Phoenix Sessions are still available, so if you are interested in one, send me an email or comment on this post and I’ll get you in touch with the right people!
Glacier National Park, Montana
This is really a two-bucket-list-items-in-one item, as there is a pretty specific way that I want to get to Glacier National Park. I want to redeem 25,000 Amtrak miles for their Bedroom – One Zone award, or 15,000 Amtrak miles for their Roomette – One Zone award. What’s really fantastic about these awards is that the Bedroom can have up to three people, and the Roomette up to two people all of the same price. Now, Denver and Glacier National Park are both in the Western Zone, but you have to travel from Denver all the way to the west coast, then up the west coast, and then back east to get to Glacier National Park… all for 25,000/15,000 points! It would be a fantastic redemption where I would be able to see a great part of the US that I haven’t spent much time in, and it would end in the beautiful Glacier National Park! YEAH!
I think Alaska is, for many people who live in the US, nearly like visiting another country. The flights are relatively long (unless you live on the west coast) and also usually pretty expensive. Most people don’t know many people who ever lived in Alaska (I can count the number on one hand). So, it’s almost not fair for me to include Alaska on this list, but since I didn’t say ‘Continental USA,’ I’m allowed 🙂 So to me, Alaska is kind of one of those far off, magical, fairytale places, despite it being closer than many places I’ve traveled to. You could probably say that I have a little kid’s view of Alaska. Well, my Dad has never been, and he loves the outdoors too, so I am hoping that we can go next spring, April or May ish, using one of my Alaska Companion Passes. I’d love to get out there for a full 7-days so we could make a longer trip to Denali National Park, but since my Dad works in sales and I hear that Verizon’s reception in Alaska is pretty bad, we might have to save a longer trip for another time. Regardless, it will be a fun trip!
New Orleans has been a bucket list item for me pretty much since I knew what Mardi Gras was. Now, my dad always tells me that I shouldn’t go for Mardi Gras, and I honestly don’t know if I want my first trip there to be during Mardi Gras, though I think I would like to go during Mardi Gras sometime in the future. New Orleans, to me, is a city with soul. Not to mention that I love food and music, both of which Mardi Gras is quite well known for. I’d love to take a mid-winter escape from Michigan trip with my Mom some year.
Hike part of the Appalachian Train to Table Rock, Maine
You may notice that this bucket list item is quite a bit more specific than the others… well, that’s because it’s a newer bucket list item. With the unknowns surrounding the impending Southwest Devaluation a few weeks ago, I wanted to lock some flights in with my points. I also still have the Companion Pass through the end of the year and wanted to maximize that. So, I started looking at some weekend trips to places that were relatively close by. Many places made the list of less than six hours of travel including layovers, but Portland, ME made the short list. For the past couple years, I’ve kind of wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail, but it is hard to carve out the 6-12 months needed to hike the whole thing, for obvious reasons. Well, that might still happen someday (anybody in?), but for the time being I thought it would be fun to hike part of it. Now, the part of the App Trail near Table Rock is supposed to be some of the hardest miles of the whole trail, so I figure if I can make it through this, I’ll just count it as step one of my training!