(Pictured above: Boston Public Gardens)
Some travelers think that it is a must to get out of the country to see sites that are unforgettable, but we have some magnificent ones in our own backyard! Our country may not have a hugely extensive history but we make up for it in soul. The U.S. is full of different cultures, amazing cuisine and friendly people that won’t cost you a fortune to visit. From the untouched wilderness of Alaska to the bustling cities of Texas to the quaint charm of New England, there is so much our country has to offer. We have compiled a list of some of the best destinations in the United States and gave you the low down on what to see there. See our country at it’s best with the Top 7 Affordable United States Locations.
7. Michigan, Mackinac Island & Chicago
First on our list is the exciting Michigan, Mackinac Island & Chicago area that you are sure to fall in love with. First up, visit Detroit where you will visit the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation that commemorates American inventors and important innovations such as historic trains, cars and airplanes. Also tour the city of Detroit, where you will view major sites, theaters, the art district and live music venues, to name a few. Mackinac Island is next up and you will fall in love with this island that transports you to a simpler time. Mackinac Island is located in the pristine waters of Lake Huron and no cars are allowed on the island. While here, enjoy a carriage ride around the island, Arch Rock, a formation that is set against striking views of lake Huron, Fort Mackinac, the oldest building in Michigan, and the downtown area, perfect for shopping, art gallery viewing and eating. Stop at Charlevoix to view the iconic Earl Young’s Mushroom Houses, with each house designed specifically to blend in with its surroundings and no two looking alike. Your last stop is the “foodie” capital of the Midwest, beautiful Chicago, Illinois, located along the Lake Michigan waterfront. In Chicago you will visit Millennium Park, the home of some of Chicago’s most popular sculptures, 360 Chicago, a 1,000 foot observatory that gives you views of the whole city, and a city tour taken by bus, to get you acquainted with the area. Explore the Midwest and see the sights and landmarks of the area, you will not be disappointed with what you find.
6. National Parks
The National Parks of the United States are truly something that everyone who lives in this country should see. They show what the landscape of our country is really like, display some of the most amazing naturally occurring sites in the world and are packed with adventure and education. The other great thing about the National Parks is that they are all different and unique from one another. The Grand Canyon in Arizona is filled with huge gorges and canyons that contain breathtaking views, and is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the country. Bryce Canyon is in Utah and is full of pine trees, hoodoos and magnificent rock formations that rival that of fairy-tale castles. Zion National Park, Utah contains red splashed desert rock and sandstone canyons, with birds of prey like eagles, falcons and California condors in the sky. Yellowstone is located in Wyoming and is the first national park of the United States, founded in 1872. Old Faithful, rock formations, geysers and thermal pools are all located in this park. Further Northwest in Wyoming is Grand Teton National Park, an excellent stop for glaciers, lakes, rich forests and excellent wildlife. Canyonlands is located in Utah and is divided by the Green River and Colorado River and your first sweeping view from the Green River Outlook will look atop a massive 1,500 foot mesa. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado protects nearly 5,000 archaeological sites of the Pueblo people and gives you a unique look at the life and times of where they called home. No National Parks list is complete without the mention of Mount Rushmore, also considered a national park area, that is located in South Dakota. This massive memorial is probably the most famous icon of America, and is definitely the world’s largest statue-monument. The national parks are so diverse that anyone can find enjoyment and activities in these places. Whether it be the rugged terrain of the Grand Canyon or the massive faces of past presidents at Mount Rushmore, there is truly something for everyone.
Alaska is a true must for the bucket list because it is unlike anywhere else in the United States and the world. Breathtaking views and natural phenomenon that you can’t see anywhere else are an everyday occurrence here. The capital city of Anchorage is a bustling town that is located between the Chugach Mountains and the Cook Inlet. This city has plenty of restaurants, museums, shops and more to get you in the Alaskan mindset. Denali National Park brings you to a true Tundra setting that houses wildlife that are unique to the North; black bears, gray wolves, Alaskan moose, Dall sheep and more! This park encompasses 6 million acres of land and provides you with unforgettable views and memories. Next, visit the most popular port in Alaska, Seward, once known for its history with Russian fur traders and gold prospectors. Enjoy scenic Juneau, with the immense Juneau Icefields located right next door. In Juneau you can go shopping, kayak, whale watch, dogsled or hike! This is the place to let out your inner adventurer and do some activities you have always wanted to do. Lastly, enjoy Ketchikan and see beautiful wilderness and fjords created by retreating glaciers. Alaska is a marvel and it is time to see what you’ve been missing.
4. New England
New England is truly its most beautiful in the fall with the leaves changing and the beautiful scenery coming into its own. This area is enchanting all year round but during the fall, it truly comes to life. The quaint towns and friendly cities offer capes, farms and cuisine all their own. While on tour, visit the historic city of Boston, Massachusetts, where you will visit sites such as Old North Church, Boston Commons, Faneuil Hall, and Plymouth Rock at Pilgrim Memorial State Park, the usual site of Mayflower Pilgrims disembarkation. Visit Hyannis, the All-American heart of Cape Cod where you will find the JFK Hyannis Museum, fish shacks, restaurants, beaches, ferries and so much more. You can also choose to take an optional full day excursion to Martha’s Vineyard while in Cape Cod, to enjoy one of the most elegant seasides resorts in the whole of the Northeast. Travel to the Berkshires where you will visit a working Cranberry farm, the number one crop in Massachusetts. Continue onto the village of Stowe, known for its thriving arts community and cultural events. The Mt. Mansfield landscape serves as a backdrop in this picturesque region. Visit the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, Vermont and enjoy some of America’s best loved ice cream in the factory where it is created. Finally, visit the coastal Ogunquit where you will visit the Seashore Trolley Museum and enjoy a large collection of trolley trams and trains from different cities of the United States. New England is calling for you to visit with its charming sites and scenes, it’s time for a visit.
Texas is one of the largest states in the United States, meaning it is filled with sites that you must see and several major cities that are completely different from one another! Start off in sunny Dallas, where you will visit sites such as the John F. Kennedy Memorial, Dealey Plaza, the Sixth Floor Museum, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and so much more! Next, enjoy the city of Fort Worth where you will enjoy a guided tour of the once busiest and biggest livestock marketing center in the Southwest. Austin is your next big stop and here you will enjoy a bustling city with an excellent cultural scene and top-notch nightlife. Venture to the birthplace of Lyndon B Johnson and where he lived with his wife Lady Bird in Fredricksburg, Texas, and explore the national park located here. Visit the “American Venice” of San Antonio, Texas, with historic missions, a river walk centerpiece and lots of beauty. While here, experience a barge cruise on the San Antonio River, Mission San Jose, Mission Conception, The Alamo, and more. On your last stop, visit the largest and most diverse city of Texas: Houston. In Houston enjoy a city tour that includes views of the JP Morgan Chase Tower, City Hall, Texas Medical Center and a stop at the U.S.S. Texas Battleship. Also tour the Space Center Houston that contains many hands on displays, space artifacts and even a full size space shuttle! Texas‘ cities are as diverse as they are spectacular, so why not visit them today and have a trip worth remembering.
California is like Texas, in that its large size allows for many different large cities with a lot of different excitement and adventures to offer! Explore the, “City by the Bay” of San Francisco where you will have free time to explore and/or enjoy views of Nob Hill, Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Next, explore one of the most beautiful National Parks in our country, Yosemite, with its waterfalls, hiking trails, rock formations and exquisite charm. Take in Monterey and its coastline stretching for miles on the Monterey Bay Peninsula. See photographic vistas, multi-million dollar homes and the dramatic Pacific coastline on “17 Mile Drive”. Los Angeles awaits and brings you a morning sightseeing tour that shows you around the celebrity homes, unique neighborhoods and iconic sights. Another excellent reason to visit California is it’s proximity to other places in neighboring states that you do not want to miss while visiting the West coast. Some of these include Las Vegas, Nevada the hub of gambling and luxurious hotels, Grand Canyon, an unforgettable National Park in Arizona that will leave you with the best pictures on earth, and up to Portland, the city that is extremely green and earth-conscious, located just north in Oregon. Do not miss California and it’s neighboring states because on the West Coast, there is a whole different lifestyle and attitude that you will love being a part of.
1. The South
The South encompasses a huge area of the U.S. and has some cuisine and culture that you cannot miss! From the historic town of Charleston, South Carolina, to the bayous of New Orleans, you are going to love waking up each day to explore different parts of this area. On our “Musical Journey Through the South” tour, start your trip in the “Music City” of Nashville, Tennessee. In Nashville, tour the oldest recording studio in the U.S., RCA Studio B, Music Row, the heart of Nashville’s entertainment industry and Centennial Park, an area including the world’s only full scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens. Next up is glitzy Memphis where you will enjoy the sounds of Beale Street, known for its Blue, Jazz and Rock n’ Roll Music. Also visit Graceland, where you will tour the mansion of American legend, Elvis Presley. Lastly, experience the vibrant city of New Orleans with its delicious Cajun cuisine, a behind the scenes Mardi Gras parade exhibit, and a tour of the Southern Louisiana Swampland by boat! If you prefer history, our “Historical South” itinerary starts in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the United States! Here you will take part in a guided trolley tour to get to know the city. After that enjoy the city at leisure and perhaps visit the Old Jail, History Museum or Flagler College. Next visit one of the most beautiful cities in the country; Savannah, Georgia, where you will want to visit some of the landmarks including Forsyth Park, River Street and the Cotton Exchange. Walk along the cobblestone streets of this enchanting place and feel the embrace of the South. Our last spot is Charleston, South Carolina, a city that is beyond historic and truly filled with Southern grace. Enjoy the multi-colored homes, Southern buildings and architectural styles from the Revolutionary War to the Antebellum mansions. You will find hospitality, warmth and plenty of charm when you are in the South and you will discover places and sites that you never knew were right in our country. Come on down to the South where you will share memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.