Epic USA Bucket List: 50 Things to Do in the United States

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Looking for the ultimate USA bucket list? You’ve come to the right place! Let my personal bucket list inspire your next USA trip.

When we first moved to the United States, I created a huge bucket list of all the things I wanted to do, see and eat. The more time I spent there, the more things I learned about, which meant I ended up expanding the list even further to this mammoth list of 50 things to do in the United States.

Over my 2.5 years living there – including a 5-month road trip around the country – I managed to tick a lot of things off my personal USA bucket list, but quite a few still remain, waiting for me when I return! 

As the 4th largest country in the world, there’s a LOT to do in the USA. This bucket list should inspire your next USA trip, whether it’s your first time visiting or you’re a seasoned traveller looking for new experiences.

Tip: This is a HUGE post, so use the “What’s in this article” button below to skip ahead to the things that you want to put on your own USA bucket list.

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

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1. Visit 5 national parks in a week

A view down into Zion National Park overlooking Angel's Landing
Looking down into Zion National Park

One of my all-time favourite trips in the United States was a week-long Utah national parks road trip, visiting all five of the state’s national parks.

Nicknamed the Mighty Five, Utah’s national parks are each so different that it’s hard to believe you’re in the same state at times. Hike through Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks, or do something else adventurous like mountain bike riding, 4×4 adventuring, rappeling or rafting on the Colorado River. 

You’ve got a few options for taking this road trip:

  • Rent a standard vehicle and either camp or stay at hotels/Airbnbs along the way (check a company like DiscoverCars to compare rental cars)
  • Rent a campervan or RV – this is what we did and it made the trip even more fun! You’ll combine your transport and accommodation costs, saving some dollars as well. Escape Campervans is a great option for campervan rentals, while RVShare is like the Airbnb of RVs 

The trip starts and ends in either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. The best time to take this Utah road trip is spring or autumn/fall, when temperatures are milder.

READ NEXT: Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary: How to Plan a 7-Day Trip to the Mighty 5

2. Discover vortexes and hiking in Sedona

A woman in a pink top stands on top of Devil's Bridge in Sedona, one of the bucket list-worthy hikes
Getting my shot at the iconic Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona!

It’s hard not to fall in love with Sedona, Arizona. The magic of the red rocks that tower above the town, the gorgeous hikes, the food and culture – it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States.

With a population of just under 10,000 people, Sedona’s highlights are its natural beauty and outdoor activities. A weekend in Sedona is a weekend well spent.

Some of my favourite hikes in Sedona are:

  • Devil’s Bridge Trail – a short hike that’s quite steep at the end, but the views at the end are worth it.
  • Bell Rock – The views are just gorgeous.
  • Cathedral Rock Trail – If you have a fear of heights, this isn’t the hike for you! This hike is rated difficult, but the views from the top are outstanding.
  • Sugarloaf Loop – Do this hike at sunset and you’ll be rewarded with incredible views over Sedona.

You can also sip Arizonan wines, slide down a natural waterslide (in icy water!), go stargazing, eat delicious food or find energy and enlightenment at a vortex.

READ NEXT: A Weekend in Sedona: 12 Great Things to Do

3. Listen to blues music in Clarksdale

Two musicians play at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale Mississippi
Make sure to visit the Ground Zero Blues Club when you visit Clarksdale, MS

Clarksdale is one of the coolest places to visit in all of Deep South USA. It’s known as the Birthplace of the Blues and music is the reason to come here. 

Many of the most influential blues musicians have called Clarksdale home at one point or another, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Sam Cooke and Charley Patton.

In Clarksdale, fill your soul at the many blues clubs. Ground Zero and Red’s are great spots. The Shack Up Inn has live music a few nights a week. The Delta Blues Alley Café can tell you who’s playing where on what night – and also has live music.

The Delta Blues Museum is a great place to learn more about the history of blues. While it needs some updating, it’s packed with information, guitars, handwritten lyrics and plenty of other gems.

Also stop for a photo at the Crossroads at the junction of U.S. 61 and 49, where legendary guitarist Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil in return for musical success.

READ NEXT: Mississippi Road Trip: 7 Fascinating Places to Visit in the Magnolia State

4. Go art hunting in Marfa

A Prada store in the middle of the desert - a woman (the author of this article) sits on the steps of this art installation. Stopping at the Prada art installation near Marfa is one of the most popular things to do in West Texas
Me sitting on the steps of this quirky art installation in Marfa

In far, far West Texas lies a quirky and arty town called Marfa. It was first made famous when the Elizabeth Taylor film Giant was filmed there. Later, artist Donald Judd arrived and set about transforming the town with art.

The small town of barely 2,000 people now attracts artists, celebrities and tourists curious to discover this hip little town, where there are plenty of things to do and see.

Check out the Prada Store, an art installation that looks like a real Prada store by the side of a lonely road, or see if you can spot the Marfa Mystery Lights (are they aliens as some locals claim?).

Art galleries abound, including Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation and Ballroom Marfa.

5. Go tubing in Texas

Tubing in New Braunfels is so much fun - although it can be very crowded. Hundreds of people on inflatable tubes float down the Comal River in New Braunfels
Tubing in New Braunfels in summer can be busy, as I found out on my visit!

On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing better to do than go tubing in New Braunfels, Texas.

New Braunfels is a town with a strong German history and a population of around 85,000. It’s located in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country, about 4 hour’s drive from Dallas and only 50 minutes from Austin.

There are two rivers in New Braunfels: the Comal and the Guadalupe. Both are spring-fed, so they’re deliciously cool on a hot summer day. You can hire tubes and spend a few lazy hours floating down either river.

But it’s not just Texas where you can do this bucket-list USA activity. Some other highly rated places to float the river in the United States are:

  • San Marcos River, Texas
  • James River, Virginia
  • Shenandoah River, West Virginia
  • Cahaba River, Alabama
  • Ginnie Springs, Florida
  • Snoqualmie River, Washington

6. Take a hot air balloon ride over the desert

A colourful hot air balloon with a cactus on it floats over the desert outside of Scottsdale, Arizona
The view from our hot air balloon ride in Scottsdale, Arizona

A hot air balloon ride is on many people’s bucket lists, and one of the best places to go hot air ballooning in the United States is Scottsdale, Arizona. It was where I had my first hot air balloon ride.

It’s an early start, but worth it. It’s rather spectacular to see the sun rise over the barren landscape, watching the shadows creep over the mountains and looking for wildlife scampering about far below.

Bonus: there’s a champagne breakfast at the end!

Other spots to go hot air ballooning include: 

  • Napa Valley, California
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Lake Tahoe, Nevada
  • Sedona, Arizona

READ NEXT: How to Spend a Long Weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona

7. Pose with Cadillacs in the desert

A woman in a red skirt and white singlet top sprays paint on an old Cadillac in the desert in Amarillo, Texas
Attempting to add my own graffiti to these old Cadillacs

Located on the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas, is a quirky art installation that features almost a dozen old Cadillacs half-buried nose-first in the dirt. The cars are thick with decades of graffiti.

Created in the mid-70s by artists who were part of an art group called the Ant Farm, you can now add your own mark to the cars. Use one of the spray cans that litter the ground around the cars or bring your own.  

Amarillo was the most important town along the Texas section of historic Route 66. While Route 66 no longer exists (it was decommissioned in 1985), you can still see remnants including several Route 66 signs that dot the 1-mile stretch of 6th Avenue between George and Western streets.

READ NEXT: 6 Reasons to Visit Amarillo, Texas: The Most Fun Things To Do

8. Road trip an underrated state

A woman in blue jeans and a blue shirt stands in front of one of the antebellum homes in Natchez, MS. Her back is to the camera
Natchez is home to more than 600 well-preserved antebellum homes and churches

I love a good road trip – and I love exploring places that aren’t usually high on the tourist radar. If you’re the same, then take a look at Mississippi, one of the most underrated states for a road trip.

My recommended Mississippi road trip has you starting in blues country for some immersion in the soulful music that defines this part of the country. Tunica, Clarksdale and Cleveland all have homages to this great music form.

Next up is Vicksburg, a key location during the American Civil War. Bring history to life with a self-guided driving tour of the key sites.

Then it’s on to Natchez, which sits pretty on the mighty Mississippi River. It’s home to grand old houses but also a horrific slave-trading history. Take a cruise on the Mississippi River on a paddlewheel boat.

The trip ends in Jackson, home to two fantastic museums that recognise civil rights struggles and the state’s origins.

READ NEXT: Mississippi Road Trip: 7 Fascinating Places to Visit in the Magnolia State

9. Sip on wine

A woman in red (the author) and a man in grey t-shirt stand in front of a red and white Combi in front of vineyards in Sonoma, California
My husband and I on a wine tour in Sonoma, California

If you’re a wine lover, then the USA has many gorgeous wine regions to explore. The USA is the fourth-highest producer of wine in the world.

California is the wine capital of the USA, and one of the best and most famous wine regions in the United States is unquestionably Napa Valley. It produces some truly world-class wines. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Napa Valley is Castello di Amorosa, a castle that was built using medieval methods and materials. Here, you can take a guided tour of the castle and its underground tunnels before tasting some award-winning wines.

Nearby Sonoma is another must-visit destination. Known for its picturesque vineyards and award-winning wineries, this region produces some of the best wines in the country. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Noir, you can find a variety of wines to suit your tastebuds. It’s worth spending a few days in Sonoma if you’re visiting nearby San Francisco.

A surprising wine state is Texas. This state has a growing wine industry, with over 500 wineries across the state. The Texas Hill Country, in particular, is a popular destination for wine tasting. With its warm climate and nutrient-rich soil, this area produces some fantastic wines, including Tempranillo and Viognier.

Finally, one of my favourite wine regions is the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This region is known for producing some of the finest Pinot Noirs in the world. You can visit more than 700 wineries in the valley, each with its unique charm and wine-making techniques.

READ NEXT: How to Plan a Weekend in San Francisco and Sedona

10. Gaze at the Grand Canyon

A man in black stands on the edge of the Grand Canyon looking over the national park
My husband looking over the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world and a must-visit for any USA bucket list.

Hiking through the Grand Canyon is the best way to experience its beauty and grandeur. There are several hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty, ranging from easy to strenuous.

If you’re an experienced hiker, then the Rim-to-Rim hike is a bucket list-worthy experience. This hike takes you from one side of the canyon to the other, offering stunning views at every turn. I’ve done half this trail and would love to come back and complete the whole hike.

Another must-do activity at the Grand Canyon is visiting Havasu Falls. Located in a remote area of the canyon, this set of waterfalls cascades into turquoise pools, making for some of the most stunning scenery you’ll see in your lifetime.

The hike is challenging, but the reward is worth it – taking a refreshing dip in the cool waters at the base of the falls. Permits are required to visit Havasu and are offered on a ballot system, so plan well in advance. There’s a 3-night minimum stay.

Not into hiking? Go on a guided tour in a Pink Jeep, or for a unique and unforgettable experience take a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon.

READ NEXT: Everything you need to know about visiting the Grand Canyon

11. Spot volcanoes in Hawai’i

Lava flows into the ocean

Think Hawai’i and I’m sure the word “paradise” comes to mind.

With its pristine beaches, clear waters and lush green mountains, this is one of the world’s most-visited islands.

One of the most popular activities in Hawai’i is visiting its active volcanoes. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is the best place to witness the fiery lava flows up close. You can also take a helicopter tour to get a bird’s eye view of the volcanic activity.

Apart from the volcanoes, Hawai’i is also known for its beautiful beaches. With crystal-clear waters and powdery white sands, Hawaii’s beaches are perfect for swimming, diving, and snorkelling. Some of the best beaches in Hawai’i include Waikiki Beach, Kaanapali Beach and Lanikai Beach.

12. Celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Two shirtless men dancing on what appears to be a float during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana

Mardi Gras, the annual carnival celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a party unlike any other.

The already lively city comes alive during Mardi Gras, with colourful parades, live music, delicious food and lots of drinking. Millions of people from across the world pour into the city to celebrate.

The festivities usually begin in January and culminate on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

You can join one of the many parades, catch some beads and indulge in some king cake, a traditional Mardi Gras dessert.

If you’re a foodie, try some classic Cajun and Creole cuisine such as gumbo, jambalaya and crawfish étouffée. Take a food tour in New Orleans to get an insight into the food culture.

While I’ve been to New Orleans, I’ve never been able to time a visit with Mardi Gras – something I need to change!

READ NEXT: Plan the Ultimate Deep South Road Trip Itinerary

13. Road trip the Pacific Coast Highway

A small waterfall called McWay Falls, flows into the ocean along the Pacific Coast Highway
Looking down at McWay Falls along the Pacific Coast Highway

One of the most scenic road trips in the United States is driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs along the west coast from San Francisco to San Diego. The route takes you past stunning beaches, rugged cliffs and charming coastal towns.

We did this drive on our USA road trip. One of the most iconic stops along the route is Bixby Bridge, which spans a deep canyon and offers breathtaking views of the coastline.

The world-famous Hearst Castle, a stunning mansion built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, is a beautiful stop. I was flabbergasted by this castle and the family’s wealth.

Other highlights of the trip include Big Sur, Mendocino and Santa Barbara.

Rent a car and wind your way down this famous coastal highway.

14. See Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend in Arizona is a large rock that has been carved by the Colorado River, which sits far below and is green.
Our view over Horseshoe Bend

One of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States is Horseshoe Bend, a U-shaped curve in the Colorado River that offers stunning views from above.

Located just outside of Page, Arizona, Horseshoe Bend is a popular stop for tourists and photographers alike. To get to the overlook, you’ll need to take a short walk from the parking lot, but the views at the end are well worth the effort.

Standing on the edge of the cliff and looking down at the emerald-green waters of the Colorado River is a truly awe-inspiring experience.

If you’re feeling brave, you can even venture closer to the edge to get a better vantage point – just be careful, as there are no guardrails. I’m afraid of heights and was terrified here! But the fleeting fear was worth the views.

Close by is another stunning spot: Antelope Canyon. This series of slot canyons is known for its distinctive swirling rock formations and incredible light beams.

Take a tour through these natural wonders and witness the stunning beauty of one of the most unique places to visit in the US.

15. Take a USA road trip

Route 66 written in white paint on a road

The United States is made for road trips, and there are countless routes to explore. Rent a car and hit the road.

One of the most iconic is Route 66, which runs from Chicago to Santa Monica and passes through eight states along the way. The route has been immortalised in movies and songs, and it’s a must-do for anyone looking for a classic American road trip experience. Along the way, you’ll see classic diners, quirky roadside attractions and stunning desert landscapes.

Another great USA road trip route is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to North Carolina. The parkway is known for its stunning vistas, winding roads, and charming mountain towns. It’s particularly stunning during fall when the leaves change colour.

Yet another spectacular road trip is the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana. This scenic mountain road is the main thoroughfare through Glacier National Park and has breathtaking views of the park’s stunning mountain scenery. Spanning 50 miles, the road takes you through the heart of the park, passing waterfalls, cliffside vistas and sweeping panoramas.

An extension of the Pacific Coast Highway I talked about earlier, Route 101 follows the Pacific Ocean coastline through California, Oregon and Washington. I recommend doing the route north to south so you have the ocean on your right-hand side.

16. Visit the national parks of the USA

Looking down in to Bryce Canyon National Park shows orange hoodoos pointing up
Looking down at the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park

The United States is home to some of the world’s most stunning national parks, and no USA bucket list would be complete without visiting at least a few of them.

There are 63 national parks in total – I challenge you to visit them all! I’ve visited 16 so I clearly have a long way to go.

Joshua Tree National Park is located in southern California and is known for its unique desert landscapes and rock formations. It’s a great place to go hiking, rock climbing or stargazing. It’s so peaceful out here – and only a few hours from Los Angeles.

Yosemite National Park in California is famous for its towering granite cliffs, waterfalls and giant sequoia trees. Rock climbing is a popular activity here, as well as hiking and camping.

Yellowstone National Park is spread across the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and is famous for its geothermal features like Old Faithful and the hot springs. These geysers and pools are just some of the amazing sights to see in this national park. I was lucky enough to see a mama bear and her cubs here, which was incredible.

Grand Teton National Park is located in Wyoming and is known for its majestic mountain vistas and abundance of wildlife. Wolves, grizzly bears and elk are just some of the animals you might spot here.

My absolute all-time favourite USA national park, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is famous for its unique red rock spires called “hoodoos.” Take a scenic drive or hike along the canyon rim to see these fascinating formations.

READ NEXT: How to Visit all 5 Utah National Parks in a Week

17. Play at Walt Disney World

Fireworks at night at Walt Disney World in Florida

Florida’s Walt Disney World is undeniably a must-visit destination for your USA bucket list.

This iconic resort is a magical escape for both the young and the young at heart.

There are four different theme parks – the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom – each with unique attractions and reasons to visit.

The Magic Kingdom, home to Cinderella’s castle, takes visitors on a nostalgic journey through fairy tales and Disney classics. At Epcot you can glimpse into the future and take a trip around the world in one day.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a tribute to the Golden Age of movies, while Disney’s Animal Kingdom combines a wildlife park with the magic of Disney storytelling.

I still have this on my own bucket list – and I’ll get there one day, no matter how old I am!

18. Wander around San Francisco

One of the most beautiful murals in San Francisco is this one on the side of the Women's Building in the Mission District
The beautiful artworks in Mission District in San Francisco

Spend a weekend in San Francisco, one of the coolest cities in the United States, known for its hilly streets, colourful houses (made extra famous by the TV show “Full House”) and stunning waterfront.

You can’t miss the Golden Gate Bridge – literally, it’s enormous and orange-red. Take a walk across the bridge for incredible views of the bay and the city skyline. The bridge is over 2 miles long and takes about 30-45 minutes to walk across, depending on your pace.

Another popular attraction in San Francisco is Pier 39, a bustling tourist area that’s home to shops, restaurants and sea lions that lounge on the docks and bark at each other.

Away from the touristy areas, I love the Mission District, a colourful neighbourhood known for its vibrant street art and delicious Mexican food. Visit the Clarion Alley Mural Project to see some of the most unique and beautiful murals in the city.

And don’t forget to ride one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars – a classic mode of transportation that makes walking up those hilly streets much easier. Or take a tour of the city in a colourful VW!

READ NEXT: A 2-Day San Francisco Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

19. Visit New York City

A view of Manhattan from a Brooklyn window
Looking over to Manhattan from our friends’ Brooklyn apartment

One of the most iconic cities in the world, of course New York City is on this USA travel bucket list. The city’s iconic skyline and bright lights attract millions of people every year.

While touristy, you can’t avoid visiting Times Square, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The bright lights, billboards and buzzing energy of this bustling intersection draw people from all walks of life.

Visit the Statue of Liberty, a beacon of hope and freedom that has become an iconic symbol of the United States. You can take a ferry to Liberty Island and see Lady Liberty up close, or get a great view from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan.

Central Park is a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. This iconic park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with plenty of walking and biking paths, picnic spots, lakes and even a zoo.

Another must-do in New York City is taking a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. There are great views of the city skyline and the East River. The High Line is another must-visit spot in NYC, an elevated park built on a former railway line with lovely green spaces. I love hanging out here on a sunny day.

For a true New York experience, take a stroll through the diverse neighbourhoods of Brooklyn or Queens to discover authentic cuisine, street art and culture.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to New York without trying some of the world-famous pizza and bagels. Be sure to visit iconic spots like Lombardi’s for delicious pizza and Ess-a-Bagel for mouth-watering bagels. Try a Reuben – a classic sandwich made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread – at Katz Deli, an iconic Jewish deli.

20. Tour the White House

The White House illuminated at night

The official residence and workplace of the President of the United States, the White House is a must-visit for anyone interested in American history and politics.

Guided tours are available, allowing a peek inside the various rooms and spaces in the White House, including the Oval Office and the East Room.

Tours are free of charge and must be requested in advance through your Member of Congress or embassy.

21. Go celebrity-spotting in Los Angeles

A view of the front of the Griffith Observatory, a low white building with domed roofs in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and, like New York, one of those American cities that continually draws visitors. Classic tourist activities are celeb spotting on the Walk of Fame or taking a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard. Take a full-day tour to see the sights.

Around the city, you might bump into a few celebs. I’ve managed to see Jessica Alba, Zack Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr. on my few visits to LA, all at regular places like restaurants or shopping malls or hiking Runyon Canyon.

From the Griffith Observatory, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and catch a glimpse of the iconic Hollywood Sign.

For something fun, spend the day at Universal Studios, where you can go behind the scenes of some of your favourite movies and TV shows. I did this on my last trip to LA and felt like such a big kid!

Venice Beach is another great place to visit in Los Angeles. This beachfront neighbourhood is always buzzing with street performers, artists and some of the best people-watching in the city.

22. Have a White Christmas

For many people, having a white Christmas is a lifelong dream. As an Aussie, it’s something I didn’t grow up with and always dreamed of.

I thought my dream would finally come true when we moved to the United States. However, living in Texas, we didn’t really get much snow!

If having a white Christmas in the USA is on your bucket list, some places offer more reliable snowfall.

Colorado, for instance, is a highly sought-after destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Towns like Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen have a wide range of winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Another fantastic destination for a white Christmas is Lake Tahoe. This alpine lake sits on the border of California and Nevada, offering some of the finest skiing and snowboarding experiences in the United States. With over 300 days of sunshine per year and an average snowfall of 30 feet, the winter sports season lasts from November to May.

READ NEXT: How to spend 3 days in Denver in winter

23. Cruise around Alaska

A bear and her two cubs stand on a patch of land by the water in Alaska

Cruising around Alaska is another epic bucket list item that shouldn’t be missed. I’m not really into cruising, but I think this would be a spectacular way to see this state.

The state’s rugged coastline, incredible glaciers and abundant marine wildlife make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

You can choose from various cruise ships and itineraries, ranging from luxury liners to adventure cruises. Some popular ports of call include Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Sitka.

Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to go whale watching, fishing, kayaking, hiking and even dog sledding.

One of the highlights of visiting Alaska is timing your trip with the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis. This natural phenomenon can be seen from September to March/April and is a breathtaking display of colourful lights dancing in the night sky.

24. Sip along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Bourbon barrels in a dark cellar

If you’re a fan of whiskey, then the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a must-add to your USA bucket list.

Kentucky has been producing bourbon for over 200 years, and the trail will take you to some of the most famous distilleries in the state, such as Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Woodford Reserve.

You’ll learn about the history and process of bourbon making and taste some of the finest whiskies in the world.

The trail can be completed in about a week if you visit all distilleries.

25. Have fun at the Texas State Fair

A giant ferris wheel is silhoutted against a cloudless blue sky, with TEXAS written in the middle of the wheel

The Texas State Fair is one of the largest and most famous fairs in the USA and is held annually in Dallas. Lasting for 24 days, there are concerts, carnival rides and livestock shows.

I went a couple of times when we lived in Dallas. My favourite thing about the fair?

The fried foods.

If it can be fried, you can bet someone has tried it and sold it at the Texas State Fair. Some of the past creations include fried peaches and cream, deep-fried pho and deep-fried cheesy crab tater bites.

There’s even been fried beer!

Every year the Big Tex Choice Awards crowns the most creative food.

Other famous fairs in the USA are the Iowa State Fair, which is the oldest and largest state fair, the Minnesota State Fair, which is known for its butter sculptures, and the New York State Fair, which attracts over a million visitors each year.

26. Live it up at a famous festival

Four people with their backs to the camera walk into a dusty Burning Man Festival

Festivals are another great way to experience the USA.

Burning Man is known for its art installations, communal living and the “burning” of a large wooden effigy. It’s held every year in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada and attracts people from all over the world.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held in California, is a major event on the music festival circuit. While you may know it for the Instagram outfits, it attracts some of the biggest names in music, with Beyoncé, Daft Punk and Prince headlining the festival over the years.

Lollapalooza, a massive four-day music festival held in Chicago, is another popular festival that draws thousands of attendees each year.

Other famous USA festivals include South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

27. See Mount Rushmore

Four heads carved into Mount Rushmore

No USA bucket list is complete without a visit to Mount Rushmore, the iconic sculpture in South Dakota that features the faces of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

The first time I saw Mount Rushmore on TV I thought it was computer-generated – I had no idea it was a real place!

Each head is around 60 feet high. The sculpture was completed in 1941 and attracts millions of visitors every year.

You can take a guided tour, hike the trails, or attend the evening lighting ceremony in the amphitheatre.

28. Try all the food

An overhead view of a plate of barbecue with bread, meat, potato salad and mac and cheese
About to dig into some delicious barbecue in Memphis, Tennessee

I know this is far down the list, but I can guarantee that it’s one of the highest on my list of priorities: trying ALL the food.

From BBQ to Tex-Mex to clam chowder, there’s something to eat for everyone. Each state in the USA has a dish it’s famous for.

Some of my favourites are Southern classics such as shrimp and grits, fried chicken and biscuits and gravy.

Living in Texas, I ate a lot of Tex-Mex, and I still crave it constantly, along with Texan barbecue.

Chicago is a USA bucket list destination and top of your list should be trying the famous deep-dish pizza. It’s a thick pizza layered with toppings – but the cheese usually goes on first and the sauce later, which is completely the opposite of what I’m used to! The pizzas are huge, so grab just a slide or share a whole one with friends.

If you’re in Philadelphia, be sure to try the famous Philly cheesesteak, while in Boston you need to try clam chowder and lobster.

29. Visit Elvis Presley’s home

Graceland was Elvis Presley’s home for over 20 years. Open to the public for tours, it’s the second most-visited house in the USA, after the White House.

Located in Memphis, Tennessee, this iconic home gives visitors a glimpse into the life of one of music’s most beloved legends. It’s one of the most fascinating museums in Memphis.

You can take a self-guided audio tour through the mansion, which includes Elvis’ living room, dining room, kitchen, TV room and the Jungle Room (my favourite!). The house seems huge from the outside but feels surprisingly small inside.

You can also visit his grave site, where he is buried alongside family members.

In addition to the mansion, there are multiple exhibits and museums on the property, including a car museum showcasing some of Elvis’ favourite vehicles and a section dedicated to his famous fashion choices.

READ NEXT: 11 Fascinating Museums to Visit in Memphis

30. Go to a sporting match

An NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas
Watching the Dallas Mavericks – my husband got to high-five Dirk at this game!

Another great way to experience the USA is by getting into sports.

Whether it’s football, basketball or baseball, watching a match live is an exciting experience. From the NBA finals to the Super Bowl to the World Series, there’s always a big game happening somewhere in the USA.

I’ve been to the basketball plenty of times and the atmosphere is incredible. There’s always live music, prizes, cheerleaders – it’s a lot of fun.

31. Be amazed at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival

Dozens of colourful hot air balloons in a cloudless blue sky

Held annually in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta attracts hundreds of hot air balloons from around the world.

The skies come alive with colourful balloons of all shapes and sizes, creating a stunning visual display.

There are also musical performances, food vendors and other activities to keep visitors entertained.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to ride in a hot air balloon yourself and see the festival from above.

The festival was first held in 1972 and has grown into the largest balloon festival in the world, attracting more than a million visitors each year.

32. See some of the gorgeous cities in the South

A red and white sign that says Savannah on a white building, framed by green branches.
Beautiful Savannah, one of my favourite cities in the Deep South

From the historic architecture of Charleston, South Carolina, to the Spanish moss-lined squares of Savannah, Georgia, to the jazz-filled streets of New Orleans, there’s a lot to love about the South.

Each city has its own unique flavour, but they all share a rich history, hospitable locals and delicious cuisine.

In Charleston, stroll down cobblestone streets to explore historic buildings and savour the unique Lowcountry cuisine.

In Savannah, the streets are adorned with Spanish moss and the antebellum architecture is filled with history.

Natchez, Mississippi, sits right on the Mississippi River and offers a glimpse into the antebellum south with its preserved mansions. Take a detour along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway.

READ NEXT: Plan a Deep South Road Trip Itinerary

33. Visit the memorials in Washington DC

A view of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC

No USA bucket list is complete without a visit to the memorials in Washington, DC.

The nation’s capital is home to some of the most iconic monuments and memorials that honour America’s history and leaders.

From the Lincoln Memorial with its stunning views of the National Mall to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which pays tribute to the civil rights leader, there’s a lot to see and learn about.

Other must-visit memorials include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. Visiting these historic sites is a humbling and moving experience that will leave a lasting impression.

34. Go leaf-peeping

Leaf-peeping is one of the USA bucket list activities

Leaf-peeping is a popular activity during the autumn months in the United States.

As the leaves change colour, Americans take to the roads and hiking trails to witness nature’s stunning transformation as the leaves go from green to red, yellow and orange.

New England is one of the best places to go leaf-peeping, with its maple trees and picturesque landscapes.

But you can also find great spots for leaf-peeping in other regions, such as along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This scenic drive spans 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, with views of the stunning forests, mountains and valleys. I’ve driven just a short part of this road and it’s stunning year-round.

Other great spots for leaf-peeping in the USA include the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, Acadia National Park in Maine and the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

35. Check out country music in Nashville

A woman in a black dress smiles at the camera while standing in front of a red, white and blue street art piece that says I believe in Nashville)
Posing in front of Nashville’s famous street art

If you’re a fan of country music, Nashville should be on top of your list.

Even if you’re not a country music-lover, Nashville is a cool city to visit.

The music-loving city is home to the iconic Grand Ole Opry, where you can enjoy a live show featuring some of the biggest names in country music. The Opry has been entertaining audiences since 1925, and has become a must-visit destination for music lovers.

Beyond the Opry, you can visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, stroll along lively Broadway to sample some local cuisine, and visit the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Nashville is also known for its vibrant nightlife and lively bar scene, so stick around and dance the night away!

READ NEXT: Planning a Trip to Nashville: An Insider’s Guide to the City

36. Remember the Alamo

The Alamo is one of the most popular places to visit in Texas
The Alamo at sunset

Immerse yourself in Texas history at the Alamo, a fortress with a story that dates back to 1718.

Today, it stands as a living museum and a solemn shrine paying tribute to the brave heroes who made their last stand in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 – a pivotal moment in the Lone Star State’s fight for independence from Mexico.

While in San Antonio, don’t forget to meander along the lovely River Walk, a winding network of picturesque walkways following the San Antonio River. During the day, it’s great for a stroll, but it’s at night when the River Walk truly comes alive, as the walkways illuminate with a kaleidoscope of colours and the riverside restaurants bustle with diners.

37. Catch a fish at Pike Place Market

A red neon sign says Public Market Center at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington
Taking a tour of Pike Place Market

Seattle’s Pike Place Market is a wildly popular tourist destination. It’s famous for the fishmongers who throw fish over the counter to entertain customers throughout the year.

Pike Place Market is also home to a vast selection of fresh produce, handicrafts and artisanal products – residents shop here, it’s not just for tourists.

Be sure to visit the Gum Wall and add your unique contribution to this quirky and colourful (but sort of gross) Seattle attraction.

Other things to do in Seattle include visiting the Space Needle, exploring the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit and taking a stroll through the beautiful Discovery Park.

MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture, is a fascinating walk through musical history and genres. Seattle was the birthplace of grunge music, and the museum showcases this and other popular music movements.

There’s also an abundance of coffee shops to choose from – Seattle is of course the birthplace of Starbucks.

38. See some of the world’s oldest trees

A man and woman (the author) stretch their arms around a large redwood tree in California
My husband and I showing just how big these trees are!

Ready to experience some of the world’s oldest trees? Head to Redwood National Park in California, where you can marvel at the giant trees towering over 300 feet high.

The park offers hiking trails, scenic drives and ranger-led talks, which provide insight into the ecological importance of these magnificent trees.

Some of the park’s most popular trails include Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail, Fern Canyon Trail and Tall Trees Grove Trail.

39. Learn about Native American culture in Taos

The low adobe buildings of Taos Pueblo backdropped by tree-covered mountains in New Mexico
About to embark on a tour of Taos Pueblo – but easily distracted by the beautiful scenery

Taos is one of the cutest towns in New Mexico, and it’s also a great place to learn about Native American culture.

On the outskirts of Taos is Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO world heritage site that’s the oldest continuously inhabited community in the USA with a history dating back over 1,000 years.

Visitors can walk through the pueblo, learn about the traditions and customs of the Taos people, and even shop for handmade crafts and jewellery. I bought a beautiful silver bracelet carved with totems here.

You need to join a tour to visit the pueblo. Tours are led by a resident who can tell you all about the traditions and customs that residents are continuing.

Taos is a great place to spend a few days in, with plenty to do. The sunset views over Taos Gorge are stunning and there are hot springs to soak in. The Taos Earthship is another spot we found really interesting. This sustainable community is made from recycled materials and focused on off-grid living.

READ NEXT: An Awesome New Mexico Road Trip Itinerary

40. See live music at Luckenbach, Texas

Five musicians strum guitars during a jam session at Luckenbach, Texas
Seeing these musicians start up an impromptu jam session felt intimate and special

Fans of music and history will love to visit Lukenbach, Texas.

The small unincorporated community, which is famous for its dance hall and old-time feel, has hosted some of the biggest names in country music.

Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash are just a few of the legends who have graced the stage and left their mark on Lukenbach. Songs have even been written about the place.

The town also has a post office, general store and a few other small businesses, and it’s an easy trip from nearby Fredericksburg.

READ NEXT: Fun Things to Do in Fredericksburg, Texas

41. Get spooked on a ghost tour in Savannah

A graveyard in Savannah, Georgia, has grey tombs surrounded by green grass and trees
Checking out graveyards – macabre but fascinating

Looking for a spooky adventure? Take a ghost tour in Savannah, Georgia, one of the most haunted cities in the USA.

The historic district of Savannah is home to several landmarks and buildings with eerie histories. From the Mercer-Williams House Museum to the Sorrel Weed House, each location has its own chilling story and ghostly presence. Add in the ghostly Spanish moss draping the trees and huge buildings, and you’ve got a recipe for a spooky night.

During the ghost tour in Savannah that I did, I swear I saw a figure in a window…

Ghost tours are perfect for those who love a good scare and are looking for a unique way to explore Savannah’s history.

42. Go tailgating

Two women and four men smile and pose at the camera, all are wearing LSU t-shirts at a tailgating party
My friends and I tailgating in Baton Route, Louisiana

Tailgating is a quintessential American pastime, and if you’re attending a sports game or concert in the US, it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Tailgating involves gathering with friends in the parking lot of a stadium before an event and enjoying food and drinks from the back of your car.

It’s a fun way to socialise, show support for your team and get pumped up before the main event.

I went tailgating in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ahead of a college football game and it was beyond anything I had expected. Thousands of people were enjoying the pre-game activities – some even had full TVs set up in tents. There were drinking games and everyone was in such high spirits.

43. See a concert at Red Rocks

A view from the top of the Red Rocks Amphitheater shows tiered seating down to a stage, with red rocks surrounding the outdoor venue
Stunning Red Rocks Amphitheater

Red Rocks Amphitheater is an iconic outdoor concert venue located just 15 miles west of Denver, Colorado.

Set against the natural backdrop of towering red sandstone rock formations, this venue is hard to match. Not only is it one of the most unique venues in the country, but the acoustics are pretty much perfect with the surrounding rock formations creating an incredible sound quality.

While Red Rocks hosts concerts throughout the year, the summer months are the most popular for concerts, with big-name artists regularly playing to sell-out crowds.

But even if you’re not into the music scene, the amphitheatre is worth visiting just to take a tour or hike the nearby trails.

44. Go sandboarding in White Sands National Park

A man holding an orange sandboard stands on top of a sand dune at White Sands National Park in New Mexico
My husband about to tackle sandboarding at White Sands National Park

While White Sands National Park may be lesser-known than some of the other national parks in the United States, it’s still a bucket-list-worthy destination.

Located in the heart of New Mexico, the park’s rolling white sand dunes create an otherworldly landscape that’s hard to find anywhere else.

But what makes White Sands truly unique is the sandboarding. Grab a board and some wax from the national park visitor centre and make your way to the dunes for an exhilarating ride down the soft, powdery sand.

Afterwards, cook a barbecue or have a picnic at the base of the dunes. There are shaded picnic areas.

Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen – the sun can be brutal in the desert.

READ NEXT: New Mexico Road Trip Itinerary: Discover the Land of Enchantment

45. Photograph the cherry blossoms in DC

Cherry blossoms frame an image of Washington DC, with a blurred building in the background

Washington DC is famous for its annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place every spring when the cherry blossom trees lining the National Mall and Tidal Basin burst into a sea of pink and white blossoms. This stunning display of nature attracts visitors from all over the world.

The best time to see the cherry blossoms is usually in early April, although the exact timing changes each year.

46. See bears and wolves at Yellowstone

A bear and her two cubs in the grass alongside a road in Yellowstone National Park, a USA bucket list destination
The mama bear and her two cubs we saw at Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most iconic national parks in the United States, known for its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife.

One of the highlights of any trip to Yellowstone is the opportunity to see bears and wolves in their natural habitat.

Yellowstone is home to both black bears and grizzly bears, as well as gray wolves. We were lucky enough to see a bear and her two cubs wandering along the side of the road, which was incredible.

While spotting these animals is not guaranteed, there are a couple of ways to increase your chances. One option is to take a guided wildlife tour with a park ranger or experienced naturalist who can help you identify and track the animals. Another option is to visit in the spring or fall when the animals are more active and visible.

47. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

The Chicago River in Chicago dyed green for St Patricks Day celebrations

Although an Irish celebration, St. Patrick’s Day is a beloved holiday in the United States, celebrated in cities and towns across the country. And it’s easy to join in!

Chicago is famous for its St. Patrick’s Day parade, which features a river dyed green to match the holiday’s signature colour. You can also attend the city’s Irish festival, complete with traditional music, dancing and food.

Another top destination is Dallas, which hosts a massive block party that draws tens of thousands of revellers each year. I’ve been to the party many years and it’s fun to see everyone passing by in costumes and in high spirits.

Charleston and Savannah are also popular spots, with fountains that are dyed green to mark the occasion.

48. Take an architecture tour in Chicago

Boats and kayaks sail down the Chicago River, surrounded by skyscrapers. A bridge further down is open.
Views over the Chicago River

Chicago is home to some of the most iconic architecture in the United States, with a skyline filled with towering skyscrapers, historic landmarks and innovative designs.

Some of the must-see buildings include the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the John Hancock Center and the Tribune Tower.

If you’re a fan of architecture, a guided river cruise tour along the Chicago River is the best way to experience the city’s buildings and learn about their history and significance.

READ NEXT: 48 Hours in Chicago: The Best Things to Do

49. Check out a filming location

The rocks at Cannon Beach in Astoria, Oregon, which are well-known from The Goonies movie
Having a look at Cannon Beach in Astoria, Oregon, where The Goonies was filmed

If you’re a movie buff, you’ll love adding locations where famous movies were filmed to your USA bucket list.

One of the most iconic movie locations is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. This bridge has been featured in many movies, including Vertigo and X-Men: The Last Stand.

Another popular spot is New York City. As the country’s largest city, it’s no surprise that it’s been the backdrop for countless movies, from romantic comedies like Sleepless in Seattle to action-packed thrillers like Die Hard with a Vengeance. Some of the famous filming sites in NYC are Central Park, Times Square and the Empire State Building.

For a more quirky location, head to Astoria, Oregon, where The Goonies was filmed. Pass by the house (it’s not open to the public) and see the iconic rocks on Cannon Beach.

If you’re a fan of Western movies, be sure to visit Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona, which has been featured in classic Western films.

50. Try your luck in Vegas

The Strip in New York has a mini New York with a replica Statue of Liberty and skyscrapers
The weird and wonderful Strip in Las Vegas

You either love it or you hate it. Whichever way you lean, Las Vegas is a fascinating place to visit in the USA. It’s a city like no other and a bucket list USA destination.

The heart of Las Vegas is the renowned Strip, a roughly 4-mile stretch that glows with neon lights and is home to some of the world’s most famous casinos and hotels like the Bellagio, MGM Grand and The Venetian.

Walking the strip, you’ll see the city’s energy in full swing as well as famous landmarks like the dancing Bellagio fountains and the replica Eiffel Tower.

When you’re not hitting the casino floor, check out one of the many shows around town. There are magic shows, comedy shows and Cirque du Soleil performances. Famous artists also regularly set up residencies here, with Lady Gaga, Adele and Carrie Underwood gracing the stages.

The new Sphere at The Venetian has also set a new standard in entertainment, with its spherical wonder lighting up the city.

51. BONUS: Visit every USA state

For the ultimate USA bucket list item, why not aim to visit every single state in the country?

With 50 states in total, this is no small feat, but it’s a worthwhile goal for any intrepid traveller. You’ll experience each state’s unique attractions, food and culture.

To make the most of your state-by-state journey, set aside ample time for each destination and plan in advance to make the most of your trip.

You can also consider setting specific goals for each state, such as trying the local cuisine, visiting a certain attraction or doing a particular hike. This article should have provided a lot of inspiration!

Whether you finish the challenge in a few years or a few decades, visiting every US state is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will create memories to last a lifetime.

Bucket list USA hotels

  1. The Plaza, New York City: This iconic hotel, located in the heart of Manhattan, has been a symbol of elegance since its opening in 1907. Enjoy the luxury suites, fine dining and proximity to Central Park.
  2. Bellagio, Las Vegas: Famous for its dancing fountains, this luxury hotel and casino is a staple of the Las Vegas Strip. It offers high-end dining, nightlife, a spa and a world-renowned art gallery. I LOVE the buffet here!
  3. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs: Nestled against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, The Broadmoor offers a blend of historical charm and modern luxury, including a world-class spa, golf courses, and fine dining.
  4. Hotel del Coronado, San Diego: This historic beachfront hotel boasts Victorian architecture, ocean views and a private beach. It has attracted celebrities and royalty since its opening in 1888.
  5. The Biltmore Estate, Asheville: Located on the largest privately owned house in America, this luxurious hotel offers stunning views, a winery, and a variety of recreational activities.
  6. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans: Situated in the French Quarter, this hotel offers a true taste of New Orleans with its jazz club, Creole restaurant and Southern hospitality.
  7. Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah: This remote and luxurious resort is surrounded by the raw beauty of the Utah desert. It offers a spa, fine dining, and easy access to national parks.
  8. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii: This tropical paradise offers beachfront rooms, a golf course, a spa and a unique opportunity to swim in a natural, ocean-fed pool.
  9. The Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California: Offering breathtaking ocean and mountain views, this luxury resort promises privacy, relaxation and plenty of outdoor activities.
  10. The Langham, Chicago: Situated in a skyscraper designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, this hotel offers a blend of luxury and architectural significance. It features a spa, fine dining and stunning views of the city and the Chicago River.

Tips for visiting the USA

  1. Check visa requirements: Depending on your nationality, you might need a visa to enter the USA. Research the entry requirements and plan accordingly. iVisa can help.
  2. Travel insurance: Don’t travel to the US without travel insurance. Healthcare in the USA is expensive and you don’t want to be caught out. Get a travel insurance quote now.
  3. Tipping: Tipping is customary in the USA. A 15-20% tip is usually expected in restaurants. In bars, it’s customary to leave a dollar or two per drink. It’s also expected to tip housekeeping staff in hotels.
  4. Public transport: Public transport varies greatly depending on the city. Some cities like New York have extensive subway systems, while others like Los Angeles are more car-centric. In some parts of the country, it makes sense to rent a car.
  5. Currency: The official currency is the US dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s also handy to have some cash on hand, especially small notes for tipping.
  6. Sales tax: Unlike many other countries, the USA adds sales tax at the point of sale, not on the price tag. I still forget this!
  7. Climate: The USA has a varied climate. Research the weather patterns in the areas you plan to visit and pack accordingly.
  8. Cell service: Consider checking your phone’s compatibility with US networks and possibly purchasing a SIM card upon arrival. An e-sim like a Nomad e-sim is an option.
  9. Outlet adapters: The USA uses Type A or B electrical outlets so you may need an adapter (I like this one).
  10. National Park Pass: If you plan to visit multiple National Parks, consider buying an annual pass to save money. Buy your pass here.
  11. You can turn right: In most states, it’s legal to make a right turn at a red light if there is no oncoming traffic. However, be sure to check for signs stating otherwise. (One of the best laws ever!)
  12. Car rental: If you plan on renting a car, ensure you have an international driver’s license – some states require them, some states don’t.

Wrap up: USA bucket list travel

Whether you’re drawn to the bustling streets of New York City, the breathtaking national parks or the laid-back beaches of California, the USA’s diverse landscapes and vibrant cities await your exploration.

There are so many places to add to a USA bucket list – I could easily have kept going!

USA bucket list travel: FAQs

How much time do I need to visit the USA?

The USA is enormous and incredibly diverse, so the amount of time you need is totally up to you. If you’re planning to visit a specific city, like New York or Los Angeles, a week is usually enough. For a road trip across several states or to visit a few national parks, you’ll need a month or even longer. It’s impossible to see everything in one trip, so focus on your top priorities and leave something for your next visit!

What’s the best time to visit the USA?

The USA is a vast country with diverse climates, so the best time to visit depends on your travel plans. The summer months are generally the busiest, especially at the national parks. If you’re visiting cities like New York or San Francisco, spring or fall usually have more comfortable weather.

Do I need a visa to travel to the USA?

Most travellers to the United States will need to obtain a visa or authorisation through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Check the U.S. Department of State or your country’s embassy or consulate for the latest, official information. iVisa can also provide advice.

Is travel insurance necessary for my trip to the USA?

It’s not a legal requirement to have travel insurance to visit the USA – but it’s always recommended. Travel insurance can cover unforeseen circumstances such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations and lost luggage. Get a free quote now.

What’s the best way to get around the USA?

The United States is huge, and the best method of travel often depends on the region you’re visiting and the type of experience you’re seeking. If you’re exploring urban areas like New York or San Francisco, public transport is an efficient and affordable option. For a more scenic, leisurely pace, consider renting a car for a road trip. For longer distances, flying is the quickest option, with numerous domestic airlines servicing cities across the country.

Did you find this article helpful? Consider buying me a coffee as a way to say thanks!

What’s on your USA bucket list?

Related posts

Before you go… you might like these other USA travel posts:


  • Book flights to and around the USA online with Skyscanner. I like this site because it shows me which dates are cheaper.
  • Find a great hotel in the USA. Check prices on Booking.com and Expedia online.
  • Check out the huge range of day tours throughout the USA on GetYourGuide or Viator. There’s something for everyone.
  • A copy of the Lonely Planet guide to the USA will be handy.
  • One thing I always purchase is travel insurance! Travel Insurance Master allows you to compare across multiple policy providers, while SafetyWing is great for long-term travellers and digital nomads.


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I'm a travel junkie who started dreaming about seeing the world from a very young age. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. A former expat, I've lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the United States. I share travel resources, tips and stories based on my personal experiences, and my goal is to make travel planning just that bit easier.

11 thoughts on “Epic USA Bucket List: 50 Things to Do in the United States”

  1. Hi Rebecca, Thanks so much for the awesome article. I truly wish I had read it before I traveled to the USA. We went on a cruise last year and stopped at Cozumel, New York, and other places, but I didn’t really plan well. I think I’ll have a much better and more organized trip next time. My wife and I still had a blast, though! I even swam with dolphins. hehe

  2. You should definitely add a visit to Kennedy Space Center in Merrit island if you are a bit interested in space or a sci-fi freak where you can visit the rocket gardens to catch the sights of Replicas of rockets and the beautiful space mirror memorial which is a shiny granite wall standing 4 storeyed high. Loved your blog and good luck for one of the most alluring journeys of your life.

  3. Thanks for such a lovely and informative articles shared with us. Really amazing post about traveling. Thanks Again.

  4. Wow, you guys really get around! Glad to hear you’ll be spending some time in my home country. And what a time to arrive! Hahaha.

    I hope you make it to Washington DC at some point while you’re there. Despite its current bad reputation due to our new Commander in Chief, it’s a fantastic city to visit. And I’d be happy to give you some tips 🙂

    • Hey! Yes we do – makes life interesting 🙂 I’ve been to DC once but only for a day so I will definitely ask for some tips! And yes, interesting times… Despite that, we can’t wait to explore the whole country!


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