Road Trip Series: Ultimate USA Bucket List Destinations

Road Trip Series: Ultimate USA Bucket List Destinations

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I’m excited to share with you my third and final article from my “road trip series,” the best USA bucket list destinations by state! I wanted to create a little road trip series on my blog because this might just be the best time to plan a road trip considering flying is sorta not an option at the moment. So, I’ve got the perfect resource for you! This guide highlights three bucket list road trip stops in every state! You will find it all in this article, from national parks and museums to photography spots and everything in-between. I have visited some of these places myself and others are on my bucket list. Make sure you check out my other two articles from the series, “how to plan a road trip step-by-step”, and “my favorite healthy road trip snacks!” Alright, let’s get into the article!

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links.


  • Autauga County Sunflower Field: Located at 3301 Hwy 14 West, Autaugaville, AL 36003
  • Dismals Canyon: Dismals Canyon is a sandstone gorge near Phil Campbell in Franklin County. It is located at 901 County Rd 8, Phil Campbell, AL 35581
  • Sloss Furnace: This is a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham. My friends and I visited and it was definitely an interesting experience! The place was massive, and we spent the afternoon exploring and taking photos. If you’re looking for something unique to see, this is it.
USA bucket list destinations


  • Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Northern Lights in Fairbanks: You can see the famous northern lights in Fairbanks, Alaska from August 21st to April 21st. The lights will be visible usually 4 out of 5 nights.
  • Katmai National Park and Preserve: See the bears here!


  • The Grand Canyon: Arizona is stunning and the Grand Canyon is unreal. It’s a MUST to add to your USA road trip destinations list. I visited the Grand Canyon on my road trip, you can find my itinerary here.
  • Antelope Canyon: We wanted to visit so bad, however, it was closed due to COVID-19. Hopefully, I’ll get to visit Antelope Canyon next time!
  • Sedona: A perfect little town. I highly recommend stopping here during your road trip and hiking the Devil’s Bridge, it’s absolutely beautiful.
USA bucket list destinations


  • Hot Springs
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of Art
  • Fayetteville: Fayetteville is beautiful, I went to visit a friend that goes to school in Arkansas and I was speechless. Enjoy all that this town has to offer including the cute coffee shops, to the hiking trails!


  • Joshua Tree: You can camp, hike, and climb here!
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway: Do it for the views!
USA bucket list destinations


  • Rocky Mountain National Park: Alright, Colorado is gorgeous no matter where you go, so you really can’t go wrong stopping anywhere. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Colorado’s four national parks. It’s something to check out if you find yourself in northern Colorado.
  • Estes Park: Some of the regions best rock climbing
  • Boulder: Fun college town with a cool vibe


  • Saville Dam: A unique road trip stop for some cool photos!
  • Gillette Castle State Park: Located at 67 River Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423
  • Stop for a Connecticut-style lobster roll: I promise there is no shortage of great food in Connecticut!


  • Dover International Speedway
  • Hagley Museum & Library
  • Rehoboth Beach


  • Everglades
  • Three Sisters Springs: This is a warm-water refuge for endangered Florida Manatees and the water is stunning.
  • Dry Tortugas: This is a national park located in the Gulf of Mexico in Key West, Florida. It’s made up of seven islands, this is a spot you have got to check out if you are spending some time in Florida!


  • Savanna: This has been on my USA bucket list for awhile! Savannah looks like an amazing city to visit.
  • Amicalola Falls
  • Cloundland Canyon State Park


  • Hawaii Volcanoes
  • Haleakala National Park: This is a dormant shield volcano with one of the largest volcano craters.
  • Waikiki Beach
USA bucket list destinations


  • Shoshone Falls
  • Sawtooth National Forest
  • Sawtooth Mountain Range


  • Get your city fix in Chicago: Enjoy some Chicago style pizza & snap photos in front of the bean!
  • Garden of the Gods: Located in Shawnee National Forest
  • Starved Rock


  • Funky Bones: Funky Bones is a public art piece that you might recognize from “The Fault In Our Stars.”
  • Indiana Dunes National Park
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway


  • Maquoketa Caves State Park
  • Ackerman Winery: Stop overnight and enjoy an evening at the winery!
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden


  • Monument Rocks National Landmark
  • Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
  • Wichita Art Museum


  • Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Kentucky Horse Park
  • Daniel Boone National Forest


  • New Orleans: Explore the French Quarter and eat beignets at Cafe Du Monde.
  • New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park
  • National World War II Museum


  • Cadillac Mountain
  •  Acadia National Park
  • Portland Head Lighthouse


  • Ocean City: Ocean City is famous for their boardwalk, check it out!
  • National Aquarium
  • Baltimore Museum of Art


  • Cape Cod: Visiting Cape Cod is a must to add to your USA bucket list destinations! Chill at the beautiful beaches and explore the laid back town.
  • Whale Watch at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
  • Martha’s Vineyard


  • The Henry Ford Museum
  • Mackinac Island
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


  • Mall of America
  • Minnehaha Falls
  • Voyageurs National Park


  • Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum
  • Windsor Ruins
  • Explore Oxford


  • The Gateway Arch
  • Forest Park
  • Lake of the Ozarks



  • Carhenge: You might find Carhenge familiar because it is a replica of England’s Stonehenge
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument
  • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium


  • Lake Tahoe
  • Seven Magic Mountains: You have probably seen these colorful rocks on Instagram. They are located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and make a unique photography spot.
  • Great Basin National Park

New Hampshire

New Jersey

  • Atlantic City & The Boardwalk
  • Old Victorian Cape May
  • Liberty State Park

New Mexico

  • White Sands National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Albuquerque Balloon Festival: The Festival takes place during October for one week.
USA bucket list destinations

New York

  • New York City: Check out my New York City guide here.
  • Coney Island
  • Niagara Falls

North Carolina

  • City tour of Charlotte
  • Biltmore: Biltmore Estate is a historic house museum and attraction located in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • The North Carolina Arboretum

North Dakota

  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • North Dakota Heritage Center
  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site


  • Cedar Point Amusement Park
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Hocking Hills State Park


  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
  • Oklahoma City Museum of Art
  • Lake Hefner


  • Crater Lake National Park: This is the only national park in Oregon and it was formed by a collapsed volcano! It’s also the deepest lake in America. A great USA bucket list destination for your road trip if you are driving through Oregon.
  • Thor’s Well: If you’re into photography, this stop is for you.
  • Astoria-Megler Bridge: Drive across the longest continuous truss bridge in America! This bridge connects Oregon to Washington.


  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Longwood Gardens
  • Reading Terminal Market

Rhode Island

  • Block Island: When I lived in New York, Block Island was somewhere I wanted to visit. However, I never got the chance to go so I guess I’ll just have to go back!
  • Mohegan Bluffs
  • The Breakers

South Carolina

  • Historic Charleston City Market
  • Charleston
  • Congaree National Park

South Dakota

  • Badlands National Park
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Custer State Park
USA bucket list destinations


  • Great Smoky Mountains
  • Explore Nashville
  • The Titanic Museum


  • Big Bend
  • Marfa: I stopped in Marfa during my Route 66 road trip and I have to say this little town is amazing! I wish we had more time to explore but we got the chance to visit the Prada, grab some lunch, coffee, and drive around town. Marfa has got to be on your USA bucket list destinations itinerary!
  • Cadillac Ranch
  • Magnolia Silos: Alright, I’m from Texas so I had to add another. Visit the Magnolia Silos in Waco, it’s a fun spot to hang out at for the afternoon!
USA bucket list destinations


  • Monument Valley
  • Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon


  • Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour
  • Smugglers’ Notch Resort
  • Green Mountain National Forest


  • Virginia Beach
  • Chincoteague Island
  • Shenandoah National Park


  • Mount Rainer National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Space Needle

West Virginia

  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • The Greenbrier: Spend some time at this hotel and casino!
  • Blackwater Falls State Park


  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Devil’s Lake State Park
  • Harley-Davidson Museum


USA bucket list destinations

Final Thoughts

Well, now you have the ultimate USA bucket list destinations to add some fun stops to your road trip! Let me know what your favorite USA destination is, and if you are planning a road trip during this pandemic!

Shop My Fav Road Trip Essentials

xx Syd.




  1. Linnea
    August 15, 2020 / 6:07 pm

    This is such a great list! The Albuquerque Balloon Festival has always been on my list! One day I’ll get there!

    • sydabroad
      August 15, 2020 / 6:09 pm

      Thank you! Me too, the balloon festival seems incredible!

  2. Curls en Route
    August 15, 2020 / 6:58 pm

    Always dreamed of US road trip so this will definitely come in handy!

    • sydabroad
      August 15, 2020 / 10:10 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article 🙂

    • sydabroad
      August 15, 2020 / 10:11 pm

      Thank you! Me too, so many beautiful national parks to visit here!

  3. Taylor
    August 15, 2020 / 9:51 pm

    This is a great list! I am proud to say I’ve been to a lot of the places you listed in this article. I still have a lot more to see. Thank you for inspiring me 🙂

    • sydabroad
      August 15, 2020 / 10:12 pm

      Thats amazing! I’m glad you liked the article!

  4. August 16, 2020 / 1:00 am

    I’ve been to all 50 states so it was fun to see what sights you highlighted in each state. I have to say, you nailed it. Most of these were exactly the places I did or wanted to visit. Great job.

    • sydabroad
      August 17, 2020 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you so much! I tried really hard to add the best places, although I know there are so many more amazing sites!!

  5. August 16, 2020 / 3:07 am

    Great list! Thor’s Well is one of my favorite spots in Oregon. Thanks for sharing!

    • sydabroad
      August 17, 2020 / 1:15 pm

      I am dying to visit Oregon!! Thor’s Well is at the top of my bucket list!

  6. August 16, 2020 / 12:51 pm

    Wow this is so indepth! There’s everything you need in here.

    • sydabroad
      August 17, 2020 / 1:16 pm

      Thank you so much! I tried so hard to include all the best spots 🙂

  7. August 17, 2020 / 6:22 pm

    What a list!!! It’s so hard to pick just a couple of destinations.
    The US is immesity and an endless discovery 🙂

    • sydabroad
      August 17, 2020 / 7:13 pm

      Right?! There are just too many great places to visit! It was definitely hard to narrow down

  8. August 17, 2020 / 6:50 pm

    Love your NE suggestions!!

    • sydabroad
      August 22, 2020 / 9:22 pm

      Thank you!

  9. August 18, 2020 / 1:15 am

    Great idea for a blog considering I haven’t put a dent into the U.S.

  10. October 5, 2020 / 12:45 am

    We’re from Kentucky and mammoth cave is definitely a month!!

    • sydabroad
      October 7, 2020 / 2:28 am

      I would love to check that out!!

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