When we moved to America, we decided we wouldn't be heading back to the UK every time we had a holiday. The reason (apart from the ridiculous cost of flights) was that there's so much to explore right here in the US and we wanted to see as much of it as possible before we left.
Of course, there's no way that's going to happen. The USA is such a massive
country that even driving to somewhere that seems relatively close on
the map, like Cape Cod, is a pretty big endeavour. But I do think we've made a fairly good effort so far. As well as living in New York State, we've visited Vermont,
Virginia, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia and Florida, spent nights in Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and North
Carolina and have driven through a whole load of other
states on the way to and from those places. Of the U.S. cities, I've also been to Chicago (both for work and for an expat blogger meetup), Boston, San Francisco and San Diego. Next week we'll be visiting the
White Mountains of New Hampshire, and we plan to visit Washington DC in September.
But there a whole lot of other places on my
list. I'm a great reader of travel articles, and (as you've probably
worked out by now) have huge wanderlust. So I wanted to list them now,
and then maybe revisit the list later and see how I've done.
1. Sonoma/Napa Valley, California.
the girl from Nappy Valley really ought to visit Napa Valley, shouldn't
she? And what with vineyards, fabulous restaurants and gorgeous
scenery, it sounds like my kind of place.
2. The Grand Canyon, Arizona.
obvious choice maybe, but everyone I know who has been there says it is
amazing. This is on my list for next year, before we leave America, and I truly hope we'll get there.
Rockies! The forests! I'd like to go in both summer and winter, please, for the ski-ing. I'd also like to see Denver (as a long ago Dynasty fan, I was amused
to hear from my German friend that in Germany the show was known as
4. Charleston, South Carolina.
heard it's like Savannah, Georgia, where we spent a memorable couple of nights, only perhaps even nicer. I'm a sucker for
Southern charm, and I've heard mixed reports about New Orleans, so I'm
picking Charleston for my return to the deep south.
5. Portland, Oregon.
supposedly the capital of all things hip. The coolest ad agencies are
there, it's environmentally friendly, it even has its own ironic sitcom,
Portlandia. It sounds more like Amsterdam than America, and although I'm not sure if I'd want to live there, I would be
intrigued to see it.
6. Yellowstone Park, Wyoming.
Just as long as a bear doesn't get me. And I'm not talking about Yogi.
We know some Swedish people here who went to Maine for their summer holiday and promptly left, saying it was "too much like Sweden". Well, that doesn't put me off. It's a long drive from just about anywhere, but I'd love to eat a real Maine lobster roll with lobster that just came out of the ocean.
8. De Smet, South Dakota.
As a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, I would just love to see the "little town on the prairie" where she lived. It sounds rather remote, but I would definitely like to make the pilgrimage one day and maybe it could be combined with a trip to....
9. Mt Rushmore, South Dakota.
Well it's so iconic, isn't it? I bet it's terribly touristy but it would be nice to say you've been. And I'm sure you'd get a real American history lesson at the same time.
The home of Starbucks, Microsoft, Frasier, Grey's Anatomy and (er) Fifty Shades of Grey. I feel as if I know Seattle already. I'd like to do a city trip one day and maybe use it as a jumping off point for a trip to Canada's west coast. Because that's another whole country I could write a top ten list for......
Where else in America should I add to my list?