Best Places USA To See Before You Die

1,000 Places to See Before You Die, a best-selling travel blog by Patricia Schultz, published in 2003 by Workman, suggests 1,000 cultural, historic, and natural wonders that might contribute to a list of a person’s life goals. The blog was revised in 2011. A companion blog, 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, was published in 2007.

The original list of “1,000 Places” includes 171 destinations in the United States, as follows:

Best Places USA To See Before You Die Photo Gallery


• Inside Passage and Glacier Bay

• Kenai Peninsula

• Mount McKinley and Denali National Park

• The Iditarod


• Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa (Phoenix)

• Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa (Carefree)

• Canyon de Chelly National Monument (Chinle)

• Canyon Ranch Health Resort (Tucson)

• Grand Canyon

• Lake Powell (Page)

• Red Rock Country (Sedona)


• Cable Car Tour (San Francisco)

• Chez Panisse (Berkeley)

• Death Valley National Park

• Getty Center (Los Angeles)

• Golden Door (Escondido)

• Hollywood (Los Angeles)

• Hotel Del Coronado (San Diego)

• Monterey Peninsula

• Pacific Coast Highway

• Wine Country

• Yosemite National Park


• Aspen

• Home Ranch (Clark)

• Mesa Verde National Park (Cortez)

• Million Dollar Highway and the Durango & Silverton Railroad (Durango)

• Rocky Mountain National Park

• Telluride

• Vail


• Essex

• Litchfield Hills and Mayflower Inn

• Mark Twain House (Hartford)

• Mystic Seaport


• Winterthur Museum (Winterthur)

District of Columbia

• National Mall (Washington)

• The Smithsonian (Washington)


• Amelia Island

• Everglades National Park

• Joe’s Stone Crab (Miami Beach)

• Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral)

• Key West

• Little Palm Island (Little Torch Key)

• Sanibel and Captiva Islands

• South Beach (Miami Beach)

• Swimming with manatees (Crystal River)

• The Breakers (Palm Beach)

• The Delano (Miami Beach)

• Vizcaya (Miami)

• Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando)


• Elizabeth on 37th (Savannah)

• Golden Isles

• Mrs. Wilkes’ Boarding House (Savannah)

• Savannah’s Historic District


• Big Island

• Kauai

• Lanai

• Maui

• Oahu


• Henry’s Fork Lodge (Island Park)

• Lake Coeur d’Alene

• Middle Fork of the Salmon River (Stanley)

• Sun Valley Resort (Sun Valley)


• Art Institute of Chicago

• Arun’s (Chicago)

• Charlie Trotter (Chicago)

• Chicago’s Blues Scene

• Frank Lloyd Wright Tour (Chicago)

• Superdawg (Chicago)


• Great Amish Country Auction (Shipshewana) Iowa

• Iowa State Fair (Des Moines)


• Bluegrass Country (Lexington)

• Bourbon Trail (Bardstown)

• The Kentucky Derby (Louisville)


• French Quarter (New Orleans)

• Jazz and Heritage Festival (New Orleans)

• Mardi Gras (New Orleans)

• New Orleans restaurants

• Preservation Hall (New Orleans)

• Soniat House (New Orleans)


• Acadia National Park

• Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland)

• Maine Windjammer Association (Camden)

• White Barn Inn (Kennebunkport)


• Chesapeake Bay (St. Michael’s)

• Obrycki’s (Baltimore)


• Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Show (Brimfield)

• Cape Cod National Seashore

• Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston)

• Legal Sea Foods (Boston)

• Martha’s Vineyard

• Nantucket

• Tanglewood Music Festival (Lenox)

• Thanksgiving at Plimouth Plantation (Plymouth)

• The Freedom Trail (Boston)

• Woodman’s of Essex (Essex)


• Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island)


• Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (Ely) Mississippi

• The Natchez Trail (Natchez)


• Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue (Kansas City)


• Big Sky

• Glacier National Park

• The Complete Fly Fisher (Wise River)

• Triple Creek Ranch (Darby)


• Bellagio (Las Vegas)

• The Strip (Las Vegas)

New Hampshire

• Mount Washington (North Conway)

• The Balsams (Dixville Notch)

• The Lakes Region

New Jersey

• Cape May

New Mexico

• Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque)

• Carlsbad Caverns National Park (Carlsbad)

• Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (Chama)

• Inn of the Anasazi (Santa Fe)

• Roswell

• Route 66 (Albuquerque)

• Ten Thousand Waves (Santa Fe)

• The Santa Fe Opera (Santa Fe)

New York

• Cooperstown

• East Hampton

• Finger Lakes

• Historic Downtown (New York City)

• Hudson Valley

• Museum Mile (New York City)

• New York City

• Saratoga Springs

• The Adirondacks

• The Catskills

North Carolina

• Biltmore Estate (Asheville)

• Great Smoky Mountains National Park

• The Outer Banks (Duck)


• Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Oklahoma

• Cattlemen’s Steak House (Oklahoma City)


• Crater Lake National Park

• Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland)

• The Lewis and Clark Trail (Columbia River Gorge)

• The Oregon Coast

• Willamette Valley


• Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia)

• Gettysburg National Park and Cemetery (Gettysburg)

• Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia)

• Pennsylvania Dutch Country (Lancaster County)

• Philadelphia Flower Show

• Philly Food (Philadelphia)

Rhode Island

• Block Island

• Cliff Walk (Newport)

South Carolina

• Beaufort and the Low Country

• Low Country cuisine (Charleston)

• Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston)

• The Heart of Charleston

South Dakota

• Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis)

• The Badlands

• The Black Hills


• Blackberry Farm (Walland)

• Graceland and the Elvis Trail (Memphis)

• Memphis’ rib joints

• Nashville’s music scene


• Hill Country (Fredericksburg)

• River Walk (San Antonio)

• South by Southwest (Austin)

• The Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas)

• The Menil Collection (Houston)


• Bryce Canyon National Park

• Moab and Red Rock Country

• Monument Valley

• Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Salt Lake City)

• Park City and the Wasatch Range

• Zion National Park


• Killington and Woodstock

• Manchester Village

• Northeast Kingdom

• Shelburne Farms (Shelburne)

• Stowe Mountain Resort


• Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg)

• Monticello (Charlottesville)

• Shenandoah Valley

• The Homestead (Hot Springs)

• The Inn at Little Washington (Washington)


• Pike Place Market (Seattle)

• San Juan Islands (Puget Sound)

West Virginia

• The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs)

• Whitewater rafting


• Apostle Islands (Bayfield)

• Canoe Bay (Chetek)

• The American Club (Kohler)


• Amangani (Jackson)

• Bitteroot Ranch (Riverton)

• Frontier Days (Cheyenne)

• Grand Teton National Park

• Jackson Hole

• Yellowstone National Park

28.3 Journeys Of A Lifetime

National Geographic’s Journeys Of A Lifetime suggests 500 of the world’s greatest trips. Of the 500 journeys, 69 are in the United States, as follows: Across Water

• Airboat in the Everglades

• Charleston and the Low Country cruise (South Carolina)

• Cumberland and Ohio Rivers

• Mississippi River paddle steamer

• New Orleans to Algiers ferry (Louisiana)

• New York State canals

• San Francisco to Sausalito ferry (California)

• Seattle to Alaska cruise

• Staten Island Ferry (New York City)

Action Adventures

• Bush plane adventure (Alaska)

• Catamount T rail by snow ski (Vermont)

• Dogsledding in Alaska

• Dune buggies on the sands of Oregon

• Grand Canyon by mule (Arizona)

• Hoover Dam air tour (Arizona, Nevada)

• Rafting through the Grand Canyon (Arizona)

• Santa Fe Trail by horseback (Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico)

• Surfing in Hawaii

• Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (Mobile, AL, to Canada)

• White water rafting (West Virginia)

• White water rafting, Middle Fork, Salmon River (Idaho)

By Rail

• Amtrak’s California Zephyr (Colorado, Utah)

• Austin & Texas Central Railroad steam locomotive excursion (Texas)

• Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (Colorado, New Mexico)

• George Benson Waterfront streetcar (Seattle, WA)

• Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad steam train excursion (Washington)

• Powell-Hyde cable car (San Francisco, CA)

• St. Charles streetcar (New Orleans, LA)

• Streetcar F (San Francisco, CA)

By Road

• Golden Highway (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri)

• Lake Michigan Shoreline

• Miami to Key West on Highway 1

• New York City bus trip

• Oregon Trail (Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Wyoming)

• Pacific Coast Highway 1 through Big Sur (California)

• Route 12 from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef (Utah)

• Route 12 in the Outer Banks (North Carolina)

• Route 66 through Arizona

• San Juan Skyway (Colorado)

• The Old North Trail (Canada to Mexico)

• Vermont during the fall


• Bourbon Trail (Kentucky)

• Cajun Cooking (Louisiana)

• Deli Tour (New York, NY)

• Napa Valley wine region (California)

Cultural and Historical

• Amish Country (Pennsylvania)

• Ansel Adams’ Yosemite (California)

• Blues Pilgrimage (Mississippi, Tennessee)

• Colonial Virginia

• Frank Lloyd Wright tour by bicycle (Oak Park, IL)

• Freedom Trail walking tour (Boston, MA)

• Lewis and Clark’s route across the Continental Divide (Idaho, Montana)

• Plymouth Settlement (Massachusetts)

• The Loop walking tour (Chicago, IL)

• Thoreau’s wilderness footpath (Maine, Massachusetts)

• Vieux Carre walking tour (New Orleans, LA)

On Foot

• Brooklyn Bridge (New York, NY)

• Colorado Trail

• Great Smoky Mountains (North Carolina, Tennessee)

• Greenwich Village (New York, NY)

• John Muir Trail (California)

• Kalalau Trail (Hawaii)

• Mammouth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

• McKinley Bar Trail to McGonagall Pass (Alaska)

• National Mall (Washington, DC)

• Paria Canyon (Arizona, Utah)

• The Appalachian Train through Vermont

• Wind River Mountains (Wyoming)

501 Must-Be-There Events (2009, Bounty blogs) lists 32 must-be-there events held annually in the United States. They are as follows:

• Albuquerque International Balloon Festival (Albuquerque, NM)

• Boston Tea Party, December 16 (Boston, MA)

• Burning Man Festival, September (Black Rock City, NV)

• Cheyenne Frontier Days, July (Cheyenne, WY)

• Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles, weekend closest to May 5

• Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, late-April (Albuquerque, NM)

• Halloween in New York City, two weeks leading up to October 31

• Iditarod, March (Alaska)

• Independence Day, July 4 (various locations)

• Indianapolis 500, Memorial Day weekend (Indianapolis, IN)

• Kentucky Derby, first Saturday in May (Louisville, KY)

• Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, November (New York, NY)

• Maine Lobster Festival, late-July/early-August (Rockland, ME)

• Monterey Jazz Festival, third weekend in September (Monterey, CA)

• National Finals Rodeo, early-December (Las Vegas, NV)

• New Year’s Eve in Times Square, December 31 (New York, NY)

• Oshkosh Air Show, July (Oshkosh, WI)

• Pageant of the Masters, July/August (Laguna Beach, CA)

• Pasadena Rose Parade, New Year’s Day (Pasadena, CA)

• Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, July (Colorado Springs, CO)

• Rayne Frog Festival, November (Rayne, LA)

• Spamarama, April Fools Day (Austin, TX)

• St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, Sunday on or closest to March 17

• Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, August (Sturgis, SD)

• Sundance Festival, mid- to late-January (Park City, UT)

• The American Birkebeiner, last weekend in February (northwest Wisconsin)

• The New York Marathon, November (New York, NY)

• The Stanley Cup, May/June (various locations)

• The Super Bowl, late January or early-February (various locations)

• The World Series, October (various locations)

• US Open Golf Championship, June (various locations)

• US Tennis Open, August/September (Queens, NY)

28.5 Bucket List Sports Events

A Readers Choice Awards poll by 10Best (, a USA Today travel site, ranked Bucket List Sports Events as follows:

1. Indianapolis 500

2. Olympic Games

3. The Masters

4. Super Bowl

5. Kentucky Derby

6. World Cup Finals

7. BCS Championship Bowl

8. World Series

9. Stanley Cup

10. March Madness

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