I spent over a year in the US and saw so many amazing places but there just wasn’t enough time to tick off every item on my bucket list. Here are 7 of the places I wish I could have gone to (and hope to go back to).
#1. Denali National Park – Alaska
Logically, I knew that I was never going to make it to Alaska. At over 4000 miles, it is literally the furthest I could have got from New Jersey while still being on the same landmass. I am still disappointed though: Denali looks absolutely magical all year round and I would have loved the chance to whale watch, hike and possibly see the Northern lights.
#2. Disney World – Florida
Disney World was at the top of my America bucket list and for so many reasons it never happened! Eventually, the only time I could have gone was when I was travelling solo, and queuing up alone to meet Mickey seemed somewhere between hilarious and desperately sad. I did make it to Universal Hollywood which was amazing but I still have big dreams of going to Disney and living out all of my princess fantasies!
#3. Kauai – Hawaii
Again – Hawaii and New Jersey are not close neighbours and I simply didn’t have time, but if I had to pick only one place from this list it would (without a doubt) be Kauai. Just look at it; those jagged green peaks under that blue sky surrounded by the warmest of oceans. I am determined to make it to Hawaii one day and the Garden Island is going to be my first stop when I get there.
#4. Austin – Texas
I got so close to going to Austin, but at the end I had five options that I had to narrow down to two. So (unfortunately) Houston, Savannah and Austin didn’t quite make the cut, but Nashville and Charleston did. I will always wonder whether that was the right decision, particularly when Austin has such an amazing culture and it gets 300 days of sunshine every year!
#5. Savannah – Georgia
After much tough decision making, I eventually chose Savannah over Charleston and in hindsight I wish I had gone the other way (but as everyone knows, hindsight is 20/20)! Both Savannah and Charleston still have those deep south roots and it was so interesting for me to see how the people, culture and lifestyle differed from east coast to west coast to the south. If I had chosen Savannah, I definitely would have walked down this oak-lined avenue at Wormsloe historical site.
#6. Newport – Rhode Island
I definitely didn’t spend enough time in New England. Sure, I visited Boston, but I didn’t even get close to going to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire or Rhode Island and I would have loved to see each and every one of those states. Newport seems like one of those picture-perfect seaside towns that you see in every Nicholas Sparks movie, and if I had another month to travel I would have spent part of it eating fresh seafood and sailing a yacht around the harbour with the sun at my back.
#7. Bryce Canyon – Utah
Utah didn’t even cross my mind as a possible stop on my trip, and I seriously regretted it as soon as I saw photographs of Bryce Canyon. I was pleasantly surprised by the Grand Canyon, but Bryce looks even more spectacular and it isn’t often that you see such vibrant and intense colours in nature. Especially to people who aren’t from the US, I think Bryce Canyon (as well as Kings Canyon, Zion and Arches National Park) can sometimes be overlooked in favour of the Grand Canyon and now I wish that I had known better before I planned my trip.
If you could go anywhere in the US, where would you go? Let me know in the comments!
PS. the blog is going to be a little quiet this weekend as I am in Dublin for the long weekend! See you all on Tuesday.