Saturday, June 12, 2010

Diary of an American Shopper day 194, or my 10 places to visit This Summer

So, everyone has a list of things that they would like to complete in their life time. Mine is pretty short - I would like to become fluent in another language, I would like to learn how to ice skate, I would like to drive cross country, I would like to swim with wild dolphins (albeit, not the safest), and I would like to visit all 50 states. My dad shared that last goal as well, and I'm happy to report that on May 23, 2010 we completed it! My dad and I visited Theodore Roosevelt State Park in North Dakota, and completed our 50 state adventure. Now I realize that somehow driving cross country may be anti-climactic after that, but I am keeping it on the list!

Moving on. In honor of Summer, and the fact that most of us get out of our hibernation lairs, I'd like to share some advice on my top 10 places to visit in this great country of ours. In no particular order....

#1 - Visit Wyoming!
It has Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, Jackson Hole - and that's just to name a few. I'm not a crowd person, so we visited in May and encountered more four legged wildlife than 2 legged; however, if you are a big fan of the slopes, you can find a lot to do in the winter months as well.

#2 - Visit Alaska!
I would like to get back to Alaska, so that I can visit Denali National Park, but my parents and I took a cruise along the southern coast in 2000 and we visited Glacier Bay National Park, Ketchikan (the spot with the highest rainfall in the US), and Juneau (the only state capital with no road access). I also almost adopted a Husky, but that's another story. It's a beautiful part of the country that reminded why explorers found this land of ours so promising. FIlled with local artisans and wonderful people, it also happens to be the highest consumer of ice cream per capita. AMAZING!

**Thanks to for the picture

#3 - Visit New York City!

Okay, I realize I'm a little biased, but I think this city is amazing. I've lived her for ten years, and I still find new places to explore. And even older places, like our lady friend, give me thrills everytime I see them. Seems like the wonder of New York never really fades. Like no other city in our country, New York has history, culture, art, character and life!

# 4 - Visit Cape Cod, the Green Mountains or Acadia National Park!
Being a New Englander I am a huge fan. I grew up summering here before the crowds became too overwhelming and we went to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire instead, BUT if antiquing, beaching, eating or mini golfing is your thing - Cape Cod is your place.

And of course the great state of New Hampshire is home to my favorite highway - The Kancamgus. Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is a long way away from pretty much anywhere, but it's a very accessible park. I grew up with the Atlantic as my ocean, and I admit that it's still my favorite. And yes, I'm well aware that I'm biased and nostalgic for the place where I was raised.

# 5 Visit New Orleans!
This part of our country couldn't be more rich. It's filled with history. It invented a food, a music and an architecture style. And sadly, it's been hit pretty hard over the past five years. This part of the country is filled with some of the coolest art I've ever seen and with some of the nicest people I have ever met. They need our support right now, so it's worth a trip.

#6 - Visit Badlands National Park!
It looks like you're on the moon, but you'll never seem more interesting geological formations. And heck, it's the title to a great song!

#7 - Visit Memphis!
It's a town filled with such history and great food. Home to the King and Sun Records, to the Peabody Ducks, home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock and Roll, you can't go wrong. If you're there, be sure to eat at Corky's. It's worth the wait.

#8 - Visit the National Parks of Utah!
With Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands and Arches (just to name a few), you will see some of the most beautiful country there is in only a few hundred miles. On top of that, you're very close to Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, The Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Park. There's so much to see there. If you thing is hiking, Native American Art or White Water Rafting, there's so much to do in this part of the country.

#9 - Visit our History!
Whether you visit Boston, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Lexington & Concord, New York, Washington DC or any of the other places in this country where our roots have grown, you will learn about where we come from, and how this country got it's start. And it's ultimately in those spaces that we learn where we're going.

#10 - Visit with Friends!
Cause no matter where you go, if you're with people who get you, you'll have the best time. Get outside and enjoy this great country of ours!

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