My U.S. Bucket List

There is a lot of my country that I haven’t seen. Its easy for me to get excited about a trip abroad but there are a handful of cities that I haven’t explored in the U.S. I recently went to Chicago and had a great time and am looking forward to a trip to Denver next month so to inspire some more American wanderlust in my self and hopefully in you, here are my top destinations in the U.S and in no particular order.

Courtesy of Ed Schipul

Where: Austin

Why: I have never been to any part of Texas and Austin seems like the perfect place to start. All my life I have lived in a bustling city from San Francisco to L.A. and London so I would love to slow down and explore all this seemingly laid back town has to offer. I’d start with Austin’s vibrant music scene from dive bars to one of the most popular music festivals in the country, South by Southwest (SXSW). I’ll search for the best barbecue and I definitely want to check out their famous hot springs, particularly Barton Springs Pool.

Courtesy of Sean Davis

Where: Portland

Why: Portland can easily be overshadowed by nearby Seattle so I have to admit the town wasn’t even on my radar until I watched Anthony Bourdain’s episode where he salivated over outrageous Voodoo donuts and deep dish pizza. I’m sure I would do the same but I know I would fall in love with the town for its flagship Powell’s Books and coffee shops. I could spend hours reading, sipping, and chatting with the locals but I wouldn’t neglect the outdoors either. Spending some time in nature in a foreign place is one of my favorite things to do while traveling and I don’t think Portland’s Trails would disappoint.

new orleans
Courtesy of Britt Reints

Where: New Orleans

Why: Why not go to New Orleans? The place could certainly benefit from a visit from you or me. It’s been a little over 5 years since Hurricane Katrina hit but the town still needs help rebuilding. I’d check out the Lower Ninth Ward and see the destruction for my own two eyes and maybe get involved in a short-term volunteer project. If not for a volunteer trip, I’d go to New Orleans for the jazz, the Creole and Cajun dishes and oh yes, the beignets and I mean the real good kind with tons of powdered sugar on top. I love beignets so much I’ve been satiating myself here in the Bay Area until I can get the real thing down in Louisiana.


Where: Boston

Why: Boston is that one major east coast city that I have been dying to visit the most in the U.S. I’ve seen New York, Washington D.C. and recently Chicago but I most definitely need to see Bean Town. I want to see and learn about the history which alone is enough reason to go. A visit to the seaside towns for some good clam chowder and shrimp is a must plus someĀ  reading time on a bench somewhere on Harvard’s campus and a baseball game at Fenway park are also on my list. And to be really picky I’d love to do it all with some nice east coast fall colors in the background.

Courtesy of Ron Cogswell

Where: Nashville

Why: I never liked country music growing up but thanks to my travel buddies, I am officially addicted and what better way to celebrate my addiction than to visit the heartland of country music. I want to visit the Grand Ole Opry and hear live music at the legendary Bluebird Cafe. I want to immerse myself in the country music community whether it be in restaurants that give me that home-cooked meal or coffee shops and bars so I can experience true southern hospitality. I may even leave town with a brand new pair of cowboy boots that would hopefully look just as good back home in Northern California.

What cities do you want to visit in the U.S.?

Any tips for the cities on my bucket list?

7 thoughts on “My U.S. Bucket List

  1. Good list! It’s funny which cities we visit and which we haven’t yet. I’ve been to most of these cities but not Austen. And I think I’ve visited all of the U.S. big cities except Chicago. My friend had some free buddy passes that expired today, and I tried to convince another friend to fly to Austin with me for the night. I’d love to spend some time there. Anyway, if you’re visiting Denver, be sure to stop by my blog since that’s where I’m from and I have lots of restaurant reviews and day trips posted. Also, check out my friend’s blog, My So-Called Denver. Either way, have fun!

    1. Hi Bess, I am so excited to go to Denver so I will definitely check out your blog and your friend’s blog too. I just went to Chicago a few months ago and am now just getting around to posting about my trip so expect some tips for that city in the coming months on my blog. Hope you get to go to Austin soon!

  2. I’ve been to Boston, New Orleans and Nashville. Boston leaves me feeling kind of “meh” just because it’s in my stomping grounds of New England. But I LOVED New Orleans and what little I saw of Nashville. Austin’s on my bucket list too.

    1. I’ve heard from so many people about Austin and how it’s the place to go. Do you have any places you’d recommend in the cities you’ve been to?

  3. Do go to New Orleans. That is a city I have always wanted to visit for the Jazz!!! I certainly hope the city is recovering after cyclone Katrina. Is it five years ago! It must surely be getting back to normal? If you go let me know what is the situation. It is sad to think people still might be displaced or homeless still as a result of the cyclone. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I think there is still a lot of renovation that needs to be done. I hope to go next year with my company as they volunteer for Habitat for Humanity there. I think it would be a great experience.

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