The Top Travel Ideas for All 50 States in America – Part 2

The United States is a big and beautiful country with a wide variety of amazing landscapes.  Scattered throughout the country there is a mix of bustling big cities and laid-back rural towns that add to the country’s diversity.  Many people who visit the United States for the first time, or live here and haven’t traveled that extensively, don’t realize just how big and diverse the United States really is. There are so many places to explore in each state that the list of travel ideas is seemingly endless.

Travel Ideas for All 50 States in America

The fifty states that make up the United States are different, and in some respects, they can be very different.  In this five-part series of articles, I am going to help you get acquainted with the fifty states that make up the United States of America. 

By outlining the top travel destination or event in each state, I hope to teach you a little bit about that state and perhaps give you some ideas for future travel plans.  I will go in alphabetical order, highlighting ten states in each article.  In this article, I am focusing on Hawaii thru Maryland.  You can find links to the other articles below.  I hope you enjoy!

  • Part 1 – Alabama to Georgia
  • Part 2 – Hawaii to Maryland
  • Part 3 – Massachusetts to New Jersey – Coming Soon!
  • Part 4 – New Mexico to South Carolina – Coming Soon!
  • Part 5 – South Dakota to Wyoming – Coming Soon!


Haleakalā National Park

Top Travel Ideas for All 50 States - Hawaii Haleakalā National Park

While many people travel to Hawaii to enjoy the state’s incredible beaches, the state is also home to two of America’s most incredible national parks. Of course, most people know about the infamous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the big island. However, fewer travelers are aware of the spectacular Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui.

This breathtakingly beautiful parkland is one of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Translated to mean “house of the sun”, the summit area of the park offers some of the most breathtaking sunrise viewing in the world. In addition, its beautiful landscapes, the park is also home to more endangered species than any other park in the United States. So, if you are planning on visiting Hawaii, make sure you take a break from the beach and check out this incredible national park.


Shoshone Falls

Top Travel Ideas for All 50 States - Idaho Shoshone Falls

Known as the “Niagara of the West”, the incredible Shoshone Falls in Southern Idaho may be North America’s most incredible waterfall. Even though it isn’t as renowned as Niagara Falls, it’s 212-foot drop is actually 45-feet higher than Niagara. However, that isn’t all that makes this beautiful waterfall special.

With a rim that stretches for roughly 1,000-feet, it is also one of the wider waterfalls that you will find on the continent. While the Sawtooth Mountains in Northern Idaho may have a case for being the state’s most breathtaking landscape, it is hard to argue that Shoshone Falls is one of Idaho’s lesser-known gems. And as someone who has seen the falls, I think it is something that every visitor to the state should see.


Navy Pier

Top Travel Ideas for All 50 States - Illinois Navy Pier

If you love big cities, beautiful lakes, incredible restaurants, and plentiful shopping, then Navy Pier is just the place for you. Located in the heart of Chicago, right on stunning Lake Michigan, the Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s most iconic locations. This 3,300-foot-long pier is chock-full of incredible restaurants and shopping.

So much so that you will have a tough time deciding where to begin. In addition, there are a number of attractions that are fun for the whole family. This includes the Pepsi Wave Swinger, Light Tower Ride, and the iconic Navy Pier wheel.

In a city with so many incredible things to see, it is hard to stand out as being a top attraction. However, somehow the Navy Pier has endured for decades as one of the city’s premier tourist hot spots. If you are ever in the Windy City, make sure you check it out!


Indiana Dunes National Park

Top Travel Ideas for All 50 States - Indiana Dunes National Park

There is a lot of beautiful coastline along the Great Lakes of the United States, but one of my favorite stretches is on the southern coastline of Lake Michigan. Located in Indiana near the border of Illinois, the Indiana Dunes are massive coastal sand dunes.

These large sand dunes are so massive and incredible that the coastline was recently named a US National Parkland. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Indiana Dunes to enjoy the beaches and hike on the dunes. It is great place to sit back and relax or to get out and explore. Undoubtedly, it is one of the top travel ideas for anyone looking to visit northern Indiana.


Port of Dubuque

The Mississippi River is one of the world’s most infamous rivers and there is no better place to experience its beauty and majesty than in Dubuque, Iowa. In addition to the breathtaking views of the river, the Port of Dubuque is also home to the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, which is a must-see for visitors. It offers a glimpse of the historical and agricultural significance of the river to the United States, as well as showcasing incredible animals like otters, aligators, catfish, and other wildlife. And if you have time, you can stop by the infamous “Field of Dreams”, which is just a short drive away.


Monument Rocks

Monument Rocks

When you think of the American Midwest, the first thing that may come to mind is open prairies, lakes, and fairly flat land. However, there are some landscapes in the Midwest United States that will surprise you. One of these landscapes is the incredible Monument Rocks in Kansas. Estimated to be over 80 million years old, these large chalk formations in Gove County, Kansas are spectacular.

Thought to have formed when a great inland ocean covered the central region of North America, some of these rocks are as tall as 70 feet (or 21 meters). There are even amazing formations in the rocks, such as natural arches. Without a doubt, one of the top travel ideas for those visiting the state of Kansas is the amazing Monument Rocks.


Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

If you are planning on visiting the state of Kentucky, I recommend visiting during the first Saturday of May. If you didn’t know it already, that is when you will be able to attend one of the world’s most infamous sporting events. That’s right, the Kentucky Derby takes place on that Saturday, and it is one of the most incredible sporting events you can attend.

Not only is it a world-class horse race, but the entire affair is a blast to be a part of. Spectators dress up in elegant clothes, with women famously wearing stylish and outlandish hats for the occasion. The whole day is a party, with some amazing horse racing sprinkled in. So, if you are looking for some travel ideas when visiting Kentucky, the derby should definitely be on your list.


French Quarter

French Quarter

It would be almost critical to discuss the top travel ideas for Louisianna and not mention the historic French Quarter. As the historic heart of the city of New Orleans, the French Quarter is renowned for its incredible nightlife and colorful buildings with cast-iron balconies.

On Bourbon Street, you will find an assortment of incredible jazz clubs, Cajun restaurants, and an incredible place to people watch. Nearby, the French Market is a great place to sample gourmet foods and browse locally created crafts. And after shopping, you can stop by Jackson Square to watch live entertainment in front of the beautiful S. Louis Cathedral.


Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

What else can I say about Acadia National Park than it is simply breathtaking. Located on the northern coastline of Maine, near the city of Bar Harbour, Acadia National Park has some of North America’s most incredible coastline. The land was donated to the US Park Service by the famed Rockafeller Family and has since become one of America’s most popular national parks.

In addition to hiking along the park’s beautiful rocky coastline, there is a wealth of inland hiking trails for visitors to enjoy as well. Not to mention, the park’s many carriage roads are great for biking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. For more information on this amazing national park, make sure you check out my Acadia National Park Guide linked below. After reading it, you will agree that the park is one of the top travel ideas when visiting Maine.



Antietam Battlefield

The American Civil War was one of the bloodiest and ugliest chapters of American history. There is no better way to learn about this harrowing chapter of the country’s past than by visiting one of its most pivotal battlefields. Although it was only a single day battle, the battle of Antietam was one of the war’s costliest. In fact, it was the single bloodiest one-day battle in the war.

More importantly, the victory at Antietam gave President Abraham Lincoln the victory he needed to make the Emancipation Proclamation, which many regard as the turning point of the war. Today, you can walk the battlefield, see the monuments and memorials, and get a better understanding of how the battle unfolded. This makes it one of the more interesting and educational travel ideas for anyone looking to visit the state of Maryland.

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