USA

USA! USA! USA!
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Where Should You Visit?

NORTH, SOUTH, EAST or WEST?

TRAVEL ALL AROUND THE USA

Although I was born and raised in Canada, I have now lived in the United States for over 25 years. I still have a lot more of this big and beautiful country to explore but I’ve made a good start so far – visiting 31 of 50 states.

Currently I am enjoying slow travel around the USA (4 year road trip!) usually spending a month at each location. It’s also fun do go away for a few days or a weekend getaway to see someplace new. While in southern Utah I decided to spend a couple of days in Page Arizona and another 5 day trip to Moab to visit a few of the national parks in Utah all in one road trip.

Since I am driving around the United States, I won’t visit Hawaii, obviously :) and I’m not going to drive the Alaskan Highway in my little Toyota Yaris.

What I’m learning as I drive around America is that each region has it’s beauty. There is no one place that I can call my favorite spot in the United States – my favorite place is always where I am currently exploring!

I hope you enjoy traveling in the United States as much as I do.

AUSTIN TX

My adoptive hometown. I moved to Austin in 1999 after visiting for 3 weeks and falling in love. Austin is the gem of Texas, that’s what I usually tell people when they ask what Austin is like. Some folks know that Austin is different than the rest of Texas. Although, it’s gotten a wee bit too hipster cool for me! There’s loads of cool street art and snazzy shopping districts in Austin now. It used to be packed with a lot more of the weird and cool and funky….alas it is still my home and I still LOVE AUSTIN!

One of the main draws form me, besides the incredible music scene, is the OUTDOORS IN AUSTIN – you can hang out with the peacocks at Mayfield Park, explore the beautiful Zilker Botanical Garden, run, bike, kayak or paddle board at Lady Bird Lake, or find a field of bluebonnets at the Wildflower Center.

5 Best Hikes in Austin

Canoeing with the view of downtown Austin Texas skyline

View of downtown Austin skyline

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK

Although Big Bend National Park is one of the least visited national parks in America it is one of the best places to go hiking. It’s also a great Texas road trip with some cool and cute small towns like Alpine, Marathon, Marfa, and Terlingua to name a few.

Get all the info about hiking in Big Bend and roadtripping in West Texas.

LAFAYETTE LA

Don’t tell Austin, but this is my new favorite city in the United States.

Lafayette has a great and groovy music scene and the best Cajun food around. They know how to cook and how to use seasoning in Louisiana! And they know how to pass a good time – Laissez les bons temps rouler!

There are tons of great things to do in Lafayette Louisiana and many excellent day trips from Lafayette – including visiting the Evangeline Oak in St Martinville.

Plan a week in Acadiana with my 7 Day Lafayette Road Trip Itinerary.

I love all the small towns around Lafayette. You can make day trips and half day trips in every direction from Lafayette and get to know more about Cajun Country. Check out 11 Amazing Day Trips from Lafayette.

Plate of boiled crawfish from Hawk's

Boiled Crawfish from Hawk’s

TUCSON AZ

One of my first nomad homes in 2015 – I stayed for 7 weeks and loved Tucson! There is some great hiking around Tucson – 7 Falls was my favorite.

Here is my guide to Tucson AZ

To the northern region of Arizona you can find amazing views and hiking at the Grand Canyon, and in Page – home to the famous Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, and the Glen Canyon Dam.

SOUTHERN UTAH

If you want to explore 5 US National Parks in one trip, then southern Utah is your happy place! You can easily visit all five Utah National Parks during a 2-week road trip: Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion – all amazing places!

There are also some cool Utah State Parks such as Fremont Indian State Park. And national monuments – not yet national parks but still significant and worth visiting – Cedar Breaks National Monument for example – it’s like Bryce but not so busy!

ST AUGUSTINE FL

America’s oldest city is a beauty! St Augustine Florida has beautiful beaches, cute gopher tortoises, and tons of amazing birds. St A is a fisherman’s paradise. Add the historical sites into the mix and you have the perfect place for a solo travel or family vacation.

Check out my 50 Best Things to Do in St Augustine for some ideas on your next Florida vacation.

And you’ll want to visit the Best beaches around St Augustine. I went to them all, tough job but someone has to do it!

MAINE

Autumn in New England – a dream of mine for many years – but the dream came true when I spent a whole month in beautiful mid-coast Maine. Stunning fall colors and a plethora of sweet small towns are waiting for you in Maine.

You may FALL in LOVE with MAINE just like I did! Read my guide to mid-coast Maine and the charming small town of Belfast Maine.

Belfast Maine is an ideal location for a Maine vacation. There is wonderful hiking at Camden State Park, the unique hike at Rockland Breakwater, and stunning views and coastal hikes in Acadia National Park.

Maine road trip in fall, sighting of a weathered barn and a tree with bright red leaves

Maine road trip in fall, sighting of a weathered barn and a tree with bright red leaves

BAY AREA – SAN FRANCISCO – OAKLAND

From beautiful beaches to hip bars and restaurants the Bay area of California is a fun place to stay and play! You can visit San Francisco and hop across to the East Bay to Berkeley and Oakland. Then drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County – home to Point Reyes National Seashore and gorgeous coastal redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument.

Read more about the Bay area:

Point Reyes National Seashore

Ladybug hike in Oakland

Marin County – Muir Woods

PALM SPRINGS

I used to think Palm Springs was only for rich folks who golf and shop during their vacation. Now I know better. Twice I visited this jewel of Southern California. There’s a reason it became known as the playground for Hollywood, but you can have just as much fun as those tinsel town peeps, I’ll show you how.

Read my giant guide to Palm Springs

One of my favorite national parks in the United States is Joshua Tree – it’s a quick trip from Palm Springs!

Did you know you can travel from the desert to the alpine forest in Palm Springs?! Take the incredible Palm Springs Tram up to San Jacinto Mountain for outstanding views, wonderful hiking, or enjoy dining at the restaurant.

PORTLAND OREGON

Portland Oregon is the unofficial sister city to Austin Texas. You’ll find a healthy hipster crowd and outdoor loving folks in Portland – one of the most bicycle friendly cities in America. Find out what to do in Portland OR with my 3-day Itinerary. It’s a great city of solo travelers!

One of the beautiful things about Portland is that you can visit the mountains and the beach within easy reach. Spend a day (or more!) on the Oregon coast.

St Johns Bridge from Cathedral Park neighborhood on the North Portland Peninsula

St Johns Bridge from Cathedral Park neighborhood on the North Portland Peninsula

AUSTIN TO PORTLAND OREGON ROAD TRIP

Not that many people would take such a road trip but if you have the time or just want to check out some of the highlights from along the way you can live vicariously through me. I took six months to make my way from Austin to Portland.

Hop over and check out ATX to PDX via the highways.

SEATTLE WASHINGTON

Biggest city in the Pacific Northwest region, Seattle is a happening tech city. There are a ton of fun things to do in Seattle – art, great food, quirky and funky places, boat trips and trippin’ out on the music. Seattle is another great solo traveler city in the PNW!

Find out what to do in 1 day in Seattle – you will be amazed!

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

Before visiting Yellowstone National Park, I looked in wonder at photos of the waterfalls, geysers and hot springs – Grand Prismatic Spring and its otherworldly beauty. I dreamed of visiting Yellowstone.

One day I decided to plan a road trip to Yellowstone (and Glacier) National Park on my way from the southern United States up to Canada in the springtime. This was one of my smarter decisions in life!

Check out 5 Reasons you should Visit Yellowstone. Then find out all the details you need to plan a visit to Yellowstone National Park here.

Grand Prismatic Spring is a sensational sight at Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring is a sensational sight at Yellowstone National Park

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

The logical thing to do after visiting Yellowstone on my way to Calgary was to visit Glacier National Park in Montana. About eight hours drive from Jackson Hole WY to West Glacier it’s a beautiful drive. I fell in LOVE with Glacier immediately!

A great intro hike to Glacier National Park is the Trail of Cedars.

Then check out the wonderful hike (from the same trailhead) to Avalanche Lake – it’s a beauty! I hiked it twice :)

Grab your beverage of choice, get comfortable, and dig into my Ultimate Guide to Glacier National Park.

Now you have some ideas about places to travel in America. Next you need to decide how you will travel – bus, car, train, or plane? Each mode of transportation has it’s pros and cons. Personally, I prefer to travel by car but it’s also easy to get around the bigger cities (and many small towns) on foot or via ride-share such as Uber or Lyft.

No matter how you travel in the United States I hope you have a wonderful time exploring! Have FUN!

Grand Canyon North Rim Day Trip

Grand Canyon North Rim Day Trip

The Grand Canyon is the second most visited national park in the United States. Of course, it gets crowded, but the good news is you can visit the Grand Canyon North Rim which is way less crowded than the South Rim. Take a day trip to the North Rim of the of Grand Canyon to […]

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Navajo Bridge Arizona (Coolest) Bridge Over the Colorado River

Navajo Bridge Arizona (Coolest) Bridge Over the Colorado River

  During my solo road trip from Utah to Arizona I found the perfect stop along the way near Marble Canyon – Navajo Bridge is one of the coolest places to see in Arizona. You get to see AMAZING views of the Colorado River while walking the old Navajo Bridge and then you can drive […]

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Kanarra Falls Utah Slot Canyon Hike to Waterfalls via Narrows

Kanarra Falls Utah Slot Canyon Hike to Waterfalls via Narrows

Kanarra Falls Utah is a beautiful slot canyon hike with two waterfalls accessed by hiking through Kanarra Creek. Yes, your feet will get wet! But it’s worth it.     Where is Kanarra Falls? The short answer is Kanarra Falls is in Kanarraville Utah but officially it’s a bit more complicated. Kanarra Falls hiking trail […]

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Capitol Reef National Park Solo Trip to Utah’s Least Visited National Park

Capitol Reef National Park Solo Trip to Utah’s Least Visited National Park

When I visited Capitol Reef National Park during my solo road trip to Moab, I only stayed for one night. In hindsight, I would recommend staying at least two or three nights at Capitol Reef park. Even though I only had one day in Capitol Reef National Park I still got in a few hikes […]

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Double Arch Trail Short Easy Hike to Spectacular Arch Over 100 Feet Tall

Double Arch Trail Short Easy Hike to Spectacular Arch Over 100 Feet Tall

Visiting Arches National Park in Utah I knew I would see some beautiful rock arches, but I didn’t envision the immensity of these natural wonders. A few miles from Moab Utah, there are over 2,000 sandstone arches in this amazing national park. More than 1.5 million people visited Arches National Park in 2018. While visiting […]

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What You Need to Know Before Visiting Horseshoe Bend in Page Arizona

What You Need to Know Before Visiting Horseshoe Bend in Page Arizona

  I don’t remember when I first saw a photo of Horseshoe Bend but I do recall promising myself I would visit one day. While staying in southern Utah I decided to spend a couple of days in Page Arizona and explore the area. Hiking to Horseshoe Bend and watching the sunlight crawl across the […]

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Visit Cedar Breaks for Hiking (Scenic Views) in Beautiful Southern Utah

Visit Cedar Breaks for Hiking (Scenic Views) in Beautiful Southern Utah

I chose to stay in Enoch Utah, a few miles from Cedar City, based on its proximity to several national parks and state parks. I knew I wanted to hike at Cedar Breaks National Monument. The photos of Cedar Breaks caught my eye when I saw the brochure at the visitor center. Cedar Breaks looks […]

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Ladybug Hike at Redwood Regional Park Oakland California

Ladybug Hike at Redwood Regional Park Oakland California

Staying near downtown Oakland I never imagined I could walk through a redwood forest just a few minutes away from the bustling city and traffic. A wonderful retreat from the mayhem of city life. But it gets even better. A friend told me about the incredible Redwood Regional Park ladybug overwintering spot. Everyone has seen […]

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Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Hike for a FUN Day Outdoors in Maine

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Hike for a FUN Day Outdoors in Maine

Visiting Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse in Maine is a lot different than any other lighthouse I have visited. All the other lighthouses were on land – not a mile or so offshore. That’s one of the interesting things about this Maine lighthouse – you walk almost a mile on the breakwater made of granite rocks. I […]

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Point Reyes California Day Trip to Lighthouse – Beaches and MORE

Point Reyes California Day Trip to Lighthouse – Beaches and MORE

The Point Reyes Lighthouse (Point Reyes Light or the Point Reyes Light Station) is a lighthouse in Marin County California at Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s one of the few lighthouses that you can go inside and look around. But there’s more to Point Reyes than a lighthouse. From beaches to wildlife to scenic drives […]

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Muir Woods Hike the Redwood Forest Marin County California Coast

Muir Woods Hike the Redwood Forest Marin County California Coast

There aren’t many places that you can experience the sublime beauty of old growth redwood trees. I highly recommend a visit to Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County California. Only 12 miles (19 km) from San Francisco you could experience pure bliss while hiking among the coastal redwoods. Taking a Muir Woods hike is […]

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7-Day Itinerary Lafayette Louisiana Cajun Country USA

7-Day Itinerary Lafayette Louisiana Cajun Country USA

Anyone who knows me well, knows of my love for Lafayette Louisiana. Anyone who asks me about my favorite places so far on my big road trip will know how much I adore Lafayette Louisiana. Since people often ask me what there is to do in Lafayette and how many days they should spend there, […]

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