I’ve always got somewhere in the United States that is at the forefront of my mind to visit next. I’m about halfway through visiting all the States (I should go over halfway this summer), so I’m pretty certain now I want to make it to all 50 by the time I die. So where’s next for me? And where could be next for you?
Disclaimer: In the first section the images are all from google image search and under the section labelled for non-commercial use.
Places I’m thinking about next:
Nashville is in the middle of Tennessee, a state I need to tick off and seems very different from anywhere I’ve been before. I love that I can explore the home of country music, a very American tradition and try out some southern food. I could also possibly skip over to Memphis and try out another type of famous BBQ, to see whether I enjoy it as much as I did the Texas and Kansas City style.
Portland sounds like a dream to me! Near the coast, not too hot, lots of beautiful scenery and a bit of hipster haven. I’d love to explore the areas famous forests and mountains. And try all that fancy coffee (even if most black coffee will make me happy) and the food trends that I’ve heard about.
I want to visit the whole of Texas, I loved the state when I visited last year and want to see more of it. It makes sense to hit Houston next, after San Antonio, Austin and my quick overnighter in Arlington. A big city that’s supposed to be horribly humid (I’m sure nothing will ever be as bad as Hong Kong for humidity so I can handle it) but seems filled to the brim with interesting things to do.
Who wouldn’t want to visit the French Quarter which sounds both charming and raucous with lots of interesting history to explore. I’d love to see the bayou of the Mississippi River and eat the food the city is famous for.
Maybe it rains a lot but there’s something about the Pacific North West that is really calling to me at the moment. Maybe it’s countless pictures I’ve seen of beautiful trails from the nearby Mount Rainer and Olympic National Park. Or it could be that it’s surrounded by water, so the ferries are calling to me. It could also be the close proximity to Canada, a country I have yet to discover. There’s a lot of reasons for me to want to visit this city.
Back to the South and this time a city sitting in North Carolina (just). Charlotte would give me the opportunity to knock off two more states just by visiting Carowinds, as it straddles both North and South Carolina. I’m not just thinking of Charlotte for the roller coasters. North Carolina is high on my list as it is Ryan Adams’ home state, I’d have to make the pilgrimage to see what Raleigh and Jacksonville are like after the evocative images from one of his best albums; Jacksonville City Nights. It’s also another opportunity for me to eat more food, especially as I’d get to test out more types of BBQ. The Carolinas themselves have at least 5 separate types of BBQ between the two states, so I’d probably want to make a fairly big road trip to get to them all.
Places I recommend:
Between the river walk and the fascinating history of the area this is a hidden gem of a place compared to the bright lights of most of the major US cities. It’s famous for the Alamo but there’s so much more to see here. And it’s gorgeous.
Another place for history and also food. Cheesesteaks probably don’t sound like that big of a deal on paper, but there is something utterly unique about the ones I tried in Philadelphia. I was there for the 4th of July and what a time to see all the treasures of American history the city holds. I found it friendly and clean and the touristy spots are not the traps you find in other cities the world over.
Chicago always seems over-looked by foreign travellers but it’s got a great theatre scene, amazing museums and most importantly Chicago-style pizza. I became obsessed, if you’ve never been to Chicago you have not truly tried this type of pizza. I tried both of the two biggest rivals; Gino’s East and Giordano’s, which are both fantastic places. At both restaurants if you go for lunch, not only do you get a bargain, you also avoid the crazy queues that come with the dinner rush. Don’t ask me to choose between them, I loved them both but I preferred the interior of Gino’s East, so went there twice and Giordano’s only once. But seriously, both are amazing, Giordano’s had a much more family-friendly atmosphere though.
The Smithsonian is why. It’s a strange city, everything is white and not very busy. It’s incredibly clean but it doesn’t feel like anybody actually lives there. It’s on here for having a load of tourist attractions and history and interesting things but ultimately it’s not a city you can fall in love with. This is no New York, this is a working city that has stuff you will definitely want to see. The Lincoln Memorial was my favourite and really does have a powerful feeling that surrounds it.
What’s next on your list? Where is your dream destination in the USA? Have you ever been to the US before, what city did you love visiting?