17 Epic Locations for Your USA Travel Bucket List

Looking for travel inspiration for an upcoming America trip? Here are 17 incredible locations to include on your USA travel bucket list.

If America was a person, he’d be 7 feet tall, built like a weightlifter, and have an ironic name, like “Tiny.” Covering a total area of 3.8 million square miles, it’s an enormous country – one of the five largest nations on earth.

It isn’t just empty space, either. Spread around its hulking frame are an inordinate number of attractions. From incredible natural features and phenomena to fascinating historical sites, the United States is blessed with a surplus of special places.

In this post, I’m going to highlight 20 of the best.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but everywhere on it warrants a spot on your US bucket list. There’s a real mix of attractions, too, so hopefully, you’ll discover one or two destinations you’ve never heard about before…

1. Giant Redwoods, California and Southern Oregon

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In specific places on the west coast of America, you can walk with ancient giants. Old-growth redwoods defy belief with their age, height, and girth. They make people seem puny. Redwood National and State Parks is one of the best parts of the country to see them. You’ll find the world’s tallest living tree there, Hyperion, which stands over 115 meters tall.   

2. New York City, New York

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The Big Apple needs no introduction. It’s a buzzing, vibrant, and diverse metropolis full of world-class restaurants and famous attractions. From Broadway and the Empire Estate Building to Times Square and Central Park, you’ll explore places you’ve seen countless times on TV. Anyone who enjoys non-stop activity and entertainment will be in their element.

3. Shoshone Falls, Idaho

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Shoshone Falls is often called the “Niagara Falls of the West.” At over 900 feet wide and 200 feet tall, this mighty waterfall is actually taller than Niagara.

It’s an impressive sight nestled in a beautiful landscape, with a flow of water that fluctuates with the seasons. For the most impressive torrents, time your visit for spring, when the snowpack starts to melt. You’ll find it on the Snake River just outside the City of Twin Falls.

4. Niagara Falls, New York

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Niagara Falls is one of North America’s best-known natural landmarks. While people tend to recommend the view from its Canadian side, this mighty cascade is a remarkable sight in America, too. The eponymous city in New York State leaves less to be desired, apparently, but if you’re going for Niagara Falls itself, you won’t be disappointed.

5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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America’s first national park is one of the most famous parts of the country. It covers over 2.2 million acres of diverse and awe-inspiring terrain. There are hundreds of waterfalls (the Lower Falls is iconic) and thousands of hydrothermal features, and the biodiversity is incredible. Throw in a history that stretches back thousands of years and Yellowstone really is epic.

6. Smithsonian Museums, Washington D.C.

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The US capital is a paradise for culture vultures. The Smithsonian Museums are open almost every day of the year and are 100% free to visit. The African American History and Culture Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the American Art Museum, and the Natural History Museum are just a handful of the 21 institutions available to explore.

7. Alaska’s Arctic Coast, Alaska

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Few places in America are as wild and remote as the Alaskan Arctic. It’s as untouched by human hands as locations get in the US, making it an ideal destination for adventure. Visit to experience spectacular Arctic landscapes and wildlife and to gain an insight into traditional Iñupiat culture. If you’re lucky, you might also see the northern lights.

8. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

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South-central Kentucky is home to the longest-known cave system on earth. Beneath a spectacularly biodiverse surface lies the aptly named Mammoth Cave, with its 426 miles of explored passageways. People have lived and visited the place for thousands of years. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you can explore on a variety of tours.

9. Yosemite National Park, California

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Yosemite’s iconic waterfalls, mountains, and valleys have made it one of America’s most adored national parks. Great hulking granite cliffs rise vertically from picturesque forests and meadows below. Highlights include Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and the towering figures of El Capitan and Half Dome (not to mention the famous Cables Walk to the summit).

10. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland and Virginia

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Assateague Island is a unique barrier island that straddles the border of Maryland and Virginia. It’s a beautiful, wild, and sand-covered stretch of land under constant barrage from the Atlantic Ocean. There are salt marshes, maritime forests, and sandy bays, but Assateague Island is most famous for its herds of wild horses.

11. Disney World, Florida

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Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has been entertaining excited families for decades. It has four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Each one has different attractions and a distinct appeal, but Magic Kingdom, with its iconic Cinderella Castle, is arguably the most famous.

12. Grand Canyon, Arizona

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No list of bucket list destinations in America is complete without the Grand Canyon. This natural wonder of the world is 217 miles long, a mile deep, and up to 18 miles wide. Whether you hike into it, canoe down the Colorado River, or stay standing on the rim, it’s the sort of place that humbles you.

13. The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

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The Narrows is a fitting name for a stretch of Zion Canyon that, in places, is just six meters wide with 300-meter cliff walls on either side. It’s a remarkable and evocative place that’s understandably popular among hikers who don’t mind getting their feet wet. Far from a dry walk, after a certain point, you’re wading through the Virgin River.

14. Hana Highway, Maui, Hawaii

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Among the countless Hawaiian attractions that deserve a spot on this list, one of the most popular is driving the Road to Hana on Maui. It’s just over a 60-mile drive from Kahului to Hana on the east coast, but it has hundreds of switchbacks, dozens of single-lane bridges, and stunning scenery the entire way. Expect beaches, waterfalls, and lush verdant landscapes.

15. Route 66, Illinois to California

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The Mother Road runs from Chicago, Illinois all the way to Santa Monica, California, crossing six other states in between. It’s far quieter and more dilapidated than it was 80 years ago, but Route 66 remains an iconic American road trip. It’s making a comeback, too – especially with its 100-year anniversary coming up in 2026.

16. Las Vegas, Nevada

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Sin City is an effervescent place with a reputation for debauchery in the desert. On the strip, you can gamble all night, get hitched by an Elvis impersonator, and see the world’s greatest performers live in concert. Elsewhere, it’s a different, more peaceful story! For example, Vegas is on the doorstep of stunning places like Red Rock Canyon National Park.

17. Mount Whitney, California

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Mount Whitney holds a special allure among hikers. Not only is it the highest mountain in the contiguous US, but it’s also incredibly scenic and can be summited in one (albeit very long and arduous) day. Furthermore, you don’t need any mountaineering skills to tackle it. If you’re fit, motivated, and have a permit, then you’re good to go.



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Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including MSN.com and news sites across the US.