If so, you’ll want to add these iconic American destinations to your Bucket List.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - Pearl Harbor, located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, holds a special place in the hearts of many Americans. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the US Naval base resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. Today, over 1.8 million people visit annually to learn about the past and pay their respects. Although the monument is sobering, Pearl Harbor grounds are not sad or depressing. There is a great amount of love found in the displays and the people who visit.
Though typically thought of as a single location, Pearl Harbor is actually a mix of museums, ship tours, and historical sites. The most famous of these is the USS Arizona Memorial. Tickets are free, but reservations are required for the film and boat ride out to the memorial itself.
Washington, D.C. - One of the most visited places in America, Washington, D.C. offers a great variety of experiences. You can learn about American history, see iconic sights, and enjoy any number of museums ranging from space flight to the history of spies.
When in D.C., there are some “must-see” locations. Stop by the Washington Monument, a grand tribute to our first president. Find a loved one’s name at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and create a rubbing. Visit the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour of every day.
You might also enjoy many of the festivals and celebrations going on throughout the year. Plan your trip during the spring if you would like to see the flowers at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. For the true patriot, watching the fireworks on the 4th of July, our Independence Day, is a once in a lifetime event!
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - One of the most beautiful and appealing locations in the United States is the Grand Canyon National Park. Coming in at a whopping 1,904 square miles, the park is larger than Rhode Island.
The view from the rim can’t be beat. Take a stroll on the Grand Canyon Skywalk if you’re feeling particularly brave. This horseshoe shaped, glass bridge extends 70 feet out over the canyon and offers a spectacular view 4,000 feet to the canyon below.
The canyon was considered to be a holy and sacred site by the Native Americans who lived in the area. Today, you can experience that same sense of awe by taking a white-water rafting trip through the canyon. Spend your days on the river and sleep under a canopy of stars.
Denali National Park, Alaska - Listen to the call of the wild and add Denali National Park to your list. Named by the Koyukon Athabascans, a Native Alaskan group, the word Denali means “the high one” or “the great one.” The name fits perfectly as Denali is the highest mountain in all of North America.
Denali National Park is still as wild and wonderful as when Charles Sheldon first visited over a century ago. Mountaineering and hiking are available, but be sure you have a trail map as many trails aren’t well maintained. For those whose idea of hiking means a short walk, motorized tours are available. Most people who visit hope to see the big five: moose, caribou, wolf, Dall sheep, and the brown or grizzly bear.
The Freedom Trail, Boston - “One if by land. Two if by sea.” History will come alive as you retrace the steps taken for the United States to gain our freedom.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile path that takes you through historic neighborhoods to tell the tale of the American Revolution. Starting at Boston Common, you’ll visit 16 locations including the location of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere Home, and The Old North Church. The tour ends at the US Constitution.
There are multiple ways to tour the Freedom Trail. Guided tours are available. You can also do a self-guided walking tour. If you choose to walk, feel free to bring your precious pup. On a leash, of course.
So, if you want to take a Great American Road Trip or enjoy a quick patriotic vacation, it doesn’t get any better than this. There’s something wonderful to be seen “from sea to shining sea.”