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My USA bucket list: 5 places to visit in USA

The United States, is one of the biggest countries in the world. The sheer size of the place means each of the 50 states offers a diverse landscape for wanderlusting, snap happy, Insta obsessed globetrotters.

5 places to visit in USA

places to visit in the USA | Wanderlust Fuel: My USA bucket list

From the beautiful coastlines of California; the backwater swamps of Florida; majestic mountain ranges of the Rockies; to the desert landscapes of the Great Plains and the vast metropolis of New York City. They even have their very own volcanic archipelago – Hawaii anyone? Perhaps that’s why only 36% of the population own a passport. Although I still can’t get my head around that shocking statistic.

I’ve crossed the pond a few times visiting family in North Carolina; San Francisco and L.A. in my hedonistic early twenties, Orlando and Palm Beach with the kids and recently I celebrated my 40th in Las Vegas. There are so many more places still on my USA bucket list. Here are my top five:

New Orleans, Louisiana

places to visit in the USA | Wanderlust Fuel: My USA bucket list

The city with soul, famous for its cuisine, eclectic music and vibrant Mardi Gras are just a few reasons why it’s high on my American bucket list. From the peeling facades of the French Quarter and strolling down the infamous Bourbon Street to the Mississippi River Cruise, it’s rich in history and brimming with beautiful architecture. Add to it the French-inspired Creole and Cajun cuisine, live jazz sessions plus a beignet or two and let the good times roll.

How can you not want to experience life in the Big Easy, in one of the most vibrant cities in the United States?

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

places to visit in the USA | Wanderlust Fuel: My USA bucket list

Ever since the days of watching re-runs of Bonanza with my dad, I’ve always wanted to discover my inner cowgirl in the Wild West and experience a rodeo – Yeehaa!

A land where cowboys and ranchers still raise cattle and many old traditions live on. It’s where the greatest attractions are geological – wild rivers, mountain peaks, geysers and wide open plains. One of America’s most desolate but scenic states, famous for its two national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. For me this is real America. If you head here in the winter months you can also hit the slopes and relax at a number of fashionable ski resorts.

Memphis, Tennessee

places to visit in the USA | Wanderlust Fuel: My USA bucket list

Ever since Marc Cohn’s early nineties hit ‘Walking in Memphis’, I’ve wanted to make the musical pilgrimage to the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. To the place where legends like Elvis, Johnny Cash and Otis Redding found their fame. How wonderful to be able to lose yourself in its world-famous museums, authentic record shops and neon-lit saloons.

Memphis is also home to the Civil Rights Movement where you can visit the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated and delve into a legacy which shaped American history. And for all those carnivores out there, get your teeth stuck into it’s world-renowned melt-in-your-mouth barbecues. Time for a pair of blue suede shoes before I board the plane!

New York City, New York

places to visit in the USA | Wanderlust Fuel: My USA bucket list

New York, one of those must-see cities in the world that I haven’t seen yet – Can you believe that?! No, nor can I! Where do I start, there’s the shopping! Oh the thought of filling your bags on 5th Avenue or the chic boutiques in Greenwich Village and in SoHo if cutting-edge design is your thing.

Take in a Broadway show, stroll through leafy Central Park, watch a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. From the skyscrapers, and yellow cabs to the ol’ Lady Liberty. I think it’s long overdue that I experience the city that never sleeps. Mr S – Sort it out!

Update: I finally made it New York in June 2018. Read more, in 12 things tourists must never do in New York!

Anchorage, Alaska

places to visit in the USA | Wanderlust Fuel: My USA bucket list

Two words ‘Northern Exposure’. Who watched it? Who even knows what I’m going on about? My love affair with Alaska began in the early nineties with the American comedy-drama in the eccentric town of Cicely full of kooky residents. It was the landscapes, natural beauty and remoteness that drew me in. Alaska is jaw-dropping wilderness on a grand scale.

The city of Anchorage is one of the most northernly in the world and set on a dramatic backdrop of snow-capped peaks and deep blue fjords. You’ll have to be on the lookout for the local wildlife too – bears, caribou, moose and orca. It’s a photographer’s paradise.


I think you’ll agree all five are high on the Instagram worthy destinations list too. You’ll find plenty more ideas on iconic places to photograph in the USA here*.

Where are your must-see places in the USA? I’d love to know in the comment box below.


*This is a collaborative post with Netflights


places to visit in the USA | Wanderlust Fuel: My USA bucket list


  • Angie 18th September 2017 at 8:06 am

    I’d love to see New Orleans too!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 18th September 2017 at 8:09 am

      Yeah! Relaxing in the Big Easy with Jazz music around every corner sounds just perfect to me.

  • Zoe 18th September 2017 at 8:38 am

    Really want to do NYE again. I love love Lake Tahoe and hope to return one day and also want to do the desert.

  • Lily 18th September 2017 at 10:01 am

    Aw, I would love to go to US as well! NYC and New Orleans are on my bucket list as well 🙂
    Lovely post! xxx

  • Sabine 18th September 2017 at 10:04 am

    I still have to visit the US too! These photo’s makes me even want to go more. Of course if I would go, I’ll bring my camera and now I know where to take the best photo’s

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Some great places to get the perfect Insta shot Sabine!

  • Jasmin N 18th September 2017 at 1:16 pm

    These are all my bucket list as well. Or well, I’ve been to NYC but it has earned its place on the list haha 😀 new Orleans would be so amazing to see!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:53 pm

      I still can’t believe I’ve not been to New York. Need to sort that out ASAP.

  • Justine Spencer 18th September 2017 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve been dying to travel to America! I know when I do, it’s going to be a big trip because there’s so much I want to see and experience. Definitely will add these spots to my big USA adventure x

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:54 pm

      Justine when you get there it will be a never-ending list of places.

  • Luisa O'Donnell 18th September 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I’d love to go to New Orleans, especially during one of the Jazz Festivals! I’d also love to go to Alabama although I’m not sure why, it’s just always somewhere I’ve wanted to go haha.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:55 pm

      It’s the sound of it. I love saying Alabama in the worst American accent. Love to go there too.

  • Analesha 18th September 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Oh man new Orleans would be such a cool place to visit. The culture, music and food! What a dream!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:56 pm

      It certainly is a place you could relax and let loose.

  • Helene 19th September 2017 at 9:42 am

    New York is my number one destination right now, hope to visit this city very soon. But i would love a tour as well all around United States. Great presentation!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks Helene. Hope I managed to put some more on your list.

  • Amanda 20th September 2017 at 5:03 pm

    What a wonderful list! I’m from the US, but I haven’t visited 3 of the 5 places you’ve listed here! (I’ve been to New York and Wyoming.) You’re totally right – there’s just so much to see. Still shocked by the percentage of passport holders, though. I had no idea! New Orleans is high on my list, too. I may be a bit bias, but I’d definitely put Seattle, Washington on your list. 😉

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:58 pm

      I want to go to Seattle too…Too many places Amanda and very few leave days is my problem.

  • Deborah Nicholas 20th September 2017 at 7:14 pm

    oh wow all of these are on my bucket list – i would love to do New Orleans in Mardi Gras season!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st September 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Yes! That would be an incredible experience.

  • Simon 25th January 2018 at 9:32 pm

    New Orleans and Memphis are on my list too, plus Nashville. I’ve been to a lot of the US!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 27th January 2018 at 3:54 pm

      I’m hoping to tick these off soon Simon! Where’s your favourite place?

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