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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
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
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