Looking for a new RV Bucket List? Read on…
We received this great question from one of our Facebook Group members, Vickie, “Most beautiful place in US? My first thought is Niagara Falls…what’s yours?”
WOW! The responses were so good we wanted to elaborate on them and send them out in a bigger way.
We’ve got an amazing Bucket List now! Currently close to 1000 responses!
Yes, there were overlaps, some places you just never forget and seem to be on everyone’s list but there were the out-of-the-way, unexpected places as well.
Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone were the overwhelming winners but if we follow each favorite we will be traveling across the great USA for a long time.
Before your departure, if you are planning on visiting national parks and are 62 or older consider purchasing the National Park Annual Pass. It’s a one-time $80 fee and is good for lifetime access to all national parks. It is an incredible bargain.
Let’s take the journey together. We’ll make it easy and go alphabetically by state. The comments on each state are from the Facebook community plus some of our thoughts, too.
Get your Bucket List out and add a few of these!
Arizona, home of the Grand Canyon.
Be sure to visit both the North and South Rim. So many only go to the South Rim and they are missing out. Vistas at both are literally breathtaking and vastly different. It was an eye-opening experience for us in 2015.
It has it all: deserts, mountains, ocean, farmland, cities, perfect weather. As the old song says, California dreaming and there are lots to dream about. Pacific Coast Hwy 1 will treat you to spectacular views and must-see spots: Big Sur, the Redwoods, Sequoias, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Falls. Don’t forget Death Valley and Lake Tahoe. East, west, north or south no matter which direction you take you will not be disappointed.
We love this area so much we created this video overview of some of the most spectacular places California has to offer. Put these on your Bucket List.
Florida has so much
In Florida, on Hwy 1 you can travel to the furthermost southern point in America, Key West. It’s a vibrant town full of coral reefs, nightlife, restaurants, Hemingway’s House, six-toed cats, and, of course, chickens. We have more posts on Florida than possibly any other state — check them all out here.
And if you want to stay in some of the best campgrounds on Florida's Gulf Coast – enjoy this video.
Hawaii, as one reader posted, anywhere in Hawaii, you will feel the Aloha Spirit.
Idaho boasts mountain vistas
Don’t forget Iowa
The Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa is known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes 9 separate grottos. Excellent Off the Beaten Path segment for Iowa is right here.
Michigan lives up to its slogan, Pure Michigan. On a trip to the UP (Upper Peninsula), you will go along Lake Michigan, Lake, Superior, and Lake Huron. A day trip to Mackinac Island by ferry is a treat. The island boasts no cars so walking, biking or hitching a ride on a horse carriage is how you get around.
And if this area of the country is calling to you – make sure you have our Great Lakes Shoreline Tour with you as you travel this amazing part of this country. It is a trip of over 4,000 miles and takes you to 8 states!
And it’s filled with beautiful vistas, welcoming towns and villages, and fabulous places to camp, hike, and explore.
Minnesota – the land of 10,000 lakes
Also home to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area located in the Superior National Forest along the Canadian border. It is the most visited wilderness area in America.
No motorized boats are allowed and it is a canoers paradise. Be ready to portage, carry everything in, be prepared for bears, and to be WOWed.
Its singular rugged beauty is something you will never forget. Don’t forget to bring your fishing poles and catch your nightly dinner. It’s a backpacker and canoers dream.
One reader said anywhere in Montana is worth seeing, and it is. One must-see place is Glacier National Park Wilderness area located in Montana’s Rocky Mountains. Be prepared for unprecedented beauty, grizzly bears, moose, and pristine lakes. The Road to the Sun is a drive you will never forget.
One of New York States' most iconic sites is Niagara Falls. The spectacular Niagara Falls are located in, you guessed it, Niagara Falls, NY, on the Canadian border.
The best place to view all 3 waterfalls – Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and Niagara Falls is the Observation Tower at Prospect Point in Niagara Falls State Park. The views are spectacular, the sound, feel, and beat of the water draw you in.
About 90% of the water flows over Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three waterfalls. A number of tours are available that get you up close and personal. One of the most popular tours is a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist. Be sure to bring your rain gear but it’s so worth it.
Traveling Oregon’s rugged coastline is a trip worth taking. Check out Crater Lake, formed by the collapsed volcano, Mount Mazama, at Crater National Park located in the Cascade Mountains of Southern Oregon. Make sure you check out this massive post – bookmark it for future road trips.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico. Take the Walnut Canyon Desert Loop drive and visit the huge underground chamber of the cavern where stalactites cling to the roof of the Big Room.
The Black Hills, otherwise known as Paha Sapa, is considered sacred to the Sioux Native Americans of South Dakota. Some of the most popular things to do while visiting the Black Hills is seeing Mount Rushmore, Spearfish Canyon, Harney Peak, the highest peak in the US east of the Rockies, and the Crazy Horse monument.
If you are in the Hills the second weekend in June you can participate in the Volks March and actually walk out on Crazy Horse's arm and view his face up close and personal. Deadwood is full of history as well as gambling for those so inclined.
One trip that belongs on every RVers bucket list is camping in the Badlands of South Dakota.
No bucket list would be complete without visiting the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Here are a few highlights for the outdoor enthusiast: Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, and Laurel Falls Trail. Of course, there’s always Dollywood for those so inclined. While in Tennessee, take in Dandridge, the county seat of Jefferson County and Douglas Lake.
Texas is big, bold and beautiful. Leave a couple of weeks open for touring this grand state. The Hill Country is a must-see from late March to early May when seasonal wildflowers are in full bloom.
Arches National Park is just north of Moab, Utah. It has more than 2000 natural sandstone arches, the most famous being the Delicate Arch in the east. Moab is considered a premier mountain biking destination
The Ice Caves in the Cascade Mountain Loop in Washington should be put on everyone’s bucket list. Also, Neah Bay, a Makah Reservation town bordering Canada near British Columbia is worth the drive.
Bayfield, Wisconsin, on the northern tip of Lake Superior, is a delightful town and gateway to the Apostle Islands. There are numerous boating exploration tours available to see the 21 islands.
Actually, the whole US side Shoreline Tour of the Great Lakes needs to be on every RVers Bucket List.
Wyoming has the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, home of Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs, boasting the largest number of hot terraces in the world. We've written about this area of the US for over a decade.
And one last thought from a member of our Facebook Group community, “Too many to choose just one. Bryce Canyon in winter, Teton Range, Mesa Verde, Point Reyes Sea Shore, Yellowstone in winter, Three Sisters Springs, flats fishing off Cedar Key, Wiseman Alaska Northern Lights…so many more! What a beautiful country.”
In the words of Woody Guthrie:
This Land Is Your Land
This land is your land and this land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me
Looking for more Expert RV Trip ideas and RV Travel suggestions?
We've written a library of RV Travel books that lay out seven-day guided explorations of scenic areas of the US that we'’ve explored and think would make an excellent RV trip for you.
In each location, we provide a suggested route and itinerary (7 stops in each guide, one for each day of a week trip!) as well as links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking spots, local tips, and interesting things to do at each location.
You can hit everything in seven days, do a whirlwind weekend tour, or you can take your time and explore the area over a 2+ week period.
Planning an RV trip can be very time-consuming so that’s why we’ve done the research for you! Just take our guides and use them, we’re sure you’ll have an RV trip for the ages! Instant download. CLICK HERE for information on our RV Travel Guides