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Travel Bucket List Ideas For 2024: USA

As we enter the New Year, I’m getting super excited about my travel plans for 2024. This got me thinking about all the beautiful places in the US to explore. Traveling within the United States itself can be such an adventure – from tropical beaches to majestic mountains, bustling cities to quaint little towns, there’s always something for everyone!

Whether you’re looking to explore new places or rediscover familiar ones, this list of 2024 Travel Bucket List: USA is sure to inspire.


I just had to kick off the list with a personal travel bucket list item of mine. My husband, L, has such fond memories with his families visiting Yellowstone National Park as a kid. Just hearing him talk about his experience watching the Old Faithful geyser erupt and the wild bison roam makes me so excited to see all the majestic beauty of Mother Nature for myself. Every once in awhile, we also love unplugging from our city life in LA and taking our adventures to the great outdoors, and a trip to Yellowstone National Park will do just that!

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: Old Faithful Geyser | Grand Prismatic Spring | Grand Canyon of Yellowstone | Artist Point | Bozeman Wildlife Safari Private Guided Tour (highly recommend!)
WHAT TO EAT: Mammoth Hotel Dining Room | Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room | Bear Pit Lounge | Firehole BBQ CO.
WHERE TO STAY: Huckleberry House | Yellowstone Lodge | Kelly Inn West Yellowstone


If you’re looking to stack your week with another beautiful destination while you’re out in Wyoming, consider visiting Grand Teton National Park as well. Both feature very different landscapes; Yellowstone with iconic geologic formations, and Grand Teton boasting towering peaks and glistening waters. The best way to get around is by car, though many roads won’t reopen till early-May. As with all national parks, be sure to plan ahead and familiarize yourself with weather conditions and road closures.

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: Jenny Lake Trail | Mormon Row Historic District (for the iconic TA Moulton Barn sunrise photo) | Wildlife Float in Jackson Hole | Schwabacher Landing (keep your eye out for elk, moose, bison, and pronghorn here!) | Wildlife Safari in Open-Air Vehicle
WHAT TO EAT: Trapper Grill | Jenny Lake Lodge Dining Room | Leek’s Marina & Pizzeria | The Mural Room
WHERE TO STAY: Mountain Modern Motel | Cowboy Village Resort | Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole


Oahu in Hawaii is one of my most favorite places to vacation in the US. I’m not really a “beach person,” and I still had such an amazing time here. Beyond its gorgeous sandy beaches, there’s so much fun water sports and activities to do, beautiful places to see, hiking trails to conquer, delicious food to try, designer shopping to do, and even a fun road trip in your rented Jeep around the island! Whether you enjoy relaxing or are looking for an island adventure, Oahu has a little bit (or a lot!) of everything for everyone!

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: Indigo Ocean Hawaii Swim With Dolphins (One of the best experiences of my life – HIGHLY RECOMMEND!) | Hanauma Bay snorkeling (make sure you get tickets early!) | Kualoa Ranch UTV Raptor Tour | X-treme Parasail | Moana’s Sunset Cocktail Sail | Koko Crater Railway Trail Hike
WHAT TO EAT: La Mer | Sweet E’s Cafe | Adela’s Country Eatery | Marukame Udon Waikiki (go early – there is usually always a long line) | Highway Inn Kaka’ako | Helena’s Hawaiian Food
WHERE TO STAY: Prince Waikiki (we loved the location – far from city noise, right next to harbor, and a quick walk to Ala Moana Center) | Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites | Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach


New Orleans is THE destination for bold flavors, vibrant streets, and soul-filled music. The iconic architecture also lends to NOLA’s distinctive feel, and of course, there’s the iconic Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter. Frenchmen Street is also a vibe – great live music all around. And if you were looking to experience Mardi Gras in February, I hope you’ve been planning well ahead of the celebration!

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: The National WWII Museum | Frenchmen Street | French Quarter | Jackson Square | Garden District | Royal Street | St. Louis Cathedral
WHAT TO EAT: Restaurant R’evolution | Commander’s Palace | The Joint (i’m just drooling thinking about the bbq from here) | Bobby Hebert’s Cajun Cannon | Oceana | Atchafalaya | Cafe Du Monde (some consider this a tourist trap, but it’s worth trying out the iconic beignets!)
WHERE TO STAY: Roami at The Brandywine | Homewood Suites By Hilton New Orleans French Quarter | Roami at Factors Row


I always hear such amazing things about Juneau, Alaska and it’s always been one of the top destinations on my personal travel list. I’ve had family members rave about Alaskan cruise ships, but Juneau itself is filled with so many adventures. The best time to visit Juneau is during warmer weather from May to September, and it’s also when the daylight hours are longer so you can explore more of the great outdoors. If you’re up for it, you can also explore the hiking trails in Tongass National Forest – the largest national forest in the US!

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: Tracy Arm Fjord | Nugget Falls | Mendenhall Glacier | Goldbelt Tram | Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure | DIPAC’s Macaulay Salmon Hatchery | Whale Watching | Admiralty Island (for bear watching)
WHAT TO EAT: Deckhand Dave’s | Sandpiper Cafe | The Rookery Cafe | The Hangar On The Wharf
WHERE TO STAY: Juneau Hotel | Aspen Suites Hotel Juneau | Silverbow Inn & Suites


Rainforests, mountains, canyons, beaches, waterfalls, and beyond – Olympic National Park has them all! There’s so much diversity within each ecosystem, and each one majestic in its own right. If you’re looking to lose yourself in the beauty of Mother Nature, then you’ll love it here. Over 95% of Olympic National Park is designated as the wilderness, so if you’re looking to take a walk on the wild side, then look no further!

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: Ruby Beach | Hoh Rain Forest | Hurricane Ridge | Sol Duc Falls | Lake Crescent
WHAT TO EAT: Lake Crescent Lodge Restaurant | Kokopelli Grill | Bella Italia | Oak Table Cafe | Nourish Sequim
WHERE TO STAY: Dew Drop Inn | Pacific Inn Motel | Red Lion Inn & Suites at Olympic National Park


If city life is more to your liking, there’s so much to see and do in Seattle! This buzzing city is home to some of the best coffee and food, and of course, the iconic Pike Place Market. Also make sure to check out the cool Gum Wall. There’s also the famous Chihuly Garden and Glass art museum, the Space Needle, and you could even catch a 35-minute ferry ride to Bainbridge Island.

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: Chihuly Garden and Glass | Pike Place Market | The Museum of Flight | Space Needle | Kerry Park | Museum of Pop Culture | The Seattle Great Wheel | Bainbridge Island (take the ferry there)
WHAT TO EAT: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese | The Pink Door | Tilikum Place Cafe | Spinasse | Vons 1000 Spirits
WHERE TO STAY: Warwick Seattle | The Mediterranean Inn | citizenM Seattle South Lake Union | Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Downtown


Zion National Park in Utah was another fun one in our adventure books. We were there in the busy, hot summer month of August, and were able to experience walking chest deep in the waters of The Narrows.
If you go during the winter season, you’ll have the option to drive your personal vehicles since the shuttles will not be running during most of this off-season period. Make sure to check out the shuttle service schedule here. At higher elevations, the formations are often dusted with snow and the contrast of the white against the red rocks is truly such a unique sight to see!

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: The Narrows (highly recommend! Be prepared with proper footwear) | Angel’s Landing (if you dare…) | Canyon Overlook Trail | Observation Point (highly recommend if you enjoy hiking! Breathtaking views – you can also see Angel’s Landing from here)
WHAT TO EAT: Oscar’s Cafe | MeMe’s Cafe | Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon | Spotted Dog
WHERE TO STAY: Zion Glamping Adventures | Zion Cliff Lodge | La Quinta by Wyndham at Zion Park/Springdale


Dallas is one of my favorite US cities I’ve visited – it reminds me a lot of Los Angeles, but with a lot more greenery. My husband, L, and I love visiting museums in different cities, and the Perot Museum is one of our favorites. We also really enjoyed walking around the Dallas Arboretum. We were there in April and all the beautiful flowers were blooming and there were many people doing photoshoots. The city is also home to our favorite BBQ place of all-time: PECAN LODGE! I don’t even like brisket that much, but theirs is just amazing! And the “Hot Mess” sweet potato… just perfection!

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza | The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum | Perot Museum of Nature and Science (highly recommend!) | Dallas Zoo | Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens (highly recommend!) | Bishop Arts District | Frontiers of Flight Museum | Dallas Museum of Art | The Dallas World Aquarium | Katy Trail
WHAT TO EAT: Pecan Lodge (highly recommend! but be prepared for long lines) | Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (there are many locations) | Rise Soufflé | Emporium Pies | Pappas Bros. Steakhouse | Rodeo Goat
WHERE TO STAY: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Dallas Park Central Northeast | DoubleTree by Hilton Dallas Near the Galleria | Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas | Aloft Dallas Downtown


Badlands is known for its rugged landscape and the park’s native wildlife. Here, you can spot Bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorns, coyotes, prairie dogs, falcons, and more amidst its unique rock formations. The sunrise and sunset here are equally magical, and during the nighttime the stargazing here is unmatched. You can also stack this trip with a drive to Mount Rushmore to check out the sculpture carved into the rock formation.

THINGS TO SEE OR DO: Drive along Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) | Badlands “The Wall” | Notch Trail | Big Badlands Overlook | Roberts Prairie Dog Town | Ben Reifel Visitor Center | Pinnacles Overlook | Yellow Mounds Overlook
WHAT TO EAT: Cedar Pass Lodge Restaurant | Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill | Cowboy Corner
WHERE TO STAY: Days Inn by Wyndham Wall | Americas Best Value Inn Wall | Cedar Pass Lodge

Which places are on your US Travel Bucket List? I’d love to know!

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