10 Places Every American Should Go – Traveling in Your Own Backyard

So I have something to admit…  I have some really boring hobbies that I absolutely love!  One of my all time favorites: listening to Talk Radio.  I would listen to talk radio all day (and sometimes do) if I had the opportunity.  My favorite stations are both out of Phoenix, and seeing as I’m from Phoenix that’d make sense.  Sports 620 KTAR is a station I turn on usually every morning when I wake up and get ready.  Their sister station, News Talk 92.3 KTAR is one I listen to throughout the day and I find nothing more relaxing than listen to the delayed airing of the Dave Ramsey Financial show on 92.3 while driving around at night.

Now I’m sure you’re confused because the whole opening of this post is borderline irrelevant and raises a couple of questions… 1) how the heck is Justin listening to Phoenix radio stations in Washington DC… and more importantly: 2) What the heck does this have to do with anything?

1) Internet and iPhone Apps (they have an app for that!)

2) While driving around the other weekend, I was listening to the Rob and Mark show on 92.3 KTAR and they ran down their list of 10 Places every American should visit.

Which leads me to this, according to the list I am only 30% American!

… Okay  well that’s probably not very fair.  But having only been to 3/10 of the places on the list, that’s what I have decided!

Here is the List:

10. Yellow Stone

9. French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana

8. The Pacific Coast Highway 1 in California

7. Times Square in New York

6. Grand Canyon, AZ

5. Taos Pueblo, NM

4. South Beach in Miami

3. Gettysburg Park

2. Pearl Harbor Memorial

1. National Mall

Now I have been to Time Square, the Grand Canyon (a must for any native Arizonans), and the National Mall.  All three of these have been amazing experiences and the National Mall is on going as long as I’m in DC.

Since I’m in this part of the country, I have plans to visit Gettysburg soon.  I want to take advantage of my time here!  I also foresee in the future (within the next couple years) my next grand road trip involving Pacific HW 1.  Right now my focus is on Europe, but beyond that I have several trips still up my sleeve!

While the list isn’t bad, here are some of my edits:


1. Southern California (San Diego, LA, Hollywood, and all the theme parks and sites in that area)

2. Chicago. Explanation Needed?  Wrigley Field. Navy Pier. High Quality Theater.  The Best Pizza I’ve ever had. Easily my top 3 cities i’ve ever been to.


1. Taos Pueblo, NM.  Sorry to anyone from NM but Albuquerque is… alright.  And that’s about the best part of NM.  I’ve driven through NM at least 15 times in my life and it is LONG… and gets really BORING.  I love old ruins of ancient societies as much (and I’d wager more!) than the next guy, but I feel like being on the top 10 is way too nice.

2. South Beach.  I love beaches, but I have never been to south beach… so if I am an idiot, point it out!  I love the coast in Cali (i’m biased as a west coast guy) but as much as I love the beach I love cities more.  Miami seems all about relaxing and clubbing.  I’d put Chicago up against Miami any day.


1. Gettysburg to include the sites in Philly such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.  Now I know that they are over 2 hours apart, but the Pacific Highway 1 is longer than that, so I think it should pass!

What do you think of the list?

What do you think of my changes?  Am I an idiot… let me know!

Check out some other posts about Traveling in Your Own Back Yard here!

16 Responses to “10 Places Every American Should Go – Traveling in Your Own Backyard”
  1. maddyvonhoff says:

    Sadly I’ve only been to 3, and only if you count the fact I was born in Chicago, great choice for a city!

    I’m glad I found your blog! I also have a travel-esque blog that’s co-written by myself and my best friend/former roommate so I’m glad to see their are similar blogs out there 🙂

  2. JL Walker says:

    HI! I just have to comment on your removal of South Beach from the list. I’ve never lived in Florida, but I’ve been to South Beach twice and it’s a very unique place, not just in terms of the actual beach: the area is well-known for its 1920s art deco architecture and that’s the reason I would recommend other people to go for a visit.
    P.S. I’ve also travelled around Italy and a few other parts of Europe, and might be able to answer some questions about your future travels!

    • Thanks for the comments! I did not know that about the architecture. i am sure that is a pretty unique location and I am very interested to see it now. Thanks for the offer, too. I will let you know if I can think of any questions!

  3. Rachel says:

    I’ve only been to two – my further exploration of the US is yet to come. I lived in DC and worked on the Mall, so I’ve been there a time or two. And I’ve been to Times Square. The other stuff seems like good places to see too. I’ve road-tripped up the West Coast but we took Route 5 instead of the Pacific Coast Highway because of time limitations, sadly. Well, someday. It’s often harder to see a lot of places in your own country than when you travel abroad, because you always think “well, it’s not far, I can always go tomorrow/next month/next year.”

  4. Brian says:

    I have been to most places on your list(Missing Taos & National Mall), and I would have to say South Beach can go. I was there last year while in Miami for a race and we took a taxi out there and I was not that impressed. I have lived in Florida too. I also not a “beach” person either, so there could be some bias there.
    I really think you need to add places like Bryce, Zion, & Yosemite Nat’l Parks. These places are amazing natural resources reside within our borders. Also Yellowstone is one word. 😉
    I don’t kow if you are sticking to the lower 48, but if not how about Hawaii and Alaska?

    • I think Alaska could definitely be put on the list (I know it is on the list of places i want to go) and thanks for the correction! Hawaii is on the list with the Pearl Harbor Memorial, but it should definitely be expanded to include Hawaii in total.

  5. 100% Heart says:

    Good call on Pacific Coast Highway. It’s a beautiful route which could be quite distracting. When/if you do go, pull over to enjoy the view.

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