Last week, I shared my top 10 to do and see around the world...this week, I'm sharing recommendations around the USA!  I spent years living overseas and traveling all over the world, so learning to love America has been a more recent thing.  There are still more places that I want to see and things that I want to do, but here are the ones that I have loved most so far:

1.  GRAND CANYON - Ever since I was a kid, I said that I wanted to do a huge USA road trip and visit the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Redwoods.  In 2012, Ironman and I did it!  I have always known that the Grand Canyon was large, but WHOA.  There are no words to describe the immensity of it all.  Even the photo doesn't do it justice.  It was absolutely breathtaking.  We camped there for two nights, but could have spent a week and not seen it all.

2.  DOWNTOWN GREENVILLE - My favorite thing to do in Greenville, SC is to go downtown, get a cup of herbal tea, walk down into the park, find an empty seat and people watch.  It's so relaxing and Ironman and I always end up having such good conversations, almost like the park opens us up and allows us to dream together.

3.  NEW YORK CITY - As a high school graduation celebration, my mimi brought me here for a few days to sight see and see Hairspray and The Lion King.  NYC is a busy place and although I loved the sight seeing, I want to go back one day just for the musicals.  Ironman and I went back for a day and walked around a bit a few years back.  It was then and there that we decided we have to return together, for a weeklong vacation, to see several musicals.

4.  REDWOODS - Just like the Grand Canyon, the Redwoods were nothing like what I expected.  Again, I knew that they were large, but holy cow.  I could never have imagined what it would feel like to be around such enormous trees!  We camped there for 2 nights.  Our site was covered in trees and right by a creek.  It was cool weather and quiet.  Just remembering it makes me feel calm.  Ironman and I definitely want to come back here one day!

5.  YELLOWSTONE - We only spent a day here on our road trip, but I loved the color of the water. The landscape was so unique in that every direction you looked, there was something different to see.  Trees in mucky white water, deep blue pools, a raging river, trees and fields and so much more.  Although I wouldn't want to camp because of the grizzlies, I'd love to come back, stay in the lodge and see more of the park!

6.  SALT LAKE CITY - If we bought a house in any other place, it would be here.  The weather is perfect with little to no humidity, the downtown has so much to do and so many places to eat, the city is surrounded by snowcapped mountains and it's less than an hour drive to the Young Living Lavender Farm.  This is by far one of our absolute favorite places to go in the country.  Thank goodness we are leaders with Young Living, so we know we are going to be coming back here frequently for years and years!

7.  BILTMORE - Something about seeing how people used to live and dress is so intriguing.  I love history and putting myself in the shoes of those from the past.  Plus, it's so cool to see how wealthy people lived...I'm always shocked by the amount of money that people had and even have today.  My favorite room in the Biltmore is the pool.  There is basically an entire room that is completely tiled.  You walk in through a door in the side of the pool and the walkway is bolted to the walls.  So different than indoor pools today, but so genius!

8.  PAWLEY'S ISLAND - Ok, so it's not just Pawley's Island.  We love to go down to the beach.  We have our favorite restaurants, shopping areas, state parks and things to do like the annual Night of a Thousand Lights at the Brookgreen Gardens.  I think because we spent the first week of our honeymoon at the beach, it will always be a special place for us.  Pawley's is definitely awesome because we go there each summer with Ironman's family and I always look forward to it!  It's a great family beach...more space, more quiet.

9.  SANTA MONICA PIER - Since we live only an hour and a half from the beach, it's not uncommon to just head over for the day.  But, since I had never been to the Pacific coast, it was on my bucket list.  I wanted to put my feet in and say that I had been there, done that.  Let me tell you, it was not what I expected.  Dark, freezing water.  Which meant that I put my feet in, literally...only my feet.  I also had this romanticized view of what it would be to be at the beach in California.  Um, that was shattered.  Santa Monica Pier turned out to be like a west coast version of Myrtle Beach...aka a dirty, overcrowded, tourist trap.  Not what I expected, but at least I got to cross it off my Bucket List.

10.  CAMPING ANYWHERE - Every time we camp, we want more.  We love it.  I don't know if it's the getting away, just the two of us, or just being out in nature.  But, each time we camp we feel refreshed and come home happier.  I really wish that we could take 6 months and hike the Appalachian Trail together.  Most people think that's crazy and that I would hate it, but when I imagine the months of quiet nature, I feel so drawn to the idea!  Who knows, maybe it will never happen.  But, I can dream and hope for now.

Am I missing anything that you would recommend?  Let me know in the comments below and maybe I'll add it to our Bucket List!

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