Exploring the USA

I’ve traveled around a fair bit of my home country over the years, including as a child. That’s taken me to almost all 50 states, but I’m ready to go back and visit them all again!


100-DSC_0950-Denali-in-AlaskaThe largest of the states, Alaska has a grandeur all its own. It’s far more than just an icy landscape of glaciers and mountain peaks, with rain forests, alpine meadows, braided rivers, and so much more. While known as a summer cruise destination, it’s better explored via highway, ferry, and small boat where you become part of the vastness of this northern land.


suargo cactus with mountains in ArizonaArizona is a wonderful respite from a Minnesota winter and, with a number of family and friends there, I travel there regularly. Usually I spend my time around Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun, but I also get to Sedona and Tucson on occasion.

In addition, back in 2006 we did a driving trip that took us to northern Arizona and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I still haven’t been to the south rim yet. . .

All Arizona posts


golden gate bridge I love California – all of it, from the northern coastal mountains to the desert south.

My dream California trip? Follow spring up from the deserts, over to the coast, through the mountains, and back to the coastal forests of the north. . . pretty much the whole state.

All California posts


228-DSC_3589-Keystone-ColoradoNothing says “mountains” to me like Colorado — in part due to a youth spent listening to John Denver. While the mountains are spectacular, there is a lot more to Colorado.


Miami Beach - ExplorationVacation.netI was on vacation with my family in Florida for my 16th birthday, and then waited way more than 16 years to go back again. What was I thinking? I love Florida.



Ohau coastline For some with friends living in these magical islands, I sure don’t get there often enough. Talk about a tropical paradise!



Cloud Gate in Millenium Park Chicago at nightI haven’t seen much of Illinois, but I do love Chicago. Always have. Suspect I always will.




beach house along Cape Cod BayEastern Massachusetts, where I’ve spent most of my time in the state, is classic coastal New England offering rocky shorelines and colorful fishing villages, the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, cosmopolitan Boston, and plenty of reminders of the Revolutionary War.

All Massachusetts posts


Other than a drive through (with stops in Dearborn for my car crazy father and brother) on a family trip in high school, I’d never really given much thought to Michigan. Many years later a fall driving trip through the U.P. and down along the Lake Michigan coast made me realize how much I’d been missing. A return trip needs to be in the cards!


path into the woods Wild River State ParkMy home state!

Not to brag, but we’ve got everything here – vibrant cities, buccolic rural areas, and true wilderness.



wrangler with horses at Many Glacier HotelFrom Helena to Glacier National Park and back – via Canada.




Bally's sign at night Los VegasI’m not a Vegas sort of girl, but I sure do groove on the desert!

New Hampshire

One of those wonderful New England states where time sometimes seems to stand still. Years ago we did a fall leaf tour here – the short return visit we made the other year wasn’t long enough.

New Mexico

There’s just never enough time for exploring New Mexico. . .

All New Mexico posts

New York

Statue of LibertyI’ve actually seen a fair amount of the New York state, but that was a very, very long time ago. As an adult my too-inquent visits have focused on New York City.


North Dakota

old barn in North DakotaThe northernmost of the the northern plains, North Dakota isn’t all dead flat farmland and oil fields. There really is scenery in North Dakota! I went to college in Fargo/Moorhead, which has become a lively little place in the years since.

All North Dakota posts



We have friends in Ohio, which is what brought us there as visitors. What we discovered was a lovely, vibrant place.

All Columbus posts


South Dakota

mount rushmore at nightThe prairie only seems to go on forever. ; .  There are some real treats awaiting when you reach the Badlands and the Black Hills.


Texas longhornIt’s a big state. Despite first visiting in college, I haven’t seen very much beyond Austin, San Antonio, and Hill Country. But those are wonderful!

All Texas Hill Country posts




ranch at Kodachrome BasinProbably my favorite state, Utah has everything western wilderness-wise and it’s all stunning.




cooler with salmonWashington state – a study in contrast. Most of my time there has been in the lush and mountainous west, a far cry from the high plains of the east.

All Washington state posts

All Seattle posts


Washington DC

US Capital at ChristmasPerhaps my favorite city in the USA, there is always something going on in this city of museums, art, and politics. The increasing ease of walking and biking in the city only makes it that much better!

While I never tire of exploring the National Mall, the area beyond the mall is also well worth exploring, especially Georgetown and nearby Alexandria.

See more at Exploring Washington DC


Apostle Island beachWisconsin is my neighbor. I seem to make my way fairly regularly to Lake Superior’s South Shore and Apostle Islands, Milwaukee, the Mississippi River Valley, and the area around Baraboo. However, there are many more places I need to visit!

See more at Exploring Wisconsin








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