Image source: Flickr - Curtis Perry
Epic drives, vast landscapes, and wilderness treks await those who have a sense of adventure in America. Having an American bucket list will help you discover and prioritize all the fascinating places this country has to offer.
Let's look at some of the best bucket list items in America to add to your epic list.
The Zion Narrows is a sixteen-mile hike in Utah that the Virgin River carved out over centuries and is a mecca for those with an adventurous spirit.
Get your feet wet as you ford the turquoise waters of the Virgin River while gazing upon the colorful shades of the towering 2,000-foot cliffs. Certain parts of the canyon are narrow and in some places, it shrinks to only thirty feet wide, which causes water to rise to waist level during heavy rains.
The hike is a moderate challenge, but the stunning canyon walls and crimson cliffs make it one of the best hikes in the American West.
Yellowstone has dozens of exciting adventures to enjoy. However, if you are looking to add a challenge to your bucket list, head to the forgotten southwest corner of the park to start an epic twenty-seven mile hike.
Traversing the wild terrain of this American haven will guide you past immense waterfalls, hot springs, wild meadows, and even geyser eruptions. This challenge will lead into some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the park.
In the remote Koolau Mountains, a rickety stairway of almost 4,000 steps leads to the summit of Puu Keahiakahoe. Unfortunately, the Haiku Stairs are closed to the public at the moment.
However, recently they were repaired which gives hope that they will be open soon. Even though they are closed, it does not stop many photographers and adventurers who climb the stairs at their own risk.
Certain junctions of the hike are dangerous with sheer cliffs, narrow steps, and steep ladder climbs that can leave your stomach in knots. Viewing the lush mountains and thick green jungles of Hawaii at cloud level is worth the adventure, fear and challenge of this treacherous ascent.
Remember, no matter what you do on your trip, always take out travel insurance to cover everything from delayed flights to an accident on these beautiful stairs.
Spend nine days in Albuquerque at the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. The festival leaves people in wonderment as they gaze out at over 500 hot air balloons filling the horizon.
Multiple launches happen throughout the day, making it easy to hire a ride or capture the perfect sunrise and sunset pictures. Floating above the scenic New Mexico countryside will not be an experience you will forget anytime soon.
The Albuquerque Balloon Festival starts every year in early October.
Let's get away from the mountains and balloons and head to the water. America is not typically known for scuba diving, but there are some fantastic dives in the azure blue waters.
One item, which should be on your bucket list if you are a scuba diver, is wreck diving. Some of the best wreck dives are in Lake Superior. Here you will swim around ten sunken ships dating from the 19th and 20th centuries beneath the cool waters of the largest lake in America.
These wreck dives are fantastic, because Lake Superior's fresh water has the perfect temperature to preserve the quality of the ships, literally making them untouched by time. In fact, inside one of the ships you can still see wooden crates filled with packages of Life Savers candy.
Snorkeling with Manatees will be a close encounter like none other. These large sea cows are extremely sociable and love human interaction. Spending an afternoon snorkeling with the gigantic creatures is an awe-inspiring adventure.
Crystal River, Florida is the only place in the United States where you can snorkel with wild manatees and on a good day there are dozens in the water.
America is the home of great road trips, and no other road is more legendary than Route 66. The Main Street of America was built alongside old wagon trails and even today, thousands of people continue the great American tradition of "Heading West."
Various major interstates have made Route 66 become an off-the-beaten-path experience, but grand vistas, quirky diners, and remote towns await you on this classic journey.
Have you have dreamed of sailing the seven seas like a pirate? Did you know that you can in the U.S.?
America has several tall ships that will teach you how to sail like they did in centuries past. Feel the wind on your face as you scurry up the mast to bring in the sail. Feel the ocean spray as you hoist the anchor. Even if you don't want to learn how to sail these enormous ships, some of them will take you on as a passenger so you can get a taste of life on the high seas. Pirate costume optional!
With a country as wild and full of adventure as America, chances are your bucket list will continue to grow.
What are some of your own American bucket list items?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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