50 by 25

50 by 25

When I was around 20 years old, I made it a goal to travel to and do something significant in each and every state by the time I turned 25. I accomplished that goal in February of 2020, right before the world shut down. In this post I will list each state in alphabetical order, what I did there, how I traveled there, and more! Hope you enjoy!

1. Alabama

-My Aunt Carol and Uncle Terry live in Alabama so this state was one of the first ones I accomplished. As a child my family and I would drive down every year for Thanksgiving and spend the week with them and some of my cousins. I have also been able to go back as an adult for work. Fort Benning Army Base on the border of Georgia and Alabama is where we would go down to drop the airborne students for our paratroop drops! A delicious BBQ restaurant sits right outside of the gates called BBQ house and you really cannot go wrong with any choice on that menu!

My Uncle Terry and Aunt Carol

2. Alaska

-Lucky for me, I met friends all around the US and world from joining the military. Two of my best friends from tech school just happened to be in the Alaska Air National Guard, and on top of that both of them had parents who worked for Alaska Airlines. They were able to hook me up with a buddy pass to fly out there from Michigan for super cheap! I got round trip tickets for around $200! I spent the week up there with them and did all sorts of fun things. I went in January, which to be honest, was not my smartest choice but it was still an absolute blast. We went skiing on Mount Aleyaska (The only ski resort in Alaska), where I was totally unprepared. I didn’t pack any snow pants or proper jackets, and it was my first time skiing outside of Ohio. Needless to say I froze and fell a lot. But whiskey helped with both of those things haha. We also climbed to the peak of Mount Baldy where my friend and I did acro yoga for the first time on top of the mountain. I had proper sushi and at conveyer built sushi restaurant and ate so much other delicious foods! I remember the halibut being my favorite fish there. And the last day I was there we went four wheeling on the beaches in Kenai Alaska! Obviously stayed for free with friends and saved a lot of money that way. I will definitely be going back in the summer next time though.

On top of Mount Baldy

3. Arizona

-I have been to this beautiful state a few times now! For work and for fun. The fun trip, two of my best friends I grew up with decided to fly out to Vegas, rent a car and drive to the Grand Canyon together. We stayed in a hotel right outside of the National Park which was pricey but because there were three of us it was not bad at all. We hiked the South Rim together taking lots of pictures for my film photography class I was in at the time in college. After the Grand Canyon, we made our way to Lake Havasu, Arizona for another friend of mines wedding! I met her in Basic Training, so it was awesome to get to reconnect with her and some other friends there. I also solo hiked a trail called, Sara’s crack the day before the wedding, not far from Lake Havasu in a park called Sara Park. It was a super unique trail in between rocks the entire time, climbing down ladders and squeezing through tight spaces! I was able to stay cool since it was out of the sun the entire time and it was only about a 1-2hour hike.

Me on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

4. Arkansas

-As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I had to go to three different states for my tech schools. Arkansas was the one I was at the longest. I lived here for 6 months in 2015-2016. Arkansas never really seems to appeal to people when you think of places to travel to, but I had an absolute BLAST living here! I made so many incredible friends, and did so many different things here. To keep it short some of my favorite things we did were; going to the dueling piano bars in downtown Little Rock, along with all the other unique bars and restaurants down there and constant concerts (I saw Stevie Wonder the first month I was there). We hiked Pinnacle Mountain 6 times while I was there, its a easy hike up to the top of this mountain, one side is more rocky and difficult than the other but you definitely get a good little workout in doing it. We also made road-trips and rented cabins for holidays and just little getaways in the woods! Hot springs is another fun town with, of course the National Park as well. My dad and Uncle came down to visit me and we made a trip there and soaked in the hot waters. They unfortunately are all bath houses and not natural rock hot springs like you find out west but still very cool and relaxing. Oh and plenty of good eats and breweries!

Me and my friend Austin on the side of Pinnacle Mountain

5. California

-The first time I made it out here was once again with the same two friends I went out to Vegas and Arizona with along with another friend from back in the day. We decided to fly out to LA for a long weekend getaway! LA is absolutely insane and not gonna lie, not my favorite place in the world. Traffic is horrible, no matter where you go it’s expensive and crowds are everywhere but if you can get past all that there is still a lot of fun things to do. We rented out an airbnb downtown with a few other friends of my friend and that’s how we saved a lot of money. Some of the things we did while we were there were your typical touristy things but must dos! We went to the Santa Monica Pier and walked the beaches, went to Muscle Beach and “worked out” aka played around and watched people workout. One night we went out to a rooftop bar called Ace Hotel, there was a rooftop pool and amazing views all around! We walked around the streets and took pictures with the street art, went to museums and got ice-cream at the famous MILK. And of course we had to go see the Hollywood sign. All in all it was a very fun trip with great friends!

The other time I went to Cali was completely different. Just this last year I went on a roadtrip with a coworker across the US hitting a bunch of National Parks. We went to Redwood National Park in northern California and holy crap was it AMAZING! Hiking in the woods under these beautiful giant trees was something out of a fairytale. I could not resist hugging all the trees! It is one of my favorite National Parks I have been to!

Me in Redwood National Park

6. Colorado

-MY FUTURE HOME! So before it was decided that I will be moving to this beautiful state, I traveled here a lot. I first went out on my very first cross country road trip to visit my best friend Georgie, who at the time was living there for an internship. We hiked The Incline, which was not easy at all but so satisfying, drove up tp Pikes Peak, went to so many coffee shops and just explored the area. I also visited my friend Rachel, and we went to a Dirty Heads concert at Red Rock Amphitheater, which at the time I had never even heard of so that was an awesome surprise! The venue is one of the coolest in the states. I have traveled here for work on multiple occasions as well! During those times I went to The Great Sand Dunes National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and most recently The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park! The best thing about this state is the diversity of having awesome cities and towns while also being surrounded by gorgeous mountains and nature! Oh and the fact that no matter what season is there is always fun activities to do! I love snow skiing out there the best of all places I have skied! In the future I will do a blog just on Colorado and why I chose this state to make my future home. But staying here can be expensive so Airbnb, friends, family, camping, or if you’re like me..sometimes your car haha!

Kona and I in Paint Mines Interpretive Park

7. Connecticut

-Short and sweet, I did not do much here. I was once again on another road trip, this time hitting all the northeastern states. I was on may out of Rhode Island and I decided to stop at a Maple Farm and get some goodies to take home with me. They are known for their maple syrup so I figured why not? I got some maple candies and a little jar of syrup for my dad.

8. Delaware

-On this same northeastern road trip, my first top along the route from Ohio was actually Delaware. I didn’t arrive to the state until late at night and brought Kona (my pup) with me on this trip. When we got there it was raining and I did not do my research on where to stay at all, so like the cheap ass I am, I parked next to the pier in a lit parking lot and crawled in the back seat with Kona, cuddled up and slept in the car haha! The next morning we walked the pier found a cute little breakfast spot and then headed to a place called Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor. It was this beautiful little lavender farm with a small trail and the cutest wooden tree swing. We walked around there, swung, and bought some lavender candles, soaps and lotions.

Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor

9. Florida

-Been here too many times to count from family vacations as a kid to college trips to Daytona, to work and fun trips to Key West, to road tripping down to Orlando to make Kona bear mine! I’ve spent a lot of money on trips to Florida and I’ve had trips down there that were dirt cheap. It totally just depends on what you’re doing. Disney World is a staple there, the beaches, Orlando Studios, Miami, Tampa ect. My most recent was a girls trip to Key West with my friend Abbie where we first hit two National Parks then drove from there to Key West and stayed in a boujie airbnb! We had our own hot tub and pool and were right downtown. We rented a boat and a driver for the day where he took us out to snorkel and just relax and of course we partied downtown. Another fun thing I’ve done down there is rent a floating tiki bar with friends/coworkers. You bring your own drinks and the driver of the tiki boat takes you out to a sandbar where you can snorkel and swim!

Me at the Airbnb in Key West

10. Georgia

-Work has brought me here the most and we always seem to have a great time wherever we are! Atlanta and Savannah are two awesome cities! When we went to Atlanta, we went down as two crews in two airplanes and we all floated down the Chattahoochee river! It was freezing but we had floating coolers filled with booze and just made the most of it! When in Savannah, I had to make my way to the Isle of Hope, the long driveway with the beautiful trees. When we got there, the gates were locked and yes I jumped the gate so I could get a picture haha. Both downtown areas are riots on the weekends but somehow we always find ourselves back at the treehouse bar in Savannah. It’s a staple to go to.

Wormsloe Historic Site

11. Hawaii

-My absolute favorite state in the USA! Also the only one I actually got a travel agent for, which was such a clutch move. My travel agent was a friend of a friend so she hooked my friend Rachel and I up big time. She booked our flights to Kauai and Maui and home, our hotels, and events for us. It took a lot of time, money and stress away from us. I’ll have to do a separate blog entirely about this trip but Kauai is the island you must go to when you travel to this state! The hikes, the waterfalls, the food.. everything is amazing! We scuba dove here and Maui and I will say the Maui scuba was better but it was because we did a shore dive in Kauai. I’ll go into detail about this trip another time because there is just so much to do and see there but it is a must travel to state! It was also my last state I went to to check off my 50 by 25!

12. Idaho

-I’ve been to this state a lot in passing for very little amounts of time, but the one time I stayed here was a work trip that took us to Boise. It is a college town which gave us plenty of things to do. We rented scooters and went to some delicious restaurants. One in particular was a Bloody Mary bar called Bacon. If you are a bacon fan, yes you can order bacon shots, where they deliver a flight of different types and flavors of bacon to you haha. We also as a crew went axe throwing downtown and walked along the river and just got lost exploring the city. Northern Idaho is also super beautiful because it is near Glacier National Park and surrounded by mountainous terrain!

13. Illinois

-Chicago, the main reason to ever go to Illinois. This was actually the first state I ever road tripped to without my parents. Made the trip there with my then boyfriend when I was 19 years old. I also went back in 2019 for Saint Patty’s day with friends. Some of the highlights of the city: Sears Tower, The Bean, and the Navy Pier. When I went with friends our hotel view was better than the Sears Tower view in my opinion, and that way we didn’t have to spend the overpriced tickets to go look out a window. Going for Saint Patty’s day was a cool experience too because of the river being green and it being one of the top places in the US to celebrate that holiday! Also you gotta get Giordano’s Pizza while you’re there! (Some say Lou Malnati’s is the best but I disagree)

Our hotel view

14. Indiana

-Been here a lot because it’s a neighbor to my home state of Ohio. I went snow skiing here a few times with friends to Perfect North Slopes. My Freshman and Sophomore year roommate from college is from Carmel Indiana and I visited her a couple times and went to her wedding. But the coolest place I went to in Indiana was actually this lake waterpark I went to years back. It is called Pine Lake Waterpark and its in the middle of nowhere but it’s pretty cool! it has ziplines, swan boats, diving boards and platform jumps up to 30 feet high, a beach area, swim areas, and a obstacle course!

15. Iowa

-One of my least favorite states. I traveled through here on one of my many cross country road trips with Kona. I was searching for things to do here and it was a struggle! It is so flat and so boring. I did manage to find a random carnival going on during my drive and I was ecstatic because it gave me the perfect reason to not have to go back haha. I got some homemade delicious BBQ, walked around the carnival, played a few games and called it good to go! I would’ve stayed the night here but on my drive, there was literally no hotels, airbnb’s or anything for that matter.

16. Kansas

-Also not my favorite state but I have driven through the entirety of Kansas on more than one occasion. I have also stayed in Kansas and gone downtown to Kansas city a few times. Best part about Kansas is the food though. If you are near Kansas city, on the Kansas side there is this BBQ restaurant called Joe’s BBQ. It is an old gas station converted into a restaurant and is ranked as one of the best BBQ places in the country! It’s a unique and delicious stop!

17. Kentucky

-Another neighboring state to my home state that I have been to quite a lot! One of my best friends, Becca, lives in Lexington, so I try and travel down to see her whenever I get the chance. Lexington is such a fun city, with great food and fun bars! It is also apart of the bourbon trail so when you’re here, whiskey is a must (If you drink that is)! Outside of the cities, there is also Mammoth Cave National Park, The Cumberland Gap, The Natural Bridge and so much other wild life and nature! I’ve been to all of these and they are all beautiful and relaxing little getaways from the city life!

18. Louisiana

-The first time I went here was for my best friend Georgie and her twin sister’s 21st birthday. We road tripped down to New Orleans in 2 cars and 7 of us squeezed into a tiny hotel room to save money. We went to all the touristy bars, drank way too much and had a blast. My favorite bar down there though is the Carousel Bar. It is a fancy bar in a hotel, where the bar itself is a carousel and spins extremely slow the entire time. It is pretty unique! The last time I went down to New Orleans was for work. We stayed in a very expensive and ritzy hotel the entire week, completely paid for by the Air Force and we did all the museums and tours you could think of. A great brunch place down there is the Ruby Slipper, they have delicious eggs benedict and iced coffees!

The Carousel Bar

19. Maine

-When I traveled here on my northeastern road trip I absolutely loved it! Lucky for me, I have a cousin who lives in Portland Maine, so I stayed with her for free the entire weekend. I think the main reason I loved this state was the lobster rolls if I’m being completely honest haha. But really everywhere I went, I had to test out which lobster roll was the best. (They were all amazing). While I was there I also did some site seeing and took Kona to the light house on Cape Elizabeth. We walked the rocky trails, bought some homemade jewelry and got lunch! Going there in the summer time was the move because the weather was beautiful and there was so much more to do!

Light House on Cape Elizabeth

20. Maryland

-My friend Georgie and I decided to do a road trip to Maryland to visit a tech school friend of mine because he bet me I wouldn’t (which if he knew me at all that was a very stupid bet on his part). So we drove from Ohio, and our first stop was to Washington D.C. We explored downtown, went to all the monuments for the first time ever and read a lot! From there we drove to Baltimore for the 4th of July weekend. My friend took us downtown, we hung out at his place, eating freshly caught blue grabs and we also took out one of his friends crabbing boats to watch fireworks on the water! Once again stayed for free and only had to pay for gas and food while we were there!

Fresh caught blue crab

21. Massachusetts

-Not a place I spent a whole lot of time in but when I was visiting my friend in Rhode Island we did stay the night in Boston and go out downtown. The next morning we walked downtown a bit and got breakfast in this unique bookstore café! Wish I remembered the name of it but you could rent or buy books while also getting a yummy breakfast or coffee! I also stayed the night there on my way home from my last deployment and got some food and drinks with friends. Definitely will make my way back there for more exploring one day.

22. Michigan

-As much as I am supposed to hate this state because I’m from the Buckeye State, I actually love Michigan (Just not their football team)! The first time I traveled here, it was a road trip all the way to Mackinac Island. Along the drive we stopped in Holland Michigan and went to this beautiful tulip farm where it was essentially a miniature Holland. It was beautiful. We made our way up to Mackinac and rented bikes to ride around the whole island since there are no cars there, we went to cute little shops, had fudge and saw this cool natural bridge that went out to some cliffs. Another fun thing to do in the state is to go to the sand dunes and rent four wheelers or dune buggies and fly through the dunes! it was an absolute blast! Camping in the UP is my favorite way to stay in Michigan, but obviously that only works in the summer time. Other times I have gone up there I have stayed with my friend Katie who lives in Detroit.

Camping on Lake Superior

23. Minnesota

-Another state, another tech-school friend to visit. First time I traveled here was on one of my first cross country road trips and I stopped and stayed with my friend Jenna. She took me to Mall of America, downtown, and we got famous ice cream from MN Nice Cream. They do unique and crazy soft serve ice cream cones that are delicious and pretty all in one haha. The next time I went there on another road trip I went to Voyager National Park and hiked. It was pretty, nothing special really, but to me it was still better than being in a city.

Jenna and I eating our mini ice cream

24. Mississippi

-The best story I have for Mississippi is short and sweet. Friends and I drove from Arkansas to here and we saw Willy Nelson live in a small casino! We were definitely the youngest ones in the crowd and it was the most random thing ever, but it was so much fun haha!

25. Missouri

-I have been here a lot and I will be there a lot more because two of my favorite people live there now! Shoutout to Brian and Kelly for always taking me in on my road trips out to Colorado! St. Louis is my favorite city in Missouri and it is an absolute blast. The Arch is a staple there and now a National Park (which frankly doesn’t make since to me but whatever) but going to the top of it was definitely cool to do at least once. The City Museum is another really interesting and fun place to check out! if you’ve never heard of it, for sure look it up because it is awesome and interactive! A great spot for a mimosa and a delicious breakfast sandwich is Winslow’s Table.

26. Montana

-Every time I go to this state I have to visit my good friend from tech school, Cedar! First time I went there I stayed on his ranch and he and his family took me to a real rodeo and showed me how true cowboys live haha. Next time I went out there for his wedding and then headed to Glacier National Park! Hands down, Glacier is one of the most beautiful parks in the US! The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier is the main road that takes you through the whole park and its windy narrow roads along the side of mountains the whole time! The views are amazing, the hikes are gorgeous and the water is this beautiful aqua blue!

Kona and I on a hike in Glacier National Park

27. Nebraska

-Just like Iowa…I do not like this state. It took a lot of research for me to find anything to do here. I ended up stopping at some state park and took Kona for a walk along this small cliff that looked over a river. It wasn’t bad, it just was not anything special. If I ever have to drive back through Nebraska the one thing I will go to is the Carhenge. It’s a replica of England’s Stonehenge but with cars. Kinda neat.. I guess haha.

28. Nevada

-Most people instantly think of Vegas when they think of this state, and yes that is where I first went to check this state off my list, but I absolutely hate Vegas haha. I first went with two of my friends and my parents and we stayed in a nice hotel downtown using my parents rewards to get free stays at the hotel (They love Vegas and go so often the hotels send them benefits to keep coming back). My favorite part was the Red Rocks. We went hiking there and got out of the city for a couple days which was actually really beautiful. I’ve been back to Vegas on multiple occasions and there are fun things to do besides lose your money, but in the end for me, it is just a big city with flashy lights and all in all just not my scene. Even the time I went to Nevada and went to the National Park there, Great Basin National Park, we joked that it should’ve been called “Alright Basin” haha. But that could’ve totally just been because we did not do the right trails. I know I’ll end up giving it another shot one day.

Las Vegas

29. New Hampshire

-My best friend, who I’ve mentioned before, Georgie, moved here with her boyfriend years back and it made it the perfect reason to go here! And now I have been there on a couple occasions! New Hampshire in the summer is beautiful. So many hikes, close to multiple other states, small town feels and lots of local shops! I have also been there to go skiing with her and my parents which was fun as well! We rented a cabin all together and spent the long weekend skiing and playing dominoes in the cabin!

Old Man on the Mountain

30. New Jersey

-When I traveled here, I stopped to visit another tech school friend and his now wife. It was great to catch up and see him again after years of not seeing each other and saved me money! I of course had to check out the Jersey Shore while I was there and Kona and I walked the beach (where I almost lost him because he chased after another dog into the neighborhoods around the beach). I went shopping and stopped at a local beach restaurant for lunch. All in all it was fine but if I were rating the states it would be pretty low on my list.

31. New Mexico

-This was my 49th state I visited and I saved going here for a very particular reason. New Mexico has the largest hot air balloon festival in the US! It happens every year around October in Albuquerque New Mexico. I flew to Denver, flew to Albuquerque, rented a car and slept in it in the festival parking lot till 3am, woke up and got in and watched the balloons light up and take off around 5am. It was AMAZING! I did not sleep well at all but I was so pumped for this, it did not matter. Once the sun rose, all the balloons were off and the sky was filled with so many unique and beautiful colored balloons. Have to say, I don’t have many other reasons to go back to this state but I would go back every year for this festival if I could! I loved it and highly recommend!

Hot Air Balloon Festival

32. New York

-A go to staple city of our country. First time I went here, I road tripped with high school friends and we stayed in Long Island New Jersey, which was super clutch. New York is super expensive and busy and trying to get around in a car is damn near impossible. So we stayed for free and would just take the train into the city! We got to see everything this way. We took the boat ride out to see the Statue of Liberty, went to the 911 Memorial, walked to Times Square, went to Central Park (my personal favorite), walked so so much and everywhere for that matter. I also have a college friend who lives there now, so on road trips out that way I have stopped in the city to see her for lunch!

Emilee, Georgie, me and Maggie

33. North Carolina

-My personal favorite place to go to in this state is Asheville NC. I first went here on a weekend getaway with my mom. We rented out this cute little room in a bed and breakfast in Hot Springs NC. It is right along the Appalachian Trail and has so many cute shops and restaurants and hot springs! They are in the form of hot tubs or spas but they were so relaxing! We also went to sliding rock, which is a natural water slide in the woods of Asheville! In the summer it can get pretty busy but it was a unique find and so fun! I went back years later with friends and rented out an Airbnb for a weekend trip. We spent a lot of time in downtown Asheville and I also dabbled in bouldering outside for my first time! Work has also taken me here and we went hiking and spent the majority of our time brewery hopping. Asheville is known for their multitude of delicious breweries!

34. North Dakota

-So many people would never think to travel here but I have gone twice to the same place and I love it! Theodore Roosevelt National Park is such a hidden gem! Just driving through the park is amazing because it goes from driving through a pretty flat state to these awesome Canyons! On top of that there is so much wild life in the park! Bison are everywhere! They like to just cross the road whenever they please and get uncomfortably close to your car haha. I also witnessed a wild horse give birth which to me was the coolest thing ever! Oh and prairie dogs everywhere as well! There are plenty of hikes and the town right outside of the park is made up like an old western movie.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

35. Ohio

-Technically, this was my first state I ever “went to” because I was born and raised in Dayton Ohio and I now live in Mansfield, where my base is. Traveling here might not seem appealing to people at all but there is plenty to do! Cuyahoga National Park just north of Akron Ohio is beautiful and filled with good hikes and waterfalls. Houston Woods is a fun weekend trip in a cabin with hiking. Downtown Columbus, Cleveland (where I lived for a short period), Cincinnati, or even Dayton are all fun if whether you’re looking for nightlife or shopping. Cedar Point has the tallest roller coaster in the US, but not for long because I believe it is being taken down (sad days). Kings Island is a fun amusement park as well if you don’t feel like traveling all the way up north. Long story short, there is plenty to do, and for the time being, you know someone that lives here so do what I do when I travel and ask to stay with a friend!

36. Oklahoma

-Okay, I had to do my research for this state but I was not disappointed at all with what I found! I went to this place called Dripping Springs Oklahoma. It was near The Ozarks but it was in Oklahoma! I found a campsite, Kona and I hiked down to this tranquil waterfall where it looked like a rainforest with greenery everywhere, and crystal clear blue water at the bottom! We hiked around there a bit and took pictures and even found these little dome tents that people could rent out too (which would’ve been very helpful to know about beforehand). When we got back to our campsite, I was getting ready to set up my tent when the wind started picking up insanely hard. The camp owners came up to me and told me that a tornado was coming through the area and offered to let me and Kona stay with them if needed since we were the only ones there. But of course I declined and ended up sleeping in my car during the entire storm haha. So, I guess you could say I got the true Oklahoma experience!

Yes this is in Oklahoma

37. Oregon

-First time I went to this state, I loved it! Second time I went here, I loved it even more! Both times I went here were on road trips. If you haven’t caught on to my main theme for how I like to travel state side, it’s in the car. I drove here and visited with a friend of mine from the Ohio University waterski team, Meg. Her friend, Meg and I all decided to camp alongside a riverbed that Meg had actually found on an app called HipCamp. That app has come in clutch on many of my trips! Before I met up with them though I hiked to this waterfall called Ramona Falls, it is along the Pacific Crest Trail and it was beautiful! It was a 7 mile trail which should’ve taken 2 hours but because we had to cross a river with rapids and Kona is deathly afraid of water it took us a lot longer. The second time I went to this beautiful state I went to Crater Lake National Park! It was stunning! There are trails all along the lake but my friend and I decided to take a trail down to the lake and swim in the freezing water! Then we ended up staying (accidentally) in one of the most haunted places in the US. I found this hot springs hotel on Airbnb where it mentioned nothing about it being haunted or a prior insane asylum.. If you don’t believe in ghosts, you would after staying just one night there. It was terrifying. But in the end it is a good story to tell people.

Looking out over Crater Lake

38. Pennsylvania

– Short and sweet, I grew up playing softball and my traveling team made it to the Nationals one year. We went to Hershey Pennsylvania, we stayed in a super cheap motel with our parents and we got 13th in the Nationals. The umpires really screwed us in our final game and we lost by one run in a tied game in the 7th inning. Other than that I don’t have a whole lot to tell about PA.

39. Rhode Island

-I love little rhodey! I have visited twice now to see my friend from tech school Shannon! The first time I visited in the winter time and there was not a whole lot to do but we still managed to have a great time and she took me all around town and I met her friends and went to local dive bars. The second time I visited her in the summer and her dad took us out on their fishing boat to an island where we swam, drank and even fished some! We also went to the beach with friend one day and just laid on the deck at her house catching up! I’ve also done some hiking there as well. There is plenty of fun things to get into in this state!

40. South Carolina

– I actually just got back from here because one of my other best friends just moved here! He and his family moved to Charleston, where there is so much to do. We went to Cypress Gardens, got in a boat and paddled around the swampy waters, saw some gators and of course took pictures. This was actually the place where the boat scene in the Notebook was shot at. I also ventured to Congaree National Park and originally had planned on renting a kayak to explore it because the majority of it is under water but you need to rent one in advance, so I just walked the boardwalk trail where I saw lots of wildlife and was obsessed with the cool looking trees popping out of the water! Another cool place I went to was Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which is this HUGE garden (I’d almost consider it a forest) where you needed a map to get around it was so big! The flowers and willowed trees and romantic bridges made this place something out of a dream. Besides Charleston, I have been to Myrtle Beach a lot and it has always been a fun time exploring that area if you are looking for a more going out and part scene I would say. The beaches are also more touristy here where some of the beaches in Charleston are pretty ritzy and high end.

Cypress Gardens boat ride

41. South Dakota

-Here, of course I had to go to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Everyone should go at least once and it is a good reason to check South Dakota off your list. To make it more of a state visit, I decided to camp in the Black Hills National Forest not far from the monument. Kona and I hiked there where I almost lost him again when he chased a deer into the woods. My trust in him was lost after this fiasco and he’s a leash dog now. But the campsite was so cool! it was $10 for the night and I just happened to come across it and snagged the last spot. I met a family and had dinner with them at their campsite and it was so peaceful and fun!

42. Tennessee

-One of my favorite states in the US! Actually, Tennessee is one of my favorite places in general. I grew up going on family vacations to Norris Lake Tennessee every year. I learned to water ski there when I was just 7 years old and I have been doing it ever since! We always rent a a pretty decent sized house on the lake from Vrbo and share it with another family who my parents have been friends with for years. As I got older I wanted to keep the tradition alive by gathering a huge group of friends together and go down in the summer for a long weekend trip. We have rented houseboats, floating houses and now this year the same house my parents always rent out. I rent a boat and we take it out to the open water for skiing, tubing and my favorite, cliff jumping! It is hands down my favorite time of the year! This state is cool also because it has awesome cities! I don’t even like cities that much but Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis and Gatlinburg have never disappointed me!

“Houseboat 2021”

43. Texas

-I need to go back here and actually enjoy this state but most of my time spent here was getting yelled at and marching in military schools. San Antonio is where basic training was for me and my first tech school and we got to explore the city very little. My time off base was fun though so I do want to go back. I also did make a weekend trip to this place called Jacob’s Well near Austin, TX. It is this tranquil swimming area with a giant well you can jump into! The “well” is already underwater completely but it goes 30 feet down where as the rest of the swimming area goes no more than 4-5 feet.

44. Utah

-Oh Utah…I love this state for one reason and its because of all the beautiful National Parks it has! I have now been to all of the National Parks in Utah and they are all amazing! Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Bryce Canyon are all so unique in their own ways and have so much to offer! I will do a separate post one day about the National Parks and my specific road trips that took me there! Also if you can definitely try and find some sweet spots to stay at on HipCamp because that just makes the experience even cooler!

Bryce Canyon National Park

45. Vermont

-Another state I have been to for work and fun. Both times I have been here I have gone to Burlington Vermont. The first time, Kona and I actually stayed in a hostile downtown! It was so cool and a I met a lot of random people that! We ended up staying up late drinking wine, playing guitar and just chatting for hours! I explored the city and shopped around while I was there and of course had to get Ben and Jerry’s ice cream since that is where it originated! It is a very ritzy town but it is also very fun at night too! I want to go back there one day for skiing because I have heard great things about their slopes!

Downtown Burlington

46. Virginia

-Norfolk, Virginia is the place to go to in this state! First time I went here was for work where I dropped the Navy Seals out of our plane for practice purposes and it was awesome! The seafood is delicious there, lots of fun things to do along the beaches, and the orange crush drinks are a must! The best bar we found was this outdoor patio that had giant jenga, giant beer pong, rope swings and live music! I also have family down there so I have stayed with them and visited before as well.

47. Washington

-Another state I love! If you haven’t gathered, I love the west coast! Both times I traveled here were road trips and both times were beautiful! Olympic National Park was on my first trip and it is so cool because it has so many different parts to it! There is a forest, ocean, mountainous, snowy and desert part all in the same park! Kona and I did a hike in the rainforest part of it and I even back flipped off a rock into the crystal clear blue waters! I also met up with a friend out there and checked out a little bit of downtown Seattle but the traffic was horrible so I didn’t get to explore much. Definitely plan on going back for more!

Olympic National Park

48. West Virginia

-“Take me hoooooome” haha. Best thing I ever did in this state was white water raft! I have gone twice now and both times were so fun! Family friends, my dad and I rafted the Gauley and if you have never been before, it is an absolute riot! The Gauley rapids are no joke and it is an extremely fun day trip activity! Whenever we go we always stay in Fayetteville because it’s not far and it is a cute little hippy town, which is right up my alley!

49. Wisconsin

-For Christmas one year, I bought my dad and I tickets to go skiing up here thinking it was going to be better than Ohio. Um, to say the least I was wrong. It was below freezing and the hills were about the same as Ohio snow trails. We still had a blast. Stayed in a super cheap hotel, ate some cheese curds and skied for two days then drove back. It was a nice little daddy daughter getaway but I would not go back for the winter time haha.

50. Wyoming

-Last but not least! I have been here three times now, both on road trips and work! My favorite place to go here is hands down Grand Teton National Park! When I went, I did my research on the exact hike I wanted to do and it was exactly how I imagined! It was called the Delta Lake hike and it is not recognized as a legit hike by the National Park because it goes off trail. But I promise it is worth it! It is 8.5 miles round trip with a 2,000 foot elevation gain and a lot of switchbacks and rock climbing, but Kona made it up so I know anyone can haha! At the top, all your hard work is worth it because there is this beautiful glacier lake surrounded by the Tetons! It’s breathtaking (literally cause you are up so high)! Be weary though, there are bears in this park! We saw a baby black bear right off the trail and wherever there’s a baby, there’s a momma. Thank goodness Kona didn’t see him and we made it down without causing a scene but it was one of my most memorable hikes! I loved it!

Delta Lake in Grand Teton National Park

Okay if you made it through all of it, thank you! And I’m proud of you haha! I know it is very long, probably the longest one I’ll write. But I hope you enjoyed and maybe get some inspiration to travel to some of these amazing places I mentioned! Or get inspired to never travel to some of these places haha, either way, I hope you enjoyed :)! Till next time!

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