Whether yours is hanging on the fridge or is just in your head, everyone has a bucket list. No matter what you want to get done in your lifetime before you die, adding these incredible U.S. destinations to your itinerary will only make the journey better. Rather than select the best-known attraction in each state, we’ve tried to include places that might take you slightly off the beaten path and straight into a wonderful adventure.
Alabama: Gulf Coast Beaches
There are a lot of great beaches in this country, but Alabama's gulf coast offers some of the most incredible white sand, pristine natural environments and gorgeous views to be found on the East Coast. Check out Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Dauphin Island for the best seaside experience.
Alaska: Tracy Arm Fjord
Located near Juneau, this dazzling fjord is over 30 miles long and is guaranteed to steal your heart and breath away. The jewel-green waters and dramatic cliffs are truly stunning, and the Twin Sawyer Glaciers can be spied just beyond the fjord.
Arizona: San Xavier del Bac
Okay, so the Grand Canyon should definitely be on everyone's bucket list. But there are other incredible places in Arizona that deserve a spot on there as well, such as the spectacular San Xavier del Bac. One of the oldest missions in the United States, this chapel is absolutely breathtaking inside and out.
Arkansas: Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel
Located in Bella Vista, this stunning chapel feels like it grew out of the surrounding forest. Seamlessly blending soaring architecture with the natural beauty of the environment, this is the perfect place to go for worship or just to spend a few quiet moments of reflection.
California: Catalina Island
Just 60 minutes by ferry from Long Beach, Catalina Island feels worlds away. The beautiful harbor, picturesque winding streets, and stunning views will make you feel like you've landed on a romantic European isle.
Colorado: Maroon Bells
This is definitely one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado. Located in the Elk Mountains on the border between Pitkin County and Gunnison County, these spectacular peaks get their name from the mudstone that forms their dramatic ridges and gives them a distinct maroon color. Bus service to the Bells runs from Aspen Highlands, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from June to October.
Connecticut: The Thimble Islands
These incredible islands are only a ferry ride away from Branford. The islands themselves are rich with fascinating plants and animals, and cruising in the waters around them feels like a vacation in itself. Sunset and dinner cruises are available and definitely recommended.
Delaware: DuPont Estates
The wealthy DuPont family is responsible for constructing some of the most impressive mansions and gardens in the state. From Nemours Mansion and Gardens to Winterthur Museum, Library and Gardens, exploring these perfectly landscaped estates is definitely a must.
Florida: Bok Tower Gardens
Located in Lake Wales, this singing bell tower is a stunning work of art. A contemplative garden and bird sanctuary, Bok Tower Gardens offers over 250 acres of lush grounds to explore.
Georgia: Ellison's Cave
This is the 12th deepest cave in the United States and extends over 1,063 vertically into the earth. The cave includes over 12 miles of underground tunnels and caverns.
Hawaii: Polihale State Park
This secluded, protected beach on the western side of Kauai offers sand dunes that soar up to 100 feet high, stunning ocean views, and absolutely pristine coastal wilderness to explore.
Idaho: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
This place is one of the best preserved flood basalt areas in the country. Created by volcanic activity, these rocky plains are reminiscent of an alien world.
Illinois: Garden of the Gods Wilderness, Shawnee National Forest
This gorgeous stretch of forest and exposed cliffs is in southern Illinois. Created by glacial activity, this is one of the most scenic areas in the state.
Indiana: Sisters of St. Benedict Monastery Convent
Located in Ferdinand, this stunning monastery looks like something from old-world Europe. Built in the 1800s in the Romanesque Revival Style, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Iowa: Grotto of the Redemption
This West Bend treasure is sometimes called the eighth wonder of the world. It's the largest man-made grotto anywhere on Earth, and is built entirely of precious and semi-precious stones.
Kansas: Ozark Folk Center
Learn about the heritage and culture of the Ozark Mountains in Meadow View, Kansas. This living history museum helps visitors experience daily life in this region as it was over 100 years ago.
Kentucky: Cumberland Falls
This national park in Corbin is a great place to camp, hike, or even do some amateur gem mining. When you're done digging for riches, head over to Cumberland Falls for a spectacular waterfall experience.
Louisiana: Avery Island
The best place to stay on this picturesque island is undoubtedly the Rip Van Winkle Estate. It makes for a great base camp from which to explore the island's oak-lined paths, gardens and of course, the famed Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory.
The Golden Road Scenic Byway
Head over to Millinocket and jump on the The Golden Road Scenic Byway for the road trip of a lifetime. The 96-mile Golden Road passes through some of the most beautiful wilderness in Maine.
Maryland: Ocean City
Maryland's most popular beach is packed with things to do. From amusement park rides to incredible, fresh seafood, this place is a destination the whole family will enjoy.
Massachusetts: Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard
These sister islands are the ultimate New England getaway spots. They're popular summer destinations for celebrities, presidents and famed artists, and both islands have old-fashioned charm and natural beauty that is totally unique.
Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
This 35-mile-long stretch of stunning sand wraps around the coast of Lake Michigan. It's a great place to go for a bit of coastal ecosystem exploration, or just a lazy day in the sun and surf.
Minnesota: St. Croix River Valley
The St. Croix River Valley is one of the most scenic areas of Minnesota. It was once an important region in the state's fur and logging trade. Take a leisurely boat ride down the St. Croix River to fully experience the area's beauty.
If you're an Elvis fan, this is one historic site you can appreciate. Take a tour of The King's childhood home and learn about the history of rock n' roll at the site's museum.
Missouri: Onondaga Cave
Walk through a forest of stalagmites and stalactites in Onondaga Cave. The main cave tour will take you through a mile of glittering underground caverns.
Montana: Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park should be on every American's bucket list. Hidden Lake (pictured) is one of the state's most photographed sites, and it's well worth an in-person visit.
Nebraska: Chimney Rock
This Rutherford County attraction is one of Nebraska's most recognizable natural features. Chimney Rock even holds a place of honor on the state quarter.
Nevada: Stratosphere Tower
Located in Las Vegas, the Stratosphere Tower is the nation's tallest freestanding observation tower. Visitors can gaze out over the strip from a height of 1,149 feet.
New Hampshire: The Mount Washington Summit
This spectacular peak can be scaled on foot, by car or even by the famed Cog Railway. The view is spectacular, especially during the winter months.
New Jersey: Atlantic City
This city has a bit of everything. Known for its gaming and casinos, the area also offers plenty of amazing dining, shopping, shows and amusement rides. It's pretty much the Vegas of New Jersey.
31. New Mexico: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
These magnificent cliff dwellings were carved into the stone of the Mogollon Mountains between 5,700 to 7,300 feet above sea level by the Mogollon people. The structures were constructed between 1276 and 1287, and are truly spectacular.
New York: Lake George
At 32 miles long and only 3 miles wide, Lake George is surrounded by things to do and see. Between amusement parks, great dining, historic Fort William Henry and Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park, you won't run out of things to do. There are also fireworks over the lake every Thursday night during July and August.
North Carolina: The Biltmore Estate
George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate is one of the nation's most stunning private residences. Its dramatic architecture and unabashed opulence draws visitors from all over the world.
North Dakota: Scandinavian Heritage Park
Scandinavian Heritage Park showcases incredible replicas of architecture, art, and objects from countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
Ohio: Crystal King and the Ohio Caverns
Located within the spectacular Ohio Caverns, Crystal King is one of the world's largest and most perfectly formed stalactites. It's almost five feet long and is estimated to weigh over 400 pounds.
Oklahoma: Beaver's Bend State Park
Mountain Fork River in Beaver's Bend State Park is a beautiful place to hike, kayak, swim or simply take in the beauty of nature.
Oregon: John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
The dazzling colors of these fossil beds are beautiful enough to inspire awe in any visitor. Head over to Wheeler and Grant Counties to check out this geological treasure.
Pennsylvania: Top Mountain Trail in Bald Eagle State Forest
If you want to see some incredible fall foliage, head to Top Mountain Trail in Bald Eagle State Forest during the autumn months. This stunning shot is doesn't begin to do the area justice.
Rhode Island: The Newport Mansions
These Gilded Age mansions in seaside Newport are some of the most gorgeous structures in the nation. The most spectacular estates include The Breakers, Rosecliff, The Elms, and Marble House.
South Carolina: City of Charleston
The oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston is renowned for its elegance and beauty. Much of the city's architecture dates back to colonial times, and the settlement played a pivotal role in the Civil War.
South Dakota: Spearfish Canyon
This narrow, deep gorge is located in western South Dakota. Filled with some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the state and plenty of scenic hiking trails, Spearfish Canyon is definitely a must-see spot.
The Music City is known the world-over for its vibrant soul and spirit. The nightlife is unparalleled, especially if you're a fan of the underground music scene. The dining in Nashville is nothing to sneeze at, either.
Texas: Big Bend National Park
Located on the bend of the Rio Grande, this national park borders Mexico. Dinosaur remains have been found here, and the area is a popular spot for kayaking, hiking, rock climbing and exploration of all kinds.
Utah: Arches National Park
This surreal landscape boasts over 2,000 natural stone arches. Delicate Arch, one of the park's most famous features, is particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset.
Vermont: Quechee Gorge State Park
This beautiful state park is one of the most photogenic spots in the state. With plenty of campgrounds for overnight guests, well-maintained trails and stunning waterfalls, Quechee Gorge is not to be missed.
Virginia: Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
With over 14,000 acres of coastline, sandy beaches, towering dunes, and wildlife-rich forest, this refuge is as beautiful as it is ecologically diverse. It's located on Assateague Island, which is renowned for its herds of wild ponies.
Washington: Cape Flattery, Clallam County
This amazing spot on the Olympic Peninsula is not only beautiful, but incredibly accessible: most of the coastal area is boardwalked and easy traversed.
West Virginia: The Greenbank Telescope
This colossal telescope is the world's largest moveable land object. Besides being the most powerful radio telescope around, it's aesthetically wonderful to behold.
Wisconsin: Apostle Islands
This beautiful island group is located in Lake Superior. Each of the 21 separate islands offer their own cultural flavor and natural assets, and with charming lighthouses scattered over the area, visitors will never lose their way.
Wyoming: Devils Tower
Located in Crook County, this peculiar stone monolith has an ominous name, but is a stunning addition to the natural landscape of the Bear Lodge Mountains. It rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River and was the first declared United States National Monument.
How many of these amazing places throughout the U.S. have you visited? Any other spots throughout our great nation that you must see before you die? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.