Currently dreaming (Corona dreaming albeit) of….
Whether you’ve been sucked into scrolling through travel accounts on Instagram or you can’t stop pinning destinations on Pinterest — we all can’t wait to start traveling again.
BUT until we can travel again normally (and safely!) we’ll be over here building our dream bucket list. From both local destinations to the far corners of the earth — here are some of the first places we can’t wait to visit.
Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash
New Orleans is chock full of culture, food, nightlife, and history, so it makes perfect sense it has earned a spot on our bucket list. Whether you want to explore Bourbon street, take a cemetery tour, or enjoy live jazz with a drink in hand, New Orleans is a must-see city at least once in your lifetime. Make sure your trip is full of adventurous foods (gator po’boy anybody?) in addition to learning about the of French, Spanish, African, and American influences seen in every part of life here in this southern town.
Redwoods National Park
While there are a lot of National Parks worthy of this list, lately we’ve been coveting the giant and lush trees of Redwoods National Park. Take to the trees to camp (or glamp) in style, spend your days hiking, or just enjoy driving through the scenery — with some of the tallest trees in the world, this trip is sure to put things in perspective.
Bonus: this National Park is almost completely open to visitors right now so you can cross this one off sooner rather than later- check out our full COVID-proof National Park list HERE.
Photo by Ryan Wilson on Unsplash
While you may associate Oregon with lush forests and hiking, it’s also home to stunning rocky coastal beaches which brings us to our next bucket-list destination — Cannon Beach. On your way, stop at Camp 18 — a logging camp turned restaurant to get a sense of Oregon’s logging history. Enjoy the bustling art scene with the dozen or so galleries in midtown Cannon Beach or head to the beach to take in the iconic Haystack Rock.
Maine (in the Fall!)
Fall in New England is unlike any other. But the one place we can’t stop thinking about trekking to? Maine. Enjoy a fresh sea-to-table dinner, sightsee one of the many historic lighthouses, or just enjoy a day taking in nature in this beautiful state. Whether you’re enjoying the chilly weather in a coastal town like Bar Harbor or you’re taking to the trails in Acadia National Park — Maine is one place we can’t wait to hit up.
The Great Lakes
Not all beautiful bodies of water are situated on the coasts — in fact, for a getaway that feels further away than the Midwest head to check out of the many Great Lakes available on the US side. Lake Superior’s beautiful clear waters feature shipwrecks and opportunities to cliff dive, but has colder water year-round. If you want to enjoy water time and stunning sand dunes, head to Michigan and enjoy Lake Michigan instead.
Photo by Aubrey Rose Odom on Unsplash
Cape Cod used to be a place for only those flush with cash, but it’s also a quintessential New England coastal experience for everyone else. Get your fair share of picturesque lighthouses and fresh from the ocean seafood alongside these coastal towns — many of which are architectural and culinary gems. Take in weathered shingles, clam chowder, and glorious sand dunes across Provincetown or Martha’s Vineyard.
Cumberland Island, Georgia
A charming and majestic island we had never even heard of until recently, Cumberland Island will have you feeling like you’re far away from home. Grab a ferry from St. Marys and take advantage of this quiet and enchanting island that’s under protection by the National Park Service. Stay at the Greyfield Inn for an all-inclusive experience in a manner from the 1890s or enjoy nature by camping in one of the many campgrounds on the island.
Japan (International Travel couldn’t come back any sooner!)
Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash
Japan is a dream destination to start but combine it with the cherry blossom season? Now that’s bucket-list-worthy. While we may not be able to get to Japan anytime soon, experiencing the bustling cities, countryside, and culture of Japan is definitely on our must-see list. First up? Plenty of time spent in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone for stunning views of Mount Fuji.
While most people flock to the coastline of Italy (see more about our month in Italy with our kids here!), we’ve been dreaming more about the South of France for our next big adventure. From the sprawling lavender fields of Provence to the yacht-filled waters of Saint Tropez, there is plenty to see in the French Riviera. Take a bus, train, or rental car and explore some must-see stops along the coast — Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Saint Tropez, Provence, and although technically not part of France, the small country of Monaco.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Dream-worthy markets of handmade goods, stunning courtyards with mosaic tiling, and some of the best food in the world — we must be talking about the one and only Marrakech. If you’ve ever wanted to shop endlessly in markets or take in the fantastic architecture, you may want to head to Marrakech. Start at Ben Youssef Madrasa, a preserved 14th-century former Islamic school that represents Moroccan design with its ornate tiles, wooden windows, and tranquil courtyard — not to mention the endless opportunities for the perfect Instagram shot.
Between idyllic beaches, picturesque national parks, delicious food, and plenty of history — Croatia has got it all. When I lived in northeastern Italy, we spent some time in Split and it was MAGIC.
It earned Travel + Leisure Choice Destination of the Year in 2016, continuing to gain popularity and it is easy to see why. Head to the Dalmatian Islands if you’re looking for a beach vacation, Plitvice National Park for all you adventure-seekers, or Dubrovnik for anybody looking to live out their best Game of Thrones life (most of the series was shot here)!
While some of these may get to be crossed out sooner than others, we can’t stop dreaming of when our next adventure will be and adding to our bucket list. Pinning that dream destination we hit and reminiscing on those memories year to come is just the best. What’s next on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!