9-years ago this summer our daughter was born. It almost pains me to type those words. The time has gone by entirely too fast. At two AND three weeks old she went on her first two road trips. Ironically it was to the same place- Hilton Head Island, SC.

The first road trip was for a pre-pregnancy planned, extended family vacation. Although we knew it was crazy, we made an appearance with our newborn so that everyone could meet her. The second road trip, just a week later, was for a wedding of a best friend. I was a bridesmaid, and despite not fitting into my dress, I wouldn’t have missed the wedding for the world.


3 Weeks later we were back on the road, heading to Knoxville, TN for…yet another…pre-pregnancy-planned event. Somewhere on that drive it occurred to us that our 6 week old had already spent time in 3 states (not even counting the time spent driving through Georgia!)

At that time, the idea was born to make a point of taking her to all 50 states before she turned 18. She’s currently been to 22 states so we still have a long way to go!


One thing that’s really important to me is not just spending time in the state, but doing something worth remembering. I want to make sure we highlight the state by experiencing the best of what it has to offer. Deciphering key places can be hard- especially without much familiarity with some states.

Of course I like to do my own research, but it’s nice to have a few ideas to start out. My Joy Filled Life put together a fantastic list of “must-do attractions and must-see places in all 50 states.”

Compiling this list she relied not only on her own research and experience, but also on the opinions of over 10,000 others. You can be reassured that this is a well thought out list!

The list is broken down in alphabetical order by state. Each state has 5 different attractions or places listed. As I scrolled through each state, I had to pause on the states where we’ve spent time. I quickly agreed with the choices listed, and then thought of 10 more I’d add. Clearly, I could never have made this list because I would have too much difficulty narrowing down my places!

Read the full list here.

You might also enjoy reading:

Ways To Make Spontaneous Travel Affordable

Best Trips For Young Kids

10 Years of Traveling With Kids

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