10 Places in North America to Cross Off Your Bucket List
There is nothing like the excitement of traveling, but there’s always that moment when you feel stuck in the touristy confusion of not knowing what to do when you get to the end of your itinerary. Expand your vacation and scope of the world as MiLLENNiAL takes you on a tour of the top “must-do” bucket list global experiences by continent.
This week our first stop is here in North America. Traveling the states and its nearby neighbors, Mexico and Canada, may not seem as exciting as the European escapades you could have abroad, but if you do your research and budget your time properly, North America has plenty of hidden gems.
Bucket List Adventures
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Every October, hundreds of hot air balloons soar through the skies over the desert oasis of New Mexico. Fiesta goers can choose to watch the show and participate in activities set up for the nine day event, or choose to play a more active role. For $300 a person, guests can cross this off their bucket list and take a ride in a hot air balloon to witness the majesty of hundreds of colorful balloons from up in the sky.
Kayaking in Alberta
The province just east of British Columbia, Alberta is home to scenic lakes and rivers that are great for kayaking and canoeing. Travel Alberta describes the experience as “blissful quiet broken only by fish slapping on the surface and the haunting cry of a loon.” Paddlers can enjoy the sunset, sunrise and even a picnic on a local shore.
Just north of Mexico City lies the pyramids of Teotihuacan. Built around 300 BC as the center of the city, these ancient pyramids were abandoned hundreds of years before the Aztecs arrived and began referring to them as the “birthplace of the Gods.” The well preserved wonders are so intact that visitors can still see detailed statues and paintings on the walls of the pyramids. If this is not on your bucket list yet, it should be now!
Get a taste of France without ever leaving North America. Québec is a great place to practice your French and even experience the beauty of French architecture. A city with an endless list of things to do, you’ll never finish in one trip. Places to visit include Montmorency Falls Park, the Plains of Abraham, St. Lawrence River and Vieux de Port Québec, the Petit-Champlain district and Place-Royale.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
A glass bottom structure allowing visitors to venture out 70 feet past the edge of the canyon, the Grand Canyon skywalk offers a new way to see one of America’s greatest natural monuments standing 4,000 feet above the Colorado River in a horseshoe-shaped room of glass. Visitors can view the Grand Canyon like never before with unobstructed views of the grandeur below. Packages range from $44 to $334 per person.
Yellowstone National Park
America’s first national park is home to hundreds of animal species and the world’s largest collection of geysers. The park offers amazing views and a variety of activities for the whole family. Plan a trip full of hiking, camping and lots of educational fun for everyone.
Niagara Falls is home to not only the gorgeous waterfall, but according to the Niagara USA website is “a place rich in history, culture, outdoor life, shopping, adventure and agriculture. There are hundreds of attractions and things to do in Niagara Falls year round.” Activities and events include winery visits, museums, festivals and cruises.
Horseback Riding in Montana
Many people don’t think of Montana as an ideal vacation spot. It’s not on the coast shaded by palm trees, but Montana is however, conveniently nestled between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, offering beautiful and diverse scenery. On horseback you’ll have prime views of the rolling plains and rugged mountains blanketed by never ending skies. Combine this one with Yellowstone and you’ll get the full wild west experience.
New England in the Fall
Its white steeple churches and traditional clapboard houses are always picturesque, but New England in the fall is truly a sight for sore eyes. The scenery explodes into bundles of orange and red leaves resembling dreamlike paintings and postcards. Discover New England offers favorite routes that offer the best of the best of New England fall foliage, not to mention, where you can indulge in Maine lobster and New England clam chowder.
Whale Watching in Alaska
Alaska is a minefield when it comes to enjoying nature. America’s largest state is scarcely populated, lending itself to loads of wildlife and beautiful scenery. Whale watch for Belugas, Humpbacks, Orcas and more while also catching glimpses of bears, sea lions and moose.
North America is a melting pot of history and culture, making it easy to cross off a lot of bucket list items and experience a variety of activities. If you look a little further than usual and think outside the box, you might just stumble upon the experience of a lifetime.
Naja Rayne is an ambitious journalism major with a concentration in news-editorial.