5 U.S. Cities to Add to Your Bucket List

As you know by know, I love to travel. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to travel across the world and see different countries… but, well, you can’t take more than one or two trips out of the country per year, unless you’re making the big bucks and have zero life responsibilities, so the travel bug hit’s you and what are you going to do? I’ll tell you what to do: give it what it wants!

Sometimes I find that I underestimate the beauty of my backyard (okay the whole United States probably shouldn’t be nicknamed my ‘”backyard” but you get me). I’ve visited between 15-20 states as of today, and lived in 5 of them. I’ve enjoyed myself just as much, if not often more, while taking a weekend getaway and exploring another city or state. There is unbelievable amounts of art, music, culture, diversity, history and entertainment waiting to be discovered in every city of every state in the United States.

There are some perks to traveling within your country as opposed to outside of it. First of all, stateside trips are usually fairly easy to fit into your budget. I’ll typically spend between 400-600 on a four day trip if it’s planned well. That entails buying a plane ticket on my favorite app (skip lagged), staying in AirBnb’s, mapping out what I want to do while visiting, walking instead of using Lyft or Uber whenever possible, and being frugal when deciding on where to eat. Another perk is that it’s generally safer, depending on where you’re going, which means female-groups and even solo-trips are definitely on the table. The last one I’ll mention is that it’s convenient: you have no idea how difficult it can be asking for directions in a country where almost no one speaks the same language as you, or wants to, for that matter. Cough cough, France!

Without further ado, it is my professional opinion that you put these 5 cities on your bucket list, ASAP! 🙂

Estes Park, Colorado.

The most charming, sweet and welcoming town I’ve ever been to, and right next to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Northern Colorado. I came here for the weekend to celebrate New Years 2015, and though it was below zero degrees, I fell in love with it. There’s plenty to do and explore here, but my favorite time was spent hiking through trails and admiring the views.

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Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

I’ve been here about 5 times now, and have had a different experience each time – all amazing. I’ve been here for an EDM festival, a couple of cabin trips, two years I celebrated NY here, and this last time a snowboarding trip with family and friends. It’s one of those places with unbelievable views that leaves you speechless.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

My FAVORITE weekend trip, to this day. If you’re a history lover, this is nonnegotiable. You will be able to visit Independence Hall, Congress Hall, the homes of many important historical figures as well as the cemeteries, and much more. You’ll also visit the Rocky Steps, the famous LOVE sign, eat an authentic Philly cheesesteak, watch an Eagles game (if you’re cool) and explore the nightlife. The people are a little bit crazy, and that’s another reason you’ll have fun wherever you go.

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New York City, New York.

This is conveniently placed below Philly, because you can do what I did, and take a cheap bus ride from Philly to NY for just one day, or two if you chose to. If you’re a big city person, you might love NYC more than Philly or any of the other cities on this list, but I am not. However, I STILL managed to become weirdly obsessed with NYC in just one day. There is SO MUCH TO DO. The big message I want to relay here, is that you DO NOT have to spend loads of money on a short trip to NYC: walk everywhere, eat cheap, don’t shop, do the free stuff first (there’s plenty) and stay on the outskirts of the city if you must stay there. I honestly just walked around eating amazing street food, dazed and in awe of the magical, buzzing city, and enjoyed the high of being in a place that I had dreamt of visiting since Burlesque came out (ha, ha). My favorite part of visiting NYC is watching the street performers!

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San Francisco, California.

SF has held my heart since I was a baby. My mother is from here, and I have family still living here. Despite it being a big city, there are lots of hiking spots surrounding the city. Of course, you have to visit the San Francisco Bridge, the Painted Ladies, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Chinatown, and Muir Woods, but don’t forget to add Coit Tower for a jaw-dropping view, Billy Goat Hill Park, a ride on the Cable Cars, the Exploratorium, and Ghirardelli Square. If you aren’t from California, get some good Mexican or Salvardon food (pupusas to be exact). Unfortunately, you will spend a lot of money here if you don’t budget VERY well, so don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be one of the lower costing weekend trips. Nevertheless, SF is a city that everyone should visit, at least once!

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Now you know my most beloved cities, so where are yours? I’d love to know!

Xx, Sami

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