A while back, my French teacher assigned some homework that required me to list a few things to see and do while in America on vacation (all in French of course). When it came time to write, I was stumped…. what would my “must sees” in America be, especially if it was recommendations to someone who had never been stateside before?
Pondering over that idea, here’s my list of top things to see and do in the good ole’ US of A:
Moosehead Lake, Maine is literally in the middle of nowhere….. and worth the venture during the summer months. Moosehead Lake proudly holds the title of largest lake in the state of Maine. Boating and water activities are a must, as well as fishing and of course, eating. The Black Frog and the Rod N’ Reel are two local favorites. This is the kind of place where you go to slow down, drink a Clamato, and ponder life on a hammock. Oh and there is moose. Everywhere. Drive slow!
Boston, Massachusetts, international city of higher education and my second home. I love everything about Boston, from the North End to Somerville, to Backbay and Chinatown. There is so much to see and do in the Boston area. My list of must see’s include strolling down Newbury Street, seeing a Red Sox game (totally worth it), checking out Quincy Market, the New England Aquarium and whale watching, having Italian in the North End, the swan boats or ice skating on Frog Pond in Boston Commons (depending on when you go), walking the Freedom Trail, and of course, riding the Duck Boats, Harvard Square, Kendall Square/MIT, and on, and on…. Best eats include The Boston Burger Company, Legal Test Kitchen, and Wing Works in Somerville. *Insiders tip: if you come to Massachusetts in late October, you can add in all of the typical fall activities like pumpkin and apple picking, leaf peeping, and Halloween in Salem, MA.
Seattle/Tacoma, Washington, west coast like no other! Honestly if it weren’t for the lack of sunshine, I think I’d love to live in Seattle. Everything is green, including the people, and the views of Mount Rainier are breathtaking. Our favorite places to frequent include Tap House Grill, home of 160 beers, Silver City Brewery, and Central Market which in my opinion is the best.grocery.store, and of course, Pike Place Market. While in Seattle, be sure to take a day trip to Bainbridge Island (not just because they did it in 50 Shades), and also to the San Juan islands. Beautiful place to go kayaking and possibly see killer whales.
San Antonio, Texas… while I do not have any pictures of this hot, hot, hot place, I can remember it like yesterday. It was a balmy 110 degrees on most of the days I was there, but it didn’t matter. The people were super friendly, the food was amazing no matter where we ate, and we enjoyed the Riverwalk and Alamo.
Tennessee…. especially Nashville and Memphis. We rode-tripped through Tennessee when I was 14 years old and the memories of the vivid, rolling hills of the Smokey Mountains, the electric feeling of walking through Nashville, the tacky and yet so alluring Graceland are so strong. I remember thinking, “Yeah, I could live here.”
New York, NY at Christmas. This is my ultimate favorite time of year to go to the city, bundled up in warm coats, stopping at Dean & Deluca for a warm treat. We’ve made many a trip to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, stopping by Harry Winston, hitting up Canal Street, and taking in the sights. The Empire State Building and Rockerfeller Center are worth a look, as well as Central Park. And of course, Macy’s at Christmas is always a good idea!
Saratoga Springs, New York, summer home of the NYC Ballet at SPAC, where you can also see some amazing concerts. I spent every summer here for at least 10 years and have seen so many performers there…. the short list includes Michael Bolton & Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Dave Matthew’s Band. I’ve also sat outside the gates to listen to countless others, but I have not tried to sneak in.. Downtown Saratoga is always perfect for a summer stroll…. stop in Congress Park, Ben & Jerry’s, and so many quaint stores to shop in. And if you’re there in August, horse season is in full swing! Pick out your favorite dress and broad trimmed hat and place your bets, something I’ve allowed to do (with the assistance of my grandmother) since I was 6 years old. And if there’s any doubt that Saratoga is a worthwhile trip, check out their tourism video:
So where else would you add for visitors to America? Any favorite spaces you’d add to my little list, and even better, do we share some favorite spaces??