Experiencing the joys of America to the fullest

April Roccisano, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Millions of people have goals they have created and altered throughout their lives, and one of the most popular ones is to travel the world. No matter where someone is on the globe, there are places to travel and create lasting memories. In America, each of the fifty states provides amazing places to visit, all unique and memorable. Interested in visiting each state?  That is perfect because there is one place in each that is a can’t miss experience, and here are a few with which to start. 

Alabama’s Dauphin Island is a white sand beach that is surrounded by both a bay and a gulf. It is a great relaxing beach getaway where not many people visit, giving those who are visiting the privacy they are seeking. Dauphin Island is a secluded place which acts as an escape from everyday stresses and worries.

 In Alaska, Alpenglow Mountain is one of the most incredible places in the country. The sunsets that are viewed from this mountain are bright pink and have the most vivid colorings. Whether climbing the mountain, or hanging around the bottom, sunset on Alpenglow is a must-see experience because you will never behold such a beautiful sight again.  

Arizona, located out west, is home to the Grand Canyon, a 277-mile historical landmark that millions of people visit each year. It is an amazing place to visit any time of year, any time of day, and offers fun for the entire family. There is hiking, exploring, and even rock climbing if you are feeling adventurous.

A state that sounds like it is empty and boring, Arkansas, is actually the place where Beaver Lake is found.  Beaver Lake is a man-made reservoir where kayaking, canoeing, and swimming occurs every summer season. This reservoir is surrounded by nature and lake homes; some of these homes, which can be used as rentals, have slides and platforms attached to them, to add extra fun.

California has thousands of fun things to see and do, but if it had to be narrowed down one unforgettable experience, it would be to visit Hollywood. There is a very high possibility that there will be celebrities, and there is so much to do in the area, including visiting the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and the iconic Hollywood sign itself. The Hollywood Walk of Fame shows handprints in concrete of many iconic celebrities, and many tourists try comparing hand sizes to their favorite famous people. The Grauman’s Chinese Theater is next to the Walk of Fame, and has Chinese architecture; it’s a beautiful location to take pictures.  The Hollywood sign is a landmark announcing the presence of the town below and is a cool place to say you have traveled to, and with which to have taken a photo. 

 In a colder climate, Colorado contains Hanging Lake, a hidden gem with a waterfall and little private pool in which tourists can swim. The natural made pools contain water with a stunning blue color, and anyone who swims in them can see to the bottom because of their cleanliness. It is a small area, but it stays empty because most tourists do not stop to swim. There is even a rope swing that the residents of Colorado came together to build  that is available if anyone wants to have extra fun. Hanging Lake also has waterfalls that pour into the mini pools where great photos can be taken. The waterfalls add extra excitement to the already beautiful pools and the noise they make is soothing. 

 Closer to New Jersey on the East Coast is Connecticut, where visitors can find Mystic Seaport. Mystic Seaport has boats to explore, aquariums to go to, museums, planetariums, and more.  It is a fantastic all-in-one unique oceanside town. The coolest museum is the Mystic Seaport Boat museum where people can see boats that were used in different time periods and even get to stand on and look around some of them. It is full of small-town vibes and friendly people who are always willing to help tourists find fun things to do. For the younger demographic, there are fun stations to build boats and sail them, or pet animals at the aquarium. There is Historic Downtown Mystic Seaport where some of the town’s original buildings are refurbished and kept nicely. 

South of New Jersey lies Delaware, where anyone can enjoy time walking on the Prickly Pear Trail, also known as Fresh Pond Trail Head. This trail is surrounded by a small lake, making for a great nature walk and exercise in a beautiful area. It is important to stay on the marked trail because there is definitely some danger with the prickly pears, however the sheer beauty of being in nature and seeing plants and flowers that are not common to New Jersey is very exciting. There are trees covering the trail so if it is hot out, there is shade to cover the sun, and it is a short loop so walking it is not exhausting. 

The next place to check off the bucket list is one of the most famous theme parks in the world, Disney World, located in Orlando Florida. Everyone should visit this place of magic at least once in his or her life, try every ride, and eat unlimited Mickey themed food. There are four parks; Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot, which all have their own themed rides and areas to meet characters. Close to Disney World is Universal Studios, another theme park that includes many amenities such as a water park, thrill rides, and lots of food options. This is the home of the Harry Potter Universe with two themed parks, with the famous train that connects the two parks. There is Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, and Hogsmeade which resemble the “Harry Potter” movies exactly. Both of these amusement parks need to be checked off of everyone’s bucket list.  

 In the deep south of Georgia lies Driftwood Beach, on Jekyll Island, known for its unique trees and gorgeous sunsets. The massive trees are sprawled across the sand used for photo opts, and to have hammocks hang from them. There are even tours for the island if tourists want to stay on a boat instead of journeying onto the island. This island offers serenity and the chance to spend time in nature without crowds of people. 

The only island state, Hawaii, is home to the Kaumana Caves,  which was created by a lava tube in 1881. This makes the perfect hiking spot for family and friends, as well as a serene place to gather thoughts and clear your head. The path itself is a mix of a dirt trail and a long wooden pole in the straight away section of the cave. The caves have natural light, but it is better if they are not explored at night and you definitely need a guide in case someone gets lost. Professionals, however, would have no trouble making it through the caves because it is a moderate course.  

On the opposite spectrum, in snowy, cold Idaho, there is the Silver Mountain Resort, an incredible lodge that contains an indoor water park. There is skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and more outdoor winter activities that everyone should try once in their life and this fabulous resort would be the perfect place for it. The lodge offers complete solitude, or a family fun vacation, depending on how the visit is planned. 

This is the first of the three part series all about traveling America. All of these places offer lots of fun experiences and a calm atmosphere for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. Not every vacation has to be a stressful hassle, and checking out all of these places ensures a wonderful time.