America is big. Life is short. And whether you’re the kind of traveler who strays off the beaten path or one who hits the biggest damn tourist trap no matter the number of selfie sticks, you have to admit that some places across this great land of ours absolutely MUST be visited before you die. Even if you’re not starring in a buddy movie with Morgan Freeman.
Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston
Even if you fell asleep repeatedly in history class, walking this 2.5-mile path (just follow the red-brick line!) that passes 16 historical landmarks — from Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church to Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution — is a must for any American. Just don’t forget to stop at the Union Oyster House, one of Boston’s oldest restaurants, along the way.
Compare Philly cheesesteaks from old rivals Geno’s and Pat’s
Team Geno’s, just saying. Although, yes, we know there are A LOT of places to get a great cheesesteak in Philly, which is why we put together this neighborhood guide.
Catch a Broadway Show in New York City
If you can’t score Hamilton tickets (don’t worry, pretty much no one can), hit up the TKTS booth in Times Square for same-day discounted show seats to something; then take your obligatory “NYC baby!” selfie and get the hell out of there. Trying to tackle all of New York’s greatness is like trying to keep up with every new dating app, it’s damn near impossible. Concentrate on the biggies: eat a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and stroll through SoHo and Greenwich Village.
Drive Cape Cod to Provincetown in the summer
Yes, there’s a lot you don’t understand about the Cape, but that’s exactly why you should see it all. From the Bourne Bridge to the Chatham Light (and the Squire!), Truro’s vineyards to the the Cape Cod National Seashore, plan to eat lobster rolls along the way at one of these waterside spots, stop for a drink at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet, and end the night strolling around Provincetown.
Eat Buffalo wings in Buffalo
You sort of have to go to Anchor Bar, the famed “birthplace” of Buffalo wings. And when you’re done enjoying wings (and live jazz!), walk it all off on an architecture tour of seven Frank Lloyd Wright structures.
Bike the National Mall in DC
The best way to cruise DC’s many landmarks is on a two-wheeler. Start in Rock Creek Park, head along the Potomac, and finish on the National Mall, peddling past the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial, and the WWII Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Washington Monument… you get the idea. Stop and peruse the Smithsonian museums. End at the Capitol and Union Station. Ideally, do all of this in the spring when you can also appreciate about a million cherry blossoms. Afterward, grab a beer at District ChopHouse & Brewery — you earned it.