15 Cities on My Adventure List

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As I dream of adventures this year, I created a list of cities I want to explore.

The success of my solo trip to Charleston last fall fuels this desire. Because while I enjoy the beauty of nature and walking in forests and along rivers, I learned something important about myself during the Charleston trip. I LOVE the energy of cities, especially historic ones. Walking in charming downtowns, hearing the stories behind the area and looking at architecture and old houses lights up my soul.

Check out these 15 cities on my adventure list. I’ve included a brief summary of each city and why I’m excited to visit.

15 Cities on My Adventure List title meme

15 Cities on My Adventure List

Last year I shared a post called Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US. First of all, I decided I possess some hipster qualities. And secondly, I felt drawn to some of those cities based on what I discovered about them.

Shortly after that post, I enjoyed the solo trip to Charleston and fell in love…with the city and with traveling on my own. Even while in Charleston, I began a list of other cities to explore.

I included these cities in my birthday activities, researching them, writing down things I’d like to do there and listing possible accommodations. I’m in the process of gathering city travel guides and reaching out to tourism boards and accommodations. I’ll visit the cities as accommodations are arranged, preferably comped as part of a travel blogger/writer trip. So whether I visit two or three of these cities this year…or six…or all 15…I’m open to what unfolds.

John’s Island, South Carolina

I’m so happy about this visit, which is already scheduled for May with comped accommodations. After an incredible trip to Charleston, I longed for a return visit.

An Airbnb reached out to me, offering a comped stay on John’s Island which is near Charleston. The largest island in South Carolina, John’s Island is home to wildlife, rivers, marshes, abundant flora and hundreds of bird species. About one third of the island is actually within the Charleston city limits

Why I’m Visiting

I’m excited to visit Charleston again. Although I spent four days exploring the historic district last September, there’s more to see. And, I’m excited to explore John’s Island. It’s a gorgeous setting for rest, writing, walking and taking photos and it’s ideally located for a day trip to Charleston. Plus John’s Island is home to the famous Angel Tree, a sprawling 400 – 500 year old Southern Live Oak tree. I wanted to see the Angel Tree while in Charleston and didn’t make it by. Now, I’ll be staying near it.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

This small California beach town is on the Monterey Peninsula. The village like setting is home to charming homes and shops, museums, historic Carmel Mission and the Carmel River State Beach.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m drawn to Carmel’s European style. Spanish style buildings and Victorian homes share space with storybook cottages and shops. Additionally, Carmel offers hidden passageways and quaint courtyards. It’s a very walkable community with artisan shops and one of a kind establishments. The beach is a huge bonus.

Savannah, Georgia

With its cobblestone streets, gardens, and 22 historic squares, Savannah is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Like Charleston, at the heart of the city lies the historic district featuring culture, charm, shops and restaurants.

The squares house museums, mansions, gardens, monuments and accommodations.

Why I’m Visiting

Over and over, while exploring Charleston, people recommended that I also visit Savannah. After researching that sister city, I see why. I love the 22 squares in the historic downtown area and the historical and cultural aspects. This city is high on my adventure list and I’m hopeful about a bed & breakfast that I found.

15 Cities on My Adventure List Savannah
15 Cities on My Adventure List – Savannah

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

This city on Florida’s southeastern coast is known for beaches and boating canals, The Strip…a promenade running along oceanside highway A1A…and upscale outdoor restaurants, boutiques and luxury hotels. Its nickname is Venice of America, due to the canals.

Why I’m Visiting

This city caught my attention many years ago. My maiden name is Lauderdale so of course I must visit this city. When I discovered Fort Lauderdale’s canals and ocean promenade, it moved higher up on my list. It’s also a hipster city.

Tempe, Arizona

Located just east of Phoenix, Tempe shares space with Hayden Butte, a mountain dotted with centuries old rock art. Tempe offers Tempe Town Lake, Tempe Beach Park, one of the longest standing juried arts festivals in the state, and 100+ bohemian shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the downtown area.

Why I’m Visiting

This city showed up on my hipster list as well, intriguing me with its artsy culture and those bohemian shops in the fun downtown area.

San Francisco, California

Another hipster city I’ve long wanted to explore, San Francisco offers the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and cable cars that trek up and down those steep streets. Victorian houses provide photo opportunities in San Francisco’s 11 historic districts.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m fascinated by San Francisco’s history, cable cars and those gorgeous houses, called Painted Ladies. And visits to Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge Park and Fisherman’s Wharf rank high on my explore list.

15 Cities on My Adventure List San FranciscoSs
15 Cities on My Adventure List – San Francisco

Providence, Rhode Island

This little city in the smallest state in the US offers much to visitors. Providence, a university town, is famous for its beautiful outdoor spaces, historic locations and the delicious food in the Little Italy area. This hipster city ranks high in culture and boasts the most coffee shops of any city in the US.

Why I’m Visiting

I love the energy of college towns. Providence’s historical spots appeal to me and the promise of coffee shops hints at possibilities for afternoon tea times.

Portland, Oregon

This hipster city sits in the shadow on Mt Hood, in the Pacific Northwest. Portland is famous for green spaces, bridges and bicycle paths, eco-friendliness and its microbreweries and coffeehouses. The city offers a vibrant downtown, a unique aerial tram and the Pearl District, a trendy area full of art galleries, shops, boutiques and fine dining.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m drawn to Portland’s mix of green spaces, such as the Japanese Gardens, coffeehouses and the Pearl District. And I’ve always wanted to visit the Pacific Northwest.

Boston, Massachusetts

This historic city offers visitors a wealth of fun experiences, from Fenway Park to the Freedom Trail to the North End district to a wide array of museums and public gardens.

Why I’m Visiting

Boston’s historical locations strongly appeal to me. The North End, Boston’s oldest district, offers cobblestone streets, fine dining, Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church. Boston features amazing gardens and museums as well that I’ll enjoy wandering through.

15 Cities on My Adventure List Boston
15 Cities on My Adventure List – Boston

New Orleans, Louisiana

Located near the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is famous for its round-the-clock nightlife, 18th century architecture,  live music scene, spicy cuisine, Mardi Gras and its blend of French, African and American cultures.

Why I’m Visiting

Although I’ve visited New Orleans twice, both trips were for real estate related conventions. And yes, we had some free time to walk the city. However, I’d love to visit again as a solo traveler and explore the French Quarter more thoroughly.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu’s south shore, is the capital of Hawaii and the gateway to the island chain. The city is famous for its tropical climate, beaches, hotels and culture.

Why I’m Visiting

I feel drawn to this hipster city because of its incredible beauty and culture. The riotous abundance of plants and flowers is a gardener’s dream.

Salem, Massachusetts

Another historical city, located north of Boston, this town is most famous for the 1692 witch trials. While it becomes Halloween Town during the month of October, Salem also offers historic homes, museums and attractions.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m drawn to Salem’s history and also curious about the energy there, due to the witch trials. My ideal itinerary is a few days in Boston and a day trip to Salem, preferably not in October when 500,000 other people visit.

15 Cities on My Adventure List Salem
15 Cities on My Adventure List – Salem

Memphis, Tennessee

Located on the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, Memphis is famous for all types of music. BB King and Johnny Cash recorded albums here as did Elvis Presley. That artist’s Graceland Mansion is a popular tourist destination.

Why I’m Visiting

I’ve driven through Memphis several times and have yet to stop. I’m most interested in visiting the Civil Rights Museum and walking along Beale Street. I’m very aware that Memphis has a high crime rate, which puts it low on my list of 15 cities. I’d love to hear of your experiences in Memphis, if you have visited recently.

Chicago, Illinois

This midwestern city is one of the largest in the US. It offers visitors bold architecture, many museums, sporting events and music. Foodies enjoy Chicago as well.

Why I’m Visiting

My desire to visit Chicago’s museums and see the cityscape is tempered somewhat by the high crime rate here too. It’s a short plane ride from Joplin, however, and would make a great weekend destination.

Seattle, Washington

Located on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, beautiful Seattle is surrounded by water, mountains and forests. The futuristic Space Needle is the city’s most iconic landmark. Seattle also features a variety of museums and festivals.

Why I’m Visiting

The beauty of the PNW lures me to this busy city. The art culture is huge in Seattle, which hosts 100 annual festivals and houses 200 art galleries.

Your Adventure List

How many of these cities on my list have you visited? What did you enjoy most while there?

And do you have an adventure list? I’d love to know what experiences are on it!

15 Cities on My Adventure List Seattle


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9 Replies to “15 Cities on My Adventure List”

  1. I’ve heard great things about Charleston and would love to go there myself. I’ve been to San Francisco and it was SO much fun! You’ll love it!

  2. While I prefer the slower pace of country living, I too love the energy when visiting the city. I have been to several cities on your list. Johns Island is gorgeous and has a great disc golf course. I was concerned about the crime rate in Chicago but learned that if you stay in the right areas and keep alert it is not bad.

  3. So many of yourlisted places have been on my radar or bucket list as well! We are probably not getting to the US again this year, so they may have to be put on hold for us.

  4. We have a lot of the same places on our Adventure list! Our family will be heading out west this year and I was trying to figure out a place to stop in Arizona. I think I will check out Tempe based on your recommendation. Thank you!

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