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Who says you need a passport to enjoy a terrific travel experience? One of the glorious things about living in the United States is that you can find infinite variety right here at home. With a climate zone for every temperature preference and everything from beaches to soaring snow-capped mountains, you’ll find a landscape that calls to your spirit.
What are some destinations you should add to your bucket list? Here’s where to travel without a passport: 11 U.S. must-sees.
1. Breckenridge, CO
If you love the mountains and all things skiing, make Breckenridge, Colorado, one of the must-see stops on your where to travel without a passport bucket list. This picturesque burg offers oodles of challenges for the athletic sort, but there’s plenty for the rest of the family to enjoy, too.
Nearly everyone enjoys touring historic Main Street, where you feel transported back to the old west. You’ll find over 200 shops to fill your need for souvenirs. Boreas Pass Road comes alive with the colors of maroon and gold in the autumn, letting you enjoy a vigorous mountain bike ride or pleasant hike replete with plenty of picture-taking opportunities.
2. Honolulu, HI
A trip to Hawaii is like a vacation to an exotic tropical destination without needing a passport. You’ll also enjoy some of the most unique land formations in the United States. The island chain came into existence thanks to a hot spot amid the Pacific plate, and you’ll find volcanoes and black sand beaches.
While there, be sure to participate in an authentic luau. It’s much more than great food. You’ll enjoy engaging traditional performances, including hula dances and fire twirling, all capped off by the giant feast.
3. New York City, NY
A trip to the Big Apple deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list. This city is iconic for many good reasons. While there, be sure to hit one of your favorite Broadway productions. There’s something like seeing performances here that gives them a richness beyond anywhere else.
You’ll find no end of shopping and dining at nearly any hour of the day or night. Leave the car at home and take advantage of the many park and ride services to see more sights and avoid hassling with traffic. You’ll often enjoy free transportation — handy if a pub or nightclub is one of your destinations.
4. Big Bear Lake, CA
You probably think of the beach when you envision California. However, you won’t have to compete with surfers to find a spot on the sand at Big Bear Lake, CA. However, the water remains below 70° Fahrenheit most of the year, chilly enough to kill, so stay near the shore and wear a lifejacket when boating.
You’ll find plenty to do on the shore. This area is glorious for hiking, although you’ll have to watch out for the signature namesake. Make plenty of noise and don’t leave food near your tent if you plan to camp.
5. Shawnee National Forest, IL
If you’re an outdoor lover, head eastward to Shawnee National Forest, Illinois. You’ll find some of the most beautiful temperate woodlands anywhere, and you won’t have to compete with maddening crowds.
That’s not to say you don’t have choices for accommodations outside of your tent. You can find developed campsites with showers and electricity, although many operate on a first-come, first-served basis. If you like a little more luxury than ground sleeping, why not rent an RV for your journey?
6. Las Cruces, New Mexico
Artistic types will adore the thriving communities and galleries of Los Cruces, New Mexico. The main downtown features a district including 21 museums, galleries and theaters, along with a library, restaurants and coffee houses and 27 art-themed businesses. You’ll also find historic homes dating back as far as 1870, making the National Registry of Historic Places.
Las Cruces also makes your where to travel without a passport bucket list because of its proximity to White Sands. This National Park, also known as Alamogordo, is a must-see.
7. Bloomington, Minnesota
Minnesota might not seem like a vacation destination — unless you like it cold. December through February highs rarely break 30° Fahrenheit, and wind chills often howl well below zero.
However, you’ll stay snuggly and warm when you visit the Mall of America — much more than a shopping experience. You’ll find exciting roller coasters, learn how crayons are made, visit an aquarium and even take part in a live-action first-person shooter laser tag war.
8. Wildwood, NJ
There has to be something for the beach bunnies on this travel without a passport bucket list. Wildwood, New Jersey, offers one of the best sea and shoreside entertainment combinations.
When you get enough of the beach, spend some time at the Splash Zone water park. Are you ready to dry out for the evening? Head to the boardwalk for a stroll or play miniature golf at Islands.
9. Bend, OR
Bend, Oregon, is all about beer and the great outdoors. Work up a powerful thirst while mountain biking one of the many trails, and then rinse down that dust with a chilled IPA from one of 22 breweries — enough to make a several-day tour.
You’ll also discover a bustling downtown to explore. Hear A-list musicians perform at Hayden Homes Amphitheater or find some new living room adornments at the First Friday art walk.
10. Kitsap Peninsula, WA
The Kitsap Peninsula serves as a bedroom community for Seattle but is a playground for travelers. You’ll find beaches, marinas, downtown shops, restaurants and galleries.
A ferry ride is a must for this excursion. You can also get out on the water solo with a little guidance from the folks at the Olympic Outdoor Center, where you can rent kayaks and canoes. If you prefer to keep your feet dry, try one of the many nature trails, like Clear Creek, a 5-mile system that features interpretive panels highlighting the region’s natural and human history.
11. Sedona, AZ
Attention, spiritual enlightenment seekers: Sedona, Arizona, is your next stop for meditation amid nature’s glory. Nestled along the Mogollon Rim, this tiny town of just under 10,000 full-time residents is a mecca for those walking the path of peace and personal development.
Immerse yourself in one of the many mystical vortexes located along some of the most stunning red rock formations you’ll find anywhere. Is it the earth’s magnetic fields or something in the soil that makes this place so magical? Perhaps it’s the rich Native heritage that permeates the Verde Valley region — you can stop to visit multiple ruins and heritage sites on your journey.
You’ll also find gourmet dining and luxury accommodations, although you might have to wait to post pictures until your return — the internet service leaves a bit to be desired. However, this destination is ideal if you want to unplug and get in touch with your true inner self.
Where to Travel Without a Passport
You don’t need a passport to travel. You can find a destination to delight everyone right here in the U.S.A.
Consider this bucket list of where to travel without a passport when planning your next vacation. Which of these hotspots deserves a place on your itinerary?
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