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20 Travel Experiences You Must Have in the United States

The United States is a land of absolutely incredible diversity. Every region of the country is different. From the kinds of cuisine you’ll sample, to the places you’ll see, and even to the people you’ll meet, there’s no shortage of incredible things to experience in the great ol’ U. S. of A.

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If you’re visiting the country, then you’ve got your work cut out for you. There are simply to many things to list that you absolutely must see and do… But, even if you’re an American, there is still a long list of places to visit and things to experience that you need to cross off of your bucket list!

On the list below, we’ve pulled together our 20 picks for the travel experiences that everyone must have in the United States. On this list, we’ll share our picks for some of our favorite road trips that you can take. In addition, we’ll share our picks for the best landmarks for you and yours to check out. And, we’ve even got a few surprises on here for you! It’s not going to just be a list of places like Mount Rushmore and the Empire State Building, after all!

1. White Sands National Monument

The white sand of this landmark located in New Mexico will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the surface of another planet.

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2. Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival

There’s much and more to see in our nation’s capital, and it never looks better than it does when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

3. Yellowstone National Park

The natural beauty of Yellowstone cannot easily be put into words; it’s just one of those things you need to experience for yourself.

4. Napa Valley Wine Tasting

There’s nothing quite as relaxing, fun and – yes – a little tipsy than cruising the Napa Valley and visiting its sundry wineries.

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5. Top of the Statue of Liberty

This is one of the quintessential things one should do at least once when visiting the Big Apple. So what if it’s a little cliché?

6. Drive the Florida Keys

There may be no United States road trip that’s more laidback and invigorating the cruising through the Florida Keys.

7. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway

Stretching from the bottom of California and all the way up the Pacific coast, we simply can’t count the number of incredible things you’ll see along this cruise.

8. The Golden Gate Bridge

On a clear day, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco is one of the most beautiful drives on the planet.

9. Palm Springs

Long the playground of the stars, this town out in the desert features awesome midcentury architecture, incredible restaurants and shops… And golf!

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10. Skiing in Jackson Hole

There are plenty of incredible places to go skiing in the United States, but our pick for the best of them is without a doubt Jackson Hole.

11. Hike the Grand Canyon

You need to see the Grand Canyon in order to believe it… But, don’t just look at it from an observation point! Actually go hiking around and through it.

12. 360degrees Chicago

The city of Chicago has one of the country’s most impressive skylines, and this 1000-foot high destination offers the greatest vantage point form which to view it.

13. Graceland

Elvis is pretty much American royalty, and taking a trip to his home in Memphis, Tennessee, is something everyone should do.

14. Cruise Route 66

Running all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles, cruising Route 66 is an easy way to see much of what the country has to offer.

15. The New Orleans Jazz Festival

Mardi Gras may get much of the press when it comes to New Orleans’ events, but ask a local. The Jazz Festival is the most fun.

16. Mammoth Cave National Park

This destination in Kentucky is home to an incredible and extremely massive cave system that’s sure to impress.

17. Sequoia National Park

You haven’t seen a tall tree until you’ve had the chance to step underneath that absolutely massive redwoods you’ll find here.

18. Leaf Peeping in New England

Once the autumn months come along, the landscape of New England turns all kinds of bright yellows and fiery reds.

19. Las Vegas Party

At least once in every life one needs to take the opportunity to live the high-roller lifestyle in Sin City.

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20. Badlands National Park

It’s just like the name of this park says, and the landscape you’ll find here in South Dakota is unlike anything else in the world.

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Travel

Explore Harry Potter Film Locations Around England And Wales

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Harry Potter was a book and movie series that has changed a generation. If you happen to be a true Potterhead then a trip around England visiting some major film locations might be just for you. Here at Places You’ll See we thought we would make things easier for you and have come up with a list of our favourite Harry Potter film locations throughout London, the English countryside and Wales.

London:

London was a major filming location throughout all the movies and you could spend days hunting down little Harry Potter gems. Here are 4 stops to get you started.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour:

HP Studio Tour

No true Harry Potter fan would pass up the opportunity to visit the Harry Potter studio where much of the filming takes place. You can easily spend a full day here as you browse through thousands of props, enjoy short videos by all the major actors, sit on the Knight Bus, and drink a mug of Butterbeer. The cost is £50 for the day and includes transport by bus from several locations

Platform 9 ¾:

Platform 9 and 3 quaters

Who knew a book would propel a random platform in Kings Cross Station to international fame? Well Harry Potter has done just that. Thousands of tourists flock to the platform every week to see where the magical world begins. There is a baggage trolley half through the wall where you can have your next Instagram photo taken as well as a store selling nothing but Harry Potter merchandise.

Millennium Bridge:

No doubt you’ll be visiting the Thames anyway (to see Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge etc) so while you are here why not walk across the bridge that the Death Eaters

Claremont Square:

Siruis Blacks House

Sirius Black was always our favorite character so a trip to 12 Grimmauld place was a must. This line of streets was used as the exterior to Sirius Black’s (and then Harry’s) house in the later films.

Film Locations In The English Countryside:

Harry Potter film locations can be found throughout England, Wales and Scotland so no tour would be complete if we didn’t step outside of the city and find some more rural locations.

Hardwick Hall:

Malfoy Manor And Voldermort Stronghold

If you head north of London you can find Hardwick Hall. A beautiful English countryside manor which just so happened to be owned by the Malfoys. This manor was used in a number of the later films especially once Voldemort chose it as his base of operations. Entry into the grounds and manor only costs £12 for adults and £6 for children. If you like the countryside you can continue heading north into Scotland to see some of the lakes and mountains used as beautiful backdrops for the films.

Ashbridge wood:

Quidditch World Cup

Heading west of London you’ll soon find yourself at Ashbridge Wood. Home of the Quidditch World Cup. Grab a bottle of water and walk through the lovely landscape and take in the fresh air found outside of London.

Gloucester Cathedral:

Hogwartz Interiors

Continue heading west of Ashbridge Wood and you’ll find yourself at Gloucester Cathedral where many Hogwarts interior shots are taken. This beautiful old church has free entry and its architecture is a wonder to see.

Freshwater West beach:

The Beach Dobby Died At

If you get lucky and have a few sunny days then a trip to Freshwater West Beach in Wales is a great way to spend the day. Enjoy the sun and the sand and try not to think about the death of Dobby too much as you visit the place where it all happened.

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The 7 Best DIY Campervans & How To Build Them Yourself

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One of the latest trends that have been popping up around the world is the “glamper camper”. A beautifully designed and built campervan made into often times an old van or bus. Chucking a bed in a van has been around since at least the 60’s when surfers and hippies made the Volkswagen Kombi van as iconic as the Beatles, but these new designs have taken them to the next level. Here at PlacesYoullSee we decided to make a list of our favourite 7.

#1 Mercedes Sprinter by Daniel B

Campervan number one

Decked out in white with a sideways bed and kictchenette Daniel has made an absolute masterpiece. See more pictures on his instagram.

#2. More Bedroom Than Van

A campervan that looks like a bedroom

We loved how much this van looked like a bedroom compared to a van with a bed in it. The use of wood on the floor and ceiling gives this camper a touch of class that you rarely see. Little touches like a bookshelf show just how much planning went into the design and building on this campervan. Read about the conversion here.

#3 The Top and bottom split

This van takes a different approach to give you a lot more storage room. By splitting the van into 2 levels the entire bottom half of the van can be used for storing anything large (think mountain bikes, canoes etc). The upper level has a large bed and classy wooden roof. See more build photos here.

#4 Wood Wall To Walls In A Ford Transit

Prize number 4

The more wood the better! This beautiful design fits out a Ford Transit with a luxurious interior. To see some build photos click here:

#5 Drop Down Table And Beds

Drop down bed campervan

This van made our list due to how well they have taken advantage of limited space. Much smaller than a lot of the other vans used here the use of fold down beds and a hanging table allows for a great use of available space.

#6. Simple And Stylish

A simple design campervan

This simple and elegant design has couches that can be converted into beds by removing the back cushions. To see the build click here

#7 Window Addons To Enjoy The Great Views

This build has had window flaps cut into their Mercedes Sprinter so you can enjoy the amazing views you see as your travel. If you’d like to build something like this you can read all about it here: http://www.enuze.com/go.php?u=http://thevanual.com/

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9 Reasons Why Winter Vacations Kill Summer Vacations

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With Winter fast approaching lots of people think the ideal holiday is a beach front hotel and a cocktail. A few of us here at Places You’ll See disagree with that statement so we have decided to come up with a list of reasons why Winter vacations are better than Summer vacations.

Skiing and Snowboarding

There’s not much that tops a bluebird day with a foot of fresh snow. Every year thousands of people around the world flock to the mountains chasing the snow. Whether you’re a skier or a boarder the mountains in Winter can offer as much fun as anywhere in the world. This Winter head north to some of the worlds iconic snow resorts including Whistler, Aspen or Vail. If you’re looking for something a little different this Winter check out some of the European resorts such as Chamonix, Innsbruck or Val Thorens. If you’re one of those people chasing deep untracked powder Japan if the place to be although it doesn’t have the same after ski atmosphere as the resorts in Europe and North America.

The Northern Lights

The northen lights in Winter

The northern lights are one of the most beautiful, captivating and aw inspiring sights in the world. They are only found a long way north (or south for the Aurora Australis) and they can only be seen in the Winter. Some of the most famous places for seeing the northern lights include all of Iceland, Lapland in northern Norway, and Fairbanks Alaska. You can take Northern light tours or if you are looking for something truly unique and magical Kakskauttanen Resort in Finland offers glass igloo accommodation allowing you to spend the night cuddled under a blanket watching the lights roll by above you.

Apres Bar Parties

There is just something about the vibe of Apres bars and after ski parties that regular bars just cannot compete with. The nightlife in some Apres bars such as Krazy Kangaruh or Rond Point is so famous that people travel to them even if they don’t want to ski or snowboard. A sunny afternoon on a mountain with a live band playing and everybody having a great time is something all people should experience at least once in their life. And you never know, you might even find some time to go skiing or boarding while you wait for the bars to open up again.

Dog Sledding

Step back into the olden days with a dog sled across the snow. Dog sledding tours can be found in a number of Winter towns throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Sit back, relax and take in the serenity as you glide silently though snow covered trees. Just a tip we have learned: When giving your weight it’s better to exaggerate how much you weigh so they use more dogs otherwise you might find yourself walking up a hill because there were not strong enough dogs to pull you up.

A Jacuzzi In The Mountains

Grab a bunch of beers, a few friends, and sit in a jacuzzi outside. The cold of the air on your face and warmth of the water make for an amazing time. If it’s clear you get to sit back and see all the stars that you don’t normally get to see in the city. If its cloudy you might get lucky and see some snow start to fall from the sky.

Ice Skatting Outdoors

Ice Skating On A Lake

In the Winter and if you are far enough north you can enjoy ice-skating the way it is supposed to be done. Forget indoor arenas, ice-skating should be done outdoors on lakes or canals. If you find yourself in Ottowa during the Winter make sure to grab some skates and head to Rideau Canal or if you happen to be in Europe when a cold front hits you might be one of the lucky people that gets to skate around the canals of Amsterdam. Remember to always play it safe and make sure the ice is deep enough to safely hold your weight. Speaking from experience a Winter swim is not much fun.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing at sunset

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, then you have to try ice fishing at least once in your life. Head onto the water and see if you can’t jag a hungry trout looking for some snacks to get through the Winter. When you do hook a fish remember to keep the line away from ice or you might never get to see that hungry trout. A quick tip: A small cover tent, a heater, beers and a good friend or two make this a much more enjoyable adventure.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling

For the adrenaline junkies who love the sound of an engine and the air rushing past your face then you can’t go past a snowmobiling trip. While they may seem slow as the cruise around ski resorts with the sirens blaring looking for people skiers and boarders breaking the rules a snowmobile in the backcountry is an adrenaline junkies dream. These things are fast, scary fast! Go out for an afternoon and you’ll be smiling the whole time.

That Fresh Mountain Air

The number one thing to enjoy about Winter holidays is the fresh, cold, mountain air. It makes you feel alive. Forget humid tropical beach, a cold clear mountain view is the best way to start the day.

Got a friend that disagrees with you? Send them this article and prove them wrong.

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