Fact: America is Beautiful

by Danielle E. Alvarez on December 14, 2010 · 19 comments

I learned many things on my road trip across the United States, but there are 30 that I took special notice of and they sum up why I believe America is beautiful.

American road trip

All of the facts below are from my positive experience in the actual places. None of them are based on preconceived notions nor the opinions of others. Most are exaggerations or slightly sarcastic. Very few are actual facts.

And if you find any to be least bit negative or critical, please know that I don’t mean them to sound that way.

Enjoy and please feel free to add any more in the comments below!

  1. Sometimes people ride bikes naked in Philadelphia. At least they do once a year in September. Name that cause.
  2. North Carolina boasts a plethora of vineyards. Don’t miss ‘em. Also visit one of their farmer’s markets since the offerings are ridiculous. In a good way.
  3. I want to retire in Savannah. I toured a home that may have been owned by my grandfather’s distant relatives at one time. More research to come.
  4. Montgomery, Alabama makes for a friendly pit stop.
  5. Don’t go to New Orleans alone. Or go and enjoy yourself, but just make sure that you make one more trip with a group of people. Others are necessary to enjoy all that the city has to offer. Oh and know the significance of “Whodat?”before you even think of going alone or with company.
  6. San Antonio is not a walkable city but it’s worth driving around. The Alamo, on the other hand, is not as exciting as it seems.
  7. The Oklahoma City Art Museum is fantastic. As is all of it’s ethnic cuisines. Believe it.
  8. Salina, Kansas is the capital of frozen pizza making.
  9. Those who said that the drive through Kansas is boring are actually mistaken. It’s quite gorgeous if I do say so myself.
  10. Eastern Colorado is boring. Central Colorado is beautiful but be careful about the speediness of your alcohol consumption.
  11. If you’re a hippie, and you’d like to start a family, may I suggest you move to Boulder?
  12. Santa Fe is a dream that I want to have again. If you go yourself, take note of the “Thanks for working” signs on the highway. They’re a nice reminder to appreciate road work and the people that do it.
  13. Phoenix has a lot to offer. You’ll have to drive 20-minutes to find it but you probably should anyway. Also, Arizona State is a party school, but I don’t think any more than other fun colleges. I’ll report back with more findings as I discover them when visiting my brother who’s currently a freshman there.
  14. Los Angeles traffic is really not that bad, it’s just constant. I didn’t hate it and could survive living there with an authentic smile on my face. Get sushi there too, at least once.
  15. Santa Barbara is too pretty to look lived in. I’m still glad I visited though.
  16. The scents of San Francisco are intoxicating.I blame it on the street gardens. Make sure to walk through them in addition to hiking up and down each block. It’s good exercise.
  17. Wine tastes better straight from the source. Visit a vineyard on the west coast, and invite me when you do.
  18. I like fog and I like forests, but northernmost California just makes it eery.
  19. According to Seattlites, Portland is a mini-Seattle about 10 years ago.
  20. Seattle‘s International District is the most appropriately named area for amazing Thai/Vietnamese/Japanese/Filipino/Korean/Laotian/Cambodian/Burmese/etc. food.
  21. The landscape from western Washington to Eastern Washington is incredible.
  22. Northern Idaho (the Coeur d’Alene area) is breathtaking. The area, like many others, was carved by glaciers. Go. You must see it for yourself.
  23. Bozeman, Montana is a midwest medley. I believe people with all interests could find a home there.
  24. There’s a big difference between the East River (eastern border) and the West River (western border) of South Dakota. I appreciate them both although I can’t say the same for the sprawl in the middle. It makes for one hell of a drive.
  25. Austin, MN is home to the SPAM museum and a super cool couchsurfing host.
  26. Madison, Wisconsin is a town made for foodies. In addition, it is the only capital situated on an islip, and, the beaver atop the capitol building points towards Washington, D.C.
  27. If there were to be a perfect college town, I’d vote for Ann Arbor.
  28. Pittsburgh serves sandwiches with coleslaw and fries within them. You can thank the coal miners of yesterday.
  29. There is nothing like going back to your alma mater. But I guess that’s only if you had an amazing college experience, and all of your friends go back with you, say, for homecoming.
  30. The speedy crowds of New York aren’t for everyone. Like really, really aren’t for everyone. Many Americans told me so. Antique and vintage stores are, however, seem to be loved by all. They’re everywhere.

About the Author:

is the author of 35 posts on Go Backpacking.

Danielle is a globetrotter with a healthy appetite. In addition to writing about her travel and foodie experiences, she enjoys reading, indulging in the arts, and channeling her inner-yogi. Read more from Danielle at her blog, Danielle Abroad.

The Travel Blog Success community offers practical resources and personal support to help you build a better travel blog.

Whether you treat blogging as a hobby, or dream of building a location independent business, you'll learn what's required to create a name for yourself in the online travel world.

Benefits of Joining:

  1. Personal support from Dave, including site critiques and tips on negotiating advertising deals.
  2. Ability to learn from others' mistakes, and save yourself time, energy and money.
  3. Chance to network with other travel bloggers of all levels, from around the world.

Click here to learn more.

Categories: Features, Post-trip, United States
Post tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 Comments

@_thetraveller_ December 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm

This is great! I just recently flew from LA home to Toronto and seeing the desert and landscapes from the plane was amazing!

Reply

Danielle E. Alvarez December 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Oh, I’m sure! Glad you enjoyed your flight.

Reply

B A December 15, 2010 at 12:31 am

Great article. However, there’s no beaver atop the Capitol of Wisconsin, but rather Forward. Didn’t know she pointed to DC.

Reply

Danielle E. Alvarez December 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Oops, sorry about that :). Obviously I’m an out-of-towner. I found out the point direction because my host worked in the Capitol building.

Reply

Alexis Marija December 16, 2010 at 8:15 am

Nashville is a beautiful city from a tourist’s perspective, and Cincinnati looked pretty cool too

Reply

Danielle E. Alvarez December 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Two more places to add to my list!

Reply

Gloria December 18, 2010 at 11:29 pm

the key to LA traffic is knowing the best roads to take at the best times. and avoid the 405 if you can!

Reply

Danielle E. Alvarez December 20, 2010 at 4:08 am

Good point. Thanks!

Reply

Patrick December 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Santa Barbara also has some great backpacking for you Go Backpacking people. The ridge right behind Santa Barbara, and the ridge behind that are well known. Areas with eerie names like Rattlesnake Creek make for great overnighters, or day hikes. Did you know that the second ridge has California Condors that have been released into the wild!

Do it inexpensively by staying at the Sandman Inn Hotel (www.thesandmaninn.com) or go upscale, but less expensive than most Santa Barbara hotels by going to The Best Western South Coast Inn (www.santa-barbara-hotel.com). Yeah I know it is a best Western but it is a LOT nicer than most BW’s and because it is actually in Goleta it is about half the price of most hotels.

Both are where you want to be if you want to go backpacking, and are both under known (BW because of location in Goleta) and Sandman because it is NOT downtown Santa Barbara.

Reply

NC Native January 5, 2011 at 3:18 am

You should have spent more time in Oregon rather than going by what people in Seattle had to say about it. Your #1 fact actually happens more than once a year in Portland as well as other cities in Oregon. They have a rather unique perspective on public nudity in that state. Also, your #19 ‘fact’ I differ with. I see Portland as more of a “grown-up Asheville, NC” – a mountain/river city that is a mecca for the arts, foodies, and a VERY diverse population of ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles. And there are not many better and more diverse landscapes for backpacking than the Pacific NW.

Reply

Danielle E. Alvarez January 9, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I appreciate your insight. I wish I could’ve spent more time in Portland but I was on a schedule. As far as basing it all on what Seattlites said, that came from the fact that the majority of my host’s law school friends were from Washington state. I’d love to go back!

Reply

Alicia January 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I have to agree America beautiful and it is one of the best… I have not explored America much but the crowd in every corner says it all. My ultimate dream actually is to migrate to America with my family of course and live there for the rest of our lives.

Reply

Honeymoon Bed Breakfast February 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

I think you have forgotten to add Virginia having some great attractions like Virginia Beaches, Great Fall, Shenandoah Valley, Luray Caverns, Norfolk etc.

Reply

Quinton June 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I love your description for Santa Barbara! It is too pretty to be lived in, but living there would be amazing (don’t deny it!) LA isn’t so bad- I’ve lived there here for about 10 years in several different cities and it is a constant amount of traffic but a constant amount of fun! A lot to explore there for sure. Seattle is awesome as well and New York really isn’t for everyone (it was for me!) I hope to end up there one day. Santa Barbara is by far my favorite one on your list. I vacation there with my family every year and love every minute of it. The South Coast Inn (www.santa-barbara-hotel.com) has a lot to offer if you enjoy nice hotels at great prices (especially in places like SB!)

Reply

Jean September 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm

America is positively beautiful and you hit some great cities on your trip! Santa Barbara being my favorite, it is too pretty to look lived in! It isn’t even fair for the people who are fortunate enough to live there! I’ve been a few times, and few other cities on this list- NYC, Seattle, Portland (fun!) and etc. SB was by far the best, nice weather, manageable traffic and the people were really nice! I stayed at the Sandman Inn (www.thesandmaninn.com). Inexpensive compared to most places in SB and so nice! Worth looking into on your next trip!

Reply

Kelsea October 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

An American bound road trip is always a good idea to spend the summer months or even spring time if you want to skip out on the heat in some parts of the country. I did a cross country road trip with friends and it was so much fun. States you never thought would be a good time, actually were! Louisiana is positively awesome! Could not get over how much fun we had. Love California, moving to the coast as soon as I can afford it. Santa Barbara was great and where we stayed was even better-the South Coast Inn (www.goleta-hotel.com). Nice and well maintained-great area!

Reply

Clare November 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

America Is Beautiful! I did a across country trip just like this and I also discovered Santa Barbara on mine and I fell in love! Ever since (just about 10 years now!). Ever since, I find myself finding excuses to go with friends and family to this amazing oasis. Some of the best wine I have ever had has come from Santa Barbara. I dont know how I didn’t discover this place sooner. I spent a good deal of money there but not on my hotel, the Sandman Inn (www.thesandmaninn.com). Cheap and close to everything!!

Reply

Jessie March 2, 2013 at 8:00 pm

If you are in NC check out the Greenway – it’s an east coast bike/backpacking trail that comes through the areas off the coast from Virginia, and then hits the coast in Wilmington, down through Myrtle past the North Myrtle Beach hotels, and keeps winding its way down through Georgia and into Florida. The route is already established, and most states already have some of it constructed!

Reply

Rod Austin January 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Glad you mentioned Montana. Head out westward next time and visit Missoula. Go to the Glacier National Park and drive through the Going to the Sun Road. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that I am sure you won’t forget!

Reply

Leave a Comment


Comment Policy: Please use your real name. If you use your company name or keywords instead, it'll be deleted. If it is your first time leaving a comment, or you include a URL, it will be held for moderation. Other than that, please keep it polite and respectful.

Previous post:

Next post: