10 Places in the USA I Must See Before I Die

by Ron Haynes


Yesterday, my darling daughter wrote a post on 14 places she would like to see before she dies. Today, my answer to that is 10 places in the USA I would like to see before I die. These are all United States National Parks.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park in Alaska is home to Mount McKinley, our continent’s highest peak, as well as scores of wildlife and scenic vistas. Everywhere you look is a postcard. The national park service says there are 6 million acres…and only one ribbon of road. Simply beautiful!

Grand Canyon National Park

I would love to see the Grand Canyon and all its splendor. According to the Park Service: “A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep.”

Minute Man National Park

At Minute Man National Historic Park began the American Revolution and the “shot heard ’round the world.” On these grounds fought the men who secured our freedom and “the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.” Without their sacrifices, there would be no freedoms as we know them today.Things like freedom of the press, of speech, of lawful assembly, freedom from government interference in my religious practices, freedom to keep and bear arms. In short, freedom from government interference in our lives.

Olympic National Park

When you look at pictures of Olympic National Park, you just have to say, “WOW.” Again, from the National Park Service web site: “Here you will find Pacific Ocean beaches, rain forest valleys, glacier-capped peaks and a stunning variety of plants and animals. Roads provide access to the outer edges of the park, but the heart of Olympic is wilderness; a primeval sanctuary for humans and wild creatures alike.” How could anyone NOT want to visit?

 USS Arizona National Memorial

This is a picture of the USS Arizona. On this hallowed ground lies the Battleship Arizona that was sunk in an act of terrorism against the United States. Here is the final resting place for many of this ship’s 1,177 members who were killed in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Never forget “the day that will live in infamy.”

Yosemite National Oark

Yosemite National Park is a shrine to the “strength of granite, power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra.” Yosemite National Park, one of the first wilderness parks in the United States, is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.” To top it all off, I’d go see El Capitan!

Rocky Mountain National Park

I’ve been skiing in the Colorado Rockies, but I’ve never visited Rocky Mountain National Park. I would really love to go in the fall of the year to see the changing colors and the surreal beauty of the mountains in autumn.

Valley Forge National Park

At Valley Forge National Historic Park, George Washington kept a rag-tag group of soldiers together long enough to make it through a very tough winter. Little rations, few blankets, tattered uniforms and low morale all made life almost unbearable in our 21st century estimation. What we don’t know is that this was life as usual for a soldier of that day. The fact that these men and boys suffered through terrible hardship is a testament to American perseverance. We should ALL have such tenacity.


Ah Gettysburg. “Fourscore and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” There were 51,000 casualties at the Battle of Gettysburg. 51,000. Fifty One Thousand over the course of a few days.

Redwood National Park

Last but not least, Redwood National Park. I would love to go see these giants that have been around for hundreds, even thousands of years.


Many thanks to Jeff at My Supercharged Life for his post that inspired this one. Jeff is a member of The Life Skills Network and is sure to inspire a lot more people with wonderful ideas and posts like this! He wrote 10 Places I Have To See Before I Die. We’re on the same page with Numbers 2, 4, and 10!

Also, be sure and read  David’s post on his 10 Places HE Would Like To See.

[tags]travel, US National Parks[/tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Yosemite is truly amazing. And you want to “see” El Capitan? Come on Ron, I know you can climb it! I have photos of hubby up there. And a huge gorgeous photo of it at night with a starry sky above and a few lonely head lamps on the face. Really neat.

Jeff@My Super-Charged Life

Ron – I’m a big National Park fan. I would love to visit them all. I would especially like to see the Grand Canyon, the USS Arizona, and the Redwoods. I’ve been to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO and it is great. I highly recommend it. Thanks for expanding on this theme and mentioning my list!

Frugal Dad

From your list, the only two I have visted are Gettysburg and Rocky Mountain National Park. I would love to go back to both. My trip to RMNP was a day trip while staying over the weekend on a business trip to Denver. It was August, the landscape was bare, and since I had business to tend to I couldn’t fully explore the park.

My granfather took me to Gettysburg as a young teenager, and at the time I didn’t truly appreciate the historical relevance.


I’ve always thought that there are so many cool places I haven’t been to in the US, I’ll never even make it over to Europe!

I, too, have been to RMNP. My husband and I went horseback riding in the park. It was AWESOME!

Next on our list is seeing the Redwoods. We’re hoping to plan a trip for the fall of 2009. It’s our next big trip!


I’ve been to NY city…BIG, BIG place! :-)
They have a great church up there too….the pastor is Tim Keller. He wrote a book called…”The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism.”
I’ve yet to read it, but will at some point. I hear, it is excellent!

The Grand Canyon is just that….GRAND! You can stand at the North Rim and marvel at the works of the Lord!
Very interesting when having children at this place. Make sure they are obedient to your words before going here. The edges aren’t fenced! :-)

Olympic Park and Redwood Park, I went to as a very young lady. I remember you could ride through one of the trees and as I stood looking at it, my thoughts of enormity and largeness totally bewildered me! I had some appreciation at that time, but maturity sure does add a different and enhanced prospective.

God bless our country…America!!!


Sorry….it’s Olympia…not Olympic. My speller got whop-sided! :mrgreen: :???:


It’s “Olympic” if you are talking about the fabulous forests of the NE coast of Washington State. It’s “Olympia” if you’re talking about the city that is the capital of Washington State.


Excellent list. I love the National Parks. I live almost equidistant from Gettysburg and Valley Forge and have been to both multiple times. Gettysburg wins for impact, hands down. Every square inch, it seems, something important is marked. They also do an excellent job in helping you see how the battle progressed.

Valley Forge has a few places that make you stop and think, but mostly it’s a beautiful open park – lots of fields. Plenty of deer roaming around. I find it’s actually easy to forget the suffering that occurred there. I have mixed feeling about that – on the one hand I’m disappointed that we don’t get a better sense of the contribution to history that occurred there, but on the other hand there’s something positive about a place associated with suffering being allowed to be a place of beauty and relaxation.



Mr. Anonymous

I enjoyed this list a lot thanks! I am from Ireland but my dream is to travel all over America and see things like this. Unfortunately Ireland is a very boring country which is in a huge economical crisis so I fear I will never be able to see all this stuff and that it will remain as just a dream.

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