Exploring The United States

I planned adventures for each of the 50 states of the United States of America. The planning was a lot of fun. It's even more fun to get out and actually explore them. It's good to explore your home state first. Too many of us look somewhere else for excitement. But if you're planning on being in another state, squeeze out a couple of minutes to look around. Maybe there is a place you've always wanted to see. What are you waiting for? Do it.

Each state is unique. It may share characteristics of other states, but there is bound to be something that makes it different from all the rest. Here I give you a list of each state. The name of the state is a link to a little sample of that state's attractions. Even though it isn't a state I included the nation's capitol at the end because it is such an important place to see. Have a great adventure and explore something new.

Alabama  The Yellowhammer State; Civil Rights Movement, Tuskegee Airmen, and NASA. Lots of birding trails, hiking, and rock climbing. Caves, water activities, and gardens.

Alaska  Land of the Midnight Sun; also called The Last Frontier. Coastline, Aleutian Islands, and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Dog sleds, whale watching, and scenic tours. Active volcanoes, glaciers, and forests. Trails, plants, animals, birds, and fish.

Arizona  The Grand Canyon State; Grand Canyon, Barringer Meteor Crater, and the London Bridge. Deserts, mountains, and Native American ceremonies. Cactus, Ponderosa Pines, and rock formations. Trails, caves, and waterfalls. Birds, animals, and reptiles.

Arkansas  The Natural State; Hunt for diamonds, rock-hounds, and Ozark Mountains. Hiking, birding, and horseback riding. Flowers, forests, and archaeological digs.

California  The Golden State; Alcatraz, theme parks, and missions. Giant Redwoods, giant huckleberry bushes, and Yosemite. Trails, animals, and birds. Gardens, wildflowers, and beaches. Mt. McKinley, Death Valley, and the gold rush.

Colorado  The Centennial State; Parks, recreation areas, and trails. Monuments, historic sites, and scenic trails. Forests, grasslands, and wildlife refuges. Continental Divide, Fourteeners, and a Four Corners State. Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and Pike's Peak. Trails, snow sports, and ziplines. Canyons, Native American cliff dwellings, and wildlife. Hot springs, cold springs, and volcanic outcroppings.

Connecticut  The Constitution State; Sometimes called the Nutmeg State. Gardens, arboretum, maple syrup. Historic homes, covered bridges, and wild animals. Appalachian Trail and other trails, stone arches, and fall colors. Forests, birds, and underground canoe trip.

Delaware  The First State; Waterfalls, hemlock groves, and wildflowers. State parks, national parks, and yurts. Hiking, water sports, gardens, and birding.

Florida  The Sunshine State; Theme parks, Florida Keys, Everglades. Wilderness trails, mangrove forests, activities on ocean waters. Beaches, coral reefs, undersea state park. Hiking, birding, and whitewater rapids. Fountain of Youth, caves and sinkholes, and waterfalls.

Georgia  The Peach State; Trees, reptiles and amphibians, freshwater and saltwater fish. Tours, scenic trails, botanical gardens. Miniature animals, bird habitats, haunted tours.

Hawaii  The Aloha State; Chain of volcanic islands, active volcanoes, archipelago. Royal palace, surfing, hiking, ziplining. Rock gardens, marine and bird reserve, Pearl Harbor. Pineapples, luaus, and ancient temples.

Idaho  The Gem State; Volcano viewing, BASE-jumping, and mushrooming. Caves, water activities, and whitewater rafting. Gold, silver, and star garnets. Animals, birds, and wild flowers. Take your camera.

Illinois  The Land of Lincoln; Albino squirrels, two-story outhouse, and smiley face water tower. St Valentine's Day Massacre, Santa Anna's leg, and purple martin condos. Trails, rock climbing and rappelling, and flora and fauna.

Indiana  The Hoosier State; Lake Michigan, waterways, and floating cabins. All manner of water sports, gardens, and trails. Ziplines, caverns and balancing rocks.

Iowa  The Hawkeye State; Scenic byways, historic trails, and barn quilts. Camping, water sports, birding. Hiking, biking, and gardens. Watch for prairie flora and fauna.

Kansas  The Sunflower State; Civil war history, ghost towns, and cowboy history. Birding, world's largest tallgrass prairie, and buffalo. Salt water fossils, rock formations, and a whole bunch of outdoors.

Kentucky  The Bluegrass State; Birthplace of both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, home of the United States gold supply, and breeding horses. Mammoth caves, Cumberland Falls, and navigable waterways. Bungee jumping, rock climbing, and water sports.

Louisiana  The Pelican State; Oldest known evidence of humans in North America, pirates, and the Orphan Train Museum. Garden of Americas Rose Center, Audubon Insectarium, and Tamany Trace. Mississippi Birding Trail and the Battle of New Orleans.

Maine  The Pine Tree State; Birding, hiking, water sports. Skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. Tidal salt marshes, geocaching, and scenery, Arctic bog, carnivorous plants, and ferry rides to islands.

Maryland  The Old Line State; Historical sites from Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. All-water national historic trail, Waterfront forest, marshes, and waterfalls. Rock outcrops, bird watching, and all kinds of trails.

Massachusetts  The Bay State; Cranberry bogs, Salem witch trials, and swinging bridges. Heritage trails, natural bridge, gardens. Maple syrup, scenery, and historical sites.

Michigan, part 1  The Wolverine State; Fossilized coral, salt mines. Longest freshwater shoreline, Great Lakes, and more lighthouses than any other state. Sand dunes, large and small wildlife, and hiking trails.

Michigan, part 2  The Upper Peninsula; Waterfalls, steep cliffs, and rock formations. Walk, bike, or carriage ride... no cars. The Soo Locks, birds, and bears and moose.

Minnesota  Land of 10,000 Lakes; Oldest known rocks on earth, Mississippi River headwaters, and water skiing. Water fowl, fresh produce, and paved bike trails. Prairie grasses, wildflowers, and birds and butterflies.

Mississippi  The Magnolia State; Horseback trails, bike trails, and rock climbing. Hike, canoe and kayak, and camping. Civil War sites, waterfalls, and bottomland hardwoods.

Missouri  The Show Me State; Starting point for Pony Express and Oregon Trail, oldest botanical garden in the United States, and Missouri's largest tallgrass prairie. Diving trails, caves, and butterflies.

Montana  Big Sky Country; Rocky Mountains, Continental Divide, waters flow to both oceans and Gulf of Mexico. Yellowstone National Park, Custer's Last Stand, and played out gold mines. Wide open spaces, hiking, whitewater rapids. Wildlife, rock formations, and fossil digs.

Nebraska  The Cornhusker State; World famous Henry Doorly Zoo, Boys Town, Platte River. Chimney Rock, livestock tank floating, sandhill cranes, wildlife refuges. Ashfall Fossil Beds, prairie chickens, and prairie dogs.

Nevada  The Silver State; hunt for and keep garnets, world's oldest species of tree, mountains. Hot Springs, hiking, sandstone formations, and petrified forest. Heli-skiing, rare limestone shield formations, Las Vegas.

New Hampshire  The Granite State; Short ocean shoreline, rivers, and lakes. Whale watching, miles of trails, birding. Rock hounds, stone architecture, and Moose Alley.

New Jersey  The Garden State; Boardwalks, lighthouses, and sandy beaches. Largest annual garden in the United States, humming birds, and aquifers.

New Mexico  The Land of Enchantment; 22 Indian tribes, six Life Zones, lots of flora and fauna. Carlsbad Caverns, rock formations, nature all over the place.

New York  The Empire State; Niagara Falls and all the fun related activities. Adirondacks with trails, lakes, and scenery. Ellis Island with Statue of Liberty. Museums of all sorts.

North Carolina  The Tar Heel State; Trails, Mile High Swinging Bridge, gardens. Rock climbing, zip lining, Graveyard of the Atlantic, and alligator safari.

North Dakota  The Peace Garden State; International Peace Garden, scenic roads, trails. Migrating birds, wildlife refuges, and the Enchanted Highway.

Ohio  The Buckeye State; Segway trails, rock climbing and rappelling, waterfalls. Scenic trails, farms, and gardens.

Oklahoma  The Sooner State; Rich Native American History including burial mounds. Man-made lakes, white salt flats, and Route 66. Location of the Dust Bowl.

Oregon  The Beaver State; Volcanic calderas, obsidian flows, waterfalls. Plant life and animals. Lots of scenery. Trails, trails, trails.

Pennsylvania  The Keystone State; Where all the planning for forming the United States was done. Caves, mountains, rivers, and "kissing bridges". Trails of all sorts. Whitewater rapids, historic sites.

Rhode Island  The Ocean State; Long coastline, topiary gardens, and birding. Water sports and farms.

South Carolina  The Palmetto State; Botany beds, Spanish moss, jogging trails. Fresh produce in season. Good food.

South Dakota  The Mount Rushmore State; National Scenic Byways, Badlands, goldmines. The Black Hills and Mount Rushmore.

Tennessee  The Volunteer State; Bottomland hardwood forest, wide variety of plant life, spelunking. Civil War Battle Sites.

Texas  The Lone Star State; Geocaching, Gulf Coast, hot and sandy plains. Cowboys, horses, and cattle. Remember the Alamo.

Utah  The Beehive State; Climbing and bouldering, bike trails, scuba diving and snorkeling, Water habitats for wildlife support. The Great Salt Lake.

Vermont  The Green Mountain State; Mountains, colorful scenery, covered bridges. Skiing and maple syrup.

Virginia  The Old Dominion State; Beaches, multi-use trails, and rock climbing. Historical sites for Revolutionary War, Civil War, and War of 1812

Washington  The Evergreen State; Lava tubes, mountains, and trees. Abundant wildlife. Rains a lot.

West Virginia  The Mountain State; Hiking trails, bird walks, and scenery. Clements State Tree Nursery.

Wisconsin  The Badger State; Lots of water and waterfalls. See an abandoned Iron mine or go bird watching.

Wyoming  The Equality State; lots of scenery,snow sports in season, hiking is good here. Geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone National Park.

Washington, D.C.  The capitol city of the United States; monuments, memorials, and famous buildings galore. Parks allow camping, water exploring, and all nature has to offer. A lot to see in a relatively small area.