All 50 States Tourism and Visitors Bureaus’ Websites and Contact Info

family with jeep and wetsuits and boogieboards playing at the beach

Visitor bureaus are organizations that serve as the primary contact for visitors to their city, town or region.

They create guides and maps about attractions in the area. They also offer suggestions on where to go and what to do. They typically have a website where they list all the attractions, museums and restaurants in their area.

If you’re looking for information on the best places to visit, or if attractions are closed because of weather or other events, find a local visitor’s bureau. They will have up-to-date information about what is happening in your area and they can be a great resource to find ideas of things to do or places to see.

Most of these bureaus do not provide lodging, sell tickets or lead tours, but some might. It’s worth asking about.

I wanted to create a list of all 50 states’ tourism and visitors bureaus’ websites and contact info, so I could have a quick reference guide on hand for myself and for you.

Using these resources along with some of the best travel tips will ensure your next trip is everything you want it to be.

First, did you know that the United States of America has a tourism site? Yep.

United States of America

VisitTheUSA.com

VisitTheUSA.com shares some highlights and guides you to the right sites for each of the 50 states and the US territories, including the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

There are also great write-ups and pictures and links to more than 340 U.S. cities and 60 national parks! It is a great site with a trip planner that gives you the ability to specify the amount of time you have, your interests, and your destinations.

Their YouTube channel is gold and worth checking out for sure!

They also cover other great information for those traveling to the United States as well. Topics like visa & entry, attractions, tours, travel alerts, and health and safety information.

Here is their Contact Us page.

We could say more, but let’s get on to all 50 states’ tourism offices and visitor’s bureaus’ websites with their contact info.

Alabama

Alabama.travel – General tourism and travel site

Tourism.alabama.gov  – Additional travel news, updates and resources

Alabama Vacation Guide

1-800-ALABAMA

These sites are the official tourism sites for the State of Alabama, working to increase visitor numbers to promote economic prosperity in all areas where visitors choose to spend their money. This department has it all: marketing programs including extensive advertising campaigns, public relations efforts, destination marketing, and the development of travel-related websites. These promote Alabama’s natural beauty, history, culture, shopping opportunities, and events.

The Department also operates a visitor center in Birmingham where visitors can learn more about what our great state has to offer.

Alabama Tourism Division provides incentives for tourism industry partners who market or expand business in Alabama that provide

Here is their contact us page.

Alaska

TravelAlaska.com

Alaska Vacation Guide

1-888-256-6784

Alaska is a state rich in culture, natural beauty, wildlife opportunities! It’s a place have always wanted to go!

Travelalaska.com is a great place to start your planning for your trip to  Alaska – whether you’re coming from across the US or Canada

The Alaska Division of Tourism and Marketing offers a variety of services to help with your planning, including:      

– Websites with information about Alaska’s tourism attractions and services

– A free, online travel planner to help you build your own itinerary

– A website directory that lists websites of over 400 companies in the state that offer visitor-related products or services.

They also provide a list of local chambers for statewide and regional organizations.

Here is their contact us page.

Arizona

VisitArizona.com

Official State Travel Guide

1-866-275-5816

The Arizona visitors guide is your complete source for everything to do in the Grand Canyon State.

You’ll find information on attractions and activities, lodging options, and visitor services. These include RV parks, campgrounds, and restaurants. The guide contains useful travel resources from info about sports teams to local weather forecasts so that you can plan ahead! You will also find a wealth of information on Arizona’s arts and culture scene.

Arizona is home to many state parks, monuments, and recreational areas that offer camping sites, hiking trails, fishing spots, and more.

Arizona is home to some of the most stunning vistas in America. From towering mountains, rugged deserts, or lush forests, you’ll find an adventure that will exceed your expectations! The state has a diverse population with visitors coming from all over the world. Arizona’s friendly communities offer cultural events year-round for all ages.  

Here is the Arizona Office of Tourism staff directory and contact information.

Arkansas

Arkansas.com

Free Travel Guides

1-800-NATURAL

The Arkansas Dept of Parks and Tourism is the state agency responsible for promoting travel to Arkansas and overseeing its public parks.

Arkansas State Parks manages state parks and promotes the state of Arkansas as a destination, welcoming travelers from around the country. Tourism in Arkansas has led to economic growth and fosters an improvement in tourism’s image of the state by attracting visitors.

The Arkansas State Parks and Travel Association is a nonprofit statewide organization that promotes tourism in Arkansas by enhancing the state’s economy by providing a variety of recreation destinations. They provide an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the natural, historical, and cultural assets of the great state.

Here is their contact us page.

California

VisitCalifornia.com

Official State Visitor’s Guide

1-800-GOCALIF

The California state tourism office provides a wealth of information for travelers. The office provides an Official State Visitor’s Guide that includes travel ideas, maps, and tips on where to stay, shop or dine while in the state.

California is a great place to visit and lots of things to do for travelers of all kinds.

In addition to hiking trails and scenic overlooks, visitors will find museums that explore natural history or geology as well as art galleries. There are loads of concerts, sports events, and other cultural happenings in California all year round.

There are four mild seasons (though it can get hot). The state is known for its world-famous beaches, deserts to the east of Los Angeles, and mountains to the north. San Francisco has a lot of interesting activities – from Golden Gate Bridge tours or Alcatraz.

We could create a huge list of things to do in Cali, but we will leave that to their site.

You can contact them here.

Colorado

Colorado.com

Colorado Vacation Guide

1-800-COLORADO

The Colorado state tourism office publishes a Colorado Vacation Guide that includes information on the state’s major attractions, maps, and travel suggestions.

There are so many great things to do in Colorado. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or just want to explore Colorado’s vibrant arts and culture scene, we have something for everyone!

Visit the many historic towns in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver

Experience world-class skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports at Winter Park Resort

Go fly fishing near Durango or get out and explore the Grand Mesa!

Or, go rafting on Colorado’s rivers and streams, or take a scenic train ride through the Rocky Mountains!

Drive over historic Glenwood Canyon in an original cable car from 1880. You’ll see spectacular views of red-rock canyons as you pass by natural waterfalls.

There are lots of additional great ideas on their site.

The office also provides detailed information on where to stay, eat or play while in Colorado. You can contact them here.

Connecticut

CTVisit.com
Official Connecticut Vacation Guide
1-800-CTVISIT

There are so many great things on their website ctvisit.com, so many!

Connecticut Bound is the state tourism office and their website provides information about attractions, accommodations, restaurants, shopping, events, and lots of ideas for things to do in Connecticut as well!

Connecticut has so much to offer visitors. It has beautiful scenery, great food, and entertainment.

If you are thinking about visiting the Nutmeg State this year, start your research by following CTVisit on Facebook or Twitter (@CT_Visit) today.

You can contact them here.

Delaware

VisitDelaware.com
Delaware Travel Guide
1-866-2-VisitDE

VisitDelaware.com has all the information you need about attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and shopping. It is an incredible resource for anyone wanting to find something to do in the state, whether they are from in-state or out.

If you need to reach out to someone specifically or request specific information, here is their contact us page.

Florida

VisitFlorida.com

Florida Travel Guides

(888) 735-2872

VisitFlorida.com has all the information you need about attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and shopping from Florida’s Panhandle to South Florida! They have something for everyone on their website with links galore for a memorable getaway or family vacation in FL.

Florida is well known for its white sandy beaches, warm weather, and world-renowned amusement parks!

Visit Florida’s website for attraction information at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando or Universal Studios in Hollywood. You can easily explore what you can do at LEGOLAND Florida Resort and SeaWorld Orlando with kids of all ages! VisitFlorida.com also has

Contact them here.

Georgia

ExploreGeorgia.org

Georgia Travel Guides

1-800-VisitGA

ExploreGeorgia.org is your one-stop shop for Georgia travel and tourism.

The state of Georgia is known for a lot of things. It’s known as the Peach State because they grow a lot of peaches down there!

Georgia can also be called the Empire of Cotton. That’s not all though. The state has beautiful beaches on both coasts and mountains in between.

It has something for everyone looking to plan a vacation in the Peach State.

They’ve got everything from the hottest events, attractions to historic happenings in this Southern state.

ExploreGeorgia.org has something for everyone when it comes to planning a vacation or getaway with their website content that can be tailored towards families or couples looking to explore all of Atlanta.      

Their contact information is on the bottom of each page of ExploreGeorgia.org.

Hawaii

GoHawaii.com
Official Visitor’s Guide
1-800-GOHAWAII

GoHawaii.com is the official visitor information site for Hawaii and has something for everyone looking to plan a vacation in this beautiful, tropical state!

They have great deals on hotels, resorts, or condos as well as tours of where you can explore volcanoes or hike through lush rainforests. They’ve got all the information you need to plan a trip for your next vacation in Hawaii!

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, a state agency that promotes tourism in the Aloha State by providing marketing and planning services for the visitor industry, provides travel tips as well as tons of photos throughout their website to show off all that these beautiful islands have to offer!

You can contact them here.

Idaho

VisitID.org
Idaho Travel Guides 

1-800-VISITID

VisitID.org is the official state website for Idaho. It’s the one place to find all you need about travel and tourism in the great state!

Idaho is the 41st largest state in the US, but it’s home to some of America’s most spectacular scenery. From rocky mountains and rolling hills to deep canyons and lush forests. This ruggedly scenic western locale has a little bit of everything!

Visit Idaho provides visitors with all that they need to know for a great Idaho vacation. From travel and tourism information to camping and recreation opportunities, VisitIdaho’s goal is not only to promote the state as a destination but also to provide valuable resources for visitors before they arrive!

To contact them, you can fill out this request form here.

Illinois

EnjoyIllinois.com
Tourism Guides and Brochures
1-800-2CONNECT

The state tourism site Enjoyillinois.com is a tremendous resource for all visitors to Illinois. The website features visitor guides and brochures that will help you plan your visit, as well as important information about the history of the state!

The site also has a travel planner and visitor information center to help you plan your trip. Visitors can find links for attractions, lodging, transportation, dining options in Illinois on this page as well.

The state tourism site offers a visitor guide that provides helpful tips like an easy-to-read map with all major attractions in Chicago

To get in touch with them, click here.

Indiana

VisitIndiana.com

Travel Publications

1-888-EnjoyIN

The state tourism site Visitindiana.com is a great site and has some great resources and travel publications available, as well as a program called “Explore Our State Nature Passport.”

Explore Our State Nature Passport – Indiana offers a rewards program for travelers that enjoy nature. A visitor can get their passport stamped at any of the 40+ state parks, forests, or reservoir districts in order to earn points and win prizes! Some popular sites are The Monon Trail (Indianapolis), Fort Harrison State Park (Indianapolis), and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana).

It’s a pretty great idea. If you live there or will be there for a while, it is worth checking it out.

Here is a link to their Contact Us page.

Iowa

TravelIowa.com

Travel Ideas by Region

1-888-472-6035

TravelIowa.com is a website with extensive tourism information and a comprehensive directory of Iowa’s attractions, outdoor activities, events, lodging. There are some great ideas on it.

Iowa Tourism Office runs it and they have a Contact Us page.

The Travel Iowa website is updated regularly with new information as it becomes available, including new attractions and events; local news stories of interest to travelers; upcoming travel articles in newspapers, magazines, or on websites such as USA Today Online.

Kansas

TravelKS.org
Kansas Travel Guide
1-800-2KANSAS

TravelKS.org is a comprehensive site that provides information about all the state’s attractions, activities, and events as you might expect.

They have a number of articles and stories to inspire or help you plan your next trip, like the following.

  • Kansas Stars: Our State’s Contributions To Space Science
  • Top Ten Things To Do At The Big Kansas Road Trip

They have a contact form here as well.

Kentucky

KYTourism.com
Free Kentucky Publications
1-800-225-8747

KYTourism.com is Kentucky’s showcase for the state’s tourism office. It features all kinds of fun things to do and see in Kentucky.

Did you know Kentucky has over 15,000 miles of trout fishing streams?

The site features information on the state’s top destinations and events.

You can even find out about lodging deals in Kentucky! The site also has a contact form for those who need additional help or have any questions.

Here is the link to contact them.

Louisiana

Louisiana Travel
Louisiana Tour Guide
1-800-473-7829

The LouisianaTravel.com site has all kinds of cool things I want to try when I make it down there… For those that live there or are longer-term visitors they can become a part of the “Bayou Krewe!”

Members of the Bayou Krewe share their experiences and stories by taking pics of whatever they are doing in Louisiana and using the hashtag #OnlyLouisiana when they post them. Those photos earn benefits from Louisiana-based companies monthly. Pretty cool.

You can check those out on your favorite social media channels by checking out that hashtag.

They have a Contact Us page here as well.

Maine

VisitMaine.com
also
MaineTourism.com

Maine Travel Guide

1-888-624-6345

The Maine Office of Tourism runs VisitMaine.com. It’s loaded with info about Maine and has plenty of free apps to download.

The Maine Travel Guide is a handy app with all the info you need for your visit, including maps, beaches, museums, and restaurants. The website also has plenty of great deals on hotels across the state.

One fun fact about Maine is that it is the only state in the Union without a city over 70,000 people as of 2019. And it only has one city over 40,000, Portland, Maine with 66,000. All the rest are smaller than 36,000 in population.

The Maine Office of Tourism can be reached Monday to Friday at 1-888-624-6345 or 1-877-624-6331.

You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram (@visitmaine), along with Instagram (@mainetourism)

Hit up their Contact Us page here.

Maryland

VisitMaryland.org
Maryland Guide Book
1-800-MDisFun

Maryland’s Office of Tourism Development has put together a fantastic resource for anyone looking for something to do in Maryland!

You’ll find plenty of useful and inspiring things on it. Do you prefer to visit the bay by day or enjoy active pursuits such as hiking, biking, and rollercoaster rides?    

Whatever you’re looking for, they have plenty of ideas and resources to help.

Contact info for them here.

Did you know Maryland is the birthplace of Thurgood Marshall, a Supreme Court Justice and pioneer of civil rights in America?

Massachusetts

VisitMA.com
Digital Guides
1-800-227-MASS

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has a fantastic resource on its hands over at VisitMA.com. Loads to do and helpful ways to plan your visit.

Massachusetts is a great place to take the family on vacation with loads of kid-friendly attractions like amusement parks, zoos, and aquariums. If you’re looking for something more grown-up, there are some lovely wineries too!

If you’re planning your next trip don’t forget that Massachusetts has plenty to offer cyclists as well, with over 90 miles of car-free bike paths.

If you want to contact their office of travel & tourism, go here.

Michigan

Michigan.org
Michigan Guide Book
1-888-784-7328

Whether you’re a city explorer, outdoor enthusiast, foodie, or thrill-seeker; traveling with your family or making memories with friends this site is a real treasure.

There are even webcams to help you whether you are planning an actual trip or just dreaming and poking around on the internet.

Michigan has so much to do though. From rural byways to cross-country trails, from forgotten sand roads to popular thoroughfares, all paths lead us outside and remind us that life is better in nature. And there is a lot of nature in Michigan.

Here is their Contact Us page, should you need it.

Minnesota

ExploreMinnesota.com
Minnesota Travel Guide
1-800-657-3700

Explore Minnesota Tourism has put together a great site. They have all the best spots to visit no matter your interest and tips on how to make the most of your time in a specific city there. They even have local experts who can answer your questions, offer advice, or plan the perfect Minnesota trip for you on the phone ready to talk to you, for free!

There is so much to do in Minnesota! From the Mall of America to The Boundry Waters Canoe Area, there is a diverse range of destinations to suit every interest.

The Mall of America has it all: amusement park rides and games in Nickelodeon Universe; Lego Land with more than 40 interactive attractions for the whole family; American Girl Place where little girls can have their very own makeover at the hair salon or tea party; and much, much more.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is the perfect place for a weekend getaway from city life as it offers serene lakeside views, untouched national forest land with hiking trails to explore, and endless canoeing opportunities on tranquil waterways that wind through dense forests and alongside breathtaking waterfalls.

And there is so much in between! These are just a couple of ideas to get you started!

So many contact options right here for the Minnesota Tourism office.

Mississippi

VisitMississippi.org

Mississippi Travel Guide

1-866-SeeMiss

VisitMississippi.org has a host of different resources where you can get ideas for hotels, B&Bs.

The website also provides information about various points of interest, including museums, civil rights and civil war sites, and blues and country music destinations.

Mississippi’s Division of Tourism is dedicated to ensuring that Mississippi remains the best place in America for people to visit, work and live. The division works with tourism partners across the state as well as local communities, businesses, and civic organizations all year long on a range of marketing initiatives designed to promote our fabulous destinations.

There are loads of outdoor activities, such as camping, cycling, fishing, hunting, and hiking; and shopping, gaming, and family-friendly attractions on the site as well.

Visit Mississippi offers travelers advice on what to see and do when visiting the state.

The Mississippi Tourism Division’s goal is to introduce visitors to the state and give them ideas for things they can enjoy during their vacation. They promote local attractions like events or accommodations with budgets that fit anyone’s taste.

If you need to contact them, here is their contact info.

Missouri

VisitMO.com
Missouri Travel Guide
1-800-810-5500

VisitMO.com is run by the Missouri Division of Tourism and is full of information for Missouri visitors, including travel articles, reports on the state’s events calendar, day trips, attractions in each region of the state.

It also provides information about accommodations from remote camping to luxury hotels; restaurants ranging from barbecue joints to elegant dining rooms with a view; and points of interest such as museums or art galleries.

You can contact the Missouri Division of Tourism by mail, phone or email here.

Montana

VisitMT.com
Montana Guidebook
1-800-VisitMT

If you love the great outdoors, you have to spend some time in Montana. And before you get there, check out VisitMT.com

The site offers information on Montana including our national parks, waterfalls, fishing spots, and more!

They have all the tools you need to plan your next vacation in one of America’s best-kept secrets. Whether it’s a quick getaway or an extended stay with family, we can offer plenty of suggestions for an unforgettable visit.

Montana is the perfect place to enjoy yourself on a budget too, with endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and sightseeing that are free of charge!

So if you’re looking for an affordable vacation destination where your family can get out and explore nature while still enjoying plenty of creature comforts, Montana’s got it all.

Contact the Montana Office of Tourism here.

Nebraska

VisitNebraska.org
Order Travel Guide
1-877-NEBRASKA

Did you know that in the spring, up to 600,000 sandhill cranes migrate through Nebraska on their way south? You can view nature’s spectacular migration during a sanctuary tour or viewing area. Just check out VisitNebraska.com to learn more about the best places to see them and so many other things!

The Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism has put the site together to be a guide, idea generator, and planning tool for your next trip.

They even have interactive maps and links to state-wide information that highlight the best of Nebraska.

Contact them here for more specific questions or requests.

Nevada

TravelNevada.com
Travel Guide & Brochures
1-800-NEVADA-8

Fun Fact: I’ll bet you didn’t know that Nevada is home to more than 600 ghost towns! True story.

Nevada Commission on Tourism:

The Nevada Commission on Tourism strives to promote and market tourism in order to increase economic development. They have brochures, travel guides, and a website that provide information for tourists interested in visiting or planning trips within their state.

Other Nevada Resources:

Nevada Division of Tourism
The Division of Tourism operates within the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs to help achieve the Governor’s goal of a vibrant and sustainable economy.

In addition to managing state campaigns, the Division provides communities with resources and training that will help diversify regional economies. Here is their staff directory.

Nevada Commission on Tourism
The Commission on Tourism’s purpose is to foster public awareness of the benefits tourism can offer to Nevada’s economy and provide a unified voice for promoting travel to the state.

New Hampshire

Visit New Hampshire

Visitor’s Guides
1-800-FUN-IN-NH

Did you know New Hampshire has over 400 covered bridges?! Rather quaint, no? Don’t worry, we didn’t know that either till we started gathering info for this page.

VisitNH.gov is the official site of the State of NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development, a division within NH’s Department of Business & Economic Affairs (DBEA). The website provides visitors with information on all that our state offers from attractions to events to accommodations. You can also find all kinds of great ideas for your travel to the Granite State.

Their contact information can be found here.

New Jersey

VisitNJ.org
New Jersey Guide Book
1-800-VisitNJ

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in America, with more than 90% of its citizens living in urban neighborhoods.

Also, one of Thomas Edison’s labs was in the state as well.

VisitNJ.org is run by the tourism board of New Jersey. The site features all kinds of information about all that is to be found in NJ, as well as a guidebook for visitors and links to attractions like Six Flags Great Adventure or Liberty State Park. Visitors can find lots of great info information on their FAQ page here.

You can also reach out to nearly everyone imaginable that works for the state of New Jersey via this page as well.

New Mexico

NewMexico.org
Request a Vacation Guide
1-800-733-6396, ext 0643

NewMexico.org is amazing for visitors to the state. The site features many different guides for everything from family fun and kid-friendly attractions, great places to stay, and the best restaurants in NM. There is also a handy map of all the State Parks across NM with lots of useful information on each one (including directions).

It doesn’t take long watching the intro video when you hit the site to be really excited about planning your itinerary while you are there.

Here is their Contact Us page.

New York

ILoveNY.com
New York Travel Guides
1-800-CallNYS

The state of New York’s office of tourism is called “Love New York” and it offers a number of different travel guides. There are four individual guidebooks tailored to various interests, including kids, foodies, history buffs, LGBTQ, and more.

You can download their travel guides here.

The website also features an interactive map that lets you select from destinations across the state with all sorts of details about each one.

What is there not to love about the state of New York? If you love the city, there are plenty of those and so many famous things to do like Central Park and the Statue of Liberty.

Or if you prefer something more rustic, there are plenty of state parks to choose from or even some great wine country nearby!

There’s so much that New York has to offer its travelers. It’s such an iconic place with all different sorts of things going on in it at one time. You won’t be bored!

And you can always get a little of both the country and the city on your trip to New York!

And with all the information on their website, you are sure to find some great ideas and have an amazing trip!

Their contact information is at the bottom of every page.

North Carolina

VisitNC.com

Travel Guide and Brochures
1-800-VisitNC

North Carolina is a state full of history and charm. The state’s office of tourism is called “Visit North Carolina”. VisitNC.com offers a number of brochures for visitors to enjoy while they plan their trip.

The website also features an interactive map that lets you search by region, city, or attraction with all sorts of details about each one.

Their contact information is right here.

North Dakota

NDTourism.com
ND Guide Books
1-800-Hello-ND

NDTourism.com is a great place to grab ideas and make plans for your trip to North Dakota. The website offers an interactive map, with all sorts of details about each destination. You can also find a list of attractions and accommodations in North Dakota on this site.

The contact information for the bureau is here.

Ohio

Ohio.org
Free travel guide publications
1-800-Buckeye

Ready to plan your trip? Planning a family getaway or work-related road trip in Ohio soon and want some advice on where you should stay, what to do while there, how long it will take to drive from one place of interest.

If you are planning a trip to Ohio, you need to visit Ohio.org.

The team over at TourismOhio is here to help you plan your next trip, answer any questions about the Buckeye State.

Here is their contact information.

Oklahoma

TravelOK.com
Oklahoma Travel Brochures
1-800-652-6552

TravelOK.com is the Oklahoma Tourism and Advertisement Department that coordinates the state’s marketing efforts.

The department operates nine information centers, located at major points of entry across the state.

The department also oversees many different tasks, including digital marketing, international travel, and PR.

Here is TravelOK’s contact page.

Oregon

TRavelOregon.com
Oregon Travel Guides
1-800-547-7842

Oregon Tourism Commission has built a great site. There are some amazing resources on traveloregon.com. It is really useful if you are planning a trip with your family or significant other or just yourself. There are lots of suggestions and tools to help you find places to go, things to do, and plan your trip.

And they have additional contact info on the bottom of every page.

Fun fact about Oregon: It has both the deepest river gorge and the deepest lake in the United States.

Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge at its deepest point it is approximately 17,000 feet deep. Crater Lake National Park has the deepest lake in the United States. At its deepest point, it’s approximately 1949 feet deep.

Pennsylvania

VisitPA.com

Pennsylvania Travel Guide

1-800-237-4363

VisitPA.com is the official tourism website of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

Some things that Pennsylvania is famous for? When I think about Pennsylvania I think of The Liberty Bell and cheesesteak sandwiches.

Most people know that Pennsylvania is the home of Independence Hall and is a great destination for history buffs.

People may not know that Pennsylvania is the home of Hershey’s Chocolate company and is known as The Chocolate Capital of the USA because of it.

In addition to chocolate, Pennsylvania has a lot going for it! They’ve got amazing parks to explore like Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area or Gettysburg National Military Park. And there are a whole host of other museums and historical sites as well.

Did you know the Liberty Bell was originally commissioned by the Pennsylvania Assembly to commemorate American independence on July Fourth?

Here is the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Contact Us page.

Rhode Island

VisitRhodeIsland.com
Free Travel Guide
1-800-556-2484

Rhode Island is a unique state with so much to offer. People from all over the world have traveled to Rhode Island, and many of them found their way back.

With a tradition rich in European heritage, New England charm, and some iconic moments – like Newport’s Cliff Walk or Providence’s WaterFire on the River – you’ll be hard-pressed not to find something that speaks to your heart.

You can see all kinds of things to do following their chosen hashtag, #VisitRhodeIsland on your favorite social media platform. Here it is on Instagram.

The contact page for VisitRhodeIsland.com is right here.

South Carolina

DiscoverSouthCarolina.com
SC Vacation Guides

SC Brochures
1-803-734-1700

DiscoverSouthCarolina.com is a great reminder that there is so much to love about South Carolina!

They are currently using the hashtag #DiscoverSC across the social web to curate people’s experiences. Here it is on Instagram.

The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism has a Contact Us page here.

They ask that you submit any questions or comments to them via the form on that page and they will respond within a couple of business days.

They also have the best phone numbers to contact them with as well.

South Dakota

TravelSouthDakota.com
Request Maps, Brochures, Guides
1-800-SDakota

You ever thought of taking a trip to South Dakota? There are some fantastic landscapes and rich cultural history there. TravelSouthDakota.com does a great job highlighting some pretty great travel ideas for South Dakota.

The website allows you to explore many different attractions, sample a variety of delicious food, and find your perfect hotel for the night. There are maps of South Dakota, travel tips, and even suggested trip itineraries.

Here is their contact info as well.

Tennessee

TNVacation.com
Order Free Vacation Guide
1-800-Go2Tenn

You can build a custom itinerary right on their site. The State of Tennessee’s Department of Tourist Development has created a great site! Everything you could want is there to assist you in getting the most out of your time there.

Their Contact Us page has contact info for nearly everyone you could possibly want to get in touch with there as well. Here is a link to it.

Texas

TravelTexas.com
Tex Travel Guide

1-800-452-9292

Don’t visit TravelTexas.com if you’re hungry! They have BBQ front and center, and it is awesome! Now, it might be a campaign they are currently running, so it might not be there when you hit the site, but we’re confident they will have something ready to get you excited for your travel adventure there.

The Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism has done a great job with their site. If you need to contact them for any reason, here is that information.

Utah

Utah.com
Free Utah Travel Guides
1-800-200-1160

If you have time to spend, and you love doing stuff outside, Utah is a fantastic vacation destination option! According to their site, “There are five national parks, 45 state parks, 5 national historic sites & trails, and a dozen national monuments & recreation areas.” So yeah, you could spend some time there if that is your thing.

From the homepage of the site, you can easily navigate to a huge variety of ideas for adventures and actually plan your trip right from there.

If you need to get ahold of someone, they are ready to help. Check out their Contact Us page.

Vermont

VermontVacation.com
Request for Information
1-800-Vermont

They have vacation guides and things to do, maps, and suggested itineraries. It is a great way to plot out your trip and make sure you don’t forget to see or do something you wanted to when you visit Vermont.

Here is their Contact Us page.

Vermont! It’s a Destination State with loads to offer from skiing and snowmobiling in the winter to hiking through lush forests during the summer months. Vermont has been ranked as one of the happiest states in America and once you visit, you’ll know why!

Virginia

Virginia.org
Virginia Travel Guide
1-800-VisitVA

Virginia.org highlights so many things to do from the mountains to the beaches. It’s all in there. there are loads of guides and details and ideas for your next excursion.

Did you know that Virginia is named after Queen Elizabeth I of England? She was also called the Virgin Queen.  English colonized Jamestown in Virginia. Queen Elizabeth the first was called the Virgin Queen because she never married or gave birth to a child.

There is contact info at the bottom of every page for different organizations. The main Contact Us is directed here with instructions to reach out to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Washington

ExperienceWA.com
Visitor’s Guide
1-360-725-5052

ExperienceWA.com is the official tourism and visitor’s bureau website for the state of Washington. They have all the typical resources you have come to expect from a state’s tourism website and they have a state passport that you can use to check in at different locations and earn prizes as you go…

It’s pretty well thought-out and executed. Here is a link to one of the pages that explains it.

Fun Fact: The state of Washington was actually named after President George Washington.

Their contact information can be found here.

West Virginia

WVTourism.com
WV Travel Guide
1-800-Call-WVA

WVTourism.com is the place to go for all things West Virginia for your trip. Imagine a state where the Appalachian Mountains, Allegheny Mountains, and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges come together in one beautiful corner of a country.

The natural splendor is matched by the historic legacy that includes Native American settlements, early European explorers and settlers from Virginia to Pennsylvania, Unionist strongholds during the Civil War era; coal mining booms twice in this century.

West Virginia is known as the Mountain State.

The state has over 120,000 miles of streams and rivers that provide an incomparable fishing experience for trout enthusiasts.

West Virginia has a variety of gamefish species including bass, walleye, muskie, and catfish. The state also offers many hunting opportunities on both public and private lands.

The state has miles of the Appalachian Trail, which is one of America’s most famous hiking trails.

West Virginia boasts small towns that are rich with tradition, culture, and picturesque views at every turn.              

Here is their contact page.

Wisconsin

TravelWisconsin.com 

MWisconsin Maps & Guides
1-800-432-8747

Wisconsin may be known for its farmlands and cheese production, but it is a country of many other scenic attractions. The state is home to a number of national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. They offer visitors unparalleled opportunities for exploring the outdoors or viewing some spectacular scenery.

Wisconsin also has deep roots in America’s industrial past as well and TravelWisconsin.com has so many of the state’s most historically important places and events already laid out for you so you don’t have to go looking very far for them.

Contact them here for any needs you may have.

Wyoming


TravelWyoming.com

Order a travel guide
1-800-225-5996

TravelWyoming.com is a great place to go before you start planning your trip.

The site is full of information about the state and fun facts to share with people you meet on your travels.

You can use it to find out where all the national parks are in Wyoming or see what kind of wildlife lives there, too.

Here is their contact information, if you need it.

List of all 50 states tourism offices and visitors bureaus’ websites


United States of America

VisitTheUSA.com

Alabama

Alabama.travel 
Contact page
1-800-ALABAMA

Alaska

TravelAlaska.com
Contact Page
1-888-256-6784

Arizona

VisitArizona.com
Contact Page
1-866-275-5816

Arkansas

Arkansas.com
Contact Page
1-800-NATURAL

California

VisitCalifornia.com
Contact Page
1-800-GOCALIF

Colorado

Colorado.com
Contact Page
1-800-COLORADO

Connecticut

CTVisit.com
Contact Page
1-800-CTVISIT

Delaware

VisitDelaware.com
Contact Page
1-866-2-VisitDE

Florida

VisitFlorida.com
(888) 735-2872

Georgia

ExploreGeorgia.org
Contact Info – at bottom
1-800-VisitGA

Hawaii

GoHawaii.com
Contact Page
1-800-GOHAWAII

Idaho

VisitID.org
Contact Form 
1-800-VISITID

Illinois

EnjoyIllinois.com
Contact Page
1-800-2CONNECT

Indiana

VisitIndiana.com
Contact Page
1-888-EnjoyIN

Iowa

TravelIowa.com
Contact Us page
1-888-472-6035

Kansas

TravelKS.org
Contact Form
1-800-2KANSAS

Kentucky

KYTourism.com
Contact Page 
1-800-225-8747

Louisiana

Louisiana Travel
Contact Page
1-800-473-7829

Maine

VisitMaine.com
Contact Page
1-888-624-6345

Maryland

VisitMaryland.org
Contact Page
1-800-MDisFun

Massachusetts

VisitMA.com
 Contact Page
1-800-227-MASS

Michigan

Michigan.org
Contact Page
1-888-784-7328

Minnesota

ExploreMinnesota.com
Contact Page
1-800-657-3700

Mississippi

VisitMississippi.org
Contact Page
1-866-SeeMiss

Missouri

VisitMO.com
Contact Page
1-800-810-5500

Montana

VisitMT.com
Contact Page
1-800-VisitMT

Nebraska

VisitNebraska.org
Contact Page
1-877-NEBRASKA

Nevada

TravelNevada.com
1-800-NEVADA-8

New Hampshire

Visit New Hampshire
Contact Page
1-800-FUN-IN-NH

New Jersey

VisitNJ.org
Contact Page
1-800-VisitNJ

New Mexico

NewMexico.org
Contact Page
1-800-733-6396, ext 0643

New Mexico

NewMexico.org
Contact Page
1-800-733-6396, ext 0643

New York

ILoveNY.com
Contact Info – at bottom
1-800-CallNYS

North Carolina

VisitNC.com
Contact Page
1-800-VisitNC

North Dakota

NDTourism.com
Contact Page
1-800-Hello-ND

Ohio

Ohio.org
Contact Page
1-800-Buckeye

Oklahoma

TravelOK.com
Contact Page
1-800-652-6552

Oregon

TRavelOregon.com
Contact Info – at bottom
1-800-547-7842

Pennsylvania

VisitPA.com
Contact Info – at the bottom
1-800-237-4363

Rhode Island

VisitRhodeIsland.com
Contact Page
1-800-556-2484

South Carolina

DiscoverSouthCarolina.com
Contact Page
1-803-734-1700

South Dakota

TravelSouthDakota.com
Contact Page
1-800-SDakota

Tennessee

TNVacation.com
Contact Page
1-800-Go2Tenn

Texas

TravelTexas.com
Contact Us
1-800-452-9292

Utah

Utah.com
Contact Page
1-800-200-1160

Vermont

VermontVacation.com
Contact Page
1-800-Vermont

Virginia

Virginia.org
Contact Page
1-800-VisitVA

Washington

ExperienceWA.com
Contact Page
1-360-725-5052

West Virginia

WVTourism.com
Contact Page
1-800-Call-WVA

Wisconsin

TravelWisconsin.com 
Contact Page
1-800-432-8747

Wyoming

TravelWyoming.com
Contact Page
1-800-225-5996

How to Plan an Amazing Weekend Trip

Does a fanny pack count as a carry on?

19 Reasons Pitbulls Make Great Travel Companions (and 1 Reason They Don’t!)

How to Plan an Amazing Weekend Trip (38 Tips)

Weekend Trip/Getaway

Planning a trip can be overwhelming. There are so many things to think about that it sometimes can even make someone want to give up and just stay home. But we’re here to tell you not to worry!

We’ve compiled 38 tips on how to plan the best weekend trip ever, all from the point of view of someone who has never been there before.

So take a deep breath and read on; we promise it’ll be worth your while!

We packed a lot of information into one article, so feel free to scan the table of contents for the tips you need!

Weigh the pros and cons: road trip or air travel?

For a weekend getaway in the USA, you pretty much have two options:

  • Road trip
  • Air travel

The most economical option is to go on a road trip. It also takes a little less planning and you’re less likely to encounter delays.

Road trips are great if you want to go on a weekend trip at the last minute and you don’t have a lot of time to plan. It’s easier to get a place to stay than it is to get airplane tickets quickly.

But if you have the funds, you could shorten a four or five-hour drive drastically with a flight. It does take more work, though.

But does it take more time? Well, that’s debatable.

Think about all the different things you need to do to get ready for a flight.

You can skip all these responsibilities by going on a road trip. Also, even though the travel time will be faster by plane, it may take you more time to prepare for a flight. Not only that, but if you’re only going away for a weekend, that might not justify spending the extra money for plane tickets.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you. If you have the funds and you’re organized, air travel may be the way to go. But to save some money and possibly stress, a road trip is just as fun!

There’s something authentic and adventurous about road trips with the family! Not to mention it’s great to get out in nature!

Woman hiking through foresty mountains - How to Plan a Weekend Trip

Think about what type of vacation fits your personality the best.

City picture in the sunset
  • RV
  • Tents
  • Hotel
  • Friend or family’s place

How do you like to enjoy your vacation time? Do you prefer pulling a trailer? Or maybe you like to be a little more old-fashioned and pull out the tents. Are you looking to explore some city life and stay at a hotel for a few days?

You have so many different options. Whatever you choose will really set the tone for your weekend getaway.

RVing would likely be the most work, but if you have been preparing for a few weeks, it’s totally possible. My family and I have been going on RV trips for years, and it usually takes us about a week to get everything ready. I wouldn’t recommend RVing for a weekend trip, but if you have a small trailer it can be a nice time.

If you love nature, you might really enjoy camping. It can be a nice change of pace from work life.

If you’re staying at a hotel, most of the work will be looking for one that is not too crowded and has good reviews. Research a few different ones in the area and compare their rates before you make a commitment.

Your last option is to join a friend at their cabin, beach house, or home. If you’re staying at a friend’s, just make sure you bring what you need. If they don’t have a guest room or extra couch, remember to grab your sleeping bag or air mattress!

Rocky beach

Pick a close destination.

If you’re going on a weekend trip, it’s best to cut down on the travel time. Limit it to about four hours each way so you don’t take up a whole day.

If you’re looking for advice on how to find the perfect travel destination, check out this article. It’s packed with quick and easy ways you can do research at home, on your computer.

Seek out a long weekend.

To get the most out of your weekend getaway, plan it around a couple of holidays. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish with just one or two extra days!

Check with your employer to see when you have days off and plan around those. Common holidays off include Memorial Day, MLK Day, the 4th of July, Christmas, and New Years’. Easter weekend is also a great time to arrange a quick trip!

Pack light.

When you’re just going away for a few days, you don’t want too much stuff. Packing light will make your life easier and the weekend trip more enjoyable.

Try to pack only the essentials. On a weekend trip, you’ll be out and about most of the time. So most of your belongings will stay at home anyway.

Decide if you want to go solo or with friends.

This may not seem too important, but vacationing with the right people is key! Before you decide to go with a group, consider a few things:

Do your schedules align?

Depending on who you want to vacation with, this can be difficult to arrange. Make sure you both have the weekend free in advance, so you don’t run into any issues scheduling the trip. No one likes to cancel plans!

Do your personalities align?

This is perhaps the most important question to answer. Let’s say you’re an extrovert and you love to get out in the city, go shopping, and meet new people. If you bring someone on the trip who doesn’t like a fast pace or doesn’t enjoy meeting people, you won’t have an enjoyable trip.

That’s not to say that introverts can’t vacation with extroverts and vice versa. But you’ll want to try and please everyone, which leads me to my next point.

What kind of trip does everyone want to go on?

Are you and your friends avid campers who love to go out in nature? Or perhaps you love to venture to a new city and check out all the fun attractions. No matter your preferences, make sure you all agree on what type of trip you’ll enjoy.

Maybe someone had a bad experience camping and they don’t find it very fun. Maybe one of your friends is on a tight budget and can’t afford plane tickets.

Try to accommodate everyone before you venture out on the weekend getaway. A trip should be fun for everyone, a nice break from daily life!

What would everyone like to do?

Beyond the type of trip (road trip, camping, air travel, etc.) everyone should get a chance to do what they’re excited about. Get all your friends together and go over an itinerary. We’ll talk a little more about that later.

How are you budgeting the trip?

When you’re on a trip with friends, you want to split the costs evenly. This mainly includes gas money and food, but pretty much everything else that you share.

If you’re sharing a hotel room, split the cost.

Have each friend buy their own airplane tickets.

Anything personal they want, they should buy with their own money.

Do you want to bring the kids?

If you have kids, this question will certainly cross your mind. Yes, it can be a lot of work to bring kids. But also they make trips enjoyable and worth it!

Whether it’s a weekend trip down to Disneyland or a couple of days at a waterpark, your kids may love tagging along!

Bring as few electronics as you can.

I’ll keep bringing this up, but remember: this is a weekend trip. You’re away for two to four days and then it’s back to work. So why not take this opportunity to do a digital detox? Take some time off from social media, YouTube, and other apps and enjoy exploring a new place.

I realize that at a minimum, you’ll need a phone. And probably a digital camera if you’d like to document your trip with some beautiful photos.

But leave the rest at home if possible. A weekend vacation should be exactly that: a vacation!

I’m guilty of working while on vacation, so I know it can be hard to embrace taking an actual break. But you won’t regret it!

Make an itinerary before you go.

Nightime City Photo

Before you leave for your trip, do some research and make a schedule. This reduces downtime when you get to your destination. You want to save as much time as possible and pack the day with nonstop fun!

If you’re bringing friends, meet with them to discuss an itinerary. Ask them about their interests and incorporate them into your schedule.

Keep in mind that this is just a weekend trip, so you won’t have time to do everything!

But whether you’re solo or going with friends, accept that you don’t have to get to everything on your itinerary. The great thing about weekend trips is they’re relatively easy to plan, and you can take a lot of them! So anything you missed you might be able to incorporate into your next trip.

If making an itinerary just bores you to death, don’t worry about it. Your “plan” could be as simple as:

Day 1 – hit the beach

Day 2 – explore the city

And that’s it! But it can be nice to know about some of the fun things to do around your vacation spot.

For more tips on how to get the most out of your weekend trip, check out the video below.

Don’t forget to account for travel time.

On a weeklong or two-week+ vacation, travel time isn’t too much of a concern. But on a weekend, it can ruin your whole trip. Remember that you have to drive to and from your destination. So, five hours one way and five hours back is one full day of fun, sitting in your car! That’s not ideal. It might be if you love road trips. But just be cognizant of how much time spent traveling before you pull the trigger on your destination.

If you’re going on a trip with friends, take one car if possible. Once you reach your destination, you’ll want to do stuff together. Also, you can save a lot of money on gas by not taking so many vehicles.

Always plan to do more; then you’ll never get bored!

Man looking out to the ocean during sunset

Pack your day with as much fun as possible. Then when you get to your destination you have so many options to choose from. On a weekend getaway, you want to do everything to reduce downtime: time sitting at home, playing electronics, or even doing things that you could do at home.

For example, a movie can be fun, but couldn’t you watch a movie at the theater near your house? Stuff your schedule with unique activities that you may have never done before, places you’ve never visited, restaurants you’ve never been to…you get the idea!

If you can’t do everything that you want, don’t stress! If you liked the trip enough, you can always visit again!

Have a backup plan.

Having a backup plan can save your weekend trip. Think about all the different ways your trip can go wrong.

Maybe you wanted to go to the beach but it started to rain. Perhaps one of the tours, concerts, or events you wanted to do got canceled. Or you might have no luck finding a hotel room.

Day to day, everything may not always go as planned either. So it’s good to stuff your to-do list with a bunch of fun activities!

Keep reading our tips to make sure you’re well prepared for your weekend trip!

Look at all your options for places to stay.

If you need to book a hotel or campground, be sure to do some research online before you commit. You should enjoy your time on vacation, and a poor resort, hotel, or campground can ruin your experience.

But don’t worry! This research is easy. Just google all the different places to stay in your area and check out the reviews!

Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask around. See where your friends and family have enjoyed their stay!

Book a hotel or campground in advance.

You might think: it’s just a weekend trip. I don’t have to worry about booking my hotel or campground in advance. But so many people are traveling today. It’s a great idea to plan ahead and get everything scheduled to save you some potential stress.

Another reason to book in advance is you’ll have more time to find the best place to stay.

There’s a lot to consider. If you don’t have a lot to spend, you’ll definitely need to look closely at your budget. Also, it’s really convenient to find a place close to the city, trails, parks, or other attractions.

If you’re going to a busy place, maybe choose a slow time of the year or book your trip in a less popular area.

Finally, make sure that your friends and family book their rooms if needed.

Bring a phone or camera to document your fun!

It’s easy for me to get distracted by my daily work routine. Just the other day, I realized it’s been a couple of years and I haven’t gone on a trip!

If you’re this way too, definitely bring a phone or DSLR camera so you can document your experience! You can shoot photos in the city, wilderness mountains…anywhere! Don’t be shy; you’ll want these memories to last a lifetime!

We reviewed some professional DSLR cameras under $600 right here; check them out!

Bring extra batteries and chargers.

Always remember extra batteries and chargers for all of your gadgets. The last thing you want is for your camera to die right before you capture a beautiful shot!

Dress to impress!

Ok, if you’re going on a two-day backpacking trip or hiking through the mountains, this won’t be your #1 priority.

But if you enjoy city life, why not bring a few new outfits to show them off?

Also, wherever you’re headed, check out the shops! You might find some fun new outfits to try out!

Set a budget and stick to it.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to blow through $1,000 or more, even on a weekend getaway. Between eating out, buying souvenirs, and paying travel expenses, there are many different costs to consider.

Make some rough estimates for expenses before you head out and be disciplined!

You might be wondering: what’s most important to prioritize with my budget? Check out the next tip!

Decide how often you want to eat out. It’s one of the biggest expenses when on a trip.

To keep a close eye on your food budget, you can do a couple of things.

1) Set a hard limit: $50 a day or $100 a day, for example (depending on how many people you’re with)

2) Choose how many times to eat out, typically once, twice, or three times (if you’re really splurging).

Pack the right clothes!

Whether you’re headed to the beach, going on a rafting trip, hiking in the mountains, or exploring a city, make sure you dress appropriately. Take a few outfits of the right clothing and don’t forget flip flops if necessary!

Check the weather before you leave.

Woman and Man camping with their car

Weather is reliable 10 days out, so you can check it pretty far in advance if you want. The day before, you’ll get the most accurate results. So just double check the weather before you leave.

In rare cases, it may force you to reschedule the trip. But most of the time, you can just bundle up in cold weather. Or, pack a few more tank tops and t-shirts to stay cool in the summer.

Check your destination for any upcoming festivals or events.

If there’s a local event going on, you might want to check it out! Or sometimes these events are so large, you may want to avoid them.

Major cities sometimes block off streets for large festivals, making it hard to get around. You’ll want to avoid this downtime if you’re just going away for a weekend.

Arrange daycare, pet care, or babysitting if needed. Or, bring the kids!

We touched on bringing kids in an earlier tip. If you decide that your trip isn’t for them (maybe you want some alone time or to have a few drinks), then arrange for a babysitter. Ask family and friends who aren’t traveling if they’d be able to take care of your kids for a few days. The same goes for pets.

You can take kids to a daycare or pets to pet boarding, but this can put a hole in your wallet. So always reach out to friends first.

Keep all your work at home.

Any trip, no matter how small, should be relaxing or enjoyable. That means, no work! Of course you can have a contact for emergencies. But if you truly want a break, don’t bring anything work-related.

7 Quick Tips for Flying

Bring something to do while flying.

This might be the one exception to our earlier rule about limiting the electronics you bring. If you need something to do on the flight, electronics are great to pass the time. You can also bring some books or your Kindle, but not if you struggle with air sickness.

Once you get to your destination, pack away those electronics until your flight back!

Remember your passport and other important travel documents.

You’ll need your passport, Real ID driver’s license, and plane tickets to fly. Your driver’s license or passport can be a standard form of identification. You don’t need a passport for domestic flights, but they are required for international travel. For your weekend trip, just make sure you’ve got your ID and tickets.

For easy access, keep your wallet with your ID on you. Also, have the tickets in your carry on so you can take them out at a moment’s notice. If you brought your passport, keep that in your carry-on as well.

Look for the cheapest seats to save money.

If you’ve flown before, you know that tickets can get expensive. And if you’re just trying to enjoy a long weekend away from home, you may want to save some money.

The plane ride will likely be an hour or two max, so just bite the bullet and use the money you save on something nice!

If you’d like, you can always ask the flight attendant if an upgrade is available. You can’t guarantee anything, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

Get to the airport 2 hours early.

When you’re flying out of town, you should arrive about two hours early for domestic flights and about three hours early for international flights. Here are a few things you have to account for when arriving at the airport:

Parking and shuttle transportation

This is the first thing you’ll need to worry about. Depending on the size of the airport, it can take 30 minutes or more to find a parking spot, haul your luggage to a shuttle stop, wait for the shuttle, and drive to the airport.

Airline check-in

Once you arrive, go inside and orient yourself. Find the airline check in area. This will usually include choosing your seat, dropping off your luggage, and getting a boarding pass.

An agent will ask you to weigh your luggage before drop off, so make sure you’re within the requirements before you arrive at the airport.

Keep your boarding pass on you when you board the aircraft. It’s your ticket to fly!

TSA security screening

This area of the airport can have some pretty long lines. Don’t be surprised if it takes 45 minutes or more to get through TSA screening.

Research what you can carry on a plane to make the trip through airport security easy.

Before you go through security, it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t have any prohibited items on you.

Take a look at some prohibited items to carry on a plane in our guide here.

If you have doubts, just google “can I bring (item) on a plane?” You’ll find several of our articles that give you all the information you need before boarding.

Take a look at a few of them below.

Can I bring a Bluetooth speaker on a plane?
Can I bring a massage gun on a plane?
Can I bring a nintendo switch on a plane?

Bring some air sickness pills (if needed).

Dramamine, Marezine, or other air sickness pills will help make you feel better in flight. It’s really important to bring these pills if you know your body doesn’t react well to flying. It can put a damper on your trip to start it off feeling sick and end it feeling sick.

When researching air sickness pills, do not confuse air sickness with altitude sickness. Air sickness pills fall into the category of motion sickness. They typically help you if you get sick in a car, bus, or on a boat or plane.

But altitude sickness pills offer comfort to people who have limited oxygen due to being at high altitudes. These are often taken before climbing or hiking a high mountain.

Invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

If you’re just taking one weekend getaway, noise-canceling headphones might not be a worthwhile investment. But, even then, you can find a quality pair under $100. At that price, why not enjoy more relaxing flights for years to come?

We’ve got a couple of great resources on our blog about flying with headphones and finding the best ones for travel. Take a look at our article ‘Can you take headphones on a plane‘ to learn more about the carry-on and checked baggage rules for headphones.

Or, check out our top 10 list of the best noise-canceling headphones for air travel.

6 Quick Tips for Your Road Trip

Fill the car with gas before you leave.

If you fill the car with gas, you’ve got one less thing to worry about. Imagine spending a couple of days to get everything ready to go. Then you hop in your car and the fuel light turns on. Bummer!

So, the day before you leave, take a quick trip to the gas station.

Pack food to save drive time.

It’s just a weekend getaway, and you don’t want to break the bank. Eat breakfast before you go and pack a sandwich for lunch. This way you can save your precious weekend time.

Clean out your car before leaving.

Expect your car to be about twice as dirty by the end of your trip. It’s a lot more comfortable and pleasant to vacuum the interior and wipe the seats before you embark on your weekend adventure.

If you have kids, this is even more important! They are mess magnets, so be prepared for anything. Maybe bring a spray bottle and some paper towels in case any food or drinks get spilled.

Pack your car smart.

Since you’ll likely be driving for a few hours, it’s important to get comfortable. A huge part of being comfortable is packing your car smart. Pack the trunk first. Stack your luggage if possible or place the suitcases right next to each other to save space.

Avoid cramming the back seats if you are bringing friends. Legroom is important, especially if you’re tall. At 6’4″, I’m always asking my friends and family to move the seat up so I can stretch a little!

One final thing: don’t place anything in the front that may distract the driver’s vision or make them feel cramped. At the end of the day, a safe trip is the most important.

Plan out your route to avoid delays or crashes.

Google Maps is amazing for navigation. You might be thinking: I know exactly where I’m going. So, no navigation needed!

Well, the truth is, even if you know where you’re going, use Google Maps. It has data on real-time construction, accidents, road closures, and other delays. Most of them aren’t significant. But every now and then, Google will reroute you entirely. This can shave several minutes or even hours of your time!

Pack a car charger.

For a reliable ride, be sure to pack a car charger. Navigation can use a lot of juice and you don’t want your phone to die en route to your destination. A car charger can also be useful once you arrive. You’ll pretty much have unlimited access to your phone camera.

And our final tip: Just go!

Two women on a boat in a lake

Planning a trip can seem daunting. In fact, the biggest thing holding you back might be yourself. But, you don’t need to stress. We went over all these tips to make your trip easier. Yes, there are a lot of different things to consider, but it’s not hard to prepare. Good luck and most importantly, have fun!

If you made it through this whole article, thank you. That was a lot of tips! I hope they helped you plan a weekend getaway for the ages. If you’re still looking for helpful travel advice, take a look at the articles below.

Related Articles

What do I do with my luggage after checking out from my hotel?

How to Clean Luggage (Step-by-Step Guide)

New Neuroscience Study Suggests Getting Out The Door Grows Your Brain And Boosts Mood

33 Breathtaking Live Streams and Webcams

live camera stream of a mama bear and her baby cub in the woods near a stream

I just discovered some incredible live webcams! If you are like me, you have put your travel plans on hold for right now. You may be looking to change up the entertainment options around your house or just a different soundtrack for your workspace. Am I the only one? 

Live streams aren’t as boring they used to be. I want to share a few I recently found with you. Hopefully one of these will be just what you are looking for. 

These days, live streams allow you to see (in full HD) what’s happening around the world from your computer or web-enabled TV screen. It’s like having a window into another world, with different sights and sounds every day.

It can be fun to click around to find the perfect live stream. It can also be a pain. Whether you’re looking for a quick, relaxing break from life’s daily grind or just need something new and interesting we’ve handpicked some of our favorite streams!

33 Incredible Live Streams and Webcams You’ll Love

Live Bald Eagle Cam in Iowa

Witness this majestic bald eagle as they feed and raise their chicks. You can watch a real-time view of wild eagles nesting in a valley tucked away just north of Decorah, Iowa (depending on the time of year).

See for yourself how these amazing birds look up close or chat it up in the comments. At the time of posting this article, there are two babies and it’s easy to just sit and watch them for some time.

Frying Pan Tower Live Stream

The Frying Pan Tower is an imposing lighthouse established in 1964 by the U.S Coast Guard near Cape Fear, North Carolina to warn ships of shallow waters nearby called the “Frying pan shoals”. The tower sits 34 miles off-shore and was originally built so that sailors could avoid these dangerous waters!

This tower is no longer used for its original purpose. But it’s an important ecosystem for marine wildlife and provides a beautiful view of the sun rising and setting over the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can now watch sharks live underwater via camera feeds right from their computer screens!

Watching the sunrise as well as sunsets can be pretty great from Frying Pan Tower.

Here’s the cam if you want to take a look!

Patagonia Webcam

The Torres del Paine National Park in Chile has some of the most pristine wilderness parks in the world. Get inspired for a future trip by watching this live stream focused on one area, Rio Serrano that is quickly becoming a tourist favorite!

Check out the live stream here.

Go Diving at Channel Islands National Park

A soothing soundtrack and the calming imagery of kelp flowing in this underwater scene from Channel Islands National Park in California make for a great experience. I couldn’t stop watching it. And it makes for a great soundtrack too.

I was watching the Atlantic Ocean here for about five minutes and all of a sudden I saw something big! It was a shark. Really fun to see.

Again a shout out to the Frying Pan Tower cam. While there are many other vibrant marine life nearby, check out the sharks that occasionally pass by as well! Check it out here.

Here is Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos  

Enjoy the vast blue waters and still be able to see some of the bright coral reefs, then check out this webcam. You’ll get a glimpse into the Seven Stars Resort and that laid-back resort lifestyle!

There is another one of Grace Bay Beach here as well.

Turks and Caicos is such a beautiful island with its crystal clear water and some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Caribbean, alluring scenery of towering palms swaying to meet calm waves crashing on the shores as well as some of the most luxurious resorts.

See if you can see the Loch Ness Monster!

For those who are wondering if the Loch Ness Monster is a real creature, this camera will settle that debate for you. If there really is some kind of monster living in the lake, don’t be surprised to see it jump out from time to time! Here you go.

How about Nice, France

Are you looking for a place to visit? Nice, France may be the spot! With its beautiful coastline and not-so-crowded beaches in the summertime, it’s perfect for your next vacation. Or check it out anytime with this live webcam.

The South of France is typically swarming with tourists in the summer, but if you take a look now, there’s plenty of wide-open coastlines available for those who want to spend their time enjoying it rather than fighting through hordes and crowds.

Catch a glimpse of orcas in BC

Explore’s live stream cameras offer viewers views of the orca population in Johnstone Strait. This strait is a protected body of water where killer whales spend their summers. You might try what I do from time to time and open up one of these links, leave it running, and go about your day. If you hear some whale activity going on, then pay attention!

The whales aren’t always live. If they’re not, you’ll find highlights from their previous broadcasts on the site. Here’s a clip of them in action. Not only can you see them swim by from time to time, but you can hear them too! Pretty cool. 

If we want to learn more about these majestic mammals, or just enjoy some beautiful footage for our viewing pleasure, these cameras make it a lot easier to observe them and enjoy another place besides the same old thing every day. 

Here in sunny Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas are known to be a haven of warmth, relaxation, and fun in the sun with plenty of things to do on land or sea. This tropical paradise has it all from luxurious resorts perched atop white sand beaches where you can sip umbrella drinks by day then unwind at night listening to live music; crystal clear waters perfect for snorkeling adventures through coral reefs teeming with colorful fish waiting just below the surface; pristine lagoons that border private beachfront homes complete with their own infinity pools overlooking stunning turquoise seas – we could go on!

Enough of that though… If you want to get a feel of Nassau right now, check out the Albany Marina Cam in Nassau, Bahamas right here.

And check out our most frequently asked questions about a trip to The Bahamas right here.

How about a South African Safari

Don’t know when you’ll be able to visit Africa? Don’t worry, we have a couple of options for you.

WildEarth TV has been broadcasting live interactive online safaris for over a decade. Join them in watching the animals go about their daily routine every sunset and sunrise against the brilliant African landscape.

The professional gamekeepers and park rangers in the video will take you on a safari through Kruger National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve to find wildlife, like elephants, zebras, giraffes.

And you can watch it all from your couch or favorite comfy chair.

Check them out here and then set some time aside to hop on your very own safari from home.

With Africam’s internet live streaming cameras you can see all the animals up close in real-time. Just select from one of their many views and enjoy a virtual safari as it happens!

Behind the wheel of a big rig on the open road

Big Rig Travels has been broadcasting for more than 13 years. Ride along with your “tour guide to the American Highway” and get a glimpse into the real working life of an American trucker!

You can tune in and see everything they do, from taking care of their fleet at home base to hauling freight for a living!

It’s a live first-person account of what it’s like to criss-cross the country in an 18-wheeler from Steve, who has been driving for over 30 years.

Check out the surf in Hawaii

From the safety of your computer, you can take in a live stream set up at one of the world’s most popular surfing destinations, the Pipeline break on Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii. Check out beachgoers and surfers as they catch waves on this North Shore beach. At North Shore, you may even be able to enjoy what many people consider “the world’s best big wave.”

Here’s Yosemite

This live stream of the park’s Upper Yosemite Falls shows the water cascading down is so soothing and calming in person that it has many people coming to see the falls all year round. With 2,425 feet of cascading waterfalls and an incredible view from the top, it’s clear why people want to see this beautiful sight in person. You can watch for peak flow near early summer as the snow melts down into the valley below.

And HalfDome.net has a bunch of webcam time-lapses – all the way from sunrise until sunset.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Start dreaming about a trip to Queenstown, the epicenter of adventure on the country’s South Island. Watch the light change on Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range that surrounds the small town.

Check out an active volcano!

This live stream is the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, one of many volcanoes found there. It’s been on hiatus for a few years. But you can sometimes see spews of water vapor and gas to keep things interesting!

Check it out: Costa Rica volcano live stream

Here is Sydney, Australia

The view from this live stream is breathtaking. You can see the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city skyline in all their glory. On a nice day, you might even catch a boat or two gliding across the water below!

Here is the Sydney live stream.

Fancy a trip to the zoo or aquarium?

There are a number of zoos currently offering choice live streams of the critters they house. If you need a quick break from your stressful day, look no further than live stream feeds at zoos and aquariums. These camera feed sites offer the opportunity to view animals in their natural habitat without having to leave your computer! You can explore different habitats of animals like seahorses, porpoises, sharks, or even birds.

On these cams, you will see lions prowling around their pen looking for prey or giraffes lazily eating leaves off trees. And don’t forget about the penguins!

Oakland California Zoo

Currently, the Oakland Zoo has a couple of live streams that allow you to get up close and personal with the bears and elephants.

San Diego California Zoo

San Diego Zoo has 13 different animals with webcams on them. Check them out, there are even a few babies to watch.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium. There are 9 different animals on camera at Monterey Bay! And everything from penguins and otters to sharks and jellyfish.

Between all of these, you’ve got live streams dedicated to at least one of your favorites. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

And try getting on your local zoo or aquarium’s website. Or, use Google to find others around the world and see what fun exhibits you can see for free around the world!

Dorset, England

The harbor in Dorset, with its prime location on the English Channel and constant activity of boats coming and going, is a spectacular sight. If Dorset is what you are craving, and you happen to be looking while it is still light out over there (They are 7-ish hours ahead if you are watching from the U.S.) then you might enjoy this live stream from Haven Hotel.

So, you can blow bubbles

Then there is Andie & Mike’s bubble cam in their south Florida backyard. All you have to do is click the button labeled “Bubbles” on this couple’s backyard live stream and a stream of bubbles floats across their patio. It’s a fun interactive one.

Kind of a fun twist on the live stream.

An expedition to the South Pole

Here is a cool South Pole live stream that is in Antarctica at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. As you might expect, Antarctica is the coldest and windiest continent.

Here is the South Pole live stream.

Red River New Mexico Live Stream

Red River, New Mexico is a destination for people who enjoy experiencing the outdoors. With outdoor adventures in every season and cultural experiences that you or your family will remember forever!

The Red River Ski & Summer Area has skiing opportunities all year long with cross-country trails available during the winter months. For those more adventurous types, there are plenty of off-road OHV options. You can also try horseback riding if it’s too cold outside or if you prefer horses over snowmobiles. 

If water activities sound like they might be more up your alley then try fishing at one of the two lakes or tubing through some rapids on an inner tube down the river…the possibilities here seem endless!

Here are a couple of live streams that you can check on the weather up there before you plan your weekend trip up there.  Cam #1 and then these ones too.

Dogs, some young and some old

So, if you are an animal lover, you likely have your favorites. If you love dogs and have a soft spot in your heart for senior dogs, you will enjoy this feed from the entry at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

Click over to watch senior dogs sleep, eat, and play. Find out when to catch what you want to see most live over at Explore.org or on their dog YouTube channel

If you have never seen inside a real dog shelter, check it out for sure. You’ll see all different breeds living together peacefully free from abuse and neglect. 

These dogs are seniors who may have been abandoned by their previous owners due to illness, old age, or the life circumstances of the owners.

But they also have other really great dog-oriented live feeds as well, like this Great Dane service dog web stream where you can see puppies that are being raised to be service dogs.

The perfect place to watch the comings and goings of Great Danes, including current service dogs and future service dogs (also known as puppies) – who are having a lot of fun! Meet staff members from SDI’s volunteer team in training.

Notre Dame Cathedral Live

Notre Dame is a cathedral located on the Île de la Cité in Paris. The church’s Gothic architecture, its vast rose windows, and abundance of sculptural decoration set it apart from other styles used during this time period. Some distinct features include its grand organ as well as beautiful church bells that provide an enchanting sound to visitors near or far.

The Notre Dame live stream is an up-to-date look at the famous cathedral, which just reopened to visitors after a year of repairs. It was a popular live stream for some time as the iconic landmark was closed and shuttered for most of 2019 as it recovered from the damage caused by a fire.

Check out the Notre Dame live stream here.

Check-in on some beautiful wolves

There are some really cute cubs in the wolf dens at the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. You just have to catch them at the right time of year. But even if the cubs aren’t around or as little as they were last Spring, there is still plenty to see of these fascinating creatures in their live streaming cameras.

They have red wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and ambassador wolves. And with the help of webcams, you can watch them live their daily lives. You can also see seven different packs and are always on the lookout for any interesting activity that might pop up!

You can even reach out to the center if you see anything interesting happening on their live feeds.

Would you like to go to Venice, Italy?

This collection of live webcam streams footage from various cameras around Venice’s beautiful canals and is set to the music of Interpreti Veneziana.

It’s nice that it rotates through a number of different cameras. And the soundtrack they have given us is fantastic! 

A few times while writing this article I have put it on in the background just to listen while I write or get distracted and work on other projects.

Get out on a river!

I don’t know which is more relaxing if the sounds of ocean waves crashing or of a river flowing over rocks. 

If you love river sounds as much as I do, you will enjoy this one. It’s the Smith River in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California. This literal “live stream”, sorry had to insert the pun there, sounds so great. Get a glimpse of it here.

Sometimes you will see a kayaker or fisherman or some wildlife using the river. Or you might catch some kayakers playboating on North Carolina’s famous Nantahala River.

Another fun one is the Nantahala River webcam shows rotating views of the river. If you didn’t know, this is where world champion kayakers practice, and in 2013 they competed in the Freestyle World’s Wave, a world championship competition for the sport. 

Can’t go wrong with bears, salmon, eagles and wolves

Spoiler alert. This is a highlight reel from a live webcam, but it is still fantastic! The wolves, bears, and occasional eagles hunt together and provide ample entertainment.

You get to watch salmon venturing up the falls, while brown bears, wolves, and eagles all compete with each other for the best spots. The site says, “the largest and most successful bears catch and eat up to 30 salmon (that’s more than 120 pounds of fish) each day!” 

Another quick volcano live webcam

The live stream is from an area that is not publicly accessible. This live wide angle of Halemaʻumaʻu is courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Did you know there is a live stream from the International Space Station?

This one is fun. Live streaming 24/7 from the International Space Station, Earth is seen from cameras aboard the International Space Station. Every 45 minutes when there isn’t any transmission due to nightfall or other breaks in transmission, they do show some prerecorded footage. 

Here, let’s watch the grass grow, literally!

Did you know there’s a live webcam in Colorado that allows people to watch grass grow from the comfort of their living rooms, and even on Saturdays? It started as an experiment for one homeowner who wanted to document his drought-stricken lawn. If they’re lucky enough, viewers may even catch him out mowing it!

Live streams for days!

If you still can’t get enough, there are also some really great streaming options right now if you head over to YouTube and search “webcam live”. You can see some streams of some really cool stuff like the northern lights or volcanoes erupting, any number of beaches, even Times Square. Check those out here

The best way to do it is to search for a general term that you are interested in and then change the filters at the top of the page to only show the live options. So you could search the word “news” or “puppies” or “outer space.” Just like that, you have so many options!

I hope you enjoyed these live streams and webcams!

I hope you found something interesting in that collection. I enjoyed poking around the web and seeing what options were out there these days. If you want to see what life is like in other parts of the world or just have an interesting time exploring something new, then these live streams are a fun way to do just that! 

I hope that you enjoyed watching them as much as we did.

Traveling to the Bahamas? Your 30+ Questions Answered!

Travel Tips with a Pitbull

How to Find Cool Places to Travel (Complete Guide)

Getting Out The Door Grows Your Brain And Boosts Mood (New Study!)

In today’s fast-paced world where we’re constantly overwhelmed and bombarded with information, it can be hard to make time for ourselves. 

In a new study published in Nature Neuroscience, scientists found that getting out of the house and experiencing new things leads to more positive emotions. Novelty does so many good things for our brains. 

And those new novel things don’t have to be big. Just a trip to the store or a walk through a new part of your neighborhood works.

The brain is like an open book when it comes down to the way its cells respond after being exposed to something novel or unfamiliar. Novelty triggers our brains to grow new synaptic connections which helps us in many ways. Your ability to learn is one of them!

Additionally, these new connections can also help us feel better and stave off degenerative diseases as well.

If the psychological benefits of growing new grey matter with exercise and novel experiences interest you, you have to read Spark by John Ratey MD. It’s fantastic! I can’t recommend it strongly enough!

Back to the study published by Nature Neuroscience. It found subjects who got out at least once a day were more likely to get out the following day.

Methodology

The scientists kept track of the locations of 122 people in both Miami and New York City over several months. The team analyzed their moods and then their movements with GPS. The subjects reported how they felt via daily text messages. 

It was discovered that the test subjects that felt the happiest were those that had a wider variety of daily experiences.

A few quotes from the study: “New and varied experiences are broadly beneficial for the brain and for humans in general,” said Aaron Heller, a co-author of the study and psychologist at the University of Miami. Aaron told Inverse about the study. “Even if you may not tend towards exploring, there are benefits to doing so, regardless of your past experiences.”

The subjects didn’t even need to go very far. Even small outings or short trips near home created enough novelty and adventure.

Related: Get Out and Explore Your Town or City! (Adventures Await!)

The Findings

Scientists found that the people who even just did something in their own neighborhoods rather than sitting at home or at work all day reported better moods.

The findings also suggest a bidirectional and cyclical relationship between mood and new experiences. What’s this mean?

Researchers found that not only do new and novel experiences outside of the house every day help people feel better but people with positive emotions are more likely to seek out unfamiliar environments as well. And those individuals who have negative feelings may not be as willing. 

Those that are feeling negative can “course correct” and feel better by choosing to get out and create that novelty in their day. That novel experience creates an environment that makes it easier to make that choice again.

The concept of “choice” is important here because feeling good or bad can impact our quest for novelty.

Co-author Catherine Hartley told Inverse, “We find that if I feel better today, I’m likely to move around and have more novel experiences and have more experiential diversity the following day, and vice versa. If I have more novel and diverse experiences today, I’m likely to feel better not only today but the next day [as well].”

What do these findings inspire you to do?

Does this inspire you to learn more? Or get outside and do something novel today?

Here are some ideas for things you could do right now:

– Pick a road or direction you have never driven and just start driving… or head in that direction on a walk or your bike. 

– Find a restaurant you’ve never been to and plan to go to tonight. 

– Try out a walking path or bike path you’ve been meaning to try. 

– Or call that one friend you keep meaning to catch up with and tell them you’ll meet them at a park you haven’t ever been to. Need help finding a park? Just hop on Google Maps and scroll around. Explore the green areas. 

– Go for a photography walk and challenge yourself to take 50 or 100 photos. 

– Go to a new neighborhood and go for a walk.

All you need to do is make a list of experiences that sound fun around your own hometown and take them for the ride today! If you need more ideas, we have a great article on finding things to do near you here.

Want to take this idea to the next level? 

Obviously getting out to do things is helpful, a walk around the block, and stopping to “smell the roses” while doing so helps even more. But if you want to shake things up a little more, try a microadventure.

They are a little more of a commitment in some ways. But speaking from personal experience, they are a real treat and will really help with mood and make great fodder for your social media profile as well!

Here’s another. 

But if microadverntures don’t sound like your thing, that’s fine. Just do whatever is doable today. Just try something around your neighborhood today. The key is to use this feel-good strategy right now. 

Whatever you decide, make it small and “doable.” It’s more important that you actually get out. Don’t get stuck trying to plan something big or making your list. Just stop and get in your car or on your bike or just start walking somewhere new. Done. You’re growing new brain cells and improving your mood already!

I hope you found this motivational. As I sit and write this, I feel the need to get out and get going. Are you ready to get outside?

Travel the World from Your Home – Coolest Live Streams and Webcams

How to Find Cool Places to Go Near You or Anywhere

Traveling to the Bahamas? Your 30+ Questions Answered!

How To Find Cool Places To Go Near You, In Your Own State, Or Anywhere In The World

We are going to show you ways to find travel ideas in your own state! There are so many great reasons to travel, even if you need to stay closer to home. And when was the last time you really tried to find fun new things to do or places to go near you?

You might be surprised by all of the interesting and unique places you can find to explore right there close to where you are.

We’ve got ideas for you whether you prefer to plan in advance or just get out the door and figure it out later… and whether you prefer the digital world or the analog one.

Here are some great resources for finding travel ideas in your own state! Enjoy!

1. Use social media to find cool places near you!

Your social media platforms are a treasure trove of great ideas for staycations or discovering new places to travel abroad. Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube all have search functions and most have the ability to tag images and posts with locations so you can track down where the photo was taken as well.

I have done this before on a number of occasions.

Before taking the kids to Spain for the first time, my wife and I searched for city and region names on YouTube and found great videos on culture and food and ideas for places to visit.

They loved learning a bit about the language by doing this. It helped them become more familiar with what to expect when we got there. It added to the excitement and anticipation for the trip.

I also used this technique to find on Pinterest to plan out the route of a road trip a few years back. There were four friends going and we all pinned places we thought looked cool to a group board and use that board to create a map right on Pinterest. That determined our route for the trip.

The best thing about using this technique is that the platform you are using will see what and where you are looking and try to be helpful. It’ll give you more of those types of things in your search results and news feeds.

This can help you find things you weren’t even looking for. Then you can discover things that work well that you didn’t even think to search for. This happened to me when I was looking for a place to take my wife on a birthday trip. I was looking at beautiful sand beaches in one location and then Instagram started bringing up other pictures that were sandy beaches from other parts of the world as well.

Try hopping on your social media site of choice and searching for a local mountain range or lake or city… or even just your state name and see what comes up.

Social profiles of local tourism boards, influencers, and photographers

There are always Instagram accounts that just focus on your state or even a specific city or area where you want to find something to do. As you search for those locations, look for local profiles. They will have tips and ideas that go along with their posts at times that will lead you to fun things to do or new places to see.

Another great thing about finding these types of influencers is they will use smaller or specific hashtags, which brings me to my next point.

Check out more specific/smaller hashtags

Similar to our last suggestion, but this time just look at the hashtags. Try to stay away from large generic hashtags like #Utah or #texas. Look at the accounts of the influencers you just found. You might see some like #utahunique or #austintexasplaces

Searching through tags will usually bring up pictures and videos from people who have visited that place.

And to find these tags for places you aren’t as familiar with, Just look at those influencers you found earlier. Their posts will have them. Check ’em out!

Related: Get Out and Explore Your Town or City! (Adventures Await!)

2. Take advantage of Google

Google has a lot of tricks up its sleeve when it comes to finding great things to see and experience in your state. You can use the traditional Google search and Google maps too.

Google Maps

Google Maps is super powerful! You can get ideas from it and see satellite pictures and photos others have taken and see reviews there too! All you have to do is search for it in the right way. Check out our list of search ideas for Google Maps or Google’s search page below.

One of the things I like to do on Google Maps is to save or “star” a place that looks cool so I can find it again later when I am planning a trip or when I am actually in that area.

The best Google searches to find cool things to do in your state

Whether it is Google search or Google maps, with the following searches you will have a big long list of places to see and things to do in no time!

Try the following, minus the quotation marks:

“Landmarks (state/city)”

“Things to do (state/city)” or “coolest things to do (state/city)”

“Best things to do (state/city)”

“Entertainment (state/city)”

“Attractions (state/city)”

“Visitor Center (state/city)”

“good for kids (state/city)”

“Good for family (state/city)”

“Bed and Breakfast (state/city)”

“Hiking trail (state/city)”

“best spot to take pictures in (state/city)” – these are usually more popular places. If you are looking for more hidden gems, hop over to Instagram and look through the hashtags or locations to find some great spots for photo ops.

You get the idea by now, right? Get creative! Google has lots of different ideas for the area you are looking to travel to.

3. Talk to the staff at visitor centers

Visitor centers are associated with national forests, cities, and national parks. Any of these are a great place to start looking for ideas. When was the last time you actually stopped in the ones you live close to?

Many of the folks are local that work at these visitor centers. They can offer great advice on cool places and experiences that will often exceed your expectations.

Just pretend you’re new in town and looking for things to do. When planning one of my trips, I went into the visitor’s center and asked, What are some of your best attractions in the area?

They gave me a map with all the cool places highlighted and told me about each one. This is especially helpful if you have limited time..

It doesn’t matter where you live in the United States, there are lots of great travel destinations within driving distance of your home!

My wife and I live in northern Utah and had never really traveled to southern Utah to do much. We took a week recently and drove down without any planning.

We found a visitor center when we arrived in Kanab, Utah. They gave us ideas and routes and hikes. We started with those and hit another two or three visitor centers that week. It was amazing all the ideas we found and new places we discovered.

Visitor centers also have free WiFi, which might be useful if you need to find a place to stay or just check emails or make a call. Typically, there’s someone working at visitor centers most days of the week. So you’ll always have the opportunity to ask for advice!

4. Ask for personal recommendations from friends and family

Another place to find local or in-state travel ideas is from other people. You can ask friends and neighbors in person or on social media about their own personal favorite experiences.

You can get great information from people you know and trust about the best hangouts with just a few questions!

5. Find and watch movies or TV shows filmed in your state

This is a fun way to get ideas for new spots and to learn more about your state. As you watch them, make note of some of the locations, and you are set!

You get the idea, right? This can be a fun way to prepare kids for bigger trips to foreign countries as well. But that is a topic for a different post.

6. Check official websites related to state and local tourism

Most states have a tourism office or department that offers travel information and ideas for the place you live in. The destination guide section is quite helpful when it comes to finding new things to do close to home.

Here are the links to all 50 state tourism offices in the US.

These are great resources to start with. But you should also use the internet and other social media platforms to find travel ideas.

7. Get tips from likealocalguide.com

This is a cool site that offers some interesting city guides mostly in Europe and North America. One of my favorite parts about this blog is their use of actual locals to give interesting insights. These locals can tell you all about the area from their perspective so you can find cooler, more unexplored adventures to go on.

8. Find unique places to stay near you on Airbnb or vacation rentals

Airbnb is a great way to find unique places near you. You can look for houses, apartments or even experiences like tours! The best thing about Airbnb is that the site offers different pricing options so it could be right for any budget.

They offer pictures of the properties and those experiences, too! The reviews help you know better what to expect. It’s nice to know they are from real people. It helps to have details from other people besides the host to explain parts of their experience that might resonate with you.

9. Get ideas from Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura is an all-in-one resource for places and topics that you never knew existed. It has articles about travel tips, articles about events, and some weird facts about all kinds of places.

Just drop in your state, country, province, or a city you want to visit.

It can be a great resource for finding places you might not know about. You can use the Atlas Obscura website to explore what they have to offer. It’s a one-stop shop for just about every place you never knew existed.

Check out their travel guides on Pinterest or follow them on Instagram where they give ideas of cool places in your area

10. Explore travel sites and blogs for the best travel destinations.

These are great because you get more lengthy reviews and tips that you won’t likely from other sources. And there are loads of great travel sites and blogs out there! You will find a lot of them as you search. Try something like “best things for families to do in (city name)”

There are plenty of websites with information on things to see and do. Forums, message boards, comment threads…the list goes on.

You might find a specific site that you love or that specializes in an activity you like to do. Maybe they talk about their trip to Spain and you’ve always wanted to go there. Bookmark the page so you can read more about the trip whenever you’d like.

11. Try Groupon to find great ideas!

Did you know you can hop on Groupon and find cool things to do in a specific city? Give it a try if you’re looking for some unique ideas!

The website makes it easy to find the best deals and offers of the day. You can even save your favorite searches, which is really handy when planning trips in advance. Groupon also has some excellent social media channels where you can get updates on what’s trending and popular as well.

It can be a great way to explore new destinations or even find some activities close to home that you didn’t know existed.

One of my favorite Groupon deals was for a guided bike tour of Paris! It’s really amazing how much more enjoyable it can be when you have someone who knows their stuff guiding your group.

You can also try TripAdvisor or Expedia’s travel guides. Both offer plenty of fun things to do tailored to your budget.

12. Use travel guidebooks and local magazines dedicated to your destination

Check out some of the local magazines that dedicate themselves to travel and see what they have to offer. There are also plenty of guidebooks for each state, but if you’re looking for a more in-depth read then check out books like National Geographic’s Great American Road Trip or The New York Times 36 Hours series.

I used to love going into bookstores and picking up these guidebooks. I leafed through their pages dreaming of going to different places. Oh, and bring them with you if you know you won’t have cell signal.

That wraps up my guide on the 12 ways you can find awesome places to go near you! Before I leave, here are a few more travel tips whether you’re camping, going on a road trip, or even doing some VR travel!

Camping and RV Travel Tips

Camping is a great way to keep travel costs low and immerse yourself in the outdoors. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out Campendium.

If you want something more high-tech there are plenty of options depending on your needs. For instance, if you don’t want to be bothered with cooking food, check out the Insta-Home Instant Portable Kitchen. It costs more but it might be worth it for you. Just think about what your travel needs are before investing in something that may not work for you.

Camping is a great way to keep travel costs low and immerse yourself in the outdoors.

Some cool sites to check out:

Freecampsites.net – This site is great for finding free places to camp. It’s a great tool whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip.

I have used it to find sites in the past. It was way helpful! You just simply use your smartphone’s location to find camping near you.

Campendium.com – Campendium covers all aspects of RV travel, including camping and cooking tips.  It is an app and a website. The Campendium app can help you find amazing places to camp across the world.

You can take a virtual visit to campgrounds as well. Their collection of over 21,000 different campgrounds spans the lower 48 U.S. states and Alaska.

Airbnb.com – By now, you know what Airbnb is. Just filter down to campsites. Done!

Hipcamp.com – Think of it as an Airbnb for upscale and unique camping opportunities. Hipcamp has since grown into the most comprehensive resource for discovering and booking unique outdoor stays. They have a lot of glamping opportunities, including some really great treehouses!

Virtual Travel (VR) Tips

Virtual reality is a fun new way to travel without having to do much of anything. With VR headsets and apps, you can have travel experiences without ever having to leave the house. They give you immersive, interactive, 360-degree experiences in different locations around the globe.

Some of these VR apps will even allow you to travel without a VR headset. This is great for people who don’t have one!

You just need your phone and a cheap VR viewer like this one. You can find great VR content in your phone’s app store or try YouTube.

With a VR headset, you can:

– visit exotic locations from the comfort of your own home.

– explore museums in a new way, like an art class with a world-famous artist.

– experience history and science through interactive exhibits (you could travel back to Ancient Rome or see what it’s actually like on Mars)

– go on a safari without all the additional expense

– travel to see live music performances, sports events, comedy shows, or movies not yet released in your area

Obviously, VR travel is not the exact same as being there. But you will be surprised by how truly fun and entertaining or educational these trips can be.

Road Trips Travel Tips

Most likely your inner state trip will be taken by car. Road trips are a fantastic way to get to know your own state. They give you a chance to explore different landscapes and learn about the history of your destination.

Here are a few tips to get your car ready for your next road trip:

  • Check your oil and wiper fluid.
  • Make sure the air conditioning or heater is working before your next big drive. This will keep you and your passengers comfy on your journey.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your trunk: backup keys, jumper cables, and flares for emergencies.
  • Keep an air pump for your tire and some other tools in the car.
  • Bring a map and guidebook with you too, just in case of emergencies like getting lost.
  • Check tires for damage and tire pressure.
  • Bring a phone charger.
  • Bring a travel-size cooler with some snacks.
  • Fill up your gas tank before you hit the open road.

In Conclusion

Those are some of our best ideas when it comes to finding ideas for travel in your own state. Hope you found it helpful.

Here are the 12 ways you can find cool places to go near you once again.

  1. Use social media to find cool places near you!
  2. Take advantage of Google
  3. Talk to the staff at visitor centers
  4. Ask for personal recommendations from friends and family
  5. Find and watch movies or TV shows filmed in your state
  6. Check official websites related to state and local tourism
  7. Get tips from likealocalguide.com
  8. Find unique places to stay near you on Airbnb or vacation rentals
  9. Get ideas from Atlas Obscura
  10. Explore travel sites and blogs for the best travel destinations.
  11. Try Groupon to find great ideas!
  12. Use travel guidebooks and local magazines dedicated to your destination

Happy travels!

Related Articles

How to Plan an Amazing Weekend Trip (38 Tips!)

What do I do with my luggage after checking out from my hotel?

Traveling to the Bahamas? Your 30+ Questions Answered

Get Out and Explore Your Town or City! (Adventures Await!)

Get Out and Explore Your Town or City! – Sometimes, you may not want to go on a full vacation due to money or schedules. If you’re creative, exploring your backyard could easily be the best option. 

Get Out and Explore Your Town or City - Adventures Await

Staycations are some of my most memorable and unforgettable adventures. 

There is always something to do in terms of food, cultural events, activities, and excursions nearly anywhere. Many people just don’t take the time to explore their own neighborhood because it’s too familiar.

This article has many great ideas for fun things to do in your area. I also wrote a huge article with tons more information (and how-to’s) here.

How to Explore Your Backyard

What do you typically do when you visit a new destination city on vacation?

Use your favorite apps or the internet to search for your county and city with the words “visitors center” or “attractions”. And then, explore the results.

Are you familiar with all the locations and events on the websites that popped up?

Do you know of any museums in the area that you haven’t visited?

Is there any waterpark in the nearby city with a new ride?

Are there any historic sites that you haven’t visited before?

Sometimes, we become so busy with our daily lives that we forget to take the time to see the sights around us.

Take a stroll around downtown

Consider walking through your city’s old historic districts or downtown while you are exploring. You might be surprised at the number of novelty shops and cool places that tourists can visit.

Try a new place for lunch. You might be surprised at the new places you find. You might be surprised at the hidden gems that are right in your backyard.

Ask the locals for advice on things to see!

Talk to locals who have lived here for years and pretend to be new in town. They are familiar with the best places to see and the best restaurants.

You may know someone who has an antique shop they love that is still in business.

Stop by your local ranger station, library, or gas station to get more information.

Here are some more ideas to inspire you

Do you find the architecture of local buildings fascinating?

Ask the local wildlife and fishing office for ideas on hiking.

Do you love historic homes that were once home to famous people? Look for some near you.

What are you looking for when you travel?

Ask your local library if they have any home tours near you.

Call your local cathedral or temple to get a behind-the-scenes view of the bell tower. Are you a fan of hiking and waterfalls?

Discover your backyard in less obvious ways

Picnics can be fun

Picnicking in a park is a great way to enjoy outdoor dining. Enjoy a meal outdoors with your family or friends in beautiful and open spaces. You can also check for outdoor entertainment events, such as a concert or outdoor play, and bring a picnic!

Participate in a race

Local races are my favorite way to see my hometown. Signing up for a race is a great way for you to experience the area in a different way.

It’s a great challenge for your body and a great way of setting a goal. You also have the unique opportunity to run down streets and in areas, you wouldn’t normally be able due to traffic.

Enjoy a hike or a walk on new trails

You can find new trails by downloading an app or searching Google. Even if you don’t live in a large city, there are many beautiful hiking trails and scenic nature tours that can be found within a short driving distance.

Find a festival near you

There are many festivals that celebrate different seasons and ethnic holidays. It all depends on the size of your town or city, but festivals can be a great way to meet people with similar interests and learn more about things you already love. There are likely to be festivals in your area.

Online resources can help you find local activities

Check your local tourism board

A board of tourism is usually available in even the smallest towns and cities. Visit their website for the latest information about what’s happening in your area. You might be able to find discounted tickets for events and learn about free events.

Social media is a great way to communicate

Many cities have a tourism board or similar organization that uses social media to promote local events and happenings. They share upcoming events and other things in the city throughout the year.

Visit the farmer’s market

There is nothing better than strolling through a farmer’s market looking for new products, produce, or handmade goods. You can learn a lot about your city by looking at what’s on offer at the local farmer’s markets. Make it a point of visiting one while you still have them open!

It’s a great way for farmers to meet you at local markets. You will be the first to receive the best in-season products!

Walking tours offer a wonderful way to get to know the area.

Walking around your city can be a great way for you to discover hidden gems and explore your favorite areas. Many cities offer many walking tours that can be customized to suit everyone’s needs. Many of these tours are also available via apps. These are a great way for you to explore your city and discover new things about it.

Get free fitness programs

You can often ask for one class or a full day at a boutique gym or yoga studio.

You can find a wide range of classes in your local park. It’s a great way for you to keep fit and active, and to get out and about in the city!

There are also many opportunities to get free classes at your local parks and rec centers. You can try different free fitness classes….everything from Zumba and HIIT to boot camp and yoga!

Get started! Get Out and Explore Your Town or City!

You’re sure to find spots in your city or town that you haven’t yet explored.

These are some ways to make sure you get your local tourist experience going as soon as possible:

List the most famous places in your area. 

You don’t know where they are all? Google “things to Do Near (Name of your Town or nearest City). There will be many things to do. You may be familiar with some of these things, but you might not have known about others. Start making a list of things you haven’t seen and begin to check them off.

You can make a list of the places you would like to visit. 

Sometimes, you may need to look to Instagram or the internet for inspiration. Follow hashtags and people on Instagram to see what’s happening around you.

You can put it on your calendar if you’re not a spontaneous person. 

If you’re a planner, you plan when and what you will do. You can mark a day or weekend on your calendar if you know it. This will make it a plan.

The list of possible places is enough to make you visit them. You might just need to decide on a weekend, then you can make the details up as you go along.

Invite your family and friends to come along! 

Ask friends and family to join you if it’s on their calendar. It’s much easier to stick with a group plan once you have one.

Those are just a few things you can do, but… Here is another article with lots more unique ideas and tools to use to find things to do you never knew existed within a couple of miles of your house here.

I hope you found some new helpful ideas in this article today! 

Related Reads

Can I Bring Melatonin Gummies On A Plane?
Delta Preferred vs Comfort Plus Seating
Can You Bring A Razor On A Plane?
Can I Bring Creams or Lotions On A Plane?
Does A Fanny Pack Count As A Carry-On?
What Size Luggage Can Hold 50lbs?
The Best Hanging Travel Toiletry Bags
Should You Carry Your Passport With You In Canada?
What Animal Has Two Feet But Can’t Walk? (Jokes and Facts)
Best Portable Pocket WiFi For Europe