Let's Explore: Our Top 10 Destinations to Expierience for the First Time

While we’ve enjoyed planning out the places that we’d like to return now that we’ve made our move, it’s even more exciting to think of the memories that we will make as we explore some new destinations.

As these will be new experiences for us, photos are necessarily absent from this post, but with any luck, you’ll see these pictures popping up both on the blog and on Instagram in the near future.

Our Top 10 New Destinations

Philadelphia

Yes, we’ve driven through Philly a couple times, but to date, we haven't truly experienced Philadelphia.   We haven’t been to Independence Hall.  We haven’t strolled through the Reading Terminal Market.  We haven’t run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art like Rocky, and we haven’t even eaten a true Philly Cheesesteak.  Hopefully none of these statements will still be true by the end of the summer.

Waterfalls and Gorges of Upstate New York

There are so many great waterfalls and gorges in New York that it’s impossible to pick just one.  From Letchworth State Park to Kaaterskill Falls, Ausable Chasm to Watkins Glen, there are so many great places to hike and explore.  We love a good hike to a fun destination, and I have a feeling New York State will keep our family very busy.

Gettysburg

This one has been on my list for quite some time.  I’m a bit of a Civil War enthusiast.  I've watched the Ken Burns Civil War documentary more than once (definitely watch this if you're at all interested in the subject), and I’ve sat through the 4.5 hours of the 1993 Gettysburg movie more times than I’d like to admit.  With that in mind, I really can’t explain why we haven’t made it there yet.  Hopefully, it won't be too much longer before we're climbing Little Round Top, scouting Seminary Ridge, and walking the fields where Pickett’s Charge came up short.

Fire Island

My grandfather grew up in the Long Island town of Islip, and my dad has fond childhood memories of visiting his uncle’s beach house on Fire Island every summer.  As my dad’s childhood is getting further away (Happy 65th Birthday a few weeks back), it will be fun to go back and experience this with him and hopefully build some new childhood memories for our kids.

The Mountain Retreats (Catskills, Berkshires, Adirondacks, White, Green, etc.)

The Northeast has no shortage of mountain ranges, and we’re itching to explore them all.  We love the hiking, winding scenic drives, and funky restaurants that we're confident exist in these regions, and we’re looking to uncover what makes each of these regions unique and interesting.  As the Catskills were the setting for Dirty Dancing (all Jessica, trust me) and the closest to our house, I could see us hitting them first, but I’m sure that the explorations of the others will soon follow.

The Glass House

If you read of my desire to go back to Fallingwater, it probably won’t surprise you to see The Glass House on this list.  While this Philip Johnson creation bears little resemblance to Wright's masterpiece, it can be equally captivating.  Add the fact that New Canaan is pretty much in our backyard and this one is even more of a no-brainer.

Cape May

Cape May is supposed to be the best family beach destination on the Jersey Shore with beautiful Victorian homes, and a historic town center.  Check.  Check.  Check.  That sounds like a place that we’ll need to see.

Mystic and the Connecticut Coast

Mystic brings together two of our childrens’ fascinations – things that go (cars, trains, planes, boats, etc.) and aquariums.  Both the Mystic Seaport Museum and Mystic Aquarium are supposed to be great family attractions, and the surrounding beaches of eastern Connecticut and Western Rhode Island should hold our attention as well.

Cooperstown

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  I know that there are other attractions in the area, but for me, this one stands out above the rest.  I read enough Joe Posnanski and Jay Jaffe every winter during the Hall of Fame elections to feel like I’ve been there already, but it will be great to see it in person.  If our kids pick up a little appreciation for the game itself during our visit, that would be a nice bonus.

Rehoboth Beach

In this summary of our domestic travels, you will notice that Delaware is one of the few states that remains gray.  For that reason alone, we’d love to get there.  Aside from that, however, we’ve heard great things about the beach, the boardwalk, and the quintessential east coast beach town that lies behind it.

Hopefully this will prove to be just the tip of the iceberg for us, and the list will undoubtedly get longer rather than shorter as we explore.  That said, we’re looking forward to jump starting our travel in the Northeast with the list above.