Just as the framework — number of legs and length of each one — of my upcoming advanture evolved over the past few months (as I shared last Thursday), so has the the list of places I plan to visit.
Initially, I had hoped to visit a national park or, in the 20 (or 21, if you don't count Idaho, which has just a small part of Yellowstone within its borders) states without one, a state park in each state.
But after spending 95% of the past 12 months fairly isolated, the idea of spending 6 weeks camping alone didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to be around other people even though I would be traveling solo.
I googled “Most beautiful towns in each state” and found a list that looked promising. As I read the descriptor for each town on the list, I noticed that the primary criteria for inclusion were number and beauty of city parks, architecture of homes and/or downtown area, and views such as mountains, the ocean, etc.
While those are certainly nice things to enjoy on a vacation, they weren’t quite what I was looking for. I tried several other criteria and happened upon a list of the “best downtown shopping districts in every state”. Because I’m not a shopper per se, I almost passed on this one. But because I do enjoy meandering in and out of cute boutiques, mom-and-pop stores, etc., and because I want to support small businesses as much as possible, I clicked on the link.
The opening paragraph mentioned cafes, indie bookstores, boutiques, and quaint attractions. I was intrigued and began working my way through the list. By the time I’d read the descriptor and looked at the accompanying images for state #10 (Georgia, by the way), I knew this was the list I was going to use for my trip. But I decided to hedge my bets a bit.
I posted in a (Facebook) solo-women’s travel group I belong to, asking other members to share the towns they would include on such a list. I asked that they only share a town they had personally visited and that they share no more than one town per state.
I was amazed at the number of responses I received: suggestions for over 35 states and multiple suggestions for almost every one. I added each town to the original list I had downloaded and began researching the towns in the states I plan to visit this Spring.
Eventually, I had one 1st-choice and one back-up town for each state. Using Roadtripper (a wonderful app that is a godsend when planning a trip), I was able to quickly create the itinerary for each of the 3 legs of my upcoming advanture.
Now it's time to plan what I'll be taking and count down the days until my tentative departure date of April 19.
To join me on my adventure follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram (for brief updates) and subscribe to this blog. I’d love for you to come along!
What towns have you visited that had wonderful downtowns filled with mom-and-pop businesses, quaint cafes and coffee shops, and interesting attractions? Share your thoughts via a comment. Who knows? Maybe I’ll add your suggestion to my itinerary!