7 Places in America to Visit In 2015| Inspiration Indulgence

In my short 22 years of life, I have been fortunate enough to travel to some spectacular places in the United States. You don’t need to go out of the country to see amazing things. Put a little money aside of each paycheck and save to splurge on a road trip. I provided a short, diverse list of top places that you NEED to visit in 2015, which include natural landmarks to large cities. Whether you love nature and exploring or are a city folk, you will be sure to find something for you included below.

#1.) Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO

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This National Natural Landmark and public park is a breathtaking exhibit of geological red rocks and unique formations. Popular for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, this is a great exhibit to bring your family to. There are over 15 miles of trails to explore, along with a wheelchair assessable trail. The park is unique for strange looking rocks; the “balancing rock” is especially noteworthy.

#2.) Chicago, IL

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If you love big cities and have never been to Chicago, you are missing out. The third largest city in the U.S., it hosts an abundance of attractions that tourists will love. Specific attractions that I recommend include the Shedd Aquarium, the largest indoor aquarium in the world; Navy Pier, a 3,300 foot long pier along Lake Michigan filled with entertainment, dining, and seasonal celebrations; and the Willis Tower, the second tallest building in America. It has a sky deck that is open 365 days a year. I am personally a small town girl and fell in love with Chicago. It is by far my absolute favorite city that I have visited thus far.

#3.) Mission Beach, San Diego, CA















Mission Beach spans for two miles of ocean front in San Diego and is a very scenic and beautiful area. A boardwalk runs along the beach and hosts many cute shops and great places to eat near the ocean, and typical activities include sunbathing, biking, surfing, horseback riding, skateboarding, and Frisbee. There is also an abundance of bars that are relaxed and feature bar and grills as well. I visited Mission Beach during my spring break, but it was not mostly made up of spring break partiers. Alcohol is not permitted on the beach and it was very family-oriented. Bring the kids!

#4.) Door County, WI

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Door County, WI is a popular summer tourist destination for those in the Midwest, and hosts over 300 miles of shoreline next to Lake Michigan and the bay of Green Bay. It is popular for its abundance of boutiques, restaurants, winery’s, lighthouses, outdoor recreation, and beaches. The lodging gives you a “home away from home” feel, with high-quality luxury resorts, rustic cabins, and bed & breakfast inns. Being a Wisconsin girl, I have been going to Door County ever since I was a little girl. My mother and I go on an annual mother/daughter trip every summer, which always includes amazing food and a trip to the winery. Last January, my boyfriend and I stayed at a lodge for a little winter get-away. I highly recommend visiting Fish Creek, a little unincorporated town that hosts many of my favorite boutiques and restaurants that I enjoy visiting.

#5.) Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

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I have always heard of how awesome the Grand Canyon is, but you truly can never understand the majesty of it until you go and see it for yourself. Pictures just don’t do justice, I promise you! 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the vastness of the canyon is hard to comprehend. My boyfriend and I camped at Grand Canyon National Park and enjoyed watching sunsets over the canyon, in addition with biking around the area. Arguably THE coolest place I have ever been to in my life.

#6.) Nashville, TN

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A huge fan of country music, visiting Nashville had always been a dream of mine. Even if you are not a country music fan, Nashville is known for other music genres as well, and is a melting pot of culture. Live entertainment is always available while you enjoy dinner and drinks. With the streets, restaurants and bars full of hopeful musicians to make a name for themselves, you just never know who will become the next big star. The Country Music Hall of fame was particularly one of my favorite points of interests; as well as the Grand Ole Opry, a weekly country music stage concert that presents the best of the best country artists, along with new coming stars.

#7.) Badlands National Park, SD

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Located in southwestern South Dakota, this national park covers 244,000 acres that you can walk, hike, and drive though. Nature lovers need to visit! The Badlands include a vast area of rugged rock and landmasses that have formed into beautiful geologic deposits. It is truly stunning to see!

What other places do you recommend to visit? I would love to chat! Have a great start to your 2015, make it great!


  • Kaylie Hetzel

    You have no clue how jealous I am of all your life experiences!

    • Aww you can do it too! Save up for a trip for next spring break if you can’t afford it this spring :) I have full faith in you!

  • Great list. The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list for sure.

    • You definately need to check it out! My boyfriend and I went on a roadtrip out west and it was so exhilarating!! I would love to go back someday. If you get the chance-watch the sunset!!

  • Awesome list! I’ve been to some of these places, but I am dying to go to California. There are a million different places I’d love to visit though. I’m hoping to take lots of trips.

    • I was dying to go to Cali as well!! It’s certainly a very different culture out there. I’m sure you’d love it. :)

      • Yes I’m sure I would. I imagine the culture is much different than the Midwest. :)

  • Abi

    Fav post yet :)

  • Great! Number one is on my list this year!

  • You are so well traveled! It is wonderful that you are writing about your adventures and sharing them with others!

  • I am not a country music fan, BUT I fell in love with Nashville this summer! All of the live music is great and the people were amazing! Not to mention the moonshine margaritas!!

    • WOW!! you don’t know how happy I am to hear this!! lol. I was afraid this part of the post would turn some people off but it’s so true! The live music and the dreams of all the musicians is so amazing to witness and be a part of…I’m dying to go back!! Glad you enjoyed it. And YES to moonshine margaritas!! Thanks for the read!

      • Me too! I fell so in love I just really want to move like yesterday! :)

  • Ari

    Ahh I am dying to visit the Grand Canyon! I’m gonna make it a must-do for this year!

  • YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO!! I could sit here and ramble for days on how amazing it is, but you just can’t imagine the vastness until you go and see for yourself! That’s probably my top pick :)

  • I notice several of your top places are near water, so I’m assuming you’re a water-lover. Like you said, this country is filled with so many amazing places that if someone wants to be blown away without leaving the country, it’s easy! I’ve been to most on the list, but not the Badlands – good suggestion. If you’re ever in Oregon, you must drive the Historic Columbia River Gorge highway. It parallels I-84 and winds along cliffs above the enormous Columbia River, with dozens of astonishing waterfalls, and every horizon has volcanoes popping up: Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier.

    • That’s a wonderful observation, Crystal. I actually didn’t even think of that! But yes, I am a huge water-lover! I guess my travel experiences have a trend afterall. I would LOVE to go to Oregon…it’s on the bucket list. I would like to travel to all 48 mainland states before I have children. I will keep that in mind when we plan our next trip! Thanks so much for the comment and feedback. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • Nothing from the NE . . . what kind of list-maker are YOU?!!

    • I have not been there yet!! I’m sure once I visit, I’ll have something to write about :) I’m going to NYC for the first time this May so I’m sure that will give me something to write about!!! 😀 I’m soooo excited!!

  • Chicago is SUCH a great city, but you forgot the blues clubs: I spent a really fun night in Kingston Mines blues club a few years ago.

  • You forgot Bozeman, MT! lol….great read!

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      You’re on wordpress now! Whoop whoop!

  • Very nice blog, and interesting 7 travel choices. I’ve checked off 4: Grand Canyon, The Badlands, Chicago, Door County. Of course I could spend much more time in any and all of them, but Door County is my constant and forever “go-to.”

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you so much for the compliment and for the read! I’m a Wisconsinite so I appreciate your blog as well 😉 I LOVE Door County! So excited for it to warm up so I can visit again on a lovely summer day. Have a wonderful day!

  • I’ve been to 3 of the places on this list I think. I’ve driven through Chicago twice but never went to the city. I’d like to go Colorado Springs. That would be nice.

    • Awesome!! Which places have you been to?

      • I’ve seen the badlands. I’ve been to the beaches near San Diego. In 2012, I went to the Grand Canyon. Hopefully more travelling can happen before or after I graduate from college.

      • Wow. If you’ve done all of that before graduating college, you’re doing something right! What’s your site URL? I can’t seem to find you! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and for reading various posts. It truly means a lot to me :)

  • These are some of the most beautiful places in the country! I love Garden of the Gods and Chicago is one of the best in the Midwest!

    • I’m glad you had the opportunity to see Chicago and Garden of Gods…Garden of Gods just astounded me. I would go back in a heartbeat. Thanks so much for reading! :) Have a wonderful Saturday!

  • Coming back to America in August, thanks for the tip off :)

    • Awesome! Where are you from? Can’t wait to check out your blog!

  • Wow, all these places look so beautiful! I’m in the UK and have wanted to visit the US for so long! I do think that I’d need an empty suitcase with me so I can fill it up with food etc. candy wise (I’m a food blogger) there’s so many things we don’t get here!!

    • And I have always wanted to visit the UK!!!! lol let’s swap for a week, okay?!

  • LOVE Chicago and Nashville! I have a huge California trip planned with my husband. I am just not quite sure when we will take it! Great list!

    • That’s awesome! Where are you heading exactly in Cali? I hope you two can go sometime soon! I’ve only been to Cali once and loved it…I would LOVE to go back!

  • Ugh! I am SOOO jealous of your life experiences. I’ve been to a few of the places on your list, but I’d love to venture out to see more! Nashville was great; I’ve also been to Florida, NY, and Massachusetts more times than I could count, but I’d love to go further west. Thanks for sharing this great list!

    • I’m jealous you’ve been to Massachusetts! I would LOVE to visit Boston and the east coast in general! I still have to get over to that part of the country.

  • Gorgeous photos. I’ve never traveled to any of those places and now I want to travel to them ALL. Popping over from the blog love project. :)

    • Great to connect!! I love traveling. Hope you can find the time to go some day 😛 You won’t regret it!!

  • Love this list!! Didn’t realize you were from Wisconsin – me, too! I love Door County! Chicago and Nashville are also two of my favorite spots to visit!

    • That’s awesome!! I love Chicago. I’m going to New York for a vacation at the end of this week and I’m so excited!

  • Badlands and Chicago are both on my list. Beautiful photos!

  • #5 Yes! We tend to go international when we travel, but these are all great ideas!

    • Thanks so much for commenting and reading!

  • Theresa Farrugia

    have only 2 left to do from this list, badlands SD and Nashville TN

    • Chelsea

      So you’ve been to Door County?!!

  • Amazing list! Thanks for sharing. I’ve only been to Mission Beach, San Diego so far, so I guess I should up my travel game a bit 😀

    • Chelsea

      Most people probably haven’t been to any of these, Juliet! Where are you from?

      • Haha, you’re probably right. I’m from Germany, lived in California for a while though (and will probably move back soon)

      • Chelsea

        That is so awesome. I would LOVE to visit Germany!!

  • Lindsay Katherine

    Your pictures are breathtaking, especially Badlands and the Grand Canyon- wow, such beauty.

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much Lindsay!

  • What a fun post! I too share a passion for traveling and love to see where other people have visited! Nashville is on my bucket list for sure…just because I’m obsessed with the show Nashville and have always wanted to go to The Bluebird!

    • Chelsea

      I’m so happy to hear you are a travel lover! I love meeting like-minded people. Have you been anywhere that you feel is worth mentioning? And I hope you get to go someday…it was SO cool!!

  • You are so right! The United States is blessed with some of the most amazing places! People come from around the world to visit our National Parks and famous places.

    • Chelsea

      I will never take this beautiful country for granted <3

  • Becky @Disney in your Day

    Great list! The only one I’ve been to is Nashville but I really enjoyed it. There are so many amazing things to see right here in our own country!

    • Chelsea

      That’s awesome that you were able to go to Nashville! I would love to go back :)

  • I haven’t been to any of the places on your list but they all look and sound wonderful! Nashville is first on my list of places to visit, I have been wanting to travel there for years and I am finally in the process of planning my trip :)

    • Chelsea

      That is so cool Emily!! When are you going??

  • These all look like great places to add to my traveling list! I love to travel and have been very fortunate to get to go to some great places as well. Thank You for sharing!

    • Chelsea

      So awesome! I love meeting travel lovers :) Have you been to anywhere that you would suggest for me to go to?

  • I’ve been to Nashville but I have been wanting to plan a trip to Colorado to visit friends in Denver. That CO Springs rock formation looks gorgeous! I’ll need to add that to my list.

    • Chelsea

      Hey Ashely, I hope you get the chance to go someday! You definitely need to check out CO Springs…it’s jaw-dropping!!

  • Love love LOVE the Badlands! My dad and I got to drive through there when we drove my car from Boston to Idaho a few years ago. It was so quiet that my ears literally hurt; I’ve never experienced ANYTHING like that before! We’re going to the Grand Canyon later this year when we move to AZ!

    • Chelsea

      I know right!! I feel like the Badlands are underrated. I don’t hear people talking about them much, when I didn’t think the landscape was all that different from the Grand Canyon! That’s awesome…you will LOVE it if you haven’t seen it already!!

  • I didn’t get a chance to go to the badlands but I got to visit South Dakota and it is so cool! Nashville and California are places I really want to visit.

    • Chelsea

      I would love to go back to both places!! :) Thanks for reading, Lexi!

  • I’ve been to a lot of these. They are nice. I do want to get to San Diego someday.

    • Chelsea

      That’s awesome! Thanks so much for reading! San Diego was like a dream for me. I’d love to go back!