15 Places Kids Should See

A friend turned me onto this article of 15 Places Kids Should See Before 15. As it would seem, she assumed that I had visited each place on the list because of my extensive travel experience.

But as I scrolled through the list I realized I had hit only about half of them. This development made me realize that while my international travel itinerary is quite vast, I haven’t really explored a lot of the awesome places that our own country offers.

Officially, I’ve been to 8 of the 15 places on this list, but it’s 9 of 15 if you substitute Yankee Stadium for Fenway Park, which I think any red-blooded American should.

Grand Canyon – Arizona
Definitely a location on my bucket list, as an East Coast and Midwest guy, my western travels haven’t been all that extensive. I’ve definitely witnessed some absolutely breathtaking physical marvels, but the Grand Canyon is not one of them.

Redwood National Park – California
California really isn’t my cup of tea. Been out there a few times, but the furthest north I ever made it was San Francisco. But that certainly doesn’t mean I’ve missed out on enormous trees. Maybe not trees so big that you could drive a car through them, but definitely trees bigger than the pines outside my work.

Monticello – Virginia
The first location on this list that I have been to. Went to Thomas Jefferson’s estate when I was a younger boy and would love to head back at some point.

The Freedom Trail – Massachusetts
Makes it three out of four so far that have yet to play host to a Nathaniel vacation. As someone who has more than just a passing interest in American history, the whole Boston area is one that probably needs a thorough exploring in the next few years.

Niagara Falls – New York
Yes, my first trip to Canada and my first experience in a revolving restaurant. Truly breathtaking, Niagara Falls is something that I’m certainly glad I was able to witness first hand.

The National Mall – Washington, D.C.
All of Washington DC is an excellent place to spend hours and hours just wandering around. The history that is represented in that town is fantastic. From memorials to museums, DC has everything. I was lucky enough to spend a week up in that area for a 300-voice choir conference and performance back in high school and even then, didn’t have nearly enough time to fully explore everything that I wanted to.

Williamsburg – Virginia
It’s really a novel concept that by dressing kids up in 18th century garb, you can get them to enjoy chores. But when they get back home and into their crocs, heaven forbid if dad asks them to set the table for dinner. I was the same way. Churning butter in knickers? So much fun! Taking out the trash in OshKosh? Forget about it.

Walt Disney World Resort – Florida
Been several times, and it got better and better each time. Most recently I was down there for spring break one year in college which was probably the most fun I’ve had in Disney. Certainly pricey, but definitely worth it and I hope someday I can bring my kids there and let them run around collecting autographs from Mickey and Pluto.

Independence Hall – Pennsylvania
Another hot spot for history. But so far as I know, Nicolas Cage only planted National Treasure clues there.

Alcatraz Island – California
Something I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed in my earlier years, when I went in high school I was absolutely fascinated my the prison. I like being to places I’ve seen in movies and Escape From Alcatraz is one of my favorite old movies.

Ellis Island – New York
Imagine a place where people from other countries could immigrate to the United States legally. I don’t want to turn this into a political post, but we could use one of these somewhere along the Mexican border.

Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
An American classic, but not one that ever really interested me that much. Hot springs and geysers and other geographical workings never really caught on as a subject of fascination with me. I did read a book as a child about a family that took a huge RV to Yellowstone. I don’t remember the name of the book or if they ever made it to Yellowstone or not.

Fenway Park – Massachusetts
Can’t say this is a place that I’d ever want to patronize. Don’t like the on field product and I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t enjoy the 35,000 other people or so that would be joining me. Sure it’s old and historic, but I’m not a fan of cramped run-down facilities. I love watching games on TV from those places, but Wrigley Field was a dump and I’m sure Fenway is too. As for baseball history? I’ve been to the old Yankee Stadium and that has countless more memories and legends.

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve – Idaho
Never even heard of it. And if I haven’t heard of an exotic travel destination with the grandparents I have, it’s probably not a place that a child needs to see by any age, let alone their 15th birthday. I googled it and it’s another one of those geological marvels.

San Diego Zoo – California
I love zoos. I think animals are simply fascinating. But I’ve never been to the San Diego zoo. I’ve been to a handful of American zoos, and probably even more international zoos, most recently the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. It was my first Southern Hemisphere zoo, meaning I got to experience a whole new lineup of exotic creatures.

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Posted on March 24, 2011, in Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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