The Choptank Lighthouse
The Choptank Lighthouse

People may have different opinions of the United States, but most can agree that this country is filled with beautiful places. The United States is comprised of 50 States, the District of Columbia (where I currently live), and sixteen territories that range from the Caribbean (Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands) to the south pacific (American Samoa). In its entirety it has more than 300 inhabitants in a vastly diverse land. I think that’s my favorite part of this country: diversity in all forms. From the cotton candy sunsets of Arizona over the Saguaros to the sunrise azure waters of Miami to the emerald forests of the Rocky Mountains, it will take several lifetimes to discover the beauty of the United States. Let’s take a break from the political and ideological agendas and let’s take a look of what we love about the USA.

America, The Beautiful

It doesn’t matter how many places you visit, and I must say, I try to get out as often as I can, there’s still a long list of places for me to see. The Grand Canyon, the vineyards of the Pacific Northwest, and an Alaskan summer are all among my dream list. Just putting that out there to the universe. However, I would like to pay homage to some of the beautiful places I have been able to cover on the Dining Traveler.

A Day in Washington, DC
A Day in Washington, DC would not be complete without a walk along the National Mall

Washington, DC

Well yes, I have a bias! I get to live in the capital of the United States. I knew that when the time came to repatriate to the United States after living abroad, I was going to live here. The atmosphere is cultured, dynamic, and diverse. Driving along 14th Street and seeing the Washington Monument with Marine One flying over never gets old… Here’s how to spend one day in Washington, DC. 

Planning a Trip to New York City Times Square
Times Square, NYC

New York City

Yes, New York City makes every list and understandably so. For me, it’s not about the sights-I must confess that I have never been to the Statue of Liberty! It’s about the people. They adapt and overcome the craziness that is NYC. They have lived, they are storytellers. You can meet someone from every corner of the world. There’s a beautiful anonymity that comes from walking the streets of New York City.  Never been to the big apple? Here are my tips on planning a trip to New York City. 

The neighborhood of Viceroy Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica, California

Can’t believe it took me 37 years to go to Santa Monica. This sunny seaside town in Southern California embodies the classic American beach town. As the sun sets beyond the colorful Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, you see the bohemians riding their bikes along the boardwalk.  Looking for where to stay in Santa Monica? I loved my stay at the Viceroy Santa Monica.

The Views in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona

Upon arriving in Phoenix a few years ago, I was enthralled by the saguaros. Some of these cacti are centuries old. They welcome you in along the hiking trails, at a mall parking lot, or at a pool side bar. It is  constant reminder that you are in the desert. My highlight of the trip was going on a hot air balloon ride and taking in the stunning desert landscape. Where to stay in Phoenix? The architectural masterpiece that is the Arizona Biltmore.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

I still haven’t posted about Savannah, but it’s in the works. I recently spent two days in this beautiful southern town and was completely charmed by its beauty. The colorful row homes, the idyllic squares, and the decadent southern meals are a reason to return. It was our first road trip with la piccola which made the experience that much more memorable.

The Choptank Lighthouse
The Choptank Lighthouse

Dorchester County, Maryland

If you love good food, bird watching, and lighthouses, Dorchester County is the place for you. This region of Maryland is home to the Chesapeake Bay, blue crabs, and oysters. Take in the view of the many lighthouses with a local RAR craft beer. Spot a bald eagle as you kayak along the marshes leading to the bay. Here’s how to spend two days in Dorchester County, Maryland.

Day trip from DC Vineyards
Doukenie Vineyard in Loudoun County

Virginia Wine Country

We’re fortunate to have a thriving wine country just an hour’s drive away from Washington, DC.  From Middleburg to Charlottesville, the region is lined with modern wineries. After all, legend has it that Thomas Jefferson was one of the first winemakers in the United States. One of my favorite wines is a Blanc de Blanc from Greenhill Winery, located in Middleburg, Virginia. This sparkling wine gives Champagne a run for its money. Here are five wineries in Loudoun County to check out.

Chapel on the Rock, Peak to Peak Highway
Chapel on the Rock, Peak to Peak Highway

Let’s Agree on the Beauty

The list can go on and on with the captivating, interesting, and gorgeous places that this country has to offer. From Miami to Colorado, it’s been great to look at all the fun memories I have shared here on The Dining Traveler. When we find ourselves in the rabbit hole of negativity, let’s meet in the middle and talk about how gorgeous our country is.



  • Kenny T.K. Chow

    Wow there a a LOT of beautiful places in the US and it’s hard for me to choose. The nature, the culture and the cityscapes are all my favourites! @ knycx.journeying

  • Cat Lin

    There are so many amazing places to explore in the U.S.! I used to live in NYC and love how vibrant it is! I will need to check out the rest on your list 🙂

  • Mike C

    I love visiting the US. I’ve lived in Colorado and Minnesota and have frequently crossed the border into Montana in recent years. The beauty of the US, for me, is not the big cities (even though they rock my world – I love NYC and her quirky neighbourhoods). The beauty for me is the small towns, the wide open plains and the rising mountains, and the people you find in those places.

  • Elaine J Masters

    Always hard to whittle a list of so diverse a country into just a few places! I’m glad the West Coast was represented and hope you keep expanding this! The US being so large and diverse is truly amazing to explore.

  • Edith Carolina Rodriguez

    So blessed to live in such a beautiful country. I’m more familiar with the western states though and this side of the country has so many beautiful national parks. I’ve only been to New York on the east side but hopefully I get to explore more of the east side of the country soon.