My Outdoorsy Northeast US Bucket List

This winter (last winter, now) instead of making a yearly state to-do list, I decided to just make a bigger state bucket list.  Then I decided to turn this into a little series.  I wanted to do specific states that I spend a lot of time in, want to spend a lot of time in, or am close to a lot.

I also wanted to do more general regional bucket lists for all the other things I want to do, which is a lot.  They are all pretty outdoor focused with a few non-outdoorsy things, too.

Next up in this little series, and the final of my USA bucket lists is the northeast!  This is a region I really haven’t been to at all aside from New York for a couple of days and it’s one I would looooove to visit sooner than later, especially as a big fall road trip.  So, here is my New England bucket list full of the best hikes, road trips, and artsy things.

As I do things and write posts for them, I’ll update this to link back to those.  If I do something and don’t have a post, I’ll just cross it out.  I would like to do one a month with 12 total.  These bucket lists are partially to help me keep track of things, but also to inspire you to get out there, too.   

Bucket list posts


Connecticut Bucket List

  • See the castle at Gilette Castle State Park
  • Relax at Hammonasset Beach State Park
  • Try New Haven style pizza
  • Visit Sleeping Giant State Park
  • Try a Connecticut style lobster roll
  • Visit Silver Sands State Park
  • Hike Enders State Forest
  • Visit Thimble Islands
  • See Kent Falls State park
  • Visit Rocky Neck State Park
  • Drive Saw Mill City Road
  • Do the shoreline drive from New haven to Stonington
  • Drive Connecticut State Route 169
  • Hike Devil’s Hopyard State Park
  • Visit Lovers Leap State Park
  • Explore Burr Pond State Park
  • See the leaves change at Penwood State Park
Photo by Craig Adderley on

Delaware Bucket List

  • Hike to Maryland or Pennsylvania at White Clay Creek State Park
  • Admire the Delaware Bay from an observation tower at Cape Helopen State Park
  • See the cherry blossoms at Brandywine Park in Wilmington
  • Go hiking in Blackbird State Forest
  • Kayak on Killens Pond
  • Kayak through the Bald Cypress at Trap Pond
  • Visit the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
  • Try rock climbing at ALapocas Run State Park
  • Go to the Sea Witch Festival in Rehoboth
  • Drive Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway
  • Drive the Harriet Tubman Underground Railway Byway
  • Go kayaking at Lums Pond State Park
  • Visit Dealware Seashore State Park
  • Drive Delaware’s Bayshore Sceenic Byway
  • Visit Brandywine Creek State Park
  • See the leaves change in the fall
  • Drive Brandywine National Scenic Byway


Maine Bucket List

  • Visit Acadia National Park
  • Hike part of the Appalachian Trail
  • Sail on a Windjammer
  • See a moose
  • Go whales watching
  • Pick blueberries
  • Visit Baxter State Park
  • See the Reversing Falls
  • Try a lobster roll
  • See the Portland Head Lighthouse
  • See the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse
  • Do a DIY lighthouses tour (Maine Lighthouse Drive)
  • See Moxie Falls
  • See Nubble Lighthouse
  • Go to the International Cryptozoology Museum
  • See the Desert of Maine
  • See the Sunday River Bridge
  • Drive Grafton Notch Byway
  • Visit Quoddy Head State Park
  • Explore Cutler Bold Coast Preserve
  • See Screw Auger Falls
  • Drive the Pequaqket Trail Scenic Byway
  • Hike Mount Katahdin
  • Explore Birch Point State Park
  • Visit Bradbury Mountain State Park
  • Hike Popham Hills State Park
  • Enjoy Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
  • See the leaves changing
  • Drive Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway
  • Drive the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway
  • Visit Two Lights State Park
  • Explore Sebago Lake State Park
stephen-walker-LGn4x7_RbeU-unsplash Maryland

Maryland Bucket List

  • Explore Janes Island State Park
  • Visit Assateague Island
  • Hike the Maryland Heights Trail
  • Kayak Mallows Bay
  • Explore Parapsco State Park
  • Visit Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
  • Hike Calvert Cliffs State Park
  • See Swallow Falls
  • Visit Ocean City
  • Visit Cunningham Falls State Park
  • Eat crabs
  • Visit the Peabody Library
  • Visit St. Clements Island
  • Drive the Hallowed Grounds Byway
  • Drive the Old Main Streets Trail
  • Drive the Falls Road Byway
  • See Muddy Creek Falls
  • Hike the Billy Goat Trail
  • Explore Sandy Point State Park
  • Visit Smith Island
  • See covered bridges
  • See Piney Point Lighthouse
  • Go to the Wizard of Oz Park
  • See Cascade Falls
  • Visit Hart-Mills Island
  • Visit Cobb Island
  • Drivee the Mountain Maryland Byway
kevin-long-j5-cyuoOZLU-unsplash massachusetts

Massachusetts Bucket List

  • Visit Harvard (What, like it’s hard?)
  • Visit Yankee Candle Village
  • Go whale watching
  • Eat Boston Cream Pie
  • Explore Sage’s Ravine
  • Do the Davis Farmland Mega Maze
  • Visit Salem at Halloween and go to the Salem Witch Museum
  • Drivee the Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway
  • Explore Marth’s Vineyard
  • Try a lobster roll
  • Do a lighthouse seeing trip
  • Visit the Decorvada Sculpture Park
  • Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail
  • Drive Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway
  • Drivee Route 116 Scenic Byway
  • See the Rainbow Cliffs at Aquinnah Beach
  • Go to a clam bake
  • See Sherburne Falls and the glacial potholes
  • Visit the summit of Mount Greylock
  • Drive Route 112 Scenic Byway
  • See Bash Bish Falls
  • Hike in Purgatory Chasm
  • Visit the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden
  • Drive the Connecticut River Byway
  • Explore Provincetown
  • Drive Mount Greylock Scenic Byway
balazs-busznyak-3mLH_hFGbD4-unsplash New hampshire

New Hampshire Bucket List

  • Drive the Kancamagus Highway
  • Drive the Seacoast
  • Hike Mount Monadnock
  • Visit Franconia Notch State Park
  • Explore Jericho Mountain State Park
  • Explore the Sculptured Rocks Natural Area
  • Visit the Isle of Shoals
  • Kayak on Lake Umbagog
  • Go whale watching
  • See the leaves change in the fall
  • Bike the Northern Trails
  • Drive the Lake Sunapee Loop
  • Hike Flume Gorge
  • Visit the Quincy Bog Natural Area
  • Explore Milan Hill State Park
  • Drive the Northern Wilds
  • Drive the Mount Washington Auto Road
  • Visit the summit of Mount Washington (climb or drive)
  • Visit Greaat Bay National Wildlife Refuge
 New York pexels-photo-1525612
Photo by Craig Adderley on

New York Bucket List

  • Drive the Palisades Parkway
  • Do the Hudson Valley Drive
  • See the Ausable Chasm
  • Explore Panama Rocks
  • Drive Road 23 through the Catskills
  • Take a hot air balloon ride over Finger Lakes
  • Hike the Adirondacks
  • Explore Letchworth State Park
  • See Buttermilk Falls
  • Attend Manhattanhenge Festival in NYC
  • See Taughannock Falls
  • Go boating in the Thousand Islands
  • Exploree Watkins Glen State Park
  • Visit Lake Placid
  • Drive the High Peaks Scenic Byway
  • Drive the Seneca Lakes Wine Trail
  • See Niagra Falls
  • Visit Montauk
  • Explore Robert H. Treman State Park
  • Visit Minnewaska State Park Preserve
  • Visit Bear Mountain State Park
  • Visit The Hamptons
  • Relax on Coopers Beach in the Hamptons
  • Drive Road 73 in the Adirondacks
  • See the Boldt Castle
  • Explore Hudson Highlands State Park
  • Hike part of the Appalachian Trail
  • Explore Taconic State Park
  • Walk the Brookyln Bridge
  • Visit Whetstone Gulf State Park
chris-henry-vNwbbXVfjIc-unsplash New Jersey

New Jersey Bucket List

  • Explore Hacklebarney State Park
  • Visit High Point State Park
  • Drive Ocean Drive from Ocean City to North Wildwood
  • Drive Route 49 from Deepwater to Tuckahoe
  • Explore the Delaware Gap
  • Relax on Island Beach State Park
  • Drive Old Mine Road
  • Kayak on the Hudson River
  • Climb a lighthouse
  • See Great Falls
  • Visit Cape May
  • Explore Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
  • Visit Cape May Point State Park
liubov-ilchuk-MnQQ3vA_dBo-unsplash rhode island

Rhode Island Bucket List

  • See all the giant Mr. Potato Heads
  • Visit Jamestown
  • Explore Providence
  • Sail Narragansett Bay
  • Visit the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge
  • Explore Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge
  • Visit Conanicut Island
  • Visit Beavertail State Park
  • Go to the South County Balloon Festival
  • Spend a night at the Rose Island Lighthouse
  • Go to Cellar Storiese Bookstore
  • Explore Brenton Point State Park
  • Visit the Norman Bird Sanctuary
  • Go to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum
  • Explore Snake Den Park
  • Get lemonade at Dels
  • Walk the Newport Cliff Walk
  • Visit Block Island
  • Take the ferry to Newport
efren-castillo-H1rT_xuJhuE-unsplash pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Bucket List

  • Drive the Bucktail Scenic Byway
  • See Bushkill Falls
  • Visit the Poconos
  • Visit Scranton
  • Drive the Brandywine Valley Byway
  • See some of the 200 covered bridges
  • Visit Cherry Springs State Park
  • Drive the Conestoga Ridge Road
  • See Pine Creek Gorge
  • Explore Laurel Caverns
  • Visit Ringing Rocks Park
  • See Ganoga Falls
  • Drive the West Branch Susquehanna Byway
  • Explore Ricketts Glen State Park
  • See Raymondskill Falls
  • Drive the Longhouse Scenic Byway
  • Explore Hickory Run State Park
  • Hike Glen Onoko
  • See Dingmans Falls
  • Admire the view from Hawn’s Overlook
  • Visit Penn’s Cave
  • Drive the High Plateau Scenic Byway
  • Exploree the Marion Brooks Natural Area
  • See thee Forest Cathedral at Cook Forest State Park
  • See Cucumber Falls
  • Explore ohiopyle State Park
  • Drive the Seaway Trail
kevin-wiegand-EvD-rF_ATw8-unsplash vermont

Vermont Bucket List

  • Explore Half Moon Pond State Park
  • Visit Mount Philo State Park
  • Climb Mt. Mansfield
  • See the covered bridges of Bennington
  • Tour the Ben and Jerry’s Factory
  • Explore Elmore State Park
  • Eat maple candies
  • Visit the Cold Hollow Sculpture Park
  • Visit Grand Isle State Park
  • Ski Stowe Mountain Resort
  • Bike Burton Bay State Park
  • See Quechee Gorge
  • Stay at a cute bed and breakfast
  • Explore Green Mountain National Forest
  • Visit the Haskell Library and Opera House
  • Drive Scenic Route 100 in the fall

Have you done any of this?  Which ones?  Anything else I should add to my New England bucket list?

7 thoughts on “My Outdoorsy Northeast US Bucket List

  1. I think most New Englanders would say that New York and south are not part of it, but this is a good list. We’ve done a fair number, some are “want to”, others completely new. Never hear of the “Giant Mr Potato Heads” until now, thanks!

    1. I just kind of went with northeast since New York and south don’t feel like southeast but called it all New England. Maybe I’ll add an update about that haha. I had to do a project about Rhode Island in 5th grade and found out about them then and have wanted to see them since!

  2. I love your lists of the North East. I would add Winter Green Park and the Canajoharie Creek Gorge, in Central, NY, they are just fabulous to walk on a warm summer day. I would also add Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA., Genesee Country Village in Munson, NY, and Erie Canal Village in Rome NY. There is also a series of Forts around New York State such as Rome, NY, Ticonderoga, NY, Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY.

  3. Thanks for the list. There are so many of the places you listed that I haven’t been to choose from. Before I visit any of the states, I am going to look up the sites you mentioned. Thanks for doing the leg work.

  4. I’m not trying to brag, but I know New York State better than anyone, as I was employed full-time as an Emergency Medical Technician and Firefighter in literally every single region of New York State for 18 years, including NYC and Long Island. I’m now living in Vermont, but go home to New York on a regular basis, so if you need advice or have questions, please don’t be a stranger. 🙂

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