In honor of July 4th, we are providing a bucket list of patriotic places to visit throughout our vast and varied country. Whether you are still working or are newly retired, it is always beneficial to take a step back and consider whether your "life planning" goals need to be updated or acted upon in a more intentional manner. We hope providing a list here will help spur you to take action.
Here are some top places to visit.
- Visit the Statue of Liberty. One of the most iconic statues in the U.S. if not the world, the Statue of Liberty stands as a reminder that freedom and liberty are closely linked are available for the taking. Visiting Lady Liberty may serve as a catalyst of asking ourselves whether we are pursuing freedom with the same vigor as our ancestors did when they braved the voyage to their new land. The cost is about $15 - $20 and is part of the National Park Service.
- Walk the Freedom Trail. Boston is one of America’s premier cities and obviously home to some key historical moments and landmarks. You can walk the trail on your own (for free!) or pay a touring company to provide an efficient way to re-live key moments in U.S. history. Be sure to grab some quick Italian food at the end of the trail.
- Visit a National Cemetery. Whether you visit Arlington near D.C. , Fort Rosecrans in San Diego, or others, visiting a national cemetery will help you more fully appreciate the sacrifice of our military men and women and may perhaps increase your patriotism and desire to become more active in local political discourse. I have visited Rosecrans and the views provided add to the awe of the place.
- See a game at a classic American ballpark. You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy this experience. Pick a hot summer day and go on a road trip to see either the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley, the Red Sox at Fenway, or the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Buy a baseball cap and wear it backwards as you eat a hotdog or brat and sip your favorite beverage. Just as cool would be to attend the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania!
- Visit a Presidential Library. While the JFK, FDR, and Lincoln libraries are popular, I visited the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and loved it. Visiting a presidential library may not only provide some nuggets about a historical event, but you may leave inspired about the path that the presidents took to become president. These are especially great family trips. How many can you visit?
- Attend a U.S. soccer game. While some of you prefer the Olympics, give me an important international soccer match with the U.S. involved any day of the week. I have seen a U.S. v. Mexico match at the Rose Bowl, and my patriotic blood was pumping that night. Watch for tickets when the World Cup comes to the States in 2026. Ticket prices may be astronomical to watch a U.S. match, but I will start budgeting now. At Oasis Wealth, we hope one of the host cities will be a city we serve as Nashville, Atlanta, and Orlando are all in the running to host some games.
- Go to National Parks. The U.S. is blessed with some amazing outdoor national parks, and getting outdoors to participate in what Woodie Guthrie sung about will leave you not wanting to sit inside ever again. Here’s a pretty cool list (with photos) of parks to visit: LIST. I’ve seen a few (Yellowstone, Tetons, Great Smokies, but there are many more I want to visit both during my working years and in retirement. The Utah parks are next up.
- Visit D.C. Visiting our nation’s capital is a great family trip whether you are visiting with your children or grandchildren. Visiting the Supreme Court and listening to oral arguments, strolling through the White House (), or seeing Congress in session at the U.S. Capitol Building. It’s free to visit, but just keep the tweets reasonable.
- Visit a Civil War Site. While perhaps not as uplifting as other patriotic sites, visiting a Civil War site will help you more fully appreciate courage and sacrifice while learning how logistics, terrain, and human fallibility impacts war. I have visited a few sites, but I need to get to Gettysburg..
- Attend a family reunion in the old “family home”. I’m not talking about merely going home for Christmas, but finding the original ancestral land that served as the starting point for your ancestor’s American beginnings. Pick one branch of the family that you find interesting and may be unfamiliar with and attend or host a family reunion. Sure, you may have to be the one that organizes the family reunion, but you can ask for help. I recently attended a family reunion in the Evansville area where my German ancestors descended upon, and I want to host a reunion with my Scotch-Irish side of the family that traces its roots back to an American Revolutionary soldier that also settled in Southern Indiana. Learn about and discuss what it was like for the ancestors to make the voyage and reflect on the opportunities provided by the American way of life.
There are many sites and activities to participate in throughout our great land. Unless we intentionally set out to visit some of these and other locations, we may never have the opportunity to experience them. The pursuit of adventure is ours for the taking.