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Ebony Escapes! to do ‘The Bucket List’

Lysa Allman-Badwin | 11/28/2013, 6 a.m.
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful places on earth, hands down. Photo by Lysa Allman-Badwin

Maine: Portland Head Light

I have always wanted to visit Maine, and now I have another viewpoint, pardon the pun, from which to enjoy it, thanks to Fodor’s: “George Washington commissioned the Portland Head Light in 1790 to tower over the keeper’s quarters in Fort Williams Park and beckon ships to land. … It’s a truly beautiful and classic lighthouse, with its smooth white stone topped by a black spire against the blazing red roof of the keeper’s quarters, all perched on the romantic cliffs of Maine.” www.portlandheadlight.com

New Mexico: Taos Pueblo

It has been many years since I have been to Taos, which really lives up to the state moniker, “The Land of Enchantment.” I agree with Fodor’s when they said, “As though frozen in time, Taos Pueblo today appears much as it did when the first Spanish explorers arrived in New Mexico in 1540, and inside, the traditional Native American way of life endures.” www.taospueblo.com

Nevada: Las Vegas Sign

Of the sign, Fodor’s says, “A trip to the strip can’t end without a picture in front of this kitschy, ’50s-style sign. The flashy, diamond-shaped testament to the Vegas spirit is an American icon in primary colors, welcoming all to their quest through the city’s hedonistic streets.” www.lasvegas.com

New York CIty: Grand Central Station

Of all of the historic stations in the country, Grand Central Station is one of the best. But most people might not know that before it was at its current location, its predecessor was called the New York and Harlem Railroad Station, bounded by Fourth and Madison avenues and 26th and 27th streets and built in 1831. www.grandcentralterminal.com

New York CIty: Times Square

What more could you say about Times Square, the focal point of the world on New Year’s Eve and a 24/7 melting pot of visitors and cultures from around the world www.timessquarenyc.org

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia City Hall

Fodor’s says the “City of Brotherly Love” also deserves some love for its City Hall, which is reportedly the largest city hall in the country and the tallest masonry-bearing building in the world. www.visitphilly.com

South Dakota: Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore has always been on my list, and the beauty of the Black Hills with the mugs of Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt will continue to beckon me until I see them “in person.” www.nps.gov

Washington, DC: Thomas Jefferson Memorial

While lots of memorials get a lot of the D.C. love, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial isn’t usually one of them, but it should, in large part due to the stone materials and statuary elements used to construct this architectural masterpiece. www.nps.gov

Washington State: Pike Place Market

Any true foodie absolutely must put Pike Place Market, established in 1907 and part of the nine-acre Market Historic District overlooking Elliott Bay in Seattle, on their must-visit—and must-eat—list. www.pikeplacemarket.org

Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park

I’ve seen the stunning photographs and heard some of the amazing stories of this national treasure that was originally set aside by an act of Congress in 1929. www.nps.gov

Wyoming: Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone is on my “Really Want to Go Back” list, and this time, I’ll be sure to check out the Grand Prismatic Spring, the park’s largest hot spring, measuring an estimated 370 feet in diameter and over 121 feet deep. mms.nps.gov

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.