Ultimate Bucket List: One Cool Local Thing to Do in Each State

local thing to do
Source: Joey Csunyo via Unsplash

Each state in the U.S. has a unique charm all its own. We set out to feature one cool local thing to do in each state, and it’s quite a list.

Get ready to live out the ultimate bucket list by checking out all of the awesome local spots below.


Source: The Atomic Bar & Lounge

Hang with Burlington locals at the must-see vintage-inspired Atomic Bar & Lounge where you can choose from about a dozen costumes to wear while you have a drink.

You’ll enjoy the funky decor and themed drinks, too!


Get your hiking gear from AMH, a locally run outdoor gear shop in Anchorage.


Source: John Ruddock via Unsplash

Go to Phoenix in March for spring-training games and beautiful weather.

P.S. Be sure to check out Old Town Scottsdale for a little pre and post-game fun if you visit the Scottsdale Stadium!


Grab a local craft beer and tour the brewery at Diamond Bear Brewing Co. in Little Rock.


Play pool at the original Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood — a California classic for food and fun since 1920.


Source: Wikimedia

Barhop the microbreweries on Boulder’s historic Pearl St.


Order the white clam pizza at one of the Fran Pepe Pizzeria’s scattered across the state.


Camp out at the Firefly Music Festival at the Woodlands in Dover in June.


Source: Wikimedia

Tool around Ybor City in Tampa, and celebrate Florida’s history, culture, and cuisine at the oldest restaurant in the state, Columbia Restaurant.


Grab some shrimp and grits at Savannah’s Olde Pink House, and say hello to the mansion’s former owner whose ghost is rumored to appear in the dining room.


Eat, shop, and beach in Kihei, a small town set between Kaanapali and Wailea on Maui’s South Shore.


Take in sites like the Boise River and Ann Morrison Park as you bike down the Greenbelt and into downtown Boise.


Source: Markus Leo via Unsplash

Enjoy the amazing view of Chicago while sipping on a cocktail at the Hancock Building rooftop bar — The Signature Lounge at the 96th, instead of paying to get into the observatory.


The best local thing to do in Indianapolis is to hang with the artists, musicians, shop owners, and restaurateurs in Fountain Square.


Source: Flickr

Head to ‘Dead Moines’ to gnaw on Zombie Burger + Shake Lab ‘GOREmet’ eats.


Visit Overland Park on the third Friday of any given month for one super cool local thing to do. You’ll experience their LOCAL LIFE event that offers live music, shopping, eating, and drinking in support of local downtown businesses.


Get your cod on at Moby Dick, a popular local fish-sandwich eatery. Who would have thought that Louisvillians eat more cod than any other city in the U.S.


Source: Wikimedia

Take an afternoon stroll down Magazine Street in New Orleans to shop vintage décor and eat at the local hole in the walls.


Take the kids on a hike and watch the sunrise at Eastern Promenade in Portland.


Hitch a ride on a boat and cruise up to Cantler’s for some local crab.


Source: Flickr

Take in an art house film at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston.


Go to Hell (a small town on 40 acres of recreational land). Pay $100 to become “Mayor of Hell” for a day.


Wander the 2800 Washington block and pop in the local antique shop, City Salvage, the local crafter boutique, I Like You, and the vintage bar, Red Stag Supper Club.


Source: Wikimedia

Grab a beer, and listen to some blues at The Lyric Oxford.


Do not go to St. Louis without hitting the local favorite Pappy’s Smokehouse for some mouthwatering BBQ.


Ski Whitefish Mountain Resort first, then head into the small town of Whitefish for a sauerkraut pizza at the Bulldog Saloon.


The local thing to do here is eat, shop, drink, and browse art in Omaha’s Old Market District.


Grab a cocktail and eat raw seafood at, Other Mama, an off-the-strip favorite of on-the-strip restaurant chefs.

New Hampshire

Source: Carl Raw via Unsplash

Live out your teenage years at the American Classic Arcade Museum — the Largest Arcade in the World, according to Guinness — in Weirs Beach.

New Jersey

Hit the Yankee Doodle Tap Room in Princeton for a history lesson in English pub-ery #yesimadethatwordup, which has been open since 1756.

New Mexico

Sit at the breakfast bar, and enjoy the Huevos Rancheros at the Duran Central Pharmacy in Albuquerque.

New York

Source: Wikimedia

Take a self-guided food/pub crawl through Chelsea Market.

North Carolina

Do not miss Carolina BBQ at the Skylight Inn in Ayden, touted by Time and Southern Living as one of the best in the country.

North Dakota

One cool local thing to do is visit Unglued in Fargo to buy one of the many indie crafts sold to support local artists.


Source: Flickr

Help the local economy of Columbus by attending one of the many festivals in June, including the Columbus Arts Festival and ComFest.


Get some music education at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa.


Source: Wikimedia

Grab a book (there’s literally over a million to choose from) at Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland’s Pearl District.


Take in some of the best jazz in the city at Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philly.

Rhode Island

Fulfill your seafood craving by sitting down with Moules-fritas (mussels and fries) at Loie Fuller’s.

South Carolina

Source: Álvaro Reyes via Unsplash

Stroll through Marion Square Farmers Market, buy local souvenirs from the talented artists, and eat at one of the food trucks.

South Dakota

Hike to the top of Little Devils Tower in Custer State Park for spectacular views.


Source: Flickr

Listen to the local musicians at the Bluebird Cafe’s Monday night open mic night.


Put Lockhart on your BBQ bucket list and eat arguably the best ribs/brisket/sausage in the country at Kreuz Market, Black’s, and Smitty’s.


Ski into High West Distillery for a much-deserved drink after a long ski day.


Source: Christin Hume via Unsplash

Meander through Burlington Bay Market & Cafe as you lick on a ‘creemee’ from one of the soft-serve creameries. #thatsicecreamtoavermonter


Take in the outdoor gallery of modern art and the James River as you wander through the Shockoe Design District in Richmond.


Source: Clarisse Meyer via Unsplash

Go thrifting for some cool vintage finds in Seattle.

West Virginia

Check out a local band play 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown.


Pick up a bounty of veggies, meats, cheeses, and locally-made crafts at the Dane Country Farmers’ Market.


Source: Wikimedia

Grab a table on the rooftop at Lift’s Restaurant to take in the Snow King Mountain views as you eat the comfort food Jackson Hole is known for.

What is your favorite cool local thing to do in your state? 

Anne-Marie Pritchett is a freelance writer for The Local Lifestyle who enjoys exploring the outdoors, visiting different cultures, digging into new music, and cuddling her new baby. When she gets some free time, she likes to check out local gastropubs and attempt to speak in her British accent.

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