For many, the world is too big and too expensive to reach to experience properly in the course of a single short human lifespan. Then again, if you make yourself a bucket list filled with specific sights to see within reason, you might just be able to complete your list. The following five bucket-list ideas are popular, accessible, and relatively inexpensive.
A Helicopter Tour of Kauai
The oldest of Hawaii’s major islands, Kauai is a tropical paradise characterized by towering jungle cliffs, ancient volcanic craters and miles of uninhabited and virtually inaccessible coastline.
As any local worth their salt will tell you, the only proper way to experience the wilds of Kauai short of a dangerous self-guided climbing expedition is a helicopter tour, particularly the Na Pali Coast. Creature comforts like noise-canceling headphones and padded seats are common and comprehensive tours start at around $200.
The Top of the Empire State Building
No longer the tallest building in the world, or even in its own city, the Empire State Building still provides jaw-dropping views of the Manhattan skyline, New York Harbor and the distant mountains of New York and New Jersey on clear days.
There are two observation decks, an open-air platform on the 86th floor and a more intimate viewing room on the tip-top 102nd floor. Tickets to the main deck start at $25 for adults and dual-deck passes start at around $40.
Drive the Florida Keys
With only one main road connecting the spindly island chain with the Florida mainland, it’s hard to get lost in the Florida Keys. U.S. 1, also known as the “Overseas Highway,” is basically a giant causeway that provides intrepid drivers with near-constant panoramic views of the turquoise tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Key West, the road’s terminus and the recommended destination of any Key West drive, is a funky town with strong ties to the American literary movement and a thriving Caribbean-themed bar scene.
Stroll the National Mall
Without factoring in the cost of lodging or transportation, this may be both the cheapest and most culturally rich activity on this bucket list. The world-famous National Mall in Washington, D.C. is an expanse of grass, gardens, cherry trees, a reflective pool, and walking paths that stretches between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol.
Lined with important cultural institutions like the Smithsonian Institute and the National Air and Space Museum, it’s considered one of the planet’s most successful and memorable urban parks.
Raft the Grand Canyon
Get away from the crowds and see the Grand Canyon as it was meant to be seen, from below. The Colorado River rages to life and swells mightily with snowmelt during the spring and provides an exciting setting for beginners and experienced rafters alike. Guided rafting tours range in length from a half day to two weeks and cost anywhere from under $100 for a short jaunt to $2,000 for the vacation of a lifetime.
John Reynolds authored this post on behalf of PureMatters.com where you can find vitamin d vitamins and other great nutritional supplements to help fuel your day.