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North American Destinations Featured in The New York Times’ 52 Places to Go

Canyon with clouded blue sky

Every January, The New York Times releases its 52 Places to Go, a curated list of top picks for global travel in the new year selected by an all-star roster of travel writers. Similar to past year’s lists (you can read our coverage of the 2020 and 2021 lists here), the 2024 list is a stunner. It features 12 notable North American destinations ideal for RV travel! Coming off of the pandemic years and the more recent travel boom, North American destinations are hotter than ever. Exploration is endless, so pack up your tribe and hit the road in your recreational vehicle of choice or rent one when you get there! Before you go, be sure to stock up on RVbyLIFE’s RV care and maintenance products to keep your rig in tip-top shape!

North American destinations

#1 The Path of Totality, North America

2024 is set for a total solar eclipse that will grace the North American skies on April 8th starting at approximately 2:07pm (11:07am local) on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The path of totality will traverse 13 U.S. states, including: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. It will also pass through the following Canadian provinces: Southern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton in the province of Nova Scotia.

#2 Maui, Hawaii 

Coming in at number 5 on this year’s list is the beautiful island of Maui. Hawaii’s second largest and second most visited, Maui made international news in August 2023 as wildfires ravaged parts of the island, including the western town of Lahaina which remains closed to the public to this day. Although Lahaina is off-limits, much of the island is open for tourism, including Haleakalā National Park, one of Hawaii’s only two national parks. For more information on traveling to Maui post-disaster and to find out ways you can help, visit the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Red cliffs of the Grand Canyon

#3 Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni, Arizona

Newly dedicated, the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni, or Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, skirts the Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona. The now preserved federal lands are the ancestral home to many Tribal Nations of the southwest. It spans a whopping 917,599 acres divided into three areas to the north and south of the Grand Canyon. Visitors can enjoy leisure activities such as biking, hiking, and observing the many native plants and animals, some of which are endangered, on these protected sacred lands. Check out the Grand Canyon Trust and Visit Arizona for additional information.

#4 Craters of the Moon, Idaho 

Southern Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is celebrating the centennial of it becoming a national monument this year. There is no better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than with a road trip to the Northwest. Craters of the Moon became a national monument and preserve in 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge. Its landscape formed between 2,000 and 15,000 years ago from flowing lava that solidified over time. The preserve has a 7-mile trail to explore and offers backcountry trekking, camping, and caving. The park’s Lava Flow Campground, surrounded by young lava flow, is opened May through November on a first come, first serve basis. Featuring 42 automobile accessible sites, including some fitting larger RVs, the family-friendly campground is sure to be a good time. Note that hook ups are not available.

#5 Baltimore, Maryland

Maryland’s largest city and the 30th in the country according to the 2020 Census, the port city of Baltimore takes the number 14 spot on this year’s list. Founded in 1729, Baltimore’s history is rich, incorporating Native American, European, and colonial themes. Additionally, the city played a large role in the American Revolution. The city will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2024. It will also host the annual meeting of the Association of African American Museums during this milestone anniversary year. Take part in the celebration and check out the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture while there. Campers can choose from numerous campsites and parks in the Baltimore area. Check out Hipcamp for listings.

#6 Kansas City, Missouri

Recently selected as the host city of the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup, Kansas City, Missouri is prepped to take center stage. All things FIFA and Super Bowl aside, there are certainly great opportunities and many reasons to visit this midwestern city in advance of the exciting match ups. Basswood Resort and Worlds of Fun are two popular options just outside the city center.

#7 Mingan Archipelago, Quebec

On the North Shore of eastern Quebec lining the Gulf of St. Lawrence is where you’ll find Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. Featuring Canada’s largest collection of monoliths, which are giant limestone structures formed over 450 million years ago that continue to whittle away over time, sprouting out across thousands of islands and inlets. The over 24,000-acre park spans 93 miles of varied terrain, some of which is only accessible by boat. According to National Geographic, one of the best ways to visit the massive park is by boat and many operators offer daily tours departing from Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and Havre-St.-Pierre. Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is accessible by car, plane, and boat and does offer some camper and RV-accessible campsites. Refer to the Reservation Office for additional information and details.

#8 Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama’s capital and the starting point for the Civil Rights Movement makes the list this year taking the number 28 spot. The City of Montgomery is steeped in history and offers a treasure trove of museums dedicated to preserving the legacy and cultural heritage of the former enslaved but also telling the story of the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. From the Rosa Parks Museum, to the Civil Rights Memorial Center, to The Legacy Museum, there is no shortage of cultural sites to tour. Campgrounds also abound, so check your listings for a site near you. Popular destinations include The Backyard RV Resort in Montgomery and nearby Gunter Hill Campground.

#9 Pasadena, California

The only West Coast destination to make this year’s list, the City of Pasadena located in Los Angeles County has much to offer visitors, from the eclectic to the Gilded Age and everything in between. Not just a destination for football fanatics with tickets to the Rose Bowl, Pasadena offers a vibrant dining scene, great boutique shopping, fantastic art galleries, old Victorian homes, and stunning mid-century architecture. So impressive are the vernacular buildings that the city offers a mid-century modern houses self-guided driving tour.

No trip to Pasadena would be complete without a visit to an art gallery. There are some locally, however, if you have more time on your hands, a day trip to The Getty is well worth the price of its (free!) admission. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Angeles National Forest, a quick 14-minute drive from downtown Pasadena. The forest spans over 700,000 acres of protected land across the San Gabriel and Sierra Pelona Mountains and offers five RV camping areas with seasonal availability.

#10 Boundary Waters, Minnesota

Five and a half hours north of Minneapolis and just two hours from Duluth and touching the Canadian border lies Minnesota’s famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The 42nd pick on this year’s Times’ list, the Boundary Waters are one of the most popular wilderness areas in the United States according to Outside Magazine. Spanning almost 1.1 million acres of land with roughly 1,100 lakes and 1,500 canoe routes, it’s a canoer’s and kayaker’s paradise. RVers can choose from numerous campgrounds and sites near the Boundary Waters, or travel to Voyageurs National Park just an hour-and-a-half to the west. Note, Voyageurs is a water-based park only, so campsites within the park are only accessible by boat. There are several RV campgrounds nearby in towns like Kabetogama and International Falls, so plan your trip accordingly.

#11 Whitehorse, Yukon

Northern Canada’s most populous city of around 30,000, Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon territory situated along the Yukon River which flows from its source in British Columbia to its mouth at the Bering Sea. Travel to Whitehorse is made easy as it is perched along the Alaska Highway which connects the lower 48 (referred to as the contiguous United States) with Alaska via northwestern Canada. From its early beginnings as part of the Klondike Gold Rush to its modern-day Northern Lights tourism, Whitehorse is enjoying a surge in activity. For those wishing to explore the wild wonders of northern Canada, Yukon certainly delivers, with over 80% of the territory deemed wilderness. Hike, bike, and camp under the stars in this marvelous, remote landscape. Popular RV campgrounds like Caribou RV Park and Hi Country RV Park are plentiful and situated right off of the Alaska Highway near downtown Whitehorse.

#12 Flamingo, Florida

The last of the North American destinations, Flamingo rounds out this year’s list. The southernmost point in the Everglades National Park, it is a destination in its own right. An oasis for endangered species, the Everglades are home to some of the rarest creatures, like the rare Florida panther and even rarer American crocodile. Two campgrounds within the park accommodate RVs and campers. Long Pine Key Campground, near the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, offers seasonal availability November through April. Flamingo Campground is open year-round and offers some pull-through sites with electrical hook ups. There is an entrance fee of $35 (good for seven days) or an annual fee of $70 to enter the park. Purchase your admission in advance on Recreation.gov.

Got any North American destinations you would like to add to this list? Leave a comment below!

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