I shared a couple years ago that one of my family’s goals is to visit all 50 states and capitals. They actually have stamps inside each capitol building that you can collect in a special passport book. A couple years ago, we collected about 9 stamps by doing an epic road trip through the South! This year, we kept things simple by driving down to Sacramento and Carson City.
I thought I’d share a few highlights from our trip with you today.
My husband has a thing about wanting a family portrait in front of each state capitol building we visit. It’s funny because we never know who we may be asking for that photo! We’ve had gardeners, police officers, and even a news reporter take these photos. Here we are in front of the beautiful California state capitol building.
The Nevada State Capitol Building was a trickier one to get a photo in front of, thanks to all the trees! We really, really loved our visit here. We pulled in to town at 4:30 and it closed at 5:00! We had to book it to the main desk to get the kids’ stamp before it closed. To our surprise, no one was irked to see a bunch of out-of-town tourists so close to closing time. In fact, they encouraged us to walk around and even chat with the governor’s secretary, who presented each of the kids with a special souvenir coin!
I have to say, I wasn’t thrilled with this idea my husband had about visiting all the capitals a few years back, but it’s really, really grown on me. We have learned so much about history, government, and the individual states through the process. Plus, did I mention it’s completely free to visit these buildings?
We also couldn’t resist putting our feet in Tenaya Lake.
Here’s my daughter at El Capitan. I’m so proud to say my son took this photo – isn’t it spectacular? I wish we would’ve had more time in Yosemite, but I’m grateful we got a small flavor of this magnificent place. We’ll be back!
One more cool thing about this trip is how I got to cross off an item from my bucket list: visit a ghost town! My husband had told me that Bodie, California wasn’t far from our route so we tacked it on. It is one of the best ghost towns to visit in the US! To get there, we had to drive on this ridiculously rough road for about 10 miles.
Today, Bodie is owned by California State Parks where they keep it in a state of “arrested decay.” If you would like to learn more about Bodie or add it to your own family’s vacation, visit Bodie’s website. I highly recommend it!
It’s kind of a neat feeling, crossing off an item on your bucket list!
We ended our trip by spending a couple nights in Lake Tahoe – we’d never been and it was spectacular!
I just adore road trips. I feel like I got to see a lot of California that I’d never seen before (it really is so much more than Disneyland!). When we got home last weekend, we immediately started plotting where we’d like to travel next summer. We have hit 16 of 50 state capitals, so that leaves us with 34! We’re currently thinking of crossing off Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia next year. I’d love to hear if you have any tips about visiting these states or capitals!
Now it’s your turn: did you get a chance to go on a vacation or road trip with your family this summer? I’d love to hear about what you did! Leave a comment below.
PS check out my Travel page for more tips and adventures from my family!