This spring starting the month of May has been absolutely insane for me. I never imagined I would find 10 perfect spring travel destinations in just one season. For starters, it’s my 30th birthday month (HUGE, I know). For whatever reason, turning 30 always scared the hell out of me. I even came up with a 30 Before 30 List of things I wanted to accomplish before the big day (I did pretty awesome).
I spent a good portion of the last 6 weeks (End of April- May) living out of either a suitcase or a backpack. Sleeping in tents, hotels, airports, and cabins. Traveling back and forth across the country….twice. The first time by plane, the second time by UHAUL + flight home.
Here are 10 Perfect Spring Travel Destinations
I explored my first European country – Iceland. Then before I beat the jet lag, I took another road trip over Memorial Day weekend. This time across my home state of Michigan. So this all translates to: I’ve had absolutely no time to write about each of the adventures individually (which I intend on doing).
Meanwhile- I came to the realization that the last 6 weeks were one giant adventure, made up of back-to-back mini adventures! Here’s a recap, with a super awesome picture from 10 places I visited this spring.
First up was a visit to la
Los Angeles, CA
I started out in LA for work the last week of April- and it’s been a giant blur since. Los Angeles is a perfect spring destination due to its beautiful weather, ocean swims, and all the flower fields coming to life! You will want to spend a day sightseeing iconic sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches, and more.
LA has a delicious food scene, so after a day at the beach, take a food tour through downtown LA and eat where the locals do. The famous Hollywood sign is iconic to LA, so make sure you take a hike to visit it and snap a quick photo.
Where to Stay in Chicago
I was home for 48 hours after I returned back home from LA, during which I attended a baby shower and a birthday party. Then it was off to Chicago, where I stayed for less than 24 hours to start the next mini adventure.
Chicago is a beautiful midwestern city along the Lake Michigan shoreline full of fun things to do. Take a boat ride down the river and learn about Chicago’s different architectures, or a food tour to check out the underground donut scene in the city.
Badlands National Park, SD
We left Chicago EARLY and started the long drive across the country to Seattle. We drove through four states before we made it to our first stop.
After 12 hours (not including stops)of driving, we finally arrived in South Dakota. Arriving at night in true Chelsea fashion- we set up camp and spent the night at a campground inside the park. Check out my full post on Badlands National Park for more details! Waking up in a new place is always the best. It’s like unwrapping a present on Christmas day.
Mount Rushmore National Monument, SD
The drive from Badlands to Mount Rushmore was only about an hour or so. The stop helped break up the long drive we still had ahead of us- and it was pretty cool to see the National Monument I never in a million years anticipated I’d see. While you’re there, take a tour of Mt Rushmore, Custer State Park, Wildlife Loop, & Crazy Horse to get the full experience of the area.
Grand Teton National Park, WY
Places to Stay Near Grand Tetons
We drove another 8 hours into the state of Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park was incredible. We spent a day exploring the park and fell in love with the snow-covered peaks. We crashed at a hostel inside the park (no campgrounds were open this early in the season).
Yellowstone National Park, WY
We camped for the next two nights in the colorful world of Yellowstone. Only the west half of the park was open during our time there. Thankfully the Grand Prismatic spring was accessible (I had pre-warned Grace I might lose my shit if I missed it). It has been on my bucket list for YEARSSSS and it didn’t disappoint.
The last 12 hours of our trip from Yellowstone to Seattle took us through 3 more states (Montana, Idaho, and Washington). When we finally arrived in Seattle, I had 24 hours there before my flight home. Check out my post on The Perfect Weekend in Seattle for more details on this amazing city.
After being on the road for a week, I was looking forward to coming home to Detroit for a few days. I was going to be home for FIVE WHOLE DAYS before we left on the next trip. Check out my post on The Perfect Weekend in Detroit for a local’s guide on my favorite city.
The entire week, Logan and I planned on leaving for Iceland Saturday night (the day before Mother’s Day). We made plans with our families, put off laundry and packing (we had all day Saturday after all), and figured we’d get through the work week and worry about everything Iceland on Saturday.
Friday night I double-checked our tickets and realized, our flight actually departs at 12:30 AM THAT NIGHT! We now had 4 hours to drop off the dogs/do laundry/clean the apartment/pack our bags/and get to the airport…
I planned my Iceland trip almost 5 years ago. It was always the #1 spot on my list of places I wanted to go- I just never seemed to make it there. Well after 5 years of waiting… I finally made it! My favorite travel crew and I set off on a week-long road trip around the country that ended with my 30th birthday hike to the bluest waterfall I’d ever seen.
“Up North”, MI
We got home from Iceland exhausted and jet-lagged. At this point, the constant traveling was beginning to catch up with me. I’d been in so many different time zones the last couple of weeks, I had no idea what day it was, what time zone I was in, or if I should be awake or sleeping (Iceland never got fully dark at night, so our sleeping schedules were all sorts of messed up.)
After spending a few days at home recovering and starting to sort our life back out, the next thing we knew- the week was over, and it was Memorial Day weekend.
I spent my Memorial Day weekend with Logan and the fur babies “up north” in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula, MI) We spent time relaxing at our campsite, grilling, and playing tourist in our own state. We stayed at Indian Lake State Campground which was only 15 minutes from Kitch-iti-Kipi, and an hour from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.