Top 10 USA travel destinations to visit in 2021 + TREND Enterprises family card games Giveaway

It’s fair to say that 2020 was one of the most challenging years to travel and I’m so glad this new year may bring more hope and positive experiences. With business closures and limits on domestic travel, it’s been difficult to find accommodations and plan family vacations. We haven’t been able to interact with family, friends, and making plans to explore new places or attending live events has been sketchy. The global pandemic has affected travel in many ways including reduced commercial flights; closure of our favorite businesses, parks, public lands, and everyone is staying home.

I’m estimating that by July, 2021, things will be back to normal.

To give you something to look forward to, here’s my list of top 10 travel destinations in the USA, that are safe to visit now in 2021. I’ve left off two favorites, my hometown of Mineral Point in Wisconsin and Sanibel Island in Florida. This top 10 travel destinations list is presented geographically from East to West in the USA.

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1.) Catch a sunset at Fort Myers Beach, Florida

📸 by @dangtravelers

Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Photo by @dangtravelers – Travel Couple David & Angela

When you think Fort Myers & Sanibel, you probably think beach, beach and beach. Of course, there’s so much more to life in the Gulf Coast. These are a few of the most charming local must-sees and gotta-do’s —by Travelocity

When I was growing up, my mom’s parents moved from Lombard, Illinois to Englewood, Florida and we would spend our Christmas breaks there every winter. I have fond memories of going from cold Chicagoland to warm Florida and spending time riding my grandma’s adult-sized tricycle and fishing with Grandpa Smith for crab.

2.) Ride a train in Chattanooga, Tennesee

📸 by @h4rdwar3
Photo by @h4rdwar3 – 𝔑𝔞𝔱𝔢 𝔐𝔞𝔶𝔬

Take a trip back in time, to a slower-paced era when railroad travel was a way of life. Relive the romance of the rails when vintage trains provided an escape from the everyday routine. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum provides an interactive, historical experience that will add an extra dimension to your visit to Chattanooga’s popular attractions. Here you will find the only regularly scheduled, full-sized train ride in Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is so much more than entertainment… it is your chance to experience the sights and sounds of yesteryear! Please feel free to spend time visiting our Grand Junction depot before purchasing your ticket. There you will find our ticket office, cafe, gift shop, and historical displays to enjoy. We do not charge an admission fee except on some of our special event weekends.

A favorite stop for free and paid family fun is at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga.

3.) Swim & fish at Lake Michell, Cadillac, Michigan

📸 by @mp26325

Lake Mitchell, Cadillac, Michigan
Photo by @mp26325 – Matt From Michigan

Cadillac’s Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac are connected by a navigable canal, creating 3,700 acres of Northern Michigan vacation fun. These two watery attractions invite fishers, boaters and beachgoers during the summer. And in winter, the lakes draw ice fishermen and snowmobilers. –by

Airbnb has some amazing inexpensive daily, weekly and longer rentals on Lake Mitchell and there’s so many fun things to do for family fun! Check out our 2019 lake house family vacation post for more info. about Lake Mitchell.

4.) Feast on pizza in Chicago, Illinois

📸 by @BaronesPizza and @Matt.W.Sweeny

One of my favorite family activities in Chicagoland is to eat pizza and take the train from the Western suburbs to downtown Chicago, then hop the Water Taxi. The Chicago River Water Taxi may be slightly hard to find, two blocks off the Ogilvie train station in downtown Chicago but, it’s super-affordable and can accommodate a large family or group. Ride the Chicago River Water Taxi from Chinatown in the South Loop to Goose Island and back to your original destination. The best pizza in Chicagoland can be found at Barone’s in Glen Ellyn, IL and any one of the many Aurelio’s Pizza locations.

5.) Sunbathe at Sylvan Lake at Custer State Park

📸 by @IntentionalAdventure

If swimming, paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking and sun bathing are your idea of an ideal family vacation activity, Sylvan Lake at Custer State Park, Custer, South Dakota is a must-visit. This hidden vacationland gem is a relatively quick drive from most Midwestern hometowns. Only a thirteen hour drive from southwest Wisconsin, I love the Black Hills in South Dakota and theres so much to do.

6.) Shop local in Nederland, Colorado

📸 by @4runninbikes

4runninbikes • Nederland, Colorado
Photo by @4runninbikes

A short drive from Boulder, CO is a little hippie town called Nederland. You can find local shops, a few brewpubs and good food to enjoy with your family. Stop by the Knotted Root Brewing Company or find other recreation on the Town’s directory.

7.) See wildlife at Rocky Mountain National Park

📸 by @haleysvoyage

Park Rangers are available to assist park visitors at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, and the Wilderness Office. Rocky Mountain Conservancy Nature Stores are open at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, the Fall River Visitor Center, and Kawuneeche Visitor Center. The Kawuneeche Visitor Center is open Tuesday-Sunday 9 am to 4:30 pm. Due to COVID 19, the number of visitors will be limited inside the buildings. by National Park Service

With park entrances at Estes Park and Grand Lake, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a one-of-a-kind family travel destination which has wildlife, sightseeing, camping, hiking, sledding and so much more. Don’t miss Trail Ridge Road, which is often closed due to dangerous weather conditions and allows safe drivers the change to see portions of the park which are the most beautiful. Also be sure to check out the Alluvial Fan inside the park. Don’t forget your Rocky Mountain National Park passport sticker!

8.) Enjoy family-fun in Ruidoso, New Mexico

📸 by @brainspout and @matt.w.Sweeny

In Ruidoso, New Mexico, Pillow’s Funtrackers is the place for family-fun! I also recommend a zipline tour at Ski Apache, swimming and hiking at Grindstone Lake, have steak dinner and a beer at the Rio Grande Grill and Tap Room or stop in for a cup of joe on the back porch of the Sacred Grounds Coffee overlooking the Rio creek.

9.) Feel the vibe in Sedona, Arizona

📸 by @wanderlust0424

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona
Photo by @wanderlust0424

There’s so much to do in Sedona, AZ. Must-visit family attractions in Sedona include offroading or hiring a 4×4 rental, Slide Rock State Park, hiking the Oak Creek at Crescent Moon Ranch National Forest and dinner and drinks at the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill. Yum!

10.) View the scenic Grand Canyon National Park

📸 by @Lea.Blackman

Grand Canyon National Park
Photo by @Lea.Blackman

No matter how much you read about the Grand Canyon or how many photographs you’ve seen, nothing really prepares you for the sight of it. One of the world’s seven natural wonders, it’s so startlingly familiar and iconic you can’t take your eyes off it. The canyon’s immensity, the sheer intensity of light and shadow at sunrise or sunset, even its very age, scream for superlatives. – by

The Grand Canyon is massive, over a mile deep and 18 miles wide! Theres numerous locations to view the Grand Canyon. Make sure to purchase a digital park pass before heading out. Visit the National Park Service website to find more info on planning your visit to the Grand Canyon National Park.

Each and every one of these locations features beautiful scenery, history, hiking, and fun as well. If you are the kind of person who likes to tick beautiful vacation destinations off your bucket list, these 10 USA locations are a sure-fire way to start an adventure in 2021.

Stay Positive and Carry On 😊

Top 10 USA travel destinations to visit in 2021 + TREND Enterprises family card games Giveaway

TREND Enterprises family game night card games giveaway

Gemz is one of my favorite card games and is one of six family card games made by TREND Enterprises. In Gemz, two or more players use color coordination to win. I’m excited to share that for this travel post, I’m hosting a giveaway for one winner to received the Gemz and On Track family card games from TREND Enterprises. ENTER NOW! See all six family card games by TREND Enterprises.

Enter Giveaway Now

Giveaway entries must be complete by February 28, 2021. Entrants must be 13 years or older and reside in the lower USA States, excluding HI and AK. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, YouTube or Linked In.

Gemz family card game by TREND Enterprises
Family Card games from TREND Enterprises

Gemz Family Card Game
Brand new bling-building family FUN! Join the fun with Gemz! This NEW Three Corner™ Card Game is simple, FUN, and will be an instant family favorite! It’s a game kids can play on their own, yet has plenty of strategy to satisfy everyone. Gemz! plays in small spaces, but brings BIG fun to parties, gatherings, game night, and more. Buy Gemz card game.

ON-TRACK Card-Game-TREND-Enterprises
Family Card games from TREND Enterprises

On Track™ Three Corner™ Card Game
Use strategy and planning to stay on track. Make the right connections to build a railroad from engine to terminal to WIN! Each player builds across a different geographic region: plains, deserts, coastlines, and mountains.

Top 2020 Christmas gifts for the whole family

Top 2020 Christmas gifts for the whole family

This year, I feel especially thankful for a great life🙏🏻💯 with people I love and purpose for good. The feeling during the holiday giving season bring home people and give me time to slow down and show appreciation sometimes as a gift! These are my favorite family gift ideas this 2020 holiday 💕 for mom, dad and kids.

Our holiday gift guide contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases to help keep the coffee flowing.

2020 Gifts for Mom and Dad

Echo Auto

Echo Auto

This Alexa enable Echo device works with your phone’s Alexa app to enable your vehicle to have Alexa through your Bluetooth or Aux input! No battery required.

Handmade Candles

Buy a wonderful gift for her that is actually made in the USA. This Fiverr seller offers a variety of handmade candles that ship in 2 business days. This Fiverr seller will make these candles for you in a favorite of scents including French Vanilla; French Lavender; Blueberry Muffin; Apple Cinnamon and; Cranberry Mandarin.

AAA Gift Membership

Want your new teen driver, family member or friend to have roadside assistance and more? AAA offers peace of mind knowing they are covered in roadside emergencies plus travel perks!

Gifts for the Whole Family Christmas 2020

Sony PS4

With the recent launch of the PS5, now’s the time to grab a PS4 as these are on sale with steep discounts! This incredible game console has a long list of entertainment uses including games, music, TV and more!

Yo Ring

We just received Yo Ring in the mail and are super exciting to try this out as a family! My kids love to play outside and this seems like a perfect fit for all ages who like activities! Available in red, yellow and blue single or 3-packs. “Everyone Is Talking About The Pocket-Sized Yo Ring That Sails Through The Air And, Eventually, Lands On Your Finger.”

Froggy’s Lair African Dwarf Frogs BioSphere

Froggy’s Lair African Dwarf Frogs BioSphere

Froggy’s Lair Best-of Influencer Content

I’ve had my Froggy’s Lair 1 gallon Biosphere in my office for a few months now and they give me a calming relaxed vibe. These frogs are the definition of chill. They relax and vibe out and bring a touch of nature to my workday space, which I enjoy. The Frogs have been named Swimmy One and Swimmy Two, mostly, Swimmies. I love feeding my Froggy’s Lair frogs and my kids also help feed Swimmies. The frogs are active but they relax and vibe out often. More recently Swimmy One hangs out near the upper half of the Biosphere on the baboo plant stalk under water. They come up for air infrequently, the frogs seem to enjoy feeding time and are very-very low maintenance, feeding 2 times per week and easy tank cleaning every 3 months or so.

2020 Holiday Gifts for Kids

PowerHaus by Adventerra Games


@hollandale964 & @coolkeller playing PowerHaus #boardgame

♬ original sound – Matt W. Sweeny

Oliver, River and Keller played PowerHaus by Adventerra Games North America. I noticed while we played PowerHaus that we learning quick, fun tips about how to save on our home’s energy bills! This board game provides an ingenious way to teach my kids how to save money by using less in at home. PowerHaus is age-appropriate for kids and teens and adults too (lol). The eco-board game showed us tricks we didn’t know too. For example, we can save on our electricity bill by unplugging unused appliances and phone chargers, when not in use. Reading the game directions is required to learn gameplay and PowerHaus was fun and challenging. We even had success playing with three players! A great cooperative family game. 💯

iHeartArt art kits by Bright Stripes


Thanks to #brightstripes #iheartart for the art supplies! @coolkeller

♬ Elevator Music – Bohoman


The Bright Stripes art kits are the perfect gift for creative adults or kids because of their high-quality and excellent price! Keller had such a different idea of what to create with his iHeartArt kit as he used dots of the paint and added water to make shirls. Watch it all in the TikTok video above. We also tried out the LED Candle Critters creative art project where Toli was able to paint an LED candle-light designed as a Fox! Candle Critters are available in fun varieties like Unicorn, Mouse, Turtle, Bunny and more.

Blue Snuggle Monster and bedtime book companion from Continuum Games

Fungisaurs Dino-mushroom hybrid toys & AR app

Fungisaurs Dino-mushroom hybrid toys & AR app

This summer we first tried out Fungisaurs which turned out to be fun to play with outside as well as inside the house. Outside, we posed our Fungisuars around the garden and in the yard using the AR iOS app to render our Fungisuars on screen! Check out the top #Fungisaurs posts.

Jambo Books Club subscription

Talking ATM Machine by Thin Air Brands


Toli had fun sharpening his math skills with the Dr. STEM Toys Talking ATM machine! This is a great holiday present for kids! Follow Thin Air Brands – Dr. STEM Toys on Instagram • @DrSTEMtoys

Card Games by TREND Enterprises

Card Games by TREND Enterprises

Since we’ve had our new card games from TREND Enterprises in the house, an often asked question I hear is, “Can we play Gemz?” What that, I’m proud to announce, it’s Official! Our favorite game to play with Sami is definitely Gemz From TREND Enterprises. Thanks to @TRENDEnterprises on Instagram for the holiday game image above 😉

Corduroy plush Tiger from TriAction Toys European importer

Whatsitsface emotional plush Kitty-Cat pal


Sami had an interesting and fun time making the same emotional faces as his Whatsitsfacetoys kitty cat. Whatsitsface identifies six different emotions and our plush cat had sam challenged to flip to a face then mimick how the toy’s face looks on our face! It’s great practice for conversations about feelings, emotions, and being human. Whatsitsface has recently even been nominated for Plush Toy of the Year by the Toy Association!

Check out more of my fun content on TikTok • @mattwsweeny and Instagram • @matt.w.sweeny.

Feature image by