Keeping track of where you’d like to visit

Do you keep a list of places you want to visit? I think everyone has one in their head. I’m putting mine into a spreadsheet. Ultimately I’d like to have all the locations on a Google Map, so I can easily see if there is anything nearby when I’m traveling. I want my list to have thousands of entries. So far, I have 279 entries.

Why put it into a spreadsheet first?

Why not just jump into creating a custom Google map?

I want to get a feel for all my items first, what categories I’ll have. With a spreadsheet, it feels like more accessible/editable. With Google Maps you are allowed only 10 layers on one map. (each layer can have 2,000 pins). I’m going for quantity here. A master database of everything I could ever potentially be interested in. Once I get a handle on the types of destinations I have, and the number of them. Then I’ll know how to organize various layers in Google Maps.

What are my categories? So far I pulled together:

  • Top 10 small art towns
  • 37 art museums
  • 8 space visitor centers
  • 48 factory tours
  • 25 comic museums (mostly international)
  • 27 bicycle museums (mostly international)
  • 30 MLB ballparks
  • 28 zoos
  • 40 Hall of Fames

The great thing about having it in a Google Sheet is that I can do some analysis of the items. Which states have the most locations?

Ohio is currently the third state with the most items.

  • California 31
  • New York 21
  • Ohio 14
  • Texas 13
  • Pennsylvania 11
  • Wisconsin 10
  • Missouri 10

10 states still not on my list:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

Amazing, after pulling together 279 places across a range of places, that ten states are not represented yet. Eventually, when I add more categories, I imagine all the states will be represented.

Categories to be added:

  • Roadside attractions
  • Sculpture parks
  • Riverwalks
  • Conservatories
  • Observation decks
  • Famous trees
  • Moon trees (separate category from ‘famous trees’, because Moon trees are most often not famous. Atlantic’s article “We Almost Forgot About the Moon Trees“)
  • Planetariums
  • Most Instagrammed place in every state (there are lots of lists for this through Google)
  • Plaques (for my pencil rubbing collection)

I considered adding categories for minor league ballparks (159) and presidential homes (46). But honestly, if I was going somewhere, I might not go to those places. A minor league game is an investment in time. Some presidents I simply won’t be interested in. Yipes. Sorry! I approach this list as including more than needed, but I do have some boundaries.

More inspiration from Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura is an incredible resource (check out my profile). They list so many interesting obscure destinations. There will be lots of places from there to add. They don’t list everything too. For instance, standard museums aren’t listed—unless they have a quirky section in the museum. And they have tags for some of my categories. 711 trees and 262 plaques.

What other interesting categories does Atlas Obscura list? Unfortunately, they don’t have a webpage listing all their tags. But you can do a Google search for:, which will return a good list of their tags to select from. Through this technique, I found the following categories: 16 gnomes, 54 biblical, 8 typography, 56 cookies, and 5 marshmallow. I’ll be adding these to my list too.

If you’d like to see my sheet, let me know. I’d be glad to share the URL with you.

If there are any places you recommend, let me know!

I’d love to add your ideas to my list.

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Mike Maddaloni -

Hey Matt – while you’re at the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke (not far from where I grew up) make sure to stop by the Basketball Hall of Fame just south of there in Springfield. And definitely stop by Red Rose Pizza in Springfield, my favorite pizza ever!

Tom Saaristo
10 months ago

The Detroit Institute of Arts, located in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. With over 100 galleries, it covers 658,000 square feet. The NATIONAL Hellenic Museum is right here in Chicago. Have you been to the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures Museum (formerly known as the Oriental Institute) on the University of Chicago campus? The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco is pretty fun (and you’ll see familiar cartoons/cartoonists).
I follow Atlas Obscura on facebook and have a small list of local restaurants I want to try. Speaking of restaurants, I’ve had some on my bucket list for a long time, but some have fallen off, even though they are still open

Last edited 10 months ago by Matt Maldre
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