My go-to book is "1,000 Places to See Before You Die" for a general idea of what to do (not always in our budget but fun to see what they suggest!) and to look for any places of interest we might pass on the way. For bigger cities like New York or Chicago I like to get the Fromer's "Day-by-Day" guide. It fits easily in a purse and is a great, quick reference on how to get around using public transportation. There are also walking guides of neighborhoods with details you'd otherwise have to take a tour to know.
Below are details on many of the places we've visited in the past - and hope to go back to in the future!
Fort Morgan, Alabama
Point Clear, Alabama
Macon, Georgia (Cherry Blossom Festival)
Chicago, Illinois (with stops in St. Louis and the Indiana Dunes)
Windsor Ruins, Mississippi (near Port Gibson)
New York, New York
Charleston, South Carolina Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Local Hiking Trails
Dupont National Forest (North Carolina)
Falls Creek Falls (South Carolina)
Lake Jocassee & Devils Fork State Park (South Carolina)
Paris Mountain (Greenville, South Carolina)
Table Rock (Pickens County, South Carolina)