Category: About
Author: Michael DeFranceschi •

About 'Michael Visits All'

Meet the mind behind this city-focused (and mural obsessed) travel blog!
US travel blogger Michael DeFranceschi behind a colorful mural in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.

About

Well, first off-- welcome to my travel blog!!

Ever since I was a young boy, I've always loved travel. From the car ride to the airport, waiting in the airport, arriving at the hotel, visiting all the places, I cherished every second of the travel experience!

Fast forward to summer 2021, I announced on my Instagram my desire to visit all 50 states in the United States. I reset the counter to zero-- even the state I am currently living in had to be visited! As of February 2024, I have been to 28/50 states.

In order for a state to be counted, I have to spend at least a few hours there exploring. My average duration for a visit to a state is two-and-a-half days.

Generally, when I travel, I prefer large cities. I am spellbound by the towering skyscrapers, the hustle-and-bustle of everyone around me, the wide variety of dining & entertainment options, and... the street art!! As a result, most of my content is centered around city travel.

Recently, I started a series of articles where I answer whether a particular city is worth visiting or not. Thus far in this series, I have covered Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York City, and Salt Lake City.

Regarding my recommendations on things to do, my content is written with adult travelers with no children in mind. I myself am currently single with no children so I skip attractions tailored toward young kids.

My to-do lists are curated with activities that have broad appeal and which can be done most of the year, if not, all year around. Thus, suggestions like going to a sporting event are usually excluded due to them being seasonal. Plus, on a personal note, I'm not a big sports fan anyway!

I pride myself on being authentic. Some travel bloggers will just Google 'things to do in X', read reviews, and generate an article without ever having visited that place. I find that dishonest. When I publish an article, I've been to that place, done all the things I suggest, and use nearly all my own photos.

Let me briefly take you through the navigation bar of my blog!

The Articles page is a collection of all 34 articles I've written as of February 2024. It is organized by the article's original publication date, dating from most recent to oldest. I do update most of my articles rather frequently.

The Cities page contains articles only about particular cities in the U.S. I either provide extensive lists of things to do in that city or answer whether the city is worth visiting. The cities are divided by state.

The Travel Tips page features articles regarding modes of transportation, trusted traveler programs, and packing.

SOME COMMON QUESTIONS I GET ASKED...

Do you only write about cities in the U.S?

As I am still working toward my goal to visit the rest of the states in the U.S, yes, most of my content is only about cities in the U.S. That being said, once my goal is completed, I plan to visit and write about cities in Canada and Europe.

Standing in front of a colorful mural in Richmond, VA.
A consistent theme throughout my travels is taking pictures near colorful murals. This picture is from my 22nd state-- Virginia, in the city of Richmond.

A frequent suggestion I provide for cities is to go on a mural hunt. I love taking photos in front of colorful street art. Instagram is a great medium to showcase this and it's something my followers know me for. It's pretty much "my thing" to do.

I also post articles about smaller cities and towns as well. The first article of mine that ever climbed to the coveted #1 spot on Google was an article about a small town in Michigan called Plymouth.

What other travel topics do you write about?

Since I love flying and frequently do so, I have some articles dedicated to trusted traveler programs like TSA PreCheck ®, NEXUS, and CLEAR.

A structure of a reindeer adorned with fairy lights in Charlotte Douglas International Airport
I love airports and I love flying. This colorful structure was in Charlotte Douglas International Airport when I visited in December 2021.

When I fly, my preferred airline is Delta. However, I do use Spirit from time to time, as Spirit flights are oftentimes much less expensive than Delta!

One of my favorite articles compares and contrasts riding Amtrak to flying Delta. I even have the link to this article in the sidebar as well.

What have been some of your favorite cities so far?

For cities I have visited in the U.S, I would say my top five favorite cities (thus far) would be: New York City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and New Orleans.

In front of a mural in Pittsburgh, PA.
A mural in the Millvale district of Pittsburgh, PA.

There have been some other smaller and mid-sized cities in the U.S that I enjoyed more than I expected. Milwaukee, for instance, I remember being very clean and had a gorgeous riverwalk. Salt Lake City had a surprisingly active nightlife and really interesting architecture.

One other notable city I must give some praise to is Portland. I lived there for four years.

Only three cities in the U.S. did not impress me much. Phoenix, Miami, and Baltimore were underwhelming.

Are you a full time blogger?

Not yet.

Presently, I hold a full time day job where I have to be onsite four days a week. Luckily, I work four 10-hour days, which has made traveling on weekends and working on this blog far easier.

Standing in front of a mural in the southeast quadrant of Portland, OR
A mural in SE Portland, Oregon.

I never had a trust fund. I don't have a rich family member paying for my travels. Every single flight, hotel room, rental car, admission fee, etc. was paid for with my own money.

Some of those Delta roundtrip flights, however, were paid for with frequent flyer miles. And it turns out-- flying "for free" is easier than one would think.

I'm happy when I can reveal to people that travel doesn't necessarily need to be a really expensive hobby. Sure-- it costs some money, but oftentimes, many of the things I suggest in even the most active downtowns of these cities are free to do!

Welcome... to Michael Visits All!

I've enjoyed introducing myself to you!

Enjoy my personalized to-do lists on my blog! I update the blog frequently. Oftentimes, I even add new things to do, as I like to visit many of these cities repeatedly.

A mural outside the Blind Pig in downtown Ann Arbor, MI
A mural outside the Blind Pig in downtown Ann Arbor, MI.

If you think there is something really fun I may have missed in my travels, please feel free to reach out and let me know! I love hearing from my readers!

One favor to ask before we depart here: please subscribe to the email list so you can be alerted immediately when new articles come out!