DNC roll call highlights diverse, singular beauty of the United States

Brekke Fletcher, CNNUpdated 20th August 2020
(CNN) — This is not your typical Democratic National Convention -- and that's a good thing. For the roll call portion of Tuesday night's proceedings, the convention transmogrified into something of a travel program showcasing the most beautiful, meaningful, powerful and poignant destinations in America.
Instead of political theater, with balloons and confetti, campaign signs, thunderous applause and a jumbotron, the American people and the world were treated to a visual journey across the United States and her territories, showcasing the nation's geographical diversity, historical value, natural grandeur and cultural monuments.
Join CNN Travel on a quick trip to see what America, The Beautiful is all about.

Alabama

The Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama
The Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama
Democratic National Convention
With the passing of US Rep. John Lewis last month, the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama, has gained even more historical and cultural significance. A petition to rename the bridge after Lewis is circulating, and anyone interested in American history and the civil rights movement -- specifically honoring the legacy of those who walked, beaten and bloodied, across that bridge in 1965 -- should make it a priority to follow in their footsteps.

Alaska

The state's natural beauty was on display during roll call, as local fisherman and party activist Chuck Degnan spoke to the importance of protecting the state's waterways and other natural resources. Degnan made his remarks from the Native Village of Unalakleet near Alaska's Norton Sound and not far from the Bering Land Bridge Natural Preserve. His positioning is but one aspect of Alaska's vitality and significance: Its living connection with prehistory, its vital Native populations, its precious wildlife and natural resources -- it's also one of the most beautiful, otherworldly places on Earth.

American Samoa

If you've ever wanted to visit the ancestral home of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, book a flight to Pago Pago in American Samoa and head north to Fatu ma Futi, where rock formations rise from the water as tiny, tree-topped island oases. This is the location on Tutuila selected for roll call, where Aliitama Sotoa, the chairman of American Samoa Democratic Party, and Petti Matila delivered their remarks alongside one of the most exquisite natural harbors in the world.

Arizona

Marisol Garcia of Arizona speaks from South Mountain Park and Preserve in Phoenix, one of the largest municipal parks in the US.
Marisol Garcia of Arizona speaks from South Mountain Park and Preserve in Phoenix, one of the largest municipal parks in the US.
Democratic National Convention via AP
Teacher Marisol Garcia of Arizona spoke from Phoenix's South Mountain Park and Preserve, one of the largest municipal parks in the US. With its prolific, picture postcard cacti scattered over 16,000 acres, visitors to South Mountain can hike, bike, horseback ride or take in stunning desert sunsets from 2,330 feet above Phoenix from Dobbin's Lookout.

California

US representatives Barbara Lee and Hilda Solis took their act to Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro in Los Angeles. This is one of many of beaches along Southern California's stunning coastline. This beach is supposedly closed at present, yet it appeared that some beach goers were actively ignoring LA County public health orders. Tsk tsk. Regardless, the San Pedro area is awash with awesome things to do, and when it's safe to do so, we recommend hopping aboard the Catalina Express -- an hour-long ferry to unsullied and remote Catalina Island.
Delegates from around America made Joe Biden the official Democratic presidential nominee during the roll call at the Democratic Convention.

Colorado

Howard Chou of Colorado speaks at Red Rocks Park during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
Howard Chou of Colorado speaks at Red Rocks Park during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
Democratic National Convention via AP
A trip to Colorado usually involves a visit to Red Rocks Park, featuring stunning natural formations of red sandstone, 15 miles west of Denver. This is the location where party activist Howard Chou addressed the DNC on Tuesday. The Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the extraordinary music venue situated within the park, was established in 1941 and attending a concert there is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Current programming includes drive-in movies ("Scream," "The Big Lebowski") and weekend yoga classes, along with music from the Colorado Symphony.

Georgia

Georgia State Sen. Nikema William spoke in front of the mural honoring John Lewis in downtown Atlanta. Located at the intersection of Auburn Avenue and Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, the mural was designed by Sean Schwab of the Loss Prevention artists collective and dedicated on August 24, 2012.

Hawaii

Civil rights activist Dr. Amy Agbayani made her remarks from Ala Wai Boat Harbor, Honolulu.
Civil rights activist Dr. Amy Agbayani made her remarks from Ala Wai Boat Harbor, Honolulu.
Democratic National Convention via AP
Civil rights activist Dr. Amy Agbayani made her remarks from Ala Wai Boat Harbor in Honolulu, with stunning Diamond Head in the background. That same day, Governor David Ige decided to extend the state's mandatory 2-week quarantine for visitors and residents until October 1 -- at the earliest.

Missouri

"People talk about the Gateway Arch the way they talk about the pyramids or the Eiffel Tower," Eric Moraczewski, former executive director at the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, told CNN Travel in 2018. Last night, Reuben Gill, a member of the International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, stood in front of the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse and said, "I love walking around this city and seeing the contribution of my brothers and sisters."
These opposing yet symbiotic structures both are architectural icons -- the Old Courthouse is a reminder of slavery and the pursuit of eradicating the practice legally -- most notably when Dred Scott, along with his wife Harriett, sued for and won their freedom over two trials in 1847 and 1850.

Montana

Recent college graduate Rachel Prevost delivered Montana's roll call from Lapke Ranch in Simms, about 30 minutes west of Great Falls. Visitors to this part of the state can enjoy any number of activities, from fishing to hiking. Glacier National Park, the Missouri River and the C.M. Russell Museum make for a perfect foray into experiencing the American West. Oh, and there's a mermaid bar -- the Sip 'n Dip Lounge at the O'Haire Motor Inn.

Nevada

US Representative Dina Titus addresses the DNC in fron of the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.
US Representative Dina Titus addresses the DNC in fron of the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.
Democratic National Convention via AP
The most famous -- or recognizable -- destination signage in the world was the backdrop for US Representative Dina Titus of Nevada during Tuesday night's DNC roll call. Las Vegas is clawing its way back from a coranavirus-induced tourism standstill earlier this year. With some hotels, casinos and attractions reopened, Vegas is calling on remote workers to move their home offices to Sin City. MGM Resorts, Bellagio and Aria recently launched a "Viva Las Office" package. Atif Rafiq, president of commercial and growth for MGM Resorts told CNN, "Viva Las Office pulls together all of the details necessary to have a seamless remote work experience while still enjoying the perks of visiting Las Vegas."

Puerto Rico

This US island territory has not had a good run these last years. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, a slew of catastrophic earthquakes and Covid-19 have had a devastating impact on the island's tourism industry. As CNN Politics reported Tuesday, "Delegate Carmelo Rios delivered his roll call address entirely in Spanish, reminding the country that 'We Puerto Ricans are US citizens' in a message that featured English subtitles." Visitors to Puerto Rico will find warmth from the people, as well as the weather. And while traveling there right now is tricky, you can temporarily satisfy your island cravings with a piña colada, the deeply delicious Caribbean cocktail born at The Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1954.

Rhode Island

A platter of fried calamari from Iggy's Boardwalk in Warwick, Rhode Island, alongside State Representative Joseph McNamara.
A platter of fried calamari from Iggy's Boardwalk in Warwick, Rhode Island, alongside State Representative Joseph McNamara.
Democratic National Convention via AP
On the beach near Iggy's Boardwalk in Warwick, Rhode Island, "Ocean State" Representative Joseph McNamara addressed the DNC roll call -- or "won it," according to The Boston Globe -- with a plate of fried calamari. A Washington Post headline read: "Calamari, Rhode Island's controversial state appetizer, becomes an unexpected star of Democratic convention." But anyone who's devoured a platter of the battered and fried seafood appetizer at Iggy's in Warwick or Narragansett or at any Rhode Island beach shack can attest, it's hardly a controversy when something tastes this delicious.