There’s an old Latin phrase, de gustibus non disputatem est (“there’s no accounting for taste”). Personally, I think visiting Cathedrals is always interesting. From The National Shrine in Washington, DC, to the Western flavor of the Cathedral in Salt Lake City to the flow of humanity I’ve observed in Cathedrals from Philadelphia to Seattle, I always am amazed at the reality of the church on display in these buildings and human meeting spaces.
The history of the Church is all over the USA from Marquette to DeSmet to Kino. From the North American martyrs shrine in Auriesville NY to El Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico (home to healing dirt), there are hundreds of cool places to visit and enjoy. Check out Catholic shrines on the web and Catholic USA’s Basilicas and Shrines
Most importantly, make some visits to “living shrines”: Catholic worker houses and Trappist Monastaries. There are literally thousands of service centers run by Catholic sisters around the country like Sr. Mary Scullion’s Project Home in Philly. Go visit Greg Boyle’s Homeboy industries in Los Angeles or the denim clad Franciscans’ places in the Bronx.
Last but not least, stop and see Catholic universities and colleges and hospitals. The remarkable history of these institutions should fascinate and challenge any Catholic. How do we do, in the 21st century, what these folks did in the 19th and 20th centuries?