One of the world’s most thriving travel hubs, the Land of Liberty, and one of the biggest countries in the world is a melting pot of an array of tourist activities. From sweeping mountains to towering skyscrapers, from sprawling terrains to sandy beaches, from staggering metropolises to small towns – the US has it all. In this article, we show you ten great US travel destinations.
For dozens of years, people of all ages, ethnicities, and nationalities have flocked to the country to experience its layers of multi-cultural diversity, its democracy and its promise for a better life, thus creating a country that boasts priceless vacation memories and post-card worthy moments.
Whether you want to laze by its tropical coastlines, walk between the palm trees of California, reminisce over your childhood in Disney World, get enamored by the bright lights and skyscrapers of New York, gamble your heart in Las Vegas or enjoy the natural wonders of Alaska and Yellowstone, the US travel destinations will cater to your needs. From the laid-back vibe of San Francisco to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, no matter the type of traveler you are, you will find a city that will make its way into your heart.
The US is too diverse, too huge, too varied to tell you this is the right place to go – we could bring up an argument for each city and convince you right away that this is the city of your dreams, this is the coolest one, since all 50 states offer everything your heart can desire.
Despite the fact that it’s hard to narrow such an intense assortment of cities into a few, some cities stand the test of time and remain some of the most important travel destinations in the U.S. Here are the top 10 unmissable US travel destinations:
P.S. Looking for a city that works great as a mini weekend break destination? We have found four perfect cities for time-limited vacations – right here in the USA!
US Travel Destinations #1
New York City
Ask any non-American what the first thing they can think of when they visualize traveling to the U.S and they will almost certainly muster up an image of New York, the largest city in the US, the city that never sleeps, and one of the cultural and financial capitals of the world.
Visiting New York will make you feel like you’ve been there before, you’ll find yourself reminiscing over moments you weren’t part of and scenes you never took part in – and that’s all part of New York City’s charm. The city, without a doubt, holds immense romantic appeal for its visitors, coloring the soul with its psychedelic cast of lights and adrenaline-charged streets. It’s a city brimming with opportunities from left to right with its cosmopolitan residents constantly helping it to evolve to create the big city splendor we see today.
You’ll be met with the highest concentration of skyscrapers in the world, famous modern attractions, iconic sights, museums, endless bars, galleries, and vibrant cultures pervading through the city’s streets and buildings.
You’ll come to NYC and you’ll find yourself big-eyed, filled with wonder, feeling like a little kid all over again – all with the backdrop of roaring taxis that snake their way through the blocks, the sound of pedestrians rushing through the streets, the twinkling lights that fill the sky, the pure raw energy that is all around you and the organized chaos that keeps this city vibrant, alive, intimidating and full of vim and vigor.
You’ll spend your mornings in Fifth Avenue, and catch panoramic views of the city from the Rock Observation Deck, you’ll visit the Met and the Guggenheim, you’ll catch a show at Broadway and you’ll explore its five different boroughs (all-permeating with their separate cultures), you’ll visit world-class museums, shop, and no matter how many weeks you stay when you travel there, you still won’t be able to even get as close to scratching the surface of the Big Apple.
US Travel Destinations #2
Hugged by the Pacific Coast, peaking mountains and endless valleys, Los Angels is one of the most important travel destinations in the U.S. The lure of chic Hollywood, and the splendor of its lifestyle attract the tourists, but it’s everything else that makes them want to come back. Are you a foodie? A movie buff? An adventurer? A backpacker? A tourist? Coming for business? No matter the type of traveler you are, Los Angeles will be your abode.
From the glistening beaches of Santa Monica, bumping into celebrities in Beverly Hills (hopefully), visiting prehistoric remains at La Brea Tar Prits, hiking up behind the Hollywood Sign and watching masterpieces at the MoMA, you can live the lavish lifestyle of L.A for a few days and indulge in a travel holiday unlike no other.
It’s a city with great weather, incredible people, the world center for art, and a nonstop pulsing heartbeat, there is a reason why Los Angeles still attracts both international and aspiring celebrities, starry-eyed youth, and all types of artists looking for a chance to discover themselves.
It’s a huge cosmopolitan city with endless neighborhoods that have the lure of Hollywood seeping its way through the nooks and crannies, there’s a sunny, colorful vibe to it, there’s cutting-edge culture, and there are endless possibilities, opportunities and things to do.
US Travel Destinations #3
Everywhere you look…everywhere you go…there’s a heart….there’s a heart!
No? Are we the only ones that have the Full House theme song playing on repeat in our heads whenever we mention San Francisco?
This picturesque, straight-out-of-a-postcard travel destination is a beautiful city known for how aesthetically pleasing it is. With cable cars climbing their way up the myriad hills, with the backdrop of spectacular bays and the raging ocean, with its vibrant neighborhoods and colorful building facades, this town thrives in diversity, in variety, in newness.
It’s set along an ocean and it reflects an individualistic vibe unlike any other state – in fact, this is where most radical movements spawned from, this is where the art scene thrives and where technology advances.
It has always been one of America’s favorite cities, with its Golden Gate standing proudly as the city’s iconic symbol, the jogging and cycling trails, the edgy art, the colorful neighborhoods, the imaginative cuisine and its free-spirited people.
US Travel Destinations #4
Dubbed as “The Windy City”, this quintessential American city was the birthplace of the skyscraper, and is a city known for its ground-breaking architecture and well… deep-dish pizza! Set by the Lake Michigan, Chicago offers a world-class experience. It’s a city buzzing with eclectic energy and iconic architecture along with non-spot sporting events and a diversity of food options unlike any other city.
You’ll be able to soak up all of its energy and as you walk the streets of Chicago, you’ll probably find yourself at the verge of breaking your neck from looking up all the time (in utter awe, that is) at the ground-breaking architecture and the striking styles of Art Deco, ultra-modern designs and artsy buildings.
The first skyscraper in the world was built in Chicago in 1885, and it now houses three of the tallest buildings in the world – the Willis Tower, The Aon Center and the John Hancock Center. There’s a lot to be explored – from the architecture, to the thriving music and dining scene, to the cutting-edge shopping districts and it’ll be like walking through an open-air art display with weird and eccentric building designs. The backdrop of the incredible skyline is destined to be there wherever you go, and this dynamic metropolis is just waiting to be explored.
This is where you can take architectural cruises, visit amazing aquariums, learn about history, immerse yourself in art the in Art Institute of Chicago, wind down at Millennium Park, walk the Magnificent Mile (which competes with NYC’s Time Square!), and go through a journey of exploration in the Field Museum.
US Travel Destinations #5
Rising up from the deserts of Nevada, the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas is not unheard of. A travel destination truly unlike no other, a city that never sleeps, and the Entertainment Capital of the world – there’s no way you’re coming out of Vegas without hundreds of interesting and downright weird stories!
I mean we all know, you’ve seen it dozens of times on TV, Netflix, read about it, watched music videos or played Fall Out and experienced the city through the video game. I promise this is going somewhere! Basically, yep, you might have seen it a thousand times before, but nothing will prepare you for the real thing, that first glimpse of the glimmering light, that first rush of being on the Strip and walking around Las Vegas at night.
The lavishness of the flashing lights, the ostentatiousness of the hotels, the buzz of the city, the extravagance of it all is something else – you’ll be walking around experiencing a sensory overload, met with a hundred different things all at once. You have plenty to choose from, risqué nightlife, casinos to gamble your heart away in (i mean…not very advisable of course!), clubs to party at, extravagant shows, and glitzy restaurants. Basically a life on glitz and glamor.
You’ll be able to travel around the world (basically) in a day with its replications of New York, Paris, Venice, ancient Egypt and medieval England – we’re not sure why the last two had to be ancient, but still cool – so expect a gondola ride through the canals of Venice, visiting the Eiffel Tower, and seeing sharks first-hand at a hotel. Every hotel is completely, completely different from the one before and they offer all possible kinds of entertainment options – from nightlife, shopping, fine dining and gambling – it’s all going down here!
Pro tip: What happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.
US Travel Destinations #6
Ah, Miami….If only you could explain Miami in one sentence! We could tell you to close your eyes, to think of sizzling Latin and Caribbean accents, to visualize Latin music piercing through the air, and to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, get lost in the pastel colors and the palm trees of Miami. Miami in two words is muy caliente!
An undeniable allure that takes over you, a sense of joie de vivre, a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of your daily life, and a seduction to the charm of life.
The whole city could be used as a cinematic backdrop to the movie that is your life (or your travel holiday!) and you’ll be exploring the most vivacious cities in the USA with a young, exciting crowd and plenty of things to do. It’s the most quintessential Florida city you’ll visit, and it’s got so much more than the glamour and beauty of South Beach.
You can enjoy the burgeoning art scene by visiting the many new cutting-edge galleries, street art, and iconic museums, you can check out Art-Deco buildings, shop at the Design District, sunbathe, swim with alligators, scuba dive, or learn how the city came to be at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.
US Travel Destinations #7New Orleans
Are you ready to get spellbound by the melodies of jazz and blues echoing from streets, and get hypnotized by the beauty of centuries-old quarters? Because if you are, then New Orleans is for you.
New Orleans is different, it feels almost un-American; something about traveling there will make you feel like you just hopped on to a plane and traveled to a city in Europe rich with culture and heritage. This is what New Orleans offers, an all-inclusive delight to your senses – from the sounds of jazz and blues, to the Cajun cooking, to the beauty of the French Quarter and the Graden district and the overall romance in the air.
It’s dreamy, it’s where hundreds of culture melt together effortlessly creating quite an interesting travel destination. From live-music clubs on every street, haunted houses, a unique glimpse into the history’s culture, interesting cemeteries, and street performers – New Orleans is bursting with life.
It has always been seen as one of the most unique cities in the USA, and it’s where you can enjoy European-style architecture, with a mix of Latin festivals celebrated (Mardi Gras), and the French Creole culture with jazz and blues meandering their way through the walls of the streets.
US Travel Destinations #8
Honestly, how many times have you visualized your trip to Hawaii while sitting at your desk at work pretending to do your job? It’s okay, we’ve all been there, planning our grand escape to Hawaii, visualizing wearing Aloha shirts and sipping a drink as the ocean breeze calms your soul while the drink in your hand really calms your body and the palm trees rustle above you while the sound of the ocean washes your troubles away….
Who doesn’t want to go to Honolulu? It’s a gorgeous travel destination with the perfect juxtaposition between exotic flowers, unique wildlife, water activities and historic landmarks!
You can spend your day on the sandy beaches, spend your evening indulging in fresh seafood and spend the night in its thriving nightlife. You can explore the island’s urban appeal, the cosmopolitan luxury, the memorials, and even the palaces there.
It’s just stretched of blue water with a mixture of urban appeal, and history, all blended together to create an incredible travel destination.
US Travel Destinations #9
The capital of the United States and the public face of the country awaits you. You’ve probably learned about it in school and saw it on news channels but it’s a city worth visiting for the journey it will take you through the city’s past and the glimpse it will give you to the power held by the U.S.
If you’re a culture/history buff, this city is for you. There is an abundance of monuments, museums (over 70!), memorials, and neoclassical buildings everywhere you go. You’ll visit the Capital’s Senate and House chambers and the Washington Monument, you’ll learn about Da Vinci in the National Gallery of art, and you’ll hopefully get to enjoy the thousands of cherry trees erupting in white and pink blossoms along the Tidal Basin.
Here, there is magnificent architecture and an increasing sense of power and independence surrounding your every move.
US Travel Destinations #10
The Mile High City (actually not a pun regarding marijuana’s legality but funny none the less), is a popular winter sports travel destination in the U.S and is the perfect place to experience the work-life balance as it should be.
It has a certain outdoor ruggedness that is blended beautifully with big-city life, giving it a unique feel. There’s plenty of sunshine (300 days a year on average – so good chances for a sunny visit), snow-peaked mountains in the distance, plenty of nature nearby, and a chill vibe that permeates through the city.
There is also a growing art and culinary scene, plenty of microbreweries, beautiful parks and a lot of emphasis on outdoor activities. You can have a morning run, ski down the Rocky Mountains, catch a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, and celebrate its cowboy history!
No matter which destination you choose, don’t forget to send a personalized postcard to your family and friends!
If you don’t have a big budget right now then consider these tips for cheap traveling – just don’t let it hold you back! Oh, and be sure to download these holiday travel apps before you set off – who knows how much they could help you!
Tell us about your favorite US Travel destination in the comments 🙂