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25 Top Tourist Attractions in the USA

Last updated on November 19, 2023 by Touropia Editors - 21 Comments

As one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world, The United States boast an amazing amount of tourist destinations ranging from the skyscrapers of New York and Chicago, the natural wonders of Yellowstone and Alaska to the sunny beaches of California , Florida and Hawaii.

With so many tourist attractions in the USA it’s tempting to list entire cities or even states, but in this top 25 I have tried to focus on specific attractions.

25. Mount Rushmore [SEE MAP]

Mount Rushmore

Perhaps the most unmistakably American landmark is Mount Rushmore, a national memorial located in South Dakota. Constructed in the early 20th century, Mount Rushmore depicts the faces of four former American presidents, each of which is carved and blasted from the side of a rock face.

Visitors can admire the larger-than-life faces of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The short Presidential Trail at the base of Mount Rushmore provides better views and an interesting perspective on the landmark.

24. Pike Place Market in Seattle [SEE MAP]

Pike Place Market

Overlooking the waterfront of Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington, is the Pike Place Market. Opened in 1907, the market is now a historic, iconic part of the city. Pike Place Market is the ultimate place to shop in Seattle, because it is full of the oldest establishments in the region.

There are markets where fresh fish straight from the Puget Sound gets tossed dramatically, cheesemongers who offer tastings of locally made brie and camembert and then there is the site of the original Starbucks coffee shop.

23. Venice Beach in Los Angeles [SEE MAP]

Venice Beach

No visit to Los Angeles is complete without a trip to Venice Beach. Its canals and beaches are spectacular, but the biggest hit is undeniably the Venice Beach Boardwalk. This is a truly entertaining spot where street performers juggle, dance, sculpt and sing for passersby.

Shop for souvenirs, grab a refreshing drink and bring some small bills for a stroll on the boardwalk. After stopping to admire a live performer, many visitors tip a dollar or two to show appreciation.

See also: Where to Stay in Los Angeles

22. Mesa Verde [SEE MAP]

Mesa Verde

The Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is home to the preserved homes of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Many of these homes, which are carved right from caves and rock faces, date back to the early 13th century.

Today, it is possible to walk beneath the overhanging cliffs and tour these ancient abodes. The Balcony House is especially well preserved, and it boasts 40 rooms that are accessible exclusively by ladder. The nearby Cliff Palace is even bigger, and it is believed to have housed more than 100 people in its 150 original rooms.

21. Faneuil Hall in Boston [SEE MAP]

Faneuil Hall

One of the most historic destinations in Boston, a city already full of heritage, is Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Also known as the Cradle of Liberty, this early 18th century structure served as a space where early leaders gathered to fight against oppression in the years before and during the American Revolutionary War.

Today, touring Faneuil Hall Marketplace means lots of opportunity to shop for local produce and desserts in the indoor and outdoor marketplace.

20. Kennedy Space Center [SEE MAP]

Kennedy Space Center

Cape Canaveral, located on the coast of Florida, boasts a lot of space-related attractions. One of the best is the Kennedy Space Center, which has been the launch site for every US human space flight since 1968 and currently operates as a launch site for unmanned rockets.

Visitors can learn more about the early pioneers into space, and they can also experience the tension and excitement over the rush to the moon. There is even the chance to participate in the Shuttle Launch Experience, which replicates the experience of space travel.

19. Navy Pier in Chicago [SEE MAP]

Navy Pier

Extending over the waters of Lake Michigan is Navy Pier, an enormous pier in the heart of Chicago’s coastal Streeterville neighborhood. Within the pier, there are countless attractions suited to the whole family.

Beautifully manicured gardens are the ideal place for a scenic stroll, and lots of souvenir shops are a wonderful way to snag gifts on a vacation to Chicago. The pier is also home to the Chicago Children’s Museum, two theaters and an abundance of excellent restaurants.

18. Great Smoky Mountains National Park [SEE MAP]

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park is the most visited in the entire country, thanks in large part to its enormous size and its incredible scenery.

Visitors can hike through old growth forest, spot hundreds of species of birds and check out the two visitor centers. Hikes can also wind through trails that lead to the waterfalls of Laurel Falls and the vistas of Clingman’s Dome.

17. River Walk in San Antonio [SEE MAP]

River Walk

In the city of San Antonio, Texas , there are few attractions more appealing than the River Walk. Also known as the Paseo del Rio, the River Walk is a network of walkways lining the San Antonio River.

Reserved for pedestrians, the revitalized area is packed with fascinating architecture, lush greenery and water views. The River Walk is a hub for dining and culinary exploration in this Texan city. It is possible to dig into Tex-Mex cuisine, upscale French fare and everything in between in this one easily navigable destination.

16. Carlsbad Caverns [SEE MAP]

Carlsbad Caverns

As the name suggests, Carlsbad Caverns is a collection of over 115 caves. Located in southern New Mexico, these caverns are carved from limestone, and it is possible for visitors to descend more than 900 feet (275 meters) below the surface of the earth on a guided tour.

The largest single cave chamber in all of North America is found here and is known as the Big Room. Within the room itself, visitors can set off on a 90-minute walk exploring the incredible underground environment.

15. Bryce Canyon National Park [SEE MAP]

Bryce Canyon National Park

Located in Southern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is a breathtaking display of rock formations. Technically, Bryce Canyon isn’t a canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters. Mormon settlers once called the canyon home, but now most visitors come for the awe-inspiring views and the magnificent hiking opportunities.

Sunset Point is one of the most popular vantage points, offering panoramic views of the red, yellow and orange rock formations. Queen’s Garden Trail is another favorite, because it offers green trees among the red rocks for a brilliant juxtaposition.

14. French Quarter in New Orleans [SEE MAP]

French Quarter

New Orleans, Louisiana, is made up of several unique districts, but none is so famous as the French Quarter. Also known as the Vieux Carre, the French Quarter truly explores the rich French colonial influences on the city of New Orleans . Incredible architecture abounds, with the St. Louis Cathedral being the main attraction.

The French Quarter boasts the Moon Walk, a paved walkway next to the Mississippi River, as well as Bourbon Street, the undeniable hub of nightlife, drinking and entertainment in the city.

13. Sedona Red Rock Country [SEE MAP]

Sedona Red Rock Country

A two-hour drive north of Phoenix is Sedona, Arizona. Sedona isn’t a big city, but it is a major tourist attraction in the USA thanks to its gorgeous red rock landscape. Known as Red Rock Country, this region is an outdoor lover’s dream. Countless canyons, creeks and paths encourage outdoor activity, with Cathedral Rock Trail being one of the local favorite hiking spots.

One of the most interesting spots in Sedona combines the new with the old, with the contemporary Chapel of the Holy Cross built right into the side of the red rocks themselves.

12. Walt Disney World in Orlando [SEE MAP]

Walt Disney World

Orlando, Florida , is a hub of amusement parks, but none is so popular as Walt Disney World. Many travelers don’t realize that Walt Disney World is actually made up of several distinct theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and the Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Visitors will be able to enjoy thrill rides, watch Broadway-quality shows and explore the nightlife, cuisine, shopping and entertainment at Disney Springs.

11. Yosemite National Park [SEE MAP]

Yosemite National Park

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, there is Yosemite National Park. This extraordinary destination is known the world over for its amazing scenery. Within this single park, visitors can peer off spectacular granite cliffs, admire clear waterfalls and see sequoia trees that are hundreds of years old.

Yosemite Valley is a top spot to explore in the park, because it boasts the enormous Yosemite Falls as well as the granite monolith called Half Dome.

10. White House in Washington D.C. [SEE MAP]

White House

The White House in Washington DC is the official residence and office of the President of the United States. It was built between 1792 and 1800 and first used by President John Adams.

After the 9/11 attacks it has become more difficult to visit the White House and today tours are available only for groups of 10 or more and must be requested up to six months in advance through your member of Congress or your country’s US Ambassador.

9. Denali National Park [SEE MAP]

Denali National Park

The Denali National Park and Preserve is located in Interior Alaska and contains Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. The word “Denali” means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language and refers to Mount McKinley. In addition, the park protects an incredible wilderness area that contains grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves, and numerous other creatures.

8. Las Vegas Strip [SEE MAP]

Las Vegas Strip

The gambling mecca of the world, Las Vegas is situated in the midst of the southern Nevada desert landscape. Casinos can be found throughout Las Vegas, but the strip, a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South, contains the most of them.

It features giant mega-casino hotels, decorated with lavish care and attention to detail to create a fantasy-like atmosphere. The casinos often have names and themes that evoke romance, mystery, and far-away destination.

See also: Where to Stay in Las Vegas

7. Florida Keys [SEE MAP]

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a 120 mile long chain of tropical islands curving around the base of the Florida peninsula, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges.

The most spectacular bridge, the Seven Mile Bridge in the Lower Keys, has been frequently used as a location for films including True Lies and Fast 2 Furious. US Highway 1, the “Overseas Highway” runs from Key Largo , Islamadora, Marathon, Lower Keys and finally to Key West, the most distant and most famous island.

6. Kilauea [SEE MAP]

Kilauea

Kilauea is the most recent of a series of volcanoes that have created the Hawaiian Archipelago. It is a very low, flat shield volcano, vastly different in profile from the high, sharply sloping peaks of stratovolcanoes.

Kilauea is one of the most active volcano on the Earth, an invaluable resource for volcanologists. Thirty-three eruptions have taken place since 1952, not including the current eruption which started on January 3, 1983 and is still ongoing.

5. Niagara Falls [SEE MAP]

Niagara Falls

Situated between the state of New York and the province of Ontario, Niagara Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders on the North American continent. Niagara Falls is actually three different falls, the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls.

Horseshoe Falls is located on the Canadian side while the other are located in New York. With more than 14 million visitors each year it is one of the most visited tourist attraction in the world.

4. Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco [SEE MAP]

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the strait between San Francisco and Marin County to the north.

The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937, and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California . The famous red-orange color of the bridge was specifically chosen to make the bridge more easily visible through the thick fog that frequently shrouds the bridge.

3. Yellowstone [SEE MAP]

Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park, set aside in 1872 to preserve the vast number of geysers, hot springs, and other thermal areas, as well as to protect the incredible wildlife and rugged beauty of the area. Yellowstone lies on top of a gigantic hotspot where light, hot, molten mantle rock rises towards the surface.

Subsequently, the park contains half of all the world’s known geothermal features, with more than 10,000 examples of geysers and hot springs. In addition, black bears, grizzly bears, deer, elk, bison and wolves can all be found within the park borders.

2. Manhattan [SEE MAP]

Manhattan

Manhattan is one of New York’s five boroughs and is what people most often think of when they picture New York City . It’s familiar skyline and sights have been featured a thousand times on screen. Walk in the shadow of the skyscrapers, picture the Statue of Liberty, see a Broadway show , climb the Empire State building, stroll Central Park, window shop on 5th Avenue or stagger around a museum.

1. Grand Canyon [SEE MAP]

#1 of Tourist Attractions In The Usa

The Grand Canyon is located in northern Arizona and is one of the great tourist attractions in the United States. Carved over several million years by the Colorado River, the canyon attains a depth of over 1.6 km (1 mile) and 446 km (277 miles) long.

The Grand Canyon is not the deepest or the longest canyon in the world but the overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape offers visitor spectacular vistas that are unmatched throughout the world.

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Reader interactions.

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November 12, 2020 at 8:34 pm

I’ve been to almost all of these. HANDS DOWN Grand Canyon- Bryce-Tetons- Yellowstone-Glacier is the most amazing trip. I’ve been all over the world, and Yellowstone’s wildlife and the view at the Grand Canyon are by far the most epic. I love Washington State as well: Mt. Ranier, Seattle, Olympic and the anitoles- you can see a variety in a small distance.

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July 26, 2019 at 10:32 am

You should have included the historic triangle in Virginia. It includes Williamsburg (Colonial Williamsburg) Jamestown (America’s first settlement) & Yorktown (the site of Cornwallis’ surrender, effectively ending the Revolutionary War) it is literally the birth place of this great nation and is a huge tourist destination.

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May 24, 2019 at 10:31 pm

Nice article, but may I make one correction regarding Pike Place Market? As a local tour guide, it bugs me when people tell our visitors that the Starbucks at the market is the original. It isn’t, and I try to set this myth straight every chance I get. The original Starbucks was on Western Ave., and burned down in the 70s. The original owner and team moved to the present location at the market, which is how they get away with calling it original, but in reality, it is misleading the public.

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October 31, 2018 at 10:15 am

Hello!? Savannah GA is amazing. It’s like stepping back in time.

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August 17, 2017 at 7:54 pm

oh my gaawwwd. these photos are amazing and I cant wait to go back to the us so I can visit vegas. I didn’t get to last time so im really looking forward to it!!!

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September 1, 2016 at 11:10 am

I am excited to see Niagra falls soon and its my dream to see New York specially Statue of Liberty, Central park and Brooklyn Bridge. I hope that soon i shall be there.

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February 9, 2015 at 8:09 am

It makes you dream and want to go there. I’ve learned a lot on the USA thanks to your site and the like. Your publications perfectly reflect the wonderful side of the USA.

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January 30, 2015 at 12:36 am

Christina Rusia! You are right America is fabulous and offer amazing sights to see there. I have explored its major attractions and Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon are one of those places which are my ever best spots to enjoy the natural beauty. Recently I went to have some fun with friends in Nagara Falls after my pedestrian streets trip.

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October 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm

I think that america is fabulous, The sights and also the view is amazing to see and visit. I am currently in New York.

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July 24, 2014 at 11:32 pm

I visited Yellowstone National Park. This is an awesome place in USA.

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December 12, 2013 at 4:46 am

I have been very lucky myself to have visited most of these places. One of my main reasons why I love America (USA) is because of the diversity the country has to offer in terms of landscapes e.g. countryside, deserts, mountains ect. Out of the above Yellowstone and Vegas are my favourites. Niagara Falls was an sight I will never forget – waking up each morning and opening my hotel room curtains to see the falls directly below….breathtaking.

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November 30, 2013 at 7:03 am

these are great places

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September 14, 2013 at 6:17 am

Las Vegas is my final destination …….thankew. informative website

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August 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I think that Niagara Falls needs to be higher on the list. Who agrees?

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March 27, 2013 at 6:44 am

Niagara Falls & Manhattan is my dream….I have no word to express the beauty

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February 19, 2013 at 1:03 am

great feed back about us visitor Sp like me who is going to visit USA first time and with family it was quite difficult for me to decide where to go but after visiting this page i am clear about my trip thanks alot

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November 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I can say that I have been very fortunate to have visited all but one of these tourist attractions. (Alaska being the only one) Visiting Alcatraz and seeing the Golden Gate was interesting, along with watching the Geysers in Yellowstone. I live in NY (15 minutes from Niagara Falls and an easy drive to NYC) so those don’t interest me as much but after driving cross country in my early twenties, I have realized just what a beautiful country we live in. I now have three children and make it a point to travel with them. Each child gets a surprise birthday trip every year and it has proved to be not only memorable but also educational. My 11 year old has been many places, in and out of the U.S. and now is starting to understand the value of travel. Great site! 🙂

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September 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Manhattan: “… stagger around a museum”… you have you never lied. I recently visited New York, and a friend of mine and I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our initial plan was to try and see if we could make it through that one and the American Museum of Natural History. After a good 7 hours in the Met, we ended up taking a taxi to Penn Station, and slept our way back on the train to Long Island. I will say, however the exhaustion was worth it.

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August 6, 2012 at 8:52 am

A great page, I’ve been to the USA many times – Cities such as New York and San Francisco are really worth a visit – For natural wonder Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are a must.

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August 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Very good collection of tourist places. I have bookmarked this page, and i will follow this blog at the time of my usa tour. Thanks.

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April 26, 2011 at 3:47 am

Fabulous photos of places to visit in the US. I have been very lucky to visit Vegas, and to have flown over the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Over the page you have photos of Alaska and Denali National Park which I plan to visit next year. When I see those photos I can hardly wait. Thanks great post.

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Clear water of Lake Tahoe California in summer with snowcapped mountains in the background--one of the best places to visit in the USA bucket list

USA Bucket List: 50 Best Places to Visit in the US

From snowcapped mountains to tropical beaches, from some of the world’s most iconic cities to some of its most incredible deserts, from the east coast to the west, one thing is incredibly certain: there is absolutely no shortage of awe-inspiring, utterly diverse, and incredibly beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Our home country boasts one of the most incredible national park systems on the planet, along with a huge variety of cities, small towns, and other gorgeous places that ensure that a lifetime would not be long enough to see all of the best travel destinations in the USA.

… But that won’t stop us from trying to enjoy as many of the most amazing vacations in the United States as we can.

We teamed up with several other travel bloggers to put together this giant USA bucket list, and definitely added a few new spots to our personal list of places to see in the US in the process!

From coast to coast, city to countryside, here are the best places to visit in the USA.

Table of Contents

Best Cities to Visit in the USA

National parks + other beautiful places for a us vacation, beaches + islands for your usa bucket list, other beautiful places in the usa to visit.

antelope canyon in arizona with a beam of light streaming into the canyon

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

New York, New York

From Disha of Disha Discovers

New York is one of the most iconic and beautiful cities in the United States and even the world.

It truly is a city that everyone should visit at least once in their lives even if it’s just for a quick weekend in NYC !

The tall buildings are mesmerizing and awe-inspiring, it’s home to some of the most exquisite museums and galleries in the world, and New York City is brimming with so much to explore and see.

Plus, NYC is a foodie’s heaven with cuisines from all over the world.

… And, these are only a few of the many reasons to visit this magnificent city.

kate storm standing at a magnifying glass on liberty island overlooking financial district manhattan

Some bucket-list-worthy things to do in New York City are to watch a play on Broadway, see the Statue of Liberty, hang out in Time Square, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and take a stroll around Central Park.

A few museums to visit are the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Guggenheim, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, Empire State Building, and Chelsea Market are must-sees as well.

Whatever you decide to do in New York City , you’re in for a real treat!

This city will leave you feeling inspired and you’ll want to book another trip to come back!

kate storm spinning in front of manhattan bridge in brooklyn, a must see duing 4 days in nyc

Miami, Florida

From Veronika of Travel Geekery

Vibrant and colorful Miami is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in the US.

The downtown area merges into wonderfully diverse neighborhoods from Little Havana to Coral Gables.

However, most visitors to the vibrant yet laid-back city head to its beaches located on a long stretch of a barrier island.

South Beach especially is where the glamor’s at, topped by stylish Ocean Drive, which is lined with elegant Art Deco houses including Versace’s mansion, trendy restaurants, and nightclubs… the scene is pretty lively there.

Kate in a pink dress next to a blue Vespa on Ocean Avenue.

The beach itself features uniquely colored watchtowers spread around nice light sand. The waves are mostly mild. Pelicans like it here too and often float on the water near people.

Watching a sunrise on the beach belongs to one of the best experiences one can have in the area.

Miami City and its beaches can easily be visited  even without a car .

The public transport network and the ample ride/bike-sharing services make it an easy destination for any type of traveler.

Blue and yellor art deco lifeguard stand on South Beach in Miami, which is a must-see beach for your USA bucket list!

San Diego, California

From Maria of San Diego Explorer

San Diego is the perfect California beach city and a must on any USA bucket list.

Also known as America’s Finest City, San Diego has a lot to offer, whether you are looking for a beach getaway at one of the many beach resorts in San Diego , a fun time in the city, or a mix of both.

Here are some of the best things to do in San Diego!

In Downtown San Diego, there is something for everyone: from eating delicious Italian fare in Little Italy to visiting the Midway Museum to strolling through Seaport Village, and having a fun night out in the Gaslamp Quarter.

If you love the outdoors and animals, visit Balboa Park and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.  

cityscape of san diego california on a sunny day

And then, there are the beaches: San Diego has some of the best beaches in Southern California.

Some of the most popular ones are Mission Beach, Coronado, and the beaches in La Jolla.

You can relax on the sand, take surfing lessons, or ride your bike along the boardwalk for a fun day on the beach.  

San Diego has so much to offer and is simply a fun city, no matter what you are in the mood for. 

San Diego CA harbor with rows of sailboats in the foreground and the skyline in the back right of the photo

Austin, Texas

The Live Music Capital of the World and capital of the state of Texas is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country and offers a fantastic combination of excellent nightlife, plenty of outdoor activities and day trip opportunities, and truly phenomenal food.

Don’t leave without having at least one giant meal each worth of TexMex and barbecue!

While in Austin, be sure to visit trendy South Congress Avenue, watch the bats fly out from under the South Congress Bridge (if you’re visiting at the right time of year, that is), see a show, and go for a hike (or if it’s too hot, hit the lake!).

Want to get out of town?

Austin is within an easy day trip of natural swimming holes, Texas’ wine country, and adorable small towns.

Austin TX skyline with the South Congress Bridge in the foreground

New Orleans, Louisiana

Good food, good music, and good times: of all the best places to visit in the USA, NOLA definitely ranks toward the top of the list for places to go to simply have an amazing time.

There’s far more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, and beignets, though.

With a dark and complex history heavily impacted by slavery and a constantly evolving modern culture, New Orleans deserves more than just partying during your visit–though there’s plenty of time for that, too.

While in New Orleans, be sure to listen to some jazz, learn a bit about the city’s history, visit the famous Jackson Square, head to the Garden District, check out the beautiful oak trees in City Park, and–this is very important–eat your heart out.

NOLA is indisputably home to some of the best food in the country–so good, in fact, that the food alone would be a good enough reason to add New Orleans to your USA bucket list.

For those interested in New Orleans’ spooky legends, a ghost tour through the French Quarter at night is also worth adding to your to-do list!

Street in NOLA French Quarter at night with neon lights from the bars lighting it up--don't miss a chance to experience the legendary New Orleans nightlife during your 3 days in NOLA itinerary!

Washington, DC

From Jordan of The Solo Life

One of the best travel destinations in the United States is the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

With everything from museums to monuments to the White House and Capitol Building, DC has something for everyone .

In addition, DC’s public transportation and numerous free attractions make it a surprising destination for the budget-friendly traveler.

Kid-friendly options include the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum.

Art lovers will enjoy the National Gallery of Art or the Hirshhorn Museum for modern and contemporary art.

sunset on the national mall in washington dc facing the washington monument, one of the best places to visit on the east coast america

History buffs should check out the Library of Congress and the National Archives Museum.

Besides museums, the National Mall and Tidal Basin are must-visit locations to see the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial, among others.

The best times to visit DC include early summer before it gets too hot or in the fall once summer break is over.

Although extremely crowded due to the Cherry Blossoms, springtime is also a gorgeous time to visit.

No matter what time of year, Washington, DC is one of the best destinations to visit in the US.

Washington Monument in Washington DC framed by cherry blossoms in the foreground. Washington DC is one of the best places to visit in the United States

San Francisco, California

The city of hills, ocean views, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of many people’s lists of bucket lists for the United States.

And, with an endless list of things to do that cater to all interests, why not?

Be sure to pay a visit to the touristed highlights that most interest you–Fisherman’s Wharf (and its adorable sea lions!), Alcatraz, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the Painted Ladies (of Full House fame), and checking out Lombard Street.

Once you cross those highlights off your list, though, make time for a few less-obvious attractions, like San Francisco’s Japanese Garden, the Land’s End Labyrinth, and Fort Point.

And, of course, you can’t forget to go for a walk in the woods while visiting San Francisco!

Visiting the Muir Woods is an unforgettable experience worthy of your time on any weekend trip to the area.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco CA shot from above on a clear day

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia has been one of the coolest US cities to visit for centuries, and–like Boston–it features strong ties to the American Revolution.

This is where the Declaration of Independence and the Consitution were signed, touring Independence Hall and visiting the nearby Liberty Bell are among the best things to do in Philadelphia today as a result!

You can’t miss Philly’s food scene when visiting, either–from whoopie pies to Philly cheesesteaks, the city has a (literal) flavor all its own.

elfreths alley in philadelphia, one of the best places to vacation in usa

Start–but don’t finish–exploring Philadelphia’s food scene at the historic Reading Terminal Market.

Be sure to also make time to visit some of Philadelphia’s incredible museums during your visit, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of the American Revolution (we loved this one), and touring the dark but fascinating Eastern State Penitentiary.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is also home to another essential stop in this iconic East Coast City: the Rocky Steps.

And, if you’re willing to work up a sweat, definitely consider running up them yourself during your classic American vacation in Philadelphia!

independence hall in philadelphia on a sunny day with red and pink flowers in the foreground. attractions in usa things to do

Chicago, Illinois

From Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan

Chicago is the third-largest city in the US, and also one of the most ethnically diverse.

Its skyline reflecting off the waters of Lake Michigan is a sight to behold.

No matter what your interests are, whether it’s music, shopping, culture, art, or dining, you could spend months exploring all that Chicago has to offer.

On a shorter USA vacation, though, you can still see quite a few of the best sights in Chicago!

The city’s top museums include the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Don’t forget to check out the many outdoor sculptures and other public works of art around the Loop, either.

View of Chicago IL skyline from willis tower skydeck, a must-see during a 3 day Chicago vacation

A walk along the Magnificent Mile will take you past upscale department stores and through Millennium Park, home of the famous sculpture known as The Bean.

A visit to Bronzeville, also known as “the Black Metropolis”, is a must to learn about the city’s rich African-American history.

Architecture buffs will be interested to know that this is where Frank Lloyd Wright established the Prairie School architectural style. You can find some of his earliest buildings here in Chicago.

You’ll work up an appetite walking the streets of this massive city. This is a good thing, because the restaurant scene here is amazing!

You can find pretty much any cuisine you could imagine, from stylish Japanese to homestyle soul food, and there are even lots of vegetarian and  vegan restaurants in Chicago .

Photo of Chicago train traveling on a bridge over car traffic--using Chicago's public transportation is the best way to get around on a Chicago weekend getaway!

Houston, Texas

From Thanh of The Traveling Asian

Houston, Texas is one of the coolest places to visit in the United States, and while an unexpected vacation option, certainly one that will impress.

After all, it is the 4th largest city in the USA and is often ranked as the most diverse city in the country!

Because of this size, you can expect there to be all kinds of things for you to see and do here in this city.

One of the most iconic places you must visit in the city is Space Center Houston.

There you can learn about NASA and space travel as well as take a tour around the famous mission control center. If you love space, then this place is for you.

sunset over houston texas skyline with pond in the foreground, one of the unexpected places for vacation in usa

Houston is also home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which is the biggest rodeo of its kind in the country.

There, you’ll be able to eat some delicious rodeo foods, pet some livestock, learn about animals, play at the amusement park, and even watch a concert by famous celebrities.

But aside from the attractions, Houston is known for its food. Since it is the most diverse city in the country, you can find just about everything available here in this city.

For instance, you can find Tex-Mex, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, and many other ethnic cuisines available all around the area.

So if you love food and all things fun, then Houston is definitely the place for you.

Skyline of Houston Texas as seen on a sunny day with a park in the foreground, Houston is one of the best weekend getaways in Texas

Las Vegas, Nevada

From Kimberley of Two Travelling Toques

If you’re looking for a cool place to visit in the USA, you can’t get much cooler than Las Vegas .

This well-known city has been depicted in numerous movies such as The Hangover and Ocean’s Thirteen as party central.

And if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it in Vegas.

Long known as both the wedding capital for a quick place to get married, or the perfect spot to hold a bachelor or bachelorette party, either way, it’s the spot to bring your friends, let loose, and have fun!

Gambling has been a big draw to Las Vegas since the early 1930s, and there is no shortage of showy and extravagant casinos to choose from.

view of venice st marks square in las vegas, one of the best attractions long weekend in vegas getaway

Nightlife also takes center stage here.

From world-class musicians to top-notch magical acts, to dependable artists like Wayne Newton who have had a residency here for years. 

During the day, you can grab a fancy drink and chill by the pool. Or hit up one of the pool parties and listen to the headlining DJ.

Either way, be sure to bring lots of money for the high-end shops, ever-flowing drinks, and dazzling casinos looking to draw you in. 

Welcome to Las Vegas sign, one of the most popular weekend getaways in the USA

Savannah, Georgia

Without a doubt, the small but stunning city of Savannah, Georgia is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Featuring absolutely stunning architecture, 22 of its original 24 town squares, endless oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and some of the best food in the country, spending a few days in Savannah is bound to be a delight.

While you’re there, be sure to meander down beautiful Jones Street, check out Forsyth Park, hear some of the city’s most enduring legends on a ghost tour, enjoy views from River Street, and take in some of Savannah’s complex history at its various house museums and houses of worship.

Don’t forget to set aside plenty of time to eat!

Kate Storm in a black dress in front of a brick home on Jones Street during a long weekend in Savannah GA

While there are dozens of incredible  restaurants in Savannah , favorites include The Olde Pink House and The Grey for special occasions, The Collins Quarter for their legendary lavender mocha latte, and Leopold’s Ice Cream for a scoop of their famous Tutti Frutti ice cream.

Have enough time for a quick  day trip ?

Tybee Island –also known as “Savannah’s Beach”–is less than a 30-minute drive away, and while you certainly won’t want to swim in the summer, strolling along the sand and climbing the lighthouse are a treat.

Jones Street in Savannh GA with a green house in the left foreground and an oak tree on the right. Jones Street is one of the best Savannah photo spots

Los Angeles, California

From Trijit of Budget Travel Buff

Looking for the coolest place to visit in the United States?

Visit Los Angeles; a unique combination of the entertainment industry, gorgeous beaches, great food, and vibrant nightlife.

It is certainly not the cheapest place in California , but for the right travelers, LA is definitely worth the price tag.

Los Angeles is a large city full of tourist attractions that won’t let you stay idle.

If you are a beach lover, LA won’t disappoint you with its stunning beaches that include Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach, and so on.

There are several fantastic museums in LA. LACMA is the most popular one for its diverse art collections and special exhibits.

Skyline of Los Angeles CA with palm trees in the forground, one of the best places to visit in the US

Some other renowned museums are the Grammy Museum, Natural History Museum, and Museum of Broken Relationships.

While visiting LA, you will notice entertainment at every corner of the city. You can see a concert or enjoy a ride at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.

If you rent a car in Los Angeles, go for a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway that carves through the mountains of Malibu.

Los Angeles has some of the best restaurants in the US.

Once you are done with LA sightseeing, have lunch at any of these food spots – Diakokuya for ramen, Langer’s for a pastrami sandwich, Guisados for tacos, or pizza at Mozza.

aerial view of santa monica beach near los angeles, one of the best places to vacation in the united states

Seattle, Washington

Set right on the water with the dramatic backdrop of Mount Rainier, it’s no wonder that busy and beautiful Seattle is one of the best USA travel destinations.

When visiting Seattle, be sure to eat your way through Pike Place Market, head to the top of the Space Needle, visit the famous Chihuly Museum, and check out the fun and interesting Museum of Pop Culture.

Looking for interesting neighborhoods?

Head to Fremont, where the self-proclaimed unofficial motto is “des libertas quirkas”, aka “the freedom to be quirky”.

Hoping to spend some time outside?

Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Pacific Northwest, endless waterfalls, trails, and mountains–even Mount Rainier itself–are located within day-tripping distance from Seattle.

Seattle Waterfront with space needle visible through the ferris wheel

Charleston, South Carolina

Located just a couple of hours north of Savannah, Charleston shares a lot of similarities with its neighbor to the south.

Fantastic Lowcountry food, Spanish moss dripping from the trees, beautiful architecture, and lots of history to uncover are wonderful to appreciate in both Charleston and Savannah –but Charleston absolutely has its own distinct personality as well.

On your Charleston vacation, be sure to visit the beautiful and photogenic Rainbow Row, check out the tea-making process at the Charleston Tea Garden, visit the gorgeous and interesting Angel Oak Tree, stroll through Waterfront Park and Battery Park, and check out City Market.

Photo of Rainbow Row in Charleston SC, a must see during a 3 day weekend in Charleston SC

If you’d like to do some shopping while in Charleston, King Street is the place to go.

Those interested in US military history will no doubt want to visit Patriots Point to tour the former US naval ships docked there and Fort Sumter for its history (and views).

Beach lovers, don’t miss the chance to check out nearby Folly Beach and/or Sullivan’s Island!

Kate Storm sitting in front of the pineapple fountain in Charleston SC--choosing whether to visit Savannah or Charleston is no easy task, but we wrote this guide to help!

Orlando, Florida

As the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is one of the most popular places to visit in the USA for both domestic and international visitors, mostly on behalf of one iconic mouse.

As home to Walt Disney World , Orlando is a must-see USA bucket list item for many families across the world, and with four amazing Disney parks packed with rides, experiences, and intense amounts of nostalgia, it’s no wonder why.

Disney isn’t the only theme park game in town, though!

Universal Studios Orlando, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is also a fantastic theme park to visit, and big roller coaster fans may even want to take a day trip to Tampa Bay to experience Busch Gardens.

Though the parks are a big draw for people visiting Orlando with kids and kids at heart alike, theme parks aren’t the only places to visit in and around Orlando.

The Kennedy Space Center, plenty of beaches, and even cool swimming holes like Wekiva Springs are within day-trip distance of Orlando.

Lake Eola Park in Orlando Florida with swams in the water and a skyline visible in the background. Orlando belongs on a bucket list for the United States

Portland, Oregon

Much like Austin, Portland proudly embraces its weirdness, celebrating the eclectic and bizarre in all possible ways–and that makes it endlessly fun to visit!

Bookworms like me will immediately head to Powell’s City of Books–I still think it’s the biggest bookstore I’ve ever visited–while foodies will want to head directly to the local ice cream obsession, Salt & Straw. 

Voodoo Doughnuts, now with a few locations nationally, also originated here and remains popular with tourists (though depending on who you ask, not locals–for what it’s worth, we’d rate the doughnuts 7/10).

During your weekend trip to Portland, make time to visit the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Garden, especially if you visit when everything is in bloom.

Plenty of incredible parts of the Columbia River Gorge, including famous Multnomah Falls, are also within easy reach of Portland and deserve to feature on your USA bucket list!

Photo of steal sign stating "portland oregon" in front of a blue sky, a must-see during 3 days in portland or

Nashville, Tennessee

From Apryl of Southern Traveling Gal

No doubt about it, there’s something about Nashville, that casts a long-lasting spell on travelers.

For travelers visiting Nashville, it’s not unheard of to plan a return trip as soon as the current one is over!

Only in “The Music City” is it possible to catch the latest exhibit at the Frist Art Museum, see a replica of the Parthenon and enjoy live music at venues along the Honky Tonk Highway.

For first-timers, touring country music icons like the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must-do.

Don’t overlook artist-specific museums such as the Johnny Cash Museum and Glen Campbell Museum that provides a closer look at these music giants, either.

Much of Nashville’s allure lies within its distinctive neighborhoods, like the Gulch, filled with shops and restaurants.

Skyline of Nashville Tennessee at sunset overlooking the river, one of the most romantic getaways in the United States

It isn’t unusual to spot a long line or two here, typically featuring either people waiting in line to take a photo with the “What Lifts You” mural or getting into Biscuit Love.

Save some room for some barbecue from Peg Leg Porker!

12thSouth offers locally-owned boutiques, stores, and eateries. Also found here is Draper James, the flagship store of Reese Witherspoon’s clothing line.

Be sure to take home some cookies from Christie’s Cookie Company and snap a photo with the “I Believe in Nashville” mural.

Across the Cumberland River is the eclectic East Nashville. Don’t miss out on the mini doughnuts at Donut Distillery.

Depending on time, consider visiting Cheekwood Estates and Gardens, a 55-acre botanical garden, as part of your Nashville getaway.

Of course, no trip to Nashville is complete without hot chicken from Prince’s Hot Chicken or biscuits from Loveless Cafe, located near the Natchez Trace Parkway.

country band playing banjois in nashville tennessee

Boston, Massachusetts

From Linn of Brainy Backpackers

Boston is such a cool city to visit in the USA, rich in history, architecture, and food.

Along the waterfront, you can walk the 43-mile-long Harbor Walk.

But there is so much more to add to see during your trip to Boston, like the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long path taking you to 16 significant places in American history.

It is well marked and technically be walked in as little as 90 minutes, though you can download the app and visit each place which will take at least a whole day to complete.

Boston is home to the oldest public park in the United States, Boston Common, which is situated next to Boston Public Garden.

boston public garden in the summer, one of the best things to do in boston ma

You can wander the parks and enjoy a ride in the Boston Public Garden’s historic paddleboats.

Nearby, you’ll find the Boston Public Library at Copley Square, which is an incredibly beautiful Renaissance Revival structure from 1895 that you should visit.

You’ll also find the beautiful neighborhood of Beacon Hill nearby, as well as the trendy neighborhood of Back Bay.

For the best views of the city during your Boston itinerary , visit the Skywalk Observatory.

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Beacon Hill

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

From Melissa of Parenthood and Passports

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the United States and one of the best places to visit in the entire country.

Known for its geothermal activity, more than half of the earth’s geysers are located in the national park which straddles the borders of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. 

Old Faithful is one of the most popular things to see in Yellowstone National Park .

The active and predictable geyser erupts approximately 20 times each day.

Visitors to the park gather around to watch the geyser blast hot water and steam into the sky.

Although quite impressive, Old Faithful is just one of many must-see geothermal features found in the park.

View of Grand Prism in Yellowstone National Park, one of the best places to visit in USA

One of the largest hot springs in the world, the Grand Prismatic Spring, is another popular attraction in Yellowstone.

Visitors can get an up-close view of the spring or take a short hike for a stunning overview of Grand Prismatic’s vibrant colors.  

Beyond all of its geothermal features, Yellowstone National Park also boasts beautiful waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, rivers, and more than 200 species of animals.

Bison, deer, moose, wolves, and even bears live in the park.

Because of all the wildlife in Yellowstone, visitors are strongly encouraged to use caution when hiking or camping and to carry bear spray to protect themselves in the event of an encounter.

herd of bison crossing the road and causing a traffic jam in yellowstone national park, one of the best places to vacation usa

Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

From Allison of She Dreams of Alpine

Idaho is often overlooked when it comes to cool places to visit in the US, but the tiny town of Stanley serves as the gateway to an abundance of outdoor adventures in the stunning Sawtooth Mountain range and along the swift Salmon River.

Although it has a population of less than 100, Stanley is easily accessible in a 3-hour drive from the main airport in Boise or about a 1-hour drive if you’re coming from Sun Valley.

The best way to explore the Sawtooth Mountains is on one of the many hiking trails.

The hike to Alice Lake is a perfect introduction to the area, and you can either do a 12-mile day hike or backpack the longer Alice/Toxaway Loop over the course of a few days.

sawtooth mountains idaho on sunny day with lake in the foreground, one of the best places to vacation usa

Whichever option you choose, you’ll discover gorgeous views of Alice Lake framed by the “Dragon’s Back” peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains, including Idaho’s own “El Capitan.”

For fun on the water, you can go fishing along the Salmon River or swim in Redfish Lake.

When you need some rejuvenation after your adventures, you can reward yourself with great food and drinks at the Stanley Supper Club and take a dip in the hot springs at the Mountain Village Resort.

Once you head home, you’ll surely find yourself raving to your friends about this hidden gem of a mountain town – unless you want to keep the Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley a secret for yourself!

Sawtooth Mountains Idaho with a lake visible on the left of the photo and mountain peaks in the background. These mountains definitely belong on your USA bucket list!

Oregon Coast

From Kay of The Awkward Traveller

The Oregon Coast is one of the most underrated travel destinations in the USA, but for those who love moody, dramatic scenery, it is the best place to be.

Although the actual coast isn’t very long (338 or so miles, about a 7.5-hour drive without stopping), it makes for a great weekend or longer trip with added stops.

Starting at the north end, about 2 hours outside of Portland, the city of Astoria will serve as your jumping-off point with picturesque bridges and locations from The Goonies.

Heading south, take a pitstop at the cheese capital of the state  –  Tillamook , Oregon.

One car driving along the oregon coast as shot from above

Visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory and gorge yourself on all things dairy before continuing on to stunning Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

The highlight of the coast will be Yachats, Oregon, with incredible farm-to-table restaurants that are dedicated to sourcing local sustainable fish, meat, and produce providers.

On the southern end of the coast, you can find sand dunes in Florence, and natural rock arches among the cliffs in Brookings.

If your tolerance for rain is low, summer will be the best season to visit weather-wise, while winter and spring will have smaller crowds and lower prices.

Oregon Coast at sunset looking toward Haystack Rock, one of the prettiest places in Oregon

Acadia National Park, Maine

From Ale of Sea Salt & Fog

Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the eastern United States, perfectly showcasing the beauty of the Maine coast.

Acadia has miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as easy coastal access for kayaking and sailing. 

When visiting, plan to spend at least  2 days in Acadia National Park  so you can make the most of your time there.

One of the best things to do includes watching the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain, where you’ll get stunning views of the islands that dot the coast.

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Drive Park Loop Road to enjoy some of the park’s most famous attractions, including Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond (don’t forget to stop for popovers at Jordan Pond House!).

For hiking, choose a paved Carriage Road to take you down to one of the many picturesque ponds and lakes in the park.

Plan your visit in the fall to see the famous New England fall foliage in full display, or in the summer to enjoy long, sunny days perfect for hiking.

If you love the outdoors, add Acadia to your list of places to visit in the US – you won’t be disappointed.

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, California

From Monica of This Rare Earth

Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is an incredible destination in the United States. 

This desert ecosystem became a national park as recently as 1994, and it’s easy to see why it was chosen!

The Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert meet in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park, which means that you will see two very different landscapes depending on which half of the park you are in.  

The Mojave Desert is home to the famous Joshua Tree – a tall and spindly yucca – as well as giant boulders popular with climbers and hikers. 

The majority of the park’s hiking trails are found in this region.

desert landscape at sunrise in joshua tree national park, an excellent part of several of the best west coast road trips usa

However,  while planning your Joshua Tree National Park itinerary , it would be a mistake to skip the Colorado Desert at the southern end of the park.  

The Colorado Desert is hotter, lower in elevation, and flatter, but holds gorgeous landscapes full of cacti and, at the right time of year, wildflowers. 

 In the summer months, avoid strenuous hikes or leave early in the morning as temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.

Joshua Tree National Park is a designated Dark Sky Park, perfect for stargazing and well outside the bright light of the city.  

Joshua Tree is roughly 2.5 hours outside of Los Angeles.

Joshua Tree NP in California with a Joshua tree on the right side of the photo

From Chris of Called to Wander

Alaska is known as the Last Frontier, evoking adventure for those looking to travel to a truly unique place.

Because the state is massive, at over twice the size of Texas, you could spend as much or as little time exploring it as you have.

Many people take cruises through the Inside Passage and make stops in places like Ketchikan, Haines, and Seward.

Others fly into the main cities of Anchorage or Fairbanks and then rent vehicles and head off on their own adventures.

By far the best way to make the most of an Alaska vacation (though it requires a steep time commitment) is by driving to Alaska and spending as much time as you’d like wandering from one place to the next.

glacier in glacier np in alaska with water in the foreground and a mountain in the background

You can drive to the Arctic Ocean along the Dalton Highway, view North America’s largest mountain (Mt. Denali), or observe wildlife like caribou, grizzly bear, and moose.

Or, catch a flight out to a handful of the most remote national parks, or drive up to and hike out to massive, ancient glaciers.

If you enjoy fishing, go after halibut in Homer or salmon in the famous Russian River.

Regardless of what kind of travel you prefer, Alaska offers adventure for everyone and should definitely be on your travel bucket list!

Train along an Alaska mountainside with wildflowers in the foreground and a mountain in the background. Alaska is one of the most beautiful places in the us

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From Dan of Cabin Critic

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most popular national park in the US, hosting over 10 million annual visitors, and it definitely belongs on your bucket list for the USA.

Located in Tennessee and North Carolina, the park has diverse animal life, plants, and natural attractions. There are tons to do and see. 

If you are feeling adventurous you can go zoom down zip lines, go white water rafting, or go mountain biking. 

For a more relaxed trip, you can go on hikes, see beautiful waterfalls, or simply go for a scenic drive.

sunrise of great smoky mountains, one of the most beautiful national parks in the us

Cades Cove, for example, is a broad valley surrounded by mountains you can drive through that is well known for providing the best opportunities for seeing wildlife like white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, and more.

When you aren’t enjoying the outdoors there are numerous mountain towns to enjoy like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Asheville .

Stay in  one of the cabins with a view  of the mountainsides and check out the local attractions like Dollywood in Pigeon Forge or the Biltmore Estate in Asheville . 

View of the Great Smoky Mountains during fall foliage season in the southern USA

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

From Michele of Adventures Abound

Just a 2-hour drive from both Portland and Seattle rest the foothills of the towering volcano Mount Rainier.

Known to the Indigenous since time immemorial, Mount Tahoma is covered in unimaginable beauty and can be enjoyed year-round. 

Visit in the summertime for hiking through meadows strewn with wildflowers of every color, and in the fall for ripening berries and a better chance to catch the trails and lakes free of ice and snowmelt on a variety of great day hikes just outside of Seattle .

To extend your visit overnight, pitch a tent in an established campground, stay in a rustic lodge in the national park, or backpack along the Wonderland trail that circumvents the park.

Not feeling up to a lengthy hike?

hiker in a field of wildflowers in mount rainier np with mount rainier visible in the background

Just driving through Mount Rainier National Park will afford endless views of waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, and even the chance to spot wildlife. 

For those thrill-seekers looking for a more challenging adventure, apply for a permit to climb more than 8,000 feet to the summit, but be aware this is only for experienced mountaineers.

Mount Rainier National Park can also be enjoyed in the winter when the park sees an average of 55 feet of snowfall or more.

Head to the Crystal Mountain gondola to catch a great view of the peak while skiing and snowboarding down the slopes, or pick one of many great locations to snowshoe and backcountry ski along the mountain.

Whatever the choice for season and activity, Mount Rainier National Park is sure to be full of memories and adventure in one of the most beautiful destinations in the United States.

Snowcapped Mount Rainier with wildflowers in the foreground, one of the most beautiful places in usa

Arches National Park, Utah

Home to over 2,000 naturally-occurring sandstone arches, Arches National Park in Utah is one of the most uniquely beautiful places in the USA.

Whether you’re hiking to the incredible Delicate Arch (so iconic that it’s featured on Utah’s license plates), wandering through the Devil’s Garden, or taking one of the shorter hikes to visit some of the most impressive arches in the park, there’s no shortage of things to do.

Even one day in Arches National Park is well worth your time, but more would certainly be better.

Arches National Park is also home to internationally-recognized dark skies and some of the best stargazing in the United States–in order to see the best of the park, be sure to visit at least once after dark!

And, while Arches National Park is easily one of the best places to vacation in the US in its own right, the nearby town of Moab also makes an excellent launching pad to visit Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Double Arch in Arches National Park Utah

Olympic National Park, Washington

From Sophie and Adam of We Dream of Travel

Not only does Olympic National Park cover nearly a million acres, but it is also the most biodiverse of all the US national parks.

It has it all, from glaciated mountains to breathtaking coastlines, crashing waterfalls, ancient rainforests, enchanting hot springs, and plentiful wildlife.

With such a treasure trove of natural landscapes, Olympic National Park is easily one of the best places to visit in the US.

Mountain lovers should budget plenty of time to hike the trails of Hurricane Ridge.

Here you will discover stunning views above the clouds, as well as an abundance of wildlife.

Rocky Beach in Olympic National Park washington at sunset, a fantastic view along a west coast usa road trip destination

A great way to explore the park is on foot, particularly as much of the park is roadless. There are numerous multi-day hikes to choose from and it’s popular with backpackers.

The 17.4 miles Hoh River Trail is one of the most impressive, taking you through a flourishing rainforest to the base of Mount Olympus.

For coastal visitors, Second Beach is one of the best Olympic Park photography  locations and a perfect spot for sunset. 

However, with 73 miles of wild coastline, there’s plenty to explore!

There are endless options for the waterfall, forest, and nature lovers too.

In Sol Duc forest you can watch crystal water plunge into the lush greenery.

Or, you can choose to explore the vibrant green mosses of the Hoh Rainforest.  

No matter which part of Olympic National Park you visit, you will not be disappointed.

Forested trail in Olympic National Park with a river flowing across the photo. Olympic National Park definitely belongs on your USA bucket list!

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Stretching over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon in northwest Arizona is one of the largest–and most impressive–canyons on the planet, and one of the most popular places to visit in the USA!

Come to Grand Canyon National Park to admire views from the rim, hike into the canyon , watch the sunrise and sunset, and perhaps even hike all the way down to the Colorado River.

If you do want to hike to the river, though, be warned: doing so is a 2-day commitment!

Anyone taking a southwest road trip in the USA should consider adding a visit to the majestic Grand Canyon to their list: it’s truly a sight that you’ll never forget.

View of the Grand Canyon from the south rim near sunset. The Grand Canyon is one of the best USA travel destinations

Death Valley National Park, California

From Michelle of The Wandering Queen

One of the best places to visit in California is Death Valley National Park .

This park is filled with bright white salt flats, mountains splashed with pastel colors, and eerie rocks that move on their own.

This park is such a strange yet unique environment which makes it perfect for avid photographers.

One of the best things to do is to watch the sunrise at Zabriskie Point. The views are glorious as the sun slowly sets on the unique colorful mountains.

Afterward, make sure to hike the Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, and Badlands Loop Hike. The trailhead is right next to Zabriskie Point.

mesquite dunes in death valley national park during a pink sunrise

Another popular activity is visiting Badwater Basin. The basin stands at 282 feet below sea level and is filled with white salt.

This is a great spot to take pictures of the salt in contrast with the tall, dark mountains in the distance.

Nearby the salt flats, you can visit the devil’s golf course where spikey salt formations cover the ground.

The next outstanding area to visit is the Artists Drive. The mountain is sprinkled with pastel colors like yellow, pink, purple, and green.

It truly is a spectacular thing to see!

Rocky Mountain National Park

From Jyoti of Story At Every Corner

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most gorgeous parks in the US.

It’s also easily reachable from Denver, Colorado, which has many flights from across the country, making it fairly simple to access and one of the most popular places to vacation in America!

The best place to stay is in Estes Park , a quaint little tourist town in the mountains.

There are many small towns all around the park and many choices for all price points. 

white and green shop in downtown estes park. shopping downtown is one of the best things to do in estes park colorado

The easiest way to visit RMNP park is by car.

You can then enjoy the park by making stops at each vista point and taking hikes from there.

Most stops have short and long hikes; easy and challenging hikes.

There is a hike for everyone, but there is also spectacular scenery right at the vista points, even without a hike.

Keep in mind that the popularity of Rocky Mountain National Park means that certain places, like Bear Lake Road, must be accessed via reservation.

Kate Storm standing in front of Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the best places to visit in colorado

The most popular road that goes across the park is the scenic Trail Ridge Road.

If you don’t have time to visit anything else, I recommend driving Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to the town of Grand Lake.

Other major attractions include Sprague Lake and Bear Lake, to the south of the trail ridge road.

They offer absolutely stunning views and many wildlife viewing opportunities along with the drives. 

There is so much to do around Denver that RMNP can be part of a week-long itinerary visiting Colorado  or a trip just for RMNP. 

jeremy storm in a gray backpack hiking in rocky mountain national park

Set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is easily one of the most beautiful places in the US.

With crystal-clear water and plenty of activities in and out of the water, from hiking to SUP to swimming, there is no shortage of ways to appreciate the otherworldly beauty of Lake Tahoe .

To enjoy the views of the lake itself, summer is definitely the best time to visit–but winter has its charms, too, including plenty of skiing and incredible views of the lake framed by bright white snow.

From romantic couples’ retreats to fun getaways to Lake Tahoe with kids , all kinds of travelers will find something to love about Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe from above during the summer, one of the best USA travel destinations

Havasu Falls, Arizona

Located on Havasupai tribal lands not far from the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is simultaneously one of the most famous waterfalls in the USA and one of the hardest to access.

In order to visit Havasu Falls, you’ll need to secure an extremely competitive permit (they sell out months in advance) and complete a 10-mile hike in each direction.

You’ll also need to spend the night nearby, as it’s one of the permit requirements set out by the Havasupai people.

If you manage to swing both the logistics and the hike, though, the rewards are pretty spectacular.

Havasu Falls in Arizona, one of the most beautiful places in USA. Turquoise waterfall with orange walls surrounding it

Zion National Park, Utah

Home to some of what are quite possibly the best hikes in the country, Utah’s most-visited national park is absolutely one of the best places to see in the US.

Test your fear of heights (if you have one, that is) by hiking the incredible Angel’s Landing, and be rewarded with stunning views of Zion Canyon.

Venture deep into the Virgin River by hiking The Narrows , a hike that takes place literally in the river!

Seek out incredible views along Observation Point, the Canyon Overlook Trail , and the Watchman Trail.

Try to score a permit to hike the Subway, but if you can’t get one, don’t worry: there’s more to see in Zion National Park than you can cover in one vacation.

No matter how you spend your days at Zion National Park, there’s no doubt that you’ll be experiencing something worthy of a bucket list!

Kate Storm at the viewpoint at the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park Utah

Texas Bluebonnet Trail

California’s magnificent wildflowers may be a bit better known outside of the country, but Texas’ phenomenal spread of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes that decorate the countryside each spring absolutely belong on anyone’s USA bucket list.

Whether you choose to visit the official Texas Bluebonnet Trail near Ennis (not far from Dallas) or head to the Texas Hill Country , there is no shortage of places to admire bluebonnets in Texas.

Though the blooming times can of course vary a bit depending on the weather, late March and early April are generally the best times to experience the beauty of Texas’ bluebonnets.

Wooden cart parked in a Texas field surrounded by bluebonnets. Beautiful countryside like this close by many of the best weekend getaways in Texas!

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

From Emily of Em’s on the Road

If you’re looking for unforgettable outdoor experiences without the price tag of popular destinations out west, then the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the place for you.

One reason the Upper Peninsula (or U.P.) is really unique is that it is an ideal place for adventure seekers all year long. 

In the warmer months, the U.P is a great beach destination in the Midwest thanks to its location with beachfront on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron.

In the fall, pack your hiking boots and tackle rocky hiking trails for colorful views you’d never expect in the Midwest.

With an unobstructed panoramic view of Lake Superior, the hike up  Sugar Loaf mountain in Marquette, Michigan  is one of the most popular in the region.

Thanks to some serious snowfall, there’s so much to do in the U.P. in the winter months.

There are cross-country ski trails, snowmobiling trails, downhill skiing, dog sledding, ice climbing, and more. 

View of Lake Superior with a rainbow over it during fall foliage season on Sugarloaf Mountain in Michigan

Redwood National Forest

From Dhara of Roadtripping California

Most visitors to the Golden State put   California’s national parks at the top of their itineraries because they are just so spectacular.

Redwood National and State Parks, in the northern part of the state, offer you the chance to stroll among giant redwoods, some of the tallest and oldest trees on the planet.

A group of five parks, Redwood National and State Parks feature not just the towering redwoods, but also epic coastal views, beautiful prairies filled with wildflowers in season, and the chance to see birds and wildlife.

Enjoy some of the scenic drives in the parks: Howland Hill Drive, Coastal Drive, and the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway are all great choices.

Two people walking through a doorway in a fallen redwood tree in california usa

Do some of the trails through the redwood groves to see the giant trees up close: the Big Tree Wayside Walk, the Stout Memorial Grove Trail, and Lady Bird Johnson Grove are all super scenic and relatively easy walks.

Gaze up at the trees, and enjoy the ferns and rhododendrons in the understory.

You can also go biking in the parks, and camp if you plan to stay for a few days.

Redwood National and State Parks are about 5.5 hours north of San Francisco by road, and you can visit all year, although you will have the best weather in the summer.

Man standing in front of enormous Redwood trees with a sunflare in the top left corner of the photo

Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

From Jase of Roaming Vegans

A little-known gem in the north of Wisconsin is the Apostle Islands.

This island archipelago on Lake Superior looks like it belongs in Southeast Asia – not on the shoreline of a humble midwestern town.

However, its tucked-away location makes it all the more special for visitors.

While the lake freezes in winter, the islands come to life in summer with many activities like  sea kayaking , island hopping, and cliff jumping.

There is even an island home to one of the largest concentrations of bears in the Midwest–yes, bears!

The largest and most populated island is Madeline Island which makes for a great base to explore the nearby smaller islands.

sea caves as seen from the water at apostle islands, one of the best places to visit in the us

Maui, Hawaii

From Jessica of I’m Jess Traveling

Famed for her elegant beaches,  world-class resorts , and next-level surf, Maui attracts visitors from all over the world. 

It’s no surprise that Maui was named Condé Nast Traveler’s best island in the U.S. for 23 consecutive years. 

There are countless things to see and do in Maui depending on your travel style. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, hike through a majestic bamboo forest ending at a 400-foot waterfall.  

Ocean lovers can test their skills at surfing or set sail on a sunset cruise.

Bright blue water as seen along the Road to Hana in Maui, one of the best USA road trip itinerary ideas

There won’t be a shortage of exotic beaches to explore, no matter what your travel style is.

The adventure seekers have their pick among plunging the popular Road to Hana or watching the sunrise above the clouds at 10,000 feet inside Haleakala National Park. 

Whatever your draw, sunsets, beaches, luxury, or adventure, Maui has it all. 

Not only is Maui one of the best USA travel destinations but it’s one of the best places to take a tropical vacation in the world. 

Couple walking along Kaanapali Beach in Maui, shaded by a palm tree. Kaanapali Beach is one of the best beaches in America

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

For adorable beach towns, sandy beaches, and some of the best seafood you’ve ever eaten in your life, head to the classic New England summer getaway of Cape Cod.

While you’re in Cape Cod (or as New Englanders say, “on the Cape”), hit one of the beautiful trails, visit a lighthouse or two, stick your toes in the sand, and eat lots and lots of lobster.

While Cape Cod’s swimming season is much shorter than popular beach destinations elsewhere in the country, it’s still well worth visiting.

Just be sure to plan ahead, because rental houses for summer on the Cape tend to book up before winter even wraps up!

Provincetown Massachusetts on Cape Cod as seen from the water

Nā Pali Coast, Kauai

Towering cliffs covered in dense jungle, dramatic waterfalls, small valleys, and views of the Pacific Ocean far below: welcome to the Nā Pali   Coast.

Without a doubt, the Nā Pali   Coast on Kauai is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the US.

Stretching 17 miles along the northwest portion of Kauai, the Nā Pali   Coast is best admired from air–usually via a helicopter tour–or from a boat on the sea.

Whichever option you choose, there’s no doubt that what is arguably the most beautiful corner of The Garden Island is bound to impress.

Na Pali Coast of Kauai Hawaii. Kauai is one of the best road trips in USA.

Florida Keys

For a taste of the Caribbean without leaving the USA, head to the Florida Keys!

Not only is the overseas drive from Miami to Key West one of the most scenic road trips in the USA, but the Keys themselves are also fantastic, home to beautiful beaches, colorful architecture, great food, and plenty of things to do.

While you’re there, be sure to hit the water via snorkeling or scuba diving, go for a swim, enjoy the famous Duval Street, tour the Ernest Hemingway House, and eat several slices of the region’s famous Key Lime pie!

Highway over the Caribbean Sea leading the to Floriday Keys as shot with a drone. The Florida Keys are one of the best places to visit in USA

Big Island, Hawaii

From Patricia of Travel Fam Life

The biggest of the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii (also known as the Big Island) is a cool place to visit.

That starts with the weather: you’ll experience a lot of sunshine temperatures ranging from 85°- 90° in the summer months and 79°- 83 in the winter months, making it the perfect place to escape year-round. 

Hawaii is going to impress anyone that decides to visit.

The food is phenomenal and the choices are vast with plenty of history and cultural backgrounds.

The array of activities ranges from land to sea, from memorable ancient sites to beautiful folklore traditions. 

Some of the best things to do when taking a vacation to the Big Island include:

woman snorkeling in hawaii with orange fish in the foreground

Zip Lining over waterfalls is an activity that can be very exhilarating if you are an adrenaline junkie.

This can also be enjoyed as a family activity, some companies allow kids as young as 5 years old to participate.

Volcano National Park is a breathtaking experience with its majestic hikes, thrilling ride down to the Chain of Craters, and some spectacular scenery and photo opportunities.

Papakolea or Green Sand Beach is one of 4 green sand beaches in the world.

The hike to this remote beach is very worthwhile, and the backdrop of the Hawaiian blue ocean that keeps you company makes the whole experience priceless.

And the list goes on, you can check it out here .

Helicopter tour of Volcano National Park in Hawaii shot from inside the helicopter with lava visible through the windshield

Outer Banks, North Carolina

With sandy beaches framed by sand dunes and rolling waves, the Outer Banks of North Carolina may not boast the bright water of the Florida Keys or the tropical beauty of Hawaii, but they are stunning all the same, and absolutely one of the best places to visit in the USA.

Come for the small beach towns, the history of the Wright Brothers taking their first flight here, the southern food, the historic forts, and the beautiful lighthouses. 

Come for the sunken pirate ships, for the wild horses that live on some of the islands, for the great places to swim, and for the great day trip opportunities.

If you’re looking for a classic, all-American vacation, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina that make up the magnificent Outer Banks.

2 wild horses on a beach in North Carolina. Both horses are brown and they are standing near sand dunes

Oahu, Hawaii

From Sydney of A World in Reach

While visitors sometimes think of Oahu as just being a stopping point before visiting Hawaii’s other islands, the island has so much to offer than overcrowded beaches and tourist attractions.

Oahu is home to delicious food, beautiful scenery, and captivating history and is one of the best travel destinations in the United States.

Most visitors to Oahu will base themselves in Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital and largest city.

Guidebooks often recommend spending little time in Honolulu; however, this city is a melting pot of culture and is home to some of the best food on the island.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional Hawaiian meal or some of the best Asian food in the United States, you can easily find a delicious meal in Honolulu.

Start your visit to Oahu off by exploring Honolulu, seeing the sights, and eating all of the delicious food.

oahu hawaii beach at sunset with palm trees in the foreground

Spend a day at Waikiki Beach – it might be touristy, but it’s still worth a visit.

Plan a visit to Pearl Harbor, where you can learn more about one of the darkest days in US History, and spend a morning hiking Diamond Head, one of the best hikes on Oahu .

Spend the rest of your time on the island exploring the North Shore, visiting the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, and indulging in shave ice from Matsumoto.

Visit the beaches along the North Shore, where you might see some surfers catching waves, and hike through a botanical garden to a beautiful waterfall at Waimea Valley.

Lanikai beach in Oahu Hawaii as seen from above. One of the best beaches in USA

Napa Valley, California

Northern California’s wine country is definitely among the most beautiful–and for wine lovers, tastiest, places to visit in the USA.

With beautiful small towns, great boutiques, and rolling hills filled with vineyards that almost feel like being in Tuscany, both Napa Valley and Sonoma County have plenty to offer those looking for a laid-back, wine-filled getaway.

Vineyard in Napa Valley CA with a wood barn visible in the background, one of the best honeymoon destinations in usa

Door County, Wisconsin

From Paulina of Paulina on the Road

Wisconsin often isn’t the first US state that people think of visiting, but from beautiful beaches to quirky attractions like House on the Rock , it has plenty to offer.

One of the most beautiful USA landmarks, Door Country, Wisconsin welcomes you on board with 300 miles of stretched shoreline and an awestruck sunset over the water, you could not leave without a witness. 

It allows your soul to breathe and relax. Wisconsin lets you explore aesthetic art galleries, and thousands of miles of stretched orchards, cherish the local brews and wines, paddle along the beautiful lakes, and devour the cheery pies.

winding road through fall foliage in door county wisconsin, one of the best hidden usa secret vacation spots

Moreover, Green Bay, the capital of the region, is an underrated city that eventually captivates its visitors.

Though it’s a small city, the vibrant culture offers amazing  things to do in Green Bay .

Green Bay entertains visitors with prominent wineries. They produce their wines right up there which adds up to be a vital part of their culture. The landscape and heritage inspire the artists.

Walleye fishermen have the best water. It’s clean and portrays immense beauty. The botanical gardens and zoological parks play their role in charming travelers. 

Green Bay is an enchanting place that charms visitors with its intriguing features. 

Lakeshore at golden hour in Door County Wisconsin with evergreen trees on the right side of the photo

Route 66 isn’t technically just one place, but as one of the most iconic travel destinations in the United States, I couldn’t bear to leave it off this USA bucket list!

Stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 is America’s best-known road trip and the perfect place to find not-quite-forgotten slices of Americana, from quirky roadside attractions like Cadillac Ranch and the Catoosa Whale to beloved diners and 50s-era-inspired motels.

Route 66 passes through nine states in total (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California), and is a fantastic way to experience some of the best of what traveling in the US has to offer, all in one large trip.

jeremy storm sitting on top of a car at cadillac ranch in amarillo

Big cities, small towns, incredibly diverse landscapes, and beloved national parks are all featured heavily on Route 66.

Though it’s not technically on the route, even the Grand Canyon is accessible as an incredible side journey when road-tripping Route 66.

Whether you want to find a quirky campsite in Oklahoma or go hiking in Arizona, there’s no doubt that Route 66 is a classic US travel destination.

Route 66 in California with Joshua trees on either side. Route 66 is one of the absolute best road trips in USA

Big Sur, California

From Lauren of Ready, Set, PTO

Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the US and should definitely be on your bucket list.

Cruising along the winding Pacific Coast Highway with sweeping views of the Pacific is a magical experience.

This rugged area is located in Central California, about 5 hours north of Los Angeles.

If you aren’t able to find available lodging within Big Sur, check out nearby towns of Carmel and Monterey for more options, or try car camping with an epic view!

mcway falls as seen on big sur from above, one of the best places to visit in california

There are plenty of amazing  things to do in Big Sur .

I definitely recommend checking out the iconic Bixby Bridge (as seen in HBO’s Big Little Lies), admiring McWay Falls, hiking in Andrew Molera State Park, and Limekiln State Park, having a drink with a view at Nepenthe and watching the sunset at Pfeiffer Beach!

There’s not much cell service in Big Sur, so be prepared for an off-the-grid weekend of relaxation and gorgeous views.

Pacific Coast Highway California shot from above, one of the best romantic vacations for couples in the United States

Page, Arizona

The small town of Page, Arizona may seem like no more than a small town worthy of a brief stop on a road trip at first blush–but this small, unassuming town is home to some of the most incredible sights in the entire southwest, and it definitely belongs on your USA bucket list!

Page is where you can find the famous Antelope Canyon, as well as Horseshoe Bend , the Instagram darling of the Colorado River (for very good reason).

Just outside of Page, you can also find the remarkable Glen Canyon Dam, one of the largest dams in the US, as well as Lake Powell–but to see the best of Lake Powell, you’ll actually need to cross into Utah!

That’s not hard to do, though: Page is located right next to the Arizona/Utah border.

With such an outsized list of fun attractions, there’s no doubt that Page is one of the coolest places to vacation in the USA.

2 photos of the USA, first from a train ride in Alaska and one from a geothermic spring in Yellow. Black and red text reads "50 bucket list usa travel destinations"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

3 thoughts on “USA Bucket List: 50 Best Places to Visit in the US”

Great info. I know its great because I have been to most of the beaches you mention!

Thank you – will also look at your Italian small towns to see which ones we should visit and maybe retire to.

Thank you so much, Laura!

Retiring to Italy–sounds like quite the dream! 🙂

Absolutely amazing article, just loved it.

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The top 12 places to visit in the USA

Bailey Freeman

Aug 28, 2023 • 6 min read

tourist destinations in united states

New York City never gets old, not with so many exciting and dynamic neighborhoods to explore © LeoPatrizi / Getty

The best thing about visiting the US can be summed up in one word: variety. This expansive country contains an incredible number of travel experiences that would take a lifetime to complete – (figuratively) lose yourself among the redwoods, take deep breaths of sea air on glimmering beaches, or discover underground arts scenes in some of the world’s most famous cities.

Whether you’re a nature lover looking for wide open spaces and snow-covered peaks or a culture fiend who wants to lose themselves in museums and galleries, we’ve created a list of the USA’s heavy hitters. Here are the best places to visit in 2023.

1. New York, New York

Best place for art and architecture

A city that looms large in American lore, New York continues to live up to its hype. A global center for art, fashion, finance, music and food, the Big Apple entrances with its diversity. Sip sunset cocktails on luxurious rooftops, mosh at local punk shows, marvel at world-class art in famous museums, or indulge in the best food you’ve ever had at a hole-in-the-wall favorite.

Planning tip: New York has so much to offer, but resist the urge to see it all on your first trip. Break things down by neighborhood or borough , or maybe even by interest.

2. San Francisco, CA

Best for counter-culture

San Francisco contains multitudes, offering an urban travel experience with a distinctly West Coast flavor: take in breathtaking bay views at Golden Gate Park , wander the alleyways of the country’s largest and oldest Chinese neighborhood , pay homage to LGBTIQ+ heroes in the Castro, or dive into cutting-edge art at SFMOMA and a plethora of local galleries.

3. National Mall in Washington, DC

Best for national history

Washington DC ’s National Mall represents the center of American political life and distills its cultural history into a two-mile strip of iconic monuments and the country’s most famous museums. The mall contains ten Smithsonian museums – the National Museum of Natural History , the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History, among others – plus landmarks including the National Gallery of Art, the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol building.

A group of friends cooking seafood over a fire outdoors in Maine

4. New England

Best for forest drives

Want to meander on mountain roads beneath brilliant forest canopies and savor tasty lobster and coastal views all in the same trip? New England is the place to be. Explore the quaint villages and cranberry bogs of Cape Cod , snuggle into a cabin in the mountains of Vermont , or dive into all the seafood you can eat in Portland, Maine . And if you visit in autumn, prepare yourself for some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the country.

5. Pacific Coast Highway

Best for West Coast exploration

The Pacific Coast Highway – technically three highways linked together – connects sunny San Diego with moody Seattle , delivering epic West Coast experiences along the 1600-mile journey. Stay at kitschy motels in coastal towns, admire the cliffs of Big Sur , marvel at the tidepools in Oregon , and explore Washington’s Olympic National Park .

Planning tip: Sections of the Pacific Coast Highway run along sea cliffs prone to rockslides. Always check road conditions before setting out in case there are any unexpected closures.

6. New Orleans, Louisiana

Best for foodies and art lovers

There’s no place in the world like New Orleans , we promise. A vibrant cocktail of Indigenous, Caribbean, African, French and Spanish influences, this city possesses a unique magic that keeps people coming back for more. Dive into its legendary Creole cuisine, revel in its lively festivals, and immerse yourself in a world-class music scene – this is the birthplace of jazz, after all.

Planning tip: New Orleans's coastal location makes it susceptible to hurricanes from June through October, with the most active months being August and September.

7. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Best for Indigenous history and culture

Nicknamed the “City Different,” Santa Fe is rooted in American history while still keeping up with the times. A cultural melange of Indigenous, Spanish and Mexican influences, this city is home to numerous historical sites – like the 400-year-old plaza – and a cutting-edge art culture that features a strong contingent of independent artists and the original Meow Wolf , a game-changing immersive art installation.

Tourists admire iconic Cloud Gate at Millenium Park during early spring Rolf_52_Shutterstock.jpg

8. Chicago, Illinois

Best metropolis for midwestern charm

Chicago contains all the hallmarks of a great American city – excellent food, multicultural neighborhoods, top-tier museums – with a distinctly midwestern twist. Spend your days lounging next to the ocean-like Lake Michigan, catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field , or have an evening of laughs at Second City , the launchpad for greats like Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey.

9. Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Best for big peaks and winter sports

If you want to see the quintessential mountains of the American West, the Rockies in Colorado should be your first stop. Rocky Mountains National Park is a logical starting point, but in truth, there are so many different ways to access this dynamic mountain range – hit the slopes in ski hubs like Vail , Aspen and Telluride , drive the scenic byways of the San Juan range, or pitch camp in one of the state’s numerous national forests.

Planning tip: Unless you’re from somewhere with similar elevation, it’s likely you might feel the effects of altitude throughout the Rockies; stay extremely hydrated, take your time on hikes, and skip the alcohol.

10. Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina and Virginia

Best for east coast mountains

While the Rockies tend to get a lot of press – for good reason – the US’ oldest mountain range is a must-see. The Blue Ridge Mountains make up the southern third of the Appalachian mountain chain, and the lush forests wrapped around these rolling hills make for incredible blue-green vistas from the region’s many ridges and balds. Dive into the numerous day hikes, cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway , or hike a section of the storied Appalachian Trail.

Man kayaking at a mangrove forest in the Everglades

11. The Everglades, Florida

Best for wildlife watchers

The importance of the Everglades can’t be overstated – this sprawling wetland is an International Biosphere Reserve, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and a national park, thanks to the diverse profusion of flora and fauna that live here. Paddle through the coastal estuaries and camp among mangroves, or whiz through the numerous waterways via airboat. All the while, keep your eyes peeled for wading birds, manatees, and of course, alligators and crocodiles.

Planning tip: For the best experience, come prepared for the elements: sunscreen and bug spray are essentials.

12. Southwestern Utah

Best for geology lovers

If you want to visit one place in the US that sums up the grandiosity of its natural history, southwestern Utah is the place to go. Home to five of the country’s most spectacular national parks, Red Rock Country puts the region’s geological past on display with a dazzling amount of artistic flair. Hike the peaks and valleys of Zion and Bryce Canyon , or marvel at the palette of crimson, ochre and amber in the cliffs and canyons of Capitol Reef and Canyonlands . And if you want a special treat, watch the sun rise over the sandstone masterpieces at Arches .

Planning tip: Large swaths of this region are extremely remote and sometimes lack cell service, both on the road and on the trail. Always share your plans with others and bring plenty of water in case of emergencies.

This article was first published May 2021 and updated August 2023

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The gateway arch

The 20 top tourist attractions in the USA

Discover the top tourist attractions in the USA, from national-park essentials to iconic structures to must-see streets

Scott Snowden

Visiting popular tourist attractions can often mean navigating long lines and crowds—essentially, a lot of work for an experience that sometimes doesn't live up to the hype. While some attractions may be a bust, specific landmarks across the United States are well worth the effort. 

The top tourist attractions in the USA span from coast to coast, including iconic  buildings  like the national monuments in Washington DC, must-stroll neighborhoods  like the French Quarter in New Orleans,  unique landmarks  like the Space Needle in Seattle, or sights within breathtaking national parks .

We have rounded up the top U.S. tourist attractions you should add to your bucket list. In your quest to check them off your list, make a trip out of it and book one of the best hotels in America . And if you’re looking for a bit more travel inspiration, check out the best places to visit in the USA right now.

An email you’ll actually love

Top tourist attractions in the USA

National Mall | Washington DC

1.  National Mall | Washington DC

Immaculately maintained by the National Park Service, the National Mall and Memorial Parks feature more than 1,000 acres of must-see monuments, sites and green space. While the Washington Monument towers above all else—quite literally, the city doesn’t zone for buildings taller than the marble icon—the Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial are just as magnificent. Though it will take a full day (or two) to see the National Mall, set aside some time to peruse through some of  Washington, D.C.’s top museums .

Niagara Falls | New York State

2.  Niagara Falls | New York State

Situated on the border of New York and Canada, the three waterfalls (Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridalveil Falls) have the combined highest flow rate of any waterfall worldwide. Their impressive force is nothing short of awe-worthy. A top tourist destination since the 19th century, the unstoppable beauty and charm of Niagara Falls  make it a memorable and unique landmark. 

The French Quarter | New Orleans, LA

3.  The French Quarter | New Orleans, LA

The oldest corner of New Orleans remains its most charming attraction. Walk down famous Bourbon Street to enjoy jazz, great nightlife and tons of food. While you travel on a streetcar between destinations, pay close attention to the spectacular architecture. And no trip to the French Quarter would be complete without a taste of authentic Cajun grub or a stop to pay your respects in the Cities of the Dead. 

Statue of Liberty | New York City, NY

4.  Statue of Liberty | New York City, NY

Though she may have been born in France, the Statue of Liberty has become synonymous with America and the country’s highest-held values. True, the 151-foot-tall copper monument can be seen up close from aboard the free Staten Island Ferry, but you can also pay your respects in person and even step inside it while on an official tour.

Old Faithful | Yellowstone Park, WY

5.  Old Faithful | Yellowstone Park, WY

A cone geyser found in Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful is not entirely as predictable as it once was (it won’t erupt precisely every 74 minutes, for example) yet remains as historically exciting. When erupting, the geothermal feature unleashes more than 3,700 gallons of piping hot water. When you’re done marveling at the spectacle, spend at least a full day exploring the rest of the park.

The Strip | Las Vegas, NV

6.  The Strip | Las Vegas, NV

Immortalized in a seemingly endless amount of movies, the Strip’s bright lights, larger-than-life performers and casinos are burned into our collective subconscious. Whether planning on trying your luck at poker or looking to catch a diva’s residency, the Strip is a top destination for all things entertainment and, yes, a bit of debauchery.

Smithsonian Museums | Washington, D.C.

7.  Smithsonian Museums | Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education, and research complex. Located in the heart of this nation's capital, you can explore the  National Air & Space Museum , the National Museum Of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, and many more. The best part? It's all free. The latest addition to the museum line-up, which opened in 2016, is the National Museum of African American History and Culture and is a must-visit. 

The Grand Canyon | Arizona

8.  The Grand Canyon | Arizona

So, about five to six million years ago, the Colorado River more or less established its route through the Arizona desert. Glacial erosion, meltwater runoff and the simultaneous counter effect of the land slowly rising—as the weight of the glaciers was reduced—ultimately resulted in one of the most spectacular natural wonders on our modest, little blue-green planet. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, varies between four and 18 miles wide and has a maximum depth of 6,000 feet. There are hotels and restaurants in key locations, but for the most part, you should visit and marvel at how incredible this world is—you know, before we ruin it.

J. Paul Getty Museum | Los Angeles, CA

9.  J. Paul Getty Museum | Los Angeles, CA

The Getty brings visitors from across the country and around the world to California. The $1 billion facility, designed by internationally renowned architect Richard Meier, features travertine and white-metal pavilions highlighting the complex’s futuristic frame. Inside, find one of the most exciting art collections—including Medieval manuscripts, paintings by Van Gogh and Monet, and modern sculptures.

Kennedy Space Center | Orlando, FL

10.  Kennedy Space Center | Orlando, FL

If you’ve always dreamed of working in outer space, this is your chance to see and touch models of space shuttles, rockets, satellites, tools and mission control rooms. The simulators and explorable modules will make you feel like an actual astronaut—though if you wonder just how much the experience compares to the real deal, you can meet one of those brave scientists in person at the Astronaut Encounter Theater.

Golden Gate Bridge | San Francisco, CA

11.  Golden Gate Bridge | San Francisco, CA

Name a more iconic bridge—we'll wait. There's a reason the Golden Gate Bridge is so famous. With its vibrant international orange color and spanning from San Francisco to the Marin headlines, stands as a symbol of the West. There are countless ways to take in the stunning bridge views: head to a beach (try Baker Beach), head to the new Presidio Tunnel Tops Park, go to a vista overlook, or get up close and personal by crossing the bridge by foot or bike. A trip to San Francisco isn't complete until you get a picture with the Golden Gate in the background.

Little Havana | Miami, FL

12.  Little Havana | Miami, FL

After decades of serving as a home to Cuban exiles, Little Havana has become a must-visit destination in its own right. While out on the town, throw back rum-spiked Caribbean drinks and dance the night away to live rumba and salsa music. The food here is legendary : Cuban sandwiches, Colombian arepas, savory tacos and other Latin American dishes will leave your mouth watering.

Hoover Dam | Nevada

13.  Hoover Dam | Nevada

Perhaps the best example of America’s building prowess in the first half of the 20th century, this dam remains a bewildering feat of engineering and labor. Construction started in 1931 and took five years, 5,000 workers and 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete to complete. Today, you can tour the dam and its power plant to learn more about the facility’s history and unique features.

The Gateway Arch | St. Louis, MO

14.  The Gateway Arch | St. Louis, MO

Not only is St. Louis’s premiere attraction the world’s largest arch, but it is also the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. Standing proud at 630ft tall, this metal beauty was built in the mid-20th century as a monument to America’s westward expansion and is meant to signify the connection of the East to the West, honoring the country’s first pioneers. To fully understand this architectural wonder, snag a ticket to the Gateway Arch Tram and ride to the top of the monument.

Mammoth Cave Park | Kentucky

15.  Mammoth Cave Park | Kentucky

With more than 400 miles explored, the world’s longest known cave system (by far) is in Kentucky and it welcomes any visitor not afraid of the dark or the damp. See the dramatic passages lined with geological formations that might inspire your inner explorer during a guided tour by a park ranger. The tours vary in length but they always include historic details about how the cave system was formed and how people and other creatures have interacted with it. After several hours in the caverns, appreciate the beauty of the clear waters and the untouched nature of the area while on a bike ride or canoe adventure.

Space Needle | Seattle, WA

16.  Space Needle | Seattle, WA

Like many famous landmarks, Seattle’s iconic Space Needle was built for the World’s Fair, back in 1962 when the theme was “The Age of Space.” Today, it remains one of the most recognizable and photographed landmarks worldwide for its futuristic design. Standing at 605 feet tall, visitors can take an elevator up to the tower’s saucer-shaped top floor with 360-degree views. Recent renovations resulted in a multi-level viewing experience with floor-to-ceiling glass viewing that will make your stomach drop.

Navy Pier | Chicago, IL

17.  Navy Pier | Chicago, IL

Clearly, one of the Midwest’s most popular destinations, Navy Pier is visited by roughly nine million people each year. From excellent shopping opportunities to eateries and, of course, Lake Michigan, the destination offers something for everyone. The little ones will be delighted by the Chicago Children’s Museum , while grown-ups should head to the award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater . 

Alcatraz | San Francisco, CA

18.  Alcatraz | San Francisco, CA

This formidable fortress in the middle of San Francisco Bay was converted from a lighthouse station to a military prison in the 1870s. However, it found genuine acclaim after being upgraded to a maximum security prison in 1934, home to the early 20th century’s most notorious criminals. Today, the tiny island is only accessible to the public via a ferry from Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing. You should plan to spend about three hours soaking up the amazing history and during that time, a self-guided audio cellhouse tour narrated by former inmates and guards will fill you in on harrowing escape attempts, prison riots and the 19-month-long occupation of the site by Native Americans demanding reparation for broken treaties in 1969. 

Venice Beach | Venice, CA

19.  Venice Beach | Venice, CA

Wedged in between Marina del Ray and Santa Monica, Venice Beach is one of the biggest draws for visitors to Los Angeles. It's firmly established as the bohemian epicenter of Southern California and you won't find a higher concentration of recognizable landmarks from film and TV anywhere else in Los Angeles. At weekends, during the summer, it gets pretty packed, but that just adds to the slightly chaotic atmosphere. Street acts add a carnival feel to the proceedings, plus, of course, the beach is just a few feet away. Try Hinano Cafe  for a great burger in a back-to-basics, spit 'n sawdust setting and the newly refurbished Pier House for classic cocktails as the sun sets over the Pacific.

Alamo Mission | San Antonio, TX

20.  Alamo Mission | San Antonio, TX

Most Americans know the phrase 'Remember the Alamo' even if they’re not exactly sure what transpired at the 18th-century Spanish mission. Later secularized and used as a fortress, 1836 the Alamo was the site of a bloody and decisive battle of the Texas Revolution between Texas’s early Anglo settlers and Mexico (the latter won). One of the most visited historic sites in the country today, the fort welcomes about three million visitors annually. 

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USA Travel Bucket List: 50 Places to Visit Before You Die

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See recent posts by Megan Johnson

While we’re often daydreaming of beaches in the Maldives and vineyards in Tuscany, there are plenty of amazing destinations in our own backyard. To help you with your bucket list, we’ve rounded up 50 places you must visit in the United States before you die — in no particular order.

1. New York City

Central Park aerial view, Manhattan, New York; Park is surrounded

One of the most-visited places in the world, New York City has numerous attractions, a multicultural population, and something for all types of travelers. Tourists should be sure to fit in a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Times Square. Central Park offers a respite from the crowds, museums are impressive, and a show on Broadway followed by a slice of pizza is an ideal night out.

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Majestic Vista of the Grand Canyon at Dusk

The second-most popular national park in the U.S., the Grand Canyon in Arizona wows with its Colorado River-formed canyon, which stretches 277 miles long and over a mile deep. Visitors can see the park from scenic lookout points, via a stunning helicopter ride , during whitewater rafting, while riding a mule, or by hiking down and back.

3. Disney World, Florida

Orlando, FL, USA - November 5 2022 : Magic Kingdom Park. The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration.

One of the most magical places for people of all ages, the massive Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has four fun theme parks. Magic Kingdom has the breathtaking Cinderella Castle and nightly fireworks shows, while Epcot allows park-goers to travel around the globe by showcasing 11 different countries — think a pagoda in Japan, a biergarten in Germany, and Eiffel Tower views in France.

 4. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans Jackson square

Vibrant, historic, and downright fun, New Orleans is a popular city throughout the year. While most people know about the city’s rambunctious Mardi Gras celebrations, NOLA also offers world-class jazz music, delicious Creole and Cajun cuisines, art galleries, ghost tours, and notable buildings such as the 18th-century St. Louis Cathedral. The French Quarter is best explored with a coffee and beignet or a frozen cocktail in hand.

5. San Antonio Missions, Texas

The Alamo in San Antonio Texas during golden sunset. Historic Texas Mission and battle site in the Texas Revolution against Mexico

Sure, you probably know about The Alamo in San Antonio, but it’s actually one of five Spanish missions found across the city. The oldest is Mission Espada , which was built in 1690; original frescoes are still visible inside Mission Concepcion ; and the largest is Mission San José . Visitors can bike or drive between the missions, and park rangers provide free tours.

6. Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls

While we’d argue that Niagara Falls is more impressive from the Canadian side , you can still witness the three stunning waterfalls without a passport. Head to Prospect Point in Niagara Falls State Park for a stellar vantage point, or consider a Maid of the Mist boat tour for a more up-close-and-personal view. Also worth a visit is Cave of the Winds , which is set behind Bridal Veil Falls and offers visitors a sensational view of the falls, often accompanied by a beautiful rainbow.

7. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Golden Gate, San Francisco, California, USA.

Opened in 1937, the famous Golden Gate Bridge is an orange-colored suspension bridge that impresses with its main span of 4,200 feet and a total height of 746 feet. It connects San Francisco to Marin County, where the Golden Gate National Recreation Area has hiking, historical attractions, and lovely vistas of the bridge and San Francisco. After snapping a photo on land, travelers can bike or walk across the bridge for more picturesque views.

8. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains, autumn sunrise Tennessee

Both a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site, the Great Smoky Mountains is the most frequented national park in America. The gorgeous park is located in both Tennessee and North Carolina, and it has tons of recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and water tubing. Fall also offers striking foliage.

9. Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

As the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., is a must-visit for anyone who wants to see where the government is run. From the White House to the Capitol to the Supreme Court Building, all three branches of government are found here, in addition to historical monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial , the Washington Monument , and World War II Memorial . Visitors can also spend hours touring the various Smithsonian museums within the National Mall .

10. Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

a bison grazes near the steaming old faithful geyser in yellowstone national park

One of the most well-known geological features in the country, Old Faithful , is a cone geyser within Yellowstone National Park . It was discovered in 1870 and got its name from its frequent and generally predictable eruptions, which occur about every 60 to 110 minutes. An average eruption is 130 to 140 feet high, expelling 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of water (depending on the length of the eruption).

Related: The 6 Best National Parks for Winter Wildlife Spotting

11. South Beach, Miami

Miami Florida USA

South Beach is Miami‘s trendy hot spot, home to one of the prettiest beaches in America, gorgeous Art Deco architecture, tasty Cuban fare, and popular nightlife spots. A Latin American influence pervades the city at large, and in South Beach, tourists can shop at fancy boutiques, eat cheap Cuban sandwiches, and lounge at posh beach clubs . A beachside boardwalk is great for strolling or biking and, of course, people-watching.

12. The Narrows, Zion National Park

Orange glow hits the canyon walls in The Narrows of Zion National Park

Within Utah’s Zion National Park , The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. It’s the park’s most popular hike due to its striking setting within a gorge, where the river acts as the trail. Hikers must wade in water that varies from ankle- to waist-deep. It’s particularly pleasant in the hot summer months, but visitors should stay on top of weather conditions, as it’s known for dangerous flash flooding.

13. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Cityscape view in Santa Fe, New Mexico mountains of road street through community neighborhood with green plants summer and adobe traditional houses

Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe is a charming artsy town with a strong Native American influence. Pueblo-style architecture, a central plaza where vendors sell various handicrafts, and historic sights such as Loretto Chapel give the city a unique feel, plus there’s plenty to keep busy throughout the year. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and restaurants serving New Mexican cuisine are additional highlights.

14. Pacific Coast Highway, California

Bixby Creek Bridge Big Sur California

Whether you choose to drive the entire 659 miles of the Pacific Coast Highway or just a fraction thereof, you’ll be rewarded with sensational vistas. Certain routes can be done in a day, but we recommend taking your time by starting in San Francisco and slowly making your way to Orange County. The best views are arguably in Big Sur, where you’ll find rugged cliffs against the ocean on one side and redwood forests on the other.

15. Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Just outside of Washington, D.C., is Arlington National Cemetery , which spans 624 acres and houses the graves of 400,000 active duty service members, veterans, and their families. The graves of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are frequently visited, as is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is a monument dedicated to deceased U.S. service members whose remains haven’t been identified. The moving Changing of the Guard can be witnessed every 30 or 60 minutes while the cemetery is open, depending on the time of year.

16. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee, December 6, 2022: Broadway Street on a rainy night.

Even those who don’t love country music will likely be enamored with Nashville, Tennessee. Excellent restaurants and hip bars make for a thriving nightlife scene, and the live music — much of which is country — on Broadway is not to be missed. Top attractions include Centennial Park for its full-size replica of Greece’s Parthenon, the Grand Ole Opry concert hall, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum .

17. Freedom Trail, Boston

Freedom Trail in Boston

Boston played a large part in America’s independence, and the city’s Freedom Trail passes through 16 historically significant locations. The two-and-a-half-mile trail takes visitors to Boston Common (America’s oldest public park), the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s House , and the USS Constitution (the oldest commissioned ship that acts as a museum today).

18. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Purple sunset and rising moon in Joshua Tree National Park, USA

Located in southern California, east of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park is a dreamy destination known for its distinctive-looking namesake trees, big boulders that are ideal for rock climbing, and stellar stargazing opportunities . Visitors can drive through, hike around, camp, or ride horseback through the desert landscape.

19. Road to Hana, Maui

Road to Hana: The Hana Highway turns to cross a one lane bridge beside a waterfall on the north coast of Maui.

The top attraction in Maui on TripAdvisor, the Road to Hana (Hana Highway) is a 64.4-mile drive that connects Kahului, where the airport is located, to the town of Hana on Maui’s more rugged east coast. The drive is not for the faint of heart, as it has over 600 switchbacks and 56 one-lane bridges, but the speed limit never surpasses 25 miles per hour. Travelers who hit the road are rewarded with spectacular lush greenery, stunning black-sand beaches, multiple waterfalls, and spots to buy banana bread.

20. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Colorado

Red Rocks at sunrise, near Denver Colorado

Located about a 30-minute drive outside of Denver, the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is an open-air concert and entertainment venue. The entire theater, including the seating, was built into the red rocks, which make for a phenomenal acoustic experience. Tourists can run up and down the steps in the morning and see big-name acts at night. Past performers include The Beatles, U2, Coldplay, and John Denver.

Related: Maui vs. Kauai: Which Hawaiian Island Is Better for You?

21. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

amazing sundown at horseshoe bend, arizona

Horseshoe Bend is where the Colorado River takes a horseshoe-shaped bend in Glen Canyon. Visitors to Horseshoe Bend have skyrocketed since it gained recognition through Instagram. It’s easily accessible, as travelers can hike a one-and-a-half-mile round-trip trail from a parking lot off the highway.

22. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas, USA cityscape on the river and walkway.

The capital of Texas, Austin, is a hip, youthful city where low-frills barbecue joints and big-name tech corporations coexist. From stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Austin to topless sunbathing at Barton Springs Pool , there are a lot of ways to beat the daytime heat. Nights can be spent at upscale restaurants, Sixth Street bars with live music, or watching bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Buy a University of Texas T-shirt and some cowboy boots while you’re there.

23. Space Needle, Seattle

Amazing View of Seattle From Far Away with mountain tops on the horizon

An iconic landmark in Seattle, the Space Needle is an observation tower that was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. With its antenna, it rises 604 feet, allowing for panoramic views of Seattle and the surrounding water. A 100-million-dollar renovation included the creation of the Loupe, the world’s first and only rotating glass floor. A cafe and wine bar entice visitors to linger.

24. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

American flag waiving in front of Mount Rushmore

Located in South Dakota, this famous landmark depicts four American presidents carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore . Constructed between 1927 and 1941, the sculpture features the 60-foot heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

25. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Mass Ascension at Sunrise, Hot Air Balloons

Every year since 1972, Albuquerque hosts the International Balloon Fiesta, in which the sky is filled with colorful hot air balloons. For nine days in October, families and friends gather to watch the largest balloon festival in the world.

26. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

The Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park (the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world)

Another top attraction (and the most-photographed) within Yellowstone National Park is the Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the largest hot spring in the United States, measuring 370 feet in diameter. It’s best viewed from above, as the spring has vibrant bands of rainbow colors.

27. Griffith Observatory, California

Los Angeles Griffith Observatory sunset

Situated on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory is a popular observatory with free admission. It has stellar views of the Hollywood Sign and Los Angeles, and visitors can use telescopes, the planetarium, various events, and a cafe.

28. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park

Biker on the Going-to-the-Sun Road with mountain background, Glacier National Park, Montana

Completed in 1932, Going-to-the-Sun Road is a two-lane highway that allows visitors to traverse the 50-mile width of Glacier National Park . Various scenic lookouts and noteworthy hikes can be found off the road, and it crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Due to weather conditions, it generally doesn’t open until late June or early July.

29. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Skyline

Whether for a bachelorette party, Celine Dion concert, or business conference, there’s a good chance you’ve at least thought about going to Las Vegas. Sin City is renowned for its world-class casinos, nightlife, and celebrity-chef-helmed restaurants, not to mention rowdy pool parties with famous DJs. It’s not all debauchery, though, and many kid-friendly activities dot the city.

30. Acadia National Park, Maine

Bass Harbor Head lighthouse at sunset. Bass Harbor Head Light is a lighthouse located within Acadia National Park, Maine, marking the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay

Maine‘s beauty is undeniable, and that’s perhaps best displayed at Acadia National Park . Located near Bar Harbor, the 47,000-acre park sits along the coast and offers ample wildlife, such as moose and peregrine falcons, beaches, lush forests, and granite ridges formed by glaciers. While summer is a popular time to visit, the fall foliage makes for great autumn hiking.

Related: Top 9 Las Vegas Hotels on the Strip for Every Type of Traveler

31. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Girls on vacation hiking trip. Friends standing next to Thor's Hammer hoodoo on top of mountain looking at beautiful view. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA

Located a four-hour drive south of Salt Lake City, Bryce Canyon is a national park best known for having the largest concentration of hoodoos (irregular rock columns) in the world. The park was designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2019 due to the great nighttime visibility and many astronomy-related programs on offer.

32. Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Liberty Bell old symbol of American freedom in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Often considered a symbol of America’s independence, the iconic Liberty Bell in Philadelphia was ordered by Pennsylvania Assembly in 1751. It was previously housed in Independence Hall, the building where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were adopted. It has since been moved to the Liberty Bell Center within the Independence National Historical Park .

33. Charleston, South Carolina

Broad Street Panorama in Charleston, South Carolina, USA

The 1670-founded Charleston is South Carolina’s oldest city, Today, it offers a lovely mix of old-fashioned Southern charm and contemporary style. Cobblestone streets filled with horse-drawn carriages and striking mansions can be found in its well-preserved Historic District, while notable wartime places, like Fort Sumter and Patriots Point , sit nearby. Cute boutique shops and traditional Southern comfort food appeal to visitors, as does Folly Beach , located a 25-minute drive south of the city.

34. Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park

Hot springs may conjure images of Iceland or Costa Rica, but the aptly named city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, offers U.S. travelers ample opportunities to soak in naturally heated springs. The town is located in the Ouachita Mountains, about one hour from Little Rock. Bathhouse Row has several bathhouse options, including places for coed or gender-segregated experiences. A few dispensers around the city let people obtain cold spring water straight from the mountain.

35. Redwood National and State Parks, California

Hiker in Sequoia National Park, California, USA

Roughly equidistant from Portland and San Francisco, the Redwood National and State Parks encompass 139,000 acres and three state parks. Visitors here will find stunning redwood trees, which are some of the largest, tallest, and oldest trees in the world. On average, redwoods live between 500 and 700 years, and a typical redwood here measures 300 feet tall and 16 to 20 feet in diameter.

36. Oahu, Hawaii

Beautiful day at world famous and popular snorkeling spot Hanauma bay in Honolulu on Oahu, Hawaii

The most popular of the Hawaiian islands, Oahu provides picture-perfect beaches, hiking opportunities, and the conveniences of a city — think budget-friendly hotels, chain restaurants, and an international eatery. Top attractions include Waikiki Beach in Honolulu , Diamond Head — a dormant volcano crater that can be hiked — and North Shore, a beach with huge waves that make it a frequent host of international surfing competitions in the winter. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is also worth a visit.

Girl watching Aurora borealis in Fairbanks, Alaska

The 49th state of Alaska is stunning, with greenery-filled forests, tons of wildlife (think bears, humpback whales, and moose), and massive glaciers. However, it’s not the easiest place to explore, as even the capital of Juneau has no roads leading out of the city. Arguably the best way to see Alaska is on a cruise , stopping at ports like Ketchikan , which has a strong native culture and renowned salmon fishing.

38. Sonoma, California

Sunset at Sonoma California patchwork vineyard at harvest. Vista of Sonoma Valley wine country, with patches of yellow and green vines in autumn. Sunbeams shine on mountains and valleys.

While we love Napa Valley in California, Sonoma provides a slightly less touristy wine-country experience. Sonoma is set among beautiful rolling hills, and many of the over 400 wineries within Sonoma County have a laid-back atmosphere that will put visitors at ease. Like Napa, Sonoma has tons of top-notch restaurants, relaxing spas, bike rentals, and charming bed-and-breakfasts to choose from.

39. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Man on hilltop viewing Crater Lake with full moon

A four-hour drive south of Portland, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is 183,224 acres and home to America’s deepest lake. Crater Lake, a caldera formed by the eruption of Mount Mazama volcano, is 1,943 feet deep at its deepest point and has a striking deep blue hue. Swimming and fishing are permitted, plus park-goers can hike, bike, ski, and stargaze.

40. Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Taos Pueblo; Taos, New Mexico

Located 90 minutes north of Santa Fe, Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage site. An active Native American community resides on Taos Pueblo lands, both within the Pueblo and in surrounding areas. The present buildings, which are made of adobe, are believed to have been constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D. Guided tours are available of the site.

Related: Best Destinations for Adult-Only Vacations

41. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope canyon, Arizona

Another Instagram darling, Antelope Canyon , is a magnificent, awe-inspiring slot canyon near Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, formed by the erosion of Navajo Sandstone. It’s located on Navajo tribal lands, and the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons can only be accessed with a guide licensed by the tribe.

42. Minnesota Lakes

Yellow canoe on shore of beautiful lake with island in northern Minnesota at dawn

Minnesota is considered the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” though it actually has nearly 12,000, and many are fantastic spots for a summer vacation. Whether you choose to dip your toes in the chilly Lake Superior — one of the Great Lakes — or go full-on swimming in Mille Lacs Lake (which is large but shallow), there’s a lake in Minnesota for you.

43. Arches National Park, Utah

Jubilation at Delicate Arch, Moab Utah

Just outside of Moab is Arches National Park , famous for its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches — the largest concentration of them on Earth. The most photographed is the 52-foot-tall, freestanding Delicate Arch, plus the park has many other striking geological formations.

44. Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, KY, USA - October 25, 2017: The exterior of Churchill Downs while it was closed to the public and under construction. A gift shop is open and tours of the inside are available.

Since 1865, the Kentucky Derby horse race has been taking place at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. Women wear elaborate hats, while gentlemen don seersucker suits in pastel hues. Visitors come to watch the 20 three-year-old Thoroughbred horses race 1.25 miles — often with a mint julep in hand.

45. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island view from Fort Mackinac in Michigan

Located in Michigan’s Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a charming 1780-founded island with a population of just around 1,000 (though it sees many tourists during its peak season). A majority of the island is a state park, which has forests, wildlife, and hiking trails. The use of motor vehicles has been outlawed here since 1898, so expect to ride around on bikes or in horse-drawn carriages and buggies.

46. Santa Monica, California

View of Santa Monica beach and Pacific Coast highway in southern California.

Santa Monica sits due west of Los Angeles, and the town lures travelers with its postcard-worthy beach, pier with amusement park rides, and boulevard lined by shops and eateries. A 22-mile paved bike trail is a great way to see the city, plus the famous Muscle Beach , an outdoor gym dating back to the 1930s, is not to be missed.

47. Space Center, Houston

HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA - JUNE 9, 2018: The NASA Space Shuttle Independence and NASA 905 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft at Independence Plaza, Space Center Houston, Texas.

The Space Center in Houston is the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and home of NASA Mission Control and astronaut training. It allows visitors to view more than 400 space artifacts, as well as traveling and permanent exhibits related to space travel.

48. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Picture Lake Reflection of Mount Shuksan

About a 90-minute drive from Denver is Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park , which attracts millions of visitors each year with its 355 miles of hiking trails, scenic drives to more than 12,000 feet in elevation, and over 50 lakes and streams for fishing. Year-round activities abound, and travelers can either camp within the park or stay at a nearby hotel such as the Stanley Hotel (the inspiration for “The Shining”).

49. Fenway Park, Boston

Fenway Park - home of the Boston Red Sox - BOSTON , MASSACHUSETTS

Long considered America’s pastime, baseball is something every U.S. citizen and traveler should witness at least once. There are 30 Major League Baseball teams, and while Wrigley Field in Chicago, Yankee Stadium in New York, and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles are all suitable spots, we love Fenway Park in Boston for its easy-to-reach location. Plus, the many die-hard Red Sox fans make for a fun experience.

50. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Alcatraz Island Sail Boats San Francisco California

Located in San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island is a fascinating tourist attraction that was developed as a Civil War fortress, followed by a military prison and federal prison (until 1963). Ferries shuttle visitors to the island, where guided tours showcase the complex history of the site and its prison.

How many destinations can you check off the list? Find out down below:

USA Travel Bucket List Checklist

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24 Best Places to Visit in the United States

Written by Lana Law Updated May 3, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Lana Law has spent many years traveling to all corners of the United States.

With so much to see in this vast country, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to planning a trip in the United States. World-class cities , some known for history and others known for fun or glamour, give you a broad spectrum of places to choose from. The best places to visit in the United States may simply depend on your personal interests.

Yosemite National Park

Along the Eastern Seaboard , New York and Washington, D.C. offer two uniquely different city experiences. Along the West Coast , San Francisco and Los Angeles are both hot spots for tourists. In the Southwest , Las Vegas brings the desert to life, and the Grand Canyon shows off one of nature's greatest creations.

Beyond the mainland are the beaches of Waikiki and the tropical Hawaiian Islands , as well as Alaska. These are just a few key locations, but wonderful destinations for any type of traveler can be found all over the country.

Discover more of America with our list of the best places to visit in the United States.

1. New York

2. san francisco, 3. the grand canyon, 5. las vegas, 7. washington, d.c., 9. los angeles, 10. new orleans, 11. utah's national parks, 12. orlando/kissimmee, 13. chicago, 14. phoenix, 15. savannah, 17. yosemite national park, 18. colorado's rocky mountains, 19. seattle, 20. north carolina's outer banks, 21. santa fe, 22. san antonio, 23. yellowstone national park.

New York

New York City is like no other city in the world, and one that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

For first-time visitors, walking the streets can be like walking through a movie set, with famous sites at every turn, from the Empire State Building , to Rockefeller Plaza , the Chrysler Building , Central Park , The High Line , Times Square , 5th Avenue , Broadway , and of course, the Statue of Liberty .

Sightsee by day, take in a Broadway show in the evening, work in time for shopping or a stroll, and relax and reminisce over a fantastic meal. This is New York. With too much to see and do in a day, a weekend, or even a week, this is a city worth visiting time and time again.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in New York City

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York City

San Francisco

This charming and picturesque West Coast city is the perfect getaway destination for couples, singles, or families. Famous sites, charming streets, beautiful views, and outdoor dining are all part of what makes San Francisco such a great place to visit.

Take a cruise on San Francisco Bay, tour Alcatraz , drive over the Golden Gate Bridge , wander around Fisherman's Wharf , hop on an historic street car, or try a do-it-yourself walking tour to explore the city sites.

Summer or fall is a wonderful time to visit, but the climate here is mild and any time of year is pleasant.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Francisco
  • Best Free Things to Do in San Francisco

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of those must-see, bucket-list destinations that have been attracting visitors for generations. Gazing out over the canyon walls to an endless horizon and an unfathomable depth below is one of the highlights of any trip in the United States.

Visiting the Grand Canyon can easily be done on a day trip from Las Vegas or Phoenix , and from some smaller cities in the vicinity, including Sedona or Flagstaff . Another option is to incorporate a visit into a larger driving trip through Arizona and surrounding states. A train trip from Williams , AZ on the Grand Canyon Railway is another delightful way to experience the canyon.

The south rim of the Grand Canyon, which is the most popular and most visited section, is open all year, and visitors are welcome at any time of year. To avoid the crush of summer visitors, consider arriving in the spring or fall; the weather is good and the crowds smaller. The road to the north rim of the Grand Canyon is closed in winter due to snow.

  • Top Attractions & Things to See at the Grand Canyon
  • From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon: Best Ways to Get There

Houston from Buffalo Bayou Park

Houston is the perfect city for a friends' getaway, a couples' retreat, or a family vacation. With direct flights from cities across the United States and Canada, you can easily fly in to see a sports game, wander through Houston's Museum District , lounge by a pool at one of the many luxury hotels, and spend your evenings enjoying incredible meals.

Houston has developed into a hot spot for dining in the United States and is now well known for extraordinary cuisine.

If you want a relaxed but outdoor urban experience, rent a bike and peddle your way through the miles of paved trails in the parks or on the downtown streets. Rent a kayak and paddle along Buffalo Bayou in Buffalo Bayou Park .

In less than an hour, you can be on the nearby beaches or exploring Galveston , and along the way, you can make a stop at Space Center Houston .

Accommodation: Best Resorts in Houston

  • Read More: Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Houston

Las Vegas

This glittering city of lights in the desert holds a unique appeal, and one that has been attracting visitors for decades. Huge resort complexes , with all kinds of things to see and do at any time of year, have made this a destination that draws everyone, from want-to-be newlyweds who come here to say their vows, to families or singles who just want to hang out around a pool.

Entertainment options are extensive, with some of the music industry's top stars calling Las Vegas home and playing to packed audiences every night. Cirque du Soleil offers another unique experience, and of course, each resort has something to entertain guests, from dancing fountains to an erupting volcano.

When you've had your fill of the city, there is plenty to explore in the surrounding area , with the Grand Canyon , Hoover Dam , Death Valley National Park , and Valley of Fire State Park all within easy day-tripping distance. Las Vegas is ideal for a long weekend if you live in Los Angeles or Phoenix.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Las Vegas
  • Top-Rated Hiking Trails near Las Vegas, NV

Waikiki

Waikiki is one of America's top beaching destinations , with all the comforts of North America on a beautiful tropical island in the Pacific Ocean.

Located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu , Waikiki is a suburb of Honolulu known for the beautiful golden sand beach that stretches along the oceanfront, backed by hotels and retail establishments.

Rent a surfboard and test your skills in the waves, hit the shops when you're done with the beach, and enjoy great dining options in the evening. This is the perfect destination for everyone, from families to couples or singles.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts on Oahu

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things To Do in Waikiki

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is the US capitol and home to some of the most famous sites and national treasures in America, from the White House and the Capitol Building to the Smithsonian museums. This city should be on everyone's itinerary of the East Coast .

In the spring, the Cherry Blossom Festival is a beautiful time to visit, when the trees are in full bloom. Summer can be hot. You may want to hit one of the beaches near Washington for a bit of a cool off.

Fall is also a good time to visit, when the hot summer temperatures have cooled off enough to make walking around outside very comfortable and the rush of the busy summer season has passed. In winter, the crowds are definitely smaller, and the city is stunning after a fresh snowfall.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Washington, DC
  • Top-Rated Day Trips from Washington, D.C.

Miami

The hot spot of southern Florida, Miami is more than just a great beaching destination. Wonderful beaches can be found all over Florida , but Miami offers an atmosphere like no other city in the state.

The Cuban vibe along Calle Ocho in Little Havana , the Art Deco District in Miami Beach that calls to mind the 1930s era, the endless parade of sports cars cruising along Ocean Drive in the evenings, and the summertime beach scene of South Beach , are just some of the unique aspects that make Miami one of the best cities in the US.

For a unique experience take a day trip from Miami to Everglades National Park to see alligators, turtles, and an array of birds in this one-of-a-kind wetlands area.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Miami

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Miami

Los Angeles

Southern California has a culture all of its own, and Los Angeles is the epicenter of this unique area. The city has always been associated with glamour, with the suburbs of Hollywood , Beverly Hills , and Bel Air dominating pop culture. Travelers will find all kinds of vacation possibilities in the Los Angeles area.

Hollywood is a must for movie lovers, families come to experience nearby Disneyland , and shoppers will definitely find what they're looking for in the Los Angeles area .

If you are looking for a little sand and surf, head to one of the many beaches around LA . For an interesting natural history experience, be sure to visit La Brea Tar Pits to see fossil remains of prehistoric animals that roamed this area 40,000 years ago.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in the Los Angeles Area

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles
  • Best Free Things to Do in Los Angeles, CA

Jackson Square, New Orleans

New Orleans is like no other southern city. The mix of cultures, with strong French and Spanish influences, is more reminiscent of the Caribbean than the United States. Cajun and Creole cuisine, jazz music, and the architecture of the French Quarter set this city apart.

Combined with an assortment of luxury resorts and hotels , New Orleans makes a perfect destination for a long weekend getaway .

The highlight of New Orleans' calendar year is Mardi Gras , when elaborate costumes and outrageous floats light up the streets, music can be heard everywhere, and the celebrations seem never-ending. However, if crowds are not your thing, you may want to avoid this time of year.

New Orleans

The best time to visit New Orleans is from December to May, but other seasons offer different benefits. June to November is hotter and prone to storms and hurricanes but is a good time to find deals.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New Orleans

Arches National Park

Southern Utah is home to a landscape like no other, with canyons, arches, natural amphitheaters, and oddly beautiful rock formations. Fortunately, Utah's parks offer access to the state's most incredible scenery.

Zion National Park is one of the most outstanding, and particularly of interest for its hiking trails . Soaring cliff walls, waterfalls, and the river running through the valley, making this one of the most visited parks in the United States .

Zion National Park

Arches National Park , near the town of Moab, is home to more than 2,000 sandstone arches, but is much more than the name suggests. Rock spires, petrified dunes, views to distant mountain peaks, and the numerous adventure opportunities in the area , make this a place you'll want to spend some time. It's also a top mountain biking destination in the United States .

Nearby, but completely different in character, is Canyonlands National Park . Some sections of this park are as enchanting as the Grand Canyon but not nearly as busy. Plan on at least a day to see two separate sections of the park, and more if you want to enjoy the hiking trails.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park offers a completely different scene, with a huge natural amphitheater providing the base for a forest of colorful rock pinnacles. The hiking trails in Bryce , which take you through this mystical landscape, are mostly easy to moderate and worth doing. And lastly, Capitol Reef National Park is a little out of the way but is worth a stop if you can work it into your itinerary.

  • Top-Rated National and State Parks in Utah
  • Best Campgrounds Near Capitol Reef National Park

Orlando/Kissimmee

Orlando, which for most tourists is synonymous with Kissimmee, is all about the theme parks; Walt Disney World Resort , Universal Studios , and SeaWorld are the big attractions . This is one of the best vacation spots in the US for families . Kids love it. But adults will also enjoy the parks, as well as the shopping, dining, golfing, and sunshine.

School holidays are the busiest time to visit. Christmas and summer holidays are particularly hectic. Fortunately, Orlando is primed for tourists, with all kinds of hotels and home rentals available in the area.

The city is located inland but within easy day-tripping distance of both coasts and the popular Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic Coast

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Orlando

  • Read More: Top-Rated Beaches near Orlando, FL

Chicago

Set on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a great summer destination, with parks and a beautiful waterfront with amazing beaches . But its arts and cultural attractions, as well as fantastic shopping, make it a popular year-round destination.

The Magnificent Mile , along Michigan Avenue, is the city's most famous area, with high-end luxury stores and galleries, along with famous buildings and outstanding architecture. Some of the tourist highlights include Millennium Park , the Art Institute of Chicago , Navy Pier , and the views from the Willis Tower SkyDeck .

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Chicago, IL

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions in Chicago

Phoenix

In the heart of the Southwestern US , Phoenix is a huge, sprawling city that attracts large numbers of northerners during the winter months, who come here to escape the cold weather. Phoenix is a great destination for golfing, shopping, relaxing, and generally having a good time.

The greater Phoenix area has some of the finest resorts in the state. They range from giant family-friendly complexes with beaches and waterslides to small, intimate operations where your every whim is indulged.

You may want to pack your golf clubs. The city and surroundings, which include Scottsdale , Mesa , and several other townships, are known in particular for their world-class golf resorts, some of the most important stops on the men's and women's PGA Tour.

A family hiking in Papago Park, Phoenix

If you have extra room in your suitcase, maybe squeeze in your hiking boots, too. Natural areas that showcase the desert landscape can be found within the city and nearby, providing easy access for hiking , and mountain biking. Summer temperatures can be extremely high, but October to April is very pleasant, especially if you want to spend time outdoors.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Phoenix
  • Top-Rated Campground in the Phoenix Area

Savannah

Savannah is the quintessential small southern city, with huge moss-covered trees in the beautiful parks, old southern mansions, and a lovely waterfront area with candy stores and other unique shops in historic buildings. The pace is slow, and the people are friendly.

It's easy to see that Savannah is a city where people live and enjoy life, rather than an area simply developed for tourism. The city center is small enough that you can walk everywhere. This is a city you can see in a day, but the kind of place where you will want to linger.

Nearby are some beautiful beaches at Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island , both of which can be reached by car in well under an hour.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Savannah

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Savannah

Boston

Located along the Eastern Seaboard, Boston is a city of history. The famous Freedom Trail leads past some of the city's most famous and historic sites, making sightseeing and navigating through the city extremely easy.

Picturesquely situated along the oceanfront, with ferries connecting the outer suburbs, Boston has a unique charm. Modern skyscrapers stand next to centuries-old buildings, and open public spaces , like Boston Common , give the city a quaint, small-town feel. The city also has a strong arts and cultural scene, and is home to the famous Boston Pops Orchestra .

Boston's winters are legendary. Nor'easters roar ashore every now and again, dumping copious quantities of snow. However, that doesn't stop these hardy residents from enjoying life. The list of things to do in winter is long, and this is still a great time of year for a visit.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Boston
  • Top-Rated Beaches in the Boston Area

Yosemite National Park

While the Grand Canyon is on most international travelers' itineraries, Yosemite is a national treasure that should not be missed. Yosemite Valley is home to some of America's most famous landscapes and iconic natural attractions, from the dramatic waterfalls to the soaring cliff walls of El Capitan and Half Dome .

The captivating photographs of Ansel Adams , the climbing community that has flocked here for decades, and the generations of families who have been coming to the park to enjoy the campgrounds , hike the spectacular trails , and soak up the scenery have all contributed to the park's history.

But long before this, the Miwok people inhabited the area. You can learn more about this at the Yosemite Museum and Indian Village of the Ahwahnee in the park.

Read More: Top Attractions & Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

Rocky Mountains in Colorado

The dramatic peaks of the Rocky Mountains can be appreciated in many areas of North America, but in Colorado, the climate and small mountain towns make this one of the best places to visit the Rockies. Waterfalls and snow-capped peaks, more than 50 of which reach a height of 14,000 feet or more, make this a beautiful area for sightseeing and appreciating mountain life.

In summer, hiking , mountain biking , and rafting are popular pastimes. Inn winter, the mountains become a playground for skiers and boarders. The ski resorts in Colorado are some of the best in North America.

Some of the best places to visit are the towns of Vail , Aspen , Telluride , and Durango . Scenic drives, like the San Juan Scenic Byway and the Million Dollar Highway , which leaves from Durango, will take you through breathtaking mountain scenery and old mining towns like Silverton and Ouray . Or, hop on the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad for a relaxing day trip through the Rockies.

On the edge of the Rocky Mountains in the southwest corner of Colorado, a little over an hour from Durango, is Mesa Verde National Park . This fantastic park is home to incredible Native American cliff dwellings, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Colorado

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Colorado, USA

Seattle

In the northwest corner of the US is the lovely coastal city of Seattle. Surrounded by water and snow-capped mountains, the city is reminiscent of Vancouver, Canada, with an active, outdoor oriented population and countless things to see and do .

Key sights in the city include the impossible-to-miss Space Needle , the lively Pike Place Market , and the waterfront. Within easy day-tripping distance of the city are beautiful beaches , the Hoh Rain Forest , and mountain landscapes, all waiting to be explored.

Although the winter months see more rain than summer, the city has a mild climate and is a nice place to visit at any time of year. You'll find no shortage of things to do in Seattle in winter .

  • Best Museums in Seattle
  • Top-Rated Hikes near Seattle, WA

Nags Head, Outer Banks

North Carolina's Outer Banks are all about beaches. Miles and miles of spectacular beaches on narrow sand islands have been drawing people from across the United States since the 1830s.

Stretching for over 100 miles, these barrier islands have been the go-to place for families every summer for generations whether at campgrounds or wonderful resorts.

Off the beach, historical cities well worth visiting include Nags Head, Kitty Hawk (home to the Wright Brothers Memorial), Duck, Waves, and the towns on Hatteras Island. The Outer Banks are also home to some of America's most famous lighthouses, many of which are open for tours to the top.

Another popular pursuit is deep sea fishing . Many records have been broken by anglers in this offshore hot spot.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Beach Resorts in North Carolina

Read More: Best Coastal Towns in North Carolina

Santa Fe, New Mexico

A melting pot of Spanish, Native American, Mexican, and Anglo-Americans, Santa Fe has a unique vibe that, once experienced, tends to draw one back time and time again. This historical city's pleasant streets, lined by Spanish colonial churches, adobe homes, and towering trees, just beg to be photographed.

Be sure to visit the Plaza, the beating heart of all that's going on in town. Cute cafés, many with patios, line the square and make a perfect perch to do a bit of people watching. After you've had your fill of that, wander into any one of the eclectic and unusual shops nearby.

Santa Fe is ideally positioned close to the mountains, where you'll find some of the best skiing in New Mexico at resorts including Taos, Pajarito, and Siapu.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts near Santa Fe, NM

Read More: Best Places to Visit in New Mexico

River Walk in San Antonio

Although Dallas and Houston spring to mind first for many people when they think of Texas , those in the know, will always tell you that San Antonio is their favorite. The reasons for this are many: beautiful Spanish colonial churches and missions, the wonderful Riverwalk area, and, of course, The Alamo.

The city is relatively compact and easy to navigate. For a city of its size, it also has a number of excellent resorts and high-end hotels just waiting for you to check-in and be pampered. The city isn't all about history; it's also the home of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and as a result is a hotbed of foodie delights. Be sure to wander over to the Pearl district to find some of the best places; your taste buds will thank you!

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in San Antonio, TX

Read More: Top Attractions & Places to Visit in San Antonio

Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park

The thermal wonderland known as Yellowstone National Park has been drawing visitors since 1872. Bubbling mud pots, colorful boiling-hot water pools, and erupting geysers are sights that continue to amaze thousands of people every day.

Some of the must-sees when visiting the park include Old Faithful, whose eruptions blast scalding water up to 184 feet in the air; the Morning Glory Pool in the Upper Geyser Basin area; and the Minerva Terrace.

The park isn't all about thermal sights — the Lamar Valley is a wonderful area for hiking and seeing wildlife, including the park's signature bison herds.

Read More: Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska

Off on its own in the far northwest, above Canada, lies one of the most fascinating states in the union. Snow-capped peaks, glaciers, wild rivers, and wide open spaces are all things that define Alaska .

A frontier attitude still prevails, and can be experienced in places like Anchorage , Fairbanks, and Juneau . This state is one of the most popular places to take a cruise along the Inside Passage where towering mountains reach right down to sea. Or, snuggle up to a roaring fireplace with your special someone at a luxury resort .

Pick your activity or sport; Alaska is a place for doing things outdoors, whether it's camping, mountaineering, canoeing, or fishing. In winter, head for Alaska's ski resorts or maybe catch a glimpse of the northern lights .

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Best Places to Visit in Winter: If you want to experience winter in all its glory, have a read through our article on the Best Winter Vacations in the United States . This isn't about beaches and warm weather getaways, it's for people thinking about snowmobiling, dog sledding, skiing, and drinking hot chocolate in a cozy cottage. And if you're looking to save a little money, see our list of the Best Cheap Ski Holidays in North America .

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Getaways for Couples & Families: Trying to come up with somewhere for you and your partner to take a quick trip? See our list of Best Vacation Spots in the US for Couples to find a romantic destination for two. If you're looking for a destination where you can take the kids and have a good time, you'll enjoy our article on the Top Family Vacations in the US .

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The 25 Most Visited Tourist Spots in America

Prior to March 2020, tourism brought well over $1.6 trillion to the United States' economy.

It's difficult to gauge what the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S are, as tourism data can vary from state to state and some national surveys leave out major attractions.

To help anyone hoping to see some of what the U.S has to offer visitors, we've put together a list of 25 most visited tourist spots in the country, based on data from the past decade.

All figures are approximate and from before the COVID-19 pandemic, when tourism was at normal rates.

Times Square

1. Times Square, New York

New York , New York. The iconic Times Square is on the itinerary of virtually everyone who visits the Big Apple . There's shopping, there's entertainment, there's food—and lots of it. Top tip: Visit on New Year's Eve to see the famous ball drop.

Visitors per year: 50 million

Central Park

2. Central Park

Another attraction for tourists visiting New York is Central Park , which at 832 acres is larger than the principality of Monaco . There are seven man made lakes and over 9000 benches alone, not to mention attractions like the Naumburg Bandshell, and a gorgeous statue of Alice in Wonderland. A must see.

Visitors per year: 42 million

Vegas strip

3. The Las Vegas Strip

It would take you a lifetime to see everything the infamous strip Las Vegas Strip has to offer. Every year, people from every corner of the globe descend upon Sin City to gamble, drink, and, of course, enjoy the world class entertainment.

Union station

4. Union Station

Approximately 160 million dollars were poured into Washington D.C's United Station in the 80s after the famous landmark feel into disrepair.

It reopened in 1988, and is now regarded as a must see for anyone visiting the nation's capital. For anyone who isn't enthralled by the architecture, there's plenty of food and shopping.

Visitors per year: 40 million

Golden Gate Park

5. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

It's hard to believe that William Hammond Hall, the civil engineer who designed Golden Gate Park, was just 25 when he did so. At 1,017 acres there's a lot of beauty to see. Be sure you at least check out some of the flower arrangements.

Visitors per year: 24 million

Grand Central Terminal

6. Grand Central Terminal, New York City

Between tourists and regular New Yorkers, approximately 750,000 people passed through Grand Central Terminal on an average pre-pandemic day. Commuters walk side by side with visitors to New York, who flock here year on year to get a taste of real Manhattan.

Visitors per year: 21.6 million

Disney World

7. Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Florida

The smallest park in Disney World is also its most popular. It's easy to see why: There are hundreds of attractions, perhaps most notably a Cinderella-style castle made of fiberglass, which winners of a raffle get the opportunity to stay in.

Visitors per year: 20.4 million

Lincoln Park, Chicago

8. Lincoln Park, Chicago

Chicago's most famous public land was originally known as Lake Park until 1865, when John Wilkes Booth assassinated the President. Beside Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park is located in one of the most affluent areas of Chicago .

Visitors per year: 20 million

Disney land

9. Disneyland Resort, California

Disneyland has grown a lot since it first opened its doors back in 1955, with just 18 attractions available at the time.

These days the park is over 500 acres in size, attracting visitors from every corner of the world. As far as rides go, few things will ever beat the infamous Space Mountain.

Visitors per year: 18.76 million

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

10. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston

There are 49 shops, 18 restaurants and pubs, 35 colonnade eateries and 44 pushcarts in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, according to its official website. It's understandable why they'd have so much food, given the footfall they see each year.

Along with Harvard Square, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the most famous parts of Massachusetts.

Visitors per year: 18 million

 Balboa Park

11. Balboa Park

Named after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, who was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean, not the fictional Italian-American pugilist.

Balboa Park is even bigger than Central Park, at a vast 842 acres, so there's plenty of space to accommodate its millions of annual visitors. It isn't bad to look at, either. Certainly worth spending a day walking around.

Visitors per year: 15 million

12. Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando Florida

There are hundreds of animals on display in Disney's Animal Kingdom , which opened in back in 1998. Some people don't know that real scientists work in the park, studying its residents. This is one of few areas of Disneyland where firework displays are not allowed, so that the animals won't be frightened.

Visitors per year: 13.89 million

Epcot

13. EPCOT, Disney World, Florida

EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is, you've guessed it, a futuristic theme park. If you get there later this year, be sure to check Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, which is due to officially open in October.

Visitors per year: 12.44 million

Great smoky mountain

13. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There's plenty of stiff competition, but Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be the most beautiful park on our list, with acres and acres of lush green trees.

It's also home to over 1,500 bears, so don't go too far off the trail, tempting as it might be to do so.

Visitors per year: 12.1 million

14. Disney's Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney sure did know how to build a tourist attraction. Yet another Disney creation joins our list, this time Orlando's Hollywood Studios, whose highlights include Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and Toy Story Land.

Visitors per year: 11.48 million

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf

15. Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

Few things surpass visiting Pier 39 on a nice summer day. Tourists come for the arcades, street performances, and aquarium, but end up staying for the world class food.

Visitors per year: 10 million

Venice Beach

16. Venice Beach, California

Surf, sand, and shopping. California's Venice Beach is known the world over, and has featured in countless TV shows and movies.

Most famous of all is the boardwalk, which is over two miles long, and home to myriad performers and merchants.

Pike Place

17. Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington

Here's something you might not know about Pike Place Market, Seattle: It's the oldest continuously running farmers market in the United States. Established in 1907, its hundreds of stalls have been satisfying food lovers for well over 100 years.

Golden Gate Bridge

18. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Almost two miles in length, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is a marvel of engineering, and must be seen in person to be truly appreciated.

South Street Seaport

19. South Street Seaport, New York City

South Street Seaport is perhaps best known for three M's: Museums, music, and markets. Naturally, this is a great place to get seafood, so your best bet is to eat some fresh fish while listening to local sounds. Nine million tourists a year can't be wrong.

Visitors per year: 9 million

Mackinac Bridge at Golden Hour

20. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan

Almost five miles in length, Michigan's Mackinac bridge puts San Francisco's Golden Gate to shame. You'll need to rent a car to get over it, but the views alone are worth the price, and more.

 Navy’s pier Centennial Wheel of fortune

21. Navy Pier, Chicago

The 3,300 foot Navy Pier has a lot to offer anyone lucky enough to pop by for a visit. There's plenty of entertainment, restaurants, and of course, a huge ferris wheel that offers an areal view of the whole area, which looks beautiful when lit up at night.

Grand canyon

22. Grand Canyon, Arizona

It's not certain how long Arizona's Grand Canyon is, but some studies indicate that it could be up to 70 million years old. The area's stunning rock formations are best seen from the inside of a helicopter.

Tours are available from local companies. Be warned: the weather often changes in the Grand Canyon, so be sure to bring a coat.

Visitors per year: 5 million

Bryce Canyon National Park.

23. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Just like Arizona's most famous landmark, Bryce Canyon is best known for its striking rock formations. For best results, hop in a helicopter.

Mall Of America

24. Mall of America, Minnesota

Four out of ten visitors to the Mall of America and its 500 plus stores are tourists. The gargantuan shopping center now even its own app, so you can see exactly what stores are on offer before you arrive.

Statue of Liberty

25. Statue of Liberty, New York

Originally a gift from the French, Lady Liberty has made New York her home since 1886, attracting visitors to the city. Millions hop on a ferry to see her up close each year.

Fun fact: the statue weighs an incredible 250,000 pounds, or 125 tons.

Visitors per year: 4 million

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My 31 Favorite Places to Visit in the USA

The colorful rocks of the Grand Canyon during sunset

From sea to shining sea, the United States is home to a diverse landscape — both culturally and physically. Spending months traveling across it gave me a deep appreciation for all my country has to offer.

After traveling across the continental United States as part of multiple cross-country road trips (you never really realize how big Texas is until you drive through it. Damn that state is big!), I wanted to share some of my favorite places in the United States with you. I’ve already talked about my favorite restaurants and lessons learned , so it only seems proper to give you a list of the best places to visit in the USA when you come and travel here!

To help you get started, here’s a quick overview of some of the highlights:

Best destination for foodies: New Orleans Best destination for partying: Miami or Las Vegas Best destination for hiking/nature: Glacier National Park Best destination for history: Natchez Best destination for museums: Washington, D.C. or New York City Best destination for families: The Grand Canyon

In no particular order, here’s my detailed list of the best places to visit in the USA:

( Note: This list is based only on where I myself have been. There are a lot more incredibly breathtaking places I haven’t explored yet, which is why you don’t see them on this list!)  

The restaurants of Memphis, Tennessee lit up at night

WHERE TO STAY IN MEMPHIS : Hostel Memphis – A hip hostel in a century-old building with a fully-equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. The hostel is also a non-profit that donates 100% of its profit to social justice causes around the city.  

Austin, Texas skyline at dusk shining over the water

Thanks to everything from the growing food truck population to the flagship Whole Foods store with the incredible salad bar (grilled pineapple!), I eat — and eat well — nonstop. The Austin campus of the University of Texas provides a youthful vigor to the city, and its liberal attitude attracts a diverse and eclectic population. In short, you can’t skip Austin, because if you do, I’ll find you and drag you there.

WHERE TO STAY IN AUSTIN : Firehouse Hostel – This centrally-located hostel is located in an old firehall from 1885. They have fast Wi-Fi, plenty of chill common areas, and an amazing on-site bar that serves top-notch craft cocktails.

For more travel tips on Austin, check out these posts:

  • My Complete Guide to Austin
  • My Guide to Eating in Austin

3. New Orleans

The beautiful and historic buildings of New Orleans, USA at night

WHERE TO STAY IN NOLA : HI New Orleans – An award-winning hostel with spacious dorms, comfy beds, privacy curtains, and fast Wi-Fi. Everything a budget traveler needs!

For more travel tips on traveling New Orleans, check out my suggested itinerary on how to spend 4 days there !  

4. Asheville

A massive old mansion surrounded by visitors in Asheville, North Carolina

If you’ve ever seen Downton Abbey, that’s what the house is like! (And, if you haven’t, you should! The show is addicting!)

WHERE TO STAY IN ASHEVILLE : Bon Paul & Sharky’s – A laid-back hsotel with a spacious front and back porch for relaxing. There’s free parking, free Wi-Fi, and plenty of nearby restaurants and cafes.  

5. The Pacific Coastal Drive

A scenic view of the Pacific Ocean from the Pacific Coastal Drive

WHERE TO STAY ON THE PACFIC COAST HIGHWAY : Airbnb – Airbnb is your best bet here, unless you have camping gear and want to camp in one of the many parks. There are also lots of cheap motels along the highway too.  

6. Redwood National Park

Towering redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California during the day

WHERE TO STAY IN REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK : View Crest Lodge – Located on the coast in Trinidad, this rustic budget-friendly lodge has basic amenities like free Wi-Fi and TV, and some of their rooms also have full kitchens. It’s a clean, comfy no-frills place to crash for a night.  

7. Glacier National Park

Calm waters and snow-capped mountains in Glacier National Park

WHERE TO STAY IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK : Camping – Pack (or rent) a tent and cozy up for a few nights under the stars. You won’t be disappointed.  

The downtown Denver, Colorado skyline lit up at night

WHERE TO STAY IN DENVER : Ember Hostel – This boutique hostel is rated one of the best in the country, offering a swank interior, free jacuzzi, outdoor firepit, comfy beds with blackout curtains, free parking, and more.  

The famous bean sculpture in Chicago, Illinois shining at night

And once the winter deep freeze is over, Chicagoans burst out of their homes to enjoy the summer weather, so there’s a positive, happy vibe emanating through the city. Take advantage of it.

WHERE TO STAY IN CHICAGO : HI Chicago – A spacious, clean hostel with female-only dorms, free Wi-Fi, and a great location. The beds are comfy and the common area is huge so it’s easy to meet people.

For more travel tips on Chicago, check out this detailed planning guide !  

10. New York City

The iconic skyline of NYC on a bright summer day

WHERE TO STAY IN NYC : Jazz on the Park – Located near Central Park on the Upper West Side, this no-frills hostel is close to the train and is one of the more affordable places in the city. The dorms are basic and the beds aren’t winning any awards but it’s cheap (for NYC at least!).

For more travel tips on New York City, check out these posts:

  • The Complete Guide to New York City
  • The Best Walking Tours of New York City
  • 21 Delicious Places to Eat in NYC
  • How to Spend 4 Days in New York City

11. Natchez

A bright orange sunset over the water near Natchez, Mississippi

Now, they are historic monuments, and you can tour them while enjoying a view of the Mississippi River. It’s far off the beaten path — and my favorite discovery from my last road trip.

WHERE TO STAY IN NATCHEZ : The Guest House Historic Mansion – If you want to splash out, this 19th-century mansion includes free breakfast and spacious historic rooms as well as modern amenities like Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and flatscreen TVs.

For more travel tips on Natchez,  check out this post on my visit there .  

12. Savannah

A black and white photo of an antebellum mansion in Savannah, Georgia

WHERE TO STAY IN SAVANNAH : Thunderbird Inn – This affordable three-star motel is just a short 5-minute walk from downtown. Boasting a retro vibe, there’s free coffee and juice every morning, as well as free donuts and popcorn available in the lobby.  

13. The Grand Canyon

A sweeping view from the top of the Grand Canyon on a sunny day in Arizona

WHERE TO STAY IN THE GRAND CANYON : Camp – Pack (or rent) a tent and cozy up for a few nights under the stars. You’ll need to reserve a spot early though as they disappear fast!

For more travel tips on the Grand Canyon, read this post on hiking the canyon .  

14. Nashville

A lively street of music bars in Nashville, Tennessee at night

There’s not a lot of “touristy stuff” to do here, but what makes this city one of my favorites are the music, the food, the wildly friendly and happy people, and the positive energy the city seems to exude. When you’re here, plan to spend a few hours at the Tennessee State Museum. It goes into great (though sometimes very one-sided) detail about the state’s history, but it’s more exciting than you might think.

WHERE TO STAY IN NASHVILLE : Red Roof Inn – While it’s not centrally located, this is one of the city’s few affordable two-star options. A quick 13-minute drive from the Grand Ole Opry, this budget-friendly joint boasts an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and free coffee.  

15. San Francisco

Looking up at the Golden Gate Bridge from the San Francisco Beach in the summer

WHERE TO STAY IN SAN FRANCISCO : Green Tortoise – As one of the oldest in town, this hostel is an institution in San Francisco. It offers free breakfast, free dinners multiple times per week, and even a free sauna! It has a huge common room so it’s easy to meet people and has a very fun, social atmosphere.

For more travel tips on San Francisco, read these posts:

  • The Complete Guide to San Francisco
  • San Francisco Itinerary: Things to See & Do in 3 Days
  • The Best Hostels in San Francisco

Wide and spacious beach on the coast of Miami, Florida

WHERE TO STAY IN MIAMI : Generator Miami – This hostel has a pool, two restaurants, a bar, and is just minutes away from the beach. It’s massive (there are 8 floors), the beds are more comfortable than the cheap ones you’ll find at the party hostels.

For more travel tips on Miami, check out this detailed planning guide !  

17. San Diego

A tall wooden pier on the San Diego beach during sunset

The downtown Gaslamp area — as well as the famous Pacific Beach — is full of trendy seafood restaurants, bustling bars, and some seriously life-changing taco stalls. I love San Diego .

WHERE TO STAY IN SAN DIEGO : ITH Adventure Hostel – With a focus on sustainable travel (there’s a vegetable garden and backyard chickens), this chill hostel is very friendly and social. It’s clean, and the water pressure in the showers is decent, and the beds are comfy too.  

19. Lake Tahoe

A sweeping view of the forests around Lake Tahoe in California

WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE TAHOE : Camping – Pack (or rent) a tent and cozy up for a few nights under the stars. You won’t be disappointed.  

20. Anywhere in Montana

A flat, sparse farmyard in rural Montana during the summer

WHERE TO STAY IN MONTANA : Treasure State Hostel – Located in downtown Bozeman, this hotel is quiet, clean, and is home to friendly staff. They organize all kinds of events too, like pub crawls and movie nights, so it’s easy to hang out and meet people.  

21. Washington D.C.

The White House in Washington, D.C

WHERE TO STAY IN WASHINGTON : Highroad Hostel – Offering pod-style bunks, this cool hostel is located in an old Victorian mansion. The beds have memory foam mattresses, there’s a fully-equipped kitchen, and the common area has a fireplace.

For more travel tips on Washington D.C., here are some other articles I’ve written:

  • Travel guide to Washington D.C.
  • Free Things to do in Washington D.C. in 2019

22. Cape Cod

Waves crashing against a sunny beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

WHERE TO STAY IN CAPE COD : Cape Sands Inn – Just a short walk from the beach in West Yarmouth, this three-star property has all the standard amenities (TV, coffee/tea, free Wi-Fi), as well as free parking and a relaxing sauna and hot tub.  

A historic statue surrounded by flowers in Boston, Massachusetts

It’s home to a ton of activities, like the Freedom Trail and Faneuil Hall, the JFK Museum, and the Boston Commons and Public Garden, as well as some of the best Italian and seafood restaurants in the country. Be sure to eat at Zaftigs for the best brunch in the city! It’s wicked!

WHERE TO STAY IN BOSTON : HI Boston – This spacious and clean hostel is just a short walk from pretty much everything in the city. They have female-only dorms, free Wi-Fi, and several chill common areas where you can meet other travelers.

For more travel tips on Boston, check out these posts:

  • Travel guide to Boston
  • Boston Itinerary
  • Free Things to do in Boston

24. Las Vegas

The glamorous hotels and casinos of the Las Vegas strip lit up at night

Get off the Strip, explore the real Vegas (because technically the Strip is located in Paradise, NV, not Las Vegas), and see why people decide to live here.

WHERE TO STAY IN LAS VEGAS : Sin City Hostel – Just a short walk from the (in)famous Fremont Street, this is a social hostel that hosts all kinds of events (such as bar crawls, pasta & wine nights, BBQs, casino nights, and more). It’s a great place to connect with other travelers.

For more travel tips on Las Vegas, these articles can help:

  • Travel guide to Las Vegas
  • 12 Things to do in Vegas That Don’t Involve a Casino
  • How to be a High-Roller in Vegas on a Low-Roller Budget

25. Portland

A sunny public plaza in Portland, Oregon with people walking around

Portland is just an awesome city, especially in the summer when the weather is perfect and there are festivals and events galore, like the World Domination Summit and the Portland International Beerfest.

WHERE TO STAY IN PORTLAND : HI Portland – Northwest – Rated one of the best hostels in the world, this centrally-located HI hostel offers free breakfast, in-house made craft beer, an outdoor courtyard with a firepit, regular live music, and much more. It’s a lively, social, and fun place to stay!

For more travel tips on Portland, read this post on the city .  

26. Seattle

Neon Public Market sign lit up at night in Seattle, Washington

WHERE TO STAY IN SEATTLE : Green Tortoise – Located right across from the iconic Pike Place Market, this social hostel organizes all kinds of activities so it’s easy to meet people. They also offer free breakfast — a rare perk in the US!

For more travel tips on Seattle, read this detailed planning guide !  

27. Deadwood

The snowy main street of the historic town of Deadwood, South Dakota

WHERE TO STAY IN DEADWOOD : Gold Country Inn – This kitschy hotel is one of the cheapest places in town. Located right downtown, they have a mini gambling hall on-site, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. It’s nothing fancy but it won’t break the bank either.  

28. Kansas City

The exterior of Joe's BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri

WHERE TO STAY IN KANSAS CITY : Home2 Suites Downtown – With a fitness center, pool, and a decent breakfast spread, this three-star hotel in downtown KC is one of the more affordable places to crash in the city.  

29. Louisville

An old steamboat docked on the river in Louisville, USA

Louseiville has a laid-back, artsy vibe to it. It feels much more like an Austin or a Portland than your traditional southern/midwest city. In the past, it was considered a fly-over city and was skipped by most people. It’s definitely not now.

WHERE TO STAY IN LOUISVILLE : Microtel Inn – While it may be 20 minutes from downtown, this budget-friendly inn is affordable, includes free breakfast and free parking, and has free Wi-Fi. It’s a no-frills choice but clean and comfy.  

30. Charleston

A quiet sidestreet lined by trees in Charleston, USA

WHERE TO STAY IN CHARLESTON : Charlestons NotSo Hostel – Located in a historic neighborhood, this laid-back hostel includes free coffee/tea and oatmeal and free Wi-Fi. The rooms are small but the beds are perfectly comfy.  

31. Franklin

Downtown in Franklin, Tennessee, USA

WHERE TO STAY IN FRANKLIN : The Harpeth Hotel – This upscale property features a restaurant on-site, fitness center, bar, and terrace. If you don’t want to splash out, check Booking.com for other options.

The United States is filled with too many “must-sees” places to visit to list in a single blog post. After all, the country is home to over 329 million people and covers 3.8 million square miles.

But for those looking for a starting point for where to go, what to see, and the places to visit, this list should point you in the right direction and fill your time!

Just be sure to turn off the highways, head to the small towns, and discover some favorites of your own. The best of the USA is always away from the major highways in the little no-name towns with little diners, quirky shops, and friendly people!

For more travel tips on traveling the USA, read these other blog posts:

  • How to Travel Across the USA on $50 A Day
  • 19 Amazing Restaurants from My Road-Trip Across the U.S.
  • 9 Things I Learned While Driving Across the U.S.
  • Detailed Travel Planning Guide on The United States

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner . It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld . If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Want to Travel for Free? Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip? Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.

Ready to Book Your Trip? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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The 100 Most Popular American Tourist Destinations

rushmore

There's a whole big beautiful planet out there — but some of its most alluring attractions exist practically in America's backyard. America is blessed with bustling cities, gorgeous deserts, and breathtaking parks from sea to shining sea, but which ones do people love the most? 

In order to compile our list, we started by consulting government agencies, including the National Park Service, as well as existing rankings both in print and online. From there, we narrowed it down to the absolute must-visit destinations based on historical relevance, cultural significance, beauty, and overall appeal. From statues and buildings to canyons and harbor towns, these are the 100 most popular American tourist destinations.

1. 9/11 Memorial, New York

The National September 11 Memorial in New York City exists to remember the 2,977 people who died in the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It also honors the six people who were killed in the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993. All of their names are inscribed on bronze panels. The memorial has identical pools where the Twin Towers once stood. Each spans nearly one acre each, and they feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. 

2. Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is 47,000 acres of recreational land located primarily on Maine's Mount Desert Island. It's a mostly mountainous, wooded area with rocky beaches, and it's home to the highest rocky headlands on the Atlantic coastline. Every year, more than 3.3 million people visit to go birdwatching, boating, camping, hiking, and mountain climbing.

3. Alcatraz Island, California

A 15-minute ferry ride takes visitors to Alcatraz, just over a mile offshore from San Francisco, California. The 22-acre island is home to an abandoned federal prison and the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast. It's also the site of a historic, 18-month occupation by a group of Native American activists called Indians of All Tribes. You may recognize Alcatraz from popular culture, as it's appeared in several movies, including "The Book of Eli," "X-Men: The Last Stand," and "Catch Me If You Can," as well as video games like "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops II."

4. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

If you say you've never seen Antelope Canyon on your Instagram feed before, you're lying. This sandstone canyon — located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona — is extremely popular with photographers because of the tranquil shapes in the rock formed by flash flooding. Though the corridors are very tall, the width is very narrow. Catch beautiful beams of direct sunlight in the upper canyon (the entrance is at ground level and requires no climbing) or opt for a challenging hike in the lower canyon. Visitors can enter only with a Navajo guide.

5. Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park is in Eastern Utah, just north of Moab. It features more than 2,000 sandstone structures (it has the highest density of natural arches in the world) including the renowned Delicate Arch, which can be seen on Utah license plates. There are over 76,000 acres in total for adventurers to enjoy backpacking, biking, camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, stargazing, and more.

6. Balboa Park, California

Balboa Park in California was named after Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in honor of the Panama-California Exposition, a fair that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and San Diego for being the first American port of call for ships sailing north after passing westward through the canal. Today, guests can enjoy gardens, walking paths, museums, theaters, restaurants, shops, and the famous San Diego Zoo.

7. Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Nevada

The Bellagio is an insanely gorgeous luxury resort, hotel, and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. Vacationers can gamble, shop, eat, hang out at the pool, party the night away, or ogle the incredible acrobats and entertainers in Cirque du Soleil. Whether you're watching from inside or out, you must see the Fountains of the Bellagio, a mesmerizing water show with synchronized music and lights. It runs for 15 minutes, and every show is free.

8. Big Sur, California

Big Sur is an undeveloped mountainous coastline in Central California stretching 71 miles between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon. People from all across the world come here to gawk at redwood forests and the big, blue Pacific Ocean. It's estimated that the region gets just as many visitors per year as Yosemite National Park. Go birdwatching to spot condors (the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere) or hike to waterfalls and beautiful beaches. In the summer, you can even tube down the Big Sur River and have a barbecue in any of the area's state parks.

9. Brooklyn Bridge, New York

The Brooklyn Bridge connects Brooklyn with Lower Manhattan. It's one of the oldest roadway bridges in America and the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the entire world. Today, it's one of the most iconic parts of the New York City skyline. Travel by car or take a stroll on the elevated pedestrian walkway. Just watch out for bicyclists!

10. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park exists in Utah's Garfield and Kane counties, but believe it or not, it's actually not a canyon. Rather, it's a bunch of natural amphitheaters and towering hoodoos (tall, thin spires) formed from red, orange, and pink rocks by frost and stream erosion. The best times to come here are in summer and fall. Winter temperatures fall below freezing, and there are snowstorms well into spring.

11. Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands National Park features canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires. It's located in Utah's high desert and is split into four parts including the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the Green and Colorado Rivers. While they look close together on a map, no roads connect them directly. It takes anywhere from two to six hours by car to get from one to another, and because of this, visitors usually visit just one area in a single trip.

12. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod in southern Massachusetts is an extremely popular vacation spot for tourists in the summer, mostly for beaches and boating. Go whale-watching, swimming, kayaking, biking, birdwatching, fishing, golfing, hiking, shopping, or sightseeing. The possibilities are endless. There are also some pretty great breweries and wineries in these parts.

13. Carnegie Hall, New York

Carnegie Hall is a concert hall in Manhattan just south of Central Park. It's one of the world's most highly regarded venues for both classical and pop music. Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, George Gershwin, and the Beatles have all played here. In all, the property houses three auditoriums: Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Zankel Hall, and Weill Recital Hall. It's one of New York City's last large buildings originally built completely of masonry without a steel frame.

14. Central Park, New York

Central Park is the most visited urban park in America with approximately 38 million visitors per year. It's also one of the most filmed locations in the world, so if you're lucky you might make a cameo in the latest TV show or movie. There's truly so much to do within the confines of this 843-acre recreational space in New York City. Visitors can enjoy ice skating on various rinks, catch a ride on the carousel, visit the zoo, or enjoy Shakespeare in the Park. There are also tons of ponds, walkways lush with foliage, and sports facilities.

15. Chicago Bean, Illinois

This sculpture is formally called "Cloud Gate," but everyone calls it the "The Bean" because ... well, it looks like a giant, shiny silver bean. Artist Anish Kapoor created this in 2006 by welding 168 stainless steel plates together, but it's so well polished you can't see the seams. You've probably seen it on your Instagram feed, as it's a popular Chicago tourist attraction , and the mirrored contours can create neat photos.

16. Coney Island, New York

Coney Island is a neighborhood in southern Brooklyn. It's famous for its sandy beach and boardwalk featuring food stands, bars, playgrounds, and amusement rides. It's also home to the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, which kicks off every year on the Fourth of July. In the off-season, check out the aquarium, skating rink, or baseball stadium, which is home to the Mets' minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones. It's the perfect place to get away from New York City life for the day.

17. Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley lies in the Great Basin on the border of California and Nevada. Its name sounds a tad extreme, but it's really not that gruesome. It's true that Death Valley is the hottest place in North America, though. Temperatures average over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer but can reach well over 120. It's also the driest and lowest national region on the continent, but many nearby peaks have snow on them, and once in a blue moon, there's rain and wildflowers take bloom. Just make sure to travel with plenty of water and salty foods or sports drinks to maintain proper electrolytes.

18. Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

This national park features 6 million acres of forest, tundra, and snowy mountains in central Alaska. Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) is North America's tallest peak at 20,310 feet. There's only one road here. Stay on course or trek somewhere far on a hike. As far as wildlife goes, you can see moose, sheep, bears, caribou, wolves, birds, and small mammals like foxes, red squirrels, and snowshoe hares.

19. Disneyland, California

Anaheim, California's beloved Disneyland is the only park built to completion under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. With 18.3 million visitors each year, it's the second most visited amusement park in the world after Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida. Disneyland's nine districts include Main Street, U.S.A. (home to Sleeping Beauty Castle), Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Mickey's Toontown, Tomorrowland, and the newest addition, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

20. Disney World, Florida

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, contains water parks, resorts, hotels, golf courses, camping grounds, four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios) and an outdoor shopping center called Disney Springs. It's estimated that 52 million visit every year.

21. Ellis Island, New York

Between 1892 and 1954, more than 12 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. In 1965, the island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, and the main building reopened as a museum in 1990. Annually, 2 million visitors ferry in from New York and New Jersey to tour the immigration museum and surrounding property. There's an abandoned contagious disease hospital here, too, but that's closed to the general public.

22. Empire State Building, New York

The Empire State Building is on par with the Eiffel Tower as one of the most recognizable and iconic buildings in the world. The 102-story building is the sixth-tallest skyscraper in the U.S., and each year, approximately 4 million tourists head up to the 86th- and 102nd-floor observation decks for stunning aerial views of New York City. Passersby can also watch the festive lights on the tower from below or from a distance. They change colors (from a palette of 16 million shades) for seasonal events, holidays, and cultural happenings.

23. Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park protects 20 percent of the original Everglades in Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier counties. It's the largest tropical wilderness in America and the third-largest park after Death Valley and Yellowstone. Every year, a million visitors come here to camp, hike, canoe, kayak, geocache, bike, fish, and catch a glimpse of rare and endangered species including manatees, crocodiles, and Florida panthers.

24. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall is a vibrant, mixed-use marketplace located near the waterfront of the Charles River in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. This fan-favorite tourist destination hosts more than 70 retailers, from restaurants and pubs to shops and the renowned Quincy Market Colonnade. Outside on the cobblestone, you'll find street performers, musicians, and people in full body paint standing as still as statues. Wait, is that a statue? 

25. Fisherman's Wharf, Washington

In the 1800s, Chinese and Italian fishermen swarmed to San Francisco by the bay to sell Dungeness crab to a rapidly growing population caused by the gold rush. Though it's more of a tourist attraction now, people still actively fish here. There are a ton of fresh seafood restaurants at Fisherman's Wharf, some of which are accessible by way of the extremely popular Pier 39. This is a great place to take children who might enjoy visiting the aquarium, riding the carousel, or watching the California sea lions sunbathing on wooden docks.

26. Florida Keys, Florida

The Florida Keys is a 110-mile string of coral islands off the southern tip of the Sunshine State. Tons of people flock here to sit on a beautiful beach and relax with a drink in hand, while others venture out into the big blue on Jet Skis and speed boats. Other popular activities include paddleboarding, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, and snorkeling.

27. Fremont Street, Nevada

Fremont Street is one of the most famous destinations in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. There's so much glitter and glam. Everywhere you look there are flashing lights. Check out the Neon Museum (dedicated to preserving vintage neon signs) or take a free photo with a million dollars in cash at the iconic Binion's Gambling Hall. Oh, and if you want to see a piece of the Berlin Wall (yes, the actual Berlin Wall), head into the men's bathroom at Main Street Station.

28. Gateway Arch, Missouri

The Gateway Arch is symbolic of St. Louis, Missouri. The 43,000-ton concrete and stainless steel structure is the tallest arch in the world and the tallest manmade monument in the Western Hemisphere. Ogle it from below or take a tram ride 630 feet up to the top to see as far as 30 miles away to the east and west.

29. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park is in northwestern Montana on the border of the U.S. and Canada near Alberta and British Columbia. The park stretches over more than 1 million acres, including two mountain ranges, 130 lakes, 1,000 plant species, and hundreds of animals, including grizzly bears, moose, mountain goats, wolverines, and Canadian lynxes.

30. Golden Gate Bridge, California

This picturesque, red suspension bridge is an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco. It connects the city with Marin County, California, over the Golden Gate strait. Travelers can drive, bike, or walk across. The best time to visit the Golden Gate Bridge is in September and October because the weather is comfortably warm. It's not suggested that people go in July and August because it's cold and windy.

31. Golden Gate Park, California

This urban park in San Francisco, California comprises more than 1,000 acres in the shape of a rectangle — not unlike New York City's Central Park, but it's 20 percent larger. Approximately 13 million people visit Golden Gate Park each year, making it the fifth most visited park in America. Take it all in on foot, bike, or Segway. Some attractions include the Japanese tea garden, bison observatory, flower conservatory, windmills, carousel, and aquarium.

32. Graceland, Tennessee

The late King of Rock and Roll once owned this 13.8-acre estate in Memphis, Tennessee. Before passing, Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley owned Graceland, but she didn't live there. In 1982 (five years after the passing of Elvis), the mansion was opened as a public museum, and in 2006, it became a National Historic Landmark. Welcoming more than 650,000 visitors per year, it's the second most visited house in America after the White House.

33. Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is located in northwestern Arizona. It's 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep in some places. The North Rim is closed during winter months (December 1 through May 15), but when it's open, you can go for a day hike, ride a mule, or take a scenic drive. The South Rim is open all year. Here, you can learn about the canyon's history and culture from park rangers, see a museum, watch a film, walk, hike, bike, ride a mule, drive, go whitewater rafting, and more.

34. Grand Central Terminal, New York

Grand Central Terminal is the third-busiest train station in North America after Penn Station and Toronto Union Station. Here, people can travel in and out of New York City by bus, train, or subway. Apart from everyday commuters, tourists venture here to see the romantic architecture and interior design. The main concourse is often seen in movies or on TV. If you've never been, you may recognize it from "Gossip Girl," "Armageddon," "Men in Black II," "I Am Legend," and "The Avengers." An animated version also appeared in the 2005 DreamWorks film "Madagascar."

35. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming is home to northern parts of Jackson Hole and major peaks of the Teton Range in the Rockies. Explore the alpine terrain, lakes, or the Snake River. There are 310,000 acres in total perfect for backcountry camping, biking, birdwatching, boating, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. In the winter, the park is a popular place to go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

36. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

There are two active volcanoes in this Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Just 45 minutes south of Hilo are Kīlauea, the world's most active volcano, and Mauna Loa, which is actually the largest active volcano on Earth and the second largest overall after the extinct undersea Tamu Massif. Tourists can take in the breathtaking volcanic landscapes, craters, petroglyphs, deserts, and rainforests.

37. Hollywood Walk of Fame, California

There are more than 2,600 stars embedded in the sidewalk of California's world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. They span 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street. The historic landmark pays homage to people in the entertainment industry. Some fictional characters have also been honored, including Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Kermit the Frog, Shrek, Godzilla, and Lassie.

38. Hoover Dam, Nevada

The Hoover Dam stretches across the Black Canyon of the Colorado River on the border of Nevada and Arizona. The 726-foot dam holds back the waters of Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the U.S. by capacity. Construction on the wall began in 1931 during the Great Depression, and it officially opened in 1936. While it was originally called the Boulder Dam, it was renamed after President Herbert Hoover in 1947. Today, visitors can take a tour of the dam's powerplant any time between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

39. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park is just east of Los Angeles, California. It's named after the twisted and spiky Joshua trees that grow in the Mojave Desert. The Colorado Desert also exists within park limits, as well as a portion of the San Bernardino Mountains. The landscape is great for driving down backcountry roads, backpacking, birdwatching, camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, photography, and stargazing.

40. Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California

The massive freshwater Lake Tahoe straddles the border of California and Nevada. It's about 2 million years old, making it one of the 20 oldest lakes in the world. It's also the second deepest in the country after Crater Lake in Oregon. An estimated 2.7 million people visit each year for stunning panoramic views, summer recreation and winter sports like downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobile riding.

41. Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

The Las Vegas Strip is about 4.2 miles of restaurants, resorts, hotels, and casinos. It's not actually in Las Vegas, though. It's just outside the city limits in Clark County, Nevada. People from all over the world come here to relax, party, shop, gamble, and golf. The strip is home to several Cirque du Soleil shows and musical residencies.

42. Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial is open 24/7. It was built to remember America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. It's right across from the Washington Monument on the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Greek-inspired building has large, white columns on the outside with murals and a giant statue of Lincoln on the inside. On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech here.

43. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan

Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, stretching from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City. The 26,000-foot roadway crosses the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. A surplus of tourists use the bridge to get to the Upper Peninsula in the summer, but others seek out the bridge itself to appreciate it in all its glory (and snap a few pictures while they're at it).

44. Mall of America, Minnesota

The Mall of America is a giant shopping center in Bloomington, Minnesota, just outside the Twin Cities. It is the largest mall in the country and the 12th largest in the world. Every year, about 40 million people visit its 520 shops, 50 restaurants, and aquarium. There are more than 28 amusement rides, and the entire first floor is dedicated to Nickelodeon Universe, the nation's largest indoor theme park.

45. Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

Monument Valley is part of the Colorado Plateau. It's on the border of Arizona and Utah. Although this is a popular tourist destination, there are basically just canyons, red sand, tall buttes, and the biggest blue sky you've ever laid eyes on. It looks pretty much exactly how you'd imagine the Wild West. Tourists can take a drive down a 14-mile dirt road to see the Mittens, Three Sisters, John Ford's Point, Totem Pole, Yei Bi Chai, and Ear of the Wind. Other guided tours are available to reach Mystery Valley, Hunts Mesa, and more. If you want, you can even see it all on horseback.

46. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore features sculptures of four former presidents carved into the Black Hills near Keystone, South Dakota. Every year, more than 2 million visitors come to view George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, whose stone heads measure 60 feet each.

47. National Mall, Washington, D.C.

The National Mall is the two-mile stretch of green between the United States Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Every year, the park sees about 24 million tourists who are also visiting Smithsonian museums, art galleries, memorials, statues, and other landmarks.

48. Navy Pier, Illinois

The 3,300-foot-long Navy Pier juts from the lakeshore in downtown Chicago, Illinois. An estimated 2 million people visit yearly to sightsee and experience the shops, amusement rides, parks, gardens, and restaurants. Every Wednesday and Saturday of the summer, there's a fireworks show over Lake Michigan, which guests can enjoy from the dock or aboard an evening cruise.

49. Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls is made of three waterfalls — Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls — on the border between Ontario and New York. It's part of the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. Most people visit in the summertime during the day or night. Floodlights allow a clear view of the falls when it's dark out. The most popular attraction is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise, which takes passengers into the basin of Horseshoe Falls, the most powerful waterfall in North America.

50. Pike Place Market, Washington

Seattle, Washington's Pike Place Market is one of the oldest, continuously running, and public farmers markets in America (and a tourist trap worth visiting). It features a rainbow of retailers selling antiques, comics, collectibles, fresh produce, crafts, coffee, and cannabis paraphernalia. Tourists adore the fish market, where employees toss giant fish to one another at great lengths. The first-ever Starbucks store is here, too.

51. Redwood National and State Parks, Washington

On California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith and Prairie Creek State Parks combine with Redwood National Park to cover 139,000 acres, an area that is home to the tallest trees on Earth. There are no hotels or motels in the parks, so take a hike and pitch a tent in the redwood forest. Other recreational activities include horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, and fishing.

52. Rockefeller Center, New York

Rockefeller Center is a complex of buildings in New York City. Here, you'll find gardens, shops, and restaurants, as well as Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios, where "Saturday Night Live" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" are filmed. Head to the Top of the Rock for stunning views on the observatory deck, or brave the crowds during the holiday season when the gargantuan Christmas tree lights up by the skating rink.

53. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park is in north-central Colorado, about 75 miles from the Denver International Airport. The region offers spectacular mountain and lake views, wildflowers, and 300 miles of hiking trails. This environment offers close-up views of wildlife such as bighorn sheep, birds, elk, and mule deer.

54. San Diego Zoo, California

The San Diego Zoo in California's Balboa Park houses 700,000 plants and more than 3,500 animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies, which includes leopards, anacondas, camels, cheetahs, alligators, elephant, giraffes, and more. It's the most visited zoo in the country, clocking in at 4 million ticketholders per year.

55. Sequoia National Park, California

Some of the world's largest trees can be found in Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California. In fact, the biggest one in the world is here, and it goes by the name General Sherman. The massive sequoia is 275 feet tall, 25 feet wide, and 52,500 cubic feet by volume. In addition to these monster trees, the park features canyons, caverns, foothills, and mountains. Limited Wi-Fi and cellphone coverage will have you feeling at one with nature.

56. Smithsonian, multiple locations

Cultural and research centers, a national zoo, and 19 museums make up the Smithsonian Institution. Eleven of the museums are on the National Mall, two are elsewhere in Washington, D.C., two are in New York City, and one is in Chantilly, Virginia. Admission for all is free, excluding the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.

57. South Street Seaport, New York

South Street Seaport is in lower Manhattan along the East River. This historic New York City district features some of the city's oldest architecture, as well as modern shops, restaurants, and bars. The seaport has been a popular place for filming. You may recognize it from "I Am Legend," "Godzilla," or "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York."

58. Space Needle, Washington

The Space Needle is a symbol of Seattle, Washington. At a soaring 605 feet tall, the tower is built to withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes up to a 9.0 magnitude. Visitors can travel up to the upper observation deck for unforgettable views of the surrounding mountains and bay. There's also a lower-level observation deck called "The Loupe," which has the world's first and only rotating glass floor.

59. Statue of Liberty, New York

The Statue of Liberty is one of America's most iconic landmarks and is recognized as a symbol of freedom to people around the world. The massive, green copper statue was gifted by France in 1886, and today, tourists ferry over from both New York and New Jersey to marvel at her beauty.

60. The Alamo, Texas

The Alamo is the site of a famous battle in during Texas' war for independence from Mexico. In February 1836, thousands of Mexican troops beseiged the fort, but the Alamo's 200 defenders (including the famous frontiersman Davy Crockett) were able to fend them off for 13 days before ultimately losing the fight. Today, visitors can take guided or self-guided tours of the mission to learn more about its history.

61. The High Line, New York

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated public park on the west side of Manhattan. It's built on the abandoned New York Central railroad. The walkway features lots of trees and other plants, art installations, decks, overlooks, and other various passageways. The High Line typically welcomes food vendors during summer months, but Italian restaurant Santina is open all year round at the park's southern end.

62. The Hollywood Sign, California

The iconic Hollywood Sign sits on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California. Each letter is 45 feet long, spanning a total 352 feet altogether. It's illegal to walk right up to the sign (a police officer is stationed there 24/7), but tourists can hike the trails above and below it, or simply view it from practically anywhere in the city.

63. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as "the Met," is the largest art museum in America, and with nearly 7 million annual visitors, it is the third most visited in the world. There are more than 2 million permanent pieces separated into 17 different cultural departments.

64. Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.

The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to the Founding Father and third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. The monument has a marble staircase and large columns. A 19-foot-tall, 10,000-pound statue of Jefferson is at the center of the building's interior. An excerpt from the Declaration of Independence and other writings are inscribed on the walls.

65. Times Square, New York

Times Square is the heart of New York City and "The Center of the Universe." It's a major tourist destination because of all the flashy billboards, bright lights, Broadway musicals, art, shops, and restaurants. The world's most famous New Year's Eve countdown happens here, with about 1 million people packed into NYC's Times Square . It's estimated that 330,000 people cross through the area every day, accounting for 50 million visitors annually.

66. Union Station, Washington, D.C.

This station is a major transportation hub in Washington, D.C., with several railways connecting metros such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. It's the headquarters for Amtrak, but it also services other commuter railways and buses. Union Station is also home to a huge number of restaurants and other retailers.

67. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.

The Capitol Building in Washington D.C. is the focal point of the legislative branch and a symbol of the American government. The building has been a meeting place for the House of Representatives and the Senate for the last two centuries. Today, it's also an art and history museum. Visitors can explore the building or even watch Congress in session.

68. Universal Studios Hollywood, California

Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and theme park in California's San Fernando Valley. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is here (and other themed rides), as well as the world-famous studio tour, which gives parkgoers a dramatic, behind-the-scenes look at how movies are made.

69. Venice Beach, California

This isn't your average beach. People from near and far come to Venice Beach in California to watch street performers, shoot hoops, surf, shop, eat, skate, break a sweat at the outdoor gym, and drink with their toes in the sand. It features a promenade, a fishing pier, Muscle Beach (the birthplace of the physical fitness boom), a bike trail, and a recreation center for beach volleyball, paddle tennis, skating, and handball.

70. Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

At 555 feet tall, the Washington Monument is the world's tallest obelisk. It can found east of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The marble structure was dedicated to the nation's first president, George Washington. Fifty American flags fly at the base 24 hours a day.

71. White House, Washington, D.C.

The White House is a mansion in Washington, D.C., where the president and first family live. Anyone visiting the nation's capital can go on a self-guided tour of the historic building, but a reservation must be made ahead of time by submitting a request through your Member of Congress.

72. World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.

The World War II is on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. It consists of 56 pillars, two arches, and a large fountain created to honor American civilians and those who served in the military during World War II. The site is open to the public 24/7, and approximately 4.6 million tourists visit annually.

73. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

Yellowstone was the first national park in the world. The park's 2.2 million acres of land cover parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Its most famous feature is the Old Faithful geyser, which erupts every 45 to 125 minutes. An estimated 4 million visitors arrive here annually to camp, hike, bike, boat, fish, ride horses and llamas, ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, and take in the wildlife. Grizzly and black bears, bison, elk, wolves, bighorn sheep, and moose are just a select bunch of the area's residents.

74. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park is in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range. It covers about 748,000 acres of land featuring cliffs, valleys, meadows, waterfalls, streams, lakes, mountains, glaciers, and ancient sequoia groves. Most visitors stay within Yosemite Valley, which has great hiking trails and mountaintop views.

75. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is in southwestern Utah near the town of Springdale. Take short or long walks through trails in the uber-popular Zion Canyon or Kolob Canyons. Guests can also go rock climbing, horseback riding, camping, biking, birding, canyoneering, stargazing, and boating down the Virgin River. 

76. 360 Chicago Observation Deck, Illinois

Visitors looking for the best views of the Windy City can head up to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck for a stunning panoramic perspective. The deck sits on the 94th floor of 875 N Michigan Avenue, located in the middle of the city and just a few blocks from Lake Michigan. Visit the attraction during the day for a clear sight of the skyline and breathtaking horizon, or head to the deck at night for sunset views and to watch the city light up. Adrenaline junkies can also try TILT, an exhilarating ride that tilts the entire body (contained safely in a full-length window) over the streets of Chicago.

77. Guggenheim Museum, New York

The Guggenheim may be best known for its distinctive round, smooth-looking facade, but there's a lot to discover inside its walls, too. The unique architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building continues inside with a magnificent skylight, triangular staircase, and other one-of-a-kind design features. When you're done marveling at the building, visit one of the museum's rotating exhibitions or take a peek at its permanent collection of 8,000 pieces of art. The Guggenheim also hosts events, such as opera and ballet performances, as well as classes for all ages.

78. French Quarter, Louisiana

The French Quarter is a historic neighborhood in New Orleans dating back to 1718, and just as its name sounds, the area has a French flair rarely found on this side of the Atlantic. There's no shortage of things to do in the Vieux Carre (another name for the French Quarter). Stop by one of the district's many museums or traditional homes to get a taste of New Orleans' history. Alternatively, explore the sights outdoors, making sure to hit up St. Louis Cathedral, Pirate's Alley, and the French Market. Don't forget to take the Algiers Ferry for views of the French Quarter from the water.

79. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park, located in Southwestern Colorado, is a lot more than beautiful mountains and open skies. The park stands out for its 4,400 recorded archaeological sites, including ancient dwellings from the Pueblo community that once called it home. The national park is made up of 81 square miles, and you can easily spend a day or two hiking and exploring. To make the most of your visit, camp at the Morefield Campground or book a stay at the park's Far View Lodge. For full access to the cliff dwellings, be sure to book a tour in advance.

80. Kennedy Space Center, Florida

You may not be able to take a trip to space whenever you want, but the next best thing might just be a trip to the Kennedy Space Center on Florida's Merritt Island, a one-hour drive from Orlando. One of the most exciting to-do list items at the center is watching a live rocket launch, but even if there are no launches during your visit, you're still in for a treat. The visitor complex includes a Hall of Fame area, conversations with real astronauts, a tour of the Firing Room responsible for the Apollo 8 launch, and even a ride that simulates what it feels like to be blasted into outer space.

81. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee

You don't have to go west for amazing mountain ranges. The Appalachian Mountains offer stellar terrain and untouched greenery, and the range's Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best places to experience this unbeatable slice of nature. According to the National Park Service , the Great Smoky Mountains is the country's most visited national park. The area is accessible from both North Carolina and Tennessee and offers camping grounds, hiking trails, and plenty of wildlife. When exploring on foot, visitors should watch out for the estimated 1,900 black bears that call the national park their home.

82. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

A cave might put off some claustrophobic travelers, but Mammoth Cave is expansive enough to feel welcoming even to those who despise small and dark spaces. The National Park Foundation notes that the Kentucky attraction is the longest cave system in the world, spanning over 400 miles. However, most tourism is limited to a 10-mile stretch. Underground cave tours are the area's selling point, where groups are taken into the caves to explore the dark and windy trails safely together. Nature lovers will also find opportunities for hiking, canoeing, fishing, and horseback riding nearby.

83. American Museum of Natural History, New York

Located in New York City's Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History boasts an impressive collection of more than 30 million research specimens and one of the largest fossil and insect collections in the world. That might be why a whopping 5 million people visit it every year. The museum offers exhibitions that'll fascinate guests of all ages, from its life-sized ocean animal displays to the jaw-dropping T-rex skeleton. Expect a number of temporary exhibitions in addition to the museum's permanent fixtures.

84. Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Hawaii

A visit to Hawaii's O'ahu is sure to include beach days and sightseeing in Waikiki, but no trip to the island is complete without stopping by the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. The site marks the spot where battleships were sunk and destroyed during World War II. In particular, visitors are invited onto the USS Arizona Memorial, built right over the sunken USS Arizona ship, which contains the 1,177 crewmen who succumbed to the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Though the memorial may be somber, it serves as an informative and moving reminder of past tragedy. Pearl Harbor also offers museums and various monuments to commemorate the events that took place there and the lives that were lost.

85. Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley is a region in California comprised of five towns — American Canyon, Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga — meaning there's no shortage of places to explore in this destination. However, Napa Valley is perhaps best known for its hundreds of wineries. Wine lovers can enjoy the valley's many tours and tastings. There are also breweries and distilleries for those who are passionate about beer and other spirits. Even if you don't imbibe, you'll find relaxing sights and activities (how about a spa day or a bit of golfing?) that still make Napa Valley worth a visit.

86. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Inside Arizona's Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is Horseshoe Bend, a landmark canyon that seems to jut out of the water in a unique horseshoe shape. The site formed from one of the many twists and turns of the Colorado River, resulting from shifts in tectonic plates. The lone canyon poking out from behind the river makes for an awe-inspiring visual and the perfect backdrop for mid-hiking selfies. For those looking to take in more breathtaking canyon sights, Grand Canyon National Park is located just nine miles away.

87. St. Augustine, Florida

Sun, beaches, and a bit of history — St. Augustine has it all. This Florida city was founded in 1565, making it the oldest settled town in all of the U.S. Tourists can sense St. Augustine's legacy in its European-style buildings and historic sites, like the Castillo de San Marcos fortress. For visitors craving something more contemporary, there are also hip food spots, concerts at the St. Augustine Amphitheater, and — in true Florida fashion — an alligator farm (the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park), where you can meet every crocodilian species known to man.

88. Rodeo Drive, California

Many of the U.S.'s top destinations have shopping nearby, but sometimes the shopping area is a destination in itself. That's the case with Rodeo Drive, a street in Beverly Hills dotted with luxury brand shops. Top designers such as Chanel, Balenciaga, and Gucci have locations on the highly regarded block, but you don't have to spend big money to enjoy the neighborhood. Rodeo Drive is an ideal spot for catching a glimpse of a celebrity or just taking in the sights of the street's signature palm trees and window displays.

89. Atlantic City, New Jersey

A getaway for East Coast city dwellers and a destination in its own right, Atlantic City welcomes more than 27 million visitors each year. The seaside town built its boardwalk in 1870, and since then, it's become a summery spot complete with beaches, casinos, shopping, and nightlife. The boardwalk continues to be a must-visit spot and is home to the Steel Pier, where you can find a Ferris wheel, rides, games, and carnival-style food. Think of Atlantic City as New Jersey's Las Vegas, mixed with beachy vibes and all the fun you'd find at the county fair.

90. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park is a park containing Washington's Mount Rainier and its diverse array of flora and fauna. The mountain stands as the tallest volcanic peak in the contiguous United States and remains an active volcano. Despite being watched carefully for possible eruptions, Mount Rainier and the surrounding park invite visitors to explore its picturesque waterfalls, numerous hiking trails, and unmatched wildflower meadows. The national park is also perfect for travelers who like to keep moving — depending on the season, try kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, or foraging for berries and mushrooms.

91. Waikiki, Hawaii

Travelers heading to Honolulu will likely find themselves staying in Waikiki, a tourist-friendly neighborhood that still offers a taste of island paradise. Waikiki has many of O'ahu's big hotels and resorts, plus the amenities you'd typically expect in an urban area: restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and more. Of course, most people don't visit Hawaii for the hotels or dinner spots — they come for the white sand beaches and pristine waves, and Waikiki doesn't disappoint. Millions of people soak up the sun at Waikiki Beach each year, whether they're taking surf lessons, cooling off in the water, or just enjoying the relaxing atmosphere.

92. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Often considered one of the best ski resorts in the U.S., Park City Mountain Resort in Utah is a skier's dream destination. It boasts over 7,000 acres of skiable land, making it the largest ski area in the country. Those who prefer to keep their feet firmly planted can snuggle up in a wintertime yurt or unwind at the RockResorts Spa. In the warmer months, visitors can partake in numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and zip-lining. Park City Mountain Resort is easily accessible from the town of Park City, making it a breeze to explore the charming Main Street and other nearby attractions.

93. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

The phrase "national park" usually brings to mind images of wildlife and greenscapes, but White Sands National Park defies expectations with its white sand dunes made of gypsum sediment. The park can be found in New Mexico's Tularosa Basin, an area that also holds military missile tests. Therefore, guests should check in advance for possible park closures during scheduled tests. White Sands offers a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities, such as camping and cycling, but an especially memorable way to spend time in the park is by sandboarding and sand-sledding down the smooth, powdery dunes.

94. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Ohio

No matter what type of music you choose to listen to, a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is worth the trek to Cleveland, Ohio. In fact, the museum is considered to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire state. Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame offers a crash course in popular music, with exhibits showcasing some of the biggest names in the business, as well as a look at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. There's also an impressive collection of memorabilia, such as a David Bowie performance outfit, Johnny Cash's guitar, and Kurt Cobain's official death certificate.

95. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach was once called one of the most beautiful places in the world by National Geographic, and a trip to the Oregon spot will quickly reveal why. Cannon Beach may not have year-round sunshine or tropical views, but it offers a charm all its own. The beach is rocky, with the giant Haystack Rock grabbing the most attention. The structure adds character to the beach's horizon line while also acting as a resting spot for puffins and other birds. Away from the coastline, travelers can soak up the town's artsy culture in one of its galleries and studios.

96. Savannah Historic District, Georgia

Savannah might sit in the shadows of Georgia's larger cities, such as Atlanta, but the town's personality-rich Historic District shouldn't be overlooked. The area follows the same grid street plan originally laid out in 1733, but that's not the only relic you'll find in Savannah. Packed into its blocks are small preserved parks, historic homes, and museums celebrating the city's heritage. Visitors should be sure to stroll down Jones Street, a residential stretch found right in the heart of the Historic District. The street is lined with romantic, colonial-era houses that'll have you questioning what year it really is.

97. Devils Tower, Wyoming

Wyoming's Devils Tower became the very first U.S. national monument, and with its peculiar shape and cultural significance, it's easy to see why it warranted special federal protection. Historically, the monument was central to numerous folklore stories passed down by indigenous tribes. Today, it's still considered a sacred site by many Native American communities. Rock climbers also flock to the tower to try scaling its unique vertical ridges. However, in June, the park encourages a voluntary hiatus for climbing, as June is a particularly sacred month in the Plains Indians' religious calendar. The landscape is also ideal for hiking (catch a glimpse of Devils Tower, along with some wildlife, from one of the surrounding trails) and camping.

98. Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Museum of Modern Art — often shortened to "MoMA" — is an art museum in New York City that has been showcasing modern and contemporary art since its inception in 1929. In the last century, the museum has built an impressive 200,000-piece collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other works of art. Along with several other New York-area museums, MoMA is practically a destination on its own, and an expert at The New York Times notes that visitors should set aside four or five hours to work their way through it.

99. Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia was established in 1699, making it one of the first planned cities in the U.S. Those days may be long in the past, but tourists can still relive the city's colonial era by making a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Unlike some other old-timey towns, such as Savannah or St. Augustine, Colonial Williamsburg remains separate from the city center. Visitors can purchase an admission ticket to access the museum's sites and attractions, including its historic government buildings and authentic craftspeople. Stay in one of the Colonial Williamsburg accommodations to keep the nostalgia going overnight.

100. Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park is full of eye-catching canyons and rock formations, colored in bands of orange, white, and even purple. However, that's not all you'll find in this must-visit park. The magnificent 244,000 acres also include a mixed-grass prairie and sights of the animals who thrive there. Keep your eyes peeled for bison, rattlesnakes, sheep, and other wildlife. When you're done scoping out the various species living in the Badlands, go hunting for fossils. The national park is considered to have some of the best fossil beds in the world.

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100 Best Places to Visit in the USA

the capitol building

From the breathtaking fjords of Alaska and the fertile wine-growing regions of California, to the white sunny beaches of Florida and the bizarre rock formations of Utah, the United States offers some of the most diverse landscapes on Earth.

With over 79.6 million tourists in 2018, it is the third most visited country in the world after France and Spain.

Whether by the ocean or in the heart of the desert, American cities are among the most exciting in the world.

Known for their architecture and modern engineering facilities, they are a complex mix of different cultures and lifestyles.

Although there are thousands of places worth visiting in this vast country, we suggest you take a look at 100 of the most iconic of them:

100. Joshua Tree National Park (CA)

joshua tree national park

Joshua Tree National Park is a deserted territory, located in the southernmost part of Mojave Desert, in Southern California.

Established on October 31, 1994, it has a total area of 790,636 acres (3,199.6 km²).

The park is named after a local species of tree, which is known as Joshua Tree or Yucca brevifolia and is quite common in the area.

The tree is well-known for its unusual appearance as well as for its resistance to prolonged periods of severe droughts and high temperatures.

The national park is easy to reach as it is located only 136 miles from Downtown Los Angeles.

99. White Sands National Monument (NM)

riding horses at white sands national monument

Established on January 18, 1933, White Sands National Monument is a protected territory, which is located in Southern New Mexico, approximately 60 miles north of the Mexican border.

It covers a total area of 145,762 acres (589.88 km²) and welcomes about 600,000 visitors per year.

It is known for its extremely white soft sands.

Since it is located in quite a hot and dry deserted area, you can expect high temperatures for most of the year.

For this reason, the best time to visit White Sands National Monument is late autumn (November and December) and early spring (March and April).

On December 20, 2019, the national monument was declared a national park.

98. Aspen (CO)

aspen highlands

Aspen is the most popular mountain tourist town in the U.S.

It is located in the Rocky Mountains, in Central Colorado.

It lies in a glacial valley, approximately 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level.

The area enjoys a rare combination between heavy snowfalls and sunny clear days for most of the year, which attracts hundreds of thousands of winter sports lovers from across the country.

The city welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors per year, including a number of celebrities.

Dozens of cultural events, including music and film festivals, are held every year in Aspen, most of them during the summer season.

97. Death Valley (CA)

death valley

Death Valley National Monument was established on February 11, 1933.

Located in Southern California, not far from the Nevada border, it is known as one of the hottest and most inhospitable places in the world.

On July 10, 1913, it was measured 134°F (56.7°C), which is the second highest temperature on Earth ever.

The valley is known for its beautiful and unique landscape as well as for its sailing stones.

Since summers are unbearably hot, the best time to visit the Death Valley is the winter season between October and May.

Even in January the average daytime temperature is between 64 and 68°F (between 18 and 20°C).

96. Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)

grand canyon national park

Located in Northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon was formed approximately 5 or 6 million years ago.

It falls within Grand Canyon National Park, which was established on February 26, 1919.

The national park covers a territory of approximately 1,217,262 acres (4,926.08 km 2 ) and was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1979.

The maximum depth of the canyon is 6000.7 feet (or 1829 meters).

Since summers and winters are quite harsh, the best time to visit the national park is spring and autumn, which bring the most pleasant temperatures over the year.

95. Dry Tortugas National Park (FL)

dry tortugas national park

Florida is often described as being a true paradise for people and wildlife, and Dry Tortugas National Park is a perfect example of that.

Established on January 4th, 1935, it includes seven islands and an impressive unfinished brick fortress, called Fort Jefferson.

The islands are situated amidst turquoise waters and are known for their white sands and well-preserved shallow coral reefs.

The natural beauty of the islands, in combination with their year-round warm tropical climate, attracts tens of thousands of visitors per year.

The national park is located approximately 68 miles west of Key West, Florida.

94. Cape Cod (MA)

cape cod national seashore

Cape Cod is a 60-mile long L-shaped peninsula in Eastern Massachusetts, New England.

It is known for its scenic little towns and traditional villages as well as for its fantastic golden beaches.

Cape Cod National Seashore is the main tourist attraction in the area.

It is a protected territory, which covers approximately 40 miles of fabulous beaches, grasslands and ponds along the Atlantic coast.

Established on August 7, 1961, the area is very attractive during the summer months.

Another landmark are the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, which are located right next to the south of Cape Cod.

They are quite popular from the 1975 American thriller movie “Jaws”.

93. Waikiki Beach (HI)

waikiki beach

Hawaii is well-known for its fabulous beaches and Waikiki is one of them.

It is considered the most beautiful man-made beach in the world.

It offers a 2 miles long stretch of soft golden sand and shallow turquoise waters.

Because of the incredibly good underwater visibility and shallow reefs, Waikiki attracts divers and snorkelers from around the world.

The weather is perfect, no matter the season.

The coldest months along the southern shore of Oahu are January and February with daytime temperatures of around 80.1°F (26.7°C) and the warmest is August with up to 88.7°F (31.5°C).

92. Monument Valley (AZ, UT)

monument valley

Often mentioned as a national park, Monument Valley is actually a territory which entirely falls within the Navajo Nation.

It covers a significant area in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.

The most iconic part of Monument Valley is Hunts Mesa.

It is known for its 984 feet (almost 300 meters) tall red-colored rock formations.

Shaped by millions of years of erosion, they dominate the surrounding landscape.

The area is one of the most highly recommended tourist attractions in the United States.

You should know in advance, however, that you can visit this place only by guided tour.

91. Emerald Coast (FL)

emerald coast

Approximately 100 miles (161 km) long, the Emerald Coast offers the most irresistible beaches along the shore of the continental United States.

It stretches through 5 counties in Northwestern Florida and includes cities such as Destin, Niceville, Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach.

It is known for its extraordinary white soft sands and warm emerald waters.

Since it is located on the Gulf of Mexico, the best time of the year to visit the Emerald Coast is April (74°F/23°C), May (82°F/28°C) and October (79°F/26°C).

90. The Capitol Building (Washington, D.C.)

the capitol building

The Capitol Building, officially known as the United States Capitol, is located in Capitol Hill, which is one of the most beautiful historic neighbourhoods of Washington, D.C.

The construction started on September 18, 1793, and completed in 1800.

The name “Capitol” comes from Latin and was an idea of Thomas Jefferson.

The building was partially burned during the War of 1812 (an armed conflict between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain) and was completely restored by 1819.

89. Denali National Park (AK)

denali national park

Established on February 26, 1917, Denali National Park covers a territory of approximately 4,740,911 acres (19,185.79 km 2 ) in the central part of Southern Alaska.

It welcomes more than half a million visitors per year, most of which coming during the summer months.

The northwestern part of the park is dominated by dense pine forests, deep rivers and wonderful glacial lakes, while the southeastern half is mostly occupied by the Alaska Range.

The highest peak in North America, Denali, is located in the heart of the national park.

Also known as Mount McKinley, it is 20,310 feet (6,190.5 meters) high and is covered in permanent snow and ice.

It is considered one of the most isolated mountains on Earth.

The best time of the year to visit Denali National Park is in July.

It brings mild weather with temperatures of 57°F (nearly 14°C) and plenty of sunshine.

88. Disneyland (CA)

disneyland

Opened on July 17, 1955, Disneyland Park in California is considered the most popular amusement park in the world.

It is located in Anaheim, Los Angeles and attracts approximately 18.6 million visitors per year (as of 2018).

Initially created as a park mainly for children, Disneyland Resort (as it is officially called today) is even more attractive to adults.

It is known for its roller coasters, carousels, Ferris wheels, magical castles and famous fairy tales and cartoon characters, which create a really magical atmosphere.

87. Las Vegas Strip (NV)

las vegas strip

Also known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World”, Las Vegas was established on May 15, 1905.

As of January 1, 2020, there are 222 casinos in the entire county.

More than 50 of them are concentrated along the “Strip”, which is the nickname of the main central boulevard of the city and the biggest tourist attraction in Nevada.

The “Strip”, whose official name is Las Vegas Boulevard, is known for its hundreds of thousands of LED lights, so the best time of the day to come here is after sunset.

Full of restaurants, hotels and gambling halls, the street is always busy and crowded with tourists after dark, especially on public holidays and on weekends.

86. Three Pools (OR)

opal creek wilderness

Established on September 30, 1996, the Willamette National Forest is known for some of the most irresistible swimming holes in America.

Hidden deep in the dense Duglas fir forests of Opal Creek Wilderness in Oregon, the Santiam River is a small and crystal clear mountain river, which offers a few wonderful small natural pools with emerald waters.

Every summer they attract thousands of visitors.

Located on the North Fork of the river, Three Pools are quite cold even in summer with temperatures of between 45°F and 55°F (between 7°C and 13°C).

85. Antelope Canyon (AZ)

antelope canyon

Located less than 5 miles southeast of Page, Northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in the United States.

It is about 120 feet (37 meters) deep and consists of two parts Upper and Lower Canyon.

Since it falls within the Navajo Nation, you need a special permission to go there, and you can visit the area only as part of a tourist group.

As the canyon is very narrow and deep, it is considered very difficult to take a really good picture of it.

84. Alcatraz Island (CA)

alcatraz island

Surrounded by the cold waters and powerful ocean currents of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island was listed into the U.S. National Register of Historical Places in 1986.

The main tourist attraction on the island is, of course, the building of the prison, which served as a maximum security federal prison between August 11, 1934, and March 21, 1963.

For the 29 years of operation, the prison gained the reputation of being the toughest prison in the United States.

Nowadays, the building of the prison serves as a museum and attracts more than 1.5 million visitors per year.

83. Walk of Fame (CA)

walk of fame

Located in Hollywood, the Walk of Fame is an extraordinary place.

Established on February 8, 1960, it covers a few blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Boulevard.

It is known for its ceramic tiles, traditionally designed in a black-and-coral color.

Every single star is decorated with the name of a celebrity from the world of show business.

Because of its cultural and tourist importance, on July 5, 1978, the Walk of Fame was declared a Historic-Cultural Monument.

82. Mammoth Cave National Park (KY)

mammoth cave national park

Located in the dense forests of Central Kentucky, Mammoth Cave is the largest cave system on Earth.

Its galeries reach the incredible length of 400 miles, only a small part of which can be explored by tourists.

It falls within Mammoth Cave National Park, which covers a total area of 52,830 acres (213.8 km²) and was established on July 1, 1941.

In 1981 the cave was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is known for its impressive variety of rare species of animals, including a few species of bats.

81. Arches National Park (UT)

arches national park

Located in the eastern part of Utah, Arches National Park is a popular tourist destination.

First established as a national monument on April 12, 1929, today it welcomes almost 1.7 million visitors per year.

It is known for its eroded rocks which form incredible natural bridges and arches in saturated red and orange colors.

Most of the rock formations are approximately 65 million years old.

They are scattered all over the national park, which covers a total area of 76,679 acres (310.31 km²).

The best time to visit the arches is late spring and early autumn.

80. Niagara Falls (NY)

niagara falls

Located right on the border between the United States (New York) and Canada (Ontario), Niagara Falls is considered one of the most beautiful and famous waterfalls in the world.

Declared a state park in 1885, nowadays it welcomes more than 9.5 million visitors.

The waterfall consists of three drops and is 167 feet (51 meters) tall.

Being the oldest state park in the United States, it was added to the National Register of Historical Places on October 15, 1966.

The waterfall serves as an important source of fresh water and hydroelectric power.

79. The Gateway Arch, St. Louis (MO)

the gateway arch

Situated in a very beautiful park on the west bank of the Mississippi River, the 630 feet (192 meters) Gateway Arch is one of the main attractions of St. Louis, Missouri.

It plays a symbolic role because the city has always been considered a door between the Eastern and the Western United States.

The construction started in 1963 and completed in 1968, 5 years later.

Being the tallest monument in the world, the arch attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per year.

78. Key West (FL)

key west

Key West is a small and beautiful island in the western part of the archipelago of Florida Keys, in Southern Florida.

It is considered the most interesting of all islands in the chain because of its historical downtown and wonderful colonial architecture.

From 1931 to 1939 in one of the old houses (now museum) lived the writer Ernest Hemingway, the author of the famous novel “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Key West is known also for its wonderful year round warm tropical climate and coral reefs.

The best time of the year to visit this lovely place is between October and April.

77. Glacier National Park (MT)

glacier national park

Glacier National Park is located in an isolated and remote area in Northwestern Montana, right next to the Canada border.

The first thing you see when you visit this place for the first time is its out of this world natural beauty.

You feel like you are in the most secluded place on Earth and this is partially true.

There are no big cities in a radius of 150 miles, and the closest one is actually Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta.

The national park is dominated by rugged mountain ridges, glacial lakes, dense pine forests and crystal clear mountain rivers.

The park covers an area of 1,013,322 acres (4,100.77 km²) and is a dream come true for experienced hikers.

In 1995, Glacier National Park was inscribed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

76. Museum of Modern Art – MoMA (NY)

museum of modern art

Established in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art “MoMA” is one of the most popular and visited contemporary art museums in the world.

Located on West 53rd Street in Manhattan, it is housed in an old but modern-looking building.

Here you can see a great variety of inspiring exhibitions as well as world famous works of Monet, Dali and Picasso.

75. Havasu Creek (AZ)

havasu creek

Located within Grand Canyon National Park, Northern Arizona, Havasu Creek is a tributary of the Colorado River and is known for its wonderful series of 6 large and a number of smaller waterfalls.

They are situated within a walking distance of each other.

Beaver Falls and Mooney Falls are the most famous of them.

Mooney is 100 feet tall (almost 30 meters) and is very impressive.

Beaver Falls is very different, unique and extraordinary looking.

It is known for its wonderful natural pools, irresistible for their turquoise color.

It reminds of a wonderful staircase of small drops.

The best time to visit Havasu Creek is spring and autumn.

74. Art Deco Historic District, Miami Beach (FL)

ocean drive south beach

The Art Deco Historic District in Miami Beach is one of the most recognizable and popular spots in Florida.

It covers approximately 5,750 acres (2,330 ha) in the southern part of Miami Beach and is known for its bright and colorful buildings.

Most of them date from the period between the late 1920s and early 1940s.

On May 14, 1979, the district was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The main attraction in the area is the famous thoroughfare Ocean Drive where most of the hotels and restaurants are.

73. Mount Rainier National Park (WA)

mount rainier national park

Mount Rainier National Park was established on March 2, 1899, and is one of the oldest protected territories in the United States.

Located in the Cascades of Central Washington, the park covers an area of approximately 236,381 acres (956.60 km²).

It is known for its old-growth untouched rainforests as well as for its variety of wild animals, including black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves, bobcats, marmots, elks, bald eagles and many others.

Here you can find wonderful tourist trails, and the best time to visit the park is in summer, especially in July and August.

72. The Glass Beaches of Fort Bragg (CA)

the glass beach

Every year tens of thousands of people visit one of the most extraordinary places in California.

It comes to a group of three small beaches on the coast of the city of Fort Bragg, in the northern part of the state.

Between 1906 and 1967, they served as dump sites and were used for disposal of glass, metal and other waste materials.

After decades of attempts by people and organizations to clean the beach, today you can see only the smallest pieces of glass on the shore.

They were perfectly polished by the waves and now the beaches are covered not with pebbles but with small jewelry-looking pieces of glass.

71. Gulf State Park (AL)

gulf state park

The beaches of Alabama have always been underrated but they actually are among the most beautiful in North America.

Established in 1939, Gulf State Park is a very good example.

It covers 6,500 acres (26 km 2 ) along the coast, west of Gulf Shores.

The area offers approximately 2.5 miles of extraordinarily white sands and emerald waters.

The climate in the area is very warm, so you can swim into the gulf between early April and late October.

With temperatures between 59 and 68°F (or between 15 and 20°C), the weather during the winter season is perfect for long walks.

Don’t miss to visit and explore the city of Gulf Shores.

Along the coast you can see very beautiful traditional beach houses, built on pillars directly on the sand.

They are one of the tourist attractions here.

Another popular landmark is the saltwater lagoon, where you can see sometimes even small alligators.

70. Cannon Beach (OR)

cannon beach

Cannon Beach is a small but very popular tourist city.

It lies on the northern coast of Oregon and is easily recognizable because of the emblematic coastal Haystack Rock, rising up approximately 235 feet (72 meters) above sea surface.

The city is well-known from the movies “The Goonies” /1985/ and “Point Break” /1991/ and is popular with people from across the country because of its annual sandcastle contest.

69. Space Needle (WA)

space needle

The Space Needle is an important tourist attraction and an observation tower in the heart of Seattle, Washington.

Completed on December 8, 1961, it is 604 feet (184 meters) tall and reveals the most spectacular 360-degree city panorama on the West Coast.

If you want to enjoy the best experience, you should visit the Space Needle at dusk when the combination of city lights and natural light is just breathtaking.

68. Savannah (GA)

wormsloe historic site

Without doubt Savannah is the most recommended historical city to visit on the East Coast of the United States.

Established in 1733, it is known for its long and rich history and lavish colonial architecture.

After being established, the city flourished rapidly because of its warm humid climate and very rich soils, which appeared to be the perfect combination for cotton production.

Today Savannah is an important tourist center with numerous bars, restaurants and hotels.

If you want to feel the spirit of the past, don’t miss to visit the Wormsloe Historic Site, also known as Wormsloe Plantation.

It is known for its 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long rural avenue, shaded by hundreds of beautiful oak trees.

67. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (HI)

active hawaiian volcano

Established on August 1, 1916, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is really worth a visit.

It covers an area of 323,431 acres (1,308.88 km 2 ) in the southern and southeastern part of Hawaii.

If you want to get a better idea of what it really looks like, the best option is to book a helicopter flight over the island.

The main attractions are Kilauea (the most active volcano on Earth) and Mauna Loa (the largest volcano on the planet).

In 1978 Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

66. Atlantic City (NJ)

atlantic city

Established on May 1, 1854, Atlantic City is the most popular tourist city in the Northeast of the United States.

It is situated on the Atlantic shore, in the southeastern part of New Jersey.

Being only 98 miles away from New York, it attracts a number of visitors during the weekends and on public holidays.

Atlantic City is known for its 4 miles long stretch of golden sand as well as for its lively boardwalk with numerous bars, restaurants, casinos and shops.

65. Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (MO)

cathedral basilica of saint louis

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis was constructed between 1907 and 1914.

It is 227 feet (69 meters) tall and is the most important landmark in the city of Saint Louis.

It combines two very different architectural styles – Neo-Byzantine and Romanesque Revival.

The cathedral is very popular for its wonderful mosaics, which consist of the incredible 41.5 million pieces of glass tiles.

64. Flatiron Building (NY)

flatiron building

You will find one of the most remarkable buildings in New York on 5th Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan.

Completed in 1902, the Flatiron serves as an office building and is well-known for its beautiful Renaissance Revival style architecture.

What makes one of the oldest skyscrapers unique and memorable, however, is its wedge-shaped structure.

The elegant skyscraper is 285 feet (86.9 meter) tall, and upon its completion, it was one of the most high-rise buildings in the United States.

63. Hollywood (CA)

hollywood

Hollywood is a neighbourhood in the northern part of central Los Angeles and one of the most popular places in the world.

Being too noisy, crowded and expensive, it is definitely not to everyone’s taste.

At the same time, it is really iconic and acts as a magnet for people.

Established in 1886 as a ranch, today is the epicenter of show business and film industry.

Most of the major film studios are located here.

Some of the most popular museums in the city, such as Madame Tussauds and Hollywood Museum, are located in this part of LA too.

Not to mention the emblematic Hollywood Sign, created in 1923 and designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument on February 7, 1973.

The best time to visit Hollywood is spring and autumn.

62. Empire State Building (NY)

empire state building

With its 1,224 feet (373.1 meters) to the top floor and 1,454 feet (443.2 meters) to the tip, Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world until 1970.

The construction of the Art Deco skyscraper located on 350 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan started on March 17, 1930, and completed on April 11, 1931, one year later.

Being an icon of modern architecture, the 102-floor building is visible from different parts of the city.

It dominates the skyline of Manhattan and attracts more than 4 million visitors per year.

On November 17, 1982, Empire State Building was added to the U.S. Register of Historical Places, and on June 24, 1986, was declared a National Historical Landmark.

61. Graceland Mansion (TN)

graceland mansion

Graceland is a Colonial Revival style mansion, built in 1939 in Tennessee.

On March 19, 1957, Elvis Presley bought the property in the outskirts of Memphis and moved there.

He lived in the mansion with his family until his death on August 16, 1977.

The real estate covers a total area of 13.8 acres (5.6 hectares).

At the time when Elvis purchased the mansion, it was a few miles south of the city itself and was surrounded by a romantic rural landscape.

60. Hamilton Pool Preserve (TX)

hamilton pool preserve

Hamilton Pool is part of the Hamilton Pool Preserve, which covers a total area of approximately 232 acres (0.94 km 2 ).

The protected territory is located nearly 20 miles west of Austin and in summer attracts thousands of sunbathers and swimmers.

Hamilton Pool is known for its reputation of being the most beautiful and also the most extraordinary swimming hole in the United States.

It was formed thousands of years ago when the sandstone ceiling of a cave collapsed as a result of erosion.

Nowadays, the huge hole in the rock reveals a very beautiful underground river.

The natural pool is additionally “decorated” with a beautiful 49 feet (almost 15 meters) tall waterfall, which in summer usually disappears completely.

The emerald pool is 25 feet deep (about 7.62 meters), and the water is only about 50°F (10°C).

There is a small and cozy beach in one of the corners.

59. Mount Rushmore (SD)

mount rushmore

Completed in 1941, Mount Rushmore National Monument is located in Black Hills, not far from Keystone, South Dakota.

It depicts the U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

It took the workers more than 14 years to carve the 60-foot (more than 18 meters) sculptures into the granite rock.

Nowadays, the monument attracts approximately 2.5 million visitors per year.

58. Oneonta Gorge (OR)

oneonta gorge

The Oneonta Gorge is a unique habitat of rare species of animals and plants.

It is located in the Columbia River Gorge and is well-known for its dramatic landscape.

The narrow canyon is considered to be approximately 25 million years old.

Being one of the most interesting hiking spots on the West Coast of the United States, the gorge offers some really scenic waterfalls to enjoy.

June and especially July are the best months to visit Oneonta Gorge, although it offers very good weather conditions until the end of September.

57. Field Museum of Natural History (IL)

tyrannosaurus rex skeleton

Established in 1893, Field Museum of Natural History is one of the most recommended to visit in the United States and in the world.

Located on 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, it is known for its amazing collection, which attracts more than 1.6 million visitors per year.

Probably the most interesting exhibit is Sue, the largest and most complete skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.

The skeleton was discovered on August 12, 1990 in South Dakota.

56. La Jolla Beach (CA)

la jolla beach

With its natural beauty and charm, La Jolla Beach is one of the top destinations of San Diego and is considered one of the most recommended beaches in California.

Approximately 1 mile long, it offers a superb stretch of soft white sand and definitely smaller waves in comparison with other parts of California.

If you want to swim into the ocean, you should know that the Pacific along the coast of California is usually cold for most of the year.

With temperatures reaching up to 72°F (around 22°C), however, September is the best time to take a dip in the water.

55. Zion National Park (UT)

zion national park

Zion National Park covers an area of 146,597 acres (593.26 km 2 ) in Southwestern Utah.

It was established on November 19, 1919.

The area is dominated by the huge Zion Canyon.

Being approximately 2000 feet (almost 610 meters) deep, it is the second deepest canyon in the United States.

Its formation started approximately 150 million years ago.

However, the current shape of the canyon was acquired about 1.1 million years ago.

March, April and October are considered the best months to visit the area.

54. The Statue of Liberty (NY)

the statue of liberty

Officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty is one of the symbols of New York and one of the most famous sculptures on Earth.

It is located on Liberty Island at the entrance of the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The huge neoclassical copper monument is 151 feet (46 meters) tall but together with the pedestal, it rises 305 feet (93 meters) above the ground.

Designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, the sculpture is a symbol of freedom and is a gift from France to the United States to commemorate the friendship between the nations.

On October 15, 1924, the statue was declared a National Monument.

In 1984, it was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

53. The White House (Washington, D.C.)

the white house

The White House is one of the most iconic buildings in the United States.

It is located on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Its construction started in 1792 and completed in 1800, eight years later.

It was designed by the talented Irish architect James Hoban.

The building is a mixture between Neoclassical and Palladian architecture.

It is known for its wonderful gardens and fountains.

The first residents of the White House were President John Adams and his family.

52. Apostle Islands (WI)

devils island apostle islands

The Apostle Islands is an archipelago of 22 sparsely populated islands, located in Lake Superior, in the northernmost part of Wisconsin.

They are known for their beautiful lighthouses, pristine beaches, ancient forests, unique ecosystem and rich biodiversity.

The most famous of all the islands in the area is Devils Island, which is one of the smallest and one of the most isolated as well.

It is quite popular for its sea caves along its northern shore.

The islands fall within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which is a protected territory, established on September 26, 1970.

As the climate in Northern Wisconsin is quite cold for most of the year, the best time to visit this place is the summer season, from early June till late August.

51. Mesa Verde National Park (CO)

mesa verde national park

Located in Southwestern Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906.

It covers 52,485 acres (212.40 km 2 ) and is considered the largest archaeological preserve on the territory of the United States.

It protects more than 500 archaeological sites within its borders, the most popular of which definitely is the Cliff Palace.

The national park welcomes more than half a million visitors per year.

In 1978, the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

50. Beverly Hills (CA)

beverly hills

Beverly Hills is one the most expensive cities in the world (yes, Beverly Hills is not a neighbourhood but a city!).

Apart from its multi million dollar villas and mansions, the community in northern Los Angeles is a luxury tourist destination which has a lot to offer.

It is a real paradise for shopping and having fun.

One of the top attractions is Rodeo Drive, which is considered to be the most prestigious shopping street in the world.

Another place not to be missed is the Greystone Mansion and Gardens, which serves as a prestigious background of various cultural and social events, Hollywood productions and many others.

49. The Pentagon (VA)

the pentagon

The Pentagon is situated on the west bank of the Potomac River in Washington.

It is considered to be not only the largest office building but also one of the largest buildings ever built in the world.

The structure consists of 5 floors and is 71 feet (21 meters) high.

Its floor area is the amazing 6,636,360 square feet (620,000 m 2 )!

As you can see, the name comes from the shape of the building.

48. Washington Monument (Washington, DC)

washington monument

The Washington Monument was completed in 1884.

It is located in the heart of a beautiful park and is one of the biggest landmarks in the U.S.

Being 555 feet high, it was the tallest building in the world at the time of its completion and is still the biggest marble monument on the planet.

The obelisk is surrounded by 50 US flags, one for each state.

47. Central Park (NY)

central park

With a length of 2.58 miles (4.15 km) and perfectly rectangular shape, Central Park is definitely one of the most famous urban parks in the world.

Often referred to as “the Lungs of New York”, the huge green space in the heart of the city is exactly what its residents need.

Here you can enjoy a number of outdoor activities, including walking, jogging, cycling, golf or just a relaxing picnic under the pleasant shade of the trees.

Officially, the park was established on May 23, 1963.

46. Mono Lake (CA)

mono lake

Mono Lake is located in the eastern central parts of California, not far from the Nevada border.

Situated at more than 6,365 feet (nearly 1,940 meters) above sea level, the lake is slowly drying up.

Since the early 40es, it has been serving as one of the main supplies of freshwater for Los Angeles, which is the second largest city in the U.S. after New York.

The lake itself is very beautiful and is well-known for its dramatic colors, especially during the golden hour before sunset.

In the middle of the lake there is a large island, called Paoha.

45. Wailea Beach (HI)

wailea beach

Wailea Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Magnificent and romantic, it is located on the west coast of Maui.

Because of its golden shades and fine soft texture, it is a favourite place for honeymooners and holidaymakers.

Right next to the beach you can enjoy the tempting shade of coconut palms and other tropical species of trees.

44. Fairmount Park (PA)

fairmount park

With its 2,052 acres (830 ha), Fairmount Park is considered the largest urban green space in the United States.

It is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and consists of two sections – East Park and West Park.

Being much bigger even than the popular Central Park in New York, it offers a number of opportunities to spend your time outside.

Developed along the banks of Schuylkill River, the historical park offers hundreds of shady paths and trails to explore, a lovely Japanese-style garden, wonderful small ponds and fountains.

43. Isle Royale National Park (MI)

isle royale national park

Located in Lake Superior near the United States – Canada border, Isle Royale covers an area 206.73 sq mi (535.4 km 2 ).

It is known for its stunning natural beauty which takes visitor’s breath away.

The landscape is typical of North America and is dominated by lush evergreen pine forests but also by some broad leaf species of trees.

Its clean natural environment attracts tourists in all four seasons.

Here you can see a great variety of species of animals, including wolf, beaver, lynx and moos.

Beside the main island, Isle Royale National Park also includes the territories of 450 smaller islets in the area.

42. Mount Hood National Forest (OR)

little crater lake

Mount Hood National Forest is considered the best place in the United States to hike.

Established on July 1, 1908, it covers a total area of 1,071,466 acres (4,336.07 km 2 ) in the central part of Northern Oregon.

It offers hundreds of stunning tourist trails, waterfalls, swimming holes, gorges, rivers and snow capped mountain peaks.

It is a popular summer vacation spot.

Among the hundreds of must visit natural landmarks within the national forest, we should mention the wonderful Multnomah Falls and Little Crater Lake.

With a total height of 620 feet (189 meters), Multnomah Falls welcomes nearly 5 million visitors per year.

It is well known for its beauty as well as for the Multnomah Falls Bridge which reveals a spectacular view of the waterfall.

Little Crater Lake is another treasure within the borders of Mount Hood National Park.

With a max depth of about 45 feet (14 m), the spring-fed lake is known as the most clear in North America and in the world.

The sapphire blue water of the lake, however, barely exceeds the freezing temperature, even in July and August.

41. Dakota Building (NY)

dakota building

The Dakota Building is a 10 floors high residential building, which is considered one of the most famous landmarks in New York.

You will find it at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West in Manhattan.

It is an architectural masterpiece and is a mix of Gothic Revival, Renaissance and Victorian architecture.

John Lennon had lived here with his wife Yoko Ono until his death on December 8, 1980.

If you want to pay tribute to John Lennon, you can do that by visiting his memorial.

You will find it in Central Park, only a few minutes walk from the Dakota Building.

40. Crater Lake (OR)

crater lake

Crater Lake is one of the most significant landmarks in the Western United States.

It is located in Southern Oregon, not far from the California border.

It falls within the Crater Lake National Park , which was established on May 22, 1902.

The national park covers approximately 183,224 acres (741.48 km²).

It is dominated by the huge 6 miles wide volcanic caldera of Mount Mazama, whose last eruption was in 2850 BC.

Inside the caldera itself is the wonderful Crater Lake, which is known for its unique deep blue color.

Being 1,949 feet (594 meters) deep, it is the ninth deepest lake on Earth and the second deepest in North America.

39. Madison Square Garden (NY)

madison square garden

Located on East 26th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan, Madison Square Garden is one of the most famous and emblematic buildings in New York.

The construction started on October 29, 1964, and the building was officially opened on February 11, 1968.

Often described as a wonder of modern architecture, MSG is a place where numerous sport and cultural events are being held every year, including concerts and important basketball tournaments.

38. Chimney Rock (NE)

chimney rock

Mentioned for the first time in 1827, the Chimney Rock was formed approximately 25 million years ago.

Because of its historical importance, the Chimney Rock, Nebraska, was designated a National Historic Site on August 9, 1956.

It was described multiple times during the first half of the 19th century by pioneers traveling from New England to California and Oregon.

The closest town to the rock is Bayard, which is less than 4 miles north.

37. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN)

great smoky mountains national park

With 12,547,743 visitors in 2019, Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited protected territory within the United States.

It covers parts of Tennessee and North Carolina and is known for its beautiful mixed deciduous and coniferous forests as well as for its round-shaped mountains.

The most interesting feature of the national park is the thick bluish-gray mist which often covers the mountain valleys and peaks and can appear in any season.

In 1983, Great Smoky Mountains National Park was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

36. Lanikai Beach (HI)

lanikai beach

The islands of Hawaii have always been known for their outstanding beaches.

One of the most irresistible is Lanikai Beach, located on the east coast of Oahu.

Dotted with palm groves, it is considered the best beach in the United States.

It is popular with tourists for its soft white sands and crystal clear turquoise water.

Lanikai Beach is a relatively narrow stretch of sand with a total length of nearly one mile.

35. Montezuma Castle (AZ)

montezuma castle

Created between 1100 and 1450 AD, Montezuma Castle is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the United States.

It is located approximately 3 miles north of Camp Verde, Central Arizona.

Carved into the limestone cliffs, Montezuma Castle was declared a national monument on December 8, 1906.

Since summers are quite hot here, the best time to visit this place is in spring and autumn.

34. Saint Augustine (FL)

casa monica hotel st. augustine

Saint Augustin is a small tourist town in Northeast Florida, which is known for its wonderful beaches.

It enjoys lovely warm weather with plenty of sunny and clear days for most of the year.

Except for its golden sands, the small coastal community is known also as an important historical town.

Established by Spanish settlers in 1565, Saint Augustin is the oldest continuously inhabited city founded by European settlers on the territory of the United States.

33. French Quarter (LA)

french quarter

Established in 1718, the French Quarter is among the oldest neighbourhoods in the South of the United States and is also one of the most beautiful.

It is known for its charming squares, busy shopping streets, lovely gardens, jazz clubs and fantastic restaurants but mostly for its unique Spanish colonial (yes, Spanish) architecture.

Most of the buildings were completed during the 18th century and are characterized by richly decorated exterior facades, arched windows and elegant terraces and verandas.

32. Horseshoe Bend (AZ)

horseshoe bend

Located in Northern Arizona, Horseshoe Bend is an important tourist attraction, which welcomes more than 2.2 million visitors per year.

The 1,000 feet (305 meters) deep canyon was formed approximately 200 million years ago, and today it falls within the borders of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

It is known for the dramatic view of the 270° bend.

Autumn is considered the best time of the year to visit Horseshoe Bend, although spring and winter months have their advantages too.

Summer is beautiful but it is better to avoid because of the huge number of visitors and too high temperatures of between 90 and 100°F (between 32 and 38°C).

31. SeaWorld (CA)

orca sea world

Opened in San Diego on March 21, 1964, “SeaWorld” is one of the most popular oceanariums in the world.

Here you can enjoy close encounters with different species of fresh and saltwater creatures, including turtles and sharks.

The biggest attraction is the wide variety of show programs with dolphins, sea lions and orcas.

The park also offers an amazing aqua park as well as an exciting roller coaster together with many other entertainments.

30. Golden Gate Bridge (CA)

golden gate bridge

Opened on April 19, 1933, Golden Gate Bridge is one of the symbols of the West Coast of the United States.

The total length of the bridge is 8,980 feet (2,737.1 m) and the clearance below is 220 feet (67.1 m).

The central span of the bridge is 4,200 feet (1,280.2 m) long.

What makes Golden Gate different and unique is its orange color with light reddish shades, known as international orange.

According to the initial plans, the orange color was intended to be only a temporary decision against corrosion.

It turned out, however, that it complements the surrounding landscape perfectly, and it also makes the bridge more easily visible in dense fogs, which are quite frequent in the area.

29. Redwood National Park (CA)

redwood national park

Redwood National and State Park was established on October 2, 1968.

It covers a total area of 138,999 acres (562.51km²) along the Pacific coast of Northern California.

The old-growth forest is known for its redwood trees, which are considered the tallest on Earth.

Some of them are more than 328 feet (100 meters) tall.

The record belongs to a tree that was discovered in 2006.

It is currently 379.7 feet (115.7 m) tall but will probably grow even more in future.

According to scientists, it is between 600 and 800 years old.

28. Santa Monica (CA)

santa monica beach

Santa Monica is a symbol of the beach lifestyle in California and is the place where the popular Route 66 ends.

It has always been very attractive because of its 5 miles long stretch of soft golden sand.

Between 1989 and 1999, however, it gained additional popularity thanks to the well-known TV series “Baywatch”.

One of the attractions in the area is the Santa Monica Pier, which is known from a number of movies and TV series.

Here you will also find a great amusement park, which attracts thousands of visitors every day, especially after sunset.

27. Molokai (HI)

molokai coastline

With a total area of 260 mi² (670 km²), Molokai is the fifth largest island in the archipelago of Hawaii and is one of the least popular with tourists.

Most of the island is rural and wild, dominated by lush tropical forests, deep and dark canyons, scenic waterfalls, dramatic coastal cliffs, vast and sunny savanna valleys and pristine beaches.

The island is known for its coral reefs, which are considered the longest and the most impressive in Hawaii.

Molokai attracts mostly hikers and adventurers, who want to explore the islands of Hawaii outside the beaten roads.

Don’t miss the tallest waterfall in the United States. Called Pu’uka’oku Falls, it is approximately 2,756 feet (840 meters) and is the eight tallest in the world.

26. Catalina Island (CA)

catalina island

Located only 27 miles (43.5 km) from Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island is a popular weekend destination.

It combines great golden beaches, historical buildings and wonderful restaurants, so you can always find something interesting to do here.

Because of the casual and relaxed atmosphere of Avalon (the capital of the island), it has always been a popular spot for short romantic summer breaks.

One of the advantages of the small tourist island is that 88% of its territory is wild and untouched.

25. Guggenheim Museum (NY)

guggenheim museum

Opened on October 21, 1959, the Guggenheim Museum is one of the most recommended to visit museums in New York.

It is housed in a very beautiful and recognizable building, right next to Central Park, between 88th and 89th streets, on 5th Avenue.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it is one of the best examples of modern architecture.

Exhibitions on various topics are held here on a regular basis, so you will definitely find something to suit your taste.

The museum is free every Saturday between 5pm and 8pm.

24. Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

lincoln memorial

Lincoln Memorial is located in Potomac Park, Washington.

Its construction started on February 12, 1914, on the east bank of the Potomac River and completed officially on May 30, 1922.

The Greek Revival style structure is 99 feet (30 meters) tall and 189.7 by 118.5 feet (57.8 by 36.1 m) wide.

Inside the Memorial you can see an impressive 19 feet (5.8 meters) Georgia marble monument of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.

23. Napa Valley (CA)

hess vineyards napa valley

Napa Valley is located about 50 miles north of San Francisco and 40 miles from the ocean.

As it is not situated directly on the coast, the weather here is quite different from San Francisco, especially during the summer season, which is much warmer and without fogs.

Because of the combination of mild Mediterranean climate and rich soils, Napa Valley is the top spot in the U.S. for wine lovers, and it offers a number of reputable wineries to visit.

The place is known for its high quality grape varieties, which are responsible for the excellent taste and aroma of the produced drinks.

22. Rocky Mountains National Park (CO)

rocky mountains national park

Established on January 26, 1915, Rocky Mountains National Park covers approximately 265,461 acres (1,074.28 km²) in the central part of Northern Colorado.

Dominated by sharp snow covered mountain ridges, it is known for its wonderful glacial gorges, dense pine forests and crystal clear glacial lakes.

As of 2019, the park welcomes more than 4.6 million visitors from around the world.

June, July and August are absolutely the best months to visit the park.

They bring temperatures of about 68°F (20°C) during the day and between 39 and 47°F (approximately between 4 and 7°C) at night.

The park is known also for its great variety of wild animals, including elk, grizzly bear, mountain lion, moose and many others.

21. Venice Beach (CA)

venice beach

Venice Beach is a tempting 2.8 miles long stretch of white soft sands and is one of the most popular beaches with young people in the United States.

It attracts surfers and sun seekers even in winter.

The coastal promenade is a favourite place for skateboarding, jogging, cycling, walking and buying souvenirs.

Venice Beach is known for its multi color wall murals, which are one of the symbols of the emblematic place.

The city itself was established in 1905. It had been an independent city until 1926 when it joined Los Angeles.

20. Chrysler Building (NY)

chrysler building

Known for its fine Art Deco architecture, Chrysler Building is one of the most emblematic structures in New York.

It is located at 405 Lexington Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd streets, in the East Side.

The construction started in 1928 and finished in 1930, 2 years later.

As of 2020, the 1,046 ft (318.9 m) skyscraper is still 11th tallest in New York.

Nowadays, almost a century later, the skyscraper with its pointed roof is still one of the most recognizable buildings in Manhattan.

19. Lahaina (HI)

old lahaina luau

Lahaina is a colorful and sunny tourist town but also an important historical settlement.

Located on the northwestern coast of Maui, it served as a capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii between 1820 and 1845.

Nowadays, you can find a number of architectural monuments and historical landmarks here, including the Old Fort, the Buddhist temple Hokoji Shingon Mission, the Baldwin Home (today museum) and many others.

18. Misty Fjords National Monument (AK)

misty fjords national monument

Misty Fjords National Monument is a protected area, which is located in the southernmost part of Alaska, next to the Canadian province of British Columbia.

It occupies an area of 2,294,343 acres (9,246 km²).

It is the largest wilderness in Alaska and consists of hundreds of fjords, the largest of which is the Behm Canal (about 100 miles long).

Because of its geographic location, Misty Fjords National Monument enjoys a better climate compared to other parts of Alaska.

The place is a great opportunity to enjoy pristine nature and untouched pine forests.

17. Malibu (CA)

malibu beach

Malibu is a scenic and popular coastal community, which stretches along the coast northwest of Santa Monica.

On March 28,1991, it became an incorporated city.

Malibu is known for its affluent and famous residents, many of which are Hollywood celebrities.

One of the tourist attractions in the area are the luxury beachfront villas.

Malibu is known also for its surf culture, which has been flourishing since the summer of 1926.

16. Brooklyn Bridge (NY)

brooklyn bridge

With a total length of 6,016 feet (1,833.7 meters) and clearance of approximately 127 feet (38.7 meters), Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most impressive structures completed in the world during the 19th century.

Its construction was a real challenge because of the difficult terrain and the unstable bottom of the East River.

The bridge was officially completed on May 24, 1883.

Today it is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world and still serves as one of the most important transport connections between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

15. Olympic National Park (WA)

olympic national park

Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1981, Olympic National Park preserves one of the most beautiful pine forests across North America.

It was established on June 29, 1938, and is located in a mountainous area in Northwest Washington.

The park covers an area of approximately 922,650 acres (3,733.8 km²) and welcomes more than 3 million visitors annually.

The main tourist attractions of the national park are the 2.6 miles long Blue Glacier, Lake Crescent, Hoh Rainforest and the Hurricane Ridge.

Olympic National Park is home to a huge variety of species of animals, including bears, mountain lions, wolves, deer, eagles, owls and many others.

14. Devils Tower (WY)

devils tower

Devils Tower is a unique and easily recognizable rock formation located in the northeastern part of Wyoming.

Even if being approximately 50 million years old, the rock emerged above the Earth’s surface only 10 million years ago as a result of erosion.

It rises approximately 1,267 feet (386 meters) above the surrounding landscape.

President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower the first national monument in the United States on September 24, 1906.

13. 360 Chicago Observation Deck (IL)

the view from the john hancock building

360 Chicago Observation Deck is located in John Hancock Center, on 875 North Michigan Avenue.

Constructed between 1965 and 1969, the skyscraper is known for one of the most spectacular panoramic views in the United States.

The observatory is situated at a height of 1,030 feet (310 meters) above ground level, while the tip of the building rises 1,500 feet (457 m).

The best time to visit the tower is shortly after sunset on a clear day (no matter the season), because even a light fog could ruin your experience.

12. Badlands National Park (SD)

badlands national park

You will find one of the most extraordinary places in the United States in the southwestern parts of South Dakota.

Established on January 29, 1939, as a National Monument and later, on November 10, 1978, as a National Park, the Badlands is known for its multiple-colored bizarre-looking eroded rocks.

Surprisingly, the labyrinth of rocks is “only” 500,000 years old.

Scientists believe that the rocks continue to change very fast even today, growing with about 2 to 3 centimeters per year.

The best time of the year to visit the Badlands is early autumn, more precisely September and October.

11. One World Trade Center (NY)

one world trade center

America is the birthplace of the skyscraper so it is not surprising that you can find some of the tallest buildings in the world here.

One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and today it dominates the skyline of New York.

Located in Lower Manhattan, it rises 1,792 feet (546.2 meters) above the street canyon of the city.

The construction started on April 27, 2006, and completed on May 10, 2013.

10. The Wave (AZ)

the wave

Located in Coconino County in Northern Arizona, the Wave falls within the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.

It is considered one of the most difficult to visit places in the United States as you need a special permission to go there.

The eroded Jurassic rocks are very fragile, and at the same time, the number of people who want to visit this canyon is really enormous.

That’s why the Bureau of Land Management issues only 20 permits per day for people who want to visit the place.

The lucky ones are being chosen on the base of a lottery system.

The best time of the year to visit the Wave is in spring and autumn.

9. Valley of Fire State Park (NV)

elephant rock - valley of fire state park

Valley of Fire State Park was established in 1935 and covers a territory of approximately 45,937.88 acres (185.9040 km²) in Southern Nevada.

Because of its closeness to Las Vegas (only 50 miles / 80 kilometers), the park welcomes quite a large number of visitors.

It is known for its red-colored desert, and the main tourist attraction is the Elephant Rock.

Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968, the park is also known for its numerous petroglyphs, which can be seen in different parts of the protected territory.

The best time to visit Valley of Fire State Park is spring and autumn, which bring the most pleasant weather conditions.

8. Beacon Hill, Boston (MA)

beacon hill

Established in 1795, Beacon Hill is one of the most beautiful historical neighbourhoods not only in Boston but in the United States.

Its old red-brick buildings from the 18th century and narrow cobbled streets make you feel like you are in Europe.

On October 15, 1966, Beacon Hill was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

This is a wonderful place to walk around, especially if you love history.

7. Kauai (HI)

mount waialeale kauai

Kauai is considered the oldest of the six major Hawaiian Islands.

It is located in the northwestern part of the archipelago and is known for some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth.

The scenery is a mixture of dense tropical rainforests, breathtaking waterfalls, shady canyons, fertile valleys and out of this world golden beaches.

If you love Jurassic Park, you should know that many scenes from the movie were filmed here, including the helicopter scene with the waterfall when Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler arrive on the island of Jurassic Park for the first time.

6. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI)

pictured rocks national lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore covers an area of approximately 73,236 acres (296 km²) in Northern Michigan and stretches for more than 40 miles along the coast of Lake Superior.

The protected area was established on October 15, 1966, and is an especially attractive destination during the summer season.

The place is known for its crystal clear emerald waters.

Here you will find a number of fantastic little coves and beaches.

It is an attractive place for swimming, scuba diving, kayaking and boating.

Despite being quite cold for most of the year, the weather in summer is usually wonderful.

June, July and August bring a number of hot and sunny days, mirrored waters and clear skies.

5. Times Square (NY)

times square

Being equally bright, busy and lively 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, Times Square is the most iconic spot in New York City.

Limited between Broadway, 7th Avenue, 42nd and 47th Streets in Manhattan, its history started on April 8, 1904, when Longacre Square was renamed to Times Square soon after the influential newspaper New York Times moved into one of the buildings there.

Today the square is associated with its numerous bright LED billboards, signs and displays, and is a popular meeting point for locals and tourists.

4. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (TX)

mision concepcion

San Antonio Mission National Historic Park covers a territory of 948 acres (384 ha) along the shores of San Antonio River.

Because of its historical importance, the site in the southern part of San Antonio, Texas, attracts visitors from all over the world.

It is known for its old missions from the 18th and 19th century.

One of the most recognizable and well preserved is Misión Concepción, which was completed in 1731.

Other well-preserved buildings within the park include Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo and Mission Espada.

In 2015, the historical park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Yellowstone National Park (WY)

yellowstone national park

Established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the United States.

Located in the Rocky Mountains of Northwestern Wyoming, the protected area is not just one of the symbols of the United States but it is also the best place to spot wild animals in America.

On the territory of 2,219,791 acres (8,983.18 km²), you can see a wide variety of species of animals, including American bison, wolf, mountain lion, grizzly bear, coyote, moose, deer, bald eagle etc.

One of the most exciting tourist attractions is the Old Faithful, which is the most famous cone geyser in the world, erupting once every 90 minutes.

The national park was added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1978.

The best time to visit the park is between early April and late October.

July and August are too crowded but they offer very pleasant temperatures of up to 80 °F (27 °C).

2. Everglades National Park (FL)

everglades national park

Established in 1934, Everglades National Park occupies approximately 1,508,976 acres (6,106.61 km²) in the southernmost part of Florida.

It is covered mostly by extensive marshlands, swamps and mangrove forests.

Because of its warm and humid tropical climate, the area is known for its impressive biodiversity.

The climate is also the main reason why most people prefer to visit the park in winter.

Here you can see a number of rare species of animals, including bald eagles, herons, mountain lions, alligators and sea cows (manatees).

In 1979, Everglades National Park was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

1. Yosemite National Park (CA)

yosemite national park

Established in 1890, Yosemite National Park covers approximately 748,436 acres (3,028.81 km²) in the interior of Central California.

It is well-known for its diverse landscape and attracts more than 4 million visitors per year with its wonderful waterfalls, U-shaped glacial valleys, dense pine forests and crystal clear mountain lakes.

Most of the park lies at an altitude of more than 3900 feet (1188.72 meters) above sea level.

In 1984 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here you can see a wide variety of species of animals, including black bears, deer, squirrels, mountain lions, grey wolves, eagles and many others.

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36 Best Places to Visit in the USA in 2024 (Monthly Inspiration)

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tourist destinations in united states

From mountain landscapes and tropical beaches to vibrant cities and charming small towns, the United States has a destination, landscape, and getaway that everyone will enjoy.

However, with so many incredible destinations to visit, there is just one challenge—narrowing down which to visit! Well, if you’re looking for somewhere to visit in the USA in 2024 and you’re just not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place!

I’ve teamed up with a team of knowledgeable travel experts to share the best places to visit in the USA in 2024 during every month and season to make planning your trip a breeze.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps me keep the content on my website free for you to enjoy!

USA Tourism Trends (2024)  

Before jumping into the best places to visit in the USA in 2024, let’s look at these statistics about tourism in the United States in 2024: 

  • The average American plans to visit four different destinations in 2024.*
  • 25% of U.S. travelers want to explore a new place, whereas 23% of travelers want to travel to somewhere they are already familiar with.*
  • 46% of American travelers are interested in visiting destinations with historical ties to the American Revolution.*
  • 39% of U.S. travelers have budgeted to spend more on travel in 2024 than in 2023.**
  • 40% of U.S. travelers value the overall “vibe” of a destination when choosing where to travel in 2024.**
  • 16% of U.S. travelers say the cost of hotels may determine their choice of destination in 2024.**
  • 44% of U.S. travelers would fly a short distance to see their favorite musical artist live in 2024.**
  • 29% of U.S. travelers use movies and television series as a source of travel inspiration in 2024.**
  • 24% of U.S. travelers say their main priority for travel is to deepen their connection with themselves in 2024, and 64% of Americans say they feel like the “main character” when they travel.***
  • Americans are the most likely globally to travel with pets, and 58% of Americans would bring their pets along on vacation to save on pet-sitting costs at home.***
  • 62% of the global population plan to keep an eye out for travel hacks and deals to cut down on costs, and 50% plan to play for vacations on credit cards to spread out the cost.***
  • 64% of American travelers value accommodations that are leading the charge in sustainability innovation (greater than the global average of 53%).***

* YMT Vacations || ** Skyscanner  || *** Booking.com

Best Places to Visit in the USA in 202 4

With those statistics in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the top destinations to visit in the USA in 2024. These destinations were hand-selected for each month because of the beautiful weather, fun events, activities, and things to do and to provide the perfect blend of big cities, winter adventures, beach getaways, and gorgeous landscapes. Without further ado, here is your USA travel bucket list for 2024, curated by travel experts from across the country!

Best Places to Visit in the USA in 202 4: January

Oahu, hawaii  .

  • Average Weather: 78°F / 64°F 
  • Where to Stay: Royal Hawaiian  

A beautiful view of the ocean and tropical islands from the Lanakai Pillbox Hike in Oahu, HI - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023

Oahu, Hawaii , is one of the best places to visit in the USA in January if you’d like to trade in the cold, snowy weather for a warm, sunny destination with sandy beaches and tropical rainforests! 

With so many awesome things to do in Oahu, like surfing, shopping, and sunbathing at Waikiki Beach , or exploring the snorkeling spots, waterfalls, and other adventures on the North Shore , you’ll never be bored during a trip to Oahu. There are plenty of free things to do on Oahu , like the Lanikai Pillbox Hike and Pearl Harbor National Memorial , so even if you’re traveling on a budget, you’ll find plenty of fun adventures that are easy on the wallet. You also can’t miss the chance to enjoy some of the best places to eat on Oahu , like Haleiwa Joe’s and Duke’s Waikiki. 

Oahu, Hawaii, also has plenty of luxury resorts across the island if you’d like to enjoy a beachfront vacation. Consider booking a room at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki, Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore, or Four Seasons Resort Oahu in Ko Olina. 

Contributed by Brittany from Travel by Brit

Denver, Colorado  

  • Average Weather: 49 ° F / 20 ° F 
  • Where to Stay: Sentral Union Station  

A beautiful snowy cityscape photo of Denver, Colorado, one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023.

If you’ve always wanted to visit Denver, January is an opportune time to see the Mile High City. Denver’s climate is dry, and most days of the year have at least a few hours of sunshine, so it’s common to see surprisingly nice weather in January. Even if the weather is relatively warm during the day, nighttime temperatures are likely to be very cold, so always dress in layers.  

For visitors interested in Colorado’s western heritage and history, you can visit the National Western Stock Show , a massive event that takes place over the course of 16 days each January. The Stock Show is attended by over 500,000 people each year and includes events like rodeos, horse shows, working dog demonstrations, and much more.  In Downtown Denver, you can also go on a food-tasting tour or cocktail tour after a fun day at the stock show.

After you’ve explored Downtown Denver, you can spend a day or more skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing in one of Colorado’s famous ski resorts. Many of the resorts are easily accessible for a day trip from Denver, and you can save money by renting your gear in the city before you drive into the mountains. Other wonderful day trip destinations include Boulder, Fort Collins, and the Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs.  You can even consider booking this Jeep Tour in Garden of the Gods to see the beautiful landscapes up close and personal—without being cold from the snow!

Contributed by Amber from Amber Everywhere  

Lake Tahoe, California  

  • Average Weather:  42 ° F / 23 ° F 
  • Where to Stay:   Marriott’s Timber Lodge

A ski lift, pine trees covered in snow, and a snowy slope downhill at Lake Tahoe in January.

If you are looking for an epic snowy mountain getaway in 2024, then a trip to Lake Tahoe’s beautiful blue shores should be on the top of your list. The Tahoe Basin offers the perfect balance of a relaxing stay at lakeside accommodations in the woods and the exhilarating highs of carving up the slopes. 

Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains are home to 15 ski resorts, including world-class facilities like Heavenly and Palisades, which hosted the Winter Olympics. You can spend your trip charging down black diamond runs, or you can take a little more kicked-back approach and try out some sledding or tubing at one of the area’s snow parks. For the adults, there is plenty of nightlife at the casinos, or you can check out some of Lake Tahoe’s craft breweries, like South of North Brewing Company. You can even go on a helicopter ride over Lake Tahoe !

Tahoe also offers up a lot of fun for the whole family, including ice skating at Northstar Village or taking a site seeing cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie paddle ship around the lake. With an average of 400 inches of snow and 300 sunshine-filled days per year, Tahoe is the perfect wintertime ski and play destination, making it one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024.

Contributed by Kristel from Chef Travel Guide

Best Places to Travel in the USA in 2024: February

From snowy mountain getaways and tropical beach vacations to President’s Day Weekend trips and Valentine’s Day vacations, check out this list of the best places to visit in February in the USA .

New Orleans, Louisiana  

  • Average Weather:  66°F / 47°F
  • Where to Stay:   The Eliza Jane by Hyatt

A photo of an ornate church and statue of a man riding on a horse in Jackson Square in New Orleans - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023

If you’d like to escape the winter blues, plan a weekend trip to New Orleans in February. New Orleans is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024, and this city knows how to party. In fact, it always throws the biggest “free” party of the year— Mardi Gras !  Mardi Gras is an age-old tradition that begins on January 6th and runs until Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent (usually in late February or early March). During the carnival season, people celebrate with “king cakes,” parades, and parties up and down Bourbon Street. 

If you want to visit New Orleans in February without participating in Mardi Gras, that’s not a problem! Indoor activities, like the National World War II Museum , are a must-do to avoid the (sometimes!) stormy weather, and a stroll around Jackson Square or a hop-on-hop-off bus tour in New Orleans when the weather is nice can’t be missed. You can also stop at Café Du Monde for delicious beignets and the iconic Carousel Bar & Lounge for a drink, or visit the historic Oak Alley Plantation and enjoy a thrilling airboat tour in the Barataria Basin on an all-inclusive tour!

Contributed by Mallory from Plaid Shirt Yoga Pants

Maui, Hawaii  

  • Average Weather:  70°F / 55°F
  • Where to Stay:   Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

A gorgeous cove with blue water, lush greenery, and black sand beach in Maui - one of the best places to travel in the USA in 2023.

Maui is the perfect escape from the winter chill of the mainland and is easily one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024. February is one of the best times to visit the island of Maui, given it’s one of the best times to go on a whale-watching tour to see humpback whales. Thousands of these majestic creatures migrate from the chilly waters of the Arctic to the warm, shallow lagoons of Maui to breed and raise their calves. You’ll have an excellent chance of seeing mamas teaching their calves how to breach and other fascinating behaviors, like tail slapping and spouting, during your trip to Maui in February.

No trip to Maui would be complete without cruising along the Road to Hana , a 65-mile road that winds past incredible waterfalls and through some of the world’s most lust rainforests. Along the way, you’ll pass bamboo forests, more tropical fruit stands than you can count, and Honokalani, the most stunning black sand beach on Maui . While you’re in Maui, you also can’t miss the chance to go snorkeling at Molokini Crater —one of the top ten snorkeling destinations in the world!

Contributed by Jessica from Uprooted Traveler

Twin Cities, Minnesota  

  • Average Weather:  27°F / 10°F
  • Where to Stay:   Graduate Minneapolis

A ski slope with trees, snow, and mountains in the background

Minnesota is a winter wonderland when snow begins to fall each year—and February is one of the best times to visit if you’re a lover of winter sports. Around the Twin Cities, there are plenty of ski resorts nearby to fulfill your desire to hit the slopes. Just 40 minutes from the Twin Cities, you’ll find one of the most popular resorts, Afton Alps, which is an Epic Pass resort. If you’re a night owl, consider checking out Trollhaugen, a ski resort that offers some of the best night skiing and is open until 3 AM on Friday nights. Wild Mountain is another very popular resort near the Twin Cities that is right on the St. Croix River Valley.

Other things to do while in town include checking out Minneapolis’s great food scene, visiting the Mall of America , visiting the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium , and going snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Contributed by Kassidy from Kassidy’s Journey

Best Places to Visit in the USA in 2024: March

March is the season for spring break vacations and adventures on St. Patrick’s Day. Check out this list of the best places to visit in the USA in March to see where you should head during the first month of spring!

Sedona, Arizona  

  • Average Weather: 69°F / 40°F 
  • Where to Stay: Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock  

Purple wildflowers with red rocks in the background in Sedona, AZ - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023

March is the ideal time to visit the breathtaking red rocks in Sedona, Arizona. Not only will you miss the summer tourists, but you’ll also miss the sweltering heat (which is a huge plus!). 

There are plenty of fun things to do in Sedona, AZ , from shopping at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Center and in Uptown Sedona to embarking on a Pink Jeep Tour through the red rocks. However, hitting the hiking trails is by far the best thing to do in Sedona. Soldier’s Pass, Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge, and West Fork Trail are some of the best hiking trails in Sedona , and each offers something completely unique—from bridges and caves to creeks and canyons.

When you’re finished hiking, drive a few miles to Cornville and Cottonwood to visit the wineries on the Verde Valley Wine Trail . Don’t miss D.A. Ranch and Page Springs Cellars! If you don’t want to worry about driving, you can go on this Verde Valley Wine Tour that includes transportation to four boutique wineries from Sedona! You can even add on a day trip to Jerome , known as North America’s largest ghost town, during your trip to Sedona. While you’re there, sit down for lunch or dinner at the Haunted Hamburger, and pay a visit to Nellie Bly’s Kaleidoscope Shop, the world’s largest kaleidoscope shop.

Contributed by Brittany from Travel by Brit  

Key West, Florida  

  • Average Weather: 78°F / 70°F 
  • Where to Stay: Ocean Key Resort and Spa  

A woman in a hat, white bathing suit, and long red hair walking on a pathway to a beach surrounded by palm trees and with gorgeous blue water in the background

March is the best time to visit Key West, Florida . Not only does this month fall out of hurricane season, but the weather isn’t too hot, and prices are slightly cheaper than during peak season. Plus, March is the spiny lobster season and a great time to sample this local delicacy before the harvest season ends in April.  

If you love parties, then March is the perfect time to visit Key West. The spring breakers tend to flock to the area to soak up the incredible weather, so be prepared for a younger crowd when visiting during this month. If you’re looking for a good time, you can enjoy this Sunset Party Cruise by Catamaran . You can also go on a tour for St. Patrick’s Day that includes green beer and special St. Patrick’s Day-inspired fare.

March is also a great time to explore the many homes in the historic Old Town during the annual Key West House and Garden Tour and, of course, to enjoy the beautiful tropical weather on a snorkeling tour , parasailing adventure , or food-tasting tour down Duval Street.

Contributed by Victoria from Florida Trippers  

Washington, D istrict of Columbia 

  • Average Weather:  56°F / 35°F
  • Where to Stay:   InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf

The Jefferson Memorial at sunset with the cherry blossoms in bloom framing the memorial and reflecting in the water

Washington, D.C., is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024—especially during March! The crowds have not yet started, and you won’t have to suffer through the intense humidity the city experiences during the summer months. Plus, you can catch the start of the cherry blossom season!

There are so many great things to do in Washington, D.C ., and the best part is—they are all free! You will want to check out the Natural History Museum, WWII Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, American History Museum, Lincoln Memorial, and, of course, make a stop at the White House. You also can’t miss the chance to pay your respects at Arlington Cemetary and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. These places all offer unique insight into the background and history of the United States of America.

If you want to catch the beautiful cherry blossoms blooming, be sure to visit the last week of March. You can usually see the most gorgeous blooms at the National Mall framing the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. And don’t miss the chance to see all the monuments gorgeously illuminated in the evening on the Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour .

Contributed by Candice from CS Ginger

Top Places to Travel in the USA in 2024: April

April is a beautiful time to travel for gorgeous spring weather and fun seasonal events. Check out this list of the best places to visit in the USA in April for more inspiration!

Savannah, Georgia  

  • Average Weather: 78°F / 55°F 
  • Where to Stay: The DeSoto Savannah  

A girl with medium-length brown hair with a blue dress walking down a cobblestone street surrounded by palm trees.

April is arguably the best month of the year to visit Savannah, Georgia. You can enjoy sunny weather, seasonal events, and the peak of the blooming pink azaleas across the city. Most years, it’s even warm enough to enjoy a sunny beach day on Tybee Island! 

There are always plenty of fun things to do in Savannah , like strolling around Forsyth Park, taking a riverboat sightseeing cruise from River Street, exploring City Market, and going on a spooky ghost tour to some of the most haunted places in Savannah . However, there are also popular spring events, like the Sidewalk Arts Festival, Savannah Music Festival, and Forsyth Farmers Market, you can enjoy in April.

You also can’t miss the chance to grab a bite at some of the best places to eat in Savannah . Get breakfast at Collins Quarter or Mirabelle Savannah, lunch at Treylor Park, and dinner at The Olde Pink House. You’ll absolutely love the creative twists on classic southern food at these unique local restaurants! 

Charleston, South Carolina  

  • Average Weather:  73°F / 59°F
  • Where to Stay:   The Restoration Hotel

A street lined with cars and colorful buildings and a church in the background in Charleston, SC

April is the perfect month to visit Charleston . The weather is beautiful, and the hot, sticky summer weather hasn’t set in. Charleston is a really fantastic destination thanks to the beautiful streets and buildings, the historical landmarks, boutique shopping, and so much delicious food. 

Be sure to wander around the French Quarter and admire all the candy-colored buildings and quaint cobblestoned streets. A few great spots here are the Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park, Rainbow Row, and the French Huguenot Church. Visit the Old Slave Mart Museum and the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeons for some historical perspective, then walk down Broad Street and Queen Street. You can even go on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city to see these iconic sites.

Outside the city, you can also take one of the best day trips from Charleston to visit one of several historic plantations, marvel at the Angel Tree, take the ferry out to historic Fort Sumter , where the Civil War started, or visit the Patriot Point Museum (it’s on a WWII aircraft carrier and is a super cool museum). Since Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA, are only a few hours apart, you could even combine these two cities together into an epic road trip during April 2024. 

Contributed by Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast

Zion National Park , Utah  

  • Average Weather: 70 ° F / 40 ° F 
  • Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Express Springdale  

tourist destinations in united states

Zion National Park is home to a lot of great scenery and some of the best hikes in Utah . April is an especially good month to visit because it’s not as hot and busy as the summer months, which can be extremely crowded and toasty warm, but it’s not cold, snowy, and slippery either.

There are a lot of great things to do in Zion, like driving on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. This is a scenic drive where you can enjoy some amazing views of the national park without doing any hiking! The most coveted bucket list item in Zion National Park is probably hiking Angel’s Landing, but there are also other great ones, like The Narrows and Observation Point, if the former trek is too challenging. If you really want to escape the crowds, go to the Kolob Canyons. This is the quiet side of the park, and most tourists skip it, but it has some very nice hiking trails without many people!

Contributed by David & Intan of The World Travel Guy  

Best Places to Visit in the USA in 2024: May

Savor the last moments of spring or kick off your summer vacation early when you visit one of these best places to visit in the USA in May .

Louisville, Kentucky  

  • Average Weather: 78°F / 56°F 
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Distil  

Several historic buildings in Downtown Louisville, including Mitchter's Distillery.

There aren’t many places to visit in the USA in 2024 that are better than Louisville, Kentucky, in May. When it comes to popular travel destinations, Louisville, KY , may fly under the radar, but it is an excellent spot to visit if you love bourbon, horses, museums, and historical architecture! 

Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby, which takes place during the first week of May, so if you can, plan to visit during this event for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Even if you can’t make it to the Kentucky Derby, you can still visit the Kentucky Debry Museum at Churchill Downs, one of the best museums in Louisville , to learn more about this iconic event. 

In addition to the Kentucky Derby, check out some of the  coolest things to do in Louisville at any time of year, like touring the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and eating at the most unique restaurants in Louisville , like Repeal-Oak Fired Steakhouse in the lobby of Hotel Distil . You can also take a full-day guided tour  of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail , like Maker’s Mark and Old Forester, to learn how bourbon is made (with tastings included, of course!).

Virginia Beach, Virginia  

  • Average Weather: 76°F / 58°F 
  • Where to Stay: Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront 

An aerial view of Virginia Beach featuring a pier, hotels, and the beach

Virginia Beach is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024. If you are thinking about visiting Virginia Beach in 2024—you should try to come in May! May is the beginning of the busy season, and there are plenty of advantages to coming to Virginia Beach in late Spring. The weather is amazing, the beaches are not very crowded, and there is plenty to do! 

If you’re visiting in the middle of May, you can’t miss the Neptune Wine & Food Festival. This annual event happens right on the oceanfront, and if you stay at the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront, it would be right next to your hotel! If you are traveling with children or car lovers, Monster on the Beach is another fun event where giant monster trucks drive around on the sandy shores of Virginia Beach. 

The Strawberry Festival is one of the most popular things to do in Virginia Beach in May. Locals and tourists alike wait for this amazing festival all year long! Virginia Beach celebrates the local strawberry farmers with a huge event. There are carnival rides, food stands, and a big parade. Of course, you can pick your own strawberries to enjoy during your trip too! 

Contributed by Abbey from Trips on Abbey Road  

Yosemite National Park, California  

  • Average Weather: 77 ° F / 43 ° F 
  • Where to Stay: The Ahwahnee  

The stone mountains, green fields, and trees in Yosemite National Park in May - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023.

Visiting Yosemite National Park in May is the perfect time of year to see this glorious outdoor playground at its very best. The snow that has covered the landscape all winter has now thawed, creating a steady stream of meltwater cascading over the mountain edges. These breathtaking waterfalls attract thousands of visitors to Yosemite National Park every year!

Walking trails lead around the park and are graded for all abilities. One circular walk that is easy for all the family leads through the forest to the mighty Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in North America. To stand beside the falls and hear its thunderous roar is quite an experience. For the more adventurous, rock climbing and kayaking are two great activities to try.

Contributed by Angela from Where Angie Wanders  

Top Places to Visit in the USA in 2024: June

Hello, summer. We’ve been waiting all year for you! From beach vacations to national park adventures, check out this list of the best places to visit in the USA in June .

Juneau, Alaska  

  • Average Weather: 64 ° F / 51 ° F 
  • Where to Stay: Silverbow Inn Hotel & Suites  

The green mountains, blue water, and small town of Juneau, Alaska, from the standpoint of an aerial tram in the air.

June is an ideal month to visit Juneau, as it’s one of the driest times, and temperatures begin to rise. When visiting Juneau in June, you can’t go wrong with a humpback whale-watching tour , as most operators guarantee humpback whale sightings. However, for many, one of the highlights of an Alaska trip is dog sledding in Juneau . While expensive at around $600 per person, the tour combines some flightseeing by helicopter with a dog sled ride on one of Juneau’s glaciers. 

Alternatively, taking a 30-minute shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier allows you to see one of Alaska’s retreating glaciers. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even book a canoe tour of Mendenhall Glacier ! While the Mendenhall Glacier Park has numerous hikes, the one to Nugget Falls provides an easy route with almost no elevation gain. If you take the Mount Roberts Tramway 1,800 feet up the mountain, you’ll savor views over Juneau and the Gastineau Channel. The mountaintop still has snow in June, so dress appropriately if you want to hike. If you love seafood, check out Tracy’s Crab Shack, where you can try Snow, Dungeness, Red King, and Alaskan Brown King Crab. 

Contributed by Karen from Forever Karen  

Mackinac Island, Michigan  

  • Average Weather: 70°F / 51°F 
  • Where to Stay: Island House Hotel

A horse-drawn carriage pulling up in front of a white Victorian house with a white picket fence in Mackinac Island, MI, which is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023.

Surrounded by the beautiful waters of Lake Huron, a  vacation to Mackinac Island , Michigan, is so serene and one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024. And there isn’t a better time to visit than in June when the weather is getting warmer, and the lilac trees are in full bloom. 

When you arrive, you’ll take a step back in time, as no cars are allowed on the island. The most popular ways to see all that Mackinac Island has to offer is by foot, bike, or horse-drawn carriage. While exploring the island, make sure to check out the Grand Hotel, Arch Rock, and Fort Mackinac. Don’t forget to treat yourself to some fudge at one of the many shops located in the main downtown area. 

Contributed by Jenn from Those Johnson Boys  

Asheville, North Carolina  

  • Average Weather:  82°F / 61°F
  • Where to Stay:   Element Asheville Downtown

Rolling green hills, trees, and pink wildflowers against a blue sky in Asheville, NC - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023.

Winding, green mountains sweep across the blue North Carolina sky for miles on end to form the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway. June brings vibrant greenery across the mountaintops with a sprinkle of pink wildflowers. It’s practically out of a fairytale! The Blue Ridge Parkway begins in North Carolina and runs through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It begins approximately 40 minutes outside of Downtown Asheville making it ideal for a combined road trip. Visitors of all interests will enjoy the sheer beauty simply from the comfort of your car, accessible pull-out stops, or taking a hike.   

After exploring Blue Ridge Parkway, catch a summer concert at the Orange Peel venue or wander through an outdoor concert in Asheville’s vast downtown scene. Hop in and out of eclectic, unique shops or get your competitive side on at the Pinball Museum. Explore the vibrant, urban scene of Asheville’s River Arts District while shopping or sipping a summer coffee, taking in all the fresh energy this town has to offer.

You should also plan to spend an entire day at the Biltmore Estate & Winery —the largest privately-owned home in America! You can spend an entire day touring the home, exploring the gardens, wine tasting at the winery, and eating at the restaurants nearby. With so much to do, there is no double Asheville is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024!

Contributed by Alyssa from An Apple a Plane  

Best Places to Travel in the USA in 2024: July

Portland, maine  .

  • Average Weather: 79°F / 59°F 
  • Where to Stay: Portland Regency Hotel & Spa 

A tall white lighthouse sitting on rocky cliffs against the ocean in Portland, Maine - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023

Portland, Maine, may experience cold, wet, snowy weather most of the year—but in the summer, the glorious sunshine and cool breezes easily make this coastal town one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024! There are tons of amazing things to do in Portland, Maine , during the summer. You can explore Fort Williams Park, where you can see the famous Portland Head Light, shop at Old Port, or embark on a boat ride or sailing adventure from Casco Bay. You also should try a potato donut from The Holy Donut and a lobster roll from Eventide Oyster Co.—or go on a food tour to sample the best of Portland!

If you enjoy beer, you should also go on a self-guided brewery tour to sample beer from some of the  best craft breweries in Portland, Maine . Known throughout New England, Allagash Brewing Company is a must-visit, but Foundation Brewing Company, Bissell Brothers Brewing Company, and Lone Pine Brewing Company are some other local spots you should check out! If you don’t want to worry about driving or don’t have a car, you can take a guided brewery tour instead.

Temecula, California  

  • Average Weather: 99°F / 60°F 
  • Where to Stay: Carter Estate Winery & Resort 

A glass of red wine being held in front of a lush, green vineyard and clear blue sky

While wine regions like Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley may be better known, Temecula, California, is one of the best wine regions in California, boasting 50+ incredible local wineries and other fun things to do in Temecula , like horseback riding and hot air balloon rides over wine country.

During a summer trip to Temecula, first and foremost, you must check out some of the best wineries in Temecula . In July, all the vineyards are lush, green, and beautiful, so they provide the perfect opportunity for photos. Wilson Creek Winery, Somerset Vineyard & Winery, Leoness Cellars, and Robert Renzoni Vineyards are all spectacular spots to visit. You can even go on an all-inclusive winery tour with lunch for an effortless experience exploring Temecula’s wine country.

After wine tasting, head into Old Town Temecula, where you can shop at local boutiques, sample olive oil, learn how to line dance at the Temecula Stampede, or eat at some of the best restaurants in Old Town Temecula , like 1909 Temecula, The Goat & Vine, and Blackbird Tavern. 

Burlington, Vermont  

  • Average Weather: 81 ° F / 60 ° F 
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Vermont Burlington  

Burlington, Vermont, featuring storefronts, people walking, a church, and trees from an aerial point of view

Burlington, Vermont, is known for its farm-to-table dining scene, beautiful lakeside scenery, and outdoor adventures—especially its incredible nearby hiking trails! Come July, the city is overflowing with excited tourists ready to window shop along the famed Church Street or enjoy the gorgeous views as they paddle around Lake Champlain. 

Stop into Maudite Poutine for the best batch of poutine south of Quebec City and pick up a big scoop of freshly made gelato from Lake Champlain Chocolates! Before heading back to your hotel, take a stroll along the lovely Waterfront Park or brush up on your history at the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum and Historic Site. If you plan on making your trip to Burlington a stopping point on your way to Montreal or Quebec, be sure to read up on some popular French phrases before you go! 

Contributed by Emily from Emily Embarks  

Top Places to Visit in the USA in 2024: August

Squeeze in one last summer getaway before the weather cools down. This list of the best places to visit in the USA in August is filled with warm, dry, and sunny destinations!

Kansas City, Missouri  

  • Average Weather: 88°F / 69°F 
  • Where to Stay: Loews Kansas City 

Kansas City from above, featuring Union Station, a park, and other skyscrapers and hotels against the skyline

Kansas City is easily one of the most underrated (and best!) places to visit in the USA in 2024—especially during the month of August when you can enjoy warm weather and minimal rain. 

There are tons of fun things to do in Kansas City that appeal to all types of travelers. If you love history, you can visit the city’s two world-class museums, the World War I Museum & Memorial and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. If you love murals, you can go on a photo scavenger hunt for murals around the city. If you love trying new cocktail bars or breweries, you can visit Mean Mule Distilling Company or Boulevard Brewing Company. If you love shopping, you can walk around the beautiful Country Club Plaza. 

Of course, you can’t miss stopping at some of the best places to eat in Kansas City , like Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, where you can enjoy the meal that the town is famous for! You can also grab a room at a hotel in Downtown Kansas City , like Loews Kansas City or the 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City , to be within walking distance of all the action. 

Nantucket, Massachusetts  

  • Average Weather: 79°F / 63°F 
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Pippa  

An aerial view of a green, marshy peninsula with gorgeous homes, private e docks, and the ocean in the background.

Nantucket is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024 for a relaxing island break in August. The island has a vibrant end-of-summer vibe, and the weather is usually nice and perfect for cycling around the island. Nantucket has an excellent network of cycling trails across the island which means you can discover the whole island without a car. 

Whether you go on a  day trip to Nantucket  or spend a week, there are enough things to do to keep you busy! Head to Siasconset to see some of the oldest cottages on the island, walk the Sconset Bluff Walk to Sankaty Head Lighthouse, or relax at the beach. August is also a great month for humpback whale watching in Nantucket. Every year, Nantucket organizes different events, so it is worth checking out what happens before booking your ticket so that you don’t miss out on anything. You can easily reach the island by plane or by ferry from Harwich Port in Cape Cod or Hyannis.

Contributed by Linn of Brainy Backpackers  

North Cascades National Park, Washington  

  • Average Weather:  54°F / 30°F
  • Where to Stay:   Ross Lake Resort

An alpine lake surrounded by wildflowers, grass, pine trees, and snowy mountains in North Cascades National Park

If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful mountain views with fewer crowds than some of the other national parks, look no further than North Cascades National Park in Washington. August is the ideal month for visitors to experience the magic of the Cascade Mountain Range since temperatures are warm and the snow is melted off of most trails.

During August, you’ll get to see this park mostly snow-free, which is a rare occurrence. Visitors can confidently take a drive on the North Cascades Highway without having to worry about road conditions. While driving through the park, stop at Diablo Lake Overlook and Washington Pass Overlook, which are two of the park’s most beautiful viewpoints. For hikers, check out Heather-Maple Pass Loop, Thunder Knob, and Blue Lake for some of the best hiking in Washington , but keep an eye out for wildlife. Marmots and mountain goats roam the mountains and may easily be spotted in the summer months.

You can also plan to extend your trip to North Cascades National Park to include a few days in Seattle or explore Olympic National Park or Mount Rainier National Park , the other national parks in Washington!

Contributed by Kassidy from The Hiking Helper

Best Places to Travel in the USA in 2024: September

Whether you want to hang on to the last bit of summer with a warm beach vacation or get an early start to fall adventures with a cozy leaf-peeping trip, you can have the best of both worlds with this list of the best places to visit in the USA in September .

Newport, Rhode Island  

  • Average Weather: 71°F / 58°F 
  • Where to Stay: Hammets Hotel  

A stunning mansion, The Breakers, in Newport, RI - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023

There isn’t a better time to visit Newport, Rhode Island, than September. While the summer crowds have left the beaches, the temperatures are still warm enough to enjoy them, and the attractions haven’t quite closed for the winter. There are tons of fun things to do in Newport, Rhode Island , in September, including touring the Newport Mansions , like The Breakers or The Elms, shopping on Thames Street or Bellevue Avenue, strolling along the scenic Cliff Walk, or going on sailing tours from Narragansett Bay . You can also enjoy spectacular meals at some of the best restaurants in Newport , including the Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, CRU Café, and Pasta Beach.  

There are tons of luxury hotels in Newport, Rhode Island , that are perfect for a family vacation, romantic honeymoon, or bachelorette party. Consider booking a room at Hammets Hotel , The Chanler at Cliff Walk , or Newport Harbor Island Resort .

San Diego, California  

  • Average Weather: 77°F / 66°F 
  • Where to Stay: The Lodge at Torrey Pines 

Rocky cliffs, the beach, and the ocean from an aerial view in San Diego.

San Diego is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024 during the month of September. During this time of the year, the weather is perfect, and there are tons of fun things to do in San Diego to make your trip unforgettable. For example, you can soak up the sun or jump into the refreshing Pacific Ocean at one of the many gorgeous beaches in San Diego, like Coronado Beach on Coronado Island . Or, if you want to get your heart rate up and opt for something more exhilarating, take a surfing lesson to try your hand at surfing. San Diego is home to some of the best surf in the world ! 

There are plenty of other fun things to do in San Diego, like the San Diego Zoo , Balboa Park, and the USS Midway Museum . If you want to do some boutique shopping or are looking for good places to eat, head to La Jolla. You’ll find some of the best food that San Diego has to offer here, such as Duke’s La Jolla, and you can even go sea kayaking if you’re looking for something adventurous to try. And, of course, make sure to stop by and say hello to the adorable sea lions at La Jolla Cove while you’re in town!

Contributed by Kristin Lee from Global Travel Escapades  

Breckenridge, Colorado  

  • Average Weather:  63°F / 48°F
  • Where to Stay:   Gravity Haus

A beautiful view of the yellow aspen trees, green pine trees, and lush, green mountains in Breckenridge, Colorado in September

Breckenridge , Colorado, has something to offer virtually any month of the year, but September is the secret season. Summer crowds have disappeared, and it’ll be months before the snow and skiers arrive. Thanks to Breckenridge’s high altitude, leaf peeping here pops much earlier than in other U.S. destinations. If you want to hit it perfectly, plan to visit the third or fourth week of September. The aspens light up the hillside, and it looks like someone took a yellow highlighter and swept it across the landscape in every direction. It’s one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024 for leaf peeping!

There are dozens of incredible hikes that you can take in the fall foliage, whether you’re just looking for an easy walk or a more strenuous climb. Aspen Alley is a fall favorite because it can be easy or a workout, depending on whether you hike it from the top or the bottom. If you come in late September, you can also catch Breckenridge’s annual Oktoberfest. The town shuts down Main Street for a Munich-style street party. Grab their annual collectible stein and spend an entire weekend enjoying the beer, food, and music.

Plan to wear layers for warm sunny days and chilly fall nights, and don’t forget to pack your camera so you can capture all the spectacular views.

  Contributed by Kristi from Travel By Vacation Rental

Top Places to Travel in the USA in 2024: October  

Cozy sweaters, hot lattes, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, crunchy fall leaves, and brisk mornings. These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think about these best places to travel in the USA in October !

Boston, Massachusetts  

  • Average Weather: 62°F / 47°F 
  • Where to Stay:   The Godfrey Hotel Boston

Cobblestone streets, red brick buildings, and an American flag in Acorn Street in Boston, MA.

If you’re searching for a charming fall wonderland and one of the best places to travel in the USA in 2024—look no further than Boston, Massachusetts, in October. While you’re here, you’ll enjoy warm days and cool nights, historic architecture, and gorgeously breathtaking fall colors! 

In the city, you can’t miss the chance to take a walking tour of the Freedom Trai l to see popular sites like the Boston Common and the Old South Meeting House. You also must head over to the North End to take an Italian food tour with North End Boston Food Tours . Other fun things to do in Boston include touring the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum , strolling around the Boston Public Garden, visiting Fenway Park , and snapping a photo of Acorn Street in Beacon Hill. 

There are also tons of amazing day trips from Boston you can take to soak in the gorgeous fall foliage or string a few destinations together for an epic road trip . Consider driving to Plymouth, MA , and visiting the Plimoth Patuxet Museums, driving through Portsmouth, NH , and the Kancamagus Highway for some leaf peeping, or venturing into Lexington and Concord to learn more about Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride! 

Acadia National Park, Maine  

  • Average Weather:  55°F / 70°F
  • Where to Stay:   Yellow House Inn

Beautiful fall leaves with a sailboat on the Long Pond in the Acadia National Park, Maine.

One of the most magical places in the United States to visit in October is Acadia National Park. As one of the main stops on a New England fall road trip, you’ll sip on hot cider, enjoy prime hiking weather, and awe at the ruby red, vibrant orange, and golden falling leaves.

The most ideal way to get out and experience the most dramatic falls in the world is on any of Acadia’s hiking trails. With all the  day hiking essentials , check out the Precipe Trail, Beehive Trail, and Jordan Pond Trail for panoramic vistas over the mountains, lakes, and eastern coastline. The Ocean Path is especially spectacular for a nice oceanside stroll. And, of course, you must experience the iconic sunrise at Cadillac Mountain. This mountain is the first spot in the country where the sun hits, so you can witness the very first sunrise in the United States.

No trip to Acadia is complete without a visit to Bar Harbor. This quaint town has that quintessential New England charm that you’ll fall in love with. The whale-watching tours, butter-filled lobster rolls, and endless lines of shops draw hikers in after a long day exploring the park, and the warmth of the town keeps them in for the night before a new day of exploring.

Contributed by Aaren from What Do You Sea

Santa Fe, New Mexico  

  • Average Weather:  67°F / 35°F
  • Where to Stay:   La Fonda on the Plaza

Yellow aspen trees against the blue sky in Santa Fe, New Mexico in October

With cooler temperatures, fewer visitors, and lower hotel prices, October is an ideal month to visit Santa Fe. It’s also when New Mexico’s capital offers some special events to make it particularly inviting. 

Since 1999, the Santa Fe International Film Festival has been screening some of the most exciting international and independent films. The Santa Fe Studio Tour invites art aficionados to visit the workplaces of local artists to see and purchase art in the settings where it is created. And just an hour away, Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta has been attracting hot-air balloon enthusiasts for more than 50 years during October. You can also see the gorgeous fall colors, including the yellow aspen trees, in Santa Fe at the beginning of October!

No matter when you visit, Santa Fe serves up an incredible foodie experience, offering a delectable cuisine that showcases a unique blend of Mexican, Native American, and Anglo influences. Many of the  best restaurants in Santa Fe  are near the Santa Fe Plaza, the city’s historic heart and soul. No matter how you work up your hunger in Santa Fe, satisfying it will make for a lasting memory of this gem of the Southwest.

Contributed by Denise from Chef Denise

Best Places to Visit in the USA in 2024: November

Whether you want to hold on to the last bit of fall or get an early start celebrating the holiday season, this list of the best places to visit in the USA in November will help you do just that!

Nashville, Tennessee  

  • Average Weather: 61°F / 40°F 
  • Where to Stay: Graduate Nashville 

The skyline of Nashville, Tennessee, at dusk.

Nashville, Tennessee, is a fun destination at all times of the year, but it’s an especially great place to visit in the USA in 2024. By late fall, the humidity in Nashville has lifted, and you can enjoy many attractions, like Broadway Street and Centennial Park , without the crowds. 

There are so many amazing things to do in Nashville during your trip! During the day, check out popular tourist attractions to learn more about Nashville’s country music history and culture, like the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Grand Ole Opry . When you’re done sightseeing, you can head to popular neighborhoods, like 12 South and The Gulch, to take photos in front of the most popular murals in Nashville , like the “I Believe in Nashville” mural. 

There are plenty of fun places to eat in Nashville , including brunch at Biscuit Love, Frothy Monkey, or Poindexter Coffee and dinner at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Pharmacy Burger, or the Grilled Cheeserie. If you’d like, you can even take a day trip from Nashville to a nearby city, like Franklin, Tennessee , or Knoxville, Tennessee, to get a taste of the south! 

Walt Disney World, Florida  

  • Average Weather:  78°F / 59°F 
  • Where to Stay:   Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs

The Disney World castle covered in Christmas lights during the months of November and December

There is no doubt that one of the best places to visit the USA in 2024 is Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida! Whether you’re  taking your toddlers to Disney,  your teenagers, or going on an adults-only trip, there is something to do for everyone. 

November is a particularly fantastic time to visit Walt Disney World for a few reasons. First and foremost, the weather is finally turning! Disney World in the scorching heat can be tough, but November in Disney offers more temperate weather and smaller crowds, so you can grab a park hopper ticket to see Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. On top of that, visitors to Disney World are bound to catch some incredible events. During the beginning of the month, festivities for Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival are still going strong. Plus, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins at Magic Kingdom, and the holiday decorations start popping up around the parks on November 1st.

While you’re in Orlando, check out some other popular attractions, like Disney Springs, Universal Studios , Kennedy Space Center , SeaWorld Orlando , and more!

Contributed by Taylor from Traverse with Taylor

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada  

  • Average Weather: 70°F / 48°F 
  • Where to Stay: JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa  

A highway running through the red rocks in Red Rock Canyon.

One place that you won’t want to miss out on visiting in November is Red Rock Canyon. During November, the desert region experiences goldilocks weather. This means you can avoid the 100°F summer days as well as the freezing cold winter season!  

The National Conversation Area is a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip, so it offers the perfect getaway after spending some time in Downtown Vegas. Plus, Red Rock Canyon is filled with lots of activities suitable for anyone. For instance, there are tons of hiking trails that range from easy to difficult and offer beautiful views of the desert landscape. And if you’re keen on doing something more adventurous, such as experiencing the famous red rocks up close, consider rock climbing! There are routes available even for complete beginners!  

Top Places to See in the USA in 2024: December

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you want to visit somewhere festive and fun this holiday season, check out this list of the best places to visit in the USA in December .

New York City, New York  

  • Average Weather:  44°F / 31°F
  • Where to Stay:   The Plaza

The red Christmas ornament decorations in front of Radio City Music Hall in New York City in December

Regardless of when you visit, it’s safe to say that New York City, or the “Big Apple,” is one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024. However, December in New York City is the most magical time to visit because you get to enjoy everything that makes NYC special, with the holiday spirit as the cherry on top!

Some of the most iconic things to do during a visit to NYC during this time include visiting the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, seeing the Rockettes perform at Radio City , viewing the big store holiday windows, and ice skating in Central Park. If that wasn’t enough, you can also visit the Bryant Park Winter Village for more ice skating, holiday markets, toasty igloos, and many food vendors. If you really love Christmas decorations, then you should also head to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn . They are known for having extravagant Christmas decorations for people to enjoy. Also, consider staying at The Plaza , one of the filming locations for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York , for more holiday cheer!

Contributed by Sam from Find Love & Travel

Branson, Missouri  

  • Average Weather:  45°F / 26°F
  • Where to Stay:   AmericInn by Wyndham

A colorful holiday light display in Branson, Missouri - one of the best places to visit in the USA in 2023

If you are looking for a family-friendly Christmas destination, you do not want to miss Branson, Missouri. While other top Christmas destinations in the USA are often very cold and snowy, Branson isn’t quite as cold and rarely snows. It makes doing all the holiday activities much more enjoyable. 

Speaking of holiday activities, there are so many things to do in Branson in December . Branson is known as a great city for world-class shows. At the end of the year, the majority of the shows transform into magical holiday-themed shows. Silver Dollar City, a big amusement park in Branson, MO, also has a fun holiday festival. The festival includes millions of lights, a holiday parade, a sing-along train ride, holiday shows, and amazing Christmas decorations. 

Head to Dick’s 5 & 10 old-fashioned variety store in the historic downtown, to find some Christmas presents. When you’re downtown, you’ll also want to hop on the Polar Express! This seasonal train ride is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Along with all the holiday activities in Branson, the city is also full of great places to eat, like Farmhouse Restaurant and Gettin’ Basted.

Contributed by Elizabeth from The Fearless Foreigner

Door County, Wisconsin  

  • Average Weather:  32°F / 21°F
  • Where to Stay:   Snug Harbor Inn

An icy landscape and sunset over the water in Door County, Wisconson

December is a fabulous time to visit Door County, WI if you’d like to enjoy the holidays in a winter wonderland! There are tons of fun things to do in Door County during this time of year, like snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing, or even walking along a beautiful frozen beach to catch a stunning sunrise or sunset.

If you’re looking to stay warm inside, you can stop at a local brewery, like One Barrel Brewing Company or Door County Brewing Co. Taproom, or try an art class or cooking class. You also can’t miss out on dining in at the Wisconsin Supper Club, one of the  best things to do in Door County in winter . If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, don’t miss Christmas by the Bay, Holly Days, and the Door County Christmas Market!

Contributed by Paulina from Paulina on the Road

Plan Your 2024 Vacation with These Best Places to Visit in the USA in 202 4

Whether you’re looking for a cozy winter getaway, spring sunshine vacation, a summer city adventure, or a leaf-peeping fall road trip, you’ll find all that (and more!) on this list of the best places to visit in the USA in 2024. Which of these destinations are on your bucket list for 2024? Let me know in the comments!

tourist destinations in united states

Save the Best Places to Visit in the USA in 2024 for Your Next Vacation!

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About the Author

Brittany Sawyer

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.

There are so many cities in the US that I want to visit! This is a great list, I think my top destinations to go would be New Orleans and Yosimite.

Right? There are so many unique landscapes and cities to choose from! New Orleans and Yosemite are two great choices. Thank you for reading!

I’ve yet to travel around the USA but when I do I’ll be spoilt for choice. So many great places to visit and I’m very interested to see Hawaii at the top of the list. I’ll save this for later!

Hawaii is amazing! You definitely can’t miss it. Thank you for reading, Linda!

Great tips. Hawaii, Nantucket and Maine (in the Fall especially) are places I would love to visit.

I’ve been to Hawaii and Maine, and they are amazing! I would also love to visit Nantucket one day. Thank you for reading!

Even more inspiration the second time reading. That Wisconsin photo is stunning.

Thank you! 🙂

Such a great and in-depth list!

Thank you, Tiffany!

I love how you’ve broken it down by time of year with options that either embrace the typical weather of the season or go seeking the alternative from what you might have at home. I still really want to get to NYC at Christmas, and I will be looking for any excuse to escape the cold in January or February so the Hawaii ideas are looking really appealing

Thank you so much, Emma! I would also love to go to NYC in December. It’s one of my dream trips! Thank you for reading, I am glad you enjoyed this post 🙂

Wow, so many great tips in the collab! Absolutely love this article. Key West is among my favorites to relax. It’s been years since I’ve been to AZ, but planning a trip so definitely pinning for later!

Thank you so much, Erin! Key West is at the top of my list. If you need any tips for visiting AZ, let me know. It’s my home base! 🙂

Love when these are organized by month – I’m planning out my travels for next year, so this is incredibly helpful!

Yay! I hope you are able to visit a few of these destinations, Melissa!

Wow what a brilliant list of places in the USA by month. Perfect guide! I’d absolutely love to go to Yosemite but wouldn’t mind costing New Orleans again. Lots of inspiration for me to consider here!

This is such a helpful guide. There are so many locations that I still have to see. Definitely saving this so it can help me plan. Thanks!

Thank you! I’m so glad you found this guide helpful!

What an incredible list of amazing places! I wish I could visit every single one of them but I fear that’s not possible with only 5 weeks of holidays and living in Austria haha …

Thank you so much, Lina! Haha, maybe you could check out a few, at least! 🙂

Love the idea of listing the best places to visit each month! You’ve got a great variety on the locations too, and not all the places that people typically pick for a trip.

Thank you so much, Jenn! That was my goal – I wanted to pick some “bucket list” destinations but also some places that fly under the radar. Thanks for reading!

What a fun list! Hawaii, of course, is always a good idea. But New Hampshire? I didn’t think of that! I love seeing mansions, so that sounds like a great stop, too!

Right? I’m itching to get back to Hawaii. New Hampshire is so beautiful, I am already ready to go back. Thanks for reading, Megan!

Great list of travel ideas for 2023! I’ve got my work cut out for me!

Thank you, Denise! And thanks again for your contribution to this post! 🙂

The views from the top of the cable car in Juneau are stunning! That’s my favorite thing to do when I have an Alaskan cruise stop in Juneau.

Oh my gosh, I’m ready to plan a trip to Juneau just for that alone! Thanks for sharing.

I love that this travel inspiration guide is month-by-month! So many destinations to visit in 2023.

Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

This is a great post. There are loads of places on this list that I have yet to visit but this is invaluable in telling me the best times to plan. Maui in February for one sounds perfect! Thank you for the inspiration.

I agree – a trip to Maui in the winter sounds spectacular! Thank you for reading, Sue 🙂

We have done a lot of USA travel. So it was interesting to find some new spots for future trips. And be reminded of places we really need to re-visit. Colorado has been on our list for some time. Just need to decide summer or winter. And Savannah is definitely worth a visit. A much more local trip for us would be Mackinac Island. Need to start our 2023 planning!

That’s so awesome! Colorado is lovely in both the summer and winter, so you really can’t go wrong there! I am so excited to visit Mackinac Island one day. Thanks for reading, Linda!

Thanks for sharing this list! We’ve been to many of these places, and your details remind us why we had such great experiences in each. Asheville, NC was one of our favorites and we will definitely be back! We’re heading to NYC very shortly, so this is helpful information. 🙂

Asheville is so gorgeous! I would love to go back. Have such a wonderful time in NYC! 🙂

This is an excellent resource for future travel planning. I loved learning about all the stats in the beginning – that was so interesting. And I would love to visit Lake Tahoe in January. Thank you so much for sharing!

I’m so glad you found those statistics useful, Yvonne. And thanks for reading! I agree, Lake Tahoe looks gorgeous with the snow.

Wow, this is a great compilation of places to see next year. I am inspired to visit a few of them!

Thank you, Tanya!

I love domestic travel so definitely read this with interest. I love that’s organized by month. So many great destinations to explore!

Thank you, Ada!

Lake Tahoe looks incredible! I’ve been to California a couple of times but never made it to Lake Tahoe and it’s been on my list for a while now! I’d love to finally bring Eric to California and spend a few days hiking and taking it in there! Thanks for the recommendations, it’s a great post!

Thank you so much, Marie! I would also love to head to Lake Tahoe soon! 🙂

Wonderful list. While I’ve been to some, I still have lots more to see. The problem is, favorites like Hawaii keep drawing me back.

Haha, there’s nothing wrong with that. Hawaii is absolutely gorgeous!

This is the type of post I need to prepare my trip to the US! I’ve never been and every destination seems absolutely worth it. With that said this will definitely help me to choose the right itinerary!

Yay! I’m so glad you found it helpful, Anita! If you need any other tips for visiting the USA, feel free to reach out! 🙂

This article is AMAZING! I have so many ideas for trips in 2023 now, I can’t wait to see more of the USA!

Thank you so much, Virginia! I am so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

I would love to explore more of the US! I am actually planning a huge road trip in the future so have a few more stops to add to the list after reading. I went to New York for Christmas last year and it was amazing!

Oh my gosh, yay, that’s so exciting! NYC at Christmas is a bucket list trip for me. I’ll have to get your tips when I finally get the chance to go!

Thanks for all the great USA travel inspo! I haven’t been to many places so I’ll be adding some of these to my list.

Yay! I hope you can enjoy a few of these spots next year! 🙂

I would be most interested in seeing the beautiful landscapes of the mountains, national parks like North Cascades National Park, the beaches in San Diego and maybe visiting a winery or two. Great inspo for some US road trips.

Thank you, Renee! Those all sound like great ideas are really capture all the beauty of the USA!

Nice content Brattany. I have had recurring thoughts about going on vacation to Yosemite National Park in California. Giant sequoias that are older than 3,000 years? It seems like a fun sightseeing tour to me.

I would love to go to Yosemite National Park! I agree – it sounds like a stunning destination.

This is an amazing list. I’ve only ever been to New York and I didn’t love it. Way too many people! I haven’t even considered visiting some of these places but they look great, especially Maui, Hawaii!

New York is a big city! I am sure you’d enjoy more of the gorgeous landscapes, like in Maui!

Wow, this blog really captured the essence of the destination! The vivid descriptions and beautiful photos transported me to the place. It’s definitely going on my bucket list now.

Thank you for sharing this amazing blog on the best places to visit in the USA. Your blog is a treasure trove of travel knowledge! I’ve been following your posts for a while now, and they have helped me plan some incredible trips. Keep sharing blogs like this.

Thank you so much, Alexa! I am so glad my posts have helped you plan your travels 🙂

Thank you for sharing a useful USA travel guide.

Thanks for reading!

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Have Clothes, Will Travel

Have Clothes, Will Travel

Top 11 Must-Visit Destinations in the United States, As Voted by Americans

Posted: June 22, 2023 | Last updated: August 4, 2023

<p>With endless travel options, narrowing down a destination is a tricky practice. Fifty states, melting pots of culture, various languages, and beautiful scenery are among the offerings in the US. Ten seasoned travelers shared their favorite places to visit in the U.S. 1. New Orleans Home to excellent food and fascinating traditions, New Orleans was...</p>

With endless travel options, narrowing down a destination is a tricky practice. Fifty states, melting pots of culture, various languages, and beautiful scenery are among the offerings in the US. Seasoned travelers shared their favorite places to visit in the U.S. 1. Michigan Michigan is an amazing place to visit in the U.S. due to...

<p><span>Michigan receives high praise from residents for its captivating array of destinations, each catering to diverse tastes and preferences. The vibrant downtown of Detroit offers a bustling urban experience, while the enchanting Bavarian town of Frankenmuth bestows a truly distinctive cultural immersion. The Upper Peninsula, cherished by many, provides a serene retreat adorned with picturesque landscapes and untamed beauty. Lastly, the Great Lakes presents limitless opportunities for outdoor recreation, solidifying Michigan as an absolute gem in the tapestry of the United States.</span></p>

Michigan is an amazing place to visit in the U.S. due to its diverse and breathtaking natural beauty. From the stunning shores of the Great Lakes to the picturesque landscapes of the Upper Peninsula, Michigan offers a wealth of outdoor adventures. Moreover, the state’s vibrant cities like Detroit and Ann Arbor boast a rich cultural scene, with renowned museums, festivals, and world-class dining, making Michigan a truly captivating destination for travelers.

<p>Home to excellent food and fascinating traditions, New Orleans was a top-rated destination in this thread. One user remarked on their adoration for the unique culture and atmosphere in New Orleans. Although the Louisiana city gets a bad rep for party culture, tourists from all backgrounds can enjoy the bayou.</p> <p>With voodoo tours, dance cruises, lovely live music, and great food, New Orleans is not a trip to skip.</p> <p><strong>Read next: <a href="https://www.have-clothes-will-travel.com/the-ultimate-3-day-new-orleans-itinerary-for-first-time-visitors/" rel="noopener">The Ultimate 3-Day New Orleans Itinerary for First-Time Visitors</a></strong></p>

New Orleans

Home to excellent food and fascinating traditions, New Orleans was a top-rated destination in this thread. One user remarked on their adoration for the unique culture and atmosphere in New Orleans. Although the Louisiana city gets a bad rep for party culture, tourists from all backgrounds can enjoy the bayou.

With voodoo tours, dance cruises, lovely live music, and great food, New Orleans is not a trip to skip.

<p>This one is for outdoor lovers. Jackson Hole is a renowned resort in the middle of Jackson, Wyoming, complete with two national parks, hiking trails, skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and a collection of local restaurants, bars, and theaters; the picturesque destination is one for the bucket list.</p>

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

This one is for outdoor lovers. Jackson Hole is a renowned resort in the middle of Jackson, Wyoming, complete with two national parks, hiking trails, skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and a collection of local restaurants, bars, and theaters; the picturesque destination is one for the bucket list.

<p>Yellowstone makes top ten national park lists for a reason. One user said Yellowstone is the best national park they’ve ever visited. The individual commended the scenery and the wildlife in the park. Another user elaborated on their fondness for Yellowstone but warned potential visitors to avoid the busy season, summer.</p>

Yellowstone, Montana

Yellowstone makes top ten national park lists for a reason. One user said Yellowstone is the best national park they’ve ever visited. The individual commended the scenery and the wildlife in the park. Another user elaborated on their fondness for Yellowstone but warned potential visitors to avoid the busy season, summer.

<p>Alaska is my favorite spot in North America. One second, you’re devouring Fireweed ice cream and Alaskan king crab. The next, you’re pedaling around a 26-mile bike path while brown bears surround the water, catching salmon for lunch.</p> <p>I recommend taking a four-hour glacier trip—look out for otters—visiting the Seward aquarium, and admiring the greenery, if you go in the summer, that is.</p>

Alaska is my favorite spot in North America. One second, you’re devouring Fireweed ice cream and Alaskan king crab. The next, you’re pedaling around a 26-mile bike path while brown bears surround the water, catching salmon for lunch.

I recommend taking a four-hour glacier trip—look out for otters—visiting the Seward aquarium, and admiring the greenery, if you go in the summer, that is.

<p>If you love history, DC is the place for you. The city contains multiple accessible historical landmarks and attractions, like Lincoln’s memorial, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Smithsonian Museum. If you’re in DC during cherry blossom season, snap some memorable photos of the sweet-scented flowers.</p> <p><strong>Read next: <a href="https://www.have-clothes-will-travel.com/how-to-spend-a-self-guided-half-day-in-washington-d-c/" rel="noopener">How to Spend a Self-Guided, Half Day in Washington, D.C.</a></strong></p>

Washington DC

If you love history, DC is the place for you. The city contains multiple accessible historical landmarks and attractions, like Lincoln’s memorial, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Smithsonian Museum. If you’re in DC during cherry blossom season, snap some memorable photos of the sweet-scented flowers.

<p>Philly applies to history buffs and foodies. Order an infamous Philly cheesesteak anywhere, and walk over to The Liberty Bell or Independence Hall for a glance over the Declaration of Independence. The notorious Eastern State Penitentiary also resides in Philly, perfect for true crime fans considering Al Capone stayed in the confines of the prison.</p> <p><strong>Read next: <a href="https://www.have-clothes-will-travel.com/the-top-7-things-to-see-in-philadelphia/" rel="noopener">The Top 7 Things to See in Philadelphia</a></strong></p>

Philadelphia

Philly applies to history buffs and foodies. Order an infamous Philly cheesesteak anywhere, and walk over to The Liberty Bell or Independence Hall for a glance over the Declaration of Independence. The notorious Eastern State Penitentiary also resides in Philly, perfect for true crime fans considering Al Capone stayed in the confines of the prison.

<p>Somebody expressed appreciation for Savannah’s peculiarity. The oldest city in Georgia harbors statuesque architecture, delectable food, and must-see art. Speaking of art, The SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) Museum of Art is open to the public. Make sure to check out the parks, too!</p>

Savannah, Georgia

Somebody expressed appreciation for Savannah’s peculiarity. The oldest city in Georgia harbors statuesque architecture, delectable food, and must-see art. Speaking of art, The SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) Museum of Art is open to the public. Make sure to check out the parks, too!

<p>Zion Canyon is the most beautiful part of Utah. I will argue with anyone about that. Orange rock juts out into the sky, painting idyllic backdrops; Emerald pools introduce waterfalls and serenity to hikers; the sunsets paint the sky ethereal colors. Nothing in Utah matches Zion Canyon’s energy.</p>

Zion Canyon

Zion Canyon is the most beautiful part of Utah. I will argue with anyone about that. Orange rock juts out into the sky, painting idyllic backdrops; Emerald pools introduce waterfalls and serenity to hikers; the sunsets paint the sky ethereal colors. Nothing in Utah matches Zion Canyon’s energy.

New York appeals to two kinds of people, city people, and small-town folk. New York City’s fast-paced lifestyle works for those searching for unending entertainment and constant access to shopping and food. Experiencing boredom in New York City is unattainable if you’re a city person.

Rural New York is an ideal destination if you’re a nature person. In the fall, witness the mountain metamorphize into a stunning landscape of colorful leaves. Upstate New York has fantastic Snowboarding and skiing resorts for winter sports enthusiasts.

<p>Portland is a must-see destination for music aficionados, free-spirits, independent thinkers, and foodies. The hipster city entertains all walks of life, who admire nature, appreciate live music, and like to eat good food. Plus, a visit to Mount Hood makes the entire trip.</p> <p>This <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/travel/comments/118emil/whats_the_best_place_youve_traveled_to_in_the_us/?sort=top">thread</a> inspired this post.</p> <ul>   <li>Read next: <a href="https://www.have-clothes-will-travel.com/denver-itinerary/" rel="noopener">3 Days in Denver – The Perfect Itinerary for 1st-Time Visitors</a></li>   <li>Read next: <a href="https://www.have-clothes-will-travel.com/things-to-do-in-florida-other-than-disney/" rel="noopener">20+ Amazing Things to Do in Florida Other Than Disney</a></li>   <li>Read next: <a href="https://www.have-clothes-will-travel.com/washington-state-road-trip/" rel="noopener">Washington State Road Trip Itinerary for 1st-Time Visitors/Beginner Hikers</a></li>  </ul>

Portland is a must-see destination for music aficionados, free-spirits, independent thinkers, and foodies. The hipster city entertains all walks of life, who admire nature, appreciate live music, and like to eat good food. Plus, a visit to Mount Hood makes the entire trip.

Source: Reddit

<p>From fantastic restaurants and breweries to hiking and wild immersive art installations – there is something in Denver for everyone!</p> <p><strong>Read more: <a href="https://www.have-clothes-will-travel.com/denver-itinerary/" rel="noopener">3 Days in Denver – The Perfect Itinerary for 1st-Time Visitors</a></strong></p>

3 Days in Denver – The Perfect Itinerary for 1st-Time Visitors

This Denver itinerary will give you a great sampling of the highlights of Denver for a first-time visitor. From fantastic restaurants and breweries to hiking and wild immersive art installations – there is something in here for everyone!

Read more: 3 Days in Denver – The Perfect Itinerary for 1st-Time Visitors

<p>Many Americans have traveled across the country and have opinions on which state is the worst to visit. Some states have been deemed less desirable than others, whether it’s due to a lack of attractions or cultural diversity, high cost of living, or just an overall creepy vibe. Let’s see what Americans have shared on...</p>

10 of the Worst States To Visit According to Americans

Many Americans have traveled across the country and have opinions on which state is the worst to visit. Some states have been deemed less desirable than others, whether it’s due to a lack of attractions or cultural diversity, high cost of living, or just an overall creepy vibe. Let’s see what Americans have shared on an online platform discussion.

Read more: 10 of the Worst U.S. States To Visit According to Americans

<p>Florida’s sheer size alone makes it an endless haven for every kind of traveler. Most tourists see the Sunshine State as the Disney capital of the world but those who know how to navigate this charming state can attest that it’s more than just its man-made attractions. Get to experience an abundance of culture in...</p>

10 Things to Know Before Swimming with Horses in Florida

Everything you ever wanted to know about the unique experience of swimming with horses in Florida!

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<p>Are you exhausted from the fast-paced lifestyle of a big city? Well, it’s time to ditch the traffic jams and skyscrapers and head to the land of small-town charm! Recently, some internet dwellers have shared their picks for the prettiest small towns in America, and let me tell you, these places are so gorgeous they’ll...</p>

12 of the Prettiest Small Towns in the United States According to Americans

Are you exhausted from the fast-paced lifestyle of a big city? Well, it’s time to ditch the traffic jams and skyscrapers and head to the land of small-town charm! Recently, some Americans have shared their picks for the prettiest small towns in America. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for a trip filled with culture, history, and more charm than you can shake a stick at.

Read more:  12 of the Prettiest Small Towns in the United States According to Americans

New Orleans is a city bubbling with excitement and history at every turn. With some of the most delicious food and drinks in the country, amazing music and very entertaining nightlife, it’s a city that deserves to be at the top of any United States itinerary!

Read more: The Ultimate 3-Day New Orleans Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

Read more: 12 of the Prettiest Small Towns in the United States According to Americans

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Start Your 2024 Domestic Travel From These Most Visited Cities In The US

These popular cities in America were the most visited for many reasons; visit each one and check out what makes them so appealing!

Read update

2024 Brings Endless US Travel Ideas

  • Charleston, Honolulu, and Palm Springs are among the most visited US cities, offering historic sites, stunning beaches, and cultural attractions.
  • These cities have seen millions of annual visitors, making them popular staycation destinations within the US.
  • Other notable cities to consider for a staycation in 2024 include Nashville, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

International travel is exciting, but sometimes it's cheaper yet equally thrilling to travel within one's home country. It's an especially memorable way to begin the travel year, as people don't have to go through the hassle that comes with venturing off abroad.

With many beautiful destinations in the US in existence that easily rival many of the world's most iconic tourist spots, it might be confusing to know where to begin when looking for staycation destinations in America; however, a smart place to start is perhaps the most visited US cities.

The following metropolises were the most visited cities in America for many reasons, from bustling art scenes, historic districts, and sandy beaches to world-class dining cultures and iconic landmarks, among many more. Whatever travelers are looking for, the most popular US cities in recent years make for exciting places to visit in 2024!

UPDATE: 2023/01/04 13:39 EST BY NOAH STAATS

This article has been refreshed with two new popular American cities to visit in 2024, plus official figures for tourism numbers. People may surprised to see which US cities made the most popular list, so keep reading, and have fun this new year!

Related: Niagara Falls & More: These Are The Top 10 Adventurous Destinations For 2023

In order to accurately reveal each city’s tourism potential, the tourism statistics of 2019 (before the pandemic) and other official city websites with tourism figures from more recent years (from 2020-2023 for some) have been used for this list. We also have listed everything from least to most visited, finishing with the most popular city in America, Orlando.

18 Charleston, South Carolina

Annual visitors: ~7 million.

Charleston offers plenty to do and see , which is not surprising since it's one of the most picturesque and storied cities in the US. This seaside city has a long and illustrious past; visitors can see Fort Sumter here, which is where the Civil War started.

However, Charleston is not only about history; as a result of its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and welcoming residents, Conde Nast Traveler named it the best American city. For the same reasons, it attracts millions of tourists each year. As of 2019, the city has seen roughly 7.43 million annual travelers walk its charming streets.

  • Best Time To Visit: March to May and September to November
  • Attractions: The Battery and White Point Garden, Historic Charleston City Market, Rainbow Row, Fort Sumter National Monument, Middleton Place Plantation

17 Honolulu, Hawaii

Annual visitors: ~9.5 to 10 million.

Hawaii's Honolulu welcomed more than 10 million visitors in 2019 due to its picturesque landscape, pleasant climate, opulent resorts, and stunning beaches. These numbers have stayed between 9 and 10 million since.

The most populated city is Hawaii's capital, which also acts as a point of entry to the remainder of the state. The temperature, maritime flora, volcanoes, beaches, and wildlife of the islands draw a lot of tourists. However, Honolulu residents also enjoy visiting other historic sites like Pearl Harbor.

  • Best Time To Visit: March to June
  • Attractions: Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head State Monument, Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Iolani Palace

16 Palm Springs, California

Annual visitors: ~13 million.

Palm Springs is another good vacation destination that deserves to be among the most visited cities in the US in 2024. A resort city nestled in the Coachella Valley desert, it draws tourists because of its modern architecture, thriving art and cultural scene, and lovely surroundings.

The city is home to lots of luxury hotels, golf courses, and lovely spas, allowing visitors to indulge in many exciting activities and stop for days. Palm Springs saw 12.8 million visitors in 2021 , including 12.6 million domestic visitors, so it's certainly a popular spot in the California desert.

  • Best Time To Visit: Between January and April
  • Attractions: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs Art Museum, Indian Canyons, Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium

15 Nashville, Tennessee

Annual visitors: ~14 million.

Nashville has a reputation for being a popular party city. Therefore, the Music City moniker belongs to Nashville . The longest-running live radio show in the world, the Grand Ole Opry , is where visitors can spend some time after learning about the music industry at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Here, some of the most well-known musicians—including Elvis Presley and Jon Bon Jovi—recorded their top-charting tracks.

Nashville welcomed 14.4 million visitors in 2021 , but in 2023, the city was projected to welcome 50 million guests to its city lines and the immediate surrounding area, which is a great improvement from past years.

  • Best Time To Visit: May, June, and October
  • Attractions: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, The Parthenon, Broadway (Honky Tonk Highway)

14 New Orleans, Louisiana

Annual visitors: 18.5 to 19 million.

New Orleans is a place of music, delicious food, and exciting festivals. The city also has museums and plenty of centers where people can witness the melodious jazz music NOLA is known for. All these have led to the city’s huge tourism numbers, which reached its peak in 2019 with approximately 19 million visitors .

When visiting this iconic city in Louisiana, tourists should not miss out on exploring New Orleans' best foods and restaurants , checking out the city’s live jazz spots , and exploring the magnificent New Orleans City Park .

  • Best Time To Visit: February to May
  • Attractions: French Quarter, Garden District, Jackson Square, National WWII Museum, St. Louis Cathedral

13 San Francisco, California

Annual visitors: ~22 million.

The city of San Francisco, California, has long been a favorite destination for travelers. San Francisco is among the most visited cities in the US, with more than 20 million local and international visitors yearly . Both inhabitants and tourists will find the city to be warm and inviting, and the region is regarded as one of the nation's top cultural centers.

For those looking to have some fun in the sun, the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, crowded Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and cable cars are all well-liked attractions. As of 2022, the city saw 21.9 million visitors , with this number to continue to rise in the coming years.

  • Best Time To Visit: September to November
  • Attractions: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Golden Gate Park

12 Dallas, Texas

One of the more up-and-coming cities to visit in the United States this year is Dallas, Texas. As a place that hosts around 22.5 million visitors annually, Dallas is a booming metropolis with endless attractions, hotels, restaurants, and cultures.

In the broader scheme, over 68 million people visit Dallas and its surrounding cities and suburbs , making this one of the hottest spots in the Lone Star State. There are places like the ever-loved (and walkable) Downtown District, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Reunion Tower, The Dallas World Aquarium, and John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza.

  • Best Time To Visit: Between spring (March-May) or fall (September-November)
  • Attractions: Dallas Museum of Art, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Klyde Warren Park, Reunion Tower, Perot Museum of Nature and Science

11 Boston, Massachusetts

Annual visitors: ~23 million.

Visitors from all over the US and the world come to Boston to witness its rich history and culture. The city is where the historic Freedom Trail is located, where one can walk and see plenty of stunning monuments.

Approximately 22.7 million visitors visited the city in 2019 to walk the iconic Freedom Trail and also explore its many historic and art museums, natural areas, and entertainment centers. Boston's historic parks saw around 2 million+ tourists last year , so it's got a lot happening.

  • Best Time To Visit: May through October
  • Attractions: Fenway Park, Freedom Trail, Boston Common, New England Aquarium, Museum of Fine Arts Boston

10 Miami, Florida

Annual visitors: ~26.5 million.

There are many cities of interest in Florida, and Miami is one of them. This city enchants visitors from all over the world with its beautiful white sand beaches, delicious seafood, and exciting shopping. Up to 24 million tourists visited Miami in 2019, and that number would have continued to rise if not for the halt brought by the pandemic.

Miami has mild weather and plenty of attractions, and it is overall a great place to enjoy a vibrant atmosphere with lots of parties. As of 2022, the city saw a slight jump to 26.5 million visitors within county lines , so that's great news for local hotels, restaurants, and businesses. It's South Beach, baby!

  • Best Time To Visit: mid-Feb through May
  • Attractions: South Beach, Art Deco Historic District, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Wynwood Walls, Everglades National Park

9 St. Louis, Missouri

Annual visitors: ~28 million.

Renowned as "The Gateway to the West," St. Louis certainly deserves to be on this list because of the footfall it receives every year . Its modern attractions, serene natural beauty, and friendly atmosphere entice travelers to this charming city, generating revenue for the locals and the government.

The Gateway Arch is the nation's tallest freestanding monument and the major draw, along with the town's culinary scene and a range of exciting things for all ages. The city sees about 28.2 million travelers annually , making it a top spot for those in the Midwest or wishing to come here.

  • Attractions: Gateway Arch, Saint Louis Zoo, Forest Park, City Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden

8 Denver, Colorado

Annual visitors: ~36 million.

Colorado is a place that appeals to all kinds of travelers, as it features a stunning landscape and is home to the vibrant and historic city of Denver . In 2019, this city received approximately 31.9 million visitors , and despite the pandemic, tourism in the city recovered quickly; the city received 31.7 million visitors in 2021 . This goes on to reveal how much potential the city has; in 2022, Denver welcomed roughly 36.3 million people , so this is a big one on the list for vacationers.

Many visitors to Denver come for business, but the city also has plenty of exciting things to enjoy, from nature parks to art centers and museums. Denver is also close to world-famous spots like the many attractions in Rocky Mountain National Park and the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre .

  • Best Time To Visit: September and October
  • Attractions: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Union Station, Colorado State Capitol

Related: 10 Beautiful Places You Should Visit In Denver

7 Atlanta, Georgia

Annual visitors: ~35 to 36 million.

One of the more visited places in the United States to try for 2024 is Atlanta, Georgia. This southern city welcomes nearly 35-36 million visitors annually and has become a mecca of music, culture, and opulence.

Atlanta is home to delicious food and entertainers from near and far, making it a nice weekend trip or even a place to stay for many weeks on end. The 2019 tourism figures put the city closer to 60 million visitors, although the post-pandemic has settled at about half of that.

  • Best Time To Visit: Spring (March through April)
  • Attractions: Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta Botanical Garden, World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Olympic Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Fox Theatre, National Center for Civil and Human Rights

6 Las Vegas, Nevada

Annual visitors: ~40 million.

The vibrant atmosphere and the entertainment scene of Las Vegas have made it one of the most visited cities USA states have to offer. In 2019, approximately 35 million visitors came to Las Vegas to enjoy the city’s luxury hotels, casinos, otherworldly landscapes, and adventure parks.

Although the pandemic reduced the number, In 2022, the visitor numbers in Las Vegas had already reached approximately 39 million . This number tends to hover between 30 and 40 million, but Vegas could easily surpass that quota by decade's end.

  • Best Time To Visit: March, April, and November
  • Attractions: The Strip, Bellagio Fountains, Fremont Street Experience, High Roller Observation Wheel, The Venetian Resort and Grand Canal

5 Seattle, Washington

Annual visitors: ~42 million.

The long list of natural and man-made attractions in Seattle (that aren't just the Space Needle) has made it appealing to both local and international travelers. In the year before the pandemic, Seattle and its surroundings welcomed approximately 42 million visitors who came and spent more than 8 billion dollars in the city.

Like the tourism industry of many other cities across the country, the city still hopes to regain its previous tourism momentum, and travelers can make that possible by visiting in the new year.

  • Best Time To Visit: June to September
  • Attractions: Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle Waterfront, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

4 Los Angeles, California

Annual visitors: ~50 million.

There are numerous places in California that appeal to travelers, but the city of Los Angeles remains at the top of the list. In 2018, the city recorded a whopping 50 million visitors and that number even grew to about 51 million in 2019 . That number continues to sit around the same into 2023 and should stay at 50 million in 2024.

Even though the pandemic may have reduced the city’s tourism numbers, one can still expect LA to reach its previous peak. Los Angeles and Southern California as a whole is an area to find some of the best entertainment in the country, as it hosts Hollywood and plenty of entertainment centers. Los Angeles also has beaches, museums, nature parks, and historical spots.

  • Attractions: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, The Getty Center, Santa Monica Pier

3 Chicago, Illinois

Annual visitors: ~50 to 60 million.

Being one of the most beloved destinations in the country, Chicago receives plenty of visitors annually. Of the state’s 120 million yearly visitors in 2019, Chicago received approximately 60 million or about 50% of the entire visitors to the state.

Many things can be said to be the driver of tourism to this city. Still, the most popular include Chicago's interesting art and historical museums, nature parks, delicious food, entertaining spots, and sports.

  • Best Time To Visit: late April through June and September through early November
  • Attractions: Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Art Institute of Chicago, Willis Tower Skydeck, Magnificent Mile

Related: One Weekend In Chicago: How To Tour The City Like A Local In 48 Hours

2 New York City, New York

Annual visitors: ~60 million.

New York City is one of the top visited cities in the US due to the iconic landmarks and entertainment it offers. Besides hosting some of the most famous attractions in the world, such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park, this city also has plenty of museums, entertainment centers, nature parks, and many more.

In 2019, the visitor number of the city reached a whopping 66 million , and with all that the city has to offer, one can say it has not reached its potential yet. As of 2022, NYC saw 56.7 million travelers , so this hovers between 55 and 60 million annually.

  • Best Time To Visit: December
  • Attractions: Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1 Orlando, Florida

Annual travelers: ~ 60 to 70 million.

Being one of the biggest tourist cities in the US is no surprise for Orlando. This city has what people of all ages love; it has Orlando has epic theme parks with thrilling rides for the holidays and year-round, vibrant entertainment centers, interesting zoos, and an abundance of natural areas.

In 2021, the city recorded approximately 59 million visitors , and this is not even up to its potential because it received up to 75 million visitors in 2019 before the pandemic struck. The pre-pandemic figures are returning as years pass, so Orlando is a top-visited US city to consider in 2024 and beyond.

  • Best Time To Visit: March to May
  • Attractions: Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, SeaWorld Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Travel | 24 places for Coloradans to travel in 2024

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In-state, across the country or overseas, these 24 spots make great destinations.

Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Canada, on Aug. 7, 2023. (Tynin Fries, The Denver Post)

Every year, The New York Times publishes a list titled “52 Places to Go ,” and it makes for great reading and even better daydreaming. But most of those far-flung locales are bucket-listers, the kinds of destinations that make for a once-in-a-lifetime trip or a special adventure.

So we decided to come up with our own list of places to go in 2024, but with more manageable goals — and with a nod toward Colorado connections. We also leaned heavily on road trips or nonstop flights from Denver International Airport, because travel is already difficult these days — prices, crowds, cancellations. Why make it any harder?

Here are 24 places for Coloradans to travel this year, broken down into destinations in Colorado, elsewhere in the United States, and other countries or overseas.

Bon voyage.

IN COLORADO

Curecanti Creek Trail at the Black ...

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park , Colorado’s fourth and least-visited member of the nation’s most prestigious open-space club. Named for the depths of the steep and narrow canyon that splits it, Black Canyon can be tackled in a variety of ways, from scenic drives and rim-side hiking to challenging treks to the bottom. And you will find far fewer people than at Rocky Mountain National Park or the Great Sand Dunes. Montrose, about five hours from Denver, is a popular kickoff point.

Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument

Designating the 84,500 acres where Colorado’s famed 10th Mountain Division trained for its role in World War II as a national monument in 2022 didn’t change it much. The area southwest of Vail is still used for camping and fishing, snowmobiling and ATV riding. But it’s gorgeous country, and worth a stay at the campground . Want to learn more about it? There is a new exhibit at History Colorado in Denver that delves into the story of the 10th and the legacy it left behind.

BOULDER, CO - APRIL 28: Plein Air painter Remington Robinson works on a painting on the Pearl Street Mall on April 28, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. With a massive following on social media platfroms, Robinson has become well known for the small paintings he creates inside the tins. Plein air artists capture the spirit and essence of a landscape or subject by incorporating natural light, color and movement into their works while painting outdoors. A nature lover, Robinson has made a name for himself painting the beauty of ColoradoÕs spectacular landscapes in and around the front range in these miniature paintings. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Boulder doesn’t really need the attention, but it got plenty in 2023 with the arrival of Coach Prime at the University of Colorado. But the city is more than football and cliches. In fact, in November Fodor’s named it as one of 24 places to visit in the entire world in 2024 (only one other U.S. destination was included). The travel guide honed in on Boulder’s scenery, open space and accessibility to recreation and nature, as well as the Pearl Street Mall’s dining options. We would add that there are plenty of awesome breweries, as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant (Frasca).

Craft beer highway

The origins of Colorado’s craft beer culture date back to 1979, when Boulder Beer Co. was founded in a goatshed in Hygiene (about 10 minutes west of U.S. 287 in Longmont). There are now more than 420 craft breweries in the state, a surprising number of which are located just a mile or two on either side of 287, between Broomfield and Fort Collins. In fact, you could call this 50-mile stretch the Colorado Craft Beer Highway. Wanna get a taste? Find a designated driver and hit up a couple of dozen of these treasures, some of which — like Liquid Mechanics, Cellar West, Verboten and Zwei — are among the best small breweries in the state.

Mount Blue Sky

It’s not the tallest mountain in Colorado, but it’s the closest fourteener to Denver and one of the best-known peaks in the state. And last September, Mount Evans (at 14,130 feet) was renamed as Mount Blue Sky after years of campaigning by Native American groups. With the change, it’s a good time to remember that this is one of the few Colorado fourteeners that motorists can drive to the top of (although not in winter). The views up there are gorgeous, and there is a good chance you’ll see mountain goats and wildflowers along the way.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs is adding an adult's only section with additional pools. (Photo provided by Iron Mountain Hot Springs)

Glenwood Springs

There’s nothing quite like boarding Amtrak’s California Zephyr at Union Station and riding it to Glenwood Springs , peering out at not just the stunning expanses of Glenwood Canyon, but also the less-often-seen backside of Denver and its suburbs. Glenwood itself has evolved quite a bit in the past few years, with big changes (already completed or still on their way) to some of its hot springs, like Glenwood Hot Springs Resort and Iron Mountain Hot Springs , among others. The little downtown strip beneath the overpass is also a charming spot for a bite, a stroll, some entertainment and a beer, perhaps from Casey Brewing & Blending’s lively taproom .

Amache National Historic Site

Wanna get away? You don’t need Southwest Airlines. Just drive east from the Front Range — at any time of year, really — in the opposite direction of where most people are headed. One fascinating destination is the Granada Relocation Center at the Amache National Historic Site , which became part of the National Park System in 2022. Amache was one of 10 forced relocation centers in the United States where tens of thousands of Japanese citizens and people of Japanese descent were imprisoned during World War II. Today, there is a cemetery, a monument and landscaping to explore — and to remember.

Mountain Plover Festival, Karval

Speaking of eastern Colorado, one of the most unusual birding festivals in the world takes place every April (it’s April 26-28 this year) in Karval. What makes the Mountain Plover Festival different? There are no motels or restaurants in Karval, so reservations are required and attendees stay with local ranching families (meals and entertainment are provided). So, in addition to bird-watching tours (mountain plovers are a rare breed and difficult to see), you learn about the history and community of the area. Karval is about 2 hours southeast of Denver in Lincoln County.

IN THE UNITED STATES

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 25: Fans watch the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks during a spring training Cactus League game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 25, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

Spring training in Arizona

No matter how you feel about baseball or the Colorado Rockies, Major League Baseball’s Cactus League Spring Training in the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area can be a magical experience. And, as we wrote in our recent travel guide on Scottsdale , it’s also “a nice excuse to slip away to the Sonoran Desert,” where springtime temperatures are in the mid-70s — a nice break from cold Colorado weather — and there are pools aplenty.

Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park is the second most visited park in the system, with nearly 5 million visitors per year, but the land around it received a special designation in 2023 when President Biden banned mining on nearly 1 million acres in order to protect the ecosystem and preserve Native American sacred sites. The national monument isn’t that easy to “visit,” since it consists mostly of open space, but there are a few historic and cultural highlights of interest .

FILE - This July 12, 2021 image shows a large bowl of roasted green chile at a market in Hatch, N.M. Farmers say the season is shaping up to be a good one thanks to recent rain and cooler temperatures. There's nothing like the sweet smell of green chile roasting on an open flame. It permeates New Mexico every fall, wafting from roadside stands and grocery store parking lots, inducing immediate salivation and visions of mouth-watering culinary wonders laden with hot peppers. Democratic Sen. Bill Soules is proposing that roasted green chile become the official state aroma. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

Hatch, N.M.

The great chile debate rages on between Colorado and New Mexico about which state produces the biggest and best peppers. Why not find out for yourself on a road trip to the area around Hatch, N.M., an agricultural community that many consider to be the Napa Valley of chiles. Other things to see in the area: White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains national parks, along with the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and plenty of historic sites featured in the recent movie (and Oscar nominee) “Oppenheimer.” (Make sure to stop in Pueblo, Colo., on your way back up Interstate 25, though; that’s the heart of Colorado’s own green chile country, so you can settle the debate for yourself.)

Asheville, N.C.

DIA added a new nonstop flight to Asheville, N.C., in September, and 2024 is a great time to visit since Denver’s TRVE Brewing plans to open a second location there in the next few months. (Fort Collins-founded New Belgium also has a taproom there.) But Asheville, set along the dreamy Blue Ridge Parkway, should be on any Coloradan’s list anyway, because in addition to its incredible craft brewery scene, it’s an outdoor lovers mountain playground.

Vice President Kamala Harris, right, greets National Parks Service Superintendent Shirley MaKinney during a visit to the Stonewall Inn and National Monument, Monday, June 26, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

New York City

There’s never a bad time to visit the Big Apple, but 2024 will offer a couple of enticing draws, including a game between the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium (the date is still TBA); the June 28 opening of the brand new visitors center at Stonewall National Monument; and a highly touted exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “ The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism ” (Feb. 25–June 28). Plus, you can get your fill of ramen, pizza, bagels and dumplings — which is always a reason for joy.

Ah, the Land. A city on the comeback, Cleveland is a shortish trip by air, and in 2024, it happens to be in the path of a full eclipse ( or the path of “totality” ), which will cut northeast from Texas to New England on April 8. Why Cleveland? Well, there is a small and lesser-known national park just 30 minutes away, called Cuyahoga Valley, which will be celebrating  the eclipse with ranger-led activities. And while you’re in the vicinity, take in a Cleveland Guardians game at beautiful Progressive Field, as it opens the baseball season against the Chicago White Sox on the same day.

The Big Island

The mountains here are stunning, certainly, but let’s face it: Sometimes we need the smell of coconut oil, the sound of waves and the expanse of the ocean. Airlines offer direct flights from DIA to all four of Hawaii’s major islands, but The Big Island — and Hapuna Beach — might be the most beautiful of them all. Expansive, warm and a great place to snorkel, Hapuna is truly mesmerizing. But don’t stop there. In addition to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and gorgeous shorelines, the Big Island also boasts white sand, green sand and black sand beaches. Set against the backdrop of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, a visit here is the cure to cabin fever.

FILE - A display of the Olympic rings is set up on Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower, after the vote awarding the 2024 Games to the French capital, in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Online applications for a lottery draw where winners can buy tickets for next year's Olympic Games in Paris has closed. Entries for the draw ended at 6 p.m. local time on Thursday, April 20, 2023 and applicants must wait until early next month to find out if they were successful. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Maybe it doesn’t sound appealing to fly to Paris at the hottest, busiest, most congested time of the year. Or maybe seeing the Olympic games while sipping cafe au lait and eating baguettes is exactly what you need. Either way, there will be plenty of athletes with Colorado connections in the City of Light when the games start on July 26. Air France has been flying direct from DIA in recent years, and if the Olympics aren’t your thing, then consider this: Notre Dame Cathedral, which nearly burned down in 2019, is set to reopen in December 2024 .

For being the sixth-busiest airport in the entire world , DIA doesn’t have many direct nonstop international flights. So it’s worth celebrating each and every new one. In May, Irish airline Aer Lingus will begin connecting Denver with Dublin, Ireland’s lively capital city. The historic sites here go back more than 1,000 years — and you can (and should) tour the Guinness beer and Jameson whiskey plants. Dublin is also the kickoff point to the famed Irish countryside, including the Cliffs of Moher, Giant’s Causeway and Killarney National Park.

Visitors to Iceland's Blue Lagoon spa swim in pools of milky-blue, 99-degree geothermal waters.

Also on the slim list of international destinations accessible by a nonstop flight from DIA is Iceland, with its waterfalls, blue lagoons and adorable puffins. The island national has been on a lot of bucket lists for at least a decade now. But 2024 and 2025 hold particular appeal since they are expected to be the best years in a while to see the Aurora Borealis , or Northern Lights, which appear more colorfully on a cyclical basis — and which are fairly easy to catch in Iceland.

Japan’s capital may be the only destination in Asia to which you can fly nonstop from Denver, and it’s worth the trip. The city is like no other place in the world, and you could spend months just getting to know a single neighborhood. It’s also full of just about any kind of activity you could want, from visits to spectacular cultural and historical sites to dining, recreation, or just people-watching. There’s also craft beer, whiskey, manga and a magical group of rockabilly street performers .

Morning at Jakes in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. (Provided by Jakes hotel)

Last February, Frontier Airlines began flying direct from Denver to Montego Bay, Jamaica, “cutting down to around five hours a trip that used to take all day, with a stopover,” as we wrote in a travel guide to the country’s tourist capital . So, for laid-back beach bars, sizzling jerk chicken, swimming holes and, of course, music, this might be the year for a trip to the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico

Not to be outdone, United introduced a daily direct flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, in October, slashing travel time to the island by several hours. Even better, you don’t need a passport to visit this U.S. territory. You will need to bring an appetite for spicy codfish fritters, plantains and tropical rum drinks, however. Read more about this sunny destination — along with its beaches, rainforests, history and culture — in our recent travel guide.

Mexico City

Mexico City has always been one of the most complex and richly dynamic cities in the Americas, but it has also become a hot travel destination in the past decade , with several neighborhoods teeming with art, culture and cuisine. Some of the most rewarding activities include Wandering the Roma Norte neighborhood in search of blue corn tortillas, churros or cute coffee shops; catching the spectacle of lucha libre; visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum or the Museo Nacional de Antropologia; and trying chapuline with your mezcal. Oh, and at 7,200 feet in altitude, it’s one of the few capital cities that is higher than Denver, so you should feel right at home.

A vendor sells coconut drinks at a beach at Manuel Antonio.

The “pura vida” never goes out of style, but Costa Rica has been particularly popular recently as more and more people discover this lush, friendly country where adventure and easy living seem to blend perfectly. The airlines only fly nonstop from Denver to four countries in Central America, but this is one of them. Whether you want wildlife, scenery, great coffee, rainforests, beaches or culture, Costa Rica offers one of the easiest, most beautiful ways to take a tropical vacation.

Banff National Park

To get some perspective on Colorado’s rocky peaks, take a bucket-list trip to Canada’s Banff National Park, where “the mountains have rock faces at a scale you just don’t see in Colorado. And every lake is a different hue of vibrant blue or green,” according to The Denver Post’s extensive travel guide on how to travel to, and camp in, the park . A two-hour flight to Calgary, followed by a 90-minute drive, will land you in stunning beauty that you have to see to believe.

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This Is the Top Restaurant in the U.S. in 2024, According Yelp

We're hungry just looking at this list.

tourist destinations in united states

Courtesy of Yelp.com

Yelp is back with its Top 100 places to eat in the United States, and it’s naming a brand-new No. 1 pick. The company announced its 11th annual rankings, highlighting the best of the best eateries from coast to coast , which it determined after analyzing user submissions, highlighting restaurants by ratings, number of reviews, and volume of submissions. The data was then used by an expert panel of community managers who finalized the rankings. 

“From New York City to Houston, and Florida to California, Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat list celebrates the must-visit local restaurants across the United States,” Tara Lewis, Yelp’s trend expert, shared in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure . “This year’s list embraces the unique tastes of our users and spotlights the beloved hidden gems across local communities.” 

Without further ado, this year’s No. 1 spot is Tumerico , a vegetarian Mexican restaurant in Tucson, Arizona. 

Owned by James Beard Award semi-finalist chef Wendy Garcia, the restaurant boasts a 4.8-star rating out of more than 1,000 reviews, with Yelpers citing both the food and the inviting atmosphere as top-notch.

“I'm not vegan or vegetarian, but this place was awesome. The food was prepared perfectly, and it was delicious,” one reviewer wrote. "I came in with a large group, and the service was fast and friendly. The salsa was served warm which was new to me, but very good. The chips were fresh fried and crunchy with a bit of chewy on the inside. Definitely eat here vegan, vegetarian, or not. It's great food.”  

If you visit, expect Mexican fare like Al Pastor Tacos and burritos (vegetarian style, naturally). But don’t expect to eat the same thing twice, as the menu changes daily based on what’s in season. 

According to Yelp, this year’s list saw “overwhelming representation from Asian, Asian Fusion, and Southeast Asian restaurants, making up 25 percent of the list.” That includes the No. 2 choice, Menya Rui in St. Louis, a noodle shop serving more than 200 bowls a day. 

Joining these two spots in the top 10 is Sunny Side Kitchen, a Cali-inspired cafe in Escondido, California; GS Cafe and Ethiopian Cuisine in Covina, California; and Fratellino, an Italian eatery in Coral Gables, Florida in the No. 3 through No. 5 spots, respectively.

These are followed by Broken Mouth, a Korean-Hawaiian comfort food spot in Los Angeles; Adela’s Country Eatery, another noodle joint using local Hawaiian ingredients in Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii; Sierra Subs and Salads, a decadent sandwich shop in Three Rivers, California; Gino’s Deli Stop N Buy, one more sandwich-focused destination in San Antonio, Texas; and at No. 10, Uncle Af’s, yet another sandwich heaven in Agoura Hills, California. 

You may have noticed a trend in the above. California is mentioned a lot . 

“With 18 restaurants in the collection, California maintained its spot with the largest share of restaurants on the list,” Yelp added. “Florida followed with 13 restaurants, and Arizona and Texas both have eight spots across their respective states.” But thankfully, this list really is representative of the entire nation.

Check out if any of the top 100 spots are located near you at yelp.com . 

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