Best Places to Visit in 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 visitors a broad spectrum of places to choose from. The best places to visit in the United States may simply depend on your personal interests.
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. These are just a few key locations, but wonderful destinations for any type of traveler can be found all over the country.
10 - 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.
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 or mountain biking. Summer temperatures can be extremely high, but October to April is very pleasant, especially if you want to spend time outdoors.
9 - Chicago
Set on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a great summer destination, with parks and a beautiful waterfront. 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.
8 -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.
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.
6 - Washington, D.C.
5 - 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.
4 - Houston
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 at Galveston, and along the way, you can make a stop at Space Center Houston.
3 - 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 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 welcomed 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.
2 - 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, or hop on a street car 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.
1 -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 or a weekend, this is a city worth visiting time and time again.