With the end of summer nearing its time to enjoy one more vacation before fall settles in. U.S News has posted the 20 Best Places to Visit in the U.S., and I narrowed the list down to my top 10 favorites! In no particular order and without further ado here are the 10 best U.S cities to visit…
With views of picturesque beaches and lush mountains, the feeling of paradise floods you the moment you walk off the plane. Whether you plan on spending every moment on the beach or seeking to stay activate, Maui offers the perfect balance. You can choose to spend your days relaxing on the blissful beaches or exploring all the Road to Hana offers. If you’re feeling up to it, the views of Haleakala sunrise do not fail to disappoint, and are a fantastic way to start the day.
Old faithful and Yellowstone are nearly synonymous, but the park offers so much more to guests. If you want to get in touch with your ancestral outdoorsiness, consider utilizing one of the parks several campgrounds during your stay. Yellowstone gives visitors the chance to enjoy a wide range of wonders with its steaming geysers, multicolored pools, and bubbling hot springs. For the adventurers there are hiking trails galore in which to fill your days. The children will love watching the elk and bison enjoy their habitat.
3) The Grand Canyon
A natural wonder with idyllic views, it’s no wonder The Grand Canyon made the list for a fantastic place to visit. While standing on the edge of the Canyon will give you stately views that stretch for miles, it’s even more majestic to experience all this place has to offer by kayaking on the Colorado River, taking in the scenery on one of the offered mule rides, or hiking one of the numerous trails found along the Canyon.
4) San Fransisco
A hot spot for startups in this country, it’s easy to understand why SF is attractive to young professionals. Boasting its trendy, hip happenings it’s easy to need a vacation from vacationing in San Fran. There are the popular tourist sites like Alcatraz, The Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and the Painted Ladies, but once you’ve visited those sites, it’s time to get local. From the diverse culture to the vast range of food offerings, it makes sticking around long term quite tempting.
Since it’s birth in 1864, this park has been wowing visitors with it’s spectacular grand meadows and ancient giant sequoias ever since. A wilderness paradise for the outdoor adventurer, Yosemite National Park is 1200 square miles of a grown up’s playground. The park is commonly known for its waterfalls, but it’s here you can also find deep valleys offering views like the widely known tunnel overlook.
6) Washington, D.C.
The United States is a nation with a fascinating historical story to share. There is no better place to learn more about our rich history than to explore the Nation’s capital. With close to 200 museums throughout the city, there is something to hold anyone’s attention. If architecture is more your speed, exploring the monuments and the iconic buildings including the White House is a brilliant way to fill an afternoon. After a long touristy afternoon, you can head down to King Street in Alexandria to enjoy the cobblestone streets, the river view front of the Potomac River, various eateries and shops, and the more unknown historic buildings such as the church where George Washington worshipped.
7) New York City
Songs, stories, movies, and television all glorify this concrete jungle leaving no doubt as to why this city makes the top 20 list. With vast activities, places, events to fill your days, it leaves no wonder why NYC is called the city that never sleeps. The High Line, Central Park, The Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, Broadway, Times Square, Ellis Island, Battery Park, Chinatown. The list of places to do and things to see are endless. And those are just the things the tourists know about. To get away from the crowds and explore the quaint streets, venture off the beaten path and explore the Upper East and West Sides. Spend some time with the artists and musicians in the East Village or shop your way through the Chelsea Market. I hope you like coffee (or Red Bull). You’re going to need it.
8) Jackson Hole
Anyone who has spent any time out west knows how stunningly breathtaking the topography is, and Jackson Hole is no different. In a place where even the Super 8 hotels are rated 3 star (as I found out when I had no where to stay and all the hotels were booked for the night), you will not be disappointed. A place that has remained isolated from the tourist droves, Jackson Hole gives visitors the chance to head home with fantastic repertoire of scenic photographs. The widely recognized Grand Tetons set the perfect stage for a relaxing mountain vacation. With its rugged trails and vast open space, guests will be transported back to a time before the West was won.
A friend once described Chicago as a city born from the combination of New York and Los Angeles, and couldn’t have described it any better! With a lively hustle and bustle similar to New York City, but the laid-backness of LA, Chicago is the perfect destination for a big city weekend escapism. Of course there are the must sees which include spending some time taking in the sights at Navy Pier and photographing yourself in the the bean located within Millennium Park, but when that is finished it’s time to take in the sights distinctive to the city. For an epic view of all the architecture Chicago has to offer without the crowds attracted to Willis Tower, head over to Chicago’s third tallest skyscraper (360 Chicago). From it’s unique moveable bridges to its scattered artistic touches throughout the city, Chicago allows anyone to get lost in its epicenter of uniqueness. When you’re ready for grub, make sure to grab Chicago’s well known deep dish pizza, and be sure to stop over at Garrett’s for gourmet popcorn to enjoy as a late night snack.
With it’s reputation for gloomy gray days, Mt. Rainer looming over and keeping watch on Seattle, and a city wide love for coffee, it’s easy to peg Seattle as undeniably chic. Unbelievable hiking is only a short travel outside the city making it a hotspot for the outdoorsy. For those that prefer to stay in the city, Seattle offers the infamous Pike’s Place Market. Take a pit stop to visit the Gum Wall or venture up the iconic Space Needle. For breathtaking Panoramic views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain rages surrounding Seattle, head over to Alki Beach which sits directly across from downtown Seattle. You’ll thank me.
Which of these places have captured your heart and what did you like most on your travels? Of these ten cities, which ones are on your future “to see” list? Share below!