Are you looking for the very best places to visit in the USA to start planning your next vacation? We’re going to show you 50 amazing US vacation spots, including bucket list cities, spectacular landscapes and unique areas of outstanding natural beauty from all across the United States.
What makes a place one of the best in the USA?
The best places to visit in the US include the most iconic cities, the most famous national parks and the most popular road trips. They are the places Americans visit the most and the places everyone else dreams of visiting one day as part of a bucket list vacation to the states.
We have personally explored almost every place in our guide to the best USA travel destinations. The few we haven’t yet visited?
Well, they are at the very top of our own US travel bucket list.
For each of our top 50 US places to visit we will show you:
- Why it is one of the best places to visit in the USA
- The best things to do in each city, park or region
Let’s find your next vacation spot in the United States!
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1. Anchorage, Alaska
Why Is Anchorage One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Anchorage is the gateway into remote, rural and stunning Alaskan wilderness. Alaska is on almost everyone’s bucket list and Anchorage is the most popular starting point for travelers.
You can visit Kenai Fjords, Denali and Wrangell – St Elias National Parks on an incredibly beautiful road trip from Anchorage to Valdez.
Alternatively, take a flight from Anchorage to see Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks for bears and beauty.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Anchorage, Alaska?
- Visit up to 8 US National Parks
- Go bear or whale spotting
- Visit the Anchorage Museum and Alaska Native Heritage Center
- See the Northern Lights between September and April
- Hire a bike and ride the coastal path through Anchorage
2. Asheville, North Carolina
Why Is Asheville One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Asheville has exploded in popularity in recent years thanks to a diverse demographic of locals, an excellent food and craft beer scene, a vibrant art and architecture, and its location in the enchanting Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will fall head over heels for Asheville.
But the small town in North Carolina also makes for a relaxing USA vacation break for those looking to escape big city life and breathe fresh mountain air.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Asheville?
- Hike, hike and hike some more
- Eat, drink and shop
- Visit the Biltmore Estate
- Drive a small portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Climb to the summit of Mt Mitchell at 6,684 feet high
- Walk around the North Carolina Arboretum gardens
3. Austin, Texas
Why Is Austin One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Austin consistently ranks near the top of the most livable cities in the US year after year.
The live music scene is one of America’s best, the food including Tex-Mex is great, an abundance of outdoor space provides a nature escape in the city and the locals are incredibly friendly.
Around 30 million people visit Austin each year thanks to its live music culture and famous festivals like SXSW and Austin City Limits.
This is one of the best places in the USA to take a relaxing food heavy and music heavy vacation.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Austin?
- Hop between more than 250 live music venues
- Cool off in Barton Springs public swimming pool
- Watch 1.5 million bats take to the sky from Congress Bridge each night
- Eat Tex-Mex and BBQ food with craft beers to wash it all down
- Walk around Zilker Metropolitan Park
4. Bar Harbor, Maine
Why Is Bar Harbor One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Bar Harbor has long been a vacation playground for the rich and famous.
The small but plush resort town on Mount Desert Island is the gateway to Acadia National Park, one of the finest and most unique landscapes on the US east coast.
Most visitors will primarily use upmarket Bar Harbor as a base for hiking, exploring and photographing nearby Acadia National Park.
This is a fantastic place for a family vacation in the USA but be warned, it is not a cheap coastal town to visit!
What Are The Best Things To Do In Bar Harbor?
- Spend 2 or 3 days hiking the best trails in Acadia National Park
- Drive up Cadillac Mountain for sunrise
- Visit the Schoodic Peninsula
- Cross the land bridge to Bar Island
- Climb up Precipice Trail and Beehive Trail for an adrenaline rush
- Relax in the charming celebrity favorite town of Bar Harbor
- Eat as much Maine lobster as you can handle
5. Big Sur, California
Why Is Big Sur One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Big Sur is arguably the most picturesque stretch of California’s legendary Pacific Coast Highway road trip from San Francisco to San Diego.
Starting in Carmel and ending in San Simeon, Big Sur is one of those bucket list USA coastal drives you will always remember. Lodging is highly sought after so booking in advance is recommended. Here’s exactly where to stay in Big Sur CA.
Waterfalls, vista points, coves, sea lions and sea otters, lighthouses, photogenic bridges, sandy beaches and of course the rugged coastline make Big Sur a must visit for travelers to SF, LA or San Diego.
What Are The Best Things To Do Around Big Sur?
- Visit upmarket Carmel-By-The-Sea
- Loop around plush 17 mile drive in Monterrey
- Watch a stunning beach sunset
- Visit Hearst Castle in San Simeon
- Photograph the famous Bixby Bridge
- Walk to McWay Falls and Partington Cove
- Relax on Pfeiffer Beach
6. Birmingham, Alabama
Why Is Birmingham One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Birmingham is a hidden gem in the US south and it is known as ‘the dinner table of the south’ for a reason.
This is charming foodie town with southern hospitality and plenty to do is growing in popularity among tourists but the secret is out and it won’t stay quiet for long.
If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path and authentic for your next US vacation, head to the deep south and make Birmingham a priority.
Learn about the important Civil Rights Movement here and in other parts of Alabama and bordering Mississippi.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Birmingham?
- Explore the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and District
- See Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum
- Soak up city views from Vulcan Park and Museum
- Educate the family at McWane Science Center
- Photograph Birmingham from Railroad Park
- Eat barbecue food until you drop
- Enjoy the excellent Birmingham Museum of Art for free
7. Black Hills, South Dakota
Why Is The Black Hills One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Mount Rushmore is by far the most famous place to visit in the Black Hills, but there are so many other amazing things to do near Mount Rushmore.
Iron Mountain Road, Needles Highway and Spearfish Canyon make up three of the most attractive scenic drives in the US. There are countless awesome hikes but standing at 7,244 feet tall, Black Elk Peak is the hiking highlight.
The Black Hills are exceptionally beautiful year round but they are especially stunning during the Fall season. South Dakota road trips are becoming more popular every year, so get in now before it becomes oversaturated.
What Are The Best Things To Do In The Black Hills?
- Visit Mount Rushmore
- Drive the Custer State Park wildlife loop
- Hike Black Elk Peak
- Explore Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument
- See the unfinished Crazy Horse Memorial
- Visit Badlands National Park
8. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Why Is The Blue Ridge Parkway One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Stretching 469 miles from Waynesboro VA to Cherokee NC, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the very best places to visit in the USA for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Plan for 3-7 days and visit in Fall for the iconic peak leaf peeping season.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most visited national park site in the United States, receiving almost 16 million recreational visitors in 2021. Great Smoky Mountains comes in second which means most visitors to this part of America include both in the same travel itinerary.
This is a top level US bucket list road trip route.
What Are The Best Things To Do On The Blue Ridge Parkway?
- Hike and explore Shenandoah National Park
- Stop at Natural Bridge, Roanoke and Mabry Mill in Virginia
- Visit Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, Mount Mitchell, Asheville and the Biltmore Estate in NC
- Spend a few days exploring the best of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
9. Boston, Massachusetts
Why Is Boston One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Boston is one of the most iconic and historically rich cities to visit in the USA. It is also home to Harvard University, the Boston Red Sox and stunning architecture flanking intricately cobbled streets.
There is something for everyone in Boston, from diverse neighborhoods to excellent food and history at every turn. If truly unique US cities are at the top of your wishlist, look no further than Boston, Massachusetts.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Boston?
- Walk the historic Freedom Trail
- Watch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park
- Visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
- Look around Boston Museum of Fine Arts
- Walk through Boston Public Garden and Common
- Visit bustling Harvard Square
- Shop in Faneuil Hall Marketplace at Quincy Market
10. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Why Is Cannon Beach One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Cannon Beach is a charming town on the famous Oregon Coast famous for its Haystack Rock and stunning sunsets.
If you’re driving the Pacific Coast Highway on US-101, Cannon Beach makes for the perfect place to spend a night.
Independent stores, art galleries and locally run eateries make Cannon Beach a quaint family orientated beachfront escape. Miles of sandy beaches and gorgeous sunsets are perfect for a romantic stroll.
Cannon Beach is a great place to visit for those living on the US west coast or anyone visiting Portland.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Cannon Beach?
- Photograph Haystack Rock
- Walk to elevated coastal views at Ecola State Park
- See the beach waterfall at Hug Point State Recreation Site
- Eat and drink at Pelican Brewing
- Tour the cheese factory at Tillamook Creamery
11. Charleston, South Carolina
Why Is Charleston One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Charleston is one of the top places to visit in southern USA. The elegant city is picturesque, relaxing, friendly and upmarket.
There’s a wide range of family friendly things to do in Charleston and the food is fantastic. It is a very popular destination for weddings and it is one of our top picks for USA vacations.
Charleston’s cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages and historic buildings featuring various architectural styles are a huge draw to the city.
Hire a car so you can explore nearby plantations and learn about the important history of South Carolina.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Charleston?
- Take a tour of Fort Sumter
- Walk along the Battery to Rainbow Row
- Explore the quaint French Quarter
- Tour the USS Yorktown
- Visit Magnolia and Boone Hall plantations and gardens
- Eat some of the best southern style food in the US
12. Chicago, Illinois
Why Is Chicago One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Chicago is one of the most iconic cities in the US and should be on every travel or vacation bucket list. The Windy City is the birthplace of the skyscraper and the deep-dish pizza.
You will also find world-class museums, history and diverse neighborhoods throughout the city.
You can see iconic skyscrapers towering into the clouds, walk miles through parks hugging the shores of Lake Michigan, take a river cruise on the Chicago River or spend days in museums.
“Chi-Town” is consistently in the top 10 most visited cities in the USA for a reason, you just need to go and find out why.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Chicago?
- Explore the Art Institute of Chicago
- Visit the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
- Eat as many deep dish Chicago pizza as you can manage
- Visit Cloud Gate and Millennium Park
- Go up to Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower
- Walk the Bloomingdale Trail a.k.a. the 606
- Watch a cubs game at Wrigley Field
- Walk the Magnificent Mile
- See Chicago from above at 360 Observation Deck
13. Death Valley, California
Why Is Death Valley One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Death Valley is one of the most unique vacations you can take in the USA thanks to its extraordinary landscape.
Extreme and harsh weather conditions make Death Valley a dangerous place to visit in Summer, but the rest of the year it is incredibly photogenic and fun to visit.
Planning a Death Valley day trip from Las Vegas is easy and a very popular way to see the hottest place on Earth.
Walk on soft undulating sand dunes, hike through canyons and among smooth formations, drive 4WD trails into wilderness and stand at 282 feet below sea level in Badwater Basin.
You are going to need your camera with spare SD cards for what is a special place to visit in the US southwest.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Death Valley?
- Walk out onto Mesquite Sand Dunes at sunset
- Hike Golden Canyon Loop Trail
- Walk on the lowest point in North America in Badwater Basin
- See wind pushed rocks at The Racetrack
- Drive the Artists Palette Loop
- Soak up Death Valley vistas from Zabriskie Point at Dante’s View
- Check out eerie Rhyolite ghost town
- Drive the incredible Titus Canyon off road trail
14. Denver, Colorado
Why Is Denver One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Denver is an outdoors orientated city located at the base of the enormous Rocky Mountains. The walkable and pedestrian friendly ‘mile high city’ is easy to visit and easy to get around.
But it’s all about the views and the mountains on a short break to Denver. Get up high or head to Rocky Mountain National Park for some of the best hiking in the US.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Denver?
- Photograph Union Station
- Drive to Mount Evans summit
- Explore Denver Botanic Gardens
- See the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field
- Further explore Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park
- Visit Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
- Eat & Drink around Larimer Square
15. Finger Lakes, New York
Why Is The Finger Lakes One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
New York’s Finger Lakes region is an area of outstanding natural beauty overflowing with postcard perfect waterfalls, gorges and narrow lakes.
We wouldn’t go as far as saying it is a hidden gem, but it certainly doesn’t get the attention it deserves. You can hike stunning gorge trails, relax around lakes and drink some of the best wine in the country.
The college town of Ithaca is a great place to set up base for what is one of the most underrated places for family vacations in the USA.
What Are The Best Things To Do In The Finger Lakes?
- Hike the spectacular gorge trail in Watkins Glen State Park
- Photograph stunning waterfalls in Letchworth State Park
- Hike dramatic Robert H Treman and Buttermilk Falls gorge trails
- See the tallest single drop waterfall east of the Rockies at Taughannock Falls
- Taste delicious wines on the famous Finger Lakes wine trail
- Watch NASCAR racing in Watkins Glen
- Water sports and activities
16. Florida Keys, Florida
Why Is The Florida Keys One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
The Florida Keys is a quintessential American vacation destination, particularly in the Winter season when millions flock from the colder northern states for a taste of Winter sun.
This is the place you can get a slice of the Caribbean without leaving the US.
Cocktails, beaches, sunshine, excellent food, two national parks and a slow pace of living combine to rank the Florida Keys among the top bucket list USA vacations.
If you’re looking to escape city life for a week or two, head down to the turquoise waters of The Keys.
What Are The Best Things To Do In The Florida Keys?
- Drive Seven Mile Bridge
- Visit Biscayne National Park
- Take a boat to Dry Tortugas National Park
- Visit the Hemingway Home and Truman Little White House
- Snorkel in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- Explore Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
- Watch the sunset at Mallory Square
- Eat, drink and shop on Duvall Street
17. Glacier, Montana
Why Is Glacier One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Glacier National Park is one of the most visually striking and photogenic places you can visit in the USA.
Your legs will ache after hiking awesome trails with spectacular vistas and your right forefinger will ache after pressing your camera shutter non-stop from start to finish.
Going-to-the-Sun road is up there with the top bucket list scenic drives in America and you have a good chance of spotting wildlife such as grizzly bears, mountain goats and bighorn sheep.
The only problems are a very short window to visit and logistics.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Glacier?
- Hike Highline, Avalanche Lake, Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake Trails
- Photograph just about every square inch of the park
- Drive Going-to-the-Sun scenic byway through the park in Summer
18. Grand Canyon, Arizona
Why Is The Grand Canyon One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Is there a more iconic natural landscape in the world than Arizona’s Grand Canyon?
Millions of visitors each year flock to see the grandest of canyons on the planet and we can tell you it does not disappoint. Grand Canyon South Rim is one of few places that left us truly stunned the first time we saw it.
You can simply walk along the rim and gaze down into the canyon from several vantage points, or you can descend into the abyss via the best hikes at Grand Canyon South Rim.
Las Vegas serves as the perfect base for trips to the Grand Canyon but it is better seen as part of a wider southwest road trip.
What Are The Best Things To Do In The Grand Canyon?
- Drive Desert View Road to see the best Grand Canyon viewpoints
- Take a shuttle up Hermit Road for more canyon views
- Photograph stunning Grand Canyon sunrises and sunsets along the rims
- Hike a short way down the iconic Bright Angel Trail
- Or hike a short way down the steep South Kaibab Trail
- Experienced adventure hikers should plan to hike South Kaibab to Bright Angel via Phantom Ranch and the Colorado River in one day
19. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Why Is Jackson Hole One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Jackson Hole is a hugely popular year round destination for hikers, photographers and skiers.
Most use Jackson as a base for exploring Grand Teton, which is one of our personal favorite national parks and we’re not alone, with almost 4 million visitors in 2021 alone.
The town of Jackson strikes the perfect balance of low key but ritzy. It feels a bit like the old west but you can tell there’s money in town.
Summer is for hikers and photographers to soak up the best of Grand Teton but in Winter the area turns into a skiing paradise for the wealthy.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Jackson Hole?
- Capture incredibly picturesque sunrise photography at Mormon Row or Schwabacher Landing
- Hike to Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park
- Drive the Grand Teton loop road stopping at Jenny Lake and Signal Mountain
- Ski in Teton Village during the Winter season
- Take a photo under the antler arch in Jackson town square
- Eat, drink and shop in downtown Jackson
20. Kanab, Utah
Why Is Kanab One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Kanab is one of the most underrated places to visit in Utah. Most people drive through Zion and Bryce Canyon, then pass through Kanab on the way to Grand Canyon or Page and eventually Moab.
This is a huge mistake. Kanab is one of the best USA vacations for outdoor adventure enthusiasts.
The Wave is one of the most incredible landscapes we’ve ever seen but there are so many more amazing things to do near Kanab, including Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Buckskin Gulch slot canyon and countless unusual rock formations.
But the best part is how affordable it is in Kanab, with cheap hotels and excellent food.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Kanab?
- Hike The Wave one of the most amazing trails in the USA
- Sandboard at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
- Walk to the unique Toadstool Hoodoos
- Hike Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch the longest slot canyon in America
- Photograph Belly of the Dragon
- Day trip to Page AZ for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
21. Lake Placid, New York
Why Is Lake Placid One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Remember ‘The Miracle On Ice’? Well, that was Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980 and you can still visit the museum today, as well as the 40 year old ski jump.
But that’s just the beginning. This tiny upmarket town in the Adirondack Mountains is a year round vacation spot for millions of Americans.
You can hike Mount Marcy to the highest peak in New York, photograph vibrant fall foliage in Autumn and ski in the Winter.
This is not a cheap place to visit but there’s a diverse range of fun things to do in Lake Placid, and it is one of the finest places to visit in the US for lovers of the great outdoors.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Lake Placid?
- Hike Mount Marcy to the highest point in New York State
- Take a cable car to Little Whiteface
- Walk around stunning High Falls Gorge
- Drive up to Whiteface Mountain summit
- Visit the olympic ski jump and museum
- Walk around Mirror Lake
- Leaf peep in Fall and ski in Winter
22. Lake Tahoe, California
Why Is Lake Tahoe One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Lake Tahoe is a magnificent year round travel destination for millions each year who want to hike, kayak, swim and ski.
Californians, Nevadans and even Oregonians are all nearby but many fly into the Lake Tahoe area from across the US to relax, eat, drink and photograph the resplendent lake.
There are dozens of hiking trails, beaches, ski runs and popular photography spots to explore during a vacation to Lake Tahoe. The south side of the lake is more affordable and touristy, whereas the north side is quieter but classier.
Whichever side you use as a base, we’re sure you will fall for Lake Tahoe.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Lake Tahoe?
- Hike Mt Tallac
- Photograph Emerald Bay
- Visit Vikingsholm Castle
- Hike Eagle Rock
- Photograph Bonsai Rock
- Ski in Winter
- Eat and drink at a wide range of fantastic places
- Relax on one of many wonderful beaches
23. Las Vegas, Nevada
Why Is Las Vegas One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Las Vegas is the legendary party capital of the USA and any vacation to “Sin City” is inevitably going to be one with significant gaps in the memory!
Vegas is the place millions visit each year from around the world to let loose, have a blow out and party into the early hours.
We half expected Las Vegas to be awful, but we actually love it and have visited several times. There’s just something crazy but addictive about being in Vegas – and we don’t gamble.
There are just so many fun things to do in Las Vegas. There are world class restaurants and chefs, big room nightclubs and events, and countless activities for the whole family.
Las Vegas is absurdly expensive and it is a sensory overload, but it is those same qualities that make you want to take another weekend break and try another hotel or pool party.
Viva Las Vegas!
What Are The Best Things To Do In Las Vegas?
- Walk up and down the Las Vegas Strip
- Explore the famous Las Vegas hotels on the strip to see what makes it unique
- See one of the best shows in Las Vegas like Cirque Du Soleil
- Try your luck in one of the casinos
- Take a day trip to visit the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas
- Eat and drink your way through countless superb restaurants, bars and clubs
- Photograph the intriguing Seven Magic Mountains
- Stretch your legs on the best hiking trails in Red Rock Canyon
- Walk around the incredibly photogenic Valley of Fire State Park
- Watch the Bellagio Fountains
- Visit the National Atomic Testing Museum
- Get a photo with the Las Vegas sign
24. Leavenworth, Washington
Why Is Leavenworth One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Leavenworth is a hidden gem in Washington’s dramatic Cascade mountain range.
The Bavarian themed town is surrounded by some of the finest scenery in the US, particularly if you are visiting to hike The Enchantments. If not, it’s all about drinking steins filled with German lager and eating bratwurst.
This exceptionally charming town is a year round USA vacation spot perfect for the whole family.
There’s an upmarket feel to Leavenworth, but it is well worth the higher cost for a lovely weekend or midweek break in such a unique setting.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Leavenworth?
- Eat and drink in Leavenworth’s awesome Bavarian themed restaurants and bars
- Day hike The Enchantments one of the most amazing trails in the US
- Visit the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
- Hike to Icicle Ridge
- Soak up Fall colors in Autumn and Ski in Winter
25. Los Angeles, California
Why Is Los Angeles One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world and it is without question one of the best places to visit in the USA.
Hollywood and the movie industry are at the heart of LA’s gravitational pull, but beyond television you will find world class museums and some of the top rated restaurants in the US.
Disneyland is near LA, but you don’t need to go on your first visit to Los Angeles because the whole city is like one great big theme park for adults.
You can visit the beaches at Santa Monica and Venice, or you can hike to the Hollywood sign for magical views overlooking the city before window shopping in Beverly Hills.
Non stop action!
What Are The Best Things To Do In Los Angeles?
- Shop ’til you drop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills
- Chill on Venice Boardwalk and see Santa Monica Pier
- Hike to the iconic Hollywood Sign
- Visit Warner Bros Studio Tour or similar at Paramount, Universal and Sony
- Take a trip to Griffith Observatory
- Museum hop in downtown LA
- Treat yourself to luxury at one of the best hotels in Los Angeles
- Watch the LA Dodgers at Dodger Stadium or the Rams at SoFi Stadium
- Take the family to Disneyland
- Look around world famous art museum The Getty Center
- See the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
26. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Why Is Mackinac Island One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Mackinac Island is a tiny car free vacation spot nestled in the narrow joining point of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Unobstructed views to the east and west mean stunning sunrises and sunsets are daily occurrences when the clouds stay clear.
The whole island is filled with natural formations and landmarks.
Many visit Mackinac Island as a standalone vacation, but most will stop for a day or two when driving the bucket list Michigan Coast road trip.
In Summer, you can swim and get into water sports. Fall brings radiant Autumnal foliage and plenty of photographers to the island.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Mackinac Island?
- Explore Fort Mackinac
- Watch the sunset at Sunset Rock
- Walk over to Arch Rock
- Photograph Round Island Light
- Drive the famous Michigan shoreline
27. Maui, Hawaii
Why Is Maui One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Maui is the most popular and touristy Hawaiian Island thanks to a fantastic national park and a famous road trip route.
Haleakala National Park is home to Sliding Sands trail, Waimoku Falls and the Road To Hana.
Maui is all about getting outdoors into nature by day, then kicking back and relaxing by night on what has to be one of the most beautiful vacations in the USA.
If you’re doing Hawaii on a budget, you might want to spend a few days on Maui before moving to a (slightly!) more affordable island.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Maui?
- Drive the slaloming coastal Road To Hana
- Visit Haleakala National Park
- Hike the amazing Sliding Sands Trail
- Walk through bamboo forest to Wailua Falls
- Relax and watch the sunset on a sandy beach
- Visit the other Hawaiian Islands
28. Miami, Florida
Why Is Miami One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Miami is the place you go to “party in the city where the heat is on”! But there’s more to Miami than just partying until the sun comes up.
You will find miles of golden sand beaches with turquoise waters, award winning restaurants, high end shopping and its tropical climate.
We’re not just talking about a popular place to go in the US, Miami is one of the best vacation spots in the world.
Favorable year round weather plays a role, but it is the Latin and Caribbean inspired food, art deco architecture and diverse culture.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Miami?
- Take a stroll down Miami’s famous South Beach
- See the Opera or Ballet at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
- Walk Ocean Drive and the Art Deco district
- See creative street art at Wynwood Walls outdoor museum
- Explore the historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- Watch Miami Heat in the NBA at American Airlines Arena
- Visit Everglades National Park
29. Moab, Utah
Why Is Moab One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Moab is a tiny desert town in southwest USA set up perfectly for vacations to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Driving west from Colorado and the Rockies, Moab marks the first stop on the typical southwest road trip route.
Both Arches and Canyonlands are magical landscapes, and Moab is your base.
Plan for 2 or 3 days in Moab so you can see and do the best of both parks before heading south for Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon.
Moab isn’t a place you will plan your entire vacation around, but it is a must stop when driving the epic Utah Mighty 5 road trip.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Moab?
- Hit the best hiking trails in Arches National Park including the awesome Devils Garden
- Photograph an incredible sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National park
- Watch a special sunset at Delicate Arch in Arches
- Explore both Islands in the Sky and Needles at Canyonlands
- Drive to Monument Valley and Natural Bridges
- Visit Dead Horse Point State Park
30. Nashville, Tennessee
Why Is Nashville One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Nashville has always been popular with country music but in recent years it has exploded in popularity with bachelorette parties and the live music scene is bigger than ever before.
Friendly locals, fantastic food and an electric buzz result in Nashville being one of the most sought after USA city breaks.
Millions of Americans and international travelers flock to Lower Broadway every year to see the most talented and authentic country singers validating Nashville’s name of “Music City, USA”.
Nashville is also one end of the famous Blues Highway road trip and the popular Natchez Trace road trip.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Nashville?
- Listen to live music on Lower Broadway
- Drink and eat at countless amazing live music venues
- Watch a show at the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium
- Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum
- Explore the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
- Visit Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
- Photograph Nashville’s full scale replica of The Parthenon
31. New Orleans, Louisiana
Why Is New Orleans One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
New Orleans is world famous for being the home of the biggest Mardi Gras Carnival in the world.
“Fat Tuesday” is celebrated on shrove Tuesday or the day before Lent begins and Bourbon Street becomes an ocean of people celebrating.
But the “Big Easy” is also busy throughout Summer thanks to an eclectic culture, exceptional food, the best live jazz music and superb museums such as the immersive National World War II Museum.
New Orleans is perfect for foodies, music lovers and anyone looking to get away from the typical big city vacation.
What Are The Best Things To Do In New Orleans?
- Explore the vibrant and historic French Quarter
- Party at Mardi Gras
- Visit the National World War II Museum
- Walk over to the iconic Jackson Square
- Visit the popular New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
- Eat, drink and party on Bourbon Street
- Walk around 1,300 acre New Orleans City Park
- Drink coffee at Cafe Du Monde
- Listen to jazz music on Frenchmen Street
32. New York City, New York
Why Is New York City One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
New York is the most recognizable city on the planet. There really is no other place like it and after living in NYC ourselves, we can confidently tell you New York will surpass even the highest expectations.
There are endless free, cheap and fun things to do in NYC, so prepare for the most action packed vacation!
Is there a city on Earth that tops more people’s travel bucket list than New York City?
There’s something for everyone from sightseeing to history, architecture to sporting events and the highest quality restaurants to world class museums. Just walking around the pop-culture-famous streets and boroughs of NYC is exciting enough.
If you’ve never been to NYC, it’s time to take your first visit.
What Are The Best Things To Do In New York City?
- See the famous skyline from high up on the best NYC observation decks
- Explore the best of Central Park
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise, sunset or night
- Take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- Watch the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium
- Explore some of the world’s best museums in NYC
- Shop ’til you drop in one of the top shopping cities on Earth
- Eat classic NYC food such as bagels and pizza
- Explore the popular Manhattan boroughs
33. Niagara Falls, New York
Why Is Niagara Falls One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Niagara Falls is one of the most well known waterfalls in the world and anyone who enjoys witnessing the power of nature will not be disappointed by American Falls or Horseshoe Falls.
On the US side Niagara Falls State Park can be explored with several views throughout the islands.
However, the best views of Niagara Falls are found on the Canadian side of Niagara River. Don’t forget your passport or identification so you can see Niagara Falls from both sides of the border.
The immense power of the waterfalls are something you won’t forget in a hurry and it’s another bucket list tick in the box.
What Are The Best Things To Do At Niagara Falls?
- Photograph the world famous waterfalls from every overlook
- Take the Maid of the Mist ferry out into the Niagara River
- Walk out to Cave of the Winds for a bottom up view
- Cross to Luna Island for a close up view of Bridal Veil Falls
- Explore Goat Island and Three Sisters Island for more views
- Cross into Canada for the best vistas over Niagara Falls
34. Orlando, Florida
Why Is Orlando One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Orlando is one of the best places in the USA for family vacations. The theme park capital of the world includes famous resorts like Walt Disney World and Universal.
With almost 500 hotels ranging from unique resorts to themed boutique hotels, the whole trip is an immersive experience from start to finish.
Millions of families fly into Orlando airport each year for shameless fun and frivolity at the top US theme parks.
If you’re looking to take the kids somewhere to give them a guaranteed great time, is there a better place than Orlando, Florida?
What Are The Best Things To Do In Orlando?
- Visit Walt Disney World Resort
- Explore Universal Orlando Resort
- Take the kids to Magic Kingdom Park
- Explore the very different Epcot Park
- See marine life at SeaWorld
- Swim in Discovery Cove
- Walk around Lake Eola Park
35. Outer Banks, North Carolina
Why Is Outer Banks One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
The Outer Banks is a relaxing, peaceful and serene vacation destination in coastal North Carolina.
Miles of stunning coastal scenery, sandy beaches and sounds of the ocean crashing make for the perfect sleepy break from big city life.
Are you looking for a slow paced vacation with nothing but quiet walks on the beach, short island hopping drives, plenty of restaurants and spectacular sunrises?
Outer Banks could be the perfect place for you to visit in the USA.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Outer Banks?
- Walk the Duck Town Boardwalk
- Visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial
- Photograph piers extending out into the ocean
- Visit Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke lighthouses
- Walk for miles on the many beaches
36. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Why Is Pittsburgh One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Pittsburgh is an old industrial city that has reinvented itself to become one of the best non-touristy places to visit in the USA.
The “Steel City” is steeped in American history, it has fantastic museums and restaurants, stunning urban photography locations and multiple top level sports teams.
Philadelphia is another great city to visit in Pennsylvania but Pittsburgh is more off the beaten path, it has more bridges than anywhere else in the world and examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture are on display.
Pittsburgh is never overly touristy and it has more of a midwest feel than busy urban city.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Pittsburgh?
- Visit the Heinz Museum
- Watch sunset over Pittsburgh from Point of View
- Photograph Point State Park Fountain
- Explore Fort Pitt Museum
- Watch the Steelers, Pirates or Penguins sports teams
- Explore the Andy Warhol Museum
- Visit Randyland Art Museum
- Explore Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
- Walk around the unique Cathedral of Learning
37. Portland, Oregon
Why Is Portland One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Portland is one of the top cities to visit in the Pacific Northwest. It may be “weird” but Portland is a fantastic city to explore, with excellent restaurants and craft breweries scattered throughout different neighborhoods.
We didn’t think Portland was weird, we thought it was wonderful.
Eating and drinking is what you do in the city, but the best part about visiting Portland is what you can do right outside of town. The Oregon Coast, Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood and Silver Falls State Park are all within 2 hours drive of Portland.
Talk about the perfect base for a diverse range of activities.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Portland?
- Find the “Keep Portland Weird” mural
- Drive the amazing Columbia River Gorge
- Explore Portland Japanese Garden
- Photograph Mt Hood over Portland from Pittock Mansion
- See the Lan Su Chinese Garden
- Explore Powell’s City of Books
- Grab a donut a Voodoo Donut
- Walk around Mt Tabor and Forest Park
- Go inside the USS Blueback Submarine
- Explore Portlands diverse neighborhoods
- Photograph St John’s Bridge
38. Salt Lake City, Utah
Why Is Salt Lake City One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Salt Lake City is often used as a gateway into two of America’s most popular national park road trip routes – Wyoming for Yellowstone and Grand Teton or Utah for Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches and Canyonlands.
However, SLC is a wonderful place to visit in its own right.
Life in Salt Lake City is all about nature and the great outdoors. It is one of the top places to visit in the USA in Winter for the whole family to access excellent ski slopes from beginner through expert level.
In Summer there are countless mountain hikes right on the doorstep.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Salt Lake City?
- Walk around Temple Square
- See the organ at Salt Lake City Tabernacle
- Visit the Natural History Museum of Utah
- Day trip to the Great Salt Lake
- Explore the Red Butte Garden
- Hike in the nearby mountains
- Ski in Park City Mountain Resort
- Watch the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena
- Fly in to drive an amazing SLC to Yellowstone road trip
39. San Antonio, Texas
Why Is San Antonio One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas after Houston and it is almost double that of nearby Austin.
The Alamo City has a rich and diverse cultural history, a wide variety of culinary delights from Tex-Mex to BBQ and plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy from top notch museums to underground caverns.
Texas’ oldest city has become a cosmopolitan and modern place to visit for history buffs, foodies and families. Important Spanish missionary and Texan history meets one of the fastest growing urban populations in the United States.
The best part is San Antonio doesn’t feel like a ‘big city’ with towering skyscrapers, it has more of a European buzz which centers around the amazing River Walk.
What Are The Best Things To Do In San Antonio?
- Eat, drink and shop along the famous San Antonio River Walk
- Go underground in the Natural Bridge Caverns
- “Remember” The Alamo
- Walk around the Japanese Tea Gardens
- Visit the San Fernando Cathedral
- Walk around the artsy Pearl District
- Go up Tower of the Americas
- Visit the San Antonio Museum of Art
- Explore San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
40. San Diego, California
Why Is San Diego One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
San Diego is one of our personal favorite cities in the US and it is without question one of the best USA vacation spots.
Nicknamed “America’s Finest City”, San Diego has a perfect year round climate, a fantastic foodie and craft brewery scene, miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a permanently chilled vibe.
The museum-laden Balboa Park is perfect for a family day out and all of the small pedestrian friendly neighborhoods in San Diego offer something different. The city is home to countless hidden gems and it is also surprisingly photogenic so don’t forget your camera.
Put San Diego in sunny southern California near the very top of your US travel bucket list.
What Are The Best Things To Do In San Diego?
- Explore the diverse and varied San Diego neighborhoods
- Eat and drink in the Gaslamp Quarter or Little Italy
- Walk around the historic Old Town San Diego
- Explore the best of Balboa Park
- Watch a stunning sunset at Sunset Cliffs
- See the seals and sea lions in upmarket La Jolla
- Surf the waves at Ocean Beach
- Watch the gliders take off at Torrey Pines
- See The Kiss and visit USS Midway Museum
- Photograph the San Diego skyline from Centennial Park
41. San Francisco, California
Why Is San Francisco One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
San Francisco is right up there with the most visited cities in the US and for good reason.
There are so many amazing things to do in SF for the whole family, it has an incredible foodie scene and the diverse culture is noticeable throughout the varied neighborhoods.
The legendary Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf are touristy but unmissable places to visit in SF.
This is another US city in which you will need your camera with iconic landmarks and unique attractions to San Francisco being supremely photogenic.
What Are The Best Things To Do In San Francisco?
- Photograph the world famous Golden Gate Bridge
- Get up high above SF at Twin Peaks vista
- Walk around San Francisco Botanical Garden
- Explore the different SF neighborhoods
- Take a tour of Alcatraz
- Eat some of the best Chinese food in America in Chinatown
- Watch the sea lions at Pier 39
- Walk along the Fisherman’s Wharf promenade
- Eat San Francisco sourdough bread
- Ride a cable car
- Drive down Lombard Street
- See the Painted Ladies row of houses
- Look around the Palace of Fine Arts
42. Savannah, Georgia
Why Is Savannah One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Savannah has the perfect blend of quintessential southern charm, graceful architecture, pedestrian friendly and walkable streets, excellent food and rich cultural history.
The trendy city of Savannah benefits from a stunning historic district but also has river and ocean activities on its doorstep.
Any vacations to the USA southeast simply must include the laid back and elegant city of Savannah on the Georgia coastline.
If you are interested in visiting classic southern plantations and antebellum houses, plan a trip to Charleston SC and Savannah GA.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Savannah?
- Explore Forsyth Park
- Look for alligators and dolphins on Tybee Island
- Take a trolley tour of Savannah
- Drive through Wormsloe Historic Site “Tree Tunnel”
- Walk through the Savannah Historic District
- See the Cathedral Basilica of St John the Baptist
- Walk down the historic River Street
43. Seattle, Washington
Why Is Seattle One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and its population is booming with tech companies eating up office spaces around the Seattle / Bellevue area.
We lived right outside of Seattle for 6 months and fell in love with Washington State.
A vacation to Seattle should include a few days exploring the city with a few more days for Mount Rainier, Olympic or North Cascades National Parks.
The Space Needle and Pike Place Market are Seattle’s top attractions but coffee lovers can’t miss the original Starbucks.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Seattle?
- Go up the Seattle Space Needle
- Photograph downtown Seattle and Mt Rainier from Kerry Park
- Walk through Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Check out the famous Pike Place Market
- Take a selfie with the Gum Wall
- Get a coffee from the original Starbucks
- Watch the Seahawks at Lumen Field or The Mariners at T Mobile Stadium
- Go up Smith Tower to the observation deck
- Day trip to Mt Rainier, Olympic or North Cascades National Parks
- Take a beneath the streets walking tour
- See the Fremont Troll and walk around Fremont
- Walk around the Seattle Japanese Garden and Washington Park Arboretum
44. Sedona, Arizona
Why Is Sedona One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Sedona is one of our favorite places to visit in the USA.
There are so many fun things to do in Sedona perfect for the entire family. You can hike sublime trails, find hidden caves, drive Jeeps off road, photograph stunning landscapes and much more.
It is like an adventure playground for adults.
Nestled between Phoenix and Grand Canyon South Rim, Sedona is the ideal US vacation spot for sun-seekers in the colder months but be warned – it is very popular, busy and expensive as a result.
Sedona is among our highest recommendations for best USA vacations and we know we will be back soon.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Sedona?
- Explore the famous red rock country via the best hikes in Sedona
- Hire a 4WD vehicle and drive the best Jeep Trails in Sedona
- Photograph stunning Sedona sunrises and sunsets
- Ride the Verde Canyon Railroad
- Drink wine at the best Sedona wineries
- Explore amazing hidden Sedona caves
- Visit ancient ruins around Sedona
- Feel the energy at the popular Sedona Vortexes
45. Vail, Colorado
Why Is Vail One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Vail is the home of skiing in Colorado and the United States. In a list of the best places to visit in the USA, we couldn’t forget about Winter sports and Vail, CO is the most popular ski resort in the country.
It’s not cheap to spend a week or two skiing or snowboarding in Vail but what a life experience it would be.
International and domestic travelers can fly into Denver and 2 hours later be checking into a chalet surrounded by powdery white snow.
Nearby Aspen and Breckenridge are excellent alternatives but Vail is still king of the US ski scene.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Vail?
- Hit some of the best slopes in the United States at Vail Ski Resort
- Walk around the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
- Hike the Booth Falls Trail in Summer
46. Washington DC
Why Is Washington DC One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Washington DC is the capital of the United States and it is home to the best museums in the country. You could spend days just looking around the various Smithsonian museums, without seeing or doing anything else.
And guess what? Almost all of the museums in DC are free!
But there are so many other things to do in the capital, including seeing the White House and exploring the National Mall.
DC might be home to suited and booted politicians working non-stop around the clock, but they have to eat and the food scene has exploded to become one of the best in the country.
Washington DC is one of the best places to visit in the USA for history buffs and foodies.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Washington DC?
- Visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
- Explore the National Gallery of Art
- Walk around the Lincoln Memorial
- Photograph the Washington Monument
- Explore the Library of Congress
- Take a tour of the US Capitol Building
- Photograph the White House from afar
- Walk around the world class museums at the National Mall
- Experience the Vietnam and Korean War Veterans Memorials
- Pay respects at the Arlington National Cemetery
47. Woodstock, Vermont
Why Is Woodstock One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Woodstock is a picture perfect New England town oozing charm and class.
It is ideally located to use as a base for a wider Vermont road trip and it is a must stop town on a New England road trip in Fall.
Woodstock epitomizes what you would expect from a quaint and slow-paced town in Vermont. For such a small place, there’s plenty of family friendly things to do in Woodstock VT.
Find and photograph several ornate covered bridges or shop and drink coffee in the peaceful town. Sleepy Hollow and Jenne Road are two exceptionally photogenic farms and can’t be missed on a Fall foliage trip.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Woodstock?
- Photograph Sleepy Hollow Farm and Jenne Road Farm
- Walk across some of the best covered bridges in Vermont
- Visit the Billings Farm and Museum
- Stay at the Woodstock Inn
- Shop the independent stores in town
- Hike to the Woodstock vista in Billings Park
- Taste cheese and syrup at Sugarbush Farm
- Day trip to Dartmouth University and King Arthur Flour
- Enjoy Fall colors in Vermont around Woodstock
48. Yellowstone, Wyoming
Why Is Yellowstone One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Yellowstone was the original US national park and it remains one of the most unique and popular landscapes in the country. Billowing geysers, vibrant hot springs, bubbling mud pots and picturesque waterfalls are just the beginning.
This is one of the best places to visit in the USA to see wildlife roaming freely.
After two visits to Yellowstone National Park, we can tell you it will surpass your expectations and some. There’s nowhere else like Yellowstone but it has to be seen to be believed.
This is a place perfect for every type of traveler from every generation. International travelers should fly into Salt Lake City.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Yellowstone?
- Explore world famous geyser basins
- See Old Faithful erupt
- Hike Fairy Falls to the Grand Prismatic Spring overlook
- Look for grizzly bears, wolves and eagles throughout the park
- Hike Mt Washburn for families or Avalanche Peak for pros
- See the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Lower Falls
- Relax next to Yellowstone Lake
- Photograph unique and colorful hot springs
49. Yosemite, California
Why Is Yosemite One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Yosemite National Park is a spectacular landscape featuring some of the most iconic formations in the US.
Half Dome is a majestic granite dome, Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the contiguous 48 states and Yosemite Valley is extraordinarily beautiful.
Yosemite is one of those places you go for the first time and book a second visit right after you get home. It is perfect for the whole family, with hikes ranging from easy through hard and several areas to explore Giant Sequoia groves.
Yosemite is accessible from San Francisco for international travelers.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Yosemite?
- Hike Half Dome or Mist Trail
- Photograph Yosemite from Valley View and Tunnel View
- See Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls
- Drive to Glacier Point for amazing views
- Watch climbers on El Capitan
- See Giant Sequoias at Merced, Tuolumne and Mariposa Groves
- Drive Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome
50. Zion, Utah
Why Is Zion One Of The Best Places To Visit In The USA?
Zion is a paradise for hikers seeking adventure.
The most famous hikes in Zion include the scary climb to Angels Landing, the incredible river slot canyon hike up The Narrows and the awesome wilderness hike to The Subway.
But there are plenty of easier and more family friendly trails at Zion National Park.
If you’re into hiking, there’s no better vacation spot in the US than Zion. But it is also an incredibly photogenic landscape with towering orange sandstone canyon walls dominating the topography.
Couples and groups will love the adventure in Zion, one of the most popular places to visit in the US.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Zion?
- Hike the most adventurous trails in the US national park network
- Angels Landing, The Narrows and The Subway are all unmissable
- See the sunrise or sunset at Zion Canyon Overlook
- Hike in the quieter part of Zion at Kolob Canyons
- Walk around Checkerboard Mesa
- Photograph the classic Virgin River image at Canyon Junction Bridge
Best Of The USA
- Hikes – 50 Best Hikes In The US
- National Parks – 20 Best National Parks In The USA
- Road Trips – 30 Best Road Trips In The USA
Best Places To Visit
- Arizona – 20 Best Places To Visit In Arizona
- Utah – 20 Best Places To Visit In Utah
- Vermont – 10 Best Places To Visit In Vermont
- Wyoming – 10 Best Places To Visit In Wyoming
We hope this guide to 50 of the best places to visit in the USA helps with planning your next American adventure!
Please let us know if you have any questions about this list of the best US vacation spots in the comments below.
Mark and Kristen
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