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50 Best Places To Visit In USA: Bucket List US Vacation Spots

50 Best Places To Visit In USA: Bucket List US Vacation Spots

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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Table of Contents show

1. Anchorage, Alaska

Mountains glowing at sunrise pink in Anchorage Alaksa with city and sea in foreground
Mountainous backdrop to 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

Asheville North Carolina city lit up at night
Asheville NC lit up at night with silhouetted mountains behind

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

Austin TX city buildings at twilight with colorful sky
City lights of Austin TX at twilight

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

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is one of the best places to visit in the USA
Acadia National Park in 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

Bixby Bridge in Big Sur California
Bixby Bridge in 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

Buildings reflecting in still water in Birmingham Alabama
Downtown Birmingham AL from Railroad Park

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?

7. Black Hills, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore is one of the best places to visit in the USA lighting up pink and orange at sunrise in the Black Hills
Soft sunrise colors lighting up Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills

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?

8. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

Blue Ridge Parkway road snaking through colorful leaves
Blue Ridge Parkway scenic byway in Fall

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?

9. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Massachusetts city building at dusk
Colorful buildings around Quincy Market in Boston

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?

10. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach stack with reflections in shallow water on beach Oregon Coast wonderful place to visit in the US
Haystack Rock at sunset in 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?

11. Charleston, South Carolina

Typical tree lined street in Charleston SC
Palm tree lined Broad Street and St Michael’s Church in Charleston SC

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

Cloud Gate "The Bean" in Chicago Illinois is one of the most popular places to visit in the US
Cloud Gate “The Bean” in 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?

13. Death Valley, California

Death Valley stunning landscape rolling mounds of colorful rocks
Unique landscape in Death Valley National Park, 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

City skyscrapers at dusk in Denver Colorado
Downtown Denver Colorado with mountains glowing behind

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?

15. Finger Lakes, New York

Watkins Glen and the New York Finger Lakes are one of the best places to visit in the USA Watkins Glen Gorge and Rainbow Falls
Watkins Glen gorge and Rainbow Falls in the Finger Lakes, NY

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?

16. Florida Keys, Florida

Wooden pontoon stretching out far into shallow water at twilight
Higgs Pier bursting out into the gulf from Key West 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?

17. Glacier, Montana

Glacier National Park lake meadow and mountains
Stunning Glacier National Park in 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

Sunset colors at Grand Canyon South Rim in Arizona blue sky yellow rocks
Special sunset at Grand Canyon South Rim in 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?

19. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park near Jackson Wyoming is one of the best places visit in the USA
Grand Teton National Park near Jackson 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

The Wave in Coyote Buttes North on the border between Utah and Arizona is one of the most unique hikes near popular US vacation spot Kanab in Utah
The extraordinary Wave landscape near 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?

21. Lake Placid, New York

View over Lake Placid from Little Whiteface in upstate New York one of the top places to visit in the US during Fall
View over Lake Placid from Little Whiteface in Fall

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

Stunning view over Lake Tahoe blue water and blue sky with rocks in foreground from summit of a short hike one of the most picturesque places to visit in the USA
Stunning Lake Tahoe vista from Eagle Rock

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

Downtown lights in Las Vegas Nevada
Downtown lights in 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?

24. Leavenworth, Washington

Colchuck Lake on the Enchantments hike near Leavenworth one of the most popular places to visit in America year round
Colchuck Lake on the amazing Enchantments Hike near 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

Hollywood sign and Los Angeles are among the most famous places to visit in the USA
Iconic Hollywood sign overlooking 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?

26. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinack Island on the Michigan coastline in northern USA
Mackinack Island on the popular Michigan coastline

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

Serene sunset on the coastline of Maui in Hawaii
Serene sunset on the coastline in 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

Palm trees and Miami city skyline with colorful sky
Palm trees and Miami’s famous skyline at twilight

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?

29. Moab, Utah

Arches National Park is the most popular place to visit in Moab USA with mind blowing rock formations
Arches National Park near Moab in 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?

30. Nashville, Tennessee

Country western music bar and restaurant in nashville tennessee one of the best places to visit in the US
Food and drinks bar on Lower Broadway in Nashville TN

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?

31. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans Bourbon Street at the heart of the French Quarter lights glowing at night and reflecting in rainwater
Bourbon Street at the heart of New Orleans’ famous French Quarter

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?

32. New York City, New York

New York City skyline at sunset from Top of the Rock one of the most famous places to visit in the USA
World famous New York City skyline from Top of the Rock

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?

33. Niagara Falls, New York

Powerful and famous Niagara Falls on the New York Canada border on a cloudy day
Niagara Falls from the US side overlooking both waterfalls and Canada

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

Perfect reflection of buildings and trees in Eola Park Orlando Florida
Reflections on Lake Eola in 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?

35. Outer Banks, North Carolina

Sunrise at a pier in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
Sunrise at the end of a pier in the Outer Banks of 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

West end overlook park in Pittsburgh PA is a fantastic place to visit in the US
Downtown Pittsburgh from West End Overlook Park

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?

37. Portland, Oregon

Portland Oregon with Mt Hood in the background from Pittock Mansion
Iconic view over Portland and Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion

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?

38. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake Utah Temple in downtown SLC one of the top places to visit in the US
Salt Lake Utah Temple in downtown SLC

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?

39. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio River Walk in Texas one of the best places to visit in the USA
San Antonio River Walk in 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?

40. San Diego, California

San Diego skyline from Coronado Island at night one of the best places to visit in California and the United States
San Diego skyline at night from Centennial Park

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

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco one of the best places to visit in the USA
World famous Golden Gate Bridge in 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?

42. Savannah, Georgia

Wormsloe Historic Site in Savannah Georgia famous tree tunnel
Wormsloe Historic Site in 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?

43. Seattle, Washington

Public market in Seattle Washington very popular place to visit in the US
Seattle Public Market Center in Washington State

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?

44. Sedona, Arizona

Subway Cave in Sedona Arizona one of the most popular places to visit year round in the USA
Impressive Subway Cave in 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?

45. Vail, Colorado

Ski resort Vail in Colorado at night with town lit up one of the top ski destinations in the USA
Famous ski resort Vail Colorado lit up at twilight

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?

46. Washington DC

Washington DC the capital of America monument reflecting is one of the best places to vacations spots in the USA
Washington Memorial in 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?

47. Woodstock, Vermont

Sleepy Hollow Farm in Woodstock Vermont one of the most photographed barns in new england during fall foliage season with colorful leaves wooden fence and grassy hills
Farm in Woodstock Vermont during Fall foliage season

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?

48. Yellowstone, Wyoming

Bison walking along road in Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
Bison walking on road in Yellowstone National Park in 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

Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park is one of the best places to visit in the USA especially at dusk with purple sky
Purple skies of twilight at Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park 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

Virgin River in Zion National Park at sunset one of the most popular places to visit in the US
Sunset over Zion canyon and the Virgin River in southwest 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?

Best Of The USA
Best Places To Visit

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.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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