The Best Places to Visit in the United States · Grand Canyon · Yellowstone · Yosemite · Maui · Glacier National Park · Zion National Park · Honolulu - Oahu · Kauai. Adirondacks Travel Guide · Seattle Travel Guide · Boston Travel Guide We may earn a commission with affiliate links () With so much to see in this vast country, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to planning a trip in the United States. World-class cities, some known for their history and others known for their fun or glamor, offer visitors a wide range of places to choose from. The best places to visit in the United States may simply depend on your personal interests.
Along the East Coast, New York and Washington, DC. Offer two unique and different urban experiences. Along the West Coast, San Francisco and Los Angeles are places of interest for tourists. In the southwest, Las Vegas brings the desert to life and the Grand Canyon showcases one of nature's best creations.
Beyond the mainland are the beaches of Waikiki and the tropical islands of Hawaii. These are just a few key places, but all over the country you can find wonderful destinations for any type of traveler. Discover more of the United States with our list of the best places to visit in the United States. Go sightseeing by day, see a Broadway show at night, work in time to go shopping or take a walk, and relax and remember with a fantastic meal.
With so much to see and do in a day or a weekend, this is a city worth visiting again and again. This charming and picturesque West Coast city is the perfect getaway destination for couples, singles, or families. Famous sights, charming streets, beautiful views, and outdoor restaurants are part of what makes San Francisco a great place to visit. Take a cruise around San Francisco Bay, tour Alcatraz, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, stroll through Fisherman's Wharf, or hop on a streetcar to explore the city's attractions.
Summer or fall are a wonderful time to visit, but the climate here is mild and any time of the year is pleasant. The Grand Canyon is one of those must-see and bucket-list destinations that has been drawing visitors for generations. Gazing over the walls of the canyon to an infinite horizon and an unfathomable depth is one of the highlights of any trip to the United States. A visit to the Grand Canyon can easily be done on a day trip from Las Vegas or Phoenix, and from some smaller cities in the surrounding area, such as Sedona or Flagstaff.
Another option is to incorporate a visit into a larger car trip through Arizona and the surrounding states. A train ride from Williams, AZ is another delightful way to explore the canyon. The southern rim of the Grand Canyon, which is the most popular and visited section, is open all year round and visitors are welcome any time of the year. To avoid the hustle and bustle of summer visitors, consider arriving in spring or fall; the weather is good and the crowds are smaller.
The road to the north rim of the Grand Canyon is closed in winter due to snow. Houston is the perfect city for a getaway with friends, a couple's retreat or a family vacation. With direct flights from cities in the United States and Canada, you can easily fly to watch a sports game, stroll through Houston's Museum District, lounge by the pool in one of the many luxury hotels, and spend your afternoons enjoying incredible meals. Houston has become a popular place to eat in the United States and is now known for its extraordinary cuisine.
If you want a relaxed but open-air urban experience, rent a bike and ride the miles of paved trails in parks or downtown streets. Rent a kayak and go paddling around Buffalo Bayou at Buffalo Bayou Park. In less than an hour, you can be at nearby Galveston beaches and, along the way, you can stop by Space Center Houston. This glowing city of lights in the desert has a unique appeal and has been drawing visitors for decades.
The huge tourist complexes, with all kinds of things to see and do at any time of the year, have made this a destination that attracts everyone, from newlyweds who come here to say their vows, to families or singles who just want to hang out around a pool. Entertainment options are extensive, and some of the music industry's top stars call Las Vegas home and play in front of a packed audience every night. Cirque du Soleil offers another unique experience and, of course, every resort has something to entertain guests, from dancing fountains to an erupting volcano. When you're tired of the city, there's a lot to explore nearby, with the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Death Valley National Park, and Fire Valley State Park all just a short distance away from a day trip.
Las Vegas is ideal for a long weekend if you live in Los Angeles or Phoenix. Waikiki is one of the top beach destinations in the United States, with all the amenities of North America on a beautiful tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. Located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Waikiki is a suburb of Honolulu known for the beautiful golden sandy beach that stretches along the coast, backed by hotels and retail establishments. Rent a surfboard and test your skills in the waves, go to the shops when you're done with the beach and enjoy great dining options at night.
This is the perfect destination for everyone, from families to couples or singles. It is the capital of the United States and is home to some of the most famous national sites and treasures in the United States, from the White House and the Capitol Building to the Smithsonian museums. This city should be on everyone's itinerary on the East Coast. In spring, the Cherry Blossom Festival is a beautiful time to visit, when the trees are in full bloom.
You might want to go to one of the beaches near Washington to cool off a bit. Autumn is also a good time, when the high summer temperatures have cooled down enough to make walking outside very comfortable and the hustle and bustle of the busy summer season has passed. In winter, the crowds are definitely smaller and the city is stunning after a cool snowfall. Miami, South Florida's hot spot, is more than just a great beach destination.
You can find wonderful beaches all over Florida, but Miami offers an environment like no other city in the state. For a unique experience, take a day trip from Miami to the Everglades National Park to see alligators, turtles and a variety of birds in this one-of-a-kind wetland area. Hollywood is a must-see for movie lovers, families come to visit nearby Disneyland, and shoppers will definitely find what they're looking for in the Los Angeles area. If you're looking for some sand and surf, head to one of Los Angeles's many beaches.
For an interesting natural history experience, be sure to visit The La Brea Tar Pits to see the fossil remains of prehistoric animals that roamed this area 40,000 years ago. New Orleans is unlike any other city in the South. The mix of cultures, with strong French and Spanish influences, is more reminiscent of the Caribbean than of the United States. Cajun and Creole cuisine, jazz music and the architecture of the French Quarter distinguish this city.
Combined with a variety of resorts and luxury hotels, New Orleans is the perfect destination for a long weekend getaway. The highlight of the New Orleans calendar year is Mardi Gras, when elaborate costumes and outrageous floats light up the streets, music is heard everywhere and the celebrations seem to have no end. However, if crowds aren't your thing, you might want to avoid this time of year. The best time to visit New Orleans is from December to May, but other seasons offer different benefits.
June to November is hotter and more prone to storms and hurricanes, but it's a good time to find deals. Southern Utah is home to a landscape like no other, with canyons, arches, natural amphitheaters and strangely beautiful rock formations. Fortunately, Utah parks offer access to the state's most incredible landscapes. Zion National Park is one of the most prominent, and particularly interesting because of its hiking trails.
The high cliff walls, the waterfalls and the river that crosses the valley make it one of the most visited parks in the United States. Arches National Park, near the city of Moab, is home to more than 2,000 sandstone arches, but it's much more than the name suggests. The rocky towers, the petrified dunes, the views of distant mountain peaks and the many opportunities for adventure in the area make this a place where you'll want to spend some time. It is also one of the top mountain biking destinations in the United States.
Nearby, but with a completely different character, is Canyonlands National Park. Some sections of this park are as charming as the Grand Canyon, but not as busy. Plan at least one day to see two separate sections of the park, and more if you want to enjoy hiking trails. Bryce Canyon National Park offers a completely different scene, with a huge natural amphitheater that serves as the base for a forest of colorful rocky pinnacles.
Bryce's hiking trails, which take you through this mystical landscape, are mostly easy to moderate and well worth doing. And finally, Capitol Reef National Park is a bit out of the way, but it's worth a stop if you can include it in your itinerary. School holidays are the busiest time to visit. The Christmas and summer holidays are particularly hectic.
Fortunately, Orlando is prepared for tourists, with all types of hotels and houses for rent available in the area. The city is located inland, but a short distance from both coasts and the popular Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, on the Atlantic coast. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a great summer destination, with parks and a beautiful coastline. But its artistic and cultural attractions, as well as its fantastic shopping, make it a popular destination year-round.
The Magnificent Mile, along Michigan Avenue, is the city's most famous area, with high-end luxury stores and galleries, along with famous buildings and exceptional architecture. Some of the tourist highlights include Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier and the views from the Willis Tower SkyDeck. In the heart of the southwestern United States, Phoenix is a huge and expanding city that attracts large numbers of northerners during the winter months, who come here to escape the cold. Phoenix is a great destination for golfing, shopping, relaxing, and generally having a good time.
The Phoenix metropolitan area has some of the best resorts in the state. They range from giant family-friendly complexes with beaches and water slides to small, intimate operations where your every whim is satisfied. You might want to pack your golf clubs. The city and its surroundings, which include Scottsdale, Mesa and several other municipalities, are known in particular for their world-class golf resorts, some of the most important stops on the men's and women's PGA Tour.
If you have extra space in your suitcase, you can also put your hiking boots in. The natural areas that show the desert landscape are within the city and nearby, providing easy access for hiking or mountain biking. Summer temperatures can be extremely high, but October to April is very pleasant, especially if you want to spend time outdoors. Savannah is the quintessential small Southern town, with huge moss-covered trees in beautiful parks, old Southern mansions and a beautiful coastal area with candy stores and other unique stores in historic buildings.
The pace is slow and the people are friendly. It's easy to realize that Savannah is a city where people live and enjoy life, rather than an area simply developed for tourism. The city center is small enough that you can walk everywhere. This is a city you can see in a day, but the kind of place you'll want to stay.
Located along the East Coast, Boston is a historic city. The famous Freedom Trail passes through some of the city's most famous and historic sites, making sightseeing and navigating the city extremely easy. With a picturesque waterfront location, with ferries connecting the suburbs, Boston has a unique charm. Modern skyscrapers are located next to century-old buildings, and open public spaces, such as Boston Common, give the city a quaint small-town feel.
The city also has a strong arts and culture scene, and is home to the famous Boston Pops Orchestra. Northeastern people roar on land from time to time, shedding large amounts of snow. However, that doesn't stop these resilient residents from enjoying life. The list of things to do in winter is long, and this is still a good time of year to visit.
While the Grand Canyon is found on most itineraries for international travelers, Yosemite is a national treasure not to be missed. The Yosemite Valley is home to some of the most famous landscapes and iconic natural attractions in the United States, from the spectacular waterfalls to the soaring cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. The captivating photographs of Ansel Adams, the climbing community that has flocked here for decades, and the generations of families who have come to the park to camp, hike and enjoy the scenery have contributed to the park's history. But long before this, the Miwok inhabited the area.
You can learn more about this at the Yosemite Museum and the Ahwahnee Indian Village in the park. The spectacular peaks of the Rocky Mountains can be seen in many areas of North America, but in Colorado, the climate and small mountain towns make this one of the best places to visit the Rocky Mountains. Waterfalls and snowy peaks, more than 50 of which reach a height of 14,000 feet or more, make this a beautiful area for sightseeing and appreciating life in the mountains. In summer, hiking, mountain biking and rafting are popular pastimes.
In winter, the mountains become a playground for skiers and surfers. Colorado's ski resorts are some of the best in North America. On the edge of the Rocky Mountains, in the southwest corner of Colorado, just over an hour from Durango, is Mesa Verde National Park. This fantastic park is home to incredible Native American cliffside homes and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the northwestern corner of the United States is the beautiful coastal city of Seattle. Surrounded by water and snow-capped mountains, the city is reminiscent of Vancouver, Canada, with an active, outdoor-oriented population and countless things to see and do. The city's top attractions include the must-see Space Needle, the bustling Pike Place Market and the waterfront. Just a short distance from the city, you'll find beautiful beaches, the Hoh Rainforest and mountainous landscapes, all waiting to be explored.
Although it rains more in the winter months than in summer, the city has a mild climate and is a pleasant place to visit at any time of the year. North Carolina's Outer Banks focus on beaches. Thousands and miles of spectacular beaches on narrow sand islands have attracted people from all over the United States since the 1830s. Spanning more than 100 miles, these barrier islands have been the go-to place for families every summer for generations, whether in campgrounds or in wonderful resorts.
Off the beach, historic cities worth visiting include Nags Head, Kitty Hawk (home of the Wright Brothers Memorial), Duck, Waves and the towns of Hatteras Island. The Outer Banks are also home to some of the most famous lighthouses in the United States, many of which are open for visits to the summit. Another popular activity is deep-sea fishing. Fishermen have broken many records in this offshore hot spot.
Santa Fe, a melting pot of Spanish, Native Americans, Mexicans and Anglo-Americans, has a unique environment that, once experienced, tends to push back again and again. The pleasant streets of this historic city, bordered by Spanish colonial churches, adobe houses and imposing trees, are about to be photographed. Be sure to visit the Plaza, the beating heart of everything that happens in the city. Cute cafes, many with patios, line the square and are a perfect place for people watching.
When you've had your fill of that, stroll through any of the eclectic and unusual stores nearby. Santa Fe is ideally located close to the mountains, where you'll find some of New Mexico's best ski resorts in resorts such as Taos, Pajarito and Siapu. Aspen, one of the world's most famous ski resorts, is located in a remote part of the Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado. The former mining camp, named after the abundance of poplars that dot the region, became a popular tourist destination in the mid-20th century and has never looked back.
Aspen exploded as a silver mining town in the late 19th century; something that was reflected in the architecture of this time. Examples include the large Wheeler Opera House and the brick-built Aspen Community Church, among others. While it's known as a winter destination, Aspen is wonderful to visit any time of the year. Its mountainous landscapes lend themselves perfectly to all kinds of outdoor recreational activities.
Atlanta, the capital and largest city of the state of Georgia, is a modern and expanding city with three urban skylines that rise between the picturesque landscape of rolling hills, pine forests, magnificent century-old oak trees and charming magnolia and peach trees. Established as a railroad terminal in 1837, Atlanta was set on fire by Union forces during the American Civil War only to recover and emerge as the leader of the New South, as well as a major national trading center and home to the world's busiest airport. The bustling districts of Downtown, Buckhead and Midtown make up Atlanta's three stunning cityscapes: skyscrapers, businesses, shops, restaurants and nightlife. The city's main attractions are the CNN Center, World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, which has the largest indoor aquarium in the world.
Other important places of interest include the childhood home, the church and the final resting place of Martin Luther King, Jr. A walk or a car through historic neighborhoods offers culture, cuisine and southern homes before the war. Atlanta has an impressive arts and culture scene, with many distinguished museums that highlight Southern art, the history of the Civil War, ancient civilizations, and numerous theaters, symphonies and operas. For sports and recreation, the city has hundreds of beautiful parks and public gardens, of which Centennial Olympic Park and Grant Park are the most popular.
Just outside the city, the Chattahoochee River offers facilities for swimming, fishing, boating and tubing. One of the most visited national parks in the United States, Yosemite National Park is prized for its astounding beauty that includes magnificent granite cliffs, mountains, waterfalls and glaciers. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in east-central California, the park is home to a wealth of diverse wildlife and giant redwood forests, which are the tallest and oldest living trees in the world. A popular central spot for both locals and tourists is Pioneer Square, a charming and quiet courtyard with chess boards, a cascading water fountain, and artistic sculptures.
Surrounding the square is the downtown district, full of modern skyscrapers, commercial businesses, museums and important monuments such as the Statue of Portlandia and the White Deer sign. Just north of downtown is Old Town Portland, where tourists can view the historic remains of the city's original settlement. Outside the city center, modern neighborhoods have attractive architecture, the world's largest independent bookstore and shopping, dining and nightlife options, as well as beautiful gardens and urban parks such as the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. San Antonio, the jewel of Texas, is a city steeped in rich history and modern appeal.
Located in south-central Texas, the city is one of the largest in the United States and best known as the home of the Alamo. The Alamo, the city's main attraction, is a historic mission in which famous popular American heroes, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, died while defending it during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.In addition to the Alamo, the San Antonio Missions National Park preserves four other historic Spanish missions. Another of San Antonio's most visited attractions is the Riverwalk, a lively pedestrian scene of restaurants, shops, hotels and entertainment venues that stretches along both sides of the San Antonio River, right in the center of the city. Several museums offer an excellent view of the city's colorful history and culture, made up of Spanish, Mexican and Western cowboys.
Families can enjoy hours of fun at the San Antonio Zoo, one of the largest in the country, as well as at theme parks such as Six Flags Fiesta Texas. A couple of exceptional experiences you can't miss in San Antonio are helicopter rides and ghost hunting tours. Just outside the city limits of San Antonio, tourists can explore the fascinating underground features of the Cascade Caverns and the Natural Bridge Caverns. Savannah, the quintessential Southern city, attracts millions of tourists every year with its charming Victorian architectural scenes, cobblestone streets, moss-covered oak trees and its slow pace.
Located on the Atlantic coast in eastern Georgia, Savannah is the state's oldest city, rich in history, hospitality and natural beauty. There are a lot of interesting art museums to visit in the city, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is not only one of the largest in the world, but is also famous for its long flight of stairs, which appeared in the 1976 film “Rocky”. Now that is a claim to fame. Sedona's brilliant landscape, which attracts artists, photographers, spiritual seekers and outdoor enthusiasts, offers plenty to see and do.
Incredible natural landmarks such as Coffeepot, Cathedral Rock, Thunder Mountain and Chimney Rock offer excellent photo and art opportunities. For an interesting sample of architecture, head to the Chapel of the Holy Cross; this Catholic church, dating from the 1950s, is built on one of the iconic hills. One of Miami's main attractions are its sunny beaches, which range from family-friendly resorts to party spots and offer everything from water sports to shopping and entertainment. Across the bay from Miami, on a barrier island, is Miami Beach, known for its Art Deco architecture and glamorous South Beach.
A visit to the beautiful Vizcaya estate offers an insight into the early 20th century history of South Florida. One of the Canyon's most popular attractions is Havasu Falls, a spectacular waterfall that plunges to 120 feet (37 meters) into a natural turquoise pool. Other opportunities for sights and experiences in the Canyon include whitewater rafting, jeep tours, helicopter rides and the Skywalk, a panoramic glass structure that extends 4,000 feet (1200 meters) above the edge of the Grand Canyon. .