Golden Gate Bridge by The Van Escape
City,  USA

30 of the Best Cities to Visit in the USA

The USA is a vast country that has lots to offer to visitors. Each time we road trip through the USA we fall in love again with the beautiful nature. But there’s more to love in the US than just its nature. There are also some iconic cities in the US. But which are the best cities to visit in the USA? I’ve asked my fellow travel bloggers which are the best cities in the US to visit and we’ve come up with a list of 30 cities. From the best big cities in the US to hidden gems, they’re all on the list.

Best Cities to Visit in the USA

From the prettiest cities in the US to the best ones for outdoors fans to the party cities in the USA, it’s all there.

Los Angeles, California

The Hollywood sign on a California road trip
The Hollywood sign

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Los Angeles is a vast city in Southern California and a city known to many. With its iconic Hollywood sign, movie sets and beaches. You’ll recognize lots of places from tv series and movies.

When visiting don’t try to drive through the city. But if you do, expect to be caught in a traffic jam. Like we were on our Orlando to San Francisco road trip. Don’t skip the Hollywood Walk of Fame, admire the stars on the boulevard. Take a photo of you and the star of your favorite actor/actress. Visit the TCL Chinese Theatre, which is right on the boulevard.

Visit Venice Beach, Malibu Beach and Santa Monica Pier. The end of Route 66 is at Santa Monica Pier. Take a picture with the sign. Disneyland and Universal Hollywood are two fantastic theme parks, good for a whole day of fun. Take a Star Houses tour on which they’ll show the homes of stars and famous places from movies. You’ll recognize so many spots.

Moab, Utah

Delicate Arch Arches National Park by Photo Jeepers
Delicate Arch Arches National Park by Photo Jeepers

Contributed by Jamie from Photo Jeepers.

Without a doubt, one of the best cities to visit in the USA is Moab, Utah. After all, it is a true outdoor lovers paradise. Since it is located within close proximity of both Arches and Canyonlands National Park. Additionally, it is within close proximity to both Salt Lake City International Airport and Grand Junction Regional Airport in Colorado. Making it an isolated but incredibly easy destination to visit. 

So, during your stay, be sure to enjoy some of the best things to do in Moab. Like a stunning trip to Arches National Park. During your visit, be sure to hike the iconic Devil’s Garden Trail. Before visiting the park’s most immortal feature, Delicate Arch. 

Next, enjoy more outdoor fun with a trip to Canyonlands National Park. In particular, the Island in the Sky section of the park is home to an incredible hike to Mesa Arch. A scenic drive through the Schaeffer Switchbacks and sweeping views from the Island in the Sky scenic drive.  

Afterward, enjoy stellar views of the Colorado River from the Potah Road scenic byway. Before exploring Dead Horse Point State Park. 

Finally, grab a meal at the Broken Oar casual American restaurant. Before retiring for the night in a gorgeous room at the Purple Sage. It’s not only within walking distance of the downtown area, but rooms are comfortable and even include a nice kitchen.

Portland, Maine

Contributed by Kelly from Girl with the Passport.

Looking for one of the best cities to visit in the USA? If so then be sure to add Portland, Maine to your United States itinerary. After all, this is an exceptionally scenic city that overlooks the water and the area’s many lighthouses, like Bug Light.

It’s also a safe, incredibly friendly place that is easy to walk through since the Old Port area is filled with many charming cobblestone streets. So, after grabbing a delicious sea salt and chocolate potato donut from Holy Donut. Be sure to order a generous helping of duck fat fries from Duckfat Friteshack. 

Then, devour some fresh Maine lobster from local favorite, The Highroller Lobster Co. Before hopping on a ferry and taking it all the way to Peaks Island. Once there, rent either a golfcart or a bike to explore the perimeter of the island and take in some stunning views.

Finally, head back to the mainland so that you can visit one of Portland’s many craft breweries. Like Urban Farm Fermentory. Before taking in some magnificent art at The Portland Museum of Art. It’s a truly vibrant center of culture that is one of the best things to do in Portland Maine. Before enjoying a picturesque walk along the gorgeous, Eastern Promenade.

Fort Worth, Texas

To show the entrance to the stock yards. Fort Worth with kids.
Entrance to the stock yards

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Fort Worth is a city in Texas next to Dallas. Mostly overlooked for its neighbor, Fort Worth has plenty to offer in its own. Fort Worth with kids is perfect, but without kids it’s also a fun city to visit.

This city that is known as “Where the West begins” and as “Crossroads of Cowboys & Culture”. Has historically been the center of longhorn cattle trade. This history comes alive at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. There’s a cattle drive twice-daily. At these moments longhorns are driven through Mainstreet. The whole time reenactors walk around. There’s a gunfighters show going on and there are rodeo shows. All giving you an idea how it was in the Wild West.

Fort Worth has several museums worth your time. There’s the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History with a planetarium and all sorts of experiments revolving around science. Further there’s the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the Kimbell Art Museum.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs Hikes by Fox in the Forest
Colorado Springs Hikes by Fox in the Forest

Contributed by Meg from Fox in the Forest.

As the second largest city in Colorado. Colorado Springs is an easy pick for one of the best cities to visit in the USA. 

After all, this fun and vibrant metropolis is tucked away at the foot of Pikes Peak. It’s renowned for its vibrant culture, fascinating Western history, and stunning natural landscapes. It’s also easily accessible to visitors since it’s just a one-hour drive away from Denver. 

So, to get the most out of your visit, start by climbing to new heights at Pikes Peak. You can do this by using the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Or by embarking on a challenging, 12.5 mile hike (one way) to the summit as you enjoy one of the best hikes in Colorado Springs

Next, visit the immortal Garden of the Gods and take the Palmer Trail for an easy, 4-mile loop hike past some incredible red rock formations. Then, enjoy a fantastic performance at Theatreworks. Before checking on the city’s best nightlife on Tejon Street, in between Pikes Peak Avenue and Kiowa Street. Just don’t leave without grabbing martinis at Blondie’s and doing a bit of line dancing at Cowboys. 

Finally, enjoy a wide array of upscale spa treatments. Including massages and facials, at Garden of the Gods Club and Resort before venturing to Seven Falls. It’s a stunning, local waterfall that can be accessed after climbing 224 steps.

Honolulu, O’ahu, Hawaï

Honolulu by Emily Embarks
Honolulu by Emily Embarks

Contributed by Emily from Emily Embarks.

While many travelers making their way to the U.S. are interested in seeing New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Miami, and the likes. The incredible island capital of Hawaii often gets overlooked. 

A quick flight from the West Coast will bring travelers to the stunning city of Honolulu. Where they can relish in gorgeous beaches backed by endless charming storefronts and sushi restaurants. With a reputation for adventure, Honolulu is easily one of the best cities to visit in the USA!

Tourists can enjoy wind-surfing, snorkeling, and sea glass hunting on the beaches. But get lost in the numerous bars, restaurants, and clubs in the center of the city come nightfall. Also, since the island of Oahu is rather small. Visitors can drive to the opposite side of the island (known as the North Shore) in just one hour! No other cities across the U.S. offer such a contrast in their available activities and landscape. So if you’re seeking a unique U.S. destination, then Honolulu should be on your list.

Honolulu is a spectacular city in the USA that often gets skipped owing to its remote location. But, if you have the opportunity to visit, don’t hesitate… It’s truly an incredible city with nearly every activity you could imagine on offer.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, a square with statues and trees hanging over it

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

A beautiful coastal city with lots of history. Savannah deserves to be on the list of best cities to visit in the US. A perfect stop on a road trip from NYC to Orlando.

Savannah has a lot of beautiful old buildings. Further it has 22(!) grand squares on which you want to sit in the shade of the trees forever. A historical bus ride is a perfect way to discover the city. Learn all about the history of the city and see its landmarks. The beautiful Historical District covers over 5 square kilometers and is with that, one of the largest in the US. The homes are gorgeous, the churches beautiful and the trees draped in Spanish Moss. All contributing to providing dreamy sights throughout the city.

It’s also said to be one of the most haunted cities in the USA. There are numerous ghost tours that can show you the most haunted sights.

Savannah is also a foodie city, with the traditional Southern cuisine being abundantly present. The Olde Pink House is one of the most famous restaurants in the city.

New Orleans, Louisiana

See live jazz in New Orleans by US Gulf Coast Travel
New Orleans by US Gulf Coast Travel

Contributed by Charles from US Gulf Coast Travel.

If visitors were to visit only one city in the US, they could not possibly do better than New Orleans. New Orleans is the most exciting, fun, fascinating, and cool city in the USA. With arguably the best food, restaurants, and quirkiest things to see and do.

New Orleans is one of USA’s finest examples of a melting pot environment. Let’s call it a cultural gumbo—to represent one of its iconic dishes. Its history is laced with pirates, voodoo, Catholicism, corruption, romance, climate tragedy (and resiliency), and much, much more. While New Orleans does not have any official Michelin Star restaurants. Many professional food reviewers, chefs, and foodies rank New Orleans culinary scene as USA’s best. Several places in New Orleans are among the best US Gulf Coast restaurants.

A suggested favorite immersion and culture clash experience is to visit the St Louis Cathedral and then nearby Voodoo Museum (and/or St. Louis Cemetery #1) and then enjoy beignets from Cafe du Monde (while watching the street performers) or a muffuletta from Central Grocery. All the while admiring the wrought iron elements and architecture in the French Quarter.

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and really all of American music. Seeing live music is one of the iconic things to do in New Orleans. And of course New Orleans is the home of USA’s most famous Mardi Gras celebrations. But Bourbon Street and the city is vibrant all throughout the year. It hosts several major sporting events (like the Super Bowl and Sugar Bowl), large conference. And, to be real, pretty much any reason for a Second Line parade along Bourbon Street. Even funerals are celebrated in New Orleans. 

Denver, Colorado

Denver Acquarium
Denver Aquarium

Contributed by Ali from Inspired Lifestyle.

Denver, Colorado is one city that you should definitely visit. As a local, I believe that this beautiful city is one that should be on every travel enthusiast’s bucket list. You can see crystal clear views of the Rocky mountains all around the city. Easily get out into nature, find delicious food, and there is so much to do! The best way to get to Denver is by flying into DIA and taking an Uber into town. Which is usually about a 20-minute drive. You can also rent a car at the airport. Or take the light rail if you are staying close to one of the light rail stations.

Depending on what time of year it is. I highly recommend going downtown and catching a sports game. Either the Denver Nuggets for basketball, the Broncos for football, or a Rockies baseball game. There are also a ton of local and quirky breweries in Denver that you’ll love checking out. A few of my favorites are Cerveceria Colorado, Ratio Beerworks, Prost, and Our Mutual Friend Brewing, just to name a few.

There are also a ton of fun things to do in the city as well. Such as going for a stroll in the Denver Botanic Gardens, catching a concert, or yoga class, or just hiking around at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Visiting the local farmer’s markets in the summer, visiting the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and much more! If you haven’t visited the mile-high city yet, I highly recommend adding it to your travel list!

San Diego, California

San Diego Harbor, in front small yachts, in the back houses against a hill
San Diego Harbor

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

San Diego is a sunny city in the South of California, near the border with Mexico. It’s one of the best US cities to visit with plenty of things to do. The perfect end of a California road trip.

As an important harbor and Navy city it has lots of history on offer. The USS Midway Museum at the Navy Pier tells all about the Midway. An aircraft carrier, that was used for years. Then there’s the San Diego Mormon Battalion Historic Site in Old San Diego. All about the Mormon Battalion that joined the American army.

That’s not the only history found in San Diego. In the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park the former Mexican times come to life.

Other famous sites in San Diego are SeaWorld, Balbao Park and San Diego Zoo. SeaWorld is a theme park combined with an aquarium. Balbao Park is a park where you’ll find several museums and the San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest in the world.

At last don’t forget to visit one of the beautiful beaches in San Diego. Such as La Jolla Shores Beach or the seals at La Jolla Cove.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Looking out over Philadelphia, as seen from above th Rocky Steps. A fountain at the bottom of the stairs, behind the fountain a park, where a festival is going on, behind that a street. Trees on the sides and in the back high buildings.
Looking out over Philadelphia

Contributed by Sanne from Spend Life Traveling.

Philiadelphia is often said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the US. Famous for cheesesteaks and riverfronts, Philly is the birthplace of American democracy.

The city is home to some of the most historic and iconic buildings in the country. Which makes it one of the best cities to visit in the USA. The Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, and City Hall all show pieces of America’s history.

But, there’s more to Philidelphia than these famous landmarks. From the oldest residential street in the USA, Elfreth’s Alley, to scenic riverfronts, cobblestone alleys and world-famous mural art. In fact, there are more than 3,800 murals in Philadelphia!

Add to that a selection of great museums, nice parks and good restaurants. And you can see how the city has a lot to offer that makes it worth visiting.

Take a historical tour of the famous landmarks. Of course don’t leave the city without trying the famous Philly cheesesteak.

Austin, Texas

Austin by Nomadicated
Austin by Nomadicated

Contributed by Catherine from Nomadicated.

There’s a reason why Austin’s real estate is booming and tops the list of many “Best USA Cities to Live and Visit”. Known as the Live Music Capital of the World. Texas’s capital city, Austin, offers a combination of fantastic culture, a delicious foodie scene, and an incredible amount of things to do indoors and outdoors.

This Texas city has a saying – “Keep Austin Weird”. Activities like watching millions of bats flying out of downtown’s South Congress bridge and route 66-like attractions like Cathedral of Junk and Museum of the Wierd contribute to this homage.

Austin is not tied just to its city limits. Hiking is plentiful. And in the summer, cool off with a day trip to float the San Marcos River or speedboat on Lake Travis.

You never know where you may make a new friend in this vibrant, young city. Whether partying on Rainey Street or paddleboarding through downtown Austin. Just make sure you get at least one giant meal of Texas Barbeque before you head out. (Special callout to Terry Blacks or Franklin’s.)

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas by night, cars on the broad street, buildings with lots of lights on both sides. A Replica Statue of Liberty to the left
Las Vegas by night

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

A city in the middle of the desert. Known as the city of sin with its casinos and extravagant hotels. This crazy city is a world on its own. Whether you like to gamble or not, the city is fun to visit and should not be missed. The perfect beginning and ending of a Southwestern road trip.

Las Vegas is the largest gambling paradise in the United States. The center of the city consists of the Strip. Which is a really long street, where the famous hotels and casinos are on. Think about hotels with casinos such as the Luxor Hotel, the MGM Grand and the Bellagio. To name only a few.

Walk up and down the Strip, stopping at the hotels. You can walk inside them and enjoy the grandiosity. Enjoy the free shows, such as the fountains at the Bellagio. At any moment there are famous stars and groups that have a show at Las Vegas. It calls itself the greatest arena on earth.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville by Be Right Back by Mary
Nashville by Be Right Back by Mary

Contributed by Mary from Be Right Back by Mary.

Nashville is a wonder of a city and should undoubtedly be on everyone’s itinerary when visiting the USA. Also called Music City, Nashville is one of the best music cities in the world. Especially when it comes to country music. It is the scene that launched a wide number of American artists known internationally like Taylor Swift or Elvis Presley. Highlights include seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry and visiting the Ryman Auditorium. If you’ve got the patience for it. Wait to get in the Blue Bird Café (where Taylor Swift was discovered and TV shows were filmed). Which will get you to see an amazing intimate concert with talented songwriters.

At night, the streets of Nashville turn into mini concerts everywhere with bands and artists performing in bars and restaurants. Overall, Nashville is a dynamic city with very much of an upbeat vibe that will delight anyone wanting to experience the capital of country music!

Also known as the “Athens of the South”, Nashville is also the perfect place to visit if you love history. The Belle Meade Plantation and Winery is a great and interesting visit that will keep you busy for a couple of hours. The Parthenon is a magnificent building and also worth a visit.

Baltimore, Maryland

Inner Harbor by The Directionally Challenged Traveler
Inner Harbor by The Directionally Challenged Traveler

Contributed by Pam from The Directionally Challenged Traveler.

Baltimore is often overlooked by travelers visiting the USA. Nestled comfortably in the middle of the East coast. Baltimore is a bustling city filled with charming neighborhoods, friendly locals, and mouthwatering seafood. 

Spending two days in Baltimore will allow you enough time to embrace the charm of the city. (There’s a reason why it’s nicknamed ‘Charm City’ after all.) A walk through the Inner Harbor is an essential part of any trip to Baltimore. At the breathtaking waterfront. Travelers will find a variety of attractions including the Maryland Science Center and American Visionary Arts Museum. The Visionary museum showcases talents outside the mainstream art world. You’ll find art all over Baltimore between museums, street art, and Graffiti Alley – the city’s history and personality come alive! 

Travelers who enjoy shopping will find plenty of vintage shops to choose from. Fells Point and Hampden neighborhoods are filled with funky unique finds from shoes and jewelry to home decor. Artists and other creative people love displaying their work at various cultural festivals throughout the year. Some of the most famous festivals include an arts festival called Artscape and Honfest.

Baltimore is a seafood lovers’ haven. Maryland crabs are some of the best in the country- and there’s no shortage of places to find them. From crab soup to crab cakes be sure to get your fill of the local bounty. 

No matter what you decide to do in Baltimore, after a few days you’ll see why it’s one of the best cities to visit in the USA. 

Miami, Florida

Miami Beach by Travel Geekery
Miami Beach by Travel Geekery

Contributed by Veronika from Travel Geekery.

If you like soaking up the sun, you must visit Miami in the American Sunshine State of Florida. The city itself is an eclectic mix of characteristic residential neighborhoods, art & culture scenes, sports events, fine dining, and business. 

Strolling through Miami reveals some beautiful murals. If you need to cover longer distances, everything is well connected with an efficient public transport network. The Metromover is an especially fun transport experience – driverless vehicles run on rails above the city, crossing buildings through. You can easily explore without having to rent a car in Miami.

One of the top perks in Miami, though, is the closeness of a unique beach area – Miami Beach. A long strip of a barrier island protects the City of Miami and offers the best beach vibe in the area. Pristine beaches with lovely waves, seagulls, pelicans, colorful guard towers… it’s all you could ask for and more. Especially the South Beach area also features quite an artsy vibe. It’s here where you can encounter pastel-colored houses, a mansion of Versace, who was shot right there on the stairs, plenty of street art pieces, and inventive restaurants. Combine that with a lively bar scene and you have a perfect vacation destination. It’s also a perfect starting point to a Florida road trip.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago by Writing From Nowhere
Chicago by Writing From Nowhere

Contributed by Kayla from Writing From Nowhere.

Chicago is a glorious American hot spot for so many merriments: food, drinks, entertainment, culture, urban exploring, and more. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a month, your sightseeing list will be full. Chicago can be easily reached on Amtrak.

Famous for its pizza, trying a slice or two of deep-dish pizza should be on your list. Cook time for deep-dish pizza is an hour due to its density. So don’t wait until you’re hungry to go order! Pequod’s Pizza is a solid bet, but don’t stop there on your food tour. Vegetarians, vegans, and anyone with taste buds will love The Chicago Diner (my favorite restaurant in Chicago and the world). 

Local popcorn and the “Chicago hot dog” are also delicacies for the books. Both can be spotted everywhere in the loop (the city center). 

While you’re in the loop. Enjoy cultural stops such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Adler Planetarium, and the American Writers Museum. 

Nearby outdoor spaces have nearly just as much esteem. Cloud Gate (more commonly referred to as The Bean), Millennium Park, Grant Park, and Maggie Daley Park all have something unique to offer. 

After a day of walking, enjoy the bar scene in Chicago with any twist you like. For craft beer and arcade games, go to Emporium (multiple locations). But for a dive scene and dance-inducing live music until 4 a.m., go to Kingston Mines. For a drag show that you won’t forget, stop by Kit Kat Lounge. And last but not least, for a beloved local experience, visit the comedy club Second City.

Chicago by Writing From Nowhere
Chicago by Writing From Nowhere

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Castillo de San Cristobal by Waves and Cobblestones
Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) by Waves and Cobblestones

Contributed by Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones.

The city of San Juan, the capital of the US territory of Puerto Rico, is a place that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The island of Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean and as such enjoys balmy tropical weather year-round. Making it a particularly popular destination in the winter months.

There are countless amazing things to do in San Juan. Start off with a leisurely walk along El Paseo del Morro National Recreational Trail. This waterfront promenade features amazing views of Old San Juan’s fortified city walls and the sparkling blue waters of the sea. Take a step back in time and explore one of its well-preserved fortresses. Castillo de San Cristóbal is the largest Spanish fort in the Americas.

San Juan is shaped by a unique blend of cultures, with both Spanish and Caribbean influences. Explore the blue-cobbled streets of Old San Juan. You’ll find plazas, fountains, and statues tucked into every corner of this historic city. These plazas give San Juan a distinctive Spanish flair. The buildings of Old San Juan are painted all the colors of the rainbow, as is common in the Caribbean. Note that although Puerto Rico is a US territory, the official language spoken on the island is Spanish. ¡Bienvenido!

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona by She Dreams of Alpine
Sedona by She Dreams of Alpine

Contributed by Allison from She Dreams of Alpine.

Head to the desert of Arizona to experience the magic of the city of Sedona. Iconic red rock formations beckon with outdoor adventures. Local artisans provide plenty of browsing and shopping. And the energy vortexes offer a unique attraction.

The sandstone formations surrounding the town are an absolute must-see. You can explore these stunning red rocks on one of many Sedona hiking trails. Like the short Fay Canyon trail or the more difficult hike to Merry-Go-Round Rock. Or you could take a Pink Jeep Tour to let someone else take the wheel.

After your outdoor adventures, you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. This charming outdoor destination features cobblestone streets and stucco buildings full of art galleries, restaurants, and local shops.

Finally, you can’t miss the famous vortexes of Sedona. The energy of the earth is thought to be especially powerful at these special sites. They are the perfect place to recharge and reset before heading home.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg TN Ⓒ Adventure Dragon
Gatlinburg TN Ⓒ Adventure Dragon

Contributed by Jillian from Adventure Dragon.

Even though it’s a smaller city, Gatlinburg Tennessee is one of the best cities to visit in the USA. Few people outside of the East Coast states know about this hidden gem, but you absolutely must visit.

Gatlinburg borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The city is concentrated along one long street that winds through the foothills while serving as the main tourist attraction for the region. The buildings have a charming, fairytale-like architectural style. It’s possible to walk the entirety of the Gatlinburg Strip in less than a day.

Sample free moonshine and free fudge before having the best breakfast in Gatlinburg right on the Strip. Then ride the Skylift to experience stunning aerial views of the city and its surrounding mountains from a glass bridge 1,800 feet (550 meters) in the air.

Numerous museums and other tourist attractions line the Strip. You can visit the Ripley’s Aquarium, Mirror Maze, Guinness World Records, 5D Moving Theater, Hollywood Star Cars Museum, and other oddities. During the winter months, skiing is also a popular attraction at Ober Gatlinburg–the only ski resort in the entire state. There’s definitely something in Gatlinburg for everyone. And I highly recommend that you don’t miss this unique city in the USA!

New York City, New York

NYC bridge view by Urban Abroad
NYC bridge view by Urban Abroad

Contributed by Dan from Urban Abroad.

New York City is by far one of the coolest cities to visit in the USA. The Big Apple is a city that has the reputation for being the city that never sleeps. You can come here to connect yourself with world-famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, High Line Park and many more. The Manhattan skyline is one of the features of this mammoth city along with some of the most visited museums and galleries in the world.

You’ll feel a reassuring sense of safety in NYC as you explore its’s 5 boroughs. Whether that be alone or with friends. Why not try a New York slice of Pizza as you admire the views from one of the city’s many vantage points? New York is not all about tall buildings and skyscrapers, though. You can also visit places such as Central Park to see the stark contrast between urban and nature. All in all. No matter where you decide to go while in New York City. It will leave you wanting to return.

San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge by The Van Escape
Golden Gate Bridge by The Van Escape

Contributed by Agnes from The Van Escape.

San Francisco is one of the icons of the US, attracting several million tourists every year. The city is considered one of the most beautifully situated in the world. On one side, it is inundated by the waves of the Pacific Ocean, on the other by the waters of St. Francis Bay.

The city is full of exciting history, incredible architecture, landmarks, beautiful nature, and excellent cuisine. Among the most famous attractions of San Francisco are undoubtedly the Golden Gate Bridge, the most winding street in the world – Lombard Street, the famous Coit Tower, the Oakland Bay Bridge, and historic cable cars. Also, add to your San Francisco itinerary a trip to one of the most famous prisons in the world – Alcatraz. It used to be maximum-security federal prison. Al Capone and George Kelly were among its famous denizens. During the cruise to Alcatraz island. You have a perfect panorama of the city and a unique perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take a waterfront walk with Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and Pier 39. Where the colony of sea lions basks in the morning sun on the docks.

San Francisco is a multicultural, crowded, and atmospheric place. You will meet a mixture of different ethnicities here: Mexicans, Asians, Africans, and Americans. Spanish missions from the eighteenth century stand next to modern skyscrapers and Victorian houses. It is also home to the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese enclave outside Asia. Be sure to visit Chinatown for a delicious lunch. Take an evening stroll along the Embarcadero, get a glass of Californian wine, and try local oysters and seafood. This way, you will taste the best flavors of San Francisco.

Orlando, Florida

Cinderella castle at the end of main street usa
Cinderella castle

Contributed by Adriane from Put on Your Party Pants.

Orlando is a city someone visiting the US should not miss because it is the theme park capital of the world. These highly themed, intellectual property-rich properties offer experiences you cannot find anywhere else in the world.

Walt Disney World has four theme parks, two water parks, and over two dozen resorts. The majority of the attractions are slow moving dark rides with a ton of detail and things to see. Because they move slowly, the whole family can ride. Some highlights within the parks include lands heavily themed around Star Wars, Toy Story, and Avatar.  

Disney World’s EPCOT features the World Showcase. Here, one walks around a lagoon and experiences food, shops, and in some cases, rides, from eleven different countries.

Universal Orlando is another great property. It currently houses two theme parks, a water park, and several resorts. There, you will find more thrill rides and superheroes you will not see elsewhere. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the highlight at both theme parks. The theming and immersion is unmatched. You will also enjoy sections themed around Jurassic Park and Dr. Seuss, among many others.

SeaWorld is another popular destination. There, you will find animals and shows you cannot see anywhere else, including a killer whale show. But Orlando is also fun when you’re less of a theme park fan, see beyond the theme parks.

Burlington, Vermont

Church street by Outdoor Adventure Sampler
Church street by Outdoor Adventure Sampler

Contributed by Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler.

Burlington, the largest city in Vermont, is a can’t miss destination to visit. Located on Lake Champlain in the Northwest part of the state, Burlington is a welcoming city for visitors.

Start out in Waterfront Park for gorgeous views of the Adirondacks across the lake. You can rent a bike to ride the Burlington Bike Path alongside the lake to visit several beaches and parks. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the many local hiking trails there are to explore. In the fall, the foliage here will stun you with its beauty.

Families will love the Echo Center, a science and nature center located on the Burlington waterfront. Or take a cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen as it sails the lake with narration about the history and nature of the Lake Champlain Valley.

The outdoor pedestrian mall on Church Street is full of unique stores, street performers, and al fresco dining. The farm to table movement is at its best in Burlington, with foodies drawn to the city’s outstanding restaurants. Local craft breweries with outdoor beer gardens are popular.

While visiting Burlington, make sure to end your day at the waterfront to see a stunning sunset over the lake. The golden light spread over Lake Champlain as the sun goes down is testimony to the beauty and vibrancy of this Vermont city.

Key West, Florida

Key West by Buddy The Traveling Monkey
Key West by Buddy The Traveling Monkey

Contributed by Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey.

There are a lot of fun things to do in Key West, Florida. Whether you’re traveling alone, with family, or with your sweetheart. It’s got something for everyone!

Key West’s history goes back centuries. Did you know Key West was once the richest city in the country? This was because salvaging ship wrecks proved to be a lucrative business. You can learn more at the Key West Shipwreck Museum. You can also learn about the military presence in the area at the USCGC Ingham Maritime Museum and at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.

Key West also has some pretty interesting historic sites. Take a picture in front of the southernmost point of the continental US or at Mile Marker 0, literally where the US 1 Highway begins. And, of course, there is Mallory Square. This is the spot to catch a sunset in Key West.

If you’re hungry or thirsty during your visit, you’ll find plenty of options on Duval Street. This is the main street that everyone walks on. One iconic bar is only 72 square feet, making it the smallest bar in Key West and the world! Make sure to keep an eye out for it or you might walk right past it. Key West is also known for its Key Lime Pie, so make sure you have some while you’re in town.

Most importantly, just enjoy the vibe. Key West has an energy that you can feel as soon as you arrive. It’s fun, positive, and very upbeat.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle by Uprooted Traveler
Seattle by Uprooted Traveler

Contributed by Jessica from Uprooted Traveler.

With two neighboring mountain ranges (the Cascades and the Olympics) and the Puget Sound. Seattle, Washington is one of the most stunning cities in the United States. Blending natural beauty with all of the amenities of a big city. There’s countless ways to experience Seattle’s natural beauty. For example, rent a stand-up paddleboard or a kayak at Lake Union or Alki Beach for panoramic views of the skyline (including the iconic Space Needle). Try to spot mountains towering over the skyscrapers, and keep your eyes peeled for seals- or even orcas- in the water! For more outdoor adventures. Seattle is an excellent springboard to explore the moody beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the whopping three national parks within a two and a half hour drive from the city. Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades.

Looking for more of a cosmopolitan getaway? No visit to Seattle is complete without a stop at Pike Place Market. A charming market from 1907 with cobblestone streets and a staggering variety of vendors. Peddling everything from flowers to comic books and everything in between. Beyond the usual tourist haunts, like the Space Needle, the Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Museum of Pop Culture (all definitely worth a visit!). The city offers less well-known perks, like world-class craft beer (check out the Ballard neighborhood, with 11 breweries in one square mile) or a killer music scene. So whether you’re looking to get outside or something a bit more on the urbane side, Seattle is an unmissable city!

Seattle by Uprooted Traveler
Seattle by Uprooted Traveler

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth by New Hampshire Way
Portsmouth by New Hampshire Way

Contributed by Kate from New Hampshire Way.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a delightful seaside city perched on the edge of Maine and a stone’s throw from Massachusetts. While the Granite State tends to fly under the radar as a vacation destination. New Englanders have long known that Portsmouth is special.

Portsmouth is a delightfully quirky city located on New Hampshire’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 13-mile stretch of coastline. Here the center of town is Market Square, and independent businesses rule. From the profanity-laced gift shop of Off Piste to the Portsmouth Book & Bar. A bookstore where you can pair your new read with a coffee or a beer.

Speaking of beer. Portsmouth has several breweries worth exploring, from Earth Eagle Brewings to Great Rhythm to Loaded Question. Each loaded with several fun rotating beers on tap. Looking to grab a bite? Hit up the Friendly Toast for a diner straight out of the Jetson’s. Or pick up some delightful pastries at Popovers on the Square.

And if you’re into history, you can visit several of the historic homes in town. Visit the USS Albacore Museum in a submarine. Take a stroll along the Black Heritage Trail. Or drop by Strawbery Banke for gorgeous historic homes and guides that will stay in character as they share tales of Portsmouth with you.

Leave Portsmouth and you’ll have easy access to the best beaches in New Hampshire. Like the surfing hotspot Jenness Beach and classic, kitsch-filled Hampton Beach. From Portsmouth you can rent a bike and explore the Seacoast in depth. Perhaps circling the islands of nearby New Castle.

Once you get a taste of Portsmouth, make like a New Englander and make it your special weekend destination when you need a bit of sunshine! 

Naples, Florida

Naples beach by Naples Florida Travel Guide
Naples beach by Naples Florida Travel Guide

Contributed by Lori from Naples Florida Travel Guide.

There aren’t too many places in the USA where you can experience a seaside city with an Italian flair and year-round tropical weather — Naples, Florida is all that and more. Located on the Southwest coast of Florida, this laid-back beach town is a unique blend of luxe life and outdoor adventure.

The city itself sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico and offers beach goers lots of great options for a beach vacation. There are dozens of gorgeous white sand beaches in Naples, many within walking distance from the charming downtown. One of the most famous is at the Naples Pier, the most iconic landmark in the city.

Naples, and its nearby sister city of Marco Island, are well-known for luxury lifestyles so there are countless high-end stores to browse and excellent restaurants from elegant fine dining to casual food truck parks.

But it’s Naples’ unique location that offers such a diverse mix of activities to enjoy. It is the Western gateway to the Florida Everglades which offers myriad opportunities to immerse yourself in nature from boating and water sports to kayaking and eco tours.

If you’re looking for a tropical Florida beach destination that offers something for the whole family, head to southwest Florida and the cities of Naples and Marco Island.

Atlanta, Georgia

Street art at Sweet Auburn Neighborhood by High Heels and a Backpack
Street art at Sweet Auburn Neighborhood by High Heels and a Backpack

Contributed by Melissa from High Heels and a Backpack.

Atlanta Georgia is a wonderful USA travel destination for either a quick weekend break or a an extended period of time. The city is often overlooked and on first impression, it looks like an intimidating, sprawling metropolis.

But Atlanta is more than “just another” big city. It is made up of several different neighborhoods, each with their own unique personalities. The city was also at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the United States and as such, you will find a lot of important museums and exhibitions here.

Head to the Old Fourth Ward to take a black history tour and check out the birthplace of Martin Luther King Junior. His old neighborhood is perfectly preserved and appears as it would have done, all of those decades ago.

The peaceful Ebenezer Baptist Church is nearby, the place where Dr King delivered his first sermon. A short walk away, you will find his final resting place.

Sweet Auburn is one of the most exciting Atlanta neighborhoods to visit. Virtually every wall, storefront and alleyway has been painted in vibrant colors and designs.

Much of the street art here is politically motivated and expresses hopes of equality for all. You could easily spend an entire afternoon here checking out and photographing the murals. Something new seems to pop up here all the time and you may be fortunate enough to see an artist at work.

Many people are concerned about the safety of traveling to Atlanta. However, Atlanta is a safe city provided you keep your wits about you and imply common sense. Don’t let an unfavorable reputation put you off visiting one of the USAs most unique cities. 

Seward, Alaska

Seward by The Travel Fam
Seward by The Travel Fam

Contributed by Bethany from The Travel Fam.

Seward, Alaska may be further than many cities on your U.S. bucket list, but it’s definitely worth it. Several days are needed to truly experience this popular port town. An ideal itinerary starts after you fly into Anchorage- rent a Jeep and then take the scenic 127 mile drive all the way down to Seward. Day cruises head out from the harbor to search for orcas, seals, puffins, and more. You’ll also want to be sure to reserve your tickets to ride behind sled-dog Ididarod legends. The kids (and parents!) are sure to love playing with the sled-dog puppies. 

The best reason to take the family to Seward, however? It won’t cost you a penny to see humpback whales bubble feed in the harbor from the town’s waterside parking lot. Our children got more enjoyment from skipping rocks into the water while we watched for whales than any expensive excursion we could have purchased. Try to plan a trip just outside of the busy summer months to avoid the RV crowds. Many seasoned Alaska travelers book their lodging and car rental nearly a year in advance.

So Those are the Best Cities to Visit in the USA

Start planning your trip in the USA and include these fabulous cities in it!

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