World’s 30 Best Travel Destinations, Ranked

Best places to visit in the world.

Bali, one of the best travel destinations

The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time.

But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re sure to find at least one vacation that piques your interest (and likely several!).

These are the 30 best places to visit in the world. Which ones have you already been to? And which ones stoke your wanderlust most?

30. Argentine Patagonia

Traveler in Argentine Patagonia

In this region of the Andes, you’ll find glaciers, evergreen trees, deep blue lakes and clear skies everywhere you look. For a trip full of adventure and discovery, there are few better destinations on the planet.

No trip is complete without a visit to the craggy Mount Fitz Roy, the historic (and mysterious) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine wildlife refuge and the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Be sure to bring your camera and your sense of wonder.

* Rankings are based on U.S. News & World Report's " World's Best Places to Visit ," traveler ratings as well as our own editorial input.

What to Know Before You Go to Argentine Patagonia

Argentine Patagonia Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Cyan Soho Neuquen Hotel

Hot tip: Since springtime occurs in the southern hemisphere in October and November, those months are your best bet when planning a trip.

Fun fact: The largest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed were found in Argentine Patagonia. They belong to the largest-known titanosaur, believed to have weighed about 83 tons. 

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

29. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Campania, Amalfi Coast

Set in the Sorrentina Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has long been renowned for its natural beauty and idyllic coastal towns. During the golden age of Hollywood, it was a preferred vacation spot for glamorous movie stars.

Days here are spent eating Italian food, drinking wine and walking around colorful cobblestone streets. You can also expect to drink copious amounts of wine as you look out into the Mediterranean Sea.

The best way to see the coast is to rent a car and then drive to different towns each day.

What to Know Before You Go to the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast road

Where to stay: Hotel Marina Riviera

Hot tip:  If you're planning on using a beach chair to work on your tan, make sure you wake up early, as they are usually first come, first served.

Fun fact:  The Amalfi Coast is featured in Sofia Loren's 1995 Film, "Scandal in Sorrento."

28. Cancun, Mexico

Beach sunset in Cancun

For years, Cancun has been the preferred getaway for East Coast Americans (particularly Floridians) who want an international getaway that's still close to home. But despite the droves of tourists, the area has managed to keep the charm that attracted people in the first place.

The city is known mostly for its luxury hotels, wild nightlife and warm beaches. Definitely indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican food! — but also consider other activities like visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and snorkeling. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do in Cancun .

What to Know Before You Go to Cancun

Cenote Zaci, Mexico

Where to stay: Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hot tip:  While you're in Cancun, make a plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret's six eco-tourism parks, with the best ones being Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned company is credited with starting the eco-tourism trend in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the parks offer incredible and varied local experiences.

Fun fact:  The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, was the cultural, political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Many locals have Mayan ancestry and Mayan continues to be widely spoken in the area.

27. San Francisco, California

Close up of Golden Gate Bridge

Everyone should visit San Francisco at least once in their lives. Though tech companies grab all the headlines these days, it remains down-to-earth, diverse and packed with things to do.

Where to start? No matter your style, you’ll want to check out the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, see the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of the historic prison Alcatraz and relax in one of the city’s many parks, especially Dolores Park for its epic people-watching on the weekends. 

For dinner, treat your tastebuds and make a reservation at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area .

What to Know Before You Go to San Francisco

San Francisco houses

Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Hot tip: Want similarly beautiful landscapes and rich cultural attractions, but at lower prices and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head to Oakland just across the Bay Bridge, named one of the most exciting places on earth to travel by National Geographic. 

Fun fact: The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese resident. Random!

26. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls in autumn Canadian side

Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world . The power with which water storms down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada has captivated the imagination of humans for centuries. 

This natural wonder is comprised of three awe-inspiring falls. One of the best ways to experience them is on a boat tour.

What to Know Before You Go to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls boat tour

Where to stay: Sheraton Niagara Falls

Hot tip: There is some debate about which side of the falls is better, but the general verdict is that the Canadian side offers better views. This is because you can (ironically) get a better view of the American Falls as well as get up close to Horseshoe Falls. 

Fun fact:  Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.

25. Yellowstone National Park

Bison at the Great Prismatic Spring

Located mostly in Wyoming as well as Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, welcoming more than around 3.3 million people in 2022. With unpredictable geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, craggy peaks, shimmering lakes and tons of wildlife — from elk to boars to bison — it’s easy to see why so many people flock here. 

The park makes for an awesome family trip and is well-suited to budget travelers since it offers so many campsites ( over 2,000! ). 

What to Know Before You Go to Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geiser erupting, Yellowstone

Where to stay: Stage Coach Inn

Hot tip: You’ll never fully beat the crowds at this wildly popular park, but April, May, September and November are your best bets for finding some solitude.  

Fun fact: Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  

24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

snorkle Destinations: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. This makes it a paradise for scuba diving or snorkeling. 

The reef system is truly gigantic, with over 600 islands and about 2,900 individual reefs. This is one of Australia's greatest prides, but it's also a planetary national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is an experience that is incredible beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef from above

Where to stay: Crystalbrook Flynn

Hot tip: Though going underwater to see the reef is a must, we also recommend booking a helicopter tour to experience the magic of it from above.

Fun fact:  Made of corals, which are animals that live in collectives, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet.

23. Santorini, Greece

White washed houses in Santorini

With its picturesque blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings and colorful beaches, the island of Santorini is a photographer’s paradise. If you want to snap photos to post to Instagram and make everyone back home jealous, this is the place to go. 

Also make sure to experience some of Santorini’s archaeologically significant sites, like Ancient Akrotiri (an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). And don’t forget to visit the smaller islands that surround it, including Thirassia, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni. 

What to Know Before You Go to Santorini

Santorini houses

Where to stay: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

Hot tip: To optimize your vacation, visit in September and October or April and May — when the weather is still warm, but there aren’t as many other tourists milling around.

Fun fact: While it’s difficult to prove, locals like to say there’s more wine than water on this island where it hardly rains (and vino abounds).

22. Florence, Italy

Florience center, Italy

For art and history buffs (and anyone who appreciates delicious Italian food), Florence is a must-visit city. 

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s home to some of the most iconic artworks by the world’s premier artists throughout history — Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi and Donatello, just to name a few. In addition to art museums and architectural wonders, Florence is also home to chic shops, quaint cafes and spectacular gardens. 

What to Know Before You Go to Florence

Il Duomo, Florence

Where to stay:  NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa

Hot tip: Keep Florence in mind if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a fortune, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Fun fact: The city’s famed “El Duomo” cathedral took over 140 years to build .

21. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite, one of the most-visited national parks in America with more than 4 million annual guests, encompasses 750,000 acres of wilderness just waiting to be explored.

It’s home to scenic waterfalls, like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, two popular spots for the world’s best rock climbers to test their mettle.

Not surprisingly, the wildlife here also impresses. Dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats and mule deer are just some of the animals that call Yosemite home. And keep your eyes peeled for black bears; some 300 to 500 roam the park . 

What to Know Before You Go to Yosemite

Yosemite National Park

Where to stay:  The Ahwahnee

Hot tip: Summer can get really busy here, so if you want to camp, be sure to book a spot early. Want to beat Yosemite’s notoriously bad traffic? Ditch the car and take advantage of the park’s extensive free bus system.

Fun fact: This is one of the only places in the country where you can catch a moonbow — like a rainbow, but created by the light of the moon instead of the sun. 

20. St. Lucia

St. Lucia Les Pitons

Whether you’re visiting on a cruise ship or just relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, stunning St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island offers diverse terrain for vacationers, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests to its volcanic peaks, the Pitons, that loom over the landscape. 

Adrenaline-junkies love hiking, climbing and zip-lining, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) enjoy the romantic mix of fine dining, adults-only resorts and exotic activities. 

What to Know Before You Go to St. Lucia

St. Lucia boats

Where to stay: Rabot Hotel From Hotel Chocolat

Hot tip: Visit when temperatures are moderate, which is typically in May and June.

Fun fact: St. Lucia is the only country named after a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.

19. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai skyscrappers

Everything is bigger and better in Dubai, home to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, tallest towers, largest man-made marinas — and the list goes on. 

This Las Vegas-like urban center in the United Arab Emirates has an eclectic mix of activities for visitors to enjoy, including beaches, waterparks, tons of shopping and even an indoor ski resort. Outside the skyscraper-filled city, the vast desert awaits, best enjoyed via quad-biking or sandboarding.

What to Know Before You Go to Dubai

Dubai beach

Where to stay:  Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Hot tip: Though you’re likely to pay a pretty penny for a trip to Dubai no matter when you visit, you can save a little cash by visiting during the scalding-hot summer months and by booking your hotel room two to three months in advance.

Fun fact: Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands were constructed using enough imported sand to fill up 2.5 Empire State Buildings . 

18. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Many travelers describe their visit to Machu Picchu as life-changing. Why? It’s an archaeological wonder, the remains of an ancient Incan city dating back more than 600 years. No wonder this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited attraction in all of Peru. 

Be sure to visit significant sites like Funerary Rock, where it’s believed Incan nobility were mummified, and Temple of the Condor, a rock temple sculpted to look like the impressive bird in its name.  

What to Know Before You Go to Machu Picchu

Llamas in Machu Picchu

Where to stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Hot tip: If you’re planning a trip, be sure to get your ticket in advance, as only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu each day. (And a lot of people have this destination on their bucket list.)

Fun fact: The site contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs . 

17. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor with boats

With its iconic Opera House and lively Bondi Beach, Sydney is the perfect spot to vacation if you’re looking for a blend of culture, arts, nightlife and relaxation. 

Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour, then head to the Royal Botanic garden for even more fresh air. Want to travel like a local? Get a ticket to a rugby match and order a Tim Tam, a popular chocolate-covered cookie that pairs well with coffee. 

What to Know Before You Go to Sydney

Sydney Opera House in the evening

Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Hot tip: You can make your trip more affordable by visiting during Sydney’s shoulder seasons, which are typically September through November and March through May.

Fun fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach was the site of the largest ever swimsuit photoshoot ; 1,010 bikini-clad women participated, enough to earn it a spot in the Guinness World Records book.

16. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon from observation point

The Grand Canyon is truly massive (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles wide!), which helps explain why so many people feel the urge to see it in person. 

In 2022, 4.7 million people visited, making the Grand Canyon the second-most popular national park in the country (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). Established in 1919, the park offers activities for all ability levels, whether you want to do an intense hike down into the canyon and sleep under the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or simply want to saunter along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking path with views that wow.

What to Know Before You Go to the Grand Canyon

Family in the Grand Canyon

Where to stay:  The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

Hot tip: If you’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for a while now, this is the year to do it. The park is celebrating its 100th birthday with musical performances, lectures, screenings and other special events.

Fun fact: The most remote community in the continental U.S. can be found in the Grand Canyon. At the base of the canyon, Supai Village — part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation — has a population of 208. It’s inaccessible by road, and mail is delivered by pack mule. Want to see it for yourself? The village houses a collection of campsites , accessible via a hiking trail.

15. Bali, Indonesia

Landmark Temple Gates in Bali

In recent years, Bali has become a popular expat destination, where groups of "digital nomads" work and play. 

But the island hasn't lost its original charm to this added tourism and continues to be an incredible destination. Divide your time between swimming in the beach, hiking active volcanoes, visiting temples and enjoying views of tiered rice terraces.

What to Know Before You Go to Bali

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali

Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach

Hot tip:  Though shoulder season (January to April and October to November) means fewer crowds and cheaper prices, it also means rain. Tons of it. We'd recommend avoiding the rainy season if possible.

Fun fact: On the Saka New Year, Balinese people celebrate Nyepi. This Hindu celebration is a day of silence when everything on the island shuts down and no noise is allowed.

14. New York, New York

New York City Manhattan

As the saying goes, New York City is “the city that never sleeps” — and you won’t want to either when you visit, lest you run out of time to take it all in. 

Be sure to check out newer attractions, like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for some New York City classics, like catching a Broadway show or standing under the lights of Times Square. 

Foodies will have a hard time choosing where to eat (the city is home to almost 100 Michelin stars !), which is why an extended trip is always a good idea.

What to Know Before You Go to New York City

New York City Broadway

Where to stay: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

Hot tip: Yes, January and February get cold here, but this is also the best time to lock in relatively reasonable hotel rates. You can spend your time eating in the city’s restaurants, exploring its fabulous museums and catching its world-class theater shows without needing to spend much time in the chilly outdoors. 

Fun fact: There’s a birth in New York City about every 4.4 minutes — and a death every 9.1 minutes. 

13. Banff National Park, Canada

Banff Lake Louise

Some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and vistas are located in Banff, the tiny Canadian town located at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the national park by the same name. Banff is the highest town in Canada, and Banff National Park was Canada’s first, established in 1885.

Shred some powder at Banff’s three ski resorts in the winter, then come back in the summer for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and scrambling (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).

What to Know Before You Go to Banff

Kayaking in Banff National Park

Where to stay: Fairmont Banff Springs

Hot tip: June to August and December to March are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities. 

Fun fact: Banff National Park has more than 1,000 glaciers.

12. Maldives

Sunset in the Maldives

You can look at picture after picture, but you still really need to visit the Maldives to believe its beauty. If rich sunsets, flour-like beaches and vibrant blue waters are your style, this is the destination for you. 

Though it’s somewhat difficult to get to this small island nation southwest of Sri Lanka, that also means it’s incredibly private and secluded, which makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic beach getaway. 

And don’t worry about getting bored, either — explore the water by snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa or wander around the bustling Male’ Fish Market.

What to Know Before You Go to Maldives

Maldives overwater bungalows

Where to stay: Velassaru Maldives

Hot tip: May to October is the island-nation’s rainy season — but that also means it’s the best time to go for fewer crowds and better rates.

Fun fact: In 1153 AD, the nation’s people converted to Islam. Today, the Maldives remains the most heavily Muslim country on earth.

11. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class food and wine, arts and culture — is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly can't think what it would be. 

This cosmopolitan Spanish city is home to some awe-inspiring architecture, including several buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to book tours of his whimsical creations like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-finished Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia). 

For nightlife and shopping, Las Ramblas is always bustling; for an enriching arts experience, follow the progression of famed artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.

What to Know Before You Go to Barcelona

Barcelona Park Guell

Where to stay:  Hotel Bagues

Hot tip: It can get really humid here, so it's best to plan your trip in May and June before things really heat up.

Fun fact: In preparation for its 1992 hosting of the Olympics, the city flew in sand from as far away as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a place where people would want to go. Though largely man-made, the beach remains a wonderful spot for seaside R&R. 

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park in the winter

The crown jewel of beautiful Montana, Glacier National Park is every outdoors traveler's dream.

Of course, the most defining natural feature of the park are its glaciers, which provide spectacular views as well as a number of pristine lakes. There are hundreds of trails that will take you up peaks, down through valleys and across some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.

What to Know Before You Go to Glacier National Park

Mountain goats at Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Firebrand Hotel

Hot tip:  Plan to spend a day or two in the nearby town of Whitefish. This gateway to Glacier National Park is one of the best small towns in America and a destination in its own right. 

Fun fact: During your visit, you're very likely to run into mountain goats, which are the official symbols of the park.

9. Tokyo, Japan

Akihabara Tokyo

The Japanese capital is one of the most exciting cities on the entire planet. It is notoriously fast-paced, with neon lights illuminating the multitudes that are constantly rushing to their next destination. 

But Tokyo is also a city of temples, of taking time to picnic under the cherry blossoms and of making sure you enjoy the abundance of delicious food that can be found on basically every corner.

What to Know Before You Go to Tokyo

Sensoji temple , Tokyo

Where to stay: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Hot tip: Visit between the months of March and April or September and November for more comfortable temperatures. Of course, spring is when the city's cherry blossoms are famously in full bloom.

Fun fact: Tokyo happens to be the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 40 million people calling the greater metro area home.

8. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket boats

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank, start searching for flights to Phuket now. 

This island in southern Thailand, which is just an hour flight from Bangkok, is surrounded by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If a stunning sunset is what you’re after, head to Promthep Cape, the southernmost point on the island and a popular spot for photo-ops. For views of the island and beyond, climb to the top of the massive alabaster statue called Big Buddha.

You can even learn something during your vacation by visiting the Soi Dog Foundation, an innovative animal shelter that’s fighting the meat trade and taking care of the thousands of stray cats and dogs in the area.

What to Know Before You Go to Phuket

Phuket temple

Where to stay: InterContinental Phuket Resort

Hot tip: Visit between November and April for the best weather — and ideal conditions for beach activities like swimming and boating. 

Fun fact: The island is not pronounced in the rather colorful way it appears to be. The correct way to say it is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”

7. Rome, Italy

Rome, Colosseum

Though Rome’s historic significance cannot be overstated, don’t assume that this Italian city is stuck in the past. On the contrary, you’ll find posh storefronts and luxurious hotels not far from iconic structures like the Pantheon (built in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built in 80 AD).

And then, of course, there’s the city’s art. Stroll through Rome, and you’ll stumble upon some of the greatest treasures the world has ever seen — an astonishing collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings and fountains created by icons like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.

After all that exploration, take advantage of ample opportunities to eat and drink, including at several Michelin-starred restaurants. City staples include suppli (deep-fried balls of risotto, mozzarella and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano and fresh black pepper). 

What to Know Before You Go to Rome

Rome Spanish Plaza at dawn

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Ghr Hotel

Hot tip: Tourists congregate here in the summer when temperatures are also sweltering. Go instead between October and April, when there are thinner crowds, better rates and cooler temps. Just make sure to bring a light jacket.

Fun fact: Each year, travelers throw about $1.7 million worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain. The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports charities focused on health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

6. London, England

Modern bridge London

English writer Samual Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” 

From live performances of Shakespeare to truly world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery, London will enrich your mind and enliven your senses. Of course, no visit would be complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace to see the famous stone-faced guards outside and the 19 lavish State Rooms inside (though, unfortunately, you can’t see the queen’s private quarters). Another must-see landmark is the Tower of London, the historic castle on the north side of the River Thames.

What to Know Before You Go to London

London in the spring

Where to stay: Vintry & Mercer

Hot tip: Many U.S. cities now offer direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act fast when you see fares drop.

Fun fact: London’s pubs are worth a visit for their names alone; fanciful monikers include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn and The Job Centre. 

5. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Flavorful French cuisine, top-notch resorts, warm waters — need we say more? Though Tahiti can be pricey, travelers say it’s so worth it. 

The largest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is split into two main regions (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the larger region, is home to the island’s capital Papeete and surfing hotspot Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the smaller region, offers more seclusion and the bright white sands of La Plage de Maui.

What to Know Before You Go to Tahiti

Tahiti bungalows during sunset

Where to stay: Hilton Hotel Tahiti

Hot tip: Visit between May and October, Tahiti’s winter, when there are less humidity and rain. 

Fun fact: Overcrowding is not a concern here; Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia does in a year.

4. Maui, Hawaii

Rocky beach in Maui

If you’re short on time or you just can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is right in the sweet spot: not too big, not too small, but just right.

There are five regions to explore on Maui, including the popular West Maui and South Maui, home to some of the island’s best-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). But don’t overlook East Maui, where you can travel along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala. 

What to Know Before You Go to Maui

Maui cave

Where to stay:  Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Hot tip: This is Hawaii we’re talking about, so your trip will be on the pricey side. Be sure to budget for add-ons if you need them (think gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some research on insurance before you head to the car-rental counter.

Fun fact: How’s this for a selling point? Maui has more beach than any other Hawaiian island — 60 miles of it, with red, white and black sand.

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora overwater bungalows

Don’t write off the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora just because of its size. Though it’s a little more than 2 miles wide and just 6 miles long, Bora Bora packs in an abundance of natural beauty. To start, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the island’s turquoise lagoon surrounded by lush jungle.

If you’re looking for more than relaxation on your trip, consider hiking or booking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You can also snorkel among the coral reef of Coral Gardens, where you might catch a glimpse of reef sharks, eels and stingrays.

Because of its remoteness, flying into Bora Bora Airport will be quite a journey, no matter where you're departing from. But you'll forget everything as soon as you see this Polynesian paradise that is beautiful beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to Bora Bora

Bora Bora Island

Where to stay: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Hot tip: Though Bora Bora can be wildly expensive to visit, you can cut costs by visiting between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and by bringing your own alcohol and sunscreen with you.

Fun fact: Bora Bora is one of the countries that no longer exists . The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an independent state until it was forcefully overtaken and annexed by France in 1888.

2. Paris, France

Paris from the Arc de Triumph

Paris has it all — incredible cuisine, legendary landmarks and centuries of history. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the second-best place to visit in the world.

Though you’ll want to spend your time hitting up popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also carve out time to explore other parts of Paris — the city’s 20 diverse neighborhoods, called arrondissements, for instance. Standouts include the 2nd arrondissement, which touts covered passages and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, and the romantic 18th arrondissement, with charming squares, cafes and bars, set apart from the city’s more tourist-packed areas.

What to Know Before You Go to Paris

Paris Montmartre at dawn

Where to stay: Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal

Hot tip: Yes, summer in Paris is busy, but the weather is also ideal — average highs are in the 70s.

Fun fact: Built for the 1889 World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be temporary , and was almost torn down in 1909. Luckily, local officials saw its value as a radiotelegraph station, preserving the future tourist icon for generations to come. 

1. South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound

South Island, the larger but less populated of the two islands that make up New Zealand, earn this top-spot honor for its gorgeous scenery, adrenelin-pumping experiences and affordability.

The 33.5-mile hike on Milford Sound, which is limited to 90 people at a time, is considered one of the world’s best treks, with stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass and the tallest waterfall in the country, Sutherland Falls.

For a heart-pumping experience, you can jump out of a helicopter while flying over the Harris Mountains with skis on your feet. Still not satisfied? Roam Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, two of the most accessible glaciers in the world.

What to Know Before You Go to New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand

Where to stay: QT Queenstown

Hot tip: Book your trip for the fall, when South Island is temperate, not overcrowded and offers great rates. Bonus: This is also when the island is at its most stunning.

Fun fact: New Zealand natives, called Kiwis, are among the most hospitable you’ll ever meet. The local saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” translates , appropriately, to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people.”

PlanetWare.com

18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the USA

Written by Lana Law Updated Sep 16, 2022

The United States is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and some of the most recognizable icons on the planet . Many of the top attractions in the United States are bucket list destinations, drawing visitors from around the world.

Compiling a list of places to see is step one. But keep in mind, given the size of the United States, most people plan their trips to a specific region, be it the East Coast, the Southwest, the beaches of Florida or California , or outlying regions like Hawaii and Alaska.

You may want to see the city sights, or head out to the top parks and natural areas in the US . In some cases, you can easily combine the two if you plan a day trip or two.

Plenty of options await you, with incredible sights sprinkled across the country. For anyone in the enviable position of having unlimited time and resources, these are the top attractions to include on your US itinerary.

1. Grand Canyon

2. niagara falls, 3. statue of liberty, 4. white house, 5. walt disney world resort, 7. las vegas strip, 8. yosemite national park, 9. golden gate bridge, 10. times square, 11. freedom trail in boston, 12. yellowstone national park, 13. san antonio river walk, 14. kennedy space center, 15. st. louis arch, 16. glacier national park and the going-to-the-sun road, 17. mount rushmore national memorial, 18. sedona's red rock country.

Grand Canyon

This incredible natural attraction is one of the most visited places in the United States. Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon cuts deep into the landscape, creating dramatic cliff walls and ledges. Visitors standing on the rim of the canyon can see down to the canyon floor a mile below, and look out over the ridges and cliffs that run as far as the eye can see.

The South Rim , about 4.5 hours by car from Las Vegas, is the most visited section of Grand Canyon National Park. This is where you'll find a large visitor center, regular bus service along the Rim in the high season, and a walkway that runs along the canyon with numerous viewing points and platforms. Several wonderful hikes , including the Bright Angel Trail, leave from here.

Grand Canyon

The Skywalk , a glass bridge leading out over the edge of the Grand Canyon is another popular attraction. It is located at Eagle Point, on the West Rim . This area is about a four-hour drive from the South Rim, but usually less than a 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas. If you are planning a day trip from Las Vegas, this area is a good option

The North Rim, which also has lookout areas, provides a different perspective. This section of the park is less visited and has limited access from November to May due to snow and winter conditions.

Read More: Top Tourist Attractions at the Grand Canyon

Niagara Falls

Situated along the Canada-US border, Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world . The water from Lake Erie flows into Lake Ontario over these massive waterfalls, known for the great quantity of water that is constantly tumbling over the vertical drop.

Niagara Falls is actually a set of three falls: It consists of the largest section, known as Horseshoe Falls, with a drop of 187 feet; a second section on the American side of the river, known as the American Falls, with a drop of 89 feet; and a much thinner section located next to the American Falls, known as Bridal Veil Falls, with a drop of 78 feet.

Views are good on both sides of the river, but the Canadian side gives a very different perspective and is worth a visit if you don't mind crossing the border into Canada.

View of American Falls in winter from the Canadian side

Summer is the most popular time to visit Niagara Falls, when the weather is warm, gardens are in bloom, and wandering around is pleasant. Winter provides a unique opportunity to see the snow-covered shores and ice-covered railings, street signs, and trees. It's truly a winter wonderland.

On clear days, the plume of mist rising from Niagara Falls can be seen from as far away as the CN Tower in downtown Toronto, Canada, on the opposite shore of Lake Ontario.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Niagara Falls, NY
  • From New York City to Niagara Falls: Best Ways to Get There

Statue of Liberty

A universal symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty is America's most familiar icon and the largest statue in the world . Standing proudly in New York Harbor, visitors can admire the statue from various points around the city, particularly Battery Park, or take a ferry right to the statue.

For people who plan to go out to the statue, options include grounds tickets, pedestal tickets, or crown tickets, which allow different levels of access to the site. One of the best options is to take a sightseeing tour and see both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Official site: http://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York City

White House

The White House is the official residence of the President of the United States, and should be on the top of your list of things to see in Washington . This historic structure has been the home of every president except George Washington. Lafayette Park is on the north side of the White House; beyond is a pedestrian-only zone, full of interesting characters, and an excellent spot to get a great photo.

It was originally built by James Hoban in 1792 and, after being burned down by British forces in 1814, was rebuilt in 1818. Tours of the White House are free, but reservations must be made a minimum of three weeks in advance. Strict security rules are always in effect.

Official site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Walt Disney World Resort

This mega amusement park in Orlando is the top family attraction in America, and has been catering to both young and old for decades. Opened in 1971, Walt Disney World has managed to maintain its relevance and its allure for children and even many adults throughout the years.

Walt Disney World Resort encompasses not only the various theme parks, it also includes water parks, Downtown Disney with shopping and theaters, and much more, from fine dining to golf. This is a place where you can spend a day or a week.

If you feel the need for a bit of sand and surf, the beaches of Florida's Atlantic coast are only an hour away.

Waikiki

Home to the most popular beach in the Hawaiian Islands and possibly the most famous beach in the Pacific, Waikiki has been a tourist destination for over a century. Today this area is a cross between tropical paradise and modern city.

Relaxing on this beautiful stretch of sand with palm trees blowing in the wind will certainly let you know you are in the tropics, but the high-rise buildings and busy street in behind are a reminder that you are not far from civilization. Shopping, dining, surfing, and sunbathing are all part of what makes this small section of Oahu so popular with tourists of all ages from all parts of the world.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things To Do in Waikiki

Las Vegas Strip

Walking along the Las Vegas Strip, the main street leading through the city past the mega resorts, is like strolling through an amusement park for adults. Recreations of the New York skyline, the Eiffel Tower, the canals of Venice, and many more foreign sites line this famous street.

Beginning at one end with the Luxor Hotel, designed in a pyramid shape, a walk down the street will reveal an erupting volcano and dancing fountains, while inside the resorts are all kinds of oddities and entertainment. Many of the best things to see and do in Las Vegas are sights that can be seen for free.

One of the main attractions in Las Vegas is the constant lineup of shows. World-famous singers looking to settle down turn to Las Vegas as a home base, where they perform regularly. Unique performing groups from magic to comedy and acrobatics can also be found here nightly.

When you've had enough of the nightlife and city lights, you can still explore the nearby attractions on a day trip from Las Vegas . See nearby Death Valley National Park, Hoover Dam, or Valley of Fire State Park. Explore the desert on hiking trails around Las Vegas , some of which are just minutes from downtown.

Yosemite National Park

One of America's most loved parks, Yosemite National Park is one of the best places to visit in California , particularly for nature lovers. Famous sights, like the incredible granite domes of El Capitan and Half Dome, have to be seen in person to fully appreciate their grandeur. The massive waterfalls that tumble off sheer cliffs from mountain snowfall or sudden summer rainstorms are another of the park's highlights.

Yosemite National Park is full of activity-based things to do that include hiking, climbing, walking, and horseback riding. Hiking trails in Yosemite lead to some of the most scenic areas and are a good way to escape the crowds at lookouts.

View of Half Dome from Glacier Point

For those less inclined to be physically active, the sheer natural beauty of Yosemite can be enjoyed from a picnic table over a leisurely home-packed lunch. You can also see the highlights on a driving tour through the park.

Accommodation is limited in the park to several lodges and a number of very nice campgrounds . Outside the gates, more options are available.

Golden Gate Bridge

Arching across San Francisco Bay, joining San Francisco and Marin County, the Golden Gate Bridge has been a California icon since it was built in the 1930s. Contrasting with the blue water, the bridge's orangish-red color is an aesthetic accent that brings a unique quality to the city.

It also has a unique presence when it's shrouded in fog with just the peaks of the main towers projecting through the low-lying cloud. The bridge is approximately two miles long and part of Hwy 101 or SR 1. If the day is clear, one of the best viewing spots is on Conzelman Road, located in Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Read More: Top Attractions & Things to Do in San Francisco

Times Square

Bustling Times Square, famous for its flashing billboards, New Year's Eve count down, and constant throngs of people, lies at the heart of Midtown Manhattan. This intersection, in normal times, is really about the energy one feels when standing on the corner as taxi cabs rush by and lights flash overhead, rather than any individual site on the square.

While it is an interesting place to visit during the day, it is probably best seen at night to experience the full impact.

Freedom Trail in Boston

Boston's Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walking route that leads past some of the city's most important historical attractions. A line of red bricks, inlaid in the sidewalk marks the route, making it an easy way for tourists to find their way around.

Information on the trail and the sites can be found at the Visitors Center in the Boston Common , which is a good place to start your tour. Sites along the Freedom Trail include the State House, Old State House, the Old Granary Burying Ground, Old City Hall, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, and many more.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Boston

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is home to a huge ancient volcano, which has resulted in a dramatic landscape and awesome natural phenomena. Geysers and hot springs, along with incredible waterfalls along the Yellowstone River are just some of the attractions drawing in huge numbers of tourists each year.

The park, the oldest national park in the USA, is also home to all kinds of wildlife, with free-roaming bison, bighorn sheep, antelope, black bears, and grizzly bears.

The park is also a wonderful place to camp, with a total of 12 Yellowstone campgrounds containing 2,000 sites.

Read More: Visiting Yellowstone National Park: Attractions, Tips & Tours

San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio's River Walk is a beautiful location and a great place to spend some time, whether you are looking for a place to wander, enjoy a meal, or look for souvenirs. Stretching along the San Antonio River in the heart of the city, this pedestrian area is lined with restaurants and outdoor dining areas, with everything from casual to fine cuisine.

Small boats meander along the river and scenic arching bridges complete the tranquil scene. Large old trees drape over the river and walkway providing shade. The River Walk also features a variety of entertainment, with occasional live music and seasonal events.

Official site: http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Antonio

Shuttle Atlantis at Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center

For those who have ever dreamed about what it would be like to blast off into space, a trip to the Kennedy Space Center is a must-do. The spacecrafts of NASA along with the history of space exploration make for an entertaining and educational experience. This is a popular attraction with all ages and one of the top things to do in Florida .

You may think that your visit will be a quick one; see a few spaceships and then head on your way. However, many people are surprised when they become fully engrossed in their visit and end up spending most of the day at the center.

Things to see include the rocket garden, the real Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Heroes and Legends exhibit, and the Journey to Mars exposition, along with many others.

Official site: https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/

St Louis Arch

This famous "Gateway to the West" in St. Louis is both symbolic and eye-catching. Rising above the city, gleaming in the midday sun and illuminated at night, the arch can be seen from miles away on the otherwise flat surroundings.

It was built in the early 1960s and stands in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park . Elevators offer easy and scenic transportation to the top of the arch where visitors are treated to great views out over the city and surroundings.

Official site: https://www.gatewayarch.com/

Glacier National Park

Montana's Glacier National Park offers some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the United States. Mountains, lakes, glaciers, valleys, and waterfalls combine to form a spectacular alpine landscape.

One of the best ways to truly appreciate the terrain is from the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. This narrow road, hugging the mountain side as it winds its way up and over the 7,747-foot Logan pass, opened in 1932.

Due to the elevation and climate, the road is only open during the summer months. The sights along this road are superlative, and you'll likely find yourself stopping at handy pullouts to soak it all up.

Glacier National Park also has some unique historic lodges, including the East Lodge, with it's huge timbered interior. The park is also a top hiking destination in the state. Hiking trails lead to wonderful alpine vistas if you're willing to put in a bit of effort.

The park is relatively isolated, so most people plan to visit for a few days. Accommodation is available in the historic lodges and hotels in West Glacier, and if you feel like camping in Glacier National Park , 13 campgrounds are available.

Read More: Top Things to Do in Glacier National Park

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

If you find yourself in South Dakota, don't miss a chance to see Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Towering above the surrounding forest are the faces of four US Presidents: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.

This incredible achievement was created by one man, John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, and upon his death, finished off by his son Lincoln. The hard work of carving giant heads out of stone started in 1927 and continued on for many years until its completion in 1941.

The national memorial is a popular attraction, especially in the summer. Try to plan to arrive early in the day to avoid the crowds.

Hiking in Sedona

Just a wonderfully scenic two-hour drive from Phoenix, this small city has quickly become one of Arizona's top places to visit .

Its beautiful setting, in among the red rocks, makes it perfect for a day trip from Phoenix , but it makes an even better vacation destination. Plan on spending at least a night or two to enjoy all Sedona has to offer. The town has some fantastic restaurants as well as spas and luxury resorts in and around town.

Sedona has a bit of everything when it comes to keeping busy: fantastic hiking , mountain biking , and camping , all coupled with a quirky vibe that makes a trip here fun for everyone.

Sedona is a year-round destination, but is especially popular in the spring, when the trees burst into bloom and you get the occasional desert rain storm.

Read More: Top-Rate Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Sedona

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The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022

From far-flung destinations to hometown favorites, 2022 is the year to get back out there and turn your dream trips into reality.

Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.

Planning new adventures as a new year approaches is always a thrill, but finding the best places to visit in 2022 is unique. After two years of border closures, cruise cancellations, and travel restrictions galore , 2022 is the year we hope to get back out there, uninhibited (albeit vaccinated and COVID tested ), return to our favorite destinations, and cross new ones off our lists.

Though the hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, many properties used the forced downtime to renovate rooms, add new amenities, and expand outdoor spaces to offer even more once guests return. 2022 is when many travelers will venture further from home, and even overseas, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, finally reaping the benefits of these valiant efforts.

Although COVID variants remain, regulations are still evolving, and precautions must still be taken, many of the destinations we chose for 2022 offer what we believe travelers are looking for in a post-pandemic world, from hotels with private accommodations to destinations teeming with fresh-air activities . Others, like Las Vegas, are for those who are ready and raring to make up for all the social time they missed — with a few splashy headliners, including Adele and the Raiders, thrown in for good measure.

As cruising makes its comeback , we included unforgettable places to see by water, from Antarctica to the Nile, and as hard-hit destinations like Italy and Asia recover, we found the buzziest reasons to return. Of course we didn't forget about all the stateside gems we got to know while domestic travel was surging, from Alaska and California to Florida and Michigan.

Our 2022 list, organized alphabetically, doesn't hold back, with aspirational trips as far away as India, Mozambique, Qatar, and even space — but we're also including hometown favorites, like Walt Disney World and its new Star Wars hotel ; the wellness retreats of beautiful Sedona; and the simple pleasures of small-town, farm-to-table living in Franklin, Tennessee. Because no matter what type of trip you've been dreaming of, we want to help you turn 2022 into the year you get back out there and make it a reality.

— Edited by Nina Ruggiero and Scott Bay

1. Abruzzo, Italy

Stretching from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea on the peninsula's southeastern side, Abruzzo, Italy has long been one of the country's most overlooked destinations despite its unspoiled villages, picturesque Trabocchi Coast, and stunning natural escapes. Over the past few years, however, it has gone from a sleepy underdog to an ambitious harbinger of slow travel, sustainable gastronomy, and conscious hospitality. Villa Corallo , a 19th-century mansion near Civitella del Tronto was transformed into a five-star hotel in 2019. Dimore Montane , an eco-lodge opened in 2020 in Majella National Park, marries glamping with environmentally-friendly facilities with a zero waste policy. Meanwhile, restaurants like Bottega Culinaria in San Vito Chietino and Materia Prima in Castel di Sangro are redefining the region as one of Italy's most exciting food hotspots for their innovative and sustainable takes on local produce and traditional dishes (in case Niko Romito's three-Michelin-starred Reale wasn't enough). And completing construction this Spring is Via Verde dei Trabocchi: a cycling and pedestrian path along the Adriatic sea that's being built on a disused railway route. — Marianna Cerini

With many international borders closed over the last two years, many eager U.S. travelers' eyes turned to Alaska. The vast state, famous for its towering, snow-capped peaks, pristine wilderness, massive national parks, and colorful locals, made for a dynamic destination with no passport required. But as borders reopen, interest in the 49th state is showing no signs of slowing down. Alaska's tourism board said early forecasts are projecting that more than 1.57 million cruise ship passengers could visit southeast Alaska in summer 2022. That's an 18% jump from 2019, the previous record year. Many perennial favorite cruise lines , like Holland America, will be returning to full strength after a non-existent 2020 and abbreviated 2021. Others, like Windstar Cruises, UnCruise, and Hurtigruten are rolling out fresh itineraries or are launching new ships. On dry land, Alaska is set to see myriad new offerings and events. In Juneau, the Sealaska Heritage Institute will open their Arts Campus (where visitors will be able to learn about Alaska Native art and culture) and will host Celebration , one of the largest gatherings of Indigenous peoples. In Anchorage, Fur Rendezvous , Alaska's oldest and largest winter festival, will be back from Feb. 25 to March 6 (which also happens to be peak aurora season ). The event hosts activities like the Running of the Reindeer and the Outhouse Races, before culminating with the 50th running of the iconic Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race . — Bailey Berg

3. Anguilla

This easy-going Caribbean gem is simpler than ever to get to with American Airlines launching the first-ever nonstop, direct flight from Miami on Dec. 11. Private charter flights by Tradewind Aviation have also resumed service to the island. And the just-opened Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club has a fleet of jets to ferry guests from key U.S. cities. The sprawling luxury resort will include a few restaurants overseen by chef Abram Bissell, formerly of Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad, and The Modern. Quintessence , a boutique luxury resort with perks like butler service and a 4:1 staff-to-guest ratio, is opening a more affordable annex of suites called Quinn that will debut in 2022 (along with a Champagne cellar tasting room and Art Bar). New Restaurant Uchu at Belmond Cap Juluca is taking inspiration from Belmond's collection of properties in Peru. Named after the Quechuan word for spice, the menu will feature contemporary Peruvian cuisine inspired by three of the country's regions: the coast, the jungle, and the highlands. — Scott Bay

4. Antarctica

The pandemic shutdown created a compelling reason to visit Antarctica in 2022: See how the whales, seals, and penguins react after nearly two years without seeing humans. New polar-class expedition ships and new ways to get to the White Continent are reasons to pack your boots too. Viking Expeditions will be in Antarctica for the first time in 2022 with new, twin 378-passenger expedition ships. Ponant's new 270-passenger Le Commandant Charcot introduces eco-friendlier sailing, as the first hybrid-electric ship fueled by liquified natural gas (rather than heavy fuel). Quark Expeditions' long-awaited 199-passenger Ultramarine delivers exciting heli-hiking adventures via two eight-seat twin-engine helicopters. Hit a craps table in between icy exploration on the luxurious new all-suite 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor. Silversea Cruises' posh, 144-passenger, all-suite Silver Explorer returns with a debut travel option: Skip the notorious (for rough water) Drake Passage and catch a private flight directly from Chile to Antarctica to board the ship. — Fran Golden

American travelers have long loved the Bahamas for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and sunshine just about 50 miles off the coast of Florida, but there are even more reasons to visit the island nation in 2022. Baha Mar on the Island of New Providence has a brand new water park equipped with everything from a lazy river to a surf simulator, and day passes are available for purchase to those who aren't resort guests. For more rest and relaxation, journey to the outer islands of the Bahamas. While charter flights will get you exactly where you need to go, Crystal Cruises is offering a Bahamas-centric cruise that brings guests to some of the quieter and more remote islands. On its mid-July cruise, guests will embark and disembark from Nassau and then be whisked away via "6-star" service to the islands of Bimini, Great Exuma, San Salvador, and Long Island. Beyond the beach, don't forget to indulge in some local food and culture. The Island archipelago is famous for its conch, stew fish, and rock lobster. From late April through early May, Carnival is celebrated in Nassau and back after a pandemic hiatus. Keep an eye out for the famous sound and dance of the junkanoo. — Jamie Aranoff

6. Barbados

Whether you want a relaxing all-inclusive stay or a vibrant vacation filled with dining and nightlife, Barbados has you covered. Nowhere is that more evident than the pedestrian-friendly South Coast, which is teeming with new resorts and restaurants. The O2 Beach Club & Spa is an all-inclusive resort set on the white sands of Dover Beach, with three pools, six dining options, seven bars, and the Acqua spa, featuring the only hammam treatment room on the island. It joins other luxurious South Coast hotels, including Sandals and Sea Breeze Beach House . If you can pull yourself away from the resort pools, head along the coast to Worthing Square Food Garden, an outdoor food hall with 20 vendors serving dishes from around the Caribbean. Or stroll down the mile-long boardwalk for easy access to ocean-front food and drinks at local favorites like Champers, Salt Café, Tiki Bar, and Chill Café & Bar. — Kevin Gray

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

A favorite of adventure travelers for its rainforests and divers who explore the Great Blue Hole and expansive barrier reef, Belize offers an abundance of casual spots and a handful of luxe resorts. The latest arrival is Alaia Belize, an Autograph Collection Hotel , in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, opened mid-2021 with plans to add to its already extensive guest room, suite, and oceanfront villa accommodations. Major airlines are also recognizing the destination's potential with nonstop flights and convenient connections from most U.S. cities. In addition to United and Delta's nonstop flights from Houston and Atlanta, respectively, Alaska Airlines added nonstop service from Los Angeles and Seattle to Belize City in November, and Frontier Airlines will start weekly nonstop flights from Denver and Orlando. — Patricia Doherty

8. Budapest, Hungary

Very few places in the world capture both old-world charm and elegant modernity like Hungary's capital city, and Budapest's latest 130-room luxury hotel, Matild Palace , is a shining example. The neo-baroque palace-turned-hotel, which opened last summer in the city's District V, is a UNESCO-protected site that once housed the city's royalty. The hotel is now home to Wolfgang Punk's famed restaurant, Spago , the first of its kind in central Europe. It also hosts the Duchess bar — a rooftop "liquor library" that mixes craft cocktails using local wines and pálinka, Hungarian fruit brandy, which can be enjoyed alongside panoramic views of the Danube river. Surrounded by 22 wine regions, Budapest is a city for oenophiles. Enjoy a glass of Kékfrankos or Kadarka in the Castle District's newly opened wine bar, Takler Borbár Buda , founded by one of the country's renowned winemaking families. Don't leave the city without visiting Marlou , a biodynamic wine bar near the Hungarian State Opera, and Portobello , an unassuming coffee and natural wine bar around the corner from Matild Palace. — Stephanie Andrews

9. Burgundy, France

The region of Burgundy is known for — you guessed it — its Burgundy wine, but French wine isn't the only reason Burgundy is a must-visit in 2022. In the spring, the region's capital city of Dijon will welcome the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin (International City of Gastronomy and Wine), an expansive complex with a cooking school, a new hotel, a handful of restaurants, and a wine cellar with over 250 by-the-glass offerings. The new project is perfectly situated at the starting point of Burgundy's famed wine route — Route des Grands Crus — which runs from Dijon to Santenay and produces some of the country's most well-regarded wines, including pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. — Evie Carrick

10. British Virgin Islands

Within the Caribbean, the 60 islands that comprise the British Virgin Islands have long held the reputation of luxury draped in relaxation. And now it's doubling down on that brand of island spirit with Richard Branson's second private island, the 125-acre Moskito Island that opened in October and sits right across from his first BVI paradise, Necker Island (which received a serious upgrade when it reopened last year after a two-year closure). The new destination will eventually have 10 private estates that can be rented through Virgin Limited Edition , but among the ones already available are Point Estate, starting at $17,500 a night, and Oasis Estate for $19,000. But Moskito isn't the only shiny new reason to visit BVI. Proving the area's resilience following the devastation after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Saba Rock , the private island long known for its diving, went through a complete reconstruction before reopening in October; the Bitter End Yacht Club reopened in December with BVI's first over-the-water bungalows; and Oil Nut Bay will expand in early 2022 with new villas, a watersports center, and spa. Also on tap for 2022, the solar-powered White Bay Villas and new hilltop suites at Long Bay Beach Resort . And with the Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival returning in the spring of 2022 after being canceled for two years, BVI is proving it's truly back and stronger than ever. — Rachel Chang

11. Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

You're likely to glimpse Europe's pro athlete and yachting crowds at Marriott's four hotels on the Costa Smeralda, the glitzy Italian destination known for its Caribbean-like beaches and luxury resorts. Its glamorous Hotel Cala di Volpe has gradually been unveiling room renovations alongside new dining options, including its Harrods Suite, with a roof terrace and sea-facing plunge pool, and BeefBar 's first Italian outpost. The entire area is one big " Billionaire Experience ," but Formula One and entertainment mogul Flavio Briatore snagged the term for his new dining and nightlife venue in designer shopping destination Porto Cervo. For more of a low-key, family-friendly escape, the Baglioni Resort Sardinia opened 404 an hour south in San Teodoro in June, overlooking the stunning Tavolara Marine Reserve . — Nina Ruggiero

12. Crete, Greece

The Greek Islands have long been a perennial favorite vacation destination for discerning travelers, and Crete, the largest of the 227 islands in the archipelago, deserves a spot atop your must-see list. Yes, it's a place where you can find the white-washed buildings and blue roofs you've lusted after on Instagram for years, and a spot where you can dive into the cerulean blue waters of the Mediterranean at every turn. And of course you can dig deep into both history and mythology as humans have lived on the island since the 7th millennium B.C ., not to mention the fact that Crete is the birthplace of Zeus . It's little surprise then, with all this beauty and history, that Crete continues to harbor a rich creative community, mostly centered in the neighborhood of Chania. There, visitors can peruse works in museums like the Mediterranean Architecture Center , or seek out unique pieces in galleries like the Municipal Art Gallery or the Redd Gallery . To visit Crete, hop aboard a sailing with Silversea , which takes guests to Crete and several other stellar islands, or book a stay at the Blue Palace Elounda, a Luxury Collection Resort , named one of the Top 10 Greece Resort Hotels in Travel + Leisure 's World's Best Awards, 2021. — Stacey Leasca

13. Walt Disney World

The "World's Most Magical Celebration" — Walt Disney World's 18-month-long 50th anniversary event that kicked off on Oct. 1 — continues through 2022 with enchanting touches and highly anticipated ride and hotel openings. Star Wars : Galactic Starcruiser will begin offering its immersive, two-night adventures in a galaxy far, far away on March 1. The interactive, choose-your-own-adventure experience will have guests wielding lightsabers, sleeping on the ship, brushing shoulders with Star Wars characters, eating intergalactic cuisine, and maybe even going on a secret mission, making this a truly unique experience that you can't find anywhere else in the world. Other 2022 openings include the Guardians of the Galaxy : Cosmic Rewind indoor coaster at Epcot, slated for summer. — Elizabeth Rhodes

14. Doha, Qatar

As we ask ourselves what cities of the future should look like, we naturally look around for examples. Places like Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York City seem to fit the description on paper, but I'd argue that no city better encapsulates that definition than Doha, the capital of Qatar. There is so much to discover — from East-West/West-East , a series of four steel monoliths created by sculptor Richard Serra to the Museum of Islamic Art , the massive 560,000-square-foot gallery. Eat at Syrian comfort food spot Damasca One, Em Sherif a rooftop spot that serves up authentic regional dishes, and the lively corner restaurant Nourlaya Contemporary for Sri Lankan cuisine. Stay at the Mandarin Oriental Doha or Banyan Tree Doha . (Read Robinson's full dispatch on Doha in the July 2021 edition of Travel + Leisure) — Whitney Robinson

15. Edinburgh, Scotland

The Auld Reekie is buzzing with new energy. The highly anticipated Hotel W , designed by Jestico and Whiles in conjunction with Allan Murray Architects, is opening next winter. And several other hotels have recently opened in and around the city — Marine North Berwick , the Market Street hotel , Rusacks St. Andrews , and ship-turned-luxury-hotel Fingal . Gleneagles Townhouse , a first-ever city outpost from the famed Gleneagles estate, is opening in the spring. St James Quarter, a developing area of the city, and where Hotel W is being built, is opening next year with 85 shops, 30 restaurants, and a cinema. New in whisky is the September christening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street . And promising to shake up the scotch scene in the capital city is Leith Distillery , opening in the summer. — Scott Bay

16. Finger Lakes, New York

The Finger Lakes have bolstered their wellness and culinary offerings in recent years, carving out a name for themselves in the luxury travel realm. Inns of Aurora , comprising five historic mansions, debuted a holistic wellness facility in 2021 — set on 350 acres overlooking Cayuga Lake, complete with hydrotherapy pools, meditation areas, and a farm fresh cafe. Forty miles west of Cayuga, The Lakehouse on Canandaigua — situated on, yes, Canandaigua Lake — recently unveiled the Willowbrook Spa, which boasts lakeside barrel sauna sessions among other innovative treatments. Sandwiched between Cayuga and Canandaigua lakes is Seneca Lake, home to the largest of the Finger Lakes wine trails (this might be riesling country, but don't knock the lighter-bodied reds till you try 'em) and foodie draws like the 14-seat F.L.X. Table . Travelers visiting in the coming year will also see the Finger Lakes festival roster return in full force, including Rochester's Lilac Festival in May and International Jazz Festival in July, as well as attractions for the historically inclined road tripper, like Cayuga County's celebration of Harriet Tubman's birth through a number of walking tours and activations rolled out through 2022. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

17. Franklin, Tennessee

Despite its count of more than 80,000 year-round residents, the very walkable Franklin firmly grasps onto its small-town charms , starting with a quintessentially quaint downtown chock-full of shops and restaurants finding shelter in brick storefronts lining the sidewalks. The uninitiated might know this place for its past — Civil War museums, battleground sites, and historical markers telling the stories of a slave market, race riots, and Black soldiers in the U.S. Colored Troop division of the army all offer points of education and reflection. But the southern city has many modern-day draws as well — for starters, an exciting food and drink scene that includes the Tennessee Whiskey Trail and Arrington Vineyards , the largest winery in the region. Musical events and venues abound, too: The Pilgrimage Music Festival is one of the biggest in the state, and the 7,500-seat FirstBank Amphitheater , newly opened inside a former rock quarry, has welcomed the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Santana to its stage. There's also Leiper's Fork , a quirky-cool enclave filled with antique shops and art galleries. Even more brand-new to the scene is Southall , a 325-acre farm and inn with 62 rooms and suites and 16 cottages opening this June. The lush setting amid rolling hills makes active adventures (hiking, biking, kayaking), wellness pursuits (a spa, meditation, yoga, and two outdoor pools), and nourishing food (the restaurant uses ingredients grown, raised, and foraged on the property) easy to find. All of this and more lie just a short, 30-minute drive from bustling Nashville, making it tempting to tack onto a visit to the capital city. — Alisha Prakash

18. Galápagos Islands

The world's largest marine biosphere reserve will expand more than 20,000 square miles next year thanks to a recent presidential decree . The conservation measure seeks to combat illegal fishing by offering increased protection to the thousands of species that populate the archipelago's waters as well as a migration corridor stretching up to Costa Rica used by sharks, whales and other sea life. Come January, travelers can cruise this UNESCO-protected region on new nine-day adventures from Hurtigruten Expeditions and outfitter Metropolitan Touring aboard the 90-guest carbon-neutral MS Santa Cruz II. For a more intimate experience, passengers can book Aqua Expeditions ' seven-suite 164-foot superyacht, Aqua Mare, when it debuts in May. At the end of the year, eco-enthusiasts can sail to lesser-explored islands to spot giant tortoises, sea lions, flightless cormorants, Galápagos penguins, and marine iguanas on Quasar Expeditions ' new sustainable yacht — the 18-passenger M/Y Conservation featuring biodegradable amenities, renewable energy and a carbon-neutral footprint. Those with timid sea legs should check into the locally owned and run Montemar in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. — Nora Walsh

19. Greater Palm Springs, California

Greater Palm Springs is kicking its signature self-care into high gear in the coming year. Taking a cue from its sister property, Sensei Lanai , the new Sensei Porcupine Creek is converting a 230-acre private estate into a luxury wellness experience in Rancho Mirage in 2022. In Palm Springs proper, Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza will celebrate Indigenous art and history alongside the new Spa at Séc-he , where visitors will soak in approximately 12,000-year-old hot springs. Nearby, Fleur Noire Hotel just opened its adults-only casitas and bungalows, with a speakeasy Champagne bar to follow. Unexpectedly, the desert has a budding surf scene — the former Wet 'n Wild waterpark is becoming Palm Springs Surf Club , with a state-of-the-art wave pool, spa, restaurant, and bar; DSRT Surf is set to open a 5.5-acre wave lagoon in Palm Desert; and Kelly Slater himself is bringing a green energy–powered wave basin to Coral Mountain , a proposed new wellness resort with a hotel and residences, set to open in La Quinta by 2023 pending city approvals. And for entertainment outside the splash zone, the $250-million Coachella Valley Arena will host hockey, concerts, and more live events by the end of the year. — Nina Ruggiero

20. Greenville, South Carolina

Once in the shadow of Charleston and Asheville, Greenville has emerged in recent years as a go-to destination in its own right — and it keeps giving travelers more reasons to visit. In 2022, the city of just over 70,000 people will welcome a luxury boutique hotel, unveil a new public gathering place, and build on its well-earned reputation as a culinary and craft beer hotspot. The long-awaited, 187-room Grand Bohemian hotel is expected to open its doors this spring, complete with a two-story restaurant and bar, art gallery, and spa. The 60-acre Unity Park will feature plenty of greenspace, an observation tower, baseball fields, playgrounds, and walking and biking trails. And recently opened restaurants, including French Laundry alum Drew Erickson's Camp , Urban Wren, Coral, and an outpost of Nashville's famous Prince's Hot Chicken located inside Yee-Haw Brewing will ensure you're well-fed while in town. — Kevin Gray

21. Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique

While South Africa and Uganda grab headlines for African wildlife, Mozambique has been quietly making strides protecting 17 percent of its land — including beaches, coral reefs, and islands — showcasing its dedication to its natural beauty both on land and underwater. Ever since the country's 16-year civil war ended in 1992, the southeastern African nation has been aiming to build back in the right ways. Case in point: the private island of Ilha Caldeira, less than seven miles off the coast as part of the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago, located within the marine-protected area with 20 percent of the country's intact living coral. It's here that the eco-luxury Banyan Tree resort chain has developed one of its most ambitious projects yet, a five-star property — accessible by jetty or helicopter — with 40 private pool villas that will be completely solar powered. Add to that a fish market restaurant with a 270-degree ocean view, the brand's trademark Banyan Tree Spa, and world-class diving, all in a too-pristine-to-believe beach setting, and this island escape is sure to draw attention away from its Indian Ocean neighbors when it opens at the end of 2022. — Rachel Chang

22. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Those wary of traveling internationally in 2022 will find solace in Jackson Hole, a mountain town with endless open space (Wyoming is the least populated state in the U.S.) and plenty to do. In the winter, life revolves around Jackson Hole Mountain Resort , home to some of the nation's best skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, plan your trip around the Jackson Hole Food & Wine Summer Festival (June 23-25) or head to the nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. For easy access to the mountain town, travelers can hop on one of Aero's high-end, seasonal flights and stay at The Cloudveil off the Town Square or the Caldera House at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. — Evie Carrick

23. Kafue National Park, Zambia

Straddling three regions of Zambia, Kafue National Park is the largest (and oldest) in the country, measuring 8,648 miles. In the wildlife-rich Busanga plains — located in the secluded northern side of the park — spend the night at newly opened Chisa Busanga Camp in their bird's nest shaped rooms. Enjoy a silent safari, thanks to e-cruisers or an e-bike safari provided by the property. See wildlife from above with a hot air balloon safari from Shumba Camp or Busanga Bush Camp . Other accommodation offerings in the park include riverfront Ila Safari Lodge and Mukambi Safari Lodge . Both properties offer fishing, walking safaris, boat cruises, and have Instagram worthy pools (perfect for a soak and the traditional safari sundowner: a gin and tonic). — Mazuba Kapambwe

24. Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas, Lithuania has a lofty New Year's resolution. After a century of wars, Soviet rule, and, since the 1990s, independence, this UNESCO Creative City of Design is ready to cultivate a new identity — and it's doing so as one of two European Capitals of Culture for 2022 (alongside Novi Sad, Serbia). The festivities commence in January, with thousands of concerts, festivals, exhibitions, and events throughout the year to celebrate Kaunas' history while cementing its path forward . Also this year, Kaunas will welcome the highly anticipated $30 million Science Island, Lithuania's first national science and innovation center designed by UK firm Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC). By May, the city's former Magnus Hotel will reopen with sparkly new digs and a posh rooftop under the ibis Styles umbrella 404 . This lively city is also a main stop on the recently unveiled 1,330-mile Forest Trail across the Baltics. And, a host of just-announced Ryanair flight routes, including Madrid to Kaunas, will make visiting this capital of culture a breeze. — Stephanie Vermillion

25. Kyushu, Japan

Kyushu may be less than two hours from Tokyo by plane, but it feels far from Honshū's well-beaten tourist circuit. The southwesternmost Japanese main island is still largely unexplored, providing those willing to venture off the beaten path with a much different Japan than the one they'll find in its cities. As a warm, subtropical island, Kyushu is home to long, golden beaches and some of Japan's best snorkeling and scuba diving. Inland, the country's most active volcano, Mt. Aso, feeds the island's myriad natural hot springs — many of which offer sea views. And while the island has accommodations that include both hot spring resorts and luxury beachfront villas 404 , nothing tops a stay at Hirado Castle , which was recently restored and renovated to welcome visitors overnight . — Evie Carrick

26. Lanai, Hawaii

Wellness opportunities and cultural awareness are showcased along with luxury at Lanai's two Four Seasons resorts. At Sensei Lāna'i, A Four Seasons Resort , guests can now choose the Discover Sensei Experience , offering the ability to enjoy the retreat's amenities without joining the more comprehensive programs. New "Optimal Wellbeing" programs focus on improving performance in tennis and golf along with overall wellness. Four Seasons Resort Lanai is adding an observatory as part of "Love Lanai," featuring cultural experiences designed to share the island's rich heritage. The observatory program will center around the history of Pacific voyaging, native traditions, and astronomy. — Patricia Doherty

27. Las Vegas, Nevada

Never bet against the house: The pandemic may have put a damper on Las Vegas, but the ever-on-the-move city is back in a big way for 2022. A massive new development on the Strip, Resorts World Las Vegas, opened in June, has three distinct Hilton properties under one enormous roof, not to mention more than 40 restaurants and bars, plus pools (plural), and a handful of $15,000-a-night villas . Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, the Cromwell , and downtown's Circa Resort & Casino are also giving visitors fresh options on where to stay. The city's pro sports teams — also now plural — are drawing in fans. And off-Strip "immersive experiences," like the Omega Mart by Meow Wolf and the Illuminarium, both at Area15 , are lending an additional layer of things to do beyond the expected. Not that there's anything wrong with splashing out on dinner and a show after the past two years. Live acts — like Adele's just-announced residency at The Colosseum — are once again hot tickets, as is a table at chic new supper club Delilah , at the Wynn Las Vegas. Some things, thankfully, never change. — Paul Brady

28. Louisville, Kentucky

Your cowboy boots were made for walking the streets of Louisville. Nicknamed "The Bourbon City," an official gateway to Kentucky's bourbon trail, the city is expanding its bourbon footprint in 2022. In October, the Urban Bourbon Trail welcomed the first and only African American–owned distillery in the state, Brough Brothers . Meanwhile, its trailmate, Angel's Envy , will wrap its $8.2-million expansion project complete with a new event space and five tasting rooms in the spring. The city is most well known for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby every spring at the historic Churchill Downs racetrack, and the Downs will open the first installment of its multi-year expansion plan, the Homestretch Club , just in time for the 2022 Derby. There, attendees will be able to enjoy the race with an all-new trackside lounge experience. — Hannah Streck

29. Malaysia

Malaysia is home to a beautiful medley of cultures (Chinese, Indian, and Malay) and a diverse smattering of terrain: bustling cities with towering buildings, verdant rain forests with incredible wildlife, and idyllic islands with dreamy beaches. But all of this and more has been closed to the world for much of the pandemic. Now that the island of Langkawi is open via a travel bubble, with the rest of the country expected to follow suit in 2022, travelers can once again experience Malaysia's many gifts. Langkawi, a beach lover's paradise, blends unspoiled nature (UNESCO-listed Kilim Karst Geoforest Park ) and unparalleled luxury ( Four Seasons Resort , Datai Langkawi ), while cosmopolitan capital Kuala Lumpur draws visitors with its gleaming Petronas Towers, delicious hawker food stalls, and shopping. Then there's Borneo, complete with wildlife-packed jungles and a rich Indigenous culture, as well as Desaru Coast, a 3,900-acre area that's home to coveted resorts like the One&Only Desaru Coast , a tropical oasis that opened in early September 2020 (the brand's first in Asia). — Alisha Prakash

30. Maldives

The Maldives' 1,000+ islands sit in the Indian Ocean like a string of turquoise pearls. The tropical nirvana has 166 accommodation options, including the new Joali Being nature retreat, which leads guests on a transformative wellness journey. Alila Kothaifaru Maldives debuts in February with 80 beach and overwater villas on the Raa Atoll. Coming to the same atoll in May, also with 80 luxury villas, is Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa on a massive lagoon primed for snorkeling. The ever-innovative Soneva Fushi has a new experience that includes zip-lining to a six-course meal 30 feet about the sand. Along with Soneva Jani, they've debuted Soneva Soul , a new spa complex melding ancient and modern techniques. Other vacation favorites are unveiling new digs like the sleek, contemporary renovation of Naladhu Private Island and the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island , debuting in February. — Katie Lockhart

31. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is considered one of the sailing capitals of the world. It is home to the largest fleet of America's Cup 12 Meter yachts , most of which are available for charter. In May, the coastal town is welcoming a Sailing Museum that is sure to solidify that title. Over the past few years, a slew of hotel openings have closed a much-needed gap for luxury accommodations, including Hammett's Hotel , Brenton Hotel , and The Wayfinder Hotel . The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection is debuting the property's highly anticipated transformation conceived by Dallas-based design collective Swoon — the lobby, dining room, and shared areas are now complete with guest rooms finishing early next year. Renowned beverage executive Maxwell Britten has joined the team as chief cocktail curator alongside an amazing chef who cooks up a selection of elevated pub-inspired dishes. And don't miss Giusto , at Hammett's Hotel, which serves up excellent Italian with a Rhode Island twist. — Scott Bay

32. Nile Cruise, Egypt

There is no trip that will convert you to a life of river cruising quite like a sail down (well, technically, up) the Nile. In fact, the world's first river cruises sailed in Egypt, a country designed around the central waterway, where it makes sense that the Nile would act as your home base. A typical Egyptian river cruise sets sail from Cairo to Luxor and then Aswan, with the occasional stop to visit an island temple along the way — complete with sights like the Pyramids, Valley of Kings and Queens, Nefertari's tomb, and the Temple of Kom Ombo. In 2022, there's more than one new river cruise to choose from, between Uniworld's newly launched S.S. Sphinx and AmaWaterways' Amadahlia , both of which sailed their inaugural voyages in fall 2021. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

In late 2021, Panama launched a tourism platform along with the coolest tagline in travel: " Live for More ." With a booming coffee scene and a renewed focus on its culture, history, and biodiversity , the Central American nation is ready for its moment in the spotlight. It's an attractive place for those looking to get out of resort mode and into a world open for exploration and adventure. Immersive environmental experiences abound here, including trekking through the rainforest on its suspended hanging bridges and walking to the top of the Volcán Barú, an active volcano with both Pacific and Atlantic Ocean views from the top. There is also abundant opportunity to learn from Panama's seven Indigenous communities, each of whom offer their own personalized experiences and are happy to share their craftsmanship and traditions. Panama offers plenty of luxury, too. In its capital city, check into the American Trade Hotel , centrally located in Panama's Casco Viejo district, a historic neighborhood which happens to also be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. — Stacey Leasca

34. Phuket, Thailand

Before the pandemic, Phuket was beautiful but crowded, full of beach bars and tourists chasing all-nighters. It's still full of energy and surrounded by the same pristine sea glass–colored water, but its luxurious side is finally getting the attention it deserves, from its high-end coffee shops to its cocktail bars. Hide from the world in paradise with a stay in one of the private pool residences at Trisara , featuring kitchens, a private chef, butler service, and breathtaking views over the sea, as well as access to the resort's PRU restaurant , which has earned both a Michelin star and a Michelin green star. Or book a stay at the brand-new V Villas Phuket , which offers a curated selection of 19 private-pool, 1-, 3-, and 4-bedroom villas. Later, party the night away in Phuket Old Town with inventive cocktails at Club No. 43 (think: rum with grilled pineapple juice and espuma), or settle in for a great dinner and a night of daring performances at the Junkyard Theatre , which just launched a weekly Saturday night show. — Alison Fox

35. Pico, Portugal

The islands of the Azores — a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean some 900 miles west of Lisbon — are more popular than ever, and for 2022, travelers will want to fix their eyes firmly on the second-largest isle: Pico, an alluring, otherworldly locale covered with black, volcanic rocks. Conquering Portugal's highest peak, the cloud-shrouded, 7,713-foot-high Mount Pico, used to be the island's main draw, but a recent uptick in hospitality infrastructure has allowed for more opportunity to partake of Pico's most important agricultural output: wine. Renowned Portuguese winemaker Antonio Maçanita just opened a new winery that comes with bookable design-forward apartments adjacent to the island's unique vineyards. On Pico, grapes are planted on volcanic terroir that are then protected from Atlantic winds with rock walls. Maçanita's ​​ Azores Wine Company 's mineral, sometimes slightly salty wines could be the perfect celebratory drink after a grueling hike.The crashing waves around Pico are beginning to seduce surfers, too. And there are also ample opportunities to watch for marine life thanks to 20 species of dolphins and whales (including humpbacks and orcas) that can be spotted in these waters. But if you'd rather eat what's in the water: Try lapas, a local shellfish delicacy best served grilled with butter and garlic and finished with a squeeze of lemon. Thankfully, getting to experience all of this has never been easier: Starting July 1, United Airlines will for the first time connect Newark to the island of São Miguel (the Azores' largest island), and from there, it's a quick hop over to Pico. Or you could always get there via direct flights from Lisbon or Porto with Tap Air Portugal's stopover program. — Chadner Navarro

36. Quebec, Canada

After over a year of tight pandemic restrictions, Canada reopened to American tourists in 2021, so now might finally be time to plan that trip to the Great White North, starting with the province of Quebec. From the charming, French-influenced cities of Montreal and Quebec City to the region's snow-capped mountains, there's something new to explore every season. In December 2021, the first Club Med mountain resort in Canada, Club Med Quebec Charlevoix , opened, offering all-inclusive ski vacations just a short flight from several major U.S. cities. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a foliage-packed autumn cruise from New York to Montreal in October. No matter what time of year you visit, Le Capitole Hotel in Quebec City and Humaniti Hotel Montreal are top picks for places to stay in the major cities. — Elizabeth Rhodes

37. Queensland, Australia

Australia's highly anticipated international border reopening will be well worth the wait, especially as more travelers seek nuanced cultural experiences and sustainable stays. The northeastern state has long been the gateway for visits to the rightly beloved Great Barrier Reef, and beginning in 2022, visitors can learn about conservation efforts and the ecosystem directly from the area's Traditional Land Owners and Indigenous guides during day trips from Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel . Aboriginal elders and Traditional Land Owners are also working with local operator Gudjuda Tours on a daylong excursion to tag and rescue one of the reef's most beloved creatures: sea turtles. Those who want to take a more extended trip to the Whitsunday Islands can look to Elysian Retreat , recently certified as the area's first fully solar-powered resort, or its carbon-negative sister property Pumpkin Island . Back on the mainland, within the verdant Daintree Rainforest UNESCO World Heritage Site, eco-luxury hideaway Silky Oaks Lodge will finally welcome guests back after its $15-million overhaul. — Sarah Bruning

38. Santa Ynez Valley, California

Two hours from L.A., the Santa Ynez Valley is rural, unassuming, and coming into its own. The region has grown grapes for decades and has even made a Hollywood cameo in the movie Sideways. The arrival of newer tasting rooms, restaurants, and hotels in recent years has firmly put the area on oenophiles' and travelers' radars. Start with a private olive oil tasting at Global Gardens and hard cider at Tin City Cider in Los Olivos. Follow with pizza pies at Full of Life Flatbread and vino at nearby female-owned A Tribute to Grace and Casa Dumetz . Detour to Firestone Walker 's outpost in Buellton for a few limited edition craft brews and finish with dishes such as roasted tomato and fennel risotto at the Ballard Inn's Gathering Table 404 . Though it's technically just beyond the boundaries of the valley in Lompoc, The Hilt Estate , is too good to miss. And once it opens this year as an Auberge property, The Inn at Mattei's Tavern will make for the perfect base from which to explore it all. — Tanvi Chheda

39. São Paulo, Brazil

Known for its dynamic combination of luxury, design, and fashion influence, São Paulo is an international metropolitan hub of arts and culture. It's the largest city in South America, hosting an array of entertainment opportunities such as fabulous hotels, decadent restaurants, high-class museums, and iconic mid-century architecture. With airlines including American adding flights throughout Brazil in 2022 and a flourishing hospitality renaissance throughout the city, São Paulo is well prepared for its anticipated influx of new travelers. A must-visit destination for 2022 is the Rosewood São Paulo , located in the heart of São Paulo's Cidade Matarazzo and housed in a historic landmark building. Here, visitors will encounter 200-plus luxurious guest rooms, suites, and residences, plus six restaurants and bars and two pools. — Molly O'Brien

40. Savannah, Georgia

This coastal Georgia city is rightly famous for its atmospheric, moss-draped streets and squares, not to mention its hundreds of years of history. But lately Savannah has been boosted by creativity and innovation outside the sometimes frozen-in-amber Old Town, which means now is a particularly compelling time to visit. Make home base the brand-new Thompson Savannah 429 , a slick 13-story tower with interiors by Studio 11 Design that anchors the still-developing Eastern Wharf neighborhood. Phase one of the 54-acre development, which aims to turn a once-industrial waterfront into a contemporary mixed-use destination, includes hundreds of apartments, fitness trails, access to the Savannah River, and multiple bars and restaurants, including Fleeting , a seasonally driven spot inside the Thompson. At the same time, Savannah's other major waterfront destination has also come into its own. The Plant Riverside District, a stone's throw from Old Town, marked its official grand opening in November 2021, putting a bow on a bustling JW Marriott hotel , countless restaurants and bars, and multiple live performance venues all along a rebuilt waterfront. Not that all the action is along the river: The ever-evolving Starland District, a short drive from Johnson Square, has its share of hangouts including Starland Yard , a food truck park that's also home to the excellent Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana ; Two Tides Brewing Company , which pours hazy ales and delicious sours in a super-cool taproom; and Troupial , a Venezuelan cafe. You'll also want to pack Wildsam Savannah , a newly released field guide that helps visitors understand the layers of history (and the contemporary politics) that are fueling the latest renaissance in Savannah. — Paul Brady

41. Seattle, Washington

Few places offer both an urban and a natural escape in one destination — and the Emerald City might be one of the best. The city center is world-class with top hotel accommodations ( Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and Thompson Seattle ), locally focused fine dining, and countless cultural sites. Then, just minutes away from all of that is some of the most stunning outdoor recreation out there. Adding to the city's luster is the newly opened Lotte Hotel Seattle . The 189-room tower is bringing high design and refined service to the area. Charlotte , the hotel's restaurant on the 18th floor, serves up an inventive menu that is sure to become an all-time favorite dining experience. The landmark Fairmont Olympic Hotel recently completed a $25-million historic restoration of its public spaces, quickly becoming one of the most Instagrammable spots in town. Plus, its buzzy new culinary showpiece will debut in the months to come. Before leaving Seattle, don't miss a meal at celebrated pasta specialist Brian Clevenger's new restaurant, Autumn . — Scott Bay

42. Sedona, Arizona

Makito Umekita/Travel + Leisure

With tourism already surging thanks to the Instagram fame of attractions like Devil's Bridge, Sedona garnered even more of a following during the pandemic among cooped-up city dwellers enthralled by the destination's red rocks and energy vortexes. In 2022, set your sights on North America's first landscape hotel, Ambiente , home to 40 standalone accommodations (called "atriums"), most with private rooftop decks perfect for stargazing. Opening in May, the sustainability-focused retreat will offer on-site trailhead access — further immersing guests in the Sedona landscape while combating traffic along the city's main highway — and reactivate an ancient waterway to populate a stream running throughout the hotel. Experience Sedona's culinary clout right on property at Ambiente's restaurant, Forty1, housed in a refurbished airstream, or venture next door to Mariposa , the city's must-visit restaurant by chef Lisa Dahl, who pioneered fine dining in this town. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

43. Singapore

Singapore reopened to vaccinated American travelers in October 2021 with the introduction of the country's Vaccinated Travel Lane . Travelers can fly from the U.S. on Singapore Airlines' vaccine-mandatory flights ; the World's Best airline 26 years running launched Vaccinated Travel Lane flights this fall, and United Airlines plans to follow suit by January 2022. Even in the early stages of reopening to foreign travelers, the city-state is already unveiling new culinary ventures. Recently, chef Julien Royer, behind three-Michelin-star Odette, opened Claudine , and Raffles Singapore unveiled Osteria BBR 404 by Alain Ducasse, while Marina Bay Sands plans to debut chef Tetsuya Wakuda's second restaurant within the hotel in the new year. Of course, there's just as much flavor to be found at Singapore's famed hawker centers, now on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. As tourists return to Singapore, new cultural attractions follow — from the return of Singapore Art Week, beginning Jan. 14, to the recent unveiling of SkyHelix Sentosa , an open-air ride towering 300 feet above sea level, for anyone still in need of thrills after a 17-hour flight over the Pacific. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

44. Southwest Michigan

Beaches with ocean-like views were once the main draw to Michigan's southwest coast, but new high-style accommodations and hyper-local experiences are giving us more reasons to go. Where to stay with so many options? Consider the cool new motel-turned-boutique Lake Shore Resort in Saugatuck; The Fields glamping retreat with new spa tents in South Haven; the revamped, modern Harbor Grand Hotel in New Buffalo; or anywhere along the coast with high-touch Bluefish Vacation Rentals , which has killer lakefront homes now stocked with handmade local goods. Hop on the new pedestrian/bike trail in Union Pier, and definitely shop two new woman-owned standouts: the beautifully curated Haven and Ariane Prewitt's AP Cottage, scheduled to open this spring. Women are showing off the culinary scene, too, with everything from a special saison ale — winner of the 2021 Great American Beer Festival — at woman-owned Waypost Brewing Co. , to new herb-inspired cocktails at James Beard-winning chef Melissa Corey's Penny Royal Café & Provisions , to James Beard nominee Abra Beherns' Granor Farm , where dinners return this year in a new glass-enclosed barn. — Nina Kokotas Hahn

45. St. Moritz, Switzerland

If you're on the hunt for glitz, glamour, and powder for days, look no further than St. Moritz, Switzerland. The Alpine ski town has long been considered the birthplace of winter vacationing. Tourists first flocked to the mountain town in 1864 , when hotelier Johannes Badrutt took a few British travelers to the community, promising them bluebird days all winter. It wasn't long until others learned about this hidden winter oasis. Skiers and winter sports enthusiasts flocked to the mountain, which has now hosted the Winter Olympic Games not once, but twice. It's an ideal place for ski bunnies too, thanks to its luxury shopping, and its numerous Michelin-starred restaurants . This winter, head to St. Moritz for its fantastic events like White Surf (Feb. 6, 13, and 20, 2022), an international horse race that takes place across the frozen Lake St. Moritz, and the Snow Polo World Cup 404 (Jan. 28-30, 2022), which happens to be the world's only high-goal tournament on snow. Book a stay at the Badrutt's Palace Hotel , which officially reopened on Dec. 3 for the 2021/2022 season and offers guests the chance to try their hand at high-octane winter sports like skijöring, snowkiting, tobogganing, and even private helicopter tours to the peaks of Piz Bernina and Piz Palü. — Stacey Leasca

46. St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida

The beaches of St. Petersburg and nearby Clearwater are consistently ranked among the best in the U.S. and even the world , but there's more to this destination than white sand, pristine waters, and 361 days of sunshine per year. St. Pete/Clearwater offers more than 30 museums and galleries featuring world-renowned artists like Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, as well as the largest collection of Salvador Dalí's work outside of Spain. One could say brewing the perfect beer is also an artform that St. Pete/Clearwater has mastered, with its trail of 35+ locally owned craft breweries. Playfully nicknamed the " Gulp Coast ," complete your experience with a digital passport that tracks your beer-sampling progress. These year-round offerings mean you can visit any time, but head over in June 2022 to revel in the 20th anniversary of St. Pete Pride , the largest Pride event in Florida, hosting events for everyone from friends and families to couples and solo travelers. — Jessica Poitevien

47. Todos Santos, Mexico

Todos Santos is one of Mexico's pueblo mágicos, or "magic towns," and locals are working to retain its history and culture while embracing the steady stream of travelers who have begun venturing an hour north of Cabo San Lucas to discover its charm. The area saw a handful of new boutique resorts pop up in 2021 that provide luxury amenities while keeping the rugged land and local flora the centerpiece. Wellness-focused Paradero describes itself as a "landscaping project" that just so happens to have luxurious suites, and El Perdido , an all-villa resort less than five miles south, provides all-terrain vehicles so visitors can get to Los Cerritos beach, the local surf break of choice. Oceanfront Rancho Pescadero 's multimillion-dollar transformation will be complete in the spring. Bookings for its oceanfront villas and penthouse rooms — some with private rooftops and plunge pools — open in January. Todos Santos has fully embraced farm-to-table dining, with Javier Plascencia's orchard-adjacent Jazamango leading the way, and Santa Terra , a cosmopolitan oyster bar meets arts and entertainment venue concept, is in the process of adding multiple bars and restaurants, plus a glamping site and amphitheater, according to its developer, "without chopping down a single tree." — Nina Ruggiero

48. Udaipur, India

After an extremely challenging 20-month closure, India reopened to vaccinated travelers on Nov. 15, 2021. Those looking toward South Asia in the new year, perhaps to see the Taj Mahal in Agra or hit the Goan beaches, should make sure Udaipur is on the itinerary. The city of lakes in southern Rajasthan is thought of as the most romantic Indian destination (even called the "Venice of the East") — but it's not just for honeymooners. From the vibrance of Hathi Pol bazaar and Shilpgram , an artisanal compound on the outskirts of the city with a festival set to return on Jan. 22, to the serenity of Lake Pichola, the artificial lake made in the 14th century, Udaipur is a city where you can fully immerse in Rajasthani culture. A hub of Indian luxury, Udaipur is now home to the country's first Raffles hotel, which opened in October. This private island hotel on Udai Sagar Lake is accessible only by boat — something of a trademark for the over-the-top hotels of Udaipur. Meant to be a flagship hotel in the Raffles portfolio, complete with brand staples (think: bars, both Long and Writers), 101 lavish suites, Rasoi cooking school, and lakeside open-air restaurant Belvedere Point. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

49. Wales, United Kingdom

The only path in the world to follow the whole of a country's coastline, the Wales Coastal Path celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022. Walking its 870 miles would take three months, but its most spectacular stretches can be seen in one visit — and in style. St David's in Pembrokeshire, west Wales, is Britain's smallest city with a mere population of 1,600 and is home to a Medieval cathedral , a luxury hotel inside Roch Castle , some excellent pubs, and the upscale St David's Gin & Kitchen . Hiking paths with unbeatable coastal vistas are within easy reach (try the St David's Head loop ) and pass neolithic tombs and hillforts. — Jamie Carter

50. Yucatán, Mexico

Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán, has emerged as one of Mexico's most popular cities thanks to its lively restaurant scene, a busy calendar of cultural events, and a relaxed tropical atmosphere. Increasingly, however, travelers are venturing beyond the city to explore the state's unspoiled nature reserves, ancient Maya sites, and sprawling haciendas — a number now converted into hotels. Among the destinations that are drawing travelers to Yucatán are El Cuyo, a quiet beach town that was long a closely guarded secret of windsurfers. Now visitors can also enjoy gourmet Mexican fare at the El Chile Gordo restaurant and boho-chic lodgings at the new Casa Mate . In Espita, a charming colonial town near Valladolid, is the Casona los Cedros hotel which opened in summer 2021. Sisal, a historic port in the western part of the state, has attracted new interest since being named a Pueblo Mágico at the end of 2020. A new highway completed in April now connects Sisal to Hunucmá (and then beyond to Mérida) making it easier for beachcombers to visit, and perhaps spend the night at the cool Club de Patos 404 . — John Newton

51. Bonus: Space

This was a monumental year for human spaceflight — not only did NASA and SpaceX achieve a regular cadence of astronaut launches for the first time since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011, but space tourism has also lifted off in a major way, making space a top destination to visit in 2022. And it's a realistic trip, too, so long as you have the budget for it. Both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic succeeded in taking passengers to space on short suborbital hops this year, and each company plans to ramp up those flights in 2022 — Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 bookings. The price for a quick jaunt to space? A few hundred thousand dollars . If you have an even bigger budget (say, a couple hundred million dollars), you could charter your own orbital flight in a SpaceX Dragon Capsule, as did entrepreneur Jared Issacman with his Inspiration4 mission in September. There are also tourism trips to the International Space Station in the works; Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa launches on his multi-day journey in December, courtesy of space travel agency Space Adventures and Russia's Roscosmos space agency, which plans to take even more " citizen space explorers " to the orbiting laboratory in the near future. Of course, not everyone has pockets deep enough to cover space travel, but more affordable journeys are on the horizon. Startup Space Perspective plans to launch high-altitude balloon rides to the edge of space in 2024 , for the relatively low price of $125,000. Potential dealbreaker, though — the balloons don't actually reach space, maxing out at 100,000 feet in altitude, while space is considered to begin somewhere between 264,000 feet (50 miles) and 327,360 feet ​​(62 miles). But hey, at least there's a bar on board. — Stefanie Waldek

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Clear water of Lake Tahoe California in summer with snowcapped mountains in the background--one of the best places to visit in the USA bucket list

USA Bucket List: 50 Best Places to Visit in the US

From snowcapped mountains to tropical beaches, from some of the world’s most iconic cities to some of its most incredible deserts, from the east coast to the west, one thing is incredibly certain: there is absolutely no shortage of awe-inspiring, utterly diverse, and incredibly beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Our home country boasts one of the most incredible national park systems on the planet, along with a huge variety of cities, small towns, and other gorgeous places that ensure that a lifetime would not be long enough to see all of the best travel destinations in the USA.

… But that won’t stop us from trying to enjoy as many of the most amazing vacations in the United States as we can.

We teamed up with several other travel bloggers to put together this giant USA bucket list, and definitely added a few new spots to our personal list of places to see in the US in the process!

From coast to coast, city to countryside, here are the best places to visit in the USA.

Table of Contents

Best Cities to Visit in the USA

National parks + other beautiful places for a us vacation, beaches + islands for your usa bucket list, other beautiful places in the usa to visit.

antelope canyon in arizona with a beam of light streaming into the canyon

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New York, New York

From Disha of Disha Discovers

New York is one of the most iconic and beautiful cities in the United States and even the world.

It truly is a city that everyone should visit at least once in their lives even if it’s just for a quick weekend in NYC !

The tall buildings are mesmerizing and awe-inspiring, it’s home to some of the most exquisite museums and galleries in the world, and New York City is brimming with so much to explore and see.

Plus, NYC is a foodie’s heaven with cuisines from all over the world.

… And, these are only a few of the many reasons to visit this magnificent city.

kate storm standing at a magnifying glass on liberty island overlooking financial district manhattan

Some bucket-list-worthy things to do in New York City are to watch a play on Broadway, see the Statue of Liberty, hang out in Time Square, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and take a stroll around Central Park.

A few museums to visit are the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Guggenheim, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, Empire State Building, and Chelsea Market are must-sees as well.

Whatever you decide to do in New York City , you’re in for a real treat!

This city will leave you feeling inspired and you’ll want to book another trip to come back!

kate storm spinning in front of manhattan bridge in brooklyn, a must see duing 4 days in nyc

Miami, Florida

From Veronika of Travel Geekery

Vibrant and colorful Miami is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in the US.

The downtown area merges into wonderfully diverse neighborhoods from Little Havana to Coral Gables.

However, most visitors to the vibrant yet laid-back city head to its beaches located on a long stretch of a barrier island.

South Beach especially is where the glamor’s at, topped by stylish Ocean Drive, which is lined with elegant Art Deco houses including Versace’s mansion, trendy restaurants, and nightclubs… the scene is pretty lively there.

Kate in a pink dress next to a blue Vespa on Ocean Avenue.

The beach itself features uniquely colored watchtowers spread around nice light sand. The waves are mostly mild. Pelicans like it here too and often float on the water near people.

Watching a sunrise on the beach belongs to one of the best experiences one can have in the area.

Miami City and its beaches can easily be visited  even without a car .

The public transport network and the ample ride/bike-sharing services make it an easy destination for any type of traveler.

Blue and yellor art deco lifeguard stand on South Beach in Miami, which is a must-see beach for your USA bucket list!

San Diego, California

From Maria of San Diego Explorer

San Diego is the perfect California beach city and a must on any USA bucket list.

Also known as America’s Finest City, San Diego has a lot to offer, whether you are looking for a beach getaway at one of the many beach resorts in San Diego , a fun time in the city, or a mix of both.

Here are some of the best things to do in San Diego!

In Downtown San Diego, there is something for everyone: from eating delicious Italian fare in Little Italy to visiting the Midway Museum to strolling through Seaport Village, and having a fun night out in the Gaslamp Quarter.

If you love the outdoors and animals, visit Balboa Park and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.  

cityscape of san diego california on a sunny day

And then, there are the beaches: San Diego has some of the best beaches in Southern California.

Some of the most popular ones are Mission Beach, Coronado, and the beaches in La Jolla.

You can relax on the sand, take surfing lessons, or ride your bike along the boardwalk for a fun day on the beach.  

San Diego has so much to offer and is simply a fun city, no matter what you are in the mood for. 

San Diego CA harbor with rows of sailboats in the foreground and the skyline in the back right of the photo

Austin, Texas

The Live Music Capital of the World and capital of the state of Texas is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country and offers a fantastic combination of excellent nightlife, plenty of outdoor activities and day trip opportunities, and truly phenomenal food.

Don’t leave without having at least one giant meal each worth of TexMex and barbecue!

While in Austin, be sure to visit trendy South Congress Avenue, watch the bats fly out from under the South Congress Bridge (if you’re visiting at the right time of year, that is), see a show, and go for a hike (or if it’s too hot, hit the lake!).

Want to get out of town?

Austin is within an easy day trip of natural swimming holes, Texas’ wine country, and adorable small towns.

Austin TX skyline with the South Congress Bridge in the foreground

New Orleans, Louisiana

Good food, good music, and good times: of all the best places to visit in the USA, NOLA definitely ranks toward the top of the list for places to go to simply have an amazing time.

There’s far more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, and beignets, though.

With a dark and complex history heavily impacted by slavery and a constantly evolving modern culture, New Orleans deserves more than just partying during your visit–though there’s plenty of time for that, too.

While in New Orleans, be sure to listen to some jazz, learn a bit about the city’s history, visit the famous Jackson Square, head to the Garden District, check out the beautiful oak trees in City Park, and–this is very important–eat your heart out.

NOLA is indisputably home to some of the best food in the country–so good, in fact, that the food alone would be a good enough reason to add New Orleans to your USA bucket list.

For those interested in New Orleans’ spooky legends, a ghost tour through the French Quarter at night is also worth adding to your to-do list!

Street in NOLA French Quarter at night with neon lights from the bars lighting it up--don't miss a chance to experience the legendary New Orleans nightlife during your 3 days in NOLA itinerary!

Washington, DC

From Jordan of The Solo Life

One of the best travel destinations in the United States is the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

With everything from museums to monuments to the White House and Capitol Building, DC has something for everyone .

In addition, DC’s public transportation and numerous free attractions make it a surprising destination for the budget-friendly traveler.

Kid-friendly options include the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum.

Art lovers will enjoy the National Gallery of Art or the Hirshhorn Museum for modern and contemporary art.

sunset on the national mall in washington dc facing the washington monument, one of the best places to visit on the east coast america

History buffs should check out the Library of Congress and the National Archives Museum.

Besides museums, the National Mall and Tidal Basin are must-visit locations to see the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial, among others.

The best times to visit DC include early summer before it gets too hot or in the fall once summer break is over.

Although extremely crowded due to the Cherry Blossoms, springtime is also a gorgeous time to visit.

No matter what time of year, Washington, DC is one of the best destinations to visit in the US.

Washington Monument in Washington DC framed by cherry blossoms in the foreground. Washington DC is one of the best places to visit in the United States

San Francisco, California

The city of hills, ocean views, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of many people’s lists of bucket lists for the United States.

And, with an endless list of things to do that cater to all interests, why not?

Be sure to pay a visit to the touristed highlights that most interest you–Fisherman’s Wharf (and its adorable sea lions!), Alcatraz, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the Painted Ladies (of Full House fame), and checking out Lombard Street.

Once you cross those highlights off your list, though, make time for a few less-obvious attractions, like San Francisco’s Japanese Garden, the Land’s End Labyrinth, and Fort Point.

And, of course, you can’t forget to go for a walk in the woods while visiting San Francisco!

Visiting the Muir Woods is an unforgettable experience worthy of your time on any weekend trip to the area.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco CA shot from above on a clear day

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia has been one of the coolest US cities to visit for centuries, and–like Boston–it features strong ties to the American Revolution.

This is where the Declaration of Independence and the Consitution were signed, touring Independence Hall and visiting the nearby Liberty Bell are among the best things to do in Philadelphia today as a result!

You can’t miss Philly’s food scene when visiting, either–from whoopie pies to Philly cheesesteaks, the city has a (literal) flavor all its own.

elfreths alley in philadelphia, one of the best places to vacation in usa

Start–but don’t finish–exploring Philadelphia’s food scene at the historic Reading Terminal Market.

Be sure to also make time to visit some of Philadelphia’s incredible museums during your visit, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of the American Revolution (we loved this one), and touring the dark but fascinating Eastern State Penitentiary.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is also home to another essential stop in this iconic East Coast City: the Rocky Steps.

And, if you’re willing to work up a sweat, definitely consider running up them yourself during your classic American vacation in Philadelphia!

independence hall in philadelphia on a sunny day with red and pink flowers in the foreground. attractions in usa things to do

Chicago, Illinois

From Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan

Chicago is the third-largest city in the US, and also one of the most ethnically diverse.

Its skyline reflecting off the waters of Lake Michigan is a sight to behold.

No matter what your interests are, whether it’s music, shopping, culture, art, or dining, you could spend months exploring all that Chicago has to offer.

On a shorter USA vacation, though, you can still see quite a few of the best sights in Chicago!

The city’s top museums include the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Don’t forget to check out the many outdoor sculptures and other public works of art around the Loop, either.

View of Chicago IL skyline from willis tower skydeck, a must-see during a 3 day Chicago vacation

A walk along the Magnificent Mile will take you past upscale department stores and through Millennium Park, home of the famous sculpture known as The Bean.

A visit to Bronzeville, also known as “the Black Metropolis”, is a must to learn about the city’s rich African-American history.

Architecture buffs will be interested to know that this is where Frank Lloyd Wright established the Prairie School architectural style. You can find some of his earliest buildings here in Chicago.

You’ll work up an appetite walking the streets of this massive city. This is a good thing, because the restaurant scene here is amazing!

You can find pretty much any cuisine you could imagine, from stylish Japanese to homestyle soul food, and there are even lots of vegetarian and  vegan restaurants in Chicago .

Photo of Chicago train traveling on a bridge over car traffic--using Chicago's public transportation is the best way to get around on a Chicago weekend getaway!

Houston, Texas

From Thanh of The Traveling Asian

Houston, Texas is one of the coolest places to visit in the United States, and while an unexpected vacation option, certainly one that will impress.

After all, it is the 4th largest city in the USA and is often ranked as the most diverse city in the country!

Because of this size, you can expect there to be all kinds of things for you to see and do here in this city.

One of the most iconic places you must visit in the city is Space Center Houston.

There you can learn about NASA and space travel as well as take a tour around the famous mission control center. If you love space, then this place is for you.

sunset over houston texas skyline with pond in the foreground, one of the unexpected places for vacation in usa

Houston is also home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which is the biggest rodeo of its kind in the country.

There, you’ll be able to eat some delicious rodeo foods, pet some livestock, learn about animals, play at the amusement park, and even watch a concert by famous celebrities.

But aside from the attractions, Houston is known for its food. Since it is the most diverse city in the country, you can find just about everything available here in this city.

For instance, you can find Tex-Mex, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, and many other ethnic cuisines available all around the area.

So if you love food and all things fun, then Houston is definitely the place for you.

Skyline of Houston Texas as seen on a sunny day with a park in the foreground, Houston is one of the best weekend getaways in Texas

Las Vegas, Nevada

From Kimberley of Two Travelling Toques

If you’re looking for a cool place to visit in the USA, you can’t get much cooler than Las Vegas .

This well-known city has been depicted in numerous movies such as The Hangover and Ocean’s Thirteen as party central.

And if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it in Vegas.

Long known as both the wedding capital for a quick place to get married, or the perfect spot to hold a bachelor or bachelorette party, either way, it’s the spot to bring your friends, let loose, and have fun!

Gambling has been a big draw to Las Vegas since the early 1930s, and there is no shortage of showy and extravagant casinos to choose from.

view of venice st marks square in las vegas, one of the best attractions long weekend in vegas getaway

Nightlife also takes center stage here.

From world-class musicians to top-notch magical acts, to dependable artists like Wayne Newton who have had a residency here for years. 

During the day, you can grab a fancy drink and chill by the pool. Or hit up one of the pool parties and listen to the headlining DJ.

Either way, be sure to bring lots of money for the high-end shops, ever-flowing drinks, and dazzling casinos looking to draw you in. 

Welcome to Las Vegas sign, one of the most popular weekend getaways in the USA

Savannah, Georgia

Without a doubt, the small but stunning city of Savannah, Georgia is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Featuring absolutely stunning architecture, 22 of its original 24 town squares, endless oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and some of the best food in the country, spending a few days in Savannah is bound to be a delight.

While you’re there, be sure to meander down beautiful Jones Street, check out Forsyth Park, hear some of the city’s most enduring legends on a ghost tour, enjoy views from River Street, and take in some of Savannah’s complex history at its various house museums and houses of worship.

Don’t forget to set aside plenty of time to eat!

Kate Storm in a black dress in front of a brick home on Jones Street during a long weekend in Savannah GA

While there are dozens of incredible  restaurants in Savannah , favorites include The Olde Pink House and The Grey for special occasions, The Collins Quarter for their legendary lavender mocha latte, and Leopold’s Ice Cream for a scoop of their famous Tutti Frutti ice cream.

Have enough time for a quick  day trip ?

Tybee Island –also known as “Savannah’s Beach”–is less than a 30-minute drive away, and while you certainly won’t want to swim in the summer, strolling along the sand and climbing the lighthouse are a treat.

Jones Street in Savannh GA with a green house in the left foreground and an oak tree on the right. Jones Street is one of the best Savannah photo spots

Los Angeles, California

From Trijit of Budget Travel Buff

Looking for the coolest place to visit in the United States?

Visit Los Angeles; a unique combination of the entertainment industry, gorgeous beaches, great food, and vibrant nightlife.

It is certainly not the cheapest place in California , but for the right travelers, LA is definitely worth the price tag.

Los Angeles is a large city full of tourist attractions that won’t let you stay idle.

If you are a beach lover, LA won’t disappoint you with its stunning beaches that include Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach, and so on.

There are several fantastic museums in LA. LACMA is the most popular one for its diverse art collections and special exhibits.

Skyline of Los Angeles CA with palm trees in the forground, one of the best places to visit in the US

Some other renowned museums are the Grammy Museum, Natural History Museum, and Museum of Broken Relationships.

While visiting LA, you will notice entertainment at every corner of the city. You can see a concert or enjoy a ride at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.

If you rent a car in Los Angeles, go for a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway that carves through the mountains of Malibu.

Los Angeles has some of the best restaurants in the US.

Once you are done with LA sightseeing, have lunch at any of these food spots – Diakokuya for ramen, Langer’s for a pastrami sandwich, Guisados for tacos, or pizza at Mozza.

aerial view of santa monica beach near los angeles, one of the best places to vacation in the united states

Seattle, Washington

Set right on the water with the dramatic backdrop of Mount Rainier, it’s no wonder that busy and beautiful Seattle is one of the best USA travel destinations.

When visiting Seattle, be sure to eat your way through Pike Place Market, head to the top of the Space Needle, visit the famous Chihuly Museum, and check out the fun and interesting Museum of Pop Culture.

Looking for interesting neighborhoods?

Head to Fremont, where the self-proclaimed unofficial motto is “des libertas quirkas”, aka “the freedom to be quirky”.

Hoping to spend some time outside?

Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Pacific Northwest, endless waterfalls, trails, and mountains–even Mount Rainier itself–are located within day-tripping distance from Seattle.

Seattle Waterfront with space needle visible through the ferris wheel

Charleston, South Carolina

Located just a couple of hours north of Savannah, Charleston shares a lot of similarities with its neighbor to the south.

Fantastic Lowcountry food, Spanish moss dripping from the trees, beautiful architecture, and lots of history to uncover are wonderful to appreciate in both Charleston and Savannah –but Charleston absolutely has its own distinct personality as well.

On your Charleston vacation, be sure to visit the beautiful and photogenic Rainbow Row, check out the tea-making process at the Charleston Tea Garden, visit the gorgeous and interesting Angel Oak Tree, stroll through Waterfront Park and Battery Park, and check out City Market.

Photo of Rainbow Row in Charleston SC, a must see during a 3 day weekend in Charleston SC

If you’d like to do some shopping while in Charleston, King Street is the place to go.

Those interested in US military history will no doubt want to visit Patriots Point to tour the former US naval ships docked there and Fort Sumter for its history (and views).

Beach lovers, don’t miss the chance to check out nearby Folly Beach and/or Sullivan’s Island!

Kate Storm sitting in front of the pineapple fountain in Charleston SC--choosing whether to visit Savannah or Charleston is no easy task, but we wrote this guide to help!

Orlando, Florida

As the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is one of the most popular places to visit in the USA for both domestic and international visitors, mostly on behalf of one iconic mouse.

As home to Walt Disney World , Orlando is a must-see USA bucket list item for many families across the world, and with four amazing Disney parks packed with rides, experiences, and intense amounts of nostalgia, it’s no wonder why.

Disney isn’t the only theme park game in town, though!

Universal Studios Orlando, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is also a fantastic theme park to visit, and big roller coaster fans may even want to take a day trip to Tampa Bay to experience Busch Gardens.

Though the parks are a big draw for people visiting Orlando with kids and kids at heart alike, theme parks aren’t the only places to visit in and around Orlando.

The Kennedy Space Center, plenty of beaches, and even cool swimming holes like Wekiva Springs are within day-trip distance of Orlando.

Lake Eola Park in Orlando Florida with swams in the water and a skyline visible in the background. Orlando belongs on a bucket list for the United States

Portland, Oregon

Much like Austin, Portland proudly embraces its weirdness, celebrating the eclectic and bizarre in all possible ways–and that makes it endlessly fun to visit!

Bookworms like me will immediately head to Powell’s City of Books–I still think it’s the biggest bookstore I’ve ever visited–while foodies will want to head directly to the local ice cream obsession, Salt & Straw. 

Voodoo Doughnuts, now with a few locations nationally, also originated here and remains popular with tourists (though depending on who you ask, not locals–for what it’s worth, we’d rate the doughnuts 7/10).

During your weekend trip to Portland, make time to visit the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Garden, especially if you visit when everything is in bloom.

Plenty of incredible parts of the Columbia River Gorge, including famous Multnomah Falls, are also within easy reach of Portland and deserve to feature on your USA bucket list!

Photo of steal sign stating "portland oregon" in front of a blue sky, a must-see during 3 days in portland or

Nashville, Tennessee

From Apryl of Southern Traveling Gal

No doubt about it, there’s something about Nashville, that casts a long-lasting spell on travelers.

For travelers visiting Nashville, it’s not unheard of to plan a return trip as soon as the current one is over!

Only in “The Music City” is it possible to catch the latest exhibit at the Frist Art Museum, see a replica of the Parthenon and enjoy live music at venues along the Honky Tonk Highway.

For first-timers, touring country music icons like the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must-do.

Don’t overlook artist-specific museums such as the Johnny Cash Museum and Glen Campbell Museum that provides a closer look at these music giants, either.

Much of Nashville’s allure lies within its distinctive neighborhoods, like the Gulch, filled with shops and restaurants.

Skyline of Nashville Tennessee at sunset overlooking the river, one of the most romantic getaways in the United States

It isn’t unusual to spot a long line or two here, typically featuring either people waiting in line to take a photo with the “What Lifts You” mural or getting into Biscuit Love.

Save some room for some barbecue from Peg Leg Porker!

12thSouth offers locally-owned boutiques, stores, and eateries. Also found here is Draper James, the flagship store of Reese Witherspoon’s clothing line.

Be sure to take home some cookies from Christie’s Cookie Company and snap a photo with the “I Believe in Nashville” mural.

Across the Cumberland River is the eclectic East Nashville. Don’t miss out on the mini doughnuts at Donut Distillery.

Depending on time, consider visiting Cheekwood Estates and Gardens, a 55-acre botanical garden, as part of your Nashville getaway.

Of course, no trip to Nashville is complete without hot chicken from Prince’s Hot Chicken or biscuits from Loveless Cafe, located near the Natchez Trace Parkway.

country band playing banjois in nashville tennessee

Boston, Massachusetts

From Linn of Brainy Backpackers

Boston is such a cool city to visit in the USA, rich in history, architecture, and food.

Along the waterfront, you can walk the 43-mile-long Harbor Walk.

But there is so much more to add to see during your trip to Boston, like the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long path taking you to 16 significant places in American history.

It is well marked and technically be walked in as little as 90 minutes, though you can download the app and visit each place which will take at least a whole day to complete.

Boston is home to the oldest public park in the United States, Boston Common, which is situated next to Boston Public Garden.

boston public garden in the summer, one of the best things to do in boston ma

You can wander the parks and enjoy a ride in the Boston Public Garden’s historic paddleboats.

Nearby, you’ll find the Boston Public Library at Copley Square, which is an incredibly beautiful Renaissance Revival structure from 1895 that you should visit.

You’ll also find the beautiful neighborhood of Beacon Hill nearby, as well as the trendy neighborhood of Back Bay.

For the best views of the city during your Boston itinerary , visit the Skywalk Observatory.

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Beacon Hill

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

From Melissa of Parenthood and Passports

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the United States and one of the best places to visit in the entire country.

Known for its geothermal activity, more than half of the earth’s geysers are located in the national park which straddles the borders of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. 

Old Faithful is one of the most popular things to see in Yellowstone National Park .

The active and predictable geyser erupts approximately 20 times each day.

Visitors to the park gather around to watch the geyser blast hot water and steam into the sky.

Although quite impressive, Old Faithful is just one of many must-see geothermal features found in the park.

View of Grand Prism in Yellowstone National Park, one of the best places to visit in USA

One of the largest hot springs in the world, the Grand Prismatic Spring, is another popular attraction in Yellowstone.

Visitors can get an up-close view of the spring or take a short hike for a stunning overview of Grand Prismatic’s vibrant colors.  

Beyond all of its geothermal features, Yellowstone National Park also boasts beautiful waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, rivers, and more than 200 species of animals.

Bison, deer, moose, wolves, and even bears live in the park.

Because of all the wildlife in Yellowstone, visitors are strongly encouraged to use caution when hiking or camping and to carry bear spray to protect themselves in the event of an encounter.

herd of bison crossing the road and causing a traffic jam in yellowstone national park, one of the best places to vacation usa

Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

From Allison of She Dreams of Alpine

Idaho is often overlooked when it comes to cool places to visit in the US, but the tiny town of Stanley serves as the gateway to an abundance of outdoor adventures in the stunning Sawtooth Mountain range and along the swift Salmon River.

Although it has a population of less than 100, Stanley is easily accessible in a 3-hour drive from the main airport in Boise or about a 1-hour drive if you’re coming from Sun Valley.

The best way to explore the Sawtooth Mountains is on one of the many hiking trails.

The hike to Alice Lake is a perfect introduction to the area, and you can either do a 12-mile day hike or backpack the longer Alice/Toxaway Loop over the course of a few days.

sawtooth mountains idaho on sunny day with lake in the foreground, one of the best places to vacation usa

Whichever option you choose, you’ll discover gorgeous views of Alice Lake framed by the “Dragon’s Back” peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains, including Idaho’s own “El Capitan.”

For fun on the water, you can go fishing along the Salmon River or swim in Redfish Lake.

When you need some rejuvenation after your adventures, you can reward yourself with great food and drinks at the Stanley Supper Club and take a dip in the hot springs at the Mountain Village Resort.

Once you head home, you’ll surely find yourself raving to your friends about this hidden gem of a mountain town – unless you want to keep the Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley a secret for yourself!

Sawtooth Mountains Idaho with a lake visible on the left of the photo and mountain peaks in the background. These mountains definitely belong on your USA bucket list!

Oregon Coast

From Kay of The Awkward Traveller

The Oregon Coast is one of the most underrated travel destinations in the USA, but for those who love moody, dramatic scenery, it is the best place to be.

Although the actual coast isn’t very long (338 or so miles, about a 7.5-hour drive without stopping), it makes for a great weekend or longer trip with added stops.

Starting at the north end, about 2 hours outside of Portland, the city of Astoria will serve as your jumping-off point with picturesque bridges and locations from The Goonies.

Heading south, take a pitstop at the cheese capital of the state  –  Tillamook , Oregon.

One car driving along the oregon coast as shot from above

Visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory and gorge yourself on all things dairy before continuing on to stunning Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

The highlight of the coast will be Yachats, Oregon, with incredible farm-to-table restaurants that are dedicated to sourcing local sustainable fish, meat, and produce providers.

On the southern end of the coast, you can find sand dunes in Florence, and natural rock arches among the cliffs in Brookings.

If your tolerance for rain is low, summer will be the best season to visit weather-wise, while winter and spring will have smaller crowds and lower prices.

Oregon Coast at sunset looking toward Haystack Rock, one of the prettiest places in Oregon

Acadia National Park, Maine

From Ale of Sea Salt & Fog

Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the eastern United States, perfectly showcasing the beauty of the Maine coast.

Acadia has miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as easy coastal access for kayaking and sailing. 

When visiting, plan to spend at least  2 days in Acadia National Park  so you can make the most of your time there.

One of the best things to do includes watching the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain, where you’ll get stunning views of the islands that dot the coast.

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Drive Park Loop Road to enjoy some of the park’s most famous attractions, including Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond (don’t forget to stop for popovers at Jordan Pond House!).

For hiking, choose a paved Carriage Road to take you down to one of the many picturesque ponds and lakes in the park.

Plan your visit in the fall to see the famous New England fall foliage in full display, or in the summer to enjoy long, sunny days perfect for hiking.

If you love the outdoors, add Acadia to your list of places to visit in the US – you won’t be disappointed.

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, California

From Monica of This Rare Earth

Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is an incredible destination in the United States. 

This desert ecosystem became a national park as recently as 1994, and it’s easy to see why it was chosen!

The Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert meet in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park, which means that you will see two very different landscapes depending on which half of the park you are in.  

The Mojave Desert is home to the famous Joshua Tree – a tall and spindly yucca – as well as giant boulders popular with climbers and hikers. 

The majority of the park’s hiking trails are found in this region.

desert landscape at sunrise in joshua tree national park, an excellent part of several of the best west coast road trips usa

However,  while planning your Joshua Tree National Park itinerary , it would be a mistake to skip the Colorado Desert at the southern end of the park.  

The Colorado Desert is hotter, lower in elevation, and flatter, but holds gorgeous landscapes full of cacti and, at the right time of year, wildflowers. 

 In the summer months, avoid strenuous hikes or leave early in the morning as temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.

Joshua Tree National Park is a designated Dark Sky Park, perfect for stargazing and well outside the bright light of the city.  

Joshua Tree is roughly 2.5 hours outside of Los Angeles.

Joshua Tree NP in California with a Joshua tree on the right side of the photo

From Chris of Called to Wander

Alaska is known as the Last Frontier, evoking adventure for those looking to travel to a truly unique place.

Because the state is massive, at over twice the size of Texas, you could spend as much or as little time exploring it as you have.

Many people take cruises through the Inside Passage and make stops in places like Ketchikan, Haines, and Seward.

Others fly into the main cities of Anchorage or Fairbanks and then rent vehicles and head off on their own adventures.

By far the best way to make the most of an Alaska vacation (though it requires a steep time commitment) is by driving to Alaska and spending as much time as you’d like wandering from one place to the next.

glacier in glacier np in alaska with water in the foreground and a mountain in the background

You can drive to the Arctic Ocean along the Dalton Highway, view North America’s largest mountain (Mt. Denali), or observe wildlife like caribou, grizzly bear, and moose.

Or, catch a flight out to a handful of the most remote national parks, or drive up to and hike out to massive, ancient glaciers.

If you enjoy fishing, go after halibut in Homer or salmon in the famous Russian River.

Regardless of what kind of travel you prefer, Alaska offers adventure for everyone and should definitely be on your travel bucket list!

Train along an Alaska mountainside with wildflowers in the foreground and a mountain in the background. Alaska is one of the most beautiful places in the us

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From Dan of Cabin Critic

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most popular national park in the US, hosting over 10 million annual visitors, and it definitely belongs on your bucket list for the USA.

Located in Tennessee and North Carolina, the park has diverse animal life, plants, and natural attractions. There are tons to do and see. 

If you are feeling adventurous you can go zoom down zip lines, go white water rafting, or go mountain biking. 

For a more relaxed trip, you can go on hikes, see beautiful waterfalls, or simply go for a scenic drive.

sunrise of great smoky mountains, one of the most beautiful national parks in the us

Cades Cove, for example, is a broad valley surrounded by mountains you can drive through that is well known for providing the best opportunities for seeing wildlife like white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, and more.

When you aren’t enjoying the outdoors there are numerous mountain towns to enjoy like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Asheville .

Stay in  one of the cabins with a view  of the mountainsides and check out the local attractions like Dollywood in Pigeon Forge or the Biltmore Estate in Asheville . 

View of the Great Smoky Mountains during fall foliage season in the southern USA

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

From Michele of Adventures Abound

Just a 2-hour drive from both Portland and Seattle rest the foothills of the towering volcano Mount Rainier.

Known to the Indigenous since time immemorial, Mount Tahoma is covered in unimaginable beauty and can be enjoyed year-round. 

Visit in the summertime for hiking through meadows strewn with wildflowers of every color, and in the fall for ripening berries and a better chance to catch the trails and lakes free of ice and snowmelt on a variety of great day hikes just outside of Seattle .

To extend your visit overnight, pitch a tent in an established campground, stay in a rustic lodge in the national park, or backpack along the Wonderland trail that circumvents the park.

Not feeling up to a lengthy hike?

hiker in a field of wildflowers in mount rainier np with mount rainier visible in the background

Just driving through Mount Rainier National Park will afford endless views of waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, and even the chance to spot wildlife. 

For those thrill-seekers looking for a more challenging adventure, apply for a permit to climb more than 8,000 feet to the summit, but be aware this is only for experienced mountaineers.

Mount Rainier National Park can also be enjoyed in the winter when the park sees an average of 55 feet of snowfall or more.

Head to the Crystal Mountain gondola to catch a great view of the peak while skiing and snowboarding down the slopes, or pick one of many great locations to snowshoe and backcountry ski along the mountain.

Whatever the choice for season and activity, Mount Rainier National Park is sure to be full of memories and adventure in one of the most beautiful destinations in the United States.

Snowcapped Mount Rainier with wildflowers in the foreground, one of the most beautiful places in usa

Arches National Park, Utah

Home to over 2,000 naturally-occurring sandstone arches, Arches National Park in Utah is one of the most uniquely beautiful places in the USA.

Whether you’re hiking to the incredible Delicate Arch (so iconic that it’s featured on Utah’s license plates), wandering through the Devil’s Garden, or taking one of the shorter hikes to visit some of the most impressive arches in the park, there’s no shortage of things to do.

Even one day in Arches National Park is well worth your time, but more would certainly be better.

Arches National Park is also home to internationally-recognized dark skies and some of the best stargazing in the United States–in order to see the best of the park, be sure to visit at least once after dark!

And, while Arches National Park is easily one of the best places to vacation in the US in its own right, the nearby town of Moab also makes an excellent launching pad to visit Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Double Arch in Arches National Park Utah

Olympic National Park, Washington

From Sophie and Adam of We Dream of Travel

Not only does Olympic National Park cover nearly a million acres, but it is also the most biodiverse of all the US national parks.

It has it all, from glaciated mountains to breathtaking coastlines, crashing waterfalls, ancient rainforests, enchanting hot springs, and plentiful wildlife.

With such a treasure trove of natural landscapes, Olympic National Park is easily one of the best places to visit in the US.

Mountain lovers should budget plenty of time to hike the trails of Hurricane Ridge.

Here you will discover stunning views above the clouds, as well as an abundance of wildlife.

Rocky Beach in Olympic National Park washington at sunset, a fantastic view along a west coast usa road trip destination

A great way to explore the park is on foot, particularly as much of the park is roadless. There are numerous multi-day hikes to choose from and it’s popular with backpackers.

The 17.4 miles Hoh River Trail is one of the most impressive, taking you through a flourishing rainforest to the base of Mount Olympus.

For coastal visitors, Second Beach is one of the best Olympic Park photography  locations and a perfect spot for sunset. 

However, with 73 miles of wild coastline, there’s plenty to explore!

There are endless options for the waterfall, forest, and nature lovers too.

In Sol Duc forest you can watch crystal water plunge into the lush greenery.

Or, you can choose to explore the vibrant green mosses of the Hoh Rainforest.  

No matter which part of Olympic National Park you visit, you will not be disappointed.

Forested trail in Olympic National Park with a river flowing across the photo. Olympic National Park definitely belongs on your USA bucket list!

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Stretching over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon in northwest Arizona is one of the largest–and most impressive–canyons on the planet, and one of the most popular places to visit in the USA!

Come to Grand Canyon National Park to admire views from the rim, hike into the canyon , watch the sunrise and sunset, and perhaps even hike all the way down to the Colorado River.

If you do want to hike to the river, though, be warned: doing so is a 2-day commitment!

Anyone taking a southwest road trip in the USA should consider adding a visit to the majestic Grand Canyon to their list: it’s truly a sight that you’ll never forget.

View of the Grand Canyon from the south rim near sunset. The Grand Canyon is one of the best USA travel destinations

Death Valley National Park, California

From Michelle of The Wandering Queen

One of the best places to visit in California is Death Valley National Park .

This park is filled with bright white salt flats, mountains splashed with pastel colors, and eerie rocks that move on their own.

This park is such a strange yet unique environment which makes it perfect for avid photographers.

One of the best things to do is to watch the sunrise at Zabriskie Point. The views are glorious as the sun slowly sets on the unique colorful mountains.

Afterward, make sure to hike the Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, and Badlands Loop Hike. The trailhead is right next to Zabriskie Point.

mesquite dunes in death valley national park during a pink sunrise

Another popular activity is visiting Badwater Basin. The basin stands at 282 feet below sea level and is filled with white salt.

This is a great spot to take pictures of the salt in contrast with the tall, dark mountains in the distance.

Nearby the salt flats, you can visit the devil’s golf course where spikey salt formations cover the ground.

The next outstanding area to visit is the Artists Drive. The mountain is sprinkled with pastel colors like yellow, pink, purple, and green.

It truly is a spectacular thing to see!

Rocky Mountain National Park

From Jyoti of Story At Every Corner

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most gorgeous parks in the US.

It’s also easily reachable from Denver, Colorado, which has many flights from across the country, making it fairly simple to access and one of the most popular places to vacation in America!

The best place to stay is in Estes Park , a quaint little tourist town in the mountains.

There are many small towns all around the park and many choices for all price points. 

white and green shop in downtown estes park. shopping downtown is one of the best things to do in estes park colorado

The easiest way to visit RMNP park is by car.

You can then enjoy the park by making stops at each vista point and taking hikes from there.

Most stops have short and long hikes; easy and challenging hikes.

There is a hike for everyone, but there is also spectacular scenery right at the vista points, even without a hike.

Keep in mind that the popularity of Rocky Mountain National Park means that certain places, like Bear Lake Road, must be accessed via reservation.

Kate Storm standing in front of Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the best places to visit in colorado

The most popular road that goes across the park is the scenic Trail Ridge Road.

If you don’t have time to visit anything else, I recommend driving Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to the town of Grand Lake.

Other major attractions include Sprague Lake and Bear Lake, to the south of the trail ridge road.

They offer absolutely stunning views and many wildlife viewing opportunities along with the drives. 

There is so much to do around Denver that RMNP can be part of a week-long itinerary visiting Colorado  or a trip just for RMNP. 

jeremy storm in a gray backpack hiking in rocky mountain national park

Set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is easily one of the most beautiful places in the US.

With crystal-clear water and plenty of activities in and out of the water, from hiking to SUP to swimming, there is no shortage of ways to appreciate the otherworldly beauty of Lake Tahoe .

To enjoy the views of the lake itself, summer is definitely the best time to visit–but winter has its charms, too, including plenty of skiing and incredible views of the lake framed by bright white snow.

From romantic couples’ retreats to fun getaways to Lake Tahoe with kids , all kinds of travelers will find something to love about Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe from above during the summer, one of the best USA travel destinations

Havasu Falls, Arizona

Located on Havasupai tribal lands not far from the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is simultaneously one of the most famous waterfalls in the USA and one of the hardest to access.

In order to visit Havasu Falls, you’ll need to secure an extremely competitive permit (they sell out months in advance) and complete a 10-mile hike in each direction.

You’ll also need to spend the night nearby, as it’s one of the permit requirements set out by the Havasupai people.

If you manage to swing both the logistics and the hike, though, the rewards are pretty spectacular.

Havasu Falls in Arizona, one of the most beautiful places in USA. Turquoise waterfall with orange walls surrounding it

Zion National Park, Utah

Home to some of what are quite possibly the best hikes in the country, Utah’s most-visited national park is absolutely one of the best places to see in the US.

Test your fear of heights (if you have one, that is) by hiking the incredible Angel’s Landing, and be rewarded with stunning views of Zion Canyon.

Venture deep into the Virgin River by hiking The Narrows , a hike that takes place literally in the river!

Seek out incredible views along Observation Point, the Canyon Overlook Trail , and the Watchman Trail.

Try to score a permit to hike the Subway, but if you can’t get one, don’t worry: there’s more to see in Zion National Park than you can cover in one vacation.

No matter how you spend your days at Zion National Park, there’s no doubt that you’ll be experiencing something worthy of a bucket list!

Kate Storm at the viewpoint at the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park Utah

Texas Bluebonnet Trail

California’s magnificent wildflowers may be a bit better known outside of the country, but Texas’ phenomenal spread of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes that decorate the countryside each spring absolutely belong on anyone’s USA bucket list.

Whether you choose to visit the official Texas Bluebonnet Trail near Ennis (not far from Dallas) or head to the Texas Hill Country , there is no shortage of places to admire bluebonnets in Texas.

Though the blooming times can of course vary a bit depending on the weather, late March and early April are generally the best times to experience the beauty of Texas’ bluebonnets.

Wooden cart parked in a Texas field surrounded by bluebonnets. Beautiful countryside like this close by many of the best weekend getaways in Texas!

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

From Emily of Em’s on the Road

If you’re looking for unforgettable outdoor experiences without the price tag of popular destinations out west, then the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the place for you.

One reason the Upper Peninsula (or U.P.) is really unique is that it is an ideal place for adventure seekers all year long. 

In the warmer months, the U.P is a great beach destination in the Midwest thanks to its location with beachfront on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron.

In the fall, pack your hiking boots and tackle rocky hiking trails for colorful views you’d never expect in the Midwest.

With an unobstructed panoramic view of Lake Superior, the hike up  Sugar Loaf mountain in Marquette, Michigan  is one of the most popular in the region.

Thanks to some serious snowfall, there’s so much to do in the U.P. in the winter months.

There are cross-country ski trails, snowmobiling trails, downhill skiing, dog sledding, ice climbing, and more. 

View of Lake Superior with a rainbow over it during fall foliage season on Sugarloaf Mountain in Michigan

Redwood National Forest

From Dhara of Roadtripping California

Most visitors to the Golden State put   California’s national parks at the top of their itineraries because they are just so spectacular.

Redwood National and State Parks, in the northern part of the state, offer you the chance to stroll among giant redwoods, some of the tallest and oldest trees on the planet.

A group of five parks, Redwood National and State Parks feature not just the towering redwoods, but also epic coastal views, beautiful prairies filled with wildflowers in season, and the chance to see birds and wildlife.

Enjoy some of the scenic drives in the parks: Howland Hill Drive, Coastal Drive, and the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway are all great choices.

Two people walking through a doorway in a fallen redwood tree in california usa

Do some of the trails through the redwood groves to see the giant trees up close: the Big Tree Wayside Walk, the Stout Memorial Grove Trail, and Lady Bird Johnson Grove are all super scenic and relatively easy walks.

Gaze up at the trees, and enjoy the ferns and rhododendrons in the understory.

You can also go biking in the parks, and camp if you plan to stay for a few days.

Redwood National and State Parks are about 5.5 hours north of San Francisco by road, and you can visit all year, although you will have the best weather in the summer.

Man standing in front of enormous Redwood trees with a sunflare in the top left corner of the photo

Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

From Jase of Roaming Vegans

A little-known gem in the north of Wisconsin is the Apostle Islands.

This island archipelago on Lake Superior looks like it belongs in Southeast Asia – not on the shoreline of a humble midwestern town.

However, its tucked-away location makes it all the more special for visitors.

While the lake freezes in winter, the islands come to life in summer with many activities like  sea kayaking , island hopping, and cliff jumping.

There is even an island home to one of the largest concentrations of bears in the Midwest–yes, bears!

The largest and most populated island is Madeline Island which makes for a great base to explore the nearby smaller islands.

sea caves as seen from the water at apostle islands, one of the best places to visit in the us

Maui, Hawaii

From Jessica of I’m Jess Traveling

Famed for her elegant beaches,  world-class resorts , and next-level surf, Maui attracts visitors from all over the world. 

It’s no surprise that Maui was named Condé Nast Traveler’s best island in the U.S. for 23 consecutive years. 

There are countless things to see and do in Maui depending on your travel style. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, hike through a majestic bamboo forest ending at a 400-foot waterfall.  

Ocean lovers can test their skills at surfing or set sail on a sunset cruise.

Bright blue water as seen along the Road to Hana in Maui, one of the best USA road trip itinerary ideas

There won’t be a shortage of exotic beaches to explore, no matter what your travel style is.

The adventure seekers have their pick among plunging the popular Road to Hana or watching the sunrise above the clouds at 10,000 feet inside Haleakala National Park. 

Whatever your draw, sunsets, beaches, luxury, or adventure, Maui has it all. 

Not only is Maui one of the best USA travel destinations but it’s one of the best places to take a tropical vacation in the world. 

Couple walking along Kaanapali Beach in Maui, shaded by a palm tree. Kaanapali Beach is one of the best beaches in America

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

For adorable beach towns, sandy beaches, and some of the best seafood you’ve ever eaten in your life, head to the classic New England summer getaway of Cape Cod.

While you’re in Cape Cod (or as New Englanders say, “on the Cape”), hit one of the beautiful trails, visit a lighthouse or two, stick your toes in the sand, and eat lots and lots of lobster.

While Cape Cod’s swimming season is much shorter than popular beach destinations elsewhere in the country, it’s still well worth visiting.

Just be sure to plan ahead, because rental houses for summer on the Cape tend to book up before winter even wraps up!

Provincetown Massachusetts on Cape Cod as seen from the water

Nā Pali Coast, Kauai

Towering cliffs covered in dense jungle, dramatic waterfalls, small valleys, and views of the Pacific Ocean far below: welcome to the Nā Pali   Coast.

Without a doubt, the Nā Pali   Coast on Kauai is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the US.

Stretching 17 miles along the northwest portion of Kauai, the Nā Pali   Coast is best admired from air–usually via a helicopter tour–or from a boat on the sea.

Whichever option you choose, there’s no doubt that what is arguably the most beautiful corner of The Garden Island is bound to impress.

Na Pali Coast of Kauai Hawaii. Kauai is one of the best road trips in USA.

Florida Keys

For a taste of the Caribbean without leaving the USA, head to the Florida Keys!

Not only is the overseas drive from Miami to Key West one of the most scenic road trips in the USA, but the Keys themselves are also fantastic, home to beautiful beaches, colorful architecture, great food, and plenty of things to do.

While you’re there, be sure to hit the water via snorkeling or scuba diving, go for a swim, enjoy the famous Duval Street, tour the Ernest Hemingway House, and eat several slices of the region’s famous Key Lime pie!

Highway over the Caribbean Sea leading the to Floriday Keys as shot with a drone. The Florida Keys are one of the best places to visit in USA

Big Island, Hawaii

From Patricia of Travel Fam Life

The biggest of the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii (also known as the Big Island) is a cool place to visit.

That starts with the weather: you’ll experience a lot of sunshine temperatures ranging from 85°- 90° in the summer months and 79°- 83 in the winter months, making it the perfect place to escape year-round. 

Hawaii is going to impress anyone that decides to visit.

The food is phenomenal and the choices are vast with plenty of history and cultural backgrounds.

The array of activities ranges from land to sea, from memorable ancient sites to beautiful folklore traditions. 

Some of the best things to do when taking a vacation to the Big Island include:

woman snorkeling in hawaii with orange fish in the foreground

Zip Lining over waterfalls is an activity that can be very exhilarating if you are an adrenaline junkie.

This can also be enjoyed as a family activity, some companies allow kids as young as 5 years old to participate.

Volcano National Park is a breathtaking experience with its majestic hikes, thrilling ride down to the Chain of Craters, and some spectacular scenery and photo opportunities.

Papakolea or Green Sand Beach is one of 4 green sand beaches in the world.

The hike to this remote beach is very worthwhile, and the backdrop of the Hawaiian blue ocean that keeps you company makes the whole experience priceless.

And the list goes on, you can check it out here .

Helicopter tour of Volcano National Park in Hawaii shot from inside the helicopter with lava visible through the windshield

Outer Banks, North Carolina

With sandy beaches framed by sand dunes and rolling waves, the Outer Banks of North Carolina may not boast the bright water of the Florida Keys or the tropical beauty of Hawaii, but they are stunning all the same, and absolutely one of the best places to visit in the USA.

Come for the small beach towns, the history of the Wright Brothers taking their first flight here, the southern food, the historic forts, and the beautiful lighthouses. 

Come for the sunken pirate ships, for the wild horses that live on some of the islands, for the great places to swim, and for the great day trip opportunities.

If you’re looking for a classic, all-American vacation, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina that make up the magnificent Outer Banks.

2 wild horses on a beach in North Carolina. Both horses are brown and they are standing near sand dunes

Oahu, Hawaii

From Sydney of A World in Reach

While visitors sometimes think of Oahu as just being a stopping point before visiting Hawaii’s other islands, the island has so much to offer than overcrowded beaches and tourist attractions.

Oahu is home to delicious food, beautiful scenery, and captivating history and is one of the best travel destinations in the United States.

Most visitors to Oahu will base themselves in Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital and largest city.

Guidebooks often recommend spending little time in Honolulu; however, this city is a melting pot of culture and is home to some of the best food on the island.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional Hawaiian meal or some of the best Asian food in the United States, you can easily find a delicious meal in Honolulu.

Start your visit to Oahu off by exploring Honolulu, seeing the sights, and eating all of the delicious food.

oahu hawaii beach at sunset with palm trees in the foreground

Spend a day at Waikiki Beach – it might be touristy, but it’s still worth a visit.

Plan a visit to Pearl Harbor, where you can learn more about one of the darkest days in US History, and spend a morning hiking Diamond Head, one of the best hikes on Oahu .

Spend the rest of your time on the island exploring the North Shore, visiting the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, and indulging in shave ice from Matsumoto.

Visit the beaches along the North Shore, where you might see some surfers catching waves, and hike through a botanical garden to a beautiful waterfall at Waimea Valley.

Lanikai beach in Oahu Hawaii as seen from above. One of the best beaches in USA

Napa Valley, California

Northern California’s wine country is definitely among the most beautiful–and for wine lovers, tastiest, places to visit in the USA.

With beautiful small towns, great boutiques, and rolling hills filled with vineyards that almost feel like being in Tuscany, both Napa Valley and Sonoma County have plenty to offer those looking for a laid-back, wine-filled getaway.

Vineyard in Napa Valley CA with a wood barn visible in the background, one of the best honeymoon destinations in usa

Door County, Wisconsin

From Paulina of Paulina on the Road

Wisconsin often isn’t the first US state that people think of visiting, but from beautiful beaches to quirky attractions like House on the Rock , it has plenty to offer.

One of the most beautiful USA landmarks, Door Country, Wisconsin welcomes you on board with 300 miles of stretched shoreline and an awestruck sunset over the water, you could not leave without a witness. 

It allows your soul to breathe and relax. Wisconsin lets you explore aesthetic art galleries, and thousands of miles of stretched orchards, cherish the local brews and wines, paddle along the beautiful lakes, and devour the cheery pies.

winding road through fall foliage in door county wisconsin, one of the best hidden usa secret vacation spots

Moreover, Green Bay, the capital of the region, is an underrated city that eventually captivates its visitors.

Though it’s a small city, the vibrant culture offers amazing  things to do in Green Bay .

Green Bay entertains visitors with prominent wineries. They produce their wines right up there which adds up to be a vital part of their culture. The landscape and heritage inspire the artists.

Walleye fishermen have the best water. It’s clean and portrays immense beauty. The botanical gardens and zoological parks play their role in charming travelers. 

Green Bay is an enchanting place that charms visitors with its intriguing features. 

Lakeshore at golden hour in Door County Wisconsin with evergreen trees on the right side of the photo

Route 66 isn’t technically just one place, but as one of the most iconic travel destinations in the United States, I couldn’t bear to leave it off this USA bucket list!

Stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 is America’s best-known road trip and the perfect place to find not-quite-forgotten slices of Americana, from quirky roadside attractions like Cadillac Ranch and the Catoosa Whale to beloved diners and 50s-era-inspired motels.

Route 66 passes through nine states in total (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California), and is a fantastic way to experience some of the best of what traveling in the US has to offer, all in one large trip.

jeremy storm sitting on top of a car at cadillac ranch in amarillo

Big cities, small towns, incredibly diverse landscapes, and beloved national parks are all featured heavily on Route 66.

Though it’s not technically on the route, even the Grand Canyon is accessible as an incredible side journey when road-tripping Route 66.

Whether you want to find a quirky campsite in Oklahoma or go hiking in Arizona, there’s no doubt that Route 66 is a classic US travel destination.

Route 66 in California with Joshua trees on either side. Route 66 is one of the absolute best road trips in USA

Big Sur, California

From Lauren of Ready, Set, PTO

Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the US and should definitely be on your bucket list.

Cruising along the winding Pacific Coast Highway with sweeping views of the Pacific is a magical experience.

This rugged area is located in Central California, about 5 hours north of Los Angeles.

If you aren’t able to find available lodging within Big Sur, check out nearby towns of Carmel and Monterey for more options, or try car camping with an epic view!

mcway falls as seen on big sur from above, one of the best places to visit in california

There are plenty of amazing  things to do in Big Sur .

I definitely recommend checking out the iconic Bixby Bridge (as seen in HBO’s Big Little Lies), admiring McWay Falls, hiking in Andrew Molera State Park, and Limekiln State Park, having a drink with a view at Nepenthe and watching the sunset at Pfeiffer Beach!

There’s not much cell service in Big Sur, so be prepared for an off-the-grid weekend of relaxation and gorgeous views.

Pacific Coast Highway California shot from above, one of the best romantic vacations for couples in the United States

Page, Arizona

The small town of Page, Arizona may seem like no more than a small town worthy of a brief stop on a road trip at first blush–but this small, unassuming town is home to some of the most incredible sights in the entire southwest, and it definitely belongs on your USA bucket list!

Page is where you can find the famous Antelope Canyon, as well as Horseshoe Bend , the Instagram darling of the Colorado River (for very good reason).

Just outside of Page, you can also find the remarkable Glen Canyon Dam, one of the largest dams in the US, as well as Lake Powell–but to see the best of Lake Powell, you’ll actually need to cross into Utah!

That’s not hard to do, though: Page is located right next to the Arizona/Utah border.

With such an outsized list of fun attractions, there’s no doubt that Page is one of the coolest places to vacation in the USA.

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2 photos of the USA, first from a train ride in Alaska and one from a geothermic spring in Yellow. Black and red text reads "50 bucket list usa travel destinations"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

3 thoughts on “USA Bucket List: 50 Best Places to Visit in the US”

Great info. I know its great because I have been to most of the beaches you mention!

Thank you – will also look at your Italian small towns to see which ones we should visit and maybe retire to.

Thank you so much, Laura!

Retiring to Italy–sounds like quite the dream! 🙂

Absolutely amazing article, just loved it.

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The 10 best places to visit in Vietnam in 2024

Joe Bindloss

Feb 24, 2024 • 8 min read

your tourist spot

Experience the best of Vietnam with these top places to visit © hadynyah / Getty Images

With its rolling emerald landscapes, perfect beaches and energetic cities, Vietnam is unsurprisingly a magnet for visitors in search of an incredible travel experience.

This country is teeming with attractions, so it pays to plan your trip around the places you absolutely can't miss. Where you want to go will influence whether you fly into cultured Hanoi in the north or energetic Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in the south, or whether you bypass these two megacities for the laid-back beaches of tropical Phu Quoc.

Start your travel to-do list now with our ten favorite places to visit in Vietnam.

People splash around in the turquoise water of a beautiful island

1. Phu Quoc

Best for beach lovers

About as far south as you can get from Hanoi without splashing into the Gulf of Thailand, the island of Phu Quoc is where beach worshippers come to pray. Lapped by jewel-blue waters and edged by fine sandy beaches, this is a place to slip into low gear, reaching for a cocktail as the ember-colored sun dips into the bay.

But it's far from undiscovered – local tourists come in droves for theme park thrills at VinWonders and giddying views over the sea from the world's longest over-sea cable car. Phu Quoc is a popular stop for families, and if you fancy a change from the tourist scene, there are dense jungles to explore inland from the sand.

Planning tip: If you're bound for Phu Quoc, there's no need to go via Hanoi and HCMC; numerous Asian airlines offer flights from hubs such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul, connecting with long-haul flights further afield.

Best for city slickers

Every trip has to start somewhere, and the ideal point of arrival for first-timers is Vietnam's historic capital. As well as easy infrastructure, inexpensive accommodation, world-class dining and more history than you'll ever have time to take in, Hanoi is the leaping-off point for the islands and outcrops around Halong Bay and the forest-draped trails of the mountainous northwest. Give yourself time to graze through Vietnam's catalog of street food treats  and pause to soak up the atmosphere in cozy cafes in the Old Quarter as well as rush around the sights.

Planning tip: To enjoy Hanoi nightlife on a budget, swing by the streetside bia hoi (draft beer) stalls at busy Bia Hoi Junction on the drinking strip of P Ta Hein.

A woman in a kayak holds her oar above her head as she floats along in a peaceful bay

3. Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay

Best for iconic photos

The crowds mob Halong Bay , but for our money, the shimmering bays to the north and south have a slight edge over Vietnam's most famous collection of outcrops and islands. While trips to Halong Bay are highly commercialized, with motorized luxury junks blowing diesel fumes around the eroded karst islands, Lan Ha Bay  and Bai Tu Long Bay  are a bit more laid-back, and you won't have quite so many cruise ships in your photos. Try kayaking between the outcrops, explore the tropical trails on Cat Ba Island – gateway to Lan Ha Bay – or kick back on the sand on Bai Tu Long's idyllic Co To Island.

Planning tip: If you visit Cat Ba Island, take time to explore the trails around Cat Ba National Park – if you trek with your own guide, it's easy to leave the crowds behind.

4. Ho Chi Minh City

Best for a sense of the past

Cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is the southern counterweight to Hanoi in the north, taking its cultural cues from the Mekong Delta and neighboring Cambodia . It's fast-paced, frenetic and fun, particularly after dark, when the pavements transform into a mobile buffet of street food stalls and roadside bars.

A little of the frontier feel of the war years lives on in HCMC, and you can learn more about this violent period at sites such as the War Remnants Museum . The ghosts of French Indochina linger too – set aside some time to wander past the city's colonial-era landmarks, then settle into a coffee shop with a drip-brewed ca phi .

Planning tip: For a break from the city crush, swing out to nearby Tay Ninh, where the Cao Dai Holy See offers a fascinating introduction to the all-embracing Cao Dai religion.

A handful of yellow and red tents can be seen erected on a sand bar near the entrance to a cave

5. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Best for unique experiences

Vietnam's biggest natural attraction – literally – is Hang Son Doong Cave, the largest cavern in the world by volume and a true wonder. An entire New York City block could fit inside its vast main passage, but this monster cavern is only accessible on expensive guided treks.

The good news is that  Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park  is pockmarked with caverns that you can clamber, crawl, boat or zipline through for a fraction of the cost. Trips to the Tu Lan, Phong Nha and Paradise caves are possible on a shoestring budget; more cash will buy access to Hang En, where trekkers set up tents on an underground beach, illuminated by shafts of natural light.

Best for history

A stay in harmonious Hoi An is a journey into Vietnam's lavish, layered past. This was once one of the most important ports in Asia, and traders from as far afield as Japan, Spain and North America filled the pockets of its merchants with gold. Locals used their money wisely, packing the Old Town with teetering shophouses, tea warehouses, fanciful covered bridges, elaborate Chinese guildhalls, and colorful Confucian and Buddhist pagodas. History is only the beginning – many travelers stay for days, learning to make white rose dumplings and summer rolls on chef-led cooking courses, and ordering made-to-measure suits and gowns from the city's modestly priced tailors' shops.

Planning tip: For a change of pace, head inland from Hoi An and spend a night in a friendly community homestay in the Co Tu minority village of Bho Hoong.

An aerial view of the beach of Nha Trang. The beach runs right alongside the city, with a number of skyscrapers and modern buildings visible just behind the golden sands.

7. The Central Beaches

Best for sun-seekers

Sandy bays stud Vietnam's central coastline, but the mood varies widely from beach to beach. Package tourists flock to high-rise Danang  and Nha Trang – famed as military R&R stops during the American War – but we rate the calmer beaches along the coast, where a little of Vietnam's old seaside charm still endures. To the south of Nha Trang, Mui Ne is a lively kitesurfing hub following a string of sandy coves, while Doc Let Beach to the north serves up 18km (11 miles) of sand, surf and seafood. For a quieter experience, hit the coast between Hue and Danang – Thuan An is the gateway to a string of serene and sandy beaches flanking a lagoon-backed barrier island.

Best for imperial history

The former capital of the Nguyen dynasty – which ruled over large parts of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 19th and 20th centuries – drips with imperial history, despite the ravages of US bombers during the American War. Much was lost in Hue , but the grandeur of dynastic Vietnam lives on in the Citadel and Imperial Enclosure , housing the emperor's residence, temples, palaces and court. At one time, entering without permission would bring instant death. Just outside town are the tombs of Vietnam's greatest emperors, resting serenely in green compounds beside the Perfume River. Another relic of royal rule is Hue's imperial cuisine – arguably the finest in the country – try a spicy bowl of bun bo Hue (vermicelli noodle soup) or a crispy banh khoai pancake, and you'll see what we mean.

Planning tip: To stay one step ahead of the crowds at Hue's imperial tombs and rent a motorcycle or scooter to explore; don't miss the Thien Mu Pagoda on your way out of the city.

An empty boat floats along in Ba Be National Park. Beyond the boat the shimmering still waters of the lake is visible, which is backed by numerous mountains, most of which are covered in forest.

9. Ba Be National Park

Best for lake and forest scenery

Vietnam has more than 30 national parks , taking in everything from coastal swamps to mountain jungles, but some are firmly on the tourist trail, and the crowds can be an impediment to spotting wildlife. That's less of a problem in lovely Ba Be National Park , where trails weave between the limestone peaks to Hmong, Tay and Dzao villages, and boat and kayak trips cross serene lakes hemmed in by forested ridges, creating scenes worthy of a medieval woodcut. The park is a haven for everything from macaques and langur monkeys to rare black bears, scaly pangolins and the spectacular crested serpent eagle.

Planning tip: Comfy accommodation in village homes completes the sense of stepping off the mainstream tourist circuit. For an intimate homestay experience, check out the family-run guesthouses in Pac Ngoi village, accessible by bus from Hanoi, via the village of Cho Don.

10. Ha Giang

Best for mountain views

Trekking to the minority villages in the hills around Sapa  is one of Vietnam's top draws, but the country's trekking capital feels rather commercialized these days. Hikers have to walk further every year to find the rural idyll that first drew people to the northwest.

For scenic countryside without the company, remote Ha Giang  province is Vietnam's new frontier. Staying in simple village homestays, you can hike out to minority villages and rice terraces tucked between the soaring limestone peaks, and motor (or pedal) over some of Vietnam's most spectacular passes. You'll want to take plenty of photos on the winding mountain road between Ha Giang town, Dong Van and Meo Vac.

Planning tip: If you're confident in the saddle, motorcycles can easily be rented in Ha Giang town – just ride slowly and be ready for rainy conditions!

This article was first published Apr 13, 2021 and updated Feb 24, 2024.

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The 50 best tourist attractions in the u.s..

See which American landmarks are worthy of your bucket list.

USA landmarks

(Getty Images) |

From national parks to iconic symbols of freedom and democracy, these popular and highly regarded U.S. tourist attractions cannot be missed.

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

U.S. Space & Rocket Center: Huntsville, Alabama

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Denali National Park and Preserve: Alaska

USA landmarks

Grand Canyon National Park: Arizona

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Hot Springs National Park: Arkansas

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco, California

USA landmarks

Pikes Peak: Cascade, Colorado

Top things to do in Connecticut

(Courtesy of Mystic Aquarium) |

Mystic Aquarium: Mystic, Connecticut

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum: Fenwick Island, Delaware

USA landmarks

(Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort) |

Walt Disney World Resort: Orlando, Florida

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of Coca Cola) |

World of Coca-Cola: Atlanta, Georgia

USA landmarks

Road to Hana: Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of Idaho Tourism) |

Kirkham Hot Springs: Lowman, Idaho

USA landmarks

Chicago River: Chicago, Illinois

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Indianapolis, Indiana

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

The Field of Dreams: Dyersville, Iowa

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of Oz Museum) |

Oz Museum: Wamego, Kansas

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Kentucky Horse Park: Lexington, Kentucky

Visitors and locals are all over in the French Quarter's  streets of New Orleans.

French Quarter: New Orleans, Louisiana

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Acadia National Park: Bar Harbor, Maine

Top attraction in every U.S. state

National Aquarium: Baltimore, Maryland

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Freedom Trail: Boston, Massachusetts

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Mackinac Island: Michigan

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of Mall of America) |

Mall of America: Bloomington, Minnesota

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of Elvis Presley Birthplace) |

Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum: Tupelo, Mississippi

USA landmarks

Gateway Arch: St. Louis, Missouri

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Glacier National Park: West Glacier, Montana

Top attractions in every U.S. state

Chimney Rock National Historic Site: Bayard, Nebraska

USA landmarks

Las Vegas Strip: Las Vegas, Nevada

Top attractions in every U.S. state

Mount Washington Cog Railway: Mount Washington, New Hampshire

Top attractions in every U.S. state

Cape May: New Jersey

Top attractions in every U.S. state

White Sands National Park: Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico

USA landmarks

Statue of Liberty: New York City, New York

USA landmarks

Wright Brothers National Memorial: Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Top attractions in every U.S. state

Theodore Roosevelt National Park: North Dakota

Top attractions in every U.S. state

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Cleveland, Ohio

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of First Americans Museum) |

First Americans Museum: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Top attractions in every U.S. state

Mount Hood: Oregon

USA landmarks

Liberty Bell: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Top attractions in every U.S. state

The Breakers: Newport, Rhode Island

USA landmarks

Fort Sumter National Monument: Charleston, South Carolina

USA landmarks

Mount Rushmore National Memorial: Keystone, South Dakota

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum) |

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: Nashville, Tennessee

USA landmarks

The Alamo: San Antonio, Texas

USA landmarks

Zion National Park: Utah

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

(Courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Resort) |

Smugglers' Notch Resort: Jeffersonville, Vermont

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Colonial Williamsburg: Williamsburg, Virginia

USA landmarks

Space Needle: Seattle, Washington

USA landmarks

White House and the National Mall: Washington, D.C.

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Top tourist attraction in every U.S. state

Lambeau Field: Green Bay, Wisconsin

USA landmarks

Yellowstone National Park: Wyoming

Top attraction in every U.S. state

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best National Parks in the U.S.
  • The Best Hiking Trail in Every State
  • Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler
  • The World's Best Tourist Attractions
  • The Most Famous Landmarks in the World

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Top 20 Philippine Tourist Spots for Your Travel Bucket List

The Philippines is home to so many world wonders and one-of-a-kind attractions, from the unique natural formations to pristine beaches and historical landmarks you won’t find anywhere else. Surely, there’s no shortage of Philippine tourist spots and things to do in our country.

With over 7,600 islands, you’ll probably have a hard time picking the places to add to your Philippine travel bucket list. So, we’ll make it easy for you with this rundown of the must-visit tourist spots in the Philippines depending on your interests.

Welcome to our home!

Famous Philippine tourist spots for nature lovers

1. puerto princesa subterranean river national park.

Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the top Philippine tourist spots

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and became one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2011. This complex cave system features an 8.2km stretch of underground river that slithers into the sea.

Part of the Underground River Tour is riding a small boat to see the enigmatic limestone karst formations and chambers while the guide shares some interesting tidbits as you cruise along.

When we entered the cave, it felt like we were transported to an underworld full of mystery and wonder. You should definitely check this off your travel bucket list.

JOIN UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR

2. Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces is one of the famous Philippine tourist spots

Often tagged as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Ifugao Province is a breathtaking masterpiece carved and built by hand by the Ifugao people. Believed to have existed more than 2,000 years ago, it is considered the oldest and most extensive rice terrace in the world.

Seeing this wonder up close was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences we’ve had. This is one of the top Philippine tourist spots you have to see in your lifetime.

3. Hundred Islands

Hundred Islands is one of the popular Philippine tourist spots

We’ve been to Hundred Islands in Pangasinan on two different occasions, and each visit was uniquely incredible. A Hundred Islands island hopping tour will take you to the many islands dotting the Lingayen Gulf, although only a few islands were developed for tourism.

JOIN 100 ISLANDS TOUR

On top of island hopping, you can actually do ziplining, kayaking, parasailing, and many more water sports activities here. If you want, you can even stay for a night or two by camping or renting one of the guest houses here including the Pinoy Big Brother House. You may read our Hundred Island guide to plan your trip to this national park.

4. Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills is one of the best Philippine tourist spots for nature lovers

You don’t have to be a chocolate lover to appreciate the beauty of Chocolate Hills , one of the top Bohol attractions . The name came from its color that changes from grassy green to chocolate brown during the dry season.

More than a thousand hills are sprawling over a 50 sq km area in Carmen, Bohol. After seeing this geological formation right before our eyes, we can’t help but wonder how on Earth did they exist here? It is a postcard-worthy attraction you have to see for yourself.

And while you’re here, level up your experience by riding the Bike Zip, Tony Hawk, or Wave Runner at the Bohol Chocolate Hills Adventure Park .

5. Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake is one of the top Philippine tourist spots

Kayangan Lake is probably the most photographed and well-loved tourist spot in Coron, and we can easily see why. With its crystal-clear brackish water (a combination of saline and freshwater), majestic karst landscapes, and rich ecosystem, it is a slice of paradise on Earth. Not to mention its reputation as the “cleanest and clearest lake” in the Philippines and the whole of Asia.

Kayangan Lake is usually part of the Coron Tour A where you’ll get the chance to snorkel in Coron’s clear turquoise waters and enjoy breathtaking nature views.

BOOK CORON TOUR

6. Hinatuan Enchanted River

Hinatuan Enchanted River is one of the top Philippine tourist spots for nature lovers

Hinatuan Enchanted River in the Province of Surigao del Sur is the clearest river we’ve ever seen! We initially thought that eye-catching photos we saw online were highly edited, but we were surprised that it was really enchanting to see in real life.

Legend has it that this deep spring river is enchanted by deities who added jade and sapphire colors to the water. Urban legend aside, we absolutely enjoyed swimming in its clear waters and witnessing the fish-feeding session at 12pm.

Top Philippine tourist spots for adventure-seekers

7. kawasan falls.

Kawasan Falls is one of the top Philippine tourist spots for adventure

Kawasan Falls is one of the top tourist spots in Cebu where you can have a picnic and take a dip in its ice-cold waters. You can kick your adventure up a notch by going on a thrilling canyoneering adventure .

TRY CANYONEERING

We did it and we must say that it was indeed bucket-list worthy. We screamed our hearts out as we jumped off cliffs and splashed on natural pools. Our trail ended with a sumptuous feast in Kawasan Falls.

8. Mount Pinatubo

Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake

Mount Pinatubo is an active volcano in the mountains of Zambales. It is called a “beautiful disaster” because even though its tragic eruption in 1991 destroyed so many lives and livelihoods, it has now become one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines, especially for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

We joined a Mt. Pinatubo tour where we hopped on a 4×4 vehicle across a vast lahar field before hiking up the scenic crater lake. You may read our Mount Pinatubo guide if you want to do this beginner-friendly hike.

JOIN MT. PINATUBO TOUR

9. Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano is one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines

Mayon Volcano or Mount Mayon in Albay in the Bicol region is an iconic volcano famous for its perfect cone shape. Although it is an active volcano, it is greatly considered one of the top Philippine tourist spots.

Make your experience even more exciting by riding an ATV around the area. And while exploring Bicol region, why not pick up some Bicolano words and phrases ?

RIDE MT. MAYON ATV

10. Paoay Sand Dunes

Paoay Sand Dunes

Paoay Sand Dunes is one of the top Ilocos Norte attractions where you can hop on a 4×4 vehicle and go sandboarding . It is also a popular filming location for several films like Panday, Himala, Born on the Fourth of July, and Mad Max.

RIDE PAOAY SAND DUNES ATV

When we made our way here, we immediately felt like we were in a desert in the Middle East. It’s a rare sight you won’t normally encounter in our country so we cannot not include it in our list of top Philippine tourist spots.

While exploring Ilocos, it pays to learn some useful Ilocano words and phrases to help you interact with the locals and navigate the region.

11. Cloud 9, Siargao Island

Cloud 9, Siargao Island

If you love surfing, there’s no other place to go than Siargao, the surfing capital of the Philippines. One particular Siargao attraction that draws many travelers and surfing enthusiasts from around the world is Cloud 9 . It is touted as the best surf break in the country with its classic right-hand waves breaking over a reef.

Not to worry if you’re a surfing newbie — you can always join surfing lessons in Siargao with professional instructors to guide you. Surf’s up!

Best Philippine tourist destinations for beach bums

12. el nido, palawan.

Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido

We’ve been to many beach destinations in the Philippines but there’s nothing quite like El Nido in Palawan. The beaches and lagoons here are truly unparalleled. You have to join island hopping tours categorized as Tour A , Tour B , Tour C , Tour D , to reach specific islands where you can dive, swim, snorkel, kayak, or frolic at the beach.

The top El Nido attractions include the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Secret Beach, Paradise Beach, Hidden Beach, 7 Commando Beach, Nacpan Beach, Shimizu Island, and Snake Island. But our favorite has to be Pinagbuyutan Island a.k.a The Survivor Island, which was one of the filming locations of the Survivor reality show.

Tip:  Looking for a place to stay in El Nido? Check out our list of the best El Nido resorts .

13. Boracay Island

White Beach Boracay is one of the best Philippine tourist spots

Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan is consistently included in the list of the world’s best islands and one of the famous Philippine tourist spots. We aren’t even surprised. With its long stretch of white sand beaches, clear waters, and sunny vibe, you can easily fall in love with this tropical paradise.

It’s an all-in-one destination for all types of travelers. As foodies, our taste buds were pleased with the range of food choices here. Of course, we had to try the famous calamansi muffin and Jonah’s fruit shake.

Adventure-seekers will also enjoy water sports activities like parasailing , paraw sailing , jet skiing , and helmet diving . And, if you simply want to relax, stay in one of the luxurious Boracay resorts in Station 1 and Zero or Boracay hotels in Station 2 and 3 . There’s always something for everyone in Boracay!

14. Bantayan Island, Cebu

Sandira Beach in Bantayan Island

As Cebuano locals, we always regard Bantayan Island as a world-class beach destination that can rival Boracay. The four-hour road trip up north is definitely worth it, and we would always recommend it to friends who visit Cebu.

Bantayan Island features white sand beaches like Kota Beach and Sandira Beach and other unique natural attractions such as caves and mangroves. If you’re looking for a more laid-back island life, Bantayan is the place to go. We compiled a list of the best Bantayan resorts and hotels for you to call home.

15. Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol

Alona Beach, Panglao Island

We can say that Alona Beach in Bohol’s Panglao Island is a smaller, less crowded version of Boracay Island. It’s our go-to beach destination outside of Cebu as it is just a two-hour ferry ride away. Read our Cebu to Bohol ferry guide for everything you need to know about riding a ferry to Bohol from Cebu.

BOOK FERRY TO BOHOL

We always enjoy the simple pleasures of walking on the beach and going on a food trip here. Bohol Bee Farm’s ice cream is a must-try — we particularly love their avocado and durian flavors.

16. Pink Beach, Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga City

Pink Beach, Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga City

The Pink Beach of the Great Santa Cruz Island in Zamboanga City continues to be on our travel bucket list. We haven’t been there but some of our friends and relatives who are locals of Zamboanga City and Basilan recommend visiting so we can see its beauty ourselves.

We can’t wait to actually dip our toes in the pink coralline sand and swim in its crystal-clear waters. We’ll brush up on our Chavacano language , too, before going there.

Must-visit Philippine tourist attractions for history buffs

17. calle crisologo, vigan city.

Calle Crisologo, Vigan City is one of the top historical attractions in the Philippines

Calle Crisologo is one of the top Vigan City tourist spots . In fact, it is almost always the starting point of every Vigan City tour . Strolling around the area felt like we were living in the Spanish colonial era with its cobblestone street, ancestral homes, and old shophouses.

JOIN VIGAN CITY TOUR

From Calle Crisologo, you can visit the rest of the attractions in the Historic City of Vigan — it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New7Wonders Cities , after all.

18. Intramuros, Manila

Intramuros is one of the historical attractions in the Philippines

Another place that transports you back to the Spanish colonial times is Intramuros in Manila. Intramuros literally means “inside the walls” in Latin, hence the name “Walled City of Manila”, which defended the city from invaders in the late 16th century. Today, it houses the Fort San Santiago and Jose Rizal shrine.

We learned so much about Philippine history just by exploring Intramuros and entering the museum dedicated to Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero.

To make your trip even more magical, ride a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) for ₱350-500 per 30 minutes. And maybe practice your Filipino language before you go.

19. Magellan’s Cross, Cebu

Magellan’s Cross is one of the top historical attractions in the Philippines

Magellan’s Cross is one of the top historical attractions in Cebu where Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his troops planted the cross to signify the birth of Christianity in Cebu. Look up and you’ll see ceiling murals depicting the baptism ceremony.

To maximize your heritage tour in our hometown, why not join this Cebu City private day tour ? It already includes transfers and admission to Magellan’s Cross and other landmarks including Sto. Niño Church, Simala Shrine , Temple of Leah, and more!

JOIN CEBU CITY TOUR

And oh, while exploring Cebu, Central Visayas, and some parts of Mindanao, be sure to learn some basic Bisaya words and phrases to interact better with the locals.

20. Rizal Park and Shrine, Dapitan City

Rizal Park and Shrine, Dapitan City

Aside from Rizal Park (Luneta) and Rizal Museum in Intramuros, another historical place to learn more about our national hero is Rizal Park and Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte. This 16-hectare protected landscape was where Jose Rizal was exiled for four years.

The native casas (houses) originally built by Rizal that served as his residence, clinic, and other quarters were reconstructed and preserved. When we came here, we were so amazed at how Rizal lived a meaningful life full of talent, passion, and love for the country. This is really a great place to relive the life of our national hero and get inspired by him.

These 20 tourist spots in the Philippines are just the icing on the cake. There’s still so much more that awaits you in our beloved country.

So, which of these Philippine tourist spots will you add to your travel bucket list?

Want to have more fun in the Philippines? Join in the celebrations of these Philippine festivals and fiestas .

your tourist spot

Espresso

50 of the most charming spots to visit on the U.S. East Coast

Posted: May 16, 2024 | Last updated: May 16, 2024

<p class="p1"><span>Discover some charming spots on your next trip along the East Coast. While exploring this fascinating region of the United States, be sure to add some of the 50 points of interest described below to your travel itinerary.</span></p>

Discover some charming spots on your next trip along the East Coast. While exploring this fascinating region of the United States, be sure to add some of the 50 points of interest described below to your travel itinerary.

<p class="p1"><span>The red rocks found on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park are a sight to behold. Nature lovers who also enjoy a bit of a thrill will get goosebumps knowing that this park is only <a href="https://visitmaine.com/things-to-do/parks-natural-attractions/acadia-national-park" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>80 km from Bangor</span></a>, home to <a href="https://bangordailynews.com/2018/04/11/opinion/contributors/stephen-king-explains-why-he-chose-to-live-in-bangor/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>author Stephen King</span></a>.</span></p>

Marvel at the red rocks near Bar Harbor (Maine)

The red rocks found on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park are a sight to behold. Nature lovers who also enjoy a bit of a thrill will get goosebumps knowing that this park is only 80 km from Bangor , home to author Stephen King .

<p class="p1"><span>Check out the wide range of Portland’s fabulous restaurants. Did you know that <a href="https://www.visitportland.com/things-to-do/cruises-tours/food-wine-beer" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>guided tours are available for foodies</span></a> and <a href="https://www.visitportland.com/things-to-do/cruises-tours/breweries-distilleries" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>beer enthusiasts</span></a>?</span></p>

Take a food tour in Portland (Maine)

Check out the wide range of Portland’s fabulous restaurants. Did you know that guided tours are available for foodies and beer enthusiasts ?

<p class="p1"><span>Cape Elizabeth’s emblematic <a href="https://visitmaine.com/places-to-go/greater-portland-and-casco-bay/cape-elizabeth" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>1791</span></a> lighthouse stands tall in <a href="https://portlandheadlight.com/what-to-do/the-lighthouse" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Fort Williams Park</span></a>, offering visitors the opportunity to take countless photos of the rocky coastline. In fact, the entire landscape will take your breath away!</span></p>

Snap a photo of the lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth (Maine)

Cape Elizabeth’s emblematic 1791 lighthouse stands tall in Fort Williams Park , offering visitors the opportunity to take countless photos of the rocky coastline. In fact, the entire landscape will take your breath away!

<p class="p1"><span>Will you begin with a walk on the <a href="https://oldorchardbeachmaine.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Old Orchard Beach Pier</span></a> or take a turn on the Palace Playland Ferris wheel? You can, of course, <a href="https://visitmaine.com/places-to-go/the-maine-beaches/old-orchard-beach" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>do both</span></a>. Be sure to stick around for the truly magical sunset, perhaps while enjoying a drink at the <a href="https://www.oobpier.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Pier Patio Pub</span></a> at the far end of the pier. The view is unbeatable!</span></p>

Ride the Ferris wheel in Old Orchard Beach (Maine)

Will you begin with a walk on the Old Orchard Beach Pier or take a turn on the Palace Playland Ferris wheel? You can, of course, do both . Be sure to stick around for the truly magical sunset, perhaps while enjoying a drink at the Pier Patio Pub at the far end of the pier. The view is unbeatable!

<p class="p1"><span>Visitors can’t help but slow their pace when exploring the seaside community of <a href="http://visitkennebunkport.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Kennebunkport</span></a>. Take time to enjoy a leisurely stroll. Delight in wandering through each and every one of Kennebunkport’s small boutiques.</span></p>

Stroll around Kennebunkport (Maine)

Visitors can’t help but slow their pace when exploring the seaside community of Kennebunkport . Take time to enjoy a leisurely stroll. Delight in wandering through each and every one of Kennebunkport’s small boutiques.

<p class="p1"><span>At the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can observe various types of <a href="https://www.fws.gov/sites/default/files/documents/RachelCarsonNWR_CCP%26EA_June2007_0.pdf" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>birds</span></a>, including plovers like those seen in Pixar’s short film <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPuRBiBCxyk" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span><em>Piper</em></span></a>. This is one <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuge/waubay/visit-us/rules-policies" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>nature walk</span></a> you’ll simply adore!</span></p>

Birdwatch in Wells (Maine)

At the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can observe various types of birds , including plovers like those seen in Pixar’s short film Piper . This is one nature walk you’ll simply adore!

<p class="p1"><span>The word “ogunquit” means “<a href="https://ogunquit.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>beautiful place by the sea</span></a>” in Abenaki, and you’re likely to agree after exploring the town’s beaches, dunes, and coastlines.</span></p>

Fall under the spell of Ogunquit (Maine)

The word “ogunquit” means “ beautiful place by the sea ” in Abenaki, and you’re likely to agree after exploring the town’s beaches, dunes, and coastlines.

<p class="p1"><span>For those who enjoy a good walk, check out this fantastic path along the Maine coastline. A full circuit (round trip) totals <a href="https://www.marginalwayfund.org/marginal-way/faq/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>just over 4 km</span></a>. According to <a href="https://www.marginalwayfund.org/marginal-way/map/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>the map</span></a>, however, you can access the trail at several points. Benches found along the path invite strollers to pause and admire the superb ocean view.</span></p>

Walk along the Marginal Way near Ogunquit (Maine)

For those who enjoy a good walk, check out this fantastic path along the Maine coastline. A full circuit (round trip) totals just over 4 km . According to the map , however, you can access the trail at several points. Benches found along the path invite strollers to pause and admire the superb ocean view.

<p class="p1"><span>Lobster is king on menus in towns and cities along Maine’s coastline, and Perkins Cove is no exception. This fishing village serves up its <a href="https://www.visitmaine.net/page/66/about-ogunquit" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>extremely fresh lobster</span></a> in several restaurants, including the <a href="https://barnbilly.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>famous Barnacle Billy’s</span></a>, a <a href="https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20130717/NEWS/130719755" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>50-year-old establishment</span></a> that often hosted <a href="https://www.barnbilly.com/journal/?entry=98" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>former US President George H. W. Bush</span></a>.</span></p>

Eat lobster in Perkins Cove (Maine)

Lobster is king on menus in towns and cities along Maine’s coastline, and Perkins Cove is no exception. This fishing village serves up its extremely fresh lobster in several restaurants, including the famous Barnacle Billy’s , a 50-year-old establishment that often hosted former US President George H. W. Bush .

<p class="p1"><span>Tour Portsmouth’s old port and historic district or visit the <a href="https://ogunquitmuseum.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art</span></a>.</span></p>

Walk through history in Portsmouth (New Hampshire)

Tour Portsmouth’s old port and historic district or visit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art .

<p class="p1"><span>New Hampshire boasts <a href="https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>93 national parks</span></a>. Most people go to Echo Lake State Park to enjoy, well, the lake. <a href="https://www.nhstateparks.org/getmedia/a26effa3-9821-4dd3-8abc-6449cd2db197/EchoLakeSP_TrailMap_Web.pdf" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Take the trail that circles Echo</span></a></span><span> Lake</span><span> to take part in a variety of activities. Don’t forget to snap lots of photos. The view is simply magnificent.</span></p>

Take a break at Echo Lake in North Conway (New Hampshire)

New Hampshire boasts 93 national parks . Most people go to Echo Lake State Park to enjoy, well, the lake. Take the trail that circles Echo Lake to take part in a variety of activities. Don’t forget to snap lots of photos. The view is simply magnificent.

<p class="p1"><span>Hampton Beach is the ideal spot for seeing <a href="https://www.hamptonbeach.org/events/fireworks/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>fireworks throughout the year, namely on Wednesday evenings during the summer, July 4, and December 31</span></a>. Timing your visit to coincide with one of these dates is definitely worth the effort. Otherwise, enjoy the extensive shoreline and many other beach events.</span></p>

See the fireworks at Hampton Beach (New Hampshire)

Hampton Beach is the ideal spot for seeing fireworks throughout the year, namely on Wednesday evenings during the summer, July 4, and December 31 . Timing your visit to coincide with one of these dates is definitely worth the effort. Otherwise, enjoy the extensive shoreline and many other beach events.

<p class="p1"><span><a href="https://www.salem.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Salem</a></span><span> is famous for its 17th-century witch hunts, and a tour of the town will reveal that witches, both old and modern-day, still hold a prominent place.</span></p>

Scare up some witches in Salem (Massachusetts)

Salem is famous for its 17th-century witch hunts, and a tour of the town will reveal that witches, both old and modern-day, still hold a prominent place.

<p class="p1"><span>You’ll quickly feel at ease and truly on vacation in this <a href="https://www.newburyport.com/things-to-do-in-newburyport/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>small coastal town</span></a>, with its picturesque charm and historical sites.</span></p>

Relax in Newburyport (Massachusetts)

You’ll quickly feel at ease and truly on vacation in this small coastal town , with its picturesque charm and historical sites.

<p class="p1"><span>Catching a sunset in person on Plum Island is nothing short of amazing. Sunrises are just as spectacular. Take advantage of your visit to this island near Newburyport to relax on its lovely beach.</span></p>

Admire the sunset from Plum Island (Massachusetts)

Catching a sunset in person on Plum Island is nothing short of amazing. Sunrises are just as spectacular. Take advantage of your visit to this island near Newburyport to relax on its lovely beach.

<p class="p1"><span>If being out on the open water doesn’t make you seasick, try taking a <a href="https://www.discovergloucester.com/listings/whale-watching-fishing/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>whale-watching excursion off the coast of Gloucester</span></a>. Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone. Just remember to keep a tight grip on it.</span></p>

Watch whales in Gloucester (Massachusetts)

If being out on the open water doesn’t make you seasick, try taking a whale-watching excursion off the coast of Gloucester . Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone. Just remember to keep a tight grip on it.

<p class="p1"><span>Enjoy a <a href="https://www.harvard.edu/on-campus/visit-harvard" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>guided tour of legendary Harvard University or choose a mobile tour via instructions on your smartphone</span></a>. Take in the history while imagining the prestige of studying on this impressive campus.</span></p>

Visit Harvard (Massachusetts)

Enjoy a guided tour of legendary Harvard University or choose a mobile tour via instructions on your smartphone . Take in the history while imagining the prestige of studying on this impressive campus.

<p class="p1"><span>The legendary Plymouth Rock marks the traditional landing site of the famous <em>Mayflower</em> upon its arrival from England. Its passengers would go on to found <a href="https://historyofmassachusetts.org/plymouth-colony-history/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>the first permanent Massachusetts colony in 1620</span></a>.</span></p>

Drop anchor at Plymouth Rock (Massachusetts)

The legendary Plymouth Rock marks the traditional landing site of the famous Mayflower upon its arrival from England. Its passengers would go on to found the first permanent Massachusetts colony in 1620 .

<p class="p1"><span>If you’re walking around Cape Cod, make your way to Mayflower Beach to see a breathtaking sunset over the ocean. Enjoy this beach’s <a href="https://www.capecod.com/mayflower-beach/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>silky sands</span></a> during extended, daytime rambles.</span></p>

Lose track of time at Mayflower Beach in Dennis (Massachusetts)

If you’re walking around Cape Cod, make your way to Mayflower Beach to see a breathtaking sunset over the ocean. Enjoy this beach’s silky sands during extended, daytime rambles.

<p class="p1"><span>Cape Cod’s Hyannis has strong ties to the <a href="https://jfkhyannismuseum.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>famous Kennedy family</span></a>. In fact, Hyannis is home to an engaging museum dedicated to telling the Kennedy story through the lens of US history.</span></p>

Relive JFK history in Hyannis (Massachusetts)

Cape Cod’s Hyannis has strong ties to the famous Kennedy family . In fact, Hyannis is home to an engaging museum dedicated to telling the Kennedy story through the lens of US history.

<p class="p1"><span>Did you know that Chatham has a <a href="https://www.atlanticwhiteshark.org/shark-center" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>great white shark research centre</span></a>? Indeed, this charming village has <a href="https://www.boston.com/travel/travel/2014/07/28/chatham-makes-sharks-the-attraction-40-years-after-jaws" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>essentially turned <em>Jaws </em>into its very own trademark</span></a>. For a less hair-raising outing, take a walk down Chatham’s main street and visit its many attractive shops.</span></p>

Learn more about sharks in Chatham (Massachusetts)

Did you know that Chatham has a great white shark research centre ? Indeed, this charming village has essentially turned Jaws into its very own trademark . For a less hair-raising outing, take a walk down Chatham’s main street and visit its many attractive shops.

<p class="p1"><span>Martha’s Vineyard is an island located off the coast of Cape Cod. The island’s village of Oak Bluffs invites you to “savour” its charming homes known as <a href="https://newengland.com/today/travel/massachusetts/marthas-vineyard/things-oak-bluffs-ma/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>gingerbread cottages</span></a>. Revel in their colourful walls and porches detailed in delicate, lacy patterns. Don’t miss this absolutely magical sight!</span></p>

Delight in gingerbread houses on Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts)

Martha’s Vineyard is an island located off the coast of Cape Cod. The island’s village of Oak Bluffs invites you to “savour” its charming homes known as gingerbread cottages . Revel in their colourful walls and porches detailed in delicate, lacy patterns. Don’t miss this absolutely magical sight!

<p class="p1"><span>For the past several years, Provincetown has proudly claimed to be among <a href="https://www.visit-provincetown.com/ptown-lgbt-friendly-2/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>the most LGBT-friendly places</span></a>. Its history is marked by tolerance, harmony, and open-mindedness. Provincetown sits at the tip of Cape Cod.</span></p>

Take life easy in Provincetown (Massachusetts)

For the past several years, Provincetown has proudly claimed to be among the most LGBT-friendly places . Its history is marked by tolerance, harmony, and open-mindedness. Provincetown sits at the tip of Cape Cod.

<p class="p1"><span>Follow <a href="https://www.thefreedomtrail.org/about" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>a red line marking a nearly 4 km route across Boston</span></a> and travel back in time to gain a better understanding of the American Revolution. Visit <a href="https://www.thefreedomtrail.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>16 sites</span></a> that played a key role in this important moment in US history.</span></p>

Follow the Freedom Trail in Boston (Massachusetts)

Follow a red line marking a nearly 4 km route across Boston and travel back in time to gain a better understanding of the American Revolution. Visit 16 sites that played a key role in this important moment in US history.

<p class="p1"><span>Be sure to pay a visit to the statue of George Washington as you stroll through Boston’s Public Garden in the city’s downtown. George Washington was the <a href="https://www.biography.com/us-president/george-washington" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>first president of the United States</span></a> (from 1789 to 1797) and the garden is America’s <a href="https://www.boston.gov/parks/public-garden" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>first botanical garden</span></a> (inaugurated in 1837).</span></p>

Say hello to George Washington in Boston (Massachusetts)

Be sure to pay a visit to the statue of George Washington as you stroll through Boston’s Public Garden in the city’s downtown. George Washington was the first president of the United States (from 1789 to 1797) and the garden is America’s first botanical garden (inaugurated in 1837).

<p class="p1"><span>Exploring a city on foot gives you the freedom to prolong your visit and include attractions that spark your interest or indulge a passion. Check out the numerous <a href="https://www.goprovidence.com/things-to-do/providence-walking-tours/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>themed printable guides and maps</span></a> available to visitors looking to maximize their fun.</span></p>

Stroll through Providence (Rhode Island)

Exploring a city on foot gives you the freedom to prolong your visit and include attractions that spark your interest or indulge a passion. Check out the numerous themed printable guides and maps available to visitors looking to maximize their fun.

<p class="p1"><span>To catch a glimpse of giraffes, lions, zebras, a Komodo dragon, red pandas, and lots of <a href="http://www.rwpzoo.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>other animals</span></a>, stop by Providence’s Roger Williams Park Zoo. </span></p>

Visit the zoo in Providence (Rhode Island)

To catch a glimpse of giraffes, lions, zebras, a Komodo dragon, red pandas, and lots of other animals , stop by Providence’s Roger Williams Park Zoo.

<p class="p1"><span>Impressive! Huge! Majestic! These are just some of the words you might hear when visiting the Breakers mansion or any of <a href="https://www.newportmansions.org/explore" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Newport’s other remarkable residences</span></a>. Get ready for one high-class tour.</span></p>

Explore mansions in Newport (Rhode Island)

Impressive! Huge! Majestic! These are just some of the words you might hear when visiting the Breakers mansion or any of Newport’s other remarkable residences . Get ready for one high-class tour.

<p class="p1"><span>This <a href="http://www.cliffwalk.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>long walk stretching just over 5.5 km</span></a> will please anyone keen to explore the city’s many features on foot. Take in Newport’s natural beauty, architecture, and history while appreciating impressive views of historical mansions.</span></p>

Embark on the Cliff Walk in Newport (Rhode Island)

This long walk stretching just over 5.5 km will please anyone keen to explore the city’s many features on foot. Take in Newport’s natural beauty, architecture, and history while appreciating impressive views of historical mansions.

<p class="p1"><span>You may feel as though you already know this <a href="http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>famous downtown park</span></a> even when visiting it for the first time. After all, Central Park, which is larger than the <a href="https://www.monte-carlo.mc/en/general/principality-of-monaco/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Principality of Monaco</span></a>, has <a href="https://www.centralparksunsettours.com/central-park-guide/films-shot-in-central-park/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>appeared in over 300 films</span></a>.</span></p>

Wander through fabled Central Park (New York)

You may feel as though you already know this famous downtown park even when visiting it for the first time. After all, Central Park, which is larger than the Principality of Monaco , has appeared in over 300 films .

<p class="p1"><span>Curious tourists with a thirst for knowledge will adore a stop at the <a href="https://www.amnh.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>American Museum of Natural History</span></a>. During your visit, don’t be surprised to find yourself recalling scenes from <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477347/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span><em>Night at the Museum</em></span></a>, a movie filmed on the premises.</span></p>

Get smart at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (New York)

Curious tourists with a thirst for knowledge will adore a stop at the American Museum of Natural History . During your visit, don’t be surprised to find yourself recalling scenes from Night at the Museum , a movie filmed on the premises.

<p>New York is one of the most-visited cities in the world for a reason. Everyone has to experience the Big Apple at least once in their lifetime (just don’t call it the Big Apple while you’re there). But for a truly life-changing experience, skip the tourist traps and explore <a href="http://nymag.com/article/2018/11/a-non-touristy-guide-to-new-york-city.html" class="atom_link atom_valid" rel="noreferrer noopener">everything that the city has to offer</a>.</p>

Spend an evening in Times Square (New York)

Explore Times Square after dark and feel the full effect of the big city lights. Next, dive below the surface of this complex city with a visit to the Museum of the City of New York .

<p class="p1"><span>The 72 steps leading to the southern facade of the <a href="https://philamuseum.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Philadelphia Museum of Art</span></a> were made famous when the well-known character Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) ran to the top before raising his arms in victory. Immortalize your own climb during your next visit.</span></p>

Climb the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Pennsylvania)

The 72 steps leading to the southern facade of the Philadelphia Museum of Art were made famous when the well-known character Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) ran to the top before raising his arms in victory. Immortalize your own climb during your next visit.

<p class="p1"><span>The Liberty Bell on display at <a href="https://www.nps.gov/inde/planyourvisit/libertybellcenter.htm" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>526 Market Street</span></a> is an enduring symbol of American independence. The bell is believed <a href="http://www.ushistory.org/libertybell/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>to have been rung</span></a> during the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Consider visiting the nearby <a href="https://www.nps.gov/inde/planyourvisit/independencevisitorcenter.htm" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Independence Visitor Center</span></a> as well.</span></p>

Relive American history in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)

The Liberty Bell on display at 526 Market Street is an enduring symbol of American independence. The bell is believed to have been rung during the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Consider visiting the nearby Independence Visitor Center as well.

<p class="p1"><span>Life in Lancaster’s Amish community <a href="https://www.discoverlancaster.com/activities/amish-activities.asp" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>resembles that at the turn of the last century</span></a>. Sign up for a <a href="https://amishcountrybuggyrides.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyMmi8JyZ5QIVB6SzCh05EgDfEAAYAyAAEgLMw_D_BwE" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>guided tour</span></a> to learn more about their simple, self-sufficient lifestyle.</span></p>

Step back in time with the Amish in Lancaster (Pennsylvania)

Life in Lancaster’s Amish community resembles that at the turn of the last century . Sign up for a guided tour to learn more about their simple, self-sufficient lifestyle.

<p class="p1"><span>Atlantic City is the Las Vegas of the East Coast, complete with neon lights and <a href="https://www.atlanticcitynj.com/explore/casinos/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>casinos</span></a>. Revel in its supercharged ambiance, especially at night when the city comes to life around you.</span></p>

Place a bet at a casino in Atlantic City (New Jersey)

Atlantic City is the Las Vegas of the East Coast, complete with neon lights and casinos . Revel in its supercharged ambiance, especially at night when the city comes to life around you.

<p class="p1"><span>Why not make the most of your proximity to Cape May by visiting a vineyard? You’ll have nearly 10 wineries to choose from, including the <a href="https://capemaywinery.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Cape May Winery</span></a>, <a href="https://willowcreekwinerycapemay.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Willow Creek Farm and Winery</span></a>, <a href="https://www.turdovineyards.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Turdo Vineyards and Winery</span></a>, <a href="https://natalivineyards.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Natali Vineyards</span></a>, and <a href="http://www.jessiecreekwinery.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Jessie Creek Winery</span></a></span><span>, Vineyard, and Inn</span><span>.</span></p>

Raise a glass in Cape May (New Jersey)

Why not make the most of your proximity to Cape May by visiting a vineyard? You’ll have nearly 10 wineries to choose from, including the Cape May Winery , Willow Creek Farm and Winery , Turdo Vineyards and Winery , Natali Vineyards , and Jessie Creek Winery , Vineyard, and Inn .

<p class="p1"><span>Never let a chance for some fun pass you by! After a few hours at the beach, head to <a href="https://www.moreyspiers.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Morey’s Piers and Water Parks</span></a>, an amusement park where you’re sure to rediscover your inner child. End your day with a stroll along the <a href="https://watchthetramcarplease.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>boardwalk</span></a>.</span></p>

Have fun in Wildwood (New Jersey)

Never let a chance for some fun pass you by! After a few hours at the beach, head to Morey’s Piers and Water Parks , an amusement park where you’re sure to rediscover your inner child. End your day with a stroll along the boardwalk .

<p class="p1"><span>Washington is the seat of political power in the United States and offers numerous sightseeing possibilities, such as the <a href="https://washington.org/find-dc-listings/white-house-visitor-center" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>White House</span></a>, <a href="https://washington.org/dc-neighborhoods/capitol-hill" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Capitol Hill</span></a>, the <a href="https://washington.org/find-dc-listings/washington-monument" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Washington Monument</span></a>, and <a href="https://washington.org/find-dc-listings/museums" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>several museums</span></a>. Make the most of every minute by opting for <a href="https://www.getyourguide.com/-l62/?cmp=ga&campaign_id=167246500&adgroup_id=10617318220&target_id=kwd-98837460820&loc_physical_ms=9000555&match_type=e&ad_id=377847783574&keyword=quoi+faire+washington+dc&ad_position=1t1&feed_item_id=&placement=&partner_id=CD951&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm77E0bSZ5QIVzZ-zCh0uSwUiEAAYASAAEgJ1o_D_BwE&utm_force=0" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>guided evening tours</span></a>.</span></p>

Launch a political tour in Washington (District of Columbia)

Washington is the seat of political power in the United States and offers numerous sightseeing possibilities, such as the White House , Capitol Hill , the Washington Monument , and several museums . Make the most of every minute by opting for guided evening tours .

<p class="p1"><span>Circle the globe in a flash by simply strolling down Embassy Row, where you’ll find <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/washington-dc/attractions/embassy-row/a/poi-sig/1097401/362241" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>more than 40 embassies housed in mansions</span></a>.</span></p>

Travel the world on Embassy Row in Washington (District of Columbia)

Circle the globe in a flash by simply strolling down Embassy Row, where you’ll find more than 40 embassies housed in mansions .

<p class="p1"><span>Discover some charming spots on your next trip along the East Coast. While exploring this fascinating region of the United States, be sure to add some of the 50 points of interest described below to your travel itinerary.</span></p>

Greet Neptune in Virginia Beach (Virginia)

Did you know that Virginia Beach is home to King Neptune ? This bronze statue of the Roman god of the sea rises to an impressive height of 10 metres. Have fun snapping original photos of Neptune, like those seen here .

<p class="p1"><span>Cape Hatteras offers visitors <a href="https://hatterasguide.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>all sorts of seaside activities</span></a>, but don’t forget to visit its <a href="https://hatterasguide.com/listings/recreation-and-activities--things-to-do-/cape-hatteras-lighthouse" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>iconic lighthouse</span></a>. Its black and white spirals will be the highlight of all your photos.</span></p>

Breathe in the sea air in Cape Hatteras (North Carolina)

Cape Hatteras offers visitors all sorts of seaside activities , but don’t forget to visit its iconic lighthouse . Its black and white spirals will be the highlight of all your photos.

<p class="p1"><span>Are you looking to escape those all-too-familiar, overcrowded tourist sites? Head to Wilmington and discover its <a href="https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/things-to-do/river-district/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>historic district</span></a>, <a href="https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/things-to-do/beaches/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>beaches</span></a>, <a href="https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/about/news-blogs/post/dawsons-creek-locations-tour/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span><em>Dawson’s Creek</em> guided tour</span></a>, and <a href="https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/things-to-do/attractions/all-attractions/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>other attractions</span></a>. You won’t regret saving a spot on your itinerary for this charming city.</span></p>

Find tranquility in Wilmington (North Carolina)

Are you looking to escape those all-too-familiar, overcrowded tourist sites? Head to Wilmington and discover its historic district , beaches , Dawson’s Creek guided tour , and other attractions . You won’t regret saving a spot on your itinerary for this charming city.

<p class="p1"><span>Myrtle Beach’s white sands stretch for over <a href="https://voyage.caaquebec.com/en/destinations/north-america/myrtle-beach/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>one hundred kilometres</span></a>. Indulge in long walks beside crashing waves or take in a round at one of the 120 nearby <a href="https://www.playgolfmyrtlebeach.com/courses/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>golf courses</span></a>.</span></p>

Enjoy kilometres of shoreline in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina)

Myrtle Beach’s white sands stretch for over one hundred kilometres . Indulge in long walks beside crashing waves or take in a round at one of the 120 nearby golf courses .

<p class="p1"><span>One glimpse of the palm-lined streets will confirm that you are well and truly in the South. Treat yourself to the flavours, traditions, history, and art of Charleston. Creative travellers will want to stay for at least three days to complete this <a href="https://www.charlestoncvb.com/itineraries/artsy-adventure/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>art-filled itinerary</span></a>.</span></p>

Take in some art in Charleston (South Carolina)

One glimpse of the palm-lined streets will confirm that you are well and truly in the South. Treat yourself to the flavours, traditions, history, and art of Charleston. Creative travellers will want to stay for at least three days to complete this art-filled itinerary .

<p class="p1"><span>Nothing will bring out the romantic in you like a stroll down the impressive tree-lined paths in<a href="https://www.visitsavannah.com/profile/forsyth-park/6094" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span> Forsyth Park</span></a>, one of Savannah’s oldest public parks.</span></p>

Take a romantic stroll in Savannah (Georgia)

Nothing will bring out the romantic in you like a stroll down the impressive tree-lined paths in Forsyth Park , one of Savannah’s oldest public parks.

<p class="p1"><span>Jax, as locals like to call it, is full of surprises from morning to night. During the day, choose from among its <a href="https://www.visitjacksonville.com/things-to-do/culture/museums/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>nearly 20 museums</span></a> and <a href="https://www.visitjacksonville.com/things-to-do/beaches-water/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>numerous beaches</span></a>. Once evening falls, be sure to leave room in your schedule for enjoying a rooftop beverage. Jacksonville boasts no fewer than <a href="https://www.visitjacksonville.com/blog/jacksonvilles-top-rooftop-bars/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>nine rooftop bars</span></a> where patrons feel as though they’re sitting on top of the world.</span></p>

Sip a rooftop drink in Jacksonville (Florida)

Jax, as locals like to call it, is full of surprises from morning to night. During the day, choose from among its nearly 20 museums and numerous beaches . Once evening falls, be sure to leave room in your schedule for enjoying a rooftop beverage. Jacksonville boasts no fewer than nine rooftop bars where patrons feel as though they’re sitting on top of the world.

<p class="p1"><span>This northern Florida city prides itself on being <a href="https://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/things-to-do/history/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>the oldest city in the country</span></a>. Its <a href="https://www.visitstaugustine.com/article/instagram-worthy-architecture-st-augustine" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Spanish-inspired architecture</span></a> will astound you. Be sure to visit the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/casa/learn/historyculture/construction.htm" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Castillo de San Marcos</span></a>, one of the oldest fortresses in the United States.</span></p>

Walk the streets of the nation’s very first city in Saint Augustine (Florida)

This northern Florida city prides itself on being the oldest city in the country . Its Spanish-inspired architecture will astound you. Be sure to visit the Castillo de San Marcos , one of the oldest fortresses in the United States.

<p class="p1"><span>When you get to West Palm Beach, enjoy a <a href="https://www.visitpalmbeach.com/catamaran-adventures/flamingle-happy-hour-cruise/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>pleasant cocktail-hour catamaran cruise</span></a>, perfect for admiring the sunset and magnificent scenery. It’s also a great way to relax before heading to one of the <a href="https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/west-palm-beach/restaurants-bars" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>fine nearby restaurants for dinner</span></a>.</span></p>

Celebrate happy hour in West Palm Beach (Florida)

When you get to West Palm Beach, enjoy a pleasant cocktail-hour catamaran cruise , perfect for admiring the sunset and magnificent scenery. It’s also a great way to relax before heading to one of the fine nearby restaurants for dinner .

<p class="p1"><span>Miami beaches are, of course, unbeatable, but there’s much more than sand to enjoy in this town. Visit its <a href="https://www.mdpl.org/welcome-center/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>art deco district</span></a> or the <a href="http://vizcaya.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span>Vizcaya Museum and Gardens</span></a> where this very American city shows off its traces of European artistry.</span></p>

Catch some sun and art in Miami (Florida)

Miami beaches are, of course, unbeatable, but there’s much more than sand to enjoy in this town. Visit its art deco district or the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens where this very American city shows off its traces of European artistry.

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Our 10 favorite travel hacks

Want to travel better? The Upgrade has your back.

your tourist spot

The Upgrade is By The Way’s series offering guest writers a place to share their travel hacks and hot takes. For every edition, illustrator extraordinaire Min Heo animates the advice. Below are some of our most popular entries. Some may look basic, but ask yourself: Are you optimizing your travel routine?

Want to write your own Upgrade? See how to submit here .

Dress up for your flight

David Coggins longs for the Cary Grant era of aviation, wishing more passengers would step up their game to bring some dignity and glamour to the experience. The author of “ Men and Style ” argues that making a sartorial effort shows respect to gate agents and flight attendants in uniforms — and your fellow passengers.

“I realize this is a losing battle, but it’s still a good fight,” Coggins writes. “If a sweatsuit is your truth, then there’s nothing else I can say, other than nobody has looked good in a sweatsuit in the history of the world.”

He’s not sure if wearing that checked blazer will really get you upgraded to first class , but it couldn’t hurt.

Visit ‘second cities’ in Europe

Rick Steves is our favorite pétanque-playing philanthropist . He’s a respected travel expert, too. In his beloved Europe, Rick recommends you break up every visit to a capital with a final day in a “ second city .” Think Porto vs. Lisbon , Glasgow vs. Edinburgh and Marseille vs. Paris .

“While lacking the popularity and the bucket-list sights,” Steves writes, “Europe’s second cities tend to enjoy a creative edge, a strong civic spirit, a Rust Belt toughness, fun-loving eateries with cutting-edge menus, entertaining street art … and far fewer tourists, which also means lower prices, a more authentic welcome and arguably a more honest cultural experience.”

Pick your travel uniform

Like Steve Jobs and many practitioners of quiet luxury , travel writer Jessica Poitevien is all about eliminating decision fatigue. Standardizing a set of clothes only for flying doesn’t just help you streamline your packing routine. Poitevien “doesn’t worry about leaving anything important behind, because I have two of everything: one that’s for home and one that sits in my backpack waiting for the next trip. All I add is my passport, laptop and current reading material, and I’m good to go.”

What’s her uniform look like?

“My top is always a long, loosefitting T-shirt or sweater, so I’m covered through all the bending and lifting that happens with luggage and going through security,” Poitevien writes. “I add a jean jacket to stay warm on those freezing planes and use its inner pockets to keep my phone, passport and boarding pass within easy reach.”

Cut your airport arrival dangerously close

It’s not for the faint of heart, but travel writer Brad Japhe wants to waste as little of his life in airports as possible.

“I live about five miles from Los Angeles International Airport,” Japhe writes, “and if my scheduled domestic flight is at, say, 9 a.m., I’m comfortable entering an Uber up until 8:32 a.m.”

Besides some serious bravado, pulling this off requires the use of PreCheck or Clear, among other conditions:

  • Traveling solo .
  • Express security lanes .
  • A familiar airport.
  • No checked bags .

Order the Hindu meal

Food and travel writer David Farley thinks we should reject the binary of chicken or pasta in favor of a plant-based meal that exudes spice . By reserving a Hindu meal on your next long-haul flight, you could be treating yourself to dal makhani and naan, or bhindi masala and raita. As long as you reserve your meal at least 24 hours ahead of your flight, airlines told us, you won’t be taking a special one away from anyone else.

Get up early on vacation

Life is short. So take a cue from the dad playbook, and seize the vacation day with an early wake-up call . For Deputy Features Editor Amanda Finnegan , rising with the sun means hours of calm before your travel partners join you. And by 10 a.m., you’re ready for your first nap.

Make a fashion statement in black and blue

Rachel Tashjian ’s job is cooler than your job. As a fashion writer, she flies to Europe three or four times a year for work, watching extravagant clothes appear in fashion shows for weeks at a time . It’s a dream, but there’s an understandable amount of pressure to look amazing every single day. Enter the black-and-blue hack . By mixing a pop of navy in with a collection of dark pieces, you’re making the daring choice to break one of the primary rules of fashion.

Her packing list:

  • Two skirts: something that flows and something that hugs.
  • Three jackets: a classic blazer, something weird and an open-front wool jacket.
  • One pair of trousers.
  • One black dress.
  • Three T-shirts.
  • Black shoes.

Stop eating airport food

Noah Galuten is a hero hubby. By the simple act of making his wife a sandwich to take to the airport, the Los Angeles-based chef and author had the epiphany that we should all swear off precooked egg patties forever .

Sure, you could settle for upcharged coffee, a Dunkin’ wrap or a sad Caesar from “Weirdly Branded Bar & Grill You Have Never Heard Of.” Or, you could be the game-changer for your household, whipping up breakfast burritos or English muffin sandwiches — or just buying a better sandwich in advance in the real world (see: Emily’s Pork Store , Brooklyn).

Take a solo trip

The secret to a happy relationship is compromise. And giving your partner time to travel solo — especially if you’ve got a kid at home.

That’s the philosophy preached by writer Austin Graff , an extrovert who has learned to appreciate the benefits of going it alone: It’s easier to get into top-rated restaurants, there’s time to wander, and you return to your family more thoughtful and present.

Take a buffer day

The weekend-warrior routine is for people in their 20s. Once you’re in your 30s, Rachel Orr writes, you know well enough to quit pushing so hard and to give yourself an extra day to chill before rushing back to work . “Think of it as a mini staycation at the end of your vacation,” she suggests.

More travel tips

Vacation planning: Start with a strategy to maximize days off by taking PTO around holidays. Experts recommend taking multiple short trips for peak happiness . Want to take an ambitious trip? Here are 12 destinations to try this year — without crowds.

Cheap flights: Follow our best advice for scoring low airfare , including setting flight price alerts and subscribing to deal newsletters. If you’re set on an expensive getaway, here’s a plan to save up without straining your credit limit.

Airport chaos: We’ve got advice for every scenario , from canceled flights to lost luggage . Stuck at the rental car counter? These tips can speed up the process. And following these 52 rules of flying should make the experience better for everyone.

Expert advice: Our By The Way Concierge solves readers’ dilemmas , including whether it’s okay to ditch a partner at security, or what happens if you get caught flying with weed . Submit your question here . Or you could look to the gurus: Lonely Planet and Rick Steves .

your tourist spot

Planning a road trip? Stop at one of these 18 uniquely Arizona roadside attractions

your tourist spot

While the nearest rest stop or fast-food chain restaurant may be the most convenient place for tired travelers searching for a reprieve from the open road, it would be remiss of road trippers to ignore the unusual roadside attractions scattered along the Arizona highways.

If life-sized cartoon characters near the Grand Canyon or exotic animals on the way to Tucson sound like better pit stops than the local gas station, you're in luck when driving in Arizona.

Here are some of the most notable Arizona roadside attractions you can check out the next time you cross the Grand Canyon state.

Bedrock City at Raptor Ranch

As if Fred Flintstone's prehistoric town had always been set in Arizona, visiting Bedrock City at Raptor Ranch will make baby boomers (and anyone else who watched reruns of the popular '60s cartoon) nostalgic for their childhood. Colorful statues of familiar characters and the iconic brontosaurus slide have been essential roadside attractions off State Route 64 in Valle.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Details: 332 S. State Route 64, Valle. 928-635-3072. www.raptor-ranch.com .

Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park

Less of a roadside attraction and more of a cool fun fact you can share, the Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park recognizes the only place in the U.S. where the borders of four states meet. After visiting, you can finally join many Southwestern residents in saying you have been in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all at the same time.

Details: 597 NM-597, Teec Nos Pos. 928-206-2540.  www.navajonationparks.org.

Meteor Crater

Over 50,000 years ago, an iron-nickel meteorite approximately 150 feet wide collided with what is now northern Arizona. According to the site's website, the impact hit the Earth with a force 150 times greater than an atomic bomb. The crater this meteor left is now the best-preserved meteorite site on Earth and a historic landmark to visit if you are driving near Flagstaff.

Details: Interstate 40, Exit 233, Winslow. 928-289-5898. www.meteorcrater.com .

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

If you are heading south near Picacho Peak, it is hard to miss the billboards advertising Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. Seemingly the only place you can find stingrays, donkeys, deer, parrots and dozens of ostriches in the middle of nowhere, this roadside attraction is a great spot for adults and children to make memories.

Details: 17599 E Peak Lane, Picacho. 520-466-3658.  www.roostercogburn.com .

Take the scenic route: This stunning Arizona roadway was ranked most scenic drive in the US. See why

Standin' on the Corner Park

You don't have to be an Eagles groupie to be familiar with the nod to this Arizona town in one of their most popular songs, "Take it Easy." "Standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona ..." is a line memorialized by Winslow residents at Standin' on the Corner Park. A bronze statue of a young musician is a salute to the troubadours who put Winslow on the classic rock map.

Details: Corner of Kinsley Avenue and Second Street in Winslow. 928-289-2434.  www.visitwinslow.com .

Without spoiling the enigma that can be uncovered in Benson, The Thing is a worthy roadside attraction to consider as you head down the I-10. The various billboards that line the highway are hard to miss as you get closer to the "Mystery of the Desert." Located next to a Dairy Queen and a Shell gas station, you can take care of your hunger, gas tank and curiosity at the same time.

Details: 2631 N. Johnson Road, Benson. 520-586-2581. www.bowlinsthething.com .

Arizona's 'world's largest' roadside wonders

According to a map created by  blog.batchgeo.com , more than 195 roadside attractions in the U.S. consider themselves the “world’s largest” something. These are Arizona's "world's largest" wonders and where they are located.

  • World's Largest Cow Skull, Amado.
  • World's Largest Petrified Tree, Holbrook.
  • World's Largest Map of Old Route 66, Meteor City.
  • World's Largest Kokopelli, Camp Verde.
  • World's Largest Kachina, Carefree.

Find out more: Arizona is home to 5 of the 'World's Largest' things — do you know what they are?

Giganticus Headicus

Art is completely subjective. To Kingman residents, Giganticus Headicus is one of the most iconic art pieces off Route 66. Created by local artist Gregg Arnold, the tiki-style head is 14 feet tall and bright green. If taking a picture isn't enough, you can further memorialize your time with the head with a miniature from the local gift shop.

Details: 9855 AZ-66, Kingman. www.antaersvisitorcenter.com .

Wigwam Village Motel

Need a place to stay overnight? Have you considered a wigwam? This quaint village off Mother Road may be just the eccentric place to spend a night while traveling through the state. Constructed in the 1950s, a night in a wigwam will make you forget why you would want to sleep anywhere else.

Details: 811 W. Hopi Drive, Holbrook. 928-524-3048. sleepinawigwam.com .

Lumberjack muffler man

A familiar face to Northern Arizona University students, the 25-foot-tall muffler man resembles the school's mascot, Louie the Lumberjack. Before being moved outside of the Skydome, the lumberjack was located outside the Lumberjack Cafe and appeared in the background of the 1969 movie "Easy Rider."

Details: 1701 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff.

Rainbow Rock Shop Dinosaurs

If you're in search of more prehistoric creatures to gape at, stop at the Rainbow Rock Shop as you drive along Route 66. Fans of geodes and other pretty rocks will be able to admire the variety of concrete dinosaurs while searching for their next gem.

Details: 101 Navajo Blvd., Holbrook.

Located near the Mexico border, Dateland is a necessary stop on Interstate 8. A major producer of the Medjool dates, the dry heat provides the perfect climate for cultivating the fruit. Dates are fiber-rich, sweet as candy and contain more potassium than a banana. Try Dateland's world-famous date shake when you visit.

Details: 1737 Ave. 64 E., Dateland. 928-454-2772. www.dateland.com .

London Bridge

You don't need to travel across the world to experience a little European history. As a result of a strange series of events, the London Bridge , which once crossed the River Thames, was broken down and rebuilt in Lake Havasu City by Robert P. McCulloch. This British import attracts tens of thousands of travelers every year.

Details: 1340 McCulloch Blvd. N., Lake Havasu City. 928-453-3444. www.golakehavasu.com .

Take a break from speeding down the highway by cruising through the ponderosa pine forest. An attraction you don't need to get out of your car to enjoy, Bearizona has over three miles of road surrounded by picturesque nature and North American animals. If your legs need a break from sitting in a cramped car, the park also has a 20-acre walk-through area.

Details: 1500 E Route 66, Williams. 928-635-2289. www.bearizona.com .

The Fashion-Insider Guide to Paris: Every Spot Worth Knowing

Paris travel guide

Where to Stay in Paris

Where to dine in paris, parisian cafés, old and new, where to sip in paris, where to spend in paris, what to see in paris, what to pack for paris.

Welcome to Who What Wear Travels , a series of curated guides to destinations the fashion set loves. Consider this your download on everything from the chicest stays to the most memorable meals to the perfect travel wardrobe, all vetted by stylish locals and well-traveled fashion folks.

The thing about Paris is that everyone has their own take on it. If you ask anyone who just got back from a trip, they'll insist that their dinner spot or museum is the best one. There are a million and one ways to experience the city, and for that reason, we wanted to wait a beat after rolling out other WWW Travels city guides (so far, we've covered London , Copenhagen , Mexico City , and Miami , among others) before publishing our own list of the "best" the French capital has to offer. While we would never claim to have the last say on this ever-changing and endlessly documented city, we've gathered what we think is some pretty strong intel on the coolest insider spots to have on your radar from the Parisians and fashion-industry experts who know it best.

Paris travel guide.

No matter how sought-after other fashion destinations may become, Paris remains *the* fashion capital, period. With fashion weeks happening most months of the year, from menswear and couture to ready-to-wear shows, the city will always have a certain gravitational pull with both insiders and anyone drawn to the industry. "There is definitely a realistic access to positions in the most renowned maisons," Sophie Hersan, co-founder and fashion director of Vestiaire Collective explains. "This is part of what makes Paris so attractive."

The dream of moving to Paris and working in fashion is something that recently been cemented by kitschy pop culture references like Netflix's Emily in Paris, but Hersan admits that she's been drawn to the idea from the age of 15. As a teenager, she would sneak out of the house to attend extravagant Parisian parties at Les Bains Douches and Le Palace in the hopes of bumping into the most coveted fashion people of the time.

Paris travel guide.

Fashion scene aside, there's the Paris of fine art, of gourmet food, of iconic architecture, and of art and design. I don't have the spell out the reasons why you might want to book a trip or return for the thousandth time—Paris is Paris, after all. The romance of the city isn't lost on its residents, either. "There is a certain douceur de vivre in the city," muses Chloé Harrouche , founder and creative director of Loulou Studio . "It never gets old." While she grew up in Paris, Harrouche still finds herself amazed by the architectural aesthetic of the city and often walks across the Seine to work at the Loulou Studio office, arriving brimming with inspiration. "There are little details everywhere in the city to notice and discover," she adds.

Surprisingly, the initial attraction for Martinique-born content creator Ellie Nes of @slipintostyle wasn't the fashion, which she admits contrasted her colorful maximalism. "It was mostly the culture," she shares. "All these incredible museums and, of course, the food. There's always a trendy new restaurant popping up and an endless amount of things to see, discover, and eat."

Paris travel guide.

Hôtel Château Voltaire ticks all the boxes: a prime location in the heart of Paris, an intimate but luxurious ambiance, the highest-quality service, and a fashion-crowd perspective. Thierry Gillier, the founder of the fashion label Zadig & Voltaire, is behind the 32-room boutique outpost. Hersan adores its "quiet, intimate atmosphere" and also recommends the on-site restaurant Brasserie l'Emil , which becomes a hot spot during fashion week.

Paris travel guide.

Le Grand Mazarin may have just opened in September 2023, but the playfully designed space makes it feel at once like the city's most exciting newcomer and a bona fide Parisian staple. Designed by Martin Brudnizki, this five-star indie boutique spot is brimming with eclectic and whimsical décor that's reminiscent of a Wes Anderson film, down to the colorful mural painted on the ceiling above the indoor pool. The hotel comes from the same team behind renowned properties like Crillon-le-Brave in Provence and Lou Pinet in Saint-Tropez and includes 61 rooms, a restaurant, two bars, a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, and a fitness center. It's located a stone's throw away from the Seine and a 15-minute walk from the Louvre.

Paris travel guide.

Located on a discreet corner near Les Halles, Madame Rêve is the definition of an "if you know, you know" spot. It's located in what was once Paris's only 24-hour post office and is now home to a rotating cast of fashion designers and insiders who flock here especially during fashion week. Boasting panoramic views of the city, including the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre, the hotel features two on-site restaurants and a rooftop bar whose menus range from French to Japanese influences. Even the spa is complete with a sauna overlooking the city.

Paris travel guide.

Brunch at Loulou on a sunny day is basically a requisite for any trip to Paris, and you'll find the terrace flooded with the city's most stylish patrons. It boasts one of the most famous locations in the world opposite the gardens of the Louvre, but beyond the space itself is the menu, a cross-pollination between Italian, Sicilian, and French cuisines that results in dishes like the risotto of the day and veal al limone.

Paris travel guide.

You've probably seen the towering plates of mousse au chocolat that are served from a large soup tureen and the striped awning that extends over the sprawling terrace in the Marais. The former is Chez Janou 's claim to fame, but the Provençal-style bistro is so much more than its most popular dessert offering.

Paris travel guide.

"I'm not going to lie," Nes admits. " Gigis is yet another fancy Italian restaurant where everybody raves about the truffle pizza, but the view on the Eiffel Tower is unbeatable, and there's a DJ, meaning you can push the tables and dance the night away."

Paris travel guide.

" Café Charlot is always bustling with a young, well-dressed crowd in the Marais," Who What Wear Editor in Chief Kat Collings shares. "Dance parties at the café have known to spill into the street late weekend nights. The food is decent, but it's not really about the food. It's more about the vibe and people-watching."

Paris travel guide.

Harrouche is a fan of Café Nuances in the first arrondissement, which serves creative drinks like an elegant rose latte and strawberry matcha. Designed by Uchronia, the space is done up in highly saturated hues and funky shapes, making it a true delight for all the senses.

Paris travel guide.

Known for its famed hot chocolate and towering swirls of whipped cream, Carette is the charming brunch spot you've seen all over your social feeds—and for good reason. The menu is an extensive collection of classic French dishes as well as gourmet pastries and desserts.

Paris travel guide.

Inside of the Ritz Paris at Place Vendôme, you'll find one of the city's most iconic and legendary cocktail bars. Bar Hemingway may be tiny, but every corner of the space is filled with quirky memorabilia of its historic past.

Paris travel guide.

Rouje founder and quintessential Parisian Jeanne Damas tells Who What Wear that Le Clown Bar is one of her favorites. In our Locals Only feature with the designer, she said it's one of her favorite meals in the city but shared that the bar also has a really great selection of natural wine.

Paris travel guide.

With its red velvet–lined and dimly lit interior, Hotel Costes is where you'll find the fashion set on a Saturday night. The hotel itself is a pillar of Parisian luxury, but it's all about the bar scene. Head here for a great cocktail and an even better vibe.

Paris travel guide.

Despite Paris's more old-school vintage scene, Nuovo has cemented itself as the cool girl boutique thanks to the curation of mid-range and premium vintage that's more about an overall vibe and less about specific designer labels. Its roster of celebrity clients includes some of the best dressed stars, like Lily-Rose Depp.

Paris travel guide.

For a uniquely Parisian shopping experience, Harrouche highly recommends a visit to Officine Universelle Buly : "The original 19th-century store in Saint-Germain allows customers the chance to discover the time-honored tradition and art de vivre of French apothecary."

Paris travel guide.

Le Bon Marché isn't just a department store. It's a shopping institution. It was the first department store in the world to be known for its curated selection, whether it be in fashion or homeware, and remains the perfect place to stroll and discover new brands. Hersan suggests stopping and grabbing a bite at the Rose Bakery tea room right next to the shoe department.

Paris travel guide.

While small compared to nearby art institutions like the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, Harrouche says Atelier Brancusi is a worthwhile stop next to the Pompidou Center. The recently updated museum offers guests a unique perspective on the work of sculptor Constantin Brâncuși.

Paris travel guide.

There are certain things you travel all the way to Paris for—the croissants, the views of the Eiffel Tower, and Monet. Lovers of impressionist painting will want to beeline to Le Musée de l'Orangerie , where the large-scale versions of Monet's Water Lilies and more from the impressionist and post-impressionist eras can be fully appreciated.

Paris travel guide.

"The Louis Vuitton Foundation always puts on great exhibitions," Harrouche says. Right now, there's an excellent Matisse collection on display, featuring works from his original Parisian workshop.

Junjo Knit Poplin Dress

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.

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Japan and Thailand top list of travel destinations for Chinese tourists

A group of Chinese tourists walks through the Ginza district in Tokyo.

Japan and Thailand top the list of Asian destinations for Chinese tourists heading abroad this summer, as the world’s biggest market of travelers look for holidays that offer good value.

Amy Li, who lives in Chengdu, is planning a nine-day trip to Malaysia next month with her husband and two children. Pricing was the single biggest factor in choosing Malaysia, where they will visit Kuala Lumpur and beaches in Kota Kinabalu, she said.

"It’s good value for money,” Li said. "I like ocean views and and it’s not that far.”

The return of Chinese tourists to the global travel market is being closely watched, as their numbers and spending are crucial for the tourism industry’s recovery. Forecasts on when overseas trips by Chinese will return to pre-pandemic levels vary — some expect it will rebound fully by the end of this year, while others including Fitch Group say mainland tourists are still restraining spending.

Chinese tourists in Thai traditional dress pose for a photograph at Wat Arun Ratchawararam Rathawaramahawihan in Bangkok.

Bookings and search data show there’s increased demand for international travel this summer. Trip.com sees outbound travel from China doubling year-on-year, with family group sales for overseas holidays accounting for half of current bookings.

The World Travel and Tourism Council earlier this month forecasts Chinese holidaymakers will splurge 1.8 trillion yuan ($250 billion) on overseas trips this year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

For now, Chinese tourists haven’t fully returned in the numbers that were seen in 2019. Regional destinations for the June to August summer season are set to recover to about 80% of 2019 levels, according to flight ticketing analysis as of June 7 from ForwardKeys.

The only two countries in Asia that are expected to exceed their 2019 levels are Singapore, with a 15% spike, and Malaysia, which is seeing a 32% boost, according to ForwardKeys.

Asian nations that have implemented visa-free policies have seen faster bookings growth, with Thailand and Singapore becoming popular weekend getaways, said Tongcheng Travel, an online agency popular among Chinese users.

Chinese tourists take part in an alms giving ceremony to Buddhist monks in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Taking advantage of relaxed visa requirements, Bella Huang, a 27-year-old teacher from Jiangsu, is headed to Thailand in August with two girlfriends. A big fan of Thai television, this will be her first and only overseas trip this year. Her budget for the trip is about 8,000 yuan. She didn’t even entertain heading to Europe this year, as she said getting a visa might have been difficult.

Still, some European destinations are also expected to show growth, with Belgium, Spain, the U.K. and Italy topping the list of favored countries, according to data from Cirium and Trip.com.

Tourists making the longer flight to Europe are also willing more to fly in comfort. More travelers headed to Rome, London, Milan, Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona are splashing out on premium seats than they did in 2019 — even as most European destinations in economy class haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels.

"We have observed a promising upswing in premium and business travel,” said Nan Dai, ForwardKeys’ China market analyst.

Other destinations that are expected to outpace 2019 levels show hints of geopolitical influence. Turkey, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan top the list of countries expected to see an increase in travel from China, according to Cirium. All are part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Visitors to Hungary are expected to jump as flight capacity increases sixfold — the biggest growth of all countries — albeit off a low base.

"A lot of these countries are feeling a lot of love for China,” said Mark Tanner, managing director of Shanghai-based marketing firm China Skinny. "They are much more China friendly, which is adding to the appeal.”

A group of Chinese tourists walks through the Ginza district in Tokyo. | Bloomberg

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