30 Best Places to Visit in the USA
Updated: Jul 17
The USA is an incredible country to visit. Every state is an entirely new experience. Each with its own unique flavor and flair. The United States offers travelers a diverse range of awe-inspiring landscapes, world-famous cities, and adventures galore. You’re sure to meet a vast array of people and cultures on your cross country travels.
Whether you feel like taking a cross country road trip or you’re looking for inspiration for your trip, this article is sure to get you pumped for your next journey. We will share our top ten states to visit in USA, the Best Cities to Visit in USA, and the top 10 National Parks to visit in the US.
10 Best States to Visit in USA
10 Best Cities to Visit in USA
10 Best National Parks to Visit in USA
Traveling from state to state will give you a perspective on just how diverse this country really is. Explore Ancient Forests of Giant Trees and Picturesque Golden Beaches in California, a Bustling Metropolis of New York City, wide-open plains with herds of Buffalo in Montana, the Devils Playground of Las Vegas, Glaciers in Alaska to Volcanoes in Hawaii, Enormous Lakes in Michigan or barren unending deserts in Arizona. It’s all here, just how much of it are you going to explore?
Best States to Visit in USA
Easily one of the best places to visit in the USA in summer, California has everything you could dream of doing in one state. Soak up the sun on the incredible beaches down the West Coast from Malibu to San Diego.
If you can surf or are wanting to learn, there is no better place to do it. The coastal towns and cities live and breath the ocean. You’ll find some of the most amazing sunsets here, on repeat, night after night, during the seemingly endless Southern California Summer.
That’s not all on offer though, California has two of the most famous cities in the world and some of the best cities to visit in the US: San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Diego is also a must-see, it’s one of the most popular spots for travelers in the United States.
Beaches are only one aspect of California’s beautiful scenery. Don’t forget about the Avenue of the Giants, Lake Tahoe, Wine Valleys, Mountains, Joshua Tree, and one of the best national parks in the US, Yosemite. Thinking of a Califonia Road Trip? Check out these unmissable scenic routes
2. New York
The majority of travelers come to the state of New York to experience its crowning jewel, one of the most populated cities on the planet, New York City. The state of New York is split in two, New York City and the rest of New York, or Upstate NY.
A trip to New York offers thousands of attractions for visitors. From museums to modern art galleries, world-famous restaurants, skyscrapers, and incredible broadway shows. You won’t be bored in the city that never sleeps. Visit the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Centre, Catch a show on Broadway or learn at the Natural History Museum.
With so much to see it can be hard to know where to start. Our 3 day New York City Itinerary can help you pack as much as possible into your Big Apple adventure.
If you are looking to travel outside of the city, one of the best places to visit is Syracuse. It is a refreshing trip outside the craziness of NYC, where you can enjoy a unique mix of art, history, and entertainment. The rich historical footprint is evident in the exceptional architecture of the cities buildings.
The magnificent islands of Hawaii are not only one of the best places to visit in the USA, but the whole world. Picturesque golden beaches, turquoise waters so clear you can see the bottom and miles of world-class surf breaks.
Hawaii is the only state in the USA that you can hike through tropical rainforests. The majority of these on the smaller islands of Kaua’i, Oahu, Lanai, and Maui. Explore the diverse ecosystems on the Big Island or Island of Hawaii, Volcano National Park - one of the best National Parks in the US - is here. Here you can see the active volcanoes spewing lava into the ocean, forever increasing the size of the island.
Home to the impressive Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a state filled with beautiful landscapes and scenery. One of the best places to visit in the US in winter if you are a skier.
The famous ski fields of Aspen and Breckenridge are located in Colorado, attracting world-class skiers and snowboarders. These ski towns are beautiful to travel to November through February. Be warned that they do fill up with tourists and are some of the more expensive holiday destinations.
Denver and Boulder are two awesome cities to travel to, they really get into the winter feel of a big ski village. If you are looking for a white Christmas, these two destinations should be high on your list.
The Final Frontier. Alaska, thousands of miles of untamed wilderness make up the largest state in the United States. As it is the largest state, you’ll have to put some serious thought about how you are going to get around the place. Anchorage is the main city and has flights in and out on a daily basis, but getting to the more remote parts of the state can be tricky.
Alaska offers travelers an authentic experience with nature. From here you can trek up glaciers, view wildlife like eagles, bears, and whales and even camp out under the northern lights.
One of the most exciting ways to travel around Alaska is behind dogs. That’s right, Dog Sledding, you can hire packs of huskies to tow you across the frontier as you unleash your inner explorer.
Alaska is well known for its hunting and fishing spots, some of the best places in the US for hunters and fishermen can be found here. Find Moose, Elk, Deer, Salmon, and Halibut here.
If you love nature, you will absolutely love Oregon. It is a beautiful state to road trip through. Its beautiful forests, national parks, and rugged coastline provide any nature lover with unlimited options to explore.
Try quad biking through the giant sand dunes on the Oregon Coast by Dunes City, or see the deepest lake in North America at one of the most impressive national parks, Crater Lake.
Portland is a quirky city with fantastic music, beer, and art scene. Be sure to add Oregon to any west coast road trip you plan on taking.
Experience the open plains and untouched scenery of Montana. One of the least densely populated states in the US. Montana is perfect for getting off the beaten track and out into nature. Two of the best national parks in the US, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park are both located here. Tie both of these in with a trip to Teton National park in Wyoming for an incredible look at what the US looked like thousands of years ago.
Herds of Bison roam the plains alongside Grizzlys, Wolves, and Elk. Its one of the best places to visit in the US in the winter if you are into Skiing or Snowboarding as the state is home to numerous ski fields. If hiking is more your thing, travel to Montana from June to September. The snow melts in the summer and makes it a beautiful time to get out and explore the national parks of Montana.
Home to some of the most incredible national parks in the US. Zion, Arches, Bryce and 9 other National parks are all located here, making Utah the best place to visit in USA for any adventurous spirit. Its unique red rock formations, canyons, and dramatic landscapes make for amazing views in all directions.
When not experiencing all that the national parks have to offer, check out some of Utah’s other top attractions. Visit Monument Valley or Salt Lake City, Ski in Deer Valley or Park City, or make a stop at Four Corners – the only place in the United States where four states meet.
Your activity of choice will decide what time of year you travel to Utah. It is one of the best places to visit in the US in summer if you are into Mountian Biking. Those interested in winter sports should travel from November to February and hikers will prefer the spring or fall when the weather isn’t so extreme.
Texas is the biggest state in the mainland US. Second overall in the United States to Alaska. There is a lot of things worth visiting in the state of the lone ranger. Texas offers a look into famous American history stories, its unique culture is built on a diverse combination of its Mexican, and native American roots.
It is home to large cities like Houston and San Antonio and one of the best cities in the United States to visit, Austin. The city is a paradise for any entrepreneur, foodie, craft beer enthusiast, or creator. Austin’s entrepreneurial hustle, creative spirit, and culinary artworks make it an exciting place to travel.
If you would prefer a lone star, cowboy adventure, head further down south. Be sure to try the traditional texas BBQ when you’re here. You will receive enormous helpings of all kinds of slow-cooked meats.
One of the best places to visit in the USA if you have a young family, or just love Disney movies. The famous resort and theme park, Disney-Land is located in Orlando. It is has been one of the most popular tourist destinations since its creation in 1971.
Disney-Land isn’t the only reason to head to the crazy state of Florida. Party all day and night in Miami Beach, one of the party centrals of the US. Tampa is another major city located in Florida worth traveling to. Be sure to watch out for gators in the swamplands.
Visit the southernmost point in the continental US, Key West, known for its laid back, free-spirited locals, beautiful coral reefs perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. Soak up the sun between cocktails and boat tours here.
Best Cities to Visit in the USA
1. San Diego
If you’re looking for endless summer, palm trees, beautiful beaches, and unbelievably delicious Mexican food then the best place in the USA for you to travel is San Diego.
It is always sunny, no joke, it never rains here. “Winter” consists of about 4 days of coldish weather. The great weather is portrayed in the personalities of its locals, San Diegans are a happy, social bunch.
Pacific Beach is a fun spot, packed with tourists, locals, partygoers, and surfers Thursday through Sunday, year-round without fail.
Coronado Bridge offers an incredible view of the San Diego Skyline, Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay, and Mexico. Old Town gives travelers a unique perspective into the early days of San Diego, the Birth Place of California. Sunset Cliffs is a must-see during the golden hour.
2. New York City
There is so much to see and do in the bustling metropolis that is New York City. There are thousands of attractions from museums, to modern art galleries, world-famous restaurants, skyscrapers, and incredible broadway shows. You won’t get bored in the city that never sleeps. But will you have time to explore it all?
Even if you lived in New York City you wouldn’t have time to see it all. New York is an enormous city that can be overwhelming and confusing to navigate. But, it’s a once in a lifetime adventure to explore the city that never sleeps. New York is a great spot to visit while the temperature is warm from April through to October.
One of the best ways to see the city is from the Hudson River. Catch the ferry and you will be treated to views of the city’s towering skyline, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and all the madness in between.
A trip to the Natural History Museum provides an amazing insight into the history of our universe and planet. This is just one of the hundreds of museums and art galleries that New York City is famous for.
3. San Francisco
If you drive in from the north of the city and cross the golden gate bridge, you will get an amazing view of the San Francisco skyline. A truly impressive city, it shows the rise of human innovation, engineering, and development.
A walk across the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-do. It is free to walk across and there is so much to see. From the bridge, you are treated to incredible views of Alcatraz, the harbor, and all of the human activity in between. The city is an incredible demonstration of the rise and potential of humans.
San Francisco is one of the best cities to visit in the USA. It has something to offer every traveler. To check out its unique cuisine, head to Pier 39 for famous seafood, or Chinatown for authentic Asian cuisine.
A great way to get around the city is to hire bikes, but it is hard on the legs. San Francisco is an extremely hilly city, so be prepared for a workout. Bike around the free open area art museum, the Palace of Fine Arts, you will see impressive sculptures and buildings spread around a beautiful park. Check out the famous houses, the Painted Ladies, and bike to the famous steep street, Lombard Street.
San Francisco has great nightlife and is one of the best cities in the USA to party in, There is a range of bars and clubs to suit any partygoer, check out White Rabbit on your next night out.
The rainy city, surrounded by snowcapped mountains ranges and national forests. It truly is a beautiful city. Located in Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. It’s one of the most rapidly growing cities in the US, famous for its amazing food, unique music & art history, caffeine addicts, and the birth of Starbucks.
Travel to Seattle to experience a true city of the future, home to tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. The influence of these billion-dollar companies is evident throughout the main city. You will be blown away by the modern architecture, skyscrapers, and other magnificent buildings peppering the skyline.
Seattle is famous for its grey weather and long periods of torrential rain, but if you get Seattle on a good day, it’s one of the best cities in the US to visit. From July through August, you are usually treated to some sunny summer days, swim in the pristine water of the Puget sound or Union Park Lake.
Be sure to check out Pike Place Market to experience the local culture and cuisine, the seafood there is divine. Get a view of the city from the Space Needle or the Sky View Observatory. Seattle is a great location to start a west coast road trip in USA.
5. Las Vegas
Sin City. Another US city that never sleeps. The most famous and best city in the US for partying like crazy and forgetting everything you did while spending all your money at Casinos.
People somehow live here in the suffocating heat of the Nevada desert, while it’s not one of the best places to live, it is one of the best places to visit in the United States. There is something so exciting about a quick weekend trip to Vegas.
Despite what you’d think, accommodation is super cheap here, especially midweek and you get to stay in extremely fancy hotels. Great for travelers on a budget who feel like spoiling themselves. Just don’t blow all your money on drinks and the tables downstairs.
Get your fill of 5-star Hotels, Casinos, Nightclubs, Strippers, and get out. Or it just may claim you for itself.
The birthplace of the skyscraper and the third-largest city in the US. Chicago is situated on one of the biggest Lakes in the world, Lake Michigan. Its impressive skyline, an abundance of art galleries, museums, and attractions make it a must-see city on your trip to the US.
The Windy City embodies the values of the American heartland, its people, and culture.
displaying qualities of hard work and determination.
The crown jewel in the city’s art and history scene is the Art Institute. The museum has more than 300,000 works in its collection. Here you will see art by van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, and Cézanne. Plus a vast array of sculptures, ceramics, and contemporary pieces.
Austin is a combination of the true Texas cowboy experience, and a food, craft beer, and art scene. It creates a unique experience, an Oasis in Texas.
The city is rising, and quickly thanks to it being recognized as one of the leading hubs for creativity, innovation, and tech in the United States. It hosts famous festivals like Austin City Limits, and South by Southwest, which promotes music, art, and innovation.
Austin is one of the best cities in the US to visit if you are into the Food and Craft Beer Scene. The entrepreneurial hustle, creative spirit, and culinary artworks make it a paradise for food adventurers. Austin’s seemingly endless number of food trucks provide an authentic taste of a range of cuisines.
8. New Orleans
The ‘Big Easy’ has a large reputation for such a small city. Its food, music, and history are famous worldwide. New Orleans culture is influenced by a combination of diverse cultures from around the world, giving rise to a unique city that should be on every US traveler’s bucket list.
Food and music are a daily celebration in New Orleans. Explore Parkway Tavern or Restaurant August for the authentic tastes of the city. Jazz Clubs on Frenchman street or Jazzfest are what keeps the cities sound alive.
Bourbon Street is a wild experience in itself and hosts Mardi Gras every Spring. Mardi Gras is one of the largest free parties in the world.
Spring is the most pleasant time to visit the city. It gets uncomfortably humid in the Summer and even the locals try to stay indoors.
Nashville is the perfect town for any traveler looking to dance, drink, and get the American Cowboy experience. Second Avenue and Lower Broad are some of the more popular spots for tourists looking to party.
Nashville is famous for its music scene, with plenty of great spots to listen to live music and dance the night away. So put your cowboy boots and hat on, and get ready to eat, drink, and listen your way through one of the most unique cities in the US.
Located in the heart of Tennessee, Nashville is one of the best cities to visit in the USA to see gorgeous architecture and an impressive culinary scene—which extends far beyond fried food.
Boston is a city in Massachusetts with a long, proud history, old colonial buildings line the streets, and when there you feel a strong link to the founding of the United States of America.
Locals show their Boston pride any chance they can. In this crazy city, you’ll find die-hard sports fans, college bars, good restaurants, friendly locals, and a ton of American history.
Boston truly has something for everyone! It is one of the best cities in the USA to experience what it was like when the USA was established.
Though one of the biggest cities in the country, it has more of a large town feel to it than that of a metropolis. It’s easily walkable, explore an impressive restaurant scene on foot while touring interesting history and art museums, or world-class shops.
Best National Parks to Visit in USA
1. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the United States and the world. A valley carved out by a glacier, leaving towering walls of granite in its wake.
El Capitan and Half Dome are must-see's for your USA road trip. Hike Upper Yosemite Falls and swim at the top of Yosemite Point. Camp on Yosemite Valley floor under the cover of stars and surrounded by wildlife.
You will be blown away by the incredible scenery at Yosemite, it is a hiker's dream, there are countless walks providing different perspectives of the valley and cater to different fitness levels.
A stay at Yosemite is perfect for chasing waterfalls. Hike to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America, Upper Yosemite Falls. It is around a 4 hour round trip and very strenuous. But, the refreshing swim at the top of Yosemite's point and the incredible view of Halfdome and El Cap makes it all worth it. For something a little easier, stroll along the famous mist trail and see Vernal and Nevada Falls.
2. Yellowstone National Park
The world’s first national park, established in 1872, the park spans across an enormous 2.2 million acres over three states, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
Yellowstone has five main attractions for tourists. Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village, and Mammoth Hot Springs. Each attraction is linked to a unique geological or geographical phenomena like a geothermal geyser or its very own Grand Canyon.
The national park is perched atop one of the world’s supervolcanoes. It’s extremely diverse ecosystem is partly due to the strong geothermal activity. To experience this activity, check out Old Faithful, a geyser that erupts every 35-120 minutes.
Wildlife that has roamed North America for thousands of years can also be found in the national park. Bison, Mule Deer, Antelope, Wolves, and Grizzlies all live here. It is one of the best places in the US to see large herds of Bison.
Yellowstone is home to the largest high altitude lake in the USA, its sky blue colors offer the best opportunities for boating, waterfront camping, and swimming in the park. Like Crater Lake, even in the height of summer the water is rather chilly here.
3. Crater Lake National Park
To get to Crater Lake, you need to enter the national park and then climb 6000 ft. Crater Lake was formed when a volcano erupted and left the deepest lake in North America in its wake, at 594m deep.
From rim road, you get incredible views down into the crater. The water is all shades of deep blue and unbelievably clear. A true spectacle of nature.
There are several hikes down to the shore of the lake or around the rim. If your planning on swimming, be warned its not warm, even in the middle of summer. The lake is filled by snowmelt and rain and is so deep the sun doesn’t warm it.
A beautiful place to watch the sun setting is from the top of Crater Lake National park. As you head south to California, you can see for hundreds of miles. Look down through Southern Oregon and to California on the horizon. There are plenty of places to camp at smaller lakes all over the national park.
4. Grand Canyon National Park
Putting this spectacle of nature into words is near impossible. But, Mary E Hart says it best “Stand upon the brink of the Grand Canyon, gaze down, and still further down, into its awful depths, and realize for the first time your own utter insignificance.”
Being able to see different layers of the earth carved out by the river below was incredible. It gives you a real perspective of how the earth has formed over millions of millennia.
It is a place that needs to be seen to truly understand just how incredible it is. Visit for yourself and revel in the truly humbling experience that is the Grand Canyon. For a deeper understanding of the history, formation, culture, and science of the Grand Canyon, check out the Grand Canyon Museum after a hike along the South Rim.
It is definitely worth the 4 and a half hour road trip across the desert from Las Vegas. Vast barren deserts lead to the feet of steep jagged mountains, giving the feeling that you are driving on a foreign planet.
5. Zion National Park
Nestled in the Southwest corner of Utah, a 160 mile trip from Vegas, or a 300 mile trip from Salt Lake City, Zion National Park offers travelers breathtaking views around every corner. Watch the Virgin River wade through the canyon or climb Angels Landing for one of the most dramatic hikes in the US.
Recently, Zion has been one of the most popular places in the USA for tourists to visit. In 2016, over 4 million visitors came through the park. The months on either side of SUmmer are perfect for visiting Zion. The desert environment can make visiting in July and August too hot for hikers. But April, May, September, and October provide a perfect climate for exploring Utah’s Hidden gem.
For a truly memorable experience camp out under the stars and see the milky way blanket the sky. With no light pollution for miles, you get an unobstructed view of the cosmos. Looking up into the night sky is the perfect way to end a day of exploring Zion national park.
6. Arches National Park
Another crown jewel of Utah, one of the best places to visit in the US is Arches National Park. It has incredible rock formations stretched across the landscape, with giant arches, steep cliff walls, and enormous mountains lining the horizon.
It’s a great park to drive through, be sure to check out the Window Section when you’re here. If you have more time, there are plenty of hikes. Its Gravity-defying arches are fun to hike to.
You can take short walks to many of the arches, or challenge yourself and take a long hike deep into the park, here you will get off the main trails and see some truly untouched scenery.
Give yourself at least a full day or two to explore the park. Delicate Arch, Fiery Furnace, and the Devil's Garden are all long hikes that are popular for tourists and provide impressive looks at the Arches.
7. Redwood National Park
It's hard not to be in complete awe of these ancient giants. The redwood forest is made up of enormous California Redwood trees, some over 2000 years old. The forest is host to the oldest and largest trees in the world. A trip to the Redwood National Forest is a truly humbling experience, once leaving the Avenue of Giants, normal trees will never seem quite as big again.
Be sure to tie the Redwood National Forest into your next Oregon to California Roadtrip. Travel down Highway 101 and try some of the hikes through the magnificent trees. You will feel dwarfed next to the giant trees, some over 110m (370ft) tall... Check out the tree so big you can drive-thru it, near Leggett, California.
The National Park’s forests, hills, rivers, and coastline support a rich diversity of animal life, including Roosevelt Elk, Whales, and Seals. The sprawling park system is perfect for any traveler planning a road trip with plenty of scenic drives and places to camp.
8. Glacier National Park
Located on the border of Canada and Montana, one of the most breathtaking national parks in the US. Awe-inspiring mountain ranges cut through the 1 million acres of the park, home to magnificent waterfalls, a diverse range of wildlife, and over 700 lakes. The park still has remnants of the glaciers that covered the continent of North America around 12000 years ago.
One of the best national parks to visit in the US for hikers, cross country skiers, and anyone who wants to experience untouched nature. There is a range of trails, suitable for all levels of hikers, try the easy Trail of the Cedars, or challenge yourself by walking the Grinnell Glacier track.
Aside from its amazing views and natural features, it is home to unique American wildlife like Grizzly bears, Bighorn Sheep, Wolves, Elk, Otters, Beavers, and many more species. Another of the UNESCO world heritage sites on this list.
9. Volcano National Park
Experience the primal destruction and creation produced by some of the most active volcanoes on the planet. Located on the Big Island, or the Island of Hawaii, Volcano National Park is home to the Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes, one of the most popular places to visit in the US for tourists.
The Volcanoes produce thousands of yards of lava per day and when this lava meets the ocean it hardens and grows the size of the island. In the past 40 years, over 875 acres have been added to the Big Island thanks to this volcanic activity. It is one of the best places to visit in the US if you are looking to see an active volcano.
Explore the 150 miles of hiking trails through scorched earth, rainforests, and active volcanic craters. The diverse ecosystems created by these volcanoes make this national park a must-visit for travelers to Hawaii.
This incredible national park was named a World Heritage site by Unesco thanks to its unique biodiversity.
10. Rockies National Park
Located in Colorado, near Boulder and Denver is the magical Rocky Mountain National Park. The Rockies rise over 12,000 feet into the sky, offering over 350 miles of fantastic hiking trails, that lead you high into the mountains, through forests and around alpine lakes.
If you visit in the summer, between June and September, the snow has mostly cleared and the hiking trails and attractions are open. The Rocky Mountains are a long way above sea level so travelers need to be wary of elevation sickness. Try to take a few days to acclimatize to the conditions before doing any strenuous hikes.
The park can get packed full of tourists over the summer months so if you are more inclined to explore in snow boots and cross country skis, visit between October and May. For those who love winter Christmas, the Rockys are one of the best places to visit in December and experience a white Christmas. If you’re lucky you may even spot some Bighorn Sheep or Elk.