Comprised of 50 states, the USA occupies an area that’s only just marginally smaller than Europe. It’s in this vast country that you will find an unbelievably diverse array of natural landscapes, cityscapes, people and cultures. From the tropical islands of Hawaii to the desert landscape of the Grand Canyon, as well as the multicultural cities such as Chicago and New York City, you’ll never be stuck for destinations to discover. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in the USA: Number 25. Aspen. Aspen, Colorado, is the place to go for skiing in the USA. Four separate skiing areas – Aspen Highlands, Ajax Mountain, Buttermilk and Snowmass further down the valley – make it a frosty playground for winter sports.
Aspen exploded as a silver mining town in the late 19th century; something reflected in the architecture from this time. Summer is a good time for heading to the hills and there are hiking opportunities galore nearby. Number 24. Atlanta. The capital and largest city of Georgia, Atlanta is a sprawling city with three urban skylines rising up from the picturesque scenery of rolling hills, pine forest, magnificent old oak trees and charming magnolia trees. Established as a railroad terminus in 1837, Atlanta has emerged as the leader of the New South. The city’s top attractions are the CNN Center, World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, which features the world’s largest indoor aquarium. Number 23. Yosemite National Park. World-famous Yosemite National Park has become the iconic hangout for keen wilderness hikers, who enjoy spending weekends attempting the many trails that crisscross the parks. Yosemite is high on many bucket-lists, with people drawn to its dramatic scenery and beautiful wildlife, powerful waterfalls, impressive sequoias and jaw-dropping cliffs.
Iconic and photogenic centerpieces include the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome as well as the imposing Bridalveil Fall. Number 22. Zion National Park Even among America’s National Parks, few can match the stunning beauty of Zion National Park. Situated near Springdale in southern Utah, the park protects a series of incredible rock formations and high sandstone cliffs, and is a favorite spot for hiking, canyoneering and climbing. Unlike many other parks in the American Southwest, where visitors look down from the rim of a canyon, visitors to Zion walk on the canyon floor and look up. In addition to the magnificent monoliths and cliffs, the park is known for its desert landscape of sandstone canyons, mesas, and high plateaus. Number 21. San Antonio. The jewel of Texas, San Antonio is a city steeped in both rich history and modern day appeal. Located in south-central Texas, the city is one of the largest in the United States and best known as the home to the Alamo. Another of San Antonio’s most visited attractions is the Riverwalk, a vibrant pedestrian scene of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues stretching along both sides of the San Antonio River right in the middle of the downtown area.
Number 20. Savannah. The quintessential Southern city, Savannah draws millions of tourists every year to its charming scenes of Victorian architecture, cobbled streets and moss-draped oaks. Lying on the Atlantic Coast in eastern Georgia, Savannah is the state’s oldest city, rich in history, hospitality and natural beauty. A walk around the Historic District’s cobbled streets allows views of beautiful old mansions from the 19th century and historic sites. When you’ve had enough of old buildings, a stroll through the tree-lined paths of leafy Forsyth Park is bound to refresh you. Number 19. Philadelphia. Commonly referred to by locals as “Philly,” Philadelphia is major US city in southeastern Pennsylvania and home to the iconic Liberty Bell and the Philly cheesesteak sandwich.
Regarded as the “Birthplace of America,” Philadelphia is known as the city in which the country’s founding fathers signed the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. There’s a host of interesting art museums to visit in the city, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is not only one of the largest in the world, but also famous for its long flight of steps which were featured in the 1976 film “Rocky”. Number 18. Sedona. Located in the north-central part of Arizona, the town of Sedona is known for its vibrant art scene and spiritual retreats. However, Sedona’s most popular attraction is the breathtaking array of red sandstone formations that create a striking red and orange backdrop to the town. Attracting artists, spiritual seekers and outdoor lovers alike, Sedona’s brilliant landscape offers much to see and do. Incredible natural landmarks like Airport Mesa and Cathedral Rock present excellent photograph opportunities. Number 17. San Diego. Centered around a natural harbor, the coastal Californian city of San Diego is located on the border with Mexico.
It’s rich in Mexican culture, delicious seafood and blessed with a year-round mild climate. Visitors are attracted to the city for its laid-back mindset, and opportunities to soak up some beautiful sun, sea, and sand. Then there’s also the bustling Balboa Park, where you can find San Diego Zoo, among dozens of museums and botanic gardens. Number 16. Denali National Park. Covering a massive expanse of mountainous land in Alaska, Denali National Park is the third largest national park in the United States. The piece de resistance of this incredible slice of wilderness is Denali. Once known as Mount McKinley, this is the tallest mountain not just in the USA, but the whole of North America.
Bike, hike or mountaineer yourself through this region for stunning scenery and sights of grizzly bears, wolves, and moose. Number 15. New Orleans. Regarded as one of the most unique cities in the USA, New Orleans is widely known for its distinctive French Creole culture, cuisine, and architecture as well as jazz music and the annual Mardi Gras celebration. Situated in southeastern Louisiana, New Orleans is the state’s largest city and a major US seaport.
Devastated by heavy flooding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans is now mostly recovered and remains one of the best places to visit in the USA. Number 14. Niagara Falls. The world-famous Niagara Falls straddle Ontario in Canada and the American state of New York. Located on the Niagara River, the falls are a culmination of the flow of water that gushes out of the Upper Great Lakes and are actually made up of three falls – Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. Six million cubic feet of water cascades over the ridge every second, making for an incredibly impressive site which draws an estimated 30 million tourists a year.
Number 13. Boston. One of the oldest cities in the USA, Boston is best known for its wealth of American history, architecture and academic institutions. The capital and largest city in New England, Boston is spectacular sight in spring and autumn with flowering trees and fall foliage. As the setting of many historic events that led up to the American Revolution, Boston is steeped in early American history. Number 12. Miami. One of the most vivacious cities in the USA, Miami is best known for its sunny beaches, Latin culture and sizzling nightlife. Located in southeastern Florida off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is also a major port city managing the world’s largest number of passenger cruise ships. Across the bay from Miami on a barrier island is Miami Beach, known for its Art Deco architecture and glamorous South Beach. Number 11. Seattle. Home to global giants like Boeing, Starbucks and Amazon, Seattle is the largest city of the USA’s Pacific Northwest region. Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City due to its lush scenery resulting from a rainy climate. The skyline of Seattle is a thicket of towering skyscrapers.
The crowning glory is the futuristic 605-foot tall Space Needle, built in 1962. The city is well-known for it’s seafood, which you can try at the historic Pike Place Market. What’s more: the surrounding pine forests make for perfect hiking. Number 10. Hawaii. The Polynesian archipelago of Hawaii is a veritable paradise that’s spread across hundreds of islands in the Pacific Ocean. With its tropical climate, famously pristine beaches and wealth of natural scenery, Hawaii has been promoted as a tropical destination since the end of WW2. The islands are also a prime destination of surfers from around the world. Despite the steady influx of visitors, indigenous Hawaiian culture still thrives and can be seen in ceremonies, traditions and folk music. Number 9. Orlando. Home to world famous theme parks like Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios, Orlando is no doubt a favorite destination for family vacations. Located in central Florida, Orlando is a place where dreams and magic become reality. With several amusement parks, visitors to Orlando can meet their favorite storybook characters, reenact live famous movie scenes, ride thrilling roller coasters and watch dolphins performing marvelous tricks.
Number 8. Washington DC. The capital of the United States and seat of the federal government, Washington D.C. is located on the country’s East Coast. A cosmopolitan city that is home to many diverse cultures, Washington is widely known by its many iconic landmarks like the White House, Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Many of these monuments are all located within the beautifully landscaped parkland known as the National Mall.
Number 7. Los Angeles. The second-largest city in the USA, Los Angeles is located in southern California surrounded by the Pacific Coast, mountains and valleys. Often regarded as the “Entertainment Capital of the World”, LA is awash with celebrity culture. You can see the handprints of film stars on Hollywood Boulevard or go on a tour to see stars’ homes in Beverly Hills. For laid back days there’s the bohemian neighbourhood of Venice Beach, home to Muscle Beach and a rambling promenade that doubles as a stage for all sorts of quirky street performers. Number 6. Chicago. Nicknamed the “Windy City” and best known for its towering skyscrapers, sports teams and unique style of hot dogs and pizzas, Chicago is the third-largest city in the USA. Located on Lake Michigan in the heart of the Midwest region in northeastern Illinois, Chicago is a major hub for finance, industry, and commerce. The city’s numerous sites range from the futuristic Millennium Park and the iconic Sears Tower to the Navy Pier with its parks, restaurants, and amusements. Numerous genres of music such as Jazz, Blues, and House music have roots in the live music venues around Chicago.
Number 5. Yellowstone. Established in 1872, Yellowstone is famous for being the very first national park in the world. There are numerous geysers to watch here – notably Old Faithful, which is practically legendary; it never fails to erupt on schedule. And then there’s the multicolored Grand Prismatic Spring, ringed by rainbow colors thanks to different bacteria that live in the cooler sections of this boiling body of water. Yellowstone National Park is also home to more wild animals than just about any place in the United States. Number 4. Las Vegas. You wouldn’t think a city in the middle of the desert in Nevada would be as popular as it is, but it’s thanks to the cavalcade of casinos here that Las Vegas is so famous.
The most well-known casinos themselves are practically household names: Caesar’s Palace, MGM Grand, the Bellagio. In addition to gambling, show girls and lavish performances, Las Vegas offers plenty more to suit people of all ages and interests. On the main street called the Strip, there are the Bellagio’s impressive fountain shows, a replica of the Eiffel Tower and an Egyptian pyramid, amongst other landmarks. Number 3. San Francisco. Set on the tip of a peninsula, San Francisco is a beautiful city in northern California that is famous for a lot of things. Undoubtedly, the Golden Gate Bridge is the city’s number one attraction. Tourists can drive, bike ride or walk across this famous suspension bridge to admire and photograph stunning views. There’s also the bustling Chinatown, the seafood at the ever-popular Fisherman’s Wharf, the notorious island prison of Alcatraz and the famously steep and winding Lombard Street. You’ll be hard pressed to get bored in this fascinating city.
Number 2. Grand Canyon. Attracting millions of visitors every year, the Grand Canyon is one of those bucket list destinations in the USA. Located in northern Arizona, this massive natural wonder was carved by the Colorado River over a period of several million years. It is not the deepest or the longest canyon in the world but the overwhelming size and colorful landscape offers visitor vistas that are hard to match. Simply find a viewpoint and peer over the edge, or fly over it in a helicopter. If you want a really long hike, go for the Rim-to-Rim Trail but don’t forget to pack plenty of water, this is an unrelenting desert climate, after all. Number 1. New York City. The jewel in the crown of the USA when it comes to urban areas, New York is a megacity that is absolutely packed full of iconic places, areas, and buildings. In fact, sometimes it feels like you’re walking through familiar territory, thanks to how often the city features in Hollywood films. There’s Central Park, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Times Square – even the “Five Boroughs” that make up NYC are famous.
Then there’s the culture: Koreatown, multiple Chinatowns, the remnants of Little Italy, and communities from Jewish to African American make New York a true world city made rich by the people who’ve flocked here from all over the world..