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68 Best Places to Visit in the USA in 2024 (Ultimate Bucket List)

Charlotte Bailey

Working on your USA bucket list? Well, then you’ll love this list of the most mind-blowing places to visit in the USA!

Bustling cities, quaint towns, spectacular national parks, lively beaches, and out-of-this-world islands. America is a great country with incredible people and sights–that’s a fact.

While there are many popular places to travel in the US, there are a bunch of beautiful places equally impressive, but that doesn’t get as much of the bulk of the attention.

Well, that’s about to change. I’ve put together a list of the best places to visit in the USA in most states. How does that sound?

It was pretty challenging to keep a list of 68 places because the country is dotted with must-visit spots, and I wanted to make sure you were inspired about different types of destinations.

Still, I asked locals and travelers with personal experience who have spent years traveling to all corners of the United States. They told me below (some) of the best places to travel in the US, and I genuinely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did (to be honest, I LOVED it!).

Also, I hope this article will sparkle your wanderlust and that you’ll add many of these places to your USA bucket list.

Table of Contents

How I Structured This USA Bucket List

To make it more organized, I divided this article into the best places to travel to in the US by category, so cities, towns, national parks, beaches, islands, and some other places and experiences. I hope you enjoy it!

Best Cities to Visit in the USA

Here are the best cities to travel to in the US in no particular order.

1. Austin, Texas

Exploring the city’s graffiti walls is one of the things to do on a weekend in Austin

Austin, Texas, lacks professional sports teams but boasts sunny weather and celebrates Eeyore’s birthday annually.

As the capital and fourth-most populous city in Texas, Austin is renowned as the state’s most progressive, earning the nickname “Hippie Haven.”

Notable features include the only nude beach in Texas, which is a short day trip from Downtown, old-fashioned moonlight towers, and the largest urban bat colony in North America at Congress Avenue Bridge during spring and summer evenings.

While staying in Austin, be sure to hit up the Cathedral of Junk, grab a tour of all the highlights, sip some local beer, and don’t pass up an opportunity to indulge in a local culinary favorite: breakfast tacos–a must in any Austin itinerary!

If you’re more into nature, there are many hiking trails in Austin worth checking out, both throughout the city but also in nearby state parks. This can honestly be a super romantic things to do with your significant other, but it can also be a fantastic activity for those visiting Austin with kids.

Austin, with its unique charm, is a must on any USA bucket list, and the Museum of the Weird is a fascinating attraction to explore.

Things to do in Austin

  • Check out the Congress Bridge Bats
  • Take a swim in Barton Springs
  • Stroll around Zilker Park
  • Enjoy Live Music

Where to stay in Austin

Here’s a handy article about excellent Vrbos and Airbnbs in Austin, including lofts and townhouses.

2. Boston, Massachusetts

Dining at the top of the Hub is one of the romantic things to do in Boston

Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, is one of the oldest U.S. cities, dating back to 1630.

Rich in history, it played a pivotal role in Puritan settlement and the Revolutionary War.

Today, Boston is a top urban vacation spot, attracting around 19 million domestic and three million international tourists annually.

History enthusiasts can explore Faneuil Hall and other landmarks like The Paul Revere House, Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Old South Meeting House, and Freedom Trail.

Beyond history, Boston is celebrated for its New England seafood and craft beers, making it an enjoyable destination for couples and visitors alike.

Things to do in Boston

  • Wander around Boston Common and the Public Garden
  • Catch a ball game at Fenway Park
  • Take in the beautiful Steward Gardner Museum
  • Walk the Freedom Trail

3. Seattle, Washington

Public Market Center in Seattle
Public Market Center

Seattle, Washington, the urban heart of the Pacific Northwest, is a must for coffee lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and seafood aficionados.

Nestled in an ecologically diverse region with stunning beaches and mountains, Seattle offers the unique experience of sunbathing in the morning and skiing or mountain biking in the afternoon.

Harbor cruise tours provide a serene alternative for nature appreciation. Key attractions include the Seattle Space Needle, Fremont Troll, Gum Wall, and the Museum of Flight, with Kerry Park offering a picture-perfect view of the skyline.

Just like Boston on the East Coast, Seattle boasts outstanding seafood, particularly delectable oysters.

Whether you have one or three days in Seattle, don’t miss the chance to savor a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market.

Just for fun: posting any pictures of the city on Instagram? Check out here my favorite quotes about Seattle so you can use them in your captions!

Things to do in Seattle

  • Shop and eat at Pike Place Market
  • Climb the iconic Space Needle
  • Be in awe at Chihuly Garden and Glass
  • Join a harbor cruise tour

Where to stay in Seattle

I wrote a handy guide on exactly where to stay in Seattle to make your trip planning experience less overwhelming. I hope it helps!

4. Houston, Texas

visiting Space Center Houston is one of the best things to do in Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas, the most populous city in the Southern United States and the country’s largest by area, is more than just a financial hub.

A weekend in Houston offers a taste of its vibrant and diverse atmosphere. The Houston Galleria, a four-story retail haven with 375 stores, is a must-visit, especially during Christmas.

For civic engineering enthusiasts, the seven-mile underground pedestrian tunnel links 95 blocks, 20 feet below the surface.

Nature enthusiasts can explore the city’s 337 parks with endless hiking trails, including the Houston Arboretum, and visit the Museum of Natural Science. There are also a bunch of pleasant state parks and beaches near Houston.

Popular tourist attractions include Old Market Square, Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, and the Space Center, ideal for those visiting with kids. Houston’s thriving food scene caters to every palate, from vegan gourmet to down-home BBQ.

Chinatown and the Mahatma Gandhi District offer diverse Asian flavors, while local beer, Houston breweries, and rooftop bars add to the culinary experience.

For a romantic dining experience, Houston boasts numerous romantic and rooftop restaurants.

Good to know: the best times to visit Houston are between February through April and September through November, when the weather is best.

Things to do in Houston

  • Learn about the dark sky at Space Center Houston
  • Grab something to eat at Chinatown
  • Check out the Museum of Natural Science
  • Stroll around Buffalo Bayou Park

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana is another winter vacation in the US not to miss

Known for its vibrant Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans offers year-round excitement, making it an ideal romantic getaway in the US.

Rooted in French and Spanish influences, the city boasts unique culinary, cultural, and musical traditions. The motto “Laissez les bon temps rouler” reflects its lively spirit.

Enjoying the French Quarter’s ambience with live jazz and buskers is a tradition, with numerous restaurants to explore.

Art and history enthusiasts can visit the National World War II Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

Don’t miss touring the oldest cathedral in the US, St. Louis Cathedral, built in 1718. Plan your weekend trip between December and May to avoid the sweltering hurricane season from June to November.

Things to do in New Orleans

  • Wander through the French Quarter
  • Go bar hopping on Bourbon Street
  • Take a Voodoo tour
  • Fill up with Creole food

Where to stay in New Orleans

Oh, New Orleans! This bustling and colorful city has so much to offer, right? I know there is a lot to see, and you might be wondering what area would be best to stay so you can be near all the attractions. That’s why I wrote this super useful guide on where to stay in New Orleans. It has a nice summary of my favorite hotels in the city. I hope it’s useful to you!|

6. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia is one of the warm winter vacations in the US

Atlanta, the seventh-most visited city in the United States, is a modern metropolis rooted in the South, nestled at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

As Georgia’s most populated region, it features three distinct skylines: downtown, midtown, and the upscale district of Buckhead, often referred to as the Beverly Hills of Atlanta.

Downtown is a bustling commercial and retail hub, while midtown combines residential areas with vibrant clubs and restaurants.

Atlanta’s appeal as a top U.S. destination lies in attractions like the world’s largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, as well as Legoland, Six Flags Over Georgia, numerous museums, and parks.

The city’s thriving lounge and club scene caters to diverse tastes, from honky-tonk to hip-hop. Atlanta is also known for its festivals, offering a variety of options to coordinate with your weekend trip.

Things to do in Atlanta

  • Learn about ocean life at the Georgia Aquarium
  • Take in the beautiful flora at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
  • Check out Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
  • Get curious at the World of Coca-Cola

Where to stay in Atlanta

I wrote this article with a short list of my favorite hotels in Atlanta, Georgia to help you plan a fantastic trip to the Big A. Still, if you’re visiting it with your S.O., you might want to read this other article about my favorite romantic getaways in the city.

7. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida is one of the best spring break destinations in the US

Orlando, a top global tourism destination, offers attractions like Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Legoland, Madame Tussauds, Universal Orlando, Fun Spot America, and the Kennedy Space Center.

With over 100 lakes offering recreational activities, Orlando is a diverse destination featuring family-friendly restaurants, golf courses, and outlet shopping malls.

The city’s vibrant theatre and live music scene, along with tourist-friendly nightlife, add to its appeal.

Visitors can easily find deals in Orlando and explore nearby beaches to experience the Sunshine State’s coastal beauty.

Things to do in Orlando

  • Drink butter beer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Have lots of fun at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Be in awe at Discovery Cove
  • Have your dreams come true in the Magic Kingdom Park

8. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California is one of the most romantic getaways in the United States
Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, among the most expensive yet charming cities in the country, boasts famous landmarks like the Painted Ladies, Pier 39, Lombard Street, and the iconic Golden Gate, the most famous bridge in America.

Ideal for architecture enthusiasts and those fond of old-timey throwbacks like the city’s trolley system, San Francisco also offers diverse museums covering modern art, science, and selfies.

Families can explore the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Exploratorium, while true crime enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Alcatraz tour. For couples, San Francisco provides a range of options for a fun date night, including wine bars, parks, and adventurous outings.

Despite California’s sunny reputation, San Francisco is cooler, with nighttime temperatures in June and July ranging between the mid-50s and mid-60s, so it’s wise to pack light sweaters.

Things to do in San Francisco

  • Go on an Alcatraz tour
  • Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Check out the historic cable cars
  • Say aww to the sea lions basking at Pier 39

9. San Diego, California

Visiting the Botanical Building is one of the things to do in one day in San Diego

San Diego, known as America’s Finest City, should be on every USA bucket list. Enjoying great weather year-round, the city offers beautiful beaches, surfable waves, and stunning sunsets, making it an ideal vacation destination, even for just a day in San Diego.

Explore Balboa Park for museums and galleries, and visit the historic district with buildings dating back to the 1700s.

Seagoing enthusiasts can discover notable vessels at the San Diego Maritime Museum, including the Star of India. The iconic San Diego Zoo, renowned for its cageless exhibits, is a major tourist attraction.

For foodies, the Gaslamp Quarter is the place to be, offering Mexican cuisine and seafood, while Little Italy provides delightful Italian fare, especially if you’re planning on going on a fun date in San Diego.

After dining, take a stroll through the Midway Museum or Seaport Village for a perfect end to your day in San Diego.

Things to do in San Diego

  • Check out the incredible equipment and airplanes at USS Midway Museum
  • Don’t miss the cuties at San Diego Zoo
  • Photograph the sea lions in La Jolla Cove
  • Stroll around the Balboa Park

10. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois is one of the best spring break destinations in the US

Chicago, often called the Windy City, is situated along Lake Michigan and is a global attraction for its vibrant art scenes, distinctive architecture, cultural offerings, and excellent shopping.

Renowned as a focal point for 20th-century art and architecture, the city features works by Picasso, Chagall, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Chicago is home to world-class museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, housing diverse artworks spanning thousands of years in various media, including sculpture, painting, decorative arts, architectural drawings, and impressionist and post-impressionist paintings.

For stunning views, visit Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, where the Cloud Gate sculpture reflects its surroundings and the nearby Crown Fountain projects images into flowing water, creating a unique visual experience.

Things to do in Chicago

  • See why the Art Institute of Chicago is the only museum in the world to be top-ranked by TripAdvisor four years in a row
  • Stroll around the Millennium Park
  • Take a selfie in front of the Cloud Gate, aka The Bean
  • Check out Chicago Architecture Center

11. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the best spring break destinations in the US

For gambling enthusiasts, Las Vegas, Nevada, with its 30 flashy casinos on the main strip and numerous others on side streets, is the ultimate destination in the United States.

However, if gambling isn’t your preference, Las Vegas still offers a plethora of over-the-top experiences in the original “Sin City.”

From themed resorts like the Venetian to the French ambiance of Paris Las Vegas, the city is a glittering adult theme park.

Las Vegas is known for its extravagant options, with world-renowned chefs and opportunities for free food through deals and complimentary buffets.

The city also stands out with its never-ending entertainment choices and lively daytime pool parties, making it the perfect place for those ready to let loose and have fun.

Still, if you also want to enjoy the surroundings, consider going on a day trip to one of the many national parks near Las Vegas. You’ll be surprised at how many places you can visit near Las Vegas by car.

Things to do in Las Vegas

  • Watch the show at the Fountains of Bellagio
  • Hike at Red Rock Canyon
  • Be in awe at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden
  • Be blinded by the lights at The Strip

12. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte is one of the best places to visit in the US

Charlotte, North Carolina, once the fastest-growing city in the country in the aughts, has evolved into a world-class destination, making it a must-visit on any USA bucket list.

Home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the city hosts major events like the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 and the Wells Fargo Golf Championship, with the NASCAR Hall of Fame catering to driving enthusiasts.

Cultural offerings include the renowned Charlotte Ballet, and for Renaissance festival enthusiasts, the Carolina Renaissance Festival operates in October and November.

Popular annual events like Taste of Charlotte, Moo and Brew Fest, and the Yiasou Greek Festival add to the vibrant scene.

Referred to as the Queen City, Charlotte boasts stellar restaurants, attracting foodies looking for a unique weekend getaway.

To avoid crowds, plan your visit between March and May or September and November, as summer tends to be the most crowded travel season in Charlotte.

Things to do in Charlotte

  • Learn more about Billy Graham and his message of God’s love at Billy Graham Library
  • Enjoy amazing artifacts, interactive exhibits, and simulator rides at NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Have lots of fun Carowinds
  • Learn a bunch about science at Discovery Place Science

13. Washington, DC

Washington is one of the best places to visit in the US

Washington, DC, home to crucial buildings like the White House and Capitol, is a quintessential destination for Americans, attracting nearly 25 million tourists annually.

Allocate a day for exploring the monuments and consider educational double-decker city tours.

History enthusiasts can view the nation’s founding documents at the National Archives Museum. Notable annual events include the Cherry Blossom Festival in spring and July 4th celebrations in summer.

While Washington, DC, is beautiful year-round, it’s an excellent choice for winter and fall vacations in the US, offering a quieter experience without the crowds.

Things to do in Washington DC

  • Photograph Lincoln Memorial
  • Have an incredible and free experience at the National Gallery of Art
  • Learn about wildlife at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Take a tour at the Library of Congress

14. New York, New York

New York is one of the best places to visit in the US
Luciano Mortula – LGM /

New York City, famously known as “The Big Apple,” is a must on the USA bucket list, being arguably the most famous city globally.

Renowned for Broadway shows, it houses top museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim, MOMA, Whitney, and the Cloisters.

The city features iconic parks like Central Park, Prospect Park, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Explore the diverse neighborhoods, each with its unique personality, from Harlem’s cultural roots to SoHo’s art enclave and the Upper West Side’s old-money stronghold.

New York offers a life-changing experience, and its incredible restaurants include the historic Lombardi’s in Little Italy, serving some of the best pizza.

With an impressive 38 eateries holding Michelin stars, New York promises a culinary delight. Bon appétit!

Things to do in New York City

  • Take a stroll around Central Park
  • Pay your respect at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Climb the Empire States Building
  • Experience one of the best museums in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

15. Miami, Florida

Miami is one of the best places to visit in the US
Dmitry Tkachenko Photo /

Miami, one of the best vacation cities in the United States, boasts aqua waters, eclectic architecture, and a vibrant party vibe. Its golden-sand beaches are stunning, attracting a stylish crowd.

The city is an art hub with galleries lining palm-lined streets, hosting major international exhibits and festivals like Biennale.

Notable museums include the Pérez Art Museum Miami and The Bass, with science enthusiasts recommended to visit The Philip at Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

Miami’s legendary nightlife beckons, so don comfortable dancing shoes. Before hitting the night scene, fuel up at one of the incredible restaurants in Little Havana.

Things to do in Miami

  • Hit the beach, I mean, it’s Miami baby
  • Take in the beauty of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
  • Photograph the colorful Wynwood Walls
  • Eat and drink at Bayside Marketplace

16. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is one of the best spring break destinations in the US

Savannah, Georgia, stands out as one of the most beautiful places in the USA with cobblestone streets, manicured parks, and Victorian mansions.

A slightly more conservative cousin to New Orleans, Savannah shares a love for jazz, great food, and throwback architecture, offering a more buttoned-up and slower-paced atmosphere.

Situated on the Savannah River, the city was once a crucial port in early America, evident in landmarks like the oldest black church, First African Baptist (1777), and the third oldest synagogue, Mickve Israel (1735).

For incredible photos, explore Wormsloe Historic Site, Olde Pink House, Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Owens-Thomas House, E Bryant Street (Rainbow Row), Forsyth Park, and the Historic District.

Savannah’s notable features include 22 squares, famous cemeteries, historic forts, and excellent shopping on Broughton and Bull Streets.

To experience the spookier side, take a Savannah Ghost Tour. Comfortable walking shoes are a must to explore the city’s stunning streets. Visiting in December? Savannah is a delightful place during Christmastime.

Things to do in Savannah

  • Wander through Savannah Historic District
  • Take in the gorgeous Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
  • Relax at Forsyth Park
  • Go on a Savannah Ghost Tour

Where to stay in Savannah

Savannah is easily among my favorite US cities! There are many hotels with exquisite architecture you can stay on, many of which are the perfect weekend getaway from Atlanta.

17. Portland, Oregon

Portland is one of the best places to visit in the US

“Keep Portland Weird” defines Oregon’s largest city, living up to its promise with quirky traditions like residents knitting for trees.

Nestled on the banks of the Willamette River and at the foothills of Mount Hood, Portland is a lush emerald city boasting 10,000 acres of public parks, including serene spots like the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Garden.

Explore Forest Park, one of the country’s most extensive urban forests, or visit landmarks like Old Town, Pioneer Square, and the iconic Portland Stag sign.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the surrounding area offers miles of hiking trails and camping grounds, with Multnomah Falls, Portland’s scenic highlight, just 40 minutes away.

Urban dwellers can enjoy the vibrant Pearl District, buzzing with restaurants, cafes, shops, galleries, and theaters.

Don’t leave without trying Portland’s culinary stars: ice cream at Salt & Straw and a doughnut from Voodoo.

Things to do in Portland

  • Smell the flowers at the International Rose Test Garden
  • Don’t miss Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Walk the pathways at Portland Japanese Garden
  • Check out Pittock Mansion

18. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is one of the places to add to your  USA bucket list
San Antonio is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list

San Antonio, my favorite city in the Lone Star State, is an ideal November destination. A weekend here involves romantic River Walk dining and exploring historical missions, a cherished activity in the Texas Hill Country.

While the infamous Alamo is a highlight, San Antonio boasts six historic missions collectively forming the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

Mission San Jose stands out as the most crucial, offering an intact glimpse into the past with Native American living quarters, a church, workshops, and more.

My personal favorite, Mission Concepcion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest unrestored mission in the country, featuring a frozen-in-time chapel.

A visit to the iconic Alamo, with its pivotal role in Texas history and associations with figures like James Bowie, Davy Crockett, and William Travis, completes the mission experience.

Things to do in San Antonio

Where to stay in San Antonio

The Alamo’s is located right downtown next to historic hotels and places to stay like The Menger and Crockett Hotel, or choose any of the many hotels on the River Walk. Like everywhere in Texas, you’ll need a car to get around because the missions are spread out across San Antonio.

Erin from Sol Salute

19. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list
Sean Pavone /

Los Angeles, the hub of the American film industry, is more than just wealth and glamour. Science enthusiasts can explore the La Brea Tar Pits, showcasing prehistoric fossils dating back 40,000 years.

For sun-seekers, Los Angeles offers beaches like Santa Monica, Malibu, Venice, Manhattan, and Hermosa—ideal for people-watching. The city boasts a wealth of museums, including the Grammy Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Families can enjoy Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, while those seeking a fun date can explore various options. For a glimpse into luxury living, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive are must-visit destinations.

Keep an eye out for celebrities, but remember, approaching them for selfies may not be well-received.

Things to do in Los Angeles

  • Take in the LA from Griffith Observatory
  • Marvel at world-class art of the Getty Center
  • Get ready for lots of fun at Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Visit the iconic Battleship USS Iowa Museum

20. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is one of the best places to visit in the US
f11photo /

Known as “Music City,” Nashville, Tennessee, is to country music as Los Angeles is to motion pictures. 

It’s home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash Museum, Glen Campbell Museum, and the legendary Ryman Auditorium.

The Grand Ole Opry — America’s cathedral to gospel, country, and bluegrass — is also a Nashville staple.

In the mood for a gorgeous stroll? Head to the city’s 55-acre botanical garden.

If you’d rather walk and shop, make a beeline for the Gulch and 12th South, both neighborhoods are filled with locally owned boutiques and restaurants.

Good to know: Understand that you cannot buy liquor on Sundays in Nashville — and ice tea is called sweet tea.

Things to do in Nashville

  • Tour the famous grand Ole Opry
  • Have drinks at Ole Smoky Distillery & Yee-Haw Brewery
  • Catch a concert at Ryman Auditorium
  • Check out Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Where to stay in Nashville

If you’re spending more than one day in the city, here’s a guide on where to stay in Nashville that will get your hotel search started.

Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA

Here are the best small towns to travel to in the US in no particular order.

21. Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg is one of the best places in the US
ShengYing Lin /

Fredericksburg, Texas, a charming German town with deep roots (and restaurants), might not be on every USA bucket list, but it’s on mine for its unique history.

Founded in 1846 and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia, it was a stronghold of Texas German, a dialect favored by Bavarian immigrants.

The city is a geographical marvel with notable rock formations like Enchanted Rock, Balanced Rock, and Cross Mountain. Known as the Peach Capital of Texas, Fredericksburg is a peach lover’s paradise.

Adding to its appeal, Fredericksburg boasts world-class wineries, making it a great destination for wine enthusiasts.

While staying in Fredericksburg, stock up on peaches and consider a wine tour, but avoid traveling between June and August due to the intense heat.

Things to do in Fredericksburg

  • Sip Texan wine on a wine tour
  • Learn about the town’s German roots
  • Pay the National Museum of the Pacific War a visit
  • Climb the Enchanted Rock

Where to stay in Fredericksburg

Good to know: while there are a bunch of incredible Airbnbs in Fredericksburg to enjoy a laid-back getaway, you’ll want to stay in one of these romantic cabins if you’re traveling with your significant other.

22. Stanley, Idaho

Stanley is one of the places to visit in the US

Most people associate Idaho with potatoes, but Stanley ranks as one of the best USA travel destinations for people who enjoy the outdoors. 

Gateway to the Sawtooth Mountain range and Salmon River, Stanley is where you go to enjoy the fresh air and incredible mountain views.

The hike to Alice Lake is the area’s most popular. Don’t forget to make sure your phone is charged before leaving because you’ll want snapshots.

Oh, and only 63 people live in Stanley. So go for the nature — not the nightlife.

Things to do in Stanley

  • Go boating at Redfish Lake
  • Hike from Iron Creek to Sawtooth Lake
  • Check out Stanley Museum
  • Don’t miss the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge

23. Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is one of the best places to visit in the US

If you like to ski, add Breckenridge, Colorado, to your USA bucket list. The world-class resort and slopes attract visitors from around the world between November and April. So yeah, it’s a fantastic winter vacation in the US.

Summer in the region is also a good time, with hiking, fly-fishing, white-water rafting, and Lake Dillon boating on tap.

Fans of extreme sports should visit during the annual Winter Dew Tour, which draws a large crowd of XGame enthusiasts.

Also, remember that Colorado is a high-altitude region. If you have health conditions, consult with a doctor before booking a trip.

Things to do in Breckenridge

  • Stroll around the Main Street and take in its beauty
  • Hike to the Sapphire Point Overlook
  • Drive the Boreas Pass Road
  • Ski the slopes

24. Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list

Known as “Montana’s Outdoor Recreation Playground,” Whitefish, Montana, is a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

The area offers diverse activities such as fishing, boating, cycling, paddling, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, llama trekking, and art classes capturing the state’s renowned “big sky.”

Downtown Whitefish features charming boutiques, and Glacier National Park provides stunning photo opportunities. Golfing and horseback riding are popular pastimes, weather permitting.

The optimal time to visit for sightseeing is between June and August, as fall and winter weather can be challenging.

Things to do in Whitefish

  • Watch a performance at Alpine Theatre Project
  • Grab a Espresso Martini at Spotted Bear Spirits
  • Check out Whitefish Depot
  • Hit the City Beach

25. Fairbanks, Alaska

Coldfoot, Alaska is one of the cool winter vacations in the US

Witnessing the Northern Lights in Alaska is a must on any traveler’s USA bucket list. While some places in the lower 48 may offer glimpses, Alaska, particularly Fairbanks, boasts the most brilliant and vibrant displays.

Fairbanks, often overlooked by visitors, provides stunning views of the Northern Lights in the entire state. Keep in mind that the Aurora Borealis is visible from late August to mid-April, with the summer months offering almost 24 hours of daylight.

For the best experience, consider Murphy Dome, a locals’ favorite about 20 miles outside Fairbanks.

Although there’s no guarantee of a nightly show, they tend to be more active in the late night and early morning hours.

Apart from this natural wonder, Fairbanks offers plenty of unique activities. Explore local history at Pioneer Park, hike Angel Rocks, or unwind in the natural hot springs at Chena Hot Springs, surrounded by nature.

Fairbanks is also a three-hour drive from Denali National Park, home to over six million acres of untamed Alaskan nature and wildlife.

Christina Ropp from Littles, Life, & Laughter

Things to do in Fairbanks

  • Watch the northern lights dancing in the sky
  • Learn natural history at the University of Alaska Museum of the North
  • Tour the Running Reindeer Ranch
  • Discover all facets of Alaskan culture at Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center

26. Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth is one of the best places to visit in the US
Oleg Mayorov /

Have you always wanted to visit a traditional Bavarian village? If so, vacation in Leavenworth, a quaint town in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains in west-central Washington State.

Leavenworth was modeled to resemble a German town. The structures are built in the old-fashioned Bavarian style, complete with wood balconies outside every window and towers galore.

Like many places in the Pacific Northwest, Leavenworth is known for its wealth of outdoor activities.

Horseback riding is big, as is hiking in the surrounding wild. There’s also a ski slope and cross-country trails for winter recreation.

Still, set aside an hour for the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.

Things to do in Leavenworth

  • Interact with reindeers at Leavenworth Reindeer Farm
  • Breathe fresh air at Waterfront Park
  • Walk around Front Street Park
  • Sip some beer at Icicle Brewing Company

Where to stay in Leavenworth

Here are some hotels you’ll absolutely love, including some with Bavarian vibes.

27. Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis is one of the best places to visit in the US

Annapolis, Maryland, the state’s capital on the Chesapeake Bay, is often overlooked, but I consider it one of the top places to visit in the United States.

Known for its sailing culture, pristine beauty, and charming downtown with red cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and gaslamp street lights, Annapolis offers a picturesque setting.

Rich in history, the city features landmarks like the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, United States Naval Academy Museum, Hammond–Harwood House, St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, and Thurgood Marshall Monument.

Additionally, Annapolis is renowned for its incredible seafood, especially crab, making it a delightful culinary destination.

Things to do in Annapolis

  • Tour the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Check out eateries and shops at Annapolis Historic District
  • Learn more about history at Maryland State House
  • Tour the historic house at William Paca House & Garden

28. Chincoteague, Virginia

Chincoteague is one of the best places to visit in the US

Home of the Assateague horses, one of the few wild horse populations in the United States, Chincoteague offers a classic summer vacation vibe without the crushing crowds. In a word, Chincoteague is all about serenity.

During the summer, Chincoteague’s population swells somewhat as visitors flock in from across the country. But it’s never a massive crowd. 

People come for the beaches, ice cream parlors, miniature golf, cute restaurants, and a glimpse of the wild horses.

Beebe Ranch and the Museum of Chincoteague Island are also popular with tourists.

Things to do in Chincoteague

  • Photograph the wild ponies at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
  • Check out the interactive exhibits at Museum of Chincoteague
  • Sip local beer at Black Narrows Brewing
  • Take a look at the oldest building on the island: Captain Timothy Hill House

29. Stowe, Vermont

Stowe is one of the best places to visit in the US

If you appreciate the pastoral beauty of New England, Stowe, Vermont, might make your list of best places to visit in the USA.

Dubbed the “Ski Capital of the East,” Stowe is a classic alpine town, showcasing a charming village and ranking among the most idyllic places in the country.

Even if skiing isn’t your interest, Stowe is incredibly picturesque in fall and spring, with more affordable rates during these seasons.

Key attractions include Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa, Stowe Mountain Resort, Trapp Family Lodge, the Stowe Recreation Path, and the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum.

With visitors from all over coming for the slopes, Stowe boasts excellent restaurants, and indulging in fresh oysters, sourced from Chincoteague’s waters, is a culinary highlight.

Things to do in Stowe

  • Go for a Stowe Recreation Path
  • Ride the gondola to Mount Mansfield
  • Photograph the Moss Glen Falls
  • Experience New England in Smugglers Notch State Park

30. Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Broken Bow is one of the best US destinations

Broken Bow, Oklahoma, serves as the gateway to Hochatown State Park, Beavers Bend Resort Park, and Cedar Creek Golf Course, featuring the picturesque Broken Bow Lake.

The area offers abundant outdoor activities, including fly fishing, canoeing, paddleboarding, horseback riding, and kayaking.

Families can enjoy mini-golf courses and go-karting tracks, while gambling enthusiasts can explore legal gaming options in Broken Bow.

Nature enthusiasts can visit the Forest Heritage Center Museum, and for those seeking a challenge, nearby Hochatown offers a 29,000-square-foot wooden maze along with puzzle and escape rooms.

Things to do in Broken Bow

  • Sip some wine in Girls Gone Wine
  • Go fishing at Broken Bow Lake
  • Relax at Beavers Bend Brewery
  • Check out a variety of animals at Hochatown Petting Zoo

31. Hatteras, North Carolina

Hatteras is one of the cool US destinations

Hatteras, North Carolina, located in the famed Outer Banks, is renowned for its natural beauty and historical significance.

Visitors can enjoy wildlife watching, windsurfing, and fishing in Pamlico Sound, along with snorkeling and scuba diving around the area’s shipwrecks. Additionally, beach lounging and mini-golf are popular pastimes.

It’s essential to note that Hurricane season in the Outer Banks spans from June to November, so travelers planning a visit during this period should consider obtaining travel insurance.

Things to do in Hatteras

  • Hit the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Check out the absurd amount of shells at Frisco Beach
  • Go on a turtle patrol program at Hatteras Island Ocean Center

32. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem is one of the best places to visit in the US

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a charming small town, deserves a spot on your USA bucket list with its exciting activities and attractions.

Often overshadowed by Philadelphia, Bethlehem offers plenty to explore, especially during Christmas, earning its title as the Christmas City.

The festive season brings highlights like Christmas markets. The town features attractions such as the Hoover Mason Trestle, National Museum of Industrial History, Musikfest, Apollo Grill, Fegley’s Brew Works, and 1741 on the Terrace.

Despite its history and the shift from its primary industry, Bethlehem thrives as a vibrant and appealing destination, catering to those seeking relaxation, outdoor fun, or a love for history.

Things to do in Bethlehem

  • Book a tour at the SteelStacks
  • Learn history at Hoover Mason Trestle
  • Hear about Bethlehem steel history at National Museum of Industrial History
  • Experience the town’s religious community at Moravian Museum

33. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is one of the cool USA bucket list destinations

Newport, Rhode Island, stands out as a top travel destination in the USA, offering a plethora of activities. Whether you’re into historical and food tours or sailing and mansion tours, Newport has diverse options.

Situated by the sea, the city boasts a rich history, making it an ideal spot for history enthusiasts. Mansion tours and sailing adventures, including private yacht charters and romantic cruises, are must-tries.

With its abundance of history, Newport promises endless exploration, ensuring each visit brings something new to discover.

Things to do in Newport

  • Tour the Breakers
  • Hike the scenic 3.5-mile Cliff Walk
  • Learn about history at the Elms
  • Take in the dramatic views along Ocean Drive

34. Page, Arizona

Page is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list

Page, Arizona, though small, is a must-visit on your USA bucket list, boasting some of the Southwest’s most stunning sights. Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are iconic attractions in the town.

From Page, enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Powell and the expansive Glen Canyon Dam, among the largest in the US.

Despite its size, Page offers numerous outdoor adventures, diverse dining experiences, and captivating landscapes, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Things to do in Page

  • Take a selfie at Horseshoe Bend
  • Go on a boat tour at Lake Powell
  • Discover the Antelope Canyon
  • Tour Glen Canyon Dam

Best National Parks to Visit in the USA

Here are the best national parks to travel to in the US in no particular order.

35. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US
Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US

Yellowstone National Park is a must on your USA bucket list! Established in 1872, it’s the oldest national park and offers something for everyone.

Wildlife enthusiasts can explore Lamar Valley for bison, grizzly bears, wolves, and more. Geology enthusiasts will appreciate fantastic formations and hot springs, including Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

Photographers shouldn’t miss the breathtaking Grand Prismatic Lake. Avoiding summer holidays is recommended to escape traffic jams and enhance wildlife sightings.

Things to do in Yellowstone

  • Take in the beauty of Grand Canyon
  • Be in awe at the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring
  • See wildlife at Lamar Valley
  • Watch as the Old Faithful Geyser erupts

Leona from Wandermust Family

36. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the places to visit in the US

The Grand Canyon is a top destination on many USA bucket lists, and hiking offers a superior experience compared to observation decks.

Trails allow hikers to explore around or descend into the canyon, offering unique and panoramic views. Research different hikes for varied views and difficulty levels, and plan during spring or fall for optimal weather.

Bring sufficient water and sun protection to prevent dehydration and overheating, common causes of hiking-related incidents.

Assess your fitness level, as descending is easier than ascending. With caution and preparation, your Grand Canyon hiking experience will be truly amazing.

Things to do in Grand Canyon

  • Hike the Bright Angel Trail
  • Discover the South Kaibab Trail
  • Take in the sweeping views from the South rim
  • Photograph the dramatic landscape at the north rim

Serena from Serenas’ Lenses

37. Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park is one of the places to visit in the US

Include Death Valley National Park in your Southwest road trip for a thrilling drive through the lowest point in North America.

Despite being one of the hottest places globally, it offers diverse landscapes, historical sites, and natural wonders.

Witness bright salt deposits, colorful lava formations, and striated rock faces. The valley hosts traces of early pioneers, prospectors, and miners.

Don’t miss Zabriskie Point’s breathtaking views of the Badlands’ pastel-hued rock formations.

Ensure you have ample water, a paper map, and a full tank of fuel, as GPS signals may be unreliable. Keep the air-con off to prevent engine overheating.

Things to do in the Death Valley

  • Take in the view from Dante’s View
  • Watch the sunset from Zabriskie Point
  • Experience Badwater basin, the lowest point in North America
  • Hike tot he top of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Suzanne Jones at The Travelbunny

38. Acadia National Park, Maine

Bass Harbor Lighthouse at sunset in Acadia National Park, Maine USA

It would be best if you considered visiting Acadia National Park, located in Maine. It is among the most beautiful national parks in the eastern US, and it showcases the Maine Coast’s beauty perfectly. 

There are several miles of biking and hiking trails on Acadia, and if you prefer sailing and kayaking, there is easy coastal access.

There are many different ways to spend your time at the national park, but ensure you spend at least two days. This way, you get to fully enjoy everything that the park has to offer and take in its beauty. 

If you wanna catch a sunrise, you will enjoy watching the most breathtaking sunrise at Cadillac Mountain.

The view combined with the sunset is pretty stunning since you will see all the islands dotting the coast. 

If you would like to visit some of the most famous attractions in the park, such as Jordan Pond, Thunder Hole, and Sandy Beach, drive through the park loop road. This place is worth adding to your USA bucket list.

Things to do in Acadia

  • Hike to Cadillac Mountain’s summit
  • Road trip the Park Loop Road
  • Watch the sunset at Jordan Pond
  • Cool off at Sand Beach

Where to stay in Acadia

The Blackwoods is a an excellent camping spot with running water and toilets. On the downside, they don’t have showers on site, only down the road.

39. Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US

Explore the wonders of Arches National Park in Utah, a top-notch destination in the US. Hike through Devil’s Garden to witness impressive arches, including the iconic Delicate Arch.

Experience stargazing and dark skies by visiting the park after sunset. With over 2,000 sandstone arches, Arches offers diverse landscapes, including mountain peaks, petrified dunes, and rock spires.

Beyond hiking, it’s a prime spot for mountain biking. If you love the outdoors, make sure to include Arches National Park in your travel plans, and discover additional scenic spots across Utah after your exploration.

Things to do in Arches

  • Take a photo at the Delicate Arch
  • Hike to the Double Arch
  • Get to Fiery Furnace on a tour
  • Take in the sweeping views from the Windows

40. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US

Include Glacier National Park in your U.S. travel itinerary for a breathtaking experience. Marvel at glaciers, waterfalls, two mountain ranges, and over 700 lakes.

Hiking enthusiasts can choose from a variety of trails, ranging from challenging routes like Highline Trail and Grinnell Glacier to easy options like Rocky Point.

The park offers activities for all seasons, from fishing and canoeing in summer to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter.

Wildlife sightings, including elk, bears, and moose, add to the park’s allure. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes while engaging in diverse activities, such as driving along Lake McDonald and spending time at its beach.

Things to do in Glacier

  • Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road
  • Hike to the Grinnell Glacier
  • Relax at Lake McDonald
  • Enjoy the scenery at Logan Pass

41. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US

Just a two-hour drive from Seattle and Portland, Mount Rainier captivates visitors year-round with its natural beauty.

Summer offers vibrant meadows adorned with colorful wildflowers for hiking enthusiasts. In the fall, snow-free lakes and berry-laden trails provide a picturesque setting.

For those preferring a more leisurely experience, a scenic drive through the park reveals stunning views of lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, and the chance to spot wildlife.

Things to do in Mount Rainier

  • Take in the views of Mount Rainier
  • Challenge yourself at the Skyline Trail
  • Photograph the scenic Paradise Valley
  • Hike the Mt. Fremont Lookout Trail

42. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US

Add Rocky Mountain National Park to your USA bucket list for a breathtaking experience in Colorado.

A day trip from Denver provides easy access, with various small towns around for accommodation options based on your budget. Having a car is recommended for convenient exploration.

The park boasts numerous vista points, each offering hiking trails suitable for all levels. Whether you prefer challenging or easy, long or short hikes, there’s something for everyone.

If hiking isn’t your preference, the spectacular scenery at vista points, along with attractions like Bear Lake, Sprague Lake, and Grand Lake, ensures a memorable visit.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain

  • Road trip the Trail Ridge Road
  • Walk around Bear Lake
  • Hike the Emerald Lake Trail
  • Picnic at Sprague Lake

43. Sequoia National Park, California

Sequoia National Park is one of the USA bucket list destinations

Sequoia National Park, a must on any US bucket list, sits in California alongside Kings Canyon National Park, hosting the planet’s largest trees.

While redwoods claim height, sequoias reign in size, notably in the Giant Forest region. The Congress Trail offers an easy hike, featuring the colossal General Sherman Tree and other giants like the President Tree.

Round Meadow provides a scenic stroll amid notable sequoias, and at dusk, black bears often forage. Explore tunnel log for a unique walk and the Giant Forest Museum for insightful displays.

Summer is popular, so book campsites or lodges well in advance, and shuttle buses simplify travel.

Things to do in Sequoia

  • Pose next to General Sherman Tree, a 250-foot ancient tree
  • Walk up 400 steps to spectacular views at Moro Rock Trail
  • Visit Boyden Cavern
  • Hike the Congress Trail

James Ian from Parks Collecting

44. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Cholla Cactus Garden is one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

Explore Joshua Tree National Park, a captivating addition to your US bucket list. A two-day trip from LA, it offers unique desert landscapes and vibrant Joshua trees.

Hiking highlights include Lost Horse Mine, blending Joshua trees with gold mining history, and Lost Palms Oasis, home to distinctive fan palm trees.

For gentler walks, discover Cholla Cactus Garden, Jumbo Rocks, Hall of Horrors, and Hidden Valley. Plan ahead, as the park lacks shops or restaurants – bring ample water, food, and emergency supplies for a day of exploration.

Things to do in Joshua Tree

  • Trek the Lost Palm Oasis Trail
  • Photograph the Skull Rock
  • Check out Cholla Cactus Garden
  • Take in the wildflowers

Michael from Michael Turtle

45. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is one of the best places to add to your USA bucket listces to add to your USA bucket list
Zion National Park is one of the best places to add to your USA bucket list

Explore the stunning Zion National Park in Utah, with a must-try adventure: hiking the challenging Angels Landing route.

Spanning 5 miles with a 1,488-foot elevation, it’s not for the faint-hearted. Best tackled in summer or fall, the park’s shuttle bus conveniently transports you to the trailhead.

While Scout Lookout offers fantastic views for those with a fear of heights, reaching the top requires courage due to sheer drops and a narrow pathway. The use of chains is advised.

Once at the summit, savor breathtaking views, making it a highlight of your USA travel experience.

Things to do in Zion

  • Challenge yourself at The Narrows
  • Venture out on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
  • Take in the dramatic views at the end of Canyon Overlook Trail
  • Hike the demanding Angel’s Landing

Zoe from Together in Transit

Best Beaches to Visit in the USA

Here are the best beaches to travel to in the US in no particular order.

46. Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida is one of the winter vacations in the US

Discover the vibrant and free-spirited Key West, a top destination in the US. Enjoy unique culinary experiences, deep-sea fishing, and relaxing on local beaches.

It’s an ideal spot for a fantastic beach vacation and a favorite spring break destination.

Explore historical sites and traditional homes, and if you’re on a road trip, make a stop at Bahia Honda State Park for one of the world’s most incredible beaches.

Key West promises a delightful stay with numerous activities and attractions.

Things to do in Key West

  • Snorkel in turquoise waters
  • Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Don’t miss the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
  • Check out butterflies at Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

47. Kailua Beach, Hawaii

Kailua Beach is one of the beautiful places to visit in the US
Eddy Galeotti /

Out of all the beaches found in Big Island, Kailua ranks as the second most beautiful beach. 

If you are looking for incredible places to visit in the US and enjoy beach vacations, visiting Kailua should be on top of your list. This place has white and soft powder sand, and the water is turquoise blue.

Enjoying yourself at the beach does not get any better than being at Kailua, and other than the beautiful white sand and turquoise water, its stretch is two and a half miles long. 

The beach has three separate parking lots, the first one being for windsurfing sports and a launching spot for kites. The second connects to the main beach spot, and the third has a boat ramp.

You can take your family out on the beach since the park grounds have picnic tables, beach showers, and bathroom facilities.

This is pretty convenient, and it is also worth mentioning that they have a few lifeguards who ensure ocean safety and may answer any questions you have.

Things to do in Kailua Beach

  • Bask in the sun
  • Be adventurous and go windsurfing
  • Picnic with your family
  • Watch the sunset

Where to stay in Kailua

The Four Seasons Resort is my all-time fave because of the ocean views, wonderful pools, and many amenities. Thank me later!

48. Folly Beach, South Carolina

Folly Beach is one of the beautiful places to visit in the US

Escape your routine and embrace the tranquility of Folly Beach, South Carolina—a laid-back, family-friendly haven near downtown Charleston.

Ideal for year-round enjoyment, it caters to those who appreciate a relaxed beach lifestyle, fishing enthusiasts, and surfing aficionados.

Indulge in diverse activities like paddleboarding, photography, sailing, and kayaking. Dive into the local scene with live music, a fantastic pier, and a variety of bars and restaurants.

Extend your getaway to bask in the soothing breeze and ocean waves for a few delightful days.

Things to do in Folly Beach

  • Have breakfast at Lost Dog Café
  • Take in the view of Morris Island Lighthouse
  • Rent a stand-up paddleboard
  • Lunch with oceanfront views at BLU Beach Bar

49. Sand Beach, Maine

Sand Beach is one of the US destinations not to miss

Include Sand Beach, Maine in your USA bucket list. It features unique shell fragments, accessible amenities, and a captivating view.

Explore the popular hiking trail for spectacular beach views and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beautiful coast of Maine.

Located in Acadia National Park, Sand Beach sits in a small inlet between Mount Desert Island’s rocky shores and granite mountains.

Accessible via Park Loop Road, it is a must-visit point of interest on the Island.

Things to do in Sand Beach

  • Hike your way to the beach
  • Relax on the sand
  • Take a swim, but be careful as the water is very cold
  • Stargaze with your significant other

50. El Matador Beach, California

El Matador Beach is one of the best places to visit in the US

Explore El Matador Beach in California, one of the best places to visit in the USA.

Enjoy picturesque views from picnic tables overlooking the Pacific Ocean, especially popular for photographers capturing breathtaking sunsets and unique sea stacks.

Explore the north side with arches and caves (avoid during high tide) or head to the tranquil south side with stunning homes for a peaceful getaway and photo opportunities.

Things to do in El Matador Beach

  • Photograph the dramatic cliffs
  • Picnic on the sand
  • Stroll along the water
  • Snorkel and experience the colorful world under water

51. Shi Shi Beach, Washington

Shi Shi Beach is a beautiful US destination not to miss

Enjoy a variety of adventures on Washington’s Shi Shi Beach, featuring beach walking and rainforest hiking.

Ideal for backpacking or a one-day hike, you can extend your journey to the Hole in the Wall or the Ozette Loop Hike.

Check the tide chart for safety, especially if heading south past the arches where tides can be high.

The beach provides amenities like restrooms and parking, but be aware that night parking and day parking have separate lots, and there’s no RV parking available. 

Things to do in Shi Shi Beach

  • Camp at the beach
  • Go hiking
  • Photograph the majestic landscape
  • Take in the sunset

Where to stay in Shi Shi Beach

You can camp on the beach and wake up to the fantastic ocean view.

52. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is one of the best places to visit in the US
VagnerRoque /

Visit Cannon Beach in Oregon for a stunning escape. It’s one of the best travel destinations in the USA, featuring beautiful coastline views, dramatic rock formations, and luxurious beachfront lodgings.

Experience puffins nesting on Haystack Rock, elk grazing in coastal meadows, and colorful sea stars adorning the rocks.

Take in this beauty through hikes or relaxed moments on the sand. Recognized by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful places globally, Cannon Beach offers marine life sightings during low tides.

Explore local art galleries and try out restaurants to complete your visit.

Things to do in Cannon Beach

  • Sip brews at Pelican Brewery
  • Go surfing
  • See cute puffins at Haystack Rock
  • Go whale watching off the coast

53. Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Waikiki Beach is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list

Waikiki Beach is a must on your USA bucket list. Considered a top tourist destination, it boasts a long oceanfront stretch with golden sand, backed by hotels and retail establishments in Honolulu, on Oahu island.

Apart from the scenic view, enjoy activities like surfing, dining, and shopping.

Whether solo, with a partner, friends, or family, Waikiki offers all comforts amidst the Pacific Ocean on a tropical island, making it a worthwhile visit.

Things to do in Waikiki

  • Take surfing lessons
  • Take a swim in the calm waters
  • Bask in the sun while people watching
  • Dine with beach views at one of the restaurants or food stalls in the area

Best Islands to Visit in the USA

Here are the best islands to travel to in the US in no particular order.

54. Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii is one of the best spring break destinations in the US

Kauai in Hawaii is among the best places to visit in the United States, often referred to as the Garden Island.

It distinguishes itself through its natural beauty, with a rule limiting building height to the palm of a coconut to preserve the pristine beaches.

Inland, explore Wailua River State Park and Koke’e State Park. Overall, Kauai stands out as one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the United States.

Things to do in Kauai

  • Relax by the beach
  • Check out Opaekaa Falls
  • Hike in the Waimea Canyon State Park
  • Take a helicopter tour on Na Pali Coast

55. South Padre Island, Texas

Chilling at Isla Blanca is one of the best things to do on South Padre Island, TX

South Padre Island, Texas, is an ideal travel destination with endless activities and attractions.

Whether planning or spontaneous, enjoy live music, diverse restaurants, fishing, bird watching, and water sports.

Family-friendly, it’s renowned for white sandy beaches, clear Gulf waters, and calm weather, offering a perfect tropical vacation experience year-round.

Clean beaches and excellent weather make it a unique tropical paradise in Texas, catering to both laid-back and adventurous vacations.

Things to do in South Padre Island

  • Go bird watching
  • Try some fishing
  • Enjoy live music
  • Do absolutely nothing by the beach and just enjoy yourself 

56. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod is one of the best places to visit in the US

Cape Cod in Massachusetts is an excellent place to visit in the USA for tropical vacation enthusiasts. Enjoy the best seafood, sandy beaches, and charming beach towns.

Explore diverse activities like trying local cuisine, relaxing on sandy beaches, visiting lighthouses, or hiking scenic trails.

Customize your vacation based on preferences, but note the short swimming season and plan accordingly to make the most of your visit.

Things to do in Cape Cod

  • Have some delicious seafood
  • Visit the iconic lighthouse
  • Go hiking around the island
  • Weather-permitting, go swimming

57. Florida Keys, Florida

Florida Keys is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list

Experience a Caribbean vibe without leaving the U.S. by visiting the Florida Keys, a short drive from Key West and Miami.

Enjoy a scenic road trip with great food, vibrant architecture, and beautiful beaches.

Don’t miss trying the famous Key lime pie, visiting the Ernest Hemingway House, exploring Duval Street, and engaging in water activities like swimming, scuba diving, or snorkeling.

Savor a drink, soak in the stunning views, and capture memories with beautiful pictures during your visit to the Florida Keys.

Things to do in Florida Keys

  • Snorkel in turquoise waters
  • Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Don’t miss the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
  • Check out butterflies at Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

58. Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list

Dreaming of a trip to the USA? Consider adding a helicopter tour around Hawaii’s Big Island to your bucket list.

Experience breathtaking views, lush green landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and the unique opportunity to fly around an active volcano, witnessing flowing lava beneath you.

I’ve personally experienced it in the stunning Big Island and highly recommend this unforgettable two-hour tour for a once-in-a-lifetime experience during your visit to Hawaii.

Pro Tip: Wear dark-colored clothing to minimize window reflections.

Things to do on Big Island

Claire from Curious Claire

59. Mount Desert Island, Maine

Mount Desert Island is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list
Rudy Mareel /

Mount Desert Island in Maine is renowned for being a summer feeding ground for whales, making it arguably the most beautiful spot in New England.

Accessible by flying or driving (though driving is challenging), the island offers the added bonus of proximity to other attractions like Acadia National Park.

Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking and watersports, creating an experience so immersive that returning to reality becomes a reluctant thought.

Things to do on Mount Desert

  • Discover Acadia National Park
  • Partake in watersports
  • Photograph Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
  • Go shopping in Downtown Bar Harbor

60. Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list
Eddy Galeotti /

Oahu, Hawaii, stands out as one of the most beautiful places in the US, often overlooked for its rich offerings beyond tourist attractions and beaches.

In a 3-day visit, explore Honolulu’s diverse cuisine and immerse yourself in the local culture. From the best Asian dishes to traditional Hawaiian food, savor delicious meals.

Explore Honolulu further by visiting Pearl Harbor, hiking, or relaxing at Waikiki Beach. Venture beyond to discover the North Shore, Polynesian Cultural Center, Dole Plantation, and Kualoa Ranch.

For a tropical vacation experience, simply head to the beach, dip your feet in the sand, and enjoy the stunning view.

Things to do in Oahu

  • Take a tour at Dole Plantation
  • Learn about history at Pearl Harbor
  • Don’t miss the famous Lanikai Beach
  • Visit the iconic USS Arizona Memorial

Other Incredible Places to Visit in the USA

Here are the best places to travel to in the US in no particular order.

61. Havasu Falls, Arizona

Havasu Falls is one of the  places to visit in the US
Photo Courtesy of Nick from Wandering Wheatleys

Havasu Falls in Northern Arizona is a breathtaking paradise, accessible through a challenging 10-mile hike in a desolate desert canyon.

The 80-foot turquoise-blue waterfall flows through red sandstone walls, with a campground shaded by trees near the river.

Freshwater springs provide drinking water, and numerous pools and swimming holes create an oasis in the desert.

While Havasu Falls is the most famous, there are five waterfalls in total, including Mooney Falls reached through a steep cave, and the tiered Beaver Falls downstream.

Havasu Canyon continues to the Grand Canyon’s confluence with the Colorado River, making it my favorite among stunning US locations. If it’s not on your bucket list, it definitely should be!

Things to do in Havasu Falls

  • Swim in the turquoise waters
  • Take in the views while you’re grateful of such beauty
  • Be prepared to take lots of photos
  • Have a picnic there (remember to take all your trash back with you)

Where to stay near Havasu Falls

Havasu Canyon is owned and managed by the Havasupai Tribe, and camping reservations are limited to 300 people per day. You’ll need to plan well in advance if you want to visit this surreal location.

Camping permits for the entire year go on sale February 1st and sell out within a few hours. Lodge reservations go on sale in June of each year and similarly sell out almost immediately.

Nick from Wandering Wheatleys

62. Disney World, Florida

Disneyland is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list
Photo by bukki88

Disney World in Florida is a must-visit on your USA bucket list. Although not a city, it’s a world-famous theme park and a favorite vacation spot for families.

When in Orlando, make sure to experience Disney World, where you can meet beloved characters, ride roller coasters, get autographs, and witness scenes from Disney movies.

Ideal for those who grew up with Disney or have young children, the park offers a plethora of activities and attractions, ensuring a fantastic time for all.

While Disney World is not exactly a city, it is still a must-see and experience place in the USA.

Things to do at Disney World

  • Ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Take an indoor cruise through the scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Enjoy the Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree musical show
  • Walk the informative Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek

63. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon is one  of the best places to visit in the US

Antelope Canyon in Arizona is among the best and uniquely beautiful places to visit in the USA.

This famous slot canyon, located just 15 minutes from Page, features red and orange rock formations that create stunning light beams due to its “V” shape.

To visit, sign up for a tour, pay a fee to the Navajo people, and explore the canyon for 1-1 1/2 hours. While popular and not secluded, witnessing the canyon’s beauty is worth it.

For a less crowded experience, consider visiting Lower Antelope Canyon, just 10 minutes away from the Upper Canyon.

Although lacking light beams, Lower Antelope Canyon is still picturesque, adventurous, and often less crowded, providing an enjoyable alternative.

Regardless, Antelope Canyon is a natural wonder and a must-see in the Southwest of the USA.

Things to do in Antelope Canyon

  • Take a walking tour in the antelope canyon
  • Take as many photos as possible
  • See the famous Horseshoe Bend
  • Take in the views of Lake Powell

Jessica from Unearth the Voyage

64. Big Sur, California

Big Sur is one of the places to visit in the US

Include a drive along the Big Sur Coast in your Northern California visit. Stretching over 60 miles between Carmel and Ragged Point, it offers some of the most scenic Pacific Coast Highway views.

Allocate several hours to explore highlights, starting from Carmel-by-the-Sea, known for boutiques and gourmet restaurants.

Visit Point Lobos State Reserve for stunning ocean views and ancient cypress trees on your California road trip. Continue to Garrapata State Park for wilderness trails and a sandy beach.

Don’t miss the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge and the picturesque McWay Falls. For the best views, drive from north to south along the water, enjoying the breathtaking coastline.

Things to do in Big Sur

  • Spot birds at Point Lobos State Reserve
  • Relax in a white-beach at Garrapata state Park
  • Photograph Bixby Creek Bridge
  • Hike the East Molera Trail

Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles

65. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

Lake Tahoe is one of the best places to visit in the US
Lake Tahoe is one of the best places to visit in the USA

Lake Tahoe, straddling Nevada and California near Yosemite National Park, stands out as one of the most breathtaking places to visit in the United States.

With crystal-clear water, the lake offers both water and land activities, including swimming, SUP, hiking, and serene moments to appreciate the surroundings.

Summer is ideal for a visit, but winter provides a stunning view framed by snow, perfect for skiing.

Whether seeking outdoor adventure or peaceful retreat, Lake Tahoe is an excellent choice year-round.

Things to do in Lake Tahoe

  • Tour the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion
  • Look for wildflowers in the summer
  • Take the aerial tram to High Camp
  • Hike the Shirley Canyon Trail

66. Route 66

Route 66 is one of the best US destinations

Driving Route 66 is a top experience for any USA bucket list. This iconic 2,448-mile route passes through nine diverse states, offering a unique perspective of America beyond typical tourist cities.

Along the way, explore quirky neon-filled towns, historical cities, abandoned ghost towns, and national parks like Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Stay at smaller motels to connect with the locals and support the route. For a fulfilling road trip, take your time—three weeks is ideal for the entire journey.

Use guidebooks to navigate and avoid Interstates, as it can get complicated with a Sat Nav.

67. Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley is one of the best places to visit in the US

Include Napa Valley, California, on your USA bucket list, especially if you love wine.

This picturesque region, known as Northern California’s wine country, offers a relaxing getaway with delicious sips, vineyards set amidst rolling hills, charming boutiques, and small towns.

Stay in various accommodations and indulge in wine tasting and vineyard tours.

While Napa Valley offers diverse activities, sipping and relaxing amid the scenic surroundings should be your primary focus.

Things to do in Napa Valley

  • Take a train ride
  • Eat your through the Napa Valley
  • See the famous geyser
  • Visit wineries that offer more than wine

68. Bluebonnet Trail, Texas

Bluebonnet Trail is one of the places to add to your USA bucket list

Experience the beauty of the Bluebonnet Trail in Texas at least once, ideally during spring when Indian paintbrushes and bluebonnets adorn the Hill Country.

With over 40 miles of mapped driving trails near Ennis, you’ll enjoy a fantastic view. Blooming times vary, but early April is often ideal.

Plan ahead to ensure you don’t miss this mesmerizing experience. If you love the outdoors, add exploring the Bluebonnet Trail to your USA bucket list.

Wrapping Up on Your USA Bucket List

Creating a USA bucket list with fewer than 1,000 places and experiences was a rather challenging task. After all, America is filled with some of the most incredible cities, towns, and outdoor areas on the planet!

Still, I did a pretty good job of showing what each state has to offer. But don’t limit yourself—there’s much more to be seen and epic best places to visit in the USA.

What places would you add to this list? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

Did you enjoy this article about the most beautiful places in the USA? Then share it with a friend who might enjoy it too!

Best Places to Visit in the US, Pinterest Graphic

Dee Treloar

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

I'm looking to see West Virginia and Kentucky to complete my USA bucket list. Can you help!


Thursday 6th of April 2023

No doubt all of these are the best places to explore in the USA. I will explore these places one by one. First of all, I will explore NYC through taking the cherry blossom in nyc.


Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Hi please update this list. Austin does have a sports team. Austin FC. It began playing in 2021. I know it's not one of the big 4 sports, but in Austin, we are very proud and have qualified for the CONCACAF champions league ahead of the biggest teams in the continent. We sold out all 36 games in our first season, the longest streak out of ANY other US team.


Monday 22nd of August 2022

I hope to visit one of this places in usa


Monday 16th of May 2022

This site was cooler than I thought.