Traveling is a life-changing experience. Unless you live in a cosmopolitan city like New York, you likely love around people who have very similar beliefs + customs as you do. While there is nothing wrong with this, traveling opens you up to experience new cultures, foods, and customs. This openness makes you not only a smarter person but also more empathetic + understanding of the human experience. There are hundreds of exciting international destinations, but there are also plenty of great trips you can take in your own backyard.
See if you can check off at least one city in the categories below!
Obvious choices: Tourist flock to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas, no matter where they’re from in the world. Though all unique, these cities offer cosmopolitan appeal with their rich culture. They have tons of art + shows, great food, and plenty of sites to be seen. Recently, the Grand Canyon + California wine country have become top destinations for leisure travelers.
Millennial hot-spots: Not only are they flocking to live in new cities, but Millennials they’re traveling to more, too. In fact, millennials travel more than any previous generation. While they pushing growth in music cities like Austin + Nashville, they are also exploring cities in the Pacific Northwest like Portland + Seattle. Colorado as a whole is a top millennial destination with many tourists heading to Denver to experience the mile high city.
Historical-must sees: While a relatively young country, the US has such a rich history from the time we were first colonized. Cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and DC really showcase how far the US has come. With their architecture, historical landmarks, and monuments, they are a great testament to our past. When it comes to Southern history, cities like Savannah, Memphis, and New Orleans showcase the rich culture of food + music the southern states have cultivated.
Beautiful beaches: With over 95,000 miles of coastline, it is no surprise the US has some of the most beautiful beaches. Places like San Diego, Malibu, and Santa Monica are great spots to soak in the Pacific sun. Though in a league of its own, Hawaii‘s unique culture is highlighted by its great beaches. Across the country in Florida, places like Miami show off how strong beach culture can really be, not to mention it’s proximity to Orlando + Disney World. And while in the South, beach towns like Charleston + Wilmington in the Carolinas are must-hits.
Urban oasis: We’ve already mentioned some of the great Urban areas in above, but the US is full of large cities with a unique personality. San Francisco has many great tourist attractions + an amazing technology scene. Charlotte + Atlanta, two of the bigger southern cities offer great nightlife + even better food. In the Midwest, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Indianapolis prove the region isn’t as sleepy as pop culture would lead us to believe. With attractions like the Mall of America, the Fox Theatre, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there is plenty to do.
Outdoorsy dream: With national parks all over the country, there are plenty of things for outdoor lovers to do. Skiing in places like Salt Lake City + Breckinridge attracts people from across the US. Asheville is another city with great skiing in the winter, plus great hiking through the Appalachians in the summer months. The ultimate outdoorsy destination is Alaska. Its unspoiled scenery + isolation are perfect for anyone who wants to get away.
For sports lovers: Most big cities have major league sports, but these Kansas City, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix, in particular, are great places to see a wide variety of sports including basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and hockey. If you want to see some national championships, Cleveland‘s teams have collected quite a few national titles in the past few years.
I was very blessed as a child with the opportunity to travel. My family went on yearly vacations and I was part of a youth choir that went on tours around different parts of the US every summer. I have visited 24 out of the 50 states. I hope to visit at least one new state a year so that I can visit them all by the time I’m 50. What place do you most want to visit? Tell me in the comments. If you need help packing, check out this post!