When planning a trip to the United States, it can be hard to know where to start because there is so much to see. Some world-class cities are known for their history, while others are known for their fun or glamour. This gives tourists a wide range of places to visit.
Busy cities, quiet towns, beautiful national parks, lively beaches, and islands are out of this world. The best places to visit in the US might just depend on what you like to do. This is the list of the best places to include on your itinerary when planning to visit the United States.
The architecture, food, and museums of the Windy City in the Midwest make it a great place for travelers with a wide range of interests. Try all the food this city offers, like Chicago-style hot dogs (without ketchup), Italian beef sandwiches, and deep-dish pizza.
Then, take pictures in front of the famous “Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park, look at the great collections at the Art Institute of Chicago, or hop on an architecture river cruise. If you plan to visit in the winter, bring your warmest clothes and go ice skating at Maggie Daley Park.
Chicago offers a thriving arts scene, different shopping districts, and many places to eat. First-time visitors to Chicago should spend at least a day or two.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park sites are awe-inspiring, with more than 700 lakes, two mountain ranges, and many waterfalls. The area is great for kayaking, canoeing, summer fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter. Also, wild animals like moose, bears, and elk are often spotted here.
Hiking is the most popular thing to do in this national park with easy trails like Rocky Point and more challenging trails like Grinnell Glacier and the Highline Trail available for all skill levels.
July and August are the best months to go to Glacier National Park. This is the busiest time of year for tourists. Daytime temperatures average in the low 80s, while nighttime temperatures drop into the 40s, so bring layers and a good rain jacket.
Plan a trip to Grand Canyon National Park to see some of the most beautiful sights in the United States. The 277-mile-long canyon is carved by the Colorado River, which makes it a popular place for whitewater rafting. The Arizona park is also a great place to go hiking.
The Bright Angel and North Kaibab trails are both beautiful. Another great way to see this impressive natural wonder is on a tour by helicopter. No matter how you spend your time in the Grand Canyon, the tall rock formations and wide views make you feel tiny.
The best times to go to the Grand Canyon are between March and May, and September and November when the days are cool and there aren’t many people. If you decide to go in the summer, the park’s busiest time, be ready for many people and very few places to stay.
North America’s largest alpine lake attracts active travelers all year long with its beautiful clear water. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to Lake Tahoe’s many resorts to hit the slopes. In the summer, you can go hiking, take scenic drives, and do things like kayaking and boating on the lake.
There are also many golf courses nearby for people who want to get better at the game. The beautiful blue lake is reason enough to visit, but the area around it, also called Lake Tahoe, has miles of hiking trails, dozens of picture-perfect views, and some of the best skiing in North America.
You can also do many things that Lake Tahoe is proud of, like ride a mountain gondola, go on a hot air balloon adventure, or take a scenic cruise across the water, whose surface looks like a mirror.
Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii. It is also called “The Valley Isle.” The island is loved for its world-famous beaches, the sacred ao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (in the winter), farm-to-table food, and the Haleakala’s stunning sunrise and sunset.
Maui has many places to relax, like beautiful beaches and green parks. Here, you can spend your days looking at the scenery as you drive along the Road to Hana, fly over the Hawaiian island in a helicopter, or relax on the black sands of Waianapanapa State Park.
Sign up for a snorkeling tour if you’d instead cool off than lay out in the sun. People there say that going to Haleakala Observatory to watch the sunrise or sunset is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You should also try Maui’s seafood and other island treats like haupia, a creamy coconut custard.
New York City
The Big Apple is known for its rich cultural scene and has so many things to do that most of its fellow US cities can’t compare. Whether you spend the day looking at art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, seeing a show on Broadway, or trying the city’s famous pizza, you probably won’t get bored here.
Think about taking a walking tour to see different parts of New York City or a food tour to try all the delicious food. When you want to get away from the city’s busy streets and tall buildings, you can go to Central Park or the artsy High Line.
As you walk through the concrete jungle, you’ll hear taxis zooming down busy streets, people walking quickly by on their way to famous art galleries and hip cocktail bars, and Times Square’s neon lights blinking at all hours.
The culture of San Francisco has been shaped by many ethnic groups and social movements. The best way to see what the City by the Bay is like is to walk or ride a cable car through its neighborhoods. From the Mission District to the Castro, some shops and restaurants serve almost every kind of food.
Lay a picnic blanket in Mission Dolores Park and look at the city, or take a quick boat ride to Alcatraz Island to learn about its history. Just make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and come ready for the steep hills.
Follow the crowds to the touristy area of Fisherman’s Wharf, which has excellent views of Alcatraz, and then head along the bay to the Presidio to see the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Spend an hour or two sunbathing on the bay with the sea lions, walking along the Marina, or looking at San Francisco from Twin Peaks.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is a paradise for people who love being outside because it has beautiful peaks and lakes. Colorful pools swirl around hot springs, green forests wind through wide meadows, and geysers shoot steaming water into the air.
The first national park in the United States, Yellowstone has more than 900 miles of hiking trails and a lot of natural attractions, like steaming geysers and bubbling hot springs. Also, animal lovers will enjoy learning about local animals at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.
If you’d rather look for wild animals inside the park in parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, drive through the Hayden and Lamar Valleys for a few hours. Bison, wolves, and grizzly bears who live in Yellowstone National Park like to hang out in both places.
Yosemite National Park
In California, a trip to Yosemite National Park is about returning to nature. Visit famous places like Half Dome and Glacier Point, or go hiking on the Mist Trail, Cathedral Lakes, or other popular trails.
You’ll also want to check out Yosemite’s many waterfalls, like the towering Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Mariposa Grove is another part of the park worth checking out, home to more than 500 giant sequoia trees.
May and September are the best times to go to Yosemite because the park is open but not too busy. It is important to know that snow closes many roads and trails in Yosemite for most of the year. Snow can start falling as early as October and is usually at its worst in November.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park, in the southwest corner of Utah, got its name from the Hebrew word for “refuge”, however it is no longer the quiet place it used to be. More than 4 million people visit the park every year, making it one of the most popular in the country.
It’s as if travelers stumbled upon a secret and can’t get enough of the apricot-colored Zion Canyon, which they can see by wading through the Virgin River or climbing Angels Landing. Each bend in the river or turn in the trail offers an even more stunning view.
The easy Pa’rus Trail and the more difficult Narrows, which take hikers through the narrowest part of Zion Canyon, are also popular with tourists. Canyoneering, a mix of rappelling, swimming, and hiking, is a must-do on any trip.
The USA is known for its famous landmarks and tourist spots, but it is also known for its friendly people, wide open spaces, and beautiful nature. Its 50 states each offer unique vacations and lots of choices for every kind of traveler.
Whether it’s your first time there or you’ve been there before, you’re sure to have a lot of memorable experiences.