As the travel industry thrives, more and more people have come to major cities for their holidays. People love the convenience of staying, having fun and exploring new things in the same space. And this concept is best shown in the best cities to visit in the USA.
The cities here aren’t famous for no reason. Whether you are searching for a lively ambience or nightlife attractions, you will find them in the States. Prepare to dive into beautiful beaches in Honolulu and explore the skyscrapers in New York in the list of famous cities in the USA.
A Short Overview of United States - Interesting & Fun Facts
Before exploring the marvellous cities in the USA, let's learn some interesting facts about this country. You know what people say; getting to know a place is also a part of the journey.
A beautiful morning in New York City, one of the most crowded places in America. Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
Being home to over 300 million people and consisting of 50 states, the United States is a country of rich culture and history. The American flag experienced many changes as time passed and ended up having 27 different versions. Nowadays, the flag displays 13 stripes and 50 stars, representing 13 original colonies and 50 states that make up the US.
America has made significant contributions to global culture, especially in entertainment. Many series and movies we know of today were produced in its heavenly filming location, Hollywood.
The place attracts millions of tourists annually with its iconic landmarks, such as the Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Sign. Many USA wonders make it into many travellers’ bucket lists, such as the Grand Canyon.
Las Vegas, one of the most populated cities in the USA, is also considered the World's Gambling Capital. This entertainment centre boasts several mega-casino hotels, shopping streets and the finest dining spots.
Now that we've done with America's overview, more fun and surprises are waiting for you in the best cities in America.
1. New York City, New York
It takes little imagination to see why New York City has become the best place to travel in the USA. New York is the answer if you're looking for fun and parties. This world-class city is packed with nightlife attractions, bustling streets and skyscrapers.
The beauty of Central Park in the autumn. Photo by Andrea Belussi on Unsplash
Reaching New York City, tourists can see a variety of landscapes, from the towering skyscrapers on Broadway to the green picture of national parks. When you want to get around, we recommend going by bus or railway system.
The Empire State Building is an astonishing building that has existed with time. This iconic structure was once the tallest building in the world for about 40 years.
Art enthusiasts should take advantage of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world's largest museums. It contains more than two million artworks, from modern to ancient pieces created in different countries.
On the other hand, history buffs may have a great time with the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Each vessel at this place holds a story, telling the glorious past.
For first-time visitors, Times Square is unmissable. People can recognise the place as the setting of famous movies such as Home Alone, Spider-Man, and Devil Wears Prada. At the same time, Central Park is perfect for a picnic and a lazy afternoon.
Another unmissable thing to do is to sample the city's must-try-at-least-once dishes. Food trucks and restaurants are easily spotted on the streets, selling delicious supersized New York pizza and burgers.
2. San Francisco, California
There's no doubt that San Francisco is one of the coolest cities in the US. This metropolitan city has just enough for everyone, from the weather to food and outdoor activities.
San Francisco can be considered the heart of Tiki culture. Once a big trend in the 90s, the culture that used to influence Hawaiian significantly settled in San Francisco.
Strolling around the streets, tourists will see many Tiki bars that serve classic drinks and even new mixtures. If you look carefully, each place displays a symbol of a half-man, half-god character. In Tiki culture, they’re the ones who have created human beings.
Stunning view of Golden Gate Bridge in the sunset. Photo by Joonyeop Baek on Unsplash
Golden Gate Bridge is the highlight of any San Francisco itinerary. This 746-foot-tall tower in San Francisco Bay offers a spectacular sightseeing spot where you can take in the city's beauty and nature. If you come across this landmark, remember to take a shot at the stunning view.
China Town is one of the oldest landmarks of San Francisco, and thus totally worth a visit. Once entering the Dragon Gate, tourists can explore its historic buildings, traditional restaurants and artisan stores.
Each corner is filled with vibrant decorations and colourful rows of lanterns. Plus, take the chance to appreciate the famous sweet egg custard of Golden Gate Bakery.
Let your worries be washed away by Golden Gate Park. This place hosts many exciting outdoor activities that are suitable for any age. Tourists can take the chance to practise archery or visit the De Young Museum for a cultured trip.
Another popular activity at the park is tasting some fine drinks in the Japanese Tea Garden. Sitting in the tea house and surrounded by the natural setting, each can find inner peace after a long, exhausting walk.
3. Nashville, Tennessee
It’s not an exaggeration to say Nashville is the best place to have your vacation in the USA. Performance and music are the hearts and souls of the city, and that’s what enchants thousands of travellers from all corners of the world.
It’s not a bad idea to start your tour on Broadway, where you can spot vivid neon-lit signs, colourful blocks and fancy restaurants along the way.
It’s better to do shopping and sightseeing in the daytime. At night, Nashville becomes a playground for music lovers, and crowds are to be expected.
It’s easy to get caught up in Nashville’s colourful buildings and dazzling lights. Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash
If you’re an art lover, visiting Parthenon is a must. In the past, Parthenon was the location of many colleges and universities. Today, it’s a world-renowned art museum that displays a grand collection of paintings, statues and sculptures.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is undoubtedly the icon that belongs to Nashville only. Whether you are a country music lover, you will enjoy your time learning about the musician legends.
One of the must-see exhibits is the historic RCA Studio B, where the legendary Elvis Presley made records and history. Note that a tour is limited to 30 guests, so you should book early.
4. San Antonio, Texas
It's almost impossible to resist the beauty of San Antonio. With beautiful landscapes, marvellous structures and fantastic viewpoints, it's easily the best place to visit in America.
One must visit the Alamo to understand the city. It's one of America's most important historical sites representing Texas life in the 80s.
The museum and library inside provide a small, cosy space for tourists to explore the old history. If you want a deeper insight, tours are available almost daily here.
Each corner in San Antonio is filled with old history and an aesthetic vibe. Photo by Henry Becerra on Unsplash
Like the Alamo, it's just as tempting to visit San Fernando Cathedral. Despite being one of the oldest cathedrals in the US, the building remains strikingly beautiful with delicate patterns.
Tourists can get the most from its beauty in the light show starting from 9 pm every day (except Monday). The history of San Antonio is beautifully conveyed via the flashing colours against the wall of the cathedral. In merely 24 minutes, the light performance captivates the audience, becoming one of the city’s iconic features.
Market Square offers all fantastic handmade items that make perfect gifts. It's hard to resist the lovely, small pieces of pottery, jewellery and paintings here. You will surely end up with something in your hand! A little shopping will be a nice touch to your trip.
5. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is one of the best cities in America, and not without good reasons. Many fall in love with the festive vibe in this place. They long to grasp a tasty cocktail and enjoy themselves in the jazz clubs. But there’s more to the charm of New Orleans.
Jazz, the crowds, the music, you can find them all in New Orleans! Photo by William Recinos on Unsplash
If it’s your first time visiting New Orleans, the French Quarter is always a must-see. Blend in with the crowds, and you will understand how special New Orleans' oldest neighbourhood is.
Amid magnificent architecture and numerous food stalls, street performers and music bring fun and joy to each local and tourist. If you are on a romantic trip with your beloved one in the US, visiting the French Quarter is a must.
The National WWII Museum is just perfect for history lovers. The exhibits here incredibly depict the stories of people and soldiers in WWII. For a small fee, tourists get to see the actual firearms and jeeps, plus the touching musical performances.
City Park is an excellent place for families to spend time with their kids. This beautiful park offers spacious green spaces with smooth walking paths in the chirp of native birds.
Pedalling the swan boats in the Big Lake sounds appealing, but entertainment sections at Storyland attract children the most. And make sure you don’t miss the nature trail in Couturie Forest, which includes New Orleans’ highest peak: Laborde Mountain.
6. Portland, Oregon
The iconic white sign can be seen from afar when visiting Old Town. Photo by Zack Spear on Unsplash
It's a unique experience to visit Portland, the best place to travel in the USA. Come visit for a few days, and you won't want to leave it again. The greenery, the exotic food, the forest hikes, and even the rain can make your US trip ten times more exciting.
If you're searching for a bicycle-friendly town, you've come to the right place! It's convenient cycling around Portland thanks to the vast bicycle lands and green bike boxes at the criss-cross intersections. People of all ages can try this, and it's easier to explore one of the best cities in America this way.
While pedalling around the town, remember to look for food carts. In Portland, you can find some of the best chefs by wandering in the parking lots. Find your way to Bing Mi! if you crave Chinese street snacks. Koi Fusion is a must for Korean dishes, and Aybla has some enormous gyros.
There's no better pair with bicycling than nature. Pedal your way around, and you will find the striking peak of Mount Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon. On clear days, its snow-capped summit appears quite vividly. You can also observe it from Forest Park. The 70-mile trail surrounded by dense forest is perfect for light exercise and friends' hangouts.
7. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago has no definition of getting bored. Thanks to the rich and diverse cuisine, the marvellous museums and the unique Chicago bars, it’s considered one of the most famous cities in the USA.
The Art Institute of Chicago is a fantastic choice for art enthusiasts. The place hosts a grand collection of more than 300,000 artworks, including masterpieces from many eras. Notable among them is the classic A Sunday on La Grande Jatte and the print of Elizabeth Taylor.
On the lower level of the institute is the Thorne Miniature Room. The space exhibits a series of sophisticated rooms on the scale of 1:12. Each room has a different interior design and mainly focuses on tiny sculptures and paintings. Tourists and locals much love this little touch on contemporary art.
You will never get bored in Chicago. It’s all fun and surprises here! Photo by Sawyer Bengtson on Unsplash
Looking for refreshing natural scenery? Garfield Park Conservatory may be to your liking. This glass structure is home to more than 100,000 plants.
It includes eight indoor gardens that function as eight different exhibitions. Each resembles the greenery in a specific area, from the cacti of dessert to the ferns blooming in tropical regions.
8. Las Vegas, Nevada
Overnight parties and dazzling casinos are not everything about Las Vegas, the most popular city in the USA. The place also offers incredible resorts, world-renowned restaurants and marvellous game shows.
Las Vegas, the city of casinos, parties and restaurants. Photo by Ameer Basheer on Unsplash
If you’re into hiking, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is the perfect location. It’s a once-of-a-lifetime experience to be surrounded by the grand nature and the red colour of mountains and canyons. It’s up to you whether to challenge yourself to climb up the rock walls or leisurely walk on the sandy trails.
It won’t be a perfect trip to Las Vegas without visiting Downtown Las Vegas. This old-school area entertains tourists with thrilling activities and affordable food sections. Here you can also find one of the oldest casinos in Las Vegas, the famous Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.
9. Los Angeles, California
Whether you're here for outdoor activities or simply sightseeing, Los Angeles got you covered. This most popular city in the USA is a beautiful combination of landmark attractions, fancy restaurants and little secret hangouts.
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens are a legacy of entrepreneur Henry E. Huntington. The stunning outdoor spaces take inspiration from the southern California areas. The library is where the important documents of Huntington’s history and its founder, Henry Edwards Huntington, are kept.
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash. Breathtaking view of the city from Griffith Observatory
Griffith Park is a fantastic choice if you'd love a panoramic view of L.A. The fantastic view of starry nights upon the dazzling city lights will be your unforgettable memory.
It's even more fun to hike in the park while listening to Ellen Reid's Soundwalk, a music composition created at the spot. This GPS-enabled work plays music depending on your choice of path, giving a unique experience.
Movie enthusiasts must take the chance to visit the Academy Museum. This museum displays an impressive collection of cinematic treasures from Oscar-winning movies and series.
You will recognise the Rosebud sledge from Citizen Kane or the sample of the surviving shark from Jaws. Each year, they add new selections and a new batch of souvenir goods, so it's loved by both locals and tourists.
10. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the best place to vacation in the USA if you are looking for romantic strolls and hot coffee. Visiting Seattle, you can learn about the coffee culture and beautiful Seattle museums. And what’s more appealing than the magnificent scent of home-cooked dishes and the lovely people?
Pioneer Square, the oldest neighbourhood in Seattle, is a familiar name to Seattle visitors. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll across the art galleries, bookstores and cafes.
Klondike Gold Rush is a great place to absorb Seattle history, while the Smith Tower is famous for being the tallest building on the West Coast.
The stunning Space Needle appears vivid in the blue sky. Photo by Diego Gomez - stock.adobe.com
Built for 1962’s world fair with the theme “The Age of Space”, Space Needle is one of the most iconic Seattle landmarks. The building has a tilting glass wall. This creates an exciting experience, or to be exact, an illusion of floating above the city to take in the panoramic view.
Chihuly Garden and Glass provide a thrilling experience of observing the unique glass works. Each of these epic works was created by the glass artist Dale Chihuly.
11. Boston, Massachusetts
People have reasons to call Boston the best place to visit in America and in the New England area. This small city boasts many historical sites, aesthetic buildings and favourite sports teams. Yet that's not all to say about the charm of Boston.
The Benjamin Franklin Statute, one of 16 sites on the Freedom Trail. Photo by Brett Wharton on Unsplash
One of the must-do highlights is the Freedom Trail. Walking on this 2.5-mile path, you'll get to explore 16 historical sights, including USS Constitution, the Old State House, Park Street Church and more. Tourists can take a walking tour or follow the red line to discover everything at their own pace.
If you can't get enough of the Boston scenery, check out the beautiful Acorn Street. This little place will soothe your heart with cobblestone paths, especially in autumn when it's filled with golden leaves.
At the end of the day, find yourself a corner in Tatte Bakery & Cafe and enjoy a hot cup of coffee. How lovely is that?
Seafood is one of Boston's specialities. A perfect spot for lunch and friend gatherings! Stop by Luke's Lobster Back Bay to taste some of the city's best lobster rolls and clam chowder.
12. Honolulu, Hawaii
It’s always a good idea to visit Hawaii, especially when it comes to Honolulu, the capital and the most beautiful city in the USA. Nothing can beat the stunning nature, gorgeous oceans and picturesque shorelines here.
Diamond Head is the best option for a great panoramic view of Honolulu. It was once an active volcano but has already been dormant. The place offers one of the best hiking spots with a captivating view of Waikiki beach and stretching modern buildings.
Panoramic view of Waikiki Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the US. Photo by MaruokaJoe - stock.adobe.com
It’s not surprising to see Waikiki Beach on this list. Being one of the best beaches in America, it’s the perfect place to try watersports, enjoy the BBQ, or sunbathe. However, you may want to arrange your date around April or May, when crowds and demand for accommodations is reasonable.
Coming with your family? Jump right in the Hanauma Bay! It is among the best places for snorkelling thanks to the clear water and calm surface. And why not take the chance to go on a picnic? Nature and daylight are all for you to enjoy!
13. Miami, Florida
Are you done exploring New York? How about booking a private jet to Miami, one of the coolest cities in the US? With colourful buildings, white sandy beaches, and rich culture, Miami welcomes millions of tourists annually.
Miami is made for you if you’re looking for nightlife and parties. Each street here is lined with dance clubs, bars and restaurants. While South Beach appears famous among celebrities and renowned DJs, Wynwood offers quieter spaces, such as cocktail bars and hip restaurants.
A hotel features signature neon lights in Miami. Photo by Ryan Spencer on Unsplash
Visit Miami, and you’ll be amazed by the number of Art Deco buildings. There are more than 900 buildings just in South Beach only.
Most of them were designed by Henry Hohauser, a prolific Florida architect. His works feature bright neon lighting, stepped gables and charming curve lines.
Miami also provides the best beaches for everyone. Young ones love the legendary white sand beach of South Beach, while the quiet North Beach suits family trips. Crandon Park Beach is another excellent choice, well-known for its clear water and idyllic scenery.
14. San Diego, California
San Diego is casually called the most popular city in the USA. With moderate weather all year round, food diversity and friendly people, it’s an excellent place for people of all ages.
San Diego boasts lots of beautiful parks. For instance, Balboa Park is home to the famous Old Globe Theatre, 18 fantastic museums and numerous gardens. On the other hand, Belmont Park is a historical landmark with a wooden roller coaster built in 1925 and other fun, exciting activities.
Alcazar Garden, a part of Balboa Park, on a beautiful morning. Photo by Leslie Yu on Unsplash
If you’re into history, why not visit the USS Midway Museum? Once an aircraft carrier of the US Navy, it’s now a floating museum that exhibits 30 restored aircraft. Tourists can see where the crew lived, worked and played.
Your trip can’t be completed without Gaslamp Quarter. Once a famous red light district in the 90s, now it’s home to numerous retail stores. Enjoying the fancy setting and high-quality accessories in Dolcetti Boutique or grabbing a cocktail at Altitude Sky Lounge are all ideal.
15. Charleston, South California
Welcome to Charleston, the city of flowers, romance and history. Photo by Leonel Heisenberg on Unsplash
It's easy to understand why Charleston became the most popular city in the USA. Jasmine's scent lingers in the air, along with historical buildings that have existed for centuries and the flavourful dishes.
They're irresistible charms that no one can deny. When you hear about Charleston being a living history, you're not hearing wrong. Follow any cobblestone street, and you'll find a historic landmark.
For instance, Charleston Museum, founded in 1744, is one of the oldest museums in America. On the other hand, Dock Street Theatre was the first building built for theatrical performances in America. And Charles Harbor appears in documents as a strategic point in the Civil War.
After a history tour, it's time for energy recharge. Charleston has many excellent dining spots, each with a different flavour combination. Tourists can enjoy seafood and Lowcountry recipes at Hank's Seafood Restaurant. Otherwise, Virginia's on King provides varied choices of family recipes and southern traditions.
Another way to enjoy your Charleston trip is to take it easy. It's best to walk along the coast and feel the smooth sand under your feet. You'll feel your concerns disappear in the sea breeze and crashing waves. How lovely, isn't it?
This is the end of our list of the best cities to visit in the USA. Thank you for spending time reading about all these marvellous cities. We hope you can pick some for your next trip to America.