How do you decide on the best places to travel in the USA? This country is massive, so it can be difficult to know where to begin. The United States of America is a diverse nation, with each state offering something different. Our list of the best places to travel in the USA covers it all! Whether you’re visiting the USA for the beaches, the history, amazing cities, the food or for maximum fun, we’ve got you! 

best places to travel to in the usa globe

Let’s get to it! The best places to travel in the USA in 2022

1) California

My favourite state of them all! California has so much to love and you don’t need to search for the beauty in this state, because it’s all around you. What I love most is that California has some of the finest wines in the world. 

Take a trip to Napa Valley or Sonoma wine regions and taste for yourself.

You’ll be rewarded with some fine dining options and incredible restaurants in this part of California too. Alternatively, book this wine tour that covers both regions on a day trip from San Francisco.

Southern California is also home to Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. If searching for celebrities is your thing, go on a tour to see movie stars’ mansions in Beverly Hills, or stroll along Hollywood Boulevard at your own pace to see the handprints of movie stars.

Who knows, maybe you’ll spot your favourite movie star on the street – this is where some of the biggest celebs in the world call home. I like the hip neighbourhood around Venice Beach and Santa Monica for soaking up the sun. 

 

If you’re travelling with children or if you’re just a big kid yourself, you may want to stop at Seaworld or Universal Studios.

A smart option is to get the LA All-Inclusive Pass which grants you access to 40+ attractions. This pass is valid for up to 7 days and it makes sense to save money if you plan on seeing as much as you can while you’re here.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in California

Things to Do: Top California Attractions

2) The Pacific Coast Drive

best places to travel to in the usa pacific coast drive

The drive along the Pacific Coast is regarded as one of the most panoramic in the world. I 100% agree with this. We drove this stunning road when we relocated an RV in the USA for only $1 per day.

The whole time, we were in awe of the epic cliffs, endless beaches, and forests meeting the shores. We were mesmerised the entire way. If you’re a keen hiker, there are some amazing places to hike mountains.

Don’t miss Coos Bay, Bandon and Mendocino, California. Many of the best places to travel in the USA are found in the state of California.

Accommodation: Where to Stay along the Pacific Coast Drive

Things to Do: Top Pacific Coast Drive Attractions

3) Yosemite National Park

best places to travel to in the usa yosemite

With views like this, there’s no doubt that Yosemite NP should be one of the best places to travel to in the USA.

A must-see for anyone visiting California. This is one of America’s most popular national parks. Yosemite boasts some of the best hiking trails, amazing views and opportunities for every kind of traveller. Yosemite is especially popular for family holidays with endless things to see and do for the kids.

The Park offers plenty of activities and sightseeing opportunities. The Valley is an 11km wide canyon with astonishing rock formations. This is also one of the top rock climbing destinations in the world. Yosemite Falls is the largest waterfall in North America with sensational views.

I’d like to list all of the national parks on my list of the best places to travel to in the USA, however, I’ve narrowed it down to just 15 of them. You should totally check out the Grand Canyon NP and Yellowstone NP too.

Guided Yosemite tours are available in the valley and on the trails to the park’s popular waterfalls. The most popular guided hike is Yosemite National Park and a Giant Sequoia Walk. 

It’s a one day trip that departs from San Francisco and is super popular, so book your spot early! For wildlife lovers, there are more than 400 species of animals in the park which include deer, black bears, and foxes.

At higher elevations, you may be lucky to spot the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Read more on the Yosemite National Park California website for more information.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

Things to Do: Top Yosemite National Park Attractions

4) New York City

best places to travel to in the usa new york city

Would this even be a list of best places to travel to in the USA if New York City didn’t appear on it?

Some cities just have it all. For me, New York City is one of them. The list is endless for things to keep you entertained in the ‘Big Apple. This wouldn’t be a list of the best places to travel in the USA if New York City wasn’t on it. Discover the bustling inner city with the bright lights of Times Square.

Join this awesome food tour of Greenwich Village or just eat your way around some of the most eclectic and delicious neighbourhoods in search of the top 10 eats in NYC. There are so many fantastic tourist attractions to see here, you will never get bored. 

This is the city that never sleeps and New York City has the most impressive selection of chic cocktail bars, cafes and fine dining restaurants ever. I don’t think I need to convince you, this city sells itself.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in New York City

Things to Do: Top NYC Attractions

5) Chicago 

best places to travel to in the usa chicago

Chicago riverwalk.

Known as the ‘windy city’, Chicago is on our list of best places to travel in the USA because it’s just awesome. Seriously, Chicago boasts some amazing food (I’m talking about bangin’ hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, fantastic sushi and delicious cuts of steak) and there are heaps of things to do here.

A few of my favourite things to do in Chicago is to explore the museums, they’re great! Then grab an awesome hot dog from one of the street vendors and wander around and admire the architecture. Better yet, I highly recommend joining this Chicago River architecture cruise.

I recommend the Chicago City Pass which offers you 50% off the cities top 5 attractions. Don’t miss the Lincoln Park zoo, and the best part is that it’s FREE! Another highlight is the Shedd Aquarium where you can get up close and personal with the animals that live there.

So many choices for how to spend your evenings in Chicago, but live jazz at the Green Mill is a good start. Get yourself a ticket on the Hop-on, Hop-off Open Top Bus Tour to get around the city at leisure. 

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Chicago

Things to Do: Top Chicago Attractions

6) Miami

best places to travel to in the usa miami beach

Turquoise water, white sandy beaches, amazing Cuban food, vibrant nightlife, and great weather year-round— Miami is a clear favourite of many! After you’ve enjoyed all the swimming, sunbathing and sipping cocktails on the beach, these essential Miami experiences are a must!

Get yourself an All-Inclusive Miami City Pass which covers 25+ attractions. It gets you into the Miami zoo, Seaquarium, the hop on and off Big Bus Miami tour and more. 

Don’t miss the graffiti and art at Wynwood Walls, the city’s first and only outdoor museum dedicated to street art and admire the Art Deco architecture at South Beach Miami. The city has the highest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world. They’re very cool!

Also, be sure to head to Little Havana and enjoy the atmosphere. I did this food and cultural tour of with lunch and can highly recommend it. In the evening, spend an evening at Cafe La Trova for great Cuban food and entertainment. The house band plays Trova-style music every night. 

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Miami

Things to Do: Top Miami Attractions

7) San Francisco

best places to travel in the usa san francisco

San Francisco has to be on this list of best places to travel to in the USA. It’s got everything!

If you ask me, the best places to travel in the USA are those that tick every box. San Francisco ticks all the boxes for me, it’s my kind of city. I’d recommend that everyone would enjoy what ‘San Fran’ has to offer.

So why is this one of the best places to travel in the USA you ask? Fantastic weather, cool neighbourhoods, easy-going people, amazing food and some spectacular national parks. I kinda love the hipster vibe going on in this city too – everyone seems to be open-minded, it’s refreshing. 

Also, there is so much to see and do in San Francisco. I’d start with a Waterfront Guided Tour which includes an Alcatraz ticket

Accommodation: Where to Stay in San Francisco

Things to Do: Top San Francisco Attractions

8) Washington D.C

The capital of the USA is a dynamic city. What we love most about Washington D.C is the diversity of the people living here. This is home to many embassies and international aid organisations, and the diversity and mix of cultures show in the cuisine. This is certainly a fantastic city for food-lovers!

Enjoy walking through the many green parks, along the riverfront and stop in at some historic monuments and government buildings too. This Old Town Washington D.C Trolley Tour is fantastic! See dozens of iconic sites, including the White House and the Jefferson Memorial.

There are some fantastic free museums to visit. History lovers will thoroughly enjoy what Washington D.C has to offer, however, it made it to our list of best places to travel in the USA because of its diversity.

We highly recommend doing this Taste of Georgetown Walking Food Tour.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Washington D.C

Things to Do: Top Washington D.C Attractions

9) Las Vegas

best places to travel to in the usa las vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most entertaining and best places to travel to in the USA.

Some people may not agree that Las Vegas doesn’t belong on the best places to travel in the USA list. But here’s the thing – Las Vegas is more than just casinos, flashing neon lights and booze!

Sure, you can do all of that on your first night here, but if you stay a few days, you’ll discover more to love about this city. I think it’s just awesome in itself that this city is literally located in the middle of the desert!

Pack some fun clothes and a bundle of energy for this city, you’re going to need it!

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Las Vegas

Things to Do: Top Las Vegas Attractions

10) Colorado Rocky Mountains

best places to travel to in the usa colorado

Maroon Bells, Colorado.

The panoramic peaks of the Rocky Mountains can be enjoyed in many areas of North America. But here in the rocky mountains of Colorado, it’s the environment, climate and charming mountain towns that make this one of the best places to travel in the USA. Snow-capped peaks, epic waterfalls and gorgeous views all around make this a stunning area for sightseeing and admiring life in the mountains.

Imagine sitting in a log cabin in the mountains, a crackling open fire, glass of red wine in hand and a good book – the setting could easily be right here.

Summer in Colorado is all about mountain biking, hiking, and rafting. The mountains then turn into a winter playground for skiers and boarders when the season changes. The ski resorts in Colorado are world-renowned as some of the best in North America. The best places to visit are the towns of Durango, Telluride, Vail and Aspen.

 

In terms of scenic drives, don’t miss the Million Dollar Highway and San Juan Scenic Byway, leaving from Durango. These magnificent drives will take you through the most dazzling mountain scenery you’ve ever encountered. 

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Colorado Rocky Mountains

Things to Do: Top Colorado Attractions

11) New Orleans

best places to travel to in the usa new orleans

New Orleans has so much life! Add it to your list of best places to travel to in the USA for sure.

Visiting New Orleans just makes you feel good – instantly! This city has soul, it has character and it has so much to see and do for visitors. The eclectic mix of Creole Cajun food here is exciting and you can learn to cook this cuisine while you’re here.

I physically couldn’t try all the foods I wanted to in the time I had here. For this reason, join this Afternoon Food & History Tour or this Food Tour of the French Quarter and let a local take you to all the best spots!

When you’re done eating, hit the jazz clubs or just hang out on Bourbon St and watch the very talented street performers. New Orleans has a personality that is unmatched by any other city in the United States. This is why it has earned its place on my list of best places to travel in the USA.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in New Orleans

Things to Do: Top New Orleans Attractions

12) San Diego

The Californian city of San Diego is located on the coast and it borders Mexico. As you can imagine being so near to such a colourful country, San Diego it’s blessed with a year-round climate and it’s full of Mexican food and culture. 

The city’s most popular attraction has to be the San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park, just minutes from downtown. You can buy an entrance ticket online or better yet, I’d recommend getting a San Diego All-Inclusive Pass. This pass provides entry to 55+ top San Diego attractions including San Diego Zoo and all the main theme parks.

With a San Diego All-Inclusive Pass you can save up to 45% compared to buying individual tickets. San Diego is a wonderful city to take the family on vacation as it’s full of great activities for the entire family.

There is also San Diego’s stunning coastline, which offers an array of amazing beaches featuring an abundance of exciting activities like whale-watching toursseal spotting tours, and surfing. You can see why San Diego is one of the best places to travel in the USA. Don’t miss the best beaches in San Diego. My favourites are Mission, Pacific and La Jolla beaches. 

Accommodation: Where to Stay in San Diego

Things to Do: Top San Diego Attractions

13) Savannah

best places to travel to in the USA savannah

Enjoy the slow paced life of Savannah. A unique place to travel to in the USA.

Savannah is the definitive southern city, the perfect place to enjoy friendly Southern hospitality with the most gorgeous setting. Wander through charming streets lined with huge moss-covered trees, stroll through gorgeous parks and admire old mansions.

Don’t miss out on trying some good old humble Southern-style cooking. I’m talking cornbread, fried chicken, collard greens, mashed potato and pecan pie.

Alternatively, you could join this 2-hour Southern Food Tour of Savannah.

If you’ve got a free evening, why not embark on a dinner cruise with live entertainment down the scenic Savannah River. Enjoy the food, the music, and the incredible views for an unforgettable evening.

Savannah is small, so you can walk everywhere. Be sure to drop by all the small toy stores, candy stores and cute-as-a-button cafes. You can easily visit Savannah in a day, however, it’s got so much character – I’d recommend that you stay at least two nights. 

If you’d like to explore nearby places of interest, only an hour’s drive away are some beautiful beaches at Hilton Head Island and Tybee Island.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Savannah

Things to Do: Top Savannah Attractions

14) Portland

best places to travel in the usa portland

Portland, Oregon. One of my favourite places to travel to in the USA. I can’t wait to return.

Portland is a popular destination for its large number of microbreweries, a lively art scene, range of outdoor activities (including some great hiking in the nearby mountains) and casual atmosphere.

In the summertime, Portland is especially fabulous! So many awesome outdoor events and festivals to enjoy and it seems like there are endless things to see and do. Don’t miss this Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour.

I especially love the hipster neighbourhoods just outside of the downtown area of Portland. Many lovely gardens and parks to explore, with Forest Park being the largest and best park to find amazing hiking and bike trails. I’d recommend staying at least a few days in Portland to appreciate how cool this city is. 

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Portland

Things to Do: Top Portland Attractions

15) Waikiki, Hawaii

best places to travel in the usa waikiki

Located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Waikiki is a suburb of Honolulu known for the stunning gold sandy beaches that extend along the oceanfront which offers amazing surfing opportunities. Often rated as one of the best beaches in the United States, it’s pretty special.

Hire a surfboard and hit the waves, go shopping along the shorefront facing the beach, and treat yourself to some fantastic dining options in the evening. Waikiki is an ideal destination for singles, couples, groups of friends and families. Of course, you need to take a flight to get to Hawaii, but cheap flights can be booked on Skyscanner.

Hawaii has many things to offer visitors, which is why it has earned its spot here on my best places to travel in the USA list.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Waikiki

Things to Do: Top Waikiki Attractions

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

The USA has so many “must-visit” places for me to list in a single post. A country with a population of 330 million people and covering 9.834 million km² is enormous! The USA is more than 1.3 times bigger than my home country of Australia – and I thought we were big! 

This post on the best places to travel to in the USA is a good starting point to see how diverse this nation is. My advice is to take the exits from the main freeways and explore some of the smaller towns too. There are so many coastal cities and national parks to discover and take advantage of the public transport options to get around or head out on foot when in the big cities.

Essential Items for your Trip to the USA

USA Lonely Planet Guidebook Universal Travel Adaptor Good waterproof hiking shoes

 

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What place would you add to our list of the best places to travel in the USA? Let us know in the comments below.

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