Top 9 Must-Visit Cities in the United States

Millions of travelers from around the world travel to America to experience its best attractions. Whether they are looking for fun, excitement or a combination of both, the USA has something for everyone.

New York City offers a blend of iconic landmarks, world-class museums, Broadway shows and diverse neighborhoods. While Honolulu captivates its visitors with azure beaches and Iolani Palace.

1. New York City

Located in the heart of the country, New York City is one of the most vibrant and bustling cities in America. Be it spotting celebrities in the famous Madame Tussauds, sipping sunset cocktails on luxurious rooftops or mosh-ing at local punk shows, NYC entrances you with its diversity.

A visit to NYC is incomplete without spending some time in Central Park, a massive green swath that is the lifeline of the city. It also houses iconic attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Fifth Avenue is one of the most iconic shopping districts in the world, with luxury brands vying for attention through their stunning window displays. You can also take a walk along Museum Mile, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and Cooper Hewitt.

2. Washington DC

Washington DC teems with iconic monuments and famous museums. The National Mall distills America’s cultural history into a two-mile strip of art and architecture. Here, you’ll find ten Smithsonian museums, the White House, and the Capitol Building.

The United States Botanic Garden is a showcase of indoor and outdoor gardens. The massive glasshouse’s interior exhibits emulate environments from deserts to rainforests, while the surrounding gardens are home to plants that thrive in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Put on a trench coat and step inside the International Spy Museum, a one-of-a-kind tribute to all things espionage. In the historic neighborhood of Georgetown, upscale shopping and dining await. Sip a martini at Clyde’s or sample the fresh local seafood at Tracy’s King Crab. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll along the waterfront or a jog around its shaded trails and paths. Getting to know the city’s many fun neighborhoods is part of the thrill of visiting Washington.

3. Chicago

With its dazzling skyline, stunning parks, world-class museums and bustling neighborhoods, Chicago shines like no other city in the USA. Whether you want to learn about innovative spacecraft at the Museum of Science and Industry or get a thrill from peering down from the ledge of 875 North Michigan Avenue (formerly known as the Sears Tower), this Midwestern gem will delight you.

Art lovers should visit the famous Art Institute and the nearby Field Museum of Natural History. The city’s 77 distinct neighborhoods are all worth exploring, from Wicker Park and Bucktown to Pilsen and Chinatown. Sports fans can cheer on the Bears, Blackhawks and Cubs at Soldier Field or the United Center. The city also hosts a number of events throughout the year, from the green river dyeing for St. Patrick’s Day to C2E2, the largest pop culture convention in the Midwest.

Don’t miss out on the chance to see a show at the legendary Chicago Theater or dance your socks off to house music in Uptown. This is one of America’s most underrated cities, but it’s packed with surprises.

4. Miami

Miami is a destination that has something to please every type of traveler. The city is a cosmopolitan mix of quiet neighborhoods, lively entertainment-focused areas and stretches of soft-sand beaches. South Beach is the iconic neighborhood for many visitors, thanks to the Art Deco buildings and endless sunshine.

The luscious tropical foliage of Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens is a must-see attraction for nature lovers. The lush vegetation grows with abandon, fueled by the warm temperatures and abundant rain.

Art enthusiasts can take in the latest exhibitions at the Perez Art Museum Miami (commonly referred to as PAMM). The architecturally stunning building by Herzog & de Meuron is a sight to behold.

The Metrozoo is a treat for animal lovers. The exotic animals in the Florida-based attraction are sure to entertain young and old alike. Train buffs will love the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, home to Ferdinand Magellan, the presidential rail car.

5. San Diego

As its nickname suggests, San Diego is more than white-sand beaches and sunshine. The coastal city also features lush parks, fascinating museums and a rich culture. Discover the Old Globe Theatre and 18 incredible museums in Balboa Park or get an exhilarating history lesson at the USS Midway aircraft carrier-turned-museum.

For a dose of urban adventure, take in a baseball game at the state-of-the-art Petco Park or explore downtown’s waterfront and Gaslamp Quarter. Alternatively, enjoy some shopping and fine dining at Liberty Station or stroll through the historic Old Town district. Here is a list that can help you if you pick up after yourself while in NYC.

To savor spectacular views over the bay, head up to Point Loma. This is where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first set foot on the west coast of America in 1542 and is commemorated by a large statue of the Portuguese explorer. Then, re-enact his incredible voyage by exploring the numerous exhibits at the Cabrillo National Monument.

6. Honolulu

With its swanky skyscrapers, thriving business district and buzzing nightlife, the capital of Hawaii is a lively city break destination. Stay in a chic city hotel or enjoy the many self-catering options on offer along Waikiki Beach.

The historic Iolani Palace is an absolute must-visit for history fans, with its plush royal rooms and regal furnishings. You can also explore the nearby USS Arizona Memorial and other sites relating to the horrific Pearl Harbor bombings.

For a more natural experience, head to the Waimea Valley and admire the beautiful waterfall there. The specific location of the botanical gardens in Honolulu determines the variety of flora on display, with a visit to the Wahiawa Botanical Garden featuring lush greenery and flowering plants and the Koko Crater Botanical Garden having a more cactus-heavy feel. You can also hike up Diamond Head for sweeping views of the city. This iconic east Honolulu spot is very popular among locals and visitors so expect it to be crowded when the sun goes down.

7. Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles offers a great mix of landmark attractions and fun activities for visitors to enjoy. It is famous internationally for its film and entertainment industry, particularly Hollywood, where aspiring actors and actresses have been coming to for over a century. The sprawling city also has a thriving culinary scene, incredible shopping and amazing museums.

The Getty Center is one of the best museum destinations in the United States, featuring a magnificent collection of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts from several different centuries and nations. Its impressive architectural masterpiece is set in beautiful gardens overlooking downtown Los Angeles.

Other top attractions in the city include the TCL Chinese Theatre, where you can see celebrity handprints and footprints on a walkway, Dodger Stadium for baseball fans and LA Live for music venues and nightclubs. Kids will love a visit to the La Brea Tar Pits, where hot tar bubbling out of the ground has revealed 3.5 million dinosaur fossils.

8. Boston

Located on the East Coast, Boston is home to an abundance of attractions and activities. The city’s storied history, culture and rich cuisine are among the main draws for visitors.

A walk along the Freedom Trail will bring you closer to the era that birthed American independence. Other must-dos include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (built in the style of a Venetian palace with gorgeous artwork inside).

The best thing about Boston is that you’ll find plenty of things to do that aren’t on the tourist trail. This includes the revitalized Seaport district that provides a cool juxtaposition to the historic sites nearby.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a visit to Boston without a stop at Fenway Park to take in a Red Sox game or TD Garden for some Bruins action and mainstream concerts. It’s also worth taking a day trip to Plymouth and Lexington and Concord to get more Revolutionary War history.

9. New Orleans

New Orleans is a lively, storied city that has a lot to offer. With its distinctive dialects, Creole cuisine and amazing music scene, this Louisiana city is a one-of-a-kind experience. In addition, New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz music, attracting musicians from across the globe.

Besides the obvious attractions like the New Orleans Museum of Art and the National World War II Museum, this Louisiana city has many lesser-known spots to visit. You can stroll through the serene City Park or take a leisurely float down Bayou St. John or take in the sights of the historic Esplanade Avenue neighborhood. You can also attend a music festival, explore the city’s Creole culture and cuisine with local-led tours or discover more of the region’s natural treasures on a swamp tour. Moreover, the massive Audubon Aquarium is a must-visit destination in this city that is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country.

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