There are currently 19,502 incorporated cities in the United States, making choosing the best 10 cities to visit a difficult task, especially now. Summer 2021 has brought us many benefits, including the relaxing of restrictions put in place for the pandemic.
Now that we’re getting the green light on travel plans, at least within the U.S., it’s time to dust off that American travel bucket list and get to it. On ours, we’ve got 10 options from the east and west coasts, the north and the south, and some stops in the middle.
Inspired by the changing times, our list has a few big cities like Boston and Milwaukee, beach getaways to the Hamptons, Miami, and San Diego, and some nature-focused retreats such as Seattle and Juneau. From sea to shining sea, there are so many sights to see. All that’s left is to read up on the options.
1. Get Some Fresh Air in Aspen
Aspen was originally established as a site for mining, owing its name to the aspen trees that dot the area. When the silver market that brought the first crowds there died in 1893, the place became a sort of ghost town.
Around the 1950s, the city had a new claim to fame as a ski resort destination. As the decades rolled on, the destination became a hideaway for celebrities. Aspen’s allure comes from a sort of hide in the woods and indulge a little vibe that makes sense after quarantine.
Today the main draws are real estate and scenery, both supported by the White River National Forest. Although most flock to Aspen in the winter, especially for the holidays, there’s really no wrong time to visit. Weather is fair and decent year round.
What everybody talks about after their trip is the mesmerizing views. The best way to see the land is from above with a ski lift.
2. Let Loose in Sunny Las Vegas
The city of sin – there’s always something to do on the strip. What’s wonderful about Las Vegas is that everybody makes the most of the trip in a different way that speaks to their unique tastes.
For some people, it’s the music that matters. With so many great acts in town, it’s hard to decide which ones to check out. Others like to gamble, taking a little risk with the slots or at the tables.
Obviously, the party scene remains an option, too. Drinks, clubs, and other fun await. Remember the saying, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!” That’s what you get for staying in the so-called Entertainment Capital of the World.
The city was incorporated in 1911, and has become a hotspot for new arrivals since the 1960s. Around the year 2000, another boom occured, bringing in people from all over the world. This gives Las Vegas an “anything can happen” edge that keeps the city high on our list. If you’re going to do Vegas, do it right and lodge with a classic hotel like Caeser’s Palace.
The name recognition is a draw in and of itself, but the Colosseum is where the money’s at. Acts like Rod Steward, Keith Urban, and Usher are due to grace the stage. Check the roster to see who will be playing when you’re in town.
3. Mix and Mingle Miami Style
When Miami was incorporated in 1896, the city only had 300 people who called it home. Now it’s the 12th largest city in the United States and the largest economy in the state of Florida.
It ranks in purchasing power, too. A 2018 UBS study claims it is the third wealthiest city in the world. Miami is an American city known for its one-of-a-kind style, especially for those who know it best from hit television shows like Miami Vice or the Golden Girls.
Today, many people find themselves in Miami when on a cruise. In fact, the city boasts the title “Cruise Capital of the World.” It ranks second in international tourism after NYC. Of course, what stands out in Miami is the buzzing beach scene. A tropical climate means the beaches supervised by the National Parks Service and local entities are open any season.
Recreational opportunities include touring marinas, kayaking on rivers, swimming, sailing, boating, and fishing. The bay is ripe with coral reefs, so snorkeling is on the menu. If you’re looking to get in touch with nature, there’s also Zoo Miami, Coral Castle, and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to explore.
4. Saunter Through the Zoo in San Diego
San Diego has a population of just over one million residents, all of whom adore the location in southwest California. The city is only 20 minutes away from the Mexican border and sweetly nestled into the Pacific coastline. That means if you want to make your trip an international one, that’s not so hard!
For the folks in LA, it’s not far off, only 120 miles away. There’s a lot to do in San Diego. From parks to museums, there’s plenty to catch the interest of travelers hoping to make a day of their visit.
The city can get busy, so checking ahead for tickets and reservations is always recommended. Our favorite stop is the San Diego Zoo. With over 3,700 animals onsite (600 species/subspecies), the famous zoo has earned accolades for its work to assist endangered animals like the California Condor.
5. Making Our Dreams Come True in Milwaukee
No iconic duo makes Milwaukee look like fun the way Lavergne and Shilrey did on television in the late 70s and early 80s. For those who have never seen it, the show’s theme opens with the two leading ladies strolling down Milwaukee streets, highlighting their workday at a local brewery.
This makes sense as some of the 414’s other nicknames include Brew City, Brew Town, Beertown, and Beer City. MKE has been making the rounds for quite some time now.
You can even try a MKE IPA on a brewery tour in the spirit of the city’s past and present. The city boasts proud heritages related to German and Polish immigration years ago. Today’s downtown is the spot to try Usinger’s bratwurst after all.
Another foodstuff that puts Milwaukee, if not the whole of Wisconsin, on the map is cheese. The state produces a quarter of America’s cheese, and visitors can’t get enough of their delicious cheese curds.
6. Try Something Novel in New Orleans
Some Americans say they prefer traveling to international destinations because they’re sick of the same old, but New Orleans offers something totally out of the ordinary. In the summer, travelers of all types (independent, couple, friends, and families) can find something to do to craft an itinerary that won’t soon be forgotten.
As an added bonus, a lot of people wouldn’t think to travel to NOLA in the summer, so deals are to be found for smart shoppers. Most people head to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in the late winter, hoping to revel in the party scene. The city is great any time of year, though.
Must-see institutions include the National WWII Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the galleries on Julia Street. There are plenty of music shows and tours to check out as well! If you’re into all things spooky, consider educating yourself on New Orlean’s rich past with a Ghost and Vampire Tour.
7. Cheers to Boston!
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, which is rumored to be Boston. If that’s the only thing that comes to mind when somebody mentions this East Coast gem, you’re probably a fan of Diane, Carla, Norm, and Sam in Cheers. Before digging into Boston’s draws, we’ll lead with this: yes, you can visit the famed Cheers bar. And, yes, there are souvenirs!
Boston has a lot more to offer than just this one stop, however. Visitors can check out a Red Sox game or walk the campus of Harvard. Public green spaces, numerous historical stops, and foodie-approved eateries round out the plan. It’s one of the oldest cities in America!
Fun fact: Boston is a city of firsts. The oldest public grounds in the country, Boston Common, were established in 1634. The first subway line in the U.S. was built there in 1897. Even the first American public beach, Revere Beach, is in town. The city’s also known for a slew of good eats like Boston baked beans, New England clam chowder, and of course, Boston cream pie.
8. See You in Seattle!
Seattle makes for the perfect weekend getaway, but there is no rule that says you can’t extend your say. Bars, seafood, and the coast are the main drivers bringing people to the area. The only drawback visitors cite is that they usually have to rent a car as the area is geographically “spread out.”
Locals recommend putting yourself up at the Thompson Seattle or the Motif. Both options offer swanky rooftop bars, a major perk. Start on Market Street for a little shopping and check in at the nearby restaurants for Seattle-style snacks like crab cakes or salmon.
Fremont is the hot spot these days, offering quaint shops and galleries. The sweet treat in the area is Theo Chocolate Factory where there is award-winning artisanal chocolate. It’s made from scratch!
9. Hang Out Seaside in the Hamptons
In the Hamptons, a series of small towns marks the track of adventure that is sure to please. Located in Suffolk County on Long Island, not too far off from New York City, the seaside enclaves have been a hideaway for the East Coast’s rich and famous for generations.
The small towns, called hamlets, aren’t too packed most of the time. When the summer hits, though, that’s another story entirely. The area becomes abuzz with socialite outings on yachts and golf courses as well as at the high-end beaches and country clubs.
The area is famously divided by Route 27. The northside is fine, but the well-to-do prefer to stay “south of the highway” in locales like Water Mill, Sagaponack, and East Hampton Village. Of course, you’re going to want to have a Hot Lobster Roll at the locally celebrated Lobster Roll. Many people simply refer to the restaurant as LUNCH.
10. Juneau is Worth the Jaunt
If the lower 48 aren’t doing it for you, there’s always another option: Juneau, Alaska. Alaska is where the wild ones head for fishing, hunting, and stargazing in the country’s most northern state. There, the fishing is incredible. It’s easy to spot rainbow trout, salmon, halibut, and steelhead.
Yes, it’s cold in Alaska in the winter, but from May to August, there’s a climate anybody can appreciate, especially with the long days that take place there. Even better, a little whale watching could be in order (in the summer) as the marine animals head home.
Although some great deals can be found in the colder months, would-be travelers are reminded that many establishments close for the season and you’ll need to bundle up before heading out. If you’re going to head to Alaska for a fishing trip, you should do it in style with the Kodiak Resort.
The lodge is remote, set against the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. There, you’ll find brown bears, king salmon, and silver salmon. The lavish Kodiak Island Fishing Lodge suits the bill for even the most avid of fishermen.
Credit: Source link