From the buzz of New York City to the tranquil bliss of Yosemite National Park, the US is ripe for exploration. Narrowing it down to the top ten greatest US travel spots is an impossible challenge! With so much to see, it’s all about matching the adventure to the adventurer.
The best place to visit in the US all depends on you and what you’re after.
If you haven’t seen much of the country yet, go for a quintessential US road trip. For solo travelers, I’ve run through the list of the best spots for solo female travelers. I’ve also shared about spots that are better for social distancing and COVID-friendly travel.
For those of us who have already seen the famous cities and iconic sites, it’s time to move onto the hidden gems.
When you’re ready to scratch beneath the surface, it’s all about these lesser-known weekend getaways in the United States!
Easily one of the most charming towns in California, this hidden gem has been described as a “nouveau hippie utopia.”
Spend a long weekend in Ojai soaking in the hot springs; sampling the local wine, honey, and olive oil; or browsing the unique handicrafts (and maybe even making your own!).
Another hippie haven, the glow red stone mesas, and valleys of Sedona will leave you in awe. Explore the New Age shops, luxe spas, and art galleries that make this place such a unique pick or just soak in the natural beauty.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The pueblo vibe and Spanish colonial architecture of Sante Fe along with its 350 days of sunshine a year make Sante Fe an easy winner. Explore the thriving local art scene, treat yourself to a wellness retreat, or learn about the rich history of this region.
Who says you’ve got to suffer the jetlag to explore the wonders of Bavaria? Sip on imported suds in the beer garden then grab a wurst and pretzel while you soak in the wonders of Leavenworth.
Visiting Leavenworth during winter, I had the chance to visit the adorable European-inspired holiday-themed street.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
A prime winter weekend destination in the US, Jackson Hole is a nature lover’s paradise. Walk amongst the greenery, spot buffalos (from a safe distance), and watch the eagles fly overhead while you breathe in the oh-so-fresh air here.
Another gem from my list of Places to Visit in Arizona (That Aren’t the Grand Canyon), Scottsdale has something for everyone. Climb Camelback Mountain, tee off at the world’s best golf courses, or just get some much-needed winter sun.
Grand Junction and Gateway, Colorado
Forget Aspen! For an unforgettable Colorado adventure, explore Grand Junction and Gateway. These must-see spots are less than an hour and a half apart, and well worth the trip.
Whether it’s a luxury ski break or a summer hike through the mountains, this year-round destination is a must.
In the Trans-Pecos high desert of West Texas, this little town is known for its modern art scene and something that you won’t find in even the biggest cities of the USA…
Bring your camera and try to spot the mysterious orbs, known as the infamous Marfa Lights.
For an unforgettable night out, head to the official Marfa Lights Viewing Area that is nine miles east of town on Highway 90. Now, just wait to see if you get a glimpse of the ghostly light. Come ready for chills, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!
How gorgeous is Forsyth Park?
This is an ideal spot if you’re heading out on an Ultimate Southern USA Road Trip. Oozing that famous Southern charm, Savannah has stunning architecture and more to do than you could possibly squeeze into even the busy weekend adventure.
Get a set of wheels and travel California in style! Travel down the Pacific Coast Highway and make a detour into Central California’s best destinations.
From San Luis Obispo to Solvang to Paso Robles, Central California is a place that far too many travelers miss out on.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Just south of Daytona Beach, you will find one of Florida’s best beaches. A world away from the spring break hotspots, this famous surf hub is perfect for catching a wave.
Be sure to check out nearby Canaveral National Seashore for a chill afternoon on a secluded beach.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Also known as Lake City, this dreamy destination is famous for its picturesque location on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Whether you want to get your heart racing with ziplines and waterparks or spend laidback afternoons on the water, this is the ultimate summer break.
Pack your hiking boots, swimsuit, then simply choose your adventure on arrival. You’ll feel like a kid just starting out summer break all over again!
During a revitalizing wellness and hiking retreat in Moab, I fell in love with the otherworldly beauty of this unique region. Hiking amongst the red rocks and exploring the rugged landscapes, the Mars-like scenery takes your breath away.
San Juan Islands, Washington
Take the scenic ferry trip from the mainland to the San Juan Islands to explore one of America’s best archipelagos.
Mingle with the locals in the seaside town of Friday Harbor then trek your way through Lime Kiln Point State Park for a chance to see the orca whales swimming by.
Block Island, Rhode Island
On the opposite end of the country, you’ll find another island prime for exploration. Hike or bike your way from the Southeast Lighthouse sitting atop the striking cliffs of Mohegan Bluffs then get up close and personal with the locals at Block Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Finger Lakes, New York
From Cape Town to California, I’ve been lucky enough to taste my way through the world’s best vineyards. Amongst the most underrated wine destinations is Finger Lakes.
Known for its world-class Rieslings, this is a prime pick for a weekend exploring the countryside.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
As much as I love visiting Yosemite, the other great parts of the state often get overlooked. You’ll find some of the best campsites in California around Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, and there are great picks for an adventure day out.
St. Augustine, Florida
On the northeast coast of Florida, you’ll find the oldest city in the US. Wander the cobblestone streets, soak in the European colonial architecture, explore Anastasia State Park, then hit up the beach.
When it comes to the Best Destinations in the United States for Leaf Peeping, few places can compete with Stowe.
The explosion of color in this magical autumn destination will knock your hiking boots off. Grab your camera and come ready for a show.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
This tiny car-free island comes alive in the summer. While it’s worth a visit all summer long, there’s one very special day each year here. This island holds a Fourth of July celebration that can compete with the best Independence Day festivals in the US.
So, where’s it going to be? Is your next adventure going to be a wine tasting weekend? An adventurous hike? I’d love to hear which of these made your bucket list of must-see American destinations.