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The Best Places To Travel Alone In The USA

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AnneLise Sorensen

12/9/2018

Traveling alone isn’t just empowering – it’s also, say many, more enriching. Without the buffer of a travel companion, there’s a heightened immediacy to experiencing new lands and cultures.

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In the US, take your pick of the solo adventures: you can trek through wilderness, eat your way around the world at gourmet international restaurants, and then ease into the night over jazz – sometimes all in the same 24-hour span.

From cities to national parks to arty enclaves, here are our pick of the best places to travel alone in the USA.

Calling all solo adventurists: Boulder is the perfect spot to park your hiking boots. Sitting in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this is an outdoor town with plenty of year-round activities that you can take on solo, from skiing to cycling.

After dark, the fun continues, with a buzzing nightlife – check out the brew pubs of Pearl Street – and a diverse array of cheap international restaurants, where you can comfortably (and inexpensively) wine and dine alone.

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Key West isn’t just different from Florida – it’s different from the entire country. The southernmost point in the US, Key West is as famous for its sunny shores as for its offbeat, anything-goes, wild and playful side.

Solo travelers are enthusiastically welcome here, with all sorts of inclusive events, from open-air concerts to impromptu parades to dive beach bars where, after a few drinks, everyone knows your name.

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The San Francisco spirit can be summed up in two words: be yourself. This is a city that embraces solo travelers, with free summer concerts and festivals – dance on the grass at the lively Stern Grove Festival – to Bay Area Bike Share, which makes it easy and cheap to pedal around the city.

Plus, many of San Francisco’s restaurants have inviting bar seating for one. And, of course, there are the cable cars: hop on, hang on, and see the city with the wind in your hair.

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4. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Leave Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon to the hordes of summer family travelers. Instead, trek through America’s lesser-known pockets of wilderness like Hot Springs National Park, which is one of the smallest and oldest national parks in the US.

Make your base in the town of Hot Springs, which forms part of the park, and once you’ve hiked the trails, soak in a traditional bath at Buckstaff Baths.

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Looking up at Sedona’s famous red rocks as they glow under the setting sun is a memorable experience – and even more so when you’re alone. The area’s magnificent stillness is best enjoyed without any companion chatter.

When you’re ready to join others, there are plenty of ways to do so, such as the First Friday Art Walk (first Friday of the month), which circulates through the top galleries in town.

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Where better to travel solo than in one of the most famous singles’ cities in the country? Atlanta’s thriving nightlife includes many solo-friendly options, from trivia nights at the bars of East Atlanta to singles’ meet-and-greet events at the cocktail lounges of glitzy Buckhead. The city’s sights are also made for solo-exploring, including Piedmont Park and the High Museum of Art.

7. The college towns

Cheap, friendly, and festive: America’s student-thronged college towns – from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Lawrence, Kansas – are a gift for solo travelers. Time your visit with a game day – cheering along with thousands of face-painted fans at a college home football game is the ultimate slice of Americana. As is consuming beer, hot dogs, and more beer.

A perfect American itinerary? Travel from one coast to the other, stopping at college towns along the way – kick off the trip in leafy Cambridge, Massachusetts (Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and end in colorful Berkeley, California (University of California at Berkeley).

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Sometimes, the best solo experiences aren’t in America’s big cities, but in its small towns, like Beaufort, South Carolina (population circa 4000). This is a charming microcosm of the South – a vine-draped historic district, moody antebellum mansions, and a breezy seaside perch on Port Royal Island. Amiable and safe, Beaufort is ideal for solo meanderings, followed by a mint julep (or three) on a breezy porch.

In some cities, festivals are a special occasion. In Austin, they’re a way of life. The capital of Texas is a music town, with one of the greatest concert calendars in the country. The city’s tunes are matched by its BBQ – and its great outdoors, with a wide array of solo-friendly activities, from strolling sun-speckled parks to splashing in local swimming holes, like Barton Springs.

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If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. That famous quip about New York especially applies to solo travel in the city. Yes, New York is loud and bewildering, but it’s also where you’ll likely have the most memorable solo experiences in the country, whether walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, or curling up with a book under a tree in Central Park. Enjoy roaming the great halls of the Metropolitan Museum and sipping a cocktails under the stars on a rooftop bar.

11. The hiking trails

The famous naturalist John Muir once said: “in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” And this is particularly true for solo hikers, where your only companion is nature itself, and any chatter comes from the birds. America is a boon for solo hikers, with well-maintained trails that fan out across the country.

Trek a section of the Appalachian Trail, the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, which extends from Maine to Georgia; embark on the 37-mile Teton Crest Trail in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park; or, follow in the footsteps of John Muir, on the John Muir Trail through the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. For solo-hiking safety tips, check the National Park Service.

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12. The open road

When it comes to solo travel, there’s nothing quite like taking the wheel and cruising the open road while singing as loudly (and badly) as you want. The USA is the quintessential road trip nation, with vast highways and freeways crisscrossing every state.

Try the famous Route 1 that traverses the length of California – don’t miss stunning Big Sur – to the mountain-flanked Seward Highway in Alaska to Highway 16 through Texas Hill Country, where you can refuel in towns like Bandera, the self-proclaimed “Cowboy Capital of the World.”

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Escape to the Tropics or ski your heart out in one of the Stunning January US Travel Destinations

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Best Places To Travel In JanuaryBest Places to travel in the US in JanuaryNew York Best Place To visit in January in the USAJanuary Travel Destinations in the US

The holidays are over and the winter has set in throughout much of the United States in January, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle in, too. If you are looking for the best places to travel in the US in January, look no further. January is a great time to travel in the United States. Whether you want to hit New York City for the ball drop and some winter museum hopping, escape the cold in southern Florida, see some whales in California, or take that tropical vacation you’ve always dreamed about in Hawaii, don’t wait until those spring rates go back up, hop on a plane or hit the road and explore one of these best places to travel in the US in January.

Best Places To Travel in January in the United States of AmericaBest Places To Travel in January in the United States of AmericaNew Year's DayOahu waterfall

Best Places To Travel In January In Florida

Florida is a natural choice for an eastern US winter escape in January. Here are a few gems from the sunshine state to warm up your winter.

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria IslandAnna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island, Florida may very well be the best kept secret on the Gulf of Mexico. Located about an hour south of Tampa, FL this gem has managed to maintain the Old Florida feel with no high rise hotels and quaint shops and amazing restaurants. You won’t believe the colors and beauty of this place not to mention the mild temperatures in January with highs still in the low 70s. Take a day trip to Sarasota for some shopping or visit the Mote & Marine Aquarium with the kids. Read our full review of Anna Maria Island.

Amelia Island, Florida

OMNI AMELIA ISLANDOMNI AMELIA ISLAND

Looking for mild winter temperatures, great golf, historic travel, and a secluded old south feel? Consider a January vacation in Amelia Island, Florida. You probably won’t break out the swimsuit, but you may well not need that winter coat either. Take the kids to explore Fort Clinch State Park and make time to enjoy the historic downtown. Read our full review for more Things To Do in Amelia Island, Florida.

Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach, FLPanama City Beach, FL

Home to 27 miles of coastline, Panama City Beach, Florida is a destination that should definitely be on your US bucket list for a January vacation. Not only is it a tropical paradise, with palm trees and sandy beaches at every corner, there are Panama City Beach activities for everyone. 

If water adventure is your thing, we highly recommend shipwreck diving or spending the day on a fishing charter. Additionally, there are two amazing state parks in this town, Camp Helen State Park and St. Andrew’s State Park that are definitely worth exploring. And if you’re looking for a more relaxing day, pick your spot on the beach and soak up the sun. 

Panama City Beach is as adventurous or relaxing as you want to make it!

Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz @GettingStamped

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL

Blessed with no fewer than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and annual temperatures that average 75°F, Fort Lauderdale is one of the best spots in the US for a winter break in January. Hire a car in Miami and head north near the southern tip of the Florida Panhandle, an area home to amazing sand beaches and expansive wetlands. 

It’s an important starting and stopping point for cruises, while the city itself features a beautiful oceanfront promenade, a historic riverfront, canals, shopping opportunities and great food.

Active travelers can go diving and snorkeling in the Atlantic Ocean or go for runs on the many miles of beaches. A quick jaunt to the west brings you into the Everglades Wildlife Management Area. For a dose of culture, the Arts and Entertainment District is the place to go.

Matt from Go4CarRental.com

Best Places To Travel In January In California

Taking a road trip in California in January sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Here are a few of the great places to to visit on the way.

Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz, CASanta Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz, California is a small beach town in the California central coast, just an hour and a half south of San Francisco. But Santa Cruz isn’t just great for summer travel, because the weather hovers in the 60’s most of the year, there’s plenty to do in January as well! 

January is the perfect time to do some whale watching along the Monterey Bay. While you can take a whale watching tour to get up close and personal, you can often spot the whales from the beachside cliffs, which is perfect and FREE. 

If you’re in the mood to see more wildlife, you can check out the elephant seals in Ano Nuevo State Park.The breeding season starts in January, and you can see newborn baby elephant seals. You do need reservations for the guided tour, but the tour itself is pretty easy and the weather in Santa Cruz is beautiful so it’s not strenuous. Do yourself a favor and visit the Pie Ranch that’s on the other side of the highway from the park for some freshly baked pie.  It’s so worth it. 

Other things to do:

·      Go kayaking in the Elkhorn Slough to see California sea otters;

·      Go for a hike at Big Basin State Park and see the California redwoods;

·      Bike down Westcliff Drive and enjoy the views;

·      Walk along one of the many beaches and enjoy the crisp sea breeze. 

Ale at Elote Sisters

Monterey, California

Whale in Monterey Bay, CAWhale in Monterey Bay, CA

Monterey, California is great to visit at any time of year, but January is a wonderful time to see gray whales on their annual migration! And it’s not just a few whales, but 20,000 on their way to Baja California, Mexico from Alaska. You can also see Humpbacks, and Blue Whales, too. This is a fabulous time to book a whale watching tour, but you can often see the spouts from shore if you don’t fancy a boat trip. Do know it can be windy and cold on the water, so layer up!

You should also make time to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium while you’re there! Tickets are a little pricey, but well worth it. It’s HUGE and the exhibits are extremely well done. They’re a wonderful organization that supports ocean research and conservation.

You also can’t miss Cannery Row, the historic street that was once upon a time home to sardine factories, but is now lined with shops and restaurants along the beautiful waterfront! Note that Monterey can be cold, foggy, and windy at any time of year, so prepare accordingly.

Kelsey from Sights Better Seen

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, CaliforniaBig Sur, California

One of the best places to visit in January in the USA is the stunning Big Sur region of California. Temperatures remain mild throughout the winter months and crowds are significantly lower than you would see during the busy summer months. Spend a day or two exploring the sites located in and around Big Sur including Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Waterfall and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park where there a number of trails to explore. It’s also worth taking the time to pull off the Pacific Coast Highway and enjoy the numerous coastal walks while watching the waves crash into the Californian coast. If you have enough time, it’s worth driving north from Big Sur and exploring Monterey or Carmel which are both lovely towns with interesting things to do and see. 

Michael of The World Was Here First

San Luis Obispo, California

San Luis Obispo, CA- Great January Travel DestinationSan Luis Obispo, CA- Great January Travel Destination

San Luis Obispo is a sleepy college town (home to Cal Poly SLO) with perfect weather all year round, and beautiful scenery. SLO (San Luis Obispo for short) has a lovely downtown area I’d also recommend walking around in. There are lots of shops, both small and large, and great places to eat. Go to Bubblegum Alley (and add a piece if you’d like!) and see Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa nearby!

Even if you don’t actually stay in one of the rooms, stop by the Madonna Inn for a tour. The rooms are uniquely decorated. They have a PINK tennis court and the men’s bathroom has a waterfall in it. It’s definitely an interesting place to visit if you enjoy eclectic and eccentric roadside attractions. While there, enjoy a meal or dessert at the Inn restaurant and a walk around the grounds.

Kelsey from Sights Better Seen

Best Places To Travel In January In Hawaii

Are you really looking for the great American escape for January? Why not consider the trip of a lifetime to one of the fabulous island destinations in Hawaii?

Oahu, Hawaii

Best Places to travel in the US in January for a tropical escape- Oahu, HIBest Places to travel in the US in January for a tropical escape- Oahu, HI

January in Oahu is perfect. The weather isn’t too hot and the further you get from the New Year holiday, the hotel rates plummet. It’s a great place to trade shoveling snow for digging your toes in the sand. Because most families are back in school, there are fewer crowds at popular tourist spots like the Polynesian Cultural Center, Dole Plantation, and Pearl Harbor.

January is also the start of whale watching season in Hawaii and you might get lucky and see the humpback whales migrating either on a boat tour or while relaxing on the beach. You can also go on amazing Oahu waterfall hikes, kayak in rivers, learn to surf, and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau. It’s a great place to kick off the new year!

Marcie Cheung of Hawaii Travel With Kids

Maui, HI

Travel to Maui, HI in January Travel to Maui, HI in January

Maui is blessed with dozens of golden sand beaches, January highs around 80 degrees, and reliably sunny skies. You can surf warm waves in the morning, and snorkel with dolphins in the afternoon.  And unlike crowded Honolulu, it’s easy to find an empty stretch of sand to relax on.  Best of all, January is peak whale season, so you can even spy a humpback breaching from shore.

If you’ve had your fill of ocean activities, Maui offers a couple of amazing road trips; You can drive right to the the summit of Haleakala, a 10,000-foot dormant volcano.  And, the legendary “Road To Hana” takes you through 600 turns of tropical rainforest and waterfalls to a peaceful Hawaiian village. Read more about the best things to do in Maui here and about where to stay in Maui here.

Sam Wilbur of Worldwide Wilbur

Kauai, HI

Best tropical paradise to travel to in January Kauai, HIBest tropical paradise to travel to in January Kauai, HI

The island of Kauai, is known as the Garden Isle, meaning that it is the wildest and greenest of the Hawaiian Islands and a beautiful place to travel in the month of January.  Travelers might think that winter is the off season in Kauai, but the beautiful weather year-round has snowbirds flocking there to soak up the sun.

January is peak season in Kauai for watching humpback whales come to the tropical waters to birth their calves. It is worth traveling to Kauai in January for this reason alone! You can view these majestic creatures from the water on a boat tour with Captain Andy’s or you can watch from the shore at Kilauea Lighthouse.

The Na Pali coastline is Kauai’s stunning mountain lined beaches that can only be accessed by boat, helicopter or hiking. In winter, the waters are too rough for boat rides, but an aerial view will gift you with the most incredible views of the majestic ridges and gushing waterfalls. A helicopter tour would be one of the best activities to add to your Kauai itinerary. If you have young children with you, the private plane rides with Wings Over Kauai would be a great choice, and Jack Harter’s Door Off Helicopter Tour is best for thrill seekers.

Kauai’s green landscape is so vibrant and colorful due to its high rainfall, so staying in Poipu on a winter trip will bring you more sunshine and calmer waters for snorkeling. Poipu Beach Park is a great spot for seeing tropical fish and swimming during the winter months. A sunrise walk on Shipwreck Beach is also a perfect way to start the day in paradise.

Sierra Schmidt of Free to Travel Mama

Best Places To Travel In January For A Traditional or Adventurous Winter Vacation

If you aren’t necessarily looking to escape the winter, but rather want to enjoy some traditional US winter holidays, consider some of these iconic US travel destinations for January.

New York City, NY

Best US travel destination in January to ring in the New Year- New YorkBest US travel destination in January to ring in the New Year- New York

There’s no question that when one thinks of quintessential places to travel in January in the US, New York City come to mind. If you are dreaming of ringing in the new year in New York, don’t forget to leave time for all the other fabulous things to do in New York in January. Enjoy ice skating in Central Park, stroll around Brooklyn for fabulous views of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge or walk on the Williamsburg Bridge for a different view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the incredible buzz of New York daily life. Finally, get out of the cold with a visit to one of New York’s amazing art museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum.

Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across The World

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky, MTBig Sky, MT

January is an excellent time to travel to Big Sky, Montana. The holiday crowds have mostly left and after the New Year is often a great time to find fresh snow and excellent powder – which is important if you’re planning on hitting up the excellent ski runs at Big Sky Resort. Beyond the skiing and snowboarding, the Big Sky Town Center has craft beer, delicious restaurants serving hearty fare, and cozy cafes – perfect for a hot drink or satisfying meal after a day on the slopes. Even non-skiers will enjoy cozying up in front of the fireplace during a winter stay at one of the many mountain lodges and cabins located around Big Sky.

There’s also an ice skating rink in the Town Center for some extra winter fun. Big Sky is located in the southwest part of Montana within the Rocky Mountain Range. Big Sky is about an hour’s drive north of Yellowstone National Park and an hour south of Bozeman, Montana, where you’ll find the state’s busiest airport. 

Gina of Travel Montana Now

Denver, CO

Inn restaurantMonterey

If you need to get away for a weekend getaway, visit the Mile High city. Two days in Denver this winter are all you need to step away from the stressful daily grind and return with a smile. What’s not to feel good about. The city is clean and buzzing with creativity. Plus, they use scooters to get around that people just drop off on the street. Like without a lock! Just one of the reasons to appreciate the vibe of this cool, laid back city. From the gorgeous Red Rocks Amphitheater, to endless music venues, breweries and public art there are countless reasons to spend a weekend in Denver this January. 

Blake at Style Island

Grand Canyon, AZ

New Year's DayOahu waterfall

The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is an excellent place to travel in January. Located in Arizona, this national park is home the world’s most famous red rock canyon, one of the seven natural world wonders. It is beautiful year-round and attracts visitors from around the world during all seasons, but winter at the Grand Canyon is a wonderful time to visit if you would like to avoid excessive crowds. You will find that you have most of the trails to yourself, you will not have to wait to take photos in popular spots, you be able to dine at the lovely restaurants without reservations (although they are recommended if you want the best views), and you will have no trouble finding a parking spot for your car.

Exploring the Grand Canyon in January will also allow you to avoid the excessive heat. With highs in the upper 50s (F), you will need warm layers. Warm coats, hats, gloves, and sunglasses are recommended. Snow storms are a possibility, so wear proper shoes for exploring in the snow. Keep in mind that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed in January, so you will need to stick to the South Rim.

Leah from An Adventure Is Calling

You Might Also Be Interested In our Other Best Places To Travel In The US Guides

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Best Places To Travel Alone in The US

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The USA is remarkably vast. From its east coast to the west, it is packed with countless unique and memorable experiences. A destination famous for its national parks, dynamic cities, gorgeous beaches, rich historical sites, and quaint countryside, USA has always been a favorite among holidaymakers. However, ever wondered how a solo traveling experience would be in the USA, while the country offers plenty of places for families and friends to get together and enjoy quality time. But there are also many excellent destinations that are ideal for solo travelers in the US. So where to travel solo in the USA? The guide below will give you an overview of the 11 best cities in America for solo travel. Undoubtedly, some of the best places to travel alone in the US even for the first time for a solo traveling adventure.

Best Cities For Solo Travelers in the USABest Cities For Solo Travelers in the USA

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USA’s Best Solo Travel Destinations

San Francisco, California

Solo travel California - San Francisco in California

Solo travel California - San Francisco in California

The moment you step in San Francisco, you feel one of their own. One of the coolest places to visit in the US, San Francisco lets you wander freely and enjoy pleasant warmth and memorable experiences. Enjoy the beaches, the wharves, the friendly neighborhoods, free concerts and events at your own pace. Not to mention the glorious vistas of Golden Gate Bridge and the iconic tram ride through the streets of San Francisco. This is one place you would instantly fall in love with its locals, its ambiance and stunning vistas.

 

 

 Las Vegas, Nevada

Best solo vacations USA -  Las Vegas in Nevada

Best solo vacations USA -  Las Vegas in Nevada

Las Vegas is one of the most popularized places to travel in the USA. One would think of Las Vegas as a place where you cannot travel without any company. However, traveling solo to Las Vegas gives you immense freedom and plenty of things to do on your own. You get to lavish in a luxury, party all night, take hot air balloon rides, get to know people and make new friends. Las Vegas will never give you a dull moment on your trip.

 

 

 New Orleans, Louisiana

Best places to travel alone -  New Orleans in Louisiana

Best places to travel alone -  New Orleans in Louisiana

New Orleans might be famous for its Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras, but there is much more to this appealing township. The city is a great place to enjoy the sublime ambiance, good company, and great food. The city is renowned for its pulsating nightlife, music scene and the eclectic blend of French, African and American cultures. The colorful street murals of the By water neighborhood, its charming alleys, and nature parks, colonial and antebellum heritage – New Orleans take you through a soul-soothing journey away from the urban masses and chaotic life.

 

 

Asheville, North Carolina

Solo travel California - Asheville in North Carolina

Solo travel California - Asheville in North Carolina

If you have always felt that the USA is all about modernism, a visit to Asheville will open your eyes to a different  and new perspective. Surrounded by pristine mountains, Ashville is a city filled with historical buildings and a vibrant art scene. Stroll around the city to view its historical elements and grab a bite at its quaint cafés and craft breweries. You can also enjoy the sightseeing on the city’s trolley tours.  It is a great place for being outdoorsy, to meet people and saunter around. The trekking or biking adventure on its nature trails is a must do while you are here. Its lush rolling mountains are scattered with countless gorgeous waterfalls.  Take a trip to Asheville and guaranteed you will be smitten by this place the moment you arrive.

 

 

 Moab, Utah

Best place for solo trip - Moab in Utah

Best place for solo trip - Moab in Utah

If you feel like taking a hiatus from the modern hustle bustle of the world, check out Moab in Utah – a haven for serenity and outdoor adventures. Add a twist of adventure to your solo travel and head to its pristine national parks which are among the popular USA tourist attractions for travelers. It is a great place to enjoy the serene solitude amid nature’s splendors. Moab is popular for camping and hiking, and its astounding scenic vistas make it worthwhile to enjoy the sublime solitude blended in wonders of nature.

 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Safest cities for women to travel alone in the US - Cape Cod in Massachusetts

Safest cities for women to travel alone in the US - Cape Cod in Massachusetts

Appreciate the slow pace of life, pause a little and enjoy the moment. That’s what a visit to Cape Cod is all about.  Teeming with beautiful, pristine beaches, Cape Cod lets you get your dose of nature’s wonder and stunning sunsets. This destination is safe for female solo travelers as well. Take a drive on the scenic route, go hiking on the nature trails or simply bask in the serene beachside ambiance. Whatever you choose to do, Cape Cod will leave a lasting impression on your mind.

 

 

Nashville, Tennessee

Best cities for solo travelers in the USA - Nashville in Tennessee

Best cities for solo travelers in the USA - Nashville in Tennessee

Enjoy the mishmash of country music, culinary delights, historical attractions, and amazing art and culture scene. The upbeat downtown offers live music concerts and plenty of restaurants and cafes to mingle with locals and relish a scrumptious meal amid good music. The city preserves its historic charms and offers exciting experiences of horse-drawn carriage rides. Known as the Music City, you can find yourself wandering around houses of music industry’s popular stars and almost every night you can witness a musical concert. You can take a tour of the city on the Old Town Trolley and even go hiking on the city’s gorgeous hiking trails.

 

 

New York, New York

Best cities in America for Solo Travelers - New York

Best cities in America for Solo Travelers - New York

New York is one of the most lively cities in the world invites you to explore its vibrant ambiance, multicultural facet, and its numerous tourist attractions. The Big Apple is a city that is always on its toes throughout the year. The city is a medley of people from different nationalities and all walks of life. That’s why New York is a great place for solo travelers as you will never feel that you are all alone in a big city. It’s an ideal place to meet new friends and start new friendships. Also, there are so many iconic attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Empire State Building to name a few which are ideal for visiting on your own to enjoy the experience wholeheartedly.

 

Boulder, Colorado

Safest places to travel alone in the US - Boulder in Colorado

Safest places to travel alone in the US - Boulder in Colorado

Nestled amid the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, Boulder in Colorado is one of the pleasant and safe cities to visit in the USA. The city is sheathed in nature’s abundance of snowcapped peaks, picturesque meadows and vineyards blended with a charming township. The ambiance is refreshing and gels perfectly with the warmth of the friendly locals. The quaint settings of Pearl Street, the massive slab stones of Flatirons, vibrant teahouses, all will just make you fall in love with this US city. Here are also plenty of adventure activities to look forward to such as hot air ballooning, cycling tours, and skiing and snowboarding during winters. There won’t be a single moment that makes you feel lonely on your Boulder trip. Life’s amazing here with good food, lively people and great art and culture scene. It has been voted as USA’s Happiest City by National Geographic.

 

Washington D.C 

Best places in the USA for solo travelers - Washington D.C

Best places in the USA for solo travelers - Washington D.C

The capital city of the United States of America is a perfect destination for solo travelers. The city’s strong public transportation network, safety records and the proximity of numerous US attractions is a convenience for solo wanderers. It is also budget friendly as numerous attractions can be done free of charge.  The city’s rich historical elements, a fantastic collection of museums and monuments together with touches of art and the cultural scene makes it one of the most popular cities to visit in the USA. The city also embraces nature’s beauty within its modern and historical ambiances. If you are a nature lover, you would love taking a stroll through the city’s parks and gardens during the cherry blossom season.

 

 

Florida Keys, Florida

Solo female travel USA - Florida Keys in Florida

Solo female travel USA - Florida Keys in Florida

Undoubtedly you are going to have a lovely time in the Florida Keys even being alone. Its pristine beaches are where you can just let go of your stress and relax in the warm sunshine as azure waters lap up on sandy beaches. The Florida Keys is also renowned for its self-drive tours where you can witness the beauty of the destination flanked by the turquoise sea on a laid back road trip. The drive across Tavernier Creek Bridge to Islamorada is breathtakingly beautiful and something you will not forget in your lifetime.  If you are interested in marine adventure, then the Florida Keys offers you an array of different activities to discover its underwater treasures. At John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you can enjoy glass-bottom boat tours, scuba diving, and snorkeling trips.

 

Everyone should once embark on a solo travel sojourn in their life. The experience is unique and an enriching way to enjoy your time alone. It boosts confidence and lets you feel empowered in your life. You also get absolute freedom in choosing where to go, what to see and can be in full command of your journey. USA’s destinations are marvelous to visit for solo traveler and are safe for single female travelers as well. So tick off solo travel adventure from your travel bucket list this year. All you need to do is get your USA visa from Dubai or any places convenient to you. Plan your journey with your favorite US places and gear up for one of the best solo escapades of your life.

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Best Solo Travel Destinations in the USABest Solo Travel Destinations in the USA

Best Cities For Solo Travelers in the USABest Cities For Solo Travelers in the USA

Are you planning solo vacations in the USA? Share in comments your favorite best places to travel alone in the US.

Disclaimer: The opinions or views expressed in any guest post featured on this site are those of the guest author, do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of My Own Way To Travel. Also, all photos used in the post provided by the author and used with permission.

 

 

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10 Best Places To Travel Alone In The USA In 2021

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What are the safest places to travel alone in the USA? Solo travel in the United States, especially for women, can be incredibly intense, rewarding and interesting. If you love solo traveling and looking for some of the best places to travel alone in the USA – you’ve arrived at the right place.

The United States of America is a great destination for solo travelers. It’s pretty safe, easy to travel around and it’s absolutely full of lots of things to do alone. We have also considered how much cheap it is for budget solo travelers and backpackers, how social and how welcoming the locals were.

Keeping all in mind, I’ve put together a list of some of the best and cheap places to consider if you’re traveling alone to the US.

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#1 SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco is a fantastic vacation spot to travel alone as the locals are super friendly and welcoming to outsiders. It is one of the most romantic cities in California. San Francisco is a beautiful US city for solo backpackers with different districts to explore, comfortable tourist spots to people-watch, and the best vistas in the country.

It is very safe for female solo travelers too but I will recommend avoiding Tenderloin at night. Like any other place in the world, you must ensure your basic safety precaution.

San Francisco is a city with sunny weather most of the time and perfect for solo travelers looking for adventure activities. From Muni (light rail, buses, streetcars, cable cars) to BART (subway), public transport in San Francisco is very easy and not so expensive. It just costs $2 for one way journey in Muni.

Best Things to do Alone in San Francisco

  • Exploring the museums in San Francisco will allow you to know more information about this beautiful city. Must-visit museums in San Francisco – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
  • Even if you visit SanFrancisco for one day, you should not miss the world-famous ‘The Golden Gate Bridge’. You can take some of the best Instagram photos from this popular landmark in San Francisco.
  • Some hotels or hostels of San Francisco offer their guests a free walking tour. Don’t miss it if you are a budget solo traveler. It allows visitors to know more about the city’s history and to meet new people. Don’t forget to buy some unique San Francisco souvenirs.
  • The biggest highlight is Alcatraz Penitentiary, one of America’s highest security prisons. Book your ferry tickets way in advance.

 The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco | Cheap vacations spots for solo travelers in USA The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco | Cheap vacations spots for solo travelers in USA The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Where to Stay in San Francisco

While traveling solo, accommodation sharing is the best choice to know other travelers as well as to save some bucks. Check out the rate of some of the best budget hostels in San Francisco.

#2 NEW YORK

No matter when you are traveling, New York can be one of the best places for solo travelers in the US. This popular US city might be always filled with the crowd but still, you can find some places to travel alone in New York.

New York City is very easy to navigate and offers endless shopping options, sightseeing and buzzing eateries

Solo travelers are pretty safe in New York. Violent crime is very rare here, especially against tourists.

As mentioned earlier, New York is very easy to navigate and a perfectly walkable city. Cycling is the cheapest(free) way of getting around the city. Buses are widely available throughout the city. Visitors can take subway rides in the NYC subway.

Best Things to do Alone in New York

  • There are plenty of things to do in New York. The Brooklyn Bridge is the most significant icon of the city. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge offers a stunning view of the NYC skyline. Taking a selfie with the iconic bridge is a must if you are a selfieholic.
  • Hire a bike from Columbus Circle or Central Park Bike Tours and cycle around the huge Central Park – you can visit Jackie Onassis Lake, Gapstow Bridge, the leafy canopy of The Mall, and Bethesda Fountain.
  • Visit One World Observatory, the highest point of NYC. It offers a 360-degree stunning view of the entire city.
  • If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, take some time out in New York Public Library. Solo travelers can take a free building tour that lasts around an hour.
  • If you are on a long vacation, you must visit Beacon, Woodstock, and Shelter Island – some popular day trips from NYC.

best places to travel alone in the USA | Brooklyn, New Yorkbest places to travel alone in the USA | Brooklyn, New YorkBrooklyn, One of the best places for solo travel in the USA

Where to Stay in New York as a Solo Traveler

Book your hostel anywhere in Manhattan where public transport is pretty much available. Check out the list of some of the best accommodation in New York for solo travelers.

Read Also to Save Money while Traveling:

#3 NASHVILLE

From upbeat downtown, vibrant night parties to friendly locals and cheap local transport, Nashville, the ‘Country Music Capital of the World’, is one of the best places to travel alone in the USA.

If you are traveling alone in the US and looking for a party and live music, Nashville is the place to be. The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority offers public transit service with over 40 bus routes for central Tennessee. The regular bus service costs around $1.7 and $408 for a day pass.

Best Things to do Alone in Nashville

  • Once you reach to Nashville, you will get to know why the place is called the Music City. Enjoying live music is the must-do activities in Nashville. From Jazz to pop, you will find every genre under the sun.
  • The best way to know Nashville is to take a self-guided walking tours. Explore the musical city and see the stars honoring Hank Williams, Dolly Parton and other greats.
  • There are ample museums in Nashville for art lovers. Some of the best museums in Nashville – the Country Music Hall of Fame, Th Hermitage, Frist Art Museum, and The Parthenon.
  • Hikers have the options for more than 100 magnificent hiking trails with gorgeous greenery and beautiful scenery.

Live Music at Nashville | best places to travel solo in USLive Music at Nashville | best places to travel solo in USLive Music at Nashville

Where to Stay in Nashville as a Solo Traveler

Hotels near downtown are comparatively expensive than hotels near to the airport. To save your budget, I will recommend staying in a hostel. It not only saves your hard-earned money but also offers an opportunity to know other fellow travelers.

#4 MAUI, HAWAII

Maui is one of the cheapest romantic places in the USA and a top choice for honeymooners and couples. It is equally beautiful for solo travelers for the ultimate freedom in a place with raw natural beauty and adventure. If you plan well in advance, Hawaii cost won’t break your bank.

Maui is pretty safe for single travelers. The crime rate at Maui is very low as compared to other popular places in the US. If you are a beach lover, Maui must be your next destination for a solo trip.

Best Things to do Alone in Maui

  • Maui has some of the best jaw-dropping hiking trails in Hawaii. It is recommended to go on a group hike in Maui to feel safe and see private trails. The lush landscapes, waterfalls and volcanic craters re really worth hike in Maui.
  • Surfing in Maui one of the coolest things to do in Maui. Don’t be frightened. If you are an adventure enthusiast, you must give it a try.
  • Go for snorkeling in the Molokini Crater which is a partially submerged volcanic crater.
  • Indulge in whale watching in Maui. It is expensive but surely it will be a memorable lifetime experience.
  • Enjoy the shimmering sunset from Kaanapali.

Maui | solo travel destination in the USAMaui | solo travel destination in the USAMaui

Where to Stay in Maui as a Solo Traveler

Maui has plenty of hostels and budget accommodations for solo travelers and backpackers. Check out the rate and availability:

#5 NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans, which happens to be considered one of America’s friendliest places, can provide travelers with an incredible experience.

If you are the first timer and looking for some of the best places to travel solo in the USA – book your flight tickets to New Orleans.

Check out this article on how to find cheap flights from anywhere.

Many travelers think that New Orleans is only a party destination. But beyond these New Orleans is the most unique city in America with the best food culture and ample tourist attractions.

The locals are very friendly, warm and welcoming. New Orleans is not a large city. You can get around the city mostly on foot. You can ride the local buses or streetcars which are pretty cheap. A whole day Jazzy Pass costs just $3.

Best Things to do Alone in New Orleans

  • There are plenty of free things to do in New Orleans. Take a stroll along Bourbon Street. You will find a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, gift shops by the street. Visit the French Quarter, one of the most visited tourist attractions in New Orleans for vibrant nightlife and entertainment.
  • Don’t miss the National WW2 Museum which is also considered as one of the best museums in the world. See the historical exhibits and learn the story of the American Experience in the world war – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means. Book your ticket in advance to avoid the queue.
  • Visit the Garden District which is just 4 km away from the French Quarter. It is a refreshing place with great mansions, beautiful greenery, and innumerable shopping opportunities.
  • Go for a walk in the most notable park in New Orleans – Audubon Park and City Park.
  • Art lovers can visit the New Orleans Museum of Art that offers beautiful paintings, sculptures, glass items and historical objects.

New Orleans | Best places solo female travelers in the united statesNew Orleans | Best places solo female travelers in the united statesTrams on the street of New Orleans

Where to Stay in New Orleans as a Solo Traveler

Finding cheap accommodation in New Orleans is not a big deal. Hotels and hostels near the French Quarter are a little bit pricey. Here is some of the best accommodation you can check before travel:

#6 ATLANTA

Some solo travelers are extremely fond of food. For them, Atlanta can be an ideal solo vacation spot with innumerable dining options to choose from.

So, is it all about food and a busy airport? Obviously Not. With its rich historical importance, great neighborhoods, and amazing gastronomic offerings, Atlanta has a lot to offer solo travelers.

You don’t have to worry about local transport in Atlanta. City’s public transport system MARTA is the most efficient way to get around the city.

Best Things to do Alone in Atlanta

  • The historic Fox Theater is one of the best tourist attractions in Atlanta which is a movie house from 1929. Take a guided tour to have a glimpse behind the scenes at some of the building’s most unique architectural features.
  • Walking along the Atlanta Beltline is a must-do thing for first-time visitors. There are events throughout the year. Solo travelers, who are looking for free things, can spend a great afternoon here.
  • Adventure seekers can go for a hike to Stone Mountain. From the top, it offers breathtaking views of the city and all the green in Georgia.
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a great museum for the history buff. It is home to dinosaurs, a Star Gallery and a large theater with four storey screen.

Atlanta Beltline | solo vacation spots in USAAtlanta Beltline | solo vacation spots in USAAtlanta Beltline

Where to Stay in Atlanta as a Solo Traveler

There is definitely no shortage of world-class hotels in Atlanta. If you travel alone in Atlanta and are looking for cheap accommodation, you might have to struggle to find some budget accommodation in Atlanta:

#7 AUSTIN

When it comes to choosing a safe place to visit alone, Austin must be in the upper position of the list. It’s a great destination for single travelers and an easy place to feel comfortable.

Austin is one of those US cities which are quickly becoming one of the best travel destinations in the USA. The cool cafes, friendly vibes and charming downtown of Austin are perfect for solo travelers.

Downtown Austin can be explored on foot. However, renting a bike is the best and cheapest way to get around the city. Metro bus ticket is also cheap. You can buy a day pass at $2.50.

READ ALSO: Best & Cheap Places to Visit in Fall in the USA

Best Things to do Alone in Austin

  • Discover the famous landmarks and charming sightseeing of Austin on a guided bike tour. Pedal through the city and visit Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake. Take some stunning pictures of Austin skyline.
  • Go for a hike along the scenic Barton Creek Greenbelt and see the Flats, Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls. There is also plenty of adventure activities such as rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking etc.
  • Diving into Barton Springs Pool is another popular activity that a solo traveler can enjoy in Austin. This natural water pool stays a chilly 68 degrees all year round.
  • While in Austin, you should not miss Live music crawl with local musicians and explore Austin’s diverse music scene.
  • Enjoy a jaw-dropping sunset from the top of Mount Bonnell.

Downtown Austin solo vacation places in USADowntown Austin solo vacation places in USADowntown Austin

Where to Stay in Austin as a Solo Traveler

Austin is getting popularity day by day which results in ample tourist accommodation here on all budgets. Check out the price and availability:

#8 PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia is one of the best and cheapest places in the USA for solo female travelers where you don’t need to do much plan. Traveling solo in Philadelphia is relatively easy. It is also known as ‘City of Brotherly Love’.

The local people are very friendly with tourists. Philadelphia is pretty much safe for single women. Although it is recommended to stay within the tourist area. Public transport is very good in Philly. It’s an easy city to walk. If walking is not your thing, use the subway system.

Best Things to do Alone in Philadelphia

  • Solo travelers must take a hop-on hop-off bus tour and discover the signature landmarks of Philadelphia tat your own pace. Visit the Independence Hall, Ben Franklin’s Grave and many more.
  • Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The museum has a good selection of pieces by Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne. Spend an hour watching the impressive paintings there.
  • Independence Hall is the most iconic and significant building of Philadelphia where independence was declared in 1776. Take a guided tour(free) to know more information about it.
  • The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps unarguably two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia. Take some selfies with the Rocky Statue.

 Hop-on hop-off bus tour in Philadelphia Hop-on hop-off bus tour in Philadelphia Hop-on hop-off bus tour in Philadelphia

Where to Stay in Philadelphia as a Solo Traveler

Check out some of the best accommodation for solo travelers in Philadelphia :

#9 WASHINGTON D.C

Even inexperienced solo travelers will find navigating the streets of Washington DC a breeze. It is the capital of the United States. The city is very walkable and the streets are lined with heroic figures and historical landmarks.

DC boasts countless free museums, the National Mall and towering monuments and many more. You can use buses and rail in the DC area as local transport. Circulator buses are cheap($1) and tourist-friendly and run to all of the key destinations in the city.

Be careful when riding alone on public transportation. Keep an eye on your belongings. Washington DC is safe until and unless you maintain the basic safety precautions.

Best Things to do Alone in Washington DC

  • There are several museums that are free in DC. Among all the fantastic museums and impressive monuments, I will highly recommend visiting Newseum at first. It features fascinating exhibits about current events in the United States and around the world.
  • You can take a bike tour along the National Mall and the Potomac Tidal Basin. Visit the significant tourist attractions like presidential and war memorials and take a break to explore the monuments.
  • If you are a bookworm person, you would definitely love to visit the Library of Congress. It has over 32 million books and printed works in 470 languages. Even if the book is not your thing, you will admire the beauty of this architectural building.
  • Visit the Washington Monument which is the iconic symbol of Washington DC. Take a breathtaking panoramic view from the top of the city.
  • Experience the best of Washington DC at night with a nighttime trolley tour. See the most popular monuments of the US capital illuminated at night. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the World War II Memorial.

Washington Monument | Best US cities for solo travelWashington Monument | Best US cities for solo travelWashington Monument

Where to Stay in Washington DC as a Solo Traveler

Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, McPherson Square, and Penn Quarter are the safe area to stay in Washington DC. For cheap accommodation look to the nearby suburbs of Bethesda, Alexandria, Arlington, and Silver Spring.

#10 LOS ANGELES

With a unique combination of stunning hiking trails, great food and gorgeous beaches, Los Angeles is one of the best places for solo vacations in the USA. With so many tourist attractions and amazing museums, Los Angeles will have you so busy that you won’t ever feel alone.

This is the only US city where renting a car is highly recommended to visit all the tourist attractions. It is relatively cheap, but you should book in advance to get a great deal. Public transportation is also affordable here. The public transit system consists of Metro Buses, Metro Rail and Trains DASH Buses. You can use Tap Card to ride any of these.

Best Things to do Alone in Los Angeles

  • Hit the beaches. Spend some alone time laying on the sand, walk around the little shops or you can play beach volleyball. Popular beaches include Santa Monica, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, and Hermosa Beach.
  • If you are looking for some adrenaline-pumping activities, LA has plenty of hiking trails. I will recommend going for the Griffith Observatory hike which offers a jaw-dropping panoramic view from the top. You will also get a fabulous view of the Hollywood sign from here.
  • If you rent a car for your trip, you can take a scenic drive through Los Angeles’s canyon roads or the famous Mulholland Drive. Check out the ultimate road trip essentials before starting your road adventure.
  • LA boasts some fantastic modern art museums and science museums which are perfect for some alone time. Some of the most visited museums in Los Angeles are the Grammy Museum, Natural History Museum, Museum of Death, and Museum of Broken Relationships.
  • From Historic Bradbury Building, incredible architecture to exploring unique pieces of modern art, and several coolest street art; there are plenty of fun things to do in Downtown LA.

Shops at Los Angeles | Best solo travel destinations in USAShops at Los Angeles | Best solo travel destinations in USAShops at Los Angeles

Where to Stay in Los Angeles as a Solo Traveler

Check some of the best accommodations for solo travelers in LA.

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15 Best Places To Travel Alone In The US

Alcatraz Island

Are you planning a Solo trip? Searching for the best places to travel alone in the USA? 

Solo travelers enjoy the privilege of exploring new destinations, meeting new people, making new friends, and collecting life-changing experiences. The best part is the USA has many such places if you want to travel alone.

Sometimes, it feels like solo vacations take away your comfort. But the confidence and richness of experiences you receive are priceless when you try solo traveling. Pick up the attractions you love the most, check the modes of transport, hospitality & costs and start your journey.

15 Best Places To Travel Alone in the USA

  1. Boulder, Colorado
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. Portland, Oregon
  4. Nashville, Tennessee
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  9. Boston, Massachusetts
  10. Florida Keys, Florida
  11. Big Sur, California
  12. New York, New York
  13. San Diego, California
  14. Seattle, Washington
  15. San Francisco, California

1. Boulder, Colorado

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the USPC: Flickr.com

If you love solitude and all the perks that come with it this is the perfect place for you, and why wouldn’t it be with 30,000 acres of uninterrupted land open to the public? If you’re in Boulder, Colorado don’t forget to visit Chautauqua Park and the Flatirons which are some of the most beautiful places in the city. The best thing about Boulder is that every attraction of the city is located within a 2-mile radius, which makes this city perfect for self-exploration. Know more Why Boulder Is A Top Destination For Solo Travelers

2. Chicago, Illinois

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the US

If you don’t want to explore the wilderness and want to do something fun and engaging there is no better place than Chicago. This city has many interesting things to offer ranging from the great museums, grand theater to a beautiful lake front. You can explore Chicago by renting a bike and just cursing along the 18-mile long ride along the Chicago Lakefront Trail. The city of Chicago is also known for the amazing deep dish pizza, don’t forget to try one of those out! It’s also one of the best party cities in the USA!!

 

3. Portland, Oregon

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the US

Portland is a pretty weird city with lots of unusual attractions, but doesn’t that sound like a perfect place for solo traveling? The overall vibe of the city is pretty warm and the locals are very welcoming towards tourists. There are many activities you can do here which includes fishing for the Dungeness crab and eating it or just go on a quiet hike in the surrounding thick forest trail. Checkout why Portland is brilliant solo travelers

Also Read –14 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations in the USA

4. Nashville, Tennessee

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the USPC: flickr.com

Nashville might just be the perfect place to travel alone in the USA for you. The famous southern hospitality can be seen here with people going out of their way to help you. Don’t be surprised if you make a couple of friends at the end of the day itself. It is also a historically rich city proof of which can be seen at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. If you are looking for a fun time we recommend you join the Nashville Pedal Tavern tour which will take across all the important landmarks of the city, oh did we mention that they also serve alcohol onboard?

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the US

Philadelphia is a culturally rich city with a lot of activity. It also offers many attractive destinations that will keep you occupied for the entirety of the trip. You can start off your day by visiting the Independence National History Park to find the famous Liberty Bell. When you’re done run up the famous Rocky steps while singing Eye of the Tiger out loud, this will take you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Take a stroll through the museum and browse through the amazing collections of exhibits made by different local artists. At the end of the day head down to a restaurant to enjoy the famous cheesesteak (or two). Read this Philadelphia Solo Travel Guide

6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the USPC: flickr.com

If you are just looking for a long walk on a beach you should head down to Myrtle Beach, California. It is a quite 1.2-mile long radius with nothing more than the sand and the sand. There are some restaurants and food trucks nearby but you will have to head down to the Boardwalk for a bite. If you are done with some much-needed soul searching and silently walks of solitude head down to The Bowery which is a famous hot-spot for its nightlife. The bars are usually open till late night which makes them perfect for bar-hopping with the friends you just made at the beach.

7. Washington, DC

Washington DCWashington DCPC:Richard Ricciardi/Flickr

If you ever find yourself alone in Washington D.C with nothing to do, don’t worry! The city has a lot of attractions within its compact limits. There are tons of museums here that you can explore. Some of them are free, and some of them charge a nominal fee. If you find yourself fascinated with history visit the National Museum of American History which consists of a large number of exhibits showcasing American culture throughout the years. If you are into art visit the American Art Museum or the National Portrait Gallery which will take you through the works of many talented artists around the country.

Check out: Best Beaches near Washington DC

8. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New MexicoSanta Fe, New MexicoPC:Ron Cogswell/Flickr

This New Mexico city is filled with rich southwest architecture which was left behind during the Spanish colonial era. But if you’re not in the city to admire old buildings we recommend you explore the beautiful desert of Santa Fe and just take in the picturesque beauty of the Rocky Mountains. If you want to learn more about the city’s history visit the New Mexico History Museum or the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. At the end of the day to relax visit the Ten Thousand Waves Spa. After all solo adventure is all about treating yourself right. Few things you Should Know Before Visiting Santa Fe.

9. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, MassachusettsBoston, MassachusettsPC:Tim Sackton/Flickr

Boston is one of the oldest cities in America is filled with many historical attractions. You can start your adventure by visiting the Boston Common which you will discover on Freedom trail, if you continue on the trail you’ll also find Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitutions. If that’s not enough for you to visit the museum of Fine Arts which showcases many historical exhibits. To relax at the end of the day head down to Sam Adams Brewery and have a pint (or three).

10. Florida Keys, Florida

Florida KeysFlorida KeysPC:sporadic/Flickr

If you think there is no better place to relax than a beach vacation, then Florida Keys should be on top of your list of places to travel alone in the US. Its white soft sand and beautiful turquoise water are easy on the eyes and feet alike. If you want to take full advantage of your beach vacation there are plenty of activities like scuba diving, snorkeling and Para-gliding available, but if you want to just relax and read a book that can be done too, as this beach is mostly empty.

11. Big Sur, California

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the USPC: flickr.com

Which place is more perfect for a solo traveler than one of the best coastlines in the world! The stunning rugged seashore views are something you can cherish while you are alone. Big Sur does not only offer sightseeing but also offers hiking and camping and other outdoor activities. The Pine Ridge Trail and the Mt. Manuel Trail are some popular trails in Big Sur. Being a solo traveler, you will definitely enjoy events that are held in Big Sur every now and then. The Big Sur International Marathon, Big Sur River Run, and Big Sur Folk Festival are some of the most vibrant events held in the city.

12. New York, New York

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the US

What’s better than visiting NYC? Visiting NYC alone! This city of dreams, colors, and hopes lies on every millennial’s travel bucket list. Whether it is the enormity of Empire State Building or the liveliness of Times Square, New York City will never fail to make you go awestruck. The array of international cuisines available here will be your perfect companion on your solo trip to NYC. Indulge yourself in the modern culture of New York and make your solo trip memorable.

13. San Diego, California

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The relaxed vibes that San Diego embodies are perfect to soothe the wandering and slightly tensed mind of a solo traveler. The mild year-round climate and extensive beaches are a nice blend to enjoy. San Diego is the most appropriate place to visit when you need time for yourself. It is serene and happening at the same time. The Balboa Park, the SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo and the Seaport Village are some popular tourist attractions in San Diego apart from beaches. San Diego is the best place to unwind and soothe your soul.

14. Seattle, Washington

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the USPC: flickr.com

Located across the Puget Sound, Seattle is a postcard-perfect place. Seattle is gigantic and enormous skyscrapers, crowded public markets and leading industries surrounded by serene water bodies, untouched mountains, and lush greenery. Shopping and wandering through the hustle and bustle of the city for the whole day and relaxing under the stars while camping, what else does a solo traveler want? The Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle Aquarium, Space Needle, Lake Washington, Seattle Square, and Alki Beach are some of the many tourist attractions in Seattle.

15. San Francisco, California

Best Places To Travel Alone In the USBest Places To Travel Alone In the USPC: wikipedia.org

Who does not want to click a picture at the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco? What makes it more interesting is that you get to be your own muse! San Francisco may not be a widely spread city, but it is full of interesting things to do. The Golden Gate Park, the Fisherman’s Park, the Alcatraz Island, Ferry Building Marketplace and Twin Peaks are the major points of interest in San Francisco. The city is also famous for its restaurants. Also, some of the nation’s best chefs reside here!

What are you waiting for? Pack up your bag and get going!

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10 Best Places to Travel in May

food festival

If you’re ready to get a jump start on summer travel, here are our picks for the ultimate May trip, whether you want to lounge beachside, experience natural beauty, chow down during a food festival, or meander through medieval city centers.

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Looking for a Memorial Day trip or inspiration for a late spring break? May is the best time to take advantage of shoulder season in historic cities such as Stockholm, or if you prefer, to avoid rainy season and enjoy sunny days in Cuzco. Here are the 10 best places to travel.

Spend time in such places as the Moderna Museet (the Museum of Modern Art), one of the myriad museums scattered throughout Stockholm.

Stockholm

May is good for: history buffs

The Swedish capital is made up of 14 islands linked by more than 50 bridges, and it is full of charms for people of all ages. May is one of the best months to go—temperatures are mild and days are long, but the high-season prices haven’t hit yet. If you arrive as early as May 1, you’ll experience May Day, when festivals and parades abound.

Get a sense of Stockholm’s medieval history by wandering the cobbled alleyways of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) and its many historical buildings and sites. Here, you’ll find the Storkyrkan, the city’s main cathedral, and the Museum of Medieval Stockholm, which tells the city’s tale during the age of nobility and knights. Catch the pomp of the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace (12:15 p.m. on weekdays and 1:15 p.m. on Sundays).

A favorite city retreat is Hagaparken, a large royal park just north of the city center. It has lawns, lakes, and woodland, not to mention three regal residences and the Butterfly House with its 700 butterflies flitting about. A great end-point from a long walk is Koppartälten (the Copper Tents), three copper structures painted bright blue and gold that resemble something straight out of a Narnia novel. Constructed in 1787 and once used as royal stables, they were designed by King Gustav III’s theater architect. Today, one of the faux tents houses a café.

Another popular city center oasis is Djurgården, where you can experience rolling Swedish countryside a short bus ride away. Besides being a lovely place for locals to picnic and take summertime walks, the island is home to many historical sites and museums like the Abba Museum, the Spirits Museum (liquor, not ghosts), the maritime Vasa Museum, and more. —AFAR Editors

While different whales migrate through Monterey Bay year-round, May is an especially great time to spot humpback, killer, and blue whales.

Monterey, California

May is good for: sea lovers, whale watchers

Located on California’s central coast about a two-hour drive from San Francisco, Monterey Bay spans 40 miles from Santa Cruz in the north to Pacific Grove; it is teeming with sea creatures, thanks in part to Monterey Canyon, a submarine canyon descending 6,000 feet below sea level. Visitors can witness the migration of different whales year-round, but in May there are opportunities to spot killer, humpback, and blue whales, which migrate through December. Music lovers can also appreciate the increasingly popular music festival, California Roots Music & Arts Festival, held over Memorial Day weekend.

Ranked among the world’s greatest marine museums, Monterey Bay Aquarium is the area’s main tourist draw and welcomes 2 million guests a year. Floor-to-ceiling glass viewing walls allow visitors full views of underwater ecosystems, like the Kelp Forest (where leopard sharks roam) and Open Sea (home to sea turtles and huge schools of sardines). Morning feedings of the African penguin colony and the always-playful sea otters are crowd-pleasing delights.

Active travelers of all levels will find a suitable land or sea adventure in Monterey. To truly immerse yourself in the local lifestyle, grab a kayak, get out on the ocean, and watch the clouds and coastline drift by. Gliding across the waters of Monterey Bay in near silence can be a humbling and serene experience, or it can turn into a bucket-list encounter with playful schools of dolphins or breaching whales. —AFAR Editors

Churchill Downs opened in 1875 and has been home to the Kentucky Derby ever since.

Louisville, Kentucky

May is good for: booze hounds, equestrians of all levels

The Kentucky Derby captures international headlines on the first Saturday in May, with mint juleps, elaborate hats, and edge-of-your-seat horse racing, but it’s the Kentucky Derby Festival that puts on the real show. Although there are events as early as November, the festival ramps up during the two weeks prior to the Derby, and pretty much anything goes: a steamboat race, hot air balloon chase, marathon, and concerts with big-name acts.

The horse race isn’t the only reason to visit Kentucky in May. Cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate the city’s reputation as the center of the bourbon-making universe, with most of the world’s supply coming from the city and its surroundings. In downtown, the elixir bubbles forth from gleaming copper stills at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. Family friendly exhibits take you back to 1783, when bourbon making began, while production tours show how it’s done today. A few blocks away, elegant Angel’s Envy offers tours and tastings of its slightly sweet, port-cask-finished whiskey.

To visit the distilleries like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, you’ll have to road-trip into the surrounding countryside. Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail provides itineraries for 19 small craft distilleries or 18 big-name ones, and visitors can get a passport stamp to show that they’ve visited (and opportunities for prizes). If you decide to take the double trail tour, plan on at least a week to visit all 37 distilleries. —AFAR Editors

Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, sits in the Andes Mountains, only a day-trip away from the city of Cuzco.

Cuzco

May is good for: adventurous spirits, hikers

The Andean city of Cuzco was once the heart of the Inca Empire. Situated 11,000 feet above sea level, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most visited cities in Peru. Although May is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s also the beginning of the dry season and hasn’t quite hit high season for crowds yet. The area is the gateway to the Sacred Valley and stunning swaths of the Amazon Basin, as well as Machu Picchu.

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Set in a remote, achingly beautiful corner of the Andes—all emerald peaks, snaking mists, endemic orchids, and meandering llamas—the most famous Inca citadel has the rare power to induce one of life’s pinch-me moments. To work around the crowds, consider a hiking adventure that puts you at the ruins before daybreak. The classic Inca Trail takes you from the outskirts of Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu’s Sun Gate over the course of three nights and four days. Though the trek isn’t easy—the Inca era was clearly the golden age of comically steep mountain staircases—there’s an embarrassment of riches along the way: the ever-shifting terrain, microclimates, flora, fauna, and plenty of Instagram-worthy views (hello, snowcapped Vilcanota Range), to say nothing of the Inca ruins sprinkled throughout. Another way to work around the crowds? Opt for a conservation trip with AFAR Travelers’ Choice Award–winner REI Adventures to help preserve Machu Picchu’s archaeological heritage.

Other amazing ruins to see include the terraced circles at Moray, believed to be an agricultural complex (but no one knows for sure); the stronghold at Ollantaytambo, which served as the base for the Incas’ Spanish resistance; and the underrated house complexes at Winay Wayna along the Inca Trail. All are near Machu Picchu, although some are harder to get to than others. —AFAR Editors

Orcas swim off the coast of Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

May is good for: active travelers, road-trippers

Melting snow and blooming trees mark the beginning of spring in British Columbia. Bears come out of hibernation, orcas and humpbacks start their migration north, and restaurants brim with spring seafood (salmon, halibut, spot prawns) and foraged treats (spruce tips, fiddlehead ferns). May 1 marks the start of hiking season on the renowned West Coast Trail.

Vancouver Island—which has the capital city, Victoria, and the wood-shingled surf town Tofino—packs a lot into its 12,000 square miles. Come 2020, there are even more ways to explore. In Tofino, where travelers can surf and kayak, there are new additions to the town’s flourishing culinary scene, such as the Tofino Distillery and the vegan restaurant Bravocados, and new suites at the Pacific Sands Resort. The reigning queen of Tofino hospitality is still the Wickaninnish Inn, however. Its renovated Pointe Restaurant and On the Rocks bar—all wood and ocean-view windows, with a bar fashioned from local marble—will open a new wine cellar and event space in time for World Oceans Day (June 8). A new, nearly 15-mile multiuse trail that stretches from Tofino to its coastal neighbor, Ucluelet, is in the works. Travelers can book cycling tours with Pacific Rim Eco Tours in Ucluelet. The island is also home to 50 First Nations communities, with many offering immersive ways for travelers to connect with Native traditions. Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours is slated to run three trips along the island’s northern coast that highlight various aspects of the Homalco culture.

By the way, Vancouver Island is about 70 miles west of Vancouver. A road trip is one of the best ways to connect with the land and sea: Travelers can rent a car in Vancouver and take the 95-minute ferry to Victoria, or they can take a roughly 30-minute flight from Vancouver and rent a car from Victoria’s International Airport. It takes 5.5 hours to drive the island from end to end. A more enjoyable experience? Opting for the Oceanside Route, which parallels the water as it leads through quaint towns on the island’s east coast. —Serena Renner, as seen in the January/February 2020 issue

Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

May is good for: stargazers

The world’s largest salt desert, located in Bolivia’s high-altitude plateau, is becoming a luxury outpost. And May—the tail end of the wet season and the beginning of the dry season—is an ideal month to visit: The flats, located in southwest Bolivia, are more accessible, and thanks to the mix of sunny and rainy days, travelers may be able to see the salt flats both dry and when they are flooded, which creates the surreal mirror effect captured in countless photos.

In May 2019, the Swiss outfitter Amazing Escapes partnered with Bolivia’s indigenous Jirira community to open Kachi Lodge, the region’s first permanent luxury lodge. The highly sustainable camp, located at the foot of the Tunupa volcano, comprises six solar-powered geodesic domes with wood-pellet stoves, bay windows, and incinerating toilets. Reclaimed wood furniture, traditional bayeta textiles, and artwork from Gastón Ugalde (considered the Andean Andy Warhol) decorate the lodge. Claus Meyer, the Michelin-starred chef behind the destination restaurant Gustu in La Paz, oversees the menu, and dishes are made from native Bolivian ingredients. Guests can stargaze through the onsite telescope, take culinary classes, get an art lesson from Ugalde, or explore with a private guide part of the otherworldly terrain that spans over 4,000 square miles.

—Nora Walsh, as seen in the January/February 2020 issue

Sailing is a popular way to explore the British Virgin Islands.

British Virgin Islands

May is good for: snorkelers

Skip hurricane season (June through November) and visit this Travelers’ Choice Award–winner in spring, when the weather is balmy and underwater visibility is high, revealing colorful reefs and historic shipwrecks.

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Besides, with the reopening of several major resorts in 2020, this is the year the British Virgin Islands fully rebound from the devastating 2017 hurricane season. Richard Branson’s Necker Island reopened after multimillion-dollar renovations in late 2018, unveiling additional accommodations and wind turbines that produce almost all of the resort’s energy. Over on Virgin Gorda, Rosewood Little Dix Bay reopened in January 2020 with midcentury modern interiors that hark back to when the resort first opened in 1964. As for the Willy T, the beloved floating bar and restaurant destroyed in Hurricane Irma? A newer, larger replacement serves up rum-soaked fun just off Norman Island, believed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

There are no direct flights to the islands from the U.S. mainland, but several airlines connect to Tortola via San Juan, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean hubs. Travelers who fly to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands can ride the ferry to Tortola—part of the local ferry network that makes island-hopping easy and scenic. Those who prefer to plot their own course between turquoise coves and pirate caves will find crewed yachts and catamarans ready to charter. —Kristina Malsberger and Lyndsey Matthews, as seen in the January/February 2020 issue

Coqui frogs are endemic to Puerto Rico—and travelers can spot them in El Yunque National Forest.

Puerto Rico

May is good for: nature nuts

Many consider mid-April to late May in Puerto Rico the sweet spot: Winter crowds clear, prices drop, and official hurricane season (June through November) has yet to begin. Travelers who want to experience the bioluminescent glow of Mosquito Bay (off the island of Vieques) should plan a trip over Memorial Day weekend to coincide with a new moon.

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has rebuilt itself better and stronger. With renewed pride and increased self-sufficiency, the island offers a flurry of new enticements. They include new and refreshed hotels: in the Condado district, La Concha, dating back to 1958, has unveiled a $15 million renovation; and El Conquistador in Fajardo, on the eastern end of the island, will fully reopen this year. On the culinary front, Puerto Rico’s most famous restaurant, José Enrique, which features locally sourced ingredients, recently reopened closer to the beach in San Juan. There’s Spoon Food Tours’ modern chinchorreo, a party bus that makes culinary stops throughout the countryside, and the new Ron de Barrillito Visitor Center in Bayamón, where guests can enjoy tours and tastings and fill their own bottles with Puerto Rico’s oldest rum. In the capital, the recently opened entertainment complex El Distrito San Juan lures visitors with a concert arena, restaurants, bars, a dance club, and Puerto Rico’s first urban zip line. And while there’s no zip line in El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. national forest system, visitors will find fascinating species—including the Puerto Rican screech owl and the indigenous coquí frog—that have weathered the storms. —K.M.

Hundreds of restaurateurs and thousands of eaters will gather for the fifth annual Food Zurich festival in May.

Zurich

May is good for: chocolate fans, food lovers

Though Zurich might evoke images of a city full of financiers in business suits, the historic lakeside city in northeastern Switzerland is also a lovely summer stop for travelers. And May is the perfect time to visit: Peak season has yet to strike, the weather is mild, and some noteworthy flavors are on display. First up is Food Zurich, an 11-day culinary fete that offers more than 100 food-centric events: Attendees get to taste both traditional Swiss fare and experimental dishes, take part in cooking workshops, watch talks and demonstrations by lauded chefs (kitchen battles, anyone?), and more. Then, from May 8 to June 7, the seventh annual Street Food Festival will take place. Sushi! Cupcakes! Dumplings! Tacos! And musical entertainment is on tap for eaters, too.

But perhaps the most thrilling event in May isn’t a food festival at all, but a building opening—the Lindt Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg, about 25 minutes outside Zurich by public transit. This May, the 65,000-square-foot complex will open, containing the world’s largest Lindt shop, as well as interactive exhibits on cacao and Switzerland’s chocolate pioneers, a “Chocolateria” where up to 60 participants can learn the art of chocolate making, plus a nearly 30-foot-high chocolate fountain. —Sara Button 

The Infiorata flower fest is one of a number of events taking place across Sicily in May.

Sicily

May is good for: all types of travelers

“One doesn’t come to Italy for niceness,” British novelist E.M. Forster once wrote. “One comes for life.” Indeed, May is a great time of year for a trip to Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, just west of Calabria, the tip of the Italian boot. May still counts as shoulder season; warm days mean the water is comfortable enough to take a dip but the weather is not as toasty as it gets in summer. Starting May 20, 2020, a new seasonal United flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Palermo Airport is opening up the beautiful isle to American flyers with the only daily nonstop option.

Even better? The gem of an island has something for every type of traveler. Love food? Snack on the freshest of seafood (think super fresh prawns and stuffed sardines) or arancini (bites of breaded, deep-fried risotto) or sweet ricotta-filled cannoli. Hiking more your style? Join a guided hiking tour to summit Mount Etna, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Europe’s highest volcano (budding volcanologists, take note: it’s active). Is “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” your theme song? Every May, San Vito Lo Capo, a seaside town with white sand beaches and turquoise waters, hosts an international kite festival. Have an ardent love of arias? Teatro Massimo, Palermo’s opera house, is Italy’s largest and reportedly has perfect acoustics; in May, catch The Merry Wives of Windsor. Consider yourself a flower child? During the Infiorata di Noto on the third Sunday of May, master florists cover a main street in the baroque town of Noto with designs composed entirely of flowers.

We could go on, but you should just book the ticket and let us know what your favorite part was. —Sara Button

This story originally appeared on February 20, 2019. It was updated on February 11, 2020, to include current information.

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The Best Fall Travel Destinations in the United States

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As far as I’m concerned fall is the best season for traveling in the United States. The air is a little cooler, summer’s crowds have died down and trees are set ablaze in gold, russet and burgundy. Fall also brings forth a host of festivals and seasonal culinary delights. I asked a few of my fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite fall travel destinations in the United States; with destinations from New England to California this list will surely have you packing your scarf and hiking boots to plan your next fall trip.

The Best Fall Travel Destinations in the United States www.casualtravelist.com

This post contains affiliate links, when you make a purchase or book a hotel through these links the Casual Travelist receives a small commission that helps support this site at no additional cost to you.

Acadia National Park, Maine

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Nowhere does fall’s splendor quite as brilliantly as New England . Maine’s Acadia National Park is the crown jewel of the Atlantic coast.  Granite peaks transition into dramatic cliffs and rock strewn shores and the trees are a dazzling show of crimson, amber and gold. Climb to the top of Cadillac Mountain to catch the sunrise, these are the first rays to hit the US each morning. Want to break free from the crowds near Bar Harbor? Head to the western side of Somes Sound which is know to locals as “The Quiet Side”; the southern loop of Acadia offers up spectacular hiking with a bit of solitude.

Acadia National Park Hotels

Yours Truly- The Casual Travelist

Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Fall is a magical time in the Eastern US, but perhaps there’s no place better for fall color than Chattanooga Tennessee. Why? It’s the southern tip of the great eastern deciduous forests before the start of Georgia pines and conveniently accessed by a host of Interstate Highways. It’s also where autumn leaves peak right before Halloween. It’s like you have two holidays in one. Autumn leaves and Halloween are like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together.

Towering above Chattanooga is Lookout Mountain, where it’s rumored that you can see seven states from the summit. There’s no better vantage point to soak in the rolling hills of amber leaves. A thousand feet underneath the mountain, there is a different kind of celebration of color. The 145′ tall Ruby Falls, America’s largest underground waterfall splashed down to a synchronized light show. Ruby Falls also hosts Dread Hollow, a bone-chilling haunt experience. From mountain high to cavern low, Chattanooga knows how to celebrate the season.

Chattanooga, Tennessee Hotels

Jenn and Ed Coleman -Coleman Concierge

Burlington, Vermont

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Burlington, Vermont is one of the best destinations in New England, and if you’re looking for fall foliage and a fun city—it’s the ideal fall destination, too. 
Burlington is the “largest” city in Vermont, but compared with other urban spots, it is practically a tiny hamlet. Full of arts, nature, craft beer, and all things Vermonty, Burlington has so many things to do. It’s a college town, with UVM right nearby, which means you can expect a town with a lot going on. And set right on the edge of Lake Champlain, the city boasts commanding lake views. There’s lots of beauty here.
In the fall, the views over Lake Champlain are at their best, with the colorful Adirondack Mountains in the distance. The weather is lovely this time of year, and visitors may want to rent bikes and go cycling along the miles-long bike path that fringes the shores of Lake Champlain. 
Don’t miss Church street, a pedestrian-only walkway filled with great shops, restaurants, and lively buskers. And of course, the local craft beer (and cider!) is a must. There are countless places downtown to grab a good brew.
Head away from the Lake for some excellent hiking that can be reached within 20 minutes-1 hour away from Burlington. The Green Mountains are one of the most beautiful places to go for a fall hike. 

Burlington, Vermont Hotels

Amy and Nathan Hartle – Two Drifters

White Mountains, New Hampshire

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New England is known worldwide for amazing fall foliage. One of our favorite places to experience fall foliage at it’s finest is the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The mountains are the perfect place to highlight the oranges, reds and, yellows with nothing but the blue sky behind those bright trees. With less man-made structures in the White Mountains nature is showcased beautifully. Take a hike on one of the many trails in New Hampshire to get right in with the foliage and if you are inclined above the trees! Another great place in the White Mountains to fully appreciate the autumn leaves is near water, the leaves turn faster at water’s edge so be on the lookout for streams, ponds, and lakes.  Be prepared the foliage takes a little longer to turn up north in the White Mountains due to the cooler temperatures.  Check local foliage guides to see when peak is for your visits.  A tip from us: some of the major routes can be busy with leaf peepers but take a side road and enjoy the foliage without the crowds.

White Mountains, New Hampshire Hotels

Cathy Merrifield – Nothing but New England

Oak Glen, California

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When people think of Southern California images of beaches and awing palm trees come to mind…Not exactly a destination to experience autumn. but just inland there is a community nestled in the foothills of the the San Bernadino Mountains is the amazing and unexpected community of Oak Glen. Whole hill sides are apple orchards and pumpkin patches. What isn’t farmed is riddled with parks and a conservancy full of sunflowers and oak trees to hike around and get lost in. 
This Family makes the trek there every year to keep our traditions of picking apples for our homemade apple butter and choose the perfect pumpkin for our front entryway. (Who am I kidding-we usually get four) Oak Glen keeps American history alive throughout with different properties that specialize in bringing the Old West or Colonial time periods to life. There’s even an old schoolhouse made of stone that you can tour from the early 1900’s. 
Pumpkins and history aren’t enough to sway you to jump in the car right now? I have two words APPLE CIDER. Seriously!! What’s better than homemade apple cider? (The correct answer, in fall anyway, is nothing) You can watch it be pressed or press it yourself the old fashioned way! There are hard cider varieties as well so truly something for everyone! 

Oak Glen, California Hotels

Jen Tousey – This Family Blog

Western North Carolina

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“Turn right at the stop sign, stay left at the place where there’s kind of a fork in the road, don’t drive off of the winding mountain path for 1-2 miles, turn left at the Christmas tree farm, park along the dirt road, unplug the electric cow fence, climb over the barbed wire, and viola! You’ll be in the high vineyard.” That was the advice given to us by our innkeeper in Banner Elk, a small town set amongst the mountains of western North Carolina, touting itself as the “Ski Capital of the South.”But my husband and I weren’t there for the skiing – we were there for the leaves! “Ooookay,” we responded, unsure of what we were getting ourselves into. But when we reached the high vineyard to soak in the views and the gorgeous 75-degree temperatures just one week before the colors would be blotted out by a blanket of icy snow, our skepticism exploded all over the inside of our practical 4-door sedan. We were celebrating his return from Afghanistan, and viewing the vivid fall colors from atop the secluded mountain was the perfect “Welcome Home.”

From there, the drive to Asheville was visually spectacular. Asheville is rife with affordable B&Bs, and we snagged one within walking distance to town to enjoy the fresh autumn mountain air and spectacular colors – and so we could both partake in those glorious craft cocktails for which foodie towns are famous and make lots of new friends. For romance, restaurants, and maybe a chance rendezvous with fun local swing band, the mountains of western North Carolina will forever remain, in my mind, a top fall travel destination.

Asheville, North Carolina Hotels

Katie Gard – Domestiphobia

Estes Park, Colorado

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While there are plenty of fun activities all year round in Estes Park, Colorado it is especially unique to visit in the fall. September through October is mating season for elk, so you are just about guaranteed to see a few of these majestic animals roaming around town. In fact, locals even refer to the month of October as “Elktober”! In honor of the season and to educate visitors about the elk, Estes Park holds an annual Elk Fest celebration.   It was certainly a different type of fest than I have ever been to before, but it’s one that is worth attending! They have Native American music, elk-inspired arts and crafts, dancing and storytelling, self-guided elk tours, a craft beer garden, and more! During this season you’ll also notice the very distinct sound of elk bugling, whether it’s from the actual elk or just the people participating in the Elk Fest Bugling Competition. Between the elk and the beautiful fall colors with the Rocky Mountains backdrop, I don’t think you can go wrong with Estes Park as your fall travel destination!

Estes Park, Colorado Hotels

Marissa Sutera- Little Things Travel

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, straddling the line dividing North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains is the most popular of all the US National Parks, attracting around 9 millions visitors each year. The park’s gorgeous mountain landscapes deserve every bit of attention they get and boast a diverse array of wildlife species, including Deer, around 1,600 Black Bears, and lots of birds. But the most noteworthy animal you can see in the park is its ever-expanding herd of Elk. These huge herbivores once roamed these hills in the thousands, but they were killed off by hunters in the 1700s. There are now more than 150 in the park thanks to a reintroduction program started in 2001, and Cataloochee Valley (which is surrounded by stunning 6000-foot mountains) is the perfect place to see them. Autumn (especially October) is the best time to visit, because the herd’s males will be in full rut and the leaves will be reaching their jaw-dropping crescendo of color. Helpful park volunteers will gladly tell you all about these animals, including where the herd was spotted last. But we found a number of them on our own while wandering along a lovely hiking trail next to a popular trout-fishing stream. The trail also takes you past several historic buildings, including a 19th century schoolhouse, barn, and a home that visitors are welcome to explore. 

Smoky Mountains National Park Hotels

Bret Love & Mary Gabbett – Green Global Travel 

Shenandoah Valley, Virgina

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The Shenandoah Valley, which follows the Shenandoah River through western Virginia and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, has always been my favorite fall destination. There are dozens of charming little towns with events and festivals to attend, wineries showcasing some of Virginia’s best wines and picnic spots, and Blue Ridge Mountain trails to hike, but best of all is the fall foliage. From September into November, the abundant leaves on the maples, sumacs, hickories and ashes that prevail in the valley put on a spectacular show of colors.

Meandering along Skyline Drive is the perfect way to see the vibrant colors of the leaves. The drive extends for 105 miles north to south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. If you pull off at some of the overlooks along Skyline Drive, you’ll see varying degrees of brilliant reds, oranges and yellows as the leaves change at different times along the stretch. The valley runs at a much slower pace than the nearby bustling cities, so it’s a good place to retreat for relaxation and quiet, especially in the fall when the year starts to slow down and melt into winter.

Shenandoah National Park Hotels

Laura Lynch of Savored Journeys

Chicago,Illinois

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Chicago is such a great city to visit in the fall. There’s a lot to see and do and it’s very easy to get around. I love walk-able cities, and Chicago is definitely one of those. It also has great parks, where during this time of year, you can see the leaves changing color. I would recommend walking through Millennium Park to see the beautiful colors of the foliage. I would also recommend visiting the Navy Pier to visit its many attractions and to get a great view of the downtown skyline. Remember to bring a jacket though! They don’t call it the “Windy City” for nothing.

Chicago, Illinois Hotels

Vicky Sosa of Buddy the Traveling Monkey

Yellowstone National Park

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If you are looking for the perfect fall getaway, look no further than the oldest national park in USA – Yellowstone. From amazing hydrothermal activity to breathtaking canyons, Yellowstone has it all. Of course a trip to Yellowstone wouldn’t be the same without heading off the beaten path and experiencing some of the finest hiking trails, with stunning scenery and landscapes surrounding you.Old Faithful may be the most popular geyser but we would encourage you to checkout alternative hot springs and geysers such as Steamboat and Beehive. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is spectacular with Upper and Lower Falls providing epic adrenalin rushes if you are adventurous enough to hike to the bottom of each. Still not convinced? Don’t worry, the myriad of wildlife and impromptu face-to-face encounters with bison, bears, elk among others will surely convince you that a trip to Yellowstone should be added to your upcoming travel plans.Whether you want to camp inside the park or perhaps stay in Old Faithful lodge (if you choose this option, be sure to plan well in advance as it fills pretty quickly) there is always the option to stay outside in nearby towns such as West Yellowstone, Wyoming and Big Sky, Montana. The fall season is the perfect time to visit Yellowstone as temperatures are a little cooler than the heart of summer yet there is still enough light in the day to maximize your time here.

Yellowstone National Park Hotels

Chris and Heather Boothman of A Brit and a Southerner

San Francisco, California

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The best time to visit San Francisco is the fall.  It is our Indian summer and between the warm, mild weather, the activities and the food, you are going to need more than a few days to enjoy it.Many of San Francisco’s “villages” such as Castro and Potrero Hill, hold their annual festivals where you can experience the amazing diversity of the city’s neighborhoods.  There are major film festivals in San Francisco and a huge music festival in Treasure Island (which we kind of consider as part of SF).  But the biggest party of them all is Fleet Week.  It is something to see, with ship visits, air and boat shows and lots of events along San Francisco’s waterfront. Oyster season begins just before autumn starts and goes through the winter, so do not miss out on $1 oyster happy hours that are all over the city.  Early November marks the start of Dungeness crab season and plenty of restaurants show off their unique crab dishes through the new year.  The best way to sample our famous crab is to get the equally famous Ciopinno and there is no better place to try than San Francisco’s oldest restaurant, Tadich Grill.The kids are back in school, baseball season is nearly over and the holidays season hasn’t quite started yet, the perfect time to check out one of the U.S.’s most iconic cities!

San Francisco, California Hotels

Andi Fisher of Misadventures with Andi

Do you have a favorite fall travel destination? I’d love to hear about it, please share with me in the comments!

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US Travel: 25 Best Places To Visit In 2020

Adam Perry Lang
Miami Beach Travel 2020

In the surf in Miami Beach, which is one of the 25 best places to travel in 2020.

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What’s on your travel list for 2020? Maybe this is the year to see more of the United States. After all, there’s so much to love in our own backyard. I tapped into a handful of travel experts and influencers to find out the top places in the USA that they recommend visiting in 2020. Their picks range from historic cities to mountain getaways to some up-and-coming locations that you might not know—but that you need to see in the new year. Compare these to the best places in the US that the experts chose for 2019. I’ve also got my own shortlist of some of the travel spots I’m most excited about in the US for 2020. 

For those of you who want to explore beyond our borders, check out the 27 top places to travel in 2020, where travel experts select next year’s most compelling destinations around the globe.

Want to see where to go in 2021? Check out this year’s list: “The 20 Best Places To Travel In 2021: Where To Go Next.”

Or do you just want to add some amazing places to your travel bucket list? Check out: “Bucket List Travel: Top 10 Places In The World And Top 29 In The U.S.”

And now, read on for the 25 best places to visit in the United States in 2020. These are locations that will make every American citizen very proud.

New Orleans where to go 2020

On a porch in New Orleans, which is one of the top places to visit in 2020.

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Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

Chosen by: Natalie DiScala is a writer and editor at JohnnyJet.com, covering travel trends, products and family travel.

Why: New Orleans may masquerade as a Mardi Gras party town, but really, it’s a city with a rich history that’s known for its music and food scene—not to mention the festivals. New Orleans has about 130 festivals each year so there’s really no bad time to visit. In 2020, the city is throwing its doors open to host the Women’s Final Four games as well as the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship, making it the perfect time for sports fans to visit. But even if you’re not into sports, New Orleans has so many things for visitors to do. Bourbon Street is the obvious choice for food, drink and jazz and it’s definitely a must-visit location, especially for first-timers to the city. (For easy access to Bourbon Street, check into The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, which is in a 1908 Beaux Arts Maison Blanche building and is wrapping up a transformation to the guest rooms, suites, corridors and the spa just in time to kick off the new decade.)

Also check out Frenchmen Street for more live music and a different vibe altogether. Beignets at Café du Monde is the ultimate tourist trap but for good reason; it’s worth a stop on your itinerary, both for the atmosphere and the tasty treats. The Garden District is a charming part of town with beautiful homes (think: everything from cottages to mansions) to gawp at and nearby Magazine Street offers cafes and restaurants where you can refuel before hitting up the nearby antiques shops and boutiques.

READ MORE: “The 20 Best Places To Travel In 2021: Where To Go Next”

Vail, Colorado

Writer Becca Ingle in Vail, Colorado.

Photo courtesy of Becca Ingle

Where: Vail, Colorado

Chosen by: Becca Ingle is an avid family travel blogger. She is the founder of BeccaIngle.com, where you can read all her travel guides. Follow her on Instagram to see behind the scenes of each trip (@Beccaingle).

Why: Vail, Colorado, is the perfect destination for families and travelers looking to find everything in one central spot. Stay at the amazing Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail to be steps away from Vail Village, a popular town with heated cobblestone streets for strolling, restaurants and bars, coffee shops, ice-skating, a movie theater and a bowling alley, all within reach. The country’s largest free transportation system runs frequently, making it easy to access almost anywhere from Vail Village to Lionshead Village without the hassle of driving. 

Pop over to the Gorsuch store to get all your ski rentals and winter clothing for the season. It has everything from designer clothing to home goods and even whimsical gingerbread houses. Vail’s extensive snowmaking upgrades and expansions have opened up nearly 200 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking terrain to allow longer ski seasons. Opening day for Vail Mountain was November 15 and the mountain remains open through April 19, 2020. Put the kids in Vail ski school at Golden Peak Mountain and ski over 5,317 acres of mountain terrain. During peak season, make sure to check out Epic Discovery, where you can ride a rollercoaster through the snow and tube down the mountain. It also has adventure courses, zip lines, a mountain coaster, tubing hills, a climbing wall, bungee trampoline and much more available in the summer months. To get the most bang for your buck, make sure to purchase the Epic Pass for the 2019–20 season. If you are feeling adventurous, book a day of dog sledding with Mountain Mushers, a two-hour scenic ride through Vail Mountains and you will feel like you are in a Christmas card.

Hudson Valley, NY

A summer evening in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie.

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Where: Hudson Valley, New York

Chosen by: Devorah Lev-Tov is a freelance food and travel writer based in Brooklyn who regularly writes for The New York Times, Afar, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Robb Report, among others.

Why: The Hudson Valley is where New Yorkers go to escape the city when they need a healthy dose of nature and relaxation. Just an hour and half north of New York City, the Hudson Valley is comprised of dozens of small, impossibly charming towns east of the Hudson River. And while the air is fresher and things do move slower in the mountains, that doesn’t mean nothing happens up here—in fact, quite the opposite is true. The region recently debuted the third outpost of the beloved Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Rhinebeck, complete with a luxurious spa and wet-room and a knockout Charlie Palmer restaurant. Plus, all 50 rooms have deep soaking tubs and fireplaces, ensuring a cozy and tranquil getaway. Grab a bite at the new Hudson Valley Food Hall in Beacon that’s filled with local vendors, or head to Hudson to eat at Lil’ Deb’s Oasis—its chef-owners were nominated for the Best Chef: Northeast James Beard Award in 2019.

If you need to work off all that food, check out the new Empire State Trail, which is slated to be finished by the end of 2020. The 750-mile biking and hiking route links communities across New York State and links up to the Hudson Greenway Trails. Also new for 2020 is the kid and adult favorite, Legoland New York Resort, opening just in time for July 4th. Expect more than 50 rides for varying age levels, the New York City skyline (and plenty of other cities) built entirely out of Lego, Lego Ninjago World and more.

READ MORE: “Bucket List Travel: Top 10 Places In The World And Top 29 In The U.S.

Memphis

Writer Patrice J. Williams in Memphis.

Photo courtesy of Patrice J. Williams

Where: Memphis, Tennessee 

Chosen by: Patrice J. Williams is a travel and lifestyle writer who has contributed to Fodor’s, USA Today, Travel + Leisure and more. She also appears as an on-air expert for the Today Show, Nate Berkus Show and WEtv. Patrice can be found sharing style advice on her blog, Looking Fly on a Dime, or dishing on travel and lifestyle hacks on Instagram (@PatriceJWill).

Why: Nashville tends to get all of the love, but Memphis is bubbling over with soul and style. This year marked the bicentennial and 2020 enters a New Century of Soul, so the city is sure to have tons to check out for new and returning visitors. 

It’s hard to say “Memphis” without thinking of music—the Stax Museum pays homage to the artists who created the sounds that continue to influence current artists. Continuing into 2020 is the “Run This Town” exhibit which tells the story of a dozen Memphian women, including Estelle Axton who co-founded legendary Stax Records, home to Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. Also in 2020, Hattiloo Theater, the only freestanding Black repertory theater in five surrounding states, is set to open its 15th season. 

Eating well in Memphis isn’t hard to do and the food ranges from offerings from nationally recognized chefs to down home southern cooking that was a staple for Civil Rights activists. Memphis natives Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman have several James Beard nominations, most recently in 2019, for their string of restaurants including Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy. There are also some touristy spots that are well worth the hype and the wait, like historic The Four Way where Dr. Martin Luther King was a regular. A bustling area like Beale Street is even worth a trip if only for the she crab soup at Itta Benna, which is tucked away upstairs from B.B. King’s Blues Club

As far as highlights within certain neighborhoods, the formerly industrial Broad Ave Arts District is a hub for shopping and dining, Orange Mound art gallery, The CMPLX, celebrates its one-year anniversary in 2020 and Hu Hotel in downtown has a renovated rooftop bar with views overlooking the Mississippi River. 

Greenville, South Carolina

Downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

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Where: Greenville, South Carolina

Chosen by: Katie Jackson is a Montana-based travel writer whose work has been published by Travel + Leisure, USA TODAY, Fox News and The Sunday Times. Every trip she takes is an investment, and she likes to pay the rewards forward by helping other travelers. You can follow her adventures (and misadventures) on Instagram.

Why: Residents are so proud of being #YeahThatGreenville (the US has 35 Greenvilles), it’s the region’s most used hashtag. I don’t blame the locals for bursting with hometown pride. What sets Greenville apart from other Southern cities is its backdrop: the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 22-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail and waterfalls cascading through downtown don’t hurt either. Falls Park on the Reedy is to Greenville what Central Park is to New York. Except Central Park doesn’t boast an awe-inspiring suspension bridge floating above landscaped gardens below. Greenville also has also award-winning performance venues, North America’s only BMW museum and the most dog-friendly downtown I’ve ever seen.

Why visit now? Greenville is one of the country’s fastest growing cities, so flights are plentiful and cheap (discount airline Frontier Airlines just added service in September). Don’t leave town without trying an acai bowl at Southern Pressed Juicery or the homemade sourdough bread at the newly opened farm-to-table standout, Topsoil. My favorite place to stay is in the foothills at Hotel Domestique—a French chateau-inspired boutique hotel owned by Tour de France legend, George Hincapie.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Orlando

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is just one of the many reasons that Orlando is a top spot to visit in … [+] 2020.

Photo courtesy of Megan DuBois

Where: Orlando, Florida

Chosen by: Megan DuBois is a theme park expert and frequent traveler to magical places. She frequently covers breaking theme park news, food, drinks and trending destinations. Her work can be seen on Popsugar, Insider, Family Vacation Critic, TravelPulse and more. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Why: Orlando always has something new and interesting, but in 2020 there’s so much to do you might need to visit two or three times to see it all. For the theme park fan, Walt Disney World is the spot to be with quite a few new attractions coming or that recently debuted. Disney’s Hollywood Studios just opened Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in December 2019, following Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which opened earlier this year; and on March 4, an all new attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will start taking guests into the cartoon world. Epcot is also undergoing a huge transformation and in summer 2020, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will begin taking guests on an adventure through Gusteau’s restaurant. There’s also a brand-new stunt show coming to Universal Orlando—the Bourne Stuntacular, which will debut spring 2020. Stay at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort and Spa, opening February 2020 for easy access to both Disney and Universal, and enjoy the modern elegance of the sprawling resort.

Outside of the theme parks, there are dozens of small neighborhoods to explore, each with their own individual flair. Winter Park is a hot spot for dining, and new in 2020 is Sixty Vines, which is going to be the spot to see and be seen. The wine bar will feature more than 60 wines on tap along with Napa Valley seasonally inspired cuisine. For those looking for variety, A.G.’s Market, a new 22,000 square foot food hall is coming to Orlando and will feature local vendors and nightly views of the Disney fireworks. Knife and Spoon, opening spring 2020, is a concept from chef John Tesar, who is a James Beard Award semifinalist and Top Chef contestant.

Sun Valley, Idaho

The snow-covered mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho.

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Where: Sun Valley, Idaho

Chosen by: Teddy Minford spent her childhood in Europe before moving to Sun Valley, Idaho. She now lives in New York, where she’s always planning her next trip. When she’s not writing and editing for Fodor’s, you can usually find her reading a book.

Why: Way back in 1936, Sun Valley became America’s first ski resort, catering almost exclusively to a clientele of celebrities, financiers and international athletes. Today, it’s still the coolest ski town in the United States, with hip restaurants, cozy hotels, legendary nightlife and an astounding number of art galleries and music festivals that would rival a city 100 times its size. The year-round community of local artists, writers, small business owners, philanthropists and—yes, they’re still around—celebrities who call this place home are dedicated to the natural beauty, outdoor adventures and the fact that there’s not a single high-rise building or chain restaurant in town. Plus, the skiing’s not bad either. The word “authentic” is constantly overused in travel writing, but this place is truly one-of-a-kind and for that reason, it’s one of our favorite places in 2020.

Indiana Dunes State Park

The Caribbean? No Indiana Dunes State Park, overlooking Lake Michigan.

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Where: Indiana

Chosen by: Pauline Frommer is the co-president of Frommer Media LLC, which publishes the Frommer’s guidebooks and Frommers.com. She co-hosts two radio shows on travel (for WABC and Radio America), pens a syndicated newspaper column for King Features, and is the author of the best selling Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City 2020. 

Why: In 2020, Indiana is celebrating two important birthdays. The first is America’s newest national park, Indiana Dunes National Park, on the shores of Lake Michigan. There, visitors will discover Mount Baldy, a sand dune mountain that’s always changing shape, as well as gorgeous beaches and freshwater swimming. And then Indianapolis is coming into its own, right in time for its 200th birthday. Indianapolis is blossoming right now with a rich cultural scene and some of the most interesting museums in the United States.

Be sure to check out the Children’s Museum if you’re traveling with kids (don’t miss the dinosaur section!) and Newfields, a sprawling museum of art geared toward people who don’t typically go to art museums. The Madam Walker Legacy Center, which will complete renovations in 2020, honors the entrepreneur—and first female African-American millionaire—Madam Walker. There, visitors can engage in programming and view artifacts from her life and business. And then there’s Bottleworks, which is home to an old Coca-Cola factory that’s being turned into the newest neighborhood. It’s going to be filled with cute boutiques, nice restaurants and even a hotel. For more ideas of where to go in Indianapolis, check out Frommer’s list of the top places to go in 2020 here.

Martha's Vineyard

Walking along a beach trail in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard.

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Where: Martha’s Vineyard

Chosen by: Tiffany Dowd is a global luxury hotel expert and luxury travel influencer known as “Luxe Tiffany” and founder of Luxe Social Media. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Why: Just a 30-minute ferry from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, picturesque Edgartown is the hideaway for celebs and A-listers alike including the Obamas, who recently purchased a spectacular home in the area. A former whaling town, the streets are lined with impressive Greek revival homes, former whaling captains’ homes, upscale shops, art galleries and top restaurants.

Stay at the historic Harbor View Hotel, which recently underwent a $15 million renovation keeping its seaside chic flair and adding Bettini Restaurant under the helm of chef Patrice Martineau—a protégé of Chef Daniel Boulud. Soak up the sun on Lighthouse Beach or take the Chappy Ferry to Norton Point Beach for a day of fishing and swimming. Sail at sunset through Katama Bay aboard a restored antique traditional Cape Cod Catboat with Catboat Charters past the iconic Edgartown Lighthouse.

key west street

A colorful street in Key West, Florida.

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Where: Key West, Florida

Chosen by: Olivia Balsinger has utilized her global perspective to manifest a career as a travel expert. She ditched NYC corporate life for adventure (and lust over a Danish boy!) in Copenhagen and hasn’t looked back. Olivia has visited 103 countries and was honored as InterContinental Group’s Latin America “Journalist of the Year.” She is the co-host of the upcoming immersive travel series Journey’s Beyond and is the co-producer of Fly Brother, coming to PBS in 2020. Follow her adventures on Instagram.  

Why: A haven for fishers, foodies and beach bums alike, the Florida Keys is the 2020 U.S. destination spot that encompasses it all. Often referred to as “America’s Caribbean,” the archipelago is home to more than 1,700 islands. Key West, by far the most developed and largest city in the Keys, is a melting pot of San Francisco temperament and Caribbean temperature. It is sprinkled with fruity Key Lime pies, the flair of neighboring Cuba and a generally laid-back attitude.

No trip to Key West is complete without a visit to The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum where the prolific author lived and wrote for 10 years. And 2020 brings a new way for Hemingway aficionados to gain insight into his life—Key West Food Tours is launching a 3.5-hour walking tour that retraces the author’s steps around Old Town. The tour includes two food tastings, two cocktails, a rum sampling and a plethora of anecdotes of Hemmingway’s storied life.

For an all-day activity, FuryWatersports has an experience that begins with a 90-minute sail to the Great Florida Reef, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world, where participants can borrow snorkeling gear and jump right in. A tour of Key West’s First Legal Rum Distillery will surely add spice to any itinerary. The first for the Florida Keys, the distillery is located in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant and then converted into a pre-Prohibition Era bar called Jack’s Saloon.

Next year brings new accommodations perfect for a range of budgets. The 101-room Hampton Inn Key West has just completed a 14-month renovation, while the 5.5-acre Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort, is set to reopen in spring with 15 redesigned thatched-roof bungalow suites. And 2020 also brings exciting tech news: The Florida Keys & Key West Travel App is your key to the Keys. This new digital tool encourages safe driving and sightseeing on the famed Highway 1, using geographic locations to trigger and alert drivers of upcoming scenic, iconic and historical points—including diving spots. Plus, there are more ways to travel to this captivating frontier: On February 15, American Airlines will launch seasonal nonstop weekly service between Massachusetts’ Boston Logan International Airport and Key West International Airport, jetting visitors to this little pinpoint of paradise.

St. Louis downtown city skyline

St. Louis downtown city skyline at twilight.

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Where: St. Louis, Missouri

Chosen by: Marcia DeSanctis writes for Vogue, Departures, Travel + Leisure and Air Mail, and is the author of a New York Times best-selling book about France. 

Why: Why doesn’t everyone visit St. Louis, Missouri? And frankly, move there? As American cities go, it’s as vibrant, diverse and hip as it gets, and if that’s surprising, stop in next time you’re flying from New York to LA. Though the city endured some rough economic times in postindustrial years, start-up culture is redefining its economy in big, positive ways. That, on top of a legacy of architectural masterpieces from its moneyed past make the city the rarest of paradoxes: a cool city with class. 

Name another steal-your-breath experience like the moment the 630-foot arch comes into view above the Mississippi River. The Gateway Arch National Park recently reopened after $380 million renovation, and the results are stunning. On Christmas day 2019, The 120,000 square-foot St. Louis Aquarium will open in the 125-year-old Union Station. In September, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on the campus of Washington University unveiled its striking new expansion with an exhibit by Ai Weiwei. And of course, the St. Louis Blues won the 2019 Stanley Cup, so catch the champs at the Enterprise Center. In spring, it’s worth diverting for the cherry blossoms at the Botanical Gardens, the oldest in the country.

Downtown St. Louis has come alive in recent years. Rooster is great for a stick-to-your-bones brunch, while Blood and Sand, formerly a members-only supper club, is now open to the public for innovative American cuisine. Around Victorian-elegant Lafayette Park, try Polite Society for a romantic, locally sourced dinner, then head to Clementine’s Creamery for handcrafted ice cream, some of it spiked. In the trendy Botanical Heights district, try Nixta for cutting-edge Mexican, and across the way, in a repurposed gas station, Olio for fresh Mediterranean small plates. 

Navy Beach St. Thomas

The new Navy Beach in St. Thomas.

Photo courtesy of Navy Beach

Where: U.S. Virgin Islands

Chosen by: As The Points Guy’s travel editor, Melanie Lieberman manages destination coverage and other travel features. Before joining the TPG team, Melanie was an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, and her work has appeared in Bloomberg Pursuits, Yahoo Travel, Jetsetter and Saveur magazine, among others.

Why: More than two years after hurricanes Irma and Maria, the U.S. Virgin Islands are truly making a comeback—and not just in the way of superficial repairs. Beloved properties like The Westin St. John and The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas were completely reborn in 2019. And a new resort, Noni Beach (the first Autograph Collection hotel in the U.S. Virgin Islands) will debut in the new year.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are also closer to the mainland than ever now, with American and Delta expanding their Caribbean networks through new codeshare partnerships with Silver Airways. St. Croix, for example, is now on Delta’s flight map, and American is even launching new flights to St. Thomas from Chicago (ORD) and Dallas (DFW) on Dec. 21.

Once you’ve arrived, visit the new swim-up taco bar off the coast of St. John that opened in March, or check out Navy Beach St. Thomas—an outpost of the iconic Montauk restaurant that will welcome guests at the Yacht Haven Grande before the end of the year. From here, you can watch the yacht-filled harbor from the outdoor lounge while plotting the rest of your 2020 adventures. For more ideas of where to go in the USVI, check out The Points Guy’s list of the top places to go in 2020.

Scottsdale at Dawn

The skyline of Scottsdale, Arizona, in evening light

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Where: Scottsdale, Arizona 

Chosen by: Dylan Essertier is a writer, speaker and the founder and CEO of Dylan Grace. Dylan’s travel expertise has been featured in WSJ Magazine, Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler, Departures and more. Sign up for free weekly travel tips via her website and follow her around the world on Instagram

Why: Scottsdale has always been best known for its rugged beauty—most notably, the saguaro-dotted desert. But these days, it’s the city’s rich cultural traditions that are taking a spot in the limelight. In 2020, in addition to touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s legendary home and studio, getting a glimpse at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoying the city’s free ArtWalk, visitors can experience unique works from around the globe at the recently-opened immersive art hub, Wonderspaces. Hotels and resorts have also been upgraded in recent months. The W Scottsdale unveiled six new Penthouse suites in June, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess refreshed its 458 rooms and pool area and the Royal Palms Resort and Spa just rolled out a new 11,000-square-foot spa. Culture, cacti and chic hotels—what’s not to love?  

Mt. Shasta Reflection

Northern California’s Cascade Range.

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Where: Redding and the Shasta Cascades, California 

Chosen by: Melissa Klurman is a travel expert, writer and editor and contributor at Reader’s Digest, Frommer’s Travel Guides and Parents, among other publications.

Why: Beautiful and remote, the Northern California city of Redding and the Shasta Cascade region are about as under-the-radar as it gets in the lower 48. Considered to be a hidden gem in the west, it’s often referred to as “California’s Last Frontier,” and it’s also one of the best bargains anywhere in the United States. The region is scattered with 50 waterfalls, dozens of lakes, rivers, mountains, historic mining towns, two national monuments, six national forests, seven state parks and even active volcanoes—most of which are free or very inexpensive, so you’ll never break the vacation bank. For example, snowshoeing at Lassen Volcanic National Park costs just $1 per person. Plus, hotels, including the iconic Thunderbird Motel, rarely go above $100, making this a bargain vacation you’ll want to return to in every season in 2020.

Denver and the Flatirons

Cityscape of downtown Denver with the Flatirons and Longs Peak in the background.

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Where: Denver, Colorado

Chosen by: Olivia Balsinger has utilized her global perspective to manifest a career as a travel expert. She ditched NYC corporate life for adventure (and lust over a Danish boy!) in Copenhagen and hasn’t looked back. Olivia has visited 103 countries and was honored as InterContinental Group’s Latin America “Journalist of the Year.” She is the co-host of the upcoming immersive travel series Journey’s Beyond and is the co-producer of Fly Brother, coming to PBS in 2020. Follow her adventures on Instagram.  

Why: Denver has grown exponentially within the last half-decade, emphasized by the development of neighborhoods such as “RiNo” –River District North—a creative mélange of some of the country’s most unique natural phenomenon, music and culinary creations. This state capital is now a destination in and of itself—in fact, 2019 welcomed a record 32 million visitors to Denver alone. In addition to its innovations in food truck culture, elaborate street art visions and its ever-growing cannabis tourism industry, Denver is also a mecca for live music: The Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which produces arguably the most exceptional natural sound in the state, is only 20 minutes outside of the city. After rocking out at a live show, spend the night at the newly debuted Origin Hotel Red Rocks.

Of course, Denver’s proximity to nature is an enormous draw for tourists. Just minutes outside the city center are trails for hiking and running, opportunities for kayaking and even 85 miles of bike paths to test out Denver B-cycle, the city’s pioneering bike-sharing program. The craft beer scene in Denver is unparalleled—with almost 200 breweries and more popping up each day, there is always a reason to cheers for a drink with friends. The Mile High City’s chef-driven cuisine is also continually expanding—momentarily transport yourself to the south with a brunch at Julep, a sophisticated restaurant that honors the history and traditions of southern hospitality through fresh ingredients and innovative recipes. For a multi-sensory experience, book a dinner at Il Posto, a restaurant that harmoniously pairs Italian wines and dishes. 

Denver combines historic Victorian brick buildings in Larimer Square and LoDo (Lower Downtown) with the bold architecture of today, all within a laid-back, walkable city center. And as tourism continues to skyrocket, hotels are opening and expanding. The Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel is in the midst of an $80 million renovation, which will change the face of the mall and the 16th Street hotel. The Four Seasons Hotel Denver is, true to brand, a luxurious urban escape just steps from the buzzing and historic Larimer Square. And for a boutique hotel experience in the trendy Cherry Creek neighborhood, check out the hospitable service (and rooftop pool views!) at The Halcyon. Denver serves as the ultimate metropolitan home base for exploring the rugged interior of the United States.

Zion National park in Utah

Looking at the view on the trail to Angel’s Landing in Zion National park in Utah.

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Where: Southern Utah 

Chosen by: Katie Jackson is a Montana-based travel writer whose work has been published by Travel + Leisure, USA TODAY, Fox News and The Sunday Times. Every trip she takes is an investment, and she likes to pay the rewards forward by helping other travelers. You can follow her adventures (and misadventures) on Instagram.

Why: Southern Utah’s crown jewel, Zion National Park, recently turned 100 years old and the National Park Service is hosting special events to celebrate. New Zion-area lodging for 2020 will include the rural Open Sky glamping resort and in St. George, The Advenire which is just as luxurious but conveniently located downtown. Now is also a great time to visit Utah’s second oldest national park, Bryce Canyon National Park. As of August, it currently allows visitors to explore its vast red rock landscape by e-bike.

While I dig unique rock formations, it’s actually snowsports and unparalleled powder that draw me most to this beautiful corner of the Beehive State. Boasting a base elevation of 9,600 feet, Brian Head Resort claims to have “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” This season the resort is even better than ever after investing $6 million in upgrades. Getting to Southern Utah is as easy as finding reasons to extend your stay by an extra day or two. It’s just a few hours by car from Salt Lake City and is even closer to Las Vegas. You can even add it on to a Grand Canyon trip. 

Lake Tahoe

A beautiful day at the Sand Harbor area of Lake Tahoe

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Where: Lake Tahoe, California

Chosen By: At the age of 21, Lexie Alford became the youngest person to travel to every country on earth and broke the Guinness World Record. Follow her on Instagram (@LexieLimitless) and read more about her accomplishment here.

Why: When people imagine traveling to California, they most often visualize driving down the PCH in a convertible mustang and encountering celebrities below the Hollywood sign. As a native to one of the most visited states in the US, I can say from experience that travelers who only visit Southern California are missing out on the best part. A few hundred miles north lies Lake Tahoe, a crystal clear, alpine paradise hidden in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Lake Tahoe is best known for its eight top-rated ski resorts and laid-back mountain culture. A powder day in Lake Tahoe wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the après ski nightlife by the fire pit with a locally brewed craft beer.

Although Lake Tahoe is a winter wonderland, this place offers something for everyone all year-round, especially if you are a nature lover or an adventure enthusiast. From lakeside casinos and luxury resorts to golfing, camping and fishing during the summer months. You can even take a cruise around the 22 mile-long lake to get the most panoramic view of the snowy peaks. I also can’t forget to mention the countless hiking and biking trails surrounding the lake that are available to the whole family. If escaping from the city is in your 2020 travel plans, look no further than Lake Tahoe.

Milwaukee Saint Kate hotel

Milwaukee’s Saint Kate hotel.

Photo courtesy of the Saint Kate

Where: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Chosen by: Foodie/travel journalist Mary Bergin is a two-time Lowell Thomas Award winner who explores the world but pays closest attention to her home turf, the Midwest U.S. Her patchwork of writing outlets includes the Chicago TribuneMilwaukee Journal Sentinel and longtime Roads Traveled columns. Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook, her fifth book, salutes a long-loved Badger State way of dining.

Why: The 2020 Democratic National Convention is bringing global attention to water-loving Milwaukee, and it’s also trending as Airbnb’s top destination to visit in the world. The city that turned beer brewing into a major industry by 1900—thanks to barons Blatz, Pabst, Schlitz and Miller—excels today because of multiple personalities. Kayak on downtown rivers, book an Edelweiss cruise along Lake Michigan’s shore or simply stroll Bradford Beach. The city’s biggest parties happen on 75 acres of lakefront: That includes Summerfest (the world’s largest music festival) and many ethnic celebrations.

No waterfront view beats Harbor House, whose Bartolotta roots are a mark of dining and cocktail excellence elsewhere, too. For uber local fare, check out Braise, whose chef-owner occasionally cooks at farms that he favors. Or go old-school cool at Five O’Clock Steakhouse and Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge. Edgy architecture? Milwaukee’s got it, from the graceful Calatrava-designed “wings” at the Milwaukee Art Museum to the chic industrial Harley-Davidson Museum. Add the magnificent Basilica at St. Josaphat to the new and roomy Fiserv Forum, ground zero for the Dems.

For lodging, immerse yourself in visual to performing arts at the Saint Kate, where each room is a masterpiece, or book boutique digs at The Brewhouse Inn, on the former Pabst campus. Best city quirks: a museum devoted to bobbleheads, and a factory tour to see the birth of Cheeseheads.

Falling snow on a ski trail in the Idaho mountains

Cross Country skiier in winter forest snow storm

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Where: McCall, Idaho

Chosen by: Olivia Balsinger has utilized her global perspective to manifest a career as a travel expert. She ditched NYC corporate life for adventure (and lust over a Danish boy!) in Copenhagen and hasn’t looked back. Olivia has visited 103 countries and was honored as InterContinental Group’s Latin America “Journalist of the Year.” She is the co-host of the upcoming immersive travel series Journey’s Beyond and is the co-producer of Fly Brother, coming to PBS in 2020. Follow her adventures on Instagram.  

Why: Mother Nature had something up her sleeve when sculpting the intricate, stunning landscape that is southern Idaho. Often an overlooked touristic destination, Idaho is a land of breathtaking nature, adrenaline-pumping adventure, and is a beer lover’s haven. And while Idaho has slowly inched its way onto adventure traveler’s shortlists, there’s a possible chance you haven’t heard of McCall—the quaint and quirky mountain town about an hour from the capital, Boise.

Though McCall only has about 3,200 full-time residents, this former mining and timber community is a Mecca of brewing with three craft breweries. The town also boasts several mouthwatering restaurants, including two with executive chefs who have been honored by the James Beard House. You won’t feel guilty for overindulging, however, as activities are aplenty here—bike the charming city center streets, test out the zip line at Cascade Raft’s new rope challenge, kayak in Ponderosa State Park, horseback ride at Ya-HooCorrals and—finally—relieve your muscles at the famous Burgdorf Hot Springs, nestled in the mountainous valley. McCall hasn’t been saturated by tourists yet. It is still brimming with authentic character and kind locals, excited to show off their paradise in the mountains in the upcoming decade. 

Swann Memorial Fountain With City Hall In The Background

Swann Memorial Fountain With City Hall In The Background Philadelphia

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Where: Philadelphia

Chosen By: Amy Alipio is a senior editor at National Geographic Traveler.

Why: Philadelphia is having a moment. As only one of two locations within the United States that was hand-picked for National Geographic’s Best Trips of 2020 list, Philadelphia has a strong history and is making its comeback with incredible restaurants, art, fashion and—above all—a resilient revolutionary spirit.

As one of America’s oldest cities, Philadelphia has reinvented itself for a new generation. A year-round destination, it has vibrant murals and glinting metalworks, authentic Italian food and hip coffee shops and a postindustrial feel that make this one of the top cities in the world to visit in 2020.

Plus, 5 more spots on my personal list:

Miami Beach

Exploring Miami Beach.

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Where: Miami, Florida

Why: Miami is always abuzz, but a number of exciting openings will keep the city in conversations as a must-visit destination in the new year. Make a beeline for the Raleigh Gardens, which is hosting an immersive, beachside art experience: the largest-ever outdoor public show of the work of Claude Lalanne and Francois-Xavier Lalanne (together known as Les Lalanne). Expect to see over 40 sculptures and objects by the duo—with free admission—in the dazzling new beachside tropical garden designed by architect Peter Marino and landscape architect Raymond Jungles at the Raleigh Hotel. In other culture news, The Rubell Museum has just opened its doors to a new campus in Allapattah, an emerging neighborhood for arts and culture. Another recent Allapattah debut is El Espacio 23, an art space that features thousands of photographs, paintings, sculptures and videos that billionaire Jorge Perez collected around the globe. In the cool Wynwood area, the Museum of Graffiti just made a splashy debut during Art Basel. The first museum of its kind, it celebrates the pioneers of this edgy art form and chronicles its history.

In January, look for a new eco-friendly Art Deco boutique hotel called Greystone Miami Beach, which will be the adults-only property in Miami Beach. And finally, Gitano Miami, the third outpost to the Tulum-based restaurant, is now open at boutique hotel Casa Faena. Take your cocktail to the sprawling rooftop garden for Instagram-worthy views.

The old town of the city of Ponce in Puerto Rico, United States.

The old town of the city of Ponce in Puerto Rico, United States.

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Where: Puerto Rico

Why: What hurricane? It’s been more than two years since Irma slammed into Puerto Rico, and now the island is back and better than ever. In 2019, Puerto Rico began celebrations for the 500th anniversary of its capital, San Juan, and the revelry will continue throughout 2020 and culminate at the end of 2021. In early 2020, the much-anticipated El Distrito will open in San Juan as an immersive and multi-sensorial experience. You’ll discover a central plaza with a hotel, urban zipline, restaurants, bars, lounges, disco, movie theaters and more.

Puerto Rico is heaven for foodies. A fun way to see the island is on a culinary tour with Spoon Food Tours, which takes visitors on tasting trips through Old San Juan or around the countryside on a chinchorreo (a party bus). Another must-see: the new Ron de Barrillito Visitor Center in Bayamón, where you can sample the island’s oldest rum.

On the hotel front, iconic properties have recently reopened including the El San Juan Hotel (the first property from Fairmont on the island), the Caribe Hilton and the Condado Plaza Hilton. There’s also a new spot in Ponce called The Fox Hotel. In 2020, expect an Aloft Hotel in San Juan, the new Zafira St. Clair in Vieques, as well as the reopening of the InterContinental San Juan, the Ritz Carlton San Juan and the El Conquistador, among others.

The island of Puerto Rico is also easier to reach, with air access at a 10-year high, including new airline routes from Allegiant and Frontier. And the best part? You’ll get a Caribbean vacation experience with no passport required—plus no fees for changing currency or international cell phone plans.

Pilgrims Settlement Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plimoth Plantation, a living museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, which is one of the top places to … [+] visit in 2020.

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Where: Plymouth, Massachusetts

Why: Next year will mark 400 years since the Mayflower landed at the Wampanoag homeland of Patuxet—now known as Plymouth—so it’s the perfect time to explore this historic destination’s captivating, if not complex, background. The Massachusetts town will be hosting events and festivals throughout 2020 to commemorate the anniversary. Travelers can tour iconic landmarks and explore Plimoth Plantation, which brings the past to life with recreations of a Wampanoag homesite (staffed by Native People who wear historically accurate clothing and teach visitors about the traditions of their people) and the original pilgrim village (complete with actors in period costume reenacting life as it was 400 years ago). You can also see a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower, the ship that brought the colonists here in 1620.

You’ll also want to check out modern day Plymouth: The town’s historic district is now sprinkled with charming boutiques and cool restaurants and has stunning views of the harbor where the first pilgrims settled.

Los Angeles, California

Taking in the views of Los Angeles.

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Where: Los Angeles, California

Why: Tinsel Town is known for many iconic landmarks, such as the Hollywood sign and the Santa Monica Pier, but 2020 brings with it a slew of news around the greater Los Angeles area. Scope out the Academy of Motion Pictures Museum when it opens next year for an opportunity to “go inside the movies” at a museum dedicated to exploring the art, science and history of the film industry.

Several new hotels will be dotting the city’s map, including Downtown LA Proper Hotel, the Park Hyatt at Oceanwide Plaza, Pendry West Hollywood (part of a cool new brand from the Montage group), the Tommie Hotel in Hollywood, the Godfrey Hotel Hollywood (a new art-centric, luxury lifestyle hotel just off Sunset Boulevard), plus a project from the hip, Mexico-based hotel company Grupo Habita.

Don’t underestimate Los Angeles’ culinary scene: Michelin doled out to awards to 12 restaurants in West Hollywood alone this year. Major players on the restaurant scene in Hollywood that are opening or have just recently opened in the neighborhood include L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (the first US location for the Neapolitan pizza concept made famous in Eat Pray Love) and APL Restaurant (Adam Perry Lang’s steakhouse concept). In Beverly Hills, Gilles @ Montage Beverly Hills is a new solo venture with the youngest chef to ever be awarded with a Michelin star. Chef Gilles Epié pays homage to the famed Parisian restaurant Cirtus Etoile with dishes like a $100 baked potato topped with Loz Keluga caviar.

Spa lovers are in for a treat in 2020 when milk + honey opens a Los Angeles day spa, the brand’s first location outside of Texas, featuring hyper-clean bath, body and skincare treatments. There’s news for sports fans, too, with the debut of SoFi Stadium in 2020. SoFi Stadium is the anticipated home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers and is scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022. Universal Studio Hollywood will thrill guests with a new ride based on Illumination’s blockbuster movie: “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” The year 2020 is also going to be a banner one for the LGBTQ community with the 50th anniversary of LA Pride.

Branson, Missouri Ozarks

A nighttime aerial view of downtown Branson, Missouri in the Ozarks.

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Where: The Ozarks

Why: Generally considered an unassuming and often overlooked piece of America’s heartland, the Ozarks are becoming one of the fastest-growing vacation areas in the country. When Vrbo examined destinations based on average annual travel demand growth over the past three years, one of the top picks was Bella Vista, Arkansas, situated near the majestic lakes of the Ozarks; travel demand was up 70%.

In the Missouri section of the Ozarks, golf lovers will be flocking to Tiger Woods’ first public golf course, Payne’s Valley, when it opens in spring 2020 at Big Cedar Lodge, a wilderness resort that sprawls across 4,600 acres just eight miles south of Branson. Inspired by a commitment to conservation, Big Cedar Lodge was created by Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, as a way for travelers to connect in the great outdoors. 

Thrillseekers will love Silver Dollar City, a theme park that is celebrating its 60th anniversary season in 2020. Silver Dollar got its start with Marvel Cave, one of Missouri’s famous caves. Locals and travelers enjoyed it so much that its owners added rides, entertainment and food to keep crowds happy when they weren’t underground. The cave is still open to this day, and the park’s newest attraction, Mystic River Falls—with the tallest drop in the Western Hemisphere—will wow guests when it opens in summer 2020.

In other news, there’s the new Aquarium at the Boardwalk, featuring a jellyfish infinity room, a magical underwater mermaid palace and more; WonderWorks, a new science-focused indoor amusement park with over 100 hands-on interactive exhibits; the Big Air Trampoline Park, with 57 attractions including a Ninja Warrior Course; and Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park, which will be adding plenty of thrills in 2020.

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Tesla’s Price Cut, and More Car News From This Week

Tesla’s Price Cut, and More Car News From This Week

Happy New Year, and welcome back. 2019 is young, and we’ve already got a transportation bombshell on our hands: New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced he wants to cancel a planned subway line shutdown in the country’s largest public transit system. He says a panel of experts found a smarter way to fix tunnels damaged by 2012’s Hurricane Sandy—and according to engineers we spoke to, Cuomo might be right. But what happens now? Will the city stick with its plans, formed over the course of three years, to revamp bike and bus lanes and pedestrian spaces? Transportation advocates hope so.

Meanwhile, we’re still a little stuck on 2018, which was filled with exciting advances for Tesla, scooter-share, and even self-driving cars (sometimes). Read about the happenings, before it all fades away. It’s been a few weeks. Let’s get you caught up.

Headlines

Stories you might have missed from WIRED these past few weeks

Unexpected B-Plot of the Week

She’s baaaack! Rapper Azealia Banks makes another unexpected cameo on the transportation beat this week, as she and Elon Musk’s then-girlfriend, the art pop musician Grimes, became enmeshed in the ongoing lawsuit over the Tesla CEO’s tweets. Investors suing Musk and Tesla for market manipulation want to subpoena both women. Tesla lawyers are displeased.

Stat of the Week

1.3%

The year-over-year increase in new light vehicles prices in the US, which reached $37,577 in December, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet

In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canon

Back in 2016, WIRED explored how the internet got all wrapped up in city transportation systems.

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Vacationing with Kids in the USA: 5 Fun Places to Visit

Lincoln-Park-Zoo-Chicago1533805572.jpg

The USA is a vast country with 52 states and six different time zones. It is a developed country with state-of-the-art amenities and facilities and hence one of the dream places for immigration for people all around the world. While this may not be possible for everyone, holidaying in this fascinating country is achievable. However, with so many interesting states and places to see in America, it is quite confusing to choose which one to see especially if you have kids. Little children need to be kept busy and entertained during the vacation so that parents can have a great time too. Moreover, there is no dearth of places to visit with kids in the USA. All you need to do is what suits you as a family. Here we present five tourist attractions in the USA that you must visit while travelling with little children.

Florida

South Beach, Miami, FloridaSouth Beach, Miami, Florida

Florida is a huge state and is one of the most popular family-friendly holiday destinations in America, thanks to the numerous beaches and amusement parks here. Orlando needs to have a special mention here as it is a famous for its amusement parks. The Walt Disney World is a different world in itself where you can spend your entire holiday. Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and water parks have entertained millions of families from around the world for several decades now. Apart from this, Sea World, Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa are also worth a visit.

However, Florida is not just about Disney and amusement parks. On the other hand, there are some lovely beaches zoos, museums, nature parks, etc. which kids would definitely enjoy. While Orlando can be expensive, the other areas of Florida are cheaper and still offer a lot of fun activities. When in Florida, do check out Tampa Bay & Gulf Coast for their zoos, museums, aquariums, island getaways and beaches. Florida Keys is known for diving, snorkelling, boating and fishing for the family that loves adventures. Space Coast and Emerald Coast are popular for their sleepy beach towns and white water beaches. Miami, which is a multicultural city, also offers great museums and zoos which would keep your little ones happy and busy.

Washington DC

Capitol building in Washington DCCapitol building in Washington DC

Washington DC, being the capital of the USA as well as the seat of the government, is a great place to take your kids for holidays. There are several museums and historical sites that you can explore along with your kids. The best part about vacationing in the capital is that most things are free, and you would not have to spend too much money as in most kid-friendly holiday spots. The National Museum of Natural History, International Spy Museum, National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, etc. offer interactive experiences to visitors, making the visit really interesting for children. The Newseum is where kids could become a television reporter and read from a teleprompter as well as play in the NBC Interactive Newsroom. There is also an exciting 4-D Time Travel Adventure to watch.

You should also check out National Geographic Museum, U.S. Botanic Garden, National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, National Building Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Renwick Gallery, National Postal Museum, the While House Visitor Center, etc. are some of the places you must visit in the Capital of USA. Washington DC is also home to the White House, and you can take the opportunity to visit the place. While the White House tours are not operational at the moment, visitors can walk the perimeter and admire the beautiful building and the First Lady’s vegetable garden. Apart from this, when your kids are bored of museum hopping, take them to the National Zoo which is home to over 2000 animals and also houses two giant pandas. Apart from this, there are parks where you could have a picnic and enjoy the outdoors too.

California

Yosemite National park, CaliforniaYosemite National park, California

California is undoubtedly one of the most family-friendly tourist spots in America. Right from adventure parks to beaches to museums, there are lots to do here that kids would love. Moreover, the weather is pleasant throughout the year, never too warm and never too cold. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada are the popular tourist destinations. When it comes to adventure parks, California offers you the famous Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure where you can spend weeks without ever getting bored. Legoland California Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood, etc. are some other amusement parks that are great fun to be at. If your kids love to spend time outdoors amidst nature, there are plenty of parks in California that they would love. Yosemite National park, Redwood National & State Parks, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Griffith Park and Channel Islands National Park are worth the visit. Apart from these places, California also offers plenty of zoos, aquariums, museums and beaches which make it the perfect place for a family holiday in the USA.

New York

Central Park, New YorkCentral Park, New York

When it comes to places to visit in the USA with kids, New York definitely makes to the top of the list for most people around the world. The city of New York is a melting pot of cultures, making it an interesting place to visit for both adults and children. While there are several kid-friendly attractions in New York, the Central Park definitely takes the cake. The park has 21 playgrounds, the Central Park Carousel (with one of the largest merry-go-rounds), seven artificial lakes, the Central park zoo and Marionette Theatre. Some other kid-friendly attractions that New York offers are the American Museum of Natural History, Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, sea-air-space museum named Enterprise, Brooklyn Chindren’s Museum, CQueens Museum of Art, Central Park Wildlife Centre and Children’s Zoo, Bronx Zoo or Wildlife Conservation Park, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc. There is so much to see and do in this cosmopolitan city for families that you would be spoilt for choices.

Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo, ChicagoLincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Chicago, with its huge traffic and crowded streets, is still considered to be a kid-friendly destination as there are lot of things that cater to young children. The best part is that you can combine fun and informational activities for your kids in this city of Illinois. There are museums, amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, etc. that kids would enjoy. When in Chicago, do visit the Adler Planetarium where the domed theatre takes you on the journey of the cosmos and the outer space. Also, there are exhibitions about the planets as well as the space artifacts. When it comes to museums, Chicago has plenty of them. You must take your kids to the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Children’s Museum, etc. Some other places that would attract little humans include John Hancock Observatory, Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden, Navy Pier, etc. There are lot of outdoor attractions in Chicago which are free too, giving the children opportunity to have unlimited fun.

These are just few of the tourist destinations in the USA that are great for kids too. With such a big country, the options for places to see and things to do are endless. The only problem would be that you would not be willing to come home from your vacation, especially your kids. However, a trip to the USA is a must at least once in your lifetime. Once you have made the decision and booked your tickets, all you need to do is apply for US visa from Dubai, India, China, Singapore or whichever country you are residing in. When you get the visa, just pack your bags and fly to this amazing country to have an extraordinary vacation with your kids.

The post Vacationing with Kids in the USA: 5 Fun Places to Visit appeared first on USA Travel Blog.

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