Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in USA
I know that there are tons of places to visit in the USA, far more than what my fellow travel bloggers have shared in this post. Nevertheless, those which are mentioned are worth checking out! I’ve been dreaming of visiting the USA one day to visit my brother and his family who are all currently residing in Seattle but never had the chance just yet due to the fact that I want to explore more of Europe this year. I mean, they can always come here to visit me if they wish, right? *wink if you’re reading this Bro*
One way or another, I will eventually set foot in the Americas one day (maybe rent an rv to travel around!) and witness all its surreal places to visit and may it be in the States or elsewhere, I’m sure I’ll be in full bliss even just thinking about when that moment finally arrives. On a side note, I thought of slowly moving away from strictly only producing content about Europe and branch out to other continents thus I started accepting guest posts and collabs from fellow travel bloggers to share their experience from other places, as well. I think it is a good idea to diversify!
In fact, not long ago, Louise just wrote about the most breathtaking natural wonders in North America (which Pinterest loved, by the way) and I was so inspired how they are not kidding how beautiful America is!
I’m really happy that the travel blogging community is so helpful and supportive that when I posted a call out about this collaboration, tons of them responded! I appreciate it guys, you’re all awesome.
Best Places to Visit in the USA Shared by Travel Bloggers!
Austin, Texas – Yulia of The Foodie Miles
A city like no other, Austin, TX, is an absolute must-visit in the USA. On my first trip here I fell in love with the vibe so much so I relocated here a few months later.
Locals love to say “Keep Austin weird” and this phrase describes the city very well. Have you ever seen a Cathedral of Junk, a several-stories structure fully made of clutter, in somebody’s backyard? You can see it in Austin! How about a bar decorated for Christmas year round? Then you should have a drink at Lala’s Little Nugget! Can you imagine that somebody would turn his private property right in the city center into an outdoor gallery for local artists to express themselves? Then you should come to Hope Outdoor Gallery and admire the colorful murals for yourself!
As if all that wasn’t enough, Austin is also the Live Music Capital of the World. You can find a live performance on pretty much any day of the week on Sixth Street or South Congress Avenue. And don’t forget about delicious barbecue and breakfast tacos! According to Food Network, Migas taco from Austin’s Veracruz food truck is one of the 5 best breakfast tacos in the USA. I think it’s worth traveling for! You can take a flight straight to Austin’s Bergstrom International Airport or fly to a bigger hub like Dallas or Houston and then drive to Austin.
Do you have the most unbeatable appetite? Then you should check out the list of must try food in Austin, too, when you visit!
Queens, New York – Olga of Dreams in Heels
As a New Yorker and local expert, Queens, New York must be on your list of places to visit since it’s the borough with something for everyone! This diverse and multicultural community is the reason why foodies flock to Queens; there’s so much to choose from! Want to take the best selfies with Manhattan’s skyline as your backdrop, go to Queens. Into nature, there are amazing parks. Sports your thing, we got you covered. Queens has it all!
Queens is a foodies paradise! Two of my favorite places in Long Island City, Queens are Café Ole (best sangrias and tapas) and Café Triskell (French restaurant). When in Astoria, Queens I love Taverna Klyklades (Greek) and Seva (Indian). For organic food, Brooklyn Grange’s flagship location (ironically in Long Island City, Queens) is open to the public every Saturday during growing season (May – October). Enjoy the NYC skyline views while buying local produce at their farm stand. For an interactive experience, volunteer to help the farming staff. Fan of beer? Check out Gottscheer Hall, a historic tavern and an authentic spot for German Food and drinks. For amazing Korean BBQ in Flushing, Queens go to San Soo Kap San – open 24/7.
Now you probably need exercise to work off all of this food! For a perfect walk, visit the Long Island City Waterfront for the best views of the Manhattan skyline while sipping on wine (or coffee/tea). During the summer, there’s live music and other fun activities. Prefer the outdoors? The Queens Botanical Garden, with 40 acres of trees, shrubs, herbs and flower patches—something is always blooming! Sports fans know that Queens is home to the US Open and NY Mets. Visit Mets Hall of Fame & Museum at CitiField, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Queens truly has it all!
Miami, Florida – Sarah of Not Another Travel Blog
The weekend we spent exploring Miami was one of our favorite trips in the US. Best of all, it coincided with Halloween which – in case you didn’t know – they take very seriously in Miami! Think all night street parties, incredibly elaborate costumes and one of the best atmospheres we’ve ever experienced. My first tip for visiting the Magic City is to try and time your visit with Halloween if at all possible!
Even if you can’t make it there for October 31st, you’re still pretty much guaranteed to have a great time in Miami. Famous for its beaches, Cuban influences, and arts scene, the city is full of awesome things to do.
South Beach is the hub of the action for ocean lovers, with Instagrammable beach huts a plenty, along with palm-lined streets hosting numerous bars and restaurants. When you’re finished at the beach, nearby Ocean Drive is home to some of the city’s most iconic buildings like the infamous Versace Mansion and the Sunray Apartments that featured in Scarface.
For more history, head to Little Havana, where many Cuban migrants have made their home over the years. From the many cigar shops lining the streets to domino park, the Cuban influences here make the area feel like an entirely different city and it’s no wonder the National Trust has designated it a ‘national treasure’.
Miami’s art scene is famous worldwide, with highlights including the recently refurbished Perez Art Museum and the annual Art Basel Miami show. Wynwood Walls is also well worth a visit – it’s an area of the city that functions as an outdoor art museum and contains some incredible street art.
Finally, finish your trip by grabbing some cheap tickets and spending a night watching the Miami Heat basketball team in action at the Miami Stadium.
New York City, New York – Aleah of Solitary Wanderer
Your USA trip will not be complete until you visit New York City. Sure, it’s very touristy, and sure, it’s expensive, but it should definitely be on your bucket list, whether as a solo traveler (like me) or with family and friends.
What’s to love about the Big Apple? Plenty. There are loads of attractions; Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, for example, should be at the top of the list. You also have fantastic views of the NYC skyline from the Empire State Building, the vast beauty of Central Park, the amazing talent of street artists in Brooklyn, and, of course, the iconic Times Square.
In the 2 weeks I spent in New York, I went to Times Square almost every day. It’s great for people watching, and I loved watching Broadway shows, too. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on the musicals; there are several ways to get cheap Broadway tickets. You just have to be strategic about it.
As a solo traveler, I loved New York’s subway system. It’s so easy to go around. Buses going out of town can also be cheap; my NYC to Washington DC ticket, for example, cost only $26, return. Accommodation-wise, New York can be pricey. I addressed this by staying at AirBNBs and catsitting.
So far, I’ve been to New York three times. Would I go back there again? Definitely. However cheesy it may sound, I really love New York!
Atlanta, Georgia – LC of Birdgehls
Atlanta really does feel like the best of both worlds where American cities are concerned – modern and liberal, with classic southern charm.
The city is relatively easy to get to and around. The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the biggest in the U.S.A (and the home of Delta Airlines) and the Marta metro service does its best to ferry folks across the city.
Popular tourist sights include the World of Coca-Cola factory tour, the Georgia Aquarium and Inside CNN, which allows you an insight into how a modern-day newsroom is run.
If you’re an outdoorsy type, hike up the top of Stone Mountain, which gives you a pretty decent workout and a view of the city to boot.
For nightlife, the suburb of Buckhead makes for a good night out (the Dive Bar and the Red Door Tavern can be fun). Midtown is great for eats – you can get a range of food, from Asian-inspired and Mexican to good, hearty southern fried food (when in Georgia after all).
And if you’re in the mood for something particularly fun/tacky (as it really could go either way) head to the Medieval Tavern for dinner and a show!
Chicago, Illinois – Bella of Whisper Wanderlust
The Windy City is one of my favorite cities in the US. Although I visited it once, I am fascinated by everything it has to offer. From the beautiful architecture, the tumultuous history, the great atmosphere of a typical American city, to the spectacular design of its parks and the panorama of the city seen from the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago has it all.
Because it is situated in the north of the country, I recommend visiting it during spring or summer, when temperatures are much more permissive and when you can enjoy the flowers and the sunny, warm weather. The main attraction of the city is Cloud Gate or The Bean, a gorgeous architectural piece inspired by liquid mercury. So, if you get to Chicago, don’t miss the chance of taking a selfie at The Bean. In the same area, you’ll find Millennium Park where you can relax and admire the Lurie Gardens, the Pritzker Pavilion, and the Crown Fountains.
However, one of my favorite activities is definitely a walk along Chicago River, where I have the chance to admire the most beautiful buildings in the city and the most iconic skyscrapers.
Another thing you can not miss in Chicago is Willis Tower and its famous Sky Deck. For extra adrenaline, I recommend you to sit on the glass floor and enjoy the scenery at your feet, where the buildings will look like LEGO pieces. It will be an unforgettable experience, I assure you!
After all these wonderful activities, it’s time to go shopping on the famous Michigan Avenue, and especially on its most popular section, Magnificent Mile. Here, besides the high-end shops, you will find a great place to walk around and feel the vibe of this glamorous city, a perfect way to end your day.
There are many things you must see and do in Chicago which you certainly must not miss!
Oahu, Hawaii – Genie of Gallivanting Bean
Oahu is one of my favorite places in the entire world to be. This island that hosts Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, holds the perfect mixture of a busy city and untouched nature. There are so many beautiful places you can stay on the island but for convenience sake I recommend, especially if it’s your first time, staying on the Waikiki Beach strip. Here you’ll be steps away from the beach, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping, and other activities like surfing, paddle boarding, and of course sunbathing. Now to really experience the island you’ll need to rent a car.
Driving around is the best way to see it all. Oahu has a multitude of gorgeous beaches. The further you get away from Waikiki the more beautiful and secluded sights you’ll get. But if you’re looking for a family friendly place to hang out Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is the spot!
For a small fee, you can enter this private beach/bay and go snorkeling without worrying about any dangerous ocean currents or breaks. To see Oahu from above there are tons of hikes that you can take. The easiest and most taken trail is to the top of Diamond Head Crater.
It may be touristy but the view from the top is unbeatable. Now you can’t leave Oahu without filling up your stomach. Delicious food is everywhere! A few of the must eat are Rainbow Drive-In, Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Leonard’s Bakery, AGU Ramen, Bubbies Ice Cream, Helena’s Hawaiian Food, Ono Hawaiian Food, and Ono Seafood. Lastly, you have to get your souvenirs! The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and Marketplace, open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, gives you the option of over 400 local merchants to get some souvenirs from before taking off.
Portland, Oregon – Peter of Where is Your Toothbrush?
Portland, Oregon has become a highly-rated, popular tourist destination on the West Coast, a result of good press and that one TV show. The hype is well founded: there’s a lot to love about the City of Roses. Ignore the listicles and venture out into Portland’s leafy streets for bikes, bites, and brews.
Portland is one of the bike-friendliest cities in the US. With a new bike share program, visitors, too, can enjoy the 350+ miles of bikeways. Most tourists stick to the downtown and adjacent Pearl and Northwest areas. Bike out into the North quadrant or the East Side, to explore walkable neighborhoods like Mississippi, Alberta, Belmont, or Hawthorne, boasting cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries, shops, concert venues, cinemas, breweries, and parks.
Comfort food dominates the city’s culinary scene (after all, it rains here ten months out of the year). Skip the lines in the most-recommended spots and try some of the 500+ food carts scattered around the city, many clustered in so-called pods. You can sample cuisines from all over the world, from Canada to Cambodia, and enjoy your meal watching the streets go by.
When you’ve tired yourself out biking around town to food carts, stop in one of the city’s 70 microbreweries (or 105 if you count the whole metropolitan area). You’re never more than a couple of miles from a brewery. Our current favorites include Breakside, Ex Novo (world’s first nonprofit brewery), and Occidental.
Seattle, Washington – Laura of Savored Journeys
Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the U.S. For visitors, it has a lot to offer because it checks a lot of boxes. It’s located right on the Puget Sound, so it has water activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, and whale watching. There are many nearby mountains, so it has outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and camping. It’s a culinary destination with many highly acclaimed restaurants and local foods to try. You absolutely have to try Dungeness crab and Bayswater sweet oysters. And if you’re a wine or beer lover, you’ll find tons of wineries and breweries within a 15-mile drive of downtown.
Getting to Seattle is easy, as there are a major airport and train station. It’s best to stay in the city and visit major sights like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, then take advantage of the entire area on day trips from the city. You can even take the ferry across the Puget Sound to outlying islands and spend the day doing Pacific Northwest things like kayaking and shellfishing.
Not enough? Here’s a list of the fun things to do in Seattle you must not miss, check it out,
San Francisco, California – Cristina of Chronicles of a Travel Addict
I grew up an hour south of arguably the most beautiful city in the world. It wouldn’t be until I started traveling internationally, however, that I would come to fully appreciate San Francisco. With colorful Victorian homes scattered along its rolling hills, neighborhoods brimming with history, architectural wonders like the Golden Gate Bridge, and a diversity that rivals any larger metropolis, there’s every reason why this coastal city is a must-see in the U.S. There’s an undeniable, tangible energy in San Francisco that has continued to draw people in despite its costliness. Some call it magic.
After having lived there for a couple of years, I think this magic is that San Francisco appeals to most everyone. No matter what you’re into, there’s something to be discovered here: art culture, progressiveness, divine cuisine, technology, an ever-evolving nightlife, and jaw-dropping cityscapes. Perhaps what adds to the charm is that you can delve deep into Chinese traditions, ponder the literary prowess of the Beat Generation, stroll through the old haunts of the Grateful Dead, cruise over to Alcatraz, and hike along the Muir Woods all in one day. So many exciting experiences are located just blocks away from each other.
Getting into San Francisco is simple, with SFO International Airport located in Southern San Francisco. Hop on the BART to head north, and choose from many convenient stops to start exploring: The Embarcadero, Union Square, or the Mission, for example. Since traffic is heavy and parking is limited AND astronomically expensive, I don’t recommend exploring the city by car. Public transportation is fantastic here, and you don’t want to miss riding on one of the original cable cars. While this is California, be prepared for fog, rain, and wind. Don’t forget your camera, jacket, and- most importantly- walking shoes. Have fun, and bring plenty of cash (many places don’t accept cards, and SF is not a budget destination).
If you’d like to learn more about San Francisco or Cristina’s world travels, please visit Chronicles of a Travel Addict.
Boulder, Colorado – Daniel of This is Youth
There’s a saying about Boulder: it’s “twenty-five miles surrounded by reality.” Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on who you talk to. But there’s no denying it — and from the first moment you see the town, sprawling underneath the giant, distinctive rock slabs of the Flatirons, you’ll feel it too — there’s something special about Boulder.
Boulder’s a mix of hard-partying college students, educated professionals, serious outdoors enthusiasts, old hippies, and a growing startup/tech scene. It has the amenities of a big city — great restaurants, smart people, and good cultural opportunities — while also maintaining access to world-class outdoors. You never know who you’re going to run into on the streets of Boulder.
Anyone’s first stop in Boulder should be the Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian shopping street in the heart of downtown. Any time of year, expect lots of sun, street performers putting on shows, families out enjoying the day, and plenty of great food on every corner. Stop into a local brewery to sample some of Colorado’s excellent craft beer, or come back at night to experience a taste of Boulder’s thriving nightlife — fueled by the many students who attend the University of Colorado.
Boulder’s also exceptionally close to many amazing outdoor activities. Rock climbers flock to the town to ascend the iconic Flatirons, climb the thousands of roadside routes in Boulder Canyon or test their skills with the longer, harder, and more dangerous climbs in Eldorado Canyon State Park. Skiers can go to nearby Eldora Mountain or drive a few hours to the bigger resorts along the I-70 corridor. Hikers and trail runners can literally walk out of town to onto an extensive network of trails.
No matter who you are, this unique Colorado town is worth seeing. Many, many people like it so much, they never leave.
Monterey, California – Priya of Glorious Sunrise
The city of Monterey has tons of delightful things to do and sites to visit. Monterey Bay is a very popular destination in the USA for whale-watching. Monterey Bay Aquarium is the most talked about thing to do in this gorgeous destination. Next in the list are Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, and of course the annual Monterey Jazz Festival.
I especially loved the Lovers Point Park (with its peculiar trees and rocks) and Beach, Carmel-by-the-sea and the gorgeous 17-mile scenic drive through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. Do not miss having coffee at the eponymous bakery at Carmel-by-the-sea, it is absolutely heavenly!!
Monterey is about 120 miles from San Francisco. Taking the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) to reach this city makes the journey infinitely more exciting. Using public transport can be hectic if you plan of visiting a lot of places in this city. Also, if you want to explore beyond the tourist loop, having a car is highly recommended.
The CA-1 is a coast-side drive that takes you through beautiful beaches and locations like the Half Moon Bay, Big Sur, Loma point, and many other absolutely breathtaking scenic spots. So, if you have a few days on your hands, plan to spend time at each of these splendid locations and you will never regret it!
Boston, Massachusetts – Amy and Nathan of Two Drifters
Boston, Massachusetts is definitely one of the top places to visit not only in the New England region but in the USA! This is a city of major historical significance, and any history buff must put Boston on their list. You can follow the Freedom Trail throughout downtown to take a walking tour of Boston’s most famous historical spots. This is a great way to get an overview of the history, and you can stop and spend more time at each location. The old architecture will surely have you enchanted. (Beacon Hill is a great place to see classic, beautiful Boston brownstones)
Boston is not only known for fascinating tales of the past, it’s also a very modern city with great shopping (Newbury Street), beloved sports teams (Red Sox, Patriots), and plenty of cultures. You can do traditional activities like taking a Boston Duck tour or viewing Fenway Park, or you can seek out the lesser known spots and find the hidden gems of your own. It’s a big city with something for everyone.
We highly recommend visiting the Old North End for fantastic Italian food. You should also spend an afternoon at the science museum, which is tons of fun for kids and adults!
Boston is served by a major international airport or is a few hours’ drive from points on the northeast such as NYC.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Luke of Backstreet Nomad
Gambler or not, Las Vegas is an essential stop for any east coast USA vacation. The ridiculous grandeur is no place on earth, where one-upmanship among casinos is a sport that yields billions in revenues and keeps the masses saying “Wow”. The casinos are the star attraction, many of which are a tribute to world monuments and cities, others are steeped in luxury, while some just exist to service the budget traveler.
With so many insane casinos to explore, the list of things to do in Las Vegas might feel endless but start with one of the best views on the Strip: the Eiffel Tower Experience at the Paris Casino. It’s also a great place to watch the Bellagio fountains dance at night. However, my favorite casino is the New York New York, whose colorful skyline replica dominates the southern end of the famous Strip.
Las Vegas offers ample opportunities to shop and even more places to drink, with everything from beer gardens and craft beer pubs, to bouncing night clubs with resident DJs as high profile as Calvin Harris. A trip to Vegas would not be complete without seeing a show. Cirque du Soleil shows are the most popular with at least 8 different shows on at any given time. I’ve seen David Copperfield as well and he is phenomenal.
Lastly, if you fancy getting off the Strip, head to Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street. It is a long, covered pedestrian mall, bounded by historic casinos that swap out LEDs for light bulbs. There’s a zip line overhead, and you can even take a waterslide through a shark tank at the Golden Nugget.
There are so many ways to skin a cat, but the hype of Vegas is real, and for a couple of days you’ll just let the real world float away as you are immersed in the flashing, buzzing fantasyland that is Las Vegas.
Key West, Florida – Chris of One Weird Globe
Known for being as far south you can go in the US, the string of islands makes for a great ending (or starting!) place for any Great American Road Trip. Getting there is straightforward: head south on Route 1 from Miami, and stop for gas before you leave the mainland (it’s available but only gets more expensive the further you go).
Yes, it’s a popular tourist destination (what the heck, One Weird Globe?), but hidden amongst the mainstream stuff is a worthy variety of offbeat stuff along the way. Some recommendations:
- On your way to Key West, you’ll pass Betsy the Lobster. It’s around 40 feet (12.2 meters) long and 30 feet (9.1 meters) tall, and it guards an artist’s village with plenty of local artisans and cozy little shops. Give it 15-20 minutes, and remember your negotiation skills!
- The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum – start your tour with (or drop what you’re seeing to join) the ‘Tank Talk’ session, held four times a day. The kid-friendly museum offers scavenger hunts and plenty of interactivity, while the adults can enjoy the sheer variety of shells from common to very rare.
- Key West Cemetery – home to quirky Floridians and their lasting epitaphs. Two of the more famous ones include “I told you I was sick” (Pearl Roberts), and “Good Citizen for 65 of his 108 years” (Thomas Romer). One of my favorites: “His beautiful little spirit was a challenge to love” (Sunny Otto, a Yorkshire terrier),
Ready for more? There’s a guidebook for that: What The Florida has over 90 of Florida’s bizarre, unique, and quirky destinations and is available everywhere e-books are sold.
Photo shot by Alex Reynolds
Bryce Canyon, Utah – Alex and Sebastiaan of Lost with Purpose
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is the most beautiful park in the United States. The claim will probably upset a few folks, but I’m willing to fight to defend that statement. Bryce Canyon is as beautifully red and (almost as) vast as the Grand Canyon, but unlike the more famous of the two, Bryce Canyon actually has something to look at inside its walls.
See all those spires? The canyon is filled to the brim with those surreal rock formations, called “hoodoos.” Yes, hoodoos. Do you need any more reasons to love Bryce Canyon?
The park is beautiful at any time of year (even winter, the photo is proof), and offers a myriad of hiking trails to suit visitors of any fitness level. I highly recommend spending at least one night around the area, so you can catch sunrise and sunset.
If you’re interested in overnighting it in the canyon, you can get permits to camp inside. If you’d rather have views from above, there are plenty of accommodation options around the canyon. Sunset Point Campground is a great place to pitch your tent or park your car to watch the sunset. If you’d like to stay close to sunrise, Bryce Canyon Lodge is close to Sunrise Point.
POPULAR EUROPEAN LIST POSTS
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