5 Best United States Cities to Visit

In the scheme of life, my traveling days have truly just begun. I’ve done minimal international travel (so far), so most of our family vacations growing up have been within the United States. People often ask me where has been the “best” place I’ve visited, or my favorite vacation. I know “best” is a truly subjective word, and everybody will have their own list of “best” when it comes to anything. In no particular order, here are the 5 best United States cities you should visit.

 

1. Kona, Hawaii

If I made a list of best states, I guarantee Hawaii would be on it. I adore Hawaii so much, that I’m going back (to Honolulu) for my birthday in February 2018. As of now, I’m choosing the city of Kona, on the big island. Kona is known for their coffee, though unfortunately I didn’t appreciate it in 2004 (at 10 years old). You can tour the Kona coffee plantation and try their famous coffee! Hawaii has so much to offer from volcanoes, luaus, hiking, snorkeling, fabulous beaches, fun and friendly locals, and delicious food. You know the food was fantastic if an extremely picky 10 year old loved it!

best united states cities

Hawaii truly is paradise, what’s not to love?

 

2. Nashville, Tennessee

Also known as: Country Music City, USA! Nashville, TN is just the tip of “down south” when it comes to America. I fell in love with this city after my brother moved here in 2012 for work. Coming from Wisconsin, I love the general southern atmosphere; everyone is so kind and friendly! Downtown Nashville is absolutely wonderful. There is live music in many of the restaurants, and all of the stores are playing country music. From the Grand Ole Opry to Country Music Hall of Fame, there’s so much history here. If you’re fond of country music, it’s a great place to see where all the stars, past and current, got their roots.

 

3. Denver, Colorado

I loved Denver for Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll see a trend as you read through this post; the “best” cities (I believe) always include nature. Even outside of hiking, Denver has so many other activities to do. You can tour the United States Mint, visit the botanical garden, and enjoy multiple food, wine, or beer tours throughout the city.

 

4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Okay, so maybe I like Tennessee a little more than my home state Wisconsin. Gatlinburg, Tennessee is amidst the Smokey Mountains, a sub-range of the Appalachian mountains. First Denver, now Gatlinburg, I think you can see a pattern here: I love mountains. The “Smokies” has it all, fantastic hiking trails of all levels, waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife. We saw several black bears on the move; fortunately, we weren’t too close to them when on foot! Similar to Nashville, there is no shortage of southern comfort food! Gatlinburg has other fun activities in the city to help you mix things up: Ripley’s Aquarium, many distilleries & shops, and even ziplining & bungee jumping.

best united states cities | ziplining best united states cities | Gatlinburg, TN

5. Orlando, Florida

Two words: Disney World! As a huge Disney fan, I could not exclude Orlando, FL as one of the best cities to visit in the United States.  I’ve gone twice, at age 4 and age 14… So sorry, nobody is seeing pictures of me from middle school(you can thank me later). I hope to go again as an adult, not only to the one in the states, but also all over the world. There is something incredibly nostalgic about Disney classics and visiting this magical place, even if you aren’t under the age of 10.

best united states cities | Cinderella castle

Best United States Cities | Disney World
October 1998

 

If you’ve visited any of these cities, I’d love to know your thoughts! Also, what other cities would you add to this list and why?

 

51 Comments

  1. I was very surprised when I realised I have actually been to 3 of these 5 considering I hardly feel I have seen much of the US at all! I absolutely loved Nashville (particularly The Stage) and cannot wait for another visit there! Gatlinburg was fantastic too – I swear me and my friend were the only British people there, it seems as if its more a getaway for the Americans? I would love to go to Hawaii too – its on my list!

  2. I have been to two of these, Kona and Nashville and agree these are great places. My other favourites are Washington DC, Key West, New Orleans & New York. I would say my favourite places to visit are the national parks rather than the cities. I have done 13 so far in the US and hopefully one day I can get to see them all.

  3. As a Nashville-native, I’m so glad my hometown made your list! I may be a bit biased, but it’s such a fun place to explore. It’s growing so much right now. I actually just spent today exploring more of East Nashville!

  4. Great suggestions! I’m headed to Nashville for the first time later this summer for a bachelorette party and I can’t wait to explore. We’ll definitely be checking out the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame.

  5. Wow, it must have been difficult to narrow the whole US into just 5 great cities. I feel like Orlando isn’t really that great outside of Disney though. I don’t know many people who just go to visit Orlando…

  6. Orlando is my favourite!! But that’s only because I haven’t been to Hawaii yet I think! Hawaii has been on my bucket list for a while now, but I’m still waiting for my budget to match the destination. Love this list, thanks for sharing!

  7. I will definitely agree with you that Gatlinburg and Orlando are must sees when it comes to seeing the Smoky Mountains and enjoying Disney World. After visiting all the states, our favorite cities are 1. Portland, Oregon 2. Albuquerque, New Mexico 3. Sedona, Arizona 4. Portland, Maine 5. Salem, Massachusetts. Every state has something beautiful to offer, it’s hard to pick just a few favorites! Love your list 🙂 #weekendwanderlust

  8. Gotta add Las Vegas to that list. There are so many other exciting things to do in Las Vegas other than the strip! For a small town feel with a ton of history, if you ever get the chance — check out Williams, AZ. I had an amazing experience there and its great for kids too!

  9. Thanks for the great insight! Gatlinburg is on our list! We are partial to New Orleans and sad to see it didn’t make the top 5, but love Denver and Nashville as well. We have been to Hawaii, but not Kona so we will have to be sure to explore it on our next trip there – hopefully soon!

  10. I haven’t seen much of the States so far – only NY and Vegas. But I’d love to visit Hawaii – like you I agree that cities should have good green spaces and Kona sounds great for this. Although it’s the coffee that got my attention!

  11. Vicki Louise

    I’m so pleased as a non-American to have visited 2 of your five! I lived in Orlando for 6 months (working for the Mouse at WDW) and then did a cross country roadtrip and spent a couple of days in Nashville – i’m a big geek over country music so I absolutely loved the place!

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