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!
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.
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.
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?