Imagine yourself soaking up the sun on one of the best beaches on the planet. How spotting wildlife that won’t pop up in your backyard? A food tour of the best restos and street foods sounds amazing, right?
You don’t have to travel to Europe or Asia to find the best vacation spots. The U.S. has everything from incredible nightlife to the best shopping and cultural spots you can enjoy.
To help you plot your next great getaway, Trip Advisor just released their Traveler’s Choice Award for 2024: the Best of the Best Destinations. These will make you want to find ways to travel more.
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Why travel to a US destination via Europe or Asia
If you want to be boring and practical, let’s parse out the differences between international and national travel. You can’t just get up and go for international travel. Acquiring passports and visas can take a couple of months.
However, if you travel throughout the States, you don’t have to worry about exchanging currency, getting vaccinations or the size of your suitcase.
Plus, if European and Asian travelers are vacationing here, that means there are seriously cool places to visit in here.
Top 10 Trending Destinations in the U.S.
TripAdvisor put together a list of the locations in the U.S. that are trending, based on reviews from their readers. Following are the 10 hottest spots to brag about visiting this year.
1. Napa, California
Known for its wineries, this region has been immortalized in movies like Bottle Shock, Sideways and Wine Country. It’s a romantic spot for couples and a popular spot for weddings.
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2. St. Petersburg, Florida
3. Marathon, Florida
Did you know that the classic film, Key Largo (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall) was filmed there? It’s also the home of the Turtle Hospital, which rescues injured sea turtles and releases them back into the wild.
Marathon is made up of 13 keys or small islands. It’s an excellent place to snorkel, dive, fish, and partake in any type of boating activity. It’s about an hour from Key West, which is the southernmost point of the US.
4. Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs that make up New York City. It has become one of the trendiest places to live and visit.
5. Provincetown, Massachusetts
It’s considered to be one of the top LGBTQ+ travel destinations. Provincetown houses the oldest continuous art colony and is surrounded by water.
Outdoor activities abound like kayaking, biking and whale watching. It also has activities for families like the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. There is live theater, shopping and restaurants too.
6. West Yellowstone, Montana
Every season has its own set of breathtaking experiences; from cross-country skiing or sledding in the winter to summer rodeos, and all-around trail rides, you can be busy from sunup to sunset.
West Yellowstone also has gorgeous resorts and spas, excellent restaurants and nightlife too.
7. Homer, Alaska
Breathtaking scenery is the backdrop for everything you do in Homer, Alaska.
While this vacation spot is an outdoorsperson’s dream; there’s hiking, kayaking, glacier and cross-country skiing, fishing and an abundance of wildlife spotting, there’s a lot of things to do indoors as well.
Homer has cultural spots, restaurants with incredible seafood and shopping.
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8. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
9. Portland, Oregon
Comedian Fred Armisen’s TV series, Portlandia was a love letter to this Pacific Northwest city. Considered to be an incredibly friendly, walkable city, Portland has a wealth of microbreweries, outstanding restaurants, live music, and cultural scenes.
There are extinct volcanoes, over 200 parks and hiking trails, a zoo, and a formal Japanese garden. For a quick change of pace, the city is an hour away from the ocean or the mountains.
10. Kanab, Utah
With the resurgence of all things Western, a visit to Kanab, Utah is a must for cowboys, cowgirls, and nature lovers. Nicknamed “Little Hollywood,” the small town of Kanab, Utah was the set for over 100 movies and TV shows.
It’s also surrounded by national and state parks like the Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and is the home of the north rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.
The 10 top U.S. travel destinations
Tripadvisor also put together the best overall travel destinations in the U.S. for 2024. This was put together as the best-ranked place to visit based on the reviewers on the site.
These cities are perennial favorites for both domestic and international travelers alike. Vacationing in one of these places often pops up in people’s bucket list.
1. New York City, New York
New York City has five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Each borough has distinct neighborhoods with their own charm and personalities.
2. O’ahu, Hawaii
O’ahu is Hawaii’s third biggest island, the home to its state capital, Honolulu, and has something for everyone. World-famous beaches, like Waikiki, Diamond Head, and Kailua Bay are easy to get to, as is the historical site of Pearl Harbor.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
One of the things that makes this city such a great vacation spot is that not only is it near the Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon, it has the unique immersive Meow Wolf art experience, aquariums, museums, and attractions to keep you so busy, you may never step into a casino.
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is not just a Mardi Gras destination. The sprawling city also known as NOLA has trolley cars you can hop on and off to explore the neighborhoods known as districts. The Uptown and Garden Districts have sprawling homes to view and charming restaurants to enjoy.
The French Quarter faces the river and is a historic sprawl of mansions, parks, museums, bars, and historical sites. The city has museums that range from military history to art, a zoo, antique, unique, and spooky cemeteries, and walking tours for every interest.
5. Miami Beach, Florida
Glamorous Miami Beach has it all. Swaying palm trees, a glittering nightlife where world-famous DJs entertain crowds of partygoers, beaches, boating, and water activities of every stripe.
6. Maui, Hawaii
Maui, like O’ahu are top destination wedding spots due to the glorious sunsets and incredible views of the oceans and mountains. However, there is something for everyone here. While the island is still recuperating from the wildfires, most of the island is still open for visitors.
Visit the beaches, go snorkeling, surf, swim, and fish. Take a coffee farm tour, visit a forest, or hop on a chartered boat to see dolphins and whales frolic in the ocean. There is a lively restaurant and nightlife scene, or slow down with a game of golf.
7. Nashville, Tennessee
Known as Music City, Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry where you can catch country music stars performing live. Watch a game, as Nashville is home to three sports teams: Nashville Predators (ice hockey), Tennessee Titans (football) and the Nashville SC (soccer club).
Try world-class restaurants, great shopping, and even antique shops whose range runs from vintage guitars to art.
8. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, like New Orleans, is a city that has buildings dating back to colonial times. Feeling historic? Visit the Fort Sumter National Museum, and walk through the French Quarter or Middleton Place.
Get active with a day at a beach, go golfing, kayaking, or fishing. Go to a brewery or visit one of the innumerable restaurants the city has to offer. Cuisines range from low country classics to sophisticated, modern offerings.
9. Chicago, Illinois
While the city has 600 parks and 26 miles of lakefront, it’s also known for world-class shopping on Michigan Avenue, restaurants that always pop up in a “best of” list somewhere, and the city even has two zoos.
10. Key West, Florida
The last key (island) in the Florida Keys is also the southernmost point of America. It welcomes everyone with open arms. Whether you’re a member of the LGBQ+ community, an adventurer, or a family, or a couple who wants a romantic getaway, there’s something for everyone to do here.
Known for its quirky, artsy personality, Key West is home to the Ernest Hemingway House, excellent beaches, and fishing and snorkeling opportunities.
Activities range from watching dolphins at play to camping. Take a glass bottom boat tour or tour the art galleries. There’s a vibrantly raucous (in a good way) nightlife, great restaurants, and hotels that range from modest to luxurious.
Whether you’re looking for a tropical locale, a fast-paced city, the great outdoors, or a place steeped in history, America offers unique destinations that can fulfill anyone’s wanderlust.
Cited as the 2024 Travelers’ Choice Best of The Best Destinations by Trip Advisor, the above locales will revive anyone’s sense of wonder while tickling the palate and creating once-in-a-lifetime memories.
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Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
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