Every year Travel + Leisure does their World’s Best Awards survey where they ask their readers to weigh in on travel experiences and share their opinions on top cities, islands, cruises, spas, airlines and more.
When it comes to finding the best cities in the United States as travel destinations, Travel + Leisure has got you covered. They listed their top rated 15 cities in the United States based on a variety of factors, including sights and landmarks, culture and cuisine, friendliness and shopping, and overall value. As an avid Travel + Leisure reader I was inspired and decided to pay tribute and feature their top 10 cities below with some of my own additional insights! Whether you’re looking for a city that’s full of history and culture, or one with great shopping and restaurants, this list has something for everyone.
Below is the Top 10 of Travel + Leisure’s list, to see the full 15 check out their website click here!
1. Charleston, South Carolina
Photo by Leonel Heisenberg on Unsplash
There’s no secret that people keep going back to Charleston time and time again. This city is full of history and culture, and its architecture is simply stunning. From music festivals to art shows, there’s always something fun to do in this vibrant city. There is a place in Charleston where you will see people gathering to take photos called Rainbow Row. This unique and historic area is best known for the 14 houses painted in the colors of the rainbow. If you’re looking for a place that has plenty of that southern charm and beautiful architecture , Charleston is definitely worth considering.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo by João Francisco on Unsplash
New Orleans is a city that’s full of life. It’s known for its round-the-clock nightlife and vibrant live-music scene. It is said that New Orleans is the birth place of Jazz. Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton had his own theory on the birth of Jazz. He said, “It is evidently known, beyond contradiction, that New Orleans is the Cradle of Jazz, and I myself happen to be the inventor in the year 1902.” This city is also know for its cuisine which reflects its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. To quote the Travel + Leisure site “One voter explained that you feel an overpowering spiritual energy of the past and the complicated history of the city.”
3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is a beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage. It’s also a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs, the Santa Fe Farmers Market includes over 150 local vendors and endless stands laden with fresh produce, colorful foods, souvenirs, and local treats. It is a lovely lively yet laidback place to visit, and it is located just a stone’s throw away from the city center in the Santa Fe Railyard. If you love looking at art while traveling check out the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.
4. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is described as a city where locals welcome you right in. There are no strangers in Savannah. Known for its unique charm and bountiful historic architecture. One of the only cities that survived the Civil War mostly intact. Take a walk through the oak-filled parks and squares, shop on River Street, or grab lunch in City Market. Savannah is suddenly experiencing recognition as one of the best places to live due to the great expansion and revitalization of this city. If you’re looking for a place that’s full of Southern hospitality, Savannah is a perfect choice.
5. Honolulu, Hawaii
Photo by Michelle Spollen on Unsplash
Honolulu is THE place to relax and enjoy the incredible scenery. It is known for its top-notch restaurants, vibrant cultural events and wild nightlife. With its sandy beaches and clear blue waters, it’s no wonder this city was voted one of the best in the United States. One of the most popular and sought after surfing destinations in the world, Honolulu has the perfect weather for surfing throughout the year. The crescent-shaped shorelines combined with the reef bed protect novices from rough weather conditions and large swells.
6. New York City
Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash
There’s something for everyone in New York City. From the sights and sounds of Times Square to the world-class museums. NYC has a variety of culture and cuisine from around the world and is a foodies paradise. If you love to try new and exciting foods visit NYC during Restaurant Week, an annual event that happens twice a year ( in the summer and winter) where many of the City’s top restaurants participate in curating their menus so more people may try out their food. If you want a break from the busy, bustling city you should visit central park which offers sculptures, playgrounds, concerts and guided tours in the 843 acres of carefully planned outdoor space.
7. Chicago, Illinois
Photo by Sawyer Bengtson on Unsplash
Chicago is a truly unique city from the architecture to the infrastructure to the unforgettable pizza. It also has more bridges than any other city in the US, with 37 movable bridges spread across the Chicago River. Can you believe science-fiction comic hero Batman’s hometown, Gotham City, was inspired by the amazing Chicago? Also, the famous US Highway 66, popularly known as “Route 66,” is significant as the nation’s first all-weather highway and it begins in Chicago.
8. Alexandria, Virginia
Photo by Ryan Ledbetter on Unsplash
Alexandria is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. From its historic buildings to its great shopping and restaurants, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. If you love walking around a new city then you need to check out the beautiful trails along the Potomac. The city is primarily known for its rich colonial history as George Washington’s hometown and includes attractions frequented by America’s founding fathers such as Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.
9. San Antonio, Texas
Photo by Shelly Collins on Unsplash
San Antonio is know for the Alamo and the beautiful River Walk, and is great city for food lovers. With its Tex-Mex cuisine and incredible barbecue, there’s no shortage of delicious things to eat in this vibrant city. The beautiful River Walk is a 15 mile urban waterway filled with sightseeing, shopping and art and is a treasure tucked away below street level, only steps from the Alamo. San Antonio is a city rich in history and booming with modern attractions and is known for being the seventh largest city in America.
10. Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Jennifer Shishmanian on Unsplash
Boston is a historical city with plenty of character. From the Freedom Trail to Fenway Park, there’s no shortage of things to do in this great city. Boston is often cited as America’s seafood capital and rightly so, considering it’s right next to the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t leave without trying the New England clam chowder, a Boston classic.
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