Bright lights, modern metropolitan buildings, and a wide array of things to do, it is no surprise that the cities in the US are frequented by both local and international travelers. Having spent some time traveling around the US while growing up, I have to say that a few of my favorite cities in the world are in this country.
In this article, I will share with you a few of my top picks as well as must-do’s in each location! Between the incredible eats, local markets, museums, and parks, here are some of the best cities in the US that merits a weekend visit at the very least.
Do note that although I am no city person (I’m an island girl by heart), I love the ease of convenience that most cities provide due to the efficient transport system that is readily available. Nowadays, you can even travel from one city to the next using websites like GoTicket allowing you to search through bus and train routes between cities in the US.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff!
The city of San Diego is probably one of my top picks and is a place that I recommend everyone to visit at least once. To say this city has it all is an understatement. Located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in California, this sunny beach town boasts of warm weather, beautiful beaches, a vibrant nightlife, and an extensive list of adventurous activities. You can roam around the city during the day, go for a sunset surf in the afternoon, and cap it off with a tour of the many bars and distilleries spread across the city. There are lots of places to stay in the area, but be sure to check out some of the best Airbnbs in San Diego to make the most of your visit!
Must Not Miss: Walk around Balboa Park and La Jolla, Enjoy a few adventurous activities like Skydiving, surfing, or whale watching.
If you’re looking for a city where art, culture, and food (oh my god the food!) all melts into one, I highly recommend paying a visit to Seattle. Whether you’re strolling around the iconic Pike Place Market or enjoying a cup of coffee (or two) from the many artisan shops, this city is full of exciting things to do. If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy the incredible views that this city has to offer, the 605 foot tall Space Needle which has an observation level is one of my top picks. This landmark was built for a world fair but soon became a known icon in the city.
What Not to Miss: Pike Place Market, a ride down the Seattle Center Monorail and a visit to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).
Having spent many summers in this big badass city, San Fran is a huge favorite of mine simply because I’ve never been to a place that has so much character. From eating from corner burrito trucks, chilling in outdoor parks, walking (or biking) across the Golden Gate Bridge, the list of things to do in this city is endless. However, I do admit that one of my favorite things to do in the city is to people watch. I promise that you will be highly entertained! There are also some amazing weekend and day trips from San Francisco covering the likes of wine country, national parks and beyond. What more could ya ask for?
What Not to Miss: Visit Alcatraz, Have some clam chowder from Fisherman’s Wharf, shop in Union Square, and ride a cable car across the city.
As far as finding hipster things to do, Portland in Oregon definitely tops the list. Home to a good mix of both outdoor and indoor activities, this vibrant city is a fun place to spend a few days. What I love about Portland is its never-ending list of unusual things to do. A visit to the smallest park in the world? Yeah, they got you covered. A Brew Pub movie theater? Why not? Naked bike rides? Yup! So if you’re looking for a fun yet quirky getaway, Portland is your place.
What Not to Miss: Day trip to Mount Hood, a stroll through the Portland Japanese Garden, go on a food truck crawl (yes, that’s a thing!) Considering that Portland is home to over 600 food trucks, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Naturally, no best city in the USA would be complete without including the city that never sleeps, New York. I mean, it’s hard not to grin as you walk through the blinding lights of Times Square as you take in everything around you. The lights, the people, the chaos. I mean, what’s not to love? If you’re not watching Broadway shows or checking out some of the best museums in the world, there are urban bike rides, hipster villages (hey there, Brooklyn) and so much more to see in this incredible city. We spent an awesome weekend city break in New York and absolutely loved it!
What Not to Miss: Stroll down Central Park, 911 Memorial Museum, Top of the Rock Observatory, Broadway Shows, a Bike ride across Brooklyn Bridge, and of course, a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty.
LA is one of those cities that you just have to visit because so much of America’s pop culture takes place in this vibrant city. Popularized by the glitzy and glamorous Holywood culture, this place is often frequented by many. Whether you want to walk along Venice Beach, see the Hollywood sign or simply just wander around downtown LA, you won’t run out of fun things to do in this place.
What Not to Miss: Wander along the hippie town of Venice Beach, visit Universal Studios, go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and join the many available Hollywood or Beverly Hills city tours.
Recently voted as the 3rd best city in the US in Travel + Leisure Magazine, Savannah Georgia is a great place to get a dose of culture and relaxation. Known for its charming architecture, historic districts, manicured parks, and beautiful landscape, this is a place I recommend going if you’re not into big bustling cities. What better way to cap of your exciting weekend here exploring than by having a picnic or strolling down the oak tree-lined roads by the Wormsloe Historic Park.
What Not to Miss: An afternoon by Forsyth Park, go boozing in the many friendly neighborhood pubs and bars, and indulge in the many restaurants.
Naturally, as there are heaps of other cities in the US to feature (I’ve barely even scratched the surface!), hopefully, this article has given you a glimpse of the many incredible places in this country. Regardless if you’re looking for a quick weekend escape or if you want to hop from one exciting city to the next, the cities in the US has a little bit of something for everyone.
Looking for more articles on the US? Take a look at our top picks
- Best Places to Stay in New York
- Best Places to Stay in Orlando
- USA National Parks to Add to Your Bucketlist