• Nineteen Magazine

30 Places To Visit In The U.S. Before You Die

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

But preferably visit while you're young. :)

New York, New York

New York City is the largest city in the U.S. by population and one of the most popular tourist attractions as well. Some might call it dirty or full of crime, but they're the ones missing out! This city is home to some of the world's most impressive sites including the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. There is so much to do in NYC from shopping at the world's cutest boutiques to wandering around the Central Park Zoo. One thing you must do if you stop by this city is to attend a Broadway show. The best musical and dance talent is in NYC. No matter what show you see you can bet it's going to be amazing.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona and offers some of the best Instagram photo-ops in the country. Visitors remark that the beauty of the Grand Canyon is multiplied at sunrise and sunset.

The Hawaiian Islands

This archipelago is made up of a whopping 137 islands spread over more than 1,000 miles. Home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches and gardens this state relies on the tourism industry to survive. Fun places to visit while staying in Hawaii include Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and the Dole Pineapple Plant.

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is our country's capital and home to a plethora of national monuments and museums. Some of the most famous sights to see are the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. People also enjoy taking strolls by the White House and the Capitol Building. While you're there you should definitely check out the Smithsonian Institution Museums. Featured in Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, the Smithsonian is composed of eleven different museums and galleries. The National Air & Space Museum and the United States Botanical Garden are the most fun in my opinion.

Bar Harbor, MN

Bar Harbor is a popular seaside town for stay visitors of Maine's Acadia National Park to stay in. The cliffs and greenery give this island destination a serene vibe although it surely is no tropical getaway! Often foggy and breezy, this northern vacation destination offers unique experiences you can't get anywhere else including Lobster Boat excursions, moose spotting on a mountain hike, or dining at the variety of quaint eateries.

New Orleans, LA

Possibly the most notable party destination in the United States, New Orleans is known for it's vibrant annual Mardi Gras celebration. However, the nightlife is wild all year round in this city. Common things to do while staying in the Big Easy are visiting the National Voodoo Museum (yes, you read that right!) and enjoying the unique cuisine which combines African, American, and French traditions. Of course, we can't forget to mention that New Orleans is one of the best spots for hearing soulful jazz music.

Orlando, FL

Orlando is famous for its world-class theme parks including Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World. These huge commercial powerhouse parks are popular for good reason. I'd be lying if I said I didn't believe Disney World wasn't the happiest place on Earth. It's got churros, princesses, and rollercoasters for goodness sake! Universal Studios has certainly been becoming more and more of a competitor with Disney's Parks in the past few years offering fans a chance to experience their favorite movie franchises, such as Harry Potter, first hand.

Las Vegas, NV

You've probably heard, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." This is because Las Vegas is home to some of the United States' most 'adult' attractions. Caesar's Palace is one of Vegas's many and most favored casinos. The tourist and entertainment industry in Las Vegas largely revolves around drinking and gambling, but there are other less wild things to do in the city. such as taking a ride on the High Roller Observation Wheel or check out Adventuredome at Circus Circus for some fun, family-friendly rides and activities.

Nashville, TN

Known as the country music capital of the world, Nashville is where stars like Taylor Swift and Billy Ray Cyrus got their start. Besides having the opportunity to use the famous pick-up line, "are you from Tennesse because you're the only ten I see", visiting Nashville will give you a chance to enjoy the world-renown, Grande Ole Opry, stage and radio show.

San Francisco, CA

If you are visiting San Fransico there are two things you have to do: see the Golden Gate Bridge and take a ride on a cable car. We'd also recommend checking out PIER 39 for its restaurants, street performances, and attractions such as the Aquarium of the Bay. Also, please listen to San Fransico by Niall Horan at least once while you're there.

Hollywood, Los Angeles

From the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre, this L.A. neighborhood will have you feeling like a star from the moment you arrive. Make sure to take a picture in front of the Hollywood sign while you're there too because if you don't, honestly, what are you doing?

The Great Smoky Mountains

Running across the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, the Smoky Mountains region is the epitome of a fun, rustic, vacation destination. There are many private log cabin rentals in this area that give guests a chance to experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains for as long as they would like. Hiking, fishing, and swimming are fun ways to pass time in this forest paradise, but if you are looking for a more thrilling experience, head over to nearby Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge is a town located on the far eastern side of Tennesee which has many fun things to do. The Dollywood amusement park, Hatfield and McCoy's Dinner Show, and shopping at the Island in Pigeon Forge are some ideas to get you started.

Niagara Falls

While some of the falls Niagara Falls is located in Canada, tourists are able to witness the wonder of the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls without leaving New York. The Niagara Falls are simply a stunning and beautiful display of nature that everyone should get to see at least once in their lifetime.

Mt. Rushmore

This South Dakota memorial depicts presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. An amazing display of how dynamite can be used as an art tool, each impressive presidential representation is around sixty feet in height and carved right into the granite

Longwood Gardens

Located in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania, Longwood Gardens is a collection of nearly fifty gardens with exotic plant displays from literally all around the world. From ginormous lily pads to a unique miniature bonsai tree forest, Longwood Gardens has pretty much everything a horticulture enthusiast would be looking for. Even if you think you're not into plants, you would probably like something at these gardens whether if it is just enjoying reading a book in front of one of their gorgeous fountains or taking a hike in Peirce's Woods.

Salt Lake City, UT

When you think of Salt Lake City, you might first think of the Mormons, but there is so much more to Salt Lake City than its interesting religious history. If you find yourself in the capital of Utah definitely consider swimming or boating in the Great Salt Lake. It's one of the most beautiful and clean bodies of water in the U.S. Not to mention, the beaches are gorgeous. In the winter, there are lots of great places to ski or snowboard around Salt Lake City we would recommend for the winter sports fan.

Seattle, Washington

Washington's Emerald City maybe often rainy, but it's full of interesting things to see and do. Tourists are commonly drawn to the Space Needle, a leftover of the 1962 World's Fair, but we can't forget about the miles of stunning mountains, lakes, and parkland surrounding this city.

St. Louis, MO

The St. Louis Gateway Arch is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States and it always makes for a great picture. If you are stopping by the city, make sure you check out the City Museum, Forest Park, or Missouri Botanical Garden.

Yellowstone National Park

There are so many things to see at Yellowstone National Park, which happens to be one of the largest stretches of wilderness in the United States. Not only will you get to see the renown geyser Old Faithful, but you will also have the opportunity to see a variety of plants and animals including bears!

Mall of America

The Mall of America located in Bloomington, Minnesota is way more than just a place to shop. With over 500 hundred different retail stores, the nation's biggest indoor amusement park, and a massive aquarium, it can take days to explore this shopping mall.

Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari

The largest amusement park in North America, Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari, offers a seemingly endless choice of rollercoasters and rides. El Toro, Bizarro, and Batman The Ride are sure to give even the bravest of rollercoaster fanatics an adrenaline rush. Summer visitors will have to check out the giant waterpark and if you're a fan of animals, the drive-thru safari is a must-do!

Philadelphia, PA

This city of brotherly love is full of history. From the Liberty Bell to Independence Hall where our Declaration of Independence was signed, Philadelphia is rich with the memory of our nation's founding fathers. The culture of Philly is also phenomenal. Philadelphia water ice, Philly cheesesteaks, and soft pretzels are just some of the staple foods you can find in this city. And let's not even mention the extreme Eagles fandom that seems to unite every person in this city. Make sure you check out the Museum of Art featured in the Rocky movies while you're there.

Boston, MA

Another historic city, Boston is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country. While you're there consider visiting the Boston Public Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts, or the Boston Public Harbor.

Mesa Verde National Park

Located in southwest Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park contains some of the most ancient dwellings in the United States. Tourists are always amazed by the Pueblan homes still left standing after so many years. In addition, to these cool artifacts, guests of Mesa Verde National Park often enjoy visiting the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum to learn more about Native American history.

Venice Beach

This gorgeous Los Angeles beach is perfect for surfing, swimming, building sandcastles, or whatever you like to do at the shore. Venice Beach is known for its culture and art. You can enjoy murals, music, and much more all on Venice Beach's famous boardwalk.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center is *the* place to visit for adults who wanted to be astronauts when they were kids. Located in Florida about an hour's drive from Orlando. the visitor's complex has many different attractions for guests to enjoy. Some of the most popular are the Rocket Garden (pictured above), the astronaut training simulators, the shuttle launch experience, and the IMAX theatre.

River Walk, San Antonio

River Walk is a great place to go if you are looking for a quick, slow-paced yet fun getaway. Take a boat tour, enjoy the gourmet dining available, or stroll the walkway with a loved one. Those looking for a little more action might want to visit the Aztec Theatre, Splashtown San Antonio, or Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico contains over one hundred caves. Visitors are always stunned by the impressive stalactites.

Your Hometown

People often fall into two categories. They either love their hometown or they hate it. Whatever category you fall into, I'm sure there are some parts of your hometown that are left to be discovered or maybe special memories that need to be rediscovered by a trip to that ice cream parlor you used to work at, the park bench you sat on at your first date, or the football field where your team won the championship. Remember there is always so much to explore right where you are!

Image: https://www.instagram.com/cocomermaid808/

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