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Must-See American Cities

The United States is far too large to see every site and every monument in just a few days or weeks. There are so many wonderful things to see and do within this great country. As you are planning your next travel destination or that next road trip, make sure to take a look at these top U.S. cities that offer a little taste of adventure for everyone.

1. New York

How would you summarize New York with just one word? Big, brash, crowded, cosmopolitan, cultured, dirty, expensive- no matter which work you choose, there is just no denying that New York is probably the single most exciting, most varied, and most vital city in the United States. Business people flock to this great city because it is the most important financial center in the country, but other travelers come because of its wide range of theatrical and musical venues, art galleries, and museums. When you visit New York, immediately it will be apparent that this conveys a very cosmopolitan atmosphere. After all, this was the first home in the U.S. for many immigrants. A trip to New York will allow you to truly see it all; great restaurants, shopping, and sightseeing attractions. This diverse city deserves to be on every tourist’s “must-see” list.

2. Washington D.C.

If D.C. only offered the country’s center of government, this city would be further on down the list, but it’s truly much more than that. Besides being the home of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington has some of the nation’s top museums all clustered together in an open park-like setting. Even though hotels and restaurants can sometimes be expensive here in D.C., traveling here can be cheaper overall than in many other U.S. cities because almost every major attraction is free! If you are planning a trip to D.C., most likely it is because you want to take in all of the historical sites and learn a little bit more about our history as a nation, so if all of the attractions you want to see are free, why not come take a visit? Generally there is no admission charge to any of the government facilities, not to any of the museums of the Smithsonian, not to local parks or the zoo. This truly is a family-oriented vacation spot, with activities not costing you a dime. As you walk around the monuments, visit the Capitol or the White House, or stroll through the museums, you can’t help but come away from your trip with a greater sense of our nation’s history and political structure.

3. Chicago

Come, take a trip to one of the country’s most colorful, most storied cities in the United States. There are many images that come to mind when we think about Chicago, but here are a few: industrial power, mafia corruptions, elevated trains, and downhome middle America. Residents try really hard to obtain a place of lodging right near downtown, because Chicago boasts one of the most beautiful and amazing downtown skylines in the U.S. You can’t help but notice he towering Sears Tower and the beautiful lake front area along Michigan Avenue. With plenty of shopping, dining, and top-flight museums like the Field Museum and the Art Institute, Chicago’s got plenty to keep a tourist busy for a few days.

4. Las Vegas

While European casinos might ooze elegance and sophistication, they definitely don’t compare to the casino’s in Las Vegas. Here in America’s gambling capital, you’ll find sleaze and ostentatious glitz at its finest. As you stroll down the Strip, one can’t help but notice all of the neon lights, strobes, glitter, and all of the clinking, ringing, and clanking noises of the various casions. It is just this sort of adventure that beckons one and all to take part in the madness! If learning about America’s history or culture is just not what you want to see, then come take a visit to Las Vegas, where excitement never ends.

5. Miami

This great city is often referred to as the Gateway to the Americas. Miami is one of the most important cities in the south, the equivalent to New York, but in the south. Like New York, Miami is home to many immigrants, mostly coming from Cuba and South America. The population is more than half hispanic and has become a cultural center for Latinos. Also, many cruise lines are based out of this city because of its closeness to the Caribbean. While visiting Miami, make sure to head on over to one of the local beaches or take a swamp tour of the Everglades.

6. New Orleans

New Orleans may just be one of the most fascinating, unique cities in the United States. Here, you’ll find a rich blend of French Spanish, and southern black cultures. This diverse city is also the birthplace of Jazz, the blues, and zydeco music, making it the center of music culture. There’s always a party happening in New Orleans, and with great retaurants and entertainment, you’ll be able to join in. If you’d like to visit New Orleans for its historical value, then just head on over to the upscale downtown Garden District or to the outlying plantation areas to enjoy some authentic genteel southern character. There’s definitely more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras!

7. San Francisco

If you’re headed to the West Coast, take a trip to San Francisco to enjoy some of the colorful history of Spanish settlers, Asian immigrants, and or course, the exciting Gold Rush days. Certainly a must-see is the famous Golden-Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf. A couple more interesting points to see include having dinner in Chinatown or taking a cable car ride on Nob’s Hill.

8. Los Angeles

Los Angeles is undoubtedly an important city in the U.S., but it lacks some of the rich history that many other smaller cities provide. However, there are still museums, monuments, and historical attractions to visit that will make your trip worthwhile. Some great activities to participate in while in LA include, taking a movie studio tour in Hollywood, visiting the Queen Mary, taking a drive down Rodeo Drive, or a trip out to Catalina Island.

9. Seattle

Seattle may be one of the most important U.S. cities in the Pacific Northwest, boasting a good range of natural attractions. You’ll find plenty of recreational opportunities not only in the water, but in the nearby Cascade Mountains. Some interesting sights to see include the Space Needle and Pikes Place Market.

The United States is just far too big to list all of the hundreds, if not thousands of other great top attractions to visit while traveling around the country- many of which lie in small town America. As you are traveling take some time to explore beyond the top attractions and appreciate all of the rich history that we enjoy in this country.