So, you’re thinking of jet-setting off to the ol’ U-S-of-A, and almost immediately into the planning stages you’ve encountered the major problem of way too much choice.
America is an incredibly diverse and colourful nation, with each of the fifty states possessing its own unique culture, history and set of attractions remarkable enough to tempt any tourist. There is an unimaginable amount to explore, and unless you’re staring down the barrel of more than a three-month holiday that allows you to do the whole thing, you’re going to have to make some decisions.
Of course, the major cities are a given. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco – all incredible choices that are absolutely worth your time, and that everyone should see at least once. But there are also a lot of U.S. cities that tourists forget about.
So, here are a few often overlooked destination suggestions for the next time you’re planning a trip across the pond.
This state capital has a tonne of history to it as the site of some the most significant events during the American Revolution. It’s teeming with museums and other incredible memorabilia dating back to the 1600s, making it an ideal spot to visit for any U.S. history buff. Not to mention it’s right next to Cambridge, where you can check out two of America’s most famous historical universities – Harvard and M.I.T.
That said, there probably isn’t a site in Boston more legendary than Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and the oldest major league ballpark still in use. For the sports fans among us, catching a baseball game at Fenway would certainly be one for the bucket list.
Another heavily overlooked cultural hub, Detroit is rarely on the list for your average tourist, but it’s absolutely jam packed with amazing choices for dining, sports and entertainment, world-class art museums and iconic architecture. Birthplace of the legendary Motown Records and home to the beautiful Fox Theatre, the city’s sights and soul will keep you busy for days.
Despite being the America’s capital, Washington D.C. isn’t generally a go-to for visitors, but this city is overflowing with history. You’d only need a couple of days to explore the major attractions, but they’re well worth putting on your itinerary.
To name just a few of the city’s iconic features, you’ve got The White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall and the Washington Monument. Even if you’re not crazy about politics, Washington offers a hell of a lot to explore, housing some of the country’s most famous museums, like the Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian.
If you’re travelling to the U.S. in Summer, Miami should definitely be on your stopover list. A perfect place to let off some steam and add some proper fun to your trip, this city is famed for its colourful art deco architecture, glorious beaches and buzzing nightlife.
While you can always set yourself up by the water on some beautiful white sand for the day, there’s also plenty of museums and attractions to explore. Then, after dinner, Miami’s thriving club and bar scene offers plenty of options for a place to dance yourself into the early hours.
Tucked way up in the North West of the country, Portland is an easy one to miss, but if you’re thinking of travelling over to Canada at some point while you’re in this part of the world, it’d be silly not to stop off in this delightful city on the way.
Known for its beautiful natural scenery, abundant coffeehouses and more relaxed vibe, Portland is a perfect stopover to break up an otherwise jam packed trip to America’s more bustling major cities. Plenty of bike paths make it an incredibly easy place to get around, particularly for tourists who might not be used to driving American-style on the wrong side of the road. Add a couple of days in Portland to your itinerary to unwind before moving on to the next exciting stop.
There’s absolutely no sense in travelling to the American South if you’re not going to include Houston in your itinerary.
The city features some very impressive sights, like the Space Center and the Museum of Fine Arts. Its Downtown Theatre and Historic Districts are also home to the renowned Houston Grand Opera, not to mention a tonne of upscale restaurants and thriving nightlife scene that rivals some of America’s best.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana
Located right in the heart of the American South, New Orleans is one of the nation’s most iconic cultural hubs, filled to the brim with rich history, culture and quite literally round-the-clock entertainment. The city is a melting pot of African, French and American cultures, with a vibrant nightlife famous for its live music scene and delicious soul food.
During Mardi Gras, New Orleans hosts some truly incredible festivities, featuring night-long street parties and parades that light up the entire city. However, visiting this extraordinary place at any time of the year will give you an experience that’s unlike any other in the world, so it’s an absolute must for any U.S. trip.