7 US Destinations to Visit
As the world reopens to tourism again, many of us bitten by the travel bug can’t wait to explore a romantic European city or kick back on the sugar sand beaches of the Caribbean. But for Americans eager to hop a flight, there’s a wealth of places to experience right here at home.
Want to take a trip in the United States but have no idea where to start? Here, a roundup of fabulous US destinations to visit, no passport needed.
For a distinctly European feel in the heart of the South, I recommend spending a few days in the Lowcountry. Charleston is a stunning city featuring more than 2,500 historical buildings, and the town oozes style and elegance, not to mention a gentility that can only be found here. The cuisine is reason enough for the city to top your USA travel list––start with Charleston Grill, Leon’s, and Magnolias, to name a few––but don’t ignore its rich history, or the sand and sun of Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, just south of the city. You’ll discover plenty to see and do in the quintessentially southern and walkable downtown district, though, and you may never want to leave. Be sure to include Rainbow Row, a charming street of pastel-colored row houses, in your wanderings. I adore Charleston so much––I almost moved there in 1995.
New York, N.Y.
There’s no way I could skip my hometown of New York, a city that’s weathered the pandemic and is poised to make a strong comeback in the next year. While studies show the city’s full recovery will take several years––until tourism reaches pre-pandemic levels––that’s not to say travelers aren’t eager to experience New York and all of its offerings as soon as possible. With the debut of Little Island at Pier 55, the city’s lively al fresco dining scene, exciting exhibits like In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Broadway’s long-awaited reopening just weeks away, now is the time to plan a trip to New York City.
For the ultimate wellness escape, hop a flight to Phoenix, rent a car, and head north until you hit red rock. Sedona is a captivating little pocket of the state, with a relaxed, earthy energy, incredible local art, plenty of outdoor adventure, and even its share of delicious food. And, did I mention there’s wine there too? Arizona produces some lovely wines, and you should be able to uncork a few local bottles while spending time in Sedona. For a combo of light adventure with wine tasting, opt for the four-hour Pink Sedona Wine Tour with Page Spring Cellars. And for more intrepid travelers, I suggest mountain biking or an off-road adventure in an ATV.
Palm Springs, Calif.
I’ve been fortunate to travel to this beguiling area of California three times, and I’d return again and again. What do I love so much? The mountainous desert surroundings and Old Hollywood vibe are enough to keep me coming back to Palm Springs. But the the stockpile of Midcentury Modern architecture combined with Joshua Tree National Park––a 1,235 square-mile, otherworldly oasis––mean this slice of the Golden State is like no other destination in the world. For all of these reasons and more, I’m repeatedly drawn to this unique, magical place.
Key West, Fla.
For years now, I’ve wanted to see Key West, the southernmost point in the Continental United States. I have yet to get there, but the coastal town still tops my must-visit destinations in North America. Perhaps it’s my interest in witnessing a six-toed cat, one of the descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s polydactyl feline, Snow White. Kitties aside, the island lifestyle is what I find alluring––from conch cottages to British Colonial decor, sun and sand, and the prevalence of Cuban Heritage––I say, take me to Key West.
I know what you’re thinking….Detroit?! Yes, Detroit. On my trip in 2019, I fell in love with so much about this city: the stunning architecture, the friendly natives, and most importantly, the palpable hometown pride. Detroit has struggled and that’s no secret, but thanks to its revitalization efforts, Motor City has a new lease on life. Clean streets. Beautiful public parks. Trendy eateries and bars. The stylish Shinola Hotel, an anchor in Downtown. One more reason to check out this Michigan city: The Detroit Institute of Arts features one of the largest art collections in the country.
Willamette Valley, Ore.
Oregon’s wine country is less than an hour outside of Portland––a fun, funky city worth a trip on its own–– and an easy drive. For a base, I recommend McMinnville, the heart of the valley. The small city’s downtown is entirely walkable, and from there, you’ll be able to drive to surrounding towns in minutes. For the wine experience, McMinnville offers a bounty of tasting rooms within a stroll of each other, and indie shops and restaurants are peppered in between. You may be tempted to spend all your time in town, but get out among the vineyards, too. Be sure to stop in the Dundee Hills––the AVA producing some of the region’s finest Pinot Noir.
Where do you plan to travel in 2021 and 2022? Do you have any favorite US destinations that you plan to visit? Share your go-to places in the comments.