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30 of the Best Vacation Spots in All of America

Whenever we want to take a break, the first few things we think of are time availability, total expense, and location. Of course, once the mind is set on taking this much-needed break, the next logical step is finding a place to travel to. Now this is where most of us can find a hiccup in the plans as finding a vacation spot, that too in the United States is tough. There are so many places to visit and not enough time. So why not let us help you find few of the best vacation spots in America! We have classified our suggestions into 3 distinct categories – beaches, national parks and hiking trails, and theme parks and sightseeing spots.
Beautiful Beaches in the U.S.
A total of 30 U.S. states have either saltwater coastlines on the shore of the ocean or lake coastlines. So you can imagine the wide range of choices when it comes to vacationing at the beach. Of course, there are many beaches which are favored more than others; due to the high tourist attraction. The following list has been compiled keeping this ideology in mind and also, the list is provided in no specific order.
Ho'okipa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
If you love the ocean and love taking beach vacations, then Ho’okipa beach is the place to be; especially if you love surfing and windsurfing as there are 4 distinct surf breaks. Each year, Ho’okipa hosts windsurfing competitions. The best time to visit is in the winters because of large surf. There are several areas where you can have picnics and take loads of pictures from the observation decks.
Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Lanikai is a very small beach; approximately 0.5 mile. However, it is one of the best beaches in the world. There is a residential area close to the beach and it doesn’t have parking nearby. So you’ll have to park your vehicle on the street and walk towards the beach.
There are several shops that provide kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, and many other equipment on rent. It is advisable to visit the beach during the weekdays as weekends are mostly crowded with tourists and locals.
South Beach, Miami, Florida
Visiting South Beach is a beach-lover’s dream as it draws the rich and the famous from all over the world. But that’s not all. Relax at the beach, play water sports, sunbathe, click pictures, snorkel, sail, surf, and pretty much anything your heart desires on Miami’s white sand-covered beach.
After a fun-filled day at the beach, you can hit the clubs and enjoy a wild nightlife of Miami. The beach is clean, inviting, and will give you countless memories for a lifetime.
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California
If you’re looking for real California living, visit Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Of course, you have the regular beach activities such as surfing, volleyball, snorkeling, sunbathing, etc.; but what attracts people to this beach is how it has so much more. You have the option to do all the water activities or skateboard, bike, rollerblade through the Ocean Front Walk.
There are tons of sidewalk sellers with handcrafted items and artwork for sale. You’ll see a group of people playing music and others dancing. Plus, the restaurants near the beach offer a range of cuisines for the tourists; there is a rooftop lounge where couples/friends/family can get the best view of Venice beach sunsets. You can even stroll through the Venice Beach Boardwalk and visit the Muscle Beach Gym; a sight never to be missed.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
For the adventurous kind, Myrtle beach can be a trip of a lifetime. Any kind of attractions you want, this beach has it. Visit the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Myrtle Waves (water park), Boardway at the Beach (shopping center), Family Kingdom Amusement Park (seaside amusement park), The Carolina Opry (musical show), and more!
For the adventurous kind, Myrtle beach can be a trip of a lifetime. Any kind of attractions you want, this beach has it. Visit the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Myrtle Waves (water park), Boardway at the Beach (shopping center), Family Kingdom Amusement Park (seaside amusement park), The Carolina Opry (musical show), and more!
Don’t forget the Medieval Times (Medieval-themed dinner theater), Huntington Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens, Myrtle Beach State Park (coastal forest), Pirates Voyage Fun, Feast & Adventure (pirate-themed dinner theater), Freestyle Music Park (musical theme park), Gay Dolphin Gift Cove (a 26,000 sq. ft. gift shop), and so much more.
Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California
It’s true that nature does find its way. The Pacific Ocean was used as a garbage dumping area by the residents of Fort Bragg in the early 20th century, but the Glass Beach has transformed itself today. The thrashing of waves, over many decades, helped the beach clean itself as it would break down all the trash in the water. What was left behind was glass which was then transformed into the small, beautiful, and colorful pieces that we see on the beach.
There have been several clean up programs for the Glass Beach in the past as well. Each year, countless tourists visit the beach to marvel the miracle of nature. You can’t collect any pieces from the beach park, but you can visit other areas near the park for souvenirs.
Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale Beach is more than just a spring break spot for college students. At the beach, you get the chance to windsurf, jet ski, snorkel, scuba dive, deep-sea fish, rollerblade, play volleyball, and go sailing. At the north side, you can also enjoy the day taking a nature hike, canoe trip, picnic along the coast, or go shopping. As for the south
side, you’ll get to see all the restaurants, beachfront shops, and nightclubs.
Pebble Beach, California
Apart from the actual beach, you can spend the day at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center. You will take a horseback ride to explore the gorgeous Monterey Peninsula which is above 34 miles long. The trail is beautiful with unbelievable scenery and the marvelous sounds of the waves. Plus, golf lovers can really enjoy themselves here at Pebble Beach, with eight private and public 18-hole golf courses.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
There are several beaches in Cape Cod and to select the one that suits your vacation requirements needs a bit of research. At the Upper Cape Cod beaches, see the Cape Cod Canal and the Monument Beach Marina at the Monument Beach, enjoy the warm water at the Wood Neck Beach, or the Falmouth Heights Beach which overlooks Vineyard Sound and Martha’s Vineyard in Falmouth.
At the Mid Cape Cod beaches, visit the Sandy Neck Beach which has high sand dunes and crystal-clear water or windsurf at Hyannis Harbor on Kalmus Beach. At the Lower Cape Cod beaches, you will find grassy sand dunes on Breakwater Beach, North Beach which is accessible by boast only, or take a dip in the Bucks Pond Beach (freshwater).
Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Hamoa Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Pacific Ocean as it has a gorgeous 30-foot high sea cliff and lush, green vegetation. The water is crystal clear and blue that offers ample chances for swimming, bodysurfing, paddle board surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and so much more. The beach has a mix of white-black sand and you get plenty of breathtaking scenic photographs.
Famous National Parks & Hiking Trails in the U.S.
The National Park Service is responsible of protecting and operating all the 59 national parks in the United States. In 2011 alone, over 278 million tourists visited the national parks for recreational purposes. That’s quite a number, isn’t it!
Yellowstone National Park
On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established and is approximately 3,468.4 sq. miles in area. The park is primarily located in Wyoming, however some parts cover Montana and Idaho as well. Before you visit the park, it is essential to know about the recreational activities here as there are many lakes, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges. There are about 9 hotels and lodges in the park where you can stay.
The best time to visit here would be the Spring (March to May), as you get to see babies around the park. At the park, you will see the largest geysers, hiking, camping, bicycling, fly fishing (catch and release only), horseback and llama rides, wildlife viewing, boating, etc. There’s so much to do and see, it can be a bit overwhelming.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The park spans the ridgeline of Great Smoky Mountains, which is about 816.28 sq. miles in area; the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. You will find various species of plants, trees, animals, reptiles, birds, fish, and amphibians. There are 2 visitors’ centers, Sugarlands Visitors’ Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
Besides, there are log cabins, churches, barns, and many historical attractions (Cades Cove Historic District, Elkmont Historic District, Oconaluftee Archaeological District, Noah Ogle Place, Roaring Fork Historic District, and many more). You can spend the day hiking through the park, sightseeing, fly fishing, bicycling, horseback riding, water tubing, etc.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Located in Montana, the park is approximately 16,000 sq. miles in area of mountain ranges, lakes, meadows, and forests. The best time to visit the park is during the months of July and August as it is ideal for hiking and climbing in the park, see the Logan Pass, and spot wildlife. September and October months, there is less crowd and you can camp out in the park, but the temperature at nights can be a bit cooler.
During winters, you can enjoy the park while snow showing, cross-country skiing, and trekking. You can easily drive through the campgrounds from mid-June to mid-September. The highlights of the park are Going-to-the-Sun Road, Lake McDonald Valley, Logan Pass, North Fork, Two Medicine, Goat, Haunt, Many Glacier, and St. Mary Valley.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Covering approximately 1,902 sq. miles of area, this natural wonder of the world can leave anyone speechless due to its sheer size. The South Rim is much more accessible than the North rim, as many tourists come to the park from the Arizona State Route 64.
You can choose to take either the South Rim Drive tour (which includes the 8 miles western drive to Hermit’s Point, Mohave Point, Powell Memorial, and Hopi Point) or the 25 miles of the eastern portion of Desert View. You can also enjoy the hiking tour which includes the Rim Trail (8 miles) along with the Hermit’s Rest (7 miles), or take a private helicopter ride.
Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail
The trail is approximately 1,200 miles long which encompasses the Continental Divide in Montana, the Pacific coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and the northern area of Idaho. If you’re looking to hike, mountain bike, or go horseback riding, this trail is ideal.
The trail passes through:
~ Glacier National Park
~ Olympic National Forest and Park
~ Flathead National Forest
~ Kootenai National Forest
~ Idaho Panhandle National Forest
~ Colville National Forest
~ Okanogan National Forest
~ North Cascades National Park
~ Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
~ Deception Pass State Park
~ Bayview State Park
~ Joseph Whidbey State Park
~ Fort Ebey State Park
~ Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
~ Fort Casey State Park
Yosemite National Park, California
Situated in the central-eastern part of California, the Yosemite National Park is a 1,200 sq. miles of gorgeous waterfalls, deep valleys, meadows, sequoias, cliffs, river beds, glaciers, and gorgeous mountains. There are many lodges and campgrounds for an overnight stay in Yosemite. However, they are open and accessible only during the season and are sometimes closed due to harsh conditions.
There are several hiking trails, accumulating to over 800 miles of area, ranging from easy strolls to multiple-day trips. The park is open all yearlong and can be enjoyed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Arizona National Scenic Trail, Arizona
The Arizona Trail caters to hikers, joggers, cross-country skiers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians as it cannot be entered in a motorized vehicle. It is approximately 820 miles wide which covers from Utah to Mexico. The highest point is the San Francisco Peaks which is about 9,600 feet.
Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
Not a long trail, just about 11 miles, the Kalalau Trail runs along the Nā Pali Coast on Kauai island. You can hike through the trails, but it is strictly advised for experienced hikers as the trail is quite challenging with various stream crossings, steep climbing, slippery areas near the waterfalls, and falling rocks. If you wish to camp in the park, you can avail a 5-day camping permit. However, once the permit has expired, you have to wait for a month to get another permit.
Tahoe Rim Trail
The 165 miles long Tahoe Rim Trail passes through California and Nevada, and is ideal for hiking, trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and skiing. It crosses through 1 state park and 3 national forests. The park doesn’t allow motorized vehicles in. The best times to hike in the trail is between the months of July and September. You can visit the trail year-round, however, you should avoid coming during winters as there are chances of severe storms.
Arches National Park, Utah
The park has approximately 2,000 natural stone arches with hundreds of pinnacles, fins, and giant rocks balancing on one another. There are several easy to long trails in the park where visitors can trek, hike, mountain bike, and even camp in.
Rock climbing is strictly prohibited in the park. The most famous features of the park are the Balanced Rock, Dark Angel, Wall Arch, Petrified dunes, Double Arch, Devil’s Garden, Delicate Arch, Courthouse Towers, Skyline Arch, Fiery Furnace, and many more.
Theme Park & Sightseeing Spots in the U.S.
Almost everyone is aware of Disney World and Disneyland in Orlando and Anaheim, respectively. However, there are many more theme parks across the country which you can visit and enjoy. Apart from the theme parks, there are countless states, cities, and counties for sightseeing.
Times Square, New York City, New York
New York City is a huge destination; listing only one tourist attraction is unfair. However, it is safe to say that Times Square does attract more visitors each year than any other place; approximately 39 million visitors annually only in 2011. Being the major commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan, Times Square is a marvel stretched from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street.
Apart from the obvious jaw-dropping stature of the intersection, you will find the Times Square Studios, Planet Hollywood, NASDAQ sign, W Hotel, Paramount Hotel, Broadway theater, Crown Plaza, Madame Tussauds Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Top of the Rock NYC, The Ride NYC, One Times Square (New Year’s Eve ball drop), Disney Store, M&M’s World, Chevrolet clock, The Hard Rock Cafe, and so much more.
San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, San Diego, California
San Diego Zoo and San Diego SeaWorld are a little over 7 miles away from one another. It’s better to purchase the 3-for1 Pass (adult – US $143 and child – US $113) because that way, you not only get access to the San Diego Zoo, but can also visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego with unlimited entry for 7 days from first use.
You may even purchase the Go San Diego Card (adult – US $199 and child – US $165) to visit San Diego Zoo 1-Day Pass, San Diego Zoo Safari Park Africa Tram Safari Pass, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California, Knott’s Soak City, USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, Harbor Cruises/Whale Watch, Birch Aquarium, all Balboa Park museums, and many more attractions.
Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida
You can purchase the Orlando theme park package (Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando) for US $178 for adults. You can hop between both theme parks as you enjoy the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney World), and Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios). These parks are perfect for visitors of all ages.
American Falls (Niagara Falls), New York
There are three waterfalls, the Niagara Falls( Ontario), the Horseshoe Falls (Ontario and New York State), and the American Falls that together make the Niagara Falls we know. The American Falls is entirely on the U.S. side, in New York, and is approximately 70-110 feet in height. You can view the falls from a steep angle and come quite close to the edge as well. There is a pedestrian bridge where visitors can view the rapids of the Niagara River going upriver from the falls.
Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois
Navy Pier has become a famous tourist spot as it gives people a chance to spend the day of fun on Lake Michigan. There is an annual outdoor art exhibition at the Gateway Park, which allows free entry for visitors, music synchronized fireworks on the lake which can be seen from the dock or on-board a cruise.
Various rides and attractions (150-foot Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, Musical Carousel, Transporter FX, Wave Swinger, Bike and Roll Chicago, Light Tower ride, Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, remote control boats, and 18 hole miniature golf course), Landshark Beer Garden, and so much more.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
The world famous granite sculpture in South Dakota, The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is approximately 60 feet in size. As many of you may know, the sculptures of the heads are of the 4 U.S. presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Each year, about 3 million visitors come to the park; especially during the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana
Mardi Gras means the Carnival season. The celebrations begin on or after Epiphany (it’s a holiday) and ends one day before Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent). During this season, people from across the country and all over the world come to New Orleans (a popular destination for Mardi Gras) and wear masks, costumes, dance, take part in parades, etc.
Although Mardi Gras is quite popular in the United States, it’s not celebrated or observed nationally. Apart from Louisiana, the sates of Alabama and Mississippi also observe this season.
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, Anaheim, California
One day is not enough to cover the Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Just inside Disneyland, you have the Main Street, U.S.A. (Disneyland Railroad, Main Street Cinema, Main Street Vehicles, The Disney Gallery, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln), Tomorrowland (Astro Orbitor, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, etc.), Fantasyland (Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, etc.), etc.
You also have Frontierland (Fantasmic!, Big Thunder Ranch, Mark Twain Riverboat, etc.), Adventureland (Tarzan’s Treehouse, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, etc.), New Orleans Square, Micky’s Toontown, Critter Country, parades, fireworks, and many more attractions. As for Disney California Adventure, you can visit Buena Vista Street, Paradise Pier, Grizzly Peak, Condor Flats, Pacific Wharf, Hollywood Lane, A Bug’s Land, Cars Land, and many more live entertainment.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles long, 27.4 meters wide, and 227.4 meters high. This suspension bridge holds 6 vehicle lanes along with walkways for pedestrians and bicyclists on either side. There are specific entry times during daytime; check the times before you make plans. You can either drive or choose to walk or take a bicycle ride on the bridge. Apart from viewing the bridge from up close, you can also take loads of pictures of the bridge from the California Coastal Trail.
Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada
This 4.2 mile Las Vegas Strip will leave anyone wanting for more. As the city lights are turned on from evening, the entire Strip just comes to life. With casinos to lure you in and shows to make visitors want to come in to the hotels, there’s never a dull moment here. Apart from the paid shows in various hotels, there are several free street shows on the Strip such as the Fountains at Bellagio, the volcano at The Mirage, and the Sirens of TI at Treasure Island.
You can either take the free shuttles that operate at several areas on the Strip or choose to walk on the sidewalks. Las Vegas is no place for kids. However, if you are traveling with family, there are certain adult attractions that you’ll have to pass on.
Finding a vacation destination is not the toughest thing to do, especially when you’re searching for states, cities, or counties across the country. What will take most of your time in research is finalizing a destination. With literally tens of thousands of choices, you really have some work cut out for yourself. Depending on what you want from your holiday, family time, romantic getaway, or fun under the sun, choose a destination and find out exciting deals.

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