Covid-19 may discourage travelling within the US and abroad and, amidst the massive spread of the virus, it can be challenging to determine when it will be over or where it will be safe to travel. In such a context, those passionate about travelling can feel disappointed, sad, frustrated… and fearful. However, confinement can be a good opportunity to look back again at the thousands of pictures we have stored in our computers from previous trips, remember all the funny anecdotes we had and plan where we’ll be going next.
With more than 35000 cities from east to west and north to south, it’s not easy to choose the most beautiful US cities to visit once the coronavirus spread is over. At Bonzah we’ve curated this list that includes cities that are culturally significant, have great outdoor public spaces, have stunning tourist attractions or have an interesting urban scene.
New York City
There’s no place like New York City. Known as the Big Apple or the city that never sleeps, this cosmopolitan city seduces us as a melting pot of cultures, neighborhoods and styles. NYC stands out because of its monumental skyscrapers, drool-worthy haute cuisine, fascinating nightlife and exciting cultural scene.
Even a week may not be enough to explore and enjoy everything that it has to offer! That said, your best move is to focus on the aspects you find more interesting or appealing and organize your visit from there.
Cool, crowded, intimidating and in constant evolution are accurate words that describe New York City as it blends big city splendor with small-town charm. Little Italy, Manhattan or Brooklyn are some of its most popular neighborhoods and they have been depicted in thousands of movies. Navigate its populated streets, discover the yellow cabs zipping down bustling blocks, have a drink at any of the trendy cocktail bars, see fast-paced pedestrians strolling past on their way to the subway or their offices and admire Time Square with its flickering lights.
And when towering skyscrapers and crowded streets are too much for you, take a well deserved time at Central Park. This impressively large green area invites you to connect with nature in the heart of the concrete jungle. Hiking lanes, picnic areas, playgrounds for children, a beautiful lake and diverse attractions turn Central Park into quite a unique place.
Fans of cultural venues can’t go wrong at the famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Guggenheim Museum or the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). There they can admire paintings, sculptures and other works of art by artists from all over the world. Those drawn to nature can’t miss exploring the many different exhibition halls at the Museum of Natural History.
If you want to enjoy the classic NYC experience, take a ferry and climb up the Statue of Liberty, enjoy a Broadway show, see the fantastic shopping windows at Fifth Avenue, admire a 360° view of the Big Apple from Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building or stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.
New Orleans, in Louisiana, made it to this list because of its mouth-watering Creole cuisine, all-around good-time vibes and European-style architecture. NOLA, as they call it, is all about music as well: jazz, rock’n’ roll and blues can be heard almost everywhere.
Mardi Gras, a fantastic party with masks, music and merriments is one of the main attractions in the city and the clubs located along the already festive Bourbon Street get particularly joyful during this celebration.
The city has been hit by severe environmental disasters. However, major efforts have been made to restore the distinct districts and as a result, the city is really thriving!
A walking tour through the French Quarter is an excellent way to start your trip through New Orleans. The French Quarter is an exquisite neighborhood with its distinctive colonial heritage and ghost lore. You’ll find the major architectural sites here so don’t forget to bring your camera! Bourbon Street is the obvious go-to place for drink, food and jazz as well as Frenchmen Street for more live music. The Garden District is also quite charming and you’ll find some of the best cafés and restaurants in town at and nearby Magazine Street. The Warehouse District is also worth exploring.
This southern city stands out because of its buzz, culture and charm. History buffs will definitely enjoy exploring the attractive colonial heritage or visiting the striking St Louis Cathedral, the oldest church structure in the US. A visit to the Presbytere Museum is a good chance to learn everything about Mardi Gras and Hurricane Katrina. The Louisiana State Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art hold excellent collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. If you have more time, check out the National WWII Museum.
Los Angeles is famous for its wonderful beaches and for being the heart of the American film industry. It’s a complex, multilayered city full of energy, culture and art. There are iconic beaches such as Santa Monica, Malibu or Venice and inspiring places as the Getty Center or the Griffith Observatory and it’s definitely one of the best US cities to visit.
LA is an expansive city that can be a bit hard to navigate with the traffic. That said, your best bet is to focus your energy on particular areas you want to see and explore those. A visit to the Hollywood Sign is a must-do as well as watching a game at the Dodger Stadium. If you travel with children, don’t miss spending some time in Disneyland or Universal Studios or Santa Monica Pier. The Walk of Fame and Beverly Hills are just some of the dozens of catchy attractions in the city.
Located in southern California and surrounded by mountains, valleys and the Pacific Coast, Los Angeles is the place where to have close-up and personal encounter with many of the celebrities you admire in the movies. Although you may not find them running errands in the street, there are many bus tours that take you around their mansions. But there’s more art in Los Angeles than celebrity-spotting: the Getty Center where you can admire splendid works of art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art that is home to Asian and Islamic artwork as well as contemporary work by Jeff Koons, movie studios and plenty of small house theaters.
Chicago is one of those cities that you just have to visit at least once in a lifetime; large in size and with a friendly vibe, visitors are bound to have a wonderful time here. It’s the metropolis of awe-inspiring architecture and incredible culture; it’s diverse and boasts a thriving art scene, various shopping districts and a varied food scene.
If you’re visiting Chicago for the first time, you’ll probably be looking up for at least a day: the skyscrapers and public art are absolutely worth admiring. There are outdoor sculptures by Picasso, Miro, Oldenburg, Anish Kapoor (The Bean!) and Calder everywhere. Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago or the John Hancock Center’s 360 Chicago Observation Deck provide great opportunities to discover stunning panoramic views of the city.
As a world-class destination, there’s plenty to see and do in Chicago. So much so that it will take several repeat visits to get through a list of must-dos. Starting with the downtown is a great idea; from the Magnificent Mile lining the shores of Lake Michigan, the famous Bean, the Gold Coast, the Loop or the Old Town offer plenty to see and experience.
Art lovers will find plenty of museums such as the incredible Modern Art Museum, Art Institute of Chicago or the Museum Campus which houses the Shedd Aquarium, The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum and the Field Museum .
Boston, capital city of Massachusetts, catches the attention of visitors as the city where ancient architecture is juxtaposed with ultra-modern buildings by Walter Gropius, Gehry or Pei. Compact and charming, it’s rich in museums and national landmarks. Take your time to stroll down the idyllic cobblestone streets and integrate the classic and contemporary attractions of the city.
For a well-rounded trip, admire the graceful mansions and chic boutiques at Beacon Hill, visit Paul Revere House and Faneuil Hall and admire the works of art displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts. Boston is cool and cosmopolitan, with beautiful urban parks and trendy restaurants. It’s land of the passionate Red Sox, free yoga classes at Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway or antique shopping at SoWa Open Market.
One of the first things you have to do upon your arrival is taking a stroll across the Freedom Trail to see the historical sites along the way: The Old State House, Bunker Hill Monument, USS Constitution and the already mentioned Faneuil House and Paul Revere House. Boston is the treasure of American history and one of the best places to learn more about our country’s stories surrounding the founding of the nation and its fight for independence. Make sure you spot the nation’s first college, its oldest public library, its first public park and its first public school!
If you’re travelling with children, do take them to Boston Children’s Museum, one of the best children’s museums in the US, New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science. They all provide children with plenty of varied hands-on-learning opportunities and funny and exciting memories.
In an Election year as 2020, Washington DC is the place to go. The city’s layout by Pierre Charles L’Enfant makes it one of the best American cities to visit. The National Mall is majestic, with the Capitol building glowing at one end and the Lincoln Memorial at the other; it’s also home to some of the world’s most prestigious and famous museums: the Smithsonian Institutions. You really can’t miss the National Museum of American History, the Air and Space Museum, the wonderful Museum of Natural History or the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Despite its strong political presence, Washington DC is becoming a thriving cultural hub as well thanks to its increasing number of cafés, restaurants, clubs and boutiques. Apart from the traditional attractions, you can also enjoy the various farmers markets and a joyful nightlife. Washington DC is a vibrant city that receives visitors from all over the country and the world. Busy and serious, its stunning waterfront and lovely views are great to relax.
It’s one of the best places to learn about US history by visiting locations as Ford’s Theatre, Mount Vernon, George Washington’s plantation, the White House or the Capitol.
If you visit the city in late March or early April you’ll see the famous cherry blossoms in full bloom along the Tidal Basin, where you can admire the Jefferson Memorial and memorial to Martin Luther King Jr and Franklin Roosevelt.
Art lovers will really enjoy visiting the city. The Smithsonian Institute runs galleries as the American Art Museum, the Sackler and Freer Galleries and the National Portrait Gallery.
You probably don’t need much convincing that Honolulu is a city worth visiting as it is traditionally considered one of the most beautiful and exciting places to travel to. Hawaii’s capital tempts visitors with interesting dining experiences, shopping and rich cultural experiences not to mention all the natural and captivating beauty of a volcanic island in the far middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Honolulu is one of the most beautiful cities in the US thanks to its cerulean waters and breathtaking sunsets. Mountainous backdrops, rolling waves and epic beaches are waiting for you in Oahu, the island where Honolulu is located. Visit Pearl Harbour and the USS Arizona Memorial, head to the Lyon Arboretum and explore the beautiful botanical gardens the Ornate Lolani Palace and make sure you book a surf lesson on Waikiki beach! Go on a hike to Manoa Falls and visit the Diamond Head State Monument to admire the huge crater formed during a volcanic eruption 100 thousand years ago.
Hawaii’s capital city is unique, offering an interesting balance of cultural and natural experiences. There are endless outdoor excursions to try: hiking in the lush Waimea Valley, surfing, swimming or simply hanging out at one of the many beautiful beaches. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Honolulu Museum of Art or the the Bishop Museum, home of a stunning collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts.
With its streets lined with Spanish moss-covered trees, large parks and a bustling waterfront, Savannah in Georgia is one of the best cities in the US where to enjoy the slow pace of the Old South. Savannah exudes historical charm and modern beauty. It’s brimming with over a thousand historic buildings, beautiful cobblestone streets and nice public squares filled with fountains, greenery and monuments..
Make sure you visit Forsyth Park and the Davenport House Museum. Take a tour around upscale historic homes, enjoy its thriving arts scene, lively nightlife and cozy eateries. Take a stroll along Broughton Street, River Street or City Market to fulfill your needs to go shopping.
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