Well, well, well, look who’s got the travel bug again.
And you’re in luck because the Travvy Awards have done the legwork for you, voting on the top U.S. destinations you should add to your bucket list (and no, they didn’t just spin a globe and point; these hotspots were chosen by the real pros: travel advisors).
Now, we’re not just armchair explorers, reading about these spots from the comfort of our homes (and you shouldn’t be either!).
Oh no, we’ve hit the ground running (or flying or driving, you get the gist) and have already seen two out of the three places.
Yep, we’ve seen the sights, tasted the food, and have the souvenir t-shirts to prove it.
The third? It’s on the calendar, tickets are booked, and we’re counting down the days.
Top U.S. Spots You Should Add To Your Bucket List
Now, onto the meat and potatoes you have been dying for: the coveted top 3 spots.
Get your drumroll ready because we’re about to reveal the destinations that will skyrocket you to social media fame and leave your followers dumbstruck with envy.
3. New Orleans (Bronze Winner)
Who’s ready for a culinary rollercoaster? Because New Orleans is a straight-up gastronomic amusement park.
Picture this: exotic gumbo, spicy jambalaya, and lip-smacking beignets.
The city’s food scene is a crazy fusion of French, African, Spanish, and Caribbean vibes, which, let’s be honest, is pretty much the Avengers of world cuisine.
But hey, it’s not just about eating (well, mostly).
How about taking a ride on a streetcar? And not just any streetcar.
The city has America’s oldest continually chugging streetcar system: The St. Charles Avenue Line.
It’s been rolling since 1835, before your grandpappy’s grandpappy was even a twinkle in his great-grandpappy’s eye.
Oh, you’re into spooky stuff instead? In that case, you’d better not miss the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
Known for its above-ground tombs, this historic spot is a go-to for ghost hunters. Rumor has it the place is haunted.
But, you know what they say: don’t believe it ’til you see it. Or, in this case, until a ghost accidentally photobombs your cemetery selfie.
Haven’t had your fill of things to do? Here are three more suggestions:
- Stroll down the vibrant Bourbon Street, especially during the evening when the nightlife erupts with music, bars, and dancers.
- Visit the French Quarter, home to the city’s most iconic architecture. And make sure you check out the St. Louis Cathedral.
- Hop on a steamboat tour down the Mississippi River, because why not? Enjoy the scenic views and let the cool breeze ruffle your hair.
We are off to New Orleans for the upcoming Mardi Gras and can’t wait to look around.
2. Las Vegas (Silver Winner)
We’re trading in the ghostly haunts of New Orleans for the razzle-dazzle of Las Vegas.
A city so full of life that it needs neon signs to match its vibrancy. Where can you find these, you ask?
Well, take a saunter down to the Neon Boneyard.
This isn’t your ordinary museum, oh no. It’s an outside gallery of bright, kitschy signs that once adorned the casinos and hotels of yesteryear. Talk about a graveyard with a twist.
Now, before we head out to the infamous Las Vegas Strip, let’s clear something up.
Despite its name, the Strip isn’t really in Las Vegas.
Nope. This 4-mile stretch of all things glitzy and over-the-top is actually chilling in a place called Paradise. The irony, right? Who knew geography could be so cheeky?
And before we forget, here’s another nugget for you – Vegas is known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”
With its mind-blowing shows, concerts, and performances, it’s easy to see why. Unless you are getting utterly crushed in a game of blackjack, that is.
What’s on the “must-do” list for Vegas? Here you go:
- Catch an unforgettable show, like Cirque du Soleil, or a star-studded concert that’ll have you singing “Viva Las Vegas” in no time.
- Go for a spin on the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, for a bird’s eye view of this neon city. Just try not to drop your camera.
- Take a day trip to enjoy nature. Plenty of tours leave Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon or swing by Valley of Fire State Park. It’s a perfect way to escape the city’s hustle and bustle.
Our Tip: There’s this sneaky, super-secret pizza joint tucked away on the third floor of The Cosmopolitan – no name, no sign, nada! They might as well have put it on a treasure map.
But let us tell you, the hide-and-seek game is totally worth it. You’ll find the most lip-smacking New York-style pizza in Vegas, the perfect antidote for those late-night cravings.
1. Greater Miami and Miami Beach (Gold Winner)
Taking the gold is Miami, the only major U.S. city with a woman on its birth certificate.
A certain Julia Tuttle, often dubbed the “Momma of Miami,” sweet-talked Henry Flagler, a railroad bigwig, into extending his tracks to what is now the vibrant city of Miami.
She definitely knew how to get things done.
And did you know that Miami Beach is more than just sand and sea?
You know those gorgeous pastel-colored buildings that light up your socials? That’s Miami’s Art Deco district for you, baby!
Stroll down Ocean Drive, and you’ll see over 800 of these eye candies. They’re an aesthetic feast so delicious it’d put your favorite brunch spot to shame.
But wait, just when you thought we were done, there’s more.
Miami is practically oozing with Latin American flair. If you’re a foodie or a party animal, this city is your playground.
The streets of places like Little Havana are practically humming with Cuban beats, bursting with flavorsome fare, and filled with a zest for life that’s so infectious you might find yourself doing the salsa at 2 pm on a Tuesday.
While you’re in town, don’t forget to:
- Get your tan on at South Beach, but remember, sunburn is never a good look.
- Explore the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor museum showcasing large-scale works by some of the world’s best-known street artists. But don’t try tagging your name…unless you are Banksy.
- Take a wild ride through the nearby Everglades on an airboat; just watch out for the gators. Trust us, they’re not as friendly as the ones in cartoons.
Our Tip: Don’t leave Miami without throwing your peepers on the Stiltsville Houses. Floating in Biscayne Bay, a quirky bunch of wooden houses strut their stuff on stilts high above the shallow water. They’ve weathered hurricanes and even attempts by the government to tear them down.
Fancy a closer look? You can enjoy them on several boat tour options. It’s a unique way to get an eyeful of Miami’s history and culture. You might even start to imagine life on the sea.
To Finish – Top U.S. Travel Locations
New Orleans with its soulful jazz, Mardi Gras madness, and gumbo that’ll make you weak in the knees.
Las Vegas, the famous city where you can become a millionaire or marry a stranger in the blink of an eye.
And, of course, Miami, where the colors are as vibrant as the culture and the beach is just the icing on this sun-soaked cake.
These three just got top billing of U.S. travel locations to visit, so you better get packing.
And remember, what happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas, but the memories (and maybe the tattoos) from these places will last a lifetime.
If you are more of a nature person rather than a city person, check out our post on the top 5 national parks to visit in November.