The United States covers an area of 3,797,000 mi.², approximately the same size as Canada and three times bigger than India. With 50 states and a seemingly endless number of sites to visit, it can be a little overwhelming to narrow it down to just 10 best places. Points of interest include Yellowstone National Park, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Walt Disney World, the Empire State building, Universal Studios in Hollywood, Alcatraz Island, Monument Valley, Magic Kingdom Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas Strip, Lake Tahoe, Epcot Centre, Times Square, the Florida Keys, and the United States Capitol.
According to SelectUSA.gov, travel and tourism in the United States generated an incredible $1.6 trillion in 2017. The industry is responsible for 7.8 million jobs and accounts for approximately 32% of all service exports from the US. Foreign visitors to the US spent $251 billion in 2017, generating a $77 billion trade surplus for the year. By 2023, it is estimated that the US will host 95.5 million visitors from abroad, and the country is currently the #3 most popular destination in terms of total visitors. Various legislations are being implemented to encourage travel and tourism to the US, including the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 and, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014.
Our review of the top 10 destinations in the United States cuts straight to the chase.
#1. Universal Studios in Orlando
We begin with everybody’s favorite dream destination, Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Nothing says imagination better than the world’s premier theme park attraction, Universal Orlando Resort. You can experience Volcano Bay, Hadgrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and immerse yourself in a horror fest with Revenge of the Mummy™. Other top tier attractions include Storm Force Acceleration, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster™, ET Adventure, the Incredible Hulk Coaster, and the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman. Those who enjoy oversized entertainment will love Transformers: The Ride 3D, The Simpsons Ride™, and Men in Black Alien Attack. Everything you’ve ever loved about the big screen and larger-than-life attractions is available at Universal Studios, in Orlando Florida.
#2. Times Square in New York City
Times Square in New York City is the place to be for a tourist. New York City, the Big Apple, is the #1 best city in the world – so say the locals. As a tourist, you cannot help but feel utterly in awe of the skyscrapers, the frenetic activity, and thousands of yellow cabs all over the place. The Empire State building, the Rockefeller Centre, Broadway, the Getty Museum, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Gulliver’s Gate, Madame Tussaud’s New York, NFL experience, sightseeing tours and more await you in the city that never sleeps. What better place to visit than the one which Frank Sinatra made famous with his unforgettable melody, New York, New York. Manhattan is the most popular of 5 boroughs in New York state. One visit will change your life forever. The sights, smells, and sounds of NYC are unforgettable. You’ll be staring up at an infinite number of towering skyscrapers, wondering how such a mega city was born.
#3. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada is America’s adult playground. If NYC is the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas runs circles around New York City. This entertainment paradise has everything your heart desires. Las Vegas boasts some of the biggest and best casino hotels in the world, the best sushi, alcohol, shows, cabarets, and extravaganzas known to mankind. For Vegas visitors, nothing compares to the gambling. Card games, tablet games, and slot machine games rule the roost. If you’re a betting person, it’s a good idea to read about the rules of blackjack before playing for real money.
Know your games, because there’s a big difference between blackjack and craps, slots and roulette. From the sprawling MGM Grand to Caesars Casino, the Luxor, the Stratosphere, the Bellagio, the Mirage and New York, New York, Las Vegas has it all. You can get married with Elvis Presley as your chaperone while you’re playing a high-roller game of blackjack, or you can opt for a drive-through wedding and fast-track it to your suite on the strip. Whatever your preference, Las Vegas is sure to delight you!
#4. Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City, Maryland is an amazing destination for tourists. Located just outside of Salisbury, Maryland on the East Coast of the United States, Ocean City is an entertainment playground for the young at heart. It is essentially a miles long peninsula peppered with hotels on the ocean side and the bayside. In summer time, the population swells to hundreds of thousands of people, and tapers off to a skeleton crew in the winter. Ocean City is home to some of the finest crab dishes in the country, and is often dubbed the crab capital of the United States. Various shows, exhibitions, and entertainment events are routinely showcased in grand style in Ocean City. You can come and enjoy lots of fun & in Ocean City!
#5. The Big Island, Hawaii
The Big Island, Hawaii is a dream come true. If you are coming from Los Angeles, expect the flight to take around five hours. Situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there’s literally nothing around you for thousands of miles. Hawaii is a microcosm of US society with a unique appeal. The laid-back approach to Hawaiian life is well known. It’s all about pampering and relaxation, Tiki-style entertainment, wildlife, exploration, and pretty friendly people. This volcanic island stands proud as one of America’s most prized tourist destinations. It’s the birthplace of President Barack Obama, and it’s definitely worth putting on your bucket list.
#6. San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California is an eye-opening experience on many levels. San Fran is home to lots of rolling hills, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and some of the best seafood on the wharf you could ever imagine. Sure, it’s an overpriced city with a huge homeless problem, but it’s also where Silicon Valley is. This thriving North California City is known for its ultra-liberal policies, wonderful eateries, museums and more. Incidentally, if you’re a slot machine player you’ll even get to see a statue of the iconic Liberty Bell slot machine invented by the legendary Charles Fey back in the 1890s. Be sure to budget accordingly for San Francisco – visits to the city don’t come cheap.
#7. Anaheim, California
Anaheim, California seems an odd pick to foreigners who don’t know the city. Anaheim is home to Disneyland and Universal Studios California. This fantastic West Coast enclave features everything your heart desires, including the finest foods, hotels, and entertainment options. Disneyland is where all the magic begins, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Universal Studios in California is a spectacle of note. It features some of the finest entertainment attractions you can imagine, but you’ll have to do lots of walking up and down the mountain as you’re taking in panoramic views of downtown LA and the iconic Hollywood sign on the mountain.
#8. The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys – Florida is the sunshine state. There are palm trees, coconuts, and crystal-clear waters all around. It’s a tourist hotspot of note, and the Florida Keys exemplify this in spectacular fashion. The Keys are located around the southern tip of Florida, and they comprise multiple tropical islands which stretch out as far as 120 miles along the southern coastline. If you enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing, the keys are for you. Some of the best-known islands in the keys include Key Largo, Key West, and Little Torch Key. There are plenty of wetlands and forests in the Florida Keys, and it’s a fantastic destination. While you’re there, you may want to check out Harry Harris Beach and Park, Molasses Reef, and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State.
#9. Omaha, Nebraska
Yes, Nebraska is one of the 50 US states. It’s nestled in the heartland, west of Iowa, north of Kansas. Why Nebraska? This is a state where good old Midwestern values reign supreme. Omaha, Nebraska is the biggest city and it features a fusion of country and city cultures in America’s heartland. Nebraska doesn’t have much – since most of it is open country. It is bitterly cold in the winter and blazing hot in the summer. They love their football team – the Cornhuskers and they love their horses. If you want an authentic American vacation destination without any of the fluff of commercialized enterprise, try Omaha, Nebraska.
#10. Washington DC
This is where it all happens! If you’re into politics, government, or history, Washington DC is a must-visit destination on your calendar. Washington DC is the capital city of the United States, and it’s also home to the Pentagon and other world-famous government buildings. DC is short for District of Columbia, and it’s a federally protected jurisdiction of the US Congress. You can visit the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Capitol, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and the National Gallery of Art. It’s a haven for tourists, and definitely well worth the visit.