TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — From white sandy coastlines to bustling cities, the United States is home to a wide variety of destinations. So when it comes time to book your next vacation, it may be hard to decide where to go.
Look no further than the U.S. News’ top 20 Best Places to Visit in the U.S. The travel site looked at a number of factors such as attractions, accommodations, and dining options, as well as feedback from thousands of travelers to determine their best places to visit in the USA.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Florida made the list twice:
#20 Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole’s location in western Wyoming is perfect for the outdoorsy type. Bordered by Grand Teton National Park and national forests, Jackson Hole offers ski slopes, hiking trails, areas for fly-fishing, mountain biking, white-water rafting, paragliding and more.
#19 San Diego
Located 120 miles south of Los Angeles, San Diego’s Southern California charm appeals to a wide variety of vacationers. “The city boasts a variety of activities ranging from hiking in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which sits just north of the city, to surfing at Mission and Pacific beaches,” U.S. News & World Report said. Foodies won’t want to miss out either. The city is home to a variety of bars and restaurants serving fresh seafood, authentic Mexican cuisine, craft beer, and more.
#18 Bar Harbor
This “laid-back” town on Maine’s Mount Desert Island is the perfect stop before exploring Acadia National Park. Bar Harbor is known for its cozy bed-and-breakfast accommodations waterfront dining options, and locally-owned shops.
If you love the beach, you’ll feel right at home here. “Destin’s sugary white sands and emerald-green waters make it one of the country’s top vacation destinations,” U.S. News & World Report said. Pose for a picture at one of the city’s picturesque beaches or spend some time swimming, snorkeling, or sunbathing.
#16 Key West
Bring a bathing suit and a pair of sneakers if you’re headed down to the nation’s southernmost point. Key West is home to more than just a pretty coastline. Travelers interested in history will find no shortage of interesting parks, homes, and other interesting, plus the island’s famous Duval Street, featuring an eclectic collection of people, restaurants, and bars.
#15 Washington, D.C.
Fill your camera roll with iconic landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital. The city hosts a plethora of Smithsonian museums, green spaces, and parks. “Don’t forget to check out the city’s lively restaurant and bar scene in areas like Adams Morgan and the U Street and H Street corridors,” U.S. News & World Report said.
#14 San Francisco
Catch the sunset over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge or soak in skyline views from a picnic blanket in Mission Dolores Park. You’ll find various boutiques, bars, and eateries serving nearly every kind of cuisine in San Francisco. Looking to take a step back in time? Take a boat ride to Alcatraz Island for a history lesson.
#13 New York City
Taxi! The sky is the limit in the city that never sleeps. “The Big Apple boasts so many things to do that it puts most of its U.S. peers to shame,” U.S. News & World Report said. “Whether you choose to spend the day perusing The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibits, catching a show on Broadway, or trying the city’s famous pizza, chances are you’ll never find yourself feeling bored here.”
#12 Lake Tahoe
Pack your snow pants for this one. Skiers and snowboarders arrive in droves during the winter to hit the slopes at Lake Tahoe’s numerous resorts. But the area is ideal for hikers in the summer months, too. Scenic drives and lake activities like kayaking and boating are favorites.
Get more bang for your buck in Moab. Thanks to its location in eastern Utah, this city makes it easy for travelers to visit not just one, but two national parks – Arches and Canyonlands. When you’re done marveling at the natural beauty, take a seat at a charming array of cafes, shops, and food trucks.
Kaua’i relies on its immense natural beauty to stand out from other Hawaiian Islands. Buildings are not allowed to be taller than a coconut palm so locals and travelers can enjoy excellent views from the island’s pristine beaches. U.S. News & World Report says travelers looking to vacation at this pricey destination should book well in advance to save.
#9 Olympic National Park
Hiking across nearly 1 million acres of land at this stunning national park. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, try boating or camping around picturesque Lake Crescent. Plus, thanks to little light pollution, Olympic National Park is one of the best spots in the U.S. for stargazing.
#8 Grand Teton National Park
Take in the park’s natural beauty by trekking to scenic vistas like Inspiration Point and Phelps Lake Overlook. If you’re looking to exert a little less energy, explore the region by car or boat. Grand Teton National Park is also known for its proximity to the rustic mountain town of Jackson Hole, which came in at #20 on this list.
#7 Yosemite National Park
When you think of world-class landscapes and natural beauty, you may be picturing something like Yosemite National Park. This California destination is all about reconnecting with nature. “Spend your visit checking out world-famous landmarks like Half Dome and Glacier Point or hiking Cathedral Lakes, the Mist Trail, and other popular paths,” U.S. News & World Report said. “You’ll also want to spend time admiring Yosemite’s numerous waterfalls, including towering Yosemite Falls, which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.”
#6 Zion National Park
Much like #7 on this list, Zion National Park offers awe-inspiring panoramas virtually everywhere you turn. For some of the best views, check out the Angels Landing trail, which is full of challenging switchbacks and thrilling heights. It’s important to note that you’ll need to apply for a hiking permit several months in advance if you’re planning to hike during peak season.
#5 Yellowstone National Park
Visit America’s first national park which provides more than 900 miles of hiking trails and plenty of attractions from steaming geysers to bubbling hot springs. If you’re looking to spot wildlife, spend a few hours driving through the Hayden and Lamar valleys. Both areas are considered popular havens for Yellowstone National Park’s resident bison, wolves and grizzly bears.
#4 Honolulu – Oahu
If you’re looking for a balance between urban and beach environments, look to further. With pleasant weather all year-round, Oahu features stunning vistas and national memorials like the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and the Battleship Missouri Memorial. But be forewarned, There’s a good chance a barrage of tourists will greet you.
#3 Grand Canyon National Park
Take in one of the best views in the country with a trip to Grand Canyon National Park. This bucket-list-worthy destination offers scenic paths like the Bright Angel and North Kaibab trails, Colorado River rafting, or once-in-a-lifetime helicopter tours. “You’re sure to feel small against its towering rock formations,” U.S. News & World Report said.
You’re sure to relax and unwind at this stunning destination. Admire the stunning scenery along the Road to Hana, take a helicopter tour above the Hawaiian island or lounge across the black sands of Wai’anapanapa State Park. Those looking for more excitement can make a reservation to see the sunrise at Haleakala National Park, home to Maui’s highest peak.
#1 Glacier National Park
“Glaciers are the main draw of this Montana national park, but its more than 700 lakes, two mountain ranges and multiple waterfalls are equally impressive. Hiking is the most popular pastime for visitors thanks to the park’s mix of easy trails like Rocky Point and challenging routes, such as Grinnell Glacier and the Highline Trail,” U.S. News & World Report said. “But you should also allot time for driving the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Road, which typically opens late June through October.