5 US Cities You Don't Want To Miss
The US is a huge country and there are so many things to do and places to visit. From sunny California to chilly Minnesota, bustling New York to the vibrant deep south of Texas - there is somewhere for everyone.
Josie Brownlee recently travelled across the USA visiting multiple states and she got to experience some of the best destinations. Here Josie shares her experiences and essential cities you need to add to your USA travel itinerary.
LA is the health and hipster capital of America. People here are very enthusiastic about pretty much all forms of exercise - from hikes up Runyon Canyon, yoga on the beach or rollerskating down the streets of Venice!
If you're a foodie, this place has it all - Los Angeles is riddled with cafes and restaurants providing all the alternative food combinations you could imagine, like turmeric lattes and matcha pancakes and much much more. They are very creative with their food, some travel destinations it can be difficult to cater to certain food diets but here in LA there's something for everyone; vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free - you name it, it'll be there somewhere!
Let's not forget the excitement of film and music and all things creative and alternative here in California. With Hollywood, just a stone's throw away, the Walk of Fame, Disneyland and Universal Studios (for the child or theme buff inside us) - there's plenty to keep you busy in this brilliant city.
But if the all-day activities aren't quite your thing, then take your pick from the beautiful beaches to take rest on, such as Venice Beach - usually quite busy and bustling with markets and street entertainers nearby, as well as the Santa Monica Pier - Long Beach or Huntington Beach to name a few.
Tall buildings and bustling atmosphere paired with luxurious water and sandy beaches - Chicago has it all! Perched on the edge of the magnificent Lake Michigan, this city has gorgeous beaches right on its doorstep just a mere few steps from the towering skyscrapers.
As well as that, Chicago isn't your classic tourist city like LA or New York - so the number of tourists is fewer. That isn't to say that it won't be busy though - catch the Willis Tower or John Hancock Observatory during midday on a weekend and you're in for some long queues but the views above on that 103rd floor glass box speak for themselves and make it all worthwhile!
Not much convincing needed for this incredible city - the song, it's reputation and photographs speak millions! The atmosphere in New York is just another level - with the bright lights and bustle of Time Square or the enthusiastic energy beaming from Broadway, anyone visiting this concrete jungle is bound to have the time of their life!
There's almost too much to do and see in New York, there's no room for boredom when your itinerary consists of the Empire State Building, walks through Central Park, a helicopter over the Statue of Liberty and trips to Greenwich Village for a sight at the F.R.I.E.N.D.S inspiration or a walk along Brooklyn Bridge to take view of the magnificent Manhattan Skyline.
Top that all off with some authentic American burgers or the amazing cookies found dotted around this brilliant city!
Reflecting back on the California lifestyle - San Diego was a complete dream. With loads to do, gorgeous weather and the nicest people I've come across in America, this city is definitely a one for the list!
Top Things To Do:
- The Kissing Statue
- Embrace the mexican culture in Old Town
- Eating Pizza/Pasta in Little Italy
- Use the apps Bird or Lime to scooter around the city for less than $10
- Visit La Jolla Bay and see the Sea Lions
- Ferry to Coronado Beach
- Get all Cali and sunbathe along the gorgeous beaches
- Soak up the atmosphere at a San Diego Padres baseball game
Though my first visit was brief, there's still so much to get my teeth into in San Diego, and just a few hours drive from the bustle of LA, California is definitely an ideal place for a travel break!
I was also blown away by the lovely people here in San Diego. All the bar & restaurant staff were so friendly and helpful and full of banter and even strangers on the street took it upon themselves to help us out with directions or ask questions - definitely a different culture to what I'm used to in England, and a very welcomed one!
Admittedly not on my bucket list of places in the US to visit, but one I had the pleasure of seeing last week! As any Grey's Anatomy lover will know, the weather over there isn't always that great but we lucked out and got a lovely autumnal few days to explore the city.
What I like to call a bit of a 'white-girl' haven, great spots to visit include the Original Starbucks coffee shop, established in 1971, located on Pike Street or the Great Wall of Bubble Gum, also located inside the market down a short alleyway. You've also obviously got Pike Place Market & Fish Market (where these two tourist spots are located) where you can see the fishmongers put on their little fish-catching show, taste some of Seattle's famous clam chowder and fish tacos or simply browse the non-fish related merchandise that locals are selling overlooking the water!
For some spectacular views of the city there's the Space Needle (above right) or for those of you wanting more and if the weather's good, Seattle's sea planes are a must do! You've also got two national parks only a few hours drive from the Downtown Seattle, so if you've got the time and weather - Olympic National Park or Mount Rainier would be incredible to visit! The mountain is most definitely on my list for next time - just give it a google, it looks incredible!!
So what are you waiting for? Want to be a part of it? Go explore the US and discover incredible cities for yourself.
By Josie Brownlee
Do you have any you would like to share in the cities listed? Or have you been to an amazing US city which isn'y included in the list? Leave feedback below.