International travel is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever before. But there’s still no place like home, and the U.S. boasts an abundance of incredible vacation destinations.
Travel & Leisure has just announced the results of their annual travel awards. Their readers ranked U.S. cities based on their sights and landmarks, culture, food, friendliness, shopping, and value.
The sheer size of the country means that a wide range of climates, cultures, and experiences can be appreciated right here at home, without having to pack your passport.
And with domestic flights often cheaper than international flights, you’re likely to find that visiting a new city in the U.S. is a more affordable choice too.
If you’re thinking of booking a staycation in the U.S. this summer, then you may need a little inspiration.
These are the cities that were chosen as the 5 best cities to visit in the U.S.:
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is best known for its colorful buildings and its hospitality, but there’s so much more to do here than simply look at old buildings.
As a coastal city, you can relax on the beach under fringed palms if you’re looking to unwind or visit one of the many museums and monuments for a cultural fix. City break or beach break. It’s a place that offers the best of both worlds.
At the end of June, a brand new International African American Museum (IAAM) opened to the public in Charleston and will bring a new landmark, and a new tourist attraction, to the city.
Many of the city’s existing bus tours will be incorporating this new attraction into their routes, making now a great time to explore what Charleston has to offer.
Charleston is incredibly welcoming to tourists. This month, the city established a new position on its council designed specifically to attract increased levels of travel and tourism to the city.
It’s easy to see why this beautiful city took the top spot.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe has been described as one of America’s most historic, artistic, and fascinating cities. It is also the oldest state capital city in the U.S.
Santa Fe is an incredibly photogenic city. It’s renowned for its Pueblo-style architecture and is surrounded by beautiful countryside where you can explore the great outdoors.
The top-rated tourist attractions in the city for 2023 include the Canyon Road’s galleries, the Museum of New Mexico Complex, Santa Fe Opera House, and the Plaza.
Santa Fe is popular with road trippers hoping to drive along the 188-mile-long Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway. This year a new website has been created by the state tourism team to share information about the Trail, making it easier than ever to plan your route.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” New Orleans is known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene, and distinctive cuisine. If you’re looking for a party, there are few places better to visit than New Orleans.
Many people visit New Orleans to enjoy jazz and blues music. One of the most popular parts of the city is the French Quarter, and this part of the city is easy to explore on foot. If you want to travel further afield in New Orleans, then consider utilizing the public transport system or hiring a car.
New Orleans is a melting pot of French, African, and American cultures.
Some of the top attractions in the city for 2023 include the French Quarter, New Orleans City Park, and the National WWII Museum. Conde Naste Traveler chose the Creole Museum as the best attraction in New Orleans for 2023.
While many people visit New Orleans for the fun and the parties, they stay for the food, the culture, and the rich history.
The oldest city in the state of Georgia, Savannah oozes Southern charm.
It is known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages, and antebellum architecture, making it an ideal location for travelers looking for a sophisticated vacation. Its beauty and historic architecture are the main attractions for tourists.
Savannah is a relatively small city, but this only adds to its charm and makes it easier than others to explore by foot. Sitting on the banks of the Savannah River, which feeds into the Atlantic, means that you can enjoy a refreshing breeze during the summer months.
According to the Tourism Leadership Council, summer isn’t peak time in Savannah, as it has fewer pools and family-friendly amenities than other cities.
But that makes it a great time to take a kid-free summer trip, as the report goes on to state that hoteliers in Savannah often lower their rates during the summer months.
Chicago is a big city. In fact, it is the third largest city in the U.S. after New York and Los Angeles. That means that you’ll find a plethora of things to see and do here, meaning there’s something to suit every taste and budget.
In 2022, tourism in Chicago brought in more than $44 billion, and this month that city has achieved its highest-ever hotel revenue figures, though that is in large part attributed to Taylor Swift and her concerts.
As well as attending concerts and performances, other popular attractions in Chicago include taking a river cruise to see the city’s incredible architecture from a whole new perspective, visiting the Museum of Science and Industry, and having a laugh in Chicago’s famous comedy clubs.
And, of course, you can’t visit Chicago without eating a pizza or two!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com