The United States is a continent-sized country that’s home to several of the world’s most iconic points of interest, breathtaking natural landscapes, and incredible city breaks. Needless to say, picking a destination for a short break can be quite challenging, especially when there are 50 culturally distinct states to consider, not to mention beautiful overseas territories.
To help us narrow down our options, TripAdvisor has unveiled its U.S. ‘Best of the Best’ list for 2023, ranking the top-rated domestic destinations in America for avid explorers, and there are plenty of wonders to cover within the top five alone:
Miami Beach, Florida
Ranking at number five, Miami Beach is famous for its energetic social scene, skyscraper-lined seafront, and, last but not least, an incredible host of historical monuments. You read that right: this youthful coastal city is far from being exclusively a party hub in Southern Florida; its Art Deco district is one of America’s most heavily underrated architectural gems.
Comprising the largest collection of Art Deco buildings anywhere in the world, it features historical hotels, art galleries, beach resorts, and apartments built between the 1920s and 1940s. Beyond its cultural highlights, Miami Beach offers guests a year-round pleasantly warm weather, sandy beaches bounded by a crystal-clear Atlantic, and world-class resorts.
An island with a relaxed atmosphere in the Central Pacific, Maui boasts 30 miles of pristine beaches and golden-sand crescents. Further inland, visitors will find springs, nature and hiking trails, and majestic waterfalls. The Haleakala National Park, where Maui’s highest peak can be found, and the natural pools of Ohe’o Gulch are some of the main points of interest.
For a quintessentially Hawaiian experience, TripAdvisor recommends a visit to the village of Ke‘anae, located in the namesake peninsula, where generations of families have lived off the earth for centuries, local fishermen exhibit their daily catch, and time seems to have stood still.
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Number three on the list, Oahu is described by TripAdvisor editors as a surfer’s ‘paradise’. Indeed, the strong waves crashing along the shores of this Hawaiian island make it a major surfing hotspot off the mainland U.S.
That’s not to say regular sun-seekers looking for some sun and relaxation should avoid Oahu; on the contrary, they have a myriad of beaches and swimming spots to pick from, especially on the southern shore, where the iconic Waikiki Beach, in Honolulu, is located.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas keeps surging in demand in the post-crisis scene due to the wide array of activities available, and the grand opening of additional luxury complexes, including the new MSG Sphere, expected to become the largest spherical structure in the world once finished.
What with its impressive collection of five-star hotels, adjacent to casinos, nightclubs and defiant 21st century architectural opulence, it’s easy to see how it’s attained the coveted title of Entertainment Capital of the World, as well as peaking at the runner-up slot on TripAdvisor’s Best of the Best ranking.
New York City, New York
A bustling metropolis, a cuisine capital, leading economic hub, and a cultural melting pot all in one, New York is the number one city break in the States, and arguably the entire globe, having served as both a symbol of the Western World, and a source of fascination for travelers for decades. Unsurprisingly, once again, it takes the crown as the best-rated U.S. destination on TripAdvisor’s list.
From marveling at the bright lights in Times Square, to crossing the landmark Brooklyn Bridge and taking a ferry tour up to the Statue of Liberty, this city’s tourist offer is so vast you will need at least a week to merely scratch the surface. The Big Apple may be the most expensive city worldwide, a status it shares with this fast-growing Asian power, but you can still make the most of it as a young traveler on a tight budget:
Luckily for long-term visitors, there is no shortage of free, and fun things to do in NYC, as well as hotels with room rates under USD$150 per night.
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The Travelers’ Choice Awards is a reader-voted accolade classed by TripAdvisor itself as the ‘highest honor’ they could bestow upon a destination. It takes into account not only quantity, but the quality of traveler reviews and ratings, helping rank the best activities, accommodations, restaurants, airlines, and of course, destinations across different areas.
Normally, the Best of the Best winners category stands among the top 1% of TripAdvisor listings, recognized for their excellence as tourist destinations. Whether it’s exploring the vibrant New York, kicking it back at a luxurious resort in Vegas, feeling the ocean breeze in Hawaii, or partying in youthful Miami Beach, Americans will never run out of fun things to do in their own country.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com