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Why These 5 U.S. Cities Are The Most Popular Destinations In The U.S. 

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If you are one of the many Americans that are packing their bags and heading out on a trip this summer, you probably already know a few important facts.

Firstly, summer this year is going to be huge for travel, with a record number of people planning everything from weekend trips to long-haul bucket-list adventures. 

woman walking on beach in los angeles

Post-pandemic travel is making headlines this summer, and it seems that the ripple effects from this pent-up demand for getting out of town are going to be felt all over the world. 

While many Americans are heading abroad to various destinations, a good number of people are happily spending this summer stateside exploring some of the country's most iconic cities. 

In a recent survey of over 8,000 travelers, American Express found five major U.S. cities that are trending with travelers this summer. 

New York City woman looking at Brooklyn Bridge and view of downtown Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn park

These five cities are ones that have long been classic traveler favorites, and this year is no exception. But if we know anything about big cities, it’s that life moves fast, changes happen quickly, and there’s always the next hot thing to check out. 

So, instead of telling you what traditional things to see in these epic U.S. destinations, let’s look at why visiting them this year is better than ever. 

Here Is Why These These 5 U.S. Cities Are The Most Popular Destinations In The U.S.

1. New York

Coming in at number one on the top trending summer travel destination in the U.S. is none other than New York City itself. Tourism in New York is always huge, but this year it seems the Big Apple’s popularity is even higher than normal. When you are done seeing famous sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park, don't miss checking out some tours that are a bit more off the beaten path

So what’s new this year? Well, a lot actually. In fact, summer 2023 is bringing many new art exhibitions and shows to New York, and numerous new museums have opened in the past few months. 

One notable thing to experience this summer is the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, which the city will celebrate with numerous events in August. 2023 also marks the 100th anniversary of The Museum of the City of New York, so there are many events to experience here as well. 

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Pretty woman taking a selfie at Times Square, New York

2. Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of those places that you hear about and think it might not be for you until you go and realize it’s actually for everybody. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter if you don’t gamble, party into the late hours, or shop at high-end stores; you will likely still enjoy a visit to Las Vegas.

There is enough to experience in Las Vegas outside of the party lifestyle, such as a world-class dining scene, art and culture exhibits, and of course tours to explore the stunning desert landscape that stretches as far as you can see in every direction off the strip. 

With numerous new dining options opening this year and the revamp of many of the favorite hotels, 2023 is shaping up to be a big year for Vegas. The city will host Beyonce’s tour in August, and the long-awaited MSG Sphere is set to open its doors later this year. 

Formula One racing will light up the strip in November, which is a while off from now but still worth a mention, and no doubt helps to entice visitors. 

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA skyline over the strip at dusk.

3. Los Angeles

Of course, Los Angeles is high on the list of trending U.S. cities to visit this year, as the list of things to do there is never-ending. Come for the Hollywood sign, The Santa Monica Pier, and perhaps to try and spot some celebs out and about. But when you are done with the normal tourist things, why not enjoy some more unique ways to pass the time? 

The aforementioned Hollywood Sign is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, and festivals and events to celebrate will take place all year. Speaking of centennials, 2023 is a big year for 100-year celebrations all around the city. Warner Brothers, The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the famous restaurant EL Cholo will all celebrate their 100-year milestone in 2023, so look for special events surrounding all of these local legends. 

Of course, numerous musical acts, theatre, and comedy acts will grace the stages of LA this summer, which is usually reason enough to come for a visit.

Traffic on Hollywood Boulevard at dusk. The theater district is a famous tourist attraction

4. Seattle

As one of the most searched-for destinations this summer, it’s not surprising to see Seattle high on the list of trending U.S. summer destinations. This pacific northwest favorite is home to Pike Place Market, the iconic Space Needle, and many other attractions that draw in record crowds each year. 

Overlook Walk along the waterfront is one major project the city is undertaking to help revitalize the tourist experience, and although not scheduled to be completed until 2025, visitors can witness the progress firsthand.

Many concerts are coming to Seattle for the summer of 2023, including George Strait, Janet Jackson, and Taylor Swift (if you were lucky enough to get tickets, that is). Madonna and Death Cab for Cutie also will be here in July, plus many other first-rate acts. 

Don't miss the world-famous Capitol Hill Block Party, one of the county's favorite outdoor music festivals, and afterward, check out some of the city’s new bars and clubs that have opened this year. 

Seattle skyline panorama at sunset as seen from Kerry Park, Seattle, WA

5. San Francisco

San Francisco has long been a world-famous destination, with more postcard-worthy sights than most other U.S cities. Many come for the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street (aka the Crookedest Street in the World), the painted lady houses, the sea lions at Pier 39, and Alcatraz Island. 

While the city has been a longtime favorite, the shutdowns of downtown offices during the pandemic and other factors such as homelessness and safety issues have hurt San Francisco's image a bit. The good news is that the city seems to be working its way back as one of the most popular cities to visit in the U.S. 

So why visit San Francisco this summer? Well, the numerous festivals should be reason enough. June brings SF Docfest and San Francisco Pride (one of the largest in the world), and July has the Fillmore Jazz Festival, Bastille Day, and the July 4th Pub Crawl. 

One major addition to San Francisco to see this year is the Presidio Tunnel Tops, which has been built over Highway 101 to allow visitors to enjoy the shoreline without worrying about the highway cutting through the pedestrian access. 

Lombard Street in San Francisco United States

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.