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6 American Cities you have to Visit

by Travelbag on 07 January 2015, 15:01PM 6 American Cities you have to Visit

When you think of a holiday to America, you might picture the bright lights and perpetual sparkle of Las Vegas. Others may think of the beautiful sunkissed beaches in California. Some people will imagine themselves at the wheel of a classic American car, cruising down Route 66 with the wind in their hair and a good tune on the radio. In fact, the best thing about the United States is that it can be everything, to everybody, all at the same time. 

There is no one face to the USA, because it is simply too vast to contain just one shared culture. It is, instead, a sprawling amalgamation of cultures, each more fascinating than the last. From the swamps and bayous of Louisiana to the enormous lakes and forests of states like Missouri and Michigan, America is the ultimate holiday destination – no matter what it is that you are looking for. Yet, with great choice comes great responsibility and it can be a little tricky to plan a successful stateside holiday when there are so many states to choose from.    

If you're lucky enough to be able to rent a car and drive across the country, it is more than possible to take in several states on one trip. This does require a little careful planning, however, if you really want to tick as much as possible off the To Do list. The key is to be realistic – pick a single state that you would love to visit above all others, and then plan your trip around that state. You really do not want to spend the whole holiday behind the wheel, so factor in plenty of time for sightseeing.


1. Nashville, Tennessee

The capital city of Tennessee has so much to offer visitors. It is filled with beautiful green spaces (there are no fewer than 99 public parks), a whole heap of unique urban culture and some really fantastic cuisine. It has also been named the best city in the USA for live music, which is lucky as its nickname is ‘the music city.’ It has a vibrant jazz scene as well as a plethora of live music joints and super cool record stores. If music history is your thing, Nashville is the perfect place for you. Check out our Rythyms of the South holidays to find out more.


2. Portland, Oregon

This super modern city in Oregon has long been a hot spot for the arty crowds. Whilst it is currently being mercilessly spoofed in satirical shows like Portlandia, it really does have a welcoming vibe. You cannot help but get the sense that absolutely anybody could be accepted here, no matter how radical or strange their career or look. This makes it a haven for young travellers, who are interested in achingly cool drinking spots – Portland is actually considered to be the beer city of the USA. It has twice as many happy hours per square mile than New York City. 


3. Seattle, Washington

You could be forgiven for thinking that America had intentionally doled out specific skillsets to its states, because Seattle is considered to be the best place in the country for coffee. It is the birthplace of Starbucks, and is filled to the brim with hip coffee joints, where a quiet book and a comfy chair can be found and enjoyed with ease. If you are looking for a friendly bar and a cheap drink, wander on over to Capitol Hill – it is where the trendy twenty somethings spend their cash. Plus, Seattle is known to have the most bookstores per capita in the United States. Want to hop over the border to Canada while you're there? Book a multi-centre holiday to cover Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.


4. New Orleans, Louisiana

The remarkable city of New Orleans is one of the most unique places in America – and one of the most culturally diverse. It is a wonderful amalgamation of Spanish and French Creole culture, making it a truly exceptional holiday destination. It is considered to be the birthplace of jazz and is home to the legendary Mardi Gras festival. It was also right at the heart of the civil rights movement in the USA. You simply cannot beat New Orleans for nightlife, and the food is pretty amazing too. If at all possible, mark this city down on your list of dream destinations.  


5. Las Vegas, Nevada

The inimitable city of lights is on every list of dream USA destinations, because there is nowhere else quite like it on the planet. Las Vegas never sleeps, never gets boring and always offers visitors the chance to do something truly remarkable. There is not much said about Las Vegas which has not been said before, but it is important to pick the right hotel. If you are looking for affordable luxury, opt for the Flamingo Hotel, right at the heart of the Vegas strip. You might even recognise it from the 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas. It offers guests the chance to enjoy world class dining and entertainment options. 


6. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Never underestimate the power of television. In the wake of the staggering success of TV crime drama Breaking Bad, the number of tourists choosing to check out Albuquerque soared. The series was filmed here, right on the border with Mexico. Due to its close proximity to South America, Albuquerque is very much a dry desert town, but it is still over 28% parkland – making it a great choice for both families and nature lovers. Plus, it has been repeatedly voted one of the best value cities in America, meaning that a holiday here does not have to break the bank. In October, this city hosts the world famous Balloon Fiesta, which really is a sight to see. Book a self-drive tour to tick off Albuquerque, Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon and more. 


If you want some help or advice on planning a trip to the United States, our travel experts today.

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