With so much to see in the USA, it is hard for first-time travelers to the country to know what to prioritize. Some people will want to visit some of the most iconic cities in the world, like New York and Los Angeles.
Others will enjoy experiencing some of the most famous sights in the world, such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Let’s talk about ten places that you can’t miss if it’s your first time visiting the US.
1. Disneyland Anaheim
The “happiest place on earth” has been attracting tourists since 1955. Disneyland in Anaheim is still a magical experience with attractions like Star Tours, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.
Mickey, Cinderella and other costumed characters chat with visitors, and special events include holiday shows and parades. Disney California Adventure Park next door offers thrilling roller coaster rides.
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2. Los Angeles
A visit to Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of America, is a must for first-time visitors who want to experience its rich and diverse culture. The City of Angels is home to countless mansions owned by celebrities. Try on some designer clothing in a Beverly Hills boutique, sip cocktails at a rooftop bar, and dine at one of many superb restaurants where you may even spot a movie star. The incredible beaches of Malibu and Santa Monica lie to the west.
You can experience nature at its best in Yosemite National Park with its numerous waterfalls, unique rock formations, and millennia-old giant Sequoia. Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Check out famous landmarks like Glacier Point or Half Dome and hike one of the many popular paths such as Cathedral Lakes.
4. New York
New York is a city unlike any other city in the world. It offers a diverse cultural scene with so much to see and do. Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty are some of the iconic sites. Catch a show on Broadway, enjoy the busy street life, and stroll around in scenic Central Park.
5. Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona offers awe-inspiring views and is a perfect place to go on hikes. The Colorado River wanders its way through the canyon, and white water rafting on the river is a favorite activity for adventurous travelers. The South Rim can be crowded but has more amenities than the North Rim. A helicopter tour offers an unforgettable view of the red and orange grandeur of the canyon.
6. New Orleans
New Orleans has a distinct personality all of its own with its blend of influences from Europe and the Caribbean. Music lovers will enjoy the rich jazz and blues scene. Food lovers can feast on gumbo and other tasty local fare in between sightseeing.
7. Honolulu, Oahu
Oahu has a good balance of beach and urban life. You will probably want to visit the famous Waikiki beach, but if you want a less crowded option, Kalama Park is more secluded. A visit to the Honolulu naval sights like the Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a must for history buffs. Honolulu’s vibrant cultural events will give you a chance to experience Hawaiian culture.
8. Washington D.C.
A visit to the nation’s capital is often on the list for first-time visitors to the U.S.A. See iconic monuments such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Some of the green spaces to visit are Rock Creek Park and the U.S. National Arboretum. On rainy days, pay a visit to one of the Smithsonian museums. The city also has a lively bar and restaurant scene.
Yellowstone National Park has much to excite lovers of nature and wildlife – hot springs, volatile geysers, bison, grizzly bears, buffalo, and elk. Visiting its 3000 plus square miles of verdant forests, mountains, canyons, and expansive meadows is an awesome experience.
Miami Beach is always a hot spot for tourists with its lively bar and restaurant scene and beachfront hotels. It has a party reputation, but it can also be a great destination for those looking for pure relaxation. In Miami, you can experience Cuban cuisine, take a look at the colorful murals of Wynwood, or go a bit further afield and spot crocs in the swamplands of the nearby Everglades National Park.