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The year 2020 is not off to a great start; that may be the understatement of the decade. We can‘t ignore the fact that every one of us has been affected by the current pandemic in some way. Travel may not be the first thing on your mind, but since we’re all stuck inside, what better time is there to plan your next trip than now? It is still uncertain as to when we‘ll be allowed to travel internationally again, so many people are looking to take a vacation within their own countries once this is all over. To make your decision easier, we did some research and created this list of the five best places to visit in the U.S. after the lockdown.
1. Best Beach Vacation: Florida
There are 95,471 miles of shoreline in the U.S., according to the NOAA, meaning that there are countless beaches you could visit on your next trip. If you’re looking for the best beaches in the U.S., then you need to go to Florida. Florida beaches consistently rank among the best beaches in the U.S. and in the world. If you want white sand, crystal clear water and an abundance of marine wildlife swimming around your toes, then Florida is the place to be. In fact, you won’t find this anywhere else in the continental United States. Here is a short list of some of the best places to find white sand beaches with clear water:
- Panama City Beach
- Siesta Key Beach
- Key West
Did you see what we did there? We just gave you the route for an awesome Florida road trip, where you can hit all of the best beaches along the way. You’re welcome. 😉
2. Best City Trip: San Francisco
The United States is home to some truly great cities, which makes it difficult to really decide which one is the best. After giving it some thought, we have come up with San Francisco as the best city to visit once the travel situation has normalized again. San Francisco has some great history, beautiful buildings, lovely rolling hills and is overall just a great place to be. One of the nicest things about San Francisco is that you can experience everything that a major U.S. city has to offer (culture, food, architecture) without getting in a cab or rubbing shoulders with thousands of other people on the sidewalk. You can even get the full San Francisco experience in a single day, if you’re short on time. Check out our free San Francisco travel guide to make sure you have the best possible vacation there.
3. Best Nature Trip: Lake Tahoe & Sierra Nevadas
This was a really difficult decision because the U.S. is so vast and has an immense amount of natural land to explore. That being said, we narrowed it down to Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountain range as the best place to take a nature trip in the United States. Lake Tahoe, itself, is a massive body of crystal clear water surrounded by beautiful forested mountains that are home to incredible waterfalls and magnificent wildlife. In fact, the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range has some of the best forests, geological features, lakes and waterfalls in the world. This is one of the few places on the planet where you can see massive Sequoia, Redwood and Sugar Pine trees. Again, from personal experience, this truly is something you have to experience for yourself. If that’s not enough, then perhaps you’ll be enticed by the incredible national parks in the area, such as Yosemite National Park or Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks.
We have two guides that will help you plan your next wilderness escape:
4. Best Historical Region: New England
New England is essentially the birthplace of the United States. Since many of the first American colonies were founded in this region, it’s no surprise that there is a plethora of historical sites, colonial architecture and museums to be explored. History lovers aren’t the only ones who can enjoy New England, though, because this region is also home to countless old lighthouses, beautiful nature and the best seafood in the entire country. From Maryland to Maine, you’re sure to have a ball in the Northeastern U.S.
5. Best National Parks Trip: Las Vegas
Yes, you read that right and yes, we know, Las Vegas is not a national park (although some of you may consider it a playground). Hear us out on this one. Las Vegas is ideally located between multiple must-visit national parks, nature preserves and state parks. The gambling scene really overshadows this, unfortunately, but we’ve taken two trips to Vegas just because you can almost always get a cheap flight and you’re within driving distance to some amazing natural locations. Furthermore, you can book cheap accommodation in Las Vegas, which will save you the high priced hotels near the national parks. Here are just a few of the incredible places you can see by taking a short drive from Sin City:
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon
- Death Valley
- Grand Canyon
- Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
- Mojave National Preserve
- Valley of Fire
- Red Rock Canyon
We cover these day trips a bit better in our Las Vegas travel guide.
If you’re into road tripping, then Vegas is also the perfect start and end point. You can either take a huge loop, going up through California, Oregon and Washington and coming back down through Idaho/Montana and Utah or you can even add in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona and take, what I (Ryne) am calling, the Louisiana Route. No matter which way you drive first, you’ll find yourself immersed in one national park after the other, taking in marvelous sights all along the way.
There you have it. Our current top 5 USA trips; one for every type of traveler. There is so much to see and do in North America. It would be a shame not to get out there and explore. Which trip are you planning on taking next? Let us know in the comments!
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