It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to start making some new travel plans. There are so many amazing travel destinations in the United States, from vibrant growing cities to nature-based getaways. Here are 10 of the best places to travel in the US in 2020.
Dallas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, and has transformed itself into a can’t-miss vacation destination. When you think of Dallas, you probably envision cowboys, rodeos, and barbecue shacks, and there’s plenty of those here. But you’ll also find sophisticated hotels and restaurants, as well as a huge arts district with museums and performing arts venues. There are also plenty of opportunities to get outside – the Katy Trail runs through several of Dallas’s most notable neighborhoods and is a great way to explore the city. Traveling families will enjoy the city’s excellent selection of amusement parks, while sports lovers won’t want to miss a Dallas Cowboys game.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville has become a trendy hipster travel destination over the past few years, thanks to its vibrant downtown arts district that’s full of galleries, independent boutiques, and stunning historic architecture. The artsy culture has attracted a large population of artists and craftspeople, and you can browse their wares as you stroll through the downtown area. Asheville is also the biggest brewery hotspot in the southern US, and beer lovers will love trying all the local brews. Asheville is also a must-visit for outdoor lovers – it’s situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has plenty of excellent hiking and biking trails to choose from.
Philadelphia offers the perfect mix of historical significance and vibrant modern culture for travelers to immerse themselves in. It is one of America’s oldest cities, and visitors can explore Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The city’s always had an excellent art scene, with one of the country’s leading art museums, symphonies, and dance companies, but modern art galleries and performances make it attractive for a younger generation. The Fishtown and Northern Liberties areas have amazing street art and a cool industrial feel. Philadelphia also has an excellent food scene, with plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from in the Old City area.
If you want a mix of stunning natural beauty and a trendy urban environment, then Boise is a natural choice for your next vacation. The city is set just outside of the Rocky Mountains, with extensive hiking and biking trails to explore. There are also ski resorts just a short drive away for those visiting in the winter. In the city, visitors will enjoy exploring trendy breweries, cafes, and farmers’ markets. The downtown area has a hipster vibe reminiscent of Portland, Denver, and Austin – in fact, it’s so trendy that twenty- and thirty-somethings from California have been flocking there to enjoy cheap rents.
San Luis Obispo, California
San Francisco and LA tend to get all of the love in California, but travelers shouldn’t sleep on the state’s beautiful central coast area. San Luis Obispo is a charming town located about 100 miles north of Santa Barbara, and it makes a perfect starting point for exploring the broader central coast region, including Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Big Sur, and more. This area is known for its stunning 18th and 19th century missions, which are a perfect example of early California architecture. It’s also one of the best places to go surfing in the US – whether you’re a beginner or have been surfing for years, there’s a beach here for you.
Milwaukee is having a moment right now – it’s set to host the Democratic National Convention this year, and the city was one of the biggest trending destinations on Airbnb at the end of 2019. Although the city is relatively small, there’s plenty to do there. It’s known as a hotbed of German culture, with delicious food and beer. Beer lovers won’t want to miss the many iconic brewery tours here, but there are also plenty of cocktail and wine options if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated. It’s also easy to get outside – you can bike or run through the city’s popular riverwalk area, or relax on the shores of Lake Michigan at Bradford Beach. Don’t rule out the city’s art scene either – the Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the best in the United States. Pick up some souvenirs in the Third Ward, which is home to the city’s trendiest shopping options.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Visiting Puerto Rico is like visiting a completely different continent without technically leaving the US. The city of San Juan quickly rebuilt after a hurricane a few years ago, with vibrant new restaurants and nightlife options popping up left and right. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated candlelit dinner or a raucous party, you’ll be able to find it in the downtown area, San Juan also has gorgeous architecture that’s reminiscent of old European cities. Many buildings were constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries, and visitors can explore preserved Spanish forts left over from the town’s colonial days. Outside of town, you’ll find beautiful beaches and incredible rainforest hikes to explore.
If you’re going to be traveling to the US from another country, you will need to get your ESTA before your trip. ESTA certification allows citizens from 39 other countries to board a US-bound airplane or ship without a visa. To apply, you’ll need to provide your basic identifying information and travel details, and you’ll need to pay a small fee. You should make sure to get your ESTA submitted at least 72 hours before your trip to ensure timely approval. If you’ve had ESTA in the past, you can do an ESTA check online to see your current status and renew it if necessary. Your ESTA will be valid for 24 months after it is approved. You can use it for multiple visits to the US of up to 90 days each.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.