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I have travelled around the USA quite a bit and lived there for four years as a teenager (alas, some time ago!). So, I can attest to the country’s beauty no matter what corner you’re visiting.

One of the best ways to see all of the world heritage sites in the US is to take a road trip. California has some of the safest cities in the US. So, driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco is a great sightseeing opportunity. 

While you’re in the Golden State, make sure to visit iconic California landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Santa Monica Pier. You also cannot miss the California hot springs, too!

Drive from New York to Florida to see iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, and the Lincoln Memorial along the way. New York also has one of the highest bridges in the United States — such as the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge arching over the majestic Niagara River.

But that’s only a fraction of things to see and do in the States. Find out what else awaits according to the four regions of the Land of Liberty.

Exploring the Northeast of the United States

The Northeast consists of Maine, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. 

Maine

Maine is the most eastern point of the northeast region. There are plenty of unique things to do in Maine — especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. Choose from dreamy bays to extravagant ski resorts in this state. 

Maine isn’t nicknamed The Pine Tree State for nothing. Its pine tree forests, lakes, and national parks make for fantastic hiking trails that attract most of the state’s visitors. 

New York

New York state is among the most well-known places in America. It is the only state where you can view Niagara Falls from the US side, but that’s not the only draw. It is also home to glitzy New York City, family-friendly Rochester, and lively Manhattan and Long Island.

If you’re after some more unique and unconventional sightseeing, be sure to check out the many covered bridges in New York.

Exploring the Northeast of the United States
The Northeast consists of Maine, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
Maine

New York City

Starting off with the Big Apple, there are plenty of historical places in New York. Some of the best views of NYC include the Brooklyn Bridge at night and the many famous cathedrals of NYC.

But don’t be afraid to go off the NYC beaten path and explore the most beautiful places of New York City without the hordes of foot traffic. Better yet, if you’re travelling without a partner or a family, why not look for things to do in New York alone?

Rochester

If city living isn’t for you, try the slightly more laid-back Rochester. Enjoy activities like kayaking near Rochester or walking and picnicking in the parks in Rochester. If you have more time, take weekend trips from Rochester and stop by Geneva to see one of the beautiful waterfalls in Rochester

Around September to November? You can get into the spirit of fall activities in Rochester, like apple picking, walking through corn mazes, visiting Rochester museums, and playing in pumpkin patches. 

There are also a few haunted houses in Rochester for Halloween. It’s a place full of surprises.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts has some of the most beautiful towns in America, like Rockport, Provincetown, and Edgartown. But it also has spectacular beaches, cliffs, and nature trails.

One thing about this state is that there are so many things to do in Massachusetts, whether you love museums, the water, or cityscapes. Don’t be afraid to delve into the darker side, too, with exciting attractions such as The Witch House of Salem and Lizzie Borden House.

Exploring the Midwest of the United States

The Midwest consists of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It is very laidback with many countryside and down-to-earth people, making it one of the safest vacation spots in the US. You will also find some of the less well known vacation spots in the United States in this part of the country.

In contrast, Ohio is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Kings Island amusement park, and Hocking Hills State Park. Don’t forget to check out the spectacular castles in Ohio that will temporarily transport you to Europe. There are over 15 towers scattered across the state.

Indiana has one of the few salt caves in the USA which are supposedly good for respiratory issues. Even if you don’t have trouble breathing, it’s still a cool experience. 

You can find some of the most beautiful lakes in the United States, especially in the Midwest. These bodies of water are often clear lakes, with some being the largest lakes in the United States in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Exploring the West of the United States

There are many national parks in the west of the United States. These stunning nature havens are scattered across Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. You can see major US landmarks like Yellowstone National Park or Mount Rushmore.

Nevada

The most popular destination in Nevada is Las Vegas, and oh, does Sin City have tons to offer. A little-known fact about Las Vegas is that there are over 150 casinos in the city. But there are more things to do in Vegas besides gambling

For example, if you visit Las Vegas in June, July, and August, you’ll catch the hottest times of the year but also be just in time for Pride month, pool parties, and the Star Trek Convention.

If you visit Las Vegas in September, you’ll be right on time for fall’s best attractions. Las Vegas in October means Oktoberfest and Major Sporting Events like NASCAR and soccer (football) championships.

Hawaii

If you’re looking for a more tropical escape, you can’t go wrong with a trip to one of the sunniest places to visit in the USA — Hawaii. Known as the Aloha State, Hawaii’s white sand beaches are thanks to a group of volcanic islands.

But, while the islands are beautiful, it is imperative to be respectful when visiting. Its islets can be traced back millions of years, but one lesser-known fact about Hawaii is that this state has the most endangered animals in all 50 states.

Washington State

Washington State is the place for outdoor adventures with some of the most beautiful mountains in the US and some of the best sunset spots in Seattle. If you like wine, you’ll love the many wineries in Washington offering tasting and tours.

Alaska

Many people overlook Alaska because it seems so difficult to reach. In reality, a visit here will just need a little bit more planning. 

While Juneau is the state’s capital, Anchorage is the biggest city. And, with so many things to do in downtown Anchorage, it’s not that difficult to plan a two to four-day Anchorage itinerary

The best time to visit Anchorage is during winter. Not only is it the easiest on your pockets, but it’s also prime time to see the ice caves near Anchorage. I can’t blame you if you’re not up for the 14°F (-10°C) winter temperatures, but luckily, Anchorage is wonderful no matter what time of year you go. 

A fun fact about Alaska is that you can see the aurora borealis most of the year. So, if you’re visiting to find the best places to see the northern lights in Anchorage, you may be in for a treat (and warmer weather).

Utah

Utah is one of the newer mainland states of America. But that doesn’t mean it’s lacking action-packed opportunities. 

Utah has a beautiful diversity of landscapes. It contains some of the most popular national parks in the United States, like Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Park. 

After your hike, it is always a good idea to visit one of the amazing hot springs in Utah to help soothe sore muscles. Or better yet, the springs can help you warm up after visiting one of the snowiest cities in the United States, such as the skiing oasis, Park City. 

Of course, there are many things to do in Park City besides skiing, but the ski resort remains the most popular place for winter tourists.

Arizona

Similar to Utah, Arizona has a long list of national parks tourists flock to. The most popular is the Grand Canyon. In fact, this Arizona landmark is so popular that the state’s nickname is now ‘The Grand Canyon State’.

Depending on your itinerary or the weather, you might enjoy a dip in the lakes in Arizona or the many hot springs in Arizona. Whichever one you choose, don’t forget to check out the Sedona sunsets or even catch a sunset in Tuscon when you have a chance.

California

A fact about California is that it is one of the most well-known and most-visited states. This is because of popular tourist places in California, like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

If you’re looking for places to visit in the Bay Area, there are many wonderful restaurants in San Francisco. But, if you’re looking for short weekend trips from San Francisco, move away from the bustling city because California still has plenty of outdoor activities. 

On that tranquil note, head to the lakes in southern California for a refreshing dip in summer. When the weather cools down, how about steeping in the Calistoga hot springs instead? You can also visit Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains. You can visit Yosemite in one day or stretch it out for a multi-day trip in the wilderness.

Or head down to San Diego to see its stunning sunsets and to visit one of the best zoos in the United States.

Tip: Visit Yosemite in October for a special experience in the fall.

Exploring the South of the United States

If you’re looking for romantic getaways in the southeast, you can’t go wrong with one of these states. The South consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

North Carolina & South Carolina

While they have similar names, the Carolinas are quite different. While South Carolina is one of the warmest US states in winter, North Carolina is slightly colder and has some wonderful hot springs.

However, both states have some of the most romantic cities in the US. Of course, always aiming to strike a balance, these romantic states’ beaches come with a danger warning. Be sure to research their beaches, as these states are well-known to have shark-infested beaches in the USA.

Florida

Nicknamed the Sunshine State, there is plenty to do in the coastal towns of Florida. While many are so-called party towns (talking about you, Key West), there are also a few laidback beaches in St. Petersburg and beaches near Tampa to enjoy the summer. There are loads of things to do in St Petersburg plus downtown Tampa and fun things for adults to do in Tampa in general.

The most popular thing to do (with or without kids) is visit Disney World. But if you’re looking for things to do in Orlando for adults, the city isn’t only Disney World. 

Check out the historical landmarks in Florida, like the Universal Orlando. Or perhaps the castles in Florida are more your vibe? And there are even some unique things to do in Florida, like visiting the Bok Tower Gardens.

Louisiana

Many people flock to the historical places in New Orleans, Louisiana, like the French Quarters, Bourbon Street, and Frenchmen Street. In fact, New Orleans is one of the most visited places in the United States. It is the city to see if you love Jazz, history, and the occasional supernatural. 

Maryland

Maryland is known for its seafood (especially its blue crabs), watersports, and art. One major city where you can experience all three is Baltimore. 

The Baltimore attractions are aplenty. Catching your morning brew is a big thing here, so don’t forget to check out the coffee shops in Baltimore. Or, better yet, take a Baltimore food tour to get the best treats on the street.

Mississippi

One fact about Mississippi is that Blues music found its roots here. As a result, the state is home to many famous entertainers, from Elvis and B.B. King to more modern singers like Hayley Williams from Paramore. 

But you don’t have to be a music lover to enjoy the sights. Jackson is the capital of the state and a great place for a warm winter getaway in the US, with events like the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Texas

Texas is as diverse as its history. For many, when they think of Texas, the first thing that comes to mind is its Cowboy culture. And it is very much still alive here, especially in Bandera, Texas — the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Watching a rodeo is also one of the best things to do in East Texas.

One of the most charming cities in Texas is San Antonio. There are loads of things to do for adults in San Antonio and San Antonio’s downtown area is full of attractions. San Antonio is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Texas.

Did you know that Texas was a part of Mexico in the 1800s? You can see Mexico’s influence on the state through the many landmarks in Texas and its many Tex-Mex restaurants. Don’t forget to check out Texas’ coastal towns, too.

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