If you are discussing your summer vacation plans and wondering where to go, consider leaving your passport at home and explore some amazing destinations right here in the good old USA! Take in the natural wonders of America and discover some of the best places on the planet. Travel’s Best All American Vacation destinations and landmarks were chosen by a panel of expert advisors. How many have you visited? How many are on your Bucket List?
10 Best American Vacations
Florida Keys Overseas Highway - Discover why so many people fall in love with the Keys by driving the 127-mile Florida Keys Overseas Highway, which includes a network of bridges that stretch from mainland Florida all the way to the southernmost point in the US. Make sure to pull over for the occasional conch fritter and snorkeling break, of course!
Redwood National and State Parks, California - This enchanted forest of giant trees is located next to miles of empty beach, combining history, culture, wonder and nature in one beautiful location. Redwood National Park is truly an awe-inspiring escape for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.
Lafayette, Louisiana - A mix of historical and cultural influences has created the unique Cajun/French Creole food, music and language found only in this small part of the country. Enjoy a delicious (and messy) crawfish boil, dance to zydeco music and take a thrilling airboat ride!
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico - Craving Zen and beauty? White Sands offers perhaps the most serene experience in the country. Walking the dunes is like wading through an ocean of diamonds surrounded by purple mountains. Make sure to arrive when the gates open to witness the morning light dancing across the desert.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washington/Oregon - Located on the state line between Washington and Oregon, this locale is an excellent nature-filled family retreat, with waterfalls, wildflowers and sweeping views of the Columbia River. If you're willing to get wet, take a short hike through the majestic Oneonta Gorge, a lush chasm leading to a hidden waterfall.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, AL - Tour the battleship, the aircraft collection and the USS Drum submarine, or even book an overnight adventure to get a taste of how the sailors lived. Beyond beautiful Mobile Bay, streets lined with historic homes and giant oaks give way to a vibrant downtown once dubbed “the Paris of the South.”
Peak to Peak Highway, Estes Park, CO - As one of the rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park described it, “You can take many photos, but you can never completely capture the beauty of this place.” True story. A 3-hour stretch of green pine trees, snow-capped mountains and log cabins makes this scenic byway (Colorado's oldest) the perfect setting for a short-but-sweet road trip.
Annapolis, Maryland - With its historic homes, wooden sailboats and midshipmen strolling the streets in their whites, Annapolis is the epitome of classic Americana. It’s the perfect place to explore military history and get a peek at its future at the United States Naval Academy Museum. Stay for the food: No trip to Annapolis is complete without enjoying some Maryland crab with Old Bay, of course.
St. Louis - St. Louis is the “Gateway to the West” for more reasons than one. Yes, its iconic Gateway Arch is a sight to behold, but the city’s friendly Midwest sensibility, steamboats, vibrant riverfront along the Mississippi, and free attractions such as the St. Louis Zoo make it truly appealing for a family getaway. Plus, it’s a (Cardinals) baseball and beer town — could you get more American than that?
Williams, Arizona - In the town of Williams, AZ, expect an eclectic mix of the rich history of Route 66 and the Wild West. Williams is the perfect place for a pit stop to find a kitschy souvenir and let the kids get up close and personal with wildlife at the Bearizona drive-through wildlife park. Then, hop aboard the 100-year-old Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic, 65-mile ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.