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50 Top Travel Destinations in the US

Updated: April 18, 2024

Written by

AAA Travel Editor, SMS

As the third-largest country in the world, the United States offers a never-ending array of fascinating places to explore. From the breathtaking natural landscapes of the national parks to multicultural cities filled with rich history and exciting attractions, there are a variety of top travel destinations in the U.S. to discover.

If you’ve ever wondered which cities hosted the most travelers, we've compiled a list of the top 50 most visited cities in the U.S. along with each city's best attractions so you can make the most of your upcoming trip to the States.

Once you’re ready to plan your next American dream vacation, look no further than AAA for great vacation deals and easy hotel booking. Now let’s jump into the top travel destinations in the U.S.

1. Orlando, FL

Top-ranked accommodations: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Home to world-famous theme parks that attract millions of visitors a year, like Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, it comes as no surprise that Orlando is the number one top travel destination in the U.S. 

Located in Central Florida, Orlando has everything from exciting theme parks to endless shopping and dining, plus the warm Florida sunshine, making it the perfect spot for an unforgettable family vacation. 

If you’ve had your share of thrills, Orlando is also within driving distance to fun day trips from Orlando like the beach, Kennedy Space Center or natural springs and attractions. 

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2. Anaheim, CA

Top-ranked accommodation: The Viv Hotel Anaheim

Family fun continues with the city of Anaheim, home of Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, ranking number two on our list of top travel destinations in the U.S.

Anaheim is located in Orange County, California, and is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. While Disneyland is its most popular attraction, there are plenty of other activities to indulge in, like shopping and entertainment at Anaheim GardenWalk, attending a concert at Pearson Park or catching a baseball game at Angel Stadium.

There are also plenty of hidden gems to explore around Anaheim, from sightseeing at Heisler Park to cultural districts like Old Towne Orange.

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3. Las Vegas, NV

Top-ranked accommodation: Bellagio

Las Vegas, marketed as the Entertainment Capital of the World, ranks number three on our list of most visited cities in the U.S. Due to the popularity of legalized gambling, alcoholic beverages accessible at any time and various forms and degrees of adult entertainment, Las Vegas is famously known as Sin City. 

While the world-famous casinos and clubs will excite any socialite, Las Vegas offers plenty more to suit people of all ages and interests. You could check out the Bellagio’s impressive fountain shows on the Strip, attend a jaw-dropping show, go on a thrilling ride on top of the STRAT or treat yourself to a relaxing day at the spa followed by a great meal at an old-school Vegas restaurant. 

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4. New York, NY

Top-ranked accommodation: The Dominick

Ranking at number four for top travel destinations in the U.S. is the globally known New York City, which is crammed with iconic locations, neighborhoods and buildings. 

The city is so big that it’s made up of five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island), which are essentially smaller cities within a large metropolis. The city is also rich in culture, with neighborhoods like Koreatown, numerous Chinatowns, Little Italy and Jewish and African American communities. 

As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless in New York City. If you love history and sightseeing, book tours of the city and its iconic monuments like the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. For lovers of the arts and fashion, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art or attend a Broadway show in Times Square. 

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5. Denver, CO

Top-ranked accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton Denver

Number five of our top travel destinations in the U.S. is Denver, Colorado. Coined as the Mile High City, Denver is full of both urban elegance and outdoor adventure. It’s located at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains — perfect for any adventure-seeker. 

Denver receives 300 days of sunshine a year on average, making it a great place to visit just about any time of the year. It’s also a very walkable city with a vibrant cultural scene, rich Wild West history and pure natural beauty. 

In the warmer months, indulge in Denver’s vibrant shopping and dining scene at Larimer Square and attend a concert at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. When the weather turns cold, Denver is only a day’s drive away from some of the best ski resorts in the country. 

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6. Atlanta, GA

Top-ranked accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta

Atlanta ranks sixth among the top travel destinations in the United States thanks to its Southern charm and vibrant culture. It’s not surprising that the city is one of the most well-liked tourist destinations in the Southeast, given its diverse food scene, upscale retail areas and rich history. 

Atlanta was one of the cities at the forefront of the civil rights movement, containing iconic businesses, museums and landmarks honoring the African American experience. The city is also home to some of the top art festivals, galleries and emerging community exhibitions in the Southeast.

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7. Phoenix, AZ

Top-ranked accommodation: Arizona Biltmore A Waldorf Astoria Resort

If you’re looking for a place to escape during the cold winter months, look no further than Phoenix, Arizona, which ranks number seven on our list of most traveled-to destinations in the U.S. 

Phoenix provides an incredible variety of resorts and hotels, as well as a wealth of artistic and cultural attractions, old-world neighborhoods, dining and shopping. It’s also just a few hours away from the Grand Canyon and other iconic desert landmarks. 

This city in the Southwest has a lot to offer in terms of scenery, culture, history and entertainment, making Phoenix a great place to plan your next vacation.

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8. Tampa, FL

Top-ranked accommodation: Epicurean Hotel Autograph Collection

Ranking number eight on our list is sunny Tampa, Florida, which is full of history and culture, a legendary culinary scene and plenty of outdoor adventures. 

Tampa features activities for everyone, including amusement parks, museums, the historic Ybor City and bars on every corner. It’s also a great place for frugal travelers, as it offers much of what Orlando does without the hefty price tag. 

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9. Boston, MA

Top-ranked accommodation: Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston

Number nine takes us to the historical Northeast city of Boston, Massachusetts. Boston has it all — from world-class educational institutions to successful sports teams.

Boston is perfect for those who love history, as it’s the birthplace of the American Revolution. It also has one of the country’s most famous waterfronts, where you can tour the Boston Tea Party Museum.

If you've had your fill of history, there are some fantastic places to eat in Boston, where you can fill up on some of the city's famous clam chowder. 

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10. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Top-ranked accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale

If you’re in need of some vitamin sea, look no further than Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which ranks number 10 for top travel destinations in the U.S.

Beaches, art, entertainment and events are among Fort Lauderdale's most well-known draws. The “Venice of America” offers everything from gondola rides on the canals to shopping on Las Olas Boulevard alongside a picturesque riverfront.

While the city’s historic and arts districts make for great land activities, Fort Lauderdale is known for its water activities, like snorkeling and boat cruises, for a prime view of the mansions and yachts dotting Millionaires’ Row. If you’re seeking even more adventure, head west for an airboat ride into the Everglades. 

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11. San Diego, CA

Top-ranked accommodation: Pendry San Diego

San Diego, California, also known as America's Finest City, is ranked number 11 on our list and most certainly lives up to its nickname.

With nearly perfect weather year-round, 70 miles of spectacular California coastline and world-class attractions like the San Diego Zoo, the city is an urban waterfront paradise. While hitting the beach, numerous museums and Gaslamp Quarter should be on your itinerary, there are also plenty of hidden gems to discover in San Diego.

Check out some of San Diego’s coolest buildings like the Hotel del Coronado, take a scenic hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve or admire San Diego’s skyline on a harbor cruise through the bay. There’s something for everyone in this fine city.

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12. Chicago, IL

Top-ranked accommodation: Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Number 12 on our list of top travel destinations in the U.S. is the Midwest city of Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago, the third-largest city in the country, is known as the Windy City and is most known for its tall skyscrapers, sports teams and distinctive style of hot dogs and pizza. The city's major tourist attractions include the landmark Willis Tower, the contemporary Millennium Park and the Navy Pier with its parks, eateries and entertainment.

Chicago is a sizable city with many diverse neighborhoods and a lively downtown area that is easily accessible on foot or by river cruise. It’s also rich in American history, with many historic sites, including Old St. Patrick’s Church, one of the buildings that survived the city’s Great Fire of 1871.

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13. Seattle, WA

Top-ranked accommodation: Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Number 13 for top travel destinations in the U.S. takes us to the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle, Washington.

The city is surrounded by the sea and snow-capped mountains, has a very active and outdoor-oriented population, is pet-friendly and has an abundance of things to see and do.

The iconic Space Needle, the bustling Pike Place Market and the waterfront are some of the city's top attractions. Beautiful beaches, the Hoh Rain Forest and mountain scenery are all easily accessible day trips from the city and are just waiting to be discovered.

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14. Dallas, TX

Top-ranked accommodation: The Adolphus Autograph Collection

As one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., Dallas is starting to attract more and more visitors each year, making it number 14 on our list of top-visited cities in the country.

While the amazing Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex is a must-experience, Dallas is known for more than just its food. Sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys, a bustling art scene and the Texas State Fair attract visitors from all over each year.

There are many parks, biking and hiking trails, as well as the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

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15. Miami, FL

Top-ranked accommodation: JW Marriott Marquis Miami

Miami, the center of southern Florida, comes in at number 15 on our list of the top places visited in the United States. Miami has a vibe unlike any other city in the state of Florida.

A few of the distinctive features that make Miami one of the best cities in the U.S. include the Cuban influence along Calle Ocho in Little Havana, the Art Deco District in Miami Beach that evokes the 1930s era and the summertime beach scene of South Beach.

Miami is full of culture and has great nightlife, but to finish off your trip, you must see Miami's skyline from a boat on the water.

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16. Washington, D.C.

Top-ranked accommodation: InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf

Washington, D.C., is the capital of the United States and is a must-stop destination on any East Coast travel itinerary.

The White House, the Capitol Building and the Smithsonian museums are just a few of the national treasures that can be found in Washington, D.C. 

While museums and national landmarks are the main attractions, there are plenty of other things to do, like a premier dinner cruise along the Potomac River for panoramic views of the nation's greatest monuments or attending the Cherry Blossom Festival in the springtime. 

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17. San Francisco, CA

Top-ranked accommodation: Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel San Francisco

Families, singles and couples may all enjoy a getaway in the charming and scenic West Coast city of San Francisco, California. Famous landmarks, quaint neighborhoods, breathtaking views and outdoor dining are just a few of the reasons San Francisco is a fantastic travel destination.

Explore the city's attractions by taking a cruise on the San Francisco Bay, visiting Alcatraz, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, strolling around Fisherman's Wharf or boarding a street car. You can also take a day trip to wine country in Napa Valley or Sonoma to indulge in one of the country’s best wine tasting experiences. 

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18. Charlotte, NC

Top-ranked accommodation: The Ballantyne a Luxury Collection Hotel Charlotte

Charlotte, also known as the Queen City, offers a variety of urban pleasures with an emphasis on incorporating plenty of natural beauty among its skyscrapers. Charlotte can fulfill a variety of travel needs because of its distinctive and diverse neighborhoods, fantastic shopping and award-winning cuisine and beer.

If you find yourself in Charlotte, book a classic brewery tour to try unique craft beers and make your way to NoDa to discover colorful murals. 

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19. Honolulu, HI

Top-ranked accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach

Of all the Hawaiian islands, Oahu blends metropolitan luxury with magnificent scenery the best. Honolulu, the state's capital, exemplifies the island's metropolitan attraction. The island's top-notch dining establishments, exciting cultural activities and lively nightlife further highlight it as a “Gathering Place” for Hawaiian culture.

Numerous cultural and historic monuments are close by, ranging from the grandiose Iolani Palace to the somber USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Wide-open white sand beaches contrast with a skyline of high-rises and resorts in the surrounding Waikiki district. Visit the North Shore for a sample of the island's rustic life — the most brilliantly blue seas and winding walks can be found here. 

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20. Houston, TX

Top-ranked accommodation: JW Marriott Houston Downtown

Houston, Texas, is the ideal destination for a trip with friends, a romantic getaway or a family holiday. 

Houston is a great place for watching sporting events, wandering through the Museum District or spending your nights savoring the delectable food options. In fact, Houston has grown to be a popular eating destination in the U.S. for its variety, including barbecue, Vietnamese, Tex-Mex, and Louisiana creole cuisine.

Rent a bike and pedal your way around the miles of paved routes in the parks or on the city streets for a leisurely but outdoor urban experience. You can also explore all the amazing murals all over the city — perfect for posing for your Instagram.

You can also visit nearby beaches at Galveston and make a stop at Space Center Houston.

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21. Philadelphia, PA

Top-ranked accommodation: The Rittenhouse Philadelphia

There is a lot to see and do in the interesting and historical city of Philadelphia, often known as the City of Brotherly Love. Located on the East Coast of the United States, Philadelphia has been a significant American city for several hundred years and has influenced how America is shaped today. 

The city has a rich history and is among the oldest in the U.S. It was the location of the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution and housed the nation's capital until Washington, D.C., took its position. 

Philadelphia never fails to wow, whether it's with the renowned Liberty Bell, numerous museums or delectable cuisine.

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22. Fort Myers, FL

Top-ranked accommodation: Homewood Suites by Hilton – Fort Myers at Bell Tower

If you’re in need of a relaxing tropical getaway, look no further than Fort Myers, Florida. Fort Myers is a port city and is the opening gateway to various islands like Sanibel Island — perfect for hunting for seashells and swimming or jet skiing in the warm Gulf of Mexico.

There are several stretches of sand to explore throughout the town, and it is well known for its numerous beaches and great options for water sports. Many people travel to Fort Myers for its deep-sea fishing, golf courses and renowned white sand beaches that are ideal for dolphin watching and snorkeling. 

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23. Nashville, TN

Top-ranked accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel

Nashville, Tennessee, popularly known as Music City, is the location of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, the Glen Campbell Museum and the famous Ryman Auditorium. Nashville is also home to the Grand Ole Opry, the nation's epicenter for gospel, country and bluegrass music.

If you love music, especially country, you’ll thrive in this exciting city with live bands on just about every corner of downtown. It’s the perfect place for a bachelor or bachelorette party or just for some good fun with various free events going on all year round.

If you'd like to walk around and shop, head straight for the Gulch or 12th South; both areas are teeming with locally owned shops and eateries. If you love to dance, take a line dancing class before you head out for the night on Nashville’s famous Broadway strip. 

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24. Maui, HI

Top-ranked accommodation: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Since Maui is frequently referred to as the “golden child” of the Hawaiian archipelago, it’s great for first-time visitors if you've never been to any of the Hawaiian islands. Maui is the definition of paradise, with everything from volcanoes and rainforests to waterfalls and beaches with colorful sand.

Check out the authentic luaus or go snorkeling in the tropical waters for some fun in the sun. You can also take the ride of your life on the most exhilarating, scenic ATV tours on the island of Maui. You’ll always have something fun to do on this Hawaiian island.

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25. Salt Lake City, UT

Top-ranked accommodation: Grand America Hotel

Salt Lake City is the capital city of Utah, which is a unique place with enormous red-walled canyons and soaring sandstone spires. Five of America's most well-known national parks — Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon — are accessible from Salt Lake City.

It's a wonderful destination to visit any time of year, but Salt Lake City and Park City in the summer are especially enjoyable for outdoor enthusiasts. Try hiking the Great Salt Lake Shorelands, mountain biking in Deer Valley or rafting the Provo River.

Put on your cross-country skis and head to Sundance in the winter. If you're looking for a family-friendly activity, head to Wasatch Mountain State Park for an inner tubing adventure.

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26. Portland, OR

Top-ranked accommodation: The Nines a Luxury Collection Hotel Portland

Oregon’s biggest city, Portland, boasts 10,000 acres of public parks, making it a top travel destination in the U.S. for those who love the outdoors.

Despite having a large amount of open space within the city limits, Portland's surroundings are home to miles of hiking trails and campgrounds. Multnomah Falls, Portland's prized attraction, is located about 40 minutes outside of the metropolitan area. You can even take a full-day tour of the beautiful Oregon coast.

If you'd rather stay in the city, head to the Pearl District, which is bustling with eateries, cafes, stores, galleries and theaters. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to sample both of Portland's acclaimed sweet stops: Salt & Straw ice cream and Voodoo Doughnut!

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27. West Palm Beach, FL

Top-ranked accommodation: EAU Palm Beach Resort & Spa

South Florida's West Palm Beach is a quickly expanding urban area with a vibrant downtown and a wealth of cultural attractions. People visit to take advantage of the unique boutiques, top-notch eating and myriad entertainment opportunities.

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is just 10 miles south of the metropolitan excitement of West Palm Beach, where you can discover primeval Florida by river tour. 

For even more adventure, go deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic aboard the Blue Heron Fleet.

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28. Minneapolis, MN

Top-ranked accommodation: Intercontinental Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport

If the idea of a city weekend getaway doesn't make you think of Minneapolis, Minnesota, you aren’t alone, but you must not be familiar with the City of Lakes. The fact that Minneapolis is a hub for arts and culture is what surprises people the most about its style and personality. The late Minnesotan rock singer, Prince, may have been the largest proponent of Minneapolis tourism.

With Minneapolis becoming one of the top travel destinations in the U.S., this hidden gem of a city is becoming more prevalent. The Super Bowl, the city’s renowned artwork, live music, diverse cuisine and other factors have all contributed to its cultural renaissance.

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29. Raleigh, NC

Top-ranked accommodation: Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

Raleigh, North Carolina, is a combination of intelligence, aesthetic and cosmopolitan charms. The city is full of colleges and universities, making it a great city for young adults to visit. 

Additionally, Raleigh is brimming with an entrepreneurial spirit. You may observe it in the plethora of craft breweries that dot this city and in the boom of brand-new eateries and stores in the downtown area and the trendy Warehouse District.

Raleigh has beautiful natural scenery in addition to its hip coffee shops and small enterprises. Visitors should consider Umstead State Park's woodland splendor, the Neuse River Trail's lush surroundings or any of the city's protected green spots for evidence.

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30. Jacksonville, FL

Top-ranked accommodation: Best Western Premier Jacksonville Hotel

Jacksonville, Florida, is a mix of relaxation and family adventures, making it a top travel destination in the U.S. 

With 10 state and national parks, Jacksonville has the biggest urban park system in the country. It’s a great place to enjoy the Florida sunshine while touring the eco-friendly city via bike, scooter, skateboard or foot. You can also head to the wetlands for a kayaking trip in the Amelia Island area.

Jacksonville is a special place to visit because of its delicious cuisine, flourishing craft beer culture and diverse nightlife.

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31. New Orleans, LA

Top-ranked accommodation: The Roosevelt New Orleans a Waldorf Astoria Hotel

No other Southern city compares to New Orleans, Louisiana. The cultural fusion, which is heavily influenced by French and Spanish, is more reminiscent of the Caribbean than the United States. 

This city is unique because of its Cajun and Creole food, jazz and French Quarter architecture. With a variety of lavish resorts and accommodations, New Orleans is the ideal location for a long weekend escape.

Mardi Gras, when extravagant costumes and floats light up the streets, music can be heard everywhere and the celebrations appear never-ending, is the climax of New Orleans' calendar year. If crowds aren’t your thing, you can head out of town on an airboat ride through the swamp or take a tour of the Oak Alley Plantation.

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32. Austin, TX

Top-ranked accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Austin, Texas, the Lone Star State’s capital, is a top travel destination in the U.S. you won’t want to miss out on. Austin is a haven for a fascinating fusion of many cultures, hospitable locals and contagious funky vibes.

Visitors must sample the local cuisine and craft beer culture. The city is a foodie adventurer's heaven, with everything from taco shops and food trucks to internationally known chefs. With an abundance of outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding, it's also a terrific area to spend time outside.

Take a live music tour in the evenings and enjoy grooving out all throughout the city. 

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33. Savannah, GA

Top-ranked accommodation: Andaz Savannah

With old Southern houses, enormous moss-covered trees and a beautiful waterfront area with sweets shops and other unique boutiques in historic buildings, Savannah is a classic tiny Southern city. It’s full of Southern hospitality and the pace is leisurely.

The city center is small enough that you can walk everywhere — make sure you book a walking food tour so you can experience the diverse and distinctive cuisine and learn about the city's history, architecture and culture. 

You can see this city in a single day, but you'll want to stay a while.

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34. Cleveland, OH

Top-ranked accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio, a Midwest metropolis that is sometimes overlooked, provides a wide range of enjoyable activities. The city is a worthwhile destination for any kind of traveler, offering everything from exciting sporting events to a bustling cultural scene.

The food is also noteworthy, with exciting local favorites and international cuisine all located at the West Side Market. Cleveland’s Little Italy is also a must to add to your itinerary, which explores the Cleveland Italian culture that has existed for generations.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, you can’t visit Cleveland without taking in a game — the Browns, the Guardians, and the Cavaliers all call this city home.

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35. St. Louis, MO

Top-ranked accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

You'll find plenty of things to do in St. Louis, Missouri, with its assortment of museums, gardens and parks.

Families will appreciate going to the Saint Louis Science Center, the Magic House Children’s Museum and the zoo. Meanwhile, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the City Museum are must-sees for culture vultures.

There are many haunting sites to visit, as well as a rich history of bank robberies, voting riots, brutal duels, and prohibition criminals if you enjoy dread and true crime. There are also no open container laws in Missouri, so you can carry alcoholic beverages through the streets. Simply ask the bartender for your drink “to go” and bring it with you as you loop about the area, taking in some history and entertainment.

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36. Baltimore, MD

Top-ranked accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland, is a city you should see at least once, regardless of whether you're just traveling through or intend to stay.

Celebrate your night in Baltimore with dinner and sightseeing aboard a luxury cruise on the Inner Harbor. Or take a walking food tour through the colonial city neighborhood with stone streets and brick walkways. This is the old port and manufacturing center of the city but now has a more charming and post-industrial style, as it is full of local residents, restaurants, boutique shops and hotels. 

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37. Pittsburgh, PA

Top-ranked accommodation: Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a beautiful and energetic modern city.

If you go, be sure to “bike the burgh,” where you'll discover stunning architecture, fascinating historical details and breathtaking vistas of the city. You can also catch a Steelers football game at Acrisure Arena.

From the mill to the still, whiskey has been a cornerstone in Pittsburgh's history, so make sure you take a whiskey walking tour to discover how the libation has fueled political, labor and social movements throughout the region.

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38. Charleston, SC

Top-ranked accommodation: The Charleston Place

The charming and lively city of Charleston, South Carolina, is a top travel destination in the U.S. you won’t want to miss. 

Charleston attracts visitors for a variety of reasons, including its vibrant restaurants and bars, diverse art and fashion scenes, stunning curb appeal, close proximity to the water, rich history and Southern charm. 

It’s a city you can explore easily by foot or, for something more unique, a horse and carriage ride. Make sure you check out the Battery and Rainbow Row to discover beautiful historic homes and make a point to enjoy Southern classics like shrimp and grits.

Take a ghost tour at night to explore centuries-old alleys and paths and hear the real-life stories of intrigue, sorrow and lost love that unveil a rich underside to Charleston's personality that isn't visible during the day.

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39. Albuquerque, NM

Top-ranked accommodation: Hotel Chaco

The vibrant city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and is steeped in Native American and Spanish history. Whether you're going on a solo adventure, a romantic retreat or a family vacation, there are many reasons why Duke City is a top travel destination in the U.S.

For starters, the popular television series “Breaking Bad” was filmed in Albuquerque, and many of its main sets can be seen on numerous tours of the city. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, join a food tour to indulge in the rich flavors New Mexico has to offer.

For a truly unique experience, take a hot air balloon ride or go to the Turquoise Museum to see some of the rarest and most valuable turquoise and turquoise art in the world.

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40. Columbus, OH

Top-ranked accommodation: Hilton Columbus/Polaris

Columbus, the capital of Ohio, was named after the explorer Christopher Columbus after white settlers moved into the Midwest around the 1700s. 

The city is teeming with interesting museums, some of which are entirely free, and delectable eateries. Explore downtown Columbus, stroll through Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens or take the kids to a planetarium show at the Center of Science and Industry.

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41. Myrtle Beach, SC

Top-ranked accommodation: Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a top travel destination in the U.S. known for its 60 miles of beaches and various entertainment attractions, perfect for families of all ages.

For some fun in the sun, hang out on the beach, take surf lessons or go paddle boarding around the beautiful waters of Murrells Inlet or the Waccamaw River. For families with young kids, go to the Hollywood Wax Museum or an exciting magic and illusions show. 

If you’re in need of some retail therapy, Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing and the Market Common are just a few of the local options to find gifts for loved ones or even a few souvenirs for yourself.

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42. San Jose, CA

Top-ranked accommodation: Hotel Valencia Santana Row

San Jose, California. offers it all — whether you're searching for nightlife, outdoor recreation or top-notch shopping and cuisine. 

San Jose is Silicon Valley's beating heart and soul for tech enthusiasts. Get motivated by the creative brains at companies like eBay, Cisco, PayPal and Adobe, where you can peek inside some of the buildings and learn about the inner workings of tech. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, take a trip to Big Sur to admire the beautiful Pacific coast or get active with the various hiking and biking trails and rock climbing opportunities around the city.

San Jose is also home to some exquisite wineries that will add a boozy allure to any trip to the Bay.

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43. Providence, RI

Top-ranked accommodation: Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel

The Creative Capital of the United States, Providence, Rhode Island, blends the accessibility and friendliness of a small town with the culture and sophistication of a large city. 

Providence is among the top travel destinations in the U.S. thanks to its bustling arts scene, diverse neighborhoods, first-rate hotels and illustrious dining scene.

The city was named one of the “Best City for Foodies,” in terms of diversity, accessibility and quality, so make a point of going on a food tour so you can enjoy delicious food while admiring the architecture of this historic city, learning fascinating facts about its past and taking in the art and culture as you stroll through the Downcity Arts District.

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44. Burlington, NC

Top-ranked accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott Burlington

Burlington, North Carolina, located in the state's heartland between the mountains and the ocean, has a rich history, fascinating cultural attractions, and fantastic shopping and recreational opportunities, including some of the top golf courses in the state.

Visitors can experience a wealth of history, a commitment to protecting the environment, shopping and enduringly popular dining options in Burlington. The city has everything for families and solo travelers alike, from traditional baseball to contemporary farm-to-table cuisine.

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45. San Antonio, TX

Top-ranked accommodation: Hotel Emma

Although Dallas and Houston are often the first cities that come to mind when people think of Texas, many Texans will tell you that San Antonio is their favorite. This could be because of the lovely Spanish colonial churches, the fantastic River Walk neighborhood and, of course, the Alamo.

The city is navigable and rather small. It also boasts a lot of fantastic resorts and luxurious hotels that are just waiting for you to check in and be treated. The Culinary Institute of America is located in San Antonio, making it a haven for culinary delights. Your taste buds will thank you for taking a stroll over to the Pearl District to explore some of the top restaurants.

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46. Kalaoa, HI

Top-ranked accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

Kalaoa is a city located on the Big Island of Hawaii, which offers various attractions for any adventure-seeker.

The Big Island is the perfect place to explore diverse landscapes and natural wonders, including Volcanoes National Park, beautiful rainforests, soaring waterfalls and black sand beaches.

After sightseeing, take in the rich Hawaiian culture by attending a traditional luau.

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47. Indianapolis, IN

Top-ranked accommodation: Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana, has recently undergone a bit of a rebirth, making it a pretty hip spot to visit, even though it may not immediately spring to mind as a top travel destination.

The city is probably best known for the Indianapolis 500 — the famous automobile race that's been dubbed the “greatest spectacle in racing.” The food scene is also a main Indianapolis draw. From food trucks to fine dining, you'll find just about everything in Indianapolis. 

If you want to get out and explore, a scavenger hunt is a great way to get to know the city, have some friendly competition and create memorable experiences with your travel companions. 

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48. Detroit, MI

Top-ranked accommodation: The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit

Detroit, Michigan, is another city that is seeing a recent revitalization. It is also the best American city for business travel, which is probably why it’s ranked number 48 on our list of the top U.S. travel destinations.

Because of its existing ties to the auto industry, access to resources and cash and manufacturing prowess, Detroit is known as the Motor City.

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49. Sacramento, CA

Top-ranked accommodation: Hyatt Regency Sacramento

Sacramento is a significant city in California since it is the state capital, but it also has some of the most iconic scenery, landmarks and unique characteristics not found anywhere else.

For those who appreciate art, take a stroll around Sacramento's exciting Midtown neighborhood and take in the dozens of breathtaking murals that the city is renowned for. If you’re looking for a more lively excursion, hop on a yacht cruise and enjoy some cocktails while you enjoy the fresh river breezes.

Families will also have a great time in Sacramento, with plenty of family-friendly activities like Fairytale Town or the local zoo.

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50. Oakland, CA

Top-ranked accommodation: Waterfront Hotel

Oakland, California, is located on the inner part of the Bay Area, right across the bridge from San Francisco. Although San Francisco is its close neighbor, the two cities couldn’t be more different.

There is a lot to see and do in Oakland, which has a rich, complex history and culture, its own local slang and absolutely delicious food. The Ruth Bancroft Garden gives visitors the chance to view cacti, succulents and native Californian plants, as well as other rare drought-tolerant plant species from throughout the world.

A short drive away are some of the most well-known wineries in the nation, making for an excellent day excursion.

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AAA gathered data on the top traveled cities based on online sales information including air, car, cruise, hotel and tour sales departing in 2021.

As you can see, there are plenty of top travel destinations in the U.S. to choose from for your next vacation, business trip or family get-together. To help you make the most out of your trip, become a AAA member to get discounts on everyday purchases from attractions and entertainment to car rentals and hotel booking.

Written by

AAA Travel Editor, SMS

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