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5 American Destinations You’ve Never Thought of Visiting (But Really Should)

Last updated on April 3, 2019

So you’ve already seen the bright lights of Hollywood, strolled over the Golden Gate Bridge and chowed down on hotdogs in New York – what’s next?

Here’s some inspiration for your next trip the big ol’ United States of America. 

Portland, Oregon and Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion

1. Providence, Rhode Island

Located just south of Boston, Providence was once known for its down-at-heel demeanor. Today however, it’s a thriving hub of art and culture and a fantastic place to eat.

Don’t miss the Providence Flea Market, where you can hop from food truck to food truck sampling the latest flavours.

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Yes, really, Puerto Rico has been under US sovereignty since 1917. Don’t worry if you didn’t know – even the US president didn’t seem to know!

Kick back with a cocktail at Condado Beach or visit the trendy Santurce neighbourhood to explore San Juan’s thriving culinary scene. 

3. Berkeley, California

There’s plenty of adventure to be had in the redwood forests of Northern California,

If you enjoyed your time in San Francisco then why not head across the bay to the famous university town of Berkeley.

Take a stroll around the campus of the University of California, stroll the stores and cafes along Fourth Street and Telegraph Avenue and set off for a day trip to the iconic redwood forests of Northern California.

4. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is perhaps best-known as a base for exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, but there’s plenty on offer that’ll make you want to start a little longer.

Hang with the hipsters at trendy coffee shops and independent stores, nibble on ‘Appalachian-inspired’ bagels and sneak into elusive speakeasies for old fashioned cocktails and live music.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana 

New Orleans is of course one of America’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. With its unique blend of European, Caribbean and African influences, it truly is a wonderful place to eat, drink and party.

Explore the French Quarter and immerse yourself Creole culture. Jazz and blues music (as well as many other types) seems to pour out of every bar and the city is famous for hosting a festival every three days (on average), so any time of year is a good time to visit.

6. Maui, Hawaii

Say ‘Aloha!’ to one of the most beautiful islands in Hawaii. Stretch out on the pristine sands of Keawakapu Beach or wax up your surfboard and paddle out to catch a few giant waves. Traverse the impossibly green slopes of Haleakalā and cool off in the spray of the idyllic Wailua Falls.

Maui is nothing like the “America” you see in the movies.

7. Portland, Oregon

A haven for hipsters and those in love with the great outdoors, Portland is a great place to swtich down a few gears and relax.

Explore the hipster haunts and boutiques of East Burnside and visit the emblematic Victorian homes of Nob Hill, before escaping to the Japanese Gardens.

8. Nashville, Tennessee

Music, music, music! Nashville is the world-famous home of country music and has produced some of the world’s greatest stars.

Grab a Jack and Coke at the Musicians Corner to hear the hits of tomorrow performed by up-and-coming artists, or go all out at the spectacular Hot Chicken Festival in July.

9. Boston, Massachusetts

Revered for its cultural and academical prowess, Boston is often referred to as the ‘Athens of America’. But don’t worry, it’s not all tweed jackets and pontificating professors.

With over 50 universities, Boston is home to a buzzing student scene and more sports bars than you can shake a baseball bat at. Head to Seaport District to dine on fresh seafood with the locals. Harbour views and all.

10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Famed for its cheese-laden steaks, not to mention giving birth to Rocky, Philadelphia is salt-of-the-earth sort of place.

Explore the many museums (don’t miss the Barnes Foundation) and be sure to watch the Philadelphia Phillies hit a few home runs at Citizens Bank Park (a thrill even if you’re not really into baseball).

Make it Happen

Visas: UK/European citizens need an ESTA visa to enter the US. Check ESTA status for UK citizens here.

Get there: Almost every American state has more than one international airport.

Get around: It’s no secret that America is a driving country. Rent your car here to get the best out of your trip.

When to go: The USA is a great destination at any time of year, but be sure to look into regional climates if sunshine is important to you.

Where to stay: There are many great accommodation options in the USA, from city centre hotels and apartments to luxury resorts and cosy cottages by the sea.

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