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The 20 Best Places to Visit in the US

Bright lights in big cities, beaches, bourbon trails, magnificent parks, monuments and more are calling. Plan a trip to these don't-miss destinations.

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Photo: Neal Herbert/Yellowstone National Park

See the Best Places to Visit in the US

From big cities to natural wonders and national parks, America is a land of fascinating contrasts. Some destinations, like parks, take you off-road to see an incredible diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems. Glaciers in Montana and the Grand Canyon cliffs reveal America’s geology and history. In Beverly Hills, you'll see how “the other half” lives, while Little Havana welcomes you to experience Latino culture.

Yellowstone National Park, shown here, turns 150 years old in 2022. Visitors come to see the geysers, hot springs, mud pots, steam vents and other natural wonders of its 2.2-million acres. It’s also home to a variety of plants, animals (think grizzly bears and bison) and aquatic life. This wilderness area is located mostly in Wyoming and spills over into Montana and Idaho. After you visit, head south to Grand Teton National Park to see one of the most magnificent mountain ranges in the world.

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Photo: Los Angeles Tourism

Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills

Los Angeles may be the entertainment capital of the world, but it offers more than sunshine and movie studios. Beyond the beaches, multicultural neighborhoods and clubs, you’ll find upscale Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, a shopper’s paradise for designer brands from all over the world (think Jimmy Choo and Cartier). Can't afford Prada? Window-shop and then see where films like Pretty Woman were made. Don't skip the Walk of Style or the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Later, enjoy fine dining at Wolfgang Puck's see-and-be-seen hot spot Spago or grab a sandwich at a classic Beverly Hills deli. You don’t have to be a swanky celebrity to see how the other half lives.

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Photo: Brittany Petronella/NYC & Co.

New York's West Side

Pin on your “I Love NY” button and explore the west side of Manhattan. Start on The High Line, a free, public park built on an old rail line that overlooks the streets below. This 1.5-mile walkway is filled with public art, gardens (inspired by wild, self-seeding plants and created by superstar garden designer Piet Oudolf), and free programs for all ages and interests. Walk to Chelsea, an art district known for its diverse neighborhood, high-end and indie galleries, shopping and for the eclectic eats at Chelsea Market. Plans call for extending The High Line to the Hudson River Park, a free, 550-acre riverfront park. Inside that park, you’ll find Little Island, yet another free park located offshore and accessible from Pier 51. It’s a great place to play, hike, catch a performance at the Amp, an amphitheater facing the Hudson River (paid tickets are required and schedules are online), or simply marvel at the Manhattan skyline.

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Take your time driving the Blue Ridge Parkway (if you go in fall, crowds of leaf peepers will slow you down, anyway). This 469-mile-long road from Virginia's Shenandoah National Park to Cherokee, North Carolina, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has more than 200 outlooks with breathtaking views of the Appalachian Highlands. Pull off to hike a trail and watch for elk, wild turkeys and black bears (stay safely away from the wildlife), or look for pioneer cabins and other remnants of early life here. In the spring, rhododendrons, tulip trees and mountain laurels burst into bloom. In autumn, the leaves steal the show. Stay to bike, fish and camp or catch a concert of traditional Appalachian music but check the road status before you go. Weather and road projects can cause closures and detours. Shown here: The Linn Cove Viaduct, an engineering marvel on Grandfather Mountain.

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