US cities for every kind of traveller

The USA is truly unique. From one state to the next, you’ll find different landscapes, cultures, cuisines and people. Each part has something different to offer and whatever your interests, there’s a place for you. 

Here are our top US cities for a range of traveller types, whether you’re booking as a family or flying solo, whether you’re going for the food, the sights or the great outdoors. Each city promises an adventure, the only question is which one is right for you?

  1. Foodie: San Francisco
  2. Adventurer: Denver
  3. Sunseeker: Honolulu
  4. Cultural Explorer: Chicago
  5. Wellness traveller: Los Angeles
  6. Families: Orlando
  7. Solo Traveller: New Orleans 
  8. Couples: New York City 

1. Foodie: San Francisco

The best way to experience San Francisco is through your belly. While San Francisco is famous for many things – Victorian houses, hippie culture and cable cars, for example – it is world-famous for its impeccable food. Thanks to its diverse population, you can find dishes from around the world. For the most mouth-watering ramen and sushi, there’s Japantown. For all your dumpling cravings, there’s Chinatown. Fancy Mexican? Visit Mission, a neighbourhood full of taquerias and world-renowned for its style of burrito. We won’t even get into the burgers. Or the pizza. Or the ice cream. You’ll just have to take our word for it. The city has also been crowned the most vegan-friendly place in the US, so there are plenty of plant-based options to choose from as well. So put on your elasticated jogging bottoms and get ready for a feast – San Francisco is a dream for any foodie.

While you’re there: Take a road trip just outside of the city to one of the many wineries across Sonoma and Napa Valley.

2. Adventurer: Denver

Colorado’s capital is a great place for adventurers, offering the perfect combination of outdoor activities and city life. Denver has over 200 parks, over 100km of bike trails and around 300 days of sunshine every year, meaning that there’s plenty of time and space to embrace the great outdoors. With mountains and lakes nearby, there are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, swimming, skiing and camping. Rocky Mountains National Park is a must for a day trip – there are some great hikes here and if you’re lucky you might spot some moose, elk and chipmunks! 

While you’re there: Try to catch a show at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre – a truly stunning outdoor venue with incredible acoustics.

3. Sunseeker: Honolulu

Looking for some sun and want to go a little bit further afield? It’s hard to beat Hawaii’s capital. Honolulu is the best of both worlds, promising all the perks of a city break with the relaxing feel of a beach holiday. One of the best beaches is Kahanamoku Beach – here you can stand-up paddle board, surf or just sunbathe in peace. The natural scenery of Honolulu is also incredible – Manoa Valley’s jungles, bamboo forests and waterfalls are all within the city’s borders as are Diamond Head and Koko Head, two volcano hiking trails. If you want to island hop, Honolulu is also the best place to start. From here, you can make your way to Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai.

While you’re there: Visit Hanauma Bay – a beautiful beach and one of the best spots for snorkelling.

4. Cultural Explorer: Chicago

In many ways, Chicago is the perfect city. With a stunning skyline, a bustling city centre, beautiful green spaces and not one, not two, but 24 beaches, there’s not much it doesn’t offer. For art buffs, there is the renowned Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art. For science lovers, the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry. Thought you needed to go to New York to get your Broadway fix? Think again – Chicago has one of the best musical theatre scenes in the world. If you’re a foodie, you’ll also love it here. Deep dish pizza anyone? 

While you’re there: Cycle along the picturesque Lakefront Trail, which connects most of Chicago’s beaches.

5. Wellness traveller: Los Angeles

Los Angeles and wellness go together like mac and cheese (or some healthier alternative). From juice bars to yoga studios to farmers’ markets, the City of Dreams lives and breathes self-care. You’ll find hundreds of spas for that much needed holiday pamper and thousands of restaurants that cater to the health-conscious and every dietary requirement you can think of. And the cherry on top? A great selection of beaches where you can practice your downward dog (or take the day off). 

While you’re there: Hike up to the Hollywood Sign – the views from here are stunning!

6. Families: Orlando

Orlando is the theme park capital of the world. Need we say more? If Disney World, Legoland and a Harry Potter theme park aren’t enough to convince you, there are a plethora of other kid-friendly outdoor activities. Tubing at Kelly Park, paddleboarding at Orlando Watersports Complex and canoeing on Shingle Creek. For quieter days, there’s also plenty of educational museums. Orlando Science Centre and WonderWorks are great for children interested in STEM. This is the kind of family holiday your kids won’t forget. 

While you’re there: Rent a paddle boat and feed the swans at Lake Eola Park.

7. Solo Traveller: New Orleans

Now here’s a vibrant city for the solo traveller. Known as the ‘Big Easy’ because of its relaxed, laid-back feel, New Orleans has so much heart, so much soul, without feeling overwhelming. With African and French influences, it is unlike any other part of the US. As you may expect, the city is at its liveliest during Mardi Gras, but there is plenty to do and see all year round. One of the best things you can do as a solo traveller is wander through the French Quarter – here you’ll find talented street musicians, dancers and entertainers. There are also plenty of tours to keep you busy, from jazz cruises to ghost and voodoo walking tours. Be sure to taste some of the locals cuisine as well – an authentic po’boy is a must! 

While you’re there: Take a scenic walk around New Orleans City Park and keep an eye out for the enchanting sculpture garden.

8. Couples: New York City

The backdrop of many romantic comedies, there are a few places more charming than the Big Apple. From row boats and horse-drawn carriages in Central Park to incredible skyline views of Manhattan on a starry night, the city is made for romance. Don’t even get us started on the dreamy planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History (you might remember this as one of Ross and Rachel’s iconic dates if you are a Friends fan!). Top that off with incredible art galleries and museums, fancy restaurants and the jazz bars of Harlem and you’ve got yourself an incredibly romantic getaway. 

While you’re there: Take a stroll along The High Line – a unique, linear park built on an abandoned train line in Manhattan's West Side.

You may also be interested in...

Search for your dream holiday

Sign up to our newsletter

We'll send you exclusive offers and sneak peeks of our best deals,
plus travel tips and the latest advice on where you can go.