The USA has an endless list of travel destinations, but which locations are the best places to travel in the USA? With over 2 million square miles of land to explore, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the plethora of options. There are over 420 national park sites as well as thousands of state parks, so this article will help you decide which adventure to pick next! Whether you love mountains, deserts, forests, beaches, or cities, we have you covered! We’ll even include some pet-friendly destination recommendations since we love traveling with our German Shepherd, Sequoia!
Big Sur, California
#1 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Drive the Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur, California where the road twists and turns around cliffs that are hundreds of feet high over the ocean! Big Sur, California is one of the best places on the west coast to watch the sunset, especially if you go to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park! This place is so unforgettable that Apple even named one of their operating systems “Big Sur”!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Big Sur, California
Lake Tahoe, California
#2 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
If you want to see some of the clearest blue water in the country (and not have to worry about sharks), then plan a trip to Lake Tahoe, California! This travel destination is one of the best places to travel in the USA, especially if you love views! You can drive over 70 miles around the lake to get different views of the Sierra Nevada mountains where. Visitors can enjoy mountain biking, boating, and paddle-boarding in the summer or epic skiing and snowboarding in the winter. You certainly can’t go wrong visiting lake Tahoe! Plus, lots of attractions in the area are dog friendly so you can bring fido!
CLICK HERE for the Best hotels and VRBOs in Lake Tahoe
Grand Teton National Park
#3 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Connect with nature while taking in the views at Grand Teton National Park! This park has over 100 miles of paved roads and over 200 miles of trails to explore. Pull your car over near the Snake River or Jenny Lake for the best views! A great bonus about Grand Teton National Park is that you’ll be next to Jackson Hole, Wyoming which has tons of restaurants, hotels, and activities.
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Grand Teton National Park
Mammoth Lakes, California
#4 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Mammoth Lakes, California is a ski town nestled 8000 feet above sea level in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are 28 chair lifts so you can snowboard, ski, or photograph panoramic viewpoints of the Sierra Nevadas. Here visitors can experience hot springs, off-road trails, and beautiful blue water in the Inyo National Forest! Some of the best lakes to drive near in Mammoth Lakes, California are Lake George Campground and Twin Lakes. There are also tons of lakes you can hike or even camp at with a backpacking setup.
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs in Mammoth Lakes, California
Longboat Key, Florida
#5 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Located on the west coast of Florida, Longboat Key is a beach lover’s dream! The water is known for being an average of 66 degrees in the winter so you can enjoy the snowbird season in Longboat Key. The water on the west coast of Florida is also calm enough for you to float on an inflatable tube and take a nap. While you’re in town, you’ll have to visit Siesta Key Beach which was rated the top beach in the country in the 2020 Trip Advisor’s Choice Awards!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs in Longboat Key, Florida
#6 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
There’s something magical about Hawaii, especially the natural vibes on the island of Kauai. The exotic landscape is so green that they filmed the movie, Jurassic Park here. Visitors come here to see the green mountains of the Na Pali Coast or to walk on the golden sand on beaches like Hanalei Bay. One of the best experiences here is to go boating in the sea caves on the Na Pali Coast!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs in Kauai
The Florida Keys, Florida
#7 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Travel to the southern tip of Florida to drive the country’s longest bridge to the Florida Keys! The Florida Keys are a chain of islands with Key West at the end. Visitors can enjoy world-class fishing, boating, and seafood. You don’t want to miss an experience like this where you can see dolphins swimming during sunset while you munch on some clams or a Mahi sandwich! On your way to Key West, stop by Robbie’s of Islamorada and see people feed giant fish from the dock!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs in the Florida Keys
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
#8 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Travel to the country’s first national park, dating all the way back to 1872! More than half of the world’s active geysers and geothermal pools are in Yellowstone. Drive near the Yellowstone river for relaxing sounds of water flow or drive through the park to see tons of wildlife like bison, wolves, bears, deer, and elk! This national park feels like a postcard everywhere you look, so bring your camera! We recommend bringing a zoom camera with a great zoom lens so you can keep a respectful distance from wildlife.
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Yellowstone National Park
Joshua Tree National Park, California
#9 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Joshua Tree National Park, California is a scenic desert landscape where visitors can hike, take pictures, and even camp! This national park was named after the Joshua Tree Cactus, otherwise known as the Yucca brevifolia. Joshua Tree is an epic place to watch the sunset, but stay until dark because this place is one of the top spots in California for milky way views! There’s an observatory here where people use telescopes to view planets and moons, you’ll have to check it out!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Joshua Tree National Park
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, FL
#10 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Weeki Wachee is an epic spring where visitors can enjoy mermaid shows or take a trip on a riverboat cruise! You can even kayak down the river to get to secret rope swings into the spring! You can’t visit here without swimming in the turquoise waters. You’ll be able to experience Florida wildlife like turtles, fish, and birds which makes the experience so peaceful. Go early in the morning to have the best time so you’ll have most of the Weeki Wachee river to yourself!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Yosemite National Park, California
#11 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
If you like driving through mountain valleys with panoramic views of granite cliffs that are 2000+ feet high, you’ll need to add Yosemite National Park, California to your list! Popularly known for jaw-dropping views in Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Cooks Valley – Yosemite is a destination visited by over a million people each year! There’s more than 400 species of animals that call Yosemite their home so it’s an epic place for wildlife enthusiasts and wildlife photographers. Take in the views of one of the world’s tallest waterfalls – Yosemite Falls which is over 2400 feet high!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Yosemite
Zion National Park, Utah
#12 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Zion National Park in Utah features steep red rock cliffs and tan landscapes that are a nature lover’s dream! You experience tons of activities in the area like hiking, off-roading, glamping, rock climbing, and much more! One of the most notable (and dangerous) trails in the park is called Angel’s Landing, where hikers have to hold onto metal ropes to save themselves from falling 2000+ feet! If you come here with your dog, take them on the Pa’rus Trail which is on the valley floor.
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Zion National Park
Park City, Utah
#13 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Nestled 7,000 feet above sea level in the Utah Wasatch mountains in Park City, Utah. Known for top ski resorts like Deer Valley, this city is a must-visit for the views alone. Even if skiing isn’t your fancy, you can take the gondola rides up for panoramic views of mountains and trees! If you visit in the summer, you can go mountain biking, fishing, or hiking with your dog on dozens of trails. Don’t forget to stop at Atticus Coffee shop on the main street which is a top-rated Park City coffee shop and bookstore.
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs in Park City, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
#14 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
If you’re into skiing or hiking then you’ve likely heard of Salt Lake City, Utah. This is one of the best places to visit in the USA if you are into the outdoors – there are thousands of trails within 30 minutes of downtown Salt Lake City! One of the most scenic hikes is Silver Lake Flat Reservoir in American Fork Canyon which is 30-45 minutes south of downtown Salt Lake. Go kayaking or paddle-boarding and bring fido because this hike is dog-friendly!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs in Salt Lake City, Utah
Meadow Hot Spring, Utah
#15 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Swim in a natural hot spring and relax in temperatures as warm as 100 degrees! Meadow Hot Spring is conveniently located near the I-15 so you can stop by on your way to or from Salt Lake City. This is one of the best places to travel in the USA to soak in a hot spring with a mountain view! You can even park your car near the hot spring which is convenient for grilling, inflating a tube, and packing out your track.
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Meadow Hot Spring, Utah
#16 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Explore red rock landscapes and clifftops with panoramic views in Moab, Utah! Popularly known for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, this place is one of the best places to travel in the USA. Whether you’re into Jeeping, rock crawling, mountain biking, hiking, or photography – Moab has something for you! Moab is dog friendly which we love, they have dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, hikes, and coffee shops! Stay at the Radcliffe Moab Hotel for a boutique experience!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs in Moab, Utah
Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
#17 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Dead Horse Point State Park is less than 45 minutes from Moab, Utah, and is a viewpoint for panoramic views of Canyonlands National Park. You can see canyon layers and mountains for 20+ miles which makes this place a top-rated location for sunset. It’s also a solid place to stargaze at night so bring your night-time photography equipment!
CLICK HERE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Dead Horse Point State Park
Rock Springs Kelly Park, Florida
#18 Ranked for Best Places to Travel in the USA
Central Florida visitors usually find themselves at Disney theme parks, but you should check out Rock Springs Kelly Park, Florida! This natural spring has a beautiful flow and is a top Orlando, Florida sunrise destination location. You can even kayak to King’s Landing to see Florida wildlife like turtles, fish, deer, and squirrels. The best part about visiting Rock Springs Kelly Park is the sunrise steam in the winter – the sunlight beaming off the cold mist in the spring is beautiful!
CLICK HRE for the best hotels and VRBOs near Rock Springs Kelly Park
Thanks for enjoying this list of the best places to travel in the USA. Bree + Stephen are adventurous entrepreneurs based in Salt Lake City, Utah! They’re pioneers of the NO BS Podcast and hosts of their YouTube channel where they share travel videos, business tutorials, and lifestyle content! They live with their German Shepherd, Sequoia, and are usually chugging coffee while on their way to a hike! Please contact us for business inquiries or questions about this article!