The Best Cities in the USA
Published 22 June 2016
Off to the USA but not sure where to go? Whether you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop or gorge to your heart’s content, we’ve got a city for you.
Best for shopping: New York
You could spend months shopping in New York City; all the icons are here: Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and Tiffany & Co to name just a few. Affluent shopaholics should make a beeline for the boutiques of Fifth Avenue, but there’s also plenty to suit those on a budget. The markets offer plenty of choice, from cheap knick-knacks to vintage and designer treasures, and don’t forget the artisan produce of Chelsea Market – drop by this fabulous food court to fill up on scrumptious Italian fare at Rana or, for sweeter treats, grab a decadent chocolate brownie at Fat Witch Bakery.
Visit NYC with Round the World Experts’ Coast to Coast Journey.
Best for food: Houston
Texas is well known for its sizzling Tex-Mex specialities. Think chilli con carne or fajitas: succulent meat cooked with beans and spices, plenty of cheese, and served with rice or flour tortillas. You’ll find this tempting treat all over Houston, a town renowned for its steaks and grills. The city even hosts an extremely popular annual world championship Texas barbecue contest, known as The Cookoff, where contestants whip up huge slabs of spiced meat cooked until tender and served with potato salad. But it’s not just about BBQ; the city also boasts great Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine and locals devour the traditional Czech treat kolache (fruit pastry) by the plate load.
Love food? Love Texas? Try them both together with our USA Big Eats Journey, focusing on food, food and more food.
Best for history: Philadelphia
The birthplace of United States democracy, Philadelphia has a rich history. Visit the Independence National Historical Park, home to Independence Hall, where the country’s forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Follow in Benjamin Franklin’s footsteps and discover the site where lightning inspired his early discovery of electricity. Queue up with the masses to see the Liberty Bell, cast in 1751 and rung at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Its famous crack appeared sometime in the 19th century.
Explore the history of Philadelphia with Round the World Experts’ Colonial America Journey.
Best for museums: Washington DC
Washington DC is home to over 200 museums and galleries – that’s one per 3,100 residents. In 1829 James Smithson left US$508,318 to the USA in his will to create an ‘establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men’. And so the Smithsonian Institution was founded in Washington in 1846, a collection of 19 vast museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, each one stuffed to the gunwales with artefacts and relics from days gone by. Best of all, they’re free to visit.
Visit Washington DC with Round the World Experts’ Virginia Explorer Journey.
Best for celebrity spotting: Los Angeles
Where better to spot your favourite celeb than in their native environment? Hollywood, a neighbourhood of Los Angeles, is where many wannabe actors and actresses come to live when trying to ‘make it’ in the movies. Your best chances of spotting one is to hang out where they hang out – try swanky restaurants such as The Ivy, an upmarket bar or even just keep a look out at LAX. For the ultimate in voyeurism you can even do a tour of the stars homes but note that sightings are rare and cannot be guaranteed. If you do spot a star, do remember they are human and at least try to play it cool.
Spend some time in Tinseltown with Round the World Experts’ Coastal California Journey.
Best for shows: Las Vegas
No other city has the volume of concerts, events, and shows that Las Vegas has. Every night, glittering performances filled with singing, dancing, magic and acrobats are played out in the hotels and concert halls. At the time of writing there are no less than seven Cirque du Soleil shows to choose from, various musicals straight from Broadway, burlesque shows and ventriloquists, plus Britney and Céline in concert. For something a bit different, try the very watery Le Rêve aquatic show.
See Le Rêve on Round the World Experts’ National Parks & Canyons Journey.
Best for country music: Nashville
March to a different beat in Nashville, dubbed ‘Music City’, or sometimes the ‘Country Music Capital of the World’. This is where country music was born so pay tribute to past greats including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash at the Country Music Hall of Fame, before catching the stars of today with a show at the Grand Ole Opry. Nashville’s not just about the music though – drop into Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack to experience the real taste the city – fried chicken coated in cayenne. It’s worth the wait.
Visit Nashville with Round the World Experts’ Deep South Highlights Journey.
Best for festivals: New Orleans
Be it music, food or the arts, there’s a festival for everyone in New Orleans. With around 130 events per year on average there’s a celebration of some kind every three days, although there are more in the summer months. Mardi Gras (February) is of course the most famous party, but don’t forget the Jazz Fest (April-May) and the lesser known Voodoo Experience (October) and Oyster Festival (June), which includes an oyster shucking contest, whose current record stands at 18 oyster in just two minutes.
Stay in New Orleans with Round the World Experts’ Cajun Cowboys Journey.
Best for cowboys: Dallas / Fort Worth
Apparently everything’s bigger in Texas. That’s certainly true of this vibrant metroplex, which fuses the hustle and bustle of Dallas with the Old West charm of Fort Worth. Shop for cowboy boots and Stetson hats, or check out the rollicking rodeo at the Fort Worth Stockyards on Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm. For a taste of real life on a Texas ranch, head to Graham, just outside Dallas. Here, you can take a horseback ride, a guided 4X4 tour of the estate, or try your hand at clay pigeon shooting. Back on the ranch, take a wagon ride, feed the cattle, or listen to old western tunes played on the guitar.
Stay on a ranch in Graham with Round the World Experts’ Cajun Cowboys Journey.
Best for theme parks: Orlando
A visit to Orlando might leave you in a permanent state of nostalgia as you enter the magical, exciting and sometimes bizarre theme parks of the area. Big game players include Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, but while theme parks are the backbone of Orlando tourism, dig a little deeper and you’ll find there’s more to this city than wild rides and Mickey Mouse. Perhaps take a picnic to Lake Eola Park or browse the paintings in the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.
Stay in Orlando with Round the World Experts’ Orlando to the Keys Journey, which includes entry to Universal Studios.