Best Cities in Each State

by Lauren Dana

Best Cities in Each State

by Lauren Dana

We're big fans of domestic travel, which inspired us to create this (totally subjective) list of our favorite cities in each state. We tried to select cities with a population of at least 50K--but there are a few exceptions in the mix. From the Big Apple to the beaches of St. Petersburg, here are the best cities in each state.

We're big fans of domestic travel, which inspired us to create this (totally subjective) list of our favorite cities in each state. We tried to select cities with a population of at least 50K--but there are a few exceptions in the mix. From the Big Apple to the beaches of St. Petersburg, here are the best cities in each state.

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Asheville, NC / Sean Pavone/iStock
Birmingham
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Birmingham, AL

Alabama's largest city is chock-full of things to see and do. Here, you can dine at James Beard Award-winning eateries like Highlands Bar and Grill, listen to live music at the famous Alabama Theater, stroll through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, or visit the family-friendly McWane Science Center. Car enthusiasts will love the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, while outdoor lovers will appreciate the many hiking and biking trails, like Ruffner Mountain or Oak Mountain State Park

Alabama's largest city is chock-full of things to see and do. Here, you can dine at James Beard Award-winning eateries like Highlands Bar and Grill, listen to live music at the famous Alabama Theater, stroll through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, or visit the family-friendly McWane Science Center. Car enthusiasts will love the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, while outdoor lovers will appreciate the many hiking and biking trails, like Ruffner Mountain or Oak Mountain State Park. 

Fairbanks
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Fairbanks, AK

Fairbanks is the largest city in Alaska's Interior region. In addition to dog sledding and snowmobiling, you can (and should) explore the city's bustling museum scene. The 44-acre Pioneer Park commemorates Alaska's fascinating history; it's also home to several museums and exhibitions. Other incredible museums include the Museum of the North, Fairbanks Ice Museum, and the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Top off your trip with a night well spent admiring the night sky: Fairbanks is a popular stargazing destination.

Read more: 9 Incredible Stargazing Destinations Around the World
 

Fairbanks is the largest city in Alaska's Interior region. In addition to dog sledding and snowmobiling, you can (and should!) explore the city's bustling museum scene. The 44-acre Pioneer Park commemorates Alaska's fascinating history; it's also home to several museums and exhibitions. Other incredible museums include the Museum of the North, Fairbanks Ice Museum, and the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Top off your trip with a night well spent admiring the night sky: Fairbanks is a popular stargazing destination.

Phoenix
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Phoenix, AZ

Think of Phoenix as a smaller version of Los Angeles: Each neighborhood boasts a different feel and identity. The city itself features whimsical street art, mouthwatering eats, chic boutiques, and, of course, a hip yet laid-back vibe you can't find anywhere else. In terms of restaurants, there are plenty to choose from: Pizzeria Bianco is known to have some of the best pizza in all of America, Snooze serves up delicious brunch (think: frittatas, pancakes, French toast) and cocktails, and Nobuo at Teeter House offers innovative tapas-style Japanese cuisine. Don't skip town without hiking Camelback Mountain or visiting the Phoenix Art Museum.

Think of Phoenix as a smaller version of Los Angeles: Each neighborhood boasts a different feel and identity. The city itself features whimsical street art, mouthwatering eats, chic boutiques, and, of course, a hip vibe yet laid-back vibe you can't find anywhere else. In terms of restaurants, there are plenty to choose from: Pizzeria Bianco is known to have some of the best pizza in all of America, Snooze serves up delicious brunch (think: frittatas, pancakes, french toast) and cocktails, and Nobuo at Teeter House offers innovative tapas-style Japanese cuisine. Don't skip town without hiking Camelback Mountain or visiting the Phoenix Art Museum.

 

 

Fayetteville
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Fayetteville, AR

Arkansas' third-largest city is home to nearly 70,000 residents, but is comprised of the much-larger Northwest Arkansas so it feels a lot bigger. It's also home to the University of Arkansas, plus a wide array of galleries, eateries, and shops. Don't miss the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, which boasts beautiful gardens along with a butterfly house. Afterward, embark on your own beer tour through the city on the Fayetteville Ale Trail. Spend a few days or so exploring Lake Fayetteville and the city's surrounding areas, which features lush landscapes and beautiful forests. 

Arkansas' third-largest city is home to nearly 70,000 residents, but is comprised of the much-larger Northwest Arkansas so it feels a lot bigger. It's also home to the University of Arkansas, plus a wide array of galleries, eateries, and shops. Don't miss the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, which boasts beautiful gardens along with a butterfly house. Afterward, embark on your own beer tour through the city on the Fayetteville Ale Trail. Spend a few days or so exploring Lake Fayetteville and the city's surrounding areas, which features lush landscapes and beautiful forests. 

Palm Springs
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Palm Springs, CA

This chic desert destination offers something for everyone. Workshop, a James Beard Award-winning eatery in the heart of the city's Design District, feels like a museum with its sky-high ceilings and modern architecture. No trip is complete without a visit to Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Air Museum, or The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Meanwhile, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is the world's largest rotating tramcar, travels several miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon and reaches a peak elevation of a whopping 8,516 feet.

Read more: Incredible Palm Springs Hotels For Every Personality
 

This chic desert destination is offers something for everyone. Workshop, a James Beard Award-winning eatery in the heart of the city's Design District, feels like a museum with its sky-high ceilings and modern architecture. No trip is complete without a visit to Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Air Museum, or The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Meanwhile, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is the world's largest rotating tramcar, travels several miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon and reaches a peak elevation of a whopping 8,516 feet.

Boulder
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Boulder, CO

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this beautiful city offers plenty of outdoor activities and scenic opportunities (don't miss the iconic Flatirons rock formations and Chautauqua Park). Pearl Street (Boulder's version of "Main Street) offers some of the city's best cafes, bars, boutiques, and art galleries. Museum-goers will love the Fiske Planetarium along with the Museum of Natural History, both of which feature fascinating exhibitions. 
 

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this beautiful city offers plenty of outdoor activities and scenic opportunities (don't miss the iconic Flatirons rock formations and Chautauqua Park). Pearl Street (Boulder's version of "Main Street) offers some of the city's best cafes, bars, boutiques, and art galleries. Museum-goers will love the Fiske Planetarium along with the Museum of Natural History, both of which feature fascinating exhibitions. 
 

Greenwich
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Greenwich, CT

Featuring a walkable downtown, chic shopping options, trendy restaurants, and Parisian-inspired cafes, this swanky suburb is one of America's richest cities. After wandering up and down Greenwich Avenue (the city's downtown area), visit the 150-acre Greenwich Point Park, which offers tranquil views of the Long Island Sound. Other nearby attractions include the Neuberger Museum of ArtDonald M. Kendall Sculpture GardensFlinn Gallery, and Bruce Park. 

Featuring a walkable downtown, chic shopping options, trendy restaurants, and Parisian-inspired cafes, this swanky suburb is one of America's richest cities. After wandering up and down Greenwich Avenue (the city's downtown area), visit the 150-acre Greenwich Point Park, which offers tranquil views of the Long Island Sound. Other nearby attractions include the Neuberger Museum of Art, Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens, Flinn Gallery, and Bruce Park. 

Wilmington
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Wilmington, DE

The city of Wilmington and the surrounding Brandywine Valley area boasts incredible museums, family-friendly attractions (the Delaware Children's Museum is a great option), and several drinking, dining, and entertainment outposts. The Delaware Art Museum has over 12,000 works, while the 300-acre Nemours Estate – with manicured gardens and elegant architecture – feels like a mini Versailles. 
 

The city of Wilmington and the surrounding Brandywine Valley area boasts incredible museums, family-friendly attractions (the Delaware Children's Museum is a great option), and several drinking, dining, and entertainment outposts. The Delaware Art Museum has over 12,000 works, while the 300-acre Nemours Estate – with manicured gardens and elegant architecture – feels like a mini Versailles. 
 

St. Pete Beach
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St. Petersburg, FL

Known as the "Sunshine City," St. Petersburg touts beautiful beaches, plus ample boating, golfing, and fishing opportunities. Art enthusiasts will love the Dali Museum, the Chihuly Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts. The city's waterfront downtown, lined with trendy and stylish eateries, features gorgeous city views; the Historic Kenwood neighborhood is an arty enclave teeming with brick streets, beautiful oak trees, lively nightlife, and restaurants. The expansive, 3,190-acre Weedon Island Preserve is perfect for paddling, birding, and wildlife spotting. 

Known as the "Sunshine City," St. Petersburg touts beautiful beaches, plus ample boating, golfing, and fishing opportunities. Art enthusiasts will love the Dali Museum, the Chihuly Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts. The city's waterfront downtown, lined with trendy and stylish eateries, features gorgeous city views; the Historic Kenwood neighborhood is an arty enclave teeming with brick streets, beautiful oak trees, lively nightlife, and restaurants. The expansive, 3,190-acre Weedon Island Preserve is perfect for paddling, birding, and wildlife spotting. 

Savannah
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Savannah, GA

When you visit this historic riverfront city, you'll feel as if you're stepping back in time. Savannah is best known for its manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages, and Antebellum-style architecture. The city's Historic District – which features incredible 18th- and 19th-century architecture, cobblestone streets, beautiful green spaces, and large oak trees – is best explored on foot or via trolley car. River Street is dotted with vibrant shops and restaurants (plus historical monuments), while Jones Street is among one of the prettiest streets in America; with its live oak trees and Greek-inspired architecture, it looks like it was plopped straight out of a storybook. 

When you visit this historic riverfront city, you'll feel as if you're stepping back in time. Savannah is best known for its manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages, and Antebellum-style architecture. The city's Historic District – which features incredible 18th- and 19th-century architecture, cobblestone streets, beautiful green spaces, and large oak trees – is best explored on foot or via trolley car. River Street is dotted with vibrant shops and restaurants (plus historical monuments), while Jones Street is among one of the prettiest streets in America; with its live oak trees and Greek-inspired architecture, it looks like it was plopped straight out of a storybook. 

Honolulu, Hawaii
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Honolulu, HI

Hawaii's capital city, which is located on the island of Oahu, offers beautiful beaches (Waikiki is among one of many), along with incredible dining, nightlife, and shopping venues. Honolulu is also known for the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which commemorates those who lost their lives in the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor. Also nearby is the awe-inspiring Diamond Head State Monument, a popular hiking destination that boasts stunning scenery and panoramic views.

Hawaii's capital city, which is located on the island of Oahu, offers beautiful beaches (Waikiki is among one of many), along with incredible dining, nightlife, and shopping venues. Honolulu is also known for the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which commemorates those who lost their lives in the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor. Also nearby is the awe-inspiring Diamond Head State Monument, a popular hiking destination that boasts stunning scenery and panoramic views.

Lake Coeur d'Alene
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Coeur D’Alene, ID

The small, lakefront city of Coeur D’Alene is home to the 25-mile Lake Coeur D’Alene – one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the US. Popular activities include hiking, boating, fishing, and beachcombing. Novice and experienced hikers alike will appreciate the Mineral Ridge Scenic Area and National Recreation Trail (just don't forget to bring your camera). Downtown Coeur D'Alene has over 125 shops, galleries, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 
 

The small, lakefront city of Coeur D’Alene is home to the 25-mile Lake Coeur D’Alene – one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the US. Popular activities include hiking, boating, fishing, and beachcombing. Novice and experienced hikers alike will appreciate the Mineral Ridge Scenic Area and National Recreation Trail (just don't forget to bring your camera). Downtown Coeur D'Alene has over 125 shops, galleries, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 

Chicago
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Chicago, IL

From the deep-dish pizza to the incredible architecture, Chicago is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. Here, you'll find several fantastic museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago,  the Chicago Architecture Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The city also boasts a robust culinary scene: Can't-miss spots include Au Cheval, The Purple Pig, The Band of Bohemia, and Smyth and The Loyalist

Read more: What to See and Do in Chicago
 

From the deep-dish pizza to the incredible architecture, Chicago is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. Here, you'll find several fantastic museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago,  the Chicago Architecture Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The city also boasts a robust culinary scene: Can't-miss spots include Au Cheval, The Purple Pig, The Band of Bohemia, and Smyth and The Loyalist. 

Indianapolis, IN
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Indianapolis, IN

Here, you'll find a world-class children's museum and zoo, as well as the 152-acre Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is home to over 54,000 works. White River State Park is the nation's largest urban park and spans over 250 acres. Mass Avenue is home to an array of affordable shops and restaurants. Beer lovers can explore one of the city's 50-plus breweries, while coffee lovers can explore dozens of mom-and-pop coffee shops.

Here, you'll find a world-class children's museum and zoo, as well as the 152-acre Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is home to over 54,000 works. White River State Park is the nation's largest urban park and spans over 250 acres. Mass Avenue is home to an array of affordable shops and restaurants. Beer lovers can explore one of the city's 50-plus breweries, while coffee lovers can explore dozens of mom-and-pop coffee shops.

Iowa City
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Iowa City, IA

Iowa City is the first (and only!) UNESCO City of Literature in the US, so expect lots of workshops, literary festivals, bookstores, and other literary-themed events and organizations. Prairie Lights, which dates back to the 1930s, is the city's most famous bookstore. Robert Frost, EE Cummings, Langston Hughes, and other literary greats have all stepped foot in here. The Haunted Bookshop is the city's oldest secondhand bookstore; it's home to over 50,000 used, rare, and out-of-print editions. The city also boasts a children's museum and a vibrant downtown district.

Read more: Calling All Literature Lovers: You Need to Add These 9 Cities to Your Bucket List
 

Iowa City is the first (and only!) UNESCO City of Literature in the US, so expect lots of workshops, literary festivals, bookstores, and other literary-themed events and organizations. Prairie Lights, which dates back to the 1930s, is the city's most famous bookstore. Robert Frost, EE Cummings, Langston Hughes, and other literary greats have all stepped foot in here. The Haunted Bookshop is the city's oldest secondhand bookstore; it's home to over 50,000 used, rare, and out-of-print editions. The city also boasts a children's museum and a vibrant downtown district.

 

Lawrence
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Lawrence, KS

Lawrence has a population of just under 100,000. Despite its small size, the city – home to the University of Kansas – is vibrant and bustling with attractions. Here, you'll find the Spencer Museum of Art and its 36,000 works of art, the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, and the expansive Clinton State Park, where you can hike and spot wildlife. Downtown Lawrence features 100-plus shops, restaurants, and galleries. 

 

Lawrence has a population of just under 100,000. Despite its small size, the city – home to the University of Kansas – is vibrant and bustling with attractions. Here, you'll find the Spencer Museum of Art and its 36,000 works of art, the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, and the expansive Clinton State Park, where you can hike and spot wildlife. Downtown Lawrence features 100-plus shops, restaurants, and galleries. 

 

 

 

Lexington
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Lexington, KY

Known for its horse breeding, Lexington is considered "The Horse Capital of the World." The city itself is also home to several other attractions, including the Mary Todd Lincoln House, the Aviation Museum of Kentucky,  the Smithsonian International Museum of the Horse, and the Kentucky Theater. The 734-acre Raven Run Nature Sanctuary offers over 10 miles of hiking trails, as well as a nature center and bird bind.

Known for its horse breeding, Lexington is considered "The Horse Capital of the World." The city itself is also home to several other attractions, including the Mary Todd Lincoln House, the Aviation Museum of Kentucky,  the Smithsonian International Museum of the Horse, and the Kentucky Theater. The 734-acre Raven Run Nature Sanctuary offers over 10 miles of hiking trails, as well as a nature center and bird bind.

 

French Quarter in New Orleans
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New Orleans, LA

Incredible food (beignets or po-boys, anyone?), fantastic festivals, and all-around good vibes: Find all this and more in New Orleans. There's always something to do here: Stroll through the French Quarter, listen to live music, hop aboard a historic streetcar, or grab a to-go cocktail. Highlights include the National World War II Museum, the Sazerac House, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Don't skip town without a visit to the Garden District, which boasts massive oak trees, stunning architecture, and gorgeous Victorian homes. 

Incredible food (beignets or po-boys, anyone?), fantastic festivals, and all-around good vibes: Find all this and more in New Orleans. There's always something to do here: Stroll through the French Quarter, listen to live music, hop aboard a historic streetcar, or grab a to-go cocktail. Highlights include the National World War II Museum, the Sazerac House, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Don't skip town without a visit to the Garden District, which boasts massive oak trees, stunning architecture, and gorgeous Victorian homes. 

 

 

Portland
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Portland, ME

The coastal city of Portland is anything but basic. The Old Port waterfront neighborhood is dotted with restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops, while the West End district features beautiful Victorian-era homes, as well as the Victoria Mansion museum. If you love art, spend a few hours perusing the Portland Museum of Art, which is among one of New England's best. No trip is complete without a stroll down the lively, waterfront Commercial Street or a visit to the nearby Portland Head Lighthouse, which dates back to 1791.

 

The coastal city of Portland is anything but basic. The Old Port waterfront neighborhood is dotted with restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops, while the West End district features beautiful Victorian-era homes, as well as the Victoria Mansion museum. If you love art, spend a few hours perusing the Portland Museum of Art, which is among one of New England's best. No trip is complete without a stroll down the lively, waterfront Commercial Street or a visit to the nearby Portland Head Lighthouse, which dates back to 1791.

 

 

Baltimore
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Baltimore, MD

From the National Aquarium and its 17,000 different aquatic creatures to the Baltimore Museum of Art, to the B&O Railroad Museum, to the Port Discovery Children's Museum, attractions abound in Baltimore. The riverfront National Harbor spans 300 acres. It's full of activities and offers dozens of drinking, dining, and entertainment, and shopping venues to choose from. Seafood lovers rejoice: Baltimore offers incredible, straight-from-the-sea eats (think: oysters, crabs, clams, and other delights). 

From the National Aquarium and its 17,000 different aquatic creatures to the Baltimore Museum of Art, to the B&O Railroad Museum, to the Port Discovery Children's Museum, attractions abound in Baltimore. The riverfront National Harbor spans 300 acres. It's full of activities and offers dozens of drinking, dining, and entertainment, and shopping venues to choose from. Seafood lovers rejoice: Baltimore offers incredible, straight-from-the-sea eats (think: oysters, crabs, clams, and other delights). 

 

 

Cambridge, MA
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Cambridge, MA

Cambridge is located directly across from Boston (the cities are separated by the Charles River). The city is home to both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Harvard Square is lined with cafes, bars, and bookstores. The university also boasts several museums that are open to the public. Since it is somewhat of a "college town," you will find your fair share of eclectic eateries and bustling nightlife, along with live music, comedy shows, and more.

Read more: Top 10 College Towns to Visit in the U.S.
 

Cambridge is located directly across from Boston (the cities are separated by the Charles River). The city is home to both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Harvard Square is lined with cafes, bars, and bookstores. The university also boasts several museums that are open to the public. Since it is somewhat of a "college town," you will find your fair share of eclectic eateries and bustling nightlife, along with live music, comedy shows, and more.

Detroit
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Detroit, MI

Detroit earned the nickname "Motor City" due to the city's ties to the auto industry. Today, the destination is as lively and vibrant as ever with its walkable downtown area, where you'll find the International RiverWalk and Campus Martius Park. Music mavens should visit the Motown Museum (Detroit is the birthplace of Motown Records). The city has over 1,000 street art murals, which are best explored on foot. Wrap up an action-packed day with a bottle of beer at one of the 30-plus nearby breweries.

Detroit earned the nickname "Motor City" due to the city's ties to the auto industry. Today, the destination is as lively and vibrant as ever with its walkable downtown area, where you'll find the International RiverWalk and Campus Martius Park. Music mavens should visit the Motown Museum (Detroit is the birthplace of Motown Records). The city has over 1,000 street art murals, which are best explored on foot. Wrap up an action-packed day with a bottle of beer at one of the 30-plus nearby breweries.

St. Paul
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Saint Paul, MN

While Saint Paul is often overlooked in favor of Minneapolis, Minnesota's capital city is still worth exploring. Here, you'll find the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Minnesota History Center, and the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Saint Paul also has a burgeoning craft beer scene: Embark on your own crawl and sip your way through the city. The Downtown neighborhood is home to the Minnesota State Capitol; it also features several walking and biking paths along the Mississippi River. Drinking and dining options range from Parisian-inspired bistros to eclectic brewpubs, to design-forward diners. 
 

While Saint Paul is often overlooked in favor of Minneapolis, Minnesota's capital city is still worth exploring. Here, you'll find the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Minnesota History Center, and the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Saint Paul also boasts a burgeoning craft beer scene: Embark on your own crawl and sip your way (responsibly!) through the city. The Downtown neighborhood is home to the Minnesota State Capitol; it also features several walking and biking paths along the Mississippi River. Drinking and dining options range from Parisian-inspired bistros to eclectic brewpubs, to design-forward diners. 

Jackson, Mississippi
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Jackson, MI

With 29 museums, three historic cultural districts, and 300-plus restaurants, Jackson offers something all interests. Foodies can indulge in seafood, tamales, barbeque, and nearly everything in between. The lush 350-acre LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is ideal for fishing and hiking. It's also home to a 50-acre lake, a 9-hole golf course, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Art enthusiasts can wander through the city's dozens of art galleries.  

With 29 museums, three historic cultural districts, and 300-plus restaurants, Jackson offers something all interests. Foodies can indulge in seafood, tamales, barbeque, and nearly everything in between. The lush 350-acre LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is ideal for fishing and hiking. It's also home to a 50-acre lake, a 9-hole golf course, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Art enthusiasts can wander through the city's dozens of art galleries.  

Kansas City
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Kansas City, MO

Kansas City is among one of the best cities in the Midwest. While it's still home to the best BBQ on the planet, the city itself has transformed into a bustling cultural hub complete with trendy restaurants, design-forward hotels, and incredible artwork. The historic 18th & Vine Jazz District is home to the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (the two share a building) while the sprawling Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art features almost 40,000 works of art. The city is also home to over 200 fountains, hence its nickname, "City of Fountains." 

Kansas City is among one of the best cities in the Midwest. While it's still home to the best BBQ on the planet, the city itself has transformed into a bustling cultural hub complete with trendy restaurants, design-forward hotels, and incredible artwork. The historic 18th & Vine Jazz District is home to the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (the two share a building) while the sprawling Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art features almost 40,000 works of art. The city is also home to over 200 fountains, hence its nickname, "City of Fountains." 

Missoula
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Missoula, MT

Flanked by the Rocky Mountains, the city of Missoula is not to be missed – especially if you love the outdoors. The 2,000,000-acre Lolo National Forests surrounds the city. Other nearby outdoor attractions include the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail, and the 1,958-foot-tall Mount Sentinel. The fun continues indoors at the Missoula Art Museum and the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Little ones will love A Carousel for Missoula. This intricately designed merry-go-round features handcrafted wooden horses. 

Flanked by the Rocky Mountains, the city of Missoula is not to be missed – especially if you love the outdoors. The 2,000,000-acre Lolo National Forests surrounds the city. Other nearby outdoor attractions include the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail, and the 1,958-foot-tall Mount Sentinel. The fun continues indoors at the Missoula Art Museum and the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Little ones will love A Carousel for Missoula. This intricately designed merry-go-round features handcrafted wooden horses. 

Omaha
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Omaha, NE

Located along the Missouri River, Nebraska's capital city of Omaha is packed with attractions, history, and culture. Don't miss the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, which features underground caves, exotic animals, an indoor jungle, and 130 acres of fun to explore. The Omaha Children's Museum offers interactive exhibits for kids of all ages, while the riverfront Heartland of America Park offers exhibits, sculptures, and even gondola rides. The historic Old Market District boasts cobblestone streets, eclectic eats, and an array of art galleries.
 

Located along the Missouri River, Nebraska's capital city of Omaha is packed with attractions, history, and culture. Don't miss the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, which features underground caves, exotic animals, an indoor jungle, and 130 acres of fun to explore. The Omaha Children's Museum offers interactive exhibits for kids of all ages, while the riverfront Heartland of America Park offers exhibits, sculptures, and even gondola rides. The historic Old Market District boasts cobblestone streets, eclectic eats, and an array of art galleries.

Reno
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Reno, NV

Reno, which is known as "The Biggest City in the World," is essentially a (much) smaller version of Sin City. Car enthusiasts will want to visit the National Automobile Museum, which has around 200 vehicles, including Elvis Presley's 1973 Cadillac Eldorado and Frank Sinatra's 1961 Ghia L6.4. Animal Ark is another popular attraction; the wildlife sanctuary is home to bears, big cats, and other exotic animals. Snap a photo under the historic Reno Arch on Lake Street before exploring the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum or the Fleischmann Planetarium. Reno is just 22 miles from Lake Tahoe, which makes an ideal and easy day trip.  

Reno, which is known as "The Biggest City in the World," is essentially a (much) smaller version of Sin City. Car enthusiasts will want to visit the National Automobile Museum, which has around 200 vehicles, including Elvis Presley's 1973 Cadillac Eldorado and Frank Sinatra's 1961 Ghia L6.4. Animal Ark is another popular attraction; the wildlife sanctuary is home to bears, big cats, and other exotic animals. Snap a photo under the historic Reno Arch on Lake Street before exploring the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum or the Fleischmann Planetarium. Reno is just 22 miles from Lake Tahoe, which makes an ideal and easy day trip.  

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Manchester, NH

Located on the Merrimack River, the city of Manchester is has plenty of arts and cultural attractions. Highlights include the Currier Museum of Art, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, SEE Science Center, and the Millyard Museum. The city's downtown area has over 100 restaurants and boutiques.

 

Located on the Merrimack River, the city of Manchester is has plenty of arts and cultural attractions. Highlights include the Currier Museum of Art, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, SEE Science Center, and the Millyard Museum. The city's downtown area has over 100 restaurants and boutiques.

 

 

Jersey City
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Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City is just minutes away from NYC but feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle. Take in the city views from Liberty State Park (it's especially picturesque at sunset) before venturing over to downtown Jersey City. Here, you'll find great restaurants and bars (local favorites include Razza, Amelia's Bar, and The Archer, to name a few), along with eclectic boutiques and specialty shops. 


 
 
 

Jersey City is just minutes away from NYC but feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle. Take in the city views from Liberty State Park (it's especially picturesque at sunset) before venturing over to downtown Jersey City. Here, you'll find great restaurants and bars (local favorites include Razza, Amelia's Bar, and The Archer, to name a few), along with eclectic boutiques and specialty shops. 


 
 
 

 

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Santa Fe, NM

This arty city – which dates back to 1610 – boasts plenty of pueblo-style architecture plus museums and other cultural and art-centric attractions like the Museum of International Folk Art (the world's largest collection of international folk art is here), the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum (home to 3,000-plus works), the historic New Mexico History Museum, and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. The iconic Plaza, a National Historic Landmark, dates back centuries; today, it's as lively as ever and dotted with shops, galleries, and eateries. Canyon Road is another popular hotspot for artists and locals alike. 

Read more: Luxury for Less in Artsy and Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico
 

This arty city -- which dates back to 1610 -- boasts plenty of pueblo-style architecture plus museums and other cultural and art-centric attractions like the Museum of International Folk Art (which features the world's largest collection of international folk art), the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum (home to 3,000-plus works), the historic New Mexico History Museum, and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. The iconic Plaza, a National Historic Landmark, dates back centuries; today, it's as lively as ever and dotted with shops, galleries, and eateries. Canyon Road is another popular hotspot for artists and locals alike. 

New York City
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New York, NY

New York City is considered one of the greatest cities in the world – so of course, we had to include it in our roundup. From Michelin-starred eats to $1 pizza, to world-class theatrical performances, to endless entertainment venues and boutiques, it's truly impossible to be bored in NYC. While it's hard to sum up all that New York City has to offer in a few sentences, a few highlights include people-watching in Central Park, cocktails a trendy rooftop bar (there are dozens to choose from), dim sum in Chinatown, and shopping in SoHo.

Read more: 6 Things You Can Only Do in New York City
 

New York City is considered one of the greatest cities in the world – so of course, we had to include it in our roundup. From Michelin-starred eats to $1 pizza, to world-class theatrical performances, to endless entertainment venues and boutiques, it's truly impossible to be bored in NYC. While it's hard to sum up all that New York City has to offer in a few sentences, a few highlights include people-watching in Central Park, cocktails a trendy rooftop bar (there are dozens to choose from), dim sum in Chinatown, and shopping in SoHo.

Asheville, North Carolina
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Asheville, NC

With dozens of breweries, 3,000-plus miles of free hiking trails, and 360-degree mountain views, it's easy to fall in love with Asheville (also known as Beer City USA). If you love to shop, pop into local favorites Asheville Bee Charmer and Battery Park Book Exchange (which is one-part bookstore, one-part Champagne bar). The city is also known for its vibrant arts scene; the River Arts District has hundreds of galleries.

With dozens of breweries, 3,000-plus miles of free hiking trails, and 360-degree mountain views, it's easy to fall in love with Asheville (also known as Beer City USA). If you love to shop, pop into local favorites Asheville Bee Charmer and Battery Park Book Exchange (which is one-part bookstore, one-part Champagne bar). The city is also known for its vibrant arts scene; the River Arts District has hundreds of galleries.

Fargo
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Fargo, ND

Fargo offers an array of fascinating museums, including the Plains Art MuseumBonanzaville, and the Fargo Air Museum. Spot wildlife at the Red River Zoo, where you'll find everything from adorable red pandas to gray wolves. Surprisingly, the city also claims dozens of wineries and craft breweries. Downtown Fargo is home to plenty of mom-and-pop restaurants to choose from that can satisfy any craving (don't miss Black Coffee & Waffle Bar and Sons of Norway). End your day with a cocktail at one of the many nearby bars.
 

Fargo offers an array of fascinating museums, including the Plains Art Museum, Bonanzaville, and the Fargo Air Museum. Spot wildlife at the Red River Zoo, where you'll find everything from adorable red pandas to gray wolves. Surprisingly, the city also boasts dozens of wineries and craft breweries. Downtown Fargo is home to plenty of mom-and-pop restaurants to choose from that can satisfy any craving (don't miss Black Coffee & Waffle Bar and Sons of Norway). End your day with a cocktail at one of the many nearby bars.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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Cincinatti, OH

Don't sleep on Cincinnati. The city, which is located along the banks of the Ohio River, is loaded with arts, culture, and other attractions. If you love architecture and arts and crafts, visit the Over-the-Rhine district, known for its 19th-century architecture as well as the Findlay Market (the state's oldest continually operated market), where you'll find various food and craft vendors. Other highlights include the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, The Cincinnati Museum Center, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Don't sleep on Cincinnati. The city, which is located along the banks of the Ohio River, is packed with arts, culture, and other attractions. If you love architecture and arts and crafts, visit the Over-the-Rhine district, which is known for its 19th-century architecture as well as the Findlay Market (the state's oldest continually operated market), where you'll find various food and craft vendors. Other highlights include the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, The Cincinnati Museum Center, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Tulsa
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Tulsa, OK

Attractions abound in Tulsa. Popular spots include the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, the Philbrook Museum of Art (housed in an extravagant mansion and surrounded by 23 acres of manicured gardens, the Gilcrease Museum that features around 350,000 historical artifacts, the Tulsa Zoo, and the Tulsa Botanic Gardens. The city's bustling Arts District is home to several dozens of shops, museums, restaurants, bars, clubs, and galleries. 

 

 

Attractions abound in Tulsa. Popular spots include the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, the Philbrook Museum of Art (housed in an extravagant mansion and surrounded by 23 acres of manicured gardens, the Gilcrease Museum that features around 350,000 historical artifacts, the Tulsa Zoo, and the Tulsa Botanic Gardens. The city's bustling Arts District is home to several dozens of shops, museums, restaurants, bars, clubs, and galleries. 

 

Portland, Oregon
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Portland, OR

This trendy Pacific Northwest city is worth the hype, especially if you love the outdoors. Portland has over 300 miles of bike lanes and is just 10 minutes away from the 5,171-acre Forest Park, where you can hike, bike, and spot over 112 bird species. The city itself boasts over 500 food trucks and nearly 60 breweries (Portland has the most breweries of any city in the world). You'll also want to spend some time exploring the drinking and dining scene: Can't-miss spots include Multnomah Whiskey Library (where you'll find over 1,700 bottles of whiskey) and Ox (which serves up innovative Argentinian cuisine with a twist). 

This trendy Pacific Northwest city is worth the hype, especially if you love the outdoors. Portland has over 300 miles of bike lanes and is just 10 minutes away from the 5,171-acre Forest Park, where you can hike, bike, and spot over 112 bird species. The city itself boasts over 500 food trucks and nearly 60 breweries (Portland has the most breweries of any city in the world). You'll also want to spend some time exploring the drinking and dining scene: Can't-miss spots include Multnomah Whiskey Library (where you'll find over 1,700 bottles of whiskey) and Ox (which serves up innovative Argentinian cuisine with a twist). 

Pittsburgh, PA
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Pittsburgh, PA

Steel City has reinvented itself in recent years. Classic tourist attractions like Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Point State Park, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Pittsburgh Zoo are worth a visit, but be sure to also carve out some time to explore the city's burgeoning food scene. The hip Strip District boasts an eclectic mix of gourmet food shops, vibrant bars, and unique places to grab a bite.

Steel City has reinvented itself in recent years. Classic tourist attractions like Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Point State Park, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Pittsburgh Zoo are worth a visit, but be sure to also carve out some time to explore the city's burgeoning food scene. The hip Strip District boasts an eclectic mix of gourmet food shops, vibrant bars, and unique places to grab a bite.

Newport, RI
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Newport, RI

Newport is just as fun to visit in the shoulder season as it is in summer. Here, you can tour the nation's oldest synagogue, stroll and shop your way down Thames Street, enjoy fresh seafood delicacies, explore the famed mansions, trek across the Cliff Walk (where you can admire the ocean views), and enjoy a scenic car ride down Ocean Drive.

Newport is just as fun to visit in the shoulder season as it is in summer. Here, you can tour the nation's oldest synagogue, stroll (and shop!) your way down Thames Street, enjoy fresh seafood delicacies, explore one (or more!) of the famed mansions, trek across the Cliff Walk (where you can admire the ocean views), and enjoy a scenic car ride down Ocean Drive.

Charleston, SC
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Charleston, SC

Charleston was founded back in 1970. Today, the port city is just as charming as ever with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and pastel-hued Antebellum houses. The French Quarter neighborhood, which is home to the Charleston City Market – which dates back to the 19th century, the Confederate Museum, and the Old Slave Mart Museum. Here, you'll also find King Street, which is lined with shops and galleries, along with the scenic Waterfront Park. Don't miss the Instagram-worthy Rainbow Row (which features 13 colorful Georgian-style houses). 

Charleston was founded back in 1970. Today, the port city is just as charming as ever with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and pastel-hued Antebellum houses. The French Quarter neighborhood, which is home to the Charleston City Market – which dates back to the 19th century), the Confederate Museum, and the Old Slave Mart Museum. Here, you'll also find King Street, which is lined with shops and galleries, along with the scenic Waterfront Park. Don't miss the Instagram-worthy Rainbow Row (which features 13 colorful Georgian-style houses). 

Sioux Falls
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Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls is best known for the iconic 123-acre Falls Park (which surrounds the city's falls and feature an observation tower and on-site café), but there's so much more to see and do here. Other highlights include the 45-acre Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History and the Butterfly House & Aquarium. There are over 80 public parks throughout the city for you to enjoy. Venture downtown and choose from a vibrant array of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. The city is also home to a burgeoning craft beer scene that's sure to delight beer enthusiasts. 

Sioux Falls is best known for the iconic 123-acre Falls Park (which surrounds the city's falls and feature an observation tower and on-site café), but there's so much more to see and do here. Other highlights include the 45-acre Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History and the Butterfly House & Aquarium. There are over 80 public parks throughout the city for you to enjoy. Venture downtown and choose from a vibrant array of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. The city is also home to a burgeoning craft beer scene that's sure to delight beer enthusiasts. 

Nashville, TN
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Nashville, TN

Music City is popular for a reason, and we just can't seem to get enough of it. No trip here is complete without a stroll down Broadway or a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. If you love music, pop into Gruhn Guitars (which boasts the world's largest collection), and embark on a tour of RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 hits. When it comes to food, there are plenty of exciting options, including Husk (which is helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock) and Prince's (which, according to many, offers the best hot chicken in the entire city). Cap off your night with a cocktail at the swanky LA Jackson rooftop bar.

Music City is popular for a reason, and we just can't seem to get enough of it. No trip here is complete without a stroll down Broadway or a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. If you love music, pop into Gruhn Guitars (which boasts the world's largest collection), and embark on a tour of RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 hits. When it comes to food, there are plenty of exciting options, including Husk (which is helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock) and Prince's (which, according to many, offers the best hot chicken in the entire city). Cap off your night with a cocktail at the swanky LA Jackson rooftop bar.

 

Austin
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Austin, TX

Austin is a seriously popular destination, and with its exciting culinary offerings and vibrant entertainment and live music scene, it's easy to see why. Elephant Room and Flamingo Cantina all offer excellent live music, while the 350-acre Zilker Park is ideal for hiking and biking. History buffs can visit the stately Texas State Capitol Building (pun-intended). South Congress Street is known for its wide array of arts and crafts shops, while Burnet Road boasts a handful of restaurants, boutiques, and thrift shops. Afterward, grab a bite at Lucky Robot for sushi, Magnolia Cafe for brunch, or Pinthouse Pizza for, you guessed it, pizza and beer.

Austin is a seriously popular destination, and with its exciting culinary offerings and vibrant entertainment and live music scene, it's easy to see why. Elephant Room and Flamingo Cantina all offer excellent live music, while the 350-acre Zilker Park is ideal for hiking and biking. History buffs can visit the stately Texas State Capitol Building (pun-intended). South Congress Street is known for its wide array of arts and crafts shops, while Burnet Road boasts a handful of restaurants, boutiques, and thrift shops. Afterward, grab a bite at Lucky Robot for sushi, Magnolia Cafe for brunch, or Pinthouse Pizza for, you guessed it, pizza and beer.

St. George
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St. George, UT

Known as the gateway to Zion National Park, the city of St. George is definitely worth exploring. Nearby, you'll find Snow Canyon State Park, which offers trails, dunes, and towering red sandstone cliffs. The city is also home to the scenic Sand Hollow State Park (which boasts bright red surroundings and an expansive reservoir with clear-blue) and the 52-acre Pioneer Park (which has incredible city views and hiking trails). Popular museums include the St. George Art Museum and the St. George Children's Museum. In downtown St. George, visitors can dine, shop, and browse through galleries. 

Read more: Utah's "Mighty 5" National Parks: Which Should You Visit?
 

Known as the gateway to Zion National Park, the city of St. George is definitely worth exploring. Nearby, you'll find Snow Canyon State Park, which offers trails, dunes, and towering red sandstone cliffs. The city is also home to the scenic Sand Hollow State Park (which boasts bright red surroundings and an expansive reservoir with clear-blue) and the 52-acre Pioneer Park (which has incredible city views and hiking trails). Popular museums include the St. George Art Museum and the St. George Children's Museum. In downtown St. George, visitors can dine, shop, and browse through galleries. 

Burlington
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Burlington, VT

The lakefront city of Burlington is oh-so charming. Spend some time strolling down Church Street, which is lined with restaurants, shops, and live music. The Burlington Bike Path (you can walk it, too) offers tranquil views of Lake Champlain, where you can kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. Burlington's buzzing beer scene is extremely popular among locals and travelers alike. The art-centric South End neighborhood is chock-a-block with eateries, breweries, and galleries. Foodies will want to visit Skinny Pancake for crepes, Lake Champlain Chocolates for sweet treats, and Creemees Ice Cream for maple creemee (AKA maple-flavored soft serve, a Vermont staple). Fun fact: The city is also home to the World's Tallest Filing Cabinet. 

The lakefront city of Burlington is oh-so charming. Spend some time strolling down Church Street, which is lined with restaurants, shops, and live music. The Burlington Bike Path (you can walk it, too) offers tranquil views of Lake Champlain, where you can kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. Burlington's buzzing beer scene is extremely popular among locals and travelers alike. The art-centric South End neighborhood is chock-a-block with eateries, breweries, and galleries. Foodies will want to visit Skinny Pancake for crepes, Lake Champlain Chocolates for sweet treats, and Creemees Ice Cream for maple creemee (AKA maple-flavored soft serve, a Vermont staple). Fun fact: The city is also home to the World's Tallest Filing Cabinet. 

Richmond
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Richmond, VA

Virginia's capital is one of America's oldest cities. Attractions include Metro Richmond Zoo (home to over 2,000 animals), the American Civil War Museum, the 50-acre Lewis Ginter Botanical GardenMaymont (a 100-acre Victorian-era mansion complete with an on-site arboretum and beautiful gardens), the Children's Museum of Richmond, and the White House of the Confederacy. It's also home to an array of acclaimed and innovative eateries like Alewife (which serves up sustainable seafood) and the award-winning L’Opossum, among many others.

 

Virginia's capital is one of America's oldest cities. Attractions include Metro Richmond Zoo (home to over 2,000 animals), the American Civil War Museum, the 50-acre Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Maymont (a 100-acre Victorian-era mansion complete with an on-site arboretum and beautiful gardens), the Children's Museum of Richmond, and the White House of the Confederacy. It's also home to an array of acclaimed and innovative eateries like Alewife (which serves up sustainable seafood) and the award-winning L’Opossum, among many others.

Seattle
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Seattle, WA

The city of Seattle offers something for everyone, from touring the Amazon headquarters to exploring Pike Place Market, to wandering (and eating) your way through downtown. You can't leave Seattle with paying a visit to the Museum of Pop Culture, the iconic Space Needle, to the stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass. After a day spent sightseeing, head to the hip Ballard neighborhood, which is also home to the design-forward National Nordic Museum

The city of Seattle offers something for everyone, from touring the Amazon headquarters to exploring Pike Place Market, to wandering (and eating) your way through downtown. You can't leave Seattle with paying a visit to the Museum of Pop Culture, the iconic Space Needle, to the stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass. After a day spent sightseeing, head to the hip Ballard neighborhood, which is also home to the design-forward National Nordic Museum. 

 

Morgantown
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Morgantown, WV

The city of Morgantown is home to the University of West Virginia, which features its own art museum and arboretum – both of which are open to the public. The riverfront city is also home to a handful of scenic parks, including Dorseys Knob and White Park, where you can hike and take in the views. If you love flowers, you'll appreciate a visit to The West Virginia Botanic Garden; alternatively, if you're traveling with kids, spend some time exploring the Spark! Imagination and Science Center. Head to one of the many restaurants on Main Street to grab a bite to eat and shop. 

The city of Morgantown is home to the University of West Virginia, which features its own art museum and arboretum – both of which are open to the public. The riverfront city is also home to a handful of scenic parks, including Dorseys Knob and White Park, where you can hike and take in the views. If you love flowers, you'll appreciate a visit to The West Virginia Botanic Garden; alternatively, if you're traveling with kids, spend some time exploring the Spark! Imagination and Science Center. Head to one of the many restaurants on Main Street to grab a bite to eat and shop. 

Milwaukee
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Milwaukee, WI

Located along Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is best known for its many breweries, along with the iconic Harley-Davidson Museum. There are several other museums worth visiting, including the Milwaukee Art MuseumMilwaukee Public Museum, and Discovery World. The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (which is comprised of three massive domes) and the 200-acre Milwaukee County Zoo are equally as fascinating. If you're a hardcore beer enthusiast, take a tour of the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion (Frederick Pabst was the founder of Pabst Brewing Company). The best way to explore the city is on foot. The Milwaukee RiverWalk, which spans over 20 blocks, ties together three bustling neighborhoods (the Historic Third Ward, Downtown, and Beerline B), all of which offer eclectic eats, brewpubs, boutiques, and bars. 

Located along Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is best known for its many breweries, along with the iconic Harley-Davidson Museum. There are several other museums worth visiting, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, and Discovery World. The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (which is comprised of three massive domes) and the 200-acre Milwaukee County Zoo are equally as fascinating. If you're a hardcore beer enthusiast, take a tour of the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion (Frederick Pabst was the founder of Pabst Brewing Company). The best way to explore the city is on foot. The Milwaukee RiverWalk, which spans over 20 blocks, ties together three bustling neighborhoods (the Historic Third Ward, Downtown, and Beerline B), all of which offer eclectic eats, brewpubs, boutiques, and bars. 

Cheyenne
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Cheyenne, WY

Cheyenne's museums include the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, Cowgirls of the West Museum, and the Wyoming State Museum. Take some time to stroll through the beautiful Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, which has an on-site labyrinth. Downtown Cheyenne boasts beautiful architecture; we recommend taking a self-guided walking tour to learn more about the city's history. Alternatively, you can also hop aboard the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley, which provides informative and entertaining tours of the city.
 

Cheyenne's museums include the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, Cowgirls of the West Museum, and the Wyoming State Museum. Take some time to stroll through the beautiful Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, which has an on-site labyrinth. Downtown Cheyenne boasts beautiful architecture; we recommend taking a self-guided walking tour to learn more about the city's history. Alternatively, you can also hop aboard the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley, which provides informative and entertaining tours of the city.

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