In my quest to visit all 50 states, I’ve had some unforgettable trips.
Although some fell short of expectations, most have reinvigorated my sense of exploration. If you’re looking for a destination to add to your wish list, I have four to recommend. In all my travels, four cities have stood out as my favorites.
For their own reasons, these cities have stolen a piece of my heart. Here’s why you should visit at least one of them this year.
Image via Flickr by pml2008
From the White House to the Capitol to the Washington Monument, Washington, D.C. is home to many of the iconic structures that screenwriters love to blow up. Sensationalized with drama and deceit, the home of U.S. politics draws millions of tourists yearly. You should be one of them.
You’ll find no shortage of free activities, including festivals, museums, and concerts. While the locals will run you over to catch the train, they are generally friendly if you need directions or recommendations. To avoid the major crowds, visit D.C. in early spring or fall and stay in hotels bordering the city. Did I mention to pack your walking shoes?
Image via Flickr by Larry Johnson
The hardest parts of planning your trip to Denver will be deciding when to go and choosing from among the marvelous hotels. On one hand, the fluffy snow coating Denver’s parks makes for good places to snowshoe, ski cross-country, or have an old-fashioned snowball fight. Want bigger slopes? A skier’s paradise, Vail, is just hours away.
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On the other hand, Denver savors its summers with markets, festivals, and outdoor movies. The surplus of outdoor activities will make nature lovers drool. Enjoy a leisurely hike in one of many parks surrounding Denver and challenge yourself to recall a more beautiful view.
Image via Flickr by InSapphoWeTrust
With more than just cheesesteaks, Philly is a hotspot for anyone interested in America’s early history. Home of the Liberty Bell, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and Independence Hall, Philadelphia allows visitors to come face to face with the revolutionary history of the United States.
Of course, that history wouldn’t be so juicy without the signature dish that this city is famous for. A helpful hint when looking for the best cheesesteak: avoid the huge, touristy places. Ask a local to point you toward the yummiest hoagies. Better yet, look for hotels near this prized location!
Image via Flickr by Maëlick
If you’ve had a frozen fish thrown at you, posed near a wall of chewing gum, or resisted the advances of a flirty vagrant, you’ve stumbled into Pike Place Market. This market is quirky and gaudy in all the right ways, and it’s just one of the amazing spots that will tickle your fancy in Seattle. Don’t worry about all the forecasts of gloom, doom, and depression. A trip to Seattle is great in any weather. I wouldn’t suggest you buy a house under those clouds, but staying in hotels for a visit or two is definitely worth it!
If you’re looking for a hit or miss that would definitely come with a bit of adventure, throw a dart at a map. Those who want a sure bet for a vacation destination worth spending your hard-earned savings should head to one of the locations above.
What are you waiting for? Start exploring hotels now!