The best cities to fall in love with the United States
Why do so many tourists choose the United States as a vacation destination? The reason is very simple, the country offers a huge variety of attractions that please the whole family: from cultural rides and adventure tourism, to the possibility of experimenting the unique lifestyle of the Americans.
The thing I like the most is the cultural diversity. According to a United Nations study, the United States welcomes over a million migrants every year, and it’s the country with the highest number of foreign residents living inside its borders (45.8 millions). It’s incredible to walk, for example, in New York and find people from all around the world. That mixture of languages, with the typical sound of a big city and the clicks of the cameras that one can only find in the Big Apple is amazing to me.
Going shopping in the United States is another unique experience. I always find the most important brands, not to mention the great amount of outlets with its brand clothes at cost price. Another important detail is the facility to travel around the country, there are various options that depart at every hour to every destination.
For those who are still planning their trip, I share these six suggestions. Surely these cities will also conquer anybody’s heart.
How can one not fall in love with the Big Apple! Sure enough, it took me a second to do so. And after that one time I vowed to live in the city. Which I did! Postcard to varied movies and theme of emblematic songs as “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra, and “Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z, the “city that never sleeps” enchants people with its skyscrapers, parks and the cosmopolitan life.
Between the tourist routes, the mandatory stops are the Statue of Liberty, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and the Rockfeller Center. And of course, how can you go to New York and not reserve a day to go shopping! Fifth Avenue is almost every woman’s dreams, with its famous stores like the giant Macy’s. When it’s time to eat the city presents a great gastronomic variety, for all tastes and budgets (from a hot dog car and food truck to the most acclaimed restaurants).
Don’t miss a Broadway show or a typical New York bar like McGee’s, the one that inspired the TV series ‘How I Met Your Mother’. As the Jay Z song said, “there’s nothing you can’t do” in New York.
I love quietness and nature, and without a doubt Denver is my city to go for that! It’s no wonder I lived there for more than two years while I completed my studies. There are over 200 parks spread around the capital of Colorado. But the advantages do not end there. The biggest Colorado city is also known for encouraging sports and healthy life. There’s over a thousand kilometers of bicycle lanes, transforming Denver into the city with the biggest interconnected lanes line of all the United States.
In terms of food, various chefs chose to work with local products, using fresh food, artisan cheese, organic meat to create healthy, innovative and flavorful plates.
Denver is also surprising for its street art: diverse murals, paintings and sculptures are spread through its lanes. Another curious fact is a program called Denver’s Public Art Program that directs a part of the council’s monthly budget for the inclusion of art in the city’s constructions. I also like skiing, and Denver is pretty close to the most known stations of the United States, Aspen and Vail.
The biggest city of the state of Oregon is known for its unique personality, one of the reasons that attract thousands of tourists every year. Wherever I walk, I’ll find a park, with lots of trees everywhere.
I am a nature lover, so I love visiting the Japanese Garden and O Lan Su Chinese Garden, both downtown. Another Portland curiosity is that a big part of its population are followers of recycling, sustainability, public transport and bikes.
The Portland Art Museum, in the heart of the cultural region downtown, is famous for its permanent modern art collections. In the popular neighborhood Old Town, people line up to taste the Voodoo Doughnut inventions, with flavors like bacon, cereals, and marshmallows, among others. Close to that place is the Portland Saturday Market, the biggest fair of arts and crafts in the United States.
City of celebrities like Mr. Obama and Mrs. Oprah Winfrey, Chicago is known for being the land of the blues and jazz, with unique and authentic rhythms. The starting point for visiting the city is the Millennium Park, with over 99 thousand square meters of green areas above the train stations.
Another postcard I never miss is the Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean, created by the designer Anish Kapoor, inspired by liquid mercury. Whenever I am looking for a wider vision of the city, I head to two of the main skyscrapers; the 360 Chicago (the old John Hancock Observatory) and the Skydeck, the famous Willis Tower.
And no trip to Chicago is complete without a stop at Art Institute. Inside the museum it is possible to find five thousand years of history narrated in different paintings, sculptures, fabric, photography, objects and decorative arts from all around the world.
No trip to the United States is complete without visiting San Francisco. The city breathes life and enchants with its beautiful landscapes. I’ll try to resume some of the places that one must visit: the colorful buildings in Valencia Street, neighborhood known for its pre-hispanic inhabitants. The Mission Dolores Park has an impeccable lawn, everything is local, is low cost and has good quality. All the prices in the menu are written with chalk in a big board and have the rates included.
A walk between Bay Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf is mandatory, and taking this journey I always get some of the nicest views of the city, as the bridges Golden Gate and Bay Bridge, the Island of Alcatraz and the sea lions of Pier 39. The Lombard Street is one of the most inclined of the world, with its accentuated curves. The view from the top is amazing, but from the bottom it’s even more enchanting.
I like biking, so I generally rent a bike and cross the Golden Gate to Sausalito and come back with the Ferry. I go for a ride with the F line that connects the Castro (alternative neighborhood), to Fisherman’s wharf. This line has historic trains that come from different cities of the world!
To end up, I love making a stop at Market Place, this brings together a variety of stores that sell all types of food one can imagine. I like experimenting new flavors, so this is my place!
Lately, I have been itching to visit Miami and road trip around Florida – allegedly the weirdest State of the Union. Interestingly, I have had a number of layovers in Miami, but never got a chance to visit and it is about time I do so.
Needless to say, the first place I’d hit in town would be Little Havana, to get some Cuban flavor and some much needed Cuban food. And while at it, I’d love to go salsa dancing and practice my steps. And, as I am a beach kind of girl, I would definitely spend some quality time toasting in the sun and swimming in the clear waters of Miami Beach.
Don’t forget that in order to enter the United States a visa is necessary. Believe it or not, I forgot I needed it once when I had a layover on my trip back from Mexico, and I almost got stuck. Thankfully, it is possible to stay organized and make ESTA applications before traveling.
Have you ever visited the United States? What’s your favorite city there?