- New York
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Washington DC
- Las Vegas
- New Orleans
The "capital of the world" lives up to that title, as the financial and art center of the world. From Wall Street to Broadway, there is always something major going on, new restaurants opening to share all of the world's cuisines, and stores offering a little of everything. If you can't find it here, you won't find it anywhere. Trendsetting New York is the city everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
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It has lost some of its allure, but San Francisco is the most beautiful city in America. The city by the bay is scenic and welcoming, with major landmarks and cultural attractions. There are the gorgeous Victorian homes, parks and stretches of sand, and picture-postcard views, always with the monumental Golden Gate Bridge somewhere nearby as a backdrop. This is usually the American city that's hardest to leave.
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The city everyone dreams of isn't a city of angels and is no heaven, but it's a destination that needs to be seen to be believed. The lives of the rich and famous really are as ostentatious as stereotyped, proven on tours of celebrity homes and celebrity life that are among the city's most popular activities. L.A. really is a city made up of several cities, and visitors have different experiences depending on whether they find themselves in Hollywood, Venice Beach, Santa Monica or Beverly Hills, but it is always a dazzling experience to remember.
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This city is a tribute to the American spirit, although aesthetically it's more European than American. Instead of skyscrapers, it's made up of low-rise buildings, mostly in a majestic neo-classical style. It's a museum city full of monuments and memorials that attract both Americans and foreigners, and is now better than ever with a food scene that becomes more appetizing every year.
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It's one of the world's party cities and a destination people go more to be seen than to see. National and international party animals come for the sun, the sand, and the sexy, but there is also the singular Art Deco district and the most Latin atmosphere in the country. All combined, it's a year-round destination that's worth at least a weekend (and one long night) of your life.
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This really isn't a city. It's more an "only in America" theme park in the desert, split in half by one long boulevard. But that's why it's such an exciting magnet for people from all over the world. The magnetism comes from the glowing neons, the outrageous replicas of international landmarks, and the 24-hour clock that keeps on ticking at the casinos or big-name shows. It's the fantasyland city of decadence, and many don't want to die without saying "what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas."
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Somehow Chicago remains overlooked by foreign visitors as a major world-class city destination. But those who go off-the-beaten-city-break-path will find a city of first-rate architecture, food, and cultural life. There's exceptional theater, blues and jazz clubs, as well as shopping down one of the country's grandest boulevards, Michigan Avenue.
It's been greatly affected by hurricane Katrina, poverty and social problems, yet New Orleans is a city that should be on any American itinerary. There's the excellent food, the one-of-a-kind French Quarter, and an easygoing vibe at jazz bars and debaucherous Bourbon Street. It's a city that, despite its recent history, still exudes an intangible charm.
It's one of America's oldest cities and therefore has lots of history to tell. But it's not all about the old here -- it has a young population thanks to literally dozens of colleges and universities. There is a certain Old World atmosphere in several of its neighborhoods radiating out from Boston Common, the country's oldest public park. And there is always something to do, with all the major sights within walking distance.
It has more of a national than international appeal, but Philadelphia just may be the most pleasantly surprising city in America. It's an overlooked treasure between the Big Apple and the nation's capital, but a rejuvenation over the last few years will put it on the American travel limelight. There are great restaurants and museums, and a major dose of history as the first capital of the nation.