Planning for your next vacation? You can spend hours (or days) researching and debating or you can count on the wisdom of the crowd. Your fellow travelers have spoken and these are the top four best, most popular vacation destinations in America, for Americans. This may help or only add further to your confusion, but either way, here are the top four.
The Big Apple
Theatrical performances? Sure. Lots. Museums? How many can you see in one day? Nightlife? In abundance. Restaurants? Every type of cuisine imaginable. If it can’t be found in NYC, it can’t be found.
NYC is continuously evolving, and yes, still growing. Each new trip reveals discoveries not found during the previous go ’round. Known for its vibrant culture, every single borough and neighborhood emits its own cool vibe. Each one is distinct and uniquely different. Since it would require an entire career worth of vacation days to visit all of them, visitors should determine which parts of town most appeal to them when planning where they will stay and what they want to do. Of course, public transportation being what it is in NYC visitors can easily spend their days hopping from one borough to the next. But, by not taking enough time to mingle with the varying cultures living in Harlem, Manhattan, Chinatown, and etc., they won’t discover the true magic that makes the Big Apple the number one large city for tourism.
The trendsetters and cool kids can be found hanging out in the East Village and Brooklyn, while the more philosophical minded self-proclaimed intellects lean towards the village. Manhattan is the prime shopping area but unless money is no object don’t book a room there. Then there is Long Island… Then there is Queens… Then there is… To make the most out of a trip to NYC, research every borough first. You’ll be glad you did.
Here’s a couple of insider tips. Just say no to cabs. They can devour a person’s entire vacation budget. There is no place in NYC a person cannot get via the subway system. Take some time to study it prior to going. For those watching their dollars, say yes to street food. NYC has some of the best and we’re not talking just hot dogs.
The City of Brotherly Love
Philadelphia comes in at number two. American history buffs are in their element with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution both being signed at Independence Hall. This former capital of our country prior to Washington D.C. was home to Benjamin Franklin and is still home to one of America’s greatest symbols of freedom, our beloved cracked liberty bell.
While history has its place, Philly is modern, alive, cultural, vibrant, and entertaining with a thriving nightlife and a culinary diversity well beyond their legendary cheesesteak. Tulula’s Garden, the Dandelion, and Parc are three popular restaurants offering unique fares of their own, while Readings Terminal Market is a virtual smorgasbord of eats along with a huge farmers market. Morgan’s Pier on the banks of the Delaware River is a hotspot for nighttime activity, while Murph’s Bar is a quaint pub for the more reserved.
The Museum of the American Revolution will take several hours to fully explore, and if art is anybody’s thing the city is loaded with small private and large public galleries. Sesame Place, a Sesame Street based theme park, and the Philadelphia Zoo are the perfect attractions for kids, as well as the Please Touch Museum where children rule.
However. What truly makes Philadelphia an ideal vacation spot is the friendliness of its permanent inhabitants. They take pride in their city and want all of their visitors to enjoy it as much as they do.
This should come as no great surprise. Honolulu has long been reputed for its glistening white sand, bright sunshine, huge waves, umbrella drinks, and dancers in hula skirts. A little harder to get to than NYC or Philadelphia, this doesn’t deter its thousands of annual visitors.
Honolulu is more than just pretty beaches. The island of Oahu consists of gorgeous nature hikes through tropical forests, historical sites and landmarks, and a rugged beauty beyond comparison. Day trips from Honolulu allow visitors to take it all in.
Honolulu, as with any large city, has way more going for it than what it is best known for. A venture into the city will uncover a crazy til the wee hours of dawn nightlife, five-star restaurants, cozy authentic diners, cultural events, and the high rises of the Waikiki neighborhood.
It’s still acceptable if someone would rather not leave the confines of their resort as the majority of them are tiny cities in of themselves. Families may want to consider a place like the Hilton Hawaiian Village where kids are kept occupied with activities. Adults trying to escape children are out of luck unless they rent a private house, condo, or beach bungalow. According to all reports, adult only resorts do not exist in Honolulu. If you are aware of one how about sharing it with the readers in the comment section?
Hawaii wins again. Reminiscent of the Three Bears, for some, Oahu is too large, Lanai is too small, but Maui is just right. It isn’t overly quiet, but then again it isn’t ‘bustling’ at the seams like Honolulu.
Maui still has hula dancers, prestige golf courses, beautiful beaches, great hiking, and a more subdued yet plentiful nightlife, it’s all just on a smaller more manageable scale without going too remote. If this sounds just about right, Maui is your place.
These are just four suggestions based on where the majority of American’s are opting to go. If Walt Disney World or a cabin in Colorado suits you better, go there instead, just make sure you go somewhere. If you would like to add one of your own great travel experiences as a recommendation, please feel free. We’d love to hear about it.