Road trips, whether by RV or car, are more popular than ever. American love to load up the family and hit the road to explore new places and have new experiences.
Are you planning on taking a road trip but can’t decide where to go?
Check out the ten greatest road trip city destinations around the United States.
1. San Francisco, CA
According to the travel site, Roadtrippers, San Francisco was the most visited city in 2014. Which really should come as no surprise. It’s got incredible food, exquisite attractions, and gorgeous views. This must-see destination has something for everyone. Some of the most popular attractions include:
- The Exploratorium: This science and art museum has well over 1,000 hands-on exhibits to explore. It is a must-see for anyone who is visiting San Diego.
- The Golden Gate Bridge: This structure is one of the most well known bridges in North America. The iconic Art Deco design and 700 plus foot tall towers attract well over 10 million visitors every year.
- Alcatraz Island: Also known as “The Rock,” this site was once the home of one of the most notorious prisons in the country. Nowadays, it boasts a large selection of pictures, documents, and intriguing artwork made by the inmates who lived here. It is one of the most visited jails in America. Tourists come from all over the globe for the opportunity to walk its hallowed halls.
- Chinatown in San Francisco: Although there is more than one Chinatown in the United States, the one in San Francisco is the oldest. It was established in 1848 and is home to the largest Chinese community outside of the continent of Asia. This area gets more yearly visitors than the Golden Gate Bridge.
- De Young Museum: This museum’s copper facade has made it one of the most recognizable buildings in the city of Francisco. It has been a popular tourist destination ever since it was founded well over 100 years ago.
2. Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is famous for many things, not the least being the celebrities that call this city home. Other attractions include:
- The Museum of Contemporary Art: Art lovers are in love with this museum, and it’s easy to see why. It is home to one of the most renowned collections in the country. But that’s not all, this creativity hotspot also contains almost 7,000 permanent pieces of art.
- Hollywood Bowl: No visit to Los Angeles is complete without a stop at this iconic location to catch a show. You won’t regret it.
- The Guinness World Records Museum: Spend an afternoon at this museum for a chance to see some wonderfully weird things. All these acts were attempted by people trying to get their names in the Guinness Book of Work Records.
- Pink’s Hot Dogs: This is possibly the most famous hot dog restaurant on the planet. This alone is reason enough to make a trip here for lunch.
- Los Angeles Zoo and Gardens: This zoo offers over 100 acres to explore. It’s a fun and educational trip where you can learn about animal conservation.
3. Las Vegas, CA
No list of the most popular destinations in America is complete without Sin City. Las Vegas is renowned for its never ending nightlife and world class entertainment. There’s no doubt that Las Vegas is the ultimate playground for people of all ages. Some must see attractions in the area include:
- The Hoover Dam: This family friendly venue offers a rich and controversial history that will intrigue and enthrall you and your loved ones.
- The Zombie Apocalypse Store: This adult oriented store is just plain fun. It provides the opportunity to take pictures with zombies, or incinerate them, per your pleasure. It’s the perfect location for those who want to learn everything they can about surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.
- Frankie’s Tiki Room: This venue is considered to be one of the best Tiki Bars in the entire country. With its great roster of delicious cocktails, it is the perfect place to have a really good time.
- The National Atomic Testing Museum: This museum uses interactive elements, theatrical devices, large artifacts, and more to tell the story of the NTS. It’s a must see for history buffs and budding scientists.
- The Pinball Hall of Fame: If you’re looking for affordable fun, the Pinball Hall of Fame can provide. A handful of quarters is guaranteed to buy you hours of fun on machines that date all the way back to the ’60s.
4. Seattle, WA
When you think of Seattle, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Was it Starbucks, or the rain? Truth be told, the Emerald City has more to offer than you would think. Some of these attractions include:
- Olympic National Park: This park is arguably one of the most beautiful destinations in the entire country. Just one day spent exploring here will take you to colorful oceanic tide pools, meadows of wildflowers, and majestic mountain vistas. As you can see, this park is three destinations in one.
- Hoh Rainforest: This rainforest is located in Olympic National Park. It’s lush flora and abundant fauna makes it the perfect place for hikers and those who love to explore.
- The Museum of Flight: This museum was created in an attempt to preserve the artifacts that depict the evolution of flight. It is a must see for every aviation enthusiast.
- The Space Needle: This iconic classic offers amazing views of the entire city of Seattle. As an added bonus, it features the Sky City bar serving a selection of delicious local beers.
- Woodland Park Zoo: This zoo sees over one million visitors each year. It features over 300 different species of animals from all over the world. Also, the zoo’s botanical collection is quite abundant.
5. Denver, CO
Denver is the one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. This densely populated locale is home to majestic mountain ranges that offer incredible views and world class hiking and skiing opportunities. Not to mention, Denver is also the home of some amazing national sports teams. So what are people checking out when they visit? Some of the more popular attractions in and around the city include:
- Rocky Mountain National Park: The amazing sights at this 415 square mile park are truly spectacular. This beautiful park is definitely worth a visit when you are in the area.
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre: This natural rock structure is the perfect place to catch a live show or watch a movie under the stars. There’s even a decent little restaurant nearby where you can try elk burgers.
- Missile Silo Park: Visit this park and catch an interesting tour of an abandoned missile silo. You will be able to check out the command control center, the missile maintenance room, and the living quarters of the men who monitored the missile. As an added bonus, this park was built on the bluffs that are next to the Poudre River Valley. This area offers visitors breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.
- Denver Zoo: This perfect family friendly destination is one of the most popular zoos in the country. It is home to almost 700 different species of animals.
- Denver Art Museum: Spend a few hours at one of the biggest art museums between the West coast and Chicago. It is home to over 70,000 works of art ,and nine permanent collections. This huge collection makes it an excellent place to learn about different cultures around the planet.
6. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is world renowned for its Cajun cuisine and Mardi Gras festivities. But this intriguing city offers other attractions as well including:
- St. Louis Cemetery #1: This uniquely beautiful above ground cemeteries was constructed in the 18th century. It is believed to be the final resting place of Marie Laveau, the famous voodoo queen. It is the perfect place to get in touch with your spooky side.
- Bourbon Street: Admittedly, this historic street in the French Quarter has an adult-themed reputation. This is due to all-night partying opportunities and burlesque clubs. But this infamous street is also rich in history that dates back to the early 1700s.
- Cafe du Monde: This traditional coffee shop has been in business for well over a hundred years. Stop by and experience some of its world class beignets and other delicious pastries. You won’t regret it.
- Antoine’s Restaurant: This restaurant has been in business for almost two hundred years making it America’s oldest family run establishment. They offer fresh food, delicious cocktails, and a varied wine selection. There is a dress code, but the ambiance and tasty dishes are well worth it.
7. Portland, OR
Take a chance and hang with the hipsters at one of the coolest city in America. Don’t believe me? Check out just some of the attractions this city has to offer before you make up your mind:
- Powell’s City of Books: For book lovers, a visit to the largest independent bookstore in the world is like being in heaven. This building encompasses an entire city block and houses over four stories of books.
- Things from Another World: This comic book store was incorporated in 1979. Since then it has grown into the 3rd largest comic book retailer in the entire nation. They offer an amazing selection of graphic novels, comic books, statues, toys, and other pop culture goodies.
- Full Sail Brewing Company: This local brewery offers delicious craft beers and tasty pub food. You can even take a tour and learn how they brew their delicious offerings.
- Doug Fir Lounge: This venue may be state of the art, but its intimate atmosphere adds an extra element. This is one of the best places in Portland to experience live music acts.
- Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade: This premiere class arcade is arguably the best place to play pinball in the entire city of Portland. It is dedicated to both celebrating and preserving video games from the “golden age.” This two story building features over 50 classic video games and 27 pinball games. They also sell refurbished vintage home systems like Super Nintendo and Atari 2600. To make things even cooler, they serve alcoholic drinks at night for a more adult element.
8. Nashville, TN
Nashville is the place to be if you have dreams of making it big in the country music scene. It is also the place to visit if you simply want to dance to the music. These two reasons are why this city is one of the most popular road trip destinations in the US. But that’s not all — Nashville has plenty more to offer. Some of these attractions include:
- Grand Ole Opry House: No visit to Nashville is complete without a stop to this American icon. This world famous attraction has been open for well over 80 years. It is the place to be for unique entertainment experiences that are suitable for all ages.
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: This huge museum is the perfect stop for all music lovers. It features a ton of memorabilia, instruments, and other fun aspects to really sink your teeth into.
- B.B. Kings Blues Club: This intimate supper club style restaurant offers live music daily. It has four full-service bars and a menu full of delicious comfort food that is sure to please.
- Loveless Cafe: This is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Nashville. It offers delicious and authentic southern cuisine that has won the praise of food connoisseurs like Bobby Flay and Martha Stewart. A visit here offers the chance for you to fill up on delicious foods like chicken livers and fried catfish. Their biscuits aren’t half bad either.
- Jack Daniels Distillery: If you love Jack Daniels, a visit to this distillery offers a firsthand look at how this delicious brew is made. Their distillery tours also include a sampling of their hometown product.
9. Chicago, IL
Chicago has long been considered to be one of the hottest destinations in America. The following attractions make it easy to see why:
- Wrigley Field: To be honest, this park is a little outdated but, it’s also full of history. This fact alone makes it work a visit, whether there’s a game or not. While there be sure to check out the statues and plaques that tell the true story of Wrigley Field.
- Millennium Park: This park is the perfect place to spend a beautiful day. It is located in the heart of the city and features an innovative collection of architecture, art, and landscape design. It is also the home of Lollapalooza.
- The Willis Tower: Better known as the Sears Tower, it is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. This makes it the perfect place to get a good view of Chicago. It was also one of the locations where the popular movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was filmed.
- Museum Campus: This 57 acre museum park sit on the shores of Lake Michigan and contains three museums, an aquarium, and more. It is the perfect family friendly destination when visiting Chicago.
- Ginos East: This family friendly pizzeria was featured on Man vs Food with Adam Richman, and it’s easy to see why. Their deep dish pizzas are simply delicious and they offer affordable prices, especially during lunch.
- Mr. Beef: This restaurant is located in the heart of the River North neighborhood and has been in business for over three decades. It serves the best Italian Beef sandwiches that you will find anywhere.
- Green Mill Jazz Club: This Jazz club has an auspicious history that dates back to the days of Al Capone. In fact, this venue was one of his favorite haunts. Stepping into this bar will take you on an incredible trip back in time. It also offers some of the best music in the city.
10. San Diego, CA
San Diego is a popular destination simply because it is situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. But that’s not all that this amazing city has to offer. Some other excellent attractions include:
- San Diego Zoo: This world famous zoo sits on 100 acres and is home to almost 700 species of animals. It is a great place to spend an entire day with the family.
- Hotel del Coronado: This iconic hotel was built well over 100 years ago and is considered one of the most beautiful resorts in America. It is a San Diego National Historic Landmark and is even rumored to have ghostly guests.
- Balboa Park: This beautiful Spanish inspired park is full of museums and gardens that will enrich your soul. It is located on over 1000 acres and is a must see during any San Diego vacation.
- Sunset Cliffs Natural Park: This park sits on almost 70 acres of land that extend along the western shoreline of the Point Loma peninsula. It offers visitors dramatic caves and cliff formations, breathtaking ocean views, and more.
- The Gaslamp Quarter: This premiere dining, shopping, and entertainment district is an elite urban destination. It features over 200 bars, restaurant, nightclubs, art galleries, and more.
What do you think? Where you inspired? Did I leave out any cities that should have been on the list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.