America’s Top 20 Favorite Holiday Destinations

Some of America’s favorite holiday spots can be found in cities and coastal towns from east to west. Families and friends spend summer vacation at the coasts or in some of the most popular destinations across the US map. Most Americans fly south for the winter, but others find the best holiday celebrations in the city during the cold winter months. Some of the top American holiday destinations can be found on our list:


1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

One popular east coast beach vacation destination is none other than Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is a spring break favorite for college students, and it also draws a family crowd during the summertime. Some people like to get together with family and friends to rent a beach house for the week with the sandy Atlantic shores right out the back door. The waters here are warm for swimming, and the sunrise is incredible!


2. Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City is a one-of-a-kind place to gamble all your worries away with slots machines and cards at the casinos. The boardwalk is just as famous as the town itself with street names and places found in the popular board game Monopoly. That’s because it’s based on Atlantic City with a real life Park Place to compliment the Boardwalk. Atlantic City is situated along the Jersey Shore with fabulous ocean views and late nights out on the town.


3. Orlando, Florida

Between Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld—what’s not to like about Orlando? Many Americans love to spend summer vacation with the family in the sunny weather with some of the most entertaining theme parks in the world. That is because these monumental parks draw an international crowd that come to see favorites such as the Hogwarts Castle at Universal Islands of Adventure or Disney’s Epcot Center and Animal Kingdom. Rides, shows and islands of fun can all be found in Orlando.


4. New York City, New York 

Many Americans cannot resist a chance to see the Big Apple lit up at night. The theater performances, comedy clubs and nightlife in NYC only scratches the surface of what this metropolis has to offer. Some like to see the stunning skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and Lady Liberty at the edge of bay. Others cannot resist the many art museums such as ‘the Met’ or the Museum of Modern Art. But Rockefeller Center at Christmas and Times Square on New Years Eve stun the crowds with vibrant lights and lively celebrations.


5. Napa Valley

For those of you who consider yourselves wine connoisseurs, taste your heart away in Napa Valley just outside of San Francisco! Napa Valley is California wine country—home to a range of vineyards and tours that offer wine tasting. Just outside of San Francisco, there are many ways to see the vineyards with the wine train, bus tours, and bicycling the trails, while you learn about what goes into each and every bottle.


6. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is the life of the party every year during Mardi Gras—also known as the Carnival season or ‘Fat Tuesday’. This city goes all out and throws the biggest celebration on the block throughout the bars and clubs of Bourbon Street. New Orleans is home to live jazz music, Cajun cuisine and stunning architecture all year round. The charm of New Orleans is in its delicious and fresh seafood, colorful streets and rich history that draw many visitors to its place along the Gulf of Mexico.


7. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho

Yellowstone National Park is the location of America’s first national park and the largest collection of geysers on the planet! Many Americans come to this park to see Old Faithful—a giant geyser with a timely eruption period. There is no better place to explore the great outdoors than with a little camping and hiking along the trails here at Yellowstone. A trek through the forest is also worth it with flourishing wildlife and cascading waterfalls throughout the park.


8. The Grand Canyon 

The most clique family vacation in American history has to be the Grand Canyon. We’ve seen it on National Lampoon’s Vacation and can’t help but wonder if or own vacation to the Grand Canyon can ever be that hilarious. It’s sure to be memorable either way with a close look at the colorful geologic layers etched into the earth from on the back of a donkey down the canyon. Just north of the Grand Canyon is the famous Horseshoe bend of the Colorado River that makes for a stunning sight!


9. Southern California

Southern California has it all—the gorgeous beaches, the amusement parks, and the nightlife and entertainment. From San Diego up to LA, Americans love to vacation in sunny SoCal. When it comes to San Diego, the endless stretch of sandy beaches meets rock cliff coves creates the most amazing sunset scenery. In Anaheim, families spend summer vacation at Disneyland and California Adventure. Los Angeles also has its fair share of beaches, museums and unique nightly entertainment at the clubs and theaters. The best part—fresh avocados and cheap authentic Mexican food!


10. The Hawaiian Islands

Who could resist the tropic breeze, the swaying palms and the lush flora that paints the volcanic islands of Hawaii? Americans escape to Hawaii to enjoy the island lifestyle and sunny weather all year round. The crystal clear waters are great for surfing or scuba diving, and by night the entertainment is hot. When in Hawaii, be sure to experience a luau with a feast of food and dancing island girls by the fire. Hawaii is a great place for exquisite chocolates, Hawaiian BBQ and fresh fish at dinnertime.


11. Seattle

Seattle is the sleepy city on the water with stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound in the distance. This favorite destination of the Pacific Northwest paints a picture perfect skyline with the Space Needle and mount Rainier to the eastern horizon. Many like to visit popular city favorites such as the venders at Pike Place Market and art at Seattle Art Museum. Just outside of Seattle, families enjoy camping, hiking and kayaking in Washington’s many forested parks.


12. Alaskan Cruise 

Some Americans would rather flock to some place warm in the south while on vacation. But, there is something irresistible about the sights from a boat on the Pacific Ocean with an Alaskan Cruise. See the  ice-capped mountains and gorgeous Alaskan landscape along the coast. These cruises leave from Seattle and take you around Glacier Bay to witness magnificent snow and ice features, as you make your way up to Alaska.


13. Key West, Florida

Key West is the bottom of America, and the closest thing to the Bahamas in the US! You won’t get any nearer to that tropical island feel than when you are in Key West. This chain of land situated at the edge of the Caribbean is one of the most amazing beach destinations in Florida. Key West has it all, the white sand, the turquoise waters the palm trees and Sunset Festival—a unique celebration each night when the sun goes down.


14. Washington DC

A trip to Washington DC is filled with museum hopping, monument stopping and unique sightseeing  across streets of polished architecture. There’s so much to learn between the Smithsonian Museums, National Monuments and War Memorials that it would take days to see it all!  Some favorites are the Lincoln Memorial with reflecting pool and Washington Monument—a giant obelisk towering over the scenery. Of course, it’s difficult to resist a peek at the President’s home, so stop by the White House while in DC.


15. Las Vegas

Las Vegas remains one of America’s most treasured vacation destinations. That is because, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. This place is rightfully named ‘Sin City’ and has seen more shotgun weddings, than any other place in the US. The casinos, shows and nightlife are sure to keep you entertained for days on end. It’s also a great idea to choose wisely where you stay—there are so many themed hotels with attractions on-site. There need not be an occasion for any American to go to Vegas—only a reason to get out and enjoy the party!


16. Miami, Florida

Miami is the place to find all the beautiful sunbathers of Florida lying along the beaches. The famous Southbeach draws many Americans here for vacation, while the city itself heats up with bumping music in the clubs at night. Miami is home to an eclectic mix of Art Deco-stye architecture and sculptures along the city streets. The Little Havana district of Miami also offers visitors a look inside Florida’s Cuban influence with restaurants and specialized boutique shops.


17. The Outer Banks, North Carolina

Both the Outer Banks and Nag’s Head along the North Carolina coast make the perfect vacation destination for easterners. Americans love to get together with family and friends to rent out a beach house with stunning balcony views along these Atlantic shores. Here at the Outer Banks, there are opportunities for horseback riding and sightseeing at elegant estates at water’s edge.


18. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a Northern California favorite vacation destination for it’s unique activities and entertainment all year round. Here at Lake Tahoe you will find skiing, hiking the trails, swimming and snorkeling along the shore. One of the most unique things to do in Lake Tahoe is trek to the top of the hill to see the the elegant architecture of Vikingsholm. Lake Tahoe is a world class ski resort, and many Americans come here to enjoy a nice lodge vacation with plenty of time on the slopes.


19. Orlando, Florida

What would a Christmas be without spending at least on December 25th at the most magical place on earth.


20. Santa Claus, Indiana

Yes, really. There really is a town called Santa Claus and it happens to have one of the coolest and most inviting theme parks in all of America! Really, it does!


What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!


Taylor Goldblatt

After years of research, travel, and dreams, I have created this website for people like you who want to experience the things that only America can offer. My passion is to explore and share America's greatest destinations and attractions. Follow me on Twitter @USCityTraveler for additional travel tips and ideas.

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