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Best Places to Visit in the USA

Thousands of travelers have weighed in to help U.S. News recommend the best vacation spots in the USA. Our readers' top picks range from beach destinations (like Maui and San Diego) to national parks (like Yellowstone and Yosemite) to big cities (like New York and San Francisco). We hope this list helps you come up with some ideas for your next vacation. Please cast your vote for your favorite vacation spots below.

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#1
Maui

Why go: With idyllic beaches and verdant mountains, Maui is escapism at its finest. Here, you can spend your days admiring the scenery as you cruise along the Road to Hana or lounge across the sands of Kaihalulu. Sampling the island's seafood is also a must. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maui

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Why go: With steaming geysers, multicolored pools, bubbling hot springs and hiking trails that stretch for miles, there's plenty to excite nature-lovers in this national park. Plus, animal fans will appreciate a visit to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center to learn about wildlife in the area. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yellowstone

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Why go: The nation's capital has a lot going for it. Iconic landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument allow you to sightsee for days. Just make sure to save some energy for an evening out — D.C. boasts a lively restaurant and bar scene. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Washington D.C.

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Why go: San Francisco's culture has been affected by many different populations and social movements. The best way to perceive the City by the Bay's character is to explore each indiviudal neighborhood. From the Mission to the Castro, visitors appreciate each enclave's offerings. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Francisco

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Why go: Museum-strolling, theater-going, bar-hopping — the sheer number of things to do in the Big Apple puts most of its U.S. peers to shame. When you need some respite from the city's busy streetlife and soaring skyscrapers, retreat to scenic Central Park. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in New York City

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Why go: San Diego appeals to many different traveler types. While the beach is the marquee attraction, the city also boasts a love of outdoor activities and a vibrant downtown dining scene. Meanwhile, the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld offer good times for all ages. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Diego

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Why go: In Yosemite, you can check out famous landmarks like Half Dome or get some exercise hiking the John Muir Trail. Come in spring, summer of fall to avoid winter's wet weather conditions. And if you're not one for camping, you can make this park a day trip from San Francisco. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yosemite

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Why go: Oahu features a nice balance of urban and beach environments. And with pleasant weather year-round, there really is no bad time to visit. Waikiki Beach promises to please, but be forewarned: There's a good chance you will be greeted by a barrage of tourists. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Honolulu - Oahu

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Why go: A trip to Disney World is a rite of passage kids. And over the years, the "Imagineers" of Disney have gone to great lengths to enchant adults, too. More than ever before, Disney World offers a type of escapism you can't find anywhere else. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Orlando-Walt Disney World

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Why go: Nature, history, sunbathing and shopping can all be found here, if you pick the right spot. But it is the natural beauty of the USVI that keeps travelers returning. To experience the landscape at its purest, visit the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

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#11
Anchorage

Why go: The Anchorage Museum and Alaska Native Heritage Center provide a perfect introduction to "The Last Frontier." And you can break in your hiking boots along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and in Kincaid Park. Just save some time for exploring the city's shops and eateries. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Anchorage

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#12
Cape Cod

Why go: While the Cape's shoreline entices many visitors, the main draw here is the sense of tradition and laid-back atmosphere. Cape Cod hosts a loyal following of Northeasterners during the summer season; this can make house rentals and hotel rooms expensive, so book early. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cape Cod

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#13
Chicago

Why go: Chicago is known for its architecture — so much so that numerous companies offer tours devoted to the Windy City's buildings. And at the foot of Chi-town's iconic skyline lay a host of world-class museums, stand-out restaurants and eclectic neighborhoods. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Chicago

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Why go: With an enviable location near Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, Jackson Hole appeals to outdoorsy travelers. Whether you're skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or visiting the National Elk Refuge, you'll be in awe of what this destination has to offer. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Jackson Hole

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Why go: To experience some of the most inspiring views the American landscape has to offer, plan a trip to the Grand Canyon. Whether you choose to hike the Bright Angel Trails or raft the Colorado River, you're sure to encounter plenty of photo-worthy vistas. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Grand Canyon

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Why go: Beautiful architecture, relaxing beaches and plenty of Southern charm are the defining elements of Charleston. Exploring historic sites and nearby museums is a great way to spend your afternoons. Plus, Charleston also has offers mouthwatering Southern cuisine. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Charleston

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#17
Las Vegas

Why go: Some of the best dining, shopping and nightlife in the world can be found at America's playground. Though it may not be ideal for everyone, Sin City is a great getaway if you're looking to escape the real world  however innocently or as excessively as you choose. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Las Vegas

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Why go: Does any city in America have a culture more unique than the Big Easy? A melting pot of influences ranging from Caribbean to European, New Orleans has a distinct personality. This vibrant city welcomes visitors with all the gumbo, jazz and partying they can handle. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in New Orleans

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#19
Seattle

Why go: Seattle may be known for its consistently soggy weather, but this Pacific Northwest city has plenty to offer. Seattle exudes a laid-back aura, where cafe and bar culture reign supreme. Spend your stay mingling with Seattleites at Pike Place Market or on the slopes of Mount Si. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Seattle

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#20
Aspen

Why go: The snow-capped Colorado Rockies lure visitors from around the country in search of incomparable skiing and hiking trails. Your time off the slopes will be exciting, too: Quirky museums, high-end shopping areas and cozy mountain resorts please a variety of travelers. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Aspen

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