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Must-See American Cities
for Your Travel List

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Must-See American Cities for Your Travel List

We're taking a closer look at 10 of the most visited US cities, from famous metropolises to charming historic towns. Whether you're interested in the glamour of Hollywood, the rich history of Boston, or the vibrant music scene of New Orleans, there's something for everyone. 

New York City, NY

Experience the vibrant heart of New York City, where iconic landmarks like Times Square and Central Park blend with the diverse cultures of its neighbourhoods. Every visit to the Big Apple promises new discoveries and unforgettable adventures, making it a city that truly never sleeps.

What to see in New York City

  • Statue of Liberty: An iconic symbol of freedom and democracy, this landmark offers breathtaking views and a rich history.

  • Central Park: An oasis in the midst of the city's hustle, perfect for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying nature - and a must for any FRIENDS fan!

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Home to over two million works of art spanning 5,000 years, it's a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs.

Where to eat in New York City

  • Breakfast: Tom's Restaurant A classic Brooklyn diner offering hearty meals in a setting that's been a local favourite for decades.

  • Lunch: Prince Street Pizza Known for their pepperoni slices, it's a must-visit for pizza lovers seeking quality on a budget.

  • Dinner: John's of Bleecker Street An authentic New York pizzeria serving coal-fired, thin-crust pizzas in a historic setting since 1929.

Top tip for visiting New York City

Experience New York City's soul by exploring its diverse neighbourhoods: SoHo's chicness, Greenwich Village's charm, and Harlem's culture. Each offers a unique slice of the Big Apple!

Los Angeles, CA

Dive into the sprawling allure of Los Angeles, a city where the glamour of Hollywood, sun-kissed beaches, and culture collide. Whether you're catching a sunset on Venice Beach or walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles promises endless sunshine and unforgettable moments.

What to see in Los Angeles 

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame: Explore the Hollywood Walk of Fame to walk alongside the legends of entertainment, where every step tells a story.

  • Griffith Observatory: Stunning views of the city and the heavens, making it a spot for both science enthusiasts and romantics.

  • Getty Center: A unique blend of art, architecture, and gardens, providing a serene experience amidst the bustling city.

Where to eat in Los Angeles

  • Breakfast: The Griddle Cafe  

Known for its massive, creative pancakes, this spot is a local favourite for a hearty start to the day.

  • Lunch: Guisados  

A variety of authentic, homestyle braised meat tacos in a casual setting, perfect for a midday meal.

  • Dinner: Daikokuya 

A local ramen spot beloved for its rich tonkotsu ramen, offering an authentic taste of Japanese cuisine in LA.

Top tip for visiting Los Angeles

Catch a sunset at Venice Beach for a quintessential L.A. experience!

Chicago, IL

Chicago, the Windy City, stands tall with its striking skyline, deep-dish pizza, and rich history. Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, it's a city of architectural marvels, vibrant arts, and lush parks.

What to see in Chicago

  • Millennium Park: Famous for the Cloud Gate sculpture, the park is a lively gathering spot with art, music, and architecture.

  • Willis Tower Skydeck: See breathtaking views of Chicago from the glass boxes extending out from this skyscraper. Standing at 103 floors and 1,353 feet in the air, this isn't for the faint hearted! 

  • Art Institute of Chicago: Home to an impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, it's a must-visit for art lovers.

Where to eat in Chicago

  • Breakfast: Lou Mitchell's  

A historic diner serving classic American breakfasts since 1923, known for its made-from-scratch meals.

  • Lunch: Portillo's 

Famous for its Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, offering a true taste of Chicago.

  • Dinner: Pilsen Yards 

A vibrant spot with creative Mexican food and a lively atmosphere, reflecting Chicago's diverse culinary scene.

Top tip for visiting Chicago

Don’t miss the chance to take an architectural river cruise; it's a unique way to see the city's iconic buildings.

San Francisco, CA

Experience the captivating beauty of San Francisco, where the Golden Gate Bridge beckons you into a city of steep hills, iconic cable cars, and a blend of cultures. San Francisco is a city where tradition and modernity intertwine, offering breathtaking views and cultural richness.

What to see in San Francisco

  • Golden Gate Bridge: An iconic symbol of San Francisco, known for its striking red colour and majestic span.

  • Alcatraz Island: A glimpse into the intriguing history of the infamous former prison along with panoramic views of the bay.

  • Fisherman's Wharf: Known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood, and the lively atmosphere, making it perfect for explorers.

Where to eat in San Francisco

  • Breakfast: Tartine Bakery

An internationally recognised bakery offering the finest artisan bread and pastries in a cosy cafe setting.

  • Lunch: Swan Oyster Depot

A historic seafood counter serving fresh oysters, crab, and clam chowder, showcasing San Francisco's seafood tradition.

  • Dinner: Taqueria El Farolito  

A must-visit for authentic Mexican food in San Francisco, known for its huge, delicious burritos.

Top tip for visiting San Francisco

Ride the historic cable cars for a nostalgic trip through the city's hilly streets.

New Orleans, LA

Step into the vibrant heartbeat of New Orleans, a city pulsing with jazz, Creole cuisine, and heaps of spirit. The French Quarter, with its ornate balconies and lively streets, tells tales of history, while the sounds of live music and the scent of gumbo fill the air.

What to see in New Orleans

  • French Quarter: Known for its vibrant nightlife, colourful buildings, and jazz music, embodying the spirit of New Orleans.

  • Garden District: Showcases stunning historic homes and lush gardens, offering a peaceful retreat from the noise of the city.

  • National WWII Museum: Provides an immersive insight into the American experience during WWII.

Where to eat in New Orleans

  • Breakfast: Café du Monde  

A New Orleans landmark known for its beignets and café au lait, offering a taste of French and Creole cultures.

  • Lunch: Willie Mae's Scotch House 

Famed for its fried chicken, this spot offers soul food that's deeply embedded in the city's culinary heritage.

  • Dinner: Coop's Place

A casual bar and restaurant serving authentic Cajun and Creole dishes that are as flavorful as the city itself.

Top tip for visiting New Orleans

Immerse yourself in the vibrant jazz scene with a night out on Frenchmen Street!

Philadelphia, PA

Discover the birthplace of America in Philadelphia, where historic landmarks like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall stand alongside vibrant neighbourhoods and an innovative food scene. Immerse in its rich arts and culture, and savour the flavours of its diverse culinary landscape.

What to see in Philadelphia

  • Liberty Bell Center: starting in a foundry in Whitechapel, London, England, this bell cracked on its first ring, was melted down and cracked again. An enduring symbol of American freedom, its history and the iconic crack attract visitors from around the world.

  • Independence Centre: The birthplace of the United States, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were debated and adopted.

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: Not just for its famous steps but also for its extensive and varied collection, attracting art enthusiasts.

What to eat in Philadelphia

  • Breakfast: Reading Terminal Market 

A historic market offering a variety of local, fresh breakfast options from various vendors under one roof.

  • Lunch: John's Roast Pork  

Known for its award-winning cheesesteak and roast pork sandwiches, a quintessential Philly experience.

  • Dinner: Jim's Steaks Authentic Philly cheesesteaks that taste great, with a local vibe, and unbeatable prices.

Top tip for visiting Philadelphia

Climb the "Rocky Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Try to do it without humming the theme tune. Or shadow boxing at the top.

San Antonio, TX

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of San Antonio, where the historic Alamo meets the lively River Walk. This city is a blend of Spanish colonial architecture, Tex-Mex culture, and Texas hospitality. 

What to see in San Antonio

  • The Alamo: A historic Spanish mission and fortress compound, famous for the 1836 battle, symbolising Texan courage and sacrifice - legendary!

  • San Antonio River Walk: A network of walkways along the San Antonio River, lined with bars, shops, restaurants, and nature, offering a unique urban sanctuary.

  • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: A UNESCO world heritage site, Known as the "Queen of the Missions" for its beautiful stone church and historic significance.

What to eat in San Antonio

  • Breakfast: Taco Taco Café 

Offers some of the best breakfast tacos in the city, embodying San Antonio's rich Tex-Mex tradition.

  • Lunch: The Smoke Shack  

Known for its Texas-style barbecue, providing a savoury taste of San Antonio's smokehouse culture.

  • Dinner: La Fonda on Main  

The city's oldest Mexican restaurant, offering traditional dishes in a historic setting.

Top tips for visiting San Antonio

Stroll the River Walk at dusk when the paths are lit with lanterns and the city comes alive.

San Diego, CA

Bask in the warmth of San Diego, where the surf meets the city, and the weather is always inviting. Known for its stunning beaches, world-class zoo, and laid-back vibe, San Diego is a haven for those seeking adventure or relaxation.

What to see in San Diego

  • Balboa Park: A vast cultural park home to museums, gardens, and the San Diego Zoo.

  • San Diego Zoo: Renowned for its conservation efforts and extensive variety of animals, it's a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts.

  • USS Midway Museum: A fascinating look at naval aviation and the life of sailors aboard an aircraft carrier.

Where to eat in San Diego

  • Breakfast: Kono's Cafe 

A beachfront spot known for its big breakfasts and ocean views, capturing the laid-back vibe of San Diego.

  • Lunch: Hodad's 

Famous for its massive, flavorful burgers and a surfer atmosphere that's authentically San Diego.

  • Dinner: Oscar's Mexican Seafood 

Specialises in Mexican seafood tacos and ceviches, reflecting San Diego's coastal and cultural influences.

Top tip for visiting San Diego

Explore the Gaslamp Quarter, a lively downtown neighbourhood known for its nightlife, restaurants, and Victorian architecture.

Boston, MA

Walk through the cobblestone streets of Boston, where the Freedom Trail leads you past landmarks steeped in America's founding story. This is a city of revolutionary history, intellectual prowess, and cultural depth!

What to see in Boston

  • Freedom Trail: A 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston, passing by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States.

  • Fenway Park: An Iconic ballpark and home of the Boston Red Sox, offering a glimpse into one of America's favourite sports!

  • Boston Public Garden: America's first public botanical garden, right in the heart of the city.

Where to eat in Boston

  • Breakfast: Mike's City Diner  

A classic diner offering hearty breakfasts that have become a Boston tradition.

  • Lunch: Galleria Umberto 

Very popular, affordable Sicilian pizza. The shop closes when sold out, usually in the early afternoon - so be quick!

  • Dinner: Neptune Oyster  

Known for its lobster rolls and oysters, showcasing the best of New England seafood in Boston's historic North End.

Top tip for visiting Boston

Make sure to explore the city's vibrant culinary scene, especially its renowned seafood - head to the historic Seaport District for a delicious and picturesque dining experience over the harbour!

San Jose, CA

Step into the futuristic Silicon Valley by visiting San Jose, a hub of innovation, technology, and modern culture. Amidst the tech campuses and startups, discover a city with beautiful parks, diverse neighbourhoods, and a vibrant arts scene. 

What to see in San Jose

  • Winchester Mystery House: An architectural wonder and historic mansion known for its size, architectural curiosities, and lack of any master building plan - flashlight tours available!

  • Santana Row: A vibrant district offering a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

  • The Tech Interactive: Hands-on technology and science exhibits, reflecting San Jose's Silicon Valley roots.

What to eat in San Jose

  • Breakfast: Bill's Café

A beloved local chain known for its generous breakfasts and brunches.

  • Lunch: La Victoria Taqueria  

Famous for its "Orange Sauce" and authentic Mexican street food, offering a taste of San Jose's vibrant Mexican-American community.

  • Dinner: Original Joe's San Jose 

An Italian-American restaurant serving classic dishes in a historic downtown setting, a testament to San Jose's cultural diversity.

Top tip for visiting San Jose

Explore the SoFA District, the city’s main arts and entertainment area, home to galleries, theatres, and live music venues, showcasing the creative side of Silicon Valley.

From the vibrant streets of New York to the scenic views of San Francisco, our top 10 cities in the US are a showcase of the nation's diversity and charm. Embark on a journey to explore the heart of America, city by city.

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