30 Places in the US You Should Visit in Your 20s
Your 20s are a time to get out and explore new cultures, but don’t forget to take advantage of the diverse destinations right here in the United States. Even if it’s a quick weekend trip, it will feed that desire of wanderlust in just a few hours by simply hopping on a train or taking a road trip.
From big, popular cities to laid-back coastlines, the United States is made up of so many unique spots that it could be hard to decide where to go next. Whether you’re a foodie who’s looking to try a new cuisine or a nature-lover who wants to hike the canyons, we’ve rounded up 2019’s best places to travel in the US if you’re in your 20s.
It’s called the “city that never sleeps” for a reason. New York City should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Manhattan’s burgeoning NoMad area is a good place for people in their 20s because it’s located in the heart of Manhattan and is the center of many of New York’s unique shopping areas. Stay at Innside by Meliá, which focuses on sustainability, a holistic lifestyle, music, and local culture.
Los Angeles should be a must-visit destination, mostly because of its year-round pleasant weather and great selection of food and culture. There’s everything from the Santa Monica pier to Beverly Hills – and the Hollywood sign, of course. For exceptional service, stay at Aka West Hollywood, which has amenities such as a residents-only bar and lounge, a pool with panoramic views, a private screening room, a 24-hour fitness center, and more.
Reno Tahoe, NV
Reno Tahoe offers outdoor adventure, delicious cuisine, and a thriving art scene. Visitors can check in to the Whitney Peak Hotel, a boutique, active-lifestyle and pet-friendly property with an onsite music venue, Cargo Concert Hall, and indoor rock-climbing gym. While in town, grab a bite to eat and try a beer flight nearby at The Depot, Nevada’s first combined brewery and distillery. Groups can also book a Reno Brew Bike to pedal together around town with their own local guide, stopping at all of Reno’s best pubs.
New Orleans offers a rich array of cultural activities, allowing travelers to feed their curiosity, indulge in delicious meals, and engage in exciting events all in one trip. For starters, New Orleans is home to popular festivals, including the French Quarter Fest and the two-weekend Jazz & Heritage Festival. The city continues to celebrate its rich history of French and American culture through additions to its diverse architecture, museums, extraordinary cuisine, vibrant music scene and nightlife, and more, allowing travelers to gain the most bang for their buck.
Aside from the fact that there are several universities in or near Baltimore, the city is a fun destination for travelers. Fells Point is known for its hip pubs and taverns, many with live music, as well as seafood joints serving Chesapeake Bay crab and oysters. Another must-visit area is Federal Hill, filled with trendy and upscale boutiques, bars, and more.
The main reason Tucson is great? It’s still an affordable city. Whether it’s tasting delicious Mexican food, enjoying live music downtown, or grabbing vintage wear that will be the envy of your friends, there’s a ton to do. Tucson manages to be easy to get to but off the beaten path and is filled with Instagram-worthy cacti, murals, and more.
Honolulu is a destination with a ton of festivals, making it great for someone with wanderlust. For instance, the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is based there with over 150 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, winemakers, and mixologists. The 135-room Shoreline Hotel Waikiki was recently redesigned with its new “neon meets nature” theme, which features vibrant photo backdrops and hotel decor worthy of social media posts.
Nashville has become a go-to spot for tons of travelers, especially those celebrating milestone birthdays and bachelor or bachelorette parties. Within the destination, there’s been an influx of cool hotel openings, like Bode Nashville, a new group-friendly hotel category perfect for friends who want to travel together.
Having recently undergone a transformation over the last couple of years, Durham is an emerging city, making it one of the most moved-to cities for young people. New, funky hotels are opening – such as The Durham and the 21c Hotel – hip lounges are serving craft cocktails and locally brewed beer and cider, and small boutiques are quickly filling up once-abandoned streets.
Central Pennsylvania is an underrated getaway for hard-working young professionals. Spend a long weekend on a vineyard tour, stopping at each of the area’s beautiful vineyards and wineries like Happy Valley and Mount Nittany. Then explore the depths of Penn’s Cave, the country’s only all-water cavern, and finish the weekend with a stop at Penn State’s Berkey Creamery, a contender for the best cone in all of the United States.
With endless fun things to do and delicious things to eat, Miami is a must-visit hot spot. No. 3 Social is named Miami’s most loved music venue and is a great rooftop bar in Wynwood, where art, culture, and music intertwine. It’s a sanctuary in the sky looking over Miami’s swanky art district that will keep anyone dancing all night long.
Austin is a popular travel destination for young professionals and students, mostly because of its thriving nightlife, weekend events, and some of the best BBQ in the country. Lou’s Bodega, a new East Side destination in Austin, just opened and is worth checking out. In true corner store fashion, Lou’s sells coffee, pastries, and more, as well as a cheerful all-day menu of comforting rotisserie fare to stay or go.
Portland is a hot-spot destination for travelers. The Alberta Arts District has a slew of bars, restaurants, boutiques, and art to discover. Portland is an eco-minded and culturally vibrant destination that’s increasing in popularity.
St. Pete/Clearwater, FL
Avoid the crowds and head to St. Pete/Clearwater, an overlooked warm-weather getaway in Florida. With a record-breaking 361 days of sunshine per year, it’s the perfect escape for a traveler. Aside from all of the outdoor fun, such as swimming with horses and see-through kayaking with manatees, St. Pete is an epicenter for arts and culture. Indulge in the city’s emerging food scene, sampling award-winning eats at FarmTable Cucina by Michelin-starred chef Michael Mina.
Chicago is constantly on the top of every travel list. It’s easy to get to and offers so many activities, from shopping to nightlife and museums. The one must-do is to take an architecture cruise down the Chicago River and learn about the city’s famed buildings and the history behind them. Stay at The Hoxton, a new hotel that’s set in the up-and-coming West Loop/Fulton Market neighborhood.
Savannah is a city that exudes both historical charm and modern beauty. It’s the oldest city in Georgia, featuring neighborhoods that offer something special for locals and travelers alike. The Alida is a 173-room hotel positioned along the pristine Savannah River Street in the up-and-coming Warehouse District. Bordered by burgeoning breweries, distilleries, and some of the city’s best shopping, the hotel is reflective of Savannah’s historic nature, while welcoming a new wave of travelers to this great city.
There’s something for everyone in Las Vegas. Discover the best of the city with new hotels opening this year, unlimited entertainment, unique restaurants, and a wide variety of casinos.
Any active traveler will love the magic of Kanab, where you can explore some of the state’s best outdoor and adventure-filled gems. Hike the slot canyons to snap shots at the stunning Peek-a-boo Canyon, volunteer alongside the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, or ride ATVs at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park at sunset.
Whether you’re a foodie or ski enthusiast, there are nonstop festivities happening in Breckenridge. With the ski season lasting until May, there’s always time to indulge in local brews and eateries along with a slew of outdoor events. Try something new like dog-sledding or snowmobiling.
Atlanta is an underrated city that everyone should visit. The music, BBQ, and local beer scenes set it apart from other cities and make it extremely unique.
Bristol Bay, AK
Alaska is huge, which means it offers an abundance of activities, especially for someone who loves the outdoors. Being adventurous gives you an advantage when traveling through the state. Tikchik Narrows Lodge is perfect for travelers, as it’s a fishing lodge that offers completely customizable outdoor adventures and a full Alaska experience.
Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs is a trendy destination, so naturally you’ll be drawn to it. Stay at The Saguaro Palm Springs, a colorful boutique hotel that’s located in Coachella Valley among the mountains with an outdoor pool and delicious restaurants. Beyond relaxing at the pool, visitors can check out art museums, waterfalls, gardens, and more.
Boston is the place to be for people looking to make the most of their weekend. Check out some of the hottest restaurants in the city, including Fox & the Knife, Bartaco, and Kamakura. While there are so many must-see spots in the city, it’s easy to devote time to discover the hidden gems in the charming and eclectic city.
The Woodlands, TX
Located just 30 minutes outside of downtown Houston, the Woodlands is an idyllic travel destination for city-slickers, complete with uniquely crafted dining concepts, deeply rooted cultural art experiences, access to more than 200 miles of nature paths and trails, and a variety of trendy high-end retailers. In recent years, the Woodlands community has seen massive growth in the hospitality landscape, including the newly opened dining concepts Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen and Como Social Club Poolside + Bar in Waterway Square.
Denver is a superaffordable destination with a plethora of things to do. The city is filled with parks, botanical gardens, art museums, and a cool downtown district. It’s grown into the ultimate beer and spirits hot spot, great for travelers looking to have a good time. While in town, catch a game at Coors Field or visit the Denver Art Museum.
Seattle’s hotel market has been on a record-setting run. The Moxy Seattle Downtown opened recently in South Lake Union and is geared specifically to young people with complimentary cocktails, trivia nights, and mobile check-ins.
Centrally located in Missouri along the Mississippi River, St. Louis is a confluence of Southern cuisine. The Central West End is known as one of St. Louis’s dining meccas, and for good reason. From brunch to after-hour bites and everything in between, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Take a long ride to the top of the world-famous Gateway Arch monument for the finest view of the city.
Philly is a vibrant, down-to-earth city and, best of all, home to the cheesesteak. Between exploring Rittenhouse Square and checking out the live music scene, there’s no way you can be bored in this city. The W Philadelphia is just steps away from the city center and offers high-tech amenities for travelers.