As 2018 winds down, 2019 vacation planning for many is already underway! And rightfully so, you’ve worked hard this year and are more than deserving of some well-earned vacation time. For the adventurous travelers among us looking for a new favorite city to explore, we present to you 7 US cities ready to claim their share of the spotlight as top-tier destinations. Be the first of your friends and family to discover some of the hidden urban gems of the United States!
When you’ve selected your next place to explore and it’s time to book your getaway, TripAdvisor can help plan your whole itinerary. Start by finding a comfortable, affordable vacation home to stay in (bookable right on TripAdvisor). Then, choose from hundreds of thousands of bookable tours, excursions, attraction tickets, and more directly on our site, too! Our new 24-hour cancellation policy (for in-destination experiences) means you can pre-book before arriving, but still have the flexibility to cancel if your itinerary changes.
A mixture of urban chic and outdoor adventures, Spokane has something for everyone. Taste food by James-Beard-nominated chefs at Sante or The Wandering Table. Listen to live music at The Bartlett or the symphony at the iconic Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Glide over the breathtaking Spokane Falls, situated right downtown, in the SkyRide, rated as one of the world’s best gondolas. Kids can feed the Garbage-Eating Goat or slide down the giant Radio Flyer Red Wagon in Riverfront Park.
Plan your Spokane getaway on TripAdvisor
Browse top attractions, landmarks, and things to do in Spokane
With more surviving 18th century buildings than any other city in the United States, visiting Annapolis is like stepping back in time to the days when the city was a colonial seaport. Known as America’s Sailing Capital, the city is located on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and is a paradise for water lovers, famous for its crab cakes, lighthouses, and 500 miles of gorgeous shoreline. Tour the campus of the US Naval Academy, or the Maryland State House, the oldest state capitol still in use.
Plan your Annapolis getaway on TripAdvisor
Browse top tours, activities, attractions and other things to do in Annapolis
Nevada’s “other” gambling and resort town, Reno is located in the western part of the state near the California border. What the city lacks in glitz or reputation it more than makes up for in attractions and amenities. There are first-rate hotels, golf courses and casinos to rival its southern counterpart and, also like Las Vegas, Reno has become a popular destination for families. Galena Creek Park offers nature trails that even young children can navigate, plus organized educational events for families.
Plan your Reno getaway on TripAdvisor
Browse top attractions, activities and things to do in Reno
Discover an essential chapter of America’s history in the cobblestone streets, river walks and monuments of Richmond. Originally a colonial settlement, Virginia’s capital is now a thriving hub for culture, shopping and outdoor fun. Explore Civil War history at the Museum of the Confederacy, stroll along the canal downtown or test your nerve whitewater rafting on the James River. With lively neighborhoods and a vibrant restaurant scene, Richmond is perfect for a quick break or an extended getaway.
Plan your Richmond getaway on TripAdvisor
Browse top tours, activities, attractions, and other things to do in Richmond
Each year, horse enthusiasts hoof it to Louisville and Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby. In addition to equestrian endeavors and bluegrass roots, Louisville boasts a range of exciting attractions the whole family can enjoy. Stroll through Central Park, in the historic district, to people-watch and get a real feel for the city. Visit other nearby parks for hiking, biking and fossil finding. Baseball fans will love the Louisville Slugger Museum, a celebration of the sport’s legends. The museum is easy to spot, just look for the humongous bat that leans against the building.
Plan your Louisville getaway on TripAdvisor
Browse top tours, activities, attractions, and other things to do in Louisville
The name “Chattanooga” comes from the Creek Indian word for “rock coming to a point.” This refers to Lookout Mountain, one of the city’s major attractions. Here visitors can explore extraordinary rock formations, see a roaring enclosed waterfall and travel by train to the top of the mountain for truly awesome vistas. Back down on the ground, don’t miss the world’s largest freshwater aquarium, the Tennessee Aquarium. History enthusiasts will love the city’s museums dedicated to Civil War, Native American and 20th-century history. More than anything, Chattanooga is a scenic city, full of natural wonders waiting to be explored by foot, car, bike or train.
Plan your Chattanooga getaway on TripAdvisor
Browse top tours, activities, attractions, and other things to do in Chattanooga
Although Tucson’s fantastic weather, national parks and forests and desert provide the perfect environment for tons of outdoor recreational activities, this city of half a million people also has its share of history and culture. With a history that goes back much further than many of its southwestern neighbors, Tucson boasts turn-of-the-century architecture, historic neighborhoods, museums and the Mission San Xavier del Bac, a still-functioning 18th-century mission considered one of the most beautiful in the U.S. Mexican and Native American influences are pervasive, and the city has a distinctly Western flavor. There’s also a college-town atmosphere, thanks to the University of Arizona, which has its own share of museums and a science center. Whether golfing at a world-class golf resort, horseback riding, hiking in the wilderness, discovering desert flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum or exploring pre-Columbian and other art at the Tucson Art Museum, you’ll have a mind-boggling array of things to do.