When people plan family vacations, they often think of the typical major U.S. city or tropical destination. This year, instead of going to the same spots, consider adding one of these “alternate” cities suggested by the Sydney Morning Herald:
- San Diego: This SoCal city isn’t far from the U.S.-Mexico border and offers visitors a mission-style feel. If you’re looking for a family-friendly attraction, check out the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. It’s located in the cultural-filled Balboa Park, so it’s also other near other intriguing attractions such as the Natural History Museum, the Museum of Man and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. For those who want to go surfing, one of the best spots in the city is at Blacks Beach.
- Pittsburgh: This up-and-coming city in the Rust Belt is a foodie Mecca. You’ll want to heat to Burgh Bits And Bites for tasting tours that will take you visit some of the city’s most beloved bakers, delis and butchers. The artistic side of Pittsburgh is more than inspiring. You can visit the Warhol Museum to learn more about Andy Warhol and the masterpieces he created. The most beautiful sight to see in the city is perhaps the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh for its gothic architecture.
- Philadelphia: Head to one of the most historic cities in the country and the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall. You’ll also want to see the Eastern State Penitentiary, a prison that closed in 1971 but is open for tours and has a long list of ghost stories to make your visit an experience unlike any other.
- Santa Barbara: For a Los Angeles alternative, check out Santa Barbara. This beach city is home to wineries and the quintessential California beach style. The Santa Barbara Adventure Company offers tours that will take you on dolphin and sea lion encounters, or you can get the best look of the city from the water in a kayak rental.
- Key West: This southern-most city is a great place if you’re looking to relax. The water is crystal clear and the beaches are full of white sand. For a delicious dinner and tasty margarita, head to Duval Street. The biggest attraction on the island of Key West is The Vandenberg, a World War II vessel that wrecked just off the coast. There are daily trips that head out there and allow you to get an up close look of what remains.
Top cities to visit in the US
If you prefer going on a tropical vacation or heading to a tourist touting city, try these:
- Maui is everything you look for in a beach vacation. There are blue waters and white sand for miles and the mountains make it feel like you’re getting multiple vacations in done destination.
- Washington, D.C., is the place to go for everything related to American culture. At the nation’s capital you’ll find free memorials and sightseeing opportunities as well as several dining options.
- New York is often what many people think of when they imagine a vacation to a major city. The Big Apple has theaters, museums and some of the tallest buildings in the country. Be sure to take a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and visit Ground Zero, the site where the Twin Towers stood until the September 11 terrorist attacks.
- Orlando is home to Disney World and a place that children will always remember. The park features all their favorite Disney characters as well as rides that everyone in the family can enjoy.
- Chicago’s architecture is what draws in many tourists but there’s also a lot to do from museums to restaurants.