America the Beautiful: The Most Breathtaking Cities in the U.S.
America the Beautiful has been an anthem since the 19th century. Our good friend Woody Guthrie is kind enough to remind us that “This land is your land; this land is my land. From California to the New York island. From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me.”
The U.S. is unique due to its many states each having their own character, culture and ambiance; some cities are rich in greenery like Seattle in Washington, others are endowed with incredible beaches like St. Augustine and Miami in Florida, while others are renowned for their stunning architecture like New York City and San Francisco.
In no particular order, I present to you 15 cities in America notable for their charm and good looks:
Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah is probably the most picturesque city in the whole country. With beautiful Gothic-Revival architecture, waterfront views, alluring cobblestone streets, well-maintained parks and pure Southern charm, Savannah definitely lives up to its nickname; The Hostess City of the South.
St. Augustine, Florida.
This Spanish founded seaside city dates back to 1565 A.D. It is the oldest permanent European settlement in continental U.S. It features Spanish colonial architecture and has many historic buildings constructed in the centuries since. This being Florida it has beautiful stretches of white, sandy beaches and of course plenty of sunshine.
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Salt Lake City is the perfect blend of city living and countryside experience. It has a vibrant downtown area and is surrounded by the Great Salt Lake (from where it gets its name) and the Wasatch Range mountains.
In winter, Salt Lake City’s ski resorts lures adventure seekers and novices alike. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts also offers reprieve from the cold weather. Enjoy more than 900 acres of public parks during the summer or catch a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Temple Square; home to the gorgeous Gothic-style Salt Lake Temple.
New York, New York.
It does not get more city-ish than New York City. Everything about ‘the city that never sleeps’ is unique and beautiful. There is an intermingling of centuries old buildings with modern day skyscrapers, there are many famous bridges and waterfront views of the irresistible Manhattan skyline. There is a lot going on here, after all this is the financial capital of the world. There is art, culture, music and so much more.
This Pacific Northwest metropolis is a serious gem, surrounded by water and mountains it’s very easy to fall in love with this city. It’s home to giants like Starbucks and Amazon; it has an alluring sense of local culture from sleek boutiques, delicious eateries etcetera. And although it’s an urban setting, there are numerous hikes, and outdoor excursions all within the length of your arm. Also known as the Emerald City, it boosts not one, not two but more than 500 parks. Seattle’s art game is also strong with Dale Chiuly’s enchanting glasswork to the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Miami is basically heaven; it’s a tropical paradise and a multicultural center. It is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world. There is no shortage of flair and excitement in this Sunshine State locale: from world class shopping to beachside lounging, Art Deco architecture, sumptuous Cuban cuisine, and a vibrant art scene. DYK: Miami is also referred to as The Magic City because in the 1920s the real estate boom caused the population to grow so rapidly it seemed to be caused by magic.
Newport, Rhode Island.
This New England city is distinct because of its harbor where America’s cup – a sailing regatta – is held annually. It has prominent mansions (many of which have been transformed into museums) like the Breakers, Touro Synagogue, Newport Casino and Marble House; the houses are notable for their architecture and history. Theirs is also plenty of coastline and beaches to explore, as well as shopping, spa activities, wineries and a bustling nightlife.
San Francisco, California.
No matter how many times you visit The City by the Bay or how long you live there, the beauty of this place will always take your breath away. The city is scenic and welcoming, it has many major landmarks, cultural attractions and colorful streets lined with elaborate Victorian homes. And that is not enough; there are parks, stretches of sand, Instagram worthy views and Golden Gate Bridge serving as a romantic backdrop.
Charleston, North Carolina.
With its pastel-painted buildings and important history; dating back to the 1600s, Charleston is idyllic and epitomizes Southern charm. Dating back to the colonial era, the city has a fusion of Southern America, British, French and Afro-Caribbean cultural influences. Thanks to an abundance of art schools and galleries, the art scene in the city is quite enticing. Charleston has a reputation of its tolerance of religious freedom and has been referred to as The Holy City.
Washington, District of Columbia
As the capital of America the Beautiful, Washington D.C is a must-see, must-visit. It is also interesting, exciting and travel friendly destination. Throughout the city there are educational memorials, endless museums, political venues and also charming neighborhoods to explore such as Georgetown, Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle.
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Las Vegas, Spanish for The Meadows is officially known as the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas. It is an internationally renowned primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment and exuberant nightlife. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its mega-casinos, hotels and associated activities. It is a top three destination in the U.S. for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry. Vegas annually ranks as one of the most visited cities globally. The city’s tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title Sin City; this has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, films, television programs and music videos.
Minneapolis makes up half of the Twin Cities that the State of Minnesota is known for. The city is abundantly rich in water with 13 lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi river, creeks and waterfalls: many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Round National Scenic Byway. Whether you’re there to shop at the famous Mall of America or to take a hike to a waterful in Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis is a beautiful city with plenty of activities for all.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Virginia Beach beckons avid surfers looking to tackle its impressive Atlantic waves. Its boardwalks offer mouth-watering restaurants and peaceful romantic scenery, a great evening follow-up to an idyllic beach day. The Busch Gardens amusement park is a great draw for vacationing families. Virginia Beach is located right near Jamestown, America’s oldest existing settlement. The city is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world.
It is futile to try to explain where Nashville got the nickname Music City. Lovers of music, nature, food, and antiques can all find something to enjoy in Nashville. The lively town offers a thriving nightlife scene where you can catch up-and-coming singers and musicians perform every night. There’s also plenty of shopping at local vendors, delicious southern food, and recreational parks and lakes to experience.
San Diego, California.
The city of San Diego is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. Anyone who’s been to San Diego can attest to its natural beauty, clean streets, and fun activities. This California city is known for its stunning beaches, (almost) perfect weather, parks, gardens, and art galleries. Formerly settled by the Spanish and later by Mexicans, the city has a rich, cultural history that you can still feel today in places like Old Town.