America’s top 10 vacation spots offer a wide variety of getaways. You can grab your umbrella or surfboard and head for the beach, or you can feast your eyes on a vast canyon, stand in the mist from a waterfall, slalom down a mountain, or place a bet on a roulette wheel.
Beaches: Hawaii and Florida
Whether you choose the archipelago or the peninsula, you will find lively stretches of beachfront, quiet sandy coves, crystal water and plenty of sun in Hawaii or Florida. Hawaii tops a lot of vacation lists with its active volcanoes, lush tropical forests, legendary surfing beaches and postcard views. Each of the main tourist islands has a range of accommodations and year-round access to every water sport. Florida is missing the volcanoes but makes up for it with Mickey Mouse. The beaches, from sugary white sand to pink shorelines dotted with cabanas, have gentler Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waves than do their Pacific counterparts but still provide good surfing, fishing and scuba diving. The big theme parks in the middle of the state offer a contrast to the beach-town feel of Florida’s extremes in Key West and the Panhandle.
Winter Sports: Utah and Alaska
Utah’s winter wonderland begins in Park City or Sundance with skiing, ice skating, snowboarding and other activities. Alaska has cruises on Prince William Sound, Glacier Bay and the Kenai Fjords along with skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and sled dogs in snow season. You can get away from your own gloomy winter weather and celebrate endless vistas of white snow, ice-capped mountains, rugged countryside and warm firesides after your workout on the slopes or a day spent tramping around the frozen wild.
Natural Wonders: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Niagara Falls
How do you choose among the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful in Wyoming, or majestic Niagara Falls in upstate New York? America’s topography is so diverse that you can travel around the whole country and still have more to see. These three sites are spectacular, iconic and perennial tourist draws. Your vacation offers the chance for some hiking, climbing, boating, and sightseeing.
Urban Wonders: New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas
America has great cities, and no two are alike. Choose either coast or somewhere in the middle for more attractions than you have time for. The Big Apple has Broadway, Carnegie Hall, world-class museums, fabulous shopping, amazing delis and restaurants, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Las Vegas serves up glitz, glamour, fabulous hotels and casinos and surprisingly family-friendly activities along with marquee performers. Don’t miss Bellagio’s Dancing Fountains and the MGM Grand. San Francisco has the bay, the bridge, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, excellent ballet and opera, memorable streetscapes and nearby wineries in Napa Valley.