A new year means opportunities to make new, unforgettable travel memories. This year, consider a visit to a US destination you may not have thought of before (or alternatively, see if the hype for some of America’s up-and-coming hotspots is justified). Each location on our list of where to travel in 2019 is growing in popularity for its own unique reasons. Many have annual events and festivals well worth the trip, and some are experiencing (or have already experienced) a resurgence of culture and entertainment. Whether you’re seeking a new culinary adventure, thriving art scenes, historic architecture, or sandy beaches, this year is the perfect time to plan a visit to one of these trending destinations.
Your trip will be busy with plenty of fun activities, so you’ll want a comfortable place to relax and unwind during your downtime. Booking a vacation rental from FlipKey offers exactly that, along with many of the amenities you’re used to at home—total privacy, a full kitchen, laundry, and more.
It’s time to make a New Year’s resolution: get out and explore! Here’s our list of the top places to visit in the US in 2019.
Asheville’s vibrant art scene, unique food culture, historic architecture, and gorgeous mountain scenery have earned it a spot on our list of the best places to travel in 2019—that is, if you haven’t already been! Craft beer in Asheville isn’t hard to find, and this Small-Group Downtown Brewery Walking Tour will give you an inside look at three breweries. Visit the sprawling 250-room Biltmore chateau, once home of the Vanderbilt family, for a fascinating look at Asheville’s past. For a nighttime thrill,embark on an Asheville Ghost Walking Tour for a unique evening of haunted history followed by exclusive access to the Asheville Mystery Museum.
Baltimore makes our list of best US destinations for all the history lovers and foodies among you! Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood is a culinary utopia, and booking a Fells Point Food Tour will take all of the guesswork out of choosing where to eat. Check out some of Baltimore’s oldest and most historic sights, as well as several television show locations, on a History & Culture Tour. Embark on a Baltimore Inner Harbor Sightseeing Tour to see this impressive city from a whole new perspective.
A quintessential New England city by the sea, Portland is chalk full of culture, cuisine, and natural beauty. New Englanders are serious about their beer, and Portland has no shortage of breweries. Try a Friday Evening Brewery Tour or a Portland Brewery Brunch Tour to sample some of the city’s local beer. Gorgeous natural gems are plentiful in Portland, like Diamond Cove or the Casco Bay Islands, just a brief ferry ride away. Restaurant Week runs during the first two weeks of March, so plan your visit then for awesome deals and special menus at the mouth-watering restaurants all over the city.
Santa Fe, NM
Boasting world-renowned cuisine, vibrant cultural attractions, and one of the country’s largest art scenes, Santa Fe has earned its title as one of the top places to travel in the US. From November through February, Santa Fe hosts “Artists in Residence,” where you can watch and interact with artists as they create jewelry, painting, and pottery. Eat and drink your way through the city on a Taste of Canyon Road Food Tour. Explore some of the stunning natural beauty of Santa Fe while hiking on Atalaya Mountain Trail or strolling through Hyde Memorial State Park.
Kansas City, MO
Smooth sounds of jazz fill the air in Kansas City. In a city with such a musical legacy, it’s a great idea to visit during the annual Blues and Jazz Festival held every July. A visit to the famous jazz club the Blue Room is a must-do during your stay. Kansas City is equally famous for its world-renowned barbecue, which you can sample on an Original KC Barbecue Tour. Interestingly, Kansas City has been nicknamed “The City of Fountains,” boasting over 40 public fountains that will make for some awesome photo-ops during your visit.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
When looking for places to travel in 2019, consider a warm beach escape to sunny Fort Lauderdale. Spend a day lounging by the shore at Las Olas Beach or the larger Fort Lauderdale Beach, where thrill seekers can soak up the sun while soaring above the blue waters during a parasailing adventure. Consider booking a Walking Food Tour of Las Olas Boulevard to experience some of the city’s most popular cuisine. A memorable way to spend the afternoon is on a Venice of America Tour, a relaxing cruise along the riverfront past Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful marinas and piers.
Long Beach, CA
Another great 2019 destination for beach bums is Long Beach, a seaside city outside of Los Angeles with so much to see and do. Check out the Aquarium of the Pacific, an exciting destination full of diverse marine life that is fun for all ages. Stunning Catalina Island is just a short and scenic ferry ride away, and well worth the trip. Keep an eye out for dolphins and whales along the way! As far as cuisine goes, Long Beach is a seafood devotee’s paradise. Head out on a Beach City Food Tour to sample a variety of the city’s best cuisine. For true fanatics, the annual Long Beach Seafood Festival, held every May, is a can’t-miss.
Columbus is a trendy destination that earned a spot on our list of the best places to travel in 2019 for its vibrant downtown, lush gardens, and beautiful parks. Head to Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens or the Topiary Garden for a relaxing and beautiful stroll among flowers and lush plant life. Explore downtown with a local expert on a Columbus Short North Walking Tour, learning history, touring art galleries, and stopping by other local hotspots. If you can, catch a show at the historic and elegant Ohio Theater, where you can see anything from Broadway shows to live concerts.
In the heart of Wine Country, Healdsburg is a destination for the ultimate foodie. This beautiful town full of sprawling vineyards and beautiful parks boasts more than a few Michelin star restaurants! There’s Single Thread, Madrona Manor, Chalkboard, and Bravas Bar de Tapas, and you can try them all during your stay. Experience some of Healdsburg’s premium wines paired with delectable cuisines on a Wine Tasting and Food Pairing Guided Walking Tour. There’s much to do when you’re not eating or drinking, too, like an afternoon spent at scenic Lake Sonoma. For a memorable outing, consider booking a Sonoma Horseback-Riding Tour, a relaxing ride complete with unforgettable views of Wine Country.
Louisville, home of the world famous Kentucky Derby, is a colorful Southern city that’s only growing better with time, earning its place as one of the top places to travel in the US this year. If you can’t make it here to see the historic horse race in person, the Kentucky Derby Museum is the next best thing. Plan a visit to the Louisville Mega Cavern, the world’s only underground zipline tour, for a super fun and unique experience. This city’s booming craft beer scene is not to be missed, and you can sample a wide range of local beers from several breweries on a Derby City Beer Tour.
Beautiful Bend is the ideal destination for travelers looking to get outdoors and explore one of the US’s natural gems. Because there is so much beauty to behold here, photography tours are popular attractions. Explore and photograph some of the most stunning spots in the Oregon high desert by day or night with a local guide from the Cascade Center of Photography in tow. Visit Newberry National Volcanic Monument to gaze in awe at perfectly preserved volcanic material and an enormous lava cave you can trek through. If you can make it to Bend in mid-July, you’ll get to experience the annual Bend Summer Festival, a city-wide celebration with artists, live performers, craftsmen, and an enormous international marketplace.
Buffalo is evolving into an exciting hotspot for art, cuisine, history, and culture. During your visit, try a Greatest Hits Bike Tour to see some of the city’s most fascinating architecture and learn some of Buffalo’s underground history. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time upon entering the Ellicott Square Building, another incredible architectural attraction. Buffalo is just under a half hour drive from Niagara Falls, and well worth the trip. On a Niagara Falls USA Fireworks Tour, you’ll get to experience the beauty of the falls at night and watch as a fireworks display explodes overhead.
A thriving city flanked by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville is a worthy addition to our list of the top places to visit in the US this year. It boasts a colorful art scene, diverse cuisine, great shopping, and dozens of museums and landmarks. The heart of the city was named one of America’s Best Downtowns by Forbes Magazine, and for good reason. Be sure to visit Liberty Bridge, an incredible pedestrian suspension bridge with an unparalleled view of the Reedy River Falls, a waterfall that flows right through the center of town. Visit Greenville in mid-July to experience the Hot Air Balloon Festival, just minutes from downtown!
St. Petersburg, FL
Nicknamed the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg is a warm and pleasant beach town on Florida’s Gulf Coast with much to see and do. Springtime visitors won’t want to miss the St. Petersburg Mainsail Arts Festival, a joyful celebration with artists, food, live music, and entertainment. There’s a lot to do out on the water in St. Petersburg, like this Mangrove Kayak Tour, or a Stand up Pedalboard Tour where you’re likely to spot dolphins and manatees. On a St. Petersburg Speedboat Adventure, you’ll take the wheel of your very own speedboat, exploring the coastline in style.
A staple of the South full of history, music, culture, and soul food, Birmingham is a charming Southern escape. Birmingham played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement and is home to several sites on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail including the 16th Street Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Kelly Ingram Park. Regardless of when you visit, you won’t want to miss out on Birmingham’s incredible cuisine, and a Best of Bham Food and Drink Tour will take the guesswork out of finding the city’s greatest eats. On a Historical Highlights Tour, you’ll spend a memorable afternoon learning about Birmingham’s rich history, including local secrets you won’t find in the guidebooks.
Flagstaff is the ideal getaway for those seeking stunning natural surroundings and fascinating cultural attractions. Visit the Wupatki National Monument, an ancient pueblo located near the San Francisco Peaks that is a must-see for history lovers. Embark on an unforgettable hike through Flagstaff’s Lava River Cave; just be sure to bring a flashlight! Book a Monument Valley Tour and spend the day marveling at stunning red rock formations like the Painted Desert Cliffs or the Elephant Feet rock pillars.
Fort Collins, CO
Surrounded by picturesque mountain peaks, Fort Collins is a charming town full of local pubs and dining spots, boutiques, and endless natural beauty. Visit Cache La Poudre River for a simple photo-op, a hike, or even a whitewater rafting adventure! Fort Collins has been affectionately nicknamed “the Napa Valley of beer,” and for good reason. Head out on a Fort Collins Bike and Brewery Tour to explore the town as locals do and sample some of Colorado’s best beers at three breweries. Or, if you plan to visit in June, you could attend the Colorado Brewers’ Festival, AKA the craft beer lover’s paradise!
Much of the historic farm town of Lancaster looks like it may have been plucked right out of the 1800s. It’s the home of 15th President James Buchanan’s mansion, Wheatland, which you can explore during your visit. Attend the Lancaster Central Market for a colorful display of fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and more from local farmers. Try to catch a show at the Fulton Theatre during your stay—this 165-year-old premier theater produces can’t-miss Broadway plays and musicals.
Albuquerque is a truly unique destination with a wide range of attractions, from its rich history and culture to its gorgeous red rock surroundings. Every October, the International Balloon Fiesta sees over 500 hot air balloons rising up at dawn, with spectators watching below and attending fun evening celebrations like the “glowdeo.” To get in on your own hot air balloon experience, book a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight to watch the sun rise along the Rio Grande from high above, making for a special and totally unforgettable outing. Back on solid ground, don’t miss the mind-blowing Petroglyph National Monument, where you can view up to 15,000 prehistoric rock art images preserved along a canyon just outside the city.
Madison has earned its place on our list of the top places to visit in the US for its charming downtown full of cafes, bookstores, pubs, and restaurants. In fact, this college town has more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the US! Visiting foodies will enjoy a Capital City Food Tour, where you’ll explore the city through its food while learning about its history and culture. One of Madison’s most popular attractions is the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, an oasis of lush plant life, herbs, perennials, and roses. During the summer months, you can join in a Historic Architecture Tour, a very popular attraction for locals and visitors alike, to learn some of the rich history of Madison’s neighborhoods.
This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.