The U.S. has diverse and exciting travel opportunities! Whether you love the great outdoors, delectable foods and beverages, music and nightlife or thrilling adventures, vacations can provide entertainment and the opportunity to make lifelong memories. Let’s take a look at some travel destinations to match differing interests, all in the U.S.
For the party animal: Las Vegas, Nevada
This should come as a surprise to no one. Las Vegas is known around the world for the gambling, clubs, shows, exotic and unique excursions, and all-night parties. No matter what kind of party you like, you’re bound to find something enjoyable in Vegas.
Some examples of a great trip include:
• Have delectable French cuisine at the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. At 110 feet over the Las Vegas Strip, patrons will enjoy spectacular views, including a front-row seat to the world-famous Bellagio water show.
• Drive the supercar of your dreams at Dream Racing. Take your pick of unbelievably fast, rare supercars and choose the number of laps you want to make, then put the pedal to the metal for the thrill of a lifetime. Or, hop in the passenger seat and let a professional take you on a real-life drifting course to get the full experience!
• Take a gamble! Shoot craps or place a roulette bet at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino. Known for its captivating architecture and art, you’ll be in the best setting to win big!
• Tear up the dance floor at Hakkasan Nightclub in the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Plan ahead and get tickets or even a private table with bottle service at a performance by a famous musical performer or DJ.
• Take a dip and have a blast the Encore Beach Club in the Wynn Hotel and Casino. The hot Las Vegas sun is no match for a day in the cool water with live DJ performances, lively cocktails and bikinis galore.
For the wine enthusiast: Napa Valley, California
You don’t have to leave the U.S. to enjoy rolling hills of wine vineyards. Napa Valley is home to hundreds of wine creators and grape growers. Whether you want to tour a wine facility, enjoy an afternoon tasting or making your own wine, Napa Valley has something to do for every wine lover.
Experiences for a memorable trip:
• Be original! Make your own blend of wine at the Conn Creek Winery. Take a guided barrel tour at the winery and taste blends from various regions in the Napa Valley area. With the help of a wine educator, you’ll make your own blend and even take a bottle home to savor!
• Take a walking tour of local food and wine with the Rooted Fork Foodie Tours Company. With various tour options, you’ll be sure to find a tour that suits your taste!
• Visit the African wildlife on a safari in the wine country with Safari West (not wine-related but still very cool). This attraction offers the opportunity to visit for a few hours or stay overnight for the full Safari experience.
• Take a trip on the Wine Train. Enjoy winery tours and Napa Valley-inspired multi course meals — with packages to suit anyone’s desire. As an added bonus, you’ll get the opportunity to behold the beauty of the Napa Valley scenery.
For the coffee fanatic: Seattle, Washington
A 2017 survey by WalletHub named Seattle as the number one city for coffee lovers in America. The survey analyzed a ton of data and found that Seattle offers highly rated coffee blends at affordable prices, and is home to the most coffee and tea manufacturers in the nation. So, are you a coffee lover? Perhaps your next destination should be the Emerald City!
Things to do while visiting Seattle:
• As a coffee lover, start your day with a delicious “cup of joe.” The Milstead and Co. coffee house has unanimously high recommendations.
• Take a tour with Seattle by Foot! The coffee crawl tour takes you to six different coffee shop locations, and the caffeinated city tour combines coffee and history as you visit landmarks while enjoying a cup of java.
• Visit the very first Starbucks on Pike St., and while you’re there, look around Pike Place Market. This original Starbucks opened in 1971 and is a vital part of the history of the Pike Place Market and Seattle in general.
• Arguably one of the most famous restaurants in Seattle, stop by The Pink Door for an exquisite dinner. Though we could not confirm any coffee options from the menu, you can always grab an espresso from one of the many coffee shops on your way home.
For the nature lover: Salt Lake City, Utah
Who doesn’t love a natural setting with endless sights, attractions and activities to explore? The nature lover has many U.S. travel options for an ideal vacation, but with 11 nearby state parks, five nearby beaches, and more than two dozen local hiking trails, the opportunities are endless in this quiet destination. Enjoy hiking, biking, skiing, river rafting and fishing in and around Salt Lake City for ample outdoor possibilities. Also, not being one of the most highly visited places in the U.S., you can enjoy the sights without hoards of tourists at your side.
Enjoyable nature-friendly activities to behold:
• Visit a state park to take in nature’s beauty. East Canyon State Park, Jordanelle State Park and Rockport State Park all lie on the outskirts of Salt Lake City and offer a variety of activities, from fishing to recreational water sports to hiking and sightseeing.
• Hit the powder! The Snowbird Resort is one of the largest resorts in the area, providing slopes for beginner and advanced skiers and snowboarders. With winter and summer activities, including mountain coasters and sledding, this location offers year-round fun for people of all ages and interests.
• Ease away the stress and ache of tired legs with a dip in the Fifth Water Hot Springs. South of Salt Lake City, this is a popular destination for tourists and locals. Take a 2.5-mile hike (it’s worth it) to the naturally heated pools and enjoy the relaxation of a natural spa (for free) with a view.
• Step inside for some outdoor education at the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum and the Tracy Aviary. The Butte Garden and Arboretum offers a five-mile footpath spanning over 21 acres of developed gardens which, in the spring, features over 450,000 blooming bulbs for a sea of natural beauty and color. The Tracy Aviary is home to over 400 individual birds of more than 135 species. This bird sanctuary is the largest and oldest of only two free-standing aviaries in the nation, and hosts over 60,000 children per year for environmental education programs and conservation efforts.
For the history buff: Washington, D.C.
This is a no-brainer. Washington, D.C., hosts some of the most recognizable and impressive historical monuments, facilities, documents and artifacts in the nation. Visitors of our nation’s capital have an array of destinations to visit, many with free admission!
Attractions for a (historical) good time:
• Book your stay at the Mayflower Hotel. This historical site has a rich history of hosting government officials, including presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Harry Truman, as well as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
• Stop by Gadsby’s Tavern for a tasty and unique lunch. The building, adorned with colonial-period art and table settings, was built in 1792 and hosted none other than George Washington himself for lunch and a few birthday celebrations. Other notable guests of the establishment include Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and James Monroe.
• What would a trip to Washington be without seeing the most well-known and recognizable establishment in the nation? To take a tour of the White House, you must submit a public tour request through your elected member of Congress. Make sure to give the White House website a look before taking your tour to avoid any potential rule-breaking that would prohibit your visit.
• Visit the largest library in the world! The Library of Congress was built in 1800, making it the oldest cultural institution in the U.S. There are many one-of-a-kind and rare items housed within the walls of the library, including a perfect copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, one of only three left in the world, and one of the oldest examples of printing in the world, a passage from a Buddhist sutra, which was printed in 770 A.D.
For the beach bum: Honolulu, Hawaii
Not in the continental U.S., Hawaii is a bit further to travel. However, the beaches of this oasis will not disappoint. With a variety to choose from, and various activities to take part in, Honolulu is a popular travel destination. There are plenty of hidden gems to visit, far away from the popular tourist locations, if you seek solitude in the beachy waves. A visit to Hawaii is going to be a pricier option for U.S. travel, but the gorgeous scenery, authentic food and unique excursions will be well worth the money spent.
Some ideas to perfect your beach getaway:
• Visit the resort-filled Waikiki Beach. This well-known beach is a popular tourist attraction and therefore may be crowded, but it has the added benefit of nearby restaurants and shops to visit.
• For stunning views, take a hike at the Diamond Head State Monument. From there you’ll get a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu. The distance is not too far, but the ascent is steep. Make sure to bring water on your trip to stay hydrated!
• Take a moment to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. This free attraction is a sobering experience as you witness the destruction left behind after that fateful attack on Oahu on Dec. 7, 1941. Guests have the opportunity to watch a 23-minute documentary on the attack followed by a ride on the U.S. Navy-operated boat to the USS Arizona Memorial.
• Visit some of the lesser-known and tourist-packed beaches, including Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve (ideal for snorkeling but can be a bit packed with tourists for that reason), Kailua Beach Park, Ehukai Beach Park or the gorgeous Lanikai Beach Park.
For the Families: Southern California
There is not one specific city in Southern California that I can say is the absolute best place for families. However, there are many attractions near the southern region of The Golden State. From beaches to theme parks to resorts, southern California has long been a favorite travel destination for young and old.
Places to take the kids for some family fun:
• No shock here; go to Disneyland! It’s a memory you’ll cherish forever as the children’s eyes light up with excitement over meeting their favorite characters.
• Take a drive to Carlsbad, California, and visit the three theme parks of Legoland, including the main theme park, Legoland Water Park, and Sea Life Aquarium. Specifically designed for kids aged two to 12, this attraction can be a wonderful destination for families with little ones to explore and enjoy.
• For an immersive Hollywood experience, visit Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California. Great for all age groups, visit Diagon Alley from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, stroll the streets of downtown Springfield from the Simpsons, or prepare for a thrill with the largest 3D experience as you come face to face with King Kong.
• Take the family on a short drive to enjoy the California sun and scenery on your way to the beach! Long Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are each about an hour away from Anaheim, with Santa Monica Bay, Laguna Beach and Dana Beach not too much farther.
cphoto/bigstock.com, Andy777/bigstock.com, KarenWibbs/bigstock.com, VadimL/bigstock, lbryan/bigstock.com, wcjho/bigstock.com, sainaniritu/bigstock.com, Gary Blakeley/bigstock.com, Omozo/bigstock.com
About the Author: Lauren Guerra is the Chief Operating Officer and Editor-in-Chief of SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine. For editorial inquiries, please email [email protected].