Travel can be an exciting and eye-opening experience, but if you’ve never left the country before it can feel a little daunting. Luckily, there are plenty of incredible destinations across the U.S. that can give you a taste of travel abroad. Once you’ve gained a little experience, you’ll be prepped and excited to explore the rest of the world. Here are our top vacations in the U.S. for new travelers.
Visit a National Park
For outdoor lovers, any of the country’s 423 national parks offer a world of possibility. On top of enjoying the unspoiled scenery, there are options for hiking, cycling and kayaking, with plenty of wildlife and history to enjoy along the way. With big names like Yosemite and Yellowstone alongside smaller, less crowded parks, there really is something for everyone (and it could be closer than you think!).
If the thought of camping puts you off, don’t worry. Most of the larger parks have historic lodges onsite, while the others will have accommodation within easy reach. After you’ve experienced the park system in the U.S., you’ll be well equipped to explore any of the hundreds of national parks located throughout the world.
Take a Cruise
While cruises tend to conjure up images of tropical islands, there is a wide range of destinations to explore right on your front door. There are cruises running countless routes across America, whether along the legendary Mississippi River or a week-long trip aboard an Alaska cruise.
Cruises are a fantastic option for new travelers as they give you the opportunity to experience multiple destinations and activities with very little planning on your part. Once onboard, your accommodation and meals are completely taken care of, with an activity-packed schedule that you can enjoy at your leisure.
Head to the Beach
There are plenty of beaches in the U.S. that feel like a different country entirely. Take Florida’s Dry Tortugas, where turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and an enormous population of sea turtles lend the shore a Caribbean vibe. Meanwhile, the San Juan Islands in Washington, complete with sea kayaking and whale watching tours, could be mistaken for a coast in Scandinavia.
Whether you are looking to try your hand at watersports, soak up the atmosphere of a harbor town or simply relax by the water, you are sure to find a U.S. destination to fit the bill. Many beaches, for instance in Washington, San Diego and Chicago, are even located in cities, giving you the best of both worlds in one easy trip.
Hit the City
Particularly if you live in a more rural area, visiting one of America’s major cities can be a good gateway to other busy destinations. New York is a great place to start, offering a long list of things to see and do and a vibrant, fast-paced culture. For an incredible party and music scene, New Orleans is the place to be, while those seeking something more exotic might enjoy the Spanish influence of Santa Fe.
Cities are much easier to get to than some other destinations and are naturally full of tourist attractions to enjoy. A city visit also has the added bonus of well-connected transport links, making getting around that little bit easier (plus, there’s always someone nearby to ask for help if you need it).