The United States can not be defined solely by television and movies. It is large, complex, and diverse, with several distinct regional identities. Due to the vast distances involved, traveling between regions often means crossing through many different landscapes, climates, and even time zones. Such travel can often be time-consuming and expensive but is often very rewarding.
The United States has over 10,000 cities, towns, and villages. The following is a list of just ten of the most notable. Other cities can be found in their corresponding regions.
1. New York City
New York City – the country’s largest city, home of the financial services and media industries, with world-class cuisine, arts, architecture, and shopping
New York City is one of the global hubs of international finance, politics, communications, film, music, fashion, and culture. Alongside London it’s one of only two universally acknowledged to be “World Cities” – the most important and influential cities on Earth. It’s home to many world-class museums, art galleries, and theaters. Many of the world’s largest corporations have their headquarters here. The headquarters of the United Nations is in New York and most countries have a consulate here. This city’s influence on the globe, and all its inhabitants, is hard to overstate, as decisions made within its boundaries often have impacts and ramifications across the world.
2. Los Angeles
Los Angeles – the country’s second largest city, home of the film industry, musicians, artists, and surfers, with beautiful mild weather, great natural beauty from mountains to beaches, and endless stretches of freeways, traffic, and smog
Los Angeles is an important center of culture, medicine, agriculture, business, finance, energy, aerospace, science, food processing, media, international trade, and tourism. International tourists regard Los Angeles as most famous for “Hollywood,” but a long-running trend in favor of outsourcing of film and television production has critically undermined the sector to the point where entertainment and media employ only about 120,000 people in the entire metro area (and most of them work in Burbank or Culver City, not Hollywood). Many major motion picture deals and premieres still occur in Los Angeles, but the vast majority of those films are actually shot elsewhere. However, some post-production, editing, promotion, distribution, and archiving work still occurs in Los Angeles. In addition, L.A. remains a major center for production of television shows and television commercials, as well as music recordings.
3. Las Vegas
Las Vegas – gambling city in the Nevada desert, home to over half of the top 20 biggest hotels in the world; popular for its casinos, shows and extravagant nightlife
Las Vegas is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nevada. Las Vegas is the Entertainment Capital of the World. It is located in the Mojave Desert of Southern Nevada. The city features many mega-hotel/casino complexes decorated with lavish care and attention to detail creating a fantasy-like environment. The casinos often have names and themes that evoke romance, mystery, and exotic destinations.
4. San Francisco
San Francisco – the City by the Bay, featuring the Golden Gate Bridge, vibrant urban neighborhoods, and dramatic fog
San Francisco is a major city in California, the centerpiece of the Bay Area, well-known for its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, summer fog, and great ethnic and cultural diversity. These are only a few of the aspects of the city that make San Francisco one of the most visited cities in the world. Although huge in terms of offerings, San Francisco is physically quite compact. It is located on a seven-by-seven mile (11 x 11km) square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast.
5. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. – the current national capital, filled with major museums and monuments, along with multi-cultural communities
Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States of America and the seat of its three branches of government, as well as the federal district of the U.S. The city has an unparalleled collection of free, public museums and many of the nation’s most treasured monuments and memorials. The vistas on the National Mall between the Capitol, Washington Monument, White House, and Lincoln Memorial are famous throughout the world as icons of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful nation. D.C. has shopping, dining, and nightlife befitting a world-class metropolis. Travelers will find the city to be exciting, cosmopolitan, and international.
Miami – attracts sun-seeking northerners and home to a rich, vibrant, Latin-influenced, Caribbean culture
Miami is the second most populous city in Florida, the Miami metropolitan area is the largest in the state. Due to being sandwiched in by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Everglades wetland area to the west, the Miami metropolitan area is a lengthy 110 miles (180km) north to south, but never more than 20 miles (32km) east to west.
Although tourists generally consider Miami Beach to be part of Miami, it is its own municipality. Located on a barrier island east of Miami and Biscayne Bay, it is home to a large number of beach resorts and was one of the most popular spring break party destinations in the world.
Boston – best known for its colonial history, its passion for sports, and its university students
Boston is the largest city in New England, the capital of the state of Massachusetts, and one of the most historic, wealthy and influential cities in the United States of America. Its plethora of museums, historical sights, and wealth of live performances, all explain why the city gets 16.3 million visitors a year, making it one of the ten most popular tourist locations in the country.
Although not technically in Boston, the neighboring cities of Cambridge and Brookline are functionally integrated with Boston by mass transit and effectively a part of the city. Cambridge, just across the Charles River, is home to Harvard, MIT, local galleries, restaurants, and bars and is an essential addition to any visit to Boston. Brookline is nearly surrounded by Boston and has its own array of restaurants and shopping.
Chicago – the country’s third largest city (though still known as “the Second City”), heart of the Midwest and transportation hub of the nation, with massive skyscrapers and other architectural gems
Chicago is located in the Midwest along the Great Lakes shoreline. Chicago is a huge vibrant city and metropolitan area that sprawls over 10,874km². It’s well known for house music and electronic dance music, blues, jazz, comedy, shopping, dining, sports, architecture, highly-regarded colleges and universities, and premier cultural attractions.
As the hub of the Midwest, Chicago is easy to find with its picturesque skyline calling across the waters of the huge freshwater Lake Michigan, an impressive sight that soon reveals world-class museums, miles of sandy beaches, huge parks, public art, and perhaps the finest looking downtown in the world.
Atlanta – Home to the busiest airport in the world, was the host to the 1996 Summer Olympics
Atlanta is the vanguard of the New South, with the charm and elegance of the Old. It is a city that balances southern traditions with sleek modernism. In 2016, Atlanta had 472,522 residents residing within the city limits and nearly 5.3 million in the entire metro area. In Atlanta, the peach trees are plentiful and the tea is sweet, yet this city boasts three skylines and the world’s busiest airport. Atlanta has been burnt to the ground and built back up; it has seen the horrors of war and felt the pain of droughts and floods. Atlanta knows rebirth and endurance though, perhaps better than any other city. Atlanta was host to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, is the capital of Georgia, and has become the enduring leader of the American South.
10. New Orleans
New Orleans – “The Big Easy” is the birthplace of Jazz, and is known for its quaint French Quarter and annual Mardi Gras celebration
In New Orleans, you’ll find the roots of jazz and a blossoming culture that has been long described as being unlike anything else in the United States. Though hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city continues to rebound, and it remains the largest city in Louisiana and one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.
New Orleans is known for a host of attributes like its famous Creole food, abundant alcohol, music of many styles, nearby swamps and plantations, 18th & 19th century architecture, antiques, gay pride, streetcars, museums. Nicknamed the Big Easy, New Orleans has long had a reputation as an adult oriented city. However, the city also offers many attractions for families with children and those interested in culture and the arts. It is a city with a majority Roman Catholic population owing to its European origins.