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Most popular cities in America

Updated: Jan 21, 2024  | Tags: ESTA for Tourism, COVID-19

The United States of America has thousands of cities, which are visited by millions of people from all over the world either for tourism or business purposes. However, there are a handful of cities that offer distinct character, scenery, history, economic growth, or unique features. Below are some of the popular destinations in America.

New York City, New York

New York City, often referred to as "The Big Apple," is arguably the most famous tourist destination in the United States. Known for its iconic skyline, Broadway shows, and vibrant cultural scene, NYC attracts millions of visitors each year. The city's landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and Times Square, are globally recognized symbols of American culture. Museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art house some of the world's most renowned artworks, drawing art enthusiasts from around the globe.

New York's diverse neighborhoods, from the trendy streets of SoHo to the historic enclaves of Harlem, offer a glimpse into the city's rich tapestry of cultures. The culinary scene is equally diverse, with an array of dining options that reflect the city's multicultural makeup. New York's energy, diversity, and endless list of attractions make it a must-visit destination for tourists seeking an immersive urban experience.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, known as the "City of Angels," is famous for its association with the entertainment industry, beautiful beaches, and sunny weather. Hollywood, the heart of the film industry, attracts tourists eager to see the Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, and perhaps catch a glimpse of a celebrity. The city's scenic coastline, with popular beaches like Santa Monica and Venice Beach, offers a perfect blend of relaxation and recreation.

Los Angeles is also home to renowned cultural institutions like the Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The city's diverse neighborhoods, such as the glitzy Beverly Hills and the eclectic Arts District, provide a varied urban experience. Los Angeles's blend of glamour, arts, and natural beauty make it a top destination for tourists looking for a taste of the Californian lifestyle.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, located in the Nevada desert, is synonymous with entertainment, nightlife, and casinos. Known as "The Entertainment Capital of the World," the city's dazzling Strip is lined with massive resorts, each offering its unique blend of shows, restaurants, and gambling opportunities. Las Vegas is famous for its world-class entertainment, including concerts, magic shows, and Cirque du Soleil performances.

Beyond the glitz and glamour, Las Vegas serves as a gateway to natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. The city's ability to offer both high-energy entertainment and access to natural attractions makes it a popular destination for a wide range of tourists.

Washington DC

This city is known by the fact that it's the capital of America. In addition to being a working federal city, it's also a picturesque tourist destination, an international metropolis, and has an unmatched treasury of America's history. Washington DC is home to many museums and monuments, which are a dedication to the founding fathers, presidents, and even citizens who have made a difference in American history. They include the Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Washington Monument, several incredible Smithsonian museums, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the White House.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, historic cable cars, and picturesque neighborhoods, is a city of unparalleled charm and beauty. The city's hilly streets offer stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Popular attractions include Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and the bustling Chinatown, one of the largest and oldest in the United States.

San Francisco is also known for its progressive culture, vibrant arts scene, and culinary diversity. The city's close proximity to the Napa and Sonoma valleys, famous for their wineries, adds another dimension to the tourist experience. San Francisco's mix of natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance makes it a favorite among travelers seeking a diverse urban adventure.

San Diego, California

San Diego has 70 miles of beaches, making it a popular destination for millions of local and international tourists. It features world-class family attractions, which include the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, and the nearby LEGOLAND California. One of America's largest entertainment conventions, the San Diego Comic-Con International, also takes place in San Diego and draws a large following to the city every year.

San Diego has also become one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. with a thriving business environment. Start-up and high-tech companies are launching in the city, as there is a large highly educated workforce due to numerous universities and vocational institutions in the city. All these features make San Diego a popular destination for tourists, beach enthusiasts and young professionals

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is one of the largest and most populated cities in the U.S. The city is located on an edge of the Lake Michigan shores. The strong wind breezes from the lake of give the city its nickname ‘Windy City’. It's widely known for its jazz music and improvised comedy. There are live music performances at theatres across the city. Chicago also offers a varied restaurant scene, iconic skyscrapers and architecture, as well as several parks, and museums.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is one of the most historically significant cities in America. The city was home to the country's first hospital, zoo, stock exchange, and library. Philadelphia was also the first capital of the country. Philadelphia’s most historic sites include the Eastern State Penitentiary, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell among others.

A lot has changed in Philadelphia over the years making it less of an industrial city. It currently features the world's largest landscaped park, Fairmount Park. It also has more outdoor artworks than any other city in the U.S. The city is also popular among job seekers with several large companies located in the area.

Seattle, Washington

This city is known to many as the Emerald City due to its lush evergreen forests. As one of the biggest port cities in the country, visitors experience a mix of waterside views and cruises. Seattle is also well-known for its coffee. Pike Place Market is one of the oldest and most famous farmers markets in America. Seattle also is home to the iconic Space Needle, and a lively music scene. It's also one of the top tech cities in the U.S. with a thriving environment for start-ups.

Miami, Florida

Miami is one of the most visited cities in the U.S. The city is known for its sunny weather, sandy beaches, palm trees, exotic lifestyle, and Latin culture. It's one of the well-known party cities in the world with several nightlife options for visitors. Miami is also a popular destination for car enthusiasts, especially in the summer when luxury and classic cars can be seen on the streets. All these features combined and it's a tourist destination that's worth a visit.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida, is often dubbed the "Theme Park Capital of the World," and for a good reason. Home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld, among others, Orlando is a dream destination for families and theme park enthusiasts. The city's theme parks are renowned for their thrilling rides, elaborate shows, and immersive experiences that bring beloved characters and stories to life.

Beyond the theme parks, Orlando offers a range of other attractions, including the Kennedy Space Center, natural parks, and a vibrant dining and shopping scene. The city's warm climate and family-friendly atmosphere make it an ideal destination for a fun-filled vacation.


The United States boasts a multitude of popular tourist cities, each offering a unique experience that caters to different interests. From the cultural and historical richness of New York City to the entertainment extravagance of Las Vegas, these destinations provide a snapshot of the diverse American landscape. Whether seeking urban exploration, family-friendly fun, or natural beauty, travelers will find a city in the U.S. that meets their desires. These cities, with their enduring appeal and varied attractions, continue to captivate the hearts and imaginations of visitors from around the world.