Everyone who is into traveling wants to take as much time as they can to travel but with work and paying the bills, sometimes the most time that you can take is a weekend. But that’s more than enough time to discover a new city. America is overflowing with these cities where we can discover brand new things from bars to restaurants, music to museums. If you’re a beach baby, too, there’s plenty of places for you to visit.
Which is why we went through our list of the best places that you can go – there’s 10 on this list which we’ve managed to break down from over 300 cities in the States. Each and every city that we’ve come up with has something to do or eat which should belong on your bucket list. Let’s get down to it!
10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
This is for all of you foodie fans out there. South Dakotans are well known for the way they cook their wild game – for example, try the smoked pheasant at Parker’s Bistro. It is to die for.
To work off your food after you’ve tried the pheasant, walk around the city. Everything is easily accessible; you can walk through Downtown to Falls Park then through East Bank and it will only take you the afternoon to do it. You don’t have to worry about getting dirty, either as the city is kept immaculately clean. You can also sample beers at Monks House of Ale Repute in the courtyard – their beers are from all over the Midwest.
The best time to go here is in the summer as you can have your weekend for a fraction of the price of what you would normally spend in a larger town. You also wouldn’t be able to walk around the city in an afternoon. If you’re into the more country side of traveling then you can go to Palisades State Park which is only a half hour away from the main city. You’ll need a few days to try everything. Finally, for our sports fans, the local basketball and hockey games play in two immense arenas – the Denny Sanford Premier Center and the Sanford Pentagon.
9. Kansas City, Missouri
The first thing for you to eat at Kansas City are the ribs at Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. This is the place to go if you want to have a BBQ overdose. Joe’s is the meat-lover’s haven. However, if you’re not about that BBQ life then go to one of the best steakhouses in the States. Go to Anton’s and try a butchered-to-order bone-fillet steak. Have one of these options for dinner and then tour the Boulevard Brewing and drink something that you can’t get elsewhere – or stick to the things you know and love, we won’t judge. It’ll be a nice atmosphere for you anyway.
Long story short, Kansas City is the place to go if you want to have fun. It’s an under-appreciated city that is forgotten in a lot of the travel brochures. If you’re a history fan then get a ticket for the National World War I Museum or the Negro Leagues Baseball museum. For your second night, go through Westport for your dinner and some drinks. For your second dinner, go to Char Bar for some more smoked meat; have the house-smoked brisket burger. If you’re not feeling anymore burger then have some fried chicken from Bluestem. Because honestly who doesn’t love fried chicken? Kansas City was voted as one of the country’s most underrated food towns. Have some cocktails in the candlelight at Julep after to wash them all down.
8. Providence, Rhode Island
Moving away from burgers and just plain meat, try the pizza at Al Forno for this next city. If you’re not into meat or pizza, the state also has access to the freshest seafood and also local produce which makes the cuisine unique and to die for.
If you enjoyed the museums in Kansas City then you’ll love the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art – there are 84,000 objects across the six floors. Art is one of the most prevalent ventures in Providence’s community, due to the amazing art school, RISD. If you’re leaning more towards history than art, though, the best place for you to visit is the Rhode Island State House. It has the fourth largest self-supporting dome in the world and you’re free to roam the entire place once you get past the security. You can also sign up for have a guided tour. However, if you’re more into some retail therapy then head downtown to Westminster Street and go through the myriad stores that are filled with locally made treats. Finally, if you want something that will make a time to remember – and will make a great Instagram picture – then visit the Providence’s WaterFire where they set the river on fire. This will only happen during a warmer month, though, so if you’re eager to go then make sure that you plan around that.
Providence is often overlooked but it actually offers a lot of culture and intelligent, unique people. The streets are all pedestrian friendly and there’s stunning architecture all the way through which makes this city the perfect place to go for a walk. Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the US, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have something big to offer.
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It wouldn’t be a visit to Philadelphia if you didn’t try the cheesesteak. You can have one at either Pat’s or Geno’s – or both, if you want to see the difference between the two places. These are both based in South Philadelphia – otherwise known as ‘cheesesteak Vegas’ so the food won’t disappoint. Once you’re done, go for dessert at Old City’s Franklin Fountain and work off the food during a walk around the historic monuments. Make sure you also get a selfie near to the Rocky statue.
If you do some research beforehand, then you can make sure that you don’t go over budget, too and can have fun without breaking the bank. There’s plenty of things to do for free such as the beautiful parks and walking trails. There’s also a thriving live music scene which means that you can probably hear music wherever you walk – even if you don’t want to pay out for a ticket for a local band that you’ve never heard of. You might even make some new friends as the city is inherently friendly!
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Next up for lunch is the Pitts-burger at Primanti Brothers. There’s a lot of burgers on this list so if you’re not a burger fan then we’ll find something for you later. Wash your burger down with a beer from Iron City Beer – aptly named – or go to the abandoned church turned brewery at Church Brew Works. Cure your hangover the next morning with a trip to the Strip District.
They may as well call this place Party Pittsburgh as the nightlife is booming. You will likely run into people that you’ve seen during the day if you’ve made any new friends or the locals will run into their neighbors due to the smallish nature of the city. However, this will help to make you feel more at home while you’re traveling. Especially if there’s a game on. Pittsburgh is known for being sports-mad. The six-ring Steelers hold the people of Pittsburgh’s hearts but you’d kick yourself if you didn’t visit the stunning PNC Park – there’s a scenic view of the city from there. If you’re not a sports fan and you’re more into art, then you’ll find a vibrant scene for this – there’s the Andy Warhol palatial museum which has its own balloon room inside! We’re sold already.
5. Cleveland, Ohio
Even though Cleveland has been the butt of a tonne of jokes in pop culture about its origin, it is an amazing place. It has a variety of culture that doesn’t cost as much as the larger cities. If you’re into music, it has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you’re in a band, bring a physical copy of your music as it will score you a free ticket into this place. There’s also a stunning art museum recently erected and a world-famous orchestra. However, if the loud and vibrant sounds and colors aren’t for you then go for a walk through the town which is erupting with charm. Finish off your walk with a Burning River pale ale from Great Lakes Brewing.
If you didn’t party enough in Pittsburgh then don’t worry, the strip on East 4th Street has enough of a nightlife to keep you going. Start off your night by eating at one of the Zack Bruell or Jonathon Sawyer restaurants and then book yourself in for a show at the House of Blues to carry on your musical experience. If you’re into gambling, too, you can visit the Jack Casino.
4. Washington, DC
If you’re looking for something different in comparison to what else you can eat throughout the states, try one of the Ethiopian restaurants as they are the best in the country. Go to Dukem and order a combo sampler and some tibs to try your palette. It’s a tad more expensive but save up some money and go to Jose Andres’ small-plate joints and have a meal there – the food is well worth it!
The best selling point for Washington is probably the attractions. You can visit the National Zoo which has some pandas in there, including a newborn cub. There are places to eat, museums, monuments, botanic gardens and the roof of the Kennedy Center. The majority of these are free or are reasonably priced so that your trip to Washington doesn’t have to cost a bunch. If you’re more active then you can go cycling down the Mount Vernon Trail from Nats Park to Kingman Island.
3. Madison, Wisconsin
The best thing to do here – if you’re a drinker – is to drink beer. Yes, we are giving you permission to pop open a cold one and rest back at the waterside at the Memorial Union Terrace, taking in the live music while watching the boats gently pass. This town is a college town so you will see students – don’t be put off by this, though. The campus is actually one of the most beautiful parts of the city and Bascom Hill has the finest view. It also has some food places like Mickie’s Dairy Bar, Ella’s Deli’s and Tory Miller’s L’Etoile.
We’ve already mentioned drinking but beer isn’t the only thing that these people drink. In fact, they drink plenty but they are safe with it – happily drunk. If you stay safely tipsy then you can pretty much walk through any of the parks that you want.
2. Santa Rosa, California
Similarly to Madison, Santa Rosa also has one of the highest-rated beers in the world at the Russian River Brewing Company. This can draw in queues that go around the corners of the streets when the beer is released.
If you’re a keen cyclist then you should hop on your bike and cycle through the Sonoma wine country. This will enable you to tour the breweries and wineries, taking in the stunning views while you get some exercise in at the same time. The sprawling landscape of over 400 vineyards boasts an impressive range of wines that you can sample for yourself in some of them. Obviously, be careful not to cycle and drink. The track will provide some different terrain for you to cycle around from valleys to gentle mountain terrain. You can go as far as Bodega Bay.
Santa Rosa is only an hour and a half away from San Francisco and you can fly there easily – there are constant flights from seven West Coast cities. Once you land, if you’re not quite ready for a cycling trip then head downtown to the restaurants, charming antique shops and historic buildings. The atmosphere is completely laid-back and will be the relaxing weekend getaway that you will need.
1. Boulder, Colorado
Finally, we have Boulder, Colorado. Grab a pressed juice at Pearl St’s Wonder Press before you start on your hike towards Chautauqua. Or you can take your bike. Or you can climb up the rock faces if you want to. There’s plenty of outdoor activities for you adventurers to do – the sun is always shining in Boulder, even in the winter. So, sunblock up and enjoy the views.
Boulder is one of the smallest towns on the list, but it holds its own. There’s the outdoor activities that we mentioned earlier, the food, the drink, weather and the picturesque landscape. So, if you’re into your sport then this is the perfect place for you; you can then go and explore the restaurants that they have to offer to try the exquisite food and drink.
So, there’s our list of the best places for you to go! Let us know if you do and we hope you enjoyed it!