America is commonly known as the "land of opportunity", and her states are filled with incredible cities that everyone should take the opportunity to visit. A few of the must-visit cities are global icons, fashion capitals and a movie lover's paradise, but plenty of great American cities are lesser-known and off the beaten path.
Continue reading to find out if your favorite American cities made the cut, and while you're reading, feel free to add some great American cities to your travel bucket list.
Home to the University of Texas, Austin is a burgeoning oasis in the southwest United States that is brimming with culture, great food and iconic events. Its most famous event, SXSW (that's South by Southwest) is a celebration of all things music, film and interactive media. Thousands descend on Austin each year for the festival, making it a great time to check out this incredible American city.
Young adults, in particular, will find plenty to love. Since Austin is still in many respects a college town, it is loaded with great bars, craft beers, nightlife, vegan-friendly food and eclectic art. The city also boasts stunning natural scenery and fantastic shopping, making it a comprehensively excellent city to visit.
Where great American cities are concerned, none shine brighter than the Big Apple. Spanning five boroughs that contain activities only limited by the imagination, New York is an eclectic, diverse city that is buzzing with energy. Don't be fooled into thinking the Big Apple is all Times Square tourist traps, Broadway shows and big-city cosmopolitan living, however.
Dare to venture off the tour guide's path, and you will discover that New York's boroughs and neighborhoods are littered with small-town charm, flair and distinct personalities. From the local pizzerias that have been around for generations to the local delis that have become institutions, there is always something in the city that will surprise, amaze and inspire you.
For the Southern adventurer, few cities will have greater appeal than Charleston. Its gas-lit lamps and cobblestone streets are a throwback to simpler times, and the beauty and relaxation of Charleston's lovely beaches are a true pleasure. History buffs will also find plenty to love with the many museums and exhibits scattered throughout the city.
All told, Charleston is the practical embodiment of Southern charm and hospitality, guaranteeing travelers who stop by Charleston an American experience to remember.
The City of Angels. Tinseltown. Hollywood. Call it what you will, just be sure to call it one of America's greatest cities. While tourists will certainly want to stop by Hollywood, they will stay for the more substantive attractions Los Angeles has on offer. Southern California is one of the few places where it's possible to surf and snowboard all in the same day, making it an ideal locale for the avidly active.
Plenty of professional sports teams abound, and fine dining is as available as the legendary In-N-Out fast food chain. Combine all this with the legendary green space, parks and museums, and you have a true metropolis capable of satisfying any of its visitors.
Given its inimitable beauty, unique culture and exquisite works of art and architecture, it is little wonder that Santa Fe snags an elusive "best small city in America" moniker from many travelers in the know. Santa Fe is well-known as an artist-friendly city, making it a great place to view art galleries from up-and-coming artists. The architecture and authenticity is not to be outdone, either, with a beautiful amalgamation of its Native American, Spanish and American influences on full display.