We stick primarily to South and Southeast Asia when talking about destinations. But for those who like to venture a little farther, North America can offer some incredible vacation opportunities also. Below we’ve listed our picks for the 10 best North American cities to visit, in no particular order.
Charleston, South Carolina (United States)
In 2017, Charleston was rated not only the top city in the U.S. but the second best in the entire world. The ratings came from the readers of Travel & Leisure magazine, and in fact the survey noted that it’s become so popular some are concerned about its ability to handle more visitors. For now however it’s an unspeakably charming beach town, complete with walkable streets, excellent bars and restaurants, and some of the best stretches of coastline in the U.S.
Boston, Massachusetts (United States)
Boston tends to be a favorite city among Americans, simply in that everyone who visits has glowing things to say about it. It’s a city with a lot of pride and personality, and plenty of fun places to explore, from charming spots along the Charles River, to famous shopping areas like Newbury Street, etc. There’s also a lot of history in town for those who would be curious to learn more about the United States.
San Francisco, California (United States)
San Francisco is sometimes referred to as being one of the more European or international-seeming cities in the U.S. It’s a very pretty place, known for hilly neighborhoods, a massive bay, and the world famous Golden Gate Bridge (as well as some nearby national parks). The city is also considered to be cutting edge in numerous ways, from its bold culinary scene to its connection to the ongoing technological revolution throughout California.
Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
Toronto is a very popular city for a lot of reasons. It’s picturesque, with gleaming skyscrapers lining the coast of Lake Ontario, yet it also has its own parks and islands so that people can enjoy nature. The culinary scene has a fairly strong reputation, and many love the fact that it’s a sports town as well. Wagering on sports is legal in Canada too, which adds some involvement for fans when Toronto’s teams are playing. The city is home to the NBA’s Raptors, Major League Baseball’s Blue Jays, and the National Hockey League’s Maple Leafs.
Portland, Oregon (United States)
Portland is the kind of city that isn’t known for one specific thing, but which no one has anything bad to say about. Internationally speaking, it’s somewhat like a Florence or a Hong Kong in this way – people just love it, even if there’s not a definitive reason why. Generally speaking though, you should expect a picturesque city – somewhat sprawling, but with a town-like feel – sandwiched between mountains and rivers and filled with cheerful, sociable player. City parks, bike trails, breweries and coffee houses are among the highlights.
New Orleans, Louisiana (United States)
New Orleans is somewhat like San Francisco purely in the sense that it seems somewhat foreign compared to the rest of the U.S. There are rich elements of French, Haitian, and Creole culture there, all of which have contributed over time to unmatched reputations for live music and food. Additionally, if you happen to make it to New Orelans for Mardi Gras you’ll be able to take place in one of the world’s most legendary street parties.
Mexico City (Mexico)
Mexico City is a fascinating place. Its history dates all the way back to the Aztec Empire and the Spanish conquest of what is now Mexico. Indeed, the very city grew out of the ruins of Tenochtitlan, which was built in 1325. Now it’s a densely populated modern metropolis known for its public squares and cathedrals, various exhibitions of ancient history, and passionate culture. It’s also the home of Estadio Azteca, which is one of the largest and most important football stadiums on Earth.
New York, New York (United States)
It almost goes without saying that New York belongs on the list. It’s one of the biggest and most famous cities in the world, and with good reason. There are innumerable sights to see, restaurants and bars to try, and shows and events to take in. It’s a city that shouldn’t be missed, even if it can be somewhat overwhelming.
Victoria, British Columbia (Canada)
Victoria is a dreamlike city. The capital of British Columbia, it’s located on Vancouver Island and is known for its parks, waterside hangouts, and Victorian architecture left over from the days of British colonial rule. Days touring the parks and gardens and nights at quaint cafés and restaurants make for a perfect trip to Victoria. Though if you’re there with the right weather you might also consider venturing a short distance out of town to tour a nearby vineyard or even go skiing.
Honolulu, Hawaii (United States)
Last but not least, Honolulu is the biggest city in Hawaii and the perfect vantage point from which to explore the United States’ own island paradise. Some visitors might be surprised to see how much of a real city it actually is, but that doesn’t detract from its beauty or all of the incredible nearby places you can easily reach. Travel to Honolulu to relax, enjoy nature (be it lounging on a beach or hiking up a volcano), and possibly to try something new, like surfing or scuba diving.