The United States is stunning. From the east coast to the west coast and everything in between, the landscape is as diverse as the people who make up the country. Throughout these gorgeous regions, there are a handful of cities that will simply take your breath away. But which ones are the best?
Fear not because we’re going to go through 11 of the most beautiful cities in America. Whether you want to be in the mountains, on the coast, or in the desert, there’s something on this list for everyone! So, grab your camera, and let’s check out these lovely destinations.
Sedona is a city in Arizona that is the perfect blend between desert, greenery, and mountains. The city is best known for its walkable shopping areas and red-rock buttes that shoot thousands of feet into the air. These rock formations will make you feel like you’ve been transported to another world, so add it to your six-day Arizona itinerary if that sounds like the place for you!
Nature lovers will be in heaven while hiking throughout the area that has a wonderful year-round climate (the winters can get a bit chilly). If you’re interested in natural healing or connecting with the Earth, this is the place to do it. Sedona is said to have a vortex, which is an area of the planet where powerful energy can be felt. Whether you believe in the vortex or not, the beauty of Sedona is undeniable!
When it comes to the most beautiful cities in America, Charleston can’t be ignored. Charleston dates back to 1670 when it was just a small port. It was actually where Charles Town, the first planned town in the thirteen colonies, was located, and it set the tone for the development of what would become the city as we know it today.
Charleston is a wonderful place to see charming architecture from various periods of American history. You can find old and new buildings built in the styles of Greek Revival, Victorian, Gothic Revival, Colonial, and plenty more.
The best way to soak in the beauty of the city is to get lost walking through the cobblestone streets or along the harbor. Don’t be surprised if the city’s vibrant atmosphere makes you want to call Charleston your new home!
No list of the most beautiful cities in America should be considered complete without including New Orleans. Beauty is more than just what meets the eye–it’s what meets the ears, the nose, and the mouth, and, boy, does New Orleans check all the boxes!
The French architecture and Creole influence of New Orleans make it unlike anywhere else on Earth. Just walking through the French Quarter feels like being in another country–jazz music pouring out of bars, creole seasoning assaulting your senses, and unassuming alleyways opening up into breathtaking gardens. A city with voodoo roots, even the cemeteries are one-of-a-kind!
Make sure to check out our four-day New Orleans itinerary for an action-packed trip!
Visiting Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is like walking into a history book. The city dates back to the mid-1600s, and its streets are full of gorgeous historic homes and buildings (many historical structures have plaques with the date of their establishment). There’s a range of architectural styles, but the city was primarily built in a colonial style. Make sure to check out the Richard Jackson House–the city’s oldest residence.
To make an already beautiful place even more remarkable, it’s located right along the Piscataqua River. You can take a stroll through Prescott Park to really soak in everything the city and river have to offer. Oh, and when you work up an appetite, getting a lobster roll is an absolute must!
Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, North Carolina, has all the charm of a southern town with a hipster twist. The city is nestled in the Blue Ridge and Southern Appalachian Mountains and boasts the historic Biltmore Estate–a 250-room French Renaissance castle built by George Vanderbilt II. This is not the only architectural feat in town; take a stroll along Patton Avenue and Battery Park Avenue and keep your eyes open to spot the charms of the Art Nouveau, Beaux-Art, and Deco movements!
Interloped through the city are dozens of hiking and biking trails, mixing rural and city life in a way that only Asheville can. When you’re ready to wind down, the city is teeming with restaurants and breweries with great views. So, sit back, relax and watch the mountains turn blue as the sun dips down.
Kalispell might not be the size of New York City, but it sure is pretty! It’s located right outside of the astonishing Glacier National Park–an excellent destination during your Great Northern Road Trip. During the spring and summer, Kalispell is the perfect destination to enjoy hanging out at an outdoor brewery, popping in and out of fun little shops, and learning about the region at the Northwest Montana History Museum.
Of course, being in Kalispell is all about being surrounded by nature, and there are plenty of great activities to choose from. In the winter, you can hit the slopes at Whitefish Mountain Resort or spend the day riding snowmobiles. When the weather warms up, hiking Jewel Basin and swimming or renting boats at Flathead Lake will quickly make you understand why Kalispell is one of the most beautiful cities in America.
Colorado is one of the country’s most scenic states, but there’s one city in particular that stands out from the rest: Boulder. Located up in the mountains about 45 minutes away from Denver, the city has a happening downtown area full of restaurants, bars, and shopping. Boulder University gives the city that energized feeling only college towns can generate.
But don’t worry about being stuck in a city with a bunch of college students because there’s plenty of natural space for everyone to enjoy. Most Boulder residents are big outdoor enthusiasts, and you can join in on the fun by taking scenic hikes, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and so much more. No matter what type of experience you want to have in the city, Boulder’s got it!
Ahhh, Bend, Oregon! River, trees, mountains, and lakes, it’s truly a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts! The city sits about three hours southeast of Portland, but you’ll find everything you could ever need in Bend. Whether it’s a gloomy or sunny day, you’ll see people out and about taking advantage of the endless biking and hiking trails in the area. And, of course, when spring and summer roll around, the Deschutes River is the perfect spot to paddleboard, kayak, or float blissfully in a tube.
Bend also has a killer food and microbrewery scene. After a day of adventuring in nature, there’s nothing like sitting down for a gourmet burger and a top-notch brew–sounds nice, huh?
In the Black Hills of South Dakota, Deadwood is often overlooked when tourists take the first bus in and out of Mount Rushmore. However, this Wild West city known for its historical rebelliousness is something directly off a postcard.
Walking down Main Street lined with saloons and brothels (no longer running, of course), you can imagine what life would have been like 150 years in the past. Every season in Deadwood is beautiful, with sunny skies or snowcapped mountains surrounding the small city in a dream-like coziness.
We all know California is gorgeous, but it’s also crowded. Santa Barbara is not only one of the most beautiful cities in America, but unlike Los Angeles and San Francisco, it’s also not nearly as packed with people. The city of Santa Barbara is located right along the pacific coast, just north of Ventura. The stunning coastline sits right in front of lovely green mountains that you can spend the day driving or hiking through.
Santa Barbara has a fun downtown area with shopping, movie theatres, breweries, and restaurants. Every Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, there’s a farmers’ market (downtown) where you can stock up on locally grown produce, farm-raised meat, delicious cheeses, and tasty jams–don’t miss out!
You can visit Santa Barbara during your Pacific Coast Road Trip right after driving through San Luis Obispo!
Known as the oldest city in the U.S., a stroll along the streets of St. Augustine truly transports you back in time. Seeing the colorful homes, shops, and restaurants in the historic part of town feels like living in a dreamland. St. Augustine is a truly vibrant city that has something to take your breath away around every corner.
The city’s prominent Spanish architecture leaves no question that it was once a Spanish fortress, and the gorgeous red roofs of Flagler College will stop you in your tracks. While the city itself is a paradise, you can also look forward to laying out on its pristine beaches. Just cross the grass-covered dunes and relax on sand that’s as soft and white as sugar.
With so much to do in St. Augustine, we put together some tips on how to make the perfect travel itinerary!
In a country as expansive as the United States, it’s no wonder there are so many special destinations to choose from. When you’re on the hunt for the most beautiful cities in America, you can’t go wrong with visiting any of the locations we covered in this list! So, wherever you go, we hope you enjoy the gorgeous scenery and architecture and have an amazing stay!
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