The 10 Best Destinations In The United States To Visit In 2018
In the United States there is much more to see apart from New York , California or the Grand Canyon of Colorado (Arizona). A proof of how much remains to be discovered of this immense country is the annual ranking Best in the US 2018 of Lonely Planet, which collects the most interesting places to discover each year in the North American country. The 10 destinations selected for this 2018 reveal unprecedented faces of a territory full of contrasts, from lonely redwood forests in northern California to the warm Florida space coast , where you dream of being an astronaut, or revitalized industrial cities like Minneapolis or Cincinatti. Also regions so genuinelyMade in USA as the Kentucky Bourbon Country or the endless roads of southeastern Utah, perfect for a road movie.
1. A wild place to forget time (and mobile)
Northern coast of California
American travelers themselves have chosen this lost corner in northern California as the most interesting destination to discover in 2018, a perfect place to detoxify urban stress (and smartphone ). This area of the Pacific coast is known as the Redwood Courtain (shade of redwoods) because the forests emerge by the sea rising to reach a height equivalent to a building of 20 floors. It is inevitable to think that something extraordinary is hidden among these enormous millenary trees, and in fact, moviegoers will be able to recognize places that inspired scenes from films like Jurassic Park , ET or Star Wars.
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Redwood National Park that put an end to the indiscriminate felling of these trees. Thanks to this effort we can see here several of the highest redwoods in the world, while the nearby reserves of Prairie Creek, Del Norte and Jedediah Smith preserve almost half of the primary forests of this species in California. Free camping is allowed and is free throughout Redwood Creek, and gives an unforgettable experience: peek through the tent and observe those colossal trunks in the middle of an idyllic landscape.
The coastal route to the Oregon border is ideal for unhurried travel and enjoy some of the last unspoiled wilderness of the American West. In addition, the northern coast of California is also known as the refuge of many communities of hippies , microbreweries and a diverse flora.
2. Basque pelota court in the heart of the Rockies
Boise is a rather unknown place for Spanish travelers, but Americans know that it is the state capital that grows fastest and in which new breweries, festivals and some of the most lauded wineries in the country are continually emerging. Boise, in the State of Idaho, is an underestimated city and that is part of its charm. It is quite a surprise to find here so many well-stocked wine bars, Parisian-style restaurants and even one of the largest Basque communities outside of Spain, since the first members arrived as emigrants in the 1910s to work as pastors. His footprints and his history can be found at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, where the Basque culture is explained to the American public and how it got to Idaho. In the center there are Basque classes while in the adjoining building, the Anduiza Frontón Building , Basque pelota is played.
Boise is also very close to some of the natural wonders of the Rocky Mountains, a paradise for hiking, biking, skiing or rafting. Without leaving the city you can walk through the network of 48 kilometers of car-free paths that line the green banks of the Boise River and that have made it “the city of trees”. In summer, the river becomes a real party.
3. The new Great South
When you already know the most visited and visited sites in the United States, it may be time to discover authentic corners like Chattanooga, in Tennessee. A city of deep America that has gone from being the dirtiest in the country (in the 1960s) to one of the greenest thanks to the miles of roads set up along the banks of the Tennessee, its free electric buses and the pedestrian bridges that cross the river. But tourists come to this corner of the rural south especially to practice climbing (has several climbing walls in the city itself), hiking, cycling and water sports of high level. Americans say it is one of the best cities in the South for lovers of the outdoors.
Along with this green transformation have also arrived the shops and restaurants overlooking the river, but the most interesting of Chattanooga is still in its vicinity: Lookout Mountain , a mountain that houses the longest underground waterfall in the world, gardens with cliffs and spectacular views. It also invites you to paraglide from above after a fun climb aboard the funicular Incline Railwayl.
4. Ready to take off
Space Coast (Florida)
2018 will be a very special year for aspiring tourists from space. It is 50 years since the launch of Apollo 8 , the first manned spacecraft launched to orbit the Moon. In addition, it is also the year set for the launch of the first lunar tourism flight. If you are not among the daring who choose to be part of the ticket (and can afford the fortune it costs) there is a second option: visit the Florida Space Coast , where the Kennedy Space Center is located , the scene of innumerable launches.
The area of Titusville-Cocoa Beach is known as the Space Coast because it houses, around Cape Canaveral, NASA facilities from where space missions take off. But the name is suitable because here too there is space: 112 kilometers of beaches, from New Smyrna to Sebastan Iniet, with virgin sands and protected national parks. Surfers come to Cocoa Beach to ride the best waves in Florida, and here are prestigious surf schools run by veteran champions.
You can see satellite launches from Cape Canaveral and Titusville or visit the new ATX (Astronaut Training Experience) at the Kennedy Space Center, where we can simulate that we are going on a space mission to Mars. It is an adventure for adults and children, where the most enthusiastic can eat with an astronaut or prepare for a space flight. Nearby, in addition, you can take a leap into the past from the future: St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States , founded by the Spanish in 1565.
5. Beer and art routes
Welcome to the new American mecca for beer lovers. A city much more interesting than one would expect from one of the great industrial centers of the Great Lakes. Music clubs in haunted mansions, narrow streets that meander to the top of Mount Adams and an interesting route through the history of their beers, famous in the United States, and art. The new Brewing Heritage Trail tells us how Cincy , a local nickname, was one of the great breweries since the late 1800s and how abandoned breweries have now been recovered, which can be visited at Over the Rhine, the former German quarter of brick buildings truffled with restaurants and fashion stores.
But the highlight of Cincinnati this year will be his artistic life, in centers such as the Rosenthan Center for Contemporary Arts , a building designed by Zaha Hadid full of avant-garde art; the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company , a new stage performance space, or the Cincinnati Art Museum, whose collection of works covers 6,000 years, with special emphasis on the ancient art of the Middle East. But the most refined atmosphere is in Mt Adams, which Americans compare (somewhat exaggeratedly) with the Montmartre district of Paris, due to its narrow and winding streets of Victorian houses that lead to the lakes, trails and cultural offerings of the Eden park. And on top, as a reward, some fabulous views over the city.
6. Lobsters, cliffs and lighthouses in New England
Central Coast of Maine
The State of Maine, to the north of the New England region, is a kind of vacation refuge for New Yorkers and inhabitants of the East Coast. 90% of the state is covered in forests, but its coast offers kilometers and kilometers of sandy beach, steep peninsulas that penetrate the Atlantic and picturesque and peaceful villages. But if something is famous (at least among Americans) is for its lobsters. This year will celebrate the 70th edition of the famous Lobster Festival , an additional attraction of its cultural and gastronomic offer, which proposes magnificent maritime museums on the central coast, a multitude of craft breweries, vineyards and local wineries, and gourmet restaurants that take advantage of the local product.
The central coast of Maine is full of opportunities for cycling, sailing or hiking. We can walk through the colonial era shipyards in Freeport or Bath (which also has a maritime museum), although the true spirit of Maine is found in picturesque villages such as Boothbay Harbor – a fjord-like harbor that in summer is full of tourists to eat lobster – or places like the granite island of Monhegan, with its high cliffs against which it breaks with force the oceanic olejae. It attracts many artists and nature lovers, who travel its roads or visit a lighthouse of 1824 that today houses a small museum and several artists’ studios. Following the coastline, further south is Permaquid Point, whose lighthouse perched on the rocks is the star of the 61 that still survive on the coast of Maine.
The Acadia National Park is the only one of New England, virgin nature between coastal mountains, imposing cliffs, beaches and tranquil ponds. A spectacular landscape with lots of activities for hikers on vacation or for adrenaline junkies.
7. The new southern spirit
Richmond has great historical significance for Americans. Everything here gives off that southern spirit of films like Gone with the Wind : it was the Confederate capital during the Civil War and represented the most traditional and patriotic spirit. But now the city struggles against this controversial history and shows itself as a traditional southern city, cordial and pleasant.
Scott’s Adition, which was an industrial area by the river, is now filled with trendy breweries and restaurants. Sports enthusiasts dare to try the whitewater rapids on the James River or jump on the new 84-mile cycle route along its banks. Meanwhile, the artistic spirits photograph the colorful murals of the city center, visit the whimsical Quirk Hotel , which has its own art gallery, or take a look at the innovative temporary exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
But to really understand the city are its historical museums, such as the Civil War Museum , which actually houses three exhibits that show the Civil War and the role of Richmond as the capital of the Confederation from three different perspectives.
8. Whiskey-flavored routes
Kentucky Bourbon Country
With an economy based on bourbon , horse racing and tobacco, Kentucky could theoretically rival Las Vegas as the capital of sin , but in reality it is a dry state, that is, in which there are counties where can drink anything strong in public. What is certain is that we are in the kingdom of bourbon , because here more than 90% of this honey-colored whiskey is produced, and of course, there is a thematic route (no other state can use this name in its packaging). whiskeys)
The best thing to try is to head directly to the Kentucky Bourbon Country , the golden triangle between Louisville, Lexington and Elisabethtown, with the most well-known network of distilleries in the country and good restaurants with menus inspired by bourbon. In addition, artisanal distillers are taking the lead by revitalizing the old abandoned manufacturing centers.
The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey , in Bardstown, takes a tour of the history of bourbon and in most distilleries in the area you can make tastings, buy or even seal your own bottle with red wax. There are circuits guided throughout the route.
9. Art in the Great Lakes
Minneapolis often goes unnoticed as a tourist destination, but it may be time to discover the most artistic city of the Great Lakes, with gleaming art museums, popular rock clubs, ecological restaurants, new boutique hotels and a myriad of theaters. It is a city that lives quite peacefully despite its size – it is the largest of the Great Lakes – and also has just renewed the main downtown streets to host the great sporting event of the year: the Super Bowl.
Minneapolis is genuinely American, one of those places that we seem to have seen a thousand times (in movies and series), but very nice to discover the urban way of life made in the USA . One of the essential visits is its Sculpture Garden, full of contemporary works, next to the Walker Art Center , the most important museum, although not the only one. The other artistic reference is the Minneapolis Institue of Arts.
Next to Minneapolis, its twin city, St. Paul, smaller and quieter, and with a more historical atmosphere, proposes a walk among shops, mansions and churches that allow us to recall past times, especially those reflected in his works Scott Fitzgerald , the most famous literary son of St. Paul.
10. A great ‘road trip’
The red rock canyons with distant snowy peaks in the background are one of the best known landscapes of this corner of the Colorado Plateau. Scenario par excellence of the mythical American road trips along deserted and endless roads, has, nevertheless, obligatory stops. For example, the Los Arcos National Park , where erosion has created thousands of huge arches of natural rock and ridge-shaped formations that give away selfiesincredible in the middle of nature. Moab is the center of operations for any outdoor activity in the area, from mountain bike routes, navigating rivers or doing off-road trips. And in the extreme southeast of the state of Utah, ancient sites dot remote, almost virgin rocky regions. The most prominent (and photogenic), Monument Valley, extends to Arizona.
Recently, less known places such as the plateaus of the new Bears Ears National Monument, covered with forests, are being incorporated into the routes through this territory. Or the ancestral ruins of the Indians of Hovenweep, where the water has carved amazing shapes in the sandstone.