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8 Great Cities you must have on your America Bucket List

In this blog I will tell you about the 4 cities in the United States of America (USA) that I have visited and a further 4 I would love to see someday. Hello again fellow wanderers. It’s been a little while since my last blog. Life has been taking over! I have not forgotten you and I thought I would do a blog on the USA. There are not many blogs on US cities that I have come across. I don’t know why its probably not on my radar as there is so much on my doorstep living in Europe. But to overlook the US would be a mistake. So here it is my take on the USA.

America has many great cities with its history, giving you a unique travel experience. I visited New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Naples, Florida I will give you a brief take on my visits and the highlights for me there. However, if I were to return to America I would love to visit, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Pluses and Minuses of visiting the USA

Some Advantages for a UK/European traveller to the US

Value for money. The currency exchange is often in our favour (though that is changing)

No language barrier issues

Very diverse landscape and cultures in one visit, can see very different terrain cultures without needing multiple visas or trips.

Relatively easy to get around great transport links on ground and air.

American customer service is top tier. As a nation they really value good customer service so you will bet what ever you need and even a hint of dissatisfaction is met with a goodwill gesture.

Safety, I have not had any issues with the visits I have made to America. Of course the usual common sense would apply as with anywhere.

Some Disadvantages of Visiting the US as a UK/European traveller

Food, I wouldn’t say USA is a great food destination in my experience. There are lots of places with pockets of great food and if you like super size everything then US is a hit. If you are looking for healthier or fine dining options this can be limited again in my experience.

The money all looks the same!! This might seem a silly one but the notes at a glance are same colour unlike most places I have visited with different colours for different bills/notes. So you need to be careful to pay attention to read how much the note is you are handing over!

Tax! The prices you see in stores often don’t include tax! I got caught out by this a few times. So keep in mind. Again this is for the cities I visited and it was some years ago so not sure if things have changed.

Unlike the relative quiet politeness UK/Europe, Americans can appear loud and animated! Its an American thing so just go with it and no harm is intended. Most Americans are lively and very interested in things and eager to help but this could be a culture shock! They are also very keen to tell you all about themselves so you might find you have to excuse yourself from long intros and conversation! Not a reall issue just so you know. Lol

You will need a visa. However there is a straight forward process if you have a UK or European citizen and last time I did it all online. So not a huge issue.

New York

Statue of Liberty in USA

New York, New York so nice they named it twice! New York is by far my favourite American city to date and the one I have been to the most! It is such a cosmopolitan city with a blend of so many cultures that just works together. New York has a lot to offer! The shopping is amazing in New York. Shopping is usually great as the mark up of some electronic brands such as Apple you can buy for a fraction of the cost in America.

New York is also one of the fashion capitals so clothes can be bought here from high street to designer at great prices especially when you consider the exchange rate. Shopping on 5th Avenue I feel like a celebrity!

I love the Staten Island ferry that goes past the iconic Statue of Liberty and you can take a tour up to inside the torch. The Empire State Building was at one point the tallest building in the world now over taken by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.

In this beautiful art deco building you can see, the city in all its splendor including the landmarks the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and Times square from the observation decks. Well worth a visit with some great fine dining and not far from shopping district. I loved taking a horse drawn carriage around Central Park at Christmas time it was freezing but so magical! Times Square with all its electronic signages is a must do in day and night time.

Times Square at night New York, US

New York has World-class museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) a must see when you visit. For a bit of culture had the privilege of seeing a Broadway show and the live entertainment in the Theater District. I visited the trendy and culturally diverse neighbourhoods such as trendy SoHo, historic Greenwich Village, Harlem and bustling Chinatown all well worth a visit.

The food in New York for me is one of the best I have experienced in America. The Italian and Chinese influence is strong and with so many other cultures these cuisines are cheap and very tasty when on the go. New York is vibrant and bustling 24/7 with great nightlife.


This is my second most visited city in America. Miami is great for partying and beach vibes. With its stunning beaches like South Beach, known for its vibrant atmosphere and Art Deco architecture. The lively nightlife were in areas like Miami Beach and the Wynwood Arts District. I loved partying in the nightclubs on the parade hoping from one venue to the next. With yachts and boat parties day and night. The vibe was fun, fun fun. I did come to Miami for one New Years Eve and had an absolute blast!

Miami South beach parade with art deco hotels in US

For cultural attractions I went to the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. There is a strong Cuban and latin american influence in Miami. I found delicious Cuban cuisine in Little Havana and fresh seafood in the Miami River District. Another must do is the Miami Seaquarium, this massive complex is a treat for all ages. I saw an awesome show with an massive Orca, called Lolita which was breathtaking. There has been lots of controversy around whales in captivity and it would be better in my opinion to see these beautiful creatures in their own natural habitat.

If you head to Key West, a 4 hour drive out of Miami, there are lots of outdoor activities like boating, snorkeling, and exploring the nearby Everglades National Park is a must on hoover boats with huge fan blades. One thing I noticed was there were lots of alligators around the canals and waterways but they just seem part of the life in Florida!


I visited Philadelphia some years ago once for a few days and absolutely loved it so much the experience stayed with me. Now if you don’t know about the Rocky film you are probably too you and can skip this bit. Reinacting the movie protagonist Rocky Balboa run up the stairs to the Art Museum was an absolute giggle. I never laughed so much! I dare you to do this! The Museum itself was very inspiring to visit.

Independence Hall, Philadelphia USA

I saw the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Now I thought the Bell would have been much bigger than it was so it was a bit under whelming when I did see it. Still worth it though but I would fit in among other things, like eating at the Reading Terminal Market for some tasty local delicacies like cheesesteaks! I checked out some neighbours like Fishtown and South Street and if you love architecture then walking around the cobble streets of the old city was a treat.


in contrast to the party vibes of Miami, Naples is a more grown up hidden gem in Florida. Its known for upscale shopping and fine dining. There are quiet beaches and has ranked as the destination for wellness and happiness. There are lots of Spas and wellness retreats to get your groove back. Naples gave a very tranquil laid back vibes for a more relaxing pace. There are lots of activities to do however, there are hiking, boating and water sports. I tried water paddling on the through the mangroves which was such good fun. You can rub shoulders with the wealthy by trying your had at golf or dining at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Pier on a beach in Naples

Cities in the USA I would love to visit

New Orleans

For me New Orleans is my top destination on my USA bucket list. This southern gem with its rich culural vibes, soul food and the rich culture shaped by African Americans of the south is a must see in my opinion. The annual New Orleans festival Mardi Gras takes place mid Feb to mid March usually about a month an a half before Easter. For future dates through to 2050 visit the festival webpage. I absolutely love music and New Orleans is brimming with music at its core with musical greats like Louis Armstrong, the home of Jazz and RnB. Teeming with lots nightclubs, restaurants and bars New Orleans sounds like a fun, vibrant, colourful place to visit.

Las Vegas

Now Las Vegas is one of those cliche places I think I won’t mind visiting at least once. This neon city in the desert seems intriguing if a bit over the top. Las Vegas with is many hotels, bars, and gambling casino, my view is from what I have gathered in movies. Seems an all day and night party destination and could be a good for for a girls or boys trip. This could also be great for families however with lots of shows and exhibitions for all ages.

Las Vegas sign in USA

There are lots to do in Vegas but with the Formula 1 grand Prix now being hosted in this city it has moved Las Vegas up my list of places to visit in USA.

San Francisco

San Francisco seems to be a great place to visit with its iconic streets in many movies. San Francisco is known for the former prison Alcatraz, as well as Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars. Apparent the walk along the Fishermans Wharf is beautiful. This picturesque city seems it would be a delight to explore. This city is in the state of California and if possible I would combine with a trip to Los Angeles in the same state.

Los Angeles

The city of Angels, Los Angeles is the mecca for the world famous Hollywood and Beverly Hills anyone who is anyone is movie and entertainment is here. It would be great to visit to see the Walk of the Stars and the famous hollywood sign in the hills. Hollywood, Los Angeles is also home to Universal studios production house of so many great movies. Beverly Hills home to many celebrities with its mansions would be great to see as well as a stroll down Rodeo Drive. With beaches, shopping, dining and potential for celebrity spotting or pretending to be a celebrity yourself, could be make for a fun trip.


There you have it 8 great cities in the USA 4 I have visited and 4 I would like to see someday. America has so much to see and these just scratch the surface. There are famous driving routes through American eg. route 66 and getting from city to city appears relatively easy by air, train or road. From beaches, to culture to celebrities and tranquil havens America is vast. Let me know where in the US you will like to go or have been.

The images used in this blog are from thank you to all the contributors.