Massive sandstone monoliths stand sentinel in this iconic southwestern landscape.
Things not to miss
#02 Redwood National Park, CA
Soak up the quiet majesty of the world’s biggest trees, wide enough to drive through and soaring upwards like skyscrapers.
#03 Skiing in the Rocky Mountains
The Rockies make for some of the best skiing anywhere, with their glitzy resorts and atmospheric mining towns.
Piled high with salmon, lobster, clams and crabs, the oldest public market in the nation is also home to some great seafood restaurants.
#05 Savannah, GA
Mint juleps on wide verandas, horse-drawn carriages on cobbled streets and lush foliage draped with Spanish moss; this historic cotton port remains the South’s loveliest town.
Scattered through desert landscapes like New Mexico’s magnificent Bandelier National Monument, the dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans afford glimpses of an ancient and mysterious world.
The national park that started it all has it all, from steaming fluorescent hot springs and spouting geysers to sheer canyons and meadows filled with wildflowers and assorted beasts.
#08 Going to a baseball game
#09 Graceland, Memphis, TN
Pilgrims from all over the world pay homage to the King by visiting his gravesite and endearingly modest home.
#10 Sweet Auburn, Atlanta, GA
This historic district holds the birthplace of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and other spots honouring his legacy.
#11 Niagara Falls, NY
The sheer power of Niagara Falls is overwhelming, whichever angle you view the mighty cataracts from.
#12 Driving Highway 1, CA
#13 Crater Lake, OR
Formed from the blown-out shell of volcanic Mount Mazama, this is one of the deepest and bluest lakes in the world, and offers some of the most evocative scenery anywhere.
#14 Crazy Horse Memorial, SD
A staggering monument to the revered Sioux leader, this colossal statue continues to be etched into the Black Hills of South Dakota.
#15 Las Vegas, NV
From the Strip’s erupting volcanoes, Eiffel Tower and Egyptian pyramid to its many casinos, Las Vegas will blow your mind as well as your wallet.
#16 Hiking in the Grand Canyon, AZ
Explore the innermost secrets of this wondrous spot on many of its superb hiking trails at the heart of one of America’s best-loved parks.
Though each of Orlando’s theme parks strives to outdo the rest, Walt Disney World remains the one to beat.
Montana’s loveliest park holds not only fifty glaciers, but also two thousand lakes, a thousand miles of rivers and the exhilarating Going-to-the-Sun road.
Enchanting, fog-bound San Francisco remains bohemian and individualistic at heart.
© Julien Faugere/Shutterstock
Hawaii’s Big Island grows bigger by the minute, as the world’s most active volcano pours molten lava into the ocean.
#21 The National Mall, Washington DC
From the Lincoln Memorial to the US Capitol by way of the towering Washington Monument – this grand parkway is an awesome showcase of American culture and history.
Crazy, colourful, debauched and historic – this is the carnival to end them all.
With world-class museums, restaurants, nightlife and shops aplenty, the Big Apple is in a league of its own.
Enclosed by near-vertical, mile-high cliffs and laced with hiking trails and climbing routes, the dramatic geology of Yosemite Valley is among the country’s finest scenery.
#25 Miami’s Art Deco, FL
This flamboyant city is deservedly famed for the colourful pastel architecture of its restored South Beach district.
#26 Driving US-1 to Key West, FL
Travel one of America’s most tantalizing highways from sleepy Key Largo to heaving Key West, cruising over the sharks and rays on giant causeways and bridges.
© Alexandr Vorobev/Shutterstock
#28 Venice Beach, LA, CA
#29 South by Southwest, TX
© Alfie Photography/Shutterstock
Housed inside this striking glass pyramid is an unparalleled collection of rock music’s finest mementoes, recordings, films and exhibitions.
Planning your trip to USA
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.