Written by Lyndsey Morgan
The United States of America is home to immense landscapes and seemingly never ending roads. The country spans four time zones and is bordered by two other countries to the north and south. Every climate and region is represented, be it desert, mountains, snow-capped peaks, frozen tundra, rolling wheat fields, or huge forests. Because of this, Americans have become a car culture, and often will take road trips to visit far-off places, usually arriving within a few days' time. Here is a list of the top 10 destination cities for vacationing citizens. DISCLAIMER: The reading of this may prompt you to take an immediate vacation.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Things To Do – Super links page offering all types of attractions in San Francisco for the visiting traveler. Museums, restaurants, zoos, and other popular destinations.
Fisherman's Wharf – The official web site of the Wharf, this has attractions, events, information, pictures, and history all in one place. The ultimate guide to one of the most famous parts of this city.
Alcatraz – Even though it has been closed as a prison since 1963, you would be hard pressed to find an adult nowadays who has never heard of this famous island. Here is all the information you need, including directions, tour times and events, and even some history.
7 x 7 – 7x7 refers to the geographical size of the city, 7 miles by 7 miles. This is the ultimate insider's guide, offering non-traditional things to do that really let you experience the best parts of the city.
Official SF – This is the home page for the city government, but offers a huge resource on traveling and visiting the city. There is a calender of events, and even a page just for pictures so you can see what you are getting into.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Only Vegas – The official tourism bureau website for Las Vegas, this site has it all. Information to plan your trip, special offers (not spam), fun facts and history about the city, and guides to where to stay.
The Other Side – There is a lot more to Vegas than neon lights, gambling, and the nightlife. Those thing are hard to be enjoyed by the whole family, so here is a god page that details some of the “other things” to do in Vegas.
Fremont – Centered around the largest LED screen in the world (and its overhead), the Fremont Experience is just that – an unforgettable experience. Combining vintage Vegas with lots of fun, this is something you do not want to pass up.
Vegas Guides – There are tons of items of information here, organized into handy guides, including shows, entertainment, nightlife, restaurants, tours, gambling, and weddings.
Official Vegas – The city government visitor page,with tons of information that you know you can count on. Information categories are about planning your trip, transportation, weddings, downtown, entertainment, and maps.
The District – Billed as the “Tourist's Guide to Washington, D.C.”, this attempts to put everything you need on one place. Events, attractions, hotels, tours, etc., you can even by tickets to events from the site.
Free things to do – From the city's official tourism website, here is a super-list of 100 free or very nearly free things to do. I can attest from personal experience that the list is valid and very informative.
District of Columbia – Fast facts and information about the best time to visit, average temperature (it gets really humid sometimes), and nearby destinations that are good for day trips.
Tips for families – The city is very pedestrian friendly, and here are some tips for families or those traveling with children. There is something for everyone in the nation's capitol.
Insider information – Tips and other information about what to do in the city. As the country's only federal city, and the capitol of America, there is a lot of tourism – year round. These four pages of information offer great tips on what to see.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Not For Tourists – Don't be put off by the name of the site – this is as comprehensive a link resource as I have ever seen. Hundreds of links divided into 13 different categories.
NYC go – Here is the official tourism resource for NYC. Even going so far as to offer sample itineraries, this site is loaded with information. Be sure to check the section on 'getting around', as NYC is not exactly car friendly.
Crossroads of the World – The official site of Times Square, possibly the most famous intersection in the world, and definitely among the most popular destinations in this largest city in America.
Hidden Secrets – Page from the NYC Insider Guide about things that are off the beaten track – and may help you to avoid long lines and mobs of other world travelers.
Favorite Places – Great resource on places to go in NYC, especially with families. Good tips and insider information from someone who lives there.
ORLANDO/LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA
Disney World – The main reason people visit Lake Buena Vista is for Walt Disney World. Here is their main site, offering places to stay, things to do, and where to eat.
Golf – This city has something for everyone, and golfers are no different. Offering some of the greatest golf courses around, here is a guide to the local ones.
Visit Florida – Believe it or not, there are other things to do in Orlando other than Disney related events. Tons of them. This page helps you to find the other resorts, events, and attractions in the local area.
210 Things – Super listing composed of 210 things to do in Orlando, the large city right outside of Disney World. If you can find something to do from this list, Orlando may not be the place for you.
Hello Orlando – Attractions, events, things to do, and maps are all here in one site. Easy to navigate (the city and the site), you should be able to find what you need fairly easily.
City of Boston – Official website for the city, focused on visitors. Everything is included, some history, some attractions, how to get around, etc.
Boston.com – Unofficial but no less informative resource guide to visiting this historic city. There are articles such as '25 things to do for less than $25', and a guide to the neighborhoods.
OAH – The Organization of American Historians has compiled this link list of exploring Boston's museums and historical sites. Phone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation, and links to the individual sites are all on the same page.
Boston Insider – Experience Boston like a local is the tag line of this site, and it delivers. 12 different categories shape your experience in where to go and what to see.
GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA
NPS – National Park Service web site about the Grand Canyon National Park. Information on lodging, camping, hiking, visitor's brochures and more are here.
Grand Canyon.com – Commercial but no less informative page offering videos and information about the Canyon, even offering to allow you to customize the page information based on where in the Park you are going.
Railroad – The Grand Canyon Railway has been in operation since 1901, and was the original; way to tour and sight-see before helicopters and such.
Other things – The Grand Canyon is not the only thing to see in the area. Here are several other items of interest within the area.
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA
Official site – National Park Service official site all about Yellowstone National Park, which is actually in three states.
Yellowstone – Unofficial but wonderful site attempting to list everything there is to do or see. Even a listing of facts and events is on this site.
West Yellowstone – Hardly concerned metropolitan, West Yellowstone is a small place and you will need somewhere to sleep. This page has lodging info, but also local area information and things to do depending on the season.
Montana – This site is the only locally owned page serving the community of West Yellowstone and the national park. You will find things to do aside from the park, as well as a host of other information.
Seattle – Here is the official tourism website for the city, which refers to the city as 'metronatural', being as it is a metropolitan city at it's core and surrounded by natural beauty and features.
.GOV - The city government home page, this one is focused on visitors to include sections on points of interest, virtual tours, where to eat and shop, etc.
Beyond Seattle – No shortage of information here, this page also has links to things to do beyond Seattle and across Puget Sound.
When Should I Go? - Great travel guide about when to visit Seattle, as there is usually no shortage of rainy days. Best to be prepared ahead of time and plan your trip accordingly.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Happy Happens – The official travel resource for the entire region, here is a wealth of information from getting around to local events.
Free stuff – 101 things to do in San Diego, separated by 12 different categories, offering things such as water activities, culture and history, and family fun.
Beaches – You can't go to San Diego and not visit the gorgeous beaches. Thankfully, here is the official government website with links to all the different beaches.
San Diego Family – Home of San Diego Family, which is a good resource and has a lot of inside information about what to do with families and kids in the city.
Road Trip America – Article on how to be safe on long road trips, with tips and suggestions about safety.
7 tips – A list from Parents Magazine composed of 7 detailed tips and ideas for staying safe on long road trips in the car.
Pets and traveling – In the event that the family pet accompanies you, this is the resource you want to read. Here are 10 tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) on car travel with your pet.
WebMD – Medical resource on how to keep your children safe in the car, with additional information concerning child safety seats (called so for a reason).
AAA – The homepage of the American Automobile Association, which is handy to be a member of for the towing resources alone if you are embarking on a trip of any length.