VACATION IDEAS

50 Cities Every American Should See!

We can pretty much guarantee that at least one of these beautiful, inviting cities is just a drive away. America's surprising state capitals are a truly varied bunch of burghs, but they have a few awesome things in common, including great cuisine, art, history, and four seasons of outdoor activities.

  1. Salem, Oregon, is one of the most beautiful state capitals in America. Here, its cherry blossoms in spring rival those of D.C.

    (Jpldesigns/Dreamstime)
  2. One of Salem's lovely garden paths in spring.

    (Jpldesigns/Dreamstime)
  3. Few state capitals can match Boston, Massachusetts, for historical pedigree. Here, the city's North End includes the Freedom Trail and Old North Church.

    (Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime)
  4. A charming row of classic brick houses in Boston's historical North End.

    (Elena Elisseeva/Dreamstime.com)
  5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, may not bring to mind cruising for those who haven't visited the lovely city, but boats are abundant.

    (Justin Brotton/Dreamstime)
  6. The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a moving tribute to the lives lost in 1995

    (Courtesy dallaservin/myBudgetTravel)
  7. In a state renowned for its natural beauty, Montpelier, Vermont, boasts a vibrant downtown.

    (Wellesenterprises/Dreamstime)
  8. East Montpelier and one of the rustic sights along the road.

    (Courtesy Gordie Sands/myBudgetTravel)
  9. The Madison, Wisconsin, skyline at dusk, reflected in Lake Menona.

    (Suzanne Tucker/Dreamstime)
  10. The University of Wisconsin's Bascom Hall on a summer day demonstrates what we love about Madison.

    (Suzanne Tucker/Dreamstime)
  11. The Scioto River is one of the beautiful natural wonders you can enjoy in Columbus, Ohio.

    (Bryan Busovicki/Dreamstime)
  12. A stunning view of Columbus's beautiful glass conservatory and its grounds.

    (Glenda Powers/Dreamstime)
  13. Salt Lake City, Utah, is a must-visit for winter sports enthusiasts, though the city is beautiful and welcoming all year round.

    (Courtesy Donna Carroll/myBudgetTravel)
  14. Salt Lake City is definitely worth a stay if you're in Utah to explore the state's five National Parks.

    (Courtesy cougar718/myBudgetTravel)
  15. Cherry blossoms adorn the other Washington: Olympia, Washington.

    (Courtesy DWaiste/myBudgetTravel)
  16. Olympia is near Washington State's beautiful National Park and other bragworthy nature sites.

    (Courtesy Antagony/myBudgetTravel)
  17. The classic panoramic view from the top of the Diamond Head trail suggests that Honolulu, Hawaii, may be the ultimate in beautiful state capitals.

    (Courtesy errant13/myBudgetTravel)
  18. Gorgeous Waikiki Beach is actually a neighborhood in Honolulu.

    (Vacclav/Dreamstime)
  19. Opened in 2008, the Railyard District of Sante Fe, New Mexico, is now home to 11 contemporary galleries, a 10-acre park, and a farmers market.

    (Whitney Tressel)
  20. Visitors drop by the Native American market in Santa Fe.

    (Ffooter/Dreamstime.com)
  21. The skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina.

    (Lightscribe/Dreamstime)
  22. Downtown Raleigh invites visitors with great food and a bustling, forward-looking vibe.

    (John Wollwerth/Dreamstime)
  23. Denver, Colorado, is home to the Denver Performing Arts Center with its landmark sculpture, Dancers, by Jonathan Borofsky.

    (Bambi L. Dingman/Dreamstime.com)
  24. Denver's skyline as seen from the west side of town.

    (Ambientideas/Dreamstime.com)
  25. Juneau, Alaska, surprises visitors with its mellow climate and small-town feel.

    (Courtesy FreqTravelers/myBudgetTravel)
  26. Juneau may be the northernmost U.S. state capital, but its flavor feels distinctly like the Pacific Northwest.

    (Courtesy 2newknees/myBudgetTravel)
  27. Centennial Olympic Park was built for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

    (Sean Pavone/Dreamstime)
  28. A stirring cityscape with skyscrapers and a colorful Atlanta ferris wheel.

    (Foreverbluebird/Dreamstime.com)
  29. Helena, Montana, is not just a beautiful state capital in the heart of the Rockies, but also a center for fine arts.

    (Wellesenterprises/Dreamstime.com)
  30. Helena's State Capitol Building is located near the prestigious Holter Art Gallery.

    (Americanspirit/Dreamstime)
  31. The skyline of Nashville, Tennessee, at sunset, reflected in the Cumberland River.

    (Judy Kennamer/Dreamstime.com)
  32. Nashville boasts an endless array of up-and-coming music artists—and such culinary delights as Nashville hot chicken.

    (Jumparound65/Dreamstime)
  33. A view of the skyline of Providence, Rhode Island, from the far side of the Providence River.

    (Sgoodwin4813/Dreamstime.com)
  34. Rhode Island may be the smallest state in geographical size, but Providence is a major hub for the visual and culinary arts.

    (Tupungato/Dreamstime.com)
  35. St. Paul, Minnesota, allows visitors to tour the rooftop sculpture of its state capitol building.

    (Courtesy denniem/myBudgetTravel)
  36. Beautiful Como Park, St. Paul.

    (Courtesy pma03/myBudgetTravel)
  37. The morning skyline greets the day in Des Moines, Iowa.

    (Benkrut/Dreamstime)
  38. The Iowa Sate Capitol Building, Des Moines.

    (Courtesy gingerg72@hotmail.com/myBudgetTravel)
  39. Annapolis, Maryland, is a major maritime city, not to mention home to the U.S. Naval Academy.

    (Courtesy RSchatz/myBudgetTravel)
  40. Aerial view of beautiful Annapolis.

    (Courtesy chach/myBudgetTravel)
  41. The State Capitol Building in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska.

    (Wellesenterprises/Dreamstime)
  42. A train in the historic Haymarket district of Lincoln.

    (Courtesy ebjerke/myBudgetTravel)
  43. Historic Capitol Building in Tallahassee, Florida, with the new Capitol Building in the background.

    (Todd Taulman/Dreamstime)
  44. State Capitol Building in Tallahassee.

    (Benkrut/Dreamstime)
  45. Boise, Idaho, in the gorgeous early morning before sunrise.


    (Charles Knowles/Dreamstime.com)
  46. Idaho State Capitol, Boise, in autumn.

    (Larry Gevert/Dreamstime.com)
  47. Augusta, Maine, is in the heart of New England's "leaf peeping" scene.

    (Lbreton/Dreamstime)
  48. Maine State House, in Augusta.

    (Chee-onn Leong/Dreamstime)
  49. Cheyenne, Wyoming, is the host to a fabulous (and sometimes painful) Frontier Days rodeo.

    (Courtesy kentonmain/myBudgetTravel)
  50. Wyoming State Capitol located in Cheyenne.

    (Daniel Raustadt/Dreamstime)
  51. The State Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan, in the setting sun.

    (Matthew Tiller/Dreamstime)
  52. Spartan Stadium, East Lansing.

    (Jian Zhang/Dreamstime)
  53. Rock Island Wetland Reserve, with a nice view of the downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, skyline.

    (Calvin L. Leake/Dreamstime)
  54. Old State House building in Little Rock.

    (Glenn Nagel/Dreamstime)
  55. A view of downtown Topeka, Kansas, with its impressive State Capitol Building.

    (Wellesenterprises/Dreamstime)
  56. The Great Overland Railway Depot, in Topeka, has been preserved and restored.

    (Daniel Raustadt/Dreamstime)
  57. Tower Bridge in Sacramento, California, with the city's skyline in the background.

    (Photoquest/Dreamstime)
  58. The bright California sun on the fields of Sacramento.

    (Courtesy sssnancysss/myBudgetTravel)
  59. Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, is a gorgeous sight in autumn—or any time of year.

    (Rudi1976/Dreamstime)
  60. The Indianapolis skyline on the way into Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts.

    (Courtesy rockon/myBudgetTravel)
  61. Downtown Columbia, South Carolina, on Main Street.

    (Sean Pavone/Dreamstime.com)
  62. Beautifully landscaped grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol Building, Columbia.

    (Sean Pavone/Dreamstime.com)
  63. Albany, New York, is centrally located between the state's northern mountains and the Hudson River Valley to the south.

    (Andreiorlov/Dreamstime)
  64. A historic cemetery in Albany, reminiscent of the one that opens William Kenneday's novel Ironweed, which is part of a cycle of books set in the upstate New York city.

    (Courtesy ctm732/myBudgetTravel)
  65. The amazing view from Mount Bonnell in Austin, Texas.

    (Myleapyear/Dreamstime)
  66. Austin is a hotbed of alternative music and the arts.

    (Courtesy StuSeeger/Flickr)
  67. The state legislative hall in Dover, Delaware.

    (Courtesy chezhoy/myBudgetTravel)
  68. State Street, Dover.

    (Courtesy chezhoy/myBudgetTravel)
  69. Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, reminds visitors that the mountains aren't far away.

    (Jpstock/Dreamstime)
  70. A beautiful garden and stream in Phoenix.

    (Courtesy chickie202/myBudgetTravel)
  71. Springfield, Illinois, best known as the home of Abraham Lincoln, boasts a variety of historically important buildings and parks.

    (Courtesy astaggs/myBudgetTravel)
  72. Abraham Lincoln's home, Springfield.

    (Courtesy astaggs/myBudgetTravel)
  73. State Capitol Building, Montgomery, Alabama.

    (Americanspirit/Dreamstime)
  74. Montgomery's zoo, with its adorable elephants, is a must-see for those in the area.

    (Courtesy Claramc/myBudgetTravel)
  75. The State House and Capitol complex in Trenton, New Jersey.

    (Quenofrock/Dreamstime)
  76. Trenton at sunset.

    (Benkrut/Dreamstime)
  77. The State Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky.

    (Alexey Stiop/Dreamstime)
  78. A banjo player prepares for a performance in Frankfort, in the heart of bluegrass country.

    (Courtesy yobei/myBudgetTravel)
  79. Richmond, Virginia, is home to great restaurants and the truly exceptional Richmond Symphony.

    (Walter Arce/Dreamstime)
  80. Though we typically associate Edgar Allen Poe with Baltimore and New York, Richmond is  home to the noteworthy Edgar Allen Poe Museum.

    (Courtesy EdSilveira/myBudgetTravel)
  81. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi.

    (Snehitdesign/Dreamstime)
  82. State Capitol of Mississippi, Jackson.

    (Americanspirit/Dreamstime)
  83. The State Capitol Building, Carson City, Nevada.

    (Americanspirit/Dreamstime)
  84. Carson City is in the heart of Nevada's extraordinarily wild landscape.

    (Courtesy woobiecat1/myBudgetTravel)
  85. Pierre, South Dakota, was built between 1905 and 1911.

    (Americanspirit/Dreamstime)
  86. The Chicago and North Eastern Railroad Bridge in Pierre.

    (Jana Thompson/Dreamstime)
  87. A lovely autumn day in Riverfront Park in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    (Ed Brennan/Dreamstime)
  88. Cathedral of St. Patrick in Harrisburg.

    (Courtesy joe8211943/myBudgetTravel)
  89. Charleston, West Virginia, skyline on a peaceful autumn afternoon.

    (Benkrut/Dreamstime)
  90. Charleston is on the Kanawha River.

    (Anthony Aneese Totah Jr/Dreamstime)
  91. Concord, New Hampshire, with its State House dome in the distance.

    (Julia Freeman-woolpert/Dreamstime)
  92. The State House and Capitol Building in Concord.

    (Olivier Le Queinec/Dreamstime)
  93. Hartford, Connecticut, is home to colleges, art museums, and, of course, the insurnace industry.

    (Courtesy SusanHalay/myBudgetTravel)
  94. Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, Hartford.

    (Courtesy cjzurcher/myBudgetTravel)
  95. House of Representatives chamber in the State Capitol Building in Bismarck, North Dakota.

    (Glenn Nagel/Dreamstime)
  96. A playful river otter at the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck.

    (Duffy Weiss/Dreamstime)
  97. The Old State Capitol Building In Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    (James Vallee/Dreamstime)
  98. The noteworthy stained glass rotunda in the Old State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge.

    (Courtesy patfax/myBudgetTravel)
  99. State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.

    (Benkrut/Dreamstime)
  100. The Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City.

    (Wayne Mckown/Dreamstime)

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