U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual rankings of the Best Vacation Destinations. The new rankings highlight the World’s Best Places to Visit. Not surprisingly, Paris, with its world-renowned attractions, excellent cuisine and charming atmosphere, is the No. 1 destination in the world on the Best Places to Visit list. New Zealand’s South Island earned the No. 2 spot thanks in part to its breathtaking scenery, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and affordable activities. The list also includes Rome at No. 3, Tahiti at No. 4 and London at No. 5. Additionally, No. 12 went to New York City, No. 15 to Sydney and No. 17 to Amsterdam.
Visually appealing and naturally beautiful destinations dominate the Best Places to Visit in the USA ranking, with national parks claiming four of the top five spots on the list. Grand Canyon National Park tops the ranking, followed by Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Maui, Hawaii, and Glacier National Park. National parks offer an affordable way to escape the day-to-day grind while reconnecting with yourself or loved ones.
For a city experience, New York City follows at No. 6. The Best Historical Cities to Visit in the USA list features a mix of metropolises and small towns, including the District of Columbia at No. 1, Boston at No. 2, Philadelphia at No. 3, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, at No. 4 and Williamsburg, Virginia, at No. 5.
U.S. News also ranks the Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA, with Telluride, Colorado, coming in at No. 1, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, following at No. 2 and Lake Tahoe ranking No. 3. All three destinations blend small-town charm and big-city conveniences, with easy access to superb ski slopes, hiking trails and fun events during the summer months.
“This year we saw an unmistakable travel trend: More people are interested in spending their hard-earned vacation days outdoors,” said Christine Smith, travel editor at U.S. News.
The survey analyzed more than 700 destinations using a methodology that combines travelers’ opinions, as provided by user votes, with expert and editor analysis. Each destination is scored in 10 categories, from sights, culture and food to nightlife, adventure and romance, offering a comprehensive evaluation of each destination.
World’s Best Places to Visit
2. South Island, New Zealand
4. Tahiti, French Polynesia
Best Places to Visit in the USA
1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
2. Yosemite National Park, California
3. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
4. Maui, Hawaii
5. Glacier National Park, Montana
Best Historical Cities to Visit in the USA
1. District of Columbia
4. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
5. Williamsburg, Virginia
Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA
1. Telluride, Colorado
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
3. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
4. Sedona, Arizona
5. Bar Harbor, Maine
Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
1. South Island, New Zealand
3. Tahiti, French Polynesia
4. Great Barrier Reef
5. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean
1. British Virgin Islands
2. St. Lucia
3. U.S. Virgin Islands
4. Turks and Caicos Islands
5. St. Vincent and the Grenadines