When it comes to a vacation, the choice of where to go and what to see is a personal one. Some travelers prefer getting lost in the museums, culture and food scenes of renowned cities while others enjoy lying on the beach with a good book in one hand and a drink in the other. Families may want to pack up the kids and head for an outdoor adventure at one of America’s sprawling national parks while couples or solo travelers might be interested in a relaxing small town getaway. If you’re thinking it’s time to plan a vacation and you’re not quite sure where to travel, the U.S. News Best Vacations rankings are here to help guide you to your ideal getaway.
In this year’s rankings, which use a methodology that incorporates both traveler sentiment and editors’ scores across numerous categories, it’s clear: People value destinations with beautiful scenery and ample outdoor activities.
New Zealand’s South Island (No. 1 on the World’s Best Places to Visit ranking) boasts impressive fjords and glaciers, hiking galore and verdant vineyards, plus adventure excursions like bungee jumping, kayaking and skydiving. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona (the No. 1 Best Place to Visit in the USA) entices visitors with striking rock formations, challenging trails and thrilling outings like helicopter tours and whitewater rafting trips.
In the Turks and Caicos Islands (the No. 1 Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean), vacationers will find white sand beaches, turquoise water, well-kept golf courses and a variety of boutique hotels and beachfront resorts. Tulum (No. 1 on the Best Places to Visit in Mexico list) also offers beautiful beaches in addition to cerulean blue cenotes for swimming and snorkeling and Mayan ruins to explore.
Whether you want to explore America’s top vacation spots or you’re ready to finally take that international trip, consult the U.S. News Best Vacations rankings to find the best destination (or destinations) for you. Read more about the top places to visit below. (Keep in mind, some destinations may require pre-travel testing and/or proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. State Department for details on travel before booking a trip.)
World’s Best Places to Visit
Best Places to Visit in the USA
Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA
An early morning view of Bar Harbor, Maine and the fall foliage of the surrounding mountains.(Getty Images)
Best Cheap Vacations in the U.S.
Best Places to Visit in Mexico
Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean
Best Places to Visit in Canada
Best Places to Visit in Europe
Best Cheap European Vacations
Best Places to Visit in Asia
Best Places to Visit in Africa
Best Places to Visit in Central and South America
Best Places to Visit in Australia & the Pacific
Best National Parks in the World
Best U.S. National Parks
USA, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, Midway Geyser Basin, Grand Prismatic Spring (Getty Images)