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The Most Beautiful Cities in the United States

There are some very beautiful cities in the US. And in this article, I want to share 10 of the prettiest cities in the United States to visit.

Whether historic or modern, these cities boast impressive architecture. Many of them have long histories leading to beautiful old buildings to photograph.

But each of the cities has a distinct vibe that makes them unique and great to visit.

The Most Beautiful Cities in the USA

1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A view of Philadelphia, one of the most beautiful cities in the US
Philadelphia, one of the most beautiful cities in the US

The birthplace of American democracy is one of the most charming cities in the United States.

Lovingly called Philly, the city of cheesesteaks and riverfronts is home to some of the most historic and iconic buildings in America.

The Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, and City Hall proudly proclaim the great American dream.

Vibrant art combined with well-preserved history has made Philly so popular with tourists.

From the oldest residential street in America to scenic riverfronts, and from cobblestone alleys to the world-famous mural arts, the city has innumerable gems to steal your heart.

This guide to Philly is filled with hidden gems, like a visit to the creepy, abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. The Philly vibe will catch you unaware and make you yearn for more.

Whether you take a historical tour of the landmarks or enjoy a cheesesteak, Philly is a beautiful American city that creates memories that are hard to erase.

2. Chicago, Illinois

A view of Chicago

Distinct skyscrapers, glittering Lake Michigan, deep-dish pizza, and the Ferris Wheel, there are many facets of Chicago, each equally mesmerizing.

The Windy City steals the hearts with its Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, and the stunning views from Willis Tower.

Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain is a superb specimen of the art deco style that Chicago is famous for.

Go on a cruise to appreciate the architectural landmarks of the city and see for yourself why Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the US.

However, what makes Chicago so endearing is its friendly vibe.

Party lovers find solace at Rush Street. And if you can time your visit to Chicago, check out one of the festivals that make Chicago so extraordinary: Tastes of Chicago, Pitchfork Music Festival, and Lollapalooza.

Of course, there is football to cheer you up when the mercury slumps.

Chicago is everything you look for in a beautiful American city, it’s a popular destination for a weekend getaway, and there are so many ways to explore it.

Also Read: The Best Outdoor Activities in Chicago and Unique Experiences in Chicago Not to Miss

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans by night

It’s hard to pinpoint what makes New Orleans so charming. Jazz? Beautiful houses? Beignets? Or parties? You won’t care to know when you are in this music-loving city, busy soaking in its ambiance.

French, Italian, African, Spanish, and even Irish culture has blended to create the unique character of New Orleans. So, you will find Spanish-styled houses alongside stuccoed Creole cottages.

The French Quarter is the most vibrant place with old French buildings. Bourbon Street is more popular here, but people who love jazz cannot stay away from Frenchmen Street.

St. Louis Cathedral is the most prominent building in this area.

The appeal of New Orleans lies in its art scene. Catch on some live music while you sip craft cocktails.

In the Bywater neighborhood, art, murals, and funk come together to make New Orleans irresistible.

Also Read: Things to Do in New Orleans – Off the Beaten Path

4. Charleston, South Carolina

Aerial view of Charleston

Steeped in history, Charleston exudes a charm that is hard to miss.

War memorials and cannons that dot the park remind us of the start of the Civil War. However, Charleston has successfully blended history with culture to create a canvas of enticing architecture, lovely gardens, beaches, and art galleries.

The southern charm is palpable in the city’s churches, cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and huge oak trees.

The pastel-shaded antebellum houses make popular Instagram pictures, while seafood served by the restaurants takes the visitors on a gastronomical high.

Some of the best food in America can be found here.

A stroll along the promenade is the best way to see the historic buildings. The nearby streets are a treasure house of boutique shops, restaurants, and museums.

Tasting South Carolina fare at the farmers market is the easiest way to fall in love with Charleston.

5. Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis City Dock
Photo by Charlie Stinchcomb

The capital of Maryland makes it onto the list of the most beautiful American cities for umpteen reasons.

Also known as the Sailing Capital of America, Annapolis is home to the US Naval Academy. The domed chapel of the academy is the pride of the city and its architects.

Annapolis gets its gorgeousness from the Chesapeake Bay on which it is situated.

The colonial homes give it an old-world charm. Amongst the noteworthy historic buildings are the Maryland State House and William Paca House.

The Historic District is home to colorful houses that make a lovely panorama.

A boat ride on the bay is a must to soak in the beauty of this small but stunning city.

And after a day on the water, hit the seafood shacks for the best crab in America.

6. Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado
Photo by Pedro Szekely

Set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder paints a pretty picture with its Varsity Bridge, Mt. Sanitas hike, snow-dusted Flatirons, and breweries.

Boulder is one of the foodie cities of America. And a place where you get small-town charm packed with stunning sceneries.

Boulder ensures exciting activities for its visitors. Hiking and biking are its prime attractions, and if you are in the mood to introspect, head to Pearl Street for a gourmet treat.

The campus of the University of Colorado is a scenic place and ideal for creating attractive Instagram shots. The red sandstone buildings are absolutely picture-perfect.

Fiske Planetarium is another draw of the city.

Boulder is also the city of concerts and live performances. Be it Shakespearean plays or live radio tapings, Boulder creates distinct experiences that will remain close to your heart. It’s not surprising that the city is used as a frequent backdrop for TV shows and movies.

7. Savannah, Georgia

Whitaker and Congress Streets, Savannah
Photo by Ken Lund

Savannah effortlessly makes it onto the list of prettiest cities in the US.

The old-world southern ambiance has an irresistible charm. The laid-back lifestyle coupled with antebellum architecture and tree-lined streets relaxes the soul.

Savannah coaxes you to go slow to savor the sound of clop-clopping of horses on cobblestone streets. You need time to let the beauty of oak trees seep in.

A visit to the Forsyth Park or College of Art and Design reveals the stunning and vibrant avatar of the city. For excellent photography, head to Cathedral Basilica or the beachfront.

The riverfront views, parks and squares, and restaurants will slowly take over your mind and soul.

Beauty lies in small things, and Savannah is living proof of it.

8. San Antonio, Texas

The River Walk in beautiful San Antonio
The River Walk in beautiful San Antonio

Seldom do you find a city that has beautiful places strewn all over it.

Be it the Spanish architecture, the riverfront, or the missions, the elegance of San Antonio works as an undertone. There are lots of great cities in Texas, but visiting San Antonio should be at the top of the list.

The most appealing place in this city is perhaps the River Walk or the Botanical Garden. As you stroll on the river walk along the Antonio River, your heart will leap with joy.

San Antonio proudly bears the mark of war where the ‘Remember the Alamo’ war cry is still heard. The five missions commemorate the Battle of Texas Independence.

The Historical Park will allow you to appreciate the Spanish colonial missions.

The colorful specimens of Spanish architecture add vibrancy to the cityscape.

9. Washington, D.C.

Aerial view of Washington DC

You can debate on what makes Washington so beautiful. Monuments? Tidal Basin? Row houses? The argument will never end, just like the charisma of the capital of the USA.

When it comes to monuments, nothing can beat the allure of Washington. With the Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall, and Smithsonian museums, the city’s skyline is iconic.

Apart from its historical buildings, museums, and shopping malls, the parks and boulevards make Washington beautiful.

Seasonal changes render the city magical. Spring adorns the city with myriad colors, enhancing its elegance. The sight of the cherry blossom trees in full bloom is breathtaking. Roads lined with daffodils and tulips create a pleasant vista.

The capital makes a strong statement through its stately buildings, roads, and shopping malls and showcases the spirit of America.

10. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston's beautiful cityscape

Welcome to one of the oldest cities in America, and one of the most beautiful.

Boston is the city where 16th-century architecture co-exists with ultra-modern buildings. The Freedom Trail takes you through the historical landmarks of the city.

Boston Public Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The Back Bay row houses are perfect for taking photos for your social media accounts.

The waterfront makes the city charming while giving the tourists a nice place to relax and enjoy the views. Boston Common, the oldest public park in the USA, adds to the glory of the city.

Boston is the city to gorge on seafood like chowder and lobster rolls.

With quaint neighborhoods, lush gardens, and plenty of noteworthy architecture, Boston is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.

Also Read: Highlights of Boston – Things to Do, Where to Eat & Where to Stay

The Most Beautiful Cities in the US – Conclusion

Now, I have to admit, it was difficult to create this list of cities. Because, there really are so many beautiful cities in America!

Personally, San Diego is one of my favorite cities, and New York of course is incredible. New Port is adorable and worth a visit especially if you are going to the New York area anyway.

And Honolulu deserves a mention if you plan to leave the mainland.

But what I’m trying to say is that there is beauty in most US cities. And what I’ve learnt from my time living in the US is just how diverse the country is and how completely one state differs from the next. And likewise how one city differs from the next.

So my advice, visit as many beautiful cities in the US as you can!

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A list of the most beautiful cities in the USA

Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. I spend most of my time living and working abroad and visiting destinations all over the world. I use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

1 thought on “The Most Beautiful Cities in the United States”

  1. I have lived all over major cities in the U.S. and I have to admit San Antonio, TX is the most beautiful city that has history, UNESCO designated world heritage’s missions, arts, cultures, amazing museums, incredible natures, Spanish architectures, beautiful neighborhoods, famed river walk, historic Japanese garden, Sea World, Six Flag, Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio Zoo, botanical garden, Natural Bridge Caverns, Cascade Caverns, Wild Life Safari, and Texas Hill Country. San Antonio is also less than 2-hour drive to beautiful Corpus Christi beaches and South Padres National Seashores.


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