The Best Places to Visit in the United States in 2022 - Full-Time Travel

The Best Places to Visit in the United States in 2022

The Best Places to Visit in the United States in 2022

By Esme Benjamin

While putting a pin in our international travel plans the last couple of years was disappointing, there was an upside: we were encouraged to discover beauty and adventure closer to home, and for many of us it was a welcome reminder that you don’t have to go great distances to have great experiences. Perhaps that’s why the domestic travel trend shows no signs of slowing down this year. Whether you’re enticed by the great outdoors or excited about the return of big city travel, our list of the best places to visit in the United States in 2022 offers inspiration for your next adventure.

Acadia National Park | By Mick Haupt

Go Stargazing at Acadia National Park 

As the first place in the United States to see sunrise, Acadia National Park is a prime destination for self-declared “morning people,” (greeting dawn from the top of Cadillac Mountain is one of the park’s most popular activities).  But thanks to the Acadia Night Sky Festival, which celebrates its 13th year anniversary in 2022, it’s equally suited to night owls. Scheduled for September 21-25 (which also happens to be one of the best/least crowded times of year to visit Acadia), the festival celebrates the largest expanse of dark sky east of the Mississippi River with a program of workshops, speakers, good eats and, of course, stargazing galore. Stay tuned for announcements. 

Luxury wellness resort Sensai Lanai | By Robb Gordon

Discover Paradise Without the Crowds on Lanai Island

Hawaii has exploded in popularity since the pandemic began, consistently topping Google charts as the most searched U.S. vacation destination. If you’re feeling called to the Aloha state but don’t want to join throngs of other tourists, it might be time you considered Lanai. As one of the smaller and lesser visited islands, Lanai offers a more wellness-centric experience than its neighbors. Spend your days on chilled beaches and hiking trails, and your evenings eating and drinking alongside the locals. For a true wellbeing break book your stay at the Sensei Lānaʻi and take advantage of its customized health programs. 

New River Gorge National Park | By Tanya Dusett

Visit the USA’s Newest National Park in West Virginia

East coasters rejoice; in 2020 West Virginia got a new national park, and it’s well worth a road trip. The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve has relatively few hiking trails compared with other mountain-filled parks in the U.S., but it more than makes up for the fact with a wealth of adventure activities. Visitors can try mountain biking, white water rafting and even base jumping (each year in October brave souls can sign up to parachute 876 ft. from the New River Gorge Bridge down to the river). We suggest visiting in the fall, when bright foliage makes park views even more striking. 

"Greetings from NOLa" mural

Let Loose in New Orleans

Ask anybody who’s been to New Orleans about their experience and they’ll likely reel off anecdotes about raucous festivals, impromptu adventures and serendipitous encounters. NoLa knows how to party, but the pandemic really put a damper on its celebratory spirit. This year, it’s back with a bang. New Orleans residents say the 2022 Mardi Gras was comparable to pre-COVID times and one glance at the packed calendar of events suggests the city is regaining its famous insatiable energy. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to let loose, a trip to New Orleans is the perfect excuse. 

Rainbow Row, Charleston | By Leonel Heisenberg

Visit Charleston’s International African American Museum 

Set to open in late 2022, Charleston’s International African American Museum will honor and explore the “cultures and knowledge systems retained and adapted by Africans in the Americas, and the diverse journeys and achievements of these individuals and their descendants in South Carolina, the United States, and throughout the African Diaspora.” It’s an important milestone for a city still reckoning with its past (including the fact that an estimated 40% of enslaved Africans arrived on American soil at Gadsden’s Wharf), and a must-visit for history buffs and culture aficionados everywhere. 

The Wave | By Gert Boers

Hike The Wave (If You’re Lucky)

With its undulating sedimentary rock formations in shades of cinnamon and biscuit, The Wave is a bucket list spot for hiking enthusiasts and photographers alike. It’s also one of the most exclusive outdoor spots in America; access to The Wave is granted via a daily lottery, with 64 permits issued at random by the US Bureau of Land Management (48 permits granted three months in advance for online applicants and 16 permits granted one day in advance for in-person applicants). If you’re lucky enough to win, you’ll be issued with a map (there is no defined trail and cell phone signal can be patchy) to begin your six-mile, round-trip hike to The Wave, on the border of Arizona and Utah. The best part? With visitors capped at 64 per day, you’re likely to have this magical place all to yourself. To visit this year, submit your lottery entry ASAP and keep everything crossed. 

Artist Way, Yellowstone National Park | Laura Nyhuis

Celebrate 150 Years of Yellowstone National Park

If you haven’t been to America’s first national park yet, make 2022 the year you visit. Yellowstone celebrated its 150-year anniversary this March, with a program of symposiums, conferences, parades and other celebrations which honor the beauty and ecological diversity of this special place. You could spend a week exploring the terrain of Yellowstone, from kaleidoscopic thermal pools and explosive geysers to golden grassland and wide rivers, but if you’re strapped for time prioritize hiking the rim of The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone––a pastel-hued canyon carved by the Yellowstone River. It’s blessed with continuous overlooks to soak up the awe, including the breathtakingly beautiful and aptly named Artist Point.  

Indiana Dunes National Park | By Esme Benjamin

Discover Blissful Beaches at Indiana Dunes National Park 

Time spent by the ocean provides a significant boost to our wellbeing, but jostling for space, competing speaker systems and guys hawking homemade cocktails can ruin the experience somewhat. For a less commercial, more chilled experience this year, consider a trip to Indiana Dunes National Park. Situated along 15-miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the park boasts powdery golden sand framed by steep dunes (some up to 125 ft) etched with dog-friendly walking trails. With nine different beaches to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding a peaceful place to unfurl your beach towel.

Scenes from Bear Camp | courtesy of Natural Habitat Adventures

Go Bear Spotting at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Alaska's remote location and huge swathes of untouched wilderness make it an absolute dream for adventurers. Cruises to the beautiful Kenai Peninsula are set to make a comeback this year, but for a more sustainable and immersive experience of Alaska we recommend heading to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Thanks to its legendary salmon run, this four-million acre pocket of Alaska is prime brown bear territory, and now you can get a front row seat to all their activities at Natural Habitat AdventuresAlaska Bear Camp. Led by a team of bear naturalists, this four-night, once-in-a-lifetime experience provides guests with intimate proximity to one of America’s most beloved species. 

Las Vegas | By Stephen Leonardi

Catch a Show to Remember in Las Vegas 

Those early pandemic photos of the deserted Las Vegas Strip are a distant memory two years on, as a plethora of new openings and exciting entertainment residencies bring visitors flocking to Sin City once again. Hot tickets include Adele, John Legend, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Sting, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Usher. Peruse dates and book shows at the newly opened Resorts World Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, and (our favorite venue) Park MGM’s Dolby Live.

Sunsets in Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey offer a mesmerizing sight with vibrant colors against the backdrop of fairy chimneys and rock formations. It`s a serene and unforgettable experience, perfect for capturing stunning photographs and enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

Reel : @adrianbaias
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Vietnam is a stunning blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. From the lush rice terraces to the serene waters of Ha Long Bay, its landscapes are captivating. The warmth and resilience of its people add a unique charm, whether in bustling cities like Hanoi or historic sites like Hue. Vietnam offers a profound experience that merges breathtaking scenery with a vibrant local culture, leaving visitors enchanted and inspired.

Reel: @zayyarlin84
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Explore Madeira`s stunning coastline: rugged cliffs, volcanic formations like Ponta de São Lourenço, and charming fishing villages like Funchal. Discover the natural beauty and vibrant culture of this Portuguese gem!

Reel: @andrechaica
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Elevate your date night at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas! Start with a meal at one of the property`s 40+ restaurants, then head to the stunning new High-Limit Gaming Lounge in The Palazzo. Whether you`re spinning the slots or going all-in at the tables, you`re in for an unforgettable experience. Ready to get lucky? Link in bio! ...

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The pool at @krallerhof is an elegant and inviting oasis, nestled within the beautiful surroundings of the Austrian Alps. It offers a serene retreat for guests to relax and unwind, with both indoor and outdoor options available. The pool area is meticulously maintained and features luxurious amenities, providing a tranquil escape for visitors to enjoy during their stay.

Reel: @nichodebiasio
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Point Reyes: A coastal gem with diverse landscapes, wildlife, and stunning views. Perfect for hiking, beachcombing, and stargazing.

Reel: @tylerwayneglass
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The Busan Air Cruise, also known as the Sky Capsule Train, is a popular attraction in Busan, South Korea. This unique train ride takes passengers on a journey above the city, providing stunning panoramic views of Busan`s coastline, mountains, and urban landscape. The futuristic capsule-shaped cabins offer a comfortable and immersive experience, making it a must-try activity for visitors exploring Busan.

Reel: @belet_ryu
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"Checking into Estelle Manor, the closest thing to a Saltburn-esque staycation you`ll ever experience in the UK. Imagine a beautifully restored Jacobean manor on the cusp of the Cotswolds and nestled within 3,000 acres of Oxfordshire parkland, with extravagant interiors to match (expect bold artworks and intricate details around each corner), a Riviera-style pool to lounge by, and three different restaurant to sink your teeth into. The addition of the hotel`s new Eynsham Baths (an incredible spa modelled on traditional Roman baths) really takes the hotel up another notch, despite it already being in a league of its own." - @ginagoesto ...

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A scenic coastal drive in Africa.

Reel: @joshstrauss_
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At The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, HaSalon is the spot for upscale, experiential dining. With an energetic atmosphere, exceptional service, and the freshest eats, HaSalon nails high-end, upbeat interactive dining. ...

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Atlantis Ibiza: Famous for its cliffs and coves, perfect for adventurous activities like cliff diving and snorkeling.

Reel: @saltinourhair
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