The best things to do in Chicago

Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago—the largest city in Illinois and the third largest in the United States—offers a wealth of art, music, historical, and architectural experiences. Culture lovers can stroll through Millennium Park and the Loop to view outdoor art (including the iconic “Bean”), tour world-class museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, or cruise the Chicago River to see modern landmark gems. To meet the locals, buy a ticket for a ball game; catch some live blues or jazz (both of which have deep roots in Chicago) at a club; or laugh at the comedy acts at Second City, where many top comedians launched their careers.

Top attractions in Chicago
1. Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower)

Willis Tower can be seen from across Chicago and is a highlight on most sightseeing tours and Chicago River cruises. To head to the top, book admission tickets in advance to skip the long lines—the 70-second elevator journey to Skydeck Chicago includes a film which covers the tower’s history. Then, admire the city from above and take a turn on the glass-bottomed Ledge; alternatively, book an early-access breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the 99th floor or Skydeck.

2. The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is one of the most prestigious sections of pavement in the country—a Chicago must-do, even if you’re only window-shopping. Its central location and prominent place in the city’s cultural landscape mean it’s featured on just about every sightseeing tour, whether on foot, bus, bicycle, trolley, or Segway. To get a sweeping view of the Magnificent Mile, head up to 360 Chicago, an observation deck inside the John Hancock building.

3. Navy Pier

Most Chicago sightseeing tours (by foot, bike, bus, or Segway) include a stop at Navy Pier, which buts right up against the Streeterville neighborhood and the distinctive Chicago skyline—and is one of the largest entertainment complexes in the United States. The pier is also a departure point for the must-do Chicago architecture river cruises and classic lake tours. For kids, Navy Pier features the Chicago Children’s Museum, plus a collection of high-tech rides, hands-on fountains, kid-focused educational exhibits, restaurants, and trinket vendors that will transport your child into the realm of overstimulated joy. Adults will appreciate the lakefront views, cool breezes, and a ride on the gigantic Ferris wheel or classic carousel. Skyline Stage, a 1,500-seat rooftop venue under a canopy, plays host to a variety of shows throughout the summer; and on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the pier puts on a whopping fireworks show.

4. Chicago River

The most popular way to explore the Chicago River is on a cruise, in particular a Chicago architecture river cruise, which offers an overview of the city’s history and building architecture. You can combine your cruise with a Chicago city tour, food tour, South Side tour, speedboat ride along Lake Michigan, or access to the Willis Tower. Kayak tours are also popular, including a nighttime ghosts and gangsters tour.

The best things to do in New York NYC

New York City is not called the city that never sleeps for no reason! There is always plenty of things to do in New York City, in any month, at any hour. From popular events, festivals, attractions, tours, entertainment, and free activities New York City has a lot to offer.

Top attractions in New York
1. Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty tours start with a scenic ferry ride to the island, where you can explore the grounds or head to the famed 10-story-high observation pedestal to see the original torch. From there, enjoy great views and photo ops of the New York City skyline and neighboring New Jersey. You can also secure tickets to the crown but be prepared to climb 354 steeply winding steps to the top.

Guided tours feature live narration and historical insight, while informative audio tours explore the construction and restoration of the monument. The monument is also a highlight on New York Harbor cruises, city helicopter tours, and waterfront walking tours.

2. Empire State Building

Set in Midtown Manhattan, the 102-story skyscraper is a must for any first-time visitor to New York City. While it’s easy to catch a glimpse of the tower around the city, this attraction is best enjoyed from one of its two observation decks, where the panoramic views over the Big Apple are legendary. Tickets to one or both of the observation decks can be purchased solo, although the Empire State Building is also visited on many city sightseeing tours, which often also include stops at Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. If you plan to visit on your own during peak times, it’s a good idea to buy an Express Pass to skip the line all the way to the 86th floor.

3. Ellis Island

Explore the Ellis Island Immigration Museum on a 45-minute self-guided audio tour through exhibits including photos, films, archive material, and recordings. Additional audio tour options describe exhibits in more detail via in-depth interviews with historians, architects, and archaeologists. Visitors can also book a private tour of Ellis Island to maximize their experience and understanding of the sight, or a combo tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

4. Central Park

Central Park has something for everyone. Visit Bethesda Fountain, the Strawberry Fields monument, or the Alice in Wonderland statue; enjoy kid-friendly fun on the carousel at the Central Park Zoo; sail model boats at the Conservatory Water pond; or simply relax and soak in the scene at Bethesda Terrace or Sheep Meadow. The park’s size can be overwhelming, so consider a park bike tour, a walking tour, or a pedicab tour for a guided experience. Bike rentals are also available.

5. Cave of the Winds

A Cave of the Winds tour is a must for those who want to experience Niagara Falls up close. Though the cave that once existed behind Bridal Veil Falls is no longer, the site now features wooden observation decks that allow visitors to experience the powerful, thundering water. The journey begins on the US side of the falls, with a 175-foot (53-meter) elevator descent down Niagara Gorge to the level of the Niagara River. From there, visitors can venture onto the aptly named Hurricane Deck or keep their distance on a platform 150 feet (46 meters) from the base of the falls.

For an in-depth experience, combine your Cave of the Winds tour with a ride on the famed Maid of the Mist boat or a trip to Prospect Point Observation Tower. A half-day tour of Niagara’s American side allows visitors to explore highlights such as Goat Island and the Mighty Whirlpool, while a full-day tour also features Canadian attractions such as Skylon Tower.

The best things to do in San Francisco

San Francisco is seven square miles of fog-shrouded magic. Travelers come for cable-car rides and the Golden Gate Bridge—and stay for edgy neighborhoods, cultural diversity, and beautiful open-air spaces.

Top attractions in San Francisco

1. Alcatraz

Alcatraz is only accessible by tour and tickets often sell out well in advance. Lock in those high-demand tickets by booking a San Francisco tour that includes admission to the infamous federal penitentiary and a day of city sightseeing by bike, bus, boat, or Segway. Popular stops include Chinatown, North Beach, and the Ferry Building. Other options combine Alcatraz with cable car rides, bay cruises to Sausalito, or Marin headland adventures.

On the island, explore at your own pace with the self-guided cellhouse audio tour. You’ll also find National Park Service exhibits, video presentations, docent- and ranger-led guided tours, and special programs that vary by season.

2. Golden Gate Bridge

Walk, bike, or bus across the Golden Gate Bridge; sail or cruise the waters below it; or fly high above the attraction aboard a seaplane. Alternatively, combine your visit with sightseeing in the city; admission to Alcatraz; a half-day tour in Sonoma and Napa Valley; or hikes in Marin or on Angel Island.

Or, learn about the bridge’s history at the San Francisco terminus Welcome Center and explore other Marin County highlights such as seaside Sausalito, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Muir Woods National Monument, home to Northern California redwood trees.

3. San Francisco Bay

The area abounds with ways to enjoy the bay. Options range from sunset sails and brunch cruises to helicopter excursions—some tours provide overnight accommodation. Take a ferry to Angel Island State Park, Alcatraz Island, or the pretty town of Tiburon. Or, zip around San Francisco on a Segway, bike, or e-bike, stopping for bay photo ops. If you have time to spare, consider a regional tour to the redwoods, wine country, or Yosemite National Park.

4. Jackson Square

Jackson Square, originally known as Place d’Armes, is one of New Orleans’ most storied spots. Built in 1721, it is lined with historic buildings that have played an essential part in the development of the city. On one side, you’ll find the Cabildo, where the Louisiana Purchase (when the US bought the state of Louisiana from the French) was signed back in 1803. Next door is St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in North America, while in the center of the square, you’ll find a statue of the seventh US President Andrew Jackson, for whom the square is named.

5. Golden Gate Park

Sitting between the Richmond and Sunset districts, Golden Gate Park stretches about 50 blocks across San Francisco. Stop by the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences at the Music Concourse, or pay a visit to the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Shakespeare Garden, National AIDS Memorial Grove, and Stow Lake.

Farther west, the park spreads out with more trails, a 9-hole golf course, meadows that host annual music festivals, windmills, and even a bison paddock. Park Segway tours and bike rentals are the top ways to explore.


The best things to do in Las Vegas

The best things to do in Las Vegas If you’ve always wanted to visit Las Vegas but don’t like to gamble or party, don’t worry! You will find plenty of things to do in Las Vegas that don’t involve gambling or partying. Keep reading to discover my suggestions for the best things to do in Las Vegas!

Top attractions in Las Vegas

1. Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam (originally known as Boulder Dam) is an inspiring symbol of American engineering, built during America’s Great Depression as the then-largest dam construction project in the world. Travelers have flocked here for decades to see picturesque views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River, and today, the dam receives more than 1 million annual visitors. Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

2. Grand Canyon West Rim

The West Rim is an ideal day trip destination from Las Vegas, Nevada. Hike the area, visit the Western-style Hualapai Ranch for food and themed activities, or step onto the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk—a glass bridge near Guano Point that allows visitors to see the Colorado River flowing 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) beneath their feet. The West Rim is a popular destination for helicopter tours from Las Vegas, which give travelers a bird’s-eye view of the canyon and nearby attractions such as the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. For a special treat, opt for a sunset helicopter tour that includes Champagne. Bus tours from Vegas offer a different perspective and sometimes also include a visit to Joshua Tree National Park.

3. Fremont Street Experience

Featuring concerts, lights shows, and multiple casinos, the Fremont Street Experience is one of Downtown Vegas’ biggest attractions. Visitors can experience this slice of Sin City history in a number of ways, including walking tours, Trikke and Segway tours, or even a private tour with an Elvis impersonator in a pink Cadillac convertible.

4. Las Vegas Strip

Stroll the Strip on a walking tour for an up-close sensory overload, zip through on a Segway, or catch a ride with an Elvis impersonator to see the action from a Pink Cadillac. Come nightfall, explore the Vegas Strip on nightclub and food tours or bar crawls.

But what happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas—some private hop-on hop-off limo tours come with personal photographers to document your big night out. Scenic nighttime helicopter rides are also extremely popular, allowing you to view the Strip in all its colorful, illuminated glory.


5. Grand Canyon Skywalk

Most tours to the Grand Canyon Skywalk begin in Las Vegas, where travelers head east to the Arizona desert by road, plane, or helicopter. A Skywalk ticket can be combined with a Hoover Dam trip or a scenic helicopter tour over the canyon, while other options include visits with Hualapai tribe members or a boat ride up the Colorado River. Those short on time can opt for a skip-the-line experience.