JERSEY CITY, NJ - JUNE 19: The sun rises behind the Empire State Building in New York City on June 19, 2023, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey.

Summer has arrived, so it’s time to plan a vacation and some day trips. Deciding what to do can be difficult, but TripAdvisor did a little research, a little surveying, and a little analysis to help vacationers like us make the most of our travel experience.

They timed their information gathering perfectly for the summer vacation season, and have come out with its annual Travelers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best “Things to Do” list, described as “a definitive list of extraordinary experiences for travelers looking to create memorable moments.”

Most cities have attractions that visitors won’t want to miss, but they have narrowed it down to some of the best ones in the country and the world. Therefore, based on their user reviews, TripAdvisor has singled out the top place you might want to visit.

I’ve listed their top five United States attractions below, however, if you are headed out of the country for your vacation, you may want to think about Barcelona, Spain, where the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia was named the Top International Attraction, followed by The Colosseum in Rome, Italy, and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

A complete list of top attractions, and other great experiences, can be found at, but here are the top five in the U.S. with three of them easy to drive to.


  • 1. Empire State Building in New York City

    The Empire State Building is the World’s Most Famous Building. It’s 1,454 ft from ground to antenna and features the only 360-degree open-air vantage point of Midtown.  The 34th St Lobby entrance features a grand staircase with a 2-story architectural model of the building.

  • 2. Central Park in New York City

    With 843 acres in the heart of Manhattan, people have been visiting for more than 150 years. The Park has been managed by the Central Park Conservancy for over 40 years, in partnership with the public. The park is open every day from 6 am to 1 am.

  • 3. Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii

    Iolani Palace is a National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu. It’s the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy. It was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua. Aloha!

  • 4. National 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York

    The National September 11 Memorial and Museum remembers and honors the 2,983 people killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993.  It also honors those who risked their lives to save others and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath of the attacks. It’s open every day from 10 am to 5 pm.

  • 5. National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana

    It’s the top-rated tourist destination in New Orleans and #2 in the U.S. It features exhibits, multimedia experiences, and a large collection of artifacts. There are first-person historical narrations that take you inside the story of the war. You can also tour and ride on an authentically restored PT-boat.

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