Looking to mix it up a little in 2019? While it’s great to visit the classic travel destinations, why not try some exciting exploration into new locations this year? Below are 19 cities that represent the assorted cultures and landscapes that define our country. We hope you make it to at least a few of these memorable destinations in 2019!*
19 CITIES IN 2019
1. Prescott, Arizona
Why: Prescott appeals to the get-away-from-it-all traveler in us. Don’t like crowds? This area will appeal to you. It’s a natural wonderland of beautiful mountain ranges, pristine lakes, rivers and creeks, and gorgeous desert terrain, with a small town/old west feel.
Where: The centrally located Grand Highland Hotel is a stylish, convenient, and comfortable home away from home.
Activities: Kayaking, mountain climbing, or biking—take your pick of outdoor adventures. In the Downtown Historic Area, explore old-style bars, including the Palace, Arizona’s oldest saloon.
Food: Looking for a gastropub? The Barley Hound is Prescott’s excellent offering to the genre.
2. Santa Barbara, California
Why: Sunny, relaxed, and carefree! What better place to salute the final “Game of Thrones” season when it airs in 2019?
Where: Try the Belmond El Encanto, with excellent views that will equal any you’d find from the towers of the Red Keep.
Activities: Explore Santa Barbara wine country. The coastal climate not only makes Santa Barbara one of the best vacation spots in the U.S., it also helps produce some mouth-watering vino.
Food: Give The Lark a try. It’s one of the best restaurants in the city!
3. Anchorage, Alaska
Why: Everyone needs to see the northern lights at least once. Why not make 2019 the year?
Where: Stay at The Lakefront Anchorage for the views, inside and outside. Or opt for the Hotel Captain Cook, where former President Barack Obama stayed.
Activities: Learn about the region at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where events like World Music Celebration and Multicultural Drumming and Dance occur throughout the year.
Food: The Glacier Brewhouse serves up classics like steak, crab legs, and fish and chips, as well as house-brewed beer.
4. Peachtree City, Georgia
Why: This year, the town is commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day at its WWII Heritage Days celebration. Other festivals include Wine & Warbirds in March and Dragon Boat Races & International Festival in September.
Where: The Crowne Plaza Atlanta Peachtree City is luxurious–the 40 acres of surrounding woods, on-site spa, and indoor pool make this accommodation simply peachy.
Activities: Live music aficionado? Head to The Fred. The open-air amphitheater offers more than a live music outing; the whole place is an experience. Film buff? You’ll love the Southern Hollywood film tour.
Food: Have a casual, hearty meal at Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q. For a more romantic atmosphere serving up wine and live music, try the Georgia Shrimp Co. and Murph’s Bar.
5. New York City, New York
Why: The architecture is stunning, the food is first rate, the city is filled with excitement, and you’ll never run out of things to do. 2019 activities include museum openings and renovations, new hotels, restaurants and cultural centers, and the rainbows-and-glitter event of the year, World Pride.
Where: As one of the best cities to visit in the USA, you’re going to find some amazing hotel options. 2019 brings lots of new options, including the first Six Senses in North America and the Equinox.
Activities: Visit America’s immigrant past at the three new gallery spaces at the Statue of Liberty Museum and marvel at the huge expansion project as you catch a performance at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx.
Food: NYC outshines most cities. Many New York restaurants made the 2019 Michelin Guide, and newly starred Oxomoco is a shining place to start. Or head to brand-new Hudson Yards— world-class food masters like David Chang (Momofuku) and Anya Fernald (Belcampo) have brought their eateries to this grand new complex.
6. Williamsburg, Virginia
Why: Step back in time and see history come to life. This year, experience the 400th anniversary of Jamestown and the immersive reenactments in Colonial Williamsburg to see what life was like in pre-revolutionary America.
Stay: The Williamsburg Lodge gives a charming and updated sense of the area’s colonial aesthetic, and Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites is centrally located and close to the perfect starting point, the Visitors Center.
Activities: On display throughout 2019, the exhibit, TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia, helps piece together the fractured and oft-ignored histories of the women who helped shape the country—from Powhatan Indian, English, and west central African cultures. Food: Treat yourself to the finest fresh fish at Waypoint Seafood and Grill, take in a casual lunch at Paul’s Deli, or satisfy a sweet tooth at Duck Donuts.
7. Laramie, Wyoming
Why: Love wide-open spaces? Put Wyoming on your list this year. It’s not all wilderness, however. Laramie has historical bragging rights, too. Home of the first woman in the world to cast a vote in a general election, this town celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first women’s suffrage law in the U.S. in 2019.
Where: The Hilton Garden Inn is conveniently close to the center of things and is good for families, with its indoor pool and family packages. For the full Wyoming experience, stay at a working ranch.
Activities: In July, take part in the Jubilee Days celebrations, which mark Wyoming finally becoming a state in 1890. When originally asked to join the Union, they declined rather than give up their women’s suffrage laws. July is also the month for Laramie Brewfest.
Food: Step into Coal Creek Coffee Co. for a morning brew. Come meal time, Altitude Chophouse & Brewery is the place to get great beer and spot-on dishes like beef brisket and charred lime salmon. They also feature vegetarian and vegan menus.
8. Anaheim, California
Why: As home to Disneyland®, Anaheim always has something magical going on. The Official Disney Fan Club will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, and it’s a year of celebrations for a certain famous mouse’s 90th birthday.
Where: Hotel Indigo Anaheim is modern and stylish, and is walking distance to the park.
Activities: Attend WonderCon 2019 in March, the Orange County Ultimate Women’s Expo in May, and D23 Expo in August. Also, try the Craft Brew Tours.
Food: Dine at the Blind Rabbit the, a delicious speakeasy and eatery. In the ARTIC train station, head into The Oyster Bar SKC for fresh seafood with Louisiana flair.
9. Tusayan, Arizona
Why: Make 2019 the year you finally see the Grand Canyon! The whole area is celebrating 100 years of the Grand Canyon as a national park.
Where: Stay at the warm and welcoming Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel. They even offer tours by plane, horse, boat, or foot.
Activities: Learn more about 100 Years of Grand, a partnership project through Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and Grand Canyon National Park that showcases archival materials pertaining to the early years of the Grand Canyon.
Food: For Western grub, try Big E Steakhouse and Saloon. Or dine Italian at We Cook Pizza and Pasta.
10. San Diego, California
Why: San Diego has it all–weather, beaches and beer! 2019 is its 250th birthday and the city is hosting the inaugural World Beach Games. LEGOLAND® California Resort is celebrating 20 years.
Where: A good neighborhood to explore is North Park. Stay at the Lafayette Hotel and enjoy events and pool parties. Pendry is a prime pick as well.
Activities: Old Town is a good introduction to the area, with period-costumed hosts and educational tours. It’s also the center of 250th anniversary festivities throughout the year, as well as the Founders’ Day Festival in September.
Food: Brewpubs are all the rage, and Kairoa Brewing Co. will be the new kid in town in 2019. Also popular is the Liberty Public Market.
11. Bethel, New York
Why: 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival, and plans to recreate the magic in 2019 are already in the making. Even if you don’t make it to the show, the area is a peaceful place to explore, with the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River at hand.
Where: Stay at Kenoza Lake View Manor, a homey hotel, or travel 10 miles northwest to Callicoon for the Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center.
Activities: At the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, catch live performances and educational programming on the beautiful campus, which bring the lessons of the tumultuous 1960s to a new generation.
Food: From barbecue to Greek to Thai, there’s something to fill any craving–try Henning’s Local in Cochecton Center and Floyd & Bobos in Liberty.
12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Why: In 2019, Philadelphia is one of only 13 U.S. stops on the Rolling Stones’ No Filter Tour. Also, the African American History & Culture Showcase is exploring 400 years of African-American history.
Where: For sophistication, stay at the Four Seasons Hotel, located in the Comcast Technology Center.
Activities: Philly Black Pride kicks off in April. In summer, help celebrate the world regions that make up the city’s culture at the PECO Multicultural Series.
Food: Check out Philadelphia Beer Week or the Philly Craft Beer Festival, where you can sample original Philly fare from the many food trucks.
13. Coloma, California
Why: The coming year may be the perfect time to explore this country’s prospecting past. Where better to celebrate the Gold Rush than California gold country?
Where: Try a few nights in a cabin! You’ll experience the old west, but with the perk of indoor plumbing. Activities: Join an event at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. From Living History Activities to the Coloma Gold Rush Live, you’ll be immersed in the world of mining.
Food: Try the Argonaut Farm to Fork Cafe for a charming and delicious meal.
14. Bisbee, Arizona
Why: Bisbee, known as the “Queen of the Copper Mines,” once produced 25 percent of the world’s copper. But the town now draws tourists to charming shops and restaurants filled with local art in a picturesque mountain setting.
Where: From boutique hotels to RV parks, there are lots of options. We particularly like Copper Queen Hotel, where you’ll learn about the history of the area and might see a glimpse of a ghost in the old hotel.
Activities: Lots of fun and quirky events in this quirky town, including the Bisbee Séance Room, gallery-gazing, fine dining and pub crawling.
Food: Take your pick from vegan joints like Poco, with its outdoor seating and live music, or fine dining at the 1902 The Spirit Room.
15. Greenville, South Carolina
Why: Greenville is making a lot of lists these days—and for good reason—you’ll want to get in before the secret’s fully out.
Where: Animal fans aren’t the only ones who love Aloft Greenville Downtown, which features a dog adoption program in the lobby. This Marriott has a swanky design and it’s in a great downtown location.
Activities: Be sure to schedule time for art and cultural events like Artisphere, culinary-centric euphoria, and the Greenville Scottish Games.
Food: Here are some standouts: Jianna for modern Italian in a beautiful atmosphere and Willy Taco Feed & Seed for hand-held flavor bombs with a margarita chaser.
16. Lexington, Kentucky
Why: Bourbon, bluegrass, historic homes, and horses! Lexington‘s ties to classic Americana is plentiful. It’s also the headquarters of nostalgic favorite, A&W, which celebrates 100 years in 2019.
Where: Stay at 21c Museum Hotel Lexington, which plays double duty as art museum and chic hotel.
Activities: Beer tasting is a travel trend unlikely to slow down in 2019, and The Brewgrass Trail lets you follow your palate to the best Kentucky brewers.
Food: In honor of its birthday, grab a burger and a float at one of three Lexington A&W locations. Another franchise favorite and Southern staple is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.
17. St. Louis, Missouri
Why: The city has spruced up the area around the arch, which was renamed Gateway Arch National Park in 2018. There’s a brand new SUPERGIRL ride opening at Six Flags and hot new restaurants are opening across the city.
Where: Book a room at Hotel St. Louis. It’s where historic meets hip!
Activities: Learn some fun facts at the National Blues Museum (for instance 2019 marks 80 years since the first musical recording featuring electric guitar, and 70 years since the term “rhythm and blues” was coined). Then it’s time to let loose at Big Muddy Blues Fest.
Food: Dive into old school St. Louis-like Broadway Oyster Bar, but also give some love to new places. Savage Restaurant is a unique small-plate tasting experience, and Pie Guy Pizza is a late-night joy.
18. Burlington, Vermont
Why: Lots of old-fashioned charm mixed with very modern vibes.
Where: The Hotel Vermont in downtown Burlington is both modern and rustic.
Activities: Explore the shops and cafes along the open-air Church Street Marketplace.
Food: Stop for a pie and a pint at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth, and practice your French at Leunig’s Bistro.
19. Chicago, Illinois
Why: From food to art to events, Chicago embraces the future while celebrating its staying power with 2019 milestones like the 140th anniversary of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Where: We love Hotel EMC2, where the past meets the future. It’s sleek and modern, yet comfortable and familiar. Complete with room service robots and ceiling-high bookshelves in the restaurant.
Activities: There’s a Star Wars Celebration in April, where vendors, artists, live entertainment, and cosplay provide the ultimate immersive event.
Food: Try Temporis, an intimate space offering multi-course tasting menus. Or Bayan Ko, for cultural food pairing.
If you love Prescott, but like your independence, visit Talking Rock talkingrockaz.com.
Thirty minutes from downtown Prescott, this private, guard-gated master-planned community offers a variety of home sites and new customized homes, whether you want to live on the golf course or adjacent to Arizona State Trust Land. Home sites are ½ to 10-acres in size, and ready-to-move-in homes are also available.
* Prescott and the other cities on this list as identified by travel blog Expedia Viewfinder in a 2019 blog: https://viewfinder.expedia.com/features/cities-that-must-be-seen-this-year/