My 7 Favorite Cities in the United States of America

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Words and Images by Jo Ann Lawery—

    I used to work as a sports writer. This gave me an opportunity to visit many cities in the United States in my lifetime. Do not be surprised if cities on this list have professional sports team located there. I  hope you get the chance to see one or more of these places, if not all of them.

Top 7-  Washington, DC

     When you visit America’s capital, it is  all about the three M’s- Memorials, Monuments,  and Museums .  Most of them are free .  Best time to go visit the city is from March until December ,  especially  when the Cherry Blossoms come out. Best time to visit the monuments and memorials  is either early in the morning or late in the evening when there are little crowds.

 

Top 6- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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    The plaque above tells you that you have entered  the  city on the Three Rivers–  Ohio, Allegheny ,  and  Monongahela , better known  as The Golden  Triangle.

     Once you enter the city on the Ohio, Allegheny ,  and  Monongahela  Rivers, you’ll  notice one thing. This city has bridges,a lot of bridges . More than any other city in the United States .  There are more than 400 or so bridges  in the city , and to experience  the city, I would advise you to take a walk on one or all of them, if you can.  Most people in town walk on the bridges that are affectionately  known as, “The Three Sisters”, because they’re  designed the same and they’re  right next to each other. Their official names are the Rachel  Carson, Andy Warhol, and the Roberto Clemente  Bridge .  All three of  them were icons in the city. If you walk across the Roberto Clemente  Bridge ,  you’ll  notice the padlocks on the bridge ,  just like you see in Paris. Another thing you’ll  notice about the  city are the colors ,  black and yellow. They seem to dominate  the city from the bridges to their three professional  sports teams, whose colors are all  black and yellow.

      While you’re  in town, join the locals at either a Pittsburgh  Pirates  baseball game, a Pittsburgh  Steelers football  game  or the Stanley  Cup  champions  Pittsburgh  Penguins  hockey  game  if there is one going on. When is the best time to visit Pittsburgh? During the months of February until October is best. Make sure to visit a Pittsburgh  institution  while in town. It’s  Primanti  Brothers. You can’t  go wrong with a sandwich  made with meat, thick slices of Italian  bread made in Pittsburgh ,  lettuce ,  tomatoes and topped off with Cole Slaw AND FRENCH  FRIES ! You just know you HAVE to have one of these mouthwatering  Primanti  Brothers  sandwiches. They say sammich in Pittsburgh

Top 5- Nashville, Tennessee

 

    They call this city, “Music City”, not just  because it’s known for  that type of music, but because  other types of music are made here too. They also call Nashville ,  “The Athens of the South” because of all the colleges here. Don’t  be surprised if you happen to be walking around  Vanderbilt  University  and you see a building  that looks like the Parthenon  in Greece, complete with the statue of the Goddess  Athena. Your eyes aren’t  playing tricks on you. It is a replica . You could visit the Country and Western Museum, but visit the place where it all began, Ryman Auditorium  , home of the Grand Old Opry, where those legends got their start .  You can even take a tour of the new Grand Old Opry and stand on that famous stage just like the singers  do.Want to do a little shopping or even get in a little exercise  while shopping ? Visit the largest mall in the South, Opry Mills. It’s  right across the street  from  Opry Mills . Want a little bit of nightlife? Nothing beats walking down “Honky Tonk Row”, better known as Broadway .  It’s  pedestrian  friendly .  Don’t  forget those cowboy boots and hats  and  be sure  to  practice  your line dancing .

 

Top 4- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

    It’s  known  as “The City of Brotherly Love”, and before there was even a Washington  DC ,  Philadelphia  was the capital  of  the  United  States. You’ll  learn a lot about United States  history if you come to Philadelphia .See where the Declaration  of  Independence  was written in Independence  Hall, stand next to the real Liberty Bell. Visit Constitution  Hall, and grab a Phily  Chessesteak, made with either  Chicken or Beef .  No problem if you’re  vegetarian .  Visit either the Reading  Terminal  Market or The Philadelphia  Bourse for non meat treats. Visit the Philadelphia  Museum  and run up the stairs like that fictional Philadelphia  boxer, Rocky did. Take a tour of Philadelphia  City Hall, the building with the big statue of founder William Penn on top of it.

 

Top 3- Baltimore, Maryland

 

    This city is located right down the road from Washington  DC ,  and the best times to visit are from April until October. It’s  so close to Washington DC  that you can do a day trip there and be back in time for dinner in Baltimore, maybe at one of the many seafood places or in the Little  Italy section of town. Baltimore is known as “Charm City ” and there’s  even four  buses ,the Purple  Orange, Green and Banner line that’s  known as The Charm City Circular   that get you around the city. Best of all, they’re  free. You might want to take the Banner Line out to Fort McHenry   where the United States  National  Anthem  was written. You could also visit the Inner Harbor and see one of the premier aquariums  in the country, the Baltimore  Aquarium.Eat and shop your way at the oldest market in the country ,  the Lexington  Market. As the state of Maryland was founded by Roman Catholics  fleeing persecution  in England ,  visit the first cathedral  in the United  States ,  the Baltimore  Basilica  and see the home of the first American saint ,  Mother Elizabeth  Seton. Make some time to eat that food that the state is famous for crab cakes and Maryland blue crabs.

 

Top 2- Las Vegas, Nevada 

     What can you say about  the  city  of  Las Vegas  that hasn’t  been  said before ? Everyone ,  no matter where they’re  coming from NEEDS to visit  Las Vegas  at least once in their lives. Then you should go a second and a third time because you really want to know if those dancing water fountains at the Bellagio, those circus acts your children liked at Circus Circus or that castle at Excalibur  was for real. Not to mention  that big ferris wheel called the High Roller or the hotel with that big sphinx  in front of it. That’s  the Luxor by the way and you saw it as your plane landed at Las Vegas  McCarron  International  Airport .  You want to see that Welcome  to  Las Vegas  sign that everyone talks about and takes pictures of. You want to go to where the city actually began in  Downtown  Las Vegas. You want to see the Fremont Street Experience ,  that pedestrian  friendly  area with the light show every night and the zip line that shoots you out of a slot machine  called Slotzilla. You don’t have to  gamble  in Vegas, but try your luck at the slot machines anyway if you’re  over 21. Definately  take in one of the shows  at one of many casinos that try to outdo each other in everything  that is outrageous .  What’s  the best time to visit Las Vegas? ANY TIME OF THE YEAR! There’s  always something going on. But if you visit during the months of May to August, bring your bathing suits and sun screen with you. Pools are open and the temperature  goes between 100-120 degrees  Fahrenheit . Drink plenty of water because you’re  going to need it.

 

Top 1- Boston, Massachusetts 

    This city was my home for 13 years . When I  want to escape  the  madness that  is New York  City, I go to  that city on the banks of the Charles  River. It’s  Boston ,  and it’s  all about the history here too, past, present, and future. A lot of tourists who visit the  city say  that Boston is a very European looking city. It is, more so than other city on the East Coast  of the United  States .  Boston, like Baltimore ,  is all about the seafood. Cod, shrimp, lobster  and of course, have a steaming hot bowl or cup of New England Clam Chowder while you’re  visiting Quincy Market. Oh, we say Quin- zee  by the way ,  not Quin-cey. Say hello to that big statue of Samuel Adams in front. Yes, just like the beer. You can take a free tour of the Sam Adams Brewery in the neighborhood  of  Jamaica  Plains also . It’s   $2 donation and if you’re  21, free samples of beer! Visit the neighboring cities  of Cambridge, where you  can walk around Harvard Yard and see M.I.T. and Lexington ,  where United States fought for their independence. Walk down the red brick road known as “The Freedom  Trail” and see American  History come alive  in front of you.

 

About the author:

Jo Ann  Lawery  is a former freelance  sports writer. She is now a sports  and  travel  blogger. Follow  her blog , 30 Plus  Teams ,  30  Plus  Dreams  at sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com .

 

38 comments

    1. Thank you Ken. Baltimore gets a bad rap because people remember the shows THE Wire and Homicide Life on The Street and think that’s what Baltimore is all about . Pittsburgh just isn’t on anyone’s list of cities to visit, and that’s sad. They’re missing out on how beautiful the city is, especially the skyline . Thanks again for liking this post .

    1. Thank you, Shireen. I’ve never been to Seattle but it is on my bucket list and as for San Francisco , I like the city, especially the cable cars and going to a Giants game at AT&T Park, but it’s not a favorite like these cities are. Toronto is also a favorite city and I’m going to be doing a post on the city very soon.

  1. You nailed it, making Boston, the city of my youth, # 1! The others are well-chosen. I would also make a pitch for Red Rock National Recreation Area and Valley of Fire, near Las Vegas. If this list were Top Ten, I’d add Portland (OR), Denver and Seattle to the list. San Francisco is a great city, but gets edged out, just a bit by the Emerald City.

    1. RighteousBruin, love that name! Dorchester in the house here! I’ve never been to Seattle or Portland Oregon but I have been to San Francisco and Denver, not faves. I haven’t been to Red Rock yet and it’s a little hard since I don’t drive .

      1. That’s the perfect city to be in for the 4th! I spent July 4th in Boston once, although I was actually on Martha’s Vineyard that day. You must make it to that island if you can! It’s gorgeous.

      2. I went to Martha’s Vineyard when I was younger. My cousins had a summer home there. I’m not sure about Boston, Philadelphia is actually cheaper to go to for July 4th weekend . I can’t go wrong with either place for July 4th.

  2. Interesting list. Working my way through ‘House of cards’ box sets at the moment so this post makes me even more determined to see Washington DC.

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