Spanning more than 3 million miles with 50 states, America is home to some of the world’s most captivating natural landscapes, breezy beaches, and architectural wonders. The one-of-a-kind cities act as the heartbeat of the country, brimming with their own traditions. Each locale bursts with beauty, from the cities’ beloved parks hidden across the neighborhoods to the cast of characters that make every town unique. However, there are a few gorgeous cities in the U.S. that stand out from the rest due to their cultural and natural prominence. Here, 10 of the prettiest cities in America, along with our top places to take in each town’s full beauty
1. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston draws people from all walks of life like no other city in the South. Rich in Gullah traditions, Low Country charm, and artistic spirit, the colorful and historic streets of this small city buzz with excitement. Burgeoning horticulturists will feel right at home among the climbing roses and acanthus of author Emily Whaley’s garden, while children and design-lovers will swoon over the pastel homes of Rainbow Road.
2. Newport, Rhode Island
This quintessential seaside city is often known for its opulent display of Gilded Age mansions. However, there’s a young, playful spirit that emerges in Newport’s small bistros and quaint boutiques. For first-time guests, plan to take a stroll down Cliff Walk to see architectural splendors such as the Breakers before heading off to the Fifth Element for a cool drink.
3. Savannah, Georgia
History runs through every oak-lined pathway, bustling town square, and lively establishment in Georgia’s oldest city. Savannah boasts an impressive variety of jaw-dropping architectural styles, from the Regency gems such as Telfair Academy to fine examples of Steamboat Gothic style, like the Gingerbread House. There’s an undeniable sense of newness and creativity as burgeoning designers and artists from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) use the city as their laboratory to experiment and innovate.
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu offers an exceptional variety of experiences with its white sand beaches, unique flora and fauna, and bustling city life. At the center of the city, the eye-catching Iolani Palace retells the history of the Kingdom of Hawaii and its rulers. And no trip to the island would be complete without a surf session (or sighting) at the Ala Moana Bowls.
5. Telluride, Colorado
Telluride has earned a reputation as a beloved cold-weather destination for skiers, but once the temperature rises, this artsy city comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and rolling meadows. Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest free-falling falls in Colorado, is a simple 2.4-mile trek from the center of town and offers impeccable views of the surrounding wilderness. The Telluride Arts District showcases the area’s most talented artisans while providing them with resources to continue pursuing their creative talents.
6. Boston, Massachusetts
From the historic brick facades of Beacon Hill to the picturesque views of the Charles River, Boston simmers with cultural intrigue. Foodies should head to the North End for a taste of authentic Italian cuisine and Chinatown for delectable dim sum. For those looking for a green escape, head to Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, which houses more than 281 acres and 16,000 accessioned plants.
7. Sedona, Arizona
Wellness enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike have long raved about the beauty and experiences Sedona has to offer. Famous for its vivid crimson skyline, this serene city feels in a world of its own with red-rock canyons and spirit-lifting “vortexes.” L ‘Auberge de Sedona allows guests to enjoy all the wonders of alfresco living with its luxe creekside lodges, impressive outdoor showers, and fine-dining options.
8. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., is much more than the heated political epicenter it’s often painted to be. Some of the country’s most extraordinary museums, monuments, and stunning row-style houses call the capital home. The ideal time to visit D.C. is toward the end of March, when the cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom and line the streets with pink flowers. Beyond the galleries, the city’s dining scene is on the rise, with the Dabney and Imperfecto bringing innovative dishes to the table.
9. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Nestled between the Rio Grande and the Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque has the ideal mix of urban life and stunning natural wonders. Traditional adobe buildings and the San Felipe de Neri Church in the city’s Old Town give insight into the past while elaborate bike trails cut through the high-desert landscape. Each fall, visitors from around the world gather at New Mexico’s capital to see the sky filled with colorful hot-air balloons for the International Balloon Fiesta.
10. Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calfornia
Overlooking the idyllic Central Coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea blends the relaxed spirit of California with the charm and beauty of Europe. A whimsical blend of English cottages and French bistros like L ‘Auberge Carmel line the cobble streets as the waves of the ocean act as the town’s soundtrack. Just past Ocean Avenue sits the sandy beaches and rugged Pacific coastline, offering quiet seaside sensibility.