We’ve already taken a look at the states that receive the most visitors and what makes them such great places to visit, so here’s a look at the top ten most visited cities in the US and their unique attractions. The arrival numbers come from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and exclude visitors from Mexico and Canada, which avoids skewing the numbers with border towns visited on day trips.
[Also see the ten most visited states in the United States]
10. Chicago, Illinois (1,199,000 arrivals for a 4.3% market share)
[Also see our travel article "The Chicago Schools: American Architecture at its Best"]
Known as America’s “Second City,” Chicago gets an extra boost to its visitors total thanks to the gigantic O’Hare International Airport, one of the world’s busiest. Attractions in Chicago include the very tall Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), Wrigley Field and the Cubs, the scenic shoreline on Lake Michigan and the unique architectural designs downtown.
9. Boston, Massachusetts (1,311,000 arrivals for a 4.7% market share)
[Also see our travel articles on Massachusetts]
Boston is one of America’s greatest cities and one of its most historic cities too. Boston was the site for many of the first battles of the Revolutionary War – and let’s not forget the Boston Tea Party either – and much of that history is preserved on Boston’s Freedom Trail, which takes visitors on a walking tour through the early days of the Republic.
8. Honolulu, Hawaii (1,785,000 arrivals for a 6.4% market share)
[Also see our travel articles on Hawaii]
Travelers come to Honolulu for much the same reasons as they come to Hawaii in general: the beaches! The picture-perfect white sand at Waikiki is lined with restaurants, clubs and luxury hotels and is a great place to waste away the days. More active travelers can hike to the top of nearby Diamond Head, a 750-foot dormant volcano, for its epic views of Honolulu.
7. Washington DC (1,812,000 arrivals for a 6.5% market share)
The nation’s capital is certainly no slouch when it comes to tourist attractions, as there is a ton of things to see and do in Washington DC. More cerebral visitors will no doubt enjoy the museums of the Smithsonian, which include the Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art. Families, meanwhile, should endeavor to make it out to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, which is one of America’s best zoos.
5. (Tie) Orlando, Florida (2,788,000 arrivals for a 10% market share)
[Also see our "Family Travel Guide to Orlando and its Theme Parks"]
Disney World is undoubtedly the big draw to Orlando, as the resort is known the world over for its amazing theme parks and water parks. Families visiting Orlando will also enjoy the city’s other amusement parks like Universal Studios and SeaWorld. Adults looking to get away from the kids for the evening can also check out the city’s celebrity chef scene and entertainment areas like Downtown Disney and Universal’s Citywalk.