When you catch the international travel bug, it's easy to forget about all of the amazing destinations the US has to offer. The hardest part is figuring out where to start — and that's where we come in. We talked to 11 travel bloggers based all over the country, and they told us their picks for the cities in the US you HAVE to visit... so get ready for some serious wanderlust.
Rease Kirchner from St. Louis, Missouri
Rease Kirchner of Indecisive Traveler shamelessly plugged her hometown of St. Louis — a destination she feel is often overlooked. She recommends checking out the Saint Louis Art Museum and Missouri History Museum, which have no entrance fees, and while you have to pay to get into the City Museum she told Vivala that it is still worth a visit because "it's one of the most unique places I've seen in my travels!"
Kirchner added that other highlights of the city is that it "offers a lot of diversity, with large populations of Latinos, Bosnians, Vietnamese, and many other ethnicities, so you’ll find a great variety of food and cultures. The city also offers some cheap and unique original foods like Toasted Ravioli, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard Concretes, and Gooey Butter Cake, along with a wide range of breweries, large and small."
Follow Kirchner on Instagram: @indecisivetraveler
Seidy Selivanow from Mexico City, Mexico
Seidy Selivanow of Teal Travelers is originally from Mexico City, but currently calls the Pacific Northwest her home. This area is also where you'll find her top pick — Hood River, Oregon.
"This cute little town is a port on the Columbia River, and it is known for its production of apples, pears and cherries," Selivanow told Vivala. "But Hood River has way more to offer like spring and fall flowers, farm stands with vegetable and fruits, lavender, alpaca, berry and chestnut farms, artisan bakeries, breweries, wineries and wind surfing too."
Follow Selivanow on Instagram: @tealtravelers
Alexandra Tracy Chavarriaga from Ann Arbor, Michigan
Alexandra Tracy Chavarriaga of Travel Latina painted the perfect picture of why you need to put San Diego, California on your list. She lived their for four years and told Vivala to "imagine fish tacos in every corner, chill beaches with surfable waves, wine country in Temecula to the north, fall weather activities including camping and horseback-riding in Julian to the east, challenging hiking trails throughout the county, and the Mexican border just a hop skip and a jump away to the south." Consider us sold.
Follow Chavarriaga on Instagram: @travel_latina
Jessica Torres from Bronx, New York
Jessica Torres' heart was swept away by one of Texas' cultural meccas. "I haven't been able to travel much but I recently went to Austin, Texas and fell in love," the blogger told Vivala. "It was a nice change interacting with people from Austin who don't seem to be in a rush or moody like New Yorkers. The food definitely made this one of my favorite places in the USA so far."
Follow Torres on Instagram: @thisisjessicatorres
Ivette Rivas from Valley Stream, NY
Ivette Rivas loves the change of pace Jackson Hole, Wyoming provides. "I'm from New York City so I can appreciate the quite, quaint little towns, with beautiful scenic landscapes (it looks straight out of a postcard)," Rivas told Vivala. "In the winter, snowboarding is big there and in the warmer months you can hike up the mountain and you can volunteer to take local dogs from the shelter for a walk."
Follow Rivas on Instagram: @ivetters59
Damaly Gonzalez from Brooklyn, NY
Writer Damaly Gonzalez made the ultimate case for celebrating your Latino pride in Chicago. "I recently took a trip to Chicago and stood with my friend in Pilsen, in the Mexican community, where I visited the National Museum of Mexican Art and ate at Mexican-owned restaurants," she told Vivala. "I then took the trip across town to Humboldt Park, to the Puerto Rican community, visited the National Museum of Puerto Rican Art and walked through Paseo Boricua. If you want to know how empowered Latino communities and spaces look like in the United States, who haven't quite experienced full gentrification and displacement yet, come here and feel the rush of pride and inspiration in reflection to Chicago's strong Latinidad."
Follow Gonzalez on Instagram: @damaly
Wendy Vanessa from Houston, Texas
Houston native Wendy Vanessa has a special place in her heart for L.A. "Los Angeles has a vibrant culture that reminds me of my hometown in Houston, it is like home away from home, except the scenery is jaw-dropping," the blogger told Vivala. "The food, people, and the fashion inspire my creativity, I am renewed when I travel to Los Angeles."
Follow Wendy on Instagram: @heywendyvanessa
Olga Maria Czarkowski from Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Despite it being a small city, Olga Maria Czarkowski, founder of Dreams in Heels and Latinas Who Travel, has a special place in her heart for Santa Fe, New Mexico. The highlights she shared are endless. "Delicious food (green chili burger), special ancient drink (mayan chile chocolate elixirs), the architecture and culture (I love the Native American influence), unique shopping (must-haves are one-of-a-kind handmade precious stones jewelry and customized cowboy boots) and spa treatments (chocolate chile wraps and margarita pedicures), the amazing music plus tailgating (famed Santa Fe Opera House) and art everywhere, and lastly, the majestic, panoramic views surround you (there's even hot air ballooning, for a better look) providing the best backdrop for pictures!"
Follow Czarkowski on Instagram: @dreamsinheels
Jessica van Dop DeJesus from Guayama, Puerto Rico
Jessica van Dop DeJesus of The Dining Traveler will have foodies flocking to her home base. "Not because I live here, but I love to recommend Washington, DC to travelers. It's such a diverse city and there's plenty of culture to be experienced. If you're a foodie like me, you will be overwhelmed with the amazing choices of restaurants!," DeJesus told Vivala.
We asked her for her top restaurant picks, and whatever your flavor, the food blogger has you covered. "For Mexican, I love Espita Mezcaleria and La Puerta Verde, both with Latino executive Chefs. Fine dining: Blue Duck Tavern and The Oval Room. Casual: Bantam King for Ramen. Jaleo for Spanish tapas and cocktails. Cocktail bars: The Gibson and Columbia Room. Favorite cafe: The Royal, owner's mom is Colombian and they have the best arepas and Colombian empanadas in town," she shared.
Follow DeJesus on Instagram: @diningtraveler
Mischa Shankerman from New Orleans, Louisiana
Mischa Shankerman has so much love for Los Angeles, California. "There are so many options to city dwell or get zen on nature," the Bay Area native told Vivala. "My must do's are watching the sunset in Venice Beach or Sunken City, zipping though the Southern region to go camping at Joshua tree, walking through the palm trees streets of Koreatown after eating at La Guelaguetza, visiting LACMA or LA's new Museum of Ice Cream and if lucky going to a music show at the Ace Hotel's theatre. And of course if you want to shop there are too many options from Hollywood to 7th Street Promenade. Los Angeles is the city lover's paradise!"
Follow Shankerman on Instagram: @misomischi
Dannielle Romoleroux from Livingston, New Jersey
Dannielle Romoleroux has a city that is perfect for a group with a variety of interests. "If you're a foodie, eco-conscious consumer, or lover the arts; Portland, Oregon is for you!," Romoleroux told Vivala. "The strong biking culture makes it easy to get around without renting a car, the nightlife variety can satisfy everyone's needs, and the Farmer's Market at PSU (Saturdays only) can make for the best local brunch."
Follow Romoleroux on Instagram: @danniiromo