The 5 Most Visited Cities in the US
While the cities of Asia and Europe are the undisputed winners in a ranking of the world’s top 100 cities based on their number of international visitors, the US contributes five amazing cities to the list, with one city even breaking the top ten.
In this article, we’ll take a brief look at the five US cities that get the most attention from international travelers each year.
All but one in the group can be considered coastal—these all-American cities are part of the reason the term “fly-over states” exists. With respect to the nation’s heartland, the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Miami all have the kind of magnetic appeal needed to draw tourists from around the globe. In other words, they have something that the cornfields of the American Midwest simply can’t compete with.
Let’s get started on this quick countdown of super-popular US cities!
5. Orlando: 5,269,000 Visitors Per Year
Mickey Mouse. The beach. Crowds. If you love the first two and can tolerate the latter, you’ll adore Orlando.
Orlando, Florida and the surrounding area is home to over 2.5 million people and is known as “The Theme Park Capital of the World.” In 2018, more than 75 million visitors walked through the gates of this city’s attractions, and around 5 million of them were visiting from another country.
One of Orlando’s biggest draws is Walt Disney World, opened in 1971. Another is Universal Studios Florida, which offers unforgettable movie-themed attractions.
4. Los Angeles: 6,074,300 Visitors Per Year
“Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” That’s how noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright referenced the irresistible pull that this great west-coast city has on the people who travel there seeking fame and fortune.
The City of Los Angeles, AKA, LA is the second-most populous city in the United States, after New York. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and mountains on the other, plus year-round sunshine, this jewel of California is thought of as a paradise by those who make it their home.
LA’s Hollywood neighborhood is regarded as the center of the motion picture industry, and the city is the hub of the United States’ television industry.
International travelers visiting LA are typically keen to visit famous landmarks like the Walk of Fame outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, or Santa Monica Pier. Shopping on Rodeo Drive, hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity, is another popular LA tourist activity, as is a visit to the original Disney theme park, Disneyland.
3. Las Vegas: 6,687,800 Visitors Per Year
Las Vegas, often referred to as just Vegas, is Nevada’s most populated city. Nestled in the Mojave Desert, the city is an oasis of fun in an otherwise barren landscape of cactus and tumbleweed.
In the 1960s, Las Vegas was a glitzy and glamorous place for people to live it up in high-class restaurants and try their luck at posh casinos. In the 70s and 80s, the city took a downward slide, becoming a seedy gambling mecca that offered little more than games of chance in smoke-filled hotel casinos, cheap buffet meals, and a few flashy shows.
All that has changed. Now, Las Vegas has been transformed into a family-friendly destination and has become an internationally beloved resort city. There’s still plenty of gambling in Lost Wages (a city nickname most commonly relegated to souvenir t-shirts), but now there’s shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and attractions that people of all ages can enjoy.
2. Miami: 8,075,800 Visitors Per Year
There’s a Latin flare that makes Miami, Florida stand out in this list of popular US tourist cities. With a large portion of its population immigrating from Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean, the mixing of cultures has resulted in a city with a decidedly international feel, even before the over 8 million international visitors arrive.
Miami is the cultural, economic, and financial center of South Florida. It’s bounded by the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. Sandy beaches, lively Latin music, world-class sport fishing, and exquisite cuisine are just a few of the draws of this southern gem.
One thing that helped Miami rank with the top 25 most visited cities in the world is that it’s where a lot of people go to catch a cruise ship. The city boasts the busiest cruise port in the world.
1. New York City: 13,100,000 Visitors Per Year
The only city to break the top ten in a ranked list of the world’s most visited cities is NYC, coming in at number eight, beaten by the likes of London, Paris, and Hong Kong.
New York has it all. There are famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Times Square. There are renowned venues for world-class entertainment, like the Broadway Theater District, Radio City Music Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Visitors can window shop on Fifth Avenue, New York’s premier shopping area, and, if so inclined, make a purchase at one of the flagship stores of top designers like Cartier and Tiffany. There are famous museums and art galleries. And, of course, New York City has some of the world’s finest hotels and restaurants.
Offering travelers from all over the world a glimpse of big city life, providing access to world-class food and accommodations, and hosting events and attractions that draw the attention of millions, the five cities we’ve just explored truly deserve their rankings in the top 100 most visited cities in the world.
That wraps up this brief look at five popular US destinations. If you haven’t been yet, we hope that you get the chance to experience one or all of these awesome urban vacation spots.