The Top 15 Experiences in the United States

The U.S. is a stunningly diverse place, with an incredible wealth of cultures and landscapes. But the best way to get to know this country is to experience it. Moon's editors have narrowed down the list to select the 15 best experiences in the U.S.:

  1. Chase the northern lights in Alaska, where the aurora borealis dances across some of the darkest skies in the United States.
  2. Look up at the redwoods in California. Crane your neck along the Avenue of the Giants, in the Redwood State and National Parks, throughout Sequoia National Park, or in Muir Woods.
  3. Dance in Miami’s Little Havana, where vibrant Calle Ocho is the historic heart of Florida's Cuban-American population.
  4. Wander otherworldly landscapes in Nevada. Choose the Black Rock Desert, Cathedral Gorge, Pyramid Lake, the Lunar Cuesta--or all of the above.
  5. Explore the distant past at New Mexico's Taos Pueblo. Seemingly rising organically from the earth, these adobe buildings make up the oldest continually inhabited community in the United States.
  6. Go brewery-hopping in Portland, the quirky, flannel-clad epicenter of the craft brewing revival.
  7. Walk the National Mall in Washington D.C., where you'll witness beautiful, moving, and iconic monuments to the nation's history and heroes.
  8. Tame the wild and scenic Snake River on a river rafting adventure in Grand Teton National Park.
  9. Catch a live show in Austin, Texas. See a scruffy troubadour in a dive bar, soulful blues guitarist at a historic club, or a global legend at a festival like South by Southwest or Austin City Limits.
  10. Take an Architecture River Cruise in Chicago, and learn the story of the Windy City through its most fascinating buildings.
  11. Dive into the spicy, flavorful cuisine of the Southwest in Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, where the food is as creative as the art and as distinctive as the high desert landscape.
  12. Follow in the footsteps of rebels, redcoats, and America's founders along Boston's Freedom Trail.
  13. Feast on Maine lobster. Whether you're dining on reinvented lobster rolls or picnicking on a pier, these crustaceans are quintessential New England.
  14. Take a scenic drive on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, which boasts the gorgeous bluffs of Cape Flattery, haunting mists of Ruby Beach, and miles of sea stacks, tide pools, and rock-lounging seals.
  15. Marvel at the geological wonderland that is Yellowstone, which houses more than 60% of the world's geysers and hot springs. Check out the rainbow of colors at Grand Prismatic Spring, or the powerful eruptions at Old Faithful.
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