5 alternative USA city breaks

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Have you done the Big Apple? Already seen the sights of the City of Angels? Well, we got news for ya – there’s still a whole host of city break destinations just waiting for you to hit up. We’re talking thousands. Here’s our top 5…

1. Nashville

Eat: If ya’ll haven’t tried good ol’ southern cooking, you really haven’t lived. Any weekend spent in Nashville requires a stop at the Loveless Cafe. Seriously. Think out of this world, all-you-can–eat, freshly baked biscuits smothered with fruit preserves or gravy. YES. Get here early as you won’t be the only hungry soul searching for this slice of heaven.

Drink: Shot Jack Daniels at the Honky Tonk bars on Broadway. Think live music EVERY night, cowboy boots galore and lots of people having a good time. Given Jack Daniels whiskey is native to Tennessee, it would be a sin to visit and not try the local staple. So, on the rocks or neat?

Do: Experience country music because a trip to the music city is not complete without visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, a walk down Music Row, and a sing-a-long concert at the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium.

Don’t miss:  One word: murals. Our favorites? The “I Believe in Nashville” mural on 12th Ave S and Kelsey Montague’s iconic Nashville edition of the #WhatLiftsYou” Wings Mural on 11th Ave S. Gulch.

2. Austin

Eat:  Texans love three things: BBQ, TexMex and food trucks and you can find all three on every street corner in Austin. For food truck galore, hit up East 11th/Rosewood Food Trucks and fill your gut till you can’t walk. Don’t worry nobody will judge you.

Drink: Sip Tito’s or Ruby Red Deep Eddy Vodka (both distilled in Austin!) and embrace Austin as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ on Sixth street historic district where you’ll get your fill of live music or the festival scene (does South by Southwest ring a bell??) – it’s a party worth shutting down the traffic for each night!

Do: Swim at Barton Springs, kayak/paddle board Lady Bird lake and end the day seeing the bats fly from the Congress Bridge. Beautiful!

Don’t miss: Visit the Cathedral of Junk to embrace the city’s motto… “Keep Austin Weird” by touring a backyard filled with six tons of junk! From illuminated beer signs to clocks and tires, this spot is the perfect photo op.

3. New Orleans

Eat: From your Cajun food staples (think Jambalaya, po’boy and gumbo) to pastry heaven (bananas foster and Café Du Monde’s beignets and coffee with chicory), there’s so much on offer, our only recommendation is to try it ALL. It’ll be impossible to leave NOLA hungry.

Drink: Have a hurricane at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the US.. And proceed to party your way down the (in)famous Bourbon Street.

Do: If you can’t make it for any Mardi Gras celebrations, don’t worry… not only is there a party EVERY night on the legendary Frenchman Street, but you can ease those headaches in the morning by strolling the local museums. Check out the Historic Voodoo Museum or the world-renowned WWII museum.

Don’t miss: Explore the Bayou on an airboat! If you’re lucky you might spot a croc so make sure you keep your arms inside the boat!

4. Denver

Eat: Eat breakfast at Voodoo Doughnuts – this 24/7 gem is full of nom-inspiring pastry masterpieces you need to try. While eating all the baked goods in sight, you might also see a legal wedding ceremony. Yep you heard us right, you can get married surrounded by doughnuts – where do we sign up?!

Drink: Denver has plenty of craft breweries to try out, but if beer isn’t your tipple of choice then how about modern-day speakeasy Williams & Graham, hidden in a corner bookstore and accessed through a “secret” door in a bookshelf?

Do: Get ready to pump those legs as Denver is the perfect stop-off point to a weekend of hiking or even better, hitting the slopes in X.

Don’t miss: If you haven’t heard of Red Rocks Ampitheater you are probably living under a rock (ha!), but a visit here is an absolute must. No concert when you’re here? Check it out during the day with a hike, one of the movie showings, or do some yoga. The aesthetic. Is. Real.

5. Seattle

Eat: Literally anything at Pike Place Market. You’ll find pastries, seafood, meat; you name it they probably have it! While you’re at it, snap a pic with the Public Market sign (you know you can’t resist) and hit up the insta-famous gum wall.

Drink: Coffee at the Original Starbucks, because we’re all about the ‘OG.

Do: Looking to explore beyond the tourist areas? Head to Capitol Hill to check out hip bars, admire those skyline views, and top it off with a visit to the #1 bookstore in Seattle (Elliott Bay Book Company). Or, if walking amongst houseboats, craft liquor/beer, Pop Culture Museums is more your style, Fremont District’s your place.

Don’t miss: Don’t groan but you HAVE to go to the Seattle Center. Yes it’s touristy, but you can’t… CAN’T leave Seattle without checking out the Space Needle. I mean, just look at it!

Need more inspiration? Check out our USA city guide, which includes the cheapest domestic flights, awesome adventures and accommodation.

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