Your 20s should be some of the best, most carefree, and adventurous years of your life. So, why not spend this time enjoying yourself and traveling around the USA! Many people think they have to leave the country to have some epic adventures, but that just simply isn’t true. There are so many hidden gems, fun restaurants, memorable activities and fun to be had in the best cities in the United States.
Looking to get away whether it’s a solo trip, a family trip, a girlfriend trip, or a romantic getaway with your partner, here are the top 20 places in the United States to visit in your 20s!
Austin is a 20 something’s playground! The food is awesome, the weather is even more awesome and they have so many great bars and restaurants. It feels like you’re in Texas, but also feels like you’re somewhere totally unique. The art and music scene is fantastic as well as all of the outdoor activities like the swimming holes, parks and boating on Lake Austin! Definitely be sure to experience some of the food while you’re in Austin. I particularly love the food truck scene and Torchy’s Tacos!
(2) Portland, OR
All 20-something’s love beer and Portland has some of the best breweries in the United States. Run around Mississippi Ave., head to Pine State Biscuits for brunch and soak up the craft brews and stellar coffee on every corner. Don’t forget to have a donut too. Portland has great food in all of its different neighborhoods!
(3) Nashville, TN
I’d never seen so many bachelorette parties in my life until I visited Nashville. There’s a reason they call it NashVegas! Nashville has amazing food, awesome nightlife, and live music in practically every bar. If you’re looking for a cowboy/girl or just want to have fun, make a weekend trip to Nashville!
(4) San Diego, CA
I seriously don’t think anyone works in San Diego because why would you when you live there? Enjoy time hanging out at the beach, go out in the Pacific Beach to really get the college after college vibes, grab dinner in Little Italy and check out the amazing bars and restaurants in the Gaslamp district. When traveling in your 20s, San Diego is a perfect place to start.
(5) New York City, NY & Brooklyn, NY
What’s not to love about NYC & Brooklyn? I had to put them together because they are equally as cool in my opinion. You’ve just gotta go in your 20’s to experience the nightlife, the bagels, and bask in the coolness of the largest melting pot of culture in the United States. The Macy’s Day Parade is also a good (touristy) attraction to check off the bucket list over Thanksgiving if you’re into that type of thing.
(6) National Parks: Yellowstone, The Grand Canyon, Yosemite
Grab your friends and head on a road trip to a few of this country’s beautiful U.S. National Parks like Yellowstone, The Grand Canyon, and Yosemite! Each one is more breathtaking than the next. Why not experience them while you’re young and able to run up those mountains?! Spend your days searching for great hikes, hot springs and then enjoying your effort with a nice meal and drinks!
(7) Denver, CO
Denver rocks! Go to a concert at Red Rocks, check out all of the awesome bars, restaurants, and all the breweries, maybe hit up a dispensary (or don’t?). Also, if you have time, go on a hike in Boulder to get some awesome mountain views.
(8) New Orleans, LA
Okay, so there’s Mardi Gras…and you can actually take drinks out of the bars and drink them on the street. What more can you ask for? This whole city is a party. Make sure to hit up Bourbon Street and don’t forget to get beignet at Cafe Du Monde.
(9) Seattle, WA
The rain never stopped anybody! Hang out in my favorite neighborhood, Capital Hill. Go to the Unicorn for boozy brunch and eat a dinner of oysters at Taylor’s Shellfish. Enjoy the beautiful views across the water and check out Pike’s Place and the Space Needle. Wander around and eat all of the seafood. Seattle is a 20-something playground!
(10) Las Vegas, NV
(11) San Francisco, CA
MY FAVORITE CITY IN THE USA and the one I recommend most to visit in your 20s!! Okay, I’m biased and I used to live here, but come on, this city by the bay is a gem! It’s filled with 20-year-olds day drinking in the many city parks (and no one getting mad or arrested), and there’s literally a street festival or beer fest or wine fest or oyster fest every single weekend. What more can I say? It really is a diverse city with millions of bars and restaurants and things to do. Come here and stay awhile, you won’t get bored.
(12) Miami, FL
I mean, why not? Soak up the sun, club all day and all night, and eat Cuban food. If you really want a good time, stay in South Beach or in the Miami arts district. Don’t forget to check out Wynwood and any of the current restaurant and club hot spots! See all of the fun things to do in Miami, here!
This city is FULL of 20-somethings. Come in the summer or over St. Patty’s day and enjoy your time at the beach and on rooftops. Eat all the pizza and do not forget to go to Portillo’s for a Chicago dog or 2nd City Theatre for some amazing improv.
(15) Sun Valley, ID
I live in Idaho so I’m a bit biased, but I highly recommend visiting in your 20s. Head to Sun Valley, Idaho for an amazing resort vacation in the mountains. It’s definitely a hidden gem. Go backpacking in the Sawtooths or skiing at the USA’s first-ever ski resort at Bald Mountain.
Enjoy Boston’s old-school charm. Check out the Harvard campus in Cambridge. Walk down the cobblestone streets on the Freedom Trail and enjoy the awesome nightlife in the pubs on all the small Bostonian streets. For a really fun treat, hit up a Boston Red Sox game!
(17) Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs is the perfect getaway vacation with amazing hotels and shopping. Grab a date shake in Palm Desert and check out the pool at the Saguaro hotel. Don’t forget to visit the Parker Palm Springs and go on a hunt for the colorful doors of Palm Springs! You’re also only about an hour drive from the famous Joshua Tree National Park which should be on everyone’s bucket list!
(18) Los Angeles, CA
What’s not to love about LA in your 20’s? Okay…traffic sucks, but LA is a blast. It’s got everything from beaches to hiking to fabulous nightlife and restaurants. Also, who doesn’t love celeb spotting? Why not drive the coast on Highway 1 to San Francisco with your friends while you’re at it!
Hawaii is the ultimate vacation spot to go in your 20s. There are so many wonderful outdoor activities to do, there’s a fun and laid back nightlife, and its just a great place to visit with friends!
(20) Nantucket, MA
Come to Nantucket for Figawai and make sure to bring your Sperry’s and Searsucker! Enjoy the races and hang out and drink on the beach!
And that concludes the 20 Places in the USA to Visit in Your 20s! Which places did I miss? I’m sure I missed a bunch so give it to me!
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 30 something from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.