For most Americans, domestic travel has long been something of a rite of passage – packed car rides to national parks, short flights to theme parks or beach rentals, and maybe some longer milestone trips to otherworldly places within the fabric of the massive American landscape (Alaska, Hawaii, the Rockies, Puerto Rico) – all checked off of a long list over the years.
This year we’ve expanded our forward-looking list of the best places to go by dedicating an entire iteration to the United States and taking a magnifying glass to the most exciting American places on our radar; both buzzy up-and-comers, and longstanding favourites with a reason to shine again. Led by news and destination trends taking place in 2022 and anticipated for 2023, this list is packed with exciting new creations and success stories, from culinary and hotel renaissances to reinvigorated neighbourhoods and rebuilt (quite literally) places that became unlikely comeback kids in the aftermath of Covid and natural disasters.
These are the 23 US destinations to guide your travels in 2023 – from the American West Coast to the US territory islands of the Caribbean. And don’t forget to visit our global list of international destinations to visit next year – the best places to travel in 2023, vetted by Condé Nast Traveller editors, plus ideas for places to travel in the UK, top spots in Spain and destinations to book in India. Shannon McMahon and Jessica Puckett
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San Antonio, Texas
Texas’ second-largest city is the growing culinary destination in the Lone Star State thanks to an eclectic blend of Mexican, German, and Spanish heritages. Its food scene is a mix of posadas, tamaladas, and Tex-Mex puffy tacos, kolaches and biergartens, paellas and lighting luminarias. And San Antonio is a hotbed of under-the-radar talent increasingly recognised over the last several years and now exploding. Restaurants like Cured, Pharm Table, La Panadería, 2M Smokehouse, and Carnitas Lonja are a few of the eateries that have recently been drawing gastronomes to SATX. The city is also a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy – one of only two in America along with Tucson, Arizona – and the Alamo City had seven James Beard Award semifinalists in 2022.
In addition to its culinary appeal, San Antonio is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its incredible missions; the Alamo will open the new Collections & Exhibitions Building in early 2023. A Central Park-like green space in the middle of downtown San Antonio, Hemisfair’s Civic Park, will open in fall 2023 and include interpretive elements of the historic Spanish acequias and natural springs, along with an outdoor amphitheatre. Several notable hotels have also opened since the pandemic, including Canopy San Antonio Riverwalk, Thompson San Antonio, and Estancia del Norte. Slated to open in 2023 are The Otis Hotel, Autograph Collection, as well as an InterContinental Hotel. Marisel Salazar