6 Places in the US you should visit in your 20s

In my experience, your 20s are the best time to travel and see all the beauty that this country has to offer. While you may not have the financial resources in your 20s that you will have later in life, you have a lot of time on your hands to go exploring. 


There are many exploration and backpacking vacations that you can take in your 20s that you can do for an extremely affordable price. That being said there are a multitude of destinations I can think of that are a must-visit in your 20s, I have put together a list of the 10 best places to travel in your 20s in the US:


1. Zion National Park

Where do I even begin with Zion national park? This canyon boasting nature preserve in southwest Utah transforms you to another planet as soon as you step foot inside of it making it one of the best places in the US that you need to visit in your 20s. There are many scenic hikes that you would be remised to skip out on if you do come to Zion. 


You will be absolutely blown away by the canyons that are full of rocks of the most beautiful colors you have ever seen. There are many affordable lodging options near Zion National Park as well. A few options that cost less than $150 a night include Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Zion’s Cozy Cabin, and Gooseberry Lodges.


2. Yosemite National Park

This beautiful National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California is know for it’s ancient sequoia trees as well as it’s amazing rock formations. Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls are the fan favorite destinations if you are making a trip to Yosemite. Similar to Zion, there are a number of hikes that you can go on and the views at the end of them are absolutely breathtaking. 


Similar to Zion, there are also a few places to stay that are reasonably priced. A few of the top lodging options for under $200 include Curry VillageYosemite Cedar Lodge, and if you are into a cool glamping experience, check out Indian Flat Campground.


3. Grand Teton National Park

Rounding out the top national parks to visit in the US when you are in your 20s is Grand Teton Nation Park. Located in northwestern Wyoming, this beautiful national park gets its name from the Grand Teton which is the tallest mountain in the Teton Mountain Range. This national park is a popular destination for those that love hiking, fishing, and camping, with over 1,000 drive-in campsites and over 200 miles of hiking trails.


While there are numerous drive-in campsites for van lifers, if that isn’t your speed there are many affordable places to stay in the area. Some of the top options in the area include Buffalo Valley Ranch, Cache House, and the Hostel.


4. Nashville

If your not a huge outdoor person and would rather go see some live music, then Nashville is your place. It is a lively city and is home to some of the best country music in the US. Many of the big country stars today got their start in one of the popular Nashville bars. 


Some of the top bars to go to in the city include Whiskey River Saloon, Cayote Ugly Saloon, and Rippy’s Smokin’ Bar and Grill. Other attractions in Nashville include visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Johnny Cash Museum, where you can learn about the singer’s life.


While there are some Hotel options in Nashville that are on the expensive end, you can also find some options near downtown for under $200 if you sacrifice some amenities. My top affordable lodging options are the Comfort Inn Downtown NashvilleBest Western Plus Music Row, and Clarion Hotel Nashville Downtown.


5. Austin

Whether you’re an adventurer or just looking to have a good time, Austin Texas is one of the best places to travel in your 20s. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Austin offers countless outdoor activities including hiking, swimming in natural springs, and even ziplining through the trees. 


Austin also has a lively music scene with some of the best live music venues in the country (behind only Nashville). With it’s cool and quirky restaurants, unique boutiques, and trendy bars and clubs, there’s no shortage of places to explore in this vibrant city. That’s why you need to grab some friends and head to Austin for unforgettable experiences and lasting memories.


As for places to stay in Austin, there are many good options. Some of my top options for around $150/night include the Wyndham Garden HotelCourtyard by Marriott Austin South, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott

6. New Orleans

If you’re looking for a destination that has the history, culture, and fun, look no further than New Orleans. The beautiful architecture and rich history of the French Quarter will captivate you. New Orleans also has a vibrant music scene that will have you dancing all night long. It is also home to amazing food like beignets, crawfish boils, and gumbo. 


If you’re not in the mood to explore you can grab a drink and people watch at one of the many outdoor bars or take a leisurely stroll through picturesque Jackson Square. There truly is something for everyone in New Orleans, making it a top choice for places to travel in your 20s. 


Similar to the other destinations, there are some pricey options when it comes to places to stay, but you can also find some lower end affordable options. Some hotels that are near the action that won’t break the bank include the Mercantile HotelLa Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham, and the Holiday Inn New Orleans


As a young adult, your 20s are often filled with exploration and adventure. What better way to embrace this exciting time in your life than by traveling to some of the best destinations in the United States? Whether it’s hiking in Yosemite National Park, soaking up the culture and history of New Orleans, or experiencing the breathtaking beauty of Zion National Park, there’s something for every type of traveler in America. 


Get out there and travel with a group of friends or even solo and explore the best places to travel in your 20s in the US. Many of these are adventure and exploration spots in the US, so if you are more into exploring affordable beaches in the US check out the top affordable beach vacations in the US. 

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