22 of the best places you should travel to in the US in 2022

A view through a cove at the ocean at sunset on a California beach.
California is filled with beautiful sights, a likely reason why four destinations from the Golden State made this list.Tj LeClair/Shutterstock
  • As COVID continues, domestic getaways remain one of the best travel options for US travelers.

  • If you want to plan a trip in 2022, we found 22 places worth visiting that won't require a passport.

  • Here's where you'll find pretty scenery, exciting events, hotel and restaurant openings, and more.

Travel demand is expected to soar in 2022.

An empty road with no cars leading to the mountains.
Domestic travel will continue to be popular in 2022.Patsch 1/Shutterstock

If you're feeling ready to travel again, you're not alone. The World Travel & Tourism Council expects soaring demand for travel in 2022, with levels that may even outpace pre-pandemic times.

However, with a new COVID variant and ever-changing border constraints, it may be easier to keep those passports at home and stick to exploring the United States.

Thankfully, there's no shortage of worthy destinations. From world-famous cities making a comeback to remote paradises, national parks, and dreamy islands, several places in the US are poised to make a big splash in 2022 thanks to new venue openings, milestone anniversaries, special events, and more.

Orlando will celebrate Walt Disney World Resort's 50th anniversary, plus a revamped airport in 2022.

disney world
Visit Disney World in 2022 for special lighting, statues, costumes, and more.John Raoux/AP

If you're a Disney fan, there's never a bad time to visit Orlando.

But 2022 will be extra special for the city when Walt Disney World Resort celebrates 50 years in Orlando. The golden anniversary festivities will span 18 months through spring 2023, but when you visit the parks in 2022, expect special lighting and projects, commemorative statues and character costumes, and much more.

If you prefer luxury versus overly theme-y accommodations, stay at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, the only Five Diamond-rated property in Central Florida.

The $2.7 billion renovations of Orlando International Airport are also slated for completion in early spring 2022. Costing more than any other single investment in Orlando, the overhaul includes the introduction of Brightline, Florida's high-speed passenger rail service.

Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood will begin Las Vegas residencies next year, along with many new attractions.

Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas is always evolving with new shows, hotels, and attractions.RandyAndy101/Getty Images

No matter how many times you've visited Vegas, a new year always brings new reasons to go back. That's because the city is constantly evolving with new shows and attractions as well as an endless-seeming array of world-class culinary and hospitality options.

The Strip recently opened its first new ground-up resort in more than a decade with Resorts World Las Vegas that's worth checking out. And part of Wynn Las Vegas' $200 million revamp was the debut of the sumptuous and star-studded supper club Delilah, also known as the no-photos-allowed Kylie Jenner favorite venue, in partnership with The h.wood Group.

Or, try the new FlyOver in Las Vegas, a first-of-its-kind attraction on the Strip, and plan to buy tickets to any of the new artist residencies planned for 2022 that include Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood, who both kick off in December with dates into the new year.

Visit San Diego for newly opened concert venues, museums, beaches, and Michelin-starred restaurants.

San Diego, California, USA
San Diego, California has plenty to do set to the backdrop of beautiful beaches. 

Find a sunny escape in San Diego almost any time of year. It also helps to learn that the city is more than 80 percent vaccinated among residents over 12, as of publishing.

Visit in 2022 and enjoy the San Diego Symphony's brand new outdoor concert venue, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, or the reopened Mingei International Museum at Balboa Park, designed by Jennifer Luce.

Or indulge at some of the city's newly minted Michelin restaurants, including Addison, now with two stars, and one-star newbies Soichi Sushi, Sushi Tadokoro, and Jeune et Jolie.

For laid-back luxury, check in to the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa, a hacienda-style retreat situated on 10 acres between San Diego's seaside villages of La Jolla and Del Mar.

The CMA Music Festival, with four days of country music, returns to Nashville in June.

Many new openings are expected in Music City in 2022.Malcolm MacGregor/Getty Images

Country music fans rejoice: CMA Fest is finally coming back in Nashville in June after a two-year hiatus.

Summer will also make for steamy outdoor hangouts at the 166-year-old Centennial Park, which is undergoing a major renovation and recently unveiled the first statue of women's rights pioneers Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Also opening in May in Music City is Conrad Nashville, centrally located in Midtown and billed as the city's first ultra-luxe property. Don't leave without a visit to a joint like Party Fowl to try the famous Nashville hot chicken.

Foodies should head to Houston, Texas for a diverse culinary scene and a new food festival.

Urban Buffalo Bayou Park offers downtown Houston a green oasis for recreation.John Coletti/Getty Images

Houston was recently named the nation's most diverse city, and if you don't already think of it as a foodie destination, 2022 is time to start. Indeed, Bravo's "Top Chef" announced its 19th season will take over the city, and a new food festival, Commune, will launch in town from Indie Chefs Community beginning in March.

Stay in the center of it all at the new Hyatt Place Houston/Downtown for easy striking distance to sightseeing.

Major food and music festivals are all set to return to New Orleans.

A streetcar drives through the heart of New Orleans
The photogenic streetcars have been a part of the city’s landscape for over a century.Cavan Images/Getty Images

Following Hurricane Ida and even amid COVID, New Orleans is thriving, thanks to a major hotel boom, world-class dining, entertainment of all kinds (music oozes from everywhere), and plenty of festivals, which will be back in full force in 2022 after a major push to promote safe events in town. Come for Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, Tales of the Cocktail, and of course, Mardi Gras.

Stay at Virgin Hotels New Orleans, set to open reopen in the trendy Warehouse District.

Maui offers US travelers a dreamy tropical paradise without leaving the country.

Waves rolling into a beach with rocks in Maui, Hawaii.
Maui feels worlds away but doesn't require a passport.Shane Myers/Shutterstock

Maui is a top-ranked search destination for 2022 travel, which makes a lot of sense given that it offers a bucket-list tropical trip that feels far-flung without leaving the country.

With spectacular beaches, dramatic mountains, and active volcanoes, it offers all the natural beauty you'd expect from an island paradise. But there are tons of things to do, too. Unlike some of the less built-up islands in the state, Maui offers a lively atmosphere along with the sophistication of a major urban destination.

Come in April for the Maui Marathon, or in June for the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival. Stay at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, which you may recognize as the filming location for HBO's "The White Lotus."

New York is welcoming back tourists with indoor dining, reopened attractions, and the long-awaited return of Broadway.

The New York City skyline at sunset
It's time to go back to New York City.Rachel Mendelson/Insider

After an achingly long hiatus for theater buffs, Broadway is back, and that alone is worth a pilgrimage to New York City for many. The highly anticipated Museum of Broadway is also set to debut in summer 2022.

Toss in the return of indoor dining and drinking, and there's much to celebrate in the Big Apple going into 2022. Spend a day reading at the New York Public Library, visit the Bronx Zoo, and indulge in any style of cuisine from street food to the ultimate in elevated dining. Or, catch some of the best city sights from the water on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise.

Hailed as a sign of the city's recovery, the 1,878-room New York Hilton Midtown reopened in October.

Soak up culture of all kinds in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, California
Find the glitz of Hollywood, arts and culture, and major events all in Los Angeles.Chones/Shutterstock

The Super Bowl will draw many visitors to Los Angeles in February, but beyond sports, the city is in the midst of a major cultural boom thanks to the hotly anticipated — and visually dramatic — Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is open at last.

For additional outings, Lacma, the La Brea Tar Pits, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and more museums offer additional world-class culture in 2022.

Also next year, Conrad Los Angeles is set to open downtown in the spring as part of Related Companies' mixed-use development, The Grand LA, designed by Frank Gehry.

Charleston stands out for its culinary scene, historic architecture, and big upcoming events.

Charleston, South Carolina
Atmospheric Charleston has historic streets, Southern charm, and great food.f11photo/Shutterstock

With a celebrated culinary scene, luxurious accommodations, historic architecture, and big events on the 2022 calendar, Charleston remains a perennial favorite domestic destination.

The city's popular culinary festival, Charleston Wine + Food Festival returns in March. The anticipated International African American Museum, which explores the city's role in the history of slavery, is also set to open early in the year.

Book a stay in the heart of the Historic District, in close proximity to the city's top boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Try the 52-room HarbourView Inn, which recently unveiled a $1 million refresh with designs from local artists and a refurbished rooftop.

Miami will host Formula 1's first-ever Grand Prix in May.

Aerial View of Miami Beach
Miami is world-famous for renowned cuisine, great beaches, and Art Deco design.Bernhard Lang/Getty Images

Packed with restaurants, big-name cultural institutions, a hot art scene, and one of the best beaches in the country, Miami is always top-of-mind for an easy getaway. As a result, it's also been named the most popular relocation location in the U.S.

In 2022, come for Formula 1's first-ever Grand Prix in May, or any time for beaches and nightlife. If you need a place to stay, W South Beach recently unveiled its $30 million design renovation, new spa, and a $100 million art collection with dozens of Warhols in the lobby.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, the oldest city in the US, will mark its 500-year anniversary in 2022.

san juan
Old San Juan is the oldest city in the United States and its territories.Shutterstock

Plan a visit in the new year to check out Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, the oldest city in the United States and its territories, when it marks its 500-year anniversary in 2022.

To celebrate, the blue cobblestone city will bring events, festivals, tours, and more through June. A quick drive away, the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico on a private peninsula makes a nice base, with the island's largest lagoon-style pool, and its first floating waterpark over the ocean.

Plan a culturally educational and food-forward visit to our nation's capital.

Exterior shot of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC
Plan a visit to our nation's capital.Doug Armand/Getty Images

With 2022 a non-election year, and interest in traveling to the nation's capital on the upswing after a major pandemic hit, it's the ideal time for a culturally educational and food-forward visit to Washington, D.C.

Logan Circle, which is well-placed for sightseeing, offers two new lively spots that have become neighborhood favorites: Hotel Zena and Viceroy Washington DC. Both hotels are conveniently centered around 14th Street NW, a trendy spot for taking in the city's attractions, eateries, and nightlife.

For an enchanting island getaway away from crowds, take the ferry to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina.

Dock on Daufuskie Island in Beaufort, South Carolina surrounded by marsh and deep blue waters from the intercoastal waterway.
Daufuskie Island in South Carolina is accessible only by ferry.Adam Colick/Shutterstock

This magical getaway might not be on your radar but it should be. Accessible by ferry, Daufuskie Island is blanketed in lush Spanish moss and is steeped in Gullah history. Mostly dirt roads traverse the tiny island on the southernmost tip of South Carolina, making it an idyllic place that seems plucked from a much earlier era.

Here, you'll find nearly private white sand beaches, plus a top-ranked golf course.

On the island with no bridge, visitors stay at Haig Point, the island's only private, residential community in historic accommodations — the Strachan Mansion or 1873 Lighthouse.

Escape to the desert in Palm Springs for midcentury design, music festivals, and LGBTQ events.

The pool at the Saguaro Palm Springs
The Saguaro Palm Springs stands out for its iconic colors and pool.Tonelson Productions/Shutterstock

Palm Springs, California, and its environs are ideal for a 2022 trip if you're among the many travelers with remaining safety concerns thanks to its beautiful weather, wide-open spaces, and outdoor venues that includes more than 300 golf courses.

The famously LGBTQ-friendly destination also packs an impressive annual event calendar, from an international film festival in January to Modernism Week in February, and music festivals in the spring, including the long-awaited return of the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.

Casa Cody, the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, has standalone cottages for travelers seeking privacy and space.

Sip on world-class wine from lauded vineyards in Napa and Sonoma.

napa valley
Some of the best vineyards in the world are in California.Getty Images

Northern California's Napa and Sonoma are home to some of the most famous wine-producing regions in the world, and a trip here in 2022 is a good choice for travelers with a pandemic savings surplus, as it's typically quite pricey.

The region comprises a sprawling landscape of bucolic vineyards, world-class restaurants, plus culture and shopping aplenty. Bring your wallet to dine at Thomas Keller's Yountville restaurant, The French Laundry. And if you visit in 2022, you'll be one of the earliest visitors at the new Four Seasons Napa Valley, set upon a working winery.

Invest in self-care in 2022 in Arizona's Sonoran Desert.

Saguaro and Four Peaks near Phoenix, Arizona.
The desert outside of Phoenix is a must-see.LHBLLC/Shutterstock

If all the stress 2021 (and 2020) has you craving both healing and wide-open spaces, head to Arizona's Sonoran Desert for a much-needed recharge.

Fly into Phoenix, which is surrounded on all sides by mountains, and visit the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, which includes thousands of acres of stunning hiking and biking trails through desert scenery. Or, head east to hit the Superstition Wilderness and the trail in Lost Dutchman State Park.

Complete the wellness experience with a stay at Castle Hot Springs, which was Arizona's first luxury resort, originally founded in 1896. Its mineral hot springs date back 13,000 years, and the 30-room resort has a digital detox philosophy. Newly added this year on property is Arizona's first-ever Via Ferrata cable climbing course.

Savor starry skies in Utah's canyon country, a place beloved by reality stars like the Kardashians.

The Amangiri Resort in Utah blends in to the surrounding rocks.
The Amangiri Resort nestled in Grand Staircase Escalante National Park.karenfoleyphotography/Shutterstock

Utah is a dream destination for travelers seeking nature and isolation, and not just during the daytime. The state is home to the world's highest concentration of Dark Sky Parks, so designated for incredible starry nights. All 18 such designated zones in Utah offer stunning scenery by day, too.

If you want to see stars of another sort (and money is no object), stay at Amangiri, a favorite among the Kardashians and Real Housewives where lodgings cost thousands nightly.

Yellowstone National Park turns 150 years old in 2022.

GettyImages 1320893097
Yellowstone is America's first national park.AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

America's first national park, Yellowstone, turns 150 years old in 2022. Celebrate the milestone with a visit to the park's famous geothermal features and spot-protected fauna, including elk and wolves that roam freely, as well as 300 unique species of birds. Expect special art, exhibits, and events in honor of the milestone.

Book ahead and stay at Old Faithful Inn, a national historic landmark and the most-requested lodging facility in the park. Its building began in 1903 with local logs and stone.

Greenville, South Carolina is a delight for foodies, sports fans, and outdoorsy types.

Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville is growing as a foodie destination.Shutterstock

Greenville has flown largely under many travelers' radar, but this special Southern city is worth discovering in 2022. Its growth as a foodie destination continues with Lewis BBQ(coming 2022) and CAMP from French Laundry alum Drew Erikson, plus more than two dozen breweries.

Be one of the first visitors to the stunning new 60-acre outdoor park, Unity Park, right along the town's 22-plus mile Swamp Rabbit Bike trail, set to open in the spring. That's right around the same time as NCAA March Madness comes to town, too. Visit in May to stay at the new Grand Bohemian when it opens.

For surfing, scenic nature, and ample art all year, consider Virginia Beach.

Boats, Canoes and the Beach in Virginia Beach, Va
Virginia Beach's wide swath of sand is a favorite among surfers.Main Focus Media/Shutterstock

Virginia Beach stretches for a full 35 miles across the East Coast along the Atlantic Ocean, offering wide, clean beaches that are easily accessible for regional travelers, and so much more.

The East Coast Surfing Championship will celebrate its 60th anniversary in Virginia Beach in August, a weeklong celebration on the beach. The seaside city also offers 293 parks and park facilities, 29 miles of scenic waterways, and 300 miles of bike ways and trails.

Art appreciators will want to visit the ViBe Creative District or check out the Maya Lin solo exhibit coming to Virginia MOCA in 2022. Stay at the iconic, and newly restored, Cavalier Virginia Beach, which has welcomed travelers for almost a century.

Baltimore is booming thanks to brand new hotels, eco-friendly endeavors, and the oldest public market in America.

Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is seeing a diverse explosion of growth.Jose Luis Stephens/Shutterstock

Baltimore belongs on your list for 2022 for its diverse community of entrepreneurs and innovators, and an explosion of growth that includes the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, The Ivy Hotel, and Sagamore Pendry Baltimore.

Plus, look out for budding developments and cultural districts including Harbor Point, the city's newest luxury waterfront neighborhood, and a truly sustainable one, with walkability, environmentally conscious buildings, an urban vegetable farm, smart irrigation systems, 9.5 acres of green space, and more. The new year will also bring the highly anticipated reopening of the iconic Lexington Market, the oldest public market in America.

Read the original article on Insider