The 50 highlights of America, state by state (part 9)


47. A voracious state, San Francisco, California

Of all the US’s gastronomic hotspots like the food trucks of Portland, Oregon, the barbecue joints of Austin, the fine-dining of NYC, perhaps none are more exciting than San Francisco. This city is obsessed with food, boasting a phenomenal amount of restaurants making the best of local produce from both land and sea, as well as wines from Napa and Sonoma valleys.

Visit Chinatown for excellent Asian cuisine. For authentic food from Central and South America, head to the Mission District. For fresh ingredients, go to the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Markets on Tuesdays, Thursday, and Saturdays.

48. A carefree state, Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s a funny thing that happens in Las Vegas: time becomes irrelevant and the outside world seems not to exist with all of your normal concerns and responsibilities fading away. This is such a hedonistic paradise that nothing seems to matter.

Las Vegas offers a worry-free life, and there’s nothing much more than gambling. It also has fine-dining restaurants manned by master chefs as well as concerts and musicals featuring the biggest names in the business; not to mention its parks, art galleries, racing tracks, day spas, golf courses, nightclubs and more.

49. An enlightened state, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

There are some museums that take days of your time to explore, some only require a few hours. And Washington DC‘s Smithsonian Institution is the first case. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, a fascinating network of 19 museums and galleries. You could spend weeks there and still not have seen everything of interest.

50. A festive state, New Orleans, Louisiana

There are plenty of official festivals taking place in New Orleans: the Wine and Food Experience, the Jazz & Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Fest, the Carnaval Latino, the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, and the legendary Mardi Gras. In fact it is extremely unlucky if you visit New Orleans when there isn’t a festival on.