Our Top Travel Picks for Big Awesome Cities

Best Big Cities to Visit in the US

Asheville, North Carolina is home for us and at about 90,000 people, we think it’s a good fit: not too big, not too small, great food and drink and lots of fun things to do. That said, we LOVE traveling to bigger cities. We love the buzz you get from being in a place where things are always happening. We love all the people, the potential for creative opportunitiesĀ of course alllllllll the drinking and dining choices. Oh and if a city has water near it, we’re almost sure to fall in love. Below are our top picks for big, awesome cities to visit!

Washington, DC

Our nations capitol is more than just politics and monuments. It’s also home to several world class FREE museums (Smithsonian day anyone?!)

Big Cities to Visit



If the first thing you think of when it comes to Philly is Rocky Balboa, then you’re in for a treat! Philadelphia packs a mean punch on all fronts: great things to see, do and eat and a really fun section of town called the Gayborhood. Whatcha waiting for?!


If it wasn’t for the cold, brutal winters, we might consider living in Boston. There’s always a ton of cool events to choose from, tons of history for those of you who love to roll up your sleeves and explore the past. Sports are a big deal here too … Boston Marathon anyone?!

Best USA Cities to Visit
Looking down!

New York

If opportunity knocks, go to New York! We go whenever we can because it is so darn stimulating! Admittedly we need a day or two to recover afterwards because things seem to move at the speed of light. But if you’re looking for a place to boost your creativity, this is the one.

US Cities to Travel to in 2018
The iconic Flatiron Building.

New Orleans

Mardi Gras. Jazz Fest. Do we need to say any more? That said it doesn’t really matter when you visit the Big Easy, it’s always a good time. New Orleans has it all: excellent food, rich culture and history, a thriving music scene and enough nightlife to satisfy anyone.



“Come … as you are … ” (Any Nirvana fans out there?) The music culture and history in Seattle is only one of many reasons to visit. There’s also Pike Place Market, the original Starbucks, tons of other coffee shops, lots of great street art and several great neighborhoods worth exploring (West Seattle and Capitol Hill anyone?!) Oh and if you feel like island hopping, catch a ferry and head on over to the San Juans!


Um, yes please. We love Portland. Our crush on this city has actually developed into full-blown adoration. Why? Think food trucks, breweries, a funky arts scene, great places to run and ride your bike, awesome street art, world-class outdoor activities all within arms reach and incredible coffee.

Best Cities to Visit
Coava Coffee on Jefferson


You’re just as likely to find trucker hats as you are cowboy hats in Austin – it’s friendly to both hipsters and cowboys … there’s a lot of open, green space for running and riding your bike (check out the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail) and tons of great food. If you have time, make a stop at the capitol building and stand in the middle of the main rotunda and whisper…

Best US Cities to Visit in 2018
Looking up inside the capitol building!

San Francisco

Good shoes or boots are a must here because there are a crazy amount of hills. But walking around is more than worth it so lace up those hikers and get going! There’s so much to see and do in San Francisco that you could probably spend a whole lifetime and never do it all. But don’t let that get you down. Start with a visit to Tartine Bakery, keep your eyes peeled for cool adventure mobiles and get going!

Big Awesome Cities to Visit

What do you think about our list of big awesome cities? How many of them have you been to? Are there any you would re-visit (or any that you would not?!) We’d love to hear from you, drop your comments below.

Have you seen our post about some of our favorite mid-size cities?!




Published by Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer exploring Asheville and beyond. My work focuses on sharing about LGBTQ safe spaces, camper van life, and the outdoors.

8 thoughts on “Our Top Travel Picks for Big Awesome Cities

      1. Kansas City Hey Hey Hey–its an old jazz song, was also covered by the Beatles. There’s also some other jazz songs about KC because they had a HUGE jazz scene.
        Everything’s Up to Date on Kansas City from the musical Oklahoma.
        And some other twangy, folksy songs šŸ˜Š

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