U.S. Cities Everyone Will Be Traveling to This Year

If your New Year's resolution is to see more of the world, you're in good company. There's never been a better time to explore America's heartland. And, your fellow countrymen agree: in 2018, domestic travelers spent an eye-popping $933 billion dollars in the United States. Additionally, Americans logged 1.8 billion trips for leisure purposes in the same year. In 2020, the numbers are expected only to increase.

So, if you're ready to channel your inner wanderer, here are four American cities you'll want to visit. Add them to your bucket list now; they will be the hottest destinations in America in 2020.


Lexington, Kentucky

Horses in Lexington, Kentucky
Credit: alexeys/ iStock

If you love bourbon and horses, it's time to head for Kentucky. Not usually on the list of top travel destinations, Lexington, Kentucky, is one of the best cities for an American vacation.

And, as luck would have it, 2020 is an especially good year to visit the state if you love horse races. The 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington on November 6–7. This is the second time the city has hosted the event since 2015, a year that saw the largest attendance in the event's history.

Be sure to book your hotel early if you're planning to attend, however. According to the 2015 Breeders' Cup Championship fact sheet, Lexington's hotel occupancy was at 95% during the Breeders' Cup weekend and 75% during the week leading up to the event.

If you prefer equestrian shows to horse racing, you'll want to visit Lexington a little earlier. From September 25–27, 2020, Lexington will host Equitana, the world's largest equine fair, at the Kentucky Horse Park. The 2020 event marks the first time the event will be held in the United States. You'll enjoy three days of equine-based demonstrations, clinics, entertainment, and shopping.

Don't pass up on Lexington if those dates don't work for you. In fact, if you'd like a more tactile and up-close experience with thoroughbreds, consider a visit to Lexington in the summer so you can take relaxing private tours at any of Lexington's 150+ horse farms.

Foodies will want to check out the city's 120+ world-class restaurants, and bourbon lovers will want to tour the 14 distilleries that operate in and around Lexington.


Rochester, New York

Waterfall near downtown Rochester, New York
Credit: traveler1116/ iStock

The third-largest city in New York has always been popular for those visiting the Finger Lakes wine region. If you've never stopped by, plan a trip in 2020 so you can see the booming downtown Rochester area for yourself. You'll find wineries, breweries, restaurants, distilleries, and coffee joints to visit. It's safe to say you won't go hungry or thirsty in Rochester.

The year 2020 is an especially remarkable one for the city of Rochester, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment's ratification and the 200th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony's death. The latter's work as a suffragist contributed to women gaining the right to vote in 1920. You can visit her grave during your trip to Rochester. In 2016 and 2018, women stuck "I Voted" stickers on her grave after casting votes in state and federal elections, and you can be one of many who does the same in 2020. You'll also want to visit the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, where the suffragette was arrested after illegally voting in 1872.

The museum will also partner with like-minded organizations to host Votercade 2020. This is a year-long series of events, exhibits, and performances that will be held at venues across Rochester to celebrate women's suffrage. You can see the exact dates of events on the Votercade website.

While you're in Rochester, be sure to visit one of the city's iconic museums, such as the Strong National Museum of Play, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and the George Eastman Museum. You'll also want to take a trip to see the Lake Ontario shoreline. Finally, you can't miss High Falls, which is a 96-foot waterfall right in the middle of downtown Rochester.


Washington, D.C.

Aerial view of the Washington, D.C. in fall
Credit: MH Anderson Photography/ Shutterstock

The country's capital is always a good place to visit, whether you're an avid history buff or a political enthusiast who wants to be at the center of it all. The year 2020 will be an especially interesting time to visit since it will be an election year.

If you'd like to visit during, near, or on election night, be sure to book your room well in advance. Bars and restaurants will be filled with visitors and even members of Washington's political class. You'll find election-night watch parties all over town, where you can see the final vote tallies come in on large-screen TVs.

The year 2020 will also be interesting for history buffs who'd like to learn more about the women's suffrage movement. Washington, D.C., will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage with museum exhibits and events.

Other notable events taking place in 2020 in Washington, D.C., include EarthRise on April 22, the National Cherry Blossom Festival from March 20–April 12, and the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover from May 7–8, which will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.


Orlando, Florida

View of Downtown Orlando from Lake Eola
Credit: Susanne Neumann/ iStock

If you have kids, chances are Orlando, Florida, is already on your travel list. And, if you've been putting off a trip to Disney World and Universal, 2020 may just be the best year to give in to the magic.

There'll be a lot going on at Disney World's theme parks in 2020. Star Wars fans will want to be among the first to ride the "Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance" ride at Galaxy's Edge in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Another ride that's opening in 2020 will be "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway," scheduled for spring.

The Epcot Theme Park is also undergoing a major expansion and will unveil new rides in 2020, including a Ratatouille-themed ride, a Mary Poppins attraction, and a new nighttime show, "HarmoniUS." Meanwhile, Disney Springs will be showcasing a new Disney-themed Cirque du Soleil show in spring 2020.

Visitors to Universal will also get to see some new attractions, including a new show called "Bourne Spectacular." Finally, LEGOLAND is calling 2020 the "Year of the Pirate" and will be opening a brand new hotel and water show for the occasion.

When you need a break from rides and attractions, head to the Kennedy Space Center, about 50 miles from Orlando, where you'll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission. In the summer, NASA's Mars 2020 mission will launch out of Cape Canaveral. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning NOW for a fun-filled new year.


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