Top 10 Best Downtowns in the USA

There's no doubt about it—the most interesting places in the United States are found downtown. No matter where you go, the big cities in the U.S. have fascinating downtown areas, filled with amusement parks, hidden restaurant gems, and plenty of cultural excursions. If it’s fun, education, and culture you’re after, then head downtown. Here are the top ten downtown areas in the United States. Get out and get exploring!

1: New York City, New York

New York City, New York
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jeff Turner

When we’re talking about downtown New York City, we’re usually talking about downtown Manhattan. And what a downtown it is! Even if you’ve never been to Times Square, you’ve certainly heard of many of its attractions. The intoxicating draw of Times Square, the historic romance of the wharf, and the cultural sensationalism of the arts scene attract thousands of visitors a day. There’s something for everybody in lower Manhattan: Broadway, Central Park, nightlife, shopping, and so much more! From the fine dining to the incredible street art, downtown New York is hard to beat for an urban vacation.

Address: Lower Manhattan, New York, NY

2: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Sergey

Chicago’s downtown area is known for the best pizza in the United States. You haven’t had pizza until you’ve had a Chicago deep dish! There are also a lot of other things to love about Chicago, too. Millennium Park is definite Chicago highlight. There are plenty of fun things to do in the park, and less of the smog that characterizes the city. Chicago also boasts many fun museums and learning experiences, such as Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and 360 Chicago, an incredible high-level viewing platform. Don’t forget to get a gander at the Sears Tower!

Address: Chicago, Illinois

3: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/m01229

Old Town Alexandria is both a wonderful adventure and a historical experience. It just a short trip from Washington, D.C., making the perfect getaway for a traveler who needs a break from the Capital. Alexandria is delightfully historic; in fact, it was founded around 1750 and was home to George Washington. The old streets are filled with shopping, dining, and learning opportunities. Explore buildings that existed before the founding of the United States and learn what life must have been like back then! Don’t forget to try the King Street Trolley while you’re at it. When you’re done touring and snapping photos, head to one of the many cafés and restaurants for relaxation and good food.

Address: Alexandria, VA

4: Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is both a historic town and a college town, making its downtown area an attractive mix of hip culture and old-time charm. There are many lovely red brick buildings throughout the downtown area, from government buildings to churches. Burlington is also naturally scenic. It is built on the shore of Lake Champlain, and its wharf has a stunning view of Adirondack Mountains’ romantic blue layers. If you’re hoping to visit Burlington, it’s easy to get there—the city boasts an airport, public transport, a train, and a ferry in addition to its several nearby highways and interstates.

Address: Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont

5: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Zepfanman

The most wonderful part of Indianapolis is the river walk that winds through the downtown area. The river walk attracts many types of people: middle-aged business people taking brisk walks on their lunch breaks, college students from the surrounding campus going on a jog, wide-eyed tourists drinking in the street art. Each tunnel on the river walk is filled with beautiful art work, and even many of the businesses adjoining the walk have chosen unconventional décor. As far as the sky rise scene goes, there’s also a lot to do apart from the river walk. Food, fun, and culture all have a place here.

Address: Mile Square, Indianapolis, IN

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