We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1! We’re also … No. 8 … Hey, at least we’re still in the Top 10.
U.S. News & World Report has unveiled its rankings for the best places to visit in 2019 and D.C., as well as other nearby locales, made more than one list.
Washington is the No. 1 Best Historical City to Visit in the U.S. and No. 8 overall for best cities to visit in the country.
“Visitors to D.C. know that it has plenty of monuments and memorials to explore, lots of Smithsonian museums and a lot of outdoor activities, in addition to an excellent dining scene,” U.S. News’ Managing Editor for Travel Erin Shields told WTOP.
“So, it’s kind of a really well-rounded destination in addition to an excellent historical destination.”
U.S. News takes a lot of different things into account when it evaluates a destination. Everything from the number of museums and museum access to culture sites, atmosphere and — friendliness?
“We do a lot of research around reviews — whether it’s hotels, attractions, things to do, tours — and see what visitors have to say about the people they’re interacting with,” Shields said. “It’s definitely difficult.”
What can Washington do to become the No. 1 destination in the U.S.? Keep on truckin’.
“Continue to welcome visitors, offer lots of exciting things to do and see,” Shields said. “I think continuing to offer a great restaurant scene and lots of tours and attractions that really bring back visitors of all types — everyone from family travelers to couples to solo travelers.”
As for people who already live in the District:
“I think people who live in this area (U.S. News is based out of Washington) definitely should be appreciative and take advantage of the things there are to do,” Shields told WTOP.
“I think living here is probably a great thing because there are so many museums and attractions. … So, if you’re not taking advantage of it, I would really try to do that by the end of the year.”
It wasn’t just Washington that made multiple lists.
“Williamsburg is pretty unique. You have the costumed interpreters who take guests on guided tours so people can learn a little more about the history of the Revolutionary War. A really interesting thing they do are ghost tours, which people seem to really love,” Shields said.
Ocean City, Maryland, was No. 22 for Best Small Towns, which are destinations with 50,000 people or less.
“Ocean City is a really family friendly destination. They have activities for all ages. you can go mini-golfing, hit the beach, go to the boardwalk, check out some of the water sports activities and then cap it all off with a day eating steamed crab,” Shields said.
And Charlottesville, Virginia, was No. 24 for Best Small Towns.
“Charlottesville is really easy to visit from the D.C. area, either by train or car, but overall, they have numerous wineries and breweries to explore,” Shields explained. “It’s surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and there’s plenty of nearby hiking.”
Overall, the single best place in the world to visit is Paris, followed by South Island in New Zealand, Rome, Tahiti and London.
“Our U.S. News rankings take into account editor, expert and user analysis to put out a variety of destinations so people thinking about planning a trip can consult our rankings and see what is going to be the best vacation for them,” Shields said.
Best Historical Cities to Visit in the U.S.
- Washington, D.C.
- Gettysburg, Pa.
- Williamsburg, Va.
- Charleston, S.C.
- Savannah. Ga.
- Plymouth, Mass.
- St. Augustine, Fla.
- Salem, Mass.
Best Places to Visit in the U.S.
- Grand Canyon
- Glacier National Park
- New York City
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Telluride, Colo.
See the complete rankings at U.S. News’ website.