The Right 2021 Destination for Every Type of Traveler
Time to get reacquainted with these American cities.
It’s hardly a surprise that 2021 is shaping up to be the year of the vacation (given what last year was like). As the country continues to open up after many months of lockdown, we can’t think of a more perfect time to book a stay in that U.S. city you’ve had on your bucket list for way too long. Whether you’re reconnecting with a group of friends you haven’t seen since 2019, meeting generations of family for a long-overdue reunion, or simply want to rage until dawn (been there), we’ve got you. Here are 10 destinations that are perfect for whatever you’re planning in 2021.
The big group reunion trip: Las Vegas, Nevada
You’ve waited this long to hug your friends in real life; shouldn’t you meet up in a place where you could do it all night? Las Vegas is the ideal spot to reconnect with a large group of pals for obvious reasons: There is plenty to do no matter what your interests may be, whether that’s Texas Hold’em, marquee concerts from the likes of Bruno Mars or Usher, decadent daytime pool parties at new hotels like Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, or, of course, clubbing until the sun rises at spots like Mayfair After Dark or Marquee Nightclub. And while it may not get top billing, the restaurant scene here is one of the best in the country. Try one of the city’s famed hotel buffets one day (we like the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace for reasons that should be obvious), then treat yourself another night to sushi from Mizumi or pasta from Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano
The nightlife lovers trip: Miami, Florida
If sleeping in until noon and sitting down to dinner past 10pm is more your speed, Miami is your dream destination. It’s difficult to think of another city in the US that prioritizes fun as much as this South Florida area. So, it should come as no surprise that the bars, lounges, and clubs here are world-famous for good reason. Make your home base in South Beach, where the majority of the chic hotels and nightlife venues (often in one and the same place) are located. Some of our favorites include SLS South Beach, which is home to Hyde Beach; The Miami Beach Edition, whose entertainment hub Basement includes a nightclub, bowling alley, and ice-skating rink; and the storied Fontainebleau Miami Beach, where megaclub Liv keeps the music cranking until 5am.
After a year where the longest trip you took was a walk around the block, we’re all itching to make vacation plans again. With PayPal and Expedia as travel companions, you can rest easy knowing that those plans are in good hands. When you book an Expedia hotel with PayPal, you'll not only keep your trip payments secure — you can still earn credit card rewards on eligible purchases. (And you can settle up with PayPal friends on that group trip with their app.) With a handy itinerary tool, virtual agents to help cancel or reschedule, and easy-to-understand trip insurance, Expedia has the travel logistics covered. With all that handled, all you have to worry about is whether or not you packed your toothbrush when you book your next hotel stay with PayPal and Expedia.
The architecture buff trip: Chicago, Illinois
For a city in the Midwest, Chicago has certainly had an outsized impact on architecture throughout the entire country. The multitude of styles seen in the city’s skyscrapers as well as in its various charming neighborhoods makes it a must-see for anyone interested in urban planning or design. To start, book a room at the newly reopened Hilton Chicago, a large historic hotel in a prime location on South Michigan Avenue. Then, for an informative and beautiful way to view the city’s most famous landmarks, book a Chicago architecture river cruise. The hour-and-a-half-long ride reveals the stories behind around 50 of the city’s most notable buildings.
The history aficionado trip: Washington, DC
For travelers interested in many types of history — American, art, natural, animal … the list goes on — there is nowhere more ideal to visit than Washington, DC. The nation’s capital, of course, is not only home to the perennially popular sites of the White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court, but a bevy of incredible, world-renowned museums, most of which are free to enter. Some of our favorites include the National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History & Culture, and the National Museum of Natural History (which reopened this June after a long closure). For an extra dose of history, book a room at the buzzy Riggs Washington DC, which is housed in the former Riggs National Bank (also known as the “Bank of Presidents”). Their subterranean cocktail bar Silver Lyan is actually located in the bank’s former vault.
The gallery-hoppers trip: New York, New York
One of the most magical qualities of New York City is how art surrounds you wherever you go. Whether it’s the innovative and colorful graffiti plastering buildings on The Bowery, to the world-famed galleries in Chelsea, to the jaw-dropping collections at MoMA or The Met, it’s hard to turn a corner in this city without running into a sculpture, painting, or installation. One of our favorite hotels for art lovers is The Langham, New York, whose central location makes it ideal for hitting galleries in Soho or museums on the Upper East Side all in the same day. It also boasts an enviable collection of art itself, including many striking pieces by American painter Alex Katz.
The music lovers trip: Nashville, Tennessee
There are many reasons to love Nashville: the incredible selection of innovative restaurants; deliriously fun games for sports fans; and the inimitable, joyful atmosphere of the city’s many bars, especially the honky-tonks. But this state capital is known as Music City for good reason — tunes practically pour out of every restaurant, bar, and performing arts venue here. Music lovers have a wealth of options: The County Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, and the Grand Ole Opry are just a few of the city’s institutions dedicated to the history and pursuit of country, rock, and many other genres. Bed down for the night at Hutton Hotel; it’s just steps from the legendary Music Row, and it also has live music venue, Analog.
The beach bum trip: San Diego, California
The whole state of California is spoiled with beaches, but if we had to pick our favorite spot, we'd go with “America’s Finest City” for good reason. San Diego has an enviable 70 miles of coastline; along it are dreamy spots like the soft, white sands of Coronado Beach and the surfers’ paradise of Cardiff State Beach. You could spend your whole vacation beach-hopping the coastline, but when you do need to rest, The Pearl is a boutique option that even offers poolside movie screenings.
The foodie trip: Los Angeles, California
There are many cities that will clamor for the title of best food in America, but right now, we have to give it to LA. The depth of cuisine here is unparalleled, whether you’re looking to do an elevated and modern kaiseki experience at n/naka, scarf down tacos al pastor at Tacos Los Palomos, or eat the entire pastry case at Republique. But if you don’t know where to start, you can always book a food tour. The popular Sidewalk Food Tours hosts visits to Downtown LA and West Hollywood, where participants can try everything from soupy guisado tacos to artisanal cheeses. Food lovers should also make a beeline for the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. Not only is buzzy steakhouse CUT located at the hotel, but also THEBlvd, which serves fresh California fare right on iconic Rodeo Drive.
The beer enthusiast trip: Asheville, North Carolina
Over the last few years, this charming city in the Blue Ridge Mountains has slowly gained steam as one of the South’s best locales for superb food and drink. Adding to that reputation is certainly the number of breweries in town: Asheville has more per capita than any other US city; there are around 100 local beers available for suds-lovers to taste. There are also numerous beer-centric festivals throughout the year, but the crowning jewel may be Asheville Beer Week, which has over 40 breweries participate. We recommend booking a room at The Omni Grove Park Inn: the charming hotel has both Edison, which serves North Carolina craft beers, and The Great Hall Bar, which has live music nightly. Plus, if you've booked your hotel with PayPal and Expedia, you can rest easy that all you have to worry about is having a good time.