#Summertime is almost here! For those who might not have the funds for an amazing voyage overseas, there's so many places to visit and things to see in your own "backyard."
Here are the top 5 cities in the U.S. that, I know, will definitely be a lot of fun to visit this summer. All of these cities are equally fun. Therefore, they are all number one in my book:
The "Windy City" has so much to offer for music lovers and moderate thrill seekers. Navy Pier is where most of the fun is at! There is a huge ferris wheel overlooking Lake Michigan, which, according to my tour guide, has a natural algae making the water look so blue, you feel like you are close to the Caribbean.
Visitors can take a ferry ride and see some of Chicago's oldest and newest building designs. But, before you go on the boat ride, try some of Chicago's famous deep-dish pizza. The name makes it seem "extra special" but, all I know, is that it is rrreeaaallllyyy good pizza!
The Willis Tower (a.k.a. The Sears Tower) is also not too far away. It's one of the tallest buildings in the entire world and has a spectacular view of the entire city... on a clear day. It's also not too far from the John Hancock Building, which now featuresTILT, an attraction that actually "tilts" you more than 1000 feet over Chicago.
And for the music lover's...the blues scene is still vibrant! Chicago B.L.U.E.S is one of the best blues clubs in #Chicago. It has that 'old school' blues club feeling that literally makes you want to say, "Sweet Home Chicago!"
This city is still one of the most enchanted cities the U.S. has to offer. Not only are there music festivals, such as my favorite, The Essence Music festival, there is also "amazing" food! If you go to #NewOrleans, you have to visit The Court of Two Sisters. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! The way they cook their sweet potatoes... is indescribable. There are also some great places to try gator tails, either blackened or crispy. I know you are probably saying, "GATOR TAILS?? WHAT?" Trust me, it's better to not knock it before you try it.
New Orleans, as almost everyone knows, is also a great party town. In addition to swamp tours and haunted houses at night, you can also enjoy bottomless mimosas at a Gospel Brunch or enjoy some #Grenades along the #Riverwalk. For thrill seekers, they have this gigantic bouncing ball where you can flip around in the sky. But, please, save the "Hurricanes" for after the ride!
It's historical and it's our country's capital but it's incredible the amount of things there are to see here. Not only is there a visit to the Lincoln Memorial, a nice walk by the White House or the Washington Monument, D.C. has so many cool museums. Of course, my favorite is the most recent: The National Museum of African American History and Culture. It may take forever to get tickets to this museum but the history behind its walls will literally take months of visits to fully absorb. The museum shows how far African Americans have come in this country and shows the contributions they've made to humanity way before slavery years.
On a lighter note, there are also a lot of fun museums such as the Space Museum and The Newseum. All of the Smithsonian's museums are only a ride away by the Metro. The Metro has to be one of the cleanest train systems I've seen!
D.C.'s Chinatown is a great place to get a bite to eat. The capital also has its own street car system, which is a nice cheap way to sightsee, and an Old Town Trolley tour that's a little bit on the pricey side but has a "Hop On, Hop Off" option that will take you around #DC for the entire day.
Miami can be a party city with great beaches and nightclubs, but it is also a cultural oasis. Take a trip to #CalleOcho. There's a Cuban Museum, great salsa clubs, cigar shops that show you how to make a cubano and, if you are into dominos, you can visit Domino Park and challenge some of "los viejos" at a game or two. There's also Little Haiti, which has an amazing museum and Chef Creole, a restaurant with the best fried conch in Florida.
For the art lovers, Miami has a vast art scene. Wynwood is like graffiti town. The neighborhood is filled with such beautiful murals, you won't want to blink.
As for adventurers, Miami is not too far from Islamorada and the Keys. There's great snorkeling and the scuba diving is breathtaking. Get certified and go on a night dive. The lobsters and turtles are waiting! LOL.
And last but not least....
For those who are already familiar with the sights and sounds of New York, there are still some cool and amazing things for tourists and residents to enjoy. The summertime means that jet ski is open and available for anyone who wants their own unique tour of sites such as #TheStatueofLiberty and Ellis Island. Grab a few friends or just yourself and go take a party boat (spp... Groupon has some good deals) along the East River. Jam to Jay Z and Alicia Key's "Empire State of Mind" (most of the boats play it every time) as it passes Ms. Liberty at night. Even till this day, the combination of city lights and music from the boat leaves me in euphoria.
Governor's Island also has some great concerts and adventurers can take a hike through the Cloisters or spend a day at the Bronx Zoo, which just opened a 400- foot zip lining attraction last year.
One of my most memorable experiences in my hometown is taking a helicopter ride over #theBigApple! I'm not a real baseball fan but looking over the top of the Yankee Stadium is such a surreal experience. It's one to cross off any bucket list!
So wherever you spend your summer, make the most of it. There's still other great cities like San Francisco, L.A., Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Providence, R.I. and many more. Visit a new museum, parasail or hike the Appalachian Trail. After all, we do live in the "Land of The Free" and "The Home of The Brave."