Where to Go

Add These 10 Unique Vacation Destinations In The United States To Your Bucket List

Use your Hilton Honors Points to explore the U.S. and beyond

The Vacationeer
Stunning Hawaiian vista, Big Island, Hawaii.

The United States is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world — think beaches, mountains, forests, deserts, wetlands, prairies and tundra — as well as culturally diverse. What does this means for travelers? The U.S. is full of incredible locales to explore without the hassle of handling multiple visas.

Plus, Hilton Honors Points opens up a world of travel within the States — whether your passport has expired, you need unique family vacation ideas or you want to explore everything the U.S. has to offer.

Check out these 10 unique vacation destinations in the U.S. — all accessible via Hilton Honors perks through Hilton Grand Vacations.

Picturesque beach scene, white sands and turquoise waters, Culebra, Puerto Rico. 

1. Culebra, Puerto Rico

Why go: If Fiji is first on your bucket list but you’re not excited about a 10-hour flight, consider Culebra, Puerto Rico. Culebra is a hidden tropical gem less than 20 miles from the main island of Puerto Rico.   

What to do:

  • Beach hop around Culebra’s white sand beaches, including the secluded Resaca Beach, accessible only by hike.
  • Grab dinner and drinks at Dinghy Dock and soak in the seaside setting.
  • Kayak through bioluminescent bays, where you can see glow-in-the-dark marine plankton light up the Caribbean Sea.

Where to stay: Culebra is somewhat remote, so expect to take a short flight or ferry ride from San Juan on the main island and stay at Caribe Hilton in the heart of Puerto Rico.  

Beautiful aerial view of city hall and Alcazar courtyard in St Augustine, Florida.  

2. St. Augustine, Florida

Why go: If you’re looking for more Old World flavor, St. Augustine, Florida, is the oldest American city. Established by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine maintains its historical buildings so you feel transported in time. Plus, with St. Augustine’s mild winters, it’s the perfect escape from snowy weather.

What to do:

Where to stay: To keep the Old World feel, stay at Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront in Spanish Colonial-style cottages.

Chinese lanterns hanging overhead a Chinatown street at dusk, San Francisco, California. 

3. Chinatown, San Francisco, California

Why go: In the 1850s, San Francisco was the port of entry for Chinese immigrants and has grown into the oldest and largest Chinatown in North America. Today, it’s a bustling neighborhood of art, history, food and shopping.   

What to do:

  • Snap a selfie at the iconic Dragon’s Gate, and then head to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, where you can learn how to make fortune cookies and even sample unique flavors.
  • Visit Et al., an unlikely contemporary art gallery featuring local and international artists, hidden in the basement of a dry cleaner.
  • Still hungry? Check out China Live, a multi-story food emporium where you can sample East Asian flavors.

Insider tip: China Live is a great place to pick up a souvenir or gift. We recommend the Peking duck fat popcorn for the gourmand in your life.

Where to stay: Getaway to the heart of the city at Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel for cosmopolitan charm close to the action.

Iconic pueblo-style architecture set against the bright blue sky, Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Why go: Santa Fe is ideal for those who want a destination rich in history and cultural diversity. The Pueblo-style architecture, renowned art scene, arid climate and snow-capped mountains set the city apart. 

What to do:

  • Pack a picnic, head to the Puye Cliff Dwellings — an ancestral home site of the Santa Clara Pueblo people — and get a tour of their history.
  • Learn a new skill and take a class in Southwest cooking, yoga or pottery-making.
  • Explore the Plaza, with unique restaurants, museums, art galleries and shops, where you can support local businesses and Native artisans.

Insider tip: Don’t be afraid to explore the side streets off the Plaza for unique vendors and local-favorite restaurants.

Where to stay: Stay close to the action at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder. If you need to rejuvenate, treat yourself to golf, gambling and pampering at one of the best spas in the area.

Stunning aerial image of Oahu shoreline, sunset painted skies overhead, Hawaii.  

5. Oahu, Hawaii

Why go: What’s a list of exotic U.S. destinations without Oahu? Oahu is known for its beaches, perfect for surfers and sun-soakers alike.   

What to do:

  • Bring a movie buff on a tour of Kualoa, the filming location of "Jurassic Park."
  • Walk the lush grounds of the Byodo-In Temple — a replica of a Japanese temple to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the island — and shop from local artists there.
  • Fill up on all things pineapple and tour where Dole grows the iconic tropical fruit.

Where to stay: Take your pick of Hilton Grand Vacations resorts, including Grand Waikikian, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club and The Modern, a Hilton Vacation Club. Or try island hopping to experience more of Hawaii in one vacation.

Bavarian-style architecture, the Cascade Mountains in the distance, Leavenworth, Washington  

6. Leavenworth, Washington

Why go: If you’re experiencing fernweh (German for wanderlust), satisfy the travel bug with a vacation in Leavenworth, Washington. This central Washington town in the Cascade Mountains mimics Bavarian-style architecture.   

What to do:

Where to stay: Relax in the Pacific Northwest at Hampton Inn & Suites Leavenworth. Or, if Seattle has always been on your bucket list, plan a day trip to Leavenworth (about a two-hour drive) and stay at Hilton Seattle for easy downtown access.

Two people walking together through a stunning Napa Valley vineyard at sunset, California. 

7. Napa Valley, California

Why go: Get a taste of Tuscany in Napa Valley. If you’re an oenophile, this beautiful wine region should be at the top of your list of places to visit. However, everyone will enjoy the Mediterranean climate and mountain landscapes.

What to do:

Where to stay: For maximum Napa landscapes, Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley is surrounded by California redwoods. Or, stay at Hilton Santa Cruz Hotel in Scotts Valley and be a day trip away from Napa Valley and the stunning coasts of Big Sur, often called the American Riviera.

Gorgeous aerial view of Rocky Mountains and Alpine architecture, Vail, Colorado.  

8. Vail, Colorado

Why go: Vail, Colorado, is modeled after Swiss mountain town Zermatt, down to the Alpine architecture. The town is a fantastic skiing destination — thanks to the nearby Rocky Mountains — though there are plenty of things to do in any season.   

What to do:

Where to stay: Unwind at Highline Vail - a DoubleTree by Hilton. Or stay at Valdoro Mountain Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club to see more of Colorado. From there, you can take a day trip to Vail and the Great Sand Dunes National Park for dunes that rival the Sahara Desert.

Wild ponies resting  along the shoreline, cotton candy skies overhead, Assateague Island, Maryland.  

9. Assateague Island, Maryland

Why go: Near Ocean City, Maryland, Assateague Island is a 37-mile long barrier island. This island is home to wild horses, similar to Soajo Mountain in Portugal.   

What to do:

  • Check in at the park’s visitor center and attend one of their family-friendly wildlife and birding programs.
  • Hike or kayak for a fossil fuel-free way of getting around the island and watching the wild horses.
  • Get your game on and golf with a view of the bay.

Insider tip: The barrier island habitat occasionally closes for conservation efforts, so check the park website for updates.

Where to stay: Rest your head at Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites, just a few blocks from the Boardwalk, and rent a car to visit Assateague Island.

Idyllic Scandinavian-style architecture in Solvang, California. 

10. Solvang, California

Why go:  Enjoy the charm of Scandinavia in Solvang, California. Solvang, known as Little Denmark, is nestled in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.   

What to do:

Where to stay: Make your home base at The Hadsten Solvang, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Read “7 Hilton Grand Vacations Owners Dish On The Perks Of Hilton Honors Membership” and discover everywhere vacation ownership can take you.



The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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