Did you know that Washington Island, a little island off the coast of Wisconsin, is home to the largest Icelandic community outside of Iceland? The fact that Ethiopians are concentrated in Maryland’s Silver Spring, about 20 miles outside of Washington, D.C. People’s lives and cultures interact with the geography, history, and evolution of the United States, forming the fundamental foundation of the country’s identity. American towns and cities have been constantly reinvented throughout the country’s history, making travel to the United States an ever-changing experience. Take a look at our ranking of the eight most dynamic cities in the United States right now to get a sense of what we mean.
New York, the Big Apple
New York City is undoubtedly the best place to see urban renewal in action.
New York City’s culture-making machine is powered by history and a fixed structure, yet the people, groups, and ideas that flow through it are always changing. The construction of One World Trade Center and the futuristic hive design of The Vessel in Hudson Yards have both altered the Manhattan skyline in recent years. New York City’s borough of Brooklyn is awash with examples of “transformation” throughout the past few decades, from Bushwick to Red Hook.
Baltimore is a city in the state of Maryland.
Other cities in the United States have been abandoning their industrial pasts in favor of a more useable infrastructure that is more suited to the needs of today.
As a case study, Baltimore was formerly the second-largest port of entry for immigrants into the United States, followed by a period as a significant manufacturing center. Baltimore has undergone yet another makeover and is now one of the East Coast’s most hip cities. Visit Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for shopping and nightlife, or embark on a sailing trip of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is a must-visit on any East Coast travel because to its booming arts scene, bustling neighborhoods, and expanding culinary prowess.
Detroit is a city in the state of Michigan.
As part of the Detroit Future City plan, industrial buildings are being repurposed for community use in the Midwestern city of Detroit.
It’s still possible to stay in a firehouse-turned-hotel and party in a disused factory in Detroit today. The redevelopment of Detroit’s riverfront is perhaps the most significant impact to the area. One of Detroit’s most popular public places, the Detroit RiverWalk, was previously a jumble of private holdings and industrial structures. There is still much to see and learn about Detroit’s rich history in locations like the Henry Ford Museum and the Motown Museum, despite its modern metamorphosis.
For the past eight years, Austin, Texas, has topped the United States in population growth, making it the fastest-growing city in the country.
You may be wondering why so many people are traveling to Austin. The city has a vibrant indie music scene, a thriving tech scene, a beautiful climate, and a steady flow of cultural attractions. Adding to it are the city’s gastronomic highlights, such as tacos and barbeque, and you’ll begin to see what we mean. Visit the city’s historic capitol building and Lady Bird Lake while you’re here.
The city of Oklahoma City
“Cowboy culture” and more modern attractions can be found in the center of the country.
At the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds, you can watch genuine cowboys and cowgirls handle and ride horses. You can also visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum to learn about the state’s wild west past. The Wheeler Ferris Wheel, a relatively new addition to the city, is the next stop on your tour. The Wheeler Wheel, a Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel that was purchased on eBay in 2008, has undergone extensive modifications and is now running in its new location in Downtown Oklahoma City. With the help of more than 30 local artists, Factory Obscura, an immersive art installation located in Oklahoma City, is another modern must-visit.
The city of Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada, is a so-called “Biggest Little City in the World,” situated in a high desert river valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
An expansive and scenic natural setting surrounds this casino town, which has retained its old-west, Americana character. As a result of the Burning Man event in the Nevada desert, the city is now undergoing a dramatic makeover that is defined by healthy living, outdoor activities, and the art, music, and lifestyle stamp of the festival. In Reno, visit Circus Circus to try your luck at the local gaming, then walk over to the MidTown District for some farm-to-table cuisine and a look at the innovative enterprises that are helping to reimagine Reno for the 21st century.
Louisville is a city in the state of Kentucky.
Louisville as we know it now is the result of centuries of history, a warm southern welcome, and a process of transformation.
Bourbon, baseball, and the Kentucky Derby are three of Louisville’s most well-known attractions, but the city is also noted for its natural beauty. In addition to Churchill Downs, visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, where the bats are still made. After that, visit one of Louisville’s many bourbon distilleries for a taste of the local spirit.
City of Kansas City, MO
Take a stroll around the historic 18th and Vine District in Kansas City, Missouri, a city that has a rich history of jazz.
Modern times finds Kansas City’s other two prides, baseball and BBQ, mixed up with jazz. There’s a distinct style of BBQ in Kansas City that’s all about the meats, the smoke and the thick red tomato-based sauce. Negro League Baseball Museum and American Jazz Museum are located in Kansas City, which has a strong heritage of African-American culture.
Have an urban experience on your next vacation. From large cities like New York and Chicago to historic communities reimagining themselves for the future, this tour takes you on a journey through time and space.