Several cities in the United States are among the world's most visited cities.

America's 10 Most Visited Cities

The United States of America has a variety of amazing cities to visit. From coast to coast, New York to Los Angeles, the great cities of America have been some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. This list looks at the 10 most visited cities in the United States (in 2019) by ranking the number of annual visitors to that city by foreigners (i.e. anyone travelling from outside of the United States). These numbers therefore do not include trips made by Americans to other US cities. The 10 most visited cities in America are:

  1. New York
  2. Miami
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Orlando
  5. San Francisco
  6. Las Vegas
  7. Honolulu 
  8. Washington
  9. Boston
  10. Chicago

1. New York - 10,288,000 visitors

new york city
A female tourist admiring the skyline of New York City.

The city of New York, and more widely the Metropolitan district of New York-White Plains-Wayne in New York and New Jersey, is by far the most visited American city by people not from within the U.S. More than 10 million people visited in 2019, which is around double the amount of the second most visited city, Miami. Though not the capital, New York City has long been associated with America in general, including its power, prestige and allure to tourists. From the iconic Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and Broadway, there are so many things to do and see in this city. Neighbourhoods from greenwich to Soho and the upper east side offer shopping, cafes, local cuisine, and the bustling busy allure of New York nightlife.

2. Miami - 5,211,000 visitors

Miami, Florida
Tourist couple enjoying the seaside breeze in Miami.

Warm destinations are some of the most popular on this list, and Miami is no exception, reaching the number two spot. In 2019 a recorded 5,211,000 people visited the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metropolitan district of Florida from countries outside of the United States. Miami is home to famous Miami beach, which aside from having a gorgeous beach front, is full of life and culture, from street art to amazing foods. The area also includes popular attractions such as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the neighbourhood of Little Havana, the Everglades National Park, and the Miami Zoo.

3. Los Angeles - 4,645,000 visitors

Los Angeles
Los Angeles is famous as the base of the Hollywood film industry.

The City of Angels, in California, is by far one of the top tourist destinations around the world and ranks number three on the list of most visited U.S. cities. Some 4,645,000 people visited the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan district in 2019, and it was over 5 million in 2018. Los Angeles is an amazing destination for tourists, and it has a little bit of everything. The weather is almost always warm and sunny, and piers, boardwalks and beaches are plentiful. There is also the element of stardom in the Hollywood area, and tourist come to see where the big films and TV shows are made, or to hopefullhy catch a glimpse of one of the stars themselves. On top of this, Los Angeles has impressive sports venues, a wide variety of cultural cuisine, and fantastic art museums and cultural hubs. On top of all this, Disneyland is located about a half hour outside of the city, and many travel to Los Angeles as part of a Disney experience.

4. Orlando - 4,415,000 visitors

People enjoying water activities at an amusement park in Orlando, Florida. Editorial credit: Mia2you /

The metropolitan area of Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford had 4,415,000 foreign visitors in 2019. Orlando, Florida is especially popular with visitors because it is home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. Additionally, Epcot, one of three Seaworld locations, and the Kennedy Space Center all draw tourists to the city and the surrounding area. The combination of warm weather and great attractions make Orlando a top choice for travellers. 

5. San Francisco - 3,308,000 visitors

Golden gate bridge san francisco
Tourists photographing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

San Francisco, California has long been a popular city for tourists from around the world. In 2019, 3,308,000 foreign tourists visited the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metropolitan district. The city is a welcoming and friendly place for locals and tourists alike, and the area is considered to be one of the leading cultural hubs of the country. The impressive Golden Gate Bridge, bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, the Alcatraz Island, and cable cars are all popular attractions for those seeking some fun in the sun. 

6. Las Vegas - 2,989,000 visitors

Los Angeles tourists
Tourists posing for a group photo in fron of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign.

Las Vegas, Nevada and the Paradise metropolitan statistical area ranked number six for tourists from outside the United States. The city pulls in a whopping 3 million visitors on average each year, from all over the world. The lights, sights, shows and gambling facilities in the area are the main draws for tourism. An adult playland, tourists come to experience this unique and exciting environment for special occasions and parties of all kinds.

7. Honolulu - 2,751,000 visitors

Honolulu, Hawaii
Tourists in the Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. Editorial credit: Jeff Whyte /

Honolulu, in Hawaii, ranks number seven, as cities visited by non-American tourists. The beautiful scenery, warm weather, luxury resorts and gorgeous beaches drew 2,751,000 tourists in 2019, up from the previous year at 2,588,000. As the capital of Hawaii, it is the most visited of the islands, and serves as a gateway to the rest of the state. Many tourists visit the islands for the climate, sealife, volcanoes, beaches and wildlife, though other historical attractions such as Pearl Harbour are also popular with visitors to Honolulu.

8. Washington - 1,907,000 visitors

Washington dc
Tourists at Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, USA/

With just over 2 million visitors in 2018, and just under in the following year, Washington and the D.C. Metro Area ranks number eight in terms of US cities visited by travellers from other countries. As the capital of the nation, Washington is a draw in itself, and its historical monuments, memorials, and senate buildings are hugely popular. Tourists are generally fascinated by the American government and government buildings such as Capitol Hill and the White House, The Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument.

9. Boston - 1,567,000 visitors

Boston tourists
Tourists to Boston can enjoy aquatic activities like sailing.

The Boston-Quincy Metropolitan district (which includes the city of Boston itself) is the ninth most visited U.S. city by foreigners. In 2019, it registered roughly 1,567,000 visitors, with very similar numbers in 2018 as well. Boston is in the heart of New England in Massachusetts. and has a special kind of charm. Its sports fans are extremely enthusiastic, which is in part why Fenway Stadium (home of the Boston Red Sox) is such a high drawing attraction. Aside from the stadium, other popular attractions include the Museum of Fine Art, the Freedom Trail walk, the Boston Public Garden, and the infamous Boston Tea Party ships and museum. 

10. Chicago - 1,491,000 visitors

Cruise ship in the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois.

The city of Chicago, Illinois (including the Joliet-Naperville metropolitan district) ranks tenth in terms of visitors from other countries. In 2019, it had a reported 1,491,000 annual visitors, though the number was slightly higher the year before. These one and a half million tourists come to Chicago to visit one of America’s largest cities, and experience everything from the deep dish pizza to the impressive architecture of this Windy City. Popular attractions include the Navy Pier, Millenium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Each of these cities offers a different view of the great country of America, from the East coast to the West. While most of these cities are the larger ones within the U.S., they are popular to tourists for a variety of reasons, from the geography of Hawaii to the beaches of Miami, and the history in Boston. Each one is a major driver of tourism and economy for its state and the country. 

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