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2023 predictions: 5 places in the U.S. that will be popular travel spots

Some of the top trending destinations in the U.S. for 2023 include Grand Teton National Park; Houston, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Phoenix, Arizona; and Minneapolis, Minnesota

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One of the most iconic stops in Grand Teton National Park is Jenny’s Lake.

One of the most iconic stops in Grand Teton National Park is Jenny’s Lake.

Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

After two years of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic and everything going on in the world, one goal many of us have for 2023 is to travel more.

Here are some of the top destinations in the United States to visit in the upcoming year.

Row of Charleston, South Carolina houses bordering a beach during a sunset

Charleston, South Carolina announced the opening of the International African American Museum to open in 2023.

Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

1. Charleston, South Carolina

The beautiful Southern city is definitely worth a visit this year. It’s one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and has beautiful architecture and stunning scenery.

Until recently, Charleston tried to conceal some of its dark past, but recently the residents have started taking steps to recognize the impacts of slavery in the area and announced that the International African American Museum will open in 2023, CNN Travel reported.

Best time to visit: Spring or early summer.

Charleston’s highly rated restaurants:

Address: 72 Queen St., Charleston, South Carolina 29401.

Address: 65 Windermere Blvd, Charleston, South Carolina 29407.

Iconic city landmarks or activities:

  • Charleston City Market.
  • Joe Riley Waterfront Park.
  • Rainbow Row.
  • The Battery picturesque seawall.
  • Angel Oak.
Tall Saguaro cactus

Saguaro National Park is nestled in a two-hour drive outside Phoenix, Arizona and offers a window into the stunning desert landscapes of the state.

Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

2. Phoenix, Arizona

The Southwest city will be hosting the Super Bowl this year and also hosts Major League Baseball’s Cactus League spring training games, as well as the Waste Management Phoenix Open — one of the most popular golf tournaments in the world, per Business Insider.

If you live in an area of the country that experiences cold winters, Phoenix is a great escape during winter months to get some sun and spend time in temperate weather.

Best time to visit: Fall, winter or spring.

Phoenix’s highly rated restaurants:

  • Jalapeno Bucks for the brisket sandwich and barbecue sauce.

Address: 3434 N Val Vista Dr, Mesa, Arizona 85213.

Address: 5040 N 40th St, Phoenix, Arizona 85018.

Iconic city landmarks or activities:

  • Musical Instrument Museum.
  • Taliesen West — famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s home that offers tours and nature experiences.
  • Desert Botanical Garden.
  • Golfing at one of the many resorts.
  • Saguaro National Park, two hours outside of Phoenix.
Grand Teton mountains bordering Jenny’s Lake

Jenny’s Lake is one of the most popular stops to hike, walk, bike or drive around in Grand Teton National Park.

Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

3. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

With its towering, magnificent peaks and areas full of wildlife to observe, Grand Teton National Park is definitely worth the visit. The park often gets overlooked because of its popular and flashy Yellowstone National Park neighbor, but the Grand Tetons are a great place to experience nature.

The park offers a great short-term escape in nature with stunning views.

Best time to visit: Summer.

Highly rated restaurants in the Grand Teton area:

Address: 3295 Village Dr, Teton Village, Wyoming 83025

Address: 160 N Cache St, Jackson, Wyoming 83001

Iconic park landmarks or activities:

  • Drive the 42-mile scenic drive.
  • Bike around Jenny’s Lake.
  • Hike Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls.
  • Canoe or kayak in Jenny’s Lake.
  • Visit the Mormon Row Historical District.
The city of Minneapolis skyline rises in the distance behind Lake Calhoun.

The city of Minneapolis skyline rises Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 in the distance behind Lake Calhoun.

Jim Mone, Associated Press

4. Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Midwestern city hosts the open-air Four Sisters Farmer’s Market each summer. Owamni, a popular modern Indigenous restaurant in the city, recently won a James Beard Award for best new restaurant, CNN Travel reported.

The state is also home to beautiful lakes and the well-preserved Voyageurs National Park, which is about four hours drive from Minneapolis.

Best time to visit: Summer.

Minneapolis’s highly rated restaurants:

  • Owamni for the trout and sweet potatoes.

Address: 420 1st St S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401.

  • Red Rabbit Minneapolis for the pasta.

Address: 201 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401.

Iconic city landmarks or activities:

  • Minnehaha Falls and Minnehaha Park.
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art.
  • American Swedish Institute.
  • The biggest mall in the U.S. — Mall of America.
  • Voyageurs National Park, four hours outside of Minneapolis.
AP050615024531.jpg

Houston’s museum district is home to 15 museums and the Houston Zoo, all within walking distance of one another.

Pat Sullivan, Associated Press

5. Houston, Texas

Houston is quickly becoming one of the largest cities in the U.S., coming in at No. 4, as of 2020, according to the World Population Review.

The Texas city is working diligently to provide another arts and cultural experience to the South, with the opening of the Kinder Building in 2020, additions to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the recent reopening of the $35 million renovation or Rothko Chapel, according to Travel + Leisure. The JMK5 Arena opens this year and will be a huge concert stadium capable of hosting big events, from Taylor Swift concerts to large sporting events.

With a fast-growing population, many of the newcomers being immigrants from various countries in the world, Houston’s food scene is quickly becoming one of the most diverse cities for foodies in the U.S., per Culture Trip.

Best time to visit: February to April.

Houston’s highly rated restaurants:

  • ChòpnBlọk for the West African cuisine, namely the Trad combo.

Address: 401 Franklin St Suite A, Houston, Texas 77201.

  • Toro Toro for the Pan-Latin steak and the amarillo ceviche starter.

Address: 1300 Lamar St, Houston, Texas 77010.

Iconic Houston landmarks:

  • Color Factory Houston.
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  • Rothko Chapel.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
  • NASA’s Space Center.