Many travel writers have compared the Millennials' desire for adventure with that of the Baby Boomers. This is a known generational itch everyone gets in their second or third decade of life; to see the world, meet new people, and experience new things. While Millennials can be seen as particular in their travel choices, they crave glamour, reality, history, culture, and energy above all else. For this reason, here are several handpicked destinations that every member of Generation Y should experience.
Landmarks in San Francisco
There have been travel studies done that suggest that Millennials prefer to skip over so called tourist traps and, in true hipster fashion, head straight for the path less traveled. However, historic and iconic landmarks are a huge tourist draw and San Francisco delivers. Visit Chinatown, the largest outside of Asia, and taste the culture that has remained authentic since it's inception or head to Fisherman's Wharf, a shopping, dining, and entertainment district on the water. For those who prefer culture and the outdoors, explore the de Young Museum then head out into the trails of Golden Gate Park.
Social Los Angeles
With as large and sprawling as Los Angeles is, you might not expect it to be a very social town. When you think about it though, the entire city and industry was built on bringing people together. From free movies in the park to summer concerts, parades, and community events, Los Angeles is surprisingly inclusive. Watch a movie in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, attend the LA Film Festival, or visit the Hollywood Museum which recreates the golden age of Hollywood. There are incredible amounts of community based events particular to certain neighborhoods which occur year round, and sometimes every weekend.
Portland au Natural
Like Seattle, Portland is a green, social, and natural city that encourages healthy living. It also helps that the city is situated firmly in some of the most beautiful land in the country. A tour of Portland's natural landscapes and attractions is recommended like the Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden, both with exquisite design. Washington Park offers pristine vistas and excellent hiking/biking trails for those who like to stay fit. There are also a number of wildlife refuges and preserves in or near Portland that are open for visits.
Spirit of Las Vegas
It's a known fact that Las Vegas is a breeding ground for excitement, colorful activities, and energy. Aside from its reputation for gambling, Las Vegas is home to a multitude of attractions of a more savory sort. The Neon Museum features retired signs from old casinos and businesses on the strip while the Pinball Hall of Fame showcases pinball machines from all eras of gaming. Also visit the Freemont Street Experience, a 24 hour mall with LED canopy, free entertainment, and ridiculously cheap street food mimicking early Vegas nightlife.
Glamorous New York City
For over a hundred years, NYC's Manhattan borough has been the epitome of glamour, the hometown of the nation's elite. From Times Square to Wall Street, industry finds its way to Manhattan. All of this history and cultural engineering has created a number of attractions aside from the obvious NYC landmarks. The Cloisters, an art museum created from at least five disassembled European abbeys, highlights architecture and natural beauty. For something a little more modern, visit the New Museum, the island's only dedicated contemporary art museum, catch a show on Broadway, or tour the Garment District.
When you picture Miami you might think of the beach, Cuban food, and excitement. The area of South Beach in particular encompasses the energy of Miami as a youthful area filled with shopping, dining, entertainment, community, social experiences, and nightlife. Aside from South Beach, Miami offers a number of historic and cultural attractions such as Viscaya Museum and Gardens, situated in a stately Italianate mansion on Biscayne Bay and filled with artwork, ancient sculptures, and a mix of cultural influences.
Community in Seattle
Seattle is one of those big cities with an energy that encompasses everyone, making it feel like a small town community. The whole year round Seattle sponsors a number of city-wide events that draw thousands of locals and visitors to participate. Some are quirky and a little nerdy like ZomBcon, and others are delicious, like Bite of Seattle which occurs every July. Come for the Seattle International Film Festival in late spring or for the area's largest music festival, Bumbershoot, in September.
Life in Chicago
If you like seeing the reality of things, perhaps you'd enjoy a trip to Chicago. The Chicago locals live their city. The entire metropolis is brimming with the soul of its people, just waiting to be experienced. Like Seattle and Los Angeles, Chicago also has several festivals and events like the Chicago Jazz Festival which draw the crowds every year. It also has events like Vintage Garbage Chicago, a huge street shopping experience that occurs every third Sunday from April to October. Chicago, as you may know, has been named the "Best Sports City" in the country so stop by Wrigley Field or the United Center to catch a game.
Beauty of Honolulu
Perhaps the most beautiful of U.S. states, Hawaii is overflowing with natural wonders and they know it. Honolulu, located on the island of Oahu, is a magnet for people wanting a tropical getaway with American culture. Tour the natural surroundings, take an ecotour and kayak to many of the most beautiful spots, or visit a cultural heritage site like the Pearl Harbor Memorial or Iolani Palace, America's only royal palace. For nightlife, visit the Honolulu Night Market or the Kuhio Beach Torchlighting and Hula Show.