Waiting on your passport? Here are 6 of the best places to visit in the US, according to a travel reporter.
Passport renewal wait times in the US are as long as 13 weeks due to the post-pandemic travel surge.
I'm a travel reporter who has taken trains, cars, and flights across the US to 32 different states.
Here are my favorite domestic destinations to visit across the country for those without a passport.
As a travel reporter at Insider, I've made my way around the US by train, plane, and car. So far, I've been to 32 states in my life.
Read more: I visited 8 countries this year by train, plane, and cruise ship. 5 things surprised me that will change how I travel in 2023.
Insider recently reported that US passports are taking up to 13 weeks to process right now. So I sifted through my memories to come up with my favorite places to visit within the country for those without a passport.
Sources: Travel.State.Gov, Insider
In the Northeast, check out Asbury Park, New Jersey. The beach town is known as the "cultural hub of Jersey Shore" for its music and architecture scene, Travel and Leisure reported. I visited recently and quickly saw why.
Source: Travel and Leisure
I spent my time there wandering the beach boardwalk, which I found to be architecturally eclectic. At night, I saw electric horn bands at the Stone Pony, a music venue known for propelling stars like Bruce Springsteen, according to Travel and Leisure.
Source: Travel and Leisure
In the Southeast, I recommend a trip to Miami, the Floridian city known for its art-deco buildings, vibrant nightlife, and sparkling clean beaches.
I visited Miami back in 2021 and thought the city's range of neighborhoods had something for everyone, from glitzy South Beach to artsy Wynwood.
Read more: I toured Miami's artsy neighborhood that's becoming the 'Silicon Valley of the South.' Here's what it's like.
Also in the Southeast, recharge with a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, a national park that covers half a million acres on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.
I went for the first time last month and spent five days in cabins and tents. While exploring the epic natural scenes around me, I thought it was the exact trip I needed to unplug from my life in the city.
In the South, I think Austin, Texas, is an exciting place to vacation with an outstanding food scene. I lived in Austin for six years, and I was never out of things to do, from urban hiking to listening to bands roaring from the city's many music venues.
Read more: 8 things I miss about living in Austin after moving to New York — and 3 things I'm happy I left behind
I think Austin has some of the best brunch and Tex-Mex in the country, as well as a wealth of access to musicians. With intimate clubs and pop-up venues, I've run into some heroes from my favorite bands in this city.
Moving west, Sedona, Arizona, is another one of my favorite nature destinations in the US. I've found that the town embedded in red rocks has a relaxed vibe in my handful of trips there.
And outside of the town area, Sedona's stunning and gigantic red rocks never cease to amaze me. Skipping around the vibrant dirt and climbing up cliffs always make me feel like I'm on another planet without even leaving the country.
Read more: I'm a New Yorker who visited Phoenix for the first time. Here are 10 reasons I'm already planning a trip back.
On the west coast of California, the Bay Area refers to San Francisco, Oakland, and surrounding counties. I've been visiting this region since I was a kid, and its blend of city life with the hilly coastline makes it one of my favorite places in the world.
In the Bay Area, I've hiked to waterfalls, climbed beachside cliffs, and explored the city of San Francisco's music and art scenes. Every time I leave, I long for more time on the breezy coast.
Whether you're into nature, food, architecture, or music, I think there's a destination on this list for everyone waiting on a passport.
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