Lonely Planet’s Top US Travel Destinations For 2013

Savvy travelers are already looking to make their 2013 travel plans. Our friends at Lonely Planet have done much of the work to make travel booking easy, releasing their new 2013 guides and top ten U.S. destinations for travel in the new year.

Whether you’re returning to an old favorite or picking a new city to visit on a weekend away, these ten destinations are great places to consider booking your next vacation.

Louisville, Kentucky
From horses to a hot cultural scene, Louisville has secured the number-one ranking for 2013, with editors at Lonely Planet going so far as to call it “the new Portland” for its “lively offbeat cultural scene,” writing about cool restaurants in “NuLu” and old warehouses turned breweries in addition to micro-distilleries on the Bourbon Trail as well as the famed Kentucky Derby.

Fairbanks, Alaska
Visit for the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) or great food at the Taste of Alaska at the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center. This cold destination is hot, hot, hot.

San Juan Islands, Washington
Dubbed the “Gourmet Archipelago” by Lonely Planet guidebook author Brendon Sainsbury, these islands boast 250 days per year of sunshine, numerous beaches and tons of places to explore by bike or foot.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This capital city was nominated not for its famed cheesesteaks but for its burgeoning arts scene. In addition to the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art, the formerly remote Barnes Foundation, a once private collection of Matisse, Renoir and Cézanne, has a new central location. There’s also a slew of new museums and galleries in areas like Liberties and Fishtown.

American Samoa
It’s not a state, but this remote island destination has untouched pacific beauty as well as a great national park. You’ll fly from Honolulu to Pago Pago to explore this remote yet beautiful destination.

Eastern Sierra, California
Think of this area as the untouched version of Yosemite. Explore this California destination’s wide range of natural phenomena.

Northern Maine, ME
Go off the grid in Maine, in a remote area that borders our northern neighbor, Canada.

Twin Cities, Minnesota
Midwest, here we come. Lonely Planet suggests a visit to Minneapolis and St Paul, where can ride bikes, check out great music or enjoy small town vibes in a big city. The only thing cold here is the weather.

Verde Valley, Arizona
Located Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, this lush destination has it all – food, spas, and great art.

Glacier National Park, Montana
Another remote national park, this remote destination is easier to visit than ever thanks to a relatively new shuttle system. But visit soon, climate change means that the park’s glaciers could be gone by as soon as 2030.

[Image Credit: Lonely Planet]