Click here to download the Top 10 United States Student Travel Destinations PDF. 

With bustling metropolises, historical hubs and serene natural wonders, the United States is home to excellent student travel destinations. From the sunny and sight-filled West Coast, to the foundations of our nation on the East Coast, and everything in-between, here are the top 10 locations selected by SYTA member tour operators as the top United States travel destinations favored by students and teachers.


An “emerging” destination just a few years ago, Atlanta is city boasting countless must-see attractions and learning opportunities, offering the best of urban life and thousands of acres of serene nature. There are plenty of chances for students to learn about the civil rights movement and African-American culture, explore Midtown museums, visit the apartment where an iconic book was written, check out Georgia’s only 4D theater, be immersed in professional and college sports, and more.


Grounded in Colonial history and full of cutting-edge innovation, America’s Walking City is full of personality and options for taking in its burgeoning arts scene. Students can cruise on the Boston Harbor before learning about the Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community of the 1600s, the American Revolution—right where it was born—and more. Be sure to experience championship sport teams, world-class ballet and a show where students become part of the cast.

Central Florida

Central Florida boasts a vibrant blend of thrilling attractions, natural wonders and educational opportunities. From the iconic theme parks and education/performance programs of parks like Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, to the captivating ecosystems and biodiversity of the Everglades and the educational exhibits of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, students can immerse themselves in a myriad of experiences that blend entertainment with enrichment. Not to mention insights into space exploration at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.


With iconic cities like Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, students can immerse themselves in vibrant music scenes, explore renowned museums such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and delve into the state’s rich history at landmarks like The Alamo. Beyond urban adventures, Texas offers vast expanses of breathtaking landscapes, from the rugged beauty of Big Bend National Park to the pristine shores of the Gulf Coast. Learn about the state’s cowboy heritage at a working ranch, study marine life at the Texas State Aquarium, or step into a time machine at the Fort Bend Museum to experience life in colonial 1820s Austin.

Southern California

A multicultural haven, California is more than sunny skies and palm trees. In Los Angeles and Hollywood, explore incredible zoos before heading to a museum dedicated to the biggest names in popular music—the movie industry comes alive through behind-the-scenes tours, and you’ll find abundant theme park rides and performance opportunities. In San Diego, delve deep into nature with Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and more! Of course, the beaches don’t hurt either.


For history enthusiasts, Pennsylvania can’t be beat. Philadelphia offers iconic landmarks such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, providing insight into America’s founding principles, while institutions like the Franklin Institute foster scientific curiosity and discovery. Or visit the four Carnegie Museums to learn about art, natural history and science. Gettysburg is filled to the gills with American history going back to 1736, from interactive museums and hands-on demonstrations to civilian stories, unique battlefield tours, agricultural experiences and a multitude of group-friendly dining options. See where Lincoln gave his famous address four months after a decisive battle turned the tides of the war.


From the vibrant streets of Nashville, the capital of country music, to the historic districts of Memphis, the birthplace of blues, souls and rock ‘n’ roll—students can immerse themselves in the rhythm and soul of Tennessee’s musical legacy. Nashville didn’t get its Music City nickname for nothing! Museums explore the history of country music and its most influential names, while well-known venues provide opportunities for performance and backstage tours. You can also visit historic mansions and plantations to learn about, and from, the past.

New York

New York, New York is known as the Center of the Universe for good reason. The biggest city in the U.S. is densely packed with endless cultural experiences and history. Throughout the city’s five boroughs, students can find some of the most recognized monuments in the world; gaze upon iconic skylines from tens of stories above the ground; peruse world-class museums dedicated to art, oddities, and celebrities; and take in the sights. Memories are easy to make throughout the city, often favored for Broadway shows and their corresponding behind-the-scenes tours and workshops.

Washington, D.C.

The incredibly walkable U.S. capital city has a thriving arts and theater scene. Various museums and monuments offer students an avenue to delve further into the importance of the First Amendment, journalism, government and more. They could also take advantage of many well-known and respected free attractions as they gain deeper understanding of the nation’s history. Don’t forget to check out some of the nearby professional sports games while you’re there!


Once the capital of Virginia Colony, Williamsburg played a significant role in the American Revolution and remains one of the most important historical sites in the country. At its heart is Colonial Williamsburg, a highly immersive district and living-history museum featuring actors depicting 18th-century life and culture. Meanwhile, cultural hubs like Richmond offer dynamic arts scenes and culinary delights, while the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts inspires creativity and critical thinking.


Click here to download the Top 10 United States Student Travel Destinations PDF.