For destinations that are on the rise, making names for themselves as top student travel havens, check out this list of emerging cities chosen by SYTA member tour operators.


Cleveland rocks—it’s true! Students could explore the power and science behind rock music as they admire priceless memorabilia, before taking a trolley tour that covers more than 20 miles. Theaters where famous actors got their start offer elevated exposure to the professional arts. You could even learn about Tatoo! (Not that tattoo.) Travel back in time with museums featuring everything from diamonds to dinosaurs. Some serious rollercoaster and other ride fun happens nearby.

New Orleans

New Orleans teems with rich culture, one-of-a-kind stories and celebrations coveted worldwide. Students are afforded the opportunity to learn about the French Quarter on foot, the beauty of the natural world on dry land and underwater, and in-depth World War II history. Whether you’re seeking exposure to world-class jazz and musical heritage or a chance to perform alongside some of the world’s most renowned musical artists, students are sure to leave feeling inspired.


Here, you’ll find a stunning skyline (clearly visible from 360 Chicago Observation Deck), iconic landmarks like the Willis Tower and Millennium Park, and world-class museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. Students can explore the city’s rich history through visits to historic neighborhoods, or delve into the legacy of the Chicago blues and jazz scenes in iconic venues. Nature is readily available in this urban center thanks to the legendary Field Museum of Natural History and Shedd Aquarium, situated right on the waters of Lake Michigan.


Student travel to Baltimore offers students a rich tapestry of history, culture and innovation along the scenic shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Known as “Charm City,” Baltimore has historic neighborhoods like Fells Point, where cobblestone streets and elegant architecture harken back to centuries gone by. Cultural institutions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum showcase a diverse range of artistic masterpieces, while the National Aquarium provides an immersive look into marine life and conservation efforts. Students can also explore Baltimore’s role in American history at Fort McHenry, the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner, or by visiting the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park, which celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the maritime industry.

New Jersey

Students can explore the bustling streets of cities like Newark and Jersey City, immersing themselves in the rich tapestry of multicultural communities, dynamic arts scenes, and innovative industries. Iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island offer insights into America’s immigrant history and the country’s ideals of liberty and opportunity. Students can also delve into the state’s cultural heritage at institutions like the Newark Museum and the Grounds for Sculpture, which showcase diverse art collections and immersive exhibitions. Enjoy a day of thrills at Six Flags Great Adventure, sample fresh seafood along the Jersey Shore, or explore the natural wonders of the Delaware Water Gap.