We get all the warm and fuzzy feelings at a baseball game when "God Bless the USA" is being sung: "From the lakes of Minnesota/To the hills of Tennessee/Across the plains of Texas/From sea to shining sea." And, let's face it, our "amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesty" are pretty spectacular.
You can see, seemingly, the edges of the earth from Colorado's Pike's Peak. You can lazily float down a river in the summer's Deep South. The Midwest keeps us productive and functioning as a country. The Eastern Seaboard is rich with the history of this nation. Yes, there are a lot of magnificent places in this country ... from sea to shining sea.
But, hey, nobody's perfect, right? We have some duds, too. (Names withheld here to protect the guilty.) Some of our cities suffer from economic decline, from violent crime and from social issues where the answers are simple, but the questions are hard. All of it adds up to make us the melting pot we are, a place where we celebrate the good and cheer for the bad to become better.
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of the best — and worst — American cities to put on your travel itineraries. Whether it's the scenery, the food or the endless things to do (good!) or the crime, cost or congestion (bad!), we're here to help you plan where to go — or what to avoid — on your next trip. Buckle up and let's go!