Within the United States you can find these luxury destinations from coast to coast. Very few countries in the world have the level of geographic diversity that the United States has. Between the Atlantic and the Pacific sit snowy mountains, scorching deserts, vast plains and heavy forests. And that’s just the continental US. America itself is the ultimate vacation destination for the affluent traveler.
The affluent traveler makes a point to travel off the beaten path. While destinations such as New York City, Miami and Los Angeles may appeal to the average traveler, the more wealthy often strive to vacation somewhere off the beaten path. The affluent aren’t looking to wait in line at Disney World with the masses. They’re typically looking for somewhere a little less populated and a little more luxurious, and more than a little bit pricier. With that in mind, we’ve collected a list of the top 10 vacation destinations in the United States for the wealthy traveler.
Kauai is the northwestern most of Hawaii’s major islands. The main appeal of the Garden Island is that it is least commercially developed of the Hawaiian Islands. This leaves a lush landscape filled with greenery, waterfalls, and more than 60 beaches. Secret beaches and tidal pools are around every bend, if you know where to find them. Make sure to visit the majestic Waimea Canyon, dubbed by Mark Twain as as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Kauai also has more miles of beach than any of the other Hawaiian Islands.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
A true Atlantic Ocean vacation destination, Cape Cod offers a well-preserved view into the old guard of luxury vacations. Cape Cod enjoys scenic views of a wild coastline, strewn with tall lighthouses, windswept beaches and quaint harbors. The compelling natural beauty of the islands comes from a seaside being constantly shaped by ocean currents. Famous Martha’s Vineyard is a must see. Don’t forget to check out the interior, hike by miles of marshlands, visit the Birchwood forests and the Cranberry Bog, and go whale watching. Despite its remote nature travelers used to a life of luxury have no need to fret. Tucked away are countless architectural gems and upscale dining spots.
Palm Beach, Florida
Palm Beach has long been the east coast destination of the social elite, boasting guests such as the Kennedys and Trumps. Take a convertible off for a spin to the palm tree lined shops of Worth Avenue. Work on that tan by the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the island’s legendary resorts are shining examples of the Gilded Age’s architecture. Other activities include golf, boating (or yachting) equestrian, and polo.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is most famously known as a winter destination, where vacations consist of hitting the slopes, taking in the snow peaks, and après skiing. But in the summer, this winter resort destination takes on a whole new life. Summer is all about hiking, white water rafting, canoeing, scoping wildlife and horseback riding. And like pretty much all affluent destinations, Jackson Hole provides many opportunities to golf. Jackson Hole provides both natural wonders and cultural sophistication.
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley California offers the very best of vines and wines in California. But Napa isn’t just for wine fanatics. Napa Valley is also a culinary delight. Tasty treats such as local olive oils, cheeses and tomatoes line the streets of quaint towns like Sonoma. Resorts here are known worldwide for their spa amenities, and their eco-conscious and energy saving ways. The Valley offers everything from mud baths, kayaking, and artisanal cupcakes along with its ever-famous wine.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
The luxury vacation destination in the South, Hilton Head Island provides the quintessential southern vacation. Its resorts and restaurants provide a luxurious southern experience. The island is covered in lush greenery edged with 14 miles of dune-covered beaches. Hilton Head is also well-known as a golfer’s paradise. The island plays host to championship golf on some of the best fairways in the United States. With over 100 miles of bike paths, cruising through the beach towns, grabbing an ice cream and spotting an alligator on one of the raised boardwalks isn’t out of the ordinary. Walk the sandy beaches after dark and get a glimpse of some sea turtles and spy the Harbor Town Lighthouse lighting up the Atlantic.
Another widely known winter vacation spot, many affluent travelers know that Aspen is a year-round destination. The rugged mountains provide a scenic backdrop for biking, hiking, and exploring nature. Athletes and Outdoor enthusiasts flock to the destination during summer to go kayaking, white water rafting, rock climbing and biking. And of course, even though the snow may be gone, Aspen retains its world class dining and shopping during the summer.
Santa Barbara, California
The area between Los Angeles and San Francisco often gets classified as fly-over territory. But to fly over Santa Barbara is to miss out on a Californian gem. Nestled at the shores of the Pacific Ocean, this destination provides a historic and luxurious beach vacation all in one. Red-tiled roofs and white plastered walls line State Street, home to world-renowned shopping and dining experiences. Make sure you check out the driftwood-strewn beaches and visit the historic Santa Barbara Mission.
The Hamptons, New York
The legendary Long Island destination has long been a summer home to New York’s elite for many generations. Although the Hamptons has become a more and more popular tourist destination throughout the years, it still remains a staple destination for the affluent traveler. The Hamptons play host to numerous golf clubs. A-list visitors flock to the trendy restaurants and nightclubs. Along with luxurious dining and shopping opportunities the natural features of the Hampton’s provide opportunities for beach going, fishing and kayaking.
Key West, Florida
The jewel of the Florida Keys is undoubtedly Key West. Life slows down at this sunny southern Florida destination and the locals live “On Island Time.” Beautiful weather, water and beaches have lured in all kinds. The southern most tip of the United States has long been known for attracting colorful characters, and the seafaring destination was once a popular spot for pirates. Key West is known as the “Winter White House” because it has long been a destination of US Presidents. Literary masters such as Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway have called the Island home. The Ernest Hemingway House, where Hemingway wrote some of his best works, is now a popular tourist destination.