Good news: More than half of adults in the United States have been vaccinated and coronavirus cases and test positivity rates are dropping like a rock. Earlier this month, the CDC updated its face mask guidance for fully vaccinated people, and masks are no longer required in most environments. America is healing, states are reopening and travel is back!
With these positive developments and summer fast approaching (it officially begins June 20th in the Northern Hemisphere), many of us are eager to take a vacation! In this article, I picked 10 of my favorite American cities that have re-opened, offer good-to-great wheelchair accessibility and are eager to welcome tourists! If you want to know where I’ll be traveling this summer, these are the cities on my list!
If I ever decide to move away from the Sunshine State (who would, though?), Dallas will be at the top of my list of places to live. It’s a fast-growing city that has so much to offer, including non-stop flights to cities all across America (and the world).
To read more about fun things to do in Dallas and how to get around with a wheelchair, check out the Dallas Wheelchair Accessible Travel Guide — it’s FREE and filled with accessible travel tips!
Denver is one of America’s most beautiful cities, and it’s a perfect summer vacation spot for wheelchair users. If you’re interested in visiting museums, Denver has plenty of those — the Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science are top-rated, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Like the outdoors? Check out the Denver Zoo, the Denver Botanic Gardens or explore one of the many public parks in the city and in the surrounding area.
To learn more about planning a wheelchair accessible trip to Colorado’s capital city, check out my free Denver Wheelchair Travel Guide.
Indianapolis is a city that I have come to love — its downtown center is easily walkable, with attractions including an amazing World War Memorial, the Indianapolis Zoo, a waterfront walkway/park and a Native American art museum. The modern Indianapolis Airport is a great place to start and end a journey, with fantastic accessibility.
To read more about the many accessible things to do in Indianapolis, check out the Indianapolis Wheelchair Travel Guide.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I often call Las Vegas the most wheelchair-friendly city in America. While I could certainly make the case for other cities, Las Vegas is a place I love to visit because there is so much to do — all in close proximity to one of the many wheelchair accessible resorts on the Vegas Strip. Top-rated cuisine, world-class entertainment, an abundance of accessible transportation and accessible hotels at every price point make it a place I enjoy visiting time after time. As for how often I make the trip to the Entertainment Capital of the World — well, I’ve traveled to Las Vegas three times since October… including a 3-week stay in January!
When planning your Las Vegas vacation, be sure to check out my article on the 15 Best Places to Eat in Las Vegas and read my detailed reviews of 16 Wheelchair Accessible Las Vegas Hotels — complete with photos and measurements!
Check out that photo. That building, home of the Milwaukee Art Museum, is a work of art in its own right and reason enough to visit Milwaukee. But there’s so much more — including breweries large and small (with free drinks on each tour), the Harley-Davidson Museum an incredible RiverWalk District and a bronze statue of The Fonz (of Happy Days fame, for you youngsters). Outside of New Orleans (which we’ll discuss in a minute), there might not be a better city to go bar-hopping in America.
For the full story on this underrated midwestern city, check out the Milwaukee Wheelchair Travel Guide.
So I said Dallas would be at the top of my list for future places to live, but Nashville is right up there too. This may be obvious to you, but Music City U.S.A. is a fun place to be. It’s full of life and there is always something going on.
Whether you want to grab a drink and watch live musicians on Broadway or purchase a ticket to see the Grand Ole Opry, there’s plenty of music to go around. The Country Music Hall of Fame and the historic Ryman Auditorium are must-visit attractions, and the city’s museums and public parks are worth visiting as well!
To plan your Nashville vacation, check out the Wheelchair Accessible Nashville Travel Guide.
New Orleans, Louisiana
I took my first trip to New Orleans as a 21-year-old college student. I don’t remember much from that trip, other than the fact that you shouldn’t drink more than one Hand Grenade… they’re deceptively delicious, despite high alcohol content. Despite imbibing a few too many Hand Grenades, I had great fun.
When I traveled back to New Orleans with a wheelchair, I was pleased to discover that much of the fun was accessible. The bar that sells Hand Grenades on Bourbon Street is accessible and I (smartly) stuck to a single drink. :p
There is more to New Orleans than the nightlife, of course! To learn about all of the fun wheelchair accessible things to do in New Orleans, check out the New Orleans Wheelchair Travel Guide.
My education is in history and there are few cities in America as historic as Philadelphia. It was in this city that the United States of America was formed — it is in Philly that the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, the two key documents in the founding of our nation. If you’re a history buff like me, Philly is a dream destination. But it’s also an accessible with so much more to offer!
Some of my other favorite things to do in Philadelphia are attending Phillies baseball games at Citizens Bank Park, eating a cheesesteak at Geno’s, touring the Eastern State Penitentiary, and taking photos at the iconic “LOVE” sign in… you guessed it, Love Park.
To learn more about traveling to Philly with a wheelchair, check out the free Philadelphia Wheelchair Travel Guide.
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Salt Lake City Wheelchair Travel Guide is one of the newest additions to the site, and I regret that it took me so long to visit and write about this amazing destination! Whether you visit during the summer or winter, it’s a city you’ll want to discover no matter the season.
Situated in the valley between two mountain ranges, SLC is a place of incredible beauty, with its many parks, a zoo, and a hillside botanical garden each offering incredible perspectives on the natural surroundings. The modern city boasts an accessible public transport system, a brand-new airport and a growth mindset that sees the city continuously evolving, with more to experience each time you return.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is my former home and one of my favorite cities in the United States. Summer means it’s baseball season, and I’ve already taken one trip there this year (in April, for Opening Week). Even if baseball isn’t your thing, there is so much more to do — including the iconic Gateway Arch, a world-class zoo, a brand-new Ferris wheel, incredible cuisine (and a St. Louis-style pizza that you’ll either love or hate).
So, when are you taking your next trip? Where will you go?
Let me know in the comments below!