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This Is the Most Expensive City Destination in the U.S.



If you’ve done just about anything lately – including leaving your house at all — you know that everything is really expensive right now, including heading out on a vacation. But sometimes, saving up is worth it to explore some of the world’s best destinations, including the most expensive city in the U.S. And no, it’s not New York. 

In 2023, GoBankingRates put together a list of the most expensive tourist destinations in the United States. It came to its conclusion by first reviewing destination rankings on travel sites to determine America’s most popular tourist attractions. Next, it calculated food and drink costs, along with the average nightly rate for the three least-expensive hotels in the area (based on July 2023 stays) and the average airfare to the destination to find which one “might be the biggest blow to travelers’ bank balances.” 

After looking at all the data, it named Seattle the second-most expensive destination in America, making it (technically) the most expensive city to visit in the nation. 

“Seattle is one of the most pricey cities to visit on this list — unless you learn how to travel on a budget,” the findings shared. “For example, skip Uber and Lyft to take the Link light rail instead. The line between Angle Lake and the University of Washington includes an airport stop and also has stations at popular sites including Chinatown and Pioneer Square.” As for what it will cost to visit, GoBankingRate said meals for a three-night stay will cost you about $600, while drinks will run you an additional $77.88. The average three-night hotel stay is $471, while airfare is a whopping $839.70.

And while Seattle is expensive, there is one destination that will cost you even more: Aspen, Colorado.

This is why we note that Seattle is technically the most expensive, as Aspen is pretty nebulous about whether it’s a city or a town. Its official town site lists it as the “City of Aspen,” while its Chamber of Commerce calls it an “inviting mountain town.” And while its full-time population is fewer than 7,000 people, that still doesn’t define a city vs. town debate. (But we’re sure people will have feelings about whatever I call it, so I’ll await your emails.)

Aspen was also named the most expensive place to visit by OptimosTravel, who recently analyzed more than 100 vacation spots in the United States. 

“Aspen tops the list as the most expensive vacation spot, with a total daily cost of $761.39 per person, leading to a whopping $5,329.72 for a 7-day trip per person,” the team noted to Travel + Leisure about its findings. And sure, that’s a lot of dough, but the experiences you’ll have there — and in Seattle — are priceless.

See the full list of the most expensive destinations at

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