Must-dos in the coolest U.S. neighborhoods

Experiencing the best of America’s hippest districts

America’s most beloved boroughs face an embarrassment of riches, and when you travel to a new or favorite city, you do too. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with award-hoarding eateries, awesome art scenes, and one-of-a-kind activities. When you find yourself in one of these buzzed-about districts, you want to experience what keeps visitors coming back, and the hidden gems the locals love. So, we’ve found the best things to do in hip neighborhoods all over the country.

1. Walk through history in the Fan, Richmond

Named for its diagonal streets that spread out like a fan as they run west, this district is one of the largest Victorian villages in the country. The avenues are lined with Italianate, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival houses, just waiting for a whimsical photo opp. Step through the front door at Helen’s Restaurant to become part of Richmond’s history. The building first opened in 1912 as pharmacy before the Donati family decided to turn the gem into a fine dining hot spot. In 1935, business-savvy Helen Donati became the proprietor on her 21st birthday.

2. Go vintage in Little Five Points, Atlanta

If you like to keep your MO on the down low, spend your next Atlanta getaway in Little Five Points. Located about 3 miles east of downtown, L5P is a big food, arts, and boutique destination in a small package. Wrap up some one-of-a-kind finds along Moreland Avenue NE at The Clothing Warehouse, Psycho Sisters, and Junkman’s Daughter. Take your pick from fashions for all genders, home décor, and colorful glassware. This historic city is even cooler when you’re showing off a breezy new-to-you chambray jacket and flaunting your tried and true confidence. Check out all the awesome Atlanta attractions …in style.

3. Garden in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

There’s no end to the debate over the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn. With awesome waterfront views of the city and artistry around every corner, Greenpoint has been picking up steady momentum for the past few years, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. The folks at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm put the green in Greenpoint at their 6,000 square-foot farm, which includes an expansive garden, chickens, and a bee colony. Get some dirt under your nails at one of their events or volunteer opportunities, and take a class, like “Edible Gardening for Dummies.”

4. Have a pint in Pearl, San Antonio

Thanks to a gorgeous riverfront and fabulous weather, it’s easy to find fun neighborhoods in San Antonio. Anchored by the former Pearl Brewery complex, this district is an open-air dining and leisure destination. Browse neighborhood boutiques on the first Thursday of the month to get to know the community, and dine at one of the unique eateries. Simply sip a pint of Wit It and Quit It, a refreshing Belgian strawberry witbier from Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery. Pearl Brewing Company closed its doors in 2001, and Southerleigh is today’s go-to craft beer maker in San Antonio, located in the old Pearl restaurant building.

5. Feast on tacos in Los Feliz, Los Angeles

You don’t have to look far to find cool neighborhoods in the City of Angels. Los Feliz is always on the most-buzzed about list, because it’s fresh, fierce, and full of SoCal flavor. Taco enthusiasts follow their taste buds to this part of town, where they serve the iconic Mexican handheld for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don’t believe us? Start your morning with a TexMex breakfast taco at HomeState and wander through quirky shops and past historic houses before heading to Yuca’s Hut for an authentic taco-stand experience.

6. Be a pinball wizard in Southeast, Portland

Portland, Oregon is a hipster haven—no if, ands, or buts about it—which makes narrowing down your itinerary a challenge. Well, center your stay on Southeast, home to several smaller districts, including the laidback Division/Clinton area. Here, you’ll find the alluring lights of arcade games and plenty of craft beers and ciders on tap at Apex Bar PDX. The bar doesn’t serve food, but that’s OK, because you’ll be close to ice cream slingers Salt & Straw and Thai street food takeout at Pok Pok PDX.

7. Be an artist in Northeast, Minneapolis

The Mini Apple is already known the country over as one of the best communities to visit for theater lovers. Explore the city’s warehouses-turned-studio spaces and galleries and see even more of the Midwest’s creativity in action. Let the rebirth of midcentury factories inspire you to create something new. Stop by Casket Arts Community’s open house or take a class from one of the collective’s skilled artisans. You may be a lithographer or jewelry designer in the making!

Which awesome neighborhoods are in your travel plans?

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

Kohleun Adamson

Kohleun is a fan of high tea in Scottish villages and low tide on Coronado Beach, and she can’t get enough of rolling vineyard vistas. These days it’s no easy feat to pull her away from the California coast, but she can be wooed with Moroccan cous cous and ancient palace ruins. As a writer, Kohleun has a passion for sharing the intricate details of a journey well traveled, whether it involves crossing continents or exploring close to home.