Top US travel destinations for 2013 from Lonely Planet include Kentucky and Alaska sites

Top US travel destinations for 2013 from Lonely Planet include Kentucky and Alaska sites

Every year the US-based editors of Lonely Planet, the popular travel guide, compile a list of recommended destinations for the coming year.

This year, the list singles out places for qualities ranging from innovative cuisine to art events and nature trails. It covers little known destinations as well as long-time favorites.

1. Louisville, Kentucky was named the top US destination for 2013. Referred to as a contender for being "the new Portland," the city offers possibilities ranging from culture to antique shops and good restaurants. Recently opened, the 21C Museum Hotel is an edgy contemporary hotel which offers access to contemporary art and was also recently chosen as best hotel brand of the year by lifestyle magazine Monocle.

2. Fairbanks, Alaska is recommended by the editors as a good place to see the aurora borealis or northern lights. 2013 is the end of an 11-year solar cycle so the show should be exceptionally amazing. The best time of the year to visit is the end of the summer.

3. San Juan Islands, Washington has been dubbed the "Gourmet Archipielago" by Lonely Planet guidebook author Brendan Sainsbury. With over 250 days of sunshine, visitors can get great fresh local food including farmed artichokes, fresh-caught salmon, oysters and razor clams.

4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is slowly becoming an art capital. Tourists visiting the city shouldn't miss the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation which has just moved to the center of the city and is displaying a previously private art collection including art pieces by Matisse, Renoir and Cezanne.

5. American Samoa is further away than Hawaii. Visitors who can afford to get there will enjoy the island's national park and Polynesian landscapes as well as white sand beaches, waterfalls and stunning snorkeling.

The complete list is available at: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/travel-tips-and-articles/77583

Earlier this year editors from Lonely Planet had already chosen San Francisco and the Gulf Coast as part of their selection "Best in Travel 2013," a ranking of the ten countries, regions and cities in the world to visit in 2013.