The top spot to visit in the U.S.? It’s in Northern California, says travel site

California’s North Coast redwoods earned a shout-out this week from one travel publication.

Lonely Planet, which is among the largest travel guide publishers worldwide, put together a list of the “top 10 underrated, rejuvenated and out-of-this-world spots to visit in 2018.” The selections were made by editors, locals and researchers who visited the spots, according to Lonely Planet and the Los Angeles Times.

California’s “Redwood Coast” – from Humboldt County to Crescent City – claimed the No. 1 spot.

“Movie buffs might recognize the region’s scene-stealing backdrops from Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘E.T.’ and ‘Star Wars,’ ” writes Lonely Planet. “But the full wonder of California’s 2,000-year-old redwoods – some reaching 20 stories high – is impossible to capture on any screen.”

When publications such as Lonely Planet recognize the region, it offers “third-party verification” of its appeal, Tim Zahner, the chief operating officer of Sonoma County Tourism, which helps promote the area, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

“We couldn’t be happier that Lonely Planet is sharing what we’ve known for 100 years: The coast redwoods are a must-see destination for everyone,” said Jennifer Benito-Kowalski, chief communications officer for Save the Redwoods League, in a news release.

Redwood state park visitors are in luck in 2018 as the Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks are offering 12 free days of admission to celebrate the league’s 100th anniversary.

The second Saturday of each month with be free, however only a limited number of no-cost passes are available – 16,000 in total. Therefore, passes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visitors can also access the new Explore Redwoods trip-planning tool to build itineraries that are best-suited to them, according to the news release. allows users to locate a park that’s right for them and find out what to do there,” said Benito-Kowalski.

Lonely Planet’s top spots to visit in 2018

  • California’s Redwood Coast
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Florida’s Space Coast
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Midcoast, Maine
  • Richmond, Va.
  • Kentucky Bourbon Country
  • Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Southeastern Utah