Top 10 U.S. Travel Destinations for 2012

 Here are the top 10 domestic destinations for 2012 courtesy of Lonely Planet. We've included a story for each place to help you get started planning.

1. US Virgin Islands
It’s eternally 80 degrees, rimmed with white-sand beaches on turquoise water, and, yes, it’s a US territory. 

2. Hudson River Valley, New York
It should be a given that any visitor to New York City breaks for a day or two ‘upstate’ in the Hudson River Valley, a slice of rural Americana just north. 

3. Cincinnati, Ohio
The pretty city on the Ohio River has quietly transformed itself in the last decade into a worthy getaway. 

4. Four Corners Region, Southwest USA
This underappreciated region is a geologic, archeological wonderland. 

5. Culebra, Puerto Rico
Looking for a beach? Don’t forget Puerto Rico, just a short hop from the US mainland.

6. California Gold Country
Towns that ooze century-old ambience are strung out like throw-back pearls along Highway 49, a fun drive that passes stops like Jamestown’s historic train, a tiny gold town called Volcano (with no volcano), and wineries (some even consider the region a contender to Napa and Sonoma).

7. Boulder, Colorado
Locals live with a mad crush on the outdoors, and adventure can be found at every turn. 

8. Hawai’i: The Big Island
A rise in direct flights from the US mainland to Kona, on the Big Island, mean the draw of this magical place has never been easier.

9. Chicago
Chicago has incredible art offerings at places like the Art Institute and Millennium Park, some of the country’s best restaurants and world-class festivals like Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago. 

10. Yellowstone National Park
The world’s first national park – turning 140 next year – attracts nearly four million visitors a year.