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Courtesy of Grande Experiences

13 awesome and new things to do in the USA in 2022

Putting together your 2022 bucket list? Make sure these awesome new things to do in the USA are on it.

Written by
Time Out editors
,
Sarah Medina
&
Shoshi Parks
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After an unusual couple of years, we're cautiously looking forward to music festivals and international travel again. We say that with blind hope, of course, but even if those things don't come to pass in the new year, there are still plenty of exciting new (and safe!) things to do right here in the U.S. of A. 

We've rounded up some of the most exciting openings and experiences to debut on American soil since the start of the pandemic. There are museum openings, like the world-class First Americans Museum which is dedicated to the 39 Native nations that live in the state of Oklahoma and L.A.'s newest homage to Hollywood magic, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. There are brand new parks and trails both within and outside urban areas, including Presidio Tunnel Tops overlooking the San Francisco Bay and the Peaks and Prairies Trail, which stretches several hundred miles from Yellowstone National Park to Minneapolis. Plus, there's the newest immersive playground from Disney, a Star Wars-themed hotel, a rooftop Dolly Parton-themed bar in Nashville and a glass-domed train route through the Rocky Mountains. Without a doubt, these are the 13 happenings we're the most excited to try in 2022. 


Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the best things to do in the world right now.

Time Out Market United States

Time Out’s expansive food-and-culture destinations are what happens when your go-to guide to the city’s best restaurants, bars and things to do becomes an actual place. These are the spots we’ve curated with the same fuss, care and curiosity we bring to our editorial—and there’s probably one near you right now.

Best things to do in the USA

The long-anticipated First Americans Museum (FAM) opened to fanfare in 2021. Now it's one of the nation's premier state-of-the-art cultural spaces dedicated to Native people. The museum's exhibitions introduce visitors to the stories and heritage of Oklahoma's 39 tribes, which include those who've lived in the area since time immemorial and those who were forced there along the Trail of Tears in the mid-19th century. The museum also has workshops and public events and is working towards opening a 5,000 square foot FAMily Discovery Center with activities for all ages.

San Francisco's newest park reimagines a travel corridor through the city into a wide-open green space with incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The Presidio Tunnel Tops, which are slated to open in Spring 2022, include a working campfire circle, new trails, green meadows for lounging and the Outpost, an enormous outdoor playground. Kiddos will also get a kick out of the Field Station, where they can drop in to draw butterflies, touch crawfish and discover maps.

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Minneapolis, MN: Bike the Parks, Peaks and Prairies trail all the way to Yellowstone
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Minneapolis, MN: Bike the Parks, Peaks and Prairies trail all the way to Yellowstone

Biking took off in during the pandemic and if you're planning to keep up the popular pastime post-COVID, put the Parks, Peaks and Prairies trail on your bucket list. The 1,287-mile trail connects Yellowstone National Park in Montana to Minneapolis, Minnesota taking you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the U.S. along the way including Black Hills National Park, Badlands National Park, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore. The route is broken up into three parts, each between 380 and 508 miles long.

Those crazy kids at Disney have come up with a new immersive experience for Star Wars fans. The Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Hollywood Studios in Florida isn't just a place to rest your head, it's an out-of-this-world adventure. Battle it out with a lightsaber, take starcruiser engineering lessons, fly to Batuu or feast on space cuisine with interstellar characters. The all-inclusive experience comes with a pass to the larger terrestrial park outside.

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Dolly Parton fervor is at an all-time high. In the last couple of years, the singer managed to release a Christmas album, win an Emmy for her 2020 Christmas special, donate 700,000 to Tennessee flood victims, and also fund one of the Covid-19 vaccines—a true American hero. If you want to celebrate all things Dolly, consider a trip to the Dolly-inspired bar White Limozeen, named after the country star's 1989 album and title song. The rooftop watering hole is a vision in pink—pink walls, pink couches, pink chairs and even a pink giant chicken-wire sculpture of Parton herself—and even has a pool.

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You'll be able to light up in four more states across the USA in 2022 after New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. Fourteen other states and the District of Columbia already allow for legal recreational marijuana. The new laws mean that right now more than one in three Americans live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. 

After a few false starts, the Academy—yes, of Oscars fame—finally opened its museum in 2021. The galleries fill a Streamline Moderne former department store with six stories of exhibitions and event spaces topped by a panoramic rooftop terrace. It also includes a tacked-on theatre in a massive Renzo Piano-designed orb. The chance to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard Of Oz or Jack’s corduroy jacket from The Shining are reasons enough to visit, but the opening exhibition is a stunner: a Hayao Miyazaki retrospective that includes images and production cels on display for the first time outside of Studio Ghibli’s Japanese offices, on through June 5, 2022. 

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Introducing the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile, T-shaped trail that runs throughout New York state and connects its populous southern areas with the Canadian border. The trail, which builds on a network of existing pathways, is open to hikers, bikers and more. Along the way it wanders through cities, small village main streets, rural communities and other Hudson River Valley, Erie Canalway and Adirondacks landscapes (and past tons of microbreweries, too!). 

For years, Glacier National Park’s educational signs predicted that its eponymous ice sheets would be gone by the year 2020. A recent change to the park’s signs concede that this doomsday scenario hasn’t come to pass—yet—but that doesn’t mean you should sleep on a visit this year. Recreate the opening scene from The Shining with a drive along Saint Mary Lake and board a red bus from the 1930s for a trip along Going-to-the-Sun Road, a mountain-hugging highway that traverses the park’s heavenly terrain. (You’ll spot plenty of glaciers and mountain goats, too.)

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The very first official Olympic museum in the United States has been welcoming visitors since summer 2020. The 6,000 square-foot space includes 12 galleries organized in a way so that visitors get to walk through a team USA athlete's journey, from training to competitions and medal collections. Actual American Olympians worked as consultants on the project, to render the experience as authentic as possible.

Tucked away in Tulsa, Oklahoma is the coolest park we’ve ever seen. The Gathering Place is a 100-acre, regional destination complete with year-round programming, a three-acre, man-made lake and a children’s playground that rivals any amusement park in the country. Best part? It’s all free. Throw in various sports courts as well as dedicated spaces for street hockey, a skate park, a BMX track, and a jogging trail and you might never want to leave this former fly-over city. 

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You'll actually get to step inside the works of the great Vincent Van Gogh when a new immersive experience dedicated to the artist debuts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields in 2021. Almost 150 state-of-the-art high-definition projectors will take up 30,000 square feet of space on the museum's fourth floor, transforming famous two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional projections that guests can walk through and around. In total, the museum hopes to showcase about 3,000 moving images of the artist's paintings—from lesser-known ones to the renowned Sunflowers and The Starry Night—while classic music plays in the background. 

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