Lonely Planet's top U.S. spots for 2016

Story highlights

  • The top U.S. pick will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first "Rocky" movie
  • One city along the Mighty Mississippi is marking its 300th birthday

(CNN)As Philadelphia prepares to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original "Rocky" movie, there's one more reason to celebrate.

The only World Heritage City in the United States, Philadelphia also has plenty of history to keep the curious visitor busy, including the historic National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell and the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
And a Philly cheese steak to top it all off. Is it Jim's, Pat's or Geno's? Locals know where to get the best ones, and they'll argue about which is the best.
Not in the mood for Philly this year? The rest of this year's list includes spots marking historic anniversaries, up-and-coming cities and spectacular nature.
    "There are so many amazing places to visit in the U.S. every year, but what distinguishes this list is the timeliness," said Rebecca Warren, Lonely Planet's Eastern U.S destinations editor.
    "I think we can get lost in what's in your own backyard," Warren said. "It reminds people that there is so much to do in America, and it changes every year."
    That includes Alaska's stunning Denali, the tallest peak in the United States with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet, newly restored to its Native American name; Birmingham, Alabama, with its hopping creative cuisine and craft breweries; and Natchez, Mississippi, which turns 300 this year.
    Every year, Lonely Planet's editors asked their traveling authors and writers to nominate places around the United States where big anniversaries, festivals and events and exciting new cultural additions make them "must-see" spots to visit.
    Lonely Planet's Best in the United States for 2016
    1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    2. Natchez, Mississippi
    3. Yellowstone National Park (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho)
    4. Birmingham, Alabama
    5. Alaska
    6. Somerville, Massachusetts
    7. Northwest Arkansas
    8. San Antonio, Texas
    9. Southern New Mexico
    10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin