Five Faves: All-American Ports of Call

Porthole‘s Five Faves

America, the Beautiful!

Cruising from the good ol’ U. S. of A.

If you live in the United States, chances are there’s a cruise port that you can reach by driving or taking a short flight. Each offers plenty to do before or after your cruise, but in honor of the upcoming July 4 holiday, we’re celebrating five of our favorite U.S. ports to show off your American patriotism.

Port Canaveral (Orlando)

If you’re setting sail from Port Canaveral, one of the most popular attractions along Florida’s Space Coast is the Kennedy Space Center, where you can learn about America’s space program through a Shuttle Launch Experience, astronaut encounters, IMAX films, live shows, hands-on activities, and behind-the-scenes tours. Then, with Orlando just a 45-minute drive away, what’s more all-American than a visit with Mickey Mouse?



NewYorkCityFreedomTowerObservatoryNew York City

There’s a bevy of things to do in New York City, from shopping to dining to taking in a Broadway show. But to truly honor America while in the city, make your way downtown to One World Trade Center (or, the Freedom Tower), which, at 1,776 feet tall, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  The massive skyscraper houses the recently opened One World Observatory on floors 100, 101, and 102, where you’ll find a welcome center, exhibits, dining options, a gallery, and the most amazing 360-degree city views you can imagine. Outside, the 9/11 memorial and museum pay the most moving tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.



Boston-CREDIT-FreedomTrailFoundation-DSC_5362 SMBoston

At the forefront of American history, Boston offers a bounty of arts, culture, events, and attractions that are seemingly pulled from your history books. It’s reputation as a great walking city stems from the creation of one of America’s first historic walking tours, The Freedom Trail, a great introduction to Colonial Revolutionary Boston. The trail traverses 16 historical sites including Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, the Benjamin Franklin Statue, the Paul Revere House, and USS Constitution.



The City's ability to be itself -- in the hardest of times will become part of its considerable legend
New OrleansHistory, jazz, fun, and Creole cuisine? New Orleans has it all. To truly celebrate this city, head for Jackson Square and immerse yourself in the culture that surrounds you. (Don’t forget to savor a beignet from Café du Monde). Walk the streets of New Orleans’ many distinct neighborhoods, and talk to friendly locals along the way who love to chat about the history of their city. Be sure to ask them where their favorite place is for good ol’ NOLA cuisine — and then book a table there.



Oaks and epiphytes, with a big house over yonder.Charleston

Step back in time in Charleston, one of the country’s most historic and charming cities. Stroll the cobblestoned streets of downtown, complete with horse-drawn carriages, gas-lit alleys, and beautifully preserved landmarks. Spend time shopping at the historic Charleston City Market, touring 18th-century homes and plantations, or exploring one of the many art galleries, boutiques, and museums.


— Jodi Ornstein



Which U.S. cruise port do you love the most? Share your favorites in the comments below!

Photos: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Jodi Ornstein; Freedom Trail Foundation;
Cheryl Gerber/; Courtesy of the Charleston Area CVB.

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!