Cassandra Brooklyn

Cassandra is a freelance travel writer based in New York City with work appearing in The New York Times, National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, Fodor's, USA Today, and The Daily Beast, among other publications. She specializes in sustainable travel, adventure travel, and all things outdoors - hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, camping, and scuba diving. She's also the owner of EscapingNY, a small tour company and she leads tours in Cuba, Mexico, Jordan, and beyond.

Cassandra's Favorite U.S. Cities

New York City: There is literally some of everything; it's like having the entire world in a single city.

Chicago: It combines a big-city feel with classic Midwest charm (plus, the lakefront is absolutely gorgeous!).

San Francisco: It's beautiful, diverse, and has some of the best food in the country.

Washington D.C.: There's great food, excellent bike lanes, and the best museums in the country (most of which are free).

Madison, Wisconsin: It's a small town that's easy to walk or bike around, with a surprisingly strong foodie scene and great access to the outdoors.

"Traveling is an opportunity to see things I've never seen, try foods that I've never tasted, and meet people I would never have met at home. Traveling opens me up to new ideas, expands me as a person, and fulfills me in a way that is simply irreplaceable."