Well, first off, belated Fourth of July! When barbecues are all consumed, picnic baskets back to storage and everyone all sobered up, this inspired me to look back and see which among the many cities in the U.S. captured my heart.

I have traveled the great expanse of the U.S., experiencing the beautiful rugged cliffs being constantly beaten by the rough waves of the Pacific Ocean in Monterey and Carmel, California. And of course leading eastward to the little and quiet town of Newport City, North Carolina.

I've also had my fair share of the Windy Cindy up north and the stockyards of Texas down south.

Saying The United States is beautiful is definitely an understatement. Experiencing its different sights 35,000 feet up or taking an Amtrak ride is astounding, to say the least.

What are the three cities that captured my heart and soul? Here is a look at three of them, in no specific order.

San Francisco, California

Tony Bennett is known for singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” That song was composed and sung for very good reason. While some stray away from San Francisco for being too touristy, others are drawn into it like iron to a magnet.

Why? Well, the better question is, why not? Make a trek or drive up Battery Spencer, Marin County to see the Golden Gate Bridge in all of its splendor.

The Golden Gate Bridge, from this point, can be seen in all of its entirety. Sometimes, it looks all dramatic and mystifying as its spires pierce through the low lying clouds. Couple this with the cool ocean breeze, being hundred feet above the sea level, and it makes the experience even more exhilarating.

Of course, San Francisco is not just about Golden Gate Bridge.

Take a stroll downtown and you’d see Pier 39. Take the trolley to weave around. Pay attention to the Coit Tower. Then there’s Lombard Street, the World’s Crookedest Street. These places definitely just barely scratch the surface. There’s more to San Francisco that what is published in guide books. Oh, let’s not forget about the Golden State Warriors just next door in Oakland.

Dallas, Texas

Nothing beats seeing cowboys practice their thing with the bulls and horses up close and personal. The putrid livestock smell, the cheers, the yells and occasional line dancing are more than entertaining. Country music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but once it is played, one can’t help but just be entranced by it.

Ribs and steaks. The best of the best may actually be found here. Though many may say that its in Kansas, but them good ‘ol meaty treasures are also abound here. Go downtown, marvel at the modern day Dallas architecture. However, don’t ever forget to pay respects to the site where J.F.K was shot.

Chicago, Illinois

As the plane makes its final approach, there’s a great chance you’d see this magnificent gray tower towering over all the high-rise buildings to your left.

Yes, you will be greeted by the Willis Tower which was formerly called the Sears Tower. From the airport, head on straight to downtown where the thrill mostly happens.

Chicago has had this notoriety for being known as one of the “unsafest places” in the U.S. but that never became an issue for me. For someone who walks a lot, I’ve had the chance to walk down alleys at 9 p.m. but still felt safe, or maybe I was just lucky? I don’t know.

Take a stroll down Michigan Avenue where culture and shopping happens. You’ll see great mix of ultra modern buildings mixed with those looking all classic. Street performers also add to the energetic vibe. As you saw the Willis Tower from the plane, it is also best to go on top of it to see Chicago in its entirety as well as neighboring Indiana and Michigan on a clear sunny day.

Clearly, there are definitely more than three…

Well, there’s definitely New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Las Vegas, and the list goes on and on. Everyone would definitely have different top three cities for a myriad of reasons. As the list may vary per individual, one thing remains constant- the beauty of the United States of America is enough to put one breathless! Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” is a perfect summation of what the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” can offer.