Still trying to get in a last minute summer vacation? The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently released its “USGBC’s Guide to Your Vacation” listing the top five LEED® certified U.S. cities and must-see attractions for each. As vacation season is coming to an end, why not use your summer trip as a chance to visit some of the most eco-friendly cities in the country?
Here are the top destinations on the USGBC’s list:
In 2011, San Francisco was named the greenest city in North America, and is considered a pioneer in the environmental movement. On par with its green ordinances, the city boasts several LEED attractions including the SFJAZZ Center, The Exploratorium, California Academy of Sciences and even the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park.
New York City.
Despite its growing population, New York City has made it a priority to make LEED certification top-of-mind when it comes to construction and renovation. Thus, the Big Apple has numerous LEED hotels, museums and theatres to offer its more than 54 million visitors each year. Topping the USGBC’s list is the Gold-certified Empire State Building, as well as the city’s first LEED certified Broadway theater, the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and its first LEED certified museum, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
In the last decade, the Windy City has climbed the ranks from an industrial capital to a deserving frontrunner in the race for the most eco-friendly city in the U.S. In addition to its miles of bike lanes and urban farms, Chicago has a number of green buildings to showcase. To name a few, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Broadcast Communications and Hotel Felix are listed as top attractions.
Known for its bright lights, over-the-top amenities and big-city atmosphere, Las Vegas has been making its way into the sustainability spotlight in recent years. In fact, Sin City holds some of the largest LEED certified projects in the world – including the 16,797,000-square-foot Las Vegas City Center, which received LEED Gold certification. Other notable LEED hotels and casinos suggested by the USGBC are the Venetian Resort & Casino and the Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino.
Like Chicago, Pittsburgh has shed its previous title as an industrial center and begun a city-wide focus on green living and sustainability. In addition to housing one of the largest LEED Silver history museums in the country – the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh – the USGBC deems the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Senator John Heinz History Center worthy of a visit.
Click here to read the full list from the USGBC.