The land of lights, glitz and gold. The only question you should be asking yourself before a USA holiday is what role you want to play. Whether it be donning a cowboy hat and boots on a Western set in Monument Valley, starring in a Nora Ephron film in Manhattan or heading to California to make it big under the Hollywood spotlight, the United States is the place to go big. With so many classic American landscapes and movie moments to choose from too, you are sure to be spoilt for choice. Stop by New England to see autumn in action and travel to New York to see where dreams are made of. In Florida, it’s all about coast, colour and cuisine.
Drive in style down Miami’s Art Deco Ocean Drive and dive deep into its underwater utopia, past reefs, shipwrecks and sharks. And if you’re after a soundtrack to boot, then look no further than New Orleans and Nashville, Tennessee. Home to some of the best blues and country stars and bars in the land, you’ll find yourself toe tapping, yeehawing and drink shotting in no time. And if you feel the urge to blow the cobwebs away, the United States of America isn’t short of fresh air, with 423 national parks under its belt. Thanks to the likes of Ansel Adams and the Kolb Brothers, even its parks feel like they’ve had a bit of Hollywood fairy dust sprinkled on them. Really, every USA holiday will make you feel like you are part your very own Hollywood classic. So, without further ado – action!
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What you can find in the USA that you won't find anywhere else
What's most astonishing about USA holidays is their potential for constant, jaw-dropping discoveries. Thanks to Christopher Colombus, Lewis and Clark, Bill Gates and even Steve Jobs, no country has had such an impact on the modern world – which isn’t bad for a country just over 200 years old. Despite the feeling of déjà vu books and Hollywood have created, there is always something new to discover in the USA. Scale is one thing. From the Grand Canyon and mighty Montana, nicknamed the 'Big Sky' state, and cities that sprawl from coast to sky, this is a country that rarely suffers from boredom. Jet set from Florida to California, New York to Nevada and discover the American sense of indelible nostalgia in the Wild West. American history may be short compared to Europe’s, but where else can you cavort with cowboys one day, see into space the other and walk the walk down the National Mall the next? We don’t need to tell you this though. Thanks to the country’s plethora of culture, literature, cinema and music, we bet you already know.
Who is the USA best for?
The simple answer? Everyone. After all, this is the land of the free, the place where everything is possible, so of course USA holidays are for all. Baby boomers? Come with the parents and children on a 3G (three generational) trip. Millennials? The perfect family holiday for young ones – especially if Disneyland is on the cards. Here, everyone is encouraged to explore the homeland of western culture.
What is the best option for a USA holiday?
Car is king in the United States of America. Because it is so big, and visiting more than one city and state is a given, you’ll be needing four wheels to do it justice. Pick a theme to shape your trip, from the music musings along the Mississippi to train travel along the east coast. And if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush like no other, hitch a wagon ride to Oregon, snorkel with manatees in Florida, heli-ski at the foot of Alaskan glaciers and take a road trip along The Great Prairie Highway through national parks, desert and towns. A USA holiday for the books, we’re sure.
The American West is huge. So huge that unless you have a couple of months to spare, you’ll have to choose your route wisely. Take a trip through Monument Valley and follow in the footsteps of some of its cowboy legends, go on a whistle-stop tour of its epic cities and settle into ranch life in Wyoming and Colorado. Whether it be Denver or Seattle, Glacier, Bryce or Crater Lake, Billy The Kid or Jesse James, prepare for an adventure of a lifetime on an ultimate Wild West trip.
'I wanna wake up in a city that doesn't sleep…'. Follow Frank's advice and pound the streets of New York from dawn till dusk. While the city is a far cry from its roles in 'The Godfather' and 'Gangs of New York', you’ll find heaps of history buried deep in Greenwich Village’s endless avenues of brownstones, downtown’s picturesque parks and floating along the Hudson on Ellis Island. Travel on the subway from Queens to the Bronx, catch a play on Broadway and join die-hard baseball teams at the Yankees Stadium or at the Mets’ Citi Field, take your pick.
Miami makes the most of its beach location, especially since the decision was taken to protect its dreamy Art Deco Ocean Drive. With stylish hotels, fun restaurants and chic boutiques on every block, it’s no wonder that the United States of America’s students travel to this sunny part of Florida every spring to let their hair down. Miami has its fair share of luxurious hideaways too though. So, if you’re wanting to avoid the spring break party, hit the city’s art districts and trendy museums. Miami and Florida really know how to take a seaside getaway to a whole new level.
New Orleans, Louisiana and the Mississippi
In New Orleans’ nearby bayou (wetlands), there's a sense of indolent sophistication, particularly as you edge closer to its splendid old plantation houses. But pair them with the state’s frenetic and energetic blues and jazz scene and you have one of the country’s most diverse regions. What better place to enjoy a scotch on the rocks with a side of Southern hospitality than Louisiana. Join locals on stoops, bathing in the afternoon haze, before hitting the town to experience a cocktail of new rhythms, whether it be Mardi Gras or not.
Designed from scratch, Las Vegas is a twinkling urban mirage in the middle of the Mojave desert and the ultimate contradiction. From relaxing rooftops to crazed clubs, which welcome some of the world’s biggest performers, Las Vegas often feels like an X-rated Disneyland. And like moths to a flame, visitors often find themselves caught up in its biggest ride – the casinos. Also home to hotels, shopping centres, museums and entertainment venues, this is a place where high bidding and high rolling go hand in hand. Some find it vulgar, but every once in a while...
From sun-kissed So-Cal to the golden north, California represents the best of the United States. With its legends and history, dazzling deserts and carefree cities and more national parks and museums to count, it’s not hard to see how the state became the poster child of the American Dream. Travel up the Pacific coast, past the dizzying lights of Los Angeles to the bohemian north, where groves of redwoods and winelands pockmark the landscape. Or discover how the state keeps its cool in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, where everything feels effortlessly chic. California is the fully-fledged holiday destination and so vast that it would be unrealistic to attempt to see it all in a single trip.