Things to Do in the USA
The USA: 50 states of awesomeness with national parks by the barrel load, countless glittering cities, mile upon mile of soft-sand beaches, and some of the most mouth-watering (not to mention calorific) dishes in the world. Deep-fried burgers anyone?
Clearly it’s not possible to see everything in the USA in one trip, or indeed in one lifetime, but you have to start somewhere. That’s where we come in. Here are our favourite things to do in the USA:
Gaze across the Grand Canyon
One of the planet’s greatest natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is truly a sight to behold. Dating back around six million years, this vast chasm stretches for 277 miles, its intricate shape carved out over the millennia by the Colorado River, creating an opening more than a mile deep. To see the canyon in all its glory, hike the trails, raft the river or soar high above it on a scenic helicopter flight.
How to do it: Spend two nights at the Grand Canyon on Flight Centre’s California & Canyons holiday, which also includes stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Explore New York City
Bold, brash and bright, New York is a city like no other. Over 12 million sightseers hit the Big Apple each year, making it one of the world's most visited cities and by far the most popular metropolis in the USA. And with good reason too – whether you're exploring Manhattan, crossing Brooklyn Bridge, heading north to the Bronx, checking out Queens or sailing around Staten Island, you can’t fail to be seduced by the buzz of the City That Never Sleeps.
How to do it: Visit New York and Los Angeles with Flight Centre’s Coast to Coast itinerary.
Live like a cowboy in Texas
If your American dreams include hazy desert scenes, cowboys on horseback and the theme tune to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, then look no further than Texas. Yup, the Lone Star State is where your cowhide boots and Stetson will fit right in. Head for the Fort Worth Stockyards and catch a rodeo show, or stay on a ranch and spend your days horse riding, wagon riding and clay pigeon shooting.
How to do it: Live like a cowboy on the Wildcatter Ranch in Graham on our Cajun Cowboys holiday.
Snap pictures of New England’s fall colours
In autumn (or ‘fall’ as they say across the pond) the leaves on New England’s many trees change to glorious shades of red, gold, orange and brown, their ochre hues inspiring painters, photographers, poets and visitors alike. Top viewing spots include Maine’s Acadia National Park, where the colours reflect beautifully in the lakes, and New Hampshire’s White Mountains, where a 34.5-mile walking trail takes in the best of the colourful foliage.
How to do it: Tour New England, including Boston, Jackson, Lenox and Cape Cod, with Flight Centre’s New England Encompassed holiday.
Get back to nature in Yosemite National Park
Close your eyes and imagine the most beautiful mountain scenery you can muster. Chances are you’re thinking of Yosemite. Here, jagged peaks tower over meadows of blooming wildflowers, rivers flow into plunging waterfalls and ancient giant sequoias guard a vast wilderness area. Hiking, driving, climbing and skiing are all on offer among the impossibly photogenic vistas.
How to do it: Spend the night in Yosemite with our California & Canyons itinerary, which also includes stops in Death Valley and Los Angeles.
Have a flutter in Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas! This ridiculously over-the-top and highly commercial town is in your face and just doesn’t care. Where else in the world can you play roulette in an Egyptian pyramid, dine at the top of the Eiffel Tower and take a gondola ride on the Venice canals, all in one crazy day?
How to do it: Take a flutter with Flight Centre’s Roaming Route 66 itinerary, which spends three nights in Las Vegas.
Uncover the power of nature in volcanic Hawaii
If you’ve ever fancied watching molten lava glowing as it slowly trickles through the darkness down the side of a volcanic cone, then you’ve come to the right place. Hike through the hypnotic crater landscapes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, walk through a lava cave and gaze into the depths of a caldera.
How to do it: Visit Volcanoes National Park with our Hawaiian Explorer itinerary.
Feel the rhythm in New Orleans
Chuck some French sophistication, Caribbean colours, African-American cuisine and some Irish, German and Spanish history into a pot, mix it up with a splash of Creole flair and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper and what have you got? Why, New Orleans of course! One of the USA’s most historically and culturally rich cities, New Orleans is as famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations as its late-night jazz shows and smoky Bourbon Street cocktail bars.
How to do it: Fill up on jambalaya and gumbo on our Deep South Highlights holiday.