Things to Do in the USA

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The United States is a behemoth of a country. Want food? You got it. Planning to hit the road? There’s tarmac aplenty. Love history? It’s everywhere, dating back to the Plymouth Mayflower landing in 1620 and beyond. Fancy exploring a national park? There are 59 to choose from. Need help narrowing down your list of things to do in the USA? That’s where we come in:

The Grand Canyon at sunset

See the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is the stuff of adventure dreams. Spread across Arizona for 1,902 square miles, nothing compares to the moment when you’ll glimpse its russet yawning valleys and the intricate contours of its ravines and valleys for the first time. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the USA’s most visited World Heritage sites, with 4.8 million people flocking here each year.

How to do it: The photos just don’t do the Grand Canyon justice – this natural wonder needs to be experienced in person and there are plenty of ways to do it: rafting along the Colorado River; taking a helicopter from Las Vegas; embarking on a 4X4 Jeep tour; or setting off on a hike. The Grand Canyon features on many of our itineraries including our National Parks & Canyons Journey. 

An aerial view of Central Park, New York

Stay in New York City

The Big Apple is undoubtedly the most exciting city in the world. It sets the trend for arts, shopping and dining around the globe, not to mention boasting some of the best-loved landmarks on the planet. The Statue of Liberty; Empire State Building; Central Park – just a handful of spots that make Manhattan the travel icon it is today.

How to do it: Soak up the sights at your own pace with a 72-hour All-Loops Double Decker bus pass, part of our East Meets West itinerary.

Buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleans

Feel festive in New Orleans

Fun, food and drink are the lifeblood of NOLA – a southern Louisiana city that sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. Its music scene is vibrant too, pulling together a melting pot of African, French and American influences. And, despite not being founded here, its Mardi Gras celebrations are some of the best known in the world, whilst being the embodiment of all things Orleans.

How to do it: Explore the city and its southern surrounds on our Deep South Highlights itinerary. Plan ahead and time your visit to coincide with Mardi Gras which takes place around Ash Wednesday in February/March. 

The Big Sur Coast in California

Road trip along the West Coast

You’ll be California dreamin’ with a west coast road trip – cruising down the Big Sur; top down, with the sun shining is a truly unforgettable experience. And it’s not just the roads that are good: there’s the coastal cities and towns too, from San Francisco to Los Angeles and all the other ‘Sans’ in-between. You can even start your Journey further north, in the Canadian border state of Washington.

How to do it: Blaze a trail from San Fran to LA on our Coastal California itinerary, looking out for grey whales in San Simeon, driving across the historic Bixby Creek Bridge and stopping for seaside strolls en route.

The Las Vegas strip at night

Win big (or not!) in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the casino capital of the world, so playing a bit of blackjack or betting on your favourite colour on the roulette table is a must. But it also offers so much more than just gambling. From its vibrant musicals and flawlessly-choreographed shows to the 3,000-year-old sandstone formations of Valley Fire State Park, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied.

How to do it: Dive in headfirst – there’s no other way to do Sin City. Try your luck at the casinos, get your picture taken in front of the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas sign’ and explore the myriad themed hotels that line The Strip (we love New York New York for its daring rooftop rollercoaster!). To be really dazzled by this larger-than-life desert city and the nearby Grand Canyon, opt for our Casinos, Craters and Carousels itinerary.

For more ideas on what to see and do in the USA, see our USA holiday itineraries