There’s no one-size-fits-all description for this colossal country. You can road trip down long and winding highways, lose yourself in culture-rich cities that seem familiar yet foreign or feel dwarfed by natural wonders that embody the true meaning of ‘awesome’. Everything about the USA is diverse.
There are sleepy towns and villages which sit within easy reach of cities that don’t sleep; and the natural landscapes include rocky coastlines, meandering rivers, forest-clad mountains, deep canyons and fertile plains that stretch as far as the eye can see, and while the United States may not be at the front of travellers’ minds when it comes to history and heritage, if you scratch below the surface there are plenty of human-interest stories to be discovered.
We’ve explored each corner of the United States, seeking the finest hotels in the best locations, and we work with partners that pride themselves on the unique experiences they provide on their unforgettable journeys. Whatever adventure you’re dreaming of, let me know and I can make your tailor made itinerary just perfect, using my local connections on the ground throughout the USA who know their stuff and a whole lot more.
Between the Pacific state of Hawaii and the states of the Atlantic coast lies a vast land of varying cities and landscapes. If you’re a bit of an urbanite, the iconic metropolises of New York, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco are for you. Nature lovers are spoilt for choice wherever you choose to go. The USA’s network of national parks is one of the world’s finest and most extensive and its coasts wouldn’t be out of place on the cover of a magazine.
If you like a bit of both you can easily combine a few nights of bright lights with a journey into the wild. In the South you’ll find soulful cities where the rhythms of the blues, jazz and country fill the air, a mighty river best explored on a traditional paddle steamer, and stately old antebellum mansions with their oak-lined avenues.
The ‘Golden State’ of California is the US destination of dreams. Like cities? California has its fair share of famous towns with San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego dotted along its magnificent coastline. More at one with nature? California has more national parks than all but one of the country’s 50 states. Alongside the poster child of Yosemite, which attracts millions of visitors each year with its granite valleys, tumbling waterfalls and world-class hikes, there are a handful of smaller, less-frequently visited parks such as geothermic Lassen and mountainous Sequoia.
If you ‘re in search of the most underrated yet up-and-coming cities and picturesque coastlines in the USA head to the Pacific North West. Within just a short space of time you can get to know cities such as Portland or Seattle, drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and head inland to enjoy mountain adventures in the Cascades.
The string of volcanic islands that make up the island of Hawaii sometimes seem as if they’ve purely been created by Hollywood studios as the backdrop to Jurassic Park. However, there’s nothing fake about the forest-clad peaks and valleys, the active volcanoes with their constant lava flows and the rolling waves speckled with surfers.
Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon couldn’t be more different– Vegas is a man-made city in the desert where anything goes while the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most famous natural wonders. But a visit to the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ is only enhanced by taking some time out to appreciate the beauty of this region. With the west rim of the Grand Canyon just a short helicopter ride away it’s an easy trip to make and you’ll be back in Vegas in time to enjoy some fine dining before a show or a bit of shopping. Grand Canyon National Park is a little further afield, so we highly recommend heading out from Vegas on a South West road trip and making the park your first stop.
Aside from the canyon, Arizona has some real natural beauties as well as modern cities and artsy towns surrounded by red rock canyons. The real gem in the state’s crown is Monument Valley; the word awesome is often misused but that’s definitely not the case here – the views of the buttes and mesas rising up from the valley floor really do inspire awe. Head onwards in to Utah and it’s a case of spectacular landscape after spectacular landscape. In Moab there are the twin national parks of Arches and Canyonlands while in the south west of the state the other-worldly scenes belong to Bryce Canyon National Park, a land of sandstone hoodoos, and Zion National Park with its sheer-sided valleys and rock temples.
The USA’s west seems to have an embarrassment of riches with the parks and coast of the Pacific states and the scenically stunning Utah and Arizona. Add to this the Rocky Mountain states of Wyoming and Montana and what you get is wilderness lover’s paradise. Yellowstone National Park is the region’s most famous attraction and it’s not hard to see why with its distinctive geological and geothermal wonders and animal inhabitants.
New York City hardly needs an introduction. It’s been the backdrop to so many films and television programmes we feel like we know it inside out. Nothing beats actually being there and feeling the tangible energy the city has. The first time you walk down a Manhattan street, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a city that is never silent and never rests, is unforgettable. There’s so much to see and do that one visit will never be enough and every time you visit you’ll discover something new whether it’s another green space – try people watching in Bryant Park – a museum or a favourite viewpoint.
Nearby Boston is the gateway to New England, and it has a whole different vibe to New York. It’s less frenetic but no less intriguing and its Revolutionary history, which you can recall on the self-guided Freedom Trail, is its main draw. While the south-west states may boast epic landscapes, it’s the villages and towns of the north east that are full of charm and welcoming residents which perhaps creates a more familiar atmosphere.
Iconic monuments, cities with a rich heritage, battlefields and beautiful coastlines are just a few highlights of USA’s Capital Region. Washington D.C. sits has lots of well-known sights such as the White House, The National Mall and the Capitol building. What’s a little less expected are its eclectic range of neighbourhoods from DuPont Circle to Georgetown
It would be hard to find a place that is as soulful as the South. In cities such as Memphis, Nashville and Tennessee music spills out onto the street as budding musicians make a name for themselves, while the vast plains of Georgia and South Carolina are home to antebellum mansions surrounded by historic plantations and cities that radiate that renowned Southern charm.
Family-favourite Florida is home to world-famous theme parks, ultra-modern coastal cities and the paradise Keys, a string of islands and cays that stretch for over a hundred miles off the southern tip of the state. If you have children, or are just a grown-up kid yourself, head to Orlando to meet iconic characters and raise your adrenaline levels on seemingly gravity-defying rides. If your tastes are more sedate, the resorts of the Gulf of Mexico such as Naples and St Pete’s or the Keys may be more your style. Glistening Miami has a completely different character with its lively beaches, and world-class nightlife.
It almost goes without saying that the USA is one of the biggest shopping destinations for us Brits. Whether you’re on a dedicated shopping trip to New York, or shopping is just a small part of your holiday, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t buy here. While the exchange rate may not work in our favour as it once did, you can still find many brands cheaper across the pond. Clothes and shoes are the obvious choice, as are electronics (although you’ll need to check if there are any regional usage restrictions), make up and confectionary.
The USA’s wide, open roads, spectacular scenery, iconic cities and incredible national parks are made for self-drives. Hitting the open road is a great way to explore the places and attractions that you long to see, while travelling at your own pace. It’s also ideal for families, groups of friends and couples who enjoy a more independent holiday. You can choose between a hire car or motorhome which are available in several different sizes and styles.
To cover long distances between cities, the most convenient and cost effective way to travel is by plane. The United States has a vast network of routes and airlines to choose from. Train travel in the USA is not as widespread as it is in Europe. However, it is a convenient way to travel between some of the main cities in the eastern states such as Boston, New York City, Washington D.C and Philadelphia
Alcatraz Tour, San Francisco
Take a trip over to San Francisco’s island prison of Alcatraz and listen to tales of former inmates on the not-to-be-missed audio guide. You’ll need to book your spot in advance as this is the most popular of the city’s iconic attractions. Alcatraz is bookable as part of a combination package with various sightseeing options, please speak to a Personal Travel Expert for details.
Best of DC VIP Tour
Skip the queues for a guided tour of the US Capitol Building before boarding a shuttle for a guided tour of DC’s famous landmarks. Enjoy views of The White House and visit iconic sites including the Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Lincoln Memorial before a cruise on the Potomac River (Mar 15-Oct 16 only). Enjoy priority entrance into the National Archives Building to see the original Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and US Constitution.
Cirque du Soleil, Las Vegas
Defying the laws of gravity, Cirque du Soleil shows feature jaw-dropping acrobatics and exotic dance forms. In KÀ - MGM Grand's show - follow the cast of 80 performers as they bring to life the story of imperial twins who are forced to separate to take a passage to self-discovery. Alternatively, wonder at the theatrical romance and acrobatic feats of the water-based performance of “O” at the hotel Bellagio. A cast of fantastical characters, including synchronised swimmers and trapeze artists, pay homage to the beauty of theatre – from street art to sumptuous operas. We can book tickets to the above shows as well as other performances like The Beatles LOVE, Mystére and R.U.N.
Florida Keys & Key West experience
Drive down the Florida Keys, stopping for photos at Key Largo before crossing the Seven-Mile Bridge. On arrival, you'll have three hours to explore the charming and colourful Key West. You can even embark on an optional guided tour. Take in the relaxed Caribbean atmosphere and perhaps visit the Key West Aquarium, Shipwreck Treasures Museum, Ernest Hemingway House Museum (where he is rumoured to have written A Farewell to Arms)
Golden Eagle air tour from Boulder City
This speedy out-and-back flight is the perfect way to see the Grand Canyon if you’re short on time. You’ll take off from Boulder City airport, fly over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam on your way to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon and be back at your Vegas hotel all within four hours.
Grand Canyon Deluxe air tour
Experience the epic vistas of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on this fixed-wing plane flight from Boulder City. Fly over Lake Mead and the Colorado River before landing at Grand Canyon airport. From here you’ll head into the National Park where you’ll have time to take a short walk along the rim trail, visit the shops in Grand Canyon Village or just relax on the canyon’s edge and enjoy the spectacular views. An upgrade to a helicopter flight is available.
Grand Celebration air tour – Las Vegas
Raise a glass to your Las Vegas stay on this luxe Grand Canyon helicopter flight. You’ll be whisked to the airport by limo and set off on your flight over the desert. Dip down below the canyon’s West Rim and land on a plateau where a picnic lunch and glass of champers will be served. Then you’ll swoop down along The Strip as you return to the airport.
Imperial on Ecostar from Grand Canyon Airport – Arizona / Utah
Depart from the national park’s airport, sweep over the treetops and wait for the moment when the earth seems to drop away as you fly over the canyon’s rim. Make this the first thing you do here: getting your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon from the air will take your breath away.
Little Havana Walking Tour (included in The Sightseeing Pass) - Miami
Take a wander through Miami's enchanting Latin American-influenced neighbourhood. This walking tour is conveniently included in the Miami Sightseeing Pass and gives you the chance to see some fascinating aspects of Little Havana up close. Try Cuban coffee and pastries, visit a cigar factory, learn more about Cuba-USA history at the famous Bay of Pigs monument and stop off at one of the oldest speakeasies in Miami.
Napa Valley Wine Train
One of the real highlights of a stay in the Napa Valley region is the chance to see the valley in style during a trip on the historic Napa Valley Wine Train which runs through the heart of the valley. Departing from Napa, the train travels north past the vineyards, wineries and towns of Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford on its final destination of St Helena before returning to Napa. There is a selection of tours available, please call for details.
Olympic Peninsula wilderness tour
Mountains, lakes, ancient rain forest and a beautiful Pacific coastline... the Olympic Peninsula has it all. This full day tour takes you from Seattle deep into the peninsula in the company of a naturalist guide. Visit the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, a spit on the northern coast of the peninsula. Next you will visit Olympic National Park, climbing up mountain roads to Hurricane Ridge where you can enjoy beautiful mountain scenery.
Seattle harbour cruise
Experience Seattle from the water on this introductory cruise. Depart from the historic waterfront and enjoy a trip around the harbour, which is part of the beautiful Puget Sound. Witness the city skyline, including the iconic Space Needle, and the busy Port of Seattle. On a clear day you will also be able to see the snowcapped Mount Rainier and the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges. You may even spot some of the local marine wildlife.
The Complete Pearl Harbour Tour, Oahu, Hawaii
Learn about Hawaii’s part in the Pacific War – a theatre of World War II between the Allies and Japan – with a visit to the active military base of Pearl Harbour. See the Battleship Missouri Memorial and the USS Arizona Memorial.
The Key West Sightseeing Pass
The Key West Sightseeing Pass lets you choose two or three options from a selection of activities, over a period of 30 days (from pass activation at the first attraction). Most are watersports based such as Hobie Cat sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding, but you can also hire a bike for the day or visit the quirky Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum.
The Las Vegas Sightseeing Pass
If you're planning to make the most of Las Vegas' many attractions, you can save money by getting The Las Vegas Sightseeing Pass. Pick a FLEX Pass and choose three, four, five or seven tours, tickets, entry fees and meal discounts from a selection of 20 or opt for a FLEX Premium Pass which adds a further 10 attractions to the list. The pass is valid for 30 days following its activation at the first place you visit.
The Los Angeles Sightseeing Pass
Buying a Los Angeles Sightseeing pass means you can save money on some of the city's most popular attractions. You can choose two to six attractions from a wide selection of tours, museum entrance fees, sightseeing cruises and a hop-on hop-off bus which has six routes through LA and its surrounding cities. Take a tour of Hollywood or Downtown Los Angeles, see the street art in Melrose, hear stories of Hollywood characters as you walk down Sunset Boulevard or go backstage at the Dolby Theatre, home of the annual Academy Awards.
The Miami Sightseeing Pass
Buy the Sightseeing Pass for great savings during your time in Miami. The FLEX Pass lets you pick two to six tours, tickets or entry fees to more than 30 top attractions over a period of 30 days (from pass activation at the first attraction). With the DAY Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you wish on one day or two to five consecutive days. Take a walking tour through the arty Wynwood neighbourhood or fascinating Little Havana, and check out a range of museums. The Pass also includes a 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus ticket.
The Nashville Sightseeing Pass
Explore Nashville with The Sightseeing Pass. There's a FLEX Pass which allows you to pick three to seven tours, tickets or entry fees to a selection of the city's most popular attractions over a period of 30 days (from pass activation at the first attraction). With the DAY Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you wish on one day or two to four consecutive days. Choose the Gray Line Music City hop-on hop-off bus tour, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, take a Segway tour through Historic Downtown Franklin or try one of the city's various Escape Games.
The New Orleans Sightseeing Pass
Save on your exploration of New Orleans with The Sightseeing Pass. Choose the FLEX Pass for two to six tours, tickets or entry fees to a selection of the city's best attractions over a period of 30 days (from pass activation at the first attraction). With the DAY Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you wish on one day or two to five consecutive days. Choose a one day hop-on hop-off bus tour around the city, take a walking tour of the French Quarter, explore the New Orleans Botanical Garden or enjoy a Jazz Cruise down the Mississippi River on a traditional Paddle wheeler.
The New York Sightseeing Pass
Buying a New York Sightseeing Pass is a fantastic way to see everything that the Big Apple has to offer. The FLEX Pass lets you pick two to seven, 10 or 12 tours, tickets or entry fees to a selection of the city's most popular attractions, over a period of 30 days (from pass activation at the first attraction). With the DAY Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you wish on one day, two to seven or 10 consecutive days, with hop-on hop-off bus tours also included. Go to Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, head out on food and walking tours, check out the High Line and see One World Observatory.
The San Francisco Sightseeing Pass
Save on your exploration of San Francisco with The Sightseeing Pass. There's a FLEX Pass which allows you to pick two to six tours, tickets or entry fees to a selection of the city's most popular museums over a period of 30 days (from pass activation at the first attraction). With the DAY Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you wish on one day or two to five consecutive days. There are walking tours of iconic districts such as Fisherman's Wharf, cruises on the Bay, bike rentals and a hop-on hop-off bus ticket.
The Washington D.C. Sightseeing Pass
Buying a Washington D.C. Sightseeing Pass is a good way to see more of the USA's capital. The FLEX Pass lets you pick two, three or four tours, tickets or entry fees to a selection of attractions, over a period of 30 days (from pass activation at the first attraction). With the DAY Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you wish on one, two or three consecutive days. Many attractions such as the numerous Smithsonian Museums are free but the Sightseeing Pass includes plenty of cool things to do and see. Visit the International Spy Museum, see famous monuments on a water taxi ride along the Potomac River, head to Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. or browse the landmarks on a self-guided bike tour. There's also a one day hop-on hop-off bus tour included.
Ultimate Southwest 3-in-1 from Page, Arizona
This one’s for the photographers: take off from Page and soar over Lake Powell and the perfectly curved Horseshoe Bend on your way to Tower Butte, where you’ll touch down for some pretty spectacular Glen Canyon views. Then meet a Navajo guide and step between the wave-like walls of Antelope Canyon.
Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles
Go behind the scenes on the world famous Studio Tour to explore where Hollywood movies are made, and then experience rides and shows that put you inside some of the world’s biggest movies. Upgrade to a Front of Line Pass and you’ll also receive one-time priority access to all attractions. Or enjoy a full day of moviemaking magic with a specially trained guide on the VIP Experience.
VIP Skywalk Express from Boulder City – Las Vegas
Fly from Boulder to the West Rim and take a step off the canyon’s edge and on to the gravity-defying Skywalk. You’ll get front-of-the-line access to this glass-floored bridge which seems to float over 1200 metres above the floor of the Grand Canyon.
Walking Tour – New York
Whether you're a first-timer or a veteran visitor to New York, a walking tour is an active and insightful way to take in the sights during your stay. You'll be able to explore some amazing places on foot, many of which are conveniently also included in the New York Sightseeing Pass. Check out graffiti and street art in Brooklyn, take in the bright lights of Broadway, visit established NYC neighbourhoods like Manhattan and Little Italy or discover newer haunts like Hudson Yards.
Whale Watching from Boston
Set out on a whale-watching adventure to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and witness some of the Atlantic’s most incredible residents. Board a high-speed catamaran and head north to attempt to spot a variety of whale species including humpback and finback, as well as the friendly dolphins. Find out about whale behaviour, migration patterns and conservation status from the on-board naturalists. Cruises are also available from Cape Cod.