The USA is an enormous country, so it’s easy to see how tours of America can last for many weeks and set you back thousands of pounds. However, just because you haven’t got the time or the money to enjoy a month-long trip, doesn’t mean you have to miss out entirely on some of the USA’s top highlights.
To give you an idea of what you can get up to, I’ve compiled a few bite-sized itineraries designed to get the most out of a USA holiday in just a handful of days:
Fly into the desert city of Las Vegas to start this arid adventure in the west of the country. After soaking up the atmosphere of Sin City for the night, hit the road and head to two of the USA’s most spectacular outdoor attractions – Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon – before returning to Vegas for one last throw of the dice before your flight home.
What’s great about this mini adventure is the chance to experience both American city life and two of its natural wonders in the space of a few days – an amazing contrast. Another option, if you’re a real city slicker, is to journey over to Los Angeles from the Grand Canyon to experience the California surf lifestyle.
If gambling and drinking aren’t your thing, but you really like the sound of combining both man-made and natural attractions, why not fly into New York, where you can engage in plenty of sightseeing, before travelling to the Canadian border to witness the raw power of the mighty Niagara Falls?
On the way back to the Big Apple, stop by the Finger Lakes for hiking and swimming opportunities – a real breath of fresh air after congested Manhattan.
Another great combo tour can be enjoyed in California by flying into the wonderful coastal city of San Francisco – home to the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf – and using it as a base to explore the stunning beauty of the nearby Yosemite national park, made famous by the stunning black and white photography of Ansel Adams.
If you’d like to extend your trip by a day, visit Lake Tahoe, on the border with Nevada, where you can enjoy a wealth of watersports.
Of course, these three mini adventures (as great as they are) are just some of the many possibilities and you can quite easily make up your own itinerary. Simply pick a city with direct flights from the UK (changing will only eat into your precious time) and then pick out a couple of major attractions in the surrounding area – think national parks (there are tens to choose from); theme parks (Six Flags has locations across the States); lakes; and other cities – and visit them in a triangle.
Florida is another great example – fly into Orlando, visit the theme parks and then travel to the Everglades and the Keys for nature at its finest.
And while you could simply visit New York or LA as a city break, I think you get a much better feel for the diversity of the country by going on a mini adventure – after all, those wilderness areas are just too awesome to miss.