These three iconic cities make a great basis for a US holiday. Have a look at the attractions below – you’ll want to spend a few nights to a week in each city.
LA – Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sunset Strip, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood (intersection of Hollywood Boulevard & Highland Avenue), Kodak Theatre, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and of course, Disneyland.
SAN FRANCISCO – Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Union Square, the famous streetcars, super steep streets, Pier 39 and Napa Valley Wineries.
LAS VEGAS – amazing shows featuring international stars, massive themed hotels, beautiful lights, the magnificent fountain display at The Bellagio, phenomenal outlet shopping and Grand Canyon tours by road or helicopter.
The USA has nearly 60 National Parks, including the famous Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon National Parks, which are a must!
Yellowstone boasts scenic waterfalls, imposing mountain ranges and an expansive network of geothermal areas including vividly coloured hot springs, boiling mud pots, and regularly erupting geysers, the best-known being Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring. More than 60 animal species including gray wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, bison and elk make this one of the best wildlife viewing spots in the country.
Yosemite features towering granite cliffs, dramatic waterfalls and old-growth forests at a unique intersection of geology and hydrology. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the park’s centrepiece, the glacier-carved Yosemite Valley, and from its vertical walls drop Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall.
The Grand Canyon, carved by the mighty Colorado River, is 446 kilometres long, up to 1.6 kilometres deep and up to 24 kilometres wide. Millions of years of erosion have exposed the colourful layers of the
Colorado Plateau in countless mesas and canyon walls, visible from both the north and south rims, or from a number of trails that descend into the canyon itself. This is a natural wonder that has to be seen to appreciate the sheer enormity of it!
It’s a route so legendary that celebrated author John Steinbeck named it ‘The Mother Road’ in his novel, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’. This iconic highway built in the 1920s, which once served as a main thoroughfare from east to west, still beckons travellers seeking a classic piece of Americana. Route 66 runs from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California and crosses the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
Spanning a distance of nearly 4,000 kilometres, Route 66 lets you see the country’s heart and soul. Traverse the urban streets of Chicago and St. Louis, take in the expansive Grand Canyon, experience the Southwest’s Native American communities, and hit the beach in Santa Monica, without leaving the route. You can travel by car, bike or coach, you’ll need two to three weeks to take it all in!
Where were you on 16 August, 1977, the day the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley passed away? Relive the bygone days of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and ‘Love Me Tender’, both released in 1956. Memphis is pure energy with a heart of soul. You’ll see this in the many attractions including music museums, art galleries, Mississippi riverboat tours, and of course, Gracelands, the former home and now museum of ‘Elvis’. Take a stroll down the famous Beale Street for live music and authentic cuisine.
Nashville is The Music City. Don’t miss The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Sun Records and the Grand Ole Oprey. The things that make life worth living – eating, drinking and merry-making are what New Orleans is all about. Experience the unique nightlife, piano bars and pubs, or catch some live music at one the many clubs. The streets come alive with music and laughter in this vibrant Southern city!
No trip to America is complete without hitting the Big Apple! This bustling metropolis is home to dozens of amazing museums and art galleries – the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History. Did someone mention shopping? Many of the world’s most iconic shopping destinations are all here – Macy’s, Bloomingdales, dozens of Fifth Avenue boutiques, Tiffany & Co (a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and a flagship Apple Store. And if you’re a book lover, New York will blow your mind! There are countless book stores to explore including the famous Strand Bookstore, home to 18 miles of new, used and rare books.
New York is one of, if not THE, greatest food cities in the world. Not only can you get just about any kind of food here, but you can get some of the best. Besides world-class restaurants and amazing hole-in-the-walls, you’ve got the classic New York eats, like black and white cookies, New York style cheesecake and bagels, not to mention the giant pizza slices.
You simply can’t go to NYC without visiting hot spots like Broadway and off-Broadway (to take in a show), Times Square, Central Park, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, The Plaza and Waldorf Astoria Hotels, Magnolia Bakery (for their famous cupcakes), Katz’s Delicatessen (the location for ‘that’ scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’), plus so much more! Check out upcoming US holidays here .