The United States of America really has something for every holiday maker. From Miami Beach, to the Streets of San Francisco, The ‘States offer every type of holiday you could wish for.
With direct connections from major European Cities to the USA, a holiday in America can be as simple or as complex as you want.
We can’t do the country justice with just one post but let us share ten different holiday types you can enjoy in the United States of America.
- City Breaks
- Beach Holiday
- Skiing Holidays
- Luxury Getaways
- Theme Parks
- The Great Outdoors
- Wildlife Holidays
- Road Trips
- Holidays Ideas for Music Fans
- Holidays Ideas for Movie Fans
- Spiritual Holidays
A US city break is an excellent way of exploring different states, learning more about American culture and tasting some delicious food (and cocktails) along the way!
Less than 8 hours direct flight from London or Paris, New York is the obvious choice for a City Break. You can take a walk down 5th Avenue, check out the Rockefeller Center and enjoy a bite to eat in Central Park. There’s also shopping galore on sale at Bloomingdales and Macy’s.
The USA has many city breaks perfect for the holiday maker who wants a trip that mixes sight-seeing with relaxation in some of the USA’s most dynamic cities. Whether you choose New York or Los Angeles, Boston, Austin or Las Vegas you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in this wonderful country’s urban hubs.
The US has some of the best beaches you can find in the world. From the East coast beaches of the Hamptons, to the West Coast California beaches or down to Florida and Miami , USA has a huge variety of beaches which have something for everyone.
On the East Coast you can enjoy the summer beaches and beautiful towns of the Hamptons or Martha’s Vineyard, Rhode Island or Long Island – all just a few hours journey from New York or Boston. Further South you can visit the USA’s Florida beaches and resorts, such as Miami , Fort Lauderdale and the Everglades.
Travelling West along USA’s coasts, you can reach Big Sur California which is a small paradise with many sea front hotels where you can enjoy spectacular sunsets every evening. Further North up USA coasts USA has Oregon and Washington, both offering different types of beach to suit all tastes including family-friendly beaches, fun water sports and beautiful hikes to follow afterwards.
Finally for those who love surfing and watersports don’t forget Hawaii – well known as America’s holiday resort with some of the world’s best surf waves (especially in Oahu), exciting nightlife and exquisite restaurants.
The US has many different ski resorts appealing to different levels of ability and desires for the right kind of skiing holiday such as beginner slopes, cross-country and high altitude. USA has Colorado, California and Utah’s Rocky Mountains offering amazing ski facilities including chalets, restaurants and luxurious hotels . Vail or Aspen, both in Colorado are the most famous ski resorts making a good starting point for any ski holiday research. If you want a ski holiday a bit closer to home, why not visit France?
If you want your US holiday to be a little more luxurious then consider a trip to the Hamptons, just a few hours train ride North of New York City. Famed as the playground of the rich and famous, The Hamptons is home to some of New York’s most exclusive USA holiday accommodations, with celebrity chefs and Hollywood directors in attendance. The ‘Hamptons’ are actually a collection of beautiful, small towns including Southampton , East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk at the top. Expect luxury hotels, exclusive shopping and beautiful beaches. You may even spot someone famous walking down the road. (This writer saw Paul McCartney strolling down the road in Amagansett one summer.)
Disneyland, in California was the first major theme park later joined by Walt Disney World in Florida. Now you can visit many theme parks across the States. In Los Angeles alone you can visit the movie studios of Universal, Warner Bros and Paramount, where you can discover movie magic in an afternoon. Some would call Las Vegas a theme park for grown ups, with rollercoasters on skyscrapers and hotels designed to look like Venice or the Pyramids! If you want roller coasters, then check out the Six Flags parks across the country. Currently, the Six Flags Great Adventure park in Jackson, New Jersey, boasts the highest roller coaster in America, standing at 450 feet high!
The Great Outdoors
America has many wide open spaces to let you get away from it all. From Yellowstone to Yosemite, America has 63 National Parks well worth visiting. These USA Holidays allow you to explore the USA at your own pace and take in its natural beauty. You could spend three days just exploring Yosemite or head off the beaten track and explore Death Valley or the Badlands of South Dakota.
The 14 national parks that make up America’s ‘crown jewels’ attract more than 275 million visitors each year; this is almost 80% of all US park visitors. Some National Parks such as Yellowstone Park offer camping facilities, accommodation and visitor attractions. Others like Death Valley can be explored on day trips.
Alternatively, you could hike all or parts of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) or the Appalachian Trail (AT) two continuous trails that take in the different climates, wildlife and plants the country has to offer. The PCT runs south to North from the Mexican border near San Diego to the Canadian border in British Columbia. The AT runs from Georgia in the South to Maine in the North. Every summer a few hundred people attempt to ‘thru hike’ the whole trail but you can ‘part hike’ some of the best bits in a day. Check out the majesty of the Sierra Nevada mountains or sit by Crater Lake and marvel at the peace and beauty of this great country.
If you prefer four legs to two then take step back in time with a ranch holiday and enjoy the great outdoors on horseback.
America has a diverse range of wildlife from alligators to Rattle Snakes, Eagles to Grizzly Bears. You will see plenty of wildlife in the Great Outdoors, or ‘wild’ life on Route 66 but you can book specialist wildlife holidays. One option may be a ‘photo safari’ taking you on the trail of Grizzlies and Big Birds.
For more aquatic wildlife why not book a cruise or take a boat trip? You could dedicate as little or as much time as you want to seeing America’s wildlife. From an afternoon Whale Watching in California to a week cruising up the Pacific North West to Alaska for Sea Otters, Humpback Whales and so much more.
Route 66, travelling from downtown Chicago to the Santa Monica Pier in California, has to be the most famous of all road trips. But it is not the only road trip you can take. You can take a road trip through the Rocky Mountains, or another from New York to Florida. Packing the car or RV and heading out on the open road gives you the freedom to choose your route and explore towns and cities off the beaten track. You can also spot some of the more ‘alternative’ tourist attractions from the ‘Standing on a Corner‘ statue in Wilmslow Arizona, The Twin Arrows in Arizona or experience the vastness of the Grand Canyon national park.
A trip along the Extra Terrestrial Highway (Nevada State Route 375) is a lot of fun. There are plenty of out of this world attractions to see on the two and half hour journey but you won’t get near Area 51. Entering the Nevada Test and Training Range at Nellis Air Force Base (as it is called) is illegal and well patrolled. Just keep driving and think, “what’s in there?”
Many car hire companies will offer ‘one way’ rental options so you can pick up and drop off at the start and end of your road trip.
Holidays for Music Fans
The USA is rich in locations for music fans. Head to the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to see the Whisky a Go Go and Rainbow Bar & Grill or down to Santa Monica Boulevard for the Troubadour – three live music venues that have played host to all emerging bands from Led Zeppelin to Elton John. Stop off for a coffee at the Canyon Country Store, at the bottom of Laurel Canyon before passing by the Riot House and Chateau Marmont, two hotels that hosted Rock Royalty over the decades before getting a tour of the famous Capitol Records building.
Enjoy the ‘Big Easy’ of New Orleans on Bourbon Street or the bars of Beale Street in Memphis or catch a concert at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Visit the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, stop by the Prince Museum in Paisley Park Minneapolis or enjoy the Austin City Limits music festival in Texas, there really is so much to see and hear before we’ve even mentioned New York!
New York, so good they named it twice! Music fans can stop by the Birdland Jazz Club where so many great jazz musicians played. From Nina Simone to Miles Davis and John Coltrane, they all played here.
Pay your respects the late John Lennon at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, just over from the Dakota Building. Watch a concert at Madison Square Gardens or Radio City Music Hall and soak up the city that inspired so many songs.
Holiday Ideas for Movie Lovers
Los Angeles is home to the Oscars, the newly opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and many movie studios. You can visit the backlots in many of the studio tours or just walk around the city that has featured in so many films. Look up at the Hollywood Sign or get closer at the Griffith Observatory which featured in the climax to James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause. Stop by Grauman’s Chinese Theatre or the Dolby Theatre for an Oscar tour. Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame or walk round the corner to see Kermit at the Jim Henson Company.
Whilst the studios may be in LA, New York has plenty of locations for movie lovers – check out the Ghostbusters HQ in lower Manhattan or go dancing in the Grand Central station and don’t forget the Statue of Liberty!
For a spiritual retreat, consider the Esalen Institute, a Spiritual Retreat in Big Sur, California. The estate offers acres of breathtaking scenery with discreet accommodation and a constant schedule of meditation or yoga to help you reset. Alternatively take in the mountain air in Colorado or experience the wide open spaces of Montana.
So Much to Choose!
It is no surprise that the USA was one of the top ten holiday destinations for UK travellers. The hardest thing about writing this article is knowing what to leave out! America is such a vast country with so many different cultures. We hope you have enjoyed this guide and don’t forget to look out for more travel inspiration by following on our social channels. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.