If you’re heading to the USA on vacation, you need to know the best things to see and do during your trip. There’s no shortage of amazing sights and attractions in America, and the only difficulty will be choosing which ones to experience while you’re on your trip. With this in mind, here are 20 of the very best things to add into your holiday.
1.Experience Sin City
If there’s one place you simply must experience when you go to the USA, Las Vegas is it. There’s no other destination that sums up the excess that America is synonymous with. With spectacular shows, beautiful hotels and, of course, plenty of glitzy casinos where you can indulge in glamourous gambling, Sin City is a mecca for tourists from all over the world who come to experience the lights, the luxury and the thrill of the gaming floor. You can’t truly have had an American vacation if you haven’t gambled in a Las Vegas casino, but make sure you know what you’re doing – there are a few key differences between gambling in America and in the UK!
2. See The Grand Canyon
The best-known natural sight in America is Arizona’s Grand Canyon. 18 miles wide, over a mile deep and almost 300 miles long, this natural marvel is a must-see during your trip. Take a guided trip along the rim to see the sunrise or take a helicopter flight to see its splendour from the air.
3. Wyoming’s Yellowstone Park
Yellowstone holds the distinction of being the first ever national park in the world, and it’s an absolute must on any tour of the USA. You can discover trails here where you may be able to see spectacular wildlife like moose, bison and even wolves, and, of course, you’ll also be able to visit the famous Old Faithful geyser.
4. The Florida Everglades
If you love nature, the Florida Everglades are hard to beat with their stunning mangroves and sawgrass prairies. The exotic wildlife you can see here is well worth the trip and where else can you take an airboat tour or paddle in a canoe through the water getting up close to sea turtles, pig frogs and alligators?
5. The Nation’s Capital – Washington DC
Washington DC is home to a wealth of attractions, and it’s also a place to discover more about the history and heritage of the country itself. Where else can you see the Whitehouse, the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial? And even better, there are plenty of fantastic history and art museums which offer completely free entry.
6. The Big Apple And The Statue Of Liberty
There is no sight that sums up America more than the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Head to NYC to see this stunning 150 foot tall copper statue which dominates the New York Harbor entrance. Take a cruise trip to Ellis Island and make sure you’ve booked a ticket in advance to go up the statue itself.
7. See The Presidents At Mount Rushmore
South Dakota’s most famous monument, Mount Rushmore, was finished three quarters of a century ago and features four of the nation’s most famous presidents who are best-known for their role in shaping America’s history. Set in the spectacular Black Hills, this huge sculpture is another must-see.
8. Walt Disney World
Whether you’re travelling with the kids or simply want to recapture your lost youth, there’s no better place to do it than in the happiest place on Earth! Disney World in Florida is one of the most amazing destinations anywhere on the globe, with rides, shows and experiences to thrill even the most sceptical adult! See the stunning Cinderella’s castle and even meet Mickey Mouse himself on a magical visit.
9. Discover The Glamour of Hollywood
In the early days of the 20th century, Hollywood was the place to be. Cameras turned for the very first time here in 1907 and less than twenty years later, the famous Hollywood sign appeared. Celebrities homes are a must-see here, while the Hollywood Walk of Fame is another popular attraction.
10. Discover The American Birthplace
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the home of Independence Hall, the place where the Declaration of Independence was created. You can also visit the national Constitution Center which teaches visitors more about the American government both in the past and today. Not only that, this beautiful city is home to 18th and 19th century homes and an outstanding art museum.
11. Find Out About Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream In Atlanta
The Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta, GA is a spot visited by tourists from all over the world who come here to learn more about the man himself and to walk in his footsteps. Here, you can also visit the Center for Civil and Human Rights to find out more about the struggle for equality in the USA.
12. See The Grassy Knoll
The assassination of JFK was an event that shook a nation and had repercussions around the world. When you’re in America, you should take the time to head to Dallas, Texas, to see the famous Grassy Knoll where the 1963 event took place. You can visit the Sixth Floor Museum in the old Texas School Book Depository and find out more about Kennedy’s legacy and the various conspiracy theories surrounding his death.
13. Head To The Home Of Jazz
Even if you aren’t a music lover, you should take the time to visit New Orleans where jazz was born. There’s nothing quite like strolling along Frenchmen Street and Bourbon Street or tapping your feet to the beat at Preservation hall. You’ll hear jazz being played live in countless clubs, especially those in the French Quarter, and you’ll be able to experience the unique ambience of the Deep South.
14. See Graceland
America was the birthplace of country music, blues and, of course, rock and roll. A visit to Graceland, Elvis’ mansion home is a must-do when you’re touring the USA, even if you aren’t a fan of the singer himself. It’s an amazing and unique experience.
15. Hike The Appalachian Trail
One of the bucket list activities of many Americans is to hike the Appalachian Trail. The longest marked hiking trail in the world is famous across the globe, and its 2160 mile length crosses no less than 14 different states. You probably won’t want to hike the whole thing, but it’s certainly worth hiking some of it to see the glorious scenery.
16. Experience A Dude Ranch
The true cowboy experience is something you can only really have in America. Over a hundred years ago, city people began enjoying ranching holidays, and even now, people from all over the country and, indeed, all over the world, head West to ride the range and get in the saddle. Experience a working cattle ranch close up, even if you aren’t an experience rider.
17. Go Snowboarding in Colorado
The first snowboard was invented in Vermont in 1977 by Jake Burton. Just two decades later snowboarding had been accepted as an Olympic sport and now, the best snowboarders in the world head to Colorado to experience 366” of annual snowfall. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you should definitely come here to experience the joys of Vail.
18. Go Sailing In Maine
New Englanders are famous for their love of the sea, and there’s no better place to take to the water than in Maine. The harbours here are full of yachts, dinghies and schooners which you can travel along the beautiful and rocky coastline. Enjoy a clam bake and sip a beer in this beautiful location.
19. Go Surfing in Hawaii
Hawaii was the place where surfing began when Captain Cook arrived in 1779 and saw the Polynesians surfing! Head to Oahu, grab and board and hit the waves of Honolulu Beach where the rollers offer long and smooth rides without any awkward undertows.
20. Travel Route 66
One final experience you simply must have in America is to travel the iconic Route 66 between Illinois and California. While this road isn’t an official highway any more, it’s still possible to follow the old road and see its traditional gas stations and diners.