New York City
This is undoubtedly one the world’s top city destinations. There is so much to see and do here that first-timers may find they want to stay for the whole holiday! On your list of places to visit you should have The Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Empire State Building, Times Square and this is all before you have even left Manhattan! The surrounding boroughs have a wealth of highlights as well. As with any city, try and get at least one skyscraper view – the best one is from the Empire State Building. From here the panoramic skyline of NYC is instantly recognisable. A top tip is to go after dark too – the city truly twinkles!
This chilled out city is a great place to see the bohemian and arty side of America. Highlights here include the Golden Gate Bridge, the island of Alcatraz, the steep winding roads of the city (with some hairy descents on cable cars) and Fisherman’s Wharf where you could be fooled into thinking you were in an aquarium there are so many sea lions. A top tip to really get an idea of life as a forward thinking San Franciscan is to head to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) on a gallery opening night. Here, along with several other art institutions in the city, they make a point of showcasing cutting edge artwork – sometimes with a distinctly risqué or political edge!
Music is at the heart of the windy city. Blues, jazz, amazing vocals… a visit to a music hall should definitely be on your list here. You should also make a point of visiting a ball park to watch ‘the game’, a truly American experience. Follow that with a pizza pie (literally a pizza folded up and baked like a pie!) and perhaps a stroll through Grant Park. Chicago really is all about the American way of life and the highlights here are all about absorbing the friendly nature of its residents and following their lead. Of course it’s also worth taking in the view and in Chicago our top tip is to appreciate the majestic buildings from a river cruise – a different view of a staggeringly high set of skyscrapers.
This European style capital city offers insight into a different side of America. Its first president – George Washington – hired a French architect to plan the city and it has a very different feel to the rest of the country. The Capitol, where the Senate and House of Representatives meet sits on Capitol Hill under a neoclassical white dome. The Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial are steeped in political and world history and the White House is one of the most iconic buildings in America. Top tip? It is also worth visiting the National Air and Space museum which has lots of kid-friendly activities if the more serious buildings are starting to tire the youngest in your party. If you’re looking for your ultimate Grand American Adventure to have in Washington then check on line and prepare to be amazed.
This city is all about fun, fun and more fun, particularly if you are a kid! Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom, Blizzard Beach Water Park, John F Kennedy Space Centre, SeaWorld Universal Studios – all of them in one destination. It’s not surprising that this is most children’s top choice of holidays! There are other places to visit in Orlando – there is a great arts scene and the city itself is lovely to wander around – but realistically you are going to focus on the parks. Our top tip is to plan your schedule and get their early to beat the queues.
No USA city list could be complete without this most famous of cities. It is a huge sprawling city that has pockets of interest for sightseers. The most famous is Hollywood Boulevard where you can stand on the Walk of Fame or visit the Chinese Theatre to see the imprints of the hands and feet of famous Hollywood stars. Out by the beaches a stroll along the promenade at Venice Beach will introduce you to the weird and wacky of America. Art lovers will want to head toward the dizzy heights of the Getty Center for amazing artwork and stunning views of the city. A top tip is to queue up to be part of the studio audience – it will give you a great taste of Hollywood and you may even see a few stars!