So vast is the USA that it spans four time zones, has 50 states, and a multi-ethnic population of over 300 million people. As the ‘Land of Opportunity’, America goes big in every possible way – from its music, entertainment and sports, to its food portions and natural landscapes. The USA is frequently referred to as a ‘superpower’, given its powerful global influence. Home to the rich and famous of the celebrity world, Hollywood A-listers together with the great tech-minds of Silicon Valley reside in California. The bald eagle is the official emblem, representing longevity and strength, while the iconic Star-Spangled Banner includes 50 white stars (for the 50 states) and 13 stripes (representing the 13 British colonies that formed the first US states).
From the famous architecture of Chicago to the warm hospitality of the Midwest, this quintessential USA itinerary reveals the very essence of the American dream.
The autumn months are a very special time to visit America’s iconic Northeast. The tinted landscapes, quaint communities and bustling cities erupt in sensational color, making for some of the most spectacular drives imaginable.
The misty Pacific Northwest extends a warm welcome, with lush landscapes, sweeping coastlines and extraordinary characters awaiting you.
Best places to visit:
The USA has abundant opportunities for unforgettable adventures. Given its size, it can be hard to know where to start in terms of deciding where to visit, so in alphabetical order, here are some of the top USA destinations to explore:
A trip to Boston simply must include the red-brick Freedom Trail, where you will be immersed in the history of the American Revolution. Covering a stretch of 2.5 miles, there are 16 key stops along the way, including churches, burial grounds and museums. View the colourful neighbourhoods of Bunker Hill - the 1775 battle site, and Back Bay – a hub of architectural delights and the main shopping area. Boston is also home to the prestigious Harvard University. Founded in 1636, Harvard is America's oldest university and includes Barack Obama, Al Gore and Bill Gates among its graduates. Seafood lovers are in for a treat as Boston is known for its clam chowder, oyster dishes and fabulous seafood restaurants. Those with a sweet tooth can take their pick of ice-cream parlours for the finest gelato, sorbet and ice-creams.
Famously known as the ‘Windy City’, Chicago is a thriving cultural centre with beautiful sculptures and works of art. Head to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck for an amazing view over the city and Lake Michigan. An architectural river cruise is the an ideal way to learn about the Great Fire of 1871 and how it paved the way for the birth of the skyscraper. Depending on the timing of your visit, Chicago hosts some fantastic festivals throughout the year, including the largest free air exhibition and the biggest blues festival in the world. Whatever the season, deep dish pizza was born in Chicago and needs to be tried, as does its hot dogs.
Hawaii is unique in being the only state made up of islands. It is thought the first Polynesians inhabited Hawaii more than 1,000 years ago so it understandably has some heart-warming folklore and traditions embedded in its culture. Points of interest while in Hawaii include: Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach; the Iolani Palace - the only official royal residence in the United States; the volcanic crater known as Punchbowl, home to the National Cemetery of the Pacific; the East Oahu shoreline with stunning views of Hanauma Bay and its crystal clear waters, the Halona Blowhole and the slopes of Diamond Head; historic Pearl Harbor; and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the world's largest volcano, Mauna Loa. With landscapes that include coral reefs, rainforests and active volcanoes, the diverse fauna and flora here makes Hawaii a wildlife paradise, where it is possible to go whale watching and snorkel with sea turtles.
Named in honour of King Louis XIV, Louisiana is unusual in being the only state without counties, instead dividing its different regions into parishes. The Frogmore Plantation will take you back to a time when cotton was king. Steeped in history, Frogmore, produces around 900 bales of cotton each day! A visit to Houmas House Plantation, also known as ‘The Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road’ and ‘The Sugar Palace', will shed light on the place that was once the largest producer of sugar in the country. Jambalaya, gumbo and shrimp creole are just some of the amazing dishes to savour while journeying here.
As Kentucky’s largest city, head to the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch standing 630 feet (190 metres) tall, for a bird's-eye view across Louisville. A guided historic walking tour of the Churchill Downs is a great way to learn about the history of the Kentucky Derby, before exploring the Kentucky Derby Museum, which houses over 20,000 collectible items and artefacts. The National Corvette Museum is also worth a visit to learn about the history behind one of America's favourite sports cars. While in Louisville, be sure to have a slice of Derby Pie – a delicious chocolate and walnut treat.
As the birthplace of blues and rock 'n' roll, Memphis has a rich musical history. Sun Studios, where artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King and Johnny Cash recorded revolutionary albums, is a must-see destination. For some, Graceland is a place of pilgrimage as much as it is a museum. This former home of the late Elvis Presley is dedicated to his memory and successfully brings to life the effect that Elvis and his music had on American popular culture. Food-wise, expect big things from Tennessee’s barbeque, sticky ribs and world-famous Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
No trip to Nashville would be complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry which hosts a weekly country music stage show - America's longest-running live radio program. From humble beginnings in 1925, it is now world-famous, with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking here each year. Other music-orientated hot spots to enjoy in Nashville are: the historic Studio B – now a museum but made famous in the 1960s as an influential recording studio; and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, full of memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks.
New Orleans (Louisiana)
Wind your way through one of the above-ground final resting places of pirates, politicians and voodoo queens. Owing to the high water table, above-ground tombs were devised to overcome this problem. Today the 42 cemeteries, known as the ‘Cities of the Dead’, are a point of interest for visitors. Discover fascinating details about New Orleans’ colonial heritage and cultural history by exploring the French Quarter, Louis Armstrong Park and Jackson Square. Meanwhile on the rural side of the Cresent City, a boat tour will introduce you to the resident alligators and all manner of flora and fauna.
New York City (New York)
The iconic Statue of Liberty is a world-renowned and instantly recognisable symbol of New York. Identified as a National Monument in 1924, the statue was originally gifted by France in the 1800s as a gesture of friendship. Another iconic structure is Manhattan’s Empire State Building, which has graced New York’s skyline since 1931. Standing at a mammoth 103 stories tall, this impressive building contains an art gallery, museum exhibits and an observation deck, as well as being the base for many TV and radio stations. The Chrysler Building is another impressive feat in the world of skyscrapers, with its beautifully stylish art-deco design. Central Park's gardens also need to be on a New York visit list, as does the renowned Grand Central Station, and savouring the sweetness of a slice of New York cheesecake.
As the capital of the USA, Washington, D.C has a wealth of famous landmarks including the White House, Washington Monument, and National Mall. The latter is a National Park housing 8 significant monuments, with the Thomas Jefferson, the World War II, and the Lincoln Memorials among them. Also in Washington is the Library of Congress, both the official national library of the United States, and the largest in the world. Richly diverse ecosystems include rainforests, grasslands, sand dunes, meadows and prairies. Orcas, humpback whales, beavers, bears, bobcats, cougars, wolves, osprey and owls are just some of the captivating wildlife inhabiting Washington.
Our fine collection of Luxury Gold USA tours covers all of these incredible landmarks and many other exciting destinations in America. As travel experts, we know how to bring the USA to you in the best way possible; seeing the greatest sights, staying in magnificent hotels and receiving exemplary service.