New York City
Everyone’s been to the Big Apple before they actually set foot there thanks to its starring role in popular culture. Hail a cab, climb the Empire State and munch the hot dogs but make sure you leave Manhattan to get beyond the cliché.
Empire State Building
Open: every day 8am – 2am (last lift is at 1:15am)
Tickets: Main Deck (86th Floor) Adult $32, Top & Main Deck (102nd & 86th Floor) $52, VIP Express Pass (skip the queue) $60 & $80 respectively.
A timeless, neon oasis in the middle of the desert, Sin City recreates the wonders of the world but manages to remain other-worldly. Whether it’s gambling away your every possession or getting married by Elvis, you’ll know why what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
With the Golden Gate Bridge, trundling cable cars and hilly streets lined with candy-coloured houses, this city doesn’t struggle for postcard images. But thanks to a bohemian streak that means anything goes, San Francisco is much more than a pretty face.
Eleven years after Hurricane Katrina this easygoing, jazz-loving city is letting the good times roll once again. The blend of African, European and Caribbean influences makes for year-round eating, drinking and dancing but for the ultimate party you can’t beat Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras 2017 is Tuesday February 28th
A city of party politics rather than actual parties you don’t visit DC for the nightlife. Instead, get up early to pack in both the big-hitting attractions along the National Mall and unsung sites like the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Open: every day except Yom Kippur (Oct 12th 2016) and Christmas Day (Dec 25th), Perm & Special Exhibitions 10am – 5.20pm, Hall of Remembrance 10am – 5.10pm
Tickets: Free NB: between March & August Free Timed Passes are used for the Permanent Exhibition.
Out on a limb from the rest of America, this is a state made for holidays. Be a big kid in Orlando’s theme parks, cruise the sapphire waters of the Florida Keys, roam the alligator-infested swamps of the Everglades and, of course, hit Miami’s South Beach in style.
It’s hard to take a state that elected Arnie as Governor, has “eureka!” as it’s motto, and is home to Hollywood seriously. And why should you? Instead, drink in the wine of Napa Valley, the madness of LA and the fresh air of the Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite National Park
Open: every day NB: check specific entrances as some are shut in winter and at night
Tickets: Non commercial vehicles $30 (valid for 7 days), Foot, cycle or horse $15 (valid for 7 days)
America might boast some of the greatest cities in the world, but it’s not short on natural wonders either. Take your pick from the Great Lakes to the Grand Canyon, and the Rocky Mountains to Alaskan glaciers.
The ultimate way to travel America has to be the road trip, and there are few stretches of road more iconic that Route 66. While some of the historic two-lane has been paved over it’s still possible to make the 2000-mile pilgrimage from Chicago to Los Angeles.