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With its supersized landscapes, famous cities, larger-than-life locals, and eclectic cuisine, holidays to the USA are one of a kind.

Big and beautiful, a holiday in the USA can be just about anything you want it to be. It’s about the wild Rocky Mountains and beaches of Southern California; the bright lights of New York and the rollercoasters of Florida; barbecue in Texas and deep-dish pizza in Chicago.

Iconic cities await in San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, each with its own personality and its own take on America. Whether you travel for culture, food, nightlife – or all three – the USA’s great cities always hit a home run.

With extra time, you could take a relaxing railway journey along the coast of California, head for the party in Las Vegas or drive some – or all – of Route 66. Meanwhile, families flock to Florida in search of theme park fun and long, sandy beaches. Orlando, home to Mickey and friends, is perfect for package holidays close to the action.

Beyond the USA’s most well-known spots, the country’s vast centre is full of surprises. If you love the outdoors, you can camp out under the stars in Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument – named the world’s first Dark Sky Park in 2007 – or take a long hike through epic parks, such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite or Yellowstone.

The food is just as varied as the landscape. You could plan a whole trip exploring the best barbecue in Texas – don’t miss Goldee’s in Fort Worth, consistently voted as the best brisket and ribs in the state – or work up a sweat eating Nashville’s spiciest hot chicken joints.

And for the wine, California’s Napa Valley is a clear favourite, but the lesser-known wine regions of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan are worth taking a chance on.

New York

For a long weekend break

New York, Boston and Chicago are your best bets for a weekend city break in the US. Direct flights make these East Coast destinations an easy hop from the UK, though you’ll still be in the air for at least eight hours.

Culture isn’t hard to find here, with powerhouse galleries, such as MOMA in Manhattan or the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, aplenty. After an art fix, catch a show on Broadway or a baseball game at Boston’s iconic Fenway Park.

For family holidays

The movie-themed rooms – think Finding Nemo and Cars – at the Art of Animation Resort is a dream come true for little ones. But so is pretty much any Disney theme park in California or Florida, which makes it the go-to option for family breaks.

For something different, head out to the wide open ranges of America. To learn to lasso and ride like a cowboy, you could check your family into a dude ranch for some wrangling at Tanque Verde in Arizona or the Lodge at Brush Creek in Wyoming.

For a beach holiday

For sun and sand, Florida’s Cocoa Beach takes some beating. Besides the beach, it’s right next door to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. A little further south, the tropical Florida Keys have relaxed island resorts and a blissful laidback vibe.

Head west to iconic California for surfing, arty communities and endless beaches. The villas and hotels in Big Sur have clifftop views, and San Diego’s Victorian-style Hotel Del Coronado is one of several family resorts.

For cheap holidays

Camping in America’s national parks is an epic way to holiday on the cheap. Wake up under giant sequoia trees in Yosemite, sleep under the Grand Canyon stars, and listen to wildlife in the Rockies. All you need is a tent and a permit, and you’re ready to go.

For a budget beach holiday, resorts along the Gulf Coast offer excellent value and few crowds – check out South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island. And for nightlife, food and culture, try the university towns of Burlington, Vermont, and Boulder, Colorado.

For food and drink

Diversity is the name of the food game in the US: coffee in Seattle, cajun food in New Orleans, fresh lobster in Maine… the mouthwatering menu options are endless.

Kansas City, with its smoky sauce and burnt ends, is one of the USA’s many barbecue meccas. Chicago, meanwhile, is famous for its deep-dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches. And up in New York state, Buffalo gave its name to popular hot wings – try them at Anchor Bar where they were invented.

For nightlife

New York may rightly be known as the City That Never Sleeps, but the resorts of Las Vegas truly run 24/7. New Orleans also rarely closes its eyes, especially around Mardi Gras.

For more live music, head to venue-packed 6th Street in Austin, Texas, for the annual South By Southwest music festival. And for beach glamour and hip-hop clubs, go to Miami.

For history

New England is full of history, especially in Boston, where the American Revolution began in 1775. A year later, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

Alternatively, head to New Mexico, where Spanish colonists arrived in the 1590s and founded Santa Fe. It has some of the oldest buildings in the USA.

Travel Information




US Dollar ($)

Average flight time(from London)

9 hrs

USA holiday FAQs

Do I need a visa to go to the USA?

Yes, you need a visa to visit the USA. Apply for its Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) online at least 72 hours before you travel. It costs US$21.

What vaccinations do I need to go to the USA?

You do not need any vaccinations to visit the USA.

Are there any local customs I need to be aware of?

When it comes to service in a restaurant or bar, tipping is expected in the USA. As a general rule, between 15% and 20% is the norm. For drinks in a bar, $1 or $2 per drink (or 15% of the total bill) is fine. Photography is often prohibited on Native American reservations. The legal drinking age is 21.

What is the best way to travel around the USA?

With big, open roads and well-connected cities, the USA was made for a road trip. If you’re looking to tick off several locations, car hire might be the best option for you. Some highways have tolls, so check with your car hire company for info. That said, there are other alternatives. Amtrak trains are handy in the northeast and the west coast for travelling between larger towns. Greyhound buses are cheap for long distances. And you can fly just about anywhere. Bigger cities often have good public transport networks.

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