March 16, 2021
The United States of America. Land of opportunity. That's long been the case for millions who’ve lived and prospered there. And it's just as true for visitors and tourists.
We’ve been flying to the USA since our very first flight back in 1984 and we love it as much now as we did then. But why? What makes it such an alluring destination? And why are we chomping at the bit to get back?
Step out into any big US city and the buzz is like nowhere else in the world. Whether you’re a first-timer or a regular visitor, somehow it always feels like a movie set. It’s bright and brash. Familiar yet wonderfully different. This aspirational, dynamic and vibrant country is yours to uncover.
We fly to some of the greatest American cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Washington DC, Vegas. The list goes on. Each has a unique character, distinctive skyline, and its own way of doing things. Of course, you’ll want to tick off the big landmarks. Immerse yourself in the culture. Maybe do a bit of shopping (anything from Target to Saks Fifth Avenue). Then it’s time to kick back and enjoy the music, food and nightlife. For every major attraction, there are hundreds of smaller gems to discover. Not to mention the museums and galleries. America does those better than almost anywhere.
After a few days of city life it’s time to hit the highway and watch the skyline shrink in the rear-view mirror. The classic American road trip is one of the greatest ways to see the USA. Before you know it, you’ll be cruising along wide-open freeways with magnificent scenery unfolding around you. Think Boston and the White Mountains, Miami and the Florida Keys or Los Angeles and the epic Pacific Coast Highway. You’ll never be stuck for somewhere to stay, with all manner of roadside hotels and motels along the way, often at great prices. And you’ll get to experience the American way of life with all its wonderful idiosyncracies, and meet plenty of quirky characters too.
It helps that driving in the US is so relaxing compared to, well, just about anywhere else. The other vital consideration is the road trip soundtrack. This, after all, is a country with the richest of musical legacies. So picking your playlist shouldn’t be too difficult given the rich tapestry of genres the USA has given the world.
Read more about our previous epic road trips around the United States.
The best part of the great American road trip is the sheer variety of landscapes and cultures. There are 62 National Parks and over 12,000 state parks, any one of which offers multiple ways to experience the great outdoors. The choice is dazzling with mountains, deserts, rivers, canyons and breathtaking coastlines to choose from, and even – down in the south – coral reefs. And did you know there are over 169 active volcanoes in the USA (mostly in Alaska)? Or how about Yellowstone National Park, which boasts half of the world’s total number of geysers in its nine geyser basins.
All of this is waiting for you to explore. And you can visit in any season, which might mean winter skiing in Colorado or winter sun in the southern states. Halloween and Christmas are magical times to be in a city, as are those uniquely American holidays of Thanksgiving or Independence Day.
The final thing to mention in our love letter to America is food. Sure, this is where junk food was invented, and we all love a bit of that once in a while. But there’s so much more to tempt your taste buds than the same old chain burgers you can find at home.
Start the day with a stack of fluffy, maple-syrup-soaked pancakes at the giant breakfast buffet. Enjoy regional dishes like clam chowder in Maine or biscuits and gravy in Texas (a warm-up for the Texan barbecue later in the day). Or feast on deep-dish Chicago pizza, cream cheese-filled New York bagels, a slice of Florida Key lime pie or a side of Southern grits (a kind of porridge made from cornmeal).
Still hungry? Head to an all-night diner for a slice of mama’s apple pie, served with a generous dollop of friendliness. The diversity of America’s people means you’ll also find communities from every nation on earth serving their traditional foods from back home. Check out Cuban, Haitian and Nicaraguan restaurants in Miami, or Ethiopian and Salvadoran in Washington DC. And as for New York, expect a range of cuisines from Afghan to Zimbabwean, and everything in between. It’s rare to return from the States without a new favourite dish.
OK, now it’s time to have a serious conversation. Like we said at the beginning, we lost our heart to the USA in 1984. But as with all great love affairs, things don’t always go according to plan, and the last year has been tough on both sides of the Atlantic. But now it’s time to look forward, to rekindle that old passion, and plan on making the USA a part of your next travel adventure.
Fly to the USA on our modern efficient aircraft tended every step of the way by our brilliant ground and onboard teams. Visit our Covid-19 travel hub to discover everything we’re doing to make sure you can fly with total confidence.