America the Beautiful: A Photo Tour

It’s Independence Day in the USA, so today we’re wishing a happy Fourth of July to all our friends across the pond – here’s hoping for a bumper day of picnics, parades, fanfares and fireworks, wherever you may be.

For those of us who cannot be there, we’ve put together a visual celebration of the United States, Virgin Atlantic’s very first destination and home to some of the world’s most remarkable travel experiences. Looking for a reason to visit? Here’s seventeen…

 

Diverse cities

The promise and potential of the USA starts in its cities. Multifarious populations, genuinely iconic landmarks, traffic-filled streets, striking skylines and millions of stories. Culture, commerce, cuisine – here’s where it all begins.

 

 

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco by Gleb TARRO www.fotowalk.com on Flickr

 

 

Chicago Skyline at Night by Monika Thorpe on Flickr

Chicago Skyline at Night by Monika Thorpe on Flickr

 

 

Downtown Las Vegas by Maxine Sheppard

Downtown Las Vegas by Maxine Sheppard

 

 

Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building by Maxine Sheppard

Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building by Maxine Sheppard

 

 

Classic road trips, highway Americana

This land is your land – the open road, big skies, hazy deserts, towering peaks, vintage diners, retro motels, neon signs – there’s nothing like the great American road trip.

 

 

Blue Swallow Motel, Route 66, New Mexico by Larry1732 on Flickr

Blue Swallow Motel, Route 66, New Mexico by Larry1732 on Flickr

 

 

Route 66- Gallup, New Mexico by Wolfgang Staudt on Flickr

Route 66- Gallup, New Mexico by Wolfgang Staudt on Flickr

 

 

Highway 50, the Loneliest Road in America, Nevada by Slideshow Bruce on Flickr

Highway 50, the Loneliest Road in America, Nevada by Slideshow Bruce on Flickr

 

 

Mr D'z diner, Kingman, Arizona by kevincole on Flickr

Mr D’z diner, Kingman, Arizona by kevincole on Flickr

 

 

Natural wonders and astonishing National Parks

To really experience the unrivalled variety of landscapes on offer in the USA, you need to get out into the wilderness, away from the cities, suburbs, malls and billboards. Find your inner pioneer and take to the hills. Or deserts…or mountains, lakes, rainforests, glaciers, volcanos, canyons, rivers and islands…

 

 

Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park by Fikret Onal on Flickr

Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park by Fikret Onal on Flickr

 

 

Mt. Rainier, Washington by TroyMason on Flickr

Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington by TroyMason on Flickr

 

 

Taft Point in Yosemite by Alaskan Dude on Flickr

Taft Point in Yosemite National Park by Alaskan Dude on Flickr

 

 

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park by El Frito on Flickr

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park by El Frito on Flickr

 

 

Antelope Canyon by jchong on Flickr

Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona by jchong on Flickr

 

 

Monument Valley by Alan Vernon on Flickr

Monument Valley by Alan Vernon on Flickr

 

 

Yellowstone National Park by seannaber on Flickr

Yellowstone National Park by seannaber on Flickr

 

 

Connecticut River, Putney, Vermont by Putneypics on Flickr

Connecticut River, Putney, Vermont, New England by Putneypics on Flickr

 

 

Glacier National Park, Montana by Ken Lund on Flickr

Glacier National Park, Montana by Ken Lund on Flickr

 

 

Thanks to Flickr photographers Gleb TARRO www.fotowalk.com, Monika Thorpe, Larry1732, Wolfgang Staudt, Slideshow Bruce, kevincole, Fikret Onal, TroyMason, Alsakan DudeEl Frito, jchong, Alan Vernon, seannaber, Putneypics, Ken Lund and Jeff Pang.

Virgin Atlantic flies to 9 destinations in the USA – New York (JFK And Newark), Boston, Washington D.C, Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. For the best fares, log on to www.virginatlantic.com or hop on over to Virgin Holidays for a tailor-made trip.

About Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.
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