Here at Virgin Atlantic we’re counting down the days until the launch of our new service from London Heathrow to Detroit, with quick and easy Delta connections to more of America’s best cities. From 1 June you can fly direct to Motor City then on to other great US destinations like New Orleans or Nashville – so pack a suitcase, book your flight and experience even more of what this amazing country has to offer.
Hailed as America’s “˜comeback city’ and currently in the throes of a remarkable urban renewal, the city of Detroit is looking forward to big things in 2015. The Theatre District is the biggest in the US after New York; the historic neighbourhood of Corktown is brimming with new bars, coffee shops and galleries, and as you’d expect from the home of Motown and birthplace of Techno, ‘the D’ is home to an edgy and still-thriving live music scene. But Detroit is also the perfect gateway to other major cities in the central part of the United States – so here’s some of our favourites to get you started.
From Motor City to Music City: whichever way you turn in Nashville the sound of twanging guitars pours out of doorways and fills the air with song. Take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium – otherwise known as the Mother Church of Country Music – to discover the origins of modern day country and bluegrass; ogle Elvis’s gold Cadillac in the Country Music Hall of Fame, or cross the Cumberland River into East Nashville; the city’s thriving hub of hipster coffee shops, old school cocktail bars and vintage stores.
- Check out our guide to Nashville’s best honkey tonks
- Read about the explosion of Nashville’s culinary scene
With its cross-cultural mix of French, Caribbean, African and Spanish Creole heritage, New Orleans is like nowhere else in the United States. Take a trip up St. Charles Avenue on the world’s oldest continually operating streetcar to see some of the most opulent antebellum mansions in the South. Dip in and out of Frenchmen Street‘s blues bars and jazz clubs; admire the beautiful cast iron balconies and courtyards of the French Quarter, shop for antiques and retro togs on Magazine Street, or just grab a coffee and beignet at Cafe du Monde and watch the world go by.
- Talk like a local with our New Orleans dictionary
- Find the best seafood gumbo with our guide to New Orleans’ best Creole restaurants
Salt Lake City
Founded by Mormon pioneers in 1847, Utah’s capital city is stupendously located beneath the Wasatch mountain range, which forms the western edge of the Rockies. Compact and manageable, the city is home to numerous historic sites, great shopping and a buzzy craft beer scene. Learn more about the Mormon Church or catch the Grammy award-winning Mormon Tabernacle Choir in rehearsal at Temple Square; head to the top of a three-storey indoor canyon at the Natural History Museum of Utah, or take advantage of the multiple outdoor recreational activities on offer just minutes from the city centre.
- Find out more about speed driving at the Bonneville Salt Flats
- Need a drink? Here’s where to get your cocktail fix in Salt Lake City
Get your bearings by whizzing 630 feet up to the top of the stainless steel Gateway Arch, the best known landmark in the Mid West. Feast on eye-popping views over downtown St. Louis and the Mississippi River before coming back down to earth for a paddle boat cruise brought to life by a ranger from the National Park Service. Sports mad travellers will find themselves amongst friends: cheer on the 11-time baseball World Champions the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, get into American Football at a Rams game, or cheer on professional ice hockey team the St. Louis Blues.
- We’ve got the lowdown on the best things to do in St. Louis for free
- Find out how to visit St Louis’ amazing caves
Let it fly in 2015 with our new and improved routes. Partnering with Delta allows us to connect you to and from a selection of destinations across the United States and Canada, making it even simpler to book your trip. In addition to our new Detroit service starting 1 June, our popular direct flight to Chicago returns for the summer season on 29 April and a second daily service to Miami launches on 25 October – so book your flights today.
Header photo: Greektown, Detroit © Visit Detroit, Vito Palmisano