Explore one of the awe-inspiring frontiers of America from Birmingham Airport. Daily flights by both American and United Airlines mean it’s never been easier to experience the best this vast country has to offer
The USA is enormous – nearly two-and-a-half times the size of the European Union. The state of Texas is almost twice the size of Germany and you could squeeze two United Kingdoms into California… you get the idea! Planning a trip there is a herculean task, but don’t worry we’ve done your homework for you. Here’s our guide to the best places to visit in each region, including some unmissable cities and breathtaking natural wonders.
New York: The Big Apple really is the city that never sleeps. There’s just so much to do. Incredible theatre on Broadway, global cuisine on every corner, skyscrapers stretching up as high as the eye can see and dozens of museums and galleries. Don’t limit yourself to Manhattan; Brooklyn and the other three boroughs have lots to offer too and upstate New York is quiet and serene. The gorgeous mountain landscapes of the Catskills are perfect for hiking while the Hudson Valley is dotted with tiny river towns, verdant parks, a vibrant arts scene and farming communities.
Boston: Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the USA’s oldest cities and perhaps the best place to discover the country’s founding with the Freedom Trail that links historic sites from the American Revolution. Boston is also a major sports city with professional baseball, basketball, hockey and American football teams.
New Orleans: Nowhere epitomises ‘melting pot’ quite like this French-Creole-Southern city. Come to eat – sugar-sprinkled beignets, shrimp-stuffed po’ boy sandwiches, gumbo thick with spices and seafood. Come to learn – French, Spanish and African history all rolled into one, historic architecture and the legacy of Hurricane Katrina. Come to dance – brass bands, jazz clubs, street parades and Mardi Gras. Tennessee and Mississippi Music lovers can’t miss
Tennessee or Mississippi. Nashville is the country music capital of the world, and in Memphis you can see Gracelands, Elvis’s former estate. The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the blues which evolved into rock’n’roll, jazz and hip hop. In cities and in cornfields, you’ll find tiny music clubs or ‘juke joints’ dotted around.
Beach Life: California may be more famous, but the south east has some of the best beaches in the country. There’s something for everyone, from the glamour of Miami’s South Beach to the rustic shores of the coastal islands of North and South Carolina.
Great Lakes: Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior – put together the five Great Lakes are the largest body of freshwater in the world. These lakes truly deserve their name; their vastness makes them almost like mini oceans and the rocky cliffs, lush green islands and wide-open beaches invite both adventure and relaxation. The Great Lakes region is also where natural beauty meets enterprising cities. This is the former industrial heartland of the US where fortunes were built at the turn of the 20th century. Visit the museums and cultural institutions of Chicago, have a pint at a craft brewery in Milwaukee or watch revitalisation in action in Detroit.
National Parks: Celebrate the breath-taking beauty of the American West by exploring the region’s national parks. From Yellowstone’s geysers and Redwood’s giant trees in California to Olympic’s rainforests in Washington and Arches’ stone formations in Utah, the landscapes here are vast and diverse. You can camp, hike, bike, climb, raft and more.
Colorado: Winter in the Colorado Rockies is a skier’s dream – long sunny days, fluffy deep powder and consistently heavy snowfall. The legendary big ski towns like Aspen, Vail and Telluride have some of the world’s best downhill, cross-country and backcountry skiing. Beginners and experts welcome. #
Texas: Explore Texan hospitality through its cities. Hang with hipsters and listen to the latest indie bands in Austin, try authentic Tex Mex in San Antonio and go to a rodeo with cowboys in Dallas.
Las Vegas: This city is a completely surreal experience. There aren’t many places where you’ll find Elvis propped up against a bride inside a packed casino at 4am. Time means nothing here – there are no clocks in the city, so you can truly escape reality. Catch a residency show on the strip and party until sunrise.
OUR MUST SEE CITY FOR 2016 – CHICAGO
‘The Windy City’ is brimming with skyscrapers, a fascinating culture and an abundance of open, green spaces. The art and architecture provide multiple photo opportunities – grab a selfie in front of The Bean Chicago and take snaps of the incredible views from the glass-floored Willis Tower. Our top tip: lace up your trainers and stretch your legs in the glorious Grant Park.