The possibilities are endless, from big cities and remote deserts to mountainous national parks, bargain-packed shopping outlets, palm-fringed coastlines and theme parks with hair-raising rides.
Every state is different and has so much to offer so start planning your USA trip!
Florida, The Sunshine State
Florida is a diverse holiday destination with many recognisable and little-known attractions. From beaches to museums, and everything in between, Florida has something for every traveller. If reclining on the beach and catching some rays sounds like the ideal vacation, Florida is definitely the place to go on holiday. The Sunshine State’s beaches received the number one, two, three and nine rankings on TripAdvisor for Best Beaches in the US.
Pinellas County’s Fort De Soto Park near St. Petersburg took the number one spot. Golf lovers can experience some of Florida’s best holes. With 1,470 golf courses, more than any other state, golfers can get some history while they play. At Trump International Golf Club, in West Palm Beach, the tee box is built over a former nuclear fallout hideaway. Former president John F. Kennedy had the shelter built for his visits to the city.
From visiting the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida in Gainesville to learning about the beautiful plant life at one of the many botanical gardens, or even camping out at North Florida’s Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park/Camp Resort, Florida also offers many outdoor experiences to its visitors.
Highlights: Visitors flock to its theme parks but they can also explore the natural side of the Sunshine State. The River of Grass, spanning the Florida peninsula from coast to coast, is the only living coral reef in the continental U.S. and the nation’s southern-most islands.
State Secret: Canaveral National Seashore and Gulf Islands National Seashore, the longest protected seashore in the nation, offers miles of sand and coastal views.
Rhode Island, The Ocean State
The Rhode Island Tourism Division is the official tourism office providing information and services for both the leisure and business traveller. Rhode Island offers the best of New England’s heritage and four seasons of natural beauty. Enjoy 400 miles of winding coastline along Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic, elegant Newport Mansions, sandy South County beaches, spectacular ocean vistas on Block Island, historic Blackstone River Valley, the shopping mecca of the City of Warwick, and one of Rhode Island’s best kept secrets – quaint Bristol, known for its beautiful homes, historic treasures and New England harbour.
From the Riverwalk of Providence you’ll see music festivals, as well as festivals featuring art, seafood, Native American life, ethnic heritage, Colonial life, maritime heritage, an award-winning zoo, and much more. Our compact size means you are never far from our many museums, historic homes and art galleries.
Accommodation includes fullservice hotels, quaint country inns and seaside B&Bs. Nationally praised restaurants offer creative seafood and ethnic dishes. Create your own vacation memories that will last a whole lifetime – the choices are endless. And there’s easy access from Boston, New York and Philadelphia by air, rail and highway.
Highlights: Enjoy 400 miles of winding coastline along Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic, elegant Newport Mansions, sandy South County beaches, ocean vistas, nature on Block Island and the historic Blackstone River Valley.
State Secret: Blithewold Mansion and Gardens in Bristol – tour the 33-acre seaside property and experience a day filled with surprising delights.
California, The Golden State
Gaining an insight into the minds of the locals often helps visitors paint the clearest picture of what makes California truly special. For many it’s the climate – temperate year round along the OC and in San Diego, dramatic in San Francisco and the North Coast and with snow guaranteed for up to six months of the year in Lake Tahoe and Mammoth. Or, maybe it’s the natural wonders – from the desert oases of Palm Springs and barren Death Valley to the volcanoes in the Shasta Cascade and the waterfalls in Yosemite.
While many come here to take time out, for others the urban meccas of LA, San Francisco, San Diego and now Sacramento provide more than enough glamour, cuisine and culture to satisfy the most demanding palate. And speaking of palates, the winelands are never far away offering tastings from the most well-known names in Napa and Sonoma to a more personal experience tasting from the barrel whilst listening to the winemakers’ own story in the Gold Country or Central Coast.
You are never far away from an icon – the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hollywood sign, or the redwood trees – and to really get to the heart of the Golden State just explore, discover and create your own story about what makes it special to you.
Highlights: California is a destination blessed with dozens of national parks, trails and historic sites. To celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016, enjoy the year-round celebrations and events scheduled in parks across the state.
State Secret: Marina del Rey in Southern California is great for one-of-a-kind experiences on the waterfront. From champagne brunch cruises and full-moon kayak tours to ‘happy hour’ under the stars.
Washington, The Evergreen State
If you long for wild places and rugged shores, yet want culture and sophistication close at hand, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other in Washington State. Washington State’s natural beauty has been the backdrop for many films and TV series and is the setting for a new film called “Twilight”. Washington offers great outdoor activities yet remains unspoilt, whilst having all the facilities you could possibly imagine to make a fantastic holiday: national parks such as North Cascades and Mount Rainier; quiet beaches, giant forests including a temperate rainforest, remote coves, swift salmon-filled rivers, eagles, seals and whales; great waterfalls, volcanoes and magnificent snow sports during the winter months. With award winning wineries across the state, Washington is the second largest producer in the USA, attracting visiting connoisseurs.
Nowhere else in America does nature and urban sophistication blend so spectacularly as in Seattle. This vibrant city, surrounded by water and mountains, is clean and sophisticated with a casual pace. A stroll through the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle reveals the culinary bounty of this state with wild salmon, Dungeness crabs, oysters, fresh fruits, craft beers and ales and internationally-acclaimed Washington wines. Seattle is the gateway of Washington State, the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan cruises.
Highlights: National parks, vine-covered hillsides, rainforests, wild Pacific Ocean beaches, islands with thrilling whale-watching opportunities and high desert terrain, all complemented by Seattle’s urban cool.
State Secret: Home port to seven cruise lines, Seattle offers the best of urban and outdoor experiences for art, music, shop-ping, fine cuisine and locally-produced wines and chocolate.
Tennessee, The Volunteer State
No other place can claim to be the capital of American music like Tennessee. From the Beale Street Blues of Memphis, to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and Bristol’s historic “Bristol Sessions,” Tennessee’s musical heritage is internationally renowned. From the legendary artistry of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, B.B. King and Johnny Cash, to modern day staples like Justin Timberlake and Kings of Leon, Tennessee’s music is embedded in the culture of the world. Whether it is country, blues, soul, gospel, jazz, Appalachian, rock, pop or any genre in between, you will find what moves and shakes you in Tennessee. Standing still is just not an option.
Tennessee is home to numerous international attractions including Graceland, Dollywood, RCA Studio B, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Bristol Motor Speedway. World-famous events like Bonnaroo, America’s number one music festival, and world championship barbecue cook-offs, take place in Tennessee each year. With four major cities – Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga – plus quaint, small towns and thousands of acres of great outdoors, Tennessee offers something for everyone.
Highlights: Tennessee features the city lights of Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville, small-town squares, barbecues, the Jack Daniel Distillery and America’s most-visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains.
State Secret: Chattanooga is nestled along the Tennessee River and is surrounded by mountains. Visitors can enjoy a revitalised riverfront, first class attractions, outdoor adventures, American Civil War history and a thriving music scene.
Louisiana, Pelican State
Louisiana is the place to create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. This fun-loving state has a style all of its own, formed by the collision of cultures for over 300 years. As you travel through the state historical influences will come alive through the music, architecture, culture and culinary delights highlighting the influences of French, Spanish, African, Cajun, Creole and British settlers. World-class music, spirited fairs and festivals ensure Louisiana has something for everyone. The birthplace of Jazz and a natural melting pot for all types of music, here your toe will always find a beat to tap to and a rhythm to bring you alive. In New Orleans you can listen to live music 24 hours a day from the clubs and bars to the street theatre in the French Quarter. From a local deli or coffee house to a fine dining restaurant, food is prepared and enjoyed with equal enthusiasm and excellence – sample dishes unique to Louisiana from spicy jambalaya to sweet Bananas Foster.
Louisiana brings history alive through its fabulous architecture – from Sportsman”s Paradise in the North, Natchitoches, Lafayette and Lake Charles through to the Garden district and French Quarter in New Orleans all telling the story of an exotic, rich and colourful history.
Highlights: Louisiana is a state like no other in the U.S. With its rich cultural blend of Spanish, French, African, Caribbean, Cajun and Creole, visitors are guaranteed a unique and memorable experience.
State Secret: Louisiana hosts over 400 festivals a year, from world-famous Mardi Gras (celebrated across the state), Jazz Fest & French Quarter Fest to the unquestionably Louisianan Crawfish, Gumbo or even Po Boy Festivals.
You can find out more about the many amazing places to visit in the USA on visitusa.org.uk.