If you want to let the good times roll there’s nowhere better than New Orleans. Yet many of its residents have been badly hit by poverty and the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Getting involved in a volunteer project can turn a regular holiday into a life-changing experience – for you and the people you help.
Santa Monica is one of our favourite spots on the California coast, great for visiting Los Angeles while staying by the ocean. There’s no better hotel than the chic and relaxing Shutters on the Beach, just a stroll from Santa Monica Pier, the terrific Farmers Market and all the attractions downtown.
Our outstanding memory from our first Alaska trip is the sound of glaciers cracking and crashing into the sea beside our cruise boat. Nothing prepares you for how magnificent Alaska is, from its snow-covered mountain ranges, its vast National Parks, deserted roads and abundance of wildlife, to the ruggedly independent people who live there.
With so many places that have almost perfect year-round climates, the USA makes a wonderful cycling destination. Hawaii is a great example – if that’s too far, we highly recommend cycling in the outstanding scenery of the South West USA, Glacier National Park in Montana or an unusual destination like Washington’s San Juan Islands.
Staying on a farm may not be your first thought when planning a USA holiday, but America grew from being settled and farmed and it’s a big part of the nation’s fabric. Sleep in a luxury tent and you can enjoy creature comforts along with fresh air, home-grown food and walks in the countryside.
The phenomenal landscapes of southern Utah and northern Arizona make for truly exciting family adventures. Whether you’re hiking in the Grand Canyon or walking amidst the red rock formations of Arches National Park, white water rafting or camping out under the stars, these self-drive tours work for all ages. It’s a great way to see and experience the West.
One of the ironies of the Civil War its that many of its major battles took place in breathtaking locations, such as Shenandoah National Park. You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate the battlefields, monuments and museums, and even hardened travellers are moved to tears reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg itself.
Most British visitors only see the Great Lakes by flying over them, admiring the greatest expanse of freshwater in the world, but at ground level they’re even more awe-inspiring. Discover beautiful beaches and dunes, fresh and tasty food, the quiet communities and outdoor lifestyle that all make this region such a wonderful revelation.
People think New York is expensive but we’ve stayed in some great yet affordable hotels in desirable locations, with extras like free wifi, phone calls and breakfast. We’ve discovered Apple Core Hotels, which has three hotels in perfect locations close to Times Square, the Empire State Building and Museum of Modern Art.
America’s wildlife is one of its greatest wonders. Seeing the world’s largest grizzly bears in their home on Kodiak Island, Alaska, is the heart-pounding experience of a lifetime, especially if you’re lucky enough to be there during the mating season or when young cubs are around. Whales, bald eagles and other creatures also abound here.
After a full day at the theme parks, it’s great to relax in the comfort of your own rental home – particularly one that has its own private swimming pool. Self-catering will save you money, and give you a lot more space to spread out. Add on a stay on Clearwater’s fabulous beaches for the perfect Florida combination.
Like Texas itself, this tour has so much variety it’s like visiting a separate country. Along with customary highlights such as the Alamo and the Cowboy Hall of Fame, it takes in sophisticated Dallas, the music city of Austin, Houston’s Space Center and more. The tour through Louisiana’s bayou country and New Orleans is icing on the cake.
Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley are forever associated with Palm Springs, but there’s much more to the California golfing resort than just glitz. Sure, there are luxury hotels and swish spas, but plenty of museums and galleries too, mountain hiking and natural wonders like the Joshua Tree National Park on the doorstep.
The Old West is alive and well at this authentic restoration of Grand Canyon Ranch, right down to the buffalo herd. Take a road trip from Las Vegas for the day, or stay a few nights in a traditional wooden cabin or Indian tipi. The views on the sunset horseback ride are unforgettable.
One of the best ways to experience Alaska – and it is an experience, much more than just a holiday – is on a small ship. These vessels can take you into some of the world’s deepest fjords where you can hike or kayak, and watch bears on the shoreline, yet also go out to sea to look for whales. Magnificent.
If your family can’t decide between city, ranch and beach, why not do all three. On this luxury private tour, spend a few days sightseeing in Manhattan then fly to Montana where you can camp out under a carpet of stars. Finish off the trip at a stylish family beach resort on the California coast.
This short but very sweet tour highlights all the things that make Louisiana so captivating. From the French Quarter of New Orleans, you’ll travel through plantation country and stay in a gorgeous antebellum mansion, while exploring homes and gardens, swamps and bayous and the Cajun culture unique to the South.
We live near Tucson and always love to visit Albuquerque. This is a truly unique event, as you watch hundreds of vividly-coloured balloons soaring into the New Mexico sky, taking your heart soaring with them. Combine it with a trip on America’s historic railroads for an even more memorable holiday.
Scottsdale is golf and spa heaven. Endless sunshine and the backdrop of Camelback Mountain make for memorable games of golf, while the spirituality of the Sonoran desert infuses the spas and inspires timeless treatments. Add in fine dining, art and shopping, and this is the perfect pampering holiday.
With a home in Arizona, we know how popular Scottsdale is for Brits on golfing holidays. We meet them at the airport and on the plane, all saying what a fabulous time they had. With superb courses and more than 300 days of sunshine, it’s no wonder this is a nation of avid golfers.
There’s a lot more to Florida than Mickey Mouse. It’s a wonderfully romantic destination for couples, from the hedonistic cool of Miami’s South Beach to the discreet low-key charm of the Keys. Stay in luxurious, intimate hotels, stroll on the beaches, take a sunset cruise and dine by candlelight.
Hawaii is terrific for surfing and beach holidays but if you go island-hopping on a small ship cruise you’ll discover there’s much more on offer in these lush Pacific islands. You can go whale-watching, snorkelling with giant manta rays and sea turtles, hiking in pine forests … and still laze on those amazing beaches too!
Taking the garden path is a delightful way to approach two of the East Coast’s greatest cities. Stroll Manhattan’s High Line and Central Park, then visit the renowned Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the lush estate gardens of the Hudson Valley and several outstanding gardens with native trees and plant species in historic Philadelphia.
Americans themselves choose Hawaii for romantic holidays, and of the main islands, Kaua’i is among our top picks. We love the Garden Isle for its lush exotic landscape, waterfalls, the dramatic sea cliffs of the Napali Coast and the incredible vistas over Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. No wonder Jurassic Park was filmed here.