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.
Driving the coral islands that make up the Florida Keys is like leaving mainland America behind and skipping like a stone towards the Caribbean. The Overseas Highway is an exhilarating drive, taking you to famous names like Key Largo, Islamorada and Key West, as far south as you can go in the USA. Beachfront tiki bars, kayaking with dolphins and luxury resorts add to the charm.
If you ever plan to motor west, be warned that nowadays Route 66 is hard to find and follow in places. One option is to join a group tour and let someone else lead the way to the classic diners, the historic landmarks and museums, and everything else that makes this epic journey so special.
Swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove was one of our unexpected highlights in Orlando, alongside wildlife safaris. They were the surprise bonuses as we knew we’d love the theme parks, spending several days each at Sea World, Walt Disney World and Universal – and we must go back to try the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
The USA is so renowned for its popular culture that visitors can be surprised to find it has a highbrow side, but New York’s museums and performing venues like the Metropolitan Opera House are among the finest in the world. To stay in Manhattan and spend a night at the Met is to see the city in all its sophistication.
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.
The phenomenal landscape of Yellowstone National Park is transformed in winter to a world most tourists never see. Wolves were brought back from near extinction here, and the chance to track them in the wild is a rare experience. The valleys beneath the peaks of the Grand Tetons are teaming with wildlife, from bison to bald eagles.
Virginia’s history and scenery are delightful. After the big city lights of Washington DC and Baltimore, shift down into slow gear as you meander along Skyline Drive, with its stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, into Shenandoah National Park. Colonial Williamsburg and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate also impress.
Florida’s Gulf Coast is idyllic – leave behind the bustle of the mainland and chill out in style at this lovely island resort. Beachcombing on the shell-covered shore is fascinating, plus there’s golf, tennis and watersports. Don’t miss the nature tours, and the chance to see loveable manatees and dolphins.
Boston is one of the most family-friendly cities we know, if you want relaxed quality time together. It’s walkable, filled with parks, has museums for all ages of children, bike paths, cruises and kid-friendly events. Nearby you can go whale-watching on Cape Cod and explore the rural beauty of New England.
Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful, whether you’re driving across the Continental Divide or riding an historic steam train. From the fun-loving capital, Denver, to rustic mining towns and mountain resorts, you’ll discover ancient cliff dwellings, deep canyons, sculpted rock formations and pristine national parks.
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.
The rolling hills of Napa Valley are perfect for cycling, not too steep and with glorious scenery all round. This enticing tour winds its way through California’s most famous vineyards to charming small towns, Calistoga’s hot springs, redwood forests and the beautiful coastal scenery of Bodega Bay, with outstanding food and wine to fuel the journey.
Here is a journey into the heartland of America. You’ll drive into the Great Lakes to discover historic towns, beautiful scenery, Indian reservations and the Mall of America, the country’s largest shopping mall. Staying in charming hotels and B&Bs, you’ll explore Lakes Michigan and Superior, and an enchanting island on Lake Huron.
America is about road trips, and road trips are about friendships and sharing amazing experiences, whether it’s a limo tour of Las Vegas or hiking in Yosemite National Park. These small group adventure tours – for ages 18 to 38 – will create memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
People don’t always appreciate how inexpensive the USA is. We love cheap diners and shopping bargains, the low price of bus travel and budget airfares. Accommodation too is affordable, but low cost doesn’t mean low quality. Far from it. And it’s much easier to meet people, too, staying in hostels and eating in diners.
On this tour you’ll see why the Great Smoky Mountains is the most popular national park in the USA, and why the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the country’s most scenic drives. It’s an area we absolutely love, from its bourbon distilleries to its mansions, and all the way from Dollywood to the White House!
Cape Cod with its beaches, offshore islands, wonderful seafood, whale-watching and fishing, attracts VIP visitors as well as regular American holidaymakers. We can think of no better way to enjoy it than to follow those VIPs and rent a private home to share with friends, and enjoy the fresh-air lifestyle and perfect blue-sky summer weather.
Seeing soul legend Wilson Pickett in Denver was one of our greatest music festival memories. And that was only a small local festival. Go to a major event and you’ll be blown away by the line up, the atmosphere and the energy, whether you like rock, country, jazz or folk. For music festivals, there’s no place like the States.
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.
We like to think we’re experts on the best drive in America, the Pacific Coast Highway, and if we had to devise the perfect trip it would be… well, this one. Black Tomato have picked the coolest hotels, sensible drive times, the best places to stop, and hottest car. Next time we go – it’s gotta be a Mustang!
Beyond New York’s Long Island is Rhode Island, where the seaside city of Newport is famous for two things – its Jazz Festival and stunning mansions. One of these, the aptly-named Vanderbilt Grace, is now an intimate hotel where guests are pampered beyond belief for the ultimate indulgent holiday.