Top 10 things to do in America
Georgina Willcox | 20 June 2023
With cosmopolitan cities, stunning coastlines, incredible scenery and some of the best driving routes in the world, there are plenty of amazing things to do in America. To help inspire you to plan your holiday to America, check out these 10 incredible experiences you must do in the land of opportunity!
1. Go on the greatest American road trip
Route 66 is the quintessential American road trip that goes all the way from Chicago to L.A. It has become a symbol of American history and culture, featured in countless songs, films and television shows, and remains a popular path for travellers from around the world to this day. On our Route 66 holiday, as well as visiting the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, we’ll see top attractions like the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation in Amarillo, Texas and Santa Monica in L.A.
2. Take a bite out of The Big Apple
New York is one of the most exciting cities you’ll ever visit and there’s so much to see. Discover Times Square and its many illuminated billboards, go down the famous 5th Avenue and enjoy views of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Centre and the Flatiron Building. Stroll through Central Park, see a show on Broadway, go to the top of the Empire State Building and take a boat trip to Ellis Island to learn more about this historic immigration station and admire the Statue of Liberty. You also need to experience St Patrick’s Day in New York City, as it’s home to the largest and one of the longest running St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world.
3. Try your luck in Las Vegas
As part of our Route 66 holiday, we’ll stay in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world, which boasts many of the world’s largest hotels and famous casinos, like the Bellagio, Caesars Palace and The Venetian. Walk along the strip, which stretches on for more than 6 km and simply soak up the atmosphere, which is more incredible during the night where all the neon signs light up. See the Bellagio fountains where you can watch a spectacular light and water show for free, learn more about organised crime in America at the fascinating Mob Museum and make sure to get a photo of yourself by the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign. If you have some free time in Las Vegas, we suggest taking a day trip to Hoover Dam, one of the biggest in America.
4. Listen to the blues in Memphis
Memphis, along the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, is known for its music and food. Blues, jazz and rock 'n' roll spill out from the clubs along Beale Street, and restaurants dish up barbecue and soul food. Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash recorded albums at the legendary Sun Studio.
5. Visit Graceland
Near the city centre of Memphis is Graceland, the last home of Elvis Presley and now a museum dedicated to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Whether you’re a die hard fan or only know a couple of his songs, Graceland provides a fascinating insight into how Elvis changed the landscape of music and made a cultural impact. On our Music Capitals of the South tour, we’ll get to visit Graceland, New Orleans, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and much more.
6. Run up the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia
One of the most iconic moments in cinema history is from the 1976 film ‘Rocky’ where Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, runs up the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia played a significant role in American history as the Declaration of Independence was signed in the Pennsylvania State House in 1776, essentially making it the birthplace of America. Renamed as Independence Hall, you can still visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and close by, you can see the Liberty Bell, a symbol of the American Revolution and freedom, which was rung during the reading of the declaration of independence. We also recommend visiting Reading Terminal, one of the oldest and biggest markets in the country where you can try the city’s most famous dish, the Philly cheesesteak! If you’re a film buff and love travel, then our blog post on 16 Famous Film Locations will provide some inspiration!
7. Enjoy Creole cuisine in New Orleans
The "Big Easy," is also known for its vibrant live-music scene and its Creole cooking, a delicious melting pot of various cuisines. Famous dishes you must try in New Orleans are Gumbo and Jambalaya. New Orleans straddles the Mississippi River in the state of Louisiana and is famous for its abundance of unique architectural styles, most notably the Creole townhouses of the French Quarter.
8. Discover the capital of America
The capital of the U.S.A and a dream for culture lovers, Washington D.C. is packed with museums, galleries, monuments and memorials. Some of the most popular things to do include a guided tour of the Capitol Building, the seat of the United States Congress. Visiting the White House, which has been the official workplace and residence of the president of the United States since 1800, after the capital changed from Philadelphia. In the National Mall, you’ll find the landmarks of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial.
9. Explore the Grand Canyon
A worthy detour on Route 66 and possibly the USA’s most iconic natural landmark, you will be amazed by the Grand Canyon. A result of millions of years of wind and water erosion, and an endless expanse of shapes, colours and impenetrable shadow, the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring wonders in the world.
10. Follow the Freedom Trail in Boston
One of the oldest cities in the U.S.A, Boston was the scene of many key events during the American Revolution. On the Freedom Trail you can learn more about this historic period and see some significant sights, such as the home of one of the Founding Fathers Paul Revere. Visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and reenact the famous scene of the Sons of Liberty protesting against the British taxation policies by throwing chests of tea into the Boston Harbor; ultimately changing the course of American history. Other sights in Boston worth visiting include Harvard University, Boston Common, the Museum of Fine Arts and if you’re lucky, try and catch a game at Fenway Park, home to the famous baseball team the Boston Red Sox. As part of our East Coast USA tour, you can discover this fantastic city along with New York and Washington D.C.
The U.S.A. has so much to offer and we have fantastic options for holidays to America to a wide range of interests.