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It's such an incredibly diverse country that it’s hard to decide where to go in the USA! Here are our top picks of US tourist attractions and activities to discover from coast to coast.
Busy, buzzy, crowded, cosmopolitan...Los Angeles is loaded with legends. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a real celebrity at one of their favourite hangs. You’re guaranteed to see stars when you stroll Hollywood Boulevard to spot the 2,700 names honoured on the Walk of Fame and you’ll find more tributes to stage and screen cast in cement outside TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre). Whilst we’re on famous facades, don’t forget to also grab a red-carpet worthy selfie outside the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are held.
Follow the mighty Colorado River through the Painted Desert to discover one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Drink in the dramatic scenery from the rim or lace up your hiking boots to venture beyond. Maybe you’ll choose to explore by bike, get some adrenaline thrills aboard a raft, or marvel at the birds-eye view from a helicopter. Then sigh with satisfaction as the day ends with one of the most spine-tingling sunsets you’ll ever see.
They call New York the city that never sleeps. And you won’t want to either with world-renowned shopping, Broadway shows, museums and galleries and immense New York tourist attractions. Toast your adventures atop the Empire State Building, people-watch from the bleachers in Times Square, or rise above the crowds on the High Line. When you’re tired of walking, hop in a yellow cab, pedal or take a carriage ride through Central Park, or jump on the ferry to say hi to the Statue of Liberty.
Explore the vistas of Yellowstone National Park on horseback, following experienced wranglers through the Gallatin National Forest wilderness. Finish your day relaxing around the campfire with a cowboy cookout as the sun sets over the mountains. You can saddle up and hit the trails in several other national parks out west. From the red rocks of Zion Canyon to the towering buttes of Monument Valley, don’t miss the chance to fulfil big dreams under big skies.
In tropical Waikiki the surf is always up. The seven mile stretch of the North Shore boasts one of the longest rideable surf spots in the world. So whether you’re a seasoned shredder or a rookie rider you’ll be stoked to find the smoothest waves in this Pacific paradise. Whether you’re on a board or on the beach you’re guaranteed, cobalt waters, powdery white sand, technicolour coral reefs and a warm, welcoming Aloha.
Blues, soul, funk and all that jazz… If music is your vibe then head down south to New Orleans, a melting pot of French and Caribbean culture, cocktails and crawfish, rum and revellers. Jam with the street performers in Jackson Square, admire the architecture of the French Quarter and inhale the aroma of delicious beignets. Later, follow the sound of impromptu trumpet solos and sultry sax to party the night away on Bourbon Street or join the locals on boho Frenchmen Street, which swings until the early hours.
‘Everybody needs beauty…places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer’ wrote John Muir of Yosemite. Play and be cheerful amongst breathtakingly beautiful mountains, cascading waterfalls, winding trails and towering sequoias. Follow the Yosemite Falls trail to the top of North America’s highest waterfall. Climbers can worship at the famous climbing spots of El Capitan and Half Dome, whilst, down in the valley, the Merced River is a slow-flowing scene for swimming, rafting and fishing.
Trace the history of the US civil rights movement at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Built on the site of his assassination it’s a place to reflect and pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Meanwhile, at iconic mansion Graceland, you can pay homage to a very different king – of rock and roll! Catch a glimpse of the Jungle Room where Elvis recorded much of his final album and maybe head over to Sun Studios, where he recorded his very first song.
Want to see the original Star Spangled Banner? The Wright brothers’ original plane? Even go inside the US Capitol? Washington DC is packed with iconic monuments, vast museums and political powerhouses. From the imposing Lincoln Memorial to the haunting Vietnam Veterans Memorial – not to mention the 19 amazing museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution - you can learn about the nation’s history, both triumphant and difficult, but never boring.
Alaska is beautiful, awe-inspiring – and huge. Wrangell St Elias National Park covers 13.2 million acres, including 5,000 square miles of glacial ice. Exploring the Root Glacier is one of the best ways to see this incredible wilderness. Strap on your crampons to see blue pools, waterfalls, crevasses and fantastic mountain scenery including the Stairway Icefall, the largest icefall outside the Himalayas. It's not for the faint-hearted but it’s an adventure you’ll never forget.
INSANE TRIP, met life long friends - and memories I'll keep forever.
Start Spreading the news! The trip was just amazing! Olivia was the best tour guide i could have asked for! She knew so much and the little places that yelp don't tell you about. the optionals were great i wish i had more time to do them all! I have recommended this trip to my sisters and they want to book for next year.
The trip was absolutely amazing! I was a solo traveller but made such good friends, we had an awesome group with an awesome trip manager and driver. The places we went were amazing and so much fun!
Thanks for everything Contiki. Contiki was an awesome choice, for my first overseas trip. Meeting with other likeminded made the trip even more enjoyable. Both the trip manager and coach driver made the trip even more pleasant and helped in anyway necessary. Book Contiki for your first overseas trip. Thanks Contiki.
Completely satisfied! I genuinely cannot fault this trip! Contiki Guide Rammel went above and beyond to ensure that we all enjoyed every second of our time. I’ve honestly never had so much fun in my life. I recommend this trip to absolutely anyone!
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