Are you getting ready for an American adventure? The big cities of the United States are just waiting to be explored. Whether you choose to retire to the gorgeous beaches of Hawaii or go road tripping through California, you are guaranteed sunshine and good times. Check out our top tips on sights, shopping and food to ensure you get the most out of your USA getaway.
Top Tip – For a behind-the-scenes Hollywood experience, visit the amazing Universal Studios theme park or take a Warner Brothers Studio VIP tour to visit the iconic Central Perk set from the hit TV series Friends.
Shopping – If your budget doesn’t stretch to the luxury boutiques along Rodeo Drive, shop for designer bargains at one of the city’s mainstream malls, such as The Grove, Century City or Beverly Center.
Food – LA’s famous Farmer’s Market is open 7 days a week and features more than 100 gourmet grocers and restaurants, offering a wealth of good food. Bob’s Coffee and Doughnuts is a local favourite.
When to go – Holidaymakers will love LA year round with its mild climate but summer is perfect for those who want to hit up the world famous beaches. Avoid the crowds by visiting in spring or autumn.
Top Tip – Head down to Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf and be entertained by the resident colony of sea lions. There are plenty of shops and restaurants or take a ferry over to Alcatraz from Pier 33.
Shopping – Union Square is home to San Fran’s best shopping. Here you will find big department stores, including Macys, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom plus the opulent flagship store of Williams-Sonoma.
Food – Enjoy a meal at The Cheesecake Factory in Union Square. Located on the eighth floor of Macys, you can eat your piece of cheesecake while admiring magnificent city views.
When to go – Autumn is the perfect time to visit San Francisco before it gets too chilly. Take a bike tour around the beautiful city and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Top Tip – Check out the High Line Park, a 1.6 kilometre long aerial oasis of greenery that sprouts along an abandoned elevated train tack in the lower west side of Manhattan.
Shopping – For all your souvenirs, head to Times Square complete with a Disney store and a three story M&M’s World. Bargain hunters will love Century 21, a huge discount department store in Lower Manhattan.
Food – Foodies will love New York City! Be sure to enjoy a freshly baked bagel, a hot dog from a sidewalk vendor, a giant slice of pie and a freshly cut pastrami sandwich.
When to go – Summer is great time to visit New York, although many want to see the city at Christmas, when window displays come alive and the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree is shining.
Top Tip – Don’t miss the Bellagio Hotel’s signature water ballet. The musically choreographed show features daily, with 75 metre-high water fountains dazzling onlookers with a magical performance.
Shopping – Take local transport to shopping outlets at the north and south end of The Strip, as well as neighbouring shopping centres and factory outlet malls that offer remarkably low prices.
Food – There are plenty of buffets in Las Vegas to satisfy even the hungriest travellers. Just take a stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard for a bounty of options including many celebrity chef establishments.
When to go – Las Vegas boasts a desert climate, so be prepared for hot days during the summer. Try spring for fewer crowds and avoid public holidays when you can.
Top Tip – Hop on a Waikiki Trolley for a free and entertaining trip around the best of Waikiki and Honolulu. These open-air trolleys are classic reproductions of San Francisco’s cable cars and operate on three different routes.
Shopping – Hawaii is touted as a shopper’s paradise. Honolulu has a variety of fantastic shopping malls, including the expansive Ala Moana Centre, boasting more than 290 stores including Macys, Sears and Neiman Marcus.
Food – Enjoy Hawaii’s huge selection of tropical fresh fruits. Those with a raging sweet tooth will love munching on Malasadas, deep fried doughnuts served warm and often stuffed with fruity fillings.
When to go – The sun is always shining in Hawaii. Spring offers great beach weather and the flowers are in full bloom but winter has cheaper prices, plus its whale watching season.