When you’re flying to North America, one city is never enough.
Make the most of the long-haul flight across the Atlantic and take the opportunity to explore a little further, whether you want more of the same or a total contrast of experiences. Some combinations might be obvious. Others may take you by surprise. Which option would you choose for your ultimate North American twin centre?
Best for thrills and chills
Kick off your USA trip with a high-energy city break in NYC. Catch a show on Broadway, bag reservations at the latest restaurant opening, and walk Manhattan’s patchwork of distinct neighbourhoods, trying the food as you go. Shop till you drop or join the throngs of runners around Central Park if that’s more your kind of therapy. Then finish a busy day with sundowners in an incredible rooftop bar with that unmistakable glittering skyline view.
New York can be fabulous and frazzling in equal measure, so pairing your Big Apple adventure with a wind-down break is the perfect combo. You could choose the beaches of LA or Miami, but what about Scottsdale? Often flying under the radar of British holidaymakers, this Arizonan city is a wellness hub of the USA with pampering spa hotels, excellent restaurants, and world-class golf.
Best for city and beach
You can’t fly non-stop to Hawaii from London, so if you’ve got your sights set on the beautiful and balmy beaches of the USA’s 50th state, it makes sense to take the opportunity to get to know another destination on the way. Plus, it gives you a breather from flying and allows you to acclimatise yourself to the time difference and the warmer weather.
Stopping in Los Angeles for a few nights means you can visit the world-famous sights and attractions of the sprawling metropolis, whether you fancy a celebrity homes tour, an action-packed day at Universal Studios, or rollerblading on the Santa Monica boardwalk. Then, when you reach Hawaii, you’ll be ready to succumb to the pure relaxation offered by blissful shores.
You can skip the airport layout on the way home, too. Try Las Vegas first, followed by downtime on Hawaiian beaches, then three nights in San Francisco to round things off nicely on an incredible Las Vegas, Hawaii & San Francisco trip.
Best for delving into history
Experience the historical significance of two culturally rich cities in the USA. You’ll start in Washington DC, a political powerhouse, where you can walk Washington’s National Mall, exploring the museums and monuments between the US Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. You’ll also want to head to historic Alexandria with its cobbled streets and visit Arlington National Cemetery for a poignant tour of the final resting place of American heroes.
A 90-minute flight brings you to Boston, where the well-marked Freedom Trail is an excellent introduction to the city’s history. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and played a vital role in the American Revolution, with the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill taking place here.
In the mood for more American history? Philadelphia is a walkable city where you can see the Liberty Bell, tour the Museum of the American Revolution, and see the place where the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution. Pairing Philly with New York is a top twin centre to discover the origin stories of the USA, with only a 70-minute train journey separating the two cities.
Best for the ultimate party trip
Start on South Beach, Miami’s party zone, spending a few days dining out in high-end restaurants and dipping into the pool party scene. Balance your time here with explorations a little further north up the beaches to peruse the exclusive enclave of Bal Harbour, soak up the artsy vibes around the pretty Coconut Grove, and take a self-guided tour of the Art Deco buildings around the famous Ocean Drive.
Then jet westwards to the fabulous Las Vegas. You have a five-hour flight to re-energise before hitting the Strip, where you can order cocktails inside a chandelier in The Cosmopolitan or dance the night away at Hakkasan, an 80,000-square-foot nightclub in the MGM Grand. Whirr over the strip on a helicopter flight to see the neon lights from above, or head further afield for a phenomenal view over the Grand Canyon.
Best for music fans
Hit the Honky Tonk Highway for the Nashville Sound and take a hop-on, hop-off trolley tour around the iconic music venues of Opryland, the Ryman Auditorium, the Bluebird Café, and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Plump for a stay in the regentrified Gulch area— the smart and suave Thompson Nashville is next door to the city’s legendary Station Inn, where you can listen to excellent toe-tapping bluegrass musicians.
Then fly south to New Orleans on a 90-minute flight to hear jazz done right on a cruise along the Mississippi River, watch as The Second Lines weave their way through the neighbourhood, or see what’s happening on Bourbon Street, the epicentre of Mardi Gras revelries. You can stay in the heart of the French Quarter at the legendary Hotel Monteleone.
Best for city and ski
If you’re eyeing a ski holiday in the exclusive Whistler resort (the best snow is between January and March), take the opportunity to get to know Vancouver first. You’ll fly into this city to get to Whistler, and it’s worthy of your time before you hit the slopes. Base yourself within easy reach of Gastown – perhaps at the glassy waterfront Pan Pacific Vancouver – which is the heart of 19th-century Vancouver, where old and new collide, and the once-forgotten buildings in this neighbourhood now host the trendiest restaurants and liveliest cocktail lounges.
After Vancouver, drive the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, making a day of the road trip, stopping to tiptoe over the thrilling Capilano Suspension Bridge and stopping again for the Sea to Sky Gondola for views over the Howe Sound. When you reach Whistler, exceptional skiing awaits on the two mountains, plus there’s a renowned après scene.
Best for iconic architecture
Touch down in Chicago, the birthplace of the American skyscraper and famous for its fabulous skyline. You can pre-arrange a city tour to get to know Chicago’s architecture better, ascend the Willis Tower to the glass bottom Skydeck on the 103rd floor and pose by the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park. Stay in a classic 1920s tower, LondonHouse Chicago, with a modern all-glass tower addition.
Next is San Francisco, where there’s so much more to the architectural playbook than the Golden Gate Bridge. The Transamerica Pyramid is the city’s tallest building, but in direct contrast to this gleaming modern tower, you’ve got the Painted Ladies in all their Victorian splendour and the Queen Anne-style home, the Haas-Lilienthal House, which is open to the public.
Best for snow and sun
Take a winter trip like no other and experience cool and warm climes in one fantastic trip. There’s no guaranteeing you’ll get snow in New York at Christmas, but December usually sees snowfall in Manhattan — although you’ll most likely see the city blanketed in snow in February. Pair a festive or wintery trip to the Big Apple with a sunshiny trip to Miami, which sees average highs of around 24 and 26 degrees between November and February.
If you’d like to see more of the mighty USA in one swoop, get in touch and we’ll create an unforgettable, personalised adventure just for you.