My partner and I have been planning a big road-trip through North America next year. For a country this large and diverse, we believe a multi-centre, long-duration holiday is the only way to really do it justice.
We’ll want to stop at all the iconic sites to take the photos, buy the t-shirts, and have the breath taken away, of course. Goes without saying no trip to the States can be considered complete without the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Old Faithful, and the Statue of Liberty.
But we also want to head off the beaten track a little bit, see some of the parts most tourists don’t reach. Here’s a few of the ideas we’ve had so far, not sure if we’ll have time to do them all but it will be nice to try and fit a few in!
Shopping in Las Vegas
We decided we’d visit Vegas right at the end of the trip so as not to risk blowing our entire budget on the tables. Obviously the casinos are the main draw but we both really want to visit the shops here, my partner for the designer brands, and me because of all the crazy stuff out there! I’m expecting giant trees in shopping malls, with tree-house restaurants in their branches; statues that talk to me as I walk past; exotic fish and birds to watch while I wait outside stores. And the big one – somewhere in the city there is supposed to be a place selling everything you could ever need to survive a zombie apocalypse! I’m putting aside a whole afternoon for browsing that one.
Air-boating in the Everglades
This has got to be one of the most exciting forms of travel. Zooming through the rivers and swamps of Florida’s famous National Park, you’re perched on a chair at the end of a thin platform. Behind you, your pilot is sat in a tall chair like a tennis umpire. He needs to be up high, not only does he have a gigantic fan underneath his seat that propels you along, but he also needs to keep an eye out for the Everglades most famous residents, alligators.
America has thousands of these little ghost-towns, small communities abandoned for reasons such as the decline of an industry, technological innovation, or just newer, better roads leaving them stranded. If you hire a car you can find many of these places still virtually intact. Fascinating (and if I’m honest sometimes a little spooky) snapshots of days gone by.
Every year the southern and Midwestern states see hundreds of weather events, including tornados, which can be an incredible sight to behold. Lots of people nowadays spend their holidays following the storms around, looking for an unforgettable experience of nature up close and personal. There’s loads of information available online for storm-chasers, as to where and when you stand the best chance of a great view. It looks a bit scary but it promises to be quite unique!
Polar-bear hunting in Alaska
Right at the top of the world, in some of the remotest and most untamed landscapes imaginable, you can kayak through fields of icebergs, trek through beautiful wilderness, see the Northern Lights in the clear skies above and maybe, just maybe, catch a glimpse of the polar bear in his natural and sadly shrinking habitat. Not sure how we’ll feel if we ever do see one, hopefully we’ll be expecting him!
If you’re interested in these ideas or have got some of your own you’d like to try out, companies such as Grand American Adventures can help you make them a reality.
Biog: Rob is a big fan of the USA and all things weird and wonderful.