A huge and diverse, yet quintessentially Western country, the United States of America is larger than life.
From the outgoing personalities of America’s friendly people (who are genuinely interested in travellers and provide great service) to the iconic attractions, the vibrant buzz of some of the world’s greatest cities, amazing food (think Chinese food in San Francisco, Mexican in Austin, Indian in New York City, Southern home cooking in New Orleans and$2 giant pizza slices everywhere you go), to the immense landscapes that line the shores and inland; America does nothing by halves.
Geographically, the US is a country of 50 states covering a vast swathe of North America, with Alaska in the extreme Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands way out in the Pacific Ocean.
US cruises depart from enormous mega ports along the East Coast, including New York city and Boston, West Coast cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco, and down south in the tropical Gulf Coast where the mighty port of Miami Florida, the busiest in the world, welcomes almost 5 million cruise passengers per year. Within the Sates you can cruise the mighty Mississippi River aboard a paddle steamer, sail on a small ship into an Alaskan fjord or southern waterway, or take a river cruise from Portland or an ocean cruise north along the Pacific Coast to Canada. Travelling out of the USA you can get to just about anywhere.
WHERE TO CRUISE
WALT DISNEY WORLD’S MAGIC KINGDOM
Where: Orlando, Florida
Kids will love meeting Mickey Mouse and Cinderella, and the whirling rides. Don’t miss the “It’s a Small World” ride. Avoid the queues with a FastPass+.
More Must See Theme Parks:
In Orlando, Florida: EPCOT Centre, Universal Resort (featuring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter), Discovery Cove, Aquatica
In California: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood
THE FRENCH QUARTER
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
A vibrant collage of cobblestone corridors, lush courtyard gardens, wrought-iron balcony railings, with jazz, blues, classic rock ‘n roll around the clock.
Home of the Broken Spoke and the Cactus Café, Austin is a great music city and hosts the annual South by Southwest Music Festival, with 2,000+acts.
PIKE PLACE MARKET
Where: Seattle, Washington
Once a riot of hawkers, today a foodie destination of fishmongers, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops ethnic eateries, and the flower market.
Also in Seattle: The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, a landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and an icon of Seattle.
Where: Miami, Florida
Stretched along the turquoise Atlantic with swaying palm trees, bronzed models sunbathing, stylish cafés, fit cyclists and a vibrant, neon night life.
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
Where: San Francisco, California
The majestic 1.7-mile long, orange art deco suspension bridge was built to withstand high winds and earthquakes, and you can feel its awesome power.
Also in San Fran: Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay
THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN
Where: Los Angeles, California
The 50-foot, white HOLLYWOOD sign has perched on Hollywood Hills since 1923, and featured in countless films and TV. Take a picture with it yourself!
Also in California: Some of the best wine in the world comes from Northern California’s wine country.
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Where: New York, New York
Grand Central is one of the world’s largest, busiest, and most beautiful stations with glimmering chandeliers, marble walls and a start-studded ceiling.
Where: New York, New York
The kaleidoscopic signs and crowds of people from all walks of life, must be seen to be believed. Don’t forget your camera! Tip: Sit and relax between 42nd and 47th
Where: New York, New York
Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million immigrants were processed on Ellis Island. Hear their stories in the museum and search for long-lost relatives.
More must do in New York: The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met” is the largest art museum in the U.S.), the 22 acre Rockefeller Centre, the 102-story Empire State Building, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New York Harbour.
Where: New York
Niagara Falls is the collective name for the three gigantic waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States.
Where: Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Red Sox team legends Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Carl Yastrzemski, have played at Fenway, the oldest Major League Baseball park, since 1912.
PORTLAND HEAD LIGHT
Where: Portland, Maine
George Washington commissioned the Portland Head Light in 1790 to tower over the keeper’s quarters in Fort Williams Park and beckon ships to land.
Where: Chesapeake Bay
This abandoned and rapidly eroding island in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, was once inhabited by watermen and farmers.
Where: Colorado River
Once known as Boulder Dam, this concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon, is on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada.
SAN DIEGO ZOO
Where: San Diego, California
The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, houses over 3,700 sea creatures of more than 650 species and subspecies from all over the world.
St. Louis is a charming and picturesque city and port along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which forms Missouri’s border with Illinois.
Where: Rhode Island
Set on Aquidneck Island in the New England state of Rhode Island, the city’s yacht-filled harbor hosted the America’s Cup for many years.
NĀ PALI COAST STATE PARK
A 6,175 acres Hawaiian state park along the rugged northwest side of Kauaʻi, the oldest inhabited Hawaiian island.
HALEAKALĀ NATIONAL PARK
On the island of Maui, the park covers 33,265 acres, of which 19,270 acres is a wilderness area.
Where: Main Island, Hawaii
Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Fumes spout from deep within the lava lake: by day they look like smoke; at night, they glow eerily.
The town of Fairbanks is closest to the highly active Aurora Borealis area over the arctic, with long winter nights ensuring the brightest light shows.