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Top Trip Memories
  • Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon and peering into the depths of one of nature’s great wonders.
  • Strolling through always-lively Times Square in New York City and feeling like you must be at the center of the universe.
  • Driving the Avenue of the Giants in northern California, in awe of the ancient redwoods, the tallest trees on earth.
  • Attending a jazz or blues club in New Orleans or Memphis and discovering the roots of authentic American music.
  • Taking a river cruise on a paddlewheeler along the Columbia River in the great Northwest.
  • Dining on lobster or fried clams at a seafood shack in Maine or Massachusetts
  • Taking an airboat ride through the Florida Everglades and coming upon crocodiles -- or alligators -- sunning themselves on shore.
  • Walking the boardwalks in Yellowstone National Park to view the geysers and boiling, hissing mudpots.
  • Eating authentic barbecue in Kansas City.
  • Viewing Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota where the faces of four American presidents are carved out of sheer rock.
  • Touring the Smithsonian and other museums along the outdoor mall in Washington, D.C., leading to the Capitol.
  • Hiking to a waterfall in California’s Yosemite National Park.
  • Skiing out of a lodge in the mountains of Colorado or Vermont.
  • Learning to surf the waves in southern California or Hawaii.
  • Taking a cruise along Alaska’s Inside Passage for indelible memories of icy glaciers, breaching whales, and isolated villages.
  • Rafting the Salmon River in Idaho for whitewater thrills.
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Tour Tips
  • The United States is a very big country. Don’t try to see it all at once; choose tours that concentrate on specific regions or you’ll spend a lot of time just getting from one place to another.
  • If you’re looking for an action-oriented tour, consider:
  • Whitewater rafting trips in the Northwest;
  • Horseback riding through the Southwest;
  • Hiking trips through the Appalachians;
  • Skiing packages in the Rocky Mountains; and Scuba diving in Hawaii or Florida.
  • River cruising is growing in popularity in the U.S. -- you can cruise the Mississippi River, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Columbia River; and many others to get a new perspective on the landscape.
  • If you’re a history or literary buff, look for river cruises that have the Civil War, Mark Twain or other themes of interest.
  • Don’t overlook the “flyover states” that lie between the East and West coasts; there’s much to discover in the Midwest, the South, Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states, including:
  • Chicago -- America’s “second city”;
  • The five Great Lakes;
  • Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands in South Dakota;
  • New Orleans, with French-influenced architecture and outstanding music and food;
  • The burgeoning cities of San Antonio, Houston and Austin in Texas;
  • The incredible rock spires in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park;
  • Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado;
  • The white-sand Gulf Shore beaches of Florida and Alabama; and Yellowstone and Glacier national parks in Wyoming and Montana.
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United States Travel Reviews & Ratings
4.8 out of 5

100%

recommend

2,005 Reviews

Excellent 1,498 Great 441 Average 2 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0

Rating Details

Value
4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.8 Meals
4.8
Tour Reviews

Best Vacation Ever!

Family Magic Rafting Trip

5.0 August 2017 ROW Adventures Recommend: Yes The Family Magic Trip down the lower Salmon River in August was AMAZING! The guides were awesome! So knowledgeable, funny, and resourceful. The food was better than most restaurants and my kids loved it (as did I)! The River Jester (Lily) was such a sweet yet stern and fun lady that kept the kids entertained and they loved her. They setup camp for us each day at these amazing beaches! I have never been rafting, and they were there to make it seem easy and doable! I loved that they taught us about the local history and environments. A stop at Spalding was awesome start to the trip! I enjoyed the paddle boats, inflatable kayaks, and the oar boats. I even became part of the swim team but it was a good experience having the guides there to ensure our safety. I loved cliff jumping, the short hikes, swimming the rapids, and swimming in the river with the kids. The time with friends and family was great. It was so relaxing and good to meet so many different people I feel that I can call my friends now. Best part was sleeping under the stars with my family hearing the rushing river next to us. The guides made the trip so personal and they were caring! Thanks so much Mark, Max, Connie, Jonas, Curtis, Lily, and Bethany! Absolutely recommend going on a trip with ROW and I plan to with my children again, it was worth every penny! Thanks Jason for helping plan the trip for me! Read more

It was a great time because of the CEO, but I felt like the pace of the tour was too fast because I spent half of the time on this tour on a bus or train

East Coast Encompassed–Sydney to Cairns

4.0 April 2017 G Adventures Recommend: Yes It was a great time because of the CEO, but I felt like the pace of the tour was too fast because I spent half of the time on this tour on a bus or train. I got to see a lot of different places, but I don't really feel like I got enough time to enjoy any of them. I think that the ground covered on this tour should take at least 25-30 days to do properly. Activities in Cairns and Sailing in the whitsundays were definitely the highlight of this trip. Air conditioned vehicles and accommodation are essential to keeping morale up, and I feel like everyone would have had a much better time and a lot more energy if we had A/C the whole way through (especially at the end) I learned a lot about the east coast of Australia on this trip, so I will definitely be returning next year to airlie Read more

Overall I had an incredible time on the trip

East Coast Encompassed–Sydney to Cairns

5.0 April 2017 G Adventures Recommend: Yes Overall I had an incredible time on the trip. I met people I would have never got to meet otherwise and made friendships that I'm sure will last a long time to come. The large range of activities and opportunities for us on the trip was probably the best bit. We managed to do everything from sheep sheering and horse riding to scuba diving and zip wiring in only 18 days. It was just that little bit more special as the tour took our busines to local companies and people allowing the local community to benifit from our tourism where it could. I loved the fast pace of the tour - there was never a dull moment. In addition, I felt like the tour had made a great effort to show us the 'true' Australia, taking us places I would have never gone myself. It allowed us to meet many people from all walks of life and get a taste for their worlds. I would defintely recommend to anyone who wants to travel in Aus. Read more

How can you sum up that trip in one paragraph- Incredible scenery, superb people, brilliantlythoughtful CEOs, lifelong memories

Los Angeles to San Francisco Express

4.0 March 2017 G Adventures Recommend: Yes How can you sum up that trip in one paragraph- Incredible scenery, superb people, brilliantly-thoughtful CEOs, life-long memories! For anyone in doubt about any part of a trip like this (camping, group travel, travelling solo, long bus journeys...) - don't listen to them, just do it! One last point, wasn't covered in Itinerary/Accommodation/Transport - I felt there could have been a bit more info sent to my Gadventures account regarding the tour. Apart from the tour start and end points (sans actual hotel name!) I received no written communication about some relevant points, e.g. more details on the optional activities, where we would be staying each night (once agreed), contact details of the tour CEOs/Gadventures helpline (to ask for at the hotel to find the right group, in case of emergency/delays, etc.) Read more

Terrific Introduction to Lake Michigan

Magical Lake Michigan: Chicago to Chicago

5.0 January 2017 Blount Small Ship Adventures Recommend: Yes Of my seven cruises in various parts of the world this past year, this was near the top of my list. From the moment we drew away from the dock at Chicago's Navy Pier, dazzled by the lights of the city, to our return to Chicago a week later, the cruise was filled with surprisingly fascinating places and relaxing times on the water as well. The itinerary featured three states: Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Highlights included Beaver Island, an isolated, sparsely populated isle in northern Lake Michigan that has an intriguing history; Mackinac Island, the total opposite in that it's swarming with tourists, but understandably so for its ornate Victoria architecture and picturesque fort; and Milwaukee, a city on the rise that reminded me of a mini-Chicago. My wife and I met a number of interesting passengers aboard, there was plenty of deck sitting, the food was perfectly good and the captain and crew were very professional. The Grande Mariner ship has been around a while, but the cabins and public rooms were adequate to their task, which was to get us from scenic or historic spot to the next. Most people don't even know that Lake Michigan cruises exist, but they should. Read more
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United States Trips & Tour Advice

The United States isn’t the largest country in the world -- it’s dwarfed by Russia -- but it packs in a lot of attractions per square mile. At the same time, especially in the western U.S. and Great Plains states, there are plenty of wide open spaces where the roads ahead seem almost endless, often framed by mountain ranges, deserts, fields of wheat and corn and, in the northern winter, fields of snow.

Visitors from abroad (and many Americans, too) seek out the glitz of Las Vegas or the ever-popular family theme parks like Disney World in and around Orlando, Florida. Many want to see Los Angeles, California, with its Hollywood glamor and laid-back Southern California style. And they also head for the big city of New York, a world capital of finance, fashion, cuisine, and much more.

Beyond the Marquee Attractions

But even if Vegas, Disney World, Disneyland, Hollywood, and Times Square top your list of must-sees, there’s a perhaps romanticized but still genuine “real America” also waiting to be discovered.

You may find it in a picturesque New England village, a boisterous college football game in Alabama, a small-town diner in Oklahoma, an artsy enclave like Santa Fe, New Mexico, or at 10,000 feet in the rarefied air of Leadville, Colorado. Even if your tour doesn’t take you to Leadville or Oklahoma, there’s much to be discovered within the union’s 50 states.

California and the Southwest

California alone could fill years of adventures. San Francisco and its nearby counties of Marin, Napa, and Sonoma form an unbeatable combo of urban delights, pastoral vineyards, and rugged coastlines. North of San Francisco are the redwoods, the world’s tallest trees, and in the central part of the state are the groves of Sequoias, the world’s largest living things, all protected in national parks. Highway 1, which runs along the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles and then to San Diego, offers scenery equal to that of Europe’s most famous coastal drives. And the blazing hot desert park of Death Valley draws adventurers from around the world.

The Southwest and Northwest

Heading east from California, the deserts continue into the great Southwest, where you can hike in mountains and canyons (including the Grand Canyon in Arizona), relive the days of the Old West in cities like Tombstone, Arizona, and take week-long horseback treks through New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness. In southern Utah, you can go backpacking in Zion National Park and encounter otherworldly “hoodoos” (rock formations) in Bryce Canyon.

North of California, the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho beckon with magnificent coastlines, wild and scenic rivers, intriguing islands (the San Juans) and the inviting city of Seattle on Puget Sound. Just to the east, the state of Montana is the embodiment of wid3 open spaces, with expansive scenery to match.

The Midwest and New England

More than a thousand miles farther east, the Upper Midwest is one of the loveliest but perhaps least appreciated regions of the country. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, northern Illinois -- anchored by Chicago -- and Ohio all border the Great Lakes, as does upstate New York, another unheralded gem.

New England is not to be missed. From the craggy shores of Maine to the green hills of Vermont, the winding roads of New Hampshire to the city of Boston, Massachusetts -- which played a pivotal role in American independence -- New England combines scenic beauty with history, atmospheric inns, tempting seafood, and plenty of opportunities for biking, hiking and skiing.

Heading South

South of New England and New York come Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the U.S. Constitution was written, and Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital -- both must-sees for history, architecture, and modern-day vibrancy as well. Along with New York City, Washington offers the country’s top museums.

Heading into the Deep South, the cities of Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, are among the nation’s most alluring. Florida’s beaches are unsurpassed, with Miami and Key West providing a Caribbean vibe.

Alaska and Hawaii

The last two states admitted to the union couldn’t be more different geologically, but are among the nation’s biggest tourist draws despite being farthest away from the lower 48. Hawaii, a string of eight islands far out in the Pacific, is known for its beaches, warm breezes, Hula dancing and surfing. Far colder Alaska attracts visitors for its Inside Passage cruises, whale-watching, glaciers, snow-capped peaks and Denali National Park, home to the country’s highest mountain.

Wherever you choose to go in the U.S., start your search at Stride -- you’ll find that with our easy-to-use tools, you’ll be seeing the near and far corners of the USA sooner that you might have imagined.

Related Guides

Continent:             

North America

Local Attractions:  

Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Central Park, Florida Keys, Las Vegas, Golden Gate Bridge and Many More 

Top Activities:      

Nature Sightseeing, Hiking & Exploring National Parks

Similar Destination:                    

Canada

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