USA’s Top 5 Experiences
The United States is as big as it is diverse, a destination that appeals to a variety of interests and is high on many travellers’ bucket lists. To coincide with the release of the updated USA travel guide, the experts at Lonely Planet have provided us with a shortlist of five must-see sites in America.
1. New York City
Home to striving artists, hedge-fund moguls and immigrants from every corner of the globe, New York City is constantly reinventing itself. It remains one of the world centers of fashion, theater, food, music, publishing, advertising and finance. A staggering number of museums, parks and ethnic neighborhoods are scattered through the five boroughs. Do as every New Yorker does: hit the streets. Every block reflects the character and history of this dizzying kaleidoscope.
2. Yellowstone National Park
What makes the world’s first national park so enduring? Geologic wonders, for one thing, from geysers and fluorescent hot springs to fumaroles and bubbling mud pots. Then there’s the wildlife: grizzlies, black bears, wolves, elk, bison and moose, roaming across some 3500 sq miles of wilderness. Pitch a tent in Yellowstone’s own Grand Canyon, admire the Upper and Lower Falls, wait for Old Faithful to blow, and hike through the primeval, fuming landscape for a real taste of what is truly the Wild West.
3. San Francisco
Change is afoot in this boom-and-bust city currently enjoying a high-profile boom. Amid the fog and the clatter of old-fashioned trams, San Francisco’s diverse neighbourhoods invite long days of wandering, with great indie shops, fabulous restaurants and bohemian nightlife. Highlights include exploring Alcatraz, strolling the Golden Gate, day trips to the nearby redwoods, Pacific coastline and Wine Country, and taking a ride on the cable car. Trust us – crest that hill to your first stunning waterfront view, and you’ll be hooked.
4. Grand Canyon
The sheer immensity of the Grand Canyon is what grabs you at first – a two-billion-year-old rip across the landscape that reveals the earth’s geologic secrets with commanding authority. But it’s Mother Nature’s artistic touches, from sun-dappled ridges and crimson buttes to lush oases and a ribbon-like river, that hold your attention and demand your return. To explore the canyon, take your pick of adventures: hiking, biking, rafting or mule riding. Or simply grab a seat along the Rim Trail and watch the earth change colours before you.
5. National Mall
Nearly 2 miles long and lined with iconic monuments and hallowed marble buildings, the National Mall is the epicenter of Washington DC’s political and cultural life. In the summer, music and food festivals are staged here, while year-round visitors wander the halls of America’s finest museums lining the green. For exploring American history, there’s no better place to ruminate, whether tracing your hand along the Vietnam War Memorial, or ascending the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.