The USA is filled with so many places to see and activities to do. From its iconic national parks to the Hollywood Hills and all things in between, you’re truly spoilt for choice. So what do you do when you want to explore the USA but don’t know where to start? You go on a group adventure tour of course! And as a lover of all things America, let me talk you through the four key things I learnt whilst touring the USA in 2016. You can thank me later…
1. EMBRACE THE WILD
Number one rule for any US tour is: embrace the wild. The US is home to some of the most beautiful National Parks in the world, like Yosemite Valley or Yellowstone Park. You’re guaranteed to come across picturesque valleys, diverse wilderness and majestic waterfalls at some point on your tour, and we reckon the best way to truly immerse yourself into the wilderness is by camping. On our USA tour we spent a couple of nights under the stars, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We travelled along the Tioga Pass, a scenic route through the Sierra Nevada mountain range and set up camp. During the night we had a visit from some hungry raccoons and woke up early to an amazing sunset over the snow-capped mountains, it was truly unforgettable. All you have to remember is to embrace the wild and then you’ll make your trip that little bit richer. Oh and keep your eyes peeled for Black Bears, that always helps!
2. SIT BACK, RELAX AND TAKE IT ALL IN
If you’re touring the USA some days will involve long travelling times, but don’t fret, you’ll be rewarded with scenic drives through incredible landscapes just like the movies (road trip, anyone?). Expect to see everything from the ruggedness of Death Valley to the stunning coastlines of California. The fantastic little perk of being on the road is cheeky “diner” stops – you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to 1950s America! Opt for a classic cheeseburger and chocolate shake, you just can’t beat it. You’ll be able to explore the USA without the hassle of driving, so pick a window seat, choose your ‘all-American road trip’ playlist and just soak up those jaw-dropping views.
3. INVEST IN A DECENT PAIR OF BOOTS
A tour of the USA is bound to include a hiking trail or two. From the jaw dropping Grand Canyon to the stunning cliffs of Yosemite – National Parks are open to the public across the country. When heading off on a hike with your group, you do not want to be the person trailing at the back with blistered feet and no will to go on. To avoid this I highly recommend investing in a decent pair of walking boots (your Converse trainers don’t count)! I was lucky enough to visit Yosemite National Park, and like everyone else in my group I was blown away by the vast natural beauty. Don’t let your experience be dampened by bleeding feet!
4. GO WHERE THE WIND TAKES YOU
Another stop on my tour of the USA involved a few days in the marine town of San Diego (home of the mighty ComicCon which runs annually in the summer). After my tour finished their daily activities which included speed boating (SO fun), the group planned to go out to dinner followed by drinks at one of the many local bars. The great thing about San Diego is its amazing rooftop bars and restaurants. So if you and your new buddies decide you need a bevvy, go where the wind takes you! A couple of us decided to explore San Diego’s famous Gaslamp Quarter (the hub of all things entertainment) and ended up visiting several funky rooftop bars. Check out Altitude Sky Lounge for epic views of the city. Definitely something to tick off your things to do on a tour list!