Our USA special: Girl About takes a visit to America
Join the Holiday Insider's Club team as we journey to the USA and explore the best states, National Parks, cities, beaches, resorts and much more!
Our USA special: Girl About takes a visit to America
America, it’s the land of the free, the home of the brave, and THE country to visit for a holiday like no other.
It’s an understatement to say the United States of America is huge, it's huge in every sense of the word. It’s the world’s third largest country, stretching from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific coast in the west, is twice the size of the European Union, and shares the world’s longest international border – with Canada – to the north.
On a visit to America and its 50 states you’ll find everything from tropical beaches in Florida to the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana; rolling prairie lands in North and South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma to dense forests in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire; as well as some of the coolest cities – New York, LA, Seattle, San Francisco to name a few.
And spread among it all are the Great Lakes, the Grand Canyon, the Mississippi River and nearly 400 national parks, home to bears, eagles and buffalo, plus much, much more.
The country’s highest peak is Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, in Alaska, at 6,190m while its lowest is Death Valley in Eastern California in the Mojave Desert, at 86m below sea level.
And while you might think Florida or California would have the longest coastline, that honour actually belongs to Alaska, with 6,640 miles – more than all the other 49 states combined.
Yet it’s not just the USA’s geography stats that speak volumes, it’s the people too. With a population of 331 million people, America is the third largest country in the world by population, too, and its influence and cultural reach is second to none.
From Hollywood legends to Grammy-winning greats, Silicon Valley billionaires to global statesmen and women, we’re fascinated by Americans. And it’s not just the big names – it’s also the racially diverse communities, the fiercely loyal immigrants, and the everyday Joes diligently pursuing the American Dream for a better tomorrow that that capture our imagination.
Wrap all this together and a visit to America is a must. Whatever you’re into, whether it be the great outdoors, modern culture, or pretty much anything else, America offers it all.
Which is why we’re turning our attention in the Girl About Holiday Insiders' Club to the United States of America in this Holiday Hub.
We’ll be going beyond the obvious and exploring such states as Montana, Oregon and Arizona, and learning about incredible road trips across the country, indulgent lodges sat in their own national parks, and inspiring musical cities.
And we’ll be talking to real women who make their living in some of the country’s most beautiful spots - a mountain bike guide in Arizona, a yoga teacher in Montana, a radio presenter in California.
What’s in store on a visit to America?
It’s hard to narrow down the 50 states of America into just three months of content, so we’re starting with what we like and going from there. We love adventurous holidays, and holidays that enrich and inspire us, as well as holidays that make us feel that we’ve got off the proverbial beaten track and experienced a place as it actually is, and we also like lazy relaxing restorative holidays, and let-your-hair-down holidays too.
Fortunately, America offers all this and more, so we’re kicking things off with Cruise America, North America’s largest RV hire company. With over 130 hire locations across the country, Cruise America is the go-to company for a proper mobile home holiday and a big road trip. The company has fantastic knowledge on the best routes, suggested itineraries and recommended campsites. RV holidays are a brilliant option for families, but are also really fun for a girls’ trip.
Next is Oregon, a beautiful state in the Pacific Northwest. The giant Columbia River runs along its border with Washington to the north, to its east is Idaho, to the south is California and Nevada, and to its west is the Pacific Ocean. Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the US, with volcanoes, lakes, forests, deserts and beaches. Highlights include Mount Hood, Crater Lake and its capital, Portland, and we’d be very happy road tripping around Oregon for a few weeks.
We’ll also be joined in the Club by Jeff Slade, the founder and owner of Detours American West. Jeff has been a tour guide in Arizona, Utah and Nevada for over 30 years, so knows these states like the back of his hand and offers incredible holidays to isolated places and wide open spaces. It’s not just about the biggies, such as the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley, it’s also gems like the Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon.
Next we head north to Montana, and a very special resort called Paws Up. Set among a sprawling 37,000 acres, this working cattle ranch has just 28 chic holiday homes and 36 safari-style glamping tents. Among its pristine and undeveloped land, there are 100 miles of trails and 10 miles of the Blackfoot River, plus over 50 available activities. It’s all you could possibly want, and combines effortless luxury with rustic wilderness.
We then head due east, to New England and that collection of states jutting into the Atlantic: Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; and Vermont. Known for its fabulously colourful fall foliage and colonial past, we’ll be discovering what else this region has to offer.
From here, it’s west to South Dakota in the Midwest. Perhaps not the most obvious of states to visit, there’s actually a ton of places to keep active travellers and lovers of the great outdoors happy. Its most famous landmark is Mount Rushmore, but Badlands National Park and Custer State Park, plus the Black Hills, are all on our wish list for the natural beauty, striking rock formations and otherworldly landscapes.
We also talk to experts from Virginia, New Orleans, Santa Monica, Louisiana and Colorado so dive in, explore and be inspired.