The Land of the Free has long attracted Australians for its varying landscapes.
From the mountainous regions of Colorado to the bustling cities like Los Angeles and New York, the United States of America has so much to offer.
Steeped in history from the days of the founding fathers, there is no city, town or state that’s alike.
Immortalised in movies, some of the famous sites of this great nation include the Statue of Liberty to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
America’s natural beauty is also incredibly unique with places like Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and The Everglades in Florida. Perfect for campers, hikers, and adventure seekers.
Many travellers visit the relaxing islands and it is popular for adventure sports like horse riding and ziplining. Lush rainforests surround extinct and dormant volcanoes and the beaches are popular with long-board surfers. Hawaii also has lovely resorts and hotels and is known for its great shopping. There are plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied – from beach and water sports to outdoor activities like hiking.
Best for: Everyone.
Home to the rich and famous, the City of Angels is a tourist hotspot. The warm and temperate climate makes it a lovely place to holiday. Some of the highlights of the city include the Santa Monica Pier which is busy with food stalls, games arcades and shops. Just down the coast, Venice Beach attracts oddballs and fitness fanatics and also has arty shops and galleries. The kids will have a blast at Disneyland in Anaheim or if they’re more into sports, take them to the Staples Center for a NBA game. For those who love a bit of luxury shopping, hit the famous Rodeo Drive for big brand names from Saint Laurent to Chanel. If you want to have a drink like a rockstar, visit the Chateau Marmont, the famous Hollywood hotel where actor James Belushi died.
Best for: Everyone
This lovely Southern California city is famous for its zoo, home to some of the world’s rarest species of animals including giant pandas, as well as koalas. But if you’re not into zoos, the city’s Gaslamp Quarter is a premier shopping, dining and entertainment district where you will find an eclectic mix of food, fun and culture. Because of its deep harbour, San Diego also has a rich naval history and visitors can see some beautiful historic ships.
Best for: History buffs, families and animal lovers.
The cosmopolitan city of San Francisco is known for its lovely climate (despite the fog), hilly streetscapes and authentic Chinese food. The West Coast city is also famous for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge (which many cruisers will see when sailing into this port), as well as cable cars and colourful Victorian houses. For a spot of shopping, American department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are just in Union Square. Or if you’re a seafood lover, head to Pier 39 where you can find bowls of New England and Manhattan Chowder, a seafood stew – warming and delicious especially if you’re cruising there in winter.
Best for: Everyone.
The rainy city of Seattle is a popular port for cruising to Canada and Alaska. The city is known for its iconic Space Needle which gives 360-degree views. The Pike Place Market is one of the most well-known farmer’s markets in the world with more than 200 businesses operating year-round. You’ll find every kind of flower, fresh fish, French pastries, handmade cheeses and some unique antiques. If you enjoy history, take the Underground Tour of the city. Much of Seattle was destroyed during the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and the city was rebuilt over the top of the ruins. The tour will take you underground to see original shopfronts and roads.
Best for: Nature lovers and couples.
It’s one of the historical cities in the United States and Boston has a rich history, filled with museums accessible by foot. The Freedom Trail passes 16 sites of the most famous sites from early US history including the Boston Public Garden, Louisburg Square mansions and Fenway Park. Boston also has amazing museums and galleries like the Museum of Fine Art which is known for its impressionist works and antiquities. Visit the Quincy Market which has been transformed into a mall. You’ll find street performers and one of the best food courts in the world. It also still sells more lobster items than anywhere else in the world – including candy lobsters.
Best for: History buffs and couples.
Located in South Carolina, Charleston is a charming city with buildings dating back to pre-Civil War. Visit the Charleston Museum, which is regarded as America’s first museum. The collection focuses on natural history, American culture and history and more. Also visit the Joseph Manigault House, a historic landmark in Charleston. If you’re after something out of the ordinary, you can take a ghost tour of Charleston.
Best for: History buffs.
It’s one of the biggest cruise hubs in the world and Fort Lauderdale is home to some of the biggest cruise names. If you’re looking for things to do pre or post cruise, Fort Lauderdale is known for its golden sand beaches and waterways. Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s chic Las Olas is lined with fashion boutiques, art galleries and hip cafes. For shopping, visit the Swap Shop Circus where you can find some brand named goods at bargain prices.
Best for: Everyone.
Bright lights, big city – New York is one hell of a town! It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting cities in the world and there is something for everyone. It’s home to iconic sites like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Empire State Building. Take a stroll around Central Park, give your credit card a workout on 5th Avenue or grab a meal in Chinatown or Little Italy. Visit the American Museum of Natural History where you’ll see a mammoth and dinosaurs. You’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world in this city – both high-end and affordable. And for those who love entertainment and sport, you can catch an NBA or baseball game or a show on Broadway.
Best for: Everyone.