San Diego, California
Also known as ‘America’s Finest City’, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and is recognised for its beaches and temperate climate. One of its most popular attractions is the San Diego Zoo, consistently ranked amongst the top zoos across the world and housing over 3500 rare and endangered animals. The zoo sits within Balboa Park, a massive urban park that comprises 17 museums in addition to the zoo. Check out a few of the museums or just relax and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings. If you take a 30-minute drive out of San Diego, you’ll come across another family friendly destination – LEGOLAND California Theme Park. Both small and big kids will love the interactive nature of the park that is a true celebration of the iconic toy. And don’t forget to sample some of San Diego’s famous Cali Baja cuisine, a mouth-watering cross-border combination of Tijuana’s Bali-Med cuisine and Californian fresh produce.
Los Angeles, California
The second most populous city within the United States, Los Angeles has been depicted in countless films and TV shows over the years. The city is home to Hollywood as well as a large number of its stars. Stroll down the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame which has over 2600 paved bronze stars to commemorate some of its most famous stars. A trip to Los Angeles would not be complete without stopping by Disneyland Park – Walt Disney’s original theme park opened in 1955. Grab a pic in front of the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle first and then check out the many thrilling rides and amazing attractions within the park. For stunning views of Los Angeles, head up to the Griffith Observatory. The beautiful structure is famous in itself, having appeared in films such as Rebel Without a Cause and La La Land and doubles as a perfect viewpoint for the iconic Hollywood sign.
Las Vegas, Nevada
While located in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas can scarcely be described as a calm oasis. The bustling city is otherwise known as ‘Sin City’, denoting its reputation as a party paradise. Even if you are not a gambler yourself, you will no doubt be dazzled by the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip. This stretch of main road will lead you past some of the best sights in the city, including swanky hotels and casinos, restaurants, performance venues and more. Swing by the Bellagio and check out the amazing Fountains of Bellagio – its music and light show is spectacular enough to have appeared in the 2001 film Ocean’s Eleven. If you need a break from the fast-paced life of Las Vegas, drive out to visit the Grand Canyon, a 446km-long canyon that offers breathtaking scenery. You can explore the area on foot along one of the many hiking trails or take to the skies in a helicopter for those aerial views.
San Francisco, California
Built upon sheer slopes, San Francisco is both a city and a seaport with a distinct look and feel. You’ll probably catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge (which is actually red, not golden) as you explore the city – this towering structure sits above San Francisco Bay and is arguably San Francisco’s most recognisable icon. Don’t miss out on visiting Alcatraz Island, which sits in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The island was most notably used as a federal prison, home to notorious criminals such as Al Capone. To give your legs a rest from the steep hills of San Francisco, hop on one of the city’s historic cable cars – the more adventurous travellers can even ride on the outside of the tram!
Travel further north up the West Coast and you’ll come across the city of Seattle. The city hosted the 1962 World Fair, which oversaw the construction of many impressive architectural structures. This includes the famous Seattle Space Needle, an observation tower reaching a staggering 184m overhead. The World Fair also led to the construction of the Seattle Center Monorail which is one of the best ways to explore the city. This is the first full-scale commercial monorail system in America ever and travels between some of Seattle’s museums and cultural experiences.
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