Raised in the United States, Elisa’s official home is Phoenix, Arizona, a land of saguaro cacti, desert sunsets and tortoises - very different to England! Her knowledge of the United States started with her passion in tourism. After studying abroad in Italy and Australia, backpacking around Europe, travelling in Thailand and spending summers in Bolivia, Elisa knew her career lay in tourism.
Besides visiting more than 23 USA states, from Hawaii to New York State, Elisa has a rich understanding of American culture and what each state has to offer. Having graduated from Arizona State University in Tourism Management, she began her career in Arizona, selling adventure tours in the southwest, which included the Grand Canyon, hot air ballooning, wine tours and off road adventures.
After meeting an Englishman, Elisa moved to England and joined Audley as a USA Country Specialist. She enjoys driving through the Cotswolds, eating Sunday roasts and making people laugh.
My Most Memorable Experience
"My flight from Honolulu landed on the small airstrip at Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is surrounded by black volcanic rocks. I was impressed that this popular destination had a tiny airport, with the landing strip lying right next to the ocean.
The surrounding trees were stunning - so tall and lush, and in a bright yellow topless jeep I could look up and admire the views! At the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, I spent the entire day engulfed in the magnificent scenery of the volcanic rocks, admiring ancient Hawaiian fish ponds and learning about the fascinating Hawaiian culture. I will never forget the Kona Coast with its rich beauty, calm clear waters and tall swaying trees."
My Favourite Destination
"Out of all the states, Montana has had the biggest impact on me, specifically at Glacier National Park. Amongst bison, elk and enormous mountain goats are the Rocky Mountains that seem to reach to the clouds, and more than 30 glaciers and glacier lakes that have the most unique turquoise colour.
On my trip I was lucky enough to walk through Glacier National Park and learn about all the animals that are native to the area. I was blown away with the guide’s knowledge of the wildlife, plants and local Native American history. As I pulled up to one of the lodges a mountain goat was right by the entrance to the lobby; he roamed free throughout the park and that included the lodge! I was mostly impressed with the enormous size of the bison and learning about North American history. I didn’t get to see any grizzly bears, but many people are lucky enough to see them here."
My Favourite Accommodation
"Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California, is a wonderful place to escape and connect with nature. Located right on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the inn offers the most unique accommodation I have ever seen, hidden between gigantic trees (some which are redwoods) with a living roof that enables the rooms to blend with nature. Other rooms that face away from the Pacific are tree houses; rooms on stilts that face lush greenery, trees and mountains.
The restaurant prides itself on farm to table fresh food and has stunning ocean views. The hotel has only 40 rooms; none have televisions but when I stepped out onto my private balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the view was way better than any television programme."