Audley launches new USA brochure
Audley have significantly expanded their programme to the USA, increasing the variety of product in existing areas and also introducing two new regions – Florida and the Great Lakes.
Throughout the brochure Audley have tried to avoid the big chain hotels and instead offer interesting smaller character properties and family-run bed and breakfasts. They also suggest many ways to get off the beaten track including visiting some of the lesser known National Parks and a number of more unusual excursions and activities. The majority of the trips involve self-drive as this is the easiest and best way of getting around though it can of course be combined with flights, rail journeys and cruises.
Audley have included a broad range of destinations in Florida, extending far beyond Disney and the beaches. They have focused on Florida’s historic, cultural and natural aspects with the aim of encouraging clients to discover the state’s many delightful and little-explored gems.
For example they have included the sparsely populated and under-developed Florida Panhandle – a region of oak-lined roads, pristine natural springs and Southern charm. They also suggest swimming with manatees near the town of Crystal River and visiting Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson from Key West. A 13 day Florida Coastal Explorer trip takes in Miami, Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park, Islamorada, the Everglades National Park, Naples, the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, Clearwater and Tampa.
The Great Lakes
Vibrant and newly resurgent former industrial cities contrast with peaceful lakeside walking trails and water-based activities. Audley suggest visiting Mackinac Island in Michigan, Isle Royale National Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin for spectacular island scenery.
They recommend a 16 day Great Lakes Trail itinerary, which combines these more remote and beautiful parts of the Great Lakes with the vibrant cities of Detroit and Minneapolis.
Audley have seen increased demand for Hawaii as both a stand-alone destination and as a beach stay option after a trip to Western USA or Canada. They have carefully designed their trips to combine the main sights with the smaller, less-visited Hawaiian islands, showing the diverse scenery and traditional Polynesian culture. The tranquil islands of Lanai and Molokai have been introduced for the first time and offer a level of unparalleled seclusion for those wishing to get away from it all.
Audley have included some truly characterful places to stay across all the islands, including the Inn at Mama’s Fish House on Maui, which has 13 rooms individually decorated in traditional Polynesian style, and Chalet Kilauea on Hawaii, which has just six rooms and is set amid lush rainforest just minutes from the entrance to Volcanoes National Park.
Audley also recommend a range of excursions including night snorkelling with manta rays, the Waimea Canyon downhill bicycle ride, the Kalalau Trail guided walk and the Circle of Fire helicopter trip. They also suggest a seven night small ship cruise between Molokai and the Big island – an ideal way to explore the Hawaii archipelago.
Audley have increased the number of ranches on offer in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, with options available to suit different budgets and great choices for families. One option is Rocking Z Ranch in Montana, which is family run and offers riding experiences for all levels as well as additional activities including clay pigeon shooting, fly-fishing and birdwatching. For those wanting something more luxurious there are ranches such as Triple Creek where gourmet meals are matched by fine vintage wines from the extensive wine cellar.
The Deep South
New to the brochure is the state of Kentucky – best known for its bourbon whisky, thoroughbred horses and foot-tapping music. Audley suggest visiting Mammoth Cave National Park, which has over 350 miles of passageways and is reputedly the longest cave system in the world. As the most northern of the Deep South states, Kentucky combines well with either New York and the Capital Region or with Tennessee and the Deep South.
Audley suggest a 15 day Highlights of Kentucky and Tennessee itinerary, which combines the beautiful scenery of the Appalachian Mountains, the bourbon and horse-racing traditions of Kentucky and the great musical heritage of Tennessee.
New York State Discovered
Audley feature many wonderful properties and excursions in New England and New York State and the Capital Region. They particularly recommend spending time in New York State, which is something of an undiscovered treasure with 50,000 miles of rolling farmland, great lakes and towering mountains. It is also a wonderful place to enjoy the Autumn colours with relatively few other tourists and spectacular scenery.
Audley have put together a 12 day New York State Discovered itinerary, which takes in New York, the Hudson Valley, Niagara Falls, Lake Ontario, the Adirondack Mountains and Saratoga Springs.
California & Nevada
California remains ever popular and Audley aim to show how to combine the highlights with some of the region’s lesser-known areas. They also offer some wonderful smaller properties and interesting excursions. These include private guided hikes in Yosemite National Park, the chance to drive a classic 1960s convertible car to explore in and an America’s Cup Yacht Trip in San Francisco, seeing the bay from a racing yacht with a fully experienced crew.