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Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, New York

USA tours

The USA is a vast and diverse place and getting your travel plans right can make all the difference to your trip. With so much to see and such a large area to cover, it's worth thinking carefully about which route to take.

Whether it’s the rural villages of New England or the ranches of the Deep South that draw you here, we can advise on the logistics of getting around and how to combine some of the country's highlights. Our tour ideas are the product of extensive travel in the USA and are routes that work particularly well.

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Audley Travel specialist Beth

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Our recommended tours in the USA

These itineraries are designed to give you some suggestions for what is possible when you travel in the USA, and they showcase some of the routes that we’ve found work particularly well. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely for you by one of our specialists based on your particular tastes and interests.

  • Maine Coast USA

    Classic New England Self-Drive

    • Discover the revolutionary history of Boston on a guided tour of the Freedom Trail.

    • Explore the rugged coastline of Maine, dotted with lighthouses and quaint seaside towns.

    • Wander through the picturesque villages and rolling hills of Vermont.

    • Take in panoramic views from atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire's magnificent White Mountains.

    • Go whale watching off the waters of Cape Cod.

    14 days from £2,305pp

  • Route 66

    Highlights of Route 66 Self-Drive

    • Enjoy the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan.

    • Drive the original brick-topped section of Route 66.

    • Admire St Louis' impressive Gateway Arch.

    • Marvel at the magnificent Grand Canyon.

    • Watch the sunset from Santa Monica.

    15 days from £2,320pp

  • Desert, Saguaro Cactus, Southern Arizona

    Arizona and New Mexico Discovered Self-Drive

    • Admire the cacti-studded scenery of southern Arizona, exploring Saguaro National Park.

    • Enjoy scenic drives through forests, deserts and mountains.

    • Learn all about the Ancestral Puebloan tribes with visits to their ancient cliff dwellings.

    • Discover the region's Spanish heritage in Santa Fe and visit old mining towns.

    14 days from £2,415pp

  • Mist amid the hills of Shenandoah National Park

    Self-Drive Journey Through Virginia

    • Explore Williamsburg's historic colonial buildings and perhaps enjoy an al fresco lunch in Merchants Square.

    • Discover the history of quaint historic towns such as Charlottesville and Annapolis.

    • Drive the stunning Skyline Drive through the lush forest scenery of Shenandoah National Park.

    • Relax on the beautiful beaches of Virginia Beach.

    • Visit the White House, Capitol Building and national museums in Washington D.C.

    13 days from £2,460pp

  • Waterfront on Mackinac Island

    Explore Lake Michigan

    • Visit the Motown Museum to learn more about its important legacy.

    • Sample a number of craft beers from local breweries in Detroit.

    • Enjoy sweeping views of Lake Michigan from Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

    • Climb the sand dunes in Sleeping Bear and photograph Glen Lake from the top.

    • Take a self-guided tour of historic Fort Mackinac.

    • Explore the walking trails of Mackinac Island to reach hidden caves and arch rock formations.

    10 days from £2,595pp

  • Grapevine Hills, Big Bend National Park, Texas

    Texas Trails Self-Drive

    • Ride out along the trails and learn about the cowboy way of life on a Texan ranch.

    • Taste the state's culinary speciality, the Texas barbecue.

    • Visit San Antonio's famous Alamo, a shrine of Texan independence.

    • Enjoy live music at its best in the state capital, Austin.

    • Sample cowboy culture at Fort Worth's historic Stockyards district.

    14 days from £2,640pp

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Blue Ridge & Great Smoky Mountains Self-Drive

    Deep South
    • Soak up the scenery of Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks on ranger-led walks.

    • Look out for black bears in Shenandoah and salamanders in the Great Smoky Mountains.

    • Drive along the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway scenic highways, stopping to explore towns and villages en route.

    • Visit Washington D.C.'s iconic monuments, memorials, museums and galleries.

    14 days from £2,815pp

  • Oak Alley plantation, Mississippi

    Discovering the Deep South

    • Wander the streets of Nashville, lined with music venues that you can enjoy any time of the day.

    • Immerse yourself in US Civil Rights history in Memphis at the moving National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.

    • Explore the grand antebellum homes and plantation mansions along the Mississippi.

    • Delve into the culinary history of New Orleans, learning how to cook gumbo and jambalaya.

    14 days from £2,955pp

  • Jefferson Memorial, Washington

    Pennsylvania & Virginia Self-Drive

    • Visit the historic battle site at Gettysburg.

    • Experience the wonderful colonial heritage of Williamsburg.

    • Tour the monuments and memorials of Washington D.C.

    • Drive along the magnificently scenic Skyland Drive in Shenandoah National Park.

    15 days from £2,995pp

  • Boston Skyline

    Cities of the East by rail

    New England
    • Reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday, travelling by rail.

    • Explore Boston's rich history, including its role in the American Revolution.

    • Experience the bright lights of New York City, visiting the statue of Liberty and Central Park.

    • See the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

    • Take a tour around the museums, monuments and memorials in Washington D.C.

    13 days from £3,110pp

  • Laura Plantation

    Exploring Cajun Country

    • Learn from a local about traditional Cajun cuisine in an open demonstration cooking class.

    • Explore a number of plantations to discover Louisiana's rich history.

    • Taste your way around Baton Rouge's many craft breweries.

    • Visit the country's largest river swamp and spot a bald eagle at the Atchafalaya Basin.

    11 days from £3,130pp

  • Brooklyn Bridge sunset New York Manhattan

    New York State Discovered Self-Drive

    • Experience the thundering cascades of Niagara Falls by boat or helicopter.

    • Go walking or canoeing in the Adirondack Mountains, looking out for moose, beavers and coyotes.

    • Sample wines from the beautiful vineyards of the Finger Lakes region.

    • Enjoy the multitude of shopping, sightseeing and dining options in New York City.

    15 days from £3,135pp

  • Bixby Bridge at Big Sur California, Pacific Coast High Way

    Coastal California Self-Drive

    • Tour Alcatraz and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

    • Go whale watching in Monterey, looking out for orca and humpback whales.

    • Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway with its dramatic views of the rugged coastline and the ocean.

    • Relax on the soft sands of Pismo Beach.

    • Enjoy the sparkle and glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.

    11 days from £3,150pp

  • Niagara Falls, Ontario

    New England and Niagara Falls Self-Drive

    Canada and New England
    • Tour the cobblestone streets of Boston's North End.

    • Take the Cog Railway to the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

    • Soak up the culture of the Berkshires in Stockbridge.

    • Board the 'Hornblower' boat to explore magnificent Niagara Falls.

    14 days from £3,225pp

  • Kentucky horses

    Highlights of Kentucky & Tennessee Self-Drive

    • Explore the magnificent scenery of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    • Sample bourbon and go horse racing in Kentucky.

    • Go underground at Mammoth Cave National Park.

    • Discover the rich country music heritage of Nashville.

    • Learn about the South's fascinating, and turbulent, civil rights heritage.

    16 days from £3,375pp

  • Houses in Charleston's Historic District

    Historic South Carolina Self-Drive

    • Stroll through the streets of Charleston with an expert guide and get local insights into the city’s rich history.

    • Visit a number of historical plantations set upon the Ashley River, just a short drive from Charleston.

    • Enjoy typical Southern traditions at Montage Palmetto Bluff and sample fire-roasted S’mores, homemade sweet tea and slow-simmered shrimp and grits.

    • Bask in the Carolina sunshine on Hilton Head Island.

    12 days from £3,395pp

  • Abandon Crystal Mill near Aspen

    Colorado Rockies Explored

    • Explore the foothills of the Rocky Mountains outside of Denver.

    • Visit the authentic mountain town of Breckenridge.

    • Enjoy a white water rafting adventure on the Roaring Fork River outside of Aspen.

    • See wildlife such as moose and elk in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    15 days from £3,445pp

  • Venice Beach, Los Angeles

    Best of the West

    • Explore the glamour of Hollywood and chic Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.

    • Follow walking trails and see incredible geological formations in California and Arizona’s national parks.

    • Drive the iconic Pacific Coast Highway for dramatic views over the ocean and rugged coastline.

    • Soak up the electric atmosphere of Las Vegas.

    21 days from £3,770pp

  • Napa Valley vineyard

    California Explored

    • Discover the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous in Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

    • Explore the beaches and pretty towns along the Pacific coastline.

    • Watch for wildlife and get close to nature in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

    • See the salt flats of Badwater in the desolate Death Valley National Park.

    • Enjoy wine tasting in the glorious vineyards of the Napa Valley.

    21 days from £3,835pp

  • Chicago

    The Great Lakes Trail Self-Drive

    • Visit the rejuvenated cities of Detroit and Minneapolis - St. Paul.

    • Explore the enormous sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

    • Go walking and cycling in car-free Mackinac Island.

    • Relish the tranquility and thriving wildlife in Isle Royale National Park.

    • Discover Wisconsin's pretty Apostle Islands.

    17 days from £3,845pp

  • Whales, Hawaii

    Hawaii Highlights Self-Drive

    • Explore Maui's white sand beaches.

    • Experience the intense heat and vigour of Kilauea Volcano.

    • Snorkel with sea turtles, whales and dolphins.

    • Between January and March you can also take a boat trip on the Pacific Ocean to see majestic humpback whales at sunrise.

    13 days from £3,860pp

  • North Cascades National Park, USA

    USA Pacific Northwest Self-Drive

    • Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Pike's Place Market in Seattle.

    • See the iconic Haystack Rocks at Cannon Beach.

    • Explore the gorgeous Japanese and Rose gardens in Portland.

    • Walk the trails and explore the waterfalls around Hood River and Cascade Locks.

    • Explore alpine meadows around Mount Rainier.

    15 days from £3,930pp

  • Bison in Yellowstone National Park

    On the Trail of the Bison

    • Visit the magnificent Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

    • Marvel at the power of the geysers and look for wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.

    • Discover the beauty of Grand Teton National Park on a guided trip.

    • Explore charming Western towns such as Sheridan, Cody and Jackson.

    15 days from £3,995pp

  • Redwood National Park

    Northern California Self-Drive

    • Explore beautiful, cosmopolitan San Francisco.

    • Go wine tasting in the Sonoma Valley.

    • Go hiking at Mount Shasta.

    • Discover the beauty and tranquility of Crater Lake National Park.

    • See the enormous redwood trees in Redwood National Park.

    14 days from £4,180pp

  • Monument Valley

    National Parks Explored

    • Stay in the cosmopolitan city of Salt Lake City, discovering the Great Salt Lake itself and visiting the enormous Mormon temple.

    • Explore the geothermal wonderland and wildlife of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

    • Discover the history of the Ancestral Pueblo Indians in Mesa Verde National Park.

    • Explore South Dakota's amazing Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse national monuments.

    • Visit the magnificent red rock mountains of Monument Valley and Zion National Park.

    25 days from £4,340pp

  • Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo

    Complete Route 66 Self-Drive

    • Admire the beaches, architecture and night life of Chicago.

    • Marvel at the epic scenery of the Grand Canyon.

    • Enjoy a hike through the beautiful Petrified Forest National Park.

    • Experience the excitement and bright lights of Las Vegas.

    • Soak up the atmosphere, relax on the beach or go shopping in Los Angeles.

    26 days from £5,060pp

  • San francisco Hyde Street Cable Car

    California, Oregon & Washington State Self-Drive

    • Explore the beautiful cities of San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

    • Drive along the scenic coastal highways of California and Oregon.

    • See magnificent giant redwood trees in northern California.

    • At low tide walk to Haystack Rock at Oregon's Cannon Beach.

    • Hike around the temperate rainforests looking for wildlife in Olympic National Park.

    21 days from £5,725pp

  • Jackson Square in New Orleans

    Luxury Deep South Self-drive

    • Explore the streets of New Orleans' world-famous French Quarter with a private guide.

    • Taste the many Cajun and Creole culinary delights on a hands on cooking class.

    • Tour Memphis is style, in a vintage 1960's car.

    • Enjoy the musical birth places of Country, Blues, Jazz and Rock 'n' Roll.

    16 days from £6,390pp

  • Barns in Vermont

    Luxury New York City and New England

    • Explore the Museum of Modern Art after hours in a totally private experience.

    • Enjoy ocean scenery travelling by train between New York and Boston.

    • Scale the Cog Railway in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

    • Sail out into the Newport harbour in an authentic America’s Cup yacht.

    • Relax on the pristine beaches of Chatham, Cape Cod.

    19 days from £7,795pp

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Beach tours with a touch of exploration

These tour ideas, from our Hidden Beaches collection, are our answer if you’re looking to relax but still want to explore. Each tour combines time at one of our hand-picked beach properties with a few days spent either on safari, taking in a city, discovering the local culture or hopping to the next beach. They are only suggestions though, and a specialist will plan your holiday individually.

  • Beach, Carlisle Bay, Antigua

    Carlisle Bay and Miami

    Beach + Beach hopping

    Enjoy the art deco architecture and exciting atmosphere of Miami Beach before flying to Antigua’s stunning coastline and colonial history for a relaxing week at a luxurious beach resort.

    12 days from £3,920pp

    3 nights Miami, room only; 7 nights Carlisle Bay, including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers

Some of our favourite travel guides

North Cascades National Park, USA

Natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

If you'd like to organise a tailor-made trip to the Pacific Northwest you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the incredible array of wildlife, wilderness and natural wonders, including a guided tour of the infamous Mount St Helens.

View this travel guide
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Self-driving through Arizona & Utah in America’s Southwest

Our specialists will have travelled the routes we offer so you can rest assured that you'll get the most from your self-drive holiday in the US. They'll also plan the best places to stay, things to see and do, and even what car is most suited to your needs. In short, they make sure everything runs smoothly.

View this travel guide
Route 66, Texas

Route 66 holidays

Known as the ‘Mother Road’, Route 66 helped open up America and shape its identity. Whether you choose to drive the whole route or just part of it, your road trip will showcase the country’s culture, history and landscapes.

View this travel guide
Grand Canyon National Park

Visiting the Grand Canyon: how to get the best experience

Everyone has heard of the Grand Canyon, but how can you get the most out of your visit? USA specialist Ross provides advice and answers common questions about exploring the canyon, as well as sharing his own experiences.

View this travel guide
South Beach, Miami

Self-drive holidays in Florida

Florida is blessed with both an Atlantic and a Gulf of Mexico coast, and there are a number of self-driving routes throughout the state that combine coastal highlights with some of the region’s most recognisable attractions inland. USA specialist, David, drove across the Florida Keys on his recent trip to the USA.

View this travel guide
Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Family holidays in the USA

Ranch stays, glamping in national parks, Hawaiian feasts and Yellowstone’s steaming geysers: the USA is packed with enough experiences to fill several family photo albums. USA specialist Shannon shares her pick of things to see and do on your next family trip.

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New York High Line

The boroughs of New York City

Whether you're planning a trip to New York to see its architecture, to go shopping, take in a Broadway show or visit one or more of its museums and galleries, the five boroughs that make up the 'Big Apple' have something to offer everyone.

View this travel guide
An autumn storm flows over Blue Ridge Parkway

Fall in the USA beyond New England

While New England is known for its showstopping fall foliage, there are plenty of other places in the USA that can rival the region’s autumnal beauty. Our specialists share worthy alternatives where you can make the most of the changing leaves.

View this travel guide
Glacier Nationa Park

Self-driving in the Rockies

Experience mountains, native American culture and wildlife with our self-drive guide through the Rockies. Written by USA specialist Emma, she's plotted a route that will take you through Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

View this travel guide
Manatees at Crystal River, Florida

5 of the best family activities in the USA

Eating lunch with an astronaut in Houston, snorkeling with Florida’s manatees, or a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon’s yawning chasm: our USA specialists pick five standout family activities you can include in your trip.

View this travel guide