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Holidays in the USA
From the sparse natural scenery of the Mojave Desert to the bustling metropolis of New York, the USA is a vast land where the people are as diverse as the landscape. Whether you want sun-kissed golden beaches, ultra chic nightspots or exhilarating family attractions; USA holidays have got it all and more.
Spring or autumn when temperatures are usually comfortably warm.
The main airport near Orlando is Orlando International Airport (MCO) which is 19km south-east of Orlando. The main airport near Las Vegas is McCarran International Airport (LAS) which is 8km south of downtown Las Vegas.
Book at Thomas Cook holiday to the USA for rugged natural landscapes, electrifying theme parks and neon cities that never sleep.
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
The dazzling lights of Las Vegas are in the south-western part of the USA. The Strip is where you’ll find the glamorous hotel resorts that have made Las Vegas the iconic city it is today. On the USA’s south-eastern tip, Florida offers pristine beaches, trendy nightspots and rich tropical scenery. Orlando’s outstanding theme parks make it one of the best family destinations in the world. Head to the west coast and southern California for the glamorous Los Angeles, home of red carpets and golden sands. Further south of LA is sunny San Diego. Delight the kids with nature theme parks such as SeaWorld and San Diego Zoo, and enjoy its lively cultural hub Balboa Park.
A destination like no other, Orlando is home to some of the most famous theme parks in the world. Experience white-knuckle rides, fairy tale fantasies, awe-inspiring shows and incredible shopping malls all in one fun-filled holiday to Orlando. If you want to stay in the heart of the action, opt for a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
Famously called ‘so good they named it twice’, New York isn’t just a city, but a fast-paced and energetic experience. Located in New York State’s central borough of Manhattan, it invites you to explore beyond its grid-like streets. Take a walk above the city, and enjoy breathtaking views of the skyline at dizzying heights.
Known as The Windy City, Chicago is a melting pot of authentic jazz clubs, unique museums and futuristic skylines. From stargazing at the Adler Planetarium, to enjoying views across the city at the John Hancock Center, there’s something for everyone. Just don’t leave without ordering one of their world-famous deep dish pizzas.
San Francisco is known as ‘The City’ to the natives, but it feels like a mix of little villages thrown side by side. To the south is the up-and-coming Tenderloin; to the north the picturesque and serene Nob Hill. In the middle is Downtown, where The City hustles and bustles 24 hours a day, and you’ll find Union Square’s shops, theatres and the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art).
New England’s picture postcard scenery is filled with charming little villages, lush green valleys and a seemingly endless coastline. Boston is the capital of Massachusetts, and one of the oldest cities in the USA. With its narrow, winding roads and red brick buildings, the city has an old world European feel to it.
From the luxury boutiques of Fifth Avenue to the quirky vintage shops of Greenwich Village, New York is one of the best places in the USA for shopping. If you love to bag a bargain but aren’t so keen on the crowds, then Orlando Premium Outlets® is just for you. It’s a stylish Mediterranean-style shopping village with sparkling fountains and shady palm trees where you can wander around at your own pace. In Las Vegas, the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is a unique shopping experience. As well as 160 stores, you’ll also find an aquarium, talking statues and an elaborate replica of the Trevi fountain.
Just a few hours’ drive from Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon is one of the most magnificent natural attractions in the USA. The rugged ochre gorge was formed over six million years, and reaches plunging depths of 1.5 km. The eerily beautiful Death Valley is a couple of hours from Las Vegas. Come in the springtime for the seas of glittering gold wildflowers. The rich, green wetland of the Florida Everglades is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in the USA. Catch an airboat ride and see if you can spot wild manatees and alligators.
Whether they’re after heart-pumping thrills or gentle rides, you’ll find that sun-drenched Florida has some of the best things for kids to do in the USA. Walt Disney World is a children’s paradise of shows, parades and exciting attractions. At Magic Kingdom® you’ll ride on Aladdin’s magic carpet and blast off into outer space on Space Mountain. Universal Orlando® is a rip-roaring journey through cinematic history with attractions dedicated to Despicable Me, Transformers and The Mummy. Universal’s Islands of Adventure is where you’ll find the high-speed Incredible Hulk Coaster® and the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter®.
Rightly dubbed ‘the city that never sleeps’, New York has a little something for every traveller. Head to the top of the Empire State Building for epic views of the city’s famous skyline, or shop for designer goods in Manhattan’s luxury department stores. In the evening, you can buy half-price Broadway tickets in Times Square, or take your pick from a wide range of international restaurants. On the west coast, San Francisco offers a much more laidback city break. Tasty seafood awaits in the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf area, and live music fans can find a number of jazz clubs in Union Square.
Nicknamed the ‘American Riviera’, Miami’s South Beach is the perfect place to relax, people-watch or showcase your newly-bought designer threads. Soak up the tropical climate by day, or arrive after sunset when the area comes alive with music and partying. On the northeast coast, the USA’s smallest state, Rhode Island, is your go-to for white sandy beaches and romantic coastal views. Explore the old cobbled towns along the coast before settling down to a freshly-caught seafood meal by the sea. If you’d prefer a little more atmosphere while you tan, Santa Monica's famous beach is the best place to try your hand at surfing and other water sports.
Adventurers: Hire a classic car and live your dream of a great American road trip.
Families: Florida's world-class theme parks and pristine sandy beaches.
Party animals: Dance ‘til dawn at one of Las Vegas’ coolest nightclubs.
Nature lovers: The raw beauty of the Grand Canyon and the wild alligators and manatees of the Florida Everglades.
Language: The language spoken in the USA is English.
Currency: The currency used in the USA is the American Dollar ($).
Local time: Orlando and New York are 5 hours behind GMT/UK time. Las Vegas and Los Angeles are 8 hours behind GMT/UK time.
Fly to: The main airport near Orlando is Orlando International Airport (MCO) which is 19km south-east of Orlando. The main airport near Las Vegas is McCarran International Airport (LAS) which is 8km south of downtown Las Vegas.
Flight time from UK: 8-9 hours to Orlando and 10-11 hours to Las Vegas.
Tourist Information: Further USA tourist information can be found at www.discoveramerica.com
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa for recommendations and general advice on visas and health for your holiday to the USA. For information on the Visa Waiver Program for international travellers looking to travel to the United States please visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
Temperature: 30-40 (°C) during the summer months in destinations like Florida and Las Vegas.
Best time to visit USA: Spring or autumn when temperatures are usually comfortably warm.
From sun-drenched California to the snowy peaks of Montana, the weather in the USA can differ greatly from state to state. In Florida, you can expect year-round sunshine with temperatures averaging in the early 30s (°C) during the summer months. Las Vegas weather is hot and dry throughout the year and temperatures often exceed 40 °C in July/August.
By hire car: Hire a rental car to explore the USA’s rich and varied landscape at your own pace. Be aware that you’ll find toll booths across the country, so keep a few dollars to hand when you’re driving.
By monorail: The Las Vegas Monorail serves the major resorts along the Strip.
By trolley bus: In Florida, Orlando’s I-Drive trolley bus is a handy way to get around the restaurants and attractions of International Drive.
By cable car: The quaint cable cars of San Francisco offer a fantastic way to see the city.
By plane or boat: Hop between the Hawaiian islands with the inter-island airlines, or take the ferry which leaves from Maui's Lahaina Harbour.
Brand USA: Download your guide to amazing destinations and experiences here
Super Bowl: The biggest sporting event in the USA is Super Bowl Sunday, which takes place at the end of February. The two most successful teams in the NFL battle it out for the prestigious Super Bowl trophy in a different American city each year.
4th July: American Independence Day on the 4th of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Parades, barbeques and fireworks are traditional around this time, and you’ll see American flags on every corner.
Ringing the changes: New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas is the ultimate night out. Crowds of thousands descend on the Las Vegas Strip and the party doesn’t stop until the sun comes up.
Film festivals: On the must-see list are the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, and September’s SoCal Independent Film Festival, in Orange County’s Huntington Beach.
Music and Culture: Austin, Texas is famous for its festivals: South by Southwest (SXSW) is an extravaganza of film and music held every March, and there’s also Austin City Limits Festival (October).
Foodie Fun: In July, indulge your senses at the Taste of Chicago, the world’s largest food festival. Three million visitors descend on Grant Park to taste the city’s diverse cuisine, from traditional deep-dish Chicago pizza to spicy African stews.