Thor’s Hammer in Utah (Alamy/PA)
Thor’s Hammer in Utah (Alamy/PA)

This is where you should be heading on your first trip back to the USA

With 50 states to choose from, there’s a dizzying choice of American holidays, says Sarah Marshall.

Sarah Marshall
Wednesday 29 September 2021 10:00

It’s been a long time coming, but news that fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enter the US from the UK and EU from November onwards has been met with applause. A firm favourite with travellers, it’s likely to be a popular holiday option for the winter season and 2022.

Already, many operators have received an influx of bookings.

“Arguably the most well-known country on earth, the USA is abundant with once-in-a-lifetime sights, from sweeping landscapes to cosmopolitan cities,” says Kerry Golds, MD of A&K and Cox & Kings “We’ve seen a boost in enquiries overall with vaccine confidence, but one country that stands out is the USA for travel later in the year.”

If you’re seeking inspiration, here are a few trips to consider.

Celebrate the heritage of the Capital Region

In November, America’s oldest national museum, the Arts & Industries Building, will reopen for the first time in 20 years for the Smithsonian Institution’s 175th Anniversary. New exhibition FUTURES will feature more than 150 objects, ideas and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history. But don’t spend all your time indoors. Shenandoah National Park is ablaze with autumn colours at this time of year.

How: Bon Voyage (; 0800 316 0194) offers a new seven-night trip from £1,255 per person (two sharing), including stays in Washington DC, Charlottesville, Virginia and Annapolis, Maryland. The price covers accommodation, flights and car hire. Valid for travel November 1 to December 17.

Ski into the future in Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass celebrates 75 years of skiing and riding this winter season, when ski lifts open on November 25. Along with covering the heritage and history of skiing in Aspen, celebrations and events will also look at innovation in ski racing, sustainability, art and athletic achievement.

How: Ski Safari (; 01273 224 060) offers a seven-night B&B stay at the Limelight Hotel Aspen from £2,275 per person (two sharing), including flights and transfers. Based on travel from December 1-8.

Get on track in Utah

In August, the famous Rocky Mountaineer began a new two-day rail route through the American Rockies between Denver in Colorado and Moab in Utah travelling along the Colorado River. Brits visiting in November will be amongst some of the first people to experience the epic route through striking mountains and steep rock canyons – some only accessible by road or river. Admire the scenery from glass-dome coaches and enjoy regional cuisine. Fewer domestic tourists at this time of year will also make it much easier to access national parks.

How: American Sky (; 01342 331 798) offers a 14-day Self-Drive Utah Mighty Five + Rockies to the Red Rocks by Rail itinerary, which travels onwards from Moab to explore Utah’s spectacular national parks. Prices from £2,849 per person (two sharing), including room-only accommodation, car hire and flights.

See Yellowstone from above

Next year celebrates the 150th anniversary of one of America’s greatest national parks, which was established in 1872. Popular with hikers during the summer, Yellowstone’s two-million-acre landscape is also captivating in winter months, when wolves can occasionally be seen hunting bison. Appreciate the scale and size of the place on an air safari, also visiting Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Track bison and bears, explore with private guides and visit rarely seen corners of the popular parks.

How: Abercrombie & Kent (; 01242 386 500) can tailor-make an air safari. POA, dependent on group size and aircraft.

Cruise California’s Golden Coast

With a coastline of exciting cities, sun-kissed beaches, world-class wineries and soaring redwood forests, California’s iconic Pacific coastline is popular at any time of year. Named ‘The Golden State’ after the 19th-century gold rush, it still has plenty of treasures to share. Sample fine vintages in Sonoma and Napa Valley, cycle across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and follow in the footsteps of showbiz greats on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

How: Cox & Kings (; 020 3918 3948) offers a nine-night California’s Golden Coast escorted trip from £3,295 per person (two sharing), including flights and some meals. Available on various dates between April and November.

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