Life is not a checklist. But, well, if it was, there are some things that you just couldn't miss out on. Experiencing a sunrise over the ocean, for example, or visiting the Mona Lisa.
After helping thousands of travellers shoot off on their dream holidays around Europe, Asia and the USA, we've come to learn that each country has its own secret list of essential experiences. These are the things that have really made their holidays - the moments they'll remember til they're grey and old.
Let's dive in and take a look at the top eight bucket-list experiences you have to try when you visit the USA!
Exploring Lake Tahoe
The U.S. is extremely proud of its open wilderness landscapes. If you want to experience them for yourself, Lake Tahoe is one of the very best places you can visit. It's the perfect spot for outdoor activities, from trail running to kayaking and much more. But no one would blame you for just kicking back on one of the white sandy beaches looking at snow-capped mountains!
Hiking El Capitan
After all the glitz and glamour, it's time to get back to nature. The towering summit of El Capitan has inspired many an adventurous hiker. We hope you're next in line! If you're not sure you can make it to the top, then its worth the trip anyway just to see Yosemite and its beautiful Redwood forest.
Seeing the Grand Canyon
Unless you've been there, it's almost impossible to understand the awesome power of seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. It's a unique sight that captures everything that's amazing about the U.S. - it's beautiful, sweeping openness and unapologetic grandness. Arrive at the right time of day and you'll get to experience an amazing show of colour as the morning light reflects off the multi-layered rocks. If there was ever a bucket-list moment for your list, it's this.
Rolling through Vegas
From insanely ‘grammable natural scenery, to mind-blowing nightclubs and unmissable shows, this is a city you can’t miss. It's also a (relatively) short trip from the Grand Canyon! Handy, that. We recommend taking your time exploring down the Strip taking in the dazzling casino lights - that's the best way to experience this crazy town. Of course, a few rounds of Blackjack can be pretty memorable, too.
Whale watching in Santa Barbara
From late spring to early autumn, the Santa Barbara Channel provides regular sightings of humpback whales, and even colossal blue whales. You could even spot a few bottlenose dolphins! If you're passing through Santa Barbara, don't miss the opportunity - seeing these beautiful mammals passing directly underneath your boat is a sight you won't forget in a hurry!
Climbing the Empire State Building
Who wouldn't want to check out the view from this famous structure?! The sheer scale of this massive tower in the centre of midtown Manhattan is as inspiring today as it was the day it was built. The 360-degree observation deck gives you one of the best city views in the whole of the States. Visit on New Year's Eve for a truly special experience!
Eating a fish taco on the beach in San Diego
San Diego is renowned for two things - it's beautiful beaches and its excellent, latin-influenced cuisine. If you want to capture the feel of this city, we recommend combining the two and having yourself a uniquely San Diego experience. Pacific Beach is the place to go for both, with miles of open sand, tiny street food stands and rolling blue waves. After you've visited all of the above, its the perfect place to just sit and reflect on everything that makes the U.S.A. what it is.
Seeing the Hollywood sign
No trip to Los Angeles is complete without seeing the famous Hollywood sign. If you're wandering around Hollywood Boulevard, you can look north from just about any intersection to see it, or head to Griffith Observatory for a better view! For the whole Hollywood experience, pair your visit to Mount Lee up with a day out at Universal Studios.
You'll find most of these fantastic locations on our Hop-on Hop-off network through the United States. Jump over to the website and have yourself a great big American adventure!