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From hiking the dizzying trails of Yosemite National Park to taking a scenic flight in Alaska over the highest mountain in North America, from sunbathing on the shores of the shimmering Miami Beach to soaking up Dixieland music at late-night bars in New Orleans, there’s a USA travel itinerary for everyone. With 300 cities, 61 national parks, and 12,383 miles of coastline to explore, it’s no wonder the United States of America has long been a popular holiday destination with seasoned travelers. However, when it comes to finding the best USA itinerary, you might need a little direction. Check out our USA itineraries below which range from 7 days in the ‘land of the free’ to a whopping three-week road trip.
For most, traveling to America is considered a long-haul holiday and we’d recommend spending no less than seven days there to ensure it’s worth your while. Those with the luxury of ten days to spare can opt for a well-rounded USA trip itinerary, and those with two to three weeks can take their pick from a range of USA itineraries that cover multiple states. We recommend a 10-day America itinerary and choosing between exploring one city and its surrounding landscape (i.e. Los Angeles and its neighboring towns, coastal villages, and desert), or road-tripping to multiple destinations (i.e. an East coast road-trip calling at Boston, New York, and Washington D.C).
USA itineraries that are seven days in length can cover one city in depth, such as Chicago, New York, New Orleans, or Los Angeles, or spread across two destinations. If you’re looking to visit the Pacific Northwest, consider spending three days in Seattle, one day in the North Cascades National Park and three days in Portland. In Seattle, you’ll have time to explore the city’s colorful waterfront area, visit the historic Pioneer Square, and browse artisan goods at Pike Place Market. When you’ve finished exploring the city, take to the Cascades and enjoy a day hiking in the mountains (the Cascade Pass Trail is popular with beginners and full of incredible panoramas). From there head south to Portland, Oregon’s largest city known for its parks, cycle paths, and microbreweries.
If you’d prefer to spend seven days on the east coast, consider a road trip through the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York State as you journey from Boston to New York. Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport are all quaint towns to stop at en-route to soak up some New England-esque charm.
Alternatively, spend your seven days in America on the west-coast soaking up the best beaches, bars, and bays in California. Los Angeles is always a good starting point and you can spend the entire week rollerblading down Santa Monica Pier, shopping in Malibu, and hiking Runyon Canyon to enjoy the famous view of the Hollywood Sign. If you prefer to visit more than one city, consider including San Diego or Santa Barbara on your L.A trip.
10 days is the perfect amount of time for a USA holiday itinerary, whether you want to relax on an island, bounce from city to city along the coast, or hike your way through some of America’s finest mountain ranges, there’s plenty to do for everyone.
For a tropical 10-day vacation, head to Hawaii and soak up some of America’s best beaches, greenest jungle, and world-renowned 5 star resorts. Begin your trip in Honolulu before island hopping to Kailua-Kona, Maui, and Lahaina, soaking up the local culture and cuisine as you go. You’ll spend your time exploring the Na Pali Coast, swimming in Kua Bay, and trekking to Kilauea; the archipelago’s active volcano.
Alternatively, strap on your walking boots and spend ten days traveling from Salt Lake City to Denver, calling at Jackson and Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone, and the Black Hills of South Dakota. This route showcases some of America’s finest hiking trails and is packed with non-stop outdoor adventure. Finish your trip by visiting Mount Rushmore National Monument before flying home.
One of America’s most well-traveled roads has to be Route 66; those with two weeks to explore should most certainly consider an itinerary that traverses this famous route. Starting in Chicago and ending in Los Angeles, Route 66 crosses through eight states and provides a real taste of America. Make sure you stop at the Cadilac Ranch in Amarillo, the Painted Desert in Arizona and the Route 66 Museum in Oklahoma. Towards the end of your trip, head off Route 66 and make a detour to visit the mighty Grand Canyon before rejoining the route and driving into the Californian sunset.
Alternatively, spend your time exploring America’s east coast starting in New York and ending in Miami. This itinerary stops at Virginia, Ocoee, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, and Orlando before reaching the star-studded streets of Miami. Along the way, learn the history of country music, dine on Louisiana creole cuisine, and enjoy the thrills of Orlando’s entertainment industry.
USA itineraries that are 21 days or more really allow you to explore the very best of America without feeling rushed. One of the most popular routes is to travel from the east coast to the west coast on an epic road trip that takes in New York, Portland, Richmond, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco and more. Wander the streets of Savannah in Philadelphia, soak up panoramic coastal views as you drive the Big Sur, and spot black bears in Mount Rainier National Park.
Alternatively, stick to one coast and spend time exploring from north to south (or vice versa). For the best of the Pacific Coast, begin in Seattle and work your way down to Las Vegas, stopping in Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Hose, Santa Barabara, Los Angeles, and San Diego. This route combines the very best of coastal towns, bustling cities, and incredible nature. Get ready to drive the famous Highway 101 past The Big Sur, sip micro-brewed beers at a hipster brewery in Portland, and catch a show at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
If you are planning a trip to the USA, you can check out our USA tours page for pre-packaged trips or just for some inspiration. If you are planning an independent trip to the USA, and need advice on how to navigate American airports or even to find airport parking, such as LAX parking or JFK parking, then check out ParkFellows.