the ultimate travel guide to

North America

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The towering skyscrapers of the Big Apple and rippling prairie of the midwest, New Orleans’ swinging jazz bars and the endless appeal of Hollywood, where every waitress is an aspiring model and every busker the next big thing.

 

Get your own slice of the American dream by planning a trip to the USA – the country that gave us Coca-Cola, country music and cowboys, as well as countless other icons besides.

 

A few unmissable experiences include wine tasting in the Napa Valley, singing along to a Broadway show in New York and paying your respects to Elvis Presley AKA The King at his glitzy mansion in Memphis.

 

Brisk sea breezes and charming seaside hotels make Martha’s Vineyard one of the best places to visit on the USA’s East Coast in summer, while nowhere does Christmas like New York. Think ice skating rinks, the lavish Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree and watching fluffy snowflakes fall as you sip a hot chocolate in a cozy deli.

 

Is any region in America as divisive as the South? The very names Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi on the one hand evoke debutante balls and blue evenings whiled away on the porches of historic mansions, but on the other blood, sweat and violent subjugation.

 

While learning about the civil rights movement against the backdrop of ex-plantations and rolling cotton fields is still a major reason to visit the South, it is also home to fabulously cosmopolitan cities such as Nashville and New Orleans, where every bar feels like a party.

 

Nature lovers will be in heaven in the Midwest, a landscape of rippling plains and mysterious wildernesses that seem as if they must go on forever.

 

The Great Lakes are partially in this region (and partially in Canada) and in summer the glassy waters of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are broken by kayaks, while the surrounding forests are prime hiking territory. It’s also a stronghold of native American culture, with key sights such as Hiawatha Forest and several tribes still living a traditional lifestyle in Wisconsin.

 

Make like the pioneers and head West, where the deserted moonscapes of Georgia O’Keefe’s New Mexico contrast with the glitz of LA and moody beaches of Oregon.

 

Being a tech-wizard is more common than wearing flowers in your hair in San Francisco these days, but its creaking trams and colourful wooden houses still make it one of our top 20 places to visit in the USA.

 

Head even further west and say ‘aloha’ to the dazzling archipelago of Hawaii.

 

To the north, the second biggest country in the world, Canada is a vast wilderness with pockets of sophistication appearing suddenly in between snow-capped peaks and deep, dark forests. Cities such as Toronto and Vancouver are as cosmopolitan as they come, but trek into the heart of Alaska and you’ll feel as if little has changed since before Europeans arrived.

 

With its fascinating blend of French, English, American and First Nation culture and mysterious swathes of wilderness, there are enough incredible things to see in Canada to last a lifetime, let alone a single trip.

 

The glinting glaciers of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and buzzing cafes of Montreal, whale spotting from the pink beaches of Edward Island and cooling off in the spray of the thundering Niagara Falls … Whether you prefer to spend your days exploring Nova Scotia’s boutique distilleries or camping in Yellowknife Park beneath the eerie glow of the Northern Lights, you won’t be short of epic experiences.

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