Is your taste in travel inspired by food? Do you plot out a route of museums and galleries months before you’ve booked your flight? Or does going off-the-beaten-track top of your holiday agenda?
“While most destinations have something for which they are particularly famous, few that offer something for everyone like North America,” says Teresa Richardson, South Africa Managing Director of The Travel Corporation.
“Perhaps it’s the sheer size of the continent that makes it so diverse, but from one day to the next you may find yourself amidst towering Redwood giants, then in the middle of Death Valley, where there’s not a tree in sight.
“Hit the trails of Maligne Canyon in Canada’s Jasper National Park or get your dose of American history in Boston. Today, travellers can shop and eat their way through New York, Boston, Los Angeles or Chicago.”
Here are some tips:
If the first thing to go in your suitcase is your sports gear and sturdy running shoes in a Ziploc bag, Richardson recommends California’s rugged coastline and the cliff-and-canyon landscape of Zion National Park (pictured).
“Nature takes centre stage on the US West Coast. Adventure-seekers will get their blood pumping in Yellowstone National Park, with its spectacular landscapes, geothermal activity and abundant wildlife.”
In Canada, the trails of Maligne Canyon carve through one of the most beautiful gorges in the Canadian Rockies. “No trip for thrill-seekers would be complete without heading along the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most stunning mountain drives. At the Icefields Visitor Center, embark on a specialised Ice Explorer, taking visitors out onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier, led by an expert guide.”
Why eat, pray, love when you can eat, eat, eat? From pâté chinois, Quebec style Shepherd’s Pie, to poutine (French fries topped with cheese curds, rich, brown gravy and pulled pork) and a generous slice of chômeur , smothered in maple syrup, to top it off.
“One of the best parts of Canada is the maple syrup. On Insight Vacation's Best of Eastern Canada & USA itinerary, travellers are treated to lunch at a local sugar shack with their Travel Director and shown how maple syrup is harvested,” says Richardson.
In New York, sit down to a lively celebration dinner at Bond 45, an iconic steak and seafood restaurant.
“Aside from all that pizza in the Big Apple, a trip down south is fantastic for food-lovers. Visit Mary Mac’s in Atlanta for a helping of southern food and wine, as well as Carolina’s oldest restaurant, Poogan’s Porch.”
“There is no place more serene and soul-stirring than the Grand Canyon,” says Richardson.
“Our expert guides, who are all locals, share insights into the geology and history of the Grand Canyon, with an inclusive dinner in the Thunderbird Room, which has a private balcony looking out over the rim.”
Wellness-enthusiasts will adore the bohemian culture in Sedona. “Attractive to healers, this spiritual town’s vortexes are rumoured to offer alternative medicines and practices,” says Richardson.
“In Canada, Jasper National Park has soothing mineral hot springs, rugged glaciers, colourful meadows and majestic mountains. It is a mecca for those who want to unwind. Next, board the Banff Gondola, a scenic cableway, to the summit of Sulphur Mountain in the Rockies.”
Montreal is Richardson's choice for this traveller type. “We take a stroll around Old Montreal, the grand mansions of Mount Royal and the iconic Notre-Dame Basilica.”
New York is also impossible to resist, with a stunning skyline, art galleries and iconic museums. See the nation’s capital, Washington, then explore Boston’s Freedom Trail, a route to 16 historically significant sites, including Old State House and the meeting house where the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was planned.
“In Los Angeles, head to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, a movie palace on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame, where visitors can walk in the steps of icons including Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable,” says Richardson.