Across the USA, forests, mountains, rivers and lakes offer limitless opportunities for adventure, whatever time of year you decide to visit. From adrenalin-pumping driving on pine-clad peaks to leisurely horse rides across sun-drenched plains, you’ll find epic and unforgettable experiences in every state. Here’s a taste of our favourite different ways to explore the USA.
Hike the Appalachian Trail
The world’s longest hiking-only footpath runs from Maine
, crossing 2,200 miles of the Eastern USA. The legendary Appalachian Trail is a true bucket-list adventure, but only die-hard adventurers with plenty of time on their side will likely walk all of the trail. Instead, dip in for a few days and discover the wilderness delights of living off-grid.
Saddle up along the Rio Grande, New Mexico
Live out your cowboy dreams on one of the many riding holidays offered across the U.S. The Ponderosa forests, rugged canyons and famed Rio Grande of New Mexico – where outlaws including Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy once hid out – provide the perfect backdrop for your own adventure.
Hit the slopes in Utah
Mountains across the USA offer great skiing, with the perfectly powdered slopes of Utah’s Park City
the largest ski area. Covering 7,300 acres, it has a high-speed gondola and the country’s first heated chairlift, the Orange Bubble Express. Historic Park City's Main Street has lively restaurants and bars.
Ride the river in Hells Canyon
Ride a white-water adrenaline wave in a jet boat with an experienced captain at the helm. Bordering Oregon
and Idaho, Hells Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge and the perfect place to ride some rapids on a tour that also offers the chance to spot bald eagles, elk and black bears.
Explore the tropics in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico in the Caribbean is home to the U.S's only tropical forest, El Yunque. It's a haven for birds and a tiny tree frog, the coquí, and has many hidden waterfalls. Combine a hike with a nighttime kayak to see the ocean light up at one of the island’s three bioluminescent bays.
Dive deep in North Carolina
North Carolina’s Outer Banks
is a hotspot for wreck diving. Known as the graveyard of the Atlantic, it’s known as the resting place for many sunken ships – including the German U-352 from World War II and luxury steam liner, Proteus – while incredible marine life abounds.
Go climbing in Maine
There are plenty of places to ascend to new heights in the USA. In Maine’s Acadia National Park
, rock climbers can scale 60-foot- tall pink granite cliffs that plunge into the ocean, while beginners can learn the ropes at the less-intimidating South Bubble.
Road trip on the Skyline Drive
You’ll be fully immersed in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the 105-mile Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
. Pull over to take it all in at one of the 75 scenic overlooks or park up and head out on foot to explore Shenandoah’s 200,000 acres of mountain landscape. Want to take a really epic USA road trip? Head out on the Blue Ridge Parkway which continues through the Appalachian landscapes all the way to Georgia. Combine this with a stay at one of Virginia’s mountain lodges, and hiking, biking or horseback riding in the Shenandoah Valley.
Follow the music in Virginia
The Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail
. Hear more than 300 miles worth of bluegrass, gospel and mountain music at venues and festivals across southwestern Virginia. Following the trail through footstompin’ Floyd to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia and on to Hiltons, home to the iconic Carter Family Fold where to this day guests can gather to enjoy the true sounds of Appalachia.
Cross an epic bridge, Key West
For an iconic American road trip, take a drive down the Overseas Highway and across the famous 7 Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys
. Regularly rated as one of the best road trip routes in the USA, this route links hundreds of beautiful islands and takes visitors through the five districts of Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys, and Key West. The route offers spectacular views out across the azure tropical waters that surround the island chain.
Take an epic historic tour in the Capital Region
Start in Washington DC
for a whistlestop historic tour of the USA. Take a drive down Washington DC’s historic National Mall, iconic Smithsonian museums and vibrant foodie neighbourhoods before heading south to Old Town Alexandria. Nearby, pick up the George Washington Memorial Parkway and discover historic Mount Vernon (Washington’s Presidential home) and Theodore Roosevelt Island on the Potomac River.