North America. You wanna go there, see the sights, take it all in, check it all out. But… It’s massive. How in the name of Trump’s tiny hands are you gonna choose where to go? And when? And WHY? AND HOW?
We get it. America can be a teeny bit overwhelming. But luckily for you, we’ve got a fat stack of recommendations to help you choose the destination (or destinationS) that is (or ARE) right for you.
In need of a bit of good old-fashioned American inspo? Have a look at a few of the awesome, horizon-broadening, life-affirming things that you could be doing on your perfect, all-boxes ticked trip to the land of the free (and beyond).
Wanna take the mind-blowingly scenic route? Cali’s got you covered. Trust us – from its gorgeous coastline to its glittering cities, they don’t call this place the ‘Golden State’ for nothing. Soak up the atmosphere in LA, go gastronomic in San Diego, then round things off in sultry San Fran – where the fog is so iconic it’s got a name (that’s ‘Karl’, FYI. With a ‘K’).
Where to go in Downtown LA (by Topdeck HQ’s Kristen)
The Last Bookstore. It’s super beautiful (and also where I buy all my books!).
The Arts District. Love a beer? This cool part of DTLA has loads of great breweries.
Secret Stairs (google them). Get that step count up and GO EXPLORING –perfect if you’re doing a Topdeck trip and have a free day.
Best foodie haunts in San Diego (by Topdeck HQ’s Kyle)
Burger fan? Track down the best of the best at Hodad’s (in Ocean Beach) or Rocky’s (in Pacific Beach). All about the tacos? Head to Trujillo’s on the San Diego State University campus or the Pacific Beach Fish Shop (the fish tacos here are unbelievable).
Topdeck optional extra: Sunset catamaran cruise, San Francisco
The best way to round off your visit to San Francisco? A sunset catamaran cruise, 100%. Feast your eyes on awesome views of the city skyline as you take to the high seas – weaving underneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as you go. Don’t forget to say hey to Karl while you’re out there.
Seriously, just wait till you clap eyes on this place. Jaw-droppingly vast canyons, remote, dusty highways, wide-open prairies, mile upon mile of beautiful untamed wilderness… Oh, and the small matter of LAS VEGAS. Yep – South West America is like nowhere else on this planet. Ready to delve into a land of cowboy stories, Navajo legends and Elvis impersonators? THIS is the destination for you.
Topdeck included experience: Las Vegas party bus
Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? It’s time to put the saying to the test as we climb aboard the party bus for the ultimate Vegas night out. Assemble your fellow Topdeckers, stock up on beverages and prepare to par-TAY like your life depends on it. Your secrets are safe with us…
Topdeck included experience: Explore Monument Valley with a Navajo guide
Time to meet a legit star of the silver screen: Monument Valley. The sacred heartland of the Navajo people, this rugged landscape has served as the backdrop to a ton of classic Western movies. Soak up the magical vibes as you take a whirl around the buttes and mesas with a local Navajo guide.
Topdeck optional extra: Heli-tour over the Grand Canyon
Feel the rush as you take to the skies for a bird’s eye view of one of the world’s most INCREDIBLE natural wonders: the mighty Grand Canyon. You can only truly get to grips with the scale of this place from above – and you’re def not going to be disappointed.
Philadelphia, New York and Washington, DC. What do they all have in common? They’re all cities that make you sit up and take notice, that’s what. Museums, monuments, must-sees… If you’re looking for the three ‘m’s, chances are you’ll find them in the Mid-Atlantic States. And with our Trip Leaders’ insider expertise, you’ll get right to the heart of it all, right away.
Top 3 Philly Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia (by Topdeck HQ’s Kyle)
Where to grab a cheesesteak besides Pat’s and Geno’s (the most well-known spots)? Check out one of these casual, long-standing establishments – there’s a reason why they always have the longest queues of locals during lunch. Come hungry!
- Sonny’s Famous Steak
- Oh Brother Philly
- Jim’s Steaks
Topdeck included experience: see NYC in style with a ‘local legend’ guide
Trying to navigate NYC using Google Maps? Forget it. Upgrade your life and let a local legend show you some of Manhattan’s most awe-inspiring sights instead! Listen up and you’ll score some juicy insider info about the best things to do and places to eat in the city. Just keep it on the DL.
Topdeck included experience: see DC shine on an illumination tour
This is sooooo much more than your average walking tour. Follow our Trip Leaders as they show you the bright lights of the MANY epic monuments throughout Washington, DC on this after-dark tour – and bone up on some United States history while you’re at it. Goosebump factor: high.
Ridiculously warm hospitality. Hearty, amazing, soul-nourishing cuisine. Some of the most moving music around. It could only be one place: America’s legendary Deep South! From New Orleans to Nashville to Memphis, this unforgettable region is packed to the brim with quirkiness and spice – and we’re not kidding when we say the party atmosphere is contagious.
Tuck into some local Creole food
It’s hearty. It’s spicy. It’s all round DELICIOUS. It could only be one thing: Creole food! Prepare for a party in your mouth as you taste your way through Deep South delights like gumbo, jambalaya and crawfish pie. Got room for a po’ boy sandwich? No? Trust us, you’ll want one anyway.
Hit the live music scene in the Deep South
Country and western, jazz, the blues, rock ‘n’ roll… stop it now America, you’re showing off. Seriously though, ain’t no better way to feel the rhythm of the Deep South than by checking out as much live music as your eardrums can handle. Ten points if you see someone playing a jug (yep, it’s a thing).
Hear that? It’s the sound of the great outdoors calling your name. Mother Nature sure as hell wasn’t messing around when she created Canada (just see its towering mountains, hulking glaciers and thundering waterfalls for proof). Add to that the fact that this is the country that created the deliciousness that is poutine, and you’re onto an absolute winner.
Topdeck optional extra: Go ziplining in Whistler
Pluck up the courage, pop on your harness, take a deep breath and jump! Ziplining is up there with some of THE BEST adventure activities in Whistler. Just try to keep your eyes open, ‘cause the views are incredible. We’re talking mountains, forests, rivers… the whole shebang.
Topdeck included activity: Niagara Falls boat tour
Seeing Niagara Falls up close? We’ve got one word for it: eye-popping (well, not literally). Standing on the deck in your little red poncho, you’re nigh-on guaranteed to feel dwarfed by the sheer size and power of this world-famous cascade. Plus, you can’t really say you’ve ‘seen’ it if it hasn’t sprayed you in the face.
Tuck into some legendary poutine in Montreal
What’s better than French fries? French fries with cheese. What’s better than French fries with cheese? French fries, cheese and GRAVY. That covers the three main food groups, right? Load up your plate and give in to the guilty pleasure of – whisper it – poutine. This. Dish. Is. Everything.
So, that’s the vastness that is North America – in the smallest of nutshells we could cram it into. Got you thinking about your next Topdeck trip? Check out a few of our North America trips for even more travel inspo.