A trip of extremes - America’s extraordinary natural phenomenons.

30/01/2015

With so many different types of terrain and landscape within its borders, the US is about as diverse a country as they come.

From the frozen tundra of Alaska to the sunny beaches of California, from the arid deserts of Arizona to the luscious forests of the north-western states, there is so much variation here that you can experience many different types of holiday all in one trip.

There’s so much incredible diversity in America that it makes for the perfect place to take a multi-centre holiday. Whether you want to relax on the beach or scale a mountain, in the US you can do both in the same trip.

Get the travel juices flowing and check out some of the bizarre extremes that you can find in this vast nation.

Embrace the darkness in Utah

Although darkness doesn’t sound like something you would plan a trip around, bear with us, as the lack of light in Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument is what makes it such an incredible place to visit.

Come nightfall, the sky becomes a vast canvas of sparkling stars, with each one seemingly attempting to outshine the next. It’s so clear, you’ll be able to see the incredible movement of the heavens that usually get covered up by the light from urban areas. 

According to the International Dark-Sky Association, this park is one of the most consistently light pollution-free areas in America. And if that’s not impressive enough, the incredible rock formations here that give the Natural Bridges National Monument its name are well worth a visit.

Pristine beaches in California

When it comes to stunning coast and gorgeous beaches, California really did get the lion’s share in the US. 

The incredible sands around LA alone are worthy of their own feature, so you can see the wealth of options you have in this state.

What’s more, the Big Sur region between LA and San Francisco boasts some of the most rugged and appealing shorelines anywhere in the world, never mind just America. A combination of cragg-laden cliffs, hidden coves and scrub forest, this coastline is the ideal road trip for anyone wanting to get between these two amazing cities with two or three days to spare.

The frozen terrain of Alaska

Intrepid explorers who love nothing more than pitting themselves against challenging terrain will love Alaska, a place that feels more like the last frontier than a state.

This remote region is home to some of America’s most impressive landscapes and within it you will find incredible diversity. The Tongass National Forest in the south of the state is a verdant expanse of green for miles and miles; in fact, it’s the biggest forest in the US.

Head north to the Alaskan interior, and you will come across huge snow-covered mountains, frozen terrain and one of the best places in the world to see the spectacular Northern Lights.

Wrangell St. Elias national park, the largest in America, is a rugged paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with many hiking trails of all levels cutting across this vast expanse of land.

The Great Lakes

The north-eastern states of America are home to some of the biggest and most beautiful lakes on the planet and Lake Michigan could just be one of the most stunning of the lot - it’s actually the only one that’s wholly within the US.

So vast is this expanse of water that it is sometimes referred to as the “Third Coast” of America. In fact, the lake is surrounded by incredible beaches and sandy expanses. Add to this the lush stretches of wild forest, sand cliffs that tower high above the lake and the many species of fauna and flora that can be found around the lake, and you have a pretty good spot for a holiday.

Sleeping Bear Dunes in particular is one area of the lake known for its incredibly diverse terrain and massive sand dunes, both of which have made the region a hotspot for outdoor types who frequently come here to explore the lake’s shoreline and kayak on its waters.

The Arizona’s deserts

Going from the verdant north of America to the scorching southern regions is to experience something remarkably different. Stepping foot into one of Arizona’s deserts isn’t even like visiting a different country; it’s like going to another planet.

The southern part of this state is known for its vast expanses of arid land where the temperatures soar and the atmosphere is dryer than dust. However, that isn't to say there’s nothing to explore here, in fact it’s quite the opposite; the bizarre land formations and Old-West feel of Arizona has been attracting wayfarers for years.

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is criss-crossed with walking trails that stretch up to 190 km in total length and each one has its own level of difficulty so hikers of different abilities can tackle them. Anyone who enjoys being alone with nature will love this part of America.

Take your pick

With a US multi-centre holiday, you can combine various places in a country and see them all in one trip. We already do a number of specialised American holidays, but if you’d like to suggest your own ideas, we are always happy to listen.

Just remember, the US is huge and combining all the above places into one short holiday can be tricky. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from the destinations we’ve suggested and make your own adventure based on these ideas - that’s what travelling is about after all!

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