There is a tendency for people to eschew some of the most quintessentially American experiences when travelling to the USA. This is down to a misguided presumption that the activities that have become clichéd are therefore boring, but this is far from the case. Some of the best fun can be head when embracing, the most kitsch, corny and recognisable elements of American culture.
Here are some to include on your next multicentre trip to the US:
Ride Route 66
Route 66 may have been officially removed from the highway system back in 1985, but its spirit lives on and it is still possible to follow in the tyre tracks of those who have gone before. Whether you want to hire a vintage car or a Harley, this historic route can be recreated with a little ingenuity and is very rewarding for all those who attempt it.
From photos ops next to the iconic Route 66 sign to retro petrol stations, classic motels and tumbleweed rolling down the road, it’s likely to be a trip back in time, as well as one of more than 2,000 miles. Every journey along this route is different and it is the unexpected encounters that really make the experience.
Get hitched in Las Vegas
Destination weddings can be incredible, but also pricey, so combining it with your holiday can help to keep costs down. The great thing about a Las Vegas wedding is the simplicity in making it memorable. Everything is easy to organise and as long as you embrace the cheesy wedding chapel music and the master of ceremonies dressed as Elvis, you’re bound to have a great time.
There are loads of wedding chapels to choose from in Vegas, so you can give it your own spin, even if you’ve just rocked up in town. From Little Church of the West, which is the oldest wedding chapel in Sin City, to the neon lights of Chapel of the Bells right on The Strip, the choice is yours.
Follow in your favourite celebrity’s handprints
There’s nothing more satisfying than sliding your hands into your favourite celebrity’s prints and finding that they fit. Whether you aspire to be like Marilyn Monroe, Harrison Ford or Frank Sinatra, the street outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is the place to feel closest to the stars.
It’s not all hand prints either, as there are plenty of feet, signatures and other paraphernalia immortalised in the concrete. Groucho Marx left an imprint of his cigar, while John Wayne made an impression of his clenched fist and Whoopi Goldberg clipped her own braids to leave them embedded in the sidewalk.
Dance on the floor piano at FAO Schwarz
Being a big kid never goes out of fashion, so visiting the oldest toy shop in America – FAO Scharz – is an absolute must. You can even dance around on the huge floor piano that was used in the Tom Hanks film Big. The giant musical instrument measures 15.8 foot in length and is 3.5 feet wide, with no fewer than 48 keys.
Despite it coming up to 30 years since the film was released, the piano is still a big draw with hundreds of people lining up each day to have a go. And once you’ve played your own tune you can see how it’s done as the store’s resident performers tap out the theme song from Super Mario Brothers and Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on the keys.
Visit an American diner
We’ve all seen them in the movies, leather seats, waitresses in little outfits and a jukebox in the corner; diners are as much a part of the cultural stereotype as they are a place to refuel. That doesn’t make them any less fun to experience, however, whether you pop in for a huge pile of pancakes or pretend you’re having a date Grease-style by sharing a milkshake.
There are plenty of diners to choose from across the US, but Mel’s Drive-In is a popular choice. Just look for the neon signs in various locations in California. Mel’s has been used in various films and TV shows, with Universal Studios even recreating a branch at its theme park.
Do it all on a US Multi Centre Holiday…
Combine these great experiences together on one amazing USA adventure. Take a look at our most popular for inspiration.