I was lucky enough to be one of the 100 agents picked to travel to the United States withBrand USA / Discover America, and it was for the second year in a row too. A big thanks to British Airways & America Airlines, along with Brand USA for another amazing experience.
Out of the seven various itineraries that were available to choose from, which took in various places around the USA, I was given my first choice and I was placed on the “East Coast Classics”. Last year I visited and finished off in Texas, whereas this year everything on the itinerary was based on the East coast. We started in Massachusetts, then on to Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, before finishing in Pennsylvania, so it wasn’t anywhere near as intense when it came to travelling between places. When booking a it’s always something to take into consideration when visiting America due to the sheer size of the country!
The first stop after arriving in Boston was Cape Cod where we were based for the first two nights. The first thing that struck me was how big the Cape was! Whenever I had looked into it in the past I thought it was a small beach area, but to drive from the start around Plymouth to the tip at Province Town takes around 1.30-2 hrs, so as you can imagine it’s pretty big!
Cape Cod was lovely and gave off a quaint village type feel wherever you were driving and you are never far from a beach. There are various areas where you can stay whilst there, all with varying degrees of nightlife, shopping and entertainment. We were based in South Yarmouth right the middle of Cape Cod so it provided the perfect base to explore as it’s easy to get around in both directions, but it was quieter than some of the more bustling areas such as Hyannis which is the Cape’s “city”.
We then made our way down the coast to Newport Rhode Island. Unfortunately we only had an afternoon there but got to do the famous cliff walk which takes in lots of gorgeous local mansions. We were also lucky enough to be there when there was a round the world yachting competition starting that day, so there was a big event taking place with lots of food tents and beer gardens, my idea of a great afternoon.
We then travelled to Mystic (where they filmed the Julia Roberts film Mystic Pizza), a quiet fishing port which was most of the group’s favourite place we visited. This was due to how small and accessible the town is and how beautiful the port and harbour area is.
We then moved onto New Haven and Yale University where it was actually graduation day, so we saw thousands of students in their cap and gowns parading the streets with their various colleges collecting their degrees. This was a fab site to see.
The final place we stayed in Connecticut was Stamford. We spent the evening there and it’s a great place to consider as a gateway to New York, as it’s only around 50 minutes away by train and there’s some great shopping to be found.
Onwards to New York for the penultimate day and what a day it was! Firstly we started with a walking tour of Wall Street, then we went to see the 9/11 memorial and museum. We then managed to fit in the statue of liberty, Times Square and finally the Empire State Building all in one day, as you can imagine fitting all that into 12 hours was exhausting, my feet did bare the blisters to prove it but it was well worth it!
The final day and night was celebrated in Philadelphia after a very easy 1.30 hour train ride down from New York. I was very surprised at just how easy it was to get around Philly, with pretty much all the major attractions, bars, restaurants historic points of interest all within easy walking distance of all the central hotels. Plus the fact it was tax free shopping on clothes made this a great place to visit, it’s also worth going just to try a Philly cheese steak from Reading Food Market, gorgeous!!!
Our grand finale of our trip was spent in the Philadelphia State Penitentiary. We weren’t put in there of our own wrong doing but it was actually hired out for the group to enjoy. There’s no inmates now as its not been used for years, it’s now a museum. Al Capone was once kept there and you get the chance to visit the cell where he spent a few years of his life!
So this was a quick brief of the time I spent in the States on my recent trip. Obviously I could have wrote thousands of fantastic words on each of the places I visited but I thought it best to keep it short and to the point so you can get a feel for the places and see what I got up to. However if you have any questions or are thinking of doing something similar, I can go into a lot more detail with you.
So please feel free to contact me or any of the eShores team to discuss possible trips to the USA.