United States Small Group Tours & Trip Packages

United States Small Group Tours & Trips

686 United States trips. Tours from 34 tour companies. 2,900 reviews. 4.6/5 avg rating.

209 trips exactly matchall of the the filters you selected.
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Small Group Tour
Western USA National Parks Loop
4.5/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Full schedule

Visits

Bryce Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Las Vegas, Zion National Park

Highlights

  • Hike through the varied landscapes of Zion National Park, taking in views of massive canyon walls and red sandstone cliffs as you go.
  • Learn about the culture and history of Monument Valley during a Navajo guided tour, followed by a traditional homecooked, family-style Navajo lunch.
  • Stroll along the canyon rim in Bryce Canyon National Park to admire the out-of-this-world sandstone spires known as hoodoos.
  • Kayak across the waters of Lake Powell, weaving your way past fascinating rock formations as your leader shares stories of the lake’s history.
  • Marvel at one of the nation’s greatest national parks, The Grand Canyon, and walk along the rim, hike into the canyon or take in an epic sunset or sunrise (depending on season)
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Themes

High Adventure

What travelers are saying

"Fantastic! I got to see a lot of Kenya. Not just the animals but also the people and their cultures. We had a group of 10 (plus the Intrepid crew) which was just right. Everyone got along and helped each other with chores, We all had a love of adventure and positive attitude, Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our meals were really nice. I loved everything about it and I highly recommend this trip."

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LA to Vegas: Grand National Parks
5/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Arizona, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Monument Valley, Utah, Venice, Zion National Park

Highlights

  • From flashy Los Angeles to the arid desert of Zion National Park and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, discover a range of incredible American landscapes.
  • Take in desert views from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway before exploring Joshua Tree National Park's rock formations and cactus gardens at golden hour.
  • Witness the Grand Canyon’s steep red-rock escarpments and gorges. Learn about Indigenous history and geology with a naturalist guide from the Grand Canyon Conservancy.
  • Ride a jeep through Utah's iconic Monument Valley, and then share stories and a meal by the campfire with members of the Navajo Nation.
  • At Lower Antelope Canyon, descend into the mystical interior with a Navajo guide. Learn the local history and discover the iconic sandstone walls shaped by years and years of water and wind.
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Themes

Cultural, High Adventure, Local Immersion & Homestays

What travelers are saying

"Fantastic! I got to see a lot of Kenya. Not just the animals but also the people and their cultures. We had a group of 10 (plus the Intrepid crew) which was just right. Everyone got along and helped each other with chores, We all had a love of adventure and positive attitude, Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our meals were really nice. I loved everything about it and I highly recommend this trip."

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Walk Spain's Sierra Nevada & Granada
4.8/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
With a wide range of trip styles, Exodus caters to every type of traveler out there- even those with specific interests from cycling to winter hiking.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Full schedule

Visits

Granada, Sierra Nevada

Highlights

  • Embark on beautiful walks through the highest mountain range in Spain
  • Discover whitewashed Moorish settlements
  • Visit Trevelez, the highest village in the country
  • Stay at a family-run hotel with stunning views and warm hospitality
  • Enjoy a night in Granada with a free day to explore this beautiful city

Themes

Cultural, Hiking & Walking, Trekking & Expeditions

What travelers are saying

"Excellent trek doing the Tour du Mont Blanc (camping trip). I have done a number of Exodus trips in the past and all have been brilliant. This one was no exception, well run, exceptional staff and a great itinerary!"

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Best of Alaska
5/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Alaska, Anchorage, Chugach Mountains, Denali, Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Valdez

Highlights

  • Head out on an Alaskan safari for a unique chance to see moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves in their natural habitat in Denali National Park.
  • Take a boat cruise on Resurrection Bay to Kenai Fjords and look out for orca whales, porpoises and puffins before enjoying some free time to hike or relax.
  • Discover Seward, one of Alaska's oldest and most scenic communities, then take a short hike to the tongue of Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park.
  • Sit back and take in stunning views along the dramatic coastlines of the Turnagain Arm from Anchorage to Homer, then from Seward to Denali National Park, while someone else does the driving.
  • On the way to charming Talkeetna, take a breath in Girdwood, where you’ll hop on the Alyeska Aerial Tram to the top of Mt Alyeska and see some incredible views of seven glaciers and the valley below.
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Themes

50 plus, Cultural, High Adventure, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife

What travelers are saying

"Fantastic! I got to see a lot of Kenya. Not just the animals but also the people and their cultures. We had a group of 10 (plus the Intrepid crew) which was just right. Everyone got along and helped each other with chores, We all had a love of adventure and positive attitude, Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our meals were really nice. I loved everything about it and I highly recommend this trip."

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Real Big Apple to Big Easy
4.8/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
Lodging level
Basic - 2 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Washington, York

Highlights

  • Walk through Brooklyn, New York – a vibrant neighbourhood full of restaurants, parks, cafes and plenty of trendy spots. Enjoy views of the Brooklyn Bridge and explore Little Italy and Chinatown.
  • Learn how to line dance in Nashville, Tennessee – the home of country music in the USA – then tuck into a Meat and Three lunch of fried chicken and sides (a southern classic).
  • Discover the many free monuments and world-class museums in Washington DC – the capital city of the USA – and climb the famed Rocky Steps.
  • Take in the incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Shenandoah National Park and look out for deer, birdlife, squirrels and the elusive black bear.
  • Stroll down Beale Street in Memphis, Tennesse – famous for its blues clubs and as the birthplace of rock n’ roll.
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Themes

18 - 30's, Cultural, High Adventure, Local Immersion & Homestays

What travelers are saying

"Fantastic! I got to see a lot of Kenya. Not just the animals but also the people and their cultures. We had a group of 10 (plus the Intrepid crew) which was just right. Everyone got along and helped each other with chores, We all had a love of adventure and positive attitude, Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our meals were really nice. I loved everything about it and I highly recommend this trip."

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Explore Spain & Portugal
4.5/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Algarve, Bar, Barcelona, Dali, Granada, Lisbon, Madrid, Porto, Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Sierra Nevada

Highlights

  • Get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the Albaicin in Granada before crossing the river to visit the imposing Moorish fortress of the Alhambra.
  • Unwind in a laidback fishing town in the Algarve, soaking up the sun on the beach and enjoying an included boat trip around the rocky cliffs of the coast.
  • Join pilgrims along the last leg of the famous Camino de Santiago journey as they reach the historic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
  • Sit back, relax and watch the water flow by in one of Porto’s river restaurants while you sample a couple of varieties of the city’s signature wine – port!
  • Start and end your adventure in Madrid, home to art galleries, colourful architecture and some of the best restaurants in Spain.
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Themes

Cultural, High Adventure, Local Immersion & Homestays

What travelers are saying

"Fantastic! I got to see a lot of Kenya. Not just the animals but also the people and their cultures. We had a group of 10 (plus the Intrepid crew) which was just right. Everyone got along and helped each other with chores, We all had a love of adventure and positive attitude, Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our meals were really nice. I loved everything about it and I highly recommend this trip."

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Best of Spain
4.9/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Bar, Barcelona, Granada, Madrid, Ronda, Seville, Sierra Nevada, Tangier, Valencia

Highlights

  • Experience the fiery passion and rhythm of a traditional flamenco dance performance in Seville.
  • It's a pretty special thing to chill out on a beach in Andalucian Spain, knowing North Africa is just across the water. Explore the scenic coastline, and kick back with some tapas and sangria in Tarifa.
  • The town of Ronda is split in two by a deep rocky chasm. Follow in the path of the Romans, as you cross from one side to the other along an ancient bridge.
  • Discover Cordoba's great mosque, the Mezquita, one of the most accomplished examples of Moorish architecture in the world. The lavish gardens and opulent rooms of Granada's spectacular Alhambra Palace aren't bad either.
  • Witness a spectacular Spanish sunset on a beach in Valencia, while feasting on a bowl of the world's best paella.
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Themes

Cultural, High Adventure, Local Immersion & Homestays

What travelers are saying

"Fantastic! I got to see a lot of Kenya. Not just the animals but also the people and their cultures. We had a group of 10 (plus the Intrepid crew) which was just right. Everyone got along and helped each other with chores, We all had a love of adventure and positive attitude, Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our meals were really nice. I loved everything about it and I highly recommend this trip."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
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LA to Vegas Adventure
4.5/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Why we love them
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
Lodging level
Basic - 2 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Arizona, California, Colorado, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles

Highlights

  • Explore the multiple sides of LA and the people that live in this diverse megacity – Hollywood wannabes to Beverly Hills ballers, and all crazy characters in between.
  • Hike through beautiful Joshua Tree National Park among desert cactus gardens and unusual rock formations.
  • Road trip along historic Route 66, also known as the 'Mother Road', stopping in quirky Seligman for a dose of old-fashioned Americana.
  • The Grand Canyon National Park takes time to really discover – you'll spend two nights in the park, unlike on most trips, so there's a full day to explore properly and see the mighty canyon up close.
  • Lose yourself among the bright desert lights of Las Vegas and the Strip, and remember, what happens in Vegas...
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Themes

Cultural, High Adventure, Local Immersion & Homestays

What travelers are saying

"Fantastic! I got to see a lot of Kenya. Not just the animals but also the people and their cultures. We had a group of 10 (plus the Intrepid crew) which was just right. Everyone got along and helped each other with chores, We all had a love of adventure and positive attitude, Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our meals were really nice. I loved everything about it and I highly recommend this trip."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
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United States Reviews & Ratings

4.6/5  Excellent
2,900  Reviews
See all United States tour reviews
Excellent
1,165
Great
370
Average
59
Disappointing
22
Terrible
7
S

Steven

Aug 2019

Written on

I have had an absolutely amazing trip

My wife and I have had an absolutely amazing trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles via Napa Valley, Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Monume...

E

Eloise

May 2019

Written on

An absolutely amazing experience,

An absolutely amazing experience, would highly recommend to anyone. Parks we...

V

Vanessa and Martin

Dec 2017

Written on

The Vegas to LA trip is amazing.

The Vegas to LA trip is amazing. Excellent and diverse range of trip experiences. Wonderful and breathtaking locations of the Canyons with opportunities to explore b...

T

Trusted Customer

Jul 2024

Written on

Hawaii Four Island Adventure Premium

Every hotel was very nice though the Twin Fin could use a paint job. Every breakfast buffet was excellent except for the hotel in Kona. Harry did a great job as tour...

G

Gail Rhoades

Jun 2024

Written on

Hawaii Four Island Adventure Premium

Didn’t cover the usual turisty things this was my fourth vis...

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United States Tour Selection Trips

  • The United States is a very big country. Don’t try to see it all at once; choose tours that concentrate on specific regions or you’ll spend a lot of time just getting from one place to another.
  • If you’re looking for an action-oriented tour, consider:
  • Whitewater rafting trips in the Northwest;
  • Horseback riding through the Southwest;
  • Hiking trips through the Appalachians;
  • Skiing packages in the Rocky Mountains; and Scuba diving in Hawaii or Florida.
  • River cruising is growing in popularity in the U.S. -- you can cruise the Mississippi River, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Columbia River; and many others to get a new perspective on the landscape.
  • If you’re a history or literary buff, look for river cruises that have the Civil War, Mark Twain or other themes of interest.
  • Don’t overlook the “flyover states” that lie between the East and West coasts; there’s much to discover in the Midwest, the South, Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states, including:
  • Chicago -- America’s “second city”;
  • The five Great Lakes;
  • Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands in South Dakota;
  • New Orleans, with French-influenced architecture and outstanding music and food;
  • The burgeoning cities of San Antonio, Houston and Austin in Texas;
  • The incredible rock spires in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park;
  • Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado;
  • The white-sand Gulf Shore beaches of Florida and Alabama; and Yellowstone and Glacier national parks in Wyoming and Montana.

Additional details

Best Time to Travel to the United States

When is the best time to travel in the US? It depends on the time of year and region you're visiting. But, while the thought of heading to the cold northeast in winter might bring chills, there’s nothing like New York at Christmas time where you can ice skate in Central Park, ooh and aah at the shop windows on 5th Avenue bedecked with holiday decorations and catch the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. That said, no matter where you’re coming from, here are some things to consider when traveling to the US:

  1. Summer vacations for Americans fall between June and August. This is also the time when the majority of primary, secondary and college level schools and universities take their summer break. This is especially important when considering the big tourist attractions such as national parks, Disneyland and Los Angeles, both in California as well as the theme parks of Orlando, Florida. The lower airfare and lodging rates are a sign that the high summer travel season has ended come late August, early September.   

  1. Spring break time for students can start as early as mid-February and go to early April depending on the school but for most it falls the second week in March. As in summer, air travel and lodging is more expensive during this time of year. Orlando, Florida and Los Angeles, California again make the list for being overrun with tourists during Spring Break but also, Las Vegas, Nevada; Honolulu, Oahu; the island of Maui in Hawaii and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. 

  1. At the end of the summer and winter ski seasons, in some heavily visited destinations and tourist attractions alike, you might find closed attractions, shops and restaurants or they may have shorter hours. The mud season in mountain ski towns refers to thawing snow that causes muddy conditions on back country trails. In Telluride, Colorado, for example, not all shops and restaurants are open during mud season and in the Fall after a summer season filled with festivals and other mountain attractions, the gondola shuts down for a period of time for maintenance. 

  1. Understand weather conditions before you go, pack and set expectations accordingly. There are always things to discover no matter the weather but if you abhor rain, it’s best not to travel to a destination during the rainy season if you can help it. 

San Francisco, located on the central coast of California, doesn’t have the warmer temperatures of Southern California. Summer temperatures in San Francisco average in mid-60s with lows in the mid-50s, sometimes low-50s. Wind and fog can make these temps seem even colder. 

In the Great Lakes region, there’s the late Fall and Winter lake effect. Cold air usually coming from Canada sweeps across the open waters of the lakes, warming and collecting moisture from the relatively warm, unfrozen waters. As this air rises, clouds form and grow. They are capable of producing snow at a rate of 2-3” or more per hour. Heavy snow may be falling in one location while just a mile or two away it can be sunny. 

Rain is another consideration. Several locations in Oregon and Washington top the list for US locations with the heaviest annual precipitation with levels between 100-130” per year. And in Rochester, New York, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, it’s either raining or snowing 167 days of the year (on average). 

Common US Tour Routes 

  • New England
  • East Coast
  • American south
  • Southwest
  • Pacific Northwest
  • West Coast

Start your trip planning in the U.S. by narrowing down the region or regions you’d like to visit. Each will have its own flavor and highlights whether you plan a trip to New England, the East Coast, American South, Southwest, Pacific Northwest or the West Coast. And in some regions like the West Coast, Seattle, Washington, will be very different from Los Angeles, California.

San Francisco, while a coastal town like Los Angeles will have its own very unique vibe.  Venturing into the wilds of Alaska or Hawaiian island hopping are yet other itineraries although they are more often stand-alone trips given their location quite far from the contiguous 48 states. Here are some common week plus to 2-week long tour routes in the U.S. 

1. New England - Consider starting in historic Boston, Massachusetts then traveling north to the seaside towns of Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine. While in Maine, visit Acadia National Park then travel west through the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the four-season resort town of Stowe, Vermont. Traveling south will take you back toward Massachusetts.

Take a detour on your way back to Boston by continuing south through Connecticut and into Newport, Rhode Island. There you can gape at the opulent historic mansions that were built during Newport’s gilded age.  

2. East Coast Cities - A trip through Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; and Washington, D.C. will be an incredible one over ten days or so, depending on your pace of travel. East coast tours often include a visit to Niagara Falls in upstate New York and even the Canadian cities of Ottawa, Toronto and, or Quebec City given their proximity to New York.

If you have more time in the region, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania located between New York and D.C. is another destination to consider. To venture out of the big cities, include charming Cape Cod in your itinerary. The Cape is a peninsula of Massachusetts with the resort islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket just a short ferry ride away.  

3. American South - On a trip through New Orleans, Louisiana; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; Charleston and Savannah, South Carolina; and Georgia, Atlanta, you’ll discover country music, mouth-watering barbeque, the darker side of American history - slavery - the home of Elvis and more.

If you have more time, skip further south into Florida where you can visit Orlando, home to more than a dozen theme parks including Disney World and Universal. Miami, Florida's southern tip, is a popular vacation spot with its trendy nightlife, beaches, art, and plush hotels.  

4. Southwest - An altogether different experience than those you’ll find in the South and on the East Coast is a trip to the American Southwest. A New Mexico, Southern Colorado, and Arizona itinerary often includes glitzy Las Vegas, Nevada which is just over four hours by car from Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona).

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the Arizona Utah border is not far from the Grand Canyon. On a 17-mile drive through the Valley, try to avoid too much looking through the camera - the cluster of towering sandstone buttes is one of the most photographed places on Earth.

In Southern Colorado not far from Monument Valley, visit Mesa Verde National Park - you’ll be amazed to see how the Ancestral Puebloans lived. The town of Santa Fe, south of Mesa Verde and located in New Mexico, is the oldest capital city in the U.S.

It’s here you’ll find influences from Native Americans, Spanish, and the Old West. Other areas to consider in the Southwest include the desert town of Sedona and Tombstone, Arizona; Taos, New Mexico; and Moab and Canyonlands of Utah. 

5. Pacific Northwest - A trip to the Pacific Northwest might include Vancouver, Canada; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, located on California’s central coast, even though most don’t consider it to be a Pacific Northwest city. Plan on some outdoor excursions in Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland as the mountainous areas surrounding these cities are lush with trees and vegetation.

The lofty peaks of the Cascade Range will give you plenty of activities to choose from no matter what time of year. And outside of San Francisco raising a glass in the world-renowned wine country of Napa and Sonoma is a must along with a visit to charming seaside communities like Carmel. 

6. West Coast - Seattle, Washington; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California is a wonderful and diverse itinerary with so much to see and do not to mention the attractions located within a four-hour drive or less from each city. Seattle has many natural wonders outside its back door.

From San Francisco, it’s well worth visiting the wine country of Napa and Sonoma, the seaside communities both north and south along the coast, Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe. From Los Angeles, there’s Disneyland, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, and Laguna Beach among many other places to visit.

Cross Country US Tours

Told through innumerable books, songs, movies and television series, the lore of the American highway is ingrained in its culture. And on a guided cross country tour you can take one without having to worry about where the next gas station or rest stop is. You also get to leave timing between destinations to your tour guide. Best of all, you can see a great number of attractions in a relatively short period of time. 

Most trips are under $200 a day. The most expensive trips take you to various attractions and cities in Alaska, a remote region requiring more logistics than trips in the lower 48. Trips in the US range from one to weeks with two weeks being more common. This gives you time not only to cover more ground but also, to get a better feel for what the region has to offer. 

Note that tour companies may name a trip after the region where you’ll be spending the most time. This can be confusing but most trips have a map image so you can see the route. Typical cross country routes and sample itineraries:

Pacific Northwest/West Coast - On Cosmos’ Pacific Coast Explorer for example, you’ll land in Los Angeles and from there drive north along the rugged Pacific Coast all the way to Oregon. Not to miss stops along the way include Santa Barbara, Carmel, San Francisco, the wine country, Redwood National Park and once in Oregon, Coos Bay. See what remains of Mt. St. Helens and ascending over 14,000 feet, Mt. Rainier on your way to the Emerald City of Seattle so called because of its forested surroundings. 

East Coast into the Midwest/Great Lakes - Visit New York; Philadelphia; D.C. the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains; Nashville; Louisville; Detroit; Chicago and Niagara Falls on Intrepid Travel’s East USA Adventure

West - Tours to the west are often focused on national parks in the region. These parks are wildly diverse and some of the most visited in the country.  On Trafalgar’s Scenic Parks tour, the trip will start 550 feet above the Las Vegas strip on the world’s tallest observation wheel. You’ll visit Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in Utah; Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in Wyoming; Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado and last but not least, the immense Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona before you return to Las Vegas. 

Cross Country - These trips often start in New York. They take a southern route across the US. On Intrepid Travel’s New York to Las Vegas tour you’ll start in New York and head south to Washington, D.C. before touring to Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee, stopping along the way to camp in the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains. From there, you’ll travel through Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Your trip culminates with the stunning Grand Canyon and last but not least, Las Vegas.

Another cross country trip takes you along the famed Route 66. It was one of the first US highways linking Chicago to Santa Monica, in the county of Los Angeles. Highlights of Route 66 will give you the vibe of travel between the 1920s and 1960s and an appreciation for cultural and economic impact of Route 66. You’ll take some side trips, including a visit to the Grand Canyon.

What to Pack

Check weather conditions. When joining a tour, they will likely have a packing list to help you pack for maximum comfort and safety. Consider these travel essentials no matter where you are traveling:

  1. Cell phone and if traveling from outside the US, pay as you go or unlimited cell service plans - buy in the US or before you go, download Whatsapp for text and voice, etc. 

  2. A copy of your passport and credit/ATM cards with contact numbers kept separate 

  3. A notebook for the above which can also double as a travel journal

  4. The right credit card - some charge foreign transaction fees, some do not. Some offer access to airport lounges.

  5. Itinerary and confirmation numbers for hotel, rental car, etc. 

  6. In-flight entertainment and medications

  7. Headphones/ear plugs

  8. Adapters/converters 

  9. Power charger(s)

  10. Disinfecting wipes

  11. Emergency contacts 

  12. Medications list

  13. Travel blanket and pillow 

  14. Slippers/flip flops 

  15. Empty water bottle to fill after security

  16. Snacks/gum/mints

  17. Make a list of clothes and toiletries in the days prior and check off that list as you pack to make sure you remember to bring everything 

  18. Sun protection - hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, protective clothing

American Culture 

If you’ve read about the regions of the U.S., you have an idea of how difficult it is to describe American culture as anything but incredibly diverse. Its flavor comes from Indigenous habitants and immigrants of African, Asian, European, English and Pacific Island descent. People of Hispanic or Latino/a origin have also greatly influenced U.S. culture. 

This is all the more reason why stereotypes, applied to most cultures as a matter of fact, generally don’t apply. After all, no matter where you travel in the world you discover that in actuality the stereotypes are only reflected in the behaviors of a few. In the U.S., the vast majority of people you meet will be friendly, hospitable, generous and open.

They will often smile if you make eye contact with them while walking along the street, for example, and they are a freedom-loving and creative people, highly influenced by technology and materialism. 

U.S. Religion. While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves Christian, nearly every known religion and spiritual practice can be found in the U.S. It’s not uncommon to meet people who do not practice a particular religion or spirituality yet they still consider themselves to be religious or spiritual. 

U.S. language. There is no one official language but Spanish, Chinese, French, and German are the most commonly spoken languages and in Hawaii, the official language is both English and Hawaiian. Business is conducted in English.

American Style. Fashion in the U.S., as you might have guessed, is varied. It’s also mostly casual and greatly influenced by movie and television celebrities. The Red Carpets of annual award shows are media frenzies complete with reviews that include the best and worst dressed right down the to the shoes and accessories.

American Sports. There are millions of sports fans across the U.S. American football has the highest number of fans but baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis, golf, wrestling/boxing, and auto racing have their share of fanatics. Sports played at the college/university level are also popular; again, football being number one. 

Holidays in the U.S. Americans aren’t known for taking extended holidays. Generally, they take a week-long summer vacation and perhaps make a long weekend or week (especially in the case of Thanksgiving and Christmas) of a national holiday. Some Federal holidays aren’t recognized by businesses as they are for schools, the U.S. Postal Service, and government organizations. In addition to Easter (celebrated on a Sunday between late March and late April) and other holidays that may or may not be celebrated, there are several Federal holidays:

  • New Year’s Day - January 1
  • Martin Luther King Day: 3rd Monday in January
  • President’s Day: 3rd Monday in February
  • Memorial Day: last Monday in May
  • Independence Day: July 4
  • Labor Day: First Monday in September
  • Columbus Day: second Monday in October
  • Veteran’s Day: November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day: 4th Thursday in November
  • Christmas Day: December 25

Weather in the United States

Pinpointing a prime time to visit the United States based on weather is difficult. It’s a large country with varied terrain, coastlines and an expanse that crosses multiple latitudes.

Florida, in the south eastern U.S., is closer to the equator thus almost tropical and the Hawaiian Islands, 2,000 miles off the coast of California and even closer to the equator, are tropical.

Northernmost destinations like Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, the upper part of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine see long, often frigid, snowy winters and moderately warm summers. In the northwestern U.S. you’ll find arctic conditions in the extreme north of Alaska and in Washington and Oregon, conditions are mild and quite rainy.

Mt. Rainier, on the Western slope of the Cascade Range in Washington, is the snowiest place in the U.S. receiving on average about 53 feet of snow per year. 

Between the months of June and November, hurricanes can hit the coastal states on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic (mostly southern Atlantic states). During the month of February and between April and June tornadoes can develop in a north/south swath between South Dakota and northern Texas called “Tornado Alley” and in “Dixie Alley,” an area between Oklahoma and Ohio. 

There are four desert areas in the contiguous United States. These deserts extend from the southeastern tip of California and most of Nevada into western Utah, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico and the westernmost part of Texas.

They are the Mojave, home to Death Valley; the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Great Basin Deserts. While winters can be cool, destinations like Palm Springs, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Tucson, Scottsdale and Sedona, Arizona are desert cities that can be scorching hot during the summer

Other notable weather patterns include high altitude Yellowstone National Park where even in July, temperatures only reach the mid-70s. Lows can hover around -20 degrees fahrenheit. In Chicago, Illinois, cold air can blast down from Canada’s arctic region dropping winter temperatures to around -18 degrees while in the summer, expect humidity with temperatures that can climb above 90 degrees.

It’s a warm, temperate climate in the central part of the eastern U.S. in places like Dallas, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana and Atlanta, Georgia. Winters are mild but plan for a hot, muggy visit if traveling during the summer.

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