Our staff are experts in travel, constantly exploring the world and finding some of the best locations to enjoy and experience. We've complied some of our latest USA adventures...
A Winter Sun Break in Florida!
Lindsay Ormrod - Product Executive for Asia and Africa
Over the Festive period I decided to escape the cold days in Glasgow and treat myself to some winter sun in Florida, visiting my sister who I hadn't seen in nearly four years!
Starting in West Palm Beach (where my sister lives - not jealous at all!), we enjoyed the festivities of Christmas with copious amounts of food, cocktails and chocolate before beginning some sightseeing. One of my favourite things we did in Palm Beach was enjoy a day trip over to Peanut Island, a small island in Florida's Lake Worth Lagoon between Riviera Beach, Singer Island and Palm Beach. The island is very easy to visit, even though it requires a short ferry ride, water taxi or short paddle on a hired kayak. We packed a picnic as there are no shops on the island, along with some snorkel gear and had a wonderful day playing about in the water, searching for tropical fish and floating in the blue waters.
Of course, no trip to Florida is complete without experiencing the magic of Disney World and Universal Studios, so a little road trip up to Orlando was on the cards. After enjoying a magical experience at the theme parks, we rented some kayaks at Wekiwa Springs and were on the lookout for some elusive alligators and manatees hiding amongst the canopy of centuries-old oak trees. After paddling along with the gentle current for a while, we were lucky enough to spot an alligator!
The final part of our multi-centre itinerary was in Miami and Key West. Despite being known for its miles of the most beautiful white and golden sand beaches, Miami offers a variety that goes far beyond sun and sand, encompassing world-famous nightlife, designer shopping and world-renowned art galleries, first-class hotels and second-to-none dining. We particularly enjoyed exploring the streets of Wynwood, a creative and cultural hub with local and international street art and of course, trendy bars and restaurants.
The best way to do Key West is to hire a convertible Jeep to soak in the sun and palm trees a little bit more as you drive across the 7-mile bridge and head down to the southernmost point of continental USA, so that's exactly what we did! We then enjoyed a sunset cruise and some more snorkelling before ending our USA experience in the island city of Key West, Duval Street.
My Escape to The Big Apple
Lucy Evans - Marketing Communications Manager
As one of my favourite cities in the world, I am lucky to have travelled to New York numerous times before. However, after what felt like a lifetime of travel restrictions, my latest trip was all about seeing the "new" in New York. From the latest developments at Hudson Yards to the innovative developments on 42nd street, there are plenty of new attractions to keep this incredible destination feeling fresh!
First up was SUMMIT at One Vanderbilt - a 427m tall skyscraper, completed in 2021. Floors 91 - 93 are open to the public, where an immersive experience blends art installations with viewing platforms and digital technology to give a truly unique perspective of the NYC skyline. After a 60 second ride on a glass floored elevator, we entered 'Transcendence', where mirrored walls and huge transparent windows combine to create an illusion of endless space. It certainly adds a new dimension to a familiar skyline, and with the Empire State Building just 9 blocks away, it gives one of the best views of this iconic giant. After visiting there myself, it's easy to understand why 'Transcendence' has become one of the most instagramable locations within the city!
Next up was 'Clouds', a stunning but calming art installation by Yayoi Kusama - the artist behind the latest Louis Vuitton collaboration. Progressing through the immersive tour, next up was 'Levitation' - a transparent glass-enclosed skybox which extends outwards over 1,000 ft above Madison Avenue. I was just about brave enough to step inside... and yes, I did look down! The final instillation, and the highlight of the experience for me, was 'Ascent' where we joined just a small number of other visitors on a glass platform elevator attached to the outside of the skyscraper. Not for the faint hearted, this felt like a one-of-a-kind experience, suspended high above the most iconic skyline in the world with nothing above us except skies!
Another new area of the city to explore was Hudson Yards on Manhattan's West Side, which we combined with a walk along the high-line - a 1.5-mile elevated parkway, converted from a long-abandoned freight line above the streets of the city. We also visited 'The Edge' which, as New York's highest observation deck, offers more wonderful views of the city. Other attractions here included The Shed, a state-of-the-art cultural centre which opened in 2019, as well as retail shopping centres and the incredible Equinox - the first hotel from the ultra-luxe fitness and lifestyle brand.
As much as I enjoyed taking in these new experiences, there was still time for some of my old favourites; watching the sun set from 'The Top of the Rock', a personal shopping experience at Saks Fifth Avenue and a private Tuk-tuk tour of Central Park, making the trip a perfect blend of old and new.
California Road Trippin'
Jessica Carney - Product Manager for USA and Canada
I had the pleasure of visiting California last summer on an epic road trip from San Francisco to Santa Monica. You could easily spend weeks driving around the third-largest state in the USA, with so many unique places to break up the journey as well as viewpoints to stop and explore.
One of my favourite places we visited in San Francisco was the Palace of Fine Arts. This beautiful art exhibition is designed to look like the old Greek and Roman ruins, set on a stunning lagoon and is the perfect place for a stroll just minutes from the bay. We also took an open-air jeep tour across the city, which I would highly recommend, from driving across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and down the historic curved streets of Lombard Street, what a fantastic way to see the city up close!
One of the highlights of my trip, had to be driving a vintage Cadillac car along the Pacific Coast Highway. With the wind in my hair, the California sun shining and the music on high, driving alongside the beautiful coastline and beaches was a real bucket-list moment and something I will always remember fondly! I would also recommend stopping for a few nights in Monterey County and enjoying a visit to one of the many local vineyards for a delicious California wine tasting experience or taking a whale-watching tour across Monterey Bay. It really is such a beautiful area to discover along the route.
We also hired bikes in Santa Monica and cycled around the bustling pier, discovered the pretty canals of Venice Beach and finished up with an ice cream overlooking the legendary Muscle Beach. There really is something for everyone in the Golden State and is the ideal destination for couples, friends and families alike to enjoy!