Many people think of the United States of America as a country laden with amazing cities and metropolis. Although it does have some of the most popular city breaks in the world, it also has inspiring and diverse landscapes and wildlife perfect for nature lovers. Luxury travel isn't just about bustling cities. It's also about unforgettable wildlife experiences, remote resorts in the heart of stunning landscapes and uncovering the most elusive of our natural world.
For those considering a trip to the States but looking to explore its 'other' side, read on to discover four of the best wildlife experiences to be had on a visit here.
Swim with fantastic sea life in Hawaii
Hawaii is known for many things, including its warm culture, its stunning volcanic landscapes and the sparkling seas that surround it. The island state is a beach lover's dream, with stretching beaches, private inlets, crashing waves perfect for surfers, and the sun's glow for those who prefer to spend their time on the sand. For those planning a luxury holiday to Hawaii, we are sure that the natural offerings of the islands will be one of the biggest reasons why.
The beaches aren't just beautiful; they are a haven for a wealth of fantastic sea life. Between the reefs and the waves, you can find pods of playful dolphins, gliding Giant Turtles, and stunning Manta Rays, as well as a wealth of tropical fish. And, at the right time of year, you'll be able to witness migrating Humpback Whales pass by the shores.
When it comes to places to stay in Hawaii, the options are endless. The Four Seasons Resort on the smaller island of Lanai offers the most luxurious experience. It prides itself on its wealth of wildlife encounters, overlooking a protected marine reserve. If you're looking at staying on the island of Maui, the sister Four Seasons Resort at Wailea is a great choice.
Finally, on Oahu, you can find The Kahala Hotel & Resort, an exclusive resort frequented by A-listers and the elite; if you're looking for the most opulent experience, you'll find it here. With a private beach, you'll have direct access to the water and the pod of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins that live on the resort's doorstep. You can even enjoy some exceptional programmes letting you meet the dolphins and learn to train them during your stay.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Luxury Travel Bucketlist
Witness dolphins and migrating whales in California
California is famous for its stretching coastline, sense of adventure and free-spirited feeling. As well as enjoying a forward-thinking culture and some of the USA's most popular cities, you'll also be able to enjoy the coastline of the Golden State when visiting on a luxury Californian holiday. Looking out upon the water here is a must, as you can see resident dolphins and migrating whales drifting through the water.
Being able to witness migrating whales from the coast is an incredible sight. As the whales make their way up the coastline, you'll be able to see them breaching the surface of the waves and spouting towering plumes of mist into the air. Some of the most common species of whales to see here are Gray Whales, Humpbacks and even Blue Whales. Different whales will migrate from the warmer southern waters up to feeding grounds around Alaska and Canada at different times of the year, meaning you can be in with a chance of seeing whales whenever you choose to visit.
Located in Big Sur, the Post Ranch Inn is a beautiful whale-watching location overlooking the coastline from its clifftop location. Look out to see not only migrating whales but also dolphins, Sea Otters and Elephant Seals. And, in the surrounding forest, you'll be able to spy Mountain Lions, Peregrine Falcons, and, if you're lucky, California Condors, the world's largest and rarest bird.
For something uniquely special, try the Classic California Itinerary. Over 16 nights, you will be able to experience the very best of the coastline and a balance of the popular cities. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of Universal Studios, visit famous Santa Monica and the Venice Beach Boardwalk, take a helicopter tour over LA, spot dolphins and whales from a kayak in Santa Barbara, take a cycling tour past the Golden Gate Bridge and much more. For those who have always found themselves California Dreaming, this is the holiday for you.
Dive the world's third-largest barrier reef in Florida
Many people know Florida for its theme parks, golf resorts and tropical keys, but the Florida Reef is something else that should spring to mind for nature lovers. The aptly named Great Florida Reef is the third-largest coral reef system in the world and home to a diverse array of marine life, with almost 1,400 different kinds of plants and animals found in its waters, including more than 500 types of fish. Some of the most notable residents include Sea Turtles, Lionfish, Dolphins, Parrotfish and even some sharks.
For those who want to enjoy this fantastic part of America and the incredible wildlife experiences on offer, the best way to do so is with our Fabulous Florida Keys Itinerary. Spend five nights unlocking the magic of the Florida Keys, with visits to national parks, popular cities and, of course, exploring the Florida Reef. You'll explore the area's highlights, with time spent in Key Largo, Key West, Marathon and the Lower Keys. As well as snorkelling or scuba diving, you'll be able to paddleboard through mangrove swamps, visit popular museums and cycle around this amazing area.
Live the cowboy lifestyle in Montana
The American cowboy lifestyle is one that many people often aspire to try. Built on pillars of independence and self-sufficiency, there is no doubt that today's American cowboys still value the same ideals as those who existed before them, deciding not to follow the norms of modern life and instead live closely with nature. Whether you fell in love with the idea of becoming a cowboy when watching old Western movies or want to experience the feeling of living and working in the outdoors, a luxury holiday in Montana is a must.
Known as Big Sky Country, Montana is known for two things: its wide, open spaces and its rugged beauty. Here, you'll be able to uncover America's truest wilderness, with access to the stunning Rocky Mountains. Alongside that, the heritage here is powerful, with Native American history running through the state's veins.
If you want to make the most of the outdoor opportunities found here, why not spend your stay at The Resort at Paws Up? Boasting 37,000 acres of land through which the Blackfoot River trickles, The Resort at Paws Up can give you a family-friendly, activity-filled holiday to remember forever. Enjoy sleigh rides, dog sledding, snow-tubing and skijoring (skiing whilst pulled by a horse) during the winter months! In the summer, try horse riding, fly-fishing, quad biking and more. For a must-try, cattle herding is essential to completing your cowboy experience. You'll not run out of things to try whilst here!
READ MORE: How to Visit the USA's Best National Parks
You may think of the USA and consider big cities and urban capitals as the only thing on offer, but that would be a mistake, as the range of exceptional landscapes here means you can enjoy tropical coral reefs and snow-capped cowboy plains. When it comes to wildlife encounters, there are plenty to be had in the States, and whether you search for dolphins in Hawaii or check out reefs in the Florida Keys, you're sure to create memories you'll treasure forever.
Are you looking for more destination guides or travel insights? If so, take a look at our luxury travel blog.