Why should you spend your May holiday in America? With half term approaching, this month is the perfect time to be the ‘kids in America’, as you can escape to warmer climes for a week filled with endless attractions to enthral, educate and entertain! With beaches galore, mega-theme parks and outdoor adventures from the east coast to west, we have picked our three favourite stateside destinations to enjoy a half term holiday in the USA this year.
If your children can’t seem to sit still during the school holidays, Florida will really give them something to jump around about, as the ‘Sunshine State’ promises to conjure up memories of days at the beach, sugary funnel cakes, the best hotdog you’ve ever tasted and smiles that lasted all week!
Orlando, in the northern half of the state, is where you need to be based if theme parks are high up on your agenda. Walt Disney World can take up a whole week alone, with five mega-parks packed with thrilling rides, wildlife encounters, learning experiences and, of course, the king of it all – Mickey Mouse! In the evening, head to the Magic Kingdom for spectacular light parades and fireworks – even the biggest cynic can’t resist the magic!
If you’ve got Star Wars fans in tow, be sure to drive out to Cape Canaveral to visit Kennedy Space Centre, home to the USA Space Programme’s launch site, where interstellar dreamers can learn about real-life space cadets and the world’s first moon landing. Finish your week off with a trip to the mall for the full American experience!
If you’d rather relax on the beach than be up on your feet, you can drive from Orlando to Daytona Beach, but to make a week of it, head south to Miami. Here, you will find the famous South Beach and Biscayne National Park, where there are golden sands and a sub-tropical eco paradise, just a short drive away from one of the USA’s most exciting cities. You can dive down to the nearby coastal barrier reef, go wild with an array of watersports and get lost in the diverse Latino culture of Miami.
Where to Stay:
Orlando: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Miami: Faena Hotel Miami Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, Acqualina Resort & Spa
Cool by its very nature, California ticks boxes for families of all ages, from image-conscious teenagers to hard-to-please children – plus adults who like to get in on the fun too!
Only about twelve miles from the Mexican border, San Diego is one of the most vibrant spots in California, with Hispanic heritage and a laid-back ‘surfin’ USA’ vibe. Ideal for younger families, you can visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to over three-thousand-seven-hundred animals, including a family of Giant Pandas named Gao Gao, Bai Yun and their child, Xiao Liwu – with only one-thousand-six-hundred of their kind left in the world, they draw hoards of admirers! San Diego is also home to LEGOLAND California, with over sixty rides, plus Lego models and pint-size replicas of Washington, New York and San Francisco constructed from nearly six-million bricks – they are a surprisingly entrancing sight!
About a ninety-minute drive away from San Diego is Orange County. Here is a great base for getting out and about and seeing some of the Los Angeles area’s best sights; along with the City of Angels itself, nearby you can find the surfer’s paradise of Huntington Beach, the fun-filled Newport Beach and the sophisticated marinas of Long Beach, plus Santa Monica is about an hour’s drive to the north and Disneyland Resort is practically on your doorstep!
Where to Stay:
San Diego: Beach Village at the Del
Orange County: The Resort at Pelican Hill, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Saddle up for Scottsdale
While it may be one of the lesser talked about stateside family holiday spots, Scottsdale is one of our favourite picks for half term breaks. While the city itself is fantastically modern with plenty of places to eat, shop and enjoy the vast selection of museums and galleries, the surrounding area is also ideal for adventurer families who love nothing more than the great American Outdoors.
Known as ‘the west’s most western town’, Scottsdale has an enthralling blend of Native American heritage, pioneering spirit and swathes of red-rock landscapes littered with cacti – it really is just as John Wayne would have you imagine! Don your cowboy hat and boots for a horse-ride through the mountain foothills or explore the two-hundred miles of trails through the stunning Sonora Desert. Alternatively, take a Jeep or Hummer tour to discover what is hidden out in the rocky dunes and learn about the plants, animals, abandoned mines and past civilisations you will come across along the way.
Young minds have plenty to feed their curiosity with too. Take tours of old pioneer towns and see how the frontier was tamed or visit the Arizona Museum of Natural History to walk with the remains of dinosaurs and marvel at full-sized skeletons of mammoths, mastodons and the one-toed Hagerman Horse for a trip back in time over four-billion years. You can also learn colourful Native American crafts and dances, take ‘brains-on’ activities at the Phoenix Art Museum and play exotic instruments from cultures around the world at the Musical Instrument Museum.
Where to Stay:
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
See our full hand-picked collection of family-friendly half-term escapes for your luxury holiday this May.
For more information on luxury holidays to Florida, California or Scottsdale, to make an enquiry or to make a booking for your May half term break, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 595.