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Touring and exploring

Great American adventures

Clive wedderburn August 12, 2016

Fascinating and glamorous city experiences are just one aspect of a dream trip to Canada and the USA. When you embark on an outdoor adventure in North America, you'll also encounter some of the most breathtaking scenery on Earth. Here are a few suggestions to inspire your next journey into America's wilds.

Lake Tahoe - lake of the sky

Within striking distance of San Francisco lies Lake Tahoe. A spectacular destination all year round, but during summer the shady forests, rivers and glorious mountain peaks come into their own.  Mountain bike along the perimeter of this legendary lake, take a canoe out to sheltered inlets or paddle-board until you find the perfect spot. 

Utah - state of a thousand camera clicks

The extraordinary rock formations caused by eons of geological activity have made the state of Utah the backdrop to hundreds of Hollywood movies. Its five national parks provide photo opportunities like none other, and we think the best way to explore them is by automobile. Hire a Harley, cruise in a Chevrolet or relax in an RV; and don't forget your camera because those deep green lakes, red ochre deserts and pine covered peaks make Utah a visual feast.

Palm Springs - playground to the stars

High culture and invigorating hiking, fabulous festivals and stunning scenery, Palm Springs punches well above its weight. Attracted by its seclusion and beauty, the rich and famous from LA built minimalist houses here so they could admire the landscape. Thus the term Desert Modernism was born. Elvis had a house here, so too did Cary Grant, Bob Hope and Barbara Streisand.

Taking its cue from the movie stars, Palm Springs became a byword for glamour, drawing big spenders from all over California who still wanted to be surrounded by beautiful things. Subsequently, art galleries and museums popped up to cater to the more affluent tastes. The city attracted big-name fashion designers to the El Paseo shopping district, which became known as the Rodeo Drive of the desert.

But the real star has always been the scenery; the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. Biking, golf, hiking, horseback riding, the aerial tramways and trips to the San Andreas fault line are more popular now than star-spotting. Combine Palm Springs’ scenery with Pacific Ocean views at San Diego, or celeb-spotting in Los Angeles, both just a short drive away.

Key Largo - John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

The great outdoors is not merely limited to mountains and forests. In the Florida Keys, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is 70 nautical miles of tropical marine paradise. If you want to take your first formative steps to discover the underwater world of diving, there is no better place to begin your journey. Situated on Key Largo, the waters are so clear divers have remarked that it is like being part of the movie Finding Nemo.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick - beasts of the northern wilds

Welcome to the Acadian communities  of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, one of the most geographically diverse places in North America; renowned for seafood, remote coastal culture and secluded spots of rare natural beauty. While Fredericton and Halifax deliver unique city experiences, the Bay of Fundy and Kouchibouguac National Park present a coastline that is home to the most extraordinary marine life. We highly recommend taking to the sea to watch humpback whales break the surface around your boat.

Oregon - land of wild adventure 

Oregon embodies the spirit of adventure, where bald eagles soar, grey wolves howl and black bears stride across the landscape. Salmon jump from swirling rivers, while Cougars growl and Condors spiral higher and higher. It is a place of outstanding natural beauty, containing green wildernesses such as the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Park; 300,000 acres of wooded mountain slopes and remote river valleys. Visit the Crater Lake National Park, a place of raw beauty created 6,000 years BC from a gigantic volcanic eruption, making it the United States’ deepest lake at 529m. Take a scenic drive around the 33 mile perimeter and absorb the view from all angles.

Enjoy the vibe of laidback Portland, a great base from which to explore the state of Oregon, with a strong emphasis on coffee, culture and music. Visit the aptly named Gravity Hill in the Vortex Territory where broomsticks stand of their own free will, pebbles roll uphill and people mysteriously appear to change height.

Have you decided what part of North America you’d like to explore? Visit our Canada and USA pages for more inspiration.