USA New York
USA New England
USA arches national park

From sea to shining sea…the wonderful and wacky, beautiful but bizarre, mesmerising and maddening United States of America is not so much one country as a collection of countries under a single star spangled banner.

Outsiders may struggle to grasp the scale of the US or to understand it—hardly surprising when the natives often seem to be strangers to each other. The super rich of Silicone Valley may not have much in common with the folks making ends meet in rural Kentucky; It can seem that the vast areas insultingly dubbed the 'flyover states' are a world apart from the cosmopolitan seaboard cities.

So how is a visitor to make sense of the vastness and variety of the USA? You can have fun trying, or you could just go along for the ride.

The first challenge is deciding which USA you want to see, because a lifetime’s worth of trips won't be enough.

There’s the natural America: The landscapes, of course, are mind-blowing, the wildlife fabulous. The national parks are unmissable, the mountains breathtaking. We all know about the Rockies, but what about the Appalachians—or the Sierra Nevada range, or the Cascades?

Away from mountains, the deserts are forbidding but unforgettable, the coastlines magnificent. From New England in the Fall, to the beaches of California, to the drama of Alaska; from hot springs to hotter volcanoes; from one of the highest points on earth to one of the deepest. All this and more is waiting for you.

Let’s not forget the cities, among the most vibrant on earth. But where to start? Perhaps with gaudy, in-your-face Las Vegas; or New York, one of the most exciting collections of humanity on the planet? Cool Boston? Sophisticated Seattle? It’s your choice.

And we haven’t touched on the sport, the food, music, the culture—the US has some of the finest art galleries, museums and theatres in the world—and of course the history which has shaped the can-do attitude that the rest of the world has come to associate with America, and the Americans.

Of course as with any good friend, you don’t have to be blind to the difficulties they may be facing to admire them, even love them. The US has its share of problems and there’s no point in pretending otherwise. But go with an open mind, open eyes and an open heart. Whichever America you opt for, prepared to be welcomed, surprised, enlivened and enriched.

Alaska's national parks

Alaska's most stunning national parks and how to visit them

There’s the great outdoors and then there’s the wilderness. And then, in a category all of its own, there’s Alaska. Just over two million tourists visit Alaska each year: a drop in the ocean for a space that is larger than the next three states more

4 days

Denali Express

Four day basecamp hiking in Denali National Park
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9 days

Prince William Sound, Chugach & Denali

Hiking, kayaking, backpacking & ice climbing
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21 days

Discover Western USA

A route combining top cities and wilderness attractions
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14 days

Self-drive California

A scenic coastal route
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16 days

The best of the American West

A route to the top natural and historic attractions
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10 days

Tour northern California

Waterfalls and history in the golden state
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8 days

Wine lovers’ California

A grand tour of California’s wine region
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  • Alaska


    Super-sized wilderness
    If you thought everything about the USA was big, well, Alaska is just...
  • Anchorage


  • Turquoise Lake

  • Chugach National Forest

    Chugach National Forest

    Extending for roughly 495,000 acres north, south and east of Anchorage and connected to the Southcentral Alaska road network, Chugach State Park is one of the state’s more accessible adventure spots...
  • Noatak National Preserve

  • Kongakut River

  • Kobuk Valley National Park

    Kobuk Valley National Park

    Located entirely above the Arctic Circle in the western Brooks Range, Kobuk Valley National Park is a broad valley encircled by the Baird and Waring mountain ranges, with the Kobuk River snaking through its middle for 61 miles...
  • Aleutian Islands

  • Katmai National Park

    Katmai National Park

    Broad river flats, looming mountains, and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes; the stunning, desolate remains of the 20th century's largest volcanic eruption...
  • Denali National Park

    Denali National Park

    Denali National Park and Preserve is a sprawling, 6-million-acre land of snow-clad peaks, tundra-carpeted hills and rushing glacier-fed creeks...
  • Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

    Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

    If you live in or near Anchorage and want a quick day of bear viewing, you head for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, which is just a short hour's flight away...
  • Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    If you think of sprawling coastal plains and seemingly endless streams of caribou, you're probably thinking of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR to locals)...
  • Gates of the Arctic National Park

    Gates of the Arctic National Park

    Although it's one of the most visited parks in the Arctic, Gates of the Arctic is still populated by far more caribou and birds than human visitors...
  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park And Preserve

    Wrangell-St. Elias National Park And Preserve

  • Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Park

    Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Park

    Prince William Sound (PWS) sits in a calm, well-sheltered inlet on the Gulf of Alaska...
  • Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve

    Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve

    The six-mile-wide caldera in the heart of Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve showcases what's left when a mountain literally blows its top...
  • Fairbanks

  • Great Kobuk Sand Dunes

  • Matanuska Glacier

  • Bering Land Bridge National Monument

  • Cape Krusenstern National Monument

  • Kenai Fjords National Park

  • Talkeetna Mountains

    Talkeetna Mountains

    Nestled between the Alaska Range and the Chugach Mountains, Talkeetna offers rugged trails and remote areas dense with glaciers...
  • Seward

  • Western USA

    Western USA

    Adventures on an American scale
    The American West...
  • Wyoming


  • Jackson Hole

    Jackson Hole

  • Arizona

  • Page


    Page is a small town in Coconino County, is the ideal jumping off point for multiple Grand Canyon sights including Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend and Glen Canyon Dam...
  • San Francisco

    San Francisco

    California's greatest city
    Crammed into less than 50 square miles and with a population of less than a million, small San Francisco packs a mighty punch...
  • Los Angeles

    Los Angeles

    Stroll along Hollywood Boulevard, spot your favourite TV and film stars on the Walk of Fame, and you can’t miss the hillside Hollywood sign...
  • Las Vegas

    Las Vegas

    Spend a day or two discovering the grandeur of Las Vegas and its famously flamboyant attractions...
  • San Diego

    San Diego

    A two hour drive south from L...
  • Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite National Park

    The most popular national park in California, Yosemite includes the world-renowned Yosemite Valley, which is beneath notable granite peaks including Half Dome and El Capitan – famous among rock climbers for their stunning views and difficult climbs...
  • Grand Canyon

    Grand Canyon

    Once in Grand Canyon National Park, there’s much more to do than stare into the world-famous chasm...
  • Spencer Canyon

    Spencer Canyon

    Spencer Canyon offers both beginner and intermediate climbers access to a variety of routes to explore as well as a popular campsite to stay with access to key Grand Canyon sights...
  • Death Valley National Park

    Death Valley National Park

    In Death Valley, you will be in the largest national park in the continental United States...
  • Napa Valley

    Napa Valley

    Napa Valley is filled with lush vineyards that can be visited on foot or with the vintage railcars of the Napa Valley Wine Train which covers 36 miles...
  • Palm Springs

    Palm Springs

    Set in possibly the most biologically diverse ecosystem in the Americas, Palm Springs is not only a winter playground for celebrities, but also a stylish place to relax in hot springs, spas and top-class golf courses at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains...
  • Estes Park

  • Sedona


    On arrival to the unique geological area of Sedona, you will be welcomed by red-rock monoliths, with names such as Coffee Pot and Cathedral, protruding from the desert landscape...
  • Monument Valley

    Monument Valley

    Pass through the Painted Desert with its kaleidoscope of colours to reach Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border...
  • Utah

  • Arches National Park

    Arches National Park

    The park may be home to a daunting number of arches – more than 2000 have been documented – many of the most photogenic are easily accessed from the 18-mile scenic drive...
  • Canyonlands National Park

    Canyonlands National Park

    The most convenient of Canyonlands’ three visitor districts is Island-in-the-Sky, which sits atop a mesa thirty miles from Moab...
  • Goblin Valley State Park

  • Capitol Reef National Park

    Capitol Reef National Park

    Surrounding a 100-mile wrinkle in the earth’s crust, this 381-sq-mile park is a celebration of geology and the powerful forces of time and weather...
  • San Rafael Swell

  • Lake Powell

    Lake Powell

    The concrete Glen Canyon Dam would dominate the scenery if it was not for the commanding Colorado River and the bright blue waters of Lake Powell that lap against the tall red walls of the canyon...
  • Bryce Canyon

    Bryce Canyon

    Scooped into the side of a high-desert plateau, a deep natural amphitheater holds a small army of sandstone pillars at Utah’s smallest national park...
  • Zion National Park

    Zion National Park

    Sheer red rock cliffs flank Zion Canyon, a lush wonderland of gentle waterfalls, wild gardens and hidden pools...
  • Grand Staircase - Escalante

  • Moab

  • Salt Lake City

  • Kodachrome Basin State Park

    Kodachrome Basin State Park

    Named by the National Geographic Society for a popular type of camera film – known for its ability to capture brilliant colours – this state park lives up to its moniker...
  • Mammoth Lakes

    Mammoth Lakes

    Journey through Death Valley and ascend the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the alpine resort of Mammoth Lakes, famous for its skiing and hiking trails...
  • Santa Barbara

    Santa Barbara

    Backed by the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara, is a hot-spot for white-sand beaches and palm-lined promenades...
  • Monterey Peninsula

    Monterey Peninsula

    Monterey Peninsula offers a mix of wind-whipped beaches, hidden coves and delicious seafood...
  • Lake Tahoe

    Lake Tahoe

    Explore the surroundings of this clear mountain lake by bike, kayak or cruise, or relax on one of its beaches to enjoy the unique views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Carson Range...
  • Sacramento


    You can easily spend a few hours at the 28-acre Old Sacramento State Historic Park learning about The California Gold Rush, which took place in 1848–1855...
  • Redwood National & State Parks

    Redwood National & State Parks

    Redwood National and State Parks are home to the world’s tallest trees, which grow more than 350 feet tall...
  • Rocky Mountain National Park

    Rocky Mountain National Park

    One of the highest national parks in the United States, the Rocky Mountain National Park includes the 14,258-foot-high Longs Peak (4,345 metres) and 300 miles of hiking trails...
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park

    Great Sand Dunes National Park

    One of Colorado's lesser-visited parks, Great Sand Dunes National Park has 30 square miles of dunes including one that is 750 feet tall (228 metres)...
  • Mesa Verde National Park

    Mesa Verde National Park

    The reason to visit Mesa Verde National Park is to see one of its ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings...
  • Yellowstone National Park

    Yellowstone National Park

    Established in 1872, Yellowstone is America’s first national park...
  • Lamar Valley

    Lamar Valley

    A tributary of the main Yellowstone River, the Lamar River runs through the valley and is a great area to spot wildlife such as bears, wolves and bison...
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

    Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

  • Paradise Valley

    Paradise Valley

  • Colorado

  • Denver

  • California

  • Muir Woods

    Muir Woods

  • Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Lassen Volcanic National Park

    A hotbed of geothermal activity, Lassen Volcanic National Park has mud pots, boiling pools and fumaroles (an opening near a volcano which releases gas)...
  • Channel Islands National Park

    Channel Islands National Park

    Whether you visit the tiny Channel Islands National Park’s Anacapa Island or Santa Cruz Island, you’ll experience a California coastal landscape devoid of development...
  • Pinnacles National Park

    Pinnacles National Park

    Pinnacles National Park was formed from the eroded sections of an old volcano...
  • Jenner


  • Mendocino


  • Senoma


  • June Lake

    June Lake

  • Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

    Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

  • Washington

  • Seattle

  • Grand Teton National Park

    Grand Teton National Park

    With an elevation of 13,775ft, Grand Teton is the highest peak in the park and one of eight with an elevation above 12,000ft...
  • Jenny Lake

    Jenny Lake

  • Joshua Tree National Park

    Joshua Tree National Park

    Named for a unique looking desert plant, Joshua Tree National Park offers hiking, birding, and horseback riding along with climbing, bouldering, highlining, and slacklining on its many rock formations...
  • Olympic National Park

    Olympic National Park

    With nearly a million acres, Olympic National Park offers a variety of experiences including hiking, soaking in hot springs (Sol Duc Hot Springs and Olympic Hot Springs), and sliding down a snowy peak at the Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area...
  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Mount Rainier National Park

    While its namesake 14,410-foot-high (4,392m) peak dominates the scenery, Mount Rainier National Park also has worthwhile hiking in the Tatoosh Range and waterfalls in the Carbon River area...
  • Crater Lake National Park

    Crater Lake National Park

    Oregon’s dazzling blue Crater Lake, a remnant of a volcano, is worth spending some time staring at...
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

    Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

    The adjacent parks of Sequoia and Kings Canyon are a fine place to take in the splendour of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the towering sequoia trees, and geologic formations like Moro Rock...
  • Glacier National Park

    Glacier National Park

    With hairpin turns climbing past granite peaks to Logan Pass and beyond, the soaring Going-to-the-Sun Road is an engineering marvel and a 50-mile adventure for travellers...
  • Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

    Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

    Completed in 1936, the 726ft-high Hoover Dam across the Colorado River remains an architectural wonder...
  • Valley of Fire State Park

    Valley of Fire State Park

    An easy detour from the I-15 between Las Vegas and Zion National Park, Valley of Fire State Park lives up to its name...
  • Phoenix

  • Oregon

  • Portland

  • East Coast

  • Maine

  • Virginia

  • Shenandoah National Park

  • North Carolina

  • West Virginia

  • New Hampshire

  • Tennessee

  • Louisiana

  • Massachusetts

  • Vermont

  • Wisconsin

  • Michigan

  • South Dakota

  • Illinois

  • Missouri

  • Arkansas

  • New York

  • South Carolina

  • Montana


  • Bozeman


  • Florida

  • Ocala National Forest

  • Kentucky

  • Louisville


Places to go in The United States

The United States Tours

Anchorage, Turquoise Lake, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Turquoise Kayak and Hike

Lake Clark multisport adventure

7 daysFrom $3,850
Anchorage, Denali National Park, Great Kobuk Sand Dunes

Denali Unexplored

Basecamp hiking in Denali National Park

4 daysFrom $2,895
Chugach National Forest, Denali National Park, Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Park

Alaska Multisport Adventure

Prince William Sound, Chugach and Denali National Park

9 daysFrom $4,995
Noatak National Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, Great Kobuk Sand Dunes

Noatak River & Great Kobuk Sand Dunes

Epic Gates of the Arctic & Kobuk Valley combined tour

12 daysFrom $7,695
Anchorage, Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Bear Trekking in Katmai National Park

Alaska’s most unique bear viewing trip

5 daysFrom $4,395
Anchorage, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Twin Lakes Paddle

Explore the magic of Lake Clark's Twin Lakes

7 daysFrom $3,750

The United States Travel Companies


Alaska Alpine Adventures

Small-group adventure holidays in Alaska
North America, South America, Antarctica

SA Expeditions

Tailor-made guided tours to North and South America
Western USA

Wildland Trekking

Hiking vacations in the US and beyond
Western USA

Bindlestiff Tours

Self-drive & private tours of the Southwest US
Western USA

Tour Estes Park

Personalized day tours of Rocky Mountain National Park
North America, East Asia

Sigs Rides

Guided & self-guided motorbike & cycling tours
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Dreamin Adventures

Year-round wildlife tours of Yellowstone NP

Hondoo Rivers & Trails

Discover Utah's canyon country

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial travel guides

Our guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for impartial travel advice.

Expert itineraries

Expert itineraries

Suggested itineraries and routes to help you scratch beneath the surface, avoid the tourist traps, and plan an authentic, responsible and enjoyable journey.

Specialist advice

Specialist advice

Get friendly, expert travel advice and custom itineraries from some of the world's best tour operators, with no spam, pressure or commitment to book.