North America is an exceptionally diverse continent, full of incredible scenery, beautiful beaches, exciting cities, and so much to explore. From jagged mountains to urban jungles, it isn’t surprising that a North American road trip is a rite of passage for many young travellers. If you’ve got the travel bug, make sure you tick some of these incredible sights off your bucket list.
Sunset over the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a must visit at any time of day, but it’s particularly special at sunset. The way the fading light throws long shadows over the jagged red rock and into the Colorado River is a sight to behold, and completely awe-inspiring. There is no single best place to see sunrise or sunset from on the Grand Canyon, although the more popular areas such as Hopi and Mather can get really crowded, so your best bet is to wander around and find a spot which suits you. This is a great one for families with kids as well, as the scenery is enough to get even the smallest kid excited.
New England in autumn
If you’re a bit of a romantic, there’s nothing quite like the beautiful colours of New England in autumn – sorry, fall. The millions of acres of greenery go all manner of golds, reds, and yellows, and stretch for as far as the eye can see. The fresh, crisp air makes for beautiful afternoon strolls through tree-lined parks, and around crystal blue lakes. If you’re ever in the States in late-September, be sure to head up to Maine, Vermont, or New Hampshire for some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole country.
Any USA and Canada holiday just has to include Niagara Falls. On the border between the two nations, it’s actually three separate waterfalls which combine to make the most awesome spectacle. Boat trips towards the Falls are great for a family day out, as long as you all remember your rain coats, and it’s not an experience you’ll forget quickly. Once you’ve experienced the waterfalls, there’s great hiking and food in the area, and even a Niagara Falls IMAX cinema.
Banff National Park
If you’re heading to Canada, it would be an absolute crime to miss out on Banff National Park. Situated in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, the huge park originally started as a small hot springs reserve, before growing to take in miles of the stunning mountain scenery of the area. Shimmering glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and alpine pools make the area look almost magical – it’s not surprising that visitors love it – you’ll never want to leave.
If you’re a fan of cowboy movies or Spaghetti Westerns, you’ll know the sights of Monument Valley in Utah without even knowing it. It’s a Navajo Tribal Park which won the hearts of Hollywood directors when they discovered just how quintessentially Wild West it looks, and Westerns have been filmed there ever since. The landscape itself is stunning, with tall red rock fingers reaching up to the sky it’s not surprising that the Navajo tribes believed the area to be filled by their ancestor’s spirits. The beautifully remote park allows for amazing nighttime stargazing as there is no light pollution source nearby, and the vast park is just stunning for exploration – a must visit.
New York City
The Big Apple is one of those places that you’ve just got to see. Filling our televisions and movie theatres with the likes of Friends, Miracle on 34th Street, and thousands of other shows, it feels like we know New York before we even get there. Sights like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller, and Central Park all feel familiar, so walking through the streets of the city itself is like walking through your favourite television set.
Taking in a show on Broadway is a theatre lover’s dream, and there are more shops and restaurants than you could ever dream of to explore. Make sure to check out the display at Macy’s on Broadway – it’s always breathtaking – and take a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge to see Manhattan from a whole new angle. NYC is one of those cities that has a rightful place on every bucket list as an urban jungle of incredible opulence and excitement.
North America is a continent fully deserving of exploration. Between the USA and Canada, it’s got an incredible variety of exciting and beautiful things to offer, places to visit, and wildernesses in which to get lost. Have you ever seen any of these sights?
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