THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?
What comes to mind when you think of Texas? Cowboys, right-wing, religion? Well Austin is not Texas! This hipster cool city is packed with street art, shopping, streams, and sunshine.
- Here are the top 10 things not be missed in Austin (OK there is one cowboy!)
Austin is the official host of the buzzing music and tech festival, South By Southwest where music acts play for badge holders in the evening but cheapos like us during the day!
We fell in love with Austin, so much so we returned the following year and got hitched at Lou Neff Point by Ladybird Lake. It was a secret elopement but here’s a sneak peak into how we rocked our wedding (not a white dress in sight…)
Chicago is another favourite North American city of mine. I love the accent, the parks, the ‘beach’, the people and the uber cool Wicker Park area. I knew I was going to like it when I arrived really late and a young guy, who had just finished his shift at the airport, walked me to the L train. We talked the journey into downtown and it turns out he loves Scottish indie music. We’re still friends online today! Chicago is great in Summer but there is something magical about a North American city in Winter. Here’s our guide to Chicago at Christmas time.
Oh hello, Rocket City! Huntsville, Alabama is home to space camp, interactive art and delicious food. The city is packed with street art murals, craft beer and artisan coffee/tea makers. Forget your preconceptions about the state, Huntsville will surprise you!
- Here’s our guide on where and what to eat in Huntsville
I’ve visited New Orleans twice and I am keen to go back. I adore losing three days of my life to this Louisiana city. Partying by night, well by day too, at the classy French Quarter and infamous Bourbon Street. Like jazz and good food? NOLA is for you.
Particularly lush in autumn/fall, this area of the States includes Burlington, Providence, Portland, and Boston making it a dream road trip for history and nature buffs.
- Act now! Read your new favourite guide to New England
Orlando is not just for kids, and although getting there can be quite pricey we’re going to show you how to
- Ride Orlando on a budget (+ time-saving tips)
Orlando is not just about Disney and Universal: space geeks unite – Kennedy Space Center
Beers, bikes, and bridges – Portland is happening now. This cute Oregon city is full of vintage wooden houses and original signs as well as home to so many craft beer breweries and food carts. Portlanders are also very proud about the nature close to the city.
- Find out why Portland is happening now
- Stay in a time capsule – hotel review of the boutique, chic The Society Hotel
- Visit Portland in winter to experience the Christmas Ships, Winter Ale Festival and Peacock Lane. Click to read more.
Seattle is a city where the mountains sit proudly in the backdrop and one activity is top of the agenda: food. A visit to Seattle definitely involved eating your way around Pike Place Market then chilling out at an overnight spa.
The Golden City, SFO, Fog City, whatever you call it there’s no denying that it is easy to lose three days in San Francisco, California. From the often hidden Golden Gate Bridge to the culinary scene in Chinatown there are many tourists attractions not to miss in San Francisco. But why settle for just the busy attractions when you can live like a local too?
- Here’s our 3-5 day San Francisco itinerary [with day trips from the Bay]
HOW MUCH DOES THE U.S.A COST?
For daily breakdowns for each American city see this post
United States dollar is used in the U.S.A – click here for the best rates. There are ATMs everywhere, credit cards are widely accepted, in fact using cash is less of the norm. Tipping is essential, 15-20% for good service.
Pacific Northwest (Seattle + Vancouver) budget
Portland, Orlando + Nicaragua budget
Austin – NYC stopover + Hungary budget
ESSENTIAL U.S.A TRAVEL ADVICE
Most nationalities have to apply for a visa waiver programme before they fly to the States.
Accommodation in the U.S.A is expensive and naturally the quality varies from city to town. For example, a dorm bed in Seattle, which is usually your cheapest option for one starts at £25 / $30 and hotels start at around $60 – 70 / £48 – 57. There are over 1000 Airbnb properties in Seattle which average at £91 but are available for as low as £50 for an entire home. New to Airbnb? We’ve used it all over the world. Sign up using our referral code for a discounted rate (handy for these extortionate prices) and we’ll get credit too. Cheers!
America’s public system varies between states. The low – cost buses between Seattle and Portland are efficient and sometimes have Wi-Fi. The States are not known for their rail systems cross country but they do have lots of budget airlines such as Spirit, Jet Blue, and my favourite, Southwest Airlines as the pilot sang to us!
U.S.A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
Austin + Celebs
PNW rules! Portland and Seattle are so photogenic
New Orleans and Austin – first snaps of our career break to travel the Americas
Why I adore the United States of America, you might not agree!
When cheap flights don’t work out cheap
Proof of onward travel – Spirit Airlines