East or West, Which Is Best?

6 July 2018

Whether you see yourself as a California Girl, are dying to take the Midnight Train to Georgia or keen to take a Walk on the Wild Side in the Big Apple, one thing’s for sure when it comes to the USA – you can’t see it all on one trip.

Many first-time visitors to the States grapple with deciding where to focus their holiday energies because of the sheer size of the country and the dizzying array of holiday experiences on offer. East and West continue to vie for the attention of city slickers, nature lovers and culture buffs.

From trendy New York to stylish Los Angeles, revolutionary history in Boston to gold rush fever in San Francisco, Yellowstone’s Old Faithful to fiery fall foliage in Maine – planning your journey from “Sea to Shining Sea” will be a bitter-sweet experience as you struggle to select which must-see experiences to include. It helps to turn to the experts when you’re trying to decide which part of the US to explore.

Romanticised images of tapping your inner Thelma and Louise as you hit the Mother Road with the wind in your hair don’t take into account that you’ll probably miss out on a great deal when you try to tackle the States yourself, so don’t be spoilt for choice. So, if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out which way you swing, here are a few of the experiences curated by Trafalgar in the East and West to put you on the right path:

East Coast
Walk in the footsteps of brave pilgrims and patriots into the hallowed grounds of Boston’s Fenway Park, amidst the towering Art Deco façades of New York and through the Land of the Free where Americans once proclaimed their liberty. The East Coast is a boon for history buffs and city slickers – home to the exciting urban centres of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, but also the sophisticated states of New Hampshire, New England, Connecticut and Maine.

Trace the history of America’s humble beginnings – the hardships and triumphs experienced by immigrants who in their own way shaped the cosmopolitan nature of the East Coast over centuries. March to independence, explore colonial boomtowns and fan the fires of revolution from the halls of Washington to the bright lights of New York.

Trafalgar Highlight
An exclusive lunch with the owner of a local island restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard and encounter with the living history of Plimoth Plantation where visitors gain insights into what life was like in the original 17th century British settlement of Plymouth Colony.

Best for families
A visit to “Chocolatetown USA” where your taste buds will run wild at the Hershey Chocolate Tasting Experience. Learn the difference between dark, milk and other chocolate varietals, and even create your own candy bar.

West Coast
Tap your inner adventurer and head west to the sun-kissed shores of California and the natural wonders of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Saddle up for a wild ride through lawless backwater towns, an oasis in the desert and the home of larger-than-life legends like Calamity Jane, Crazy Horse and Wild Bill Hickok. The West Coast will tick every box if you’re an outdoors enthusiast and nature lover.

From the world’s oldest national park to its tallest trees and grandest canyon, an epic journey out west will bring you up close to some of the most soul-stirring feats of Mother Nature. City lovers need not be disappointed either. The bright lights of Tinseltown, San Francisco and Las Vegas will satisfy your thirst for any urban adventure, while your sophisticated self comes to grips with the scenic beauty of Big Sur and scintillating blends of Napa and Sonoma linger long after your visit to the winelands.

Trafalgar Highlight
Venture into the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota to the base of Crazy Horse Memorial and meet Stephen Yellowhawk who shares stories of his tribe’s history during a festive dinner.

Best for families
Board an open-air vehicle, bouncing past the imposing mesas and buttes rising up from Monument Valley’s red valley floor toward the family holiday hotspot of Lake Powell.