USA & Canada
Day 1 – Washington DC
Arrive in Washington DC and enjoy the capital city sightseeing and exploring the local watering holes.
Day 2 – Washington DC
Take a city tour to see the most popular attractions in the city including the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Hill and the White house. Explore the various monuments around the city to fallen heroes, presidents and inspirational figures. Head to the Smithsonian Museum on the Mall for a great overview of US history and ideals. If you feel like spending some time outdoors, wonder over to the National Zoo which is completely admission free and home to approximately 2,000 animals.
Day 3 – Philadelphia
Travel to Philadelphia which is today USA’s fourth largest city. This city is bursting with culture and heritage, being home to historical artefacts such as the Liberty Bell, but also home to art galleries, and jazz venues.
Day 4 – Boston
After a night in Philly, head up to Boston. Visit downtown Boston and follow the Freedom Trail for a great walk through some major sights in the city such as The Old State House. Head over to Hanover Street in the evening for some of the best restaurant dining in Boston.
Day 5 – Boston
Take a cruise out of the Boston Harbour to see the city from the waters as founding settlers would have. Visit the huge Boston Public Library to gaze upon the amazing architecture or if you are a fan of classical music, take a look at the Boston Symphony Hall home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of America’s greatest orchestras.
Want to get stuck in to the Local American atmosphere? Go watch a baseball game at Fenway Park, one of the oldest and greatest baseball stadiums in America.
Day 6 – New York City
Leave Boston for the ‘Big Apple’. Take a walk around the city enjoying famous attractions such as Times Square, Greenwich Village, Empire State Building and China Town.
In the evening, experience Broadway… Pre book for one of the amazing shows available, from musicals to great traditional plays.
Day 7 – New York City
Spend your last day in New York visiting Ellis Island and seeing the Statue of Liberty in the flesh. You can also take a helicopter tour of the city and view just like in the movies! Finish off the day with some shopping in Fifth Avenue and some excellent dining options with the brilliant American customer service to behold.
Day 8 – Fly home to UK.
Ceri is the girl to see for this itinerary and says:
"This is a fantastic itinerary, with each destination completely different to the other. As an alternative to an organised guided tour, if you would prefer to be more independent, it is really easy to travel between these cities on Amtrak rail. This gives you the chance to capture the scenery en route and to arrive refreshed ready to start exploring. After travelling between these cities myself on Amtrak I realised just how close they were. The longest journey between Boston and New York is only three and a half hours. My tips would be to pre book a show in New York, don’t miss a whale watching trip off the coast of Boston, take the Mural tour in Philadelphia and a must do in Washington is a visit to the Newseum."
NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA
Day 1 – Frederiction
Enjoy the scenic riverside beauty available in this town. Wonder to downtown’s Officers Square for outdoor concerts, films and theatre, to relax after your journey. If you’re lucky, catch the award winning Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival with over 100 acts of the finest blues artists spread over six blocks of this historical downtown area.
Day 2 – Kings Landing Historical Settlement
The majestic St. John River Valley is home to a living-history village where visitors are immersed in the sights, sounds, colours that took a young colony into a vibrant nation. You will find women in their homes harvesting herbs, cooking over an open fire and spinning wool into yarn. The men can be found in the fields and barns cutting wood and milking the cows.
Follow in the afternoon with a trip to Beaverbrook Art Gallery and a trip to Lunar Rogue Pub; home of the world’s best whiskey bars by UK Whiskey Magazine.
Day 3 – St. Andrews
Start the day at the Boyce Farmers Market by having the best lobster roll you can get in the province! This market hosts the finest traditional foods as well as arts and crafts.
After a short drive you will arrive in St. Andrews along the Bay of Fundy. This seaside town has status as a National Historic District. The town is a treasure trove of beautiful architecture, unparalleled scenery and rich marine life. From this location you can go whale watching on a quality vessel along the Bay of Fundy. You should look out for Finback, Minke, Humpback Whales as well as seals and dolphins.
Day 5 – Saint John
This city has a history going back centuries, and the delightful port there offers some great scenery as you see the tides of Bay of Fundy force the flow of St. John River. This town is also home to a great market and the New Brunswick Museum, if you are looking to learn more about the province.
Head to the Reversing Falls in the afternoon for some fun on the jet boats! Ride the rapids and leave feeling refreshed and invigorated. This reversing phenomenon is created by the Bay of Fundy meeting the St John River and creates rapids, whitecaps and whirlpools! Make sure you wear a waterproof, because you will get wet!
Day 6 – Fundy National Park
Today you can get back to nature at New Brunswick’s first national park, founded in 1948. Discover over 120 km of walking trails; hike mountains; and past sparkling waterfalls. You can see an original Acadian Forest and even rent a canoe to explore beautiful Bennett Lake.
Later in the day, visit Hopewell Rocks to see quiet coves and 100 billion tonnes of water hitting the rocks. These are the highest tides in the world! By evening, enjoy a full lobster dinner on a cruise along the Shediac Bay. Learn how to crack and enjoy the freshly cooked lobster caught on board.
Day 7 – Moncton
Today take a tour of the Musee Acadien de l’Universite de Moncton, founded in 1886 and home to over 38000 historical articles from the area. The Museum holds one of the biggest collections of Acadian artefacts in the world. This museum gives the opportunity to learn more about the first European settlers in Canada and their lifestyle.
Day 8 – Travel from Moncton Airport to Toronto to finish off the trip with a stay at Niagara Falls. Take a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls and a trip on the Hornblower , which is the closest you will get to the breath taking flow of water. Visit Niagara on the lake- the historic old town and pop into the many boutique shops.
Day 10 Fly home
Canada Specialist Claire gives her top tips:
"- Arrange your dates to visit the Harvest Jazz and Blues festival in Fredericton usually mid-September - Hire a mountain bike whilst in St Andrews and cycle around the Passamaquoddy Bay and take in the wonderful scenery. - Visit Hopewell Rocks both high and low tide to truly appreciate the magnificent rock formations - Take a mac and a good pair of walking boots; it is all about the exploring!!"
THE CANADIAN ROCKIES AND VANCOUVER (WITH VARIATIONS)
Day 1 – Calgary
Fly from UK directly to Calgary. This fantastic city is home to the famous Calgary Stampede - Titled ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’ where you can enjoy a traditional Canadian rodeo of horse-riding, chuck-wagon race and most of all an amazing lively atmosphere. This is a fun day out for all ages, and can be a great way to start your trip. http://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede
The Stampede is in July so your itinerary can be planned around it however, if you travel at any other time, one night would be enough on arrival in Calgary before heading off to the Canadian Rockies.
Day 2 – Banff
Drive to Banff and take in the beautiful scenery surrounding this town in the centre of Banff National Park. There is much to see and do here with a visit to the Sulphur Springs, a guided tour of the historic Banff Springs Hotel and a gondola trip up Sulphur Mountain for amazing views and walks a definite must. In addition to this, visit Lake Louise and maybe have a hot chocolate or afternoon tea at the Chateau overlooking the lake after taking a scenic walk around the lake (or a more strenuous hill walk to the Agnes Tea Rooms which is a beautiful 7km hike. You may even make time to kayak on the Lake – an incredible experience! Shops, bars and restaurants are plentiful on Banff Avenue where the majority of accommodation is situated so it is easy to walk out in the evening and enjoy plenty of choice of eating places.
Day 5 – Jasper
On route to Jasper, travel through Jasper National Park and visit the amazing Columbian Icefields and Maligne Canyon, formed 10,000 years ago and filled with snow covered mountains, frozen waterfalls and glaciers. Described as ‘One of the top ten drives of the World’, (Conde Nast Magasine) the drive will take the day if you take it at a leisurely pace. Along the way, there will be opportunities to view wildlife and also visit the Athabasca Skywalk with amazing views over the Athabasca Glacier. http://www.visitors-info.com/explore-canadian-rockies/item/glacier-skywalk
Once in Jasper you can enjoy the peaceful town whilst being surrounded by a dramatic landscape of mountains. This small town is also has local craft shopping and restaurants to enjoy.
Day 7 – Clearwater
Cross over the Albert border into British Columbia and drive to Clearwater where you can enjoy some more fantastic scenery including lakes and waterfalls for activities like kayaking, canoeing, and fly fishing. This is home to the well-known Wells Gray Provincial Park which is a great rural area for getting back to nature in a ranch style lodge where you can participate in hiking, horse-riding or white-water rafting. Alternatively a simple one night motel stop would allow you to break your journey before moving on to Whistler.
Day 9 – Whistler
In the winter, Whistler is one of the most popular places in Canada for skiing and winter sports, however in the summer Whistler can be host to a range of mountain sports such as mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing. If this all sounds a little too energetic, it is also the perfect spot to chill out as Whistler has many excellent 4 and 5 star hotels in which to relax and enjoy the spa facilities. Also there is great shopping and dining options to make your stay complete.
Day 11 – Tofino
From Whistler you can travel down to Vancouver and ferry across to Vancouver Island. Settle in Tofino which is the home of some of the best whale and bear watching available. Home of the Black bears, you can take an organised tour to view the bears in their natural habitat, similarly whale-watching tours can be pre-booked in advance to make the most of your stay here.
Day 14 – Victoria
Drive along the scenic coastal road to the city of Victoria. At this bustling harbour town you can find the famous Butchart Gardens hosting 55 acres of a range of colours and scents in its variety of flowers. If you take to the water, Victoria holds another opportunity to look for Whales and other marine and seabird life. This is also another hotspot for shopping and dining as well as being an excellent centre for arts and culture.
Day 16 – Vancouver
Take a ferry back to Vancouver to enjoy this metropolitan area for a few nights, whilst still enjoying the city sights (there is a super hop-on, hop-off service around the city). Be sure to include a cable car ride up Grouse Mountain for stunning city views as well as Capilano Suspension Bridge which includes a walk through the rainforest. There is so much to do in Vancouver that you will need to plan your stay carefully according to your interests in order to fit everything in before flying home.
Day 19 – Fly home to the UK.
If you prefer not to drive, most of this itinerary can be arranged with a combination of coach transfers (without it being a fully organised coach tour, to give you the independence and flexibility of a fly-drive without driving). The Rocky Mountaineer train could be incorporated between Jasper and Vancouver as a good alternative to driving. If you prefer an organised coach tour, this is not a problem; we have many to choose from ranging in standard, duration and price.
An Alaska Cruise may also be a consideration as the perfect way to end this itinerary – We feature many cruise lines and can talk through an itinerary that will streamline well into any itinerary that begins or ends in Vancouver.
Our Canada Specialist, Ann Anglesea says:
"This itinerary covers most of the amazing sights and experiences in Western Canada, it is ideal for first-time visitors who want to see as much as they can without rushing it. There are so many variations on this that it can be tailored to suit most needs and tastes"
Want a special experience with some Grizzly Bears? You can view bears from the amazing Knight Inlet lodge by Campbell River in Canada... read more HERE.