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Flights to the USA: Tramping through the red, white and blue

Experience the USA

Hire a classic muscle car and power through the vast North American landscape. Cruise past crashing coastal Maine surf en route to the sugar-sand beaches of Florida. Wave as you overtake slow-moving paddle steamers on the mighty Mississippi. Pause to refuel on belt-busting burgers and mighty milkshakes in a classic 50s-style American diner then reach for the clouds when your road finally twists skyward into the rugged Colorado Rockies.

Get cultured

Discover the roots of American culture on your USA holiday. Begin with Boston, where echoes of Paul Revere's ride can still be heard in cobbled streets and 18th-century church towers. New York's tireless energy fuels outrageous fashions that bring gawping window-shoppers to mid-town Manhattan in their droves. In Los Angeles, high-powered movie execs make or break the careers of wannabe stars over lunch. Summon Lady Luck to roulette tables in cavernous Las Vegas casinos, liberally dotted along the larger-than-life, neon-lit Strip.

Back to nature

Your long flight to the USA is rewarded by a glacier cruise in Alaska. Listen for the thundering crash as silver-blue ice sheets calve away to join humpback whales beneath the swells. Head for heights? Prove your mettle on the glass-bottomed Skywalk, a narrow U-shaped walkway that hangs a palm-sweating 4,000ft above the Grand Canyon. Watch the Canyon's colours turn earth-brown to terracotta on a sunset helicopter tour.

Eat and drink

Who cooks up the best barbecue? Kansas City, North Carolina or Memphis? Sample them all, then keep your opinion to yourself as the topic is likely to spark fist-fights among the locals. Cajun, African and Spanish spices fuse with fresh-caught shrimp and rice to create famous Louisiana gumbo. In the Pacific Northwest, craft brewers make like mad scientists with their suds, pushing boundaries to find the perfectly-balanced blend of hops, malt and smattering of fruit or spice.

Fast facts

Population: More than 312 million people call the USA home. The three most populous cities are New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Key dates: The USA declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii became America?s 49th and 50th states.

Did you know? The USA claims more than a dozen island groups as territories, including Guam, American Samoa and Puerto Rico.

Getting about: Amtrak provides coast-to-coast rail travel, but for long-distance trips most residents drive or fly.

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