Our new brochures are whirling through the printing presses right now, which is all pretty exciting for our team of Product Managers, who scour the land in search of the best tours around the world.
I caught up with Anna Borthwick, whose job it is to unearth the tour products for the Americas. Can you imagine having Anna’s job? Hunting the North and South America for the most exciting adventures to deliver to you, our STA Travel customers.
I have a sinister side, so I set Anna a challenge. Out of all of the brand new small group tours that we sell in North America, could she extract her favourite seven.
She winced some more.
“But they’re all my favourites!” she decried. I glared some more, while a wry grin seeped across my face. “OK,” she sighed. “I’ll do it, but only if you post it on the STA Travel Blog so that people can read about my selection.”
We shook hands, and walked the 10 feet back to our desks. And so it is, that I hand you over to Anna, for her to lay down her favourite new North America small group tours for 2012.
Anna’s Favourite New North America Tours
Some people perceive that touring in North America is a schlep from city to city. But in fact it’s the perfect way to get into the heart of the national parks and local culture. An experienced tour guide will make sure you easily see all the highlights – plus, someone else does the driving! Bonus!
The reality couldn’t be more different! Most of our tours travel in stylish, and comfortable vans. Your bags ride in a trailer behind, leaving plenty of room, plus most of the vans are equipped with Wifi and plug sockets, allowing travellers to keep the world up to date with their adventure.
Expect the unexpected; these tours don’t flirt around the edges, they get right into the heart of the action at some continent’s best National Parks. One evening you could be dining on pizza while sat on the rim of a canyon, the next, you could be tucking into local BBQ, with a bevy of new friends and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s to boot.
Highlights of Eastern USA & Canada
This was the one that stood out for me; it’s a 15-day loop that starts and finishes in New York, and journeys via some of the Northeast’s most exciting cities: Washington D.C., Toronto, Montreal, and Boston. The route also stops at the refreshing Allegheny National Forest, Niagara Falls, the maple dappled Algonquin Provincial Park and a spot of whale watching at beautiful Cape Cod.
Throw in a visit to none other than Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, couple it with a visit to Harvard and munch into two of the world’s most influential cultures and you’ve got yourself over two weeks of free flowing adventure! Explore this tour »
Tour East Coast USA
This tour does share some similarities with the previous one; however, at just 9 days it’s an alternative way for travellers to the USA to get a flavour of the country. Like all of these tours, it includes accommodation and transport. The stand-outs for me are the visit the Gettysburg where you can learn about the historic Civil War, and the opportunity to travel through Amish Country in Lancaster County.
A unique chance to experience a different side of the USA. The tour stil hits NYC, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Boston, but it’s the journey between them which earns this tour my stamp. Explore this tour »
Best of the West
Start in Los Angeles, end in L.A. This one stands out as a perfect blend of west coast wonder. You’ll cruise through Orange County on route to San Diego, before heading into the enigmatic landscapes of Arizona. Throw in large chunks of thee Grand Canyon, the bright lights of Las Vegas, and the thrilling Death Valley National Park and you’ll begin to get to grips with the monumental nature of this journey.
If you take this route, you’ll be revived in Yosemite, with its cascades of nature, before clambering through the cool of San Francisco, before taking the long way down to Los Angeles, via California’s famously epic coastline. Explore this tour »
Routes of American Music
I couldn’t resist this soulful circuit! An 8 day tour that floats from Chicago to New Orleans, this is a round-up of some of the USA’s most famous stages. Fire up in Chicago, feel the beat in St. Louis, the rhyme in Louisville, and rock onto Nashville, before a crescendo in Memphis and the big finale in New Orleans. Need I say more? Give in to the music, and fuel it all with those famous southern bites. Explore this tour »
Western Express Northbound
This cheeky 8 dayer takes the scenic route from Los Angeles to San Francisco, as it journeys into the heart of the southwest. You’ll gorge on the Grand Canyon and bask in the glitz of Las Vegas along your way. Slow it down in Death Valley, the hottest, driest and lowest spot in North America before spiralling up the lush landscapes of Yosemite National Park.
This is a tour of contrasts, and hits up some of my favourite spots in the USA. It’s a great blend of urban and outstanding nature, and you’ll seal the tour in one of the world’s most famously golden and beautifully bridgey city’s, you guessed it: San Francisco! Explore this tour »
Coast to Coast Road Trip
I chose this one for those that wanted to stretch it out a bit. As the tour name suggests, this beast of a journey travels from coast to coast; or San Francisco to New York City to be precise. Instead of taking the short cut, this one winds through the south before rising up into the compact powerhouses of the American northeast. You’ll soak up Yosemite, journey along the scenic Tioga Pass and dine beneath the stars in the Grand Canyon.
Catch up on the culture of the Navajo, within Monument Valley, home to some of the most spectacular scenery you will ever see, before letting loose in New Orleans French Quarter. Buddy up with the cowboys in Nashville, and snap the sights in Washington D.C. before winding up in one of the world’s greatest cities: NYC. This is surely the ultimate way to see the USA! Explore this tour »
National Parks of the Canadian Rockies
I am yet to meet a person who wasn’t blown away by the sheer awesome nature of Canada’s west coast. This is where bears roam, and ski slopes beckon, and it remains one of my all time favourite tours.
It bounds from one of the world’s best cities, Vancouver, to Calgary in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. You’ll go in search of whales, before winding through the wilderness of Banff and Jasper National Parks where you’ll get the chance to turn off the engines and slope through the magnificent countryside in a canoe. Explore this tour »
What would you like to see in North America? We have loads of tours, all over the continent, that take in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations. Share your ambitions for Canada and the USA today!