Best Places to Visit in the USA in 2018: Month by Month Inspiration
As you start to make travel plans for 2018, we’ve pulled together a little month-by-month inspiration to give you just a small taster of some of our best places to visit in the USA this year.
Whether you already know where you’d like to go or just want to discuss the options of where to visit and when with one of our Destination Experts, we’d love to hear from you.
January: Southern California
Ring in the New Year by hunting down the sun in the wellness capital of the world, Southern California. But if spas, raw juice cleanses and cryotherapy are not your thing, don’t worry. From your starting point in Los Angeles there’s plenty to explore; turn south to the beaches of Orange County and laid-back San Diego, head inland to the desert landscapes of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and Death Valley, and finish your SoCal loop in style at El Encanto, perched on a hillside overlooking the terracotta roofs of Santa Barbara.
February: Winter Adventures
Last year was El Nino and this year it’s La Nina but, whatever the weather, February is the time to wrap up for a winter road trip. Head to Wyoming and Montana for a naturalist-led wolf safari and a wilderness dog sledding adventure, or take a journey through the Southwest to experience the Grand Canyon in its winter glory, before indulging yourself at the luxury desert getaway, Amangiri, and finishing with a spot of heli-skiing in Telluride.
March: Charleston and the Lowcountry
Charleston might just be one of our best places to visit in the USA on any day of the year but the Wine and Food Festival in early March is a Southern epicurean extravaganza not to be missed and, later in the month, as Spring flowers start to bloom, is the perfect time to wind your way down the Lowcountry coast to Savannah and on to the Golden Isles. If you’re coming from Europe, Washington D.C. makes for a perfect stop on the way home just in time to catch the cherry blossom.
April: New Orleans and Acadiana
Mardi Gras in February is the party to end all parties but for a more sedate time (it’s all relative in Louisiana) April is an ideal month to visit New Orleans, as well as nearby Acadiana. The latter, focused around the town of Lafayette, is a fascinating region that hosts the Festival International de Louisiane, a celebration of the unique food, music, and culture in this Francophone area.
May: Southern Utah
Nowhere boasts a higher concentration of national parks than Southern Utah, with five very different geological wonderlands all in close proximity, making the region the perfect road trip territory. Spring brings warm days and cool nights, perfect for getting out and enjoying the endless options for adventure, from exploring hidden slot canyons and petroglyph-lined caves, to world class mountain biking and whitewater rafting.
June: California’s Sierra Nevada
For a different landscape entirely, California’s Yosemite is magical in early June with the park’s iconic waterfalls still in full flow, pleasant days are the norm on the valley floor and dogwood, lupine, Mariposa lily, penstemon and others are in full bloom. The park’s higher elevation areas around Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point will now be accessible after a long winter under a blanket of snow. Continue north, through the Sierra foothills towards Sacramento, stopping in former gold rush towns and sampling the region’s up-and-coming wineries, or turn south to Sequoia National Park and the largest trees on the planet.
For an action-packed summer adventure amidst some of the most jaw-dropping mountain scenery on the planet, look no further than Colorado. From stunning ranches like Zapata and Smith Fork, to luxury boltholes like Dunton Hot Springs and Taylor River Lodge, you’re sure to find your perfect match. Add picture perfect mountain towns like Crested Butte, Aspen, Telluride, and Ouray, all linked by stunning back roads that cross high passes, and you have the perfect ingredients for a summer road trip.
August: Montana and Wyoming
Spend mid-summer out west on a luxury road trip through Wyoming and Montana. Start with an exploration of Grand Teton and Yellowstone before turning north into the heart of Big Sky Country and some time channeling your inner cowboy on a ranch. From a tutorial with a National Geographic wildlife photographer to a day with one of the country’s leading naturalists, we’ve got plenty up our sleeves to keep you busy.
September: New Mexico
The Land of Enchantment is just that in September, as the summer ‘monsoon’ rains depart, leaving a revived landscape and crisp, clear blue skies that only accentuate this already kaleidoscopic state. Start in the wide open plains to the southwest of Albuquerque for one of the west’s truly authentic working ranch experiences at Monte Prieto, before turning north to Santa Fe and finish by taking the high road to Taos.
October: New England
October might just be one of our favorite months to travel in the U.S., with fewer crowds in many national parks, cooler temperatures returning to the south, and aspen and cottonwoods turning the Rockies a dazzling hue of yellows, reds and oranges. Fall in New England needs no introduction and we might also include a late season trip to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket once the summer crowds have departed.
November: West Texas
Far West Texas might be a tricky place to get to but its remoteness only adds to its allure. Start in the remote outpost of Marfa, part wild west and part art mecca, before heading to Big Bend National Park, a jaw dropping landscape on the border with Mexico and perhaps the country’s most underrated national park. Further east across Texas’s central plains, the liberal city of Austin is a cultural hothouse of food and music, and perfectly place to explore the surrounding Texas Hill Country.
December: Luxury Winter Hideaways
It’s the season to hunker down by a log fire and embrace the onset of winter but this doesn’t have to be done at home and where better to end the year than Montana’s Ranch at Rock Creek, Napa’s Calistoga Ranch or Colorado’s Little Nell.