The world is constantly changing with new attractions popping up and trends coming out of nowhere. The United States of America is one of the most notable countries where each year brings new sights and experiences.
This year proves to be very different in the US with new theme parks, an increase in cowboy culture and more changing the scope for travellers. Check out all the new happenings below.
Explore Native Culture
From New Mexico to Colorado, there are hundreds of Native American cultures throughout the States, and experiences span educational tours, dance, chant, song and art showcases in dozens of venues.
In Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center guests can study the art and music from New Mexico’s 19 pueblos (communities), and sample native-inspired food at the onsite cafe.
The Heard Museum in Phoenix houses a plethora of historic items such as pottery, weaved articles and jewellery crafted by the Pueblo and Plains tribes and Navajo and Apache nations.
For a dose of history the Cherokee Heritage Center in Oklahoma is a great place to learn about one of America’s largest native tribes.
Of course there are plenty of opportunities for further engagement. Taos Pueblo in New Mexico is a settlement that hasn’t changed much over time, with families still residing in the centuries-old dwellings with no running water or electricity on site. Today the traditional township is a United Nations World Heritage site. Guests can visit for a small fee.
For more historic structures, the thousands of Puebloan ruins in Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado are a mesmerising sight.
Potter Around A Magical World
Everybody loves a bit of magic and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the new attraction at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure theme park – is where magic meets mayhem (to kids’ pure delight).
Wand-waving fans can get meander through Hogsmeade, participate in interactive experiences, indulge in magical moments and get lost in a Harry Potter-themed ether of shops.
The adventures at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are not just about the rides; the park is ingeniously designed to inspire visitors to explore Potter’s world and uncover magic that’s cleverly woven into the park design.
It could be as simple as the one-on-one magical experience of choosing the right wand, hearing the distant cries of Moaning Myrtle echo in the bathroom, or perhaps witnessing the shadow of a house elf run across the ceiling as you eat lunch in The Three Broomsticks tavern.
Aimed to inspire fans in much the same way as the book does, magic is all around if you look hard enough.
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Cowboy Wannabe? Giddy-Up!
Family holidays at dude ranches are all about sunsets, horse riding and exploring the wilderness that is the West. Here are three of the best.
1. Latigo Ranch
This is the ranch for families who are seriously into horses. The riding program is recognised as one of the best in the States and riding trails weave through rolling meadows and luscious pine forest.
Stunning scenery is just one part of the equation that makes Latigo Ranch so good. A stay here is also about slowing down and experiencing authentic ranch life guided by the passionate owners.
2. Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
Sure, horseback riding is on offer, but Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort also has a spa, a lake exclusively for fishing, two golf courses and a number of tennis courts.
Horseback rides can be tailored to suit most levels and wildlife sightings are commonplace. Solvang’s wineries are just a hop, skip and a jump away too!
3. Red Rock Ranch
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
This family-managed resort combines traditional ranch activities with tasty cuisine (think top-notch BBQs and homemade delicacies) and an immersive kids program for the little ones.
Horseback outings can be customised, there’s a great hiking program, fly-fishing is on offer, and there’s a hot tub – a great place to end the day … every day.
Find The Best Barbeque
People have been smoking meat over fire around the world for thousands of years, but many agree it was the Americans who perfected the art. And it is an art – smoky brisket, pulled pork, skewered rump, tangy bugger patties – there are so many BBQ dishes around!
BBQ trails offer visitors the chance to explore and taster the best BBQ dishes on offer across the USA – and you really can’t go wrong whatever route you take.
Whether you’re on the trail through Mississippi, Texas, Memphis Tennessee, North Carolina, or any of the others, you’ll definitely sample succulent meat (and plenty of it) and learn about American BBQ culture.
Some trails, like the Alabama BBQ trail, even come with an app, so you can take your taste buds on a tour of Alabama and discover the story behind each joint, steered by your pocket guide.
Bar Marco, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Forget the cocktail menu here; instead chat to the bar staff about your likes and they’ll concoct a cocktail designed to impress.
Dinner, wine, snacks and even brunch on weekends combine to make it one of those venues you really could spend hours and hours at.
Williams & Graham, Denver, Colorado
Wait lists are the norm, but if you have a booking you’ve got a golden ticket to the secret world of Williams & Graham.
Positioned behind a bookcase that acts as a secret door, once you are in you’re welcomed warmly. The cocktails are tasty, but it’s the chilled-out vibe that concretes this as one of America’s best bars.
Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, New York
With the largest absinthe collection in New York and around 30 different types of oysters on offer, this charmingly chic bar attracts stylish revelers looking for that something just a little bit different.
Absinthe cocktails are to go-to drink here (of course) – in fact there’s even an absinthe fountain!