The birthplace of West Coast rock music, San Francisco is the most bohemian city on earth. With a spectacular setting in a beautiful bay, it’s a melting pot of different cultures and a magnet for the arty and the eccentric from across America. Victorian architecture and perfectly preserved tramcars give the cityscape a unique feel, and there’s every kind of cuisine, music and theatre to keep you entertained – plus the breathtaking, world-famous Golden Gate Bridge.
In complete contrast, Miami is known as the ‘Cruise Capital of the World’ and is among America’s most commercialised cities. Glitzy, ritzy and glamorous, it’s a fascinating place to visit, offering an insight into a completely different culture where artifice and reality intertwine.
New York is the largest city in America and probably the most famous in the world. In the seventies it was known for its crime and urban decay, but thorough gentrification means that today it’s one of the most pleasant large cities on the planet. Whatever you want, you’ll find it here – world-class dining drawing on every possible cuisine, department stores the size of small towns, upscale boutiques haunted by celebrities and the cognoscenti, or simply skyscrapers so towering they will take your breath away.
Founded in 1630, Boston is widely considered the most cultured and anglicised city in the country, and is proud of its intellectual reputation. Education, innovation and entrepreneurship are its hallmarks, giving the city a feel different from almost everything on the continent.
Or maybe you’d prefer Los Angeles, the ‘City of Angels’ and the most populous county in the USA. With strong Hispanic traditions, LA is urbane, multicultural and exceptionally varied – from the glitter of Hollywood and the opulent boutiques of Beverly Hills, to some of America’s grittiest inner city areas.
Seattle, close to the Canadian border, is the third largest port in North America, with an industrial heritage and a strong musical history. The birthplace of both Jimi Hendrix and grunge music, it’s often overlooked by tourists, but it’s a fascinating destination full of hidden depths.