Your comprehensive North American bucket list is here, with 19 grand experiences you can only have in this incredible part of the world.
1. Navajo-Led Valley Tour
Join your Navajo guide on a tour through the stunning scenery of Monument Valley. This is a landscape that bewitches visitors from all around the world, but it’s only in the hands of a local guide that you’ll get the full story of Navajo legends, history and tales to accompany your exploration. To round things off, we’ve included a traditional meal of Navajo tacos served amongst the russet-coloured rocks – an unforgettable experience.
2. Whale watching off the coast of British Columbia
Nothing beats the thrill of seeing a whale in the wild, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a finer spot to do so than the dramatic coastline of BC. Here you’re spoilt for choice; nimble zodiacs skim the waves searching the open water for breaching whales cavorting in the waters and scan the shoreline for bears coming down to the water’s edge to fish. Keep your eyes peeled for Grey and Humpback whales, and fingers crossed for Orcas, seals and sea lions.
Whales & Bears of British Columbia
3. Hike the Appalachian Trail
It is iconic. The AT is famous the world over as one of the greatest walks on the planet, not just the Americas, and 2019 could be the year you say you’ve laced up your boots and hit the trail for yourself. We recommend travelling in autumn, when the multi-coloured foliage transforms the woodlands in a gorgeous riot of ruby reds, ambers and gold.
Appalachian & New England Walk
4. Release your inner Cowboy
Get under the skin of real life in the wild west with two nights at Eaton’s working ranch way out in the middle of the Wyoming emptiness. This is the rural wide-open spaces at their finest, with horseback riding and cowboy-style cookouts out in the open. Turn your hand to bird-watching and hiking, or take time to relax in the hot tub after a Pilates class.
Ranch,Yellowstone and Tetons
5. Cycle the Cali Coast Winelands
California’s famous vineyards don’t only produce world-class wine, but world-class cycling scenery too – stunning vistas of striated fields stretching out to the horizon. Work up a thirst with beautiful rides along quiet roads, before enjoying wine-tastings at the vineyard in Napa Valley, beach time on the pristine sands of Bodega Bay, and hot springs and massage to ease any aching muscles.
Cycling California Wine Country
6. Helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon
For an epic experience in 2019, it’s hard to image anything more dramatic and exciting than a helicopter flight soaring over the natural majesty of the Grand Canyon. Feel the thrill as you take off for an unforgettable sensation that you have to be there in person to feel.
Best of the West
7. Cruise down iconic Route 66
If you’ve ever dreamed of one day joining probably the most famous highway in the world, then here’s your chance. Inimitable Route 66 is a huge tick for any traveller, a strip of tarmac that’s almost clogged with association, stories, songs and dreamers.
Historic Route 66
8. Toe Tappin’ Live Music in Nashville
Get your dancing shoes – Nashville’s streets are the rightful home of country music, a pilgrimage made by innumerable fans and rising stars over the years. Yes, stroll the streets rich with history, from recording studios to favourite haunts, pop in to the Johnny Cash museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame – but ultimately this place is all about the live experience.
Deep South and Delta Blues
9. See Wolves in Yellowstone National Park
Tracking wolves across Yellowstone’s famously beautiful Lamar Valley is a spine-tingling affair. Get up close and personal with the wilderness, joining an experience wolf guide as you attempt to spot these elusive and graceful predators in their natural habitat. A rare ecological successful story, the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone is a glimmer of hope for wildlife enthusiasts everywhere.
Yellowstone Winter Wildlife In-Depth
10. See the Solar Eclipse
One of the greatest natural spectacles, seeing the eclipse is a rare and incredible opportunity – and to see it amidst Chile’s natural beauty just makes it all the more special. From the vantage point of the Elqui Valley, your leader will ensure you’re in the best possible spot to see this celestial event in all its glory. Can’t make 2019? Lucky enough for you, there’s one in 2020 for all you forward planners out there.
Solar Eclipse Chile Explorer (2019)
11. Discover the magic of hoodoos
Towering rock structures, sculpted by wind and rain into surreal contortions, creates an arresting visual. Powerful elemental forces have shaped the beautiful landscapes of Bryce Canyon National Park, leaving in their wake a surprisingly aesthetically pleasing natural sculpture gallery to rival any artist.
Canyons and Indian Lands
12. Sea kayaking between icebergs
Your goal is the foot of the mammoth Columbia Glacier, but the raw beauty of Alaska is the true star of the show. Feel microscopic amidst the towering icebergs in your low, stable kayak which navigates the waters with ease. Get up close to the floating icebergs and even underneath: here the ice is so dramatic and stable that you and your kayak can glide through ice tunnels. This might just be the most awe-inspiring kayaking on the planet.
Alaska, Wildlife & Wilderness
13. Conquer Angel’s Landing
Is this the most nerve-wracking hike in the USA? It’s certainly up there with its vertiginous ridge and narrow staircase, but the views bring rewards for your efforts in spades with views stretching out across the mesmeric landscape of Zion National Park.
Utah Mighty Five
14. Journey down Icefields Parkway
Canada’s most scenic drive stretches between the two outdoor powerhouses of Jasper and Banff National Parks, and its views are accordingly dramatic as one would expect of Canada’s incredible scenery. Flanked on either side with a permanent escort of ancient pine forest, snowy peaks, groaning glaciers and a slew of jewel-like lakes, it’s a journey that dreams are made of.
15. Snorkelling off the Coast of Hawaii
Escape to an underwater world of crystalline waters and tropical fish. Contrast Hawaii’s black twisted lava rocks and black sand beaches with a kaleidoscopic rush of tropical fish and coral reef off the coast of these island paradises. Whizz across the waves in a Zodaic to a secluded bay – almost your own private spot – where you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity. Still wanting more? There’s the option to go back for seconds this evening with an optional twilight swim with manta rays.
Hawaii Islands Adventure
16. Hike on a Glacier
If you’ve never hiked on a glacier before, then 2019 is the year to do it. With the ever-increasing effects of global warming, glaciers are receding at an alarming rate – but the crenellated ridges, crevasses and icy corners of Athabasca Glacier in Canada retain their chilly splendour for now. See them in all their glory during a guided glacier hike and discover a whole new appreciation for mother nature.
17. Party in New Orleans
Nowhere knows just how to party like New Orleans. Take a big old slice of deep south hospitality in this incredible city, roving down Bourbon Street or French street listening to live music spill out of every bar and admire the grandiose architecture of the old houses. Be prepared to fall in love with the atmosphere.
Deep South and Delta Blues
18. Feel the rush at Niagara Falls
Hear the roar, bask in the spray and feel the sheer weight of all that water thundering down at the imposing Niagara Falls. Whether it’s your first or five hundredth time, this stunning waterfall never fails to impress.
19. Grand Prismatic Spring
Simultaneously bizarre and beautiful in equal measure, the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is a must on every landscape lover’s list. Expect to be blown away by the shock of bright colour at the rim of the third largest hot spring in the world, as steam puffs and billows off the surface. Whether you visit in summer or in the snow, it’s a visual delight.
Yellowstone Wildlife Trails