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Top 5 USA Destinations for Stopovers

Posted on 27-Oct-2015

Flights to the USA often involve stopovers, which are essentially a chance to explore one of the country's amazing destinations for free. Indeed, stopovers present such exciting opportunities that it is well worth purposefully seeking out indirect flights so you can add an extra few days to your holiday in an inspiring new destination.

For instance, on your way to an adventure in the west, you could get a taste of New York's impressive array of museums and iconic landmarks. Or why not discover the history of Boston before experiencing a totally different side of the USA in the Deep South?

Here are our top 5 stopovers in the USA.


1) New York

Route: London to Las Vegas via New York with United Airlines.

The Big Apple

Photo credit: iStock

If you're planning to fly into Las Vegas to explore the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Monument Valley and other western wonders, you can enjoy a stopover in New York City on the way. Few destinations possess the almost mythical status of New York - a metropolis that is home to some of the planet's most celebrated landmarks, not to mention an incredibly rich array of cultural attractions.

Should this be your first time in the city, you will almost certainly want to tick off at least a few of the Big Apple's most famous sights, such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and stores such as Macy's. However, for those who have visited before and want to get under the city's skin - or those who simply enjoy exploring beyond the beaten path - there is a whole world of other attractions just waiting to be discovered.

These include the spectacular Panorama of the City of New York at Queens Museum of Art, an intricately detailed scale model of the city originally built for the 1964 World's Fair, and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans - the USA's original hall of fame, home to 98 bronze busts of celebrated figures.


2) Chicago

Route: London to Los Angeles via Chicago with United Airlines.


Photo credit: iStock

If you're headed west and planning to fly into Los Angeles, a wonderful option for a stopover is Chicago. This city is home to wealth of cultural attractions, not to mention the chance to get utterly amazing views for some 50 miles from the second tallest building in the country.

Indeed, the Willis Tower Skydeck should top your list of places to visit in Chicago, particularly if you're a newcomer to the city. Make your way up to the 103rd floor to experience the Skydeck, an observation room that is also home to the Ledge - a series of glass-bottomed boxes that allow you to stand suspended directly above the thronging streets below.

Also worthy of a visit during your stopover is the Chicago History Museum, a veritable treasure trove of artefacts from local history, and the fantastic Art Institute of Chicago, which houses more than 300,000 artworks and other items from all over the world - a truly marvellous place to explore.


3) San Francisco

Route: London to Los Angeles via san Francisco with United Airlines.

San Francisco

Photo credit: iStock

An alternative to stopping in Chicago on your way to Los Angeles, San Francisco is an utterly incredible destination for a stopover. Combining fantastic food with arresting landmarks and some of the country's most interesting cultural gems, this city is a true delight to explore.

Some of the highlights for those with just a day or so to spare include the City Lights bookstore, one of the most influential publishers and bookshops of the 1950s, and the California Academy of Sciences, which is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and much more. The Golden Gate Bridge is, of course, a must-see - it has a pedestrian walkway that covers its entire 1.7 miles, which is the ultimate way to experience it. Don't forget to stop by Golden Gate Park as well - this glorious green space is one of the world's largest urban parks.


4) Washington, DC

Route: London to Dulles Airport to Texas with United Airlines

Washington DC

Photo credit: iStock

Contrast your time in the Deep South with a day or two in the USA's capital city, Washington, DC. Packed with museums and monuments, this is a place where you can encounter the buildings where the nation's power lies - such as the White House and the Pentagon - before swapping rules for rhythm in the heat of the Deep South.

Among the highlights of a stopover here is visiting some of the city's most celebrated monuments. These include the Washington Monument, a vast white obelisk that stands at 555 ft tall (which you can take a lift to the top of) and the neoclassical Lincoln Memorial. For something a little bit different, pay a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian - a striking building that houses an excellent collection of artefacts relating to the indigenous people.


5) Boston

Route: London to Atlanta via Boston with Delta.


Photo credit: iStock


Another possible stopover en route to the Deep South is Boston - and one that is certain to have a strong appeal among keen historians. Home to a wonderful array of historic sites, Boston still possesses something of a revolutionary air, making it an all the more compelling place to explore.

One of the best things to do during a stopover here is to follow the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile walk that will take you to 16 of the city's most precious historical monuments, including the Benjamin Franklin Statue and Boston Latin School, Boston Common and Faneuil Hall. Any one of these 16 sites is worth stopping and exploring, so use this opportunity to get to know the city a little better before continuing your American Adventure in the Deep South.


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Topics: Cities, USA, General