- Yosemite National Park; it’s a huge national park with breathtaking scenery (think mountains) and seasonal changes keeping things interesting (winter gets very snowy and last into April). There are walks/hikes of varying lengths and I recommend the short one to Mirror Lake on a sunny day.
- Paramount Studio in LA; the tours are interesting and good value for money. We really enjoyed it and we hadn’t heard of most of the shows she was talking about! If you’re into Paramount TV shows and films then I would definitely check it out.
- Ellis Island and Liberty Island; you take a little ferry from New York and visit the two small islands that house the Immigration Museum and Statue of Liberty. It’s worth booking in advance ( especially if you want to go all the way up to the top of the Statue of Liberty) and try to go early in the day to avoid the crowds. On a clear day you get a great view of Manhattan too.
- Alcatraz; the former prison off the coast of San Francisco is now a really interesting museum. You get an audio tour included in your ticket which takes you around the cells, food hall, Directors office etc but you can also watch a short film about the prison, take a staffed tour and wander around the grounds to see the outside of the buildings. Again get an early ticket as it does get busy quickly, and eat before you go as you can’t eat on the island.
- Coastal Drive, route 1; we took this drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco but you should really do it the other way around so your on the correct side of the road for the best view of the coast. You can also drive through Big Sur (which boyfriend loved) and stop off at Monteray (my fave) where we saw lots of seals at the dock.
That’s my five but an special mention goes to:
- Musee Mechanique; a ‘museum’ in San Francisco filled with old coin operated arcade games and fortune tellers that still work and will happily take all your quarters. I got a few fortunes told and a little rubber duck which now sits next to my bath!