After 18 months of planning, I have just returned from a 5 week educational holiday to the US! We started the USA trip in Hawaii. This is the place to relax, sit by the pool or beach, go shopping, explore the island or eat and drink cocktails all day. We visited Pearl Harbour for the morning, but you can spend all day as there is plenty to see and learn about. Hanauma Bay was next on the list – a pristine marine ecosystem and underwater park with a beach. We swam with over 400 different fishes and many turtles. It is a very popular beach for tourists.
Turtle Bay is a must do. On previous holidays, we hired a convertible mustang for the day and drove around the island. This time we stayed there for a few nights – it is about an hour and half from Waikiki. We had a relaxing time exploring the North Shore and the world famous Pipeline and Waimea Falls.
A week in Orlando to do all things theme parks is just what we needed. We visited 4 Disney parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We did every ride we possibly could and saw many shows – my favourite being the fireworks at Magic Kingdom over the castle. Disney now have an app where you can control all your food reservations, fastpasses for rides and shows, and wait time for rides – we used this all day while in the parks! Also, we managed to squeeze in a visit to Universal Studios for more rides and a giant donut and duff beer from Krustyland.
My favourite day in Orlando was at NASA – Kennedy Space Centre – what an incredible experience. We had lunch with female astronaut Barbara Morgan, experienced a simulator of the shuttle launch, and learnt all about Atlantis and Mission Control. Next stop, Boston. So much to do in so little time. We were lucky enough to be there for a Baseball World Series game – Boston vs Houston at Fenway Park. It was an amazing experience sitting in the bleachers. We also did a tour of Fenway Park that morning and saw lots of behind the scenes and history of the park – which I highly recommend. We also went to a Boston Bruins Ice Hockey game which was great to see and tick another thing off our list. A must do is a Freedom Trail Walking Tour – it is a great way to see the streets of Boston and learn all about the history.
The last stop on our big holiday – New York. We took the train from Boston which was a great way to get from city to city. It took about 3.5 hours and was very relaxing looking at the sites as we go by. We jam-packed lots into a week. We stayed in Times Square, where it is easy to get around to the many sites. We visited Statue of Liberty and were lucky enough to climb to the top of the crown (this must be booked 6 months in advance as it sells out quickly!), we then walked to Wall Street, and onto 9/11 Memorial. They have opened a brand new, bigger museum with lots of artefacts from that day and short films to show the devastation. The reflective ponds outside are very moving and emotional.
To see an amazing view of New York, we went to the top of the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock. (Tip: Always pre-book skip the line tickets!). We walked Central Park for hours and went shopping along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue and at night watched Broadway shows. We toured the famous Madison Square Garden and managed to catch a New York Knicks game! We also went to Jersey for an Ice Hockey game and MetLife Stadium for a New York Jets game. There is never ending sport to see in NY!
My favourite day was our day trip to Niagara Falls – it was incredible and very cold! We saw the falls from both the US and Canadian side, and had lunch watching the falls. Maid of the Mist was a highlight as we got up close to the falls in a boat. It was a long day but so worth it! The United States is an incredible holiday destination and has something for everyone.