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California USA

The USA is the Big Kahuna of destinations. But where to start on an American holiday? Cosmos USA Tours are here to navigate this behemoth of attractions to make sure you don’t miss a beat. Nowhere else has the complexity and diversity quite like this. Spanning natural splendours of glaciers, geysers, canyons and mountain highs, to vibrant cities, each with distinct personalities, this part of the world will really keep you on your toes! The USA from North to South, East to West, attracts music lovers, history buffs, gourmands, road trippers, city hoppers, tree huggers and the simply curious in equal measure. No matter if you’re a New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, desert or coastal kind of traveller, the USA will feed your soul, one way or another.   

Snapshot: USA
Capital
Washington D.C.
Official Language
English
Population
325.7 million
Currency
US Dollar
9 different time zones!
GMT
Drives on the
Right

Popular

Tours

EXPLORING THE EASTERN SEABOARD
NEW YORK   MIAMI
13 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8310
EXPLORING THE EASTERN SEABOARD
Discover the many treasures along the Eastern Seaboard of America—from New York City to Miami Beach. Your budget-minded holiday leaves nothing out in this adventure from the Northeastern U.S. to South...
CIRCLE THE AMERICAN WEST
DENVER   DENVER
14 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8160
CIRCLE THE AMERICAN WEST
Mother Nature has loaded the West with stunning scenery, and on this National Parks tour, you’ll witness some of natures finest. From red-rock formations and breathtaking canyons to free-flowing...
GEYSERS TO GLACIERS
SALT LAKE CITY   SEATTLE
10 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8710
GEYSERS TO GLACIERS
Breathtaking glacier lakes, rugged mountains, stunning waterfalls, fascinating geysers, and the “big sky”—these and much more wait for you on this National Parks tour. Your tour starts in Salt Lake...
HIGH DESERT DISCOVERY
LOS ANGELES   LAS VEGAS
12 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8120
HIGH DESERT DISCOVERY
Begin your budget-minded holiday in California with sightseeing in Los Angeles. You’ll take a guided tour through Beverly Hills, including Sunset Boulevard, the TCL Chinese Theatre, and Hollywood Walk...
HIGHLIGHTS OF ROUTE 66
CHICAGO   LOS ANGELES
16 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8530
HIGHLIGHTS OF ROUTE 66
Follow legendary Route 66 and see how Americans travelled from the 1920's through the 1960's. This historic route begins in Chicago, travels through eight states, and ends in Los Angeles. On this...
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CANYONLANDS
LAS VEGAS   LAS VEGAS
7 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8520
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CANYONLANDS
Explore the captivating canyonlands and experience spellbinding landscapes on this unforgettable National Parks tour! You’ll start and end in Las Vegas, and overnight along the way inside Grand Canyon...
WESTERN WONDERS
LOS ANGELES   SAN FRANCISCO
12 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8510
WESTERN WONDERS
From the gorgeous national parks to the thrilling cities, this western U.S. tour through California, Arizona, and Nevada features unique rock formations, scenic drives, deep canyons, and sparkling...
GOLDEN WEST ADVENTURE
LOS ANGELES   LOS ANGELES
14 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8500
GOLDEN WEST ADVENTURE
Come and explore the Golden West on this affordable holiday through California, Arizona, and Nevada. You’ll begin in Los Angeles for guided sightseeing in the “City of Angels.” Take a drive through...
CITIES OF THE GREAT EAST
BOSTON   WASHINGTON D.C.
8 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8460
CITIES OF THE GREAT EAST
Explore America’s historic cities on this affordable escorted holiday. Begin in Boston with guided sightseeing of the Freedom Trail, including Boston Common, the Old State House, the Old North Church,...
THE OLD SOUTH & FLORIDA
NEW ORLEANS   ORLANDO
13 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8290
THE OLD SOUTH & FLORIDA
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the South on this wondrous holiday through the heart of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. This southern U.S. tour starts with three nights in New...
HISTORIC TRAILS & BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
WASHINGTON D.C.   WASHINGTON D.C.
14 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8720
HISTORIC TRAILS & BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
From colonial settlements and Civil War sites to the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains and stunning Great Smoky Mountains, this southern U.S. tour features historic sites, spectacular scenery, and fun...
SOUTHERN SOUNDS
NEW ORLEANS   NASHVILLE
8 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8730
SOUTHERN SOUNDS
If you are a music fan—don’t miss this Southern Sounds tour! Begin with two overnights in New Orleans, where your expert Local Guide knows the sights and sounds of the Old World City. From New...
AMERICA'S GREATEST TREASURES
DENVER   SALT LAKE CITY
10 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8850
AMERICA'S GREATEST TREASURES
Go west for adventure and treasure on this affordable American holiday through Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah. From the “Mile High City” of Denver to the lofty peaks of the Grand Tetons,...
EXPLORING AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS
LAS VEGAS   LAS VEGAS
15 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8620
EXPLORING AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS
Breathtaking scenery, spectacular wildlife, and incomparable photo opportunities await you on this national parks tour through the West’s best-known national and state parks. Tour highlights include...
THE LONE STAR STATE TO THE FRENCH QUARTER
DALLAS   NEW ORLEANS
12 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8090
THE LONE STAR STATE TO THE FRENCH QUARTER
With its large size and diversity, Texas locals say, “Texas, it’s like a whole other country.” On this tour through the Lone Star State, you’ll discover its major cities—Dallas, Austin, San Antonio,...
CLASSIC NEW ENGLAND
BOSTON   BOSTON
9 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8100
CLASSIC NEW ENGLAND
Known for its historic sites and stunning fall foliage, New England in the fall delights all of the senses. On this fall foliage tour, experience the spectacular beauty of autumn displays in...
NEW YORK, NIAGARA FALLS & WASHINGTON DC
NEW YORK   WASHINGTON D.C.
8 days, 2 Countries
Tour: 8000
NEW YORK, NIAGARA FALLS & WASHINGTON DC
Historic sites, thrilling cities, and awe-inspiring scenery…these are the perfect words to describe this East Coast tour featuring New York City, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. You’ll...
DIXIELAND & RHYTHMS
CHICAGO   NEW ORLEANS
10 days, 1 Country
Tour: 8240
DIXIELAND & RHYTHMS
The beautiful South comes alive on this wonderful holiday featuring locations that have played a role in the evolution of American music. This southern U.S. tour starts with two nights in Chicago,...
TRANS-AMERICAN ADVENTURE
NEW YORK   LOS ANGELES
24 days, 2 Countries
Tour: 8800
TRANS-AMERICAN ADVENTURE
From the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, this road trip of a lifetime takes in the treasures of this mighty continent, as we travel from city-scapes to prairie-lands and beyond. Beginning in New York...
USA
Best time to visit
The USA is big. Not only is there something for everyone, but a season for every traveller too. In Winter, feel the refreshing nip of cool air in ‘Mile High’ Denver, Colorado, in summer sip mint juleps on the lawn of a southern plantation manor. Soak up the autumnal moody mist of San Francisco’s Alcatraz, or head for almost eternal Summer light in Alaska. Whatever your American dream, there’s a month calling your name. 

Winter (Dec –Feb)
Cultural New England in particular comes alive in Winter – duck into cosy restaurants to beat the chill or pull into a traditional pub with a roaring fire. Shop, visit museums or head down to New York for a different take on Manhattan; less crowds means more freedom. If dreaming of a White Christmas, this is where those dreams can come true. Western USA is milder, in perennially sunny LA locals swan about in sweaters with all-year tans. 

Spring (Mar – May)
Hawaii’s dry season beckons from April, as does the USA’s south (missing the risk of Summer humidity or autumn’s hurricanes). In the North, Spring is one of the prettiest and most refreshing seasons with an explosion of flora and fauna. The best bit? Comfortable temperatures more or less all over make for carefree travel.  

Summer (June  - Aug)
This is a season of wow. In a USA Summer, the options are limitless.  For some, it’s all about the coast: think California, Seattle, Miami, and if you head internally, there are a host of national parks with cooling forests perfect for hiking. It’s also the ideal time to head to Alaska, where Summer doesn’t mean surf, but glaciers and snow. 

Autumn (Sept – Nov)
Fiery autumn colours of red, burnt orange and electric yellow leaves make autumn magical. School and universities are back, which means this shoulder season has room to move once again. Plus, it’s holiday season, catch Halloween and Thanksgiving for the real-deal American feel.  
 
Culture & customs
The USA is so diverse, there’s something special to stumble over in each far-flung corner. Whether it be the boot-scootin’ culture of the west, the urban sophistication of the east coast, or the wild vastness of the deserts, you’ll discover a patchwork quilt of customs and traditions across the land. Wherever you go, just don’t forget to tip. More than a polite gesture, it’s a critical cultural element. It may seem confusing to other cultures, but the service industry survives on tips. This includes everyone who helps you in some way, whether it be taking your order or handling your bag. Stash some $1 bills in your pocket so you're never caught short. 
Electronics & devices
The USA uses 110 to 120 volts.
Health & safety
As with any busy areas, petty theft can be a problem. Remove temptation by keeping your ID and money out of sight, and under wraps. Consult your local doctor for general immunisations and visit your countrys official Travel Advisory website for current safety and travel information.
Language & useful phrases
Say what?! A cup o’ joe (coffee) in New York. Everything is hunky-dory (super) in Tennessee. Tourists wearing fanny packs (waist bags, and a fanny is actually a derriere) in California. Even though we technically speak the same language, there will be some odd sayings which will make great dinner stories (as you sip your aqua instead of water). Equally, expect naturally curious Americans to be enthralled with your accent. The odd miscommunication results in a load of laughs.
Money & costs
Here’s a tip… tip! It’s how America works, and dropping a dollar here and there results in fantastic service. For a quick guide, budget on between 15 - 20% for bartenders or waiters, 10 – 15% on taxis and for porters and hotel maids, $2 a bag or $2 - $4 a night.
Other FAQs
Each part of the USA can be so distinct; it’s not a country of 50 states, (and one Federal District) but 51 mini countries. So get ready to soak it all up, one experience at a time.
Visas & insurance
Travellers from Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and many EU nations don’t need visas for short holidays. However, Australian and NZ nationals will need a valid ESTA approval prior to travel, which is applied for online at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.
Especially in airports, security efforts are in place, so don’t be unnerved by having fingerprints scanned and a digital photo taken at Customs – it’s part of the process.  We recommend a standard travel insurance for America, with activity additions if hitting the ski slopes or planning on serious adventure. Mountain biking in Moab anyone?

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Why Cosmos is Different

At Cosmos, we know why you travel. We’re experts in ‘thrillology’ - the art of bringing you an experience, time and time again.

With over 50 years of ‘wow’ under our belts and no sign of slowing down. We'll help you turn your bucket list into a "better-than-I-dreamed" list.  When adventure is knocking, Cosmos makes it easy to open the door! 

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