Travel - 12 Best American Holidays: Cook, Dance or Cycle Your Way across America

Article excerpt

Prices are per person based on two sharing, unless otherwise stated.

1 ROUTE 66

Drive the 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles on the approximate trail of the legendary Route 66, with North American Highways (tel: 01902 851138; www.northamericanhighways.co.uk). While much of the original road is no longer open, some of the old sections still exist. The trip crosses eight states and three time zones. The price of pounds 978 includes 25 nights' accommodation, 11 breakfasts and a book on Route 66, but excludes car hire and flights. A shorter 19-night itinerary is available for pounds 821.

2 HORSERIDING

Follow the hoofprints of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch and the Black Jack Ketchum Gang with Outlaw Trails (tel: 01892 515 6120; www.outlawtrails. com). The Alma ride through New Mexico is real wild-west riding and features visits to many of the famed outlaw hideouts plus real campfire cook-outs. The cost is about pounds 950 but excludes flights and car hire (which costs about pounds 229 from El Paso). Departures at various times throughout May, June and July.

3 MOUNTAIN BIKING

American Round Up (tel: 01404 881 777, net: www.american- roundup.co.uk) offers a seven-night mountain-biking trip to the Colorado Rockies entitled "Hut to Hut Biker". Accommodation is in log cabins, which are linked by 300 miles of trails, from abandoned railway tracks to mining roads and forest trails. The price of pounds 1,499 is for single or double occupancy and includes return flights, all accommodation, most meals, transfers from Denver Airport to Vail, and bicycle hire.

4 RIVER RAFTING

The Taku Tlingit River journey is a two-week rafting adventure through remote sections of the Alaskan wilderness, from Discovery Initiatives (tel: 01285 643333; www.discoveryinitiatives.com). The tour is a camping holiday and is conducted by the River League, a programme aimed at conserving natural environments. The price is pounds 2,195, including return flights, transfers, all meals, equipment, the services of a guide, drinks and a contribution to the charity Earthwild International. Departures in June, July and August.

5 NATIVE AMERICANS

Explore Worldwide's (tel: 01252 760 1000) Indian Lands is a 16- day tour visiting the places inhabited by the Navajo people. The trip begins in Las Vegas and travels through Red Rock Country and the old mining town of Jerome and also includes a visit to the Navajo Reservation and the Mese Verde National Park. The price costs from pounds 1,295, including return flights, all transportation, 10 nights' camping, four nights' hotel accommodation, most meals, and the services of a tour leader.

6 LEARN TO DANCE

Learn to salsa in Miami with Dance Holidays (tel: 01206 577000; www.danceholidays. com). Explore the salsa bars and dance clubs of Little Cuba and learn to master Miami's own famous salsa move, the Miami Wheel. A 10-day holiday starts from pounds 1,050 and includes return flights, transfers, accommodation on a b&b basis and two hours of dance classes per day.

7 COLD-WAR COOKING

Learn to cook in a former nuclear bunker built to accommodate the entire US Congress during the Cold War. …