Mint slice cocktails, epic wildlife and Hollywood Hills mega mansions: no matter what type of holiday you’re after, America has you covered. Here, three Qantas Frequent Flyers share the best places they visited on their recent getaway so you can start planning your next adventure now.
“It was one of those ‘only in New York’ moments” – Jarrod Blusztein, Bronze Frequent Flyer
“My brother lives in New York and during the lockdowns, my niece was born. My partner Hamish and I decided to go for a three-week holiday so I could finally go and meet her before travelling around the States.
“Our trip started in NYC, which was incredible. A highlight was seeing Chicago on Broadway and Pamela Anderson, who played the lead role of Roxie Hart, came out at the end of the show. She signed everyone’s playbooks and we got pictures with her. It was such a cool moment. The celebrity sightings continued when we went to a live taping of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. It’s free but it’s really hard to get tickets, and there were only 20 people in the crowd. It was one of those ‘only in New York’ moments.
“We then flew to Los Angeles where we stayed at the Beverly Hills Marriott. Hiring a car is crucial and it meant we could travel around easily. We hiked Runyon Canyon (a must-do), spent way too much money for a smoothie at Erewhon Market and cruised through the Hollywood Hills checking out the ridiculous mega mansions.
“Our trip finished in Waikiki in Hawaii, which was a complete change of pace; there’s so much happening but it’s still so stunning. We did a helicopter ride that took us over Pearl Harbor and the main island of Oahu – that was a standout for sure.
“Flying home with Qantas was great; there were no delays, it was a quick flight and the service was wonderful.”
“We ate at some of the best restaurants across the States” – Brendon Hill, Silver Frequent Flyer
“My wife and I had a wedding to go to in Dallas so we used that as an excuse for an American holiday. We flew to Los Angeles with Qantas which is always a great experience. We stayed at the Kimpton La Peer Hotel and ate at some really cool restaurants and bars. I had the most decadent breakfast at Bravo Toast: salmon and capers on bagel bread that’s fried in butter. My wife and I had to share one because it was so filling. It was delicious.
“We then flew across the country to New York where we averaged two dinners and at least three lunches a day; we love eating! The best cocktail I had was a Grasshopper at Dante: it’s like a 1980s cocktail but they do it with a cognac float; it tastes like a mint slice. Order the fish tacos from Los Tacos No.1, the smores cookie pies from Posh Pop Bakeshop and the vegan chorizo from Charley St, which is run by Aussie chef Dan Churchill. Hands-down my favourite restaurant in NYC though is Cosme: the tostados taste like popcorn, it’s amazing.
“The wedding in Dallas was next and we really made the most of our time there. We saw an NBA game (Dallas Mavericks played Orlando Magic) and we went to a honky-tonk which is essentially a cowboy bar where you go line dancing. You have to wear cowboy boots and a hat and there’s peanuts all over the floor. I didn’t know what to expect but it was so much fun. If you want a cool Dallas experience, you should absolutely go.”
“Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places in the world” – Brian Maguire, Bronze Frequent Flyer
“In May, my wife, two friends and I hired a four-wheel drive and did a six-week road trip from Salt Lake City through Idaho, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado and Utah.
“Yellowstone was absolutely the highlight for me, even though this was my third time there. We love national parks and there’s just so much wildlife there. We saw bears (grizzly, black and cinnamon black bears), wolves, coyotes, moose, bison and bald eagles – and that’s only what I can remember! The scenery is so spectacular; it’s one of the best places in the world.
“There were so many standouts on the road trip but Devils Tower was great, we saw Mount Rushmore and visited the Grand Canyon. We also visited the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center where we did the Meet & Greet Encounter. You get to go into the enclosure of some of the wolves and pet them. It was a really incredible experience.
“Arches National Park and Monument Valley are also spectacular. We did a walk down into Bryce Canyon and it’s such an incredible view. It's probably one of, if not the, most striking national parks to look at, canyon-wise.”