Get your kicks in the ‘Real America’ this summer
A 14-night multi-state itinerary costs from £2,455pp with Bon Voyage
The USA may be known for its wide variety of holiday experiences from beaches and city breaks to theme parks, but nowhere provides a truer taste of the ‘Real America’ than the Rocky Mountain states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
This summer enjoy an action-packed, adrenaline fuelled ‘Real America’ adventure and uncover spectacular national parks, world-class wildlife and plan an itinerary jam-packed with active exploration. Here are four ideas for summer activities:
Montana: Zip & Dip – Why choose between the thrill of a Zip Line tour and a White-water rafting session when you can combine the two at Montana Whitewater near Big Sky? The company offers twin-experience packages that pair a Zip Line tour across the Gallatin River with a half- or full-day raft trip down the river’s rapids. Prices start from $99 (around £70) for adults and $90 (around £64) for children (aged 5-12).
South Dakota: Go on safari – To get up close and personal with the ‘locals’, take a Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour through Custer State Park. The guided tour offered by Custer State Park Resort takes visitors off-road through the park in an open-air jeep in search of buffalo, elk and pronghorns – with local experts sharing historical and educational facts about the park and its wildlife. Daily tours take around two hours and cost $50 (around £36) for adults and $45 (around £32) for children (under 12). Reservations are recommended.
North Dakota: On two wheels – On the nationally-acclaimed 140-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail, navigate some of the best mountain biking in America and discover one of North Dakota’s best kept secrets. Beginning at Sully Creek State Park near Medora, the non-motorised trail winds north through Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Little Missouri National Grasslands offering bikers views of the grand plateaux, jagged peaks, valleys, rivers and rolling prairie lands of the North Dakota Badlands, which are the perfect setting for a two-wheeled adventure. With nine unique sections to choose from, varying in difficulty, the route is accessible to riders of all abilities – and it’s great for wildlife watching. Keep eyes peeled for prairie dogs, wild horses, bison and more. Mountain bike rental is available from Dakota Cyclery in nearby Medora and costs from $45 (around £32).
Wyoming: Float by the Tetons – On a stay in the cowboy town of Jackson, head out into the nearby wilds on a 10-mile float trip down the Snake River with Solitude Float Trips. The excursion is a great way for visitors to discover the rocky landscapes of the Teton mountain range and a sunrise trip offers the best opportunities for wildlife watching. Try to spot some of the ‘Big Five’ – bears, bison, elk, bighorn sheep and wolves – which inhabit the surrounding Grand Teton National Park. Prices start from $75 for adults (around £53) and $55 (around £39) for children (aged 5-17).
Real America summer events not to miss:
3 June – 10 September 2016: The Medora Musical, North Dakota – It’s ‘lights, camera, action’ as the ‘Greatest Show in the West’, the Medora Musical, returns to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre in North Dakota’s Badlands. Performed outdoors, the western musical variety show is great entertainment for all the family and includes high-energy song and dance routines, yodelling, clog dancing and a star-spangled, patriotic finale.
17-19 June 2016: Lewis & Clark Festival, Montana – Learn about the incredible journey to the west taken by explorers Lewis & Clark at the annual festival celebrating their story. Event highlights include performances by Native American drummers and dancers and a guided open-air boat trip along the Missouri River to the site where Lewis and Clark first discovered the ‘Gates of the Mountains.’
22–31 July 2016: Cheyenne Frontier Days, Wyoming – The 10-day festival is the largest outdoor rodeo and Western celebration in the world. Stop by to see exceptional performances by professional bull riders and enjoy concerts, parades, pancake breakfasts, a carnival and plenty of Wild West entertainment.
8-14 August 2016: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, South Dakota – To be in biker heaven, visit the town of Sturgis in the South Dakota Black Hills this August to see the annual Motorcycle Rally. Explore the town amid a sea of bikers, motorcycles, leather and denim as the event marks its 76th year.
Journey to the Real America:
Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194 / bon-voyage.co.uk) has a 14-night ‘Beautiful Badlands and Picture-Perfect National Parks’ fly-drive itinerary of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming from £2,455 per person based on two adults travelling. Valid for travel from June-September 2016, the price includes flights from London Heathrow, Manchester or Glasgow to Rapid City (South Dakota), returning from Jackson Hole (Wyoming), mid-size SUV car hire for the duration and 14 nights’ accommodation in sought-after national park locations.
For more information on each state, visit www.realamerica.co.uk