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Books inspired by United States

Our hand-picked selection of books to get you in the mood for your United States holiday

Cover image for Tales of the City
Tales of the City

Armistead Maupin

Bored secretary Mary Ann Singleton visits San Francisco on holiday and decides to stay, leaving her dull life in Cleveland behind. She finds accommodation in the home of colourful Anna Madrigal, and meets a wonderfully eclectic mix of people. Set in the late '70s, it's absorbingly easy to read and will leave you fully invested in the lives of its characters. This fabulous novel inspired me to travel to San Francisco! - Claire Harris, travel-lover, Kent

Cover image for The Godfather
The Godfather

Mario Puzo

The classic novel about Don Corleone and his crime family set in New York's criminal underworld.

Cover image for Cosmopolis
Cosmopolis

Don DeLillo

Follows an eventful day in the life of Eric, a self-made billionaire who gets stuck in traffic in the back of his limo on a journey across New York to get a haircut. He conducts his business and his life from the confined space, his bodyguards worried that he may be a target. Complex but uniquely matter-of-fact, this book will challenge you and make you think.

Cover image for A Little Life
A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

A profound and beautifully-written novel about four ambitious US college friends who move to New York to begin their lives and careers after graduating. Deeply disturbing, but with an enduring human love and kindness, this book will move you in a way that none has before. Everyone should read it.

Cover image for The House on Mango Street
The House on Mango Street

Sandra Cisneros

A coming of age story about Esperanza, a Hispanic child in Chicago, told through a series of vignettes as she attempts to make sense of life and find her own path in a foreign world. Vividly written with Chicago as an interesting backdrop.

United States Blog posts

From the UK's most popular travel bloggers

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1st April 2021 by Hand Luggage Only

9 very best things to do in Sacramento

Nestled around 90-miles from San Francisco, Sacramento is California’s capital and a great place to visit. From historical to world-class museums, there’s a heap of epic spots and the best things to do in Sacramento that’ll fill up your trip to the city. Now, from an “across the pond” perspective, you might not visit Sacramento on a stand-alone trip. Though don’t get it confused, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting… far from!...

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26th March 2021 by Hand Luggage Only

10 best things to do in San Jose, California

Just shy of the bustling city of San Francisco and Monterey, San Jose is really easy to visit whilst exploring the bay area. Not only that, there’s a shed load of the best things to do in San Jose dotted all across the city that makes it a gem to visit. From, centuries of history to explore, epic trails and museums galore, it’s a perfect stopping point along a wider Californian road trip.  ...

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17th March 2021 by Hand Luggage Only

11 best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

California has a heap of gorgeous national parks to visit. From the gorgeous spots in Yosemite to the desert landscapes of Death Valley, California has such a diverse mix of national parks to visit. And guess what, Joshua Tree is no exception! There are so many stunning and best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park that you really can’t miss. Around a 3-hour drive from the city of San Diego, it’s technically possible to visit Joshua Tree for a day but I’d definitely recommend longer....

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24th March 2021 by Hand Luggage Only

11 very best things to do in San Diego

Nestled right on the West Coast, San Diego is one epic place to visit in California. With gorgeous beaches, historic districts and enough foodie spots to fill any tummy, it’s the kind of city that’s perfect for a long weekend trip. In fact, there’s so many epic and best things to do in San Diego that I’d suggest an even longer one....

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17th March 2021 by Hand Luggage Only

12 best things to do in Monterey, California

Brimming with a pristine coastline, picturesque Monterey is one of the gorgeous places in California to explore. What makes it even better is how many cool spots and the best things to do in Monterey there are. From foodie haunts, beautiful beaches to historic streets – Monterey has it all! I visited Monterey on my second trip to California when road-tripping from Lake Tahoe, via San Francisco to Los Angeles. Along the way, I just knew I had to stop in Monterey. I had the best time exploring...

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17th March 2021 by Hand Luggage Only

11 very best things to do in Yosemite National Park

Filled with millions of years of history and vistas that’ll know your socks off, Yosemite is the kind of national park that’s totally worth the hype. From mountain treks to iconic vistas, there’s a heap of the best things to do in Yosemite that is dotted all across the park. For me, Yosemite was one of the first national parks in the US that I ever visited; and boy was it a good way to start! It’s the kind of place that’s pretty accessible by car and one iconic spot in California...

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11th March 2021 by Hand Luggage Only

10 very best things to do in Lake Tahoe

Being the largest alpine lake in North America means one very big thing for Lake Tahoe; that it’s humongous! Not only that, with it perched between snow-capped mountains and surrounded by magnificent pine forests, it’s a total gem to visit. Though, in my experience, it can be tricky to pinpoint the best things to do in Lake Tahoe during your trip. This is exactly why I wanted to share my favourite spots to see in and around Lake Tahoe itself....