Posts Tagged ‘Topdeck North America’

40 things to do before you’re 40 - Number 3!

Monday, February 25th, 2013

3. See sunset at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, is so colossal that it’s difficult to put into perspective. Try this – imagine gazing into the canyon to see four Empire State Buildings on top of one another. They still wouldn’t reach above the rim!

The Grand Canyon is the product of the Colorado River eroding its way through Arizona’s sedimentary rocks, exposing 2 billion years of geological history in the process. The stats are mind-boggling: 277 miles long, up to a mile deep, an average of 10 miles wide, not to mention one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

It has captivated visitors for centuries, from the local Pueblo Native American tribes who revere it as a holy place, to daredevils such as the late Evel Knievel who viewed it as a giant adventure playground.

Visitors have a few different options to take in its beauty; for adrenaline seekers, a helicopter flight reveals the majesty of Grand Canyon from the air, while for those who prefer keeping their feet on the ground, a hike below the rim escapes the crowds and unveils the canyon’s full range of climate zones.

And those who want the best of both can try the Skywalk, a hair-raising glass-bottomed walkway which extends out over the 4000ft abyss!

Standing on the edge of this gargantuan gorge at sunset is a particularly enchanting experience, as the surrounding landscape comes to life and glows in layers of fiery red. It’s a striking vision of America that seems somehow new and familiar at the same time.

But if you’re still having trouble picturing its scale, then here’s a fun fact to finish: it would take a herd of 1 million cows up to 200,000 years to fill the Grand Canyon with methane…

We’d love to see that happen, one way or an udder!

Topdeck Top Tip: Only 2% of visitors hike below the rim, so it’s a great way to avoid the crowds. However you should be aware of the change in climate – the canyon floor can be up to 7°C hotter than the rim in summer! Prepare accordingly and take lots of water with you.

Been to the Grand Canyon? Own 1 million cows?
Share your favourite Grand Canyon memories with us!

Entertaining Grand Canyon media

North America: Our First Traveller!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012


It’s been a hectic couple of months since we launched our brand new Topdeck North America programme on the 4th of July. The response so far has totally blown us away - so many of you have booked and started planning your very own adventure with us.

A little bit of trivia for you: the first ever Topdeck North America holiday booked was a seven day Southeast States trip from New Orleans to New York. It was purchased by none other than Topdeck veteran Lorraine Kagatse who already has a massive six trips under her belt!

To say thank you for being our very first bookee we’ve shouted Lorraine a helicopter ride over the city that never sleeps, NYC.

Here’s a bit more about Lorraine…

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 30 and live in west London. I enjoy going to concerts, reading, meeting new people, but my real passion is travelling. One of my favourite places I have visited is Sarajevo in Bosnia. It’s full of friendly people, great food and amazing history.

Where have you travelled to with Topdeck?

Venice Carnival, Amsterdam for Easter, Turkey, Morocco, Valencia for Las Fallas and Berlin for New Year.

What was your favourite trip story?

A hot air balloon ride over the chimney like rock formations in Cappadocia Turkey - it was like something out of a fairytale!

How would you sum up the Topdeck experience?

Fun and enjoyable. I have had many amazing and memorable experiences on the tours I have done and made lifelong friends from all over the world

What made you choose Topdeck North America?

The range of cities that would be visited and it was value for money.

What are you most looking forward to in the US?

Everything! The noise, the bustle and the food.  Making new friends, shopping and my helicopter ride over New York!

Who would you recommend Topdeck to?

Anyone who enjoys travelling, having amazing experiences. It is also good for people who travel alone as it’s a great place to make friends

What has been your favourite travelling memory?

Celebrating my 29th birthday in Turkey on both the Asian and European sides - I got two birthday cakes and got to party with my new Topdeck friends

What kept you coming back to Topdeck?

Value for money, organised trips, friendly and informative staff, good range of cities, countries to visit and activities to do.

Why not join Lorraine on the North American Road Trip of a lifetime. With 21 trips to choose from there’s something for everyone. Book before 31 August 2013 to save up to 10% off your trip!

The Secret is Out: Introducing Topdeck North America

Friday, July 6th, 2012

This has been one of the hardest secrets we’ve ever had to keep in the Topdeck office.

Over the past few months we’ve busy putting the finishing touches on our new programme and while you were all asking “why doesn’t Topdeck go to North America?” we’ve had to keep our lips sealed.

Well, the wait is over and we can finally shout about it from the rooftops – Topdeck is now taking you to the USA and Canada!

To get you inspired, here’s our list of the Top 10 North American experiences

1. Camp out in a US National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

The United States has 58 protected national parks that are home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. One of the parks we take you to is Yosemite National Park in California.

Best known for its waterfalls, in Yosemite you’ll also find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoia forests and a variety of wildlife.

In the summer months we stay in a permanent tented site, once a prospectors’ camp, within the Yosemite Valley.

2. Lunch in one of the hottest places on Earth

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in the US and daytime temperatures have been known to top 54°C (though the average summer temperature is a much more bearable 45°C). There are canyons, sand dunes, mountains, and over 1000 species of plants to explore.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the restaurant we visit is air-conditioned so you can cool down after your adventure.

3. Listen to live music in Nashville & Memphis

Home to two distinctly American styles of music, Nashville and Memphis are the Mecca for country and the blues respectively.

In Nashville a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry (the world’s longest running live radio show) is a must, while over in Memphis hit Beale Street for some amazing live music and pop by Graceland to pay your respects to ‘the King’.

Elvis's Gold Piano

4. Play roulette in a Las Vegas casino

No city on earth knows how to show you a good time quite like Las Vegas. With over 100 casinos the hardest part will be deciding where to put your money down.

Sin City is also home to dozens of live shows, world-class shopping and nightlife like no other.

5. Enjoy a sunset over the Grand Canyon

If there is one sight guaranteed to take your breath away, sunset over the Grand Canyon is it.

Carved out by the Colorado River over millions of years, the Grand Canyon is 446km long, up to 1.6km deep, and up to 24 km wide. Take a rim walk or journey down to the Canyon floor.

6. Eat Cajun food in Louisiana

While you’re down in the Deep South tuck into a plate of mouth-watering Cajun Gumbo in Lafayette. Gumbo is a stew made with meat or shellfish and seasoning vegetables that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century combining the tastes of French, Spanish, German, West African, and Native American cooking.

7. Learn about Native American culture

When we visit Monument Valley in Utah, not only will you experience the amazing scenery of more than 1000 sandstone buttes and you’ll get a glimpse of the ancient Navajo culture with a guided jeep tour of the area.

Those of you on our Greatest Parks trip will also get to stay overnight with the Navajo listening to their stories and dancing the night away under the stars.

8. Hike a Glacier in Canada

Athabasca Glacier is part of the Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies and is the most visited glacier in North America. Our guided hike is perfect for travellers of all abilities.

9. Shop ‘til you drop in NYC

Shop 'til you drop in NYC

Shop 'til you drop in NYC

Luxury shopping can be found along the famous Fifth and Madison Avenues including Versace, Tiffany & Co and Saks. Two of the most expensive streets in the world, for most of us window shopping will have to suffice!

But don’t worry, great and affordable shopping can be found all over the city especially in stylish SoHo and the East Village

10. Have a Shower at Niagara Falls

Right on the US/Canadian border, the thunderous Niagara Falls is among the continent’s greatest natural wonders.

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls

Over 500,000 litres of water a second cascades over the Falls to the cavernous gorge below and you can get right up close to this power with a Maid of the Mist boat tour - includes rain poncho!

But don’t take our word for it – experience the wonders of North America for yourself and let us know your must-dos.

Topdeck Travel runs 21 North American trips ranging from 6 to 20 days covering California, the Mid-West, East Coast, Cross Country and Canada.