On the Pacific coast that stretches along the west side of the United States of America are a few major cities that are both centres of commerce, industry and tourism, and also home to people from diverse backgrounds which together define the cities’ identities. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are three major cities comprising not only interesting attractions but also hotbeds of creative business innovation that ignite and inspire visitors as well. North of the Canadian border lie Vancouver, Banff and Jasper. Vancouver has been voted one of the world’s most liveable cities, while Banff and Jasper National Parks boast majestic mountains that have inspired for generations.
Let’s explore this land of inspiration on the West Coast of North America with THAI and Star Alliances Partners, a journey that could reinterpret the meaning of holiday.
A familiar name to many, LA is where creativity permeates acity in the embrace of mountains and where fantastic architecture provides a home to diverse sub-cultures, making it a unique city. For artistic inspiration, start from downtown at The Board, a contemporary art museum that houses a world-class collection, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the iconic concert venue, and Arts District, with former warehouses and factories converted into art galleries and museums, before proceeding to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the largest museum in the western U.S. Hollywood fans shouldn’t miss chasing after their favourite stars at the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see their hand and foot prints, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Visit Paramount Pictures, the second oldest movie studio and the only one that is still located in Hollywood, or opt for a Warner Bros Studio Tour, where you will be able to see not only the sets and props, but also learn the process of film making, from script writing to shooting. If you prefer to be excited by real life, Venice Beach Boardwalk offers wacky carnival-like shows. For family travellers, Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure Park are sure to colour your holiday, bring a smile to every face and spark the imagination of kids and adults alike.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a real source of inspiration. Take a 3-kilometer walk or bike ride across this famous bridge, take in the views and explore the exciting 85-year history that make this such an iconic landmark. But there’s a lot more to San Franciscothan Golden Gate Bridge. Housed in acentury-old building, Ferry Building Marketplace is a real paradise for epic ureans: discover fine wines, smooth and exotic coffees, fresh Pacific seafood, prime steaks, mouth-watering cakes and pastries and organic and wholefood produce. Enjoy the art galleries and street art of the hip districts like The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill and Balmy Alley. Travel back in time on the tram cars - especially the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde Lines to Fisherman Wharf and Pier 39, where souvenir shops and the juicy tastes of fresh seafood are waiting. Alternatively, spend an afternoon sipping coffee, soaking up the Victorian residences in Haight – Ashury, and enjoying 360-degree views of SF downtown from Coit Tower – a perfect way to end your day.
That world famous brands like Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, Costco, Getty Images and Starbucks originate here is testament to how creative and inspirational Seattle is. The city is dotted with museums and idea-sparking venues, such as Museum of Pop Culture, Museum of Flight, Olympic Sculpture Park and Chihuly Garden and Glass. Seattle was also once ranked the best US city for public transportation and infrastructure, but it is the ‘coffee culture’ for which Seattle is more widely known. There is a wide selection coffee enthusiasts can enjoy: cool and stylish coffee houses in the hip neighbourhood of Capitol Hill and First Hill, or the first branch of the worlds’ largest coffee house chain at Pike Place Market, the market of personalities that has best highlighted the soul of the city since 1907.
Listed as the world’s third most liveable city for seven consecutive years, Vancouver is the largest coastal seaport in Canada. It is surrounded by mountains and fronted by the sea, and has the most sunny days of any of Canada’s cities, while averaging only 9 days of snow each year. This allows for a wide range of outdoor activities, like walking in Stanley Park, which, at ten times the size of New York’s Central Park, is Vancouver’s largest. Don’t miss Vancouver Aquarium - the country’s biggest - located in the park. Cycle on the 28 kilometre-long Seaside Greenway or be tempted by the colourful food at Public Market on Granville Island, where you can rent a kayak and view Vancover from the protected waters of False Creek. If you visit in the summer, Vancouver will welcome you with Bard on the Beach, the famous professional Shakespeare festival. There are not many places in this world where you can enjoy skiing and beach life in the same city, but Vancouver is one of those.
Banff and Jasper
Although replete with hotels, fancy restaurants, boutique shops, and nightclubs, the resort town of Banff never disappoints nature lovers. Only 15 minutes away from the centre is Canada’s first and the world’s third oldest national park. Covering an area of 6,641 sq.km. the park is home to wildlife like bears, elk and wolves. It offers plenty of outdoor activities, such as climbing, hiking, cycling, boating and wildlife watching. Visit in March and mid-April, when you can still enjoy skiing and other winter sports before spring comes at the end of the month. Three hundred kilometres from Banff lies Jasper, a smaller town but with a much larger national park. With an area of about 11,000 sq.km. Rocky Mountains Park is famous for its majestic mountain ranges and untamed wilderness, all of which can be witnessed en route from Lake Louise.
Discover your sources of inspiration in the creative cities of the USA and let the unspoilt natural beauty of Canada fire your imagination with THAI and Star Alliance Partners.
Destinations are served by a member of Star Alliance Partners including Air Canada, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Eva Air, United Airlines and more.
Book now at thaiairways.com