Dream Design

USA & Canada

  • Two women In Monument Valley Tribal Park on a Rocky Butte Enjoying a Sunrise

A medley of thrill-seeking moments from land, air and sea.

A medley of thrill-seeking moments from land, air and sea.

There’s no sitting still in North America. In fact, it could turn the most docile of dynasties into get-up-and-goers. Yet depending on where you end up, there’s a different definition of high-octane – particularly in the trifecta of California, Canada and Florida. Where snow-capped mountains merge into waves that welcome all water babies, the Golden State is one big road trip where the thrills exude Cali-cool in the form of family surfing lessons, VIP movie studio tours and a helicopter ride over San Francisco’s iconic landmarks.

Outdoorsy households have it best in Canada, with all ages getting their hands dirty. Outstanding nature is a given so to mix things up it’s all about experiencing the great outdoors from different perspectives. Custom made boats give close up encounters of the aquatic variety, while those with a head for heights get a great view from the top of a Sitka fir tree. Later on, tales are swapped around a campfire on a night so quiet it’s almost possible to hear the cries of joy all the way in Florida. Bathed in eternal sunshine, this mostly peninsula-based state is where adrenaline-inducing theme parks and lollygagging on stretches of fluffy sand merge perfectly.

Out of focus people looking towards the Cinderalla Castle at Disneyland

A Pacific Coast
rite of passage

Iconic Venice Beach lights across road with black car
With the dramatic cliffs and crashing waves charting the course, jump behind the wheel and take the whole brood on an iconic road trip.

The trendy streets of San Francisco are the first port of call, where some of the country’s most well-known landmarks all feature on the agenda, but so too do tours of the city’s neighbourhoods – from historical Chinatown to the cool waterfront. Then, behind the wheel of your hire car, take off down California’s Route 1 to the rippling landscapes and marine-life-laden bays of Carmel Valley, with a private flight to bid farewell to San Francisco on the way. After a Pismo Beach pit-stop – book-ended with a sunset meal and morning surf lessons – Santa Barbara calls with its low-key style and leisurely aquatic adventures, before the blinding lights of Beverly Hills appear over the horizon  And after fitting everything L.A. has to offer into three full days, the blissed- out sandy coves of Laguna Beach are a well-deserved break for both grown-ups and tuckered-out tykes.

Thrills and spills in the
Sunshine State

Rollar coaster train on the Jurassic World VelociCoaster in Universal Studios Florida
Splash Mountain to space shuttles and street art to alligators, Florida is the archetypal family favourite that brings joy to everyone’s inner lost boy or girl.

Florida hasn’t earned its nickname for nothing. Being blessed with year-round sun from coasts to theme parks, it’s rare that any endeavour here needs to take a rain check. The nerve centre of theme park thrills – Orlando – is the first port of call on this trip. Hair-raising roller coasters are the obvious and most fun venture, but VIP tours and queue-jumping take the visits to a whole new level. Then it’s onto The Palm Beaches where Gatsby-era architecture rubs shoulders with glitzy designer shops. A cycle around the mansions of the ‘Estate Section’ provides some serious home inspiration for the grown-ups and the Kennedy Space Center makes childhood dreams of being an astronaut come true. Then there’s two sides of the coin to explore at Bal Harbour; zipping through the Everglades where alligators greet with a grin before living the Miami luxe-life aboard a private yacht.

A nature lover's

The Capilano Suspension Bridge passing through pine trees in Canada
Round up the troops for a trip where glimpsing a black bear on the treeline, swimming under waterfalls, and a nature cruise up the sound are just the tip of the iceberg.

Vancouver’s hubbub kicks off the adventures in your own time. With an actionpacked week ahead, there’s no blame assigned for wanting to start by taking it slow. However, we do recommend checking out what diverse Vancouver has to offer. Head out into the city on a morning tour of Granville Island Market, before the option to tour Capilano Park or board the Skyride to the top of Grouse Mountain. Then before you know it, a seaplane and a horse drawn carriage later, and you’re on the doorstep of Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge. Outdoorsy households have it best here, with canyoning, kayaking, hiking and climbing on the roster; while the naturephiles are found spotting aquatic and land-dwelling wildlife from custom made boats or on horseback. But it’s not all high-octane activities. Time slows down a bit when savouring dinner in The Cookhouse to the views across Clayoquot Sound, or over the kids’ new favourite snack – s’mores – around a campfire under the stars.

Get in touch your way…
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