Dream Design

USA Cities: Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC

  • USA flag hanging on the stone union station building

As far as USA cities go, there’s no denying New York and LA revel in the spotlight; but get to know the personalities of their hidden gem siblings and you might just discover that the apple never falls too far from this family tree.

As far as USA cities go, there’s no denying New York and LA revel in the spotlight; but get to know the personalities of their hidden gem siblings and you might just discover that the apple never falls too far from this family tree.

Venturing out to these criminally overlooked metropolises is like sitting down to a different reading of a shared family story. Regaling visitors across Washington, Seattle, and Chicago with their intertwined mishmash of cultures, each protagonist shares the ‘best bits’ of the American heritage from their own perspectives. Starting with the eldest sister setting the example on the west coast is Washington DC, local histories and political changes are the strong suit; while the getting-her-own-way youngest, Seattle, puts a surprising amount of green spaces and great food on the map.

And with the close proximity to New York, there’s no wonder there are parallels between its fellow east coast middle child – Chicago – who is just as loud and proud, with an infectious artistic side in its electric blues soul that actively welcomes diversity to some of its liveliest neighbourhoods.

Two people blurred on green bicyles in front of street art
Tall buildings behind the Cloud Gate
Japanese Cherry Blossoms bloom around the Thomas Jefferson Tidal Basin and frame the Washington Monument
Two people blurred on green bicyles in front of street art
Tall buildings behind the Cloud Gate
Japanese Cherry Blossoms bloom around the Thomas Jefferson Tidal Basin and frame the Washington Monument

In pursuit of…

City architecture and skyscrapers near waterfront, New York
… friends in all the right places

Experiencing the coolest sides of these cities means getting to know them like a local. And with some quirky characters just waiting to tell all at the grassroots, everything quickly feels like home. From the former congressman giving the low-down of all the US. Capitol’s best-kept secrets to the Chicago Cubs baseball player bringing Wrigley Field’s past competitions to life, every niche can be tended to on the USA’s loveably exuberant scale. While getting your hands  dirty makes for a just as fun and intimate experience; from shaping playful pieces into pizza dough to smelling toasty coffee beans roasting in Seattle’s boutique roasteries.

Venturing out to these typically overlooked cities is like sitting down to a different reading of a shared family story.
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A sense of place

Get to know some of our favourite American cities, from the real-life ‘Emerald City’ of Seattle to the rebellious character of Chicago.

  • Night time silhouettes of people at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
    Washington DC

    At first appearing like a serious talker with her undeniable political appeal, it’d be wrong to explore Washington DC without enabling her more playful side. Delving beyond the cool architecture and congress to reveal an activity-packed hubbub filled with spy histories, high-end shopping, and an underestimated coffee and wine scene.

  • The SpaceNeedle in the Morning
    Seattle

    A real-life ‘Emerald City’ lives at the end of this once gold-rushed yellow brick road, where thousands of acres of parklands and evergreen forests create another worldly chance for adventures. And living it out like the locals, there’s a real sense of community in these parts; that brings people together from the history of its futuristic space needle to its buzzing marketplaces.   

  • The silver reflective Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago
    Chicago

    Speakeasies and gangster histories, the only river in America that flows backwards, and a bean statue that reflects its liberatingly diverse lifestyle right back at you; this ‘windy city’ puts a positive spin on ruffling a few feathers. Doing it her own way, with an infectious Midwestern spirit and so much buzzing art its inescapable; just stepping into the centre feels like a state of metamorphosis. And that’s before we’ve even started on their deep pan signature dish.

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Its essence...

DIVERGENT
REVOLUTIONARY
CHARACTERS

Extraordinary
experiences

    • Cars on a busy city road as the sun sets
      Wander the streets of Chicago to discover its notorious past on a Crime Walk.

      Tiptoe behind the scenes of Chicago’s infamous gangster network in this private walk of iconic landmarks and hidden gem spots.

    • Nightlife in Chicago with Jazz and Blues music. Retro bar with blue and red neon sign
      Enter the world of jazz in the ‘home of the electric blues’.

      Wax lyrical with your local expert guide about the intertwined histories of African American culture and Chicago’s soul-inspiring jazz and blues scene.

    • Public Market Farmers Market LED sign
      Explore Seattle’s Pike Place Market before delving into the world of seafood cooking.

      Meander the famous Pike Place Market with a local guide to hear all the different stall stories, before heading to a kitchen for a seafood lesson and lunch.

    • T-Mobile Park baseball stadium in Seattle
      Live the home run high life on a Seattle Mariners Safeco VIP tour.

      Get behind the scenes of this major league’s baseball team and learn all the challenges and history of the game, before trying to take your own home run.

    • Unleash your inner Bond on a Washington DC immersive spy mission experience.

      Engage in the fictional challenger of a covert spy mission, with an ex-operative who’ll teach all the best tricks of the trade.

    • Granite faces depicting U.S. presidents carved into Mount Rushmore
      Fly high for a bird’s eye view of Mount Rushmore.

      Soar above Mount Rushmore in a helicopter for an up-close view of this iconic monument. 

Washington essentials
  • Apr - Sep
    HIGH SEASON
  • Oct - Mar
    LOW SEASON
  • Elections
    BEST TO AVOID
WASHINGTON
  • 8hrs
    LHR - IAD
FLIGHT TO WASHINGTON
  • -5hrs
    GMT
Time difference
  • USD
    UNITED STATES DOLLAR
  • English
    OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Currency / Language
Chicago essentials
  • Apr - Sep
    HIGH SEASON
  • Oct - Mar
    LOW SEASON
  • Dec - Mar
    EXPECT THE COLD
CHICAGO
  • 8hrs 25mins
    LHR - ORD
FLIGHT TO CHICAGO
  • -5hrs
    GMT
Time difference
  • USD
    UNITED STATES DOLLAR
  • English
    OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Currency / Language
Seattle essentials
  • Sept - Dec, Apr - Jun
    HIGH SEASON
  • Jan - Mar, Jul - Aug
    LOW SEASON
WASHINGTON
  • 9hrs 40mins
    LHR - SEA
FLIGHT TO SEATTLE
  • -8hrs
    GMT
Time difference
  • USD
    UNITED STATES DOLLAR
  • English
    OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Currency / Language
Get in touch your way…
We customise every trip to you and our quotes are bespoke. We’re here to offer advice, recommendations and answer your questions.
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North America

There’s no sitting still in North America; in fact, it could turn the most docile of travellers into get-up-and-goers. But depending on where you end up, there’s a different definition of high-octane.

  • Palm Springs palm trees and mountains in the background
    California

    California is one great big road trip; with pinstripe vineyards, seal-inhabited coastlines, glowing cities and a sunny disposition at every stop.

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  • A view of a small pier on Maligne lake at dawn
    Canada

    The image of fir trees reflecting perfectly into glassy lakes while snow-capped mountains wrap on all sides; Canada’s all-encompassing landscapes act as a humble reminder that the best adventures defy explanation. 

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  • Palm tree sandy beach and blue sea and sky
    Florida

    Pearlescent shorelines, metropolitan delights and Peter Pan experiences aplenty – this sunshine state is simply a rollercoaster experience.

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  • A beach scene featuring tall palm trees, surrounded by scattered rocks along the shore.
    Hawaii

    The welcoming spirit of aloha is all-pervading on the captivating Hawaiian islands, a tropical playground of volcanic vistas, surfing beaches and island-hopping.

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  • Time lapse of a road creating blurred lights in Las Vegas city at night
    Las Vegas

    To speak of Las Vegas without mentioning its extravagance would be a crime, but ventures into the spiritual sphere of Native American country are equally as synonymous with this land.

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  • Small white lighthouse on a rocky shoreline
    New England

    A playground for presidents and poets and the birthplace of America itself, New England’s landscapes may change with the seasons, but its quaint charm is evergreen.

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  • Aerial view of Manhattan, New York, United States of America
    New York

    The steeliest shapeshifter of cityscape times, not even a local can pin her down – creating a smorgasbord of opportunities for even the littlest Apples to give it a good go and start trying.

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  • A busy Mardi Gras in Bourbon street
    USA South: Georgia, Louisiana/New Orleans, The Carolinas

    Like one big simmering hot pot, the American South nourishes the soul; with its scrumptiously hearty recipes, smooth as velvet jazz scene, and magnetically bubbly spirit that brings everyone together.

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  • A view of the Grand Teton mountains in the morning as the mountains catch some alpen glow and the Snake River shimmers
    USA National Parks: Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, California

    Step outside of the USA’s vibrant cities and you’ll find some of nature’s finest creations sequestered away in the embrace of its many National Parks.

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