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With travel restrictions temporarily halting our adventures, many of our members are getting to know their own countries better with some incredible staycations – which is great news for our American community, as they’ve got so much to explore! And for those of us who are further afield, there has never been a better time to start planning for adventures post-lockdown. So whatever you’re planning, make sure you check out our ultimate guide to home swapping in America – with great house exchanges to pick from, and lots of things to see and do in some of the most popular USA states.

California 

No state in the USA is quite as synonymous with beach life and the American dream as California. With stunning beaches and amazing weather, it’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular states to visit.  

 

Our top recommendations for your trip to California include: 

 

Santa Monica, Los Angeles is famous for its gorgeous beaches that epitomise the sunny Californian dream. The city is synonymous with the glamour of Hollywood, one of the world’s most famous neighbourhood in which you can go celeb spotting! While you’re in Santa Monica, make sure you check out some of our members’ favourite local spots such as Misfits and ScopaThis impressive home swap property is near both restaurants, with a lovely garden and only a short walk to the beach! 

 

Santa Monica Beach, California

 

Lake Tahoe is a must-see attraction in California. This beautiful lake draws visitors in their thousands – and for very good reason. If you are visiting, check out this famous 72-mile journey around the lake, and take in the most incredible scenic views. Widely renowned for being one of America’s most beautiful drives, stop at Emerald Bay Lookout (one of the most photographed places in the world) and don’t forget to go shopping or grab a bite to eat at Heavenly Village.  

 

Need a gorgeous home swap in California? We've got lots to pick from – just like this stunning townhouse on the edge of Lake Tahoe: 

 

This incredible mountain retreat features hotel amenities and a tranquil lakefront setting in South Lake Tahoe. The spacious home is located just a few steps away from the beach and is surrounded by beautiful mountainside woodlands and ski pistes – making it the ideal location for every season. Combining the best of every world, the property is perfect for a city escape as it is within 1 mile of the casinos of South Lake – and it’s equidistant from the Heavenly Ski Resort. Based within a luxurious resort, the shared facilities include a gym, two pools (one of which is heated year-round), two outdoor hot tubs, and access to the stunning private lakeside beach. 

 

San Diego is another top tourist destination in California – spend a couple of weeks here, and experience the laidback California lifestyle! Some of the main tourist attractions in San Diego are Balboa Park, a beautiful green space with gardens and several museums and the historic Gaslamp Quarter which is full of great boutiques, art galleries, and good restaurants. The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park should also be on your to-do list, as museums, retail shops and restaurants seamlessly mingle to make this the most visited state park in California. It’s also a perfect place for our members who are home swapping with families, as you can visit the famous San Diego Zoo! After all that activity, you’ll need an incredible place to stay, so check out this awesome family home in downtown San Diego - complete with views of the rolling hills! 

 

New York 

If you fancy a trip to the big apple, New York City is the ideal spot for a city escape! With stunning modern architecture and a plethora of activities to do, New York is a great choice for theatre, restaurants, shopping and so much more. If city breaks aren’t really your idea of fun, then travel a little further afield to breathtaking rural attractions such as Niagara Falls

 

Our top recommendations for a trip to New York include: 

 

New York City is simply unforgettable (particularly if you’ve booked an ultra-comfortable home swap to retreat back to at the end of the day!) While you’re in the city, there are some obvious famous attractions to check out like The Statue of Liberty on Ellis IslandTop of the Rock and the Empire State Building (for equally fabulous views). And, of course, the 9/11 Memorial should be on your itinerary too. To save money on all of these attractions, we suggest buying the New York City Pass

For some well-loved local attractions, check out the Cherry Trail where you can walk or cycle along the famous Hudson River. If you fancy a bite to eat, stop at some of our members’ favourites such as Big Daddy’s Diner and Red Rooster. Another great spot is Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the waiting staff perform songs from different musicals off Broadway – it’s a real experience! 

 

New York City

 

Niagara Falls should be next on your journey planner. Located on the border between Canada and the USA, the American side of the famous Falls can be visited by car, train or even plane from New York City. If you’ve got a car, then the scenic drive will take you around eight-hours, or take the long but exciting 12-hour journey on the Maple Leaf Train. 

 

Niagara Falls

 

The Adirondacks are a stunning, yet often over-looked attraction for those visiting New York state. These are a scenic range of forest-covered mountains in the north of the state, with numerous lakes and hiking opportunities for our nature-loving members.  

 

The Adriondacks, New York State

 

Florida 

Last but certainly not least, a trip to the USA isn't complete without a visit to Florida. It’s the perfect destination for a family getaway – and with Disneyland Orlando right at your fingertips, your kids won't be short of fun! 

 

Our top recommendations for your trip to Florida include: 

 

Orlando is the ideal location for a family trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios. If your kids are big fans of Harry Potter, then consider checking out one of the most popular and impressive attractions - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Downtown Orlando is well worth exploring, and Lake Eola boasts incredible views of the city, plus a lovely 9-mile sidewalk that circles the lake.  

And remember that the ultimate road trip to Orlando wouldn’t be complete without a stunning home swap property! Our members have various lovely options, such as this stunning lakeside Orlando property with its own pool - perfect for winding down after a day at the theme parks!  

 

Universal Orlando Resort

 

Kennedy Space Centre is understandably one of Florida’s most popular tourist attractions, being just an hour away from Orlando - making it the perfect day trip option. The Behind the Gates Kennedy Space Centre Bus Tour takes you to restricted areas for a look at historic launch sites and other facilities that have limited access to the public. For lots more day trip ideas, check out these interesting suggestions from PlanetWare.  

 

Miami is famous for Miami Beach, an island city which spans the Atlantic. One of the things that makes the beach so popular is the Art Deco District with stunningly colourful restored buildings from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Along Ocean Drive, the legendary oceanfront street which overlooks South Beach Miami, you'll find several outstanding Art Deco buildings, including the Hotel Breakwater South BeachThe Carlyle, and the Park Central Hotel. For lots of ideas on the best bars to visit, iconic shopping experiences and stunning beaches, take a look at VISIT FLORIDA’s really helpful guide on ‘50 things to do in Miami Beach’.  

 

Art Deco District, Miami Beach 

 

The Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida is essential viewing for any art fanatics.  Featuring Salvador Dali’s works plus ad hoc exhibits, this stunning museum uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology to bring exhibitions to life – making it a great choice for children who think art is boring! If you’re planning on staying in the area, check out this home swap property which is only a short 20-minute drive from the museum. 

 

In need of a comfortable place to stay in Florida? Then you’ll find that our members have lots of great options, such as this beach condo

 

Love a peaceful waterfront view? Then this centrally-located condo could be precisely what you’re looking for – particularly as your view will be over the Gulf of Mexico! The property is only a few short blocks from John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk offering waterfront dining, shopping and water sport rentals. There’s also very easy access to the beautiful white sand beach, which is located just across the street from your doorstep. Though we wouldn’t blame for you to not wanting to leave home, as you’ll also benefit from a shared heated swimming pool, jacuzzi and fitness room. Nearby you can also try some local bites to eat at Dockside Daves. 

 

 

These suggestions are only a handful of the great and amazing experiences you can have on a trip to the USA. If you’re planning a break, then you might find our round-up of the USA’s top home swaps of 2020 useful.  If you’re still making your mind up on where you want to go, take a look at our blog for more travel inspiration and guides. Already been to some of the places mentioned (or are you a local?!) Then share your swap tips on our social media channels using #welovehomeswap. And don’t forget that we always want to hear about your best travel experiences! If you'd like to share your story or suggestions with our community, then get in touch with us, or pop into our friendly Facebook groups to meet likeminded travel-lovers. 

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