Our top 7 ‘Extreme’ places, feel free to add yours.
Hottest Town: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Death Valley may be the answer most would give with temperatures reaching a mind boggling 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but Lake Havasu City in Arizona is the winner being a place where people actually live. More than 50,000 residents have found a way to survive summer temperatures that regularly top 100 degrees Farenheit and can reach 130 from time to time. Why do people live here I hear you ask, well for the same reasons that attract thousands of visitors. 45 miles of lakefront for boating, fishing and hiking amid volcanic rock, sparkling geodes, and other desert formations. Lake Havasu also has two less obvious attractions: It is home to a collection of 1/3 scale miniature lighthouses that are scattered along the lakeshore and the original London Bridge. Purchased in 1968 from the City of London for more than $2 million, it was taken down transported more than 5,000 miles, and reassembled in Arizona. The bridge is now the second-most-popular tourist site in the state, after the Grand Canyon. The California & the Grand Canyon fly drive holidays includes a stop at Lake Havasu City.
Coldest City: Fairbanks, AK
This place is seriously cold.. The average temperature in winter drops to -5 degrees Fahrenheit or -20.6 degrees centigrade, that is the average.. A balmy summer sees the temperature rise to just 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 degrees centigrade. But like Lake Havasu, visitors flock to Fairbanks, besides the city’s warm and welcoming residents, there is a rich gold rush history. Visits to the Pioneer Museum, with its dioramas and murals are a must while in Fairbanks, but most visitors are here to see the Aurora Borealis. Also known as the Northern Lights, the aurora produces the appearance of crackling skies filled with bright blue, green, and red patterns for more than 200 nights over the course of the year. August through April is primetime for aurora-viewing, and if you spend three nights in Fairbanks you have about an 80 percent chance of a clear night. Ask your hotel if it offers middle-of-the-night wake-up calls to rouse you in time to see a display. Click to browse Alaska Holidays.
Highest point: Mount McKinley, Denali National Park, AK
Staying in Alaska’s Denali National Park is a quite incredible destination despite being home to the tallest peak in North America, Mount McKinley, standing at an impressive 20,320 feet. The park comprises 6 million acres navigated via a 92 mile long Park Road, with jaw-dropping views of the stunning Alaska Range. There are several excellent visitor centres to offer advice and guidance. They can also educate you on the history, flora, fauna, wildlife and geography of the park. Take on their ‘Big Five’ challenge, to spot moose, caribou, dall sheep, wolves, and grizzly bears. In truth you will be lucky to spot all five but they are there and are frequently seen. Mid-May to mid-September is the time to visit and a good tip is to book on to one of the ranger talks or other interactive education programs from one the visitor centre. Click for a choice of holidays to Alaska that include a visit to Denali National Park.
Lowest place: Death Valley, CA and NV
Death Valley, one of the most desolate yet beautiful places you will probably ever visit. The Badwater Basin is 282 feet below sea level as well as being the hottest and the driest place in the USA. This stretch of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts in California and Nevada records temperatures above 100 degrees for five months of the year (The record being 134 degrees, in 1913) But such is the contrast, unexpected deluges can bring fields of wildflowers, and in winter snow dusts the higher peaks of the surrounding valley. A drive through Death Valley is an ideal way to link northern California visits to places like Yosemite National Park with Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. See the Flat Sand Dunes and stay the Furnace Creek ranch on the California & the Grand Canyon fly drive holiday.
Biggest city: New York City
It is Los Angeles I hear you shout, nope, New York has been the most populous city in the U.S. since the first census was taken in 1790. In the 15 years following the full opening of the Erie canal in 1825 that linked New York to the Great Lakes, numbers tripled. Linking the Hudson River to Lake Erie, the canal saw the dawn of new era in trade that propelled the city to the economic pre-eminence it enjoys to this day. As a visitor destination New York needs no introduction. The prosperous development of the city has brought about unparalleled art collections, arguably the best theatre in the world, music, and a choice of dining crowned with over 70 Michelin star restaurants. A great way to see New York is as part of a tour north that includes Boston and New England. Explore New York and New England holidays here.
Smallest town: Buford, WY
I bet not many of you got this one! And while we mention ‘One’ that is the sum total of the town’s population. Don Simmons, has become a bit of a celebrity these days and whilst his Buford Trading Post and gas station has now closed, this is surely one of the best selfie spots when visiting Wyoming. It is right on Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie so you can easily stop by if travelling on the Real American Rockies fly drive holiday.
Biggest river: Mississippi River
We could not put this article together without mentioning the mighty river that flows for 2,320 miles from Lake Itasca, in Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico. It passes through or borders 10 states and draws water from 31 other states between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Range. The significance of the river historically cannot be underestimated from the first native Americans that settled along it’s banks thousands of years ago to the birthplace of Blues music in Clarksdale that was the seed for most modern music. On a Deep South USA fly drive holidays you can follow the path of the Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans and experience the rich music history that grew up around the river. A finish in New Orleans means you can enjoy authentic jazz at Preservation Hall, a ride on one of the city’s historic streetcars and sample the unique cuisine and party scene in the French Quarter. Click here to find our more about the Deep South USA fly drive holiday.