The other side of America

While California and the US West Coast are just one flight away from Australia there are many reasons to take the journey a little further and cross the continent to the East Coast.

To some extent we are victims of geography. If you live in London or Frankfurt your first US stop is likely to be New York or DC, while for Australians LA or San Francisco are usually the arrival points. The sheer density of places to see and explore on both sides can be a disincentive to travel onwards to the other side. However, those who do cross the continent will discover that, while there are common features, the differences make it a whole new holiday.

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The stunning skyline on the Potomac River with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Arlington Memorial Bridge

And don’t think it’s only New York. Here we take a look at some of the highlights of East Coast USA - and an introduction to a company that can show you around.

You need to go no further than to compare Cheers and Seinfield to Baywatch to see the divergence from one side of the USA to the other. The culture really does vary.

However, the real surprise is the quaint rural areas that are pristine and beautiful. Combined with a richness of history that we may have heard of but forgotten, it’s a fun and educational part of the world. The cities have been well portrayed in so much TV and film that you’ll often find yourself thinking “it feels like I’ve been here before”.

It’s also a revelation how this most American part of the continent abuts the Canadian province of Quebec. Boston and New York seem so American but across the border Quebec City is both remarkably beautiful and very French in a uniquely Canadian way. History really does throw up surprises.

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Step back in time and take a tour in America's historic east and explore famous battlefields to presidential mansions

Globus is offering 10 per cent discounts on 2017 tours in the USA if booked and a deposit paid by 29 November. And, while there are tours across the continent, two deals in particular caught our attention.

America’s Historic East is a nine day trip that operates between May and October between Washington DC and Philadelphia. It takes in battle scenes from Valley Forge and Gettysburg to Yorktown and Harper’s Ferry and Colonial Williamsburg where 18th-Century Virginia comes alive.

Mount Vernon, George Washington’s family mansion on the banks of the Potomac River and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate with its wonderful gardens are also included.

It’s a tour that begins with the magnificence of Washington DC and its iconic federal buildings and the Smithsonian museums, continues through Shenandoah National Park along Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and ends in Philadelphia where you can see for yourself the crack in the 940kg Liberty Bell.

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If you're a history buff, then Philadelphia's landmark Liberty Bell is a must visit

For a longer, less specialised overview, there’s the 13-day Eastern US and Canada Discovery tour. It too runs from May to October. Starting in Boston, it travels past the White Mountains to spend a couple of nights in Quebec City before you continue to Montreal then Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and Toronto, the nation’s biggest city.

The verdant Lake Ontario region has a booming wine industry, but it’s best known for Niagara Falls. Back in the USA through the Appalachian Mountains the goal is Lancaster the town and region that’s home to unique Amish and Mennonite communities. A visit to an Amish family for dinner will show you a simple lifestyle without cars, phones or electricity. From there you can expect some culture shock as you come to Washington DC, the very modern seat of American power.

On the last day you travel from DC to explore historic Philadelphia before continuing to New York, New York to fly out or continue for your own explorations.

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Explore the Big Apple through their fantastic food culture

Unlike the more freewheeling West Coast, the east side of the USA is more subtle in some ways and there are reasons to consider travelling on an organised tour. You’ll certainly see and learn more if you’re accompanied by an expert.

What’s your favourite part of the US? Share your stories below.