Blog: Independence Day!

Are you looking for some destination inspiration this July 4th? You really are spoilt for choice if you fly direct from Manchester Airport.

American Airlines, Jet2.com, Singapore Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, TUI, United and Virgin Atlantic all fly to a range of amazing American destinations and have some fantastic deals on summer getaways.

Whether you are looking at visiting the bustling metropolis of Manhattan, or exploring the stunning Grand Canyon National Park, the USA will provide an unforgettable travel experience.

East Coast


Atlanta is often overlooked for the more popular American cities on this list, but this understated yet beautiful city has an incredible history.

Being the birthplace of Nobel Peace Price Winner and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, Atlanta has a rich and intriguing past. You can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, which includes the minister’s former boyhood home and church he was baptised in. This fascinating attraction is a must-see for first time visitors.

Atlanta is also known for being the origin of Coca-Cola. The ‘World of Coca-Cola’, located in the city commemorates the city’s affiliation with the world’s most popular soft drink. The museum attracts over seven million visitors a year. Remember to also check out the Georgia Aquarium, which was once the world’s largest Aquarium.

Fly direct from Manchester Airport to Atlanta with Virgin Atlantic:

Virgin Atlantic - https://www.virginatlantic.com/


Home of the Red Sox, Boston is a city that prides itself on baseball. Start your trip by taking at visit to the Red Sox’s stadium, Fenway Park. If you still have time, pop over to Faneuil Hall, an iconic building in American history, which has been the site of many crucial meetings and debates. The hall is now the centrepiece of a bustling market scene, which is certainly worth spending a few hours at (or more!).

Boston Common is a public park located in the heart of the city. It offers stunning scenery which can be enjoyed no matter what the season. We recommend visiting the common in autumn, as the trees turn golden and leaves cover the winding walkways.

Fly direct from Manchester Airport to Boston with Virgin Atlantic:

Virgin Atlantic - https://www.virginatlantic.com/

New York

It’s impossible not to consider the grand city of New York when looking at American destinations this 4th July

This concrete jungle has a plethora of top attractions, so be prepared for an action-packed holiday if you decide to visit the Big Apple. Our top tip would be to visit attractions by their proximity, to make the most of your valuable time.

No trip to New York is complete without witnessing some of the breath-taking views across the city. Our personal recommendation for that Instagram worthy photo would be from the Top of The Rock, where you can experience incredible panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. Also, head over to the Marriott Hotel’s immense revolving restaurant for spectacular views across Times Square.

If you wish to take a break from the bustling city streets, then retreat to Central Park, where you will be welcomed by lush greenery and ambience that seems like a world away from the high-rise buildings that surround the park.

Fly direct from Manchester Airport to JFK with Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Jet2.com, or to Newark with United:

Jet2.com - https://www.jet2.com/en

Thomas Cook - https://www.thomascook.com/

United - https://www.united.com/en/gb

Virgin Atlantic - https://www.virginatlantic.com/


Orlando is the home of the world-famous Walt Disney World Resort, attracting over 20 million visitors in 2018. Known as the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’, it has over 10 parks to discover and 11 miles of shops, restaurants & attractions on International Drive. We can see why Orlando continues to be a key destination for tourists every year.

Our personal tip for families with young children would be to visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom, where they can watch their favourite characters come to life!

Fly direct from Manchester Airport to Orlando International with Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic, or Orlando-Sanford with TUI:

Thomas Cook - https://www.thomascook.com/

TUI - https://www.tui.co.uk/flight/

Virgin Atlantic - https://www.virginatlantic.com/


There’s no better place in the US to represent July 4th than Philadelphia. The city is known for its historical sights and key affiliation with Independence Day. The Liberty Bell is the symbol of American Independence, as it was rang upon the hearing of the Second Continental Congress' vote for independence on July 4th, 1776. Today, the bell can be found at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

The USA is home to some of the tastiest dishes in the world. The ‘Philly Cheesesteak’, an American classic which is now served in bars and restaurants around the world, originated from Philadelphia. We recommend picking one up from John’s Roast Pork on Snyder Ave, where the cheesesteak is served on a seeded roll. Yum!

Fly direct to Philadelphia from Manchester Airport with American Airlines:

American Airlines - https://www.americanairlines.co.uk/



Houston, we don’t have a problem, as we fly there direct!

Houston is famous for its affiliation with the American space programme, and its Space Centre expedition pays homage to that. Opening in 1992, the centre had over 1 million visitors in 2018. Its centrepiece is the replica space shuttle which sits upon a Boeing 747 aircraft.

We recommend spending day two of your trip at Houston Zoo. It’s the second most visited zoo in the USA, and it’s not hard to see why. The zoo houses over 6000 animals from all corners of the globe and features an array of different exhibits. We recommend checking out the elephant enclosure! The zoo also supports several conservations plans both in the USA and worldwide.

If you’re looking to experience another dimension to America, then Houston is most certainly for you!

Fly direct to Houston from Manchester Airport with Singapore Airlines:

Singapore Airlines - https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/gb/home#/book/bookflight

West Coast

Las Vegas

Viva, Las Vegas!

There’s a reason Las Vegas is universally known as the entertainment capital of the world. A city like no other, Vegas is the truly the epitome of the ‘American Dream’.

Marvel at the sight of its famous strip, complete with an abundance of entertainment and fine dining options. When night falls, watch the magnificent Fountains of Bellagio dance amongst a backdrop of neon lights and music.

Venture further east out of the city, and you are treated to the beautiful Grand Canyon National Park. One of the best ways to explore this natural wonder is by helicopter, offering spectacular views of the Canyon and surrounding landscapes of Nevada.

Las Vegas has all the attributes to make your dream American holiday both one of thrills and endless entertainment.

Fly direct to Las Vegas from Manchester Airport with Thomas Cook Airlines and Virgin Atlantic:

Thomas Cook - https://www.thomascook.com/

Virgin Atlantic - https://www.virginatlantic.com/

Los Angeles

There’s no business-like show business!

The City of Angels is the home of Hollywood and is where you can find global film companies such as Universal Studios. Here, you can find the Hollywood Walk of Fame, sporting over 2,600 plaques. Get a guided tour of the studios behind the famous backdrop of the Hollywood Sign, then travel to Griffith Observatory just in time to capture a fabulous sunset over downtown LA.

We recommend hiring a bike and travelling down the iconic Venice Beach towards Santa Monica Pier, to really embrace the LA lifestyle. The bustling two-and-a-half-mile promenade features a host of performers and entertainers that you can enjoy at your leisure. A fantastic way to complete your trip of a lifetime:

Fly direct to Los Angeles from Manchester Airport with Thomas Cook Airlines and Virgin Atlantic:

Thomas Cook - https://www.thomascook.com/

Virgin Atlantic - https://www.virginatlantic.com/

San Francisco

When Tony Bennett sang ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’, he was speaking on behalf of us all. There is an undeniable charm about San Francisco that extends beyond the city centre.

San Francisco is home to some of the most photogenic views you could find on any postcard. The most well-known spot for a piccy must be the monumental Golden Gate Bridge. Opening in 1937, it connected San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. We also recommend catching a cable car up the hilly terrain towards the Twin Peaks which provides incredible panoramic views across the city.

Spend a day exploring Alcatraz, the world’s most famous prison due to its notoriously violent inmates and isolated location. Whilst no longer open, it serves as a reminder of what once was and attracted 1.7 million visitors in 2018. If you’re not travelling with young children, then we couldn’t recommend visiting this mysterious island enough.

Fly direct to San Francisco from Manchester Airport with Thomas Cook Airlines:

Thomas Cook - https://www.thomascook.com/


There is so much to see and do in Seattle! Whether you want to browse the endless rows of authentic American produce in Pike Place Market, or visit the immense Boeing factory, there’s something to suit all interests.

Place Market is by far Seattle's most popular tourist destination. From fresh produce to comic book collections, you’re not going to get bored exploring the variety of unique shops and family owned restaurants. Although cliché, our personal tip would be to visit the Starbucks in Place Market, as it was the first ever Starbucks store in the world, established in 1971.

Seattle’s skyline is dominated by the ‘Space Needle’, a 184m observation tower that offers incredible sights over the city. More recently, the observation deck has introduced a glass floor, giving visitors unparalleled 360-degree views.

For those interested in aviation, we recommend traveling north of the city towards the Boeing Future of Flight aviation centre. The colossal museum includes a gallery containing static and interactive displays on all things Boeing. Here, you can witness an active aircraft production line.

Fly direct to Seattle from Manchester Airport with Thomas Cook Airlines:

Thomas Cook - https://www.thomascook.com/

For more great travel inspiration this summer, see https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/