Capture the essence of the Grand Canyon like landscape
This spring (22 April, 2024) marks 40 years since the death of the legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams, who was famed for his sweeping images of the American wilderness.
He made his name with a series of black-and-white shots of Yosemite National Park, the first of which were published in the early 1920s. This epic
body of work paved the way to Adams becoming renowned as the most important landscape photographer of the 20th century.
No less alluring than Adams' Yosemite portfolio are his images of the mighty Grand Canyon, which the photographer memorably captured in his signature monochrome detail.
It's a landscape that today's visitors can try to photograph for themselves on a road trip through the appropriately nicknamed Grand Canyon State of Arizona.
Bon Voyage, the North America travel specialist, recommends boosting your chances of brilliant shots by visiting Arizona either side of high summer, when heat haze caused by searing temperatures might otherwise ruin your photos. As well as experiencing the Grand Canyon itself, Bon
Voyage's all-new new Alluring Arizona self-drive itinerary takes in the scenic Sonoran Desert and higher altitude Sedona, famed for its ponderosa pine forest and red-rock peaks.
Other highlights along the way include small-town Americana charm on a historic section of Route 66, plus the incongruous sight of the original London Bridge in Lake Havasu City. And for photography buffs, Tucson's Center for Creative Photography is a must-see for its Ansel Adams Archive of over 2,500 fine prints and assorted memorabilia documenting an extraordinary career.
This suggested, fully tailor-made fly-drive Alluring Arizona holiday costs from £3,375 per person and includes flights (from London, Manchester or Glasgow), quality accommodation (13 nights, room-only basis) and car-hire for the duration. For bookings and more information, call 0800 316 0194 or visit Bon-Voyage.co.uk
Alcatraz: the formidable, maximum-security island prison in San Francisco Bay.
Mark 90 years of The Rock with an escape to Alcatraz
This year sees the 90th anniversary of Alcatraz: the formidable, maximum-security island prison that was renowned as America's toughest. Located in San Francisco Bay, just over a mile from shore, the island saw former guises a fort and a military prison before becoming a Federal Penitentiary in 1934.
During its years of operation, notorious criminals such as mafia boss Al Capone, gangster Machine Gun Kelly and Robert Stroud - better known as the Birdman of Alcatraz - were incarcerated here, joining murderers, bank robbers, burglars, and other enemies of the state.
Life for these inmates was tough. The strict regime included a punishing mix of routine and discipline, with a squeeze on social interaction and multiple headcounts made each day. Despite the high security, there were 14 escape attempts over the federal prison's 29 years.
Nearly all those involved were either caught or did not survive their break for freedom, but three men - John and Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris - broke out in 1962. To this day, their story and whereabouts remain a mystery.
The Rock, as it became famously known, finally closed in 1963. The prison itself is now a museum and one of San Francisco's
most popular attractions, drawing more than a million and a half visitors every year. Ferries from Fisherman's Wharf deliver day-trippers to the island for an immersion (with audio guide) into the footsteps of former prisoners and guards.
Alcatraz is just one of many highlights of a San Francisco city break. Cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge or grazing the Ferry Building's eateries are also not to be missed, as is riding a historic streetcar or seeing the sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf.
But there's so much more of regional California to experience besides.
Bon Voyage, the North America travel specialist, recommends extending a city break with a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and inland to Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks before looping via Palm Springs and San Diego to LA.
This suggested, tailor-made, two-week itinerary costs from £3,495 per person and includes flights (from London, Manchester, or Glasgow), car hire and quality accommodation throughout (room-only basis).