The USA road trip from Manchester Airport as direct flights launch to Las Vegas

An all-American road trip is on most people’s travel bucket list – and now you can tick off some of the USA’s most iconic locations thanks to a new route from Manchester Airport. In June Virgin Atlantic will launch its direct service to Las Vegas from the northern travel hub.

Las Vegas is known for its glamorous casinos, entertainment complexes and sports attractions. But it’s also an ideal location to explore America’s West Coast from.

You can plan a roadtrip across the states of Nevada, Arizona and California. Explore the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon, get up close to giant Sequoia trees or experience Hollywood glitz in Los Angeles – they’re all within reach of Las Vegas.

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Below is a round up of some of the essential pit stops to include on a West Coast road trip. You could tick off all of these highlights, and more, on a two-week trip.

The Grand Canyon

Stop by the Grand Canyon (Image: Getty Images)

277 miles long and more than a mile deep, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the great natural wonders of the world – and only a two-hour drive from Las Vegas, making it a great starting point for a West Coast road trip. The Colorado River has eroded the canyon over the course of the last six million years, exposing over two billion years of the Earth’s geological history. The Grand Canyon sits at the heart of a National Park, brimming with great hikes and outdoor activities.

Hoover Dam

As it winds out of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River meets the Hoover Dam – one of the world’s most impressive feats of engineering. Taking more than five years to build and opened in the late 1930s, the 725ft dam was first conceived as a way of controlling flooding but is now a major source of power for the states of Nevada and Arizona.

Death Valley

Heading towards California from the Hoover Dam, within three hours you’ll reach Death Valley – at almost 300ft below sea level, it’s the lowest point of elevation in North America, and has an extreme microclimate. In July 1913, a temperature of 56.7C was recorded here, which remains a world record. Temperatures regularly reach the high forties in the summer, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen if you plan on jumping out of your air-conditioned car for a selfie or two!

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