1. New England's autumn foliage

The display of autumn colour is always brief but the East Coast's is billed as one of the greatest shows on Earth. With its white church steeples and colonial homes, New England is reputed to be the best place to catch it. The dramatic changes of colour begin in the northern New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire) in late September, and in late October in the southern New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts Rhode Island). See the Discover New England website for suggestions of foliage maps and drives, and autumn food festivals.

2. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls, the Horseshoe, the American and the Bridal Veil, straddling the US-Canada (New York state and Ontario) border. The American and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls are on the US side. These combined falls form the world's highest flow rate of any waterfall, with a drop of more than 50m.


3. Alaskan wildlife

Alaska's wilderness hosts thriving populations of wildlife - bears, moose and eagles. The Alaska subspecies of moose is the world's largest and the state also contains 98 per cent of the US brown bear population. Eight species of whales are found in the cold Alaskan waters.

4. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

With its two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, this park was established in 1916 on the island of Hawaii. The park has hundreds of lava tubes, steam vents, sea arches, cracks and caves, plus active craters and calderas.

5. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Florida

Millions of tourists visit this park each year to see the only living coral reef in the continental US. The park covers 611sq km of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps, extending 4.8km into the Atlantic Ocean.

Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com.