We know, we know, it's weird right? We're talking about them faraway United States. And none of us are even getting fired. What is happening, however, for you and for us, is transatlantic holidaying care of Birmingham Airport. All six of these cities are reachable via BHX with transfer times of an average of one hour and 50 minutes—the indirect flight sweet spot. So stop panicking Heathrow-bound on the M25 and jet away to Uncle Sam from Uncle Brum.
BE FRANK UNDERWOOD FOR A DAYWASHINGTON D.C. - From the comfort of whatever digital device you're currently using, you can book a tour of the Capitol Building right now—you look at statues, art and rooms that really aren't that old to us Brits. But what guidebooks and the world wide web are less keen to tell you is that you can get into a live session of Congress simply by asking the right person. After entering the Capitol (no liquids—not even water—allowed), head to the Senate Appointment Desk (upper level), present your passport and ask for a gallery pass. Legislative history will surely follow. Transfer time: 2 hrs 10 mins (via JFK) with American Airlines. Book
TAKE YOU OUT TO THE BALL GAMEBOSTON - Is there anything more gloriously American than the mystery that is a game of baseball? Even if it takes you the first four innings to begin to figure out what's going on, the ever so stars and stripes food and beverage offering at the ground makes Fenway Park a destination, with or without a home run being smashed out of the stadium. There are eight spots where you can secure cotton candy, eleven places for hot dogs, and sixteen (SIXTEEN!) pretzel stands. The only thing better is the people watching, though that quite possibly goes for the whole of the U.S. Red Sox 2016 Schedule. Transfer time: 1 hr 50 mins (via Reykjavik) with Icelandair. Book
GET ALL NEXT LEVEL ON NASAORLANDO - Take in a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral, or—if you're not willing to bet your entire holiday on prevailing winds—meet a real life astronaut without too much bother at the Kennedy Space Centre. There's a timetable and everything. You can also get familiar with Space Shuttle Atlantis, displayed as she would have been after disengaging from the International Space Station. And given that Atlantis managed 125,935,769 miles, Florida doesn't seem all that far to venture to meet her. Finally, while we haven't been to NASA's visitor HQ for twenty-ish years, if they've still got astronaut's ice-cream—you know what to do. Transfer time: 1 hr 20 mins (via Newark) with United Airlines. Book
GO TO PRISON. THEN GET OUT.SAN FRANCISCO - Tick off huge views, silly good chowder and the West Coast's most notorious jail in an afternoon. Or a morning. Or an evening. When it comes to Alcatraz just book a spot on the tour boat before you fly. Get the obligatory snaps of San Fran's completely red "Golden" Gate Bridge from the water on the way over, and budget a few hours to take in the solitary penitentiary, from which there are no confirmed escapees (despite 36 attempts). On arrival back at Pier 33, head directly to Fisherman's Wharf and the glorious clam chowder at Pier Market, which is served generously in a freshly baked loaf. Transfer time: 1 hr 30 mins (via Newark) with United Airlines. Book
DRINK A HURRICANE AT MARDI GRASNEW ORLEANS - For the uninitiated among you, Hurricanes are a fairly lethal concoction primarily involving rum. You can make the perfect one by mixing two parts light rum, with two parts dar... Okay. You can't. The single way to sink a Hurricane in its absolute prime is to get to Pat O'Brien's (Pat invented the cocktail at his speakeasy in the 1940s in an attempt to make cheap rum more palatable), during Mardi Gras, and listen to the Hot 8 Brass Band while you're doing it. Mardi Gras is on February 28, 2017 and drinking on the streets is completely legal. Transfer time: 1 hr 55 mins (via JFK) with American Airlines. Book
GET A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVECHICAGO - Tour Brum's sister city from the urban expanses of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Known for its bold architecture and skyscraper filled skyline, join the Architecture Foundation River Cruise to get better acquainted with the iconic and sleek John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower and neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. You'll quickly feel like you're in a movie. But if you'd rather feel like you're in an advert, get to a Lou Malnati's for some of the best Chicago town deep dish pizza pie you're ever likely to lay thine eyes on. Supernal stuff. Transfer time: 1 hr 35 mins (via Reykjavik) with Icelandair. Book
READ MORE ABOUT BHX FLIGHTS AND GUIDES TO THE USA, HERE