Central Park and the New York skyline

Trips of a lifetime: the historic East Coast of the USA

In a country that’s famous for great road trips – from Route 66 to the Pacific Coast Highway – the USA’s East Coast is up there with the best of them. Take a tour of the Atlantic seaboard where America’s historical homeland meets its modern-day metropolises

Boats on Charles River backdropped by the Boston skyline

Exploring the best of Boston

Boston is a beautiful New England city where gleaming glass towers sit comfortably alongside iconic and historic landmarks. Once you’ve settled into the Premier Corner Suite at Mandarin Oriental, Boston and taken in those stunning views of Back Bay, it’s time to kick off your American trip. Start with a private tour of the 4km-long Freedom Trail and visit 16 historical sites across the city, from Boston Common (the oldest city park in the USA) to Faneuil Hall – a marketplace and historic meeting hall. Back at the hotel, the five-star spa is ready and waiting to soothe tired feet and prepare you for more adventures.

Wake up early and start the morning with the short stroll to Boston Public Library (pictured below) near Copley Square. Founded in 1848, it houses the remarkable personal collection of John Adams, the second president of the United States. If you’re visiting Monday to Thursday, book on to a private tour to enjoy the artworks of Daniel Chester French and John Singer Sargent. For literature lovers, the American institution of Brattle Book Shop is a must. The tiny store houses hundreds of rare finds, which spill on to the pavement outside.

Reading room at Boston Public Library

To sample some of Boston’s renowned clam chowder, stop by one of America’s oldest restaurants, the Union Oyster House – it’s been serving locals since 1826. Or for a modern take on the city’s seafood staples, go all-out at the brilliant B&G Oysters in South End for chef Barbara Lynch’s celebrated lobster rolls – and even hone your oyster-shucking skills at one of its masterclasses. When you’re ready to start your journey proper, jump into a relaxing First Class carriage on an Amtrak train to New York – and spot glimpses of the coast on your way through Connecticut.

Visitors pass through the The American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Taking in the top sights in New York

Easing into Penn Station, you’ll emerge into the bright and bustling heart of the city. Hail a cab and make the eight-minute journey up Eighth Avenue to check in to the Presidential Suite at Mandarin Oriental, New York for panoramic views of the famous Manhattan cityscape, sky-high from the 53rd floor. Suitably rested, head east to Fifth Avenue to explore Museum Mile and spend your day in the company of some of the world’s oldest artefacts and finest art at The Met (pictured above). Don’t miss the rooftop bar – it offers painting-worthy views of 160-year-old Central Park. At the Museum of the City of New York, you can uncover the birth of NYC in 1624 at its NY at Its Core exhibition. Book a private and personalised tour with one of the museum’s scholars and you’ll hear all about the city’s hidden history.

After a good night's sleep and breakfast in bed, wander to Wall Street in Lower Manhattan to stand on the site where George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States, and see first-hand where the past meets the present as the modern street grid is disrupted by the city’s historic lanes. For a touch of New York’s culinary history, lunch at opulent Barbetta, whose great chandelier once belonged to the Italian royal family. Opened in the Theater District in 1906, it’s the oldest Italian restaurant in New York, serving everyone from presidents and visiting dignitaries to rock stars.

For the last leg of your journey from New York to Washington, D.C., hit the open road by renting a car with Hertz using your exclusive Fans of M.O. benefits. You can even make a pit stop on the way at Philadelphia to say a quick hello to the famous Liberty Bell.

View of the Washington Monument and cherry blossom trees lining the Tidal Basin

Discovering Washington, D.C.

You’ve arrived at your final stop, America’s capital and the historic heart of the USA. Check in to the Oriental Suite at Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C. for unrivalled views of the city’s rich heritage, including the Jefferson Memorial. Start your visit with a bite to eat by walking along the modernised Wharf to visit the famous Municipal Fish Market. It’s been serving up fresh seafood since 1805. Or alternatively make your way to charming Georgetown to discover the redbrick sidewalks and townhouses in Washington, D.C.’s oldest district, and dine at Georgetown stalwart, Martin’s Tavern – it’s said to be where JFK proposed to Jackie Onassis.

Of course, you can’t visit Washington D.C. without seeing some of its most iconic sites, from The White House to the 555-feet-tall Washington Monument (pictured above). And for those consumed with cultural curiosity, head to the 160-year-old Renwick Gallery – known as America’s Louvre – before booking a private tour of the National Gallery of Art, where you’ll get the undivided attention of one of its dedicated art historians. Restore tired bodies at the Spa back at the hotel – considered one of the best and most comprehensive holistic spas in the city – with a signature Cherry Blossom Treatment. To finish off your East Coast adventure in style, head for a well-deserved glass of bubbly at the Empress Lounge.

Taxis line up outside The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

An art insider's guide to The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s great art institutions, but where do you start? Our art expert on how to make the most of your visit, from the must-see artworks to the insider tricks