Best Indian Holiday Ideas for Americans Visiting for the First Time

Best Indian Holiday Ideas for Americans Visiting for the First Time
Last Updated: July 25, 2018

So, after mulling over the idea of where to plan a holiday abroad, India is the destination that you have shortlisted? Then this blog is for you. Since it will be your first time in a country that has culture and values in contrast with your own, you must be a bit worried, not to mention curious as well. What you as American need to know about India, is that it is truly a land of contrast, so much so that it has fine lines that separate its one region from another beckoning a good chance for you to relish a variety of flavours. Not to mention, the country do have some setbacks that you might not appreciate or may comprehend but we’re sure you would want to return if not extend your vacation once you start exploring it.

Here are some of the best holiday ideas in India for where to go and what to see if you are a first-time American tourist seeking a vacation of a lifetime:

Beach Holiday

Beach Holiday in India


India boasts of some sublime beach destinations that can definitely be your Vitamin Sea supplement. There is Goa, the most visited beach destination that flaunts a spectacular coastline, vibrant nightlife, beaches lined with shacks serving delicious seafood and flea markets that have adorable trinkets and things to buy. The live music seen, thrilling water sports, and the laidback life can certainly win your heart in Goa. This top visited place in India is also safe for solo travelling along with being a great hub for family travel.

In case, you are not someone who enjoys crowded places, but beach getaway is your vacation idea then India has to offer you two off the mainland destinations, Andaman Islands and Lakshadweep. These islands of India are a piece of paradise with white sand beaches and unspoilt surroundings which also have some great resorts for a stay along with thrilling experiences to relish like scuba diving. Andaman and Lakshadweep both make for excellent destinations for travelling with kids as they are safe and replete with activities for your little ones to enjoy.

Gokarna is another brilliant choice for a beach holiday in India. Situated in the state of Karnataka, Gokarna seems to be following the footsteps of its neighbour Goa, only it is much quieter. There is plenty to explore here ranging from beaches to temples to nearby beautiful destinations that are ideal to visit for international travellers. Watersports and the opportunity to practice Yoga by the seaside are the things that make it a destination that you do not want to miss in India.

However, if you ask for my personal favourite, I would swear by Mahabalipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu. This east coast town is like a memory that never fades. Also known as Mamallapuram, this scenic beach destination boasts azure waters, golden sand and the beautiful budget resorts overlooking the sea. But that’s not all this lovely place has to offer, you’d be in for surprise with an active cafe culture in this lesser known place. Mahabalipuram also has a few historical monuments and temples for your sightseeing tour but most of all, its the sea and the chance to surf combination that will make you fall in love with this place. This destination in South India is also ideal for solo travellers.

Cultural Trip

Cultural Tour to India The culture kaleidoscope in India is indeed the best experience one can vouch for. Amongst the places that have melt the hearts of the tourists for possessing an opulent culture and traditions is Rajasthan. This popular destination in India is an ideal place to witness a rich culture that is backed by equally opulent history. Rajasthan’s culture is reflected in its imposing forts and palaces (havelis); music and dance; handicraft; and its flavoursome food. The state that boasts housing top travel destinations for foreign tourists in India like Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Pushkar and Jodhpur can be a wonderful experience to relish as a first-time visitor. Stay in the heritage hotels for the best experience of this royal state. These historical places in India, mostly luxury ensure you a peek inside the life of the kings and queens of Rajasthan along with rendering you an opportunity to enjoy several leisure activities that were part of the lifestyle of the royals.

It is true that almost every state in India flaunts a rich and unique culture but then there are several states that possess diverse culture and traditions in its varied regions. Well, that the beauty of India, it has the potential to stun the visitors with its vividness. For your cultural tour in India, you can also visit the South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka that have a lot to offer to you in terms of food, dance forms, and festivals. If you are someone who keeps interest in exploring the culture of lesser-known destinations, then Northeast India (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura) has a lot in store for you. From headhunting tribes to women dominated households, Northeast India is a flavour that spice up your India tour. Regions of East and West India also offer a good chance to witness the diversity of cultural contrast in the country.

Give Your Taste Buds a New and Different Flavour to Relish

Indian Cuisines


No, we will neither deny that Indians are curry lovers nor that most of the dishes in the country are curry-based. But then, the country is able to prepare delectable curries of various textures, which are indeed worth giving a try. So, while you are on a holiday in India, don’t miss a chance to enjoy a food tour in the country. If you detest the idea of binging on a spicy(hot) dish that might burn your tongue and give you a grumbling stomach, go for lighter preparations like Gujarati Kadhi, Daal, cream-based curries.

Also, Indian cuisine is replete with a number of rice dishes that have a mild flavour. You can try less-spicy Biryani, Pulao of various kinds and dessert prepared with rice like zarda and kheer. India is a paradise for those with a sweet tooth, even though the bakery culture is yet to prosper, the country has almost 100+ variety of desserts and sweets to savour that are prepared by traditional methods. The best places to try Indian food are of course its major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Hyderabad. But if you are not afraid of trying flavours of Indian spices, then the entire country is your paradise.

Note: One of the best travel tips for Americans travelling to India is when trying a new main course meal, ask for a bowl of plain or lightly flavoured curd to go with it. Always ask the host to serve you only mild dishes, and do give desserts a try.

Yoga Retreats

India Yoga Tours There can never be a better place for you to get the best Yoga experience than the country of its origin. Though there are a number of places that are ideal for a Yoga tour in India, Rishikesh remains matchless. On the bank of sacred Ganga River in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, Rishikesh is one of the holy tourism places that await to embrace all those in search of rejuvenation of mind, body, and soul. The city is replete with Ashrams (centres for Yoga) that you can enroll for varied Yoga courses. In the lap of Himalayas, this place promises the best Yoga retreat to you. Apart from Rishikesh, Munger in Bihar, Goa, Mysore, Pune, Dharamkot and Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh, Auroville in Puducherry (Pondicherry), Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in Kerala, and Lonavala in Maharashtra are some of the best Yoga destinations in India. These destinations along with offering you the best ambiance and courses for Yoga also draw your attention towards unmatched spirituality and philosophy that India has kept intact for all these years. You can check our blog for other popular Yoga retreats in the country.

Visit the Famous Destinations in India

Famous Attractions in India Kerala Even though it is the Taj Mahal that must have inspired you to plan a trip to India, but you should know there is so much more to draw your attention in the country. So, apart from ticking sighting the Taj Mahal off your travel bucket list, you must add some popular tourist attractions like Ghats in Varanasi; Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad; the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan; Golden Temple in Amritsar; Hampi in Karnataka; and Lake Palace in Udaipur as sightseeing sites in your travel itinerary. India boasts diverse and a plethora of architecture marvels that complete a traveller’s list. From the Rajputana palace in Rajasthan to the Dravidian temples in South India, there are attractions that might make you sigh in awe.

The country also houses some surreal places like Kashmir, Ladakh, Sikkim and Lahaul & Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh that have a breathtaking landscape. Therefore, if you are someone who enjoys staying amidst nature, these are the places to visit in India. Have a spiritual inclination? Well, India is the best country to satiate your thirst. It has the finest melange of Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Islam, and Christianity, the country has a religious diversity unlike any other place. Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Amritsar in Punjab, and Madurai and Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu are amongst the top religious destinations for you to choose from. Want to enjoy urban life in India and see how the people in metropolitans party and maintain a balance between traditional and modern life, then Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata are the places to see. Here is a blog that can help you shortlist the top attractions to see in India.


Skiing Adventure Tour in India Yes, just like in your country, India also offer some great skiing destinations to make you feel at home. So you can definitely choose India for your skiing adventure. Amongst the handful of best ski destinations are Gulmarg in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and Auli in the state of Uttarakhand, both of which enjoy their strategic location in North India. Where Gulmarg boasts housing Asia’s largest cable car project, Gondola, Auli flaunts being the venue for winter games in India. Both these destinations have international standard ski slopes that promise a brilliant skiing experience to you in the month of January. Apart from skiing, these destinations are surrounding by several beautiful places for sightseeing tour. The neighbouring places to these destinations are perfect for a nature lover as well as those wanting to see various aspects of spiritualism.


Wildlife of India Tour When it comes to wildlife, there are fewer countries that can match to the diversity that India has to offer. This spectacular land is home to thousands of varieties of plants and animals and some being exclusive to the country itself. There are many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India that offer a good chance to sight its diversity. Corbett National Park in the state of Uttarakhand alone is home to more than 600 birds and 100+ Royal Bengal Tigers. It is of course one of the most visited national parks in India. For your wildlife tour, you can also choose Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, where the density of tigers is quite high, so is the case in Bandhavgarh National Park in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Periyar National Park in Kerala, Bandipur National Park in Karnataka and Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, also boast a good number tigers for your sighting.

Apart from this, for birdwatchers, India offers Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in Haryana, and Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary in Karnataka as some of the best destinations. Check the complete list of bird sanctuaries in India here. Other than this India has a few national parks where trekking is ideal. Valley of Flowers National Park in Uttarakhand and Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh are two must visit destinations for trekking and camping along with sighting of wildlife. Also, for a unique wildlife experience on your first trip to India, plan a visit to Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur that is known as a Floating National Park; Sunderban National Park in Kolkata, known for its strategic location on world’s largest delta; and Kaziranga National Park, famed for its One-Horned Rhinoceros.

Luxury Holiday

Luxury holiday Tour in India Indian hospitality is unmatched and when it is about the plethora of luxury hotels & resorts, the country boasts premium services and an unforgettable. Therefore, in order to take a look at the rich culture and traditions of India, a Luxury Vacation is ideal for you in the country. Amongst the best places for first holiday in India are Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan; Mumbai in Maharashtra; Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Bengaluru in Karnataka and the capital city, New Delhi. While the luxury destinations in Rajasthan offer an additional charm of royalty in their hospitality, Mumbai and Delhi boasts the availability of all state-of-the-art facilities and amenities to pamper you. Right from the stay to the gastronomic treat to leisure and recreational activities, everything has that refined finesse to it. Therefore, there can be no match to the Indian hospitality that is both warm and impeccable.

India is likely to make you a better traveller, it can change your perspective about a lot of things and make you see beyond what is visible. Therefore, if you have planned a visit to this amazing destination, make most of it with the help of our. If you found this blog useful, please give us a THUMBS UP and SHARE it with someone who is interested in visiting India. In case you need help planning a visit to India, give Tour My India a call at +91-9212553106 or simply drop us an email at We offer great India travel packages and the best holiday ideas for your first trip. So, allow us to be your travel guide for your holiday in India and we will ensure an experience unlike any other.

Published: 20 Jan, 2018
Nidhi Singh


From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

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