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With a continent that has every natural wonder you can ever contemplate, from mightly rivers to majestic mountains, the U.S.A. is a land of utopia for the vising tourist.
Colonial life has left its mark on the East Coast while down South antebellum-style homes grace former plantations. As you move across the Rockies and the plains, you are into the land pioneers and prospectors. While in the southwest Spanish missions are left to remind us that this area once belonged to Spain.
Musically no country has captured the imagination quite like America with Jazz, Blues in the Mississippi delta to the Mowtown sound born in Detroit. Add to that rock and roll, country music, and hip-hop, and you will understand that nearly all modern music we listen to today had its roots in America.
Foodwise, America has a kaleidoscope of tastes that range from steamed lobsters in Maine, crabs in Maryland, ribs in Memphis, and tacos in Mesa. With over four million miles of interstate highways, it’s no wonder Americans love their cars and gives you the perfect opportunity to explore this vast land.
Good to know before traveling to the USA
Currency: American Dollar (USD)
Power voltage and socket type(s): 120V, 60Hz – Type A plug
Official religion(s): 73% Christian
Official languages and general knowledge of English: English. Spanish widely spoken.
Top Things to do in USA
Made famous in countless movies, Niagara Falls is located in Upstate New York along the border with Canada. Spectacularly beautiful, the falls have the fastest flow rate of any waterfall in North America and a vertical drop of more than 50 meters (160 ft).
Administered by the United States government, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. gets over 30 million visitors a year. Highlights at the museum include the natural history and the air & space buildings.
Yellowstone National Park
Encompassing 3,550 square miles of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, Yellowstone National Park is a wilderness recreation area with dramatic scenery and abundant wildlife.
Statue of Liberty
Given to the United States by the nation of France, the Statue of Liberty welcomed millions of immigrants to America. While visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, be sure and stop at Ellis Island to glimpse the past.
Accommodation in the U.S.A.
Finding a place to stay while visiting America should be no problem with plenty of options to suit all tastes and budgets. Prices range from as little as $50 a night for a motel room to hundreds of dollars a night for a hotel room in cities like New York and San Francisco.
When people think of a cheap place to stay, it is always a motel located just off the highway like a Motel 6, Hampton Inn, or a Holiday Inn Express. Because they are all owned by big chains, you can expect uniformity and clean rooms. If you are looking for accommodation in a city like say, New York, avoid midtown Manhattan and find a hotel on the periphery. Expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $100, with prices higher in big cities.
A mid-range hotel in America like a Marriott will set you back around $150-$200 per night. Try and make your booking for the weekend, and you might get a special rate.
An excellent example of a luxury hotel in America would be the Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton chain of properties. Packed full of all the amenities well-heeled travelers expect, a night in either of these hotels will cost you hundreds of dollars.
In recent years renting a room in a private home or an entire apartment has become very popular. To find the right type of accommodation to fill your requirements, we recommend websites like Airbnb.
Do I need a visa to travel to the United States?
Fast-Track: Get your USA Visa here
Generally speaking, everyone needs a visa to travel to the United States unless they are holders of a country’s passport that belongs to the visa waiver program. All European Union, the U.K., Taiwan, and Japan passport holders do not need a visa to travel to the United States.
If you are unsure if you require a visa, check with your nearest United States Embassy or Consulate.
Best time to visit the United States
The United States, for the most part, has a climate similar to Europe with hot summers and cold winters. Florida and Hawaii are exceptions that have a year-round tropical climate. Overall the best to tines of year to visit the United States is in late spring or early fall.
Transportation in the United States
Unless you are in a big city, you can forget about public transport, which means you will need a car. Renting a car in America is easy and straightforward and can be done from any airport or downtown office.
How to get to the United States
Flight: Unless you are coming from Mexico or Canada, you have no option but to arrive in the U.S.A. by air. Most flights from Europe and the Middle East arrive at cities on the East Coast while flights from Asia arrive in Washington State and California. – Check flights here
Train: While it is possible to take a train from Toronto to New York with stops along the way, the journey takes 13 hours. This also does not include a lengthy wait at the border while immigration officials check every passenger. – Check tickets here
Car: You can drive from Mexico and Canada into the United States at various border crossing points. – Check car rentals here
How to get around in the United States
Plane: When people travel around the United States, they nearly always drive or take a flight. Several low-cost carriers like Southwest and Spirit Airlines make flying in the United States relatively inexpensive.
Train: While it is still possible to travel using Amtrak, don’t expect high-speed trains as you find in Europe or Asia. The fastest train in the United States is the Acela Express that runs between Boston and Washington D.C. At some points in the journey, the train reaches a speed of 150 mph, but its average speed is only 68 mph. – Check tickets here
Car: Unless you are in a big city like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, having a car while visiting the United States is necessary.
Public Transport: Buses, trams, and the metro only exist in big cities, and while other places do run public buses, they tend to be infrequent.
Best Food in the United States
When it comes to food, the U.S. has virtually every cuisine covered from traditional Italian food in New York to Creole and Cajun dishes in New Orleans. Steaks, ribs, and seafood are incredibly popular, with every city claiming to be the home of one thing or another.
If you are looking to eat well and not spend a fortune, stick to local and delicatessen neighborhood pizza joints. America also has plenty of all-you-can-eat buffets, including Chinese, that can be excellent value.
Typical food in the United States:
A New England favorite, Clam Chowder is a rich, creamy soup bursting with seafood, bacon and potatoes flavors. Serve with plenty of crusty bread for a hearty winter meal.
While the Italians are credited with inventing pizza, Pizzeria Uno in Chicago, in 1943, took it to the next level by baking the dough in a deep dish. Now with a higher crispy crust, there was more room for the toppings.
The Reuben sandwich
The Reuben is a grilled sandwich composed of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing, grilled between rye bread slices.
Southern Fried Chicken
Brought to America by African slaves, the fried chicken in the southern states is delicious. Forget about Colonel Sanders and try the real thing.
Nothing says American food like apple pie. Made with a double crust pastry filled with a mixture of apple, brown sugar, and lemon juice, apple pie is America’s best-known comfort food.
Best Things to do in the United States for Outdoor travelers
Skiing in Colorado
With 32 top ski resorts, the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado is a mecca for the world’s best skiers. Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Steamboat Springs, and Copper Mountain are just a few of the names you will be familiar with. The ski season in Colorado runs from November till April.
The Northern Lights
One of the most reliable places to see the Aurora Borealis is in Fairbanks, Alaska. Visit during November, December, and January for the planet’s best light show.
Hike Half Dome
Half Dome is a massive granite rock located at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. Following a rigorous hike final 400 ft (120 m) ascent is done with the aid of steel cables fastened into the rock. While it is possible to hike to the top of Half Dome in a day, most people break it up by camping overnight.
An Instagrammers dream Kauai, Hawaii has picture-perfect beaches and a lush interior ideal for hiking. Kauai is also an excellent place to learn to surf or kick back and enjoy a tropical paradise.
Grand Canyon rafting
There is no better way to explore the Grand Canyon than a white-water rafting adventure down the mighty Colorado River. After running the rapids, finish the tour off with a helicopter ride up to the rim.
Marlin Fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Sitting on the edge of the six-mile deep Puerto Rico Trench, the United States Virgin Islands has some of the world’s best game fishing. The waters around the U.S. Virgin Islands account for 24 sportfishing world records, including the massive Blue Marlin.
Snowmobiling in Wyoming
The Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming has 600 miles of snowmobile trails and is one of the best places in the United States to enjoy the great outdoors. Unrivaled scenery and pristine powdery snow make Wyoming an unforgettable adventure.
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