Welcome to Visit-the-World's USA section ...
America, or to give it its full correct name, the United States of America, USA for short, is a vast country covering 3,614,170 square miles in total. Most of it lies in one block of 48 contiguous States, south of Canada and north of Mexico, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west.
There are also two outlying States; Alaska, an immense wilderness northwest of northern Canada and Hawaii, comprising of 20 islands in the Pacific Ocean, 2400 miles west of California.
Therefore, to visit the whole of the USA, can involve a lot of lengthy travel. So most Americans conduct internal travel by air, because of the great distances between regions. The price of flights in the U.S is extremely competitive. It has the world's cheapest, most extensive, internal air network and also a good system of interstate highways. The rail network is poorly developed by European standards and carries mostly freight.
Spanning a continent, and extending far into the Pacific Ocean in Alaska and Hawaii, the USA displays a full range of climatic conditions. Mean annual temperatures range from 84 degrees Fahrenheit in Florida to minus 18 degrees F in Alaska. The USA's weather is frequently dramatic. Tornadoes, cyclones, floods, thunderstorms, heavy snowfalls and droughts are common in some areas.Yet, in other regions, the weather can be very benign! There is a tremendous variety!
There is also quite a variety of topography. The main features are the fairly low-lying coastal strip down most of the East, or Atlantic, coast; the high Appalachian Mountains, inland of that, running in a chain from New York State in the north to Tennessee in the south; the string of five Great Lakes along the Canadian border; the great broad river valleys, drained by the Mississippi-Missouri Rivers and their many tributaries, like the Ohio, Arkansas and Red Rivers. These last two, along with the Missouri, drain the vast great plains of the American Mid West, from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.
Then moving west, one comes to the spectacular Rocky Mountains, stretching all the way from Alaska, in the far north, through Canada and across the whole USA, to the Mexican border. West of the Rockies is the dry, desert-like Great Basin Region of Nevada; then the Sierra Nevada mountain range; the rich, irrigated, Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and finally the Coast Ranges of mountains, as one finally arrives at the west, or Pacific, coast. Admittedly, this is a broad generalisation of the geography of a vast area!
There are some wonderfully scenic, natural attractions to be seen and visited along the way, apart from those just mentioned. To mention some of the most notable: Monument Valley in Arizona with its striking wind-carved red sandstone rock formations, featured in a thousand Western movies; Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in Wyoming; Death Valley and Yosemite National Park in California; the Everglades of Florida; Glacier National Park in Montana; Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and last, but certainly not least, the beautiful Painted Desert and mind-blowing Grand Canyon of Arizona . Nothing quite prepares the first-time visitor for the sheer scale of the Grand Canyon. It is about 250 miles long, 10 miles wide, in places, and about a mile deep. Phenomenal! This is a "must-see" attraction for all tourists visiting the South-West of America.
In the North-East, there is another "must-see" natural attraction, viz Niagara Falls. This impressive waterfalls is in New York State, at the western end of Lake Ontario, on the border with Canada. Many visitors prefer to stay on the more touristy Canadian side of the border. It is yet another fantastic natural phenomenon.
America, of course, has great cities that are of massive interest to travellers.
New York, with the Statue of Liberty signalling a welcome, is the gateway to America for many. The Empire State building is well-worth seeing, along with all the other skyscrapers. Of course, the tragedy of 9/11 removed the very biggest of New York's iconic buildings. But "the Big Apple" with Broadway, Central Park, Times Square and Manhattan amongst its attractions, is one of the leading cities in the world.
Of course, Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is the true home of the skyscraper. This vibrant city in IIlinois is the capital of the Mid-West.
Meanwhile, New Orleans, in Louisiana on the Mississippi Delta, still has a French air in parts, after having once been owned by France. This is reflected in the food of the Creole Restaurants; the architecture of the Vieux Carre, or Old French Quarter and the annual joyous Mardi Gras jazz festival.
New Orleans is the home of jazz, of course, and still boasts some of the world's finest jazz musicians; most of them being black Americans.
Nashville, Tennessee , on the other hand, is the home of American Country Music, which was the music of ordinary white southerners, evolved from Irish and British folk music. It is now a great favourite with millions of fans all around the world.
The U.S capital, Washington D.C has wonderful architectural icons worth seeing, amongst them the White House, Capitol, Pentagon and the Lincoln Memorial.
Boston, Massachusetts, with its strong Irish influence, is another great city and a wonderful base for exploring the picturesque New England region. This is a highly popular destination in the Fall, or Autumn, as the leaves on the trees turn a myriad beautiful shades of red, brown and gold.
On the west coast, Los Angeles is a huge sprawl of a city, without a real centre, but here the film industry's famous Hollywood suburb is a magnet for millions of star-struck ordinary folk as they hope to catch glimpses of their favourite film, or TV stars out shopping or whatever!
Inland of L.A is the real "bright lights" of America, in the middle of an empty desert. This is, of course, the leading gambling centre in the world .... Las Vegas, Nevada. Here you will see all sorts of shows and brightly -lit family attractions.....always within a few yards of a roulette table!!
The most attractive city on the American west coast or anywhere in the world is, without a doubt, San Francisco. With its superbly scenic setting over-looking San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge; its attractive period housing; the harbour area of Fisherman's Wharf and its proximity to the wonderful scenery of Yosemite National Park, the Sacramento Valley and the rugged Californian coast-line. Along with a Mediterranean climate San Francisco has a great deal going for it. The mists created by the cold Alaskan Current are probably one of the few minuses. This may make it a bit cool on the beach sometimes, but the quality of the beaches on America's west coast are truly superb. It is the same all around the huge American coast-line from New England to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
There is so much room compared to Europe. Hawaii is another fantastic holiday location for beach holidays...in tropical weather, even!!
Finally, the Orlando district of Florida is a"must-see" place for children of all ages, from 2 to 92! Sea World, Universal Studios, Epcot and Disneyworld etc. are wonderful, world-beating tourist attractions. They all provide tremendous value-for-money and world-class entertainment.
The United States of America is so vast, that it is impossible to list everything in a few hundred words. The best plan is to go and see for yourself!! Why not choose a cheap flight from Visit-the-world.co.uk?
See also: Visit Florida