Currency: US Dollar
Drives On: Right
Phone Code: +1
Capital: Washington DC
National Day: July 4
Internet Domain: .us
Electrical Outlets: Type A
US World Heritage Sites: 23
The United States of America is my home country. It is one of the world’s largest nations in terms of land area and population count. With a population of over 315 million, it is the third most populated country in the world. The country is divided into 50 states wherein each state has their own set of laws and policies. Rhode Island is the smallest of all 50 states while Alaska is the largest state.
The country has the world’s largest economy and the most diverse population. Therefore, the United States of America has a strong influence on international economic and political affairs. The USA declared its independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. The seat of the country is located in Washington, DC.
History of the United States
The history of the United States is fascinating. The country is characterized by its diversity and this is partly due to the long-standing history and all the events that transpired over the years to form the landscape of the US.
Native Americans had settled in the US for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European explorers. In 1607, English people came to what is known in the modern day as Jamestown, Virginia. A few other people from other parts of Europe also flocked to the colonies and they were mostly from England, Great Britain, Spain, France, and The Netherlands.
The United States declared independence on July 4, 1776. The win at the Revolutionary War also meant that the new country was established. George Washington was named as the first US President after he led during the war. However, the country continued its struggle over the years with slavery as one of its biggest issues. By the 20th century, the US experienced two world wars but they emerged from both those wars and is now considered as a world power – as one of the most powerful countries in the world.
US Travel Basics
Connectivity: No nationwide WiFi available, however, there are several commercial and public establishments that offer free WiFi hot-spot. There are also several companies offering wireless internet access to subscribers.
International Airports: According to AirportTechnology.com, Atlanta’s HartsfieldJackson International Airport is the busiest airport in the United States with an average monthly passenger count of 7.8 million (as of 2013). Other notable American airports are Los Angeles’ LAX International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Automotive Transportation Car travel is by far the most popular form of transportation in the United States. The United States has more miles of road, more cars, and more cars per capita than any other country. The Interstate Highway system connects most major cities and stretches across the entire country. Many state and local highways are often of a similar quality to the Interstate system. In only a few major US cities is it inadvisable to drive. In particular in Manhattan and San Francisco, parking and operating a car can be very expensive. Other cities such as Los Angeles are known for their dense traffic. Click to rent cars in the US.
Visa Requirement: A visa is required for all visitors to the US; however, there are varying processes or requirements for each type of VISA whether you are applying for a tourist, working or student visa. If you are applying for a tourist VISA, you cannot accept employment in the USA. It is also important to note that not all VISA applications are approved. Tourists issued a B2 VISA are eligible for up to a 6month stay in the USA.
Crime: Since the early 1990s, there has been a significant decline in crime rate in the USA. According to the crime report in the US, Camden in New Jersey and Chester in Pennsylvania are the top two cities with the highest crime rates by neighborhood.
Cuisine in the US
The United States of America is a melting pot of various cultures. And since food is a huge part of the culture, you can also expect that there will be a variety of cuisines that you can enjoy when you travel to the United States. The cuisine of the US also reflects its history. The cooking methods of Early Native Americans were influenced by the European invaders. Thus, the fusion is of the prevailing characteristics of the American cuisine that takes influences from international, as well as regional elements.
Within the US, there are also different types of regional cuisine that can be attributed to that particular region. In New England states like Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, they use a lot of seafood in their dishes like the famous clam chowder.
The Mid-Atlantic region is all about international cuisine due to the influx of immigrants to cities like New York or Philadelphia. The cuisines available in these cities include British, Italian, German, Dutch, Irish, and Jewish. Other notable dishes from this part of the US are the New York strip steak, Philadelphia cheese steak, crab cake, New York-style cheesecake, and New York-style pizza.
A few other notable dishes from the US include shrimp gumbo, Creole dishes from Louisiana, chili con carne, nachos with cheese, chimichanga, Chicago deep dish pizza, and more.
Regions of the United States
With 50 states in total, travel to the United States can easily take months if you want to fully experience the sights and attractions it has to offer. It is therefore important to know about the top destinations that the country has to offer if you want to be able to maximize your visit.
Since the USA is one of the largest countries in the world, you can plan your destinations for travel to the United States according to different regions. Each region will have a unique experience to offer. Thus, it is also great if you want to experience something specific during your travel to the United States as you can choose the region to visit accordingly.
This region of the United States is best known for its rugged and eco-friendly atmosphere. As the name implies, this region is also located close to the Pacific Ocean, which provides endless opportunities for recreation for tourists who visit the area. It is often referred to as the wet green pocket of America. Hence, the locals have a passion for farm-to-table produce, microbreweries, national parks, and organic wineries. This region is progressive and yet it offers an easy-going lifestyle.
TheTravel to the United States won’t be complete without a trip to the American Southwest region. It is probably the most popular region in the US to visit for domestic and international tourists alike. This region is characterized by its wide stretching prairies and desert lands. Hence, visitors can immerse in the impressive landscapes and rock formations that took millions of years to form. The spectacular sights in the Southwest region of the US are concentrated within the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, California, and Utah.
The American Midwest is one of the major regions in the US and is recommended for anyone who wants to travel to the United States. It encompasses 12 states in total including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. It represents the Interior Plain of the US and also some parts of the Appalachian Mountain range. The major rivers in the US are also part of this region namely the Ohio River, Mississippi River, and Missouri River.
The Northeast region of the United States has a chock full of sights and attractions to explore. You will get to explore small maritime villages, adventure travel, skyscrapers, nature hikes, monuments, cultural explorations, and New York City!
The Southern region of the United States is another tourist favorite. There are plenty of sights to see and explore in the South since there are plenty of culture and history. There is also a lot of diversity in terms of landscape, music and food. If you want to explore these when you travel to the United States, there are several sights and attractions that you cannot afford to miss. Get to discover the history and culture of the South when you explore these areas.
Highlights: Savannah (Georgia), Charleston (South Carolina), New Orleans (Louisiana), Nashville (Tennessee), Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Facts You Might Not Know About the US
Want to learn more about the US? Here are a few facts that you might not know about:
- There are 50 states in the US. Rhode Island is the smallest state while Alaska is the largest state.
- Alaska is one of the 50 states in the US. It also earns the recognition as the northernmost, westernmost and easternmost state. The reason for this is that some parts of Alaska stretch far out that it can reach the Eastern hemisphere. In addition, Alaska is also home to the longest coastline in the US.
- Two of the largest mountain ranges in the US are the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. There are also several major river systems in the US but among the largest are Mississippi, Missouri, and Colorado Rivers.
- It is third in the world in terms of size (only Russia and Canada are larger). It is also third in the world when it comes to population, following China and India.
- Before the European settlers came to explore the “New World” in the 17th century, most of the US is inhabited by the native people. They became displaced when the European settlers arrived in the land of the US and established their colonies.
- Throughout its history, the US is known as the land of immigrants. This is evidenced by the diverse population in the US with residents coming from all over the world.
- The deepest lake in the US is found in Oregon – Crater Lake. It has a depth of nearly 600 meters.
Top Attractions in the US
- Walt Disney World: This is a well-known Disney-themed park, which is located in Orlando, Florida. This comprehensive park consists of various theme parks, resorts, shopping, and dining. Each of the themed parks that are found within Walt Disney World features a wide range of rides and shows that you can explore during your visit. The four theme parks in Walt Disney World are as follows: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
- Golden Gate Bridge: This is one of the most iconic landmarks in the US. No travel to the United States, especially in California, would be complete without a trip to the Bay area to see the iconic art deco suspension bridge. This bridge was constructed in 1933 and connects the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
- White House: This is a political landmark located in the country’s capital – Washington DC. It is the official residence and place of work for the President of the United States. This is where the US Presidents have lived since the 1800s when US President John Adams was elected to office.
- Statue of Liberty: Located in Liberty Island, New York, this colossal sculpture is a gift from France to the US. It is more than just a sculpture though; it has become a symbol of freedom for the Americans.
- Yosemite National Park: This is another US icon and is one of the most visited national parks in the country. It is part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The park is most popular for the giant and ancient sequoia trees and the Tunnel View.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park: The fact that this is the most visited national park in the US can attest to its popularity as a tourist attraction. Located in Tennessee, this national park consists of a sprawling landscape filled with lush forests, streams, rivers, and waterfalls. There are also hiking routes that are part of a section of the Appalachian Trail.
- Grand Canyon National Park: Speaking of an American icon, the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is another can’t-miss attraction when you travel to the United States. It is best known for the layered bands of red rock that were formed millions of years ago. It is therefore visited by geological history enthusiasts and those who want to enjoy panoramic views of the canyons and the Colorado River.
Other popular tourist attractions in the US are:
- Central Park
- Empire State Building
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Arches National Park
- Las Vegas Strip
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
- Florida Keys
- National Mall
- Niagara Falls
Top Photos of the US
US Travel Posts and Youtube Channels
- Top 32 USA Cities For Travelers
- United States Podcasts
- Visit the USA | Official Tourism Youtube Channel
- New York City Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
- 5 U.S. Cities to Visit on a Budget – Travel Channel
- Road Trip: Travel Through Scenic Montana in 90 Seconds | National Geographic
Books about US Travel
- 50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do. Written by Joe Yogerst for National Geographic, this richly illustrated book compiles the best experiences and sights that each city has to offer.
- Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to all 59 National Parks (Second edition). This award-winning guide is written by Michael Joseph Oswald. It brings 450 photos, 50 hiking tables, and 160 revised maps in one book.
- 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die
- The Most Scenic Drives in America
- Visas for the United States
Online Resources for the United States
- 2 Days in Philadelphia: What to Do and Where to Eat
- United States Pinterest Board
- National Park Service Sites in the United States
- Territories of the United States