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With fifty states each having their own culture, attractions, and heritage, the United States of America is incredibly diverse. Weeks and months of exploring are not quite sufficient to fully experience the wonders of the vast Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Hit the streets of New York for some big city buzz. Head to Boston to catch historic sights, and visit the beaches of Cape Cod. In New England, watch the fall colours amongst the picturesque towns of Vermont and New Hampshire, and eat the renowned lobster in remote Maine. Visit the museums of the National Mall in Washington DC and historic Philadelphia and Williamsburg in Virginia.

Explore the slow pace and languid pleasures of the South, in captivating Charleston, sultry Savannah, and the amazing jazz of New Orleans. In Florida, take the kids to Walt Disney World in Orlando, and view the colourful Art Deco architecture of Miami. In Texas, soak up the Austin music scene and lively festivals of San Antonio, and sample some authentic Texas barbecue.

In Arizona, marvel at the breathtaking Grand Canyon. Visit Native American sites in New Mexico, the casinos of Las Vegas, and the Mojave Desert. California offers the glaciers of Yosemite National Park, the wine tours of Napa Valley, and beautiful San Francisco. Take a photo in front of Los Angeles' iconic Hollywood sign. The all-American Midwest has the great architecture of Chicago, and the pleasant Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St Paul.

Drive through the great plains of Kansas and Nebraska. See the carved faces of presidents on Mt Rushmore, the wildlife and geysers of Yellowstone National Park, and the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Experience the coffee culture of Seattle and the progressive charm of Portland. Relax on the beaches of volcanic Hawaii, and enjoy the fresh seafood of faraway Alaska.

Straddling multiple time zones, America is a huge country. With reasonably priced flights and airports in most cities, flying is the best way to travel coast-to-coast or get around in a hurry. For a cheaper alternative, take a bus. They connect larger towns and cities, and usually depart from bus stations. Or get on the Amtrak train for a scenic rail journey.

Most Americans, however, get around in their own cars on America's extensive highway network. If time permits, a road-trip allows you to explore rural America at your own leisure. Rent a car or a campervan, or for the adventurous, a motorbike like a Harley.

Public transport is noticeably scarce except in large cities. In smaller towns, you'll have to drive, or take a taxi.

  • Do bring photo identification (your passport is best) when going for drinks. Bars will check to make sure that customers are over the legal age of 21.
  • Don’t bring drinks out of the bar as in most states walking on the street with alcohol in plain sight is not allowed. Instead, many shops will give you a brown bag to keep beer out of sight.
  • Do be on time, as punctuality is important.
  • Don't call black people “negro”. Instead, call them African-American.
  • Don't forget to tip. Tips make up a large part of service employee salaries. In a restaurant, tip about 15-20%.

Many things are big in America, and this includes your food. Portions tend to be large, and many a tourist struggles to finish his meal. Some travel advice: don't order too much, share a main course with your travel companions, or ask for a "doggy bag" to take the leftovers home.

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday that falls on the fourth Thursday in November. Traditionally, families get together for a special meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie. After eating, many shop - the day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, where stores have special discounts to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season.

Flights to the USA

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