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It can be hard to homogenize the United States down to a concise list of adjectives, owing to the nation’s proud history as a “melting pot” of people and traditions.

International visitors are often struck by the sheer size of the United States, especially in comparison to the more compact nations of Europe. Tourists with carefully-plotted itineraries including Disneyland, the Big Apple, and the Grand Canyon are often mind-blown by just how much mileage is involved in crisscrossing the nation and the practical infeasibility of exploring more than one region in a single visit. With some of the world’s best-beloved destinations located within its borders, visiting the U.S. really just comes down to prioritizing one’s “to do” list.

The amazing thing about the United States, though, is that any area you visit is going to provide a unique and amazing experience. Regional identity is a real thing in America, and immersion in one part of the country allows you to soak up the distinct flavors of where you are. Whether you opt for the sun-soaked playground that is California, the vast plains of the heartlands, the cultured charm of New England, or the great accents and welcoming vibe of the Deep South, you are assured a fascinating blend of history, food, and music unlike any other.

United States Top Destinations

New England

The heart of America’s history beats strong within New England, the site of some of the country’s original states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut are traditionally grouped together within the area. A serene lifestyle marked by rural beauty is on gorgeous display here, in this region nestled in the nation’s northeast corner along the Atlantic Ocean. You can visit the cradle of the American Revolution, nestle in a cozy bed-and-breakfast stay within a sleepy fishing village, wander deep woods, or enjoy local festivals during the gorgeous (if fleeting) summer. If you are fortunate enough to visit in autumn, you’ll be treated to some of nature’s most stunning theatrics by way of the fall foliage. The trees’ leaves turn colors of russet, orange, and yellow as they prepare to die off for the winter, turning scenic drives and quiet neighborhoods into fiery spectacles! Interestingly enough (for all its rustic charm and quaint colonial trappings), New England also contains Boston, one of the U.S.’s largest and most vibrant big cities. Historic, diverse, and exceedingly cultured, it should be considered a can’t-miss check mark on visitors’ lists.

Alaska

Alaska is separated from the continental United States by much more than geography. This enormous, remote state is located in the Arctic Circle, and is far less densely-populated than anywhere else in the country. Alaska has been called America’s last frontier, and the name is apt: it’s wilder and more untamed than just about anywhere else. Adventure-seekers will find much to engross them here—there are mountains to climb, glaciers to trek, rivers to fish, and vast, tranquil lakes on which to go boating. Alaska can also boast the auroral spectacle of the Northern Lights, a dazzling meteorological display usually associated with far-flung polar getaways like Iceland. It’s not the only one, either. In summer months, the midnight sun will confuse and fascinate you, giving you that much more light with which to explore this unforgettable land.

New York City

Welcome to the Big Apple! The US’s most-populous city also ranks high among the world’s largest metro areas, and is in every way a global city. As dizzyingly hectic as it is welcoming and enchanting, this is a city that will never let you exhaust your list of things to see and do. Each of NYC’s five boroughs is very much possessed of its own personality and vibration, to say nothing of all the individual neighborhoods and landmarks contained therein. Almost every experience is iconic here: taking in a show on Broadway, visiting the Statue of Liberty, strolling Central Park or Times Square, noshing on delectable diner and street food, losing yourself in the Met, or letting the subway whisk you away to your next destination. World-class hotels, dining, and shopping can impress even the most jaded world traveler. There’s no way you’ll drink it all in within a single visit, but that’s okay: the best way to experience New York is simply to let all the noise, colors, and life break over you like a wave.

Grand Canyon

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the great natural wonders of the United States. Carved out over millions of years by the Colorado River and displaying rock strata with billions of years of history, the mile-deep canyon would be an attraction simply by dint of its extraordinary and marvelous geology. Add to that its status as one of the country’s premier active sporting destinations, and you have the ideal recipe for an unforgettable vacation! Visit fascinating American Indian reservations accessible by horseback, test your hiking boots on one of the many famous trails, spring for a guided Jeep tour of the canyon, or set out on a multi-day whitewater rafting adventure marked by breathtaking scenery and jovial companionship. And then, of course, there’s perhaps the best way to take in the size and scope of the canyon: via aerial view from a helicopter tour hovering high overhead!

Southern California

Sun-soaked SoCal is iconic for good reason. Graced by lots of golden sun and a near-perfect climate, it’s always a treat… and that doesn’t even touch upon the extensive laundry list of attractions. Within Los Angeles County alone you have a handful of famous destinations, including Hollywood, Pasadena, Malibu, and Santa Monica. You can visit the Walk of Fame, take a star-studded driving tour, or scope out celebrities at a posh cafe! Some of the country’s best beaches are in this region, and if you love surfing, there’s no place quite like the Pacific coast. Within this region is also gorgeous San Diego, home to one of America’s finest zoos and some of the best weather around. If you are touring with children, you won’t want to miss Orange County’s Anaheim: it’s the site of both the Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm theme parks, and another balmy, beautiful place to visit.

Quick Facts

Capital: Washington, D.C.
Primary Airports: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
Government: Federal Republic
Currency: U.S. Dollar (USD)
Population: 316,451,000 (2013 est.)
Language: English
Electricity: 120V/60Hz (Type “A” plug)
Time Zone: UTC -4 to -10
United States

United States Travel Reviews


attended a destination wedding

jeremy

Staying at the Westin and walking along the Kaanapali coast was wonderful. It has the most amazing snorkling available by walking straight off the beach. Head over to Blackrock to see sea turtles and larger fish. Rent gear locally, it is cheap!

Trip Rating:
Destinations Visited: United States

LA trip magic castle hotel

Nicole

We stayed at the Magic Castle Hotel in Los Angeles. This hotel is a must if you travel to this location. It is a small hotel but. The service and attention to details is great. It even provides free snacks and laundry. My husband had the flu and they even went out to a deli to get him some soup.

It provides free breakfast but does not have a an on site restaurant. There are so many I. The vecinity that it is not a requirement.

Trip Rating:
Destinations Visited: United States

Summer Adventures in Hawaii

Rebecca

We traveled to four of the Hawaiian Islands. On each island we were able to experience different fun and exciting adventures. While we were in Honolulu, we rented bikes and rode them out to Diamond Head where we climbed to the top. From there we had a magnificent view of Honolulu. We also visited the Pearl Harbor which provided a historical account of the events of December 7th, but also allowed you to experience an emotional connection to the events of the day. Leaving my lei at the memorial was the highlight of that destination. Then we traveled to the island of Kona where we not only visited the Hawaiian Volcano National Park, but also went to the Kona Coffee Living History farm. While at the farm, we were able to hand pick coffee beans and I even got to use an old fashion coffee grinder to grind coffee beans. From our hotel, we were able to view the manta rays each evening. The next island we traveled to was Maui. While on this island we were able to got to watch the sunrise at Haleakala National Park and then bicycle down the volcano to the sea side. The last island that we visited was Kauai. On this island we spent most of a day, zip-lining in the area where Jurassic Park was filmed. We also took surfing lessons which was a blast. These adventures listed above were just the top highlights of the various experiences that we had while visiting the islands. We spend two fun-filled weeks relaxing while learning about the history and culture of the Hawaiian Islands--we hope some day to have the opportunity to experience the islands again.

Trip Rating:
Destinations Visited: United States
Tour Operator: Globus Journeys

great new years in hawaii

karen

used a motor cycle to tour islands and some local surf spots; we were able to meet alot of the local people and see areas that cars and tour buses cant get to. also we were able to eat at small out of the way restaurants

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Destinations Visited: United States

amazing wolf safari in Yellowstone

cjb

The trip was an amazing winter wonderland safari in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Park. We saw snowy bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, eagles, porcupines, moose galore and 5 wolves in the wild! We went to the Elk Refuge, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and dog sledding. Just a wonderful trip with very knowledgeable guides.

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Destinations Visited: United States
Tour Operator: Natural Habitat Adventures

Christmas in Hawaii

JEC

What an amazing trip we had. We stayed 5 days at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We booked tours of Dole, Pearl harbor, flew to the Big Island for a day tour including Volcano National Park. We hiked up Diamond Head Christmas morning for the sunrise, enjoyed a Luah at our resort and the next morning flew to Poipu, Kauai where we spent 5 glorious days at the Grand Hyatt. We took surf lesson, a NaPali Coast boat tour, helicopter tour and walked around the Kauai Plantation. At both resorts we played in the pools, beaches, snorkeled, ate well, and drank tropical! We were so fortunate that all of my sisters and their families could vacation together - a total of 14. Travel Escapes in Westerville, OH helped with the planning.

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Destinations Visited: United States

YOU CAN DRINK MORE THAN THE WATER IN HAWAII

Gary S.

All the comforts of home on an exotic island. Boarding on Waikiki Beach, drinks at the "Pink Palace" (Royal Hawaiian Hotel), Kalua Pig at the Cultural Center, Tour Pearl Harbor, get blowen away at the cliffs of Pali, and snorkel at Hanauma Bay. On Maui we road the Hana Highway, bathed under a waterfall, saw humpback whales and partied in Lahaina.

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Destinations Visited: United States
Tour Operator: On our Own

Hawaii love

Rach

Everything was unusually beautiful. The sunsets, the beaches, the food presentations. I loved every part of this trip. Best parts were the people. Everyone was so friendly and full of good love and energy

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Destinations Visited: United States

Florida trip

Sorin Steve

I would strongly recommend the following:

- Disney Hollywood, Epcot, Kennedy Space Center, Miami, Cocoa beach, Key west, Tampa, Everglades.

I do not recommend "Universal Studios" and "Magic kingdom" - Those are poor quality parks and much overpriced comparing to the real value.

Trip Rating:
Destinations Visited: United States
Tour Operator: Expedia

Amazing trip- better than you would expect

SG

Took a cruise in Alaska, amazing. From seeing the glaciers (they are so much bluer than I expected) to seeing bears hunt for salmon up close and personal. The trip exceeded all expectations, and remember some cities in Alaska are only accessible by plane or ship, you can't drive there.

Trip Rating:
Destinations Visited: United States

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