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United States of America Travel Guide - History, Holidays, Tourism, National Parks, Tours, Music Festivals & more

The United States of America is sometimes called "The Land of Opportunity," and in no area is that more true than when it comes to travel. The 50 individual states of America compare favourably in size and population with the various countries of Europe. The USA offers a wonderful combination of large cities, smaller towns, farmlands, forests, deserts, mountains, prairies and much more. The climate ranges from tropical to Arctic, although most of the country is temperate, with four distinct seasons.

Traveling around the US by charter air flights is cheaper than you think. There are a lot of low cost charter air carriers to choose from.

The East coast has many cities worth discovering, such as New York, a unique melting pot of cultures with the world's most famous skyline; Boston, also known as "Bean Town"; Philadelphia, the country's first capital and an important political and cultural centre for the American Revolution.

The capital city, Washington D.C., home of the President, has more museums than one can see in a lifetime. Also worth visiting is Atlanta, a fast-growing city where the 1996 Olympics were held. Miami is one of the most popular international tourist destinations in the world. Known for its Latin Culture, never ending nightlife and amazing beaches.

The West Coast, from the state of Washington to California, is well known for its relaxed atmosphere. Los Angeles is a micro universe. You can find everything from rags to riches, from Tinseltown to East LA. Head south to visit Orange County's Huntington Beach for the ultimate experience in Surf City USA or head to the Californian Riviera city of Laguna Beach to check out the famous art scene. LA is also home to a little thing called Hollywood.

Two hours Southeast of Los Angeles in the Southern California Desert is the oasis known as Palm Springs. With over 350 days a year of sunshine, there is never a bad time to visit. Known as Hollywood's Backyard for its love affair with celebrities and dignitaries, it remains a favorite vacation destination year-round.

It became a destination during the 1950s and 1960s when Hollywood movie stars flocked there in droves. Nowadays, the area offers entertainment for all ages, Palm Springs offers a wealth of indoor and outdoor activities. Known for its hiking, mid-century modern architecture, stunning natural beauty and sparkling pools, Palm Springs has the perfect blend of outdoor activities and casual relaxation. Palm Springs is also a favorite for gay travelers and naturist communities.

More remote wilderness style trips await in Colorado. The Rocky Mountains boast world class white-water rafting,scenic vistas, and old west charm.

Drive north on the Pacific Coast Highway - possibly one of the country's greatest drives - to gorgeous San Francisco, one of America's nicest cities; home of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the prison island. From sparkling beaches and fog enshrouded mountains, the "City by the Bay" offers the ultimate in a relaxed lifestyle in the middle of a big city. Travellers will find wonderful day-trips to the beaches, wine country, and deserts.

Just 5 hours north of San Francisco you can visit the giant redwoods in Humboldt County, the famous fern canyon in Prairie Creek as seen in Jurassic park, and miles of untouched landscape along the coast and inland. Get away from the heat and crowded cities and enjoy the large farmers markets where you can buy local produce and other tasty locally made treats such as honey and jam. Enjoy river rafting or kayaking in our beautiful lagoons. On the first Saturday of each month visit Arts Alive in Old Town Eureka.

Further north is Portland, Oregon. Here are the International Rose Test Garden, which has over 7,000 rose plants of approximately 550 varieties and Forest Park, the largest urban park in the United States. The city is widely recognised as a model of sustainable development and smart growth.

Further north yet is Seattle, the northernmost principal city in the contiguous United States; it is even further north than Ottawa, yet has a far milder climate. The Pike Place Market is the oldest farmer's market in the United States and filled with stalls containing everything from produce to cutlery. A highly cultural city, Seattle is a major centre for the performing arts and has internationally acclaimed opera, ballet, and symphony companies. Seattle is surrounded by water and beaches, so if time permits, take a scenic ferry ride directly from the city centre to one of the many offshore islands, such as quiet, charming Bainbridge.

Located on the shores of the Great Lakes, Chicago (Illinois), the "Windy City", is where the Skyscraper was invented. Even today, Downtown Chicago is the beautiful early laboratory of this new form of building. The city is also vibrant with an excellent Jazz and Blues scene, two great ballparks, good food and much more. Visit the island of Put-in-Bay ( in Lake Erie.

Dallas is an international city best known for the television show of the same name, Walker, Texas Ranger, and the Dallas Cowboys football team -- and Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. But Dallas is also home to the original Galleria mall, the original Neiman Marcus store, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and many other sports teams, shopping malls, conventions, and events.

Houston is a city that exemplifies Texas and acts as a microcosm of the state. With a dizzying array of attractions, music festivals, restaurants, shopping, and local get-aways; the nation's fourth largest city is home to a wide array of sights for all to enjoy. It's also home to one of the most diverse populations in the country.

Las Vegas is paradise for anyone who likes to roll the dice. No need to go to Paris, Rome or Egypt - all the best monuments have been copied, and some would say improved, and can be found right there in the desert.

Kentucky is well known for its annual internationally known Derby Festival but is also a hidden gem for travelers interested in exploring natural artifacts; such as Mammoth Cave, the largest and longest (over 365 miles of passageways) recorded cave systems in the world. The numerous campgrounds, state parks, and recreational lakes draw cost-conscious travelers from all over the South. The rolling hills of Eastern Kentucky sport some of the finest horse parks in the United States. The Kentucky Derby Festival includes a huge balloon race, air show, and spectacular fireworks performance as just three of its features. For some the race is just an afterthought. Another popular event that attracted visitors as far as California, Maine and Montana is the "Highway 127 Yardsale" that extends from Tennessee to Kentucky.

Florida is popular with anyone looking for sunshine, beaches and hurricanes. Tampa, Orlando and Miami are ideal bases from which to explore the Sunshine State.

The New England States are magnificent. From land to sea, you have it made here. Magnificent beaches in the summer, beautiful foliage in the fall. Connecticut is one of the most favorite states, a small activity packed state, with something new around every corner. Two of the best casinos in the world, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Quaint little cities by the sea, history and places nestled in the woods. Everything you could want is less than 2 hours away: beaches, woods, farms, waterfalls, sea and fresh water fishing, wineries, wildlife, both land and sea, wonderful places to shop and eat. Ever see the movie Mystic Pizza, well there really is a Mystic Pizza, in Mystic CT and the pizza is delicious! They have a lot of pictures of the filming of the movie there. You will never want to go anywhere else again!

All over the country you find many excellent National Parks, which are great places to go for hiking, biking and other activities. Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon are well known, but there are many more places of great beauty in God's own country. The Appalachian trail, running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine is unique. More than 2000 miles long, a 'thru-hiker' needs one season to walk it from end to end.

Exploring the United States by car is so easy due to many factors: The highway system is excellent, signage will tell you where the attractions are, at all major interchanges there are many hotels, motels, restaurants and gas stations to help you in your travels and the tourist attractions are just endless where ever you travel! Much of this ease in travel is due to the trucking industry, so take advantage of the best highway system in the world and get on the road and explore the USA!

The capital of the United States is Washington D.C. The most populous cities of the United States are New York, NY (pop. 8,143,007); Los Angeles, CA (pop. 3,845,007); Chicago, IL (pop. 2,843,007); Houston, TX (pop. 2,017,007); Philadelphia, PA (pop. 1,463,007); Phoenix, AZ (pop. 1,462,007); San Antonio, TX (pop.1,257,007); San Diego, CA (pop. 1,256,007); Dallas, TX (1,214,807); San Jose, CA (pop. 912,007); Detroit, MI (pop. 887,000); Indianapolis, IN (784,007); Jacksonville, FL (pop. 783,007); San Francisco, CA (pop. 739,007); Columbus, OH (pop. 731,007); Austin, TX (pop. 690,007); Memphis, TN (672,007); Baltimore, MD (pop. 636,007); Fort Worth, TX (pop. 624,007); Charlotte, NC (pop. 611,007); El Paso, TX (pop. 599,007); Seattle, WA (586,007); Milwaukee, WI (pop. 579,007); Boston, MA (pop. 559,007); Denver, CO (pop. 558,007); Louisville, KY (pop. 556,007); Washington, DC (pop. 551,007); Nashville, TN (549,007); Las Vegas, NV (pop. 545,007); Portland, OR (pop. 533,007); Oklahoma City, OK (pop. 531,007); and Tucson, AZ (pop. 515,007).

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Text credits:
August 25, 2008 change by seebigtrees (4 points)
December 15, 2006 change by approaching genius (2 points)
May 25, 2007 change by waterfalls (1 point)
August 06, 2007 change by brandon1978 (1 point)
July 23, 2009 change by godofthunder1982
June 02, 2008 change by cdg
December 20, 2009 change by artbeck
March 18, 2007 change by timzog
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April 08, 2009 change by jill pentrack
May 26, 2008 change by #1devilangel

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