A country so vast and diverse, you’ll need to experience it in small bites. The United States is unimaginably huge, promising everything from grand canyons to skyscrapers, pristine beaches to sprawling national parks. This is the place for once-in-a-lifetime roadtrips, discovering micro-food scenes and breath-taking landscapes as you go.
You might think you have a handle on the American experience, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing.
Each state and region has its own unique identity, and many will take you by surprise. From the big hitting cities like New York, Boston and Chicago through to the ‘big sky country’ of Montana and Wyoming, no two places are the same – but all have something thrilling to offer the intrepid traveller.
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History and Culture
The United States has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the arrival of the first Native American nations. It’s a relatively young country, and one inextricably linked with the British – who began colonising the vast land from 1584 at Roanoke during the reign of Tudor Queen Elizabeth I. The first permanent colonial settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.
The following years saw independence, civil war, the dark days of slavery, expansion and industrialisation, gold rushes and eventually, the triumph of landing the first man on the moon.
The US is renowned for its iconic landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge, and has long been a symbol of freedom, democracy, self-determination and opportunity.
The culture of the US is equally diverse, a patchwork of people, languages and cultures. From sports to music, each part of American life is shaped by influences from around the world, including Native American, African, European, and Asian cultures.
Nature and wildlife
Many tourists visit the US for its cities, but its outstanding natural scenery and wildlife is perhaps even more of a draw. Set out with the spirit of adventure and you’ll discover a whole world of diverse and breathtaking landscapes. The country is home to world-famous natural wonders, including the wild Rocky Mountains, spectacular Grand Canyon, red-tinged Monument Valley and the wildlife-rich, geothermal hotspot of Yellowstone National Park.
From snow-capped redwood forests to mesmerising blue crater lakes, the ice caves of Alaska to the vibrant autumn leaves of New England, there’s more natural splendour here than you could explore in a lifetime.
And of course, the US is alive with animals, birds and other fascinating species. You may encounter eagles, alligators, polar bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions and many more, although hopefully at a safe distance for some of the big predators on the list.
Food and drink
Food is a hugely important part of American culture, with popular regional specialities such as New York-style pizza, Tex-Mex cuisine, and Southern-style barbecue. All of which are heavily influenced by cuisines from other parts of the world.
From the exceptional lobster of Maine to the Cajun jambalaya and gumbo in Louisiana, you’ll undoubtedly eat well on any foodie trip to the US.
Adventure and experiences
If you’re an adrenaline-seeker or lover of outdoor adventures, the USA really is your playground.
You can do it all here, from hitting the snowmobile trails in Idaho to spotting golden eagles from the basket of a hot air balloon in Montana.
Skiing, surfing, stargazing, biking, paddleboarding and hiking – absolutely nothing’s off the table in this enormous adventure hotspot.
- Capital city: Washington, D.C.
- Language: English
- Currency: United States Dollar
- Time Difference: UTC -5/6/7/8/10
- Flight Time: 8h to NYC via London Heathrow, 10h to San Francisco via London Heathrow
- Visa: ESTA Before Travel
- Peak Season: Year-Round
Did you know?
The first language of the 8th President of the USA, Martin van Buren, was Dutch, not English.
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