Contrary to its name, the USA is a vast country and you may get confused about what to see there and what to skip. From coastlines to big cities, Grand Canyon to Golden Gate Bridge, Times Square to Hollywood Sign, USA holds a lot to excite and inspire you.
Be it the East Coast, the welcoming beaches of Florida, the Southwest, or Hawaii and Alaska, the country offers a mixture of history, fun, and glamour, lucky travelers get a lot to choose from.
Even if you have plenty of time and money, still you wouldn’t want to miss upon the top tourist destinations of the USA.
It wasn’t easy at all to create a travel guide out of such a huge country that has rich history, world-class restaurants, and museums. Still, I have managed to pen down the things that cannot and shouldn’t be skipped at all if you have got fortunate enough to travel to the USA.
We will start with some general facts about the place and will proceed towards the wonderful destinations worth exploring.
General and Geographical Facts about the USA
CapitalThe capital city of the US is Washington, DC.
LocationThe country is located on the continent of North America. Bordered by the North Pacific Ocean to the west, the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, Canada to the north and Mexico to the south.
Land AreaThe total land area of the United States of America is 9,631,420 km2 of which 9,161,923 km2 is just land. The highest point is Mount McKindley measuring 6,194 m high and the lowest point is Death Valley at -86 m.
StatesThe USA is made up of 51 administrative divisions, i.e. 50 states and 1 district. These are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware,, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Time ZonesThe USA has 8 time zones these are: Atlantic Standard Time (AST) Eastern Standard Time (EST) Central Standard Time (CST) Mountain Standard Time (MST) Pacific Standard Time (PST) Alaskan Standard Time (AST) Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST) Samoa Standard Time (UTC-11)
FlagThe flag of the United States has 13 horizontal alternating red and white stripes of equal width. A blue rectangle is situated in the upper corner of the hoist-side. 50 white, 5-pointed stars are arranged within the rectangle.
PopulationAs of 2020, the U.S. Population is 331,002,651
with a growth rate of 0.59%. New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn, and Houston are the top five populated cities of the USA.
ReligionAs of 2016, the statistics of religious affiliation was as follows: 73.7% Christians, 48.9% Protestants, 23.0% Catholics, and 1.8% Mormons, followed by 18.2% people having no religion.
Agricultural Products and Main IndustriesAgricultural products of the USA include vegetables, fruits, corn, wheat, grains, cotton, poultry, beef, fish, pork, dairy products, and forest products.
The United States is considered a leading industrial power. Industry in the USA is diverse and technology is well advanced. The chief industries in the US are: petroleum, mining, steel, lumber, aerospace, consumer goods, motor vehicles, food processing, chemicals, and telecommunications.
Appropriate Time to Explore The United States of AmericaKnowing the best time to visit a place makes the trip more fruitful and enjoyable as you are already aware of the
climatic and weather conditions and can pack accordingly. The United States of America is an expansive country, thus climate and weather conditions are quite varied.
● The climate can be described as temperate; Florida and Hawaii are considered tropical whereas Alaska has an arctic climate.
● Southwest is arid and the Great Plains are semi-arid.
● Summer temperatures can reach up to 57°C in some areas to -62°C in Alaska.
● The southern states are warmer and hardly experience freezing temperatures.
● Tornado season is from April to June in the Midwest. Hurricanes often occur on the East Coast and on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in summer.
Considering the weather conditions, fall and spring are probably the best seasons for visiting the United States. Temperatures at this time of the year are mild and the skies are beautifully clear.
Stunning landscapes are created by leaves of red, orange and brown falling softly from the trees. Summer is also a popular season but is very hot and humid. Winter is icy cold in many cities and requires special winter jackets, though heating in buildings is very good.
Visas and Passports- How to Get There?The United States has a policy of “secure borders and open doors”. Citizens of Canada and countries of the Visa Waiver Program will generally not require visas if they comply with particular requirements. Other individuals will have to obtain a nonimmigrant visa. A valid passport is required to obtain a visa to the United States. There are over 20 types of nonimmigrant visas depending on your reason for traveling to the USA and include tourism, business, temporary work, and medical treatment. Possession of a US visa does not mean you will be allowed entry into the country, rather it allows you to arrive at the United States port of entry where an inspector will permit you to enter the country.
How is Health and Safety in the US?The health care system in the United States is of the highest standard. Health care is, however, expensive so visitors should consider health insurance while traveling here. In the case of an emergency, dial 911 for an ambulance or other emergency service. Alternatively, you can go to the hospital and register yourself with the emergency room. If tourists require routine medical assistance it is best that they attend a walk-in clinic where an appointment is not required.
Crime in the USA differs from place to place. Big cities experience a higher crime rate. Keep your intuition and alertness alive. Do not walk around alone at night. Avoid carrying lots of cash, credit cards are safer. Contact the police should you experience any difficulties.
Information About Money and CurrencyThe unit of currency in the United States is the United States Dollar (USD), indicated by the $ symbol. The US dollar is equal to 100 cents. Paper money comes in the following denominations: $1,00; $2,00; $5,00′ $10,00; $20,00; $50,00 and $100,00. All notes are the same size and color so be careful when paying for items. Coins are available in the following denominations: 1¢ (penny); 5¢ (nickel); 10¢ (dime); 25¢ (quarter); 50¢ (half dollar); $1 (dollar).
Places to See in the USA-Tourist AttractionAfter knowing the country in and out, you are all set for a worth-remembering trip; let’s read about what are the major places to see and the top tourist attractions in the USA. They all might not interest you but you will get an idea about where to start from. You can even segregate the choices based on your trip gang as the US has something for every age group.
Located at Disneyland Resort in California, this theme park is known worldwide as one of the major US tourist attractions. Disneyland Park is like a dream, where there is no end to fun throughout the day. The Walt Disney World Company has put in great efforts to create a magical fantasy world for all to enjoy. New adventures and rides are constantly being added.
Disneyland Park is made up of themed lands, leading off from Central Plaza, where Sleeping Beauty Castle stands. Main Street USA land takes visitors back in time i.e. the beginning of the 1900s. Adventureland transports patrons to an exotic world where they can hop aboard rides such as “Tarzan’s Treehouse”, “Jungle Cruise”, “Temple of the Forbidden Eye” and “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room”. Fantasyland brings fairy tales to life.
Frontier land is another step back in time to when the first pioneers were exploring the American frontier. Various shows, rides and other forms of entertainment abound here. Tomorrowland shoots visitors forward in time again with popular rides like “Star Tours” and “Space Mountain”. Critter Country features “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”, and “Splash Mountain”.
New Orleans Square is styled after Bourbon Street and is home to “Haunted Mansion”, “Club 33” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Mickey’s Toontown is much like the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, giving visitors an opportunity to see where the Disney characters live.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumSituated in Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is another renowned American attraction. Here you will discover an impressive collection of memorabilia as well as multimedia exhibitions that guide visitors through the history of rock music. The museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Statue of Liberty and Empire State BuildingThe Statue of Liberty is considered by many as a symbol of the United States of America. This National Memorial statue was a gift from the French back in the 1800s. It marks the opening of the Hudson River mouth in New York.
Created by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the statue represents liberty and friendship between the USA and France. Also situated in New York is the Empire State Building. At a height of 102 stories, it has been named
amongst the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Built back in 1931 this impressive structure is owned by the World Federation of Great Towers.
Central ParkCentral Park in Manhattan is a natural escape from the city. Designed by Calvert Vaux and by Frederick Olmsted, Central park is well landscaped with grassy areas, lakes, walking tracks, playgrounds, a wildlife sanctuary, and two ice rinks.
Many bird watchers flock here to see the arrival of several species of migrating birds. During the summer visitors can enjoy open-air theater productions. Several sculptures are scattered around the park, these include “Angel of the Waters” by Emma Stebbins, “Balto”, “Cleopatra’s Needle”, “Alice” and “Duke of Ellington”.
Niagara FallsOne of the most visited places in the USA, Niagara Falls is situated at the Canada-US border. The constantly flowing water from Lake Erie flows into Lake Ontario over these massive waterfalls will not let you take your eyes off. The water is used to generate hydroelectric power in winter, hence the quantity gets reduced at that time. It is a
combined set of three falls Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Veil Falls. Other United States attractions include Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate Bridge, Florida Keys, Chinatown, Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, San Diego Zoo, and Universal Studios. With so many tourist attractions in the United States, visitors will be kept very busy.