USA: Why travel to/around the United States?
North and South Windows in Arches National Park, Utah, USA
The USA is a mega-land of such staggering diversity that even some well-off Americans don’t have a passport – every vacation requirement from magnificent national parks, vast, hot beaches, cool urban culture, killer theme parks to wacko festivals, mad adrenalin activities and calm, stimulating shopping – it’s all there at home in the US.
Americans are generally friendly, ready to help, quite the opposite of the gun-crazed wackos celebrated by Hollywood, but big distances mean big time travel, tho’ not at big cost. Finally, the majority of towns, streets and malls in Normalville, are tacky and unattractive.
USA Map: the best cities for tourists
Looking towards New York City downtown. Picture by WTW.
New York – a vibrant culture with a lot of attitude, top class entertainment, fantastic sights and skyline, great restaurants and one of the best places to shop on the planet.
San Francisco – the hills, the quaint wooden houses, the cocktail of modern city life stirred with bohemian cool, gay abandon and over-touristy but still popular Fisherman’s Wharf make this a city as unique and splendid as the iconic bridge and its nearby Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Washington DC – for the incredible spread of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, White House and other much-filmed government buildings, plus an extensive range of superb museums.
Miami – warm waters, white beaches and a colourful Art Deco buildings set off Miami’s vibrant, mixed-culture lifestyle while it’s just a short ride to the Everglades or the Florida Keys (islands) for wildlife and water sports. Sun and heat are common but not guaranteed.
Los Angeles – car oriented and careless but Venice beach is super cool, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica are super elegant, there are movie associations galore, the weather, shopping and eating are superb and tourists will certainly see people who look like stars or think they should be stars. Superb museums, and easy access to great theme parks as well as great real green parks.
Las Vegas – another astonishing must-see during US travel, a fantasy city surrounded by desert, Las Vegas is variously billed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, The Gambling Capital of the World, Capital of Second Chances, and The Marriage Capital of the World.
As a tourist the main attractions are the shows – which are world-class but not cheap, the incredible architecture along the strip, a little gambling if only to see what all the fuss is about (our advice is don’t start with more than $100 in your pocket! ), and proximity to some wonderful sights outside the city, such as several spectacular canyons (including Grand Canyon), the epic Hoover Dam and more.