By Admin | Last Updated August 31, 2019
The United States of America is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, Pacific Ocean in the west, Canada in the north and Mexico in the south. The state of Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean and Alaska is bordered by Canada in the east and Russia in the west. The third most populous country, USA is one of the world’s most popular countries for tourists. According to World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) data, the US received 75.6 million tourists in 2017, making it the world’s second most visited country. France topped the list with 82.6 million visitors and Spain was ranked 3rd.
There is almost everything in the United States for a tourist. You will find big cities like New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Some of the best theme parks in the world. Miles and miles of wilderness in the beautiful nature parks. Stunning long drives. Some of the best museums. Beautiful beaches, colorful festivals and yummy food. The United States is a melting pot of cultures.
It’s a big country, so you will need several return visits to see it fully and truly understand the country.
The processing time is quick. You can get a visa for up to 6 months. You cannot visit neighboring countries of Mexico and Canada.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
People from 38 countries and territories are eligible for travel without visa for up to 90 days –
Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Czech Republic, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, San Marino, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Taiwan.
The duty rate is determined by a percentage on the total purchase amount. Some rules and exemptions are:
U.S. International Departure and Arrival Tax
Vaccines required –
Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), Meningococcal disease, Rotavirus, Varicella, Seasonal influenza and Pneumococcal disease.
USA is a large ground to cover so let's break it down by directions:
Visit the north for big cities, huge waterfalls, national parks and more.
There is everything in the west from waterfalls, wildlife, national parks, hiking, biking trails, beaches, fossil beds, colored hills, Badlands and rock formations.
Eastern USA is a treasure chest of beaches, Broadway shows, iconic locations, harbors, historical sites, safaris, horse riding, nightlife and national parks.
Southern USA is famous for its food, hospitality, nightlife, forest trails, museums, historic sites, horse racing, colonial homes, hiking, biking, Derby, theme parks and music.
|Yosemite National Park||The great outdoors feature attractions like the Tuolumne Meadows, Half Dome, Valley View, El Capitan, Nevada Fall, Cathedral Peak, Lembert Dome, Tunnel View, Vernal Fall, Glacier Point, Yosemite Falls and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.|
|New York City||The city that never sleeps with iconic sites like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Empire State Building, The Met, MOMA, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Centre, Central Park, Theatre and Broadway District, and the Grand Central Terminal.|
|Las Vegas||The Sin City! The Freemont Street, The Strip, Bellagio's Gallery of Fine Arts, Mob Museum, Red Rock Canyon, take Helicopter rides over Grand Canyon, go for Indoor Skydiving and the themed luxury hotels.|
|Hawaii||A cluster of islands, Hawaii has the Hanauma Bay, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Waimea canyon, Pearl Harbor memorial.|
|Washington DC||Capital of The United States is full of history depicted through museums and landmarks. The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, National Zoological Park, Cherry Tree Walk and the Washington National Cathedral.|
|Niagara Falls||Maid of the Mist boat ride. The White Water Walk and Cave of the Winds! Escape the crowds at the Niagara Parks Botanical Garden, Niagara Glen Natural Reserve, Old Fort Niagara and the Niagara Skyfall.|
|New Orleans||The birthplace of jazz has a lot to offer. Visit the party district Bourbon Street, historic French Quarters, Jackson Square, New Orleans Museum of Art, The cabildo and more. Mardi Gras!|
|Volcanoes||There are many active volcanoes in US but the Mount St. Helens in Washington, at Bogoslof Island, Mount Cleveland, Kanaga Volcano, Pavlof Volcano; all in Alaska should be on your watch list.|
|National Parks||Visit the Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Zion National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Arches National Park, Olympic National Park and the Grand Teton National Park.|
|Theme Parks||Disneyland. There is also the Six Flags Great Adventure, Kings Island, Hersheypark, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom which are all worth visiting with family or friends.|
|Rivers||There are many beautiful rivers rushing along their way and beautiful to watch. The Black Warrior River, Colorado River, Chuitna River, Congaree River, Connecticut River, Edisto River, East Rosebud Creek, and the Green-Duwamish River.|
USA is one of the largest countries in the world and so its climate differs from one region to the other. But Spring and Autumn are the objectively best times to travel. Keep in mind that hurricanes and tornadoes are common so be aware of public announcements while traveling.
The Southwest Climate
It is hot and burning. Cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Palm Springs and Yuma in Arizona sees the temperatures go as high as 38°C and above during the summer. In the winter, it comes down to 10°C to 15°C. June is a dry month here, with chances of localized thunderstorms followed by flash flooding.
Gulf Coast-South Atlantic, Lower Mississippi Valley States
The South Atlantic areas and The Gulf have a humid and subtropical climate. It is punctuated with hot summers and mild winters. Coastal areas like New Orleans, Savannah, Houston and Charleston have summer highs of 21°C to 24°C, but in the interior areas like Central Texas, it can reach up to 32°C. Winters here have a range of 4°C to 16°C. There is precipitation in the winter and thunderstorms in the summer.
Southern Plains, Middle East Coast, Lower Midwest States
Cities like Springfield, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Richmond, and New York City! The winters range from 2°C to 10°C and in the summer, the temperature is between 27°C and 32°C. In the lower Midwest, tornadoes and thunderstorms are common during April to June. The air temperature can drop or rise suddenly.
Northern Great Plains, Great Lakes, New England, North-Central States
Cities of Minneapolis, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Nebraska, Omaha, Fargo, South and North Dakota! It has a humid continental type of climate. There are 4 seasons here. Summers are warm to really hot with temperatures of 21°C to 27°C. Winters are cold to snow filled and range from -12°C to -1°C. Expect precipitation.
The Pacific Northwest
Oceanic climate! These states are cool and wet during autumn, spring and winter in November and December. In July and August, it is dry and between 21°C to 26°C and even to 15°C. The winter temperature is between 5°C and 9°C, but it can sometimes go down to -1°C.
|Travel Light||Travel light and avoid paying extra for luggage. If possible, fit your clothes and personal items on a carry-on along with a backpack. It will also ensure that your luggage isn’t lost in transit.|
|Live Like a Local||Go for street food, visit the local markets, try to cook if possible, take public transport and ask the locals for cheap and good places.|
|Save on Food||Carry snacks like fruits, sandwiches and biscuits. Eat outside the hotel as much as you can. Hotel meals usually cost more. Try the street food.|
|Save on Sightseeing||Get a discount coupon for attractions and transport, like for instance, train passes. Save on travel by walking or biking instead of taking a cab.|
|Renting a Cab||Take mass transport. But if you have to rent a car, then compare prices before booking and make sure that you understand the rates/pricing system.|
|Discounts||Find coupons, discounts, and free passes. There are many cheap buffets, free drinks, cheap rides.|
The total area of the Unites States is 9.834 million km². There is a lot to see in the country. If you are visiting the US for the first time, you should plan a trip for about 2 to 3 weeks at least to see the major attractions.
Target the five major cities – New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. Try to include Las Vegas and Arizona if you can. Many first time visitors also pick either the East Coast or the West Coast for two weeks. This is a good idea. This way you can see more of each side of the country.
It may take months and several return trips to see the whole country really well. Returning travelers will appreciate the culture and food more.