USA Travel Guide
Introducing the USA
There is no way that you can summarise the USA in just a few sentences other than to say that this huge, diverse and beautiful country holds a wealth of treasures that make for amazing road trips, city breaks, beach stays, or adventure.
Accommodation ranges from dusty motels to luxurious 5 stars so there is seriously something for everyone.
I guess whenever I have visited the USA I have had to be clear about what I have wanted to achieve. Personally, I love an American Road trip. I have done three in my life – Texas to Toronto, Atlanta to Florida, and New York to Quebec and each offered something different and something very special.
The American people I have always found to be so welcoming and inviting. They love their food and their sport so immediately I have a connection.
There is so much to discover in this great country and I look forward to the day when I return and do all things the American Way.
Local Time -5 Hours
9 hrs from London
ESTA – FCO Advice
USA on Film
Amtrak is the national rail network for the USA and while it is not the quickest means of traveling it does offer the chance to relax and take in some great scenery. It is not the cheapest way to travel either so pre-trip planning is required if you are considering the train.
The cheapest way to travel however is by bus and the famous Greyhound network from personal experience is superb for long-distance journeys. One word of caution is that some bus stations can be located in rougher areas of cities so make sure you have a plan on arrival.
The two most popular domestic airlines currently are Southwest and JetBlue. Air travel is a quicker way of traveling and if you book well enough in advance you can get a good deal but leave it late and you could be in for a surprise.
Car hire in the USA is such a great experience with the process straightforward and the roads a dream to drive with that extra benefit of being able to go where you want. There are heaps of different car rental companies to choose from and you will need to be over 25 and have held a license for a year. Driving in the big cities can be daunting but if you are confident then there should be no issues.
Places To Stay in the USA
Top Things To See & Do
Disney World, Orlando
Opened in 1971 near Orlando, Florida. This resort was every child’s dream to visit in the ’70s and probably still is today with its theme and water parks. There is Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The Statue of Liberty, New York
Located on Liberty Island in New York City this symbol of freedom is one of the USA’s most iconic sights with in recent times a museum having been opened to add to the visitor’s experience.
Empire State Building, New York
This 10-story building was named after New York, the Empire State. It is 381metres high and has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Times Square, New York
Times Square is the most visited place in the world and the second most visited tourist attraction after the Las Vegas Strip. The entertainment center is located in the Midtown Manhattan area of New York.
Brooklyn Bridge, New York
The Brooklyn Bridge is a National Historic Landmark that connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bridge has a wide pedestrian walkway that you can cross while walking above the traffic crossing below.
The White House, Washington
The official Washington DC residence of the US president. Tours are possible however they need to be organized some time in advance and through your country’s embassy to ensure approval
Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC
Built to honor President Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln Memorial is located across from the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The memorial was the site of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which he gave in 1963.
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
This small island prison which opened in 1934 is across from San Francisco and where Al Capone was imprisoned. During its 29 years when it was open, no prisoner escaped despite countless attempts.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Positioned between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean is the Golden Gate Bridge, which spans the Golden Gate strait at 1280 meters high.
Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
Founded in 1925 the Grand Ole Opry is the longest-running radio broadcast in US history and is dedicated to honoring country music and musicians, from historical legends to contemporary artists.
Mount Rushmore, Keystone
Built between 1927 and 1939 the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located in Keystone, South Dakota, and features 18-metre sculptures of the heads of four US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Formed over centuries by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is a steep canyon located in Arizona. It is 277 miles long and nearly 18 miles wide.
The Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles
Located on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Hollywood. The letters are 14 meters tall and are there to recognize the American cinema.
Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles
Up and down Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, California are more than 2,600 terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks. These stars bear the names of prominent figures in the entertainment industry who have achieved a high level of success with their work.
The former home and now a museum dedicated to the late, great Elvis Presley. A tour will take you back over the singer’s life and I recall marveling at the way the house and all its various themed rooms remained as it was left in the 1970s.
Navy Pier, Chicago
With more than 50 acres (20 hectares) of parks, shops, restaurants, and a large Ferris wheel, Navy Pier is a popular tourist spot in Chicago.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Along the Tennessee-North Carolina border is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the most visited national park in the country.
This famous 4.2-mile stretch is a popular destination for adult travelers seeking fine hotels, casinos, and entertainment often provided by iconic musical stars from the past and present.
New Orleans French Quarter
The oldest neighborhood in New Orleans is the French Quarter. A national historic landmark and now famous for the annual Mardi Gras celebration as well as the wonderful Preservation Hall and all things Jazz.