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The USA Country Guide

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The USA has some of the world's most iconic cities and landmarks as well as some of the most the most stunning and recognizable natural wonders such as Yellowstone Park and the Grand Canyon. The nation's culture has been exported around the world and billions are familiar with Hollywood films and American music such as blues, jazz, rock, and hip-hop.

US key facts: The USA is the third biggest country in the world in terms of population and geographical size. It has the world's largest GDP and is considered to be the global super-power. How many states are there in the USA? The US has a federal government and consists of 50 states.

A short history of the USA: The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, over the past five centuries, immigrants have moved to the US from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Paleo-Indians migrated to North America 15,000 years ago.

Paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to North America 15,000 years ago, though the nations modern history began in the sixteenth century when Europeans began colonizing. When did America become independent? America won its independence from Britain in 1783.

With the industrial revolution, the American economy boomed at an incredible pace, as did the nation's international standing. After the Second World the US and the Soviet Union became the two leading powers, and since the collapse of the USSR, the USA has been the sole super-power.

American culture

American culture has become incredibly influential and popular around the world. Some of the America's most recognizable brands, such as McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike and Starbuck's are familiar sights in cities, malls, and stores around the globe.

Music, film, and television have also been huge exports. The Academy Awards (known as 'The Oscars') are a global event and have been held annually since 1944, the film studios of Hollywood continue to be the most successful film producers.

The most successful person ever in Oscar history is Walt Disney (26 Oscars), whose studio has made some of the most-loved family films including Mary Poppins, the Lion King, Aladdin, and more recently, the new Star Wars films. Disneyland and Universal Studios are two popular family holiday destinations in the US which pay tribute to American cinema.

Popular American music: Musically, no other country has been so influential over the last century. African-American music is the root of blues, which then evolved into jazz, and then rock. Over the last couple of decades, hip-hop has become increasingly popular too. Some of the most famous American artists include Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Bob Dylan.

Twelve US citizens have won the Nobel Prize for Literature including Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck and major visual art movements have been developed in the US, including the pop art of Andy Warhol and the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock.

Popular American sports: Although baseball has been regarded as the US national sport since the late 19th century, American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport, it has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the Super Bowl is watched by millions. Basketball, however, is the most popular of the American sports globally and there are leagues in every continent.

There are countless things to see in the USA, its cities are one of its greatest draws. Visiting New York alone you can see the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park and on a trip to San Francisco, you'll see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fort Point.

The countries natural beauty spots is another reason to visit the US. The country's ecology is megadiverse with over 17,000 types of plant and 428 mammal species, which you can see the majority of in the 59 national parks in the US.

 

The USA Basic Information

  • Country: The USA
  • Capital: Washington DC
  • Population: 323
  • Currency: US Dollars
  • Language: English
  • Time Zone: Eastern time GMT-5, Central time GMT-6, Mountain time GMT-7, Pacific time GMT-8

When to Go

The US is vast and the climate and temperatures vary greatly from region to region. Here is a rough seasonal guide on when is the best time to visit the US….

  • High Season (June to August) These are, in general, the best months to visit the US. The days are warm across the country, with generally high temperatures. However, it is the busiest season, expect big crowds at the most popular US attractions, and higher prices.
  • Shoulder Season (April to May and September to October) These are good months to visit the US as there are fewer tourists at the attractions. The temperatures are milder and you can enjoy the spring flowers or the red and brown colors of the fall as the leaves change color.
  • Low Season (November to March) The north is particularly cold and there is snowfall in the north and heavier rains in some regions. The price of accommodation is at its lowest, except ski resorts when January to March is the high season.

When is the best time to visit the USA? It depends on what you’re looking for and year-round travel is possible. New York, in particular, has a certain magic around the Christmas season.

The USA is a good destination for:

The USA Entry Requirements

Visitors need a passport, valid for the duration of their trip, upon arrival to the US.

Depending on the nationality of the visitor, it may be necessary to obtain a visa before traveling to the US.

Visitors from Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and many EU countries don’t need visas for stays of less than 90 days, biut the do need to apply for the visa-waiver program. Click here for more info.

The USA Country Atractions

There is a an abundance of things to do in the USA. Due to its sheer vastness and rich culture, it’s difficult to fit in everything. Here are some of the highlights…

Things to see and do in the USA

  1. New York City. One of the most famous cities in the world and certainly one for your bucket list. What to do in New York? Its iconic landmarks include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, and Broadway. There’s unlikely to be a dull moment in the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.
  2. San Francisco. Known for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, open-minded friendly people, and colorful Victorian houses, San Francisco is a popular tourist destination in the US. It’s most famous skyscraper is the Transamerica Pyramid. In the bay of San Francisco is America’s most notorious former prison, Alcatraz.
  3. Los Angeles. The vast Californian city is home to Hollywood, the center of America’s film and television industry. Near its iconic sign, the film studios offer behind-the-scenes tours. This is only one aspect of what LA has to offer, it is a trend-setting metropolis which has one of the liveliest music scenes, a host of museums and other things to do in LA and miles of glorious coastline.
  4. Yellowstone.  Home to hundreds of animals species including bears, antelopes, and wolves, Yellowstone in around 3,500 sq miles of canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, and geysers, as the park sits on a volcanic hotspot. Yellowstone Park brings out the explorer in everyone so get ready for an adventure.
  5. The Grand Canyon. Carved by the Colorado River in Arizona,  the rock layers act as a timeline of the Earth’s history. It has been used by humans for millennia, with ruins and artifacts dating back nearly 12,000 years. How big is the Grand Canyon? It is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and up to a mile deep.
  6. The Rocky Mountains. Strectching 3,000 miles, ‘the Rockies’ offer stunning views, stark wilderness, alpine lakes and a diverse range of wildlife. The national park contains countless hiking trails, including the famous ‘Trail Ridge Road’.

 

Travel Tips

  • Tipping is expected. People in the service industry are paid substandard wages and rely on tips. You should tip 15% -%25 depending on how good the service was.
  • Learn the imperial measurements before you go! The metric system isn’t used in the US, distances are measured in inches, feet, yards, and miles. You need to how to convert these, especially if you plan on driving.
  • Remember that the USA consists of 50 different states so be aware that accents, food, drink, laws, and politics will vary. Driving laws vary from state to state so it’s important that you are aware of any variations.
  • Get ready for super-size everything! Food portions in the US are massive so be prepared for your plate to be piled up. The diversity of the food is also a pleasant surprise for many visitors.
  • Get comprehensive medical insurance before you go. Also, ask your doctor about vaccinations a few weeks before you go.
  • Is the US safe to visit? Yes, the people are renowned for their friendliness and generosity and most people don’t experience any problems.