United States

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5 Most Favorite Experiences

Yellowstone National Park

National Parks

The National Park Service, the body governing the NP in the US has been established in 1916, however the first national park Yellowstone, that spreads into two states and began a worldwide national park movement, was confirmed by the Senate in 1872. There are 58 National Parks and more than 10,000 state parks, pretty impressive. Some of the most visited and absolutely stunning parks are Yosemite, Crater Lake, Zion and Yellowstone. From beautiful glaciers to hot springs and geysirs, Americas natural beauty will leave you breathless.

Metropolitan Museum of Arts New York

Museums

The United States is home to some of the most amazing museums in the world. From History to Art and Architecture to Engineering, choose a topic and enjoy a plethora of knowledge.

My favorite of all are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the J Paul Getty in LA. The Smithsonian institution, being the world's largest museum and research complex, is also a place worth mentioning. It consists of 19 museums and 9 research centers and hosts the National Zoo.

American Arts

Arts

America loves arts and takes them very seriously nationwide. The two art meccas are, in my experience, Los Angeles and New York. I mean, who doesn't know Broadway?

41 professional theaters along Broadway Street in Midtown Manhattan is the home to some of the world's best theater performances like The Cats, Newsies, Grease, The Book of Mormon and many more.

In Los Angeles, you can enjoy a lot of stand up comedies, that will leave you breathless, art exhibitions and installations that will spark your creative part drive.

Cultural Experiences

My absolute favorite part of America is its abundance of cultural experiences. Many of us would refer to the United States as the land of opportunity. And, as such, it gave a home to a lot of immigrants like me. All of us Eastern Europeans, Asian, Mexican, we all "made it here" and are able to freely express our own culture.

Almost in any city, you can experience someone else's religion, cuisine, and ethnic and cultural beliefs without actually leaving the US, pretty amazing.

The Native American reservations are the primary cultural centers for the early inhabitants of the continent where you can experience beautifully prepared food and observe some exciting rituals connecting the Native American people with their beloved spirits.

Monuments

A short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan to Liberty Island will take you to the waving hello to all immigrants arriving in America statue. The Statue of Liberty is the nation's symbol of freedom and democracy. It has been given to America by the French people as a gift of friendship.

Other national monuments worth mentioning are the Devil's Tower standing 867 feet from summit to base, located in northeastern Wyoming. The Giant Sequoia in California and the Gold Butte cannons of Nevada.

Other SEEs and DOs worth mentioning

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  • Festivals
  • Concerts
  • Exhibitions
  • HIking
  • Diving
  • Mountain Biking

America is huge in anything, in festival hosting too. There is even festival tourism, where people travel to America just to take part in some of the festivals here. Some of the biggest ones worth mentioning are the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Coachella Valley Music, and Arts Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. More information on the festival can be found here.

I've seen a lot of concerts on TV, and let me tell you, there's nothing like concerts produced in America!  The lighting, stage and sound design will leave you stunned along with the dancers and the performer himself. It is a multi-billion dollar industry developed to satisfy even the pickiest customers. 

There are all sorts of exhibitions that are taking place in the US. Most famous, of course, in a country where capitalism is a king, are the trade fairs and shows. At those exhibitions, a lot of new products and concepts are continuously introduced. Some of the most significant events are the Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles Automobile shows.

With its 58 National Parks and more than 10, 000 State parks, America is one of the most hiked countries in the World. Backpacking, day hiking or camping, it is your choice. You would never get bored to be outside here. There are so many magnificent mountain ranges that offer jaw-dropping views on their hikes that you would not believe when you reach the viewpoints. Get the REI App and explore all the hike options America has to offer.

This unique sport is thriving in America. Having the Pacific Ocean to the West, The Atlantic to the East and the Caribbean Sea to the South makes it a very versatile country to experience different types of diving. I got certified as an Advanced Open water diver in Seattle, where the challenging Pacific Ocean is wild and cold but beautiful and vibrant.<br><br>Fresh water diving in America’s lakes is also a type of diving you should be considering. There are a lot of places with airplane or shipwrecks like...

It is a different world when you become an explorer on the saddle. I am new to this sport but absolutely loving it. Living in the Pacific Northwest makes it very easy to go out and just ride your bike, anywhere you go, it is beautiful. A friend of mine has made a mountain biking camping trip in the Zion National Park he said it was stunning.

What/ Where to Eat?

Thanksgiving Turkey

Hey! Who doesn't like turkey? It even promotes better, deeper sleep. But jokes aside, this is one of the iconic dishes in American cuisine.

The turkey is the most commonly prepared dish for Thanksgiving dinner but can it is also used as a daily source of protein. Don't forget to add gravy!

The All Mighty Burger

Beef, pork or lamb patties done to perfection, wrapped between perfectly toasted buns topped with ketchup and cheese... What a delight. Add onion rings or lose the bun, the options are endless making it one of the country's top dishes on the menu.

Apple Pie

The Apple pie is a longstanding symbol of America and its cuisine, but the dish didn't actually come from America, and neither did the apples.

Anyhow, it is a beautiful dish featuring grated apples, tons of sugar and cinnamon poured into a "pie shell" and baked to perfection. Slice a piece and top with vanilla ice cream, Uh la-la!

Fried Chicken and Waffles

Oh, let me tell you before I went vegan/ pescatarian this dish stole my heart. An insatiable mixture between a guilty pleasure deep-fried chicken breast and on a perfect waffle topped with maple syrup. Just talking about it makes me want to get one.

The best place to try this dish is Bruxie on the Las Vegas Strip. Their house-made hot sauce is famous and makes the dish quite unique.

Barbecue

Meats with a distinctive smoky taste and garnished with the traditional barbecue sauce are served in almost all American restaurants. The barbecue is a staple of American culture, especially in Southern parts of the country.

While there are many different types of barbecue, there are four major styles, that are most distinct- Carolinas, Memphis, which relies mainly on pork, while Kansas City and Texas incorporate beef as well.

Insider Tips United States

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Transportation

Previously, we talked about the convenience of public transport in Japan and England, but, things are slightly different in these United States. These vast lands need an enormous transportation network to let passenger hop from state to state.

The best way to travel between states even to your neighboring state is by AIR. Air travel has become the most convenient and time-saving mean of transportation. It doesn't cost a fortune too. Airfare is the cheapest it has ever been. The second best option is to drive, the interstate highways are a great way to travel in the US and road trips are fun!

How you roam around in the city will really depend on where you are. If New York is your destination then take the Metro, you can go anywhere. But if you live in Portland or Los Angeles driving is your best option for sure, even though traffic can sometimes be a nightmare.

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Budget

This is a callous one since it would highly depend on the type of traveler you are. If you are making a backpacking or camping trip, it would probably cost way less than if you are staying in 5-star hotels, and in the US you have plenty of those. It can range from no cost (using Couchsurfing or camping) to a couple hundred dollars. If you are camping at a national or state park make sure to check if a camp spot reservation is required. Those usually go fast in the summer months and can cost between $25-40$ per night, the reservation will include the pass needed for the park for the duration of your stay.

Your budget would also depend on your food choices, if you cook at your AirBNB or camping and cook your food, it will probably cost way less than eating at a Michelin Star Restaurant.

Airbnb and VRBO are one of the most popular accommodation booking options in America. Sometimes depending on the state and location, you can find unusual properties for quite cheap.

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Documents

This is one of the trickiest parts about visiting America. Generally, you need a visa of some sort to visit. There is a small number of countries whose citizens are allowed to enter the US without one, you can check here if you are one of those here. For the rest of us, we need to acquire a business/ investor or a visitor’s. There are multiple categories to chose from, pay close attention to the one you really fall into. Obtaining the visa can be quite, but if you are an honest citizen who is really not planning on immigrating, you may be granted one and be able to visit this beautiful, rich country.

Passes: If you are visiting US National Parks, State Parks or US Forests make sure you have the appropriate pass to be on the land or otherwise you will be fined. A day pass for the National Parks is $30, if you are visiting for multiple days or different parks during your stay, America the Beautiful pass might save you a lot of money, it costs $80 its valid for 1 year, and you can use it for all federal lands including National Forests. Discover ($30 per year or $10 per day) is the pass you need to access all State parks since they are not federal and not part of America the Beautiful pass.

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Currency

One of the most versatile and widely used currencies in the world is America’s national currency- the US Dollar. The US dollar is used in all states, of course, and also a lot of other countries. It is widely used as a comparison to other currencies as well and as a universal currency on the stock exchanges.

One USD is trading for 0,75GBP or 1.3 CAD.

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Etiquette

Tipping. It’s customary to tip for good service provided by waiters, taxis, valet, bell boys. Tipping is normally 15-20% of the pre-tax total. It sends a very negative message if you don’t tip. Even if your service was poor, you should still tip at least 10%.

Flying. Always follow the instructions given by flight attendants; be seated when required to. Standing or going to the bathroom when a plane is taxiing may force the captain to stop the aircraft and delay everyone. Wait for the plane to be fully parked before standing up to retrieve your bags. Never cut in front of people when disembarking. Be courteous and warn the passenger behind you when reclining your seat.

Always be aware and alert of your surroundings. Make sure you are not blocking someone’s path. Stay left if passing someone on the sidewalk, escalators or while driving on the roads. If you’re the loudest person in the room, you’re too loud. Don’t play loud videos, music or yell while on your phone in public (no one wants to hear that shit). Always read warning signs.

Bill for your work. When someone asks to help with their blog. Send them a bill for your service.

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