Featured America Hotels
America is a place everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. The America experience encompasses so many things -- redwood forests and snow-covered peaks; deserts and canyons; vast plains and lakes, and the open road; and a host of extraordinary and vibrant cities, each with its own inimitable brand of culture and lifestyle. Nobody could ever claim to have seen all of America, but everyone should see at least part of it.
Ways to See America
There are several different methods you can use to experience America -- or more correctly, the United States of America, or USA. You can just concentrate on one or two areas for a holiday -- for instance, just booking a holiday in Florida, or staying with friends. Many people choose to do a coast-to-coast trip, either by rail, or by Greyhound Bus -- a great way to see the country. Or you can hire a car and hit the open road, which often gives you the best opportunity to see the hidden corners and unexpected wonders of this incredible country -- but whichever method you choose, it will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.
Incredible National Parks
The USA is especially well known for its spectacular national parks, of which there are nearly 400 across the country. Some of the best known are in the west, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Rocky Mountain National Park alone has 416 million acres of wildly beautiful wilderness, with more than 355 miles of hiking trails.
One place that is regarded as a must-see is the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona, one of the natural wonders of the world, offering some of the most sensational scenery on the planet. There are plenty of companies arranging trips there, usually from Las Vegas or Phoenix, either for a day or for several days, and you can view the canyon either from above, by visiting either the South Rim or the North Rim, or, preferably, from below, by rafting the Colorado River -- this gives you the best sense of its awe-inspiring nature. The South Rim is more touristy, or you can escape the crowds by camping or hiking at the North Rim.
East to West
When doing a coast-to-coast trip, most people start at the east coast and travel westwards. The starting point is usually a major eastern city like Boston, Mass., or New York City -- it obviously makes sense to spend a few days here before setting off, and either of these cities has a huge amount to offer. In Boston you can spend a day or several days walking the famous Freedom Trail, enjoying all the delights along the way, while in New York there is a bewildering choice, including the pleasures of Manhattan, like Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Times Square, Greenwich Village, or cruising round the harbour with great views of the Statue of Liberty.
At the other end of your coast-to-coast journey you will be arriving in one of the great western cities, like Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Las Vegas, often known as Sin City, or the Entertainment Capital of the World, seems more like a theme park than a city, and is a great getaway option if you want to experience the high life, and escape the realities of your day-to-day world. Los Angeles of course is the home of Hollywood -- you can go on a tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, or of some of the legendary film studios, or just stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
San Francisco is one of the most spectacular in a land of spectacular cities, known not only for its hippie culture, but for its delightful architecture and stunning views -- and, of course, for the renowned Golden Gate Bridge, which you can cross either on foot or by bus -- and it's well worth doing so. You can also follow the tourist crowds to the charming Fisherman's Wharf, with all its boutiques and restaurants overlooking Alcatraz and the Bay. Try to walk up or down the steep and twisty, but incredibly beautiful, Lombard Street, and don't forget to ride a cable car up and down the hilly streets.
One of the country's most popular areas for overseas visitors won't be on the east-to-west route -- Florida, the Sunshine State right down in the south, really has something for all types of holidaymaker. Its location, jutting out between the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas, guarantees near year-round sunshine and balmy temperatures, while its beauty and wealth of unique attractions keep people coming back. Florida is of course known as the place to go for theme parks, including Walt Disney World, but areas like the Florida Keys, and the Everglades, with their amazing wildlife, are must-see places, and Florida also has an almost unlimited number of some of the most incredible beaches in the world.
These are just a tiny selection of the vast riches America has to offer. Every one of the 50 states has its wonders -- some well known, some less so -- but if you get off the beaten track, you can see some strange and bizarre sights as well, such as the gas station in Colorado made of petrified wood, or in California the world's tallest thermometer. Just don't expect to see all of it in your lifetime.