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The United States is a country of immigrants, boasting a blend of cultures while projecting a pan-American identity. Composed of 50 states, 5 territories, 326 Native American reservations and other minor possessions – in addition to a federal district (Washington, DC) - the United States is one of the largest and strongest economies in the world, best recognised for its cultural influence on the rest of the world and its military prowess. Taking a country-wide road trip is one of the best ways to experience all that the USA has to offer. You can book your USA car hire in advance with Enjoy Travel.
Guide to the United States
Weather in the United States
As a vast country, you’ll find a whole range of climatic zones. The eastern coast experiences a temperate climate, with cool winters and hot summers. The northern part of the Great Plains has a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons and extreme temperatures. To the southwest, you’ll find some of America’s most famous deserts, and the climate is mostly dry and hot. The northern state of Alaska, of course, is mostly in the Arctic zone. Hawaii, the Gulf, the South Atlantic, and the Caribbean and Pacific territories all fall within the tropical zone.
In terms of natural wonders, there’s no better place in the US than at the Grand Canyon, a magnificent geological formation showcasing millennia of natural and human history. Then drive up to Yellowstone National Park to meet beautiful species like bison, grizzly bears and elk, and witness the micro-eruptions of formidable natural geysers. Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. You can experience the sheer force and magnificence of thousands of gallons of water thundering down by taking the thrilling Maid of the Mist boat tour.
Things to Do in the USA
Culture & museums in the US
If you’re a culture or history buff, spend a day at one of the nation’s foremost museums. We recommend the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. or the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in nearby New York. On the other end of the country, you’ll find culturally impactful attractions of another kind. Stroll down Hollywood Boulevard for a taste of some of the most emblematic personalities to ever grace the silver screen and influence pop culture all over the world.
After enjoying the incredible landscapes and gaining a new appreciation for the nation’s cultural diversity, you may want to look at some monumental man-made marvels. The Statue of Liberty in NYC depicts the Roman goddess of liberty breaking free of her chains and clutching a tablet with the date of America’s independence day. Next, awe at human innovation at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida as you rest your eyes on the rocket that put the first man on the moon. In San Francisco lies a great feat of engineering: the Golden Gate Bridge. At a height of 67 metres and with a length of 1970 metres, it was the world’s tallest and longest suspension bridge when it was built in 1937. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot whales in the waters beneath the bridge.
Eating out in the USA
The US is a big melting pot of cultures and this is reflected in its diverse cuisine. Some of the iconic American dishes you must try while there are: s’mores (imagine toasted marshmallows, melted chocolate and a graham cracker having a love affair), biscuits and gravy (a Southern staple), a $1 slice of New York pizza or Chicago deep-dish pizza, New England clam chowder, buffalo wings, and a proper Thanksgiving feast (think turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie) if you can swing it.
There are more than 5000 airports in the United States, the busiest of which is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.
Public transport vs. driving in the USA
Within the country, road travel is the most common way of getting around. Some of the bigger cities have decent public transportation systems, but as it’s such a vast country, most people have their own cars or hire one to be able to visit other cities and states.
Car hire is a popular choice among tourists looking to explore the grandeur of the United States at their own pace and with maximum flexibility and convenience. Some of the most popular car hireagencies across the mainland are Hertz, Avis, National, Enterprise, Alamo and Budget. You can do a one-way hire, which allows you to pick up your vehicle and drop it off at another at the end of your trip, saving you the hassle of driving back. If you’re travelling with family or a large group of people, a 7 seater or minibus may be ideal as you’ll have more luggage storage space.