United States Travel Guide

United States Tours Highlights

  • Explore the many National Parks and National Forests the USA has to offer, like Yellowstone National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Zion.
  • New England is steeped in history and known for its amazing fall foliage.
  • Alaska is full of wildlife, natural beauty, huge glaciers, and friendly people.
  • The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the largest. Travel to New Mexico for this colorful aerial extravaganza.
  • Discover the major cities in Texas. Stand in Dallas where Kennedy was shot, see the behind the scenes of NASA in Houston, and walk the San Antonio river walk.
  • Stroll around the French Quarter in New Orleans to hear Jazz music, eat delicious Cajun food, and visit unique landmarks.
  • Honky-tonk lovers will love Tennessee, where legends like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash come alive.
  • Island hop around Hawaii to see volcanoes, beaches, and forests. Spend time at Pearl Harbor and visit the USS Arizona Memorial.
  • The west coast is full of fresh cityscapes, sun-kissed seaside cliffs, and rolling hills.
  • Follow legendary Route 66 and see how Americans traveled from the 1920s through the 1960s.

United States Travel Tips

  • If you already live states side, a lot of the same cultural norms stand true throughout the United States.
  • You’ll find large portioned meals everywhere you go. Any sit down restaurant and anywhere you order a drink, tipping at least 20% is normal.
  • It is common to find public bathrooms that are free to use.
  • The United States is a huge country. The weather can vary greatly so plan ahead.
  • Respect people’s personal space when in public areas or on public transportation.
  • The US dollar is accepted everywhere in the United States and no other form of currency is used. Carry some cash to grab a coffee or buy other small items.
  • Beggars are common in high traffic areas. Most people suggest ignoring any solicitations for money.
  • Americans drive on the right side of the road and the driver sits on the left side of the car.
  • The United States uses the metric system for nearly everything.
  • It is likely that English will be the only language people speak. It best to learn some conversation English to communicate.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN THE UNITED STATES

1. STAND IN AWE IN THE NATIONAL PARKS

NATIONAL PARK

The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and Bryce Canyon really do live up to their expectation. Each one has scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and tons of natural beauty. Choose from over 60 National Parks and experience some of the great wonders of the world.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • There are many National Parks spread out around the country. Pick your favorites and travel to ones that are also close by.
  • A tour is usually necessary to learn about the history of each of the parks.

2. VISIT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

STATUE OF LIBERTY

Lady Liberty is an American icon located in New York Harbor. The copper statue was a gift from the people of France in 1886. She is engraved with the Roman numerals of the date of the US’s Declaration of Independence. She is located near Ellis Island, where immigrants would first arrive when they came by sea. You can walk around the State and even go inside for great views of the iconic New York skyline.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • You need to take a boat to the Statue of Liberty because she is located on an island
  • If you want to go inside the State, you have 2 options. A pedestal only ticket, which gets you halfway up, or a crown ticket, which gets you all the way to the top.
  • Prepare to go through 2 rounds of airport-like security to go to the island and to go inside the Statue.

3. WALK ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

This huge suspension bridge is a mile long and located in the San Francisco Bay over the Pacific Ocean. Opened in 1937, this is one of the most famous and recognizable bridges in the world. Under the bridge is Fort Point National Historic Site, a free NPS location that offers both interesting history and a scenic view.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

Summer months are the best time to visit because the weather is warm. Keep in mind fog can obstruct your view early in the morning, so afternoons are best. For great views, go at sunset.

4. LEARN ABOUT US HISTORY IN WASHINGTON DC

WASHINGTON DC

Washington DC is the nation’s capital and full of government buildings including the US Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court. One of the world’s largest libraries, the Library of Congress, is a huge research library that contains one of the Gutenberg Bibles. The National Mall is the park area located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • All the Smithsonian Museums are free, as well as a lot of the government buildings. However, some exhibits might require a reserved ticket ahead of time.
  • Check calendars for any closures on public holidays.
  • Located outside of DC, Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon are popular sites to visit.

5. SEE THE HUGE MOUNT RUSHMORE MEMORIAL

MOUNT RUSHMORE

Mount Rushmore is an enormous sculpture carved into the face of a mountain in South Dakota. It depicts the 60-foot heads of four US presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. There are trails to walk around to view the flora and fauna of the area.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

Summer months are very popular, but any sunny day is a great time to visit. Spring and Fall have great temperatures and will have lighter crowds.

6. ISLAND HOP IN HAWAII

HAWAII

Visit active volcanoes, beautiful beaches, nature preserves with wildlife, historical memorials, and forests full of walking trails and waterfalls. Go to Honolulu and see Pearl Harbor National Memorial and learn about the attacks in 1941. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encompasses two active volcanoes with dramatic views and lots of rare flora and fauna.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Rainy season is considered to be from November to March, but there are many parts of Hawaii that won’t receive a lot of rainfall. The Springtime and Fall are both wonderful times to visit.  

7. WANDER AROUND THE FRENCH QUARTER                   

The French Quarter is a popular buzzing area of New Orleans. This city square is the oldest section of New Orleans. The area has historical buildings, lots of restaurants and bars, street art and performers, and a huge church, St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Stop by Café du Monde 24/7 for some chicory coffee and famously delicious beignets, and shop around the French Market for local foods and crafts. Get out of the hustle and bustle and take a stroll along the walk on the Mississippi river banks.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Busy weekends change week to week depending on if there are any festivals on the schedule, JazzFest, Mardi Gras season, and the French Quarter Festival will bring very heavy crowds. The weather in New Orleans is hot and humid during most of the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Wear very good walking shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen.

8. LISTEN TO HONKY-TONK MUSIC IN NASHVILLE

NASHVILLE

Home of the Country Music Hall Of Fame, there are tons of bars, restaurants, and venues to hear lots of good honky-tonk music. The Johnny Cash Museum opened in 2013 to honor the life and music of country superstar. Spend the day looking at the world’s largest collection of Cash memorabilia. Legendary music star, Elvis Presley is known to have recorded 200+ songs at RCA Studio B, which is also available to tour.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The weather is pleasant and the sites aren’t as crowded in the Spring and Fall months. Summer months can bring high temperatures and muggy weather.

9. SPEND THE DAY AT A THEME PARK

Disney World

From Walt Disney World, Disneyland, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, there are plenty of theme parks to choose from in the US. Movie lovers will enjoy Universal Studios and can gain insight into movie making. Disneyworld has multiple parks, from around the world activities in Epcot to great rides at the Magic Kingdom and has so much to see that visitors usually spend multiple days exploring. Depending on your location and interests, there is a theme park for you.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Each park has its own calendar of busy days, so be sure to research ahead of time. Rule of thumb, weekends, holidays, and Summer are the busiest times.

10. GO TO A SHOW IN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS

The Las Vegas strip is full of sensory overload sites and attractions. From roller coasters, huge dancing fountains, sky-high towers, and fancy resorts you can see something new every time you walk around. Live shows are a popular thing to do in Las Vegas and there are performances for every type of interest. From magic to dancing, to circus and music, there are tons of world-famous performers who have graced the stage.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Get your tickets ahead of time because most of the shows sell out quickly.
  • Check the age restrictions on performances to make sure your whole group can attend.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The USA is a beautiful place to visit. Its sprawling geography is vast and varied and there’s nothing more american than a road trip around the US. From the flatlands in the southeast to the ice caps in Alaska, there’s a little bit of everything here for everyone. Because the weather from one place to another is so different, you’ll need to know the best time to visit for the area you’re going.

Quick Facts

  • The USA is separate into six main regions: Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, Southwest, West, and Northwest.
  • Each region has climate that is different from each other and it’s important to know where you’ll be visiting to better your expectations.

NORTHEAST REGION
The Northeast region of the United States consists of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The average temperature during the Summer is 69F and about 20F during the Winter. This area gets four distinct seasons every year. One of the most pleasant times to visit is during the Fall when the leaves are turning colors and the weather is cool and accommodating.

SOUTHEAST REGION
The Southeast region of the United States consists of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, & Virginia. Average highs during the Summer are solidly in the 90s while during the Winter you can expect average temperatures of 60s. One of the best times to visit this area is during the Winter, when it’s nice and sunny during the day but it’s not too hot. The nighttime temperatures feel nice and just right as you layer up.

MIDWEST REGION
The Midwest region of the United States consists of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Temperatures here tend to fluctuate drastically. Average Winter highs here are in the 20s and 70s in the Summer. This is also known to be quite windy with conditions ranging from high to extreme.

SOUTHWEST REGION
The Southwest region of the United States consists of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Summers in the south are hot and humid. Average temperatures can reach up to over 100F. Winters cool off slightly at about 60F with the rare 30F or 40F cold front.

WEST REGION
The West region of the United States consists of California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The West is primarily made up of desert and desert Summers can be very hot, up to the 100s. Winters are nice and cool, averaging about 50s. The weather here is mostly temperate and not too unpredictable.

NORTHWEST REGION
The Northwest Region of the United States consists of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. This is the wettest region of the US with the states getting the most rainfall. Winters are cold and wet and Summers are very pleasant. Average temperatures are in the 70F high and 50F low during the Summer. During the Winter, the highs average about 40F and 30F low.