Home to the world’s third-largest population, with over 318 million people, the USA includes both densely populated cities with sprawling suburbs and vast, naturally beautiful areas. It would be impossible to create a list of all things not to miss in the US, but this page will remain a work in progress.
Things Not to Miss in the United States of America
- Statue of Liberty – Located in New York, the Statue of Liberty is perhaps the most famous icon of America. It was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a symbol of freedom and democracy.
- Grand Canyon – One of the world’s seven natural wonders, the sheer intensity of light and shadow at sunrise or sunset, make the Grand Canyon a must visit. The three rims of the Grand Canyon are: South, North and West. They offer quite different experiences and are rarely visited on the same trip because they lie hundreds of miles and hours of driving apart.
- Yosemite National Park – From the waterfall-striped granite walls to the skyscraping giant sequoias, Yosemite National Park is awe-inspiring.
- New Orleans – New Orleans is one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond, it’s home to a truly unique melting pot of culture, food and music. Mardi Gras is about music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement. It’s one big holiday in New Orleans and you’ll see a lot of crazy costumes, kids everywhere, and both locals and visitors having a great time.
- The Everglades – There is no wilderness in America quite like the Everglades. The Everglades are a combination of wetlands, swamp, a lake, a river, a prairie, and a grassland all twisted together. It is the habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.
- California Redwoods National and State Parks – Stroll alongside the world’s tallest trees, vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and nearly 40 miles of pristine coastline. California Redwoods National and State Parks are a mosaic of wildlife diversity and cultural traditions.
- The White House – In Washington DC, The White House is the official residence and office of the President of the United States. It was built between 1792 and 1800 and first used by President John Adams. After the 9/11 attacks, it has become more difficult to visit The White House and today tours are available only for groups of 10 or more and must be requested up to six months in advance through your member of Congress or your country’s US Ambassador.
- Denali National Park – The Denali National Park and Preserve is located in Interior Alaska and contains Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. The park protects an incredible wilderness area that contains grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves, and numerous other creatures.
- Yellowstone – Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park, set aside to preserve the vast number of geysers, hot springs, and other thermal areas, as well as to protect the incredible wildlife and rugged beauty of the area. Yellowstone lies on top of a gigantic hotspot where hot, molten mantle rock rises towards the surface. The park contains half of all the world’s known geothermal features and black bears, grizzly bears, deer, elk, bison, and wolves can all be found within the park borders.
Electricity – Electricity in the United States is provided to consumers in the form of 120V, 60Hz alternating current.
Money Matters – The currency in the United States is the US dollar. Tipping is a big thing in the States and you’ll be expected to give 15% or more in cafes, restaurants, bars, and hotels. Taxi drivers will expect the same. In general, the banks are open from Monday-Friday from 8.30 to 5 pm. Credit Cards are widely accepted. Travelers checks are accepted and you can exchange these for cash at any bank, provided you have your passport for ID.
Visa-Free Entry – Citizens of the 38 countries within the Visa Waiver Program, as well as Canadians, Mexicans living on the border (holding a Border Crossing Card), Bermudians, Caymanian, and Turks and Caicos Islanders (with British Overseas Territories passports) do not require advance visas for entry into the United States. For Canadians and Bermudians, the entry period is normally for a maximum of six months. However, entry may still be refused on the basis of a criminal record. Those who have criminal records should seek out a US embassy for advice on whether they need a visa. For travellers under the Visa Waiver Program, the entry period is strictly limited to 90 days. Attempting to enter through any other port of entry requires a valid visa.