How to even begin to describe the behemoth that is America?
A country of many countries, the United States comprises of Chinatowns, happy Little Italy, a vast Indian Square, lots of Greek towns, few Little Australia, and even Little Burma, Little Ethiopia, and a Persian Square. Race and identities get blurred here to form a unique American culture that accepts and welcomes visitors without much fanfare. And yet some of the best travel experiences are to be had in the American heartlands – the often overlooked Central states where life is quite different and much slower than that of the coasts.
The great cities of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, and others have lots of green spaces and public arts, stunning architecture, eclectic markets and shopping, vibrant nightlife and are great for urban exploration. Many American cities are also renowned for their diverse culinary scene, especially New York.
Sharply juxtaposed against some of the finest cities of the 21st century, is the ‘Real America’. And no, we don’t mean the people but the natural landscapes and landforms that make up the country’s 58 national parks, countless state parks, and national reserves and monuments. Here you will find spectacular vistas, living landscapes, lots of wildlife and the reservations of Native American people. Camp, hike, or cycle the areas to explore them more and be amazed by what you find: we have seen mammoth fossils, giant towering cacti, coyotes and grizzly bears, turquoise jewelry, and dreamcatchers.
America is our inspiration for road trips, big and small. The roads here are wide, open and surrounded by magnificent scenery. The country’s best road trips are spread all over the 51 states and take visitors through the snow-capped Rockies, corn fields of the breadbasket states, along the lakeshores and winding coasts, through the great Sonoran desert, and along deep canyons and gorges.
We would urge you to take one or two or more Great American road trips and explore what the country is all about.. after all, you are in America!
USA TRAVEL INSPIRATION
Want to Visit the USA but do not know where to begin planning your USA trip? Use our USA Travel Inspiration Series as a starting point to plan your USA Vacation. In this series, you will find our USA Trip Planner, Best Cities in USA, USA Travel Bucket List, and Best Road Trips in USA.
In the USA Trip Planner, you will find several itinerary ideas ranging from one week to two weeks. You will find itineraries for different regions of the country and covering popular attractions like the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, New York City, and Niagara Falls.
If you are looking for urban travel inspiration then read about the Best Cities to Visit in USA. You will find itinerary ideas and things to do for several cities like New York City, San Francisco, and Houston. You will also explore hidden gems like Savannah, New Orleans, and Charleston.
If you need inspiration for planning your USA Holidays, then start by reading our USA Travel Bucket List. In this epic list, you will find vibrant cities and dramatic landscapes. You will know more about natural areas like Big Sur and Glacier National Park. You will read about underrated destinations like Portland and San Antonio.
To Travel around America via road in an RV or a car, read our post on the most popular Road Trips in USA. This guide will help you decide whether you want to plan a West Coast road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway or a Florida road trip from Miami to Key West or a memorable vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Apart from these main articles, we also have several USA Travel Inspiration articles about the hidden gems in the country, best national parks for fall colors, and must eat foods around the country.
EXPLORE THE USA BY REGION
There is no doubt about it – the USA is large, humungous. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and seeing the country in a single trip from coast to coast is nearly impossible. For the purposes of travel in the USA, we consider 4 regions – Eastern USA, Midwest, Southwest, and Western USA.
Eastern USA is where the original 13 colonies were located. Today, this region comprises of two major distinct cultural entities: New England and the South. In New England you will find liberal small towns, an abundance of seafood, and gorgeous fall foliage. In South, you can tour historic plantation homes, understand the tragic history of slavery, and feast on a unique cuisine of BBQ, pies, and grits. The Eastern US is densely populated and is home to some of the biggest cities in the country: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, and Memphis. This region is also popular for its music: head to New Orleans for jazz or to Nashville for country. For natural attractions, you have gorgeous beaches and the Appalachian mountains.
A major part of the Midwest was acquired during the Louisiana Purchase of 1804. This is said to be the heartland of the country. In the Midwest, you will find rolling prairies and farmlands. The Great Lakes are located here as are the major cities of Chicago, Detroit, Cleaveland, and Minneapolis. The midwest is the perfect summer road trip destination. You can explore the northern part of the Great River Road or go on a road trip to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore.
The American Southwest consists of frontier states that were part of the Spanish possessions in North America. These states share a distinct cultural heritage of Native American and Spanish American cultures. The Southwest is famous for its natural attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Carsbad Caverns, White Sands National Park, and gorgeous Big Bend. Driving in the SouthWest is a delight – the scenery changes from deep canyons and evergreen pines to rocky desert and giant towering cacti in minutes. Another attraction of the Southwest is its cuisine: eat Tex-Mex and BBQ in Texas, slurrp on chili in New Mexico, and eat the Native American fry bread in Arizona.
The West or ‘Wild West’ has its roots in the California Gold Rush. You can still find mining ghost towns and historical reenactments in this part of the country. The West is known for its spectacular landscape and natural areas from the gorgeous Pacific Coast to beautiful national parks of Yosemite and Yellowstone. Visit the beaches and get some sun or go skiing in the Sierra Nevada or the Rocky Mountains. See beautiful waterfalls or float in the rivers. The West has all types of landscapes from flat desert to undulating mountains. You can explore the vibrant cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Las vEgas, and Denver.
Apart from these major regions, are the unique areas of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Hawaii is distinctly Polynesian and dominated by volcanoes while Puerto Rico and the Virgin islands share Carribbean heritage and values. Alaska is a world in itself – where there are more animals than people and the nature puts on an enchanting show from the enchnating tundras to the frozen glaciers.