United States of America

Magnificent Cities, National Parks and Landscapes

Measuring an enormous 2,800 miles from the west coast to the east coast and home to over 350 million people, the USA is a continent in a country. It’s home to some of the greatest cities on earth, some of the finest natural wonders of the world and fantastic national parks. There really is so much to explore in this huge country. Added to these attractions is the uniqueness of the U.S.’s 50 different states, each with their own capitals, cultures and cuisines. It’s a common perception that many American’s don’t travel, but why do you need to when you have all of this on your doorstep? 

The capitol building in Washington at night
The Capitol Building in Washington, the centre of US democracy


Situated in North America, the U.S. enjoys a somewhat isolated existence from a geographical perspective. For despite it’s significant size, the U.S. only shares a direct border with two countries, Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The U.S. is also situated between the worlds 2 great oceans, to the west lies the Pacific Ocean and to the east the Atlantic Ocean. 

America’s population is largely concentrated along these two coasts. On the east coast the cities of Miami, New York, Washington and Philadelphia are major suburban area’s. While on the west coast the cities of Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego are significant population centres. The centre of the U.S. is largely the agricultural and industrial heartland of America with numerous small towns and endless plains. 

It’s often been commented that the U.S. is a continent in a country and the U.S.’s 50 states will attest to this. The states vary dramatically, ranging from the tiny Pacific island state of Hawaii to the vast Arctic state of Alaska or the desert of Arizona. These differences in climate and landscapes help shape the unique mentality of the people in each state. However despite these differences, there’s a collective spirit and attitude amongst all American’s that’s best imbued in idea of the ‘American Dream’. 

Best Time to Visit the USA

The U.S.’s diverse climate means that it’s always a good time to visit somewhere in the USA. The U.S. is often characterized as getting warmer the further south you travel and wetter the further east you travel. The south west of the country certainly follows this logic with long hot summers and dry mild winters. The south east also experiences a similar range of temperatures, but with significant rainfall during the summer months. This is particularly true of Florida. Both the north east and the north west are temperate zones with four distinct seasons and relatively mild summers and winters. The centre of the U.S. tends to see a greater variation between summer and winter with scorching summer weather being replaced by freezing winter weather and snow in many areas. 

The U.S. attracts visitors throughout the year and also experiences a lot of internal vacations. Therefore if there’s a time to avoid visiting the U.S. it’s probably during  peak holiday seasons. July and August are very busy times for vacations, especially around Independence day and Labor Day. In the fall, both Columbus Day and especially Thanksgiving can be very busy. As always, prices go up and availability diminishes during these times.

An aerial view of the Grand Prismatic Spring view at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
The volcanic landscape at Yellowstone National Park give it an other worldly feel

Best Things to See in the USA

Trying to pick highlights in the USA isn’t easy. America’s cities are an obvious place to start with New York, Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco all world renowned. However, cities such as Nashville, Austin and New Orleans also have so much to offer. Likewise the big name USA National Parks of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon rank alongside the finest national parks in the world. Yet parks such as Olympic, Bryce and Acadia National Parks all offer outstanding natural beauty as well. Whether its wildlife, beaches, cuisine or landscapes, you’ll find the same wide selection across the USA. 

Best Cities in the USA

Possibly the strongest of all the categories, the U.S. is home to many of the worlds greatest cities. You only need to consider the list of cities that didn’t make the cut to understand just how many great cities there are in the U.S. 

Our top 5 best cities to visit in the U.S. are:

  1. New York, New York State
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. San Diego, California
  5. New Orleans, Louisiana

Best National Parks in the USA

Another area where the U.S. punches well above its weight is in the volume and quality of its national parks. There are currently 423 national parks within the US, with another 6,600 state parks to add into the mix. Collectively they cover almost 100 million acres of land and sea. 

Our top 5 best national parks in the U.S. are:

  1. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
  2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  3. Grand Canyon National Park, Nevada
  4. Yosemite National Park, California
  5. Sequoia National Park, California

Best Beaches in the USA

The U.S. has over 95,000 miles of shoreline so it’s no surprise that it’s home to some of the finest beaches in the world. From calm waters lapping at the beach to crashing surf, there’s a beach for every occasion in the U.S.

Our top 5 best beaches in North America are:

  1. Waimea Bay Beach, Oahu, USA
  2. Sanibel Island, Florida
  3. Malibu Beach, California
  4. Clearwater Beach, Florida
  5. Venice Beach, California

Explore our USA Trip Ideas and Itineraries

The Best National Parks in June

Long Weekend in New York

Sacramento to Lake Tahoe Road Trip

USA Guide and Blog Archive

Houston to Big Bend National Park

Bozeman to Glacier National Park

Best National Parks to Visit in October

Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon

Vegas to Phoenix Road Trip

Seattle to North Cascades

Antelope Canyon to Zion Park

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