Last Updated: 21st Jan 2014
Capital: Washington DC
Currency: US Dollar
Visas: Travel Visa Information
The USA (United States of America) offers a massive diversity across a country with a population of over 300 million people. Everything from the hectic chaos and savvy chic of big cities like ‘The Big Apple’ to the simply indescribable landscapes and scenery of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Niagara Falls can be found. There are also wild nights to be had in places like Las Vegas or relaxing days to be had on the beaches of California. The ‘land of the free’ has surprises at almost every turn.
World Famous Cities and Sites
The major cities of the US are icons and inspirations immortalized in art, music, TV, movies and music. It’s almost impossible to travel anywhere in the world and not see references to these modern wonders.
New York’s skyline alone includes iconic sights such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Times Square, which are just a fraction of what the ‘city that never sleeps’ has to offer as one of the most famous cities in the world.
Washington DC, home of the Pentagon, the White House, Capitol Hill, and the Smithsonian Museums, is a modern day Rome. In the Midwest, you can find Chicago’s mighty Willis Tower on the shores of Lake Michigan and Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Out West, California alone presents a whole host of sights and delights found in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Other cultural icons in the Western United States include the Las Vegas Strip, Route 66, Mt Rushmore, the Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland and Hollywood sign.
National Parks & Natural Wonders
One of the aspects of the United States that is often overlooked is its plethora of world class natural wonders. There is an awesome variety of forests, mountains, deserts and wilderness areas. One of the country’s most famous natural wonders is the spectacularly expansive Grand Canyon in Arizona. Also imp0ressive are the huge and soaring Rocky Mountains and the lush, green forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains around Bass Lake. Contrast these mountainous regions with nature’s sculpture gallery in the deserts of Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and Monument Valley.
The largest and oldest of all Americas natural reserves is Yellowstone National Park. Yosemite National Park is simply awesome while Badlands National Park of South Dakota gives you a totally different landscape.
Niagara Falls, on the border between the US and Canada, is one of the most famous falls in the world.
Disneyland in Anaheim is a must for big kids at heart while the thrills of big roller coasters can also be found nearby Knotts Berry Farm. The Disney adventures continue at Orlando’s Disneyworld in Florida.
The Americans are sports crazy. Baseball, Basketball, Gridiron Football and Ice Hockey are just a few of the sports played here. This country is home to some fantastic Professional and College sporting teams. Going to a game is a must for any sports enthusiast. NBA Basketball is widely popular with its well-known teams, like the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers. Major League Baseball, the countries national sport, features teams like the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels. Gridiron Football with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins also goes off. Ice Hockey often draws packed houses to see teams like the Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings, New York Rangers who are all a part of the NHL.
Although most famous for the hamburger and french fries, you’ll find a huge diversity of food across the United States. From Mexican specialties in California to great seafood around Boston. Texas and the Mid-west offer up great steaks, find Creole cooking in New Orleans, while New York and Chicago are both famous for pizza and hot dogs. There are also local specialties and variations in almost every region of the States.
The Americans are well known for their huge serving sizes so you’re almost guaranteed to be filled to the brim after every meal.
Drinks and Alcohol
The US is the home of Coca Cola but this is just one of the myriad of flavors of ‘soda’ available nation-wide.
The legal drinking age is 21 across the whole country. This age restriction is taken seriously and enforced in bars and clubs across almost everywhere.
Beers like Budweiser, Busch, Coors Light (light beers are light in calories, not alcohol) and Sam Adams are popular the whole country over. Napa Valley, just outside of San Francisco in California, has gained a world-wide reputation for it’s production of excellent wines.
The US is also home to Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and a whole host of liquors and spirits.
For iconic US beach scenes, the stuff ‘Baywatch’ is made of can be found in California while Florida gives you a taste of beach fun and the Pacific island of Hawaii rounds out as some of the best beaches in the country.
Places Contiki Visits in the USA
- Annapolis – Home of the US Naval Academy
- Boston – ‘Bean town’ – Drenched in US history
- New York – The Big Apple
- Philadelphia – ‘City of Brotherly Love’ and ’Birthplace of the Nation’
- Washington DC – The Capitol, the White House, amazing monuments and museums
- Newport, Rhode Island
Florida and The South
- New Orleans – Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras and the Swingin’ South
- Orlando – The Mecca of theme parks
- Pensacola – Beach, Beach, Beach
- Raleigh – North Carolina, History in the State Capitol
- Savannah – Georgia, the true south
- St Augustine – America’s oldest city
- Cocoa Beach
- Little Rock
- Hawaii – Snorkel, swim, surf, Waikiki, Pacific paradise and island culture
Colorado, Nevada, Utah & Arizona
- Bryce Canyon National Park – Spectacular desert scenery
- Cortez – The Rocky Mountains
- The Grand Canyon and Kanab – ‘Grand’ is too small a word
- Las Vegas – Bright lights, the Vegas Strip, a playground for adults
- Phoenix – Capital of Arizona
- Salt Lake City – Utah, Olympic city and headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
- Zion National Park – Cliffs, canyons and amazing desert stone formations
- Santa Fe
- Monument Valley
- Chicago – Super city of the north
- Cleveland – Home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Cody – Wyoming, Gateway to Yellowstone
- Madison – Rocking University town and capital of Wisconsin
- Milwaukee – One of the brewing capitals of the USA
- Mt Rushmore – The famous 4 presidents faces on the mountainside
- Niagara Falls – Huge rushing waterfalls
- Sioux Falls – More beautiful waterfalls
- Yellowstone – Wildlife, Lakes, canyons and ‘Old Faithful’
Texas and New Mexico
West Coast and California
- Anaheim – Disneyland and our West Coast base
- Bass Lake – Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Los Angeles – Hollywood, Santa Monica, the land of the stars
- San Diego – ‘Americas Finest City’
- San Francisco – The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz
- Santa Barbara – The best the Californian coast has to offer
- Yosemite National Park – El Capitan and spectacular granite formations