The colossal country of the USA conjures too many images at once: emblematic snapshots of a twinkling Manhattan skyline in New York, the dizzying depths of the Grand Canyon in Nevada, the alligators and hovercraft of Florida. Any frequenter of Hollywood, or indeed television will have strolled the pink stars along the walk of fame with Julia Roberts in the Los Angeles of Pretty Woman, blasted into space from Houston’s mission control or won the Vegas jackpot a thousand times in their dreams. But being there is a different story, and no silver screen is big enough to chart it. From the first time you receive a milkshake the size of a wellington boot in an Atlanta diner to the sensation that New York is somehow attempting to become as tall as it is broad, this will feel like any other holiday, just much, much, bigger.
Split into 49 states, the USA begs the question – where to start? A common strategy might be to tackle its capital, the political emblem of white houses and capitol buildings, Washington DC. Somehow, though, the more natural inclination is always towards the yellow cabs and steaming subways of the Big Apple, or New York City. Grab a city pass for a bargain basement entry to the city’s main attractions; the Empire State Building, Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a choice between the Guggenheim Museum or a trip to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty.
The South is simply unmissable. With its idyllic warm climate, burring crickets at night, jazz, hearty cooking and effortless manners, from Tennessee to Virginia, it’s a stunning cultural and historic medley, playing out over a nuanced landscape. The everglades and a tropical climate, the vastly distinctive Florida warms hearts with the art-deco of Miami and the stunning nature of the everglades. Or how about Texas, with its mix of beaches, cattle ranches and the space-age centre of Houston? Continue to reach westward, and the southwest states reveal the states and their cities like jewels twinkling in a sandbox. With a heavy Mexican and Spanish influences, Las Vegas will lure you in with its bright lights and roaring rollercoasters, or Arizona with steal your breath with its outdoor wonderland to explore.
West coastward, and California couldn’t be more diverse. Los Angeles is particularly distinct, with the waves of Malibu, the shadow of the Hollywood sign and the glistening baubles of fame and beauty reflecting all the sunshine of this bright young state. Or how about the mist shrouded hillsides of tram-trawled San Francisco, with its rainy bay, Golden Gate bridge and hippy communities?
And this is only the beginning. Who could neglect the majestic wilderness of Alaska? What about the the cultural capital of the Pacific Northwest, the Great Plains and the Rockies, the Great Lakes of the Midwest and the homeliness of New England? Then, far out over the Pacific, the tropical paradise island of pineapples and Polynesia, another facet of this relentless and magnetic country. Hawaii, birthplace of its president, and blooming paradise.
Last Edit by Site Administrators on 7/05/2012 EDIT NOW >>