USA

The World in One Country

Some have said that if you want to enjoy all of the pleasures and excitement of visiting every foreign port all around the world, just vacation in America because we have it all. And to be sure, you can literally experience almost any part of the world right here in the heart of the United States of America.

It makes sense that the cultures of dozens if not hundreds of countries have been recreated beautifully in the borders of The United States. After all, this country was comprised almost entirely of immigrants from every country across the globe. And as each new immigrant group made their home here in America, they found their countrymen so they could live near each other, if for no other reason than to hear their nature tongues spoken. And within those communities, the cultures of “the old country” were beautifully reproduced to make those immigrants get over a little of their homesickness for the familiar and for home.

The beautiful thing about life in America is that the different ethnic groups are not stingy about keeping others from other cultures from learning of their customs, tasting their foods, enjoying their music and really getting a good exposure to a culture that they would otherwise have to travel around the world to see. So in one country, often in one city and often within city blocks of one another, you can experience cultures as diverse and different from each other as night is from day.

In places that would seem unlikely, you can discover entire populations of Germans, the Polish, Bavarians and other ethnic groups from central Europe. And without much coaxing, they love to share their delightful foods, music and dance with you as well. So even if you are as English as tea or hail from far away Spain, Africa or the Middle East, you can take an evening, eat a bratwurst, enjoy a stout beer and for a little while, you too are just as German as anyone at that party.

The American melting pot surfaced a trait that seems to be common in most if not all of the ethnic populations around that world. And that is a very basic hospitality, openness to outsiders and excitement to share their cultural richness with anyone who wishes to join in. And the natural American trait of friendliness and hospitality to strangers assures that if you want to experience the world in one country, you can easily do that in this great country.

In many cities in our country, you can take an evening and seemingly leave this world behind and lounge in the exotic atmospheres of ancient china, Thailand, Persia or Tibet. The foods of these countries will delight your mouth and give your taste buds some exciting new adventures as well. And the ambiance and music that the natives who create these worlds for us transport us to their home lands just as magically as one of those special effects movies from Hollywood. So be sure to take the time to listen to the music, enjoy the dancing and really soak up the culture and atmosphere of the country of origin as you savor the delicacies of their foods as well.

When you go to traveling across America, be sure you take notice of areas of the country that have particularly strong communities from around the world. These local outposts of far away lands are usually excited to share with you their native customs. You may even walk out of that Pakistani area of Pittsburgh decked out in robes and a native headwear that you will enjoy lounging around in at home, remembering the many great experiences you had when you set out to enjoy the world in one country

NORTHWEST USA

One of the most beautiful regions in North America is the Northwest. With breathtaking scenery and never ending coasts it has fast gained the reputation of being one of the best travel destinations in Americas. The mountain ranges are apt for the thriving wilderness and for the adventure lovers too. Mount Saint Helens with its historical past and Mt. Rainer with the natures bounty stand tall in the northwest as embodiments of the claim the place makes about its grandeur. The metropolitan scene of this side of America is abuzz with cities like Washington and Oregon making it the political corner of the country. The ocean too is gracious enough to offer all its beauty to the northwestern coast. The northern pacific flushes the coast and some of the most fantastic beaches are found on the coastal cities like Washington. The waters are also home to whales, which has made whale-watching a favorite activity in this part of North America.

The adventure seekers find it very intriguing and challenging to come and challenge their limits in the mountains of northwest America. The undulating topography on the mountainsides is apt for the mountain bikers. The mountaineering sport has also got a lot of stronghold in the region because of the challenging mountain ranges. The sports scene is fully supported by the mountainous landform. The local tourism too is fully supported by this fact and the tourist industry too is a flourishing one. The major adventure sports events are organized in this region and this has brought the northwest frontier of America on the global scene. So much on the adventure sports in the mountains of this part.

The vast expanse of the sea has also become a very popular playground for the adventure hungry. The surfers always prefer to ride the more challenging waves around. Water comes in abundance in this part of USA. The kayaking and rafting in the gushing waters of the Wenatchee river of the Washington region attracts many tourists fro m all over. It is considered one of the most challenging raft routes in America. The rafting scene in this region never dies off.

If there is one place where you can enjoy exquisite coffee sitting in the verandah of a rain drenched house, it has to be Seattle. The place is known equally for its coffee and rains. The city is world famous for being home to some of the greatest rock bands. The music never dies in Seattle. Shopping and looking around the town, the tourist opine, is one enjoyable way to pass a day while in Seattle. The pacific North West has other important cities such as Oregon famous for its beaches.

The northwest holiday is incomplete without a visit to the famous Islands of San Juan. The beauty of nature can be felt by strolling through the wilderness of the islands. There is a mystic aura about the island that attracts thousands of tourists from America and abroad. The 3-4 hour cruise on an ancient ship gives a nostalgic feeling of the days of past and the lives of the seafaring men.

Whale watching, mountain biking, cascading rafting the adventure never stops in this part of America. The place has so much to offer that you can’t help but come. So come vacations pack your bags and head northwest because its here that the party begins.

SOUTHWEST USA

Southwest region of United States is an exhibition of myriad cultures, traditions, activities, events and ambience. This is because the region is composed of globally recognized states- Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Texas and Utah. Colorado too is often deemed to a part of this insignificantly harsh or water deficient region. According to many people visiting Southwest is akin to confronting the past. For pioneers, cowboys and mountain men traveled around and settled in this area. Also the southwest festivals and fairs are a complete reflection of tradition and culture. For instance if you want to taste the typical southwest region flavor, take part in the fairs like Texas State Fair or the 49ers festival in Utah.

Southwest region is an area where cultural diversity can be delighted in, where variety has become the specialty. So while Mexico has its own Mexican culture to greet you with, the Old World Spanish culture still echoes in California. The imprints of the tribes such as the Navajo, Apache, Hopi and Zuni are visible on the land of Southwest. One amongst the wonderful features of this area is that age, caste and sex are no bars to enjoy. In other words people of all ages can have a gala time here.

The place has everything to lure its visitors. From beguiling scenic splendor to thrilling and adventurous activities, it has all. Kids can have an amazing time visiting sites like Jellystone Parks, dinosaur digs, National Parks like Guadalupe Mountains national park etc. Perceiving Grand Canyon, one amongst the wonders of the world is definitely a lifetime experience for every visitor. Death Valley is another awesome place to hit. It is one of the geological wonderlands. Apart from this the geological formations in Zion National Park, desert terrain running alongside the lush mountains are a toast to eyes. Magnificent and colorful volcanic deposits can be seen at the Artist’s Palette. The oasis, warm springs, palm trees and cottonwoods make the Furnace Creek a place worth going. You can even board a flight and soon be a member of the rocking nightlife of Las Vegas, the place that never sleeps.

In Southwest you can relish rock climbing, mountain hiking and even skating. The Zion National Park and a few other national parks offer many hiking trails. Hiking Zion Canyons is also a breathtaking experience but meant only for skilled hikers. Ruby Mountains situated in northern Nevada are ideal for rock climbing. There are overhanging rocks and 800 feet tall rock towers that make rock climbing most adventurous sport so far. The Lamoille Canyon, located in Ruby Mountains is also a place swarming with visitors. Little Florida Mounatins are also associated with hiking. Here you will find trails for hiker of every level and the most bewitching aspect is the incredible view one gets to see after climbing on the top.

The Rockhound state Park in New Mexico is largely recognized as a picnic spot for entire family. Rockhound offers excellent camping opportunities. There are hot showers, bathrooms and a Visitor’s Center too. People love to do camping here because of the fascinating aura and to grab 15 pounds of agates, geodes and quartz that anyone can gather and take to home.

Since the southwest region is rich in dinosaur fossils and has countless rocks, treasure hunting is a popular activity here. Here you can hunt for treasures of all types. Dinosaur bones are found littering sand dunes and dry lakebeds. Gold can be discovered in California and Arizona.

TRAVEL BY TRAIN IN USA

More and more people are turning to Amtrak as a reliable way to travel for the holidays. After the terrorist attacks of 09/11/01, airport security has become increasingly difficult to get through. As a result most airports have long lines and delays taking place around the holidays because they don’t want to become lax even when it is busy.

Traveling with children for the holidays can be stressful, especially if you are traveling with them alone. Keeping them entertained in a car for the trip is often a two person job so one can drive and one can play games or offer snacks to keep everyone in the vehicle happy for the duration of the trip.

Airplanes are very cramped and most people don’t do well with children roaming the isles or crying during the flight. For younger children, the amount of pressure that can build in their ears on an airplane is very painful. Being stuck on a runway for hours will definitely make children uncomfortable and these delays often happen around the holidays. If you have ever tried to change diapers in the small airplane bathrooms you will know that it isn’t an easy feat to accomplish.

Amtrak is very family oriented so this may be the best mode of transportation for your holiday travel. The cars are roomy and you are able to get up and walk around freely. There is plenty of scenery along the railway routes too for you to enjoy.

If you are be going on a long trip for the holidays, Amtrak offers sleeping cars of various sizes. This is a great way for your children to have the room they need to take a nap and to play. Most of the family sleeping cars offer enough space for two adults and two children comfortably.

You will find great holiday travel deals on Amtrak when you reserve a sleep car as well. Many times you will get coupons for free meals offered in the dining car. This is an expense you will have to cover on your own otherwise so it helps offset the cost of the sleep car.

Make sure you make reservations for Amtrak early though. They tickets often sell out quickly for holiday travel and they have a limited number of sleeping cars. You don’t want to be stuck without one or have to accept one that is too small for comfort because you waited too long to make your reservation.

Most train stations are very well set up and you can even leave your car there when you board the Amtrak for free. Most airports charge you by the day to leave your vehicle behind and that is an expense that quickly adds up. You can either have your family or friends pick you up at the train station for your destination or choose alternate modes of transportation. There will likely be rental cars at the terminal or you can take a taxi cab.

You can go online to find out the various destinations that Amtrak travels to. If they don’t go to your exact location but within 100 miles you may want to consider having someone pick you up there or to rent a car to go the rest of the way. Amtrak is affordable and much more comfortable than taking an airplane or traveling all that way in a car.