You’ve made the decision. You’re going to spend the money, and take the time to cross the Atlantic to visit the United States.
But you need to realize, the US covers a vast amount of land. East/West: it’s 4612km (2866mi) from New York to California. North/South: it’s 3582km (2226mi) from Maine to Florida. It will be hard to see it all. Time to focus:
THE FOUR REGIONS
The US can be divided into four major regions: the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, and the West. Each of these areas offers a different feel, and sometimes dramatically different landscapes. Take a look at the places that you’re already interested in. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see New York City.
That’s in the Northeast. But you’re also dying to spend some time at Disney World. That’s in Florida: that’s the South. It’s also a day & a half car ride, or a 2 1/2 hour flight (not including transportation to/from airports).
It’s time to set some goals, and determine what you want to see. Take a look at at a map that shows the four regions, and see if you can start to see clusters. Think about the things you really want to do, the things that you might want to do, and the things you don’t care about. For example, if you live in a large city like London or Paris, you may want to escape the traffic and noise. You can honestly find that anywhere, but the Northeast has a lot of it.
Here you’ll find cities like Boston, New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. Much of the coast is jammed with people. Even Cape Cod (in Massachusetts), which was once a quiet beach retreat now has swarms of people during the summer. But once you get away from the coast, you’ll find quaint New England towns throughout the region. Every October, the leaves change color, and during October, you can see extraordinary colors.
One of the big draws in the South is Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. A first-time visitor can spend two weeks there. But Florida (and the rest of the Gulf Coast) has beautiful beaches. Much of the South is flat, but you can find mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee.
Chicago (in Illinois) and the Great Lakes are the a big draw for this region. You’ll also see farmland. This is the the American Heartland, and the fields stretch for miles.
If you’re looking for cowboys, look no further than Wyoming and Montana. They are rugged states with a small population. But you can find fantastic guest ranches all over the west. The multiple mountain ranges are a sight to see.
Hawaii and Alaska are so far west that they’re not even west. The four main Hawaiian islands offer a completely different US experience, with year-round beautiful water. Alaska is as rugged as it gets, and this vast, unspoiled territory should ultimately be on everyone’s list.