USA - Unlimited Opportunities
Gigantic metropolises, invincible canyons and a vibrant cultural landscape characterise the picture of the "New World" and still make dreams come true. The melting pot of nations is one of the most popular travel destinations on earth.
Geography - The land of variety
The busy life of the gigantic metropolises at the west coast at the Atlantic Ocean, the calmness of the cities at the east coast at the Pacific Ocean, the natural beauty at the border to Canada and the temperament of the Southern states towards Mexico - the central part of North America has many faces. If we add the aloha charm of the Hawaiian islands and the variety of landscape in Alaska to these, we end up with 50 stars on one flag - the United States of America, the USA. It is hardly surprising that a country of this enormous size contains several of the most magnificent landscapes on earth. The massive Rocky Mountains, the extensive river systems of the Mississippi and Missouri, the subtropical mangroves in Florida, the vast forests and low mountain ranges in the east, the forests in the north-west and even deserts in the south-western regions are only a few of the many landscapes of the USA. Accordingly, you find a number of different climate zones in the country.
Nature - The eagles' grace and the trees' wisdom
Almost 60 nature parks and several hundred conservation areas are located in the USA and accommodate the most impressive and graceful creatures of nature. The great bald eagle, which is the country's heraldic animal, is a protected species now but you can still watch it in the Rocky Mountains and in Alaska. The gigantic redwood trees, also known as "sequoioideae", reach heights of up to 95 metres and can have trunk circumferences of up to 17 metres. Facing these giants, human beings realise how small they really are. Oaks, ashes, birches and the maple tree are characteristic of the north. These trees present the continent's native vegetation and are used in various ways. Special attractions are the Great Lakes in the north-east of the country. Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan as well as Lake Superior and Lake Ontario do not only constitute one of the USA's most important water reservoirs, they are also home to many types of plants and animals. These five connected freshwater lakes are so large that they are even affected by the tides. The Colorado River in the south-west of the USA has created the world's most famous gorge over centuries - the Grand Canyon. The thermometer often shows 50 °C in this desert-like region in the summer months. In winter, on the other hand, it can get very cold. Despite these unpleasant conditions, numerous raccoons, coyotes, lynxes, skunks and pumas live in this region. At the river you mostly find beavers and otters. The Mississippi is also home to countless species of animals and plants. It crosses over 30 states on its way and its length can only be estimated at 3,800 to 4,100 metres. The gigantic herds of bison in the Yellowstone National Park appreciate the refreshingly cool river courses in the midst of the dry grassy landscape. The landscape changes considerably towards the south. Fruit, vegetables, vines and cotton grow in the fertile California Central Valley.
Natural sights - Experiencing the raptures of nature
The Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado undoubtedly astonishes its visitors and should not be missing on anyone's natural journey through the USA. This breathtaking natural landscape is mentioned in the lyrics of the unofficial national anthem "America The Beautiful". The USA's national parks generally provide a great overview of the country's various landscape formations. While visitors of the Yosemite National Park in California can marvel at the waterfalls of the high mountain range, guests of the Death Valley National Park in California experience the relentless heat of the Mojave Desert. Over 50 °C have been measured in this inhospitable strip of land. In the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming you can see how lively the country's nature can be. Over 300 geysers bubble ghostly in the world's oldest national park. Arizona also offers a landscape which is worth seeing and frequently visited by numerous travellers every year with the Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River. Another highlight are the gigantic Niagara Falls with the Bridal Veil Falls, the Horseshoe Fall and the American Fall. The Maid of the Mist boats take tourists from all over the world as close to the waterfalls as possible every day. Travellers who are looking for quiet and remoteness are in the right place on Nantucket Island before Massachusetts. Due to unspoiled coasts and vast moorland, you can hardly imagine that the world's capital of whale hunting was once located here. Visitors experience the so-called "Indian Summer" in the New England states when the many broadleaf trees transform into a fascinating sea of colours in autumn. Those who also do not want to do without nature in the city should go to the "Big Apple" New York City. The cities "green lung" - the Central Park - extends over an area of over 550,000 km². This is where the New Yorkers recover from the stressful everyday life and where families spend their weekends. Open air concerts and other events also take place between the park's green trees.
Culture - Music, acting, sports and more
St. Augustine in Florida and Jamestown in Virginia were the first settlements erected by the European conquerors. The colonisation began in the 16th century and more and more parts of the territory were developed and allocated. It was going to be a long way to the Old World's liberty. 50 stars decorate the national flag today and symbolise the 50 states of the USA. The capital Washington, D.C. lies at the west coast at the Atlantic Ocean and is characterised by numerous monumental buildings such as the Capitol, the Washington National Cathedral or the White House. The culture of the USA is a mix of the many ethnic groups, which caused the country to be called the "melting pot of nations", but it is also deeply rooted in the native strength and mentality of indigenous groups like the Native Americans. Mass media have spread the typical image of the American since the 1930s. The USA had a number of export hits which gained global fame: the Rock'n'Roll, Broadway theatre, the dream factory Hollywood, fast food or gigantic sports events like the Super Bowl attract worldwide attention and many imitators. The USA generally play a leading role when it comes to trends. No matter if it is about a technical achievement, music or fashion, the United States set standards for the rest of the world.
Cultural sights - Moon landings, dream worlds and the Golden Gate Bridge
It is said that a country's wealth can be pitted against its culture. The USA offer a wide range of very different and worthwhile cultural highlights. The Americans literally set in stone who they mostly owe this to. Four of the greatest American presidents look at their work for eternity at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills in South Dakota. The USA are the first nation to have transported a man on the moon. If you want to witness this great accomplishment, you should visit the Kennedy Space Center of Cape Carnavaral in Florida. In Los Angeles you gain an insight into the dream factory Hollywood - the home of showbiz, the greatest stars and all those who would like to be one. The Walk of Fame in Los Angeles serves as a stage to those who have not made it yet. Cowboy fans, however, do not find the setting of western films in Hollywood but in the Monument Valley in Utah. Truman Capote once said that New York City was "the only real capital" and it is indeed true that those who have never got to know the model for Gotham City have missed out on an important American benchmark. The Empire State Building at the Fifth Avenue in New York was the highest building on earth for forty years from 1931 on and it is still the most famous among all skyscrapers. An extraordinary construction, which is affectionately called "Miss Liberty" by the inhabitants, has been welcoming visitors who arrive by sea on Ellis Island since 1866. The Statue of Liberty was once a present from the French to the Americans and is the nations's best-known landmark today. Of course, San Francisco's inhabitants see that differently as their most important landmark is the Golden Gate Bridge. This bridge construction was opened in 1937 and declared a modern wonder of the world in the 1990s. Starting from San Francisco, travellers also have the opportunity to visit Alcatraz Island. Its fortress was considered as the safest prison on earth for a long time but today it is only used for tourism.
Experience - Partying in Las Vegas, feasting in Philly and getting the creeps in Roswell
Depending on which parts of America you want to travel, you can experience very different highlights. The country's most famous spectacle takes place in Iowa and is a gigantic fair. Real party atmosphere is created by the Mardi Gras in New Orleans in Louisiana, which is the greatest party in the USA and takes place at Easter. A city which has no rival when it comes to parties, nightlife and gambling is Las Vegas in Nevada. Night is turned into day on the Las Vegas Strip and Fremont Street. Along the boulevard, which is 5.5 kilometres long, colourful casinos, sparkling palace hotels, gigantic all you can eat buffets and numerous wedding chapels, which have undoubtedly been the culmination of many a USA trip, string together. Musicals, dancing performances and action packed events allure countless visitors from all over the world to the glitter city throughout the year. A real crowd puller in San Francisco is the foggy Golden Gate Bridge. With a bit of stamina, you can conquer the suspension bridge, which is 1,280 metres long, on foot. Another popular destination in San Francisco is the Fisherman's Wharf. Diners with all kinds of culinary specialities and numerous stalls populate the former pier for cargo ships today. The 400 sea lions which live at the pier have got used to its vibrant activity and are not shy of human beings any more. You can even visit an underwater aquarium or a submarine from World War II. Of course, the USA's cuisine has much more to offer than fast food. A real centre of cooking skills is located in Philadelphia. The so-called Philly Food has convinced many a sceptic of the Americans' gourmet qualities. You find the fitting wine in California: Napa and Sonoma accommodate the country's most beautiful and significant vineyards. Visitors find an experience with a difference in the Roswell UFO Museum. Dozens of tour coaches reach the dusty town in New Mexico every day. America's most frequently visited sight is located in Florida and is dedicated to the life of a little mouse with black ears and its friends. Disney fans meet their childhood heroes in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. But the USA are also a mecca for roller coaster and looping fans outside Mickey Mouse and Goofy's world. Countless theme parks take their guests up into heady heights just to let them go down again. Furthermore, the country has a particularly exciting nightlife. You find a great number of clubs, parties, bars and restaurants, not only in the big cities.
Activities - Through America on the mother of all roads and wild rivers
The land of unlimited opportunities is also the land of unlimited activities. Rafting tours on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in Arizona, sailing in Camden at the east coast, golfing on the Monterey Peninsula or skiing in Vail, Colorado on over 190 slopes - everything is possible here. Those who want to explore the country motorised do not go short either. The mother of all roads - the Route 66 - in New Mexico or the magically beautiful Route 1 at the Pacific coast between Los Angeles and San Diego make the dreams of motorcycle and camper van fans come true. Holidaymakers who think the USA does not have anything to offer for surfers is wrong. In fact, the oldest surf culture is located within the United States - on Hawaii. But the mainland also allures surfers from all over the world to the American coast with its breathtaking waves. Especially Santa Barbara in California is famous for its surfing schools and courses. In general, everything is somewhat bigger and more extreme in the land of unlimited opportunities - also with regard to sports. From skydiving in Las Vegas to the exciting zip line adventures at the Hoover Dam to parasailing in Miami to Disney World, the Americans are a nation of extreme sports. Moving along a rope in the Rocky Mountains is another thrilling activity and those who need even more action can do a bungee jump from the highest skyscrapers, bridges or redwood trees.
Due to the variety of climate zones from continental-temperate to Mediterranean and tropical to icy cold, you can travel the USA at any time of the year. The most important airports are located in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas among others. Of course you can also arrive in the classic way by ship. No matter how you enter the country, you need a valid visa.
A journey through the United States is as varied as its inhabitants. Blessed with breathtaking landscapes and a lush culture, this country is a must for every globetrotter. Lovers of nature and party-goers are just as welcome here.