We travel outside of the USA a lot, and one thing we have learned is that it is extremely important to check the Visa requirements of our destinations before we go.
No one wants to be stuck at customs in a strange land trying to work things out. Believe us, that is a mistake you will only make once. So we are offering this recommendation to anybody planning a visit to the United States, have your US visa ready before departing your country.
With that finished, you can begin to make plans for your visit and, having traveled to all fifty states, that is an area where we can hopefully help out.
Our first piece of advice is to remember that the US is huge. Don’t think that if you’ve seen one region you’ve seen it all. This is a lesson we learned when traveling in Australia. Queensland was fantastic, but we quickly realized that we had seen only a tiny part of the Land Down Under.
New York is nothing like New England, or the Rocky Mountains, or Los Angeles… or just about anywhere else in America. This is not to discourage anyone from visiting the Big Apple, just a reminder that there is so much more. With that in mind, let us offer a few suggestions.
One of the most extraordinary aspects of the United States is the vast open space in the west, and no place captures the character of the Old West any better than Arizona. The stunning landscape of the Grand Canyon is unmatched anywhere on Earth.
Or for those looking for something more like the Wild West of the movies, television, and books, a stop at Tombstone is like a trip back in time. Walking the dusty boardwalks of Allen Street or among the headstones at Boot Hill feels like starring in one of those western tales, but watch out because the Shootout at theOK Corral happens here every day.
Following the famous Route 66 farther west leads to the incredible Pacific coast. There is so much to see, from San Diego and its amazing zoo, to the glamor and glitz of Hollywood, to the beauty of the forests and mountains in the Northwest.
But our favorite part has to be the section in California between Santa Barbara and San Francisco known as Big Sur. The drive along The Pacific Coast Highway is unmatched as this remarkable piece of road crosses thirty-three bridges connecting one wicked winding section of cliff-side roadway to another.
Remember that traveling within the United States requires no paperwork at all, so exploring is only limited by the time one has to spend. However, entering and exiting will be much smoother if everything is in order before leaving home. The best way to make certain of that is to check with E-visums.
Clear across the continent we uncovered the history and hospitality of Dixie alive and well along the Atlantic seaboard in Georgia and South Carolina.
For Civil War buffs Charleston is a must, because this is where it started. Fort Sumter, where the first shots were fired, still stands on guard at the mouth of the harbor, and there are many other historic sites and museums to see as well.
There is also much to be found that predates the War Between the States, Charleston is a fine example of a colonial American city. The original town has been remarkably preserved. The buildings and houses seem nearly untouched by the passing of the centuries.
Just a few miles to the south, Savannah has a vast array of equally remarkable homes on tree-lined streets. In fact, we found many of them even more impressive than those known as the Charleston Single.
Another similarity is the historic waterfront, except here the history is more about merchants than military because cotton was king. Now many of the old warehouses have been converted into restaurants, but the offices have not. They still remain snuggly tucked away between River Street and Bay Street in a hidden alleyway known as Factor’s Walk.
For a very different sort of southern charm, we love New Orleans. Long considered one of the most unique places in the US, for music, food, and fun the Big Easy is hard to beat. We also love that none of it needs to be fancy or expensive, just down-home good.
Right outside of town there is an even more laid-back outlook on life, in our favorite part of the good ole USA, Cajun Country. Years ago the Acadians settled in the swamps south and west of New Orleans and nurtured a way of life that exists only in this place.
Over centuries of nearly total isolation they developed a dialect, cuisine, and lifestyle that we fell in love with and have returned to enjoy time and time again.
So there is a look at some of our preferred places in the US, but there are countless others. So come to the states because discovering them is what travel is all about.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
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