The USA is one of the largest countries in the world, covering the greater part of the North American continent, and has borders with Canada to the North and Mexico to the South. Its Eastern seaboard fronts the Atlantic Ocean, the West Coast faces the Pacific Ocean, while the Southern shores are bathed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The state of Alaska is separate from the rest of the USA, being located adjacent to Canada in the North-West corner of the continent. The Island state of Howaii is found more than 2000 miles from mainland USA in the Pacific Ocean. The total population of the USA is more than 250 million.

The country has a wide diversity of terrain, including the gentle landscape of the New England states, the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, the deserts and Canyons of Arizona, the Everglades in Florida, the Great Lakes on the Northern border and the fertile plains of the Mid West. As well as the country’s natural attractions, tourists  from all over the world are drawn by such famous cities as New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Popular manmade attractions include Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the White House.


The main tourist areas in the USA



The popularity of Florida with British tourists has contributed greatly to the USA becoming the number one long-haul destination for UK travellers. Located in the South Eastern USA, 100 miles north of the Tropics, Florida’s east coast borders the Atlantic Ocean, while its Western Shores are bathed by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Tourism is the state’s largest industry, generating more than $30 billion in 1992 and employing 657000 people across a range of sectors including accomodation,attractions and transportation.

Florida offers visitors a blend of natural, scenic beauty coupled with an array of tourist attractions that any country in the world would find hard to beat. Orlando is the centre of the state’s tourist attractions and is home to the world famous Walt Disney World, attracting more than 20 million visitors per year.

Florida offers visitors a variety of terrain, including 10000 freshwater lakes, over 1800 miles of coastline, swamps,hills,forests, countless small Islands and 1000 miles of sandy beaches. Miami and Miami Beach are twin gateways to the Florida Peninsula, as well as being the World’s biggest cruise port. They offer tourists year round attractions, including the nearby Everglades National Park. The world famous Florida Keys stretch for nearly 200 miles, terminating in Key West with its unique wildlife and architecture.

Sometimes referred to as ‘the sunshine state’ climate is a key feature of the states success, with long summers and mild winters. Average annual temperatures in summer are around 27 degrees C and in the winter approximately 12 degrees C. It is however affected by Hurricanes and less severe tropical storms, giving heavy rainfall during the months of July and October.




The Eastern Seaboard


The cities and states on the East coast of the USA are important destinations for UK visitors for long holidays, and ,increasingly, short breaks. The area includes the New England States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and The cities of New York, Boston , Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Newport. Inland ,the area has a wealth of natural attractions, including the Great Lakes, Niagra Falls, The Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondacks and Catskill ranges, plus a number of National Parks

New York is the largest city in the USA and the third largest in the world. Among its numerous attractions are the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Broadway, the World Trade Centre, the Lincoln Centre, the United Nations and Greenwich Village to name but a few. The city is famous for its ethnic quarters, including Chinatown and Little Italy in lower Manhattan, and Germantown along 86th Street. Boston is the state capital of Massachusetts and the gateway to New England. It is the cradle of American Democracy, home of the Boston Tea Party that began the move towards the declaration of independence in 1776. It is the oldest of US cities and has a distinctly British atmosphere. Washington DC (District of Columbia) is the capital of the USA and offers a variety of tourist attractions, including the Whitehouse, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, Potomac Park, the Smithsonian Institute and the Jefferson Memorial.

The climate of the Eastern Seaboard and its hinterland provides opportunities for both coastal, summer tourism and winter sports activity in the mountains. Much of the region experiences warm, sunny conditions from May to October, with average temperatures peaking at 22 degrees C in July and August. Winters are cold, with temperatures generally below freezing between December and March.


The West Coast


The West Coast of the USA runs from the border with Canada in the North to the Mexican boundary in the South.

The region includes the state of  California, the most populous state in the USA and the country’s leading tourist area, famous for its sunny climate, excellent beaches, cosmopolitan cities, wine growing areas, mountain ranges and national parks. Known as the ‘Golden State’ on account of its sunny climate and links with pioneering for gold, California is also synonymous with glamour and the film industry, being the home of Hollywood, the location of the most famous film studios in the world. The West Coast also has some of the world’s leading  cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Seattle.

Los Angeles is the principal gateway to Southern California and has the second highest population of any city in the USA. It is best known for the Hollywood Film Studios, exclusive Beverly Hills community and the Original Disneyland theme park at Anaheim, some 25 miles South of Los Angeles centre. The city also has a number of excellent swimming and surfing beaches, including Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Malibu Beach and Redondo Beach.

San Francisco acts as the main gateway to Northern California, Nevada and Oregon. The city has developed on a peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the West and San Francisco bay to the East, the entrance to the Bay being spanned by the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The Chinatown district of the city has the largest Chinese community outside Asia, with a variety of theatres, museums and authentic eating places.. The former prison Island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay has been transformed into a major attraction for visitors. There are a number of natural attractions close to the San Francisco metropolis, including Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite National Parks, each with a mixture of pine forests, glacial valleys and waterfalls.

Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada and one of the major gambling and entertainment centres of the world. Hotels, casinos, restaurants, night clubs and entertainment venues are found on ‘the strip’ a section of Las Vegas Boulevard South. Lake Tahoe spans the state boundary between Nevada and California, and is located in one of the USA’s main mountain resort areas, with year round attractions and activities.

Seattle, in the North-West corner of the USA, is the principal international gateway to the state of washington and the Pacific North West region of the country, as well as being close the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. The city is surrounded by the waters of Lake Washington and Puget Sound, with a backdrop of the Cascades and Olympic Mountains. The Seattle Centre is the cultural heart of the city, the home of opera, ballet and theatre. Seattle is also well known for its associations with the sea, with harbour tours and fishing trips available to visitors.





The size of the US land mass, and its varied topographical structure, results in wide variations in the country’s climate. The North East of the country including the New England States, has warm summers, with temperatures close to 30 degrees C in the warmest months, but experiences cold winters with freezing temperatures. Rainfall in this area is spread evenly throughout the year and humidity is generally high in August and September. The Southern states of the USA, including Florida, Georgia and Alabama have hot summers and mild winters. Heavy rainfall in the summer months is not uncommon and the area can be very humid at this time of year. California and other South-Western states have hot summers and mild winters, with rainfall generally confined to winter months. Humidity is high in the summer months, especially in May, June, July and August. The desert regions of the interior are hot and dry throughout the year, while mountain regions, including the Rockies, experience very low winter temperatures.


Transport Routes


The majority of UK tourists travelling to USA arrive by Air The major gateway airports are:

Atlanta,Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St Paul, New York/Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia,Phoenix, San Francisco,Seattle, St Louis, Tampa and Washington.


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