McWay Falls on Highway 101 in California - Guide to the United States

Guide to the United States

United States Facts & Info

The United States is part of the North American Continent and consists of fifty states. Forty-eight of them are contiguous while Alaska and Hawaii sit separately on their own. With fifty different states you get 50 different landscapes and cultures. Each state has it’s own unique reason to visit. From the sprawling urban cities in the Northeast to the spectaular National Parks in the West, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Read about the many different things to see in our Guide to the United States.

Interested in another country? Head over to our Destinations page to choose a different country you’re interested in.

Guide to the United States: Weather

The United States sits in the Northern Hemisphere and experiences summers from June – August and winters from December – February. Expect summers to be hot throughout the country except maybe in Alaska or the Northwest, although they do experience hot temperatures too. Winters in the north are cold and in the south it is mild but the south also has periods of cold.

Guide to the United States: What you need to know

Currency: The United States Dollar
Language: English, although the United States has people from all over the world who live here so you might hear other languages as well
Population: Around 331 million 
Voltage: The United States’s voltage is 120V 
Food: The United States has restaurants specializing in just about anything that you could want. But, different places do have more of certain foods. Along the coastal regions you’re going to find a lot of seafood. The south is known for their BBQ. Each place you visit will likely have something they are most known for  
The Grand Canyon: Probably one of the most well known canyons in the world. It should be on the top of any visitors list

Guide to the united states: travel info

The best time to visit the United States really depends on what you want to see. Summers is the most popular time and therefore will be crowded and more costly. If you can, visit in late spring or early fall when most Americans are not on vacations. Crowds will be small and prices will come down a bit. But if you’re looking to visit something specific, such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, that only happens in February so expect it to be both crowded and pricey. But can you really put a price on the experience?

Most people visiting the United States will arrive by air. The U.S. has many International Airports on both coasts and in the central part of the country. If you’re coming from Asia, you’ll likely first land somewhere such as Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

If you’re coming from Europe, you might first land at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). But both regions of the world might have you landing in the center of the country at either Dallas International Airport (DFW) or the Houston International Airport (IGH).

Traveling in the United States is not cheap. Even for those of us who live here. Besides the cost to fly here, hotels will probably be your next biggest expense. If you plan on being here a while and traveling across the United States, you might want to rent a car. It will likely be a little cheaper if you have several people with you (family or friends). You’ll also be able to see more of the country.

There are a lot of free activities all throughout the country so this is a good place to try and save some money. Have a budget and figure out where you’re willing to splurge a bit and where you can cut back. Knowing you likely won’t be able to see everything in the United States on one trip, either pick 2-3 places that are high up on your list or pick a region, such as the Southwest.

The best way to get around the United States depends on where you plan to visit. Some places, such as New York City or Chicago have great subway systems, taxis, or you can use Uber. Public transportation will always cost less.

If you plan on visiting a National Park such as The Grand Canyon, you’ll want to rent a car. There are no airports nearby and everything is spread out.

Although most large cities do have some form of public transportation, like buses, trying to figure out the bus system and the amount of time it will take you to get somewhere isn’t worth it. If there isn’t a subway plan on renting a car. Even a taxi or uber will cost more than renting a car depending on how many times you’ll need to get one.

There is a range of places to stay in the United States from luxuary hotels to budget hotels. AirBnb, camping, and even RV rentals are always an option. There are even hostals in the larger cities. It all depends on where you’re going and what your budget is.

There are so many things to see in the United States so it will depend on how much time you have. If you’re only coming to one place, such as New York City, stay a minimum of 5 days. You could stay longer, such as 10 days and add in some daytrips nearby outside the city. Read about places in the United States in our United States Travel Guides below.

If you’re planning on visiting some National Parks out west, such as The Grand Canyon (sticking with our example theme here), you could plan on 2 weeks and visit 3-4 different National or State Parks in the area. There are many places out there that are within a few hours of each other.

Guide to the United States: Bucket List Ideas

United States Map

United States Travel Guides