Sightseeing in the USA is a lifelong pursuit, due to the vast scale and variety of the attractions on offer. Indeed, the USA is far more than a single country: each state and region has its own character, geography and unique, world-class sights.
Three-quarters of all foreign tourists spend time in California, Florida and New York, while the country's five most visited cities by foreign tourists are in these three states. In between east coast California's beaches, movie glitz and sunny weather and west coast New York's urban thrills and iconic sights, the USA is a country of great diversity: the Creole culture of Louisiana, the wide-open plains of the great Midwest, epic skiing around the Rocky Mountains, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon, and astounding lights of nearby Las Vegas. Offshore Hawaii is a place of irresistible beauty too, and Alaska offers a unique wilderness to explore.
Given all there is to see and do, and the vast distances between them, you'll need to plan your trip carefully and concentrate on a few areas. Be aware that winters (November to February) on the east coast get very cold with plenty of snow, while beaches can get uncomfortably hot over peak summer months of July and August. Also look out for big national events like Spring Break (March), Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) when transport and accommodation get very busy.
The Grand Canyon
A mile deep, 277 miles (446km) long, and up to 18 miles (29km) wide, the breath-taking grandeur of the Grand Canyon is so impressive that words simply cannot do it justice. One of the great natural wonders of the world, it was formed... see full details
The Grand Canyon
A mile deep, 277 miles (446km) long and up to 18 miles (29km) wide, the breath-taking grandeur of the Grand Canyon is so impressive that words simply cannot do it justice. One of the great natural wonders of the world, it was formed... see full details
The Statue of Liberty
The universal symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was the first seen by 12 million immigrants passing through Ellis Island Immigration Center. Sculpted by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and modelled on the Colossus of Rhodes, the French donated the statue in 1886.
The reason was to... see full details
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum, affectionately known as the Met, possesses one of the greatest and largest art collections in the world. Banners above the Met's Fifth Avenue entrance herald the current attractions at this cherished New York institution.
There are always temporary exhibitions from around... see full details
Golden Gate Bridge
The rust-coloured towers, graceful suspension and supportive cables of the Golden Gate Bridge make this famous symbol of San Francisco the most photographed bridge in the world, and visible from almost any high point in the city, although it is often shrouded in rolling... see full details
Everglades National Park
The vast Everglades National Park that spans the tip of the Florida peninsula, 35 miles (56km) southwest of Miami, is a 40-mile-wide (64km) slow-moving river of grass, interspersed with shallow wetlands. It is the only subtropical preserve in North America, containing both temperate... see full details
Los Angeles is the film and entertainment capital of the world and the name 'Hollywood' is the embodiment of glamour, success and money; the place where films are made, television shows are recorded and stars take up residence. The famous Hollywood sign on the... see full details
Claiming to be 'The Happiest Place on Earth', Disneyland is an integral part of an American childhood and was the world's first mega theme park designed for the family by Walt Disney in 1955. It is one of America's most famous attractions and... see full details
Yosemite National Park
One of the country's premier national parks, Yosemite receives millions of visitors each year with more than four million people visiting the Yosemite Valley alone. It is home to the biggest piece of exposed granite in the world, some of the highest waterfalls, and... see full details
Yellowstone National Park
The world's first national park, Yellowstone was established in 1872. Despite its popularity today, most of the park still remains an undeveloped wilderness of magnificent mountain scenery, waterfalls, alpine lakes, and rivers. It is renowned for its geothermal wonders and abundance of wildlife. Spilling... see full details
Believed to have been named by mariner Bartholomew Gosnold for his daughter, Martha, with the 'vineyard' referring to the abundance of wild grapes growing on the island, Martha's Vineyard is a favourite summer destination for New England's wealthy elite.
Tourism is the main... see full details
The town of Roswell in south-east New Mexico has become the focus of UFO and alien hunters from all over the world every. This is ever since the 'Roswell Incident' in 1947, when an alien craft purportedly crashed near the town leaving surviving extra-terrestrials.... see full details
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed coined the term 'rock and roll' in the early 1950s. Partly for this reason, Cleveland won the fiercely contested honour of become home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Designed by renowned architect I.M.... see full details
The White House has been the private residence and administrative headquarters of every President of the United States since 1800. Today an American flag flies over the house whenever the president is in residence. Situated at the edge of the National Mall, the... see full details
Seattle Space Needle
Anyone who has seen a picture of the Seattle skyline will be familiar with Seattle's internationally recognised symbol, the futuristic Space Needle building. From afar it looks like a spinning top, with the needle pointing skywards. The Space Needle was built for the 1962... see full details
Historic Preservation Hall is New Orleans' most popular jazz venue, where Preservation Hall jazz bands serve up first-rate Dixieland Jazz every night in the French Quarter building, originally built as a residence in 1750. There are three performances a night, each lasting about 45... see full details
A dragon-draped archway at the intersection of Bush and Grant streets marks the entrance to Chinatown in San Francisco, the oldest Chinatown in the United States and the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Chinatown draws more tourists than the Golden Gate Bridge with its... see full details