America: land of the free, home of the brave. From sea to shining sea, America the beautiful is certainly one of the most varied places you could ever hope to go. While we in the British Isles are confused at the idea that someone could never leave a country for their whole lives (considering how small the world is now), it's not that strange really, because America pretty much has everything under its spacious skies. And we're going to tell you exactly what they are.
There are no cities like the ones in America. From the city that never sleeps (New York, New York), to the city of sin (Viva Las Vegas), the big easy (Swingin' New Orleans') to the gorgeous city of angels (Los Angeles), this is a country of variety, history, glitz, and glamour. The cities in the United States have been home to gangsters and the glitterati, and some of them, like Boston, date back to when the first pilgrim settlers set food on those hallowed shores. You can dedicate entire holidays to just existing in the cities of America without realising days have passed. New York alone often has people travelling to it just so they can enjoy a few days exploring the famous Fifth Avenue - and Central Park requires an entire day just to walk around it!
Like we said, America has basically everything in it, so there is very little reason for those who are there to venture out to other countries. They can ski in Aspen, taking in the rather stunning Rocky Mountains, the enormous range that stretches through the mid-western states to the top of Canada. Maybe sunbathing is more your thing? Well, let us introduce you to fabulous Miami, or, at the other side of the country, Malibu. Then we have the battle of the extremes - leaving the country without leaving the country. Alaska is the gorgeous, sparsely inhabited wilderness that enjoys Canada's climate and beauty, and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean is famous for being a paradise island with stunning mountain rangers and tubular waves on which to surf. Really, why would you go anywhere else?
The natural beauty
Thanks to President Ulysses S. Grant's love of nature (and Yellowstone in particular), the U.S.A. has the fantastic selection of national parks. Beginning with the one that started it all, Yellowstone is famous because of its plethora of geo-thermic activity, like geysers, that come from being located on the top of a potentially world-ending volcano caldera. They also have introduced wolves, which is balancing out the ecosystem to create yet more flora and fauna. Another glorious spot is the famous Grand Canyon. A marvel of nature, this intricate array of canyons, caves, and rock formations was created by the Colorado River millions of years ago - and now stands as one of the most famous natural icons in the States.
America's food only being burgers and French fries is about as correct as saying our only food is jellied eels. Thanks to the enormous amount of immigration into America throughout the centuries, the cuisine you can find there is as varied as the country itself. In the northern states, you'll see some more English, Irish, German, and Italian influences, including pizza and mouth-watering soft pretzels. New York is also one of the spiritual homes of the humble bagel, which is inspired by Jewish cuisine. Moving further south, to Louisiana, you'll see rich and spicy creole food, such as jumbalaya, a type of paella, and gumbo, a seafood stew. The inspirations of which comes from influences like France, Haiti, West Africa, and a smidge of Spanish. Heading to the south west, you'll probably get a load of Mexican food, as historically, states like California were once under Mexican rule before becoming part of the United States.
In this, we're not talking about the celebrities, or the politicians, or whatever tourist you saw in that country that one time (especially as, if we really think about it, we've all been 'that tourist in that country that one time'). We're talking about the regular American people, living their daily lives whenever we visit, and who are considered by tourists to actually be unusually friendly (but that could be my natural English pessimism). Sit in any restaurant, diner, or bar, and receive amazing service. Ask someone where you are on public transport, and they'll help you out. The only minor thing to really watch out for with the American public is that they'll occasionally try to imitate, or be confused by, your accent.
Probably the most important point to remember is that America is just a country, very much like our own. It has its flaws, but considering the country is larger than the entire continent of Europe, that's really only to be expected - except America's media probably shouts a lot louder than anyone else. What you've got to do is look at the positives - the awe-inspiring natural beauty, the friendly people, and the cuisine that's so much richer and more varied than we think, and realise: America doesn't need to be made great again. It's always been pretty fantastic.