Population: 319 million
Religion: Protestant (51.3%)
Capital: Washington DC
Order of Visit: First
First Visit: 27 November 1986
Last Visit: 11 February 2013
Duration: 150 Days
Must Do: Grand Canyon, Deadwood, New York Comedy Clubs, The Alamo
Cities: Anchorage, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Deadwood, Denali, Flagstaff, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Redoubt Bay, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Savannah, Seattle, Washington DC, Whittier
Easily the country I have spent the most time at (outside of Australia) at 150 days starting with my visit as a 12 year old back in 1986. The USA is also the gateway to Canada, South America and Central America when travelling from Australia. The USA is this amazing diverse place that isn’t as united as you might think. I suppose they fought a civil war at one point and the Spanish, the French and Mexico controlled various States for a considerable time.
This is the land of Hollywood, a place that dominates the entertainment media of my country. It is also the country with the most powerful military and isn’t afraid to use it. In fact the military is held in very high regard, there are many days to celebrate the military and military personnel in uniform get discounts at a host of venues. This is the land of guns, the right to bear arms is in their constitution and in 2013 they had 33,636 gun related deaths, I think there is a relationship to this right. The War of Independence ingrained the notion that the population need to be armed to control their Government or protect themselves from it. This is also the land with the greatest riches, some of the best universities, the biggest (and richest) sporting competitions and athletics. It also has very poor people, a very low minimum wage for a Western Country and the most expensive health system in the world. It is a paradox that some of the nicest people mix with the most unpleasant people I have ever met.
I loved my time in Deadwood, New York City, and Las Vegas for every different reasons. The Grand Canyon is a must visit place to marvel at nature. As is Washington DC for the Smithsonian Museums, the Air and Space Museum is a must, and for the grand Government buildings. I was lucky enough to tour the White House before they limited visitors mostly to USA citizens who get a recommendation from their Government representative. Mt Rushmore is impressive and the Alamo another must visit location. The jazz in New Orleans must be experienced to believe just how good this format of music can be. I’d also add adding major sporting leagues; baseball, football and basketball.
I’ve also really enjoyed the various theme parks over the years. I could write a book about New York City, being in Times Square for the Millennium I will never forget. You have to experience Broadway, and off Broadway, and don’t forget the comedy clubs! And don’t forget a visit to Alaska which is almost an entire different country, much more isolated and therefore with different attitudes (don’t get me started on the oil industry control of Alaska however).
It’s a country worth visiting regardless of what you think of their world policies of how their system is geared to the richest of their population, the USA just has to be experienced.