USA - Holiday facts and Information

Holiday facts and information about USA

General facts

Trip Preparation

Trip Preparation

Language

The predominant language in the USA is English but Spanish is very much a second language, spoken by immigrants from Central and South America. The great Metropolis of New York City is a melting pot for languages but English is the nation’s mother tongue.

Best travel time

Pick the climate you want and the USA has it. In the summer, the USA can be swelteringly hot almost wherever you choose to visit but New York in the fall offers the kind of temperatures that suit most people. California and Florida enjoy sub-tropical temperatures and are particularly good places to visit in the spring and autumn but, in the high summer months, air conditioning is a must. Heavy rain is usually common from December through to March. Chicago, Illinois, lies on the Great Lakes and it is bitterly cold in the winter and very hot and humid in the summer. Probably, the city with one of the best all year round temperatures is San Francisco.

Communication

In the cities, the USA is covered by an excellent cell phone network and its countrywide landline phone link is fairly comprehensive.

Country and People

Country and People

Traditions and Culture

Native Americans’ own customs and culture were superseded by British customs following the American War of Independence, which is celebrated every year on the Fourth of July. Christianity is the basis for much of modern America’s customs and traditions including the great family and friends get together for Thanksgiving that takes place at the end of November. Halloween is another big event that was introduced by Irish immigrants and has now travelled to Great Britain. The USA is such a vast country that it is almost impossible to pick one single tradition that is shared across the nation. There is no doubt that baseball, a sport that is almost entirely played in the USA, is a massive tradition that is enjoyed by spectators from all over the States. The USA has also made a tradition out of its great parades and carnivals whether they take place in a small town in Nebraska, with a carnival queen, or on Broadway in New York City.

Religion

The Pilgrims that left Plymouth on the Mayflower in the 17th Century went to the New World so that they could practice their religion without hindrance. Christianity still plays a massive role in the life of people and government in the USA, although other religions especially in New York City can be practiced freely.

Getting around

Getting around

By bus

The USA is famous for its Greyhound buses that take people, on a tight budget, along America’s great highways and freeways. Within cities, there are municipal buses but the USA is such a vast place, and car rental relatively inexpensive, that visitors usually enjoy the freedom of driving their own vehicle.

By plane

There is no doubt that the USA has led the world in aviation although it was an Englishman who invented the jet engine. The size of the USA meant that people very quickly got used to commuting between cities by air and, today, the USA has a tremendous network of airports, mostly used for national flights. The USA was also the first country to mass produce the automobile, and travelling by car over great distances is common. Consequently, renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another is a common practice.

Discover and Enjoy

Discover and Enjoy

Sights

The USA has many incredible sights but the carved effigies of past presidents in monument valley have to be one of the most impressive together with the Grand Canyon. New York City is famous for its Statue of Liberty, given to the city by the French, and Chicago is renowned for having some of the tallest buildings in the world. The Golden Gate in San Francisco is an impressive suspension bridge that has often been “destroyed” in disaster movies.

Events

On the surface, America is the land of the free but what is acceptable in New York and San Francisco can be regarded as unacceptable in conservative midtown America. However, land is plentiful, so living the good life in a large house, with a large car and eating inexpensive food is the typical lifestyle for many Americans. It can be a bit of a shock to see law abiding citizens in the Midwest walking around carrying guns, but every citizen in the USA has the right to bear arms – and often do!

Food

New York City is one of the greatest cities on earth for dining out but America as a nation is renowned for its inexpensive restaurants, diners and coffee shops. Breakfast in the USA can include eggs, hash browns, pancakes and maple syrup and if you order a steak, you’ll get enough meat to feed a family of four!