How to see the USA differently: a travel guide

If you’re looking for a country full of diversity, excitement and natural wonder, there’s nowhere else in the world that surpasses the USA. But instead of sticking to the norm, why not escape to the city’s lesser-travelled regions? Here are just some of the ways to see the USA differently on your travels.

Road tripping Route 66

It’s a road trip unlike any other – Route 66, also known as the “Mother Road”, is perhaps the most cherished thing in the entirety of the States. The near-4,000km long road runs from Chicago to Santa Monica, passing through seven states on the way.

You’ll be seeing some weird and wonderful sights on your journey, too. From the infamous Lou Mitchell’s diner in Chicago as you begin your trip, to the Santa Monica Pier where Route 66 ends, you’ll find incredible installations and attractions along the way – be sure to stop at the Kan-o-Tex service station in Dallas to see Tow Tater, the inspiration for the Disney/Pixar movie Cars.

Visiting Disneyland in California

You’ll be foolish to miss out on a trip to Disneyland – even just for a day. There’s a reason it’s so popular with tourists from far and wide, and that’s because they’re truly magic regardless of your age. As soon as you see the castle, the centrepiece of the parks, you’ll be helplessly overcome.

People often flock to Florida’s Walt Disney World, what with the Magic Kingdom and the technological wonders of Epcot amongst much more – but California’s Disneyland was the first to open, therefore having that historic edge. Visit here to ride the iconic California Screamin’ coaster before it closes next year – it’s a staple of American culture to this day.

Escape to the beaches

There’s simply no denying the beaches in the USA are to die for. From the luxury of the secluded Florida Keys to the popular Pacific shores in Los Angeles, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to potential beach holidays. For the former, ride the Overseas Highway across the archipelago to discover some beautiful beaches dotted in the turquoise seas.

In Los Angeles, however, the beaches are more populous – understandable, considering just how desirable they are. From Venice Beach to Zuma in Malibu, it won’t be a challenge discovering a beautiful stretch of sand to frolic upon.

Do a city break in Chicago

Whether it's the bright lights of New York City, the dazzling glamour and hedonistic parties of Las Vegas or the famed Hollywood and the surrounding LA boroughs, the USA boasts plenty of cities ready to give you the city break of a lifetime (source: 1Cover). But Chicago is wildly underrated by tourists from overseas despite its sheer abundance of things to do and see.

Food is absolutely one of Chicago’s greatest exports, with the delicious deep-dish pizza being perhaps the city’s most famous meal. The debate rages on as to whether it’s a pizza or a pie, but regardless it’s one of the tastiest things you’ll ever eat.

Elsewhere, the Willis Tower’s Skydeck has a glass floor for you to brave for unparalleled views of the city below, Wrigley Field is the place to go for any sports fans, and the Lincoln Park Zoo is perfect for a cheap day out—you don’t have to pay a dollar to go in.

Ride the California Zephyr

In a similar vein to Route 66, this train travels from San Francisco to Chicago – but you don’t have to worry about driving. The California Zephyr is a train ride unlike any other, taking you through some of the most scenic parts of the country including the snowy regions of Colorado, the desert plains of Utah and the small-town surroundings of Nevada to name just a few.

It isn’t exactly luxury, but that means you’ll be saving a lot of money and seeing a whole lot of the USA while you do it. There’s no denying the Zephyr is a culturally important part of the country, being frequented by locals and tourists alike – don’t miss out on this historic attraction.

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