- Geography and climate
- National parks
- Travel routes, transport
- National cuisine
- Hotels and Accommodation in the United States
- Public transport
- Car driving
- Some more facts about the USA
- Time difference with Moscow - 7 hours
- The cost of a flight from Moscow to New York - from $ 4000
- Flight duration - from 10 hours.
- The passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
The United States of America is one of the most popular tourist destinations even among Americans: most of the US population does not have a passport, traveling only within their own country. Los Angeles (California), John F. Kennedy (New York), Orlando International Airport (Florida) top the list of the most popular airports for domestic travel. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Boston, New York - each of them is famous for its culture, cuisine and entertainment. But the US isn't just metropolitan areas: Austin's eclectic music scene, the carefree charm of Savannah, environmentally friendly Portland, San Francisco's gorgeous waterfront, New Orleans' charming jazz-loving French Quarter.
The advantage of the United States as a tourist destination is year-round: California, Colorado and Utah offer upscale mountain resorts, sunny Florida and exotic Hawaii - beautiful beaches, small towns in the heart of the country - the atmosphere of the Wild West during the Civil War, while a trip to the largest megacities will allow you to get in touch with history. cultural and architectural heritage. And the USA is also a paradise for fans of shopping, new technologies, and spectacular sports.
Russian citizens require an American visa. When considering documents for a US tour visa, they pay attention to 3 points: the history of movements (the presence of other visas in the international passport, experience of travel to the USA, European countries), a certificate from the place of work, marital status (official marriage).
On board the aircraft, the tourist fills out Form I-94 (in English) and presents it along with the passport and other necessary documents to customs.
There are no special permits for the export or import of national / other currency, but amounts over 10 thousand dollars are required to be declared. It is forbidden to transport goods produced in Iran, the export of most plants and fauna from Hawaii is prohibited.
The country's currency is the US dollar, which contains 100 cents. On the territory of the country, only dollars and foreign currency credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) are accepted: they are accepted by hotels, restaurants, shops. ATMs are available anywhere in the country, the commission is 1-2% of the withdrawn amount. Warn your bank before traveling abroad that you plan to use your card outside the country.
Tipping is an important part of American culture, so be sure to leave it:
- Restaurants, bars - 15-20% of the bill
- Porter - $ 0.25-0.5 per piece of baggage
- Corridor in the hotel, porter, maid - 05-1 $
- Private transfer - 10-15%, with group transfer - 2-3 $ / person.
Some restaurants automatically include a tip: when paying with a credit card, indicate the amount of the tip on the receipt and add it to the total cost.
Most US prices are excluding sales tax - you will have to pay more money at the checkout than on the price tag: different tax rates apply across the country.
Anyone staying at the resorts will be charged a resort fee for the maintenance of swimming pools, tennis courts, internet and other additional services.
Geography and climate
One of the largest countries in the world, America (that is, the United States - remember that America is also a continent) is located from west to east, washed by the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, in the north it borders on Canada, in the south - on Mexico. The water border with Russia is the Bering Strait, which separates Alaska from Chukotka. 50 states, one federal district - Columbia with the capital Washington.
The vast territory predetermined the variety of climatic zones: tropics (Hawaii, California, Florida), arctic, subarctic zones (Alaska). The climate of the United States determines the atmospheric current of a jet character: it transfers air masses, moisture to the continent, and causes heavy rainfall on the northwest coast. In the south, the rainy season falls in autumn and winter, in summer it is dry and hot.
Almost half of the US is occupied by mountainous regions, and very diverse: mixed forests, alpine meadows grow on the slopes, there are wastelands, numerous rivers begin to flow (Colorado, Columbia, Cheyenne, Missouri, Arkansas, Platte). Forests occupy a third of the country's territory: coniferous and tundra plants are typical for Alaska, deciduous (oak, birch, ash) and cedar forests - for the central and eastern regions, palms and citrus - in California, for the southern states are typical magnolias, rubber plants, mangroves - evergreen deciduous forests grow on the sea coasts, at river mouths, and deserts are dotted with cacti, evergreen tree-like yuccas.
The fauna of the northern latitudes is similar to the Russian northern one: bears, deer, lynxes, earthen squirrels; herds of bison have survived on the Great Plains, other ungulates, steppe dogs, cedar forests are inhabited by grizzly bears, wolves, badgers, foxes, skunks, and exotic birds live here: pelicans, flamingos, kingfishers. In the western United States, in the deserts, there are reptiles, American hares, and marsupial rats. In mountainous areas, elk, mountain goats, fat gazers, pronghorns are widespread. In the south, there are cougars, alligators, pink flamingos, purple reeds, and tree ibis.
In the United States, summer temperatures range from + 22 ° C to + 28 ° C, and winters are mild: January temperatures range from -2 ° C to + 8 ° C. Precipitation is unevenly distributed: if in Hawaii, the southeast of the country, the Pacific coast, up to 4000 mm of rain falls, then for California and Nevada this figure is no more than 200 mm.
When is the best time to go to the USA
Fans of year-round beach holidays choose Florida - the average water temperature, even in winter, rarely drops below 22 ° C. In the north and central Atlantic coast, the beach season is officially open from June to August-September, but you can swim from May to October. From July to September in the most "tropical" state of America there is a heat (+ 36-39 ° С), 100% humidity, hurricanes are frequent. It is hot in summer and in the south of the Rocky Mountains - + 26-34 ° С, it is better to go here in spring and autumn.
Want to visit Alaska? A third of its territory is located beyond the Arctic Circle: the subarctic climate determines temperatures up to -50 ° С in winter, in summer - up to + 20 ° С, in the south of the state - up to + 30 ° С, in the northern regions - only + 6 ° С.
The main attractions of the United States are wildlife, architectural monuments, the very diversity of American life, climate, ethnic groups.
The most interesting cities and states of the country:
- Washington is famous for its historic buildings, malls, memorial parks, galleries, national museums. Bonus - free admission to museums: the White House, the Capitol, the Pentagon building.
- New York, the largest city in the United States, is the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan skyscrapers, Fifth Avenue, UN headquarters, Metropolitan Opera, Central Park, sparkling Broadway, ethnic New York districts founded by migrants (Chinese, Jews, Italians, Germans , Spanish): Chinatown, Yorkville, Atlantic Avenue, Lower East Side, Harlem, Bronx, Little Italy.
- California is Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, Death Valley, magnificent castles, national parks, mountain ranges, beach and ski resorts. And large cities, each of which will take a whole vacation!
- Los Angeles is America's showcase: the legendary Hollywood, the richest museums, entertainment centers, architectural landmarks, Rodeo Drive, expensive restaurants, modern hotels, the famous Disneyland are located here.
- San Francisco - Golden Gates, former Alcatraz prison + Napa wine valley.
- Las Vegas and Atlantic City offer casinos to try their luck.
- Orlando is the most famous amusement parks in America, Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World.
- Miami - luxury hotels, expensive villas, long bike paths across the coast.
Huge national parks, nature reserves are a visiting card and the main attraction of the country. Choose: swamps of the Florida Everglades, White Mountains of New Hampshire, Great Smoky Mountains (North Carolina, Tennessee), Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Vast parks in the West will allow you to see geysers, waterfalls, evergreen forests, the Yellowstone River (Wyoming), the rainbow canyons of Zion National Park (Utah), huge sequoias (California), rocks of the Yosemite Valley, the Grand Canyon of Arizona, deserts - the petrified Big Forest to the southeast canyon, Death Valley, California Mojave Desert. High season is from mid-July to mid-August: most parks are full of visitors, camping must be booked in advance.
Travel routes, transport
One of the ways to travel around the country is using the Gray Hound buses. The railways along the east, south and west coasts are also convenient, and domestic airlines are optimal for long distances. But most of all, a bus or a car is suitable for exploring the country: this is the best way to feel the spaciousness and romance of the country.
- From New York, history lovers are more comfortable traveling to Washington, Philadelphia, New England - Boston, the resorts of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Another route is Florida, the Gulf Coast in the south.
- A vacation in New York, especially in summer, is a great experience. After the Big Apple, you can get acquainted with California, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone.
- Route New York - Boston - Washington - California - Yellowstone or Grand Canyon - San Antonio or Santa Fe.
- Chicago with sandy beaches, lakes - New Orleans - New York - Long Island - Boston - Cape Cod.
If you are looking for cultural experiences, the USA will provide them too: in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Washington, Boston there are 7 world famous symphony orchestras, opera houses, and museums in New York, Washington, Chicago - some of the best in the world.
Diving is popular in the United States, with dive sites along the coast. Instructors undergo extensive training, ships are equipped with first aid kits. The most popular diving spots are located on the shores of Florida: corals of all colors of the rainbow grow here, hundreds of species of fish, there are caves, sunken ships, artificial reefs, and fresh water sources. Seasoned divers travel to Molas Reef, Biscayne National Park, an archipelago of 1,700 Florida Keys. It is strictly forbidden to touch corals with your hands and raise artifacts of the past from the bottom.
Shopping in America, the homeland of shopping centers, will be remembered forever: suburban malls stretch for miles, large cities have special shopping districts, outlets are located along major highways, there are flea markets, highly specialized markets for collectors, auctions are held where they sell anything ...
The multicultural fusion of nations is fully reflected in the national cuisine of the USA: Italian pizza, hamburger (originally from Germany), Mexican tacos, legumes, corn, pumpkin, which came from the cuisine of the Indians. But there are also culinary symbols with a purely American character: pancakes with maple syrup, baked turkey, grilled meats, chicken nuggets, toast with peanut butter. Traditional American food is hearty and high-calorie, although now everywhere you will find vegan and vegetarian cafes, cuisines of all nations of the world, a diet menu. The cost of food depends on the level of environmental friendliness, freshness and place of production: the cheapest food is fast food, convenience foods in supermarkets.
Hotels and Accommodation in the United States
Hotels, apartments, villas, houses, hostels, campgrounds - there are a lot of accommodation options in the USA, Booking.com and similar resources will help you book the best option. What you need to know when checking into a USA hotel:
- The guest makes a security deposit of at least $ 100, it is better to have a credit card with you.
- You must be over 21 years old.
- At American resorts, a resort tax is levied - about $ 25 / day.
- For an additional fee, many hotels, even five-star hotels, allow dogs (but not cats) to move in.
Book your airport transfer: The US is a car-dependent country with less public transport infrastructure than Europe. The United States is located in six time zones - make sure you know which one is the destination of your flights, airport transfers.
The transport system of American cities is ramified: the subway is popular, buses run in every city in the United States. But trolleybuses are only in five: San Francisco, Dayton, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia + trams are being revived in some metropolitan areas. There are high-speed tram lines in New York, Seattle, Phoenix, Norfolk. The New York line serves Kennedy Airport and runs along special isolated flyovers. Some cities have ferry connections.
Traffic in the United States is right-hand, with restrictions ranging from 120 km / h on expressways to 24 km / h near schools. The hallmark of the United States is its network of beautiful federal highways, with odd numbers indicating north-south highways, and even numbers indicating east-west highways.
Car rental is developed throughout the country, the fee is fixed, the mileage is not limited.
- The most profitable options are to take a car if you drive more than 110 km.
- The fees are different everywhere: some companies rent old, used, but fully functional cars. They are cheap and suitable for local travel.
- Air conditioning is required in summer. Believe me, it is necessary.
- Options are available when the car is taken in one place, and left in another (such as car sharing between cities and states).
- It is better to use a credit card for a deposit.
- Translation of national law or international law will be required.
Some more facts about the USA
- The United States is one of the few countries that still uses the imperial system, measuring height in feet, distance in miles, temperature in Fahrenheit, and weight in pounds.
- Be sure to buy medical, travel insurance - the cost of medical care in America is very high.