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Bellagio Hotel Resort with dancing fountains - Score:7.96000
Bellagio Hotel Re...
User:Florentine
Spot:Las Vegas
A view from Sam Houston Park - Score:7.94444
A view from Sam H...
User:tomey
Spot:Houston
White sands view - Score:7.93750
White sands view
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Spot:White Sands
View from Rockefeller-Center - Score:7.92857
View from Rockefe...
User:SiKa
Spot:New York
Sunset in Houston - Score:7.90000
Sunset in Houston
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Spot:Houston
Graffities on the roof - just for fun! - Score:7.87500
Graffities on the...
User:SiKa
Spot:New York

USA

Popular Attractions

www.mygreatworld.com - Skyline Houston The USA is a vast and diverse country bountiful of natural resources and beauties that enthrall any visitor to that country. Towering mountains, rolling deserts, vast expanse of sea, beautiful rivers, lakes and springs, exquisite National parks, unending greenery- you think of all these and they will unfold before your eyes in the great country. Add to this the pulsating cities like New York and Los Angeles with towering skyscrapers standing alongside medieval monuments that hold the tourist’s eyes in amazement. There are popular tourist sights that one must see if visiting USA on a short tour.

www.mygreatworld.com - The White House Some of these landmark destinations of this country are the White House, the seat of power at Washington DC, the Statue of Liberty at New York, Pentagon defense headquarters and the magnificent Niagara Falls to name only a few. Also not to be missed by the tourists are the modern day wonders like Hollywood, Disneyland, Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. The White House remains one of the most favorite tourist destinations. It is a place full of historical treasures like the sword of George Washington, the Declaration of American Independence displayed at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the US Constitution, the China Room with all the White House china on display and the Map Room used by President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II to monitor the war.

www.mygreatworld.com - SOL - Die Weltraumputze The Statue of Liberty at the New York harbor stands as a symbol of freedom for the people all over the world. The observation deck on the Statue offers a breathtaking view of the New York City and the Harbor. Traveling along the walkway on Ft. Wood enables the tourist to have a closer look at the imposing structure. The unforgettable Niagara Falls can be reached by road or air. The tourist on the tour of USA must also see the rocky splendor of the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills. The tourist can ill afford to miss the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. The heart of movie studios and stars, one must not miss the Hollywood.

Culture

www.mygreatworld.com - MIT 2 The culture of USA is a fine blend of indigenous traditions with European refinement. Literature, music, architecture, visual and other art forms while carrying the marks of this combination still manage to retain the Americanism that in turn is profoundly influencing all the cultures of the world including those of the West to which it owes its initial development. Now the USA can boast of the most resourceful research centers of the world in the fields of art, history and science. The almost classless structure of the American social framework has encouraged a culture that is free from any imposed rigidity or restraint and is more liberalized in expression than the cultures of European nations. In the USA, “the art is as free/as freedom can be”.

The country has produced great pieces of literature by such eminent classical authors and poets as Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Among the modern authors who are also winners of Nobel Prize are Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow and Toni Morrison. The USA has also been the home of potboiler literature and movies that caught popular fancy without having much literary and social value. The early part of the 20th century saw the great American poets like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound enriching the English language poetry. The comics have also emerged as a literary form with the advent of the superheroes like Batman in the sixties.

www.mygreatworld.com - Seinfeld Restaurant (aka Tom's Restaurant) The most popular music in the USA is pop, rock, country and jazz. Each American city has its own distinctive style of music like the Hawaiian music and the Louisiana music. The cinema in the USA has grown in stature during the 20th century with Hollywood emerging as the world’s most important film hub. The Broadway in New York City is the world famous theater center. The majority of American people are addicted to television causing worries of the younger generation becoming “couch potatoes”. The USA is a nation of modern architecture as can be seen by the country’s numerous skyscrapers. The multicultural US society has diverse cuisine culture.

Geology

One must visit Hawaii in the USA to see the marvels of geology. Here stands the two most active volcanoes of the world- the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea. The volcanoes composed of basaltic lava are part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a popular tourist attraction of the USA. Once in earth’s geologic history, molten lava came out from the mantle to the earth’s crust and formed the shield cones that are the Hawaiian volcanoes.

www.mygreatworld.com - Sky Blue Waters Along the Pacific coast is this chain of volcanic islands 1,500 miles long rising from the sea floor the latest being the Hawaii formed some 700,000 years ago. On the ocean floor lying on the southeast coast of Hawaii, a new island ‘Loihi’ is forming and is expected to be visible in another 10,000 years. The beautiful Hawaii Islands are worth a visit. In northern California amidst Cascade mountain range is located the Lassen Volcanic National Park. The tourists can see here a cinder cone with a caldera and thermal steam of what was once a volcanic crater. The Lassen volcano is dormant since 1921. Most famous among the US parks is the Yellowstone National Park at Wyoming. While roaming on the Yellowstone, a tourist might never know that it is inside a caldera that he or she is walking on that can erupt!

The caldera occupying a third of the park area is formed over two million years of eruption. The hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone add to the geological wonders. There are also mud pot areas in Yellowstone. To the northeast of Wyoming stands the Devil’s Tower featured in the famous Spielberg movie ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. This is one of the interesting geologic structures in the USA which is not really a volcano but formed due to igneous intrusion that cooled and solidified under multi-layers of sediments. This became visible only after the sedimentary rock layers were eroded away over millions of years. The central necks that are now seen are the extraordinary basalt columns some of which rise up to 865 feet and are 15 feet in diameter.

History

www.mygreatworld.com - NY in the twilight - the most beautiful The first recorded human settlement at the places later came to be known as the USA dates back to around 15,000 years. Not much is known about these initial settlers and the first documented record of settlement in the USA is found after the colonization of the areas by the people from Europe. Christopher Columbus and his team of voyagers were the first men from the Old World to have stepped onto the territory of the USA in 1493 when they landed in Puerto Rico. There is no clear evidence to suggest who among the two Europeans John Cabot and Juan Leon first reached during sometime in the 15th and 16th century the territory of what is now called the USA. The country remained a British colony till it won freedom in 1776 by fighting the American Revolutionary War and defeated the British colonists.

www.mygreatworld.com - World’s Largest Roadrunner Paisano Pete The USA thereafter started expanding by taking over the North American lands which ended with Hawaii and Alaska becoming part of the USA in 1959. The American society started to be liberalized with abolition of slavery in 1865 and making segregation of the races illegal by enacting the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The USA progressed economically also during the twenties after World War I which however received a setback by the Great Depression of 1929 resulting in economic decline and unemployment. The USA joined World War II only after her Naval Fleet was bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. Later her forces formed the bulk of Allied forces stationed in Western Europe. The US economy after World War II started to prosper and the country emerged as a superpower in the world. This also started the Cold War with Soviet Union, the other world power center. While there was an economic boom in the USA in the 1980s and 1990s, the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 brought economic recession. The USA involved herself in a long-drawn war with Iraq that also affected the country’s economy and was criticized by many among the American and world people.

Political

The United States Constitution has set up the federal government of the United States. The Constitution defines the powers of the federal government and vests the US states with lot of authority for self-regulation without interference by the federal government. Separate powers are vested with the three branches of the US federal government- the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The powers are distributed in a way that ensures the balance mechanism of each branch regulating and getting regulated by the other branches. Washington DC is the headquarter of the federal government in the USA and is called the federal district.

The government of each federal state in the USA wields the most influence on the lives of the American citizens. The states have their own constitutions, coded laws and governments. Laws relating to health, property, education and criminal matters often differ widely between states. Each state of the USA is ruled by a Governor elected to the highest office of the state. The voters of the state are represented by the elected members of the state legislature which is bicameral except in the state of Nebraska. The court is separate for each state of the USA with the justices for supreme and lower court being elected in some states by the voters of that state. Some states simply appoint the court justices without any public voting following the system of the federal government.

The Indian tribes are as an exception allowed to run sovereign governments not influenced by any laws of state governments but requiring the authority from the federal government to operate such a government. This is due to the USA recognizing them as “domestic dependent nations”. The status of the tribal governments is always kept separate from the governments of the states in spite of numerous modifications in their laws. The unique feature of the political system of the USA is the local governments (a third tier apart from the federal and state governments) that are empowered to make laws for their cities, towns, districts, county boards, etc. The local governments can collect taxes and enforce law.

Infrastructure/Getting Around

www.mygreatworld.com - Las Vegas Airport with The Strip The tourists can reach the USA either by international airways or any of the US airlines. Major international airports in the USA are in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Seattle, Denver and Atlanta. All other US cities the tourists can reach by taking connecting flights from these airports. Cities other than those mentioned can also be flown into directly but not advised due to higher ticket costs as there are fewer flights. A tourist coming from Mexico or Canada can jolly well come by road by taking any of the border crossings between these countries and the USA. The distances within the USA are often so long that it is better to travel by air though costly. Tourists coming from outside USA can avail of the discounted passes offered on transpacific or transatlantic flights operated by some airlines. The discount also covers travel between two destinations within the country (one way).

It saves a lot of cost having such tickets along with the international ticket. No frills airlines also offer low cost options. The USA can be best seen by traveling on hired cars. Self-driven rented cars also mean less expense. The car rentals vary widely depending on the car size and the time for which it is hired. For budget minded travelers or the backpackers for whom seeing the country by traveling by air or hired car is prohibited by cost, bus is a cheap option. They can get around the USA by rides on buses of Greyhound, the sole national bus company. The rate is quite cheap. This bus network also offers the New Americpass whereby the tourist gets the facility of unlimited travel to any destination covered by the network. This bus service is however too slow for comfort and covering long distances within the USA by Greyhound buses are not advised. One of the best options to travel long distances by train in the USA is to avail of Amtrak rail services. The Railpass they offer allow unlimited travel and is ideal for the budget-minded and backpackers.



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