January 31, 2020

Guide to the United States


Ken Ueda


The United States often doesn't top the list for backpackers and budget travelers, with most international visitors opting for brief vacations centered around major cities or attractions like Disney World. It wasn't until the COVID-19 pandemic that Americans collectively embraced domestic travel, rediscovering the allure of exploring their own backyard.

While the U.S. boasts vast expanses of stunning landscapes, rich cultural diversity, and culinary delights, it lacks the robust tourist infrastructure found in some other countries. Hostels are scarce, train networks are limited, and there's a notable absence of working holiday visas to attract young backpackers. Navigating the country can be challenging.

Despite these hurdles, the United States offers a wealth of experiences, from its breathtaking national parks to its vibrant music scenes and regional cuisines. Road tripping is especially rewarding, allowing travelers to uncover hidden gems in the heartland at a more affordable cost.

While coastal cities offer their own appeal, it's often in the lesser-explored regions where the true essence of America shines through. Whether embarking on a multi-month road trip or opting for alternative modes of transportation like trains, buses, or planes, there's no shortage of adventures to be had.

This travel guide to the United States is your companion to navigating the country, saving money, and discovering off-the-beaten-path treasures.

  1. Experience New York CityDubbed the "city that never sleeps," New York City stands as a pinnacle among global destinations. It pulsates with an energy unlike any other, offering an unparalleled array of experiences and cultural diversity. From world-renowned museums and theaters to innovative culinary scenes and the sprawling oasis of Central Park, the city's allure knows no bounds. Dive into my comprehensive guide for an in-depth exploration of everything this iconic metropolis has to offer.
  2. Explore the Grand CanyonAttempting to capture the grandeur of the Grand Canyon in mere words is a futile endeavor—it simply must be experienced to be believed. Towering cliffs and mesmerizing vistas beckon travelers to delve deeper, whether gazing from the overlooks above or embarking on a breathtaking hike to the Colorado River below. Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself fully in this natural wonder, but remember to stay hydrated, especially during the warmer months.
  3. Discover the Charms of AustinWith its warm climate, vibrant music scene, and eclectic array of attractions, Austin emerges as a gem among American cities. From lively honky-tonks and quirky bars on Rainey Street to sprawling outdoor spaces and delectable barbecue joints, the city offers a delightful blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Indulge in the local cuisine and immerse yourself in the laid-back charm of this beloved Texan destination.
  4. Experience Glacier National ParkNestled amidst the rugged beauty of Montana, Glacier National Park stands as a testament to nature's grandeur. Snow-capped peaks, crystalline lakes, and sprawling glaciers create a landscape of unparalleled beauty, inviting visitors to explore its pristine wilderness and scenic hiking trails. For avid national park enthusiasts, consider investing in the America the Beautiful Park Pass for access to this awe-inspiring destination and others throughout the country.
  5. Drive the Pacific Coast HighwayEmbark on a journey along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, renowned for its breathtaking vistas and dramatic landscapes. As you wind your way along California State Route 1, you'll encounter towering cliffs, lush forests, pristine beaches, and majestic redwoods. Take your time to savor the journey, allowing ample opportunity to explore the numerous attractions and scenic stops along this iconic coastal route.

Ken Ueda

Travel and Discover