The U.S. is a massive place, and many tourists need to realize how big of a place it is. Each state and region has its pros and cons, and you cannot judge the whole country by different areas, but be open to seeing some classic things in the states, like baseball games, county fairs, or even a great national park. Here are 10 American Experiences that every tourist should have while visiting.
1. Visit a National Park
The U.S. is full of national parks. The national parks in the west are more famous, but you will find them in the east, which can also be so different. The Everglades is full of swamps, while the Shendahoa Valley has some of the most beautiful rolling mountains on the east coast. Take some time and visit at least one national park on your trip to the States.
2. Go to a Classic Diner and Have a Hamburger and Fries
The U.S. was built on classic diners with a good ole American breakfast, hamburgers, fries, and many other types of food. Going to one of these classic diners and ordering a hamburger and fries or American Breakfast is a quintessential experience. You will see how locals live and be able to interact with average Americans. If you want an extra unique experience, visit a Waffle House late at night.
3. Go to a Sporting Event
Americans love sports, from baseball, American football, basketball, and hockey. Each season of the year, there is a great sporting event happening. You can visit baseball games like minor leagues or even some Major League games during the summer. The fall is full of American Football games where people tailgate (cookout) and enjoy an exciting game. If you are a soccer fan, there are plenty of opportunities to see some soccer matches.
4. Get Covered in Sauce From Eating Ribs and Wings
American BBQ is a classic food. The food ranges from pulled pork, smoked brisket, ribs, wings, and sides of mac and cheese and cole slaw. Grabbing some BBQ on your trip is another great experience you must have as you visit the States. Each region has its different style and sometimes different states. North and South Carolina get into arguments on who has the best sauces.
5. Attend Festivals or County Fair
Small towns or even cities may have festivals or county fairs that happen throughout the year. It is an excellent time to try rides or eat weird fried foods like fried Oreos. Many festivals also provide a perfect time to play games, eat food, and interact or people-watch as you enjoy these festivals or county fairs.
6. See Museums in NYC or D.C.
The museums in NYC and D.C. are some of the best in the country. The Smithsonian is world famous, and then you have the ones in NYC like The Met. If you are in those areas, it is an excellent opportunity to visit those museums or at least one museum.
7. Visit the Grand Canyon
When people think about national parks in the U.S., they think about the Grand Canyon. It is a site that mesmerizes every person that adventures out that way. It is a beautiful natural creation that people should at least put on their bucket list as a must-see site. If you have the chance, then go and see the Grand Canyon.
8. Have a Thanksgiving Feast
Americans love to eat, and one of the best holidays is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday of November, and it involves turkey, apple pie, and many different sides. It truly is a feast that people will sit and eat all day. One of the best experiences you can have is an American Thanksgiving feast.
9. Go On A Road Trip
The U.S. is a massive country. Unlike Europe, where it will take one to two hours, you may be in another country. The country is full of different landscapes, food, and subcultures, and a road trip can help you see so many of these things up close. Many Americans are more used to road trips than flying, so it has to be an experience that tourists should partake in.
10. Eating Mexican Food
Mexican food is native to Mexico, but then you have so many Mexican immigrants that have brought their food and mixed it with other cultures to give a type of fusion and a wonderful treat. TexMex is a famous example of great Mexican food in the States. As you are traveling in the U.S., one of the great things is eating Mexican food, it is a great comfort food to many Americans.
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.