The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the extreme Northwest and Hawaii extending the nation's presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major cities include New York, a global finance and culture center, and Washington, DC, the capital, both on the Atlantic Coast; Los Angeles, famed for filmmaking, on the Pacific Coast; and the Midwestern metropolis Chicago.
As the world's only superpower and biggest economy by a huge margin, almost everyone on the planet knows something about the USA, even if they've never been. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State, the Hollywood sign, Las Vegas neon, Golden Gate and the White House have long been global icons, and American brands and images are familiar everywhere, from Apple computers and Levi,s to Coca-Cola and hot dogs. Yet first-time visitors should expect some surprises. Though its cities draw the most tourists - New York, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco are all incredible destinations in their own right - America is above all a land of stunningly diverse and achingly beautiful landscapes. In one nation you have the mighty Rockies and spectacular Cascades, the vast, mythic desert landscapes of the Southwest, the endless, rolling plains of Texas and Kansas, the tropical beaches and Everglades of Florida, the giant redwoods of California and the sleepy, pristine villages of New England. You can soak up the mesmerizing vistas in Crater Lake, Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, stand in awe at the Grand Canyon, hike the Black Hills, cruise the Great Lakes, paddle in the Mississippi, surf the gnarly breaks of Oahu and get lost in the vast wilderness of Alaska. Or you could easily plan a trip that focuses on the out-of-the-way hamlets, remote prairies, eerie ghost towns and forgotten byways that are every bit as "American" as its showpiece icons and monuments.
The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the United States.
The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets.
The tallest building in the U.S. city of Seattle, Washington is the 76-story Columbia Center, which rises 943 feet (287 m) and was completed in 1985.
Washington, DC, the U.S. capital, is a compact city on the Potomac River, bordering the states of Maryland and Virginia.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Las Vegas, in Nevada's Mojave Desert, is a resort town famed for its buzzing energy, 24-hour casinos and endless entertainment options. Its focal point is the Strip, just over 4 miles long and lined with elaborate theme hotels such as the pyramid-shaped Luxor and the Venetian, complete with Grand Canal; luxury resorts including the Bellagio, set behind iconic dancing fountains; and innumerable casinos.