Looking for an in-depth USA travel guide?
Then you’re in the right place!
Whether you’re a born-and-raised American or exploring the country for the first time, the United States of America makes for an incredible trip.
From stunning national parks to vibrant cities, the USA truly has something for every kind of traveler.
Plus, there are so many ways to see the country. You can plan the ultimate road trip in the USA, circumnavigating the contiguous 48 states to get a comprehensive look at the nation, or just stick to one region, exploring the beauty and quirks of the area. There are also plenty of solo road trip ideas in the USA if you’re traveling alone.
The options are truly endless, so we’re here to help you plan the best USA vacation for you.
There are lots of ways to look at a map of the USA, but most experts generally break the country up into five major geographic regions, including the:
- Western Region
- Southwest Region
- Midwest Region
- Southeast Region
- Northeast Region
The West, stretching from California to the Rocky Mountains, is home to many of the country’s most-visited National Parks. These each offer something different and you’ll definitely want to visit each one at some point in your life.
You can explore the desert in California’s Death Valley National Park, hike through the mountains of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, visit Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, marvel at the mountain view at Yosemite National Park (especially from the Nevada Falls Loop and Glacier Point), see out-of-this-world trees at Olympic National Park, and discover ancient cliff-side dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.
You can also hit many of these parks on a west coast road trip in the USA, driving through California up to the Canadian border.
Prefer the beach?
Opt for a California coast road trip, complete with incredible ocean views — especially when driving Big Sur — and a few stops at the state’s famous wineries via a Paso Robles weekend getaway (just don’t drink and drive!).
Of course, the great states of Hawaii and Alaska are worth their own adventures, boasting some of the best sights in the nation.
Texas is worth a trip on its own for its incredible natural wonders and rich history. And did we mention the barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine? No trip to the state is complete without it!
In Arizona, you can visit the famous Grand Canyon as well as other incredible sights like Monument Valley and Saguaro National Park.
New Mexico offers both desert adventures and incredible ski trails, making it a perfect destination all year round.
And don’t forget to get your kicks on Route 66 in Oklahoma!
The Midwest — a vast region spanning from the Dakotas in the west to Ohio in the east — offers much more than just corn fields.
South Dakota alone is home to some of the country’s top attractions, including Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park. Get a taste of Southern Hospitality in the Southeast, a vibrant region stretching from Virginia to Louisiana. The region is home to some of the country’s best Atlantic beaches as well as some of the most delicious food you’ll ever eat. The picturesque city of Charleston in South Carolina offers incredible seaside views, colorful buildings, and a rich history worth exploring. Over in North Carolina, you can explore the Appalachian Trail, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway or pretend you’re part of the 1920s elite at the Biltmore in Asheville. We also can’t forget to mention Florida, one of the nation’s top tourist destinations for its gorgeous beaches, world-class theme parks and Latin American cultural influences. The region’s warm weather also makes it a perfect place to visit all year round (particularly if you’re trying to escape a gloomy winter!).
You can do some buffalo spotting in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park, featuring miles of some of the best hiking trails in the world and some of the most spectacular views of the stars you’ll ever see.
Need some city energy? Head to Chicago, an incredible city on Lake Michigan featuring some of the world’s top museums and cultural institutions.
Speaking of the Great Lakes, you’ll find most of them in the Midwest as well as plenty of ways to enjoy them.
Finally, there’s the mighty Northeast, spanning from Maryland to Maine.
This region is home to some of the most bustling cities in the country, including the capital of Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York City. From museums to vast city parks to chic boutiques, you won’t want for things to do in these world-class cities that attract tons of tourists every year.
There’s also much more to the region than just these bustling metropolises, though.
Stroll the boardwalk at the New Jersey shore and enjoy some frozen custard while you lounge on some of the country’s top beaches.
Or head up to New Hampshire to tackle Mount Washington — or just ride the Cog Railway up to the top.
And you can’t miss Acadia National Park, the jewel of Maine, with miles of rocky Atlantic coast and incredible foliage views in the autumn.
Wherever you choose to go, you’re bound to have a good time in the USA!
Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to the USA in North America.
Note: This ultimate USA guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
- USA Map
- USA Travel Tips
- Arizona Travel Guide
- California Travel Guide
- Colorado Travel Guide
- Connecticut Travel Guide
- Florida Travel Guide
- Georgia Travel Guide
- Hawaii Travel Guide
- New Mexico Travel Guide
- New York City Travel Guide
- New York State Travel Guide
- North Carolina Travel Guide
- South Carolina Travel Guide
- Texas Travel Guide
- Virginia Travel Guide
- Best USA Tours
- Renting A Car In The USA
- Public Transportation In The USA
- Hotels In The USA
- USA Travel Insurance
- USA Travel Guide FAQ
- Q: What is the cheapest way to travel in the USA?
- Q: How much does a US trip cost?
- Q: What is the best road trip in the USA?
- Q: What are the best things to do in the USA?
- Q: How many days do you need for the United States?
- Q: Is the United States safe to travel?
- Q: How long can a tourist stay in the United States?
- Q: Do I need a US travel visa?
- Q: Where is the United States?
- Q: Are credit cards accepted in the USA?
- Q: Can you drink the tap water in the United States?
- Q: What is the local currency in the United States?
- What would you add to this USA travel guide?
Use this USA travel map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!
Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.
USA Travel Tips
Confidently travel the USA with the help of the following guides:
These Arizona tourism guides can help you plan the perfect trip!
San Francisco City Guide
No northern California travel guide would be complete without mentioning San Francisco! These posts can help you plan the perfect itinerary for the city.
Los Angeles Travel Guide
Looking for a Los Angeles visitor’s guide? No southern California travel guide would be complete without visiting this exciting city, and these guides can help you plan the perfect itinerary!
Southern California Travel Guide
If you’re in need of a Southern California visitor’s guide, this section is for you!
California Hiking Guides
Looking for some California adventure guides? The following articles will help you plan epic hikes around the state!
California Road Trip Guides
Doing a road trip in California? These guides can help!
Breckenridge Travel Guide
If you’re in need of a Breckenridge visitor guide, the following blog posts share fun tips for exploring this Colorado destination!
Denver Travel Guide
Looking for a Denver tourist guide? These posts can help!
Grand County Travel Guide
This section shares tourist information for those wanting to vacation Colorado in Grand County!
Vail Travel Guide
These posts can help you plan the perfect Colorado vacation!
Ouray Travel Guide
No Colorado tourist guide would be complete without mentioning Ouray, a small city packed with fun!
Other Colorado Places To Visit
These Colorado tourism posts can help you discover unique local experiences and fun destinations!
Tips For Visiting Colorado
The following advice can help you travel Colorado state with ease!
Connecticut Travel Guide
Wondering where to go in Connecticut? These guides can help!
Looking for the best Florida vacation destinations? The following Florida visitors guides can help!
Atlanta Travel Guide
Looking for an Atlanta visitor’s guide? These posts can help!
Savannah Travel Guide
Looking for a Savannah visitor’s guide? These posts can help!
Big Island Travel Guide
Explore the best of Big Island tourism through these epic guides!
Oahu Travel Guide
Experience the best of Oahu Hawaii travel with these unforgettable guides!
Hawaii Travel Tips
The following Hawaii travel advice can help you plan the perfect trip!
Albuquerque Travel Guide
Discover incredible New Mexico attractions and experiences in Albuquerque!
New Mexico Travel Tips
Manhattan Travel Guide
Brookyln Travel Guide
Queens Travel Guide
New York City Travel Tips
Hudson Valley Travel Guide
Long Island Travel Guide
Other New York State Destinations
North Carolina Travel Guide
Planning a trip to North Carolina? These guides can help!
South Carolina Travel Guide
When visiting South Carolina, don’t miss:
Austin Travel Guide
Looking for an Austin visitor’s guide? These posts can help!
Houston Travel Guide
Use the following posts as your Houston city guide to plan the perfect itinerary!
Plano Travel Guide
Looking for the best places to travel in Texas? Here’s why you should add Plano to your itinerary!
San Antonio Travel Guide
If you’re searching for fun Texas travel ideas, San Antonio is full of them!
Looking for the best Virginia tourist attractions and places to visit? These posts can help!
Best USA Tours
Explore local culture with a USA tour guide through these unique excursions:
- Las Vegas Helicopter Night Flight with Optional VIP Transportation (Las Vegas, Nevada)
- Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)
- Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option (New Orleans, Louisiana)
- Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Full-Day Tour (San Francisco, California)
- Statue of Liberty Monument, 9/11 Memorial, and Wall Street Tour (New York, NY)
- Chicago Architecture River Cruise (Chicago, Illinois)
- Salt Lake City Bike & Brew Tour (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- True Crime Stories Walking Tour (Des Moines, Iowa)
- Fountain Square Food Tour (Indianapolis, Indiana)
- 45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon (Tusayan, Arizona)
Renting A Car In The USA
Need a rental car for your USA trip?
Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.
Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!
Public Transportation In The USA
Getting around the USA by train, bus, or ferry?
Omio is a must! You can use this tool for all of your public transportation needs when traveling around the United States.
The site is straightforward and user-friendly — and you can pre-book your tickets in advance at a discount.
They even offer flight and car deals!
Hotels In The USA
Prefer self-contained stays?
You can also use this map to search for local stays and experiences!
It’s set to NYC, but you can easily change the location to your specific destination:
USA Travel Insurance
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a USA tour. When visiting the United States — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.
In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your US travel itinerary.
USA Travel Guide FAQ
Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling in the United States.
Q: What is the cheapest way to travel in the USA?
If you’re able to drive, driving yourself or renting a car is probably one of the least expensive ways to see the United States. You’ll have to factor in the costs of gas and parking, which can vary from state to state and city to city, as well as overnight lodging if you’re driving a particularly long distance and don’t have another person with whom to share driving duties.
If your own car is a gas-guzzler, consider renting a more efficient vehicle for your trip. The rental fees might be equal to the amount you’d pay for gas on your own. The great thing about driving is that you have much more flexibility and can create your own itinerary and tour route.
For those who don’t drive, the bus is probably the cheapest way to see the country. Major national bus lines like Greyhound and Coach USA make a plethora of stops throughout the country, giving you plenty of travel options.
Bus journeys can be long, though, and usually involve long layovers at bus stations and short rest stops. You’ll want to factor in the cost of food and beverages when making your budget for a bus trip.
Bus seats also aren’t ideal for sleeping and the whole experience is far from glamorous, but it’s a great way to see the country while saving some cash.
Don’t have a ton of time to spend on the road? Flying is probably your best option.
While domestic flights in the US can get pricey, you can get some cheap fares from budget airlines and even major carriers with some smart searching techniques. Look into low-cost airlines like Frontier, Spirit, and Southwest, which often offer one-way flights for as low as $50.
You’ll probably end up paying extra for things that would normally be included in your fare (i.e. carry-on bags and seat assignments), so keep that in mind when booking.
You can also save by booking weekday flights (particularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays), flying in and out of competitive markets like New York City, and setting flight alerts on travel search engines like Kayak.
Q: How much does a US trip cost?
The cost of a trip to the United States is highly dependent on your travel itinerary. You’ll end up spending a lot more in major cities like New York and Los Angeles and big tourist destinations like Las Vegas than you will in smaller towns and more rural areas.
That said, the average traveler spends about $222 USD per day in the U.S. on transportation, accommodations, food, activities and other travel expenses.
Do some research into the destinations you want to visit (or check out our specific destination pages listed above) to get a sense of how much money you’ll need for each place.
Q: What is the best road trip in the USA?
There are plenty of great road trip routes you can take to explore the United States — and even great solo road trips! The one you choose definitely depends on what you want to see and how long you want to travel.
If you want a comprehensive view of the country, though, consider taking two weeks for a cross-country road trip. There are lots of ways to do this but most travelers start in an east coast city like New York or Washington, D.C. and make their ways west.
You can choose to go west via the south, stopping in Tennessee, driving across the great state of Texas and cruising through the southwest to finish up in Southern California. Here you can visit national parks and do hikes like the Lost Horse Mine Trail and Hidden Valley Nature Trail — both in Joshua Tree National Park.
Alternatively, you can drive through the Midwest and stop into some of the major national parks as you make your way through to San Francisco or Seattle.
And for more of a straight shot across the country, there’s always US-50, or the Loneliest Road, running from Ocean City, MD to Sacramento, CA and passing through West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. That’s one way to cross a bunch of states off your list and is a true highlight of any North America travel guide!
Q: What are the best things to do in the USA?
The United States is a huge country with plenty of must-see attractions you definitely won’t want to miss.
The country’s national parks are some of its most popular attractions for travelers of all kinds. From the diverse landscape of Yellowstone to the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite to the pristine lakes of Glacier National Park, there are so many incredible natural wonders to explore here.
One of the most popular parks is probably Grand Canyon National Park, which offers 227 miles of rivers, rocks and incredible views in Arizona. Hike down the famous Bright Angel Trail, raft the Colorado River, or walk 70 feet out over the rim via the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
If you’re looking for beaches, the United States is home to some of the best in the world. From the tropical white sand beaches of Hawaii to the northern shores of Bar Harbor in Maine, this country has a seaside destination for every kind of beach bum.
America’s cities are also truly unique, each with its own culture and special flair.
New York City is a favorite of travelers around the world for its vibrant cultural scene and exciting energy. The city is home to iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building as well as major cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the theatres of Broadway.
If you’re looking for a New York City trip that’s a little further off the beaten path, though, check out some of our city guides linked above!
On the west coast, San Francisco offers incredible ocean views, top sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, and unique neighborhoods to explore. When in California, you also shouldn’t miss a scenic and adventurous Big Sur road trip!
Down south, you’ll definitely want to visit New Orleans to revel in the city’s incredible music, rich history, and delicious food.
Of course we’re just scratching the surface of everything America’s cities have to offer. Check out the above travel guides for more!
Q: How many days do you need for the United States?
The sheer size of the United States can make it difficult to see everything you want to see in just a few days.
For a grand tour of the country, you’ll probably want to give yourself at least 10 days. This will give you plenty of time to travel from destination to destination, especially if you’re traveling by car or bus.
In two weeks, you can drive historic Route 66, traveling through several states to get from Chicago to Los Angeles.
For any trip shorter than 10 days, you’ll probably want to stick to exploring one region of the country in-depth, like the Northeast or the West Coast.
Q: Is the United States safe to travel?
Safety in the United States varies widely depending on where you go, particularly when you look at crime rates and the types of crime committed.
Q: How long can a tourist stay in the United States?
Most visitors from abroad who are allowed to enter the country can stay in the United States for up to six months. Entry requirements and allowances vary depending on where you are from, so definitely check the US government website.
Q: Do I need a US travel visa?
Visa requirements vary depending on where you are from. You can visit the US government website to see if you need a visa and what type.
Q: Where is the United States?
Q: Are credit cards accepted in the USA?
Credit cards — particularly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted around the United States, though it is always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and in case of emergency.
Q: Can you drink the tap water in the United States?
While tap water is safe to drink in most places, it’s smart to check with the hotel in your specific destination to be safe.
Q: What is the local currency in the United States?
The local currency in the USA is the US Dollar (USD).
What would you add to this USA travel guide?
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