The lower 48 states extend, as the song says, from sea to shining sea, and feature tropical regions in the south and temperate regions farther north. The lush island state of Hawaii lies far offshore in the Pacific, while Yukon-bordered Alaska nearly touches noses with Russia across the icy Bering Strait. As the “united” states, they comprise the third top travel destination worldwide.



America seemed like a prize beyond compare to the early European explorers who first set foot on her shores. Spain, France, Britain, and Russia,among others, laid claim to different regions, but finally a brash and unique populace arose and broke free of any foregin oversight. These are the same Americans who today figure in the top echelons of finance, industry, technology, commerce, science, medicine, education, fashion and the arts. Meanwhile, the country is still prized by travelers from many nations who seek to experience some part of the fabled “American dream.”

Among the country’ major cities are Washington, D.C., its sleek capital; New York City, its beating heart; Chicago, its commercial and travel hub; Boston, its historic crucible; Los Angeles, its cinematic wellspring; Miami, its leisure center; San Francisco, its favorite “hometown”; Las Vegas, its pleasure dome; and New Orleans, its sultry soul. Each city possesses a flavor or essence that makes it quite distinct from its sister cities.

Dozens of other American cities also hold out a lure to tourists and business travelers who may want to experience the less hectic pace of “traditional America” yet still enjoy the amenities found in any metropolis. Each one offers local color and cuisine, yet in many cases at appealingly competitive prices. These cities include Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Portland, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle, and Tampa.