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See the relevant city guides and GoToBus. Hispanic bus companies tend to have the most spacious buses in the country. Many are affiliate brands or subsidiaries of Mexican bus companies offering cross-border services beyond the border areas to as a far north as Chicago, to as far east as Atlanta and as far south as Mexico City.

Various smaller companies offer bus services throughout the country. A number of them are grouped under the Trailways brand, which you'll often find sharing space with Greyhound.

Recreational vehicles — large, sometimes bus-sized vehicles that include sleeping and living quarters — are a distinctly American way to cruise the country.

Some RVers love the convenience of being able to drive their home anywhere they like and enjoy the camaraderie that RV campgrounds offer. Other people dislike the hassles and maintenance issues that come with RVing.

And don't even think about driving an RV into a huge metropolis such as New York. Still, if you want to drive extensively within the United States and are comfortable handling a big rig, renting an RV is an option you should consider.

The thrill and exhilaration of cross country travel are magnified when you go by motorcycle. Harley-Davidson is the preeminent American motorcycle brand and Harley operates a motorcycle rental program for those licensed and capable of handling a full weight motorcycle.

In some parts of the country, you can also rent other types of motorcycles, such as sportbikes, touring bikes, and dual-sport bikes.

For those inexperienced with motorcycles, Harley and other dealerships offer classes for beginners. Wearing a helmet, although not required in all states, is always a good idea.

The practice of riding between lanes of slower cars, also known as "lane-sharing" or "lane-splitting," is illegal, except in California where it is tolerated and widespread.

Solo motorcyclists can legally use "high-occupancy vehicle" or "carpool" lanes during their hours of operation.

American enthusiasm towards motorcycles has led to a motorcycling subculture. Motorcycle clubs are exclusive clubs for members dedicated to riding a particular brand of motorcycle within a highly structured club hierarchy.

Riding clubs may or may not be organized around a specific brand of bikes and offer open membership to anyone interested in riding. Motorcycle rallies, such as the famous one in Sturgis , South Dakota, are huge gatherings of motorcyclists from around the country.

Many motorcyclists are not affiliated with any club and opt to ride independently or with friends. In general, motorcycling is seen as a hobby, as opposed to a practical means of transportation; this means, for example, that most American motorcyclists prefer not to ride in inclement weather.

However you choose to ride, and whatever brand of bike you prefer, motorcycling can be a thrilling way to see the country.

A long history of hitchhiking comes out of the U. The specifics of the law vary from state to state, but in general, hitchhiking itself is legal throughout the majority of the country, though generally not on Interstate highways where pedestrians are normally prohibited or while standing within traffic lanes usually marked by a solid white line at the shoulder of the road.

If you plan to hitchhike, best practice is to thumb rides at entrance ramps, or better yet highway rest areas.

However, due to increasing wariness of the possible dangers fueled in part by sensational stories in the news media , hitchhiking in the U. International travelers to the U.

Even many Americans themselves would only feel comfortable "thumbing a ride" if they had a good knowledge of the locale, and American drivers also practice caution for the same reasons.

Craigslist has a rideshare section that sometimes proves useful for arranging rides in advance. If you are open with your destination it's almost always possible to find a ride going somewhere in the country, with payment often being sharing the fuel costs.

The United States is extraordinarily diverse in its array of attractions. You will never run out of things to see; even if you think you've exhausted what one place has to offer, the next destination is only a road trip away.

The Great American Road Trip see above is the most traditional way to see a variety of sights; just hop in the car and cruise down the Interstates, stopping at the convenient roadside hotels and restaurants as necessary, and stopping at every interesting tourist trap along the way, until you reach your destination.

Indescribably beautiful scenery, history that reads like a screenplay, entertainment options that can last you for days, and some of the world's greatest architecture—no matter what your pleasure, you can find it almost anywhere you look in the United States.

From the spectacular glaciers of Alaska to the wooded, weathered peaks of Appalachia; from the otherworldly desertscapes of the Southwest to the vast waters of the Great Lakes ; few other countries have as wide a variety of natural scenery as the United States does.

America's National Parks are a great place to start, and to see North American wildlife. Yellowstone National Park was the first true national park in the world, and it remains one of the most famous, but there are 57 others.

The Grand Canyon is possibly the world's most spectacular gorge; Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park are both home to the world's tallest living organisms; Glacier National Park is a great place to see huge sheets of ice; Canyonlands National Park could easily be mistaken for Mars; and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park features abundant wildlife among beautifully forested mountains.

And the national parks aren't just for sightseeing, either; each has plenty of outdoors activities as well. Still, the National Parks are just the beginning.

And each state has its own state parks that can be just as good as the federal versions. Most all of these destinations, federal or state, have an admission fee, but it all goes toward maintenance and operations of the parks, and the rewards are well worth it.

Those aren't your only options, though. Many of America's natural treasures can be seen without passing through admission gates. The world-famous Niagara Falls straddle the border between Canada and the U.

The "purple majesty" of the Rocky Mountains can be seen for hundreds of miles in any direction, while the placid coastal areas of the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic have relaxed Americans for generations.

And, although they are very different from each other, Hawaii and Alaska are perhaps the two most scenic states; they don't just have attractions—they are attractions.

The prehistory of the continent can indeed be a little hard to uncover, as most of the Native American tribes did not build permanent settlements.

But particularly in the West , you will find magnificent cliff dwellings at sites such as Mesa Verde and Bandelier , as well as near-ubiquitous rock paintings Petroglyph National Park has some of the best rock art in the country, and it is located only 17 km outside of Albuquerque.

As the first part of the country to be colonized by Europeans, the eastern states of New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the South have more than their fair share of sites from early American history.

The first successful British colony on the continent was at Jamestown , Virginia, although the settlement at Plymouth , Massachusetts, may loom larger in the nation's mind.

In the 18th century, major centers of commerce developed in Philadelphia and Boston , and as the colonies grew in size, wealth, and self-confidence, relations with Great Britain became strained, culminating in the Boston Tea Party and the ensuing Revolutionary War.

There are a large number of historic sites related to the American Civil War , the most destructive conflict on American soil.

Americans have never shied away from heroic feats of engineering, and many of them are among the country's biggest tourist attractions.

The city's architecture is also an attraction—the Capitol Building and the White House are two of the most iconic buildings in the country and often serve to represent the whole nation to the world.

A number of American cities have world-renowned skylines, perhaps none more so than the concrete canyons of Manhattan , part of New York City.

There, a new World Trade Center tower has risen on a site adjacent to the fallen twin towers, and the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building still stand tall, as they have for almost a century.

Chicago , where the skyscraper was invented, can no longer claim the tallest building in the country, but it still has an awful lot of really tall buildings.

Some human constructions transcend skyline, though, and become iconic symbols in their own right. The Gateway Arch in St.

Even the incredible Mount Rushmore , located far from any major city, still attracts two million visitors each year. From toys to priceless artifacts, from entertainment legends to dinosaur bones—nearly every city in the country has a museum worth visiting.

The highest concentrations of these museums are found in the largest cities, of course, but none compare to Washington, D.

With almost twenty independent museums, most of them located on the National Mall , the Smithsonian is the foremost curator of American history and achievement.

You could spend weeks exploring the cultural institutions just in D. Many universities also operate small museums that have interesting exhibits and are often free to enter, while those interested in specific sports or topics will often be able to find museums even in some small towns that suit their tastes.

Mid-size to large cities often draw big ticket concerts , especially in large outdoor amphitheaters. Small towns sometimes host concerts in parks with local or older bands.

Classical music concerts are held year round and performed by semi-professional and professional symphonies.

Many cities and regions have unique sounds. Country music is popular throughout the U. Nashville is known as "Music City" because of the large number of country artists that live in the city.

It's home to the Grand Ole Opry , one of the most famous music venues in the country. Many of the most popular mainstream bands are based in Los Angeles due to the large entertainment presence and concentration of record companies.

America is considered to be the spiritual home of musical theater , and many of the world's most famous musicals have had a run on Broadway in New York City at one time or another.

No trip to New York would be complete without catching at least one musical on Broadway. A quintessential American experience is the marching band festival.

You can find these events almost every weekend between September and Thanksgiving throughout the country and again from March to June in California.

Check local event listings and papers to find specifics. To see the best of the best, get tickets to the "finals" performance, where the ten best bands of the festival compete for the championship.

This event is now held at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Both "street" or parade marching bands as well as "field" or show bands are found at almost every high school and university in America.

The United States has a professional league for virtually every sport, including pillow fighting. America's passion for sports is rivaled hardly anywhere in the world, with the leagues with the world's highest attendance both per game NFL and total MLB and other leagues that are the best and most popular in their respective sport.

Watching a game is a good way to meet and interact with the locals. A few of the most popular sports are:. In most English-speaking countries, "hockey" is used for a game played on grass and "ice hockey" for the one on ice.

In North American usage, however, the former is called "field hockey", while "hockey" alone almost always means "ice hockey" or, rarely, roller hockey.

One feature of the American sports landscape that is different from those of other nations is the extent to which sports are associated with educational institutions.

In many regions, college sports local or university teams , especially in football and men's basketball, enjoy followings that rival or surpass those of major professional teams.

In fact, 8 of the 10 largest stadiums in the world — all seating more than , spectators — are for U.

The NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association has over 1, member schools, including essentially all of the country's best-known colleges and universities.

The college football season runs from roughly September 1 through mid-December, with postseason bowl games running into early January.

The college basketball regular season begins in mid-November and ends in late February or early March, followed by conference tournaments and then national post-season tournaments that run through early April.

Rowing enthusiasts may wish to watch the Harvard—Yale Regatta , a 4-mile-long 6. Many communities take great pride in their high school sports teams, and especially in smaller locales, those teams are a major part of local culture.

From August to May, a high school game can be a great and cheap way to meet locals and discover the area in a way many visitors never experience.

The most popular sports are usually football and boys' basketball and to a lesser extent girls' basketball , plus hockey in New England and the upper Midwest.

In some areas, a particular high school sport enjoys an elevated cultural position. Examples include football in Texas, basketball in Indiana, hockey in Minnesota, and wrestling in Iowa.

The United States is home to many of the world's most famous golf courses. The most famous is the Augusta National Golf Club, where membership is strictly by invitation only and a very exclusive privilege.

The Augusta National Golf Club is the home of the Masters , one of the world's most prestigious professional golf tournaments, and also one of the four majors in men's golf.

Golf is popular both as a participation and spectator sport, and the U. See also Golf United States of America. A subset of rodeo, bull riding, enjoys a moderate degree of popularity as a standalone event, with the main circuit being Professional Bull Riders.

Almost every state has one or more state fairs. These began as competitions and shows to promote agriculture and livestock; now they include industrial product exhibitions, concerts, and carnival rides and games.

There are numerous national parks throughout the United States, especially the vast interior, which offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities, including Recreational shooting , ATV riding, hiking, bird watching, prospecting, and horseback riding.

National parks are the crown jewels of the much larger National Park System , which also includes historic and cultural landmarks.

The United States is the birthplace of the modern amusement park , and to this day, amusement parks form an integral part of American childhood and teenage culture.

The first ever permanent amusement park was built on Coney Island in New York City , and while not as glamorous as some of the newer ones, is still home to a famous historic wooden roller coaster and numerous other attractions.

The Los Angeles and Orlando areas in particular are home to numerous well-regarded amusement parks, with giants Universal and Disney operating parks in both locations.

Another chain of amusement parks that is well-regarded locally, though not so well-known internationally, is Six Flags , which has multiple locations throughout the country, and is particularly known for its innovative roller coasters and other thrill rides.

Other chains include the marine-themed SeaWorld , which is known for its marine mammal shows, and Cedar Fair. Foreign currencies are almost never accepted, though some major hotel chains may accept traveller's checks in other currencies.

Establishments close to the Canadian border accept Canadian currency, though usually at poor exchange rates.

The Mexican peso can also be used again at poor exchange rates in border towns like El Paso and Laredo. All the bills are the same size.

Banknotes never expire and several designs of each note can circulate together, but older designs that lack modern anti-counterfeiting features may rarely be refused by some retailers.

These coins only have their values written in words, not figures: When it comes to value, size doesn't matter: Though Canadian coins are sized similarly, machines usually reject them.

Humans, on the other hand, generally won't notice or care about a few small Canadian coins mixed with American, particularly in the northern parts of the country.

As with most currency, coins are generally not exchangeable abroad and UNICEF provides donation boxes at airports to let you dispose of them for a good cause before flying abroad.

Current rates for these and other currencies are available from XE. Currency exchange centers are rare outside the downtowns of major coastal and border cities, and international airports.

Some banks also provide currency exchange services, though you may sometimes be required to call in advance.

Due to the high overhead of exchange rates and transaction fees, it is often better to acquire U. Smaller ATMs in restaurants, petrol stations, etc.

These fees are in addition to your card issuer's own fees. Some ATMs, such as those at courthouses or other government buildings, have no fee.

As with anywhere else in the world, there is a risk of card skimmers installed on these machines that can steal your credit card details. Stores almost never charge for this service though it may be contingent on signing up for the store's loyalty program, which is also usually free ; however, the bank that issued your card may impose a fee.

Opening a bank account in the U. Major credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard and their debit card affiliates are widely used and accepted.

Almost all sit-down restaurants, hotels, and shops will accept credit and debit cards; those that do not post a sign saying "Cash Only.

Many retailers have a window sticker or counter sign showing the logos of the credit cards they accept. JCB, UnionPay China and RuPay India have alliances with Discover, so they can be used at any retailer that accepts Discover cards even if the store does not display the logo on its window.

Shops may also ask for photo identification for foreign-issued cards. When making large purchases, it is typical for U.

If you do not have one, you can purchase a prepaid card or gift card with Visa, MasterCard or AmEx logo in a good number of stores, but you may have to provide identification before the card is activated.

Transaction authorization is made by signing a paper sales slip or a computer pad, although many retailers will waive the signature requirement for small purchases.

Cards and devices e. Many of these ask for the ZIP code i. At gas stations, you can use a foreign-issued card by paying the station attendant inside.

If you have a Canadian Mastercard, you can use it at all pumps that require a ZIP code by entering the digits of your postal code ignoring letters and spaces and adding two zeroes to the end.

The goods that are taxed and those that are exempt often groceries, and pharmaceuticals vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Restaurant meals are usually taxed. Taxes are usually not included in posted prices but are added to your bill, so be prepared for the total to be higher than the listed prices would indicate!

Regional price variations, however, will usually have more impact on a traveller's wallet than the savings from seeking out a low- or no-sales-tax destination.

Some municipalities, such as New York City, also impose a hotel tax on accommodation, which is levied on top of the sales tax.

See also Shopping in the United States. America is the birthplace of the modern enclosed shopping mall and the open-air shopping center.

In addition, American suburbs have miles and miles of small strip malls — long rows of small shops with shared parking lots.

Large cities have central shopping districts that can be navigated on public transport, but pedestrian-friendly shopping streets are uncommon and usually small.

American retail stores are gigantic compared to retail stores in other countries, and have some of the longest business hours in the world, with many chains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Discount stores tend to stay open as late as 10PM or midnight, or may be open 24 hours a day. Sunday hours tend to be somewhat shorter, or the stores may close.

Outlet centers are found along major Interstate highways outside of most American cities. If you see a driveway or yard full of stuff on a summer weekend, it's likely a garage sale or yard sale , where families sell household items they no longer need.

Churches often hold rummage sales , with proceeds generally going to their church or a mission or project they support. Flea markets called "swap meets" in Western states have vendors selling all kinds of usually inexpensive merchandise.

Thrift stores are retail stores run by churches, charities, and not-for-profit organizations that take in unwanted or un-needed household items as a donation and re-sell them to support projects they are engaged in.

There are regional variations too: Thus, if you plan to rent a car and drive between several major cities on a single visit to the U.

If you intend to visit any United States National Parks , such as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park , it is worth considering buying a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass , which gives you access to almost all of the federal parks and recreation areas for one year.

Many hotels and motels offer discounts for members of certain organizations which anyone can join, such as AAA the American Automobile Association.

Tipping is widely practiced in the United States. Standards vary, but gratuities are always given to servers in restaurants and bars, taxi drivers, parking valets, and bellstaff in hotels.

The salaries made in these professions, and even their taxes, take into account that they will be tipped, so it really is inappropriate to leave them out.

Tipping in many countries is very rare or often not done at all, and unthinkable to some visitors. It is however an essential part of your trip to the United States, and you will upset people greatly by refusing to tip or tipping too little tipping often being the main component of a server's income.

Tipping in the United States is so common and expected in some cases that in many service establishments, such as hair salons and restaurants, customers who did not tip are often asked to pay a tip, or in rare cases verbally scolded by staff for "stiffing" them.

While Americans themselves often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped, generally accepted standard rates are:.

Therefore, tipping for this service is regarded as even more essential. If you receive exceptionally poor or rude service and the manager does not correct the problem when you bring it to their attention, a deliberately small tip one or two coins will express your displeasure more clearly than leaving no tip at all which may be construed as a forgotten tip.

If paying your bill by cash, leave a cash tip on the table when you leave there is no need to hand it over personally or wait until it's collected , or if paying by credit card you can add it directly to the charge slip when you sign it.

The rules for tipping at fast-food places are different and a bit more complicated. The key thing to remember is that tipping is associated with table service.

The procedure at fast-food restaurants and when ordering takeout even from what is otherwise a sit-down restaurant is inherently self-service, therefore tipping is not necessary.

Some eateries, mostly in the fast-casual sector, will have a "tip jar" at the checkout station, but tipping in that scenario is purely optional, and you won't be expected to contribute much more than the coins you're handed back as change.

At cafeterias and buffets, a small tip is expected since staff often clears the table for you and provides refills of drinks and such.

The rules for tipping concierges are also arcane. For most services — asking for maps, information, tours, etc. Tipping well can make you look good in front of your American friends, dates, and business partners, with the reverse also being true for tipping poorly.

The variety of restaurants throughout the U. In a major city such as New York, it may be possible to find a restaurant from nearly every country in the world.

In addition to the usual array of independent restaurants, the U. This is particularly true of Chinese see below and other Asian cuisines.

Many restaurants, especially those serving fast food or breakfast, do not serve alcohol, and many others may only serve beer and wine. Portions are generally huge, regardless of restaurant style, although this trend has moderated as customers are becoming more health-conscious.

Many restaurants offer several portion options, though it may not be immediately obvious. Ask when ordering if portion choices are available.

Taking home "leftovers" is very common and is a good way to get two meals for the price of one.

Ask for a to-go box at the end of your meal if you have not cleared your plate. In much of America, home-cooked food is as good as or substantially better than typical restaurant fare.

This is particularly true in rural areas and small towns. If you have the opportunity to attend a potluck or carry-in dinner , this is a chance not to be missed.

Large cities host many examples of every type of restaurant imaginable from inexpensive neighborhood eateries to extravagant full-service restaurants with extensive wine lists and prices to match.

Most medium-sized cities and suburbs will also field a decent selection. In the most upscale restaurants, rules for men to wear jackets and ties, while once de rigueur , are becoming more relaxed.

Check with the restaurant if in doubt. Fast food restaurants are ubiquitous, but the variety of this type of restaurant in the U.

Alcoholic beverages are not served in these restaurants; soft drinks are standard. Don't be surprised when you order a soda, are handed a paper cup and expected to fill it yourself from the soda fountain refills are often free.

The quality of the food varies, but because of the strictly limited menu, it is generally good, especially in the daytime. Also the restaurants are usually clean and bright, and the service is limited but friendly.

A few restaurants, called drive-ins , serve you directly in your car. Most fast food places offer drive-thru service, allowing you to place an order from the establishment's menu posted on the side of a dedicated auto lane, and then paying for it and having it handed to you packaged to go at a separate side window before driving to your next destination.

Takeout food is very common in larger cities for meals that may take a little longer to prepare than in a fast-food place. Place an order by phone or online and then go to the restaurant to pick it up and take it away.

Many places also offer delivery ; in some cities, it is easier to have pizza or Chinese food delivered than to find a sit-down restaurant.

Pizza and Chinese are especially ubiquitous for delivery or takeout in the U. Hardcore pizza fans will usually prefer local pizza places to the big national chains; many such restaurants also offer takeout and delivery.

Fast-casual restaurants offer a fast-food dining style i. The food takes a bit longer to prepare — and costs a few dollars more — than at fast food joints, but it's generally worth it.

Some fast-casual places even serve alcohol. Diners are quintessentially American and have remained popular since their heyday in the s and 50s. They are usually individually run, open hours and found on major roads, though they also appear in large cities and suburbs.

They offer a wide variety of huge meals that often include soup or salad, bread, beverage and dessert. They are usually busy for breakfast, in the morning, at the end of factory shifts, or after the bars close.

No compendium of American restaurants would be complete without mentioning the truck stop. You will only encounter these places if you are taking an intercity auto or bus trip.

They are found on the interstate highways and cater to truckers. There will be diesel fuel and separate parking for the "big rigs" and showers for the drivers who sleep in their cabs.

These fabled restaurants serve what passes on the road for "plain home cooking": Truckers know their eating: Chain sit-down restaurants have a more predictable level of quality and price compared to local diners and truck stops, although those with discerning palates will probably still be disappointed.

Some specialize in a type of food e. For the backpacker or those on very restricted budgets, American supermarkets offer an almost infinite variety of packaged or processed foods that are either ready or almost ready for consumption, including breakfast cereal, ramen noodles, canned soups, and frozen meals.

In the largest cities, corner stores abound. These small convenience stores carry a variety of snacks, drinks, and packaged foods.

Many restaurants aren't open for breakfast. Those that are serve eggs, toast, pancakes, cereals, sausages, coffee, etc. Most restaurants stop serving breakfast between 10 and 11AM, but some, especially diners, will serve breakfast all day.

As an alternative to a restaurant breakfast, you can grab breakfast food such as doughnuts, muffins, fruits, coffee, and packaged drinks at almost any gas station, coffee shop, or convenience store.

Continental breakfast is a term primarily used by hotels and motels to describe a cold breakfast offering of cereal, breads, muffins, fruit, etc.

Milk, fruit juices, coffee and tea are the typical beverages. There is usually a toaster. This is a quick, cheap way of getting morning food.

Lunch can be a good way to get food from a restaurant whose dinners are out of your price range. Dinner , the main meal. Depending on culture, region, and personal preference, is usually enjoyed between 5 and 9PM.

Making reservations is a good idea if the restaurant is popular, upscale, or you are dining in a large group. Buffets are generally a cheap way to get a large amount of food.

For a single price, you can have as many servings of whatever foods are set out. However, since food can be sitting out in the heat for hours, the quality can suffer.

Generally, buffets serve American or Chinese food. Many restaurants serve Sunday brunch , served morning through early afternoon, with both breakfast and lunch items.

There is often a buffet. Typical American food items that can be found at most restaurants or large gatherings include hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, ice cream, and pie.

While many types of food are unchanged throughout the United States, there are a few distinct regional varieties of food most notably in the South.

At its best, barbecue often abbreviated "BBQ" is pork or beef ribs, beef brisket, or pork shoulder slowly wood-smoked for hours.

Ribs are served as a whole- or half-rack or cut into individual ribs, brisket is usually sliced thin, and the shoulder can be shredded "pulled" or chopped.

Sauces of varying spiciness may be served on the dish, or provided on the side. There are also unique regional styles of barbecue, with the best generally found in the South.

The most distinct styles come from St. California and Maryland have a style that focuses on beef barbecued in an outdoor pit or brick oven.

However, barbecue of some variety is generally available throughout the country. Barbecued meat can be served with a variety of sides, including chili, corn on the cob, coleslaw and potato salad.

Barbecue restaurants are unpretentious and the best food is often found at very casual establishments. Expect plastic dinnerware, picnic tables, and sandwiches on cheap white bread.

Barbecue found on the menu at a fancy chain or non-specialty restaurant is likely to be less authentic. Ribs and chicken are eaten with your fingers; tackle pork and brisket either with a fork or in a sandwich.

Some Americans though never Southerners use "barbecue" as a synonym for "cookout": These can be fun, but are not to be confused with the above.

With a rich tradition of immigration, America has a wide variety of ethnic foods — everything from Ethiopian cuisine to Laotian food is available in major cities with large immigrant populations — and they're even beginning to cross-pollinate into fusion restaurants, with menus that are a mix of two or more different types of cuisine.

Italian food is perhaps the most pervasive of ethnic cuisines in America, almost to the point where its "foreign-ness" is debatable.

While more authentic fare is certainly available in fancier restaurants, Italian food in the U. There are also restaurants that specialize in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines with feta cheese and hummus fairly widespread on supermarket counters , and in somewhat smaller numbers also German and French restaurants.

Chinese food is widely available and adjusted to American tastes. Authentic Chinese food can be found in restaurants in Chinatowns in addition to communities with large Chinese populations.

Japanese sushi , Vietnamese , and Thai food have also been adapted for the American market, with dedicated restaurants in larger towns.

Indian and Korean restaurants are also present. Also very popular is Latin-American cuisine , especially Mexican, which for many years came almost exclusively in the form of Tex-Mex cuisine: Nonetheless, the small authentic Mexican taquerias that were once limited mostly to California and the Southwest have now spread throughout the country.

You'll also find Cuban food in South Florida and Puerto Rican and Dominican restaurants in Northeastern coastal cities, both generally serving a more authentic and less Americanized product.

The Jewish community has given a great deal to the culinary scene. While full-fledged Kosher delis are a dying breed that are nowadays mostly relegated to New York City and other places with exceptionally large Jewish populations, some specialties like bagels and pastrami have entered the culinary mainstream and are now enjoyed nationwide by Americans of all types.

Restaurants catering to vegetarians are becoming more common in the U. Most big cities and college towns will have restaurants serving exclusively or primarily vegetarian dishes.

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Permanent residents of Canada are not eligible for visa-free entry, unless they are also citizens of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, or one of the separate provisions for a few other countries.

Citizens of the Bahamas may apply for visa-free entry only at the U. Customs pre-clearance facilities in the Bahamas, but a valid police certificate that was issued within the last six months is required for those over the age of Attempting to enter through any other port of entry requires a valid visa.

Citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands may enter the U. Attempting to enter from any other country requires a valid visa. Cayman Islands citizens, if they intend to travel directly to the U.

A valid police certificate that was issued within the last three months is required for those over the age of Attempting to enter from any other country will require you to have a valid visa.

A criminal record will likely revoke any right to visa-free travel to the U. Although there are exceptions e. Anyone with a criminal record, including Canadians and Bermudians, should seek advice from a U.

The program is open only to travellers who are in the United States for tourism or business purposes. You cannot be coming to the U.

The day limit is not extendable. A short trip to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean will not allow a fresh 90 days upon return to the U.

An extended absence to the neighboring countries may reset the limit, particularly if your first trip to the U. Take care if transiting through the U.

Having a criminal record, having been refused entry, or having been denied a U. ESTA approval covers multiple trips and is valid for two years unless your passport expires earlier.

This requirement is waived if entering by land. All passports must be biometric. If your passport is an older one that was issued before biometric passports were available, you will need to obtain a new passport to travel to the U.

Entry under the VWP by air or sea requires travel with a signatory carrier. Any commercial scheduled services to the U.

Flying your own personal aircraft, or sailing your own personal yacht to the U. Travellers entering by air or sea should also have a return or onward ticket out of the United States.

This requirement is not necessary for residents of Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean. Entry under the VWP does not allow you to change your immigration status, and if you are denied entry, the decision can't be appealed and you will immediately be placed on the first flight out.

This is called a reciprocity fee and is charged by the U. The Immigration and Nationality Act states that all persons requesting entry into the U.

Applicants also need to demonstrate that they are genuinely entitled to the visa they are applying for. Face-to-face interviews at the nearest U.

Embassies are closed on U. You should start planning your trip far in advance, as the application process is known to take up to six months.

Do not assume anything. Check on documentation requirements with the U. State Department or with the nearest U. Your visa is generally not tied to your permitted length of stay; for example, a year visa does not allow a stay of 10 years.

On the other hand, you can enter the country on the last day of validity of your visa and still be allowed to stay, for example, up to days as a tourist.

A great advantage is that many countries will accept a US B-type visa as a substitute for their own visa procedure for tourism. America's overseas possessions have slightly different rules.

See each destination's article for details. In brief, Guam , Puerto Rico , the U. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands all have the same entry requirements as the 50 states.

However, Guam and the Northern Marianas apply the visa waiver program to a few additional countries, while the U. Virgin Islands also allows visa-free entry to citizens of the British Virgin Islands.

American Samoa lies outside the federal immigration jurisdiction and has separate entry requirements. On arrival, you will be questioned briefly at immigration to determine if your purpose of entry matches your visa class.

If you are unable to convince immigration officers that you intend to abide by the terms of your visa, you will be refused entry and deported.

Once they decide to let you in, you are fingerprinted and a digital photograph is taken. Entry will be denied if either of these procedures is refused.

At selected airports, Canadian and VWP nationals may be able to use automated passport control APC kiosks to record their passport and biometric details.

Household members traveling together can do this at once. If successful, the traveller gets a receipt and goes to the designated CBP desk to continue the inspection process.

Canadians and other selected nationals may be eligible to participate in various trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry and NEXUS , which allow pre-approved passengers to use a designated kiosk for the inspection process.

Unlike APC, these programs require prior application, background checks, an interview, and an application fee, but allows the passenger to bypass intense questioning and skip the lines at immigration for up to 5 years.

Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, if you have consumed marijuana or invested in the marijuana industry, you can be banned from entering the United States.

This is true even if marijuana is legal in your country and even if it's also legal in the state you're trying to enter. Border officials don't usually ask about marijuana, but if they see a reason to ask, they might.

Even a single copy of "High Times" magazine or anything similar is enough to draw suspicion. If you admit to having used marijuana or any other drug illegal under U.

Those eligible for Mobile Passport Control also do not need to fill out the form, provided they have completed the app's questions and have a QR code ready to go.

Detailed and up-to-date information on prohibited and restricted items can be found at the relevant government website.

Do not attempt to import items originating from countries against which the U. An exception to this rule is cigars and alcoholic beverages mainly rum originating from Cuba.

With the ongoing thaw in U. The United States has very strict biosecurity laws, and imposes restrictions on the types of food that may be brought into the country.

In general, fresh food may not be brought into the country, though some types of processed, commercially packaged food may be allowed, depending on the country of origin.

All food and plant items being brought into the country must declared and inspected by customs, even if permitted. Failure to declare agricultural products can result in a fine, or in serious cases even prosecution.

If you're 21 years of age or older, you may also import limited quantities of tobacco and alcohol products duty-free:. If you are over the alcohol exemption by a small amount e.

Anything more than this, or any hard spirits over the limit will likely result in duty and tax being assessed, the amount of which depends in part on the state you're entering to and the country the goods are from.

Customs officers do not show this leniency with tobacco products ; expect to pay if you are even one cigarette over! A reasonable quantity of perfume or cologne can also be imported provided the brand is not under a "Trademark Restriction in the United States".

There is no restriction on the amount of money you can bring into or out of the U. Checks, bonds and other financial instruments must also be declared.

Virgin Islands are outside the federal customs jurisdiction and each have their own separate requirements.

Travel between these regions and the rest of the U. There are some differences mostly larger in duty exemptions for U.

If you overstay for compelling reasons such as medical emergencies and flight delays or cancellations, you will need to keep immigration officials informed of your situation in order to avoid any of the above sanctions.

Unlike most countries, the U. As such, your airline or shipping company will document your departure and report it to the U.

The CBP then updates your immigration record. Aliens who arrived in the U. If you fall into one of the following categories, you may need to take further action to actively prove that you left the U.

In any case, on future visits, consider bringing the necessary documents to prove you left legally. Customs and Border Protection has information about what to do if your slip is not collected.

If you take a side trip to Canada or Mexico by land and return within 30 days or the allowed time of your stay whichever is shorter , you may re-enter the U.

This can also be done even if you entered the U. However, you will only be admitted for the remainder of your original allowed time; the deadline to leave the U.

If you return the I while on the side trip, you will have to apply all over again to enter the U.

Try to avoid re-entering the U. Even if you don't overstay, planning several U. Most visitors from outside Canada and Mexico arrive in the United States by plane.

While many medium sized inland cities have an international airport, there are limited flights to most of these and most travelers find themselves entering the U.

In general, major cities on the east coast have the best connections to Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East, while major cities on the west coast have the best connections to East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Most sizeable cities would be served by at least one flight to a major Canadian city, while New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston generally provide the best connections to Latin America.

Unlike most other countries, the U. The "big three" legacy carriers, United Airlines , American Airlines and Delta Air Lines , are among the largest airlines in the world, and operate flights from various cities around the globe into their respective hubs.

Most major European and East Asian airlines also fly from their respective countries into several of the major hubs, with British Airways in particular having one of the most comprehensive networks into U.

If you normally need a visa to visit the U. If you are transferring to a domestic flight, you will need to go through customs and immigration at your first U.

Most airports have near the exit a wall of "courtesy phones" with the description and the prices of motels in the area. You can call these motels free of charge and ask for a room and a pick up shuttle will come to fetch you at the airport.

It is very convenient and mostly free of charge but you are supposed to tip the driver. Allow plenty of time at least 15 minutes, sometimes more than 1 hour and pack as lightly as possible.

Security is handled by the Transportation Security Administration TSA , although details can vary slightly at each airport. When connecting from an international flight, all passengers must go through security screening to continue on the onward flight, after clearing immigration and customs inspections.

That means all liquids and prohibited items per TSA rules that were purchased in a Duty Free shop or allowed through as carry on from a foreign airport must re-packed into checked luggage after coming out of the customs area and before re-checking luggage.

In most airports there is a check-in desk outside or conveyor belt outside of customs for transiting passengers to re-check their luggage.

Items cannot be re-packed or re-arranged before customs inspections in the luggage reclaim area. Adults must show approved picture ID.

All passengers must remove shoes and outerwear and submit personal belongings to X-ray screening. Full body scans using millimeter wave or X-rays are becoming increasingly common, and are now standard for most U.

Refusal to submit to a full body scan is permitted, in favor of a pat-down, though you may have to wait a few minutes for an agent to be available to do the pat-down.

Should you opt for a pat-down, the TSA agent will offer to do it in private, and you also have the right to demand that it be conducted by an officer of the same sex, but no clothing other than shoes and belts will normally be removed, although the agent will feel some private areas through your clothes.

Random passengers may also be selected for additional screening. This may include an "enhanced pat-down. There are limitations on liquids including gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes in carry-on baggage.

Liquids must be in individual containers each no bigger than 3. Only one such bag, with however much liquid, is allowed per passenger.

Liquids in excess of these limits will be confiscated. Liquids in checked baggage are not restricted. Medications including saline solution for contact lenses and infant and child nourishment formula, breast milk, and juice for toddlers are exempt but subject to additional testing; notify TSA agents if you are carrying these items, store them separately from your other liquids, and if possible clearly label them in advance.

These locks can be opened by TSA officials using a master key should they wish to inspect the contents of your bag. If your lock is not one of the TSA-approved locks, the TSA will break it open and you will not be entitled to any compensation for the damage.

Passengers whose journeys begin in major Canadian airports and involve either U. These flights are treated the same as U.

Some airports such as LaGuardia Airport in New York City that don't have customs and immigration facilities receive pre-cleared flights from Canada.

However, even if you pass through these airports, make sure that your papers are in order to allow you to enter Canada: This arrangement does not apply in the reverse direction, meaning that you must pass through Canadian customs and immigration on your flight out.

Average wait times are up to 30 minutes, but some of the busiest crossings encounter considerable delays—approaching 1—2 hours at peak times weekends, holidays.

Current wait times updated hourly are available on the U. If there is suspicion, your vehicle may be searched. Since this is an all-too-common event, expect no patience from border agents.

No fee is payable if you made a side trip to Canada or Mexico and are simply re-entering the U. Greyhound offers inexpensive cross-border service from Canada and Mexico.

Some routes, such as Toronto to Buffalo, have hourly service. One of the routes of the city bus system of Windsor, Ontario the Tunnel Bus takes passengers to Detroit -- pedestrians or bicycles are not allowed on the bridge, in the tunnel, or on the ferry.

Bus passengers often experience greater scrutiny from U. Entry by sea is not very common today. The most common entry points for private boats are Los Angeles , or Florida and other Eastern coastal states.

The ferries between British Columbia and Washington state are treated as land border crossings rather than sea entry points. On international trains from Montreal and Toronto, immigration formalities are conducted at the border; this takes significantly more time than it would on a bus, which means the bus is often less expensive and faster than the train.

Travellers from Vancouver clear U. Be sure to allow enough time for inspections. Amtrak trains do not cross the border into Mexico so passengers continue to the border by local public transportation or by taxi from the Amtrak station.

There are no passenger trains to the border from anywhere in Mexico. There are many border crossings in urban areas which can be crossed by pedestrians.

Crossings such as those in or near Niagara Falls , Detroit , Tijuana , Nogales , and El Paso are popular for persons wishing to spend a day on the other side of the border.

In some cases, this may be ideal for day-trippers, as crossing by car can be a much longer wait. The size of the U.

If you have time, travel by car, bus, or rail can be interesting. The quickest and often the most convenient method of long-distance intercity travel in the U.

Coast-to-coast travel takes about 6 hours from east to west, and 5 hours from west to east varying due to winds , compared to the days necessary for land transportation.

Most large cities in the U. Depending on where you are starting, it may be cheaper to drive to a nearby large city and fly or, conversely, to fly to a large city near your destination and rent a car.

The largest airlines are the three remaining mainline legacy carriers American Airlines , Delta , and United and two of the country's low-cost carriers, Southwest and JetBlue.

Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are legacy regional carriers, while smaller airlines Spirit , Frontier , Allegiant and Sun Country are trying to make inroads.

There are also smaller regional airlines that are subsidiaries of the mainline carriers and can be booked through their parents. Major carriers compete for business on major routes, and travellers willing to book two or more weeks in advance can get bargains.

However most smaller destinations are served by only one or two regional carriers, and prices there can be expensive.

The difference in fees and service between low-cost and mainline carriers is, however, virtually nonexistent these days. Low-cost carriers occasionally offer more amenities than mainline carriers, such as inflight entertainment for even a short-haul flight, or free checked baggage in the price of their tickets.

Southwest Airlines, for instance, allows passengers to check in up to two pieces of bags in their base price.

Mainline carriers also offer first class for a larger seat, free food and drinks and overall better service.

Many travellers in first class get their seat as a free frequent flier upgrade or similar perk. You may also be offered an upgrade at a much lower cost during check in or at the airport if there are open seats available.

Depending on the cost for a last minute upgrade, the savings in checked bag fees alone may make this a worthwhile option and you'll also get priority boarding, the bigger seat, more legroom, free beverages and food.

While private flying is by no means inexpensive, a family of four or more can often fly together at a cost similar to or even favorable to buying first-class commercial airline tickets, especially to smaller airports where scheduled commercial flights are at their most expensive, and private flying is at its cheapest.

Though you may find it cheaper than flying a family of four first-class internationally, it is rarely the case, except when traveling from Western Europe.

General aviation is the most practical way to reach the outer boroughs of Alaska. Air charter refers to hiring a private plane for a one-time journey.

Jet Cards are pre-paid cards entitling the owner to a specific number of flight hours on a specified aircraft. As all expenses are pre-paid on the card, you need not concern yourself with deadhead time, return flights, landing fees, etc.

Many small-town airports on America's borders welcome individually-owned small aircraft. Give them an hour or two advance notice so that they can fetch border officials to meet the tiny private plane from exotic and foreign Brockville , and you've provided just the excuse they needed to add "International Airport" to their names.

Due to the popularity of flying and cars, the passenger rail network in the United States is a shadow of what it was a century ago. While the United States still has the world's longest rail network, it is primarily used for freight transport these days.

Except for certain corridors mostly in the Northeast where a second cousin of high speed rail is available , passenger trains in the United States can be surprisingly scarce, slow and expensive.

In more urban locations, Amtrak can be very efficient and comfortable, but in rural areas delays are common. Rail Pass for international travellers only.

If you plan to buy a regular ticket within a week of travelling, it pays to check the website for sometimes significant "weekly specials".

There is no dedicated high-speed rail network in the United States, and driving yourself will often be quicker than taking the train when travelling long distances.

Amtrak offers many amenities and services that are lacking from other modes of transport. Amtrak's routes traverse some of America's most beautiful areas.

Travellers with limited time may not find travel by train to be convenient, simply because the country is big , and that "bigness" is particularly evident in many of the scenic areas.

For those with ample time, though, train travel offers an unparalleled view of the U. Both offer a lounge car with floor-to-ceiling windows and double decker cars.

During usual American vacation times, some long-distance trains outside the Northeast can sell out weeks or even months in advance. Booking early also results in generally lower fares for all trains.

Same-day reservations are usually easy, and depending on the rules of the fare you purchased, you can change travel plans on the day itself without fees.

Separate from Amtrak, many major cities offer very reliable commuter trains that carry passengers to and from the suburbs or other relatively close-by areas.

Some commuter train stations have park and ride facilities where you can park your car to use the commuter train to get to a city's downtown core where traffic and parking problems complicate car use.

Parking rates at the stations vary some facilities may be operated by third parties. Some commuter train systems and services do not operate on weekends and holidays, and even those that do often have greatly reduced frequencies, so it's best to check the system's website to plan ahead.

Buy tickets before you board the train as you will either face a substantially more expensive fare or a hefty fine. America has the largest system of inland waterways of any country in the world.

It is entirely possible to navigate around within the United States by boat. Your choices of watercraft range from self-propelled canoes and kayaks to elaborate houseboats and riverboat cruises.

Rivers and canals were key to developing the country, and traversing by boat gives you a unique perspective on the nation and some one of a kind scenery.

Each year, many beginning boaters successfully navigate these waterways. Any kind of boating requires some preparation and planning.

In general, the Coast Guard, Canal and Seaway authorities go out of their way to help recreational boaters. They will also at times give instructions which you are expected to obey immediately.

For example, small craft may be asked to give way to larger craft on canals, and weather conditions may require you to stop or change your route.

Regular ferries exist to a variety of destinations on the coast. In the northwest of the country, you can travel with the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway System from Bellingham Washington all the way along Alaska's southern coast to Dutch Harbor-Unalaska.

As a bonus you get to enjoy beautiful mountain and archipelago scenery. Moreover, much of off-the-beaten-path-Alaska is just accessible by boat.

There is no commercial passenger service between the continental U. America's love affair with the automobile is legendary, so travelling the United States without a car can be difficult.

Most American cities have developed with automobiles in mind, so renting or bringing your own car is usually a very good idea.

There are only a few major cities where using public transportation is preferable to driving: Other very large cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Miami have limited public transport options, and the options only get worse in smaller cities.

Taxis and ride-hailing services are often available, but they can get expensive and taxis especially can be hard to find outside of airports.

While most Americans are happy to give driving directions, don't be surprised if many aren't familiar with the local public transport options available.

Traffic signs do not conform to international standards but, if you understand English, they should be self-explanatory. Be careful with road signs, as any of these can morph into state routes, interstates, or highways with little warning other than size and signs.

All of them are generally well maintained by the respective states, but while the main Interstate system generally links only the major towns of every state hence the name: Interstate , the U.

Most sections of the roads are free to use, but there are some which levy fees. A romantic appeal is attached to the idea of long-distance car travel ; many Americans will tell you that you can't see the "real" America except by car.

Given the scarcity of public transportation in most American cities, the loss of time travelling between cities by car rather than flying can be made up by the convenience of driving around within cities once you arrive.

In addition, many of the country's major natural attractions , such as the Grand Canyon , are almost impossible to get to without an automobile or on a bus tour.

If you have the time, a classic American road trip with a rented car is very easy to achieve. You may have to shop around a bit for a one-way rental.

Pay attention to how many miles they allow you to put on the vehicle, since you probably want to make detours for sightseeing.

Because of the distances, this kind of travel can mean many long days behind the wheel, so pay attention to the comfort of the car you use.

Driving law is primarily a matter of state law and is enforced by state and local police. While there are some minor variations state-to-state, the rules of the road are fairly consistent across the country.

All states publish an official driver's handbook which summarizes state driving laws in plain English, with some states providing a Spanish version as well.

These handbooks are usually available both on the Web and at many government offices. Foreign visitors age 18 and older can usually drive on their foreign driver's license for up to a year, depending on state law.

Persons who stay in the United States for more than a year must obtain a driver's license from the state they are residing in, though exceptions might apply depending on the state they are in e.

Written and practical driving tests are usually required, but they are sometimes waived for holders of some Canadian and European licenses.

Most American drivers tend to drive calmly and safely in residential neighborhoods. However, downtown surface streets and big-city expressways often become crowded with a lot of "hurried" drivers, who will exceed speed limits, make unsafe lane changes, or follow other cars at unsafe close distances known as "tailgating".

Speed limits are variable depending on the area in which you are driving; enforcement is unpredictable and varies widely from state to state.

Keeping pace with other drivers will usually avoid trouble. Beware of small towns along otherwise high-speed rural roads and medium-speed suburban roads ; the lower speed limits within these towns are strictly enforced.

Intercity bus travel is widespread, but not available everywhere. Service between nearby major cities is extremely frequent.

Buses often connect many smaller towns with regional cities. It's commonly considered a "lower class" way to travel, but is generally dependable, safe and affordable.

However, bus stations in some cities are located in rough neighborhoods e. Discounts are available to travellers who purchase their tickets 7—14 days in advance of their travel date.

Greyhound buses typically run in hour segments, at which time all passengers must get off the bus so it can be serviced, even if it's the middle of the night.

Continuing passengers are boarded before those just getting on. Megabus , Greyhound's biggest competitor, operates mainly in 30 states in the Midwestern and the eastern half of the country between the hub cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, New York, Washington DC and several other cities surrounding and between the hubs.

It also offers connections to Montreal and Toronto in Canada. It also has a couple of routes in the west, which are not connected to the other ones in the Midwest and the East Coast.

The so-called Chinatown buses are small independent companies that provide curb-side departures for a standard walk-up cash fare often much lower than other operators' fares.

Some continue further out to destinations in the Midwest and the South from the northeast. Others operate between California, Nevada and Arizona.

See the relevant city guides and GoToBus. Hispanic bus companies tend to have the most spacious buses in the country.

Many are affiliate brands or subsidiaries of Mexican bus companies offering cross-border services beyond the border areas to as a far north as Chicago, to as far east as Atlanta and as far south as Mexico City.

Various smaller companies offer bus services throughout the country. A number of them are grouped under the Trailways brand, which you'll often find sharing space with Greyhound.

Recreational vehicles — large, sometimes bus-sized vehicles that include sleeping and living quarters — are a distinctly American way to cruise the country.

Some RVers love the convenience of being able to drive their home anywhere they like and enjoy the camaraderie that RV campgrounds offer. Other people dislike the hassles and maintenance issues that come with RVing.

And don't even think about driving an RV into a huge metropolis such as New York. Still, if you want to drive extensively within the United States and are comfortable handling a big rig, renting an RV is an option you should consider.

The thrill and exhilaration of cross country travel are magnified when you go by motorcycle. Harley-Davidson is the preeminent American motorcycle brand and Harley operates a motorcycle rental program for those licensed and capable of handling a full weight motorcycle.

In some parts of the country, you can also rent other types of motorcycles, such as sportbikes, touring bikes, and dual-sport bikes.

For those inexperienced with motorcycles, Harley and other dealerships offer classes for beginners. Wearing a helmet, although not required in all states, is always a good idea.

The practice of riding between lanes of slower cars, also known as "lane-sharing" or "lane-splitting," is illegal, except in California where it is tolerated and widespread.

Solo motorcyclists can legally use "high-occupancy vehicle" or "carpool" lanes during their hours of operation. American enthusiasm towards motorcycles has led to a motorcycling subculture.

Motorcycle clubs are exclusive clubs for members dedicated to riding a particular brand of motorcycle within a highly structured club hierarchy.

Riding clubs may or may not be organized around a specific brand of bikes and offer open membership to anyone interested in riding. Motorcycle rallies, such as the famous one in Sturgis , South Dakota, are huge gatherings of motorcyclists from around the country.

Many motorcyclists are not affiliated with any club and opt to ride independently or with friends. In general, motorcycling is seen as a hobby, as opposed to a practical means of transportation; this means, for example, that most American motorcyclists prefer not to ride in inclement weather.

However you choose to ride, and whatever brand of bike you prefer, motorcycling can be a thrilling way to see the country. A long history of hitchhiking comes out of the U.

The specifics of the law vary from state to state, but in general, hitchhiking itself is legal throughout the majority of the country, though generally not on Interstate highways where pedestrians are normally prohibited or while standing within traffic lanes usually marked by a solid white line at the shoulder of the road.

If you plan to hitchhike, best practice is to thumb rides at entrance ramps, or better yet highway rest areas. However, due to increasing wariness of the possible dangers fueled in part by sensational stories in the news media , hitchhiking in the U.

In , there were at least Christian papers, mostly Catholic, and at least 75 Jewish newspapers published in the United States. Military newspapers, whether published on land bases or on large ships, make up another significant segment of the special-interest press; at least military papers were published in One unique aspect of U.

As newspaper numbers and newspaper competition have declined, so too has the tradition of newspapers supporting a particular political party or ideology.

Although most newspapers in foreign countries are generally or explicitly supportive of particular political parties, American newspapers pride themselves on their independence from the political fray.

Journalists are trained to seek objectivity in their reporting and are warned against taking stances on issues, persons, or events they cover.

Most newspapers, at least in theory, observe a strict separation between the news and editorial pages and maintain a strict separation of powers between the newsroom and business office.

This separation of powers is meant to express papers' editorial independence and to avoid even the appearance of influences on the paper from advertisers or political parties.

Reporters and editors find a particular ethical responsibility to be as fair and accurate as possible in reporting news. Many journalists struggle to overcome their own personal biases towards the news, whether in terms of political partisanship or in terms of their own religious or ethnic backgrounds.

In particular, when covering political or religious stories, journalists have to consciously remind themselves to treat all sides of an issue fairly.

What this means for most journalists is that they are either explicitly prohibited or at least discouraged from holding public office, serving as communications or public relations directors for businesses or nonprofit agencies, and generally placing themselves in the public eye as being in support of political or social issues.

The logic behind these prohibitions is that while journalists are citizens and entitled to the rights and responsibilities of any citizen in an open democracy, they should not compromise even the appearance of their media organization's independence and objectivity.

In the early s, however, journalists have become somewhat more visible to the public. Many newspapers consider it acceptable to sponsor public meetings dedicated to discussing an issue of public concern or to sponsor panel discussions or a series of speakers on public issues.

A growing minority of journalists argues that a newspaper's civic responsibilities should be balanced against its desire to be independent and objective.

Many journalists are beginning to accept the idea that newspapers should not just report on community problems, but they should be a part of a community decision-making process to fix those problems.

At the same time, however, a small but vocal minority of American journalists go so far as to espouse the view that journalists should not even vote, in an attempt to strictly separate themselves from public life.

Most American journalists attempt to steer a middle line, observing a strict separation between their personal, political, and spiritual lives on the one hand and their responsibilities towards a mass audience on the other.

A particular ethical problem that many newspapers face concerns relations with advertisers. Most American papers earn a large portion of their revenues from display advertising; only a very few specialty newspapers and newsletters are able to sustain themselves mostly or entirely on subscription revenues.

Pressure brought against newspapers by advertisers poses particularly tricky ethical decisions at times; the newspaper may desire to be as independent as possible, but if the newspaper is forced to close, its ability to do anything ceases.

This problem is particularly acute for newspapers in rural areas and small towns, which cannot rely upon support from national advertisers.

Some media critics, however, argue that most U. Corporate consolidation and the fact that as of most daily newspapers operate as only one part of giant corporations has also led many journalists to worry about the possibility of undue influence being concentrated in relatively few hands.

By far the most influential newspaper continues to be The New York Times , which sets a standard for quality journalism unparalleled throughout the country.

Although the Times is not the largest-circulation daily in the country, the influence it has on the intellectual and political world is considerable.

Over the course of its history, the Times has been the newspaper of record for many Americans. USA Today must make the top three list if for no other reason than its influence on other papers.

USA Today has the distinction of being the country's only truly national newspaper; though some of its editions are zoned by regions of the country, the paper makes an effort to cover news of national importance and includes news from every state in every edition.

Founded in , USA Today introduced a style of news writing that emphasized short, easy-to-read stories. The paper also pioneered massive use of color photos and infographics, and it adopted a now-famous and widely copied color weather map.

The paper was, however, a success with readers, who enjoyed the use of color and its nature as a "quick read," and many of its design innovations have silently been adopted by competing papers.

In fact, the last two major "gray" newspapers in the United States, the Times and The Wall Street Journal , have begun using color within the last 10 years, and many other papers have adopted some or all of the paper's innovations, such as a color weather map or daily infographic.

Rounding out the top three papers is The Wall Street Journal. A financial newspaper with a generally conservative bent, the Journal is not necessarily representative of most American newspapers, but its influence on Wall Street, and thus the world, is immense.

The Journal focuses mainly on business news and approaches national news from a business angle. It has, however, won several Pulitzer Prizes for reporting on non-business news.

The paper also has the distinction of owning one of the few Internet sites that actually makes money; the site's content is so unique and valuable that it can successfully charge for subscriptions.

The Journal is owned by the Dow Jones corporation, the publisher of the Dow Jones stock index that is used every day to track the performance of the American economy throughout the world.

The Journal 's published financial data is also used throughout the country for setting a variety of loan rates, foreign currency conversions, and the like.

As of , the Journal 's most recent Pulitzer Prize was won for its response to the September 11, , terrorist attacks.

The paper's offices, across the street from the World Trade Center, were evacuated that morning and were later essentially destroyed when the twin towers collapsed.

The employees of the paper evacuated en masse to the paper's printing offices in New Jersey and were actually able to improvise a paper for the next morning.

The first newspaper in what would become the United States appeared in Boston on September 25, Benjamin Harris published Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestic , which led with a story about Massachusetts Native Americans celebrating a day of thanksgiving for a successful harvest and went on to mention rumors that the king of France had cuckolded his son.

Although Harris, the publisher of the widely-used New England Primer , was a licensed printer, his newspaper only survived one issue.

During the next few decades, several papers appeared, most published by local postmasters who had access to European newspapers and the franking privilege.

The longest-lived of these early papers was the Boston News-Letter , first printed in by postmaster John Campbell. Campbell's paper grew out of a handwritten newsletter that he had distributed to postal customers.

Like other papers of the time, the News-Letter consisted generally of news about politics, ship movements, proclamations, speeches, and formal letters.

Campbell's paper also included news about fires, shipwrecks, piracy, accidents, and other more sensational and interesting events. Campbell's paper survived for 72 years.

By , printed material was once again becoming an annoyance to at least one colonial government. Under British law at that time, truth was not a defense to a charge of seditious libel.

The judge instructed the jury to find Zenger guilty if they determined he had indeed printed attacks on the governor, which he undoubtedly had.

Perhaps swayed by Zenger's lawyer, Alexander Hamilton, the jury ignored the judge's instructions and found Zenger innocent and freed him.

During the years between Zenger's trial and the beginning of political unrest in the colonies, the best-known paper published was undoubtedly Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette.

Franklin, a brilliant polymath who consciously presented himself as a rustic farmer, won success with the Gazette and other publications because of his wry style and self-deprecating writing.

Unlike his older brother James, Benjamin Franklin was also able to escape being jailed by the colonial authorities—partly by picking a city friendlier to printers.

Franklin is the best-known printer from Revolutionary days, but a host of other editors helped move the colonies closer to rebellion in the years before In , Parliament passed a Stamp Act specifically aimed at taxing newspapers, legal documents, and other published materials that printers saw as intended to drive them out of business.

The short-lived Stamp Act was only the first in a long series of measures designed to tax colonists for supporting British troops in North America that eventually led to rebellion, but it was a significant moment in radicalizing editors against the British government.

Newspapers were only one weapon in the general colonial protest against Britain, but they were a surprisingly effective one, being able to carry news of demonstrations, mock funerals of "Liberty," news of real and perceived abuses against colonists, and perhaps most importantly news from other colonies.

The same printer-editors who published newspapers were also responsible for printing and distributing the variety of pamphlets, broadsides, engravings, woodcuts, and other miscellaneous propaganda distributed by revolutionary "Committees of Correspondence" from many of the colonies.

During this same period, of course, loyalist printers also published material in support of the British government, and some very conservative editors avoided news of the conflict altogether or swayed back and forth as local political winds dictated.

The most well-known colonial protest against the British government, the Boston Tea Party, is an example of how newspapers helped radicals spread their message.

The men who participated in the famous party may have planned their raid at the home and office of the printer Benjamin Edes of the Boston Gazette.

Edes' Gazette and other papers printed full accounts of the attack and, more importantly, the rationale behind it, which were clipped and reprinted by other colonial newspapers, spreading the news farther across the colonies at each printing and in a sense recreating the event for each new reader.

Without the intervention of the press, the Boston protest, and countless others in the colonies, would have been no more than an example of local hooliganism.

During the Revolution itself, printers of all political orientations found themselves even more closely tied to the fortunes of war.

Editors often were forced to flee before approaching armies, and presses—especially Tory presses—became the focus of mob violence on more than one occasion.

In addition, the British naval blockade and general economic disruption caused by the war made it more difficult for editors to find supplies and to publish on anything approaching a regular basis.

But newspapers had done their work; when John Adams wrote that "The Revolution was effected before the war commenced … this radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution," he referred to the work done not only by the Sons of Liberty and Committees of Correspondence, but also that done by colonial editors.

American independence resulted in a reshaping of the press. For a short time, freed of the war-driven impulse to produce patriotic material, printers reverted to the pre-Revolutionary model of commercialism and relative political neutrality.

The upcoming Constitutional Convention and the ratification debates attendant to it, however, meant that editors would once again shift into a more public, political role.

A new generation of editors would radically transform their newspapers, create new political roles for themselves, and eventually lay the foundations for the American party system in the years between and To understand that transformation, it is important first to examine the social role of printers in colonial and Revolutionary times.

Franklin's example notwithstanding, being a printer in colonial days was hardly a road to political power, prestige, or riches. Although printers were valued by their towns, and their business brought them into contact with the local elite, they were still artisans, sharply separated from the colonial gentry by class, manners, refinement, and occupation.

Printing was a difficult and often disgusting business. The youngest apprentice in a colonial office would often be given the job of preparing sheepskin balls used to ink the type.

The balls had to be soaked in urine, stamped on, and wrung out to add softness before being brought to the press. Ink was often made in the office by boiling soot in varnish.

More experienced printers might spend up to sixteen hours setting type, reading copy with one hand while the other selected individual letters and placed them, backwards and reversed, into a typecase.

The locked typecase—essentially a solid block of lead type with wood frames—would be carried to the press by hand, the type itself beat with inked sheepskin balls, and the press cranked by hand to bring the plate into contact with a sheet of wetted paper.

This process would produce one side of one sheet—one "impression. Two experienced printers could produce about sheets an hour at best.

Later, they would repeat the entire process, including setting new type, for the other side of the sheet, and later fold the papers by hand. The total process of producing a rural paper with to copies would take at least a day and most of the night.

During the years immediately following the Revolution, printers' status actually declined throughout the country.

As the process of creating a newspaper became more specialized, the job of actually printing a newspaper became increasingly divorced from the process of writing and editing the news.

During the s, this trend became more distinct as a new breed of editors turned away from the trade-oriented, mostly commercial, goals of their predecessors.

Younger men found themselves increasingly drawn to partisan controversies and found their true calling in editing political newspapers.

From the late s on, partisan newspapers became increasingly more crucial to politics and politicians in America. Partisan newspapers acted as nodal points in the political system, linking ordinary voters to their official representatives and far-flung party constituencies to one another.

Political parties existed without formal organization in the early Republic, and partisan newspapers provided a forum in which like-minded politicians could plan events, plot strategy, argue platforms, and rally voters in the long intervals between campaigns and events.

Physical political events like speeches, rallies, and banquets with their attendant toasts could only reach a limited number of voters at any given time, but when accounts of them were printed and reprinted in newspapers their geographic reach was vastly extended.

In the days before formal party headquarters, local newspaper offices functioned as places in which politicians and editors could meet and plan strategy.

Throughout the nineteenth century, newspapers remained the focal points of political struggles, as parties and factions battled for control of prominent newspapers and regions.

Newspapers could also come before formal party organization, as when William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator made him the leading figure of the abolitionist movement and predated the founding of his New England Anti-Slavery Society by a year.

When black abolitionists wanted a voice in the movement, they attempted several times to found a newspaper, finally succeeding in with Frederick Douglass's North Star.

Later journalism historians searching for the origins of objectivity and professionalism would often find their origins in the penny press, started by James Gordon Bennett's New York Sun in The penny press, which owed its name to the fact that penny papers sold for one or two cents daily, instead of several dollars per year, was more stylistically than substantively different from the partisan newspapers of its day.

Bennett and other editors made much out of the fact that they were "independent" in politics, but by independence they meant essentially that they were not dependent upon one party for support.

What the penny press actually did was to combine and extend many of the innovations with which other newspapers were beginning to experiment.

The penny papers popularized daily copy sales rather than subscriptions, relied more upon advertising than subscriptions for support, and broadened the audience for reports on crime, courts, Wall Street, and Broadway.

The penny papers also continued a process of specialization that led eventually to the "beat" system for reporters and to changes in the internal organization of newsrooms.

But the penny press was a uniquely Eastern and urban phenomenon which was evolutionary rather than revolutionary in press history. In the s and s, sectional politics dominated newspapers, as radical stances began to be taken by all sides on the question of slavery.

After the election of Abraham Lincoln in , eleven Southern states decided to leave the Union, making civil war inevitable.

During the war years, newspaper editors often found themselves caught between competing sectional and party loyalties, especially in border states like Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland, while other editors found their papers suppressed by local authorities or by invading armies.

Southern editors in particular faced hardship during the war, as the northern blockade dried up the supplies they needed to publish.

Other papers, especially in the North, were able to continue their vigorous partisanship; Lincoln wryly noted that even Horace Greeley's Tribune , a Republican and abolitionist paper, only supported him four days a week.

Newspaper correspondents vastly expanded their use of the telegraph and photography in reporting on the war; a new genre of "illustrated magazines" made copious use of both picturesque and horrible war scenes.

In the years after the Civil War, the tremendous growth in newspapers that the nineteenth century had seen slowed somewhat. The United States grappled with a deep economic depression throughout the s, and most of the South was still under military occupation.

The African-American press was one sector that showed growth in the years after the Civil War, as freed slaves, most of whom had been prevented from learning to read or write, came together to create their own schools, banks, newspapers, and other public institutions.

Once again, major new political movements found expression first in partisan newspapers. Editors continued to take strong stands on national political events as well, with the impeachment and trial of Andrew Johnson and the increasingly corrupt administration of Ulysses S.

Grant at center stage. During the s, massive changes were underway in the United States that would change the nature of newspapers and of news in the twentieth century.

Immigrants once again began to flood into eastern cities, accelerating an existing trend towards urbanization and creating a huge demand for foreign-language newspapers.

The census for the first time counted more Americans living in cities than in rural areas. The s in general would become known as one of the most flamboyant eras of American journalism, marked by incredible competition among the large urban dailies.

The two most famous representatives of the newspaper wars of the s were Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.

Louis Westliche Post , a German-language Liberal Republican newspaper, at a sheriff's sale in , later combining it with the St. Pulitzer's Post-Dispatch , which changed political orientations when Pulitzer himself became a Democrat, became a model for the kind of crusading urban newspaper that he would later run in New York.

Attacking political corruption, wealth, and privilege, Pulitzer sought to create and unify a middle-class reform movement in St.

When he bought the New York World in , his goal was again to rescue a failing newspaper by launching it on a progressive political crusade, partly by supporting issues important to the city's large immigrant population.

Hearst, the son of a wealthy California mine owner, actually got his start in journalism working for the World before purchasing the San Francisco Examiner in When Hearst returned to New York, it was as a direct competitor to Pulitzer.

Hearst used his Morning Journal to attack Pulitzer, the city government, and anyone else who caught his eye, and later to encourage the United States to declare war on Spain in The circulation wars of the s, which led to extremes of sensationalism later called "yellow journalism," pushed both papers' circulations above one million at times.

The period between and is also notable as an era in which individual reporters became more well-known than ever before. The topics muckrakers tackled ranged from Ida B.

Wells's courageous work to ending lynching in the South to Jacob Riis's portraits of homeless youths in New York. At the other end of the spectrum rest journalists like Lincoln Steffens, whose "Shame of the City" series is representative of a genre that tended to focus on the personal habits and customs of the new immigrants peopling urban areas, and to blame urban corruption, homelessness, poor sanitation, and other urban problems on the ethnic or racial backgrounds of those immigrants.

The years leading up to World War I in many ways marked the high point of the newspaper press in the United States. In , the number of daily newspapers in the United States peaked at 2,; in , the number of foreign-language dailies in the United States reached a high of Creel's committee used a newly passed Espionage Act to limit publication of materials that questioned the war effort, mainly by revoking papers' mailing privileges.

Particularly hard-hit was the Socialist press, which in had counted newspapers with more than two million copies circulated daily, but other non-mainstream newspapers were also attacked by the government.

Although the Creel Committee relied more on voluntary compliance than on federal enforcement, the effort put forth by the government to bring media in line with the war effort led many editors to question the veracity of news told in support of a single point of view.

This trend, combined with a general postwar disillusionment towards extreme political and social ideas, accelerated an existing trend towards the objective model of newsgathering.

Although the "who, what, when, where, why and how" model of reporting had existed since at least the s, the s marked the first widespread acceptance of objectivity as a goal among newspapers.

Increasingly fierce economic competition between newspapers and declining readership also contributed to a trend towards objective reporting; the role of corporate advertisers in supporting papers also encouraged nonpartisanship on the front page.

The rise of the one-newspaper town coincided with a shift in thinking on the part of editors, who had to begin seeing their readers less as voters and more as news consumers.

As always, objectivity became accepted as a news model first among large urban papers, only slowly making its way into the hinterlands.

The s saw a continued decline in the number of daily newspapers but also the advent of new technologies that would eventually vastly change the news.

By , the number of stations had increased to , and over , radios were bought that year alone. The new technology did not at first massively change newspapers, but its popularity combined with continued declines in newspaper readership foreshadowed trends that would continue throughout the twentieth century.

In , when Philo Farnsworth first experimented with television sets, 5. The s brought the Great Depression to the United States, and newspapers suffered along with the rest of the economy.

The defining Supreme Court decision concerning newspapers, Near v. Minnesota , was heard in In Near , the court held that First Amendment protection against prior restraint extended to prohibit state and local governments, as well as the federal government, from prohibiting publication of a newspaper on any but the most unusual circumstances.

The Depression resulted in a slowing of growth for radio as a medium, but the s also saw the consolidation of stations into national radio networks and the expansion of those networks across the country.

The demand for simple, concise reporting for radio news programs helped to push newspapers in the direction of the inverted-pyramid style of writing and did much to institutionalize the cult of objectivity.

In addition, federal courts began to allow radio broadcasts and station licenses to be regulated by the government, holding that the radio broadcast spectrum rightly belonged to the public and could be regulated in the public interest.

Roosevelt's "fireside chats" used the new medium as a way to communicate directly to the people, contributing to a general s trend towards increasing the power of the federal government relative to the states.

Many newspapers initially opposed U. At the beginning of the war, newspapers agreed to voluntarily censor their content under a Code of Wartime Practices developed by Byron Price, a former Associated Press editor.

Many newspapers also printed information distributed by the Office of War Information, headed by Elmer Davis, which was a government body set up to disseminate morale-boosting material.

World War II newspapers did not generally suffer from the same constraints as papers did under the Creel Committee in World War I, partly because World War II had significantly more support from the general public and from newspapers, and partly because no World War II counterpart of the Espionage Act was used to attack non-mainstream papers.

The general economic dislocation caused by the war did cause, however, many newspapers to suspend publication. By the end of , there were only 1, daily newspapers being published in the United States, a loss of from An important postwar development in newspaper journalism was the Hutchins Commission's report on "A Free and Responsible Press.

On July 1, , two television stations in New York began broadcasting news and programs to tiny audiences in the city. Though television began as a tiny medium and though the war hampered its ability to grow, the new medium expanded rapidly after the war.

By , there were more than television stations in the country. The growth of television hurt newspapers, though not as much as was initially predicted.

The real victim of the popularity of TV, though, was radio. In the s, many radio stars, including Edward R. Murrow, abandoned radio for television, and radio began to lose its appeal as a mass medium.

Radio pioneered the practice of "narrowcasting" starting in the s, as stations abandoned nationally produced content to focus on a specific demographic or ethnic group within its listening area.

This early and successful form of target marketing predated and pres-aged efforts by magazines and some newspapers to do the same.

The s were generally a decade of massive change for newspapers. Typesetting changed dramatically as the use of photocomposition and offset presses became widespread.

The advent of offset spelled doom not only for the jobs of Linotype operators but also for many other specialized printing trades. The result was a rash of newspaper strikes that continued into the s.

Paul, San Jose, and Seattle. The s saw one of the most dramatic instances of the power of the United States press when the Washington Post 's coverage of the Watergate burglary started a process that led to the resignation of President Nixon.

The s were also notable as the decade in which computers first began to invade U. Though slow and balky at first, computers would revolutionize typesetting by the s, with later technology making it possible for type to go directly from computer screen to printing plate.

The continued decline in multiple-newspaper cities led Congress to pass the Newspaper Preservation Act of , which allowed competing newspapers to merge essentially all of their operations outside the newsroom if one or both were in financial distress.

The s brought more massive changes to the media in the United States. Though both were at first derided by the newspaper press, both survived and prospered.

The s will be remembered most as the decade in which the Internet exploded as a major cultural force. Newspapers were quick to build Internet sites and invest in the new technology as part of a "convergence" strategy, although as of the year profits from the Internet continued to elude most companies.

Increasing consolidation of newspaper chains and ever-decreasing competition have been other major trends of the s and s, with newspaper mergers and buyouts continuing unabated.

Between and , newspaper companies aggressively sought to expand their holdings in both numbers of newspapers and in specific geographic areas, seeking especially to cluster their holdings in and around metropolitan areas.

Newspaper companies also aggressively expanded into television, radio, and the Internet, with mixed results. At the end of , the top 25 media corporations controlled U.

The information industry in the United States is one of the most dynamic and quickly-growing sectors of an economy that was struggling to recover from recession in the middle of To say the least, communication industries are not an inconsiderable part of the U.

Since , the United States experienced a massive speculative boom in the stock market, fueled mainly if not entirely by companies that promised to use the limitless potential of the Internet to deliver every possible type of service to the home consumer.

That speculative bubble burst in the first half of , shortly after the contested George W. Bush versus Al Gore presidential election was finally decided.

Uncertainty over the future course of the country, combined with a growing impatience with seemingly empty promises from Internet companies, caused a massive contraction in equities markets throughout and sent the U.

The business climate was still stagnant in September , when terrorists struck at the heart of the U.

The economic news was improving somewhat in the summer of , but the long-term outlook remained uncertain. The falling stock market affected not only Internet companies but other corporations as well, including publicly-held media companies and many of their major advertisers.

Many media companies were already coming to terms with falling advertising revenues before the terrorist attacks.

The aftermath of September 11 caused businesses to rethink capital expenditures and shift comparatively more money into security-related spending and less into advertising.

Newspapers were hurt by declining advertising but were helped somewhat by a rise in newspaper circulation since the attacks and subsequent U.

However, as of the summer of , those short-term circulation gains seemed to be evaporating. Newspapers make up only one portion of the mass media in the United States, and they make up a declining percentage of the media market.

Although the economic census listed 8, newspaper publishers including daily and weekly papers and 6, periodical publishers, it also listed 6, radio broadcasters; 1, television broadcasters; 4, cable broadcasters; and 14, information and data services processing firms.

With the recent growth of Internet businesses, print media are taking up an ever smaller share of the media audience.

Although both print and broadcast revenues continued to grow throughout and , the rate at which newspapers grew, 6. By comparison, information and data processing services grew One bright spot in the comparison of newspapers to broadcasting agencies has been that newspapers are generally retaining readers better than broadcasters are retaining viewers.

In the summer of , the news organizations of the three major networks all reported precipitous declines in the number of viewers their news programs were able to capture.

Most newspapers in the United States are part of newspaper chains, owned by corporations that control from two to several hundred papers.

Although some newspapers are still held privately or controlled by families or trusts, the trend of corporate ownership proliferated in the s and s.

The Conservancy had only weeks to decide if the ship needed to be sold for scrap. The agreements included providing for three months of carrying costs, with a timeline and more details to be released sometime in Attempts to re-purpose the ship continued.

Ideas included using the ship for hotels, restaurants, or office space. One idea was to install computer servers in the lower decks and link them to software development businesses in office space on the upper decks.

However, no firm plans were announced. The conservancy said that if no progress was made by October 31, , they would have no choice but to sell the ship to a "responsible recycler".

Crystal would cover docking costs, in Philadelphia, for nine months while conducting a feasibility study on returning the ship to service as a cruise ship based in New York City.

On August 5, , the plan was formally dropped, Crystal Cruises citing the presence of too many technical and commercial challenges. Interior decor included a children's playroom designed by Edward Meshekoff.

His work included glass panels that divided the ballroom into sections. The panels were etched with sea creatures and plants which were "highlighted" with gold and silver leafing.

In , a fourth propeller was put on display at the entrance of the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia. In addition to breaking the eastbound transatlantic speed record held by RMS Queen Mary , the liner also broke the westbound crossing record by returning to America in 3 days 12 hours and 12 minutes at an average speed of United States lost the eastbound speed record in to Hoverspeed Great Britain ; however, she continues to hold the Blue Riband as all subsequent record breakers were neither in passenger service nor were their voyages westbound.

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Archived from the original on March 13, Archived from the original on February 19, Archived from the original on July 6, Archived from the original on August 3, America's Ship of State".

SS United States Trust. Archived from the original on March 24, Archived from the original on July 28,

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