The United States Highlights
Your comprehensive travel guide to the United States - All in one place!
The United States is a vast land and, as a result, most people plan their trips within a given region, be it the East Coast, the Southwest, the beaches of Florida or California, or outlying regions like Hawaii and Alaska. There are plenty of options for travelers with incredible sights sprinkled across the country. The USA is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and some of the most recognizable icons on the globe. For anyone in the enviable position of having unlimited time and resources, these are the top attractions to include on your itinerary.
The United States is located in the Northern Hemisphere, bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the east by the Atlantic Ocean, the south by Mexico, and the north by Canada. All in, the United States is about 3.8 million square miles. Over 17% of that land is Alaska, the largest of the United States, and Rhode Island, with just 1,545 square miles, is the smallest state. The United States is divided into 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. Sometimes called the lower 48 states or the contiguous states, all of the states except Hawaii and Alaska adjoin each other. Hawaii is an island state located in the Pacific Ocean and Alaska is located northwest of Canada.
The 3.8 million square miles that make up the United States makes it the third largest country in the world, behind Russia and Canada. While Canada is just slightly larger than the United States in landmass, Russia is almost twice as large.
The United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Nearly every region of the world has influenced American culture, most notably the English who colonized the country beginning in the early 1600s. U.S. culture has also been shaped by the cultures of Native Americans, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians.
The United States is sometimes described as a "melting pot" in which different cultures have contributed their own distinct "flavors" to American culture. Just as cultures from around the world have influenced American culture, today American culture influences the world. The term Western culture often refers broadly to the cultures of the United States and Europe.
The estimated 2018 United States population is 327.16 million. By population, the United States of America is the 3rd largest country in the world, falling far behind China (1.4 billion) and India (1.25 billion). Its most populous cities are California (39.5 million) and Texas (27 million), and its most populous city is New York City (8.5 million).