5 Most Common Myths About Visiting The States
The Same, But Different
Many people looking to travel the United States are in for a strange surprise. On the one hand, everything will be exactly as you expected. On the other, everything will be nothing like you expected. This is because America is and always has been a dichotomous country. It is a two-sided coin—but it’s still one coin.
The side everybody sees is the side popularized by Disney, Hollywood, Wall Street, and all the films which come from and circulate around those places. But this is the public veneer.
If you’ve never vacationed in America, it’s worth your while. When it comes to vacations in general, it turns out there are many psychological benefits characterizing such a trip. Getting somewhere you’ve never been—especially if it’s an overseas location—stimulates you emotionally, physically, and likely even in a “spiritual” sense.
1. The Orange County
If you’ve never paid a visit to Orange County in California, it’s a place that means a casual sophistication, pristine beaches, legendary theme parks and endless options for fun in the sun or cultural exploration. With sun-soaked days and star-filled nights, here you’ll be immersed in the real California dream.
Though there are valley girls who may sing the “Butterfly” song as popularized in the Jack Black vehicle Orange County, this doesn’t really tell the truth of the region. Orange County is tangential to L.A. L.A. is a city of cities; there are many distinct but separate boroughs separated only by an interstate—but having their own culture.
A trip to the OC is a trip to LA proper, a trip to the mountains, a trip to the woods, and a trip to the desert—altogether. It’s not just a suburban exploration, as many travelers expect.
2. The East Coast
Many don’t realize that there are some downright excellent resorts and entertainment options all up and down the east coast. From Miami, Florida to Portland, Maine, you can find beaches—though some will be more desirable than others, certainly.
Maryland, surprisingly, has a bevy of its own attractions. If you’ve never been to any of the Ocean City resorts, you would be doing yourself a favor to explore them. Ocean City was a resort town when it was established, and has been for over 100 years. It’s known by regional locals, but even most of the country isn’t aware of this little gem.
Many prefer the east coast beaches too, as the air is more humid, the water is warmer, parking is usually easier and less expensive, and there is generally more wildlife. Bump into a thicket in Florida and a million lizards scatter like rustling leaves made of limbs. That’s not true in California, where the only life you’ll find is in the desert and likely dangerous.
3. The Great Midwest
Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, the Grand Canyon, the South Dakota Badlands, Jackson Hole, Glacier National Park, The Corn Palace, The Ozarks, The Great Lakes—there’s a lot to see in the heart of America, and this is closer to the truth of the country than either of the metropolitan coasts. Don’t let the cities determine your opinion of the USA.
4. Homogenous People
Many expect Americans to be pear-shaped ignorant fools stuffing fast food in their faces and berating other countries. There are certainly some, but by no means does this define the entire country. America was founded on multi-culturalism, and you may be surprised to find just how diverse the country is—even in those tiny midwestern hamlets.
5. Journey with kids
You can see most of the country with kids , if you do your homework. This makes a lot of sense, because bus travel can be uncomfortable, annoying, and tiring. But you can plan your journey by plane up and down the east coast, in most large cities, and there are even lines that cross the Midwest. This is a faster and better way to see the country than going by bus for sure.
The USA is a great country to see, just be sure you secure your travel arrangements strategically. When it comes to travel in the United States, you want to avoid traveling on the holidays if at all possible—but if you do find yourself caught in LAX or DIA right before Christmas, here are some tips to help get you through the shuffle.
That said, the country is vast, has almost every climate and people group imaginable, plenty of world-famous amenities, and plenty of surprises. So get past the myths and see the reality for yourself.