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Old 10-05-2017, 12:43 PM
 
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Seems like excluding everything else but five cities does not produce an understanding of America. Coastal areas, national parks and other great landscapes, Native American communities, characteristic rural/historical areas like Ky Bluegrass or Natchez Trace or Skyline Drive-- You'd want to include some of that.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:19 PM
 
Location: USA
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Philadelphia, PA - Birth place of our nation/covers northeast
Charleston, SC - capital of the old south
Denver, CO - mountain west/southwest
Seattle, WA - Pacific northwest
Chicago, IL - Midwest
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:31 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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New Orleans (The South)
How could anyone pass up a chance to see this unique American city?
New York (The Northeast)
Obviously.
Los Angeles (The Sunbelt)
Also a no-brainer.
Chicago (The Industrial Midwest)
Plenty to see and do and a different vibe than the coasts.
Seattle (The Pacific Northwest)
Hip city, laid-back vibe, beautiful natural surroundings, and very techish.


Picking five cities only is tough, but assuming tourists can daytrip to nearby areas, these are good. My only question was whether to include DC. I'd guess it has much more appeal for domestic tourists than international ones. But understanding these five cities will give visitors a huge step forward in understanding the U.S.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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My list:
1. New York, with Boston or Philly as possible alternatives. Showcases a historic, urban northeast/New England city. New York demonstrates the height of American urbanity, while Boston or Philly would offer a more historic, region-specific perspective.
2. Los Angeles, with San Francisco or Las Vegas alternates depending on other choices. Best example of sprawling, American car-culture, while also presenting a combination of the west coast/sun belt.
3. New Orleans for it's historic, wholly American uniqueness, while also giving a look at the South/gulf coast. You could probably substitute any historic, southern port for this one, but New Orleans is the best example. Houston also works well here, or Atlanta depending on other choices.
4. A midwestern city. Chicago is the obvious candidate, but you could also do the Twin Cities, Detroit or St. Louis if you don't want another highly-urban city/want a different perspective depending on your previous picks.
5. Another east coast city, ideally in Florida or the Mid/Atlantic. You could do Orlando, DC, Miami, Savannah, etc depending on whether you want more of a historic/touristy/coastal/southern perspective. Alternatively you could do a place like Nashville or Memphis, but you'd want to sub out New Orleans for another city.

Effectively: 1-2 eastern cities (1 in north east, 1 in south/mid atlantic/florida), 1 west coast/western city, 1 midwestern city, 1 southern/gulf coast city (preferably away from the east coast unless you're only visiting a northeastern city). Any other selection is going to exclude one of America's significant regions/population centers.

Last edited by JMT; 10-05-2017 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:41 PM
 
Location: New York Metropolitan Area
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1) New York - mega-alpha city, amazing food, tons of touristy things, worldwide icon, and my hometown!

2) Chicago - classic American city, great food and one of my favorites to visit during the summer especially.

3) Washington - obviously the country's capital, icons like the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Pentagon, etc.

4) Boston/Philadelphia - especially if you are looking into some history filled tourist attractions

5) San Diego - IMO easier to navigate and manage than Los Angeles with much less hectic traffic, and better Mexican food/beaches. (I like LA but to me SD is better for CA tourists unless you are very interested in "Hollywood" culture)
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:03 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tman7117 View Post
1) New York - mega-alpha city, amazing food, tons of touristy things, worldwide icon, and my hometown!

2) Chicago - classic American city, great food and one of my favorites to visit during the summer especially.

3) Washington - obviously the country's capital, icons like the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Pentagon, etc.

4) Boston/Philadelphia - especially if you are looking into some history filled tourist attractions

5) San Diego - IMO easier to navigate and manage than Los Angeles with much less hectic traffic, and better Mexican food/beaches. (I like LA but to me SD is better for CA tourists unless you are very interested in "Hollywood" culture)
Good list, as it covers a broad range of American culture and its various influences.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
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For many tours departing from Asia, there is an already set itinerary.

Usually it is 12-14 days. First visit San Francisco, then LA, Vegas and then fly to East Coast, Washington D.C and then New York City. Or in reverse. The tour intentionally has either San Francisco or NYC as the last stop because Asian tourists usually stay behind for a week or longer to visit their relatives or friends.

Usually they may offer a optional side trip to Grand Canyon during stay in Vegas.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:54 PM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
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Nueva York
Washington
Miami
San Francisco
Nueva Orleans

Honorable mention any of the three between Boston, Phila, Chi.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Philadelphia - good example of the earliest US settlements, historical
San Francisco - Arguably the most beautiful city in America
New Orleans - unique and world famous
Chicago - representative of Middle America, good architecture
Las Vegas - America is all about money, greed and flash - and so is Vegas. Also easy access to beautiful national parks.

If I were making an itinerary with more, I'd also include:

Charleston, SC - the belle South
San Antonio, TX - Most interesting spot in Texas.
Santa Fe, NM - old Spanish history
NYC - I consider this an international city, like London, more than an American city. Not that there aren't Americans there, but it has that generic "international" flavor that cities get. I think it's best experienced as it's own entity.

after that, there are many decent choices, but for a foreigner that would be my suggestions. Sure, you could go to Columbus or Houston or "other real American" cities but what would the tourists actually do? Going to Applebee's and driving to malls isn't really that interesting. Not even Americans go on vacation there. My friends from Houston say don't bother unless you have a specific thing to do.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
Seems like excluding everything else but five cities does not produce an understanding of America. Coastal areas, national parks and other great landscapes, Native American communities, characteristic rural/historical areas like Ky Bluegrass or Natchez Trace or Skyline Drive-- You'd want to include some of that.
Just cities is tough, but I agree with this statement!

1) Everybody owes themselves a California trip at least once. It's not for everyone to want to live, but the experience of California is so unique, there is nowhere in the States or possibly the planet like it. 12%+ of the populace lives there, many more ideas, trends, and innovations came from or were perfected there. Any of the large Cali cities would suffice (LA, SF, SD, Oakland, Sac, SJ). In California, you don't want to go small...

2) Everybody owes themselves a trip to New York City. The most unique large city in the country...

3) DC. It's the nation's capital, come on...

4) An authentic Southern experience can be had in one trip. Pick any of the large cities over 2 million, and then find the closest rural area (region without a dominant large city influence). I would say a large city could be Nashville, for the modernity, and a perfect rural region would be the Kentucky or West Virginia backwoods...

5) An authentic Midwest visit could also be considered one trip--pick a Great Lakes area and then a Plains area. The closest match would probably be Twin Cities followed by somewhere in the Dakotas or Iowa...

Of course, there's so much more to experience in the United States besides just these areas. It's impossible to understand the complexity of culture in America with just one 12-14 day trip. We have millions upon millions of born and raised Americans who don't understand it, but u think my five gives the best range!
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