Highway 50 through Nevada starts near Garrison on the Utah-Nevada border and finishes just past Carson City entering California. Traditionally known as the loneliest road in America, it makes up for the lack of cars by the amazing landscape it passes through. Just over the Utah border, the highway begins its path along the floor of huge valleys, natural wind tunnels creating sand and dust storms. From the valleys, the road snakes up into giant, mountain passes some reaching over 2,280 m (7,500 ft.) high and will have snow on them even in the spring month of March. The road continues like this for the majority of its time in Nevada, crossing long, endless valleys and climbing up into snow blanketed passes. Only a few small towns welcome the weary driver after precariously rolling down the snow-covered road from the summits.
Traditionally known as the Lincoln Highway, Interstate 80 runs the length of the USA from San Francisco, California to New York City. Leaving California, the highway snakes its way through the Sierra Nevada and over Donner Pass, a section of road not to be tackled without four wheel drive or snow tires (or balls of steel for that matter). Contending with the weather and the fully loaded, semitrailer trucks is something you need to prepare for before venturing out onto the I-80. Once out of Nevada and through the Rockies (I-80 takes a less precarious route through than the I-70), the road is a pretty much a straight line all the way to New York City crossing through the bread basket and less appealing states of Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio, where corn and cows are copious. It's not until the bright lights of New York City gleam in the distance that the I-80 and just under 4,228 km (3,000 mi.) are accomplished.
Not many knows this surprising fact, but Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States measured by area. Unfortunately, it's 1,935 bland sq km (747 sq mi) of office buildings, parking lots and highways, without any significant sights whatsoever. If you really must do some sightseeing, Jacksonville has a few parks and some historic buildings from the first half of the 20-century. During the weekend downtown has a post apocalyptic feel, since it's drained for office workers and not much else is going on. And if you wonder why Jacksonville is largest city, the answer is simply an administrative expansion of the city borders. Population wise, Jacksonville is only the 13rd largest in USA.
The Florida Keys are that string of coral islands that drips south of the tip of Florida. More than 40 bridges, some very long, connect the main islands, which are as tropical as you can imagine with palms, beaches, and aquamarine water. The most famous island is, of course, Key West, which is not just the most western key, but also the most southern point in the continental United States – a fact they have turned into a smooth tourist machine. Once, Key West town was the largest city in Florida and later a hub for drug smuggling. Maybe due to that, Key West has attracted prominent people through time, Hemingway being the most famous – something they also have turned into a tourist attraction today, along with rum distillation, lime pies, you-name-it. So yes, Key West is very touristic and a magnet for seniors, but it's easy to escape the crowds, just pick one of the 1700 other keys. The fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving are as good here and as a sign says "why pay Key West prices?".
Take all the impressions you got from TV and films about Las Vegas, add a swinger party, concert, magic show, duplicates of world known landmarks, whole strip of pawn shops and wedding chapels, flyers for strip joints (both sex) and all-you-can-eat buffets, light it up by neon and fireworks and you have a vague idea of world famous city in the desert. One grand competition in bad taste and extravagance that at all time tests your imagination. So unique and iconic, that you have to see with your own eyes. Oh, there are casinos too, by the way.
Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, B.B King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison... They all recorded here and helped create the musical melting pot that is Memphis Tennessee. If you have ANY kind of interest in music you will be blown away by the rich history this destination has and how one town in America shaped the world of music. It's hard not to get caught up in the buzz of Memphis. As you walk down Beale street in the early evening, you can hear sound checks and harmonicas coming from almost every bar's entrance as bands strive for a perfect set up. Take the time to stop by Graceland, The Loraine Hotel, The Gibson Factory and Sun Studios for some amazing history lessons and grab a water duck tour of the city for an insight into the town that has been mentioned in more songs than any other.
Sun, beaches, and a vibrant nightlife is rarely a bad combination, and Miami got them all - but also so much more. The place to start is of course Miami Beach with its iconic Art Deco buildings and a wide beach which seems never ending. But Miami is more than Ocean Drive and its swanky restaurants. Right north of Miami Beach lies Bal Harbour, a hideaway for the rich, with luxury shops and an equal fine beach. Across the bay you find downtown and along with a handful of surprisingly interesting neighbourhoods. The skyline of downtown is actually best taken in from the distance, but the panoramic view from downtown towards Miami Beach is spectacular. For a multicultural experience, which is also one of Miami's trademarks, head to either Little Haiti and Little Havana, where little English is spoken. Or what about super cool Wynwood, an old industrial area which has been covered in street art. So whatever you fancy, Miami got a neighbourhood for your.
This mountain is one of the seven summits, the highest mountains of each continent. With an altitude of 6,194 m (20,320 ft), it is one of the most difficult ones to climb because of its altitude gain (for Mt. Everest, the base of the mountain is much higher) and the cold weather. There is some dispute about its name, officially called Mount McKinley, but locally known as Mount Denali. This disagreement is purely political. You don't have to climb this mountain to enjoy it. If the weather is clear you can see this mountain from Anchorage and it stays pretty much all the time in sight when you travel up North on Highway 3.
New Orleans is probably one of the most vibrant and inviting cities in the United States. It oozes of history, fine architecture, art, and, of course, music. The infamous Bourbon Street is lined with venues with free gigs, and so is the rest of the otherwise charming French Quarter, but they are mostly for tourists. As you venture over to the Frenchmen Street area in Faubourg Marigny, it becomes more about the music and less about the tips. During daytime, tend your hangovers in the high-end art galleries in the Warehouse/Art District or head over to the cute and trendy Garden District. Here you find some of New Orleans finest mansion with wrought-iron fences and manicured gardens, along with indie fashion and art shops, vintage boutiques, and trendy cafes. For a twist before the bars open again, visit one of the historic cemeteries, either Lafayette No. 1 (in Garden District) or St. Louis no. 1 (right north of the French Quarter) to hear the stories about the unusual burial tradition in New Orleans. And then there is of course Mardi Gras...
Everybody loves New York. It doesn't matter if you are a first-time tourist, a fashion slave who wouldn't shop anywhere else, on a romantic weekend or just passing through, New York will fulfill every expectation. The first thing that will hit you is that New York City actually does look like in the movies. There are blinking firetrucks speeding by, the thousands of taxis are yellow, apartment blocks do have exterior fire escape ladders, and there are creepy characters in the subway. But it is also a place where you need to know where to go, else you just end up walking up and down boring residential streets. Mix the obvious tourist attractions with some real New Yorker sights.