Towards the end of last year, my Postcard From feature suddenly and mysteriously filled up with posts about the USA. For about six weeks in a row, all my submissions were from America, and many of them were from parts of the states that I’d never heard of – and that I now desperately want to visit. Here are a few of the best places that other travellers have recommended…
Finnish travel addict Sanna recommends her new hometown of Hancock in the often-overlooked state of Michigan. This tiny town on the edge of one of Michigan’s two enormous lakes is, as Sanna puts it, “kind of in the middle of nowhere” – but it’s also well worth a visit. From the fall foliage on Mount Bohemia in October, to the incredible winter sports, this part of America has a lot to offer. Don’t miss the local speciality of pasties, brought to this former mining community by the Cornish!
Outer Banks, North Carolina
A tiny strip of land off the coast of mainland North Carolina, with the Atlantic on one side and Pamlico Sound on the other, the Outer Banks are a beautiful and peaceful escape in the states which come highly recommended by Emma Hart, the blogger behind Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles. Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island, and Kitty Hawk – the beach where the Wright brothers first flew a plane – are all highlights, while Emma recommends the seafood at Outer Banks Brewing Station.
Double denim and cowboy hats galore – Bandera, Texas is a good old fashioned Wild West town, where the major draw for tourists is the opportunity to stay on a real-life cowboy ranch. Luke from Backstreet Nomad tried his hand at a week of the cowboy lifestyle and loved it. Think s’mores round the campfire, BYO meat bbq restaurants in town, and, of course, so much horse riding that your saddle sores get saddle sore!
Yosemite National Park, California
People hear California and they think of Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland, and good old Governor Arnie. But there’s so much more to this awesome state than those major attractions, as blogger Kristy of Global Whispers discovered when she visited Yosemite National Park. “Hiking to the Sequoia trees, seeing the wildlife and taking in some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world is something I wont ever forget.”
A Few Things UK Citizens Need to Know About Visiting the US
If you’re visiting the US from a country which is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), like the UK is, then recent changes in the law mean you’re now required to go through the ESTA USA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). This is a new system designed to strengthen security measures for visitors entering the states, which analyses traveller information to asses whether they’re eligible to travel to America.
Application ESTA is a secure online company through which you can complete the ESTA application process. Provided there are no issues, the whole process takes no more than 24 hours – in fact it usually takes just minutes – and it’s very simple to complete. Plus, you get total support as all applications are reviewed by an agent to check for errors or missing information. Simple!
Have you got any other great tips for places to visit in the USA, or things UK citizens should know about visiting? Let us know in the comments!