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Travel & Holiday

Discover America!

Check out some great holiday destinations in the US
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - June 29, 2011
By: Sheila Lim
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Discover America!

It has been more than a decade since I lasted visited the United States of America. In those days, the exchange rate for US currency was about 50 cents (in Singapore currency) higher than what it is today. So if you’ve always dreamt of holidaying in the US, this is an opportune time to do so!

As the USA is a huge continent comprising 50 states, there’s certainly no end to the types of holiday activities you can seek out!

Here are some of popular holiday destinations where you can have plenty of fun or marvel at the wonders of nature: 

Disneyland Park, Anaheim, California

The epitome of fun and creativity, Walt Disney’s theme park, otherwise known as the Magic Kingdom, consists of eight theme “lands” featuring classic Disney characters, amusement rides, shows, live entertainment, parades, shops, eateries and other attractions. This world-famous tourist attraction has maintained its charm and appeal over the decades because it has stayed true to its creator’s original vision – a clean, safe and fun place where families can have an enjoyable time together.

Universal Studios Orlando/Islands of Adventure, Florida

This comprises two theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. The themes of Universal Studios have been designed to make guests feel as if they are on a movie set. The rides, shows and attractions are inspired by popular film, television and music productions. Islands of Adventure guests have seven islands to visit, each of which has its own distinct theme. The seventh island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opened just last year.

SeaWorld Florida, Orlando, Florida  

This is one the world’s premier marine-life based theme parks featuring rides, animal exhibits and live shows with trained marine creatures like whales, sea lions, dolphins, seals and otters. It offers guests one-of-a-kind, up-close encounters that will connect them to the energy, excitement and mystery of the sea and its habitants.

Las Vegas

Some of the greatest personalities in showbusiness, such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Celine Dion, have performed at this internationally renowned resort city in Nevada. Famous for its fabulous hotel resorts and casinos, top-rate entertainment and dining facilities, this eclectic city is a popular departure point for Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon tours. A new entertainment hub, the $485 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts, scheduled for completion in 2012, will host orchestra, opera, dance and Broadway shows, and other world-class touring attractions.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

 Carved by the Colorado River in Arizona over millions of years, this magnificent gorge is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Visitors can take a coach ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim, but the best way to enjoy the breathtaking sights of this natural wonder is aboard a helicopter or airplane. Adventure seekers can also opt for rafting trips, and boat and hiking tours. In 2007, a unique, horseshoe-shaped, glass-bottomed cantilever observation deck suspended 1,200m over the canyon floor was opened to offer visitors the thrill of a lifetime.

Niagara Falls, New York

This amazing natural wonder on the North American continent attracts more than 14 million visitors each year. It is actually made up of three waterfalls – the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls. These voluminous waterfalls are situated on Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario and forms the international border between the Canadian Province of Ontario and New York in the USA. Horseshoe Falls lies within Canada while the other two are in New York.

Yosemite National Park, California

The stunning vistas of glacier-carved valleys, alpine meadows, snow-capped peaks, lofty granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, clear streams and ancient groves of giant Sequoia trees draw over 3.7 million visitors to Yosemite National Park each year. The park reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada chain, encompasses five major vegetation zones and supports a vast diversity of plants and animals. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, this national park is a paradise for rock climbers, trekkers, campers, photographers and tourists.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

This is said to be the world’s first national park. Situated near the Rocky Mountains and the wide-open spaces of Montana, this expansive park holds the largest number of geothermal features in the world. It was set aside in 1872 to protect its vast number of geysers, hot springs and other geothermal features, as well as the rugged beauty of its wilderness areas, which are populated with wildlife like bison, deer, elk, bears and wolves. Many of the major attractions are easily accessible from the roads, and close encounters with wildlife are almost guaranteed.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Waikiki, which translates into “Sprouting Water” in Hawaiian, is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Situated south of Honolulu, this two-mile white-sand coast is fringed with hotels and tourist facilities, and offers splendid views of the iconic volcanic tuff cone, Diamond Head. More than 4.5 million holidaymakers flock here each year to swim, snorkel, and ride the waves on canoes, catamarans or surf/boogie-boards, or simply chill out. But there’s more to Waikiki than the beach. Nearby are notable places of interest like Pearl Harbour, Iolani Palace, Hanauma Bay and Chinatown.

 

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