Why I Love the USA: 22 Reasons You Will Too

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How do I love the USA? Let me count the ways! The people, the food, the landscape, the ability to drive from the mountains to the sea in less than an hour. Here’s a roundup of why I think America is great. Do you agree too? 

22 Reasons the USA is Great 

1. 50 Varied States 

Less than 50% of US citizens don’t own a passport, yet and in their defence, I’d argue – look at that landscape on their doorstep.

You only have to drive for under an hour to move from the desert to lush forests, from loud cities and quaint towns. 

Since 2009, I’ve had the privilege, and travel is a privilege I am always thankful for, of visiting seventeen states plus Washington DC. 

I’ve done the popular touristy things such as hiking at Yosemite, line dancing in Nashville, karaoke in Vegas and seeing a show in New York. 

I’ve also done some lesser-known tourist activities like road tripping in Texas, beer cocktails in Wicker Park and living with locals in Portland, Oregon

I can’t wait to return to explore more. 

Passport ownership figures are on the rise in the states though and that is great to see. 

I encourage North Americans to come and visit Europe. 

Don’t just do the popular London, Paris, Venice route though! There’s so much more to the continent. 

I have had a few conversations with people from the US where I’ve thought, you need to get out and see the world before settling on those views… 

I’m sure that could be said about people in every country who don’t leave though. 

Multnomah Falls Portland Day Trips
Multnomah Falls near Portland, Oregon

2. National Parks

Big Bend, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns and Zion National Park to name a few. 

Days upon days worth of vast landscapes, hiking opportunities and lake swimming on hot days.

Dog Canyon Trail Big Bend National Park Texas-2

Grandy Canyon at sunset

3. Lake Life

Swimming, sunbathing, kayaks and canoes. 

We love the free access to America’s lakes so much we eloped next to one in Austin, Texas.

Lou Neff Point An Austin Elopement - Corey Mendez Photography

4. Camping in the USA

My first trip to the USA was a three-week (mostly) camping trip starting in San Francisco, driving down south then up to New York through Pennsylvania.  

Campsites are well organised, staff are super friendly and the states that need to be are ‘bear aware’. Their facilities reflect this. 

Craig and I also hired a camper van and enjoyed a week-long road trip from Austin to Big Bend and back again stopping off for BBQ, art and hikes. 

You can’t beat the black skies with magical stars at Big Bend National Park. 

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Campervan Spot Big Bend National Park Texas

5. Filming Locations

Countless movies have been made in the states so you can reenact your fave scenes such as: 

  • Run like Forest Gump through Monument Valley in Utah.
  • Needle rooftop end scene in Sleepless in Seattle. 
  • Sit on the set of Central Perk at Warner Bros in New York
  • Visit the real Central Park where 200 movies and shows have been filmed.
  • Steal a kiss under Cloud Gate in Chicago like The Vow.

Seattle Space Needle

6. Central Park

New York is crazy busy and this sanctuary is one of the main reasons I like the city.

Hiring a bike and pedalling past the pond, Strawberry Fields and Sheep Meadow is a cool activity to do when you need to escape the crowds at the likes of Times Square. 

Another escape location from New York I recommend is Coney Island.

Central Park NYC Boats

7. Coney Island, Brooklyn

Luna Park is a throwback fairground with vintage rides which first opened in 1903. 

Keeping with the Hollywood feels, many films feature Coney Island such as Uptown Girls (Brittany Murphy), Men in Black 3 (Will Smith) and Brooklyn (Saoirse Ronan). 

8. Universal Studios

I love fairgrounds and Universal Studios in Orlando is a park for big kids.

Butterbeer, rollercoasters and The Blues Brothers. Fun! Go in January and have the park to yourself.

Universal Studios Rides | Orlando on a Budget

9. Free Music Shows

NYC live shows during the summer and Austin during South By Southwest (SXSW) in March have been some of the best musical experiences I’ve had.

If you love music too, add New Orleans (jazz), Nashville (country) and Sun Studios (rock) to your music road trip itinerary.  

Bamboulas New Orleans

10. The Party

From the speakeasies in San Francisco to the blues on Beale Street. Hangovers don’t tickle in the USA.

Remember to tip your server. It gets pricey with every drink but that’s the cultural expectation unless you open a tab. 

Food Austin Cisco Cafe East 6th Street_

11. Hipster USA

Whisky flights in Wicker Park, Chicago, bacon-topped doughnuts in Portland, Oregon and axe throwing in an ex-high school in Huntsville, Alabama. Hip hip hooray.

Campus No. 805 High School Huntsville

12. Modern Art

Marfa Prada (Texas), I Love You So Much Wall (Austin) and Chicago’s Cloud Gate/The Bean to name a few installations, murals and sculptures I like. 

Which modern art pieces stand out for you? Tell me in the comments below. 

Marfa made it to our most romantic destinations in the US which you can read here.

Prada Marfa Sunset Shop Art Texas

13. Space Camp

Huntsville, Alabama is rocket city!

Budding astronauts need to visit NASA Space Camp to ride the Vomit Comet, test themselves during an EVA and do the Moon Walk, as we did!

Read about our time at NASA here

NASA Space Camp, Alabama

14. The Food

BBQ, Po’ boys, chowder, Tex Mex fusion, lobster roll, poke bowls, Californian rolls, Philly steak, deep-dish pizza. 

God bless the cultural melting pot for the food it has put on the States’ table.

The sizes are mostly incredible too. Ideal for a doggy bag takeaway and the zero waste mantra. 

Don Juan El Taco Grande Juan in a Million | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

15. Crackers and Chips

So many types and seasoning. I love going to Walmart just to look at the shelves. You can keep your squeezing cheese though. 

Tortilla chips and salsa on the table while you wait on your meal? Thank you, Texas.

16. S’mores

OMG. Sweet crackers, hard chocolate and gooey marshmallow. Campsite goodness. Calorific but terrific. 

Smore, hand, tartan nails

17. Cocktails

Hand Grenades, Hurricanes and Voodoos! And that’s only in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Bourbon Street Hand Grenades New Orleans_

18. Craft Breweries

Tours and taprooms, from Pacific Northwest to Boston, the USA is on the map for craft beer.

You can even take up the challenge of collecting a beer from each state. See here to see the wooden map.

Beer Flight Lazarus Austin Craft Beer Brewery_

19. Friendliness

Maybe it’s our accent but we’ve met the friendliest of people during our travels in the USA.

From helpful directions being shouted from the back of the bus in New Orleans to strangers carrying my bag in New York City, people are so welcoming in States.

20. I’m One-Third Scotch… 

I also find it interesting how North Americans are so clued up on their heritage.  

It annoys some Scots when people from the USA say they are one-third Scottish then list their DNA stats but I find it endearing and it puts us to shame for not knowing our past. 

You hold on to your clan routes North American friends! Maybe we’re related… 

The country’s age is one of the things that makes America unique. 

Camper Van in Texas

21. Start-Ups

I really dig the positive mental attitude towards entrepreneurship and starting your own business.

North Americans see the positives, fellow Scots and Brits stress about the pension and tax situations. 

Meeting and working with/alongside so many forward-thinking and go-getting North Americans has helped me carve out this career as a professional travel blogger. 

I’m doing a job that didn’t exist when I was at school so thank you for giving me the courage and support to quit high school teaching and sit behind a computer all day. I jest, we travel sometimes. 

22. The Americas 

I love how the states can be used as a springboard to visit the wider Americas. 

Drive up to Canada or down to Mexico. Hop aboard a budget flight to Nicaragua or take a boat to the Bahamas. 

Great options for winter sun escapes or cheap vacation trips. 

Pin to your USA inspiration board

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Bonus: Why America Sucks 

So now you know the reasons why I love America, here are a few aspects of USA culture I can’t get my head around and some we suffer from too. 

  • Pickles – nope
  • Lack of sidewalks – we call them pavements and walk on them all the time 
  • J walking – if there’s no traffic, why wait 
  • Turn on red – terrifying! 
  • Health care – touchy one I know, our NHS is a postcode lottery but at least it is free at the point of use 
  • Guns – Scotland had one school gun massacre in the 90s. We banned guns. We’ve never had one again…
  • First Past the Post – unrepresentative voting system we also use at Westminster and it sucks for Scotland 
  • Plastic – if it’s a sit-down meal there is no need for disposable cutlery 
  • Holidays – you hardly get any. I feel for you 

Final Words 

Not to leave on a negative note, I really do enjoy visiting the USA. 

So much so we got married there and plan to return for a big road trip very soon so I can see more of the states I’ve yet to discover and to revisit old faves. 

What American things do you love? Tell me in the comments below. 

Do you love the U.S too?

26 thoughts on “Why I Love the USA: 22 Reasons You Will Too

    • Two Scots Abroad says:

      Terry! Thanks for your comment. Driving in another country is pretty scary at first. Come on over and try Scotland’s left hand drive!

  1. Lori says:

    Thank you on your views of America not everyone likes America! We are heading to Scotland & Ireland in 2021 & I can not wait to see your Beautiful Country! I love history & there is a lot in your country! Any points of interest we should look at?

  2. Nathaniel Mertz says:

    I’m American and one of the biggest issues people have with us is the economics and politics. That’s fine. That is a part of the population. One type of people deal with that. The people are nice and positive and diverse. Like I don’t care about politics I leave it to “them”. Many people just ignore because of the drama.

  3. Melanie says:

    Gemma; i’m due to visit America in September (as part of a longer trip through central america and south) and i’ve looked at a Trek America tour. However, it’s expensive. Could you advise on the pros and cons of one versus working my way across the country solo?

    • Gemma I Two Scots Abroad says:

      Sure! I did travel solo from NYC to Boston (bus) then Chicago (flight). Craig and I then did a trip from Vancouver to Seattle then Portland (bus) to Orlando (flight). On another trip we went from JFK to New Orleans to Austin by flying.

      Pros of group tours
      1. Ready made friends
      2. You don’t have to think about anything after you get there
      3. Campsites are out of the way so you will need a car, group tours provide a driver

      1. Expense
      2. Lack of flexibility itinerary wise

      Hostels are really expensive in the U.S by the way and trains aren’t an effective mode of transport like they are in Europe.

      Hope this helps. Have fun whatever you choose!

      • melanie says:

        Thanks, that’s useful. It’s part of a 6 month trip I plan to take through the americas so the big outlay on a tour just for 3 weeks is not very desirable, although having it made so easy is a big appeal. Perhaps i’ll keep my eyes on the tour costs and also price up the alternative as if there is a big saving to be made then the inconvenience might just win out. Thanks!

      • Gemma I Two Scots Abroad says:

        I get that. They are very expensive. We were shocked at the price of hostel dorm beds in Seattle too. It’s just not a cheap country to travel around but a lot of fun and so varied landscape wise!

      • Abood says:

        I love the United States of America because it is a just and beautiful country, and the country of freedom is a wonderful country that deserves all the love and respect, because it is a great country

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