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Of the 50 most visited man-made and natural tourist attractions in the world, more than half are in the United States. A number of them are theme parks, but others range from urban parks (San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, New York’s Central Park) to natural wonders (Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Niagara Falls) and areas for urban exploration (Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Boston’s Faneuil Hall, New York’s Times Square and South Street Seaport, Chicago’s Navy Pier, Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Museums, and, of course, the Las Vegas Strip). All are worthy of tour stops, but North America has much more to offer than the usual tourist attractions, and tours that help you get off the beaten path can be the most memorable of all.
In the United States alone, you can visit the deserts of California’s Death Valley – one of the hottest places on earth – or walk on glaciers in Alaska. You can ride airboats through the Florida Everglades or on historic windjammer sailing vessels off the Maine coast. The Rocky Mountains rise high in Colorado and give way to the pancake-flat Great Plains to their east.
The Great Lakes provide recreation for the Upper Midwest while the Gulf of Mexico offers waterborne fun to the Deep South. Utah’s Bryce and Zion national parks, South Dakota’s Badlands, and California’s Yosemite all feature geologic formations that range from the strange to the magnificent -- and are always remarkable to view.
Canada’s Rockies equal those of the U.S. – you can try heli-hiking or heli-skiing in remote areas of British Columbia, where only helicopters can reach the mountain lodges – while the far eastern Canadian Maritime provinces combine brisk sea air with fresh seafood, and French-speaking Quebec serves up Montreal, Quebec City and other delights. And, for good measure, Toronto is considered the world’s most ethnically diverse city.
Mexico shelters unforgettable archaeological sites such as the Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula; fascinating indigenous cultures in Oaxaca and Chiapas; and fishing villages and beach towns along both its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. South and east of Mexico, the countries of Central America are fast developing their tourism infrastructures, so now is the time to see Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Costa Rica already enjoys a thriving tourist industry, and Panama – divided physically yet united in spirit by its famous canal – is an often overlooked gem.
We can’t even begin to name all that’s out there, so to find the North American guided tour that’s right for you, turn to Stride’s handy comparison tools – and get on or off the beaten track...it’s your choice.
|United States of America, Canada, Mexico|
|Grand Canyon, Denali, Arches National Park, Niagara Falls, Banff National Park, Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan, Yosemite, and Many More|
|Nature Viewing, Hiking and Exploring Ruins & Archaeology|