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United States of America (USA)

Almost everyone on earth has some notion of what the 'American Dream' is all about, but while some American cliches really do exist - yellow taxis in New York, 50s-style diners all over and glamour and glitz in LA and Las Vegas - be prepared to experience much more diversity when you come to the States.

America is a vast country, heaving with variety, from the beautiful beaches of the West Coast and the deserts of Nevada to the stunning canyons of Arizona and the magnificent scenery of the Great Lakes. This is a country where fast-paced, buzzy cities like Chicago mix with the history and unique atmosphere of the Deep South and the huge open areas of the Mid West. You can go gambling at 9am in Las Vegas and hit the shopping malls at midnight, gorge yourself on hamburgers at an all-night diner or sip wheatgrass and fat-free muffins with the Hollywood glitterati. If you're looking for exciting contradictions and a buzz you can't find anywhere else in the world, the USA is where you'll find it.

On the East Coast, New York can't be beaten for nightlife, shopping and culture, and is often the first point of entry to the States. Whilst you're there try scaling the heights of historic skyscrapers, take a trip out to the Statue of Liberty, or hit the legendary shops of Fifth Avenue. The East Coast isn't just about New York though, other highlights include the historic centres of Boston and Philadelphia, where Independence took root. Moving South, Florida offers the chance to experience archetypal American beach life, at hip Miami, elegant Florida Keys and glitzy Palm Beach. This state is also home to Disney Wonderland.

The west of the country offers a profusion of dynamic cities to choose from, including boho San Francisco, glamorous LA and high-octane Las Vegas, home to the world's most amazing casinos and incredible hotels. There's beautiful countryside to be had in this region, too, not least in California's wine country, Napa Valley, home to Ernest and Julio Gallio and other famous winemakers, rugged Colorado which is the US home of the Rockies before the mountain range stretches north into Canada. The west also incorporates the incomparable wonder of the world that is the Grand Canyon. Head south and the geography, architecture and culture change again, infused with the sounds of the blues and rock 'n' roll in fascinating cities such as Memphis and New Orleans. America's lake country is equally beguiling, offering breathtaking vistas and the vast waterscapes of the Grand Rapids, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

All in all whether you like to shop till you drop, mingle with the stars and rich and famous, immerse yourself in culture or enjoy fresh country air and wide open spaces, everyone can experience their own American Dream here ...

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