America > USA: Weather, Map, Costs and Travel Guide
USA : When and where to go?
Click on a city for complete climate and weather tables
USA: Climate & Weather
The climate of the United States is not as diverse as one might expect given the immensity of its territory.
9°C - 48°F
Washington, updated 01:30 GMT
What to do in USA
A trip to the United States is like no other. You cannot travel throughout the U.S. in just one visit so you will need to plan your journey. A typical plan consists of dividing the United States into two: You would generally choose the East Coast or West Coast; this can be a good way to decide a route. Or you could also decide to follow the famous Route 66: 4000 km through eight states from east to west.
New York is considered a must-see place: In spite of the 11 September catastrophe, the Big Apple still seduces due to its constant activity and legendary places: The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art and also its restaurants and theatres, its frenetic pace, continual innovation, overblown excess, all making this city irresistible for all, even for those who are initially sceptical about it.
California is another American myth. It is unspoilt and urban and continues symbolising American Dream: Booming economy, ideal climate, optimal quality of life, the symbols preceding this State in the representations we have about it, Los Angeles, the famous Golden Gate Bridge or Malibu's beaches and surf spots.
Francophiles are especially drawn to Louisiana. An essential part of the U.S history, this place also has incomparably hot weather. New Orleans, marked by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, experiences a mixed crowd: Partygoers, architecture lovers, antiques enthusiasts, jazz fans, there's something for everyone.
San Francisco seduces everyone who visits it: Its hilly streets, legendary bay and the diverse neighbourhoods with multiple connotations which make this city another symbol of the USA where avant-garde movements throughout time have been born. The city is seen as elegant and original by all travellers.
You should definitely not miss Las Vegas, seen as THE gambling resort and renowned for its excess. There is also the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Giant Sequoias of Yosemite Park, Death Valley's ghost town, the Yellowstone National Park with its bears and beavers, then to the east are Washington and Philadelphia, Niagara Falls and Cape Cod, finally one could say that visiting the U.S. is not a once in the lifetime visit but a lifetime visiting one place.
USA : The basics
All state capitals are served by international flights.
A visa is not required to stay for less than three months for European citizens, but they must have a certain type of passport.
The currency in circulation is the U.S. dollar (USD).
An average meal will cost about $20 and a decent room about $120 on average.
Regarding food, you can find all kinds of cuisine and prices. According to the different States, you will experience different influences in the specialties you will be served: Cuban food in Florida, an international menu in California and generally more focused on meat in the south.
The American breakfast is a good habit to get into because of its quantity and quality, there are many restaurants that serve it fast and it is quite economical. The Brunch, a combination of breakfast and lunch, is another custom to adopt if you want to eat well without spending a lot of money.
Take into account that giving a tip is highly recommended in restaurants, where waiters and waitresses are generally underpaid.
The accommodation types are as varied as the restaurants: Public and private campsites, hostels, motels, bed and breakfasts, all categories of hotels, you won't have any problem finding a place to suit your budget.
To travel within the U.S., the airplane is still the most comfortable means of transportation given the distances. Greyhound buses are also popular: These are numerous and efficient, you will find them in all States. However, the car is still the main means of transportation for the vast majority of Americans and you can easily rent one for a reasonable price. In addition, there are few tolls and gasoline prices are cheaper. In the cities, the metro or trams are popular.
There are no particular issues but health care costs are high so you should obtain good travel insurance before going. A good first aid kit could be necessary but be aware that some prescription drugs in France are over-the-counter drugs in the U.S. ... for double the price.
If you want to buy some souvenirs from the U.S., there are several valuable things you can find if you choose the right place to buy them: Amerindian crafts if you buy it directly from the American Indians, Levi Jeans, sports or ready-to-wear clothing, beauty products (American brands) in the drugstores or from duty-free shops in the airport.