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Billed for centuries as the 'land of opportunity', for more than 500 years people have travelled to the United States of America seeking a better life. The territory was fought over by colonial powers for 300 hundred years, and finally won its independence from Britain in 1783.
Despite the near-annihilation of the Native American population, a bloody civil war, and centuries of ingrained racism (Native Americans were not granted citizenship until 1924 and racial segregation was the norm until as late as the 1950s), the American people have succeeded in forging one of the worlds most united, democratic and tolerant nations, a fascinating melting-pot of cultures, and the undisputed military and economic heavyweight of the world.
A country of this size, with a history this colourful, truly does present endless opportunity for travellers heading Stateside. World-famous attractions like the Statue of Liberty in New York City, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona don't even begin to scratch the surface of what the US has to offer visitors.
Depending where and when you travel, a holiday in the United States can offer sizzling desert mesas, labyrinthine cities, chilly snow-covered forests, steaming tropical jungles, or rolling flower-covered prairies. With an area of roughly 3,794,083 square miles (9,826,630 sq km), the US is the perfect place to take weeks-long roadtrips along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pacific Coast Highway, or Route 66, discovering hidden gems along the way.
Whether you want to see the celebrity stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the majestic summit of Pike's Peak, or the world's largest ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota, the United States has something for everyone.