United States is a country located in North America with name that begins with letter U. The United States of America (USA) is the third largest country in the world with an area of 9.8 million km². Approx. 316 million people live in the 50 states of the USA. Almost 80% of Americans live in cities; the largest metropolitan areas are New York City on the east coast with over 18 million residents, followed by Los Angeles (13 million) on the west coast and Chicago (9 million) in the north of the USA.
48 of the 50 states of the USA lie between Canada in the north and Mexico in the south, the Atlantic in the east and the Pacific in the west. Exceptions are Alaska in the northwest of North America and the island chain Hawaii in the Pacific. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter U.
Citizens of the EU need a valid, machine-readable passport to enter the USA. They also have to fill out an electronic entry and transit permit (ESTA). You will receive detailed information about current entry requirements when you register for a worldwide hiking trip to the USA.
Climate in the western United States and Hawaii
California has a mild, Mediterranean climate; in the mountain areas east of the coast there is a high mountain climate and further east of it there is a hot, continental dry climate with increased rainfall in winter. The tropical climate of Hawaii is mild and balanced.
The climatic zones range from polar to subtropical. Coastal areas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico: hot summers with high humidity, heavy rainfall. Winters are cold in the north and mild in the south and the Gulf of Mexico. Pacific Coast: Oceanic climate with precipitation predominantly in winter. Plateau and mountain zone: predominantly dry (however, temperature and precipitation vary depending on the altitude). Other areas: strong temperature contrasts, dry.
Hawaii is located in a geologically active zone where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can occur at any time. The Kilauea volcano is active on the main island. For more information, see GDACS – Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
In the summer months and in autumn, during the hurricane season, hurricanes and their effects must be expected in the Gulf of Mexico, in the coastal areas of the Caribbean, the southeastern states, but also in the eastern coastal sections up to the New York area. Visit the National Hurricane Center website for the most current information.
Tornadoes are most common in early summer in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska along what is known as “Tornado Alley”. Read more on the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory Tornado Page.
Forest fires occur in California between May and December.
Food and drink
Breakfast is plentiful, lunch plays a minor role and there is plenty of dinner in the evening: burgers, chicken and steaks are among the classic dishes in the USA. For some time, however, there has also been a more conscious nutritional trend. Americans place more emphasis on the origin of their food, especially California is a pioneer in the field of organic food. After each immigrant group has brought their culinary preferences with them, the menus are otherwise very varied. Mexican cuisine has been particularly popular in recent times. A classic in Hawaii is the Loco Moco egg and meat plate, which can contain many different ingredients, from meatballs to oysters.
Travelers to America are very often taken with the exuberant friendliness of Americans. The majority of the population is very open and friendly – especially in sun-drenched states like California or Hawaii.
No special vaccinations are required to travel to the USA. Medical care in the USA is largely privately organized, of high quality, but also very expensive. For this reason, the German and Austrian authorities recommend that you take out additional insurance in the event of illness and any ambulance transport to your home country. In Yosemite National Park, contact with hantavirus-contaminated secretions from infected rodents via the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract can lead to flu-like symptoms such as headaches and body aches. The incubation period is two to four weeks.
In Hawaii, appropriate protection from the tropical sun is important.
Standard precautions should be observed in the United States. The crime rate is usually somewhat higher in metropolitan areas, so be careful of theft in highly frequented places, airports or train stations. It is recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make copies of the most important documents and keep them separately.
All about money
The legal tender is the US dollar (USD). 1 US dollar equals 100 cents.
The most convenient way to get money is to withdraw it from an ATM. With the usual credit cards (don’t forget your PIN!) It is possible to get cash in larger cities. In most cases, it is also possible to use a debit card (EC card), but a credit card offers more security. Fees are to be expected for each correction, which is why it is advisable to choose a larger amount. In remote regions and on hikes lasting several days, it is not possible to get money, so make sure you have enough cash.
Other essential information
Time difference to CET: -6h
110/120 volts, 60 hertz; Flat plug (adapter plug required)