Posts Tagged ‘New York’

6 Mesmerizingly Beautiful Waterfalls in the U.S. that will Leave you Awestruck


Visiting the U.S. is on the bucket list of many tourists around the globe. From the Big Apple to the Sin City, there’s a certain level of glamour and flamboyance attached to visiting the states. For many aspiring travelers, visiting the U.S. usually brings images of late night parties, skyscrapers, and shopping. However, you will be surprised to know that the U.S. is blessed to have many natural attractions that are crowd favorites.

If you are a nature lover, and especially fond of waterfalls, you will be surprised to know that there are numerous beautiful waterfalls in the U.S. Spread over the entire country, these waterfalls attract tourists from all over. US tourist visa online facilities make it easy for everyone to check out the requirements to travel to the country. Without further ado, check out our guide to the most beautiful waterfalls in the U.S.

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls is famous all over the world for their majestic opulence and breathtaking views. A combination of three falls, it remains one of the most visited tourist attractions in both U.S. and Canada. We highly recommend taking the Maid of the Mist ferry boat which takes you to the basin of Horseshoe Falls. There are numerous resorts and hotels in the vicinity of Niagara Falls, making it a tourist den all throughout the year.

Havasu Falls, Arizona

Havasu Falls, Arizona 

Before we go and tell you about this beautiful waterfall in Arizona, U.S., it is important to know that reaching this waterfall is challenging. After a long drive, visitors have to entail a 10 mile hike to reach the Havasu Falls. On top of this, visitors need to make reservation months before to ensure they get the required permission. However, the reason these falls are still popular, in spite of these arduous challenges is because of the overall experience. The local people living near the Havasu Falls have lived there for centuries. And, most importantly, once you reach the falls, the breathtaking view and ambiance is incomparable.

Yosemite Falls, California

Yosemite Falls, California 

Yosemite Falls attract tourists from all over California. At over 2,400 feet, these falls are among the highest, not only in the U.S. but also around the world. You can visit these falls all throughout the year, as the Yosemite National Park remains a crowd favorite. However, the best time to visit the falls is in May, as the falls witness peak flow during that time. While there are numerous points from where you can view these falls, most tourists take a one-mile trail to reach the base of Lower Yosemite Fall, from where the view is truly exhilarating.

Ramona Falls, Oregon

Ramona Falls, Oregon 

Oregon’s Mount Hood Forest is appealing to tourists from around the world. Hidden inside this beautiful forest is the Ramona Falls. These falls pale in comparison to other falls if talking about the height; however, as any waterfall lover will tell you – it’s not always about the height but the overall ambience. The overall experience of reaching these falls by following the trail in the forest is something you will cherish for a long time. There is a significant level of hiking involved before you reach these falls, but it is not arduous, as you will get breathtaking, picturesque views along the way.

Shoshone Falls, Idaho

Shoshone Falls, Idaho 

This beautiful waterfall in Idaho is frequented featured as one o the best waterfalls in the U.S. A natural beauty on the Snake River, these falls and the surrounding area has quickly developed into one of the most frequented tourist destinations in the area. In addition to recreational facilities, some of the other facilities that tourists can look forward to include boat ramps, swimming areas, hiking trails, and playgrounds. The popularity of these falls has earned them the moniker, “Niagara of the West”.

Calf Creek Falls, Utah

 Calf Creek Falls, Utah

The falls were used as a natural pen and remained in wilderness for a long time until they were accorded the status of national monument in 1996. The hiking trail to the top of the falls is quite interesting and picturesque, with ancient rock art sites providing the perfect backdrop. Key points of attraction in the vicinity of falls include Calf Creek Campground, Lower Calf Creek Falls, and Upper Calf Creek Falls.

These were the top 5 most beautiful waterfalls in the U.S. In a country as big and vast as the United States, there are many falls that we have missed out on. However, we believe that all waterfalls are beautiful, and any list of the ‘best’ or the ‘top’ is subjective to personal experience and positive word-of-mouth of fellow travelers. We would love to hear about other beautiful waterfalls in the US from our readers.

The post 6 Mesmerizingly Beautiful Waterfalls in the U.S. that will Leave you Awestruck appeared first on USA Travel Blog.

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Amazing Things to Do in New York for the Ultimate Travel Experience


New York City – the world’s most flamboyant city! Everyone wants to get a piece of the Big Apple. I personally believe New York is truly special, as it is a cauldron of people from different nationalities working towards a dream of making it big. The spirit of the city is also reflected in its famous landmarks. If you are someone who’s planning to visit New York soon, this guide can be of benefit. We will tell you about the best places to visit and top things to do in this amazing city.

It’s also important to check your travel requirements at any of the USA visa application centers, so that you are in the know.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty, New York 

Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic landmarks, not only in the US, but also around the globe. The statue exemplifies what modern America stands for – a thriving democratic country that’s also one of the most developed countries in the world.

The popularity of Statue of Liberty means that there is a heavy influx of tourists all throughout the year. So, you need to be careful while planning an itinerary. It’s advisable to arrive early at the place – whether you are taking the ferry from Lower Manhattan or New Jersey. Also, if you limited time on your hands, you can take in the views of the statue from Battery Park.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Brooklyn Bridge is another iconic spot in New York that attracts tourists all throughout. There is nothing much to do at the bridge, apart from taking a stroll to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn. However, it is the legacy, popularity, and symbolism of the bridge that makes it a landmark worth visiting.

It took me nearly half an hour to walk from one side to another, and I can tell you it was absolutely worth it. The views of the city and the cool breeze made the experience worth remembering. There are no charges or fees to visit the Brooklyn Bridge, so if you have time on your hands, do visit this iconic landmark.

Central Park

 Central Park, New York

Central Park is central to the tourist activities in New York. One of the most popular tourist attractions in New York, the place has so much to offer that you may run out of time, but not of attractions. Of particular significance in the Park are the hidden treasures – there are so many of them that tourists usually have a pleasant surprise.

While all of Central Park is beautiful to visit, some of the key attractions that I highly recommend include Alice in Wonderland, Strawberry Fields, Wollman Memorial Rink, and the Conservatory Garden.

National September 11 Memorial and Museum

 National September 11 Memorial and Museum

There are some trips that ought to be taken, not only for the entertainment quotient, but also for remembrance and paying tribute. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is one such tourist attraction that will stay with you for a long time. The place serves as a tribute to the people who lose their lives in the ghastly terrorist attacks in September 2011, and also in the 1993 bombing.

The museum spans over 110,000 square feet and offers visitors all the information about the attacks through multimedia displays and real-time recordings. Standing the at the place, I couldn’t help but admire the resolution and strength of New Yorkers. The tragedy that struck America was most visible in New York, and it is remarkable how the city has evolved ever since.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is another popular place of interest in New York that attracts tourists from all over. The dilemma for tourists at the museum is to which artifacts to visit and what to leave for the next trip! This is because the museum has so much to offer that visiting everything is not humanely possible. I highly recommend visiting the permanent collections at the museum.

While the museum is a must-visit place in New York, the must-do thing is to plan an itinerary after having a look at the official website of the museum. This way you can plan your trip and know which parts of the museum you would like to visit.

Broadway & Times Square

Broadway & Times Square 

These two landmarks in New York are must-visit places. While the Times Square is a place for a cacophony of sights and sounds, the Broadway is the nuanced, subtle platform where you can experience a captivating performance. Attending a Broadway show is a great experience in itself, but it’s important to keep an eye on the bookings, as the tickets run out pretty quickly.

These were some of the best places to visit in New York. There are so many places that we have left out, but as most tourists come to New York on a week-long trip, visiting every place can be overwhelming. Tell us about your New York experience and share some tips on the best things to do and tourist attractions to visit.

The post Amazing Things to Do in New York for the Ultimate Travel Experience appeared first on USA Travel Blog.

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From Novice to Speaker: My Vietnamese Journey


​It’s another typical family dinner. I am sitting around a table of at least 10. Everyone is laughing, shouting, and exchanging jokes and stories over delicious food. But I may as well be eating alone. See, we are at my boyfriend Derek’s family home. Derek is Vietnamese, and while I will never turn down a meal that involves ​Vietnamese food, I can’t help but feel dispirited when everyone is speaking to one another in a language that I can’t understand. After one too many empty plates and missed jokes, I vowed to Derek that I would one day learn Vietnamese. Just a few weeks later, on my birthday, Derek surprised me with Rosetta Stone Vietnamese and told me to “put my money where my mouth is.” Challenge accepted. To this day I don’t think he ever expected what would come next, and to be honest, neither did I. 

Vietnamese food - Learn to speak Vietnamese

​Munching on some traditional Vietnamese fare. 

​At the time I was in Liverpool, England, filming a show called “House of Anubis.” On set we have lots of breaks and I started filling in those moments with my ​Vietnamese lessons. I was instantly hooked. Thirty minutes a day turned into hours and I found myself looking forward to every spare moment I had just to get a few more lessons in. I loved how I could pop open the app whenever, wherever I was and start learning. If I was on set between takes and couldn’t make noise, I would do a reading or vocabulary lesson. When I was alone in my trailer between scenes, I would focus on my pronunciation. Derek came to visit again 6 weeks later and I hadn’t said a word about what I had been up to. I took him to a little Vietnamese restaurant I had started frequenting in Liverpool’s historic Chinatown. He nearly fell out of his chair when, out of the blue, I introduced him to my new friends and ordered our entire lunch . . . in Vietnamese! 

​”I loved how I could pop open the app whenever, wherever I was and start learning.”

I kept my lessons up regularly over those next few months and by the time I came home I was speaking conversational Vietnamese. Not only was it so rewarding on a personal level to feel I had made such an accomplishment, but it was so exciting to go out, practice my new language, and surprise people. Looking at me, no one would expect that I would start blurting out Vietnamese, and that’s what made it so much fun. But this fun hobby I’d picked up became something life-changing when I went to Vietnam for my first time. I knew I wanted to go, there isn’t anywhere on earth I wouldn’t want to travel to, but I didn’t realize how much of an impact that trip would have on me and the person I am today. Being able to communicate with people in a foreign country in their own language turns a vacation into something so much more meaningful. It truly brings you out of being a tourist and suddenly you are a local. 

Speak Vietnamese

​With my boyfriend, Derek, during our trip to Vietnam. 

Derek and I managed to squeeze in time while I was on hiatus from “House of Anubis.” I flew from Liverpool, he flew from LA, and we met in Vietnam. I was excited to see Derek, thrilled to have some time off, but more than anything, I couldn’t wait to practice my Vietnamese​​ in the motherland! I found myself wandering the streets of Saigon in search of the best bánh mì (a delicious Vietnamese baguette filled with pâté, deli meats, and pickled veggies) and drinking cà phê sữa đá with new friends at coffee shops in Hanoi. I even haggled my way down to a lower price for a painting I bought at Bến Thành Market! Me . . . haggling . . . in Vietnamese! I can’t even haggle back home in English!

Learn to Speak Vietnamese

​Biking with ​a tour guide in the Mekong Delta. 

​But one experience shines above all the rest. I will never forget my trip to Cu-Chi tunnels, north of Ho Chi Minh City (still referred to by expats as Saigon). The Cu-Chi tunnels are a vast and highly sophisticated network of tunnels that the Viet Minh and later the Viet Cong built to infiltrate the South during the decades long wars. Today, the site is a popular tourist destination where visitors get the chance to walk through the tunnels and learn about what life was like for the millions of Northern soldiers during those long years. It’s a deeply emotional experience, especially for Americans, who have suffered their own traumas but have only been exposed to one side of this complex and brutal part in both American and Vietnamese history. When I was down in the tunnels, I no longer thought in terms of Northerner/Southerner, Vietnamese/American, or communist/capitalist. All I could think of was the horrors of war and the sacrifices people made to survive and fight for what they believe in.  

​”When I was down in the tunnels, I no longer thought in terms of Northerner/Southerner, Vietnamese/American, or communist/capitalist. All I could think of was the horrors of war and the sacrifices people made to survive and fight for what they believe in.”

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​We had a long bus ride to get to the tunnels and I passed the time by striking up a conversation with our tour guide. Between his broken English and my conversational Vietnamese, we were able to connect on a much deeper level. He told me the story of his experience during the war, how he dreamed of being a doctor but the war got in the way and he had to leave medical school and serve. After the war he tried to escape three times, but was sent back again and again. At that stage I only had a few days left of vacation and, to be honest, I had been dreading going back to work. I was homesick, I missed my family, and I really didn’t want to go back to cloudy England. When I talked to him I realized how ungrateful I had been acting. Here was this man who, for reasons completely out of his control, was unable to follow his dreams. And here I was, fulfilling my passion, and yet I was complaining about petty things like the weather. At that moment I swore I would never forget this conversation. And I haven’t.

Vietnamese man - Learn Vietnamese

​The Vietnamese man, whose story changed my life.

I still have his photo on my windowsill. It’s moved with me everywhere I have lived, from Liverpool, to Los Angeles, to New York, to Bogotá​, and every time I look at that photo, I am reminded of that conversation and that time in Vietnam. It makes me think of all the people around the world who I have come across and never spent the time to get to know, or never been able to communicate with. He will probably never know how much he meant to me, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to have spoken with this man and for my time spent in beautiful Vietnam. Language really is the ultimate connector. 

​Explore Vietnamese and start speaking like a local today with Rosetta Stone. 

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6 Lakes in America that you Must Visit in your Lifetime


Lake holidays are usually associated with summers in the U.S., but with the abundance of lakes in the country, you are sure to find one for every season, and for every mood.

There’s something about spending a day out in a lake that excites Americans of all ages – this is perhaps the reason why lake travel has more fans than romantic getaways and family trips.

There are so many lakes in the U.S. to choose from that you will be truly spoilt for choice. Location, recreational activities, and your own preference can be considered important factors before you decide where to head to. As online facilities make it easy to know the visa requirements to US, travelers can plan their itineraries with more clarity. Here’s the ultimate guide to the best lakes in the U.S. for a relaxing and rejuvenating day out.

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake

There’s plenty to explore in the Crater Lake in Oregon. From lava formations to underwater mass meadows, the deepest lake in the world attracts tourists from all over America. International tourists visiting Oregon also make it a point to visit this beautiful lake, as word-of-mouth about its blue, clear water has gained it much fanfare.

While there are a number of waters sports activities, the area in the vicinity of the lake makes up for a great day out. Some of the recreational activities that you can pursue include hiking, backpacking, and sightseeing.

Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe, California

The ultimate holiday experience in California comes true with a trip to Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is one of the best places to visit in America. From the usual water activities to golfing and shopping, Lake Tahoe offers it all for the discerning traveler.

Some of the most frequented tourist attraction centers in Lake Tahoe include the Emerald Bay State Park, Squaw Valley, Kings Beach State Recreation Area, and D.L. Bliss State Park. Many tourists flock to the lake during the summers, as kayaking and other water recreational activities gain prominence.

Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene 

If you are wondering where to go in America, Lake Coeur d’Alene can be the answer. Created as a result of the ancient Ice Ages, this beautiful lake offers visitors spectacular views, including some really gorgeous beaches and bald eagles! The 135 mile long shoreline of this beautiful lake is dotted with numerous facilities for recreation. You will find a number of parks and playgrounds where you can easily spend a relaxing day out with your family. Right around the lake is the City Park and Beach, where you can enjoy volleyball in sandy beaches. There is plenty of wildlife to explore as well, with swans and ospreys wandering out in the environs, especially during the summers.

Lake George, New York

Lake George, New York 

If you are a frequent visitor to the Big Apple, you must have heard about how beautiful it is to spend a day at Lake George. Also known as the Queen of American Lakes, Lake George extends over 32 miles. The lake becomes the perfect host to summertime tourists.

The lake and adjoining areas offer everything that one looks for in a perfect day out. Hot air ballooning remains a popular activity in Lake George, and enthusiasts from all over gather at Glens Falls, in the vicinity of the lake. The resorts and picnic spots in the area round Lake George have made it America’s premier lake holiday destination. And, the fact that it is located in Big Apple means there is a mix of local and international tourists.

Newfound Lake, New Hampshire

Newfound Lake, New Hampshire 

The Newfound Lake in New Hampshire has been a center of tourist activity for decades. Thanks to the resorts and hotels that have sprung up in the vicinity of the lake, tourists of all ages, and from different nationalities can be found enjoying great holidays here.

During the summers, various recreational activities are organized, including Hebron Gazebo Programs and Mooseman Triathlon. There are plenty of options for hiking around the lake, including Mount Cardigan, Alexandria and Round Top, Bristol. Overall, if you are looking to spend a great day out at the shores, Newfound Lake in New Hampshire will not disappoint you.

Deer Lake, Minnesota

Deer Lake, Minnesota 

Deer Lake is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Minnesota. It is also known as the Lake of Changing Colors, as it changes its color during the summers. There are a host of tourist activities, including water activities and exploration. There are beautiful resorts in the vicinity of the Deer Lake, which make up for a relaxing and rejuvenating travel experience.

These were the best six lakes in the U.S. that are favorite among tourists from all over. Considering the size of the country, you may not be able to visit all – rather, if you are in any of the states, you can choose to spend a great time at these beautiful lakes.

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