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 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
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 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
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
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
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.
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Today’s travelers value peace of mind over anything else. While sightseeing and embarking on adventurous activities remains preferred activities for tourists on holidays, rejuvenation and detoxification have also been gaining increasing focus from travelers. This evolving trend is not lost on the American hospitality sector, as in-house spas and signature massages become the norm rather than the exception.
In the U.S., the concept of luxury spas has been making a resurgent comeback, mimicking the broader stability in the economy. As travelling for business and leisure once again gains traction, the luxury spa resorts in the U.S. are in full bloom. As a resort, American visa online services have gained popularity.
However, the pertinent question remains how to choose a luxury spa that promises the tranquility and rejuvenation one dreams of. Well, we have compiled a list of the top 5 luxury spas in the U.S. by considering consumer reviews, awards and recognitions, and the range of facilities offered to patrons. So, check out our guide to the top 5 luxury spas in the U.S. for amazing American holidays.
La Quinta Resort & Club – La Quinta, California
Californication with a tinge of relaxation and wellness – the spa at La Quinta is aimed at offering complete mind body relaxation. The tagline for the resort’s spa is ‘Rejuvenate & Recharge’, and the spa does live up to the reputation.
The spa offers a host of treatment options customized as per the requirements of the guests. You can choose from body treatment, skin care, wellness ritual, and sun worshipper rituals. We recommend trying the La Quinta Citrus Escape and Pranayama Breathing Ritual for some amazing results.
Spa at Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii
Experience the ultimate luxury spa experience with a Hawaiian flavor as you spend some quality time introspecting and having a quiet time. The appealing factor about the Spa at Travaasa Hana is the focus on using plants for health and wellness.
The spa offers a host of wellness programs, including massages, body treatments, facials, enhancements, and waxing services. The spas are well-equipped with everything you would expect – cold plunge, robes, personal amenities, and naturally flavored water & snacks to compliment with the whole relaxation schedule.
Red Mountain Spa, St. George, Utah
Looking for complete body, mind, and soul rejuvenation in an environment that is conducive to health and well-being? Well, if you are holidaying in America, and you have chosen Utah, we highly recommend visiting the Red Mountain Spa to have a memorable and mesmerizing experience. The Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park are in the vicinity of the spa, and you can visit them if you have time on your hands.
The luxury spa and salon at the resort offer a range of treatments, including nature inspired body treatments, in-room treatments, facial experiences, massage therapy, hair care, and hand & foot care. The treatment materials at the spa are made from indigenous desert botanicals and mineral-rich muds.
Gage Spa, Marathon, Marathon, Texas
The luxury spa at Gage Hotel offers the perfect ambience for relaxation and rejuvenation. Frequently featured as one of the best spas not only in Texas, but also the U.S., the Gage spa has everything that will compel you to keep coming back.
Services available at the spa include massage therapy, facials, and entire body treatments. We recommend you to try the signature aromatherapy massage and deep tissue massages. In facials, you can give Espresso Mud Body Treatment and Lemon Verbena Body Polish.
Peaks Resort & Spa – Telluride, Colorado
The Peaks Resort & Spa is a truly special and tranquil place to be if you are holidaying in Colorado. The host of amenities on offers tourists a combination of adventure, sightseeing, and deep relaxation.
The full-service spa and salon offer mind body rejuvenation while the multi-level fitness center has all the modern equipment and amenities. If you are travelling with family, we highly recommend checking in the Peaks Resort & Spa as it is family-friendly place.
These were the top 5 luxury spas in the U.S. As we mentioned before, travel today has evolved from sightseeing and adventure to also include wellness and health. Travelling for wellness is quickly gaining traction, and a number of tourists just visit a foreign country for its spas or resorts. If you know of any great luxury spas in U.S., do share it with our readers.
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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.
Statue of Liberty
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 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 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
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
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
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.
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So you have got your US visa and are pretty excited about your journey to America. Eager to set foot in the bustling streets of New York or visit Walt Disney World Resort, you might have already prepared a list of places to visit. But if you are young and daring to explore, then you should take the road less travelled. Look for unique and extraordinary experience while you are in your hay days. The United States of America is extravagant but inadequately showcases its travel potential. Of course, anyone would want to visit the Statue of Liberty and discover the craze of Las Vegas. But these are attractions you can visit anytime you wish to visit the US. But while you are still young, make your US trip a memorable adventure. Give it a twist of uniqueness with destinations that are not much hyped but are popular in their own style. Here are some off beaten places to you can include in your US trip.
Antelope Canyons, Arizona
Come to Arizona to visit an outlandish curvy and wavy landscape painted in hues of reds and oranges. Located in Navajo Nation, Arizona, Antelope Canyons is among USA’s most photographed attraction. Yet it is seldom featured in usual US holiday packages. The beauty of this popular United States point of interest lies in nature’s hard work of millions of years of erosion. Antelope Canyon’s beautiful wavy surface and caves in natural lighting offer picturesque backdrops. These are ideal as a perfect spot to capture beautiful memories in photographs. If your travel plan covers the western side of US, then take a detour to Arizona for a bit of picturesque adventures. You can enjoy guided photographic tours through the beautiful slot canyons of Upper Antelope.
Rock City, Georgia
Take a short excursion 6 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to arrive at one of the fascinating places in the US. Rock City is a serene spot – a result of decades old rock formations. It is teeming with numerous waterfalls, suspended gardens, rich foliage and unique rock structures. These natural elements make this attraction an idyllic place to refresh in nature. Get close to nature as you explore its beautiful nature trails on walking tours. The views are amazing as you reach Lookout Mountains from where you can see seven different US states. The added bonus to your trip is a visit to Ruby Falls located in Lookout Mountains. There are various events and fairs held which you can enjoy depending on the season you visit such as Enchanted Garden of Lights, the Southern Blooms Festival, Summer Music Weekends to name a few.
Storybook Homes, Los Angeles
Los Angeles is inarguable one among the top vacation spots in the US. The sophisticated ambiance and stylish flair allures many visitors to Los Angeles. But you are in for a surprise when you find gorgeous countryside like houses in this chic modern city. The Story Book homes graced the architectural scene of Los Angeles in 1920s and 1930s. This was when storytellers and animators began making their office or homes in whimsical style as featured in animations. These fanciful houses scattered throughout the city seems surreal and unique to visit. The creativity of simple living amid contemporary complexity is a real eye soother. While you are in Los Angeles, take a detour to view the fascinating Snow White Cottages in Griffith Park Boulevard, The Witch’s House in Beverly Hills and The Hobbit House in Culver City.
Yosemite National Park, Wyoming
Yosemite National Park is one among the top tourist attractions in the USA. Nestled in Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, this vast expanse of land is famous for its natural diversity. The sprawling landscape is renowned for Sequoia trees, hot springs, waterfalls and unique rock formations. However, there are some hidden gems in this national park which are hard to find anywhere else in the world. The Horsetail Fall’s Fire Fall view of the fiery orange cascade is a not to miss experience on a visit to Yosemite National Park. Marvel at nature’s enchantments as you watch the sunset cast an illusion of setting water on fire. This phenomenon happens on certain days in February every year. The reflecting rays of the sunset cast a bright orange glare that makes it look as if the water is ignited and a stream of lava is flowing through the rocks. The Grand Prismatic Spring is another surreal experience that will leave you speechless. Its vibrant exhibit of brightly hued waters is an otherworldly experience that will leave a lasting impression in your mind.
Devils Postpile National Monument, Mammoth Lakes
Located in Mammoth Mountains in California, Devils Postpile National Monument is a site of wondrous natural creation. Around 400 unusual structures of soaring basalt columns dominate the scenic landscape. The friction between cooling of lava and creation of hot springs over millions of years led to the composition of symmetrical walls of basalt columns.
Apart from these natural wonders, this attraction is a great place for hiking and camping. A hiking tour lets you explore the wilderness and experience beautiful scenic waterfall views which include the Rainbow Falls. Since it is located near to Yosemite National Park, you can club both these National Parks together to enjoy a unique nature experience.
The sprawling landscapes of USA have countless exceptional experiences tucked away in it. In fact, each of its states has some extraordinary elements filled with oddities to entice its visitors. There are abandoned structures and rustic remnants steeped in history and places that keep you intrigued about the sanity of nature.
These selections of places made it to this list for its proximity to best places to visit in the USA. So that, while planning your best US vacation, you can consider combining these places with your travel itinerary with ease. For more ideas on off beaten things to do in US and US visa in Dubai, get in touch with us. We will ensure you have a youthful adventure cum memorable American holiday.
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The USA is a vast country with 52 states and six different time zones. It is a developed country with state-of-the-art amenities and facilities and hence one of the dream places for immigration for people all around the world. While this may not be possible for everyone, holidaying in this fascinating country is achievable. However, with so many interesting states and places to see in America, it is quite confusing to choose which one to see especially if you have kids. Little children need to be kept busy and entertained during the vacation so that parents can have a great time too. Moreover, there is no dearth of places to visit with kids in the USA. All you need to do is what suits you as a family. Here we present five tourist attractions in the USA that you must visit while travelling with little children.
South Beach, Miami, Florida
Florida is a huge state and is one of the most popular family-friendly holiday destinations in America, thanks to the numerous beaches and amusement parks here. Orlando needs to have a special mention here as it is a famous for its amusement parks. The Walt Disney World is a different world in itself where you can spend your entire holiday. Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and water parks have entertained millions of families from around the world for several decades now. Apart from this, Sea World, Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa are also worth a visit.
However, Florida is not just about Disney and amusement parks. On the other hand, there are some lovely beaches zoos, museums, nature parks, etc. which kids would definitely enjoy. While Orlando can be expensive, the other areas of Florida are cheaper and still offer a lot of fun activities. When in Florida, do check out Tampa Bay & Gulf Coast for their zoos, museums, aquariums, island getaways and beaches. Florida Keys is known for diving, snorkelling, boating and fishing for the family that loves adventures. Space Coast and Emerald Coast are popular for their sleepy beach towns and white water beaches. Miami, which is a multicultural city, also offers great museums and zoos which would keep your little ones happy and busy.
Capitol building in Washington DC
Washington DC, being the capital of the USA as well as the seat of the government, is a great place to take your kids for holidays. There are several museums and historical sites that you can explore along with your kids. The best part about vacationing in the capital is that most things are free, and you would not have to spend too much money as in most kid-friendly holiday spots. The National Museum of Natural History, International Spy Museum, National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, etc. offer interactive experiences to visitors, making the visit really interesting for children. The Newseum is where kids could become a television reporter and read from a teleprompter as well as play in the NBC Interactive Newsroom. There is also an exciting 4-D Time Travel Adventure to watch.
You should also check out National Geographic Museum, U.S. Botanic Garden, National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, National Building Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Renwick Gallery, National Postal Museum, the While House Visitor Center, etc. are some of the places you must visit in the Capital of USA. Washington DC is also home to the White House, and you can take the opportunity to visit the place. While the White House tours are not operational at the moment, visitors can walk the perimeter and admire the beautiful building and the First Lady’s vegetable garden. Apart from this, when your kids are bored of museum hopping, take them to the National Zoo which is home to over 2000 animals and also houses two giant pandas. Apart from this, there are parks where you could have a picnic and enjoy the outdoors too.
Yosemite National park, California
California is undoubtedly one of the most family-friendly tourist spots in America. Right from adventure parks to beaches to museums, there are lots to do here that kids would love. Moreover, the weather is pleasant throughout the year, never too warm and never too cold. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada are the popular tourist destinations. When it comes to adventure parks, California offers you the famous Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure where you can spend weeks without ever getting bored. Legoland California Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood, etc. are some other amusement parks that are great fun to be at. If your kids love to spend time outdoors amidst nature, there are plenty of parks in California that they would love. Yosemite National park, Redwood National & State Parks, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Griffith Park and Channel Islands National Park are worth the visit. Apart from these places, California also offers plenty of zoos, aquariums, museums and beaches which make it the perfect place for a family holiday in the USA.
Central Park, New York
When it comes to places to visit in the USA with kids, New York definitely makes to the top of the list for most people around the world. The city of New York is a melting pot of cultures, making it an interesting place to visit for both adults and children. While there are several kid-friendly attractions in New York, the Central Park definitely takes the cake. The park has 21 playgrounds, the Central Park Carousel (with one of the largest merry-go-rounds), seven artificial lakes, the Central park zoo and Marionette Theatre. Some other kid-friendly attractions that New York offers are the American Museum of Natural History, Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, sea-air-space museum named Enterprise, Brooklyn Chindren’s Museum, CQueens Museum of Art, Central Park Wildlife Centre and Children’s Zoo, Bronx Zoo or Wildlife Conservation Park, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc. There is so much to see and do in this cosmopolitan city for families that you would be spoilt for choices.
Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago
Chicago, with its huge traffic and crowded streets, is still considered to be a kid-friendly destination as there are lot of things that cater to young children. The best part is that you can combine fun and informational activities for your kids in this city of Illinois. There are museums, amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, etc. that kids would enjoy. When in Chicago, do visit the Adler Planetarium where the domed theatre takes you on the journey of the cosmos and the outer space. Also, there are exhibitions about the planets as well as the space artifacts. When it comes to museums, Chicago has plenty of them. You must take your kids to the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Children’s Museum, etc. Some other places that would attract little humans include John Hancock Observatory, Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden, Navy Pier, etc. There are lot of outdoor attractions in Chicago which are free too, giving the children opportunity to have unlimited fun.
These are just few of the tourist destinations in the USA that are great for kids too. With such a big country, the options for places to see and things to do are endless. The only problem would be that you would not be willing to come home from your vacation, especially your kids. However, a trip to the USA is a must at least once in your lifetime. Once you have made the decision and booked your tickets, all you need to do is apply for US visa from Dubai, India, China, Singapore or whichever country you are residing in. When you get the visa, just pack your bags and fly to this amazing country to have an extraordinary vacation with your kids.
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An enticing factor about water fountains is that their charismatic structures and art forms beguile you. You can’t stop marveling the ambiance it creates and some compel you to ponder about the fables behind its creation. While the USA is popular for an amazing collection of tourist attractions and natural sights, it also has a beautiful assortment of water fountains. Though not as magnificent as fountains in Italy, USA has an understated yet attractive group water fountains with historic significance scattered all through the destination. Let’s look at some interesting water fountains in the USA that you can visit on your USA holiday.
Bellagio Fountains – Las Vegas
Perhaps the most iconic and well-known water fountain in the USA is the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. Las Vegas being one of the most popular places to visit in the USA, Bellagio fountains is one spectacle not to be missed on your US trip. First of its kind in the world, Bellagio Fountains pioneer the art of synchronizing water jets, laser lighting, and music into a spectacular show. The water fountain set on a manmade lake right in front of the Bellagio hotel is one of the most mesmerizing sights to watch on Las Vegas strip. The grand fountain show became the source of inspiration for the extravagant Dubai Fountain. About 4500 lights and 1200 water nozzles create an awe-inspiring performance tuned perfectly with different genres of music. This remarkable water fountain show takes place daily in the evening, open to spectators to watch without spending a dime.
National World War II Memorial – Washington DC
A symbol of homage for the Americans who laid down their lives in World War II, National World War Memorial in Washington D.C is one of the famous tourist places in the USA. Set amid the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, the fountain consists of 56 engraved granite pillars and small triumphal arches encircling a plaza. This arena consists the central water fountain and tiny arches of water spouting around it. The panoramic view of this water fountain looks amazing where you can find yourself gazing long into the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial through the fountains from different viewpoints. This national monument is open for everyone 365 days of the year.
Scott Memorial Fountain – Detroit
This fountain was built as a commemoration of James Scott, who bequeathed his fortune to the city to build this giant water fountain that includes a statue of him. Located in Belle Isle Park in Detroit, this water fountain covers 510 feet of land and has fountain nozzles that shoot water up to 125 feet. In all, there are more than 100 water spouts that emerge out of human, animal and sea creature figurines. It is one of the most significant and popular site to visit in Detroit.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial – Washington DC
Another gorgeous water presentation in Washington DC is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Spread over 7.5 acres of land, this memorial pays tribute to the 32nd President of the United States. Located at the National Malls Tidal Basin – a beautiful place in the USA to witness cherry blossoms, the memorial is designed as four galleries depicting the four terms of Roosevelt as President and has several water features. Though it isn’t exactly a water fountain, the memorial’s water elements are beautifully showcased in forms of stunning cascades and pools which are spectacular sights to view.
Pulitzer Fountain – New York
Located in the Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza, Pulitzer Fountain is another fountain that was bequeathed by its creator as a tribute to himself. Built to honour Joseph Pulitzer – an editor and publisher in New York, this fountain is a colossal 22 feet high 5-tiered ornate fountain adorned with sculptures and a large granite basin. The statue of the goddess of abundance – Pomona graces the top of the fountain. The fountain was made to look like those in Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. The fountain has borne the wear and tear of time and undergone several restorations and is still functional presently.
Buckingham Fountain – Chicago
An iconic landmark in Chicago, the Buckingham Fountain located in Grant Park is among the world’s largest water fountains. Officially known as the Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain, this fascinating fountain is styled in the form of a layered wedding cake and the main water spray shoots up to 150 feet in the air. Representing the Lake Michigan, the fountain is inspired by the Bassin de Latone and modeled after Latona Fountain at Versailles. It consists of three tired basins with 134 powerful water jets. These basins are decorated with four seahorses that symbolize the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin which border Lake Michigan. The fountain operates in the months of May to October from 8 pm till 11 pm. The fountain showcases an impressive water and light show of 20 minutes every hour in the evening during its operational months.
While these water fountains are just a few handpicked selections, there are many more water fountains dotted all around the USA for you to explore. What is more exciting about these water features is that each has a historic or subjective significance for you to discover. These are no doubt some of the enchanting places to see in the US. In case you are wondering where to go in the USA for more charming experiences, check out these selections of spa resorts in the USA.
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The United States of America cannot lay claim to ancient castles from the Middle Ages or from the medieval times, since the country was colonized by European civilizations only in in the 1600s. However, a number of castles were built by the English, French and the Scot immigrants after the country was colonized. The USA is, surprisingly, home to several lovely old palaces, castles and chateaus. We’ve curated 10 of the USA’s most enchanting castles for you. Check them out soon!
Lyndhurst Mansion, New York
The Lyndhurst Mansion is one of the one of the finest Gothic Revival mansions in the US built by the acclaimed architect Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838. The castle is located on the edge of the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York. Several notables have stayed here since it was built, such as New York City mayor William Paulding and railroad tycoon Jay Gould.
Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California
This 13th-century Tuscan castle took 14 years to build. There’s a very authentic drawbridge, moat and dungeon with, believe it or not, a still functioning Renaissance-era iron maiden. The bricks are from the Hapsburg-era, the nails are hand-forged, and the chandeliers and 500-year-old fireplace are all Europe imports. There are hand-painted frescoes in the Knights’ Chamber and the Great Hall, which have been constructed out of 8,000 tons of hand-chiseled Napa Valley stone. The Castello di Amorosa is one of the top USA attractions, one of the top castles to visit.
Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Fonthill Castle was built in 1912 by Henry Chapman Mercer who was an archaeologist, anthropologist, scholar, antiquarian and ceramist. The castle features 32 stairwells, 21 chimneys, 18 fireplaces, 44 rooms, all made of hand-mixed reinforced concrete in Gothic, Byzantine and medieval styles. Even during his lifetime, the castle was the personal museum for thousands of handcrafted Spanish, Chinese, Dutch ceramic tiles (including Mercer’s own Moravian-style tiles). There’s a Mercer Museum next door which displays a number of artifacts from the original castle, including a whale boat and a Conestoga wagon. This castle is one of the top places to visit in the USA.
Bannerman Castle, Pollepel Island, New York
Bannerman Castle sits on Pollepel, a rocky island on the Hudson River. It was built by a Scottish immigrant called Frank Bannerman in 1901. At age 14, Bannerman started prospering by selling surplus military goods. The family decided to build a castle to use as an arsenal on the island. By 1918, when Bannerman died, construction halted. The castle was partly destroyed when 200 pounds of shells and powder exploded after two years. In 1989, a fire left the castle in ruins. You can visit this castle when the river is boat-friendly.
Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts
John Hays Hammond, Jr., American inventor, had a large collection of art – Roman, medieval and Renaissance. He built this castle on the shores of the Atlantic in 1929 to serve as his residence plus art museum. The castle combines the structural sensibilities of castles styles from the 15th to the 18th-century. The great hall is surrounded by elaborate rose windows; there are plenty of secret passageways, plus an indoor courtyard, a pipe organ, and huge library.
Hearst Castle, California
The Hearst Castle Estate was constructed between 1919 and 1947 by William Randolph Hearst. Casually nicknamed as ‘La Cuesta Encantada’ or the Enchanted Hill by Hearst, the castle comprises of four buildings. These buildings comprise of 127 acres of beautiful terraced gardens plus 165 rooms. The Gothic Study in the main building has a vaulted Spanish ceiling that dates back to the early 1400s. There’s also a gorgeous guesthouse named Casa del Mar that boasts of panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Biltmore Estate, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate is nestled cozily in the panoramic Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina. George Vanderbilt became enchanted by the area’s beauty and got architect Richard Morris Hunt to design the French Renaissance chateau with a 70-foot ceiling banquet hall, bowling alley and 250 rooms. It took six long years to build the Biltmore Estate. Famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the beautiful grounds including the splendid 15-acre Azalea Garden. The estate produces award-winning wines today; tours are available.
The Breakers, Rhode Island
The Breakers has been designed by George Vanderbilt and executed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. It is one of the area’s most adorable late 19th century summer homes. The Italian Renaissance-inspired 70-room mansion includes a grand dining room with gilded cornice and several freestanding columns. Beautiful relief sculptures designed by Parisian interior design firm Jules Allard and Sons add beauty to the walls.
Bishop’s Palace, Texas
The Bishop’s Palace was built in the late 19th century as the residence of entrepreneur Colonel Walter Gresham. It is one of America’s most significant structures. It was designed by well-known architect Nicholas Clayton who built the spectacular sturdy mansion using steel and stone. The interior is opulent with stained glass windows, dramatic mahogany stairwell, and wood carvings. The mansion even endured the Great Storm of 1900 that destroyed a great portion of Galveston.
Iolani Palace, Hawaii
Iolani Palace is the official residence of Hawaii’s royal family in downtown Hawaii. It was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua as a way to increase Hawaii’s prestige as a modern nation overseas. In 1893, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and it was then that Iolani Palace served as the nation’s capitol building. The palace takes design inspiration from European palaces and is America’s sole example of a mixture of Italian renaissance and native Hawaiian architectural styles, termed ‘American Florentine’. This palace, the only royal castle in America, has been a museum since 1978; it is so beautiful, it’s well worth your US visitor visa!
As you can see, the USA has its share of fabulous castles constructed in various styles. Many of them have been built by entrepreneurs and brilliant architects, emulating the styles of medieval, byzantine, Italian renaissance and French chateau ordinances. Most of these castles are either museums or taken over as official national buildings. You can enjoy exploring the ones that are open for view, except on US holidays; check their viewing schedules online before planning to the trip. Here’s an idea – why not plan a castle-viewing trip to the US to enjoy seeing these amazing castles?
Read more: usvisa.ae
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Read more: rosettastone.com