Home of the United States and Canada, the vast continent of North America offers some of the most exciting and affluent tourist destinations on Earth. Perhaps the most exciting part of travel within North America is the vast array of cultures represented throughout the continent. For many thousands of years, the continent stood dominated by its native peoples, fittingly referred to as the Native Americans.
Though these people would be largely decimated by the Europeans and the exotic diseases they brought with them, numerous aspects of Native American life still influence modern North American culture. However, the language, wealth and lifestyle habits often associated with North America came largely from the land’s European colonialists. After 200 years of colonized life, most of North America claimed its independence in the late 1700’s.
Since then, the growth of the region has been phenomenal, both economically and in terms of immigrants from across the world, and the mix of traditional, European, and other worldly influences characterizes North American life today. Nowadays, the region is known largely for its massive cities, wealthy lifestyle, and gorgeous natural vistas.
Unlike Europe or many of the other developed nations throughout the world, a good portion of the North American countryside has remained undeveloped and preserved in its natural condition. This has allowed the region to develop into a hotspot for ecotourism, with sites such as the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls drawing visitors from across the globe. Other travellers come to the region for its cultural offerings, which include one of the most prolific music and arts communities in the world. Finally, the regions rich history draws tourists seeking to explore the unique mixture of European and traditional heritages.
North America Highlights
The most famous cities in North America are doubtlessly Los Angeles and New York City. Each of these cities sits on an American coastline and has been highly influenced by the shipping and fishing industries. Furthermore, both have grown into sprawling metropolises and are typically regarded as some of the largest cities in the world. We won’t go into too much detail on what to do here (entire books have been written on the subject), but trust us when we say both these cities are worth visiting.
Other major cities in North America include Atlanta, Dallas, and Toronto. Because each city saw different waves of immigrants from different areas of the world and relied on different industries for their growth, each boasts a unique attitude and pace of life. The huge difference in attitude from place to place makes North American cities some of the most interesting places to visit.
Of course, the landscape of North America also draws visitors to the continent. The largest mountain range in North America is the Rocky Mountains, which extend throughout western Canada and the United States. Besides offering countless picturesque peaks, this mountain range also boasts some of the world’s best skiing and winter sports. Numerous upscale lodges exist throughout North America that enjoy their reputations as some of the finest slopes in the world.
North American Food
Food in North America can be largely characterized as a mixture of European and native ingredients. Popular dishes include hamburgers, baked vegetables, and game meats. In modern times, the wealth of North America has attracted numerous immigrants from across the world, many of which brought their own culinary traditions along. Almost all North American cities now feature a variety of restaurants catering to culinary traditions from across the world in addition to the region’s customary cuisine.
Wildlife in North America
Being an entire continent, North American wildlife varies heavily depending on region. Bears, eagles, and small rodents are especially common in the northern reaches of North America, while the southern areas host a variety of bird and plant life. Deserts, mountains, rainforest, plains, and frosted lands can all be found in North America, making this one of the most biodiverse regions on earth. Fortunately, all of the countries in North America have done a phenomenal job in establishing natural parks to preserve some of the most beautiful sites. Though the landscape has changed considerably since Europeans first arrived, by and large North America is more open and spread out than much of the rest of the world, making nature-oriented travel a very viable option throughout North America.