The natural scenery of the USA is breathtaking. Many of its locals are friendly, and the cost of living in many places is relatively cheap even among hostels. Gas and food are quite cheap too. These things make the United States one of the best known destinations for backpackers.
America has huge highways that make it easy for anyone to go through the tourist trail. The USA also has Amtrak trains, Greyhound buses and affordable domestic flights. Besides, American cities have all the shopping, culture and sights you will ever need.
Here are our top recommendations for the cities that backpackers would usually visit in America whether they’re going to hit the highway or just go on a road trip:
1. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is home to some of the best universities in the world as well as the richest architecture in the whole country. This is why the city is known as the Athens of America. With Irish pubs, cultural activities and many clubs as well as bargain shopping, Boston clearly reflects New England’s scenery.
There is Harvard university where you can enjoy wandering around. You can also choose to rub elbows with the intellectuals of Cambridge. You can get there through a short metro ride from downtown. Besides, you can explore the Museum of Natural History along with its symposiums and free lectures. And don’t forget the Boston Art Scene and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
2. Austin, Texas
Why Austin? Austin is actually the standard reflection of Texas culture: country music, cowboys and homecooking. There is live music – jazz, funk and country, just take your pick! Numerous bars and venues bear witness to locals who are not only keeping Austin weird but also especially affordable.
From music records to jewelry to vintage dresses, you can find that Austin is eclectic when it comes to its choice of stores. Complement this with the University of Texas’ Galleries and Museums as well as the Lady Bird Lake where you can freely go hiking. Or you may decide to go to Barton Springs for a relaxing swim.
3. San Francisco, California
Hiking enthusiasts and backpackers may decide to fulfill their fantasies on the West Coast. San Francisco has rich natural wonders from the sea lions at the pier to the view of the steep hills that you see from the cable car. In fact, the boat trips equal the bizarre restaurants like the garlic restaurant named Stinking Rose and located in Little Italy.
That’s not even half of your San Francisco trip yet. There’s still the Japanese Tea Garden and the Dutch Windmill. You and a friend can also experience nature at the Buffalo Paddock or at the Tulip garden. Finally, there is the Golden Gate Bridge, where many action films you’ve seen have been filmed.
4. Seattle, Washington
Why choose Seattle for your next backpacking trip? Not only is Seattle home to numerous open green spaces, countless parks, and beaches in forests. It is also where you can find Starbucks, Microsoft and Discovery Park. You can also explore a diverse Asian community in the ID or the International District. They have everything there from Vietnamese restaurants, Korean groceries, and Japanese cuisine.
Along with the Hostel Seattle, the city has so many cheap restaurants, groceries, and bars. Elliot Bay Cafe’s bagels and coffee is actually a perfect example. Backpackers can also choose to fly kites at GasWorks Park while you can just sit somewhere and enjoy the majestic view of the waterfront.
5. Washington D.C.
What’s in the national capital that is not in others? Naturally, backpackers would tell you it is the White House, the National Mall and Arlington Cemetery. There are also museums for history enthusiasts as well as clubbing and live music for those who just want to have fun.
The Smithsonian Institute also has art galleries like the Air and Space Museum where you can immerse yourself in astronomy and physics. The rest of the time, backpackers can take part in the Cherry Blossom Festival or just have a relaxing day at Georgetown.
Backpacking is all about an endless exploration of culture, urban life and community of the places where you are planning to visit. But before anything else, you should remember three things
1. Know the law.
Ignorance of the law indeed excuses no one. Check state laws where you might have to adjust your driving speed or road behavior. Ask around and do your homework.
2. Stay on the safe side.
Beware of suspicious hitchhikers and of people giving you wrong directions. Always ask the police officer or Google.
3. Have your visa ready.
Backpacking in the United States is not just for Americans but for all people. Just make sure you have a visa. You can apply for an ESTA visa online at the official website of ESTA. ESTA stands for the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This is where you can get an ESTA travel visa easily. In fact, you’re lucky if you’re coming from one of the 38 countries that are entitled to an ESTA waiver – no need for a visa to travel in the US for 90 days.
Tip: See also https://www.usaesta.co.uk/ for more information.
Backpackers define their journey and constantly redesign it as they travel. It is all about exploring places, discovering the culture and having fun. With a knowledge of the laws in that particular state, nothing could go wrong. Moreover, with an ESTA visa waiver, you can travel more for less.