Uncover the heritage and history of colonial America visiting cities founded by Puritans and Pilgrims, and learn more about the revolutionary past of Boston along the Freedom Trail. Along the Cape Cod National Seashore visit creative and eclectic local communities and enjoy a thriving arts scene, distinctive lighthouses and charming small towns. Explore the beauty of the White Mountains and spot wildlife in the Androscoggin Valley. Or sample the magnificent lobster and blueberries the state of Maine are renowned for.

When to Visit

Crossing various time zones, there is always good weather somewhere in the United States. Summer is the most popular time to visit, but winter offers plenty for the more active looking for snow. Los Angeles weather ranges from 14-25ºC degrees year round with New York averaging from 5-30ºC degrees.

Highlights

MASSACHUSETTS Well-known as the birthplace of America, from the landing of the pilgrims to the American Revolution, Massachussetts has so much more to offer beyond its history - hundreds of kilometres of coastline, charming small towns, sophisticated Boston and so much more.

FOOD & WINE New England's regional produce is second to none. There's nothing like apple cider, a clambake by the beach, pumpkin, peach and apple pies and the region's own clam chowder. A number of microbreweries and vineyards also dot the region.

FALL IN NEW ENGLAND Autumn, or fall, in New England is one of the best times to visit. The region bursts with colour as the foliage changes from green to a brilliant kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, golds and yellows. The colours splash across hillsides and valleys, down mountains and along the coast.

CAPE COD Discover maritime charm in abundance in Cape Cod and its islands, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. With dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean, whale watching and delightful fishing villages Cape Cod is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the coastal scenery.

HISTORY Visit iconic Boston landmarks related to the American Revolution, explore the town of Salem, famed for its 17th Century witch trials or travel the historic highways of Pennsylvania to learn more about Civil War history at the most famous battlefield, Gettysburg.

NATIONAL PARKS Acadia National Park is a marvel of natural scenic beauty with 200 kilometres of hiking trails set against a backdrop of pine-covered forests and rugged coastline. Ride the world's first mountain climbing train to the top of Mount Washington, New England's highest peak to enjoy spectacular views over the White Mountains and the valleys of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

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Useful Information

Communications

Country Code for the USA: +1

Visa Global Assistance: 1866 765 9644

Emergency Services: 911

Customs

Americans are friendly and informal. People tend not to wait to be introduced and will begin to speak to strangers whether in a queue, sitting next to each other, etc. Americans can be direct and value logic and linear thinking ans speak clearly and in a straightforward manner. Greetings in the USA are casual and a handshake, smile and "hello" are all that are needed.

Electricity

Electrical Plug type: USA

Voltage: 110-120 Volts

Modem Plug: US (same as Australia).

Getting Around

There are numerous underground train systems in operation in major cities including New York (subway), Washington, DC (metro), Boston ('T'), Chicago (train) and San Francisco (BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit); others are being planned or built. There are also several tramway and trolleybus systems, including the much-loved antique trams found in San Francisco, although in many cities a car will be needed to get around, due to lack of public transport.

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor. 

Vaccination against Hepatitis B should be considered by frequent or long stay travellers to the United States. Dengue Fever occurs in the US, thus insect avoidance measures may be recommended depending on your itinerary.

Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Australians travelling to the United States should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. For further information please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/United_States_of_America 

Language

English 82%, Spanish 11%, other European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific Island 2.7%.

Shopping

Shopping hours vary widely based on management considerations and customer needs. Key variables are the size of the metropolitan area, the type of store, and the size of the store. Typical store shopping hours are Monday - Saturday 9 - 10am to 8 - 10pm and Sunday 11 - 12 noon to 5 -7pm.

Tipping

Tipping is a widely practiced social custom in the United States. In restaurants, a gratuity of 15% to 20% of the amount of a customer’s check (receipt/bill) is customary when good service is provided. Tips are also generally given for services provided in golf courses, casino, hotels, food delivery, taxis, and salons.

Visas

For the most up to date information regarding visas for Australian passport holders to the United States, visit www.dfat.gov.au/visas/