Almost everyone on the planet knows something about the United States of America, even if they, themselves have never been. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State, the Hollywood sign, the Las Vegas neon, the Golden Gate Bridge and the White House have long been global icons, along with American brands and images which are familiar globally. Yet first-time visitors have much more to look forward to. Though its major cities draw the most tourists (New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco), America is made up of stunningly diverse landscapes. In one nation you have the spectacular Cascades, the vast, mythic desert landscapes of the Southwest, the endless rolling plains of Texas and Kansas, the tropical beaches and Everglades of Florida, the giant redwoods of California and the sleepy pristine villages of New England. You can soak up the mesmerizing vistas in Crater Lake, Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, stand in awe at the Grand Canyon, hike the Black Hills, cruise the Great Lakes, paddle in the Mississippi, surf the gnarly breaks of Oahu and get lost in the vast wilderness of Alaska. Or you could easily plan a trip that focuses on the remote prairies, eerie ghost towns and forgotten ways that are every bit as “American” as its showpiece icons and monuments. From its vast plains, snow-covered mountains, deep forests and strange rock formations, to soaring skyscrapers and a thunderous cultural scene, the USA is a collage of beautiful extremes.